Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A DVD a day keeps the blues away .....

Update : My weekly addiction - Californication season 1, Dexter Season 1, Entourage season 4, Desperate Housewives season 4 and Prison break season 3.

I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry - without Jessica Biel, a hopeless comedy and waste of time

Invisible target - the same fellas from 'Dragon Tiger Gate' team up again. Well done indeed except for a tad too much unnecessary drama (probably addded to give it deeper characterisation or substance).

Die hard 4 - it can only get better especially after the last sequel. Would have been better if they took out the cheesy sidekick (what's with all these young actors and roles eg. transformers, disturbia, etc.... we don't need these characters to appeal to the young-lings, do we?)

War - not too bad at all, was expecting worse based on past Jet Li movies. Quite properly done

Planet terror - if you love old cheesy zombie gore, this is for you. A waste of talent and publicity

Shrek3 - this series should have stopped somewhere in the middle of Shrek2, it's getting mundane

Invisible - was expecting something bigger but fell flat with nothing original

The contractor - give it a miss

Pixar shorts - a collection of Pixar shorts from the past, good for a short laugh

Vacancy - simple and predictable but yet done properly, entertaining especially with yummy Kate Beckinsale.

Zodiac - a long true life movie which purposely drags the viewer into a frustrating search for truth. Must watch

Employee of the month - if you love Waiting, this should be nice for a slow weekend. Hypermarket culture.

Reign over me - a drama which sees Adam Sandler in a serious role but one which puts him in familiar 'nutty' territory. Quite uplifting.

Rise Blood Hunter - a female Blade version wannabe. Not bad.

Bourne ultimatum - I think was the best of the series, showcases the skills of Bourne and his character. A great ending or is it?

Breach - a surprisingly interesting low-budget movie, revolving around a true story and its characters performance

Ocean's thirteen - always entertaining to see how the big plot comes into play, always a pleasure to follow

Knocked up - light comedy which doesn't meet my fancy, too much bumming around maybe. End scene caught me off guard though.

Harry Porter and Order of Phoenix - way past the intrigue and mystery, this series is getting flatter despite the book sales

Grindhouse Death Proof - latest Tarantino offering, it falls flat for me.... too slow and way too much dialogue that was not as engaging as Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill.

Last Mimzy - one for the family, a scifi fantasy that's quite entertaining.

Spiderman 3 - sucks just as much as Spiderman 2, it was just unbearable to see the human drama unfold. Action made up for it.

Flashpoint - if you love HK's SPL, this will be fun. I just love the fast fighting scenes... ruthless and very very dangerous. Jujitsu is amazing! Donnie Yen is absolutely my favorite kungfu star... gone is Jacky Chan who's become slow and comical.

Evan Almighty - not as good/funny as the original, raises too much questions and doubts. But still entertaining.

Shaun of the dead - after HOT FUZZ, I traced backwards to this movie. It has the same style and comedy, but lack of substance and not as funny. Fun though.

The Contract - unexciting. Morgan Freeman and John Cusack can't save this wreck at all.

Ratatouille - well done indeed. Beautifully made, animated and delivered. Heartwarming and fun. A must to my animation dvd library

Fantastic Four 2 (silver surfer) - light comic to movie adaptation.... entertaining. Nothing serious. I'm hoping comic movies are made more adult-like and dark.

Disturbia - a familiar plot (Fright night? Rear window?) but at a teenager level... quite juvenile. Actor gets on my nerves, similar to Transformers

Wild hogs - a super star male cast in a road trip lighthearted comedy. Sometimes too wacky for my taste.

Fracture - a nice murder mystery thriller, thanks to creepy and mysterious Anthony Hopkins.

Simpsons the movie - with nothing much different from tv series, it's the usual silliness. Nothing grand.

Meet the robinsons - Well done animation story, which brings heartfelt emotions to the package. Recommended. A must to my animation dvd library

Captivity - quite entertaining.... directing style feels like SAW or SEVEN .... .sexy girl in serial killer situation... winning formula :D

Hot Fuzz - If you love stylistic crazy directing and comedy eg. Snatch or Lock Stock Smoking Barrels, this kept me laughing all the way. Highly recommended

Mr Bean's Holiday - definitely much worse than the first movie BEAN. Not worth watching

Smoking aces - quite confusing / overwhelming at first.... so many actors/characters to absorb and the conspiracies ... phew... but entertaining, if you love KILL BILL or assassins kind of movies eg. LUCKY SLEVIN

I think I love my wife - a romance comedy with Chris Rock about infidelity and marriage life.... fun and easy going

28 weeks later - in similar fashion, this sequel has the shaky cameras and quick pacing

Perfect stranger - a murder thriller, which leaves an after taste

Shooter - an impressive action packed movie and with one of my favorite low-key actor, Mark Wahlberg

Transformers - the movie to watch since a long long time as far as I can remember. Going into the movie without any idea of the plot, directing, casting, etc., the experience was exhiliarating. Surprise after surprise, the movie unwrapped to a full blown action packed hi-tech battle, it's the to-die-for dvd to get. The amount of details and tech are unbelievable. Forget about the cheesy and simple comic relief, enjoy the ride.

The Fountain - a weird life-death movie, with beautiful cinematography.

Ghost rider - a standard super hero offering, not a very grand scale production ie. standard special effects and not spectacular visualisation of ghost rider... a little fake or animated, imo. Feels like buffy kind of offering. Still an entertaining comic adaptation

Reno 911 miami - crappy police-academy wannabe movie.

Music and lyrics - not many romance comedy dramas these days. With the right chemistry, acting and mood, this was quite decent. Quite uplifting and light fun. Hugh Grant is still a constantly blinking, twitching and flustered kind of character... love or hate.

Next - simple but yet entertaining action/thriller plot. A cross between time travel or what-if scenarios reminiscent of Butterfly effect or Sliding doors?!

The hitcher - moderate slasher-kind of movie, for nothing to do afternoons

Pan's labyrinth - a fairy tale with a dark twist. Not for the kids viewing. Leaves much to the after thoughts. Beautiful cinematography.

Perfume : Story of a murder - a movie many claimed couldn't be made from the likes of Scorcese and Kubrick. A brilliant captivating movie that captures the senses (literally speaking) engulfs the audience into a world of beauty beyond the obvious, one can really relate to the murderer's motives.

Waist deep - a simple in-the-hood action story featuring B-list actors. Passaeble if nothing to watch.

Man of the year - Robin williams suits this role to the T. Nice comedy and drama overall.

Epic movie - spoofs of spoofs, this is a waste of time and intelligence. Not funny at all, just silly.

Open water 2 - sequel to the tragic true life story, this is another tragic could-happen-to-anyone kind of incident. A ridiculous situation but one that can't be ignored.

Deja Vu - from the likes of Michael Bay, this movie is highly recommended. Fresh and from a different perspective (pun intended), it manages to keep me rooted and wondering how it all ends.

Tenacious D and Pick of Destiny - if you love Jack Black and his recent rock movies eg. School of Rock and Nacho Libre, you will definitely love this hilariously rocking movie. Based on actual rock band and songs of his, the lyrics are out of this world and the soundtrack will be a good demo for any HT system. Check out the hilarious THX spoof trailer at beginning (THC the audience is baking).

Tenacious D-Complete Masterworks - if you want more of these guys, this is a collection of their concerts and tv shots

This film is unrated - a documentary of sorts about the controversy surrounding the MPAA and its ratings, influencing the creative juices of the film industry. Interesting material.

Miami vice - despite poor reviews, I found this tv spinoff, an interesting movie. If you love movies like Heat, you'd love the intensity and drama of law enforcement/criminals. The undercover work and suspense kept me hooked. Recommended.

Pirates of the caribbean - Dead man's chest - the novelty seems to be wearing off for me. Is it becoming more silly or is it me? Midway through the cannibal scenes, I have left my serious-action movie-expectation downstairs. A fun watch.

Over the hedge - of the recent animal animation offerings, this has got to be my favorite. A nice mix of wacky characters and their mini adventures.

The banquet - a visually well made movie but story-wise, left me with many questions and dissatisfaction, perhaps done on purpose for the artistic impression, instead of the usual kungfu variety.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Year 2006

Note:- You will notice the recent marathons of korean movies. Yes, I've gotten access to many and have patiently sat thru quite a few, warranting a summary of my overall perception of korean movies. In short, they are an acquired taste ie. not of the norm... more often than not, slow paced, sometimes weird and purposely confusing with endings which may be un-agreeable.... in other words, not mainstream. Maybe that's why many of them are succesful and getting rave reviews in Cannes or international film festivals. On the other hand, romance movies are usually mainstream though.... but still slow paced.... takes a lot of patience to sit thru but sometimes it pays off. Many a times, people will have different tastes and perceptions of what's good and not. For me, I only go for mainstream plots/stories and easy to grasp at first viewing... so there you go.

Renaissance - french live action animation of sorts, stylistic mystery thriller

Severance - british slasher thriller, funny and fun to watch

Behind Enemy Lines2 - grade A wannabe movie, with some interesting plotlines in sync with recent North Korean nuclear tests

Hanbando - a political thriller raising anti-japanese sentiments amongst the korean scene, fiction or true, it will reignite past hatred

Friends with money - a sad human drama of a movie, about different couples and their lives. Jennifer Aniston's star power doesn't quite liven up the mood

Stormbreaker - the beginning was promising thanks to short-lived Ewan McGregor, but quickly turned south becoming a 'Spy Kids' kind of movie. Even Donnie Yuen's choreography may not liven this up

Butterfly effect 2 - a sequel of the same theme, it doesn't bring a surprise element, but yet draws audience into a twilight zone mystery

Who killed the Electric Car - a documentary movie which raises many insights into technology advances or backwardness

Pirates of Silicon Valley - a nice biographical movie of sorts about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs rise to power.

Break-up - another one of those War of Roses couple plots, hyped up by Aniston-Pitt breakup.

Thank you for smoking - a nice intelligent movie about the cigarette industry and the power of the gab. Star studded cast.

Kisses and caroms - if you love Clerks, Waiting or Chasing Amy, this low budget well-done sexual comedy movie is for you.

Da vinci code - a treasure hunt reminiscent of Indiana Jones Last Crusade or Nicholas Cage's National Treasure, with twists and turns. Entertaining

X-men 3 Last Stand - this 3rd instalment lost its sense of surprise or awe. Everything seems all too familiar. Whatever happened to Nightcrawler, Sabretooth, Toad, etc.? Superpowers on screen are getting boring for my liking.

Click - a nice family romance comedy, involving dummy Adam Sandler and yummy Kate Beckinsale. Must watch to realign one's priority in life.

Superman returns - another superhero movie revamp, this was a boring experience for me. Villian is uninteresting and nothing much to say about the hero, except for a little 'surprise'

Silent hill - videogame to movie, this was well done ie. spooky and mysterious throughout. Plot is multi-layered and require much interpretation, if one is not familiar with the game.

City of violence - quite a nice action packed kill-bill-revenge-popcorn-kungfu flick

Devil wears prada - nice uplifting movie about the fashion industry, success ladders, cold bosses, employees, etc.

Dragon tiger gate - aside from the cheesy and imo irritating-Nicholas Tse-overdone stylistics, this comic to kungfu movie is well done, production-wise

Triangle miniseries - captivating x-files of sorts kind of miniseries involving quite a fair no. of actors

Bloody aria - one of those funny situations (what-if) which either keeps you wondering or just quit watching

Mr Wacky - too whacked (not funny) for me

Daisy (데이지 - De-i-ji) - korean love story shot in Netherlands mixed with cop and assassin plot. Light, slow and typical korean style.

Update (June 2006) :-
Bought my first korean original dvds from Technomart (a great place for dvd bargains - new and 2nd hand) :-
- Memories of Murder LE 21,000
- Sympathy of Lady vengeance 19,000
- Old boy FE 20,000
- Kung fu hustle Box set 20,000
- Shaolin soccer box set 7,300
- Public enemy 10,000
- Bittersweet life 19,000

Inside Man - Wow. I can't even remember the last good Hollywood movie I watched (it's that long) but this takes the cake. Really good characterisation, witty and interesting towards the end. A simple and captivating bank robbery. Highly recommended.

Typhoon (태풍 - Tae-poong) - an action-packed international crisis sort of movie. Didn't relate to the characters. Pacing was rushed and time-chronologically mixed up to make it look exciting, but it didn't work for me though.

Friend (친구 - Chin-goo) - a story almost similar to "Once upon a time in high school" but with a darker twist. I feel parts of story were rushed or didn't linked, causing a gap in my feelings towards the characters and their motives.

Arahan (아라한-장풍 대작전) - if you like Volcano High or martial arts with some wire stunts, this movie should be fun to watch. Comedic at times.

Tristan and Isolde - a good historical Briton vs Ireland braveheart kind of movie and a love story in between

Failure to launch - a good romance movie... good casts.

Running scared - Paul Walker in a non-stop twist and turn series of action sequences, interesting, grim and fun.

16 Blocks - Bruce willis in a character role best suited for him.... a wasted cop with bad hangover. Much better than his previous 'Hostage' movie. Good watch

Matador - an up and down movie about friendship and a messed up assasin. Quite fun watch.

Once upon a time in high school - school experience in the 70's... good fun, with some romance and fight scenes. Ending is typical of Korean directors, swaying from the norm.

Forbidden quest - a period drama, interesting and funny at first then it became dark and miserable. Pacing is slow. Still visually interesting

Guns and talks - assassins and friends... quite enjoyable... fun.

Romance - korean love story of the disturbing kind... very pretty pan-asian looking actress.

King and the clown aka King's man - highly acclaimed period drama that topped Korea's 2006 boxoffice. I expected more but it was a downhill experience... from good spirits to typical Korean aftertaste ending. The overall visuals are excellent though.

Mr Housewife aka Quiz king - a heartwarming story of family, career and romance. Funny too. Recommended

My girl and I - a simple story but told in layers. A goofy guy from Sassy Girl with a very pretty girl.

Il Mare a love story (Siworae)- crybaby Ji-hyun Jun in another romance drama. An interesting twist of sorts in this parallel time travel romance.

H - psychological suspense/murder mystery. Decent effort from korean movie. Girls would love the male lead actor.

Cheaper by the dozen 2 - not as good or funny as the first.

Hoodwinked - animated spoof of Red Riding Hood and fairy tales. Not as funny as Nemo or Shrek ... decent effort.

2 guys - mediocre korean mafia/action/comedy. Too wacky and irritating to appreciate main actors.

S diary - mediocre love scorned drama/comedy. Promising at first, but what happens later, I guess producer/director changed vision midway.

Donnie Darko - an old cult movie, confusing and weird... left much to own interpretation ie. mine is "dream of the alternate/possible future" similar to Vanilla Sky

Moment to remember - another nice korean tragic romance story, great for couples

Addicted - first come first serve love, in difficult situations. Incomprehensible end.

Attack the gas station - though highly praised as an anarchist kind of movie, I found it mediocre... quite frustrating to watch such a situation unfolding ... all buffoons. Expected laughs but none... was mostly just intelligence insult.

Running wild - as this korean crime movie unfolded, it looked promising at first .... and as it slowly dragged on with drama and more frustrations about how stupid law enforcement can be, I finally gave up my enthusiasm in the end.

Please teach me English - korean goofy comedy.... just goofy

April Snow - a familiar plot (from Harrison ford movie, I think), with 2 favorite casts from 'The Classic' and 'Winter Sonata'. Average.

History of violence - simple but engaging. Bam... when it hits, whoa!

The Classic (클래식 - Classic) - korean romance... beautiful cast, beautiful cinematography, beautiful soundtracks ... just beautiful.

Sad movie - korean drama, a mix of stories similar to Hollywood's 'Love Actually' but opposite in emotion.... star studded. Good for tearjerking relief... picture speaks most.

Fever Pitch - decent romance comedy revolving around baseball, from the Farrelly Brothers. Good chemistry between Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon.

Art of seduction - korean comedy.... playful

Sweet sex and love - korean romance sizzler, equivalent to 9 1/2 weeks but more daring exposure ... all about sex... gets boring after a while. Come to think about it, korean movies are the most daring of all asian film, in terms of sexual scenes.

Basic Instincts 2 - sequel not as steamy or interesting as the first. Perhaps the main actor or non-chemistry or less sex. Plot is all too familiar and predictable.

Battle Royale - japanese movie about a game of death revolving around students in an island. Mediocre.

Samaria - so far, 3 viewings... and not finished yet. Suspected it, checked IMDB and behold, it's another from Kim Di Duk. Will see how it ends out of curiosity. Human drama.

Boondock Saints - irish vigilantes with a priceless tough gay FBI agent (Willem Dafoe). Funny as hell.. had me ROTFL with Dafoe's forensic analysis each time. Some Tarantino elements.

Memories of Murder - korean murder mystery, based on true story set in the 80's in a small village, the mood is haunting yet peaceful. As usual, pacing is not as expected.... ending was typical yet leave some form of aftertaste. Comedic performances keeps the mood up with well balance drama. Captivating. Critically acclaimed movie.

Rumor has it - romance with some comedy, interesting storyline with 'The Graduate' mixed in. Jennifer Aniston as her usual Friends character. Not bad.

Scarlet letter - another korean murder/drama/romance story which was paced too slow for my taste.... yawn

Amazing race - latest episode in Italy. Another disappointment.... didn't want the losers to go.... sob!

Germany next top model - Lena Lena Lena ..... I'm for you!!!

Bad news bears - baseball & family/kids kind of movie... mediocre

Desire - another one of those silent korean movies... slow as hell. I'm going to avoid any poster/cover that involves 3 lovers .... hehehe

Beauty shop - black comedy with mixed bag of hilarious characters eg. Kevin Bacon as a gay austrian hairdresser is a classic and Alicia Silverstone as black-girl-wannabe with country-girl accent.

The Big White - 'Fargo' meets 'Big Lebowski'.

3-Iron - korean movie of the weirdest so far... amazed how I sat thru it all. Critically acclaimed, just too artistic for me.

Stay - what a surreal mind-trip. Good cast (Ewan Mcgregor and Naomi Watts) keeps you hooked and from stopping the movie till the end.

Haute tension - french slash & dice thriller... quite interesting. Makes me think back about the movie.... still figuring it out.

Nanny McPhee - beautiful fairy tale of a story. Feel-good movie.

The Alibi - great cast and con movie of sorts. Rebecca Romijin seems to be putting on the pounds.

My tutor friend (동갑내기 과외하기 - Dong-gab-nae-gi Kwa-oi-ha-gi) - korean romance comedy with some kungfu action.... refreshing and playful.

Domino - gritty bounty hounter action with lots of cast ... Keira Knightley, Lucy Liu, Jacqueline Bisset, Mickey rourke, Christopher walken, etc.. Experimental editing and flashscenes... distracting at times.

Prime - nice romance light-comedy w/ Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep in hilarious situations.

Waiting - Finally finished the show. Good fun. Makes you think twice ever eating in a restaurant. Never going to order extra sauce, fromunda cheese, garlic salt and anything with alfafa.... hahaha. The restaurants 'game' is hilarious.... the look, the brain, the bat, the abe lincoln and the goat... wat a finishing.

Descent - just another creature horror movie centered around women lost in a cave.

Anthony Zimmer - french thriller, refreshing and twisting. Nice.

Amityville horror - well-made remake, jumps you at all angles. Great for bright afternoons.

Top chef - another reality series, gunning for best chef title. Decided to give it a shot and turned out good.... amazing how each contestant has its own style and ingenuity on each challenge.

Sympathy for Mr Vengeance - the worst of the trilogy from Park Chan Wook, slow moving and hauntingly quiet.

Waiting - teen movie with Ryan Reynold.... the usual slackers sex-themed kind of comedy. Some funny moments which unexpectedly crack me up hard.... "no mix of Mexican and Continental" scene... priceless!

Ice Harvest - halfway thru. Pace is slow but seems promising with good cast.

Fun with dick and jane - Expected more from Jim Carrey. Some goofy funny moments but otherwise not very good chemistry from Tea Leoni and Jim.

America's Top Model Season 6 - After watching Germany's season 1, it's disgusting to see the quality of girls selected out of thousands in America... still... there are some hopefuls

Fearless - nicely done kungfu movie of historical character. Isn't it nice to watch a movie set in shanghai, when in shanghai... hehehe.

Family stone - Lots of good cast keep family holiday comedy interesting. Land of the dead - Gore and violence galore.... fun.

Screaming and kicking - not funny and waste of time

Just friends - beginning was promising, but crashed onwards

Derailed - decent thriller of a movie, good cast.

Garden State - not for restless viewers... slow moving. Syriana - no big deal. Li'l confusing and slow... had to tolerate till passed half of the movie.

Good night and good luck - as interesting as the color of the movie The Aristocrats - weird, interesting and funny, amazing how this concept can be pulled off

Dungeons and dragons 2 - Made for tv but fun. Great raid - decent war movie, inspired by true events. Jogs my anti-japanese fire.

Lord of War - good story and insight into the world of weapons and war.

North Country - expected more of this, but was just an extension of the known events/outcome (human drama) ... unsatisfying.

Kiss Kiss bang bang - nothing great murder mystery... but had some funny moments.

SAW2 - more gory than the first. Prefer the first better.

Constant Gardener - nausea-tic camerawork reminiscent of Blair Witch. Non-satisfying overall.... boring in the beginning, interesting somewhere in the middle but fall flat after.

Napolean dynamite - crap

Kungfu mahjong 2 - crap

Sleeper cell series - slow moving but seems interesting, hopefully the calm before the storm

Munich - uninteresting

Zathura - similar to Jumanji

Aeon Flux - crappy except for Charlize In her shoes - drama (thought it was comedy)... yuck

Must love dogs - romance drama/light comedy ..... uninteresting actors

Doom - no-brainer action.... great for bored nights... similar to resident evil

Harry Porter and Goblet of Fire - getting worse as series progresses... trying to confuse audience (or readers) with bits here and there.

King kong - beginning and ending sucks, the middle rocks with action. I think there has been some omissions... trailer scenes are not in the actual movie.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Year 2005

Crash - a mix match of intertwined character stories addressing the issue of racism and mix culture of the US. Gritty and in your face, the real US maybe (i dunno, haven't been there)... nothing like those pretty USA neigbourhoods of Sex and City or rich Beverly Hills. Great movie.

A lot like love - a likeable love comedy story, considering if you like watching Ashton Kuscher and Amanda Peet. I enjoyed it with my better half

Wedding date - a romance comedy. Main casts weren't exactly my favorites, but story-wise quite ok.

Hide and seek - Without Robert De Niro, this movie would have bombed. Still, an alright but maybe non-fulfilling flavor.

XXX2 - this is wat a good combination of directing, scripting and pacing will do to even a sequel... a good action movie... nothing B-grade or cheesy.. just good old fashion entertainment. I think this is even better than the first movie... even tho the lead was less appealing.

Kungfu mahjong - another one of those shallow gambling and silly offerings from Wong Jing.

Unleashed - probably a chance for Jet Li to show some acting skills, overall entertaining.

Hostage - familiar plotlines of difficult life threatening scenarios to the tune of Die Hard thanks to the Bruce willis unshakeable image from past movies.

Guess who - nicely done comedy with the right hilarious cast of Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher.

Million dollar baby- this is one example how a simple story mixed with a good script and good acting, can garner so much praise and awards. Addictive watching.

First Daughter- light hearted teen romance comedy, nicely done, worth a watch.

Hitchhiker's guide to galaxy- Expected a lot from this movie, but was somehow made to look low-budget or BBC-like (or accidentally made). Overall interesting story. But if u expect Star wars CGI, forget it.

Monster in law - one of those in-law movies, reminiscent of Meet the parents and so forth, nicely done.

Pacifier - warning, this is for kids only unless you love to watch Vin diesel trying to act adorable or funny.

Sin City - a mixture of characters in a Dick Tracy-Comic style format, I found the script bad and corny. Overall, interesting watch.

Constantine - finally, a nice change from the mediocre movie offerings. A comic-based movie about good vs evil, supernatural and with lots of razzle dazzle. Definitely a good watch for any action/horror freak.

Sahara- an action flick worth watching, nicely done. Not too corny or fake.

Alexander- to me, this movie was boring. It probably dwelled too much on the characterisation or history of Alexander in detail, but as for movie dramatization, not exciting for me.

Hitch- superb romance and swinging comedy worth watching for couples.

Assault on precinct 13- breath of fresh air, to see some new faces in an action thriller. Recommended.

Blade trinity- this has got to be the least serious of the whole trilogy... with the introduction of the 2 sidekicks. But still fun to watch. The first movie remains to be best and most intense.

Alexander- this has got to be the most boring of all roman/gladiator type of movie. Lots of daring nudity. I had to watch this at least 3 seatings.

Seoul Raiders - the sequel to HK's Tokyo raiders, this is just another sad production excuse of an action movie. Throw in Tony Leung, some pretty co stars and some action/crime story, they expected the mind-dead consumers to lap it up. Wrong.

Saw - one of the greatest suspense thriller that keeps you guessing to the end, similar to Seven. Chilling, disgusting and dark, this is a not miss. Superb.

Series of unfortunate events - was expecting the silliness and childishness of The Grinch, which I didn't like. But turned out to be fun to watch throughout, magical and beautiful in cinematography and tickling.

Elektra - nothing much spectacular, some cool action scenes now and then, but you can expect to see Alias superheroine performing similar stunts and fighting scenes, but using her trusty weapons, 'Sais'. Not a very convincing ending but still fun to watch.

The Jacket - a mix between the craziness of "12 monkeys" and maybe "Butterfly effect", this was average, nothing to shout about.

Alfie - a delightful movie regarding relationships and flirting. If u love Sex n the city, this movie is for the single guys and the too-late-to-turn-around married ones.

Flight of the Phoenix - a movie with characters of sorts, similar to Con Air. As usual, some characters are irritating to the bone. But certain scenes made up for it. Especially when related to the dangers of the desert, which was quite trivial.

Meet the fockers - sequel to the 'Meet the parents', this one was weaker than the first as it tries too hard and ridiculous at times. Rather be watching reality shows on tv.

Exorcist Beginning - nothing great. I was expecting more from the prequel but turns out to be one of those mambo jumbo horror flick.

Kungfu Hustle - the latest movie from Stephen chow since Shaolin Soccer, this was much anticipated and awaited. It does not dissapoint in terms of comedy and slapstick. It excels in the fight scenes and chinese-comic-depiction of kungfu power, thanks to the superb choreography of Yuen Wo Ping and the CGI. Of course, the CGI are overdone and may look fake, but who are we kidding, right? For those who loves such from Matrix or Spiderman or even Shaolin Soccer, this is the movie of the year for me, IMO.

Ladder 49 - a much acclaimed movie and well received feedback from friends, I was dissapointed. Felt more like drama or some kind of tribute to firefighters. I thought it would be something like 'Backdraft' with some twists in between but nope, straightforward plot.

The Grudge - this has got to be one of the scariest movie I've seen from start to end. I had to watch it in broad daylight and in a small tv environment (not my usual big screen in dark room). Just for scares and not much original plotline, this is one for creeping out your girl for hand holding sake...hehehe.

Taxi - a flashy movie involving fast car action and drop dead hot girls. Very entertaining provided you can tolerate the irritating lead actor's antics throughout.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Past movie viewings of 2004

Little Black Book - a romance comedy involving weird twitching acting from leading actress (which irritated me somehow) ... interesting though with some fresh moments.

Finding Neverland - seems to have received good attention due to oscar nominations. But was dissapointed and bored throughout with this familiar theme and period drama.

Paparazzi - a surprisingly entertaining movie with B-list actors with fancy camerawork and directing to keep viewers hooked.

Supersize me - a documentary of sorts, similar to the fashion of Fahrenheit 911, this is about fast food experiments and controversies. Interesting and a whole new light of how the industry is overdone overseas. Locally, there doesn't seem to be a problem here.

Old Boy - a korean movie long overdue. This movie is stylish directing and captivating plot rolled into one, causing the audience to spin and reel in awe and curiosity. One has to follow thru to the end for it all to slowly make sense, which btw seems to be the korean norm. Entertaining.

Friday night lights - a football movie of unknowns except for Billy bob. If you love Any Given Sunday, this is for you... uplifting.

Catwoman - didn't expect much from this, considering the trailer didn't do it justice. However, due to some fancy camerawork and CGI similar to Spiderman, this was entertaining but didn't really cut it for me.

Cellular - a surprising action thriller which managed to carry itself well to the end, a recommendation for those who loves plots of 'difficult situations' suspense similar to 'Phone Booth' or 'Speed' or 'Liberty stands still'

The Aviator - a movie about the genius and madness of Howard Hughes. This movie potrayal reminds me of movies in the past eg. Beautiful Mind or Confessions of a dangerous mind. I find the predecessors better to my liking. Still entertaining and intriguing to see such characters from real life.

Harold and Kumar go to White Castle - from the people who brought you 'Dude where's my car', one can only guess what kind of comedy this would be. If you loved the latter, this is the movie for you. The 2 new characters brought to life from previous movie supporting roles are actually quite good in terms of acting and comedy. I think this was a funny movie especially with the cameo roles here and there. Entertaining and recommended if it's your kind of tea.

The Forgotten - a mysterious suspense story throughout dealing with a very familiar plot. Keeps you guessing and hooked towards the end. Not one of those big budget sci fi kind of razzle dazzle but still entertaining.

Return of the king box set - much awaited online order from Amazon, this package really took its time ie. 1 month. But the wait was worth it... the extended movie was all I could hope for, dazzling picture quality (think this is the best of all the trilogy box sets) and more extended action scenes. It is very debatable if the extended scenes are more effective or necessary, but it is always a novelty and seamless to have it all in one piece.... despite having to split the movie into 2 discs. Throughout the whole trilogy, I feel the extended versions are more complete (not only the characterisation of the movie or more story depth) in terms of the action scenes.... the scenes now actually has a start and a satisfying end..... instead of a quick end to a victory for the good guys. As for delicious extended action scenes in ROTK, it is so satisfying to see more of the ghost soldiers, moghul lord, saruman and the orc general against Éowyn. It's so much more fun with more action, don't you think?

Resident Evil 2 - Not very fancying the first one due to its corniness or low budget feel, I still had to catch this one for the sake of entertainment on boring days. It turned out even cornier and unbelievable. Don't get me wrong for I'm a sucker for action and out of this world disaster movies.... but when the producers throw in a few lara croft babes and more exagerrating-than-john woo kind of action, my enjoyment stopped somewhere. At some point, I just wanted to watch how it all ends or hope for a nude scene (especially the new eye-candy-Linda Evangelisata-lookalike babe), in order to get thru the whole movie. Still, this may be someone's cup of a tea.

Shark Tale - another animation movie following the success of Finding Nemo in the underwater world. Trying to be of a different style and cliche, I think this movie still kinda falls short of its originality and overall experience. It has its comedic moments. I think this falls under a more lower age genre. Still, entertaining at best just to enjoy its animation and spoofs at our real world.

Open water - a simple movie about a true story of being abandoned in open sea and the first hand experience of the ordeal. Shot in video, the picture quality is similar to Discovery channel of sorts. Throws the audience into the perspective of the main cast, it's quite scary being in that situation. Entertaining.

The Village - a typical suspense from M.Night Shymalan, one can expect the same kind of pacing and spookiness similar to Unbreakable or Signs. But nothing like Sixth Sense of course. A twilight zone equivalent of a story, not bad.

Incredibles - a highly anticipated movie, I had to watch this due to the many positive ratings and reviews. However, as expected, I overestimated. I didn't really have the same wow-ed experience as when I first watched Finding Nemo. This was just one of those normal superhero team kind of movie, mixed in with some family drama. The powers are all too familiar, coming from a Marvel and DC childhood exposure, I thought it was nothing new. Overall, I find this movie more weighted towards children instead of adults. Finding Nemo was much more well balanced and new, for the whole family... with the wow animation and humor in a whole new dimension. This movie's animation was nothing new, the backgrounds were boring and plain, I must say, aside from some cool ones eg. waterfall and lava walls. Humor wise, not very tickling. Still, it will be good entertainment in the daytime. Save the nights for something with more uumpph.

Wimbledon - from the people who brought you 'Nottinghill', this is a romantic comedy of sorts. Not really liking the stars of this movie, I decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised. The directing, chemistry and pacing of the movie thrown in the world of sports, entertained me very much. Recommended.

Collateral - a movie from the same person who gave you 'Heat', one can only expect character building and slow pacing. Whole movie centers on Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. Think movie was shot in some form of video format unlike film.... smoother but homemovie sort of feel. Action is sporadic and overall thrill is not too bad. Average.

Anacondas - the sequel to the low budget kinda-hit Anaconda with sweaty and not-so-famous-then Jennifer Lopez, one can only expect more sweaty babes and hunks this time ... plus more action. That's what we get. This time, more CGI.... which to certain extent may turn out not believable in terms of movement and logic. Still, one can't be too picky for this genre... it has its action and suspense.

Duplex - a much neglected comedy from Ben Stiller, due to negative feedbacks ,but due to lack of options, popped this on a quiet afternoon. And of course, chances of negative reviewed movies turning out to be good was always high.... it did turn out nice. As usual, Ben portrayed the lame excuse of a guy and one can only expect disaster after another. Overall, it was tastefully paced and done... some laughs here and there. I would say it's not as dumb as 'Envy' or 'Dodgeball' and somewhere equal to 'Along came polly'.

New Police Story - continuing from the success hits of Jacky Chan, I've been eagerly waiting for this after some positive feedback. This time, Jacky is having a new role (no longer in sync with the previous Police story series) and a much serious dramatic one. I think this movie is trying to emphasize more on the character building and drama, compared to the action which I had hoped for. Some familiar stunts and usual fight scenes, but nothing much to shout about or haven't seen before. Nicholas Tze is of course the worst mistake anyone could do to a movie.... his presence is just too unprofessional and uncalled for, brings down the level of the movie to an immature standard. Otherwise, overall entertaining.

Three.... extremes - continuing from the previous offering, this is another collection of 3 thrilling stories eg. japanese, HK and korean. Slow moving, artsy, taboo-ish and twilight zone-like.... your choice.

King Arthur - expected the usual medieval robin hood or gladiator/Troy kind of movie, but was pleasantly surprised. It's actually a mix between Roman and medieval/barbarian kind of movie, a little like the 13th Warrior. Even though, most were unknown actors, the performances throughout were good and movie was entertaining throughout..... a touch of Bruckheimer's pizzazz/soundtrack. Wanted more action/gore but less than I wanted. Still, a must watch.

The terminal - movie based on a real person stuck in US airport, this movie had its funny and drama moments. Still, draggy at times. Tom Hanks as usual at his best with accent and all.

Untold scandal - a korean period drama/romance movie, similar to Dangerous Liaisons or Cruel Intentions. Interesting and refreshing to watch, in the beautiful period sets and costumes. Must watch.

Thirteen - a nice drama about the growing up of a teenage girl ie. the downs and ups. Scary influence for teenagers and a wake up call for parents. A must watch.

The Eye 2 - sequel to one of the best horror movies from HK, I was expecting the same thrills and chills from the pilot. But was dissapointed, plot holes and unsatisfying story ie. just another excuse of a horror movie by throwing in shocks and creepy scenes all over.

Taegukgi - a korean war movie. Well, it's an old genre and hard to appreciate without comparing to the likes of Schindler's List, Platoon, Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers. The effects and action are done well though. So if you are looking for an asian flavor and has the hots for the male stars, this one's for you. But if you are looking for a nother Saving Private Ryan, not it.

Fighter in the Wind - a korean movie about a real historical character (legend) involving lots of fighting, revenge and misery. After a while, I found it all too familiar, had to fast forward past the slow moments straight to the fights. The fight scenes are nothing like HK movies or HK choreography. Missable.

Everybody has secrets - another korean drama/romance movie taken scene for scene from the movie About Adam (starring Kate hudson). If you haven't seen the latter and prefer an Asian flavor, this is entertaining.

Love Battlefield - a HK movie, involving crime/violence and love story at the same time. It's entertaining and dark, but towards the end, lost its shine as though the director got tired or lost enthusiasm. Ending was unsatisfying. Overall, passable.

Kaena - a beautiful animation (but not as good as Final Fantasy though) involving sci fi characters, with adventure and some drama. Captivating at times and dry at other times. Still, may prove to be entertainment for the whole family

The Clearing - was expecting a suspenseful thriller of a kidnapping story but was dissapointed to the end. Overall, concentration was more on the drama and love story of an elderly couple... yawn.

Ella Enchanted - if you love Shrek or Princess Bride, this movie is for you and those young at heart. A fairy tale and a funny one at that. Get this for the whole family.

Stepford Wives - a tickling comedy of sorts with starstruck cast. Quite entertaining.

House of flying daggers - another chinese stylised movie, in the likes of Crouching tiger or Hero, which at best tried to amuse, but fell short of its uniqueness. Just another love triangle kind of movie, which falls flat in action and conclusion. Great cinematography and locations shots though.

Breaking the rules - a black people comedy show. Quite interesting and funny. Otherwise, it's nothing spectacular... male lead actor Jamie Foxx is funny as usual.

Bourne Supremacy - similar to the 1st movie, this one had less substance. If I had to choose, I'd prefer US Marshalls or the Fugitive.... same genre and more character.

Nip and Tuck 1st season - a nice change of drama mixed in with the high society life of plastic surgeons, interesting perspective. Gory and unbearable surgery and sensitive scenes.

Soul plane - heard of this movie from trailers and was tickled enough to get this spoof comedy. For the most part of the movie, it was funny and poked fun at the soul culture... reminded me of the Airplane series from Zucker. But towards the end, it was too ridiculous. Had potential.

Chronicles of Riddick - had high reviews from AVS forum members and was anxious to watch it on a Friday night. But was dissapointed in some ways, movie was too much flash and CGI for my liking, lacked the intensity of Pitch Black. Still lots of eye candy and sound effects.

Envy - a typical Ben Stiller (pathetic character) mixed in with Jack Black (goofy) kind of movie. If you like their kind of movies, this is for you. Lacked substance for me though compared to past movies like Something about Mary or School of rock.

Raising helen - was looking forward to a romantic comedy but was hit with an emotional family drama of sorts. Had its romantic and comedic moments. A tad dramatic for me.

Harry porter 3 - always interested in catching Porter's stories considering the wild imagination and fun from the previous 2 movies. But was sadly dissapointed with this one, as the pacing was slow, action was less and the plot was just to confuse the audience (or the reader). At the end of the movie, I was like trying to recollect or summarize the whole purpose of the story and came up with plain useless hype of a plot. I expected better.

Dodgeball - simply put, if you love Baseketball or the exagerrations of Ben Stiller in Zoolander, this movie is for you.

Star Wars trilogy box set - this box set has got to be the best released in terms of remastering of picture and sound ever... period. I couldn't believe my eyes looking at the whole trilogy in pristine and high-def precision, everything was clean and spotless....even better than the new dvd's of today which are put to shame. I couldn't immediately spot any usual artifacts, scanlines, grain or edge enhancements whatsoever. Sound effects could never be better considering the age of these movies. Together with the new CGI scenes Lucas added in and retouched throughout, it's a whole new experience watching it and noticing new details altogether. A must get, for all dvd collectors.

I-robot - a sci fi thriller action, one will associate with the style of Minority report and it is! Cool futuristic feel and look, an eye candy of a movie unlike Bladerunner or Mad max kind of grimy world. Good old fashion murder and conspiracy movie.... put in Will Smith and you have a witty action movie the likes of Independence Day.

Ladykillers - movie's pacing is slow as hell, till I found out it's a Coen brothers' movie and that's expected. Not very fullfilling, still with Tom Hanks some may think differently.

Immortal - a Final Fantasy kind of animation mixed in with real actors and sets, this movie is testing a whole new trend of movie making. Still, the pacing falls flat and the plot confusing right up after the ending, what was the whole movie about actually? I don't know and don't want to find out further. Still an adventurous attempt.

Windstruck - a korean drama comedy, similar to the fashion of 'The Sassy girl'... same director and actress. For the romantics.

Troy - was hesitant to watch this, considering the overkill of similar movies recently ie. Lord of the rings, King Arthur, etc.. Turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Sufficient action and drama throughout to keep me hooked.

Spiderman 2 - Watched this last night.... didn't really like it. Too much drama and no kick. And again, the CGI sucks... similar to the first movie and Matrix burly brawl ... but not as bad as Van Helsing.Preferred the first one overall. Think they are overdoing it in characterising the movie.... we get it,... c'mon.... Peter Parker is just a young dude with superhero powers... get on with it.... sheesh. If everyone in X-men is like him, I'll puke my guts out watching. Peter was just too pathetic (loser) .... my wife kept commenting throughout the whole movie.
And please do not bring the goblin back in future sequels.... the costume and packaging sucks. Bring the real comic goblin look, if they must..... which looks more natural and scarier.

Mean girls - another Lindsay Lohan movie and I must say is very similar to 'Teenage drama queen'. If you liked the latter, this will entertain. Nicely done college teen drama comedy.

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind - always loved Jim Carrey's movies so far (well... except The Grinch).. was really looking out for this one. Turns out to be one of his serious movies (similar to The Majestic) and a cross with Being John Malkovich kind of sequencing. Overall, interesting and twisting entertainment.

Moving targets 2004 and Heat Team - comparing these 2 HK movies, the latter is more entertaining. The former is just a series of rushed sequences just to get the popular TVB series storyline finished within the movie run time.... dislike Nicholas Tse's acting and style.... sickeningly fake.

Day after tomorrow - another big budget end-of-the-world production from Emmerich (Godzilla, Independence Day, etc.), which is unsurprisingly huge in CG and visual effects. Action wise, not much but still was entertaining throughout, with emphasis on drama and characterising. Visual treat nevertheless and worth watching.

Laws of Attraction - a love story between Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore, which I found quite dry in terms of comedy and chemistry. Maybe I'm not used to seeing both in different roles especially comedy let alone romance. Overall, unsatisfying.

One night in Mongkok - a HK movie about triads and the underworld in the busy streets of Mongkok. I think the choice of actors in their roles here were inappropriate. Daniel Wu is jjust too clean cut and goody-two-shoes and Cecilia is just too beautiful and clean for this role. Overall, think director just wants 2 good looking actors to capture the audience in their relationship. Slow paced at times, thought it just needed more grit and grime to make it worthwhile.

Aliens vs Predator - a mix of reviews. But for me, as you may already know from my past likes, this movie was hard to hate. I enjoyed it throughout, the suspense and thrills brought back previous memories of watching the Alien and Predator offerings. Dark, futuristic/sci-fi like and scary at times, this was a treat to my senses. Suspending my disbelief was easy..... seeing both creatures on screen and scaring my wits at all times, was worth my money in the THX hall of KLCC. Can't wait for the dvd release.... demo material for sure.

Open range - an overdue western movie on a boring afternoon, this was one of those typical westerns.... showdown in the end, drama from the start and throw in some love... average. Picture wise, the dvd delivers with the open fields and scenery captivating me throughout. Good picture quality and pounding sound quality.... demo material.

Twisted - a promising thriller from the beginning. The ending could have been more impactful, but nevertheless overall entertaining with performances from Samuel Jackson and Andy Garcia. Ashley Judd is eye candy on screen.

Confessions of teenage drama queen - now who is this Lindsay Lohan, who seems to be popular these days in the teen scene... I dunno, but watching her in this movie, I think she has potential. Movie is typical teenager adjusting to college life in a small town, kind of drama and teen fun. Overall, entertaining and tastefully done.

Hidalgo - similar to Seabiscuit, a true tale about a man and his horse. Set in the desert and in the open western plains, this movie is a visual treat, the dvd delivers in picture quality. The story is simple, about a race. Pacing is at times slow, but overall an interesting tale.

Punisher - movie was alright but thought it lacked the action and violence. The pacing was kind of slow. Thought Man on Fire was better in terms of vengeance and grit. Still, a much better rendition than the previous 'Dolph Lundgren' version.

13 Going on 30 - a very familiar story.... little girl transforms to an adult and so on. Compared to Tom Hank's 'Big', this is a little less dimensional and dry. Found Jennifer Garner overacting to project herself as a kid, in fact I thought the 13 year old kid was more matured than her at 30!!

Code 46 - a mix in styling similar to Gattaca and Blade Runner, set in the future regarding genetics and drama. Slow pacing and dull, as expected from such futuristic dramas ... remind me a little of 'Lost in Transition' but this is set in Shanghai.... some scenes looked like Hong Kong but who cares, it's in the future somewhere. A miss.

National Lampoon's Dorm Daze - a college teen movie, revolving around some characters, intertwining sequences causing havoc and drama throughout. Not that funny compared to Van Wilder. Still, some nudity and usual nonsense may make up for the silliness of the plot. Still a miss.

Dawn of the dead - not another zombie/undead kind of movie. After '28 days later', I was hoping for more promise. But still fall flat in terms of satisfaction. A pass.

Zaitochi - a japanese movie about a lone samurai master, with a plot similar to tv series 'Kung Fu'. Impressive swordsplay but too quick and not enough flash. The pacing is quite slow and I had to fast forward thru some scenes. I think I'd be better off watching Chinese kungfu movies ie. more action.

Taking Lives - a murder thriller with Angelina Jolie. Promising at first, but got tiresome in the end, with the plot being un-original and predictable. Still, worth watching Jolie pouting and flashing now and then.

Bubba Ho-Tep - a strange tale of mixed characters, funny if you like 'Army of darkness' one-liners and Bruce Campbell's style. Pacing is like Twin Peaks, surreal and weird. One must be alert to watch this thru. I fell asleep midway in the afternoon.

Mindhunters - a promising crime thriller at the beginning, but as it progresses the plot seems too familiar eg. D-tox or I saw what you did last summer 2. Entertaining, but not inspiring.

Breaking News - Another Johnnie To movie, entertaining as usual. Interesting camera work ie. check out the one-take sequence at the beginning of the movie - impressive coordination. Finishing wasn't too satisfying but still, interesting throughout.

Fahrenheit 911 - Dying to watch this after the recent big boxoffice sales and controversy around this documentary, as well as my liking to 'Bowling for Columbine'. The beginning was interesting right up to the part about the Iraq war and that's where it was slow and old news ie. considering war and the effects on people are nothing new after all the war movies we've had eg. Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, etc. Overall, interesting to know about the going-ons in another part of the world.

Walking tall - a remake and a true story. Quite impressed with The Rock's acting and action capabilities recently eg. Rundown, Scorpion King, etc. Otherwise, the story is typical small town and big hero stirup kind. Decent entertainment.

Van Helsing - always wanted to watch this movie for my fondness of mythical creatures but was dissapointed. This movie was so bad in the effects/CGI department, it was almost too cartoony and fake that I couldn't suspend my disbelief anymore halfway thru. And the musical score was a little far fetched, I think...almost campy/corny. The whole movie would have been better as an animation IMO ie. sequences were too meshed up with exaggerated action, CGI, rushed pacing and plotting. I think 'Underworld' did a much better job than this mixed bag of tricks in terms of effects and plotting. You have been warned.

Starsky and Hutch - not again, another partner/heroic duo/buddy movie. I'd say the funniest character in this movie has got to be Bunny (Snoop Dogg). Set in the 70's, it's quite interesting and tickling to watch. Aside from that, nothing much to expect from such a movie.

Kill Bill vol.2 - a not to be missed sequel of the popular vol.1, this is Quentin Tarantino. Vol.1 had more chop suey action and this vol. had more drama as well as dialogue, but nevertheless still enjoyable. Only Tarantino can pull off any scene or sequence that draws the audience to it, be it the twisted dialogue, catchy facial/body/acting, that special something.... it's talent and leave you wanting more. Highly recommended.

Passion of Christ - the greatest story ever told, simple and powerful.... very moving. Depicting the capture to the crucifaction of Jesus Christ, the short sequence consisting of flashbacks, is very dramatic and simply wonderful from director Mel Gibson. Highly recommended. Very inspriring.

Man on Fire - entertaining movie about kidnapping and conspiracies. A mix of 'Ransom' and 'Kill Bill' (?!!). The trailer did not do justice to the movie though. Recommended.

Girl Next Door - a delightful teen movie, since American pie. Better than recent offerings eg. 'Eurotrip', 'Old School', 'American Pie2', etc. Lots of eye candy.

Bowling for Columbine - an informative and controversial award winning documentary about firearms and the culture of America, consisting of interviews, news clips, etc.. An insight into what may come from the recent hit 'Fahrenheit 911' from Moore. Interesting and thought provoking. If you are looking for a movie proper, this is not for you.

Shrek 2 - A must see if you love the first one. This has the same if not more, laughs and pokes at fairy tales characters throughout. An entertaining CG effects movie fiesta for the whole family.

28 days later - a dark movie about another version of the holocaust or zombie/evil dead movie. Was expecting a lot from the movie considering the director did Trainspotting which I liked, but I must say am dissapointed. Unsatisfying. The after taste kinda reminds me of some movies in the past ie. Invasion of body snatchers, The Hidden, They Live.

Monsoon Wedding - long ovedue and sitting on my shelf, this is a delightful Hindi drama about love, family and traditions. If you love movies like 'My big fat greek wedding' or 'Parenthood' or 'Father of the Bride' but with an Indian/Bollywood touch, this one's for you.

Matchstick Men - another con movie but at a slower paced and smaller scale, more drama involved. Hardly the type of movie from director Ridley Scott. Unsatisfying.

Cold Mountain - how do I describe this or compare this to.... hmm... let's see. For example, if anyone's watched 'Far and Away' and liked it, you may like this long movie. Some critics complained about the lousy chemistry or slow pace, but I've seen worse for sure. Maybe I like Nicole Kidman (she looks nice) and don't mind Jude Law. Overall, satisfactory but not worth a re-watch for sure.

Mona Lisa Smile - a chick flick and similar to the fashion of past teacher-students movies eg. Dead Poets Society or the more current Boston Public. Quite entertaining, considering the known actresses involved and the good drama involved.... and also art being taught, something I'm not familiar with or appreciative of.

Roger Dodger - a simple movie consisting of good scripting and real situations, revolving around a handful of characters about courting or swinging, all within one night. I was quite drawn into it, considering the subject of interest and the curiosity of the end outcome. Probably similar to the fashion of Swingers or Lost in Translation where nothing much happens, except the connection of the characters to the audience.

The Phone - a korean horror film similar but not as entertaining/unique as 'The Ring'. The concept from 'The Ring' has been rehashed and retold in so many forms, it's getting tiring eg. Fear dotcom. Watch this if you are a horror fan and not had enough of 'The Ring'. Average.

Koma - a HK suspense thriller. With the actresses involved (from The Eye and Inner Senses), I was expecting a typical spooky movie about ghosts and the supernatural. But turned out to be one of those typical murder mysteries. Not satisfying, considering the genre being better covered in Hollywood.

Identity - a movie from year 2003 if not mistaken, one which I was reluctant to watch, thinking it's one of those mindless slasher movies reminiscent of Scream or the recent slew of offerings. The first few minutes got me interested immediately, with the different form of story-telling and as the story progresses, it wasn't as straighforward or easy-going as we thought, with twists and mind-bending parallel stories. Innovative style of slasher movie, i must say. Together with a host of known actors/actresses, a recommendation for those seeking suspense murder genre. I would say this was as good if not better than Final Destination (the first one, not the sequel).

Hellboy - controversial in Malaysia due to the term 'hell' (duh!), title was changed to Super-Sapiens (double duh!). Yep, that's the mentality of the movie boards ie. over-protective and underestimating the public's ability to differentiate between right and wrong. This movie is typical comic book action projected on big screen ie. loud, colorful, active and a need to suspend disbelief. Similar to 'League of Extradordinary Gentlemen'... fun to watch. Wished it would be darker and more serious, like Underworld or Blade.

Jiang Hu - another one of those hyped-up HK movies, which disappoints me. I expected more after previous offerings of 'Infernal affairs' and PTU, but this really kept me hoping throughout the movie only to fall flat in my face at the end. A miss, unless you are easily wowed by the appearance of Andy Lau or Jacky Cheung.

Enter the Phoenix - typical HK comedy mixing triad, kungfu and comedy. Forget this.

Big bounce - Simple and light entertainment, expected from Owen Wilson. Mix of eye candy from lead actress and sun surf, baywatch mania and a con, nothing special or great.

Elf - After 'Bad Santa', this definitely is the milder version suitable for all in the family. Light hearted, silly (as expected from Farrell) and family type of holiday movie. Not for my future repeat viewings for sure.

Bad Santa - a comedy which may be funny to some but not to me. I guess the idea of throwing profanities around kids is not my kind of humor, as oppose to 'Beverly Hills Cop' type of swearing. Another case example of comedy that doesn't appeal to me, but is a favorite for majority.

You got served - a dance movie reminiscent of 'Breakdance' era, with predictable drama but with eye candy and super-excellent dance routines/choreography, to suffice watching on a bored afternoon.

First 50 dates - this movie, I tried to stay away due to Adam Sandler, but with the wife's decision, sat through it anyways and was pleasantly surprised. Adam is less spastic/goofy this time round. Turns out to be a nice interesting romantic comedy, for which I can't remember the last good one ever saw... maybe 'Love Actually'. Worth watching... much better than 'Wedding Singer' or his recent goofs.

Around the world in 80 days - yes, I know I mentioned hating movies with heroic duos or partners/buddies especially with comical antics from Jacky chan. But, it's another dry dvd season, I can't help NOT watching anything... hehehe. Anyway, as expected from this kind of movie, the action and the budget is good of course. The comedy is dry and silly. The plot is expected. The sets is elaborate and takes you *well* around the world, naturally. So, like me, watch it if all else fails. Hmm... should I risk myself with Starsky and Hutch later?

Butterfly effect - this is an interesting movie ie. kind of suspenseful thriller. The story may sound familiar as it progresses but it really kept me guessing and interested towards the end, in the late hours of the night, with my wife. Ashton is good here for a change from his usual goofy roles. Recommended.

Secret Window - a Hitchcock thriller. Another interesting movie for night viewings, despite lack of originality towards the end and satisfaction quality. Yet, for those nights of deprivity, this is one for the road. Besides, Johnny Depp always intrigues me .... strange fellow from his previous movies/shows eg. 21 jump st, sleepy hollow, edward scissorhands, nick of time, fear and loathing in vegas, etc.

The Missing - a cowboy/indian-ish kind of action/thriller. The beginning of the movie was promising (dark and mysterious), but as it progresses, it turned out less intriguing and more like tv entertainment. Still, Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones, saved the movie with their presence. Some nice scenery and surroundings... after all, it's the wilderness. Your call.

Inner Sense - HK movie starring the late singer/actor Leslie Cheung who coincidentally jumped off the mandarin hotel in Hong Kong, subconsciously linking the incident to the movie. As usual, HK horror movies are the creepiest compared to Hollywood's offerings ... this is one not for the faint hearted (best to watch in daylight). Scary in the beginning but plot reveals itself as it progresses. Quite satisfying watch.

PTU - a HK movie, by Johnnie To who did previous hit 'Running on Karma' by Andy Lau. This is a definite recommendation from me. I'm impressed by the directing and cinematography of the whole plot which is simple, yet dark and twisting. A different perspective and appreciation of the black/white situation of cops/agents/detectives on the beat. Who trusts who, one must watch to the end for closure. So suspicious and sinister, till it made me laugh out in guilty-conscious appreciation.

Runaway Jury - nice movie of twists, cons and court case. Good entertainment, recommended.

Warriors of heaven and earth - HK/china movie trying to capitalise on the 'Hero' craze by Jet Li. But failed considerably. Fight scenes are un-interesting by HK standards. Plot is not captivating enough. Otherwise, average. If you expect similar to 'Hero' or 'Crouching tiger Hidden Dragon', forget this title.

Gothika - from the trailers, I was expecting a mega-spooks fest equivalent to exorcist or sixth sense. But, it kinda reminds me of 'What Lies Beneath'.... spooks in between but plot intertwined within. Worth watching and recommended. Good picture and black quality.... sound is obviously chilling.

Irreversible - after shelving this movie for a long time, decided to watch it on a lack-of-new-dvd evening. It was definitely a NON-feel-good kinda movie. My wife disliked the first 30mins of the movie due to the surreal and on-purpose-twisting NYPD-Blue kinda camera movements. Overall, the controversial rape scene with hot-eye-candy Monica Belluci is the main reason for this movie's existence. A fresh experience always in regards to foreign movies ie. bold nudity and no-holds-barred scripting. Your prerogative.

Swimming pool - a part english part french movie, mysterious kind of movie but quite interesting enough to catch my attention to the end. Especially with those eye candy of the young daring actress. Worth a try.

Down with love - a nice change of a romantic comedy for once. Quite tickling, with all the classic clothing, posture and style reflective of that period. Recommended

Savior - was recommended this old movie. Upon finishing it, I have to say not worth it despite the nice production. There's nothing new from this war movie except for more remorse or drama from the usual war sufferings. Still, Saving Private Ryan or Platoon are the tops.

Confidence - a nice movie about cons and murders, similar to Ocean Eleven but darker. Nice acting and twists. Recommended

Cat in hat - a kiddie movie for sure, but quite refreshing for an adult, considering the beautiful production and props/sets. Eye candy. Story-wise, if you love Grinch, this one's for you.

Peter Pan - a classic fairytale. This movie is not my cup of tea... maybe it's the acting, maybe it's the lack of production quality or maybe it's just me ... didn't seem to like Hook previously. Otherwise, it's for the kids, nothing fancy.

City of God - a portugese movie about the slums of Brazilian life, with intertwined stories of characters in a close-knit society of thugs, crooks, the low-lives. Interesting directing/cinematography .... similar to Tarantino storytelling and NYPD blues (nauseatic). Quite engaging yet disturbing kind of movie. Not for general viewing but for odd niche tastes.