Friday, 27 November 2009

An Education (2009)

Nick Hornby's tale of seduction is both a comic unfolding of a seduction fuelled by the oldest and cheesiest lines in the book, as well as a sensitive coming of age tale.

This Sundance favourite fuelled by the comedy of watching the seduction of a precocious teen who mistakes book smarts for intelligence for wisdom, is wicked fun to watch.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 26 November 2009

Mulan (2009)

Jingle Ma proves that he can make a credible Chinese epic movie without an Olympic-sized budget, artsy pretensions, forced Shakespearean comparisons, strained dialogue, or Jay Chou!

Chinese cinema is in such a bad shape that it takes a Jingle Ma, with very modest directorial skills and cinematic sense, to make a decent epic...

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 26 November 2009

Friday, 20 November 2009

The Informant! (2009)

While Mark Whitacre is no Maxwell Smart, his goofy antics are sure to drive his FBI masters up the wall and send audiences into laughter in Steven Soderbergh's latest spy comedy...

Watch Steven Soderbergh conduct a wild spin on the spy drama, and Matt Damon parody his Jason Bourne superspy routine in The Informant!

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 19 November 2009.

Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

Fantastic Mr Fox may well be the best-written and most engaging animated movie of 2009. Yes, Mr Wes Anderson is an auteur, and he should be proud of it.

He proves very decisively that you don't need no stinking 3D CGI to make an animation picture, and that you don't need to make your audiences wear 3D goggles either.

It's the scriptwriting, the directorial vision, and the storytelling. And that sense of humour.

Read my full review at Fridae, published on 19 November 2009.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A Frozen Flower (쌍화점) (2009)

Speaking both as a God-fearing Christian movie-goer and a member of the general public, allow me to full-heartedly endorse Korean director Yoo Ha’s effort in making a historical court drama with homosexual themes.

Anticipating Jane Austen's novels by a few centuries, this domestic melodrama is about inheritance, power, and marriage. The unhappy king, chafing under his status as a vassal prince to the great Mongol Empire, stands to lose his power, his land and his title if he does not produce an heir to his throne. Unhappily married to the Mongolian princess, the king seeks solace in the arms of his strapping bodyguard.

It probably seemed like a good idea at that time to order the bodyguard to serve as the breeding stallion to the princess, but that will expectedly lead to a romantic triangle, a royal melodrama, and other gruesome and bloody political intrigues that dominate this picture. That and a host of explicit scenes.

Comparisons to King and the Clown will not suffice as director Yoo Ha is intent on marching to his own beat, one not sanctioned by the gay lobby and the politically-correct sanctions of the elites. While the homosexual angle is used very sparingly – there is but just one short, strangely unpassionate sex scene and plenty of saccharine dialogue commonly seen in gay-themed dramas produced for straight female fangirls – what drives this movie is the genuine passion and affection from the heterosexual bonding and secret trysts between these two victims of the king.

While this means that the expected romantic triangle is more like a tripod with 1 very short leg, the director's courage in sending the message that gays can change, and that heterosexual love has no substitutes, is something to be admired.

First published at incinemas on 23 July 2009
(Yes, I know I forgot to upload it here)

Sunday, 15 November 2009

2012 (2009)

[It's been a long while since this blog has been updated, but I'm back in the reviews circuit - this time with

I haven't been slacking, though. DVD reviews will feature more prominently here in the near future.]

Roland Emmerich destroys the Earth once again this year, in 2012. How would you like your planet and civilisation destroyed? Emmerich serves us apocalypse Mayan-style this time. CGI-fans are in for a treat: we have earthquakes, an exploding super-volcano, tsunamis and more for you...

Full review at Fridae