“The Eye” (2003)

As I said before, I’m not a big fan of horror, but here I go again, endorsing another horror film, the Pang brothers’ “The Eye (2003).”

The story is nothing new; a young blind woman, Mun (Angelica Lee), gets some cornea transplants, but the donated organs come with a little something extra. While still in the hospital, she begins seeing a shadow follow dying patients around. In ordinary life, she keeps encountering people who disappear or run through her. Then things get even freakier for our heroine.

Nice setup there; the atmosphere is appropriately spooky, and Lee delivers the right notes as a confused and isolated re-sighted woman. We feel her pain and her confusion; she doesn’t remember sight, and for all she knows, this is what it’s like. And her freakouts when she realizes her eyes come with a higher price are equally believable.

One spoiler-free note on the ending: I can recommend this horror film because while it indulges the supernatural side, it’s fully grounded in the characters and the story. Like “May” or “Let the Right One In,” you give a damn about what happens to her. No higher praise for any movie, horror or not.

PS: Yes, I haven’t seen it, and I’m completely guilty of pre-judging a movie (something I try to avoid, with mixed results), if you want to enjoy “The Eye,” get the original and not the American remake that stars Jessica Alba. She is beautiful and an utterly hypnotic presence on screen, but she can’t act to save her life. I can’t imagine her bringing any depth or feeling to the role or even coming close to Lee’s performance. Save yourself some pain and skip the substitute. Subtitles aren’t that bad.

“The Eye” (2003)

Directed by Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang

Written by Jo Jo Yuet-chun Hui, Danny Pang and Oxide Pang Chun

Starring: Angelica Lee (Mun)

Lawrence Chou (Dr. Wah)

Courage and stupidity in “Year One”

Finally, the fates rewarded me with both time and funds and I was able to see “Star Trek” over my weekend. We’ve all heard the good things about it and the endless heaps of praise, yada yada yada.

Here’s my review in six words: It really is that frakkin’ good.

But, before I found that out, I was treated to a series of trailers, the most promising one being “Year One,” a comedy starring Jack Black and Michael Cera that premieres this summer.

As we all discovered last year, a good comedy is hard to come by. I’ve found that while most dramas can elicit some emotion, be it tears or anger (or anything in between), laughter is so much harder to evoke, probably because everyone will feel sad at a father’s death, but not everyone will laugh at a rake-to-the-face.

In my cynical movie-going heart, I know not to expect much from “Year One.” It looks that stupid, but there’s a part of me, that part that always seeks a way to bond with those fellow theatergoes, that wants the movie to be so ridiculously stupid that it becomes art.

A good example of the crazy, daring kind of stupid is “From Dusk Till Dawn.” It starts as a low-budget crime spree flick, and ends as a gory, showdown with vampires flick. Yes, it’s that stupid, but “From Dusk Till Dawn” had the courage to be that stupid, to just embrace the ridiculous nature of the plot and go forward.

It’s a tricky line to walk; done right, you get “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.” Done wrong, you get “Napoleon Dynamite.” Or “Repo Man.” Trust me, we don’t need any more of that.

I’ll have to decide at the time, but hopefully “Year One” can be good stupid, absurd stupid, and not plain ol’ stupid stupid. Nobody laughs at that clown.


I think that helped.

I guess I should explain that first. I went into “Caprica” with very, very low expectations. The trailer looked interesting, if not overly compelling, and while I’ve been feeling some fierce “Battlestar Galactica” withdrawal since the show ended (sniff), I was not expecting much from this show.

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 “Akira” begins with a shot of a nuclear blast in Tokyo, but it’s not the end of the world. Thirty or so years later, Neo Tokyo is alive and well, though with normal city problems. One of those is Kaneda (Mitsuo Iwata), a member of biker gang. During a typical show-off fest with their rival gang, Kaneda’s friend and second Tetsuo (Nozomu Sasaki) is injured, and Tetsuo’s captured by some shady government types who were trying to recapture a little boy on the lam.

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Leon (The Professional)

Meet Mathilda (Natalie Portman), one half of the dynamic duo that forms the heart of Luc Bresson’s “Leon” (1994, mostly known in the U.S. as “The Professional”). One day, her family sends her out to buy groceries, and her father, mother, sister and brother are gunned down by the mentally unhinged Stansfield (Gary Oldman) and his buddies. She escapes by taking refuge with a kind neighbor, who takes her in when she has nowhere else to go.

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