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Category Archives: Movie Talks

You Are Stronger Than You Think

NgemengMas-19

Bye 2013. Hello 2014.

 

You are stronger than you think (you are).

Who? You. And me, as a matter a fact. Well, actually that would turn the “you” in the title into “we” but whatever.

And why? Because you (we) endured. Albeit all its ups and downs (and ultra-downs), 2013 didn’t take you (us) down.

So did we win? Maybe. Maybe not (yet). But we did endure. Yet another day, yet another year.

So 2014, bring it on!

Happy new year!

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Happy Chinese New Year Everyone

Yup! Happy Chinese New Year...

Yup! Happy Chinese New Year…


Being inside the tradition itself, it was a bit hard to find a little time between trips to and from relatives and families and all. So it was not until today (the third day of the Chinese New Year) that I wrote to wish you a happy Chinese New Year.

Welcome, welcome, the year of the snake,
Cheer up, be jolly, shout, it’s time to wake,
May everything you try to cook and bake,
Returns to you tenfolds or more for your sake,

Oh, and please don’t forget to send to me my take.

Cheers!

Agus Chiawono

 

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

If it ever crossed your mind that the Stephanie Meyer (The Twilight Saga) or E L James (50 Shades of Grey) was a great writer, then stop reading. I didn’t write this for you.

The name was John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. And no matter how you measure epicness, he was, by far, the best. And I just spent 15 minutes in front of my laptop not typing anything because I couldn’t even find an angle to start describing it without being overwhelmed by many other aspects that were just as worthy of mentioning if not more.

In 2001, Peter Jackson brought (or at least tried to bring) the astonishing letters to life. The Fellowship of The Ring, followed by The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of The King (2003) may have won less awards than Titanic (1997) or may have earned less money than The Avengers (2012), but none could argue that the impact, the image left inside the brain of the spectators, the breaths taken by the moments, and the whole epicness of the movies were more than anyone could’ve bargained for.

But still, Jackson lacked. It was to be understood as he was restricted by time and resources and other God-knows-what. But he lacked.

So this time, through a sequence of events preceeding those of The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, Jackson brought us back one more time to the marvelous lands of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Once again, starting from the Hobbit hole in Bag End, through the misty mountains, to the lonely ones where once the great dwarven kingdom Erebor lay, the Grey Wizard Gandalf and the uncles of some characters in the latter films set out for an adventure.

The Hobbit (book) was of a different mood from The Lord of The Rings (book). The scope was much smaller. The number of parallel storylines was also fewer. Even the scale of the evil was not as enormous. It was now that Jackson had it covered. He did a good job putting more signatures of Tolkien into the movie, thus providing us with more than just a story of an adventure pack. We got the chance to experience and absorb many of the cultures, musics, languages, natural riches, and mystics of the Middle Earth. At least more than the fast paced Lord of The Rings. And that was just LOVELY.

So all in all, this was a fantastic movie. It was not The Lord of The Rings. But it was never intented to be. So put your expectations high, but put it in the right compartment. Of course, anything more than this would be a spoiler. Or maybe not. Not that I cared, but whatever. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was expected to be terrific.

I watch, I talk. Feel free to watch and talk by yourself.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Movie Talks

 

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Step Up Revolution (2012)

It’s another Step Up. The fourth, to be exact. But honestly, it didn’t feel like one.

The movie was okay, actually. In life, you win some, you lose some, you fight back for some that’s worth it. And defining what’s worth your fight was what this film talked about. With a known drama plot, cool dancing scenes, and a treat of old friends reappearing, this movie was hard not to be liked.

But it lacked the competition. Sure, they were involved with some kind of competition from the king of internet broadcast against some meow dub step video or whatever it was. And sure, they were also involved in some kind of a feud with a big resort developer. But those weren’t the competition we want to see in a Step Up installment where their enemies used to own them with magnificent dance tricks until they fought back and seized the glory on the dance floor.

Um. Did I say, “dance floor?”

One very interesting concept in this not so Step Up movie was the dance floor. There was none. Instead, they dance on the street, above and around the cars. They dance inside a museum. Have i mentioned beach club? Also inside an office building and a hotel function hall. Even in a project area with all the containers and stuff. And all the dances were acted as flash mobs when no one’s expecting. Those were actually very cool. Now, if only they could dance more and talk less.

And Moose and his gang are back for like 5 minutes. That’s the best part of the movie. Oh and the lead actress was very pretty. Never mind.

I watch, I talk. Feel free to watch and talk by yourself.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Movie Talks

 

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[Blog Recommendation] Firdaus’s Blog

I watch, I talk. Others do the same thing as well. So let me introduce you to a good friend of mine, not only a movie enthusiast (as he stated on his own), but also a scriptwriter, a movie director and an actor. Wow. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, *drumroll* please meet Firdaus Salim.

He just started his own movie blog. You can see it here or type “http://firdaus607.blogspot.com” (without the double quotes) into your browser address. Where I wrote a bigger picture, he went into details, and that’s what I liked about the blog. Sure, he could use a more catchy phrase as the blog title or pay a little more attention to the grammar, but with a content like his, who cares?

So pay a little visit to his site and leave some comments if you please.

I watch, I talk. I also read. Feel free to watch and talk by yourself.
 
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Posted by on November 11, 2011 in Movie Talks

 

Adam (2009)

People met and parted in many different ways. Some more memorable than others, while some were more painful. Adam (the name of the movie) told us a story about the meetings and partings of Adam, a 29 year old with Asperger’s Syndrome, and his new neighbor, Beth.

This was, of course, not your normal love story, given that the main character is someone with a mental problem. But throughout the movie, we were given a very important lesson that ‘normal’ is a strange thing for a ‘strange’ person. Just like the other way around. And that lesson brought us to a better appreciation of life, of love, and of other human beings.

The movie started with the burial of Adam’s father, the only person that was able to support him so far (including doing his laundry and buying his food). Afterwards, life wasn’t on good terms with Adam. Subsequently, he lost his job and trapped thick in managing the estate that his father had left. In between those situations, Beth came to his life. From a total stranger, they became neighbors, and then friends, and then close friends, and then lovers. And later it was Beth that brought Adam back on the game. Or so she thought, because when she looked at it again carefully, the line between her helping him and him helping her became very thin.

Beth lived an almost perfect life with a rich father and an even richer ex-boyfriend. But later in the movie we found out that maintaining a perfect looking life cost more than most of us can afford, and we’re not talking about money here. And so, in her quest to pursue her dreams, She met Adam and fell in love with him. Not because of sympathy and also not because of her own heartbreak, but because sometimes a completely strange stranger is the only one that sees and reaches beyond our barricades. And that’s what Beth experienced.

In the end, we were taken to witness how one lie, petty and unintended, and how one word, simple but unspoken, could change the whole course of someone’s life. This might not be your normal love story. This might also not be your favorite one. But you would agree that this is definitely one story worth pondering.

Ending? Good ending. Not necessarily happy, but definitely not sad. If I said anything more, it would be a spoiler.

Just as an extra piece of information, this movie won the Sundance Film Festival for the Drama category.

I watch, I talk. Feel free to watch and talk by yourself.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Movie Talks

 

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The Little Fockers (2010)

We met the parents in 2000.

We met the Fockers in 2004.

And in 2010, Gaylord Focker was back with two 5-year-old twins and a ton of mess-ups including an “affair” with a pharmaceutical salesgirl, a lousy and cheating house contractor, a once (or twice) in a lifetime birthday party, and of course, a 90 minute mental (which later turned to physical) war with his father in law.

After several years of marriage, Greg (Gay) Focker and Pam were now the proud parents of Samantha and Henry Focker whose 5th birthdays were just around the corner. The family wasn’t in their best shape. Sam wasn’t talking to her father and Henry was having a little problem with social life (which he didn’t seem to have).

Jack Byrnes, the ex-CIA father in law was in a desperate need for a successor for his clan’s legacy. He had a heart attack and his first choice for the next family leader, the Bobfather, was proven to be having an affair. So the only viable option was the Godfocker (I know, I know, just watch the movie and you’d understand).

And so the story started. Along came Andi Garcia. Not this Andy Garcia of The Godfather but rather a very charming, beautiful, energetic, easy going, and easily drunk pharmaceutical representative selling an erectile dysfunction pill played perfectly by Jessica Alba. On a side note, like another billion men on Earth, I’m a fan of her. But it had nothing to do with this film other than the fact that I practically held my breath and hit the person beside me whenever she appeared on the screen.

Ok. So the story started. Along came Andi Garcia just when Jack was being very concerned about the affair issue. Throw in some financial and educational problems into the family. Stir it up with a too good to be true ex-lover. Mix it up with misunderstandings and silly prides. Put in some family values (for the sake of the younger spectators, of course). And look what we have here: The Little Fockers.

Well, judging from the movie title, one might expect that the story was more into the children. But apparently, it was not. The main issue here was again the feud between Greg (Gay) and Jack which occupied approx. 90% of the movie. The circle of trust, the cat and the milking, the eye and finger gesture, the espionage , and many other elements were brought back from the first movie. The only new thing here was Jack’s encounter with Google and it’s kind of ironically funny. One thing worth taking note for was that there were many little funny slips of the tongue throughout the movie. And just like all other predictable movies, the climax was near the end of the movie when the two finally fought bare-handed several minutes after jack saw Greg (Gay) seduced Andi (which was actually the other way around).

This movie probably won’t make it to the Oscars. It relied too heavily on Ben Stiller and Robert de Niro, and one of them wasn’t Oscar quality (no hard feeling here, just a joke). But believe me, you didn’t need an award winning movie to make your day. This movie was great in it’s own way. Not to mention Jessica Alba and her charming, beautiful, energetic, easy going, and easily drunk pharmaceutical representative selling an erectile dysfunction pill cast.

I watch, I talk. Feel free to watch and talk by yourself.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Movie Talks

 

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