Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kiki's Delivery Service 魔女の宅急便

 Released Year: 1989
Directed by 宫崎駿 Hayao Miyazaki

Voiced by:
高山南 Minami Takayama & Kirsten Dunst as  琪琪 Kiki
佐久間玲 Rei Sakuma as 吉吉 Jiji
三浦浩一 Keiko Toda as 歐其諾 Osono 
Kiki is a 13-year-old witch-in-training living in a village where her mother is the resident herbalist. Traditionally, witches live a year alone when they reach the age of 13. One night, Kiki takes off for the big city with her best friend Jiji, a loquacious black cat.

Kiki settles in Koriko, a port city. After a hard start, mostly because of her own insecurity, Kiki makes friends and finds a place to stay. However, she discovers that her only skill as a witch is her ability to fly on a broom, at which she is still not fully proficient. To support herself, she begins a delivery service at Gütiokipänja Bakery, a bakery owned by Osono and her husband Fukuo.

During her time in Koriko, Kiki experiences setbacks, and she must contend with adolescent worries. She is pursued by Tombo, a local boy crazy about aviation who has developed a genuine respect for her flying power and a strong liking for Kiki as a girl in general. Kiki eventually warms up to him, but after a brief encounter with Tombo's friends, some of whom she had met earlier under unfavorable circumstances, Kiki loses her powers to fly and speak with Jiji, devastating her. However, one of her friends, a young painter named Ursula, invites her to stay in her forest cottage, where she analyzes Kiki's current crisis as "some form of artist's block." Since many things had not gone as hoped for, Kiki is experiencing such a period, which resulted in the loss of her powers; but if she finds a new purpose, she will be able to reclaim what she has lost.

Heartened, Kiki returns to the city. While visiting one of her customers, she witnesses an dirigible accident on the television. A strong and sudden gust of wind blows in the area. Tombo is lifted into the air and blown away hanging from the dirigible. Kiki pushes herself to regain her flying ability and uses a street-sweeper's push broom. Kiki is able to regain her power and rescue Tombo.

Kiki becomes comfortably part of the life in Koriko as its own local celebrity and flying in formation with Tombo on his human-powered aircraft, a propeller-rigged bicycle. Kiki sends a letter to her parents about gaining confidence through difficulties and that she has decided to make Koriko her new home.
L² Scored: 8/10

L² Comment:
Love this animation of Hayao, the idea of a witch going around to gain experience is something like Harry Potter, i wonder whether Harry Potter copy this storyline or not? As this animation has won multiples awards for Best Animation in USA & Europe countries...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Last Exorcism Part II

 Released Year: 2013
Directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly

Casted by:
 Ashley Bell as Nell Sweetzer
Julia Garner as Gwen
Spencer Treat Clark as Chris
Muse Watson as Frank Merle
Louis Herthum as Louis Sweetzer
We start with some footage from the first film, showing flashes of Nell Sweetzer being exorcised by Rev. Cotton Marcus, leading to the climax with the satanic ritual, and Nell's brother Caleb decapitating Daniel the cameraman. Apparently, the camera containing that footage is still lying in the woods.

Cut to a couple in New Orleans, Jared and Steph, sleeping. Steph gets up, and something crawls into bed with Jared. When he sees Steph standing before him, the thing growls and claws at Jared's leg. The couple hides, but they look in their kitchen and find a demonic-looking Nell squatting by the fridge.

Nell is taken to a doctor. She's catatonic and has barely any memory of what occurred in Ivanwood. As she's given a bath, the nurse cuts a lock of her hair and keeps it. The nurse then continues to clean her when the radio begins to lose signal with a hint of white noise, and Nell later claims "He will kill us all".

Nell gets placed in a home for girls, run by Frank Merle. He gives her the cross necklace that her mother left her, but tells her to wear it once she's decided who she will become. Nell quickly makes friends with a group of girls led by Gwen. She gets a job working at a motel and even catches the eye of a boy named Chris. Nell and the girls go to a Mardi Gras parade, where several masked and hooded figures appear to be watching Nell. She encounters a living statue who remarks "You've been missed". At one point, Nell even believes she sees her father, Louis across the street who disappears behind the passing of a bus.

Overnight, Nell has a few flashbacks to her incident in Ivanwood. She gets up to go splash her face with water, but comes back to find one of the girls violently contorting, and then falling out of bed having a seizure.

At work, Chris tells Nell he has a surprise for her after work. During her shift, she notices something weird going on with the radio. There appear to be voices speaking to her, but she is snapped out of it by her fellow employer. Later, Chris takes Nell to an animal enclosure to see some white tigers and gorillas he also gets two sugar sticks for each of them. When they sit on a bench together Chris asks if Nell's ever had a boyfriend, but she gets defensive and says that it's nobody's business, although she still tells him of how she was pregnant. As they come close to kissing a Gorilla throws a tire in the background ruining the moment.

That night, Nell gets a phone call, supposedly from Chris. When she answers, her voices echoes through the other line, and then more demonic voices appear to be speaking to her. She tries unplugging the phone, but it still rings. During the night, she sees Louis again, who tells her not to let the demon seduce her. When she turns the lights on, he disappears.

During work the next day, Nell is shaken. Chris tries to console her, but she asks what it is that he likes about her. He then gives Nell her first kiss. She goes back to work with a smile on her face. While working in a room, she hears erotic moaning from the next room. She places her face on the wall and listens with interest, a black color begins to appear around her face, and hands as the moaning turns to screaming. There is also a dark figure standing outside the room watching Nell. Later at night, Nell starts moaning pleasurably in her sleep while her hand is being lifted into the air.

That evening, Chris throws rocks at Nell's window, asking her to come outside. She goes out and doesn't find him, but hears what sounds like several demonic voices speaking to her at once. She runs back inside and discovers Louis in there, very much alive. He holds her and says he never should've trusted Cotton with her, and he pulls out his shotgun, preparing to shoot her claiming its the only way. As Nell struggles with him, Gwen comes in and whacks Louis over the head with a blunt object. Her eyes turn black, and she tells Nell "No one can have you but him". She sends Nell out and locks her outside, as some loud thumping and Louis's screams are heard. Frank comes downstairs to investigate but finds nothing, and Gwen comes back as if nothing has happened. Frank tells Nell he will have her committed to a hospital if she doesn't stop acting out.

Nell finds the girls watching a video of her exorcism in Ivanwood that Gwen found. She is disturbed and annoyed when the girls won't stop watching, and one insinuates that there is still a demon inside her. She leaves and goes to a church where she starts praying. A pastor comes in and at first seems welcoming, but then gets darker and says "He has great plans for you." Some large birds hit windows as shadowy figures surround the place, and Nell runs out. On the streets, she encounters a tourist who recognizes her from her possession video. He asks for a picture with her, which she reluctantly agrees to, but it comes out distorted. When he asks for another one, Nell tells him to fuck off. As he walks away, the man falls to the ground suffers a seizure. Nell then gets pulled away by a woman named Cecile.

Cecile tells Nell of a prophecy that states that there will be a destruction among the earth that will happen if the being responsible is willing to let it happen. She also tells her of The Order of the Right Hand that is watching out for Nell. Cecile takes Nell to her place to get a sense of when she became possessed. She performs a sort of ritual and ask's Nell to show her when she first encountered the demon. Nell only shows part of her memory's and as Cecile insists that she let her see, Nell claims it is not safe for Cecile. As the ritual continues Nell begins to scream and yells "Make it stop" several times and the lights than go out. When the lights come back on Cecile turns to see several knives lined up pointed at her, that fall to the ground a few seconds later.

At the motel, Chris sees a video of Nell where she is lying to Cotton and his crew about how she got pregnant. Nell finds Chris sitting in the room, talking about how he could never love Nell more than "he" can in an odd way. He slits his throat in front of Nell and dies.

Nell goes back to Cecile's home that evening, where they meet Calder and Jeffrey, two men from The Order of the Right Hand. They strap Nell down to a table as Cecile paints "CROATOA" on her stomach in red. They perform a ritual to exorcise Nell and put Abalam inside a chicken. During the ritual, Nell struggles as something moves inside her and they are unable to control the demon. Nell sees a masked and hooded figure that she previously saw at the parade, which turns out to be herself standing before her. She sees more apparitions as Calder injects her IV with a needle. An apparition of Louis tells Nell it's a lethal dose of morphine. Abalam takes her form again and tells her to accept her fate. She does nothing other than stare at him and then appears to flatline and die. Suddenly, she springs up and takes the demons hand, and the next thing we see is Calder getting thrown out the window while more commotion goes on in the house and blood sprays the window. Nell leaves the home during the commotion.

Back at the home, Frank is calling around to look for Nell. He finds her sitting in his office, covered in blood. She tells him she's decided who she really is, and thanks him for being so kind, and helping her. She then kills him before setting a fire that leads up to the rooms of the other girls, who begin screaming.

Nell goes outside, wearing the boots that she said she liked to one of the girls when she first enters the home, and takes Frank's truck. She plays a rock song that Gwen played for her earlier and starts driving off into the night, literally leaving a trail of destruction and chaos behind her.
L² Scored: 6/10

L² Comment:
This exorcism movie is kinda simple and the storyline is predictable. This part 2 is the sequel of the first movie in 2010... but does it make a better profit and reputation than the 1st movie? i dont think so...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cowboys & Aliens

 Released Year: 2011
Directed by Jon Favreau

Casted by:
Daniel Craig as Jake Lonergan
Harrison Ford as Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde
Olivia Wilde as Ella Swenson
In 1873, Arizona Territory, an unnamed loner wakes up in the desert injured, with no memory and with a strange metal shackle on his wrist. After killing three drifters who try to kill him, he takes their clothes, weapons and a horse. He wanders into the small town of Absolution, where the local preacher, Meacham, treats his wound. After the stranger subdues Percy Dolarhyde, a volatile drunk who has been terrorizing the town, Sheriff Taggart recognizes the stranger as Jake Lonergan, a wanted outlaw, and attempts to arrest him. Jake beats up the posse sent to take him in and nearly escapes, but a mysterious woman named Ella Swenson knocks him out.

Percy's father, Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde, a wealthy and ruthless cattleman, arrives with his men and demands that Percy be released. He sees Jake and also demands he be released to him, since Jake was the one who stole Dolarhyde's gold. During the standoff, alien craft begin attacking the town. Percy, the sheriff and many other townsfolk are grabbed by long, whip-like feelers hanging from the bottom of the alien ships and are abducted. Jake's shackle unfolds and becomes a weapon, shooting down one of the ships with a single shot, ending the attack.

Dolarhyde, Ella, and other townsfolk form a posse to track an injured alien that escaped from the downed ship. Jake, meanwhile, travels to an abandoned cabin, and in a flashback, recalls returning there with the gold just before he and a woman, Alice, were abducted by the aliens. His memories returning, Jake joins up with the posse. During the night, while they camp in an upside down paddlewheel steamboat, the alien they were tracking kills Meacham, who sacrifices himself to save Emmett, Taggart's grandson.

By the next morning, most of the posse has deserted, and the others are attacked by Jake's former gang. Jake, who stole the gang's loot after their last heist, attempts to retake control, but fails. As he and the others flee, the aliens begin attacking again and Ella is captured. Jake jumps aboard the ship and attacks the alien pilot, causing the ship to crash, but Ella is fatally wounded.

Shortly after the crash, however, the posse is captured by Chiricahua Apache Indians, who blame them for the alien attacks. As Ella's body is dumped on a fire by a Chiricahua warrior, she is fully resurrected. Ella reveals herself to be an alien who traveled to Earth to help resist the invaders after they destroyed her homeworld. The aliens, who are mining gold and abducting humans to experiment on, are far stronger and more durable than humans, and have superior weapons. But they are not invulnerable. They can be stabbed and shot to death, and Jake's gauntlet weapon can kill them with a single blast.

Ella claims Jake holds the secret to the aliens' whereabouts and says they must stop them before they exterminate all life on the planet. After taking medicine offered by the Apaches, Jake recalls that Alice was euthanized after she was used in an alien experiment, but he escaped, inadvertently stealing a gauntlet-like alien weapon. He could also remember the location of the aliens' base of operations.

Armed with this knowledge, the group, now led by Dolarhyde, prepares to attack the aliens' grounded mothership. Jake returns to his old gang and persuades them to join the fight. In a sneak attack, the humans breach the spaceship by destroying the shuttle bay, forcing the aliens into a ground battle. Jake and Ella board the ship and free the captives, but Jake is captured. Dolarhyde rescues him and both men escape the ship after killing the alien responsible for Alice's death. As the remaining aliens are taking off in their damaged craft, Ella sacrifices herself, destroying the ship using Jake's gauntlet.

Jake's memory partially returns, and some abducted townsfolk begin to remember their past. Still a wanted man, Jake decides to leave; the sheriff and Dolarhyde say they will claim that he was killed in the invasion. The citizens intend to rebuild the town with the expectation that the newly discovered gold mine will soon bring many new settlers. Jake kindly rejects Dolarhyde's offer to help rebuild the town, and rides away.
 L² Scored: 4/10

L² Comment:
Based on the novel with the same name as this movie, its kinda science fiction thingy, but its not my cuppa tea at all... Cowboys vs aliens is something new in the movie industry, but i don't know why this film is kinda boring and nothing exciting at all throughout the movie...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Neighbor Totoro 龍貓 となりのトトロ

 Released Year: 1988
Directed by 宫崎駿 Hayao Miyazaki

Voiced by:
日高範子Noriko Hidaka & Dakota Fanning  as 草壁皋月Satsuki Kusakabe    
坂本千夏 Chika Sakamoto as 草壁梅 Mei Kusakabe   
糸井重里 Shigesato Itoi as 草壁達郎 Tatsuo Kusakabe   
In 1958 Japan, university professor Tatsuo Kusukabe and his two daughters, Satsuki and Mei move into an old house to be closer to the hospital where their mother Yasuko is recovering from a long-term illness. Satsuki and Mei find that the house is inhabited by tiny animated dust creatures called susuwatari—small, dark, dust-like house spirits seen when moving from light to dark places. When the girls become comfortable in their new house and laugh with their father, the soot spirits (called "black soots" in early subtitles and "soot sprites" in the later English dubbed version) leave the house to drift away on the wind. It is implied that they are going to find another empty house--their natural habitat.

One day, Mei sees two white, rabbit-like ears in the grass and follows the ears under the house. She discovers two small magical creatures (chibi or "dwarf" totoro and chu or "medium" totoro), who lead her through a briar patch and into the hollow of a large camphor tree. She meets and befriends a larger version of the same kind of spirit (ō or "large" totoro), which identifies itself by a series of roars that she interprets as "Totoro" (in the original version, this stems from Mei's mispronunciation of the word for "troll").[3] She falls asleep atop the large totoro, but when Satsuki finds her, she is on the ground in a dense briar clearing. Despite her many attempts, Mei is unable to show her family Totoro's tree. Her father comforts her by telling her that this is the "keeper of the forest," and that Totoro will reveal himself when he wants to.

One rainy night, the girls are waiting for their father's bus and grow worried when he does not arrive on the bus they expect him on. As they wait, Mei eventually falls asleep on Satsuki's back and Totoro appears beside them, allowing Satsuki to see him for the first time. He only has a leaf on his head for protection against the rain, so Satsuki offers him the umbrella she had taken along for her father. Totoro is delighted at both the shelter and the sounds made upon it by falling raindrops. In return, he gives her a bundle of nuts and seeds. A bus-shaped giant cat halts at the stop, and Totoro boards it, taking the umbrella. Shortly after, their father’s bus arrives.

The girls plant the seeds. A few days later, they awaken at midnight to find Totoro and his two miniature colleagues engaged in a ceremonial dance around the planted nuts and seeds. The girls join in, whereupon the seeds sprout, and then grow and combine into an enormous tree. Totoro takes his colleagues and the girls for a ride on a magical flying top. In the morning, the tree is gone, but the seeds have indeed sprouted.

The girls find out that a planned visit by Yasuko has to be postponed because of a setback in her treatment. Having reached the age where she fully understands the concept of death, Satsuki takes this seriously. She angrily yells at Mei and stomps off. Thinking that her mother can be cured by healthy food, Mei walks to the hospital with an ear of corn.

Mei's disappearance prompts Satsuki and the neighbors to search for her. Eventually, Satsuki returns in desperation to the camphor tree and pleads for Totoro's help. Delighted to be of assistance, he summons the Catbus, which carries her to where the lost Mei sits. Having rescued her, the Catbus then whisks her and Satsuki over the countryside to see their mother in the hospital. The girls perch in a tree outside of the hospital, overhearing a conversation between their parents and discovering that she has been kept in hospital by a minor cold and is otherwise doing well. They secretly leave the ear of corn on the windowsill, where it is discovered by the parents, and return home on the Catbus. When the Catbus departs, it disappears from the girls' sight.

In the end credits, Mei and Satsuki's mother return home, and the sisters play with other children, with Totoro and his friends as unseen observers.
 L² Scored: 8/10

L² Comment:
Released in the same year as "Graveyard of the firefly", Totoro also brought a big fortune for the production team in that year. I only watched it once before many years ago, not really enjoy the storyline when i was small coz i found it quite dull. But rewatching it, i found it quite meaningful and touching.

But out of my surprise, i read an article regarding this animation. Totoro is actually represent "God of Death" in Japan?!? People who saw the totoro will die. As the both sister saw totoro, does it means they already dead? A few suspected scene which i think Hayao has told out about this:-

1. Younger sister's sandal was found at the pond, does it mean she has drown?
2. Elder sister cried and beg totoro to look for her younger sister, because she was lost. Is it because her soul lost her way back?
3. At the scene outside of the hospital, the 2 sisters are so near their mother and they wanted to see her so much. But why they never appear while left the corn on the window quietly and suddenly?

Findings said that, the hospital mentioned in this animation really exist! And its for those patient who has suffer the cancer in final stage. And after the sisters saw totoro, both of their shadows never exist anymore... how true is it? i don't remember, but i feel kinda spooky if Hayao really hide this kind of meaning in it. And this is actually based on a true legend which both of this sister has been killed at that place during that time...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Warm Bodies

 Released Year: 2013
Directed by Jonathan Levine

Casted by:
 Nicholas Hoult as R
Teresa Palmer as Julie Grigio
Rob Corddry as M / Marcus
Dave Franco as Perry Kelvin
Analeigh Tipton as Nora
After a zombie apocalypse, R, a zombie, spends his days wandering around an airport which is now filled with hordes of his fellow undead, including his best friend M. R and M achieve rudimentary communication with grunts and moans and "Eh's" and occasional near-words. As a zombie, R constantly craves human flesh, especially brains, as he is able to "feel alive" on the memories of their former owners. The zombies travel in packs, moving very slowly, searching for victims to feed on. While out looking for food, R and a pack of zombies find Julie Grigio and a group of her friends, who were sent out by Julie's father from a heavily-fortified, walled-off human enclave in a nearby city to recover medical supplies from abandoned buildings. R sees Julie and is drawn to her. After being shot in the chest by Julie's boyfriend, Perry, R kills Perry while Julie is distracted and eats his brain, giving R his thoughts and memories making his attraction to Julie become even stronger. He rescues Julie from the rest of the pack and takes her back to an airplane he lives in at the airport to keep her safe. The two bond, causing R to slowly begin to come to life.[9]

Eventually, Julie gets restless and convinces R to take her home. On the way, R reveals to her that he killed Perry, causing her to abandon R and return alone to the human enclave. R begins to make his way back to the airport, heartbroken, but when he sees that M and other zombies are also beginning to show signs of life, he and M lead a group to the human enclave, where R sneaks inside the wall. There he meets Julie's friend Nora and her father Colonel Grigio, leader of the human group. While Nora is grudgingly accepting, Colonel Grigio refuses to believe corpses can change and threatens to kill R. Julie and R escape to a baseball stadium where the rest of R's group is waiting, but find themselves under attack by a horde of skeletal zombies (also known as Bonies) who have irretrievably lost all traces of humanity, and are set on killing and eating anything with a heartbeat, which now includes R and his friends.

Julie and R run from the Bonies, finding themselves trapped. Taking the only escape route, R jumps with Julie into a pool far below, shielding her from the impact but hitting his head, and both of them survive the fall. Thrilled to be alive, they kiss passionately. However, Colonel Grigio shoots R in the shoulder, causing him to bleed and proving that he's been revived. The humans and zombies combine forces and kill the Bonies, and the zombies slowly assimilate into human society. The human population destroys the walls surrounding the human society after the annihilation of the Boney population, creating a life for both humans and reanimated corpses much like the days before the apocalypse. The film ends with R and Julie as a couple.
  L² Scored: 5/10

L² Comment:
Based on the same title of Isaac Marion's novel, this movie is brought to the big screen this year with the paranormal romantic style + zombie + black comedy... After watching the movie, i don't really feel too excited or anything, maybe this is kinda lame, we "so call" knows what gonna happen anyway... And as an antm fans, of course i hope Analeigh will appeared more in the film, but that doesn't happened... and seriously, i think she better go for some acting classes...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fong Sai Yuk 方世玉

 Released Year: 1993
Directed by 元奎 Corey Yuen

Casted by:
李連杰 Jet Li as 方世玉 Yuk
蕭芳芳 Josephine Siao as 苗翠花 Fa
李嘉欣 Michelle Reis as 雷婷婷 Ting
胡慧中 Sibelle Hu as 李小环 Wan
趙文卓 Vincent Chiu as 鄂爾多 Duo
陳松勇 Chan Chung Yung as 雷老虎 Fu
朱江 Paul Chu as 方德 Tak
鄭少秋 Adam Cheng as 陳家洛 Luo
The brash and ambitious Fong Sai-yuk meets the beautiful Ting-ting during a track and field competition and falls in love with her. Ting-ting is the daughter of the hot-headed hooligan Tiger Lui. Tiger Lui stages a martial arts competition for interested men to participate and win his daughter's hand in marriage. The contestant must defeat Tiger Lui's wife, Siu-wan, in order to win. Fong Sai-yuk joins the contest at his friends' urging and defeats Siu-wan. He catches a glimpse of his future bride, who is actually a servant maid to replace the temporarily missing Ting-ting. Fong Sai-yuk decides to forfeit the match and leaves.

Fong Sai-yuk's mother, Miu Chui-fa, enters the contest in disguise as a man to help her son win back the lost glory. She defeats Siu-wan and knocks her off the scaffold. Miu Chui-fa catches Siu-wan as she falls and they land safely on the ground. After that intimate moment together, Siu-wan becomes romantically attracted to Miu Chui-fa, as she is unaware that Miu is actually a woman in disguise. Tiger Lui forces Miu Chui-fa to marry his daughter. To save his mother from embarrassment, Fong Sai-yuk marries Ting-ting on behalf of his "brother" (his mother in disguise as a man), and is confined in his father-in-law's house. He is unaware that his bride is actually his love interest and they fight in the dark. They discover each other's identities eventually.

Miu Chui-fa manages to persuade Tiger Lui to let her son return home. Just then, Fong Sai-yuk's father, Fong Tak, returns home from a trip. Fong Sai-yuk discovers that his father is a member of the Red Flower Society, an underground resistance movement that aims to overthrow the ruling Ching Dynasty. While Fong Tak is having a conversation with fellow members, they are ambushed by the Governor of Nine Gates and his soldiers. The Governor demands that Fong Tak hand over the name list of the society's members, but the latter refuses. Just then, Fong Sai-yuk and his mother appear, and Fong fights with the Governor and holds him off until his parents have escaped to safety.

Fong Sai-yuk and his parents hide in their in-laws' house to evade the authorities, but the Governor pays a visit to Tiger Lui and recognizes them. In the ensuing battle, Fong Tak is captured while Siu-wan dies from a gunshot wound. Fong Sai-yuk lies to his mother that his father has been rescued and decides to save his father alone without letting her know. He attempts to storm the execution ground and fights with the Governor to save his father. At the critical moment, Miu Chui-fa appears together with the Red Flower Society's members and their leader, Chan Ka-lok. They defeat the Governor and his men and succeed in freeing Fong Tak. Before the film ends, Fong Sai-yuk becomes Chan Ka-lok's godson and he joins his godfather on their noble quest as they ride off towards the sunset together.
 L² Scored: 8.5/10

L² Comment:
Of course who will ever forgot this classic martial arts legendary Fong Sai Yuk portraited by Jet Li? After Jet Li managed to brought Wong Fei Hung in 1991/1992 times, the director spoted and make sure him nailed this film just as exactly as they want, and how the audience wants it. Overall the movie is good, love Jet Li & Michlle Reis as usual, Josephine's character definitely brought us some laugh and the scenes of her and Sibelle were not bad as well...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful

 Released Year: 2013
Directed by Sam Raimi

Casted by:
James Franco as Oscar Diggs / Wizard of Oz
 Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch / Annie
Mila Kunis as Theodora / The Wicked Witch of the West
Rachel Weisz as Evanora / The Wicked Witch of the East
Oscar Diggs (nicknamed Oz) is a small-time circus magician and con artist in a traveling circus. He is early revealed to be a womanizer who tricks women by giving them a music box which he claims to have belonged to his dead grandmother, though in reality he has plenty of them. With his assistant Frank, Oscar runs a magic show where he mesmerizes the audience, but he is revealed to be a fraud when he is unable to heal a young girl who is unable to walk. Annie, a woman he is revealed to genuinely be in love with, visits Oscar at the circus to tell him another man proposed to her. Oscar, caring for her and realizing he is a bad man, tells her she should accept. As a storm approaches the circus, the circus strongman attacks Oscar after finding one of his music boxes he had given to his girlfriend. Oscar escapes in a hot air balloon with his top hat and a sack of supplies but is sucked into a tornado. As the balloon breaks apart, Oscar promises God that if he survives this he will become a good man.

Oscar finds himself in the land of Oz. The witch Theodora finds him and explains she believes he is the focus of a prophecy after seeing him perform a few simple magic tricks, which she believes are real magic. The wicked witch Glinda, Theodora's sister, killed their father, the wizard and king of Oz, but it was predicted a great and powerful wizard by the name of Oz would descend from the sky, save the land, and become their new king. The duo follow the Yellow Brick Road to the capital, the Emerald City. Along the way, Oscar follows his womanizing ways and gives Theodora a music box; she clearly falls in love with him whereas he rebuffs such commitment. The duo encounter Finley (a reference to Frank, who he called his monkey), a flying monkey, and Oscar saves him from the cowardly lion with magical illusion. Finley pledges a life debt to Oscar.

In the Emerald City, the good witch Evanora guards the throne until the prophecy wizard arrives. She is skeptical of Oscar being the wizard, but claims he can have all the power and wealth of the king if he kills Glinda by stealing and destroying her wand, the source of her power. Oscar and Finley travel to the Forbidden Forest, but along the way, they see smoke coming from "China Town", where the inhabitants are all made of porcelain. Everyone is dead except for a young, un-named girl whose legs are broken (a reference to the handicapped girl). He fixes her legs with glue. She explains that the bad witch destroyed the city with her flying baboons because they celebrated Oscar's arrival to the land of Oz.

The trio travel to the Forbidden Forest and find Glinda, who resembles Annie in appearance and actions. However, she reveals that she is the good witch and that Evanora is the one who killed the previous king. Evanora sees this with her crystal ball. Theodora enters the room, and Evanora explains that Oscar had given her a precious music box and she fell in love with him (this is implied to be a lie), and she reveals that Oscar is now consorting with Glinda. Theodora's heart broken, Evanora offers to remove all feelings from her heart to stop the pain, to which Theodora agrees. In doing so, she turns into a wicked witch, turning her green. She realizes that Evanora is the wicked witch, but Evanora's spell is irreversible. The witches attack Glinda, Oscar, Finley, and the China Girl with the army of the Emerald City and their flying baboons. Glinda's magic allows the team to escape, first hiding them in a fog, then having them fly to Munchkinland, with a barrier strong enough to prevent Evanora from reaching it.

In Munchkinland, Glinda reveals she knows that Oscar isn't truly a wizard but tells him he might be what they need. He tells the land he is the wizard here to save them, and he meets his "army": tinkers who can build anything, farmers who can grow anything, and munchkins that can create any clothing, all of whom are forbidden to kill. Theodora breaks the barrier and attacks the town, telling Oscar she did this to him. Glinda fights her off, but she says that she'll come back with the armies of the Emerald City. Oscar realizes he can't win against such an army with what is available and decides to leave, but he has a change of heart when the China Girl tells him that the old king used to grant wishes; she wishes to have her family back, but Oscar sadly realizes he can't help with this. He tells Glinda while they can't win in a straight-out battle against the Emerald City, they might be able to win through illusion. The town creates various objects for the upcoming battle.

Oscar and a few others sneak into the Emerald City in a magician's wagon with the help of the Emerald City's grumpy herald, a secret ally of Glinda. While sneaking in, Munchkinland "attacks" the Emerald city under Glinda's fog. The wicked witches send their army of flying baboons to attack, but the "army" turns out to be straw men moving through a field of poppies. As the baboons enter the field, they are put to sleep by its effects. However, two remaining baboons manage to snatch Glinda. China Girl recovers her wand. Glinda is placed in the central region of the Emerald City to be tortured and executed by the wicked witches. By this point, the citizens of the Emerald City know the truth but are afraid to challenge the wicked witch sisters.

While this goes on, Oscar steals a large amount of gold from the Emerald City vaults and flies away with it in a hot air balloon. Theodora shows this to the town and then destroys the balloon to destroy the city's hopes. This is simply an illusion by Oscar to make the town think he was dead so that he can be reincarnated as the Great and Powerful Oz, a wizard with no human form, which is really just a face projected onto smoke in the center of the city thanks to the wagon sneaked into the city earlier. The guards and witches attack, which of course has no effect. As the witches grow fearful, Oscar "attacks" them and the city with fireworks, which they have never seen. In the confusion, Evanora runs in fear and China Girl brings Glinda her wand, allowing her to escape. Evanora and Glinda face off, with Glinda winning, and the two wicked witches run from the Emerald City. As Theodora runs away, Oscar apologizes to Theodora for what she has become and says she can come back if she ever regains her former self, but she simply laughs at the idea.

The movie concludes with Oscar creating a miniature version of his projection system, as he needs to make the citizens believe "Oscar" died but that Oz lives on in order to keep them united against the wicked witches. In keeping with the previous king, but unable to grant wishes, he gives the main characters of the story gifts. He offers the Master Tinker a type of Swiss army knife Oscar himself used in the film. The herald is given a mask with a smiley face. Finley is given something Oscar never gave anyone, his friendship (and hat). He gives the China Girl a new family in the form of her friends. He gives Glinda some sort of unspecified romantic relationship.
 L² Scored: 6/10

L² Comment:
Well, i never watch the old/original The Wizard of Oz before. But i remember there's this small girl, a tin man, scarecrow along the journey, but why is this different? Well, i love James Franco & Rachel Weisz, so i chose to watch it at the big screen... The storyline is ok, like the flying monkey & the talking china doll~ Beside this, the best surprise will be Mila Kunis when she transform into a witch~

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Critters 3

 Released Year: 1991
Directed by Kristine Peterson

Casted by:
Aimee Brooks as Annie
Leonardo DiCaprio as Josh
Don Keith Opper as Charlie MacFadden
John Calvin as Clifford
Nina Axelrod as Betty Briggs
William Dennis Hunt as Briggs
Sometime after the events in Critters 2, Charlie MacFadden is tracking down the last of the Critters. A family of three - Annie (the main protagonist), Johnny (her little brother) and Clifford (the father) - stops at a rest stop when their car's tire pops. At the rest stop, Charlie warns them and Josh, stepson of a corrupt landlord, about the Crites. As this happens, a Crite lays eggs under the family's car and the family leaves, unknowingly taking the eggs with them.

Soon after they arrive at their tenement, the Crites hatch and attack the sleazy maintenance man, Frank. When the landlord arrives, he too is eaten by the Crites after Josh locks him in Clifford's room, unknowingly trapping his stepfather with the creatures. Next, one of the residents is attacked and wounded. Annie, her family and five others (including Josh) try to get to safety in one piece by getting to the roof of the building. Charlie arrives and destroys the remaining Critters, saving the remaining tenants. The film ends in a cliffhanger as Charlie is about to destroy two Crite eggs, but is ordered not to and a containment pod sent from the Intergalactic Council crashes into the basement. Charlie puts the eggs into the pod, but accidentally traps himself inside.
L² Scored: 5/10

L² Comment:
All these while i have been having good expectation on Critters series, if you can see my rating for 1st & 2nd movie, i actually scored a 9 for both of them. But for this 3rd movie, its really a big turn off for me... Though this is the first debut film for our Mr Leonardo Di Carpio, but it didn't change my mind on it... the storyline is not special and kinda expected and the critters are not scary enough this round....

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

 Released Year: 2009
Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak

Casted by:
 Kristin Kreuk as Chun Li
Neal McDonough as M. Bison
Chris Klein as Charlie Nash
Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog
Moon Bloodgood as Detective Maya Sunee
Taboo as Vega
Chun-Li moves from San Francisco to Hong Kong with her family. While practicing to be a concert pianist, she learns Wushu from her father Xiang, a businessman. For a while, her life is perfect until one night, Xiang is attacked and abducted by M. Bison's henchmen in front of Chun-Li.

Years later, Chun-Li grows up and becomes a talented pianist. At the end of her concert, she receives a mysterious scroll written in ancient Chinese text. Shortly after, she loses her mother to cancer.

Meanwhile, at Shadaloo headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, Bison announces his complete control of the organization before he has the other shareholders executed by Vega. It is also revealed that Xiang is still alive and working for Bison.

The next day, Thai detective Maya Sunee meets Interpol agent Charlie Nash, when both are called to investigate the murder of several crime syndicate families in Bangkok. Nash informs Maya that this is the work of Shadaloo.

Back in Hong Kong, Chun-Li has the scroll translated by a wise old lady, who tells her she must travel to Bangkok and find a man named Gen. Chun-Li then leaves her home and travels to Bangkok, living homeless and searching for Gen for several days until a fight with thugs leaves her exhausted and unconscious, and Gen appears and brings her to his home. Gen informs her that he was once comrades with Bison and he knows how to find her father, and for the next few days, he teaches her his style of martial arts. Chun-Li also learns more about Bison, who is operating Shadaloo publicly, and is holding the families of property owners hostage in order to force them to sign their property over to him. While spying on Bison's henchman Balrog, she overhears that a property owner is asked to hand over the rights to a docking harbor, allowing the shipment of the "White Rose".

Later that night, Chun-Li goes to a nightclub and confronts Cantana, one of Bison's secretaries. She obtains information on the location of the White Rose before escaping from Shadaloo's thugs and Nash and Maya. As a result of this incident, Cantana is used as a punching bag by Bison the next day.

Gen tells Chun-Li more of Bison's origin. The son of Irish missionaries, Bison grew up an orphan and lived his entire life as a thief. Many years later, as a means of becoming completely evil, he killed his pregnant wife and transferred his conscience into their prematurely born daughter. After telling Chun-Li to go and fetch some food, Gen is attacked by Shadaloo soldiers before Balrog uses a RPG to blow up his house. Chun-Li runs off when she is attacked by Vega, whom she soundly defeats and leaves hanging by the side of a building.

The next day, Chun-Li interrogates a harbor employee into telling her the arrival time of the White Rose. She returns to the shipping yard that night, only to fall into a trap as Bison and his soldiers capture her. Tied up and brought into an undisclosed house, she is reunited with Xiang, only for Bison to break his neck. After Bison and Balrog leave the house, Chun-Li uses her skills to defeat the guards and escape. During the escape, she is shot in the arm by Balrog, but is reunited with Gen, who heals her wounds and continues with her training.

Despite being taken off the assignment, Nash is secretly asked by Chun-Li to back her up in taking down Bison. Nash and Chun-Li, along with Maya and her SWAT team, arrive at the shipping yard, where they engage in a shootout with Shadaloo forces. Maya is wounded in the shootout, but her SWAT team manages to dwindle Shadaloo's numbers. Meanwhile, Chun-Li enters a ship and discovers a girl who speaks Russian before leaving her to continue her search for Bison. On the other side of the ship, Gen faces off against Balrog until he impales him with a liquid nitrogen pipe. Bison takes the girl - who is revealed to be his daughter Rose - and flees the scene by helicopter.

Chun-Li, Gen, Nash and a SWAT officer arrive at Bison's headquarters, where Nash and the officer take Rose out to safety while Chun-Li and Gen face Bison. After a long battle, Chun-Li hits Bison with a bamboo pole and drops sandbags on him, stunning him. She then charges up a Kikoken and shoots it at him, knocking him off the scaffolding before she jumps and twists his neck with her legs. Nash tells Chun-Li to leave the scene as Thai police arrive.

Chun-Li returns to her home in Hong Kong and settles down when Gen pays her a visit. He shows her a newspaper ad for an upcoming Street Fighter tournament, telling her that a Japanese fighter named Ryu might be a recruit for their cause. She declines the offer, telling him she is home for now.
 L² Scored: 1/10

L² Comment:
Seriously i was quite exciting when i know this movie is going to be shown in cinema in 2009, but after seeing the main cast, i lost my interest in it. First of all, do the fucking crews know that Chun Li is a chinese? Though this Kristin Kreuk is a Eurasian, but she looks nothing like an Asian, she's the main thing the whole movie is spoiled.

Beside Josie Ho, Edmund Chen, Robin Shou & Cheng Pei Pei, i can tell you all of those non Asian actors/ actresses are bullshit...No comment for this movie... but i definitely won't watch this ever again

Monday, March 4, 2013


 Released Year: 2008

 1. Loneliness
Directed by Youngyooth Thongkonthun

Casted by:
 Maneerat Kham-uan as Pin

A young woman, stuck in her apartment due to the cast on her leg, communicates with the outside world via cell phone and text messages. She complained to her boyfriend, Puak, who went on a camp trip in Chiang Mai, that she felt so lonely. Every night she exchanges text messages with a stranger, who asked to befriend her and seems friendly enough, and there’s no reason for her to read between the lines when he mentions that he is currently dwelling somewhere “cramped.” After sending the mysterious stranger her picture, she asks for one in return and is sent the same picture. When she questions him, he says he is in the picture next to her. A ghostly face is slightly visible next to her smiling face. As she researches recent deaths she discovers that the son of Princess Sophia of Virnistan died and was buried with a cellphone. She then gets a text saying that he will come to her place now. All of the lights begin to go out and the young woman cries in fear. She is then assaulted by the ghost and is thrown out of the window to her death. We are then shown a scene from the past where the prince receives a text message from his girlfriend ending the relationship which makes him walk in front of a taxi cab causing an accident, same accident that was the cause of the main character's broken leg as she was inside the cab.

 2. Deadly Charm
Directed by Paween Purikitpanya

Casted by:
 Apinya Sakuljaroensuk as Pink

A nerdy student named Ngid saw his school friends take some drugs, and he was beaten to death. One of the gang's member, Pink, was worried but failed to stop her friends from bullying Ngid. Unfortunately, when he was beaten, he cursed his friends on a deadly charm, which requires a picture of a person died with his/her eyes open. Things get worse when everything keeps moving by itself when ordered by Ngid's soul, and one by one the drug addicts start dying. Even though Pink didn't beat him, Ngid's soul decided not to spare her too because she had seen it all yet had not do anything to help him. In order to save her life, Pink pops out her own eyeballs. It was revealed later that the picture Ngid used to practice the charm is of the young woman in the first story.

 3. The Man in the Middle
Directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun

Casted by:
 Pongsatorn Jongwilat as Puak

Four rafting-lovers, Aey, Ter, Shin, and Puak were rafting in a lonely jungle. At night in the camp, Aey told his friends that if he is dead, the person who slept in the middle was the next to die with him. The next day, when they were swimming in the river things get worse because Aey was drowned and wasn't found. They were scared, but decided to stay, and fight over who gets to sleep in the middle (they are frightened by Aey's story). That night, Aey came back, but strange events happening afterwards made his friends become suspicious. Shin then found Aey's body. Frightened, they went running in the woods but eventually get shocked by the twist, that they found their own bodies. The twist told them that all of them were dead, but only Aey accepted this, and the other three didn't, so Aey's soul warned them that they were drown like him. At the end, the four became ghosts together.

 4. The Last Flight
Directed by Parkpoom Wongpoon

Casted by:
 Laila Boonyasak as Pim

Flight attendant Pim is secretly having an affair with Prince Albert of Virnistan. One day she is ordered to go aboard an airliner on a charter flight for Princess Sophia, the wife of the Prince. Her fellow stewardess, Tui, was unable to attend the flight as her brother Ter had been found drown in Chiang Mai. What was supposed to be an ordinary flight turns into something tragic when the princess forms an allergic reaction to Pim's lunch as it contained shrimp to which the princess is allergic to. After the royal house of Khurkistan requests that her corpse be sent back immediately for cremation, Pim is required to remain on the plane and escort the body - the only passenger - for the return flight. As the Princess tries to get out of her shroud, Pim's worst nightmare began. When the plane landed, Pim's body was found laying on the floor, under the feet of the intactly enshrouded corpse of Princess Sophia.

L² Scored: 8/10

L² Comment:
All 4 stories, i love 3 of them except the 2nd one - Deadly charm. The one i prefer the most would be the 4th story, the last flight. Overall the storyline of each part is good and there's enough spooky/scary moment in each of them.