Sunday, January 31, 2010

Moon: Review

Wow this was a very disturbing show. Moon kind of reminded me of Requiem For A Dream because right after the movie finished I was kind of depressed. But I liked this movie man. It was a really ballsy sci-fi drama and given the small budget it worked with, this film is almost as good as District 9. The only difference is, D9 was more of an action film.. Moon is more of a psychological drama.
Moon is a story of Sam Bell, a solitary man working on the moon for 3 years harvesting solar energy to be packaged and sent to Earth. Though he does have company in the form of GERTY, his robot assistant, the 3 years alone has taken a psychological toll on Sam. When Sam is 2 weeks from completing his working contract, strange things begin to happen that challenges the very fabric of his humanity and soul.
Sam Rockwell is fantastic in this movie playing multiple versions of his character who are slowly losing sanity and will to live after discovering terrible facts about his existence. I really wanna say what those facts are because it will make this review much easier to understand but I can't spoil it. It really is a shocker what goes down with his character in the movie and Rockwell is amazing in the role. He practically carries the weight of the film and he does it incredibly well. He should get nominated for an Oscar.
I liked Kevin Spacey as GERTY. A really nice homage to HAL 9000. What I thought would play out with his character didn't exactly happen here which was a nice surprise but I think Moon would have had much better suspense and tension if GERTY became like HAL and go all SkyNet on Sam Rockwell.
I love love love the art direction in Moon. The set pieces of the moon base is gorgeous, really well done and a great throwback to classic sci-fi films like 2001: A Space Odyssey. The cinematography and visual effects were impressive given the budget of the movie.
One thing I didn't like about Moon was that it took a bit too long to build up to the big reveal of the movie. So for a good 45 minutes I'm left thinking what on earth is going on and slightly bored. But damn, when it get's there it just blows you out of your seat.
Moon is going to be a cult classic I guarantee. It's just that not many people has seen this yet. It's going to get that same status as The Thing and The Fly which weren't popular movies but gained strong fan following after a few years. It's a very disturbing sci-fi drama with a fantastic performance by Sam Rockwell. Moon's worth checking out ya'll! I got the DVD who wants???

RATING: 8/10

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Lovely Bones: Review

The Lovely Bones! The latest love child from the man who brought us Heavenly Creatures, The LOTR series and King muthafuckin Kong ya'll! To bad this movie was shitty. Wait, WHAT? Peter Jackson made a shitty movie? Yes he did people! Yes he did!
Based on the Alice Sebold novel, Lovely Bones is about Susy Salmon, played by Saoirse Ronan  who was brutally murdered by her neighbor and is now trapped in a fantasy world between heaven and Earth. From this wonderland she watches over her family as they grieve and her killer as he attempts to hide all traces of the murder.
Interesting story, no? Really the premise is really creative here, so what the hell went wrong?
All the stunning visual effects in Susy's fantasy world served no purpose to the story and really threw off the whole focus of the film which is the family drama post-Susy's death. Just when the build up of this story of a family trying to stay together after the death of a loved one and the story of the murderer trying to stay under the radar gets good, the film cuts off to show some effects shot of Saoirse Ronan running around in the fantasy world.
And it would have been nice if the sequences in the fantasy world and the sequences in the real world connected with each other but it didn't. You'd think Susy might try to reach out from the afterlife to try and contact her family like in any other ghost movie but it never happens. Which really begs the question of why we are even seeing the whole fantasy world sequence at all. So great visuals, but ultimately served no purpose whatsoever.
Mark Whalberg who plays the dad should stick to playing foul mouthed characters like in The Departed cause he was really really annoying here. He overplayed his role by a long stretch. It was like he was talking to a baby throughout the whole movie. You know.. what with the goo goo ga ga tone and all. And when the story goes to when his character has a nervous breakdown following his daughters death, he was kinda one note pulling it off. But then again the mediocre script really didn't give him much to work with.
I liked Rachel Weisz and damn she's smoking hot. But she disappears through half the movie and almost with no reason at all. 
My absolute favorite performance from Lovely Bones was Stanley Tucci as the creepy rapist neighbor. This man plays the very definition of a psychotic serial killer. What sold his performance to me was his eyes. On the outside, his character is incredibly silent and composed but when you look into his eyes it just sends a chill down you're spine. I can't really describe what I saw in them but there's just something off about them. If you saw his character in real life, you'd really feel unsafe around that person, that's how great his acting was.
So am I saying that Lovely Bones was a complete mess? No not really. I just wasn't satisfied with it coming from someone as great as Peter Jackson. There were some parts I liked a lot. Susan Sarandon gives great comic relief, parts of the Salmon family beginning to suspect their neighbor as the murderer were very well done and I loved the performances from Stanley Tucci and Saorise Ronan.
I blame it completely on the fantasy world sequence. It took me out of the really interesting parts of Lovely Bones just so that it can show me some nice effects, which are great eye candy but completely unnecessary. I thought they should have just stuck with the story of the family and the murderer with Saoirse Ronan's narration. Overall, nice idea.. poor execution. Please don't fuck up The Hobbit, Peter Jackson.

RATING: 4/10

The Spy Next Door: Review

Uhhh.. I feel kinda stupid. See I had a reunion with the uni mates, haven't seen them in weeks. We decided to see a movie. We missed Legion so we had no choice but to go for The Spy Next Door. And I was like okay lets be fair to the movie, cause mostly anyone who goes to watch this already has a preconceived idea that this movie is going to suck. So I thought I'd give it the benefit of the doubt. Guess what? It still sucked.
The movie is about Bob Ho, who is this top spy on loan to the CIA from the Chinese Govt. on a mission to capture this Russian bad guy. In the suburban life, he acts as a pen salesmen who's dating his next door neighbor, a hot blonde chick who has 3 children from hell played by Amber Valletta. So when Amber Valletta gets called away, Bob volunteers to babysit the 3 demon kids as his Russian nemesis tracks him down for revenge.
Tedious set up, completely unoriginal, we've seen this a thousand times with other fallen action heros like Vin Diesel, Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Rock bla bla bla. The movie makes no attempt to cover giant plot holes. I almost felt embarrassed sitting in that cinema thinking to myself "How the hell did I wind up paying to watch this horrible movie."  And I really felt urges to slap the people behind me who were constantly laughing at the lamest jokes in the movie.
Spy Next Door's only saving grace was Jackie Chan. Which could make watching this turd of a film tolerable you if you like him. So yeah like Su YSW says. "Only watch it if you are a fan of Jackie" However I still want to punch him out cause that accent is really irritating. you know.. the I'm a Chinese trying very hard to speak good English accent.
On a positive side.. I think this is the first American film Jackie has done in a long time that actually has some good fight scenes in them. And when I say good, I mean really good. I missed the old Jackie Chan fight movies that were both intense and creatively funny at the same time and yeah Spy Next Door delivered in that. There were some points in the fight scenes that I found myself actually applauding.
Another thing I will give this movie credit is that it never stooped down to the lowest rung of children comedy. There weren't any fart jokes, poop jokes, pee jokes, baby vomit jokes or pet jokes. There were occasional out of place slapstick but were inoffensive and mostly happens during the fight scenes. But it's still not that funny. 
And damn the villain lady is hot. Her names Katherine Broecher. She was like in the tightest leather outfit with a push up bra and I was like Ooooooohh... I don't think she should have been in this film. Hello? This is a kids movie! You're too damn hot. Later some 10 year old boy will discover that his thing does more than pee hahaha.
And like in any kids movie, I really hated the kid actors in this. They were incredibly annoying and they weren't even acting annoying. They were just legitimately truly annoying. Why can't people get good child actors anymore?
Those good fight scenes aside, there's really not much reason why anyone should pay to see this movie.  Still can't believe you paid RM120 to watch this Su hahahaha.

RATING: 2/10

Monday, January 25, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Avatar Sinks Titanic to Become the Highest Grossing Film of All Time!

Ladies and gentleman.. it has finally come to pass! James Cameron's visual epic Avatar has officially overtaken the 1997 blockbuster Titanic which was also directed by Cameron to become the highest earning international film in movie history!

The thing why this is such a history making record is because of the numbers. Titanic earned $1,848,813,795 after a run of 10 months. Avatar pocketed that same amount in 31 days. And this bloody film is still going!

Now just take a moment to ponder on how fruckin amazing that figure is. We are witnessing history in the making people. Avatar made it's lowest gross this week which was $36 million, just imagine what it's going to make in the next 4-5 months.

Everyone.. do this with me now. ALL HAIL JAMES CAMERON!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Blind Side: Review

How this movie is being loved by so many people is just beyond me. The Blind Side is complete bullshit I kept laughing to myself at how silly this story is.

Yes I know the movie is based on a true story but c'mon.. anyone who has a slightest knowledge in racial understanding knows this sort of thing can NEVER happen in real life. Leigh Ann Touhy's case is one in a million, God bless her but this is soooo stupid.

The Blind Side tells the story of Michael Oher, an NFL football player. Before he became successful, he was a homeless kid with no direction in life. In come Sandra Bullock's character with her Christian family who saw him wandering in the streets and decided to adopt him. Sandra Bullock feeds him, buys him clothes, buys him a fucking SUV, and makes him play football when he never said he was interested in football.

Now let me say it one more time.. yes this is a true story and all this really happen. I'm not going to critic the actual events, I'm going to talk about this in the context of how it was portrayed in the film.

Imagine if you were a poor homeless kid and a rich family whom you have never met before suddenly picks you off the streets, be incredibly friendly, buy you everything you ever wanted and suddenly say, "Hey... so we did all these nice things for you.. now we want you to play football for us." Wouldn't you suspect that there is something fishy going on? Wouldn't you think that they are only doing this so that they can use you to be a sports asset for them?

Can't any of you see the racial undertones here??

There is one point that made me totally lose interest in the movie. The moment Sandra Bullock bought the black kid a brand new SUV. WTF! The guy doesn't even question why on earth she bought him a car.. he didn't even ask for it. And what do you expect when you let a homeless kid take you're 10 year old son for a ride? He gets into a horrific accident, the kid gets injured and Sandra Bullock just says.. "I forgive you" WTF!

That aside, Sandra Bullock plays this impossible role wonderfully. Leigh Anne Touhy is her best role in a long time. She never lost her Southern accent throughout the whole movie and you do have this sickening urge to root for this woman. Did she deserve the Golden Globe? I wished it went to Gaby Sidibe for Precious but Sandra does deserve it.

 I really dislike Quinton Aaron's performance. Every time you see him, he looks like he's either on the verge oif crying or is constipated. I don't know if it was just poor acting or it was intended that way by the directors. And don't give me this is a true story bullshit. At the end of the movie they showed pics of the real Michael Oher and he was one bad ass tough guy.

One point where Blind Side got interesting was when all the racial undertones were finally confronted in what I thought was a very well written scene. It came very late towards the end of the film but better than  never. An NAACP investigation suspects that Sandra Bullock is only doing this so that Michael will play football for her college which she is a part of the administration I guess. So I was like, "Oh finally, their going to answer all the questions I have and this will finally unravel to be a good movie.." But it never happens.

The black kid goes "Nooo fuck you! They my family, they never hurt me.. I loves them." And that's the end of the movie. And I was like... sighh. I hate the most is the final message of the film when Sandra Bullock drops off Michael in college and pats herself on the back for rescuing this poor black kid and thinking how much his life would have been screwed up if she and her white family hadn't shown him mercy.

A way they could have minimized all these sublimal racial undertones was simply switch Michael Oher as the narrator instead of Leigh Anne. Turn this story of how Sandra Bullock's character was merciful to this black kid into a story of how the black kid is appreciative to a woman who showed him unconditional love. Turn it into a Mother's Day movie if you will.

Watch this for Sandra Bullock's performance and if anyone wants to debate how I perceived the movie, please do. Because I really really can't see why people love this movie so much. I do not condone what the real Leigh Anne Touhy did. I'm not saying that those who help less fortunate people aren't doing it sincerely. I'm just saying that how all this came of in the movie was offensive.

RATING: 4/10

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