Lucky Number Slevin

A clever-clever narrative (kicked off by The Usual Suspects?) that’s OK for a Friday night. Doesn’t outstay it’s welcome but a step down from Paul McGuigan’s Gangster No.1. (DVD) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425210/

Legend of the Overfiend (Japan, 1989)

If anyone doubted my last post re the essential difference between Japanese and western culture then this film nails my argument. Tentacle sex; demonic or Peeping Tom men… and what is going on? Doesn’t have the visual grandeur the best of anime (but it was straight to video) and is interesting as an insight (?) into the psycho-sexual nature of (this part of) Japanese culture. (DVD) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108461/

Princess Raccoon (Japan, 2005)

Truly bonkers kitsch. I don’t normally like kitsch but could just about manage this. Brings home the realisation that Japanese culture is actually very different to the west. (DVD) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0441674/

Sin City (US, 2005)

Visually stunning rendition of Miller’s graphic novel. As sexist as the source material, true, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. It depends how your read it; and the blokes are not exactly paragons of masculinity. (DVD, 2) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401792/

The Station Agent (US, 2003)

Excellent sample of indie cinema; Bobby Canavale is superb as the friendly guy who won’t be put off. A celebration of difference. (DVD) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0340377/

King Kong (US, 2005)

While this doesn’t improve on the original to get close is an excellent achievement (great dinosaur fight). (DVD, 2) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0360717/

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Gobsmacking. Less action and more philosophy than the first Ghost film. The carnival parade is simply stunning. I missed Major Kusanagi but the ideas (what is going on takes a lot of thought) and visuals more than make up. The dog’s amazing (like the film). (DVD) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0347246/

American Pie (US, 1999)

One of the funniest American comedies that grossed many critics out. Well it was supposed to. Superbly realisation of the pain and confusion of adolescence. Simply brilliant. (DVD, 3) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0163651/

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989, Japan)

More charm from Miyazaki with a confident shojo (young girl protagonist). Didn’t grip me as much as some of his other films but it’s great to see the girl saving the boy. (OAR) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097814/

Battle in Heaven (Mexico, 2005)

A scandal at Cannes; was it because of the hardcore sex (getting passe in arthouse cinema?) or the fact that 2/3rds of the participants are grossly overweight and old. Well whatever it was didn’t work for me and the knowledge that the cast were amateurs cast a moral question over the film. Exploited? Maybe. (DVD) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387055/