Latest Movies Seen

I haven’t had much time to update the site recently because I’m spending most of my time working on the new company… but, in response to a plea from my mother (Hi, mom!) I decided to give you a brief rundown of films I’ve seen recently.

I joined NetFlix back in early November, and I love it! Not all of the films listed below came from NetFlix, but quite a few did. And remember, you can always see my star rating for films I’ve seen, down the left-hand side of this page.

Huoxeh (To Live)
I’ve been a fan of Li Gong for several years now, and this was another excellent feather in her cap. She plays the wife of a man who loses everything because of his gambling problem, in China in the 1940s. The story then traces their lives over the next 30 or so years as the Communists take over (or “liberate,” as the Communists called it) China from Chiang Kai-sheck. It’s a heartbreaking story of how absolutely evil Communism is. I’ve always known that it was evil, but this film really drives it home. I’ve already added Lan feng zheng (The Blue Kite) to my NetFlix queue; it’s another film about the Communist takeover of China. It should be here in a few days.

The Polar Express
I couldn’t imagine how they could turn a very short book like The Polar Express into a feature-length film. They did it by turning the whole story into an action/adventure film that scared the crap out of my son. Overall it was pretty good, but way too much adventure.

Bend it Like Beckham
This is a wonderful Indian picture about a girl who challenges what her parents think a “proper Indian girl” should and should not do. I watched it twice in one weekend. Ever since watching Monsoon Wedding I’ve gotten more and more intrigued with Indian films. This is another great one.

Streets of Fire
I first saw this movie back in the 80s, but I’d forgotten most of it. I got it through NetFlix a few weeks ago, and it was quite good. It has a young Diane Lane (love her) playing a singer who is abducted by a motorcycle gang, lead by Willem Dafoe. Good music, interesting sets, and Diane Lane…

The Terminal
This is an excellent film that is very loosely based on the real-life story of a man who has been living in Charles De Gaulle Airport since 1988. Tom Hanks is extremely believable as a man from some backwater former-Soviet republic. Funny and sad, all at the same time.

Ying Xiong (Hero)
Beautifully filmed. Lovely colors. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was better.

The Last Samurai
I was absolutely blown away by this film. Tom Cruise is outstanding as a brash, arrogant Civil War veteran who goes to Japan to train troops. This is a beautiful story that was completely under-appreciated.

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Spirited Away)
Absolutely brilliant! This is an amazing piece of animation. Disney pictures brought this Japanese masterpiece, by the legendary directory Miyazaki Hayao, to America, faithfully translating it with an American cast. Wonderful, wonderful movie. My son loves it. I bought it for him for Christmas, and I just bought the sound-track.

I’ve seen several others recently, but that’s enough pontificating on films for now…