Shoplifters

Another movie directed, written and edited by Hirokazu Kore-eda, man this guy keeps himself busy! He just does it all!

This movie was the most successful in terms of commercial and reception success, in that in made the most money and it won the  Palme d’Or.  (To be honest these days, the Cannes is a better measure of how good an actual movie is compared to the Oscars.)

Very good movie, but somehow I felt the pacing sagged a bit in the middle. However the ending was one of the most powerful dramatic conclusions I’ve seen for a while.

Of course, once again the movie centers on family dynamics, but this time with a focus on poverty in Japan, and a twist in that the family are not actually related to each other.

Jim gives this movie an 8 out of 10.

You can either buy this from clicking above, or join Amazon Prime, (you might be a member already, it gives you free delivery when you buy stuff from Amazon, in which case you can watch the movie for FREE already! If you are not an Amazon Prime member, click on here to join for a free trial for 30 days. Just remember to can it after that time if you don’t want to carry on with the membership)

amazon prime

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Like Father Like Son

Another Hirokazu Kore-eda movie.

This one was another gem of a movie from this director. He makes real films!

Again, non action, no special effects, no killing or slashing. No feel the force. Instead, another incredible movie about family dynamics. I suppose the subject of the movie and where the focus is makes one thinks constantly about how your own life is lived, as the topic is so close to your own life. Family. Any mother, father will identify with his movie.

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In essence, the movie is about switching of sons at birth with two families, one rich and one poor. Then eventually the parents find out, the questions is what to do?

Jim gives this movie an 7.5 out of 10.

Out of the Hirokazu Kore-eda series – Still Walking, After the Storm, Like Father Like Son, Shoplifters that I saw this April, this was my least favorite. But that’s not to say I didn’t like or rate this movie, it’s just that the other three movies were slightly better.

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Still Walking

I stumbled on Hirokazu Kore-eda, the Japanese director on several movies on my flight back to Asia this April. And I was really impressed and enjoyed watching all his movies on that flight.

I’m going to start with Still Walking. Hirokazu Kore-eda wrote, edited and directed this film.

It’s not an action flick, there’s no Avengers, no Thanos. But it’s a hell of a movie.

The movie was made in 2008, but time has not aged the film. It’s thought provoking and engaging, and really stays with you when the credits are rolling.

The movie is about family, the dynamics coupled with Japanese culture and how an event can shape the people and it displays an array of emotions and also stirs up those same pot of emotions when you are watching it.

You have to be patient and spend the time and attention that this film deserves. If you are a movie lover then you should enjoy this movie. If you only like action or fantasy stuff, then give it a miss.

For anyone who use to have summer holidays away with their grandparents in Asia, this gives the feels man. You can feel the heat, and the sound of the crickets and the long days…..

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Jim gives this movie an 8.5 out of 10

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Leaving Neverland

OMG…..

Whilst this isn’t an amazing piece of film making, nor ground breaking documentary. The simple fact of it’s subject made this an interesting watch. I found it fascinating. My wife who was a huge MJ fan couldn’t help but watch it also.

Michael Jackson, was he or wasn’t he?

In essence it’s about two men’s childhood accounts with MJ, Wade Robson and James Safechuck. Clearly Michael isn’t here to defend himself any more. But it would explain a lot about Michael always hanging out with boys.

It’s quite horrible to think that if it is true then MJ was a monster! I for one just think it’s weird for a man to hold hands with a boy like this!

mj

Think back when you and your mate were hanging out, you don’t hold hands with each other! 

It’s worth a one time watch! I won’t give all the sordidness away! The other compelling area of watch is the mothers, the wealth and fame seeking momanagers.

Jim gives Leaving Neverland a 7.5 out of 10. It’s good to watch one time, but not for repeat viewing in my opinion.

Wade Robson comes off a bit fake to me. Also, both men have financial troubles which would explain why they’re coming up with this now and not earlier on in their lives. Yes they do explain why now and not earlier! Watch it!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Growing up, this was my favourite oof the Dollars Triliogy, and the one I watched the most as a teenage boy, I adored the music in this film. After a 20 year hiatus, watching it now as a forty year old man, is it still my favorite out of the three?

Surprisingly, the answer is a no! It’s still a great movie, but I found the pacing a touch slow, and the storyline meanders a bit. Perhaps due to the number of times I had seen seen the movie as a boy, even with a 20 year gap between viewing, I still remembered the movie quite well, so it may have lost much of its dramatic effect. (For some one who hasn’t seen the film, there are a number of colossal scenes with dramatic imagery which may impact their viewing more favorably then myself.) I found Eli Wallach took too much screen presence away from Angel Eyes and Blondie. Funny really, as a boy I found Eli quite amusing but now I think he’s just hamming it up too much. Where as Clint and Lee are still cool as I found them all those year ago.

I would say now, the best out of three for me, is For A Few Dollars More.

However, if you haven’t seen this movie before and want to give the Wild West movie genre a go, then you can’t go wrong with this movie. And the shootout at the end was epic as always.

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Jim gives this movie 7.5 out of 10.

For people that are especially interested. Although the movie release dates go:

  1. A fistful of dollars.
  2. For a few dollars more.
  3. The Good, the bad and the ugly.

Chronologically, The Good, the bad and the ugly is the first movie as thats when Clint first finds and puts on the iconic poncho! A fistful of dollars is second where Clint first puts on the hand strap and For a few dollars more is last.

Netflix has this movie, but if you don’t have Netflix or don’t want to get it. You can watch it on Amazon.

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Luther Season 4

Bang! Back on form! Season 4 was short and sweet, being only two episodes but it introduced new and interesting characters! DS Gray was beyond annoying back in Season 2 and 3, man did I jump for joy when she caught a bullet.

The story, the direction once again became fresh and original. Weaving three different puzzles for our main man Luther.

Although 2 episodes does not a season make in my opinion.

Jim gives Luther Season 4 a 8/10.

Side note, what happened to Jenny!

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For a Few Dollars More

The second in the trilogy, and man oh man is it a good movie!

What makes it better then the first? Well, Lee Van Cleef, the man in Black as Douglas Mortimer for one! Another bad ass to match Clint!

man in blackThen, there’s the villain Indio, with a history and that music watch……….makes it much more interesting then your plain old bad guy

dollars villainAnd finally, the larger budget given to Sergio Leone meant he could splash out on sets and more supporting actors to make the backdrop come alive!

There’s more then a few amazing scenes in this movie! I don’t normally like to post a clip but in this case I will make an exception:

And of course Clint is his usual awesome self!

In short, this is again a movie about the characters rather than a intricate plotline. Music and the director’s touch make this a great film!

Jim gives For a Few Dollars More 9/10!

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