Sunday, December 29, 2013

Top 100 Movies I've Watched in 2013

1. Rush
2. Mud
3. Captain Phillips
4. Before Midnight
5. Fruitvale Station
6. The Place Beyond The Pines
7. The Spectacular Now
8. This is the End
9. 12 Years a Slave
10. The Great Gatsby

Catching Fire
The Kings of Summer
Drinking Buddies
Upstream Color
Fast & Furious 6
The Iceman
The World's End

The East
Pain and Gain
Side Effects
Iron Man 3
Man of Tai Chi
Pacific Rim
Monsters University
World War Z

The Croods
Warm Bodies
The Wolverine
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Wish You Were Here
Ender's Game
Thor: The Dark World
Insidious 2

The Heat
Escape Plan
Jack the Giant Slayer
Don Jon
The To-Do List
The Internship
Kick-Ass 2

Man of Steel
Star Trek Into Darkness
We're The Millers
Struck By Lightning
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
The Last Stand
Evil Dead
G.I. Joe Retaliation

Oz The Great & Powerful
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
47 Ronin
The Frozen Ground
The Lifeguard
Welcome to the Punch
Psiko Pencuri Hati

Dead Man Down
Olympus Has Fallen
The Tower
2 Guns
Gangster Squad
White House Down
Bullet to the Head
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Broken City
The Bling Ring
Identity Thief
Despicable Me 2
Only God Forgives
Europa Report
Upside Down
The Lone Ranger

The Hangover III
The Butler
Spring Breakers
Prince Avalanche
Machete Kills
The Way Way Back
A Good Day to Die Hard
How I Live Now
Now You See Me


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

20 Movies to Watch in 2014

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Chris Evans, ScarJo, Bucky The Winter Soldier)

2. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Spidey's new costume, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan)

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (some talking turtles, Megan Fox)

4. Godzilla (Godzilla, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson)

5. X-Men: Days of Future Past (Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Gandalf, Ellen Page, Jennifer Lawrence, Tyrion Lannister. phewwwh)

6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (the awesome and brutal apes!)

7. 22 Jump Street (Channing Tatum & Jonah Hill at college this time)

8. Jupiter Ascending (Wachowski siblings, sci-fi, Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis)

9. The Expendables 3 (Stallone, Arnold, Statham and tother old-timers)

10. Interstellar (Chris Nolan, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Matt Damon, Casey Affleck, Jessica Chastain)

11. Guardians of the Galaxy (new Marvel alliance on big screen, Vin Diesel, Benicio del Toro)

12. The Hobbit: There and Back Again (Smaug, Legolas, Luke Evans, the mighty dwarves)

13. Edge of Tomorrow (Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, robots)

14. The Lego Movie (Batman and Wonder Woman in one movie. enough said.)

15. Robocop (fast Robocop)

16. Dom Hemingway (Jude Law going mental)

17. Transcendence (Johnny Depp, Cillian Murphy, Rebecca Hall)

18. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (some cute dragons and amazing 3D)

19. Transformers: Age of Extinction (that girl from Bates Motel, Mark Wahlberg vs Megatron)

20. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (it's just HOT TUB TIME MACHINE!)

My Problem with Trilogy Movies

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug & The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Two great movies I've recently watched on big screen. Both showcased a major improvement to their respective mother in An Unexpected Journey & The Hunger Games. But it is so annoying that the good experience of watching these movies was 'killed' at the very last minute or second of each film; to be continued in the next installment... Anti-climax. In your face!

I knew and understood perfectly that both franchises are book-adaptations. And I understood perfectly that it is difficult to translate what's all within the book onto the big screen, especially if it is a 600-page kinda novel. (Might work as a TV series like Game of Thrones, though.) But here is the problem. There is no balance between what and how to tell a story by some movie-makers.

(Some SPOILERS below.)

1. The Desolation of Smaug

It was a consistently fun movie until Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug dragon was introduced. It felt like that first dwarves meeting at Bilbo's house in the first Hobbit movie all over again. Yawned. This indirectly resulted in a hanged and 'huh?' ending which made me 'want' to see the third and final Hobbit movie. COME ON! If only Peter Jackson could cut short the dragon's scenes a bit OR just made the dragon went unscripted, which means no Benedict Cumberbatch at all in this sequel, it would give extra rooms and times for a more appropriate ending. Or they could just come up with a better idea for the ending, like...

Make the audience think the dragon is absolutely dead after drowning in the golden liquid only to bring it back in the third Hobbit.

But then, there's one other problem: there's a scene showing Bard taking an arrow off a secret compartment in his house. This might be told in the novel but can they just cut that scene completely from the movie as not to obviously give away what WILL happen next to the arrow and the dragon.

Not all details in a source material make sense as it may serve big loopholes to some. And film-makers shouldn't be 100% devoted to an original source.

As a whole, it is still an entertaining fantasy-flick but it's a shame that The Desolation of Smaug would have been one of the best blockbuster movies this year if not for the over-long scene besides the lazy and, as I suspected it, greedy ending.

2. Catching Fire

It's a near-perfect movie and don't have much complaints. But a small yet annoying thing has ruined it which is the hanged ending. Same case as The Desolation of Smaug here.

My idea?

Erm... passed. I'm kinda okay with this because of Coldplay's Atlas was played during the end-credit. Compensated. Haha.

C'mon Hollywood!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review: Kolumpo (2013)

Yesterday, I went to watch Kolumpo. I'm so glad it lived up to my expectation, after seeing its mass and guerrilla promotion (since 2012!) and hearing nothing but positive reviews about it online.

It is a compilation of 3 short-stories located in KL. The first one is about foreign workers' nightmare in KL. This is a fresh perspective from foreign workers' view about their unlucky journey after being offered
'lucrative' jobs in KL but only to find they were actually tricked to involuntarily involve in PATI syndicate. Azad Jazmin gave a shocking (at least to me) and effective performance as Rahul, a guy from Mumbai who came to Malaysia being offered a job as an assistant manager. Other cast including Mano Maniam, Radhi Khalid & Shoffi Jikan complimented this well-crafted short. It is more comedic in nature than the other two so it is also the most entertaining one. Not to mention the amount of cameos and the comical fellow Indian workers. And the potatoes.

The second short is the best among the three. It is about a Chinese andartu who met an old Malay woman and they both started a journey to send the latter back home. Hands down, Ruminah Sidek gave one of the best performance I've seen in a local movie. She broke my heart with her wonderful acting. An award-worthy. She MUST win. And her chemistry with the andartu played by Nell Ng is beautiful throughout the short. While it may not be the most connected short with the other two, it served many thoughtful stuffs and if you watch it carefully, this short also provides a character-study on some cast. Including on a gang of Malay rempits. Go watch it if you want to know.

Finally, the third. Sharifah Amani and a boy who took interior design course. It's weird and romantic. Well, it was like other local 'indie' romantic movies (KIL first came to mind) but it got some punchy factors. The encounters with some colorful 'KL' characters along the way made the short worth it to watch. In the end, it felt like 500 Days of Summer (why do I always refer to this movie???), it's not a love short-story, but a short-story about love AND accepting people. And heck, it also ended half-exactly like 500 Days of Summer! Okay nevermind...

Overall, Kolumpo is a good watch. A lot of lessons an messages beside portraying alternative sides of Kuala Lumpur other than gangsterism (ehem). My only problem with it is that I expected the three shorts to have more links or connections between one another but nope. Only brief cameos from some characters from one short in another and that is all. So, I don't actually see this as a movie, but more of 'a compilation movie of 3 different shorts located in a same big city'. Both are different things.

Again, Azad Jazmin, Ruminah Sidek and Nell Ng were the standouts above the other brilliant cast. And I'm glad it didn't only focus on KL, the big city. Setapak also got included! Because KL is more than just KLCC and other tall buildings in picture.

Nurul Atikah binti Abdul Rahman selling wigs; Is that an innuendo like 'check-in'? Hmm...

I rated it 4/5 stars.

Friday, December 6, 2013

10 Things I Learned at Urbanscapes 2013

1. Upfront Stage on the Big Weekend. Bihzhu, Efterklang & Damn Dirty Apes sounded awesome on this stage. I don't know whether it's the stage or the performers themselves, but... Upfront Stage was the most impressive stage during Urbanscapes PLUS both Satellite Shows (that said a lot).

2. Discovered new love in Bihzhu, Efterklang & Damn Dirty Apes. Haha. Again, I don't know if it is caused by the Upfront Stage or these bands are really great. Both compliment each other well.

3. Finally experienced Tegan & Sara performing LIVE! After years hearing them on Grey's Anatomy and laptop...

Day 1 of the Big Weekend.

4. Some music acts sounded great on radio/album, but underwhelming when performing live. Lack of something punchy, I guess. Example: Franz Ferdinand. Dammit, I LOVE their catchy tunes, but their set at Urbanscapes felt flat and quite boring.

5. Da Vagabonds, led by Hujan's vocalist Noh is the next new local band to watch. I came late to their show. Caught last 2-3 songs but I was mesmerized by them. A potential one.

6. Urbanscapes and mud can't be separated.

7. Kyoto Protocol is officially the band I've seen live the most in my entire life! From MGMT concert in 2011 to this. They are getting better and better.

8. Sound system during Explosions in the Sky at KL Live was bad, or is it that my ears can't accept EITS' music (live)? I'm confused. haha. I went out early after their 2nd song. Or probably because I was on cough syrup at that time. So I am not really sure...

9. When Mew playing 'She Spider', it gave me goosebumps. The sixth band from Spider-Man 2 OST album after Dashboard Confessional, Switchfoot, Hoobastank, Maroon 5 and Train that came to Malaysia. Hopefully, it would be Taking Back Sunday next! Oh, Mew's set was one of the best.

Day 2 of the Big Weekend.

10. Feeling all deja vu when the vocalist of Efterklang did that 'global continuity gift exchange' thing. I've thought of that before if I ever went on tour around the world; doing something that connect fans from previous show to the next one's. So the 'orange-hat' is my favorite moment from this year's Urbanscapes.

Sape nak oren?

Thank you.

Metric @ KL Live 2013

And it's the end of my concert experience in 2013. With Metric at KL Live last Tuesday 3rd Dec, 2nd Satellite show under Urbanscapes, it was a good show to begin with.

Quite sad though they didn't play some of my personal faves, including 'Eclipse' (yes. That Twilight song.)

Thank you, Urbanscapes for this experience. Overall, it's been an awesome festival. Can't wait for next year's edition. Please bring more British acts!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Urbanscapes 2013 - Day 2's Photos and Review

Thank you so much, Urbanscapes. It was a great weekend spent on enjoying some awesome live music. I personally adore Efterklang's set. They were amazing and engaging! Plus, I think Upfront Stage was the best stage throughout the festival. Great sound system there.

I also discovered new love in Damn Dirty Apes (what a shame I only first time heard of their music at this Urbanscapes but thanks for that!), Bihzhu and a new band, Da Vagabonds. Kyoto Protokol were getting better and better. The headliners, Tegan and Sara & Franz Ferdinand ended each night perfectly.

Urbanscapes 2014, come on!
Da Vagabonds



Franz Ferdinand


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Urbanscapes 2013 - Day 1 (photos)



Damn Dirty Apes

Nice Stupid Playground

Oh Chentaku

Kyoto Protokol

Last Dinosaurs

 Tegan & Sara

Sara Quin

Tegan Quin

Had fun on Day 1. Now, give me Day 2!