Category Archives: Films & Television

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017)

Since this sequel is a direct continuation of the first film I didn’t want to leave off watching it for too long. As usual with such epics, the running time is excessive but given the nature of these films, they’re easy on the eyes and not exactly taxing on the intellect. As with the previous film, it continues the story of both father and son though I was somewhat surprised to note that the portion allotted to the elder Baahubali carries heavier weight.

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In the Heat of the Sun (1994)

This marks the fourth film we’ve watched by director Jiang Wen but it was his directorial debut back in the day. As I understand it, this film garnered some controversy in its time but in an unusual direction. This film is set during the Cultural Revolution but unlike just about every other film portrayal of the event, it presents it as a mostly positive experience for its main character who seems to be a thinly veiled version of the director himself. This understandably ruffled some feathers of those who have painful memories of the period but contrary to my expectations, it is not in any way a sop to the Communist Party.

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Coco (2017)

We went to the cinema to watch this due to strong word of mouth recommendations on places like Broken Forum. However the film has been in the news recently for all of the reasons due to how much hatred the Frozen short that precedes it has engendered. While not being awful, the short is clearly a B-team effort that goes on far too long. Once Coco proper kicks off, the difference in quality is so immediately apparent that you really do have to question why they ever thought pairing them like this was a good idea.

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Sky Ladder (2016)

I’m sure that most people on the Internet came across images of the famous 1,650-foot ladder of burning gunpowder climbing towards the sky when it made the rounds a couple of years ago. This is a documentary about the life and career of the Chinese artist, Cai Guo-Qiang, behind that project. When I first saw those images I was impressed but thought that it must be the work of some enterprising fireworks technician. As this film shows however, Cai truly is an artist whose output spans multiple media.

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Away from Her (2006)

My wife is especially concerned about mental ailments and added a whole bunch of films on the subject after following a course on it. This is the first entry to be knocked off the list and I probably wouldn’t have come across it in the ordinary course of events. It was notable enough when it was released, being nominated for and winning multiple awards, but it’s clearly not a film that will be remembered as a classic.

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The Witch (2015)

My wife usually doesn’t like horror films but I find them to be useful entries to add to our list because they tend not to be very long. As much as I enjoy serious films, it does get tiring if all that we watch are epics. Of course I do require that they are well reviewed and this one earns its place due to its high Rotten Tomatoes rating and its 17th century New England setting.

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The Right Stuff (1983)

This one was added to my list because of how much I liked just about every film directed by Philip Kaufman that we’ve watched so far. I think this is not very well known today and was a commercial failure but it swept the Oscars at the time. I suppose it should also be considered a historically important film as today almost no one remembers the Mercury Seven or even the program itself though everyone knows about the Apollo program.

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