Friday, December 26, 2014

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (2014): A "Standard" Love Story with Captivating Performances

The Theory of Everything

What do we know about Stephen Hawking? He’s a physicist (or theoretical physicist, or astrophysicist, or cosmologist). He’s that scientist with a disease that made him sit on his sophisticated wheel chair and talk using a computer. For most people (I mean, non-“science” people) he is world famous not because of his brilliant theories about the universe, but because of his statement about us no longer needing the existence of God, now that science can explain all the “magic” used to be explained by faith and religious tenets. “The Theory of Everything” covers the life of Stephen Hawking and his wife, Jane Hawking, with the most beautiful form of acting performance I have seen this year.

Monday, December 22, 2014

GONE GIRL (2014): A Bitter Pill for Marriage

Gone Girl

I am a 22-year-old male, single. You know what is in most of my chats with friends? Marriage. Wedding. Proposal, at least. Engagement. All those things. Here comes the ages all my friends are so concerned about those things more than anything else. But how lovely is it really to get married? “Gone Girl” gives you a new perspective on marriage, about how it actually is a crossing of not only the good but also the bad of two people, and how it may turn into a nightmare when you can’t end it even though you know it doesn’t work anymore. “Gone Girl” scars the viewers with a pill about marriage, so bitter it haunts.

Monday, November 17, 2014

BEGIN AGAIN (2013): Simple Romantic-Drama Meets Joyful, Heartwarming Musical Adventure

Begin Again

Have I written about CHEF here? Not yet? Well, I should have because it feels that for me BEGIN AGAIN is as joyous as CHEF. I love how filmmakers use music to enliven their films, and John Carney (the guy that brought you the romantic-musical ONCE) did it wonderfully in this latest feature. From the story only, BEGIN AGAIN is not perfect, but the use of surprisingly easy-listening songs make it more enjoyable to watch.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

INTERSTELLAR (2014): Travelling Beyond Science Boundaries

Interstellar

This is INTERSTELLAR, or I might give it another title: BEYOND BOUNDARIES. As far as I know, math and physics haven't even come as close as what Christopher Nolan offered in this incredible work of fiction, but he deliberately pushed viewers to understand debatable theories so we together can travel way way further than we could imagine. Some (or perhaps most) of us won't enjoy this travel that much (for them this is either too complicated or too flawed) but all I'm trying to do is appreciating that someone (who is not even a scholar from the field he traveled to) invites not only himself but also many people to discover what is outside the boundaries of modern science.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

BOYHOOD (2014): A Movie that Moves with Time

Boyhood

Twelve years in the making, Richard Linklater wrapped a life of a kid named Mason from age 5 to 18, all in just 165 minutes. The result is BOYHOOD, a coming-of-age so real it moves with time, becoming an experience viewers have never felt before. And as the movie goes, the characters grow up (literally). Things happen, conflicts lit, emotions involved, loves arisen. Sure, lessons are learnt, and wisdom, courage, and perspectives are created. BOYHOOD is, in two words, life itself.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

FURY (2014): David Ayer's Descriptive—yet Uneven—Take on WWII

Fury

Hello again! Nothing to talk about my disappearance for about two months; life is getting me away from not only writing reviews but also watching movies (but I keep tweeting, ask why!). Half of the reasons has something to do with my effort to put myself together for the fact that finally GONE GIRL wasn’t coming into my country because of Ben Affleck’s dick the censorship; I think I should have predicted it so but the social-media folks were raising my expectation of its screening. Yeah, whatever.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014): Delightful, Comedy in Disguise

Guardians of the Galaxy

So Vin Diesel was paid a lot just to do some hum and repeat “I am Groot” in different tones? Just kidding. Again, the hype attracted me into seeing GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY because if it didn’t, I guess the Marvel movie timeline had been too complicated to follow (read: you know I’m not so fond of this genre!), but it turned out that the movie was a good one. I could say that I did laugh (out loud!) while watching it and it’s a good thing, isn’t it?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

10 Best Films of 2014 So Far

10 Best Films of 2014 So Far

I think it's about six months after my post of the best films of 2013, so this time it feels more appropriate to post the best films of 2014 so far. We've been halfway through 2014, and actually there are not many films came into my watched list because it's still in summer, and you know how I am not a summer movie guy :P 

If you want to see all 2014 movies I have seen so far, you can go to my Letterboxd page (and follow me there!)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

LOCKE (2013): An In-Depth Look of A Man's State of Mind

Locke

LOCKE is the (last) name of the only character appears on this film, Ivan Locke, which is portrayed so genuinely by the only actor appears on screen, Tom Hardy. The other actors' performances are voice-only, because the entire story of LOCKE takes place on a car: Ivan is driving while making/receiving tens of phone calls to and from them. Many filmmakers are dealing with some big-budgeted film projects that involve some bunches of actors in some spectacular shooting locations, but here Steven Knight is writing and directing a small film with BIG performance that dictates genuineness in its truest definition.

Monday, July 28, 2014

THE ZERO THEOREM (2013): Zeroing Everything (Including A Good Performance by Two Times Oscar Winner) to Nothingness

The Zero Theorem

Why is there this kind of movie that takes a rewatch to be fully understood? Why can’t it be understood in its first viewing? In the case of Terry Gilliam’s latest feature THE ZERO THEOREM, the answer would be because it is too confusing to grasp in its first, or perhaps second, watch. Too bad I don’t have too much time in my hand to ‘join the excitement’; I don’t usually watch a movie two or three times just to understand it. But there’s a catch: are you sure THE ZERO THEOREM worths your next viewing?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

LIFE ITSELF (2014): An Important Documentary about Roger Ebert, Movie Criticism, and Life Itself

Life Itself

I have never known Roger Ebert before I entered the world of movie-blogging. And to be honest, among other modern movie critics, he is not my most favorite critic. (My fave? James Berardinelli from ReelViews. It’s not a lame choice, isn’t it?) But no man has ever win a Pulitzer Prize for film criticism before Roger Ebert and that is among other reasons to make him special. LIFE ITSELF captures the life of Roger Ebert, from the beginning of his career until the day he passed away.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2014): Mistrusted Human vs. Civilized Apes

Dawn of The Planet of The Apes

First question: why “Dawn”? I think they choose “dawn” not because it is a more poetic noun than “start” or “beginning” or any other nouns with similar meaning. “Dawn” implies timing rather than activity; something that is perfect to match “rise”. The planet of the intelligent apes has already risen (remember how the intelligent apes claimed their freedom in a spectacular and climactic RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES), and DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES implies they begin to do a big thing—either in this movie or the next one.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

GONE GIRL Special Edition: Chances in Award Season

GONE GIRL Special Edition: Chances in Award Season

You haven’t seen the movie yet you’re talking about the reception towards it? Are you kidding, bar? No, I think I’m just over-obsessed to it. LOL. We’ve been talking about GONE GIRL in like two weeks, about the cast, the plot, and all things surrounding it. Now it’s time to talk about how GONE GIRL will be received in the market and, especially, in the award season next year.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

GONE GIRL Special Edition: Analyzing The Trailer and Important Parts of The Book

GONE GIRL Special Edition: Analyzing The Trailer and Important Parts of The Book

This post contains spoilers. Read this post only if you have read the book “Gone Girl” entirely.

First of all, I’d like to say, “Happy Ramadhan, everyone!”. Happy fasting month for all muslim around the world.

Now, back to business. We’ve been in the middle of discussion about GONE GIRL, which we all anticipate so much this year. This post is a great treat for you who have read the novel, because we’re gonna talk about important parts of the book, if they should be changed or kept.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

GONE GIRL Special Edition: About The Cast

GONE GIRL Special Edition: About The Cast

This post contains spoilers.

GONE GIRL has been in the year’s must-watch list of every movie blogger I know. There are many factors behind that fact, but the foremost would be the director. David Fincher, of course. One of the best living director, Fincher stands solidly in his ‘playground’—this mystery-thriller genre—so it’s no doubt that people are gonna see what else Fincher is gonna do in this brand new mystery movie. The ‘Fincher effect’, I might call it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

GONE GIRL Special Edition: Comparing to Director's Earlier Works and Some Notes

GONE GIRL Special Edition: Comparing to Director's Earlier Works and Some Notes

“Gone Girl” (by giving quote marks I refer to the book) is a unique presentation of a writing, although in my record the author, Gillian Flynn—I haven’t even heard of her before (or her earlier works, either)—wasn’t granted too many awards for this beautiful work. The least, I guess, is Goodreads’ Choice Awards in 2012. I’m not some avid book readers, but from the least that I know, her “Gone Girl” is very distinctive. Generally speaking, it’s unusual.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Me On The Movie Presents: GONE GIRL Special Edition!

Me On The Movie Presents: GONE GIRL Special Edition!

Guess what? I’VE JUST FINISHED READING “GONE GIRL”

(Well I know it sounds too much but FYI I’m a very slow reader and this is the first American English-written novel I finish entirely—some applause won’t hurt!) 

You know, I don’t usually read a novel. A fiction, to be exact. The last fictional novel I read is... umm... Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol”? Yeah, it’s back in my college years. So why suddenly reading “Gone Girl”? Most of my reason, I know you knew, is because it’s adapted to a movie directed by David Fincher. David Fincher. And you know how much I love Fincher and his works.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sleepiness During Movies?

Sleepiness During Movies

Have you ever slept, or at least felt sleepy, while watching a movie?

That's my biggest problem recently. I don't know if I was just too tired for a movie or the movie was just boring; sleepiness during movies sometimes is unavoidable. Yeah I know it's silly but I'm gonna write about it anyway, and it's great if you join me discussing this topic!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014): An Incredible, Eye-Candy Tale from the Brilliant Mind of Wes Anderson

The Grand Budapest Hotel

You know, I’m trying to figure out which snapshots of THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL I should include in this post because I just can’t decide which. Or should I just make a GIF (a slideshow, perhaps) from the entire movie? Truthfully, I have only see two Wes Anderson’s pics: MOONRISE KINGDOM and THE DARJEELING LIMITED—plus one short film: HOTEL CHEVALIER). They were mostly a hit-and-miss experience in spite of Wes Anderson’s mastery on art direction. Now, his brand new THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, for me, is a 100-minute of eye-gasmic experience so mesmerizing you don’t have the need to think about its artificially quirky story at all.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Favorite Movie Titles Blogathon

Favorite Movie Titles Blogathon

Let's get some fun! Brittani Burnham from Rambling Film hosted a great blogathon called Favorite Movie Titles Blogathon. Bloggers who join this blogathon will have to post a list of favorite movie titles all the way from A to Z. Although this blogathon has ended right at May 30, I still made the list anyway. It's just fun :)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

EDGE OF TOMORROW (2014): Live, Die, Repeat, Then Think Again.

Edge of Tomorrow

Seriously, I had no idea about what EDGE OF TOMORROW is all about and if it’s worth watching or not. Then I did some googling and found that, well, it’s perhaps one of the good summer movies to watch (like, Variety writes “...Edge of Tomorrow [...] is not an action movie first and foremost, but rather a cheeky little puzzle picture in expensive-looking blockbuster drag.” to which I replied, “Okay.”).

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ILO ILO (2013): Singaporean Drama about Immigrant Worker, Child-Parent Relationship, and Family Dilemma Under Economic Crisis

Ilo Ilo

Even IMDb doesn’t quite understand what ILO ILO means. The winner of Camera d’Or of Cannes Film Festival 2013, ILO ILO is a Singaporean drama by debut director Anthony Chen that centers on a family living under the '90s economic crisis that hit most Asian countries. But, more than that, ILO ILO also talks about immigrant worker and how she’s involved in the dilemma of child-parent relationship. Its honesty in reenacting the situation is the key power that successfully brings ILO ILO to major critics acclaim all over the world.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

(A Week After) Me On The Movie's 2nd (Uncelebrated) Anniversary: Another Retrospection

Me On The Movie's 2nd Anniversary

This is about a week past May 16, which (nobody remembers) is Me On The Movie's Anniversary. It's been two years since Me On The Movie airs on the internet and it feels like everything's going so fast.

Undoubtedly this post will be containing another excuse for not writing any posts and whatnot (and, hell, even all this year I've been giving excuses like hundreds of times). This year is a tough one. I told you lots of things about why I didn't post anything for weeks or why I've been away from watching movies (and writing about them). That would be because of my job.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jaw-Dropping Jokes of BORAT Bring Uncontrollable Laughs, Guilty Pleasures, and My 5-star Rating (!)

Borat

There is a fine line between being funny and being gross. But when it comes to talking about the lengthy-titled comedy BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN (or BORAT for short), the line eventually blurs. Spontaneous, controversial, sharp, and far-fetched, BORAT is the most jaw-dropping way to make fun of countries, both of others and yours.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Undeciphering Order: ENEMY is An Effective Presentation of Puzzle, Mystery, and Acting

Enemy

Jake Gyllenhaal is both Adam Bell, a history professor trapped in his boring life; and Anthony, a third-class actor with passion. ENEMY starts by focusing on Adam teaching his students, going home, and having sex with his spouse Mary (Melanie Laurent). Everyday is exactly the same, until he saw himself playing in a movie.

Well, if you know that there is a person that looks exactly (exactly) like you, what will you do? Will you call him and ask him to meet? Will you be excited? The feeling doubles if you’re a history teacher that teaches totalitarianism and dictatorship and Karl Marx and Hegel. Parts of your lecture come to life; it’s like history repeating itself.

Monday, April 21, 2014

[FEATURE] Some Dedicated "Artworks" for THE SOCIAL NETWORK

David Finchuary

Last February I was invited by French Toast Sunday to join their "Director of the Month"-like blogathon called David Finchuary. So they were celebrating the work of director David Fincher in series of (guest) posts in February (that's why it is called Finchuary). It did not have to be reviews of his films; the post could be anything about David Fincher.

I tried to come up with some great ideas, but I was stuck. Honestly I was so interested in joining the blogathon but suddenly time went so fast and it's April already.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My (Late) Review of THE RAID 2: BERANDAL: Beautiful Art of Violence with Unexpectedly Too Much of A Thinking

The Raid 2: Berandal

You can say that last night was my second visit to THE RAID 2: BERANDAL (my first visit was on March 28 when it first released in Indonesia—until a sudden chat message broke my mood into pieces and got me walked out of the cinema before the film ended). Note: this is the first film I see in Bandar Lampung! (please say, "YEAAH!!", just to make me feel better).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SNOWPIERCER Offers A Smart, Styled, and Detailed Dystopian Theme that Could be Better

Snowpiercer

Imagine an earth fully covered by snow and ice. Imagine an earth so cold that no living creatures can live outside so they look for shelters to live. That would be the earth the story of SNOWPIERCER takes place. Perhaps it would be hard for me to mention two or three other movies about dystopia and surviving, but I am sure I already knew the big line of SNOWPIERCER before actually watching it because, beside of its outstanding production design, costume design, and cinematography (and some acting!), there is nothing fresher that Bong Joon-ho offers in his debut in Hollywood.

NOTE: some parts of this review may contain clues about the story of the film. Although I don’t consider them a spoiler, you who prefer knowing very little about the film before watching it are suggested to read this review only after watching it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How DANCER IN THE DARK Excruciates Viewers by Penetrating Bold Negativity and Cynicism

Dancer in the Dark

That Saturday afternoon was a torture. I mean, in a good way: the kind of torture you enjoy only for the first time because you know it will be too painful to have it the second time. But who in the world enjoy being tortured? That afternoon I was watching Lars von Trier’s DANCER IN THE DARK, an irritating but frank story of how we areactually living in hell; we are just pretending that we’re not.

NOTE: some parts of this review may contain clues about the story of the film. Although I don’t consider them a spoiler, you who prefer knowing very little about the film before watching it are suggested to read this review only after watching it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Where have you been, Akbar?


It’s nearly a month away to Me On The Movie’s 2nd Anniversary but, hey, where have you been, Akbar?

You haven’t posted anything in a month! Guys, this is probably gonna be an emotional story to tell. LOL.

Nah, just kidding. But in a way, it might be not. The thing, I’ve just moved to a whole different city.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Love, Warmth, Loneliness, Originality, and the Future: Why I Consider HER the Best Film of 2013

Her

In this review I'm pointing out the reasons of why I consider HER the best film of 2013. Some people shortly address HER, written and directed by Spike Jonze, as “an unlikely love story of a lonely man and a female-voiced computer” which, in a way, I find underestimating. It's your right to call it whatever you want, but hell, I personally disagree with it. My call is, it's “a love story that proposes an interesting idea about the future”. I tell you why.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE Trades Off the Famous “This is Sparta!” with A Seductive, Villainous Woman Warrior

300: Rise of An Empire

No more “This is Sparta!!!”, no more kicking into that deep pit. 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE changes the focus of the before-century heroic legend into a more common war story that simply happens to take place in Greece. We’re no longer talking about the Spartans. We’re no longer talking much about the history itself. And even no longer Zack Snyder directing (director Noam Murro helmed the project since Snyder was busy with MAN OF STEEL). Instead, everything turns into continuous battles that suddenly feature a female villain so convincingly and so sharply performed by Eva Green.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Piece of My Thoughts about Oscars 2014

Oscars 2014

Well just like last year, I couldn’t watch or stream the 86th Annual Academy Awards, which aired on ABC Sunday, March 2nd, starting at 5:30 pm Pacific Time. It was around 7:30 am in Monday here in Indonesia. Yeah, Monday is an office day, I have to go to work, so all I could do was monitoring what happened both at the red carpets and the ceremony. (I can’t concentrate on whatever I was working on at office that morning!!). I won’t talk much about how Ellen DeGeneres, the presenter of the show, did her job (and opening monologue!) or how excellent the performers (gosh I really wanted to see Karen O performing “The Moon Song”!), but I have things to say about the winners.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Me On The Movie's Choice of 20 (Alternative) Films to See in 2014

20 (Alternative) Films to See in 2014

After a series of post of 2013 Recap, now we see my choice of anticipated films of 2014. Well, probably you might already be familiar with my taste on movies, so you won’t see blockbuster films like Godzilla, I, Frankenstein, or Robocop which are released this year, in this list. I mean, I might see them but I’m not really excited with them. What I list here is mostly the films I found quite noteworthy to be kept under radar; the kind of movies directed, performed, or produced by people who already showed their quality in their previous works (phew!). Alternative choices, you know. Something like that.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

2013 Movie Recap: 20 Best Films

2013 Movie Recap: 20 Best Films

Sorry for the late post. Now we are heading to see my selection of 20 best films of 2013. For your info, I saw 78 films of 2013 (according to my Letterboxd history). If you want to see all the 78 films ranked, see my list in Letterboxd. And I'm sorry if only a few (if not none) of these films were reviewed and posted in the blog previously. Most of them are only short-reviewed (again, in Letterboxd) but I write my short opinion for each of these 20 movies. The good thing is, different from 2012, we had 2 films with 5 star and 6 films with 4.5 star. 2013 has been a great year for movies, ain't it?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2013 Movie Recap: Acting

2013 Movie Recap: Acting

The second last post of the 2013 Movie Recap series! We're gonna see my choices of 2013's best acting performances, including Best Actor in A Leading Role, Best Actress in A Leading Role, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Young Performers. Check them out!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sundance-Released KILLERS Offers A Personality Study of Serial Killers

Killers (2014)

Inside us lives a killer. I believe there is a point in everyone’s life where one feels betrayed, done, and giving up on life that never runs along. Maybe you feel it, too. But I bet you didn’t (and don’t want to) realize that in the very deep corner of your soul, there hides this bleak, gloomy, dangerous, and scarying ‘another you’ waiting for the whole time, painstakingly, to show up and replace the ‘current you’ you made just to be accepted by the society. And when it does show up, you feel very confident to do bad things, even the sickest things you could ever imagine, because no matter it is right or wrong, you just need to win over and gain the satisfaction of victory after life beats you with problems and misfortune the whole time. This is what Killers is factually all about.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2013 Movie Recap: Writing & Directing

2013 Movie Recap: Writing & Directing

Next one! We're gonna see my choices on last year's best writing and directing. I have three categories in this post, including Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Director. Don't forget to leave your comment :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

2013 Movie Recap: Technical

2013 Movie Recap: Technical

Let's celebrate last year's best cinematic achievement in technical categories, including six subjects: editing, visual effects, cinematography, art direction, score, and songs. I'm picking five films which I consider as the best for each subject. Here we go.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Me On The Movie Presents: 2013 Movie Recap - Introduction

2013 Movie Recap

So you're never regularly writing any reviews for months and suddenly you come up with a yearly recap? Really, Bar? Haha. The thing is, I am still on the same track. I watch movies even though I didn't really write any reviews (except some short ones I usually write on Letterboxd) and of course I always rate the films I watched. But this year I'm trying something new; I will not only list my selection of last year's best films, but also figure out the best ones from acting, directing, writing, and technical departments.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blogathon: Life, Love, and the Movies!

Life, Love, and the Movies

I’m pretty excited to join this Life, Love, and the Movies blogathon since I first saw karamelkinema posted about it. I’m currently preparing my Annual Recap (which somehow delayed way further that I imagined, lol) but this blogathon is a fun one to spare my time writing and keeping up my blog updated.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Thoughts on 2014 Golden Globe Awards (Film Category Only)—including Small Talks about Oscar Chance!

2014 Golden Globe Awards

2014 Golden Globe Awards—held Sunday, January 12th, at 8pm ET/5pm PT—might be an unusual one. First, the separation between Drama and Musical/Comedy is getting blurer. Before Midnight and Her into Musical/Comedy while Blue Jasmine into Drama? Well, they have something to improve in the upcoming years! There are also other things like Woody Allen’s absent despite him being honored to receive the precious Cecil B.DeMille trophy (and Diane Keaton accepted it on his behalf), or even sewage bursts along the red carpet pathway, really spark up the award—not to mention the Red Carpet fashion parade (karamelkinema wrote a very nice post about it). But let’s just get straight into the award itself which already hooked me to raise comments, and also have some small talks about what it has to do with Oscar next February.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome, 2014!

Happy New Year!

So this is the first entry in the new year, 2014, and I'm so glad that I finally made my way to write again. Before too much rambling I wanna say, Happy New Year! May the new year brings us luck, happiness, and success! Did you guys have a lot of fun back in 2013? Well I hope we'll all gain much more fun in 2014!