Sunday, January 30, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
“SINI ADA HANTU” Movie Review. (Here got GHOSTS). So YOU don’t BELIEVE in GHOSTS? Then you ‘MATI’ lah, sure DIE!
A DOUBLE VISION & ASTRO SHAW Joint Production
75% in MALAY language and 25% in CANTONESE dialect.
Film Director JAMES LEE’s VISION:
“MALAYSIA is a colorful country with a diversity of cultural backgrounds. And I see it befitting to create a film – in the true MALAYSIAN way, showcasing the folklore and the ghostly tales … the way I see it.”
MALAYSIAN FILM “SINI ADA HANTU” (HERE GOT GHOSTS!) PRESS PREVIEW
To put it mildly …..
I wasn’t expecting anything wondrous from this preview.
I just moved in with the flow.
Art-house sensibilities are out of my realm and not my area of specialty.
This is because Malaysian film director JAMES LEE is touted to be a trendsetter of the artsy stuff,
and I cannot comprehend how an art house flick can strut horror at its bloodiest best, displaying gory butchery and vampirism.
But I was wrong to harbor this notion.
Very wrong, in fact.
Malaysian film “SINI ADA HANTU” (Here Got Ghosts!) is a spooky-cum-scream-out-loud thriller that delivers incredible surprises.
It’s one hardcore commercial buff that will have you glued to the edge of your seat to a heart-stopping ending with a truly wicked twist.
Splendid acting, one devine script, the director’s well-researched detailed treatment serve to put this film one up against horror features from neighboring countries.
“SINI ADA HANTU” is this good.
I always believe in the power and the stories, so let’s first delve into the main plot:
Two blurry-eyed drivers AH MENG and BAKRI take a late-night job to deliver a corpse in a Chinese style coffin to a derelict village far away from town.
Along the way, they share spooky stories of the macabre to refresh their energy, to keep them awake.
From BAKRI comes a superstitious folklore of “THE BANANA TREE SPIRIT” about a mysterious but beautiful temptress who seduces men in their sleep and drinks their blood.
AH MENG continues his part with his version of four desperado buddies “HANTU NOMBOR EKOR” who are out to tempt fate, to seek spiritual guidance from dead spirits as a hapless means to solve their financial woes. Murder, plunder and scary mayhem follow and everyone meets his just desserts.
BAKRI follows with the third vignette “HANTU ASRAMA” about a haunted university where the hungry, roaming spirits of dead Japanese soldiers dwell. This university is sited on a piece of land once occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War Two.
Then the van suddenly breaks down and an apparition is sighted.
It is right inside the van, behind the two drivers!
BAD THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON.
“SINI ADA HANTU” beckons that, as human beings, we must always bear a conscience over our own doings.
It demonstrates that GHOSTS live and kill deep in the dark, and they lurk within the deepest abyss of our minds.
That every secret is potent and can take on a life of its own.
ALVIN WONG who plays AH MENG and BAKI ZAINAL as BAKRI excel in the acting department.
They are excellent performers, a rare find in the Malaysian entertainment landscape which is known to be favoring pretty boy faces over fine character actors.
“SINI ADA HANTU” is a multicultural potpourri of ghost tales put forward with a wonderful supporting cast.
It will chill your blood and make you want to sleep only with the lights on.
It’s TWO THUMBS UP for this one.
Friday, January 28, 2011
“MR. and MRS. INCREDIBLE” (神奇侠侣) Press Preview
We love comedies,don’t we?
More so when these are “topped” with this layer of icing called “action”.
It’s like sugar and spice and everything nice.
Fresh from the immensely successful dramatic ” BODY GUARDS & ASSASSINS”, award-winning filmmaker Peter Chan is diverging from the norm.
He’s taking a frolic gamble by switching genres.
First, he has taken a lighter approach, and moved from serious cinema to comedy.
Second, his latest offering is an action comic caper “Mr. and Mrs. Incredible” (trading ideas from the West).
No, he is not credited as film director for this one.
He helms the production whilst Vincent Kok directs.
It’s a concoction mix of Hollywood’s “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “The Incredibles”, but this one takes place in ancient China.
Check the movie posters if you can “smell a rat”.
There are loads of screamish, albeit squirmish laughter that are bound to tickle you pink.
Festive celebration, what.
Time to merry-make and laugh.
The film stars Louis Koo and Sandra Ng who play a superhero couple who wishes to be left alone.
No, superheroes are not meant to live an uneventful life of bliss. No way.
Debonair Huan (Louis Koo) falls in love with goofy-two-shoes Red (Sandra Ng).
Unlike poles match, point taken.
They hastily decide to retire quietly, and move to an unknown village to enjoy conjugal bliss, to start a family.
Almost a decade passes by and they are trying very hard to get a baby, despite the regular conjugals exploring different ‘kama sutra’ positions.
Then a martial arts competition is scheduled in the village which they live.
Hundreds of kung-fu masters from all over the country are eyeing for the ultimate championship.
Huan and Red plan to flee the village for fear that their identities would be discovered, but end up being entangled in a conspiracy to murder every potential champion.
To uncover the mastermind, they must don the superhero costumes one more time in the name of justice.
Their baby-making plans are temporarily cast aside.
And the superheroes come charging in again.
Here is a crowd-pleasing spoof with a soul, not just another glaring, superficial piece.
“Mr. and Mrs. Incredible” is a non-stop martial arts action flick with excellent choreography, camera work and special effects.
Plus, it’s gregariously hilarious!
Erase the smirk from your face and go watch this flick.
“Mr and Mrs. Incredible ” will tear the layers off the deficiencies, foibles, and frustrations of life, providing merriment and a momentary escape from a hard day’s grind.
A brilliant performance by Sandra Ng, the zany queen of slapsticks.
Whether she plays a dramatic or comedic role, she sizzles with aplomb and sets the film afire with her raucous albeit infectious guffaws.
She shares an affable chemistry with Louis Koo and her clowning with her onscreen partner literally brings the house down.
“Mr. and Mrs. Incredible” is one movie where the elements of artistry and quiet power intertwine with ease.
It is a gem that shimmers through, slowly like fine wine,
then glows brighter than ever, right before you.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
“THE GREEN HORNET” PRESS PREVIEW
By golly …
It’s our JAY CHOU, Asian pop superstar starring in the Hollywood remake of “THE GREEN HORNET”.
Make no bones about it, but JAY Sir had been widely reported to have that teeny grasp of the English language.
Despite this obvious fact, he has beaten many notable actors on track to win the coveted role of KATO, once helmed by the late Kung Fu God BRUCE LEE.
KATO is the dream role that every Chinese action actor would want to lay hands on.
Whatever been said about JAY CHOU learning his lines phonetically, then he has more or less compensated for this flaw by “electrifying” the screen with his charm and wit.
He’s a bankable ASIAN A-lister.
STEPHEN CHOW, well-known Hong Kong actor/ producer was originally roped in to direct and play KATO, but opted out due to confounding “creative differences”.
It surely would have been interesting to see how STEPHEN CHOW renders this movie in his brand of comedic style that we love.
That is, if he had chosen to direct.
Alas, it was never meant to be.
Now, the story:
BRITT REID (SETH ROGEN) is a dead pan and laid-back party animal who lives a life of waste. When his father suddenly dies from a deadly bee sting (or perhaps, he has been murdered?), the family’s media empire becomes infested with ruthless heroin smugglers.
BRITT decides to form a collaborative alliance with KATO (JAY CHOU) his father’s trusted mechanic.
Together they spring to action to combat the bad guys by masquerading as villians. The most sinister of the baddies is the crime boss CHUDNOFSKY (CHRISTOPHER WALTZ), a Russian mobster who is uniting the criminal families of Los Angeles under his command.
This is the one his father was trying to expose.
It is KATO, his enthusiastic sidekick, who has the brawn and the brains and is a much better fighter.
He even develops a car outfitted with several gadgets and weapons, which they knighted as “The Black Beauty”.
The KATO character is a jack-of-all-trades genius, who combines awesome martial-arts skills with mechanical wizardry.
The pulse of the film is the relationship between the partner-protagonists. ROGEN and CHOU display a great chemistry together.
The casting of the JAY CHOU as KATO was initially, one of unease.
The American film makers were accused in the blogosphere of bypassing Asian-American hopefuls in a brazen attempt to capture the Asian markets.
The film’s producer, NEAL H. MORITZ told the press that he was concerned about JAY CHOU’s lack of fluency in English. At first.
By the time filming began, he had concluded that JAY CHOU’s struggles with the language made his character KATO more endearing.
For sure, SETH ROGEN looks sheepish in his black mask and costume.
And CAMERON DIAZ is just a “filler” for the movie, in a role of a shared lust object for our heroes to drool at.
You wouldn’t nullify GREEN HORNET as a total heart-stomping action thriller. Not when you have a comedian like SETH ROGEN.