Friday, December 30, 2011

Infographic: Evolution Of The Bat-Suit

Okay in yesterday's post, Me And My Superhero Childhood, I wrote on how I originally intended that entry to be the intro for THIS post. I also told the story of the monumental affection I have towards Superheroes despite not being a comic geek. The thing is, my non-comic-geek perspective has always been:
 (A) By overall comparison, the Marvel Superheroes are waaay cooler than DC Superheroes, and
(B) Out of all the characters from the DC universe, Batman is by far the best. Superman? Heck, I even prefer that campy 60s TV show with a slightly overweight Batman (yes, you Adam West) compared to The Man Of Steel. I still enjoy the DC guys, just that they pale in comparison with Batman and the Marvel guys.
You can disagree but that's just my view as a non-comic-reading Superhero fan.

Now, if we speak solely in movie terms, Batman becomes even more cooler. I even voted The Dark Knight [2008] at the pinnacle of my 15 Favourite Superhero Movies List. The Dark Knight Rises next year? Only a coma will stop me from watching it. Even if the government out the blue bans me from seeing it, I'll risk being thrown into jail, just so I can experience the movie at a cinema. Even Batman parodies are good (watch this hybrid between The Dark Knight and Adam West's 1960s Batman)

 Now, Benjamin Andrew Moore from Screen Rant has created an infographic detailing every "significant" Bat-Suit ever worn by Batman. I have to say that by looking at this, the coolest to me is the Batman Beyond [1999-2001] suit as well as the suits from the two Christopher Nolan movies, Batman Begins [2005] and The Dark Knight [2008].

Check it out below - and OPEN PHOTO IN NEW TAB TO ENLARGE

Every Batman bat-suit

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Me And My Superhero Childhood

Illustration By Vanzonline

I had originally intended this as an intro to a new infographic post, but then came to the realization that this topic could form it's very own entry. So I've decide to just elaborate on the idea and save the infographic post for tomorrow. Readers of this blog would probably know by now how much I love Superheroes. Just like this past year, I'm already immensely excited for next summer as The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Dark Knight Rises will all be released. Despite me not being a comic book geek, I've always had huge affection towards the Superhero genre. The foundation for this affinity probably has its roots during my time growing up as a Malaysian kid in the UK amidst the early 1980s. To encourage my brothers and me to learn a foreign language, my dad gave us comic books to read. Every fortnight we bought a copy of Marvel's crossover feature, Secret Wars and one other Superhero comic (usually we chose the one with the most apealling cover). 

When we came back to Malaysia in 1986, these "imported" comic books where darn hard to find in our area while the foreign exchange currency meant they were also super-expensive. While we would pick-up a comic every now and then, my comic book relationship had basically ended. However my fondness had never evaporated till this very day. Not just movies, but anything even close to resembling a Superhero that was featured on Malaysian TV grabbed my attention. Yup, not just the typical Marvel and DC shows like Spider-Man, X-Men, and Batman but even these (mostly forgotten by me) classics featured below. Ah, childhood memories, good times!

# Plastic Man

Basically a more comedic version of Mr. Fantastic, but just like Helen Parr a.k.a Elastigirl from The Incredibles [2004], he could also change his body to ridiculous shapes like an umbrella or table.

# SuperTed

Just like the clip below shows, SuperTed had an extremely silly plot. But as a child, the show was still great fun. Haha, still can't get over the "Spotty Man" bit.

 # Super Gran

According to its Wikipedia page, this British show had won an Emmy Award, was sold to over 60 countries worldwide, and even had two video games made. Now that's impressive! Plus it had a really catchy theme song sung by Billy Connolly.

# Banana Man

I recall reading the comic strip in the papers and watching it on the telly in the UK, but can't seem to remember if the TV series was ever shown in Malaysia. Oh well, its still a child hood memory so I'll list it down nevertheless.

# Captain Planet And The Planeteers

As an environmentalist, I found this show kinda cool. Given the current natural disasters happening around the globe, the show is probably even more relevant today than it was during its original run.

# Darkwing Duck

Okay, this actually came out in the early 1990s as a spoof to other Superheroes. I remember it to be absolutely hilarious indeed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

List: 5 Favourite Short Actors

The other day while taking a break from work and browsing Facebook at the office (Come on, don't judge me, statistics shows everyone does it at work too, FACT!), something piqued my interest significantly. A friend had posted a picture of his encounter with hot-leggy-tennis-babe, Maria Sharapova. Apart from the fact that the former world number one looked stunningly hot up-close, what struck me as interesting was how short my friend had looked beside the Russian beauty. I mean my friend is about an inch taller than me so that had me wondering how I would have looked like if I stood beside her or any other celebrity.

As an Asian, I'm not really considered short at 5 feet 7 inches. I would say I'd be placed in the lower-average category of males. But compare me to males from other continents, and I'll end up short. Literally and figuratively speaking! So I navigated the internet to find which actors that if I was standing next to would not actually dwarf me. I found quite a few popular actors that are generally considered short, many whom I have admired their work for such a long time. So here is my list of favourite short actors. I've set the requirement of the actor being shorter or at the very most is 2 inches higher than me. And because of the nature of Asians being naturally "small", I've limited them to just one place on my list. Note that I'm relying on the Internet and there's no way for sure to gauge how accurate these heights are.

Honourable Mentions: Ben Stiller (5ft 8in), Woody Allen (5ft 5in), Jackie Chan (5ft 9in), Dustin Hoffman (5ft 5.5in), Christian Slater (5ft 8in)

#5 Robin Williams (5 Feet 8 Inches)

Funnyman Robin Williams not only has a wicked sense of humour, but he has also proven that he has some pretty serious acting chops too by winning an Oscar and being nominated on 3 other occasions. I remember first seeing him when I was very little in the movie Popeye [1980]. He has since been in plenty of wonderful movies.

Selected Movies: Good Will Hunting [1997], Dead Poets Society [1989], Insomnia [2002], Awakenings [1990], Aladdin [1992]

#4 Jet Li (5 Feet 6 Inches)

I wonder how many people had looked at Jet Li's slight frame and think "I can take him on", only then to get their ass kicked by him. The former wushu champion is one of the best martial artist in cinematic history.

Selected Movies: The Legend [1993], Once Upon A Time In China 2 [1992], Hero [2002], Lethal Weapon 4 [1998], The Expendables [2010]

#3 Al Pacino (5 Feet 5 Inches)

This living legend really needs no introduction. Easily one of the greatest actors of ALL-TIME!! Don't try to screw him, because he will grab you by the head and say "I know it was you".

Selected Movies: Godfather [1972], Godfather Part 2 [1974], Heat [1995], Scarface [1983], Carlito's Way [1993]

#2 Tom Cruise (5 Feet 7 Inches)

Despite how wacky his personal life is nowadays, I've always admired Tom for his on-screen performances. Few actors can claim to posses the level of charisma that he brings to each of his roles. Oh, and in box-office terms, not many on the planet are better than him.

Selected Movies: Mission Impossible 4 - Ghost Protocol [2011], Top Gun [1986], A Few Good Men [1992], War Of The Worlds [2005], Jerry Maguire [1996]

#1 Michael J. Fox (5 Feet 4 Inches)

Yeah, I've blogged about how much he inspired me while growing up during the 80s in one of my previous post Secret Movie Confessions: Teen Wolf [1985]. If you haven't noticed yet, the name of this blog is a direct reference to my all-time favourite movie, Back To The Future [1985].  He has also carved his name working on TV with Family Ties [1982-1989] and Spin City [1996-2002]. For someone so small in stature, there definitely isn't anything small in his personality as he exudes immense charisma and impeccable comic timing. He will always be one of my heroes.

Selected Movies: Back To The Future [1985], The Frighteners [1996], Doc Hollywood [1991], Bright Lights, Big City [1988], Casualties Of War [1989]

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: We Bought A Zoo [2011]

The Background:
Release Date: 22 December (Malaysia), 23 December (USA)
Directed By: Cameron Crowe
Written By: Aline Brosh McKenna, Cameron Crowe, Benjamin Mee
Starring: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Colin Ford, Elle Fanning, Thomas Haden Church, Patrick Fugit
In A Nutshell:
 A story inspired by true events. After the loss of his wife, Benjamin Mee decides for a fresh start and takes his to two kids to live in the countryside. The only catch is that the house they bought also comes along with a rundown mini zoo. With the help of the staff headed by Kelly (played by Scarlett Johansson), they try to restore the zoo for a grand re-opening. At the same time, Benjamin's 14 year old son, Dylan (played by Colin Ford) strikes up a relationship with 12 year old pixie dream girl and Kelly's cousin, Lily (played by Elle Fanning).
Thumbs Up:
+ Light, feel-good tone to the movie
Thumbs Down:
- Too much cheesy stuff going on near the end of the movie, especially on the grand re-opening day
- For a movie about a zoo, the animals aren't really involved with anything interesting in the story
The Verdict Is In:
There's plenty of drama on display mainly regarding the issue of loss as both Benjamin and his son struggle to adapt. But generally this is a very light-hearted movie with the laughs mainly coming from Benjamin's brother, Duncan who's played very aptly by Thomas Haden Church (they really do physically resemble siblings too).

"You know sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come out of it", Benjamin tells his children in the movie. Unfortunately the film shows no such bravery because everything is done safely. Nothing out of the ordinary or unexpected happens. That is perhaps why nothing great came out of it, because while it does has a few charms, it will probably be forgotten by the audience in a few months time.
6 out of 10

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: Carnage [2011]

The Background:
Release Date: 16 December 2011 (USA)
Directed By: Roman Polanski
Written By: Yasmina Reza, Roman Polanski
Starring: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly
In A Nutshell:
Based on the play "God Of Carnage" by Yasmina Reza where a playground argument between 11 year old boys results in one of them getting hit in the face with a stick by another. The parents of the "victim", Penelope (played by Jodie Foster) and Michael (played by John C. Riley) invites the parents of the "guilty party", Nancy (played by Kate Winslet) and Alan (played by Christoph Waltz) over to their apartment so they can settle their issues. What starts out as a cordial meeting turns into verbal dispute and everyone's true colors are slowly revealed.
Thumbs Up:
+ Great character study as everyone has plenty of depth to their personality
+ Wonderful dialogue
+ Stellar performance from all four actors (that's basically the entire cast)
+ Brilliant dynamic of interaction between the cast as they seamlessly change which side they are on
Thumbs Down:
- Lacking a climatic scene
- Minor negative here, but its hard to believe why Nancy and Alan stayed so long and delayed leaving. Heck, I'm not actually disturbed by it. Just needed something to list as "Thumbs Down". Apprehensive I know. ;P
The Verdict Is In:
As a story which is completely confined to a small space (Penelope and Michael's apartment in this case), a measure of how interesting the characters are, as well as the actors' ability to bring them to life is absolutely crucial. This film manages to succeed on both accounts as not only are the characters filled with richness but all four actors that are playing them delivers fantastic performances. But we might have well expected that as Foster, Winslet, and Waltz are all Oscar winners while Reilly is an Oscar nominee. How they interacted with one another and reacted to every scenario is priceless. An acting master class on display.

They dialogue and arguments are also a delight and it covers a wide variety of issues. But then again, 79 minutes of constant dialogue is obviously not everyone's cup of tea. Me? I'm certain to view this again in the future. And delightfully so too.
7 out of 10

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Parody: Nick Fury Recruits From Other Movies

As we reach the end of 2011, I can't help but think of the great line-up of movies we have installed for next year. Yesterday, I already posted the new FULL trailer for The Dark Knight Rises while the teaser trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey [2012] will be going online a few hours from the time of me writing this (online at 7pm PST, around 11am at my local Malaysian time). Another one of my most anticipated movies for 2012 is of course The Avengers. Well what can I say, I've always had a special place in my heart for super-heroes. As you might know already, Marvel has been building up for this movie for quite some time now. Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson), who is Director of S.H.E.I.L.D has been seen on a recruiting mission for The Avengers ever since the end credits of Iron Man [2008]. He has since then made appearances in Iron Man 2 [2010], Thor [2011], and Captain America: The First Avenger [2011]. Now then, the guys at CollegeHumor has come up with quite an amusing parody where Colonel Nick Fury extends his Avenger recruiting mission to other popular movies. Let me just say the impersonation of Samuel L. Jackson is pretty good indeed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises [2012] 2nd (Full) Trailer

Arghhh... nerd-gasm and geek-tasy all over again. The 2nd (full) trailler for The Dark Knight Rises [2012] has just been released a mere minutes ago. Complete with Bane and Selina Kyle (Catwoman). Bring on 2012 already!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Babe-O-Licious: Olivia Thirlby

What originally started out as a very self-indulgent segment, Babe-O-Licious seems to have generated pretty heavy web traffic (well for my blog's standard at least). Was there really any doubt that sex sells? So, I've began thinking who to feature for this 3rd instalment of the series. I wanted to avoid the established beauties like Angelina Jolie and Megan Fox and instead just focus on actresses who are young and upcoming. So a prompt deliberation had me narrowing it down to two people. For the first hottie on my mind, I failed to find enough quality photos so decided to save her for some other time in the future. Now, the second babe is still a few months shy of reaching 18 years old, so that rules her out of the picture for the moment as it will be a tad too creepy if I did feature her. I then began thinking about what movies will becoming out soon and I that's when I found my girl. Introducing the captivating Olivia Thirlby, star of next week's alien invasion flick, The Darkest Hour.

Continuing the tradition of the previous two Babe-O-Licious hotties (Odette Annable and Laura VanderVoort), I also first noticed Olivia from a TV Series. It was the thrilling but short-lived show, Kidnapped [2006-2007]. But yeah, she is probably best recognised (for now at least) for her role as Ellen Page's best friend in the Oscar nominated movie, Juno [2007].

Born in New York City on October 6th, 1986, she made her film debut in the 9/11 plane hijack drama, United 93 [2006] and has also been in movies such as The Wackness [2008], New York, I Love You [2009], and No Strings Attached [2011].

She is also part of the animated TV series, Good Vibes [2011 - ] alongside Adam Brody, Jake Busey, Josh Gad, and Danny McBride. She'll also be seen in the upcoming movie Margaret [2011]. In case there's confusion, no, this is not the upcoming Margaret Thatcher biopic staring Meryl Streep. That movie is called The Iron Lady [2012]. I, for one, am particularly interested to see her in the remake of Dredd [2012].

Olivia has also publicly come out as bisexual and has been described by Vanity Fair magazine as a member of "Hollywood's New Wave".

Friday, December 16, 2011

Review: Mission Impossible 4 - Ghost Protocol [2011]

Release Date: 15 December 2011 (Malaysia), 21 December 2011 (USA)
Directed By: Brad Bird
Written By: Josh Applebaum, Andre Nemec
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg
In A Nutshell:
The IMF is implicated in a global terrorist bombing which results in massive international tension. The US President has initiated Ghost Protocol which means the IMF is shut down and disowned. With no help and no contact, Ethan Hunt (played by Tom Cruise) along with his team members, Jane (played by Paula Patton) and Benji (played by Simon Pegg) must go rogue in order to clear the organisation's name. They are joined by analyst, Brandt (played by Jeremy Renner).
Thumbs Up:
+ Breathtaking action sequences and smart espionage plots/vignettes
+ Plenty of humour for an espionage film
+ Awesome gadgets and one ultra-mega-super cool car (see next photo below). Yup, its that cool that it needed 3 prefixes.
Thumbs Down:
- In the very first scene, two assassins (yes, TWO) fail to hit an agent despite shooting from close distance and the agent seemingly running in a straight line. Doh!
- Lacks the presence of a menacing villain
The Verdict Is In:
Despite how people feel about Tom Cruise in real life nowadays, I have always admired him and have always loved the Mission Impossible franchise. In fact that is why I positioned Ethan Hunt 2nd on my 7 Favourite Movie Secret Agents list in front of more established characters such as James Bond. When you throw in animation legend Brad Bird (director of the astounding Pixar movies, The Incredibles [2004] and Ratatouille [2007], as well as under-rated but magnificent flick, The Iron Giant [1999]) into the mix, this easily became one of my most anticipated movies of the year.

Despite all this anticipation the movie doesn't disappoint. The action sequences here effortlessly generates more adrenaline rush than all 3 Transformers movies combined. Heck, I'll even say they generate more adrenaline rush than all 9 Michael Bay movies put together! The highlight of the bunch would definitely be the scene at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The 007-style gadgets are impressively cool which sets up nicely some espionage plots/vignettes in particularly a break-in scene at the Kremlin. Also must be mentioned is how awesome the BMW car in this film (see photo above) is. Hands down the most seductive automobile in a movie alongside Batman's Tumbler. This fourth instalment to me is the best one yet to come out of the Mission Impossible franchise.

Brad Bird has proven that animation directors can do a great job at live-action features and is quickly turning into one of the directing greats. Its now turn for fellow Pixar colleague, Andrew Stanton to prove his worth in next year's John Carter.
7.5 out of 10

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Wait Is Over..... Filmography 2011

A while back I posted Filmography 2010, a compilation video that features clips from a whopping 270 movies belonging to the year 2010. To this day I firmly believe that it is the most perfect compilation video I have ever seen, either on Youtube or anywhere else. There's probably millions of compilation videos out there, but this one's editing, featured music, and how the scenes interacted with one another as well with the music was simply majestic.

Now, the creator of that video, Youtube user genrocks, has come up with this year's version, Filmography 2011 featuring clips from 230 movies either produced or distributed in 2011. Personally I still think Filmography 2010 is better, but that's probably because the music featured there was more solid plus the fact that I've watched the video countless of times. For a moment I thought something was wrong with Youtube because at the time of writing, it had only 2,936,842 views. I could have swore that was the current figure for my views alone, hah! But still, this new one is also pretty darn impressive, head and shoulders above other videos and a fitting way to end 2011. Not only does it features the films of the past year, it also captures the joy and emotion that we want to experience as movie lovers.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: 13 Assassins (Jusan-nin no shikaku) [2011]

Release Date: 29 April 2011 (USA)
Directed By: Takashi Miike
Written By: Kaneo Ikagami, Daisuke Tengan
Starring: Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Masachika Ichimura
In A Nutshell:
A remake of a 1963 movie by Eiichi Kudo, 13 Assassins tells the story of a group of unemployed samurai who are gathered together for the mission to kill an evil and sadistic lord who is next in line to be the Shogun. It is an almost impossible mission as there are only 13 of them, while the evil lord, Naritsugu (played by Goro Inagaki), will be protected by an entire army lead by veteran samurai, Hanbei (Masachika Ichimura).
Thumbs Up:
+ Superbly epic 45-minute climatic battle scene with very minimal (not noticeable to the eye) CGI
+ Lord Naritsugu makes for an awesome villain as he is beyond evil and transcends the very notion of cruelty, yet somehow still believable
+ Like many of the things inspired by Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai [1954] in this movie, each samurai here has a distinct personality with my personal favourite being Hirayama (played by Tsuyoshi Ihara). He just oozes coolness.
Thumbs Down:
- While holding the advantage in the climatic battle scene by having higher ground and use of bows and arrows, the samurai opt to go down and engage in sword fights. Film-wise, this makes for cool action, but defies any believable reason for the characters to do so in reality
- The final one-on-one showdown between Shinzaemon (played by Koji Yakusho) and Hanbei (played by Masachika Ichimura) feel like lacking the sheer climatic awesomeness needed especially considering how grand the rest of the action was

The Verdict Is In:
13 Assassins boasts a strong story, great directing and acting, while the electrifying 45-minute finale is one of the most thrilling battle sequence in recent memory. Not only is it beautifully choreographed, but observe carefully and you'll notice a story being carefully told with each connecting vignette. These days the use of CGI is a must in every movie, and I'm sure the fight sequences here also did too, but they were unnoticeable to the eye. Its as almost as they were none used at all. That's a lesson to recent movies such as The Immortals [2011] and Sucker Punch [2011], in that you don't need to overuse CGI to create engaging battles.
8.5 out of 10

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Infographic: Famous Movie Quotes

 I love strong dialogues in movies. It is often one of the most memorable aspects that I associate with a certain film. Some quotes/lines are so notable that you can instantly recognise which movie that they came from. Take for example the quote "I am your father!!", and your mind automatically conjures up the image of Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back [1980]. Any mention of "Why so serious?", and a mental image of Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight [2008] will appear. Some will have flashbacks to a scene with Mr. Miyagi and Daniel-son in the movie The Karate Kid [1984] when they hear "Wax on... wax off". As always, I'll chime in "Great Scott!", "1.21 Gigawatts??", and "Whoa, this is heavy!" from my all-time favourite film, Back To The Future [1985].

Nathan Yau at has visualised some famous movie quotes in the form of infographics. Infographics are the in-thing right now, especially for presentations, as it is a method of transforming facts and information (which in high quantity are pretty boring) into a story. Well, a picture is worth a thousand words. Below are the visuals along with its original quotes from the movie. As usual, the images can be viewed in larger size by clicking.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Secret Movie Confessions: Teen Wolf [1985]

*Secret Movie Confessions is a segment dedicated to movies which I have affection towards but are generally perceived as cheesy and/or received poor critical response.

The Details:
Year Of Release: 1985
Directed By: Rod Daniel
Written By: Jeph Loeb, Matthew Weisman
Starring: Michael J. Fox and some other people (seriously, he's the only one worth mentioning)
The Story:
A teenager discovers that puberty for him means that he turns into a werewolf like the rest of his family. Apparently this also turns him into a great basketball player and he receives great popularity in his high school.
Fun Facts:
# Despite being made earlier than Back To The Future [1985], it spent time on the shelf and had only been released to capitalize on the success of that other Michael J. Fox movie.
# In fact, the name of Michael's character was changed from Scott to Marty (the name of the character in Back To The Future) for the Italian-dubbed release, while in Brazil, the title was changed to O Garato do Futuro which roughly translates into The Boy From The Future.
# This films success led to a cartoon spin-off TV series and a sequel starring Jason Bateman in 1987, this time with Boxing as its sport of choice. A second sequel starring Alyssa Milano with Ice Hockey for its sport was planned but never materialized.
# In June 2011, MTV released a TV series adapted from this movie.
The Love Relationship Explained:
As a kid growing up in the 1980s, I idolised Michael J. Fox. He was just so cool playing the precociously savvy character Alex P. Keaton in the popular TV sitcom those days, Family Ties [1982-1989]. When Back To The Future [1985] came out, that coolness factor just skyrocketed beyond orbit. It is my absolute numero uno of all-time favourite movies thus why this blog's name is inspired from a quote in that film. I only discovered Teen Wolf a few years later after its original release on VHS. It either didn't get a theatrical release here in Malaysia or I was to young to have noticed. But anyway, the VHS was constantly rented, and I used to memorise every line verbatim.

But when I reached my teenage years I discovered other movies and this film slowly got forgotten by me. Its exactly like how Andy in the Toy Story movies begin to outgrow his toys. But a couple years back I was reminded of this past favourite of mine and for the first time in over a decade watched it all over again. That's when I began to realise how incredibly corny this movie actually was. The story was extremely cheesy and cliché, the acting apart from Michael was awful, and heck, the werewolf he turned into resembles more of a mini-me version of Chewbacca. Oh, don't even get me started on the way his dad's werewolf looked like. If anything, he looked more like a cat than a wolf (don't worry its all in the trailer featured below). It was a quintessential 80s B-movie, only with an A-list actor starring in it. Come to to think of it, almost everyone else from this film currently can't be tracked. Talk about failed careers.

If I was watching this film for the first time today, I probably would've hated it. But that's the key point - this is NOT my first time watching it. Despite how bad it is, I STILL ENJOY IT TO BITS! Blame it on nostalgia if you will but I still love the extreme cheesiness of the movie. I still love the cliché underdog story. I still love the wolf dancing on top of a van to the tune of The Beach Boy's Surfin' USA. And yes, I have a huge soft spot for the 80s. In fact, I think I appreciate the movie even more now!
Original Trailer:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Guess Who They Are....

Photo credit to 9gag

Try to guess which TV/Movie characters are in the photo above. If you analyse the photo hard enough, its actually very simple (then again, I'm saying this AFTER I found out the answer... talk about hindsight being 20/20). Well for starters they are popular enough, in fact next week marks their 22nd anniversary in the entertainment industry, and they have already been awarded a star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Okay, mega-hint: They have mainly dressed the same way (as in the above photo) for the past 22 years!
Click the break for the answer...

Monday, December 5, 2011

List: Favourite David Fincher Movies

David Fincher with Rooney Mara
As awards season draws closer, one of the most anticipated movies to be released this coming month will be none other than The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. But to be more specific, to be released this month... in the Yu-Es-Eh (thats USA for the unimaginative). Its utterly ridiculous that it'll only get a theatrical release on Malaysian shores come February next year. I have no idea what goes on in that place between the ears (scientist apparently refer to as "The Brain") of Malaysian movie distributors when scheduling their film releases. Heck, Hugo will only be released mid-March! This makes my mate's nagging for a holiday trip to Singapore's Universal Studios even more seductive. I reckon the movie will be released earlier there in that neighboring country. And with a more merciful censor board too.

Anyway the director for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is none other than one David Fincher. This is the guy Quentin Tarantino labeled as "one of the best directors of my generation". His films have a dark, slow-building tone to them with plenty of visual flair. He is a real expert in creating scenes filled with suspense and tension while the characters in his movies often provoke plenty of thought. Here is my countdown of his movies. I had a tough time deciding the order for the top 3 as I love all three movies equally and on a different day, the order might be different.

#8 Alien 3 [1992]

Image enhanced by twoknowone
Fincher's debut feature, picking-up the franchise from Ridley Scott and James Cameron. Unfortunately though, this is the weakest selection from the Alien quadrilogy.

Selected Quote: Clemens: "Well, not much to say, is there? Death was instantaneous." Aaron: "No shit".

#7 The Game [1997]

This story has so many implausible aspects in it that sometimes I feel as I'm watching a science-fiction feature. But I'm willing to forgive all that because as a whole, this is one very engaging psychological thriller

Selected Quote: "I don't care about the money. I'm pulling back the curtain. I want to meet the wizard."

#6 Zodiac [2007]

Based on the true unsolved mystery of The Zodiac Killer during the 1960s and 70s. My first viewing of this movie was through the Director's Cut version. Although it span almost 3 hours long, I still didn't want it to end.

Selected Quote: "Before I kill you, I'm going to throw your baby out the window."

#5 Panic Room [2002]

The amount of suspense and tension generated by this thriller is at edge-of-you-seat and biting-your-nails level. As one would expect, Jodie Foster gives a solid performance.

Selected Quote: Burham: "Nice house you guys got. Your mom's rich?" Sarah: "Dad's rich. Mom's just mad."

#4 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button [2008]

I just love imaginative epic-lifetime-adventure stories like Forrest Gump [1994] and Big Fish [2003]. This movie is a strong addition to the list.

Selected Quote: "Did I ever tell you I was struck by lightning seven times?"

#3 The Social Network [2010]

After writer Aaron Sorkin won the Golden Globe for this movie he praised Fincher for "able to make scenes of typing and sometimes just scenes of talking about typing look like bank robberies". High praise indeed, especially since Sorkin's dialogue was the most potent component of an overall solid movie (see below for example of the sheer awesomeness). I was honestly hooked from the very first scene (conversation between Zuckerberg and Erica).

Selected Quote: Gage: "You don't think I deserve your attention?" Zuckerberg: "I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try, but there's no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie! You have part of my attention. You have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. [Pauses]. Did I adequately answer your condescending question?"

#2 Fight Club [1999]

An astounding masterpiece. Any "movies must see before you die" list is incomplete without this film on it. Oh, and Tyler Durden (character from this movie) is a freaking legend!

Selected Quote: "The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight club is: You do not talk about Fight Club!"

#1 Se7en [1995]

The mark of a truly great motion picture is the ability to leave the audience bewildered long after the credits roll. My first viewing had me overwhelmed for weeks. Epic!

Selected Quote: "He's experienced as much pain and suffering as anyone I've encountered, give or take, and he still has hell to look forward to."
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