Archive for October, 2007

October 17, 2007

“Grindhouse – Death Proof” (2007)

death proof

This is the second flick under the Grindhouse collaboration project by Tarantino and Rodriguez (I have reviewed the other flick here).

Like “Planet Terror”, the flick uses special effects like faded saturation and scratches on celluloid, that reminisces us of our dark and messed-up past. And that’s probably the only thing I liked about this flick. Nothing more.

The plot was not so much of an intelligent creation. It was kinda linear in my personal opinion. It revolves around a psychopath cum vagabond stuntman (played by Kurt Russell) who drives around in a reinforced stunt car (‘death proof’ car) killing chicks.

***
It starts with a group of young girls, led by a somewhat famous girl DJ who goes by the name Jungle Julia, on their way to celebrate Julia’s birthday at a pub somewhere. Earlier before the trip, in an attempt to score one of her girl buddies from the group a prospective date, Julia announced of a bounty reward game – for whoever that spots her mysterious friend, calls her ‘Butterfly’, and recites the correct verse of a poem, will get a lap dance from her. And that is how it attracted the stuntman killer (who hails the name ‘Stuntman Mike’).

Stuntman Mike first stalks them to the bar, picks up another girly patron (who is the same actress who played Cherry Darling in “Planet Terror”) to diffuse suspicion from the group while he discreetly monitors them from across the bar. And when he is confident enough that they’re all addled with alcohol from the party binge, he goes over to claim the lap dance bounty reward and then leave (with the girl, whom he later kills in his car). The group soon leaves, but halfway through their journey, they are all sent back home to meet their creator as Stuntman Mike rams his death proof car head on with their’s. (in the scene, you’d get to see different takes on the collision and how limbs got ripped off the victims. It was kinda cool.)

Mike survives the crash and ends up at the hospital, cleared of all charges since he didn’t drink, while the victims were all intoxicated etc. It has been his same modus operandi all the while and that’s how it works for him.

The story then proceeds to the second group of 4 girls, which partially comprises of a couple of gear heads. Like the first group, Mike would stalk them and look for the right opportunity to kill them (I have to admit, things get pretty rock bottom boring at this point on). But this time round, Mike made a big fucking mistake. He messed with the wrong group. The girls that he hoped to be chicken shit easy to kill preys? Aren’t what they’re supposed to be. They’re way tougher than Mike himself. In the course of staging another accident that causes both of the cars to spin off road, one of the girls whips out a gun and shoots Mike in the arm… and from thence on, has the table turned on him instead. The girls would chase the injured and whimpering Mike down hard, clobber him with a big ass stick, chase him again and have his car land immobile upside down. They’ll then drag him out and give him the most thorough pummeling one could ever have in his awakening. The film the rolls its end credits.

***

After watching the whole thing in the span of like, a few days (yes, I couldn’t finish it in one go), I was compelled to look up the internet on what the fuck was this film all about… Not that it’s too confusing or anything but, being curious on why was it so fucking dull like that… The film’s like, 80% shitty dialog, and 20% action (which includes the actual car chases and all).

It appears that Tarantino was trying to make a badass comeback for Kurt Russell, but from what I felt after watching this flick, it was more like butchering his reputation instead. He looked like a consummate loser in this movie, with a rather odd suicidal way of killing people. Sean Bean would have made a better candidate for playing Stuntman Mike… (he actually had similar role before in “The Hitcher” – which was a way better watch)

I’d give this flick a generous 4 out of 10 in my scale of awesomeness – and that was simply because I liked the lap dance so much (I’ve been to a titty bar at Austin, and I’ve never seen a lap dance as good before… Maybe it was the quality of the strippers…)

michaelooi  | movie reviews  | 5 Comments
October 12, 2007

I speakeh Enguhlish

I sent an email to a vendor asking for a technical report last week. The correspondent was a Chinese lady of unknown age. After much deliberation, she finally replied my request today…

Dear Michael:
This is the report , still have one pcs not complete , I ‘ll give you asap.
Any question please touch me.
Thanks

I think she’s horny, but I have no question for her.

michaelooi  | mails/posts  | 7 Comments
October 10, 2007

i felt it

A Chinese lady approached me while I was having lunch with a friend. She was carrying a child of about 2 years old, and uttered something to me in Mandarin. She then whipped out a page of newspaper with a couple pictures of her and that child in it, which was also in Chinese, and tried to elaborate more.

Since I was unable to understand a thing she said, I asked my friend what was it all about… since he was more Chinese literate than I am. I initially thought that lady was just one of those ubiquitous loafer that goes around asking for donations for some pseudo charity work, but the child that she had with her was making me feel otherwise…

My friend then looked at me, wearing this serious look and said
“She said her child was born without an anus…”

Just at the same time, the lady lifted her child’s shirt to reveal a colostomy, with a disposable pouch hanging off the child’s abs. A pang of emotion suddenly swept over me upon learning about that child’s misfortune. My late grandmother had one before, and I know exactly what the child has to go through with that… But for somebody that young to be having such a thing, it must be even more difficult.

I can imagine how the kid’s not so going to have a normal childhood. He will not get to mix around with his friends without having to worry about overflowing his pouch… He won’t be able to do a lot of things. And most certainly, it will be a lot of pain for his parents. (It’s painful enough for me to see him like this, and it will be even more for his own parents.) Like, what had he done to deserve such a fate? He did nothing. He was just unfortunate to be born like this.

I didn’t know what I could do other than to help the lady in her cause to get her child better, which in my limited understanding of her language, is to get her child an operation or something – so I whipped out a 10 ringgit note (that was about the biggest note I had in my wallet then…) and gave it to the lady. My friend himself whipped another for her. Though it wasn’t much, I could tell that she was very grateful and repeatedly thanked us.

Just before she left to approach another table, I took the initiative to say something to her (in shitty Mandarin…)

“Lady, you know… you should have left your child at the comfort of home with somebody… It’s difficult enough for him to be in this condition… it’ll be even more difficult for him to go around under the heat and all that discomfort…”
(I don’t know how I did it but, I somehow managed to get the message across)

The lady then replied…
“If I do not bring him along, people wouldn’t have believed me and my efforts would have been in vain…”

She was right. Had she been going around by herself, everyone would have thought that she’s a fake, like what I almost did prior checking with my friend.

The incident got me thinking, what a strange and ironic world that we’re living in. Here you have somebody who walks all around asking for spare change to fix her sick child, and there you have perfectly healthy people wanting to end their lives over some failed relationships. If there’s indeed God in this world, he surely is an odd bastard.

(and why are our leaders worrying about buying expensive fighter jets that aren’t going to serve in any war, while hundreds (possibly thousands) of unfortunate victims of fate have to beg on the streets for a better life?)

michaelooi  | what I saw  | Comments Off
October 9, 2007

“Grindhouse – Planet Terror” (2007)

grindhouse

Do you guys remember the time when zombies used to be the ‘in’ thing in the world of horror movies? Well, this movie’s everything about it. It’s one of the two flicks featured under ‘Grindhouse’ theme, which was co-produced by Quentin Tarantino (“Kill Bill”, “Pulp Fiction”) and Robert Rodriguez (“From Dusk Till Dawn”, “Sin City”). This one’s being produced by Rodriguez while the other one, called “Grindhouse – Death Proof”, was by Tarantino.

I’ve actually read about the Grindhouse project from the internet sometime ago, that Tarantino and Rodriguez are collaborating on something that would relive back the old days – you know, zombies, slashers, car chases and all the non-CGI stuff. (If your childhood was in the 80’s, then you’ll know what I’m talking about). And I have been looking forward for this since then… because I know, if there’s anything at all that I would want to watch on TV at the lowest point of my life, it would be flicks produced by either of these 2 magnificent madcap directors.

Anyway, I finally got to watch “Planet Terror” last weekend… and although the flick fell short of my immense expectation, it was quite an entertaining watch. It has tits scene (in the initial purposely made fake B grade trailer called “Machete”), gores (though not that much if you go by the “Kill Bill” or “Dead Alive” standard), fake blood, exploding zombies, real deal pyrotechnics… all with exaggerated kind of violence (the copy that I had was an UNRATED version so… some of these might be snipped off on the RATED copies).

The main plot revolves around a go-go dancer called Cherry Darling, who quit her night job and runs into her ex boyfriend El Wray at a barbecue joint. After they did some catching up, Cherry asks for a ride home from the location. Little do they know, that something ominous is happening at a nearby location – a biological weapon deal went wrong between a scientist and a group of rogue mercenaries headed by Bruce Willis, which turned the whole neighborhood into zombies. On the way home, El Wray crashes his truck from averting one of the stray zombies. They both survived the crash, but Cherry is dragged out of the wreck by some zombies and had her left leg gnawed off. El Wray rescues her from definite death by dispatching the zombies with a rifle and sends her to the hospital, only to realize that the place is already full of people infected with the zombie virus… and adventure ensues. (I’ll let you guys find out the rest for yourselves).

There were a few subplots that also ran concurrently with the Cherry Darling main plot, but all of them would eventually converge into a big group and make their escape together, dispatching gruesome zombies in the process and forming a survivor exodus to another safer place. Just like the old time zombie flicks with poor ending. Hell, those guys even created it to have that 80’s grainy and scratch marks on celluloid effect, and also deliberately added a ‘missing reel’ part to filter out the x-rated scenes (the scene when Cherry Darling lifted her broomstick peg when having a steamy round of sex actually had me in stitches). Other notable bizarre moments:
– Quentin Tarantino’s cameo as a rapist and had his dick turned into a slimy mush – priceless.
– Cherry snapped her peg when she used it to impale Tarantino the rapist’ eye socket. El Wray would then had it replaced with a machine gun with an underslung grenade launcher (or something). The poster was Cherry with that said machine gun peg.
– Bruce Willis character claiming that he shot Osama Bin Laden by shooting him 2 times in his heart and once on his head.
– Dog jumped out of convertible car and ended up as a roadkill along with the zombies, with blood spraying all over – damn fucking funny scene

Overall, it was a rather mind blowing entertainment. I mean, how can one dislike watching zombies wreak havocs and body parts getting mutilated all around? You don’t get much of these stuff around anymore. Go watch it, be it to reminisce the old days, or because you haven’t seen anything like this before… it’s better than the likes of Die Hard 4 (damn fucking stupid movie)

This flick is worthy 7 out of 10 in my scale of awesomeness – an entertaining and comedic deus-ex-machina zombie flick, though not as good as his (Rodriguez’s) older zombie undead masterpiece “From Dusk Till Dawn”…

(the “Machete” fake trailer at the beginning of the movie looks very promising~~ “they messed with the wrong Mexican”… ahaks! The latest news was that it’s going to be developed into a real movie, to be released as another “Grindhouse” flick)

michaelooi  | movie reviews  | 7 Comments
October 6, 2007

close encounter with the wrong kind

I was returning from lunch and was about to board the elevator… when something lying inside the elevator floor jolted the daylights out of me. I snapped a photo of it after regaining my composure (warning: not for the weak hearted…)

Read the rest of this entry »

michaelooi  | what I saw  | 9 Comments