Thursday, June 30, 2011

Collect them all!

(Image: Hasbro & MDVerde's Flickr page)

Some favorite Transformers 3 critical blurbs:

"I would say that this movie objectifies women, except for the obviously deep respect and affection it shows for objects." -Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)

"At some point merely extending an experience, whatever the attraction of the experience may be, doesn't add to it. It just makes you later getting home." -Steven D. Greydanus, Decent Films Guide

"Guys, stop telling Hollywood you want more story in your blockbusters. They don't get it. They think it just means adding more explanation. Each sequel has a BIGGER plot that overshadows the action by sheer magnitude." -Fred Topel, Screen Junkies

"The result is still like being urinated upon, but at least this time Michael Bay was considerate enough not to ingest asparagus first." -Garth Franklin, Dark Horizons

I should mention, in all honesty, that I've never seen any of the three movies. And that I kind of like the way asparagus pee smells.

(Go here for more: Rotten Tomatoes)

(Special Added Extra Transformers 2 Bonus: The Greatest Movie Review Ever Written)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ren and fan

Apropos of nothing, here is a picture I just stumbled across of the indispensable Japanese character actor Ren Osugi with a kitty-cat, courtesy of J-Film Pow Wow.

You're welcome.

Bad boy makes good: Takashi Miike on the border between trash and art

Don't you love it when directors turn out to look
exactly how you thought they would?
(Image: Subway Cinema News)
It's a small satisfaction to see that conventional wisdom is catching up to Takashi Miike, and realizing there's more to him than meets the punctured, fluid-leaking eye. He's reached a milestone with his latest to get a U.S. release, the samurai action-drama 13 Assassins, which has even earned him favorable comparisons with Akira Kurosawa - which has got to be a first with this guy, although as serenely self-confident as he appears to be, I'm sure he knew it was just a matter of time.

Miike's rep in the West has for a long time been based largely on two factors: his ridiculously prolific work habits - most counts credit the 50-year-old director with somewhere around 80 feature films over the past 20 years; and a predilection for outrageous grue and gag-reflex-inducing perversity.  The fact that he's a smart, talented and ambitious, if inevitably uneven, artist, if it gets mentioned at all, comes third (oops, there it happened again).  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The other China, Part Deux

(Image: Hong Kong Movie Database)
It occurs to me that I never finished commenting on last month's "Taiwan Stories" series at Lincoln Center, and I know you're all tearing your hair out over it.  Fear not!  I return!  This time, two older classics (one of which is only one year older than I, a fact I'm just not going to think about).  I don't seem to have taken notes, so at this remove, I can't comment in as much detail as I'd like.  Bad blogger, bad!  

Both, unlike the previous two I reviewed, are full-blown studio melodramas.  What's more, interestingly, and perhaps queasily, each prominently features a woman who sacrifices herself emotionally and sexually for others.

Autumn Execution (1971) - Li Xing's film, apparently a revered classic, took some work for me to warm to (this reviewer was less able to than I), as it's a would-be heart-tugger whose two most prominent characters are quite repellent.