world cinema

아저씨 (Ajeossi/The Man from Nowhere), (2010)

Finally got around to see this! I love asian cinema because they push boundaries (visually and thematically) not often seen in western films, and this one did not disappoint.

Korean title: 아저씨 Ajeossi
English title: The Man from Nowhere
Runtime: 1h 59 mins
Country: South Korea
Year: 2010

Director: Jeong-Beom Lee
Cinematographer: Tae-Yoon Lee
Editor: Sang-Beom Kim

Cast: Bin Won, Sae-Ron Kim

Synopsis:
A quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend. (imbd.com)

Thoughts:
From the opening scene I found the characters compelling. The kid, So-Mi (Sae-Ron), is so cute, and fast we learn about her family situation and want her to get all the good in the world. While Tae-Sik (Bin-Won) is a mysterious dark (and handsome) character! The story follows their friendship and how Tae-Sik ends up hunting high and low to find the kidnapped So-Mi.

Usually I don’t like it when the main character just walks through the film without any challenges, I don’t know why this was different? Maybe because so much was at stake, and you never know what’s going to happen in an Asian film. You never doubt that Tae-Sik will lose the fights he’s in, he’s so raw. I think I accept this because of his backstory and sudden connection to the kids also because his fighting is pretty GENIUS! On many levels.

Last knife fight was pretty awesome. The P.O.V camera/editing made it super intensive, and i would love to try this technique in the future myself.

I really enjoyed this film and would recommend it to people who like action, and doesn’t mind blood, brutal fights (knife, guns, beautiful martial art) and gruesome images of cut up victims. This film makes you feel, it gets you emotional, even some funny moments, and definitely… ACTIOON! 😀 Compared to many new action films, I love that this is action with reason, not just to show off all the guns and blablablahZzzZzz.. It is compelling all the way through, and I can’t wait to see it again soon enough!

So many twists!
So much heartbreak!
So much action!
I loved it!

Now go watch it (it can easily be found online for free)!

 

Rating: 4.5/6 .. but so close to a 5!

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-CinaMonster-

A Filmmakers Wet Dream: Nuovo Cinema Paradiso

Title: Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Cinema Paradiso)
Year: 1988
Run Time: 2h 35 min
Language: Italian

Director: Guiseppe Tornatore
Cinematographer: Blasco Giurato
Editor: Mario Morra

CINEMA PARADISO

I was honestly ecstatic when I realized we were watching this in my film narrative class. I have wanted to watch it for so long, I even have it somewhere on a hard drive I think, I have NO IDEA why I haven’t checked it out before!! It’s a SHAME!

Synopsis:

A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village’s theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater’s projectionist. – IMDB.com

Thoughts:
The films follows Toto, a kid without a father who forms a relationship with the village’s projectionist Alfredo through their love for film. It follows Toto through life, love, leaving his home behind to become something more, and then getting back to remember the life he once lived.

This film shows how movies units people. Here, it unifies a whole village. It shows what you have to give up to pursue and live your dream. It shows you beautiful love. It is truly an amazing film that touched all of us film geeks in the audience because we felt so close to Toto.

The final scene is (a little bit to much and cheesy BUT!) emotionally beautiful ! I absolutely recommend this to anyone who loves making films, anyone who wants to follow their dream and does, and most people in general.

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5/5 stars for sure!

-CinaMonster-

 

 

Zombies from the Motherland!

First Look: Død Snø 2 (Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead)

I didn’t really think the first film was that awesome… Yes, it was good to be Norwegian, but after hearing all these great things about it, I was a bit disappointed when i finally watched it.. I can’t remember exactly why at the moment, I think it was because you didn’t actually get to see the zombie attacks, which is a bit boring! But that probably had something to do with the budget not being big enough to include scenes with lots of special effects (CGI/makeup whatever). Also I didn’t find it scary, or funny. Which it should’ve been since it is a horror comedy 😛

Anyway, in this film it looks like they’ve included the attacks, so i’m looking forward to seeing it when it comes out in February. 😀

Trailer:

– CinaMonster –

On Netflix: Paradise Now (2005)

Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Language: Arabic and English
Cast: Kais Nashif, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal
Runtime: 90 mins

So I skipped through the “critically acclaimed” films on Netflix and came across this Palestinian film from 2005. I found the plot description interesting and after IMDB-ing it, I saw it was nominated for an Oscar, and decided to give it a try.

The story is about two best friends, Said and Khaled, living in a small town, Nablus,  in Palestine. One day they are chosen to go to Tel Aviv in Israel as suicide bombers, but the night before they’re leaving they question whether this is the right decision of fighting Israel or not.

Personally I do not know much about the conflict between Palestine and Israel even though i know people from both places, which is one of the reasons I wanted to see this film. It did give me an insight in to the conflict though, and the issues between Muslims and Jews in this setting. I think this film raise important questions, and this is why it was nominated for an Oscar. It had some holes in the story, and a bit confusing time line at times. I think the female character Suha (Lubna Azabal) is supposed to be a voice of reason and new thinking. She is cultured, has experienced the world and is an independent woman. On the other hand we have Said and Khaled from this little isolated town and raised in a refugee camp, only knowing what they’ve taught through family and their hard life. The film is nicely depicting friendship and family, and following what you believe is your fate.

Even if I found the beginning to be a bit slow, I enjoyed watching it by the end. I found it very interesting to get an insight in how, and why things like this happen. What drives people to do attacks like this, even when there is a chance to hurt innocent people. It is a good and very interesting film, and i recommend it to fans of international and political / historical films.

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– CinaMonster –

P.S. I’ve started from now on to rate the films on a 5 star rating system 😉 Sometimes a rating is not necessary though, as it is all up to the personal experience. 🙂