East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Sunday, January 06, 2008


Laputa: Castle in the Sky (Miyazaki Hayao, Japan, 1986): One of Miyazaki's best: this is where Ghibli first get their animation style down to a T. It doesn't have the thematic depth of Princess Mononoke: it's definitely a kid's movie, but with a sense of wonder, which if I must choose, I prefer to a sense of weirdness. Unlike Mononoke, better in Japanese. A

Invisible Target (Benny Chan, Hong Kong, 2007): In mid-chase, Nicholas Tse gets hit by a bus. Impressive enough to replay from an alternative angle, not damaging enough to delay him more than a couple of seconds. C PLUS

Broken Blossoms (D.W. Griffith, USA, 1919): The difference Griffith perceives between the Chinaman and the Negro seems to be the comparatively low risk of miscegenation posed by the former, though he sets the action in London to be safe. Still, the movie has as much to say about race and class relations (and domestic violence) today as it did in 1919, which is a little. More than that, it's Lillian Gish's graduation from great presence to great actress, as she incidentally creates the template for every horror movie victim ever. The rest of the time, it's all Richard Bathelmess can do to gaze in wonder. A

Last 15 mins of Flash Point (Wilson Yip, Hong Kong, 2007): Weird to see MMA and worked shoot spots like joint holds and suplexes (there's even a powerbomb counter to an armbar) in the climactic fight scene. In the sequel: Donnie Yen spends five minutes trying to pass half-guard. B MINUS

The Pursuit of Happyness (Gabriele Muccino, USA, 2006): I'll believe the Dem rhetoric about a $9.50 minimum wage when it happens, since liberalism sez it's not slavery if you do it voluntarily. Fortunately for mu opinion of this movie, Will Smith has a more concrete sales pitch than Barack Obama. B PLUS



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