Thursday, September 30, 2010

Enough with the Armonds

There were two posts I made in The Catalyst. One was about how critics miss the point and become incredibly inconsistent and unfairly biased when they review movies. Another one was about the buzz about The Social Network. The movie on Facebook.

Now I told you on that post about my experiences on Facebook, how South Park called this device pointless and the predictions I made about the movie and how it's gonna effect us. The audience. Where it is certain that most of the audience are using Facebook. I said it was going to hurt some users who would be insulted about the aims of Facebook and why we are using it.

Now in this post, I'm gonna combine these posts together so I can protest on one critic I really hate. And you would hate him too. Every film critic would also hate him as well. I'm talking about this guy below:

Armond White.

Meet this guy. It's ironic that his name and his skin colour contrast together. I don't know any African American film critics, but I think people who has a great taste in movies and the internet know him as 'the troll' which means to mock someone out of annoyance.

Now I didn't mention him on the post about critics because I was focused on David and Margeret who are really well known critics in Australia and also I forgot about him but here's the facts.

  • Armond White used to be a music critic so why did he moved to movies when he hated that field he's given to analyse so much
  • He agrees with the movie website 'Rotten Tomatoes' 52% of the time and had slash out many films which are almost destined to get 100% like Toy Story 3
  • White's considered a contrarian who rejects in popular opinion.
  • White's best films he rated were most people including me think were awful including Transformers; Revenge of The Fallen, Jonah Hex, Grown Ups, and any movie critics think are awful
  • White's worst movies were movies we think are the best. He hates Toy Story 3, Inception, Star Trek, Iron Man, Up, Up in The Air, The Dark Knight, any movie we think is the best.
  • He was first labelled as a troll by Roger Ebert after disagreeing with his review on District 9, one of the best reviewed movies of 2009.
  • White claims to have watched 400 movies a year and his aim was to help the viewer get to understand film better.
  • He adores Steven Spielberg (well why can't we?) and hates Noah Baumbach just like David Stratton like Michael Winterbottom and hates Lars Von Trier. 

White's is what I think matches my blog post's rants about critics. He's biased towards and against one filmmaker, he's against movies about his race, put in allegories in his reviews and calls himself a film critic which is just a hobby going into a cinema and enjoy watching the movie. Critics are just people from an outlet going into the cinema.

But here's something. About three hours ago, I was on my Twitter and RT had announced that The Social Network which was getting really rave reviews and early Oscar chances had got its first negative review and unsurprisingly it is White himself.

In his review, White commented about the character of Zuckerberg as an 'obnoxious protagonist Noah Baumbach didn't write' before that White said that director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin sould worship Zuckerberg and not accusing Zuckerberg of being a big jerk. He concluded in his review that The Social Network is a TV-trite.

Well I just checked into Rotten Tomatoes again and believe it or not he hates every movie he reviewed except for the movies I mentioned above. In his reviews, he use many words we don't usually use in real life. In other words, he's like Spock from Star Trek where he's an illustration of rationale and that's what he's like. In other words and I don't want to be mean and to be metaphorical, White is a Vulcan.

In his review of Easy A, he declared that movie the worst of 2010 when it is so good, receiving universal acclaim.

His review on The Wrestler commented on Mickey Rourke's performance labelling both it and the film crap.

He compared Inception to playing Grand Theft Auto which would have been worst if GTA had been turned into a movie. Inception and GTA has something in common. They're both about stealing something for a person involved. The huge difference is that Inception is not a video game and doesn't contain Leonardo Dicaprio shooting Ellen Page in the face. So this made me angry.

What's even annoying is that he gave Grown Ups, the thumbs up calling it heartfelt. As well as Transformers 2 is which he calls it art when it's just a bunch of metal fighting each other with no script at all. Anyone so stupid who never want to read reviews in New York would go pay their money and waste it for that film.

White is indeed an intolerant, nasty, hypocritical troll and he would love to make things back to the status quo when we're becoming a progressive society nurturing our opinions. The status quo making us going into his huge depth of dumb movies.

As for me, I have to be stuck with many people that are like Armond Whites at my school. People torment me for watching Inception, a really smart movie nobody in that school watched and anyone who watched it think it's the worst they've seen so far. While the majority of the school has seen Grown Ups and called "the funniest movie of the year". These people are some of the most intolerant hypocrites I have ever met.

But as the moral goes, everybody has an opinion. And whetyer you like it or not, every film isn't perfect. 99% for Toy Story 3 isn't that exactly the percentage we want, but it's ok. We enjoyed it. HE doesn't. We can't do anything about it.

If White want to make America a country with no taste of culture, wished Justin Bieber would forever lived on this planet when we seriously want him to die, eat the same plain food we should eat, then we don't care. White maybe felt bored in every movie he sees.

In that case, Armond White could be the most annoying person tied with Justin Bieber.

And here's a song I would like to compare to that douche.

In a generation where most of the world is globalised with annoying people from Disney, Justin Bieber's a god, and damn it, Megan Fox's the sexiest thing on the planet, the minority of this generation would make Armond Wite, the critic for the New York Press, a butt of all jokes in arts and culture

A pitchfork rating of no stars. >:)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Social Network - Previews, Predictions and Points to make

As we head into Oscar Season or Awards season as a little warm ups for next year's Oscars, there are a few films in the eligibility list at the moment:

- Inception
- Toy Story 3
- Black Swan (not yet released)
- Winter's Bone (not yet released)
- The Kids Are Alright
- 127 Hours (not yet released)

and as we prepare for that, there's one movie that is in the run for the money and that is...

The Social Network

After you've watch the trailer you would see how great this movie. It shows brilliant performances Jesse Einsberg of Zombieland fame and Andrew Garfield who will be the upcoming Spiderman, bautiful cinematography and direction from David Fincher and shows several interpretations of Facebook
OK. Have you ever been tired of hearing really bad stuff Facebook has to face involving privacy issues and identity? In Australia, a girl in my place was on the news, couple of months ago that made me sick. She finds this guy who is an animal carer and you know what she did? She followed him to the address he "supposedly' worked at and got murdered. That person was a wilderness person. It's a sad stoory that involves Facebook. In The Social Network, it's the story of how Facebook becomes a success story for founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Einsberg). But it was to get popular in Harvard and join the elite clubs as he was a total loser there (sorry, but that's the truth.

After you've watch the trailer you would see how great this movie. It shows brilliant performances Jesse Einsberg of Zombieland fame and Andrew Garfield who will be the upcoming Spiderman, bautiful cinematography and direction from David Fincher and shows several interpretations of Facebook as we users never know it 


Have you ever been tired of hearing really bad stuff Facebook has to face involving privacy issues and identity? In Australia, a girl in my place was on the news, couple of months ago that made me sick. She finds this guy who is an animal carer and you know what she did? She followed him to the address he "supposedly' worked at and got murdered. That person was a wilderness person. It's a sad stoory that involves Facebook. 

In The Social Network, it's the story of how Facebook becomes a success story for founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Einsberg). But it was to get popular in Harvard and join the elite clubs as he was a total loser there (sorry, but that's the truth)

So when Facebook becomes a phenomenon in his college later he get involved with a lawsuit that charges him with breaching privacy and copyright infringement. BUt this ravels towards his personal life with his feud with his best friend Eduardo Sevin.

So About Facebook...

Facebook is a revolutionising social network that is used currently by more than 500 million users. But if you want to know more, here's a link of the full info about Facebook. 

To hear the first time that Hollywood is making a movie about Facebook sounds ridiculous to you. But if you understand film maturely, wisely use Facebook at your own time, then seeing this movie wouuld be a huge offer.

I first logged in to Facebook on November last year and you won't believe this but the day before I signed up, I've seen New Moon and I've realise how awful it is and wanted to write a comment about the scene where Kristen Stewart's acting went so horrible. So I just got 'sucked in' into Facebook.

The first few months on Facebook, it seems that you can message and chat your friends, share photos, posts and videos on to your profile, play games like Poker, Yahtzee and build up your virtual farm.

The real truth of Facebook and that... South Park episode

Unfortunately, there are some things I would not wanted to do on Facebook and that is to become social.

There was a line in The Breakfast Club where Bender said to Brian who tells Bender that he was part of the Physics Club where he tells him they discuss physics, do experiments and so on. And this was what Bender reacted...

"So it's social. Calm and demented, but social"

This was one of my favourite lines in the movie because not only Brian's being tormented for joining an isolated social group, but he's been praised since at least in a group and not completely a basket case. 

The fact that Facebook is a social network doesn't mean a lot of users on Facebook are social. IT's not a law or a rule from social networks to be social but many of them doesn't follow the rule.

There are two kinds of people who are not social in the network:

The first kind is the people who choose not to be social on Facebook. And I chose not to. I would either socialise outside of Facebook and can just have a chat with a person in eye contact. And users on Facebook have to go and do something like that since they can't devote their lives too much on Facebook.

The second kind is people who turned out to be losers inside and outside. They can become that if they are bullied or berated online or offline and will lead them to feel manically depressed and kill themselves.

Facebook reminds us that the Internet and many other types of technology such as MP3s and mobile phones is a waste of time and changes the way we live completely.

One person who shows this example is South Park. I've dowloaded this episode called "You Have 0 Friends" which is an obvious spoof on Facebook. Apparently this actually send the real messages of Facebook. The boys are on Facebook, they made a profile for Stan so he can socialise with them when Stan doesn't wanted to get into this new way of socialising. Meanwhile Kyle keeps losing friends when he made friends with a loser named Kip Drordy.

The whole episode wasn't that funny and yet it is really the most popular episode before the 200th and 201st episode of South Park. But the main message by that episode is that Facebook is pointless in life since Stan never wanted a Facebook profile as well as making friends on that site when you don't know anyone.

This is Kip... and he's a social outcast
I really hated that character Kip. Not hate, but I disliked him. I first take pity to him because he only made a Facebook account six months ago and made no friends but when Kyle decided to friend him he goes berzerk and hangs out with him everywhere on his laptop. The truth is Kip is a social outcast and he is a loser inside Facebook. And he doesn't do anything with his account once he has no friends. For the worst, he's one of the most disturbing character I have seen in South Park

Facebook can also be tool for attention. You put in photos and videos... for what. For comments on how good looking you are. I don't want comments on my photos or tags like "Oh he's sexy" in my photos. And I don't want a profile picture but everybody force me to because they think I might be a paedophile. But if you look at my badge you will see a picture of me I made for Scott Pilgrim which is my profile picture and I will keep that picture because I want to.

I wish I wasn't on Facebook on the first place. Even so, I've been thinking many times about deleting my account since I was meddled with by so called 'friends'


Anyway back to the movie and..

The Previews

Surprisingly, The Social Network had got rave reviews. Many of them have a star rating between 3.5 to 5 stars. 

In this review by Rolling Stone, Peter Travers gave this four stars out of four and said that Facebook had changed us into narcissisists that we are becoming

A glowing review from says that we relate our lives to Zuckerberg and will keep you engaged

A review from an anomynous person at the New York Film Festival said that it's razor sharp and plays a meteoric rise... for Facebook

So if these preview tells you anything that it looks awesome and is one of the best movies of the year. Go see it.

Predictions about The Social Network

The Social Network is moved to October 26th in Australia from November 26th. One thing certain and is and again from the trailer is that the performances are brilliant and beautifully directed. Might have a certain chance for Best Picture at the Oscars.

But there's a flaw in this and it is whether or not the audience would be moved by this film. Expectations was very small because people think a movie about Facebook is boring while it was on production.

Not only would they be bored by this movie, but the fact is that much of the world, almost half a billion people in this world use Facebook would be insulted by this movie as they might have use Facebook for nothing and that Mark Zuckerberg has been using our profiles for profit.

But anyway, The Social Network is one of the movies I want to watch in this season with The Town as well as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Crticising the critics: what they do to miss the point so they get ahead of them

You know what. I'm a blogger and also an amateur film critic. I got my own site, my own rating system and I know film very well in my school they don't get me. Sadly I have to face these kinds of things because you never get listened when you are a film critic. When you criticise, either you are making a fool of yourself or you just wanted people's attention. I don't even do that. But I unintendedly get these comments on me a lot.

So when I was watching a movie review show called At The Movies, it has two professional film critics in Australia: Margeret Pomeranz and David Stratton. If you don't them, let's pretend they're Australia's answer to Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper.

Whilst I was watching their show, I was feeling like every movie they review they get to stick to the things affecting that movie and slandering them. OK, Stratton is the target and even though he's one of my favourite movie critics, I'm getting tired of him being too tough on films that are really good and yet so controversial, he wants to stick with the controversy, while Pomeranz. What does she do. She keeps interrupting Stratton because he was giving out allegories that was essential to his opinion in movies. I find this alright at first, but when i was on the websites message board it was filled with posts complaining about Margeret's behaviour.

Here's a Link to show you why:
A comedian criticise David Stratton for hating his programme, then get into a fist fight with him

This does not happen to them, but it happens to every critic even me, so I just find every critic uninteresting because of their behaviour and how it's put out in their material.

So these are the top five behaviours critics do to miss the point because they think they're better than us:

If Lars Von Triers is a great director, then why does David Stratton hate him
5. In this picture is director Lars Von Trier. He directed films like Dogville starring Nicole Kidman and his recent film was the horror movie Antichrist which divided many people. So Trier is David Stratton's target to criticise because he put on the Dogma movement which has many rules and laws involving hand held camerawork, one factor of film Stratton never liked. So the next film Stratton reviewed directed by Trier he will hate it no matter what it is.

The point is many critics would choose who to target to make fun of not only because of their bad filmmaking, but because of their behaviour outside of film. An example is Roger Ebert vs. Rob Schneider when Schneider wrote a hate letter to one critic for hating Deuce Bigalow and overlooked for an Oscar. Ebert would give that film zero stars to defend that critic and also to point out the film's demerits.

4. What I hate about Australian critics is that each time an Australian directed, written a film out of Hollywood, they would give it positive reviews when these films are such crap. I was confused about Salt and why critics giving it a thumbs ups when that film was so ordinary and predictable. This also happens when people give Charlie St. Cloud a three star rating because the screenwriter was Australian. Critics usually get biased to films when some of the crew are that nationality.

3. Recently, I downloaded this episode from South Park called 'The Tale Of Scrotie Mcboogerballs' which was when the boys of South Park wrote a novel to shock readers after becoming tricked for reading Catcher in The Rye thinking it was risque. The novel, hence the episode's name was really graphic and each time people read this, they puke. Despite this, readers put non sensical meanings in the novel to make this a literary masterpiece when there is no meaning.

The fact that in many reviews, critics would use their time to find meaning in film without thinking it through. Many science fiction classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and Alien and even great movies like Inception had many meanings in their own material. But when films are being reviewed, often critics find meanings or make up their own allegories to film that are not there and also  find meanings many filmmakers didn't intend to show.

Remember Closer. The one movie where it had Natalie Portman played a London stripper, then she was nominated for an Oscar. Critics would think the film was based relationships in the modern era where to me it was a soap opera styled movie about sex addicts. There is no meaning in this movie!

Or Match Point, the first Woody Allen movie featuring Scarlett Johansson. People analysed the movie as opinions over London's economy? What the hell is that supposed to mean. I spent like two hours seeing Woody Allen mistreating women in that movie. Well, every Woody Allen movie never had any meaning.

I don't get it. Why does Avatar has to be based on the Vietnam War or 9/11?
Even Avatar. How many underlying ideas can you find? You can find heaps. There's environmental issues, human rights concerns and unnecessary resource use. But political issues based on 9/11 and religion. That's totally ridiculous.

So critics go further in their reviews. Well maybe you shouldn't go too much.

2. What is it when people would go into the controversy of the movie. Is it too graphic. Does that make it even better without controversy? Besides I know that many of you would find A Clockwork Orange so controversial. It should intend to show the bigotting crime rate in London.

One Moralist would say 'Help Me! A girl in a purple wig's about to kill me' because of stupid controversy
When Kick Ass was reviewed in At The Movies, Margeret questions David because he was so disturbed by the fact that an 11 year old character swears and slash people in half. And yet a lot of moralists care about that when considering Kick Ass as a movie. This is so stupid of them to think that it was in that movie when it's only suitable for adults

People. Controversy is art. If you look at artistic photographs of an 11 year olf boy and girl naked, it's supposed to show children blooming into a life transition, not child abuse. When there's controversy, ignore it and enjoy the show.

So in conclusion, film critics would send a hidden message using the controversy in their reviews as a way of censorship.


That they call themselves film critics. It's not even a job. IF they want to go bash and insult the public for choosing dumb movies, then fine. Let them have it their own way. People who call themselves critics, they have a life. They can't spend their lives devoting on movies. They should go listen to music or ride a skateboard or work an important job. Or if they have a partner, they should have sex with them.

And we have to respect them for their intelligence on material. This also happens to critics in music, movies and books. But at least they have their own thing. For instance Australian film critics James Mathieson and Jim Scherebi are both a music journalist and a children's author respectively. Roger Ebert is a respected public figure in America and he doesn't make a lot of money (Take that Oprah!)

Meanwhile, I'm a high school student trying to pass year 10 and I shouldn't be on this blog too much.

So once I stop ranting about critics, I should do my homework.

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey


Sometimes a classic cannot be perfect. And sometimes you'll get polarized into why films so old are turned into classic, that you had watched it for nothing. When I've watched 2001: A Space Odyssey, it seems that I've learnt that lesson that  many film lovers should learn. A classic cannot be a classic to your view.

2001: A Space Odyssey has no narrative at all and use a minimal amount of dialogue. But we don't have to worry about that because director Stanley Kubrick doesn't intend to bore the audiences and send them out to the matinee of the cinema. He intends to show science fiction as an art form and we should appreciate that because like Blade Runner, it doesn't go to usual conventions in the genre like laser guns or car chases or aliens. These factors are cliche and unoriginal.

The movie takes place in 2001 where it starts 4 million years ago where a tribe of primates find this rectangular door call the monolith. But in this chapter, one of the apes find out you can use a bone as a tool and a weapon as well. This scene shows how it's the beginning of mankind.

It changes to a chapter where several scientists went on a mission to find a device called a TMA-1 that was buried during the prehistoric period also known as the monolith.

Later it goes into the most important section where two astronauts are on a mission to Jupiter on Discovery One monitored and controled by HAL 9000. AS the chapter progresses, it goes into the concept of human vs machine and should we be controled by technology or should control the technology and not let them interfere.

It seems that things changed a lot before, during and after 2001 that seems to matched the movie. The Cold War ended, WE had the 9/11 attacks, changes in technology such as touch screen gadgets then we went into conflict to fight off terrorists. Hoever when we are talking 2001 and space exploration, it seems much had changed but with severe consequences. We seen the Columbia mission turned to a failure killing seven astronauts. We have delayed plans to revisit the moon and China and India had their go on space exploration.

But with 2001: A Space Odyssey we should consider this a classic and so should I.

The movie gets so imaginative and clever Kubrick's ideas on technology, space exploration and the infinite future with each of its underlying intepretations like can we behave with upgraded technology in our lives, what is important about the monolith, and can we rely on artificial intelligence, do we have a fear on technology. All these questions everybody who've seen this film would ask.

The soundtrack is excellent and is some of the grandest scores put there in cinematic history. The use of classical music shows how beautiful and yet eerie outer space is. It plays an important part in the movie as it would evoke particular emotion to the viewer and so. 2001 is beautifully shot and the special effects are quite an achievement in cinema.

Unfortunately the problem in this movie is that each scene doesn't have enough layer. Many films work in a certain level of layer and the more layer, the more engaging it is towards the characters. However 2001 has less of that, it certainly gets boring to realize how great the movie is.

2001 is some of the most influential films of all time thanks to Kubrick's experimental ideas. If you look at other films of the last decade like Wall-E, Moon or Solaris they all pay homage to the movie. This should be the best science fiction of all time.

Sunday, September 26, 2010




Within this millenieum, there are a few breakthrough directors coming up to make a movement within the film industry. Those people also directed music videos of breakthrough bands like U2, The White Stripes and The Beastie Boys. They were Michel Gondry, Wes Anderson and so many more.

But in this movie Adaptation, it is directed by Spike Jonze, written by a guy named Charlie Kaufman* and his twin brother Donald (however he isn't real, starring Nicholas Cage as... Charlie Kaufman and his brother.

Adaptation is a black comedy, the story about Charlie Kaufman. After the critical and financial success of Being John Malcovich, Kaufman is assigned to write an adapted screenplay from a real life book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep). However he has trouble writing the script since the book has no plot and that he wanted to focus on the concept of the book which is... Yep you guessed it... flowers. His twin brother Donald (the fictional writer of movie hence played by Cage himself) comes along and stay in his house wanting to be a screenwriter like his brother.

Meanwhile, the novelist Susan Orlean comess along to the film and looks at how her book's about to be created, and her relationship of a gentle orchid hunter John Laroche which turns into a romance.

Adaptation has a weird feel on its body. Spike Jonze has this gift into his film with making each scene almost multi layered, it's very hard to comprehend and stars real actors playing real people covering the events happened to them but then neatly contradicts these events of the plot of the film. Kaufman* With a lot on its hand (the script) it curiously explores and contradicts the events of these characters and how challenged they are to finding out what they are. It goes into scenes wildly unpredictable and goes blackly funny like Kaufman unintendingly entering into his own screenplay. The dialogue is almost breathtaking and will either want to love and hate these people at the same time.

The casting is almost flawless. Nichoas Cage is in the best performance of his career (currently he ended up into unrelentless filming) playing Charlie Kaufman and portraying him as a depressed, self loathing, lack of courage label of pessimism. His voice over goes into the mind of Kaufman starting with a monologue and then a scene with him at a dinner table sweating. Cage also execute being the twin Donald as well, with his lines being said distinctively and hilarilously. So you might feel for Charlie some hatred while you will feel likeable to Donald.

Meryl Streep is a delight as Susan Orlean earning her 13th nomination of an Oscar, while Chris Cooper deservedly wins his Oscar as John Laroche being both funny and yet emotionally fractured at the same time.

The title Adaptation means to turn one material into another material. Another meaning is when animals or living species turn into another species with new features. The movie has several meanings and questions we wanted to know and explain what they mean. With many themes being interpreted, it's wildly enjoyable and amazing and with get you close to the edge with this one.



Another movie similar to Adaptation is Memento. Like Adaptation, this movie is filled with many layers, it bend your mind almost completely. The difference is (and there are many differences here) that it's Adaptation is a black comedy, Memento is more of a film noir.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, Memento goes in a rewind order where as the ending is the beginning, the beginning is the ending. It starts with an amnesiac named Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) killing a man named Teddy (Joe Pantaloliano). His motive for this killing is that Teddy is John Gammell, the person he wants to kill in revenge for his rape and murder of his wife. Shelby used to be a psychiatist treating a patient named Sammy Davis who has anterograde amnesia, the kind of memory loss where you quickly lost track of recent events, but now he had that condition himself. He's now investigating that murder. Turns out to Shelby and to us that Teddy's not the only person in the game. It also involves a bartender named Natalie (Carrie Anne Moss) who tricks him into thinking that she was helping him with the investigation.

This is Christopher Nolan's magnus opus and I'm not just saying that because the critics said it. It was based on a short story by his younger brother Jonathon and seems immensively trippy and atmospheric. And there are many themes of poignancy, grief, perception, revenge and memory. Even so Nolan's structure of the movie is incredible as the story goes backward to how and why one event suppose to happen. It happens to challenge the audience into what is going on.

The visual of the film is excellent. Each scene starts with black and white and after goes to color. Memento then, by ten minutes, transcends into a film noir with its characterization of the genre with elements like manipulation and identity which leads to a mystery at the same time.

The casting is great. Carrie Anne Moss and Joe Pantaloliano were from the Matrix and it was like Nolan was a fan of that movie and thought "Oh yeah i can have that cast'. Even so they are outstanding in this film and no doubt about that. But Guy Pearce is sublime as the heart of the film. He plays a tragic character who is mentally fractured with this untreatable condition and his narration in many scenes are really creepy by the ears of it.

However Memento is not that perfect. Nolan has directed a really great structure for the movie but at the end of each chapter, it becomes really repetitve.

It's official. Christopher Nolan's is one of 21st Century's visionary directors

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Blade Runner (The Director's Cut)


When I seen Inception, I was thinking about other great movies that would challenge me and my mind. So I was thinking movies like 2001: A Space Oddysey, Memento, The Matrix and Donnie Darko. The two of the latter are very good and became my favourite. But this movie had taken my mind in hand, had a lot of intepretations and ideas that were actually thoughtful into the future and it was an absolute classic. And that was Blade Runner.
Blade Runner is considered one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time, featured Harrison Ford who worked with George Lucas in many great blockbusters such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Now he appears in a cult classic that was released in many versions and it is as great as it get.

It starts off with a prologue where in 2019,  Los Angeles (I'm not quite sure if it's actually Los Angeles because of its Japanese themes) looked really big filled with global corporations having the power to do everything and runned the city. One of the corporations, the Tyrell Corporation designed robots called Replicants who are awfully the same as humans yet they lack emotion. The Replicants are sent as slavery for Off World Colonies. When a conflict happens, the Replicants are outlawed on Earth and will be executed or retired if they cross the Earth.

Rick Deckard is a former blade runner, responsible for retiring the Replicants. But his boss assign him to the same mission because five replicants came back including Roy Batty the leader of the Replicants, Pris and Zhora, two pleasure models, Leon Kowalski who killed a doctor when he was being tested, and Rachael, Tyrell's assistant who becomes Deckard's love interest. The Replicants are making themselves more superior as the humans, emotionally in which they have lacked.

When a movie has a lot of ideas and interpretations, movie critics would wanted to see a movie and be challenged by that movie. This was why many of them especially the public loved 2001: A Space Oddysey, The Matrix and Inception. But this kind of challenge reminds me of a South Park episode "The Tale Of Scrottie McBoogerballs" where readers intepret many ideas of a bookthat make total non sense. This is how I feel towards critics when they review movies, but they're actually right. 

Blade Runner is almost awesome. IT is directed by Ridley Scott, some of Hollywood's superior directors and it's beautifully directed. Although set in the future and giving us a glimpse of future technology it doesn't follow the ordinary conventions of the science fiction like weapons that shoot out laser or flying vehicles. I think it's like A Clockwork Orange which also does the same time. 

Thanks to the charismatic performances of every actor especially Harrison Ford, the characters are absolutely vivid. With Rugter Hauer nailing as Roy Batty who is emotionally powered as the leader of the Replicants, Sean Young as the emotionally scorned replicant Rachael as well as M. Emnett Walsh who retains his typecast in film noir. It has ideas that many people would want to intepret and scenes and characters that are almost mysterious like the scene with the unicorn or the blade runner played by Edward James Olmos who makes origami that sends a message to Deckard. 

For instance, Blade Runner was set in an environment that is so pessimistic to the viewer because of the industries being set in there and the corporations running Los Angeles with clues of product placement bringing us lessons that globalisation is bad.  What does the eye mean at the beginning? Does Tyrell is a symbol of corrupt power? Does Batty represents people being alienated for wanting to be humans. And why does he wanted to be human? But as the movie progresses, Ford gives us an idea of fear? Fear of killing a person you're supposed to kill when you are passionate towards her.  

The cinematography is so dark and gritty as well as the music that is very seductive gives us an idea that the movie not only shows that it's science fiction, it reminds us that it is a modern film noir which is also why it is slow paced.

Like many movies mentioned, if you feel so deep about it and wonder what it is all about, then you should see it at least two times. Blade Runner is something I want to see again and again to give us really deep meanings to nature as it is today.

Like 1984, Blade Runner prove itself as one of the greatest science fiction material of all time. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hot Fuzz/Kick Ass reviews

Hot Fuzz


With the release of The Other Guys about two neglected cops getting a chance of car chases and high ass kicking justice, Hot Fuzz is the British version of this. Well, possibly.

Directed by Edgar Wright who also directed Shaun Of The Dead and the seemingly enjoyable Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Wright teams up with Simon Pegg the second time after Shaun Of The Dead. If you like Shaun Of The Dead, Simon Pegg, or basic cop movies, you'll like this film. But if you only seen Simon Pegg for the first or second time running, you would be confused with this movie

Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, a serious Spock-like speaking high ranked police officer from London. He's being moved to Sandford by the Metro because he has too much priority in which creates a bad image for the Metropolitan Police. Sandford is a countryside town where... the crime rate is so low, the police in the town are morons and Sandford is runned by the elderly in a group called the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance or NWA. Angel's teamed up with Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) the son of the Sandford police chief. So when a series of murders that are made into 'accidents' commited, Angel and Danny set to investigate.

I've only seen Simon Pegg in movies twice. One in How To Lose Friends And Alienate People where he gets jiggy with Megan Fox, the other was in Star Trek where he played Scotty. So I might be confused if this was a funny movie at all. But his performance as PC Angels is the heart of the movie and that's what makes that funny. Watching Pegg with Frost (who's a constant collaboration with the guy) makes both the odd couple and a bromance because Angels is a monotone person while Frost playing Danny is an oafish character.

More importantly each actor have something to do in this movie. The highlights of the cast includes Jim Broadbent who plays Constable Butterman, Timothy Dalton as the suspicious supermarket manager and Anne Reid as the town's florist.

Hot Fuzz is a pop culture sandwich. There are many references of famous cop movies such as Bad Boys II and Point Blank, references to Shaun Of The Dead and so far it's a mash up of the buddy cop, action comedy genres. That's the main point of hilarity where much of the dialogue and the action scenes get really clever and interesting.

Unfortunately Hot Fuzz is not perfect. It is so fast paced and although I don't mind movies speeding up its pace, you couldn't get to catch up into the main plot of the story. Plus there are so much loose editing that is so messed up. Even if the whole cast is great, some of them are not quite developed as i would wanted. So in this case, I find these characters immently boring. Also the soundtracks sometimes feel annoying.

Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright are like Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe together. The difference is that they're funny, love to mash some genres and have British accents plus its Abbott and Costello updated. In the end, Hot Fuzz is silly yet intelligently awesome!

Kick Ass


Another filmmaker here is Matthew Vaughn. He produced and directed some of Britain's crime movies such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Layer Cake and Snatch which is not for the kids. Also a movie directed, written and produced by him as well as kids-free is Kick Ass.

This picture on the left appeared in many news articles about the fact that Chloe Moretz who plays Hit Girl who swears in many levels, and killing people. Many conservatives such as family associations and film critics accused the film of glorifying violence responsible by children. Well I would tell these people to have their ass kicked. So far, I've seen it twice and it's good.

In this movie, Dave (Aaron Johnson) is a underrated high school student who is a comic book nerd as well. He'd wondered why there are no superheroes in real life and his buddies answered 'they'd be dead in a day'. So Dave experiments and dons a wetsuit and wrestling mask along with pipes as weapons to see if being a super works. However his friends were right as he is stabbed in the chest along with being hit by a car. But when he does it a second time, he later became an Internet phenomenon after warding off a gang from beating up a man. He finds out there are other supers as well and they are experts. A daddy-daughter duo Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) whose superpowers are automatic weapons and knifes. So when Frank D'Amico finds out, he hires his son Chris (Christopher Mintz Plasse) as another Super named Red Mist to chase after them and let him bash the supers up.

There were problems involving Kick-Ass. The fact that they were rejected by Hollywood studios for its tone and that it was made just a little profit at the box office. But Kick Ass is generally epic, thrilling, hilarious and clever that's almost a pleasure.

The problem with Kick Ass as a movie in financial terms is that it was niched for a teenage audience and  this was equal to Scott Pilgrim which was also niched and becomes a disaster. Now many references towards Generation Y and teens involves the internet such as Myspace in which Kick Ass use to set up a database and Youtube which made Kick Ass the Internet sensation. As much as this is a teen movie, you'll see much of its characters riddened with angst from situations somehow funny yet shocking.

A lot of dark humour is used, mostly violent and much of that is surprising and targeted towards drug dealers including a scene where Kick Ass kills many gangsters via jet pack and two machine guns which is immensely hilarious.

Aaron Johnson makes a lovely impact as the title character to this movie whether he's narrating in the movie which parallels the Tobey Macguire voice over in Spiderman or getting his ass kicked, he provides such joy. Nicholas Cage is great as Big Daddy and he can never be funnier. But the limelight should go to Chloe Moretz who is a revelation. Hit Girl reminds of Jodie Foster's character in Taxi Driver or Natalie Portman in The Professional where she swears and kills in the name of justice.

Imagine a movie where Tarantino violence and Coen brothers dialogue, a graphic novel, teenage films and black comedy comes together. If you can at least laugh at any scene, especially the violence, you will love it. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Movies You Should See Before You Leave School (Part I)

With 2 weeks until the beginning of the Spring holidays and end of exams for me, there are some movies coming out. There's Buried about Ryan Reynolds in a coffin, The Town, a movie about police robberies in Boston and so much more coming soon.

But there was one thing I was disappointed with everyone at school. And that is...


Seriously it's not hard to see a very good movie if you have read the reviews on the Net, newspapers whatever material there is about movies. Inception is really good and yet you're too afraid because the story's complicated and too challenging for you.

I know kids don't actually have time to watch movies but seriously. You're seeing The Expendables? It has nothing but action. You've seeing The Karate kid on the holidays? You would've seen the original Karate Kid from the 80s and it's better than that. You've seen Grown Ups? It's a movie that has jokes of waste, literally. You've seen the Twilight movies? Really? And you're seeing Tommorow When The War Began? Well, it's alright.

Ok. Sorry for being judgemental, but there were so many good movies out there from the past that you would actually watch. You might learn something there like life's tough, get a job. But maybe you might enjoy them. I don't know. IT's your opinion and your choice.

So I'm counting down the top films you should watch before you leave school. Anytime, it's either when you finish Year 12 or going to uni.

1. Sin City (9.5/10)

Before Kick Ass, before we've seen The Dark Knight, before Natalie Portman shaved her head for V for Vendetta, Frank Miller's graphic novella Sin City tuned into a movie that is so seductive, so sadistic, it's almost a teenage boy's pumping wet dream... in black and white. With Jessica Alba as a stripper, several vixen hookers with semi automatic weapons fighting for justice in a hugely corrupt city and an ensemble cast such as Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Elijah Wood that would impress, Sin City is a visceral movie any cinephile cannot miss.

2. UP (9.6/10)

Toy Story 3 may have taken the crown of Pixar's best movie so far, but Up is worth a watch. It's funny, cute, clever, smart and why would we waste our time with the oddest couple in animation? Because they have a lot of heart and soul we would totally look down to. Up is a simplistic film yet truly emotional, it's has a wild imagination that roams around releasing that inner child and giving us that uplifting and motivating one-liner "Adventure is out there!"

3. Amelie (10.0/10)

This was the first foreign movie I have seen and it is great. IT is about a young woman's journey to change everyone's lives for the better while she is trying to make her life better by making a love interest chase after her. It's instataneously clever and humourous, insanely erotic and yet at all times, it focused on not only the title character Amelie but also on everyone around her as we look in depth about each character. The music score is excellent, the cinematography's as bright as ever, Amelie bound to be your delight.

4. Little Miss Sunshine (8.8/10)

Being in a family that are full of nutcases is tough, but one moment with them will make you feel better and is a lot of fun. That's the lesson learnt in Little Miss Sunshine about a struggling family taking their little daughter so she can participate in a beauty pageant. But the whole family would have to take a malfunctioning van along and many things happen. Keep in mind that each member has a problem. From suicide, drug abuse to post traumatic stress but when we go into thier journey all the way to California, we get to know them better. Until the finish of the film, Little Miss Sunshine is smart and funny in many ways.

5. Donnie Darko [Director's Cut] (9.0/10)

Two people in this school has seen this movie, possibly out of curiousity. When Donnie Darko is warned about an apocalypse by an imaginary bunny rabbit called Frank, he commits a series of crimes from his manipulation and he even gets nosey about time travel. Since this concept was so hard to tell and that it was released during 9/11, Donnie Darko was re-released with a director's cut three years later so that everybody finally knows what the hell is going on! Whether you like cult classics, Jake Gylenhal or the song "Mad World", Donnie Darko will give you a head trip.

6. Where The Wild Things Are (8.5/10)

The much-loved children's book is turned into a movie where a boy named Max dressed like a rabbit escape from his house to an island where he meet The Wild Things. When it was released, it initially polarized people because it was not appropriate for kids since many of The Wild Things are incredibly depressed. But I don't care. It gives and teaches us many lessons about neglect, isolation and also to feel free when you escape from people who won't let you be. It was one my favourite movie of 2009.

7. Juno (8.9/10)

I really loved Canadians (except for Bieber). They're really the most underrated people on this planet. Juno is actually a Canadian movie starring Canadians, directed by a Canadian but written by a stripper. Juno is about teenage tomboy (Ellen Page) pregnant by her shy fitness freak (Michael Cera). She decided to not have an abortion, but to put the baby up for adoption and she found the perfect couple who are yuppies desperate for a child. Emotionally and almost honest, Juno teaches us values on feminism, pro choice and pregnancy rights and also a lesson about teenage sex and its consequences. Ellen Page and Michael Cera are really dynamic in their roles making them two of film's current bright stars. Oh, it also made orange Tic Tacs and hamburger phones fads. As well as a popular soundtrack, controversy involving the movie glamorising teenage pregnancy and becoming the highest profitable movie of all time, Juno is jolly good.

8. The Matrix (8.2/10)

Here's an interesting fact. The matrix is also a mathematical formula. But in this case, The Matrix is actually mathematical with its concept aking itself what is The Matrix. What's the truth? And why are so many of us wearing sunglasses? So thanks to that, shot in Sydney before the city head off for the Olympics, and impressive special effects involving slow mo, this prove that computer nerds (which is the main audience) rules the cinema. So if you didn't see the matrix, get out of here and go watch it.

9. The Breakfast Club (10.0/10)

John hughes is a master of teen fillms. Some of Hugh's favourites were Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Pretty In Pink. But this is John Hughe's masterpiece that is considered a movie defining its generation. When five students went to detention on a Saturday, they don't know each other very well. There's the athlete, the brain, the princess, the criminal and the basket-case. Once the film progresses we see that they hated their parents so much that it might have resulted being in detention. The Breakfast Club nails its characters, developing at the right pace and doesn't go in between margins. This movie describes the angst of a teenager and Hughes does a great job as he understands more of the teen.

10. 500 (Days) Of Summer (8.4/10)

As romantic comedies becoming older, this movie has become bolder! 500 Days Of Summer is a rom com that isn't niched for women, but it is also for men who complains about these movies as not their thing. If 500 Days Of Summer gives us a true life lesson (true love doesn't happen the way we wanted to), has an awesome soundtrack and add charms to its central characters while giving us surprises towards the end, this 90 minute indie flick is clever in its own right.