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Shoplifters
1 people found this review helpful
6 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0

Japan as the country you never know.

A lot of people say that if you don’t know Hirokazu Koreeda, it’s a pity for yourself. And apparently, it’s indeed a fact. It’s quite embarrassing when I was new to Koreeda in “Shoplifters”. It won Palme d’Or in Cannes Film Festival, 2018. Koreeda became the first Japanese director to win the award in the decade since Shohei Imamura’s “The Eel” in 1997. This movie is about the ironic and gloomy side of Japanese society. When you know Japan about its cultures, you know you feel guilty when you watch this film. Honestly, when watching this film, I remember the days of my stupidity when my first day in college. I acted like a Japanese, spoke in Japanese, and really “liked” anime.

After watching this film, for some reason, I became a bad guy in this situation and I can’t regret it. I can’t regret it for two reasons. Firstly, it’s because of the past and I don’t want to remember it. Secondly, I’m the same person in the present and the past. “Shoplifters” is about one poor Japanese family making a living. Focusing on isolated people and trying to patch up each other’s flaws in a bond called “family”. They believe the drive to survive together would create a good neighboorhood. However, when they are far from the norms of society, they act unreasonably.

Koreeda loves to explore a complexity about a family from a different perspective. The movie is gloomy, ironic, and quite depressing about the bitterness of life. He likes to explore gray color, not just black and white. The theme of the movie discusses the meaning of a family. Just like one of the characters in this film when she talks about irony yet true about family. She said that a family isn’t about blood relations. It’s not about how the kid was born from the mother’s womb. And when she spits the word, I’m just speechless; either impressed with the sentence or feeling sorry to her.

Koreeda also loves a slice of life wherein each of his films, a touch exists compared to films in general. The plot in this movie, gradually, reveals how each character has certain reasons. Just like the opening sequence of the movie. A boy and a father entered a supermarket but spoke through hand gestures. We don’t know who they are but it’s interesting because we know this will continue over and over again. We will see how they both do the same thing. However, it’s not just about the boy and the father. It’s about these characters struggling to fill each other and connect why they do all this in the first place.

Morally speaking, all the characters in this film are very doubtful. But, we understand why they do it and prefer to take the consequences first. We know why a young girl earns a living in a sex club. We know why the father prefers shoplifting rather than making a living normally. The whole situation the characters choose to create themselves. Finally, you know there are no black and white in this film. It’s smooth, simple, natural, depressing, and beautiful at the same time.

Every actor in this movie is amazing especially when they are not over-the-top different from drama films in general. Their performance is so natural and very emotionally strong but raw. They aren’t too sentimental or tragic. They just act like normal people and go through many moments from bitter, sweet, to sad. There is a joy on the way to the beach to a pressure between one character. However, character development is very, very small to notice thanks to the script. The movie is just mindblowing to say at least, an exaggerate word to use. The relationship between characters, the black satire humor, and the moral message is more than about family and togetherness. Back to the first main question, what is a family?

“Shoplifters” is a complicated yet melancholic movie, gloomy, but important in providing a perspective about the theme. It’s about a contemplative about choosing a family. This movie explores the big questions about life and society. It’s about modern Japanese society but also not about Japan itself. It’s about everybody, every one of you who watches this movie. Koreeda cares about people, cares about his country, and everything. This movie has a pessimistic view as if to tell that this is just impossible.

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#NoFilter
1 people found this review helpful
6 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 7.0
#NoFilter was a short film I stumbled across on YouTube when looking for a good horror short to watch and after looking up what it was, the poster and synopsis caught my eye as something maybe worth watching. It was only six minutes, it wasn't long so I decided to go for it and have a look at it anyway - if it sucked, it's only six minutes of my life.

What I found was a short that started perfectly normally and didn't feel foreboding in any way and then, within two minutes, I was taken to feeling uneasy to pure unnerving content being flashed at me that will definitely be flashing back across my eyelids when I go to sleep tonight.

I admit if this was in a full-length feature film; I wouldn't be rating this scene so highly; I'm rating this short so highly because it's hard to bring all these emotions and such across in just 5 minutes and to do so well - many feature-length films struggle to do so across an entire hour and a half to two hours. What Rosario directed and wrote is well crafted and deserves to be noted for that.

With the message as well to stop worrying so much about how you look, as someone who's a bit narcissistic themselves, this definitely made me glance at my phone and think about how much I edit my photos before posting them. Solid 4/5

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Completed
One Missed Call Final
0 people found this review helpful
7 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 3.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
One Missed Call Final started off really strong and then three hours passed and I was thinking "damn they dragged this out" - only to look down and see that only fifteen minutes had passed and then, for some reason, it turned into The Grudge. Then the ending, one of the better parts, just sped by. I don't know what it is about this film that has the middle hour just drag out, but it's a damn shame, it really could have closed the series up better; this series probably should have been left as a duo.
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God of War
0 people found this review helpful
8 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
This is a movie for historical + war + action lovers. The ratio plot:action is heavily tipped on the action side. I found very interesting the technological aspect of warfare which was showcased (the Chinese have to adapt their weapons against the Japanese’s) and the tactical scenes (especially during a major battle in a city, which makes amazing use of the environment with the narrow streets, canals, roofs). The final boss battle between the Chinese and Japanese commanders is thrilling, a masterclass in pacing and raising the stakes. Satisfying watch if you want to watch people fight for 2 hours!

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Making Family
0 people found this review helpful
8 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
This review may contain spoilers
This movie is super cute, thanks to the exceptional acting skill of adorable little Moon Mason as Tae Bong, a product of artificial insemination of two strangers, the Korean Mi Yeon and the Chinese Li Yan. Together with him and his newfound big family they travel to China countryside with beautiful scenery along the way and some comical Korean-Chinese translation errors since our little one does not understand Chinese. However he manages to steal the hearts of his estranged dad and the big family.
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Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy
0 people found this review helpful
8 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
A breath of fresh air in the Ip Man series! I’m never tired of Donnie Yen, but you could tell the writers were running out of ideas. Max Zhang as Cheung Tin Chi is a good protagonist, more the strong but silent type, taciturn and prideful, different enough from Ip Man who was genial and dignified. The movie retains a lot of what makes the Ip Man series so enjoyable: a lot of inventive action (stand out scenes like a fight on top of neon signs, a duel around a glass of booze) and high-stake boss battles, some humour, some sentimentality. Another big draw is seeing stars shining in supporting roles especially Michelle Yeoh and Dave Bautista, but also Kevin Cheng and Ong Bak’s Jaa Tony. Worth a watch for any kung fu fans!

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L♥DK
0 people found this review helpful
8 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 3.5
This review may contain spoilers
As I watched drama first that's why I think I don't like the movie .theme is same but story is different .I really not found a scene in which they fall for each other .story start with fighting but not a single scene I found that they did something for eachother which make them fall for eachother then he kiss her for repayment then I thought that love story would start but it was look like a one sided love she showed some expression which shows that she fall for him but he was not and then he separate himself from her and at the end they unite .
Story not well synchronise ,some elements were missing and secondly very loose acting by the actors.

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Innocent Steps
0 people found this review helpful
8 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
This review may contain spoilers
This drama is well paced despite of lots of dancing practice but it does not look boring. You will persevere with young Chae Rin learning how to dance from Young Sae, and the actress Moon Geun Young really took her role seriously by actually learning the skill! The romance is beautiful. Their mutual feeling is gradually developed from faking a marriage due to illegal immigration issue to real love by the end of the competition. It is not all serious either with two immigration agents spying on them!
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The Coldest Day
0 people found this review helpful
9 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 5.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 2.0
Rewatch Value 2.0
This review may contain spoilers
I dont like how he forced Hobin to forgive him. They couldve went about it better. That made the ending not feel as touching as it couldve been. I know it is a short film but that doesn't make up for it. They couldve easy had the actor break down and have an emotional conversation verse just forcing them into a 'passionate' kiss. As well as, the manipulation over the watch. Thats not a healthy relationship. Hobin deserves better.

Music didnt play a huge part, I barely notices it
There isnt anything to rewatch
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Finding Mr. Right
0 people found this review helpful
9 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 7.0
This review may contain spoilers
Although I don't agree with pregnant Chinese women illegally entering US to give birth, the movie idea itself is refreshing. Rebecca Tang played as lively Jia Jia who undergoes tsundere process from snotty and pretentious rich woman to humble and friendly tenant. The chemistry between her and the veteran actor Wu Xiu Bo as the male lead is natural although there is no kissing scene. The side stories of Jia Jia's tenants are also interesting to watch. But the show stealer is young actress Liu Meng Ke who played convincingly as the daughter who suffers from her parents divorce.

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100 Days
0 people found this review helpful
9 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 6.5
This review may contain spoilers
The trailer is funny with the chicken scene that enticed me to watch this movie. Too bad, that scene is in the beginning and that's about it for the comedy part. For the romance part, the chemistry between Dan Wu and Xiao Wei is sweet. However, I still feel bad for the groom being dumped on the wedding day, and he is a kind man. The island view is gorgeous and the islanders' life is fascinating. Yet, I don't understand why there is still a belief a son has to marry within 100 days in a modern country of Taiwan and in year 2013 just to ease up on a mother's spirit.
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Pandora
0 people found this review helpful
9 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I highly recommend watching this masterpiece of a movie as it was the most brilliant thing I have seen in my entire life. I have not cried this much especially for a film. It left me completely speechless as I could only think that everything was real ; that's how intense everything was : the cast, the acting, the special effects, absolutely everything.
I am completely shocked that this amazing movie doesn't have a single award as it deserves oscars.
If you have a weak heart and cry very easily I suggest you prepare yourself for non-stop crying before clicking on the start button. Also if the plot doesn't seem the most appealing to you please just give it at least a try. It really is something that not everyone would like but so worth it.

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Before We Vanish
0 people found this review helpful
10 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
This review may contain spoilers

Charming yet searching alien invasion/body snatcher flick

'Before We Vanish' is a surprisingly light-hearted alien invasion with far more optimism and humour (of the regular and dark varieties) than its counterpart story, 'Foreboding'. Whereas 'Foreboding' depicts the psychological and moral degeneration that consumes humans and their relations in the removal of human 'concepts', 'Before We Vanish' portrays the aliens' reaping of concepts as an almost liberating process. This provides an alternate viewpoint that suggests that, while human concepts are necessary for our ordered functioning, they may be overly restraining too. The aliens, less frightening than the gaunt, dead-eyed Dr. Makabe, are interesting and surprisingly endearing (though still unnerving) antagonists, such that one begins to gravitate towards their agenda, especially in the face of their machiavellian human opponents. And unlike with 'Foreboding', where human love is portrayed as a double edged sword- a saviour that holds us together and a transgression-inducing pitfall, it is shown here as the ultimate redeeming force- the strongest concept of them all.

Acting was strong- Nagasawa Masami occasionally overdid it as the comically irritable wife but she hit home well in portraying her character's anxiety and yes, her love for who may or may not be her husband. Matsuda Ryuhei's understated performance excellently subverted the trope of the alien invader as ruthless and decisive. Takasugi Mahiro's enthusiastic Amano was both infectious and unnerving, and when needed, he projected genuine menace. This too applied to Tsunematsu Yuri's Akira, whose off-kilter childishness provided a major source of dark humor, especially when contrasted against her brutality in the film's action scenes. Hasegawa Hiroki too was fascinating as the allegiance-shifting journalist Sakurai. Though, I wasn't too sure what to make of his bizarre last stand.

Although the great soundtrack was, welcomingly, used more liberally than in 'Foreboding', the films share similar issues- poor pacing, the frustrating inability to fully drive home their tantalising concepts, and occasionally questionable character interactions. Nonetheless, the two are both interestingly varied takes on the alien invasion genre.












(The duality of the two films is also shown in the casting of Higashide Masahiro- as the ruthless, love-scorning Dr. Makabe in 'Foreboding' and the loving priest in 'Before We Vanish'.)

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Our Times
0 people found this review helpful
10 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.5
This review may contain spoilers
I'm totally drowning in this movie.
The 'now' part at the beginning is good for the prelude, but the 90's part is what it's all about ???? Start from the most popular boy at school is always a basketball player (I don't understand why it is so true ????) until a girl never told her true feeling. If they say they're ok, then the real meaning is that they're not ok ????
The plot is not something very new, but this movie provide such a roller coaster emotions. You laugh, you get mad, you hate some people, you happy, you cry a lot (or at least me who cry a lot ????). This movie also taught you that not everything we think and plan will come true, not everything you want will you get.
I'll make a confession. I cry on conversation between Tsu Tai Yu and Ouyang Fei Fan when they're at the camp location. Then I cry a lot when Lin Zhen Xin listening to Tsu Tai Yu voice record. That record and Hebe Tian's song is really an extreme blow for me.
Back to the 'now', I'm happy that Lin Zhen Xin can meet her idol...two of her idol if I can say ???? But it's still hurt me a little to know that they should do a long detour until they can meet each other.
In the end, me, for sure, will watch this movie again ????

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Unmasked Noise
0 people found this review helpful
10 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
The story, plot, and music of the live action movie for Anonymous Noise resembled the anime. It followed the proper sequence of events and transitions. The music utilized in the movie was similar to the official anime sound tracks from the insert songs to the background music. The live action movie did a remarkable job in mirroring the anime to an official real life movie.

I was surprised about the choice of the main actress for Nino though. From the trailers, I already realized that the girl wasn't authentic Japanese. They chose a mixed Asian as the protagonist. She is half Japanese and half British. Her facial features like her face shape, eyes, and nose didn't resemble a full Asian girl. There's a lot of lip syncing too since it tries to use the audio from the anime. Overall, the live action did an amazing job following the anime's plot, and music.

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