Sunday, September 30, 2012

“LOOPER” MOVIE REVIEW. What’s goes around comes around in karmic style.



Frankly I’ve never been a big fan of time travel flicks, but honestly, this one looks promising.

If you relish futuristic sci-fi yarns, then don’t miss it.

It is cleverly written and directed by RIAN JOHNSON.

But take your time to digest the plot closely, lest you get lost in translation.

It stars JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT and BRUCE WILLIS and they both play the same character called Joe from different time zones, 30 years apart.

The genre here is labeled time travel, so kindly fine-tune your suspension of disbelief.

“LOOPER” actively transports you through the current future (2044) and further into 2074.

The year is 2044 and the globe is in a sorry state.

Hit men called Loopers exist at this time, and their tasks are to kill undesirable people sent from the future, 30 years ahead in time by a crime syndicate for elimination.

You don’t go round shooting people dead, therefore this time travel buzz is illegal.

The Loopers are well rewarded and live an envious life involving speedy cars, eye-dropping drugs and sexy women. Or so it seems.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT is one stone-faced looper living in 2044 under the name of Joe.

His older alter-ego takes the form of BRUCE WILLIS who exists in the futuristic year of 2074.

Joe takes killing instructions from his crime syndicate bosses 30 years ahead of time.

At an appointed time, he will show up promptly at a deserted rural spot.

The victim “from the future” will be delivered to him hooded, with a bag over his head, arms tied behind him and silver bars strapped to the body.

Joe then blasts him dead and claims the silver bars as his payment.

Forward to 2074, where the opportunity to mess with somebody’s present becomes a robust business.

A mob boss called the Rainmaker usurps this “time travel” scheme to despatch unwanted people back to 2044 for execution.

Lucrative job it may be, but what goes around comes around.

And karma has it that the loopers will have to face their own executions in the near future.

So much for spoilers and the rest, you have to see for yourself.

This sci-fic feature film has a potent potpourri mix: time travel, organized crime, death, loss, hope and redemption.

A-listers JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT and BRUCE WILLIS take center stage in this unusual story.

EMILY BLUNT appears in a supporting role to lend a feminine touch.

She plays Sara, a woman of mystery with child actor PIERCE CAGNON as her self-possessed 10-year-old son, Cid.

The premise is refreshing and is definitely worth a watch.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


ONE OF MY CHUMS remarked recently:

“IF you FOLLOW the crowd,  you’ll certainly be among crowds.

Just look at the unflinching amount of GURUS we have on FACEBOOK.

Despite some with their amazingly halting ENGLISH and apparent lack of know-how, they persistently re-invent, spout and tag PHILOSOPHICAL RANTS.”


What’s wrong with that, I replied


That’s saving the Earth, right?

It is one thing to follow, it’s another to be a blind follower.

Get the drift?

Monday, September 17, 2012

“THE RAID: REDEMPTION” MOVIE REVIEW. Relentless Gunfire, Butcherous Mayhem and Bone Crunching Action to astound you.


Go watch this one.

I may not be a firm follower of Welsh film director GARETH EVANS’s body of work, but he is in his right element here.

“THE RAID: REDEMPTION” is his third Indonesian feature extolling and undressing the gory beauty of the Silat Martial Arts choreography and he spared no pains in delivering a classic action thriller that will have you spellbound.

Step aboard this explosive, no-mercy thrill ride where the predator ultimately becomes the prey and vice-versa.

You will relish this ultra-violent Indonesian fight movie with a lethal dosage of non-stop blood and gore.

And witness a breathtaking amount of butcherous mayhem where bullets fly, knives, hammers, clubs, machetes are weaponry used to plunder, hideous sprays of blood splattering helter and skelter, highlighting scenes of relentless violence and gore.

“THE RAID: REDEMPTION” is a belated Indonesian Martial Arts movie that has finally arrived at our shores.

It’s a boggling eye-opener, a “beast” of a cinematic gem that is at its tough-as-nails best.

Hail it as one of the best action films of the year as it takes a bold and memorable step forward in the fierce action genre.

The excessive violence will have you gasping and glued to your seat.

Surely, with “THE RAID: REDEMPTION” director GARETH EVANS has pulled off a triumph.

The Plot’s rundown:

20 elite cops devise a functional attack (or so they think) on an apparent desolate apartment complex.

It is run by a ruthless drug lord, who guises his pathetic “harlem” as a facade for his drug activities.

But the surprise is on the unsuspecting operatives.

Words leak and the evil drug lord gets wind of the upcoming raid.

In vengeful retaliation, he pits his ugly gang and the spineless tenants, against the out-numbered cops. 

The apartment complex is a perfect hideaway for some of the city’s notorious criminals.

At the top-most floor, crime king pin Tama (RAY SAHETAPY) operates a drug lab.

He is protected by thirty floors of sadistic psychopaths.

On this fateful morning, a 20-man SWAT team, including rookie Rama (IKO UWAIS) initiates a dawn raid, scaling and trudging from floor-to-floor, with the single aim of eliminating Tama and crushing his crime empire.

 Towards the end, the cops are heavily out-numbered and must fight back in self-defense, cowering in fear and fleeing for dear life out of the building if they are able to make it.

But not before encountering their opponents and tearing them apart with each passing floor.

Nothing is what it seems when all hell breaks loose.


In all honesty, there’s nothing new in terms of action in “THE RAID: REDEMPTION”.

You should have seen it all in the Hong Kong, Korean and Thai cinema.

Yet it is certainly  a much more arresting production than its predecessor “MERANTAU WARRIOR”.

With the right amount of the international media coverage, it might prove to be Indonesian actor IKO UWAIS’s breakout role, as what the 2003 Muay Thai blockbuster ONG BAK had done for TONY JAA from Thailand.

But in “THE RAID”, it is rogue character Mad Dog played by YAHAN RUHIAN who stands out and steals the thunder from the leads.

He may be a tad pint-sized but he has clearly shown that he is a dynamic force to be reckoned with.

The Press version had the dialogue dubbed in Indian-accentuated English which provides an absolute clue as to where the post production of this movie was done.

In ASIA, most of the renowned action stars are receding as they face mid life crisis or old age.

So watch out for this bright shining action star IKO UWAIS in the years to come.

“THE RAID: REDEMPTION” is commendable good stuff , specially for those who relish non-stop pulsating action.

It is a terrific tour de force that breaks new ground.

You can bet on it.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012



It’s pouring now!

I can see the scurrying raindrops ….

They pitter-patter furiously against the window pane, forming circles of beautiful patterns.

I admire the uplifting sight.

I love the smell of rain.

Everything about it - from the musky fragrance of the air before the impending downpour

to the sound of the torrent as it smatters against the windows.

It’s a splash of poetic indulgence for me.

It’s therapeutic to marvel at the busy streets as they are bathed in the glory of sudden showers.

It’s fun to smirk at peeved people rushing for shelters

cursing that there’s yet going to be another traffic jam.

When the storm brews over

and the sun once again begins to shine warmly through the clouds ….

do observe the beauty of nature in all its splendor.

Let’s revel in this lull-after-the-storm, this precious calm.

After all …..

What is LIFE if not for its smallest pleasures?

“Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…

It’s about learning how to dance in the rain”

singer VIVIAN GREEN cajoles us.

She’s absolutely right!


Poet RAVEN SANCHEZ ALEXANDER, however, expresses a different interpretation of the rain when he laments:

” The clouds are crying

out for you

The rain is falling

fast and blue

The puddles on the ground

Shimmer in my sight

I dance in the rain

On this dark, cold night

Enjoying the water

As I ignore the pain

Forgetting it all

As I twirl it away

I must be a sight

All covered and wet

But I ignore the stares

Instead, I just forget

Forgetting the broken promises

All the fakes and the lies

The stories of heartbreak

Of love and demise

I need a break

From all this hate

From the world of doom

The cloak of gloom

That we weave around ourselves so tight

It clings to us

All day and night

My hair is soaked

My eyes are red

I might be crying

So sick from dread

Lightning flashes

Thunder booms

The world’s aglow

As more storms bloom

Sometimes rain is all I need

Heavy falling water

With a light breeze

To blow away my troubles

For a minute, or a year

And instead i can imagine

The good things that are true

And as I’m dancing there alone

I dream that I’m with you.”

SHOWERS are really beautiful.

Next time when you espy the clouds dispersing,

That the wind takes on a certain howling ….

And you feel the coming of an impending rain.

Take a chance,

Break into a light dance.

Let your hair down,

Bask in the shower,


It may not be your normal routine …

But hey, it can be food for your weary soul!

Seen the classic movie SINGING IN THE RAIN starring GENE KELLY and DEBBIE REYNOLDS?

After all these years, that rainy scene still still lingers ….

leaving one big imprint on my aesthetic mind.

Anyone who says that SUNSHINE brings HAPPINESS has never danced in the RAIN.

For sure!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

FRIENDSHIPS. All over the World (An Old Article Revisited)

A picture is worth a thousand words.


What are FRIENDS for?

Cross over, chum.

Let’s unite to do whatever little

to turn this desolate world into a better abode.

For YOU.

For ME.

For US.


It is not strapped with a life-time warranty.

But while we are at it,

let’s try to make it last.