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.


Blogger Mary said...

I am a hopeless romantic out looking for some information on romantic beach. Bernzie, looks like you have put some work into your site. Well, it is about time I go back to looking for more information. Hey, thanks for the read.

November 17, 2005 10:18 PM  
Blogger jacob jiminhimer said...

Bernzie this is great!
It's funny how I was looking for this type of thing and found your post: Past movie viewings of 2004. It pulled me right out of my researching on surfing videos info and allowed me to sit down for a nice read. Thanks for your great job Bernzie. I think I'll hang out on your blog for a while and be done with surfing videos stuff for now. Have a good day Bernzie.

November 28, 2005 3:10 AM  
Blogger jacob jiminhimer said...

Well, is there something a little weird going on here? I don't know about you Bernzie, but my blog gets pretty cluttered with spammy comments from people. My advice to you as one blog owner to another, is to be patient and focus on the great things about having a blog, instead of all the junk that goes on. You do have a quality blog and appears that you enjoy it. My favorite web project so far is a surf video site, because I have total control and it makes me a couple dollars here and there. It's pretty hard to find new information on surf video stuff though. Hey, keep up your excellent job Bernzie, and good luck with your projects..

See ya ~

November 28, 2005 10:49 AM  
Blogger zack powers said...

Howdy Bernzie,
I'm impressed with what you wrote here in your Past movie viewings of 2004 post. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I was searching for surf videos information, but found you and I'm happy to be here - you have done well with topics that interest me. I might make a blog that looks like yours but about surf videos related stuff, (don't worry I wouldn't try to compete with you). You're doing a great job Bernzie.
You got a great thing going... by friend.

November 29, 2005 5:26 AM  
Blogger zack powers said...

Bernzie, what are we going to do...? I'm not sure about you but it's getting harder and harder to enjoy my blog because of all the spam it's getting attacked with. You may be having a similar problem... I enjoy my normal site about surfing video because it doesn't get cluttered with shallow comments, but when I'm visiting other blogs and places on the web looking for surfing video stuff it seems to be everywhere.

Well, good luck with your website goals. I wish you the best.

November 29, 2005 6:32 AM  
Blogger Alden Jace said...

Okay Bernzie, I don't know if you can help me, but I think maybe you will understand. I see all this crazy blog spam everywhere (I see some here) and I'm wondering if you know how we can stop it. I just have a site about surfing dvd, and I can't even go find information on surfing dvd without having to filter through all the junk. My blog gets totally bombarded with this rediculously spam. I hope you're not as frustrated as my self. Anyway, good luck with your blog, and let me know if you have any ideas...


December 01, 2005 6:00 AM  
Blogger Alden Jace said...

Aloha Bernzie,
I'm a visitor from Hawaii and just found your post Past movie viewings of 2004. I like it... it's interesting so I decided to read and say hi. Although my interests are mostly about surfing video related information right now, your blog got my attention and was a nice change. Thanks for your nice blog Bernzie, I think I'll tell my cousin to stop by if that's okay.
~ Aloha ~

December 01, 2005 7:38 AM  
Blogger jacob jiminhimer said...

Hey Bernzie...
Somehow I landed on your blog when scowering the net for surfing videos related information, and your post 'Past movie viewings of 2004' grabbed me so I stopped to read. Now I'm glad I found you because I'm trying to improve my site about surfing videos (don't blush :) and your blog here gave me some excellent ideas. Bernzie you are a quality blogger and I'm learning some good stuff by being here.

Keep your rhythm and good content flowin ~ and good job Bernzie.

December 04, 2005 9:10 AM  
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December 13, 2005 7:50 AM  

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