Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)/ Ip Man (2008)/ A Short History of a Few Bad Things (2018)/ Slumberland (2022)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
I watched Eternal Sunshine for the first time since I don’t remember when, and I thought afterwards that Foo Fighters “Everlong” MV is still Gondry’s most imaginative work (i.e., dreams within dreams, horror tropes). The memory erasing scenes kinda loses its novelty after the nth time. And there’s one thing the movie could use a little bit more of its playfulness — the part where the characters tend to reconnect or subconsciously remember the person they’re supposed to forget. Something 50 First Dates (released earlier the same year) does a bit better (the part where Drew Barrymore remembers Sandler’s character by singing The Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”). Funny, which I only realize now, how both movies are about forgetting and remembering and that love/relationship needs work for it to work.

A Short History of a Few Bad Things (2018)
Can’t wholeheartedly recommend. Pero may ‘something’ sa pelikulang ito. That above, by the way, is a Wong Kar Wai reference.

Ip Man (2008)
Ip Man mixes martial arts, fictionalized history, period piece, and bits of melodrama quite as effectively as Donnie Yen mixes different modes of attack, defense, counterattack against different opponents in the well-executed fights in the movie. The movie’s first act feels like an homage to old kung fu movies, with familiar tropes and beats. The second act turns it into a period piece drama, where the respected Kung Fu master, once affluent, now struggles to make a living in the Japanese-occupied China. It’s probably the high point in the movie, at least dramatically, and leads into the promised final showdown. Though the third act’s centerpiece fight is lacking in thrills and somewhat anticlimactic, and the ending you can see from a mile, it’s hardly a reason for disappointment.

Slumberland (2022)
Momoa shines in this otherwise bland CG sleepyland. Thought it would deal with the loss of one’s loved ones and coming to terms with it but then the movie sidestepped that in the end, and dispenses some corny message every movies for kids almost always tell.


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