Here you'll find my personal reviews of some of my favorite movies.
I try to be unbiased and coherent as much as I can, but... you know the odds. :)

Feedback Wanted!

You are always welcome to talk about movies on the BBS page or E-mail me. I'd also appreciate it if you would recommend me a good movie that I can't miss.

 

The Good, The Bad, and The Spoilers...

This page is so loosely updated and maintained, and new entries are added over the years, even my English skill and respect for mankind has improved along the way. You may find inconsistent level of review writing, un-marked spoilers, and other hazards ahead. You've been warned.



New Reviews Last addition: Aug 14, 2005

Cinema:

@ Home:
Taxi Driver (1976)



TITLES IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
All movies starting with 'The' will be sorted by the second word!

A| B| C| D| E| F| G| H| I| J| K| L| M| N| O| P| Q| R| S| T| U| V| W| X| Y| Z|


A

A Better Tomorrow (1986)

(Video CD)
In this day and age, it's difficult to talk about old treasured movies such as this one. On one hand I cannot just praise the movie without mentioning its trademark standard-setting Chow Yun-Fat gunfights, on the other hand, I cannot praise the same gunfights in front of the reality-show-goer modern-time audience.

Such irony, isn't it? What drew the crowds to this movie in the first place were fresh and exciting at the time, but now has become alienating and stereotype. But this movie didn't just go and die in the archives, because it had a second quality that is more long lasting, and has kept the crowds coming back for it. The ever lasting theme of family and of friendship.

It's not easy to be a gangster when you have friends and family... and this is a movie that shows just how much one might have to lose to give himself another chance. Chow Yun Fat not only looks great in sunglasses and his guns, not only smokes with style and walks with threatening air, he knows how to act ... like a real veteran of gangster. But the real focus here is Ti Lung, playing the man in question, whose every move and every word makes us believe and takes us along. The direction is masterful... there are many instances when I consciously realized how beautifully and elegantly the scenes were done, and every moment had its purpose and no more. It reined and carried the complex story with ease, never slowing down for us, but nothing is missed out. I loved it, and darn it, I loved the theme song. I'm completely sold.

Now if you will go easy on the over-the-top blow-em-ups near the end of the movie... :P

A Few Good Men (1992)

(Videotape)
OK, now I have the confidence to say (after seeing so many people's review), this is one of the best lawsuit court drama I have ever seen. It's a mind game between a seasoned military general (Nichoson) and two agressive young lawyers. Murder suspects in the army swear that their actions were under the order of the general, and cried why they should be wrong when they didn't do anything wrong, and so on. The acting of Cruise and Moore (argh, the forever god and goddess... if only real life lawyers were half as pretty as one of them... oh, we have Ally McBeal...) and most of all that of Nichoson, were just breathtaking. One of the first complex puzzle movies I understood as I grew up.
...Go SEE IT!!

Alien (1979)

(Videotape)
I planned to write it up here after I rewatch this movie, even though that means I need to rent it from a more expensive outlet. But it turns out all the wait and hassles and spending is worth it. This is a timeless classic as much as the definition goes. @v@ The first thing that struck me, oddly enough, was its visuals - the space, the mystic interstellar scenes, and the spaceship, both outside and inside - they are meticulously crafted to realistic details. It's "oddly enough" because this was a movie made in 1979; it doesn't look anything like that. The hallway and rooms and doors all look so believably futuristic, yet so familiar and at home. This is a mood that continues throughout the movie, and which supported the atmosphere to the greatest extent. The main story unfolds very seamlessly, as the crew members are awaken from the sleeping capsules, bringing life to the otherwise cold, silent living quarters. I remember almost every bit of it, but yet when I watch them now again, I feel like I'm seeing it for the first time. Everything was made to perfection, there's no way to get tired watching it.

And the alien itself? It's awesome, it's the real story. I am reminded again of what ALIEN means. The horror and suspense just never seem to stop, and it doesn't seem it will ever. My hands were clinging to my legs all the way until the end. One alien is all it takes. One alien is incredible... but maybe we should say instead, that humans are simply so weak, yet so arrogant about their "power over nature", it's pathetic.

Amadeus (1984)

(Videotape)
I thought Mozart was a nice, good boy that died early (like one of those children who are sick). Man was I wrong. Just watch Amadeus... oh by the way, the movie is for many parts fictional. ;)
Here we just have a very wild adaptation of Mozart by Tom Hulce. Who wants to be a millionare? WAH HA HA HA HA HA! HA... HA... It completely refreshes my impression of this great composer from long ago, from a few paled portraits, to a living, dancing and kicking son of a gun!! It brings life to a person otherwise nobody has ever seen... and if you're a Mozart's fan, you will be pleasantly surprised, maybe a little betrayed also. The acting, the directing, the storyline, are all first rate. The music in particular, are some of the best recordings I've ever heard (well I'm no expert). There's no room for any flaws, and it is perfect like the legendary composer depicted in it.

Of course, be warned, that this film is a music film. If you're completely turned off by classical music in general, well, don't waste your time.

American Beauty (1999)

(Videotape)
Well, where should I begin... This review probably misses out a lot of the teenager visitors who came from my FFV website. Boy, this is one heck of a cynical, satirical, mean production... Throughout the film, you pretty much see lots of ugly things, as opposed to the title. Amusingly, Kevin Spacey's face really help support him act as this mid-aged troubled man. He showed us he can be totally dorky as well. And, the teens... and the drugs, and the affairs... everything goes like a movie (well it is a movie), I felt that way probably because it breathes like real life - only twisted enough to look like movie.
The real point is (I've been missing the point ^^), I believe this is one of those reverse therapy thingy, for the large populations of the will-be broken marrages or families, show them exactly what is the worst of all, and ponders the question of whether life really look as bad as it seems - through the little rebellious mind of a small time salary-man (as the Japanese call these people), who, of all the characters in the film, impressed the youth who thinks that he's just found a second most beautiful thing in this whole wide world. "Wow"

American History X (1999)

(Videotape)
Edward Norton... has he no limits? This is a shocking Anti-Racist film that delivers its message by illustrating a fictional 'legendary figure' of the 'white elite' community, how he became what he was, how he found out the reality and decided to quit, and the aftermath. The script is realistic-sounding to the every bit that I can imagine: insecure teenagers needing a place to belong (even though they'll certainly deny it), and an extremist white faction that vows for a revolution provides just the comfort, headed by a faulty historian scholar that have no place in mainstream, they seem invincible. But alas, they simply didn't see what they were doing, not even when they kill, and when they die. As the Norton-played-skinhead enters prison, he gets a little bit of what's going on - in the hard way. Nolonger under the warm shelter of democracy and anonimity, his racism attitude will only be greeted by racism from all the other sides - he's a white nigger.
This is a film that strike a stunning chord, and is a must see for everyone, whether you're interested or not, it's a mandatory shock-treatment as one steps into the adulthood.

And the Band Played On (1993)

(Videotape)
One of a few documentaries that don't take you to sleep. This film talks about AIDS and how the scientists start to realize its threats. I don't know if it's real story or not, but it gives a strong message that I think is very true, that the system of our society is usually blind to what needs to be changed until it's too late. Some of the criticisms that the film expresses are so ridiculous, I have to either stop believing in humanity or take it that the film was exaggerating.
But again, making some characters in the film into bad guys helps me enjoy the film better...


B

Back to the Future (1985, 1989, 1990)

(First time: some cinema in Taiwan)
Oh well, I know this sounds pretty weird... and, potentially childish. (^^)
Probably because I watched this show when I was too little(...well, there goes the visitors...), but I do think it's quite interesting, looking at the young boy trying to figure out what happened...in the past, as well as in the future. The show is quite 'living', and so close to us, so surreal yet so real. It's nothing that pretend to be something, it's just there, right in front of me telling me "now you're in 1985... now you aren't. better go get some proper clothing and street wise". I didn't find any scientific crap in its ugly form. Probably because it was directed by Steven Spielberg? (^^)
For all the creative minds, this is one nice trilogy (parody!?) I recommend.

Bambi (1942)

(Videotape)
THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE FILMS!!!!!! (^_^) AND IS DEFINITELY MY FAVORITE OF DISNEY!!!!!
Ahh, what joy it is to be able to freely express my love. For a teenage boy it would've been impossible, but hell, I'm over 20 now and I can say whatever I want without getting embarrassed, which is such a primitive term.
Bambi is everything that was perfect and innocent and happy and light-hearted - and yet, it strikes an amazing tone when it comes to life and death, love and romance, and the persistent danger of humankind. Surprisingly, you don't find any lecturers in Bambi; things just happen naturally. The message is clear and loud, and yet it's so elegant. And more surprising to young kids would be the quality of production; other than its inevitable 2D-ness, everything else is top-notch, from the fluent animation to the rich colorful graphics and enchanting music scores, it looks even better than many of the more recent animation features, from both US and Japan.
I can't help but comparing it with Mononoke no Hime, for their similarity in messages and symbols (um... I don't mean the deer ^^;) but yet, Mononoke looks more like a "modern people's take on the issue", whereas Bambi is more of a "elder's well-told fable". Love Bambi Love Bambi. :)

Band of Brothers

(Videotape)
Okay, so it's not a movie, it's a mini-series... But it's directed by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, and it's likely the biggest 'mini' series ever made to date... and it's in my local Video Update store, so it's here! Band of Brothers. I'm no war film buff, but I do have seen quite some real documentaries and war related movies. But BoB is starkly different. It is so much more 'realistic' than the best movies I've ever seen... It's something that visually approaches the documentary level, of this 'primal color' of WWII... (like I know what that would be!) And more surprising is how the story is told. It practically follows the real history to the minute, from the training, to the D-Day, and all the way till the end of war. (Well, there's always these grumpy WWII historians who'd nitpick the details) And the perspective is so much the more different than any other usual WWII movies... BoB is about the airborne troops Easy Company, which was to become the elite force led by an outstanding commander, Winters, fighting in all terrains, for all tactical purposes, and was one of the hidden heroes that made the victories of WWII possible. It was not intended to be a hero story, however. If anything, BoB is like a 'scrap book' of a typical WWII soldier, told in all its brilliance and shades. There is no glory or treasure to be found...

BoB is a mini-series about war, and a very good one at it.

BraveHeart (1995)

(LaserDisc widescreen)
Now there I believe I hit some echoes(!). Great screening, great spirit, great killings and lovings (um, let's skip it before the page get rated R). Mel Gibson is just the right person for this role, and the dressings, the scenes, the weaponaries, the killings (repeat)... Everything is so... well made. The movie made me high / drop tears. I felt the same enthusiasm as all the men within.

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)

(Videotape)
No, of course I can't relate myself to this film, which talks about being a single woman after a certain age... but, how can I therefore NOT enjoy it? Do I really have to BECOME the heroine to understand it? I don't think so... Good story and good jokes are universal, so are good performances by actors and actresses. Besides, it's really not so hard to explain why things happen, and even easier to sympathize and feel for Bridget.

I always wondered how a woman see things around her; according to my mom and sister, they do it in much a starkly different way than men do, and that really is what I'm seeing in the film. Reindeer Jumper, T*ts-pervert (^_^), Holiday Commitment, lousy TV presentation, all of these what men are oblivious to. It sort of helps me explore the woman psyche (even if it may be stereotypical; stereotypes are fun anyway :). I don't see why some people would simply dismiss this film as too audience targetted, unless they have a really, really narrow mind.



C

Child's Play (1988)

(Videotape)
Hehe, never get into a toy store if you wanna kill a Voodoo guy. :)
Aww that's not the point. This is one nice horror movie. Just the fact that it has so many sequels explains it. Of course, you knew it's the doll right from the beginning, which actually makes it so effective when you can't do nothing and see the grown-ups suffer from their ignorance. The moral of the story: always trust the kid when he accuses his toy of the murder he did.
This movie gave my sister trauma...

The Cider House Rules (1999)

I listed it here anyway, despite it being a little too soft for my taste. I guess I wanted something stronger, more bitter, and stuff like that. Cider House Rules is a little like real life than drama, but I guess that's fine; it sets the tone for what it wants to say.
Seems to me that in the scope of this movie, this two hour show, everything in life was revealed. How can that possibly be? By showing simple building blocks of life, the essence of which - body, mind, society, emotion - and they just come together and make their own stories. What horror this shows... I cannot imagine, how simple our lives have been. What DID Homer miss out when he was in the orphanage, really? It seems that even though he was the one that knows nothing about real world, he seems to have been there already, except for, of course, the ocean, and the mountains. The Rules written in the Cider House, like the rules anywhere else, are written by someone not necessarily living there... and, the rules are never the final answer... hell, and this is just one of the many things more clearly identified by the movie.
Nevertheless, the movie kind of left too much to contemplation, and too little spelled out itself... I get this rage of, god dammit, if you went this far already why not made the point stronger? So that I can have an excuse for saying "this is the best movie ever" or stuff like that? A narrative definitely would have helped, I don't mind that. At lease give us some navigation tool in the ocean that this movie has made, then we can visit all the attractions more easily.

Cocoon (1985)

(Videotape)
To me, this film remained one of the most mystical ones - the ones they talked about and praised a lot about but I've never watched - until very recently, mostly because that when I was little they say I "wouldn't understand it", and that gave me a shrill of what high-class stuff it has. Years go by swiftly and suddenly I'm as old as they were back then and... well, they were right. Cocoon has that something that little kids just don't understand; they can comprehend, but they can't understand what it means by the sadness of someone getting old and losing his energies... save the part of fountain of youth.
While this being the main great theme, the plot - although a tiny bit stereotype - weaves up a thousand others. The life and death, the ugly sides of humans as well as the bright ones, our understanding of love, etc... The movie will surely stir up your sophisticated part of mind and make it wonder about ourselves.

Coming to America (1988)

(Videotape)
Another old-time movie that youngsters probably have missed and didn't know. This is one of Eddy-Murphy's best movies to me. I loved it mostly for its scenario: a Prince in Africa going to the dirtiest place in America to seek his love (Ohh! The Queens!). I'm pretty sure there's some Hong-Kong and Chinese movie that borrowed the story, but that's another story.
Back to the subject. :) This is a really nice show - mostly heartwarming, some ironic jokes, and of course, romance. It has its own depth and dramatic effects that I think are one of a kind. I'd recommend everyone go watch it sometimes, through a cheap rental shop anyway... (4 dollars for a week, I mean, c'mon.) Whoever you are, you won't regret having seen this.

Crimson Tide (1995)

(Videotape)
Poweful. Just powerful... The duel between the Captain and the XO. Man, I can't keep my eyes off the screen. The plot is deep, and characterization is very well done. On top of that, the screenplay, good use of the sub shots, good use of tactics, good tension (outside as well as inside)... I can't say more than that, for that I cannot describe something that makes me so glued to it.
Still, a stench of America-biggism (and Alabamism and Navism?) is wrongly stuck in the intro speech of the captain, and the ambiguous conversation about the past nuclear bombs may tip off some viewers. Some politically incorrect scenes regarding black and white...
Though you can just add those to sum up that the old captain really gotta retire.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

(5th Ave. Cinema)
I can't believe how lucky I am, to have an opportunity to really love our own films... (well, in case you hadn't noticed, I am a Chinese :) And I'm happier that I know about and love Wuxia novels before I saw Crouchin Tiger, Hidden Dragon (CTHD).
First thing to get out of the way is the flying things. Lots of American people take Kung-Fu too strictly to reality after they saw Bruce Lee and Jacky Chan, but they didn't know that there's a new generation sub-culture called Wuxia, which compared to Kung-Fu would be like Fantasy compared to Medieval stories, or Star Trek compared to Apollo - they are not real, they are like Sci-Fi and that's how people enjoy it. This little tidbit will, of course, affirm the stance taken by those who love it - and alas, they are the majority! - that they felt the film should be judged more by artistry, than by technical merit. :-)
And you wanna ask ME how I thought about the wireworks? Let me just say I watched a countless amount of wire-work stunts performed in movies, in TV dramas, everywhere, when I was in Taiwan, almost as frequent as I see an CGI special effect on TV today, and goddamnit, CTHD has the most breathtaking sequences (I think mostly because they're the longest as well); I felt like I'm watching 'em flying for the first time again. It was that good.
Now, what I didn't quite like in the film was probably unnoticeable for an English speaker, for that the Chinese spoken by Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh was, actually, a little on the rough side (they're Cantonese speaker); whereas Zhang Ziyi the little girl spoke more fluently. But, hey, like I'd get all disappointed just for that? Nah-hah.

The Cutting Edge (1992)

(Videotape)
I'm not quite sure how the majority responded to this one, but when I saw it, I'd admit it's one of the best romantic comedies I've ever seen. (Total dramas I've ever watched: less than 10)
Hey! Believe me! I know what's good when I see one! The funny plots make me laugh out of breath, and the romantic split of second really caught my mind. All the argues, all the hypertensions, all the emotionals. It's really a great show to me. And I love those movies with a training-time that is backed by a music and you see they do things better and better... that is if it's done well. I think this one really did pretty well.



D

Dark City (1997)

(Videotape)
So anyway the other day I was wandering about (as usual) in our University's Student Usually-hanging-out Building (SUB) among other zombies, and the film society was doing a big screen right there, showing the last scenes of Dark City. (SPOILER ahead!) It was a man, standing in mid-air, confronted with a demonic presense standing a few feet away also in mid-air. As sky-scrapers around them collapse and crumble, they battle to death with telekinesis powers... Absolutely fascinated, I reminded myself of renting it and watching the whole thing and... the rest, as people say, "is history". ;)
Dark City is an interesting movie in that it's very old fashioned in many ways. In the day and age of The Matrix, you think all Sci-Fi now are CGI machines that are sleek, stylish and chromed. Well, not Dark City, not at least the chrome part. It is a color of rusted dull-grey... A vision of bleakness and desperation. "Have you ever been to the ...?" "Oh yeah, take that bus and..." "well, and? ..." "..." "When's the last time you ever saw daylight?" The scenes don't look like CGI at all, the characters don't look so smart, and the story is ever the more at ease with itself, in the traditional - I guess - British style of finding mysteries from seemingly innocent objects. Even as the story progresses in exponential curve (remember the climax scene as I described to you), the basic atmosphere maintained till the last moment. It's an absolutely fascinating movie that I just have to include here.

Die Hard (1988)

(Videotape)
I'd like to specify this is DIE HARD ONE. No TWO, No 'with a bondage', for the reason that Bruice Willis wasn't as pretending-to-be-something in this one as in the later series. Here, he's just a lowly cop who's lucky enough to stay alive, and try to play hide-and-seek with a dozen of European terrorists, who seized the entire building... Only he has a chance of destroying them from the inside, but only if he uses his brain as much as he does brown. Basically, I just love this story idea, and Bruice Willis perfected the role... The thrill is kept at the max throughout the show, drawing your attention completely, and NO bullshits. The story flows naturally, and never forgets to poke fun at the 'authority', at the 'system', at the policing hierarchy, which ultimately, as it seems, never help the people who need it the most! And this is why it is so different. Die Hard not only has the explosions, but also the wits, the intelligence, and the emotion for a great movie. It is absolutely different from the later installments, which are already getting hero vs villains +explosions stereotype.

Double Jeopardy (1999)

(Videotape)
I can't give you a good reason why I list this 'conventional' action thriller on my movie page as well. But if you must, it's Ashley Judd. ;) Frankly I have never seen any of her movies, but she is indeed the right actress for the job: clever, fast and vibrant. Although at the end of the show I do thought up a couple of unresolved points, the story was well written and well presented. The plot - as well as the title - may be simple and makes little sense, but the process of carrying it out is a good feast itself. I was a bit surprised that there were actually women paying to go out with a (no matter how rich and good looking) man. Did I get that part wrongly?
Oh yeah, and I really wanna re-view the scene when she abruptedly stopped kissing and started talking to her friend. That's something I don't see everyday. (note: no wonder her husband flips out)



E

Enemy of the State (1998)

(Videotape)
Yep, just like we've been always worried about, our modern world IS in fact fully tapped, watched over and listened in by the government.
Why, the movie says so ;) Ok back to serious matter... This is an alright movie in terms of its plots and visual effects. The suspense is almost there to make me feel as lost as in Mission Impossible, but not exactly. Still, I put this up for the fact that Will Smith did a very great job playing a headless fly (is this the slur for a guy like that?) without losing his wit. And, the ending is totally - by the time I realize what is going to happen it is already happening kind of feelingly - one word: spectacular.



F

Face Off (1997)

(Videotape)
Hey! I guess I'm still at the dizzy stage (you know, right after watching an action and feel great while it might not be actually that great). But anyway, Face Off is one very well done film featuring spectacular Gunplays and suspence. I heard it's directed by a Eastern guy... (well you see I'm not that clear at the details...) Probably that's why this movie is not just an action anymore... it's blended in the charming essence of 'Dark Society' that I usually found only in HongKong production. Now, there's nolonger just gun-siege, but a double-gun-siege! (Nicolas vs John) (^^). Oh well, Lethal weapon 4 had it too...
Take a break. :) Anyway. This is one hellish good production. Go see it. (That's why I listed it here!)

Fargo (1996)

(Videotape)
Yucks. A very very weird adult-oriented dense dose of thriller. It's not supposed to be viewed with the whole family (but nevertheless we did), and it doesn't enlighten your life a bit. It is a very critical drama, with quite a few branching segments that argues about the meaning and value of life, but mostly it is quite downright dramatic. Probably I should add, it's because the actors performed so darn well and convincing, that you believe that they really happened, and if this really happened, it's really yucky... I'm glad to know this is based on true story, 'cause I can never imagine what monster could plot out so much twists by him/herself, and that's a compliment. Goes with the saying, "reality is far more abnormal/mystifying than fiction" or something like that.
Anyway, just in case you wonder what all this sums up to, that is "if you have what it takes, go watch it".
[End note: Hey! It ISN'T based on a true story!! The Coen brothers LIED to us!!! YUUUUCKKK!!!]

Fight Club (1999)

(Videotape)
The satirical theme of Fight Club reminds me of the few outcast groups in our University. See, we in the world of democracy accepts all opinions, and that's why even the minorest group, say Nazists, Fascists, skin-heads, and, ironically, even communists and socialists have rights to make their own demonstrations. Without us being so benovelent and good-willed, how *could* they dare to be so outrageous? And this film too? And they NEVER realize that!

Anyway the review. Like another film (Seven) starring Brad Pitt, the central argument here is an alternative thinking of society and is not really recommended if you want to purely learn something out of it. What makes you think you exist? For young men like Brad Pitt, he thinks that he exists when he feels the pain on his face, wounds over body, and at the same time doing the same physical damage to others, seeing and breathing the power and weakness of himself. He started Fight Club, which consequently turned into a secret society of loyal followers, and at its height, a band of special trained militia. With this power at hand, what goes on in his twisted little mind is very simple ... to overthrow the mainstream world overnight. What comes afterward, he doesn't care, he just knows that he's poor within the current society, so he wants the society destroyed, and let the other hard-working people spend another century to rebuild it, hopefully this time a little more comfortable for the twisted social outcast like him. Not too bad a deal for him. (this time, I'm ending the review in a negative note, just in case you don't notice)

The Fly (1986)

(Videotape)
I've finally got a chance to see once and for all this great remake of the great Science Fiction masterpiece. It's so hilarious when I recognized the actor casted as Seth Brundle. Now it all makes sense why he headed down that way in his subsequent films. Anyway, the show itself lives up to my expectation just right. The good old fashioned puppet and chemical effects looks so much more realistic and grotesque now, after we've been bombareded with surreal 3D-ish effects nowadays. See, sometimes less is more. And the fly has his own attitude, unlike some brainless action or horror films with only stabbing and screaming like no one wants to live...
Anyway, if you're into grotesque (REALLY convincing one) special effects, or if you always have a fantasy of sex with a fly (well, just in case), then you definitely don't wanna miss it. Um, you don't wanna miss it either even if you aren't.

Forever Young (1992)

(Videotape)
Oh well~~~~ You don't know this movie it's fine! It's one of my personal favorites. Che.
But, just because you don't know this film... Here's some brief intro.
AHH forget it! Basically this is a film where Mel Gibson was a man living in the 1940s, who got involved into a project of cold-sleep experiment. He made up his mind after his lover died in a car accident and he had no other relatives... Well, turned out that the project got abandoned, and he was left inside the sleep cell until two boys, present time, sneaked into the warehouse and triggered the revival accidentally.(Didn't kill him, well...) Anyway. As Mel now try to adapt to the modern world, he found out something interesting with him...(spoilers from now on)
So, how's it? ;)

Forrest Gump (1994)

(Laserdisc)
Basically there's two types of people. The one that've seen it, and the one that have not.
For the ones that've seen it, they'd say THIS IS GREAT!!! The movie spikes so deep into our heart. We thought of things we never think of.
For the others, they'll probably make a IS THIS MOVIE OK!? By the way people describe it, it looks good but the main character looks so dumb... can he do anything to me?
Well, basically this is a bizarre movie... You'll find quite a lot of amazing things, many funny stuff, and basically, a show that'll startle you and make you think. I am not sure how to put this, because what I get from the film might not necessarily be what you'll be getting.
It's a GREAT show. That much I can tell you.

The Fugitive (1993)

(Videotape)
Don't know how to put this... THIS IS GOOD. That's it, remember this word! (^^). Oh well, sometimes it's hard to describe some movies as 'how they are good'.
Ok, I'll try to be assertive.
"The Fugitive" is such a movie that revives the rightfulness in our hearts. As we see throughout the movie, it's dreadfully painful to be a fugitive - everytime you see a cop you dodge for no obvious reason. Every time someone point you out, your heartbeat could stop...
Given all the pressure, Richard Kimbo, starred by Harrison Ford, desparately manages to get what he wants - innocence. THAT, is something the movie wants to tell us as well. No matter what situation you're in, do not give up your hope - even if you have to jump over from a waterfall.
Pretty intrestingly, you also see the story on police side... They're also just human beings, they need coffee breaks, they have feelings about the whole thing, they have their arguements between departments, neverthless they're doing their duty.



G

Gattaca (1997)

(Philosophy class auditorium)
The general public frawns at films that have too geeky subject such as biology and astronomy. Likewise, even though a good film at it, Gattaca doesn't get much conversation going.
But it's a good film. It's a touching film. It's a Sci-Fi that's least like Sci-Fi, as it lacks the usual ingredient of overly-bizzarre science, untrue theory, and illegitimate manipulation of concepts. (^_^) In another word, this film is GREAT!!! It has Ethan Hawke as main actor, Uma Thurman as main actress, a dramatic plot and touching love story. A very uplifting main theme, about a young man who's born naturally and thus 'imperfect' among the more genetically elites... and he fights to become one of the highest profiled people, an astronaut... The story hooked me; the subtle moods grabbed me. I know it makes me seem like a geek but I'd definitely recommend it to anyone.
I cried at the incineration scene, even though it was obvious...

Get Shorty (1995)

(Laserdisc)
(^^) Well, I wasn't really motivated to watch this movie in the first place... And when my sister insisted on that, oh well...so I did. And, I've gotta say I got brainwashed. This show is just so COOL (Of course, that's not all I wanna say in the review...).
Well, you know we all like to get shorty sometimes. And what really annoys is, the more you want to show, the easier you make mistake and get embarrased instead. Well if you have the situation I described, this show is to cure your sad feelings. In this movie, John Travolta is the bizzare guy, always the best and coolest, and he's confronted with this big group of amateur bad guys who just can't get the look right. Well, the process of him 'eating up' the bad guys is not as fast, but surely as definite as hell, and you'll love it. Money bag guarenteed. (where's my flight ticket?)
(^^) Anyway.

Ghost (1990)

(Videotape)
A classic-for-the-new-generation dig-up... ^_^. Ghost is quite nice as it has all the right ingredients of a good love story. The chemistry (I'm not an expert on this but as far as I can tell) is great, the jokes are very funny, and the pace of the story for our hero exploring his ghost identity and his powers really walked us right through our imaginative curiousity. And of course watching horror shows from the other side is a totally different experience. :) Oh no! I lost the point - the most important thing is that it is such a great love story! ;P

Ghostbusters (1984)

(Videotape)
Urgggghh, just realized how much this movie was loved in many places and I just didn't know. How could I be born at such untimely time? When I watched it I was 8 and missed all the other fans! ...
Anyway, it's a good film as much as I recall. :) A real great comedy, with a laughable horror. Thanks to the subtitles that I understood it when I first watched it. ;) I'd really love to have a car like that... *_* The ghosts, they probably made with puppets, and they were REALLY real. Unlike the smooth polygon CGs, puppet munsters have their degree of realisms that cannot be achieves by technologies today. And moreover - the story is just fascinating. No rush, no boredom, just pure nice story.
Though, it's sad that it labels the environmentalists as bad guys and do bad deeds...



H

Hudson Hawk (1991)

(Videotape)
This movie can really be seen as - Bruice Willis' dream world. What he always wanted to be. A sleek thief with a great taste in coffee, a life-partner buddy, and is yet entrusted with the fate of the world. Ah, isn't that what we all want? :) The first thing you should consider before renting it, is that Hawk is a very non-serious 'adventure' action film. It's a little like Indiana Jones but goes further in its conquest of MTV-style actions. (Even the CIA is nicked MTV-IA... you can't go wrong with that!) If you don't appreciate such approaches, don't bother. But if you do, by all means get it and lots of pop-corn, as it is one of the best shows in this genre, in the peculier art of subtly casual, subtly unrealistic, and plain-silly hilarious narration of a hell of a story.

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

(Videotape)
Sean Connery~~~ (^o^)
Hey, don't you know? This is where Sean Connery found his new look - the late senior look, as opposed to the handsome double-Oh-seven look. No? Well, that's because I was bul**hitting the previous sentence. ;)
Anyway. The thing about this film is... It's so sweet. You'd say that everything goes like perfect and so predictable, but hey, don't you love it? ;)
I mean, we're talking about an experienced General who actually feels like turning side. How often do you encounter such sweet thing? And, how often do you see another young guy on the other side, thinking about the same thing for the General? (^o^) It might not be a perfect war drama, but I like it.


I

Indiana Jones (1981, 1984, 1989 for the three respectively...)

(Laserdisc)
Well, this series looks pretty female-oriented in casting, as Harrison Ford and Sean Connery played Son-Father role. ;) But somehow, all of us love it in some way. :)
All 3 films gives chance for us to get back to our adventurous souls, but everything is so 'grown up' and we actually enjoy it rather than getting annoyed. It's the adventure for grown-ups! (urgh, still sound corny somehow...) The contents' going to include some mission impossibles and some bloody hell extraordinarities. ....I'd better stop giving spoilers now.
You, go get dah films. Get popcorns, plenty of them.



J

Jurassic Park (1993)

(some cinema in Taipei)
No, of course I'm not discussing the depth of story, character or whatever essence that makes a good book.
The fact is simple : After watching the movie, I had no doubt that I'm going to see a couple of raptors outside the cinema. I was too overwhelmed. The film's special effects are so well designed and placed that they simply convinced me. It's more like an art of screenplay. The whole scenario, the whole setup, the way things break out, everything in such an orderly fashion that make you think that dinosaurs exists now again. THAT, is what I think valuable about this film.

Jurassic Park 3 (2001)

(UBC Norm Theater)
Heh, It's been 7 years? Wow. And um... I never thought that I'd put a sequel film here one day. This must be a record broken. Nobody would doubt which one is still the best (psst: the original!), but no one is to argue the incredible imagination of our favorite director. And, as I looked around, it is usually the 1st that gets reviewed, followed by 3, and then 2 sometimes, it seemed. You get the idea.

Pretty much this movie picks up what was supposed to have been in the aftermath of Jurassic Park. First of all Dr. Grant, now being a scientific celebrity and all, parted ways with his survivor-partner girl from JP1, who was actually married to someone else and he's in the 'just a good friend' boat. And after the ordeals in the first movie, Dr. Grant vowed not to EVER EVER get close to the 'genetically engineered giant toys' again (my bad recollection... not the original phrasing) but, money talks - he's broke - and once the circumstance was right and a deal shows up, he's on his feet again and we got an excuse for yet another roller-coaster ride.

Again, don't expect any deep story, but really why would anyone? Monsters rampaging on an island left off in JP2 (which I haven't seen by the way), that's deep enough for ya. And what I really enjoyed most were the dramatic moments, that Steven is REALLY good at. **SPOILERS AHEAD** The Raptor that blinked eye, the cell-in-stomach, the birdcage, the smoke-screen rescue (that's a little too wild though, Mr. Steven; and it's kind of Lucas-ish?). And I thought I've seen it all. The best part was the last part - negotiation with Raptors, I thought, "that's Really impressive!". Whereas the Japanese in Godzilla had psychopathic/telepathic girl to talk to mutated creature, here we have the tools and technology to cut deal with dinosaurs! Yeah!! And who said Americans are all brainless? **END**
And Barney. Finally, Barney got its well deserved slap on major cinematic production! Too bad there's no Raptor remnants in that Barney studio. Maybe because Barney sponsored the movie or something, but really...



K

K-PAX (2001)

(Hollywood Theater on Broadway)
A visitor came from outer space... but it's no green octopus, it's Kevin Spacey, or is he really different? K-PAX has a beautiful entrance scene, with its artistic handling of camera, you don't know what you're looking at but it's mystical, and the BGM seems like from heaven. But after that, it's the story itself that gets the things really going. I don't want to give away any of the actual details but he ends up in mental hospital (this much everyone knows). The film handles well the delicate balance of suspense, by giving ambiguous clues throughout. Is he really alien? or is he just suffering from a terrible trauma? K-PAX captured all the sweets of both conventional scenarios, i.e. The "having a far superior alien arriving at the unsuspecting earthlings", and the "delving into the delicate locked head of a victim of disaster", without prematurely jumping to conclusion and spoil the fun. But as the evidence from both sides escalate, you really start to wonder how they're gonna pull it off in the end, and it's guarenteed a big surprise... the ending is one of the most satisfactory of all I've seen. Definitely recommended for any sci-fi or suspense fans.

Krull (1983)

(On TV in Taiwan, taped, and watched the tape thousands of times)
Hehehe... this is good.
Probably it's films like Krull that really motivated me to do a page like this, because I loved it so much as a kid, and now I think back, many parts of Krull were inspiration for my attitudes about things in life (which is a dangerous thought!). Movie influence on children is of so much importance, no doubt.
Anyway, this film seems to have failed in market for some mysterious reason. Can anyone name a single bad quality that doomed it? (...Except for the lame fighting sequence, and the fact that it smells so much like a Star Wars wannabe...) But I mean, it's surprising how much I overlooked when I was little, and once then, it looked so beautiful. Having watched it in a Chinese dubbed version means I didn't know how the original actors spoke (well they aren't bad anyway). And because the Krull's production seemed to have a lot of fun themselves, there are many qualities that glimmers in places here and there. It's a film that shines in itself; not so many movies are lucky enough to have that.
I don't know about where you live, but there weren't as many 'off the shelf' 'run of the mill' or even 'unimaginative' medieval fantasy stories available in Taiwan; there was actually none, nada. Which means that, Krull was the only film I watched that ever featured a cyclope (alive with eye!), a giant spider, a changeling, horses that run so fast they glide through the air, a castle that warps itself every single day, all in one place. Now you tell me this was not a fantastic and marvelous treat? Plus a music score that (albeit sometimes corn) had an original, daring, pleasing, and addictive melody. Whereas music in movies nowadays are mostly weak, reused, generic choruses that just pretend to be cool, now am I right or not?
So for my closing remarks... Krull Rules!! (And it Rhymes too!!)



L

LadyHawke (1985)

(Videotape)
MICHELLE PFEIFFER, Matthew Broderick and Rutger Hauer star in this timeless classic movie of romantic and fantasy. (you know who I like, right?) The best thing about the film would be the fateful, twisted set-up of the two lovers cursed to always be together yet unable to see or touch each other... or it would be the hilarious talks by the quick-wit Phillip known as The Mouse... or it would be for the spectacular European country scenaries, majestic castles and cathedral, and the vast wilderness, or for the pounding, strong music score...

Or, just watch it for Michelle Pfeiffer, when she was as young as... you want it to be. ;)


M

Master and Commander (2003)

(Cineplex Odeon @ Oakridge Mall)
I haven't seen a great movie like this in a long time. From the first frame, the first cutscene, I knew it. And it just kept getting better and better... Before seeing any dramatic battles, though, what intrigued me most is the whole experience. This is a film that shows us forever soil-bound urbanites, just what the hell it is like out there in the sea (and sailing on the old-fashioned ships where you measure the knots with real knots). And it is easy to get into; right away, the movie tells you exactly what everyone is supposed to do on the ship and how they work together. There isn't much time for more introduction, however, because the meat of story soon sets in and the audience (as well as the characters) buckle up for a hell of a ride! Under the masterful command of the captain, and the care of the intelligent onboard surgeon, the crew faces their greatest challenge out there, as well as from within. This is definitely one of the best movies of the year.

The Matrix (1999)

(Videotape)
After two rewrites. I may as well grow up a bit and say that this film did a hell of a good job in bringing together all the good elements. Those who care enough about movies should already have heard the keyword Hong Kong some place or another... and justice would have been done. For those who don't care, maybe it's better that they've seen it now in The Matrix, so they don't have to painfully walk to the next Chinese video store and ask for something they need to read subtitles with. I guess I'm just a stubborn kid demanding too much of things.

The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

(Capitol 6 @ Vancouver Downtown)
So... they really did it. After all the hype and expectation, resulting from that amazing movie, it came down to this simple question - will it actually be good? Was the first movie flexible enough to harbor a sequel that won't seem so tacked on? Will the audience's appetite be satisfied after last year's sensational bombardment of superhero+epic movies? (okay, so that was 3 questions)

Well... in my case, it's a big YES!!! ^v^
The Matrix Reloaded has done everything right for a good sequel - expanding the world created by the first, meanwhile staying true to the original color, pushing the story forward and beyond, breaking boundaries and aweing the audience with something they had never imagined in the first Matrix. In this episode, a great emphasis is placed on human drama; from the intimate relationship between Neo and Trinity, to the minds of the people that were rescued from the Matrix, and to the families of warriors that may never return the next day... I won't say they were brilliant scenes and if there's an Oscar hopeful there, but just having these scenes to exist, already set The Matrix Reloaded way apart from most of the other action thrillers of the day. (If you think there was spoiler so far, trust me, you'll need these spoilers to navigate through the movie as you watch it... because it'll go so fast)

And it sure remembers how to kick ass, plus a lot more tricks up the sleeves now... The copycat accusation I had of the first movie does not hold true anymore, as it has clearly evolved into something entirely of its own, and this time I really enjoyed the action sequences. But not too fast now - the first half of the show, frankly, was okay, filled with generally similar fighting sequences as you would have expected out of the first Matrix. But the second half, oh boy, is guaranteed to open your eyes a little wider. The movie is definitely pushing the boundaries - you'll find yourself repeatedly saying "they can do THAT?!" throughout the latter film. And wasn't that exactly what captured our heart in the first Matrix?

The story, however, gets a little complicated. It's not that I don't like them - in fact, I totally loved the way they handled the story and "expanded" it to make a lot more things possible. But the fact is, the audience was not ready for it!! So suddenly you start to see faces that you don't recognize and you ask yourself "am I missing a movie in between?" - it's a little like the case in StarWars. If you are experienced, however, you would do as I do - go back to square one, remember where they left off last time, and begin by identifying frequently-heard keywords and phrases and how they fit together. If you don't get the story after 30 minutes, chances are you won't likely to get the story at all... which is quite sad. I'd say a narration or a prologue at the beginning will definitely help the literacy level of this movie; they can even do it in StarWars style, whatever. Another great way to prepare for it is to watch the trailer, read up on the websites which may offer info without spoiling the movie, etc... That is, however, only a minor issue to me (since I got the story argh :)

In conclusion, I most definitely will tell everyone I know - and most definitely here - that you have got to see it, this is a brilliant, worthy 2nd episode, and I am already waiting for the final installment.

Men In Black (1997)

(Videotape)
MIB, though not as seriously compelling or as educatively wit as other movies, it still bears some special features that make me want to list it here.

Similar to what I said for Jurassic Park... It's not everyday you can go out and believe there's aliens, (provided that you're not a Trekker which is another story), until the film MIB make it visualised, that we could actually probably have a hidden side of our world, full of intergalactic customs and forces. The movie gives a way for me to enjoy, as possibly one of the 'unknowing group' who might also be neighbored by aliens. Maybe I should try to dodge the red light before I forget about it, sometimes.
The ending is sort of philosophical. Our universe...

Minority Report (2002)

(Metrotown Metropolis)
KICK ASS SCI-FI...!!!
I went watching this one with a bunch of university buddies not expecting anything. As it turns out, it was a terrific movie worthy of staying in memory... ^_^ Well, so it's not exactly a groundbreaking piece of work that rewrites cinematic history, it's not a paradigm shift in futurists vision... But seriously, folks, since when is DIVINITY a requirement for being a good movie?? What do the critics want?? Do they just expect a whole lot too much from superstars like Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise? Well I want to ask them to put themselves in the stars' shoes, and imagine people expecting them to make the next Blade Runner, every time!!

So really back to the review...
The best element in Minority is the entire concept of precrime. Like many other great things, it assumes no bloated mightiness, but rather focuses more on its practical survival and co-existance with our more familiar and popular topics, such as crime investigation and politics. And in the saturated genre of action thrillers, a little bit of this out-of-nowhere technology opens up a whole world of new possibilities, which I fondly believe that Spielberg and Cruise have done tremendously well in its exploration. And this is really the biggest success in Minority Report... Expect a suspense turned mystery-solving in ways you never imagined, solid yet surprising plots... breathtaking climax... and one of the most satisfying endings! :)

But that is, if you can sit through the first half of the movie. Because it will be filled with some other "futuristic" elements which, sadly, shall be taken as cliche eye-candies as they are... this is where the movie failed to become immortal when it was just so close... I highly doubt that future highway system will integrate with a completely reinvented class of cars that will replace all the old cars just like that... Same with paper boxes and newsprints acting as LCDs, or a police tactical assault team based on personal jet packs that actually makes them all stand-up slow-moving flying targets. These elements are old, recycled and serves no purposes other than to attract young generation viewers to boost the box office performance (which is the bottom line, really).

Mission: Impossible (1996)

(Singapore Shaw Center)
The first thing I remembered about M:I was its big screen trailer shown in Shaw Center. If you've ever been to Singapore you should go there (I hope it's still there). On the top floor of Shaw Center downtown in Singapore, it's a movie-sized screen in the middle of a food court, showing all the latest trailers with great sound system, and you can just grab a seat there and buy some KFC or other fast food from the Food Court while waiting for your next movie to start, and you can call that paradise. But that's another story.

What I like most about Mission Impossible is that, it actually DOES inherit the original mood of MI TV series, which really went hyper on the 'spy-spy' hide and seek and high-tech topic, not to mention face mask, jamming, and all that goodies. I really loved that TV series, and I loved this movie in the same way. (Hmmm... or maybe I remembered wrong? I don't know) And how about originality? Remember the dangling in the air? Temperature sensor? Tom Cruise? (oh...) See, during that one climactic moment, this movie made itself a legend, no more just a movie-made borrowing fame from the TV series, but something that stands on itself for others to remember by. That's Mission Impossible. (no pun intended)

Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975)

(Videotape)
The most silliest movie I have ever seen... I ran out of gas trying to laugh some more and all I get out is a 'eee, eee, eee,' ... not that it's related to the movie itself at all! But if I mention anything in the movie that would be spoiler, but I don't want that... The ending is very profund. No, I'm not kidding...

The back of the tape says "Makes Ben Hur looks like an Epic". Absolutely true. Must see it.



O

Outbreak (1995)

(High school classroom)
The apparent plot is Biomedical-related, but the story is more save-lives. I was so carried away by the scenarios, as I see a whole town of people was getting infected and facing the death toll that'd sooner or later come... The plots are somewhat simple, but the presentation of several scenes are very well done. Raise your expectation for the intro scene or else.
The real biological authenticy of the movie seems alright too. I know some people will object with his more extensive knowledge in preparing vaccin, but well....



P

Pretty Woman (1990)

(Starchannel Cable TV)
I'm not sure if THIS is the definitive big one for Julia Roberts. At least I saw her first time in this movie... and it's just splendid. It may not be the best love romance, but it is one of the.... oh well, yeah, in that sense, it is one of the best love romance story! It's such a fairy tale, and a fairy tale that works. I feel like reading a dream-come-true story, and I feel sincerely happy for them.
This movie has a deeper meaning too, mind you, a big critisizm at the real world people's money mind, almost nakedly. And of course, it make fun of (and sometimes bloodily display) the thing about social hierarchy. which is similar to money mind anyway, but... In a way, it shares some humor elements with Coming to America.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

(Videotape)
This is such a badass film(in a good way)! You'd probably have a lot of expectation for it, but when it comes to watching it, you'll definitely get all surprised of what it really is. Pulp fiction is a pulp fiction - it's crude, unedited, unseasoned, and it makes a very realistic approach to the otherwise all cool and speechless criminal lives. Everything goes in such a slacked style, even the storyline is not a single piece to tell. Dealing with this kind of stuff requires good timing and rhythm in screenplay, and boy they simply done it exactly the best way ever in mankind (okay...maybe not the entire mankind). All in all, I can't think of any downside to this solid fresh grown-up film. Go get it and watch it. Quentin Tarantino.


R

Ray (2004)

(DVD)
When it comes to biographical movies, we are usually expected to see some great soul emerging from a history of struggles. It has to come with a purity of sorts, one that does not allow any inconvenient shades of grey on the perfect character in the making. Well, Ray is simply... different.

As a young man born with little to no musical background, I didn't know Ray Charles any more than the handful of songs I knew him by Internet downloads. I was there to accept anything and everything. If they downplayed anything, I wouldn't know better. Well, I was in for the whole story, as it seemed. Very early on, Ray has shown to be a hero of a different kind. He is not idealistic, he does not follow the rules - he has to make them. Life is tough when one is blind, the strong beats down on the weak, and everyone cheats. In such a place Ray does not pretend to be righteous. His mother told him best. "Don't nobody or nothing turn you into no cripple"... he was a fighter as soon as he stepped out there.

And he was no perfect role model. Numerous love interests "on the road", consciously hiding his drug addictions from the rest of the world... He was as vulnerable to all the addictions of life as ever. And he has made great mistakes... Even though he was so talented.

I think there is a bit of a moral lesson for all of us in Ray... We are not a fraction as gifted as him, nor are we half as unfortunate as him - who are we to get into addictions, waste our days and minutes, and argue over the meaning of life?


The Red Violin (1999)

(Videotape)
I can't believe it, I forgot to include this movie here after I just saw it. Now my memories are getting dull and my strength scattered. But let me just tell you that the quality is no doubt the best... The most intriguing part of The Red Violin, is how the story is told. To describe the journey of a violin throughout centuries, changing owners time after time, is an exhaustive work to say the least. Yet, it is being told in such a stylish way, that this little tale of a single violin suddenly turns into an epic story. A "perfect instrument" has traveled across the continents, enchanting each and every fiddler that ever was to own it, leading them into spectacular lives, but tragic deaths caused by their obsession of it. And the blessful curse of the violin never ends... until now, where everything meets - in this auction room at New York. This is where the movie starts, but not necessarily where it will end... The musical scores are, of course, all that you would expect for a tale of an exceptional musical instrument... A sample (MP3 / 970Kb) of the main, sad melody (sorry lack of vocabs) that is so appropriate to the theme of the movie. The clip was from this website...

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

(Videotape)
A piece by Quentin Tarantino with a special style of story-telling, totally ignoring the time-space continuum. Adding to it, the little known actors playing all the roles, and the main theme generally focused on the disorganized and sloppy nature of people, you can say that this is a Pulp Fiction in the making. And indeed, if you enjoyed Pulp Fiction, you'd enjoy this (no guarentee thou). The dialogues intriguing, every character has a distinct personality that'd surely leave a strong impression in you. The storyline once composed and replayed doesn't amont to much, but the presentation and execution of each scene was done so well, you would simply sit back and enjoy the show.

Robocop 1 (1987)

(some MTV in Taipei)
Like Dye-Hard, I'd like to point out that THIS IS ONLY "ONE"!
Nothing wrong with 2 or 3, but it was 1 where the original idea is fresh. (Man, if I ever write something like this for 'First Blood', you know what to expect. ;)
ANYWAY! Hope you're getting used to my easy-to-divert-subject habit. RoboCop 1, is mainly more drama-oriented again. It is an irony between police force and business product, the 'political side' and 'truth' of everything. What's good, what's bad, and why they're different, why we choose them to be so.
RoboCop is something that comes into the irony, get irritated and blast the problem off.(though painfully) Don't think it's just about a Hero. It's about the Hero finding the world in much a complicated form that he can merely understand and fit into.

Ronin (1998)

(Videotape)
I haven't watched any mob film before so I don't know if you guys get the same opinion as I got.
But, oh boy, that was a great one. The darkish society of the hired killer business builds up in me as I went along with the plot. Guns and wounds, braggings and betrayels, it gives a fresh feeling, without any materializm that other hollywood films have. Makes me re-realized the difference between friends, foes and indifferents. And oh yeah, so that's what they say so great about Robert DeNiro. Hmhm, I see. :)
I don't like the way the title mocks Japanese words though, as usual. Probably a bit intolerate on my part.
oh yeah, it's also a good way to pick up French lessons too.



S

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

(totally forgot which cinema)
(probably off the dizzy stage now...)
Undoubtedly a great movie. :) Steven Spielberg really had it wild this time... He said he wanted to show WHAT War really is after everyone watch it... or at least something like that. Although critics say that most of the contents in this movie didn't match up to the same brutalness as in the first introductory scene - the Normandy Landing, I'd say instead, that the critics just don't know what to say to bash the movie. The critics always want to say something bad about movies so they could rank up, agree?
...Anyway. The movie mostly expresses one point: WHAT really worth? See, the most honerable squad team came over the battle front, to enemy territory, just in order to save ONE SINGLE PRIVEATE, who might not even be alive, and they feel that what they're doing are not worth their lives. They struggle, battle, and die out one by one, and they had this argument all along.
But they can't object. They can't say, no, his life is worthless, not at least out loud, because they're all living beings like Ryan afterall, and here's another irony again, that they're risking their 5 lives to save 1 life that is seriously no better than theirs in this war.
And what about this war? When the war is the first priority, lives are predictable sacrifices, but when we place a human life above it, all of a sudden everything collapses. You don't know which is valuable anymore: a human life? Or a war? What if the two conflict? But don't we know it all along that they do conflict? Isn't that stupid?
....hmm, this is one of my best review done yet.(nazo)

Schindler's List (1993)

(Videotape)
Well... Talking about brutal stuff, here's another one. Another movie that'd make you punch walls and swear like dog, for the massive and meaningless killings that happened in Germany more than half a centry ago, for the unbalanceness and injustice that's been imposed to the Jews. And there, you see Schindler, a selfish German businessman who hired lots of will-be-killed Jews under his factory, accidently saved them as he guarentees their lives and food, and in the middle, he himself becomes sympathetic for them and planeed on saving them purposedly...
You'd say it's another sweet production. ;) But, it's too small, isn't it? There's only one Schindler. There are much much more people you see killed than you see saved. Sometimes, when we're doing things like it's obvious, we have to be able to stop and think, like you always wished them to during this movie.

The Score (2001)

(UBC Norm Theater)
It's actually my first time watching thief movie. I guess that's enough reason to disqualify me from reviewing it as this movie, according to some handful of online sources, follows the beaten path of a lifetime worth of great theft stories, novels and movies. But alas, I present you the beginner's take. :)
From start to finish, it's fresh experience; not completely new, but very delicious and satisfying for the said reason. Robert De Niro as the old thief is indeed acting out excellently. And I can almost share that feeling - the feeling of retiring from something he was so addicted at, but which was yet so dangerous profession. Meanwhile, the young cub acted by Norton, doesn't think so. As a matter of fact, he's not even mature enough to swallow his pride and affirm himself. Sort of a combination reminding me of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (you didn't just watch the cinematography, did you?). The directing, I have no reference, but I think it was quite good - especially for a thiefing movie, you need some above-average skill to handle the scenes and cameras just right to build the atmosphere.
Two more things to add: One, the hacker is just hilariously realistic. Where did they find such a gem? Two, how the hell did the water pressure not destroy the treasure itself? Even if it's gold, it's still a crafted item. And delicate no?

Seven (1995)

(Videotape)
Well, the whole story lies pretty much on the point of the seven sins; which are very inappropriately illustrated in fact, that I don't think it's a good education. But rather, the movie take the sins as a reason to let the bad guy do horrible things and, on a surface level, frighten us and our own id. But don't get my message wrong - I put it up here cause I loved it despite the theory. The plots and suspence are very great and unpredictable. The characters are very well played. And on top of that you get Brad Pitt and Gwenyth Paltrow. ;)

Shakespear in Love (1998)

(Videotape)
Hmmm, should I recommend this to kids? It really took me a lot of attention and, moreover, subtitle, to get a hold of the conversation. But, once in, the movie gets addictive. I cannot explain properly but I'll do my best. It's madness, it's love like wildfire, it's brutal, man, it's so real, I didn't feel the least hint that they're actors. Gosh, I even wonder if they actually have babies after the movie is made, no offense...
Anyway... ^_^

The Silence of The Lambs (1991)

(Videotape)
It's one of those deep movies that you have to stare at, listen at every conversations and retrace what went on in, to understand in the first place. :) Hopefully I did understood it before I wrote this so...
Anyway! You can almost label it horror for a few VERY frightening scenes, but it's mainly about mystery solving, social issues and psychology. Anthony Hopkins is totally the best man to be sanely insane. Go fetch it just for his performance and for the dark nights, not necessarily for viewing alone.
Wow, the fastest review I ever wrote... in less than 5 minutes... ^_^

The Sixth Sense (1999)

(Videotape)
This is a great film; there's no catch. The popularity you heard is correct. The Sixth Sense is not just about a boy seeing peoples or some grow-up films. It doesn't have an overall 'big theme' for you to take away, but the plots that causes you to just stay tuned. Cole was well performed, as well as Dr. Malcom... Yeah, even Bruice thought he's been in actions for too long and switched. :) Back to subject... One of the best parts of the movie, however, is at the ending. Be sure that you not miss anything suspicious... :)
If I really wanna pull a general theme, it's about "Adult's failed presumptions on Children behaviors" which is really misleading.

Starship Troopers (1997)

(Videotape)
Now, talk about poor production brainless and massive 3D graphics. ;)
But I do think this movie is worth watching, for some good reasons :
...Heck, I can't think of any more. ;) I'll just stop here... Basically you got what I meant. (hopefully?!) Now, to the gory part... This movie isn't much of any gory, if you appreciated the levels shown in ALIEN, Saving Private Ryan, Chucky series, or 3x3 EYES comic, I'd say don't worry about it.


T

Tango and Cash (1989)

(Videotape)
One of the survivers of the pre-millenium male heroism... but heh, ya see I put this up here, that means it impressed me somehow anyway. The actions and some high-difficulty performances are really worth seeing, and the plots are kind of creative and fun. :) The last boss and ending reward (reminds me of baywatch) is kind of lame though... but again, it's an old movie.

Taxi Driver (1976)

(DVD)
And I thought it would have to take something like a God Father to really impress me nowadays. Turns out I'm way too young, and there's much more to learn. Take Taxi Driver. It was made three years before I was even born. And yet, today, when I'm as old as the main character Travis, it IS one of the most relevant, thought provoking, deeply dark and tasteful film I have ever seen. This movie is as up close and personal as movies get, at a distance that most of the features this year (2005) can only envy. Never mind the 1970s taxis and their ancient technology; guns, drugs and run-down neighborhood as we know today, bring us right back home. Some things never change, like Crystal Meth. But this is not a typical gangster movie, either. Don't expect the adrenalin rush that you find in stuff like, say, Collateral... (which also involved a taxi driver... hmm :) This is as much a psychological film as it is an urban cultural study film, both of which completely outweighs the gun-totting aspects. To paraphrase Dr. Lector: the killing is incidental. Speaking of which I also saw agent Starling here, although she's still way too young to be an undercover FBI agent, I can't help but to grin at the way she makes statements and shake hands, with her trademark (?) intonations. Boy, I hope she's not deadlocked in this for her career. Anyway, why is this review ending in a remark on her?

There's Something About Mary (1998)

(Singapore Shaw Center)
To be honest, this one is the first 'pure' romance comedy I ever watched. It turned out to be an excellent movie as much as I felt. And thank god, everyone agreed with me.(LOL)
Cameron Diaz rocks!!
Really, she IS the center of the show. You can feel it. There's this aura. Everyone's crazy about her, and there's nothing wrong with it. Not just for her bad hair (which is someone else's fault anyway), but the overall mood, the charisma of her own, that lives up the show completely. Well, the crazy boys and the gags and the jokes too, but without her, nothing would go right.

Three to Tangle (1999)

(Videotape)
Ahhh, Tangle as a double meaning... now I get it. (gege)
Ahem. Well, my sister and I were a little worried before we rent it: will Matthew Perry (Chandler in Friends) still be as funny in movies? And that mind trouble really didn't go anywhere, as I was soon stunned by Ami (Neve Campbell)'s smile. ;) Oh well, Matthew is still the same funny him too... and the story was very interesting. Although we all knew what's gonna happen (more or less), we didn't know HOW it's gonna happen, which is what really mattered in this show. The script has a lot to say about gay... and there were touching and breath-holding moments too... Overall, I really liked this comedy. (heh, that's why it's up here) I love good endings. ;)

Titanic (1997)

(Singapore Shaw Center)
Hmmm... Even now, I still don't know how to make a comprehensive review on the whole movie... What should I do... :)
Oh well. This is a movie about a big boat...(LOL)...well duhh, it's Titanic for Christ's sake! And, there's this handsome boy and pretty girl...
Ah heck, I'll leave it up to you. ;)
Basically a very heartwarming, tear-inducing kind of romance. Maybe that's as much as I can correctly express using my limited vocabs. *^^* Some of the few famous scenes you already know. :)

Top Gun (1986)

(Videotape)
I'm forced to re-write this review as I realize what babbler I had been. :) I loved this film, yay! Tom Cruise was the ideal candidate for the pilot, and the aerial dog fights are just the best! The music were good too, as I really don't mind if they're 10 years out of trend. (since I watched it 10 years later :) Overall it's really enjoyable and made me want to sing and dance...
Ok, not as much babbling now... :)

True Lies (1994)

(Videotape? or big screen?)
Well... I'm afterall an action fan. :)
Of course, I don't like ALL the actions, or ALL what involves Arnold and his body weight, but this one is quite special. The mood is different. First of all, it's not as childish as some other productions I've seen. (^o^) The characters have depth now, and the story is not as simple as a blow-it-up. The 'love' doesn't come so unnaturally natural anymore, since they're already husband and wife. The action is no simpler either. You get to see Firebat, hangman, knifework, nuclear weapon, anything that comes together to make a neat action. And there are more funny parts too! Watch out how the fake spy wets all over~~
Anyway. This is one action I'd like to recommend. :)

The Truman Show (1998)

(Vancouver Downtown Capitol 6 or Cinemaplex :P)
Be prepared to get dizzy and suffer from brain malfunction after this film. It only occurred to me twice: once after Forrest Gump, and now this. Maybe they both take life from a different angle...
The truman is, indeed, the truest form of television show - one that the 'actor' doesn't know he's in. I wasn't sure - and still am not quite sure - about the message it's trying to convey. But I'm happy about the ending, about how he chose his life, etc. Also, from my personal experience... I always thought there's somebody controlling my life by means of unluckiness or weird chances. This film surely gave me an excuse to account for those things. :)
Hey, I'm in a show! (baku)

Twister (1996)

(Singapore Shaw Center)
No, not because it's a disaster film (and NO PUN intended)! Otherwise I'd have included Dante Peak, Volcano, Daylight or anything else other than a little twister.
This film is pretty much a drama alright... It's not REALLY dramatic,(well it is in a sense) but it does involve the universal mental topics: love... life and death... rivalship and friendship... etc. This is one disaster film that actually makes me cry for it. It really touches my mind. The story was original for me - since I've never heard of some of the concepts involved. The special effects looked real and seemless. And I loved the casting. :)



U

Under Siege 1 (1992)

(Videotape)
ONCE AGAIN, I'D LIKE TO SPECIFY : "1" only, No "2", and NO OTHER STEVEN SEAGULL productions!!! I think that make it clear enough.
Sure, see how a cook turns out to be the best elite fighter on the ship, and the only one who might be able to solve the crisis...
Steven Segal is good at making big poses as a big hero, and he's well chosen for this one alright, although some scenes are still pretty Male Chal******ic, I'll say let's forgive him.
The fights are neat, the guns, actions and suspense are no sloppy. And we get to see another big good ending. Well, That's pretty much it. Now you know why I'm listing the movies in alphabetical order, so there's not so many people seeing this... (^O^)

The Usual Suspect (1995)

(Videotape)
Incidentally I learned about this movie after I saw Kevin Spacey in American Beauty. It's so frustrating sometimes, that I constantly find very good movies in the 90s - my time - and yet I never know about them because I was under-aged at the time it was released. I can understand why George Lucas re-released StarWars and made its prequels... but that's another topic.

The movie was brilliant... I don't want to put any spoiler this time, so I'm just gonna say what I enjoyed. :) The 'crime' being told as a flashback really suited the story, as the audience was being lead around only by pieces of clues of 'something that happened' throughout a conversation that does not go in a linear way. As to the story itself, it's wickedly entertaining to see things through the bad-guys' eyes and feel like I was part of it, like a forbidden play that I had to take no responsibility of, like I'm watching a mob movie... And at one point, when the small-time criminals plotted to get back at the big boss of criminals - Kaizer Soze - I had to say, I was cheering with them. Good or bad, we all love to see small fries stand up against the giant.

But that's got nothing to do with the suspense part... which is full of spoilers and I give up trying to tell it without giving it away. :P Watch it and be amazed, that's all I'm gonna say.


W

Wayne's World (1992)

(Videotape)
One of those movies that I can watch in a silly mode without feeling guilty or unsteady. They're just kids, they're just playful... And it's really a fun experience. This movies is also a therapeutical one, for those who didn't have a social life, to see how easy and breezy it is. Overall, I got so many big laughes, at the end I cannot breath properly. Even the ending was a big laugh! (although a bit predictable) Urrghh!
This is where I found Bohemian Rhapsody...



X

X2 X-MEN REUNITED (2003)

(SilverCity Richmond)
Took two girls out to watch this movie (it's subtly between babysitting and going-out...) even though I haven't seen the first one. On our way, the girls were already discussing how good looking the guys are. I thought I can care less... but OMG Halle Berry!!!!!! OMGOMG she's STORM!!!!!(great... there goes my intelligence again) ...But by all means, this is a movie that deserves an intelligent audience, and so my mind comes back in rejoice!!! instead of going into the submissive entertainment mode. There is an actual solid story, a solid flow, and you get to know the characters naturally, as they interact and builds up the atmosphere. In a good movie, everything is good because everyone does its part to contribute to the whole goodness. It makes one-dimensional discussions on "character development" or "plot holes" seem immature in themselves, if you know what I mean? Even for me, who knew nothing about the comicbook (except Wolverine and Storm), I can quickly pick up the story and the people in it, and move on to more exciting stuff - the actual show!!! Like the instant soccer fans that emerged since 2002, and within minutes my heart and soul devoted to a silver-haired wizard of thunderstorm and I pray for their survival!! ........The real shocker is at the end... (I won't tell) and for that X2 stand out from the rest of the Hollywood movie so much... this is definitely a must see. Forget about Matrix, this is the real deal.

For me, the one narration at the beginning was the key to it all, the spirit behind X-men and its legacy. The girls leaving the theater were thrilled as well, and had a great time - they now want special power for themselves also, and become like the cool guys and gals in the movie. And I thought, why not! There's many ways to enjoy X2; it gives inspiration to all.




Wow!! You actually made it this far.

So, how was this page? Did you actually read all in one sitting? There's a prize for it (yeah, right...). Please write your comments to the Forum or the Guestbook!


the Playful Winds - Ray's personal homepage - 1997 ~ 2004
All contents copyright to their creators.
This site is best viewed with a colored monitor. I won't ask for anything more.
Back to Irregular Winds Index