Tuesday, August 25, 2009

FILM REVIEWS: The Cove and Bandslam

Directed by Louie Psihoyos

My favourite documentary from last year was Up The Yangtze, a poignant film detailing the lives of the many Chinese people affected by the rapid change of their homeland. It's a beautiful mix of modern and old China and it almost brought me to tears. Like Up The Yangtze, The Cove addressed one of the most significant issues facing the the world today. Not global warming, or terrorism but marine life, emphasising on the annual dolphin slaughter in the Japanese town of Taiji. A group of filmmakers and activists infiltrate the aforementioned town (who falsely claim themself as "dolphin-loving") to expose the shocking truth of the whaling industry, who kill thousands of dolphins and whales each year.

It sounds very bleak, and it is, but the real achievement of the filmmakers was how they weaved in a sprinkle of comic relief without detracting too much from the seriousness of the subject matter and as a result, gives us quite an entertaining film. It's also quite suspenseful at times and you forget that you're watching a documentary and not a thriller. It is still predominantly a sad film that deserves to be seen, with or without its entertainment value.

I became deply affected by the film, which is strange seeing as I'm not the biggest fan of dolphins out there (UPDATE: I am now). It pulls you in and takes you on a journey that you're glad you have seen, because now you can start the change.

I'm incredibly grateful to the filmmakers involved for shedding light into this significant issue and I hope that, like An Inconvenient Truth, this doco will find a larger audience and have a bigger impact on the whaling industry.

RATING: 10/10

Directed by Todd Graff

I was surprised by the amount of praise this movie received from critics. Now that I've seen it, I'm scratching my head, thinking that I viewed a completely different film from what the rest did. Honestly, I found it to be quite lame. Vanessa Hudgens was painfully annoying and I found myself rolling my eyes. So much so, that I began to get dizzy.

Although there were some funny moments, I just couldn't find myself relating to any of the characters or connecting to the film. It's like a middle-aged man's interpretation of what today's high schools are like and unfortunately get most of the elements wrong.

Overall it's still a pleasant film (I loved Lisa Kudrow), it would make an excellent rental.

RATING: 5/10

Friday, August 14, 2009

MUSIC IN MOVIES: The Tear-shredders

These film scores that are so sad and heartbreaking that is is enough to make one burst into tears, or at least produce a lump in the throat.

Requiem for a Dream

American Beauty

Monday, August 10, 2009

TOP TEN: Movies or TV shows that make me hungry


#10: Turkish Delight/Hot Chocolate scene in Narnia.
I would never have tried turkish delight if it wasn't for this scene. It looked so perfect and delicious.

#9: Ratatouille
Even in CGI, the food in this movie is so mouth-watering. I actually like to eat dinner while watching this movie as it makes any food taste better.

#8: No Reservations
I couldn't wait to get out of the theatre when I saw this film. Because my stomach was grumbling like crazy. It was borderline culinary pornography.

#7: Chocolat
How come I don't have any chocolate shops around my area that is as good as the one in this film??

#6: Mad Men Lunch Scene
I don't know why but this scene made me crave for a sandwich real bad. It's one of the early episodes in season one where Peggy was bought lunch from the cart and the sandwich was wrapped in waxpaper. It looked so tasty.

#5: Pulp Fiction. The Big Kahuna Burger
I don't think I need to explain this. This scene made everyone crave for a cheese burger and had me frantically search for a place that sold Big Kahunas.

#4: Super Size Me
Ok, I know this documentary's intentions were to put people off McDonalds. Unfortunately it did the opposite to me. I ran out of the house and bought myself a Big Mac.

#3: Sex and the City Magnolia bakery scene or any SATC epsiode
This scene made everyone crave for cupcakes, so much so that the actual bakery has become immensely popular. Why are they always eating in this show? And they're always at some fancy New York restaurant. It's not fair.

#2: Matilda
Miss Turnbull's chocolate box, chocolate cake scene and TV dinner scene

#1: Hell's Kitchen
Everytime they mention the word risotto, I panic.

Image credit

Saturday, August 8, 2009

True Blood and Mad Men

I don't recall TV being this good. Ever.
True Blood is sexy, delicious and twisted. I can't get enough of it and the writers always end each episode with a cliffhanger so you're always hungry for more. I almost ignored this show completely, dismissing it as another vampire show that's taking advantage of Twilight's success. But it's the opposite. It is like Twilight but for adults. It's Twilight with a brain.

Mad Men the show that satisfies my nostalgic craving. Incredibly well written, Mad Men is fast becoming one of my favourite shows on TV. The characters are interesting, the narrative almost perfect and it's visually stunning. It deserves all awards that are coming its way.


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