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24 March 2008 @ 09:26 pm
Even More Reviews!  
I don't know what it is about, like, seeing movies and stuff.  I keep, like, totally, like, seeing them.  And, like, yeah.  Omigawd.

So the movies that eltea and I watched last night were "Kung Fu Hustle," which I've seen three times now; "Casino Royale," same deal; and "Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut," which I'd never seen.  No spoilers; just pictures gleaned from Google Images and lots of fangirling and commentary. :D

Kung Fu Hustle:

Oh, man.  This movie cracks me up for a lot of reasons.  First of all, it's deliberately written that way, but there's also the added element of the fact that I recognize phrases in the Chinese.  Of course, what I recognize is "fat woman," "asshole," and the immortal "aiya," but... hey.

Anyway, the reason I forced/wheeled/coerced eltea into watching this movie is because it's exquisitely stylistic.  The major plot twist is somewhat predictable, but one of the main plot junctures early on is amazing as far as storytelling goes.  Most of it is just cinematic magic -- some of the imagery is supremely imaginative, and the fight choreography is fantastic, innovative and at times hilarious.

Really, though, watch it for the laughs and the characters.

By far the best is the landlady, who I guarantee will get a laugh out of you, whoever you are.

She's pretty much just the bomb.  Stephen Chow, who's the writer, producer, director, and star, is really something else.  Also, good luck trying not to love his hair.

Watch out for the violence, though -- it was even gorier than I remembered.  I mean, my twelve-year-old sister can handle it, but it's some pretty hardcore stuff.  It earns the R.  It's fairly tactful and stylistic, and some of it's almost like that nebulous "fantasy violence" stuff, but it gets intense sometimes, so watch that.

Casino Royale:

I'm not a Bond expert.  Moreover, I've never actually seen a Bond movie all the way through, save this one, which I've seen THRICE.  What I like about it most is that Daniel Craig (and of course, you know, that director guy, and the screewriters) give James Bond more depth.  He's not just a womanizer with a crapload of nifty gadgets; he's a complex character with emotions and motivations.  It works for me.

Also, he has a brain.  And uses it.

Also, he has ridiculously bright blue eyes.  Check it.

I mean, DAMN.

There's a fair amount of violence in this sucker, too, though it's only PG-13.  On the whole, I found it very sympathetic and very smart, and I like that in a movie.  Now, we're still not entirely sure if some of the stuff actually, ah, makes sense as far as the bad guy's issues with the stock market go, but, then, we don't do the stock market, and... yeah.

And the proliferation of facecards in the poker sections is just funny.

It's a fun movie, and I like fun movies.  The action is impressive, considerable, and creative, and, really, it's worth the rental just for the chase scene at the beginning.  :D

Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut:

We rented the director's cut because it got about ten percent higher ratings on most of the online rating sites, and...


I haven't had my mind blown so much by a movie since I saw "The Matrix" when I was eleven.  I can barely begin to describe how stunning this film was.  There are a thousand things to say, and I have neither the time nor the words to articulate them all.  Let's put it this way -- it was two in the morning when we stuck it in the DVD player, but this sucker had me for every minute.

To begin, Frank the Giant Bunny Rabbit will scare the crap out of you.  He is designed that way, and he succeeds.  This movie is psychologically stimulating and frightening, and that's part of what gives it such a singular ability to knock you right off your feet.  There are bits of violence, nothing so explicit as in the two movies noted above, and the language fits into the R category because, y'know, it sounds like what real people say (God forbid THAT should happen).  This is a Brain Movie.  It'll twist yours up and wring it out and lead it around on a spider's silk leash, and your jaw will attain a new level of droppage.

The only thing we really didn't like was Donnie's girlfriend.  We have something of an aversion to Mary Sues, and she was one.  Female characters are tough, always, to pull off, and I thought maybe they could do it, but they didn't make her likable.  Maybe that wasn't really their goal, but Gretchen was superficial, self-centered, and pretty, and that is a recipe for female movie characters, as far as I'm concerned.  I disliked her, and eltea, per the way that she experiences every emotion eight hundred percent, hated her guts.

Of course, we were probably just jealous, because she got to make out with Jake Gyllenhaal, and we didn't.


I'll get back to Jake in a minute.

The other characters... wow.  I really loved the Darko parents, which is unsual.  Rarely are parents portrayed well in movies, and here, they were realistic, sympathetic, and thoroughly lovable.  They acted like real parents.  Like normal people.  And they actually cared about each other and had a marriage.  My Heavens.

And Drew Barrymore is often good, but here... SO endearing.  Wonderful.  She played Donnie's not-so-orthodox (as the rest of the school, at least) English teacher, and she was fantastic.

So... Jake.

Oh, man.  Oh, MAN.

After the Brokeback Mountain fangirling, you probably gathered that I really loved his acting in that particular cinematic masterpiece.  Here, though... He outdid himself.  I literally gasped aloud at least once simply at his facial expressions.  He would move seamlessly from making you laugh to making you stare in disbelief, just by flipping like a light-switch from a smile to a smirk.  He had a grin that was so adorable you wanted to pet him, and he had a grin that sent tremors down your spine.  I am absolutely amazed by his talent.  Flabbergasted.  If Jake hadn't been good, this movie would have tanked, but he, and it, was absolutely mesmerizing.

Watch it.  I'd go with the Director's Cut if you can get it, because I can't think of anything that ought to have been taken out of what I saw.  It'll seriously skewer your brain in the best possible way, and the climax is utterly unpredictable.  Flipping astounding.  I'm going back to Borders to buy this one, and then I'm going to watch it again.

I'm still in shock.  It was that good.
That's: blue maxsomandalicious on March 25th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)
I've only seen the latter two and am only commenting on Donnie Darko because as a quasi-Bond expert, I did not enjoy Casino Royale as much as the Sean Connery and Pierce Bronsan Jobs. I like my bond suave and cheesy and my bond girls vapid. Can't help it. I was raised on that.

Anyway, on to Donnie Darko:

ITA with every word you said. I've been enjoying this film(the directors cut, because once you've seen that one you can't go back to the theatrical release) for YEARS and it still surprises me when I start to talk about it and ppl say "I've never seen/heard of that film." Because that is seriously tragic.

It's funny because I never liked his girlfriend either. I wonder though, if it was the casting choice, because I've never seen that girl give a spectacular performance.

But yeah, the family. Wow. Every member was believable. REalistic! I mean, your watching and you are like "I've seen that family! I know that family!" You know what I mean?

There are so many great things about this film. I'll get to the time travel aspect in a moment.

First, I concur, again, on Drew's performance. OUTSTANDING! I wish I had that teacher and "We are losing them to apathy!"

So true! We have lost most of our youth to apathy. She summed everything that is wrong with this world up in that one brilliantly delivered line.

And omg, Patrick Swayze! Do you know how much FUN it was that he was a motivational speaker who had an UNDERGROUND KIDDIE PORN RING! Oh man, my mom was devastated. I laughed because it was so exceptionally perfect. And I mean as an actor that is adored by middle aged women for his smooth dance skills and "ditto" it was quite a leap out of the box so kudos for him.

And then, lastly Jake. I have adored him from the moment I saw this movie.

For me, it was like the first time I saw Edward Norton in Prime Evil. (if you don't know what I'm talking about, watch it and you will know. EXACTLY.)

Mindblowing, stellar, magic to my cinema-loving soul. And you are right, it's in the facial expressions, the motions, the EMOTIONS he can evoke from you.

He would move seamlessly from making you laugh to making you stare in disbelief, just by flipping like a light-switch from a smile to a smirk. He had a grin that was so adorable you wanted to pet him, and he had a grin that sent tremors down your spine.

I was thinking in accordance with adorable, diabolical too. Because there is a lunacy there, a subtle dark psychotic-ness that is very frightening. Alluring at best and causes you to believe what he (as donnie) is experiencing but at the same time wonder if he is just deluded.

I have this theory about Lost and Donnie Darko. There are so many similarities that they run wild in my head. I could tell you about them, but you'd think I was psychotic and full of nonsense.

I really do think this is a rare, but fantastic film. One of my many favorites and one that I love to experience over and over again.

and hey girl hey:

"Why are you wearing that man suit?"


And so existential.

That's: Brandon Flowerssomandalicious on March 25th, 2008 06:06 am (UTC)
I wanted to add that this movie was the reason that I went to see Brokeback Mountain.

The last movie, by the way, that I BAWLED like a two year old in the theater.

Elteaeltea on March 25th, 2008 06:27 am (UTC)
Yeah, that movie made me sob too. XD The first time I saw it, I knew what was coming, and I cried anyway. The second time I saw it, I sobbed through the entire ending half hour. What did it for me was the way that there was so much hope right up until the very end, when it’s all suddenly erased.

Such a wonderful movie; I bought a copy the day after tierfal and I watched it. :)
That's: hellosomandalicious on March 25th, 2008 06:38 am (UTC)
I remember that my two friends, Ali and Jenny, and I went to the Tivoli in U-city to see it because it wasn't playing in many of the local theaters here in the midwest. Our reasons for going were pretty shallow, I have to admit. Heath, Jake and Boys making out.

Anyway I remember trying not to sniffle and slouching down in my chair so that they couldn't see me wipe my face. Then I heard Ali sniffle, and I whispered "Are you crying?" And she affirmed that she was and then Jenny leaned in and informed us that she was too and then we all held hands and cried together. Such a beautiful film and I mean, everybody has felt that way about someone before. Whether it be a lover of the same or opposite sex, or even a child and its teddy bear. We've all experienced that love on some level.

And yes! The broken hope is just shattering! I really do agree.

Did you ever read the book?
Elteaeltea on March 25th, 2008 06:49 am (UTC)
When tierfal and I saw it, we’d heard how sad it was, so we were prepared with Kleenex. =D We actually watched it directly following The Notebook, which we didn’t like at all (I just posted my reviews of each on my LJ a couple days ago), and we cried.... all over the place. XD

I have not read the book, though I’d really like to. I might have to glance around for it next time I’m at the bookstore, though I’m not sure in which section I’d look for a short story. :/ But I’d really like to read it. :)
That's: Adam silly facesomandalicious on March 25th, 2008 07:02 am (UTC)
Lucky that you knew! We had no idea, so we were totally unprepared.

And do get the book, it's worth it.

I usually shop at B.Dalton (which is a branch of Borders, yeah? *scratches head* Not sure) and I found it with the rest of the fiction.
Elteaeltea on March 25th, 2008 07:12 am (UTC)
Thank you; I’ll take a look next time. :)
Vitamin Ctierfal on March 25th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
Haha, you guys had a giant discussion... Kudos!

I'm afraid I have no Traditional Bond experience... I might've, if I hadn't been seeing "The Two Towers" on opening weekend instead of seeing "Die Another Day" with my dad and my stepmom and my brother. But hey, that's ME in a nutshell.

I had a lot of people tell me Donnie Darko was the shit, but I didn't realize just how right they were.

Girlfriend: *twitch*

The Family: Fer real! And so refreshing in a Hollywood populated by evil mothers and distant fathers... Plus the town was SO my hometown.

Drew: Spot on. Jolly good show from her, wot.

Hahahaaa, Patrick Swayze... And a bit more hahaha...

Haven't seen Prime Evil, but Jake... my GOD. The character is so complicated -- so many nuances, and he hit them all, perfectly. Amazing.

I was just watching an episode of Lost today, because although I gave up in the second season, my mom still tapes it. I had no idea what was going on, but just the formatting and the acting reminded me while I loved it so much. Crazygood!

I think I said "OH!" aloud at the man suit line. Although I had so many immense reactions to different parts that it's hard to catalogue them... :D
Elteaeltea on March 25th, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)
I’ll do my own reviews soon, but I’ll at least take a moment to respond to yours here. :)

Kung Fu Hustle:

HAHAHAHA THE LANDLADY.... she was amazing. =D This movie also had one of the most unexpectedly creepy villains I’ve ever seen.

Casino Royale:

I’ve only ever seen one other James Bond movie, and this one was much smarter. XD It was also nice that they had about forty years on the special effects. =D

The plot was really well done; this was definitely an action movie with a brain.

Donnie Darko:

Wonderful movie. I completely agree with tierfal; it reminds me of The Matrix. And it was really enjoyable to see a movie and have no idea what was coming; normally it’s relatively predictable. XD

The Bunny - OH MY GOD. So scary. I will be having nightmares about that thing. IT’S A RABBIT! How did they make a forest creature so terrifying?

The Girlfriend - Drove me up the wall; I kept hoping he’d end up with that girl with the earmuffs instead. I think it was because she was so self-concerned that she never bothered to listen to other people’s problems, and I can’t stand people like that.

The Teacher - What a wonderful character. =D

The Star - I already respected him, but this blew me away. A performance in the same league as Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes - and tierfal, at least, knows what that means, coming from me.