Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014) South Korea

At war, it's not all about manpower, but strategy.





Genre:
Action, Adventure, Biography, History, War.


Original title:
Myeongryang (Korean)


What's in:
As always on-topic, A very few off-topic, Not much spoilers, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     The highest domestic box office ever as well as internationally as a Korean movie. Based on the naval wars of Japanese invasion of Korea that took place in the last decade of the 1500s. The battle was fought for six long years, but this film focuses only the final one called 'Battle of Myeongnyang' in the year 1597. The famous face from the Korean filmdom, Choi Min-sik can be seen in the title role. For the international market, he was badly needed than the role wanted him. But I don't say that, he was amazing as always, like the character was specially created for him.

     As an important historical subject of the Korea, it was a very carefully made flick. But the product was more commercialised than being practical, especially in the battle scenes. You can't expect logic and accurate historical account, but entertainment is promised as the film's main intention. Awesome visuals, but as I said lacks the reality. Not a bad film either, because a very much acceptable for having interesting tiny bits in the battle. The first half was more a drama and as we are viewers, there is a chance to lose the focus. Barely generates any interest, kind of a setback to the movie. Not even the character constructive was handled that better in those sections where it should have been.

     Exactly after the first hour the pace picks up as the war commenced. Then it was a non-stop action, one must buckle up his seat belt for onwards to enjoy. Mostly never seen before style, because it was exhibited in the Korean style of a sea battle. It involves some kind of oceanography like the second half of the title say, 'Roaring Currents'. But not in a theoretical calculation rather a practical by observing the pattern and executing the plans like any old civilization was doing in any field. In one of the dialogue, the admiral uses the word 'virus' about fears spreading among his men. I don't think so the virus was discovered not before the late 19th century.

 Fear does not discriminate,
it can equally affect our enemy.

     It may be a Korean answer to the '300: Rise of an Empire'. There are no similarities, one is a fictional war and the other one is a biographical war film, but deals on the same theme. Especially when the hundreds of soldiers fight against the thousands, definitely reminds '300'. Actually, it was 12 Korean warships against the 330 Japanese fleets. There are so many characters, the editing was much better to give space for everyone to show their parts in this 2 long hour run. The music was equally matched to the visuals. It includes some emotional segments too, but not the appealing one like you are going to have tears rather the narration demanded it and it worked.

     In the last two decades, Korean filmmakers going after the untouched territories and their success were inevitable. The quality of graphics in the world cinema is the revolution. Something is sure that now it does not belong to Hollywood alone. Because of this technology the world cinemas can compete with Hollywood. When I was a kid, my frequent question was 'why its so gloomy?'. The one thing I liked in this film was they were not afraid to create the battleground (atmosphere in the sea) in the daylight. You can see sunshine, shadows as well as gloomy as the clouds passing by. This film was a spectacular piece, that does not mean I said it a masterpiece. Like I always say, knowing/learning history through the films are easier than the textbooks. Hope there is a part 2, seems I want one.



Similar movies:
300: Rise of an Empire, Master and Commander, Pirates of the Caribbean.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Big Bad Wolves (2013) Israel

Wolves in a pack hunting for a beast-sheep.





Genre:
Crime, Thriller.


Tagline:
"Some men are created evil."


Original title:
Mi Mefahed Mezeev Hara (Hebrew)


What's in:
On-topic, Off-topic, Spoilers, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 4-minute read.


Review:
     The first thing I remembered was, 'Save the Green Planet', but it was a crime-thriller, not a fantasy-sci-fi. Tough guys in the leather jackets, guns in the one hand and cigars in the other, that's what I imagined when Tarantino favoured it. But this film was slightly not an aggressive like too violent. The screenplay was disturbed frequently when it begins to engage on the nervous side. Hence it makes you say 'just missed', sometime disappointedly. Anyway, no one told me it was a dark comedy, I took it as a surprise and somewhat enjoyed it.

     It was on the serious subject, but not the presentation. Keeps everything lightly, especially conceals the dark side of truth for the final twist. For us, as the viewers, the prediction is two ways, either 'he did' it or 'he didn't' like taking a side. Film length was good with a moderate pace. There's no place for the characters to unroll with the proper introductions, including not even the opening event on which the whole film stands. From the beginning itself the writer wanted to save it for the final revelation. That's not smart, that's afraid of leaving hints.

 Maniacs are afraid of maniacs.

      Kind of similar to Hollywood's 'Prisoners'. Well, almost matches, except the characters and places. A good movie, but not that good. Well attempted, I am sure many would love this film. The narration is about kidnapping a guy on the suspicion of crime for a secret interrogation. It hauls in the remaining till advance to the crucial end part. In the mean time, the torturing techniques and the suspense hold our position.

     Because of Tarantino's nod, it's an easy 'go for it', well, mostly for his fanbase. I say consider it and decide yourself after the watch, don't believe, not even me. To me it was the great opportunity missed to dominate, especially having a powerful title and theme. Still, I don't reckon it is a bad or worst movie, but surely one of the year's top 50 or maybe 25.

     The movie was as I thought. The story and my anticipation were on the parallel track aiming the same direction. At least I was occupied, but the issue was, it did not go above my expectation to surprise me with some interesting elements. It flunks, like trying to fill the new wine in an old bottle with the old label and description in it. Stylish, but attempted to be too clever was the let down by the slimmest margin. On the other hand, as coming from the Israeli, it is exceptional.



Similar movies:
The Hunt, Devil's Knot, Prisoners, Save the Green Planet, Gone Baby Gone.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Wonders (2014) Italy

Being a child of a farmer and the rural life.





Genre:
Drama.


Original title:
Le Meraviglie (Italian)


What's in:
Most of it on-topic, Off-topic discussion, A very few spoilers, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 5-minute read.


Review:
     I begin by saying it was a sweet little Italian movie. It is not here to entertain you, but to give an alarming message. The world's human population is growing rapidly, but within, the farmer's counts are shrinking. Hunger will be one of the future's biggest concerns to deal. This film is about a farmer family that depicted from the perspective of what's causing for the people like them to disappear. There are a very few movies on this theme, in that, all the farmer's movies won't illustrate harvesting and hardworks rather focuses on romance, revenge and other subplots. I think this was true to what it was promised and you would feel glad watching this if you are capable to realise the facts.

     A 12 years old girl, Gelsomina, with her parents and three younger sisters lives in a rural Italy. They are the bee farmers, living with a strict order of the life, especially when it comes to the profession. And this story was told from the Gelsomina's viewpoint about everything she and her family goes through. After her father who got no son, she has to carry on the family's tradition to the next generation. She's absolutely on it as she's naturally gifted and stronger than anyone in the family, including her father who's no match for her. Moreover, she's already running the family with moral. But when they reach a crossroad, some unexpected decisions have to be made which is basically the remaining portion.

 You would need a slave.
Instead of 4 daughters.

     I can't say it is a must see, because it is still a movie and looks for an opportunity in between to amuse you. Either, it is not afraid to unfold the reality, that's the best of this film. It had an amazing cast, but I don't know anyone of them, of course, except Monica Bellucci in a cameo. Cinematography was great, they were not trying to seduce the viewers with the beautiful countryside scenic rather presenting as it is. Beside the film let you know about bee keeping and honey extraction. It is not an easy job, thinking bees do all the work and we just snatch it using protection costume. But surrounding environment and all matters. There's no CGI, some of the dangerous scenes were shot under the guidance of the real pros with a specialised documentary crew.

     It proves a coming-of-age story can also be told in this manner. Urbanising, hunters, tourism influx, name it... all these are affecting peace in the rural life. This film covers most of the factors in a simple fashion, It was not that easy for everyone to understand the end part as it contained two way meaning, literal and metaphor. One is a report card for the actuality and the other one is a cinematic conclusion. Overall, it tackles on the matured contents and children are the part of it, especially the last quarter all about them. And finally, everyone won't desire for a movie like this, but IMO certainly worth spending time for it.



Similar movies:
The Auction, The Belier Family, Field of Dreams, The Grapes of Wrath.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Spare Parts (2015) Hollywood

Show your capability despite where you're from.





Genre:
Drama.


Tagline:
"It takes a team to build a dream."


What's in:
On-topic, Off-topic, Spoilers, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 7-minute read.


Review:
     If you are wondering this is a B movie, I would say yes, but no. Because I have seen some of this director's movies and he gives the best in this category. Not so popular, small budget, low production quality, all these does not mean not worth a watch. In fact, this film somehow got two most recognisable faces, Marisa Tomei and Jamie Lee Curtis in the supporting roles. And not to forget George Lopez was better than these two who appeared in a prominent role.

     This film was based on the true story of the robotics club of the community high school from Phoenix, who went to participate in the national underwater robotics competition. That was the year 2004, four unlikely, undocumented Mexican immigrant students came together for a project that meant for university level teams. The rest of the story tells their journey from nothing to something.

     A very inspirational movie, just like 'October Sky'. But in the beginning I was quite not sure, because of the production quality. Then realised that the issue was something else. The film talks mostly about immigrants, due to the majority of characters Mexicans, I felt like watching non-American movie, thus it did not look like a regular Hollywood brand. It comes under the category of 'Life of Pi', 'Memoirs of Geisha' et cetera, where it demands the new faces but still a very much Hollywood.

     You know these kids who had no experience, built a water robot from the scraped and cheapest spare parts which cost only under $800 and competing with reigning champion like MIT is like ISRO against NASA. Because ISRO sent a low cost rocket to Mars at a very first attempt where many giant countries in the space program had failed to do. And won 2015's space pioneer award, which was very much similar to this movie. So this film is just like a school version of that and an example for nothing is impossible if you put your effort with a right mindset.

 The first rule of engineering is...
you never build anything with real material...
until you build a proof-of-concept model.

     Not the whole narration is about the robot, but it is the center and awesomely constructed stories of all the characters that connects to it. Since the kids are illegally staying, their's each tale about the struggles in the society as well as in the family was emotionally told. Individually, they are nothing than a thief, a prey to the bully, a prey for the domestic violence and an ordinary fat kid. But their talents in the various fields brought them together by a teacher. As a team they achieve something more than a miracle. 

     A movie like this must be shown to students in the schools to motivate their interests. A car thief and a mechanical engineer have the same knowledge, but the difference is one is educated and the other one is illiterate or the school dropout. If the talents are utilised well in a childhood itself, the future will always be brighter. I think every school need to appoint a teacher whose work is to interact with students to find their gifts and to show the right path.

     In this movie, the timing of those four students and the new teacher was absolutely perfect. And so they saw the life changing moment. It does not happen like that in everyone's life, so sometimes it should be the parents. If both, teachers and parents fail, that's the trouble for that kid as well as the society. This film is not the most popular one, that's the most disappointment. Just don't ignore it, it is a definitely a must see by all the age, because inspiration is not just for the youngsters.



Similar movies:
October Sky, Paper Planes, Erin Brockovich, A Barefoot Dream, Gridiron Gang, Karate Kid.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial