Monday, October 31, 2011

'Movies' by Alien Ant Farm

Last night I felt like traipsing down the memory lane, so I was listening to movie soundtracks from some of my favourite movies such as Fight Club [1999], Gladiator [2000], and Kingdom of Heaven [2005], just to name a few. But then I wanted to switch from film scores to songs I can sing along to, and suddenly I remembered these guys.


Those guys are from the band Alien Ant Farm. Never was a favourite band of mine, because the early 2000's were filled with bands with that similar Alternative rock sound. But they had a relative success with songs like their rendition of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal. Me, on the other hand, had always preferred their other hit song simply called Movies because, well, it kinda parodied the things we see in movies. That's the kind of band Alien Ant Farm was, never one to take themselves too seriously.

So here's the music video to that song, and see if you can recognise the characters they dressed up as in it, as well as a very very special cameo appearance.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Favourites #16: Unlikely Movie Tough Guys

Earlier this year I made an entry about who are my favourite tough guy actors, those are the guys whom you will just know what they're going to do in whatever movie they star in; be a total badass. We know that, and apparently the guys who make films also know that. Which is why sometimes they'll treat us by pulling the wool over our eyes and cast ordinary looking people who will end up surprising us by how tough they can be.

Honourable mention: Wikus Van De Merwe from District 9 [2009]
In some ways, they can be a lot better than the type of tough guys we're used to because we can better relate to them. Not everyone can fight in a leather speedo and still be frightening like King Leonidas, but sometimes it doesn't matter if you're short or scrawny as long as you have balls of steel to make up for it. Just like the five people on this list.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Edward Cullen Loses His Virginity (After Almost a Century of Trying to Find the Right Underaged Girl)

It never gets old, does it? I thought I have made enough fun of the Twilight movies, but every time I decided that enough is enough and turn my back on it, it keeps on making a lot of noise in the form of brainless fangirl screams. It's pretty hard not to at least glance over my shoulder to see what the commotion is all about.

For my non-Malaysian friends, click here for more info about the Teck Aun 'Chi-Kit' Pills
So as I was in the cinema yesterday waiting for In Time to start, the trailer for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I came along, and I had such a hard time holding back tears of laughter. For starters I would have thought that the novelty for Twilight would have run out by now. But noooo~ Edward and Bella have yet to consummate their love, their relationship thus far had always been that of a captor-hostage in nature. And apparently this is the movie when they'll finally do it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

In Time [2011]

Director: Andrew Niccol
Cast: 
Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy ♥, Olivia Wilde ♥, Alex Pettyfer
Genre: Science fiction/Thriller/Romance

Rating: General
Excerpt: "
The movie had a hard time deciding if it wanted to teach us a lesson, serve us a Bonnie & Clyde type of adventure, or if it wanted to be a straightforward thriller..."

Synopsis

In this future, time has literally replaced money as currency, bringing along with it a much harsher form of capitalism where the rich can live forever while the poor struggle to live on a day-to-day basis. The story then shifts its focus to Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), a blue collar worker living in the ghetto, but nevertheless not corrupted by the harsh surroundings he was raised in, which led him to be chosen by a mysterious man from the upper-class to inherit his fortune; a century's worth of time. Now the only man from the ghetto to have a century to live, it threatens the balance of the system they're living under and Salas becomes the most wanted man in the country.

What to Expect
1. Ambiguous tone to the movie
2. Amanda Seyfried skinny dipping
3. A LOT of lessons about not wasting time
4. An onion of a movie (there are layers to the theme)

What NOT to Expect
1. Lord of War [2005]
2. To be too fast-paced
3. Three-dimensional characters
Click on the Mamümeter for more info

It's a Special Day on Planet MamüVies

Believe it or not, it didn't occur to me until my 96th movie review on this blog that I'm closing in on the big 100. Even then it was just a meh moment for me because I must have hit that mark sometime ago, if you include the reviews I wrote back when Friendster used to have that feature. But that got me thinking, and I began to look back on the days when I used to write movie reviews as a mean to share movies that I like with friends. Little did I know that words of encouragement I received made it blossom into a full-blown love affair.

So I figured, "Hey, I should at least make an entry to commemorate this, shouldn't I?" So here it is.

Play this song while you read this entry. Like, seriously...

Drive [2011]

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston, Carey Mulligan ♥, Albert Brooks, Oscar Isaac, Christina Hendricks
Genre: Drama/Crime/Thriller

Rating: Mature (violence, blood and gore, brief nudity)
Excerpt: "
Atmospheric, ethereal and if you can sit through it once, you'll find that you wouldn't mind seeing it again and again..."

Synopsis

The Driver (Ryan Gosling) is a loner who divides his time doing three different things, but they all have one thing in common; they all involve driving. A part-time stunt driver for movies, he also works as a mechanic whenever he's not a filming, and moonlights as getaway driver for burglaries at night. One day, his boss at the workshop, Shannon (Bryan Cranston) hooks him up with a job as a prospect stock car driver, setting them back $300,000 in debt with the mob. Meanwhile, The Driver's budding romance with the wife of a convict, Irene (Carey Mulligan ♥) will put them all in a dangerous position that will be the undoing of it all.

What to Expect
1. '80s-influenced, super awesome soundtrack
2. Stunning cinematography
3. Atmospheric and ethereal
4. Everything was done in moderation, except for the killings

What NOT to Expect
1. Anything to be fast or even furious
Click on the Mamümeter for more info

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Prince of Persia On Planet Mars?

Movie Title: John Carter
Release Date: March 8th, 2012 (Malaysia)
Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Willem Dafoe, Lynn Collins, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong


When the trailer for this movie started showing in cinemas months ago and I saw it, I was taken aback. A few weeks ago I saw it again, and I still couldn't put my finger on what is it about this movie that got me into one of my brooding spells. But then a couple of nights ago it all clicked. The trailer reminded me of my younger days when I used to sit in a corner, ignored the world around me and daydreamed about these sort of things. Some of them I put into paper, others I turned into a bunch of half-finished comic books.

Simpler times, good times.

Being the neek (nerd + geek) that I am, it should come to no surprise to you that my daydreams mostly consisted of pulp-ish Science fiction, with strong Fantastical overtones to them. Think of Star Wars and Stargate, and you would have some idea of the kind of reality I used to live in. Judging by the trailer, it would appear that John Carter is in the same vein as those two aforementioned franchises. Here, see for yourself;

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

5 Good Things From The Otherwise Terrible 'Star Wars' Prequels

It's no coincidence that this entry is similar to the last one because initially, one of the things listed here used to be in that other list, #1 to be specific. But then I got to thinking, anything that involves Star Wars deserves an entry of its own because there are plenty of things to be said about the six movies. But for this entry, I'm just going to focus on the prequels.


Indeed, I am a huge Star Wars geek, although I'm not a purist by a long shot. Sure, there are things that George Lucas did to the franchise that I look upon with disdain. But remember this, people didn't go to see the prequels out of sheer curiosity alone. Disastrous as they were, there are things about it that weren't too bad.

Things like;

Saturday, October 22, 2011

5 Good Things From Otherwise Terrible Movies

After decades of being a movie enthusiast, we all have developed some sort of a sixth sense when it comes to movie we would or would not see, haven't we? I know I'm not special and I'm the same as any of you. For example, any movie with Uwe Boll's name on it should be avoided like a plague. And movies starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Jessica Parker are some of the most derivatives ever made.

Seriously, do you even need to go see it?
Also, movies by Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg are the worst to pay full price tickets for.

But all the same, we don't always know when we might walk into a bad movie, do we? The chances are always there. After all, clever editing and a good advertising campaign can always mask how good (or bad) a movie actually is. So what I got here are five movies I went into expecting to be entertained (except for one, guess which one it is) but they turned out to be such a borefest.

Still, I managed to find the silver lining in each one of them, hindering them from being a total waste of time and money.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Time and Money, You Can't Waste Either of Them

Movie Title: In Time
Release Date: October 27th, 2011 (Malaysia)
Director: Andrew Niccol
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy ♥, Olivia Wilde ♥, Alex Pettyfer


2011 has seen a fair share of movies with odd premises. We've had Sucker PunchCowboys & Aliens, and of course, Real Steel. I suppose Source Code can be considered weird also. Now, even when I'm being objective about it, I still find Sucker Punch to be pretty entertaining, although I understand that the audience was expected to fill in too many blanks, which didn't work out very well. I guess the movie was too ambitious for its own good.

As for the other two; Cowboys & Aliens (insert fart sound here) was a waste of good potential, while Real Steel and Source Code exceeded all of our expectations.

Coming soon is a movie called In Time, and it is set in a universe where time is used as currency, eliminating the use of paper money and credit cards. It will require a bit of a suspension of disbelief here the same way Rise of the Planet of the Apes required you to take the concept seriously enough to grasp the tone of the movie. Here, have a look at this extended trailer to see what I mean;

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Breakthrough Roles #8

I had a good laugh watching this. You know how I sometimes watch old movies and get surprised by the amount of familiar faces I see? Well, it must have happened to this other person and he or she compiled twenty-five of them, all in a three minute video. I've never seen most of the movies listed here, though.


I would have liked it better if they didn't name the actors as I would have liked to guess them myself.

P/S: Natalie Portman ♥, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jake Gyllenhaal were just too darn adorable!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Closer First Look at "Tintin"

The Adventures of Tintin [2011] will see release sometime next week, but unfortunately for us Malaysians, we're going to have to wait until November 10th. On the plus side however, the advertisement campaign for the movie include five short clips to further clue us in on what kind of an adventure we are in for.

I'm already convinced that it's going to feel like an Indiana Jones movie...
Owh yeah, for you 3D fans, this might actually be worth its extra admission price.

Theatrical Trailer for "Act of Valor" Looks Pretty Damn Good

Back in mid-June we heard about the movie that's going to make fans of First Person Shooter (FPS) games really happy. While I'm not one of them, the movie sure appeals to the action movie fanboy in me for reasons you will very well see now that the theatrical trailer is here!!

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer [2011]

Director: Brad Furman
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Philippe, William H. Macy
Genre:
Thriller/Drama
Rating: General
Excerpt: "
Everything worked, this is an engaging courtroom drama worthy of its star-studded cast..."

Synopsis

Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is a morally-ambiguous and a street smart lawyer with clients from all walks of life, ranging from small-time thugs to biker gangs. Things begin to get a little out of the norm when he is chosen by Louis Roulet (Ryan Philippe), the spoiled son of a successful real estate broker who is accused of brutally beating a prostitute. What appears to be a simple case that would bring him fame and fortune, Haller quickly finds himself spiralling down a whirlpool of deceit and danger, not just for himself but also those around him.

What to Expect
1. A thriller that will just draw you in
2. The plot twists to actually be plot twists
3. Well-acted and well-directed
4. To not feel its duration

What NOT to Expect
1. Matthew Mac McCono McConaughey to be his usual self
2. Overly-technical courtroom drama

Friday, October 14, 2011

Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" Might Be The First I'll See in 3D

Yeap, you read that right. I have yet to see a feature film in 3D because well, I just don't believe in it. It seems more like a gimmick than anything else.

I don't disown the technology, of course. I do see the potential, how it could bring a new dimension (no pun intended) to the storytelling the same way colours did. You see, a movie doesn't have to be in colour to be great (just watch any Akira Kurosawa or P.Ramlee movie), but a good film-making crew can use colours to enhance the movie watching experience.

Observe;

It's not in colour, but it's very artistic...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Real Steel [2011]

Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lily, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand
Genre: Science fiction/Drama/Sport
Rating: General
Excerpt: "
Despite the subject matter, Real Steel is anything but robotic..."

Synopsis

Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a down-on-his-luck former boxer whose livelihood has been taken over by machines. As jaded as he is, Charlie goes with the flow by participating in robot boxing as well, fighting in various small-time events. When news arrive of his ex-girlfriend's demise, Charlie is more than ready to give up custody of his eleven-year-old son, Max (Dakota Goyo) to his ex-girlfriend's sister, but then hatches a scheme to make money out of the deal by taking care of the boy while she goes on vacation with her wealthy husband. Little that Charlie know, he's about to get a lot more than what he bargained for.

What to Expect
1. Winning performance by Dakota Goyo
2. Exhilarating robot fights
3. Forgivable cliches
4. Many heartwarming as well as funny moments

What NOT to Expect
1. Transformers-like CGI masturbation
2. A winner by unanimous decision

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Theatrical Trailer for "The Avengers"


As you probably know by now, I am one of the few who's not all that excited to see this epic superhero mash-up movie. While I gave a nod of approval to the cast, I'm still unsure about the movie as a whole because I can't envision how it's going to turn out. Is it going to be anything like Fantastic Four [2005]? Or God forbid, end up being as atrocious as G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra [2009]? *shiver*

Good thing the theatrical trailer is here. I must say, I liked seeing Thor in action again, and Scarlett Johansson in that form-fitting catsuit is always a welcome sight. But I maintain that I will sit this one out unless I get myself some free tickets.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Theatrical Trailer


Release Date: January 5th, 2012 (Malaysia)
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Stellan Skarsgard, Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer

If you remember back in August, I made an entry about that superb teaser trailer for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I still watch that trailer every now and then, and I kept on wishing that they would still show it in cinemas so I can hear that remix of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song by Trent Reznor in all its THX surround sound glory. Did you get goosebumps too?

But understandably, as awestruck as people were, they begin asking questions like "So what the hell is the movie about?" to which I always respond with "Dude, it's a teaser trailer!" So if the question has been bugging you since the first time you've heard of this movie, here's the newly-released theatrical trailer. I'm not going to see it because... I'm trying to do something different, remember?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Steve Jobs the Movie (?)

You can't say you didn't see it coming. After all, they made a biopic of Mark Zuckerberg's career, and the dude is still young and we can't really be that sure that Facebook is going to stand the test of time. It sounds like a stretch at this moment, but bear in mind that there was a time when everybody thought MySpace, and later Friendster were the pinnacle of social networking.

But when you talk about Steve Jobs, he was alive to witness the effect he had on the world. From the very first Apple Macintosh computer, when he created the typeface we all use every damn day and take for granted, and that's just one of the many, many examples. Sure, with all of his contributions to this Information Age, it certainly warrants at least one motion picture. But to do it after he's gone, it feels more exploitative than anything.


But it's true. The movie is indeed in the works, and ironically it is being spearheaded by Sony.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

FIXI #7: Ngeri


Well, if there's anything I could say to summarise what Ngeri is all about, it would be that it embraces the spirit of a pulp novel. That didn't occur to me for a while as I am more inclined to really 'get into' stories that are very much character-driven. So I was missing the point half the time I was reading it. But even when I did get into it, I must say I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. Sure, Ngeri was quite a page-turner, I finished it in two sittings, one of which was on a bathroom break.

But for the most part it was only because I just wanted to get it over with.

Don't get me wrong, though. It's not all bad. It calls to mind Horror/Thriller movies like Saw [2004], which by the way was the only Saw movie worth watching, the rest took the thriller part out of the franchise and opted for the torture porn route instead. In fact, I think it may have been an inspiration since Malaysian-born director James Wan was mentioned by name in the novel. So if you're a fan, I think you're going to like Ngeri as well.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Doctor Octoroc's Interactive YouTube Games

This is the coolest thing I've seen since the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and See Mike Draw! Do you guys remember playing 8-bit and 16-bit RPG games?

You know, when the games used to look like this?
Even if you're not really a gamer, here's a little treat from some dude known only as Doctor Octoroc, a Philadelphia-based artist, designer, animator, musician and a classic video game enthusiast. In his website, you can find parodies on video games, television shows and of course, movies. Some of which I will share with you here.

Check out his interactive YouTube games, where you can actually decide the fate of the characters in the video. Just hover your cursor over the dialogue box when prompted to do so.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Who's Your Daddy, Superman? Russell Crowe!

As of right now, Zack Snyder is still officially directing the latest Superman movie simply called Man of Steel, slated for release in 2013. Frankly I'm glad because Zack Snyder has proven time and time again he has a good eye for visuals. Now, I know that his storytelling often leave a lot to be desired, but you can't deny that all of them had been nothing short of being an eye candy.

I mean, uh... You know... Visual spectacle.
Dude, stop it!
*ahem* So anyway, some time in August, they released a promotional image of the latest Man of Steel, Henry Cavill in the Superman suit. While it never crossed my mind that he could actually play Superman, I must say he didn't look out of place. That is, if that image was any indication of the tone and the overall feel of this latest incarnation of a Superman movie.

Hours ago, new images from the set surfaced and we finally caught a glimpse of my favourite actor, Russell Crowe in costume for his role as Superman's father, Jor-El. It goes without saying that I approve this casting decision without a moment's hesitation.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Warrior [2011]

Director: Gavin O'Connor
Cast: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison
Genre: Drama/Sports/Martial arts
Rating: General
Comment: "Generic title, generic trailer and a seemingly generic premise as well. Which makes it easy to be surprised by how well-rounded it actually is..."

Synopsis

Paddy Conlon (Nick Nolte) returns home one night to discover his estranged son, Tommy (Tom Hardy) sitting on his doorstep. Their reunion is anything but heartwarming, with Tommy eventually revealing to his father that the only reason for his return is to be trained by his father in preparation to enter Sparta, the biggest MMA event the world has ever seen. Meanwhile, Paddy's other son Brendan (Joel Edgerton) also has Sparta in his sights, seeing it as the last resort to earn enough money so he wouldn't have to give up the home he's living in along with his wife and two daughters.

What to Expect
1. A well-balanced mix between drama and sports
2. A treat for MMA fans
3. Strong performances from the lead actors
4. Some artistic license to be taken
5. A movie that actually understands MMA

What NOT to Expect
1. Over-the-top male machismo
2. A straightforward action movie
3. Gratuitous fighting
4. An altogether predictable movie

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FIXI #6: Amerika

I don't know if this book actually falls under the Buku FIXI banner, but since you can buy the book at FIXI booths and also her website, I'm just going to lump this review under the same category. So without further ado, here are my comments about AMERIKA, the latest novel by the author of Cekik, Ridhwan Saidi.


Alright, so I have previously said that Cekik happens to be my favourite out of all FIXI novels so far. It's pretty unorthodox as far as novels are concerned, unapologetic about its subject matter and it doesn't condescend to the readers. Well, in a true Ridhwan Saidi fashion, you can expect the same thing from Amerika. It's going to be batshit insane, and you're going to feel like you're on LSD by the end of it.

Alright, I'm exaggerating.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why, George Lucas, Why?!

I told you, I'm a geek as well as a nerd. If you don't know what's the difference between the two, congratulations! Because you are neither. But unlike most geeks and nerds, I don't feel the need to choose a side. For example, I never once got into an argument over which one is better; Star Wars or Star Trek. But it happens a lot, and whenever Trekkies take potshots at the Star Wars deity, George Lucas, I can't help but snigger because most of the time, they have some good points.

So you see, this article will show you how I went from admiring George Lucas to thinking that he became an old fart the very moment Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [1999] was released. It wasn't something I noticed right away, but throughout the years since, I got disturbed seeing how he had evolved into something I can only describe as a CGI Fetishist.

You can't see her, but George Lucas is staring down and jacking off to a CG stripper...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cartoon Characters & Their Real Life Counterparts (4 Photos)

"This is insanely adorable" aren't usually the combination of words one would use to talk about anything that involves a warthog, but how can you not think that when you look at this?


Hakuna Matata indeed. I wonder when us humans will learn how to really get along? Here's another pair of real-life cartoon lookalikes that I bet you'd recognise right away?

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