Reviews

126 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Avatar (2009)
10/10
It ought to draw us to debate the love-hate relationship of science and technology!
20 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
It's interesting and it's exotic, and so imaginatively rendered! Indeed, a cinematic thrill-ride! The film's CGI effects deliver a natural and unspoiled world to compare with a world of machines, and its digital characters are gorgeously stunning to behold! And the film does seem like one amazing futuristic action-battle razzmatazz, directed with the most uncanny computer-generated 3-D technological feat, James Cameron's epic film is, in fact, an eco-minded epic, gastulated with the most humanly issues, universally familiar ever since the colonial times. Indeed, the film's rich themes are immensely dark! Indeed, its story injects themes of colonization, imperialism, militarism, cultural differences and cross-cultural communication, and genetic engineering...all of which any misstep taken could be disastrous to peace, nature and humanity.

Needless to say, this film does again echo Cameron's trademark film themes of corporate greed and the love-hate relationships with technology. Indeed, like the love between Jack and Rose in Titanic,' this love between the movie's Jake and Nevtiri, is solid that could only wither when 'death doth them part.' And in war, there will always be those who'd be willing to fight as long as it's a just war, as exemplified by Michelle Rodriquez' Trudy.

James Cameron's film captures two worlds... Earth that is highly and technologically advanced and which we are familiar, and the other, a seemingly 'primitive' and physically-fit civilization of the Pandora planet, in which terrain and life remains little altered since God's generous Creation! The year is 2154, the year when modern and advanced technology has given way to the moist exclusive and unique weaponry and robotic achievements for war and science does allow avatars to be created for one human race to look like another.

Wouldn't anyone be as flattered as Sam Worthington's Jake Sully to be selected to be as part of the exploration team of the exotic Na'vi world, especially when it's headed by the brilliant botanist, Sigourney Weaver' Grace. After all, their mission is for the good of human curiosity, scientific research, and knowledge! After all, Jake does understand that his twin brother had died while on the same mission, and that, he has the same genetic match of his brother to easily replace him without posing any unsuspecting lab complication. As we follow the wheel-chair bound Marine veteran in his avatar status into the Pandora planet, what is captured is so amazingly dreamlike. It's a world filled with mysticism, and in which nature thrives in absolute pure beauty and in abundance, with blue-skinned, golden-eyed, and very tall and slender beings functioning with and around nature, and complying with nature's forces... sans technology; sans machines. Indeed, an absolute contrast to Jake's own harsh world of man-created machines and scientific labs! Though the presence of Grace serves to remind Jake of his mission, it is in Pandora that Jake finds his rebirth of life.... his ability to walk and fly without constraints, a refreshingly new way to live, and he is also falling in love. And Jake does enter a world in which unimaginable creatures, like viperwolves, thanators, and banshees,roam!

Oh, I do love the scenes in which Zoe Saldana's Neytiri, under the order of her mother, the Na'vi shaman Moat, teaches Jake the survival tactics of the Omaticaya people. My favorite moments are when Jake tries to control and bond with a banshee, and later, with the Direhorse! But when Jake discovers the real reasons for the interests of Center's Administrator (Giovanni Ribisi's Parker Selfridge) and Stephen Lang's Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang) in the Pandora planet, will he continue his mission? The Pandora planet has a rich natural resource, a rare and valuable mineral called unobtanium, deposited beneath a Hometree. Will Jake continue his scouting for Colonel Quaritch's soldiers and lead them to the mineral deposits? And will Grace and all her team members, including Jake, support the exploitations of Pandora's inhabitants? Will Jake betray his Earth people and can he be able to win Neytiri and the Na'vi people's trust? What if he goes against Selfridge and Colonel Quaritch? After all, these evil and greedy two have access to the lab that controls his avatar!

What follows is our observance of the character dealing with their conscience, as Pandora continues to face attacks and destruction, both from ground and from air, as nature and people are blown to bits! The amazing CGI effects make the battle - between Earth's military-industrial forces and the oppressed, arrow-bearing inhabitants of the Pandora planet - very engaging. And Director Cameron does take his story to its climax, ultimately reminding us that nature is not a force to be reckoned. And ultimately, this film is about 'good' winning over 'evil.' Every character, human or digital, is interesting to follow, providing his or her conscience to his/her role in delivering the film's themes, And overall, the film is spectacularly mesmerizing and very enjoyable!
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Invictus (2009)
10/10
A marvelous film to flash us back to South Africa's most precious historical moments...
8 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Indeed, a lovely and feel good movie that reminds us how a nation so stricken by apartheid and rebellions, and 14,000 civilians dead, is able to heal, and its turning point in history in reconciliation and strife for democracy. Director Clint Eastwood's film does pay tribute to both Nelson Mandela and the captain of the previously hated Springboks rugby team, Francois Pienaar for the Springboks's epic win against New Zealand's All Blacks with the final 15-12 score at the 1995 World Rugby Cup, as well as for their initiating the first major step towards white and black South Africans living together in acceptance. And that famous hand shake we see in the film really does speak a lot.

The match between the two teams at Johannesburg's Ellis Park Stadium in 1995 is so phenomenally presented on screen. Boy, it does look so real that I can't help myself cheering for the Springboks as if it's a life event! Eastwood, too, brings humor in the film. Boy, that famous moment with the All Black's gigantic superstar being tackled near the try-line by the big size Springboks defender! And the black and white Presidential guards gradually building up their trust in one another! These are so captivatingly funny. And with minutes ticking and Stransky does his amazing kick, sending the ball almost 100 ft to strike the drop goal to deliver the final score for Springboks' victory is so stunningly awesome! Fabulous film direction from Director Eastwood! The scenes with Matt Damon's visit to the prison are extraordinarily chilling, and fabulously crafted... reminding the viewers of the 27 yeas of prison and hard labor Mandela had to go through in his fight for his people's freedom against the NP's apartheid programs. Director Eastwood's film offers incredible spot on with facts, to include the Springboks' green and gold jerseys with their Springbok and Protea emblems! And, after the Springboks made their epic win over the All Blacks, watching Morgan Freeman's Mandela presenting the trophy to Matt Damon's Francois Pienaar while wearing a Springbok shirt with Pienaar's own number 6 on the back, it's impossible not to be touched by that scene. Indeed, the many, who had watched that particular match in 1995 Rugby World Cup, can relate to that scene as seen live on TV worldwide.

Morgan Freeman does play Mandela to a tee, Mandela's frailty, his gait, his charm and the way Mandela talks and smiles! And Damon is also no lesser credible as an Afrikaner rugby captain! Anyone familiar with Francois Pienaar would be able see Damon and Pienaar's physical builds are pretty similar. Boy, oh boy, do I love his Afrikaner accent! Indeed, my best feature film seen so far for the Oscar race. A true work of artistic film-making value that superbly unfolds South Africa's major historical events and moments! To observe the faces of hope on screen is so heartwarming. I certainly hope that this film and both Freeman and Damon would be getting Oscar nominations.

I really can't wait to get all my family members and friends to see this film! Best feature film I've so far seen for the Oscar race!
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Up in the Air (I) (2009)
6/10
George Clooney charms, mesmerizes... the film is George Clooney!
4 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Jason Reitman's film is clever, mesmerizing with numerous scenes succeeding in stirring up laughter, and has a host of memorable images of very expressive faces of characters ... at least for only the first 30 minutes before it gradually glides into tediously silly sub-plots. Luckily, the film does have George Clooney to keep the audience's eyes glued to the screen from scene to scene. In the same way Ellen Page's charming presence took over literally every scene in Reitman's Juno, George Clooney is built into every scene to charm the audience. Every other character is merely playing second fiddle to his screen prominence.

Clooney is marvelously captivating throughout the film. Indeed, he is the film. Yep, he's the Cary Grant of the 21st century and does deliver style, confidence, elegance, and phenomenal acting talent! Yes, he appears so iconic, immaculate and savvy in his suit! His stylistically, suave and handsome Ryan keeps the audience's eyes glued to the screen, and immensely charmed by Clooney. Clooney is Ryan, and Ryan is Clooney! Everything else, including the out-of-place and silly subplots, like the wedding scenario, and Reitman's awkward cameo scene, becomes secondary. Yep, Clooney holds the responsibility to make or break this film!

Vera Farmiga's Alex (at times, reminding me of Leelee Sobieski.) does try hard to steal the limelight from him, but fails. Her character is unconvincing and superficial, her moods and expressions pretty one-dimensional. Her acting performance hasn't changed much since her Madolyn in "The Departed", The interactions between her and Ryan seem too theatrical even with her flirtatious ploy, and there is no convincing chemistry between the two. It does make me wonder if that is meant to be a hint for predicting the story's ending.

Anna Kendrick's Natalie is an oddball, marvelous when exhibiting her peculiar and oft times, bizarre behavior. She is the only character in the film capable of stealing the momentary limelight from Clooney's Ryan. In a strange way, the camera seems to be focusing consistently on her set of teeth, at different angles, to make me wonder if they are meant to arouse laughter, or that they are elements relevant to her performance. Overall, the Natalie character is not very interesting. I doubt I'd miss her if she's written out of the script. Maybe, her character is meant to be there to pose challenges to Ryan's career security? Hard to tell!

CLOONEY DOES DESERVE AN Oscar NOMINATION. He is the story; he is the film, and he grabs the viewer's attention from scene to scene, allowing them to overlook any brouhaha, the tedious and slow pacing of events, and the silly subplots with little bearing to the film's initial 30 minutes of plot and themes. I was very glad for the film's ending before Clooney's Ryan starts to lose his complete poise and savvy disposition, and sinks to the same silliness exhibited by Natalie.

Clooney is fabulous; the film/storyline, overall, is mediocre.
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10/10
It's funny; it's insane, but it does have its tragic moments...
15 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
As this is the last film of Heath Ledger's performance and he died without completing his role, I did have my doubts as to how this film can ever be completed. As an avid admirer of Terry Gilliam, I knew that this film is on my top list of 'must-see'. Having seen it, I'd have to say that it's a cool, grand, grand and wonderful tribute to Heath Ledger. If you are a fan of Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, TimeBandits, and Brazil, this film is certainly for you! Yep, the scriptwriters - Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown – have reunited to write the script for this film.

Set in modern-day London,, the colorful scenes do bring to mind the Charles Dickensian days as well as of the Medieval times. The story plays out across two different worlds as we follow the characters -- the real world and the magical dream world and fantasies that transform from reality. Indeed, the Terry Gilliam deliriously kinetic expressions frequently juxtapose the screen!

The story begins with Christopher Plummer's Dr. Parnassus, an elderly and mysterious traveling and seemingly meditating in horse-drawn theater. With him is Andrew Garfield's Anton who hosts the show to attract the attention of the passersby. Dr. Parnassus' daughter, Lily Cole's Valentina, and Verne Troyer's Percy, play their parts to draw the audience to the show. It promises a lucky participant an 'experience of a lifetime' if he/she is willing to step up to the stage and enter the Mystical Mirror. Dr. Parnassus, as suggested, has the talent to enhance and guide the person's mind! Like those watching, we, too, would be finding it difficult to assess whether they are performing a magic show or play. And like them, we are anxious to find out what happens when anyone enters the Mystical Mirror!

As the story continues, the most interesting character in the film emerges as a hanged-man, left as dead. I was mesmerized by this Tony character from beginning to the end as his character is transformed from Heath Ledger's Tony to the Tony, performed fascinatingly by Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell. Indeed, multiple actors playing one role is not unknown as Todd Haynes had applied that formula in his 'I'm Not There.' All four actors deliver a very mysterious and charmingly handsome Tony before the audience's eyes, keeping the audience guessing who Tony really is and whether he really means well in his dept to the troupe. Indeed, all the Tony characters are amazingly captivating as we watch Tony pass through his realms of imagination. It is the final face change of Tony going through his last dream sequence that finally exposes his true color and motive.

The story has a love triangle gist to it; it is magical and stylistic in its appeal, and it swoops up mystery, fantasies, thrills and suspense. Dr. Parnassus is a very complex character. He relies on his tarot cards and never rejects any high-stakes bet. And the last tarot card he has is the card of the Hanged Man, or the Traitor. Who is the Hanged Man in this film? Ha, can Dr. Parnassus ever learn from his grave mistakes and judgment or from his moral missteps? Will he risk his daughter's fate with his third bet? With the appearance of Tom Waits' Mr. Nick, how Dr. Parnassus has sold his soul, and the consequences thereof, begin to unravel.

The fantasy scenes do remind me of Sam's dreamworld in Gilliam's Brazil. Any character, passing through the Imaginarium's magic mirror, would encounter his/her dreamlike scenes that range from landscapes with very dark tones to those with soft-muted pastel palette of colors. In all, the color schemes are immensely extraordinary! Every dream composition, with its twist and turn, is phenomenal to perceive and experience. In a strangely effective and striking way, all the characters in their dream-phases feel like they exist in various forms of Wonderland. It is these scenes that separate them from reality. challenging the viewers to look closely at their personalities, inner-selves, and inner-motives. The sound scores of Jeff and Michael Danna flow well with the scenes.

Director Terry Gilliam has, indeed, created a very sophisticated film with an amazing aesthetic appeal, without sacrificing his storytelling. The special effects are spectacularly impressive; the role played by every member of the cast is interesting and very memorable The themes of imagination and its importance, indebtedness, moral judgment, and the consequences of excessive alcohol-intake, are so brilliantly and interestingly conveyed, at the same time leaving us with a reminder that stories will outlive everything that dies. Every scene and every character in this film does bring surprises a heap of surprises to the story. Indeed, I was totally entertained!

The film's 122 minutes passed quickly for me last night, and though it was past 11:30 pm when the film ended, people were still hanging around the theater lobby, and on the street, talking and discussing the film. I learned that Gilliam had contributed to some fragments of a few of the songs in the film. And that the Tony character may be based on Tony Blair, and that the Dr. Parnassus character may be autobiographical of Gilliam.
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The Road (I) (2009)
10/10
Never losing hope even in a post-apocalyptic environment!
3 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Adapted from Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize novel of the same title, John Hillcoat's film is as much a virtually grabbing masterpiece as McCarthy's elegantly worded and sensuous masterpiece that transcends, at oft times, into prose and repetitions.

Like in the beginning of McCarthy's novel, the viewers are plunged into the film's dark and ash-filtered environment in which the story's unnamed protagonist is witnessed as protecting his son. Indeed. he is taking charge to get himself and his eleven-year old son out of the grim, barren, non-redeeming, silent and godless world. Examine the bleak post-apocalyptic topography that could very possibly be the resulting impact from disasters of nuclear wars or from global warming! Indeed, with everything they can salvage onto a grocery cart or into their knapsacks, they must hit the empty road ahead to find a safe place. And thus begins our gradual discovery of how the man and his son hold on to their souls, knowing nothing is guaranteed as apocalypse impacts the world. Can our protagonist keep up his hope and optimism when the worst of humanity does take over the souls of desperate survivors? Ha, will there be a possibility of civilization? In an apocalyptic world, we can expect humans to sacrifice their humanity as their price of survival.

This is an apocalypse thriller that's so phenomenally dark, and yet the persisting and unconditional love and bond, between the film's protagonist and his son, never cease to deliver the whispers of hope throughout their journey. It is their untarnished strengths, despite the appalling challenges, that are so terrific to behold. Indeed, Director Hillgoat has captured a beautiful father-son love story and their rise above the grim imaginings. Indeed, he has wonderfully delivered his lively characterizations of both as their humanly earnest defense against everything that could go wrong. I was truly awed by what I observed.

Mortensen is incredibly wonderful to follow. Watch out for that very precious moment when the son first felt his connection to his father! I'm indeed grateful to see Charize Theron's character being given more depth and weight in the film version. Oh yes, one of the most memorable scenes revolve around Robert Duvall's Old Man, and in a very meaningful way as well. The Boy connects with humanism, yet we see his father as being too afraid to really let his son get his way. Yet, it's the point in which the trainee becomes the trainer; the pupil becomes the teacher! And it's the first time we see both father and son in disagreement. And their encounter with Michael K. Williams' Thief doesn't help to cool down their temperament either. Spanish Cinematographer, Javier Aguirresarobe has delivered apocalyptic landscape and atmosphere in amazing forms that are totally mesmerizing. Observe how nature can no longer provide refuge to prevent human destruction, and scavengers hunt for food, including human flesh! And when Guy Pearce as the Veteran and Molly Parker's character as his wife appear in the scenes, it's debatable if the Boy has found 'the good guys' and whether they would be 'carrying the fire'!

Indeed, Director Hillcoat has terrifically captured the love story between parent and child, leaving the audience with increasing hope and optimism. Yep, the parent-child interactions emancipate an incredibly enormous and redeeming appeal... even when things get worse and far from being better. "We are not gonna quit. We are gonna survive this," the Man had said to the Boy at the most dreaded moment in the film. The Man in the story, indeed, is perpetually faced with his last chance of parenting, teaching, training and preparing his son for the worst scenario to come, in a world, so deprived of life, hope and optimism. And it's truly interesting to observe the Boy's extraordinary and constant inner battle between his mortal fear and his basic goodness. The father understands that the Boy is his warrant, and that 'if he's not the word of God, God never spoke.' Yep, the film's plot and sub-plots stay pretty faithful to McCarthy's novel. And I love Hilcot's changed version of the Man's wife, fabulously performed by Chalize Theron. And his treatment to the ultimate decision made by Charlize Theron's character gets my high approval over the troubling and traumatic decision she took in the book. Yes, indeed, Charlize Theron's character realizes the lack of food supplies as well as the existence of only two bullets left for the family of three, and like any good mother, she makes the toughest choice in leaving her husband and child to fend for one another's survival. And that brings me to think of the idiom: Two's a company; three's a crowd! However, Hillcoat did admit at the Q&A session, I attend, that the changed treatment was a hell of a decision for him to make. Having read the book, I'm happy for the change. Also, I love this film's flashbacks of the good memories shared by the Man and his wife. The Director did mention that the love story, between father and son, should also take consideration of the mother's influences, and that good things tend to be taken too much for granted.

The persistence of love between a father and a son against the ugly backdrop of the world is so magnificently portrayed by Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee. I would be frankly disappointed if Mortensen doesn't garner an Oscar nomination for his role in this film. Definitely, this is a powerful and remarkably crafted film not to be missed by the indie-film buffs looking for a great state-of-the art film with enough metaphors, symbols, and references to decipher!
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Amelia (2009)
10/10
An inspiration of .fearless self-motivation, courage, focused determination, self-acceptance... and being human!
22 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Based on Susan Butler's 1997 "East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart,", Mary S. Lovell's 1989 "The Sound of Wings", and Elgin Long's "Amelia Earhart: The Mystery Solved," this film offers the story of Amelia Earhart with those parts of her life that have touched the psyche of so many since that day she and Fred Noonan disappeared, 72 years ago, over the tiny atoll of Howland Island. Not only does this film beautifully create striking visuals of the Great Depression Era, but Hillary Swank is an amazing choice for the Amelia Earhart role... the black and white newsreel footage of the real Amelia Earhart is very telling.

This delightful epic period film focuses on Amelia Earhart, from her first taste of fame in 1928 to her 1937 disappearance. We watch the charismatic dilettante whose true fidelity is basically her love of flying, leaving her romantic life as secondary… the men in her life seen as her stepping stones to realizing her big dreams. Even her sinusitis does seem to deter her from soaring high in the pursuit of her challenging goals. Hilary Swank's Amelia is a woman who chafes against gender barriers to inspire young women to follow her footsteps. This is the woman, who as a young girl, has let her sight of an airplane to grip her interest. An inexperienced pilot of her earlier years with her many unexpected and false landings, the fearless and determined Amelia, in 1932, insists on taking her first solo flight in the fire-engine-red Lockheed Vega (currently housed at Washington DC's Smithsonian Air and Space Museum) to succeed and become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. Hilary Swank's Amelia mesmerizes. And this film brings an era in which flying is not without perils. And yet, nothing deters the determined the gutsy and spunky Amelia as she overcomes one obstacle after another. And yet, behind her feisty determination, the gentler feminine side of Amelia does not escape the viewers. Director Mira Nair's film celebrates Amelia Earhart as a heroic aviatrix as well as a woman with human sensibilities and sensitivities. The scenes of her interactions with young Gore Vidal are pretty telling. And love for Amelia and according to this film, is being defined in various interesting aspects.

Scenes, involving the Ninety-Nine organization that includes its original female pilots, her marketing of her Modemaire Earhart luggage, and her involvement in promoting commercial air travel, speak of Amelia's creative, organizational, and enterprising spirit and talents. And as we watch Amelia moving among the elite, her fashion sense is obviously different from the norm. It is not surprising that the real Amelia Earhart was known to influence a line of extraordinarily unique sportswear to the era.

Indeed Director Mira Nair's film focuses on the human foibles of the legendary Amelia Earhart, instead of merely letting the viewers see the same icon as created by George Putnam and his publishing machine! Interestingly, each supporting character renders a unique purpose in this film to offer the audience a better sense of the personality of Swank's Amelia as she pursues her dream and fame. It's truly cool to watch Richard Gere's charismatic George Putman, Ewan McGregor's charming and thoughtful Gene Vidal and Christopher Eccleston's macho Fred Noonan get to learn and accept Amelia's free spirited personality. Indeed, Gabriel Yared's orchestral score splendidly captures the varied moods of the spunky and fearless Amelia throughout the film.

A gorgeously crafted film that is both captivating, as well offering a study of Amelia Earhart, both as a celebrated and fearless aviatrix, a gutsy feminist in her era, yet never failing to reveal the humanely sensitive nature of Amelia as a woman! Indeed, Director Nair has revealed Amelia, not only a courageous and determined restless woman with phenomenal spirit, but underneath her close-cropped, blond hair hidden under her aviator helmet, her goggles, her leather flight jacket and sported flight pants, Amelia was also a human being with feminine sensibilities.

The final few scenes, in this film, are both touching and unnerving. It's finale succeeds in bungling my mind with lots of unanswerable questions… in the same way the mysterious disappearance of the real Amelia Earhart have continued, for the past seven decades, to trigger in so many minds!
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10/10
One Twisted Tale of Deceit!
5 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Definitely a very satisfactory film for the thriller fans! It s thoughtfully crafted where characters cleverly lead or mislead the audience a nerve-wrecking experience, without the tiresome clichés, seen over and over in so many contemporary horror flicks and thrillers. Yep, it's not the typical formulaic and predictable horror flick.

This film cleverly combines an appropriate and nicely proportioned mix of the genres of drama, thriller, horror, mystery and action to keep the story solid and interesting to follow Even romance has not been excluded, subtly being molded into the story to offer an appeal that's not overwhelmingly silly or pretentiously absurd. On screen chemistry is well established in this film. The gory scenes are not over extended or become repetitively trashy and cheap.

I salute every actor for his/her performance. Each brings perfect timing to his/her role in the every event and scene, allowing a nice suspenseful flow to the story. The characters are indeed interesting to watch, providing the viewers time to analyze them, despite the fast-paced adrenaline rushes the film provides. There is not a single moment that any of the actors has failed to hold my attention. Steve Zahn's character will not be easily forgotten! The plot-twists are smartly contrived to pump up shock, surprise, and awe. Yes, there is a couple of brief knee-jolting experiences, but I'm frankly glad Writer/Director David Twohy has not depended on the continuous use of knee-jolting ploys to fill up his film's story for the lack of creative story-telling. Indeed, he allows his story's characters to develop in phenomenal ways, from frame to frame, to bring suspense, thrill awe and fear. The dialog is sharp, adding intensity to the story and for misleading the audience till the exposure of the 'who dun it.'

Overall, a pretty smart mystery-thriller that should satisfy those loving a tale with a strong and unsuspecting twist.
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The Cove (2009)
4/10
Motivating the Clueless
5 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This film is probably for those unaccustomed with fishing cultures. And it is made to shock those who are clueless that the same tactics used for trapping the dolphins are no more different from those fishing aggregating devices used for luring and trapping pelagic fish sold in our own markets, such as marlins, tuna, mahi-mahi, lobsters and crabs. It happens that in Taiji, the aggregating device happens to be set up in a cove.

Polespearing is merely a more advanced form of harpooning as a form of fishing that goes back to Paleolithic times. Like harpooning, polespearing has been taught from generation to generation, for centuries, in small fishing towns/villages throughout the world. Some use tridents, and richer and more advanced fishing communities may use spear-guns, or other forms of net-fishing. At least, we should be grateful that these Taiji fishermen aren't using dynamite or blast fishing, the bottom trawling method, cyanide fishing, bottom trawling, or cyanide fishing, or use fish toxins and muroa to lure and kill the dolphins. Polespearing, as we see in this film, is also no stranger than what this film would want to suggest. A visit to the Cosquer cave in Southern France - to see its 16,000 years old cave art - would be a reminder that even seals had been harpooned for food to allow some of our forefathers to survive.

This film makes no mention that dolphin-eating has, for centuries, been a Japanese traditional culture. Should Americans' hunting and killing bear, elk, moose, antelope, bison, rabbits, quail, turkey, squirrel, wild hogs, ducks and geese, sand hill cranes, woodcock, snipe, crow, black birds, coyotes and bobcats, and feeding on some of their kills, be just as disgusting?

The cinematography is indeed lovely to look at, but I've seen better cinematography of coves, cliffs, and oceans, and in many, the dangers encountered by species in the oceans are even more intense and frightening. The documentary provides blur and cartoonish treatments of instances and landscapes of scenes of their 'spy' team on the 'witnessing' lookout, offering questionable proof of their actual participation at the actual scenes.

Overall, this film hardly moves me just like in the same way I watch those anti-fur activists staging nude performances in front of the Seoul Trade and Exhibition Center recently. If these activists can't stop Americans from killing moose, bison, elk, cranes, rabbits, squirrels, etc. it'd be foolhardy to think they'd succeed in bullying other nations to their terms.

I can see quite see Richard O'Barry's attachment to his "Flipper" days and treating Flipper's death like that of a daughter or wife. However, in reality, dolphins aren't always the cute, lovely and hapless victims that Louie Psihoyos' film intends us to believe. Mounting reports have revealed that even friendly dolphins can have shark-like, violent and indiscriminate killing behaviors, slaughtering their young, their mates and porpoises.
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The Collector (I) (2009)
1/10
A film that merely glamorizes and glorifies tortures and brutality
1 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Exceedingly violent, exceedingly brutal and exceedingly sadistic! It's a film that literally glamorizes sadistic brutality and torture! And it's very difficult to watch. For me, nothing in it is entertaining, nor worthy of remembering. If you think 'Hostel' is mindless and unnecessarily brutal, this film is even more heinous and with more perverted violence! It seems to have a desperate need to drive the audience into a state of anxiety and shock. Do we really need to see Marcus Dunstan's gratuitous on screen violence and brutalities to deal with during our current economic turmoil? Frankly, I don't think so! We shouldn't welcome inhumane tortures and brutal abuses in real life; we don't need to see them in films. This film is, perhaps, reflective of the twisted and warped mentalities of Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton?

None of the cast members in this film does offer memorable or praiseworthy acting talents. The film basically is clustered with scenes of barbarous acts of killing, of gruesome traps, chasing or being chased, and a series of hide-and seek rigmaroles. Dialog is scanty and trasy, and basically a composite of groans and screams. It doesn't really take any experienced actor to take on any of this film's roles. Even Josh Stewart, as the main protagonist, clearly lacks emotional expressiveness!

It'd be hilarious if Dunstan and Melton should decide to offer a sequel of this awful film. What can they offer, except for the same opening with their 'evil' box landing in another address and the rest of the film with more glamorization of inhumane tortures and brutality in a crappy with lame dialog and ridiculous characters.

I'm surprised that this disgusting film is not rated NC-17.
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Brüno (2009)
1/10
The film that would grant flashers their rite of passage!
9 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
An absolutely warped and tasteless film that upholds Bruno, the Flasher, as funny and entertaining! Anyone who has gay or Austrian friends could easily see how lame, superficial and low Sasha Cohen's performing talent has sunk. He is neither credible as a gay nor as an Austrian, but succeeds looking like a blond creep, far too tall to balance his own weight. Has Cohen become so short of refreshingly creative ideas to subject himself into looking like amateur actors, promoting cheap porn sex? Can Sasha Cohen, the actor, no longer entertain without the ploy of perverted vulgarity and sexually provocative gimmicks to make his audience laugh? The scene of Bruno parading his black adopted baby to a black audience is especially embarrassingly unfunny. His Bruno is nothing more than a blond, mean-spirited, vulgar jerk, so absorbed with his own body shape and moves, to have forgotten to sustain a consistency in his accented ploy. The whole film seems so disjointed, almost as if a string of contrived and staged, tasteless stunt-shows are being haphazardly clamped together to lengthen the film.

If Ang Lee's 'Lust Caution' had earned the NC17, and if this film escapes from being rated NC17, I would certainly question the credibility of MPAA and the members of CARA in their definition of values for public viewing.
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