For those who may not know, RIGOR MORTIS is a medical term aptly describing the”stiffening of the joints and muscles of a body a few hours after death”.
Nasty description, but enough to expedite quivers down anybody’s spine.
Step right in, and you will be assailed by a myriad of gory glorifications that may jolt you out of your senses and force you to take a stroll down memory lane.
The mood that prevails through the entire movie is generically gloomy, sprinkled with a loadful of spooks, apparitions, zombies and blood curdling vampires demanding your visual attention.
Multi-talented writer, producer and film director JUNO MAK bravely spins a story about life, and the “neither world” where spirits and ghosts dwell. MAK loves bizarre stories, he grew up with these fables which got him hooked during his formative years.
Now, he is exploring the macabre realm of the undead.
Through RIGOR MORTIS, JUNO MAK pays an unusual homage to the classic Chinese vampire movies of the 80s.
No, you will not find pretty boys and alluring damsels in distress onscreen this time around.
MAK carefully assembles his lead cast, recalling some of the original cast members of the old classic vampire series, this despite a couple of these actors had passed on.
The middle-aged actors who are now taking center stage are KARA HUI (movie queen), PAW HEE CHING (movie queen) followed by a host of recognizable veterans such as CHIN SIU HO, ANTHONY CHAN, RICHARD NG and LO HOI PANG.
You will naturally detect aesthetic traces of Japanese art in the visual presentations, as TAKASHI SHIMIZU (the brainchild of horror flicks such as THE GRUDGE and JU-ON) is the resident co-producer here.
You can say JUNO makes his mark in his tribute to the Hong Kong Vampire Films of the 80s.
Ever brimming with confidence, he defies artistic boundaries with loads of stunning visual effects to blow your mind away on top of the scares. So stay braced.
Now,for a nail biting introduction to the dense plot:
Scene opens on a wide shot on the facade of a run down public housing building,
But truth be told, this tenement is infested by menacing vampires, ghosts and zombies who take delight in creating supernatural chaos.
An unemployed actor,still depressed by the loss of his wife and child checks into one of the haunted rooms.
Treading in the direction of the old school genre, the director presents RIGOR MORTIS as a character-driven tale of redemption, as much as it is a horror film to boot.
All the principal characters are shown to be unable to come to terms with their inner demons. Co-Writer and first time Director JUNO MAK is assisted by the stellar performances from his all-star ensemble.
When it comes to craftsmanship, kudos to the Director-of-Photography who rendered a brilliant job. Every shot has been beautifully composed. The visual effects will surely blow you over the top.
The result is a film that will astound many viewers, both in depth and technical competence.
JUNO MAK can be classified as a new independent voice in HONG KONG CINEMA.
And RIGOR MORTIS is a stylish, albeit horror film.
Here you’ll find a blend of artful storytelling and gifted acting.
we are bound to reach a major crossroad or an unexpected turning ….
Then we’ve got to take stock of ourselves and choose.
Should it be this treacherous left turn
or the one fronting the right which appears to be meandering nowhere?
Our love. Our job. Our future may all hang upon that one critical choice. So be wise, choose carefully.
By making that fateful decision, the lives of families and friends, and some people whose paths we will cross later based upon that choice, will hang in that balance.
This is life, that is fate.
As we go on life’s journey, we are forever making friends, enemies and choices, smart ones, bad ones.
And one thing will lead to another.
Just listen to the lyrics of this song:
IF YOU COULD READ MY LIFE, LOVE.
“If you could read my mind, love, What a tale my thoughts could tell. Just like an old time movie, ‘Bout a ghost from a wishing well. In a castle dark or a fortress strong, With chains upon my feet. You know that ghost is me. And I will never be set free As long as I’m a ghost that you can’t see.
If I could read your mind, love, What a tale your thoughts could tell. Just like a paperback novel, The kind the drugstores sell. When you reached the part where the heartaches come, The hero would be me. But heroes often fail, And you won’t read that book again Because the ending’s just too hard to take!”
“MAKE YOUR MOVE” might fit the bill if you are thinking of a pretty-good movie to bring your loved one for a romantic romp, but it’s really crafted for a young and trendy crowd.
Nonetheless, you can still clap your hands and stomp your feet …..
MOVE to the rhythm,
DANCE to the beat ……
And ROCK THE BOAT.
This is a musical movie destined to steal your breath away.
It’s oozing with loads of oh-la-la dancey energy here, in ‘MAKE YOUR MOVE”, with the leads DEREK HOUGH (BALL ROOM CHAMPION from UTAH) and BoA (KOREAN POP SINGER) taking center stage to ignite the sexy slick moves.
So strap on, stay braced as you watch the two animals grinding and pawing each other in heat.
“MAKE YOUR MOVE” peremptorily breezes you through some spectacular dance numbers in a Romeo and Juliet style musical directed by DUANE ADLER.
The dancing parts by the leads are awesome. You can observe the passion for dancing in their eyes and steps. The moments they dance together you see their bodies grinding with sexual joy and passion.
The movie comes alive when the screen characters burst into dance.
The star crossed lovers whirl you through a sordid background of New York gangs who run the city’s hottest underground nightclubs.
Our hero is DONNY (DEREK HOUGH) a New Orleans tap dancer who has just been released from prison where he served his term for getting involved in a street scam.
AYA (BoA) is an ethnic Korean born in Japan; her US visa is on the point of expiring,
They both meet under unexpected circumstances, but both suddenly feel they have the hots for each other.
I am nether a fan of ballroom dancing or K-Pop, but this movie certainly brings you closer to some of the best choreographed numbers, as in this case, it’s tap, hip hop, tango and trapeze. Not forgetting performing the drum-as-you-dance sequence.
“MAKE YOUR MOVE’ is in part, a re-imagining of THE WEST SIDE STORY” Musical with awesome touches of DIRTY DANCING. I was expecting some silly garbage, but heavens no, this one is really good.
If you are an avid arts buff, this film can do you no wrong.
With the present avalanche of whimsical superheroes and awesome CGI features flooding the saturated market place, this one’s surely a welcome respite.
It’s different, it’s a reel treat.
“THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST” guides you through an intriguing world of exotica whilst you sit agape.
It is based on a political thriller novel by Mohsin Hamid.
This movie adaptation helmed by Mira Nair combines culture, religion (to a certain extent), romance, finance, all of which are witnessed by a young Pakistani man Changez (Riz Ahmed) who is being transformed from being an ambitious Wall Street capitalist relegating to a mere Muslim scholar in Lahore when he returns to his homeland.
What brought about the change?
The dehumanization of culture and creed he experiences as a Muslim in New York in the wake of the 9/11 horror has changed his beliefs about the white people mingling around him in the real world.
He sees racial prejudice everywhere being meted to his brown skinned comrades.
Harassed at airports for security checks, despised by wary citizens, and unfairly questioned by the US government over terrorist actions, his growing resentment and disillusionment brought him back to his country to lecture at a local university
Then in 2011 with the kidnapping of a U.S. diplomat in Pakistan, Changez is drawn into another conspiracy.
Bobby Lincoln (Liev Schreiber), a journalist with extensive experience in covering political issues in the East, arrives at Lahore to interview him about the “new militant academia” that has been causing international unrest.
Changez’s family has been suspected of involvement with radical causes, and in an adamant, unaffected manner, he recounts to Bobby on his present principles.
“THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST” is an engaging film that paves the way for some soul-searching questions about the reality created by religion upon this troubled world.
It has the best efforts of some really fine actors such as Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland.
But it is Indian actor Riz Ahmed who plays the lead Changez that the film centres on.
His compelling performance steals the thunder from the competent all star cast.
This film is worth a watch, specially for the arts buffs.
Yet before you can even pause for a soul-churning answer, hey presto ….
the film director JAMES WAN, his motley crew and cast of “INSIDIOUS” return in a jiff to hastily whisk you off your feet and ferry you through another dimension of his ghoulish haunts, just in case you haven’t braved enough of his scares the last time.
Money spins the world, hence every film maker is eager to jump onto a proven bandwagon.
Haunted house remakes reap lucrative returns at the global box office, this much you can be assured.
For a fact, there are myriads of horror features queuing up in the pipeline for cinematic release.
All old houses have their own tales, and are reminiscent of some kinds of haunts.
So it’s mind over matter.
Are ghosts for real?
Here’s a brief synopsis for INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2:
The movie is touted by the production company as a terrifying sequel to the first one. Is it?
This time, the Lambert family is adamant about uncovering the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world.
They are soon to realize that the demons that possessed their youngest son have not been eradicated.
So Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) call in a variety of paranormal experts in a desperate attempt to track the origin of the nightmarish happenings.
The investigation delves into Josh’s troubled childhood and his connection to a mentally unstable man from his past, along with untold secrets from his mother (Barbara Hershey).
Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson), now a dad, is still being hounded by the supernatural, similar to how he was as a kid in 1983.
This time, his son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins) is implicated as well.
We are shown that the souls of both the dead and alive end up being caught in the “neither world”.
Josh also has to travel back in time to seek help from himself in 1983.
Apparently so, if you do not focus.
Director JAMES WAN is trying to cramp too much on an overloaded platter of mysterious crashes, moving objects, angry ghosts and hungry apparitions.
“INSIDIOUS CHAPTER TWO” is indeed, a watered down version of the first chapter and it has a bit of everything from all of the director’s body of work.
Ask not too many questions if you wish to enjoy the scares.
And if the box office for this Chapter 2 is encouraging, you can be assured that the excitement will continue in Chapter 3.
For starters, even if you strip away whatever’s left of this political decorum, the movie will still be able to sustain by itself .
Every bit a commercial entertainment piece, it highlights the plight of African Americans fighting for racial equality.
It is an arresting work of art that cajoles you on a nostalgic journey down memory lane.
“THE BUTLER” is a 2013 American fiction drama directed by LEE DANIELS.
It is a cinematic triumph.
Writing credit goes to DANNY STRONG, backed aptly by a majestic ensemble cast.
FOREST WHITAKER is at his best as CECIL GAINES, an African American who was stressed by all kinds of unhappy encounters he faced during a tumultuous period of the 20th Century,
In REAL, the entire film is loosely based on a real life of butler Eugene Allen, who toiled at the White House from 1952 to 1986, serving eight presidents before his retirement.
“THE BUTLER” has been dogged by bad press bombarding it for historical inaccuracies.
Richard Epstein, a Professor of Law at New York University declares the movie as “full of hype”.
He derails film director LEE DANIELS’s misrepresentation of America’s racial past by sensationalizing the Eugene Allen story for box office profits.
The film’s protagonist Cecil Gaines (WHITAKER), witnesses the cold blooded murder of his father, and sees his mother being raped by a white man farmer, but these incidents never took place in real life.
In the movie, Cecil has two children, one who goes to the Vietnam War and the other becomes a Civil Rights pioneer;
This is far from the truth as Cecil actually had only one son.
Later Cecil works in a lavish hotel, and from there is invited to work at The White House.
He is nervous when he first meets President Truman (Robin Williams), then he becomes accustomed to each First Family for whom he works as the years roll by.
Cecil is the central figure for the history that we see unfold, not just as a butler but also as a husband and father.
OPRAH WINFREY captivates in a wonderful performance as Gloria, the lonely, hard-drinking wife.
WHITAKER excels in this film.
He dresses his character a with a stoic grace and dignity,
“The Butler” is meticulously structured.
It also features A-listers in cameos, including Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Robin Williams, Vanessa Redgrave, John Cusack, Liev Schreiber and Jane Fonda, who plays the former first lady Nancy Reagan.
The film is evocative, haunting and thought provoking.
You are likely to remember this after you leave the cinema.