Thursday, December 23, 2010

Movie Time with Mike! For Real Now!!

Okay well that was a hell of a distraction. Back to the butter tarts. MOVIE TIME WITH MIKE!

So recently I threw a movie night of one and it was amazing! I loved my movies very very much. It ended up being dragged out a couple of days but there will certainly be spoilers but I don't plan on screening anything I watched at Anime club so that's that then.

Ip Man2: I both liked the sequal more than the first more and I didn't like the sequal as much at the originial. The original has hands down better action sequences. This is subjective and it is easy to disagree with me here but hey my opinion go! The reason I say this is that Ip Man had believable fight scenes. I looked at them all and I belived that a person could do all of those things with a life time of training and dedication. The sequal's mass fight scene just didn't really resonate with me. I mean sure it was badass, and super cool don't get me wrong but it started to feel a little bit to scripted. Like there was a director getting people to all make sure the two protagonists win. However, I will say that the table fight scene was truely bad ass.

HOWEVER, storywise Ip Man2 wins out hands down and it does something I didn't expect at all. It demythologises martial arts. I guess this is something that most people who practice martial arts knows but this movie showed that a man tained to take punches, made of muscle, and who is just plain bigger can be hard to take down even if you are a kung fu master. Wa? Okay well things happen and the two bad ass kung fu masters in the city, Ip Man and someone else face off againt a boxer. You know boxing? Back in the day it used to be a major sport that everyone liked. Anyway, the other guy dies, and Ip Man only just barely manages to beat him. It is interesting though, I mean it is a point that is brought up in the Tony Jaa movies The Protector and Ong Bak. However, in a chinese movie showing off how bad ass martial arts is, it seems weird that their golden boy would get his ass kicked royally. The movie ends with Ip Man hoping that there will be a greater degree of respect and communication between China and the west.

DIVERSION! The Chinese movies that end up over here are really weird. I am not talking about the festivle scene cause that is its own thing. However, Ip Man and Ip Man2 are very chinese movies that can be really difficult to understand without knowing a little bit of chinese history, especially just before, during, and after WW2. In fact I have no fucking clue what the opening montage of Ip Man 2 meant. I am sure I would if I knew a little bit more about what happened to china during the war but I don't. We are the west we don't talk about china. Like why there hell were there so many british people in Hong Kong, and why were so many of the running the police departments and what the hell was going on. A lot of stuff I had to just take and run with however it doesn't stop there, I mean look at Red Cliff. Uneditied RedCliff is well over 3 hours. While western audiences were afflicted with a brutalized horribly edited version of the movie that I acidently screened at Anime club it is still something that is MASSIVELY culturally specific to china. I mean just the battles, the way the battles were conducted, and the way the action played out. I don't know a lot about Chinese culture but basically everything I didn't really understand I realized was prolly something pretty culturally specific to china. I am good at rolling with the punches though so it worked out. Then there is Hero. The ending of Hero is one of those distinctly unamerican ideas. America likes to believe that we all matter and that every one of us is special and that our government looks at all of us and sees us all. Don't beleive me? Go watch Saving Private Ryan. However, Hero dies at the behest of the masses. I found the scene to be absolutly chilling but the movie treated this as standard operating proceedure and they still buried him as a hero even though they killed him ded. I have no idea how people chose what chinese movies get brought over here but I amazed at thier cultural specificity especially considering how wide their release is.

Moving on!

Foreign Duck, Native Duck, and God in a Coin Locker: What a neat little movie. First it is a movie that highlights the generally prejudiced attitude that the Japanese have twords forgieners which makes them basically like everywhere else. I mean that's fair really. I actually don't have very much to say about this movie other than the fact it was awesome. It is also one of those things that really highlights how weird the pacing in Japanese movies are compared to their western counterparts. The movie meanders, it retells events from different perspectives, and it takes its time building a relitivly small picture. Like I could reedit the movie into a 45 minut piece that just pretty much tells the story straight through. However, it doesn't really capture the budding friendship or just the increadible sadness that is at the core of the movie.

For all intents and purposes the stakes of the movie are incredibly small and yet the charecter's treat them as monumental. Basically it is about a group of friends encounting a group of people who are mutilating and killing animals, conflict ensures, there are fatalities on both sides, and then the movie wraps up. When you total the body count at the end of the movie I found myself wondering if it was all worth it. The movie sells its point really well though and I like I said earlier I love it. Go see it you will be sad but satisfied.

Dinner Rush: The crown jewl of my movie night has to be Dinner Rush. I first heard of the movie through a preview for another movie. I tried to find it but I couldn't. Shamefully the movie rides the crack between an indie release and a minor release. I am pretty sure it went staight to DVD and while the cast is increadibly talented it lacks any of the STAR quality that makes people wanna go out and see things. This is miserably sad because the movie is increadible. I am actually not going to talk to much about it because the movie itself is worth the journey. See I am not one of those, "Oh noes I know the end of the movie I can't see it because it is all ruined now. I think that is a bunch of bullshit. Movies, media in general for me is about the journey. It is about absorbing the whole package. I mean even if I were to tell you point by point what happens in Forgien Duck you'd miss the meaning because it is the way the story is told that makes the movie not the actual events. Dinner Rush isn't like that though. It is one of the very few movies that is impossible to predict. I follows no known plotting or rhythm. It got to the point where when the movie ended all I could say was, "Huh well I saw none of anything that happened in that movie coming". The setting of the movie is pretty much a charecter in of itself and it is the main vehicle which is used to drive the movie fowards. The entire thing takes place in a high end italian resutrant that is owned by two old school mobsters that are going straight, durng the dinner rush on a tuesday night. As a result you have mafia types, art dealers, food critics, and all sorts of other things rushing around demanding attension and eating lavish amounts of truely delicious looking food. We get a look at the poor harried waitstaff, the frantic action within the kitchen, and the blissfully unaware customers who just want their food and the atension of their waiter. The movie is literally a bitz of action that crashes home into a satisfying conclusion that leaves you satisfied but more than a little bit hungry. It is great fun and it leaves all sorts of little details eveywhere that you can pick up on later if you are quick. Go see it.

Lastly Air Doll. Air Doll happened a day or two later because of a burning acident. Anyway Air Doll is quite literally the happiest sad movie of all time. Like now that it has happened to me, and oh god did it ever burn, I think I might just turn it off at a certain point and pretend that the real ending doesn't happen. I mean there as sad endings and then there is this movie. Jesus christ that movie just burns. 80% of the movie is watching the main charecter movie around and being the cutest thing in the universe. I mean we are talking Amilie levels of cuteness.

Erm right. So the movie is about a blow up sex doll who for no real reason comes to life one day. She is imbuned with a heard that allows her to think, feel, and move of course. She finds the world to be an absolutly wonderous place, fascinated by glass bottles, chintzy rings, and sounds. Oh there is this one scene where she runs her umbrella along a row of dvds and she looks so absolutly pleased with herself. Oh and one of the most adorable scenes ever is when she is blowing herself up using a foot pump. It actually struck me dumb. Randomly she gets a job in a dvd store and moar cuteness ensues. By the way the dvd store makes this movie a movie lovers dream. Some of the movies the owner mentions are japanese but because I watch to many movies I've heard of most of them, the rest are american and genuinely good choices. One guy asked for a movie featuring a dirty cop, like the absolute worst sort of guy. Now at this point I am on the edge of my seat because I am hoping he is going to spit out a Japanese title. I love movies about dirty cops they have a special place in my heart and they are relativly rare. Nope instead he spits out the title Bad Lieutenant which is a fantastic choice and it really is Harvy Keitel at his worst. Well done little asian dude, well done.

Anyway about 80% through the movie it decides that it is time to start ending. So it does it in the most bone crushingly sad way possible and then it is over. I nearly cried. Still well worth the dig. SEE IT.

Okay I am now really tired of writting so this blog post is now over.

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