Are You Not Entertained? A Pair of Movies and a Book

Here are a couple of movies and a recent book I can recommend to you.

You go right ahead and dislike Tom Cruise. Even if you sit in that camp, surely you can admire the star for performing his own stunts? What an exhilarating time I had watching the recent franchise installment written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. There a lot of reviews out there about Fallout, so read a good one by blogging buddy, Keith, found  HERE. Why is it good? It’s devoid of CGI, fast cuts, and the action sequences are shot on location. The team feels like a family and the twists and turns keep you predicting. Mentally and visually the audience is engaged. Are you interested in how films are created? I found these two video clips recorded on British television, The Graham Norton Show, with the principal characters, Tom Cruise, Rebecca Furguson, Simon Pegg, and Henry Cavill insightful.The first discussion surrounds the stunts and the second clip focuses on how Tom broke his ankle during production. Fallout is worth the price of admission and is the perfect summer adrenaline rush. 4.5/5.

The Royal Tailor (2014)

Lee Won-suk is a South Korean director whose 2014 film The Royal Tailor is one of the more beautiful films I’ve watched in a while. The story centers around jealousy, friendship, and betrayal during the Joseon dynasty of Korea (1392-1898). In the King’s palace, the Royal attire is run by austere Jo Dol-seok (Han Suk-kyu). For thirty years he has worked his way up from a commoner to the esteemed position as the head tailor. The neglected Queen (Park Shin-hye) needs a dress in a pinch and hires the innovative and charming young tailor, Lee Gong-jin (Ko-Soo). He falls in love with the Queen and becomes an unlikely friend. He introduces vivid colors and new styles which threaten the traditional offerings by Dol-seok, the head tailor. What’s worse, the young designer, Gong-jin, admires and likes Dol-seok, who secretly tries to understand his rival’s magical approach to creating designs. It is impossible to dislike the cheery young man. The story is more than a story about textiles (although one can’t help but be enraptured by the embroidery and see the costumes as art forms); the ache and betrayal felt by the royal tailor whose cerebral, traditional gowns can’t compete with the passionate, progressive creations of Gong-jin are heart-breaking. Highly recommended. 4.8/5

BOOKS 

Author Patrick DeWitt wrote a witty tale that felt like a Mark Twain fable with quirky characters and outrageous scenes the two brothers find themselves in. But the comedy is darker. There’s a sadness one can’t help feel for the narrator Eli who follows his raucous brother. They are assassins and it’s 1851 as they travel from Oregon to California. There is a quiet morality to Eli. He instantly falls in love with a whore and gives her all his money. He cares for a boy they find orphaned and is concerned for him. He saves his horse that most would kill. In the ruthless West, Eli is a lonely, lost soul and Dewitt creates a real voice in Eli. If you like dark comedy, you would appreciate this easy to read and beautifully written period novel. 4.5/5

And so I picked this novel because I saw the trailer in the theater and I liked the looks of the cast and the storyline. I wonder if they can translate the beauty and horror of the plot and the delicate yet ruthless brothers whose last name is Sisters. That’s the hard part about turning books into film. The imagination does a much better job creating an alternate reality that you can suspend your disbelief on. It’s a lot harder capturing the magic of words on a page to the film. I am hopeful.

38 thoughts on “Are You Not Entertained? A Pair of Movies and a Book

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  1. I did see Tom on the UK TV show. Enough said.
    I love the look of the Korean film, and the western looks good too. Great casting, and they use the original version of ‘Tainted Love’ by Gloria Jones on the soundtrack! A Northern Soul classic. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Hi Pete. I thought of you when I watched the Korean film knowing your love for Asian filmmaking. If you can rent it, you won’t be disappointed. I hope the film lives up to the book! Thanks, always, for commenting.

  2. I’ve usually enjoyed Tom Cruise movies and i do most definitely admire him for doing his own stunts. I couldn’t believe it when I heard him talking about the movie prior to this one. The man is 56 and still going stronger than most.
    The Sisters Brothers sounds good. I’m surprised I never heard of it.

    1. He’s an adrenaline junky, and I admire his passion for it all — especially now that he’s 56. I wonder how much longer? The franchise is better than many Bond pictures over the decades. Crazy what he does in this film! I couldn’t breathe for the last 20 minutes of the film. Sisters Brothers the book was fine and the movie with that cast is promising.

  3. I’m really looking forward to the Mission Impossible movie, I don’t mind Mr.Cruise at all! The other two look interesting too, but might be hard to find the korean one.

  4. Great post 🙂 I have no problem with Tom Cruise as an actor. As for his personal life, let me just say that a majority of celebrities have problems so we can easily go down that list or we could just focus on his movies. I am seeing the sixth installment of Mission Impossible on Tuesday and judging by your praise, I have a feeling I will enjoy it 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

  5. I look forward to see all of these. We were just talking about Korean films and this looks like a winner. As for Mission Impossible I enjoyed the last one and think the trailer for this was stellar. In fact I’m going to make a wild prediction and say this will make more money than any previous Mission Impossible. I think crowds are chomping at the bit for a film we all love this summer and this will do the trick. Capitalising Rogue Nation’s prestige, fantastic marketing blitz and good critic buzz. If the crowds love it the word of mouth will spread and it will rack up the coin.

  6. Thank you so much for the mention. I’m thrilled you enjoyed MI too. I’m itching to see it again before it leaves the big screen. The Royal Tailor looks really, really interesting. Sadly I was completely unfamiliar with it. Definitely on my radar now.

    1. Your review matched my own feelings best, so why rewrite a review? It was easy sharing yours. I hope you get a chance to rent “The Royal Tailor”. A really charming story where the characters feel alive and stay with you long after viewing.

  7. I was watching how some of stunts are done. But I stopped because, for me, it ruins the movie – the illusion – the immersion. You’d think I’d want to know because I cover lots of movies. But I don’t because that detracts from why I watch. Same with magic tricks. I don’t want to know. It takes away the Magic. LoL!
    MI movies are very well done. Great action movies. The characters are engaging, heroic, and fallible. Especially if they do their own stunts.
    I gotta do an update on those Sisters Brothers. i’ve been waiting for it.
    Thanks Cindy!!!

  8. Hey Cindy, really nice reviews. Thanks for The Sisters Brothers recommendation. I will read the book and watch the film when it comes out. I’m intrigued. Now, about Tom Cruise…I’m not a fan. I wish he would do another film like Magnolia. He was terrific in it. It would be nice to see him test his chops with some really great actors again in a smaller more intimate film that emphasized story over stunts. That said, I loved the film Edge of Tomorrow and I thought he was great in it.

    1. Hi Pam. Yes, I agree with you regarding anther Magnolia. I like Edge, too. Knowing your appreciation for literature, I feel you would love Sisters Brothers. The movie has a fine xast, so fingers crossed it is worth the time to go see it.

  9. I would love to see The Royal Tailor; quite literally a costume drama. My daughter is a huge fan of Korean films and period dramas. I must ask her if she has seen this film.

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