Monday, July 30, 2007


One of the greatest, greatest filmmaker ever, Ingmar Bergman, has died at 89.

This is indeed a sad day.

"I have always admired him, and I wish I could be a equally good filmaker as he is, but it will never happen. His love for the cinema almost gives me a guilty conscience." - Steven Spielberg

Sunday, July 15, 2007


DIE HARD 4.0 (Len Wiseman, 2007)

John McClane is back. With or without the 'F' word. Now this is what a pure, adrenaline-rush action movie *needs* to be. Superbly entertaining from start to finish. No excessive slo-mo, no corny melodrama, and no cameramen on seizures (*cough* *cough* Transformers). *This* is the action movie to beat this year.

Die Hard 4.0 gave *exactly* what it promised, and then some. The fantastic action sequences are amongst the best I've seen, and almost all of them are done with *actual stunts*. Meaning: no overbearing CGI effects. And that's just what I want considering the flood of cgi-laden fares recently. A very much welcome return to the traditional ways of action choreography and practical effects.

The character interactions are always humorous and engaging, even though the dialogues generally take a backseat allowing the car crashes and explosions to take the screen. And surprisingly Die Hard 4.0 *DO* have an *actual* plot, and an actual thematic significance (befitting the post 9/11 paranoia) to come along with those explosions. Man versus technology. John McClane is the very antithesis of our overreliance on computers and technology. Rather smart; considering the movie itself used very little computer effects.

Forget Transformers. Go do yourself a favor and watch Bruce Willis in top-form, kickin' ass and spouting one-liners instead. PG-13 or no PG-13, I had the best fun in the theaters this year as of yet. "Yippee-Kay-Yay, m----r!!"

Verdict: 4/5

Oh, and "Happy Birthday to me!" ngahaha

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


TRANSFORMERS (Michael Bay, 2007)

Michael Bay is a hack. His talents are only and I do mean, only, limited to blowing stuff up and exhausting your senses. Seriously, with all the technological prowess of Industrial Light And Magic at hand, and Steven Spielberg as executive producer, it is a wonder that Bay still managed to screw it all up. And how could anyone(that have a slightest bit of talent) make a *dull* movie out of giant robots beating the crap out of each other?

First off, I don't really hate Michael Bay (at least before this). I really liked The Rock, and kinda-liked Armageddon. So any accusations about me being biased are arguably far from valid.

I'll start with the things I like before I go 'Megatron' all over the movie. Shia LeBouf basically carried the movie, giving an energetic performance. John Torturro embraced the movie's cartoon roots and took the corny, geeky material to very amusing result. And Megan Fox is *extremely* hot. To be fair, earlier on the movie was pretty exciting. And I particularly liked the humor and self-references(or self-parody?) scattered here and there.

Now the bad part. I won't complain about the script or the glaring plot holes, because I don't expect a Transformers movie to have a particularly engaging (or intelligent) story in the first place. If it has that, then it's a definite plus though. But the fact is it doesn't. So all I want to see is some fantastic action sequences that would blow me away. But sadly, it is in that same *department*, that the movie fails totally. The action sequences are virtually incomprehensible. The attention-deficit camera work, ultra-fast editing, and the constant zooming result to an ultimately dizzying, and sometimes excruciating experience. I didn't know who's fighting who, and what the hell is going on on-screen. The CGI team has put an amazing effort in bringing the robots to life, but all the fast cuts and bad camera detracts the overall "effect".

The horrible robot designs(more alien-like than anything) only made it worse. What made the cartoon series so appealing was because of the robot designs. They have *character*, each and everyone of them. Here they just looked like chunks of metal glued together. Bay applied his usual formula of "throwing *everything* on-screen and just blow them all up", with little to no attention on *creativity*. Okay, okay you can blow stuff up good, but you already did that in Bad Boys 2. Anymore tricks up your sleeve? Guess not. If you think about it, some of the action sequences are just a rehash from his previous movies (Even some of the scenes looked recycled!). To put it simply, they're just *dull*. No matter how much destruction committed on screen, nothing beats some genuine, imaginative "action choreography". The messy final fight sequence, pretty much sums it all up: headache-inducing, overblown, and surpisingly boring.

And I don't understand the need to shoot *every* scene like an action sequence, with shots that are barely more than 2 seconds long. This is common in Bay's previous movies, but in Transformers it was taken to the extreme. Any sense of pacing, tension, or a thrilling build-up can be thrown out the window. I thought that he would learn at least a thing or two from Spielberg, but any way you look at it this is still your typical Michael Bay movie: big, dumb, and loud. I hope this is the last of their collaboration, but that seems kinda far-fetched considering the money this movie would undoubtedly rake in.

Transformers worked better when it doesn't try to be serious. I really felt compelled to give the movie a total rotten rating, but Optimus Prime said that he'd melt my brain if I do. So there.

Verdict: 2.5/5