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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review Of : Upside Down

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Just watched the Premiere Screening of "UPSIDE DOWN".

Directed By Juan Diego Solanas

Starring Kirsten Dunst, Jim Sturgess, Timothy Spall 

Synopsis: 
In an alternate universe, there are two worlds; "Up Above" and "Down Below". The two worlds are separated. While Up is rich and prosperous, Down is poor. Going Up is strictly forbidden and the only connection between the worlds is through the company "TransWorld".The movie tells the story of Adam(Jim) who lives Down Below but he falls in love with Eden(Kirsten) who lives Up Above. Then, as they were about to meet, the law enforcers took Eden away & Adam is thrown back to live back in Down Below. As years pass, Adam saw Eve on TV, and with this, his pursuit to find Eden begins and he will let nothing get into his way, not even the law enforcers and the forces of nature. 


So, when I first saw the trailer in the cinemas, I was literally amazed & stunned at the whole concept of the movie. I mean, two worlds living simultaneously but they can't meet each other because the laws of nature/gravity forbids them. 

With a great idea & concept that almost blew my mind like how Inception did, I was hoping for a great story too. But the story was below expectations. The story was not all that bad but the script & plot can be improved a whole lot. I was expecting the genre of sci-fi/romance to be as interesting as The Adjustment Bureau.

So the up side of the movie is the concept & visuals but the down side is they could've written a better script. (Haha puns! Get it? Up side & Down side. :P ) 



Anyway, back to the movie, it was visually stunning & the concept as I said, blew my mind. 

The story was really good. Overall concept & idea. But keep in mind, you have to listen & understand the movie well, so pay attention. 

Just a head's up, here's some info about the movie's story you might want to know. 
The two worlds; Up Above & Down Below live opposite to each other, but they cannot meet each other, one of the main cause is the gravity of each world. The gravity has 3 rules:
1) Everything is pulled only by the gravity of its own planet
2) One thing can pass to the other gravity field by touching something belonging there
3) The thing that passes to the other gravity field starts to burn in time

Plot wise, could've been a lot better. I was hoping for a little twist or something, but instead the ending was a little hurried & left me "What? Ended like that? There could've been more." 
Acting, quite good. 
Visually, amazing. Great designs of the two worlds. Nice cinematography. 

So, all in all, UPSIDE DOWN is somewhat an interesting movie, it could've been better but it was okay. Worth a watch. Once, again, pay attention to the concept of the idea. 


My Rating?

Plot : 3.25/5
Storyline : 4/5
Characters*: 3.75/5 
Effects** :4.5/5
OVERALL : 7.5/10.


Trailer: 


(^ the movie is in English, but the only trailer I found online is this French version. So yeah.) 


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Review Of : Les Miserables

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Just watched "Les Miserables" yesterday. (: 

Directed By Tom Hooper

Starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter 

Synopsis: 
An adaptation of the successful stage musical based on Victor Hugo's classic novel set in post-revolutionary France, the story reaches resolution against the background of the June Rebellion. . Prisoner 24601, known as Jean Valjean, is released from prison and breaks parole to create a new life for himself while evading the grip of the persistent Inspector Javert. 




So, just in case if any of you are oblivious, yes, this is a musical. It has around 90% singing. (So, don't be shocked if they sing instead of talking to each other)

When I entered the cinema to watch Les Miserables, I was expecting a few singing scenes (e.g. character monologue scenes or group singing), but at the first scene(as above), Prisoner 24601 (acted by Hugh Jackman, yes, doesn't looks like him right?) and the rest of the prisoner were singing about their misery as a slave. 

The funny thing is that even in conversation scenes, they sing instead of talk. Maybe it's because I've not watch much musical or musical movies much, yup, I've yet to watch the theatre musical of "Les Miserables". So this is somewhat different for me. But, I come out of the cinema, "Les Miserables" is a really amazing movie that can be slowly appreaciated. (: 


It's quite a well done movie as the props, visuals & acting was really quite good. Also bravo to the makeup department for "dirtying" & making the actors looks "pathetic & miserable". 

The story & plot is based on the classic novel written by Victor Hugo. Which is quite the tragic story. 
The acting was surprising, in a way. I mean, this is the first time I see actors like Hugh Jackman & Russell Crowe sing. Also Anne Hathaway did a good job on the famed song "I Dreamed A Dream". I would give good an applause to the all the actors & actresses  for practicing the songs & still portraying emotions at the same time through their acting. 
Visually, the whole movie was done really well from the cinematography, props & the background of France Revolution. 
Music, really good. Captivating songs that brings out emotion & tells the story well when the words/lyrics are observed & understood. Really nice songs from the movie namely "I Dreamed A Dream", "Do You Hear The People Sing","One Day More", Red & Black" and a few others.

All in all, if you love musicals, you might love & appreciate this movie. If you have yet to watch any musical, this might be an eye-opener of some sort. Its really good movie that should be watched & appreciated for the holidays. (: 

My Rating?

Plot : 3.5/5
Storyline :3.75/5
Characters*: 4.5/5 
Effects** :3.5/5
OVERALL : 7.75/10.



Trailer:






Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review Of : Life Of Pi (3D)

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Just watched "LIFE OF PI" in 3D yesterday. (:


Directed By Ang Lee

Starring Irrfan Khan, Suraj Sharma, Adil Hussain

Synopsis:
Based upon the bestselling book by Yann Martel, LIFE OF PI tells the story of a young man's incredible survival at sea against impossible odds when he is the only human who survived the shipwrecked. While cast away, he went through an amazing journey and forms an unexpected connection another survivor; a Bengal Tiger. 



First thing I would I to express is that the visuals are amazing. 

In my opinion, the visuals are on par to "Avatar" and "Hugo". In certain scenes, its like "Avatar" on Earth. 
With amazing graphics/CGI and great cinematography. Truly, worth it in 3D. And can you believe it that the Tiger is CGI? I can't tell the difference between the scenes which they used a real Tiger & the CGI one. 

The overall story is rather simple but really heartwarming with a touch of humour. 
Just saying, It reminds me of background in "Titanic" (shipwrecked) , "127 Hours" (the isolation & the will to survive) "Slum-dog Millionaire"(maybe because its in India) and weirdly "Jungle Book". 
But all that aside, "Life Of Pi" serves a good message of faith, wonder,courage and to not give up hope.


Although, I was hoping for something more, but overall "Life Of Pi" was really good. Ang Lee succeeded to made a good movie from a good book. Maybe, I might want to read the book myself. 

As I said the story was simple but rather touching. I like the fact that they added a touch of humour & wonder in the movie. 
Plot-wise, really interesting & captivating. I will not say anymore, as I do not want to spoil it for you. :)
Good acting. Pi acted by Suraj Sharma accompanied by other casts did a great job with bringing out the emotional aspect of the film.  
Visually, stunning. Great cinematography & graphics. Til now, I wonder how they did it, I'm still trying to differentiate which is real & which is CGI. Amazing. 
The music really brought the emotion & life to the story overall.

Although, this movie may not make you tear up, but it is truly touching. 
All in all, a great message delivered with a good story. I recommend you to watch it in 3D. (:

My Rating?

Plot : 3.75/5
Storyline : 3.5/5
Characters*: 3.75/5 
Effects** :5/5
OVERALL : 8.75/10.


Trailer: 



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Review Of : Rise Of The Guardians (3D)

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I've just watched "RISE OF THE GUARDIANS" in 3D a few days ago. 


Directed By Peter Ramsey

Voiced By Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law

Synopsis: 
When the guardians are threatened by a dark evil force lead by Pitch, The Boogeyman. North aka Santa Claus, Bunnymund aka Easter Bunny, Sandy aka Sandman and Tooth aka Tooth Fairy have to band up together to fight him. They are then joined by Jack Frost, who is chosen to be a guardian by The Man In The Moon to assist them to stop Pitch's evil plans to bring back fear in all the children of the world. 


Rise Of The Guardians tells a simple story of good vs evil, but with a different perspective, and not like Avengers fighting off aliens from another realm. This movie is more of a children animated film with tells about fear & believe/faith which is truly a really nice message.

The main character of Jack Frost is really captivating. I like how they made him a character who is lonely & longs to be believed in. Although, I was expecting more of his character, but it's alright. There are also many interesting characters like North, Sandy, Bunnymund also the elfs & Yetis. 


Story-wise, a simple & interesting story, especially for children. Great for a family holiday movie.
The plot, could have been better. I was expecting more in contrast to other animated movies like previous DreamWorks animations.
Characters was really charming & funny. With good voice casts. Although, I never thought that The Easter Bunny's voice was Hugh Jackman. :P 
Visually, it is indeed an eye candy. With fly-overs, colourful & beautiful scenes, snow & great graphics its truly worth the watch in 3D
The music was well scored & gives the epic feel with a touch of magical holiday season. 

P.S. - Don't go off straight when the credits begin as there is a small scene during the credits. (:

In a nutshell, if you plan for a fun & interesting family movie with a good message, watch Rise Of The Guardians. 




My Rating?

Plot : 3/5
Storyline : 3.75/5
Characters*: 4/5 
Effects** :4.25/5
OVERALL : 8/10.


Trailer : 





Sunday, November 18, 2012

Review Of : War Of The World : Goliath (3D)

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Watched "WAR OF THE WORLDS : GOLIATH" in 3D a couple of days ago. 

Directed By Joe Pearson

Voiced By Adrian Paul, Adam Baldwin, Peter Wingfield, Elizabeth Gracen, Jim Byrnes, Beau Billingslea, Mark Sheppard


Synopsis:
In 1899, the Earth was attacked by ruthless invaders from the planet Mars. The Martian's 80 ft tall, heat-ray spewing, Tripod battle machines laid waste to the planet, but the invaders ultimately fell prey to Earth's tiny bacteria.In 1914, on the eve of World War I, Martians stage a second attack, stronger and more powerful than before, to complete what they had begun. But this time, they meet a very different Earth. This time, the humans fight back.


First of all, I'm quite sure that you heard of this movie its because of the news that War of the Worlds
 : Goliath won for Best 3D Animated Film in The LA Film Festival, am I right? 
Well, none the less, the 3D effects are really quite good. Considering that this is a 2D animated film and its local. :P 

Despite the downside of the rather predictable plot & bland script. The story, layout, design & effects serve well in contrast. 


I have to say that I'm really impressed with the animation of the characters & the concept artwork not forgetting the well-composed music that makes it epic. This will be great film if you love war, bi-planes, steam-punk designs & all.  

The story was interesting but I really wished that they had a more solid script & a better plot. I believe the main idea of World of the World is to give homage to H.G. Well's original story. 
The voice casts was really good. Taking international voices that matched the characters well. Each character would have performed better if they were given more screen time in my opinion.
Visuals, as I said, I'm impressed. In my opinion, the animation of the characters are very "anime-ish". The layout & the artwork are well-done & deserve a praise.

 All in all, World Of The Worlds : Goliath is indeed one of the few successful local films. I recommend you to watch it for the visuals. If possible, in 3D of course. (: 


My Rating?

Plot : 3/5
Storyline : 3.75/5
Characters*: 3.5/5 
Effects** :4/5
OVERALL : 7.25/10.


Trailer : 






Saturday, November 3, 2012

Review Of : Skyfall

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Just watched "SKYFALL" a few days ago. (:


Directed By Sam Mendes

Starring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Naomi Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem

Synopsis:
SKYFALL, from Albert R Broccoli's EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Sony Pictures Entertainment, is directed by Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes and stars Daniel Craig, who returns for his third film as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007.

(SONY PICTURES RELEASING INTERNATIONAL)




At last, another of the year's most anticipated movie is finally out in the cinemas. 
Skyfall was really good overall. 

Well, many reviews have said relatively that this 23rd installment of the James Bond 007 series is one of the best. The overall undertaking of the film's story is really interesting as it focuses on the characters instead of other mainstream action films which just focuses on action & "bang-bang-boom".

The movie begins with Bond (Daniel Craig) and Eve (Naomi Harris) in a retrieval operation in Istanbul, which ends in disaster when Eve accidentally shoots Bond under M (Judi Dench)'s instruction. With Bond missing and presumed dead, and the identities of every active undercover MI6 agent leaked onto the internet, questions are raised over M's ability to run the Secret Service, and she becomes the subject of a government review over her handling of the situation. When the service itself is attacked, Bond's sudden reappearance gives M the pretext she needs to seek out Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), a dangerous villain claiming a personal connection to both of them, but Bond soon finds his loyalty to M challenged over secrets from her past.




I'm also really impressed by the overall cinematography of the film. From the beginning credits that was accompanied by Adele's Skyfall and creative cinematography throughout the whole film til the end. The film also brought in elements from previous Bond films.(Hint: picture above :P ) 

The story, overall, was really interesting & a successful undertaking from previous Bond films as it tells the history of the characters and making it more realistic. 
The overall plot was done pretty well. Do not over-expect too much, as I always say. The plot of the film was quite good as it consists of fair amount of action without disturbing the flow of the story although I expected more conflicts. 
The acting was real good. Great casts. Although I think the character of Raoul Silva acted by Javier Bardem could have more screen time but it was okay. His character also reminds me of The Joker in The Dark Knight, which too portrays an intimidating, smart & somewhat psychotic villain. The other casts played well too. 
Visually, as I stated previously, the cinematography was well done as it make used of reflections, silhouettes, and more.  Also, the film was shot in many locations from England to Shanghai which was shot beautifully. 

All in all, Skyfall is a must watch, It is also available in IMAX, which I think it might be really good. 

My Rating?

Plot : 4/5
Storyline : 4/5
Characters*: 4/5 
Effects** :4.25/5
OVERALL : 8.75/10.



Trailer: 




Friday, October 26, 2012

Review Of : Frankenweenie

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I've watched 'FRANKENWEENIE' a few days ago.

Directed By Tim Burton

Voiced By Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara

Synopsis:
From creative genius Tim Burton ("Alice in Wonderland," The Nightmare Before Christmas") comes "Frankenweenie," a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life-with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor's fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new "leash on life" can be monstrous.

(WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)




A simple story with a heartwarming theme.

First & foremost, for those of you who don't know. Yes, this movie is in full black & white. Yup, so that you don't get surprised & thought the film was having colour issues. This is Tim Burton's way of reminiscing the classics and as the title goes; Frankenweenie is a parody & also a homage to the classic movie of 'Frankenstein'.  

Secondly, yes, Frankenweenie is done through stop-motion animation. Applause to that

So, like I said the story might sound rather simple as Victor, a smart but a loner with his only friend; his dog Sparky. But when Sparky got knocked by a car & died, Victor was devastated. When his science teacher demonstrate a simple experiment, Victor got an idea that would literally revive Sparky. Things gets ugly when the news of Sparky's revival got out. 



Many would compare this movie to the films of the same genre such as Paranorman, Corpse's Bride & etc. But Frankenweenie took on quite well with a good written script & story.  

Story is simple as it all revolves around Victor who just wants to bring his dog back to life. 
Plot-wise, although in my opinion, the connection & love of Victor towards Sparky should be shown more but the story escalated quite well.
For parents who want to bring their young children should be aware that there are a few frightening scenes for younger children.
Although some of the characters in my opinion is unnecessary maybe because they have small screen-time, all in all, the character of Victor is well portrayed.
The visuals, since its in black & white, there's really nothing much to talk about. But the art of stop-motion animation applied in this film should be admired. 
The music is well used and really played well to the film.

In a nutshell, a good animated movie to start the Halloween off. This movie is also available in 3D but its not necessary. (:

My Rating?

Plot : 3.5/5
Storyline : 3.75/5
Characters*: 3.75/5 
Effects** :4/5
OVERALL : 7.5/10.


Trailer : 










Saturday, October 6, 2012

Review Of : Looper

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I've just watched 'LOOPER'.  :D


Directed By  Rian Johnson

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt

Synopsis:
In the year 2042, a man working for a group of killers called "Loopers" (they work for the mob and kill people who are sent blindfolded back in time from the year 2072 by their bosses) recognizes a victim as himself. He hesitates resulting in the escape of his older self.

(Source: NUSANTARA EDARAN FILMS)



A good movie with a interesting theme/concept.

If you're looking for a good sci-fi action flick, look no further. Well, at the sight of the movie's idea of travelling time & telekinesis, you might think that Looper might be a confusing movie that might confused your mind, no, well, not exactly, not if you ponder too much about the physics & technicality of the alteration of the timeline. With just keen listening & comprehension, you will understand the story well.

The story takes place in the year 2042. It revolves around Joe, a looper. A looper is a group of assassins who worked for the mob & kill people who are sent back blindfolded into the past from the year 2072 by the bosses. When Joe's friend; Seth did not close his 'loop' by kiiling his older self, things get awry. Joe soon discovered he too have to face the same fate to close his 'loop' when a victim who is sent back is his older self, he hesitates which results in the escape of his older self. Which then leads to a numerous chain of events.



Good acting by the main casts.

Interesting concept. With the background of near-future, Looper serves really well with story.
Plot-wise, although, I expected more from its ending, overall, it was quite a well constructed plot.
Acting. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt's acting in many films such as Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Premium Rush & others, his acting in Looper serves well as he successfully potrayed Bruce Willis' mannerisms very well. Like wise with Bruce Willis. 
Visually, with good graphics and a different perspective of the near future, the movie shows a more plausible future with divided/selfish societies. 

All in all, Looper is a good & interesting movie which I highly recommend to watch. (:


My Rating?

Plot : 3.75/5
Storyline : 4/5
Characters*: 4.25/5 
Effects** :4/5
OVERALL : 8.25/10.s

Trailer: 




Sunday, September 23, 2012

"AT POINT BLANK." Short Film

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My friends & I finally completed our second short film entitled
 "AT POINT BLANK."

SYNOPSIS:
John & Tim are best friends, that is until Tim decided to join the mob & work for them. Things didn't work out when they failed a job tasked to them. This attracted the attention of the police. The mob bosses have plans for them too. They are now at a dead end. They are at "point blank".



Directed, Written & Edited by 
Jemsen Tan

Script Edited by 
Reagan Ng, Syafinas Ibrahim 

Starring 
Nicholas Tan, Shaun Ong, Hor Gwo Ruey
with Voices of 
Reagan Ng, Syafinas Ibrahim, Iriene Heng

Edited by 
Jemsen, Trinston Chooi, Brandon Song, Hor Gwo Ruey

Music by 


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Thanks! (: 


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Review Of : The Possession

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Just watched 'THE POSSESSION' a few days a ago.

Director: Ole Bornedal
Starring Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick

Synopsis: 
A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.

(Source: GSC Movies)


For a PG-13 rated horror movie, it was quite scary. 

So, when I first saw the rating of this movie, which was 'P13', I was thinking to myself, how is a horror movie rated 'P13'? I don't really fancy much horror movies, so I could not really tell much in comparison of the  many other horror-genre films. 
But in my opinion, The Possesion was quite scary will their smart utilisation of camera movements, music & of course the actor's & actress' performances with moths flying out from mouths, eye-rolling scenes, and special effects.

The movie tells a simple story of the mysterious box called Dibbuk. It contains some sort of an evil spirit/demon that is 'trapped' in the box. Then, the story proceeds to the newly divorced couple and how the box got involved and how it almost shattered the family. 


I believe that are far more horrifying horror movies if comparing relatively. But The Possesion does keep your eyes behind your jacket at certain scenes. 

Simple story as it all revolves around the box, the girl who was over-obsessed with the box that  lead  her to being possessed & the father. 
As the plot contains some suspenseful scenes that utilises eerie music & slow camera dollies that will definitely make you think "something's going to happen", or "something's going to come out of the.. " and etc.
Acting was good as the casts successively brought up the feeling of fear, creepiness, being possessed and mostly fear. 
Visually, the cinematography was good, as the slow camera dollies & angles played well with the music in creepy scenes. Also the graphics too

Well, other people might find this not really scary as there are much more films with the same genre that are much more horrifying. 

The Possession was quite scary despite for its movie rating. So, in my opinion, if you want to give yourself a scare, you should watch this. 

My Rating?

Plot : 3.5/5
Storyline : 3/5
Characters*:4/5 
Effects** : 4/5
OVERALL : 7/10.

 Trailer: 






Movie Rating Guide. :)

Lately, I've changed my movie ratings a little. (:


Plot :

is the flow & structural plot of the movie itself.

Storyline :

the overall idea & the concept of the movie.

Characters:

The character's overall acting & character built-up in the movie. Or for animation, the voices & character built-up too.

Effects* :

The visual effects, 3D effects, movie scores/music, graphics, animation of a movie respective to it's genre.


SO, there it is. Thanks! :)