Film Imitates Hagakure – Part Six

“…It is said, “When you would see into a person’s heart, become ill.” When you are sick or in difficulties, many of those who were friendly or close to you in daily life will become cowards. Whenever anyone is in unhappy circumstances, you should above all inquire after them by visiting or sending some gift. And you should never in your whole life be negligent toward someone from whom you have received a favor. By such things the consideration of others can be seen. In this world the people who will rely on others when they are in difficulties and afterwards not give them a thought are many…”

FAIR USE: CRITICISM – One character displaying the above towards another in a mostly mediocre film (except for said first character).

Film Imitates Hagakure – Part Five

“…Always the pretentious, self-asserting notables turn their backs on the man just as his eyes are closing in death…”

FAIR USE: CRITICISM – Example number 237 of how/why 1) Patrick McGoohan did a really good job of acting in ‘Braveheart’ and 2) The character he portrayed – Edward Longshanks – was not a very nice guy.

Film Imitates Hagakure – Part Four

“…In the words of the ancients, one should make his decisions within the space of seven breaths. Lord Takanobu said, “If discrimination is long, it will spoil. ” Lord Naoshige said, “When matters are done leisurely, seven out of ten will turn out badly. A warrior is a person who does things quickly.” When your mind is going hither and thither, discrimination will never be brought to a conclusion. With an intense, fresh and undelaying spirit, one will make his judgments within the space of seven breaths. It is a matter of being determined and having the spirit to break right through to the other side…”

FAIR USE: CRITICISM – This clip is an example of the quote in movie form; you can figure out for yourself how. It’s a powerful clip because it foreshadows what would seem to be the “final showdown” between the two main characters.

The Village (2004)

Since Shyamalan was given a free pass to create whatever he wanted after making a great (and financially successful) movie in ’99, I take anything further that has his name on it with a grain of salt and a touch of apprehension.

He’s certainly talented, but when one is given complete freedom to indulge their ideas they tend to produce at least SOME really bad ones.

Therefore the main reason for hope with this was the presence of Joaquin Phoenix, whom I have never seen appear in a truly bad film.

Phoenix is fine, as are the rest, but imagine my surprise when the standout of this movie turned out to be someone I’d never heard of before (Bryce Dallas Howard) as Phoenix’s love interest and the real lead of the film.

The story itself is somewhat creepy and certainly well done (acted, directed, etc) but this is no ‘Sixth Sense’. It’s intriguing but not near compelling, without flagrant flaw but also devoid of a point of revelation.

The most intriguing moment is a turning point in the film that is masterfully directed and sets up the finale.

The finale has a certain charm and the lead actress continues to shine, but this is a pleasant exercise in nostalgia, wistfulness, and innocence. Nicely done, but don’t expect anything more than that…there’s nothing “thrilling” about it.

Grade: C

The Colony (2013)

Setting: Post-apocalypse (frozen world)

Type: Zombie/infected/etc flick

MUCH better Bill Paxton movie available on NF streaming: ‘A Simple Plan’

Reason for review: See “Type”

As if it wasn’t bad enough, at the end it gets completely LaVeyan. What I go through…

Inspirational Quote: “No! No more runnin'” (guy who hasn’t run)

Inspirational Quote that could have been, near the end: “Game over, man!”

Grade: D-

Donnie Brasco (1997)

More evidence that scumbags are scumbags, on either side of the law. Most of the gangsters seem like selfish pricks, and so do most of the cops.

Pacino (“Lefty”) and Depp (Brasco) do some pretty good acting – I don’t think either is capable of doing otherwise – and each plays a character with at least a little bit of honor and loyalty; sorely lacking in most of the rest.

The fact that they’re on the opposite side of the law makes the interaction intriguing: Brasco’s loyalty to his job has a genuine conflict with his loyalty to Lefty, whom he considers a friend (and vice versa).

They’re really the only two characters I give a d@mn about, because they’re the only characters that seem genuine and not just generic mob movie sh1t.

Depp in particular is interesting; both his conflict with Pacino and the other mob characters and the conflict within himself about what’s right and what’s wrong.

Gets better as it gets more complex: you wonder where the tangled web is eventually going to lead.

It’s a little slow at times, and it never reaches the heights I want it to, but not once do I feel the urge to turn it off. And it’s 126 minutes.

Inspirational Quote: “I’m not becoming like them Maggie, I am them.”

Grade: B-

Film Imitates Hagakure – Part Three

“…Recently, people who are called “clever” adorn themselves with superficial wisdom and only deceive others. For this reason they are inferior to dull-witted folk. A dull-witted person is direct. If one looks deeply into his heart with the above phrase, there will be no hidden places. It is a good examiner. One should be of the mind that, meeting this examiner, he will not be embarrassed…”

FAIR USE: CRITICISM – A somewhat-interesting part of a great movie; showing the true character of one of the characters in a convincing manner.

Housebound (2014)

Intelligent and well made, and though it’s not completely successful as either a horror or a comedy, it does usually come up with a twist to keep it fresh whenever you think it’s about to turn predictable/cliche.

Sometimes it’s creepy, sometimes it’s laid-back, sometimes it’s dark, sometimes it’s darkly amusing, sometimes it’s blatantly gory.

So it’s impressive…but it’s not as enjoyable to watch as most critics seem to think, for me. But I can see why some people might like it more.

As for acting, it’s solid all around, with the mother and daughter being above-solid impressive.

I laughed a few times, and I usually don’t laugh easily.

Some interesting improvised weaponry, too.

I believe there’s a remake in the works, and with a bigger budget and a little bit of script editing it could easily be better. Or, it could lose all its charm. Too close to call.

Inspirational Quote: “…and the rest is a blur. What’d you say?”

Grade: C