Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Love And Honor (Bushi No Ichibun)

I've seen Takuya Kimura in 2046 before, and he wasn't that impressive.

In Bushi No Ichibun, it's the same thing. It's not that he's a bad actor, it's just that I expected more. Throughout the film, he seemed unreal and a little stiff. Maybe it's just me, but he failed to shine in the movie. He did win an award for his performance, but winning awards doesn't say a lot these days. After Erra Fazira was named Best Actress for FFM a few years back, I just stopped believing in film festivals altogether.

The good thing is, Takuya Kimura's acting is the only problem I have with Bushi No Ichibun.

Set in the Edo period, it's a story about a young samurai who worked as a poison taster for the king. After consuming a red tsubugai (a type of shellfish) caught off-season, he had a high fever and went blind.

Not being able to be of service to anyone and having to live on welfare for the rest of his life, he turned into a man of few words, cold and reserved. Things got even worse when he started hearing rumours about his wife's affair with a higher ranked samurai.

The most impressive thing about the movie is that you can freeze-frame any scene from the movie, and it will be picture perfect. The setting, the costume, the mood and the lighting are flawless. The camera work is especially outstanding.

I don't know if this is the best movie I've seen this year, but it sure does rank high on the list.

FYI, I watched it twice.

p/s : That Kayo is indeed a very beautiful creature. Flawless beauty, ain't she?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rat - A - Too - Ee

Again, I went to Midvalley. This time with one of my girlfriends. I'm getting super-duper ass bored with Midvalley but people just won't stop going there. I wonder why.

Since it was a Wednesday where a movie ticket was priced at RM6, all the cheap boyfriends were queuing up. Thus, the line was THIS long. It was so long that the people were queuing up right into the elevator and they kept going up and down but they didn't realise it.

We were appalled. I really, really wanted to watch Ratatouille for the second time, this time with a girlfriend. So what did I do?

I went to the Telephone Booking Counter which was surprisingly empty. There was this Indian lady smiling Julia Roberts-ly. I said, "Ma'am. I would like to collect my tickets."

"Reservation number please."


"Sorry sir. There's no reservation under that number."

"But I have reserved two tickets for Ratatouille 4.20 pm! How can there NOT be a reservation under this number!" I said this with a mildly annoyed look and a radiating confidence. I even tapped my finger on the counter for extra impact.

"Oh I'm sorry sir. Usually you have to collect the tickets at least 45 minutes before the show (it was 4.15pm). If you don't show up, we'll release it for sale at the box-office counter. Now the 4.20 pm show is already sold out. Maybe that's why the reservation has been cancelled. But you can still catch the 4.55pm show. So how?"

I tried to look as irritated as I could. My girlfriend remained silent because she knew if she said anything, I would burst out laughing and this Oscar-worthy performance would be ruined.

"Okay-lah, okay-lah. I will take two tickets for the 4.55pm show," I said to the lady before turning to my girlfriend and babbled about how I had reserved the tickets 3 days ago, how cinema employees were more efficient in other countries and how sorry I was that we had to wait for half an hour before the show started.

"Okay sir. RM 12, please. Thank you and enjoy the show!"

Yes. Mission accomplished. I turned around with the most annoying grin on my face, facing those cheap boyfriends who were still queuing up. "Losers!"

Ratataouille is awesome. It's one of the best from Pixar. Not that I've watched all Pixar animated movies, but I know that this one is just one of the best, if not the best.

That's why I watched it twice.

I wanted to review it but, well, what's the point? You know it's good, everybody says it's good, it got 100% on RottenTomatoes, which obviously means no one can hate it.My girlfriend (who was keen on seeing Impak Maksima only to discover that it would only be premiered today thank God) said she was happy I made her watch Ratatouille.

One thing though. Why did the dead chef speak with the silly French accent but Linguini didn't?

(Soundtrack : Makes Me Wonder)

Monday, August 20, 2007

29 February

I hung out with some friends yesterday. They said I've changed a lot, and that I looked more and more like a Frenchman. Boo-fucking-hoo. Guess who said that in which movie?

The thing is, all of them were busy looking for super skinny jeans. It's a stupid fad actually, not because I can never wear skinny jeans, but because they're ugly. I know Mika looks super fine when wearing it, but it takes a lot more than just a pair of Topman jeans to make it work. First, you need the height (which, apparently, we Asians lack). When you're as tall as the Topman mannequins, then maybe we can talk. Then you need the right shoes and hair (and looks).

As one of my friends said, if you wear skinny jeans with the ugly regular Converse low-cut white shoes, you'll look no more than a samseng kampung.

Lastly, you need the charisma to carry the look. Like Pete Doherty. He's on crack 24/7, he has ugly teeth (see also Chris Martin, Hugh Grant or simply, all Brits), he dates Kate "I live on cocaine" Moss, and he's an asshole. But he has the charisma of James Bond (he's a rocker) and the face of an angel. That's why he can wear super skinny jeans that show exactly how his wiener is positioned when flaccid.

And of course, you need to be skinny. If you have meat clinging to your bones, then no skinny jeans for you.

Anyways, my friends left early because they needed to go somewhere else. I then rushed to GSC and bought a ticket for February 29 on a whim (as per usual). I thought it was the latest Thai horror flick, and ever since Shutter (2005), I've fallen in love with Thai movies. However, I discovered February 29 was actually Korean.

All my life, I've watched a lot of Korean horror movies. I never understood any of them. They're confusing, the plots are raunchy, the actors scream like hyenas (see also Jaclyn Victor, Regine Velasquez).

The same can be said of February 29. Although I was fashionably late, I know exactly that Jiyeon was the killer. Sorry for spoiling the ending but I don't think you'll want to watch it after reading my review anyway.

The only thing original about the movie is that it's about late-night tollgate workers. The killer is choosy when it comes to the victims. Only tollgate workers are eligible because that way, the camera can focus on the bloody toll tickets. Plus, toll booths are located on dark, deserted highways. Bingo!

There aren't many shocking scenes. It's a slow movie. And there are only 5 characters (so the producers can save a lot).

All in all, I hated the movie. It was a Saturday, so again I couldn't use my student card, so the RM 11 I spent was a total waste.

If only I had chosen Perfect Stranger.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Transformers : A Movie Without a Soul

Finally I got the chance to watch Transformers. I was actually lazying around at Midvalley, shopping and chick-spotting when I decided to watch a movie. And I had four choices : Kayangan, Haru-Biru, See How They Run and Transformers. So it was a no-brainer. The thing was, the show was at exactly 6:00 pm so I was no longer entitled to use my well-beloved student card.

I didn't realize that the movie was two and a half hours long.

Now I know why the reviews have been a mixed bag. You can either love it or hate it. I decide to love the CG (it's definitely ground-breaking and the human-machine interaction was seamless) but I hate the plot and the script. Oh and Shia LaBoeuf was again, great as hell.

I hate the plot. It's kinda illogical. Like when Shia was selling stuff during History class, to me that was a pathetic attempt at humour. And the movie was full of crappy one-liners that were supposed to light up the mood. Some did, some were just lame. Well, a lot were just lame.

And the movie only kicked in after an hour or so. I thought the tragic moment where Bumblebee was captured by the FBI was the climax, but I couldn't be more wrong as it was actually the beginning of the human-autobots-decepticons war. And it all went downhill from there. The dialogues started to get really crappy, the subtitles were confusing (yes, I read the subtitles because it's there), and the transformations from vehicles to robots were unreal. How can a car this big transform into a robot THIS big?

And since when do robots speak like niggas? They said they learned to speak American from the world wide web. Yeah right. Because every alien, robot, talking animal, jungle people, ghost, and ape can pick up American accent just like that.

After an hour and a half, I started to get restless. It was just too long and, although the CG was awesome, after a while it just became old news. Just like Megan Fox. She's hot all right, but her acting was unconvincing. She has this weird look that screams "i'm so hot look at me" plastered on her face. And she looks too old to play a high school girl.

Dialogues like "Optimus Prime, we meet again" or "It's you or me, Megatron" or "At the end of this day, one should stand and one should fall" were sooooo fucking lame. And at the very end, after they destroyed the cube, Optimus Prime said something like "We've lost a comrade but we've gained friends" before looking at all the humans around him. It was so cheesy that I threw up in my mouth a little. Who even uses that line, ever?

Plus, if the cube could actually be destroyed, why didn't they just destroy it from the very beginning? Wouldn't it be a lot easier? And I didn't really understand the story behind the glasses either. I know I wasn't paying attention, but hey, I was holding my bladder in there for 2 1/2 hours and my phone didn't stop ringing.

All in all, I'm happy because now I know for sure that Transformers is just like all those superhero movies : not my cup of tea. Oh yeah, and Harry Potter too.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Yasmin Ahmad held a special private screening of Muallaf for me on Monday night at her office.

Muallaf might be her best effort to date. Her producer didn't intend to release it in Malaysia for fear of getting slagged off by the society as per usual. Plus, this latest film deals with religions, sociology (understanding humanity) and everything that's never been discussed overtly by the Malaysian cinema.

Fortunately, they decided to release it at last. But beware! It's 95% in English, so as to encourage all Malaysians to improve their command of the language. As Yasmin said, 40 000 fresh graduates won't be able to secure any jobs due to their poor command of English.

I'm not going to give any reviews. I'm just going to say that it's better than Mukhsin, it has more drama than Gubra, and it's as witty as Sepet.

Thank you Miss Yasmin for the screening. She even made Nasi Beriyani for everybody who came. It was delicious.