Friday, December 31, 2010

Black Swan - A Review

Dark. Intense. Thrilling.
Oscar winning material.

The movie is based on a very simple story. Mental disorder. Of a ballerina. Competitive, tense, stressed. Perfection.

The acting was superb. Natalie Portman was beautiful in this movie. She was aspired, scared, fierce, jealous, paranoid, confident, freaked, and all sorts of other emotions. How can so many feelings be trapped in such fragile small body? Simply amazing!

And I have to praise Natalie Portman's effort for training in ballet just so she can act convincingly in this movie. Professionalism at its best!

And there were tonnes of sexual scenes. Masturbation, whoring, lesbian sex, etc. And it was filmed rather blatantly. Surprisingly blatant for a film I thought would be artistic!

The cinematography was brilliant, capturing the essence of the White Swan and the Black Swan amidst her mental disorder. The soundtrack went perfectly with everything else.

And I applaud director Darren Aronofsky, for picking a simple topic with a simple plot, and then turned it into something so exquisite! And for pushing the boundaries between the two very talented actresses, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis.

I would love to see how this movie fares in the major awards.

Ratings : 7.0/10

The Tourist - A Review

Johnny Depp... A spy?

Almost surprising.

Angelina Jolie... A spy?

No doubt.

A spy whose only mission is to dress elegant and look pretty?


The Tourist is suppose to be a spy thriller movie. But it didn't deliver. In fact, the whole movie seemed like one hell of a slow romance movie, with a little action here and there. Just when you see a little action going on, and you began to hope for more, then the hero kissed the heroine, and next scene. Disappointing.

Johnny Depp's best role is Capt. Jack Sparrow. True.
I can so see traces of Jack Sparrow here. Alexander Pearce was so badly portrayed. I feel like this mysterious character had so much space to develop. Instead, Johnny Depp took Alexander Pearce and made him the modern day casanova Jack Sparrow.

After the near-disastrous Salt, I thought I would see this movie to give Angelina Jolie a chance to redeem herself. But I was utterly disappointed. There wasn't much to the acting, nor the action.

The whole plot made no sense. It tried to be cleaver. But alas, I saw through everything before it even happened. No surprises at all.

The only praise I have for the movie is cinematography. No, the chase scenes were shitty. But at times, I felt like the film advertise Venice's elite society's lavish lifestyle. Nicely filmed.

Ratings : 4.5/10

Eat Pray Love - A Review

Based on the novel of the same name, Eat Pray Love was said to be a typical Hallmark movie with gut- warming messages and food for thoughts after the movie.

Indeed, this movie is very meaningful.

I have not read the original novel. So I am not going to comment on the plot or the storyline, though I personally feels that nothing happens with such coincidence.

This movie is one hell of a tourism advertising film that lasted more than 2 hours!

Cinematography, full marks!!

And Julia Roberts is such a joy to watch! Her smile, though not stranger to anyone, brings the sunshine out of anyone!

So, Eat Pray Love focuses in three very important phase of our lives, and three must- visit sites on Earth!

Eat all you can in Italy. And I really love the concept of "Joy of Doing Nothing"

Pray in India. Not finding God, but more like finding yourself, self-acceptance, and self-forgiveness.

Love in Bali. Yes, everyone needs a love affair in Bali! To love is to lose control. Blah blah blah. You get the drift...

I feel that the movie delivers the message with such beauty and irony. Don't know if the book is better, but the movie is strong. Slow pace at times. But if you open up your mind and try to understand what is really going on, I think this is one enjoyable movie!

So see you later, alligator =)
Ratings : 7.5/10

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Easy A : A Review

Thought it was a dumb movie. And it was only 1 hour 30 minutes.

But it was kinda of fun. Besides all the dumb fart jokes and sexual hints everywhere. This movie is actually enjoyable.

Maybe because nobody takes a movie about a high school virgin who lies about losing her virginity to a college guy and the news spread like wildfire which gives us this production too seriously.

I love the movie for 3 very simple reasons.

1. Emma Stone is AWESOME!
Seriously, before this, she is practically unheard of. Then there she goes, playing the slutty virgin to such perfection! Her acting is so convincing! Not to mention she is kinda HOT. (I have this tiny little lesbian crush on red heads) I personally think that she took an ordinary role and totally blew it out of proportion with her brilliant acting. Her emotions are so real like I can really see it in her eyes!

2. Love the spoofs and reference to classics
The entire movie is based on "Scarlet Letter" where adultery and shame is the main theme but with such added humour! Plus, there are references on classics and popular culture like Mark Twain, Romeo & Juliet, Gossip Girl on Sweet Valley in Travelling Pants. Kinda make me feel so related to Olive Panderghast.

3. Love the bits of bitterness amidst all the humour.
The movie highlights teen issues such as sex before marriage, religion extremists, homosexuals, fat people, glorious slut, stereotype, not to mention GOSSIP that spreads like wildfire. What started out as perfectly innocent became something so bad. However, I do think that some of the issues are presented in a not-so-funny "humour" but I do credit this movie for trying.

My favourite scenes are definitely the scene where Olive and Brandon fake sex. Grunts and yells and the "big finale". Literally had me laughing like a crazy girl! But scenes where Olive was totally devastated and Todd came to rescue were super touching!

Overall, my amazement and admiration for the movie came from me not expecting such teen chic flick to contain such amazing talents like Emma Stone and presentation of serious issues with such humorous delivery.

But what the hell happen to Amanda Bynes?

Ratings : 6.5/10

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tangled - A Review

A breathe of fresh air into a long time children's fairy tale, Rapunzel.

But, Tangled simply lacks the wow factor.

Enjoyable, yes.
Hilarious, quite.
Amazing. Sadly, no. I have seen the same things done better in other animations.

Tangled is centered around young Rapunzel, the bandit Flynn Rider, Pascal the chameleon/lizard/frog, and Maximus the horse.

The story is more or less the same with the original Grimm Brothers version except that Rapunzel was born a princess from a Queen who ate some magical flowers instead of a Peasant's daughter who steals Dame Gothel's lettuce. The ending of the story is as expected, happily ever after ending.

However, I have to praise Disney for paying homage to the origin of the story Rapunzel despite changing so many details in the story. Mother Gothel, which means "protective parent" in German, was really portrayed as a protective parent despite her ulterior motives instead of being an evil witch. Flynn Riders's real name is also of German heritage.

Back to the story. Tangled, despite being a children's movie, has a certain degree of maturity. It deals with teen rebellion, romance, sacrifice, dreams and so on. Yes, from the naive point of view.

The several light hearted moments are hardly memorable but I really like the two animals, Pascal and Maximus. They are so funnily cute! And Maximus has me thinking the whole time, what kind of doggy horse is that?

However, it is a little disappointing to see so many similarities between Shrek and Tangled. Rapunzel is the younger Princess Fiona, Flynn Rider is the handsomer Shrek, Pascal is the smaller Puss in Boots and Maximus is the dumber version of Donkey. Even the Ducklings bandit is like the supporting fairy tales characters from Shrek!

On the technical side, I think this one is a rather good improvement from the animation team. Love the scenes where the dam broke and where Rapunzel and Flynn watched the lanterns. It was so real and so believable!

And I think Flynn is kinda handsome, in a Zachary Levi way =)

Ratings : 6.5/10.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 - A Review

I shall do this one short.

Why Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Suck.

1. The plot is so known there is practically no surprises. Yes, I read the book. More than once. And I find that the movie does the book no justice. David Yates is one old man that is seriously lack of imagination.

2. The trio sucks. Yes I know, they are forever best friend. But dude, we all know that Harry and Hermione will end up no where, so save some screen time for something more useful please. And there are so many back story to run but the movie has to focus on boring things like the 3 of them finding one Horcrux.

3. The acting sucks. Seriously, after so many years of playing these characters, you'd expect something more. But Daniel Radcliffe is still stone-faced. Rupert Grint is still very awkward. And the only thing I pay attention to Emma Watson is her clothes. Seriously, you are on a run but you wear stuff so fashionable that you can walk the runway.

4. The supporting casts are so much stronger than the main casts. The only performances I look forward to and enjoyed them thoroughly was Ralph Finnes' well-potrayed Lord Voldemort and Helena Bonham Carter's eccentric Bellatrix Lestrange. And Bathilda Bagshot/Nagini is very well done too. I mean, she is freaky!

5. The only thing that interest me is the animation for the tales of the Deathly Hallows. Yes. Only thing. This is a franchise and the ONLY thing that interest me is 3 minutes of faceless shadows telling a short story.

6. This movie is not friendly to audiences who didn't read the book. Whatever you want to say, but the pacing is all wrong. David Yates stayed true to the book. Yes. To the boring parts. The interesting parts are all forgotten and left out. I read the book thus I can still find my way through the parts of the movie and understood why they do certain things. But I find myself answering questions and explaining things to people who didn't watch the movie. Which eventually suck the fun out of it for me.

7. Daniel Radcliffe is so bad at acting he has to depends on taking off his shirt to appeal to the audiences.

Now, let's get to the pointless ratings.

Ratings : 3.0/10. I have seen worst book adaptation but this movie is seriously mundane. Like dead mundane.

3 Idiots - A Review

This is the first time I watched a Hindu movie from start to finish.

This is the most meaningful movie I've watched all year.

This is the story of 3 engineering students studying in Imperial College, one of the top engineering college in India. Farhan wanted to be a wildlife photographer but he studied engineering to fulfill his father's wishes. Raju wanted to be an engineer purely because he wanted to uplift his family fortunes. Rancho, on the other hand, is truly interested in engineering.

This movie is 3 hours long so I do not want to bore anyone with the full synopsis. But I seriously think that every student and teacher should watch this movie.

This movie highlighted the Asian education mentality in perfect tone. How Asians generally think that getting good results will secure a good job thus gurantee a good life. This movie perfectly highlight the "kiasu-ness", dog-eat-dog world and the endless rat race in the education system where universities are mass producing students who study for exams and grades instead of the pure joy of knowledge.

Yes. Studying. Instead of learning.

Besides, 3 Idiots also included deeper issues like family, love and passion. There was one line in the movie that leaves a mark in me. When Raju's father was hospitalised and they all have exams on the next day, Rancho said to him,"There are countless exams coming but we only have one father in our lives." (I read the translated subtitles so I don't know how accurate it depicts the Hindi)

I was gobsmacked by this sentence. How many times we get angry at our loved ones because we are stressed by exams? How many parents forced their children into studying something the parents want but not the child? How many peers has forced a desperate student into suicide? How many times the education system drives one up the wall that in the end, someone gets hurt?

When Raju survived his suicide due to stress and attended his job interview, I was touched. He actually rejected a job offer because the company wants him to renounce his newfound attitude to work for them. Raju said, "I broke 16 ribs and almost killed myself to gain this attitude of honesty. I am not giving it up for money. Please take back your job offer."

Of course, all of these are presented in a much gentler way that prompt audiences to think long and hard. And the comical moments in it is priceless! I cannot forget how Rancho mock the teachers with unorthodox and creative answers over mundane topics. I also love the potrayal of Silencer that nicely contrast students who study for interest and students who are machines.

This is a movie not to be missed.

Ratings : 9.0/10


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