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April 27, 2011

Red Riding Hood (2011)

Actually, I didn't plan on watching this movie because I expected it to be as rotten as the Twilight series since it was directed by the same person - Catherine Hardwicke... However, in order to motivate my grrlll to finish her Academic Exercise (AE), I made watching this movie as a reward for her to finish keying in all the data of her research into the SPSS program... Hey, to my surprise, this movie is actually not bad... 


THE STORY

The ancient tale of The Little Red Riding Hood are now retold with a bit of a twist... Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) lived in a village haunted by a fierce werewolf who fed on farm animals every time the full moon emerged... If the villagers kept giving sacrifices of piglets and lambs, the werewolf would leave them alone and mind his own business - that was the deal... However, one full moon, the wolf broke the peace when it killed a girl, Valerie's sister, at the edge of the village area... After that, the story revolved on the hunt for the wolf and the struggle of killing it... Besides that, a bit of conflict in romance also present in the story where Valerie had to choose between the love of her life, Peter (Shiloh Fernandes) and the rich and noble Henry (Max Irons)... 

A hot girl... Check
Two handsome looking guys who are competitors in love... Check
Werewolf... Check

The only thing that makes the story different from Twilight's - there's no glittery vampires...  



THE GOOD

The Enigma 

The thing that intrigued me the most in this movie (besides Amanda Seyfried) was the enigma of who the werewolf really was... "Is it the grandmother? Well, she did live outside the village area... or is it the boyfriend? Shit, who the hell is it??"... The plot kept me guessing as it gave so many misleading hints such as when Valerie dreamed of her grandmother being the wolf and the fact that Peter could escape from the iron elephant (those who had not seen the movie might be wondering - there's also an iron elephant??)... 

I would like to give credit to the script writer, David Johnson, who was also the one who wrote the script for the intriguing psycho thriller, Orphan... He managed to mash up mystery with a bit of romance and turned the mixture into something quite good... 


Amanda Seyfried 

With her role as Valerie in this movie, I guess it would be possible for Seyfried to be nominated as the most popular teen actress of 2011... The Twilight series had brought Kristen Stewart so far that she won so many awards solely on her popularity (not her acting) and I guess Red Riding Hood would do the same thing to Seyfried... But seriously, she managed to shine brighter than Stewart in terms of acting skills... Sadness, suspense, confusion, romance... She managed to portray all of those in a very convincing manner... 

and she's prettier than Stewart... 


Hot Guys

This would be a plus point for girls... My grrrll was like, "Ooohh handsome!!" and "Damn... Handsome!!"... Yeah, the same thing happened when we watched Twilight... "Edward!!!"... Ergghh...

A bit gay looking too... 


The Wolf

Though the visual effects were not that impressive, I kinda enjoy watching the battle between Lord Solomon's men with the big bad wolf... Man, the wolf was nasty...  


The Setting

Though I know that the whole place in the movie was man-made and all the scenes were shot in a studio, but I do admit that the props and setting were made in details... The place setting -   snowy mountains, isolated village - seemed to fit the horror theme of the movie... 



THE BAD


The Reveal 

There was no impact when the true identity of the wolf was revealed... I expected that it transform back into human form in front of Valerie but instead, it just came out from the back of a curtain... A bit disappointed there... It's like, the good pace was ruined for me...


Censorship

I was hoping to see tAmanda Seyfried getting all hot and dirty with her boyfriend... But it got cut... PFFTTT...  Come on, they were just kissing a very romantic way... There was not even a single moment of nudity in the scene... Hey, I paid for to see the full movie!!! What an irony, I got to watch the WHOLE movie only when I downloaded it for free...

Aww man... this is what I missed?? Yes, I have issues with censorships...


ALL IN ALL 

Like I said before, the movie is not bad... Far better than the Twilight series... The strength lies mostly on the plot of the story where the twists and enigma kept me interested through out the entire movie... But I dunno about u... U must really watch it before u judge... This review is solely based on my opinion...


3.5 out 5 stars...



April 25, 2011

Mortal Kombat: Legacy Ep. 1 - Jax, Sonya and Kano (Part 1 & 2)

I usually write reviews on movies that I saw in the cinemas but a few days ago, a friend of mine personally requested that I do a review on a web series - Mortal Kombat: Legacy... 


Thanks for the compliment Alif, this entry is for u... Anyway, for those who are unaware of the web series, u can catch the first two episodes on Youtube by clicking the pictures below... 




Yes, as the term "web release" suggest, the series are made available on Youtube for free as they were first released on April 11, 2011 through one of the most established Youtube channel - Machinima... The series serve as a promotion for the release of the new game entitled Mortal Kombat... 

The series introduce the characters in the game, how they got their special powers / features and their relationship with each other... The first two episodes introduced us about the relationship between Kano, Jax and Sonya and the conflicts and affection that they all have... 

Guess whose mask is this~

Though the series are just for web release, the cast do consist well-established actors (and actress)... Take a look at the main line up...

 Sonya Blade - Jeri Ryan


Kano - Darren Shahlavi (remember the boxer in Ip Man 2?)

Kurtis Stryker - Tahmoh Penikett

These guys are really awesome and they kick butt...  

For a series based on a fighting game, I expected the first episode to be filled with fighting scenes... However, instead of fists, I could see more bullets flying around... Luckily, the gun fights were great because of the action sequence and great visual effects... 




I love the action sequence... As u can see, the shootings are not just plain stuff where the characters hide and shoot from a distance, but they jumped out into close range and beat the crap out of each other before slaughtering the enemy in a bad-ass kind of manner... Besides that, considering the low budget, the visual effects are quite impressive... I love the explosive effects - especially during the part where Kano accidentally shot the grenade on the floor while fighting Jax...

"Stupid Kanoooo!!" BLAMM!!

Too bad Sonya spent most of the 12 minutes being all tied up... Great escape effort though... Totally bad-ass...

In episode two, we can see the continuation and end result of the brawl between Kano and Jax... Guns aside, lets fight like a man! The fight is indeed great... The part that caught me attention the most is the FATALITY part where Jax punched Kano's eye out...



In case u dont know what FATALITY is, click here... It's the move the characters use to finish the dizzy opponents... Yeap, they are extremely gory...

By the end it, we got the clear picture of how Kano got his deadly eye and how Jax got his mechanical arms...




All in all, I think that the series is great... Considering the low budget the producers received, the series came out pretty awesome... For me, it is on par or slightly better than the famous television series like Heroes and Smallville... Seriously, I'm eager to watch the next episode... 

Maybe this is a start of a bright future for web releases... Who knows, probably in one or two years time, Youtube or other video streaming sites would be filled with this kind of series... People wouldn't be tuning on to their televisions to catch their favorite shows but instead, they just log in to their Youtube account and watch the series online for free and at any time... Just look at the development on Youtube for the past two to three years... Back then, Youtube was just for people to post and share short authentic personal videos that were funny and memorable... Now, it is crowded with vlogs, weekly creative projects and short films... Now dont u agree with me if I say in the future, people wouldn't be watching TV anymore??

Lets see whats gonna happen in the next episode of Mortal Kombat: Legacy... I bet it would be epic... :-) 


April 22, 2011

Random Things


I wonder why they put Justin Bieber in the female singer category... :-)
Anyway, u can find this at In-Box Karaoke center, Mahkota Parade, Melaka...


Here are among the reasons why I would not sing in public... I look bad and I sound worse... Wow... Look at me... That's one classy look huh? Totally a rock star... not...

I kinda tell myself sometimes, if I could keep a dog, I would buy myself a black and white husky... Simply because of their fierce looking eyes... 


 and look at how cute they are... Those feet... Don't u wanna snuggle them? 
Snuggle Snuggle Snuggle!!

Yes, they are dogs that Eskimos use to pull their carts on ice / snow...


 This is the only concert I regretted not seeing... I hope they would return to Malaysia again soon...

Who cares about Justin Bieber?
(Don't answer that... it's figurative...) 


 Fetch!! 


 I'm addicted to spicy Ayam Goreng McD (McD Fried Chicken)... 
Seriously, I've been thinking about it all day... 


I kinda like this Korean song... Hot Issue by 4 Minute...
Though I don't really understand the lyrics but I like how the chorus sounds... 
Click on the image to see the video...

 I wonder why these girls have their own VEVO channel on Youtube... Aren't the channel only for U.S artists?
 I also wonder why didn't they name the group "4 Minutes" instead of "4 Minute"... Hmm...





April 20, 2011

If We Lived in a Pokemon World

One fine day, Fahmi Dontgiveashit was strolling in the park with his Pokemon, Rabbit...





Then, suddenly... "Hey, there's something moving in the bushes!! 
Rabbit, ready to fight!!"




It's a wild KERENGGA!!







"RABBIT!! FLAME THROWER!!"




"RABBIT!! Swoshhhh~~"




"The Kerengga has been weaken!"



 "GO POKEBALL!!!!"




 "Yes! Got it~"




"WAIT!! Rabbit is evolving!!"



 
BRAD BITT!!

Check your PokeDex!! 





"Because I was damn bored..." 

April 19, 2011

The Ghosts Must Be Crazy (2011)

I think the best Singaporean comedy movie I've ever watched is Money No Enough 2 (2009)... Watching that movie, I cried and laugh at the same time... Since then, I've been having positive views about Singaporean movies... Especially if the producer is Jack Neo... Because of that, yesterday, when my honey pumpkin suggested to watch Jack Neo's latest work, The Ghost Must Be Crazy, I immediately agreed...


STORY 

This movie has two stories in it... 

The first one (The Day Off) is about a few civilians undergoing a Singaporean military exercise in the woods with the facilitation of a couple of army officers... This story really reminded me of the movie Where Got Ghost (2009) which was also by Jack Neo... I guess his movies are quite similar with one another...  

The second story (revolves around an old man, Ah Hui, who was desperately in search of a female companion... The fact that he's poor and "short" has made it difficult for him to find his true love... Everything changed after he met a "guy" with a long hair called Ah Hai who helped him gain fortune by seeking some spiritual help... 


THE GOOD

The Visual Effects

I was impressed to see the visual effects present in this movie... It's kinda simple but nice to see... The effect that I love the most in the movie is the fiery floor that appeared when Ah Hui was trapped in a cage while being forced to marry Ah Hai... 


The Jokes

I love the part when Ah Hui brought Ah Hai shopping for paper bungalows, cars and other "luxurious" stuff... I laughed the hardest at that part... I think among the audience, my girlfriend laughed the most... 


 THE BAD

The Jokes

Yeap, the jokes are funny... but most of the slapsticks were repetitive... For example, in the first story, David Bala was screaming his lungs out from the start till the end... It was funny at first but eventually, it lost its charm... 

The Pace

The pace in the first story was too slow... It took so long for them to get into the jungle and actually meet the ghost... It felt like they were unnecessarily prolonging the story... 


ALL IN ALL 

For me, though the movie is funny and entertaining, I didn't feel satisfied... There was something missing... Most probably the lack of moral values present in it since they are too focus on the jokes... Most Jack Neo movies have moral values in it but the ones that present in this movie didn't seem practical... I dont know... or maybe it's because I'm comparing it with Money No Enough 2 which was epic great... 


2.75 out of 5 stars...

If u want a better review of the movie, click here...


April 18, 2011

Gantz (2011)

On my way to the LFS Cinema at Mahkota Parade yesterday (alone) to catch the movie Gantz, I was concerned about one thing which was whether there would be any other people gonna watch the movie since it's not that mainstream in Malaysia... The cinema hall would only be opened for the movie screening if there are at least four tickets sold... 

As I got to the ticket counter, I was told to come again 20 minutes before the show time because no one had yet purchased the tickets... Darn it... By then, I already thought of watching other movies like "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" or "Rio"... Waiting for the time to pass, I went to Thai Kuang Book Store and read a few comic books before a huge lady who was one of the store staff gave me a killing intent stare... Her eyes were like telling me, "U wanna read, U buy!!"... I went out from the store and back to the ticket counter...

"U're lucky... There are nine tickets sold just a few minutes ago!!"... Yeeha~ Finally, I would have the chance to catch the movie... Actually, I've been wanting to watch it since last week because it's based on one of my favorite mangas... 

I told my honey that the people who would joining me in the cinema would either be true manga fans or people who have no clue what the movie is about but interested because of the poster (those Japanese actors and actresses are cute)... There were ten people including me... Honestly, I was surprised to see girls in the cinema... It turned out that they're really manga fans because they were discussing about the characters before the movie started... Then, they were 4 Chinese school boys who appeared like they had never ever gone to the cinemas before because they were looking up and down, left and right, and made noise... One of the boys kept staring at me who was sitting behind him... I was about to give him the middle finger when the movie finally started... A few seconds after it started, a Malay couple went in...

Anyway, there movie's awesome... Well, awesome for those who actually read the manga... If u haven't read it, then u would be left wondering about what's going on through out the whole movie...



STORY

A reunion between two teenagers Kurono Kei and Masaru Kato turned out to be horrifying when they were ran over by a train after saving a drunken man who had fallen on the railway track... Later on, they found themselves being revived by a black sphere named Gantz inside a room along with other few people... Gantz sent all of them out into the world with a mission - to kill specific types of aliens within a limited period of time... Those who managed to kill an alien would get points... If they managed to gather up 100 points, they could choose whether to wipe their own memory of the everything related to Gantz and be set free or revive a person that was in the Gantz system... For the every mission, they were given weapons and a body suit for protection and offense...


THE GOOD 

The Manga Adaptation

I was impressed with the similarity of the movie with the original manga... Well, it's not 100% similar, but in certain aspects like the character development, the aliens' appearance and the weapons and body suit are indistinguishable from the ones in the manga... Besides that, the visual effects were awesome!




The Second Battle

There were three battles in the movie and the second one was the best... They alien - Tanaka Alien - that they had to fight was really strong and weird...



With robotic appearance and movement, Tanaka Alien was the funniest among the three aliens... I had fun watching it beat the crap out of Nishi and how Kurono Kei managed to kill it though it cost him an arm and leg... Owh well, if they managed to survived within the limited time, Gantz would repair their injuries and bring them back healthily...


The Jokes

The slapsticks were funny! Though I didn't know why I was the only one who laughed at those jokes... Shisshh... The others who were in the cinema were rather serious...



The Twist

While other audience rushed themselves out of the cinema as soon as the credits started, I took my time because somehow I knew there would be something extra... Yeap, I was right... There was an extra clip that featured a twist in the story...

 KATO WAS ALIVE???!

 and who the hell is this guy?

Yes, there will be a sequel... Sweet~ 


THE BAD

Joichiro Nishi's Laugh


His laugh was really fake...


The Pace

Similar to the manga, the pace of the movie was a bit slow since focus was given on the characters' development... As if the producers wanted the audience to sympathize with the characters especially Kato... There were a few moments when I thought that it would be better off as a series instead of a movie... Luckily the fights and jokes were awesome... 

The Last Battle

The Buddha Aliens were deadly but the battle sequence was a bit of a turn off for me... The producers should made the battle as good as the first and the second one...

The Malay Subtitle

The movie was subtitled with three languages - English, Malay and Mandarin... The English and Mandarin contradicted with each other... Do not read the Malay one... It sucked...




OVERALL

Gantz the movie would only be awesome for those who actually read the manga... For those who have no clue about it better not take ur chances because u would be clueless through out the movie like the couple that went in a few seconds the movie started... They went out of the cinema at the middle of the movie... Boo!!! 


3 out 5 stars 


April 16, 2011

Limitless (2011)

A normal human can only access 20% of his/her brain's capability... 
So what do u think would happen if he/she could access all of it? 

If u ask me that question, I would simply answer, "Super powers..."... 

Yes, I believe that 100% access to ur brain may gain u extra-ordinary strength or magical powers... 

The thing that led me thinking of that is the Hong Kong comic book I read during my school time -  
Dewata Raya... 


In this comic book, the characters possessed super human strength and super powers as a result from a meteor crash that almost wiped out the whole earth... The more they could access their brains, the more powerful they became... Heck, they could even remember who they were in their past lives and summon the ancient powers to make themselves even more invincible... 100% access would grant them the ability to alter dimensions and move space which was ridiculously awesome...

Besides that, the movie starring Nicholas Cage and Jay Baruchel - The Sorcerer's Apprentice - also used the same concept where those who could access 100% of their brains would have the ability to use sorcery and magic... 

Therefore, besides those two, there are so many possibilities of what could happen if humans could fully utilize their brains... One more possibility is the one that I observed in the movie Limitless last night that starred one of my favorite actors, Bradley Cooper... Did the 100% access granted him super powers or magical powers in the movie? No, it didn't... Rather it gave him something which is quite logical - INTELLIGENCE... 



STORY

Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) was a writer with a long-lasting writer's block... He couldn't seem to get a single word out of his brain for him to type... Because of that, his life was completely upside down and everything seemed to fall apart one by one... However, his life changed to fullest when he met his ex-brother in law, Vernon, who was a drug dealer... Vernon hooked him up a new drug called NZT a.k.a "the clear pill"... One pill could grant full access to the brain to those who took it... After taking the pill, Eddie found himself understanding stuff that he had never actually learnt before, remembering everything that his mind recorded since he was born and learning anything in a ridiculously short period of time... 

Well, with that sort of intelligence he gained by taking the pill on a daily basis, Eddie ventured out from writing and got involved in business and trading in order for him to make a huge impact to world... Soon, because of the impact he brought upon, the media was on to him and this had made him really famous...

His power and fame had not just earned him a luxurious lifestyle but also invited threat... Of course, there were other people who were fully aware of the existence of NZT and they wanted it for themselves... Thus, Eddie had to deal with these people in order to keep himself alive and to protect his own stash of NZTs... 



THE GOOD


 The Visual Effects


 I was impressed with the visual effects in this movie... The most exhilarating part was the opening picture of the movie where it started with a first person view of a Eddie falling down from the top floor of a building... The part where Eddie experienced the side effects of NZT where his brain seemed to skip time was also captivating... 


Bradley Cooper

He's really handsome... Okey, that was a bit gay but it's a fact... Bradley Cooper is goddamn handsome... However, good looks solely wouldn't win him a spot in "THE GOOD" section... Yes, besides good looks, he also has talent in acting... If not, why would he be in so many movies? 



If u have seen this movie, u would agree that this movie relied almost completely on Cooper's good acting - how he managed to portray confidence, charm, fear and confusion... He's truly a good actor...


Andrew Howard

The performance by Andrew Howard who acted as a Russian mobster and an illegal money lender, was quite entertaining... 



The Script

Though sometimes a bit wordy, I had to admit that the script was really well-written... I had a great time hearing Bradley Cooper doing the voice overs... "See that guy? That's me... My excuse for looking like this? I'm a writer..." Clever huh? The dialogues were really charming and funny...


The Fast Pace and Engaging Scenes

This movie is really fast-paced (even the characters talked in a fast manner...) and it also has many engaging scenes... I was glued to the seat from the start till the end of it because I wouldn't want to miss anything... The most engaging scene would be the part where Lindy (Abbie Cornish) was chased by the guy with a knife... My grrl and I were like, "Eat that damn pill and finish him already!!"... 



 THE BAD


The Script

Sometimes, the dialogues were too wordy and they bored the audience... Besides that, the explanation about business formula and stuff was a bit confusing to those who have zero background on how the system works... However, this is not a big deal because the charming element and jokes existed in the script managed to cover up this small flaw...



ALL IN ALL

This movie is indeed brilliant... I mean, it's an intelligent movie... I guess the thing that I said about how producers nowadays are no longer underestimating the audience's intelligence in my previous movie review was true... 


4.5 out 5 stars... 




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