Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kami Histeria [2014]

Director: Shamyl Othman
Writer: Rafidah Abdullah
Starring: Sara Ali, Mila Jirin, Diana Danielle, Umie Omar, Nad Zainal, Nur Fazura, Izzue Islam, Afdlin Shauki
Genre: Comedy
Rating: General
Verdict: "If you're going to watch just one movie this coming month - local or international - make it Kami Histeria..."

The end of the semester break also marks the reemergence of Histeria, a rock band fronted by Laila (Diana Danielle), featuring Bad (Sara Ali), Peanut (Nad Zainal), Jojo (Umie Omar) and Airin (Mila Jirin). Due to financial reasons, the ladies move to a run-down flat in a secluded neighbourhood, where they achieve their greatest success as a band with the help of... something. But when it's time to pay the piper, will they be able to?

What to Expect
1. Ninety minutes of fun
2. Kickass soundtrack by LoQue
3. Crafty visuals
4. High production value
5. A refreshing take on horror tropes
6. Lovable characters & memorable performances

What NOT to Expect
1. Ghostbuster Imam or bomoh
2. For it all to be a dream
Best film to start off your 2014 with

Friday, January 17, 2014

Jonny Gossamer Thrillers: From the Film "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" [2005]

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang [2005] is one of those films that kind of fell through the cracks, which is too bad because I had plenty of laughs watching it. It's pretty unique in the sense that it's a funny noir film, you should really check it out. But before that, a little background info on the film;

Written and directed by one of my heroes: Shane Black, probably best known here for having directed (and also co-written) Iron Man 3 [2013], but his screen credits goes as far back as 1987, mostly as screenwriter. Even if you've never heard of the guy, you have seen or at least heard about his other works - Lethal Weapon [1987], The Last Boy Scout [1991] and The Long Kiss Goodnight [1996].

You might also remember him from Predator [1987], an all-time favourite movie of mine...
What makes the film so special, as with any screenplays penned by Black, is his brand of humour. This blogger says it best, "One of the things I enjoy so much about Shane Black's screenplays is that his love of reading - especially his interest in mysteries and pulp paperbacks - always manages to cut through the gunfire, explosions and wall-to-wall wisecracks, and it's what ultimately makes his work so distinctive."

The look of the film is spectacular, especially the art direction; one of the things that keep me re-watching it. I won't even try to capture it in words, but I do want to feature one aspect of it, which is a series of fake Jonny Gossamer pulp novels that serves as an important piece of the plot. Like him, I too have a huge love for reading, and my first love had always been the arts.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Where Do We Go Now: From a Writer's Perspective (or, 5 More Ways to Improve Local Cinema)

Another year, another string of losses. I am, of course, talking about local films that saw release throughout 2013. I don't know, man. I mean, I talk a lot of smack about the quality of our films, but I don't revel in their failure. Not all of 'em, at least.

It doesn't seem like we'd be off to a good start for 2014 either, with movies like Rumah Sewa RM50 leading the way, which I'm sure will tank at the box-office. I mean, just look at it. Everything about it just screams of incompetence; the poster, the translation (might I suggest, "You wouldn't last a single night"?), the aspect ratio of that trailer on YouTube, and how I couldn't feel a damn thing watching it - granted, in part due to how desensitised I've become with horror flicks, especially local ones.

Going back to the subject at hand, 2013 wasn't altogether a bad year for local movies. There's KIL, for instance. Calling it a game-changer might be overstating it, but you can't deny it caused quite a ripple and got people talking about how much of a difference real talent can do to a movie. And it's good to see that it's being acknowledged for it.

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