Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Teasers

Two foreign movies I'm eagerly awaiting early next year. GANGNAM BLUES from Korea, starring my number one idol, Lee Min Ho, and LUPIN THE THIRD (live action anime) from Japan which has two of my Japanese idols, Oguri Shun and Tadanobu Asano. 

Lee Min Ho as a gangster during the development of Gangnam in the 70s

Oguri Shun as master thief Lupin the Third

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Marina

  tags: fantasy, horror, mystery, science fiction-ish, young adult

Star emoticonStar emoticonStar emoticonStar emoticonStar emoticon

Book Description from Amazon.com
"We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine."
When Fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in Barcelona, no one knows his whereabouts for seven days and seven nights.
His story begins when he meets the strange Marina while he's exploring an old quarter of the city. She leads Oscar to a cemetery, where they watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the last Sunday of each month. At exactly ten o'clock in the morning, a woman shrouded in a black velvet cloak descends from her carriage to place a single rose on an unmarked grave.
When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her, they begin a journey that transports them to a forgotten postwar Barcelona--a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons--and reveals a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.
This book was written and published in 1993 but was only translated from Spanish to English in July of this year. I've read all 3 books of Carlos Ruiz Zafón's The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series; I read the first book, THE SHADOW OF THE WIND, 10 years ago, and the sequels, THE ANGEL'S GAME, and THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN, I read one after the other, more than a year ago. I loved all 3 books and I'm not surprised I also loved this novel supposedly written for young adult readers. It's only 336 pages and I devoured it in just 1 day! 

The 2 main protagonists, Oscar and Marina, are both 15 year old. There's a tinge of romance between them, and the novel has a Gothic feel reminding me a bit of Frankenstein, the Phantom of the opera, and in a sense, Mr. Hyde. All the other characters are unforgettable including Marina's dad, Germán, and her cat, Kafka. The prose is beautiful, some paragraphs are almost poetic, and the description of postwar Barcelona is so vivid that one may be compelled to write "Visit Barcelona, Spain" on his/her Bucket List. 

Highly recommended.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Edge Of Tomorrow



tags: aliens, fantasy, sci-fi, time loop, war

Star emoticonStar emoticonStar emoticonStar emoticonStar emoticon
An alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Major William Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop, forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again...and again. But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt). And, as Cage and Vrataski take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.Written by Warner Bros. Pictures
Complete plot is here.

I read the book the movie is based on before watching and I can say that the movie is waaay better than the book. The book, All You Need Is Kill, is short at less than 200 pages but I found it rather flat and boring, probably something's lost in translation from Japanese to English, or it simply is not written well.

The concept is nothing new but the movie improved upon the time-loop idea making it fresh and innovative. I love the costumes/jackets, the dialog, the humor, the non-stop action. The whole movie is truly enjoyable to watch and unlike the book, it makes much more sense and has a satisfying feel-good ending. Tom Cruise is incredibly fit for a 50 year old and Emily Blunt is also believable in her role.

The 3D DVD is good with very minimal ghosting (double images) all throughout. Special features section on the regular DVD is a must watch.

Highly recommended.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Somewhere In Time



tags: romance, sci-fi fantasy, time travel

Star emoticonStar emoticonStar emoticonStar emoticonStar emoticon

from Amazon.com
Somewhere in Time is the story of a young writer who sacrifices his life in the present to find happiness in the past, where true love awaits him. Young Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) is approached by an elderly woman who gives him an antique gold watch and who pleads with him to return in time with her. Years later, Richard Collier is overwhelmed by a photograph of a beautiful young woman (Jane Seymour). Another picture of this woman in her later years reveals to him that she is the same woman who had given him the gold watch. Collier then becomes obsessed with returning to 1912 and the beautiful young woman who awaits him there.

I don't watch [nor read] romance, being a fan of thrillers, sci-fi, adventure, mystery, vampires and zombies, and perhaps a little horror "cabin-in-the-woods" slasher type movies. Somewhere In Time, along with a handful, maybe 3, love story movies are the exception. I've seen it several times when it was available to stream on Netflix.

Somewhere In Time is almost perfect: the actors, cinematography, music, and location are absolutely beautiful and captivating, specially Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

Highly recommended.
Currently streaming on Amazon.