Mar 19, 2010 Reviews
It, the movie not capitalism, struck a chord with me.
But it does fail to shine light on the greener pastures, while castigating and largely brooding over the trample-over-the-weak-and-lets-ignore-them social aspect of it.
At first I shunned watching the movie, after a few of Michael Moore’s shockumentary failed to strike me where it matters, but this latest offering, It got me into a couple of ‘oh dear’ and ‘so des ne’ moments.
You know, moments where you discover that things aren’t what they really look like, even after you though you’ve done enough to read up on that subject?
Well that’s what Capitalism: A Love Story (or CALS) did to me, as it shed light on the lesser known background story of the recent economic turmoils in the USA, of which then spilled onto our parts of the world.
Okay, maybe right now you’re asking what does events there have to do here, and before you know it, things already (and have been for so long) reeks of Capitalism around here.
Now why does a company that is possibly nowhere near the reds in the accounts books would want to remove 1000 mouth-feeding, food-putting-on-table jobs, if it’s for the sake of manoevarability and being competitive?
And this despite forecasts of healthy growth in the next few years.
Let’s see here, more profit for company and spend less on wage, while overworking whoever is left on the team.
One word: Capitalism. Far from praying for the weak, it’s preying on the weak, but I don’t think I can show it any better than Michael Moore already has.
CALS a moving and it grows onto you, the viewer, as you slowly take it all in — unless you’re a capitalist yourself.
Sure, it may not even get close to being nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, but at the very least, it raises awareness and educates the uninformed.
I still think Capitalism has its benefits, but thanks to Michael Moore, a different view is sometimes required to see the whole picture.
Feb 25, 2010 Reviews
I took the liberty of pampering myself to a slew of movie watching, over the last weekend, which really have been long overdue ever since.. well ever since.. gee, I can’t really remember.
Just when was the last time I inserted a DVD into my DVD player and spend a good one to two hours just lying down on the bed and getting entertained??? No, not that kind of entertained, but anyways..
Fantastic Mr Fox was blueberry sweetly fantastic and reminded me of old school animation. It was rustic, sneaky and quite engaging actually, with plenty of epic soundtracks. It’s like a mixture of Quentin Tarantino + Jim Burton at the director’s helm and Lady Gaga + Yanni at the helm of its soundtracks. Good, clean fun, plus no animals were harmed in the making of the movie. I think.
The Book Of Eli, managed to drag me to the depths of boredom and beyond, in its first 30 minutes of opening sequence, and not until a raucous encounter with the main villain was there really anything cheerworthy of the film then. Denzel washington was too slick and refined to be casted as a ramshackled, lone vagabond. If not for his performance, The Book Of Eli would’ve totaly disappointed with its lacklustre settings, much-more-cliche dialogues than Avatar’s, and a pacing that makes Driving Miss Daisy look like a prequel to The Fast & The Furious. It didn’t tickle my tastebuds (even though I watched it till the end) but I suppose it’d appeal to anyone who’s more towards the pious side of this world.
Zombieland, it’s just scrumptious, yum yum. No, this isn’t a bias zombie movie review just because I loved the viral first person shooter game, Left 4 Dead. I can’t remember the older actresses’ name but I think she’s hot. Also, the chemistry shared among the 4 lead characters (Left 4 Dead had 4 lead players too~) lends itself to the movie’s good joy. At the end of the movie, it makes you wish that the world was overrun by zombies, just so you could grab anything and start whacking ’em all. You’d want to release all that pent up tension inside, right? It’s wacky, comedic, and it’s one of those shows that you’d wanna watch with your buddies, so everyone can get a good hearty LOLs.
The Blind Side, a contender in the upcoming Oscars race for Best Picture, alongside Avatar, was a good weekend filler too. Sandra Bullock was bullishly good and impeccably exciting to watch. There’s enough angst, love, joy, sorrow to twist and turn you around, and I’m not surprised that it deservingly got nominated so. I wonder if I’d had done the same thing if I was in her shoes, when she did what she did to change a young man’s life — but at the end of the showing, we’re revealed why she thrusts herself so and overall, it’s simply a very touching and emotive movie, with a couple of food for thoughts.
Damage, it starred ex-Wrestler, who goes by the moniker Stone Cold Steve Austin, back during his wrestling hey-days, and with plenty blood splashing about, punches thrown about and profanities flying around, it’s a movie for the weekend testosterone charged viewers. I liked that Austin was a man on the road to recovery, yet caught in a dilemma that he’d be doing both good and bad, no matter what path he chooses. Not something I’d watch again and again, but it’s entertaining nevertheless.
Informant, which I thought would be witty and downright outrageous, was sadly only utrageous at best. It was a forgettable performance from an actor that have done really great movies before, and I guess talk-talk drama isn’t really his thing. It felt as if the writers had tried to fill the plot with plenty of twists and turns that everything got twisted and turned around real bad. Where at first you kind of got the drift of the movie, I’m pretty much confident that you’ll lose everything and start wondering ‘wth had just happened?’ at the end. As much as I enjoyed witty, dialogue-filled movies, this one was quite a chore to go through.
Ponyo, however, was quite a joyous movie, although its overly goody-goody looks and story didn’t quite provide much antagonistic elements to it, much like watching an episode of Sesame Street, where you know everything’s going to be good, nice and all smiles. I do liked Ponyo, it had its moments, though I kind of question the part where the community of grandmas and the young boy and his mother went under the sea and breathed bubbles there. I know it’s a magical story, and some may get it, but I just don’t.
So I finally managed to watch Ponyo till the end this time, along with a host of other movies, and all these over the last week, and I must say that I’ve been impressed with The Blind Side tremendously.
It’s got that uplifting, feel-good aura about it, and watching it makes one feel… good. And uplifting.
Dec 29, 2009 Reviews
I’d like to think of Avatar as a necessary love story
It goes beyond the skin and soul, but it is not your typical love story. Hell it’s not even your typical war or sci-fi movie. I implore you to watch this with an empty cup (enough with the cup analogies already!) and you’ll be able to ‘fill’ much more than if you had weighted in preconceptions of the story as you walked into the theatre. Dances with what? Terminawhat? Matrixwhat? Pocahonwhat? Forget everything you’ve ever seen, because this is nothing like what you’ve ever seen — indeed it is nothin like what I’ve ever seen.
If you’re looking for an Avatar movie walkthrough, this is not it.
What it is though are my thoughts, my opinions, my interpretations or ‘Zahelu’ with Avatar. ‘Zahelu’, based on the movie, is Na’vi speak for connection or the bond that a Na’vi has with Pandora’s living, breathing beings. A Na’vi is the local alien/people of Pandora, one of the moons revolving around a giant planet about 6 light years away from earth. And I’m assuming that the spaceship our hero travelled on was moving at light speed, since we’re in the 22nd century already, or the year 2154 to be exact.
It seems that 2012 didn’t kill off our planet eh? Anyway…
A word of warning: Go to the toilet, then come back, switch off your handphones and lock your room. Don’t let anything distract you, as you indulge in this horrensdously and astoundingly yet unnecessarily long and eloquent movie review. Long only because it evoked a host of emotions, not just from me, but from the man who was watching in front of me, the lady sitting beside me, and for that matter the occupants of the theatre, where we witnessed a story like never before. No, sorry. The word ‘story’ didn’t felt quite right, as when compared to… an experience.
Indeed, Avatar is an experience, not just a story — so to all the ‘negative reviewers’ who nitpicked on the story as their main discontent before giving it a 2 out of 5 stars (Yeah just 2 stars. Pfft. What about the visuals? The score? The romance? The sorrow? The intricately choreographed battle sequences? You know~). Well they’re probably half right. Maybe there’s no story, because it has evolved into a rewarding and rich experience of visuals and emotions. It’s like sex, except you’re fully clothed and in a movie theatre with hundreds others, but before I digress, back to the movie review…
Watching Avatar is an experience that floats benignly as it steadily reels you into its immersive 3D world.
No doubt it’s a world that’s all made in the computer labs of New Zealand based Weta Digital (and also ILM too), and directed in the manifestation of James Cameron’s vision, but take nothing away from the realness, the lushness and the vigour of the visual orgy. This may just be the catalyst for directors and producers to begin 3D Camwhoring, I suppose, and about time too. The technology isn’t really ground-breaking, it’s been around for a long while, but needed a stimulus, and thanks to Avatar’s exploits, I suspect that it’ll be the norm these days. No longer do we need to secretly bring along our kids as an excuse to get into iMax theatres just to feel the rush of the leaves rustling in our face, catch the waves splashing carelessly or feel the image crashing down upon our seats.
The best part about Avatar’s visuals and storyline (yes yes yes, okay there is a storyline. Bite me.) is that it gently ambles along with you, instead of the shock and awe tactics employed by most CGI heavy films of recent years, where they throw everything into the first 20minutes just to impress you and then you’re left wanting as the rest of the effect either didn’t matched its entree. Thankfully, Avatar deviated from that and instead it eases you bit by bit, hooking you deeper and deeper and then unknowingly you’re begging for more.
Firstly and subtly entering the clouds, revealing a little bit of the world.
Then the pace picks up across the purple dirt and luminous green, blue and purple plants, before teasing you within the canopies and branches of Pandora. Along the way it smacks your mind numb with the visually playful plants and critters, awesomely rolling mountains and sea, and perilously provocative animals and landscape. The first viewing of the inviting floating mountains and its evaporating waterfalls with vibrant giant grasses bowing in the misty wind, I’m sure that most of us were left gaping in awe (I know I did) while we marvelled at the very spectacle laid nonchalantly in front of our eyes. In the words of Trudy (one of the good guys in this story and the Pilot for Dr Grace’s team) “you should have seen your faces” would succinctly describe it. This is truly what 3D was made for.
The trees’ bark looked like it’ll obligingly give you splinters and broken bones if you dared climb them. The glowing flowers and luminescant vines and forest floor keeps you company where night falls, along with the exquisitely designed creatures of the forest, both big and small, everything is delicately and intricately detailed. Every little detail is crafted to perform in sync. heightening your sense of the world. You wonder if this is really made up or a secret, guarded location that lies somewhere between New Zealand and Hawaii.
The walking, breathing creatures definitely impresses, like the giant cats and their giant cubs and the spiralling ‘glowfly-lizard’. And then tehre is the Toruk (Na’vi calls them Toruk, which means Last Shadow), probably the biggest Banshee (dragon+lizard+bird???) in the sky. Banshees have tight, glossy skin-like textures that is so supreme, that it’ll put the Pradas’ and the Coaches’ leather based products to cower from their shelves in shame. Their eyes glint and dart about, just as lively as the eyes of the indigenous Na’vi people, and like Jake’s Avatar too.
An Avatar, is an alien body that’s remotely controlled via the concious minds of a driver.
They are grown from DNAs of the Na’vi people, mixed with human’s. These blue, athletic, elongated bodies of the Navi poeple with cat-like facial features live harmoniously and appreciatively with everything else (except with the aliens of their land, known as skypeople or should I say humans?). I won’t go deep into the plot, as there are plenty of spoilers already but I acknowledge that I simply can’t remember the last time that CG expressions felt this real and this evoking. Sure there were a couple of scense when the eyes’ expressions appeared jaded, but for most part of the movie, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re real life actors, which you’re seeing falling in love, getting torn apart before reverting back to the gravity of romance. The love story that develops between Jake and Neytiri is compelling, heartfelt, tragic, triumphant and most importantly of all, it felt real.
Motion capture may blur and bring about deliberations about what defines acting and actors, but to watch a show like Avatar, you’re not there to witness an Oscar winning performance for best actor/actresses, and we leave that for certain reviewers who feel such requirements should be instilled within every movie made, for it to be considered a good movie. Oh these skxwangs. Avatar is not even close to being a good movie. It’s a great movie. It’s an epic experience. Gunfires and explosions, checked. Betrayal and zealotry, checked. Romance and sadness, checked. Stunning photorealistic landscape and a cool, hip new alien language that you can actually learn, checked. Characters and dialogues serves their purpose that is to allow the movie to progress and they’re not at all bad. Some may consider it cliche and trite, but how else would one say it in a movie that’s grand and epic? I sure wouldn’t want to hear any of them speak street, or would you?
The connection, that is the Hometree.
Appropriately, a strong, firm-yet-heavy voice narrates (supposedly of Jake’s in his final video log for this project) and carry us deeper into the story as well as getting us connected with the Na’vi people’s religion and their ‘zahelu’ (connection/bond) with Eywa. There is a sense of purity, contentment and boundless love that the Na’vi people have for their land. Who needs beastly walking machines, or expensive lab stuffs when bows and arrows suffice? There are clans and tribes among the Na’vi people and the Omaticaya clan just happened to be sitting, sleeping and playing atop the mining corporations’ biggest spoil of Unobtainium. Yep, let’s not go there, Unobtanium, heh.
There’s definitely a distinct alien culture instilled within the 3D space of the silver screen and James Cameron have done enough convincing that Pandora is a living, breathing world. If you’re still not yet convinced as we approach the climax of the movie, the unbelievably beautifully choreographed battle scenes, and you did not felt anything when the Na’vi people’s loss accumulated to the point of hopelessness and utmost desperation, then I suppose this movie is certainly not for you. Make no mistake, this is a movie that’s the master of all Jacks of all trades. Yeah, woah.
Men in mechs yet again?
Though my first gripe, as the movie ended, is that there could have been more scenes to satisfy my lust for the Na’vi culture, but ultimately there’s enough to fulfil and satisfy for the experience, and thankfully an acceptable reel time to sit through. Though the movie is a whopping 2.5 hours of unorthodox bladder control, it certainly never felt long. Like the raindrops bouncing off the leaves, weariness bounced off as well. Pandora managed to immerse itself completely and is sensory and emotively overpowering.
Indeed I couldn’t recall any scenes that were particularly draggy or lines that didn’t deserve to be said. Every new moment, every new location and every piece of action is refreshing and in turns leads us to the next chapter. Where cause and consequences happen logically (in the context of this movie), it makes it all the more believable. Respite and breathing rooms for the mind to ease off the continuous action scenes are decently enough, as the pace slows down a notch for us to soak in all the experience, allowing us to contemplate what comes next, but only before it bursts forward into a gear, higher than before.
The battle scene is gripping, intense and might even hurt you.
The battle scene, it’s just.. wow. I’ll save you the adrenalin rush, and instead implore you to experience it for yourself, and if there’s one battle scene moment where my empathy peaked, it was when Neytiri courted death with her bow and arrow, against men and machines, and at that point in time, just as Jake desperately begged her to retreat (which she didn’t, like would you if someone comes into your home and destroyed everything that you’ve ever loved?), my subconscious mind was crying for her to stand down too. But in the end… well… I think I better not divulge any further. Cue invitation for this one heck of an experience. Arguably the best CGI battle scene I’ve ever been through.
Really, I could go on forever on its details and every aspect of the movie, and I’m sure I’ve left a few stones untouched (like Colonel Miles, Pilot Trudy, Scientist Norm, the Chief, his wife and so on) but that’s where other reviewers will do their vocation justice. They get paid to do it, I don’t. so here’s my review, bon apetite.
As I summarise my take on Avatar, there’s one thing that I am sure of, and that which is regardless of what kind of review you’re reading, you are so going to watch it for yourselves anyway. I hesitate to give Avatar an overly biased rating, simply because it’s still lingering flawlessly perfect in my head. You’ve really got to experience it for yourself to judge it, and whatever your belief may be, and as mentioned earlier, empty your mind and preconceptions and get ready for one hell-of-a pompous, oppulent, succulent, incredible and ‘extremely-rich-experience-like-never-before’ ride. And I bet you’ll never look back.
I see you; Ohe menari negeng.
And if Avatar doesn’t snag the best picture at the upcoming Oscars, then a sci-fi, effects laden film will probably never will. Oh, just perhaps an Avatar 2 might… just might.
Wow what a review. I’ve never reviewed anything like this before, but this is a movie not like anything I’ve ever watched experienced before. Anyway, thanks to the internet, these pictures became possible. Credits to whomever these pictures belong to. Sorry, I forgot your names, but thanks!
Dec 26, 2009 Reviews
Visually jaw-dropping, perceptively awe-inspiring, emotionally eyes-welling, audibly sensory-overpowering, imploringly soul-searching, grippingly heart-thumping, unbelievably mind-blowing, deceptively jauntily-paced, aptly breathe-taking, arrestingly adrenalin-filled, and empathetically character driven, Avatar 3D, the movie is in immense and critical danger of being deprived of superlatives for its reviews — that Oxford may be forced to reinvent new words simply because we’re running out of them.
Of course, every movie-goer is entitled to their own opinions and reviews, but what annoys me most are preemptive opinions by those who’ve yet to watch the movie.
Watch the movie with an empty cup and you’ll find it’ll overflow continuously as you walk out of the cinema.
And my judgement after my first (of many) visit to Pandora, is that even if it is not nearly flawless, not nearly perfect, not nearly the most beautiful movie ever made, but as judgement goes for the sake of judgement’s family, it is THE movie where flawless, perfect and most beautiful will be spoken of quite commonly within the same sentence — so here’s the review (in red, bold text so you wouldn’t miss it at all):
Avatar (3D), the movie, is definitely the most beautifully perfect, flawlessly beautiful and perfectly flawless blockbuster for me, ever.
There you go, all three superlatives intertwined in one sentence, and just my 2cents worth of judgement. No, not yours and not others’. So here’s a toast to what is probably the shortest Avatar (3D) movie review ever, but only because I’m still preparing the ‘Probably the longest Avatar (3D), the movie review ever’ post.
I certainly wished I need not get up from my seat — I wanted to continue my journey into Pandora, but as for you, I suppose that it is time to wake up.
Dec 7, 2009 Reviews
This was the general movie reviewers’ consensus for The Twilight Saga’s second installment, which may satisfy hardcore fans of the series, but outsiders are likely to be turned off by its slow pace, relentlessly downcast tone, and excessive length.
But I’ll respect a movie and honour its crafts and terribly bad acting and occasional poor dialogues plots and immerse myself within Chris Weitz rendition here, and thanks to my surrogate sisters, I got treated to a movie for once — thanks Dil n Na!
This time round, the directing feels fantasy-like, and the storytelling is much clearer (although protracted and eloquent) but brighter than the mundane first episode.
There are also plenty of questionable moments littered around the plot and its characters, and one big question that I possess after watching the movie is ‘Don’t they have responsibilities, like exams?’
Also, in continuation from Twilight, Bella’s continued lack of emotional attachment is a big turn off, like when she scoots away or left Jacob just like that, and at least in Twilight she left her dad to ‘save’ him from the whole situation.
New Moon would’ve been much more compelling had Bella learned to shed a tear or two, but as it turns out, she’s the weaklink in the Twilight Saga.
Edward and gang, this time round solid as ever, Jacob and his pack, stout and very renegade while friends and family members added occasional respite within the movie’s tight corners.
It’s not a terrible movie, but it certainly did not live up to its mega hype surrounding its launch, which largely made it into an esoteric movie with groupies that consists largely or either screaming or squealing girls.
Case in point: and quite possibly a cinema-going turn off, when the girls squeal whenever Jacob bares his body to the camera, and just too bad that Edward didn’t get any squeals whenever his shirt goes off.
I guess I know now what to classify this Twilight Saga as, and as much as I’d like to think otherwise, I suppose that it is more of a porno flick for chicks, if you look at it from an action movie loving perspective.
While I wasn’t terribly impressed by the movie, I wasn’t utterly gutted or disappointed either.
Fact is, I was entertained and to diss it totally is an unfair judgement.
I could have probably waited for the DVD, if not for the movie treat, but if I had to award some sort of points, New Moon gets a 6.5 out of 10 from me.
So basically, Girl likes Vampire guy, who left, and Girl rebounds with Werewolf guy, who save girl from bad Vampires.
Girl sadly ignores Wolfguy’s sacrifices and immediately leaves him when Vampire guy makes a comeback.
Then Werewof guy not very happy and threatens Vampire guy. The end.