Monday, February 28, 2011

5 Things I Learned About the Police (From Watching Gerak Khas)

Ever seen Gerak Khas? If you have been watching TV since before Astro came into town, chances are you have seen a few. I gotta say, I love the series as well as the movies, although not for the right reasons. I don't know much about the background of the franchise, but you don't have to be very perceptive to see that it tries to be this in-your-face, thought-provoking social commentary being told through the eyes of the Malaysian police force.

We mean business!!
I gotta say it failed hilariously because that's what I watched it for; the giggles. Gerak Khas is often so bad, it's funny. So much, that I'm sure I'm not the only one to dub it as Gelak Khas. Alright alright, I know that it never claimed to be some sort of a documentary about what the police go through on a regular basis. But for the love of God, the entire franchise seem to follow a set of unwritten rules that makes no sense whatsoever, it's almost insulting to the viewers.

Unless of course, you decide to have a sense of humour about it. I bet you'll laugh every time you spot any of these cliches throughout the series or the movies.

Phoenix Rises Again

Any here a fan of Joaquin Phoenix? Well, I am. I first saw him in Gladiator [2000], I loved him as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line [2005] and imagine my surprise to hear about his sudden retirement from acting about two years ago. On February 15th, 2009 I posted about it, him retiring from acting in favour of a career in hip hop.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Twilight: Breaking Dawn will feature vampire sex (?)

Photo courtesy of E! Online...

My only reaction was, "ew". But it quickly turned into bewilderment because I wonder how it's possible at all. But before we get to that, I have to be honest. I forgot all about the Twilight movies because I simply didn't find it interesting at all. I thought the first one was really good, but by the time Twilight: New Moon [2009] came out I just couldn't bear to watch anymore because it felt too much like writer/creator Stephenie Meyer's wet dream.

Coming Soon: More Sucker Punch!!

Release Date: March 24th, 2011 (Malaysia)
Director : Zack Snyder
Starring : Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino

Nothing more to say other than it's going to be crazy, over-the-top and potentially a little silly... And I'm going to love every minute of it!

The third trailer is out, and no more details regarding the movie. Instead, it's pretty much a montage showing how much of an eye candy Sucker Punch is going to be, played to a sweet tune by Silversun Pickups.

Also, check out some cool retro Sucker Punch posters brought to you by Kinogallery. Click on them for a larger resolution.

Jamie Chung in fishnet stockings... I sense a nosebleed coming.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Complaints About Five Movies (By People Who are Completely Missing the Point)

For someone who isn't too prejudicial when it comes to movies, I must confess that I am a little sick of mediocre movies being hailed as the greatest movies ever. For example, there was this one time I was driving and I heard one of the DJ from tout Transformers [2007] as the best movie ever. I scoffed loudly even though there was no one around to hear me. But I eventually understood why he said that when I actually saw the movie.

Now, I am not suggesting that the average movie-goers are idiots. What I am saying is that plenty just couldn't be bothered to appreciate movies as anything more than just something to go on for dates, or to simply pass the time, and worst of all, to brag about how up-to-date they are. All these people need are unfunny comedies, movies with explosions, some gratuitous cleavage and perhaps some offensive stereotypes thrown into the mix.

Which is why it's hard when film-makers try to get clever, and they were met with blank stares followed by questions like;


Friday, February 25, 2011

Battle: Los Angeles

I gotta tell you, after War of the Worlds [2005] I really am sick of movies about alien invasions. In fact, I think War of the Worlds pretty much set it off with its mind-numbing conclusion to the story. I thought they were done, but last year saw the release of an even worse alien invasion movie entitled Skyline. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about; it is unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.

And now we have Battle: Los Angeles (also known as World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles), one of those movies that gets you wondering why Hollywood hates the world so much since they can't stop thinking of ways to decimate the planet and the human race.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Mechanic [2011]

Director: Simon West
Cast: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Tony Goldwyn, Donald Sutherland
Genre: Action/Drama
Rating: Teen (Brief sexuality, violence)
Comment: "This is not a Transporter movie with a buddy cop twist to it. Nothing to shout about, but a pleasant surprise anyway..."

Arthur Bishop, a contract killer who specialises in making his hits not looking like a hit. In other words, he makes his kills look like suicides or accidents instead of murder. Everything changes when he was hired to kill his mentor, and his guilt from doing so resulted in him taking his mentor's estranged son under his wing to go against his employer.

What to Expect
1. Good action sequences
2. Jason Statham doing his thing
3. Decent story/plot

What NOT to Expect
1. A Transporter-like spin-off
2. To be too different from other movies about hitmen

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises in 2012

One of the reasons why I absolutely love Christopher Nolan, he is absolutely unlike many other film makers easily swayed by the dollar sign. Every movie he made so far were pretty much "stand-alone" kind of movies, the kind that doesn't really sets itself up for a sequel.

However, some might argue that the last Batman movie did end with quite a bit of a cliffhanger. Although I personally think it was simply as a mean to complete the character arc for Bruce Wayne/Batman. Still, it did leave everyone with an anticipation for more, and so Christopher Nolan confirmed that he will make one final Batman movie entitled, The Dark Knight Rises.

Bullet-Ridden Bieber, Now That's Good TV

Okay, let's not confuse fact from fiction, his "death" was just for that CSI TV show. Because, why not? CSI had stopped being believable about seven seasons ago, so having a tween pop star walking around masquerading as a criminal made as much sense as crime scene investigators acting like SWAT teams.

But the thing is, I have nothing against Justin Bieber, I simply enjoyed his death a little too much. Check out my "analysis" of the whole thing;

Monday, February 21, 2011

Breakthrough Roles #3

I knew I've seen her somewhere before! Maybe it's because of all the special effects, or maybe I just wasn't paying attention. But hell, I never forget a face. Recognise this girl?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Monthly Classics #2

Release Date : December 30th, 1953
Director : Laszlo Benedek
Starring : Marlon Brando, Mary Murphy, Lee Marvin

Johnny Strabler, leader of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club (BRMC) lead his gang of forty motorcyclists throughout the country, only to settle at a small, uneventful town. He decided to overstay his welcome when he met a girl there, however once a rival motorcycle gang came looking for him, trouble and chaos came with him.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Coming Soon: Sucker Punch

Release Date : March 24th, 2011 (Malaysia)

Another film to be excited about, and it has been generating great word-of-mouth for the past couple of months now. I'm sure fans of Zack Snyder are excited as well considering that this is his first original work, in other words the first one not based on any other existing work.

So we know that the dude got an eye for visuals, as he had proven with 300 [2007] and Watchmen [2009] but is his storytelling skills just as sharp?

Spider-man Reboot

I'm sure you've heard by now, but in case you haven't; There won't be a Spider-man 4 once Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire walked out of the project. So what we'll have instead is The Amazing Spider-man [2012].

Fan-made by Editninja, not the actual movie poster...

The Lone Ranger Movie

The financial success of Green Hornet [2011] possibly got studio executives scour for some old TV shows that was popular during its time, but has been forgotten since. This time around it has to do with The Lone Ranger. Interestingly, The Green Hornet was actually a spin-off of The Lone Ranger, so I guess it would only make sense to give the latter an "update" as well.

You know you need an update if your heroes look like members of Village People...
Yeah, it may be an American icon, but there's little reason to care about it around this part of the world, and the studio executives know that. Which is why they gave us some reasons to go see it when it's scheduled to release some time in 2012.

The movie will see director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp reuniting for a non-Pirates of the Caribbean movie for the first time. It's a little early to say what's the story going to be like, with Johnny Depp busy with Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and later with Tim Burton's Dark Shadows. What is clear for now is just the fact that Johnny Depp will be playing Tonto, the sidekick.

But I'm sure that once it enters production, Hollywood will make damn sure we'll hear about it.

Coming Soon: Thor #2

One of my most anticipated movies of the year, Thor had another trailer released only a couple of days ago. Earlier this month, we already had some first impressions about it and I was already sold. But what enticed me about this second trailer was another couple of things it showcased about the movie;

#1 I missed it the first time around, but turns out Stellan Skarsgard is in the movie as well! If you're unfamiliar with the name, just trust me when I say that he's a good actor.

#2 Around the 1:07 mark of the trailer (the diner scene), a hint of parody about Viking in popular culture. A funny one too.

#3 Plenty of characterisation, possibly without the "great-power-comes-great-responsibility" character arc which has gone stale after the second Spider-man movie.

#4 Natalie Portman, Natalie Portman, and Natalie Portman ♥

The New Lara Croft?

Anyone here a fan of Tomb Raider, put your hands up. How about Olivia Wilde, anyone else thinks she's a babe?

Don't lie now...
Okay, how about putting those two together?

Alright, at this point it's only a rumour, and should not be treated as anything but. Heck, it has even been denied by Wilde herself.

However it's hard not to get at least a little bit excited about the idea, and bear in mind that this won't be the first time a rumour being part of a publicity stunt. Furthermore, with plenty of other movies getting a "reboot", it's hard to see how Tomb Raider will be an exception. Especially if you remember how the second Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider movie was like.

I don't care what anyone says. For me, whatever she *supposedly* lacks in bra size, she makes it up for pretty much everything else.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I've Got the Power with Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch
Interesting story, really. I just love stories about living an alternate reality, there's always room for literary analysis. But this time around, I'm just gonna be candid about my thoughts on this movie.

What would I do to escape if I were held against my will with the ladies of Sucker Punch?

Frankly, I don't know if I mind "being held against my will" if it's with these ladies here. But hell, I sure would like to be "held" elsewhere with them, like Hawaii or the Maldives perhaps?

ooh... I can almost hear Katy Perry's California Girls playing in the background at the thought of that.
YOSH!! Gotta escape!

Play some mind games, so to speak. Using my imagined superb conman skills, I'd convince the doctors and attendants of the institution that they are the crazy ones, while Babydoll, the team and I are actually doctors trying to help them. From there, I'll put them all in straitjackets  and lobotomise their leader. Wouldn't that be a heck of a plot twist?

If all else fails, I'll just inform the team that we're better off imagining that we are in yet another alternate reality where we are free!

The King's Speech [2010]

Director: Tom Hooper
Cast: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce
Genre: Drama
Rating: General
Comment: "The uplifting effect might be lost on non-Brits, but still it is as good as an underdog story as any..."

A biopic of King George VI, whose ascension to the throne was met with looks of embarrassment from those around him, due to his severe stammer. Together with a speech therapist, the King must overcome his pride and ego if he were to overcome his stutter as well, and eventually become the voice of a proud nation.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Showdown #3: Most Badass

Welcome to the third "episode" of Showdown! The past two posts had been about pitting three different movies for the title of The Manliest Movie, safe to say with Fight Club [1999] taking home the title, we can put that little debate to rest, at least until another contender comes along.

As requested by a friend of mine, Ninja, this episode of Showdown will include something from Terminator 2: Judgment Day [1991]. However I am not going to use the movie as a whole, not for now at least. No no. This, is a Showdown for the Most Badass (Badassest?) movie character. Now, you might be wondering just how being a badass differ from being manly, kindly read on and find out for yourself.

And no, it has nothing to do with having an unshapely or dysfunctional backside.

Coming Soon: Superhero Fest [Part II]

A little later than I intended, but nevertheless here it is now, the second part of some notable superhero movies coming out this year.

The second superhero movie with a green colour scheme this year. I'm not all that excited, to be perfectly honest, but I wouldn't go so far as predicting that it's going to be a total waste of time. I don't expect it to rise above the genre. Think of the kind of fun and laughs you had with other superhero movies like Fantastic Four [2005], etc.

Reasons to be Excited
1. Ryan Reynolds in a familiar territory; playing a lovable douchebag.

2. I don't know if the CGI Green Lantern suit is something to be excited about, but heck, to each his or her own.

3. Tim Robbins! Although he didn't exactly went under the radar, still I miss the guy somehow.

4. It's easier going into this movie with low expectations. For example, I know almost nothing about the comic book series, so I'll just take the movie as it is.

"Please make a good X-Men movie this time around!" was the prayer I said when I heard of this movie. Now, I am a fan of the movie adaptations, the best in my opinion being X-2: X-Men United [2003]. But every release after that went from mediocre to bad... Especially that Wolverine spin-off movie. It was such a bore and a trite, I groaned audibly after the first fifteen minutes.

But this time around it does sound promising. What made X3 [2006] and X-Men Origins: Wolverine [2009] such a bore was due to abandoning characterisations in favour of visual spectacle (and of course, merchandising opportunities). With this prequel, it looks like it's going back to what made the first installment such a stand-out from all other superhero movies.

Reasons to be Excited
1. A reboot, possibly meaning that it will go back to its roots; a superhero movie with a great political subtext, an ensemble of interesting characters, and so on.

2. We'll get to see how Professor X and Magneto agreed to disagree and part ways.

3. The cast; Kevin Bacon (omg!!), James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, among others.

4. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, he did a superb job with Kick-Ass [2010], so... believe!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Léon [1994]

Director: Luc Besson
Cast: Jean Reno, Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman
Genre: Thriller/Crime Drama
Rating: Teen (mild violence, drug use & sensuality)
Comment: "One of my all-time favourites..."

A reclusive, highly-skilled hitman, Léon, who had never been caught suddenly finds himself in danger after a corrupt narcotics cop killed an entire family of a twelve-year-old girl named Mathilda and she goes to him for help. Reluctantly he takes her into his care, while teaching her his trade.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Coming Soon: Superhero Fest [Part I]

The world can't get enough of superheroes, but that's not necessarily a bad thing because the genre had come a long way since the campy Batman television series [1966-1968]. Superhero movies can't really become stale as they tap into one of humanity's biggest dream, regardless of age; the ability to be more than just a human. However that is not to say that there are more good superhero movies than the bad ones, even with all the insane things CGI technology allowed us to do, superhero movies can still be quite a gamble.

The following are some of the most prominent superhero movies to be released this year. Some are promising, others... I just have a bad feeling about them. Guess which ones they are.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Black Swan [2010]

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey
Genre: Drama/Psychological Thriller
Rating: Adult (horrific imagery, strong sexual content)
Comment: "100% hypnotic..."

What seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime for ballet dancer Nina Sayers, whose obsession with perfecting her craft sends her on a slow descent towards madness, which eerily mirrors her role on stage as the Swan Queen.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Guilty Pleasure Movies

I love movies. I guess that's pretty much a no brainer considering that I have an entire blog dedicated to them. I've also made it clear that I am a huge fan of action movies, as evident in this post, and this one. But I have also grown to love movies of all genre, except maybe for horror - I don't know, I find most of them to be too unintelligent for my liking.

However, there are also movies that I absolutely adore, but a bit more reluctant to openly admit it. To understand why, you have to put into perspective that it's rather unusual for a guy in his mid-20's to still be watching these movies with the same kind of enthusiasm that I had when I first saw them, which meant I was still in school at the time for most of the movies on the list.

Eastern Promises [2007]

Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Genre: Drama/Thriller 
Rating: Adult (graphic violence, nudity, brief sexuality)
Comment: "After half a dozen of Guy Ritchie's over-the-top gangster flicks, this movie promises a very nice change of pace..."

Somewhere in London, the death of a 14-year-old in childbirth prompted a midwife, Anna Khitrova to look into it. Using only the girl's diary as guide, it led her to the local vory v zakone, the Russian mafia. Little that she knew her actions set off a chain of events that shake the very foundation of the Russian gangsters in London.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Showdown #2: Manliest Movie Ever? [Part II]

I had intended to pit different movies under a different category, but I had this nagging feeling that I shouldn't leave the showdown of Manliest Movie Ever as it is just yet. Why? Because I have another movie in mind that also put heavy emphasis on masculinity. I give you the second part of The Manliest Movie Ever Showdown... This time with Predator defending its title against...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Coming Soon: Pirates of the Caribbean 4

Jack Sp... *ahem*... I mean Captain Jack Sparrow is back! Truth to be told, the first time I've heard of it, I kinda groaned a little, saying "There's no more juice to be squeezed out of the franchise!"

But then I heard a particular combination of words that pricked up my ears. The people behind the franchise had chosen to scale down the movie. Which was great, because it could potentially resemble the first installment of the series, when it was more about characters, and a lot less about trying to be so many things at once. Which is the reason why I dislike the two sequels.

Reasons to be Excited
1. No more pansy Will Turner and prissy Elizabeth Swann.

2. Penelope Cruz!!

3. Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) are pretty much the only returning characters.

4. A loose adaptation of a 1988 pirate novel, also titled On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers, an award-winning author.

5. Keith Richards makes yet another appearance, returning as Jack Sparrow's father, Captain Teague.

6. The (possible) villain is Blackbeard, a notorious pirate in the 18th century. The role is played by Ian McShane.

Excited? I know I am...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Coming Soon: Unknown

One of Hollywood's most lovable figures, Liam Neeson is back in a thriller movie, his first since 2008. I'm sure you've seen the trailer if you have been to the movies anytime in the past month. If you missed it, the story goes something like this;

A car accident leaves a doctor, Martin Harris feeling more than just disorientation. He wakes up to a world where he does not exist. His wife has no recollection of him, instead his place was taken by another guy assuming his identity. Even stranger, he finds himself in danger of getting killed from mysterious parties. He's not just fighting for survival now, he's out to prove his very existence.

Reasons to be Excited
1. After raising hell in France back in 2008, Liam Neeson is going to do it again, but in Germany this time around.
2. Based on a thriller novel, which often translates to a movie that leaves few to be desired.
3. The premise is very strong, you don't have to be a curious person to be dying to know how the story will turn out.
4. Director Jaume Collet-Serra may not have an awe-inspiring resume, with movies like House of Wax [2005] and Orphan [2009] under his belt, but you have to give the guy credit for the distinctive visuals his films have.

Three versions of the movie poster...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Breakthrough Roles #2

Anyone here have seen Airheads [1994]? Don't feel bad if you haven't. It wasn't that bad, although it's not the kind of movie you'd want to see more than once. Now, you'd be surprised to learn that three of Hollywood's most recognisable faces were the main stars of this movie. Have a look, I bet you'd recognise them straightaway;

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