I'm scoring movies on a five star system.
Mongol (2007) ***1/2
This is the story of Genghis Khan. The movie covers his life from his childhood (selecting a bride at nine years old), until his first military victory. It's the first part of a trilogy.
It's filmed in Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia. Some places were so remote, roads had to be built. The vastness of the panorama, gives you the feel of being in 12th century Mongolia.
The fight scenes are amazing. The producers hired 1,500 extras for the fight scenes. They are compared to 300's fight scenes. The movie is in Mongolian with English subtitles.
This film is the best I've seen this year. It was Kazakhstan's contender for best foreign language film at the 2008 Academy Awards. Since it is part of a triliogy, don't be surprised if one of the other two films win.
Be sure to read Louis Proyect's review. He adds how Stalinism suppressed Mongolian history, and compares it to Native American culture.
Today I checked out the Mongolian music section at my local record shop.
The Visitor (2007) ***
I like this movie because it's pro immigrants rights. In the Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanon and Bill O'Reilly the media voice on the issue, it's refreshing seeing this heartfelt movie.
It's the story about a listless professor, who has unexpected life changes, through crossing paths with immigrants lacking proper paperwork.
I expect Richard Jenkins to get an Academy Award nomination.
I thought it was a very good movie. I didn't feel greatness from it.
Reprise (2006) ***
A movie from Norway about love, depression and careers. It's a Norwegian Jules et Jim with twentysomethings.
Everyone who saw it liked it, and also agreed it won't draw a dime in box office.
Before The Rains (2007) **1/2
A Merchant Ivory film set in 1930s colonial India. As with any Merchant Ivory production, the sets, photography and acting are top notch.
T.K Neelam a foreman to the colonialist, is Western educated and trusted by his colonial master and by his village. He must betray one or the other.
I was bothered that I was able to figure out the ending.
The Foot Fist Way (2006) *
An inept karate instructor struggles with marital troubles and an unhealthy obsession with fellow karate enthusiast Chuck "The Truck" Williams.
Will Ferrell produced this uneven no budget struggling comedy,