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All reviews - Movies (46) - TV Shows (1) - Books (14)

Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims review

Posted : 6 years, 1 month ago on 4 July 2011 03:54 (A review of Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims)

"...You know what? This is a great movie where two gay samurai dance and sing and go on a journey to save one of them from drugs. And you know what? It's a kind of musical, a kind of horror, a kind of crime, a kind of human drama but surely a comedy. And you know what? The junkie sees a lot of strange things and they meet weird people that sing istead of talking and then Yaji pulls Kita's balls (one of the funniest scene in this movie!) and Kita joins a yakuza boss fan club, dressing like a high school girl and rolling on the grass and then they're separeted and Kita turns for a half into a magic mushroom and Yaji's 'farted away'..." (Seriously!)
And that's my enthusiasm while relating about "Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims" to everyone was that patient to listen to me. Because I always suggest to watch this film to those who love Japan and Japanese culture (I read somewhere this is a kind of a must see of the Japanese pop culture).

But I didn't watch it for a cultural purpose. I decided to watch it because I was searching for a wacky comedy. and I had seen [Link removed - login to see]">this video. I soon liked the intro in black and white that pays homage and make fun of old Japanese horror movies. After a few minutes it becomes a colorful psychedelic semi-musical, like I expected.



But once I've seen the first part, that is merely a comedy, when I didn't expect any other thing but to keep on laughing, I discovered a great road movie, a chance to think about life, love, death, morality and the importance of imagination to overcome a painful reality. And yes, our relationship with reality is the real point of the film. Kita has a sad one and keep on repeating "Reality is boring... This ain't my reality..."
The scenes before the ending are beautiful and moving, when Yaji arrives to the source of the River Styx, where death and life are connected, and he finds that the real border between them is our tears.

I read somewhere that it's impossible to wholly understand this movie if you're not Japanese. And maybe it's true, there are some gags that really confused me and reference to Japanese pop culture that I got only because I've seen many other movies and love this Country. But life is made of some values that are the same in the whole world, and this film explores them all. And then, guys, funny situations are funny everywhere.

With "Yaji and Kita" the director Kankuro Kudo confirms to be a genius, especially as a screenwriter (see for example some great tv shows like Kisarazu Cat's Eye serie, the fantastic Tiger & Dragon or Ikebukuro west gate park) and also confirms to find in Tomoya Nagase the ideal protagonist of his stories: freak, immature, profound, fragile, beautiful, heroic. Perfect the chemistry between him and the other protagonist, Shichinosuke Nakamura, a famous and extraordinary kabuki actor and [Link removed - login to see]">onnagata.


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Outrage: Way of the Yakuza review

Posted : 6 years, 1 month ago on 4 July 2011 09:46 (A review of Outrage: Way of the Yakuza)

Outrage is a war movie, for better or worse. It's a good journey into yakuza strategies, culture and pecking order, and tells about a world that is too little known in western countries. It shows a strict society always careful to follow the rules but ready to play dirty to have a little more bit of power. Without romanticize it shows the meanness and even the fun for harming. Extremely violent, but maybe just realist, this aseptic eye is its very own fault. Excepting those scenes of nice black humor, the impression I had was almost like I watched a documentary. Even if I know Outrage is a coming back to Kitano's roots, I still missed so much that human warmth I found in other movies of him.
A final note could be that trying to follow too many foreign names and the way they're linked may turn out a little confusing.


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Greenberg review

Posted : 6 years, 3 months ago on 2 May 2011 07:11 (A review of Greenberg)

The main mistake Noah Baumbach made is the key to the storytelling: I guess he decided to talk about emptiness with emptiness. Bad idea. If you talk about a vicious circle you're supposed to be able to break it, letting "light" come in and see things better. That's what analyzing should be. Greenberg stays in the semidarkness without a solution, and every day feels depressed because his life is empty and his life end up getting more and more empty because he's too depressed to do something about it. Baumbach puts some characters to enliven the world Greenberg lives in, but they're not strong enough either to lash him or to highlight differences between him and them. His best friend is useless and the girl he starts “to-date-not-to-date-maybe-he’s-dating-her” is as weak as he is. Though I appreciated some scenes (especially the funny ones) and Ben Stiller acting, in the end it’s a film that leaves nothing, no special feeling.


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Legion review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 26 March 2011 11:29 (A review of Legion)

I really enjoyed this movie... Ahah...
The old lady walking on the ceiling like a cockroach... and the kid with that weird funny voice... and those fantastic scenes of possession with heads spinning and shaking.
Definitively the funniest movie of the year.
Eh?
What?
What did you sa...?
It's not a comedy??? It's a horror?
Oh.


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The Tourist review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 26 March 2011 11:00 (A review of The Tourist)

A movie that looks like a perfume commercial, beautiful and well dressed people but nothing more. Almost plastic. Even actors looks like mannequin. I think it's the worst performance for both Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Scenes are absurd and the whole story doesn't work. I really screamed at the ending.


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Burlesque review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 24 March 2011 01:42 (A review of Burlesque)

"Guess what's gonna happen? Guess next?" That's what I wondered for the whole movie, of course with a lot of irony. This is the most predictable movie I ever seen, it's a container for the most banal cliches served with volgar sex-simulation dancing. If you're a fan of Christina Aguilera it'll be fine, she looks beautiful and sings a lot, but honestly I think that this movie it's a real waste of time


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The Merchant of Venice review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 23 March 2011 11:31 (A review of The Merchant of Venice)

It's a great story, with powerful characters, good dialogues, strong scenes. Blood and violence: Shakespeare confirms to be more "pulp" than modern pulp. But a great story is not enough, you have to be good at telling, and the story is too slow to do justice to the words, because getting bored takes away your attention. Some scenes are visually beautiful, but that's all. What really remains is Al Pacino, a perfect Shylock ready to eat the world and the neighbor.fierce even when accepts defeat. Actually, Pacino is the only true value of the film, the only reason to watch it.


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A Farewell to Arms review

Posted : 7 years, 4 months ago on 24 March 2010 10:40 (A review of A Farewell to Arms)

I like Hemingway's bald style. For me, he has been and he'll always be a great author. The only thing I have to admit, is that I have never endured that Catherine and her odious verbal tic: "dear".
Let's go for a walk, dear! What time is it, dear? Dear, do you love me? Yes, dear?
(I'm inventing these phrases, but in the book they are very similar).
Ah, if only Hemingway had eliminated her soon! However, she dies a couple of pages before the end: the most beautiful last pages of my life.

*******


Mi piace la scrittura asciutta di Hemingway. È stato e rimarrà sempre un grande scrittore, per me. L'unica cosa, devo ammettere, è che non ho mai sopportato Catherine e quel suo odiosissimo intercalare: "caro".
Andiamo a fare una passeggiata, caro! Che ore sono, caro? Caro, mi ami? Sì, caro?
(le frasi le ho inventate io, ma nel libro sono molto simili).
Ah, se solo Hemingway l'avesse eliminata subito! Comunque muore un paio di pagine prima della fine: le ultime pagine più belle della mia vita.


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Birdman review

Posted : 7 years, 4 months ago on 24 March 2010 10:35 (A review of Birdman)

Bloodcurdling. It's the only word that can describe this novel. Mo Hayder is very good at creating suspense and horror in those who read and at building a plot so perfect in joins that it seems written backwards, from the end. Bloodcurdling.

*******


Agghiacciante. È l'unica parola che può descrivere questo romanzo. Mo Hayder è bravissima a creare tensione e orrore in chi legge e a costruire un plot così perfetto negli incastri da sembrare scritto al contrario, a partire dalla fine. Agghiacciante.


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Havana glam: Romanzo (AvantPop) review

Posted : 7 years, 4 months ago on 24 March 2010 10:32 (A review of Havana glam: Romanzo (AvantPop))

The author uses the narrative expedient of time travel for his storytelling that is a perfect mishmash of science-fiction, history and (most of all) politic thoughts. The writing of the collective Wu Ming is a successful mix between fiction and film writing, then read their books is important, at least it is for me, and who loves to write screenplays.

*******


L'autore usa l'espediente dei viaggi nel tempo per raccontare in un perfetto mishmash la fantascienza, la storia e (soprattutto) il pensiero politico.
La scrittura del collettivo Wu Ming è un misto ben riuscito tra narrativa e scrittura cinematografica, quindi leggere i loro libri è importante, almeno lo è per me, e per chi ama scrivere sceneggiature.


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