Another installment of Harry Potter series. Hang in there, we're gonna reach the finish line soon. It's the last breath before the plunge, and what a doozy. Not many people enjoyed this movie, but I surely did.
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is now in his sixth year in Hogwarts, and Lord Voldermort along with his Death Eaters are spreading terror in both the Muggle and Wizarding worlds. Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) is given an assignment to assassinate Dumbledore (Sir Michael Gambon), who is also in a secret mission to destroy Hocruxes; items that keeps Voldermort's pieces of souls. During potion class, Harry finds a potion book that belongs to someone named 'half-blood prince'. The mysterious book gives Harry a remarkable ability of potion. Who is the mysterious owner of the book? Directed by David Yates.
The visual, the acting, the editing, and the direction are all wonderful. But Prisoner of Azkaban is still the best one, arguably. Many fans have complained that the film spends too much time on comedy and romance than on the action. The book didn't have as much action as the others, and instead focused on story and character development, which the comedy was part of. The humor was well done, and funny. Emotionally stimulating, dark, and hilarious. If you're a huge fan of the books, and are expecting a page by page copy of the novel.. then you're going to be disappointed. As a fan of the book, I can pin-point that the scenes are a lot different from what I expected. A little bit disappointed with the whole pacing though; which seems like David Yates is trying so hard to dramatize the movie. I would like it better if he sticks with the crucial points in the novel, instead of waiting to put the action for the last movie.
I understand that this movie is a coming-of-age movie, so the whole child fantasy is gone and being replaced by romance and adult theme. It's fine, but I would like to say that they shouldn't forget that the story IS a fantasy story. I didn't like the ending where they completely removed and changed it into something else. Not much of action scene, which is a shame. This movie would be a lot better if they include some action like from the book. Unfortunately, for casual viewers -- they will hate it. They will say that the pacing is too slow -- which is Yates' trademark. I hated Order of The Phoenix, which directed by him. He should taken some notes. He did, and it showed in this movie. But this movie has some room for improvement. I hope the last ones will be much much better than this. I am glad, though, that many minor characters such as Ginny (Bonnie Wright), Lavender Brown (Jessie Caves), and Cormac McLaggen (Freddie Stroma) are being given great scenes. I love Hermione-Ron-Lavender-Cormac's love square, and Harry with Ginny's love story. This is not also a Harry's coming of age story, but it's Draco's coming of age story. It's nice to see him doing something more than scowling. It's a good movie, but not what I was expecting.
Another movie installment from the Terminator franchise. I can't believe that this franchise is more than 20 years! But instead the usual 'sending the terminator back to the past to kill the Connor clan', this time the movie is about the bleak future itself. Is it worth your money?
In 2003, a convict named Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) was sentenced to death because he killed some people. Before he died, he signed a contract which allowed him to sell his body to science, conducted by Cyberdine or Skynet. In 2018, John Connor (Christian Bale) is a soldier in Resistance against the Skynet or machines of the future. Everyone calls him the prophet or someone who will save the humanity. He has to save his father, Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) who is not yet discover his destiny. Unbeknownst to everyone, Marcus wakes up alive in the future. Directed by McG.
I don't care what the critics says, I think this movie is alright. It's not as good as the T2: Judgment Day or the original Terminator, but definitely is better than T3: Rise of The Machine. The action is very cool and fast pace, the acting is good. Yes, the plot is a bit wishy-washy and instead a sci-fi movie, it sorta have a bleak war movie feeling. I'm not gonna lie and say that this is like so awesome or whatever, but I enjoyed watching this movie immensely. The movie is not stupid like other action movies, but I really like that everyone seems worked hard for this movie. Everyone's opinions will be mixed, because it seems some people will like it or not. Which makes me wonder, why all the hate? It's not the best movie ever -- I mean, I've seen many absurd movie out there, but why this particular movie gets the bottom of the barrel?
I don't suggest every movie should be cheesy nor overly serious. I think it's an okay movie, it's not the greatest but I have nothing to complain much. I must say that Christian Bale is too serious in this movie. His character seems lost all of his naivety and gain a lot of godlike quality. John Connor in this movie is like Batman without the costume or the character development. I missed the weakness and the reluctant hero quality that he had back in previous movie. I thought Nick Stahl was great for the role. On the other hand, Sam Worthington just took my breath away. OMG, he's the next big thing -- I'm sure of it. He basically made the movie a bit bearable. He is so charming, I immediately liked him. Bottom line is, it's a mixed review from everyone including yours truly. The plot and the characterization are a little bit flat, but the action and the acting are not bad.
Sometimes you have to put your expectation in down low because when a movie based on a book is being made, the result probably is not as you expected. The result can go either way, whether it stays true to the book or it's better than the book. Which one do you prefer?
When an old secret society named The Illuminati kidnapped 4 Cardinals and stolen an explosive anti-matter, and threatened to kill the cardinals and also destroyed the Vatican city, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and Vittoria (Ayelet Zurer) are summoned to solve the case; find the cardinals and locate the anti-matter before midnight. Directed by Ron Howard.
Less hyped and controversial from the The Da Vinci Code, the movie gets mixed feeling from me. I don't exactly hate it, but I don't exactly like it either. First of all, it's so DIFFERENT from the book itself. I can't believe they changed a lot from the book. If you already read the book, then you know what I mean. If you haven't read the book, I suggest you read the book too because the book is so much better. The movie is not bad per se, and I kinda enjoyed it with its thriller and tense drama -- but then we don't get to see character development at all, not to mention they cut 80% from the book and completely make it different. Well, I don't expect things have to be the same from the book when making a movie based on it, but if you're trying to make a movie based on a book -- please try to keep the essence.
Apart from the differences from the book and the movie, many people actually enjoyed the simplicity of the plot and it's not too confusing when watching this. Which is make me kinda indifferent in the end. To appeal more in mass viewers, they have to tone down the controversies (if there's any), the violence, the characters, and even the plot itself to be more understandable to more broader people. Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, it depends on your taste. Some people like it, and some people don't. The fans of the book will be disappointed, but the casual movie viewers would not. Personally, the movie is a bit cheesy. I expected to be more darker, considering the plot. But it's an okay movie, but I wished they made it better.
The next installment of X-Men movie franchise, this time telling the story about one of its biggest stars, Wolvie. Yeah, Wolverine is one of my favorites. But whether or not he deserves his own movie, remains to be seen.
When he was a young boy in 19th century Canada, James Howlett (Hugh Jackman) saw a man named Logan killed his father. In rage, bone claws popped out from his hands and he killed Logan -- but soon he found out that he was actually his real father. He and his half brother, Victor Creed (Liev Schrieber) fled the scene. Because they're both immortals, they spent a century as soldiers in every wars. Major William Stryker (Danny Huston) offered them memberships in Team X, a group of mercenary mutants. After a while, James decided to leave the group. Several years later, James changed his name to Logan and lived in the mountains of Canada with his girlfriend, Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins). Apparently, Victor kills members of Team X, including Kayla. James decides to seek a revenge by joining a secret project called 'Weapon X' conducted by Stryker.
Better than X-Men 3: The Last Stand, who I thought was just blah, but this movie got me some mixed feelings when I watched it. Although it's basically an origin movie and focused solely to Wolverine, but the storyline seems flat and a little bit cluttered in my opinion. It didn't give me the sense of satisfaction like when I watched other superhero movie like Batman Begins for example, which provided lots of characters development and tight plot. This movie has so many cool action scenes, but forgot to put the essence of character -- so basically leaving me with a sense of meh.
I like the movie, but I just don't care enough to even watch it for the second time. Many characters came and gone and easily forgotten. As the viewers, we really don't care much about the characters in this movie -- so what's the point? My two favorite characters in this movie are Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) and Remy LeBeau/Gambit (Taylor Kitsch) have very brief scenes in this movie, and it's a very disappointing fact. In short, watch this just because it's part of X-Men universe, but I won't recommend this for die hard fans.
Romeo and Juliet & William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet
Happy Valentine everyone. This month, we celebrates the love month. So this means, more romantic movies! I couldn't decide which movie I was gonna feature for Valentine edition. So I decided to put both reviews from the same story about classic star-crossed lovers who take their lives. Same story, both from the greatest writer in the world; William Shakespeare. Same story from different world and age. The lmost famous love and tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo and Juliet:This movie is from 1968, a classic one. Set in a 15th-century Renaissance period, Romeo & Juliet was filmed entirely in Italy. Almost true with the story, the young actors performed their best. The entire film is a poem of youth, love and violence. Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life. Romeo Montague (Leonard Whiting) falls in love with Juliet Capulet (Olivia Hussey) daughter of his family sworn enemy. Together they have to endure the hardness of love and being in the middle of ancient grudge between their families. Based on the play by William Shakespeare. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli.
Beautiful, lyrical, and very romantic in a tragic way. I can't believe that both actors were very young, and yet they showed a lot of maturity and gravitas towards their performances. Both actors are so beautiful and really gave amazing performance. Very heartbreaking. Really recommend to watch this.
William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: This movie is from 1996, a modern version of the story. Set in the 20th Century, was filmed in Miami and Mexico City. A modern re-telling story, with the modern clothes and technology, inculding weapons -- not to mention the music soundtracks -- except the dialogue is using the Shakespeare language. The entire film is more darker than its predecessor because it shows more violence. Romeo Montague (Leonardo DiCaprio) is depressed because he loves a woman named Rosaline. During a costume party, he meets a woman named Juliet Capulet (Claire Danes), who happens to be the daughter of Capulet (Paul Sorvino), his family's enemy. Peaceful Romeo has to defend his family honor and his best friend, Mercutio (Harold Perrinau) from Tybalt (John Leguizamo). Directed by Baz Luhrmann.
A bit different and out of the box, so modern and yet so familiar with the whole love and tragedy story. I think the movie is a fun experience and really connect with younger and modern viewers. As much as I like the movie, I thought the performances are bit over the top -- although it is forgiven from a movie like this. The characters of Romeo and Juliet are too mature, and not really giving a tragic performance. But I still like it. I think the best performances are coming from Paul Sorvino and Diane Venora as Lady Capulet. What I really like about this movie is the soundtrack. Unforgettable music such as "Kissing You" by Des'ree, "You and Me Love Song" by The Wannadies, and "Lovefool" by The Cardigans. I also recommend this movie, just because it's a fun movie.
El crimen del padre Amaro / The Crime of Father Amaro
One thing I learn about human nature; that we have three basic instincts inside of us. One; the animal kind. The animal instinct inside of us which we feel basic needs like hunger and sex. Two; the divine kind. The divine instinct of us which we feel basic needs to worship something divine or about our faith. The third one; the devil kind. The devil instinct inside of us which we feel basic needs to do something horrible and committed sins. These what makes us human beings. The question is, which one is the winner?
The newly ordained Padre Amaro (Gael García Bernal) arrives in small town of Los Reyes, to start his life serving the church. He is soon led into temptation by the beautiful Amelia (Ana Claudia Talancón) a sixteen-year-old girl whose infatuation with the handsome young priest leads to tragedy. He is plagued with guilt about his feelings for Amelia and as the local press begin to reveal the secrets of the parish, Amaro turns to his superior, Padre Benito (Sancho Gracia), who himself is having a relationship with Amelia's mother. Based on the novel O Crime do Padre Amaro by José Maria de Eça de Queiroz.
This Spanish speaking movie was very controversial first time it was being released because of the theme. Corruptions and sex scandals in the life of church are everywhere and happens every time in real life, but it always being covered up. Just like real life, the themes are about sins and boundaries. No matter what you are, whether you're a man of God, you're still a human being who has needs. But then again if you are a man of God, you're already given up that privilege. A Catholic priest has to give up his rights of basic needs and his animal/devil instincts. And if you don't like it, don't be a Catholic priest then. You can't eat your cake and have it too. Sometimes you have to make a decision and live with the consequences.
Unfortunately, when a man of God thinks that he's beyond those rules, privileges , consequences, and morals...then you have nothing beside a hypocrite. Amaro was disgusted at first to see the corruption inside the parrish, and he vowed to stay clean no matter what. But seduction and temptation can grab you from anywhere. Next thing you know, he is climbing the ladder of success based on other people's misfortunes. He is walking in a very slippery slope, and yet he's getting away from the consequences because of his charming way and good looks. It's a matter of time until it swims up and bite him in the ass. Or maybe he will get away clean as a whistle. It's a cruel joke about reality. And the wicked shall rule the world.
Do you still remember your own childhood? Isn't it great to relish your childhood memory, they way that you can just throw caution to the wind without thinking about anything? But what if your own childhood was in the middle of war turmoil and confusion about who you are as an individual and you as a part of society? Do you even know who you are now as a human being?
Marjane Satrapi or Marji (Chiara-Charlotte Mastroianni) is an Iranian expatriate who remembers her own life during the Iranian Revolution. As Marji grows up, she witnesses first hand how the new Iran, has become a repressive tyranny. With Marji dangerously refusing to remain silent at this injustice, her parents send her abroad to Vienna to study for a better life. However, this change proves an equally difficult trial with the young woman finding herself in a different culture loaded with abrasive characters and profound disappointments that deeply trouble her. Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud.
This is a true story of Marjane Satrapi, the protagonist in this movie. Based on the graphic novel by her and written by her, so this is more like a autobiography film made by her but in an animated way. I think I would prefer if she would make a live action movie instead. Because to tell the truth, I couldn't connect emotionally with the true story book telling, it seems sugar coated the whole situation with imaginative narration. Although I understand completely with her character; the confusion of different social cultures and morals from different countries. She is being brought up as a liberal, and living in a country of fanatics, and probably downright to communism, where she cannot express herself, and therefore she rebels. Although I like the movie, but I feel that the movie is a bit subjective instead of objective.
Then again, it's understandable because this is an autobiography so a personal point of view is the key in this movie. But I find the main character is downright unlikeable self-absorb and bitchy person. She hates the oppression, but not because for the people -- but more for herself. She hates how she cannot express herself, and yet she really doesn't care about others who also have similar fate. But living in a country where we can't even have our own things or even have our own opinion probably can be very bad -- because we feel trapped and there is nothing you can't do about it. It just.... the movie is good, but it's kinda depressing. Although in the end, Marji can accept where she came from, but she has to sacrifice her family. So the question is; are you gonna do whatever it takes to be yourself but with a cost, or you're gonna go with the flow but unhappy? It depends with what you will choose, because everyone has a choice. Which road are you gonna take?
I have some good news and bad news. The good news is, I really like this movie. The bad news is, this movie is not that great. Good, yes. Great? Not so much. And how can this happen? Well, nobody's perfect.
The film is narrated by the young mixed-race Aboriginal boy, Nullah (Brandon Walters). Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) travels from England to Australia to meet with her husband at their cattle station/farm in Faraway Downs. A drover (Hugh Jackman) picks her up and takes her to the farm, and they find out that her husband has been murdered. Neil Fletcher (David Wenham) put the blame to 'King' George (David Gulpilil), the Aborigine elderly and Nulla as the murderer. He also secretly working with other cattle baron, King Carney (Bryan Brown) in order to rule monopoly of cattle farm during the war. Lack of experience and no manpower, Lady Sarah decides to drove the cattle to Darwin by herself, with the Drover, Nulla, and several others. Their adventure begins. Directed by Baz Luhrmann.
The good news: This is a movie with epic proportion; big names, big country, big cast, big budget, etc. I love the setting of raw Australia, with its dessert, mountains, and hills. It is a big country/continent, and I'm glad we're allowed to see that. The setting is war period time, so it dwells with war and turbulence. It also dwells with Australia native people, and how white people treat them most of the time; the apartheid and racism are very clear in this movie. Brandon Walters and David Gulpilil played great Aboriginal characters; we see their struggle as the minority whilst they are the native people in the land. I also love the performance of David Wenham as the villain in this movie, although he played it a little bit cheesy. Amazing acting performance from David Ngoombujarra who played Magarri, Dover's best friend. Hugh Jackman also good -- and on a shallow note, he's definitely hot. Really a good eye candy.
The bad news: The trailer sells this movie as an epic romance adventure ala Titanic. Apparently a false advertising, because the romance is very little in this movie. I have no idea what this movie is about; an epic romance? An epic adventure? A war movie? Drama? Action? A culture significant movie? A fantasy? All of the above? The plots are mixing and clashing together like waves and cooked with many spices, you have no idea what is going on. In one minute we're watching a love story, next scene later we're watching a war and magic. Either it's bad editing, or the filmmaker is deliberately trying to give us everything in one sitting. That is why Nicole Kidman's acting is really inconsistent and she seems blah in this movie. Don't get me wrong, she is good -- but not that good in this movie. I feel like something missing, but that doesn't mean they need to add something more. I feel like the essence is missing with all the many plots and it can be trimmed down and throw away the unnecessary cheesy storyline and focus more to one thing. Anything, take your pick! I liked what I saw, but it's not the greatest thing I've ever saw.
ETA: Just watched it again... apparently I saw more bad news. It felt more like an episode of Bonanza or something. Too soapy, too clutter, too much, and too confusing. I wished they made it better.
Happy Holidays, everyone! In the spirit of holiday, I want to review one of my favorite movies of all time. A very light romantic comedy for all ages. I remember watching it, and fell in love with the movie instantly. This is a movie about family and friends and everything in between.
Lucy (Sandra Bullock) is a lonely ticket collector at a train station, who has a secret crush with a regular customer named Peter (Peter Gallagher). On a fateful Christmas day, Peter is mugged and pushed onto the railway tracks, and she rescues him from an oncoming train. Peter is in coma, and in the hospital, everyone including Peter's family thinks that Lucy is his fiancée. Lucy is too embarrassed to tell the truth, and play along with it. Complications arise when Jack (Bill Pullman), Peter's brother gets suspicious. Not to mention Ashley (Ally Walker), Peter's real fiancée shows up. And what will happen when Lucy falling love with Jack instead? Directed by Jon Turteltaub.
Sometimes I like soapy but heartwarming romantic comedy, especially when the cast are great and have great chemistry with each other. And the story itself is not bad, although if the role is reserve, the heroine might be considered as a stalker. But this is a movie where you don't have to think too seriously. I love the setting of winter holiday in the windy city Chicago, so we can actually feels that this happens in everyday life. The movie itself is very sweet and endearing, the characters are likable even the bitchy one, and also very funny. The situation is cheesy, and yet believable. A rare and underrated romantic comedy which doesn't make you gag, but actually feels warm and happy.
The minor thing is of course, like any other movies, this won't happen in real life. There is no way Lucy will get away with the lies and everything. But this movie is so cute and sweet, I'm going to let it slide. It's hard enough to find a funny romantic comedy, so you might as well suspend your disbelief. And it's worth it actually. I love the actors, I love the dialogue, I love the setting, I love the soundtrack, and so on. I hope in the future, there would be this kind of movie again. Because it's a rarity to have one. The story itself is very touching; about a lonely orphan who is desperate to find love and happiness, she would cling to the first family who welcomes her in arms wide open. And in the end, she does find the happiness, although in a way that she didn't expect. Now, don't we all want that kind of happy ending? Happy holidays everyone!
Okay, okay. So sometimes I'm a sucker for a chick-flick, although I will deny this vehemently if someone asks about it. But I watched the movie, and I liked it. I'm not saying this movie doesn't have any mishap though, there are few things that really irks me whenever I watch it.
Gerry (Gerard Butler) and Holly (Hillary Swank) are a happily married couple until he succumbs to a brain tumor. Deeply distraught, Holly withdraws from her family and friends, until during her 30th birthday a cake and a message were sent to her by Gerry. It proves to be the first of several - all ending with the sign-off P.S. I Love You - he arranged to have delivered to her after his death. As the seasons pass, each new message fills her with encouragement and sends her on a new adventure. Based on the novel by Cecelia Ahern.
First, the good news. This movie is straight-forward romantic and a bit sappy but unpredictable, so you don't have to succumbs toone of thosecliché moments in rom-com movies. When I said unpredictable, I meant predictable but in a good way -- not in 'I-Wanna-Throw-Glass-Barbwire' way. Ah, what am I saying? This is a chick-flick film nonetheless, of course it bound to have some predictable moments. But this one is a bit different, because the romantic lead character is DEAD. So we spent the rest of the movie seeing him in flashbacks and imaginations. Not that I mind -- Gerard Butler is OMIGOD is freaking HOT and I become one of those unintteligible squealing female fans who swoon after an actor. I guess I can understand what the Twilight's fans are thinking. The appearance of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Daniel, the OTHER hot love interest for Holly is a plus too. Storyline wise, the premise is incredibly romantic. Great view of Ireland, the music is nice too, I love the fashion and the shoes, etc. So yeah, this is the movie for women.
Now, the bad news. Apart for great casting, I seriously disagree with Hillary Swank as the main character. Don't get me wrong, she's a very talented actress -- but she doesn't have ANY chemistry with her co-stars! Everytime there is a romantic scene, I thought, "Man, she really ruins this movie!" Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and although IMO she doesn't strike me as beautiful, it's not the reason. The chemistry is zip, none, and her acting in this movie is so blah, I can't believe she won 2 Oscars! I think she really great as a dramatic actress, but not as a romantic lead. Another thing that really frustrated me about this movie is how the age of the characters is suppose to be in their mid-20s and their mid-30s, whilst the actors are in their late 30s and early 40s. Seeing Hillary Swank, Lisa Kudrow and Gina Gershon as these playful bunch of 20 years old wearing funky clothes, I found it hard to suspend my disbelief. I would accept it if they act their own age. Or, just cast other actors altogether! Overall, this is a fun movie for everyone who likes chick-flicks...well, namely women.
Due to my hectic schedule, I will not be able to review all new movies every week. I apologize. I will however review some older movies from DVDs from time to time. Thank you for understanding.
Welcome to my humble weblog, a place to quench your addiction of movies. Enjoy your stay. Sometimes it's okay to be addicted to movies. PS: Beware of my brash review and language. I have a crazy obsessive compulsive behavior of watching movies. I called it being passionate. LOL. Grab some popcorn, and have a nice day! By the way, you can click the boxes at each reviews to watch the movie trailers. Enjoy!