daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Gabriel Girard » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:29 pm

Where The Wild Things Are- A deceptively simple story told with melancholic overtones and marvelous artistery. This is the kind of movie that sticks to you.

Youth Without Youth - An overly complicated story with an amazing first act, a less interesting second act and a disppointing ending is kept afloat by Coppola's visual flair,Tim Roth's performance and Golijov' music. The filmic equivalent of a glass bauble.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby HGervais » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:33 pm

Gabriel Girard wrote:
Where The Wild Things Are- A deceptively simple story told with melancholic overtones and marvelous artistery. This is the kind of movie that sticks to you.

It's like a kids movie for adults.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:50 pm

Robert Downey Sr.'s GREASER'S PALACE (1972) on TCM-Underground for the first time. I'd read about the movies of Downey Sr. before but never actually seen one until "Greaser's Palace." I was immediately reminded of Dennis Hopper's anarchic "The Last Picture" western but with a subversive sense of humor about its parable of the life of Christ (shown parachuting into the open prairie in a purple suit), the holy spirit (a guy in a white sheet with hat and holes for eyes) and the meaning of 'bingogasstationcheesebeurgerwithasideofaircraftnoiseandyou'llbeinGaryIndiana.' The movie and actors obviously relish the chance of being weird for weirdness' sake (Hervé Villechaize as a lil' stud cowboy, a topless female Indian running around freely, etc.) but I found myself interested only when we were shown the matriarch of a massacred family of pioneers trying to survive an unknown menace. Fans of David Lynch, Ken Russell and the Cheech & Chong movies (seriously, there may not be drugs consumed on-screen but this flick is clearly aimed at that segment of the movie-going public circa 1972) will surely find a lot to enjoy here. Me? I guess I need to see more Downey Sr. movies to make sense whether "Greaser's Palace" is a nadir or a signature piece in his body of work.

John Milius' CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982) on DVD. I've seen this one many times before (who didn't growing up in the 80's?) but, watching it twice after many years sitting on my shelf (once by itself and again with the Milius/Schwarzenegger commentary), I was surprised how well it holds up. Somehow I hadn't noticed (until the commentary pointed it out) that Thulsa Doom's cult was based on cannibalism of its followers (yes, I'm slow). Robert E. Howard purists will find plenty of fault here but, for this particular cinematic vision (i.e. Milius' obsession with steel/strength, with a sprinkle of Oliver Stone's inspiration in the screenplay), Arnold's physique and passable acting chops were as good as they came back in '81. Who else could have bitten a fake vulture to death and sell it as well as Arnold does here? Supporting cast is excellent (in the commentary Milius can barely contain his obvious desire to schtoop Sandahl Bergman whenever she's on-screen), production values are epic (the sets look/feel large and lived-in, especially when concrete pillars desintegrate after a hammer blow) and the action well-staged/brutal. Never seen "Conan The Destroyer" (the flip side of the same DVD where "Barbarian" comes) but that will be soon corrected.

MST3K: THE MOLE PEOPLE (1956/1997) on DVD. The early episodes of the seventh "MST3K" season (i.e. the Sci-Fi years) are somewhat dated by Bill Corbett taking over as Crow. As he relaxed and found his voice Corbett eventually nailed the character, but early on he was trying too hard to be edgy and his puppeteering skills were not quite there. Diehard MiSTieS will notice this during the "Mole People" (as well as the movie explanation of Season 2's Jerry and Sylvia assistants at Deep 13) but, for average people (or less hardcore MiSTieS), this experiment is a 'top this' exercise in John Agar put-downs. I mean, there's a cheesy 'scientists discover unknown underground civilization' flick going on (complete with a phony professor providing scientific data backing the premise) and a great running gag about Nestor Paiwa's sidekick character being a 'load,' but primarily Mike and the Bots engage in an Agar pissing contest. Average all-around, although if you're in a generous mood you'll still laugh at too-obvious cheap jokes like 'avalanche footage, run!' :D

David Gordon Green's GEORGE WASHINGTON (2000) on Criterion DVD for the first time. First off, Tim Orr's cinematography and Michael Linnen & David Wingo's etheral music are outstanding (this is obviously a low-budget movie but it doesn't look or sound cheap). These are key elements in helping establish a realistic-but-dreamlike cinematic tone and trance-like effectiveness for the audience to buy that the kid characters in the movie engage in situations and use dialogue that's far too high-minded and borderline pretentious for their age. Combining Malick's eye for composition and Sofia Coppola's laconic pace (minus the extra beat that Sofia lets her scenes last) D.G. Green lets his movie breath a deceivingly relaxed air of authenticity in its depiction of a Southern town (physical structures as well as the people in it) that's decaying but also used to dealing with adversity. I didn't know the surprise twist at the halfway mark and, after 'IT' happened, I was floored at how the movie I thought I was watching made a complete 180 degree twist yet remained pretty faithful to its vision. Loved the interaction between Vernon and little Sonya, whose lines when she finally spoke actually tore me at the heart (especially the final shot of these two walking away by the railroad) but I'm a little surprised Nasia gets top billing and is the voice-over narrator. A pleasant discovery, and the only reason I can think of to even think of giving "Pineapple Express" (Green's mainstream transition flick) a view.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby HGervais » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:38 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:A pleasant discovery, and the only reason I can think of to even think of giving "Pineapple Express" (Green's mainstream transition flick) a view.


Except of course Pineapple Express is a really good movie. Very funny and then it turns into something different.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby azul017 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:35 pm

In honor of Alyson Hannigan's birthday, I watched Buffy's "Doppelgangland" episode. My favorite Willow episode.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Steve T Power » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:02 pm

Forgot to mention Paul: Myself and my wife caught it last weekend, and I found myself enjoying it quite a bit. The references were pretty subtle nods all around, and there were a ton of em. At times in the Saturday night crowd, we were the only two people in a crowd full of teenagers who were laughing.

It wasn't Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, but it wasn't as weak by comparison as some have made it out to be.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Polynikes » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:36 pm

I saw The Last King of Scotland for the first time last night. I appreciated a fine and memorable performance by Forest Whitaker. Both he, and the film in general, captured Amin's unpredictability and irrationality accurately, as he veered from bonhomie to evil lunacy and back in very short periods of time. It also was faithful to the basic history of Amin (e.g. his almost comic fascination with and misunderstanding of Scotland). I thought it a good subject about which to make a film, particularly for those too young to have been alive in that terrible time for Uganda and who may not have heard of the dreadful evil done by Amin.

(SPOILERS below)

However, some aspects of the film disappointed me. As it was a piece of fiction (and I shall come back to that later), what did the Sarah Merrit (Gillian Anderson) episode/character add to the plot? Secondly, after a promising first half, the second half of the film descends into cheap thriller territory. In the context of between 100,000 - 500,000 people being slaughtered in the country, the fate of a (fictional) naive and silly young Scottish doctor seemed irrelevant and uninvolving to me, while the attempted poisoning and the escape from Entebbe were inane in terms of credible and interesting drama.

My main disappointment with the film, though, was the device at is core, that is the creation of an implausible fictional central character whom we know did not exist. Crucially, nowhere in the credits or in the film is it mentioned that the character of Nicholas Garrigan is a complete fiction. Instead, it presents this character in a real historical setting, and allows the uninformed viewer to assume he was in fact real, and what they are seeing is the truth. Attempting to mix fact and fiction inevitably does an injustice to the memory of some real lives. I was uncomfortable with the fiction of suggesting that the real and tragic death of Mrs. Amin was the result of an affair with a fictional Scottish doctor.

Blending fact and fiction is a very diffcult task which is rarely achieved in my opinion, and The Last King of Scotland did not manage to pull off the trick. One review I read put it aptly thus:

The problem is that the movie is no longer an expose of Amin and his regime, but instead an exploitative thriller about a white Westerner coming to Africa for all the wrong reasons, making several horrible mistakes, and then "redeeming" himself, even at the cost of three other innocent lives


In this case, there was no need to create the Garrigan character, because an interesting and fine mainstream film (a fiction, not a documentary) about Amin and Uganda could have been made without this artifice. Of course there has to be some measure of invention in terms of recreating dialogue and particular episodes; but invented dialogue and episodes which try to remain faithful to the basic known history are an entirely different matter from making up characters and events the film-maker knows for a fact did not exist or happen. In this case, this tarnished what could have been a great film.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby azul017 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:07 pm

I Wake Up Screaming -- Ah, this was the film I mistook for The Street with No Name (the one that got me interested in film noir). The last half boasts some impressive visuals, and solid performances by Betty Grable and Victor Mature. Very abrupt happy ending, though.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Future Man » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:46 am

The Lincoln Lawyer
Compelling tale, stylishly and kinetically told, and a likeable lead character well played, make this solid entertainment. Also refreshing that this adult story does not have to resort to wall-to-wall profanity to inform the characters--shows how lazy other screenwriters can be.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Gabriel Girard » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:26 am

Elvis (1979) - If it wasn't for Carpenter's sense of style, Russell's performance and the sadness that permeates the second half this would be just another forgettable biopic.

127 Hours- What if Mountain Dew and the Lifetime Channel made a movie together?
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Steve T Power » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:44 am

Battle: Los Angeles - Everything you've heard decrying the film is accurate, and probably also why I enjoyed myself so damn much. It feels earnest, not at all like a mass manufactured movie, just simple, straight forward army takes on extra-terrestrials for the Gears of War Generation - I loved it. If I had a complaint, it would be that the shaky cam was pulled in a tad too close for most of the first half. I'm not against shaky cam when it's done properly (see: Saving Private Ryan)
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby J.M. Vargas » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:42 am

GALAXINA: 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION on HD-DVD. Last January my 2 1/2-year old Toshiba HD-DVD notebook took a turn for the worse when it started shutting off after 20-30 minutes of use from overheating. After a few weeks limping along I decided to take it to a local Toshiba authorized dealer to see if it could be fixed. Long story short: after several weeks without a computer, approx. $500 worth of repairs/parts (new 500GB drive, new motherboard, new fan belts, new CPU) and the loss of everything saved on the first Hard Drive to a crash my Qosmio is back, working as it used to. After the first $200 in repairs I doubled-down hoping for the best, and then it was too late to give up. For the money I spent plus a couple of extra hundred bucks I could have bought a Tosh Satellite laptop with BD playback and an iCore5 Intel chip (or half the cost of a decent Macbook Pro :().

Why the long story? Because, until I notch many more HD-DVD viewings on the Qosmio, theoretically I spent $500 just for the privilege of watching "Galaxina" on HD-DVD. :shock: It's one of a handful of HD-DVD discs that will not play on my other two players. This is a really, really stupid movie. It knows it's stupid, I know it's stupid, the people that made it/appear in it know its stupid... but there's something kind-of endearing about the fact these cash-strapped filmmakers had to sweat and create on the cheap their silly space SFX/sets (i.e space bird ship) circa 1980. That effort (which I appreciate more than current filmmakers relying on cheap CGI to save their flicks), the presence of familiar faces (Avery Schreiber, Dorothy Stratten looking smokin' hot as the titular robot, etc.) and the director/lead actor being semi-candid about just how stupid the movie is in the commentary (including behind-the-scenes gossip about Stratten before her untimely death) made it a tolerable viewing. Picture is atrocious and vomit-inducing though, easily among the worst "HD" (notice the quotes) transfers to ever appear on HD-DVD since the master clearly wasn't cleaned or remastered for HDTV. Blacks are milky, undetailed and full of analog noise (bad original cinematography = bad PQ). Even Dorothy Stratten's numerous close-ups (the only reason this film even exists at all on home video) look soft and undetailed.

Gaspar Noé's IRREVERSIBLE (2002) at the NYC Landmark Sunshine Theater for the first time. My first Noé movie. While initially off-putting (the much-publicized on-screen rape of Monica Bellucci succeeds artistically at the expense of boring the audience into complacency) Gaspar's handheld-backwards-storytelling mise-en-scène is no gimmick... except for the clearly-marked 'transition' scenes (a concession for mainstream audiences to not get completely lost). Though nothing matches the out-of-control intensity of the third-to-last scenes inside The Rectum club (which perfectly mirrors the angst-ridden states of mind for Vincent Cassel and Albert Dupontel's characters... incredible use of sound and perspective for that seems like forever) the movie as a whole makes the viewer consider the ramifications of a mindless violent act as a response to an equally senseless attack on an innocent person. When it ht me (both during the movie and afterwards talking about it with other theater patrons) that SPOILERPierre and Marcus beat to death the wrong guy that was standing next to Alex's rapistSPOILER ENDS my heart sank, something a chronological narrative of "Irreversible" wouldn't have been able to achieve. It's not perfect (Noé beats the audience over the head with the space baby from Kubrick's "2001" as both metaphor and tribute) but this is a neat introduction into the work of a provocative filmmaker I've wanted to sample since forever. Now I can finally see "Enter the Void." :)
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby cdouglas » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:41 am

Gabriel Girard wrote:127 Hours- What if Mountain Dew and the Lifetime Channel made a movie together?


:)
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby molly1216 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:18 am

cdouglas wrote:
Gabriel Girard wrote:127 Hours- What if Mountain Dew and the Lifetime Channel made a movie together?

:)

now THAT"s clever. ;-)

depending on netflix for new releases is painfully slow and unsatisfying.

The American. very high quality film, beautifully shot and executed..pardon the pun. regardless of the reviews i was never really surprised at the plot or the denouement...perhaps i have seen way too many of the films which this pays homage to. the only thing that really put me off is having to accept Clooney in the role of a hitman..in our society this is ostensibly a villain....so this was a bit offputting (i never bought him in From Dusk till Dawn either). Without Clooney this film would still have been made albeit at a lower budget..most likely starring someone from the EU or indy world ...and no one would have seen it. So it's worth seeing...once.

Robin Hood the ridley scott version.... watching this was more like a chore than an entertainment...one thing the world did not need is another mutilated classic. I found myself making footnotes to keep track of this alternate cinema history, names changed, relationships altered, town in a bunch of other stuff from elsewhere, a little bit of Henry 5th, a little three musketeers, a little Return of Martin Guerre, a little bit of lord of the flies/peter pan lost boys, a little lord of the rings Eowyn of Rohan, basically this sort of whatchagot stew is just an excuse for ridley and russell to play cowboys and indians. the film is bloodless and i didn't really give a damn the whole way through..there is a lot of wasted talent on the screen.

Life on Mars US version / Life on Mars UK Version....either way the soundtrack is effing awesome.....on the whole i DID prefer the US version, though the UK version was fascinating. John Simm will always be the Master to me but here he did a great job playing the cop out of time. From what i have read the UK did a 'sequel' which sounds BEEZAREly unbelievable....which i can't mention of i will spoil the ending of the UK version. a lot of folks think the end of the US version was way too out there wizard of oz/deus ex machina...but the US version made me pleased and the UK version wasn't as cool.

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson i was jonesing for the great HST the other day. He is missed greatly. of all the documentaries this one is the best. it has a lot of money behind it for interviews, reenactments and animation. It made me go back and pick up fear and loathing on the campaign trail which i hadn't read since the 70s. There just isn't his voice of outrage in our wilderness any longer.

Dragon Hunters(Chasseurs de Dragons) marvelous animated fantasy...not ALL good animation comes from miyazaki or Pixar - this was a treat.

I caught up with the 'final' Red Dwarf episodes (an homage to Ionesco by way of Blade Runner) which have sent me back to rewatching the complete series... another of those tidbits that should be watched a couple at a time so you don't waste them.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Bryan Pope » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:47 am

molly1216 wrote:The American. ...the only thing that really put me off is having to accept Clooney in the role of a hitman..in our society this is ostensibly a villain....

Then you must see In Bruges, my dear.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Jim_Thomas » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:20 am

Bryan Pope wrote:
molly1216 wrote:The American. ...the only thing that really put me off is having to accept Clooney in the role of a hitman..in our society this is ostensibly a villain....

Then you must see In Bruges, my dear.
Or Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby molly1216 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:07 pm

Jim_Thomas wrote:
Bryan Pope wrote:
molly1216 wrote:The American. ...the only thing that really put me off is having to accept Clooney in the role of a hitman..in our society this is ostensibly a villain....

Then you must see In Bruges, my dear.
Or Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.


I HAVE seen In Bruges and HIT MEN ARE VILLAINS! that doesn't mean they can't be the hero of the story or the anti-hero if you will. and Remo doesn't count - it's a comic book version of the actual book series.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Ptolemy » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:15 pm

molly1216 wrote:...snip...

I HAVE seen In Bruges and HIT MEN ARE VILLAINS! that doesn't mean they can't be the hero of the story or the anti-hero if you will. and Remo doesn't count - it's a comic book version of the actual book series.


I dunno. That Canadian sort of had it coming
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Dunnyman » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:54 pm

Steve T Power wrote:Forgot to mention Paul: Myself and my wife caught it last weekend, and I found myself enjoying it quite a bit. The references were pretty subtle nods all around, and there were a ton of em. At times in the Saturday night crowd, we were the only two people in a crowd full of teenagers who were laughing.

It wasn't Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, but it wasn't as weak by comparison as some have made it out to be.

Nope, it's not Shaun or Hot Fuzz, but it's still pretty darn fun, especially the references and in-jokes! To me the biggest surprise was Kristen Wiig actually being able to be funny and, you know, act. By the way, when did Bateman become one of the best character actors in the business? All around good fun was had, and who knows what genre they'll skewer next?
Saw trailers for Your Highness, which looks pretty damn funny, and an in-depth bit of Cowboys and Aliens, which looks freaking fantastic.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Andrew Forbes » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:27 pm

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Good movie, great presentation, but it pisses me off that the credits have "burned in" English credits and titles alongside the Japanese, including credits for voice actors (eg "Alison Lohman as Nausicaa"). This probably seems like nitpicking, but as somebody who appreciates the effort and attention to precise detail inherent in professional typography, as well as the fact that the Western actors are not the original performers in these roles, I find it more than a bit distasteful to have no clean option. Why couldn't this information have been included as an optional subtitle track?
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Gabriel Girard » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:41 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Good movie, great presentation, but it pisses me off that the credits have "burned in" English credits and titles alongside the Japanese, including credits for voice actors (eg "Alison Lohman as Nausicaa"). This probably seems like nitpicking, but as somebody who appreciates the effort and attention to precise detail inherent in professional typography, as well as the fact that the Western actors are not the original performers in these roles, I find it more than a bit distasteful to have no clean option. Why couldn't this information have been included as an optional subtitle track?


For the same reason that Disney unnecessarily makes Myazaki's movies 2-disc editions when they could put everything on 1 disc - because they're EVIL.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby HGervais » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:45 am

Tangled...a really fun little animated musical. I think I enjoyed it almost as much as my brother's kids.
IMAX: Hubble....speaking as a space & science dork this was pure gravy. It's also the first time I have wished my set-up was 3D capable.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Andrew Forbes » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:20 am

Gabriel Girard wrote:For the same reason that Disney unnecessarily makes Myazaki's movies 2-disc editions when they could put everything on 1 disc - because they're EVIL.

They're also the most feedback-proof distributor out there, which means this isn't likely to ever change.
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Re: daerhT GNIHCTAW 1102 HCRAM -Mirror- MARCH 2011...

Postby Gabriel Girard » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:08 pm

Millenium Actress - A lesser film by Satoshi Kon that still stands heads and shoulders above many anime flicks. This one is more interesting for its execution than for the story it tells which is fairly straightforward once you get a hang of where Kon is going.
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