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Author Archives: greggyyu

(500) Days of Summer: Story of My Life (063874)

I thought I’d make extra blog entries just to try to practice my film-viewing experience a little bit more.

The film I watched is a film close to my heart. I have watched it two times and for me it is one of those not really typical love movies.

This is a story of boy meets girl.

The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he’d never truly be happy until the day he met the one. This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total mis-reading of the movie ‘The Graduate’.

The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parent’s marriage she’d only love two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing.

Tom meets Summer on January 8th.

He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for.

This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story.

(500) days of summer deviates from the norm of having a linear romantic comedy that usually results in a happy ending. this film is about a normal boy named Tom, and his 500 days of a relationship with a girl by the name of summer. I actually watched this movie the first time when there was some similar circumstances between me and Tom, which made me appreciate the film very much. To me, the film is very real in a sense that the movie presents a story which is closer to the real world happenings between relationships: where men see a really pretty lady, and when a friend says that she’s unattainable. Then both of them find out that they’re perfect for each other. And then starts a quirky yet real story of a girl and a boy.

This movie, for me, mixes expectations and reality. this is very apparent near the end of the movie where the film juxtaposes expectations and reality during summer’s party, and how Tom reacts to summer’s different beliefs. This expectation is also seen in the parts where his friend Paul narrates to us (and he is talking like he was on a youtube video) that he loves his girl even though she’s not his perfect image of a girl.

The scenes where Tom and Summer are together alone are also almost idealistic. Strange how they shifted from an office elevator, to kissing in the copyroom, and then the only two people in the park, and of course, how could I forget the day they were in Ikea like there were no other people. This probably represents the high of love, where the two people seem as if they’re the only two people in the world that matter.

(500) Days of Summer makes us believe that true love is real, but we have our own set of views, like the idealistic, the scorn, the “live life to the fullest”, the hopeless romantic – and all of these viewpoints contributes to our understanding of what we want, what we expect, and what we really have.

Probably the only downpoint in the film (probably for other viewers) is that the story focused mainly on Tom and how his mind works (which is okay for me because I felt a strong similarity to Tom). True, there was no happy ending, and as movies go, they don’t disappear – they just carry on with their lives, and that’s something I love about this film. The only other bummer is the Predictability of the end, where he meets another girl named “Autumn.”

 
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Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Primordial Soup of Horror (063874)

Primer was not a film I enjoyed watching. it was too sci-fi for me. I actually wanted to watch it again because there were some scenes that I really did not process and was a blank to me, but i dared not watch it because i knew it would cause migraines. it took me a while to get this blog entry done because there was so much yet so little to say on primer.

Primer looked, at first, like the normal, “i want to build something cool” movie that features nerdy grown up American boys. Aaron and Abe were two people who just kept talking, and scenes were normal. The movie became instantly boring with the occasional noises here and there. but, yes, it got intense, and spine-shivering.

Primer hit me so much because it looked to true to life, yet the events that happened were so absurd that it was shocking. it gave me all of these questions like what if i saw myself in the distance, or what if i was trapped inside that box that allowed me to “time travel”, or how would i have reacted to things that happened, especially proving that there should be another me in this very time? i could be instantly shocked, and of course i’d curse out loud. but the characters treated everything with a lack of emotion. The lack of music did not help my viewing experience, as it only amplified that very thick atmosphere of the unknown and uneasy that Primer made me feel. it was not creepy to the point of it being supernatural, it was creepy to the point of everything being pre-planned, and that life could be treated as an experiment. it was creepy because people toyed with themselves and loved it even though there was this certain feel of being miserable. And the best part of it was that no one knew a thing.

However did the doubles start to take over in one point of the film? This is another thing which makes it confusing. there are certainly things in primer that keep us guessing, like the scenes repeating and repeating themselves over and over again.

Aaron and Abe are also two aspects of the film that cannot be ignored. throughout the film they were just talking, and talking, and the movie went in such a pace that is slow and at the same time eerie – and as they begin to find out that their simple little science project was something bigger, they tried to becomes superheroes in their own world, without glory, but pain of enduring the box.

Seriously, this was such a scary film. I don’t think i’ll understand it even if I watch it for a second time, and i don’t think i will watch it another.

 
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Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Paris Truly is The City of Love (063874)

The film, being the last one shown for the class, was definitely a light film and a very well appreciated film. it was so much different than the other films and was very enjoyable to watch amongst the other films which mindfucked me.

This was a 16 part anthology, and i absolutely love anthologies. i also love short stories, romantic comedies, and clips where one can just “guess what happens next”, or something like that. I absolutely loved this film because it gives me viewpoint of many different people situated in one city of love.

Based on the title of the film, anyone would expect the film to be about love between two lovers, but I, for one, was gravely mistaken. Yes, a lot of stories were about textbook romances in the making, yet a lot of the stories devoid on different aspect of love which in my opinion, we will all have in out lives. Me, being a viewer of films, and being one in my early 20s, have experienced, and am experiencing a love between me and another person whom i share a personal connection to. but besides this, i, or most of us, do not take into account, that we have been loved by others who may be underserving of our love, that love us unconditionally, who we love and the other sense of what we call love. Paris Je Taime covers a lot of what we should know as love, starting with the love of parent to child, which I think is one of the most purest forms of love there is.

The clip with the couple in Oscar Wilde’s grave was very memorable to me because I too have experienced some form of misunderstanding very similar to what the couple experienced, but as they solved their problem with understanding, I too have overcome my own relationship obstacles. i remember when the girl said “I can’t marry you” and “you don’t have lightness”, which was both very selfish, but very misunderstood. At that moment, there was a very wide gap between the engaged couple, where one sought security, but the other sought emotion. I just thought it was unfair that the guy had to give in, and all because the ghost of a popular gay guy told him to do so.

one other film which i thought was interesting was the last story, where the lady alone visited Paris. it was obvious that she was involve with Paris, but it was also evident that she was very much alone in the world, with only so few to count on – not much friends, no lover – a totally independent person in a different light. Strange for me, though, that in a situation where she should be sad and lonely, she showed no hint of being sad and only stared with wonder and awe that Paris had to offer her. She was in love with Paris, and she was sure that Paris was in love with her.

Paris Je Taime gives us a very wide viewpoint of love at different places, in different times, of different people, to different things. The movie was very good in transitioning one story to the other. the short films, being open-ended, looked as if the films were still continuing as the next one started. I mean, if the titles of the next film were not shown at the start of every story, i would have though everything was one big continuing sequence. I would like to even think that all of the 16 stories wer happening simultaneously, in a period of a day – which is a representation of all the things that can happen within a day’s span of time. we can see that love is a many-faced thing, and i think the film Paris Je Taime encompassed it well.

 
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Posted by on 22 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The Godfather Part 2: Epic (063874)

The Godfather 2 is, and I think I speak up for most people, miles apart from the first Godfather film. As its namesake, this film is the sequel to the Godfather – continuing the reign of the new Don Corlione, Micheal. As far as the movie as a whole is concerned, i really liked watching it.

Now let me list down some of the more noticeable differences and what I think about them. first of all, as the first Godfather focuses on the Corlione family’s subtle downfall, the second film looks at its rise in power, other in Michael’s story and Don Vito’s. in relation to this, the second Godfather juxtaposes both the stories of Don Vito, and Michael. The second film was also gives us a broader view of their world, a lot of new characters, and lot of interlocking shorelines, whereas the first Godfather focused in one somewhat more linear storyline. besides the second Godfather being extremely long, there was so much going on everywhere, probably too much.

Let me focus on the two stories that were juxtaposed in the movie: The movie shows snippets of the early life of Don Vito, to his rise in power. The genius between slipping in his story to the main story is that we get to compare how Don Vito worked and How Micheal worked. Whereas Don Vito’s rise in power was proportional to his rise as a good family man. Michael’s story was exactly the opposite – as his power as a Mafia leader grows, his family suffers (Kay left him, Anthony has a problem he did not want to address, freedo was had killed) and i’m also guessing everyone feared him more than respected him.

What kept me uneasy about the second film is the way the characters develop. after seeing the first Godfather film, and after looking at the back story of don Vito, i would have imagined an italian family, and the Corlione family at that, to be all about family – that the family is everything, and family will do anything to protect each other. Yet the second film creeped me out because all the stories were in knots now, and I did not know who was going to betray who. I did not know who was going to kill who. And most of all, Michael looked as of he was becoming so cold-hearted that I was scared that he’d even kill Fredo, a member of his own family – his brother no less – which he disowned. AND HE DID. That was the most disturbing parts of the movie, for me, for one to kill his own family, when we could have imagined the father (Don Vito) doing all in his power to forgive and forget the wrongdoing of the son.

I was also guessing that after the loss of Don Vito, things started to go downhill for the family. Michael tried to be the pillar of support for the family, but just ended up being obsessed as the “businessman” that he though he was doing the right thing, at all the wrong expenses. If don Vito were still there nothing like this would have happened, or maybe Micheal would even have him killed off as well if they didn’t see eye to eye the way Michael is now.

Like the first Godfather film, during Michael’s takeover as the don, it’s unbelievable that these movies incorporate so much religion into it, while they themselves desecrate every single religious undertaking, like the destruction of Michael and Kay’s wedding, the all the killings, especially of one own’s family, etc.

After watching the second film, a lot of holes have been left out. the very first thing I thought after being devastated about Fredo’s death, was “what will happen to Anthony?” This leaves me thinking that I wanted to have another installment of the Godfather films, if there wasn’t any sequel. For me, things are only getting started, and I really want to know what will happen to the remaining characters. With this, I have to say: I’m going to watch the 3rd one!

 
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Posted by on 22 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The Godfather: Time and Transition (063874)

There is too much to say of The Godfather that I think I’m Going to say too little of it. This was such a magnificent movie and I got hooked into watching it, even though it was really really long and a whole lot of things happened.

first of all, I would like to commend the acting of all the actors. The acting was very believable, from Luca Brazi, to the heads of the five families, to the transition of Michael from a hero, to the eventual head of the family business. there was a whole lot of diversity in the characters in the Corlione family. it was so believable that it was like an in-depth insider sneak peak at the life of an Italian Mafia family – like it was a reality TV show with all the “bad blood” between all the Mafia families.

I wanted to focus on the character of the tree brothers of the Corlione family. Sonny, Tom, and Michael. Sonny was the war freak, was the impulsive one, and the one who wanted things sprung into action. Indeed, I expected him to die, but the way he died was so cinematic, but was so brutal that he even shouted his pain in his last breath.

Tom was the brother who worked in the sidelines, and was the adviser of the family. even though he was not related to them by blood, he was given a pretty big role, and people such as their enemies trusted that he did his role so much that he even avoided death. although that was the case, it was seen that blood is still thicker than water,and even though he was considered a brother, he was out. I can’t help but feel some pity for Tom, because Mike saw him as less of an advisor needed in those times of turmoil. Tom always opted for the peaceful solution.

Then there was Michael, the bother that was dragged into all of this bloodshed because of his father. Ironic how Don Corlione did not want Michael in the family business, but it was his injury that led to Michael’s conversion to a cold and heartless person. I feel pity for these three brothers because of their situation and the trials they had to undergo. Michael could not escape from his family and the problems of his family. Even though he started life far from all the mess and the war, it seemed to follow him, and it seemed to have led him back to the city. It was like it was his destiny to be in charge and to continue the family business.

it was so ironic that Don Corlione died playing with his grandchild when he did not die because of five gunshot wounds to the back. He did not die to start a war, but he died to mark the start of the end – when Michael took over and had all the leaders of the five families assassinated. it was just sad, and also Don Corlione pointed out that Michael should not have had anything to do with the family business because he was the “cleanest” in the family, but with some twist of fate, the one who was supposed to be the happiest one turned out to be the one who got stuck in the dark world of his father and hid family. He went so cold that he had to kill his sister’s husband even when he said that he would not leave his sister widowed, but lied to his wife about everything. That last scene where the wife saw the door close and people shaking Mike’s hand acknowledging him as the new Don Corlione – i think that his wife got the point that her husband had changed from the sweet man he was at the start of the movie. the wife’s face was indicative that she knew what was happening, but could not place herself in the inside of the room, as symbolized by the door closing.

Can’t wait to see part 2!!

063874

Yu, Gregory

 
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Posted by on 17 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Zodiac: A Thrilling Chase (063874)

This film was a vary enjoyable, yet very stressful film to watch. why did I say that, because it was not like those murder and serial killer mysteries that we’re used to watching now. I watch Criminal Minds and CSI on TV, but it was nothing like this. there was more thinking than any other process done in the film. There was no science that was showcased in the film, and the people he killed were not explicitly examined. it was just shown that the Zodiac killed people, but that was it. most of the film, after the last kill of zodiac, was living everyday life but looking for patterns in the clues that the Zodiac gave. The film about the zodiac was not about the killings, nor did I think it was about looking into the mind of the killer, but more so about the struggle to look for clues to a man that could not even be traced, only to find out that it was “him” all along.

The unsuitability that I felt in the film was probably due to the fact that the clues were fairly easy, yet very vague. Everything was misleading, and there were heart racing moments that should not have been heart racing moments – but we were scared anyway because there were some things that we could not explain. Take for example, the scene in the house of the film guy. it was then that the character of Jake Gyllenhaal realized that everything started to piece together, that this person he was standing next to was the killer, and the killer he was sure of was partners with this guy. The handwriting, the basement, the film reel that was never shown all fit the profile, plus the unexplainable noises upstairs made my heart pound. But it was strange for me that we always see the Zodiac alone, but according to Jake, there were two killers. That scene was particularly misleading because all of the clues fit into place, but somehow I knew that he was not the killer – and yet also it was thrilling to see if he could have been killed in that house.

it was also chocking to me that in the end credits, it seemed like the movie was based in a true story, or perhaps it was just an epilogue of things that took place. it was really dramatic that the character of Jake Gyllenhaal was so obsessed with looking for the identity of the Zodiac masked as his making a book, that His own family left him. These were another 2 creepy scenes, that because the zodiac was calling his house, he thought that his family was already killed by him. the other scene that was eerie was the time his wife came back home, and I guess all of us thought that it could have been the Zodiac out to kill him once and for all. The great thing about the Zodiac was the thrill that was unconventional and was brought to us by the mystery of the identity of the Zodiac – we did not even know if the Zodiac was any of the people who were already interviewed, or if it was just a wild goose chase to track down a person who might not even be there anymore.

063874

 
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Posted by on 17 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Spider: Mindbending Madness (063874)

i would admit, this movie, Spider, scared the crap out of me. it was so strange and so mindbending hat after class, it took me around a day to regain my composure and try to understand the events that happened in the movie. before that, even the thought of it gave me a migraine. i never thought such a freaky movie existed.

later on it was explained to be a movie that simulated schizophrenia. now i understood around one fourth of it, the way everything took place in the movie. Now at least I understood why Mr. Cleg used to be in the looney bin.

At first I thought Mr. Cleg was a war survivor with post traumatic stress disorder, as I saw when he first lied down on his bed talking to himself and holding (or i think he was holding) his collar like a radio phone. Mr. Cleg was big, he looked haggard and he always looked shocked, which I thought was signs that he used to be in a war and was traumatized after wartime. besides the occasional mumbling, he looked pretty normal to me – looking for the address of the house, waking around with no problem, smoking cigarettes. little did i know that it was going to turn out in a different way.

the first sign that made me think it was a creepy movie was the way he suddenly appeared in the house of that family, silently staking them from outside the window. he was everywhere, sometimes just peeking in, sometimes as a very creepy and dark man just veering outside the door, and almost shocked me when that little boy went outside and Mr. Cleg was there. I even thought he was going to abduct the kid, but he did not even notice the big man. Why was that? it was then that i knew that the movie was trying to make me believe something that was not there in the first place. it was all just memory vividly visualized by Mr. Cleg trying to reenact the scenes from his past. He was trying to reenact them to the extent of mumbling the exact conversations of the people in his memory.

Strange how all the events were fixated when he was the little boy, and no other points of his past. And it was also strange that the mother died, replaced by a new mother, but according to the father and mother, there was no mother that was killed and the real mother was actually the same mother that he had all along. This was the point where everything got mixed up in my head, and i stopped believing in everything the film had to say. The mumbling and scribbles of Mr. Cleg proved to me that everything did not fit into place; that what i was witnessing was not clear at all, like it was just a forgery of a mind that was very much different from my own. Maybe the memories were not really memories, but recreations to fit the satisfaction of the mind reenacting them.

Spider, spinning webs of deceit that eventually led to the death of his own mother. Spider that laid eggs of memory that wasn’t really true. Spider whose life was one big imagination of another self.

063874

Yu, Gregory

 
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Posted by on 17 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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