Friday, March 30, 2007

The Borderline Lame, The Beautifully Done and Just OK.

Huh. Bole tak? Due to my infinite stupidity, I had closed down IE in a group forgetting that I was typing my blog post. Huh.. huh..hinnss. That's 4 paragraph lost. Tiidaaakkkk!

Man, I am furious at myself. Whatever. Anyway..moving on.

So.. I was wanting before to blog about 3 movies. So I decided to do it in one go. Easier, faster, shorter. Less typing for me , less reading for you. Everyone happy.

Before continuing, I have to say. If there is one thing that can make me go to the movie. Interview. Be it paper or the usual time filler "The Making of ... ". No matter how lame the plot is or crummy the trailers look like. If the actors, actresses, directors, producers ( cancel that, I had yet to find any producer giving out any real interview or good interview for that matter..) are good at giving interviews or very enthusiastic in telling his/her potential audience on their darling pet film, you can betcha that I'll be putting my money at the nearest cinema around. Cool looking director/actor/actress giving interview in impassive face with little smiles, giving short businesslike curt answer......zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Which is why, I now present you with the mediocrity bordering on ludicrous movie, called Primeval.

Now. I don't say its a horrible movie. Its more like hovering between the line of lameness and OK-ness. But it does filled the appetite of the gore and action moviegoers. On the trailer and introduction of the movie, it state : "inspired by the true story of the most prolific serial killer in history.." . Let me right now burst that little bubble of marketing line saying all that is bullshit. A bit amused since there are some people going into the cinema expecting something like Texas Chainsaw Massacre but was actually surprised to find out that a croc instead is the labeled criminal. First rule in enjoying a movie. Before seeing a movie, based on its genre, set your expectation accordingly. Don't expect award winning material (except Razzie) if Paris Hilton were to star in it. And it if it stated "Inspired by true event/story", expect a story which is somewhat far from true.

Getting way ahead of myself here. Summary of the film, long and short of it. One really big croc/alligator (don't know the difference..) like eating fresh juicy human meat for its every meal. The supporting roles. Hunky, bored looking reporter (Tim aka Lincoln!Prison Break!), Tim wisecracking sidekick (Steven), beautiful, upbeat, compassionate animal reporter (Aviva), enthusiastic animal activist ( Matt ), the dark, harsh poacher (Krieg), hopeful village boy (Jojo). All join together in putting away this beast and getting a story. Now.. describing these character.. I think you guys might just easily tell who's gonna live and who's gonna die.

Now.. as I said. Its an action movie. I don't expect anything out of it. And I went out of the wayang feeling.. somewhat.. well.. satisfied. I'm not blown away nor had I left feeling cheated. I came for some scare and thrills and that's what I get. All the actions. The occasional jump from the seat. The crack of the skull and blood spilling around. And of course expect the unexpected. Nah. Not the storyline. But really. This is the only movie I would guess that you can see a crocodile running like a cheetah. When I said running. I meant running. My RM8 had not gone to waste, just for me to see that scene alone.

Then it being cuti and nothing to do. I watched another movie on the same day I watched Primeval. Pan's Labyrinth.

And honestly. I don't know where to start. The movie is beautiful. Achingly so. And its main theme, the lovely lullaby. Oh... I truly understand on why did they do not want to set words to its lullaby theme. It makes it all more mysterious, as if there is a secret behind the songs.

The story is set during Spain Civil War I believe. Around the 1940s. A young girl, Ofelia who love to immerse herself into books and her worlds of fairy tale were brought to live in a country where her new stepfather live. Her stepfather is a sadistic army officer who brought Ofelia and her pregnant mother to live as so he can ensure his heir is safe. Burdened the fighting going around in the forest and her mother difficult pregnancy, Ofelia is delighted to find another world which awaits her return as Princess Moanna.

As I read what previous people thought. Many come into the cinema expecting light, whimsical tale where happy ever after prevail. But this is as what Guillermo del Toro, this filmmaker informed; This is a fairy tale for adult. As so.. we are surprised by the violence, the darkness and the evil it seems to suggest. Even when I heard that it is somewhat gory, I was still surprised and cringed on some of the scene. You may come out with mixed feelings.

But I do want to say... Watch it. It's a beautiful, dark, lovely fairy tale. It left you feeling heavy and happy at the same time. Some might even ponders the ending. It is deserving on its award on I for one, felt its a shame that our 'wayang' quality is not too good. As so , I think I might had missed out on all its vivid colors. Will definitely buy the DVD copy of it. I am also becoming more interested in Guillermo Del Toro work now. I would be looking out if I can find his previous movie El Espinazo del diablo (The Devil Backbone).

Then, I found the time. More like a burning curiosity to watch Chermin. The filmmaker informed she got the idea when reading some news regarding an accident (Correct me if I'm wrong). But my curiosity are stem because I had read a somewhat similar story in True Singapore Ghost Story regarding a girl mesmerized with an antique mirror until it possessed her.

The story is regarding Nasrin who was in an accident which left her face disfigured. Her mother distracted by Nasrin discontentment regarding her face, found an antique mirror which was before gathering dust in her late husband storage room. Oblivious to the fact that the mirror used to have a violent past, Nasrin's mother put the mirror in her room . Her family grew frightened as Nasrin seemed changed and more and more strange phenomena seems to be happening around them.

The movie.. well was OK. I gotten tired of saying that such and such is great effort by a Malaysian filmmaker, since I honestly believe we should stop saying that as NOW. It seems to belittle our filmmaker and our capacity to think too.

In term of plot. Quite predictable and not as scary as expected. (That's of course to BE expected seeing how we are continuously bombarded with Asian ghost stories movies) . The CGI , quite ok. Nothing too spastic. The kampung is lovely. I especially love the kedai runcit, the little hutan belukar when Minah (ye ke.. tak ingat) taking a shortcut to her kampung. But I do have my fault on some of the props or tiny little biths. Overheard when seeing movie. "Ehh.. macam tu ke die nak keluar kat kampung. Seksi gile. Dekat kampung pakai seksi2?". My point exactly.

And Nasrin house.. even though lovely and rustic. It felt much more like a page out of "Melayu Rustic", interior decorating magazine than a homey kampung home. Overall.. well. I can only say OK. I love some of the scenes, not too hot on the whole story though. Khatijah Tan acting was a bit intense and Farid Kamil sometimes I found funny (without him trying or have any intent in being funny.. ). Deanna Yusof is scary at times. But the slang does grate a little especially for an early 20th century period. A bit impressed with Natasha Hudson. For a newcomer, she seems to be doing a fine job. Not the usual kayu actresses *cough* *cough* we see around occasionally decorating our local big screen. Kudos for the newcomer actress and director/filmmaker Zarina Abdullah. We would be waiting for more, and better quality too!


obefiend said...

i think primieveal was based on iota of truth. i saw the national geographic docu regarding this killer croc. saw the fotage too. huge croc just slumming in the water. but i dunno la if he really killed 300 people. macam some stupid fiction jek.croc berlari.. now that is hilarious. i mean croc can only run short distance due to thefact they are reptiles. cepat pancit. oh well when watching a B movie expect BAD acting,BAD directing and BAD plots!

pans labyrinth was ok. but i still dunno why people hupe it so much. maybe the violence is the novelty people look in "fairy tales".

chermin? hmm.. ada natahsa hudson? hmm.. im sold. HAHAHA.. to be honest when it comes to malay cinema i only watch if hudson or fazura is onscreen! HAHAA

Dila said...

Hahaha. Primeval is fun in a bad way. But I love bad movies. I grew up watching B flick horror - gory movies as such, it held a darling lil spot in my heart.

Ah. I think it was beautiful. It was not great. But it is beautiful. Maybe because I love fairy tale so. And this fairy tale is dark. Suite me much!

Huh. Natasha Hudson. Oklah. Fazura pon oklah. But at least you don't go drooling over Fasha Sandha. Puhleez.

cleo weiland said...

Haven't watched either of those movies. Sigh. 300 pun belum tengok. Sad sad life of a UTPian come project season.

Anyway. Heard Primeval was lame, and B flicks don't excite me much so I guess I'll skip :P Pans Labyrinth does sound awesome...bila I nak tengok eh? Bila I free?! Huhuh~ And Chermin. Hmm tough one.I don't watch much Malay movies. I'm not even sure who's Natasha Hudson. (Why is her name so Mat Salleh? Is she really half-Caucasian or is she some wannabe macam Pierre Andre?)

I hate Fasha Sandha. Learn some facial expressions, girl! And Fazura? Not even close to OK :P Take that, Effi Nazrel! Haha~

More movie reviews, Dils! So I know what to watch with the limited time I have on my hands :)

Jannah said...

Did you cry at the end of Pan's Labyrinth?

I did.

Its beautiful because the horrible things in the movie makes what little innocence left so precious and worth fighting for.

Dila said...

Oh. 300 is a great watch. Prolly the DVD would be fine. But I don't mind the cut version.

Hahha. Pan Labyrinth is a must watch. Chermin is OK if you have the time and bored.

Natasha Hudson is really half caucasian. Hahaha.. Agree about Fasha Sandha. Some of our filmmaker are blind, thats why they keep on hiring her. She's so kayu one.

Oh.. an almost cry. But not so. (I can cry on weird unexpected scene where no people is crying)

And you're right. the innocence of a child and a world of fairytale against a violent backdrop...

gravtkills said...

i just saw Pan's Labyrinth...very tragic

Dila said...

It is.. it is.. tragic and darkly beautiful.

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