Blog Archives

Chocolate (2008)

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The one chocolate that most reminds me of this movie is a jaffa. Hard and crunchy on the outside, soft and melty on the inside.

Chocolate was Yanin “Jija” (or “Jeeja”) Vismitananda’s debut film role and director Prachya Pinkaew, the late Panna Rittikrai, and team created a movie designed to showcase her talents, much like they did for Tony Jaa with Ong Bak. A fairly basic story, acted out fairly basically, sets up a goal for our hero to … (read more)

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Snow on the Blades (2014)

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Snow on the Blades is a contemplative, elegant drama set at the end of Japan’s feudal era, spanning the decline of the Tokugawa shogunate in the 1860s and the dawning of the Meiji period thereafter.

The story follows one Shimura Kingo (Kiichi Nakai), a young man whose family are samurai in service to Ii Naosuke, chief minister to the Shogun. A master swordsman, he has recently married and has been elevated to the position of chief bodyguard to the minister, … (read more)

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Thermae Romae 2 (2014)

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I’ll admit, I decided to go to see the sequel to the surprisingly entertaining Thermae Romae with some trepidation. Basically I’m not a fan of comedies in general, so that I enjoyed the first film made a few of my friends check to make sure I was still the same person. I’m seriously considering not telling them that I enjoyed the sequel almost as much.

Although, perhaps that was a no-brainer. There’s no surprises in this follow up — it’s … (read more)

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Thermae Romae (2012)

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Unless you’re Japanese, it’s difficult to really understand what makes the onsen, or public bath, so popular. To even begin, you need to have been to Japan and gone to one, and even then you’ll probably never really grasp the significance the bath holds for the Japanese. After you get past the fact that you’re naked (except for a tiny towel) with a bunch of people you don’t know, sure, it’s an unbelievably wonderful experience. Think a bath tub the … (read more)

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Survive Style 5+ (2004)

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Survive Style 5+ is one crazy movie. Containing some of the strangest ideas ever put on film, it really offers quite a wild ride. How much you enjoy the ride though will depend on whether you can accept the many bizarre plots, wacky characters and at times a lack of logic. Yes, it is very weird, but if you are prepared to put to sleep those parts of your brains responsible for logical thinking, you will be in for one … (read more)

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Still Walking (2008)

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Koreeda must be among the gentlest of modern filmmakers and Still Walking the almost perfect inverse to the so-called extremism driving populist interest in Asian cinema.

Why gentle? Koreeda takes a melodramatic premise here (concerned with the devastation that a tragic death wrecks upon surviving family members and one person connected with the incident), pads his story with bitter males and eccentric females, fiddles with a basic array of conflicts (young vs old, husband vs wife, city vs country, life … (read more)

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Godzilla 2000 (1999)

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I have been disappointed by previous Godzilla titles. A small part of me, the part that enjoys watching people dressed up in rubber suits push each other into beautifully detailed scale sets, died upon viewing Godzilla vs Megaguirus. Thus, it was with great trepidation that I began watching Godzilla 2000. I hoped that, like the phoenix rising from the ashes, my fondness for Godzilla would be resurrected. I was not disappointed. Apart from a couple of flaws, Godzilla (read more)

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