Sunday, December 18, 2011

"La Bûche"

4 Potatoes

This is one of my favorite Christmas movies. "La Bûche" (1999) by Danièle Thompson who is a great comedy writer for many recent French cinemas. This film is her directorial debut. Mixed with the typical family drama around the holiday season and a touch of humor. This movie was also the time I thought Charlotte Gainsbourg became a better actress. I really enjoyed watching this movie.

Highly recommended.

Synopsis (FR): Noël, cette fête à la fois délicieuse et pernicieuse, sonne l'heure de vérité pour trois soeurs, Louba la chanteuse, Sonia la bourgeoise, Milla la rebelle. Pour leurs parents aussi, Stanislas, violoniste tzigane à la retraite et Yvette, veuve toute récente de son deuxieme mari. (AlloCiné)

Synopsis: "After the December 21st funeral of Yvette's (Francoise Fabian) second husband, she is consoled by the three daughters from her first marriage to Stanislas (Claude Rich), a Russian-Jewish violinist. The oldest, Lorba (Sabine Azema), lives with her father and makes a living by singing ballads in a Russian cabaret, Sonia (Emmanuelle Beart) is a fastidious middle-class housewife, and Yvette's youngest, Milla (Charlotte Gainsbourg), is a go-getting businesswoman. As Christmas celebrations gather steam, Louba learns that at age 42, she is unexpectedly pregnant by Gilbert, her married lover of 12 years. Meanwhile, Sonia develops a habit of taking five-finger discounts while shopping, and Milla takes up with a mysterious drifter who lives as a boarder in Stanislas' house."  - Jonathan Crow, Rovi (Rotten Tomatoes)

USA: DVD Available

Monday, December 5, 2011

"Circumstances" - 境遇

3 Potatoes

"Circumstances" (2011) - 境遇 (Kyogu) is a Japanese TV Movie which was aired on 12/03/2011 in Japan. It is the first story she wrote since the shocking novel "Confessions" (2010) - 告白 (Kokuhaku) three years ago, which eventually made into a movie and not only winning many prizes but this movie was chosen to be the Japanese Official Entry for the Oscar 2011.

Unlike the movie "Confessions" (2010), "Circumstances" (2011) is mellower and comprehensible as a story. Yet the movie chose once again, very quiet and shy type cast as the two main characters: Yasuko Matsuyuki - "Hula Girls" (2006) and Ryô - Casshern (2006).
The story was easy to follow and I thought I guessed it right at first, then there was a twist.

I liked it.

Official Site and Trailer:

Viewing Available on Pandora.TV

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quote of the Day - Italian

Charles de Montesquieu
"L'educazione consiste nel darci delle idee, la buona educazione nel metterle in proporzione."
 - Charles De Montesquieu

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Yokai Ningen Bem" - 妖怪人間ベム

4 Potatoes

There are not many good Japanese TV dramas this season.
So far one of my a few favorites is "Yokai Ningen Bem" (2011) - 「妖怪人間ベム」. It is based on the Japanese animation by the same title which was aired on TV in Japan from 1968-1969. I remember the partial story, I am not sure if I watched the re-run or saw or heard about the story...

Yokai Ningen Bem - Animation
This live-action version is played by Kazuya Kamenashi (Bem), Anne Watanabe (Bela) - the daughter of actor Ken Watanabe, and Fuku Suzuki (Bero).

By remembering the animation, this is a perfect casting! Fuku Suzuki is a great child actor while all of Japan is obsessed about another child actress who I think is not the great, not natural...

Anyway, I am looking forward to watch it every week and I am very curious to see how it will end. As for the original animation, I read it somewhere, they will die at the end. But initially it ended that way because they were creating the sequel which never had a chance to air on TV.

Well we will see...

Official Site & Trailers:

USA: It is Available on Pandora.TV

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Café de Flore" my AFI Fav.

4 Potatoes

Here is my favorite of all at the AFI Fest this year, though I couldn't see as many films as I wished to see, I am glad to see something very powerful.

"Café de Flore" (2011) by Jean-Marc Vallée, starring Vanessa Paradis, is a film which focuses on two different events at the two different periods of times which somewhat relates to one another.

Unfortunately I missed the first 10 minutes due to the festival schedule change. But it was okay at the end, as it was a slow start. I read at the festival guide that this film was sort of after-the-fact film to the director's 2005 film "C.R.A.Z.Y." (2005). I see that. But this film stands by itself. It was very intense toward the end and the two stories from the two separate periods merged well together. I really loved how the story turned out.

Also Vanessa Paradis was amazing in this film, she was a good actress in the past, but she  now became a great actress. I hope she will receive a nomination for the Oscar 2012.

Highly Recommended.

Official Site & Trailer:

Synopsis (FR): Il n’est pas facile de dire adieu à ceux qu’on aime; pour y parvenir, il faut parfois toute une vie - ou deux.
Entre le Paris des années 1960 et le Montréal d’aujourd’hui se déploie une vaste histoire d’amour aux accents épiques, à la fois sombre et lumineuse, troublante et malgré tout pleine d’espoir. Film teinté de fantastique, baigné d’une lumière parfois presque surnaturelle, Café de Flore raconte les destins croisés de Jacqueline une jeune Parisienne mère d’un enfant unique, d’Antoine un DJ montréalais ainsi que des femmes qui l’entourent. Ce qui les relie : l’amour, troublant, maladroit, imparfait et inachevé... humain.

Synopsis (ENG): Healing a broken heart isn't easy. Sometimes it takes a lifetime...or two. 
Cafe de Flore is a love story about people separated by time and place but connected in profound and mysterious ways. Atmospheric, fantastical, tragic and hopeful, the film chronicles the parallel fates of Jacqueline, a young mother with a disabled son in 1960s Paris, and Antoine, a recently-divorced, successful DJ in present day Montreal. What binds the two stories together is love - euphoric, obsessive, tragic, youthful, timeless love. Antoine, early 40s, seems to have it all: a thriving career, two beautiful daughters, partner Rose, with whom he is passionately in love. However, nothing is perfect and Antoine's ex-wife Carole remains devastated by their recent separation. Heartbroken, her sense of self has been shattered and her hold on reality has been gradually slipping away. Her dreams are haunted by two recurrent figures - Jacqueline, a young woman, and Laurent, her Down Syndrome - afflicted son - but the reason for their visits to her subconscious, and their meaning continue to elude her. We find Jacqueline and Laurent in 1960s Paris. Abandoned by her husband, Jacqueline sacrifices everything to care for her son. From the moment Laurent is born she promises herself to give him a "normal" life full of happiness. For years she fulfills that promise, joining herself at the hip to her son and watching over his every waking moment. One day at school Laurent befriends Véronique, another Down Syndrome child, forever changing things between mother and son. Carole, meanwhile, is still attempting to unravel the mystery of Jacqueline and Laurent. She sees them not only in her dreams but in her waking life too. Tormented by hallucinations, Carole attempts to suppress them with medication and illicit drugs before seeking out the help of a spiritual guide who leads her to believe that Jacqueline and Laurent are previous incarnations of her and Antoine who are attempting to send her a warning. When she senses Jacqueline and Laurents story could end tragically, Carole realizes she will have to choose a different path. In that moment, she has to decide whether the agony of heartbreak is too much to bear or if she can let go of her pain and move on with her life. The title "Cafe de Flore" refers not to the famous Boulevard St-Germain café, but to a musical theme running through the film that connects the characters in 1960s Paris to those in present-day Montreal. Blending smooth electro beats with the retro sounds of big band strings and horns, the music sets the tone for a story about love in its many forms. - Jean-Marc Vallée (IMDb)

USA: Release Date Unknown

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Pina" 3D - Wim Wenders' latest

4 Potatoes

Last night Wim Wender introduced us the completely "new way" to enjoy 3D.
His latest film "Pina" (2011) a documentary/performing art film about the choreographer
Pina Bausch.

This could be the totally new way of enjoying stage/theater production also. It makes you feel like you are sitting on the front raw of the theater watching the performing art. So real.
Wim Wenders said "...3D was the only way to film dance...". He was so right.

Wim Wenders & Pina
Not only this documentary stunned me by the new discovery, it is also perfect in quality: location choices, music, editing and length of film.

Highly recommended.

Official Site & Trailer:

More about Pina Bausch:

USA: In Theater December 23rd, 2011

Germany's Official Submission for the Oscar 2012: Foreign Language Film

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Luc Besson "The Lady"

3.5 Potatoes

Luc Besson's latest film "The Lady" (2011) was finally premiered at
the AFI Fest 2011 tonight. I waited for this movie to be released for a long time, not only the subject was fascinating, but he hasn't directed a live-action movie in a long time!

Actually I remember reading some interview about 5 years ago (I am sorry I can't quote it because I don't remember where I read it...), him saying he will retire from directing after "Angel A" (2006) and focus on producing... Well he did "the Arthur and the Invisibles" (2006-2010) series after that but they were not live-action.

Anyway, sadly I could only give 3.5 Potatoes.
First of all, I think he lost his touch for creating his style... He was at the festival in person and he said "This is the most important film of my life". But I disagreed as an audience.
YES the subject was very important to speak about, but Aung San Suu Kyi's life and achievement can't be explained in 2 hours, unless it is well edited.
And it starts very slow and get intense in the middle and it sucks you in. Knowing what she really went through, it was very heart breaking and tearful.
But the reality hits you and makes you wonder how convincing Michelle Yeoh's Burmese was... (She acted in 2 languages: UK English and Burmese).

At the end, it wasn't just perfect...

And one last thing, Luc Besson's usual soundtrack composer Eric Serra, you weren't at your best either.

Synopsis: The story of pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi and the academic and writer Michael Aris; a true story of love set against political turmoil. (IMDb)

USA: In Theater December 2, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011



There are many foreign film festivals around this season and I have a few recommendations.

Today's recommendation is "Around the World in 14 Films" if you are in Berlin, Germany area.


DATE: November 25th - December 3rd, 2011

PLACE: BABYLON Kino, Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 30, Berlin-Mitte

PRICE: $ (0-10)   


WHAT: Every year in the beginning of december the International Filmfestival AROUND THE WORLD IN 14 FILMS brings together 14 extraordinary independent films from 14 regions around the world, to show and share with Berlin's discerning cinema public. From South America to Africa, through different parts of Europe to the Near East, through the Middle East and Central Asia to parts of the Far East, and on to North and Central America: 14 films representing 14 different, personal, artistic visions of 14 areas of the world.
Each of the 14 films will be presented by another leading German cinema director, who will introduce both the film and the international director (if he is in attendance), and then moderate a discussion with the audience and the director immediately after the film.
Already shown and praised at various international film festivals such as Cannes, Rotterdam, Locarno and Venice, most of them are yet still without German distribution, these films have been all but unavailable to audiences in Berlin. (Around the World in 14 Films)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"The Brotherhood of War" - Tae Guk Gi

4.5 Potatoes

I just read comments on the post "The Man from Nowhere" (2010) - Ajeossi and promised to post the info on this film "The Brotherhood of War" (2004) - Tae Guk Gi by Je-gyu Kang.

The story is about the 2 brothers who are separated by the Korean War. It shows how people can easily brain washed during the time of misery and anger.

The film stars Bin Won and another Korean star Dong-jun Jang. The director also directed the film "Swiri" (1999) - SHIRI, an amazing spy movie. Both films are MUST-SEE.

Highly Recommended.

Synopsis: Jin-Tae (Dong-gun Jang) shines shoes, hoping to save enough money to send his younger brother, Jin-Seok (Bin Won), to university. Their mother runs a noodle shop and wishes the best for her two sons, even though things have been tough since her husband died. But all bets are off when the Korean Warerupts and Jin-Seok is unwillingly conscripted into the war, which forces Jin-Tae to enlist just so he can save his brother. (NETFLIX)

USA: Available on DVD

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Drive" with Ryan Gosling

3.5 Potatoes

I just saw the new film "Drive" (2011) by Nicolas Winding Refn. No expectation nor knowledge about it before I went to the screening. Only one thing I knew about this film was that the director won the Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

Surprisingly, I really liked it. The movie had a touch of the 80's cheesiness and I also thought the film was somewhat influenced by Claude Lelouch's "Roman de Gare" (2007), especially the driving scenes and the music which goes along with them. But that didn't bother me really. I thought the film was well executed and Ryan Gosling is an actor that truly can act without dialogues.

Highly Recommended.

Synopsis: A Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong. (IMDb)

USA: In Theater Everywhere on Friday 09/16/2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

"The Debt"

2 Potatoes

The film "The Debt" (2011) by John Madden had an early release to gain the box office. Was it successful? Well for me not, at least...
The story of Mossad was very interesting but they made Mossad like weeping puppy compare to how the film "Munich" (2005) by Steven Spielberg portrayed it...

Unfortunately it was very under directed.

Dear Madam Helen Mirren,

You are not really a Femme Fatale, please stay as a Queen if you can.

Sincerely yours,
Operation Couch Potato aka Femme Fatale wanna be

Synopsis: The espionage thriller begins in 1997, as shocking news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel (Helen Mirren) and Stefan (Tom Wilkinson) about their former colleague David (Ciarán Hinds). All three have been venerated for decades by their country because of the mission that they undertook back in 1966, when the trio (portrayed, respectively, by Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas, and Sam Worthington) tracked down Nazi war criminal Vogel (Jesper Christensen) in East Berlin. At great risk, and at considerable personal cost, the team's mission was accomplished - or was it? The suspense builds in and across two different time periods, with startling action and surprising revelations.

Official Website & Trailer:

USA: In Theaters Now, BUT recommended on DVD...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"Love Crime"

2.5 Potatoes

The final film of Alain Corneau "Love Crime" - Crime d'Amour (2010) with Kristine Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier is finally released in Los Angeles this weekend.

It is just typical backstubbing movie, women, competition, just like any other day in Los Angeles... The music was horrible, that really distracted me from concentrating on the film. And I thought it didn't show the best quality of Ludivine Sagnier either... very unfortunate.

I liked the one-sheet though...

Synopsis: Ruthless executive Christine brings on Isabelle as her assistant, and she takes delight in toying with the young woman's innocence. But when the protégé's ideas become tempting enough for Christine to pass one as her own, she underestimates Isabelle's ambition and cunning -- and the ground is set for all out war. (IMDb)

Synopsis (FR): Dans le décor aseptisé des bureaux d’une puissante multinationale, deux femmes s’affrontent… La jeune Isabelle travaille sous les ordres de Christine, une femme de pouvoir qu’elle admire sans réserve. Convaincue de son ascendant sur sa protégée, Christine entraîne Isabelle dans un jeu trouble et pervers de séduction et de domination. 
Ce jeu dangereux va trop loin… jusqu’au point de non retour. (AlloCiné)

USA: In Theaters in N.Y. and Los Angeles
Also Available on VOD

"Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life"

3 Potatoes

For all the Serge Gainsbourg fans! This is a must see movie. "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" (2010) by Joanne Sfar. This was shown at COLCOA last year, and I was so surprised how much resemblance the actor Eric Elmosnino had to Gainsbourg.

It is purely fun and interesting, you would not regret it.

Official Site and Trailer:

USA: In Limited Theaters / L.A. at NuArt 9/2-9/8/2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

3 Potatoes

Last night's screening was a double featured. After watching the film "E.T.", I also watched "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977) by Steven Spielberg. I didn't remember much of the film except the tune, and it was hard for me to follow the film at the beginning. Then slowly I got sucked in to it.

Still, it wasn't too memorable as "E.T.", but once again, it was very enjoyable to see it again on the big screen.

DVD Available Everywhere 

"E.T." come home!

5 Potatoes

I just saw "E.T." (1982) by Steven Spielberg again tonight, but on the big screen at Aero Theater. What an amazing film it is! This time it was a different cut, some new scene was added and some deleted, but the great quality was still there.

©1982 & 2002 - Universal Studios
Everyone is looking so young, especially Peter Coyote! And the amazing performance of the little Henry Thomas still touches your heart. He surely turned out to be a one fine actor. Not to mention, how big of a star Drew Barrymore became. Even though this film ruined her life in a way, she overcame the obstacle and became very successful and one of the most likable actress in Hollywood.

Did you know? Most of the grown ups' faces are not shown through out the film except the mother and Peter Coyote? Finally towards the end of the film, you will see some of the faces, inevitable I guess...

©1982 & 2002 - Universal Studios
I wish Spielberg didn't produce the film "Super 8" and made "E.T." now and after instead...

Oh the children's fantasy is the grown ups tearjerker!!!

P.S. There is a great behind scene on DVD, a footage from the casting scene with Henry Thomas. This is a must see, it blows your mind!

DVD Available Everywhere

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quote of the Day - Italian

"Sono convinto che anche all'ultimo istante della nostra vita ognuno di noi può cambiare il proprio destino."  - Giacomo Leopardi

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Betty" by Claude Chabrol

5 Potatoes

I am currently watching an amazing film by the late Claude Chabrol "Betty" (1992). I remember when this film came out in theater, I was still living in Paris. I watched it again a few times since then, and tonight it is still an amazing film.
And the song "Je voulais te dire que je t'attends" by Michel Jonasz is unforgettable.

It is so sad that the both Claude Chabrol and Marie Trintignant are no longer with us. Two amazing talented people one left us by age and another her life was ended by a selfish moron... her then boyfriend Bertrand Cantat, a lead singer from Noir Désir.

This film is Highly Recommended.

Synopsis: When Betty is caught en flagrante, her bourgeois in-laws and husband force a divorce settlement upon her and bar her from seeing her two daughters. She is rescued from an alcoholic stupor by Laure, a middle-aged woman who takes Betty to her hotel lodgings, extends friendship and care, and listens to her story. Laure's lover, Mario, the proprietor of the bar where Betty and Laure met, is first a friend, then Betty's next conquest. (IMDb)

Synopsis(FR): Betty, jeune femme alcoolique et paumée, réprouvée par son mari et sa famille, se réfugie dans le restaurant "Le Trou" où elle fait la connaissance de Laure, l'amante du patron Mario. Laure l'aide et devient une amie. Mais Betty envie sa tranquille assurance et l'amour qui la lie à son compagnon. Quand elle s'éprend à son tour de Mario, les choses basculent. Est-elle la victime de sa famille bourgeoise ou un monstre d'égoïsme inconscient ?... (AlloCiné)

USA: DVD Available
USA: Currently Showing on TV5 Monde (AUG)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Sarah's Key"

3.5 Potatoes

I just saw a movie called "Sarah's Key" (2010) - Elle s'appelait Sarah by Gilles Paquet-Brenner.
This film is based on the novel by the same title "Elle s'appelait Sarah" (2006) - Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.
You see so many Nazi related movies through out your life time and you can never get used to the fact that the human beings did all this bad and brutal things to other human beings...
and we will probably never be able to get the right answer WHY...

This movie is focused on the little girl Sarah, after the fact how her little brother Michael died haunts her until she dies and an American journalist played by Kristin Scott Thomas tries to reveal what exactly happened to Sarah.

The story was well written and it is easy to follow. This film has a different view of the era because it was caused by non-Germans which has been rarely told in history.

By the way, the film "Pretty Things" (2001) - Les Jolies Choses by the same director and the main character played by Marion Cotillard is a great film also.

Both films Highly Recommended.

Synopsis: In modern-day Paris, a journalist (Kristen Scott Thomas) finds her life becoming entwined with a young girl whose family was torn apart during the notorious Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in 1942. (IMDb)

Synopsis(FR): Julia Jarmond, journaliste américaine installée en France depuis 20 ans, enquête sur l'épisode douloureux du Vel d'Hiv. En remontant les faits, son chemin croise celui de Sarah, une petite fille qui avait 10 ans en juillet 1942. Ce qui n'était que le sujet d'un article devient alors, pour Julia, un enjeu personnel, dévoilant un mystère familial. Comment deux destins, à 60 ans de distance, vont-ils se mêler pour révéler un secret qui bouleversera à jamais la vie de Julia et de ses proches ? La vérité issue du passé a parfois un prix dans le présent... (AlloCiné)

Official site and Trailer:

USA: In Theaters Now

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Vanishing on 7th Street"

0 Potato, So Wilted and Wasted

So I am finally watching the movie "Vanishing on 7th Street" (2010) by Brad Anderson. Now that I am watching it, I don't even know why I wanted see this movie for so long... Big let down. Bad directing, bad acting and very bad story. See there is something wrong with the story when the story jumps from Day 1 to 72 hours later at only 10 mins into the movie.

The movie is still playing as a BGM as I write this Blog...

Synopsis: The population of Detroit has almost completely disappeared, but a few remain. As daylight disappears they realize that the Dark is coming for them. (IMDb)

USA: DVD Available

Monday, August 1, 2011

Proverb of the day - Italian

"Nelle botti piccine ci sta il vino buono"

"Good things (or people) come in small packages."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis"

4.5 Potatoes

Finally the film "Welcome to the Sticks" (2008) - Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis by Danny Boon is going to be released here in the US. It will be available on iTune. Not in theaters but at least people can see it. It is just amazingly ridiculously funny. Do not worry, the subtitle is pretty well done, so either you are French speaker or not, you can fully enjoy this crazy paced film.

Experience Danny Boon, he is very talented and funny comedian-actor-filmmaker. The remake of this film will be released in the US someday, it is still in the works. At the COLCOA 2011, Mr.Boon said "I saw the first draft of script. In France then they will write the second draft. But here they fired the writer!" and he continued saying the project is going through a difficult moment with the Hollywood way of doing business...

The Original version is Super Highly recommended!

Official Site (FR):

Synopsis: Although living a comfortable life in Salon-de-Provence, a charming town in the South of France, Julie has been feeling depressed for a while. To please her, Philippe Abrams, a post office administrator, her husband, tries to obtain a transfer to a seaside town, on the French Riviera, at any cost. The trouble is that he is caught red-handed while trying to scam an inspector. Philippe is immediately banished to the distant unheard of town of Bergues, in the Far North of France. Leaving his child and wife behind, the crucified man leaves for his frightening destination, a dreadfully cold place inhabited by hard-drinking, unemployed rednecks, speaking an incomprehensible dialect called Ch'ti. Philippe soon realizes that all these ideas were nothing but prejudices and that Bergues is not synonymous with hell... (IMDb)

USA: Available on iTune on September 15th, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quote of the Day - French

"La pluie tombe comme nous tombons amoureux : en déjouant les prévisions." - Martin Page

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Point Blank"

I am so glad to hear that the new French movie "Point Blank" (2010) - À Bout Portant by Fred Cavayé is going to be released in Los Angeles and New York this month.

It is an action thriller movie starring Gilles Lellouche who is now a rising main role actor who has been in fact in the movie industry for a long time and was known for the best co-star often supporting the main character in the movie. Other cast include Gérard Lanvin and Roshdy Zem.

Synopsis: Samuel Pierret (Gilles Lellouche) is a nurse who saves the wrong guy -- a thief (Roschdy Zem) whose henchmen take Samuel's pregnant wife (Elena Anaya) hostage to force him to spring their boss from the hospital. A race through the subways and streets of Paris ensues, and the body count rises. Can Samuel evade the cops and the criminal underground and deliver his beloved to safety? (IMDb)

Synopsis (FR): Tout va pour le mieux pour Samuel et Nadia : lui est bientôt infirmier et elle, attend son premier enfant. Mais tout bascule lorsque Nadia se fait kidnapper sous l'oeil impuissant de Samuel. A son réveil, son portable retentit : il a trois heures pour sortir de l'hôpital dans lequel il travaille un homme sous surveillance policière. Le destin de Samuel est désormais lié à celui de Sartet, une figure du banditisme activement recherchée par tous les services de police. S'il veut revoir sa femme vivante, Samuel doit faire vite.. (AlloCiné)

Official Site:

USA: In Theaters in L.A. and New York,  July 29, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Quote of the Day - English

A beautiful quote...

"Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver the other gold."
- Anonymous

Thank you Stephanie for sharing this with me!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"The Chameleon"

2 Potatoes

The based on the biography by the famous French child impostor Frédéric Bourdin, "The Chameleon" (2010) by Jean-Paul Salomé is finally released in Los Angeles.

The story is truly interesting though the movie itself was weak. I thought they could have done better, more intense and more detailed. Ellen Barkin's performance was amazing though. She really changed her appearance.

Too bad, I could only give you 2 potatoes Marc-André Grondin!

Frédéric Bourdin News: Missing Nicholas Barclay

Synopsis: The amazing true story of Frédéric Bourdin, who after having plundered all the centers for runaway minors and deliquents in Europe, even thought he has come of age, now passes himself off as Nicholas Barclay, a 13-year-old American who had vanished three years ago. To his astonishment, Nicholas's family welcomes him like their son, leaving Interpol and the FBI aghast. It is the beginning of a race against time for the investigators, family and Bourdin. But who is manipulating whom? And who is Frederic Bourdin in reality? (IMDb)

USA: In Theater Now

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"The Beginners"

3 Potatoes

I just saw the movie "The Beginners" (2010) by Mike Mills this afternoon. It was very different from what I expected from the theater preview/trailer. I had an impression that this movie would be more comical and Hollywood-ish film. But I was completely wrong.

The way this film was created is very interesting, it gives you a moment to digest at a few separated points through out the movie. I kind of liked it. It shows you how to adapt yourself to life or to certain situation and deal with it, at the end it is not necessary a bad thing.

The only problem for me was the girl friend, she didn't reveal herself too much in the movie that I personally didn't see the strong connection between the main character and her.

After all, I still recommend anyone to see this movie.

USA: In Theater Now

Friday, June 24, 2011

"The Trip" #2

4 Potatoes

I just saw the UK movie "The Trip" (2011) by Michael Winterbottom. It was so funny and simple yet clever. I didn't even realize the movie was almost 110 mins long. The road trip to north and food critiques were very amusing to my eyes. Highly recommended.

Synopsis: Steve Coogan has been asked by The Observer to tour the country's finest restaurants, but after his girlfriend backs out on him he must take his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob Brydon. (IMDb)

Official Site & Trailer:

USA: In Theater Now

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


3.5 Potatoes

I saw this movie "RAPT" (2009) by Lucas Belvaux at COLCOA last year. It is loosely based on an actual event. Yvan Attal's performance is very convincing and the story is very intense as you think this incident really happened!

SYNOPSIS: Lucas Belvaux’s edge-of-your-seat thriller - inspired by the 1978 kidnapping of French industrialist Edouard-Jean Empain - features a career-defining performance by Yvan Attal (Munich, My Wife Is an Actress) as a millionaire playboy who is abducted and held for ransom for 60 days. (COLCOA)

Official Selection COLCOA 2010
LAFCA Special Prize:

Official Site:

USA: IN THEATER July 6 in New York (Film Forum)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quote of the Day - Spanish

La Cita del Día - Corazón

Federico García Lorca
"Mira a la derecha y a la izquierda del tiempo y que tu corazón aprenda a estar tranquilo."

- Federico García Lorca

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Super 8 Not So Super

1.5 Potatoes

So finally I saw the movie "Super 8" (2011) by J.J. Abrams. Not to mention this film is produced by none other than Mr. Steven Spielberg. The man who created the unforgettable movie "E.T." (1982) and he sort of helped creating this conspiracy theory revealing movie.

The train crash in Ohio was based on the real event which was suspected of transporting something very confidential: Alliance, Ohio Train wreck of 1972

Overall, the movie was kind of the Goonies meets the Alien who ends up as a E.T.. None of the actors were too convincing and none of the kids except the main boy will be a star. And the kid's film at the end was so unnecessary.

The story was so identical to the movie "E.T.": a single parent home kid encounters something mysterious and cruises around town on bike... including the ending with the all of the sudden so adorable alien with the boy saying 'go home'...

Alliance, Ohio Train Crash 1972
The only good part of the film was the amazing train crash as my friend already told me about it beforehand, and the soundtrack. That was about it.

Official Site & Trailer:

USA: Showing In Theater Now

Namae wo Nakushita Megami - JDrama

5 Potatoes so far

An Watanabe (center)
I am currently watching the Japanese drama called "Namae wo Nakushita Megami" (2011) - 名前を無くした女神 by Fuji Television with An Watanabe (the daughter of well known Japanese actor Ken Watanabe). The catch copy is "Welcome to Mama Friend's Hell." - 「ようこそ、ママ友地獄へ。」

Each episode I watch gives me goose bumps. The story is about the mothers of kindergarten children. They call them Mama Tomo - ママ友 - mama friend. Apparently they hangout all the time, but they compete each other in anyway possible not to mention with their childrens' grades to which elementary school they are going to apply and what type of lifestyle others have and much more. Endless jealousy and unnecessary revenge everyday. Somethings one does to another are almost criminally insane. I keep saying "can they do that???" all the time. One episode, one mother almost kidnapped another child out of jealousy. We weren't sure what she was going to do to this boy, because he was rescued just on time!

OH I wish everyone in the world can watch this! It is unbelievable!

Official Site & Trailer:

USA: DVD Available at Japanese DVD Stores Near You
Online Streaming Available if you Google

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quote of the Day - French

La Citation du Jour: Pensée

The Little Prince"On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, extrait de "Le Petit Prince"

"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, extract from "The Little Prince"

Stop for a second to reflect on your life

unknown source

In the past a few days, I have been receiving a few posts by friends on FB regarding 'LIFE'. It is interesting to see these words are circulating around the world, maybe it is a sign or something is telling you to STOP for a moment and look back.

The life we live in is moving faster than the speed of light. Why are we in such a rush? Where are we going? Are we leaving something behind? There will be no reward at the end of the road as we know it, because we already missed all the valuable moments along the way.

Life is short, reflect on it while you can...

"The Trip"

Here is one movie I really want to see this week. "The Trip" (2010) by Michael Winterbottom.

Just by watching the trailer itself was already funny to me. British countryside, gourmet food and British humor, what more can I ask for!

I am just in the perfect mood for this.
Stay tuned for more comment :)

Synopsis: When Steve Coogan is asked by The Observer to tour the country's finest restaurants, he envisions it as the perfect getaway with his beautiful girlfriend. But, when she backs out on him, he has no one to accompany him but his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob Brydon. As the brilliant comic duo, freestyling with flair, drive each other mad with constant competition and showdowns of competing impressions (including dueling Michael Caines, Sean Connerys and Al Pacinos), the ultimate odd couple realize in the end a rich amount about not only good food, but the nature of fame, relationships and their own lives. (

Official Site & Trailer:

USA: In Theater Now
USA: VOD on June 22, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quote of the day - Italian

La Citazione del Giorno: Amicizia

"Quando nel dolore si hanno compagni che lo condividono, l’animo può superare molte sofferenze." - William Shakespeare

Saturday, June 11, 2011


1.5 Potatoes

I went to the Summer Night in Korea event tonight at the Ford Theater in Hollywood and saw the movie "Bestseller" (2010) - 베스트셀러 (Be-seu-teu-sel-leo) by Lee Jeong-ho.

I was a bit disappointed because it wasn't too scary. There was one surprise plot though everything else was too predictable. The actress Uhm Jung-hwa's performance wasn't too convincing either.
And I think I caught a cold during the outdoor screening tonight too... Oh well...

Synopsis: Hee-soo has been a bestselling author for the past 20 years. But her reputation and fame are all butchered overnight when she is accused of plagiarizing a competition entry that she juried. She falls into despair for 2 years, but with the help of her long-time friend publisher, she dreams of a spectacular comeback. She drives to a remote pension deep in a small town with her daughter Yun-hee. At this quiet and uncanny pension, Yun-hee begins talking to an unidentified figure. Dying for a new source of inspiration, Hee-soo turns the stories that Yun-hee hears from this figure into her new book, which turns into a bestseller. But her regained fame doesn’t last long as she is again accused of plagiarizing a novel that was published 10 years ago. In order to prove her innocence, Hee-soo begins a mysterious journey to expose the truth. (

USA Release Date Unknown

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Lily Sometimes"

3 Potatoes

"Lily Sometimes" (2010) - Pieds nus sur les limaces (2009) by Fanienne Berthaud - a winner of Art Cinema Award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival Directors' Fortnight - was shown at this year's COLCOA 2011 in April.

The story somewhat reminds me of yet another French film "The Eighth Day" (1996) - Le Huitième Jour by Jaco van Dormael. Anyway I thought it was slow at first but soon I got sucked into the story and I was stunned by the acting of Ludivine Sagnier. She is always good but this time her performance was, let's say, incroyable.

This film will be shown on TV5 this month: Sunday, June 19th at 5:30pm PST, 8:30pm EST

Synopsis (ENG): "...Ludivine Sagnier - who won a Lumière Award for her performance - is Lily, an eccentric young girl who lives with her mother in the countryside. A free-spirit who defiantly ignores all social conventions, she is determined to live according to her every whim. When her mother suddenly dies, Lily’s quirkiness veers to uncontrollable behavior and her older sister Clara (Diane Kruger) feels compelled to move in with her. Serious and conservative, Clara claims to be happy, working in her husband’s Parisian law office. But once she moves in with Lily, Clara begins to question her own life..." (COLCOA)

Synopsis (FR):Lily, drôle, exubérante et insaisissable, vit dans un univers fantaisiste en harmonie avec la nature, à la campagne, chez sa mère. Sa grande soeur, Clara, mariée et citadine, a quitté la maison familiale. A la mort de leur mère, Clara doit bouleverser ses priorités pour s’occuper de Lily. Les deux sœurs vont alors se révéler l'une à l'autre… Clara sous l’influence de Lily va remettre sa vie en question et goûter a une certaine liberté... (AlloCiné)

USA: TV5 Monde, Sunday June 19th, 2011 at 5:30pm PST, 8:30pm EST
USA: DVD Availability Unknown

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