Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Da Vinci Code - 80%

I am sure plenty of people are familiar with the story already. Conspiracy is out there to prevent certain truths about Jesus's bloodline and his "human-ness" that will destroy the very foundation of the church and religion. Let's face it. The very basis for the power of the church and the reason why Christianity is different from the "other" religions lies in a few beliefs: 1) Christ is not just human, he is the very embodiment of God himself 2) Christ is not human, and that's why he could be resurrected 3) Christ is the son of God.

However, this movie brings forth the possibilities, and theories that Jesus might just be a regular human being, and there is a bloodline that sees his descendants walking among us today. What's even scarier (or to the church) is that his descendants might be the ones tasked to carry on his teachings. To people who are not Christians or Catholics, really, they couldn't care less if Jesus was married or had kids. But imagine what it would mean to the gazillion Christians and Catholics out there. If suddenly, a piece of evidence came about that would proof the above, the religion would have lost its entire foundation and millions of Christians around the world would have their religion invalidated overnight. So that sets up for a very good premise for a good thriller doesn't it? So how does the movie holds up as a movie?

Now really, given the fact that I have never read the book, I found the premise for the movie really good and intriguing. At least for a person watching it as a movie for the first time, encountering the story as the first time, I was pleasantly entertained. Hey, if the background and history as it was based on was true, I would have to say the way the fictitious characters are weaved in are pretty well done. And also, c'mon, I could tell what are intended to be the "facts" behind the movie and what are not. It kind of made the hoohaa by the church that says it confuses and blurs the line between fact and fiction kind of pointless. The noise made by Christians and Catholics only seem to validate the theories brought forth by the movie.

As a thriller though, I found it a bit lacking. The pace was a little off. It really wasn't that suspenseful. But that is assuming that this film is intended to be a thriller to begin with. Otherwise, it really well as in it does serve to tell its story in an unconfusing manner.

The gripes I have are some of the loopholes in the plot and how some of the escapes that are depicted in the story looked positively lame. The bullet at the door and the car escape. Rather unconvincingly executed. And my beautiful Audrey Tatou, turned up a rather stiff performance. I guess maybe she was trying hard to play someone much older and matured than herself that made her, too restrained.

Ok, after letting it sink in and thinking clearly about the movie after letting the hype of all the bad reviews settle, I think I am not going to go with the crowd and actually declare this film rather good - on the basis of its plot. It is basically a good movie, told rather well. And the bad weren't all that bad really. Do I really want to nitpick?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Mission Impossible - 79%

The mission is back for the 3rd round and man was it a ride. Looking back at all the 3 mission impossible flicks, they all have very different looks, feel and style. And it is definitely very much due to the decision to use 3 different directors for all 3 movies. And thus, we have mission impossible that kinda appeal to different people on different levels. The first one appealed to me as an amazing thriller where it is a battle of wits of sorts. The second MI was decidedly a style over substance flick, which in its own way held its own appeal. The 3rd one this time round, feels very much like a battle of emotions. Ethan Hunt this time, is the most battered emotionally and physically. We have him giving into his emotions and acting outside his usually cool and very focused actions. And this is what I like over the last 2 missions. However, looking at how he changes his girlfriends in the MI series like how he changes directors, I am not so sure how he's going to wriggle himself out of a marriage for a 4th outing.

But well, the story, though secondary to much of the action in the flick, goes like this. Mr Hunt is getting married, and he is being recalled back for one more last mission. Then things go wrong, and as he tries to fix the wrong, his fiancee gets abducted. Messy ..... And hey, what better way to pull at the heart strings then to see a man desperate to save his loving, beautiful and sexy nursey wife?

So how're the actions this round? MI series (or at least 1 and 2) always feature some stunts which edge on the impossible - we've had the 2 inches above the floor stunt, the blade edge 1/4 inch from the eye stunt, the hanging by the cliff mountain climbing stunt etc. This time though, it seems like the director wanted to make it more plausible by making the stunts and Ethan perform a little less "impossible". So we actually get more "big stunts" and none of those little "impossible" ones. Honestly speaking, I prefer the little impossible ones, cos they are what make Mission Impossible special. This time, it just feels like a regular thriller.

But that said, it is a good emotionally driven thriller. I just wished there was more of Philip Seymour Hoffman. There were like only ... 2 scenes of him talking? C'mon, he deserves more screentime! Even as a villain. And further on that point, many of the other characters were really not that developed too. The rest of the team members, like the computer guy and Maggie Q. And even Ethan's boss who wasn't really explored though he was integral to the plot of the story.And one last question: What was Maggie Q there in the movie for? To blow up the car?

Ok next up, Da vinci Code. Quite excited ... no not cos I have read the book ... not becos of the controversy ... but I am just a HUGE HUGE fan of Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Yes Mr Lee, I am a living proof of a Singaporean that I fear PAP

Yesterday on Channelnewsasia, it was reported that James Gomez of the Worker's Party was being detained for questioning and recording of statements for the eleccion papers issue. On the videoclip online, there was MM Lee saying "When I call a person openly you're a liar, you're dishonest and he does not dare to sue me, there's something basically wrong" ....

This statement basically sums up the kind of mentality and methodology that PAP represents when dealing with people that are against them. This statement also summarizes the kind of fear that I have for this government. From this statement, you can tell that they use tactics like these to "test" their accusations againts people (whether true or not), and if their opponents do not sue back, they will push and assume that what they claimed is true.

Dear Mr Lee, the only thing that is wrong in the whole situation, is the fact that you could make accuasations like these just to "test the waters". And in case you didn't realize, when people do not sue you back, it does not necessarily mean they are guilty of your charges, it could simply mean:
1) They are too busy to bother with matters of the court
2) They do not want to undergo the stress of being in court
3) They do not have the financial ability to sue you back
4) Since they can't afford an attorney, they figured that they probably can't "out-argue" you in courts

What is wrong here is your arrogance and how you are using such underhanded methods to test your accusations. Do you recall on Channel News Asia when you ask one of the journalist to name anyone who is afraid of the PAP? I will here raise my hand and say, "Sir, I am his proof of a Singaporean individual, who is afraid of the PAP" and your statement is one example of why I have such fear for your government.

I have always respected Mr Lee for what he has done for the country, but it is statements like these that makes me wonder if these are the kind of people I want to be running the country that I love.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Almost Election ... almost ...

Just listened to the TV/Radio broadcasts of the representatives from the various parties .. PAP, SDA, SDP ... and also some other highlights from the rallies ....

Some things that caught my attention:

1) PAP Wong Kan Seng said "We will be all inclusive .... We will not leave anyone behind"
Didn't we hear this from another president on the other side of the world .... erhm ... Mr Bush from USA? ... And man, did he leave anyone behind? :P .....

2) WP - I think it was Low Thia Khiang or James Gomez himself .. who called the PAP "Flip flops" ....
Now .. didn't we hear this from somewhere else before too? ... The recent US election when Mr Bush was accusing his opponent Mr Kerry of being a flip flop??

Are the singaporean politicians taking their cues from the US politics? .... talk about "be hip, original, be creative" .... :P
And if our politicians are heading in any of the direction of the Bush Administration .... man i can't imagine ...

3) What the fuck ... none of the party reps and leaders from ANY parties can SPEAK GOOD MANDARIN. Screw the Speak Good English Campaign, work on the SPEAK GOOOD MANDARIN campaign. What "Chinese Cool!" shit ??? They better think of better ways to entice people to improve their Mandarin. And hello Mr PM Lee?? What was the "best is yet to come??" ... I have yet to see anything coming but bad Mandarin on our Mandarin only Television .... They may as well be speaking in Hokkien if it helps them to speak more smoothly, quickly and just bloody slap some subtitles on it ....