Author Topic: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts  (Read 293359 times)

smirnoff

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2390 on: September 18, 2017, 11:18:55 PM »
Great reviews to end on! (I don't remember the Blockbuster Video scene in Kamikaze Taxi. I'll have to check YouTube later.)

I'll try to get the last few resurrections reviews posted within the week. In the meantime, for seeding purposes, please send me your ratings (0-10) for any of the following films that you watched since the fourth round began:

Only since the fourth round began? I forget why this is the case.

After Life - 7/10
After the Rain - 7/10
Hard Boiled 3/10

pixote

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2391 on: September 19, 2017, 06:09:26 AM »
Only since the fourth round began? I forget why this is the case.

Oh, ha. I have everyone's ratings from the previous rounds, so I was just trying to avoid having those resubmitted and creating discrepancies, resulting in my having to send those "Hey, you rated this film an 8.5 back in 2015 but now only a 7.0. Which rating should I use?" private messages. :)

I feel bad having asked for the ratings here, having stepped on mañana's verdict.

I've come to realize that I'm a sucker for a good sound design ...

Are there key examples to this trend?

pixote
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 06:11:18 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

jbissell

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2392 on: September 19, 2017, 09:40:29 AM »
Audition - 8
Perfect Blue - 7.5
The Scent of Green Papaya - 8.5

smirnoff

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2393 on: September 19, 2017, 09:20:05 PM »
Oh, ha. I have everyone's ratings from the previous rounds, so I was just trying to avoid having those resubmitted and creating discrepancies, resulting in my having to send those "Hey, you rated this film an 8.5 back in 2015 but now only a 7.0. Which rating should I use?" private messages. :)

Oh word. That works for me. :)

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2394 on: September 20, 2017, 10:02:13 AM »
I only rate films for FEB purposes. I just want you all to know how dedicated I am to the cause.

pixote

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2395 on: September 29, 2017, 11:43:32 PM »
Round Four Bonus Review


A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang, 1991)
Won over Be There or Be Square (verdict by worm@work)
Won over Passage to Buddha (verdict by Melvil)
Lost to Blues Harp (verdict by 1SO)
Lost to M/Other (verdict by Teproc)

A Brighter Summer Day is likely going to top the resurrection rankings for the second round in a row, but I'm not nearly as disappointed at its ouster from this bracket as I thought I'd be. Instead, I'm just jealous of the experience that worm@work, Melvil, and others had with this film in the early rounds, in the time before this film found its way to Blu-Ray. Yang's film consistently reminded me of Jiang's In The Heat of the Sun as filtered through the sensibility of Hou's A City of Sadness but maybe not as good as either of those. My other obvious point of reference is Yang's own Yi Yi, which sets the bar awfully high as one of my favorite films of all time. A Brighter Summer Day struck me as less cohesive than that later film, caught in between being a slow-burn, Shakesperean tragedy and a sensory, Proustian evocation of fleeting memories. When the film finds the right balance between those two modes, it's wonderful; but when it doesn't, engagement becomes an issue — especially with a running time of around four hours. It's almost no surprise when the narrative takes a giant detour near the end of the third hour; that choice is symptomatic of the film of a whole, full of sequences that work fine in isolation but don't always play off each other the way they should. There are short-comings in some of the performances that hold the film back at times as well, but any criticism of the cinematography is a bit baffling to me. There is nothing pedestrian about the camerawork (especially the lighting), and the hyperbolic suggestion that it is inferior to that of Orange Is the New Black makes me wonder about the different way viewers can perceive the exact same things.

Resurrection Standings (the top three films will earn resurrection)

Up next: A Dedicated Life.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2396 on: October 05, 2017, 04:36:12 PM »
Round Four Resurrection Review


A Dedicated Life (Hara Kazuo, 1991)
Won over Kaleidoscope (verdict by worm@work)
Won over The Longest Nite (verdict by duder)
Won over Country Teachers (verdict by Jared)
Lost to Princess Mononoke (verdict by Beavermoose)

Even at two-and-a-half hours, A Dedicated Life is almost worth watching just to be able to fully appreciate duder's brief takedown of it in the second round. His verdict is spot-on in its description of Inoue as "a narcissist par excellence, a sad little man, way too much in love with himself, who spends his time demanding admiration from those around him at boring lectures and boring boring dinner parties." I also agree that this documentary provides no real sense that Inoue is a great artist — though it never occurred to me that that may be part of Hara's point. Then again, there are different perspectives on this, as worm@work first round verdict makes clear: "Inoue is clearly an incredible writer and teacher." I wonder now if worm really sensed that about Inoue directly or just assumed it from all the relentless fawning that surrounds Inoue is his daily life. Whatever the case, I know that I personally did not enjoy spending time with Inoue much at all — nor, implicitly, with Hara, who casts a shadow of dickishness from behind the camera. As Jared notes, the film is poorly put together, with too little shape. Things almost turn interesting as the documentary briefly veers into F for Fake territory, but that fizzles out quickly. Ultimately, Inoue is just not engaging enough a personality to sustain a portrait like this. In fact, I was generally more interested in the lives of some of the supporting characters and in the surprisingly nice recreations of possible scenes from Inoue's past, filmed in classic Japanese style.

Resurrection Standings (the top three films will earn resurrection)

Up next: Siao Yu.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2397 on: October 05, 2017, 07:04:27 PM »
Round Four Resurrection Review





Siao Yu (Sylvia Chang, 1995)
Won over The Personals (verdict by Verite)
Won over The River (verdict by BlueVoid)
Won over Happy End (verdict by Jared)
Lost to Chungking Express (verdict by roujin)

I'm not sure I actually watched Siao Yu. The top screenshot above is from the movie I watched. The bottom screenshot is from this trailer on YouTube. Not only is the 4:3 aspect ratio I watched completely wrong and the image quality horrible, but even the framing is wrong, resulting in the boom mic being visible at the top of the shot on multiple occasions. What a waste. I have no real way of telling how much this awful presentation skewed my experience. I suspect, even with a perfect transfer, this 1995 film still would have felt like early 80s made-for-tv movie, especially with Hill Street Blues' Captain Furillo in a lead role. The aspect ratio and image quality felt very much of a piece with the quality of the acting and writing on display. The script — gambling debts and a need for a Greencard bring together an unlikely pair in a fake marriage — is cookie-cutter material, executed with undergrad, rough draft quality. The acting operates at the same level, with the feel of an early dress rehearsal. The distanced cinematography works against the film's best asset, its pleasant and familiar melodrama. A true made-for-tv movie from the early 80s would've milked a few more close-ups for all their emotional worth and maybe even knocked a devastating freeze-frame out of the park at a key moment. Chang opts instead to film with nuance a very unnuanced story, and the result is an innocuous misfire. Everyone else seem to have liked it more than I did. I can only assume they watched the secret Blu-Ray that I don't know about, and that made all the difference.

Resurrection Standings (the top three films will earn resurrection)

Up next: Woman Sesame Oil Maker.

pixote
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 07:09:29 PM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Jared

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2398 on: October 05, 2017, 09:28:21 PM »
Movies I passed along at some point not fairing too well

pixote

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Re: 1990s Far East Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2399 on: October 05, 2017, 09:31:54 PM »
Movies I passed along at some point not fairing too well

Which of these fallen winners from your verdicts are most deserving of being in the final bracket of 32?

A Dedicated Life
The Eel
Festival
Good Men, Good Women
Nabbie's Love
Pom Poko
Running Out of Time
Siao Yu
The Story of Qiu Ju
The Wedding Banquet
Wing Chun
Woman Sesame Oil Maker

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.