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Archive for March, 2012

The Movie Poster

ONCE A poor farm girl in love with a poor farm boy, Buttercup is going to be the next queen of the kingdom, the last thing she could have done hadn’t she heard that her lover is dead from his sail. Little did she know that there is a plot to kidnap her, as part of a feud between the neighbouring kingdom. Least did she know that there is a masked swordsman out to save her life.

A comedy for a lifetime

If you’re just out for a bad day, or things haven’t turned out as you expect them to, this film will break the ice. It’s really funny, well-written tale. They all have this witty dialogue that will keep ringing in your head. (“Inconceivable!”) And as if this isn’t enough, the film has still a lot to offer. You get fencing, a tour in the Dark Black Forest which houses R.O.U.S’s (Rodents of Unusual Size), a six-finger man and what-not.

Although it’s a bit aged, released in 1981, it still makes good laugh. Partly because the film is set-up from medieval times and of its universal appeal. But mostly because of the dialogue. (Thanks to William Goldman!) In fact it’s really old that visual effects have not properly evolved. On a fencing scene, a man is continuously hit by his opponent, but the blood doesn’t come out until the next cut. I don’t know if it’s intentional or a fall short of technology but it contributes on how amusing the film is.

Special mention to characters

Apart from the hilarious lead characters, the extra characters shine as well. One is the Albino, who serves for the villain and is currently living in the Darkest Pit. He is really weird, and his looks are somewhat maniacal , uncombed hairs, masked freckles. He is supposed to be scary but I perceived him as comical. Now, why is that? Another is the clergyman, who speaks gibberish, and mocks the soon-to-be-wed couples. I would love to see their characters again someday.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Last thoughts

Today a lot of comedy films have been released, with their high-tech technology backed with sophisticated shots, so why would you spend a time on “Princess Bride”? One word: script. This film has reminded, again and again, that no matter how the elements of the filmed played out, story is king. Always has been, and always will be.

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Annie with Alvy at the park, mocking people who pass by

“ANNIE HALL” is not a film entirely about Annie. The film is about Alvy Singer, a man in his forties and after failing two marriages, he is already up for one.

What’s so great about Alvy Singer?

Not so much. He is not entirely handsome but, yes, you might find him attractive. He has a self-centered personality, and a bit talkative about psychoanalysis, which I find doubtful since he keeps talking about this theories that somehow just pulled random out of his sleeves. (All I know about psychoanalysis is that it came from Freud and all about Freud is that sex is an essential part of life.) He is not tall. He doesn’t have a great personality but, I won’t deny it, he is funny.  He is also too rational. One more thing, he is played by Woody Allen.

Annie Hall, on the other hand, is a beautiful, submissive woman and, like Allen, has humor. Allen meets her while playing tennis, and from then on they keep striking on wits. (more…)

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Skinny Chris Evans

“Captain America: The First Avenger” tells a story about a small, weak and feeble young man named Steve Rogers, who has a deep conviction to join the American army and help win the Nazi war, but because of his present condition he has been denied for a few times.  On  his recent attempt, luck finds him when he is spotted by the head military scientist and immediately admitted to the army, and is later transformed into a buff, strong and invincible young man. The journey starts there.

One thing that struck me at the start of the film was how did they shrunk Roger’s (Chris Evan) body. We saw resizing small into big, like that of “The Hulk”, but never the other way around. It turns out that the production team did a lot of effort CGI-ing Roger’s body, and it took them a while to shoot the scenes. Well, the first choice was to take a real skinny person for a double, take off its head and replace it with Evan’s. But the double’s performance didn’t lived up to Evan’s performance and so the production team opted for green screens. This also made Evan relieved, since he doesn’t want to share a performance. Rest assured, the film looks realistic and impressive.

Perhaps, this is the best hero I have ever seen, at least that I knew of. And like all other hero films, he has the girl that supports him and later he had her. I was surprised when they didn’t spared the film from visual effects. There was a big explosion encounter, and I thought it is the end of the film – since usually this is the way hero films end, with tons and tons of explosion – but I guess I was only halfway. That was exciting. I was looking forward for the next scenes.

What set this apart from the movie is perhaps the ending, which is hinted by the beginning of the film. It is a thrilling prologue on the upcoming Marvel film, “The Avengers”, which you might recognize as the team of Ironman, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, etc. Isn’t that great? A one big superhero film. Sounds like “The Incredibles”. Not actually. Why? Because this time the film already built a strong characterization and I’d like to see them explode!

 

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“A Few Good Men” is a heavy drama revolving around the trial of two U.S. Marines, who are accused of killing another Marine, and the effort of three assigned officers to win their case.

On the first twenty minutes, we already know who is the perpetrator, and we can already form our personal judgment whether the two U.S. Marines, Dawson and Downey, be put to jail or not. Unfortunately, our characters is still about to find out and the only suspense we get is how they are going to find out, which is not enthralling  since we know who will be the last person to testify.

The better half of the film is spent mostly in the courtroom, debating about the case of Dawson and Downey, and I have to say, it is a great plot device to use the witnesses to reveal  information bit by bit rather than a cut to a series of investigation, this way the film spares us from the actual trial going on.

My only argument is that the whole story is quite shallow for a dramatic film. There is nothing at stake. If Dawson and Downey losses, they spent their life in jail. Normally, you should get mad on this fact but D and D (allow me to call them like that) just look straight ahead upon hearing this. We don’t even see them participating on unearthing facts, at least not freely. They just flash this grave look that says, do whatever you want, we don’t really care. So why should I even care about the case?

ImageThe first conflict I can come up with is how should the three assigned officers prove to the court that D and D are innocent, which is a bit ironic since these officers don’t really have a solid evidence to prove their statement, but as fate would have it they will later rightfully receive it. You might think that the system or the government is the conflict. At first, yes it’s the government. On second thought, not really. The government is not even trying hard, at least in the way I see it. The government is neutral.

The second conflict is from Tom Cruise’s playful lawyer character, Daniel Kaffee, who is afraid of falling short on achieving something, as this would stain his late father’s reputation. In fact, he hasn’t entered the courtroom not until D and D’s case.  Unfortunately, this conflict ends when the earlier mentioned conflict starts.

Demi Moore’s character, JoAnne Galloway, is the whole reason why the D and D case is raised. She takes it seriously, accompanying Daniel in all the investigation and makes sure that everything goes smoothly. But there’s no reason to justify her behavior. When asked why she is doing all this trouble, she answers, “Cause they stand on a wall and they say, ‘Nothing’s gonna hurt you tonight, not on my watch’”.   This isn’t convincing at all, unless she has a painful memory on the matter. There are people who render service to protect people (i.e. police, security guard) and they might have a heavier case than this (i.e. death penalty) but why wouldn’t JoAnne prioritize them?

If you’re fond of watching courtroom scene, hearing intellectual rebuttals, this is the film for you. It’s intense. There is no room for a little bit of romance, even though by the look of the characters they demand it. The two U.S. Marines are charged for three penalties – murder, conspiracy, unbecoming a U.S. Marine – and by the end, I liked what the court’s verdict, and you will too.

PS: Have you ever heard of the famous line “You can’t handle the TRUTH!”? Who would have thought it came from the “A Few Good Men”

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