Tomas Tuominen's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto
18 months ago via Movies on Facebook

A story about a young self destructing peasant who leaves his home village to join a major battle seeking fame and fortune. Through many twists and turns he finds himself being trained how to be a real samurai.

The script is well done in my mind, the watcher is easily kept in check even though there are many twists and turns in this movie. Mifune steals the show as expected, but even so other actors do a good job too. This is not a Kurosawa movie and you sense it right away, but not in a bad way.

I realised only after the movie that this one is the first episode of a full movie trilogy. A good start in every way, looking forward on seeing the rest.

Looper
Looper (2012)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Director R.Johnson brings another good addition to the sci-fi scene with Looper. Rather coincidentally the film is released in almost yearly continuum with other solid sci-fi films such as Inception (2010) and Source Code (2011). It is good times for the sci-fi film fans.

I was somewhat concerned initially with Looper's cliché-ish time travel plot as most of these films tend to implode on their own absurdity. Adding to my negative expectation was the fact that the one of the main actors is no other than Bruce Willis whose last sci-fi undertaking Surrogates (2009) left much to desire.

Thankfully my negative preconceptions were quickly dissolved as Looper kicks up the gear right from the start and wastes no time with lengthy introductions. In no time the viewer is plunged into the dystopic future where criminals send their victims back in time to be executed and thus leaving no evidence behind. The story follows one of these futuristic executioners Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) whose execution routine is disrupted when his older himself (Bruce Willis) from the future appears in front of him to be executed.

The story can be a bit hard to grasp initially and requires some processing, but after the initial confusion dissipates the film becomes thought invoking and rewarding.

To me the director did a great job keeping the film together and quite easily approachable despite its complexity. It also helps that the film is well balanced between action, suspense and intriguing story elements to maintain interest factor high through the film.

As much as I liked Looper and its intelligent sci-fi scheme, it cannot be overlooked that the film has quite a profound change around half way of the film which might act as a deal breaker for some. Where the first part can be considered relatively easy going and light in mood despite the occasional violence, the second part is quite the opposite. The seriousness level is tuned up considerably in the second part with B.Willis struggling with his conscience about terminating children to save his wife and the appearance of a raging prophet child is also quite heavy to digest. Personally I appreciated the change of tone as it brought more depth to the film, but can understand that it is not everybody's cup of tea. In addition as the script is based on Time Travel there are bound to be lots of plot holes, but if one can tolerate/ignore them, Looper offers a very entertaining couple hours.

Sansho the Bailiff (Sanshô dayû)
4 years ago via Flixster

Sansho the Bailiff is Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi's great contribution for film industry. The late director is remembered for his mastery of the long takes (uninterrupted shot lasting longer than conventional takes) which he uses to full effect in Sansho the Bailiff.

The film tells an excruciating tale of human cruelty and compassion of two 11th-century Japanese aristrocratic children who are sold to slavery. Sounds bleak and in all fairness there is very little uplifting to say about the story. In fact the film draws its great impact from emotional turmoil and despair which the children, Anju (Kyoko Kagawa) and Zushio (Yoshiaki Hanayagi), experience during their long and miserable captivity. At a glance one might think Sansho the Bailiff was uneventful film, but the director's great skill to draw drama out of human plight quickly captivates. For such a slow paced and actionless drama film, I was truly impressed how effortlessly the film managed to keep me fully immersed with the film through the running time.

For its great age, Sansho the Bailiff, has truly aged gracefully and it still witholds great emotional impact even after ~60 years since its creation. Director Kenjo Mizoguchi truly created a beautiful classic with Sansho the Bailiff and after seeing the film I now fully understand and agree with all the praise western critics and film-makers alike have given Sansho the Bailiff.

Strangers on a Train
4 years ago via Flixster

Strangers on a Train is yet another great psychological thriller from director legend Alfred Hitchcock. The film might not be among Hitchcock's most famous and recognized thrillers but it contains all of the director legend's trademarks; excellent directing far ahead of its time and a story filled with mystery, intensity and suspense.

Strangers on a Train tells about a chance encounter on a train which entangles two vastly different character's and their destinies' together. Guy Heines (Farley Granger) is a promising young tennis player in love crisis with his blackmailing ex-wife unwilling to allow him to pursue happiness with another woman. On a train ride Guy encouters a seemingly harmless gentleman, Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker) who has a morbid solution for Guy's problem. As Guy shrugs off Bruno and his crazy plan to commit a perfect murder, little does Guy know that Bruno in his delusional mind is fully committed in going through with his homocidal plan.

I liked Strangers on a Train especially Robert Walker's portrayal of mentally unstable Bruno made a permanent impression and would go as far as to say that he is the highlight of Strangers on a Train leaving other actors completely in his shadow. Story wise the Strangers on a Train is quite typical Hitchcock film as the director has always been master in creating suspense out of ordinary characters who find them in most unordinary situations. This is especially true with Strangers on a Train as it begans slowly with seemingly unengaging story and characters but in no time the viewer is fully immersed and engaged in Hitchcock's mystery. There was a phase around middle of the running time where I felt that the story made no real progress and the intensity dropped somewhat, but thankfully the film managed to pick up the intensity towards the end climax.

In the end Strangers on a Train in my books is not among Hitchcock's best thrillers, but it is still a very good film and I doubt anybody who enjoys a good psychological thriller would say otherwise.

Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas (2012)
4 years ago via Flixster
½

Cloud Atlas offers a mesmerizing scifi experience which at the same time might just be too big of an undertaking for filmatization. The gargantual proportions of the 2004 source novel does not disheart director trio, Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer, as they bring Cloud Atlas to the big screen.

Talking about epic undertaking, Cloud Atlas novel is composed of 6 loosely interlinked stories taking place from 19th century to mankind's distant future. Each story share some variation of the main characters and depict how their actions have direct consequences for the future. Sounds confusing and there is no denying that Cloud Atlas is a challenging film to grasp initially, but once the viewer gets the hang of the story mechanics the film transfroms from confusing mess into something thought provoking.

Not all Cloud Atlas' stories are equal and I felt more drawn towards the dystopic and apocalyptic scifi worlds of the Wachowski siblings which were so very unreal and yet managed to stay completely credible at the same time. Unquestionably Wachowskis futuristic worlds lack the human touch of Tom Tykwer's stories, but to me the stylistic realisation of these unreal visions of future were simply inspiring. No matter which of the stories the viewer prefers the entire production is paced and edited seamlessly making the film coherent experience overall. No easy feat with 6 different stories and 3 different directors! In addition to technical praise extra notation must be given for the films actors who give out solid performances. One is however above others and I was positively surprised to see veteran actor Tom Hanks really break away from his comfort zone and provide terrific performances through the film.

Despite the overall positive impression I got from Cloud Atlas, it cannot be overlooked that cramming 6 separate stories into single film is poised to generate problems. This becomes especially evident towards the end of the film when it becomes clear that there simply is not enough running time to allow all 6 stories to fully develop to their maximum potential. This could have been overlooked alone, but honestly I was disappointed to see that the film lacked a climatic closure where all the stories would merge together.

Despite the films shortcoming Cloud Atlas offers a unique film experience and undoutbly witholds content to last multiple viewing sessions. It is a film which should be assessed with feeling rather than reason to ensure best end result.