For this first blog entry I'll point out some movies I've seen recently that have impressed me. These are among the best films I've ever seen and all are highly recommended.
Fireworks (Hana-bi) is a Japanese film about a police detective and his campaign of revenge against the Yakuza (mafia) for the death of his partner. Somewhat reminiscent of the Death Wish films, but with a far superior depth and complexity. This film has a very spare editing style that I like a lot.
A Beautiful Mind examines the life of John Nash, a brilliant mathematician who won the Nobel Prize despite suffering from schizophrenia. It is a true story that makes one think about the nature of reality and human experience.
Once Were Warriors is about a Maori family strugging to survive in modern-day Auckland. It's a story about identity, family and culture admist a chaos of violence and poverty.
V For Vendetta is a political science-fiction tale reminiscent of 1984 or Brazil. It's set in the not-too-distant future of Britain, which has devolved into a totalitarian state with a Hitler-like leader. The main character, 'V', played brilliantly by Hugo Weaving, is a terrorist determined to bring punishment to the fascist leaders who have caused many to suffer terribly.