Category Archives: Movies

November Wrap-up

So, November is practically over and I haven’t really updated all month.

I posted some photos I took whilst at Watson’s Bay on flickr.  This was all standard slow exposure + tripod stuff – nothing fancy, but the results are plesant.  My 17-40mm f/4L USM is showing it’s worth nicely in some of these.

I do quite like night photography when waterfronts are involved – you get such nice, and sometimes hard to predict, results with the light reflected off the water.

I also went to 3 Japanese Film Festival sessions (planned for 4, but missed one due to an emergency call) in the last few days.

Anime Matsuri 1 (Time of Eve movie + Precious PV) was mixed.

Precious was interestingly animated, but felt like it missed the mark slightly being shown in the JFF.

Time of Eve followed, and was interestingly recut from it’s original 5 episode format – with some nice material added to help flesh out the circumstances surrounding the stories.  I won’t bother saying much more about Time of Eve’s plot or execution – plenty of others have posted about this series and can preach it’s virtues better than I can.  I will state, however, that it’s worth a watch in either format.

Unfortunately, the subtitles used in the JFF screening were amateurish with all sorts of errors, missed line and repeated/mistimed lines all over the place.  Even when I was involved in a little 3 man fan-subbing effort quite some time ago, we were churning out subtitles with fewer timing and repeat errors, with practically no external QC.

Oh, and the guy from SMASH! waffled on too much leading up to the session’s start.

Next up I saw Castle Under Fiery Skies, which was a compelling movie about the building of Azuchi Castle in the late 1500s.  The cinematography was excellent and the story development was great… up until the last 5 minutes.

My issue with the finale was the movie encouraged you to empathise with Mataemon (the peasant carpenter) with the feudal lord’s unreasonable requests and the hardships he endures as he pushes on to make the castle a success.  The movie culminates with a major challenge that threatens the completion of the castle, and once the threat is resolved, we suddenly lose focus on our master carpenter and are left with a closing statement – a very abrupt way to part ways with the characters we’d been following so closely.

None the less, it was a beautifully executed movie despite this flaw, and I would happily recommend it.

The last movie I made it to was Sword of Desperation.  Whilst I mostly enjoyed the plot and story of this movie, the presentation lacked coherency – the movie jumped around between flashbacks and ‘present’ time, frequently with little prompting to this fact, leaving you to work out which events were in the present or the past.

For the most part, I found myself using the presence of those who were deceased in the ‘present’ to identify the flashbacks from the ‘present’ flow of the story – mostly as this was the only way I could find to do so.

Movie presentation issues aside, the plot was engrossing as you followed Sanzaemon and looked into the justifications for a sudden and cold murder, and the events that culminate afterwards that lead to the movie’s finale.

I can’t help but think this movie could have been significantly better had a bit more effort been made to make the flow of events easier to track.

Harrison Bergeron

Harrison Bergeron was a movie I saw many years ago before I left Canberra back in 2000.

It’s a rather unique movie of a dystopian future – the government has stepped in to render everybody average, ensuring a happy population. One particular young man, Harrison Bergeron, is too intelligent for the limiting devices to contain, so the government recruits him to work for them.

Strangely enough, this video rarely makes it onto the dystopian sci-fi lists, and never made it to DVD. Somebody posted a copy of it on Google Video (embedded below). It’s worth a watch.

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