Friday, October 9, 2015

Love, Supermoon [2015]

Director: Wan Hasliza Wan Zainuddin
Writer: Wan Hasliza Wan Zainuddin
Starring: Nadiya Nisaa', Farid Kamil, Rita Rudaini, Anne Ngasri, Zain Hamid, Azhar Sulaiman, Razak Ahmad
Genre: Romance/Comedy/Coming-of-Age
Rating: General
Verdict: "I love you too, Supermoon!"

When Razak (Farid Kamil) and Triz (Nadiya Nisaa') meet, they have no other intention than to accompany their best friends who are dating. Who could have known that they would end up circling each other, always linked via close friends throughout their college days until that fabled day when they all reach emotional maturity.

What to Expect
1. People*
2. A treat for those with sharper eyes and ears
3. Likable cast, memorable performances
4. Superb art direction

What NOT to Expect
1. Conventional, sitcom-my humour*
2. Convoluted plot
Should easily be in your list of 2015's best films - And not just local

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Talking in Circles?

Yeap, I'm using that question mark right there in a tongue-in-cheek manner, mirroring how lazy tabloid journalist morons use 'em to create sensational headlines while at the same time covering their asses from potential backlash. Alright, screw that. Let's give it another shot.

Talking in Circles

Much better.

Anyway, I'm writing this as a some-sort-of-response to the statement released by the new FINAS chairperson; his take about why Malaysian films are selling like turdcakes:
Puncanya adalah skrip yang merapu-rapu.
It's all because the scripts are nonsensical.
- Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib
FINAS Chairperson
When you hear a statement like that from someone that high above in the organisation, it's worth asking if he's aware how things actually work in the industry. Even if he doesn't, it's no discredit to him and I won't say anything disparaging about it - a pilot's aim is to get the plane to the destination, but he/she can't always be expected to know how the baggage handlers are doing.

But, I will say this. Statements like that do reflect his understanding of the scene. For starters, it's not common practice for screenwriters to develop spec scripts and sell them to studios. Ten to fifteen years ago, I used to think that's how it works, but no. Writers are often hired hands and have little-to-no control over the content (unless they make it big and can afford to serve as producer and director as well).

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Nota [2015]

Director: Yasu Tanaka
Writer: Yasu Tanaka
Starring: Maya Karin, Hans Isaac, Ramli Hasan, Rin Izumi
Genre: Psychological thriller
Rating: General
Verdict: "Like watching sentient playing pieces on a board game, intimate and sprawling..."

Though still at the prime of their lives, Erin (Maya Karin) and Kamal (Hans Isaac) have failed all attempts to conceive, and it gets harder for them to cope with the fact with every passing year. Fearing that their days are finally numbered, Erin hopes to rekindle their relationship and manages to coax Kamal into going on a trip to Bako National Park, where Kamal proposed to her ten years ago. Will she succeed, or is it too late?

What to Expect
1. Atmospheric
2. A focused and scaled-down film
3. Gorgeous cinematography
4. The feel of Japanese cinema
5. Also feels somewhat dragged out
6. Shoehorned LPF-mandated ending

What NOT to Expect
1. A convoluted plot
2. Insecurity
If there's nothing better to see...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Terbaik is Yet to Come


That was what I felt when I stepped out of the theater. Terbaik Dari Langit had ended, and the talks had begun. I chuckled to myself, thinking that perhaps this is the second installment in their "feel-good movie about depressed people" trilogy (the first being KIL [2013]). Not that there's a need for it to be. To, you know, lend the film credibility or somethin'.

There was an air of celebration about the whole thing, as there should be. For the first time in a really long time, the audience could finally talk about the film and the film alone; we didn't have to talk about things that film-makers should already know but take for granted, i.e. technicalities, presentation worthy of cinema, and so on.

In other words, things that'd make you go, "Itu pun nak kena cakap keee?!"

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Apa Benda yang Islamik-nya?

Sebagai seorang Muslim jugak, mungkin ada antara korang ingat aku suka dengan trend filem dengan drama TV yang katanya Islamik sangat tu. Walaupun tak follow sangat, tapi familiar jugak dengan filem macam 99 Kali Rindu; filem-filem seram yang kononnya ada elemen Islamik; dan lagi satu, drama bersiri Tanah Kubur.

Urut dahi aku dibuatnya bila tengok semua tu. Lepas tu bila cuba cari apa yang Islamik sangat dengan 99 Kali Rindu ni semua, terus migraine. Sikit punya panjang aku fikir, last-last sampai jalan mati. Senang cakap, aku tak nampak apa yang Islamiknya, dan dalam artikel ni aku akan cuba bahas 5 sebab kenapa. Nak buat 99 sebab, tak larat.

Mungkin korang ada pandangan dari sudut lain yang aku tak nampak sekarang ni. Habis baca nanti, jemput share pandangan kat bawah nanti.

Monday, October 6, 2014

DOG POUND: Behind the Bruises

Three years, five drafts and four editors later, my debut novel Dog Pound is finally available for purchase!

I'd love to share some behind the scenes stuff, but just in case you're only curious as to what the book is about, kindly read the synopsis below:

Azroy, a rising star in the underground boxing circuit, fights the battle of his life when his opponent dies in the ring under mysterious circumstances. Caught in a web of deceit, he begins to live on the run while he attempts to uncover what's really going on, But can he really win this fight, now that his opponent is the law?

Find out!

All right now, the good stuff. I should warn you that this is gonna be a long ride.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lagenda Budak Setan 3 [2014]

"Director": Sharad Sharan
"Writer": Ahadiat Akashah & Jujur Prananto
Starring: Farid Kamil, Maya Karin, Bront Palarae, Ayu Raudhah, Iqram Dinzly, Lisa Surihani
Genre: Unintentional Comedy
Rating: General
Verdict: "Well, legendary..."

It starts out as a horror flick where Lisa Surihani sleepwalks her way through her scene, perhaps to foreshadow the fact that it's just dream sequence. Farid Kamil, who reprises his role as Ahadiat Akashah's Mary Sue character, wakes up from this terrible dream, but not before waking up yet again. His dream-within-a-dream turns out to be an even bigger foreshadowing as his reality is actually a much bigger nightmare; by the end of the film, Faridiat Akamilshah would have crossed paths with a coconut lady in labour, a CSI Mary Poppins character, an ex-lover with a psychotic husband, and an ex-psycho who's in love with his wife.

What to Expect
1. A proper ending to this legendary series
2. Trust Fund Babies
3. Notable phoned-in performance by Lisa Surihani
4. An actual budak setan
5. Confusing timeline
6. Claustrophobic camerawork
7. Mental illness galore!

What NOT to Expect
1. Logic
2. Common sense
3. Humour
4. Romance
5. Logic
6. Common sense
Your opinion about it will be influenced by how many friends you bring with you

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mamak Cupcake [2014]

Director: Woo Ming Jin
Writer: M. Zulkifli
Starring: Shaheizy Sam, Siti Saleha, Faizal Ismail (FBI), Maria Farida, Natasha Hudson, Acappan
Genre: Comedy
Rating: General
Verdict: "All icing, low on sugar, and burnt on the underside..."

As heir to the family business, MJ (Shaheizy Sam) finds it hard to strike that balance between appeasing his widowed father, and nursing his secret wish of seeing his cupcakes enjoyed by many. But when he catches news of a national cupcake bake-off taking place real soon, he decides to enter because why the hell not.

What to Expect
1. An aptly colourful presentation
2. Inadequate world-building
3. Paper-thin characters
4. Uninspired script
5. Awkward editing

What NOT to Expect
1. Wit
2. Much comedy
Well-intentioned, but super dull.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Game of Thrones - 1995 Edition

This sure brings back memories of myself as a boy, sitting in front of the TV waiting for the likes of Spellbinder and Conan the Adventurer to start, and just forget about all the trivial things I had to do back then.

Ah, the '90s.

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