Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Norwegian Wood"

2.5 Potatoes

I just saw a sneak preview of the much anticipated film "Norwegian Wood" (2010) by Tran Anh Hung, French-Vietnamese director, and base on the novel by Haruki Murakami. None of his novels are never made into film and this was the first one.

This film was filmed in Japanese with some known and talented Japanese actors: Kenichi Matsuyama for one, he is known for playing the character "L" in the film "Death Note: L Change the World" (2008), young yet very talented and became a father of a baby with actress Koyuki (Last Samurai) a few days ago.
I was also surprised how great the young model Kiko Mizuhara was. BRAVO for her.

The film starts very very slow. On top of that, Rinko Kikuchi is not a great choice for this film.
In my opinion, she got her recognition showing her crotch and explicit sex scenes, nothing to do with her acting ability. She doesn't even have an aura. She has no training, no experience in acting before she got the part of the film "Babel" (2006). Her voice is horrible, the way she speaks is horrible. It is about time for directors to realize she is no good. PLEASE!

I also wondered always that when the director films in foreign dialogues, how does he or she knows if the dialogue was spoken the way the director wishes?? Isn't that hard to direct if you don't know the language? I think it was also the negative point in this film, that both side of actors and director weren't using their talent to the max... well, that is only my opinion.

I would give 3.5 Potatoes if the main female character wasn't Rinko.

Synopsis: Tokyo, the late 1960s... Students around the world are uniting to overthrow the establishment and Toru Watanabe's personal life is similarly in tumult. At heart, he is deeply devoted to his first love, Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman. But their complex bond has been forged by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Watanabe lives with the influence of death everywhere. That is, until Midori, a girl who is everything that Naoko is not - outgoing, vivacious, supremely self-confident - marches into his life and Watanabe must choose between his past and his future. (Official Site)

Official Site & Trailer:

USA: In Theater Jan 27, 2012 (LA)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"The Kid with a Bike"

3.5 Potatoes

I saw one of the Golden Globes 2012 Foreign-Language Nominees film by Dardenne brothers from Belgium "The Kid with a Bike" (2010) - Le Gamin au Vélo by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne last night.

I usually not so fan of their films because they are depressing and mono-toned to me. BUT I see their films on DVD whenever they are available, just to see if I see them differently... But this time, it was different. I liked it. I loved the music effect also and the relationship between the boy and the woman. There was connection between them.

After the film, there was a Q&A, and actually the Dardenne brothers have such a great sense of humor! WHO KNEW?

It is highly recommended. ENJOY!

Synopsis (ENG): Abandoned by his father, a young boy is left in a state-run youth farm. In a random act of kindness, the town hairdresser agrees to foster him on weekends. (IMDb)

Synopsis (FR): Cyril, bientôt 12 ans, n'a qu'une idée en tête : retrouver son père qui l'a placé provisoirement dans un foyer pour enfants.
Il rencontre par hasard Samantha, qui tient un salon de coiffure et qui accepte de l'accueillir chez elle pendant les week-ends. Mais Cyril ne voit pas encore l'amour que Samantha lui porte, cet amour dont il a pourtant besoin pour apaiser sa colère ...

Official Site and Trailer:

USA: In Theater March 16, 2012

一月ドラマ「ハングリー」JP DRAMA

1 Potato or less for the rip off...

So I started to catch up with the January starts of the JP drama...

This one I just saw "Hungry" (2012) was a disappointment to me...
It is a total rip off of a German movie "Soul Kitchen" (2009) by Fatih Akin. I liked this movie a lot but the whole story line and even the movie set is pretty identical.

Seriously, can't you get your own original story???

Shame on you "Hungry"!!!!!

SOUL KITCHEN: In Hamburg, German-Greek chef Zinos unknowingly disturbs the peace in his locals-only restaurant by hiring a more talented chef. (IMDb)


Sunday, January 1, 2012

"A Separation"

3 Potatoes

Happy New Year everyone! Hope I can blog more often this year!

Today, I finally saw the ending of the film "A Separation" (2011)Jodaeiye Nader az Simin by Asghar Farhadi. I saw this film at the AFI Fest back in November but we had to leave early to catch another film... typical schedule conflict at the film festival...

Anyway, the story went very differently than how I expected. But I liked it, it was well done and well executed. I love his films mainly because he portrays their everyday life well: how people still struggle between the modern life and the old cultural life. The famous actress Leila Hatami, a daughter of the legendary Iranian director Ali Hatami, plays a small yet an important role. And the performance of both Sareh Bayat who plays the caretaker and Sarina Farhadi who plays the daughter are amazing.

I appreciated his last film "About Elly" (2009) - Darbareye Elly more, but both films are highly recommended!

Official Site & Trailer:

USA: In Theater NOW / Limited Time Release

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