Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dark water / Honogurai mizu no soko kara (Japan, 2002)

Dark Water is one of those Japanese horror stories which will give you an uncomfortable feeling from the first minute and will last for the entire film. There is no happiness in it all all, only a long chain of tragic events.
It all starts when a mother and her daughter are moving towards a new apartment, and almost immediately water starts dripping the ceiling. The little girl sees a little girl in a raincoat and starts to play on her own. What is the relation to another little girl who got lost two years before, why does the water never stop falling? Imagine a bathtub full of dark water......

And yes, there is also a truely terrifying scene in an elevator! No blood, no massacres but intense loneliness and sadness.

An very intense and mysterious horror film which is maybe most creepy but like I said before, it will give you a very sad and uncomfortable feeling. Interesting and impressive but verysad and sometimes even moving!

The brotherhood of the wolf / Le Pact des loups (France, 2001)

Historical tales are telling us that in 1765 a beast is killing people in south-west France.
The king’s taxidermist and a native Indian are trying to find out what this beast is (a wolf?) and where they can find it. The background is set in revolutionary France, so often the different ways of thinking (Enlightenment) are shown in this movie. The hunt for the beast begins…..

A really interesting horror movie unfolds! It is a really mysterious film, with betrayal, exciting moments, great fighting scenes, plot twists and beautiful women (Monica Bellucci and Emilie Dequenne). Their acting great, just like the main characters in this story (Samuel Le Bihan and Mark Dacascos). Maybe the runtime of the movie is a bit long with 140 minutes, but it doesn’t get boring.

A really mysterious horror film which should be watched on a dark winter's day!

Secret / Bu neng shuo de. mi mi (Hong Kong/Taiwan, 2007)

In Europe, classical music isn’t something anymore you often associate with young people. The complete opposite can be found in Asia, where classical music seems to be more popular than ever. It is even possible to become an idol, think of the brilliant Lang Lang who is an idol for many young Chinese.
‘Secret’ shows the importance and the popularity of this music in China. Idol, superstar and gifted actor, singer and director Jay Chou made a movie about the mystery of this music. He blended it together perfectly with a beautiful love story, brilliant piano music and a travel through time.

What starts out as a typical Asian romance story, evolves into something different. Something surrounded with mystery. I won’t explain too much, but is definitely worth to see this film!

The score is really fantastic, though you have to love piano music a bit. The acting of Jay Chou is great and also Lunmei Kwai does a terrific job, she looks stunning as well!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Painted Veil (USA, 2006)

The painted veil is a rather tragic story between two people (Naomi Watts & Edward Norton) in a pretty difficult relationship. He is a bacteriologist and she is a rather spoiled young woman.
It sets in the twenties of the past century in China, partly in Shanghai but mostly in a little village along the Yangtze river. In this village Cholera has broken out and the character played by Edward Norton volunteers to help as a doctor and do research. He forces his wife, who is having an affair, to come with him or get a divorce. When times past by, slowly they start to find the loving parts in each other. A cruel fate awaits them.

To my opinion, it is a rather well constructed film with many beautiful scenery of China. The acting is great, as expected from the stars but I had to get used to it for about 15 minutes. The director, John Curran, creates a very intense atmosphere with a film that maybe starts a bit slow, but is full of beauty. The score is just brilliant, with the piano parts that are being played by Chinese and maybe world’s best pianist Lang Lang.

Sometimes I felt like it could be better in some ways and though that is not the best film ever it still is an intense and beautiful film!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gamera the brave / Gamera: Chiisaki yusha-tachi (Japan, 2006)

Gamera the brave is a new film in the Gamera-series (Japanese Godzilla adventures), a revival of the Gaiju genre. Though this time the story is a bit different, it is made for children.
Though the monsters don't look real at all, the acting sometimes is a bit cheesy, the musical score is so-so and the story is very simple you have to remember it is made for kids. And yes, it is a good friendly child movie, even the entire family can enjoy this one.

It is a story a bout the love of a child for his favourite pet. This pet, a turtle in the beginning, turns out to be a monster, one to save the city of Nagoya against the more evil Zedus.
For children about 9 or younger, it will be a very enjoyable and even moving film. For the children who ware a bit older (12 or older) I should recommend the Korean 'the Host'.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

El Orfanato (Spain/Mexico, 2007)

El Orfanato is a mysterious thriller/horror about a boy who suddenly disappears in an old orphanage when he is playing with his imaginable friends.
His mother can’t believe he is dead and starts to believe in mysterious things, creating her own reality of what happened in the past and now.

The story is very interesting because it leaves a lot of imagination to yourself, Not too many things are explained, what is reality and what is fantasy?? This is what can be compared with Pan’s Labyrinth. Children need fairytales to understand the world. Belief first, than see. I guess this could be described as what the movie deals about.

It is a dreamy horror story, you’ll beautiful scenes which breath some kind of dangerous atmosphere. The story is also very intelligent which keeps the film all the time interesting and sometimes it is even moving. The acting is very good, especially the mother (Belen Rueda) who suffers such a great loss acts outstandingly!