Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: The Possesion [2012]

Date Of Release: 30 August 2012 (Malaysia), 31 August 2012 (USA)
Directed By: Ole Bornedal
Written By: Juliet Snowden, Stiles White
Starring: Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport, Matisyahu
Duration: 92 minutes
In A Nutshell:
Supposedly based on a true story. Clyde (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie (played by Kyra Sedgwick) are recently divorced and share responsibilities of taking care of their two daughters, Hannah (played by Madison Davenport) and Em (played by Natasha Calis). The youngest of the siblings, Em purchases an antique wooden box at a yard sale and soon after her behaviour starts to change and weird things begin to happen. It turns out that the box contains a dibbux, a trapped spirit that devours it's human host once released from the box.

Thumbs Up:
+ A few creepy moments
+ Doesn't rely (not heavily at least) on loud music and cheap shocks
+ Hey, I've actually seen most of those Youtube videos on exorcism that Jeffrey Dean Morgan researches (the first one I'm certain is from my country)
+ There's a scene that reminds everyone not to use your mobile phone while driving (unless hands-free). Nice Public Service Reminder. (the last two thumbs-up are unnecessary but I'm struggling for more positives)
Thumbs Down:
- Mostly predictable
- Nothing truly terrifying or menacing happens
- Despite clear intentions of adding depth to the characters, we don't really share their suffering
- Your cheerful, nerdy, and animal loving vegetarian daughter suddenly starts to look like the photos above and below, while also developing rage problems, and you just voice to someone else "do you notice something strange about Em?". Du-uh! Oh, right. I forgot. She's a teenage girl.

The Verdict Is In:
There's a few creepy moments to give you goosebumps but just when the tension starts to build, the scene ends without anything really terrifying happening. Victim of the PG-13 rating perhaps? Maybe in a way it could have benefited from having a cheap shock scene or two. I also found this flick rather predictable. At first I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt and put it down to me being an experienced movie-goer (yeah right!), but then again I haven't really watched many horror films.

I don't think its a bad movie, but in no way will it be a classic. Mind you, this is supposedly based on a true story. There was an actual dibbux box sold on eBay complete with its description and the horrific experience of the seller. You could read part of the story here. Whether true or not, I actually think that story is far more interesting, as is the title "Dibbux Box"
6 out of 10

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

List: 10 Favourite Interrogation Scenes

After a real hectic couple of weeks for me at both work and home, I finally got a break during the past few days to recharge myself. This also means that at long last I've managed to see a few movies and work on this particular post that I've had in mind for quite a some time. So here it is, My 10 Favourite Interrogation Scenes.

Since some films have quite a few numbers of interrogations, I'll be limiting my list to just one scene per movie. I'd like to say in advance that they'll be no scene from The Usual Suspects [1995] here since I'm from the minority of people that didn't enjoy the film. I predicted its "twist" very early on too. Furthermore, I regrettably confess to not yet seeing L.A. Confidential [1997], although I do hear that it has a good interrogation sequence.

#10 "You're Abusing This Exercise!" ~ The Recruit [2003]

CIA trainees at "The Farm" are put through an interrogation exercise by instructor Walter Burke (played by Al Pacino). "A good interrogator can also soften a subject", Burke says. "Knock 'em off balance, make 'em vulnerable. Never know what you might get. So... fire at will". He then pairs trainees Clayton (played by Colin Farrell) and Layla (played by Bridget Moynahan) together. Clayton who was still upset by being deceived by Layla the previous night at a club, asks some very damaging questions (see below):

Selected Quote: "You said you wanted to go home and have comfort sex. Did you?"

#9 "Hit The Pause Button, Quick!!" ~ Basic Instinct [1992]

Catherine Tramell (played by Sharon Stone) is a suspect for a murder. During the interrogation, she makes one of the most popular leg-crosses in cinematic history. Manipulative? Certainly. That's why she was in my 15 Favourite Female Villains list.

Selected Quote: John Correli: "Have you ever engaged in any sadomasochistic activity?" Catherine Tramell: "Exactly what did you have in mind, Mr. Correli?"

#8 "I Guess He Won't Be Having Children Then..." ~ Casino Royale [2006]

The captive and tortured James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) is being questioned by baddie, Le Chiffre (played by Mads Mikkelsen). To get Bond talking, Le Chiffre uses an *ahem* unconventional technique = whipping Bond in the balls!

Selected Quote: (Laughing) "Now the whole world will know you died scratching my balls"

#7 "Torture You? That's A Good Idea" ~ Reservoir Dogs [1992]

"I've already told you I don't know anything about any fucking setup. You can torture me all you want." <-- Extremely poor choice of words there. Left alone with the cop, that is exactly what Mr. Blonde (played by Michael Madsen) did. The cop lost a part of his body as Mr. Blonde enjoyed the tune of Steelers Wheel - Stuck In The Middle With You.

Selected Quote: "I don't give a good fuck what you know, or don't know. But I'm gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It's amusing, to me, to torture, a cop"

#6 "Weapon Of Choice? A Hammer!" ~ Drive [2011]

The first time I saw Drive [2011], I thought it was a completely awesome movie and also one of my favourites of that year. Having said that, my fondness for the film has grown with time and it is now in my best ever list. The unnamed driver (played by Ryan Gosling) is just so cool. In this scene he confronts middle-man, Cook (played by James Biberi) armed with just a hammer and single bullet.

Selected Quote: (Shows bullet) "Do you remember this?"

#5 "Oh, I'm Sorry. Did I break your concentration?" ~ Pulp Fiction [1994]

Come on, how many people are not familiar with this scene? With the many parodies and fan-arts, you're probably familiar with it even if you've never seen the film. Jules Winnfield (played by Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (played by John Travolta) go to retrieve a briefcase from Brett (played by Frank Whaley) in his apartment. Leave it to Quentin Tarantino to come up with a scene like this.

Selected Quote: " 'What' ain't no country I've ever heard of. They speak English in 'what' ?"

#4 "Where Is The Rabbit's Foot?" ~ Mission: Impossible III [2006]

Extremely intense opening scene of the film. Owen Davian (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) threatens to kill Ethan Hunt's (played by Tom Cruise) newly-wedded wife, Julia (played by Michelle Monaghan). Knowing there's nothing he can do, Ethan starts by bargaining, then lying, then threatening, and then finally pleading. Awesome performance by both the always impressive Hoffman, and also by Tom Cruise.

Selected Quote: "Listen to me. Listen to me. I want to help you. I want to help you get whatever you want. But you got to do what's right. What you know is right"

#3 "You're Part Eggplant!" ~ True Romance [1993]

You've probably noticed a recurring theme on this list. Although this movie was directed by the late Tony Scott, it was written by none other than Quentin Tarantino. Not his first work on the list and also not his last (see #2). Consigned to defeat, Clifford Worley (played by Dennis Hopper) tells the story of how Sicilians were spawaned by niggers to Vicenzo Coccotti (played by Christopher Walken). Only Tarantino could have written what started out as an intense and brutal interrogation with lessons on lying into thoughts to ponder on. Great acting is on display as we watch the facial gestures on Walken as he reacts to the story.

Selected Quote: "Sicilians are great liars. The best in the world. I'm Sicilian. My father was the world heavy-weight champion of Sicilian liars. From growing up with him I learned the pantomime. There are seventeen different things a guy can do when he lies to give himself away"

#2 "Rats, Squirrels, & Delicious Milk" ~ Inglourious Basterds [2009]

Col. Hans Landa (played by Christoph Waltz) confronts Perrier LePadite (played by Denis Menochet) and his family in a calm manner. Once again excellent writing from the great auteur know as Quentin Tarantino while Christoph Watlz puts up a performance that completely dominated (deservedly so, too) at the awards season.

Selected Quote: "Monsier LaPadite, to both your family and your cows, I say: Bravo!"

#1 "I'm Just Ahead Of The Curve" ~ The Dark Knight [2008]

One of the best performances by any actor in history is on display here in the form of The Joker (played by Heath Ledger). First confronted by Commissioner Gordon (played by Gary Oldman) and then Batman (played by Christian Bale), The Joker shows that they have nothing to leverage him on. A truly majestic scene!

Selected Quote: "Don't talk like you're one of them. You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak. Like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, its a bad joke. Dropped at the first sight of trouble"

**********HONOURABLE MENTION**********

# "The Power Of The Force" ~ Star Wars: A New Hope [1977]

I'm a Star Wars geek so I just had to include this one. Confronted by stormtropers about the droids (R2-D2 & C-3PO) they were carrying, Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness) uses his Jedi mind-tricks on the stormtroopers, much to the amazement of the watching Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill).

Selected Quote: "These are not the droids you're looking for..."

Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: The Expendables 2 [2012]

Release Date: 16 August 2012 (Malaysia), 17 August 2012 (USA)
Directed By: Simon West
Written By: Richard Wenk, Sylvester Stallone, Ken Kaufman, David Agosto
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Nan Yu, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Scott Adkins
Duration: 102 minutes
In A Nutshell:
The Expendables is a team of highly trained mercenaries which consists of Barney Ross (played by Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (played by Jason Statham), Yin Yang (played by Jet Li), Gunner Jensen (played by Dolph Lundgren), Hale Caesar (played by Terry Crews), Toll Road (played by Randy Couture), and the newest and youngest member, Bill (played by Liam Hemsworth). They are assigned by Mr. Church (played by Bruce Willis) to do a job with the help of an agent named Maggie (played by Nan Yu). Things go horribly wrong when they meet an opposing group led by Vilain (played by Jean-Claude Van Damme) and Hector (played by Scott Adkins). They aim to seek revenge and meet some old friends along the way in Booker (played by Chuck Norris) and Trench (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger).

Thumbs Up:
+ Good old-school type of action
+ Loads of laughs and banter
+ Action movie legends putting-up vintage performances
Thumbs Down:
- As is the case with old-school action, plenty suspension of belief is needed for those who aren't use to it -- not a problem for me here.
- Lacking suspense, but it actually works for this movie
- Bad guys are comically-evil (see The Verdict Is In segment below)

The Verdict Is In:
Previously, only a very few movies with ensemble stars have been good. The Avengers [2012] and Love, Actually [2003] are the odd exceptions that did manage to entertain. Even the predecessor to this film, The Expendables [2010] was largely disappointing. But we can now add The Expendables 2 to the list of successful ones. It was really great to see this ensemble of action-movie legends put-on a vintage performance. Classic old-school action. They also make fun of the movie characters that made each actor popular in the first place. Heck, they even make use of Dolph Lundgren's real life background of Chemical Engineering.

Other than the action, the film has truck-loads of humour. I even consider putting the label "comedy" to this review. And that's where it succeeds. In this era of gritty and realistic action like in the Bourne films or The Dark Knight [2008], it helps that they don't take themselves too seriously. The longer the film went, the more fun I was having. The only real downside for me were the comically evil bad guys. Not only is Van Damme's character named Vilain, but they are so cruel to the extent of wanting to get women and children to be "slaves" working in the mines.

In a year where I've seen plenty of good films but were under my expectations, this one surprisingly succeeds those expectations. Oh, and if you're not familiar with the Internet jokes on Chuck Norris, do check them out before seeing this. It is well worth it, I tell you.
8 out of 10

Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: The Bourne Legacy [2012]

Release Date: 9 August 2012 (Malaysia), 10 August 2012 (USA)
Directed By: Tony Gilroy
Written By: Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach
Duration: 125 minutes
In A Nutshell:
Happening at the same time during the events in The Bourne Ultimatum [2007]. Having Jason Bourne exposing the CIA operations, Treadstone and Blackbriar, a similiar program called "Outcome" is now also under threat. The handlers of the operations, Turso (played by Stacy Keach) and Byer (played by Edward Norton) are trying to cover their tracks by eliminating everyone involved, including the scientists. One Outcome agent, Aaron Cross (played by Jeremy Renner) survives the attack and seeks the help of the one scientist currently remaining, Dr. Marta Shearing (played by Rachel Weisz).
Thumbs Up:
+ Interesting enough story and action scenes (see also Thumbs Down)
+ Nice chemistry between Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz
+ Nice set-up for future films
Thumbs Down:
- Although passable, the story and action lacks any "wow" factor and real intensity
- No fight showdown between Aaoron Cross and the agent chasing him? Boooo...
- The motivation for Aaron Cross' character isn't as compelling to the audience
- Knowledge of the previous films from the franchise is somewhat needed

The Verdict Is In:
The Bourne Legacy is a spin-off from the previous Bourne franchise where Jason Bourne is referenced through out the film but never really shown. Although here we discover that there is still a huge universe in the franchise yet to be explored, we just can't shake-off the feeling that this flick is lacking what made the previous films compelling. The story and motivation of the protagonist seems too simple and average. Nothing that we haven't seen before. The same can be said of the action scenes. Its feels like the movie never had a real climax. I went in expecting fireworks but The Bourne Legacy seems stuck in second gear.
6 out of 10

Monday, August 6, 2012

1st Year Anniversary And Blog Awards

Today I finally reached the landmark one whole year of blogging. I'm a quintessential Gemini, and we consistently abandon ship on a project halfway through (another factor will be revealed below), so for me to last this long is considered an achievement. Hopefully I can keep on going.

Last week I was nominated by Vern from Videovanguard, JayCluitt from LifeVsFilm, M.Brown from Two Dollar Cinema, and Andina from Inspired Ground to receive a Liebster Award. Suddently I was reminded about the last time I received these kind of meme blog awards. It was way, way back in MARCH when Pete at I Love That Film and Andina again from Inspired Ground nominated me for a 7x7 Award WHICH I KEPT DELAYING AND THEN COMPLETELY FORGOT TO DO! Ten gazillion apologies. So today I'll complete that long over-due award along with this new one.


First off, the long overdue 7x7 Award. I know its past its expiry date, but I'll answer the questions anyway, especially since it fits with my anniversary theme.  

Q: Tell something that no one else knows about you
A: I have a mild condition of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Basically it means I'm inattentive or lack concentration. What's sad is I didn't know about ADD until I was in my 20s. In fact if you ask 9 out of 10 Malaysians (I just made that stat up, but roughly its true), they too don't know about it. We Malaysians are lame like that. I found out about the disorder through movies and TV and explains a lot about the difficulties I had in school. Having said that, I did do pretty well. By having ADD, watching movies can at times be challenging. As an adult I've developed coping mechanisms though. One of them is, as evident frequently on this blog, is I like to hype-up future movies. When I'm excited, I'm focused.

Q: Link to one of the posts that I personally think best fits the following categories:

# Most beautiful piece: How the heck do I judge beautiful? I'll just say The History Of Batman On Screen because it is the second longest amount of time that it took me to write. The longest is listed as the most pride-worthy piece somewhere below. I wanted different post for each categories.

# Most helpful piece: Erm, probably my 10 Favourite Pixar Shorts. Its helpful in you could just view the short-films right there. That's as helpful as it gets around here.

# Most popular piece: I'm using the integrated analysis page from Blogger here, and it lists my purely self-indulgent Babe-O-Licious: Odette Annable as most viewed. I presume thats because people Google for the photos and nothing to do with the writing.

# Most controversial piece: I guess my negative review of The Amazing Spider-Man [2012] because it has a very long comment from an anonymous reader and he/she even replied to my reply. As far as controversial goes for this blog, that's on a level of a scandal! 

# Most surprisingly successful piece: Me And My Superhero Childhood. Surprising because: (1) as I wrote in the post, it was originally intended as an introduction paragraph for another post but I decided to expand on it, and (2) go read it, you'll find it was just random and crappy.

# Most underrated piece: No idea, so I'm going to close my eyes and pick one at random here. And the winner goes to 15 Favourite Female Villains.

# Most pride-worthy piece: 100 Film Facts About Me. The most personal and took me the longest time to write.


Rules for Liebster Awards: (1) Each person must post 11 things about themselves (2) Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set you (3) Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to (4) Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post (5) Go to their page and tell them (6) No tag backs

Sorry to be a party pooper but I'm afraid I can't continue this meme forward. People overestimate how many people actually read my site. Take a look "Followers" column at right side of this page. As of writing there's only 20 people with some not even movie blogs, a few haven't even listed their blog info (if they even have one), while the others have already received the award. How am I supposed to find 11 that actually read my blog? I know, I'm full of excuses.

11 Things about themselves:

I already revealed a lot of information in my 100 Film Facts About Me post and don't want to repeat any here, so it'll be hard to keep this segment entirely movie-related.

1) I've always had a passion for movies but for a long time it was only second place in my life. Top spot belonged to football/soccer. That sport was replaced at the pinnacle probably after I graduated and entered the work force. Naturally I played lesser and lesser as the years went by and having my own income meant I could afford to watch more movies.
2) During my student days, I actually played soccer at a competitive level. I live in Malaysia though, so that level isn't very high. I just saw The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito) [2011] and it is an awesome film. I just threw that last sentence in to make every fact film relevant. :P
3) Since we're in the middle of the Olympics, here's another sports related fact. Every time I enter an open tournament or even when playing games (online and offline) my team name is inspired by a film (much like this blog's name). For example, the name for my fantasy soccer team right now is Millennium Falcon. Go google that if you're not familiar.
4) I currently work in Network Security which also implies I'm a computer hacker. Well, basically I stop them. Kinda like the Dark Knight of the cyber world. Might sound cool, but trust me its not. I also realise by writing that I'm putting my self at risk so let me declare that I'm shit at my job and please don't hack/deface my blog.
5) I watch a lot of celebrity interviews on Youtube. I'm drawn into charismatic and colourful personalities.
6) I thought about this a lot and seriously don't remember the first film that I saw. My first trip to the cinema was only when I was 13 for a local Malaysian movie.
7) I dislike crowded, busy, and big cities. I prefer the tranquility of the suburbs or countryside.
8) I own a car but rarely use it. I get grumpy when I drive especially in the daily traffic jams here (again, like everything else I blame my ADD). I much prefer to ride my Honda CBR bike. 
9) I wished they celebrated Halloween in my country. It would have been fun to have a childhood of dressing-up and going for Trick or Treat.
10) I love hearing different accents, they're like music to my ears. However, I'm terrible at doing them myself.
11) I want to learn Brazilian Jujitsu right now.

Questions From LifeVsFilm:

1) At a movie theatre, what snacks do you buy? Or do you sneak them in? If money were no object, what would be your movie theatre snack of choice?
Just the normal caramel popcorn. I actually think that people who bring hot-dogs and such are distracting with their smell.
2) What's the first movie that really scared you?
I've told this story before in my 100 Films Facts About Me list, the first horror film I saw was the original Fright Night [1985]. Ever since then, every creature that I encountered in my nightmares would utter the line from the movie "You have to have faith for that to work on me". I don't remember ever waking up to a happy ending. Getting the girl really does only happen in the movies.
3) The television show/graphic novel/other thing I would really love to see adapted to film is ____
A memoirs book by Neil Strauss called The Game. Not only is the life of professional Pick-Up Artists interesting, but there are plenty of entertaining adventures, characters, and conflicts too.
4) If you like horror movies, why do you like them? If not why not?
I'm a little indifferent on horrors, but when it comes to slasher or gore movies then I'm not really fond of. There's always exceptions but generally I'm not interested. The stories doesn't excited me and I don't like gore in general, not just in movies.
5) If you could be any movie character, who would you be, and why?
Ed Bloom from Big Fish [2003]. They may be just tall tales, but his life was full of adventure. Same applies to Forrest Gump and Benjamin Button.
6) Which movie character are you most like?
Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) in Fight Club [1999] and Brandon (Michael Fassbender) in Shame [2011] for physical similarities and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in Iron Man [2008] for charisma. Okay, not true. But I've never really seen a character on screen and think that's me. I might share some traits or views but none that truly represents me.
7) What is it about films that interests you? What got you started?
Imagination or the sense of escapism. I grew up in the 80s and that was the era of the blockbuster. That's what probably got me started.
8) Why did you start blogging? What keeps you going?
See answer (1) from Two Dollar Cinema's question below
9) What movie would you like to see again for the first time with no prior knowledge?
The Sixth Sense [1999]. Some moranic movie reviewer in my local newspaper ruined it for me by revealing the twist of the movie in his very first sentence. Journalist my ass!
10) If you could have worked on any film in history, which would it be, and in what role?
Cannibal Holocaust [1980] in any production role. It is actually the most disturbing movie I've ever seen and I absolutely loathe it. But for a long time I thought it was a real-life account, so it would be interesting to see how they filmed it. 
11) What song will be played over the closing credits of you life?
Err... We Are The Champions by Queen. Hopefully my life would deserve it by then.

Questions From Vern@Videovangaurd:

1) What would your dream movie theatre have, besides just what is being played?
The Gold Class auditoriums were I live have decent features like attached lounge and toilets, great picture and sound quality, reclining seats, and table for every two seats with a service call button. Gosh, the genie grants me a wish and I screw it up by thinking small like that! Wake up Asrap!
2) Name one movie that actually would be good to remake?
Pulp Fiction [1994] <---- Relax, of course I'm trolling.
3) What irritates you most when blogging?
That I have to do a lot of coding to improve the look of my blog. Its just too much work and I'm fed-up from reading codings from work, so I never do it.
4) What do you like most when blogging?
Getting inspired by great posts from other bloggers
5) Do you play drinking games to movies? If so, what do you drink?
Not really, no.
6) What is the best way to save us when dolphins try to take over the world?
Save us? I'll save myself. If there's anything I've learned from the movies, its that I have better chance living by turning into a mole and offer the location of human hide-outs to the dolphins. I know they'll eventually kill me too, but while I'm on their side, I'll try to hook-up with their leader's daughter so I'll officially be one of them.
7) What movie do you flat-out refuse to watch, no matter how good people say it is?
Not many people really say its good, but I refuse to watch Human Centipede 2 [2011]. The same applies to its predecessor.
8) Name at least 3 movies that you still watch on other formats besides DVD and Blu-Ray.
I no longer have VHS so this must apply to TV right? I'd say the the 3 Star Wars films from the original trilogy.
9) Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
I've even challenged him to a dance-off duel. The loser had to leave earth and go to hell. And look who's still here.
10) What is a good movie that you have a hard time convincing people to watch?
Mean Girls [2004]. Guys think its a girly movie. It probably is, but I think its hilarious.
11) What toppings do you like on pizza?
Doesn't really matter as long as there's extra cheese.

Questions From M.Brown@Two Dollar Cinema:

1) What made you start your blog?
I realised status updates like "The Social Network was awesome" on social media sites were too short to express myself and geek-out about things
2) Have you ever seen a movie more than once in a theatre? Explain.
I always do for movies I like. Some films that I'm really hyped for, I've even known years before its release that I'll have multiple viewings at the cinema. The Avengers [2012] and The Dark Knight Rises [2012] are perfect examples of this.
3) Tell me the actor/actress and the certain role they play that made them your favourite.
Favourite actor has always been Michael J. Fox. He's great at physical comedy and since he is short, his roles has always been an underdog, but with a lot of charisma.
4) If I thought the movies were a waste of time, what would you show me to change my mind?
If you thought that then I'll view you as a boring person and punish you by showing something horrible like The Hottie & The Nottie [2008]. You could turn out to like it of course.
5) What's the best animated film of all time?
Something by the great Pixar. Currently I'll go with WALL-E [2008].
6) Front row, back row, or right in the middle?
I'm one of those rare breads that prefer the front rows. Not the absolute front, but fourth or fifth from the screen. The picture is larger and there's less in view to distract you (I'm ADD remember?). That being said, the absolute front row in THX-certified theatres isn't bad at all. If you're ever in one, try sitting down in that row while exiting during the credits.
7) Desert island time. You get one movie and one soundtrack. And hell, if you want to, you get an actor or actress, too. let's hear it.
Movie: WALL-E [2008] because the early part is about being all alone too and the movie makes me feel good. Soundtrack: Gonna Fly Now from Rocky 2 [1979] because it gets me motivated (to escape or keep-up hope). Actor: Quentin Tarantino. Okay, technically, he's a director, but he has acted. I chosen him because he's a good conversationalist (have you seen the conversations in his movies?) and he's very passionate when talking. You won't get bored.
8) What's the scariest movie experience you've ever had?
Hmm, I don't know. The Exorcist [1973] maybe. A different kind of scary is An Inconvenient Truth [2006]. I'm an environmentalist.
9) You are given the power to completely erase the existence of one film. What are you picking?
Just one? How about three? The entire Star Wars prequels.
10) Who would be on the Mt. Rushmore of Action Films?
They guy who not only kick-asses, but have many memorable quotes too: Arnold Schwarzenegger.
11) And finally, have you ever clapped at the end of a movie? Really?
At the end of The Dark Knight [2008]. Partly because a couple of other guys did it first and partly because the film was THAT awesome! Also clapped at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger [2011], but only because there was an after-credit scene introducing The Avengers [2012].

Questions From Andina@Inspired Ground

1) If you could replace one movie in the IMDB Top 250 with another, what movie is it?
I'd take out Donnie Darko [2001] and put in The Social Network [2010].
2) Do you have any TV series that you wish to be adapted to a screenplay?
MacGyver [1985-1992]. This just has to be made for its impact on pop-culture.
3) Which superhero in a movie would you like to date and why?
There aren't many female superheroes in movies so far and that limits my choices. Barb Wire? No, either Jennifer Garner in Elektra [2005] or Charlize Theron in Aeon Flux [2005]. Why? Because they're hot. If they weren't, I don't think a normal guy would prefer to date a superhero. Its an ego thing.
4) What is your favourite 80s soundtrack?
Back To The Future [1985]
5) What movie do you always see on a rainy day/unwell
Something laid-back and feel-good like Garden State [2004] or something by Cameron Crowe.
6) What is your most played soundtrack in your playlist/ipod/player?
Probably because this is my gym music, Gonna Fly Now from Rocky 2 [1979]. (See what I did there? I indirectly implied that I go to the gym frequently. That hasn't happened in a long time).
7) What 2011 movie that you thought was underrated?
Submarine and Project Nim. Both beautiful films that I'm sure I'll be watching plenty times in the future.
8) What classic movie that you wish you could see them in the cinema?
Jaws [1975] because how it impacted peoples lives. I hear the public were literally scared of beaches when the movie came out.
9) What is your favourite animated character?
I'll name two: WALL-E and EVE. Check out this video below about someone working on a real life-sized WALL-E. Pixar should by one model. Seriously!

10) What is your least favourite animated character?
Does CGI characters count? Jar-Jar Binks. No? Then I'll go for... whoa, now this is hard... nothing pops into mind yet.
11) What movie icon (director/actor/actress) that you think he/she should have a biopic movie in the future?
Ermm... I don't know. I saw a E! True Hollywood Story episode on Johnny Depp and his life seemed interesting. Or maybe John Lasseter because he was a revolutionary and got fired from Disney because of it. He of course came back strong.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Review: Total Recall [2012]

Release Date: 2 August 2012 (Malaysia), 3 August 2012 (USA)
Directed By: Len Wiseman
Written By: Kurt Wimmer, Mark BomBack, Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Jon Povill
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Canston, Bookem Woodbine, Bill Nighy
Duration: 118 minutes
In A Nutshell:
It is the future and as a result of chemical wars the earth is an unsafe to habit except for two regions, the United Federation of Britain (UFB) and the Colony (formely known as Australia). People travel between these two regions via a transportation channel which runs through the center of the earth and is known as The Fall. Douglas Quaid (played by Colin Farrell) works in The Fall as a factory worker and is also married to a beautiful wife named Lori (played by Kate Beckinsale). Quaid is unsatisfied with his life and goes to Rekall, a company that implants artificial memories into its customers. At Rekall, he finds out that he is a secret agent in real life and is hunted down. While escaping, he bumps into the mysterious woman (played by Jessica Biel) who keeps appearing in his nightmares.
Thumbs Up:
+ Pretty cool hand-to-hand combat scenes
Thumbs Down:
- The story-telling is sometimes too rushed while other times too slow
- The tone of the movie is guilty of being too serious and humourless
- Rather bland dialogue
- For people who have seen the original 1990 movie, they are even more flaws to this current version

The Verdict Is In:
Having just last week re-watch and subsequently review the original Total Recall [1990] movie directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, I was curios to see how this current version would turn out. I expected an improvement on the special effects but kind of felt that the story would be about the same. Sure enough the effects were good but everything else just pales in comparison. I've seen plenty of remakes, and I know a film should be judged solely by itself, but this is one movie that I just couldn't shake the feeling to juxtapose it to its predecessor. Everything great about Paul Verhoeven's version is gone. The shocks and twists. The WTF/OMG moments that genuinely astound. The wisecracking quotes. And most importantly the sense of fun. Oh, I almost forgot. The three-boob hooker is still there, but she keeps her clothes on. There's also an absent of playful flirting from the gorgeous Kate Beckinsale unlike what Sharon Stone used to do back in the original. Now where's the fun in that?

The hand-to-hand combats were very well done but overall I found this film rather dull and uninspiring. Without the big budget, and if this wasn't a re-make, the movie could very well be a direct-to-video release. Those who haven't seen the original are better off seeing that one instead. I know, another mention of the original. But its like those movies that has interesting elements but fail in its execution. You're left with a sense of what it could have been. This time we know how it could have been better, and its was released in 1990.
5 out of 10
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