The Proposal (2009)

The-ProposalMm mm mm mmmmmm.

Delicious. Yummy.

Ryan Reynolds is now officially a crush of mine.

The Hollywood myth was true: Sandra Bullock shoots her leading men to stardom. 😀 Ryan Reynolds may already be a rising star, but this movie takes the cake.

Margaret Tate is a hotshot editor in a top publishing company. Andrew Paxton is an aspiring writer who’s sticking it out in possibly the worst job ever after Andrea Sachs’ job as assistant to Miranda Priestly. The two have a pretty good dynamic going as far as boss-assistant “relationships” go, but problems arise when Margaret, a Canadian working in an American firm, finds that her application for a visa renewal was denied, which means that she’ll have to be deported. How does she stay in the country? She has to marry an American. Who? Her assistant, who else?

The rest of the movie is a comedy of errors and a wonderful tale of opening up and family ties. It’s a simple story, actually, and definitely not Oscar material, but it resonates with everybody who’s had his dreams shot down, who’s lost loved ones, who’s facing parental pressure. It resonates with people — women, especially — who feel alone and have difficulty letting others in.

I’ve read other people’s reviews about the movie’s character development, and to some degree, I agree with them, but with light-hearted movies like this one, it’s just something that you throw out the window. If you don’t, then you never will really appreciate this hilariously endearing movie.

Women, watch this with your girlfriends. Men, keep an open mind, not to mention an open eye, and you’ll see what a gem of a movie this is. 🙂

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Wall-e

My roommate was right. This movie will be appreciated best by the smart people. Such a smart and touching movie.

Star Trek (2009)

star-trek-crew

 

(original image address : http://screenrant.com/images/star-trek-crew.jpg)

I give this movie 4 stars not because of how accurate and faithful the movie has been to the original series, but because of how it was able to entertain its audiences with a clear and exhilarating plot, witty lines, and a relatively balanced mix of action in traditional hand-to-hand combat and sci-fi laser blasting. 🙂

James Tiberius Kirk, son of Captain George Kirk, was born under highly stressful circumstances. His father, who was captain only for 12 minutes, saved the lives of the many people in his fleet including his wife’s and son’s. Growing up without a father, James T. Kirk became a rebellious man but with a top IQ and a good heart. You might call it fate, but he was soon recruited into the Star Fleet where life continued to be eventful for him, and where we see the first encounter between himself and Spock.

Their first encounter being less than friendly, the two find that they have to work together to ensure the safety of millions of lives. While the rest of the story may be history–especially to the Trekkies–regular moviegoers will find that this movie does not limit itself to the diehard fans. It provides something of everything to cater to everyone’s delight: a bit of a love story, a dash of wit and humor, and a heaping of action and sci-fi.

Sylar, ahem, SPOCK, rendered a merely okay performance as the younger Vulcan first portrayed by Leonard Nimoy in the series. Zachary Quinto’s portrayal of this young genius was hampered by his Sylar season 3 tendencies (bad then good then bad Sylar), but he turned in an overall decent acting job.

Chris Pine? I’m a girl who watched this with a LOT of other girls, so you can just imagine my comments will be largely based on his gorgeous eyes haha. But YES, Pine turned in a powerful performance as the legendary captain in his younger years, albeit getting beat up every so often.

I’m no geek when it comes to this series, but I believe I know a good movie when I see one. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is one of them.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day

miss_pettigrew_lives_for_a_day_movie_posterCharming little piece of work, this is. 😀

Frances McDormand is Miss Guinevere Pettigrew, daughter of a clergyman, whose beliefs and ways have always been in contradiction with her employers. As such, she is fired at the beginning of the movie from her post as governess. She goes to her agency to get another job, but her history has made it difficult for the director to hand her another one, especially since war (as this is set right before the Second World War) was coming and jobs were scarce. With no job and no money, Miss Pettigrew “steals” a calling card bearing the name of a woman who has asked for the agency to send her a “social secretary.” She shows up at the woman’s door, and from there, she begins to LIVE.

While the word LIVE may have different implications, in this movie we see that Miss Pettigrew has lived a very depressing and drab life, but her encounter with her new employer, however brief it is in the movie, provides her with opportunities not just to think outside the box but to LIVE outside it as well. She has never lied, cursed nor deceived anyone, but desperation has forced her to do these things with some consequences that are rather amusing to the third party observer. Also, it appears that she doesn’t have friends but finds a few in the company of her employer. She gets pampered, gets a makeover, and lives the high strung life of a young starlet’s “social secretary,” whatever that is. She experiences so much that it is a surprise to realize that all of it happens in just one day. And in that one day, Miss Pettigrew lives.

Charming, charming, charming. A wonderful and truly apt review of the movie can be found here. Frances McDormand, Amy Adams, Lee Pace. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

17 Again (2009)

17-again-posterCheeseball comedy with THE hottest kid in town, Zac Efron.

That’s what this movie is all about. The first time I heard about this movie, I thought I could get away with just getting the DVD and watching it on my laptop because it honestly didn’t seem good enough to watch on the big screen. But a few days after the movie opened here and people have been telling me already that it’s actually a very nice movie. Definitely not a blockbuster film, but good enough to pull in a sizable crowd aside from the lead’s adoring female fans.

Bored enough to actually consider watching this HSM graduate’s latest offering, I invited friends to watch it with me on the big screen today (and let me tell you it was HARD looking for people who haven’t seen it yet because apparently, EVERYBODY has seen it already haha). The first few minutes were annoyingly reminiscent of HSM complete, even, with Efron in a dance number in his basketball uniform. But oh well what the hell right? We were in the theater so we might as well stay and make the most of it.

You know what?

It got better, and better, and better. Cheeseball comedy, yes, but a heartwarming and touching one, with Efron turning in a surprisingly very good performance. And because I’m a girl, I MUST say that Efron in those aviator shades made me feel 17 again.

Girls. Ladies. Grandmas. WATCH IT.

Boys. Gentlemen. It’s up to you. This may be a chick flick, but it’s something that I bet you will actually enjoy.


Fast and Furious (2009)

one spoiler ahead.

Oh it was fast. Oh it was furious.

The fourth installment of the series that became a cult hit was long awaited by its fans worldwide. Many, including myself, did not know what to expect. The racing aspect was covered in the first and third movies, while the second and this latest one involved more crime-busting action than racing. No worries, though, because high speed car chases still made for excellent scenes in this movie.

When The Fast and The Furious first came out, many instantly took note of this gutsy young movie with its forays into a car’s innards that made for stimulating visuals, hot young and new cast members who were tailor-made for the story, and a script that expertly explored an underground culture, making the dangers seem so fabulously cool.

Fast and Furious, I believe, retained that gutsiness introduced in the first movie and which lost steam in the next few. Who would’ve expected a death so early in the movie? Shocking, yes, and this, I believe, is what made people love or hate the rest of the movie.

My theory is that after finding out about the death, people’s reactions can go “What the f@#&?! What a load of crap!” or just plain “Whoa. What’s gonna happen next?” Those who reacted negatively were most likely to hate the movie while the opposite is possible for the ones who reacted more curiously.

But enough about my theory. Let’s get down to business, shall we?

It is extremely difficult to ask people to come watch a sequel with no expectations. After all, after a hit movie, one is bound to expect the second one to at least match its predecessor in terms of quality acting or plot. In the case of Fast and Furious, it faced a tremendous amount of pressure to live up to the hype that the series created. Was it as good as the first one? No, but it was definitely still a good movie.

In this first real sequel of the The Fast and the Furious, we see the same characters doing pretty much the same things they did in the first movie but in different environments. Brain O’Connor (Paul Walker) is out of his casual clothes and into a Fed suit busting crime. He still had that boyish charm mixed with a dash of street toughness that was admittedly a surprise and a delight to see when he bashed in an annoying colleagues nose on the wall (kids, don’t try this at home… or anywhere for that matter lol). Dominic Toretto and tough chick girlfriend Letty Ortiz were off in Mexico doing what they loved doing most: riding fast cars and stealing goods on the Mexican roads. Mia, Dom’s little sister, lay low in their house after Dom escaped the cops.

The death of one of these characters is the catalyst that drives the story forward. Yes, that death was such a WTF?! moment, but really, without it, how else will the story begin? It was the rage, hurt, and all these other emotions that moved these characters to do what they did. You cannot expect a sequel to be a quasi-carbon copy of its predecessor, otherwise it’ll be boring and frustrating. The elements that made the first movie such a success–the smooth cinematography, cool effects, hot cast members, an impressive in-your-face attitude and, of course, a kickass story–were more or less present in this one with some changes. Whether these changes are welcome or not depends on the audience.

What I liked about this movie is the inner conflict that each character had in the story and that which showed a more vulnerable side to the characters as they struggled. Dom and Letty were displaced, but the problem of being caught still hung in the air, and it was something neither of them could ignore for any longer. Brian had his own problems inter and intrapersonally, while Mia is left worrying about the people she loved.

With such a view into these characters’ vulnerabilities, one would understandably be worried about the decrease in action. There was a noticeable lack of car chases in this movie, although the car scenes that were present delivered just as much edge-of-your seat excitement as the other movies.

Downside? Minor, really, but I couldn’t keep track of the black bad guys. You know, the one that killed that character, and the one that pissed Dom off (and vice versa) at the “tryout.” Also, if you haven’t seen the first installment, you probably wouldn’t get any of the jokes uttered in the movie (like my friend who watched with me lol).

Ah well. I give this 3.5 stars for the action and “humor.”

 

—- delayed review, sorry. got writer’s block. and i rushed the ending. too lazy.

The Punisher: War Zone

2 out of 5 stars

 

If you’re the type who gets a kick out of heads being blown off, then you’ll probably disagree with my rating.

The Punisher: War Zone is an action-packed movie chock-full of blood, guts and gore. Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson) is a former Special Forces instructor-turned-vigilante punishing criminals, specifically the different crime families, for killing off his family. For four years, he’s been successful at eliminating the heads of these various families, with the local police only slightly concerned about this. Everything changes, though, when Castle accidentally kills one of the good guys and at the same time manages to piss off one of THE craziest crime warlords in the area: Billy Russoti, a.k.a. Jigsaw. The story then revolves around the eventual face off between the two adversaries.

Perhaps the one good thing about this movie is the casting of Ray Stevenson. One can’t help but compare his portrayal of Castle with that of Thomas Jane, who played the same character back in 2004. Although the two movies are two completely different and separate “entities,” War Zone’s Stevenson looked, acted, and felt more authentic as a renegade combat man than Jane ever was in the first Punisher movie. Stevenson never let his tough guy exterior slip even during his more solemn moments, which adds to one’s sympathy towards his character because you see the internal struggle he’s facing.

As for his nemesis, Jigsaw, and his brother, Loony Bin Jim, both were adequately portrayed by Dominic West and Doug Hutchison, although it was hard to imagine Dominic West as an Italian mob man after his elegant but utterly detestable portrayal of an ambitious statesman in 300. His portrayal of Jigsaw was, for lack of a better word, merely good, for it felt almost comical, almost like he was channeling Heath Ledger’s Joker but which he fails to emulate properly. Hutchison seems to be typecast in the crazy, evil bad guy roles. While his “first” big bad buy role in a blockbuster movie was as white racist in A Time to Kill next to Matthew McConaughey and Samuel L. Jackson, it was in The Green Mile with Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan where we see Hutchison’s ability to portray such demented roles with perfection. In War Zone, we see Hutchison again in such a role this time with much more whacked out hysterics and agility (although I’m pretty sure this latter is courtesy of stunt doubles).

As for the story itself, well, there really is not much to say. It’s one man against the evil world while the police take a semi-blind eye to these events. It’s one man on the hunt for “revenge-slash-punishment” for his slain family. It’s one man against a literally crazy family of warlords. What it lacked in a solid story, it made up for with the action, blood, guts and gore.

Should you watch this movie? If you’re a guy who’s got a strong stomach and is looking for a way to waste time and money, then this would be something to watch and talk about. If you’re a girl like me who’s looking for some brainless entertainment, get the DVD and watch during the day. If you’re a kid, forget about it.

That said, I’m off to the toilet to puke my brains out.

*kidding, of course*