• Thank you friends readers and passers-by for your continuous support to my blog. I will not be able to update often now and many articles and short story left hanging in the draft box due to the pressure of time lately but nevertheless I am trying to cope with it and will post few as time goes by.

    Pleasant day and have a good life.

    Love

    Sanaa

    Good things come to those who wait.
    Better things come to those who try.
    Best things come to those who believe.
    Desired things come to those who pray.

    "Islamic Thinking"

    A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
    Lao Tzu

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Movie Review Anyone?

The weather is gloomy for the weekends and it is now Sunday afternoon, the weekend is almost over and few hours from now every one of us will start tuning our mind for our Monday Blues. Mother’s busy preparing the child’s school uniform, checking their homework and on top of everything as at now might be preparing lunch.

Since Friday I have asked myself what do I want to do this weekend although I know I have many things on hand but what is the priority. Late Friday afternoon I’m telling myself I would like to have a lazy weekend, making no plans, just stay at home and only do the necessary i.e washing the clothes, sweep the floor, iron the clothes; that’s it. I almost achieved that until early Sunday morning my sister wanted to go out and asking me to go with her. Not to bad and I just browse one of the Cd store where we are, to many movies and I don’t even know when they released whether it is Hollywood or local. Looking at the title nothing interest me and 2 weeks ago a friend recommend me to watch Valentine’s Day, a star-studded movie. I miss the movie while it is in the cinema and after watching it nothing much I miss, to many couple involve and I am lost in the middle try to understand each scene and of course the plot is ‘be my valentine’ or what is valentine’s day all about. So at the end I spend part of Saturday watching movies and reading their reviews. While browsing the review column I came across new film by Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, Knight and Day released in United States on 23rd June 2010 and it received a mixed reviews by film critics making the worst action film by Tom Cruise in 20 years and it says the story focus more on the love affair of the lead role instead of the plot story itself. It is absolutely a disappointment especially Toy Story 3 is in the top rank.

Knight and Day written by Patrick O’neill formerly titled as Wichita and Trouble Man and directed by James Mangold and the reason of this write-up is I am totally engrossed with the producer of Hollywood film and the critics review. In Hollywood they have association I think like the Writers of Guild, West and for this movie alone 12 writers put their effort in it. Of course Malaysian film industry is to far behind and even with critics we are nowhere. We are to afraid to voice our opinion in each movie, the most we will say is not to bad, ok something very mild and not actually waking up people in the industry (attachment of critics on Valentine’s Day and Knight and Day). I have a habit of reading the reviews and critics before going into the cinema and if I find the critics or reviews is not encouraging I will not go. I will wait for the dvd be in market, buy and watch and see whether it is true what the critic says. It was not the same with Valentine’s Day. I did not read any of the reviews when it was release, I just miss them and watching the dvd it takes ages to end. I feel it is boring even though they have Julia Robert, Jamie Foxx, Patrick Dempsey, Jessica Alba and others.

We will be surprise with the Hollywood finance support for each movie and the actors share of revenue, where I think it is not done here, even with that support they are still struggling to produce good script, good cast, cinematography and other factors contributing to the movie. Knight and Day produce with a budget of USD117,000.00, Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz as their lead role after the writers and producers have gone through with many others. Looking at this I believed each movie, film or drama will go through the same process and again I am comparing with our local industry. With million of viewers, worldwide released there are Hollywood movie(s) does not make to box-office and this film will never be in Cannes Film Festival. The critics also says even with the Hollywood fame some movie failed due to script, changing scene and sequence from one scene to the other. Few pointers for our local producers to take note I believed.

So…is review important? I will upgrade my knowledge in reviewing each movie and with hope I have all the time to watch it and maybe be the next film critics writer in the local industry…hahahaha. Will wait for our much awaited film Nur Kasih.

*************************************************************

Film Review of Knight and Day by John P. Hanlon acted by Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz

The story for Tom Cruise’s new action film “Knight and Day” opens at an airport where the two lead characters, Roy and June (played by Cruise and Cameron Diaz), bump into each other several times before getting on the same airplane. On the plane, the lives of these two strangers are tied together through a series of events, and the rest of the movie revolves around their unlikely partnership as they try to stay alive while being attacked by many foes. Unfortunately, their partnership and the talents of a lot of the people involved in the making of the film, are wasted on an uneven actions that begins with potential and ends with embarrassment.

Knight-and-day

As noted above, things start out at an airport where our two protagonists meet for the first time. They’re supposed to be on the same flight but plans change when an airline employee does not allow June onto the plane. Consoling her, Roy says, “Sometimes things happen for a reason,” right before he boards. However, a few moments later, June is invited back onto the plane to Roy’s surprise.

The plane takes off and after flirting with each other, June heads to the restroom and Roy — who is actually a government agent — is confronted by a number of passengers who try to kill him. June returns from the bathroom and quickly realizes…actually, she doesn’t realize anything until Roy tells her, that the pilots are dead (supposedly, she’s too self-absorbed to notice the other passengers have been killed).

Eventually, Roy lands the plane and directs June to forget she met him. Soon enough, government agents are questioning her, and Roy has to come to her rescue. The movie continues from there as June starts working with Roy without knowing whether he’s lying about being set up for a crime he says he’s innocent of. It seems that Roy has been “framed” for wanting to steal a powerful battery. Roy and June spend most of the plot trying to avoid both the government agents Roy previously worked with and other people trying to steal the this battery.

Cruise does a great job with his role. He’s smooth and charismatic and once again the cool action hero. I especially enjoyed a scene in a diner (which was previewed in the film’s trailer) where Roy quickly ingratiate himself with a friend of June’s, while June is trying to warn this friend that Roy is crazy.

Unfortunately, I was less impressed with Cameron Diaz’s role. June could have been written as a stronger and more interesting person. But she’s relegated to flighty and unlikable, like Katherine Heigl’s role in the recent disaster, “The Killers.”

Additionally, “Knight and Day” is scattered with uneven pacing. Jumping from scene to scene and from place to place, the story does not flow well. One second, the characters have been kidnapped and then a few seconds later they’ve escaped. In one scene they’re being attacked on an island while preparing to board a helicopter, seconds later they’re safe. I wish the movie had focused more on longer action sequences and not cutting to new scenes without resolving the old ones.

“Knight and Day” is ultimately a big disappointment for those looking for a good time. Paul Dano, who briefly appears in the film, is wasted, along with Diaz, who deserves better. Cruise does some good work but that’s ultimately lost in unbelievable plot twists and frantic pacing.

“Knight and Day” is a disappointment no matter when you see it.

*****

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

Consensus: Stuffed with characters and overly reliant on uninspired dialogue, Eclipse won’t win The Twilight Saga many new converts, despite an improved blend of romance and action fantasy.

*****

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Directed by David Slade.

Based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) still lives with her father, Charlie (Billy Burke), the Chief of Police. As soon as Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) gathers together the Newborn Army of vampires, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) come to Bella’s aid to defend her from the imminently approaching army. Riley (Xavier Samuel) leads the Newborn Army and prepares his blood-thirsty team for battle. Meanwhile, in a parallel subplot, Bella finds herself in a love triangle between Edward and Jacob, even though she doesn’t readily admit her love of her good friend Jacob. Edward wants to marry her before she becomes an immortal vampire once and for all. The screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg suffers from essentially the same problems that New Moon suffers from: contrived dramatic scenes, a romantic subplot that lacks subtlety and chemistry, and unspectacular action sequences. Worst of all, the dialogue feels so dumbed down and stilted that you’ll roll your eyes or laugh unintentionally when Bella interacts with Edward or Jacob. One such dumb line of dialogue occurs during a picturesque view of a mountainous area when Bella looks at the scenery and comments about how pretty it looks. Unless audience members were blind, that comment is essentially redundant and a waste of time. So many scenes are spent showing the melodramatic love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob that you’ll find yourself looking at your watch waiting for the inevitable battle between them and the Newborn Army. How many times does director David Slade have to show Jacob Black’s muscular chest? It quickly becomes an annoying and cheap way to entertain the audience. All of the action sequences seem so poorly edited that they’re more headache-inducing than exciting like they should have been. To top it all off, each actor and actress, with the exception of the brief appearance of the underrated Anna Kendrick, gives a mediocre performance at best. Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart, in particular, pretty much sleepwalker through their roles and fail to add any emotion when they recite their dialogue. At an excessive running time of just over 2 hours, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is poorly acted, bland, overlong and thrill-less. It insults your intelligence from start to finish.

*****

By : Scott

And so the critic-proof Twilight series continues. Perhaps it’s because the earlier installments were so bad that they had nowhere else to go except up, but this time around I was occasionally, if only mildly, entertained. I’m not going to say it was a good movie, but at least it’s a less bad one than the first two.

Plot still isn’t this series’ strong point as this time all it consists of is Bella, Edward, Jacob and crew being threatened by a group of newborn vampires from Seattle that are secretly being lead by Victoria (the red-headed vampire from the previous films played this time by Bryce Dallas Howard). The rest is just filler as we learn some of the history of a few of the minor characters.

I think the biggest improvement is that the main characters seem to be slightly less annoying. Taylor Lautner and his buff physique still displays the most charisma of the three and is easily the most likable. The script manages to soften all of them a bit, mainly by providing a bit of humor this time around. “Doesn’t he own a shirt?” Edward asks at one point in regards to the constantly shirtless Jacob. And, “You know I’m hotter than you” Jacob retorts later. Even the notoriously sulky Kristen Stewart almost smiles once or twice. Two of them even share a chemistry together. Sadly for Bella, it’s Edward and Jacob that are the two. Their scene together in the tent immediately put me in mind of Brokeback Mountain.

Once again though, this movie pisses me off with its portrayal of vampires. I hate even calling them vampires since they have such little in common with real vampires. You never once see fangs in this movie. When several vampires are killed they break apart like they’re made of stone. And for fuck’s sake the vampires still glitter when they’re walking around in the sunlight! These are rated-G, castrated versions of vampires made suitable for tween girl consumption. They bear as much resemblance to real vampires as your typical house cat does to a lion. As in the last film, it is only young Dakota Fanning who manages to come across as evil or threatening.

Although there’s not enough of it, there is a bit more action this time around as well. The finale of the movie involves a battle involving vampires and werewolves. Because of the nature of these movies, it’s a completely bloodless battle, which is made to seem even more ridiculous when you consider that these are giant wolves that are biting and tearing into flesh, but as I said, somehow these vampires seem to be more stone than flesh.

Edward and Bella’s relationship, which has set the hearts of millions of women to beating faster, is the still the weakest part of the story. What either of them sees in the other is never made clear. It’s not sexual because they never have it. He’s a boring prude and she does nothing but sulk. Where’s the romance in that?

When the best you can say about a movie is that it wasn’t as bad as its really, really bad predecessor, that’s not saying much, but it’s the best I can do with regards to this one.

*****

Valentine’s Day by Concensus

Looking for a tasty cinematic bon-bon for Valentine’s Day? One that explores modern romance and features a staggering array of stars? Well, tough luck: critics say Valentine’s Day may have an army of familiar faces, but they’re left stranded in an episodic, unfunny, clichéd mess of a romantic comedy. Directed by Garry Marshall, it’s a series of interconnected vignettes about Los Angeles residents finding and losing love. Valentine’s Day has a role for almost everyone in Hollywood, from Julia Roberts to Jamie Foxx to the Taylors; what it lacks is a decent script that gives them much of anything to do — funny, insightful, heartfelt, or otherwise.

Written and compiled by : Sanaa 04/07/10

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