Movie Magic

This has got to be one of the most innovative movie trailers I’ve seen recently…

My only complain is that the editor for this particular trailer, like a lot of other trailer editors in recent times, seemed to have an ingrained and deeply felt prejudiced against people who do not suffer from epileptic fits. It is really disconcerting watching fade to blacks at cut throat speed.

District 9, poster, prawns, no non humans allowed

As a movie, District 9 is a bit hard to categorize.

I suppose it is considered more or less “mainstream Hollywood”, but it’s production budget is peanuts compared to the amount catered for brainless Hollywood “blow em ups” (I’m looking at you Transformers and GI Joe).

It’s an alien gore flick (think Predator, Mimic and…. ermm… yes, Alien) but the people running scared are the Aliens.

It’s a sort of apocalyptic disaster flick that is… *gasp* not set in America.

More importantly, it is one of those “multi layered” shows with a Message… yet… fun.

It’s one of those shows that everyone can find something to like or find something to hate.

Some “Critics”, which incidentally comes from the German words “cri” meaning “people who are” and “tics” meaning “blood sucking insects”, will no doubt scoff at yet another mainstream “brainless explosion filled” Hollywood flick being churned out of the mass production factory. Yet, some of them will rave about the “parallels to history” and the what a “dark satire” the film is.

Mainstream Hollywood flickers will hate the fact that there is a thinly veiled Message in the midst of their brainless explosions.

Regardless, I love the fact that even though Neill Blomkamp seems to have a Message to spread, the film does not take itself too seriously.

While it is no Iron Man, the special effects are pretty good given the (relatively) tight budget for the film. I HATE gore, but after getting used to the fun and innovative ways the show explodes people/aliens, it actually started becoming quite funny. The term “popping like popcorns” come to mind.

Best of all, I love its narrative structure. Just check out the first 20 minute of the film which sets up the rest of the show using purely “news footage”.

All in all, one of the best films I’ve seen this year.

Pixar, up, poster, balloons

ONE OF the best films, the other being Pixar’s Up, of course.

I don’t think the Girlfriend will ever forgive me if I did not at least give it a special mention. It’s sweet and, well… buoyant (pun TOTALLY intended).

I love how Pixar is able to tell a story and make you feel, really FEEL for the characters, even without dialogues. They have some master story tellers there that can tell a life’s tale in just 10 minutes. The story of Carl and Ellie has to be one of the most poignant and bitter sweet short films I’ve ever seen. I’m practically guaranteed buckets of tears every time she-who-shall-not-be-named watches it…. Much like the ending sequence for Tim Burton’s Big Fish.

Young Ellie Carl Up Pixarup carl ellie young in love

Like District 9, the visuals were truly stunning. Watching it in 3D (yes, with the dorky glasses) makes the experience even more vivid. It makes you just wanna reach out and grab some of them balloons off the screen.

And these 2 films, when you put them beside some of the brainless explosion filled flicks (I’m looking at you, Transformers and GI Joe) just showed that awesome CGI is just a tool for superb story telling. You cannot have a hot bod without a soul.

It’s amazing how much special effects have improved over the past 100 years. It’s not readily apparent. It’s like watching a tortoise grow. And you don’t realize it’s a big turtle until you put photos of the turtles all side by side.

Stupid Roald Dahl reference…

But all the special effects in the world is nothing without heart.

So, here’s to more movies with heart and soul. Awesome visuals help too.


2009 is gonna be a great year for movies

And here I thought Watchmen will be the only movie I’ll be eagerly anticipating…

Adaptation of the most “it can’t possibly be meant for kids” scary kiddy book that I’ve ever read….  And totally in stop motion…

And is it just me, or does authors have the most awesome jobs in the entire world????

Hulk rules!

He really does. I mean I do realize that people’re making fun of him for his  ultra stretchy purple pants. But that just means he’s sharing good company with Nacho Libre, right?

nacho libre, talking, stretchy pants

For a character that might or might not still be in current comic continuity, it was one hell of a movie. It IS obvious to everyone that the stakes of obscure characters tend to rise drastically once their movies hit the big screens, right? Where were Blade and Elektra before their big screen debut? (yes, I know, Elektra might’ve been a Skrull, but still..)


Anyway, Hulk boasts big action, gratitious amount of explosions and the use of cgi to a pornographic extent (what’d you expect? He IS a big green giant) but unlike other shows it doesn’t lose itself in the visual overload. *cough* Superman Returns *cough* In an either or situation, a mediocre story trumps top notch cgi, anytime.

And at the centre of Hulk was the story of Bruce and Betty, the story of Thunderbolt and Betty, and of course the story of Bruce and Emil around which the movie revolves. While Iron Man was a fun watch, it was a story of, well, ermm… a super rich man defending his money with his shiny, new toy. (don’t be mistaken, I’m still a fan of Iron Man) (a lil brainless popcorn dun never hurts anyone).


My point? Marvel’s been doing a pretty swell job of churning out epic, fun  (and slightly deep?) flicks that are accessible to the casual audience while not alienating it’s (hard)core audiences: pimply fan boys. Whoohoo!!

I know Lee Ang wanted his version of Hulk to be a tribute to fan boys everywhere and for the style of the show to be faithful to the genre (guilty confession: I am one of the rare fans. Gamma transformed poodles and all) but this Hulk is so much better. Both as a film and as a Easter Egg hunt for nerds (like me). It not only pays tribute to the comics but the old television series as well.

Hulk, TVhulk, lou ferrignohulk, lou ferrigno

I’m still deciding which got me more excited, Getting the old Hulk in as a security guard or that McGee was a campus reporter who captured the Hulk attack with his mobile. And one particularly nice touch is of course, the appearance of Stern and his eventual fate. Leader, anyone?

hulk, gamma poodle

Very nice indeed.

Let’s generate some traffic for this blog…

by jumping on the “Dark Knight” bandwagon… there… Surely I’ll get some traffic from the mere mention of the name “Dark Knight” (oops… I did it again).

It must be one of the most anticipated movie of the year and I guess the promoters are trying to generate all the hype they can before the movie’s release. Not that I blame them.. there must be shitloads of money invested into the show.

The thing is that this is such a large cash cow that there will be many people trying to milk it. And when there are so many people fighting for the same piece of pie, how do you stand out from the rest of them? The traditional answer to that would be to make your product so much better than your competitions’ that people will have no choice but to buy yours. But these days, I guess, the more cost-efficient way to do it would be to generate as much controversy around your product as possible, so that us desensitized zombie masses will sit up and take notice. I just thought that some lines will never be crossed… such as these…

heath ledger, joker, dark knight, action figure

Announced just weeks after Heath Ledger’s funeral, this stinks badly of cashing in. What makes it worse is the hypocrisy of over emphasizing that “the family gave their blessings” and that he will be “immortalized” by these actions. I guess the headlines says it all, that this might well be a “Cruel Joke”.

Anyway, just managed to catch “A Knight’s Tale” on TV (which was, of course showing a Heath Ledger marathon). Am quite amazed by his on-screen charisma. What can I say? Medieval knights dancing to rock and roll…. rocks! And hence, this outpouring…

But then, I’m probably just taking this wrongly, or as this too cool to be true poster ask:

Joker, Heath Ledger, Poster

Despite my complains of the insane publicity involved, I have to admit… They sure know how to make some really cool posters….

batman, dark knight, poster, bale
dark knight, poster, heath ledger, joker