I saw two movies this month. The first was Red Cliff.
In Japan it is being released as two, two and a half hour movies. Whereas, for the American market it will be one shortened movie. It was in Chinese so I had to read the Japanese subtitles, which I don't mind but it got into some pretty technical historical discussions that I couldn"t follow. Afterward Natsuki said that there was kanji that she couldn't read either, so I don't feel so bad. It was a big movie and wonderful to look at though it isn't quiet at the level of being great. The costumes and sets are exquisite. The battles, while large an intricate, could have been better. They strayed into being a touch comical. Also, it had the Jon Woo sticking points for me. The main one being his tendency to dwell on one thing that he think looks cool and drive it into the ground. In this case it was horses literally being driven into the ground. Apparently he found out that some horses can be trained to dive head first into the dirt and that became his revolutionary film technique. I would also, at this point, like to see him make a film without a freaking bird in it. We get it. That being said, it is well worth watching if you get the chance.
The second movie was Tropic Thunder which actually managed to be much funnier than I thought it was going to be. Not that I thought it would be unfunny. Just normal funny.
Robert Downey Jr.'s performance has been talked about enough, but it really is excellent. I put it up there with one of my other favorite performances that will not get recognized by the Academy:
Lest anyone be confused, I am referring to Michael Caine.
But I digress. I could be wrong about this one, I often overvalue American comedies when I am in Japan but it was well made enough that I think there is a lot to why it is funny. Astonishingly Natsuki was laughing at many of the same parts that I was, which is very rare in Japan. I think the nuances of why "Being a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude" is humorous are hard to pick up on in another country. It was also painful and funny to sit through the fake previews amidst an audience who didn't realize that they were fake. Most of you guys probably saw the movie half a year ago so all of this is no news to you but it just came out here last weekend.
Thank you for reading my book report.