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Rating History

In the Realm of the Senses
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Ai No Corrida

by :Nagisa Oshima Japan


I was hard put to begin describing the whole aesthetics of this film. During the time that it was produced and shown in Japan, it could be easily viewed as pornography, depending really on how you were brought up to understand the word and its explicitness and how it should be presented in a film that tackled the subject. There are just two things that come to mind too while watching this powerful film. Sex. Sex. Sex in the most physicality of the word, in the braveness and *I dare* attitude of Nagisa Oshima. [img][/img][img][/img][/font]

Based on a controversial true scandal in Japan during the 1930's it narrates the journey of the two characters, Kichiso and Sada, employer and servant respectively, into fulfilling the insatiable desire to answer the call of the flesh. It's as real for me as any theme that a movie can hinged into. Sex is a powerful subject that should be treated with utmost delicacy, and though Oshima did go beyond that, calling this pornography seems quite biased. If its pornography only, then it lacks the perversity and mindless raunchiness that the viewer would want his porno film should be. [img][/img][img][/img][/font][/size][/color][/font]
Obsessive sex could be an addiction and that is a fact. Like alcoholism, it could perverse the act. The film dangled between these lines yet was able to pull through. The man and woman's incessant coupling to answer a desperate call in each other had over-ridden their better judgment. And like an addiction, it turned out ugly in the end, thus the tragic ending of this film.[img][/img][/font][/size][/color][/font]
One thing that makes me comfortable in watching whatever extreme perversity and gore I can endure to watch is that at the end of the day, I know it's just a film. But this story was based on a true story and a personal belief that it's SO EASY to fall enslaved and obsessed with satiating an almost painful need to satisfy our carnal desires as much as getting hooked on alcohol and drugs to numb something unbearable within us...

It's a story that needs a lot of understanding and open-mindedness. Otherwise, it would simply fall flat as an endless stream of explicit sex and scandalous symbolism... I'd leave that for you to discover...

A Bittersweet Life (Dalkomhan insaeng)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A Bittersweet Life

Kim Jee Woon, Korea ( 2005)


The director would be much more known for his extraordinary and different kind of Horror in A[b] Tale of Two Sisters[/b] and the hilarious black comedy [b]The Quiet Family[/b]. This actually reveals he?s a real thespian of a moviemaker who can delve into any kind of genre without sacrificing the trademark of his works. Classy.


A Bittersweet Life is probably one of his best. Proving once against that he can lay his hand on any kind of material and lift it out of being a stereotypical ho-hum kind of movie. More than anything else, the premise by which this movie was based on is very much something that could easily fall prey into that category. A modern-day story of betrayal, revenge and some gangsta cool. The Koreans called it action noir that brings to mind John Woo?s directorial style. Stylish and dark.


Played by Korean idol Lee Byung Hun, Sun-Woo is an enforcer who worked for a mob and stands as one of his most trusted, the very reason why his boss and mentor entrusted the job of looking after his young mistress whom he suspects as having an affair. He cannot say it more explicitly that he expects Sun Woo to kill her as soon as his suspicions were realized.


This has to be the turning point. For all his unfeeling demeanor, Sun Woo decided to let the two live and earned the perpetual ire of his boss which resulted in him being ostracized from the group, tortured with the promise of certain death. Perhaps he snapped, for the next scenes narrate of a gruesome vendetta against the very same person whom he had served for years. Kim did not complicate the theme by going into some very strange twists and turns but told the story as it is. Revenge and just the basic human fear of death. One glaring and refreshing way he dished out this is telling that man simply would beg for their own life. Not for anything else but for just another chance of going on with life no matter how they get it.. Even humiliate and degrade themselves. Very much a human reaction.

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Sun woo, for the life of him cannot comprehend how his once *idyllic* life could turn out to be such a nightmare with just a simple lapse of judgment on his part. One insignificant wrong in a long and almost doggish way he led as an enforcer for the mob. How his loyalty to his boss could turn out into a nightmarish existence just to stay alive. It was something that he keeps on questioning to the very end when it looked like he would let him live. He could not fathom this reality and once he snapped out of it and finally realized that it wasn?t all just a product of his imagination, Sun Woo launched into a horrific journey of guns, torture and intense promise of retribution to those who had so wronged him.

True, the theme is nothing new. It has been explored, re-explored, modified and made into something more compelling by every director there is in Asia including John Woo ( Harboiled), Park Chan Wook ( Old Boy) or even Kinji Fukasaku (The Yakuza papers).

In this modern day tale of hard guns, sleek suites and revenge Kim added his own personal touch by molding the character played by Lee Byung Hun carefully. How can a totally self ?controlled and almost unfeeling loyal servant lose his cool, handle betrayal and face death at the hands of those he had served well? Sun Woo did show us? in that compelling, sinister, epiphany inducing YET sad way.

Easily one of Kim Ji Woon?s best films.

Electric Dragon 80.000 V
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes


Again Im not a reviewer! Im a lover of Asian Cinema!

55 minutes of a roller-coaster ride into the wonderfully charged and crazily electrified world of Dragon Eye and Thunderbolt Buddha that would leave your mind numb after being singed in the brain with electric current. Thats the only way I can describe Electric Dragon directed by Shogo Ishii and starring Tadanobu Asano . Music provided by yet another collaboration by the two greats in Japan's alternative cinema.. The band Mach 1.67 [ who did the soundtrack] Asano is the lead vocalist with Ishii I think playing the guitar..

So ok go on and watch ..



Thunderbolt Buddha


Better watched with a mescale and a maryjane spiked with pollen


Duelist (2005)
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[size=4]The DUELIST[/size]


Director : Myung Se Lee
Cast Ji Won Ha
Dong WOn Kang

Alright. I rated it as 5 , just because I love Dong Won Kang and Im in love with him and because this movie is breathtakingly beautiful ...well the easthetics and stuff thats all.


I was expecting to watch an epic, Wuxia movie with lots of swordsfights but I was so dissapointed and if not for me wanting to watch a glimpse of Dong Won Kang I would not have finished it. Its TaXING watching the usual antics of Ji Won Ha!

Ji Won Ha stars here as a cop Namsoong looking for the perpetrators of a counterfeit business in Chosun province. Along with her mentor played by Sung Kee Ahn, they were investigating the big time players behind the scam and she gets to meet this sad-eyed Killer , well aptly nicknamed Sad-Eyes played by EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Ji Won Ha who was so beautiful in this movie, he makes Jin Won Ha look like his bodyguard.

So this starts a rather corny love-story between the two . As soon as the tomboyish Namsoon laid eyes on the -beautiful- Sad Eyes She fell in love and thus starts a series of.. well dreamy sequences, with ballet -like swordfights under the moon, the snow, falling red and white petals and of course, the ever swirling diaphnous skirt and cape of Sad Eyes and of course that silken swish of his rebonded hair... as they lock eyes and hunger for each other.

IF ONLY this movie was made a staight serious drama, action and lovestory, it would have been a killer. But the sprinkling of comic reliefs and the trying hard effort of Ji WOn Ha to look cute and comedic had reduced me to tears and frustration. Ok her antics sold in her other movie, 100 days with Mr Arrogant but MY GOD! enough already! She can actually finish a movie without resorting to these facial contortions and lip flapping... like in Daddy Long-legs. She was actually normal looking in that movie.

Anyways, it was a visually excellent movie, but the story is kinda muddled and well the stupid face of Ji Won Ha just ruined it for me!

Now back to Dong Won Kang, he was just dreamy in this movie. OR maybe its just my fetish for feminine looking guys or his likeness to Nicholas Tse..


9 Souls
9 Souls (2003)
9 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes


9 Souls is probably one of Toshiaki Toyoda's best work. Before I watched this gem of a movie, I thought Blue Spring was my favorite. Although retaining his tradmark style, 9 Souls came across as an awe inspiring work premised in the lives of 9 convicts who run away from prison to search for some treasure and found themselves confronting their own demons as well.

I have always liked his musical scoring and his dark moody characters. Juggling 9 characters cuold be a brutal work for a director who has to make each stand out and I beleive, he had done so in this movie. This movie is both funny, heart tugging and yet brutal.

I cannot get enough of Ryuhei Matsuda who once again reprises his role as a dark, quiet, psychotc character and in this movie playing a Father Killer.