BRIEF MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CASUAL MOVIEGOERS


Sunday, December 21, 2008

This week's highlight: Australia!

It's high time we're getting an overblown epic period movie to chew on. Seriously, I want to love this. It's got Wolverine looking like Clint Eastwood in The Man with No Name mode (sans poncho, sadly), the always-game-for-a-sex-scene Nicole Kidman, beautiful cinematography, and probably the entire continent of Australia! But, uh-oh, critics aren't too happy about it. I have a bad feeling about this...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This week's highlight: The Good, The Bad and The Weird!

With a title like that, director Kim Ji-woon, whose last movie was the so-so A Bittersweet Life, is surely asking for it for homaging someone as high up there as Sergio Leone. His recent big win at the Korean Blue Dragon Film Awards helps though. Will catch it this Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This week's highlight: Madagascar 2!

Madagascar was one of the few Dreamworks cartoons that wasn't blatantly condescending. The first Madagascar paired up a lion and a zebra as best zoo buddies, but the movie was daring enough to explore the consequences of this unlikely friendship outside of the comforts of their captivity. However, at the end of the day, it's still a Looney Tunes type of cartoon with nary a semblance of logic in its "reality". Let's just hope the second one is even as funny as the first.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

This week's highlight: Quantum of Solace!

James Bond returned to our screens via Casino Royale (2006) with extra grit and brutality, probably in response to the increasingly popular Bourne franchise, and all the better for it. Though I missed the uppity suaveness of the earlier Bonds, Daniel Craig's more intensed version refreshes the stale routines of the franchise's fifty-year-old fomula.

Solace offers something rare in the series - continuity. Picking up from clues left over by his former love interest in the last instalment, Bond seeks out the one responsible for her death, and I'm not surprised if he happens to be another megalomaniac hell-bent on destroying the world.

No buts about this one. Go watch it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This week's highlight: REC!

It's that time of the year where most of Western civilisation dress up in costumes and knock on strangers' doors for assorted candies. Generally, there should also be an onslaught of horror movies also, but apparently we're only getting Saw V this year (unless you count Painted Skin and High School Musical 3 as horror movies). I guess the current financial crisis is enough horror for the year.I'm not sure if Thailand's The Coffin is good, but Spain's REC sounds pretty interesting, judging from the feedback at Rottentomatoes.com. One critic said that REC is "a demonic, barnstorming, cinema verite horror experience that pulls few punches, fears no genre taboo, and reaches for the throat with delightful intimidation."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This week's highlight: Tropic Thunder!

Some people might consider Ben Stiller and Jack Black's movies to be the epitomes of bad comedies. And they're both headlining a movie I'm actually recommending we all should take a look. Why?

Four reasons. One: Robert Downey Jr. Two: It's a parody about Hollywood people. Three: Robert Downey Jr., playing a white actor playing a black character. Four: Tom Cruise's cameo.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This week's highlight: Max Payne!

Max Payne was one of my greatest video gaming experiences, mainly because someone was finally able to translate the John Woo style of slo-mo action frenzy into a working game format. It was one of the very first to allow players to effectively participate in the "bullet time" action instead of merely watching it transpire during cutscenes.

Ironically, while the game was highly influenced by cinema, now we have a movie that's inspired by the game. I'm not sure how it's going to avoid being yet another John Woo-inspired B-movie, made worse by the fact that its violent action has been reduced to PG-13 levels a la Die Hard 4.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

This week's highlight: The House Bunny!

Gasp! The Big Movie Freak's standards have dropped to a new low, just like the current financial markets. Well, life is so depressing nowadays, with the greedy corporations finally stripped of their sheep clothing, and the impact of their greed finally hurting just about everyone on this planet, why watch depressing-looking, violent flicks like Eagle Eye when you can watch the comedic genius Anna Faris play an ex-Playboy Bunny causing unintentional mischief at some prestigious college?

There's Rock n Rolla and the Coen brothers' Burn After Reading, but it's likely their humour is of the darker variety. So, hmm...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

This week's highlight: The Chaser!

Sorry for the long hiatus, but there isn't any movie exciting enough to harp about in these few weeks, especially with so much more exciting (and scarier) news outside of movies. I would have recommended you try Mamma Mia until I found out that Korea's hit action movie The Chaser is finally coming to our shores. All I know is that it was popular, some critics said it was ok, and Hollywood's planning to adapt it. Opens 25 September.

If your money's not stuck with shares or AIA, you could throw it on Bangkok Dangerous or Babylon A.D. instead, but let the buyer beware.

Monday, August 25, 2008

This week's highlight: WALL·E!

Likely the last good summer movie to arrive on our shores. If you're aware of Pixar's track record, which includes Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and last year's Ratatouille (let's forget Cars for a second), you know this'll be a good one. Critically lauded, box office friendly, cute little robot... still need more convincing?

Elsewhere, we've also got another 3D movie, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The 2D TV original was great. This new one got thrashed by critics. The animation is made in Singapore, so I'm definitely watching, out of curiosity.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Review: The Mummy - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

The ideal companion piece to the Beijing Olympics. I'm being sarcastic, by the way.

"You can’t fool the audience by excavating the same mummy thrice (or can you?), so the filmmakers behind the third Mummy moved the supernatural shenanigans to China and made the murderous villain a Chinese Emperor. What perfect timing to release this movie during the Beijing Olympics..."

Read my full review here. Related reviews: The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns.



Monday, August 18, 2008

This week's highlight: Death Race!

Death Race is Resident Evil director Paul W.S. Anderson's remake of the similarly named 1975 futuristic B-movie starring David Carradine and a still-unknown Sylvester Stallone. Strangely, the original seems to be less PC than the new one, where contestants in an automobile race score points by running over innocent bystanders. The new version seems to be more conventional, with Jason Statham playing a wrongfully-accused convict trying his luck in the titular Death Race for a one-way ticket out of prison. What's very interesting is finding Joan Allen of all people playing the prison warden. If this movie's endorsed by her, surely there must be something worthwhile here. I'm crossing my fingers it's not another AvP crap.

Monday, August 11, 2008

This week's highlight: The X-Files - I Want to Believe!

This is a pretty late announcement, and the movie's probably finishing its run by this Wednesday, but I'm reluctant to suggest movies like The Love Guru, Space Chimps, Fate, 12 Lotus or Meet Dave, because their qualities are still highly suspect or for acquired tastes only. Sure, The X-files 2 was pretty much thumbed-down by nearly every critic, but with Roger Ebert, The Flick Filosopher and especially The Infield Fly Rule's endorsements, perhaps this is one of those movies that only fans will appreciate. And being a fan, I'm watching this. Also showing: Clive Barker's Midnight Meat Train, directed by Ryuhei Kitamura (Azumi).

A pretty good weekend

This weekend has been pretty good for two things: the Beijing Olympics and Singapore's National Day.

In terms of the Olympics, I've been a skeptic since day one. China has been experiencing a PR nightmare since the start of the Tibet incident, but not forgetting the "slavery" fiasco and all those numerous toxic products that got recalled left and right. But I really have to give it to them for the awesome opening ceremony that they put together on Friday. The British will have a tough time trying to outdo the Chinese in the next Olympics. I pray for China that the level of quality and dedication displayed on Friday would eventually spread to other aspects of their lives, and not just on sports, kungfu and Zhang Yimou.

I didn't see the whole Singapore National Day Parade on Saturday, even when it was broadcasted on TV. The Olympics opening ceremony set the bar so high that any parade or fireworks in the near future is going to feel inconsequential. So, rather than form a negative opinion about the NDP from watching it, I chose to avoid watching it. But I did see the NDP theme song video that's been playing on TV, sung in English by Singapore and Asia Idol winner Hady Mirza, and in Mandarin by pop star Joi Chua. And it was good. Like really, really good. Sounds less like an anthem and more like contemporary R&B (well, at least for Hady's rendition), it's catchy, strangely romantic but more importantly it's emotional, and emotions will touch more people than any fakey nationalistic ba-rah-rum-pumming anthem ever could. Joi sang it pretty straight, thus I prefer Hady's R&B spin on it.

I'm crossing my fingers that Malaysia's National Day theme song this year will be just as good. I also hope that the recent National Day budget cut's not going to affect its quality though. Uh-oh...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Upcoming movie: Appaloosa!

A Western starring Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris and directed by Harris himself, and nobody told me about this?? And what in tarnation is an Appaloosa? (Apparently, it's a horse. Hidalgo all over again?) Hell and damnation I'm gonna get meself a ticket this coming October the 3rd, mark my words!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

This week's highlight: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor!

For people who are confused by unwieldy movie sub-titles, this is the third installment in the rebooted Mummy series starring Brendan Fraser. In the US, the summer movie season is more or less officially over, but for us we've still have Wall-E scheduled way back at the end of August for some strange reason. Till then, you'll have to be contented with this widely panned movie, plus another equally deriled one, The X-files: I Want to Believe. There's still Money No Enough 2 to sate your appetite for local humour, or you could rewatch The Dark Knight like everybody else.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Disaster Movie - The Poster













































Big price for figuring out who "?" is supposed to represent. Nah, just kidding. But it'll still be fun to do it, right?

Monday, July 21, 2008

This week's highlight: The Dark Knight!

Batman returns! And so does The Joker, only not quite. You see, if you haven't seen Batman Begins, you probably might not know that they restarted the franchise again right from the start. Acclaimed director Christopher Nolan approaches the famous comic book superhero in a more realistic fashion, which set the trend for most superhero movies nowadays, including the recent Iron Man. Nolan is back with the same sturdy cast from Begins to tackle Batman's uber nemesis in the sequel, The Dark Knight. Tragically, Heath Ledger who played the villainous role, passed away earlier this year. The buzz has been really, really good for this one. Can't wait!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's hard out here for a big movie freak...

Even though I have moved on to a new job after languishing in a dead-end one for nearly a decade, I still can't decide if it was the best or worst decision. With time, you can earn a lot of respect and goodwill even in a company that supposedly don't appreciate what its workers contribute, and that gives you a lot of stature and leeway in your workplace. With a new job at a more well-known company, the prospects are better but at a price: you start not necessarily at the bottom, but you still have to prove yourself all over again. And it's really damn hard to work without the stature and leeway that have been the oil that greases your engine. Throw in the pressure of excelling in night classes (my only ticket out of this career hellhole), and it has been a really pleasant experience the last four weeks. I hope to make it through another two months, and will draw strength from the cinematic tough guys I worship, who obviously went through stuff that were a lot worse.

I will also try to continue maintaining the Site and the Blog as I have not done so in the past month, partly because I pay $14 every month to keep the love going. I also realised that the online part of my life has always been keeping my sanity intact, and that sanity has been unravelling in the last thirty days that I wasn't writing or contributing anything. Thankfully, I have my bro Will2k pulling up his sleeves for our cause, who dominated the review section with his most undervalued two cents on the latest big-budget ouevres.

This post will lump belated reviews and recommendations together for your reading convenience.





WILL2K REVIEWS:









THIS WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS

HELLBOY 2 : THE GOLDEN ARMY
I thought Hellboy was the best showcase of all of director Guillermo del Toro's weaknesses in pacing and editing blockbuster movies. His style may work on independent movies, but mainstream audiences are a restless bunch who need to be constantly prompted with big musical cues and zooming cameras. Still, his movies hold up because of the director's penchant for monsters and the supernatural, who are more often the good guys than the bad. Throw in an Indiana Jones-like opening, complete with occult-obsessed Nazis and a badass blade-wielding bad guy, and Hellboy got me hook, line and sinker. I don't know how Hellboy 2 would fare without any WW2 sequences or Kroenen, but we'll soon see.


HANCOCK

Seems like only yesterday that I saw I Am Legend, and here we have another Will Smith blockbuster already unleashed to the masses. The Fresh Prince seems determined to take on every genre out there, and Hancock is his answer to the recent superhero trend. There seems to be some effort to make things a little more interesting. Hancock isn't your usual goody-two-shoes crimebuster - the guy swears, reeks of alcohol and the people he rescued don't seem to even like him. Way too many superhero movies this year, but I'm not tired of them... yet.

Monday, June 23, 2008

This week's highlight: The Sparrow!

Was so busy packing up and moving into a new job that I left the site and the blog in neglect for more than a week. You probably should have seen The Incredible Hulk by now. I think it's about as good as Iron Man, and a good sign of things to come from Marvel. If I wasn't so busy, I would have indicated Get Smart as the movie of last week. But this week, we've got the double whammy of Wanted and Johnnie To's The Sparrow! Wanted looks good, but I'd be real crazy to recommend that over a Johnnie To movie!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This week's highlight: The Incredible Hulk!

What, you mean the Ang Lee version wasn't bad enough already? But from what I've heard, this version of Hulk is a "return-to-form" with more similarities to the comic book; and based on the denim-wearing Bruce Banner in hitchhiker mode in the poster on the left, maybe even a bit of the popular '70s TV series. Early reviews were pretty good, putting its quality on par with Iron Man. Perhaps Marvel's decision to fully control the movie production of its franchises resulted in more stringent quality controls, preventing further lapses of Ghost Rider proportions. This is probably because their survival highly depends on the long-term viability (and respectability) of their licenses, as opposed to studio execs who're just in the current comic book craze for a quick buck.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

This week's highlight: Kung Fu Panda

Sex or Panda? Never saw the TV series... Panda it is. Doesn't seem as exciting as the stuff Pixar churns out, and looks a lot like another white man's condescending movie about Chinese martial arts. But Jack Black in character as the titular dà xióng mao was funny in the trailers and PSAs. The reviews sounded good, but then again, so did Crystal Skull's. Grr...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Funny toon! (Not by me) - Another Indy 4-related posting!

Awesome toon poking fun of the latest Indiana Jones installment by "*jollyjack". See the bigger toon by clicking on the picture. It'll take you to his page on deviantART.com.

Mythbusters take on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!



Wow, even I thought the raft scene was totally ludicrous, but the Mythbusters really proven it could have worked. Now, if only they could bust the "nuke the fridge" one next...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Nuked the fridge!












Record-setting US$100 mil weekend opening... sigh. If you haven't seen Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, or if you did and actually loved it, then you won't get what this is all about. Hey, we don't enjoy expressing hate, but angry fanboys are what you get when filmmakers not only jumped the shark, but nuked the friggin' fridge!
For the hardcore, you might want to check out the humongous fan rants (from both sides of the fence) from Aintitcool.com here. There are some good arguments there (mostly against) among the vile words of exchange and grammatical trainwrecks.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Will2k reviews Cloverfield!

"I felt I’ve enjoyed it more than the highly budgeted Godzilla movie. I really regretted not watching this movie in the cinema as I would have been awed by the disaster scenes if I had seen it on a big cinema screen or a wide-screen TV. Damn it!"
Read Will2k's review here! (with spoilers)

Friday, May 30, 2008

This week's highlight: The Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian!

Sigh... I'm still reeling from the major disappointment that was Indiana Jones 4. What's even sadder is that it wouldn't take much for Prince Caspian to be better than that flick. It may have magic cupboard portals and talking animals, but at least that was clearly set up in the first movie to be the kind of world it belonged to. The "fridge" and "Tarzan" segments in Crystal Skull is FAR beyond and beneath the Indy universe, voodoo dolls be damned! Sigh, at least we've still got Batman: The Dark Knight...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Alas, the dreaded review nobody wants to read about... the Big Movie Freak's negative review of the latest Indiana Jones flick.

"...As the saying goes, the whole should be greater than the sum of its parts. Unfortunately, as a whole, Crystal Skull feels like a tired, by-the-numbers Hollywood blockbuster that is closer to the Van Helsing camp than anything in Spielberg’s oeuvre. Spielberg has fashioned a movie that has more in common with his imitators of late than even his last two (and very recent) blockbuster outings; smothered in a thick, fake, plastic-ky layer of CGI, and plagued with an unusual lack of quality control and enthusiasm in telling its story..."

Read my full review here.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Will2k reviews Iron Man!

"Iron Man is a movie that I did not have much idea about because I never really followed any of its comic or cartoons. However, I was expecting some metal vs. metal bashing and smashing, and I wasn't disappointed! The best part about it: I’m pretty sure it's better than Transformers! The movie is nothing short of amazing. Detailed, superbly designed, marvelous engineering and very creative technology... impressive stuff! If this movie had been released when I was young, I would have bought the suit from the supermarket and a few of the 6-inch figurines!"

Read Will2k's review here! (minor spoilers)

Friday, May 23, 2008

This week's highlight: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!






















Iron Man may have been sweet, but this is the summer movie that fans, the nostalgic, and movie aficionados have been waiting for. Enthusiasts love to laud Raiders of the Lost Ark as a cinematic gem, but intentional or not, the men behind Indiana Jones (among them George Lucas and Steven Spielberg) were actually only trying to put together an entertainment piece that homages 1930s adventure movies. Some people are already complaining about the lack of sophistication in Crystal Skull's storyline. But really, what were they actually expecting from the third sequel to a movie where a guy gets famously chased by a giant freakin' boulder?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A precursor of things to come

















Alfred Molina as the arachnid-covered "Satipo" in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Twenty-three years later he played Dr. Otto Octavius a.k.a. "Doctor Octopus" who gets to beat up Spidey in Spider-man 2.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Review: Speed Racer

"After seeing everybody’s reviews and comments and the poor box office results for Speed Racer, I’m more convinced than ever that for many people, including critics themselves, summer movies are all about action and special effects than they care to admit. Good stories, acting and direction are all but secondary, and act as mere leverages for critics to justify liking junk-food cinema. Speed Racer happens to be that rare movie to prove this hypocrisy, with a story and performances that are better than what you would expect from its ilk, delivering what critics often claimed to have wanted in their popcorn movies. Yet action and aesthetics were their foremost complaints when it comes to reviewing this movie, and somehow the plot, acting and direction (which were far from bad) got unfairly skewered in the process..."

Read my full review here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

This week's highlight: Chocolate!

Directed by Ong Bak's Prachya Pinkaew but sans Tony Jaa, Chocolate seems to embody more of the same martial arts action and stunts these two are famous for. The bare-knuckled hero this time around is actually a girl, played by newcomer Yanin "Jeeja" Vismistananda. Through the power of observation, TV and M&Ms, she learns the art of ass-kicking, and found it very useful when accumulating funds for her mum's cancer treatment. I just hope this is not another one of Pinkaew's desperate attempt to make a drama rather than an all-out beat-'em-up (Tom Yum Goong being the big offender), though admittedly the trailer looks sweet.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Marvel mania

Immediately after the rousing success and huge weekend opening of Iron Man, Marvel Comics' first fully self-financed movie, the comic book giant announced the release date for its sequel (30 April 2010), as well as a few other titles including Thor (4 June 2010), The Avengers (July 2011) and most interesting of all, Captain America (6 May 2011).

When I was barely out of my tod years, I was already a Captain America fan. I was too young then to understand the nationalistic inclinations of the character, but I was very much mesmerised by the superhero's cool, colourful costume and indestructible throwing shield. There was also something cool about him battling the Nazis during World War 2, who were led by a memorable villain called The Red Skull (who literally had a red skeleton for a head like Skeletor).

In restrospect, my little infatuation with the Cap seems a little embarrassing. Not just because he's a blatantly patriotic figure of another country, but because the whole concept of Captain America is as corny as the idea of a Sargeant Singapore or Major Malaysia. Today's movie audiences are more matured and cynical, and you can see it in their taste for flawed, complicated heroes (e.g. Iron Man, Spider-man, Blade, The Crow, Batman, etc.) Superman is probably the closest in terms of colour scheme and American ideals, but although Superman Returns' box office draw wasn't too bad, it got mixed reactions from critics and fans. Perhaps some people aren't very receptive to the traditional, wholesome, good-natured superheroes anymore. (My problems with Superman Returns had more to do with the handling of the story than Supes' outdated goody-two-shoes-ness, which I think could still work.)

Thus, an update to the concept seems inevitable. What would they need to change then? Make the character black, as one movie journalist had suggested? Update the costume to a trendier, darker colour like they did in X-men? Or maybe even change his name entirely? The First Avenger, anyone? How about giving him an Uncle Ben-like backstory to brood and sulk about and plot a revenge with?

I say a resounding "no" to all of these. You take away the stuff that makes this character unique - his name, his costume and what he stands for - and make him modern, darker and edgier, you might as well call the movie Blade 4. There is only one era where the Cap would not look entirely out of place, and it's in the early 1940s, on European soil, battling Nazi supermen. Think Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, or Indiana Jones or the opening sequence of Hellboy. If there's one thing the silver screen lacks today, it's superhero movies set in World War Two.

Of course, in The Avengers movie, Captain America would have to be transported into modern times to head a team of superheroes consisting of him, Iron Man, Thor and others (via WWII-era cryogenics technology; a la Demolition Man). I wouldn't know how the character's going to work then, but that's for the writers to fret about in these coming weeks.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ssstars...

Just noticed today that a rating interface has appeared on the blog's posts without warning. Do you guys see it too (it's very obvious at the bottom of every post), or is it just me? Anyway, the interface is a five-star rating system that allows you to rate the posts, I dunno, for literary competence or something. I checked the settings to see if it was one of the Freaks tampering with the blog, but no one has been authorised for administrative duties but me. Furthermore, there isn't a rating interface option at all in the settings. Could this be some kind of reward from Blogger.com? You know, either for using their services after a period of time, or just being a plain awesome blog. Yeah, probably the latter.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

High-definition... WTF?!

To me, there's no topic drier than a technical one (although the Tech Freak might disagree), but if you're planning to set up a home theatre system, there is really no escape from it. You might have heard about this whole high-definition (HD for short) craze that's going on, with people hoarding bargain-priced HD televisions (HDTV for short) at tech fairs as much as they do with rice (well, maybe just in Singapore). Then, there was this format "war" going on between the two HD formats, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. HD who, you say? To many people, they probably thought that Blu-Ray just burst into the scene recently and were oblivious to whatever "war" that was going on. Probably nobody cared too, because some of us are still transitioning from VCDs to DVDs! (Note: DVDs only came into prominence here in the first half of this decade.)

Of course, to fully utilise the prowess of your HDTV, you need to watch something in HD, and that thing could be either a HD channel from free TV or cable, or from a Blu-Ray disc. I don't doubt the awesomeness of watching movies in glorious HD (e.g. the Blu-Ray's resolution is six times better than a DVD's!), but it's still too early to jump on the bandwagon. For one thing, the Blu-Ray library is currently very limited, so a lot of your favourite movies might not be available in this format for years to come. Furthermore, Blu-Ray disc prices are around the range of S$50, compared to Region 3 DVDs, often priced between S$20-S$30. A Blu-Ray player costs around S$600.

Unless you have deep pockets, it's better to adopt a wait-and-see approach. Prices would naturally drop once the Blu-Ray market widens in the next few months, and it's not like the DVD is immensely inferior to Blu-Ray. If you didn't know, there are Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players that can "upscale" your DVDs, or artificially process the video from your DVDs into near-HD video quality, so, don't sell away your precious DVD collection just yet. The best time to start is either in 2009 or 2010. By then, legal movie downloads might have already become the norm, who knows?

Personally, I think the jump to HD is largely unnecessary. Unless you want to examine every pock mark on your favourite celebrity's cheek, the video quality on DVDs are already sufficient. The only time your eyes need the relief of HD video is when you're gaming. Us gamers are all too familiar with the eye-watering blurry graphics of past-gen systems, but the recent crop of HD-supported consoles have significantly lessen the visual strain, and probably improved gamers' endurance for marathon gaming sessions (to the chagrin of some parents, no doubt.)

Note: I never mentioned about Blu-Ray's audio quality because I'm the kind of person who can't tell the difference between 5.1 and DTS except that one is louder than the other. Thus, the prospect of having 7.1 surround sound in my movies isn't exactly something earth-shattering to me. You might want to ask or check out an audiophile's website for more info on this.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This week's highlight: Speed Racer!

Having never watched a single Speed Racer episode, I'm going into this one not as an anime fan but as a Wachowskis supporter giving the directors their second chance after flubbing the Matrix sequels. Though they redeemed themselves a little with V for Vendetta, but they only did the screenplay adaptation, while Speed Racer would be their true directorial comeback after The Matrix Revolutions. Looking at the promo materials, you'd be an idiot if you're expecting anything more than a silly kid flick. But I still hope that it's a good kid's flick, or if we're lucky, maybe some unexpected intelligence, Wachowski-style, in the script. (Though, based on early reviews on the web, its seems that our luck has ran out.)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Iron Man blasts his way into a US$100m opening

Looks like it's a slam dunk after all. According to Box Office Mojo, Iron Man easily took the number one spot for this week's top earners with a three-day weekend gross of over US$100 million. It also scored very well with the critics, with Rottentomatoes.com registering a 94% fresh rating from U.S. online film critics. Notably absent were reviews from Roger Ebert and Film Freak Central. Good luck next week, Speed Racer.

BMF Comics #10

See the entire comic strip here.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The BMF must write more

The great thing about blogs like Alvin Lim's, the authors don't post pictures and videos as much as I do. With Alvin, he writes and draws about office life quite regularly, and generated a lot of feedback and comments from them. So far, the most I've done was to bitch about money and suggest some ways to save them. It's not that I hardly write anything, just that I tend to write reviews more, and they're all located on the main site. The blog is a tool more suited for occasional, random thoughts or important news that needs to be posted up quickly, and recently I didn't have much to share aside from my opinions about the movies I saw. Furthermore, the original plan was to have the Freaks regularly contributing their literary geniuses here, but they have opted to plant their roots on a more liberating and irreverent blogsite. Still, it's not like the BMF Blog is experiencing a dearth of material. I'm still making sure that there's at least one blog update daily, but I'll try to write more and will promise to post less LOLcats pictures.


For your reading pleasure, here are some recommendations for the weekend:



and,



(cribbed from IMDb.com's Hit List)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Potential big hits of 2008


Seems like Will Smith has jumped on the superhero bandwagon. This one isn't an adaptation but an original screenplay that sounds a little parodic (Han-cock, snort snort), about a man imbued with superheroic powers who isn't exactly the best role model for children. With Smith's name in the top billing, it's a guaranteed money-maker. The only question is how much.

I don't know how anyone could ever take shoot-'em-up movies seriously anymore since last year's spoof-like Shoot 'Em Up. Ok, maybe you still can, since apparently not many people saw that one (which is a shame, because it's freakin' good). Angelina Jolie's latest is actually based on a comic book, stars Morgan Freeman and Atonement's James McAvoy, and has crazy slo-mo, shoot-'em-up action. (The heroes have the ability to curve bullet trajectories!) It's also directed by Night Watch's Timur Bekmambetov, so expect craziness in other areas as well.
Another silly comedy from Adam Sandler? True, but like Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, this one seems to have a bit of political angle to it. Sandler's Zohan character is a retired Israeli counter-terrorist operative who has taken up a job as a hairstylist in America. When a bunch of dormant Middle Eastern terrorists (one of them played by Rob Schneider) realised who he is, all hell breaks loose. It could be a wee bit clever if we're ever so lucky, but it's more likely to be condescending and pointlessly offensive. Still, the trailer was pretty funny. Expect it to be banned in Malaysia.