Movie Reviews: Lost in Translation

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Lost in Translation directed by Sophia Coppola

Like many people, certain movies hit me at the exact right moment in my life that otherwise would have been received differently if watched a decade earlier, or a decade later.

Some define these films as guilty pleasures. I personally think this is a misnomer. There is a difference between a movie that doesn’t age well, but you give it a pass later on and a movie that is superb and hits you at the right moment. To me, The Last Starfighter is a guilty pleasure (theme song still kicks ass).

I watched this movie shortly after college after I took a trip to Japan and South Korea. It marked the breakout of Sophia Coppola for those who didn’t catch the Virgin Suicides. It was the continued renaissance of a more subdued Bill Murray, and Scarlett Johansson before she became an Avenger.

I love how this film demonstrates how much can be said with just visuals. The first ten minutes might be “slow” to some, but was perfect for me. It set the tone and pace and showed both main characters lost and disconnected in their environments. The relationship that builds throughout the movie appears real as a result. There is no lame three act romance structure. There are no lame best friend sidekicks. People are trying to figure shit out and that’s what happens in life.

For those of you that still complain about the whisper, well, you simply didn’t pay attention to the movie.

All the hints are there.

 

Movie Reviews: Battle Royale

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Battle Royale directed by Kinji Fukasaku

I remember when I first saw a reference to Battle Royale. I was scrolling through Netflix one night and saw the movie pop up under foreign films. It had a picture of two people in suits and some blood but when I clicked for more info, it showed an image reminiscent of a Godzilla film.

So I didn’t watch it until last year.

Battle Royale is based on a book by Koushun Takami. It is about a death program by the Japanese government where school students battle each other to the death. The movie itself is a little bit like the Running Man by Stephen King. It is a dystopian future where the deaths and elimination process is documented on TV. A former champion is even brought back. Overall, it was a weirdly enjoyable watch, not for the deaths, but for the subtle storytelling. They do flashbacks really well here and I actually felt something at the end, which is weird to say for a film of this genre.

People often rip Suzanne Collins and the Hunger Games series for basically being an American version of it. Yeah. I don’t know. Since it is all a rip off of Stephen King, does it even matter? Collins at least took her novels to a different place with her sequels. And the first two movies were better made. People should stop hating and just enjoy the stories for what they were. Otherwise people can scream all they want on any story where there is a deadly competition. It is called a TROPE for crying out loud. I mean, every romantic plot is the same in romantic comedies. Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back at the very end after the relationship seems dead. If the comedian is the female, then just reverse the roles.

In any case. Battle Royale was worth a watch. Check it out

Movie Rating: 7/10