Categories: 02 Countries, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Britian, Czech, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Yugosalvia, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Nepal, Philippine

Bounce ko gals

Drama, Japan 1999
Director:Masato Harada

My rating: 3
Key actors/actresses:
Hitomi Sato .... Jonko Yasue
Sato .... Raku Yukiko
Okamoto .... Lisa

This is a story about 3 school girls who are trying to earn some quick buck by working as call girl. One of them is about to embark on a journey to New York and she is only doing this for 24 hours prior to her flight. Soon they find out earning the quick buck is not as easy as they think. They learn through the hard way, the girl lost all her money during a filming session of girls-in-school-uniform. The other 2 girls try to help her get the money back. The ordeal strengthens their friendship and support in the process.

My review:
The movie tries to analyse the young generation of modern Japan. It amplifies the segment that is most negelated through the story of 3 school girls. Pretty revealing.

Battle Royale


Image from Amazon
Battle Royale Directors Cut

Type: Drama Thriller, Japan 1998
Director:Kinji Fukasaku
My rating: 4
Key actors/actresses:
Tatsuya Fujiwara .... Shuya Nanahara

In future Japan, the younger generation has lost faith of the government and they constantly challenge authorities and resort to violence. The government passed a directive allowing the military to select one secondary class per year to participate in an exercise called "Battle Royale", in which the teenage pupils are brought to a isolated island controlled by the army. They are forced to wear a necklace with explosive and are equipped with various weapons, from spring arrow, knief, pistol and machine gun and are forced to kill each other. In 3 days' time, there can be only one survivor, or the necklace will blow their heads off. The teenagers are fighting for their own lives. To make it more interesting, they have put two pupils that do not belong to this class.

My review:
This is a highly controversial movie, indeed, it talks about a very sensitive topic. The idea on teenagers killing teenagers for their own survival is too much for most people. The movie is full of vivid and graphical violent scenes. Once the movie has established the plot, the director tried to portray behaviours of the two extremes, namely good and evil. There were some who played by the game and try to eliminate others, there were others who refused to give in to the game and strive to survive by other means without killing each other. I particularly like the light-house scene where the group of girls who initially were determined to stand by each other and sworn they would never harm one another. They took shelter at the light house. But the balance totally swinged the other way as soon as one of them was poisoned to death by accident. The results? They all killed each other and the girl who planted the poison in the first place intended to kill the boy that they rescured. She jumped off the light house and killed herself out of guilt. Peace was never long lasting, it was hanging on a thin thread, small disturbance to the system sent them to the path of no-return. Whether the director is trying to convey something deep and meaningful, or whether he is just taking the pleasure out of making a controversial movie, you can be the judge of that. But in terms of the pace, atmosphere, cinematography and casting, this is a fine movie. If you cannot accept the idea of people killing each other for their own survival (which by the way is exactly what people do when they are at war and I am all against it), then this is probably not a movie for you.

After Life


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After Life
(buy from Amazon)
Type: Drama, Japan 1998
Director:Hirokazu Koreeda
My rating: 4
Key actors/actresses:
Arata .... Takashi Mochizuki
Erika Oda .... Shiori Satonaka
Susumu Terajima .... Satoru Kawashima

"What is the most memoriable moment of your life?". Imagine being asked this question when you are dead. In "After Life", dead people spend a week in a kind of half-way house where counselors, also dead, who help them to pick one memoriable moment of their lives. The counselors would arrange a crew to film these special moments, so people can take it to eternity. There are people who cannot decide on "the moment", so they get to see the tape of their life and try to choose something from there. Some pick their memory easily, some take their time and decide at the end of the week. The counselors themselves are the undecided thus they are stuck in this half-way house to help others, until they themselves can pick that special moment of their lives.

My review:
Ever wonder one day if you die suddenly and the many things that you want to see and experience has come to an abrupt end. What about your wife/husband, family members and friends, have you told them enough how much you love them? At your dying bed, you look back in your life, can you find the special moments in your life? Or is it full of regrets?

"After Life" has provoked my thoughts along these lines. I hope you too will continue to create many special moments in your life.

Before Sunset

Image from Amazon
Before Sunset (buy from Amazon)
Type: Romantic, USA 2004

Director: Richard Linklater

My rating: 5
Key actors/actresses:
Ethan Hawke - Jesse
Julie Delpy - Celine

Posted by Doris Wong
In 1995's Before Sunrise, American student Jesse met the French beauty Celine on an europe train. The 14 hours spent together in Vienna has connected two young hearts.
Before Sunsets picks up 9 years after they separated in the train platform & swore they would meet again at there after six months.
Jesse, now a best selling author living in new york with his wife & son, is giving a reading to the journalists in Shakespeare Book shop in Paris, the last stop of this book tour.
Celine, now a Green Cross environmental activist living in Paris, walks in the book shop staring at him.
In several hours before Jesse has to fly back to US, they walk in Paris & keep talking as they did in Vienna nine years ago.
What is his book about?
Who did not go back to Vienna as promised?
Was the girl Celine whom Jesse saw in NY?
What happened to them after separated?
What are their problems now?
In real time, they share their mind and regain the power of love before sunset.
This time, it's more difficult than ever to say goodbye...

My review:
The reunion of Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy is amazing!
I was so excited when I heard about this film in news of Cannes Film Festival. I had great expectation & looked forward to watching this film as soonest as possible.
I did & found it with no disappointment but just surprise!
The chemistry between Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy is still there.
After nine years of living experience, Ethan Hawke's acting is more mature & Julie Delpy is still a french angel.
You may say this film is their baby as they really took part in writing the screenplay, beside with the director Richard Linklater (also the director of "School of Rock", really unexpected!). Even Julie Delpy's parents played the roles of man & woman whom Celine spoke with in her courtyard.
This time, they talk more in depth about love, marriage, religion, life, hope and dream, in their ideal eyes against the real world. As they're growing older and having their own companion, the way they expressed their love to each other is more subtle than they were in Vienna.
What touched my heart is that their youthful hearts & passion of love were back after the long long talk. While watching this, I could feel the same although I have different living experience to reach my age now that is same as theirs.
I especially like the ending. It just ends unexpectedly with Celine in her apartment recreats Nina Simone's dancing and Jesse sitting in her sofa, in fact almost lying, watching her to say this "Baby, you're gonna miss your flight." & Jesse just smiles "I know." Then if fades.
It gives the audience much imagination whether Jesse & Celine will never separate again, just like people wonder whether they will meet again six months later in the ending of "Before Sunrise".
In reality, it's difficult for Jesse to leave his wife & son especially and them move to Paris, thus I think this ending is just perfect to avoid seeing the lovers separate again.
I had watched this film three times. Each time after the ending, it leaves me a sweet & warm feeling for a while. Besides, Julie Delpy's song simultaneously comes into my head.
I love this movie and I love this feeling.
I recall the last film that brings me same feeling maybe "Amelie" in 2001!!

Before Sunrise

Image from Amazon
Before Sunrise (buy from Amazon)

Type: Romantic, USA 1995

Director: Richard Linklater

My rating: 5
Key actors/actresses:
Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

Posted by Doris
A night before sunrise was the unforgettable memories lingered in two young hearts....
A french student Celine met an american boy Jesse on the train headed to Vienna and her way home. Starting with a conversation, both had sensed the connection in between them. When almost time to get off the train, Jesse spoke out with an awful idea. Without enough time to think about it, Celine accepted Jesse's suggestion to get off at Vienna & spend the time with him until he would fly back to US in the next morning.
The funny people they met on the streets & the places they wander in this beautiful city brought them unlimited topics.
In this soul journey, they shared jokes and thoughts of parenthood, religion, death, worry, love, men (mars) & women (venus).....
Love came silently in the night, but both were not brave enough to be the first one asking to meet again.
As time went by, it became harder to say goodbye.....

My review:
I love this beautiful & romantic story.
The first time I watched this movie at my twentysomething, I found it very touching.
The second time I watched it now at my early thirty, I still feel the same.
I like the description on the DVD "Yesterday they were stranger, today inseparable soulmates."
Could this happen in reality? I hope it would have happened on me, but who knows the handsome guy would not turn out to be a psycho!?
Some movies described how love happened between two too quickly & seems to have skipped many scenes, but this movie is not. Love just came naturely from they met, sensed connection & finally didn't want to separate. I'm sure I would also fall in love with Jesse if I were Celine.
As there's limit of time to stay together, every moment become more precious & romantic than ever. I started to think if they're not separated at the end (unlike those hollywood movie ending), maybe after several years they'll still separate however with hate.
Not sure whether they will meet each others again, so they show as real as they are except no one admit they really want to meet again. It's so real for the tempting questions & pretending when they're not sure how the other think, 'don't you think we should meet again?" " no, i don't think so. how do you think?" "... no. no...." "ok..." I think it's familiar to many of you too.
This movie is also a moving picture of "Mars & Venus" series. I do agree with those different opinion of opposite sex in the script.
I put 5 for rating & my review on "Before Sunset" will come soon!

Old Leglessbird Movie guide

You can find the old leglessbird movie guide here.

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