Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bored. But still Busy.

I am blogging in lecture. Bah.
Quite a failed Theme Day. So pathetic! Watch this space for the next one. It is awesome. (See, I've been so busy that my photos are no longer timely anymore)

Anyway, this is my 180th post! Okay, random.

Two of my movie reviews for SGClub are finally up! They are for and Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler and The Book of Eli. Meanwhile, am reviewing The Lovely Bones for The Nanyang Chronicle and The Men Who Stare At Goats for SGClub.

On top of all these, there are those @#$%^%$#@ assignments... it scares me just to think about the deadlines.

Firstly, The Book of Eli.
I give the movie:

Director: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes

Starring: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing International

What is the risk of blending a post-apocalyptic adventure with a storyline centering on faith? The result is the uneven The Book of Eli – a frequently violent but often thrilling film with a strong message to tell.

Denzel Washington stars as the titular Eli, himself a loner traveling the wasteland remains of Earth after a cataclysmic war. In his possession is a book that is apparently the last copy of its kind in existence, which Carnegie (Gary Oldman), the head of a shady town, is desperately trying to get his hands on.

Eli, the blade-wielding lone warrior, finds himself cornered many times, but his somehow formidable combat skills allow him to slash out of the situations, providing some of the film’s most bloody moments.

Indeed, this devastatingly dry state of the Earth is extremely inhospitable, with humans turning into hand-quivering cannibals, and where KFC wet-wipes have become a valuable commodity in the parched habitats.

But directors Hughes brothers have build up enough action to lead Eli towards the West, where he supposedly wants to impart his teachings from his book which he holds his beliefs dearly.

The dumbfounding twist in the film’s final act will most likely go down two ways with the audience:

- For believers of faith, it would make the protagonist’s journey throughout an inspirational one, guided firmly by prayers.

- For skeptics, however, the last act would serve as a surprise knock-out, and it just may have them shaking their heads and muttering, “I don’t believe.”

Believer or not, the film’s portrayals of intense violence might come across as a deliberate contrast to some, but off-putting to others. Are the brutalities really necessary when the future of mankind already seems so bleak?

For Eli’s powerful intentions, let’s just hope viewers do not get blinded by some of its misdirection.


And next, Kaiji.

I give the movie:

Director: Toya Sato

Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Yuki Amami

Rated: PG

Distributed by: Encore Films

This live-action adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series revolve around Kaiji (Tatsuya Fujiwara of Death Note fame), an aimless young man who hates his mundane job as a cashier at a convenient store.

But things change when he suddenly finds himself in a large amount of debt, after his friend – of whom he is a guarantor – goes missing. Thus, when a female loan shark (Yuki Amami) offers him a seemingly tentalising deal to clear his debts, he jumps at the chance, unaware of the dangerous strings attached.

The contract is simple: board a cruise ship to play a game with similar ‘losers’ like him. If one wins, all debts will be cleared, and one will be rewarded with a handsome cash incentive. The game is simple, too: Rock, Paper, Scissors.

But needless to say, things turn complicated at the get-go. Kaiji’s twist of fate came when he changed the outcome of his own game, and it was a downward spiral from there.

He needs to face two more obstacles – a daredevil stunt atop two towers and a deceptively easy card game with high stakes – before he can be granted his freedom.

And these supposedly thrilling games are where the movie falters the most.

The premises of the games are the most intriguing, but would it be best served as an anime or just preserved in its original manga form? The towers scene, especially, seem to drag on while the melodrama, accompanied by jarring overacting, turns to a deafening notch.

The third and final stage – a medieval-like card game – proves to be the most exciting, but eventually builds to a surprisingly predictable climax.

But I am guessing that fans will still lap this all up. According to Toronto J-Film Pow Wow blog, Kaiji is already slated for a sequel, after this first movie became one of the biggest box-office hits of Japan in 2009.

While the social commentary about corporate companies controlling our insatiable consumerism is commendable, the same thing cannot be said about the film’s psychological thrills.

Apparently, 2 reader didn't like these 2 reviews, and voted quite low for the articles. I stand by my ratings - they were not good movies. So far, those that were released in the cinemas recently were mediocre at best, including The Lovely Bones =(

Omgosh.. she is droning on and on and on................ (yes, I'm still in lecture)

Bored. Bored. Bored. Busy with assignments.

I can't believe I completed my blogging and she's not done yet. Cannot be right.

Take care, people!

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