Friday, 22 September 2017
Like the titular princess (Zhang Ziyi) the film isn't fixed in any one particular form. It's varied, a traditional film one minute, a kabuki-esque production the next, or even something resembling a picture book brought to life with the unreality of chroma key occasionally working in its favour! A number of differing musical styles add further strangeness and character.
The trailer should be enough to either intrigue or repel you, so it's perhaps a good idea to check it out before diving into Suzuki's madness feet first.
3½ jewelled tears out of 5
Tuesday, 19 September 2017
There's a scene early in the film that's harrowing to watch, given additional wallop by a powerful musical accompaniment. It's the reason the story goes in the direction it does, but a subsequent turn of events weakens the set-up. It's as if the makers feared they'd gone too far and attempted to alleviate the criticism they might receive. I feel that was a mistake, and is likely the reason the film is remembered more for its beginning than for its entirety.
Welch's character works best when silent. Thankfully, Robert Culp is on hand to pick up the slack there, doubling as tutor and mentor in both practicalities and the more meaningful soul-searching aspects of the story.
3 cold nights out of 5
Saturday, 16 September 2017
It's a standard Sunday afternoon whodunit that gets a little silly at times, but the inclusion of Agnes Moorehead as the author and Vincent Price as a somewhat secretive doctor is too good to pass up. There are some real bats, but the title refers to a 'faceless' killer with the moniker of 'The Bat'.
3 clawed-fingers out of 5
Wednesday, 13 September 2017
It's a lavish production in which Heston dominates even when he's attempting to be humble; Brynner oozes a venomous charm as Moses' ambitiously jealous sibling; while the ladies captivate whether they be decked in finery or rags.
It rarely feels like it isn't staged every step of the way, even the on location scenes feel overly-managed, but it makes up for that with the large amount of sheer drama that it brings to the table. Only the last half hour lets the side down, wherein it rushes to deliver its concluding message.
4½ binding ties out of 5
Sunday, 10 September 2017
3½ X chromosomes out of 5
Thursday, 7 September 2017
It's a well-made film with a solid foundation and actors that are mostly believable in their roles. The few action scenes that add colour are dramatic and equally well-shot. To be fair, the script isn't bad either, but it wasn't as captivating as it needed to be in order to be more than the sum of its parts.
3 hijacked rigs out of 5
Monday, 4 September 2017
The motivations of some cast members are in place but they're buried in blandness. The score takes no chances; it's mostly generic, rarely breaking free from the chains of romanticised melodrama that its tethered to. The most memorable thing about the film is the cinematography during daylight hours.
2½ cups of coffee (needed to endure the damn thing) out of 5
Friday, 1 September 2017
Part One it's a list that'll likely be added to in the future. Click the coloured text below to see the full collection:
Thursday, 31 August 2017
It's a lengthy list (sorted alphabetically) that will no doubt increase in the future, so I've put it after the cut. Click it to see the full collection:
Monday, 28 August 2017
3 Appropriate Nods to George Orwell out of 5
Nutted by NEG.
In the Hindi version Rishabh and Parineeta (Khan and Zinta) are in love, the contrived, too perfect kind that makes an onlooker sick with revulsion.
It's a callous thing to say but I was glad when the inevitable tragedy screwed them; the reason being that what followed at least had the potential to be less mediocre. Alas, the potential was equally watered down. The basic idea remained entirely basic, challenging nothing but an endurance for blandness.
A viewer who's less critical and more sentimental than I am may be able to derive something they consider worthwhile from the film, but they'll need also to be more forgiving of plodding narratives and shoddy editing.
2 pretty Preity pictures out of 5
Friday, 25 August 2017
It's the same person but in two different eras. The adult Taeko replays and relives her memories of fifth-grade, reflecting on the trials of youth, the hopes and dreams she had and how they stack up to where she is now in her life. When combined they make one complete story – one lengthy journey toward an unwritten future. The deliberate undefined edges that some scenes employ suggests that feelings and situations we thought were complete at the time might actually have lines that aren't filled in until years later, provided we're wise and daring enough to make the connections.
Tuesday, 22 August 2017
The titular character is a Minor League baseball pitcher who inherits a large sum of cash. The rub is that in order to claim ownership of the loot he must first meet the unusual criteria set by his dead relative: Brewster must spend $30 million in just 30 days and by the end have no assets to show for it.
A money problem approached from the opposite perspective than usual is a fun idea, but in reality it's reliant on Richard Pryor's onscreen personality from beginning to end. Without his comedic talent it would still be a fun idea, but most likely also a more forgettable film than it honestly already is.
Monday, 21 August 2017
It certainly doesn't hurt that it links who I consider to be the greatest in the East and the West via the impeccable Deai Masayuki.
4 Minus Three Degrees of Yayoi out of 5
Nutted by NEG.
Saturday, 19 August 2017
It's certainly not Pam's best work; not quite amateur hour but not far removed either. On the plus side the two leads definitely work well together, Weathers makes a believable villain, Scatman is his usual great self, and the music is memorable. I'd like to have seen more of the police lieutenant (Ed Cambridge) because he was fun. In conclusion, it has the feel of a TV Movie and if not for occasional nudity it'd probably be suitable for Sunday afternoon viewing.
2½ seduction brandies out of 5