Archives for posts with tag: film

It’s sad to have to say goodbye to something that we have all grown-up with, but alas, it’s time. The epic finale did not fail to disappoint since it stayed relatively more specific to the plot of the book.  The darkness permeated the whole mood of the movie and we see a very adult theme that permeates throughout.

While the earlier Harry Potter books/movies were about escapism, fun, joy, and bravery, HP7 is more pragmatic in that decisions have consequences and the overall message that evil and its proponents are very real–and there are quite a lot of collateral damage along the way.

In the darkest of times, however, heroes emerge and this is certain the silver lining which appears to herald hope against the dark backdrop of the last stand against Voldemort.  A somber and fitting ending–though it leaves one wishing that there would be more HP books.

It has to be said that the Deathly Hallows movie, while being fantastic and a definite tear-jerker with moments of humor, still ought be complimented by the original HP7 book which provides the original inspiration, rich back stories, and the poignancy of the experience.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

I did not see this version of “The Adjustment Bureau poster.  I saw a poster that looks more like this one:

Now, with this second movie poster – tell me it doesn’t give one the thoughts, “Oh, it’s another Matt Damon suspense thriller …”  a la The Bourne Identity.” It was because of the jump to this conclusion that I was more that a little hesitant to watch the movie, but it just so happened that I had such a trying week that I badly needed to decompress via watching a movie–any movie–and “The Adjustment Bureau” seemed to be the more acceptable option and boy was I glad I watched it.

Now in saying all this, I believe that if I had come upon the black and white poster with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, I would have been more compelled to watch it… Furthermore, I feel that the first poster does the plot more justice than the “running around” poster which is far too mainstream.

I quickly scanned the reviews before watching it and have seen it categorized as a science fiction love story and I do agree that it could fall into that category. I would probably add in the world surreal into the description.  A lot of doorways abruptly leading to unexpected places possesses a very surreal quality to me. However, these labels are just the trappings, and when it comes down to content, it is a lovely discourse and an interesting take on three quintessential dilemmas:

Romance vs. Career

Happiness vs. Success

Fate vs. Free Will

Need I say more?


(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

It’s the convening of four very talented stars of the big screen: the inimitable Reese Witherspoon, the endearing Paul Rudd, the charming Owen Wilson, and the venerable Jack Nicholson. The writer and director James L. Brooks deserves both the credit for picking just the right people for the roles of How Do You Know and the credit for conceiving the unique plot.

Brooks shares that the premise of the story is two people who meet during the worst day of their lives, and together with the talented cast, they pull it off with charm, wit, subtlety, comedy, and grace. It surprises me that it scored only 5.3/10 on IMDb. I guess it goes to show that IMDb doesn’t always get it right.

Just because it’s not tragic, epic, or dramatic, it doesn’t mean that it is less credible and enjoyable as a movie.  We do not always need gravitas, novelty, and special effects. Sometimes a feel good movie which is both funny and poignant and speaks about the subtleties of the heart and falling in love is just what we need.  And this movie delivers!

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to images

We have grown up with our fair share of Disney movies and for people like myself who have yet to grow out of watching animated moviesTangled is quite a treat.  Granted, I did not find the plot as romantic or as moving as Beauty and the Beast, but let’s face it, the tale of Rapunzel is more challenging to approach and handle, and therefore due credit and applause must be given to Disney for giving us a refreshing take on what is one of the more boring fairy tales in the bunch.

I can acknowledge that perhaps my partiality for Disney’s Beauty and Beast might not be simply because of the original animated movie, but also because of my age.  I was younger and more impressionable or sentimental than I am now, so perhaps it had a greater effect on me.

It could also be that I have always been fascinated by the tale of Beauty and the Beast.  However, Tangled was still a very enjoyable, entertaining, and diverting animated movie – complete with the signature musical numbers – and not to mention, watching it in 3D adds to the experience.

It would be in this facet (the 3D factor) that Tangled would trump “Beauty and the Beast” and I can’t help but hope that Disney would do an updated 3D version of it.  I admit, it’s now sounding more like a review of Beauty and the Beast, instead of Tangled, so I should probably get back to the point.  There are some very interesting and memorable characters and Disney has definitely not lost its touch for delighting children of all ages (ahem) and providing us with refreshing angles and perspectives which make us feel young again.

Endearing characters to watch out for – aside from the leads – would be Pascal and Maximus.  I’m not going to go into detail here so as not to spoil the experience of watching the movie… but yes, I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who would like to be captured by the romance of enchantments and kingdoms… and the idea of a happily-ever-after.  Goodness knows, we do need more of this in our lives – and just in time for Valentine’s Day.  Enjoy!

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s.

Being unfamiliar with owls, I was rather worried as to how I would be able to tell one character apart from the other – but during the course of watching The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole the different characters came alive in a most charming, endearing, and memorable way.  No sooner than in the first few minutes of the movie did the story and the characters come alive and envelope me in their embrace.  It felt like I was there, sharing their struggles and triumph.

It was an enjoyable albeit classic tale of good vs. evil, though this one had the added bitter taste of sibling rivalry and betrayals just to complicate the issue.  Let us not forget that the value of valor, strength of character, and pureness of spirit were reflected as well. The main protagonist Soren embodied all these traits, along with being an adorable dreamer – and though it might sound a bit too good to be true, who doesn’t enjoy a good tale where the good guy is a hero through and through?  We sure need more people who embody Soren’s traits in the world.

The Legend of the Guardians is definitely an amusing and inspiring, feel-good tale for the whole family!

(c) Niconica 2010

Inception” was entertaining and action-packed, though perhaps lacking a certain something to make it poignant.  Nevertheless, it can still be considered at the top of the science fiction field – for the revolutionary concept of dream invasion.  The ending can be slightly frustrating for people who long for a definitive and concrete positive resolution.

The visual effects were amazing and breathtaking for sure, though the length of the film might make some feel that the plot, as brilliant as it is, seemed to have been overstretched.

The movie “Inception” would be worth watching for the stunning imagery and the progressive science fiction concept..  Christopher Nolan‘s idea for Inception is definitely innovative – bring the whole science fiction movie genre into a whole new level.

(c) Niconica 2010

We have now come to the end of an era… as part 1 of Book 7 of the famous Harry Potter series is shown on the big screen.  I had rather thought that it would have a serious action/horror feel about it when I watched it so I found myself pulled in both ways before watching it.  I wanted to watch it because I am a professed Harry Potter fan but at the same time, I dreaded watching it because I knew, from reading the books, that the violence,  casualties and losses were about to mount up and I wasn’t sure whether my nerves could take it all being portrayed on the big screen in a grandiose manner.  I am glad that I was mistaken.

The setting was stark and sombre but without an exaggerated action feel.  One does not feel as though one has been catapulted into a series of pure action sequences, but instead, one finds oneself on a fast-paced subtly sentimental journey in this coming-of-age  film.  The loss of their innocence as they come face to face with very real dangers and consequences signifies a step further into adulthood as they leave child’s play behind.  Decisions must be made in the face of increasing pressure, as the stakes soar higher and higher.

I would have preferred that the movie not have been divided into two parts.  The story would have been more cohesive and been appreciated better in one go, instead of cutting it off just when things were getting good.  I recognize the financial advantages for the producers in splitting it into two  though – as well as the notion of making a good thing last as long as it can, before it inevitably ends. However, as an avid fan, it just feels more disjointed to be watching Part 2 next year – jumping in right in the middle… when the impact of the hefty volume of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows would have been felt more strongly if it had been covered in one go.

Aside from this, it was, all in all, an enjoyable film – poignant but not melodramatic, haunting but not grisly, serious but not severe, and definitely not devoid of some much-needed key moments of humor – altogether fitting for the beginning of the end.

(c) Niconica 2010

Another movie I found extremely uncomfortable but thought provoking is Gregor Jordan’s “Unthinkable”, with Samuel L. Jackson lending his unique gravitas and Michael Sheen providing depth, and Carrie-Anne Moss bringing heart to the series of pressure packed events.  Once again, it’s not a movie where one would find oneself sitting back comfortably as the scenes unfold, however it is a movie which I would also consider timely and relevant.

It is, not by any chance, just another terrorist action movie where the good guys and bad guys are clearly defined.  It’s a bit closer to reality in the sense that each person, no matter how unlikeable or reprehensible, to a certain extent possesses conflicting tendencies and even redeeming qualities.

It would have been easier to dislike the character Steven Arthur Younger / Yusuf played by Michael Sheen if he had fit the stereotype of a “terrorist” and if he did not at some point bring up some valid concerns.  Without the back story of Samuel L. Jackson’s character H’s family life, it would have been convenient to think of him as a monster as well.

Interestingly enough, gut reflex xenophobia is challenged as the movie  “Unthinkable” questions the nature of who or what the ‘enemy’ is.  While it may be more gratifying to see the ‘enemy’ as a stranger or outsider; now that the world is much more dynamic, it’s not that simple anymore.

It seems to that the movie brings up the blurred boundaries to right and wrong, good and evil – and yet at the same time sheds light to very real moral dilemmas.  Aside from the salient points of bomb threats and torture, the movie also calls our attention to the subtle nuances and perspectives in every situation.  It reminds us to keep judgmental attitudes in check, since it is all too easy to jump to conclusions.

“Unthinkable” does not provide easy answers in a neatly wrapped package but instead, leaves our mind whirring = processing the myriad questions and concerns which it brings up.  Disturbingly enough, it also brings up the questions – how much humanity or morals can we afford to retain or sacrifice when we are under an immense amount of pressure?

Definitely worth watching – thought not for the faint of heart (or mind).

(c) Niconica 2010

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when a friend recommended District 9.  Further into the movie, it becomes evident that under the skillful direction of Neill Blomkamp, together with the poignant portrayal of the lead character Wikus van de Merwe by Sharlto Copley, and impressive aliens designed by the acclaimed Weta Workshop, the four 2010 Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Editing are fully warranted.

It was quite a pleasant surprise – although it was by no means relaxing to watch.  District 9 is relevant, intense, riveting, and insightful… seamlessly incorporating science fiction elements to present very real and timely issues surrounding the disturbing actual events of social segregation produced by xenophobia.

It is not, by any chance, a movie where one sits back and allows oneself to be mindlessly entertained, but instead, one which holds us in its grip from the onset until the conclusion.

It can only be hoped that we emerge from viewing the movie more aware of the sobering social realities and moved to not further contribute to existing social discord by further indulging in intolerance, ignorance, and discrimination.

District 9 reminds us of the ironic truth that being human does not automatically confer humanity upon us.  Hopefully, we become inspired to develop, preserve, and enhance our humanity through courageously taking the first step of keeping an open mind towards the different and the unknown.

(c) Niconica 2010