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  • Minbo: the Gentle Art of Japanese Extortion

    Minbo: the Gentle Art of Japanese Extortion

    ★★★★½

    This is now one of my favorite "good vs evil" stories that I've seen, next to Seven Samurai. It starts with a hotel having problems with local yakuza being obnoxious in their lobby, and turns into an incredibly tense fight full of extortion. It feels cheesy to say that the film really shows the importance of standing up for yourself/others, but this truly does.

    Taking the director's own experiences with the yakuza into account, this becomes even more poignant. For…

  • A Coffee in Berlin

    A Coffee in Berlin

    ★★★★

    Although this is full of clichés, I thought this was very well done. I have a soft spot for films about aimless 20 something year olds that feel disconnected from the world around them.

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  • World on a Wire

    World on a Wire

    ★★★★

    Noirvember Entry #26

    World On A Wire is a retro futuristic neo noir that follows a man that is taking on something much bigger than he could have ever imagined. It has some of the best production design / cinematography that I've ever seen, and I would honestly put it next to blade runner in that regard.

    Its mysterious, gadget and mirror filled world (with an overarching corporate aesthetic) is so beautiful, which itself justifies the >3 hour runtime. The…

  • Carlito's Way

    Carlito's Way

    ★★★★★

    To quote Sidney Lumet, from his book Making Movies,

    Inevitability doesn’t mean predictability. The script must still keep you off balance, keep you surprised, entertained, involved, and yet, when the denouement is reached, still give you the sense that the story had to turn out that way.

    In the very beginning of Carlito's Way, we are shown the fate of our main character. Although we don't know what this roller coaster is going to entail, we know what is waiting…