Face Your Own Heart

Ojibwe Saying

A Poem for Bea

There is nothing like a red bird in winter to store your memory

Smiles and laughter and the blue sky…A sparkling gem against the snow

When I see it, I remember you are free.

Red Cliffs, part 2 Review

red-cliffsRed Cliffs is based on a historical battle found between the three kingdoms of China during the Han dynasty.  Cao Cao, the most powerful, is portrayed in both part one and two as greedy and unethical.  He covets Sun Quan’s wife as well.    Liu Bei, the other warlord, forms an aliance with Zhou yu and shares his master of strategy with him.  The action shots and special effects are quite good and add to the legend-like quality of this historical action/drama.  It’s John Woo, after all.  The story is romanticized in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, by Luo Guanzhong.

I enjoyed both parts and rate it 4/5 acorns.  No clives.

Robo Vampire, review

The best part of the movie are the hopping vampires.  I didn’t know vampires hopped in China.  It makes them look a little silly.

Love and Honor, Review

love-and-honor-02

Love and Honor is one of the 3 movies directed by Yoji Yamada.   Twilight Samurai is my favorite more contemporary samurai picture and I really enjoyed Love and Honor.  The period of all three movies, ( the third one being The Hidden Blade) is that time when the samurai class is started it’s decline.  The gun has arrived and the “west” is knocking at Japan’s door.

In this story, Shinnojo Mimura, played so well by Takuya Kimura, is a mere 50 koku samurai, who’s job, with 5 other samurai,  is to taste the Lord’s food to screen for poisons.  At 50 koku, he has one vassal, and a very devoted wife.  One day he becomes ill after eating an exotic seafood, and is in coma for about 3 days.  When he wakes, he is blind.  His family bickers about who will have to support him, so his wife goes to government official for help.  The sleaze ball had offered help, and she naively goes to him at the urging of her in-laws.  He promises help in exchange for services.  She is very shamed, but when the Lord’s officials tell them that has been decided that he should keep his 50 koku, she feels she must continue for the love of her husband.

Meanwhile, the man decides he is not useless, but that he should follow his dream of becoming a fencing master.  His teacher works with him and he developes a sense of his opponents moves.

He begins to suspect his wife is up to something and has his vassal follow her to one of her rendezvous.   It is Mimura’s right to kill her, but he banishes her from his home, in the middle of the night.  After suffering his vassal’s horrid cooking and have to subject his guest to the worst cup of tea, he agrees to take in a cook.  But before that he discovers that the Lord had insisted on supporting Mimura as he was very grateful that Mimura sacrificed so much to save his life.   When he finds out that his wife was duped he challenges the corrupt official to a duel.

These one on one duels are always the high point for me in any samurai movie and this one does not disappoint.

I recommend this movie and give it 5 acorns.

Masters of Horror

I haven’t been able to watch these gifted blu-ray discs as I lack the hardware.  My TV is also dying and everyone is pink.  I was able to watch these on my son’s PlayStation on his TV, so I started with volum 4.  I have seen the Miike one, Imprint, before.  It is quite disturbing and I have no desire to watch it ever again.

Homecoming, by Joe Dante of Gremlins fame is a story of soldier zombies who come back for one reason.  When denied their purpose, they do what zombies do best…eat some brains and other body parts.

Haeckel’s Tale by John McNaughton of Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer.  A young women has died and her distraught husband seeks a crone to reanimate her.  She tells him Haeckel’s tale to try and dissuade him.  Haeckel is Dr. Frankenstein’s comtemporary.  While traveling home to see his ailing father he crosses paths with a medicine man who claims to be able to bring people and animals back to life.  He demonstrates on a dead dog he has in a basket.  He is convinced the man is a fraud.  As he travels on he is invited to take shelter from a storm in the home of man he meets on the road.  This elderly man has a very young and beautiful wife, who mysteriously goes out at night.  She goes to the graveyard where she party’s with the undead.

Chocolate is the story of a man, separted from his wife and son, who dreams he tastes chocolate, and then dreams about a woman and a place he’s never been too.  He follows his obsession with some unexpected results.

The Day the Earth Stood Still, review

The original TDTESS is one of my all time favorite movies.  Life was simpler back when the world was black and white and I remember being so amazed and moved by the message and special effects.  There is no way I would miss seeing the new version on the big screen even with the bad reviews.  Keanu Reeves gets a lot of flak about his limited range of emotions, but I like him and he is still very handsome.  Michael Rennie he is not, but not many are.  Jennifer Connelly was quite good as the woman.  There is no touch of romance like the original.   I am disappointed that she did not have to track down Gort and utter the famous phrase “Klaatu, barada, nikto”.   The pace is fast in the beginning.  Jaden Smith is adorable as the son.   The movie did not have that special oomph reserved imo opinion for movies like Matrix, Alien, 2001 Space Odessey,  and Bladerunner…no brilliant originality that will make it a classic.  But I was pleased that it was much better then 1/4.  I will rate it 3.5/5 acorns, no clives.  arts_dayearthstill_584

Me wants Firefly back!

jayne-hat

Pride and Glory, Review

I have to rant a bit about the price of a movie ticket.  I paid $10 to see this movie.  Darn!  And I remember the 35 cent days when there were double features…

I didn’t see Edward Norton as the Hulk, but he has played many memorable roles.  He plays the John Voight’s son.  He is part of a police family, with dad, older brother (Noah Emmerich) and brother-in-law (Colin Firth).  The acting is very good and there is quite a bit of action and violence.  A group of policmen in older brother’s squad are killed in a narcotics raid.  Edward Norton, who has been on leave from his job on narcotics is asked to be on the task force formed to bring the evil doers to justice.  He does so reluctantly and has he gets deeper in to the case it looks more like a setup and corrupt police.  Unfortunately it leads to to Colin Firth and the case threatens to bring his whole family down.

The reason for Norton’s leave of absence had to do with him doing something against his conscience to protect the police force.  The dilemma of being put in to a similar situation again is cause for a lot of grief.

I will rate this one 3.5/5 acorns.  1/2 of a clive.

Memories of Murder, review (warning spoilers)

Kang-ho Song acted in the fun Korean blockbuster The Host as the not-to bright but loving father.   In Memories of Murder is plays a detective in a very small rural town, where it looks like a serial killer is on the loose.  Most of the forensic evidence is destroyed by the time the police are on the scenes.  He interviews many suspects and feels he can tell who is guilty by looking in their eyes.  His partner takes pleasure in beating the crap out of suspects until they confess to just about anything.

Enter the more sofisticated detective from Seoul who looks for patterns.  The killings occur on rainy nights, were all wearing red, and on each night a certain rare song is requested on the radio.  As the police narrow down their search they are constantly stymied by the lack of evidence.  Even the specimen sent of to American for DNA testing is equivocal .

Does Hae-il Parklook like James Spader?

I will rate this one 3/5 acorns with 1/2 for crimes against women and policemen beating up suspects, guilty or not.

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