Ničija zemlja [No Man’s Land] (2001)

Ničija zemlja
Director: Danis Tanovic
Writer: Danis Tanovic
Cast: Branko Djuric, Rene Bitorajac, Filip Sovagovic, Georges Siatidis, Serge-Henri Valcke, Sacha Kremer, Alain Eloy, Simon Callow
Seen on: 9.2.2018
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Plot:
At the height of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ciki (Branko Djuric), a Bosnian Muslim, and Nino (Rene Bitorajac), a Bosnian Serb get trapped in No Man’s Land. Despite being caught in the same boat, the two can’t help but fight with each other while they wait for a possibility to get back to their respective troops. Things are made even more complicated when they discover that they are in very real danger of being blown up.

No Man’s Land is a bitter and angry film, but its also so funny that the darkness almost disappears – only to come through at important moments to hit you even harder. The film is a little rough at times, but that just makes it stronger.

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Mulholland Drive (2001)

Mulholland Drive
Director: David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch
Cast: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Jeanne Bates, Robert Forster, Brent Briscoe, Maya Bond, Patrick Fischler, Michael Cooke, Bonnie Aarons, Michael J. Anderson, Justin Theroux, Melissa George, Mark Pellegrino, Billy Ray Cyrus
Seen on: 28.6.2016

Plot:
Betty (Naomi Watts) arrives in Hollywood, hoping to kick off her acting career. Her aunt Ruth (Maya Bond) has given her the use of her apartment and Betty is excited to get started. But then she finds Rita (Laura Harring) in her apartment, believing her to be a friend of Ruth’s. But Rita simply wandered into the apartment afte a car accident robbed her of all her memories, leaving her only with a sense of dread. Betty is dead-set on trying to figure out who Rita – if that is actually her name – is and who she’s running from.

Mulholland Drive was strange as is to be expected from a Lynch film, but much less of a mind fuck than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed watching it, mostly due to the fantastic performance by Naomi Watts.

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Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Wet Hot American Summer
Director: David Wain
Writer: Michael Showalter, David Wain
Cast: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian BlackMolly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Sussman, Judah Friedlander
Seen on: 7.9.2015

Plot:
The last day of Camp Firewood puts the various councelors under stress to complete their open business that they’ve been pushing off for the rest of the summer. And camp director Beth (Janeane Garofalo) has to try and keep everything together. Which is easier said than done when you’re dealing not only with various romantic entanglements, a cook suffering from PTSD (Christopher Meloni) and a deadly piece of NASA equipment hurtling towards them. Oh, and of course, the talent show that is planned for the end of the day.

Wet Hot American Summer is a loud, silly and enjoyable movie with a cast that parodies everything that doesn’t get out of the way fast enough. I had fun.

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Re-Watch: Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Monsters, Inc.
Director: Pete Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich
Writer: Andrew Stanton, Daniel Gerson
Cast: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Mary Gibbs, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly, Bob Peterson

Plot:
Sully (John Goodman) is the star employee of Monsters, Inc: nobody scares children quite like him. They need the children’s screams as it’s their energy source. But as kids are getting more jaded, it’s increasingly harder to scare them. As the Monster World is heading for an energy crisis, Sully and his best friend Mike (Billy Crystal) have a different problem though: through the workings of their rival Randall (Steve Buscemi), a little girl has managed to come to their world. Boo (Mary Gibbs), as they start calling her, isn’t safe there – monsters are deathly scared of children. But it’s also pretty hard for Sully and Mike to get her back.

I don’t know when I last saw Monsters, Inc., but I should watch it more often. It’s sweet. It’s funny. It’s smart. And most of all it’s really entertaining.

monstersinc

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The Fast and the Furious (2001)

The Fast and the Furious
Director: Rob Cohen
Writer: Gary Scott Thompson, Erik Bergquist, David Ayer
Based on: Ken Li’s article Racer X
Cast: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Rick Yune, Chad Lindberg, Johnny Strong, Matt Schulze, Ted Levine, Ja Rule

Plot:
Brian (Paul Walker) is an undercover cop who is investigating a series of truck robberies and their ties to the underground racing community. In particular, her tries to infiltrate Dom’s (Vin Diesel) gang in which he finally succeeds after saving Dom’s ass after a race raid. But soon Brian finds himself sympathizing more with Dom than he thought.

[I think I’ve seen The Fast and the Furious once before, a while ago. Anyway, I’m not treating this as a re-watch because even if I did, I don’t remember anything about it.]
I’m not somebody who enjoys cars or (car) chase scenes a whole lot. With those prerequisites I probably enjoyed The Fast and the Furious as much as I could enjoy it, apart from a few cringe-worthy moments. It’s not particularly awesome, but it is fun.

thefastandthefurious

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The Mummy Returns (2001)

The Mummy Returns
Director: Stephen Sommers
Writer: Stephen Sommers
Sequel to: The Mummy
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold VoslooPatricia Velasquez, Oded Fehr, Freddy Boath, Alun Armstrong, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Shaun Parkes, Dwayne Johnson

Plot:
Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evy (Rachel Weisz) are still working as archeologist, though by now they are bringing their 8-year-old son Alex (Freddie Boath) with them. When they stumble upon the bracelet of Anubis that is connected to the legend of the Scorpion King (Dwayne Johnson), they soon discover that they aren’t the only ones after it. In fact, it’s again re-awakened Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) who plans on using the bracelet. And that’s just the beginning of their troubles.

[I actually thought that I had already seen this film when it came out, but it turns out, I haven’t. Oh well.]
The Mummy Returns was a lot more entertaining than a sequel actually has any right to be. But I’m not complaining – it was again really enjoyable.

The-Mummy-Returns

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Mei li shi guang [The Best of Times] (2001)

Mei li shi guang
Director: Tso-chi Chang
Writer: Tso-chi Chang
Cast: Wing Fan, Meng-jie Gao, Yi-che Tseng, Yu-chih Wu
Part of: Taiwan Film Hommage

Plot:
Wei (Wing Fan) and Jie (Meng-jie Gao) are cousins who could hardly be any more different but who still get along very well. Their family has many problems – Wei’s sister suffers from leukemia, Jie’s father is a gambler – and it’s up to the boys to help out. When Wei gets promoted from night club valet to debt collector, he manages to also get a position for Jie. At first things seem to be going very well, but debt collecting is not an easy business.

The Best of Times is a sweet, but a little depressing film. It tells an engaging story, has excellent performances and a really cool ending.

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Hung biu hyn sin ji daai tau gwaai ang [Horror Hotline… Big Head Monster] (2001)

Hung biu hyn sin ji daai tau gwaai ang
Director: Pou-Soi Cheang
Writer: Pou-Soi Cheang, Sunny Chan
Cast: Francis Ng, Josie Ho, Sam Lee, Niki Chow, Michelle Zhang
Part of: Viennale, Soi Cheang Tribute

Plot:
Ben (Francis Ng) is the producer of a radio show where people can call in to report any unusual things they have seen, any urban horror myths. One day, while TV reporter Mavis (Josie Ho) is doing a feature about the program, one caller talks about the Big Head Baby he has seen as a kid and never really gotten over. Mavis interest is aroused and she starts digging, unearthing more than she bargained for.

I was really looking forward to the Soi Cheang tribute, but apart from Accident, all of the films I’ve seen by him proved to be a disappointment. I thought that this one would be the surest win, but it, too, continues the trend of meh.

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The Deep End (2001)

The Deep End is a movie by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, starring Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic and Jonathan Tucker.

Plot:
Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton) is worried: her son Beau (Jonathan Tucker) has an affair with night club owner Darby Reese (Josh Lucas). Not willing to discuss his sexuality with her son, Margaret rather goes to Darby and tells him to stay away. But Darby goes to Beau anyway and the two guys get into a fight. After Beau leaves, Darby stumbles and dies. The next morning, Margaret finds his body, assumes that Beau has killed Darby and decides to cover it all up. But things are far from over: Alek (Goran Visnjic) turns up and tells Margaret that he has evidence of the affair between Darby and Beau and he tries to extort her with that knowledge.

The Deep End is a thriller, noir style. That’s not really the kind of thing I usually like. But even if it was, it still would only be an average film with a mixed cast, some logical fallacies and problems with the pacing. If you like thrillers, I guess you could do worse, but it’s not a must-see.

[Minor Spoilers]

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Re-Watch: Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi [Spirited Away] (2001)

Spirited Away is Hayao Miyazaki‘s biggest success so far and the movie he got the Oscar for.

Plot:
Sen Chihiro is moving with her parents. On their way to the new house, they happen upon an abandoned theme park. Curious, they go to look at it. When the parents find plates of food, they dig in. Sen doesn’t as she’s afraid. When night falls, her parents are turned into pigs and Sen Chihiro, turned Chihiro Sen, finds work at a bath house for gods, with the help of the mysterious Haku.

*sigh*
Spirited Away is just plain wonderful. (Depending on my mood, it fights for the favourite Miyazaki movie spot with Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbour Totoro.) Visually, it’s definitely the most beautiful of Miyazaki’s movies. And I love Haku.

spirited_away

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