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RW's reviews:

10,000 B.C. (2008)
Rating: 6 Why the haters? June 29, 2008

IMDB has a disproportionate amount of one star reviews for this movie. I guess people were expecting a historically accurate, updated "Quest for Fire." But seriously, look at the dvd cover. Saber tooth tiger growling at man with dreads and spear. This is the movie you're going to get, and it's pretty good for what it is. Colorful scenery, tribes, prophecies, quests, some love story, tons of cgi pre-historic creatures (which were in general awesome), it's a bit like a diet 5th Element in fantastic pre-history. The story engaged me, the effects were cool and used appropriately, and there's a saber tooth tiger and some mammoths and a slave uprising. If you still have the capacity to enjoy movies like a thirteen year old (which I do), 10,000 BC and a pizza is a solid night of entertainment.

12 Monkeys
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

12 Monkeys (Special Edition)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

13 Tzameti
Rating: 7 Excellent one-storyline movie June 1, 2008

There's probably four pages of script in the whole film, but it keeps you glued to your seat. I love how the storyline reveals itself to the viewer and the main character at the same time. Tightly scripted and acted, tense, highly recommended.

16 Blocks (FS)
Rating: 6 For fans of Willis. August 24, 2008

Solid action movie.

21 Grams
Rating: 6 June 29, 2008

3 Extremes (1d-US release)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

3 Extremes (2d US Special Edition)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

3 Extremes II (Three or Saam gaang)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

40 Year-Old Virgin, The
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

6ixtynin9
Rating: 7 Thai x Classic Tarentino June 10, 2008

Great movie. A laid off thirty year old woman finds a box of money on her apartment doorstep. The solution to all her problems quickly becomes the source of many more. Tightly scripted and acted, suspenseful and darkly comedic. Reminiscent of down-tempo early Tarentino.

88 Minutes (2007)
Rating: 5 September 28, 2008

Abyss, The (2d-Double Digipack)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The
Rating: 7 Second best Terry Gilliam movie August 24, 2008

Surpassed only by Time Bandits. Scariest depiction of Death personified ever.

Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The
Rating: 6 Second best Terry Gilliam movie August 24, 2008

Surpassed only by Time Bandits. Scariest depiction of Death personified ever.

Afro Samurai (2d Director's Cut)
Rating: 7 Melodramatic Mash-up August 24, 2008

Great fusion of Ninja Scroll, RZA hip hop, fight to the top asian martial arts films, and hip/metro juxtapositions a la be@rbrick figurines. The whole mishmash works surprisingly well and is a pleasure to watch.

Akira (2d)
Rating: 8 Ka-ne-daaaaa! Te-tsu-ooooooooh! June 15, 2008

I popped this in the other day expecting it to be good in that "I remember how good this was when it came out" way, but to be dated in style and technique. Was I wrong. The characters proportions have that classic-anime feel that may turn first time viewers off until they get used to it, but the true genius of Akira reveals itself in eerily lifelike and almost too fluid animation of movement, expression, and physics. Watch as the young punks descending the stairs, or character's fingers as they gesture during conversation, and it's hard to believe this isn't extremely well done rotoscope. The plot is excellently realized apocalyptic sci-fi with the character interaction and relationships driving the story towards climax. Final judgment: a masterpiece of its genre then, a masterpiece now.

Alien (2d)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Alien 3 (2d)
Rating: 5 June 8, 2008

Alien Resurrection (3d)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Aliens (2d)
Rating: 7 My starring role. August 24, 2008

Wierzbowski, Wierzbowski get out of there!

Check out the commentaries on this series. They're great.

All the President's Men (2d)
Rating: 8 June 8, 2008

American Beauty
Rating: 8 June 29, 2008

American Gangster (2d-2007)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Ashes of Time
Rating: 9 Stirring the Ashes August 26, 2008

Recently I stumbled upon a trailer for a soon-to-be-released Redux version of Wong Kar Wai’s heart-rending period romance cum magical martial arts epic Ashes of Time. It reminded me of my first viewing; it was in my late teens and I was overwhelmed and deeply shaken by the beauty of the film but could feel I was missing some of the core experiences needed to fully appreciate it. I’m looking forward to trying it again, the original next weekend and then maybe the Redux when it’s released in October.

Wong Kar Wai is an auteur known for weaving the quiet, emotional lives of his characters in and out and through each other, and for his control of atmosphere, narration and setting to create a realistic, intimate experience bordering on voyeurism. My favorite film of his is his first full length, Days of Being Wild, but the most acclaimed and influential are probably Chunking Express, In the Mood for Love, and Happy Together. Ashes of Time is unique in that it is his only period piece (until the future-set 2046), and his only film to employ any special effects, although they are all of a decidedly analog Mexican magical realist bent. Despite their prevalence in the trailers, the “action” takes a far-backseat to the character’s stories of regret, memory, and love lost. I suggest reading some of the IMDB comments for perspective.

This movie was a long time in the making, so much so that Kar Wai took a break from it to write and direct Chunking Express, to “get his head straight”. From what I have read and remember it shows. It may not be very cohesive or on first viewing coherent, especially with the weaving, non-linear vignettes, but those who are willing to put forth a little effort will be doubly and doubly again rewarded by Kar Wai’s heartfelt and human ruminations on the connections that bind lovers together and their slowly twisting, constricting movements on the paths of memory as, with time, they move farther and farther apart.

--------------

So I watched it this past Sunday, and it was beautiful, impressionistic, amazing. I was mesmerized, but I will warn you, everyone else in the room walked out because of incompatible expectations, slow pacing, and at times difficult to follow storyline. I feel a little background reading (IMDB, Wikipedia, reviews by established critics) as well as a familiarity with Hong Kong cinema of the era aren’t necessary, but help create a fuller appreciation of the movie. Most important is an understanding of the genre before you begin watching; it is a complex, visually and thematically rich art film. It requires a little bit of effort and a lot of letting go, letting the film and characters’ words wash over you. If you can do this, I promise you a unique, rewarding experience. A definite 9/10.

Aura, The (El Aura)
Rating: 7 Atmospheric June 1, 2008

A little more cerebral and tense than I expected from the description, but an enjoyable movie that introduced me to the talents of the lead actor, Ricardo Darin. I've seen a couple more Argentinian movies with him and have really enjoyed them.

Bank Job, The (1d-2008)
Rating: 7 Tense, fun thriller. August 24, 2008

Well paced robbery-thriller with good performances by Stratham and supporting cast. Much more cerrebral than his recent actioners like "War" and "Chaos", which weren't bad to begin with. Apparently based on a true story, with plenty of dramatic license.

Bank Job, The (2d-2008)
Rating: 7 Tense, fun thriller. August 24, 2008

Well paced robbery-thriller with good performances by Stratham and supporting cast. Much more cerrebral than his recent actioners like "War" and "Chaos", which weren't bad to begin with. Apparently based on a true story, with plenty of dramatic license.

Basquiat
Rating: 6 June 29, 2008

Bastoni: The Stick Handlers
Rating: 7 Required viewing for the polyamourous June 1, 2008

A very human story about the relationship of a young couple who happen to be porn actors. Heartfelt and at times heart-wrenching.

Batman 5: Batman Begins (1d)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Batman 5: Batman Begins (2d Deluxe Edition)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Battle Royale (1d-Director's Cut)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

BeoWulf & Grendel
Rating: 4 June 1, 2008

Beowulf (2007-Director's Cut)
Rating: 7 BEOWULF! June 1, 2008

So much better than I expected. Look at the cast before you judge this one by the cover. Fun!

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Rating: 7 Genre turned on it's head, with hillarious results. August 24, 2008

One of my favorites. One of Carpenter's best.

Bird People in China (US release)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Bittersweet Life, A (Director's Cut)
Rating: 6 Hard Core June 8, 2008

A brutal Korean action pic, not horribly original but well shot and deeply enjoyable. If your in the mood for modern, more realistic action with a generous helping of tension, knock the rating from a 6 to 8.

Black Snake Moan
Rating: 7 May 27, 2008

Blood: The Last Vampire
Rating: 6 For fans of the Genre August 24, 2008

Interesting animation, the cutting edge of cell merged with computer techniques at the time, hung on a thin, dialog sparse plot.

Bloodsucking Freaks (Director's Cut)
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

Boiling Point (3-4x juugatsu)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Boxcar Bertha
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Branded to Kill (Koroshi No Rakuin)
Rating: 9 The smell of rice, paper butterflies May 27, 2008

Psychedelic, bizarre, enthralling. Seijun Suzuki's experimental rewrite of a cookie cutter hit-man script, produced full-bore under the knowledge that he was to be fired from the studio immediately after completion.

Brazil (1d)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Brazil (3d-Criterion)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Brother (Kitano)
Rating: 7 Good stuff, with all the Kitano ingredients we know and love June 1, 2008

His first release for American audiences. Kitano is an exiled yakuza who casually transforms his brother’s small time Los Angeles gang into an organized crime powerhouse. The translated-to-English dialog can seem stilted, the delivery cumbersome, but the oddness fades as the story gains momentum. Omar Epps’ friendship to Kitano’s “big brother” figure drives the second half of the film, lending a poignant weight to the unavoidable conclusion.

Butterfly Effect, The (2004)
Rating: 7 Solid sci-fi with Ashton K. July 13, 2008

This is actually a really intense, enjoyable movie. I saw the director's cut first, which I think has the stronger ending, but the theatrical is pretty good too. I read that there was a "special theatrical ending" which was uplifting, but it doesn't seem to be on the DVD.

One of the stronger light sci-fi movies I've seen in a while, definitely recommended. If you're looking for another interesting time travel movie, check out the uber-indie Primer.

Casino Royale (2d-2006)
Rating: 7 James Bond June 8, 2008

This movie is a James Bond movie. It could have been nothing else. If you're a fan of the golden age of 007 and weren't impressed with the recent (Brosnan) offerings, you'll understand that this film could receive no better compliment. Craig gives an electric performance that will redefine his career. Can't wait for "Quantum of Solace".

Castle In The Sky (2d-Tenkuu no Shiro Rapyuta)
Rating: 8 June 15, 2008

Castle of Cagliostro
Rating: 7 "Seigneur le Volupteur! Veux voler votre fiancée. Je me presenterai prochai June 15, 2008

100% fun from the early Haio Miazaki. If you're worried about being turned off by the 70's style animation, don't be. This is a little adventurous, comedic gem, a cross between National Treasure, Danger: Diabolique! and Scooby Doo.

Cat Soup (Nekojiru-so)
Rating: 8 From the studio of Mind Game August 24, 2008

Beautiful and disturbing silent art film following a cat on a Orphean journey to find his dead sister's soul. Overflowing with imagination, yet grim and at times ghastly. Not recommended for kids.

Chan Is Missing
Rating: 7 Cultural record. August 24, 2008

More of a documentary than a thriller, "Chan is Missing" is one of the last films of the heyday of independent cinema. Chan is less the focus of the film than the people Marc Hayashi interviews about him and the lives they paint a picture of. A rewarding record of culture in a time and place.

Chaos (Jason Statham)
Rating: 5 June 8, 2008

Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
Rating: 6 June 29, 2008

Chi-hwa-seon (Painted Fire)
Rating: 8 June 1, 2008

Chinatown
Rating: 6 May 27, 2008

Chopper (2000)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Chungking Express
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Clan of the Cave Bear, The
Rating: 6 May 27, 2008

Cleaner (2007)
Rating: 6 Character driven thriller June 3, 2008

Good performances by Jackson and Harris elevate a serviceable script. Enjoyable thriller, with a few problems that keep it from being great, but plenty of merits to keep it above average.

Cloverfield (2008)
Rating: 8 Success June 1, 2008

There are a million ways I would expect a studio to cheat with a premise like this (first person found footage of a monster attack on NYC), and surprisingly they just didn't. No outlandish in-camera editing, no fortuitous narrator appearing from nowhere and explaining the situation, no lingering shots of the creature effects. I had high hopes and was pleased in every way.

Collateral (2d)
Rating: 7 Lots done with little October 6, 2008

A great thinking thriller in a classic sense, driven by character not cheap Law and Order twist endings.

Color of Money, The
Rating: 7 August 19, 2008

Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
Rating: 8 May 27, 2008

Cradle 2 The Grave
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Crank (2006)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Cross of Iron (Peckinpah)
Rating: 9 May 27, 2008

Croupier
Rating: 8 June 1, 2008

Darkon (2006)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Days of Being Wild
Rating: 8 June 8, 2008

Dead or Alive 1: Hanzaisha
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Dead or Alive 2: The Birds
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Death Note (Desu Notu)
Rating: 6 Good once you get into it. October 5, 2008

Some things in Death Note (like the TV commercial grade CGI death god) made it hard to sink into the movie, but after I got used to the speed and production values the story became more engrossing. The chip standoff final scene is priceless, I l-o-l-ed. We should get the second one.

Deathtrap (1982)
Rating: 0 Theater adaptation, with everything that goes along with it July 13, 2008

Plenty of twists and turns in this well acted meta-thriller.

Deja Vu (2006)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Delicatessen (Jeunet/Caro)
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Departed, The (2d-Special Edition)
Rating: 8 June 1, 2008

Derailed (2005)
Rating: 5 June 15, 2008

Die Hard (2d)
Rating: 7 "Hohoho. Now I have a machine gun." June 29, 2008

Classic, and worth it.

Die Hard 2: Die Harder
Rating: 5 June 29, 2008

Die Hard 3: With a Vengeance
Rating: 7 Yippie Kay Yay. August 24, 2008

Best of the series, just eking ahead of Die Hard 1. Essential viewing for action connoisseurs.

Dirty Harry (1971)
Rating: 8 I feel Lucky. August 24, 2008

Political. Pertinent. Don't let the "action" genre blind you, this is an exceptional movie that either helped or heralded a redesign of the American heroic archetype.

Dirty Harry (1971-Special Edition)
Rating: 8 I feel Lucky. August 24, 2008

Political. Pertinent. Don't let the "action" genre blind you, this is an exceptional movie that either helped or heralded a redesign of the American heroic archetype.

District B13 (Banlieue 13)
Rating: 7 Bods, Bombs and Barrios June 1, 2008

Parcour (aka Russian climbing, aka extreme running) based action movie with concept by Luc Besson. The actor who plays the cop has lent his parcour and kickboxing skills to numerous martial arts films and Live Free or Die Hard. Athletic action between guns, cars and fists + gangsters, politicians and a bomb + cut, half clothed French men = something for everyone.

Disturbia (2007)
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Dog Bite Dog (2d-Gau Ngao Gau)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Double Indemnity (2d)
Rating: 7 June 29, 2008

The definition of over the top, hard boiled noir.

Dracula (Bram Stoker's)
Rating: 7 Immortal beloved. August 24, 2008

Captures the fantastic Victorian romance of the novel. If you let yourself enjoy what could be seen as cheesy effects (wolf eyes in the sky, shadows with wills of their own) the movie takes on a thoroughly enjoyable otherworldly air of menace.

Dreams (Akira Kurosawa)
Rating: 10 Record of a man June 1, 2008

It's long and slow at times, but the effort to watch Dreams is more than rewarded. Eight vignettes, each an actual dream that profoundly affected the director, are shown in chronological order. Made at the end of Kurosawa's life, it's a beautiful personal record of the heart of one of the most influential artists of the last century.

I highly recommend reading "Something like an Autobiography" by Kurosawa as a companion piece to this movie.

Drunken Angel (Criterion)
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Duck Soup
Rating: 8 Classic June 1, 2008

A great introduction to the Marx Brothers.

Edmond (2005)
Rating: 5 June 1, 2008

Edukators, The (Die Fetten Jahre Sind Vorbei)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Elizabeth (1998)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Escape from L.A. (1996)
Rating: 5 July 13, 2008

Escape from New York (2d)
Rating: 6 July 13, 2008

Event Horizon (2d)
Rating: 7 Really F***ing Scary August 24, 2008

Genre bending sci-fi thriller. Great.

Fallen Angels
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (2d)
Rating: 8 The Bats! June 8, 2008

A cinematic odyssey that takes dominion over your brain like a horrible hallucinogen made by a wrinkled shaman out of dime store cleaners and insect parts. Your friend assures you this is the good stuff, but no, NO this isn't the good stuff at all and if it is then you want no part of it. But you swallow it down and after a brief period of acclimation the fetal, terrified bit of your psyche shrieking in the corner becomes quiet as if you were hearing it through cotton stuffed in your ears. And you think Hey, maybe this ride isn't so bad after all. Maybe I'll see what's around the next corner. And that, my friend, is where the real nightmare begins.

Ahem.

Worthy of multiple viewings (though your probably best to leave a couple months between them), Fear and Loathing captures and infects you with the spirit of Thompson's addled counter-American journey.

Fearless (Huo Yuanjia)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Feast (2006)
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

Femme Nikita, La
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Fifth Element (Le Cinquieme Element)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Fight Club (2d)
Rating: 8 June 8, 2008

Firm, The + Elephant
Rating: 9 I don't give out 9's very often August 24, 2008

Gritty realism, ridiculously well acted, excellently plotted film. Apparently made for television, but ranks as one of Clark's best. The razor blade scene will make you cringe.

Firm, The + Elephant (Alan Clarke Coll)
Rating: 9 I don't give 9's out often June 8, 2008

Gritty realism, ridiculously well acted, excellently plotted film. Apparently made for television, but ranks as one of Clark's best. The razor blade scene will make you cringe.

Fist of Legend (Jing wu ying xiong)
Rating: 7 Loving tribute June 8, 2008

Almost tops the original. An excellent remake enjoyable for fans of Bruce Lee's film and new viewers alike.

Flic, Un (aka Dirty Money)
Rating: 5 June 1, 2008

Flight of the Conchords 1st Season - d2/2
Rating: 8 Top Comedy June 1, 2008

So excellent. Deadpan but laugh out loud to the extreme.

Four Rooms
Rating: 7 Two winners, two losers. August 24, 2008

I love the Roberto Rodriguez and Quentin Tarintino scenes. "Did they... Misbehave?"

Fullmetal Alchemist Vol 1 The Curse
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Fullmetal Alchemist Vol 2 Scarred Man of the East
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Fullmetal Alchemist Vol 3 Equivalent Exchange
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Fullmetal Alchemist-Movie Conqueror of Shamballa
Rating: 6 Welcome Closure June 15, 2008

The movie is fun, not spectacular, but it gives welcome closure to the amazing but open-ended series. Recommended for those who have seen both seasons of the TV show.

George Washington
Rating: 7 Beautiful October 6, 2008

This, in my opinion, is what movies like Junebug - ostensible portrait pieces, slices of American experience unlived by most of us "big city folk" - should be. The non-professional actors shine so brightly with a few small exceptions, and the unconstructed, open ended "plot" accomplishes it's goal admirably. Reminds me of an unpolished, quieter (despite the ever present soundtrack and exaggerated foley), small town Larry Clark.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Ghost in the Shell
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

Glengarry Glen Ross (2d)
Rating: 7 June 29, 2008

God of Cookery
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Gojoe Spirit War Chronicle
Rating: 5 June 8, 2008

Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The
Rating: 10 Mezmirizing June 1, 2008

An unbelievable epic masterpiece, essentially produced on a shoestring budget during wartime. Described to me as "Gone with the wind for dudes".

Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The (2d)
Rating: 10 Mezmirizing June 1, 2008

An unbelievable epic masterpiece, essentially produced on a shoestring budget during wartime. Described to me as "Gone with the wind for dudes".

Graduate, The
Rating: 6 June 29, 2008

Harakiri (1962)
Rating: 9 June 1, 2008

Hard Candy (2005)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Harsh Times (2005)
Rating: 6 Decent Thriller-Drama June 1, 2008

I was excited, in a guilty pleasure way, when I saw the previews with Christian Bale playing a Los Angeles Cholo back from serving in the Middle East, trying to get recruited to the FBI. It actually turned out to be a thoughtful action / downward spiraling ensemble drama. From the creator of Training Day.

Heat (2d, Michael Mann)
Rating: 7 October 6, 2008

Helvetica (2007)
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Hero (Jet Li) - import
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Hero (Jet Li) - US release
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Heroes: 2nd Season - d1-2/4
Rating: 6 As good as the first season August 31, 2008

Except it takes a while to get going. The end of the second disk the series starts to heat up. I really enjoyed this season.

Heroes: 2nd Season - d3-4/4
Rating: 6 Strong finish to the second season August 31, 2008

Really sets up the upcoming third season "Heroes: Villains". Ooooo I can't wait.

Hidden Fortress, The
Rating: 8 June 8, 2008

Himalaya (L'Enfance D'Un Chef)
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Host, The (2d-Collector's Edition)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Host, The (Guimul)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Hostage (2005)
Rating: 5 June 29, 2008

House of Games
Rating: 7 Just cause your smart doesn't mean you're the smartest in the room. June 24, 2008

I watched this today after hearing it mentioned in the same breath as one of my favorite con-men/heist thrillers, The Sting. It ended up being about the exact opposite of that light hearted natural thriller, but excellent and enjoyable in it's own right. Mamet writes like Mamet, a little stage-ey, a little awkward, but very enjoyable once you catch the rhythm. The acting within the bounds of the screenplay is superb, and the plot draws ever tighter until a very satisfying conclusion. A multifaceted, complex look at the con-man genre.

House of Games (Criterion)
Rating: 7 Just cause your smart doesn't mean you're the smartest in the room. June 24, 2008

I watched this today after hearing it mentioned in the same breath as one of my favorite con-men/heist thrillers, The Sting. It ended up being about the exact opposite of that light hearted natural thriller, but excellent and enjoyable in it's own right. Mamet writes like Mamet, a little stage-ey, a little awkward, but very enjoyable once you catch the rhythm. The acting within the bounds of the screenplay is superb, and the plot draws ever tighter until a very satisfying conclusion. A multifaceted, complex look at the con-man genre.

Howl's Moving Castle (2d)
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

Hunted, The
Rating: 5 June 29, 2008

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
Rating: 5 June 1, 2008

I, Robot
Rating: 6 Pop the Popcorn August 24, 2008

Fun, very big "Hollywood-ized" film that uses Asimov's robot stories as a jumping off point. Do you like Will Smith? Then it's a good movie.

Idiot, The (Hakuchi)
Rating: 9 Amazing June 1, 2008

A dream come true for me. One of my favorite books (Dostoyevsy's The Idiot) adapted by one of my favorite directors (Kurosawa), co-starring one of my favorite actors (Mifune). It's probably most enjoyable to those who have read the book, which helps you fill in the blanks between some scenes, but I don't think having read the original is a requirement. I wish I could have seen the original 4 hour version. Further reading: http://www.eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/catalogue/the-idiot/

Immortal Beloved
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Inside Man (Spike Lee)
Rating: 8 Solid June 3, 2008

Spike Lee's direction coupled with Denzel's on-the-fly, from-the-hip acting merge wonderfully in this totally satisfying detective/heist thriller.

My favorite element in the film is Fraizer's slow metamorphosis from modern, police-procedural style NYPD officer, all business and bulletproof vest, to straight-up no chaser noir detective with attitude and cream colored suit to match. It's an enjoyable homage that sneaks in just under the radar, and by the time you notice it the transformation is complete.

Insider, The (Mann)
Rating: 7 Good based on a true story procedural October 6, 2008

Very Ridley Scott-esque.

Intacto
Rating: 5 Great concept, decent exicution June 15, 2008

All in all an enjoyable movie, the games and ideas of the "luck underground" are engrossing and complex, although delivered thinly at times. The movie comes together nicely in the end, but Intacto is missing the spark and energy that transform great concepts into a really great thriller.

For a chair gripping, teeth grinding film with roulette games of luck at it's core, I recommend the amazing "13 Tzameti", but Intacto is still worth a watch if you're in a lighter mood and the concept intrigues you.

Interview With the Vampire
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Into the Wild (2007)
Rating: 6 Beautiful but sometimes lacks connection August 24, 2008

A beautiful movie to watch. Some of the real story of Christopher McCandless is glossed over or altered for narrative clarity. Well constructed "based on a true story" fare.

Into the Wild (2d-2007)
Rating: 6 Beautiful but sometimes lacks connection August 24, 2008

A beautiful movie to watch. Some of the real story of Christopher McCandless is glossed over or altered for narrative clarity. Well constructed "based on a true story" fare.

Jackie Brown (2d)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Juice (1992)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Kagemusha (Criterion)
Rating: 9 June 8, 2008

Kaze No Yojimbo V01 A New Face in Town
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Kaze No Yojimbo V02 Small Town Secrets
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Kikujiro
Rating: 9 The sweetest movie June 1, 2008

you will ever see, without it being cloying or saccharine. So awesome!

Kill Bill: Volume 2
Rating: 5 Dim Sum movie making August 24, 2008

There's a fine line between homage and plagiarism. This film rides that line so closely it will be up to each viewer to decide on which side it falls.

Kill! (Kiru)
Rating: 8 June 1, 2008

King of New York (2d)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Kiss of the Dragon
Rating: 6 Enjoyable June 8, 2008

Jet Li is a pleasure to watch. Another entry into his little-to-no wirework martial arts films, where his athleticism, choreography and physical genius take center stage.

Last of the Mohicans, The (Director's Expanded)
Rating: 8 Great movie October 6, 2008

Let no one forget that Danield Day Lewis, pre Gangs of NY and There Will Be Blood, was a hot, vaguely Keanu-like Euro adopted by Native Americans heart-throb. Other descriptors:

Michael Mann via Terrence Mallik.

Great date movie.

D.D. Lewis double fists muskets in the climactic scene. HARD.

One of the best examples of what a soundtrack can do to a movie, laying direct, powerful emotion over every scene.

Last Samurai, The (2d)
Rating: 5 June 1, 2008

Last Tango in Paris
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Layer Cake
Rating: 5 June 1, 2008

Legendary Sin Cities: Paris, Berlin & Shanghai
Rating: 6 Enjoyable Documentary August 24, 2008

Interesting and engaging history of the Babylons of recent history.

Leon: The Professional
Rating: 8 This is from... Mathilda. August 24, 2008

My favorite Luc Besson movie. Oldman's performance is inspired. If at all possible watch the international cut "Leon".

Live Free or Die Hard (2d, aka Die Hard 4)
Rating: 6 June 29, 2008

Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
Rating: 5 June 8, 2008

Lower Depths, The (Kurosawa / Renoir)
Rating: 9 Kurosawa June 8, 2008

Shows us how it should be done. Fantastic.

Lucky # Slevin
Rating: 5 June 29, 2008

Magnum Force (1973-Dirty Harry 2)
Rating: 6 Dirty Harry again June 1, 2008

Good film, I love Clint, but not as powerful or pertinent as the original obviously. Insane motorcycle chase at the end, the Dirty Harry character is as hard, clever, and dirty as ever (dirrrty), but the first movie is a tough act to follow. Looking forward to seeing Dead Pool.

Man on Fire
Rating: 8 One of my favorite - August 31, 2008

- action-dramas. My man, Denzel.

Manchurian Candidate, The (2004)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Matchstick Men
Rating: 5 June 24, 2008

Matrix 2: Reloaded (2d)
Rating: 5 June 8, 2008

Matrix 3: Revolutions (2d)
Rating: 5 June 8, 2008

Matrix, The
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Memories (1995)
Rating: 8 June 15, 2008

Metropolis (1927)
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Metropolis (2d-animated)
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

Mexican, The (2001)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Miami Vice (2006)
Rating: 7 Well October 6, 2008

Don't judge it by the title. Actually a pretty excellent movie, without the associations to the TV series would be lauded as something quite different in police partners vs. drug kingpin action-dramas (yes that is a genre).

Michael Clayton (2007)
Rating: 8 The other side of Procedurals June 2, 2008

Great pacing, great atmosphere, great script, great acting. Clooney really shines, his exceptional acting makes the movie more than the sum of it's parts.

Mind Game (2004)
Rating: 10 A Unique Masterpiece June 2, 2008

This movie is a cure, a little mental shot of B12 that re-invigorates the spirit for life. It feeds eyes and heart, alternating fun, teasing, creative, bittersweet. A kaleidescope of style and emotion. The last 15 minutes are an unforgettable primal scream to the essential joy of living life, hardships and all.

You probably won't find this anywhere else, our copy is an import I pestered Dean for weeks to buy. From Studio 4 Degrees C.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Murder Party (2007)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

My Kid Could Paint That (2007)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets
Rating: 6 Popcorn August 24, 2008

A few more plot holes than the first, but just as enjoyable. A matinée vacation into ancient puzzles, secret societies an wisecracking romance.

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2d)
Rating: 6 Popcorn August 24, 2008

A few more plot holes than the first, but just as enjoyable. A matinée vacation into ancient puzzles, secret societies an wisecracking romance.

Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind (2d)
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

New World, The (Terrence Malick)
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Nine Queens (Nueve Reinas)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Ninja Scroll
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

Nosferatu (2d Kino Ultimate Edition)
Rating: 8 July 1, 2008

Nosferatu the Vampyre (2d-Herzog)
Rating: 7 July 1, 2008

Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Rating: 5 June 8, 2008

Oldboy (US release)
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Once Upon A Time In The West (2d)
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

One, The
Rating: 6 Jet and Stratham's first outing. August 24, 2008

Fun.

Onibaba (Criterion)
Rating: 8 June 1, 2008

Paprika (2006)
Rating: 8 June 15, 2008

Perfect Blue
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

Permanent Midnight
Rating: 7 Darkly humorous, well performed August 31, 2008

I really enjoyed it, very well put together, Stiller's portrayal on an emotional and physical level is top notch. Music is good too.

Ping Pong (2002)
Rating: 7 Invigorating, endless possibility sports move June 2, 2008

Based on a manga by the author of Tekkon Kinkreet and Blue Spring.

Planet Terror (2d-Grindhouse)
Rating: 7 June 29, 2008

Pom Poko (2d)
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta)
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

Prestige, The (2006)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime)
Rating: 9 June 15, 2008

Professional, The (U.S theatrical version)
Rating: 7 Great Movie June 8, 2008

But get the uncut "Leon: The Professional" version if it's in. Both versions are enjoyable, but I think the non-US cut has more depth and complexity of relationships between the characters. My favorite Luc Besson film.

Public Enemy (Gongongeui Jeok)
Rating: 7 Two Fisted June 2, 2008

Tough as balls Korean bad-cop drama.

Pulp Fiction (2d)
Rating: 8 June 8, 2008

R.O.D. Read or Die (OVA)
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

Ran (Akira Kurosawa)
Rating: 8 Classic, brooding, powerful. August 24, 2008

Amazing, almost reaching the heights of his other Shakespeare adaptation, Throne of Blood (Macbeth).

Rashomon (Criterion)
Rating: 9 June 8, 2008

Ratatouille (2007)
Rating: 8 I cried a little. June 1, 2008

Best Pixar ever. The "asleep" scene is priceless.

Red Violin, The (Il Violino rosso)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Repo Man
Rating: 8 MOVIE June 1, 2008

One of the great absurdist-masquerading-as-mainstream eighties movies. Always intense, quotable, and filled with the real stuff of life. Makes me want to go do some crimes.

Rocky Balboa
Rating: 7 Beyond expectations. August 24, 2008

The best Rocky since the original. Seriously.

Enjoyable for fans of the movies as well as first time Rocky viewers.

Romeo Must Die
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Ronin (2d, Collector's Edition)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Roujin Z
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

Royal Tramp
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Saint Clara (aka Clara Hakdosha)
Rating: 7 Punk Rock Clarivoyant Israeli coming of age story June 1, 2008

This was in my favorites for months at the other video store I worked at. It's a sweet movie about growing up, first love, and psychic Russian girls, in a John Hughes vs Alex Cox kind of way.

Samourai, Le (The Godson)
Rating: 8 June 1, 2008

Samurai Fiction (2d)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Samurai Rebellion
Rating: 8 June 8, 2008

Samurai Spy (Sarutobi)
Rating: 5 June 15, 2008

Scanner Darkly, A
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Score, The (2001)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Searchers, The (2d)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Seven
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Seven Samurai, The (1d)
Rating: 10 June 8, 2008

Seven Samurai, The (3d Criterion)
Rating: 10 June 8, 2008

Shadow, The (1994)
Rating: 5 Enjoyable June 8, 2008

Overacted but purposely so 40's style matinee. On par with the new Mummy movies, et cetera.

Shallow Grave
Rating: 7 One of my first favorites August 24, 2008

Classic (well, for me) stomach tightening suspense, solid performances and an extremely 90's Scottish fashion mullet on Mr. Macgregor. I love the harsh, harsh f*you ending.

Shaolin Soccer (Siulam Chukkau)
Rating: 7 August 31, 2008

Shaolin Soccer (US release)
Rating: 7 August 31, 2008

Shoot 'Em Up (2007)
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Shoot the Piano Player! (Tirez Sur Le Pianiste)
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Shower (Xizao)
Rating: 8 Home and Family August 24, 2008

Poignant and often comedic pic with some of my favorite Chinese actors. I just found out the director also did the 2001 meta-docu-drama Quitting, which is going on my to-see list.

Sid & Nancy
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Sin City (2005)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Sin City (2d, Recut/Extended)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Sixth Sense, The
Rating: 6 June 29, 2008

Sleepers
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Snatch (1d)
Rating: 7 June 29, 2008

Snatch (2d)
Rating: 7 June 29, 2008

Spirited Away (2d-Miyazaki)
Rating: 9 June 15, 2008

Steamboy (Director's Cut)
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Sting, The
Rating: 8 The Perfect Con June 2, 2008

If you're in the mood for a heist or con movie and haven't seen this one, look no further. Sometimes I wish I hadn't seen it because I'm in the mood for something exactly like it and want to watch it for the first time again.

Stray Dog (Criterion)
Rating: 9 June 8, 2008

Street Kings (2008)
Rating: 7 August 19, 2008

Pretty intense.

Sunshine (2007)
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Super Troopers
Rating: 8 June 1, 2008

Swimming With Sharks
Rating: 7 June 29, 2008

Sword of Doom, The (Daibosatsu Toge)
Rating: 9 June 8, 2008

Nakadai vs. Mifune masterpiece.

Taboo (Gohatto)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Take, The (2008)
Rating: 7 Crime drama, in the "real" world June 29, 2008

Well acted, well plotted. Explores more "real" aspects of traditional crime dramas, i.e. aftermath of crime, physical and emotional, while still moving toward a movie-style confrontation and resolution. Believable, organic performances by Leguizamo and Perez.

Tampopo
Rating: 9 One of the best June 3, 2008

A film about food, movies and life. If you love movies and food, you will laugh and cry and be thoroughly pleased. Don't be scared by the dated cover art, this is film is a rare, delicious experience.

Taste of Tea, The (Cha no aji)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Tears of the Black Tiger (Fah Talai Jone)
Rating: 7 The best Thai-Cowboy-Western-Action-Melodrama ever June 1, 2008

Youtube the trailer. This movie is like nothing else, in the same way as Wild Zero. It almost seems like the director picked four genres out of a hat and said "ok, well I can make this work." Beautiful painted sets, post-production "technicolor" fading, and over the top gunfight scenes.

The final showdown is brutal, tense and awesome. I begged Dean to get an import copy before this was released in the US, I'm so glad we have it available now.

Tekkon Kinkreet
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

They Live (Carpenter)
Rating: 8 THIS IS YOUR GOD July 13, 2008

This movie is genius in that specifically Carpenter fashion. Like his other films it's more intelligent than would seem at first glance. It's filled with tension, comedy, and populist message designed for enjoyment by the populace.

For those interested in urban popular culture, this film is also the inspiration for the OBEY text under Frank Shepard Fairey's ubiquitous Andre the giant stickers.

Thing, The (Carpenter)
Rating: 6 July 13, 2008

Three... Extremes (2-disc SE)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Three... Extremes (Three, Monster)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Throne of Blood
Rating: 9 June 8, 2008

Time Bandits (2d)
Rating: 7 God and the Devil vs. a little boy and a bunch of tiny thieves June 8, 2008

Don't touch it mother, it's EVIL!

Traffic (1d-Soderbergh)
Rating: 6 June 29, 2008

Traffic (2d-Criterion)
Rating: 6 June 29, 2008

Transporter, The
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

Troy (2d)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

True Romance (2d)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Tudors, The 1st Season - d1-2/4
Rating: 6 June 10, 2008

Total guilty pleasure. I love Showtime series.

Tudors, The 1st Season - d3-4/4
Rating: 6 He's the king. August 24, 2008

Total guilty pleasure. I love Showtime series.

Twilight Samurai, The (Tasogare Seibei)
Rating: 9 Cool, clean period drama by Yamada June 1, 2008

Not a tale of crashing blades and bloody warriors, but rather a low key and powerful drama of a man pulled in opposite directions by the loyalties that define his life. The film is poured through beautifully calm cinematography, scenes filling with natural lighting and subdued colors, the story unfolding quietly, even gently, with sparks of humor and excitement scattered throughout. The mood reflects the calm, humble mindset of Iguchi as he meets both hardship and joy. Unlike many recent films with fast cuts and jittery action, The Twilight Samurai left me feeling like my eyes had drank a refreshing glass of cool water. A highly acclaimed film recommended for those who appreciate storytelling that captures you through content, substance and delivery.

If you enjoy this I highly recommend Yamada’s similar historical drama "The Hidden Blade".

Two-Lane Blacktop (2d-Criterion)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Unbreakable (2d)
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Shyamalan's best in my opinion. Some find it long, but I could have spent another two hours in this world.

Unleashed (Danny the Dog)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

Usual Suspects, The
Rating: 9 Essential if you feel like watching any movie made after 1995 August 24, 2008

THE twist ending. What a performance.

Vampire Hunter D
Rating: 7 Classic August 24, 2008

My first experience with feature length "not for kids" anime (way back in 1996). Amazingly the dubbed dialog during the ending is a bit better than the subtitles, IMO.

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Rating: 7 June 15, 2008

Vengeance Is Mine (Fukusho Suruwa Ware ni Ari)
Rating: 8 June 1, 2008

Venus Wars, The (1989)
Rating: 5 For fans of te Genre August 24, 2008

Enjoyable, classic style, but unremarkable compared to some of the gems available at Dreaming Ant. A good classic-anime fix if you're in the mood, but if you're relatively new to Japanese animation I suggest checking out the higher rated options we have in stock.

Violent Cop (Sono Otoku Kyobo Ni Tsuki)
Rating: 9 The best introduction to the workd of Kitano "Beat" Takeshi June 1, 2008

His stripped to basics directorial debut. Stillness, misanthropy, and an odd naiveté explode periodically from Kitano’s detective Azuma. His personality bruises the people around him, police and criminal alike, like a blunt weapon. The world he occupies is a real-life Tokyo, complete with consequences and repercussions, far removed from the fantastic cinematic realms of Die Hard or John Woo’s Hard Boiled. Essential.

Violent Fire (Deadly Outlaw Rekka)
Rating: 9 My favorite Miike June 1, 2008

Our disk was damaged! We need to get another one! Yakuza FTW revenge, slow motion assassination scenes, soundtrack by Japanese Black Sabbath, visions from beyond the grave, and a bazooka. This movie is Siiiiick!

Waiting (2d-2005-Rob McKittrick)
Rating: 5 June 15, 2008

War (Jet Li)
Rating: 6 June 8, 2008

When the Last Sword Is Drawn (Mibu gishiden)
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Rating: 9 Vicious June 29, 2008

It's hard to believe this movie was made forty years ago. It's one of the most tightly scripted, intense, shocking movies you will ever see. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys screenplays adapted from the stage, or script driven movies with sharp, i would have to say genius, dialog. An amazing portrayal of what is essentially a loving but deeply troubled s&m relationship.

Wicker Man, The (1974-Extended)
Rating: 8 June 1, 2008

Wild Zero
Rating: 9 ROCK AND ROLL! June 2, 2008

Everything you could ever want in a movie. Look at the description.

LOVE HAS NO BORDERS, NATIONALITIES OR GENDERS! DO IT!

Wire, The: 1st Season - d1/5
Rating: 8 June 15, 2008

Wire, The: 1st Season - d2/5
Rating: 7 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 1st Season - d3/5
Rating: 7 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 1st Season - d4/5
Rating: 7 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 1st Season - d5/5
Rating: 7 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 2nd Season - d1/5
Rating: 7 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 2nd Season - d2/5
Rating: 7 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 2nd Season - d3/5
Rating: 7 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 2nd Season - d4/5
Rating: 7 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 2nd Season - d5/5
Rating: 7 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 3rd Season - d1/5
Rating: 8 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 3rd Season - d2/5
Rating: 8 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 3rd Season - d3/5
Rating: 8 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 3rd Season - d4/5
Rating: 8 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 3rd Season - d5/5
Rating: 8 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 5th Season - d1/4
Rating: 8 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 5th Season - d2/4
Rating: 7 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 5th Season - d3/4
Rating: 7 October 6, 2008

Wire, The: 5th Season - d4/4
Rating: 9 The Best October 6, 2008

Way to end the Wire. Everything done better than I could have hoped. Marlow's end-of-arc was my favorite.

Such a great choice, going out on a high note. Undoubtedly will go down as one of the most complete, artistically and dramatically important television shows in American history, a blueprint for how entertainment can be done.

Wolf's Rain V01 Leader of the Pack
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Wolf's Rain V02 Blood and Flowers
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Wolf's Rain V03 Loss
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Wolf's Rain V04 Recollection
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Wolf's Rain V05 War for the Soul
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Wolf's Rain V06 Paradise and Poison
Rating: 6 June 15, 2008

Wolf's Rain V07 Final Encounters
Rating: 7 Worthwhile conclusion August 24, 2008

Bizarre yet completely fitting ending to the series. Makes you realize how attached you've become to the characters. The last episode leaves you content to have spent the time watching this series.

Wonder Showzen: 1st Season
Rating: 8 June 1, 2008

World of Apu, The (Apur Sansar)
Rating: 9 September 28, 2008

Yakuza Graveyard
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Yakuza Papers 1 Battles Without Honor & Humanity
Rating: 8 Movies with Grit & Intensity June 1, 2008

Kinji Fukasaku makes movies that feel like MOVIES. Battles without Honor and Humanity is a gritty, dirty gangster movie where friends kill friends and bosses cry and kiss the feet of their underlings in the name of the endless salmon run towards the precarious "top" of yakuza society. Fukasu's use of music is amazing. It's not superfluous filler between dialog, or something that "goes along" with the action on screen; his soundtrack clashes and then raises the action on top of it, creating a completely different experience than you would feel if it weren't there. I'm starting to notice that this is a specialty of some older Japanese directors, and I really enjoy it.

This is a gangster movie just as I like it. And since there's four film sequels, or rather continuation of story, I have plenty to look forward to.

Yakuza Papers 2 Deadly Fight In Hiroshima
Rating: 8 Revisit and expand a world without honor and humanity June 5, 2008

Equal to Battles without Honor and Humanity, this second installment focuses on the ruinous effects of Yakuza life on one of the Muraoka family's underlings, a man who tries to maintain some level of self respect, responsibility and honor. This would be a poignant sentimental tale if it weren't saturated with the gritty violence and backstabbing, underhanded realism that make these films so amazing, a counterpoint to the glorified "honor among thieves" of it's contemporary, the Godfather movies.

Fukasaku's films succeed and surpass competing crime film epics by playing by a different set of rules, replacing glorification of a life outside the law with a dirt-level portrayal of characters who cannot succeed in normal society, and if they once could, have been forever barred from it.

Yakuza Papers 3 Proxy War
Rating: 8 June 5, 2008

Yakuza Papers 4 Police Tactics
Rating: 7 June 8, 2008

Yakuza, The (1975)
Rating: 7 One less pinky August 24, 2008

Solid, with a great twist. Very culturally conscious, which is what you'd expect from a director like Sidney Pollack, but not from the era this was filmed in.

For cycle enthusiasts, they throw a Bridgestone keirin (track) racing bike during a fight scene in a wealthy Japanese house.

Yojimbo (2007 Criterion Re-Issue)
Rating: 9 June 8, 2008

Yojimbo (Criterion)
Rating: 9 June 8, 2008

Young Frankenstein
Rating: 7 August 31, 2008

Youth of the Beast (1963-Criterion)
Rating: 7 June 1, 2008

Zatoichi + Sonatine (Kitano) - US release
Rating: 9 Review for Sonatine. (Zatoichi is pretty awesome too) June 1, 2008

Available as the second disk on Zatoichi (2006). A mid level yakuza boss travels to Okinawa to settle a dispute, but it soon becomes apparent that he has been sent there to die. The yakuza retreat to an abandoned beach house, passing the hours as pleasantly as they can under the unspoken knowledge of their inevitable deaths. The film is saturated with Kitano’s bittersweet atheistic nihilism, more powerful than in his other films as evidenced by his suicide attempt immediately after its release.

Zigeunerweisen
Rating: 6 June 1, 2008

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