Thursday, November 29, 2012

Express Reviews: Life Of Pi, Wreck-It Ralph, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

This past week has been fabulous to me in terms of movie-watching. I got to see three fantastic films and no, none of them involved sparkling vampires against shirtless werewolves. It reminded me that although films come to my shores late during this period, the final quarter of the year always provides plenty of good movies. All three films are excellent and deserve their stand-alone reviews, but since I am lazy and busy, a combined post will have to suffice. As each credit rolled, I got that satisfying feeling of "this is why I love movies (especially at the cinema)". Definitely films that I'll be watching again plenty of times in the future (I might watch the first two below again in the VERY near future).

# Life Of Pi [2012]



Directed By: Ang Lee
Written By: David Magee, Yan Martel
Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu, Ayush Tandon, Rafe Spall
The Story: Pi Patel (played by Irrfan Khan) tells the story to a writer (played by Rafe Spall) about his younger-self (played by Suraj Sharma) that survived a horrific storm and cast out at sea with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
The Verdict: Eat-your-heart-out Avatar [2009], this easily is the most visually mesmerizing film to date. The CGI animals look 100% authentic and everything just looks stunningly beautiful. Stories about people in isolation are always entertaining and Pi's adventure of being surrounded by nothing but sea along with Richard Parker is extremely captivating. Eat-your-heart-out (multiple by 5) Waterworld [1995]. 
p/s: It seems that Irrfan Khan has been made Hollywood's go-to-guy for Indian roles. It's almost like he's in everything!
Rating: 9 out of 10

# Wreck-It Ralph [2012]



Directed By: Rich Moore
Written By: Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee, Rich Moore, Jim Reardon
Voiced By: John C. Riley, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk
The Story: Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by John C. Riley) is the bad-guy character in an arcade game which is named after the good guy character, Fix-It Felix Jr. (voiced by Jack McBrayer). Ralph is unhappy and stressed about his mundane life and being under-appreciated. He hijacks a different arcade game, Hero's Duty in an attempt to win a medal and change his life. A series of events leads him to a kart-racing game called Sugar Rush where he meets Venellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman).
The Verdict: Even in a year where animated films has been very entertaining, Wreck-It Ralph emerges high above the rest. I always have my ego to maintain when watching movies and never let my friends see my eyes get misty, but man, it was hard holding them back on this one. Dare I say it, other than The Iron Giant [1999], this is the only non-Pixar animation with a high Pixar feel to it. Heck its even far better than the actual Pixar film released the year, Brave [2012], and I fully enjoyed that too. The ending had a couple of twists that made the story even more dazzling and is one of the many differences to other animations such as The Rise Of The Guardians [2012].
p/s: (1) Hey, I actually played some of the games before, like Tapper via 5" floppy-disk (my younger brother was amazed to hear games were played using that.. he' s never even seen a FD that size). (2) The animated short shown before the film, Paperman [2012] is super-cute and definitely worth coming early to check out.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10

# The Perks Of Being A Wallflower [2012]



Directed By: Stephen Chobosky
Written By: Stephen Chobosky
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Mae Whitman, Nina Dobrev
The Story: A coming-of-age film that focuses on Charlie (played by Logan Lerman) who is an introvert and is been taken under the wing of two seniors, Patrick (played by Ezra Miller) and Sam (played by Emma Watson).
The Verdict: My teenage years in high school was nothing like that of Charlie's, yet the film still managed to be emotionally resonating to me in very high dosages. In lots of ways it left me with the same emotional feeling I had when I first watched Almost Famous [2000]. And in my books, that is very high praise.
Rating: 8 out of 10

16 comments:

  1. Nice mini reviews, Asrap, glad you enjoyed all of these. I haven't seen any of them but my friend just raved about Life of Pi and encouraged me to see it in 3D. I might do that after Christmas as I'll be on vacation for 2 weeks starting next week. Not sure I'll be able to catch 'Ralph' on the big screen but for sure I'll rent it, it sounds like a great one.

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    1. Life Of Pi is definitely worth watching on screen, just for the visual treat. It needs to be experienced. I'd say Wreck-It Ralph too because there's also the bonus of the animated short, Paperman, but we can't see everything can we? Enjoy your holidays Ruth!

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    2. I'll probably do some catching up around Christmas as I'll be back in the States by then. But there are sooo many good movies coming out this month, I'm looking forward to Les Miz and of course, The Hobbit!

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    3. So true! Good movies are coming thick and fast this month. I'll be happy if I can fit them all into my schedule.

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  2. I still cannot get on the Life of Pi bandwagon, but I too loved Perks. I still need to see Wreck It Ralph.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed Perks. If you like animation, then you can't go wrong with Wreck-It Ralph. My favorite animated feature of the year.

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  3. I want to see ALL of the movies in this post. And boy, the scores are all great. Must've been a joyful movie watching experience. Thanks, Asrap!

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    1. Yup, music is actually an integral theme in Perks, while life-stories like Pi always have wonderful scores. I was actually surprised Ralph had a very enjoyable score.

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    2. It surprised me too. The truth is what made me want to see it is because people are so raving about it, made me curious.

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    3. I think the hype is justified. I loved it. Loved all three in fact.

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  4. Very cool mini reviews here, as I've seen Ralph and Pi and enjoyed them as much as you did.

    I'm not sure why so many people aren't running to the theater to see Life of Pi. Maybe the trailers are secretly offensive somehow?

    Anyway, I might check out Wallflower, if it ever ends up around here.

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    1. I'm surprised too. Perhaps the story and Ang Lee's name attached to it made the impression of "Art Film"... not everyone, especially the mainstream. Then again it could be everyone has gone to see Twilight!

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  5. serious Wreck it better than Rise? I'm a fan of Rise of the Guardians after watching it...tapi ada member kata Wreck it best gila..I thought nothing of it until I saw the 9.5 rating sini...okla kena tengok
    eh tapi Pi pon lom tgk...aiyoooooo

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    1. Guardians is good but Ralph has more heart... pas tuh aku rasa Guardians punye ending, i.e: resurrection of Sandman dgn tiba2 cam cop-out sket... pastuh cite agak predictable.. Ralph's ending has a few twists... still both are enjoyable.

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  6. All of these movies look amazing. So much so that I dont know which movie to see first.

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    1. Can't go wrong with any of these. Thanks Zack.

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