Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sight (2012)

In the future people can use applications onto their eyes and brains in order to indulge their wills. You can play video games or you can program your day or even plan a date. But what is the dark secret behind all this?

Sight from Sight Systems on Vimeo.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Gloaming - Nobrain (2010)

Welcome to the nightmarish world of No brain. Where a man lost in the desert creates somehow a smaller world with his civilization's process. The mankind represented by a special technique that combines two different animation styles. The past, the present and the future of a race rising and falling apart. Just brilliant!

THE GLOAMING from Sabotage Studio on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rebus Film Nr. 1 (1925, Paul Leni)

It's time to squeeze your mind a little bit. An "extra" shown in two parts at the movie theater, before and after a feature: part one gives the clues to six words in a crossword puzzle, part two gives the answers. In addition to the visual clues, which are clips of a party, an Asian country, a European city, table games, winter, and bullfighting, there are montages of street scenes and spinning objects. A simple cartoon character, Mr. Rebus, walks the audience through the clues, and title cards encourage the participation of the theatergoers.

Il gatto a nove code aka The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971)

When Dario Argento directs his second film and Ennio Morricone puts the soundtrack the result shall be just great. This is another 'Giallo' mystery film about a series of murders connected to a pharmaceutical company. Franco Arno is an interesting character. Although he is blind he used to be an active journalist and now he makes a living writing crossword puzzles. He lives with his young niece Lory and one night as they return home, he overhears a weird conversation that troubles him. Soon murders that have to mess with people who work at the company make him believe that something strange happens and he decides to investigate it with the help of reporter Carlo Giordani. The cinematography and suspense are at high levels and Karl Malden gives a good performance as a blind man.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

π (1998)

After fourteen years I decided to watch back this incredible film that still gives me the creeps. A dark opera and a twisted nightmare that came out from the futuristic view of one of my favorite directors, Darren Aronofsky. There is maybe a thin line between insanity and genius. Max is ready to cross the boundaries as he is stuck into an unsolved mathematics theory. He tries to understand the meaning of life through numbers and unlock the universal patterns found in nature. But this research will lead him to madness and paranoia. Both a fanatic Jewish sect and a powerful street market corporation attempt to reach him and make him work for them unsuccessfully. Will Max escape from this endless trip though hell and what is the cost for finding the name of God as represented from the numbers? PI was a massive impact of this period to our teenage minds as well and still an underground surprise that haunted us for years with its delicate direction and astonishing soundtrack.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rockfish - Tim Miller (2004)

At first we can see a a miner working on a desert of a distant planet. But he faces problems during digging, or is it something else? A beautiful work from Blur Studios.

Bao wei zhan dui zhi chu dong la! Peng you! aka Let's go (2011)

How much action can you take? This is a fucking inspiring homage to 1980s Japanese superhero cartoons like SPACE EMPEROR GOD SIGMA. Siu as a child was a big fan of this space opera anime. One day he loses his father due to a gunfire between the police and some gangsters and his reality falls apart. He has special powers and he is really good at martial arts. This is the reason that he is being hired by a mobster and being part of his security team. He likes boss Hon's daughter Annie but his duty is overall. After an unsuccessful attempt for a another team to take out Hon, an internal fraud in the security department will come into light. Shing and his brother are the responsible for that action and as Hon tries to eliminate them, the survivors and ex partners of his elite collective will pay him back. Siu now is in the middle of a war. But there is also someone else who tries to help him in the dark. Hong Kong stylized action like the 80s era films, excellent direction and a little bit of dramatic sequence give us this strong experience.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The thing from another world (1951)

That was the beginning. The first movie about an alien entity who arrives at the North Pole ready to conquer the world. Of course Carpenter's remake is much better at many points but it is still a classic sci fi film that is interesting and watchable. Captain Patrick Hendry flies with his crew and curious reporter Scotty at an Arctic research station as they have to meet Dr. Arthur Carrington and take part at a research project finding a flying spacecraft that is buried on ice. They accidentally destroy the object but its passenger manages to escape and being trapped on ice. So the soldiers alongside with the scientists team release him from the ice without knowing his power and domestic will to kill them. The action is poor and sometimes the plot is slow. But it is more optimistic than Carpenter's remake and its characters are more capable. I should prefer something more spicy as the alien instead of a creature that looked like more as Frankenstein's monster.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hong Xi Guan aka Executioners from Shaolin (1977)

The evil master Pai Mei aka 'White Brows' under the orders of Qing court destroys the old Shaolin temple and kills master Zhishan. Hung Hsi Kuan and his fellows pals escape from Mei's satanic henchman Gao and disguise as theater actors performing Shaolin Kung Fu shows for a period and travel on the red boats that are a strong military unit made by Shaolin against the tyrannical Manchurian regime. Old man Fang and his nephew Wan Yung-Chun who is an expert at Crane-style fighting feel upset about the competition between them and the actors and Wan settles a fight with Hung. But fate connects them and they fall in love together. They marry and soon have a son who will avenge Hung's death after his second attempt to defeat Pai Mei. His secret to win is to combine both Tiger and Crane fighting styles together. Will he make it? Another moving gem from Shaw Bros productions.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sid and Nancy (1986)

This is a couple to remember if you are interested into history of punk rock music. Sid Vicious was the bassist of the Sex Pistols, the group that gave fame to punk rock worldwide. Sid's real name was John Ritchie and he was given that nick by an old friend when his hamster 'Sid' bit John and he said that 'Sid is really vicious'. Quite not a normal guy with addiction to drugs, fights and violence. He met Nancy at a place and he ask for her to find him some drugs. This was the beginning of an abnormal relationship full of shouts, pain, fear, paranoia and drugs. Nancy started manipulating Sid and the others members of the group didn't like her because of her attitude and her character. She was suicidal and Sid followed her into this trip to hell. Nice performances, Gary Oldman was really representative on his role and the plot was fine even if I wanted it to be more completed.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Le scaphandre et le papillon aka The diving bell and the butterfly (2007)

This is the real and deeply dramatic story of a man who tries to understand life and communicate with his environment after a massive stroke that turns him into a full paralyzed person. Jean-Dominique Bauby had everything he ever wanted, a successful career as famous Elle magazine's editor, three children from his ex wife and a beautiful new partner. But luck someday stops being by his side. After the tragic accident, he feels as a soul locked in a dead body, a diving bell lost in the middle of the abyss. The only way to communicate with the others is by clicking his left eye. We will witness his tremendous effort to heal himself as the recuperative team of physical therapist Marie and speech therapist Henriette put their passion to help him. Actually Bauby manages to write his story and thoughts on a book before the unexpected end. A magic touch in my soul this film was. What can I say? An optimistic view from the eye of a man who never let it down and tried to survive. A lone hero and a beautiful soul as well. Excellent performances from the whole cast, dreamy cinematography and a story that will make you cry for sure.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mugen no Juunin aka Blade of the Immortal (2008)

Rin Asano is the only member of the Mutenichi dojo left alive after the lethal attack of Anotsu Kagehisa, a genius swordsman and leader of Ittou-Ryuu clan. He and his comrades kill Rin's parents and disgrace her dojo. After two years, she seeks for revenge hiring Manji, a cursed Samurai that cannot die due to the 'kessen-chu' bloodworms living in his body and can heal all wounds. Manji can die only by a rare poison. When his sister is being killed, he gets mad and swears to kill one thousand samurais. He feels sad about her loss and sometimes frustrated about his situation. Maybe tired that continues to live. So Rin gives him some more motivation with her intentions about her revenge. This is a great anime based on the legendary manga and gives us a first taste of blood and philosophical issues about vengeance, life and death. The actions scenes are good, there is drama and suspense around and the project is working well.

Xin shao lin si aka Shaolin (2011)

General Hou is a ruthless and violent military guy who wants to gain more power through war and destroy everyone who stands upon him. He is greedy and he wants to expand his power conquering more territories. He plans to kill another warlord that together have a brotherhood but there are more secrets ready to expand and change the situation around. His best soldier and right hand, Cao Man betrays him and try to assassinate Hou and his family. The last one tries to escape and save his beloved. He hides over the mountains at the Shaolin temple and ask for their help even if he messed up with them at the previous past. The master there allows to stay with them as Hou feels terrible pain for his child loss. His philosophy about life and death is going to change dramatically but the nightmare is not ending yet as Cao Man follows his path and attacks at the temple. Great cinematography from another excellent action film. Andy Lau performs well and Jackie Chan is cool as always.