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recent movies (after 1990)

 
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I was bored this evening and my roommate invited me to watch a movie. After two hours' suffering my roommate fell asleep (she's wiser I have to admit) and I am totally provoked. I feel the strong need to express my strong dislike of this movie: the million dollar hotel. I've never seen any more boring, more pretendious movie in my life. A gang of psychopaths speak some cliche all the time. The plot is simply pseudo-intellectual. I don't even think the photography is good. Music makes the movie longer thus more boring. Artistic and poetic? Are you amusing me? To me it's a piece of Hollywood junk which excerts every effort to appear like a master piece of some independent movie makers. Even Worse than "gang of New York"( After I watched it I thought there couldn't be any movie worse than this. Now "the million dollar hotel" proves I am wrong ). Really really horrible. Please don't get me wrong, Hollywood also produces good movies. I haven't watched many, "Chicago" is the recent Hollywood movie I really like. "Scent of a woman" is pretty good too, but for god's sake it can be a bit shorter, there wouldn't be compromise in quality I think. I like the purely entertaining movies of Hollywood too. Like "Van Wilder". All good movies are not pretendious.
Speaking of poetic, there's a French movie "the hairdresser's husband" I watched months ago. Beautiful. The story can't be any simpler: A man adored femal hair dressers since a little kid and married a one when grows up. Life is bittersweet and the death is yellow and vanilla scented. Finally the hairdresser suicided--let me leave you before you leave me. But the movie is not boring at all, and very natural. Stunning photography(To my taste. There's no car chasing, no helicopter fighting, no actions in this movie, so please don't expect that kind of stunning ), very interesting music, both lyric and passionate, and perfect acting of a very feminine, middle aged Italian actress and an old(50+ I believe) French actor. I remember my tears rushed out when it ended, not really because of sorrow, this movie is too beautiful. It's only 80 minutes long. The director said "in case my viewers feel bored, I hope at least they won't be bored for too long." What a virtue!
I didn't watch many, but French movies are really appealing to me. Last month I watched a one called "8 femmes". It's an easy-watching movie, I really like the acting of these eight actresses. The plot is presented very, very elegantly.

Regards,
Ellen
[ April 16, 2004: Message edited by: Ellen Zhao ]
 
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Ellen, have you seen Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Three Colors: Red" movie? It's probably my favorite movie, at least one of the favorite.
 
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other day I was watching Alma
It just make you think why you take wrong decisions.
All characters were too real.
 
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So many movies are made in Hollywood, a lot are bound to be naff. As long as they still turn out a classic every so often, who am I to care.
I agree that films seem to be too long these days, or rather, longer than they need to be. Its not an attention span issue. The Lord of the Rings films weren't too long IMO and I can quite happily sit through 3hrs of Seven Samurai. Very few films seem to get it right however. Its because the bigger the film, the higher the stakes and too many people need to agree and approve so many aspects. Also there is alot of formula following. Plus maybe perceived consumer demand/value-for-money too.
Toy Story (the perfect film!) was made for kids so it had to be short, but it was the ideal amount of time. Phone Booth too - short, to the point and (mostly) devoid of superfluous padding and as a result an excellent film. Also I much prefer Michael Mann's original version of Heat (LA Takedown) because of the length - the original film is just the right length to do what it needs to do, the remake is just padded and gets really dull in places.
I've watched so many foreign (non-Hollywood) films, in part to escape the formulaic nature of the big hitters. If you watch enough foreign films however you'll see in most cases there are just as many formulas and cliches being adhered too. Part of the appeal of foreign films is that we don't recognise the cliches immediately.
 
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There's probably as many good films being made as there were in the past.
It's just that the total volume has gone up a LOT which means that the percentage of good films as part of the total number being created each year has dropped.
That is not the problem it looks to be as the average person has less of a sense of quality these days as well and wouldn't recognise a good film if (s)he saw one anyway.
This is enhanced by the ever poorer quality of movie reviews (these days, I almost automatically assume a film is potentially a good one only if the reviews are poor...).
 
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I would highly recommend Zatoichi � a Japanese film that I happened to watch recently.
Its about this legendary Samurai, Zatoichi that everyone is heard about in Japanese villages, but no one have met in person. The ultimate warrior, is in fact a very elderly, blind masseur, but kick-ass! Don�t miss it!
http://www.zatoichi.co.uk/
PS: Its a Takeshi Kitano film. Now that�s more than enough reason to watch the it.
[ April 19, 2004: Message edited by: Ashok Mash ]
 
Ellen Zhao
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Hi Map, I heard of the "three colours" a lot but what a pity I only whatched the "white". And at that time I was too little, I can hardly remember anything from that film( I didn't get it then ). Something got burnt in the end, that's all I remember about it. My Chinese teacher recommended the "three colours" strongly. I'll have to look for it when I get a chance.
Doctor Zhivago is another movie I really like. The two ladies in the movie are not really super beauties, but both of them are so, so elegant. Great women, enlight/save the human-being! I especially like the background music for Donia(sorry I don't know the English spelling of her name, she's doctor Zhivago's wife). The version I'm talking about speaks kinda British English, and it's really long (over 3 hours I believe ).
I wonder whether there's someone knows the short claymations "Wallace and Gromit" here. They are full of imaginations and the characters are so, so vivid, they are for kid but the plots are pretty sophisticated. Oh I love them. Nick Park rocks! His early works (I watched some pieces he made when he was 13 ) were very cute yet quite talented, he's really good at details. I prefer W&G to Toy Story. He also directed the "chicken run", I haven't watched it yet. It's on my "must watch" list.
Some Japanese movies enjoy great fames, pity I hardly watched any. But I do read quite a few reputed Japanese novels and essays. Very impressive, but quite difficult to translate into movies. It seems Japanese cartoons are ruling the world. When I was in China, all TV stations played Japanese cartoons, occasionally one or two from Disney; When I came to Germany, there are not so many channels send cartoons, but there's a one sends cartoons the whole afternoon everyday, and all the cartoons are made in Japan, one after another, oh Juses! And the German people are humour, they even re-record the songs in German, sound really funny. They are not quite my type. I prefer "the Simpsons" by prosieben.
Which actress and actor you like best? I like Audrey Hepburn ( forever! ) and Al Pacino ( currently ), and, Gromit the dog.

Regards,
Ellen
 
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I wonder whether there's someone knows the short claymations "Wallace and Gromit" here.
Yep - great, wonderful films, particularly the 2nd and 3rd. If I had to choose between them, and Toy Story, and let's include Shrek as well... hmmmm. Forturnately, I don't have to - I can watch them all.
[ April 19, 2004: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Ashok Mash:
I would highly recommend Zatoichi � a Japanese film that I happened to watch recently. PS: Its a Takeshi Kitano film. Now that�s more than enough reason to watch the it.
I'd second that. I wasn't in the UK when Zatoichi came out. Just watched it last week after months of waiting for the DVD (and English subtitles) - superb!
His films are mostly excellent. Hana-bi, Sonatine and Kids Return are my favs. Brother was way below par IMO.
 
Ellen Zhao
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
these days, I almost automatically assume a film is potentially a good one only if the reviews are poor.



But never even try to check how bad "The Million Dollar Hotel" is. It's just like salt but not salty, vinegar but not sour, wine without alohol, a 50 woman dresses like 15, ... in one word it's hopeless nonsense. Save yourself and stay away from it. I can't understand how it got the "silver bear" award in Berlin. All the characters are vague, Mel Gibson doesn't bring anything good to the movie. Maybe it fits some pioneer -ism which I am too shallow to understand.
 
Ashok Mash
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
I'd second that. I wasn't in the UK when Zatoichi came out. Just watched it last week after months of waiting for the DVD (and English subtitles) - superb!


Just ordered the DVD - cdwow has it for �10 and something, postage free!
 
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Ellen Zhao:

I can't understand how it got the "silver bear" award in Berlin. All the characters are vague, Mel Gibson doesn't bring anything good to the movie. Maybe it fits some pioneer -ism which I am too shallow to understand.


Well, like most "awards" those too are awarded by the industry to themselves. Most likely it's based like most awards on who pays the most to get it.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT after you...
[ April 20, 2004: Message edited by: Jeroen Wenting ]
 
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Master and commander : The Far side of the World. starts Russel Crowe and the rising star from A Beautiful Mind as the ship's doctor. Nominated for several Oscars
Open Range : Kevin Costner spits meaningfully into the dust and Robert Duvall pauses a good deal and gazes into the distance - a good solid scenic Western.
 
Ellen Zhao
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Kudos Maggie Cheung!

I was reading news from internet before I went to sleep. Since May 17th I've been pretty nervous, worried and depressed since my home is not far away from Taiwan...But today I really got an exciting piece of news: my favourite Chinese actress Maggie Cheung got the best actress award in the festival de Cannes, 2004.

I haven't watched the movie involed in her newest award yet. She's so charming an actress that I cannot express my love, admiration and respect to her in my limited English...she's so natural... Here I strongly recommend her movie: Comrade, Almost a Love Story. Movies like this tell people the best Chinese movies are not about Kung-Fu, Killing, action...hell no.

Another of Maggie's movie worth watching is In the Mood for Love. Maggie is a muse in this movie, flawless...But in my opinion, this movie is not as touching as the "Comrade, almost a love story".

I have these movies in my harddisk, but I'm going to buy the DVDs.

Here are two pictures of Maggie taken today in France:



 
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