Category: USA

Food Inc
A revealing documentary about the food supply in the States (perhaps soon elsewhere too), highly concentrated food supply, genetically modified crops, hormone assisted growth in packed farm, the truth about processed food, packaged food on the shelves of Supermarket, control of seed supply.

Very disturbing and scary truth indeed, we should all be more careful with our choice of food and sure hope people will value the importance of natural rather than man-made!

Butterfly Effect 3: Revelation

SciFi, Thriller, USA, 2009
Chris Carmack ... Sam Reide
Rachel Miner ... Jenna Reide
Melissa Jones ... Vicki
Kevin Yon ... Harry Goldburg

Story line:
Sam has the ability to time travel and he can alter the course of events. While trying to solve the mystery of his girlfriend's death, he messed up, the more he tried to find out the more women became victims. Would he ever find the truth?

My review:
This is the 3rd of the butterfly effect series, I must say I still like the 1st one most, this one is pretty good also. The story is full of twists and turns and always keep you guessing...

The butterfly effect 2

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The Butterfly Effect 2 (buy from Amazon)

Drama, Thriller, USA, 2006

Director: John R. Leonetti

My rating: 2
Key actors/actresses:
Eric Lively ... Nick Larson

Erica Durance ... Julie Miller

Dustin Milligan ... Trevor Eastman

Gina Holden ... Amanda
Julie died a year ago in a car accident where her boyfriend Nick was driving the car. Nick still misses her terribly, he suddenly realizes he has this ability to go back and change the past by staring at old photos. But every time he changes something, it seemingly becomes better only to find out that something disastrous follows...

My review:
A bit disappointed actually because the plot is not new while the first Butterfly effect delivered a much better and more interesting story

Hard Candy

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Hard Candy (buy from Amazon)

Drama, USA, 2005

Director: David Slade

My rating: 3
Key actors/actresses:
Patrick Wilson ... Jeff Kohlver
Ellen Page ... Hayley Stark
Hayler is a supposedly 14-year old girl who has been lured by a grown-up photographer Jeff via internet chat room. But don't worry about Hayler, because Jeff is into a big surprise, he soon find out Hayler is a hard candy. His nightmare has just begun, he cannot even imagine what lies ahead...

My review:
Quite a powerful and interesting plot, full of twists and turns, even shocking at points. Splendid acting from Ellen Page.

Before Sunset

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Before Sunset (buy from Amazon)

Type: Romantic, USA 2004

Director: Richard Linklater

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

This is the sequel to the romantic movie "Before Sunrise" where Jesse, an American guy who lived in Texas and Celine, a French girl who lived in Paris had the encounter of their life, when they met 9 years ago on a train and agreed to spend a day together in Vienna. They formed such an intense and irresistable bonding that they promise each other that they will meet again in 6 months in Vienna. However, they only met again 9 years later in Paris. What happened in the 6 month after their first encounter, why didn't they see each other again until now? How do you pick up a conversation again after not seeing someone for such a long period of time. So what's next? Are they still made for each other, the soulmate that they had hoped for 9 years ago?

My review:
Absolutely love this sequel as well, the acting, the script, the scenary and most important of all, the mood and feeling that it brings. Couldn't think of a more perfect ending than the one shown.

Ehtan and Julie played their role really well. The plentiful and natural dialogue make the audience feel they have re-ignited their intense connection as in the first movie, and that they have never forgotten each other for a day. It was tragic that they were unable to meet up during that 9 years because they didn't want to exchange contant information not even their last name, they don't want to just call or write to each other a little while and then the relationship will fade away, but as a result, once they have missed their rendervous in Vienna, they had no way of finding each other until Jesse published a book on their 1-night affair 9 years ago. All their possible romantic feelings were all injected and preserved in that 1-night, they were unable to feel and be happy with anyone else. Imagine such torture of not being able to feel love except with a person that you are uable to locate and then the joy of seeing the person again by chance. What sort of intense emotion is unleashed as a result?

Please also see Doris's review.

Before Sunrise

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Before Sunrise (buy from Amazon)
Type: Romantic, USA 1995

Director: Richard Linklater

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

Jesse is an American student who lives in Texas, he is on a vacation in Europe and Celine is a French girl on her way back to Paris. They met by chance on a train and started a conversation, they felt there was an intense connection, a connection that most people don't even find during their entire life. Jesse is catching a plane to USA from Vienna the following morning and crazy as it might sound, he asks Celine to get off the train at Vienna and spend one day with him and they will part at sunrise. The brief encounter turns out to be much more than they have expected, what future holds for 2 people who have lived separate lives on two far apart countries until today...

My review:
I like this movie very very much, don't we all have the fantasy of meeting a complete stranger in the most unexpected circumstances who turns out to be the soul mate of our life? What seem to be two parallel lines somehow crossed by faith.

The connection of the two characters are instantly felt and the what seems to be a casual conversation shows harmony and reasonate. The dialogue is not dramatic, it is cozy and natural just like a conversation between two friends who have known each other for years. This is much more convincing than the super dramatic type of movie like the Titanic. One has to wonder if Jack and Rose (in Titanic) are really made for each other and if Jack had survived, how quickly he would have dumped Rose.

I particularly like the dialogue where they make conversation by pretending to be calling their best friend to talk about what happens in Vienna and role-play the best friend part. Exchanging their deep and honest view of each other since the moment they met on the train.

Not until too long, the loving feeling was coupled with physical desire, completing all the elements of knowing each other.

Audience can feel the sadness when the perfect couple must part and get on with their original path in life. Our hope is raised again with their promise to see each other again in 6 months' time, we are put in suspence not knowing that if they will indeed see each other again. Deep in our heart, we wish them luck and hope they will indeed see each other again, but on the other hand, we are not so sure if such brief but intense encounter is a strong enough foundation for their future life together (if any). Is it possible to put one's romance all into one night.

Also see the review of the sequel "Before Sunset".
Also see Doris's review.

The Legend of 1900

Posted by Doris
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The Legend of 1900 (buy from Amazon)

Type: Drama, USA 1998

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore

My rating: 5

Tim Roth as "1900"
Pruitt Taylor Vince as "Max Tooney"

After World War II, Max, an unhappy american goes to a pawn shop to sell his trimpet. The shopkeeper puzzles the tune Max plays is also one as found in an unreleased record. Max tells him this record is made on the Virginian cruise ship, where he has spent several years, the happiest time in his life with the great jazz band and its pianist, also his best friend '1900'. Max starts to tell story....
A baby boy was abandoned by his first class parents on Virginian. He was named as '1900' for the year he borne.
He grew up on the ship & learnt piano by himself.
Everybody likes him for his gifted talents of piano skill, great music inspiration and good character.
He has never thought about leaving the ship till he falls in love with a young pretty gal.....
From here, Max realised 1900 might be still staying in Virginian soon to be demolished, he decides to find 1900....

My review:
Very touching, can't stop crying at the ending.
It's a good movie by director Giuseppe Tornatore beside "Nuovo Cinema Paradiso".
Tim Roth, the piano scene, the pace of this movie are all excellent!!

The Russia House

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The Russia House (buy from Amazon)

Posted by Sigrid

Type: Drama, USA 1990

Director: Fred Schpisi

My rating: 3

Key actors/actresses:
Sean Connery... Barley Blair
Michelle Pfeiffer .... Katya

Barley (Connery), a hard-drunking, middle-aged London publisher, became friends with a dissident Soviet physicist on a drunken evening. He soon found himself being drawn into the espionage business. During his mission, Barley came to know Katya (Pfeiffer), the physicist's former girlfriend, whom he had to save from the Russian military intelligence.

My review:
Based on a spy novel by John Le Carre, this movie set out to capture the age of glasnost in the former Soviet Union. It was filmed mostly in Moscow and Leningrad, with some beautiful scenes shot in Lisbon.

The plot itself is intriguing and Connery turned out a masterful peformance as a hard-drunking, middle-aged, book publisher who managed to outwit both the British secret service and the CIA. One memorable scene showed Connery playing the saxophone at a Moscow book fair.

Unfortunately, the subtlety of the spy novel did not play well on the movie screen. Perhaps the editing could have been done better as well. I would think that most moviegoers got lost initially towards the end. As a result, some time had to be spent to recapture what happened -- and the entire effect was dumbed-down.

While some would call this a thriller, the movie was strongly reminiscient of "mini-series" produced by the major (American) TV networks in the late-1980s.

See also:

The Butterfly Effect

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The Butterfly Effect (Infinifilm Edition) (buy from Amazon)

Type: Thriller, Suspense, USA 2004

Director:Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber

My rating: 4

Key actors/actresses:
Ashton Kutcher .... Evan Treborn
Melora Walters .... Andrea Treborn
Amy Smart .... Kayleigh Miller
Elden Henson .... Lenny Kagan
William Lee Scott .... Tommy Miller

Posted by Dominic
It is said that the moving of the the butterfly's wing can trigger a storm far far away.

Evan's father is locked up in a mental institution and Evan himself is having black outs at critical moments, his mother is worried that Evan will follow the footsteps of his father. Doctor suggests that he should keep a dairy to record the events before and after the black outs. When Evan grows up, he soon realises he is able to alter his past by reading his dairy, but can he control the results, the changes have far reaching consequences that is totally un-anticipated...

My review:
The beginning of this movie was quite scary and I like the plot very much, particularly the ending of the movie.

Don't we all want to be able to change something in the past, but how can we control the consequences, how do we know that what we are experiencing now is the optimal result? Be content with present!

The Last Samurai

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The Last Samurai (Widescreen Edition) (buy from Amazon)

Type: Drama, USA 2003
Director:Edward Zwick

My rating: 4
Key actors/actresses:
Ken Watanabe .... Katsumoto
Tom Cruise .... Nathan Algren
William Atherton .... Winchester Rep
Chad Lindberg .... Winchester Rep Assistant
Ray Godshall Sr. .... Convention Hall Attendee
Billy Connolly .... Zebulon Gant
Tony Goldwyn .... Colonel Bagley
Masato Harada .... Omura

The Tagline of the movie:In the face on an enemy, in the Heart of One Man, Lies the Soul of a Warrior.

Nathan Algren, a US veteran captain who once fought the Indians, deserted by the war on his own land has agreed to go to Japan to train the Emperor's army to fight a civil war against the last of Japan's samurais. "Samurai" represents a certain honour and duty to the country. Nathan soon finds himself being captured by the enemy led by Katsumoto that he is supposed to fight against and he learns from Katsumoto what it means to be a samurai.

My review:
A good portion of the movie was filmed at Himeji of Japan, a beautiful city, a world heritage, I was there for a vacation during the cherry blossom season, just like how they show it in the movie. I talked to my Japanese friends and they too like this movie very much. It is not easy that Hollywood makes a movie of a foreign country and the people of the country can actually agree with. All in all, Tom Cruis and Ken Watanabe's performance was great. And the storyline conveys the spirit of the samurai, "to serve" and it always stresses the importance of "die with honour". The movie is very entertaining with a few big fighting scenes.

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