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.