Recent Rentals - Warnings, High Reccomendations, and Reviews! [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-20-2006, 12:04 PM
2046 (China 2005) - from director Wong Kar Wai, with Gong Li and Ziyi Zhang (both also in memoirs of a geisha). this is a very strange movie. but i mean that in a good way. the narrative moves through time and also, perhaps, parrallel universes. it's a little tough to explain other than it is a dramatic love story, but the manner in which it unfolds is very unique. its supposed to be a psuedo sequel to his prior film, In the mood for love, which i havent seen, and this works quite well on its own not knowing anything of the other movie. the main character is a writer who has one great love of his life (gong li) who leaves him based on many things, culminating with a game of chance. he asks her about her past, she says she'll reveal everything if he picks the higher card in a game of high-card. he picks the king of hearts (or it might be the jack of hearts, i shoulda gone back to check). she picks the ace of spades, game over, she walks, and is gone from his life forever. the rest of the movie unfolds as he continues his writing in 1967 thailand, even though part of the story takes place in a train that leaves for the year 2046 from the future. 2046 also happens to be the number of the room he and his love stayed in. now i know this is sounding confusing, and to some point, it really is confusing in the movie, but not in a bad way at all, if that makes any sense. overall, i think i just gave a horrible, horribly written review of a really solid, good movie. ziyi zhang (the younger girl from crouching tiger, the lead in memoirs of a geisha) probably gives her best performance in anything i've ever seen her in. she was great in this as a prostitute that's trying to gain the writer's love. that part of the story is really heartbreaking and handled incredibly, tragically well. also, the way it was shot, with the way the dialogue scenes especially were composed, was just great. its highly reccomended.

The A-Team (yes, the tv show) - had this on my netflix queue to do some research for a project and watched season 1, the first disc, episodes 1-3, the pilot and two other episodes. i never saw this pilot. and i didnt realize dirk benedict (face, and starbucks from battlestar gallactica) wasnt in the pilot, but they had a different actor playing him just for the pilot. when the series started, dirk benedict came on board. its strange how pretty much EVERY single episode is pretty much EXACTLY the same thing. just interchange a few of the elements, but the setup, execution, and ending of the episode follows the exact same path. that being said, i still love the show. wasnt sure how it would hold up watching it again after a loooooong time, but it was still very enjoyable. the interaction with the team members was way more fun than i remembered, especially the two main things being 1) BA (Bad Attitude) Barracus's fear of flying and the constant trickeration in drugging him to get on to the plane AND fooling him into thinking they never actually flew in the first place, but that he 'blacked out' for DAYS on end, and 2) hannibal's HORRIBLE disguises. they were truly horrible! no chance in hell any normal person who's not legally blind wouldnt be able to tell its the same person wearing prosthetics or cheesy hair, mustache, beard attachments. but was fun seeing the "origin" episode as amy was the first to hire the A-Team and then join forces with them as their "legit" inside woman. And HM (howling mad) Murdock, really seems to be an inspiration for a lot of Jim Carrey characters. Good fun, but i think they are playing repeats on tvland or maybe even nick? not sure but i thought i've seen ateam reruns somewhere. Oh yeah, and the other fun ridiculousness is the unbelievable amount of weaponry brandished with ZERO casualities. That's family entertainment for ya!

Me, You, and Everyone We Know (2005) - this hit from sundance and the indie circuit is about as simple a movie as you can get. it's the toughest thing in movies, that the simpler your idea is, the harder it is to pull off. its FAR easier to make a movie with a complex plot and high tech gadgets and action and heavy drama or anything that we generally talk about. It's easy (relatively speaking) to tell a story where there's a giant arc to go through, where you can see the path of the story as is the case with most mainstream movies. But how do you tell a 'day-in-the-life-of' story? how do you show how monotonous somone's life is. "SHOW" being the key word, not have a conversation where someone tells you they have a boring, monotonous life, but show that to the audience. It's very tough to pull off. They do a great job of doing it here. The movie is about a recently divorced father of 2 young boys, a modern-audio-visual-artist, and the people they know. That's it. That's the entire story. Stuff happens. They interact. No big explosions, actions, nothing REALLY major happens. The character and story arc isnt a giant transition, its a very subtle move from one point in their lives to another, and executed (IMO) incredibly well. again, if you dont like "indie" films, STAY away, this will probably bore you to death. But if you enjoy them, this is a gem. it's an incredibly voyeuristic look at this small community of people and what is happening in their lives as they learn, grow, and change over the course of the movie. it's like Ulee's Gold if you took out the whole kidnapping, abusive son-in-law thing plot, similar to Lost in Translation as well in terms of "scope." Sometimes just the smallest nudge in a direction of a character's life can be a profound moment. this is one of those movies that looks at what happens in the space of that nudge. BTW, as a warning, NOT a family movie at all and may have some themes to make ya real uncomfortable if you're the squeemish type (nothing like Twin Falls Idaho, so its not THAT far out there, but does get into sexuality and kids experimenting). Dont want to give anything away either, so it does get a very high reccomendation, but with the caveats. if you like indie, you'll love this movie.

The Sword of Doom (Japan, 1966) - for fans of the samurai genre, you probably already know or have seen this classic. took me a while but i finally watched it. wow. what a strange ending. i had to go back and watch the entire denoument sequence over again to even realize it had ended! the story follows a samurai (or ronin i guess) who has become somewhat possessed by his own bloodlust and his sword. he kills at the slightest provocation and becomes embroiled in a plot between feuding clans of samurai. the ending is a complex strategy as each group wants to use/kill/exact revenge against him in their own way and his madness finally takes over in an unbelievable end sequence. Highly reccomended!

"she's kinda cute in that whole, i've-been-terrorized-by-the-others-for-40-days-kinda-way"

01-20-2006, 12:26 PM
Nice post Kam! Thanks a lot! I will check these out.

01-23-2006, 08:06 AM
Saw 2046, it was interesting. Good not great. Have to see Sword of Doom now. I have to see it. The other's I'll get around to...



Gerald Cooperberg
01-24-2006, 06:09 PM
I loved 2046. Have you seen In the Mood For Love? 2046 is its sequel of sorts, although I won't guarantee that having watched the first one will help you understand the plot of the second at all. They're actually very different films in almost every respect; In the Mood For Love exercises agonizing restraint while 2046 is a headlong mess of beauty & brutality. I agree with you on Zhang Ziyi's performance; I was stunned at her scenes with Tony Leung.

Coincidentally, I also rented Me & You & Everyone We Know tonight, and I've got high hopes now. I'll have to get back with you after I watch it.


Gerald Cooperberg
01-28-2006, 07:54 PM
Okay, it took a couple of days for me to get back here to post about it, but oh! What a delightful film! Roger Ebert said that it was a movie about "finding someone that speaks your rare emotional language," and that seems right on to me. I thought it struck a perfect balance between whimsy and the honest desperation of people searching for connection. I found myself grinning through almost the whole 90 minutes. ))<>((