The Station Agent, again, and Gemini, Reviews

station_agent.jpgI NF’d the Station Agent again, as I had enjoyed it the first time around, and I enjoyed it again. In asking my folks if they also wanted to watch it and the visiting siblings, I found I was not able to entice them to watch it. Perhaps I’m not such a good advertising agent or story teller. But then again this is not the type of movie an action hungry crowd would go for anyway. Fin, is a dwarf, and he leads a “boring” life, repairing small appliances with his friend. His hobby is train chasing and his club of like minded members watch home movies of trains. When his business friend dies, he is willed a train station in a rural area and he decides to take his grief and his anger (about his size, as he later divulges) and go there to be alone. But he is not alone, from the very first day. First there is the talkative ex-pat Cuban Manhattanite, there to take care of is father’s lunch wagon, then the spaced out grieving, divorce e who accidentally runs him off the road in her car, twice in one day, Clair, the lonely black girl and Emily, the pretty, young librarian who is dating the dick head town punk.

I was reminded of a couple of lines from About a Boy, “In my opinion, all men are islands. And what’s more, now’s the time to be one. This is an island age. ” and “Suddenly I realized – two people isn’t enough. You need backup. If you’re only two people, and someone drops off the edge, then you’re on your own. Two isn’t a large enough number. You need three at least.”

The appeal of this movie is a bit allusive to me. No cyborgs, no vampires, no unnecessary violence. It must be the good acting and the interesting way these lives come together. It speaks to me at this time in my life where I’m two years out from divorce, the anticipation of the end of my current job of 27 years, and dreaming of training for the Honolulu Marathon with my virtual dog, and speaking Italian, or off on a trek to Bolivia cultivating my own hermitdom. Hah. All dreams. The real plan is to hang out and knit and sew my stash, become organized, and work in the yard. We’ll see!

Now Gemini (Soseji) is a whole different kind of flick. RottenTomatoes describes it as”offbeat”. That’s an understatement. It was billed as period, Japanese horror. The period is the early Meiji era (turn of the century). It starts off well enough with interesting hairdos, and a creepy, stilted home atmosphere. An upperclass family who distains the people of the “slums”, runs a medical clinic. The doctor’s wife is a strange women with no memory, who he first saw naked near the river. His father then his mother die in unusual circumstances. A man who looks just like him, except for a snake like birth mark on his thigh, shows up and pushes him in a well (like the one from Ringu). From then it turns into odd dancing and jumping around and strange costumes and makeup. I think I fell asleep at the end, since I can’t remember how it ended. I’m pretty sure he gets out of the well, and maybe these two guys were twins separated at birth, and I think she was only pretending she couldn’t remember anything.

Odd Dancing scene

So 4/5 acorns for The Station Agent, and only 2 for Gemini, and some of it is for costumes.  No clives for either.

American Gangster, review

This is one of those movies I was reluctant to see. I mean it has Russell Crowe and Denzil Washington in it and a reliable source said it was good do I’m not sure why. But it played at the dollar movie and my BIL who is visiting from Tacoma, also wanted to see it and for a buck, why not? Well for one thing, the movie didn’t fit on the screen and in the beginning having part of the movie on the ceiling and part of it on the wall beneath the screen was a bit distracting. Oddly enough, I got used to it and in the end it did not detract from the movie. I was pleasantly surprised at what a good movie it was, no doubt due to the quality directing, acting, music and film making. The topic of the underworld corrupting the military and the special investigation unit is not a pleasant thought. Denzil’s character says to Russell Crowe that there is and always will be drugs, people making money off of drugs, people dying on drugs so what pick him to go down? Well for one thing, he got caught. In the end Russell Crowe’s character, the fool who found a million dollars in a bust, and had the nerve to turn it in because “it was the right thing to do”, goes after the “real” criminals, the corrupt law enforcement.

I will give this movie 3.5 acorns. It is quite violent at times so perhaps a bit of a clive. 2007_american_gangster_001.jpg

No Country for Old Men, The Snow Walker, Reviews

no-county-old-men.jpg

Javier Bardem plays evil incarnate in the latest of the Cohen Brothers movies. I only saw one other movie with this actor, Before Night Falls. Let me say, he does a great job playing the ultimate sociopath. His method of execution and breaking and entering is unique. He has a code and lives by it. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, if your name is on his hit list you can just buy the plot now. Unless of course you are a lucky enough for him to toss the coin, because chance is the only thing that will save you. Josh Brolin gets on his list. He gives him quite a run. Josh has relationships and that’s his downfall. While there is not the tongue in cheek humor of Fargo or O Brother Where Art Thou, this movie made me think quite a bit. There is violence and so I will give it clive. Definitely not for the the fainthearted. I will give it 3.5 acorns/5. I really liked the slow pace of this movie. It fit the Texas setting.

up-snow_walker.jpg

The Snow Walker stars Barry Pepper as a angry ex-military pilot, who flies some shady missions for James Cromwell over the Canadian wilderness. While out on a jaunt, he flies into a fishing “village” and makes a deal for some tusks, to take a young Inuit woman, obviously suffering from TB, to the hospital. One the of the engines goes out and they go down in the the middle of nowhere. The aerial scenes are incredible and the hopelessness of his situation is all the more clear seeing the vastness of the territory.

He tells the women to stay put, even though she speaks very little English, and goes off in search of the closest settlement, which is 100 miles away according to his map. The young woman patiently rescues him. It becomes clear that though she very competent on how to survive, as this is her homeland, she needs him, too.

I loved this movie even though there were no vampires or cyborgs. It was beautiful and had a great pace. I will give it 4/5 acorns.

Rampant Ranting

6 months 14 days, 26 minutes and 51 second til retirement. I’m crabby about nearly every email at work. I know I have to snap out of it! I love that line from Moonstruck

It’s my fault for doing some work while on vacation. I just don’t like going back to a full load of catching up. Really, I know better then to work while on vacation.

I was lucky enough to attend a Christmas breakfast after walking today. Beside great food and a great view of Kaneohe Bay, I was able to see more possibilities to this retirement thing. The actual retired One said after a couple months she forgot she ever worked for over a quarter of a century for the company. That sounds good to me. Another one has put in for retirement in April. These two ladies did middle management. I have a bit of angst off and on about of my future. It’s exciting but scary all at the same time.

When is Battlestar Galactica and 24 coming back? I think CSI with Gil Grissom should be on everytime I channel surf until they return. Kamikaze Girls was fun, but it’s tough to knit and read subs at the same time…waah!

kamikaze.jpg

It live action comedy based on a comic book. Our heroine goes to live with her dad after her mom walks out on them. She loves to dress up in frills and lace. When they move to a small country town, she meets a moped riding female gang member. It’s pretty much as dumb as it sounds, but I liked it anyway. I even stopped whining for 102 minutes. I also did not drop any stitches which is always a good thing. I will rate it 3/5 acorns, no clives.

The Place Promised in our early Days, review

placepromisedposter.jpg
English translation for the the title of this movie is not very catchy. At first I had a difficult time following this movie as it jumped back and forth in time. The other anime by Makoto Shinkai I watched was called a Voices of a Distant Star. Both animations are very beautiful and the stories very thoughtful and philosophical. Can any of us return to a time in our past where our destiny took a turn and get that special moment back? Can we travel the road not taken?

The setting for this movieis a futuristic Japan, divided and at war. Two boys and the girl everyone has a crush on embark on a friendship based on budding love and adventure. When the girl disappears one day which just a word in school that her family has moved, the boys go on, both a little bitter over the lost promise. It seems, the girl had started sleeping longer and longer until she never woke up. When the 3 get together again, she has been sleeping for 3 years.

I was drawn in by the story and was satisfied although the ending was a bit hokey.

I will rate this one 3/5 acorns. No clives.

The Die is Cast

The count down clock is started…6 months, 25 days, 3 hours, 13 minutes, and 45 ….seconds until I retire.