Monthly Archives: June 2011

A Decision

I’ve decided to pass on The Tree of Life. Will be waiting for it on DVD or on a medium which has subtitles.

So the articles to expect in the following days should my wallet be cooperative will be one of the following: Transformers 3D (yep, I’m calling it that) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and Captain America.

See you in the following days!

Snowblood Apple (for your daily dose of Asian Extreme Cinema)

I first came across this website back in my highschool years (when you had to own a landline to connect to the internet, and when I a 2GB download from Kazaa or Limewire is a nightmare). Back then, there was a craze for Asian Horror thanks to Ringu, The Eye, and Juon: The Grudge. Snowblood Apple was my source for Asian Horror reviews and whatnot as the site contains the film’s synopsis, reviews, and screenshots from the films (which are quite disturbing).

So here it is, one of the best resources for Asian Horror film buffs, Snowblood Apple

http://www.snowbloodapple.com/index.html

A word of advice though for the easily frightened: the screenshots and pictures from the site are quite scary.

Still no “Tree of Life” (and other rambings)

For those waiting for my review of Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life, I apologize as bad weather and bankruptcy is preventing me from doing so.

Plus the fact that I’m still deliberating on whether I should watch Transformers 3D on IMAX, or stick to my movie list of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 or Captain America.

Sigh, I really need a job already.

Hanna (a short review)

Time for a short review on Joe Wright‘s Hanna. I say “short” ‘coz they just called for lunch and I’m hungry.

The Good

Acting wise, Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, and Cate Blanchett give commendable performances (though Cate Blanchett’s accent is quite distracting at times).

Visually, as expected from Joe Wright, the film looks impressive. Wright avoids the typical trick to shake the camera to the point of nauseating the audience. The use of hand-held shots was controlled: it was chaotic enough to accompany the action but not distracting enough to prevent the audience from seeing anything (Battle of Los Angeles, I’m looking at you!). And, you can’t have a Joe Wright film without the long tracking shots (which was one of the better scenes of the film).

Oh, and the score from the Chemical Brothers is nice. 😉

The Bad

The film suffers from a weak script and an overlong, tedious, and unsatisfactory resolution. Normally I’d forgive the overlong resolution but not in this case. So Hanna (minor spoiler) defeats the bad guys. It just happened too fast, like the script writers ran out of ideas and just wanted to end it immediately.

And I already mentioned the occasionally distracting accent from Cate Blanchett.

The Verdict

Overall, good direction as expected from Joe Wright. Acting was good. I would’ve given the film a 4 out of 5 star rating if only the resolution was satisfactory.

3.5 stars out of 5.

Super 8

*First of all, it feels good to be back updating this blog. Secondly, I’m done with school (with a Master’s Degree in Humanities). Thirdly, and on a less enthusiastic note, I’m unemployed. Whew, now that that’s off my chest, time to head on for the review. And guess what? It’s a film still showing in theaters, so this review’s pretty up to date. ;P

I’ll cut to the chase right away: this film was, honestly, pretty disappointing. One would probably expect a classic from director J.J. Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg’s collaboration. In the end, however, we get a movie with a plot very much like a little 1982 Spielberg film titled E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s first start with…

The Good

Direction wise, J.J. Abrams proves himself to be a pretty decent director. The opening train crash is pretty intense (especially with the young filmmakers in the middle of the chaos). The scenes with the alien are quite terrifying, with Abrams applying the “less is more” approach when filming the scenes, choosing to keep the creature out of focus when it attacks.

Acting wise, the kids  live their roles. Joel Courtney does a pretty impressive debut. Elle Fanning, in the words of a peer, shows the acting chops expected from her being the younger sister of Dakota Fanning. Kyle Chandler channels his grief properly against the drunk Ron Eldard. As for the rest of the kids, one would really feel that those were the actual kids whom Abrams worked with when he was still a kid making Super 8 movies.

The Bad

The story is typical Spielberg. Oh, wait, let me rephrase: the story is REHASHED from Spielberg. It’s basically a troubled family who overcome their crisis through an even bigger crisis, namely an alien attack and the government keeping it all under wraps.

I believe that this film would have been much better had it stuck to the drama/coming of age story of Courtney and Fanning’s characters. There is enough tension between the family of Courtney and Fanning, as well as the light-hearted scenes of the kids filming their epic zombie movie, for the film to be engaging. Instead, we see the story develop into a Spielberg alien feature. What’s worse, the story becomes a REHASH of a classic Spielberg alien feature (see E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial). Seedy military group? Check. Family in crisis? Check. An alien? Double check. I know that imitation is a form of flattery, but in this case, it simply doesn’t work.

To recap, this film is a disappointment. While it features  commendable performances from the cast, decent direction from Abrams, and an engaging romantic/coming of age story involving the kids, the film is bogged by its sci-fi story and its rehash of a classic Spielberg alien feature.

3.5 stars out of 5