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Backdated entries March 30, 2006

Posted by ayasawada in Film.

Sigh. There’s no other way of catching-up quickly on four months of missed entries. So here we go:

Oscar hopefuls:

  • Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005): Excellent! Classic Lee, surprising results from a teen-star cast. 4/5
  • Good Night, and Good Luck (George Clooney, 2005): Superb! Made me excited about journalism again. 5/5
  • Capote (Bennett Miller, 2005): Impressive. Dominated by Philip Seymour Hoffman. 3/5
  • Syriana (Stephen Gaghan, 2005): Thought-provoking, but damn confusing. 2/5
  • Walk the Line (James Mangold, 2005): Absolutely fucking fantastic! 6/5
  • Cinderella Man (Ron Howard, 2005): Formulaic but surprisingly involving. 4/5
  • A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005): Excellent Graphic Novel adaptation. 4/5

Far East cinema:

  • Sympathy for Lady Vengence (Chan-wook Park, 2005): A little overlong, but another beautifully shot piece of shock. 4/5
  • Gohatto (Nagisa Oshima, 1999): Beautiful, semi-erotic gay samurai epic. A little dull. 3/5
  • Chihwaseon (Kwon-taek Im, 2002): Slightly boring biopic of barmy Korean painter. 2/5
  • Take Care of My Cat (Jae-eun Jeong, 2001): Lovely slice-of-Korean-teenage-girls-life. 3/5
  • Ping Pong (Fumihiko Sori, 2002): Utterly brilliant manga adaptation. A table tennis sports movie – who’d have thunk it? 5/5
  • Cromartie High School (Yudai Yamaguchi, 2005): Utterly incoherent manga adaptation. Made me re-evaluate whether the original was even that funny. 1/5
  • Swing Girls (Shinobu Yaguchi, 2004): Fabulously fun tale of an amateur high-school big-band Jazz group. I love big-band Jazz now! 5/5
  • Kids Return (Takeshi Kitano, 1996): Kitano does it again. 4/5
  • Taegukgi (Je-gyu Kang, 2004): The Korean Saving Private Ryan. 3/5
  • Memories of Murder (Joon-ho Bong, 2003): The Korean Seven. 4/5
  • Chinese Odyssey 2002 (Jeffrey Lau, 2002): Brilliantly bonkers spoof of Chinese epics. Watched mainly for Faye Wong. 4/5
  • 2 Young (Derek Yee, 2004): Overly sentimental HK schlock. Jackie Chan’s son couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag. 2/5 (extra point for a too-good-for-this cast and a fit girl)
  • Leaving me, Loving you (Wilson Yip, 2004): Yawwwwwwwn. Watched mainly for Faye Wong. 1/5
  • Three Extremes: Dumplings (Fruit Chan, 2004): Excrutiatingly brilliant horror, brilliantly directed by Fruit Chan and lovingly photographed by Chris Doyle. Gotta watch the other two segments (Takashi Miike and Chan-wook Park directed). 4/5

And the rest:

  • Ray (Taylor Hackford, 2004): A good biopic. 4/5
  • THX 1138 (George Lucas, 1971): The anti-Star Wars. Lovely minimalism. Pretty esoteric. More bloody ‘special edition’ crap in the director’s cut. 2/5
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Tim Burton, 2005): I don’t see what all the fuss is about. 2/5
  • Just like Heaven (Mark Waters, 2005): Oh my God. 1/5
  • Thumbsucker (Mike Mills, 2005): Nice, but so-so. 3/5
  • Broken Flowers (Jim Jarmusch, 2005): It’s official: Bill Murray can only frown nowadays. 4/5

There are probably others, but I’m tired now.

EDIT 3/4/06: Just remembered

  • Kikujiro (Takeshi Kitano, 1999): The man does it yet again. 4/5
  • Thelma and Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991): Gave me a big headache. 1/5


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