Beowulf (Film)


Director: Robert Zemeckis
Cast : Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Brendan Gleeson, Dominic Keating, Alison Lohman, Robin Wright Penn
RunTime: 110 mins
Genre: Animation
Rating: NC-16 (Violence and Some Nudity)

Virtual imitates life as the sexy one emerges all of water saying, “Beowulf... Stay with me. Give me a son, and I shall make you the greatest king that ever lived. This... I swear...” She wears nothing but gold paint covering over her ample bosoms, all thick lips and hair extended to a lizard’s tail.

Her name is Angelina Jolie, playing the role of monster Grendel’s mother, a seductive create known to bed Kings in this animated epic Beowulf. The role of the third party shouldn’t be anything new to her. She refuses to let her children watch Beowulf, and we wonder why. (“Mummy, why are you stealing husbands?” )

The film is directed by Robert Zemeckis and was created through motion capture, a technique similar to that used by Zemeckis in The Polar Express. The rest of the cast includes heavyweights Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright Penn, Dominic Keating, Alison Lohman, and John Malkovich.

People watch Beowulf for two reasons: For its impressive animated motion capture, or for Mrs Pitt coming out of the water. As male audiences breathe in deeply, that is what I call ‘stop motion’. Ray Winstone was equally impressive as well, though his Austin Power moments in this animation got either blushes or chuckles chucker from shy girls.

Adapted from an old English heroic poem about a battle hero overcoming monsters, the movie brings epic animations to new grounds. Like adrenalin pumping computer games, it is littered with intense fights and sexual allusion (nudity expected). Some things are still missing (other than clothes), and perhaps it’s the emotional depth that only the human eye can portray.

Beowulf – Be seduced

30 Days of Night (Film)


Director: David Slade
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Mark Boone Junior
RunTime: 113 mins
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Rating: M18 (Violence & Gore)

What’s the difference between 30 Days of Night and 28 Days Later? Not two days I suppose.

Based on the graphic novel by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, 30 Days of Night works overtime to pump fresh life into the vampire genre, but somehow resonates for another similar film on Zombies by Danny Boyle.
Located in the northernmost part of Alaska, the town of Barrow experiences a complete lack of sunshine for an entire month once a year. As darkness descends, vampires arrive infecting everyone in the town. For Sheriff Eben (Josh Hartnett) and a few others, it would mean hiding for their lives until they see light.

Other than some cheap scares and sound effects, this film is more action packed than horrific. The whole mood and pacing was appropriate and you never quite felt the days went pass too slowly. The predictable storyline doesn’t really dump down the whole excitement of humans vs vampires.

At the end of the day, you just know that you have seen all this before, and in fact something slightly better.

30 Days of Night – If Only It Came Earlier

Enchanted (Film)


Director: Kevin Lima
Cast: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Timothy Spall, Idina Menzel, Rachel Covey, Susan Sarandon
RunTime: 107 mins
Genre: Comedy/Fantasy/Musical
Rating: PG

Call me the man who doesn’t grow up, but we can never get too much of Disney, can we?

Enchanted is in every way… enchanting. In this part-animation, part-action comedy, we follow the fairytale of princess Giselle (Amy Adams) from the land of Andalsia who is thrust into present-day by the step mother (Susan Sarandon) of her Prince Charming Edward (James Marsden). Giselle meets a jaded lawyer (Patrick Dempsey), and changes his life. So would it be Prince Charming or Mr Handsome lawyer for a life happily ever after?

My first impression from the trailer was too sweet, too childish, and too foolish. In a way, being overly sweet, childish and foolish is the whole appeal of the movie. Right from the start, the superbly diabetic song and dance sequences and merry making with animals and birds were wicked and charming humour which pays homage to all the Disney classics.

Enchancted is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, and Pocahontas all rolled in one, bringing out the sense of nostalgia, but likely to turn away grumpy realists.

Even if you do not like princess and poison apples, the very cute squirrel and film score from Alan Menken should save the day.

Enchanted - Success for this Disney flick wouldn’t be a fairytale.

December Boys (Film)


(Special Thanks to Patrick who just knows I am too busy to write anything these few weeks.)

December boys is a film on teenage angst and adolescents' search for love. Filmed with much passion, the film centres on four orphans, whose hopes for adoption diminished by the day as they age. The film allows the audience to see the world through the eyes of the orphans and depicts their lives as one of a transient nature. While the orphans have always tried to find a fatherly figure to look up to, they often also relish in the delight of sheer independence away from domestic rules and family discipline, finding true joy in the wonders of nature.

It's fortunate that Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) took on the role as Maps since it fits him perfectly. As the eldest of the four orphans, he has almost lost all hopes of being adopted. While he doesn't indulge in the idea of adoption, he is still looking for love. And his search for love has resulted in the friendship forged between himself and Lucy (Teresa Palmer), the daughter of a parent who wants to adopt a boy for their family, which goes deeper as the days pass. Soon, they were in love, before a drastic change in Lucy's life forced Maps to confront the actual situation in his life. While this is unfolding, the other three orphans are also vying for adoption by Lucy's parents.

As the film progresses, the conflict occuring among and within the orphans began to intensify. And soon, all four orphans are forced to face their destinies in life. Torn between their longing for doting parents and their friendship to one another, the orphans have to make a decisive choice. This is where the film becomes interesting as their friendships are tested.

While the audience might expect Daniel Radcliffe to be in the limelight, it's encouraging to see other young actors sharing the limelight as well. Especially noteworthy is Lee Cormie as Misty, one of the orphans whose acting prowess far surpasses Daniel Radcliffe at times. He is indeed one potential young actor whom we might be seeing more of. Hopefully, he will be able to receive the same recognition as child actor Dakota Fanning ("Man on Fire", "War of the World", "I am Sam") in the years ahead.

In a light-hearted manner, December boys reminds us of our teenage days gone by, of our need to belong and the anticipation of romance. It also speaks of deep friendships forged between close friends and how sometimes, this friendship is worth retaining and fighting for. In a world where technology has, at times, made things impersonal and cold, December Boys will provide a comforting touch as a reminder that in the absence of technology, when we are bathed in the embrace of nature, love can still be found in friendships and when one is one with nature.

December Boys - A Comforting Touch

Halloween (Film)


Director: Rob Zombie
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon Zombie, Tyler Mane, Scout Taylor Compton, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris
RunTime: 110 mins
Genre: Horror
Rating: M18 (Violence and Sexual Scene)

In 1978, the movie Halloween produced on a low budget, became one of the most profitable films ever made. The story of Mike Myers who killed his whole family and others, lead its way to other slasher flicks. Not forgetting its signature Halloween tune and the star which was created in Jamie Lee Curtis.

Fast forward 29 years later, Halloween is remade and screened at a very apt timing of end October. This remade showed a lot more on the childhood of Myers, and perhaps shed light into why’s he’s so psycho.

Otherwise, it is still the same - blood, gore, killings and that signature tune. The family gets killed, policemen gets killed and every sexually promiscuous high school b*** gets killed. Guys scream, and more girls scream. Next!

Hopefully, this movie can teach the youth be more conservative and parents to take care of their kids before they turn crazy. Nah!

Other than more brutal killings, this Halloween has no treats or tricks. If you still enjoy this kind of stuff, and like some cheap thrills, then just go for it. If not, rent the original DVD.

Halloween – Just another scary remake

Bee Movie (Film)


Director: Simon J. Smith, Steve Hickner
Cast (Voices): Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Alan Arkin, Patrick Warburton
Runtime: 90 mins
Genre: CG Animation
Rating: PG

Bee Movie is a B-grade animation. *why*

Not that there is anything very wrong about this odd-ball animation by comedy man Jerry Seinfeld, the movie just leaves you feeling rather unsettling and disturbed. *okay*

Barry Benson the Bee finds himself disillusioned having to work in the same job for the rest of his life, decides to break out his bee society and finds himself freedom and love. *gulps*

It has its laughable moments, on its satire on politics and pop culture. Expect several ‘cameos’ from Larry King, Sting from Police, Vincent the Bear from Over the Hedge, ‘Winnie the Pooh’ and Chris Rock as the blood sucking male mosquito. *haha*

If that troubled you (male mosquitoes don’t suck blood), the other scientific inaccuracies about bee will probably irritate you. Kids may walk out of the cinema with the impression that bees talk and build knitted families. Not that it matters, but give the writers an encyclopedia on the nature of male and female insects. *hmmm*

What really destabilized me was bees fighting a case in court with humans, and falling in love with a human. Now imagine Ms Bridget Jones kissing an insect. *eeekk*

Like other animations, there are moral lessons to be learnt, like we should look for our freedom than to confirm to societal norms. But the ending tells otherwise – contradictory. Quirkiness may not work on everyone. *hmmm*

Bee Movie – All that buzz may sting

Stardust (Film)


Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sienna Miller, Ian McKellen, Ricky Gervais, Jason Flemyng, Peter O'Toole
RunTime: 128 mins
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: PG

What does a village boy searching for love, 3 heirs to a throne, a 400-year old witch, and a cross dressing pirate have in common?

They are after shooting star in human form Yvaine (Claire Danes) who can give them a chance for love, power and external youth. All have their reasons for capturing the fallen one, and this original novel by Neil Gaiman promises a sequence - which is all heart warming, exciting, and delightfully funny.

The stories seem similar to the fairytales we are so familiar with – handsome princes after stars, witches after beauty, and the evil ones after power. The difference is they put everything together. In the chase sequences, the juxtaposition of the stories keeps the momentum running.

And of course the quirky characters, from the very queer Captain Shakespeare (Robert de Niro in some kind of a breakthrough), and the gorgeous Michelle Pfeiffer as Lamia the witch, so wickedly funny with her dropping breasts and self-depreciating humour. We think that she secretly enjoys thoroughly playing such bitchy roles after her 5-year MIA.

The weaker links are perhaps the lead roles of newcomer Charlie Cox in a very bland role, and a forgettable Claire Danes who doesn’t shine as much as the star would.

Otherwise, Stardust is like a ride to Disneyland – You know what to expect, but all the fun and buzz brings out the child in you.

Stardust - Fairytales can be so fun!

About me

Last posts