March 2012

Review: Run Lola Run (1998)


Run Lola Run is a German film by director Tom Tykwer that is crafted in a unique way that may seem a bit odd to hear it spoken of, but when you watch it you realize the masterful way that he’s put it all together.  The result is a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat while looking at some interesting philosophical concepts in a non-obtrusive way.

The basic plot revolves around Lola (Franka Potente) receiving a call from her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), who tells her that they have 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks or he’s a dead man.  So off she goes, running as fast as she can while trying to figure out a way to get way-too-much money in way-too-little time.

Review: 1911 (2011)

The film 1911 is a mostly-historical movie starring Jackie Chan and depicting the events of the Chinese revolution against the former Qing Dynasty.  One hundred years after the title of this film came the release of this film – no coincidence considering it was made to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution.  More coincidentally, it also happens to be the 100th film that Chan has starred in.

I am a big fan of historical movies and am especially drawn to all things dealing with the history of China, so I decided to turn this one on a few nights back.  Given Chan’s recent career move towards more serious films, I thought it would also be the perfect opportunity to see what he was capable of.

Review: Big Man Japan (2007)

Big Man Japan has to be, by far, one of the strangest films I have ever seen.  By the time I reached the end of it, I really wanted to pull some sort of deeper meaning from this cinematic acid-trip, but alas, it may not be there despite what I think.  The film is shot in the style of a documentary, at least most of the time.  It follows the life of the main character, Masaru Daisato (played by Hitoshi Matsumoto), who happens to be the fourth in the tradition of people who get very large when exposed to massive amounts of electricity.  Upon reaching super-size, this unusual super-hero, named “Big Man Japan” grabs a big stick and some giant purple undies and goes out to beat up on the seemingly endless supply of giant monsters that hate on the small island country.

Review: City of Lost Children (1995)

Jean-Pierre Jeunet, though only the creator of a handful of films, is one of my favorite writer/directors of all time.  In his second film, City of Lost Children he demonstrates this well.  It was co-written by Gilles Adrien and co-directed with Marc Caro, but the end result is a piece of cinema magic that only Jeunet’s presence could have created.  He uses his expertise to craft fantastic visions that come to life in strange and compelling ways upon the movie screen.  He is known for being behind other such well-known films as Delicatessen (1991) and Amelie (2001).

Review: Madadayo (1993)

Madadayo is another film from the master of Japanese cinema, and possibly the best writer/director that has ever existed in the history of movie making, Akira Kurosawa.  It was his 30th film and the last one that he was able to make before he was snatched away from his hordes of loyal followers.  While many people do not see Madadayo as Kurosawa’s best work (that seems to be exclusively reserved for Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Rashomon), I personally consider it my favorite.  Not for the swordplay and intensity that Kurosawa’s movies are usually known for, but for the deep and insightful look at being human that it provides.