#1721  
Old 10-02-2009, 06:26 AM
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The Human Condition: disc 2 (1959). The second instalment to this epic was just as monumental as the first. Can't wait for the next one. Ashe.
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  #1722  
Old 10-04-2009, 06:31 AM
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Carved: The Slit Mouth Woman (2007). This flick had so much potential, but something was just missing from what could have been a top rated J-horror flick. The acting was pretty sketchy at times , albeit they child actors were usually the culprits. The lead actress was pretty bad at times too though. Even with these limitations, the atmosphere was wonderful, the lighting almost jaundiced, and the fact that the monster of this flick attacked at random and in full light of day made it pretty chilling. Actually, the slit mouthed woman proper was portrayed fantastically. Unpredictable to the core, the only thing that she was consistant was her need to inflict pain, and brutally so. Be prepared to see violence that would probably not be tolerated in the US. Her vile nature was evil incarnate, and i would say that she carried this flick. The score was perfectly unsettling as well. Definitely worth a watch. Ashe.
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  #1723  
Old 10-05-2009, 04:10 AM
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The Quiet Family (1998)

It's about how a 'normal' family (in an isolated hiking area) react to some 'abnormal' or unexpected situations and face the consequences...overall an excellent suspense drama with a great balance between tension & laughter. Highly amusing and engaging black comedy from the director of A Tale of Two Sisters. A great cast including Kang-ho Song (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Memories of Murder).

>>: A-


Phone (2002)

A decent K-Horror. That cute little creepy girl almost steal the show from everyone.

>>: B
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  #1724  
Old 10-06-2009, 05:42 AM
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The Human Condition (1959). Finally made it through this absolute epic, 9h and 47m flick. This was simply a pacifist's incredible journey from a WWII slave labor supervisor to a soldier and finally to a POW in a Russian prison camp. This film is a painfully wonderful study of the pawns of war, whose sufferings are unimaginably portrayed in the fantasic epic. The Human Condition does not short-corner the realities of human nature, and how good men might behave when in horrific circumstances. Nor does director Kobayashi shy away from calling a spade a spade in his horrific portrayal of the Japanese during this WWII era flick. The hero, the ever stoic Kaji, is a monument of a man that holds true to his ideals by treating everyone in a fair and humane manner. His greatest flaw might be that he holds others to the nearly impossible standards that he holds himself to. Of course, there is the larger than life heroine, Kaji's beloved Michiko, which fuels him to survive each tribulation such that he can finally again rest in Michiko's arms. A wicked testament to human resolve, the ending to The Human Condition disappointed me at first, but there was no other way to end this monumental flick, and with reflection this ending became more and more powerful. A huge commitment for sure, this is still a must see for the arduous fan of classic Japanese cinema. Ashe.
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  #1725  
Old 10-08-2009, 07:02 AM
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Ju-Rei: The Uncanny (2004). Director Koji Shiraishi tends to make movies that are not really appreciated here in the US (Noroi the Curse may be the one exception). This is one of them. Lacking foreshadowing and even a motive, this flick uses awkwardly angled close-ups and malingering camera shots to keep the viewer unsettled. Also lacking is gore of any kind, save for a scraped knee. Told is a somewhat unique fashion, the source of the horror, and the ending itself, is rather vague. Instead this is an unmerciful, Grudge-like film that offers no safety for the victims, where their demise can take place in a dark corner or in the light of day among friends. Shot in almost colorless color, the bleak outlook of this flick is disquieting as well. Not for everyone, i contend that this film is best left for the zealous J horror fan. Personally, i enjoyed it immensely, and the scene in the stairwell will probably haunt me for years. Ashe.
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  #1726  
Old 10-09-2009, 07:41 AM
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Afterlife (1999). This is a wonderfully touching story that accounts for the afterlife. After death, humans first must check in to an institutional-like weigh station and choose one memory to take with them to eternity. There are counselors that are to both help choose an appropriate memory and then recreate it for the recently dead to see. Shot in a drab, almost documentary style, this great flick sneaks a story in behind the premise. The set is a drab, old building, and the feeling is really that of an instution, AKA a very human. Incredible flick. Ashe.
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  #1727  
Old 10-10-2009, 11:42 PM
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Unfair: The Movie (2007)

A pretty average police action-drama that started well but failed to keep the pace after the 1st half.

>>: C
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  #1728  
Old 10-11-2009, 05:35 AM
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Machine Girl...Totally crazy, blood drenched movie. What Tarrantino's Grindhouse flick should have been.
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  #1729  
Old 10-11-2009, 05:58 AM
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Wild Zero (1999). Personally, i am not really a fan of B-movies. Nothing against them, just not my thing. Still, i felt compelled, almost duty-bound, to see Wild Zero. i must admit, though not on my J-horror fav list, i did enjoy this one much more than i expected. For fans of this genre, it must be one of the all around best zombie flicks out there. On a side note, this cheesy little treat also tackled a pretty heavy romantic theme, which to me added some depth to this goofy fun film. Ashe.
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  #1730  
Old 10-12-2009, 06:14 AM
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Marebito (2004). This intense, low budget movie from Takashi Shimizu of Ju-on fame may not be for everybody, but it is a must see for those willing to take a psychological journey beyond the fantastic realms of disturbing terror. Actor/director Shinya Tsukamoto plays Masuoka, an alienated and voyeueristic freelance cameraman obsessed with what can only be thought of as the dark terror. Emotionally dead, he begins to seek life in the darkest of places, maybe in an effort to discover truth in ineffable horror. We take this journey with Masuoka mainly through the lens of his digital camera and his dialogue, only to descend onto the abyss of his (or everybody"s) madness. Immensely symbolic with no boundaries of interpretation, this flick is like a cathartic purge of the dark genius of Shimizu, which may not be far from the truth as this complex tale was reportably shot in eight days. For those willing to risk a trip into unspeakable madness and imagery, this wonderful film may be the perfect meal-ticket. Ashe.
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