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30 November 2003 @ 06:49 pm
A Movie Round-Up  

Kill Bill, Vol. One

Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids. I loved this movie - it is quite possibly the best film Tarantino has made as a director/writer. The characters, and their development, are top-notch for both their believability and their sympathy. The episodic plot structure meshes well with the story being told, and its homage to the genre of Hong Kong Action.


The anime flashback - some high-quality stuff. If there was one thing I'd warn people about, it's the blood. There is a killer whale-tank's worth of blood in this movie - and this is only the first part. Decapitation, maiming, and lots, and lots, and lots of blood. It makes Dead Alive look like cutting your finger on an envelope.

So remember, bring Grandma. Doc gives this 5 out of 5. My mom hasn't seen it, and hopefully never will.

Bulletproof Monk

Honestly, I don't know what some people seem to have against this movie. I really liked it. It's an enjoyable action film, with the occasional throwback to Kung Fu and modern koans. The writers did their homework, it has Mako, and Stiffler makes a believable level of action star for his role in the film. Is the end cheesy? Yeah - what the fuck do you care? Prophecy works like that sometimes.

It is in no place to wipe out Godfather as one of the greatest films ever, but a good time was had by all, and I may have accidentally been enlightened by the hot dog koan. Doc gives this 4 out of 5 stars, partially because Leonard Maltin is a dick.

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie

This movie, as I discovered, is not Cowboy Bebop: Knocking on Heaven's Door. For those of you who think it is, or might be, you are mistaken. Because in the original Japanese theatrical release, Yoko Kanno's bluesy/rocksy background music has not been replaced by trite, poorly-translated English crap. "I want to be the one to pop your cherry . . ." . . . NO! This does NOT belong in the Cowboy Bebop movie. Ever. Never ever!

Enough of that. For those of you living under rocks, Cowboy Bebop is the successful melding of the cowboy genre of storytelling with the Bebop jazz genre of music as a framework for an anime series about a stylish, hot-shot, ex-Syndicate bounty hunter stud with a death wish, an aging, one-armed ex-cop bounty hunter with some Bonsai plants, a buxom female bounty hunter who has forgotten the past and has one hell of a memory problem, a 10-year-old über-hacker who sings and rambles like Nell, and a data dog who can read your mind and predict the future. Okay, the dog's kind of ordinary, but not. Never mind the dog.

The movie fits into the series continuity at an appropriate place, fleshing out some more of the characters and their backstories. It is an enjoyable romp through the world of bio-terrorism, bounty hunting, and the themes explored in the series. To a certain extent, the movie stands on its own, but rather weakly.

Since the original Japanese version was a 5 out of 5, I give this 4 out of 5, since the music truly makes me want to cringe, hem, haw, and plant needles behind my eyes. But I'm getting ahead of myself. You should see the series in conjunction with the movie (in either case) - not just because it makes both of them bettter, but because it is your duty to humanity.

Bowling for Columbine

As an American, you need to see this movie. Not because it is a fair and balanced look at the issue of fear and guns in our country (it isn't), or because it is a stirring documentary without the use of editing (it isn't that either). You need to see this movie, because it is a wake-up call to America today. It is the answer for your problems with feeling proud to be an American. It is, in short, genius.

I give it 5 out of 5. I have little to add to all that has been said before. If a documentary can make you truly think, it deserves watching. When it simultaneously presents itself within context for repeat viewing by future generations, and is able to keep your attention, it is a classic. Bowling for Columbine is all of these.

Perfect Blue

If the back of your skull demands hard fucking in a manner completely dissimilar to the type it received during Neon Genesis Evangelion, this is the picture for you. It's hard to say what the movie is genuinely about - I have a feeling, deep within the sub-cockles of my heart, that it was designed specifically in retaliation for Fat Man and Little Boy. You know what I'm talking about.

This movie is a surrealistic mind-fuck about celebrity, identity, and something else that is probably very important. See, it's an important movie - so people will ask you to watch it, because mankind was not meant to suffer, needlessly, alone. It prefers suffering in groups. There are some who would go so far as to call that "justice".

I don't really know well enough what to tell you about it, in terms of seeing it or not. I want you to see it, because my skull hurts, and maybe spreading the pain around a little might help. But I was also not impressed with the artsiness of it. I can appreciate it as a movie, and the mind-fuck it is posturing to be, but it became too confusing at some points for my mind to be fucked right proper. You should ask Phil, Abra, or others who have been violated by this movie for a more concicse opinion. I found it difficult to follow, and unlikely that I would be eager to see it again any time soon.


If you are squeamish about torture, do not see this movie. It will be torture. If you have ever dated a serial killer, do not see this movie. It's gonna hit close to home. If your'e a man, tou will re-define what dating means to you afterwards. Your balls will also retreat deep within your loins at several key moments.

But what a pretty movie!

And WOW! I'm NEVER going to see it, ever again!

And now, a Pirates of the Caribbean drinking game. Thoughts and additions welcome, especially from my cohort who co-created the Star Wars: Episode IV drinking game.

As a DJ, it is helpful to know that a CD liner is 12 cm by 12 cm.
elfdope on November 30th, 2003 05:20 pm (UTC)
On Perfect Blue and Audition
Perfect Blue:
There are two available versions of this film, one is the unrated directors cut, and the other is the one shown in Japan in its original release. The original is 80% on the mindfuck scale compared to the uncut, and its plot moves a little smoother. Additionally, the cuts were well, well made and manage to keep all of the important elements of the film. Basic plot: an obsessive stalker goes crazy on the ex-J-Popstar turned actress, as the actress slowly loses it.

The movie is Satoshi Kon's directorial debut, and suffers occasionally from a little too much of the confusing plot. After 2 or 3 watchings I would say 85-95% of the movie makes complete sense, you have remaining questions for the rest that can be based on textual references.

This along with Ring kickstarted the Japanese Horror trend which ended a few years ago. Underneath it all it has important things to say about the way men view women in Japanese society, in the same way that Basic Instinct or Fatal Attraction says important things about the way men view women in American society.

As a side note, I thought you (being Doc) were wanting to be IN when we showed this to Susan. She needs to see it obviously.
masui on November 30th, 2003 05:58 pm (UTC)
Re: On Perfect Blue and Audition
It's so strange.
Sometimes I feel like you people over there are way more into Japan than a certain people of here, namely me.
elfdope on November 30th, 2003 07:54 pm (UTC)
Re: On Perfect Blue and Audition
Doc failed to mention that we watched Perfect Blue in the English Dub, and it was glorious. If the dub is good enough there is no reason for someone who doesn't understand Japanese to read along. For this idea I will surely burn at the stake.

Film wise, Japan is the new Hong Kong. It is where (3-10 years ago) some of the most interesting films in the world were made that no one noticed. Now we can hunt and find them and watch them and be cool.

From what I hear Korea is supposed to displace them, but I don't see how from the Korean films I have seen. In Europe its still all about the Italians, but I hear the Spanish are on the rise again (of course to the French its all about the French). There also seems to be a pulse coming from Bali-wood, but I don't know much there.
Hoc Est Qui Sumus: Devourdiscoflamingo on December 1st, 2003 07:50 am (UTC)
Re: On Perfect Blue and Audition
Also, what are your thoughts on improving the Pirates drinking game? You helped me create the Star Wars game - or did you forget in the aftermath of Tatooine?
XCorvisxcorvis on November 30th, 2003 07:17 pm (UTC)
Now you need to see Tampopo and The Pillow Book. I'll let you look them up.
Hillarysusanofstohelit on November 30th, 2003 08:38 pm (UTC)
is the pillow book that incredibly weird one with ewan mcgregor? and skin?

i'd forgotten about perfect blue - i actually watched it in class at mac. odd movie, surprised it didn't give me nightmares. did make me glad my stalker wasn't *that* crazy.
XCorvisxcorvis on December 1st, 2003 06:28 am (UTC)
Skin, yup. And ink. And writing. And the hot Japanese chick, and the eunich.
nettnessbondchick_nett on December 1st, 2003 04:23 pm (UTC)
Do you know what? I think now after reading your reviews of these films - four of which are on my all time greats list, for the same reasons as you it seems - that I've found a new friend...


It seems I really MUST see Audition. *plans a new past-time for this thursday night* I really must ring around my friends and invite them over: "Hi guys! Wanna come over to my place for margueritas and a really FUCKED UP film??" *giggles*

hope you don't mind, I'm adding you to my already scary friends list.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on December 1st, 2003 04:58 pm (UTC)
I don't mind at all - I'm adding you back.

How did you even run across my journal, if you don't mind me asking?
nettnessbondchick_nett on December 1st, 2003 05:06 pm (UTC)
lol! I think from the questions community. :D :D you had a reply to one of the recent questions and you had this gabe cardboard tube samurai icon, so I thought 'Anyone with that as their lj icon deserves closer inspection'

word to the wise with adding me to your lj friends list? I pollute it.. XD XD