Sunday, November 01, 2009

another long collection of movie reviews!

おくりびと(Departures) – 9.0
Okuribito is simply put the best Japanese movie I’ve seen this year. A cello player lost his musical job, and then decides to leave Tokyo to return to his Yamagata hometown. This is how he found a job as the person who does the traditional preparation for the dead during funerals. The intricate details and how the director likes to tease its audience with scenes that opens up possibilities for various interpretations was really a quality only found in Japanese movies; and I love this style of film-making. The story was very beautiful and I managed to learn a thing or two about the traditional Japanese funerals. If you like movies, you have to watch this. I can’t write how much HIGHLY RECOMMENDED this one gem is.

Star Trek – 8.0
I must state a confession here: I was never a fan of Star Trek because I thought the costumes were foolishly gay, and why drool on Star Trek when there is something as awesome as Star Wars? The only reason why I wanted to watch this in the first place is because of director J.J.Abrams; and boy what a great movie this is! Ok, maybe I’m pushing it a little bit here, but what genius could turn something as stupid and boring as Star Trek into such a great action movie with great story? Recommended.

Godfather 3 – 8.4
The Godfather series is probably one of my favorite movies of all time, and recently, I had the opportunity to watch the third and last installment on Bluray. Like the first and second, you’re immediately drawn into the story and all its interesting characters right from the start. A lot of the flash back scenes tied some loose ends from previous movies, and provide the much appreciated detail to an amazing drama. Highly recommended.

Joint Security Area – 8.0
Brilliant story telling and realistic drama that not only involves a couple of military personnel, but symbolizes the feelings of two nations at whole. The story involves border guards at the South Korea – North Korea border, and this movie really made me think about the true meaning behind the word nationalism and patriotism. It is emotional, it is sometimes funny and definitely a recommended watch.

The Twilight Samurai (たそがれ清兵衛) – 8.5
One of the better Samurai movies out there, The Twilight Samurai is strives for a realistic presentation of its world, and the audience got sucked in pretty quickly into the Samurai era of feudal Japan. This is one slow drama but the meticulous detail put into the story line, beautiful props and low-key acting really fits the theme very well and I enjoyed every minute of the movie and it slowly creeps up on me and succeeded in holding my attention to the end credits. The basic story is about a low-ranked samurai who quietly lives his hard life trying to support his two daughters and his mother. Spice the story with some feudal Japanese romance, and I’m sold. If you like Samurai movies that focus more on story than action, you have got to watch this gem. Recommended for sure!

Changeling – 8.4
This has got to be Angelina Jolie’s best movie yet. A mother lost his son, and when the police found the wrong boy and insisted that it was her lost boy, several heinous crimes were uncovered and linked, bringing along with it an interesting story with a lot of emotion and drama. I totally recommend this movie directed by Clint Eastwood.

Ponyo On The Cliff (崖の上のポニョ) – 7.8
I was always a fan of Studio Gibli’s movies, and although Ponyo is not the best, it is still unique in its own ways while retaining that stark Hayao Miyazaki style. Although this movie was publicized to be a children’s movie, I think there were parts of the storyline that might seem hard for a kid to understand. Children will love the creative visuals and adults will enjoy the intricate details put into the animation; and Ponyo being kawaii really helped both parties. Recommended if you like Hayao Miyazaki movies!

Public Enemies – 7.3
I was quite hyped to see this movie because of lead Johnny Depp and Christian Bale was in it, but was quite disappointed when finished watching it. This is not a bad movie, but so much potential in chemistry between both actors is wasted with shallow characterization and story build-up. The gun fights were entertaining and realistically cool though. Definetely not the best film for Johnny Depp/Christian Bale.

Shake Hands With The Devil – 8.0
If you liked Hotel Rwanda and want to see another good movie about the Rwanda Genocide, you have to watch this movie. The POV this time is from Roméo Dallaire, the Commanding General of the UN Forces in Rwanda at that time. Very violent and very tragic, the movie captures General Dallaire’s frustration and guilt very well and the lead actor did a great deal of acting to bring all the emotions alive. This is a great movie about the failure of humanity, and I highly recommend watching it.

Monsters vs Aliens – 7.9
DreamWorks Animation has been a great rival to Pixar when it comes to CGI movies and Monsters vs Aliens is another great addition to their great offerings of CGI movies. Although targeted towards children, I had fun watching this. Simple and funny. Recommended.

Sweet Lie – 8.0
I don’t know why, but it seems like I have developed fondness to Korean romantic comedies, and Sweet Lie is one of the reason of this. The story seemed so clichéd and unoriginal at first, but the director managed to put some twist to the story, denying it to be boring. This is one cute and funny movie, and if you like Korean romantic comedies, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Talentime – 7.5
The first half of the movie is spent building its multi-racial characters while trying to break stereotypes of each other. Sometimes it felt like the message was forced down our throats, but I guess that’s exactly what Yasmin Ahmad had in mind. The acting was hit and miss, and the dialogue terribly unrealistic, just like her past efforts. The whole movie might felt like a cheesy melodrama and lack focus nor direction, but it clearly had something big that it wants Malaysians to think about. Think about Malaysians as non racial, but mere humans with differences. Not one of Yasmin’s best films though…it is very sad that she is not with us anymore... She had so much potential...

Year One – 7.0
Jack Black and Micheal Cera together in a movie that insults Jews, Christians and Muslims as it poke at the ridiculousness of holy tales taken from Torah, Bible and Quran. How can that be NOT funny? Most of the jokes are stupid and some disgusting, but the whole movie was not that bad, and Micheal Cera was funny. So was Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Brain not needed to enjoy this.

Xmen Origins Wolverine – 7.0

You like Wolverine? Then you should watch this movie. If you have no idea who or what Wolverine is, then don’t watch this because there was nothing special about this movie. Just another Hollywood action movie. I happen to dig Wolverine. That is why I’m writing this.

Land Of The Lost – 6.0

Will Ferrell should really choose his movies; and think about a new funny character, not play the same character in all his movies. Bad movie, it would be better if they had a hotter chick as Will Ferrell’s love interest though.

Goemon – 7.2

This Japanese alternate fantasy movie seems like a great idea on paper, but the execution was pretty rough and I wonder whether to take it seriously or does the cheesiness and stereotypical elements in a lot of Japanese fantasy movies were just there as an element of parody. I guess 90% of the scenes were made out of cheap CGI, and the acting really didn’t help much. As a mindless action movie though, the amount of cool action involving shinobis killing hundreds and hundreds of fully armored samurais could satisfy any action movie fans. Still, definitely NOT a good Japanese movie, although the effort should be encouraged.

Transporter 3 – 7.4

If you love Jason Statham, you’re going to love this movie, but even to the normal action movie-lover, this movie is not bad at all. The action scenes were cool and the ending was pretty explosive… literally. Jason Statham was brilliant but I just wished they casted a hotter girl as the package.

Too Beautiful To Lie – 7.0

A pretty ex-conwomen on parole had to lie and lie some more to avoid trouble, but it causes more chaos and leads to some funny situations that don’t make sense but this romantic comedy Korean movie is as mediocre as many of it’s kind, so there is no surprise there. I think a rating of 7.0 is pretty generous already.

Crank High Voltage – 7.0

Although not as good as the first Crank, High Voltage is almost as crazy. The sequel does have more violence and sex, so be prepared because it was pretty ‘hardcore’ and might offend a lot of people. Even a good Muslim would surely be sent to hell if he/she enjoys this.

Fast & Furious – 7.3

This would be the 4th addition to the Fast And Furious series, and after Tokyo Drift, this time they’re bringing back the cast from the original. The story is worse this time around but the action sequences were pretty enjoyable and at least I had fun. In short: not so furious.

10 Things I Hate About You – 7.5

It’s quite amazing that a movie so old thus seems to be packed full with cliché, is still enjoyable.

Che Part 1 – 6.0

The movie was so boring that I slept in the whole movie. I need to rewatch this and re-view it again, if I have the time.

Race To Witch Mountain – 6.0

2 alien kids with alien powers and Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson is in this Disney action/adventure movie. I guess you’d figure out what to expect from these types of movies. Not terrible, but just passable.

Chadni Chowk To China – 5.0

This Indian movie’s new concept of bringing Bollywood to the world of kungfu in China seems like an interesting promise, but it failed miserably because one must not forget that they bringing along Bollywood’s horrible acting, failed attempt at comedy, ridiculous story, dumb actors and worse directors. The cinematography was beautiful and the music was not so bad though. Avoid this movie.

Red Cliff 1 – 6.0

Boring. John Woo was a brilliant director when it comes to modern action movie. I mean, he popularizes shooting with two pistols and flying while at it! Unfortunately, I don’t think he made great epic movies that had to deal with history and ancient Chinese battles and story. Of maybe I was just too tired from work when I watch this?

Twilight – 7.0

Seriously, I thought this movie is going to be shit; but it is not. I never read any of it’s novels but by watching this movie, I kinda understands why Twilight is such a hit with the teenage girls. I mean, which teenage girls don’t want a vampire boyfriend that’s rich as fuck, good looking and had super powers? Kristen Stewart was incredibly hot in a weird and new way. I really like her acting style.

Adventureland – 7.0

I expected a nonsense comedy with lots of perverted jokes but this movie is far more than that. Of course it has those aforementioned elements, but the story focused more on romance and conflicts that it brings along. The acting was really relaxed and Kristen Steward was weird hot and I started to like this young actress after seeing this movie and Twilight. There was nothing special about the movie though, but I don’t really regret watching it.

Tokyo! – 7.0

Three different stories from three different directors, with three different styles and three different preferences; and they all have one thing in common: location. One pretty weird movie though, and I don’t normal moviegoers could stomach any of it.

September Tapes – 6.0

Borrowing the format of Blair Witch Project, this ‘finding Osama Bin Laden’ movie is all about creating a believable home-made movie, with some seriously realistic special effects and camera shots. Not bad at all, but I just can’t rate this movie any higher.

Land Of The Dead – 6.5


A Very Long Engagement – 7.0

This Frech movie starts very slow, and it didn’t pick up the pace quick enough to hold my interest in the plots about a girl who tries to investigate about what really happened to his fiancé during the war.

Dragonball Evolution – 5.5

I knew this real-action adaptation of the legendary Dragonball manga would be extremely bad, and I still can’t believe how right I am.

Erotic Comic Girl – 5.0

The movie is about a virgin Japanese girl who works and strives to be a good eroge mangaka (erotic comic artist), and after her imagination for sexual stories almost runs dry, she searches desperately for ways to refresh and advance her ability to be more imaginative. The obvious step to take is to pop her cherry and have lots of sex… What a dumb movie.


  1. taopix, g.i joe is awesome! seriously.

  2. Taufik : wah twilight is awesome man. U have to read all the twilight saga's novel the four novels i mean wah wah wah Awesome awesome taufik.serious.Ha,tengok, Bukan teenage girl je tau. Hahahha

    When u read the novel, then watch the movie u will understand the feeling we have :p


  3. i'll try to watch g.i.joe when i have the chance.

    naahh... i won't waste my time by reading the novel. i already know how it will be written.



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