Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Director: Shane Black (also known for directing Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)


"Unleash the power behind the armor."

"Prepare for a heavy metal!"

- - - - - - 


There has been a steady buzz that this will be RDJ's final stint as Iron Man (but i'm hoping that it wont be the case) so I was expecting a kick-ass story, mind blowing action scenes, some good ol' Stark humor, and lastly, an over-all better movie than the first two Iron Man films.


I guess that's wishful thinking. More than half of the movie was boring. I felt a certain kind of awkwardness in relating to the characters, like it's the first time I met them, which to me is weird because Iron Man is my favorite superhero movie, thanks to RDJ. So to watch this without feeling any kind of excitement or any emotion for that matter is a horrible feeling on my part -- like im being disloyal to the franchise. So I forced a few laughs here and there. The biggest excitement I got so far was the time when I was about to take my first bite of my Big N' Tasty burger, YUM!

The first few scenes were bland. And seeing Guy Pearce in "pathetic nerd" phase was just so cliche that it made me wince.. seriously, can't they think of a better formula for a villain other than a scorned geek? What a waste. I wouldn't even dwell on the Mandarin/Killian storyline coz i'm not a comic book geek, so I don't care if they messed this up. 

There were several good parts, but unfortunately, it's not enough for me. I'm not hard to please with comic book movies, but in this case, it just felt that the production team didn't exert as much effort as they have had in the first film, maybe they got lazy because it's possible that it's the last installment? I don't know.

Some characters are blatantly underdeveloped that I don't even care what happens to them. 

The jokes fell flat most of the time. 

Editing is all over the place. Like watching a reality show.

I also felt that the movie was lagging at some points, with uninteresting scenes/interactions (I didn't like Rebecca Hall's character. As boring as watching a plant grow. Action scenes are sparse in the first half. And it's just so ridiculous for Tony Stark to give his address as an invitation for Mandarin's attack and yet not even prepare for it. Jarvis: "this suit is not ready for combat yet" -- seriously? He may have been enraged by what happened to Happy, but to invite a terrorist to his home without any serious battle plan was kinda contradictory to his obsession with safety to protect Pepper. So that part was just silly to me. Unless I missed something.

And I understand that the theme of this movie is basically Tony Stark as Tony Stark -- with the Iron Man armor more like a side dish than the main course. So they have this scene in which Tony builds things from scrap materials, invade The Mandarin's hideout ala Jason Bourne and attacking the guards with home-made gadgets, for a moment, a flashback of Home Alone came to mind. LOL. Whether that's a good thing or not, i'm not sure. It was just comical to me, that scene. A grown-up Kevin trying to be Jason Bourne in a Tony Stark body. hahaha.

Anyway, not to totally piss on this film, RDJ as Tony Stark is still awesome, and the main reason why I love Iron Man. He's turned a bit darker (thankfully not Nolan-dark) but he has retained his humor and charisma so that's a plus point. The effects/CGI is fantastic and seamless. The music has a nostalgic vibe and made the film somehow relatable and personal in that aspect. Ben Kingsley is adorable. Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts is one of the highlights of the film, like in the previous films, although in here I think she became more than cute, and levelled up to a fair amount of functionality and kick-assness lol. The scene with the Iron Man battalion was awesome! It's refreshing to see different Iron Man designs, there's one that even looked like Juggernaut lol. Tony Stark's bromance with Jarvis and Col. Rhodes is sweet and entertaining. :) 


Seeing that post-credit, I felt numb. THAT WAS IT? <--- My exact reaction. So not only did they slap me with that so-so third installment, they also have the nerve to spit on my face with that irrelevant post-credit clip? Okay. If there's ever a fourth RDJ Iron Man film, I'll just download it!


Despite of my complaints, this is not a total failure of a movie.. The effects are solid, there is more development with Stark and Potts, and seeing those suits and Iron Patriot pretty much made up for what the movie lacked in characterization, substance, and plot.

Still, after this hot mess of a popcorn film, I would strongly suggest that Iron Man be sold for scraps to the junkyard. (i'm just kidding, i truly love RDJ as Iron Man.. would love to see more of him)

MY RATING:  3 /5  It's still a watchable film for the general audience, but personally, I think I wasted ticket money. I could have watched that at home. Won't be too much of a difference.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Cloud Atlas (2012)

Directors: Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run), The Wachowskis (The Matrix Trilogy)


"Everything Is Connected"


“An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.” -Wikipedia

*    *   *

I could never do an in-depth dissection of this film in its entirety and I wouldn’t dare try. It’s futile and irrelevant. This movie is like LIFE itself — beautiful, deep, mesmerizing, often confusing, seemingly random sometimes,  and complex - which we do not need to understand point by point because in the end it all fits perfectly. It meshes together, woven by a single invisible thread that’s made from the magical mysteries in the universe. 

So all I can do is sit back & enjoy scene after scene of visual treat, calming musical score, enchanting portrayals of different people by the same actors, and mesmerizing stories beautifully and perfectly intertwined by the geniuses behind this film.

It’s 3 hours long. 6 different stories. 7 timelines. Each actors have multiple characters. Not every movie can pull that off. Yes it’s long, but was I bored? NO. It’s a fusion of different genres and it’s really amazing how that could be done so effectively. And it shifts from one scene, one timeline to another - sometimes even mid-action or mid-dialogue, your mind trying to keep up with the pace that you won't have the the time to think about getting bored. 
Was I confused? Confused in a sense that I try to figure out whether one character is connected to this character and such. But like I said, it’s useless to try and piece together everything, just enjoy the ride and the movie will do that for you.
Was I satisfied? Definitely. There’s a magical feel in this film. Yes it’s complicated, but it has a vision. It doesn’t make you confused in an annoying, pretentious way.

Cinematography is beautiful. There are several shots to which I can only say "wow. this is art". Editing is superb. The musical score is “soul-tingling”. The vision of each timeline is just so awesome. The idea of using the same actor repeatedly for different characters is an absolute delight to see. 
Would love to see more of The Wachowski Bros. and Tom Tykwer (I’ve only seen one of his movies RUN, LOLA, RUN — and that was one helluva trip!)

One thing that distracted me a bit though is the make-up, although i’m not sure if it’s deliberate on the part of the production. While some are nicely done, some are a bit artificial looking.
And I really can’t figure out why, but Halle Berry seemed kinda boring for me. There’s just something off with her.. 

MY RATING: 4/5 — three hours is too long for me, but it’s all worth it.. Definitely recommended but you have to stay focused to appreciate the beauty of the film. Not recommend for those with short attention span.

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Before Sunset (2004)

Directed by: Richard Linklater  (also known for directing Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise, School of Rock)

Starring: Ethan Hawke (Jesse), Julie Delpy (Celine)


"What if you had a second chance with the one that got away?"

Plot: It’s nine years after Jesse and Celine first met; now, they encounter one another on the French leg of Jesse’s book tour. - IMDb

         - - - - - - - - 

Before Sunrise is a beautiful film with a perfect ending. But, Jesse looked like a creep. Cute and charming yes, but he gave off that creep vibe who just wanted a “French lay” (though of course that's not the case at all). Also, I got bored just a little bit, and I can’t help but roll my eyes at their conversations — Them talking , Me laughing and thinking I was exactly like that when i was younger, god! It’s just idk, either too cynical, or too idealistic/romantic…. just two young people talking about what they think is life and love and other things.


Pretty much the same formula as Before Sunrise. Plus we get to know what happened after their encounter.


In Before Sunset, we see these two characters meet once again, nine years later. With wrinkles, dirtier mouth, and a much more cynical/realistic outlook in life. Maturity suits them. And i find myself not irritated by Jesse anymore. He’s more subdued, and thank god he lost the leather jacket :)
They’re more mature, and their actions/expressions/conversations are more realistic and natural. They are just fun to watch. I actually felt like I was in that scene stalking them and listening to them with rapt attention and loving every second of it. You see the growth of their characters, and while life and time has aged them you can still see the familiar charm in their eyes. They have real problems, real relationships; they’re jaded; they’re cynical…. and yet when they saw each other, something inside them reignited. You feel the intense longing, the real emotions they thought they already forgot about, that one great love they have preserved in that one night nine years ago.
An example of how perfect this film is is that scene where Jesse wanted to hear Celine sing and they were walking up the stairs and they just look/glance at each other and at that moment we feel the tension, the anticipation of what may or may not happen, the longing, the battle inside them whether they should act on their feelings and just forget about their real lives. That several seconds without a dialogue reverberated inside me. It’s real. It’s those little moments in real life that you actually remember. 
The whole film is nicely executed. It’s simple yet you can feel real emotions behind every expressions, every subtle glances, body language, words, everything. You are drawn to them, to what they’re feeling, to what they’re trying to say. The non-verbals here are what made this movie perfect. The first movie, it’s talk talk talk with a bit of action. In this film, everything is toned down, so their expressions and movements are magnified.

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Directed by Ruggero Deodato, Cannibal Holocaust is one of the most brilliant & horrifying films I’ve ever seen and I NEVER EVER WANNA SEE IT AGAIN.

The depiction of such savagery (and im not talking about the actual cannibals here) is so disturbing it hurts my soul and body.

Looking past the cannibalism, the graphic sexual violence, mutilation, brutal animal killings (which is totally not okay for me… those were the most painful scenes to watch because it was all real.. that’s not cool Deodato! =P ), this is actually a well-made film. Sure, some may say it’s not gory enough (that coming from a generation where the basis of how good a horror fim is by how much blood and goo was shed, or how many extremities were amputated.)

This was made in the 80’s and you gotta give Ruggero Deodato props here, he’s a genius. From the camera movements, the internal organs (which looks so real that makes u rethink twice whether this is truly a snuff film and those were really from dead actors), and his ability to repulse his viewers and hate his film so much they feel so exploited after watching it and vowing never to endure such a painful viewing experience again.. then yeah, genius, as I’ve said.

It is a film about media’s exploitative nature for the sake of sensationalism. It’s not about cannibalism. It’s about human beings’ innate savagery hiding beneath the guise of ‘civilization’. I mean let’s face it, despite our pretentious superiority among all other God’s creatures, we are still animals. With animalistic instincts locked up by the weak cages of social norms and civilized manners, begging to break out. We see it on the news everyday. In history classes. That makes this film so scary. Because deep inside us, as we watch every brutal scene unfold, eyes wide with horror, we know that men are capable of what we were seeing. It’s easier to watch ghost films or psychokillers bashing their hapless victims’ heads because we think it’s just plain crazy and unrealistic. But to see civilized people killing other people, killing animals, raping, lying, JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN,. It’s beyond scary. And It’s real.


Awful. Repulsive. Horrifying. Insulting & degrading (esp. if you are a woman, and u see the rape scene, impalement, and forced abortion.). this is one film you will never want to see again… But it’s also one of those THAT YOU HAVE TO SEE before you die. So there.

I wonder who the real cannibals are.

MY RATING:  I give it 4.5/5. Because it’s so damn effective.

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BOOK REVIEW: Beauty's Release (1985)

So here we are… book three. The whole time I kept on wondering why the hell did Anne Rice make this into three parts? Why prolong the agony of her readers? It’s just a repetition of weird and gross stuff. She could have just condensed it into one book! Seriously. Reading about impalement, anal sex, human ponies, orgies, spanking, phalluses with horsetails, rape ad nauseum is not fun! Beauty/tristan/laurent falling in love with every freaking masters they have and forgetting them the second they meet a new one… wow.

This book, for me, is the worst among the three. While it has its good parts, still after enduring book 1 and 2, my patience is limited.

The only person worth reading about is Laurent. At least that boy has guts.

Tristan (after being so damn interesting in book 2, has turned into this spineless, weepy, irrelevant character) was pushed aside into this dark pathetic corner where he continually mopes about some pathetic unimportant things. (SPOILERS) After hurting his supposed “love of his life” Master Nicholas because he refused to go back with him to the village, and then resent him because Nicholas didn't punish him, then he realizes he actually still loves Nicholas but forgot about it because he didn't get spanked hard enough! How gay are you??? Pathetic, whiny bitch.

And Beauty… wow Beauty. She’s like the mother of all Bellas and Anastasias. At least those girls stuck to one guy. This pathetic moron falls in love with ever guy or girl willing to whip her ass. She whines about missing her previous masters/mistresses but then gets it on with the first guy with a cock and a smack and then she’s like “Inanna who? Alexi who? Prince charming who?”. Slutty moron bitch.

Maybe I couldn’t blame them because they were forced into this sex slavery BDSM world at the age of what 15? 16? It’s not just physical torment, this is psychological abuse, emotional manipulation. THEY’RE JUST KIDS FOR GOD’S SAKE! Yes it’s still written better than most erotic novels. But if you strip down this sexual fantasy world? All you get is this: 

  • Teenagers gathered to be humiliated and used as sex slaves, forced and taught to be submissives and that their masters own them. 
  • All day they are naked and they don’t catch a cold. 
  • They don’t bathe everyday and yet every chance they get they are humping around like wild sex-crazed rabbits. Sexy!! -_- 
  • They don’t seem to feel any other physiologic needs like hunger, thirst, poop/pee time, and other important human feelings because they’re just so damn horny every single minute! 
  • They don’t know what real love is (which is evidenced by their annoying fickle-mindedness) because they’re just kids messed up by this weird sexual psycho world! So yeah, totally not sexy -_- 

I mean, first they’re treated as the lowliest of slaves, then they get to the village and treated as —well still slaves — but also public property, then they were kidnapped and brought to this Arab kingdom treated as animals who are incapable of human speech and intellect. And then they get sent back to the village and treated as PONIES. And they loved all of that! No wonder these characters are 69 shades of messed up!

What surprised me the most are not the ponies or phalluses up the ponies' asses all day, or the circumcised females. It’s the ending. King Laurent marries Princess Beauty, and I was like wha— wait just a second, what?? Just because both of them were trying to figure out what love is doesn’t mean they found love together. They didn’t even know each other until the last part of book 2. And they only slept together on the journey back to the village. Probably the most non-sexual intimacy they shared is Laurent helping Beauty get dressed. And that’s it they live happily ever after?? Well, I guess better than Tristan who’s probably more girly than Beauty.

I’m just glad I'm finished with this.


I’ll probably give it a 0.5 specially because of that part where Laurent got punished with a mixture of flour and honey on his goods TO ATTRACT FLIES! And I’m pretty sure Laurent shared that feeling quite vividly — he felt flies crawling up his ass… yes he said that if I'm not mistaken. My god, and I thought I could handle kinky.

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BOOK REVIEW: Beauty's Punishment (1984)

Author:  A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Genre:  erotica, fiction
Year published:  19884
Beauty gets sent to the village, otherwise known as the kingdom’s sexual/punishment purgatory, together with Tristan, as a punishment for their insolence or disobedience. They haven’t even arrived to the village yet, and Beauty already forgot about her beloved Alexi, Prince Charming, or Lady Juliana, and she’s already getting it on with Prince Tristan…. naughty naughty itchy wormy…… they get auctioned off… punishment cross, human ponies with phalluses stuck up their asses, slaves being hanged in the walls, public punishments etc etc…. Beauty falls in love with her new master (who every now and then lends Beauty to his men, for them to be serviced of course) and mistress (who is the coldest and sternest mistress she ever had) — Captain and Mistress Lockley (which basing from descriptions and my imagination looks like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie — so I can’t blame Beauty for not wanting to leave the village ever!)… Tristan gets a new master, Nicholas, and they fall in love with each other. From what i’ve read, i thought this is it…. a very sweet love story buried under this sexual menagerie….. but before i get to say “awwww” and smile, the royal slaves get kidnapped by these arab bandits and bought to this exotic land….

I think this one is the best among the three. Although there are still alot of over the top laughable stuff you will never see in your regular porn stash, I still liked it because I felt somehow connected with Tristan and Beauty, and their struggle to find themselves. And they did find themselves, and embraced what they truly are. Also the devotion they showed to their current masters.

This one is better than the first, probably because it’s shorter — thus less weird stuff… but I didn’t skip through paragraphs and pages so it means it’s not that bad… this book focuses on Beauty and Tristan and how they finally grasp and embrace the situation they were thrown into. That some people really aren’t meant for this BDSM crap, and some actually crave for it. This is really not for everybody, but Anne Rice managed to at least redeem this series by guiding us through Beauty and Tristan’s psyche, and make us flinch less when they are treated as ponies and wall decorations.

But seriously though.. horsetails??

Human ponies?



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Before Sunrise (1995)

Director: Richard Linklater 

Starring: Ethan Hawke (Jesse), Julie Delpy (Celine)

"Can the greatest romance of your life last only one night?"
"… When love can come as a complete surprise"

* * *
Before Sunrise is one of the best movies I’ve watched with one of the best endings so far.  

Of course I couldn’t help but laugh when Jesse invited Celine to disembark the train and spend the day with him in Vienna.. she obliged… and they didnt even know each other’s names yet…. I laughed because my mind automatically fast-forwarded to modern movie plots, where cute guy picks up a girl and brings her to this unknown place and then tortures and butchers her slowly…. lots of blood, lots of maniacal laugh, lots of screaming…… and then I stop and forced myself to just be normal and enjoy the damn movie.

I didn’t particularly like Jesse. He annoyed me a bit at times, though i’m not sure if it’s because of my dark mood when i watched it or he’s just that freakin irritating. I mean, he’s like a young Johnny Depp emanating some sort of hidden “Rob Lowe/Charlie Sheen characters” douchery, fully equipped with a non-stop blabbering Dawson motor-mouth, with a ridiculous squeaky leather jacket. Yes, he’s cute and all that.But if i was Celine i would also say “let’s meet after 5 years — (when you’ve matured and amounted to something other than youthful cynicism and boyish eagerness and adolescent kissing techniques). Leather jacket, devil-may-care living, unsure of what to do with his life except philosophize on everything under the sun, realism with a liberal dose of cynicism and a pinch of romanticism….. Sounds like me without the jacket…  Maybe that’s why I didn’t like him that much -_-

BOOK REVIEW: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (1983)

Author:  A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Year Published:  1983
Genre:  erotica
QUICK RECAP: Beauty has been sleeping for 100 years & gets raped by her “prince charming” and voila, she wakes up! She’s brought to his kingdom (naked and constantly humiliated all throughout the journey) and was introduced to this world of sex slavery and BDSM.

All throughout, Beauty gets to be degraded, used & abused in every way by the Queen and down to lowliest of servants in the kitchen/servant’s hall. Beauty offers her never-ending loyalty to her Prince, falls in love with Prince Alexi, gets mesmerized by her Lady Julianna, and becomes awestruck with the Queen. Yeah… We might have an idea that Beauty is not exactly a stick-to-one kind of gal.


Weird. Degrading. Weird. Just weird. Oh and yeah, you might think it’s really weird. I guess you wouldn’t understand/appreciate this book if you’re not really into BDSM because this is total icky slave humiliation and “training” stuff (which some would probably love).

This book would be okay IF the slaves signed up for that “sex-slavery training” willingly… but in the story, they were gathered from their kingdoms and brought into all this stuff, not of their own free will. So if you consider everything that happened to the princes and princesses, it’s rape, inhumane treatment, “animal” cruelty since they were treated as animals, and other taboo stuff. And yet, while it is weird and icky, you can’t deny Anne Rice’s ability to make anything sensual. Also she delves into human psychology and desire. You find yourself wanting to try to understand why slavery/dominance is appealing to others. How they think and feel at the moment. And though there are A LOT of scenes that weirded me out, it’s the struggle of Beauty to understand why her abject predicament suddenly feels right to her, that caught my interest. That even when her mind says no, her body betrays her…

Once you get past the initial shock and barf-inducing laughable scenes, or if you found yourself skipping through paragraphs, then you’ll realize it’s not that bad. But it’s just not that good as well. Basically it’s weird and gross. lol

I didn’t like it, but I didn’t hate it. Despite of the WTF moments in the book, Anne is known for her talent in sensuality and erotica but this is not for me. I’m not squeamish or anything, I just didn’t like it. But I didn’t stop bec. there’s a mystery behind the story and I kept thinking Anne would redeem herself in the next installment.

MY RATING: 2/5 - recommended to those who appreciate erotica, but to the squeamish, conservative types, please be warned.

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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

TAGLINES:  "Let the Awe and Mystery of a Journey Unlike Any Other Begin"

"The Ultimate Trip."

* * * *

Yes indeed. It’s the ultimate trip alright.
Just watched 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time, and when it ended I was like —- wow. O_O…… yes with big blank round eyes staring at the screen.. not moving….. Everything was weird, beautiful, detached to reality and yet it felt at that moment THE reality. The seemingly random images or scenes, the dragging minute after minute visual treat of space and minimal dialogue partnered with classical music or in other case just a continous buzz of muffled screaming or whatever it is, or heavy mechanical breathing.
And yet nothing was random to it. EVERYTHING FITS. EVERYTHING WORKS.  It’s like being in space. I was not on earth. I felt high. 
it was a visceral cinematic total mindfuck experience. That’s the best way i could describe it.


A sophisticated version of Star Wars without Yoda and light sabers. (thank god it’s not!) 


The first 3 minutes I was like WTF is this?? Is my file not fully downloaded? I thought something was wrong with my screen and speakers. 2 minutes and 30 seconds, still that black screen and weird buzzing sound… so I fast forward it. A sigh of relief. Movie’s working. Rewind. Smile. I sat back and relaxed. :)
And relax, I did.
I felt intrigued, hypnotized, enraptured, puzzled, confused…. I felt like I was floating in nothingness…. I felt it's too slow,  but then, like a roller coaster it plummets down and superspeeds forward, up, and down again and gives me this thrill that all I could do is let my mind go blank and just enjoy the feeling my other senses tells me to feel.
While this film had the potential to be a great bore, at some point I was asking myself “omg. Should I be bored now or give this film a few more minutes?”…. But even before I manage to actually be bored, Kubrick pulls me right back in. There’s just something about this movie that’s surreal. It has a distinct flavor that keeps your eyes glued and your mind focused. The set, the visual effects, the musical score (which in its own weird way fits perfectly with the movie), HAL, the space suits which I think are super cool!  Everything. It reels you in. Makes you think. And when it’s in those slow scenes where you see nothing but space or colors or whatever — it puts you in a state of trance. So yeah, i forgot to be bored. I was hypnotized. Even the Intermission part  I was like O_O (Still in a trance)…. This movie is imaginative and creative than most modern movies I’ve seen. It’s ahead of its time — hell, I think it’s even ahead of THIS time. It’s so big that your mind is blown and you fail to readily grasp the whole idea of the film. And that’s a rare quality in movies. To give you that feeling that you have just experienced something unforgettable and would continue to think about it even after the credits has rolled.


I wouldn’t even comment much about the storyline. Everyone can have their own interpretation.
But long story short, for me, it’s about the exploration of Darwinian theory of evolution, and the belief that human evolution and intelligence was made possible by superior life forms/alien intelligence (monolith/apes. the use of weaponry 4 million years ago, and still the use of weapons as the driving force of human civilization in the future. The end was a bit confusing to me — where is that room? where did the astronaut end up? in jupiter? But anyway, my interpretation on that scene is the end of one civilization, and the rebirth of a new one. Intelligence (whether it’s artificial or alien) goes on… human civilization dies and vanish, and comes up again, intelligence remains.
In the end I was satisfied. It was a cerebral experience more than anything. It was indeed a space odyssey. A journey.. not that zing zing of light sabers or alien dominating the earth crap — those are fun, yes, but this movie is a rare gem, and well worth watching no matter what era we are in now.

MY RATINGS: 4.5/5  - not for everybody. Either you're in the mood to appreciate this film, or you aren't. Either you will love it or totally piss on it.

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Snow White and The Huntsman (2012)

Directed byRupert Sanders

Starring: Kristen Stewart (Snow White), Chris Hemsworth (the huntsman), Charlize Theron (Ravenna)


"The Fairytale is Over"


While the movie has its visual merits, the acting, the plot, casting, and the movie itself is somewhat contrived and shaky. Kristen Stewart cast as the fairest of them all (ousting Charlize Theron’s RIGHTFUL place) is ridiculous and absolutely laughable. Sure, beauty may be subjective and it may be possible that some might think Stewart’s Snow White is prettier than the Evil Queen, but… uhmm, cmon!!!!!

Oh and her acting.... That “uplifting speech” scene wherein she was supposed to stoke the fire within her people’s hearts so they’ll fight with her? terrible.. and is that a british accent im hearing? puh-lease.

Theron is not entirely impeccable. Acting is campy/overdone, but i think the director is entirely to blame.

Characters are underdeveloped. Dialogues fall flat every now and then.

Rupert Sanders probably thought that since it is his first feature film (and a big-budgeted one) he can grab all the flavors of fantasy films and cast some budding stars in this movie and make it work. Well it didn’t. I dont understand why they are planning a sequel to this project.

SWATH has its good elements. but unfortunately, the bad ones overshadowed the few good stuff in it.

CHARLIZE: “Mirror mirror, on the wall, who’s fairest of them all?”
MIRROR (Which actually looks like a gong or a huge cymbal): “Kristen Stewart is fairer than you Charlize, get over it.”


MY RATINGS:  2.5/5 (for the visuals...  It could have been a really good film except for the hot mess that is the entire story. I'll still be  waiting for Rupert Sanders next project, maybe he'll polish his techniques then..)

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BOOK REVIEW: State of Fear (2004)

Author:  Michael Crichton
Genre: techno-thriller, SF
Country:  U.S.
"The plot is built around a group of eco-terrorists who are attempting to create a state of fear to further advance their agenda regarding global warming." - Wikipedia

While it’s not among Crichton’s best novels, still I have read worst (ahem Micro). It has interesting ideas, but the book at some point felt like it was more preachy than thrilling. Kenner and Bradley have become too one-dimensional it became annoying. Bradley — the typical misinformed with a one-track mind, and Kenner — the too well-informed know it all jack of all trades who seems to derive pleasure from pointing out how stupid everyone else is. The only person who acted close to a “real person” is Peter Evans. Yes he was whiny and annoying and self-absorbed, but he was human. he had feelings. at least he has conflicting emotions or opinions. like a real person. unlike the rest of the characters which are dull, flat, boring, stereotypes.

(highlight to reveal spoilers)  And that surprise twist (Morton), wasnt even a surprise at all… I was like, “It’s about time you showed your chubby billionaire face Morton”

Point is, Crichton was a sci-fi/techno thriller novelist. He used to surprise and excite me. In State of Fear, most of the time, it felt like it was a lecture, that he forgot he was supposed to write an epic disaster thriller.

It’s still a good read… one thing Crichton is really good at is he knows how to make boring scientific facts page after page interesting and readable.

- still a page-turner.

Check out MY ULTIMATE BOOK BUCKET LIST or the books I wanna read before I die!

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The Birds (1963)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Starring: Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy

TAGLINES:"It could be the most terrifying motion picture I have ever made!"

"The Birds is coming!"

"...And remember, the next scream you hear could be your own!"

*  *   *  *

finished watching The Birds and while I thoroughly enjoyed the whole movie, the ending just left me feeling a bit vulnerable — if only for a few seconds — not alot of movies catches me off-guard and makes me say “WTF???” with this exact expression —> O_O and then a bit of >.O, and some O.< .. It's not that it sucked ass, it was just abrupt and i was surprised, that's all.
I mean i really enjoyed this movie. I love Tippi Hedren. I was engrossed with the characters and their relationship to other characters, and how they act in situations and dialogues. The birds are 100% creepy and not one movie before this one has made me feel scared of a black bird. ever. Hitchcock is truly the master of thrills and suspense. No doubt about that. No matter what the modern viewers say about how laughable or definitely not scary his films are, to me he is a genius and i love his films. From the lines, to every eccentric characters (who are really fun to watch), to the lighting, cinematography, and the fact that they didn't add any musical score which made the film feel more real — as if you are there, feeling every flap and sounds the villainous birds make,  like i said  - genius.
(SPOILERS) so imagine my surprise when the moment the characters leave & drive off to the hospital, bham! Credits! I guess I was just waiting for an explanation why the birds acted that way, or if indeed Melanie somehow brought the “curse” to that little hamlet, or idk… just something. So yeah, for a few minutes i was like WTF? with this expression O_O

but as any good movie, it makes you think AFTER the credits roll, after you have thoroughly absorbed every little detail or clues fed to you inconspicuously, which will make you smile as you recall the humor or suspense or horror it made you feel while watching. And then everything just makes sense. Or even if it doesn't make sense, still somehow you manage to make all fit together perfectly.
Yes, Hitchcock is eccentric. But he makes great, unforgettable movies and characters.
I especially love this particular scene, Tippi Hedren smokes so elegantly btw lol. The repetitive singing of the children, the gradual increase of the number of birds at every shot, the anxiety shown in Tippi’s face as she waits for the class to end, and finally that awful horror you feel when you see those birds flocked together, waiting to attack.  
and this restaurant scene, where Melanie tells her dad, and the people about the bird attack on the school children…. this is real comedy, Hitchcock style. 

MY RATINGS:  4/5 - one of Hitchcock's better (though underrated) movies

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