Category: Must See Films

Single Rider (Korean Film Review)

Single Rider poster

Single Rider (Korean Film Review)

As soon as I found out that this film was available to see and it had been subbed in English, I  just can’t wait. I had to watch it pronto and I had! 🙂

I’d  looked forward to this film, I think, as early as late last year when I saw a very brief trailer.

It starts two of Korea’s best actors. Lee Byung-hun and Gong Hye-jin.

Anyway, I am an old romantic.  As I watched the film I thought it would be about the husband turning into a bit of psycho as he finds out his wife is  having it off with her Downunder neighbour. 🙂 A cliche but I do love a bit of gut-wrenching scenes. 🙂

I wanted them to meet and have a good emotional, heartbreaking confrontation.  Instead it meandered from scene to scene.

The husband just continued tailing people connected to his wife and young son.

At the back of my mind I was still hoping for the big confrontation.

There was a scene, where the wife and the guy next-door were engaging in a bit of hanky-panky.  Lee Byung-hun’s character stood immobile just outside the door.  I was so irritated.  I wanted him to knock and disturb his wife’s dalliance with the beefy neighbour, but no such thing.

Instead there was a surprise, which I am not going to tell as it might spoil your appetite to see a good film.

Anyway Lee Byung-hun plays Kang Jae-hoon, who was a fund asset manager.  Unfortunately his company declared themselves bankrupt after buying bad loans.  He lost his clients, his family and also himself tonnes of money.  He then had to take responsibilities to his clients.

Kudos to him, he did feel bad for his clients.  So bad that he was on  anti-depression drugs.

One night while taking his medication, which he washed down with a large glass of  neat whiskey (or was it brandy?) he decided to book himself an e-ticket to Australia.

There he went to see his wife and son.  His wife is Soo-jin played by Gong Hyo-jin.

He sent his wife and son to Australia for education.  He believed in the necessity of learning the English language.

Anyway in Australia, he found that his wife and son were happy.  Soo-jin has taken the violin again and went as far as to audition for the Sydney Opera House.  He felt that he lost them and he was a redundant family member.

It was a very sad ending and if you have not taken stock of everything, you will be surprised with the sad ending.

Lee Byung-hun once again gave a very powerful performance which is ably supported by Gong Hyo-jin

It is a ‘lovely’ date night movie.

 

Farewell Alan Rickman

Farewell Alan Rickman

 

Alan-Rickman

After the sad passing of David Bowie, we mourn too fast and say farewell Alan Rickman.

He was one of my favourite actors, truly!

He was born 69 years ago in Acton, North London not far from where I live.

I remember in 1982,  first seeing him brilliantly playing the slippery unctious almost creepy  Reverend Obadiah Slope in the excellent BBC drama series Barchester Chronicles, based on the novels of Anthony Trollope. Even then he was a standout.

Such role type would follow Alan Rickman throughout his long and varied career.

He appeared in many TV programes, theatre plays and movies. He was a theatre director as well as a consummate actor.

You could see in his eyes that he had a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ (not take seriously), some of his roles although he always gave a brilliant performance.

In movies as a co star, he often out-acted the lead actors/movie stars.

Sometimes underated and indeed he should have been the lead in many more movies.

Rickman was deliciously over the top, sardonically as the Sheriff of Nottingham to Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

Alan Rickman Sheriff of Notthingham

This was followed  by playing another baddie, Hans Gruber winning the battle of wit and acting  with Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance.

alan_rickman_Die hard

The movie that for me showed Rickman was a brilliant actor and playing a non baddie role. was in the excellent humourous and moving 1990 movie Truly, Madly Deeply.

Alnn RickmanTruly Madly Deeply005

Alan plays the ‘ghost’ of a recently deceased husband who returns to his desperately grieving wife to try and lessen her grief by showing what he was really like.

To younger generations, he was famous by reverting to type but playing the ultimately heroic character sneering  Severus Snape in the immensely successful and popular Harry Potter movies.

Alan Rickman Harry Potter

For me, he would have made a superb Dr Who, He had all the attributes, eccentricity of Snape, humour (as he  showed in the funny sci fi comedy Galaxy Quest) and commanding voice of reason essential to the good Doctor.

Added to that,  Alan Rickman  could also have been a flamboyant USS Enterprise starship captain in Star Trek  🙂

Spock Who?

Spock Who?

 

Alan Rickman had a  wonderfully mefluous baritone voice and could supebly deliver & convey dry humour, sarcasic and sardonic undertones to his lines with a twinkle in his eyes.

As noted, he had a marvellous  range of expressions. Sneers, dry humour & poignancy  would play across his face.

English & British acting has lost one of it’s crown jewels.

Requiescat in Pace  Alan Rickman

 

 

Farewell Leonard Nimoy

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One of our Star Trek Commemorative Plates of the man or should I say Spock himself

Being an avid Science Fiction (sci fi)  fan, I have read many novels seen moves and TV and radios  series of the genre.

I prefer to read, watch or listen to sci fi that has potential to become science fact and indeed has happened!

One such TV series is Star Trek. I grew up in the 1960s and there was not much sci fi on TV. I listened with my parents to some sci fi plays such as  the classic ‘Quatermass’ on BBC radio every Sunday evening. When ‘Dr Who’ came along on BBC TV in 1963  (now the longest running continuous sci fi tv series in the world). I was so happy and despite the black & white viewing  and sometimes wobbly stage sets and  minimal primitive special effects (sfx), the excellent actors and stories ultimately enchanted millions of viewers.

With the advent of colour viewing TV in the mid 1960s, more  sci fi  Tv series were produced, many from the USA.

One such was, of course,  ‘Star Trek’. Created by Gene Rodenberry, it introduced the crew & their weekly adventures in a faster-than-light travelling space ship called the ‘USS Enterprise’.  There were  British sailing ships called HMS Enterprise AKA ‘Enterprize’)  in the 1700s and one in 1800s.

In the pilot episode (1964) of Star Trek, one of the crew was referred to as a ‘Vulcanian’ a humanoid from from the Planet Vulcan orbiting the star 40 Eridani,  which is a real star  about 16 light years from earth.  Vulcan could be reached in a few days with the ‘warp’,  anti mattered powered engines of the  Constitution class star ships such as the Enterprise.

The ‘Vulcanian’ science officer was called ‘Mr Spock’, as apparently his Vulcan name was unpronounceable to humans!

From the beginning actor Leonard Nimoy was chosen to play Spock.

The Vulcan race looked human except for pointed ears, arched eyebrows, distinctive hairstyles, a slight green skin pallor due to green blood.

Vulcans were stronger and faster than humans, due to the higher gravity, less oxygen rich atmosphere and heat on Vulcan. Vulcans were extremely long lived too – up to 300 years. They exercise extreme control over their emotions as taught by  a venerated philosopher named Surak. as early in their history Vulcans were prone to violence.

To make the character more interesting Mr Spock was also  half human, with his father being the renowned, Vulcan statesman and  ambassador, Sarek (well played originally by actor Mark Leonard). His human mother is Amanda Grayson ( played by Jane Wyatt in the original series).

This early Mr Spock looked rather severe and shouted a lot!

Spock Pilot Star Trek 1964

Spock Pilot Star Trek 1964

 

After the pilot show, Gene Rodenberry was not satisfied and made big cast changes for the series proper in 1966. A new captain of the Enterprise was brought in ( William Shatner as Capt Kirk), A new ships doctor, actor Deforest Kelly as Dr (Bones) McCoy.

Leonard and his distinctive appearance as Spock now generically known as a Vulcan as opposed to Vulcanian, was retained and he became the science officer and second in command to Kirk.

Spock’s appearance was softened, as was his voice and manner, becoming calmer and most logical as befits a Vulcan.

Spock’s  ‘bantering’ and put downs with Dr McCoy with Kirk often acting as referee were brilliant. However,  the trio’s underlying loyalty and friendship to each other shone through as the series progressed; His Vulcan catchphrase and hand gesture became legendary too!

Off course, all of the main Enterprise crew became legendary in TV,  sci fi  & the motion picture history.

Leonard Nimoy was also known to me as I enjoyed the  early  ‘Mission Impossible’ TV shows. He played  ‘Paris’, a master of disguise brought in to the later  ‘Impossible Mission Force’ 1969-1971.  Mission Impossible was made at the same studios (Desilu) as the classic Star Trek series and so Leonard could swap pointy ears for various disguises!

Leonard was also a guest villain in one of my favourite detective series ‘Columbo’.  Spock’s logic was no match for Columbo’s detective ability & own brand logic 🙂

Mr Spock appeared in the various Star Trek sequels  and movies including the excellent 2009 reboot of the franchise under J.J. Abrams.

In the reboot, Zachary Quinto’s likeness as the young Spock although in a different time line captures that essence of Nimoy.

Spock and then other characters live on in the Star Trek novels I enjoy reading.

Leonard  Nimoy crafted and evolved Spock into one of the most popular, recognisable & iconic characters in entertainment.

Where ever you are now in that ‘undiscovered country‘ Leonard,  “Live Long And Prosper…”

Spock LLAP

 

Classic original crew of the Enterprise The main original crew of the Enterprise

 

 

Spock,_resurrected Zachory Quinot young spock

Spock in his second Century                             A young Spock (Zachary Quinto)

paris Leoanard Nimoy& Peter Falk in Columbo

Paris in Mission Impossible                 A baddie in Columbo

Farewell Leonard Nimoy

 

50 Shades of Red

50 shades of plaid

 50 Shades of Red

We may be familiar with Chicago’s St Valentine’s Day massacre, well  some new Valentine violence occurred at a cinema in Glasgow, Scotland this 14 February I suppose 50 Shades of Red!

To us Brits, Glasgow is known as Scotland’s most violent places and is legendary for introducing the so called ‘Glasgow Kiss’, which is a headbutt to the face!

Many years ago, a Scottish colleague/friend said that when there was a tense situation in a Glasgow pub, one of the protagonist’s would say to the other ” Pick a window you’re leavin’.”

The Glasgow cinema was showing the eagerly and hotly anticipated movie version of the British best seller ’50 Shades of Grey’ on St Valentine’s Day.

Three women were arrested for attacking a  man who apparently asked them to make less noise, as they were part of a group of ladies who were screaming during the screening!

The cinema theatre also sells alcohol, which appears to have fuelled the females flames of passion.

I guess this should not be too unexpected getting a group of Glasgow Gals together to check out and ogle the well ripped & fit Jamie Dornan 😉

We wonder if the man, the poor victim, did not produce 50 shades of sh*t (could also perhaps describe what many viewers & critics think of the movie),  when surrounded by a rampant hormonal horde 🙂

Philip Seymour Hoffman R.I.P.

We are shocked and sad to hear of death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The Academy Award (Oscar) American actor was found dead in his Manhattan apartment in New York.

Medical officials have not yet commented on the cause of death but a drug overdose is suspected.

Hoffmann made his name in the 1990s in films including Boogie Nights and the Big Lebowski, Mission Impossible etc before winning the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in 2005.

 Philip Seymour Hoffman as Capote

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Capote

He was a talented and very versatile actor, we enjoyed his superb performance in ‘Capote’.

The Giant Mechanical Man Movie

Last night Jean & I chatted about what movie to watch  on TV, normally we watch stuff on Netflix.  As we have been watching a steady diet of action, crime horror, thriller movies. Jean suggested a romantic movie. Normally I guess men would not opt for watching these movies by choice, in order to not become in touch with their feminine side 😉

Anyway, I said OK and let’s have a look at the choices. I scrolled through the titles on offer. I came across one I thought sounded vaguely sci fi I like 😉

It was titled ‘The Giant Mechanical Man‘, it is directed by Lee Kirk. The synopsis sounded interesting so we watched the film. I must say that I enjoyed this off-beat & charming movie. This indie movie excellently conveyed loneliness at not being understood, feeling awkward socially and a bewilderment with today’s society. There is fine acting by all the main cast.

Spoiler alert!

The movie is about a man & a woman both well-educated, single & in their 30s, who though not knowing each other, live near each other.  Whilst not exactly mis-fits, they both still don’t know what they want out of life and find it too hard to conform to what is expected of them by their families and some friends. Janice(Jenna Fischer) is a shy woman, who is still trying to get to grips and navigate her way through adult life, trying to cope with jobs, relationships etc.

Tim(Chris Messina) is devoted to being a street artist.
giantmechanicalman3_zpsb53969ca

Janice Meets her future Man

Janice Meets her Future Man

He is a good listener!

He is a good listener!

Each day he becomes a silver-painted and silver suited giant( he wears stilts), android business man, complete with a silver brief case. When he finds a spot/pitch in a street, he performs his living statue, mechanical man mime act. He makes enough to pay the bills. His live in girlfriend does not understand him and tires of his lack of apparent ambition and so breaks up with him.

Janice loses her latest temporary job and the temp agency who find her work, lets her go because of complaints about her attendance and lack of interest. She is evicted from her apartment and forced to move in with her overbearing and interfering younger sister Jill (Malin Akerman) and her husband Brian (Rich Sommer). Janice is pressured by sister & brother-in-law to date Doug (Topher Grace), who is an egotistical self-help guru (probably socially inept and who tries to cover up by blustering) .

While out walking alone a few time, Janice sees this giant mechanical man street artist performing and is intrigued, she sees him as fellow non-conformist and kindred spirit. Janice tries to talk to the street artist, but part of his act is to remain silent and act oblivious to people.

Both Janice and & Tim search for a job (Tim finds he needs to supplement his street performing income). Both find low paying menial jobs at the local zoo (Janice eventually realises her potential in the job and gets promoted). They meet & chat while working and Tim recognises Janice as the lady who caught his eye while he was performing. They become good friends and realise they have much in common. Janice & Tim begin to date and become lovers. Tim has not yet told her that he is a street performer. However Tim becomes upset when as his alter ego, performing one night, he sees Janice walking with the persistent pompous Doug, who has his arm around her (much to her annoyance). She finally dumps Doug. Tim stops contacting her, she becomes sad and while out walking sees the street artist performing and walks up to him and desperately needing someone to talk to, she tells of her feelings for Tim, to the silent artist. He then looks down at her and smiles, she recognises the artist is Tim and the rest is history…living happily ever after 🙂

State of Being Happy

Photo by JMorton

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Thought of the Day
21 January 2014
………………..
If you do something worthwhile there is a possibility that you become happy as a result. Happiness is something that you get from doing something really lovely to people; their happiness or good fortune makes you happy.

It can also be the result of achieving what you have wanted whether it is good or bad in a schadenfreude kinda way. Oh yes everyone is capable of feeling a fleeting happiness or joy in the misfortune of others, otherwise Charlie Chaplin would not have been such a successful actor with all his slapsticks skits. And Mr Bean, and like him, would have not tickled our funny bones (but to tell you the truth, I don’t really like Mr Bean, I find his television and film comedies too excruciating for comfort).

Whoops got a bit sidetrack there. Anyway happiness is not always the end result of something. Happiness can be found in the simplest of things. Happiness may come to you when you least expect it.

Classic Scenes & Quotes from Great Horror Movies

A bit early for Halloween, although ghostly tales are told around Christmas and winter time from pagan times to pass the time and entertain on the long cold and dark winter nights..Brrr! 😉
These quotes are from cult, iconic and classic horror movies from the 1930s to the 2000s.
See if you can identify and name the movie!

Classic Scenes & Quotes from Great Horror Movies

Caution: some strong language in some of the scene quotes.

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