Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

With a rather vague recollection of the first two Batman movies, I waltzed into the cinema on a Saturday morning to catch the third and final installation to the critically acclaimed Batman series by director, Christopher Nolan. After watching the movie, I could not help but think of the Colorado macssacre which took place on 20 July 2012. I was in Penang on vacation when I read the news and I was deeply sadden by it. So many innocent lives were tragically and brutally ended. It made no sense. I was especially affected when I read about the death of a 6 year old girl who was said to be "excited about life" and had just learned how to swim. I couldn't help but wonder what was going on in the mind of the shooter before and during this attack on innocent civilians. My condolences go out to all the victims of this horrific tragedy and though I may just be an ignorant Malaysian, I truly feel for them and it is my hope that their families will find healing and solace in the days to come. 



Review on The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises is shrouded in darkness and mystery. Much like the reboot of the Spider-man series, the movie displays a much darker hero, conflicted and divorced from the world around him. Our hero, Bruce Wayne/ Batman (Christian Bale) has been a recluse for the past eight years, having taken the blame for a crime he did not commit. We see him a broken man, having lost his love and reason for living, he sees no reason to move on. He hides himself in a secluded wing of his house where he is served his meals and does not associate with the rest of society. The only person he chooses to come in contact with is his trusty serviceman, Alfred (brilliantly portrayed by veteran actor,  Micheal Caine) who takes care of him and counsels him. 

We learn that in the absence of Batman, a series of crimes have been plaguing Gotham City, including those of the notorious Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) who denies her romantic inclination towards our hero, although it is obvious right from the beginning of the movie when she breaks into his safe and steals his mother's pearl necklace. Our hero does not seem affected by these crime waves and chooses to lead his solitary life, that is until the appearance of our mega-villain, Bane (Thomas Hardy). Wreaking inexplicable violence and causing senseless mayhem becomes Bane's game as he unleashes his reign of terror on the residents of Gotham City. He seems to harness intense feelings of hatred and rage towards our hero but his motivations remain unclear for most of the movie. 

What is a superhero movie without some romance? Romance comes in the form of a "lovely young woman" by the name of Miranda (Marion Cotillard). After hearing about her from various sources, Wayne finally comes face to face with her at a charity event. The two form a romantic attraction. They of course proceed to spend a night together and he seems to genuinely care for her after casting away his most faithful friend, Alfred after some revelations in one of the most touching scenes of the movie. We feel that at this point, Batman is ready to move on. 

After a series of events, including a betrayal from our lovely Catwoman, Wayne is captured and tortured by Bane. He is thrown into a prison underground after being brutally beaten and suffers a pretty serious back injury. While in the outside world, Bane continues his reign of terror on the citizens of Gotham City and forces Wayne to watch. Bane also sets a bomb in motion and kills the only person who can disable it. In the prison, Wayne learns that the only way of escape is to climb up a wall and jump up to a platform before being able to reach freedom. Many have tried and failed. He also has a vision of his dead mentor Ra's Al Ghul and makes the conclusion that Bane is his son and all this is done to avenge his father's death. He spends about two months in jail under the care of the prison doctor and one of its dwellers. He makes an attempt to escape from the prison but to no avail. After learning that fear is the strongest motivation for his survival, Wayne manages to escape from the prison and makes his way to save the people of Gotham City by defeating Bane.

Gotham City is in tatters and many are captured and sentenced to death or "exile" which you will see is pretty much the same thing. Among those captured is Wayne's love interest, Miranda which he vows to save. In a final showdown between Wayne and Bane, shocking revelations come into play which make Bane's motivation somewhat clearer before he is eliminated. But that's not the end to the epic trilogy as there has to be some other element to take care of. Yes, the bomb. This is quickly taken care of by Batman in his final colossal heroic act and contribution to the citizens of Gotham City. 

After watching the movie, the second thought which came to my mind is that I really ought to re-watch the first two Batman movies. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the finale to the trilogy, there is no room for comparison when the other two movies are just vague recollections. I must say however, that Christopher Nolan is a brilliant director. I was totally blown away by Inception and I fail to see any reason why this brilliant director would cease to amaze me with his future work. Bale is brilliant as always and Hathaway fits right into her Catwoman role and costume and is much more convincing than the Catwoman featured in previous movies. Michael Caine is effective as always and manages to bring out a tear or two in some dramatic exchanges between Wayne and him. I did not care much for Bane as the villain though. No doubt Hardy does a good job inflicting terror on the audience, but there is just not enough for me to truly understand his motivation although an attempt is made to address it at the end of the movie.

After all is said, The Dark Knight Rises still delivers as a riveting, engrossing, and exciting watch and a fitting ending to an epic trilogy. Highly recommended for all movie-goers. 


Friday, May 18, 2012

The Hunger Games



After being on hiatus for one and a half years, I finally decided to write a post for my blog. I am ashamed and sad to say that nothing much has changed since. I guess the only life-changing event is losing 11 kilograms due to my hard work and perserverance at the gym. Who would have thought that I would turn into an exercise freak?

For my first entry in the year of 2012, I have decided to write about one of the most successful movies the year has had so far, The Hunger Games. Watching The Hunger Games brings back memories of movies such as Equilibrium, starring the brillant and talented Christian Bale and the feminist dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale, written by Margaret Atwood. Before watching the movie, I had read the plot of The Hunger Games and I found it extremely intriguing. The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy of novels written by Suzanne Collins, its target audience being young adults. I have my doubts about the nature of the novel being suitable for such a young audience group. The idea of a group of teenagers killing each other violently in order to survive is hardly appropriate for teenagers. But then again, what do I know? The trilogy was actually written for teenagers. The movie, however surpassed all my expectations of what a great movie should be and it is mostly attributed to the great talent of actress, Jennifer Lawrence who has been praised for her work in Winter's Bone (which I have yet to watch and which I hope to watch really soon).

The Hunger Games is set in Panem which consists of a city,  The Capitol and  12 less fortunate disctricts, District 12 being the main focus of the movie. The Capitol is an extremely rich city, full of bright and vibrant colours and its population displays the most outrageous and flamboyant clothing range possible. This is sharply juxtaposed with the atmosphere in the districts. Grey, Blue and white are the colours which drape and dominate the district and its people.

We are introduced to the female protagonist, her family, which consists of her sister and mother, and her possible love interest, Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth). They are not happy people. Anxiety, misery and an impending sense of doom hover over the district and its people. Apparently, the districts have rebelled and have to be punished. As punishment for rebelling, every year each district is forced to come up with two "tributes" who are chosen in a lottery. One boy and one girl from each district will compete in a televised event in a fight to the death with the other tributes from the other districts in an arena, resulting with only one survivor. As far as punishments go, this one is pretty harsh.  In District 12, Katniss Averdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers as a tribute to replace her sister who was chosen in the lottery. She is later joined by her male counterpart Peeter Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) who apparently habours romantic feelings for Katniss, but hides his feelings from her. In order to train for the games, Katniss and Peter are sent to the Capitol to meet their mentor and former winner of the Hunger Games, Haymish Abernathy (Woody Harrelson)  who turns out to be a disillusioned drunkard, but not a bad person.

Arrival at the Capitol leaves Peter and Katniss stunned and overwhelmed as the brightness and lavish conditions of the city and its people overtake them. They are brought to their accomodation which is anything but modest. Before the launch of the event, we learn of Peeter true feelings for Katniss as he blurts it out on live  television. Katniss gets emotional, but Haymish thinks it would be beneficial to Katniss and Peeter later in the game as it would create more drama for the audience, and who doesn't love more drama?

The games begin with its announcer wishing all the tributes well with the refrain, "May the odds be ever in your favour:" Many tributes are killed at the very launching of the game. Katniss gets separated from Peter,  who later goes on to form alliances with other tributes. More and more tributes get killed. Katniss, being the lone ranger in the game bonds with one of the younger contestants, Rue (Amandla Stenberg) and is utterly broken when Rue gets killed. After much sorrow and aggravation, Katniss and Peeter find their way back to each other and a romance, or rather a televised romance ensues. They become a couple on screen. As the movie comes to a close, Peeter and Katniss join forces to defeat the remaining tributes. Then it is down to the final two, when suddenly, Katniss gets an idea which may result in the both of them surviving the games. Hoping that it would not be possible to close the games without a winner, Katniss takes out some poisonous berries and suggests that they commit suicide, leaving the game victorless. Finding no other solution to the dilema, the film-makers succumb to Katniss' ploy for survival and declare both of them the winners of The Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeter return to the district to a disturbingly unknown future, where more rebellion and struggles are in store.

I found the PG-13 rating rather unsuitable as some of the killings were rather brutal for young audiences. I did however, enjoy the movie tremendously. Lawrence was excellent and brilliant in her portrayal of the daring and relentless heroin. I hope to see her in other performances in the near future. The idea of a dystopian society has been dealt with in many movies and novels.The idea has always intrigued me. It truly exposes the hypocrisy and the inherent corruption in mankind.  The Hunger Games heightens the tragedy of the whole situation by sacrificing young lives who are innocent of corruption and the brutal consequences it brings.

Apart from being a social commentary, the performances in the movie really deserve some say here. Newcomer Jennifer Lawrence was a breath of fresh air and left me in awe after witnessing her perfomance as the young resillient Katniss Averdeen. Josh Hutcherson was convincing as a trustworthy partner and loyal friend which is clearly seen in his devotion to Katniss. Even Woody Harrelson which I usually despise held up his end in the movie as the callous, but clever mentor to Katniss. Liam Hemsworth's role in the movie was too short to reveal any real talent. Although, it is always nice to have some eye candy to gawk at in a movie. All in all, an excellent movie. Highly recommended to lovers of dystopian fiction and people who enjoy watching movies in general. It is highly unlikely to disappoint.



Monday, November 15, 2010

Let Me In

I have never been a fan of horror movies. Most of them feature shallow protagonists with senseless plots. They also accentuate blood, violence and gore which usually exist in these movies for the sake of existing. Once in a while however, a decent horror film enters the cinemas which exceeds all our expectations.

Vampires are fascinating creatures and have been predominant in the horror genre for some time now and more so these days with the highly successful Twilight franchise and television series such as True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. Having not bought into these movies and series, Let Me In only brings me back to the 1994 horror drama, The Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. It tells an epic tale of a vampire's life and is known for its exploration into the emotional and "human" aspects of vampires. Rather than focussing on them as mythological or folkloric creatures, the movie shows that they are beings who also, like us, experience emotional torment, pain and suffering. Let Me In captures its audience by appealing to the basest of our needs; the need for affection and human contact.

Based on the 2008 Swedish cult horror feature directed by Thomas Alfredson, Let The Right One In and the novel of the same title, written by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the 2010 English feature entitled Let Me In tells the harrowing tale of a lonely adolescent boy who develops a relationship with a female child vampire.

WARNING!!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!


The movie is set in 1983, in Los Alamos, New Mexico during winter. The dark and dreary winter night comes to life with the sound of sirens and the presence of light emanating from an ambulance racing through the woods. We learn that the ambulance is carrying a disfigured man (Richard Jenkins) who seems to be out of control. At the hospital, a policeman (Elias Koteas) begins to interrogate the disfigured man, and accuses him of being part of a series of gruesome murders which have have been mysteriously plaguing the small town. When the policeman is called away to answer a phonecall, a scream is heard and the policeman rushes into the room to find that the man has plummeted to his death from the window leaving behind an ambiguous note which simply reads: "I'm sory Abby."(sic)

We are then transported 2 weeks into the past where we find a young boy sitting on a jungle gym chewing his favourite candy when he is suddenly called in to have dinner by his mother. The boy, whom we come to know as Owen (Kodi-Smit McPhee) is an unhappy boy. The picture we get of Owen's life appears dismal and bleak. His misery stems from having an alcoholic mother (whose face we never get to see) and an absent father, as his parents are probably going through a divorce or separation. Things get worse for Owen at school as he is constantly tormented and bullied by his seniors, leaving no room for joy or comfort in his increasingly meaningless existence.

Owen often fantasizes about taking revenge on his tormentors. Sometimes, he wears a scary mask and pretends to be a vicious bully like his tormentors. Other times, he uses a tree as a stand-in for his tormentors and stabs it with vigorous conviction. He also spends his time peering into his neighbours' apartments. One night, while spying, Owen sees new neighbours moving in. A young girl, walks barefoot in the snow, followed by a much older man whom Owen assumes to be her father. During one of Owen's reveries, a girl mysteriously approaches him, identifying herself as Abby (Chloe Moretz). Despite Abby's insistence that they can never be friends, they are inexplicably and unavoidably drawn to each other and the most meaningful relationship in Owen's life starts to unfold. Abby supports and encourages Owen to stand up to his tormentors and Owen in turn provides comfort for Abby, who always seems exhausted, sad and fragile.

Meanwhile, we are exposed to a brutal series of murders and a horrific secret is exposed. We see Abby's father stalking and killing a man, exsanguinating his body and storing his blood in a large plastic container. It becomes quite obvious to the audience what the blood is for when Abby's father is harsly reprimanded by a loud and montrous voice for spilling the blood. When a second attempt to secure blood from a particular unsuspecting victim goes awry and Abby's father gets involved in a car crash, he douses his face and hands with acid so as to preserve his identity and protect Abby. The story then merges into the present where dark and shocking secrets are revealed as we learn the true identities of Owen's mysterious neighbours. Abby and Owen's relationship continues to blossom. When Owen learns of Abby's secret, he becomes frightened, but he continues to protect Abby despite his fear that Abby might be evil. As the story draws to a close, Owen must choose whether to continue down a path of self-destruction or to sever all ties with the only person who has brought any meaning to his life.

I never thought that a horror movie, featuring a vampire could be chilling, compelling, touching and brutally tragic all at the same time. Most horror movies are plastered with blood and gore, and contain the most ridiculous plots. Let Me In shows that there is hope yet for the horror genre. Although bloody and gory scenes are present, they are always justified artistically. The success of this movie however, is mainly attributed to the acting talents of the two young leads. Chloe Moretz delivers a startling and flawless performance as a vampire who is living a conflicted and afflicted life. Her astounding portrayal as a vampire struggling to reconcile the sad, lonely and frail little girl who desperately craves for comfort and affection, with the blood-thirsty, brutal and savage creature when she needs to feed certainly deserves recognition and praise here. I was thoroughly impressed by her performance in Kick-Ass and it is evident from this performance that a promising future is in store for this young actress. Kodi Smit-McPhee was last seen in his performance as the son to the lead in the post-apocalyptic feature, The Road. McPhee was applauded by critics for his performance in The Road, but his performance in Let Me In garners him (in my opinion) the honour of being one of the most accomplished child actors today.

Director, Matt Reeves of Cloverfield manages to produce a movie which is well-crafted and shockingly tragic. A close to flawless execution makes Let Me In one of the best horror movies I have watched to date. Provocative, touching and highly emotional. If the movie had one flaw, it would be the use of CGI effects to heighten Abby's montrosity and savagery when she turns. The movie could have done better without them, though I understand Reeves' use of them to placate certain audiences. The cinematography and lighting tie in very well in conveying the eerie and desolate atmosphere of the cold, lonely and unaccepting world that Owen and Abby live in. A gem to the horror genre and an unforgettable cinematic experience for movie-goers who are not just looking for a good horror movie, but a good movie, period.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Buried

A review from a renowned critic on the movie Buried prompted me to read Edgar Allan Poe's short story on the subject of being buried alive entitled, "The Premature Burial." After having read his account, I began to have rather uneasy feelings and qualms about watching a movie which features this situation. The thought of being trapped in a coffin alive is certainly disturbing, not to say morbid. Not to be weak-minded and silly, I decided to proceed with my plans to watch this movie which I have been anticipating for a good two months since I watched the trailer.


Imagine waking up to pitch darkness and finding out that you are in a small enclosed place. You find it hard to breathe, you begin to gasp for air. After a while you begin to scream and move around desperately trying to get out. But no matter how much you struggle or how loud you scream, there is just no way out. You are trapped. This is the fate that befell Paul Conroy in the brilliant action thriller Buried which I was fortunate enough to catch in the cinema last weekend.

Minor Spoilers to Follow!!!

Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is a U.S contractor working in Iraq. Paul wakes up to complete darkness and finds that he has difficulty breathing. After a while, he finds a lighter and realises that he is in a wooden box. He finds a cell phone and is awakened to the fact that he has been attacked and captured and is now being held hostage in a coffin. The unimaginable has happened: He has been buried alive.

It is difficult to imagine what is running through Paul Conroy's mind. The events that led to this horrifying reality? What is he going to do? Who can help to get him out of this desperate situation? Paul proceeds to call a whole list of people whom he thinks can get him out of his predicament. He calls the police, his wife, his employer's office and even the Pentagon. All these calls are exercises in futility as no one seems to be able to help him. Frustrated and drained of energy, Paul finally gets a call from his kidnapper demanding that his family pays a ransom of five million dollars for his release. Paul is also shown a video of one of his colleagues being executed when the demands of the kidnappers are not met as a foreshadowing of what is in store for him should he not agree to pay the ransom.

The rest of the movie focusses on Paul's deperate efforts to be rescued. His continuous efforts and desperation were at moments painful and heart-wrenching to watch. The other events which take place in the coffin are best left to the imagination for people who have yet to watch the movie. It is safe to say that the movie is indeed very realistic and every event that takes place in the coffin can certainly happen. The terror is real.

I know that some people may not appreciate this movie and some may even go on to say that it is shallow and empty. I thought it was brilliant. Unlike Hollywood productions which tend to depend on massive effects to entertain, Buried chooses to depend on the limited and still manages to capture its audiences' attention for a whole 94 minutes. This is attributed to the filmmaker's decision not to show any scenes of what goes on at the other end. There are no scenes showing the 911 operators, the employee in the Pentagon, Paul's wife and child or the kidnappers. There is no flashback of the attack and therefore no scenes of explosions or gunfire. By omitting those scenes, the audience gets to experience what Paul is going through. We are taken along on Paul's journey and we feel his frustration, agony and fear as like him, we also experience the desperate need to reach the other end.

There are a few aspects of the movie that I wish to draw attention to. I particularly loved the way the movie began. After the opening credits, the audience is left in silence and total darkness for a good two minutes before we are made aware that someone is breathing. This simple device slowly draws the audience into Paul's experience before he wakes up to the terrifying reality of his situation. Ryan Reynolds is best known for his role in the sitcom Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place and roles in romantic comedies such as The Proposal and Definitely, Maybe. I can say with conviction that he has certainly come a long way. This is the first dramatic role from this actor which I managed to catch and I must say I was pleasantly surprised as his performance was rather excellent given the limited space he had to work with. The range of emotions he managed to portray was genuine and convincing. This is indeed a breakthrough performance for Ryan Reynolds. I was also amazed at the amount of action which took place in the coffin. You would think that a movie which only features a man in a box would be anything but exciting. Buried triumphs and gives us so much more.

As for the ending, well, I won't give anything away, but let's just say that it ended just as it should have. This show is definitely not made for the faint-hearted and if you feel squeamish about coffins and are claustrophobic, you should give this a miss. As for me, I can say that there was not a single dull moment in Buried and the experience that it gave me was worth every cent. I certainly have no regrets.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Devil

2010 is suffering from a dearth of good movies. I remember a time when there were so many fantastic summer blockbusters that I couldn't keep up with the movies showing in the cinemas. This year, however, is different. In fact, I find it difficult this year to actually say that certain movies are good and worth the money I spent. Many of the 3D features were also very disappointing. With the exception of features such as Inception, the movies shown this year have nothing much going on for them.

Having not watched movies over the last few weekends, I was starved for my weekly dose of movies at the cinema. The latest feature I managed to catch last weekend is the feature entitled, Devil. Devil is M. Night Shyamalan's latest attempt to redeem his reputation as a film maker which has been ruined by features such as Signs, The Happening and from what I hear, The Last Airbender. Devil carries a simple, yet profound plot of the Devil's quest to earth to claim the morally wrong and (personally) escort them to hell.

I found the opening credits particularly interesting as the city was portrayed upside down, indicating that things are about to go really wrong and the natural order of things have been upset. The story begins with a suicide, which apparently opens the door for the devil to enter. Sent to investigate the case is Detective Bowen, who has recently lost his wife and child in a hit and run. While investigating the case, the story shifts to people in the building and focusses on five strangers in an elevator. The elevator suddenly gets stuck between floors and the people begin to panic while viewing each other with annoyance and distrust. The five people trapped in the elevator are: the mechanic (Logan Marshall-Green), the security guard (Bokeem Woodbine), the salesman (Geoffrey Arend), the old woman (Jenny O'Hara) and the young woman (Bojana Novakovic).

The group of people eventually get in touch with security guards (Matt Craven and Jacob Vargas) who can see them, but unfortunately are unable to hear them. The guards try to pacify the group and assure them that rescue is on the way. The people in the elevator begin to get impatient and quarrels and accusations ensue. Amidst this dire circumstances, things get worse when the power in the elevator becomes unstable, sometimes leaving the elevator in complete darkness. After several flashes, the young woman seems to have been injured by something. Then the situation escalates when people start dying one by one each time there is a blackout. The remaining survivors begin losing their minds and the guards watching the horrific events taking place in the elevator are also badly affected. Who the murderer is remains a mystery.

One of the guards, Ramirez, however, is convinced that this is the work of the Devil himself. He recounts tales his mother used to tell him when he was young about how the Devil would occasionally come down to earth himself to collect the souls of sinners. Witnessing the events in the elevator and pointing out an image of an evil face he saw in the elevator earlier on, Ramirez is even more convinced that this is indeed the Devil's work. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that all the people in the elevator have done deeds which are worthy of harsh punishment and it was not completely absurd that the Devil should want to claim them. The Devil is finally revealed when the last two remaining survivors battle it out in the elevator.

The twist at the end of the movie ties all the loose ends together and manages to deliver a profound message about forgiveness and repentance. All in all, a pretty decent movie, well-casted and carefully delivered. I guess M. Night Shyamalan managed to hit the mark this time. The visual effects used in the movie, though simple were rather effective and complemented the tension and panic rather effectively. I really liked the closing scene of the movie when all complications were resolved and the city is shown in its original upright and natural form, indicating that all is well and order has been restored. One thing is for sure though, I would definitely think twice about going for long rides in elevators with a bunch of strangers...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Repo Men

After a short glance at the synopsis of this movie, I decided to give it a shot. The plot seemed rather absurd, but having had rather good judgement of movies in the past, I was quite certain that this movie couldn't be all that bad. After all, the lead actors, Forest Whitaker and Jude Law have never failed to impress me in the past, so how bad could it be? I was however, sadly mistaken. The level of discomfort I felt while watching the movie was so immense that I actually thought of walking out of the cinema just 20 minutes into the movie.

Repo Men is set in the near future where organs are easily available to the public. This ideal situation however, comes at a large price as the as The Union (the sole company which engages in this business) encourages their desperately ill clients to take on exorbitant monthly installment plans, as the cost of an organ is extremely high. If clients fail to meet their monthly payments (as is usually the case), repo men will break into their houses, render them unconscious with a stun gun, cut them open and repossess their organ(s), leaving them for probable death. Repo men are of course under obligation to ask them if they need the assistance of an ambulance after they cut them open to repossess the organ(s). Isn't that considerate of them!

Jude Law and Forest Whitaker play the lead characters, Remy and Jake. They are The Union's outstanding repo men and they work very well together repossessing organs in the most efficient manner. Remy and Jake answer to Frank (Liev Schriber) who is always satisfied with their job performance. The story takes a turn, however when Remy encounters marital problems as his wife finds his job no longer acceptable and wants him to switch to sales instead. Remy finally agrees to make the switch to save his marriage, much to Jake's detriment. Remy is persuaded into doing one last job before making the switch. Things go awry when Remy gets severely injured and ends up having an artificial heart. Remy's wife leaves him with their son and Remy continues to lead a meaningless existence working in sales (which he apparently sucks at).

Being in the same shoes as The Union's many unfortunate clients, Remy is forced to become a fugitive once his lease is up, finding protection in abandoned parts of the city. Remy meets a girl named Beth (Alice Braga) whom he says complements him as he has an artificial heart and she has an artificial...well, everything else, ranging from eyes, ears, knees, stomach, kidneys to God knows what else! They pair up eventually and decide to break into The Union to erase all their records and release themselves from their burdens. All doesn't go as planned and things end badly for Remy and Beth at the end of the movie.

I am not usually judgemental when it comes to movies, but I must say with plenty of conviction that this is by far one of the worst movies I have watched. It is pure indulgent nonsense as Simon Cowell (former judge of American Idol) would put it. I never would have guessed that the movie would be so poorly executed. The multiple violent, bloody and gory scenes were totally unjustified. It could have been a better movie if the focus had been on characters and emotions, rather than just mere slashing, shooting and cutting. The amount of blood, violence and gore was just mind-numbing. The movie should be a lesson in how movies should never be made. I came out of the theater with feelings of unease, disdain and disgust. Never have I found a movie so morally disturbing. The whole concept of repossessing organs itself seems highly and legally improbable. Furthermore, the movie portrays characters who seem to be devoid of human decency as they actually gather to chat and laugh about how their clients cry and beg for their lives. The movie is neither here nor there in its direction. It seems to be rather confused about where it wants to go. If it was meant to be a serious social commentary on healthcare, it has certainly missed the mark. As a pure action sci-fi thriller, I can surely say that it was not even remotely entertaining. Even the rather strong performances by Jude Law and Forest Whitaker were not enough to redeem this mess. On a final note, save your money for better things in life and don't even bother getting the DVD. Repo Men is one movie you can definitely live without watching. Believe me, you won't miss a thing!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dessert at The Apartment

After having written multiple reviews on movies for this blog, I decided that I should write about something else for a change. As you can tell, I am obviously an avid fan of movies and television series. But for those of you who know me, you would know that I also have a penchant for expensive and rich food, especially desserts (who doesn't!)

As we had some extra time before our usual movie weekend escapade, my movie partner and I decided to stop by this place called The Apartment for dessert. The Apartment is a rather unusual restaurant which derives its concept from an actual apartment. The restaurant is divided into different sections of an apartment where you have a kitchen, living room, bathroom, etc. We were very pleased to be seated in the bedroom section where we could actually lie down on a soft mattress and pillows. It was really relaxing and refreshing.

Feeling awfully greedy that day, we decided to order two desserts! I must say that there were no regrets as both of them were simply spectacular.

















First to arrive was a dessert called Eton Mess. This dessert, which is aptly named may not be very pleasing to the eye, but it was certainly tantalizing to the taste buds. Imagine layers of soft fluffy cream upon layers of meringue, drizzled with strawberry sauce and chopped strawberries melting in your mouth. It was positively sinful, but simply delectable! We gobbled the whole thing up in a matter of minutes! Extremely satisfying to the last bite and left me asking for more.


Our second dessert was the Chocolate Pudding. Do not be deceived by the simplicity of the name of this dessert, for its taste far exceeds any expectations you may have. The chocolate pudding was warm, soft, aromatic, full of chocolatey goodness and just simply delightful. This awesome pudding was accompanied by a scoop of homemade vanila ice-cream which went extremely well with the pudding. A must-have for all chocolate lovers. You will not be disappointed.

Although these desserts were a little above our station, (amounting to RM40 for the both of us) it was worth every ringgit and it is nice to indulge in something sinful once in a while, isn't it? This will definitely not be my last visit to The Apartment for dessert!