Movies

Friday’s Five Roll: Movies

Movie Roll #5 – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street [2007]
Defining Blood in Musical | Directed by Tim Burton

Full of pith and Grand Guignol grossness, this macabre musical is perfectly helmed and highly entertaining. Tim Burton masterfully stages the musical in a way that will make you think he has done this many times before. – Rotten Tomatoes

Sweeney Todd strongly made an impact on how musicals must be portrayed in movies when it hit the screens in 2007. Directed by Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland, Corpse Bride), Sweeney Todd is an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler‘s Tony Award-winning 1979 musical. It featured an all-star cast in Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter, The King’s Speech) and Allan Rickman (Die Hard, Harry Potter).  The blood, grossness, revenge theme and the Tim Burton effect perfectly blended together, making the movie entertaining rather than disturbing. The tandem of Depp and Bonham Carter proved to be successful as they showed professional chemistry on screen.

Depp’s performance was excellent. Who would have thought Captain Jack Sparrow sings? And who would have thought Captain Jack Sparrow sings while killing people with a razor?

It is the only musical that I appreciated and it even made it to one of my all-time favorites, considering that I really hate Zac Efron and the gang. The story and theme were nice, especially the never dying idea of passion for revenge and slitting some random people’s throats.

If you’re a huge fan of musical movies like Chicago or simply loves music, then this movie is the right film to add to your movie collection. It can be nauseating at times, but that’s how it works. Just be careful not to mess with Sweeney unless you want your throat be slit.

Movie Roll #4 Avatar [2009]
Your ideal 3D and animation and blue monkey invasion | Directed by James Cameron

James Cameron has turned one man’s dream of the movies into a trippy joy ride about the end of life — our moviegoing life included — as we know it. – Manohla Dargis (New York Times)

As far as I remember, I watched Avatar around five times – one at the cinema, thrice on my PC and the extended edition on our LED – and until now I want and am willing to watch it again. That’s how addicting this film is. For Avatar isn’t just your ordinary technologically enhanced movie animation yet it is also the highest grossing movie of all time that makes the story of human apocalypse an interesting article to write on.

The epic science fiction movie was a goal long dreamt by director James Cameron. He started writing it in 1994 and began working bit by bit from then on. No wonder, from hardwork and technology, Avatar is never a cliche movie that solely relies on animation, instead an action-packed film with inspiring story and interesting scenes. It starred Sam Worthington along with Zoe Zaldana (Star Trek).

Though the actors’ performances do not add much to the film, the movie’s story on Pandora and direction surely keep the audience interested. I highly recommend Avatar for younger audiences like me. If you want some intelligent animation with intelligent story, then Avatar is the perfect blue monkey invasion to your DVD collection. If you aren’t satisfied yet, wait until Cameron releases the back-to-back sequels on 2014 and 2015. Well, that is, if you can survive 2012, which I will. *evil grin*

Movie Roll #3 – Magnifico [2003]
Melodrama at its best | Directed by Maryo J. De los Reyes

The very definition of sentimental overload. It’s also impossible to resist. – Ken Fox (TV Guide’s Movie Guide)

Magnifico is one of the only two films that made me cry. And I must say, you can’t help but let your precious tears drop while watching this Filipino epic masterpiece.

Magnifico does not have any special effects nor great animation, it even has bad lighting, yet it has an all-star cast that gave such promising performances and a brilliant director with exquisite direction. It won 30 awards and 11 other nominations in different movie and film industry awards including Best Picture and Best Story in FAMAS 2004. This movie not only represents the obvious poor culture of Filipinos but also states what Filipinos have to offer in the movie industry.

Lorna Tolentino, Albert Martinez, and Jiro Manio, no doubt, gave heartwarming acts that easily pierces through people’s hearts. The story represents God and the common Filipino in an amazingly effective melodramatic way. I’m not a fan of “crying” movies. I don’t even cry almost all the time even when people are already crying. But Magnifico is really something that it touched me and made me think.

I am proud to be a Filipino and this movie, in one way or another, can tell you why.

Movie Roll #2 – The Dark Knight [2008]
Salutes to Joker, Thumbs up to Nolan | Directed by Christopher Nolan

Dark, complex and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga. – Rotten Tomatoes

Who would forget the late Heath Ledger? Oh well, anyone. But I’m sure no one would forget the Joker.

The Dark Knight has everything – solid cast, excellent performance from the solid cast, exceptional director and macho Batmobile. This movie is perfectly awesome! It isn’t a mere lame adaptation like Catwoman, Daredevil or X-Men Origins but a beautiful masterpiece of intelligence, high-class acting and cool props and effects. It starred Christian Bale, Ledger, Michael Caine and Aaron Eckhart. I’ve always been a fan of Batman but never of Joker. But with this movie, I, for once, liked Joker more than The Caped Crusader. That explains how good the actors here are, specially Heath Ledger.

Everything had been said about this movie. It is excellent, beautiful, everything. It isn’t just your traditional comic book idol revived in movies. It is the movie that will make you read comic books and graphic novels. It is purely the best out of the many Western films out there and arguably the best superhero film ever. I’m also sure you’ve watched it. Everybody did. If not, then you must be living under a huge boulder in the desert.

Movie Roll #1 – Ip Man [2008]
Kick ass Kung Fu magnum opus | Directed by Wilson Yip

Wilson Yip has crafted a gripping, rousing, beautifully structured yarn, built around a calm but charismatic star performance by Donnie Yen and magnificent action sequences choreographed by the legendary Sammo Hung. – Andre O’Hehir (Salon.com)

Kick ass. Perfect. The best.

Ip Man is the movie you don’t want and can’t miss. Whether or not you like martial arts and Bruce Lee, this movie will make you sit on the edge of your chair and finish your popcorn even before you know it. Action, drama and even some comedy, all in one great movie!

What clearly makes this movie stand out among others, beside the kick ass (yeah, I love the word!) Kung Fu, is the cultural portrayal of China and its people. Though it isn’t obvious, it can be seen through this movie how Chinese people are proud of their country and its history before and now. For Chinese people, this movie is simply heartwarming, thrilling and morale-boosting. For foreigners, this movie is simply amazing.

Donnie Yen here is simply admirable. Everybody knows he’s good at martial arts, but nobody expected he can act this well. His character is best portrayed – quiet and adorable but deadly and nationalistic. It’s like Ryu comes to life to do some Street Fighter action. KICK ASS!

I’m out of words already. But seriously, this movie is the greatest out there. Watch it and be ready to do Kung Fu, or you know, WWE, with your little brother!