Archive for the ‘movie reviews’ Category

May 19, 2005

“Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” (2005)

It was a nice one. No doubt, was the best of all the 3 prequels and well worth the wait.

1) Storyline – was rich. From Anakin the sissy skinny boy to Darth Vader the cool hunk. And plenty of drama in between, all cramped into 2 something hours’ worth of screen time. I would say, it was more like a purge of diarrhea – short but full of real deals. (some part of the story actually got pretty skewed because of this…). Click “More” below.

2) Characters – colorful as always. From phallic headed Jedi members to clumsy transport lizards that resembled my colleague Elliot, the flick featured realistic looking creatures along with the usual main casts. My favorite character of all would definitely be – General Grievous. The 4 arm tuberculosis laden droid leader that has a penchant of collecting lightsabers of the Jedis he killed … (and a special mention of Princess Leia – NAKED)

3) Action – This episode has the most lightsaber duels of all the Star Wars flick. So much of them, that it got kinda boring at times. I was actually expecting a balance of both space battles and lightsaber duels… just like in Empire Strikes Back… but then, I’m not complaining.
There are like 5 duels in this flick alone :

Count Dooku vs Obiwan/Anakin
Mace Windu vs Darth Sidious
Yoda vs Darth Sidious
Obiwan vs General Grievous
Obiwan vs Darth Vader

And countless of scenes that involved ‘lightsabering’ as well. Of all the duels, the one that took the cake was between Obiwan vs General Grievous. During the duel, General Grievous frigging wielded 4 lightsabers ! … 2 held by his hind arms, and the other 2 rotating with his frontal hands like propellers (at front), razing through anything in its path. It was mind-blowingly badass.

4) Humor – A serious film you think it is. Not entirely. Some humour, it has. Those that I can recall
– a drone yelling out to a fellow drone to get back to work (and some really funny conversation) during the Chancellor rescue mission.
– a couple of wookies howled like Tarzan when they charge in for an attack at one of the clone ships.
– Sidious called Yoda “my little green friend” and zapped him against the wall like a mosquito. Yoda returned the favor by toppling Darth Sidious up on his feet with his Force (which made me laughed like a jackass…)
– Yoda’s quote of “…. disappear we must” cracked me up too – he was suggesting to Obiwan and Organa that they should go into exile.
many more.

5) Flaws – There were a few parts in the movie that didn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me.
– why did Darth Sidious sacrifice General Grievous before he declared a takeover of the republic ? He could have hinted Grievous about the impending attack led by Obiwan … and saved him from getting wasted. He would then have an extra skilled team member to help him rule the galaxy. *shrugs*
– at the end of the movie, there was a scene where Darth Sidious and Vader overlooking the construction of the first DeathStar. Considering the fact that the Deathstar was completed only in Ep IV (when Luke becomes a teenager), that means it actually took them almost 2 decades to complete it. The second (and bigger) DeathStar, as we knew of, significantly took much less time than that …. the timing’s questionable.
– there weren’t that much flippings in the rest of the episodes… but in this third installment, everyone seem to be able to flip like a Hong Kong red trouser stuntman. The flippings had a heavy Asian influence in it … and it looked kinda out of place in Star Wars. Hmmmm…
– and, about Yoda. This little dude needed a cane to help him walk. But when he was in the mood to participate in lightsaber orgies, he’d be able to leap like proboscis monkeys. Isn’t that ridiculous ? At least make him lose the cane…
– R2D2, the electronic dustbin seemed to be extremely agile and ‘dangerous’ in this episode. It had thrusters, the ability to hover at low heights, could JUMP out of the ship hull by itself… and even had the ability to spurt highly flammable slick as well. What the fuck ? If it could actually do all that, then why was it so dumb when being captured by that bevy of Ewoks in “A New Hope” ?
– I noticed that the Siths always use red colored light saber… but when Anakin Skywalker joined the club, he wasn’t given a red lightsaber… but would continue to use his old blue colored lightsaber. THIS IS NOT FAIR !

But all these were small issues that can be overlooked without sweat…

So there you have it. Star Wars Episode III sealing the deal. The transition was kinda smooth and everything was nicely set into place for A New Hope. It has been such a long time since I enjoyed a movie so much…
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michaelooi  | movie reviews  | 16 Comments
May 7, 2005

“Kingdom of Heaven” (2005)

I have mixed feelings for this movie. You know, it changed my mind literally. I felt so closer to God now and I’m gonna talk to some plants tonight.

Alright, just kidding. This isn’t the type of movie which is all about religion. Sure enough, the movie contains heaps of mindless insensitive scripts (like : “Convert to Islam ! Repent later !”) that may stir a shit or two amongst those cock sucking religious bigots out there … but hell, this is a movie. A piece of entertainment … not a religious text book that was set to mess with the historical facts.

In fact, there are tonnes of contradictions in this movie… and if you are to view this piece of art like a historical critic – I bet with my ass you’re gonna think that this movie sucks. (if you’re wondering, no… I have absolutely little or no freakin’ clue at all about these Crusade shits.) But if you are to watch it with an open blank mind, you’ll probably enjoy this movie more.

So, what do I think about the whole thing ?

1) The landscapes were breathtaking and beautiful. Good cinematography (I don’t fucking know what’s that but just wanna make it sound complicated). I especially loved the ocean view in Medina, where you could actually see ships in distance and all that. Nice.

2) The battle scenes were pretty neat. Blood and gores were aplenty, and they didn’t seem to violate too much law of physics. But there were some part of it that involved the “camera shaking” effect – which kinda made me a little bit woozy and confused at times. Why can’t they just fucking screen it like how John Woo did it? You know, slow motion, and battles panning in different angles… I just want to see them bludgeoning each other, not to savor the feeling of being bludgeoned.

3) Storyline’s interesting, but a bit messed up. It felt as if everything was happening too soon … like for example, Balian (the hero) dug a well in his desolated land… and the next thing you see, his land was filled with fertile farms. You could actually feel that there’s not enough screening time to complete the movie. But then, if the movie were to be stretched into a longer screening time, or perhaps into 2 episodes, it probably would’ve been too long and boring instead.

But it was quite good overall, better than “Troy” and that gay potpourri “Alexander”. But definitely not better than “Gladiator”…

*spoiler warning in the extended section below…*
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michaelooi  | movie reviews  | 10 Comments
May 3, 2005

“xXx: State of the Union” (2005)

To those of you that has lack of exposure to the movie realms, let me disclaim this to you – no, the movie “xXx 2″ is not a porn flick. I repeat, this is not a porn flick. But I’d be happier if it’s a porn though – at least it will be more entertaining.

That’s right, this movie is a total waste of time.

The original xXx was starred by Vin Diesel, playing the role as an extreme sports daredevil that would do anything dangerous for his own thrill. He was then somehow recruited as a spy for the government or something, and went around mopping up asses to save the world. Wasn’t a great movie but, at least Vin Diesel looked kinda good as the one man army tough dude…

I kinda expected the same standard for the successor of Vin Diesel, probably someone who’s even more badass. Like Triple H or something….But no. Instead, we got Ice Cube, the babyfaced corpulent short guy with a catastrophic name. I almost gasped for air when the word “badass” being quoted to describe Ice Cube.

Lardass maybe. But definitely not badass. I mean, come on, I’m sure there could have been more suitable candidates out there than having this cute Fat Albert to bully some schoolkids…

Alright, casting problem aside, the storyline was pretty spastic and lame as well, with tonnes of “Xtreme ridiculousness” – quite contrary to the original concept of the movie, where the X’s phonetically meant “Xtreme” … you know, referring to those not so smart stunts that people do just to get attention and being cool – skateboarding off a cliff, jumping from a building roof, raping a farm animal, etc – which we all seemed to love so much (especially when they hit a boner).

The movie is full of those Xtreme ridiculousness. One of the biggest bullshit in the movie was when Ice Cube was chasing after a bullet train with the new Shelby Cobra, doing a 165 ? Forgot the number. He would later crash the car behind the bullet train, bursting his tires away and glide smoothly on the track with its bare metal rims to catch up. What the fuck !?

1) Bullet trains don’t glide on normal rail tracks. They float on special magnetic tracks.
2) Let’s assume the bullet train DOES run on normal track, but how could the width of the track fits perfectly on a Cobra’s wheel span ??
3) Alright, even if it fits… the car and it’s driver would probably be electrocuted to crisp… as we all know bullet trains don’t run on diesel … or coals… but on high voltage power lines…
4) Ok ok, let’s even assume that the damn train runs on diesel… is it even credible for us to believe that a diesel train would be able to tear up 200 mph on normal railway track ??

What a joke. Just… stay out … of this crap.

michaelooi  | movie reviews  | 11 Comments
April 23, 2005

“Sahara” (2005)

This movie is a total crap. Avoid it at all cost. Why ? Here’s why …

1) Lame Storyline
The same lame storyline in a typical adventure movie, you know – bad guys trying to fuck the whole planet up. A hero appears with his funny sidekick and a hot girl, gets unbelievably lucky foiling the bad guy’s evil plot. Kills the mob boss, bone the girl, bask a heroic ending and lives happily ever after.

2) Bad casting
The whole cast wouldn’t have looked that bad … if it wasn’t for the main character which was played by Matthew McConaughey. It just doesn’t add to the formula of an adventure/action film. He’s not funny, is clumsy and has problem focusing with his eyes when talking to someone – so seriously apparent, that it actually convinced me that he has a set of crossed eyes.

3) Preposterous plots
– When you’re being shot with heaps of automatic high powered rifles, you can’t just get lucky enough to be able to live right out of it because the entire platoon of enemy soldiers can’t shoot no shit.
– Camels/vehicles don’t just appear when you needed them most.
– Enemy soldiers don’t just surrender when their general dies.
– You can’t just drive an antique car like an all-terrain 4 wheel drive vehicle.
Things like that.

You know, they could have just hired The Rock to play a role as a madman punching camels in the middle of the desert. It probably would have been a lot more interesting and make more senses.

michaelooi  | movie reviews  | Comments Off
March 26, 2005

“The Eye 10″ (2005)

*big ass spoiler ahead for The Eye 10.*

Went to watch The Eye 10 last night. I’ve reviewed the first 2 episodes here (not exactly a review but…) and here. I think the title’s a bit odd, as this is the third installment of “The Eye” and it was named as The Eye 10 (instead of 3) – a lot of my friends actually asked “What happened to episode 3 to 9 ?”. Well, actually, there’s a reason behind this. It was named The Eye 10 because the prior titles (3 to 9) has been taken up by the porn industries. (porn just need to randomly pick a title… The Eye sounded pretty kinky).

Alright, it’s nothing of that sort. It was named as “The Eye 10″ because this installment of movie is actually about a bunch of not-so-bright youngsters who took instructions from a book to try out 10 different ways of seeing ghosts (note the number 10). There’s no whatsoever relation to our eyeballs at all (seriously, I think this movie should be named as “Fucked Up Teenagers”).

*if they wanted to see ghosts, they could’ve headed over to the income tax office instead. There’s plenty of government clerks there that looked much more catastrophic than a friggin’ ghost.

Before the movie even started, I’ve already encountered a few bad omens that this isn’t gonna be a very good horror movie.

1) There’s a big disclaimer with a “U inside a triangle” sign being screened before the film starts. That means, the film is suitable to be watched by kids and old people alike. With no harms being done. Now, this isn’t right. This is supposed to be a scary horror movie, remember ? I want to watch a horror movie that could make old people’s heart shrink … and induces trauma to those annoying kids.

2) The movie started with an introduction of cast of characters (some tacky scene showing the teenagers having fun in a theme park), with zippy music and graphics like a mobile phone advertisement. I kinda panicked at that moment and actually asked the guys “Are we in the right theater ?”.

It was fucked up alright. This movie, isn’t actually a horror movie. It’s actually a comedy. Yes, you heard me right, THIS MOVIE IS ACTUALLY A COMEDY.

It was frivolously produced, with no scare elements at all in it. It was more like those Hong Kong comedy-horror-fun vampire movies in the 80’s that was meant to elicit good laughs with plenty of ridiculous goofy acts. More like a testament to the public to fucking get a life already … you guys had enough horror movies. Time to switch to other genres.

Here’s some funny excerpts from the film :
– the dude who bought that spooky book from a bookstore was told by the book-keeper that no matter what happens, he should not look at the last page of the book, else he’ll be in real deep shit or something. Then one night, the guy carelessly left the book open on his desk and a constant gush of strong wind actually turned the book to the last page. Panicked, the guy immediately covers up the last page with his hand. But soon, his curiosity struck him and he slowly removed his hands from the page … only to discover the last page actually shows the actual price of the book … which was cheaper 10 times the price he paid.

– one of the guy was being possessed by a stray ghost and got into this really awkward pose. Another 2 hipster kid saw the whole thing and actually thought that guy was challenging them for a few rounds of break dancing. The 2 hipsters then started to crank up their boom box and started to show off their dancing skills taunting him back. That was when a whole corridor of old neighbours came out to check them out and cheered … but was dumbfucked when the possessed dude started to walk up the wall and ceiling ala Jamiroquai’s Virtual Insanity MTV…

– the same guy was trying to run away from that stray ghost, when he encountered a spooky looking kid asking him about his (the kid’s) report card. (if you’ve watched the original The Eye, you’ll actually recall that this kid’s a ghost). This guy got real freaked out and without a second thought, he gave the kid a kick in the chest … sending the little guy flying into a corner of the staircase. When the kid started to wail like crazy, only then he realized that kid’s turn out to be a real kid. Not a ghost.

– some ghost took a whiff off the fart ripped by one of the guys, choked and disintegrated.

– many more

Well, if the movie’s originally being portrayed as a comedy, I’m sure I wouldn’t have chosen to watch it in the first place and probably wouldn’t think it deserves to be called as a good comedy. But because it is so out of my expectations like that, I would say that’s a good one. Just like the advanced April Fool prank I pulled a few weeks ago.

So, is this movie worth watching ? Yes if you haven’t read this review. (The bunch of girls were laughing so hard behind me that I was so damn worried that they’re gonna puke over their front seats onto my head…)

michaelooi  | movie reviews  | 12 Comments