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TIFF! The Repeater Offers Second Opinions On LUST, CAUTION and MICHAEL CLAYTON!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. First, congratulations to Ang Lee for winning so many awards at the Venice Film Festival for his new film, LUST, CAUTION, which sounds like an interesting companion piece to Verhoeven’s brilliant BLACK BOOK from last year. I hope I’ll be seeing this one in a few weeks here in LA, but for now, I’m excited to see another review for it:

Harry - I was at the screening last night for LUST, CAUTION at the Elgin Theatre here in Toronto, and caught MICHAEL CLAYTON's second screening this afternoon at Ryerson University. I'm a huge film fan - but far from a professional reviewer. I'm going to talk about seeing an actor's junk in part of the review, so that should prove it. LUST, CAUTION...I managed to get kickass seats for this one only a row or two up from Richard Roeper, which was cool because I chatted with him quickly on the way out. He said he couldn't review this film on the show until it went wide or people would complain. He also said Roger (Ebert) was in town to catch some films, but wasn't at LUST, CAUTION. Anyway - this movie is much better than Copernicus' review may lead you to believe (some very minor spoilers in here). His review definitely touches on what the positives and negatives are. The cinematography, set and costume designs are incredible, and will definitely garner Oscar consideration. Both of the Chinese actors (Leung and Tang) gave incredible performances, especially given the physical (sexual) requirements of the roles - more on this later. Yes, the movie is long (Ang Lee even asked if everyone had gone to the washroom before it started), and yes, there is a lot of filler that could be trimmed back, but Ang Lee uses all of this as layering for his story and to pull you deeper into the characters...which I believe ends up making the film's ending more powerful. This film is edgy - the sex scenes are nuts - literally. I'm surprised Copernicus didn't mention it, but one of the sex scenes is so graphic that when Wei Tang is riding Tony Leung "reverse cowgirl" (one of the many, many positions we see - along with "the butterfly" and other Kama Sutra techniques), we get a close frontal shot of Tony's NUTSACK bobbing up and down as he is ramming her (a la soft core porn, it's pretty obvious his shaft ain't in the right place). There is also a hard core rape-like scene where a woman is assaulted, has her clothes torn off, is beaten about the head and back with a leather belt and then hog tied with said belt while being penetrated from behind. I can't see all of this footage making it to the theatrical release, even at NC-17, but I hope it does...as graphic as it is, it really adds a haunting level of detail to Tony Leung and Wei Tang's characters (you'll understand why after seeing the film). Anyway - Lust, Caution is a very powerful movie, has incredible cinematography and great acting. All of this combined with Lee's direction and attention to detail make it a must see film for anyone able to get to one of the limited release screenings this fall. I also agree with Copernicus that it is very cool to see a vivid recreation of WWII-era China in another film that isn't The Temple of Doom. I also caught another film today called "MICHAEL CLAYTON", at the encore screening (the official GALA was last night). This is Tony Gilroy's directorial debut - he's well known for his screenwriting work on the Bourne Movies. The movie stars George Clooney, Sydney Pollack and Tilda Swinton, and is about a lawyer who "fixes problems" for other lawyers in difficult situations. I thought this movie was great - a solid John Grisham-like legal thriller. I read another negative review of it from a test screening last year, and I don't believe I just watched the same film. Clooney gives his usual consistent "cool as a cucumber" performance that I always enjoy, but Sydney Pollack stole the show for me. I'm a huge fan of his to begin with - but he's perfectly cast here as the top partner in the law firm that employs Clooney's character. His character is much like the one he played in "Changing Lanes", but with more style. Swinton (the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) is also very good here as a flawed chief legal representative for a large US corporation. *Minor Spoilers Start* The film starts with Michael Clayton (Clooney) being called out to a wealthy client's house in the middle of the night - the client has just been involved in a hit and run with a pedestrian and needs Clayton to be fix the situation. During and after his meeting with this client, we're given the impression that someone is trying to kill Michael Clayton - but we have no idea why. At that point, the movie suddenly reverts back to "3 days earlier", and the main storyline is set in motion. The remainder of the film focuses on Clayton's involvement in his firm's multi-billion dollar class action lawsuit defense, whether or not the firm's top attorney (Tom Wilkinson) is an asset or a liability to the effort. Clayton gets pulled into an ethical dilemma and soon finds himself at risk for knowing too much. *End Minor Spoilers* I thought this was a great film that kept me hooked for the full two hours. The ending was a little Hollywood for me, and might leave some people wanting a little more, but all in all, I think the entire movie worked very well, and I look forward to seeing more directorial outings from Gilroy. I hope these two overviews of the films are helpful to some people. - The Repeater
Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 8, 2007, 11:07 p.m. CST

    first?

    by Sudynim

    hee hee, always wanted to say that.

  • Sept. 8, 2007, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Yes, you were first...

    by MonkeyBytes

    and we're all proud of you. I'm also proud of Ang Lee for his variety of work. Seriously, kung fu, green superheroes, gay cowboys... this guy is no one trick pony. Even his misses are admirable in my opinion.

  • Sept. 9, 2007, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Look for Tony Leung's nutsack to nab an Oscar

    by Harry Weinstein

    I know some women who'll be happy as all hell to hear about this...

  • Sept. 9, 2007, 4:30 a.m. CST

    ok... now that we've heard about his balls...

    by ephor

    are you actually going to review the film? I still have no idea what it's about.

  • Sept. 9, 2007, 8:09 a.m. CST

    maybe a little TOO positive, but I like

    by couP

  • Sept. 9, 2007, 8:49 a.m. CST

    ebert's review

    by ironic_name

    GLLLLUuUuUurRRRRRrrrrgggglle*

  • Sept. 9, 2007, 10:15 a.m. CST

    ephor

    by The Repeater

    Sorry - I didn't want to make a lame attempt at comprehensively "reviewing" the film as I'm sure you'd all find it pretty amateur. I'm not a pro movie critic, just a huge film fan. As my mini-review indiates, it is a great film, and very intense. I also think it is very topical given it focuses heavily on China and China's colorful history. I'm sure you will all like it once it goes wide - and it will cause more of a stir than it already has with its pseudo-X-rated sex scenes...count on it.

  • Sept. 9, 2007, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Best Acting by a NUTSACK

    by zooch

    and the nominees are... 1. VIGGO'S BALLS - Eastern Promise 2. Tony Leung's nutsack - LUST, CAUTION 3. Cate Blanchett - Bob Dylan's balls

  • Sept. 9, 2007, 11:57 a.m. CST

    tony leung from the lover?

    by ironic_name

    i fapped to that, jane march plays a 16 year old, a sticky movie.

  • Sept. 9, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST

    LAST TANGO IN SHANGHAI

    by Blue Meanie 1138

    Sounds good. Keep the kids at home.

  • Sept. 9, 2007, 1:15 p.m. CST

    EMPIRE OF THE SUN was actually pretty realistic

    by Blue Meanie 1138

    Representation of WWII Shanghai. Feel free to check it out.

  • Sept. 9, 2007, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Know Your Tony Leungs

    by Harry Weinstein

    The Tony in LUST, CAUTION is Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, of HERO, TOKYO RAIDERS, and IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. The Tony Leung in THE LOVER is Tony Leung Kar-Fai, more recently in MEN SUDDENLY IN BLACK and JIANG HU - THE TRIAD ZONE. Both are in Wong Kar-Wai's ASHES OF TIME and its parody companion piece, Jeff Lau's THE EAGLE SHOOTING HEROES. (There's ANOTHER Tony Leung, who's a martial arts choreographer... he directed SUPERFIGHTS among other things.)

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