Thursday, January 22, 2009

new *** movie reviews ***

This time, I have had the chance to watch a lot of great movies in a very short period of time, and I'm glad that I have the time to watch all these great (and not so great) masterpieces. I plan to watch more and more movies, and for sure I'll write the reviews in my arrogant ways. Anyways, the deal is like my previous movie reviews; basically if I recommend the movie, it must be worth the watch. If I think that it is a must watch, then you will have to find the ways to watch the movie because I seriously think that you won't be disappointed. I am really that confident!

The Wrestler – 8.9

Wrestling might be fake, but this movie is as real as it gets. At first I thought the main character was really a pro-wrestler, because his body personified his character too well: a worn out, battered but still moving, tank. Then I found out that it was Jimmy Rouke, a veteran actor on a come-back, delivering one of the best performances in a film that I have ever seen. It was so fucking real. This movie is full of emotion. The emotion of sadness, happiness, lust, discontent, loneliness and that one stubborn trait of us human beings not wanting to give up what one loves doing, because that is what living a life is. This movie inspires us to work hard on what we love to do, and just enjoy the moment. The story of an old pro-wrestler struggling with his dying career and his desperation to cure his loneliness may not click well with some people, but this is definitely my most favorite movie of 2008, and I recommend it to everyone.

Slumdog Millionaire – 8.7

The story format of the movie is very interesting: a contestant of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire India’ is one question away from winning the highest prize money, just to be taken away by the police for the suspicion cheating. He was forced to explain how he managed to answer each question, and the story behind those questions leads to the revealing of his interesting life starting as a boy living in horribly poor slums and how he managed to feed himself when her mother died. This is a movie about growing up, about believing in destiny and love. The shocking reality of poverty stricken communities in India might be too much for some, but it really made the film atmospheric and memorable. The soundtrack really fit the movie well and there was never a boring or dull moment in the movie; I'm at the edge of my seat the whole experience. This is an experience, and it is a good one. You have to watch this movie, and I could not stress it enough that I highly recommend this movie.

Gandhi – 8.6

This 1982 movie is about… Yes you guessed it right! Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi, aka Mohatma Gandhi. This epic movie follows the life of this great philosopher of peace from his early participation of a civil movement in South Africa, and back to India; further into the process of an independent India from the ruling British Empire. Ghandi is a living hero for us who still believes in humanity, and much should be learned from the small brown man with a stick. Ben Kingsley, who played Ghandi in this film, is absolutely amazing; the way he speaks, the way he moves; he embodies the spirit of Ghandi in every way. They don’t make these kinds of film anymore these days, and I’m glad that I’ve watched this. Of course, Ghandi’s teachings might be a little bit too philosophical to be applied onto today’s reality, but his truthfulness and love stands strong for many more generations to come. Highly recommended.

Grand Torino – 8.5

Who would’ve thought that a grumpy racist old man could be so like-able? Clint Eastwood played his best character in a movie (second to Dirty Harry, of course) and his brilliant performance will surely be remembered for a long time. Well, at least for me. The film is very well written and directed; it is funny, the story is very interesting, the character development is intact, the pacing was just right and every scene was never a boring one. Although Clint Eastwood did a brilliant performance, his supporting actors especially the Hmong kid was really terrible, that sometimes it broke the immersion of the whole movie. A movie about an old men trying to reform the neighborhood and protect a troubled teenager might not sound good enough in paper, but you’ll never be able to guess what is going to happen next. This is a very good movie; and I highly recommend it.

Waltz With Bashir – 8.5

This Israeli animation is a documentary about the 1982 Lebanon-Israel war and follows an Israeli war vet who visits his friends during the war to relive his lost memories during the Sabra and Shatila massacre. IMO, this is one of the best animation that I have ever seen for the past 10 years; and this is for a firm reason. The dreamy images used in the film perfectly depicted the shady memory of a 19 year old soldier caught up in war. The choice of animation successfully retracted the audience from reality and I think this is a brilliant technique used by the director to give the audience what it feels like when someone saw war at it’s most horrible ways, and filters it with ‘camera vision’ to make it unreal; just for the sake of avoiding craziness. The ending was just horrifying and will leave you speechless, shattering what ever ‘cleaned up’ illusion that you have about war and the cruelty of human beings. This film couldn’t come out at a better time (I’m referring to GAZA), and I highly recommends this masterpiece.Yes, this movie is from Israel, and I suggest you to watch it.

Budak Kelantan – 7.4

The movie starts well with the director focusing on trying to differentiate the two main characters with some details but at the end, it felt like they were trying to wrap up things too sudden, and that leaves you kinda hanging at the end. Anyways, this is pretty good for a new director, and the ‘shaky-cam’ cinematography really add a gritty, realistic feel to the whole movie; something that you don’t see much in Malay movies. The plot though, with it's little approach to explain certain plot defining story-points, is very unrealistic and not convincing enough, breaking the ‘gritty and realistic’ feels that it achieved through camera work. Anyways, the use of the kelantanese dialect was pretty spot-on, and I’m just glad that it was not bad. Try watching this, you might like it.

Anak Halal – 6.9

Anak Halal is both good and bad. The first half of the movie was very fun to watch; it’s funny, charming, sweet and sometimes emotional but the last part of the movie was just full of discontinuity and it seems like the director didn’t care about believable story plots anymore. Terrible ending plot aside, the fighting scenes was actually quite good, although sometimes it make me felt like I was watching a different movie all of a sudden. This movie is different from other mediocre Malay movies, but it was not that great.

Lawrence Of Arabia – 8.1

They sure don’t do make movies as EPIC as this movie is anymore; the scale is just HUGE and overwhelming. The cinematography is just amazing and captures the harsh desert environment so well. This 1962 movie based on a true story is about a British military officer who leads the Arab Revolt against the Turks (of the pre WW1 Ottoman Empire); and how he united the many Arab tribes into one army that pushed into Damascus to finally conquer it. The story was pretty good and character development is well laid out. This is an old film, but it is still a masterpiece to this day, and if you like epic, historic movies, you’d surely enjoy this movie. Recommended.

Revolutionary Road – 8.0

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio really make a good pair, the chemistry between them transcends the silver-screen, or at least they managed to make it looks like so. The movie is really good with great performances from all the actors and actresses, but I was just hoping for something more... memorable and unique? Pretty fun movie nonetheless. Recommended.

The Lives of Others – 8.0

A writer in Germany during it’s socialist era had his house bugged so that the government could listen in to whatever activities he and his liberal writers are up to. An interrogator was tasked to listen and record all the activities that happened in the house and report it to his officer, but his interest in the lives of those who he monitors has affected his work, and leads to unpredictable results. This is one good German movie, and it has my recommendation.

Network – 7.5

This 1976 movie is about a worn-out newscaster on a minor broadcasting company who, in his last days, started to preach his highly provocative views on how we the television viewers are very much influenced by TV and how ridiculous it is to let TV leads how we live our life. The script was very well written and the prophecies made by the preachy newscaster was actually quite an accurate reflection of the Television culture today; it's pretty scary. This movie is hard to recommend to young moviegoers because of the 'OLD' style in screenplay and soap-opera like camera work, but it's definitely NOT a bad movie.

Vicky Christina Barcelona – 8.2

This is a movie about love, but it is not a romantic movie. The story basically evolves around two American friends who spent some time on a holiday in Spain, crossing path with a flamboyant local artist and his crazy ex-wife. They fall in love, they questioned their love and conflicts were bound to happen in this kind of drama, and they did; albeit in a very interesting but convincing fashion. This is a very good drama, and I enjoyed it. Therefore I recommend it to those who love dramas that has some comedy, romance and crazy bitches.

Femme Fatale – 7.8

Femme Fatale – means ‘deadly women’ in France, is a movie about a beautiful con artist who double crossed her partners, and got away with it. The story get more interesting from that point and although some might say the method used to expand the plot was kinda cheap, it was pretty well done and I ended liking it. The early lesbian scenes and some other very important, sexually charged events happening in the entire movie does help you get interested through the end. This is a sexy thriller, and straight guys will have a boner or two; it’s healthy!

Frost/Nixon – 7.5

Ok, before watching this movie, I have no knowledge about President Nixon, and his political scandals that leads to this presidential resigning, but I still enjoyed the 'intense' acting and how well they put up a story behind an interview. After watching the movie, I've compared the interviews made in the movie with the original, and although a lot of alterations were made in the movie to make it tighter for the mass audience, I'm very impressed with the actor playing Richard Nixon, because he sounded just like the real guy. This film also encouraged me to make some research about Nixon and his Watergate scandal and all, and it was a pretty interesting history lesson, so I won't complain much. I always like interesting history. But I can't recommend this movie to anyone that has no interest in America's political history because that is all that this movie can offer. I had a great time watching this movie, though.


Max Payne – 6.0

Max Payne the game was a classic, and it is just a matter of time that they’ll made a film adaptation of it. Unfortunately, we live in a world where a good video game based movie simply doesn’t exist. The problem that I have with the movie is that it tries too hard to be cool, and the serious lack of good action sequences really brought it down. They should’ve learn from another videogame based movie, Hitman that focuses on action and action only; because that’s the only way a video-game based movie will ever work, sadly. The casting is also quite bad. Milla Kunis is no Mona Sax, and Mark Wahlberg is most definitely NOT Max Payne. Another disappointing video-game based movie.

Zombie Strippers – 3.0

Strippers turns into zombies, then they terrorizes their customers. Yes, this is a very bad movie.

Legend Of The Doll – 5.0

The premise of the movie is simple. A lonely guy bought a sexy doll and then it magically turns into a real woman. Then afterwards, it was revealed that the soul of the guy’s previously dead girlfriend were transferred into the doll, and made it alive. Now that you’ve read this, you can skip the bullshit story and just watch the last 10 minutes of the movie because it has boobs in it. Then thank me later.

Cat Girl Kiki – 4.5

A guy brought home a cat, and magically it turned into a woman that behaves like a cat. The last 20 minutes of this movie have boobs. Now you can thank me for the second time.

Kekko Kamen Surprise – 2.0

The above picture is Kekko Kamen in anime form. This movie is a live-action adaptation of the anime. If you value your humanity, please don’t watch this Japanese hero movie.

Zibahkhana (Hell’s Ground) – 4.0

Hell’s Ground is the first Pakistani zombie movie, and it very bad too! Avoid at all costs.

The Machine Girl – 5.0

Do you like Japanese gore movies? If you do, then you won’t mind watching this crap. The story is all over the place, but who needs that shit? The movie is so violent it’s almost felt like a bad anime. If you like Japanese high school girls conflicting gruesome violence and gore to each other, then you wishes had come true. Another crazy Japanese film.


  1. Great! Almost all the movies you reviewed before the spoiler tag are the ones that I've been wanting to watch. Except Slumdog Millionarie, which I have already seen and love!

    About Nixon, yeah, I asked my American labmates about what he did, lol. I want to watch it, too, because the acting looks great (yes, especially the Nixon guy) and the "old" style of the movie looks cool. Btw Frank Langella also plays Nixon in the original play version, and he made everyone call him "Mr. President" on set so that he could stay in character.

  2. "The Hong Kong Connection" is a legal thriller about a gutsy female attorney who takes on high ranking International officials. It's a taut, rollercoaster of a ride from New York to Palm Beach to Washington D.C. to Hong Kong. The plot is expertly woven, the characters persuasive, and the dialogue snappy and spot on.

  3. I wonder why they choose to release all these good movies at this time of the year... hype for awards maybe?

    Anyways, tahun ni punya movie memang banyak best.

    O I didn't know Frost/Nixon was a play! and yeah, Slumdog was brilliant! The best bollywood movie ever (although it was a British movie, it really felt like bollywood)


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