RSS feed for Geir
  • Boyhood 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 18 Aug, 2014

    It's a perfect movie!

  • Unforgiven 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 02 Aug, 2014

    A Japanese remake of a modern American classic, by a Korean-Japanese filmmaker – the potential for this Eastern take on the David Peoples-scripted meditation on violence to stumble embarrassingly was not insignificant. However, said filmmaker is Lee Sang-Il, a man well versed in the art of telling stories of people with troubled pasts. Have the shoes of the Eastwood part filled by solid actor Ken Watanabe, and you’re well on your way to a successful retelling.

    In Lee’s version, the…

  • Hercules 2014

    ★★★ Watched 30 Jul, 2014

    Hercules, the The Rock’s latest cinematic outing, is fundamentally average stuff. That’s not the actors’ fault – there are actually a great deal of talented thespians in the cast, and they mostly do a credible job with the material they were given. The one to shoulder the blame is, unsurprisingly, Brett Rattner – a boring, visionless director whose movies are consistently artless. Hercules is not a break from tradition.

    Adapted from the comic book by the late Steve Moore (who,…

  • Ani*Kuri15: Good Morning 2008

    ★★★★ Watched 28 Jul, 2014

    Just a minute long, but in that little minute, Satoshi Kon's Ohayō manages to establish a world and tell a shortstory that everyone will find familiar and recognizable. It's quite wonderful, and being Kon's final work, unescapably bittersweet.

    The short can be found in its entirety at the end of Tony Zhou's excellent video essay on Kon's style of editing.

  • Ring of Bright Water 1969

    ★★★★ Watched 16 Jul, 2014

    My mustelid-loving heart skipped a beat or two, and I fell hard for this absolutely lovely movie. It is, unavoidably, otter-ly delightful! Big, goofy grins, all around!

  • Transcendence 2014

    ★★★ Watched 13 Jul, 2014

    I'm surprised by the level of vehement disdain cinematographer Wally Pfister's directorial debut has been met with, but then again, perhaps it explains its reception with a line a dialog: "People always fear what they don't understand." To be sure, Transcendence is not a great movie, but it's also not the awful failure word of mouth has proclaimed it as.

    A science fiction movie about ideas – a rare beast in this day and age of the genre mostly being…

  • Shark Hunter 2001

    ½ Watched 08 Jul, 2014

    If I cared about any of the characters, I'd say this cheapo shark flick was a pretty bleak affair. However, since I mostly wavered between outright hatred and complete indifference towards them, their various demises throughout Shark Hunter barely registered with me.

    Antonio Sabato Jr. "stars" as the scientist with a Batman-complex ("My parents are deeeeeeeeeeeeead!"), out for revenge against the megalodon who offed his parents and their sailboat a decade or two ago. With him in the hunt for…

  • Samurai Reincarnation 1981

    ★★½ Watched 29 Jun, 2014

    Sonny Chiba as the legendary Yagyū Jūbei, fighting the demonic reincarnations of his father, Christian rebel Amakusa Shirō, even Miyamoto Musashi himself, and others, sounds pretty spectacular on paper.

    In reality, Makai Tensho: Samurai Reincarnation is a bore, favoring endless monologuing and a sluggish pace over the full throttle filmmaking director Kinji Fukasaku was known for. My attention kept flagging throughout, and at over two hours, the movie was honestly a genuine chore to get through.

    The occasional strong image…

  • The Raid 2 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 24 Jun, 2014

    With two increasingly successful martial movies under his belt, Welsh director Gareth Evans is back with a third, improbably making even further inroads into the world of Indonesian action cinema.

    The Raid 2: Berandal picks up the thread shortly after the events of The Raid: Redemption. Ass-kicking cop Rama (the ever stone-faced Iko Uwais), hero and one of the few survivors of the first movie, is drafted by a covert section of the police to go undercover and root out…

  • Under the Skin 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Jun, 2014

    Essentially Species for the arthouse crowd, Under the Skin is a tense and atmospheric thriller, light on plot, heavy on mood. Scarlett Johansson delivers an excellent, understated performance as the alien who cruises the streets of Scotland for single men – the victims she lures back to her death trap, for purposes beautifully abstracted and left up to the imagination by the movie (something apparently explained more explicitly in the source novel this is loosely adapted from).

    A handsome movie…

  • Yona Yona Penguin 2009

    ★½ Watched 25 Jun, 2014

    Yona Yona Penguin is a disappointment. Madhouse's first foray into the world of 3D CG animation has the look and feel of a console RPG, stripped of player control.

    Coco, a penguin-obsessed little girl, is spirited away by goblins, to help them overcome an ancient evil that has taken over their lands. Which she after a bit of plot deliberation unwittingly proceeds to do, of course.

    Milquetoast and simplistic in both message and execution, the movie is clearly aimed at…

  • The Story of Yanagawa's Canals 1987

    ★★★½ Watched 18 Jun, 2014

    An exhaustive and – frankly, clocking in at nearly three hours – exhausting documentary, The Story of Yanagawa’s Canals teaches us seemingly everything there is to know about the Kyūshū town of Yanagawa, and its city-spanning network of canals.

    Directed by Isao Takahata and executive produced by Hayao Miyazaki, inbetween production of Laputa and Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies, the movie progresses at a leisurely pace, much like the river and canals it documents. Opening with a tourist-friendly travelogue…