Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Scarlet Samurai

Today I had to head downtown for day one of the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Conference. Ugh. Just reading that clunky title is gag-inducing. Not the best conference for mobile that I've been to but at least it put me down in River East nearby the AMC that's hosting the Chicago International Film Festival. Yeah, you catch my drift… after the conference ended, I grabbed dinner, handed off my badge to RJ and marched over to the AMC for an early evening screening of Easy A (2010) to kill time before my 8pm screening of Hisshiken torisashi (2010) a.k.a. Sword of Desperation. I would've gone to an actual festival screening but none w/available tickets had times that worked out.

First the positive: Easy A and Emma Stone are excellent. Plays like a John Hughes film and, if nothing else, is certainly a love letter to the man. Really enjoyed this film and look forward to repeat viewings. If you don't know, it's about a girl who tells a lie that spirals out of control. Also features Aly Michalka, whom I just love because she's so damn sexy (see: Bandslam). Thomas Haden Church is equally terrific but for different reasons. 8/10
Negatives: $12 movie ticket for an extremely subpar experience (shitty screen, shitty seats, shitty people).

Because of the timing I had to run to my CIFF screening of Sword of Desperation since the line was already called in. Fortunately I got a good seat right in the center middle (too bad the ding dong sitting next to me brought his own noisy paper bag of popcorn). Postives: Director Hideyuki Hirayama flew over from Japan to introduce the film (and provide Q&A afterward). The movie an elegant slow burn that looks fantastic for a period piece. Really love films like this. Plot is quite simple: samurai kills chief's wife and is imprisoned rather than executed. The drama is in how these events came to be and what happens after the samurai is released from solitary confinement. 7.8/10
Negatives: CIFF, for waiting until all the Japanese credits to finish before turning up the lights to start the director's Q&A. Real asshole move since almost everyone bailed leaving maybe 10 people left for the Q&A. And the people who bailed early in front of the director showed no respect. Combined asshole moves. Oh yeah, and the guy who brought in his dinner to eat and distract everyone near him including the director sitting directly in front of him. That isn't the Drafthouse, jackass. At least Hirayama-san was appreciative for those who did stick around and asked questions (me!).
  • October New: 20
  • October Re-watch: 6
  • October Total: 26
  • 2010 TOTAL: 610

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