Wednesday, August 28, 2013

List: 10 Favourite Food Movies

So, it seems that I've been a way for quite some time. Earlier on in the month it was because I was celebrating Eidul Fitri. But then after that I was struck with dengue fever for over a week. Easily the worst I've felt in my entire life. It was also the first time that I ever been admitted into the hospital. I kept trying to cheer myself up during that period by joking that this was the mosquitoes' way of revenge for a dig I made about them in this particular blog post right here. But enough about that. If you also remember, in that same blog post I also wrote on how much I love food. Yes, I'm absolutely passionate about it! So after a long absence from blogging, I've cooked-up (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) my list of Favourite Food Movies for your reading.....

p/s: If you're like me and enjoy both movies and food, you can check-out this cool blog that I found that combines both... A Dash Of Cinema which is run by Lauren.

# Honorable Mention - Waitress [2007]

Storywise, there's nothing special about this flick starring former Mouseketeer, Kerri Russell and Nathan Fillion. But my, oh my, the pies in this movie look heavenly mouthwatering!

#10 "Chasing The American Dream" ~ Big Night [1996]


I love Italian food. Okay, I actually love all kinds of food. But the big feast prepared by Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci is absolutely amazing. This is my first introduction to the "timpano", but if ever there was a food for a feast, that is it!

Selected Quote: "A guy works all day, he doesn't want to look at his plate and ask 'what the fuck is this?' He wants to look at his plate, see a steak, and say 'I like steak!' "

#9 "Who The Hell Eats 5000 Calories Per Day?" ~ Super Size Me [2004]


I haven't totally given-up on fast food yet (come on.... burgers are one of the biggest joys that life can offer), but that amount has lessen considerably after watching this documentary. Anyway, who the hell consumes that many calories to begin with. I actually believe there's no unhealthy food.... just the amount that you consume makes it unhealthy.

Selected Quote: "This is the best part of the day, when i get to be fat, on the bed, with my quart of Coke"

#8 "Corporate Dominance" ~ Food, Inc. [2008]


Everything wrong with the American food industry is exposed in this documentary here. And just like Super Size Me [2004] at #9, it can be traced down to McDonalds. No wonder chef Jamie Oliver recently labelled the fast food chain to dog food!

Selected Quote: "Even if you don't eat at a fast food restaurant, you're now eating food that's produced from this system"

#7 "She Knows Exactly What Your Favourite Chocolate Is" ~ Chocolat [2000]


A charming story with strong performances from Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, and Alfred Molina, who always makes a good bad-guy (yes it was him at the beginning of Raiders Of The Lost Ark [1981] ). Plus that ability of Juliette Binoche to guess people's favourite type of  chocolate is actually quite cool!

Selected Quote: "Chili pepper in hot chocolate? Pshh!!"

#6 "Free Advertising Or Best Product Placement?" ~ Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle [2004]


I think most people have experienced food cravings like the one Harold & Kumar had. We go to great lengths just to satisfy that craving. Only it isn't as eventful of a journey as these guys ended-up having!

Selected Quote: "Did Doogie Howser just steal my fucking car?"

#5 "The Original Is Always The Best" ~ Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory [1971]


I saw the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp remake (which I enjoyed) before I saw this one, but there's a clear winner. The original is far superior. Plus just like when watching The Wizard Of Oz [1939], you realize that less CGI and more emphasis on props and make-up actually creates a more magical world! Don't even get me started on the same subject for the original Star Wars trilogy vs the prequels....

Selected Quote: "Invention is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple"

#4 "The Wacky Parody" ~ The God Of Cookery (Sik san) [1996]


How much you enjoy this depends on how much you fancy Stephen Chow's brand of zany comedy. Here you get beef-balls that can be used to play table tennis and rice that makes you cry when you eat it (its called sorrowful rice after all). I'm one who loves the comedy! Just like Jackie Chan, Stephen Chow's best movies are his earlier works before he made Hollywood movies.

Selected Quote (translated): "Since eating 'Pissing Beef Balls', I find myself much cleverer, I've got full marks on each examination"

#3 "The Best Food In The World Is Made In France!" ~ Ratatouille [2007]


How can you not fall in love with food when you feast your eyes with what's on display in this Pixar classic. The movie seems to get better with each new viewing... but its version of the ratatouille dish still remains as beautiful and delicious (from the looks of it at least) as always!

Selected Quote: "Good food is like music you can taste, color you can smell. There is excellence all around you. You need only to be aware to stop and savor it"

#2 "Food & Weather Puns" ~ Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs [2009]


I remember enjoying this movie a lot when it first came out. But after revisiting it again recently, I have a whole new level of appreciation towards it. Its extremely funny!!! Can't wait for the sequel which will be coming out soon.

Selected Quote: "You may have seen a meteor shower, but I bet you've never seen a shower 'meatier' than this!"

#1 "Nora Ephron's Final Movie" ~ Julie & Julia [2009]


Confession. I had no idea who Julia Child was before I saw this movie. I actually thought to myself "why is the great Meryl Streep making this funny, high-pich voice?". To my surprise is that Julia Child actually sounded like that. I love this movie. Nora Ephron left us with a gem! Its charming, heart-warming, and there's great food on display too. Plus, its one of my inspirations when I decided to start blogging way back when.

Selected Quote: "And let me say this. Is there anything better than butter? Think it over. Every time you taste something that's delicious beyond imagining, and you say 'what's in this?' the answer is always going to be... butter!"

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Xpress Reviews: The Conjuring & Apartment 1303 3D

Wow, I watched two new horror movies in a row this week. I think that's a new record for me seeing that Halloween is still far away (not really a horror fan). But despite both being horror, these two movies can't be on more opposite sides of the spectrum in many aspects.

# The Conjuring [2013]

"This Thing Has Latched Itself To Your Family"



Directed By: James Wan
Written By: Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver
The Story: Supposedly based on the true story of paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. Ed (played by Patrick Wilson) is a noted demonologist while Lorraine (played by Vera Farmiga) is a clairvoyant. Throughout their career, one case stands out the most, where an old farmhouse is recently occupied by Carolyn Perron (played by Lili Taylor), her husband Roger (played by Ron Livingston), and their five daughters.
The Verdict: Believe the hype! This film will be a classic favourite for many people the world over, horror fans or not. It's that good! Bought to life by some great acting, this movie carries a whole lot of scares and tension.
Often when watching horror films, the audience can sometime anticipate when scares are about to occur. The music or silence in the movie sometimes gives it away. Not the case here. The tension building is immense. The entire cinema unanimously holds their breath anticipating.... the scare should come any moment now.... still holding our breath.... still haven't arrived.... still holding.... still not there... AND BOO!!! THERE IT IS!! Director James Wan toys with us masterfully in every chilling scene, while the climatic finale is one of the most intense in my entire cinematic memory. Never have I had such a profound feeling of comfort and relief when that scene was over.
I also loved the origins of the haunted house. Most films would just have someone die or killed. But here we have the mother-load of all hatred origins! Throughout the movie, I lost count of how many times I screamed "Holy shit!". Oh and finally, if I were a politician or world leader, I would ban the game of "Hide-and-Clap" indefinitely. After seeing this, I'm sure many would back my motion!
Rating: 9.5 out of 10

# Apartment 1303 3D [2013]

"Hey Little Girl, How Did You Get Here Before Me?"



Directed By: Michael Taverna
Written By: Michael Taverna, Kei Oishi
Starring: Mischa Barton, Rebecca De Mornay, Julianne Michelle, Corey Sevier, John Diehl, Madison McAleer
The Story: Having the opportunity to escape the controlling grip of her mother (played by Rebecca De Mornay), Janet Slate (played by Julianne Michelle) moves into wonderful high-rise apartment at what seems an incredible deal. Janet is soon found dead haven fallen from her 13th floor balcony. Her sister, Lara (played by Mischa Barton) moves into the apartment in order to investigate and soon encounters the building's weird occupants.
The Verdict: Believe the hype! Wait, there is no hype surrounding this whatsoever. Exactly! Over a decade ago, Mischa Barton starred in the classic movie The Sixth Sense [1999]. Now she has returned to horror, but while back then Shyamalan's breakthrough hit garnered a Oscar nomination, Apartment 1303 looks destined the opposite direction for a Razzie instead. The only thing remotely scary about this movie is that is was released in most cinemas in 3D! Rip-off! The only elements worthy to be branded horror here are the atrocious acting, characters, and dialogue! The soundtrack and effects sound extremely cheap too and are thrown in regardless of the situation on screen. This movie apparently received an "R" rating. Why bother? Kids either will not be scared or they'll doze-off from boredom 15 minutes into the movie. Watching the trailer... even teaser trailer... to The Conjuring [2013] would be much more worthwhile than this piece of crap.
Rating: 3.5 out of 10
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