Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Preview: Beowulf

In case you haven’t figured it out (or didn’t know) Beowulf is an adaptation of an English poem of the same name. The movie uses a special technique of digitally enhanced live action movement, probably similar to the movie 300. Although, it doesn’t look it has the slick art style of 300, but it seems it has a better story. Plus, Angelina Jolie is starring in it. That’s alone is enough reason to watch the movie.

Review: The Host


The Host is considered one of the highest grossing movies in South Korea, and also one of the best monster movies of all time. In fact, the movie is based on an actual initial event, in which The Korean government attempted to prosecute a guilty American who dumped bottles of formaldehyde into the drain, but the US wouldn’t hand over the man in question. This movie however hypothesized the consequences of such actions. The formaldehyde causes a birth of a peculiar looking creature that eventually caused havoc in Han River, a river that runs through Seoul. The film strays away from the cliché because it focuses on family relationship and the strong bond between family members that strives to save the youngest girl of the family, who was abducted by the monster. The Host is an intriguing mix of strange comedy and frightfully scary horror sequences that also goes out of its way to tweak the political and cultural climate, serve up some barbs at the media, Korea’s governing body, and the recent Asian health crises. The performance gets better as the family members realize the dangers of the situation, but it wasn’t great enough for my taste. The cinematography however was excellent and very slick from start to finish. The movie also has a breathtaking moment when the monster comes to shore and wreaks havoc in the middle of the day. The fast motion of film skillfully captures the victims in view of the monster as it hunts them down, but the silky smooth slow motion shots also resonate the key moments when the innocent are in peril.


In my opinion, The Host is one of the finest monster movies I have ever seen. The movie however is not meant to be a complete horror movie. Give it a chance, and don’t have the misconception that it’s supposed to be a really scary monster movie because it’s not about the monster. It’s about the family in the movie and how they all come together because of the monster.

The Bottom Line

Review: Monsieur Ibrahim


This exquisite French film that is based on Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s novel is rather simple on the surface but quite deep in meaning. Monsieur Ibrahim is a delightful emotional film about friendship between two unlikely individuals. Set in Paris during the 1960’s with beautiful cinematography and a soundtrack that enhances the film greatly; watching this film was a truly wonderful experience. The tale centers on a young Jewish boy (played by Pierre Boulanger) in the prime of his adolescence who befriends the neighborhood shopkeeper owned by a Sufi Muslim (played by the legendary Omar Sharif) and both befall to develop an unusual friendship crossing both generational and religious boundaries. The director Francois Dupeyron displayed an extraordinary job conducting this film from the ground up, both in cinematography and performance. Veteran actor Omar Sharif is wonderful as the solid and wise in Monsieur Ibrahim, but it is Boulanger who is the real surprise in this film; he is truly the absolute heart and warmth of the movie, and truly displayed the true adolescences that young boys come across in their lives. The ending is somewhat predictable but that doesn’t diminish the impact of the film on the soul.


Monsieur Ibrahim is a beautiful, heartfelt film that doesn’t stand on its head to try and impress us. It seeps into our hearts one scene at a time, until, by the end, we realize what a profound emotional impact it has had on us. You will fall in love easily with this movie; it’s crafted so well, with such heart and taste, that it proves that big money is not necessary to make big movies. Highly recommended.

The Bottom Line

Review: Ratatouille


After the recent streaks of disappointment of Disney’s animated movies such as Cars and Meet The Robinsons, I really had my doubt for Ratatouille at first, but after watching it last night, I was literally in awe. There’s something about Pixar films that set them above other animated films of the same variety. The look and style were totally up to Pixar standards. The design of each character gave them a personality that was obvious before they ever spoke a word of dialogue, and I consider that a good thing. The keen eye for details is certainly astonishing; from the facial expressions (which is better than The The Incredibles) to the rich environment of Paris, and to the tasty dishes that are “presented” in the movie. It is clear that the animators have done their jobs to capture the essence of Paris’s lifestyle and the French Cuisine and how it is made. The voices are terrific, even though I wished if the voices were also French just to appreciate the environment, but nevertheless the English-French accent that manifested the movie was satisfying and hilarious at the same time. Obviously, everything that was done for this film was done to tell a story – and a great one at that. Going back to what I expected before going in, I thought this might be just another story that we have all seen too many times before, but when you realize that the main antagonist is a food critic, you will come to think that the movie is truly original. The soundtrack is delightful and truly has captured the essence of Paris as if you were truly dining in a French restaurant. I really did not find any major flaws with this movie but I wished if the voices of the main characters (i.e Remy the rat and Linguini) were “accented” as well.


In the end, Ratatouille serves us with layers of rich delight, both in themes and technical achievements, making it one of the best movies of 2007. It certainly gives Shrek 3 a run out of its money and provides a perfect example for an excellent animated movie. I highly recommend watching this movie whether you love animated movies or not because it is certainly one of Pixar’s best.

The Bottom Line

Trailer: The Golden Compass

It’s finally here. The first movie that is based on Philip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials named The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, and Eva Green. I have recently purchased the first book but I have yet to read it; fortunately, I still have time until the movie hits the states. I honestly cannot wait.

Mark Your Calendar:

Review: Whisper Of The Heart


It is safe to say that today’s 3D animation blockbusters look absolutely fantastic, yet they lack substance that easily make them forgetful after awhile. However this 1995 animation film (re-mastered in English in 2006) by the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki truly redefines the pure elegance and depth that every animation movie should deliver. Honestly, this is just about the best coming-of-age story ever made (or at least I have got to know), full of vigor and wonder, full of the spark of youth. I certainly can’t think of a film that’s as dizzyingly lovable and sincere as Whisper of the Heart. And I certainly can’t imagine anyone walking away from this picture without feeling elated, eager to grab as many friends as possible for another showing. This is not a movie driven by plot, but about discovery and experience, and learning to test oneself. There are romantic interests, but nothing approaching the clichéd movies that we have come to know. It is story about determination, innocence of the youth, discovering dreams and goals, and obviously first true love. The animation is superb especially since it is a 12-year-old movie that is filled with great details in characters’ facial expression and background. The soundtrack is heart-warming especially with the inclusion of John Denver’s song “Country Road” and the English voice acting is well preformed with a great cast of Hollywood celebs. It is certainly a movie that you want to watch it over and over again.


Whisper of the Heart is truly one of Miyazaki’s finest. Don’t think of the movie as a typical anime movie nor as a teenager romantic comedy; it is absolutely more than that. It is a movie that leaves you smiling and awakens the youthful spirit in you. I highly recommend this film because it has something for everyone, young and old. Watch it today.

The Bottom Line

Review: Knocked Up


This new adult “romantic” comedy from the guys who brought you The 40-Year Old Virgin has everything you might have anticipated: foul-language, repellent yet hilarious scenes, a wealthy amount of Jewish actors and Jewish jokes, and finally an outstanding humor that only Judd Apatow can bring. The concept of the story is humorous but not as original as The 40 Year Old Virgin. Knocked Up revolves around a hardworking girl (Alison) that works at E! who had a one night stand with a drunken, fat, vulgar, irresponsible, dirty looking slob (Ben) who runs a free-of-charge porn site, and the movie sees them working together throughout the nine month pregnancy. So basically it is the unromantic version of the movie “Nine Months” but it is certainly more memorable and funnier than the latter. Both Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen step up on taking their roles seriously especially since they are considered straight C-level actors; they both delivered their lines perfectly and their acting was faultless in every scene. Most of the jokes in the movie are extremely dirty that will leave you stunned and some of them can be a little too graphic especially in the “delivery scene”, so don’t expect to see this movie in Kuwait’s theaters anytime soon. The minor characters were good but definitely not as great and memorable as the leading actors but their lines help them to stand out a little. Unfortunately sometimes the jokes are disparately made that they are not even related to the main story whatsoever such as the countless and repetitive jokes to Ben’s bearded friend and the whole marijuana extravaganza that we already have seen it before. The script also shows some weakness regarding Ben’s final resolves and his return to the “righteous pathway” due to the fact those scenes were extremely rushed out and fairly unrealistic. The ending however is certainly satisfying and could bring a tear or two to some people.


In the end, Knocked Up is definitely one of the summer’s hottest and funniest comedies but it is definitely not the best in the genre. You will easily fall in love with the colorful characters and will be bursting with laughter in this 2-hour comedy. Definitely a-must watch for adult comedy lovers.

The Bottom Line

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End


First, I would like to say that if you haven’t watched or even have forgotten the content the last two Pirates of the Caribbean movies then you would not understand one single thing moment from this one. Luckily for me I saw the last two films very recently so I was able to enjoy the movie and understand what is going on. You can easily argue that At World’s End is probably the weakest of the trilogy as the movie is very slow, convoluted, and way too long to bear. The last two Pirates movie were long but I honestly didn’t get a hint of boredom, but this one, you can feel the three hours as sometimes you get confused on what is happening. The movie does however keep its unique humor throughout the movie, and the new characters and the old minor ones have become more interesting where some of them actually took a significant aspect of the plot. The returning of Captain Barbossa (played by Geoffrey Rush) is certainly welcoming; in fact, I think his character is more humorous and lovable then Jack Sparrow this time around. The plot is good but less entertaining than the last films mainly because it gets confusing as the movie progresses and sometimes the characters’ development becomes uncanny. However, this will be all forgiven when the climatic “maelstrom” scene kicks in toward the end of the movie. It certainly one of the most satisfying action sequences in the Pirates series. The movie’s visuals and costumes are also very well made and the soundtrack is remarkable and engaging. The ending has few surprises but quite fulfilling to say the least; although one can easily argue that a 4th sequel is possible.


Pirates of the Caribbean delivers a mixed bag of everything good and bad. It has stunning visuals, wealthy amount of characters, and a great atmosphere but unfortunately it fails to capitalize all of this in a solid package. It has good moments though but the three hours might be too long to fully enjoy it as it was meant to be. If you have seen the last two, then go see it as a matter of respect.

The Bottom Line

Netflix Member


An empty summer break will make you do all sort of thing just to feel “alive” again and in my case; I decided to become a Netflix member. There are so many movies I have missed on the last couple of years so I’m kinda excited that I have become a member. I’m expecting the new movies to arrive to my mailbox tomorrow. So expect a galore of movie reviews from moi; however, those reviews will be short and thorough. Surprisingly, they also have a decent collection of anime movies and TV shows so that’s a plus. My cousin was surprised on how on the world I have survived without becoming a member in any DVD rental store.

Review: Hot Fuzz


It is safe to say that Hot Fuzz has been one of my most anticipated movies of the year and I can finally tell you, it exceeded my expectations totally. If you are familiar with Shaun of the Dead and got to love its humor and witty characters then you better be prepared to be blown away, because the latter is way much better. This movie is probably one of the best “buddy-cop” comedy movies I have seen so far; in fact it’s probably the only one I know. To be honest, It’ has a ridiculous plot but you will not be paying much attention to it anyway because you will be charmed by the characters and the jokes that manifest the flick from start to finish. Other features that make Hot Fuzz exceptional than the rest is the smartness of the jokes and the humor that terrorizes every scene in the movie, and the memorable quotas that will leave you in reminiscent with your friends for the rest of the evening. However, Hot Fuzz isn’t all about comedy. There is also a one big action sequence at the end of the film that is really well put together; and the best part is that the film still manages to have some great laughs during that sequence too. Another thing that you should probably know is that the movie has some quite graphic bloody scenes; however, those scenes are essentially designed to make you laugh and have good times with them.


Finally, Hot Fuzz achieves (with a milestone) what the American comedies (i.e. Epic Movie) have been trying to achieve on the last five years: a well-written comedy flick. Fans of both British humor and American action flicks will be well pleased by this charming comedy; it certainly set the bar high for every action-comedy coming out this year. A must watch.

The Bottom Line