Tuesday, November 30, 2010

“LELIO POPO” Movie Review. A “TWIST and SHOUT” SPOOF about Two Harebrained CROSS-DRESSING BILLIES.

“LELIO PO PO” Press Preview

Here’s THIS stark truth:

Films depicting human foibles will surely find their own audiences.

Otherwise they wouldn’t “get” made.

Investors, who are fielding the cash, can smell where to place the money.

Heard of this Chinese adage which says SILLY PEOPLE BRING PROSPERITY TO THE TABLE?

‘Tis the reason.

Feature films focusing on the idiosyncrasies of people are being regularly churned out because it can be a roaring trade, to poke harmless fun at everybody, and naturally, to make more money.

For a fact, everyone likes to laugh.

Let’s just say that LELIO PO PO would have found her niche and target audience by now.

And hopefully, the producers and financiers are smiling their way to the bank.

“The production value is RM 2 million ringgit and we are anticipating to recoup RM 3 million ringgit,” beams the dashing young MALAYSIAN film director ADRIAN TEH.

No mean feat, but it’s very possible, given the fact that his previous venture ICE KACANG PUPPY LOVE (he exec produced this one) has crossed the boundary of RM 4 million ringgit.

ADRIAN TEH is a cute and confident guy who has what it takes to be a leading man, but he prefers to remain humbly behind-the-camera, in double takes, as exec producer/director.

He sets his mind to be one of the foremost directors in Malaysia, to contribute to the ever growing, lucrative art of the celluloid.

He’s a man to watch out for.

LELIO POPO is a colourful Malaysian-Singaporean joint venture (Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd, PMP Entertainment (M) Sdn Bhd, Asia Tropical Films Sdn Bhd, Mega Cineplex Sdn Bhd and Singapore’s Clover Films Pte Ltd) production.

This is OLD news, as there has been a recent spate of MALAYSIAN-SINGAPORE collaborations, chiefly because the CHINESE cinema in MALAYSIA is growing with a populace of 28 million, of which 25% are predominantly Chinese.

And SINGAPORE, ever gregarious, is just not going to let this one pass readily, without a stake.

MALAYSIA can be another marketing outroad.

LELIO POPO boasts of some of the best criss-cross acting talents from both nations, unless you do not recognize them.

It stars MALAYSIA’s beloved Chinese radio deejay duo KK and AH LUKE, who are better known as “K6″.

The female lead is the stunning and oh-so-pretty SINGAPORE’s MINDEE ONG, whose movie credits include “881: The Papaya Sisters” and “12 Lotus”.

Joining the cast are the talented duo BENJAMIN HENG and ALARIC TAY

with JESSE TEONG, and a special cameo by SINGAPORE’s effeminate funnyman HENRY THIA (“Money No Enough”, “Old Cow Vs Tender Grass”).

Let’s move over to the script which may reek a trifle weak, but no less entertaining.

It explores the territory of cross-dressing on television and film in Malaysia.

SINGAPORE’s most notable cross-dressing actors are the infamous JACK NEO and late bloomer DENNIS CHEW.

Unfortunately, JACK NEO these days seems to bask in the glory of EDISON CHEN for his casting couch syndrome, leaving the latest SINGAPOREAN cross dresser DENNIS CHEW to sing a “Johnny-come-lately” on his own.

And yes, JACK NEO’s comeback role would be that of another gender bending genre, as AH NIU’S naggy mother in a Chinese New Year joint-venture called HOMECOMING.

Once upon a time a household icon in MALAYSIA, JACK NEO’s legion of family fans have dwindled somewhat when news of his sexual escapades hit the shores.

To most mothers, JACK NEO has fallen from grace, is a name to despise and never a role model to emulate.

Hopefully, he’s not going to be a box-office poison.

It is very likely that KK and LUKE, the MALAYSIAN duo in this MALAYSIAN joint venture is going to give the SINGAPORE veterans a run for their money.

Simply because they fare better, are funnier and “fresher”.

Those SINGAPORE comedians tend to be a tad outdated, outmoded and overexposed as the years roll by, offering little or nothing new.

Everyone is aiming for a different diet, for “freshness” and “freshies”.

MALAYSIA boleh, you know?

Otherwise, the SINGAPORE TV Station would not be furiously recruiting MALAYSIAN pageant queens and alluring aspirants for their dramas.

One might speculate that there’s a dearth of pretty gals in SINGAPORE.

Yes, maybe the neighbor’s grass is greener.

Truth is often stranger than fiction.

Basically the LELIO POPO story touches on two obnoxious super diva deejays played by KK and LUKE.

Their unbearable attitudes cost them their jobs.

Thereafter, they find it hard to get similar work as they have been blacklisted in the market.

So the two silly Billies resort to menial odd jobs, such as being toilet cleaners, product demonstrators at the supermarket, or anything – just to be gainfully employed.

Then, as luck would have it, they accidentally discover that a radio station is casting for two old ladies (po-po’s) for a brand new show.

They promptly applied, went for the auditions, did well and were hired.

This is where the merry-go-round starts in one hour and a half of madcap escapades where the “po-po’s” learn a humbling experience in life about respect and kindness.

Sometimes, in LIFE, it does not pay to be too smart nor too careful.

Just rejoice in the moments and let the good times roll.

Remember to help the elderlies as the LELIO PO-POs are demonstrating to us.

It may be a film extolling silliness, but there’s a resounding morale to be learnt here.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy told us decades ago:

“As we express our gratitude,

we must never forget

that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,

but to live by them.”

Live and let live

and go enjoy the movie that’ll have you laugh yourself into stitches.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

DUE DATE Movie Review. It’s one scorching 3some RIOT when TWO OPPOSITES + ONE PET POOCH hit the ROAD.

DUE DATE Press Preview

STRESSED lately?

Then watching this movie can be a jolly good time to let your hair down.

Because it’s a ruckus.

More so, you can share a guffaw or two.

With a title as nutty as DUE DATE,

you can well pray to expect the unexpected.

The story weaves around two unruly characters who are poles apart.

Didn’t they preach that unlike poles attract?

Peter Highman (ROBERT DOWNEY JR) and Ethan Tremblay (ZACH GALIFIANAKIS) stumble into each other at the Airport.

They just don’t like each other very much, at a sniff.

Both trade hostilities and are peremptorily booted from their flight, under suspicion of being terrorists.

Peter is meticulous, prim and proper.

In contrast, Ethan is over zealous and hazily crazy.

Peter is debonair.

Ethan is definitely off-the-rack.

Peter is rushing to Los Angeles to be in time for his wife, to witness the birth of his first child.

Ethan on the other hand, is heading for Hollywood to pursue an acting career, not without his beloved, but very horny French bulldog SONNY.

Peter loses his wallet with his identifications and credit cards and has to rely on Ethan for help.

For all the wrong reasons, these two guys + one French bulldog pretended to tolerate each other,

and hit on a drive together to their respective destinations, in a rented car.

Thus begins their squabbling “bromance” (brotherly love).

But before the journey is over, we all know that true bonding will take place.

This odd couple will become the greatest pf chums,

but ONLY after the incessant ranting, griping, fisting and fighting.

Ethan, who suffers sometimes from insomnia, even masturbates in the car to the astonishment of Peter, witnessed also by his pooch SONNY who “yaps” in approval.

It’s as crazy as you can get.

The morale?

Just like a flower, a friendship needs time to blossom

and develop whilst gaining trust,

Each petal can portray a a different layer of friendship,

Some may earn bruises along the way,

Friendship attests the good times and the bad,

With arguments thrown in and then the fun part of making up.

DUE DATE is the latest dramedy from director TODD PHILLIPS, whose previous film, THE HANGOVER was among the best of 2009.

The “road trip movie” formula is well established.

Throw in two wacky characters in a car and set them out on a series of unbecoming adventures, conveniently designed to help them learn to appreciate each other by the end.

Will this be another achievement or feather in the cap?

The filmmaker has banked a small fortune for himself by making movies about overgrown adolescents, out of control and often on the move.

Stay braced and laugh at the DUE DATE’s madcap situations.

I, initially think it’s going to be a let-down film.

Little did I know that it’s this funnily good.

The wrap-up of this story – once Ethan arrives in Hollywood and achieves his dream job – is sentimentally delightful.

An entertaining script peppered with smart lines help to lift this movie way above the average spoof,

and the staunch chemistry between the two leads spark the entire fun ride.

Who’s this rotund actor with the funny name called ZACH GALIFIANAKIS?

He walks with a twaddle and he’s one real cutie.

Sometimes you wanna slap him but mostly you wanna hug him for being adorable.


He’s an actor who never falters,

is versatile and is wonderful in each and every of his screen role,

getting BETTER all the time.

To pair both of them in a summer comedy is a brilliant idea that works.

This film's tagline cajoles, "LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE".

You should.

Life's too short for worries.

n’est-ce pas?

(isn’t this so)?

Friday, November 26, 2010

THE NEXT THREE DAYS Movie Review. ONE-MAN Prison Break Thriller. FLEEING in the NAME of LOVE.


I am asking myself:

Is the economic doldrum hitting the film industry badly?

Apparently so, given the number of remakes.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Film studios worldwide are resorting to reMAKES to steer clear of the impending doom-and-gloom.

Even the big wigs in Hollywood are queasy …

Sometimes they are betting on the most awful of movies – those that are virtually unheard of, for remakes.

Truth or fiction? You go figure.

Would it be an excuse to expound that vintage stuff mellows better

and old formulas die hard?

Take note that THE NEXT THREE DAYS is a reMAKE.

It is based on a 2007 French thriller ‘ANYTHING FOR HER’ originally directed by FRED CAVAYE, a film that barely got a release in the States and is relatively unknown.

This time round, Oscar winning screenwriter and director PAUL HAGGIS (CRASH) takes over the helm.

So is it better than the predecessor?

Let’s say that thrillers needn’t be 100 percent believable, but a little dose of sensibility helps.

A man’s duty is to protect his wife and family.

RUSSELL CROWE as John Brennan does more than that.

When his wife Laura (ELIZABETH BANKS) is arrested for a murder she didn’t commit (or so she protested), RUSSELL flies into a rage.

Did Lara commit the brutal murder?

There are teasing black-and-white flashbacks that suggest ambiguity.

When the odds are stacked heavily against her

and the final appeal for her release fails,

she becomes suicidal.

And when nobody else cares a hoot,

he then decides to take the law into his own hands.

Off he goes to devise an escape scheme, with a little painstaking help from researching the internet for resources.

He also seeks the paid advice of an ex-con (LIAM NEESON) in an one - scene-cameo) who renders him a useful tip or two.

It’s when all plans are set, something goes awfully wrong.

And the story moves headily into another twist.

It’s time to suspend your disbelief.

Here’s a well-acted tale of a husband’s undying devotion that spirals into a popcorn feature that no one will mistake for a true story.

The tempo tends to be unevenly stretched, a little choppy here and there, sometimes speeding fast forward, at moments draggy.

The heat is intense, but where’s the suspense?

There are scenes that will heighten your adrenaline surge, only to pull you back to middle grounds to fill dialogue-driven moments, in order to understand the character’s motivations.

On the plus, there are heart thumping action scenes, particularly a perilous highway chase sequence and the two protagonists fleeing furiously down subway platforms in an escape act.

It has a superb cast, but THE NEXT THREE DAYS is essentially a RUSSELL CROWE film where his leading man status takes centerstage.

We are shown how a meek mouse can turn into a fearless lion as he is this mild mannered professor who’s adapting to streetwise survival tactics in a bid to thrive in another “dangerous different” world.

Leading lady ELIZABETH BANKS shines as RUSSELL’s spouse who battles chronic anxiety in a prison cell.

Warmth and tenderness are dealt in equal measures as desperation and hopelessness.

HAGGIS’ script relies heavily on CROWE to demonstrate the thematic core of the film: a fervent hope that the hero can pull his solo act of prison break through.

This has to be expressed in CROWE’s every tacit expression and action.

Maybe the film director could have given THE NEXT THREE DAYS a tighter and more profound treatment, but compelling performances by all the actors lift the film from the rut.

And for fans of RUSSELL CROWE,

this feature is definitely worth a watch.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010



You’re telling me that don’t have a FACEBOOK account?

Now, that’s a real pity …..

Just look at the bare facts.

Kids are smart these days,

even they are at it.

Soon those from the "old school" will be left far behind.

And if you are world weary, anyone can wallow as a recluse, but do remember that age is just a number

and nobody is ever too hopeless to be computer savvy.

‘Tis the digital age where both information and friendship are a “click” away from your fingertips.

Loneliness can be a thing of the past, as there’s this thing called e-friendship which is what FACEBOOK is all about ….

to CONNECT via the Social Network,

MAKING FRIENDS via the Social Network.

For starters, here’s a probing film that demonstrates that, with a bright idea, you never say die.

If you persevere, hope can rally round the corner …..

You may hit jackpot and be the next billionaire.

Nothing is impossible, but success often comes with a price tag.

You might never know when jealous comrades might come slapping you with lawsuits claiming intellectual property rights, as demonstrated by MARK ZUCKERBERG, the real CEO of FACEBOOK.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK takes a swipe at the FACEBOOK phenomenon.

Truth or fiction?

It’s based on the book The Accidental Billionaires, a semi fictionalised account on the founding of FACEBOOK.

In a tight capsule, it expounds the drama of friendship, loyalty, trust and betrayal.

We are shown that luck never gives. It only lends.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK is already attracting Oscar buzz.

With AARON SORKIN, the writer of A Few Good Men and TV’s The West Wing together and DAVID FINCHER, the stylish director of Fight Club, Panic Room and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button helming a killer cast, we are in for a stupendous treat.

It goes on to verify, that in any film industry, a really passionate and competent director is what it takes to call the shots.

Of course, A-listers help to sell the movie but it is the director that brings on the crunches.

JESSE EISENBERG as Mark Zuckerberg is superb casting. This dude is sure and sturdy and acts like a younger version of DUSTIN HOFFMAN.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE as Sean Parker and ANDREW GARFIELD as Eduardo Saverin are totally cool in their roles, rocking the e-geek look, playing guys who understand ambitions and pressure, having gone through them all.

Let’s delve into the SCRIPT by AARON SORKIN.

This writer exposes a truer-than-blue subject: the creation of the networking website FACEBOOK and the founder MARK ZUCKERBERG.

Is MARK the wise leader of an empire where loyalty is one ruthless word?

We are shown the incessant backstabbing among the various nerds and geeks to attest the fragility of true bondings.

Friendship are hard to make, yet so easy to crackle.

This is LIFE, because MONEY often speaks loud and so clear,

Popularity is a state of mind.

And GREED is about who you backstab to get the credit and the cash.

Who can you trust when you have a fantastic scheme that can build you as a billionaire?

Absolutely no one.

It’s pretty obvious that AARON SORKIN’s sordid script induces chilling thoughts from start to finish, with dialogues built around unsettling, provoking lines.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK is a palpitating drama that traces the founding of the internet social networking website FACEBOOK.

Boardroom mayhem and nasty lawsuits are exposed in good measure, layer by layer.

It’s one gripping, pow-wow power drama.

JESSE EISENBERG plays Mark Zuckerberg, a brilliant Harvard University student you might want to call a sociopath.

He’s this unsmiling, arrogant and sexed-up 19-year-old Harvard sophomore who is as socially maladroit as he is fearsomely smart.

And how well did EISENBERG play Mark Zuckerberg?

“What I discovered is that Mark is somebody who is ultimately kind of a lonely person, who has difficulty connecting because I think other people want to connect in a way he’s not comfortable with,” said the actor. “His reputation is inconsistent with his behavior. It seems to me he’s personable. And incredibly bright.”

MARK ZUCKERBERG, the founder of the FACEBOOK has this to say about himself:

He’s a fallible entrepreneur, admitting he had made “every mistake you can make.”

Yet more than 50% of Facebook’s more than 500 million users visit his site at least once a day.

“If you’re building a product that people love, you can make a lot of mistakes,” he offered.

MARK ZUCKERBERG also acknowledged that Facebook might not be “100% right” on privacy issues and in its current spat with Google.

“Frankly, it’s one of the reasons why being at FACEBOOK is so exciting,” he stipulated.

“We are at the forefront at some of these issues, which are really unsolved issues in the industry. The correct answer isn’t completely obvious.”

In the biopic movie, MARK teams up with a pair of preppy entrepreneurs to create an online social website, but soon after he switches camp and decides to collaborate with his best buddy Eduardo (ANDREW GARFIELD).

The FACEBOOK.com becomes an instant smash, but Mark’s ex-partners see red and accuse him of stealing their concept.

Thereupon the drama unfolds.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK can be somewhat brooding, sometimes funny but mostly intellectual and deeply engrossing.

It’s one exhilarating, cutting edge movie making.

The explosive drama is bound to keep you glued to the edge of your seat.

Nothing short of brilliant, THE SOCIAL NETWORK is an emotive, eloquent film, treated in grand style by an equally brilliant director DAVID FINCHER.