Friday, December 30, 2011

Son of Rambow [2007]

Director: Garth Jennings
Cast: Bill Milner, Will Poulter, Neil Dudgeon, Jessica Hynes, Jules Sitruk
Genre: Drama/Comedy
Rating: General
Excerpt: "A movie that's every bit as charming as the chubby cheeks of a baby..."

Set in England back in the '80s, the story focuses on Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner), who comes from a family belonging to a strict religious sect that forbids him from enjoying the many pleasures life has to offer, including television. Combined with his capacity for creativity, he grew up to be a shy and gullible child who only has his wild imagination to keep him company. One day, as usual Will is made to wait outside while the rest of the classroom watches a documentary, but it's this one day when he crosses paths with a delinquent, Lee Carter (Will Poulter). One scam later, and Will suddenly finds himself being the star of Lee's film project.

What to Expect
1. '80s pop culture references
2. Endearing performances by the lead actors
3. A funny movie
4. To shed a tear (Well, I did)

What NOT to Expect
1. Laugh-out-loud comedy
2. A kiddie movie
Had I seen this when it was released, it would have still been one of the year's best

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Body Count In Movies

Obtained from a blog some people would describe as the "lesser form of 9gag", it's isNSFW. Yes, as the name would imply, it's not a blog you would want to be caught browsing through at work. Not that it's dirty, but it could lead to a misunderstanding.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Harry Potter Incendio'd Hannah Montana

I don't usually post trivial stuff from Hollywood right here on this blog, as in news about who's dating whom and whatnot. But this one right here is so full of win, I can't help but want to share it with you guys. Special thanks to @GreatUnknown08 for the tip!

So just a little background information; What you will see below is a recording from a radio show hosted by Ryan Seacrest where he called up Daniel Radcliffe to validate a rumour going around about him having hots for Miley Cyrus. Well, he couldn't have given a better answer.

Oh by the way, Incendio is a fire-making spell, just in case you're not a Harry Potter nerd. It's kind of like saying "Oooh burn!"

Friday, December 23, 2011

5 Things I Learned About Women From "Ombak Rindu"

I'm writing this entry at the risk of being jeered at by my friends from you-know-where, because I vowed that not in a million years would I go see this movie, and I really haven't. And wouldn't! But if I'm completely honest, I am tempted to go see it just so I could piss all over it. And that's exactly what I intend to do with this entry.

For my non-Malaysian readers; It's kind of like Twilight... With rape
But wait, if I haven't seen it, what earned me the right to say anything about it? Heck, everything I know about the movie, I got it from here and here (So, special thanks to Neddo Khan and TMBF for bringing me up to speed). Aw man... You know what, you're right. I don't have the right to critique it. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the lessons this movie is trying to get across, right? I'm a single man, and I need all the tips I can get on how to get me some sugar.

So thankfully Ombak Rindu got me covered, because there are at least five brilliant lessons to be learned from it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's 2012, and The End is Nigh!

... The end to Christopher Nolan's epic Batman movies, that is. What, did you think I was referring to the end of the world? Go talk to a Mayan shaman for that cock-and-bull story.

I wonder if that joke's been made before...
Now, the year 2012 too has a plethora of good movies to look forward to, which I will get into another time. For now I'll simply say this; The Dark Knight Rises is without a doubt the one I'm most looking forward to, because I really think Christopher Nolan is that good a filmmaker. But then again, who doesn't?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Songlap [2011]

Director: Effendee Mazlan & Fariza Azlina Isahak
Cast: Shaheizy Sam, Syafie Naswip, Sara Ali
Genre: Drama
Rating: General
Excerpt: "In my mind, it deserves to be to us Malaysians what Goodfellas [1990] is to Americans; Nothing short of a classic..."

Am (Shaheizy Sam) and Ad (Syafie Naswip) are two brothers who work in the kind of syndicate the rest of the country would love to pretend doesn't exist; Selling babies to married couples who couldn't conceive. The older of the two, Am sees it as nothing more than a job, an opportunity to make ends meet as well as to support his gambling habits. Meanwhile, Ad has high hopes that someday life will give him a break, a chance for him to get out of this life forever. What they're both unaware of is that there's a chain of events waiting just around the corner that will test their relationship to the breaking point.

What to Expect
1. Gritty look at the underbelly of Malaysia
2. A story about life in every sense of the word
3. Armrest-gripping moments
4. Rich characters
5. The pacing will keep you hooked
6. Atmospheric soundtrack

What NOT to Expect
1. One-dimensional gangsters
2. A light movie

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Kristen Stewart School of Acting

You know, I thought I could get back to writing the kind of lengthy entries that I like to do. But frankly I'm having a bit of a writer's block right now, or maybe all my creative energy's all being channeled elsewhere at the moment. So just bear with me while I get it all sorted out, yah?

But of course, I have no intention of letting this blog wither and die, so I thought I'd share this video that I stumbled upon quite some time ago, when my hate-boner for Twilight was at its height. A lot I've said about Edward Gaylen, so I thought I'd take a stab at Bella Swan instead this time around. I know it's obvious, and it has been said many times over, but Kristen Stewart really can't act and nothing exemplify that better than this video right here;

But the only thing more annoying than her acting, is the worship she gets from fans of Twatlight. No I didn't spell that wrong.

Monday, December 19, 2011

He Jumped The Couch, Then Makes Up For It In M:I4

Hey, I admit that even I had always thought that Tom Cruise is a little bonkers, even though I have always liked him as an actor. But it's really hard to defend him whenever people poke fun at him. Remember his appearance on Oprah? And the fact that he prays to Xenu? I'm not judging, but when someone worships aliens one can't help but conjure up images of a cross-eyed nervous guy wearing a hat made from aluminium foil, as well as an inflatable seahorse around his waist.

Or, you know... This guy
But it's really commendable that Tom Cruise never made much of it, and just kept going on with his acting career even though the amount of jokes he's been bombarded with would have made any local A-list celebrities lose their shit on every tabloid newspapers in existence.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just Watching The Teaser Gave Me a Third Testicle

I know that's not a good mental image to start your Saturday, but I really had a kick from seeing this latest sneak peek at this anticipated sequel to 2010's The Expendables. If you ever feel the need to roll your eyes at my fanboy-ness for Action flicks, you may do so but do understand that such films are my first love as documented here.

Furthermore, as reviews on the first installment had already established, The Expendables was made by action stars for action fans. Therefore it wasn't surprising that there were reviews flocking in criticising everything from the paper-thin plot, how it felt stuck in "cultural limbo" (loved that one, by the way), to something about Stallone and dinosaurs, I couldn't recall how the author put it. It's highly-unlikely that the sequel is going to change anyone's mind about this.

Frankly I find it weird that so many of them missed the point, did they all slept through the '80s or what? It was meant to be a throwback to the B-movie grade movies of that era, and to that extent, it was goooood. But hey, who am I to judge? All I'm saying is, if you don't get a kick out of seeing this teaser trailer, then chances are you might not want to see it in the cinemas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mission: Impossible 4 - Ghost Protocol [2011]

Director: Brad Bird
Cast: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner
Genre: Action/Thriller/Espionage
Rating: General
Excerpt: "It feels like it was meant to be seen exclusively on IMAX, and it almost became a flaw... Almost."

After an operation go wrong which resulted the loss of some important files and the death of IMF agent Trevor Hanaway (Josh Holloway), the Agency wastes no time in extracting their best agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) from prison in Russia. From there, Hunt is entrusted with a mission to retrieve the files along with his new-found teammates Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton). But before they realise what's actually going on, they are unwittingly aiding an unknown figure initiate a nuclear war between Russia and the United States through the bombing of the Kremlin. The IMF is also dissolved as a result and the team find themselves with a mission while having enemies from every sides.

What to Expect
1. That vintage feel of a Mission: Impossible movie
2. Tom Cruise kicking ass once more
3. Director Brad Bird's eye for over-the-top action
4. Probably best seen on IMAX
5. The ever-so-likable Simon Pegg

What NOT to Expect
1. To rise above the Action genre
2. Jaw-dropping script
3. The Casino Royale [2006] approach
Very entertaining

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Superhuman Activity

Movie Title: Chronicle
Release Date: March 1st, 2012 (Malaysia)
Director: Josh Trank
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan, Michael Kelly

I don't know about you, but I had always find the whole "found footage" thing to not be that interesting. You know, the kind you saw in The Blair Witch Project [1999], Cloverfield [2008] and the infamous Paranormal Activity films? By the way, if you've seen any of the aforementioned movies, can you tell me what they're like? I haven't seen any of them. It has been well documented in this blog that I'm not a fan of horror movies.

But the concept might work just fine on this new superhero-themed movie that's not really a superhero movie, a movie called Chronicle. It tells the story of three teenage friends who gain superpowers, but the problem is they don't have Uncle Ben to tell them "With great power comes great responsibility".

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

5 More Guilty Pleasure Movies

Early in February, there was an entry about five of my guilty pleasure movies. I don't know what prompted me to write that, as I'm not exactly the type to wear my heart on my sleeve. But I guess it's the whole thing with Valentine's Day and the channels kept re-running all those romantic movies, it must have seeped into my subconscious as I was typing away for that day's entry.

Anyway, I just thought it would be interesting to revisit that little category as I actually have more than five guilty pleasure movies (duh!). But I also thought about not talking about movies released too far back in time, so you'd have a better chance of finding them, just in case you haven't seen any one of them, and you'd like to give it a try. So here we are, five more movies that I like, but wouldn't admit it in real life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Was Gonna Publish An Article Today...

... I didn't take an arrow to the knee, but I did find several things too cool to pass up on. I'll try to resume blogging as usual after this. For now, I'd like to illustrate to you just how much of my soul had been consumed by 9gag, and I pray that you will not get sucked into the same vortex as I.

#1 Recognise the dude on the right?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Favourites #18: Movie Girlfriends

No, I haven't stopped blogging, but the reason why there hasn't been an update for the past two days is because I ran out of scheduled posts and didn't realise it, as I was spending my time catching up on my reading as well as writing for other stuff. So by the time I did realise it, I found myself scratching my head because it's not a habit of mine to do anything creative on the eleventh hour. So I scoured the drafts I have on the shelf, gave it an update and here we go.

This was one of those entries that I decided not to publish because, well... It's a little sad, isn't it? Not that I meant to convey that I'm not attracted to ladies in real life, but these girls who came straight from the imagination of screenwriters, combined with the ideal casting never failed at making me go "aww..." But hey, at least mine is kinda healthy, and it has nothing to do with a half-dead love interest who glitters in the sun.

I'm sorry Mary Sue, I have no idea how the paparazzi found us!
And speaking of which, hell no Bella Swan won't be on the list even if it stretches to a hundred, so don't even ask. I sure would love to know who's your favourite movie girlfriends/boyfriends, so leave it in the comments section if you have the time. Just remember that it has to be someone from any movie who's looking for, or already in a relationship, and why you think they'd be perfect for you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Amount of Special Effects in TV and Movies

I don't know if it's news, but it really took me by surprise just how much of what we see in movies and television is computer generated. Sure, I'm already aware that whenever a character is shown watching television or using a computer, I know that the actor is really looking at a green or blue screen, because the glare from the screen does not show up well of camera.

But I never knew actors work with green screen this frequently. So the next time you watch any television show, may it be The Walking Dead or whatever, try to spot what's real and what's not. Special thanks to @OMGFacts.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Muppets [2011]

Director: James Bobin
Cast: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Peter Linz, Steve Whitmire, Matt Vogel, Chris Cooper, Eric Jacobson
Genre: Comedy/Musical
Rating: General
Excerpt: "A movie you wouldn't see unless you're left with no choice, but you'd be surprised by how easily you'll warm up to it..."

Brothers Gary (Jason Segel) and Walter (Peter Linz) couldn't be any more different. But despite their differences, and excelling in almost everything that his younger brother couldn't, Gary remains close to his Muppet brother and never fails to look out for him. But it doesn't do much to make Walter feel like he belongs in the Smalltown community, and he looked to The Muppet Show for escapism. One day, as Gary is about to set out to Los Angeles with his girlfriend for their tenth year anniversary, he surprises Walter by bringing him along for the trip, planning on stopping at the Muppet Theater. However, once they arrive, not only the Theater is now a shell of its former self, but it is also in danger of being erased from history altogether.

What to Expect
1. Nostalgia
2. Plenty of musical numbers (duh!)
3. Self-deprecating humour
4. Lots of celebrity cameos
5. Inside jokes as well as allusions to real life events

What NOT to Expect
1. The human cast to hog the screen time
2. Anything out of the ordinary
A delight, but I dislike musicals, hence this rating

Monday, December 5, 2011

5 Types of Moviegoers Nobody Complains About

The idea of this entry came from those little advertisements they love to show before movies begin, reminding us audience to put our phones to silent mode lest we disrupt the movie watching experience for everybody else. But of course, no matter how hard they try, these advices still tend to fall on deaf ears. So much, that they actually became mild annoyances that I've somehow learned to overlook.

But there are other kinds of annoyances that don't happen very often (save for #2) but when they do, it really gets to me and I tend to get as angry as a caged cat. Annoyances such as;

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Horny Cougar and Baby Black Market

Come to think of it, I have been seeing more local movies this year than I had been all my life. I can't quite figure out why as of right now, but I suppose it has something to do with the influx of creativity that's been going on in the industry. It would appear that many are rushing to try something new, may it be in terms of action-oriented films (Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa, Kongsi, KL Gangster), heist (Setem), and of course, Afdlin Shauki who is always one to go against the grain, as evident in his blend of horror and fantasy in Misteri Jalan Lama.

I wanted to talk smack about Libas, but I haven't seen it. So I'm gonna have to shut up...
Even though I only liked a handful of them, still I would rather watch any of the movies mentioned above over any... Say, Yusof Haslam or Razak Mohaideen films? Well, except maybe KL Gangster. I literally had a headache watching a movie filled to the brim with men constantly sizing each other up (read: cakap gebang) and shouting like pimps.

So here are two more upcoming local films that I might like, it's too early to call as of right now. But safe to say, I'm going to like the second one over the other. Here, check 'em out;

Friday, December 2, 2011

Favourites #17: Parodies

If I may be honest, I have been feeling a little under the weather these past few days, hence why I haven't been doing much of creative writing. It takes a lot of energy, believe it or not. So what I've been doing instead was just sitting back and indulge myself in a string of Frasier reruns as well as some movies (surprise, surprise). Well, you know what they say, nothing lifts a heavy heart like a laugh can... Or something to that effect.

So I browsed through the internet for some of my favourite comedy movies and I stumbled upon a subgenre that I had long forgotten; Parodies, or spoofs. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that they hardly make those anymore. Whenever they tried, the best that they can come up with was Epic Movie [2007], which was horrible to say the least. And no, I didn't like Scary Movie [2000] all that much either.

For once, it wasn't false advertising. The movie was indeed a disaster...
I think for the most part it's because I was spoiled with movies of this genre when it was at its peak, namely the '80s and '90s. If you wish to know what I'm talking about, here are five of my favourite parody movies that can still make me laugh regardless of how many times I've seen them.

Honourable Mentions: The Nude Bomb [1980], The Naked Gun movies, Spaceballs [1987], Shaolin Soccer [2001], Kick-Ass [2010]

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka [2007]

Director: Fahmi Reza
Cast: Lim Kean Chye, Yahya Nassim, Hashim Said, Zainuddin Andika, Majid Salleh
Genre: Documentary/History
Rating: General
Excerpt: "What makes it so compelling is the way it makes you think, as opposed to spoon-feeding history to you..."

This densely-packed thirty minute documentary produced, directed and edited by Human Rights and Student Power activist Fahmi Reza will take you back to the days leading up to October 20th, 1947, the day when the people of Malaya grouped together regardless of creed, colour and caste in a nationwide stand to fight for independence. Five former politicians who now live in obscurity recount their experiences, their resolution, how they lost to the powers-that-be and ultimately get blackened out of history books.

What to Expect
1. The other side of history
2. Engaging presentation
3. Kick-ass punk soundtrack
4. To wonder "What if?"
5. To dispel common myths about independence

What NOT to Expect
1. Heavy-handed preaching
2. Propaganda film
A masterpiece

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Misteri Jalan Lama [2011]

Director: Afdlin Shauki
Cast: Que Haidar, Hans Isaac, Ahmad Tarmimi Siregar, Vanidah Imran, Afdlin Shauki, Namron, Nasir Bilal Khan
Genre: Fantasy/Drama/Horror
Rating: General
Excerpt: "It took me a while to figure out what kind of movie it sought out to be, but half-way into it I forgot what I was watching..."

Two brothers who couldn't be any more different are brought together again in the event of their father's death. Indra (Hans Isaac), a rough-around-the-edges kind of guy with a gambling problem is entrusted with the task of sending his younger brother back to their hometown, a task that will grant him inheritance of their father's wealth. Meanwhile, his younger brother Ilya (Que Haidar) is going through some problems of his own; Haunted by visions and riddled with questions, he is about to discover that everything he thought he knew about his life is a lie.

What to Expect
1. A slow start
2. To squint throughout the movie
3. Cool creatures
4. Good production value
5. Not for the impatient

What NOT to Expect
1. A horror movie
2. The Lord of the Rings
3. Humour
If you have nothing better to see

Monday, November 28, 2011

5 Reasons Why Hogwarts is The Worst Place To Be

I can't recall exactly how many times, but I must have rambled on endlessly about how big a fan of Harry Potter I am. It's not just about the story, I get all sentimental when I remember those times when I would hide in one corner of my house and just immerse myself in the pages, not having to worry about people calling me via cellphones, poking me on Facebook or mentioning me on Twitter.

So yeah, Harry Potter was a huge part of my childhood and I have nothing but praises for it despite all its flaws. What are these flaws? Well, it just so happens that's exactly what I'm going to talk about today. You see, just like those of you who grew up with Harry, Ron and Hermione, I too fantasised about taking that train to Hogwarts and scream "To hell with Pythagoras, I'm learnin' magic!" all the way.

But that was me at fourteen. About a decade later I'm still the world's oldest fourteen-year-old, but only at heart. In my mind I can't help but be horrified when I look back on it, suddenly that trivial pursuit for straight A's didn't look too bad, because these are the things students at Hogwarts have to worry about every damn day.

So after you read this, I hope you will learn that even if you think that your school sucks because the food is bad, or the teachers are mean or whatever, bear in mind that there are those who are much, much worse off than you are.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fake Movie Plot #1: Twilight

Inspired by the hashtag on Twitter of the same name, I'd like to give my thanks to Feris Othman for creating it, which gave me the idea to start a new series of entries right here on Planet MamüVies. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the inaugural Fake Movie Plot!

So here's what I did for this entry; I watched the trailer with the sound on mute, and basically improvised a voiceover Whose Line Is It Anyway style, just to see if I could do improv comedy. Then I snagged some images off the internet just so I could smooth out the narration. I don't know if I did a good enough job, but that's kind of why I started with Twilight, you see. It's the easiest one to poke fun at!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

When 'Predator' Meets 'The Walking Dead'

Movie Title: The Darkest Hour
Release Date: December 29th, 2012 (Malaysia)
Director: Chris Gorak
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Rachael Taylor, Joel Kinnaman, Max Minghella

"So this is what you get when you cross The Walking Dead with Predator [1987]..." That was all I could think about when I saw this trailer the other day. The trailer which, by the way, I think just gave away everything about the movie. I'm not kidding, you'll see why in a minute. For now I'm gonna have to say I don't see any reason why I should be excited about this movie other than the fact that it looks to be a stylistic, decent thriller.

Well, maybe there's one more thing to be excited about this movie; it stars Emile Hirsch, who is like the younger version of Leonardo DiCaprio not only in terms of looks, but talents as well. So how about it? Why don't you have a look at the trailer and share your first impression about it in the 'Comments' section?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Puss in Boots [2011]

Director: Chris Miller
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris
Genre: Comedy/Adventure
Rating: General
Excerpt: "About as charming as Puss in Boots' big, bambi eyes, but at the same time nothing out of the ordinary..."

Famous outlaw and womaniser, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) never thought he could want more than his usual petty thefts as well as scoring chicks (?) while he's at it. That is, until he arrives at a town where he learns of the legendary magic beans in the hands of two other outlaws, Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris), and his attempt to steal them is thwarted by a fellow thief who goes by the name of Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek). From there, he forges an uneasy alliance with her as well as someone else from his past, Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis).

What to Expect
1. A catnip of a movie for cat lovers
2. A proper parody movie
3. Plenty of funny moments

What Not to Expect
1. Plot hole-free (but that's why it's funny!)
2. Laugh out loud comedy

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Liam Neeson Wants To Do Stand-up Comedy

Anyone here a fan of British humour? Or more specifically of comedian Ricky Gervais's brand of humour? I for one think he's beyond fantastic both as a stand up comedian as well as a comedic actor, earlier this year he even showcased his ability to turn the usually a dry movie awards ceremony into a comedy roast. Ladies and gents, after The Office [2001-2003] and Extras [2005-2007], Ricky Gervais is at it again with a brand new television show called Life's Too Short.

If you're familiar with the works of Gervais and his frequent collaborator, Stephen Merchant, then you would already know what to expect. Although I must say that's not at all a bad thing because watching my favourite actors playing a parody of themselves never gets old. Check out this video if you have the time, it had me in stitches watching Liam Neeson parody his... Well, Liam Neeson persona; a no-nonsense character wanting to do stand up comedy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

5 Things That Just Won't Work In Real Life

It took me a while to get this one published. It was just one of those things, I got an idea for an article but then decide to shelve it for another day. That was three months ago. But then writing that piece on how to improve local cinemas reminded me of this, as I intended to include "give more artistic license to screenwriters" as part of the list, also as a response to idiots who thought Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa [2011] sucked because it was historically inaccurate. But then I decided that it warranted an entry of its own, so here it is.

If Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa was more 'historically accurate'...
Here's my stand on the matter, artistic license is a real thing, it is a big deal and it is totally unacceptable for you to deny it to a screenwriter. You would think that that's obvious, but you would also be surprised by how often people forget this.

So just to jog your memory, artistic license can be defined as taking liberties when it comes to accuracy may it be factual, historical or even grammatical (in the case of poetry). Examples include the usage of modern music in A Knight's Tale [2001], a modernised look at the relationship between Muslims and Christians in Kingdom of Heaven [2005], and others too numerous to mention.

In a nutshell...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bradley Cooper Looks Good In Those Boots

For most movie fans, the name 'Bradley Cooper' had long been a household name, but for plenty of people around these parts, they have only recently warmed up to him. So please hold on while I give myself a pat on the back for correctly predicting that he is going to be the newest addition to beefcake actors just like Hugh Jackman. Granted, it's not much of a prediction and leaning more towards the Captain Obvious territory, but just indulge me, will ya?

I have no life outside this blog.

So anyway, how did you guys find him as a leading man? The first time I paid attention to the guy was in He's Just Not That Into You [2009], and I immediately took a liking to him, even though I did poke fun at him soon after. Sure, he doesn't seem like he's going to be one of those dramatic actors sweeping a bunch of Oscars. But all the same he's an entertaining enough movie star to be seen on screen and I got curious to see how he would fare if he's to play a leading role, which he did in Limitless [2011]. I have no complains whatsoever, the movie worked for what it sought out to do.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

5 Probable Ways to Improve Local Cinema (Aside From Buying Original)

This is not a public message urging you to flock the cinemas or buy non-pirated DVDs.

I wrote this entry in response to an email I received quite some time ago, which I will not reproduce here for privacy reasons. All I can tell you is that the message was brief, and I'm unsure if the sender was earnestly hopeful for me to say something groundbreaking, or he (or she) was simply irked by my review of KL Gangster [2011] or perhaps even Hantu Bonceng [2011], and wanted to push me off this high horse I'm riding on by trying to discredit me.

Either way, I think some people might have the wrong idea about me. I don't work in the film industry, even though I sure as hell would love to. I'm not affiliated with anyone in the industry, I never went to film school, and my experience in the process of film-making has yet to extend beyond a hurriedly-pieced together short film made for an assignment (written, shot and edited in under 3 hours), as well as being an extra in Afdlin Shauki's Papadom [2009].

I ended up focusing on the on-goings behind the scenes instead of trying to look like I'm acting...
So if I'm in a court right now, and the lawyer asks me if running a blog about movies qualify me as a film expert, my answer is a resounding "Of course not, dumbass..." But if you ask me offhandedly about my opinions on how local cinemas can be improved - before we can even have the chutzpah to claim that we can compete at the international level - this is what I would have to say;

Friday, November 18, 2011

Two Animated Features to Look Forward to!

#1 Pirates of the Claynimation

Movie Title: The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Release Date: April 26th, 2012 (Malaysia)
Director: Peter Lord
Starring: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, Brian Blessed, Lenny Henry

Stop-motion animated features don't come very often, but whenever they do, they always leave a mark. Even when they end up being a commercial failure. But we all love them, don't we? There's something about characters made from Plasticine that appeals to the child within us, which I believe has a lot to do with Plasticine being the most popular toy we played with back in our kindergarten days. Ladies and gents, from Aardman Studios, I present to you another claynimation that has all the charm of their other works like Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run [2000].

#2 Theatrical trailer for Pixar's first fairy tale

Movie Title: Brave
Release Date: June 21st, 2012 (Malaysia)
Director: Mark Andrews
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connoly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane

Naturally, being a Pixar movie means this animated feature has been getting a lot of attention as the world is still reeling from the lackluster Cars 2 [2011], labelled by critics as "the first bad Pixar movie". As for me I didn't even bother to go see it, I didn't even love the first one. But enough about that, this one I'm quite excited about, even though it is looking like it's filling the mold of any other Disney Princess movie. But hey, it's not unheard of that Pixar can put a new twist to an old formula, as they have proven with The Incredibles [2004]. For now, let's not decide anything until we actually see it when it comes out.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Tale of Two Snow Whites

This may sound odd if it's the first time you're hearing about it, but indeed there are two different Snow White movies currently in the works, and they will see release within three months of each other. I made entries about them some time ago, one for each; There's that one being directed by Tarsem Singh and another one given the Joan of Arc treatment, both of which I'm looking forward to for different reasons. After months of waiting, trailers for both movies finally hit the internet, and the wait was definitely worth it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seeking Justice [2011]

Director: Roger Donaldson
Cast: Nicolas Cage, January Jones, Guy Pearce, Harold Perrineau, Xander Berkeley
Genre: Thriller
Rating: Teen
Excerpt: "What you see is what you get, and you wouldn't know if that's a good or a bad thing until you see it..."

Nick Gerard (Nicolas Cage) lives pretty much an uneventful life. He is a happily married man who divides his time teaching at a school full of teenage delinquents during the day, and he plays chess with his best friend Jimmy (Harold Perrineau) at every other night. But then everything starts to change when a former convict assaults and rapes his wife Laura (January Jones) on her way back home from work. As Nick laments this tragedy that has befallen his wife, a mysterious man who goes by the name of Simon (Guy Pearce) approach him with an offer; Either follow the system and rely on the law for justice, or they can just take matters into their own hands and serve justice straight up.

What to Expect
1. A decent thriller
2. Not really minding Nicolas Cage in the main role
3. Almost predictable, but not quite
4. Decent cuts (Malaysia)
5. Credible debate about the justice system
6. Genuine suspenseful moments

What NOT to Expect
1. A plot twist that will make you gasp
2. An ambiguous Good vs. Evil movie
Good enough for what it was. No less, no more.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How Will James Mangold's Version of 'Wolverine' Differ?

Earlier this year when I was jittery from anticipating the movie X-Men: First Class [2011], I mentioned in passing (in the comments section) how director Darren Aronofsky was attached to the new Wolverine project. I didn't dedicate an entry on that because there was pretty much nothing to go on about. Fast forward to today, and I got disappointed to learn that Aronofsky will no longer have anything to do with this second Wolverine spin-off.

That is, until I saw who's replacing him, and how he's planning to approach the story. The man is James Mangold, a director who ended up being in my radar after the release of Walk the Line [2005], after which I backtracked his works and discovered that I have actually seen quite a few of his movies. There's Cop Land [1997], Kate & Leopold [2001] and Identity [2003], although I find none of them to be memorable (except for 3:10 to Yuma [2007], of course). But the most important thing to take away from this is the fact that the dude is not a one-trick pony.

One-trick pony. *Giggles*... Because he directed a cowboy movie, get it? Never mind.
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