Se souvenir des belles choses (Beautiful Memories)

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Se Souvenir Des Belles Choses/Beautiful Memories (buy from Amazon)

Type: Romantic, France 2002

Director: Zabou Breitman

My rating: 4
Key actors/actresses:
Isabelle Carr? .... Claire Poussin
Bernard Campan .... Philippe
Bernard Le Coq .... Prof. Christian Licht

Posted by irene
Story:
A young lady experiences the early stage of Alzheimer's and meets her lover in a house for amnesiacs.

My review:
It's a funny and touching story. Both actor and actress play really well.

Stranger of mine

Stranger of mine
Type: Drama, Comedy, Japan 2005

Director: Kenji Uchida

My rating: 4
Key actors/actresses:
Yasuhi Nakamura .... Takeshi Miyata
Reika Kirishima .... Maki Kuwata
S? Yamanaka .... Yusuke Kanda
Yuka Itaya .... Ayumi Kurata
Kisuke Yamashita .... Asai

Posted by Dominic
Story:
Faith has brought a self-pity woman who just decided to leave her fiance, a salary-man who still misses the woman that dumped him 6 months ago, a private detective, a con woman and the gangster leader together, though they don't know it themselves. Their story intertwine and it all happens in one strange evening. As the story unfolds, you will know things are never as simple as they look.

My review:
Very clever plot and the story is being told backward, as we go back in time, the dots are connected. This reminds me so much of "Momento", though completely different story. Highly entertaining!

Taegukgi

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Tae Guk Gi - The Brotherhood of War (buy from Amazon)

Type: Drama, South Korea 2004

Director: Je-gyu Kang

My rating: 4
Key actors/actresses:
Dong-Kun Jang .... Jin-tae
Bin Won .... Jin-seok
Eun-ju Lee .... Young-shin

Posted by Dominic
Story:
Two brothers happily living in a small city with their mother. The elder brother, Jin-Tae repairs shoes for a living to support the family and the younger brother Jin-seok to study. Jin-tae has planned to married Young-shin soon. The Korean civil war broke out on 25 June 1950, the two brothers have been unwillingly drafted to fight in the army. Jin-tae sworn to protect his younger brother, he intended to fight hard and obtain the Medal of honour in order to secure Jin-seok's early return to home. But Jin-tae did not have the understanding of Jin-seok and the war has turned Jin-tae's world upside down...

My review:
This is Korean's answer to USA's saving private ryan. The war scenes are intense and well filmed.

The brotherly love during war time creates very strong bonding and can change people's value and perception. It shows how the war can make people crazy. The Korean war is a very sad tragedy in Korean history where people of the same race are fighting and killing each other. It has been used as countless storyline in Korean movies.

Overall, Taegukgi is well filmed and well acted. Very entertaining. Though I think the mis-understanding between the brothers was a bit far-stretched.

Marquise

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Marquise (buy from Amazon)

Type: Drama, France 1997

Director: V?ra Belmont

My rating: 3
Key actors/actresses:
Sophie Marceau .... Marquise
Bernard Giraudeau .... Moli?re
Lambert Wilson .... Racine

Posted by Dominic
Story:
A tragedy of the actress La Marquise who raised from a small town dancer to the leading actress of the play group that performed for King Louis xiv.

My review:
Very good performance by Sophie Marceau to play the role of Marquise, a French actress of the 17th century.

Zatoichi

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Zatoichi /Sonatine Double Bill (buy from Amazon)

Type: Drama Thriller, Japan 2003

Director: Takeshi Kitano

My rating: 4

Key actors/actresses:
Takeshi Kitano .... Zatoichi/Ichi (as Beat Takeshi)
Tadanobu Asano .... Hattori Genosuke
Michiyo Ookusu .... Aunt O-Ume
Gadarukanaru Taka .... Shinkichi

Posted by Dominic
Story:
Zatoichi is a blind swordsman who earns his living by giving massages and gambling. In this movie, Zatoichi is up against a gang which runs the town and has a very able swordsman in the gang. Zatoichi is helping a brother and sister whose parents were killed by the gangsters many years ago.

My review:
Very good performance by Takeshi as you would expect. The blind swordsman is a very well known story in Japan, this is yet another blind swordsman story played by a fine actor.

Un long dimanche de fian?ailles, A very long engagement

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A Very Long Engagement (buy from Amazon)

Type: Drama Romantic, France 2004

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

My rating: 4

Key actors/actresses:
Audrey Tautou .... Mathilde
Gaspard Ulliel .... Manech
Jean-Pierre Becker .... Lieutenant Esperanza
Dominique Bettenfeld .... Ange Bassignano
Clovis Cornillac .... Beno?t Notre-Dame
Marion Cotillard .... Tina Lombardi

Posted by Dominic
Story:
During War war I, 5 French soliders were sentenced to death for self-inflicting wounds in the hope of early release from the army. Instead, they got caught and were sent to the front line, a no-man land between the German and French battlefield, unarmed and constantly in the cross-fire, they were going to die for sure. One of the 5 soliders was a young man by the name Manech who had a fianc?¦called Mathilde. After the war ended, Mathilde was determined that Manech survived and she embarked on a journey to find out what really happened and to search for Manech.

My review:
I am a big fan of Am?lie and this film was made by the same team that brought us Am?lie. The story is fairly complicated and it can be hard to follow, you really need to pay attention in order to understand it. The film has done a great job in bring back the 1910s/20s feel of France. The war scene pretty impressive.

All in all it is a good film with a complicated storyline. I won't spoil it by telling you the ending.

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"

Story:
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!!

Cinema Paradiso

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Cinema Paradiso (buy from Amazon)

Type: Drama, Italy 1988

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore

My rating: 5
Key actors/actresses:
Antonella Attili .... Maria (Young)
Enzo Cannavale .... Spaccafico
Isa Danieli .... Anna

Posted by Dominic
Story:
A man receives news from his aging mother in a little town that someone he once knew has passed away. A beautiful story unfolds about the man's childhood friendship with an old man who was the projectionist at the local theater. Their bond was one that contained many highlights and tragedies, and shaped the way for a young boy to grow and move out of his rundown village to pursue a dream.

My review:
Cinema Paradiso is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It is a very touching movie. I was deeply moved. The whole movie is about the relationship between a kid and the old man who is a film projector controller. The kid's passion towards movie had been developing since he first met with the old man. At the beginning of the movie, this relationship was presented in a very natural, interesting, and humourous way. The kid grew up and the old man continued to be his best friend. The small town had gone through many changes and the kid eventually left for the big city and made his own fame and fortune. He returned to the small town, now an old man himself, to attend the funeral of his life-time best friend and witnessed the demolition of the cinema/church where his relationship with the old man started. The ending was a particularly moving scene, I shan't spoil it by telling you what happened there. Highly highly recommended, don't miss this movie.

Non ti muovere (Don't move)

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Don't Move (buy from Amazon)

Type: Drama, Italy 2004

Director: Sergio Castellitto

My rating: 3
Key actors/actresses:

Pen?lope Cruz .... Italia
Sergio Castellitto .... Timoteo
Claudia Gerini .... Elsa
Lina Bernardi .... Nora (Elsa's mother)

Posted by Dominic
Story:
Timoteo is a surgent, his daughter Elsa had a traffic accident and is fighting for her life in the hospital, while waiting and praying for his daughter next to the operating thearter, Timnoteo thinks of the time before Elsa was born, in particular, a woman whom he loved called Italia. Their relationship started with Timoteo raping Italia...

My review:
"Don't move" describes a mid-life surgent torned between his present and past, life and death situation, family and adultary affairs. Well scripted, directed and act by Sergio Castellitto who played "Timoteo".

Trick

Type: Comedy Drama Suspense, Japan 2000

Director: K?ji Makita

My rating: 3
Key actors/actresses:
Yukie Nakama .... Naoko Yamada
Hiroshi Abe .... Jiro Ueda
Katsuhisa Namase .... Kenz? Yabe

Posted by Dominic
Story:
Yukie is a bad magician, no one watches her show. Her father was a magician too. One day she was asked by a couple from a very strange village to go to their village and pretend to be god. She is so down and out of luck that she decided to take this assignment. Her friend Hiroshi who is a professor who is also going to the same village trying to unearth some hidden treasure. The villagers believe that the village is cursed and every 300 years there will be a big disaster and this is the year. Yukie and Hiroshi are going to meet with some strange people, some of the them like Yukie are here to pretend that they are god...

My review:
A funny black comedy, quite entertaining. There is a TV drama of the same name. This is the movie edition.

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