Money and Honey (麵包情人)
Documentary by Jasmine Lee (李靖惠) that takes an intimate look at the lives of Filipino maids in Taiwan. Money and Honey, which has been in production for 13 years, was the opening film at the 2011 Women Make Waves film festival and has been successful on the festival circuit for its clear-eyed and sympathetic portrait of women working far from home, and is one of the first films to document life inside nursing homes in Taiwan.
With Taken 2, you at least know what you are going to get: Liam Neeson getting beaten on by Albanian mafia then getting his own back, taking out the bad guys with guns, knives, fists and explosives. The story connects with the original of four years ago by the simple device of a mafia father looking for revenge for the death of his son. It is a serviceable link, but the absurdity of further plot development is too much even for this kind of forgettable action thriller. There is a beautiful setting in Istanbul and lots of Neeson bad-assery, but director Olivier Megaton and writer Luc Besson fail to make the characters come to life, and the thing plays out almost as a caricature of itself.
Depending on what you enjoy, The Campaign is either a “raucous send-up of the moral, financial and sexual peccadilloes of the political animal,” regardless of political affiliation, or a “fun house fable that both exaggerates and understates the absurdities of our (US) democracy in this contentious election year.” There are plenty of amusing moments, and the two leads, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, do well in the piece of unashamedly light, but not unintelligent, entertainment.
This is a low budget World War II movie that seems to have mostly gone straight to DVD. Internet comment has been largely favorable, though primarily from fans of war movies. The cast is mostly unknown, with the exception of Chris Owen, the Sherminator from American Pie. Heavy-handed heroics, cliched dialogue and some rather clunky green screen effects don’t totally undermine the film’s appeal.
Granny Goes to School
Heartwarming film from South Korea about an illiterate old woman who reluctantly takes care of a little girl who was adopted by her son before his death. A tense and unhappy relationship gradually changes when the granny of the title starts learning to read, and the seven-year-old child and 70-year-old women learn to love and help each other.