Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Aftershock (唐山大地震) (2010)

Over the past 15 years, China's independent directors seem unable or unwilling to follow up on their social satires, realist peasant commentaries, or feudal allegories - switching to mainstream, even propagandist fare.

Feng Xiaogang seems to buck this trend with a disaster movie, in spite of generous funding and support from state organs, and a narrative that would have pulled a lesser, lazier director towards propaganda, melodrama, or sentimentality.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 28 July 2010.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Old cow vs tender grass (老牛与嫩草) (2010)

Named after a rude euphemism for spring-autumn romances, this is a  sketch comedy from the B-list of Singapore's third-rate comedians.

The film must have been secretly funded by the nation’s dating agency, judging by the barrage of thinly disguised public service messaging in this film, all aimed at promoting various state-sponsored causes or highlighting social problems.

Avoid this film if you don't wish to play a "sport the PSA, name the relevant agency" drinking game.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 22 July 2010.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The Crazies (2010)

The Crazies is one of the very rare remakes that surpasses its original source.

What's more astonishing is how Brett Eisner achieves that by jettisoning the zombie apocalypse genre's tradition of social and political commentary...

So much so that this feels like a perfect vehicle for the NRA and paranoid survivalists.

Read my full review on Fridae, first published on 21 July 2010.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Taipei Exchanges (第36个故事) (2010)

A pair of sisters run a curio shop and cafe. Over the film, you will learn with them the foundations of economics, the meaning of life, and everything that matters.

Just think of this as a diabetic, cutesified version of Freakanomics for the Oriental market.

Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 15 July 2010.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Inception (2010)

Christopher Nolan delivers another film with intricate visuals and equally complicated plots.

Inception is quite simply a heist film with 2 twists.

The heists take place in the dream world, and the Big Heist of the film involves putting things where they shouldn’t belong rather than taking them out from where they belong.
Read my full review at Fridae, first published on 14 July 2010.

Hot tub time machine (2010)

The Hollywood machine reassembles Japan's science fiction/80s nostalgia comedy Bubble Fiction: Boom or Bust as American science fiction/80s nostalgia comedy Hot Tub Time Machine.

Expect the usual jokes about fashion, music, and dating trends as our protagonists catch up on their much-delayed coming of age.

Read my full review at, first published on 14 July 2010.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Oceans (2009)

James Cameron gets all the limelight for developing camera and submersible technology in order to produce Titanic.

Jacques Perrin spent 7 years to produce underwater documentary Oceans and from the looks of it, I daresay he ought to get even more limelight for his efforts. Which deserve to be seen on IMAX, where available.

Read my full review on Fridae, first published on 8 July 2010, as well as the essay which came out of an hour-long interview with David Reichert, one of the set photographers.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Chloe (2009)

Etom Egoyan returns to form with Chloe, another film showcasing the director's obsession with metafiction and metanarratives.

This time round, a successful doctor hires a call-girl to set up a series of liaisons to ensnare her husband, whom she suspects of being already unfaithful.

Ergoyan gets to play postmodern Douglas Sirk with this film, and the results make for fascinating viewing.

Read my full review on Fridae, first published on 7 July 2010.