“The Adventures of Priscilla – Queen of the Desert” ain’t no “Brokeback Mountain”, so relax. OK you don’t care anyway? Good. Then you may also be able to enjoy the “Abba turd” joke, after all this is a movie about tolerance. If so, you are in for a wild surreal ride of laughter or if you are more for the emotional drama you can laugh less and smile more. One thing is for sure, this movie oozes positive energy and makes you feel good, contagiously so. If you say this ain’t so then I am afraid we have to agree to disagree and let bygones be bygones.
This “Extra Frills Edition” is a new release of the originally 1994 released Australian indie movie about three drag queens on a road trip through the Outback. It is a “gay” movie indeed, in the original meaning of the word. Personal interests aside, this is not a kids movie and some may not have any interest in musicals and even less so in musicals where male actors dress up in women’s clothing, wear tons of makeup and all sorts of silly stuff is happening on screen. Having said that, “Priscilla” isn’t quite a musical, it has quite a lot of music in it but it is not a musical per se, yet the actors move their lips to the sound of music, they don’t actually sing, just like in a musical, huh? OK, it is a musical, sort of… and yet it is a road movie, too.
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Pixar has been on the forefront of animated movie for over two decades and has brought us hits such as A Bug’s Life, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Ratatoullie.
Anyone who has seen a Pixar movie has also seen some or most of the shorts in this collection at some point. Finally having them all on one disc, chronologically with commentaries is a real treat for me and for all fans of animation and of Pixar in particular.
Continue reading “Pixar Short Films Collection, Vol. 1 (2007)” →
When “Twin Peaks” aired in 1990 no one thought it would have much of a chance as a TV show and even today one must wonder why or how it did become such a phenomenon. Was it because of the cherry pie and the fine cuppa Jo? Was it because the mystery of Laura Palmer’s murder kept people coming back to “Twin Peaks” each week? Was it Dale Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachlan) messages to Diane on his Dictaphone? And who the hell is Bob?
“Twin Peaks” was and still is full of mysteries, mysteries that will never be answered. Some of them should have better remained unanswered but such is life, you seek the answer until you finally get it and then you move on. And what about Laura Palmer’s murderer? You really needed to know, didn’t you? I won’t spoil it for you here, so read on!
Continue reading “Twin Peaks – Definitive Gold Box Edition (2007)” →
For those not familiar with the anime series “Cashan, The Robot Hunter” which “Casshern” is based on, this movie may be a tiny bit confusing. Additionally, there is a lot of text to read with subtitles racing by (as there is only a Japanese audio track) and on top of that, the subtitles are not beneath but across the film which can be distracting and since they are burnt in, you can’t switch them off either. Also, cutting the movie by 24 minutes for Region 1 DVD release may have been a marketing decision, somehow I am not so sure it was the right one. Enough of these technicalities and on to the story then!
In director Kazuaki Kiriya’s debut effort we meet “Casshern”, a young man killed in war and risen from the dead by supernatural powers, reincarnated to fight against evil – but let’s rewind a bit.
Continue reading “Casshern (2004)” →
“They get you while you sleep!”
Yes they do, no matter what version you are watching, however if you choose to watch the 2007 one, you may fall asleep anyhow and it would be for the better if you did. Watching Philip Kaufman’s version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” you won’t fall asleep, you cannot. I promise you that much.
For those unfamiliar with the “Body Snatcher” theme, the gist of the matter is that somewhere in outer space there are spores on a devastated planet orbiting a dying sun. The spores are driven by their impulse to survive to leave their doomed planet, drifting through space trying to conquer new planets.
Continue reading “Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)” →
Matt Damon once again shows us how good Jason Bourne is in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). In fact, he is so good, it is unbelievable how good he really is but this is beside the point since we do not care if Bourne is a believable character or what his real name is. It does not matter at all. What matters is the action, the stunts, the chases, and more of the same, perfectly orchestrated to one big race with one winner, Bourne, of course.
Now, if you dig all that then you will enjoy this third installment, even though I must say the often praised shaky camera cinematography has been annoying at times in this one, pay attention to the camera shakiness and judge for yourself.
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“War” (2007) starring Jet Li and Jason Statham is about an FBI agent Jack Crawford (Statham) seeking vengeance for the murder of his partner Tom Lone (Terry Chen). The mysterious hit man called “Rogue” (Jet Li) who killed his partner, wife and daughter comes back to San Francisco after 3 years and Jack is determined to get even by killing “Rogue” this time.
“Rogue” has an agenda on his own, inciting a war between the two rivaling Triads and Yakuzas, double crossing the bosses Chang (John Lone) and Shiro (Ryo Ishibashi) for reasons that become apparent in the end but are rather obvious early on.
If you want to see a “Jet Li” movie then this is not one of them. This is not necessarily bad and Statham and Li going up against each other is a good duo, however there is nothing more to it. It’s just that, lots of gun fights with a bit of martial arts thrown in.
The plot twist at the end is predictable and the suspense never really builds up. The character of “Jack Crawford” remains flat and two dimensional, a brute only driven by vengeance without any other purpose in life and the one phone call where the ex-wife reminds him of his son’s first basketball play doesn’t change that either. Bad script writing galore. I cannot shake the feeling that this could have been a much better movie if it were an Eastern one.
There is not much else to write about this movie except that it’s 103 minutes of mostly gun fights with strong bloody violence, sexuality and language, hence rated R. Don’t expect too much from this “War”.
I went to see “Shoot ‘Em Up” (2007) directed by Michael Davis without reading anything about it and so I was in for quite a surprise.
The film starts out with the hero “Smith” (Clive Owen) sitting on a bench at night waiting for a bus, munching on a carrot when a pregnant woman in a yellow raincoat stumbles by moaning. She disappears in a nearby alley and is being followed by a very angry man with a gun. This prompts our hero to get involved and angry, too. From that moment on it is all about shooting people.
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Someone once said that horror movies are always a bit cheesy. True or not, “1408” (2007), directed by Mikael Håfström, is about a book author and skeptic, Mike Enslin (John Cusack), who writes about paranormal occurrences. Sounds cheesy enough so far. The film is based on Stephen King’s short story of the same name and this is where things start getting interesting.
For his latest book, Mike Enslin wants to check out room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel in New York. The manager of the hotel, Mr. Olin (Jackson), tries to convince Enslin not to stay in that room and warns him in fact not to enter. No one ever lasted more than one hour in that room. This only prompts Enslin to check into 1408 no matter what.
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