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1/10
TGIFE - Thank God It Finally Ends
12 November 2003
After seeing "Matrix Reloaded", I reluctantly went to see "Matrix Revolutions" for the sake of completing the trilogy. Besides, I was also curious to find out if my predictions of the ending were right.

This movie was much worse than the other 2! The dialogs were cheesy and raw. The screenwriters tried to be intelligent but failed miserably. The most intelligent conversation was actually in "Matrix Reloaded", between Neo and the Architect.

"Matrix Revolutions" is full of crappy dialogs such as "Why didn't you tell me earlier?", "It wasn't time yet", "Now it's time", "You've already known the answer", "Don't ask me, ask him", "I want to say this one more time", blah blah blah. They just wanted to stretch the length of the movie just because they couldn't write any more story!

I still think that they should've left "The Matrix" alone and not made these 2 crappy movies.
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The Lion King (1994)
10/10
Much Better Than What They Called "The Original"
12 November 2003
A lot of people claim that "Lion King" was ripped from a Japanese anime called "Kimba", but I think this movie is way much better! How could they compare the glorious "Lion King" with "Kimba"? I just don't get it.

When I saw this for the first time, it won my heart over. "Lion King" holds a record as the most versions of movie that I own. I have it on VHS, Laser Disc, Video CD (English version), Video CD (Mandarin version) and DVD. I even bought the movie soundtrack!

Disney included a new song in the DVD release, but it doesn't flow along with the movie. The original version is much better, so there goes the effort...

"Lion King" is great because it's the only animation that makes me cry. I seldom cry, but the scene where Mufasa died is really heartbreaking.

The cast did a marvelous job in bringing out the voices to live! I didn't know that Jeremy Irons can sing very well. Too bad JTT couldn't sing his own part. He's perfect as the little Simba though.

I hope all this comparison with the Japanese anime will stop because "Lion King" is a masterpiece.
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10/10
Heartwarming Twisted Fairy Tale
12 November 2003
At first I didn't expect much from this movie. I even thought that the animation was terrible. But halfway throughout the movie, I had a change of heart. Even though the ending was twisted -- it's a happy ending, unlike the original sad one -- I think this movie is one of Disney's greatest animations.

The characters are likable, especially Sebastian the crab! The songs are nice and catchy, and I like "Part of Your World" the most. Jodi Benson is simply wonderful in singing the songs.

This heartwarming twisted fairy tale is much better than the original. Sorry, Mr. Andersen, but that's the truth... :-)
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15: The Movie (2003)
5/10
Disappointing Feature-length Version
7 November 2003
I've seen the short and it was truly great, so I went to see the feature-length version with great expectations. I was totally disappointed.

The first section is actually the short version, where the story of the 3 friends unfolds, but then the director focuses on 1 protagonist. I guess he might not be able to get the other 2 actors to 'complete' the story.

Shaun as the only one remaining acted quite well, but the story would've been much better if it explored deeper into his love-hate relationship with Vynn. The movie fell flat on several scenes because the director just couldn't build the story based on Shaun alone. He introduced 2 new characters but they really couldn't help much.

I guess Royston should've just left the short alone until he managed to build a stronger plot. All in all, 15 is a heart-warming short film, but a disappointing feature-length.
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10/10
Excellent Road Movie
7 November 2003
I happened to see this one during Japanese Film Festivals and I'm glad I did because this is the only good movie that was screened then.

The story revolves around a 15-year-old boy who went a distance just to see a 7,000-year-old cedar tree. Just like any other road movie, he met many characters along the way. But this is not an ordinary road movie. This one is excellent!

One particular scene was done beautifully. It was morning and the boy had just took a ride from a truck driver. The road was quiet and we can see a lot of trucks on the side. It gives me the peaceful feeling, as if I was the boy on the scene!

I've been waiting for it to be released on DVD, along with some other Japanese movies, but I guess it will never happen...
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Ca-bau-kan (2002)
8/10
Should've Been Competing for Oscar
7 November 2003
This is the first Indonesian movie ever to be shortlisted for Oscar under foreign language picture category. Too bad it didn't make it to the final nominations list. I've seen this movie and some other nominated foreign movies and I feel that this one should make the list instead of the overrated "Hero".

I bought the VCD because they didn't have it on DVD format. I hope they will release this on DVD just like "Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?".

"Ca-bau-kan" tells a story of a "concubine". It revolves around the Chinese community at that time. The setting and acting are believable, but the ending was a bit abrupt. But still it's better than "Hero", which was nominated just because it's "artistic"!

Nevertheless, "Ca-bau-kan" is one of the best Indonesian movies of all time!
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10/10
What Are Singaporeans Like?
7 November 2003
"I Not Stupid" brilliantly portrays what Singaporeans are like. Jack Neo has done it! He finally made a brilliant movie!

Through this movie, you'll be able to know how typical Singaporeans talk and behave. That everything your parents do is "for your own good". So much so that one of the kids becomes so spoiled until he can't even prepare his own breakfast!

You'll also understand why Singaporeans don't question much. It's all because of the way the parents treat the kids, making them a bunch of "obedient" citizens.

Jack Neo even went on to criticize the government in a very subtle way, and that scene actually made me laugh the loudest!

So if you want to know how Singaporeans are like, see this wonderful piece!
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The Best Indian Movie of the Year 2001
7 November 2003
I initially gave this movie a miss after I was totally disappointed by "Asoka". The latter was hugely advertised but I don't find it good at all.

I finally saw "Lagaan" after a friend told me that this movie was actually good. And she was right. I borrowed the DVD from the library and had to see the movie in 2 sessions due to it's almost 4-hour-long running time. But it was worth it!

The cricket game was captivating. I didn't know anything about cricket but before the movie ended, I felt that I almost understand the game!

I'm not Indian and I seldom see Indian movie even though I love foreign movies, especially Japanese. But "Lagaan" is truly the best Indian movie I've ever seen, or at least the best of the year 2001.
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5/10
Highly Overrated Sequel
7 November 2003
They've done it again! They produced a highly overrated sequel again!

I love "The Matrix" with its mind-blowing storyline, but "Matrix Reloaded" is no more than a piece of junk! The storyline is so thin that people start fighting without any reasons! It's like a bad Hollywood version of a badly done gong fu movie. I see you, you see me, let's fight!

The plot made me predict the ending, which I think would be similar to "Thirteenth Floor". I hope my prediction is wrong though because it would make "Matrix Revolutions" a total crap.

Amazingly, "Matrix Reloaded" is even worse than "T3"! I wish they've never made this and leave the beauty of "The Matrix" alone!
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1/10
One Sick Obsessive Self-Absorbed Movie
31 August 2002
I usually can tolerate twisted movies, but this one is really a sick obsessive self-absorbed movie!

Firstly, the writer/director is totally a self-absorbed guy full of sick jokes that are not funny at all. Secondly, he is also a sick pervert who manipulates and poisons children's mind! I can't believe my ears when I heard the sick and perverted monologues spoken by the kids!

I really feel sorry for Zane Adlum and Devon Matthews. They are both very talented, but fell prey to Eric Schaeffer's dirty little-known movie!

And what the hell happened to Eric Mabius' good looking face? I mean, he met this girl that he's supposed to marry, but he wasn't in the wedding! In fact there is this bald guy in his place! Did time really fly that fast?

Anyway, don't waste your time to see this movie, unless you want to be poisoned and manipulated by one sick Eric Schaeffer!
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8/10
Diamond in the Rough
1 August 2002
I wanted to see this one the moment I saw the poster. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to do it due to my busy schedule.

I got the copy of the VCD (the ancestor of DVD) during my second visit to Indonesia. And boy, was I happy with my decision to buy this piece!

The movie is based on normal every day life of high school students with various characters. The main protagonists are Cinta (means "Love") and Rangga.

Like other romance, both characters hate each other in the beginning, but fall madly in love with each other in the middle of the movie. Even though the main plot is common, the director successfully develops it into a brilliant movie.

I must say that this is a diamond in the rough despite the director's failed attempt with his other movie, Bintang "something" (I forgot the title, but I remember that this movie is so bad that I couldn't even go past the first half an hour).

I hope this one can be distributed in DVD format so I can keep a decent copy!
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Mabudachi (2001)
A Nice Tale About Friendship
1 August 2002
I'm lucky to be able to catch this movie during Singapore International Film Festival. This is one of the best movies throughout the festival.

It's about 3 high school buddies: A bully, a nice boy, and a stupid and chubby one. The story moves quite slowly, but quite impressive.

It follows their activities everyday. Stealing, skipping school, etc. The friendship keeps going strong despite of the problems and quarrels.

The movie takes an unexpected turns towards the ending. That's when their friendship is put into test.

A very nice tale of friendship. I wish they'll release it on DVD soon.
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7/10
Another Titan A.E.?
22 June 2001
After the huge success of "Emperor's New Groove", Disney again presented another original animation. However, this time it's not as funny as "Emperor's New Groove" and the animation is extremely similar to Titan A.E.

No matter how ordinary the jokes are, Disney really presents a wonderful animation with great colorful scenery. After seeing this one, you'll be wondering what if you were among those people going to Atlantis.

Nice job, Disney!
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Shrek (2001)
7/10
Violent Animation
22 June 2001
Warning: Spoilers
I found this movie very funny and entertaining, but on the other hand also very violent. I do not want to write a spoiler, so I'll just say that there are at least 3 cruel jokes in the movie, involving a bird, a frog and a snake.

The message behind the movie is actually very good. It's talking about not judging someone by his/her appearance. If only the writer/director could be more considerate by not putting on cruel jokes just for the sake of audience's laughter...

This movie is totally not for kids. Too bad, because the message is actually very good for kids. Maybe when they release it on DVD, there will be parental lock to cut away those violent scenes.
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Pearl Harbor (2001)
6/10
In Love and War???
21 June 2001
I had been waiting eagerly to see this movie and I went to see it on the second day it opened. But I found myself totally disappointed by it!

The war scenes are not real enough because there are too much choreography involved. They look extremely similar to "Titanic"!!! The romance is too unreal. Even "Titanic" is much better than this one! And I didn't think "Titanic" is good...

It's a pity that Michael Bay as the director failed to deliver a movie that was supposed to be better than his previous work, "Armageddon". He doesn't know how to separate love and war, so that the scenes become plain and bland.

Bringing back Ben Affleck doesn't help much. And I guess he brought Kate Beckinsale in just because she looks like Liv Tyler in a glance. Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s character is totally out of place. The only one who does a decent job here is Josh Hartnett. In fact, it would be much better to cast him as the main character.

I hope Michael Bay can learn from this big budget flop and direct better movies in the future.
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Chimhyang (2000)
7/10
Another Movie About Love and Life
10 May 2001
This movie was released in Singapore under the title of "Scent of Love".

It's about a guy who falls in love with another girl. One day he receives a letter from that girl regarding her last wish.

He then travels to the girl's home town only to meet another and fall in love with another girl.

The story is very simple. The director tries to insert some life philosophy but somehow it does not blend with the story. The cinematography is good with perfect location. I like the one with the big rocks the most.

Rating: 7 out of 10
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Kaza-hana (2000)
5/10
Slow-Moving "Road" Movie
10 May 2001
One thing for sure, this movie is too slow-moving! I mean, there she was walking up the stairs. I closed my eyes out of boredom and fell asleep, and there she was, still walking up the stairs!

The idea is good, but the final outcome is not. The scene where the female character falls into dreaming state is too long and does not convey anything.

Rating: 5 out of 10
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Anything Once (1997)
9/10
Nice Short Movie About the First Time
10 May 2001
I consider myself lucky to bump into this short film on the net. The story is simple but nice. It's about the first time a straight guy makes love with another guy. After thinking about it for quite some time, he finally decides to go for it. Guess who he does it with...
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8/10
The World Seen Through the Eyes of a Voyeur
10 May 2001
Have you ever thought of being spied on? Or have you ever thought of spying on your neighbors?

This movie tells about a voyeur named Eric. He always spies on his neighbors and even logs all the activities! He becomes intrigued by a couple who live nearby and writes them notes then watches their reaction.

Finally he has a chance to meet and get to know them, which leads to more things that I won't be describing here. Just prepare yourself for the unthinkable! If you are not an open-minded person, avoid this one!

Rating: 8 out of 10
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Himawari (2000)
8/10
About First Love
9 May 2001
Warning: Spoilers
It's amazing how the director is able to capture the the main character's undying feelings towards his first love. It's a bit weird that he didn't recognize her name at first, but then maybe it is quite common in Japan for people to have exact same names.

The story evolves around the main character and his childhood friends when they gather together to attend a girl's funeral. New characters are being introduced as the movie unfolds. At the same time, the dead girl's story is also unfolding at the background.

The use of flashback is very helpful, even though it makes the audience realize how different the actors who play the old and young versions of the main character are.

The movie could have been ended few minutes earlier, as the closing scene is totally unnecessary and is breaking the flow.

Rating: 8 out of 10
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19 (2000)
7/10
Simple But Nice Road Movie
27 April 2001
According to the director, this movie is based on his own life story. However, I personally doubt it. In this movie, his character is actually someone who acts like a leader of a group of three. One day, they decide to kidnap a young man, just out of the blue.

The story then revolves around these four people. They go to supermarket to steal, go to arcade, and finally go to the beach. The incidents that happen to them are told in a documentary style and they look like unconnected fragments. But somehow the story flows quite nicely.

There is not much action in this movie, but somehow it is nice, a simple but nice road movie.
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9/10
Brilliant Movie About Life and Death
7 April 2001
This movie blew me away! I saw it without much expectation, but to my surprise, this one is really brilliant!

Scott Ziehl successfully directed this masterpiece, turning an ordinary theme into a brilliant movie about life and death. He showed the human side of those ambulance drivers flawlessly.

Jason London is brilliant as Tom. He successfully acted out the various state of his alter ego's throughout the movie. It's amazing how he transformed himself from a cheerful person to a depressed one.

How could this one miss the Oscar nomination? Anyone can answer that?
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Billy Elliot (2000)
9/10
About Being Yourself...
2 April 2001
This is an excellent movie, well, with just one flaw: too many dirty words! Maybe it's just the reality thingy, who knows?

Anyway, this movie is about growing up differently from others. Little Billy finds himself more interested to ballet than boxing, but his family of course are against him.

He finally stands up for himself and believes that he should be himself no matter what people say. Maybe that's why they chose Stephen Gately from Boyzone to sing the theme song...

This movie is also about family values, which makes it quite a moving one. I don't know why it wasn't nominated in Best Picture category for Oscar. It's definitely a Best Picture material because it's better than "Chocolat" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".

Jamie Bell is great as Billy Elliot and he also should've been nominated for Best Actor because I think he's better than Russell Crowe.

All in all, it's a great movie that deserves an award!
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5/10
Great Scenery... So What?
2 April 2001
This is a typical gongfu movie, but with good cinematography. That's all! The storyline is ordinary and the characterization is mediocre. You can simply find those characters in other gongfu movie, with similar storyline!

IMHO, this movie doesn't even deserve the Best Picture nomination. Well, Best Foreign Language is good enough!

Anyway, you can still enjoy the cinematography, but don't bother about the storyline...
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Gladiator (2000)
6/10
Hollywood Did It Again: Big-Budget Movie Won Oscar!
2 April 2001
This movie is good, to a certain extent. The setting is grand and the fighting scenes are nice, but the storyline is highly predictable and the ending doesn't really make sense!

The actings are not that good for both actors to be nominated for Oscar, but Russell Crowe actually got away with Best Actor award! Not to mention Joaquin Phoenix's bad acting that surprisingly earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination...

This is not a bad movie, but not a fantastic one either. It won Best Picture awards partly just because it's a grand big-budget Hollywood studio movie, and partly because there were not enough good movies to compete with.
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