Saturday, May 29, 2004

Heat, an explosive and highly entralling crime genre piece was the first exposure I had of director Michael Mann's outstanding work. His sleek portrayal of the 2 hardened protanganists, namely De Niro and Pacino, ( especially the tense exchange in the cafe has come to be remembered as one of recent crime cinema's most memorable scenes. ) as well as the film's many electrifying scenes have had palpable influence in the film industry, including Hong Kong's laudable Infernal Affairs and PTA.

The Insider is an equally impressive piece, with much less action set pieces but no less engaging plot. Al Pacino once again, together with Russell Crowe and Christopher Plummer ( forever remembered as the handsome Captain in the Sound of Music, having lost none of his charisma ) lend themselves to powerful performances, topped by Mann's sensuous use of music and Dante Spinotti's beautiful cinematography, and you have a masterful piece at hand.

Michael Mann is fast becoming one of my favourite directors.

A Sight and Sound review of the Insider is posted on the comments page.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Hellboy, Kill Bill 2, and now, Troy. The list keeps growing, not to mention having missed the entire Singapore Film Festival altogether. I am so not okay about this. Really missing the sundays in Singapore when I would be watching very often, 2 shows back to back with my movie kakis Gatchaman and Torei, then talk about it over dinner, when a single miserable ticket here in Japan would cost just as much as all the activities mentioned above, add free seating ( reads : you're not guaranteed a seat for a popular film even if you have a ticket, gotta wait for the next screening ), and you have a wonderful time at the cinema.

So if you're a Singaporean ranting about expensive movie tickets on weekends, quit complaining. Period.

Which reminds me : Heard a conversation by working professionals once on ticket prices for the Singapore Film Festival : *in an incredulous tone* " Freaking $8.50 per ticket ????!!! Why not just wait for it to screen on Arts Central ? I refuse to be held on a ransom like this !! "

I almost wanted to bash his f**king head in, and pardon my language.