The Dark Knight Rises: Brief Movie Review by Mar.

IMHO, it just didn’t live up to its hype, and the best scenes of the movie, unfortunately for itself, was the final 15 minutes of its running time, where closure and affability was in generous abundance to its characters.

IMHO, the masked villain and the masked vigilante just didn’t really synergised, perhaps due to both taking on a rather earful slur/slang whenever they spoke, where amusing enough to note was that Bane only had his mouth and nose covered, while Batman’s wasn’t.

IMHO, the movie’s script tried to rush itself in the beginning 30 minutes before settling down into a nice pace in the middle, after which its multiple plots evolved much too quickly for plot cohesion to gain traction, making it seem as if Nolan was trying to cram too much with too little time towards the ending, resulting in a hash-mash of a cliche superhero-comic ending.

IMHO, the brooding, serious and humbling tones of Batman Begins (BB) and The Dark Knight (TDK) was never matched, where I could have easily mistakened The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) to have fallen into the hands of a Michael Bay wanna-be instead — no disrespect to the affable and magical Christopher Nolan, mind you.

IMHO, TDKR could probably have benefited from making it into a 2-part series — the first part being the telling of Bane’s ascension, while the second part being Batman’s, but of course, I’m merely digressing and 2-cents opining.

IMHO, TDKR won’t likely be a classic for most like how Nolan’s previous projects were, but it’s still endowed with plenty of thrill and fill to entertain the masses.

IMHO, I just wished TDKR had spent a tad more screen time to make me love it a little bit more.

The Muppets, Shaw @ Lot 1.

I’ll have to admit that I was certainly expecting a far more mesmerising movie, but for what The Muppets had to offer, i was nostalgically, pleasingly and wholly entertained.

I’m certainly glad that I didn’t give it a pass. Cue, wide, beaming smile.

muppet_show_cast.jpg
The original Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show

I have to admit that The Muppet Show, or TMS, was not at all on my radar and I only chanced upon it while browsing for reviews of Breaking Dawn, the ‘in’ movie right now — why, everybody loves sultry vampires, shirtless-werewolves and a-teen-angsted-girl-that-can’t-wait-to-get-it right?

Apprently, after reading enough reviews of Breaking Dawn: Part 1, it dawned on me that there’s only 2 things worth noting of that movie.

1) That ‘wedding ceremony dream’ and 2) the ‘bella and baby birthing’ scenes. Ok, next!

And then there was The Muppets, a show that I’ve never really loved nor went all out to catch an episode of, but somehow reading its reviews won and warmed every bits and pieces of my heart, of which Breaking Dawn’s reviews managed to tear, crush and disappoint succesfully,

Here’s a disclaimer though: Unless you are an animated character yourself, The Muppets will probably bore you halfway into show, but if you’ve always had that little kid in you lying dormant for a very long time, then there’s no better movie to let it out to than this.

Like I mentioned earlier, it’s a nostalgically, pleasing show that puts you in a world where the only line drawn between Man and Muppets are… oh, there’s no line!

For goodness’ sake, it’s The Muppets!

The movie is musically pompous, and comically graphic, but take nothing away from its ability to reel you emotionally into their world, a world which is in danger of being wiped away due to Kermit’s initial act of passing over the Muppets Studios’ deeds to an oil baron, in hopes of better care, and as we all know too soon, it’s all but a scam!

That’s where Walters, our main lovable star comes in, and I must say how spot on the guys at Disney were in building up his character from the start, as it’s hard to not empathise for Walters as he watch his brother, Gary, grows up.

While all the growing up happens, all of a sudden you’re whisked into the magical and maddening, earnest and endearing world of the Muppets, as they seek once more to preserve themselves, and as much as I’d like to say how much of a cliche this movie is, it all somehow feels warm and fuzzy, and everything is good.

As The Muppets climaxed and went for it’s closing moments, I felt a tingling sensation at the back of my tear glands, where I’d sum up the feeling as if I was transported back into the 80’s, where watching hand-driven puppets were as convincing as today’s 3D graphics.

Indeed if you were to ask I’d retort with ‘who needs 3D’ when you’ve the Muppets?

Indeed, all those high star ratings for The Muppets have been wholesomely deserved, and as for Breaking Dawn, oh well, I think that I’ll still pass!

And now, if only I can get one of them ‘travel-by-map’ button…

^_^___-_- Is how this Harry Potter movie would have looked like on a linear excite-scale-o-meter.

Peaks towards the beginning and somehow levels out towards the end.

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I will repeat this later on when I say that it wasn’t awesomely inspiring and nor was it tremendously mind-blowing or grippingly enchanting.

No, not Harry Potter & The Insipidly Photos, but rather Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows.

Neither was it a delectable sensory treat, one which would make you savour its beauty again and again, unlike its much heralded predecessors whereby there seems to be danger lurking behind each corner and a twist waiting to be unravelled for a startling revelation.

Instead what you’ll get is an introduction to Voldemort’s reign of power for the next installment, and which is also the final release in the series, of Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows.

Yes, if you were aware of my box office misadventure yesterday, where I met up with a movie theatre that was under renovation at Shaw Lido, today I made good after calling up Shaw’s customer service and requested if they would ever be so kind to let me switch yesterday’s tickets for today’s showing.

Yep, same time, same place but a different day, and thanks to a lady named Penny, who works with Shaw, I managed to catch the final blockbuster of my 2010 at NEX, the spankling uber new mall, supposedly the biggest mall in the North Eastern part of Singapore.

It’s huge and magnificient indeed,  saturated with excitement and bubbling with enthusiasm, and in case you’re wondering, yes I’m still describing the mall and not the movie.

Ok back to the movie.

Perhaps my anxious expectations wasn’t fully met cos the pacing of the movie seemed lethargic, while the action scenes felt contrived and forcefully slotted into the plot in a vain attempt to prevent us viewers from falling under the sleeping curse.

I find that the opening 10 minutes of a movie is almost always the most important moments of any movie, as it sows the vital seeds of any plot, at the same time setting the premise and purpose of the movie itself, and as much as I understand and finds it heartful that our three lovelies (Harry, Ron and Hermione) are made to suffer an altruistic ‘sacrifice’, I don’t think newcomers to the series would understand much, but it’s a scene that I won’t go any deeper than I already have.

It’s just not that engaging enough, i thought to myself as the next integral scene brings us right into some early broomchase action sequences, which ended with one of Ron’s twin brother with a.. wait a minute, I’m not gonna spoil it for ya! Pfft!

So whatever it was, I’d have to say that the opening 10 minutes weren’t as ‘complete’ as it should be and somehow this ‘incompleteness’ seems to be carried forward throughout the movie.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad movie, per se, because it’ll entertain you still, but you somehow get the feeling that this edition is lacking something, like as if you’re watching Muhammad Ali float mesmerisingly in a boxing ring and that infamous ‘sting like a bee’ is nowhere to be seen.

Where we’ve previously been treated with the fight on giant chessboard against giant snakes, battles of life and death against life-sucking dementors, a race against death in a corrupted competition, as well as that memorable battle against Voldermort at the Ministry of Magic, now we’re being discounted with a quick deli-food dight, a skirmish against a polyjuiced (?) python, a footrace against some Snatchers and an escape from captivity by a freelance house-elf that happened to be around, just because.

So it’s kind of a different angle that’s being played by David Yates (Director for the 3rd time), where the focus this time around is on the drama and saga surrounding our three lovelies (H, R & H), and their intricacies and intimacies, but I just wished that there was more screen time for development elsewhere.

Granted, I’ve yet to read the book till this episode, so I might not know that much about the whole storyline.

As I yearn to find out so much more and this without reading tons of pages, I guess I’ll have to somehow try to build up another batch of anxiety and enthusiasm for the final chapter of the series, part 2 f Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, when it comes around.

So did I like the movie?

Of course, and I enjoyed it as well, but without a climax, nor anything that resembles a tenseful build up towards a climax, it does feel incomplete.

And as promised earlier I repeat again, that it wasn’t awesomely inspiring and nor was it tremendously mind-blowing or grippingly enchanting, but I guess it’s a good enough introduction.

And here’s to hoping that Hermione is as sexyummilicious as ever I get my ticketing thingy right and proper, the next time round

3 more days till 1st Jan, but HAPPY NEW YEAR PEOPLE!

She’s Out Of My League – Humourous, Charming, Cute, Ordinary and Honest.

Yikes, another cheesy, hollywood-formulated romcom (romance+comedy) eh?

She's Out Of My League

Pretty girl, a 10/10 there on your left (Alice Eve), falls for geek, a 5 there if you’re able to find him in the pic (Jay Baruchel), while getting over her ex-pilot and successful boyfriend (which you’re probably wondering how he looks like~) — like who’d ever wanna dump a boyfriend who’s a pilot?

Quite a great classic, love story.. not!

But it’s refreshingly entertaining nonetheless, though it could do without some scenes, like the balls-shaving moments~

Um, refreshing because both leads didn’t really have to try too hard to impose themselves on the screen, like Something About Mary or Valentine’s Day, and both leads added the charming factor to this flick.

Okay to the plot now, and without even stepping into the theatres you’d probably already knew how it’s going to end — girl sees boy, finds him interesting, gets to know him, gets over her ex, then ex comes back, girl and boy cools off, then both realises they’re meant for each other, a departing plane gets grounded, and they both kiss in the middle of the waiting area of the airport.

Not exactly pure adrenaline stuffs, nor a script that’s worthy to be called a classic, but then again, it’s not exactly your usual hollywood rebound-guy comedy either.

Okay, unless you count the upsized masculine jokes as Hollywood, then it’s your hollywood comedy, but the inviting direction from an Englishman, Jim Field Smith, in his debut Hollywood feature film, shines plenty of light on the subtle impressions from the leads, who had to work with very little crumbs of a plot to chew on.

The supporting casts were a mixture of over the top and underdeveloped characters, with nothing else but to support the plot and egg the leads on, where a guy finds himself being almost the rebound guy, and the girl finding herself that.. oh wait, nothing much changed on the girl’s part except that the guy made her into a better person.

It is essentially a movie about him believing stoutly that she is of his league, and it’s certainly not original but it’s one that most, including yours truly, can relate to — that thought at the back of your head where you’re not good enough for your partner or that you’re worried that someone with better credentials than you might stroll into their life.

You know, that low self-esteem displacement of not being good enough for someone else, when in fact the only reason anyone is perfect for each other is when they accept that they are?

Perfection is when you accept things for what they are.

Talking of which, when Alice Eve opens up to Jay Baruchel for the ending, saying how he’s ‘perfect’ for her, it wasn’t quite the emotional ride you’d hope for in a romcom, where instead everything here seemed hurried with a quick-fix ending in place.

So how much would I rate the movie?

Nah, I guess I’ll stray away from ratings, and instead I’ll utilise tags to ‘rate’ the movie in question.

Like these: Schoolboy-Humour, Charming, Cute, B-grade, Honest.

And suddenly I remembered random lines from books and movies and someone.

“Babalu have been fighting bears all his life.”
— Amir, in The Kiterunner, in memory of his Father’s legacy.

“Sometimes your whole life boils down to one insane move.”
— Jake Sully, in Avatar, being, um, sanely insane.

“Then we will make poles. Very long poles.”
— William Wallace, in Braveheart, when asked what to do against the English Army’s cavalry.

“I give up forever to touch you. Cos I know that you feel me somehow”.
— Johnny Reznik sings of giving up immortality(or certainty) to be able to touch and feel, in City of Angels.

“What would I ever do without you.”
— Frodo Baggins, in Lord Of The Rings, in appreciation of Sam’s unwavering camraderie.

“Life is like a box of chocolates.”
— Forrest Gump, in Forrest Gump.

“Ged.”
— Sparrowhawk, in A Wizard of Earthsea, calling out, in realisation, to his real name when he meets the shadow/darkness/fear that stalked him everywhere.

“Go to sleep!”
— Belle, just because. = )

Some of the best War Movies and War Movie Posters ever.

While we’re still lingering around the subject of movie posters, I took a quick check in my memory drawer of the war related movies that has captivated me ever since I was young.

And I’m still young, by the way.

So what makes a great war movie? I don’t know, but I sure enjoy reliving through these flicks and wouldn’t mind watching it over again.

I stumbled upon a few sites with movie posters, and so I thought, why not?

Here’s a quick recap of the posters, of what I’d thought would make up my best 10 war movies, followed by my summarised thoughts.

War Movie Posters

Troy: All these destruction, for a lady? Damn worth it.

300: Makes chasing death look too cool.

Black Hawk Down:  Sometimes shit happens.

Enemy At The Gates: Playing dead to stay alive.

Saving Private Ryan: All these destruction, for a man? Damn worth it.

Zulu: Sometimes you gotta stop, retreat, and applaud the bravery.

Avatar: All these destruction, for a floating rock? *Puts on 3D glasses*

Braveheart: Freedom!!!

Lord Of The Flies: Kids aren’t so innocent after all.

The Hurt Locker: A different kind of drug.

Takes a breather..

And these are the war movies that I certainly don’t mind sitting through a few hours to experience all over again.

Now, who wants to watch em with me???

Alice In Wonderland Trailer

I. Love. Cats.

ANNNNNNNNND this movie has got a cat in 3D. Like, hello~?

It’s a no brainer that my favourite character has got to be that Chesire Cat — does it have a name???

Hmm, maybe I’ll call it Jake Sully.

Catch Alice in Wonderland Movie starting from 4th March 2010 and join the official Facebook and Twitter page!

Meow.

Tigerish Festive Mood

What’s up with that dude at the counter at FICO sports hub tonight?

I mean, he could have left one of the lights on, instead of leaving the players in pitch darkness, whom were still packing their stuffs and trying to go back.

It’s just poor service, if you ask me. Like what’s wrong with leaving one light on for visibility’s sake?

If that fella was an animal, I’m betting that he’d be a tiger, all jumpy and snaring and just not friendly, for a service staff that is.

Maybe it’s his New Year holidays and he’s having to work?

Nevertheless pouncing upon us vulnerable players, whom actually PREPAID the courts for usage, and enveloping us in the dark is just not acceptable.

I guess, if he really was a tiger, he’d be an extinct one.

Anyway, earlier in the day, I kind of woke earlier than expected, and after a few days of procrastinating, got to see Avatar (3D) again.

And boy was I shocked to see the reception at the ticket counter, the theatres are almost full, and this for a movie that’s into it’s 9th week of running.

1PM show at Shaw Lido

This was the ticketing response for the 1pm slot at Shaw Lido, and this snapshot was taken at 11am!

Must be the CNY holidays that’s triggering this response.

3pm Shaw Lido

This was the response for the 3pm slot.

8pm Shaw Lido

And this was for the 8pm slot.

I got the 1pm slot, so that by late afternoon I’d be free to wander around the area, perhaps to search for the elusive belt or new pair of socks.

And boy was the theatre packed then, not with locals, but Koreans, Japanese, Ang Mohs and other nationalities that made up a quite a portion of the crowd.

Judging by their response during in-show scenes, they definitely weren’t repeat customers like I was, cos they gasped, ooh-ed, sighed and got amused generously — which goes to show that it was their first intake of the Avatar experience.

As for me, nothing surprising anymore, maybe ‘cos I managed to soak all the emotions within. Tough guy image here huh~

I’m not surprised that it’s taken them 9 weeks to see it for themselves, and with the Oscars coming up, I bet that many more might be tempted to give Avatar (3D) a go, since it’s one of the forerunners in the race for Best Picture.

Though I’m still surprised that there are many articles that’s taking a dig at Jame’s Cameron’s showpiece, and as if the Billions of dollar don’t already tell enough, these detractors (in the minority) of the movie just won’t rest until it gets the Oscar snub.

But will AMPAS snub Avatar?

If you asked me, I’m betting that they won’t. Maybe I’m just feeling tigerish but the odds are pretty good. = )

Probably The Best D*mn Movie I’ve Seen In Years: District 9

District 9From an actor (Sharlto Copley) who’s never really acted in any other movie, from a director (Neill Blomkamp) who’s never really directed a big budget movie and given the carte blanche stance, from a producer (Peter Jackson) who brought his previous employers to the courthouse (and not for a friendly cup of tea, mind you), from a movie poster (see them here) which spells ’12 year old’s drawing books’, AND from a half past 6 blogger1 (ooh, that’s me!) who’s not that often impressed by almost all the movies these days, District 9 is… here it comes… get ready for it… *takes a deep breathe*… refreshingly astoundingly entertainingly gruellingly thrillingly movingly ass-kickingly simple-yet-mesmerisingly  awe-inspiring.

And if those 9 words can’t describe it any better, than maybe I’ll summarise my reaction at the end of the movie in the next 9 words: Probably Definitely the best damn movie I have seen in years.

Everything about the movie felt complete, and not since LOTR, Terminator 2 or Finding Nemo have I spent minutes just trying to figure out the bad parts of the movie, and I just couldn’t.

It’s part documentary, part political, and maybe racial (or should I say Alienial?), part action and part emotional that it’s hard for me to really divide it into it’s own genre — but if I had to compare it to a movie, I’d say that in the end it’s like Black Hawk Down + Gladiator and lots of Aliens.

Thank god the intention of making a Halo movie didn’t materialise and instead Peter Jackson allowed Blomkamp to do whatever he wishes, and though at the beginning you may be forgiven for thinking that it’s just another B-Grade movie that’s a little protracted, however you will be extremely gratified for staying put on that movie seat at the end of it all.

The action sequences will put Die Hard fans to shame, the CGI (though nothing like 2012) is so good, that Hollywood should learn here that less is actually more, and directors *koff-michael-bay-koff* should note that you don’t need hot babes to make a movie lustful, because we have porn movies for that right?

But here, in District 9, there are Prawns instead — a slur that’s given to the Aliens, by the locals in Johannesburg, whom they live in close contact after their mothership descended on our planet (and thank goodness it isn’t another Washington) and then failed to take off, leaving these Prawns stranded among us.

You’ll soon learn how the authorities work behind thinly veiled propaganda (probably in real life itself, but who knows~) for other agendas, and when Wikus (Sharlto Copley) leads a battalion into District 9 in an attempt to get the Prawns to agree to an eviction, that is when the plot thickens and the pace quickens.

Where it goes after this, I shall not spoil much (you can Google and spoil yourselves) but the movie should pick you up well and leave you exhausted from allthe explosions, the voodoos, Wickus’ emotional roller coaster ride and thrilling visual treats.

District 9 is the kind of movie that probably makes you want to leave your seat within the first 30 minutes but then makes you wish for more at the end of it all.

Sure 2012 have gotten all the attention, and deservingly so too, but if I had to put my last $10bucks into watching a movie this year, this is the one ticket that I’ll gladly put my money on — even after having seen it 8 times.

But if you’ve yet to catch it in a cinema near you, and you had a few *ka-chings* in your pockets, then you can catch District 9 in DivX quality here (not free though~).

Mar’s Movie Ratings: 9.3 / 10
Mar’s last word: Since an alien spaceship won’t be descending anywhere anytime soon, the next best thing then is to go watch it.

The Movie Urge

Suddenly I have this urge to go on a movie-thon, and not just any movie-thon but a 2 or 3 movies on the trot kind of thing.

I’d have to cross out visiting cinemas cos there aren’t that much good shows going around here, but perhaps i might take a dig at my dusty collection of dvds and vcds.  Plus cinemas are darn expensive these days!

So Titanic would be my first choice, greatly aided by an airplay of the popular soundtrack from Celine Dion which I heard at work this morning, and almost immediately I recalled of how I watched it lying down on the cinema floor at the front row seats. Back then I was with a group of friends from a leadership camp, and we were on an outing to regroup for a while when the camp ended.

Ahhh, those were the days when free time were aplenty.

Aaaaaaaaand if I decide to not get dewy eyed or feeling forlorn in love, then perhaps I might continue on my rampage of One Piece episodes. Oh yes, I’m a heeeeeeee-uge fan of One Piece, or come to think of it, I’m a BIG fan of anything that’s animation/cartoon!

Naruto, Inuyusha, Full Metal Alchemist, Samurai 7, Here n There Now n Then, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, Nemo… and the list could go on but I’m too sleepy to think of anymore shows la!

AAAAAAAND though right now I feel like sharing the joy of watching Ice Age 3 with someone, or for that matter, anyone who’d enjoy a good laugh — cos it’s a hilarious animation indeed, and in fact I dare say that’s its the funniest installment of the franchise, thus far — I guess I gotta succumb to my exhausted body.

Hmmm, maybe I’ll dream of a movie?Then I hope that it better be a good movie. Bah~