Sunday, December 30, 2012

Jack Reacher (2012)

Jack Reacher

See the poster and you can guess if “Jack Reacher” is an action film. Or, is it? As it was adapted from a mystery/thriller novel titled “One Shot” by Lee Child, “Jack Reacher” is not a pure action film. Maybe it’s not an action film at all, because it is more talky and brainy instead of being an adrenaline-booster. It’s more to be, if I could say, a half-hearted blend of detective-styled mystery and bad-ass single-character-ed action. Moreover, knowing that it was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie who wrote the incredible “The Usual Suspect” is kind of surprising for me and proving that this guy need a finger snap to be wide awake again.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

fiksi. (2008)

fiksi. (film)

“fiksi.” is a breakthrough. In the middle of stagnancy in Indonesia’s movie industry, which is currently filled mostly with similar genres like comedy, romance, or horror, “fiksi.” slapped me right on the face, saying that there are many outstanding films from my own country. Maybe it’s not something new in foreign cinemas, but here in Indonesia, “fiksi.” brought fresh air to our local viewers who really need something new in our cinema industry. Mouly Surya, the director, said that she was inspired to write and direct “fiksi.” by a classic children story, “Alice in Wonderland”, written by Lewis Caroll. The idea of “fiksi.”, yet, is an inversion of “Alice in Wonderland” (of course in a very different style). Still, it’s amusing, terrifying, and slowly killing.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Habibie & Ainun (2012)

Habibie & Ainun

This year-end is gonna filled with a lot of films, especially local films. There are at least five local films currently showing or queueing in our cinemas. After last week’s “5cm.”, “Habibie & Ainun” is absorbing a lot of viewers to come to the cinemas. Predictably becomes another local box-office, “Habibie & Ainun” played a more serious segment of this holiday time as it was adapted from an autobiography written by Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie. Yes, he was Indonesia’s ex-president (he’s our third president, working from mid 1998 to 1999) and he was also the man behind the project of our very first national airplane. But, “Habibie & Ainun” didn’t put it as the main topic. It talked more about the relationship of Habibie and his wife, Hasri Ainun Habibie, since they first met.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Adaptation. (2002)

Adaptation.

Computer scientists call it recursion. It is a term used to describe something that can only be defined by smaller instances of the same thing. Charlie Kaufman, with his metaphorically boundless ideas, adapted this concept into a screenplay. "Adaptation." could be either narcissistic or brilliant, as Kaufman wrote about himself in his screenplay. Charlie Kaufman became the leading role of the movie he wrote. This story was certainly uncommon, yet it’s also undoubtedly genuine at the same time. Some even called it a breakthrough in building ideas for a screenplay. Now, the question is, could a genuine, non-mainstream story entertain?

Monday, December 17, 2012

5cm. (2012)

5cm.

Sometimes there is this kind of problem for me, seeing an adapted-from-novel film, that I need to carefully judge if the satisfaction (or disappointment) I got after watching the film is an achievement (or failure) of the filmmaker who brought the written story to screen or a success (or luck) of the author of the novel who wrote such a wonderful (or trashy) story. The novel always precede the film, of course, and film producers tend to adapt only best-selling novels. How about “5cm.”? It's easy, because the screenwriter and the novel author is the same personDonny Dhirgantoro. The novel had now reached its 25th print, proving that many people like it. And adapting it to a film will surely be a specific excitement for its fans. But, this part is always tricky: if they were not careful enough, it will end up as a heart-break.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King (2003)

The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King

And finally, a wrap-up. The biggest epic trilogy of the decade has met its end. "The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King" finished it in a very dramatic yet powerful way. “The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King” firmed up the chain of stories from the first and the second film. All questions were answered, all confusions were paid off. It’s like fresh water after such a long thirst. Winning 11 Oscars from all the categories in which it was nominated for (including Best Picture) and a mega box office was of course a great achievement for the film itself, the trilogy, and—largely speaking—the genre it carried. Surprising.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers

As the second film of the trilogy, “The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers” was considered by some viewers as the weakest of the three films. I don’t know why, but I’m pretty sure it’s not because that it has longer duration. Yet, to be honest, I found that “The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers” was more enjoyable than its predecessor, “The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring”. The three-hour-and-a-half duration was (a little bit) less exhausting for me, as it opened by a dramatic part from its predecessor and closed with a grand epic breath-taking war.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring (2001)

The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring

I made a preparation for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” released on Dec 14th: I am currently re-watching all the three films of “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy. Well it’s been years since I watched the first film of the series, “The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring”, for the first time and I need to “refresh” my mind about all the things in Middle Earth. And with a three-hour duration, it’s quite exhausting to re-watch it, you know, because I’m not a big fan of it. It’s mesmerizing, yet, and I won’t say that the three-hour duration is not worth it. I have not read the novels—both the “The Lord of The Rings” books and “The Hobbit” books—so I won’t compare the film with the books.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

Martha Marcy May Marlene

“Martha Marcy May Marlene”. Is it a name of girl or what? Well, explaining the meaning of the title is indeed quite a spoiler. At first you may wonder if it is a slow-moving drama about, predictably, a girl. One of last year’s Sundance Film Festival winner, “Martha Marcy May Marlene” does moves slowly. Yet, it is more to be a psychological thriller melted in a drama. It’s, fortunately, not that kind of gory film with some disturbing scenes. It did “killed” me with its slowness, and an outstanding acting from Elizabeth Olsen as the main character became one of its powers. The specific topic it raised was also another upside. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

In Bruges (2008)

In Bruges

Where in the world is Bruges? Pronounced as “Broozh”, Bruges is a city in Belgium, well-known especially for its classical and medieval style buildings. So, is “In Bruges” some kind of adventure, travelling movie? Well, the answer maybe ‘yes’, with an addition that it has a mild touch of black comedy all around. Black comedy, or sometimes called as dark comedy, is a style of artwork (including film) that display humor in a form of cruelty, offense, violence, and any other inappropriateness. Then, “In Bruges” would be better categorized as crime-comedy film. It’s a feature-film directorial and screenwriting debut from Martin McDonagh, who brought this year’s “Seven Psychopaths”, and it brought him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Brokeback Mountain

"A gay cowboy movie" is the term people usually use to describe "Brokeback Mountain" in brief. Yet, I agree with what Roger Ebert said in his review on this film, that it's an inappropriate simplification--or I'd rather said, an irresponsible mockery. Well, it's not that I set myself aside with this situation, but right after I watched "Brokeback Mountain", I know that this film spoke far more than that--although the film itself was less judgmental to conclude which is right and which is wrong. Bringing an Oscar statue for Ang Lee as Best Director, "Brokeback Mountain" quite became a controversy on the year it released, as many local or international parties banned this film to the cinemas for the topic it raised: homosexuality.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Life of Pi (2012)

Life of Pi

Right after I went out of the teather watching this film, I tweeted, "I have just watched one of the best films of this year". "Life of Pi" was spectacular because of not only the stunning 3D use in this film, but also—especially—the story. It's a miraculous achievement in cinematography and, I'm pretty sure, an outstanding work of sophisticated visual effects. David Magee, adapting from the similarly-titled best-selling novel written by Yann Martel, wrote the screenplay and Ang Lee, the award-winning director who brought "Brokeback Mountain" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", brought it to big screen in a very artistic way.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pi (1998)

Pi (film)

3.14159265... to countless digits beyond: it’s pi, a mathematical constant taken from Greek alphabet π that implies the ratio of a circumference of a circle to its diameter. Many years spent by mathematicians all around the world, even until now, to reveal and find a pattern of this limitless number. This film, “Pi”, emerges as a different outlook of this mathematical irrationality using a surrealist portrayal displayed in grainy black-and-white tint. Like many other films that set out mathematics as a main topic, “Pi” tried (so hard) to be different from other by enthusiastically relating this often-ignored and almost-forgotten number to a dramatically bigger mystery of universe, using a geekiness and psychological disturbance of a man as a medium. This is a feature film directorial debut of Darren Aronofsky, the director of 2010’s award-winning “Black Swan”, and here he also became a screenwriter.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Rashomon (1950)

Rashomon

I was referred to watch “Rashomon” while I was reading a book that mentioned this film as one of the most influencing films in history, more because of its plot and technique. From its title, of course you will know that “Rashomon” came from Japan. This 1950 film was made by Akira Kurosawa, the director that also brought you “Seven Samurai”. As I recalled, I guess “Rashomon” could be the third or the fourth black-and-white film I have ever watched.

Friday, November 16, 2012

L.A. Confidential (1997)

L.A. Confidential

“L.A. Confidential” is one crime-drama film that enliven the 1998’s Academy Awards Best Picture competition. Lost to “Titanic”, it’s then known as one of the best police detective story of all time. Adapted from James Ellroy’s novel, “L.A. Confidential” was then brought to screen by director Curtis Hanson who also brought this year’s “Chasing Mavericks”. Well, I thought that “L.A Confidential” would be as boring as other similar films. Did it go so?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Seven Psychopaths

When I recalled why I eagerly wanted to see this movie, I got lost. I mean, I don’t really understand why I’m interested in watching it in the first place. Wednesday was the first day release of “Seven Psychopaths” in Indonesia and I rushed myself to the cinema to watch it like for no reason. Oh, maybe the cast, yeah, maybe the cast that attracted me. Well, at least there’s Christopher Walken in it. Oh, there’s also Olga Kurylenko who had made her chance to be Bond’s girl in “Quantum of Solace”. Oh, Sam Rockwell is also there. Colin Farrell is also there. Phew, what a cast package.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

American Beauty (1999)

American Beauty

You’ve already watched “Skyfall”, right? And you know who directed it? It’s Sam Mendes, and “American Beauty” is his debut in directing a feature film. Suprisingly, it brought him his first Oscar! Yes, “American Beauty” took five Oscar statues home after being nominated in eight categories on Academy Award 2000.  Scoring 8.5 out of 10 on IMDB, “American Beauty” is now positioned on #48 in Top 250 Film. What kind of “beauty” does it bring?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Moonrise Kingdom

From the trailer, you’ll imagine that this film is gonna be a quirky one. Then, right after I finished downloading started watching it, I knew that it’s rather to be an ethnique one. “Moonrise Kingdom” is a Wes Anderson’s work after his latest live-action film release, “The Darjeeling Limited”, on last 2007. He didn’t only direct it, but also wrote the screenplay together with Roman Coppola, whom he also collaborated with in writing “The Darjeeling Limited”. Some who have seen its poster will presumably think that “Moonrise Kingdom” is a film about kids. Is it true?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Separation (2011)

A Separation

Oh, this is the film that makes every movie-lover from all around the world pay close attentions. “A Separation” is an Iranian film that won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film last February (and was also nominated for Best Screenplay). It also won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Languange Film, three Berlin Bears in Berlin International Film Festival, and a bunch of other remarkable international achievements. What makes it so spectacular?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Relax, relax, quit yourself from the euphoria of “Skyfall”. Let’s get things less seriously, shall we? Well, a couple of days ago I watched “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” for the second time after first-viewing it a year ago, and I realized that I haven’t made a review on it. And I felt like I must review it! Why? That’s because, as one of the major works of Edgar Wright, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is really attracting, at least for me.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Skyfall (2012)

Skyfall

Like what I have written in my previous post, “Skyfall” is considered as one of my must-watch films in these last months of 2012. Honestly, I don’t really track all Bond movies from the beginning until this 23rd release. Yet, I paid concern to it since Daniel Craig played 007, which means from “Casino Royale”. Celebrating the 50 year of James Bond, “Skyfall” has been proclaimed to be a grand festivity for this legendary film character. Then, what do you think I will say about “Skyfall”?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenweenie (2012)

Frankenweenie

Tim Burton is one of a few charismatic Hollywood filmmakers who still upholds a strong particularity in his every work. This kind of mild idealism in bringing a different style among a majority of mainstream films may not always bring good return, like public appreciations or fantastic profits. If you track his works, you’ll understand what I’m saying: it’s about a dark, quirky, and somewhat spooky nuance of his films. This year, after bringing “Dark Shadows” into big screen, Tim Burton is back with an animation film titled “Frankenweenie”.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

On the way back home from college, right after I packed all my stuffs in my boardinghouse since I won’t stay there any longer after graduation, there went a random thought across my mind, “Ah, I wanna watch a rom-com tonight!” (FYI, rom-com stands for romantic-comedy). Well, I don’t have a bunch of rom-com films in my collection, but this “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” film was the one that attracted me most. And, there it goes.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Limitless (2011)

Limitless

There are about four or five friends of mine refer me to this film. I don’t know, I don’t like its package. For me it looks like another uninteresting sci-fi film. But at last I made a chance to watch this movie, and I tried to put out all of my preceding feeling about this movie, and I started to watch. Then, how was it going?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Drive (2011)

Drive

As one of the most appreciated film in 2011, I have to admit that it’s too late for me to enjoy “Drive” just now. Clearly, it’s surprising to know how this film could eventually made its way through as one of the nominators of Palme d’Or 2011 Cannes Film Festival (and even brought a Best Director award for Nicolas Winding Refn who was so unknown for me at that time). Yes, Cannes always brings surprises, at least for me. Haha.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

:)

Kinetic Typography

PRECAUTIOUS: This post is a random one. Well last night I uploaded a dream of mine, the one that I was busy about. It's called kinetic typography. Some called it as motion typography or typography animation. You know, it's a video (or an animation, specifically) that consisted mostly of text animating, motioning, or moving to tell a message instead of using a video or picture. Many motion typographies are made as a music video, so they put a music as a background and use the text to show up the lyrics.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Looper (2012)

Looper

Film about time-travel perhaps is not a brand new thing. This topic has been succesfully blended with many other genres like action (“Inception”), drama (“Primer”), or even romance (“The Time Traveller’s Wife”). “Looper”, seen from its trailer, is of course a mix of time-travel sci-fi and action. Then, what makes it suddenly score 84 out of 100 in Metacritic?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Death Bell (2008)

Death Bell

Again, I watched another Korean movie some days ago. Don’t ask me what kind of movie it is: since I told you that it’s a Korean movie, you may have wondered that it’s either a horror-thriller about grudge or a sad, sobbing melodrama. Haha, it’s a joke actually, but I found it true. And “Death Bell”, of course, tends to be the first category.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Perahu Kertas 2 (2012)

Perahu Kertas 2

Finally, after being kind of doubtful if I would watch this continuation of “Perahu Kertas” that I watched last August, yesterday I made a chance to watch it in the first day release of “Perahu Kertas 2” in cinema. Again, it’s kinda hard for me to find some mates I want to accompany me to watch this: some of them, in fact, sneered at this movie because they thought it will talk a lot about puppy love whatsoever that goes in a cliche, exaggerating way. Hmm, they should have watched “Perahu Kertas”.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Preview: Stoker (2013)

Stoker

No, we’re not talking about Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” stuffs: “Stoker” is a thriller movie that will be released on March 2013. Well, it’s maybe not another thriller movie: it’s the first Hollywood work of Park Chan-wook, Korean director that brought us the outstanding “Oldboy” (see my review on it here). You, thriller lovers, must have been waiting for “Stoker”’s public release. Well, today, its first trailer is released. See it below.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Long Visit (My Mom) (2010)

A Long Visit (My Mom)

The addition of phrase “My Mom” as an alternative title for this movie brings a clue about what kind of movie this is. “A Long Visit (My Mom)”, of course, is a family drama, or more thematically, a drama about mom. No, I know that it’s not Mother’s Day today but I was just kind of interested in what kind of emotion this drama will be specialized into (and maybe it’s also because I’m somewhat  interested in watching drama in recent days...), but at first, I realized that it will be another sob story. Oh, I knew it.

This South Korean movie indeed talked about a mom. Yet, the story didn’t center wholly around a mom’s life: it somehow began from a life of a girl named Ji-suk (played by Park Jin-hee) in a village in South Korea. From her view, the story of her mom (played firmly by Kim Hae-sook), whose name wasn’t revealed through the duration, began. The plot itself splitted into two parts: a flashback of the childhood and the pastlife of Ji-suk, told by herself; and a progressing plot which, nearly at the ending, slowly transformed into a third view. This span of life is what mainly discussed along the duration, although most of the duration took situation after Ji-suk married.

Waking Life (2001)

Waking Life

Wait a second. What you see above is not a painting of Michelangelo or Rembrandt. It’s a scene of “Waking Life”, an animated film that is made by a rotoscope process of live action. Each frame of live action shoot is redrawed and stylized by a team of artists, so that you will see an imaginative yet surrealistic image of real event. Have you seen “A Scanner Darkly”? “Waking Life” is quite similar to it, compared for the style of image-producing.

But for the story, I’m not really sure how I am supposed to describe it. I myself would like to say that “Waking Life” is half-documentary, as it mostly talks and interviews many people about a topic. “Waking Life” centers on a main character (played by Wiley Wiggins), which we don’t have any clue about his name till the end of the movie, who goes around his dream in a stance called Lucid Dream. In that condition, he goes here-and-there, meets many people, and has conversations about dream and life. Viewers are served with a rich material of philosophy, social culture, and (sometimes) science, as the main character walks his journey of dream. The boundary between real life and dream is apparently subtle, so through the whole duration, you will ask if the scene was a dream or a reality.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Girl (TV-Series)

New Girl

Emmy’s crowd is over; again, not so much surprises happened. In the comedy series category, “Modern Family” wins. It’s been its third victory since 2010. Yes, “Modern Family” is somewhat remarkable, but, hey, let’s take a look at one of the lately-released comedy series that also got much appreciation in that award. It’s called “New Girl”. Airing on Fox since September 2011, “New Girl” is now marking its second season.

“New Girl” centers on an offbeat, kinda-freakish young woman named Jess (played so beautifully by Zooey Deschanel) who was just got dumped by his boyfriend. Then she moves into a loft where there lived three unknown guys: the hardly-moving-on Nick (played by Jake Johnson); the flashy, metrosexual Schmidt (played by Max Greenfield); and the ex-athlete Winston (played by Lamorne Morris). There is also Cece (played by Hannah Simone), Jess' best friend who is pretty, well-mannered, and just 180 degree different from Jess, but so attached to Jess. This “unearthy” team faces many condition of its daily life, which often brings laugh, warmth, or even cries.

Monday, September 24, 2012

64th Primetime Emmy Awards

Emmy Awards 2012

Well, I have to admit that I am not American TV watchers but I consider myself as—what’s the best term?—an observer (maybe), as TV is a big part of entertainment, too. That’s why I always curious about Emmy, one of the biggest entertainment award in USA. This year’s Emmy will be held only in a few hours: Sunday night, 23 Sept 2012, 5 p.m. ET or 2 p.m. PT. Locating in Nokia Theater, Los Angeles, California, Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting this event as he also announced the nominators of the award on last July, together with actress Kerry Washington.

There’s not so much surprise in this year’s Emmy, especially from all those the nominators. Still, new faces are there in this Emmy, like the cute Zooey Deschanel who made her breakthrough on Emmy for being nominated as outstanding lead actress in his new comedy series, “New Girl”. Well actually I doubt that she will win it tonight (maybe Melissa McCarthy will win it again), haha.

Friday, September 21, 2012

2012's Movies-To-Watch-Next (part 3 of 3)

<<previously mentioned in "2012's Movies-To-Watch-Next", in descending order: (14) "Anna Karenina"; (13) "Hyde Park on Hudson"; (12) "To The Wonder"; (11) "Les Misérables"; (10) "Gangster Squad"; (09) "Hitchcock"; (08) "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"; (07) "Moonrise Kingdom"; (06) "Lincoln">>

#05: Django Unchained

Django Unchained
RELEASE DATE 25 Dec 2012 (USA) GENRE Drama, Western CAST Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Jonah Hill WRITER Quentin Tarantino DIRECTOR Quentin Tarantino

Mr. QT is back to the track! I doubt that this movie will be released in my home country (and if it will, then I doubt that there’s not too much censors around the film), but I just can’t wait to see it. I love his style of filming and his latest production, “Inglourious Basterds”, was outstanding! I don’t know, Quentin Tarantino always repeats the same style but I just don’t find it boring. It becomes his trademark actually. Here, in “Django Unchained”, Quentin goes a little bit “Western”-ish with a story about a slave rescuing his wife in Mississippi. Jamie Foxx played the main role, Django. Some other cast like Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson reunited with Quentin in this movie. You will also meet Leonardo DiCaprio and (surprisingly) Jonah Hill here. Again, Quentin wrote this movie by himself. One thing for sure, “Django Unchained” is just not the award’s taste. SEE TRAILER HERE

2012's Movies-To-Watch-Next (part 2 of 3)

<<previously-mentioned on "2012's Movies-To-Watch-Next", in descending order: (14) "Anna Karenina"; (13) "Hyde Park on Hudson"; (12) "To The Wonder"; (11) "Les Misérables">>

#10: Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad
RELEASE DATE 10 Jan 2013 (Australia) GENRE Crime, Drama CAST Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, Giovanni Ribisi WRITER Will Beall, Paul Lieberman (book) DIRECTOR Ruben Fleischer

I’m looking forward to seeing how Ryan Gosling act in this movie, that’s it. Talking about Los Angeles Police Department in late 40s or 50s, “Gangster Squad” seems like “L.A. Confidential” at the first sight. I’m not sure if awards will take “Gangster Squad” into account, but I see the probability of it being well-appreciated. And, if it is lucky enough, it will be able to repeat the success that “Drive” surprisingly got last year. Ruben Fleischer as the director is popular for directing comedic movie like “Zombieland” or last year’s “30 Minutes or Less”. With the support of cast like Sean Penn, Emma Stone, and Josh Brolin, we’ll see how this crime-drama movie will end up to. SEE TRAILER HERE

2012's Movies-To-Watch-Next (part 1 of 3)

2012's Movie-To-Watch-Next

I don’t wait for too much movies in 2012: the only movie I most anticipate in this year is “The Dark Knight Rises” and it really amused me. As the news spread and the trailers or photos released, some movies are considered to be recommended, either because of the quality that is brought by the crew or the cast (and of course a bigger chance to enter next year’s movie award season) or the story itself. I see the chances of these movies to be highly appreciated in the movie award season, though I still put some movies that suit my taste in this list. Below is a list of 14 movies I’d like to watch for the rest of the year, sorted descendingly by how eagerly I am to see them :)

PRECAUTION: This list is more likely to list award's choices (because, again, I don't wait for too much movies except for "The Dark Knight Rises", which has been released, or "Skyfall"), so you won't find out movies like "Total Recall", "Resident Evil", whatsoever. I'm sorry in advance.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hot Fuzz (2007)

Hot Fuzz

Opened with an interesting scene, “Hot Fuzz” amazes me. I don’t know if a comedy can be this lovely, but yes, when Edgar Wright meets duet Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, magic comes true. Okay, wait, relax, let me introduce “Hot Fuzz” to you first before I continue admiring how I love this movie.

“Hot Fuzz” (“fuzz” means “cops”) set out a good—or too good—London cop named Nicholas Angel (played by Simon Pegg). He had a great integrity and loyalty for being a cop, and he did some successful achievements in police department, far better than any other cops in the office. However, it makes him quite unlikable. He made his cop fellow look bad. That’s why he then forcibly transferred to Sandford, a country village with relatively low rate of crime. At Sandford, he found out local cops that weren’t much appreciated and attracted with their own jobs. Being located in a worse condition like that, would Angel still be as good as he used to be?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Man From Earth (2007)

The Man From Earth

Every movie has particular strong points that attract viewers. Some movies set out the dialogue as their powers, some use great visual effect, some are full with actions, and some other are filled with good cast that acts perfectly. Some even combine them all. “The Man From Earth”, I must say, is noticed for its script or dialogue.

“The Man From Earth” comes with relatively not interesting package. However, I love the story idea. “The Man From Earth” talks about a professor named John Oldman (played by David Lee Smith) that was about to leave to his new home. He was packaging his things when suddenly his collegueas came to make an unexpected farewell party. In the party, then, he revealed that he actually never ages and has walked the earth for 14,000 years. Isn’t that interesting?


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thank You For Smoking (2005)

Thank You For Smoking

If you think that movies always talk about the slightly same things, think again. You know, there is a variety of movies out there. Some of them are quite different from others because they go more thematic and specific. Just like “Thank You For Smoking”. This movie tells you the beauty of communicating.

The idea behind the story of “Thank You For Smoking” centers on a character named Nick Naylor (portrayed by Aaron Eckhart). He was a lobbyist. He worked for speaking and spinning argument to defend the existence of cigarette industry in America. In brief, he spoke for the “legality” of smoking, while practicioners and health-workers suggested people to quit or avoid smoking because of the bad effect for health. But, Nick had an incredible talent of communicating that always helps him get rid of even the worst discussion or offense. Meanwhile, Nick was a father of a son named Joey (portrayed by Cameron Bright). After Nick’s divorce, Joey lived with his mom and his new dad. However, Joey spent most weekends with Nick. Now it’s a quite dilemma for Nick to work professionally for speaking on behalf of cigars company while being a good role-model for his son.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

(500) Days of Summer

Well, these days I tend to do some repeat viewings instead of watching new movies on cinemas (actually because there’re no movies attracting me to watch :P). Then I randomly selected some of my past-time movies and ... here it is! I chose “(500) Days of Summer” to watch. At first I think that this movie is a bad option. No, it’s not because that this movie is bad; it’s because of the specific theme of the story that makes me—to be honest—troubled. Yes, you can laugh for this.

I knew that you guys have also watched this movie, maybe not only once but quite often. “(500) Days of Summer” talks about the days Tom Hensen (portrayed by my favorite young actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer Finn (played so nicely by the pretty and cute Zooey Deschanel) spent for their love journey. Summer is a nice girl, new employee in a greeting card company where Tom worked. At the first sight, Tom was attracted by her and tried to be close with her. Soon revealed that Summer liked Tom, too, but she tends not to have a serious relationship with him because she believes that there is no such thing called true love. Yet, Tom was just too deep into her and the offbeat of their relationship started for the next 500 days.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fermat's Room (2007)

Fermat's Room

Opening scene film ini sungguh menjanjikan: blank screen dengan voice-over “Do you know what prime numbers are? Because if you don’t , you should just leave now.” Itu seperti jadi indikasi bahwa “Fermat’s Room” akan jadi film yang sangat “matematika”. Matematika memang kerap jadi topik yang diangkat sebagai cerita sebuah film, sebut saja “A Beautiful Mind”-nya Russell Crowe atau “Good Will Hunting”-nya Matt Damon. Berbeda dengan dua film tersebut, “Fermat’s Room” tampil dengan sentuhan misteri-thriller a la whodunit yang kental.

Gw tertarik nonton “Fermat’s Room” karena ini membangkitkan lagi passion lama gw akan matematika. Betapa tidak, lihat saja trailer-nya yang seolah mengaitkan film karya negara Spanyol ini dengan "Fermat's Last Theorem", di mana Pierre de Fermat menyisakan misteri matematika yang tidak terpecahkan tentang “no three positive integers a, b, and c can satisfy the equation a^n + b^n = c^n for any integer value of n greater than two”. Fermat, dalam salinan buku Arithmetica, menyisakan misteri bahwa “I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.” “Too narrow to contain” menjadi topik utama film “Fermat’s Room”.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo

Gw nonton film ini di awal 2012 dan sejak saat itu gw kerap menonton ulang film ini. Bisa jadi ini film yang paling gw tunggu di awal tahun 2012 walaupun pada akhirnya film ini batal rilis di Indonesia. Alasannya, pihak distributor film tidak mengizinkan beberapa adegan kekerasan dan torture disensor oleh Lembaga Sensor Indonesia karena dinilai akan mengurangi esensi keseluruhan film ini. Well, akhirnya (dengan berbagai cara) gw berhasil nonton film ini.

Apa sih yang bikin gw tertarik banget nonton film ini? Jelas, sutradaranya David Fincher! Sejak nonton “The Social Network”, gw mulai mencari tahu tentang Fincher dan menonton kembali film-filmnya seperti “Fight Club”, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, “Se7en”, “Zodiac”, dan “The Game”. Dan, bisa gw pastikan gw jatuh cinta dengan karya-karyanya. Klise memang, sebagian besar pecinta film mungkin akan memandang remeh sutradara yang satu ini, apalagi jika di-compare dengan sutradara-sutradara hebat dan legendaris lainnya. Tapi, karya-karyanya selalu punya style sendiri yang gw banget!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Oldboy (2003)

Oldboy

Sebenarnya mengetahui apakah suatu film itu bagus atau tidak itu mudah. Buat gw, cirinya ada tiga. Pertama, opening-nya menarik. Entah itu opening credit atau adegan pembuka, pastikan film itu punya sesuatu yang menarik di awal sehingga penonton terpancing untuk menonton sampai selesai. Kedua, durasi. Film bagus akan bikin kita lupa dengan waktu. Jadi, kalo kita udah mulai ga betah di kursi sambil lirik-lirik jam, itu tandanya kita ga menikmati film itu. Terakhir, ending. Film yang bagus akan bikin penonton mengalami ecstasy seusai menonton ending-nya. Gw sendiri sering terperangah atau terdiam selama beberapa menit setelah film berakhir karena ending-nya yang membuat gw ... meledak! Nah, tiga hal itu bisa jadi preferensi sederhana apakah sebuah film menarik atau tidak.

“Oldboy” memenuhi ketiganya. Plus, segi-segi teknis (yang akan gw bahas nanti) a la sinematografi menjadikan film ini sebagai salah satu film terbaik yang pernah gw tonton. Gw menyesal menunda-nunda menonton film ini karena menurut Parental Guide di IMDB, ada banyak adegan-adegan sadisme dan tidak senonoh (baca: adegan darah-darahan) yang gw anti banget. Ternyata, wow, film produksi Korea Selatan ini menyajikan cerita yang luar biasa!

Belajar dari Film

Belajar dari Film

Okay, let’s get things a little bit less serious. Kita sudah banyak membaca ulasan film, baik film baru maupun film lama, dan kita sudah melihat sedikit pengetahuan tentang film. Mungkin saatnya gw mengajak Anda untuk sedikit rileks dengan posting yang agak santai ini.

Belajar dari film? How come? Well, like I have said, some people watch movies just for entertaining themselves. Some other do that as hobbies. But, some other people watch movies to take advantage of them. Ya, beberapa (atau bahkan semua) film selalu punya nilai-nilai yang bisa ditarik oleh penontonnya, sekecil apapun. Nilai-nilai, atau gw sebut sebagai pelajaran-pelajaran, ini bisa diterima dengan sangat jelas karena ditampilkan dengan gamblang oleh film tersebut, atau harus ditelaah dan diserap pelan-pelan karena dikemas dalam bentuk yang agak ngotak dan agak mikir. Nah, dari sedikit film yang sudah gw tonton (remember, i’m an amateur :P), berikut ini 10 film dengan pelajaran yang cukup signifikan yang bisa diserap oleh penonton.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko

Ada banyak alasan bagi seseorang untuk menonton film. Sebagian besar orang menonton film untuk kepentingan hiburan, yakni untuk melepas penat dari kesibukan sehari-hari. Sebagian yang lain menonton film karena hobi. Namun, tidak banyak orang yang menjadikan film sebagai media kontemplasi atau pengembangan pemikiran. “Donnie Darko” bisa jadi adalah sebuah film yang dibuat untuk tujuan yang terakhir.

“Donnie Darko” marak dibicarakan di dunia maya karena kisahnya yang mind-blowing. Film keluaran tahun 2001 ini dibintangi oleh Jake Gyllenhaal (pernah bermain di “Source Code”, “Prince of Persia:  Sands of Time”, atau “Brokeback Mountain). Jake memerankan Donnie Darko sendiri, yakni seorang siswa SMA yang punya gangguan kestabilan emosi sehingga kerap melakukan tindakan-tindakan kurang ajar baik di rumah maupun di sekolahnya. Suatu saat, entah dalam mimpinya atau dalam imajinasinya, Donnie didatangi seorang sosok berkostum kelinci besar dengan wajah mengerikan bernama Frank. Frank kemudian banyak memberi bisikan tentang berbagai hal yang misterius kepada Donnie.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Cabin in The Woods (2012)

The Cabin in The Woods

Well, pada awalnya film ini sama sekali ga masuk hitungan gw untuk gw tonton tahun ini. Bisa jadi karena hampir tidak ada horor Hollywood akhir-akhir ini yang bisa tampil memukau. Yaa gw akui gw juga ga terlalu hobi nonton film horor sih, walaupun gw masih tetap minat nonton film horor tertentu. Dari berbagai review dari berbagai situs film maupun blog, gw mendapati review-review yang luar biasa tentang “The Cabin in The Woods” (TCITW). Ini yang kemudian membuat gw begitu excited untuk nonton TCITW.

The less you know about this movie, the better. Itu sebabnya gw akan berusaha merangkai posting kali ini sedemikian rupa agar Anda semua masih tetap excited tentang film ini. Ceritanya klise banget! Lima orang muda-mudi berlibur ke cabin (rumah singgah) di hutan, lalu horor mulai muncul sejak mereka tiba di hutan. That’s it! Bukan sebuah ide cerita yang out-of-the-box kan? Tetapi, seperti yang tertulis di trailer-nya, “You think you know the story, you think you know the place. Think again,” film ini tidak berjalan semulus yang Anda duga.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

How IMDB Rating Works

IMDB Rating

Well, bisa jadi ini topik yang agak berat untuk gw tulis karena ... “ah, tau apa sih lo tentang IMDB, bar...” tapi tidak ada salahnya mencoba kan? Jadi berbekal rasa penasaran yang dibarengi dengan rasa malas (lagi), gw mencoba memulai menulis—atau lebih tepatnya (lagi-lagi) “merangkum”—suatu topik yang mungkin telah menjadi pertanyaan dalam benak kita semua, para pemerhati dan pecinta film. Actually, you can google it by yourself to know more about this. Thus, to make this post seems so different, I try to put my own way of explaining, so you can read it in a more brief, easy-to-understand explanation because I retell you in my own way.

How does IMDB rating work?

Pernah berkunjung ke IMDB kan? Jika Anda browse sebuah film di sana, Anda akan menemukan sesuatu yang disebut IMDB rating, yakni semacam “nilai” seberapa bagus film tersebut di mata para pengguna IMDB yang lain (ingat, IMDB rating ini bukan rating yang diberikan tim IMDB atas suatu film, tetapi user sendiri yang memberikan rating—oleh karena itu, untuk tidak menyesatkan, gw akan menggunakan istilah “user rating” instead of “IMDB rating” for the rest of the post). Pengguna yang telah terdaftar (registered users) bisa memberikan penilaiannya atas suatu film dengan menggeser kursornya di atas rentetan bintang-bintang dari 0 sampai 10, atau memilih dari dropdown menu untuk situs mobile IMDB. Rating yang Anda input akan memengaruhi nilai sebuah film. Memang sih, tidak serta-merta setelah Anda input nilai maka user rating-nya akan berubah. Tetapi, jika itu dipopulasikan dengan registered user lainnya yang jumlahnya mencapai jutaan itu, tentu akan ada perubahan secara signifikan.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Taxi Driver (1976)

Taxi Driver

“Taxi Driver” adalah film klasik karya Martin Scorsese yang dibintangi oleh Robert De Niro. Film ini dirilis tahun 1976 dan kini bertengger di rank #46 dari "Top 250" IMDB. Film ini tampil dengan sangat kharismatik, menceritakan Travis Bickle (diperankan oleh Robert De Niro), seorang mantan angkatan laut yang kesepian dan agak mentally-depressed hingga ia memutuskan untuk menjadi supir taksi untuk shift malam seraya bergulat dengan insomnia kronis yang ia derita. Mengelilingi kota New York dalam taksinya, ia mempelajari kehidupan, khususnya kota New York beserta para penghuninya.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Perahu Kertas (2012)

Perahu Kertas

Gw ga tau angin apa yang membawa gw siang-siang panas tadi ke bioskop untuk menonton drama cinta remaja berjudul “Perahu Kertas” ini. Hampir ga pernah lho nonton film cinta-cintaan kayak gini. Sendirian lagi, padahal yang masuk teater justru para muda-mudi (baca: ABG) bersama pasangannya masing-masing. Sigh~.

Bisa jadi karena gw sekadar penasaran seperti apa Dee menguntai kisah yang menurut gw cukup tidak mainstream untuk penulis sekaliber Dee. Memang, gw ga pernah melahap habis satupun buku-bukunya, tetapi beberapa cuplikan karyanya seperti “Filosofi Kopi” dan “Rectoverso” udah pernah gw baca dan itu indah. Oleh karena itu gw melihat kemampuan Dee alias Dewi Lestari dalam menulis sepertinya terlalu expert untuk sekadar menulis kisah cinta remaja seperti “Perahu Kertas”. Dan lagi, ini karyanya Hanung Bramantyo. Dia salah satu sutradara Indonesia yang karya-karyanya masih mungkin akan gw tonton dibandingkan sutradara lain.