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  • Spirited Away

    Spirited Away 2001

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 29 Jan, 2016

    87/100

    Enthralling from start to finish, but really picks up steam in the second half (roughly when the giant baby becomes a fat hamster - what a great line!) as the melancholy sets in and wraps around you like a warm blanket.

  • The Life of Oharu

    The Life of Oharu 1952

    ★★★½ Watched 27 Jan, 2016

    66/100

    A no-holds-barred view of a society stacked against women, this is the story of one bad decision (by cultural standards) leading to a life of misery. As such, it is illuminating and affecting...but after a while, the misfortunes seem almost comically unceasing, and it becomes more of a sadistic gauntlet than a story.

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  • Battle Royale

    Battle Royale 2000

    ★★★★★ Added

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A victim of people ignoring the "Don't judge a book by its cover" cliche, this is a vital, paradoxically life-affirming splatter film with a stong eye for absurdist detail. It's high school with Uzis and exploding neckbraces.

    It's probably best to start with the facts, address the rumors. Yes, it's about 44 young Japanese high schoolers, placed on a remote island and forced to hunt each other until only one is left alive. Yes, it's violent and very bloody. Yes,…

  • Redbelt

    Redbelt 2008

    ★★★★ Watched 08 Feb, 2013

    73/100

    The final two minutes, basically, really really annoyed me, and rudely splashed water in the face of my burgeoning "Holy shit this is actually pretty damn good for what I assumed was just going to be your typical Karate Kid template underdog fight picture, but with a lot more fucks, double-crosses and Rebecca Pidgeon" excitement.

    But the rest of it is aces. Clever plotting keeps the wheels well hidden, covered by looser scene construction (like the gun accident, with…