Janus of Life

Higher life in hand


Posted by Janus on August 30, 2006


  • Information:
  • Title (Innocence or Ghost in the shell 2)
  • Certificate (15)
  • DVD Releaser (Manga Entertainment)
  • Run Time (96 minutes)
  • Language (Japanese)
  • Vintage (2004)

It is the year 2032 and earth is a world where the few remaining humans coexist with artificial replicants, cyborgs and robots. Batou, a cyborg detective and his partner Togusa are charged with investigating the bizarre case of a malfunctioning gynoid that has murdered its owner: As they delve deeper into the investigation, they are forced to confront violent Yakuza thugs, devious hackers, influential government bureaucrats and powerful corporate criminals. (Plot courtesy of Manga Entertainments DVD release plus some minor changes)

Based on Shirow Masamune’s manga “ghost in the shell”, Innocence is Written and directed by Japanese film Legend Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the shell, Patlabor: the movie) and stars Akio Ôtsuka and Kôichi Yamadera as Batou and Togusa respectively.

Innocence is the only animated film ever to be nominated for the Palme d’Or at the famous Cannes film festival. It won the orient express award at the Catalonian International film festival and was nominated for the best film award at the same event, in all Innocence was nominated for eight awards at various international festivals and award ceremonies but only won one of those awards. Unlucky if you ask me not to have won more of those awards.

I never really thought that the first ghost in the shell film was a big winner, in my eye’s it just didn’t have what was needed to make an incredible film that catches the mind, but Innocence is different. From the moment I saw it I realised that Mamoru Oshii had the kind of Talent needed to make a film impressive and I’ve been a few ever since. Innocence manages to appeal to people’s sense of style and their intelligent side rather then the primitive blood lust aspect of human culture. Visually I doubt you can find an animated film or even live-action film that can match Innocence for it’s magical carnival scene which in my opinion is simply unbelievable, even the music suit’s the scene and plays to absorb you into Oshii’s world of variable pace.

The Story itself is not necessary to enjoy this film; the visual and the psychological aspect of Innocence suck you in. But since a review need an opinion on the storyline I must say that it’s pants, the storyline isn’t all that good and in places doesn’t help the film, but as I said this film never needed a story to be a great watch so moving swiftly along we get to the philosophy. I know it is not easy for people to pay attention and understand the philosophical side of this film but I happen to think it important to get a feel for the philosophy of any film and especially one in which the philosophy takes such an important role.

Innocence in my eye is the most consuming and emotional film I’ve seen in my life and is the only film I have ever thought to be perfect in design, creation and execution meaning it is the only film thus far in existence which will receive a rating from me of (10/10).




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Taxi 1&2

Posted by Janus on August 25, 2006


  • Information:
  • Certificate (15)
  • DVD releaser (Prism leisure)
  • Run time (86 minutes)
  • Language (French)

Former pizza delivery boy Daniel is speed crazy. Embarking on a new career as a taxi driver, his specially modified car is so fast even police radar can’t spot him!

When he unwittingly gives a high-speed ride to police officer Émilien, he is forced to accept a deal to keep his licence: a stint as Émilien’s personal police car driver. Now on the other side of the law, Daniel becomes the unlikely mastermind behind an investigation into a gang of German bank robbers.

Aided by his girlfriend Émilien’s mother and a whole squad of pizza delivery boys Daniel and Émilien join forces with hilarious consequences to foil the robbers on foot, on scooters, and of course in Taxi’s.

Taxi was written by French film legend Luc Besson(Léon, The transporter) and directed by Gerard Pires(Riders, Double Zéro). It stars Samy Naceri(La Mentale) as Daniel Morales and Frédéric Diefenthal(Dédales) as Émilien Coutant-Kerbalec with Bernard Farcy(Les Percutés) as Commissaire Gibert. Taxi became a cult classic and eventually spawned three sequels and a 2004 Hollywood remake dubbed in France “New York Taxi”, of course keen admirers of the original would never take to the hopeless American facsimile.

I have heard things about this film so I thought it would be nice to check it out, also I happen to be very fond of cars so it was even more reason to check it out. The film itself isn’t too bad, it’s funny and entertaining which is something you rarely get from the big Hollywood blockbusters but it does suffer from one main flaw which it lacks substance. For me a film that lacks substance can never hope to get a rating beyond six out of ten, also it tends to be a little predictable but if I’m being honest it’s a lot better than most other films of this type so it makes up for the predictability in those stakes.

As far as it goes this film isn’t the best film in the world but it does manage to be very funny and very entertaining which in my eyes means it deserves the maximum I’d give to a film without substance. Taxi receives a rating of (6/10).

Taxi 2

Taxi 2

  • Information:
  • Certificate (12)
  • DVD releaser (Prism leisure)
  • Run time (85 minutes)
  • Language (French)

The Japanese secretary of state for defence is visiting France. He is on a special mission to invest in the French expertise regarding anti-terrorism. At the end of his trip, he will sign a contract worth several billion dollars with the French government. But, he is kidnapped by a group of Yakuza……
Against their better judgement, Daniel the taxi driver and Émilien his friend the policeman become involved in a string of adventures in order to rescue the diplomat and ensure the contract is signed.

Just like the first Taxi film this one is written by Luc Besson(Nikita, The fifth element), it is directed by Gérard Krawczy(Wasabi) who stepped in temporarily during the Original taxi film after the director had an accident on a horse. As is with the first film it stars Samy Naceri(la Mentale), Frédéric Diefenthal(Dédales) and Bernard Farcy(Les Percutés) as Daniel, Émilien and Commissaire Gibert respectively. Other characters featured include Lilly Bertineau(Marion Cotillard) and Petra(Emma Sjöberg).

As far as I’m concerned this film like the first has no substance at all so it can never in my eyes reach a rating higher than six out of ten. This film also will have a more difficult time reaching that rating since it’s less original than the first film . Taxi 2 is indeed more comic than the first but that fails to protect it from it’s downfall, which is that it’s nothing more than a sequel and in that way it’s nothing special. Also the DVD I happen to own has issues with it’s subtitles, the subtitles tend to partially go bellow the screen when being viewed on a cathode ray tube television or monitor. Also the subtitles are semi-transparent which can make them difficult to read at a distance.

Overall Taxi 2 is better in the comedy stakes than the original but not as intriguing and with those bad subtitles it only receives a rating of (5/10).

As is usual with my film review they can also be found at www.emagi.co.uk

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Plans for the future

Posted by Janus on August 18, 2006

Over the last few days i’ve been thinking about the creation of my own web site, I though i’d base this site around literature, arts and politics and see what that does. Then maybe once it grows expand it to include other various culture including satire, poetry and creative writing. I wouldn’t mind adding caricatures of politicians and celebraties but i’d need to kind a someone with good artistic skills, shouldn’t be too difficult though.

Here’s a break down of the plan

  • The main site would most likely use the wordpress blog engine as a base since i like the way it works.
  • I’d most likely add a forum aswell, PHPBB probably because i’m not made of money.
  • And i guess i’d also start a new blog for myself on the server.
  • The domain name is a obvious need, I’ve been doing some thinking to that end and have decided to get a .eu address

Of course i’d need some help with the content and i do hope to recruit a few people to provide said content.

this is the host i plan to use — http://www.letshost.ie/

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Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

Posted by Janus on August 17, 2006

Sophie and Hans

Information: Certificate(PG), DVD Releaser(ICA projects), Run time(115 min ), Language(German)

Munich, 1943. A group of students, including siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, instigate passive resistance in an attempt to overthrow the Nazi regime. Sophie and Hans are arrested for distributing leaflets and an intense psychological duel ensues in the interrogation room between Sophie and Gestapo officer Mohr; she lies and denies, then schemes and challenges. Ultimately crushing evidence is presented and though forced to confess Scholl fights to save the lives of her brother and friends.

Directed by Marc Rothemund and staring Julia Jentsch(The Edukators), Fabian Hinrichs(Schussangst) and Gerald A. Held(Napola) as the main characters of Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl and Robert Mohr with Florian Stetter(Napola) as Christoph Probst.

The Film is based on transcripts of the interrogations and witness accounts of these events, which happened in February 1943. The film itself won many awards including the silver Bears for best director and best actress at the 2005 Berlin film festival, it was also nominated for the best foreign language film at the 78th academy awards in which it was beaten by the South African film Tsotsi.

When I first saw a small preview of this film on Euronews’ culture programme, “Le Mag” I was intrigued, so when it was released on DVD I quickly ran out and got a copy, it did not disappoint. It’s amazing to think that Sophie Scholl was a real person and that the film is actually accurate with history, normally you expect the usual “based on a true story” non-sense but with this film you get more than a story which is altered by the writers to make it more commercial. Here you get a film, which tries to challenge the distinct lack of historical accuracy in the film industry and in the process brings us the sad reality of the Nazi movement.

I must admit that the music to accompany the film also got my attention and personally I believe it suited it well. Once again, Julia Jentsch produced an incredible performance and deserved the best actress award she won at the Berlin film festival. Without any doubt this film lived up to the legend of Sophie Scholl who is considered by many to be a martyr.

With beautiful direction and incredible acting this film earns a rating of (4.5/5). Read the rest of this entry »

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Lack of Posts.

Posted by Janus on August 9, 2006

Well it’s been about what twelve days since i started this blog, the only problem being that i’ve not been able to write as much as i’d like to. The root of this problem is the fact that it’s the summer months and during the summer i tend to be less active than during the winter.

Hopefully i can write more now that we are coming to the end of summer.

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