Saturday, December 13, 2008


Drama, Romance, Thriller and Teen

November 21st, 2008

Rated PG-13 for some violence and a scene of sensuality.


Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Cam Gigandet, and Nikki Reed


I am not now nor have I ever been a 13-year-old girl, but "Twilight" made me wish I could be, at least for a couple of hours, the better to appreciate a movie that has been targeted to that demographic with the delicious specificity of a laser weapon. In case there are no teens in your immediate vicinity, "Twilight" is based on the book by Stephenie Meyer, the first of a quartet that has sold 25 million copies worldwide and been translated into 37 languages. Meyer is not exactly a great literary stylist but she has come up with one heck of a romantic concept. But let her 17-year-old heroine, Bella Swan, beloved of Edward Cullen, tell you all about it: "About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him, and I didn't know how dominant that part might be, that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him." As romance fans know, love needs obstacles to hold our interest, and in this egalitarian age, obstacles are hard to come by. The Oscar-winning "Ghost" of several years back had one lover living, the other deceased, and "Twilight's" notion that he's undead and she's not is just as good, maybe better. Connecting this to the extreme emotions of the young teenage world, where every moment is a crisis and the chaste romance of passionate soul mates is more attractive than dubious sexual shenanigans, was the masterstroke that created a phenomenon.

It's very much to the credit of director Catherine Hardwicke and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg that "Twilight" the movie really gets this. This film succeeds, likely unreservedly for teens and in a classic guilty pleasure kind of way for adults, because it treats high school emotions with unwavering, uncompromising seriousness. Much as you may not want to, you have to acknowledge what's been accomplished here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Four Christmases

Who’s In It: Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight, Jon Favreau, Mary Steenburgen, Dwight Yoakam, Tim McGraw, Kristin Chenoweth

The Basics: You’ve seen the billboard. Reese and Vince wake up in a grimy underground torture chamber to find themselves bound in giant red ribbon. Then the Saw guy makes them decide which one of them has to cannibalize the other in order to teach themselves the true meaning of Christmas. Okay, lie. That’s just the movie I wish I’d watched instead of this one where they have to visit their wacky divorced parents for the holidays.

What’s The Deal: Christmas movies are easy. All they have to be is adequately bland to keep on cashing in on TV every year until you’re old. And then that familiarity breeds a kind of weird mindwashing where people start calling everything a “holiday classic” and then eventually, Idiocracy-style, we’re all just watching flatulent buttocks do nothing but fart “Jingle Bells” for 90 minutes. Actually that would have been more fun than this movie, too.

Guess What Else You Don’t Need To Spend 10 Bucks For, 10 Bucks You Could Spend On About 3% Of A Really Decent Present For Someone You Actually Love: A scene where Jon Voight intones, “Family is the most important thing.” Seriously. Just when whatever minor laughs this movie delivers have finally been stomped on by the slowly creeping intrusion of comedy-killing heartwarmth, someone has the nerve to drag that one out. Because you didn’t know already that family was important, did you? DID YOU? Hollywood is so selfless when it comes to doling out important divorce-preventing wisdom. We should all be grateful.

The Almost-Save: Jon Favreau and relative newcomer Katy Mixon as the white-trash brother and sister-in-law who crush everybody at a game of Taboo. You can pretty much bail after that and go sneak into something else. You know what’s funny? Role Models. Go see that instead.

Or, If You Must See A Christmas-Themed Film About Families Who Don’t Get Along: Try A Christmas Tale (now playing in select big-city arthouses with highly readable subtitles) or just go Netflix The Ref again.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

James Bond : Quantum Of Solace (2008)

Betrayed by Vesper, the woman he loved, 007 fights the urge to make his latest mission personal. Pursuing his determination to uncover the truth, Bond and M interrogate Mr. White who reveals the organization which blackmailed Vesper is far more complex and dangerous than anyone had imagined.

Forensic intelligence links an Mi6 traitor to a bank account in Haiti where a case of mistaken identity introduces Bond to the beautiful but feisty Camille, a woman who has her own vendetta. Camille leads Bond straight to Dominic Greene, a ruthless business man and major force within the mysterious organization.

On a mission that leads him to Austria, Italy and South America, Bond discovers that Greene, conspiring to take total control of one of the world's most important natural resources, is forging a deal with the exiled General Medrano. Using his associates in the organization, and manipulating his powerful contacts within the CIA and the British government, Greene promises to overthrow the existing regime in a Latin American country, giving the General control of the country in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of land.

In a minefield of treachery, murder and deceit, Bond allies with old friends in a battle to uncover the truth. As he gets closer to finding the man responsible for the betrayal of Vesper, 007 must keep one step ahead of the CIA, the terrorists and even M, to unravel Greene's sinister plan and stop his organization.
Also Known As:
Bond 22
Production Status: In Preproduction
Logline: James Bond infiltrates a drug ring that is flooding Britain with heroin
Genres: Action/Adventure, Thriller, Adaptation and Sequel
Running Time: 1 hr. 45 min.
Release Date: November 14th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content.
Sony Pictures Releasing
Production Co.:
Danjaq Productions, EON Productions
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group
Filming Locations:
Tuscany, Italy
Produced in: United States

Saturday, October 25, 2008

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

"High School Musical" is responsible for its share of ills in the world: teenagers with perfectly good faces wanting to get nose jobs. The idea that the word "Sharpay" is an appropriate name for a human child. The rise in mainstream popularity of Bedazzler-embossed clothing.

But most of the harshest critics of the 2006 Disney Channel movie were people who didn't see it. I've watched the original movie, the stage show and something called "High School Musical: The Ice Tour," and observed just as many smiling faces on the chaperones as the kids. Admit it or not, parents were having a good time, too.

The series premieres as a feature film with "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," and the songwriting and choreography are as exciting as ever. Unfortunately, the writing has become so bad that it becomes impossible to keep your head in the game - even as your toes continue to tap to the beat.

True, "High School Musical" was never about the plot. The makers of the 'tween phenomenon - including director Kenny Ortega, the Bay Area native who choreographed "Dirty Dancing" - proved that it didn't matter if you borrowed almost every story line and character from "Grease" and "American Pie," as long as the tunes were catchy and the dance numbers were energetic. But while the first two movies were at least cohesive, the writing in the third is a disorganized mess. The story rehashes conflicts from the previous movie, manufactures strife where there should be none and forces one-dimensional new sophomore characters into the narrative - presumably so there can be a "High School Musical 4."

"High School Musical 3" begins with a basketball game, and one of the most pleasingly kinetic song-and-dance numbers in the series, a fast-paced song destined for constant Disney Radio airplay called "Now or Never." Ortega and music supervisor David Lawrence augment the spectacle with little touches, such as the cheerleaders helping out with the chorus of the song. And everything is bigger and better on the big screen, including Efron's basketball skills, which became passable at some point in the past 12 months.

Troy (Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) are back at East High School for their senior year, where they are deciding their futures. From there, we get more of the same from the earlier musicals. The central themes - conflict in the Troy-Gabriella relationship, Troy's inability to decide between sports and theater and even the scheming by bad girl Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) - is a repeat from the first movie. Except in this case, the events never seem to fit together. Important things happen too suddenly, subplots are abruptly abandoned and large chunks of the script appear to be missing entirely. The move is a punishing 112 minutes long, yet it's so fractured, there are times it seems as if you're watching the trailer.

Efron is once again Travolta-esque, although he appears to be quickly outgrowing this material. Hudgens is still annoyingly bland both in facial expressions and voice. (Tisdale is the better singer, but she gets fewer songs.) The new actors - including Matt Prokop doing a "Parenthood"-era Keanu Reeves imitation and Jemma McKenzie Brown as a British version of Sharpay - act cute and slightly obnoxious, like the latter-day Scrappy-Doos that they are.

The most improved player is Corbin Bleu as sidekick Chad, who still has the Sideshow Bob hair, but seems to have worked diligently on both his acting and dancing during the break. "The Boys Are Back," featuring a junkyard dance-off performance by Troy and Chad, is probably the most thrilling number. Bleu is ready for his own leading role, if he can get something better than that movie about competitive jump roping ("Jump In!") that he headlined last year.

As for the G-rated content, parents who might have been worried about the relationship between Troy and Gabriella escalating can breathe a sigh of relief. With hand-holding in "High School Musical" and a kiss in "High School Musical 2," it would make sense that "HSM3" would feature a trip to second base. (And "High School Musical 5" would basically be a remake of "9 1/2 Weeks.") But no worries. If anything, Troy gets even less action in this movie.

A small spoiler lies ahead: Stanford and Cal graduates should be thrilled that "High School Musical 3" often feels like a promotional video for those schools, with one scene that appears to be shot on the Cardinal campus. The lone problem is Troy's statement that the colleges are 32.7 miles away from each other, which is at best extremely deceptive. Even without a flaming tanker truck to slow things down, the schools are a solid hour-and-15-minute drive from door to door.

-- Advisory: This movie contains one long kiss, some semi-dangerous break-dancing moves and a dangerous-looking tree house.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Halloween (2007)

The "Halloween" franchise, the "Nightmare On Elm Street" franchise

Does the 1978 Jamie Lee Curtis horror classic of the same name really need a remake? In fact, does the franchise need another addition at all? The question isn't really important, so long as we get to see a trashy Rob Zombie film on the big screen every now and then. Since "The Devil's Rejects" and "House Of 1000 Horrors", the rocker's directorial career seems to be taking off. It sure helps if you can keep casting your Scream Queen wife (Sheri Moon Zombie) in every film though!

Alright then – so here we are with yet another look at Michael Myers, the crazed 10-year-old murderer character that spawned so many sequels, spin-offs and remakes. According to some production notes, John Carpenter (director of the benchmark 1978 version) told Rob Zombie to make this movie his own – but the results are not encouraging. From the story, it seems that the point is to give more motive and background to the troubled child early in the game. This wasn't done too well. Rob Zombie's efforts to add charisma to the Myers kid doesn't pack enough punch. The mask is no longer scary either – we're too used to it now. Explaining the mask is already beyond the point.

However, the performances were tolerable. This Daeg Faerch kid sure has a look about him. He's got that 'evil' mole and a pasty face with uncomfortable eyes – precisely the sort of pale personality that you would think make future axe killers. In fact, the movie does try to colour him a little, displaying the suffocating family and school environment he grows up in. Still, it wasn't really engaging and we get lost in the blood before anyone could explain the need to spill some.

As an old school slasher, this isn't better than something like, say, "The Hills Have Eyes" or "Hostel" but it does beat some of the more mediocre stuff out there. You'd be lucky if you caught this in a territory without censorship because lots of skin and swearing make up the movie.

Right, Mr Zombie. We're bought, so hurry up with "The Haunted World of El Superbeasto"!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Love Guru

Classification: 18PL
Genre: Comedy
General Release Date: 28 Aug 2008
Running Time: 1 Hour 28 Minutes,
Distributor: United International Pictures
Cast: Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Mike Myers, Romany Malco
Director: Marco Schnabel

The self-help business has probably seen better movie spoofs but Mike Myers has made it his own with "The Love Guru" even if it will never spawn sequels.

Unlike the other comics around today like Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler and Steve Carell, old Mikey has always had that penchant for intelligent lewd humour – although some parts of the Austin Powers movies were more crude than funny.

Speaking about the International Man Of Mystery, that's when Myers the actor was dabbling in spirituality, according to the productions notes at least. See, he lost his dad at the time and went on a personal quest around ashrams (as disenfranchised First World white people often do) and unsurprisingly found comedy in the whole Enlightenment thing. Apparently he thinks that the concept of Enlightenment is basically to simply lighten up!

This movie does that. Myers movies do not have that Judd Apatow humour that demands instant judgment – instead, they are invitingly sweet and character-driven. Featuring real-life guru Deepak Chopra, not to mention some pretty famous ice hockey players that I wouldn't know, "The Love Guru" deserves some respect for going that extra mile to get the extra laugh.

Then come the missteps. We get Jessica Alba playing an overly-vulnerable girl-next-door (default role for every Alba movie), but we'll try to overlook that along with Justin Timberlake's obnoxious frenchie character Le Coq. I'm still not convinced with the acting of either, especially since Alba in her recent "Awake" or "Eye" was still 'skin talent', if anything. Timberlake's "Black Snake Moan" is an example of a movie in which every other cast member acted him out of sight. The worst of the lot here goes to Sir Ben Kingsley, who doesn't seem to mind starring in any silly old role for a laugh. Am I truly missing the comedy?

Thankfully, these complaints stop here – for Mike Myers' Guru Pitka is completely watchable. The jokes in "The Love Guru" are funny, too. However, much like the dharma tuition he gives, they will only draw giggles but not laugh-out-louds. Guru Pitka is smart restrained humour but he will never get that gung-ho, get-up-and-go like Austin Powers can. He's more like Shrek discovering a Sanskrit guidebook.

Oddly, that's probably what Myers wants. "Love Guru" seems a bit more like a personal project from him, a sort of labour of love. It isn't a very well-liked film, and won't be too successful either. It's a kind of self-glowing film that you will enjoy if you're set on it anyway.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Academy Award® nominee Don Cheadle ('Hotel Rwanda,' 'Crash') and Guy Pearce ('Memento,' 'L.A. Confidential') star in 'Traitor,' a taut international thriller set against a jigsaw puzzle of covert counter-espionage operations. 'Traitor' is written and directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (screenwriter of 'The Day After Tomorrow').

When straight arrow FBI agent Roy Clayton (Guy Pearce) heads up the investigation into a dangerous international conspiracy, all clues seem to lead back to former U.S. Special Operations officer, Samir Horn (Don Cheadle). A mysterious figure with a web of connections to terrorist organizations, Horn has a knack for emerging on the scene just as a major operation goes down.

The inter-agency task force looking into the case meets with Carter (Jeff Daniels), a veteran CIA contractor who seemingly has his own agenda and Max Archer (Neal McDonough), a fellow FBI agent. The task force links Horn to a prison break in Yemen, a bombing in Nice and a raid in London, but a tangle of contradictory evidence emerges, forcing Clayton to question whether his quarry is a disaffected former military operative--or something far more complicated.

Obsessed with discovering the truth, Clayton tracks Horn across the globe as the elusive ex-soldier burrows deeper and deeper into a world of shadows and intrigue. -

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Rocker

The Office star Rainn Wilson portrays a drummer who gets a second shot at fame after the band he recently quit suddenly shoots to the top of the charts in this Fox Atomic comedy co-starring Christina Applegate. Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) and Tom McNulty co-produce the feature penned by Wallace Wolodarsky and Maya Forbes, and directed by Peter Cattaneo (Opal Dream). ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Step Brothers movie review

No one can play a 40-year-old obliviously immature man-child like Will Ferrell. Ferrell's Talladega Nights and Step Brothers partner in crime, John C Reilly, is pretty close, but Ferrell's the current title holder (Adam Sandler used to be however he seems to have moved on to more obnoxious roles). After a couple of hugely disappointing 'comedies', Step Brothers provides the king of immature characters with material that's right in his wheelhouse. And while Step Brothers isn't a home run by any stretch of the imagination, it is a solid double that shows Ferrell's back in the game.
With his Anchorman and Talladega Nights director Adam McKay at the helm, and working off a script he co-wrote with McKay, Ferrell's reconnected with what's funny. Yes, it's total lowbrow humor – fart jokes, penis and poop gags, and put-downs 13-year-old boys would come up with – but Ferrell and McKay know how far they can push gross-out gags and sophomoric humor before they lose their audience.

The Story

Ferrell and Reilly play Brennan Huff and Dale Doback, two middle-aged slackers raised separately by the most patient single parents on the planet. If asked, both Brennan and Dale would say they're living the good life – no jobs, no goals, no worries. Brennan and Dale are perfectly satisfied with sleeping in, watching TV, and not collecting a paycheck, but their parents have other plans. When Brennan's mom, Nancy (Mary Steenburgen), and Dale's dad, Robert (Richard Jenkins), fall in love and marry, the idea of having two grown men laze around the house wears thin, especially when the men hate each other with a passion. Dale doesn't want to share his bedroom – or his drums – with this stranger. Brennan's equally unhappy about his mom's decision to merge their family with that of the Dobacks.

Will Ferrell, Mary Steenburgen, Richard Jenkins, and John C Reilly in Step Brothers.
© Columbia Pictures
After taking an immediate dislike to one another, Brennan and Dale are forced into an uneasy alliance when their parental units decide it's time to send them out into the world. How dare mom and dad push them into acting like adults? What's the world coming to when two 40-year-old guys can't sit home watching Shark Week without fear of having to find a job, an apartment, and a life? Discovering they have a lot more in common than not, Brennan and Dale come up with a plan of attack that involves singing, drumming, and Robert's prize possession – the boat he intends to sail around the world when he and Nancy retire. You just know this isn't going to end well...

The Cast

The smartest decision made by Ferrell, McKay and Reilly was to go authentic and have the lead characters be in their 40s. Step Brothers would have entered ridiculously stupid territory had Ferrell and Reilly tried to play them younger, although the jokes themselves play to all ages (as long as you're into this sort of humor). And while watching Ferrell and Reilly play emotionally stunted men evokes a feeling of déjà vu, these guys pull it off because they're obviously having a blast working off of each other.

Adam Scott (August) co-stars as Brennan's uber-successful narcissistic brother, Derek. Derek terrorized Brennan when they were kids and, as adults, Derek continues to be the thorn in his brother's flabby side. Scott had a minor role in Judd Apatow's Knocked Up and with much more screen time in this Apatow-produced comedy, Scott steals a few scenes from Ferrell and Reilly. Also stealing the spotlight while delivering some of the film's best lines is Crossing Jordan's Kathryn Hahn playing Derek's neglected wife, Alice. Hahn is absolutely hilarious as the lecherous sister-in-law who seduces the virginal Dale after he takes her thoughtless husband down a notch or two.
Will Ferrell and John C Reilly in Step Brothers.
© Columbia Pictures
The Bottom Line

For all its crass humor and silly dialogue, Step Brothers has a surprising amount of heart and a genuinely touching message. The team of McKay and Ferrell focus on the goofy, childish maneuverings of Brennan and Dale, but they've added a twist at the end that's uplifting yet not completely out of touch with the rest of the production.

Ferrell and Reilly make the best of playing totally clueless guys caught in an '80ish time warp. And while Step Brothers isn't in the same league as Anchorman or even Talladega Nights, it is a huge leap above Ferrell's semi-comedy, Semi Pro.


Step Brothers was directed by Adam McKay and is rated R for crude and sexual content, and pervasive language.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

In “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” Lord Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and Wizard worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching.

Two-time Oscar nominee Bruno Delbonnel (“A Very Long Engagement,” “Amelie”) will serve as the director of photography, marking his first Harry Potter film. He will be joined by returning Harry Potter veterans, including production designer Stuart Craig, editor Mark Day, costume designer Jany Temime, creature & make-up effects designer Nick Dudman, special effects supervisor John Richardson, visual effects supervisor Tim Burke and composer Nicholas Hooper.

Director: David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, David Bradley, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Natalia Tena, Julie Walters, David Thewlis, Evanna Lynch, Matthew Lewis, Bonnie Wright

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

  • Brendan Fraser returns as explorer Rick O’Connell to combat the resurrected Han Emperor (Jet Li) in an epic that races from the catacombs of ancient China high into the frigid Himalayas. Rick is joined in this all-new adventure by son Alex (Luke Ford), wife Evelyn (Maria Bello) and her brother, Jonathan (John Hannah). And this time, the O’Connells must stop a mummy awoken from a 2,000-year-old curse who threatens to plunge the world into his merciless, unending service. Doomed by a double-crossing sorceress (Michelle Yeoh) to spend eternity in suspended animation, China’s ruthless Dragon Emperor and his 10,000 warriors have laid forgotten for eons, entombed in clay as a vast, silent terra cotta army. But when dashing adventurer Alex O’Connell is tricked into awakening the ruler from eternal slumber, the reckless young archaeologist must seek the help of the only people who know more than he does about taking down the undead: his parents.
  • Cast: Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello, Luke Ford, Michelle Yeoh
  • Director: Rob Cohen
  • Genres: Adventure Comedy, Costume Adventure, Fantasy Adventure, Monster Film, Adventure, Horror

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Longing to discover the identity of her true father before she exchanges her wedding vows, the daughter of a once-rebellious single mother secretly invites a trio of paternal candidates to her approaching wedding in presently feature adaptation of the beloved stage musical. Independent-minded single mother Donna (Meryl Streep) has always done her smartest to raise her spirited daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), while simultaneously running a profitable hotel on a pitiful Greek island, but now the time has come for this moment hardworking mom to it's about time let go. In clearly a few days, Sophie will be married, and Donna will stand by bittersweetly as her little girl takes flight. Of course, Donna's lifelong friends Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski) will both be present at the wedding, but unbeknownst to the mother, Sophie has furtively invited 3 very special guests of her own. When Sophie walks down the aisle on that fateful day, she wants her father to hand her off. The only problem is which Donna has never revealed the real identity of Sophie's father, leaving the resourceful times ahead bride to narrow the insert down to three potential candidates. Now, as three key figures according to Donna's outside of return to the picturesque Mediterranean shores they all walked 20 ages prior, one beautiful bride will discover the secret of her beyond additonally one lonely mother finds out the current it's never too late for a little romance. Phyllida Lloyd, director of both the original London sensation as well as the hit Broadway incarnation, affects her feature directorial debut with this big-screen version of the beloved musical featuring 22 classic ABBA hits. Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, and Dominic Cooper co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Saturday, July 12, 2008


It's at the forefront of one's mind during Hellboy II: The Golden Army (hereafter Hellboy II), Guillermo Del Toro's brilliant dance along an ephemeral tightrope between pop and Puccini, that David Cronenberg and Howard Shore just now influenced this remake of The Fly into a full-fledged opera: I can see the same truth happening providing a lot of Del Toro's pictures. The director's assumed too after his Pan's Labyrinth "something popped" in regards to his restraint in allowing the menagerie of horrors in his brain free rein over his imagination--and that he endeavoured to bid all the madness of Mike Mignola's "Hellboy" universe to the big display with or without a commensurately giant budget. (Of Summer '08's blockbusters, Hellboy II, losing roughly 85 million dollars, would be the several frugal.) The result is a film so crammed to the gills with invention such a a bit of background boom in a scene set at a bazaar hidden beneath the Brooklyn Bridge (this is the second great genre film this year after Cloverfield to compose a pit moratorium at who chosen locale) wherein a creature plays a pipe made out of a tanned human corpse is left uncommented-upon and is somehow finally unremarkable. The wonders of Hellboy II as felt through our avatars Hellboy (Ron Perlman), Liz (Selma Blair), and Abe (Doug Jones, right now long time vocalizing the character as well)--team workforces for a covert government agency such a deals with supernatural intrusions--are the way the market is, and it is fascinatingly left for the normals in the audience to crane for a sharper look.

But it's the current separation of the mundane from the divine that marks the perfect of comic art--this wondrous, Nietzschian idea the current existence is predicated on the possibility the we pass unnoticed, lest we become the gods questioned to dispel ourselves. In Brad Bird's The Incredibles (and, to a lesser extent, his The Iron Giant), the question of tolerance in the "super"-verse is broached as a parallel to the difficulties in making a living (ditto: Raimi's Spider-Man films). Find in Del Toro's film the idea, too, that what is most threatened by being amazing is the possibility of sharing in the American Dream. The key second in a picture most likely defined by its volume is the quiet, private commiseration of two friends as they listen to bad music, drink bad hooch, and cry over such a girlfriends. Hellboy II is shot through with a vein of melancholia, a sense of details the current pass, never to return, like an choice to say to a loved one you love them for the last time. Charting which grey neighborhood between supremely silly and surprisingly poignant is a devilishly dangerous thing to attempt; I wonder about if Del Toro isn't one of the few directors now able to do overly consistently.

Hellboy, discovered in WWII and declared as a human by his adoptive father (John Hurt), is a demon initially sent to Earth to catalyze the Apocalypse--an Apocalypse great by Elvish Prince Nuada (Luke Goss), who takings from a centuries-long exile to take command of the titular clockwork Golden Army. His early proclamation that his assignment is to remind humans of how it is to fear the dark is an essential, archetypical thing along the lines of Yeats' sylvan mythology, with us as the lost children in mortal peril of forgetting from whence we spawned and overly which we be sure to have dispelled in the neutral of reason and science. It's not a religious picture, it's a proto-religious picture. As one of the arch-baddies is revealed to be a blue universe elemental, the death of whom announces the extinction of something wild and savage, Hellboy II proves itself to be a terminus film about this moment moment in moment when humans come to find themselves making an attempt with the responsibility of their stewardship of the planet. In its way, the picture is Del Toro's manifestation of John Milton's "Hymn on the Morning of Christ's Nativity": a parade of pagan gods marching to their annihilation before the obliterating intolerance of Christian faith, seen here as a truce signed by critters who experience it in their nature to honour it even though it means their banishment to sewers and deep forests. The caution embedded in the picture is that the beings we elevate as saviours are the same sites who will fast be responsible for the end of times. It sounds familiar. It ought to.

The film itself is lovely, a breathless feast of fantasy anchored by an authentic humanism. It's the product of a director in complete command of his medium and its ability to transmit the contents of his subconscious. Del Toro articulates the ineffable. A late arrival by death, its wings rimmed with eyes, its teeth impossibly subtle and white, speaks to the idea that the picture is about ultimate subjects and the indelible importance of small moments. When Abe's immortal beloved Princess Luala (Anna Walton), sister of the fiend, reads from Alfred Lord Tennyson's "In Memoriam", the part she reports certainly isn't the side a multitude of are familiar with--but if you recognize of the piece, you appreciate there's a portion that speaks to it being better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Hellboy II is more than spectacle, although it is top notch spectacle--more as opposed to pop art dissertation, though it's that, too. Hellboy II is a film absolutely of this time overly speaks in timeless images of Catholic grotesquerie and pre-Christian iconography, alive in the fire of invention and flights of fancy. It's not Del Toro's masterpiece (that distinction is still Pan's Labyrinth's), but it is greater amount of model of a unusual artist white-knuckling the crest of his genius and, for a while at least, focusing it to these fine, animate points of lush colour and sentient light

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hancock (2008)

John Hancock (Will Smith) is an unhappy and reluctant superhero who is living in his own world. For some unknown reason, Hancock is depressed and has started drinking very heavily. He has saved many lives in Los Angles over the years, but in doing so, he has no regards for damaging buildings, trains, roads, cars, or anything that gets in his way to get the job done. The last time he captured several criminals, it cost the city $9 million to fix the damages. The public has had enough of Hancock, and they want him to stop or go to another city. Then one day, Hancock saves the life of Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman) from being run over by a train. Ray is a Public Relations executive who now can go home to his wife and child, because Hancock was there. Ray owes Hancock his life, and he makes it his mission to change his superhero's image and have the public cheering him. Ray's wife, Mary (Charlize Theron), believes Hancock can not be fixed, and she doesnt want Ray to be hurt. Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wanted (2008)

Synopsis: Based upon Mark Millar’s explosive graphic novel series and helmed by stunning visualist director Timur Bekmambetov—creator of the most successful Russian film franchise in history, the Night Watch series—Wanted tells the tale of one apathetic nobody’s transformation into an unparalleled enforcer of justice. In 2008, the world will be introduced to a hero for a new generation: Wesley Gibson. 25-year-old Wes (James McAvoy) was the most disaffected, cube-dwelling drone the planet had ever known. His boss chewed him out hourly, his girlfriend ignored him routinely and his life plodded on interminably. Everyone was certain this disengaged slacker would amount to nothing. There was little else for Wes to do but wile away the days and die in his slow, clock-punching rut. Until he met a woman named Fox (Angelina Jolie). After his estranged father is murdered, the deadly sexy Fox recruits Wes into the Fraternity, a secret society that trains Wes to avenge his dad’s death by unlocking his dormant powers. As she teaches him how to develop lightning-quick reflexes and phenomenal agility, Wes discovers this team lives by an ancient, unbreakable code: carry out the death orders given by fate itself. With wickedly brilliant tutors—including the Fraternity’s enigmatic leader, Sloan (Morgan Freeman)—Wes grows to enjoy all the strength he ever wanted. But, slowly, he begins to realize there is more to his dangerous associates than meets the eye. And as he wavers between newfound heroism and vengeance, Wes will come to learn what no one could ever teach him: he alone controls his destiny.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


This calls for a celebration for such an amazing contribution to the local film industry!

"Sepi" is another one of Khabir Batia's brainchild that spins three stories with the same theme in common, loneliness. It is a film about the story of a chef named Adam (Afdlin Shauki) stuck in the singledom trying to find a wife, a shoe factory owner, Sufi (Tony Eusoff) who runs to recover from the loss of his wife due to an unexpected car crash, and there's Imaan (Baizura Kahar), a college girl and script writer for the theater who carries a strong memory of her past that should be left behind.

The first thing you'll find amazing in this film is the dramatic camera angles that make you feel that you're actually in the movie! Khabir did a really good job with the camera and because of this, he makes everything in this movie appear more real. It is not the usual in-your-face camera shot, and we all have to admit that this comes from the director's renowned talent.

Having his own wife writing the script for this movie (and you know what happens when two great minds come together), it shows that the story is strong on its own, and such simple lines (if meaningful) can linger in your head for a very long time. There's no slow, dragging conversations that can leave the audience feeling exhausted in their seats. This film does not, in any way, contain the typical dialogue you usually experience in other Malay movies.

The cast? They are outstanding! You're probably familiar with Afdlin's loveable nature, and in this movie, you'll get the opportunity to see Nasha Aziz being zany and creepy and that helps to make the audience chuckle here and there. The cast really did a good job and the effort really shows throughout the entire film.

The feeling you'll get once you step out of the theatre is that you'll feel that its worth every penny and nanosecond you spent sitting in the comfortable seats of the cinema hall. You'll love the story line, the cast, the dreamy scenery, the soundtrack and you'll definitely love the director for doing such a good job that you will want to get out of the cinema and give him a pat in the back for making "Sepi" one of the best Malay movies ever, and most probably the best Malay movie of the year.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

In theaters Friday, June 6th 2008,
Enthusiastic, big and a little clumsy, Po is the biggest fan of Kung Fu around...which doesn't exactly come in handy while working every day in his family's noodle shop. Unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy, Po's dreams become reality when he joins the world of Kung Fu and studies alongside his idols, the legendary Furious Five -- Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey -- under the leadership of their guru, Master Shifu.
But before they know it, the vengeful and treacherous snow leopard Tai Lung is headed their way, and it's up to Po to defend everyone from the oncoming threat. Can he turn his dreams of becoming a Kung Fu master into reality? Po puts his heart - and his girth - into the task, and the unlikely hero ultimately finds that his greatest weaknesses turn out to be his greatest strengths.

Director: John Stevenson, Mark Osborne
Cast: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Ian McShane, David Cross, Seth Rogen, Michael Clarke Duncan, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim, Dan Fogler

Friday, May 30, 2008


The Pevensie children finally get to return to Narnia only to find out that over 1,300 years have passed in the magical land and everything and everyone they knew about it is dead and buried. The kingdom is now presided over by the despicable King Miraz (Sergio Castellitto) who rules with an iron fist. So, Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan (Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell) must return the displaced Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) back to Narnia's throne to bring peace to the world again.

Cast Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Ben Barnes, Eddie Izzard (more)

Director(s) Andrew Adamson

Writer(s) Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

Status In theaters (wide)

Genre(s) Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date May 16, 2008

Running Time 144 minutes

MPAA Rating PG - for epic battle action and violence

Web Site Official Site for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The fresh Indiana Jones adventure begins in the desert Southwest in 1957 – the height of the Cold War. Indy and his sidekick Mac (Ray Winstone) have barely escaped a conclusion scrape with nefarious Soviet agents on a remote airfield.

Now, Professor Jones has reimbursed home to Marshall College – only to find conditions have gone from bad to worse. His finishing friend and dean of the college (Jim Broadbent) explains that Indy’s latest activities have made him the object of suspicion, and that the authorities has put pressure on the university to fire him. On his way out of town, Indiana meets rebellious young Mutt (Shia LaBeouf), who carries both a grudge and a proposition for the adventurous archaeologist: If he’ll windfall Mutt on a aspiration with deeply personal stakes, Indy could very good make one of the numerous spectacular archaeological finds in history – the Crystal Skull of Akator, a renowned object of fascination, superstition and fear.

But as Indy and Mutt set out for the multiple remote corners of Peru – a side yards of ancient tombs, forgotten explorers and a imaginary city of gold – they quickly come to find properties are not alone in their search. The Soviet agents are in addition hot on the trail of the Crystal Skull. Chief with them is icy cold, devastatingly beautiful Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), whose elite military unit is scouring the globe for the eerie Crystal Skull, which they believe can let the Soviets dominate the world ... if they can unlock its secrets.

Indy and Mutt are required to find a way to evade the ruthless Soviets, copy an impenetrable trail of mystery, grapple with enemies and friends of questionable motives, and, above all, stop the powerful Crystal Skull from diminishing into the deadliest of hands.

Starring Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone, Shia LaBeouf, Karen Allen, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Running Time - 2:00
Genre - Action/Adventure
Opened in Theaters - Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ayat Ayat Cinta

The Islamic romance film “Ayat Ayat Cinta”, political Islam, and pesantren prodigies.

The wildly popular novel by Habiburrahman El-Shirazy , and now film, Ayat Ayat Cinta (Love Verses), tells the story of young handsome Fahri bin Abdullah Shiddiq (played by Fedi Nuril), an Indonesian student attending Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, who attracts beautiful young women left, right, and centre, four of them in fact:

  • Nurul (played by Melanie Putria), also an Indonesian in Egypt, the daughter of an important East Java kyai.
  • Noura (Zaskia Adya Mecca), an ungrateful Egyptian girl (Fahri saves her life but she betrays him later).
  • Maria (Carissa Putri) a Coptic Christian living next door to Fahri, who inexplicably converts to Islam at the end of the film.
  • Aisha (Rianti Cartwright), from a wealthy German-Arab family.

In the end Fahri plumps for the rich girl Aisha and they no doubt live happily ever after.

Ayat Ayat Cinta
Ayat Ayat Cinta.

The book and film have been taken up by some on the Islamist side of politics, including parliament chairman Hidayat Nur Wahid of the PKS, who on 7th March met with some of the cast and crew of the film. Hidayat said he hadn’t seen the film, and he hoped there was no violence or pornography in it, but he had read the book and liked it.

Ayat Ayat Cinta novel
Ayat Ayat Cinta novel.

Hidayat said the book’s author, Habiburrahman El-Shiraz, was a good example of a new generation of writers who had attended Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) and who could bring Islamic teachings to the masses. [2]

Separately Habiburrahman himself, usually called Kang Abik, 32 years old, says he wants people to know that pesantren schools don’t just teach religion but universal subjects as well.

Habiburrahman El-Shirazy
Habiburrahman El-Shirazy

He has three more Islamic novels due out soon, Langit Mekah Berwarna Merah (Red Sky of Mecca), Bidadari Bermata Bening (Radiant Eyed Angel), and Bulan Madu di Yerussalem (Honeymoon in Jerusalem).

Ayat-Ayat Cinta Trailer 1

Trailer 2

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Dark Night Thriller

This the sequel of The Batman Begin movies and was produce by WannerBros Film. Thos film estimate will be release on July 18.

List of Actor
Christian Bale - Bruce Wayne/Batman
Maggie Gyllenhaal - Rachel Dawes
Heath Ledger - The Joker
Michael Caine - Alfred Pennyworth
Gary Oldman - Lt. James Gordon
Morgan Freeman - Lucius Fox
Aaron Eckhart - Harvey Dent/Two Face
Eric Roberts - Salvatore Maroni
Nestor Carbonell - Mayor Robert Garcia
Nathan Gamble - James Gordon, Jr.
Monique Curnen
Anthony Michael Hall Reese
Melinda McGraw Barbara Gordon
Michael Jai White Gamble
William Fichtner
Beatrice Rosen
Joshua Harto

With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as the Joker, who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces the Dark Knight ever closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante.

Add. info:
Also Known As:
Batman Begins Sequel
The Dark Knight
Production Status: In Production/Awaiting Release
Genres: Action/Adventure, Crime/Gangster, Adaptation and Sequel
Release Date: July 18th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Warner Bros. Pictures
Co-Financier: Legendary Pictures, Inc.
Filming Locations:
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Los Angeles, California USA
Hong Kong, China
London, England UK
Produced in: United States

Thursday, February 21, 2008

JUMPER (2008)

Who's in It: Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, Jamie Bell, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Lane

The Basics: The most boring man alive discovers he has the ability to teleport through space to wherever he wants to go — "Did I just teleport?" he asks himself the first time it happens. When he robs some banks for funding along the way? No big deal. But then Samuel L. with a white afro shows up as a "paladin," whose job is to stalk and kill jumpers. He keeps yelling, "ONLY GOD SHOULD HAVE THIS POWER!" while trying to eliminate the most boring man alive. And you're sort of rooting for Sam …

What's the Deal? This would have been a perfect piece of junk entertainment if they had only managed to steer clear of the acting pothole that is Christensen. Seriously, is it possible for an actor to have a negative amount of charisma? He makes you wish Stanley Kubrick were alive still and had cast him in the Keir Dullea blank-faced astronaut role in 2001: A Space Odyssey. As it is, you only wake up when now grown-up Billy Elliot star Bell comes along to be all swaggery and interesting.

What Would Have Happened If This Had Been a Smarter Movie:
1. Lane would have had more than five minutes of stunt-casting screen time. For as much as she had to do here, they could have let Heidi Klum play the part for a lot less money.
2. Lane's character's meaty moral conflict — she's a paladin, too, just like Jackson — could have become a metaphor for a whole lot of other stuff and not sacrificed the action. It could have been a potentially heartbreaking storyline. And it just lies there like a wad of barely chewed gum on the sidewalk.

How Late You Can Be: You can spend the first 30 minutes of this film eating one of everything at the concession and then checking your e-mail in the lobby. All he does is jump around from place to place. After that, the chasing and the fighting starts, and the movie starts to be fun. Then you'll almost forget you've just paid money to see more of young Anakin.

Still Better Than: Awake, Factory Girl, Life as a House, the picnic scene in Episode II.