Monday, April 30, 2012

Underworld - Awakening


USA 2012

Details imdb

Seen 29 April 2012

Two together, a force to behold

Ratings
IMDB 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 66% liked it
I am giving this a 7.0/10 because I wanted to watch Kate Beckinsale. A film franchise will always find it difficult to top the previous instalment unless the story line is exceptional and this particular update does not quite make it.




My impressions:

The child holds the power
A power unleashed, devastating
The child holds the key
A key that opens doors, possibilities
The child is still a child
A child that needs love, understanding, nurturing

The mother, from long ago
The mother, is now present
The mother, the protector
The mother, will always be there for the child

There are powers that want more
They will not stop pursuing
Searching, trying, the best that they can
They have ambitions, cravings
To have it all

Others are just spoils of the war
Dispensable, of no value
They want it all, with whatever means

Unless

Mother and child stops them

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin)


Iran 2011

Details imdb

Seen 28 April 2012

Twists and turns, truths and lies

Ratings
IMDB 8.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 94% liked it
The premise might seem ordinary but played against the cultural and religious background of the protagonists, it becomes a captivating mixture of human emotions. Deserves a 9.0 out of 10





My impressions:

The separation was the starting point
Hard to accept
Nevertheless has to be done
Without considering the consequences
The chain of events that follow
Can either party be responsible

When others are involved
The complications
The knots
Become more entangled

The agony, going through the red tape
The bureaucracy
Always there to remind oneself
That what we face is insignificant
It is just one of many
Countless, faceless, nameless cases
With others facing the same situation
Even worse than ours

We try to come to terms
With the situation at hand
But life is not a simple case
Open and shut
It meanders along its way
Finding its own path
Dependent on those involved



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ghost Rider – Spirit of Vengeance


USA 2011

Details imdb

Seen 27 April 2012

The power in the next generation

Ratings
IMDB 4.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 33% liked it
I guess the film did not give a lasting impact on me, a let down. Sequels are difficult to make and we can't expect the latest in a series to be as captivating as the first, for that I'll give it a 5.0






My impressions:

Power that has been planted
In an unholy alliance
Is now awaiting
Its moment
The anointed time has come when
That power will be unleashed to the world

Unless the other side succeeds
In preventing this happening

The struggle and fight
Continues

Friday, April 27, 2012

Enter the Phoenix (大佬愛美麗)


Hong Kong 2004

Details lovehkfilm

Seen 26 April 2012

Switching roles, taking revenge

Ratings
IMDB 5.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 52% liked it
Watch it without any preconceived expectations and viewers should be entertained especially if not taken too seriously. It deserves a 7.0 when the ending climax showed a fighting scene typical of an action movie and in a way paying homage to the masters of the genre.




My impressions:

When you are a child
So many memories
Linger
Some seem etched in stone
Steadfast, determined to become a reality

Past events
Shape the present man

Past events
Moulds, builds, and makes him whole

But some past events
Has to remain in the past
Not forgotten but put to rest
In order for the present to continue
Into the future

Thursday, April 26, 2012

In a better world (Hævnen)


Denmark 2010


Seen 25 April 2012

A better world for whom?

Ratings
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 85% liked it
Metacritic User Score 7.3/10
The themes might be familiar but the juxtaposition between the two societies highlights our similarities. The child actors deserve the highest accolades and help me decide on an 8.0 for this film.






My impressions:

Different worlds, different issues
But human emotions and reactions
Are the same
They are happy and sad
Feel the joy and pain
As any one can vouch
We are only human

Violence begets more violence
Would non violence have any role
In the continuing struggle
Between good and evil

The man tries

In the end his decision
Solves a problem
But will definitely ignite a new one

Can it ever end
This vicious circle

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Venus


UK 2006

Details imdb

Seen 24 April 2012

The Goddess of Love touches a man

Ratings
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 73% liked it
Metacritic User Score 7.3/10
The fact that Peter O'Toole and Vanessa Redgrave are in the film makes it deserving of an 8.0, helped no doubt by the repartee between some characters.






My impressions:

The pleasurable pursuit and enjoyment of life
All through the years
With nary a regret
Sees one wondering
Whether that was our true self

Then comes a different whiff of air
Not entirely unique in its own way
But it does give one another slant
To the past
And what today and the future will bring
How ever long or short that period may be

We know the end is near
We make time
To discover again
The other side
Stubborn are we
Defiant
That what we have done
In the name of pleasure
Was done with eyes open

No regrets
But acceptance
A life full of joy and laughter
Remembered by many
With fondness and sweet memories


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Silence (Chinmoku)


Japan 1971

Details cdjapan

Seen 23 April 2012

Faith, its spread and defence

Ratings
IMDB 7.0/10
I would agree with a 7.0 since I was taken up by the film score, minimalist and very apt to the story line. The acting style might be considered stilted by some but others may say it is stylised.



My impressions:

Men of faith
Journey to the far corners of the world
Spreading their beliefs
To the so-called pagans
Who have their own beliefs

Their faith is such
That they are wiling to go through hardships and persecution
But is there a limit to what they are willing to go through

They might be strong willed
They might believe in miracles
They might turn the other cheek
But what about the others

Suffering, slowly

There are also surprises
In a land far away from home
Unexpected
Unbelievable
But true

It does happen
In the name of survival

Monday, April 23, 2012

Evil (Ondskan)


Sweden 2003

Details imdb

Seen 22 April 2012

The latent evil kept in control

Ratings
IMDB Audience 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 85% liked it
I give it an 8/10 as I like the story line and pacing.







My impressions:

When one goes through life being punished
Without justification
The resolve gets stronger
To show that we can

We can rise above that animal instinct
And not resort to revenge

Foes do not know the existence of
Those suppressed feelings
Hidden inside
Waiting

A friend, a love
They are the only ones who try to understand
That you are special

The young might seem the perfect victim
Not retaliating
Meek, trying to blend
Since rules govern the conduct
Of everyone in that environment
But of course there comes a time
When one has to make stand
And put a stop
To the madness

On their own terms
Not

Sunday, April 22, 2012

No one knows about Persian cats (Kasi az gorbehaye irani khabar nadareh)


Iran 2009

Details imdb

Seen 21 April 2012

The unseen music scene in Iran









Music, films, the arts
Need permits
Follow stipulated regulations
Before being allowed
In public

What avenues are there for those not within the accepted

Go underground
Go abroad

Both need cunning
A never-ending
Cat and mouse game with those in power
Lots of faith and belief is needed
In yourself and
In others who may or may not really help

A doggedly stubborn streak helps
A fighting spirit helps
Lots of money helps

But in the end
Circumstances might thwart
All plans


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Uprise (A Zona)


Portugal 2008

Details  ica

Seen 20 April 2012

The life cycle






Dark and light
Death and birth
A continuum

In between we laugh, we cry
We form relationships
Whether fleeting moments
Or life long commitments
It is still a journey
From that first day we we born
Until the final rites come along

A man tries to make sense of these
Contemplates, ponders
Numerous silence permeates
The noise unbearable
Only reactions

The dark envelopes him again
Until the next morning


Friday, April 20, 2012

Chronically Unfeasible (Cronicamente Inviável)


Brazil 2000

Details cduniverse

Seen 19 April 2012

A country divided












Is there any hope with the present conditions
Prevalent, the norm in all parts of society

Even those with a social conscience
Seems to be led astray
Do gooders who turn a blind eye
To the reality
People who say they have a good heart
Blinded to the reality
Those who are supposedly charitable
Unwilling to acknowledge the unpleasant depths of the reality

The chasm is so wide
Will it be ever be narrowed

The answer lies with the people themselves
The workers, the oppressed
They have to stand up and fight the good fight
But it is not an easy fight

The present system has been there for a long time
Entrenched ways even if unfair
Seems acceptable
Society is immune
They just watch and see
Without lifting a finger
To the atrocities, the differences
That occur in their midst

Reality is an illusion
They see only what they want to see
Believing all is well
In the land of milk and honey


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux)


France 2010

Details cinecraze

Seen 18 April 2012

Choices has to be made













It was all peace and quiet
Good neighbours
Looking out for each other

Until one day
A group had a different idea

Their views were dissimilar
Which they wanted to impose on others too
Even those of the same faith
Using aggressive methods
In support of their beliefs

There were some
On the opposite side
Who were also adamant
That their views are the correct ones
Then the fighting and struggle between the two begins
Trying their best to outdoing and compete against each other
Trying to win
Desperately
The hearts and minds of the people

Meanwhile
The neighbourhood is caught in between

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Malaysian Gods


Malaysia 2009

Details dahuangpictures

Seen 17 April 2012

Leaders and followers, the lives that are touched













A minority juxtaposed
Against a major event

Does the event have any relevance to the group
Their aspirations, dreams and reality
It might not seem so
But the event did trigger a ripple
A life changing event
That had never been dreamed of before
Happened

The consequence is still felt after so many years
There are changes
Too little and too slow for some
Changes need time
But time gone can never be recovered
The time has to be now

The method of change might have to be revised
Fine tuned
In order for the aim and ambition
To be a success

In the meantime
Keep on moving



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Parallel Life (Pyeong-haeng-i-ron)


South Korea 2010

Details hancinema

Seen 16 April 2012

Is it just an assumption?











Picture perfect family
At the cusp of greater glory
Seems as if nothing will derail
The journey to fame and fortune

But is fate playing a role
Or is it just coincidence
The lives are jumbled up, messed about

He is determined
He will not be a victim
His family will be safe
He will try to find the answer
He is stubborn and a fighter
He wants to prove that the theory is not applicable

The theory seems so convenient
Explaining what has happened
Predicting what will happen
But will the lives follow
Or will they go another way

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dogtooth (Kynodontas)


Greece 2009

Details sutterhj

Seen 15 April 2012

A family as an allegory of a nation














It seem such a perfect family
On the surface

Parents who love them
In their own way of course
Children well-behaved
Almost robotic
All tip-top
According to plan

Unfortunately there are outside forces
Unintentionally intruding
Disturbing the harmony built painstakingly throughout the years

Remedial action has to be taken
Or else harmony will not be seen again
In the perfect family

The crack in the armour has crept in
Waiting for the right moment
When that happens
Where will it end
Still
A perfect family?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

301, 302


South Korea 1995

Details imdb

Seen 14 April 2012

Food, cooking, passion, a fiery mix













Obsession or passion
The food becomes the centre point
For one it is a labour of love
For another it reminds of love lost

The two meet
One tries to help
The other can't accept it

The two are caught in the past
Whereas
The past does not remain in the past
It continues its journey
Into the present

The consequence
The food becomes the focal point again
Each tries her best
Urging the other
Rejecting the other

Until they come to a compromise
A solution
Where food reigns supreme
Delicious, delectable, dangerous


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Outside the law (Hor la loi)


France 2010

Details imdb

Seen 13 April 2012

The tumultous journey of freedom fighters













They lost their land
That was the beginning
They lost each other during the years ensuing
Then they reunited

They are different
In character and temperament
Survival and the future
That was the main concerns
While idealism and dreams that seem unreachable
Will always be there

One uses his street smarts
One uses his strength
One uses his intellect

Different approaches but the blood in their veins
Are from the same source and beginning

Caught up in the bigger picture
They will try to follow their intended destiny
Making a mark
Leaving a legacy
So that their land becomes free

Friday, April 13, 2012

Born into brothels


USA 2004

Details imdb

Seen 12 April 2012

Is there hope for children in the red light district area?













An outsider tries to help
The children of an area
Shunned by the officials
The children stigmatised
By the fact that they are living in the brothels

Children are children wherever they are
Always hungry for attention, kindness
Some have it, others don't
Some may escape their fate
Others are destined to stay

The outsiders try
Despite the odds
To help, to give hope

The battle is not a total lost
But any lost
Is painful to bear

The triumphs are few and far between
Those must be celebrated and
We must strive and work harder so that there will be more
Celebrations

The children
Have we failed them?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Confessions (Kokuhaku)


Japan 2010

Details imdb

Seen 11 April 2012

Dark, troubling confessions gives insight into events that unfold













The series of confessions
Reveals the kept secrets
The obvious
That only we know

Many would say life is to be savoured
That is the common perception

But what if
Life has not been what it is touted to be
When life is not as expected
Shouldn't we take control
And make life more worthwhile
According to our mould

Some may feel the life of others are of no concern
Until they touch your own life
Then a decision has to be made
For better or worse
So that life is not wasted
On those who do not deserve that opportunity





Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Snow (Snijeg)


Bosnia 2008

Details  mamafilm

Seen 10 April 2012

A village comes to terms with its past and future in the post war years





Can we ever forget the past
When we are the so-called lucky survivors
When our everyday lives are reminders of what happened to loved ones
The uncertainty of their fate
The never diminishing dream that miracles can happen

We carry on in our quest to be independent
Despite the hardships and barriers that come along
Despite the temptations of a so-called better life
Despite the prodding of others
Despite the doubts of our decision

Standing firm against the odds
Not wavering

Discovering the fate of our loved ones
Signals a catharsis
An acceptance of what happened

The time has come for a new beginning
Marked by the first snow fall

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


USA 2011

Details wikipedia

Seen 9 April 2012

This American production managed to stand on its own with a different emphasis and approach from the Swedish version













Evil knows no boundaries
Does not recognize friends or foe or even family
In this cauldron we have the two
The investigative reporter and the unconventional researcher
The two are outsiders, the best in their fields
Togther to solve a mystery

The family has secrets, deep secrets, hidden from the outside world
A world of transgressions
Despite the veneer of normalcy
Undercurrents, misery, unspoken deeds
How does someone escape from such a fate

With cunning and some help

The present has to put a closure to the past
The two outsiders are there to find the answer
While they themselves struggle to come to terms
With their own demons
They will do their best to shed light
On the dark past

Monday, April 09, 2012

Belukar


Malaysia 2010

Details  myac.asia

Seen 8 April 2012

Plus: Daphne Iking, Bront Palarae
Minus: Loose ends tied up too neatly













A man professes his love for the woman
The one and only woman that he desires
Promises his life even
Are those mere words
Or can it be proven

The twists and turns
The blows, the danger
He accepts it all
In the name of love
Cliches

There is more to it than meets the eye
All linked to the past
The lives of another from the past
Shaped what she is now
The past might be years ago
The present will close that episode

Her plan will succeed
With friends and lover in tow
A final closure is what she wants
Will it go according to plan?

Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Luftslottet som sprängdes)


Sweden 2009

Details rottentomatoes

Seen 7 April 2012














Caught in the bigger scheme of intrigue and secrecy
A pawn

She suffered, through her childhood
Suffers still, through adulthood
Strong, determined, that is her only salvation

She was not the bad guy
More of the fall guy
And how far down they want her to fall
Fall into a bottomless pit

That is the plan
To let her fall and dissappear forever

Alas, she is one in a million
With abundant tenacity and fighting spirit
Never giving up

The enemy do not realise the strength of that girl
It will be a battle of wits and derring do
The fight will continue till the very end





Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden)


Sweden 2009

Details  imdb

Seen 5 April 2012















A victim remembers
The guilty party remembers
Society forgets

Even after decades after the incident
Victim and attacker are still linked
She can't and will never forget that day
The gift of photograpic memory will not allow that advantage
He can't forget either
Scarred for life, a badge of honour
Of actions in the past

The present brings them together again
This time it will close a chapter
They have to confront their past lives
Beyond regret, remorse and other emotional baggage
So the future can be better



Friday, April 06, 2012

The girl with the dragon tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor)


Sweden 2009

Details  imdb

Seen 4 April 2012















Two lives intertwined
A reporter, a researcher
A man, a woman

Everyone has secrets
And both join forces to uncover those secrets

What a journey, such a discovery
Through decades of deceit and untold depravity
Crimes in the name of power, hatred
Takes its toll on the weak, unknown, helpless victims
Perpetrators continue their game
Stalking, for the next to be sacrificed on the altar

Unknown to others the woman has a secret
A deep secret that records and remembers the injustice suffered
That experience made her what she is today
Tough, hard, strong but still vulnerable
Then the man comes along
Does she need that other person in her life

Sometimes, or all the times
Whatever the outcome
It has to be on her terms

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Senjakala


Malaysia 2011

Details  movies.insing

Seen 22 March 2012














Dusk
The hours when daylight turns into nightfall
Not a good time to be outdoors
As there are other beings waiting to play
Children are thought to be indoors
As a precaution
That their playmates do not enter the realm of humans

But what can one do
When it is your destiny
To be a part of the other world
Through no fault of your own
And the time has come
That you take your place
Inherit the gift

Like it or not
It searches, it wants the rightful owner
To take over

A temporary abode is not what it wants
Patiently it waits until the time comes



Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Nasi Lemak 2.0


Malaysia 2011

Details en.wikipedia

Seen 13 January 2012















Rice, dominant in lives
Is it so hard to make it well
Yes and no

There are so many cooking styles
Different taste buds will give different answers
What is good to you, may not be to others
What is the secret

So the journey begins to find the ultimate
The ingredients that accompany the dish
The philosophy behind the dish
A quest that takes time and effort

In the end, it is not the individual parts that make it such
A dish to die for
It is the combination, all together in harmony
Just as in reality
A society has many parts, each unique in its own way
Together they are a force to be reckoned with
Apart, they are fragile and vulnerable

The choice is ours


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Vikingland (Terra de Vikingos)


Spain 2011


Seen 12 November 2011








White, snow, ice, cold
Men working, ordinary lives
Mother nature, harsh, heartless
Men still work, despite the known environment

Camaraderie among fellow workers
Friendships made, bound toegther
In a harsh land

But there is laughter, fun and games
Working together, however mundane
Has its highlights
Known only to those who have the same experience

Monday, April 02, 2012

Jermal


Indonesia 2008

Details imdb

Seen 12 November 2011















The sea is the backdrop
The boys, the men
A father, a son

The sea a witness
Seems silent, full of secrets
Secrets of the past
And the sea becomes a refuge
A means to escape the reality
Until reality comes to shake up the scene

Memories from the past
Why can't they stay in the past
Why must it be present
Why must it be so painful
The hurt, is there any way to escape that hurt

The sea comes to the rescue
For a moment, no forever
It is not the solution
As your place is not at sea
You belong somewhere else
You have to start anew

The past will remain in memory
But for now
The present is here, the reality
It has to be faced
Whatever the consequence

The sea is not the protection, solution