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Written By: frenchy on February 9, 2007 No Comment

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Another year, another film festival. I’m totally exhausted by the whole thing: broke my record of movies seen (23 this year), even went to some of the crew parties. Worst challenge was the Monday after the last crew party: back to work, sitting in a room full of serious people yapping about whatever’s important, while I still need to get some more hours of sleep.. The things you do for Movies, heheh..
So, how was the festival itself? Fine,

  • I enjoyed quite a lot of movies, saving the best and the worst ones for the last day.
  • Didn’t check how many Johnnie To movies I’d selected, looking back, maybe two or three too many
  • The location for the festival volunteers sucks like lemons – Nothing happens on the fourth floor at Lantaren/Venster..
  • Enjoyed quite some nice company this year again: the endless talk about movies, directors and genres combined with some of the most ludicrous chatter always makes me smile ;)

Oh, check out the list of the Audience Awards for this years festival. My first movie’s in 15th place, not one of the movies I saw were any closer to the top ten. Oh well.. This year’s winner? Seems interesting, I’ll be checking it out when it arrives to our cinemas.

Funniest movie: The Host (and scariest..)
Best FeelGood movie: My Mother Is A Belly Dancer
Weirdest movie: The Last Dining Table (tough cookie..)
Best Eye Candy movie: What a Wonderful World (sigh..)

Counting down the days for next year!

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Written By: frenchy on February 4, 2007 No Comment

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Movie: Nightmare Detective (Tsukamoto Shinya, Japan , 2006 – 106 ‘ ) imdb link

Date: Feb 3, 2007

Rating: ★½☆☆☆ (being generous here, okay?)

Plot: Having bad dreams? The Nightmare Detective can help you get rid of them. Call 1-800-NITE!

Cast: skippable..

Visuals: Very, very annoying editing

Conclusion: Heheh.. My last movie of the festival.. And it had to my first really crappy movie of the fesitval. Bound to happen, but why the last one? Oh well. The plot could have been interesting, but it got butchered with an incredibly blunt nail clipper. The cast, nope – if there were any great performances, I missed them. I’m not a horror/slasher movie fan, but a good story and okay acting can make it entertaining to watch. Sure as hell didn’t happen in this movie.

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Written By: frenchy on February 4, 2007 3 Comments

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Movie: A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (Dito Montiel, USA , 2006 – 98 ‘ ) imdb link

Date: Feb 3, 2007

Rating: ★★★★★ (gotta go see this one again..)

Plot: Yet another coming-of-age movie? Yes, but it still is fresh and interesting. Partly auto-biographical, writer/director Dito Montiel shows us his teenage youth, living in New York city in the eighties. Friendships, love interests, family ties, it’s all there.

Cast: Robert Downey Jr.’s gazillionth comeback proves again that the man can act. Great work by Chazz Palminteri as the dad and Shia LaBeouf as the young Dito. Scariest performance is by Channing Tatum as the troubled Antonio; now there’s an actor that’s hopefully gonna become more than just another beefcake actor.

Visuals: Gloomy atmosphere the whole film through, works perfectly.

Conclusion: A coupla things annoyed me, like the incredibly crowded dialogue in the kitchen scenes and the sometimes jarring editing that really wasn’t adding to the movie at all. What I liked about the movie? Still can’t put my finger on it. The sense of sadness and anger, the threats and promises, lost love and how that’s handled in the movie; all these things kept creeping in my head after I saw the film. Not a lot of movies can do that successfully, and this one does. In many ways, I know that I’ll be thinking about this movie these next months, something that can’t be said of most movies I saw at the festival (regardless of how much I enjoyed them).
Oh, and Rosario Dawson? Definitely more than just a hot chick..

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Written By: frenchy on February 4, 2007 No Comment

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Movie: Paprika (Kon Satoshi, Japan , 2006 – 90 ‘ ) imdb link

Date: Feb 2, 2007

Rating: ★★★★☆ (anime eye candy)

Plot: A machine that helps patients with psychiatric illnesses through their dreams, is stolen whilst still being in development phase. Who stole the machine? How harmful can it be if used for less humane reasons?

Cast: skippable..

Visuals: Well detailed, sometimes photo-realistic (they used photos for some of the city landscape scenes) and almost always gorgeous artwork.

Conclusion: The plot can be bit confusing sometimes, the dreams-within-dreams thing kinda gets to you. The discovering the culprits and the climactic confrontation that follows, is standard story-telling work. The weirdness is typical sci-fi anime. It’s the visuals (as usual) that support the movie, love it.

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Written By: frenchy on February 4, 2007 No Comment

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Movie: Strawberry Shortcakes (Yazaki Hitoshi, Japan , 2006 – 127′) imdb link

Date: Feb 2, 2007

Rating: ★★★½☆ (sweet, slightly depressing, but sweet..)

Plot: We get to see the lives of four women and their different problems, joys and sorrows.

Cast: The ladies are four of Japan’s well-known actresses, I enjoyed Kiriko Nananan’s disturbing neuroses best.

Visuals: Not a lot of splashy stuff, it’s very toned down to strengthen the plot and its characters.

Conclusion: The types are a bit typical: the ugly duckling, the morbid prostitute in search of true love, the girl with the happy facade and the disturbed artist. Nice enough movie, sometimes a bit too slow. I liked the ending where the girls come together. It was worth watching that early in the morning ;)

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