Saturday, August 23, 2008

back to reviewing movies !

Caramel – 8.6

A really good film, like Caramel, is one of the few reasons why I never gave up searching for no-name foreign films that came out of no where, in this case, from Beirut, Lebanon. The film might remind you of Beauty Salon and Sex and The City, in a good way that is because Caramel is a lot deeper and real than both of the mentioned films could ever imagined, combined. The theme of the movie is love, and how the woman in the film deals with it; helping each other to cope with cultural constraints that has been framed upon them. The thing that I like the most about the movie is how each and every character in the movie has their own detailed story with their own interesting personalities and background, and each one of these qualities could be interpreted later by the viewer in many ways that they see fit. This is a gem of a movie. Caramel is indeed, bittersweet. Highly recommended. * The director Nadine Labaki, played Layale, the saloon girl trying to get love from a married men. *

The Dark Knight – 8.8

You’ve probably heard this thousand of times before: apparently, Dark Knight was an awesome movie! Yessir, I strongly agree! Everyone was talking about how awesome Heath Ledger is. Well, to me, Heath Ledger does not exist at all in the movie. What I did saw though, is the most bad-ass portrayal of The Joker, in any Batman movie ever made. The Joker in The Dark Knight will not be forgotten for a long, long time. I like Christian Bale too, but he still fights like a robot in this one, nothing special. It is interesting to see how this movie has finally made the efforts to try to tell the Dark Knight story as parallel as possible with the Dark Knight comics, the darker version of Batman. The Dark Knight may not be 2008’s best movie, but it’s sure as hell is the best superhero movie, EVER. Go watch this, now. Please.

He Was A Quiet Man – 8.4

After further investigation, I have found out that the boob that you saw in the movie is not the real boob of the lovely Elisha Cuthbert, but a tit-double. Yeah. That’s a real bummer but thankfully, the story and how they progress it was really interesting and they keep you engaged with little weirdness coming from the imagination of he main character, and how he reacted to it. Bob Maconel (Christian Slater) was a quiet man, secretly planning to go on a homicidal and suicidal rampage against his cruel co-workers who treated him like he was a complete loser, an ignored soul as he put it. His plans took an unexpected turn when he became the hero who saved the day, instead of the opposite. The movie invites you to open your mind to bloody raw emotions that a stressed and paranoid man has and how we as a society, put too much pressure on being successful and how our blatant ignorance and hypocritical social masks were the clogs in a machine that made those ‘quiet man’ into homicidal social fuck-ups that we saw on tv. Highly recommended.

Arranged – 8.2

A story about two beautiful, intelligent school teachers who are being put through a traditional ‘arranged marriage’ practice by their family. One is an Orthodox Jew, and the other is a Muslim. And they're not trying to kill each other!!! Now you have to watch this film! Seriously though, this is a touching movie, and sometimes funny too. Muslims and Jews should watch this film, together, while holding hands.

In Bruges – 8.4

The film starts slow by introducing two hit man; one grumpy oldmen while the other a wise-crack noisy young miserable bastard, being sent to Bruges in Belgium to hide and wait for further instructions from their boss after a fucked-up assassination mission in London. The playwriting in the movie was extremely well done, blending crude humor and all range of human emotions successfully; something that you won’t find in Hollywood movies. Then the story ramps up the pace when the real reason they were sent to Bruges were made known by their boss; from there on, the tension doubles every 10 minutes, reaching for a superb climatic ending. The acting was good (Colin Farrell did well in this one), the story was very interesting and this is truly a new, fresh take on hit men movies. Highly recommended.

L Change The World – 6.5

A spin-off sequel to the popular Japanese thriller ‘Death Note’, but this time the story focuses only on L and how he spent the last days of his remaining life. I loved the Death Note mangas and I thought the movies were a pretty well done. The problem with this movie is that they didn’t touch the most important theme that made the manga and film interesting: The freaking death note itself! Story was really mediocre the only thing that stands out is the cute girl and the weirdly cool L.

The Love Guru – 7.0

I really like Mike Myres in all the Austin Powers movies, he was pretty darn funny. Mike Myres in The Love Guru on the other hand… was pretty darn LAME. OK there are some funny scenes that made me laughed, but the story was boring as hell that I slept through half of the film. Anyways, I think people who hated Mike Myres’s brand of comedy, would NEVER enjoy watching this movie, seriously. It’s pretty heavy with Myres Jokes. The part when Jessica Alba dances ala Bollywood was pretty funny, and worth watching though.

恋空 (Koizora) – 7.5

As a tragic teen love story, this film is pretty watchable, IF you really, really like watching a heroine with a really pretty and innocent face; but you really don’t have to. The story had been done countless of times before in other mediocre teen movies and you don’t even have to think to successfully predict the ending. Aragaki Yui is extremely pretty though, and that is the only reason I stayed watching to the end.

P2 – 6.0

A workaholic executive businesswoman works until late night and is pursued by a psychopathic security guard after being locked in a parking garage on Christmas Eve. Some jumpy moments here and there but overall: pretty boring and not scary at all.

Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden – 7.6

Morgan Spurlock from the brilliant Super Size Me fame, went on to various places, even to really dangerous spots in search for Osama bin Laden. What he really finds is some muslim people acting like normal people, not like the evil, blood thirsty, uneducated savages like they were portrayed in the American media. This so-called-documentary brings nothing new to the table, but the humorous road it took with the presentation, the cartoony graphics and all make this ‘already a little bit too late’ documentary a watchable one. A light reminder of Osama’s existence and how muslims all over the world, really wants the guy captured and his balls bitten by a gay priest.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army – 6.0

The first movie sucked. The second one sucked even more. I fell asleep out of boredom. I woke up in the middle of the movie, watching a white guy doing kungfu like he’s chinese. Then somehow Hellboy tries to be cool by saying some cheesy stuff. Don’t waste your time with this movie, I have. The CGI and the credits was pretty good though.

What Happens In Vegas – 7.0

Bla bla bla like I give a fuck about the story. The film got Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher in it. I thought this is going to be such a horrible film that I’m going to laugh all the way, but surprisingly, it was quite an entertaining one, in a mindless kind of way. I think I have a soft spot here. If you’re in the mood for a dumb, unserious movie, this movie might not be such a bad choice. Really.

City Of Men – 7.5

In line with Kitano Takeshi’s Brother and 血と骨(Blood and Bones), City of God was one of my favorite films of all time. No doubt about it. Although City of Men has the same theme about Brazilian gangster culture, it was never as shockingly gruesome as City of God. The story revolves around two youngsters in a search to discover things about their missing fathers' pasts which will shatter their solid friendship, in the middle of a war between rival drug gangs from Rio's favelas. Although disappointingly not as good as City of God, City of Men is still a gritty film and it still manages to shock you with its realistic portrayal of the problematic favelas in Rio de Janeiro.

Never Back Down – 8.0

I’m so glad they still made movies like this. Noticing references from Jackie Chan’s training scene from Drunken Master, a little bit of Rocky and Fight Club etc. is inevitable; but it was done is an acceptable taste, not insulting. Forget about the story, the main dish is the fighting. And it was good. If you like movies with dumb story lines but awesome fighting scenes, you’re going to love this one. And oh, I think it’s also female-viewer-friendly; IF that female viewer likes to see sweaty teenage boys kicking each other’s ass with style.

Si j'étais toi aka The Secret – 7.8

When a mother and daughter are in a car accident, the soul/spirit of the mother was transferred into the daughter’s body; while the body of the mother stays dead. The story is basically about how the mother (being inside her daughter’s body) copes with teenager life, having to deal with peer pressure, drugs and sex. This frustrates the loving husband because he got confused on how to deal with the situation, like he wants to have sex with his wife, but can’t because physically it’s his daughter etc. Olivia Thirby did a good job doing two different characters; there is definetely a pool of talent there.

俺たちの世界 (This World of Ours) – 6.0

This Japanese movie tries to evoke the viewers to think about how pathetic it is for a human being to put himself into the frames of society and live a boring life; but then it backfires and tried to lay down an example that people who think this way are just losers in his/her philosophical bullshit.

Flash Point – 7.0

This is what I would call a pretty decent Hong Kong action movie. The story was forgettable but the action sequences were really entertaining, and the fight scenes are spectacular and detailed. If you like Hong Kong action movie, you’d probably enjoy this movie.

The Mummy 3 The Tomb of The Dragon Emperor – 6.4

The first and second Mummy movies were one of my favorite action adventure films of all time, and I can’t hold my excitement moments before watching the third installment. The previous movies had interesting stories, funny dialogs, exciting tomb riding with its fair share of deadly traps and wicked sick mummies and the all too fitting combination of the brilliant Brendan Frazer-Rachel Weisz duo. It was not the greatest movie ever made, but it was good and fun. Unfortunately, the same things cannot be said about The Tomb of The Dragon Emperor. The writers’ desperate attempt at humor is...laughable. Being a Rob Cohen movie, the CGI and action sequences were very well made and screamed for a label of being‘epic’. Unfortunately, the weak juggling stories, horribly boring dialogues, and the absence of Rachel Weisz made this movie barely watchable. This is what I would call a decent mindless entertainment.

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