REVIEW: Silence [2016]

“An army of two” A labor of love twenty-five years in the making, Silence is tailor-made for Martin Scorsese‘s sensibilities as a person and director. Not only does it comment on faith and therefore his personal struggles being someone who contemplated going down the road towards priesthood, it also provides similar subject matter and plot progression to his most famous religion-based drama The Last Temptation of Christ. This epic journey is ostensibly the last temptation of Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield), a Jesuit priest striving to cultivate Catholicism in Japan at…

Read More

REVIEW: 47 Ronin [2013]

“Now know the depth of my lord’s honor” There have been numerous iterations of Japan’s unofficial, national legend about forty-seven ronin who avenged their master’s death at the start of the eighteenth century spanning movies, ballets, television productions, operas, bunraku, and kabuki plays. Known as Chūshingura, the true story has been embellished over the centuries to ensure each new generation told about these brave warriors understood the themes of loyalty, sacrifice, and honor being a Japanese citizen entailed. Whether or not the first account some fifty years after the actual…

Read More

REVIEW: Thor: The Dark World [2013]

“I’ll just stay here and say ‘sea bass’ alone” There was something off with Thor in 2011 besides its horrid post-conversion 3D. While many believe Iron Man 2 was nothing but an evolutionary bridge for its hero to move closer towards what The Avengers needed, it was actually the Norse God of thunder who provided the most obvious bit of prequel exposition by introducing himself, extraterrestrial life, and that forthcoming blockbuster’s main villain, Loki. Captain America: The First Avenger also brought us a new character’s origin, but his story—like Tony…

Read More

REVIEW: Battleship [2012]

“It’s the North Koreans—I’m tellin’ ya” Screenwriters Erich and Jon Hoeber actually made paying Hasbro a boatload of cash for their seemingly unnecessary board game property a relevant story point in their big budget, science fiction actioner Battleship. The fact they had to conjure up a humanoid alien race with reptilian characteristics and cloaking technology to keep gigantic flying nautical vessels off radar is beside the point. The American public loves extra-terrestrial invasions, thinks Andy Roddick’s wife Brooklyn Decker is hot, and can’t help getting revved up when their armed…

Read More

REVIEW: Thor [2011]

“Unworthy of the loved ones you’ve betrayed” Considering the extent of my knowledge on Thor pertains to the fantasy that Vincent D’Onofrio was he in Adventures in Babysitting, you will not be getting any grand breakdown comparison of the film with the comics. I just don’t know anything about the source material, much like all the DC and Marvel films coming out the past decade—I simply didn’t start reading comics until college and by then it was just graphic novels. So my entry into the world of Asgard came from…

Read More

REVIEW: 殺し屋1 [Ichi the Killer] [2001]

“Giving pain is a serious business” Based on a Manga by Hideo Yamamoto, Takashi Miike’s 殺し屋1 [Ichi the Killer] is just as brutally gory as people say. This was my first screening of a Miike work and I’m not quite so sure of how I want to continue delving in. Definitely more style and gratuity than any real desire to tell a story; the film pushes the envelope by allowing its main characters to be complete sadomasochists. These completely depraved souls seem to relish the joy of inflicting pain, mixing…

Read More

REVIEW: Монгол [Mongol] [2008]

“Never betray your Khan” Genghis Khan, sympathetic king of the people? If Sergei Bodrov is to be believed: yes. His tale of Khan’s ascent to power from childhood, Монгол [Mongol], tells of how he kept his ideals and the laws of Mongolia intact to unite a country from greed. After a battle, he takes an even share as those fighting under him; he respects his men and their families above survival. “Fight your enemy until the end” becomes one of his rules, and he himself lives by it. Sure, as…

Read More