Friday, January 23, 2009

What's So Great About The Jonas Brothers?

Can anyone tell me why they are so popular? I know only one song by them which is 'When You Look Me In The Eyes' and I'm not really impressed. I might have heard more but that's about it.

These cute-looking brothers have it all: nice voices, cute, innocent and dreamy looks, TV shows, and even movies. The male versions of Lizzie McGuire and Hannah Montana.

I mean, all these shows are almost the same. I don't see any difference between Lizzie and Hannah. It's just the time factor, probably. During my time, the Lizzie show was popular. But as Lizzie grew older, the younger teeny-boppers didn't have anyone around their age to look up to and that's where Hannah Montana comes in. I wonder who'll be the next one.

But I'm in awe of the Jonas Brothers. Not only do the girls like them but also the guys. University guys, to be more specific! I couldn't believe it. 20-year-old guys, still fans of teeny-bopper boybands.

Really. I expected them to have more mature taste.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Emma’s my favourite story by Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice isn’t that bad either but it’s probably because I enjoy watching the Emma movie even more. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Emma.

Emma Woodhouse is rich, smart, and loves playing matchmaker. Her governess, Miss Taylor recently got married and so it’s only Emma and her father in their huge house. Mr. Knightley (Jeremy Northam), Emma’s brother-in-law, visits them occasionally. He is the brother of Emma’s sister’s husband. He frequently advises Emma and warns Emma when she takes things too far.

Since Miss Taylor can’t spend much time with Emma anymore, she has acquired a new friend, Harriet Smith (Toni Collette from The Sixth Sense). Harriet doesn’t know who her parents are but she’s under the care of a Mrs. Godard. Ignoring Mr. Knightley’s warnings, Emma goes on to try to match make Harriet and the preacher, Mr. Elton (Alan Cumming). Unbeknownst to Emma, Mr. Elton was actually falling for her.

Harriet has another admirer, Mr. Martin, but Emma does not approve of him because he’s only a farmer. She thinks that Harriet deserves a better guy. Not wanting to upset Emma, Harriet listens to Emma and rejects Mr. Martin when he asked her to marry him!

I really, really love this movie! Gwyneth Paltrow is fantastic as Emma. I’ve always thought that Paltrow is an English actress but she’s actually American. She has the English look, that’s why she’s always playing the roles of English women.

All the same, I also enjoy watching the interactions between Emma and Mr. Knightley. I wanted to look out for secret glances between them to see how their relationship developed. Northam was also perfect as Mr. Knightley. They are now officially my favourite couple from books and movies.

The Secret Garden

All I can say is that this is a beautiful movie about magic and friendship. Sounds cheesy I know but it’s true. This movie can’t go anymore wrong except for some parts though. Mary Lennox (Kate Maberly) is a memorable character, without any doubt.

Mary Lennox tells her story of how she grew up in India without any love or attention from her parents. She can’t even dress herself and she’s ten years old. When an earthquake hit India, killing her parents too, she’s sent to England to live at her uncle’s manor called Misselthwaite Manor. The housekeeper, Mrs. Medlock, played by Maggie Smith arrives late to pick Mary up. She calls Mary a “queer, unresponsive little thing”. Poor Mary.

At the manor, the maid, Martha, with an interesting Scottish accent takes care of Mary. Mary also makes friends with Martha’s younger brother, Dickon (Andrew Knott). Mary also tells Dickon about the secret garden, which she found and together, they made it grow into a beautiful, colourful garden again.

Meanwhile, Mary accidentally found her cousin, Colin (Heydon Prowse), who has spent his whole life (ten years) in bed. I think he’s never tried to walk before. He’s adamant that he’s bound to die eventually and seems pessimistic. This makes Mary rather irritated with his behavior and she shows him that she won’t stand for any of his nonsense.

Like what I said earlier, it’s a story of friendship, magic, the discovery of a garden, family, love, etc. You’ll also find the song, “Winter Light” sung by Linda Ronstadt soothing and calming. Well, it’s soothing for me!

This is the 1993 film version.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Life of David Gale

Tonight, I watched another disturbing movie. How come I managed to picked them to watch, I have no idea. I was just going through the stack of DVDs and randomly selected the ones that I haven’t watched yet.

So, this movie is about a man who’s been given the death sentence for raping and murdering a woman. What’s ironic is that this man, David Gale (Kevin Spacey), a seemingly intelligent lecturer, is very well against the death penalty in Texas. And now he’s being charged for murder of a woman whom he knows. She’s also passionate about the protest against death sentences.

Just a few days before his execution, David Gale has agreed to do an interview with a journalist, Bitsie (Kate Winslet) from a prominent magazine. She and an intern set out to interview the guy. Well, she does the interview while her intern scours around looking for further clues.

While Gale relates his story to Bitsie, she soon discovers that he’s actually innocent of the crime of which he had been accused of. Now they’re running out of time and she’s determined to find out as much as she can so that she can prove Gale innocent in time before his execution.

It’s a really suspense-filled movie with a shocking ending. I was relieved to know that it’s a fictional movie. I thought there was a real David Gale who did what the Gale character in the movie had done!

The Magdalene Sisters

It sounds like a rather innocent title but then I should have given it more thought. Magdalene? It should ring a bell. Magdalene actually refers to Mary Magdalene, the prostitute who washed Jesus’ feet. I thought this movie was about sisters who probably came from a Magdalene family! How wrong I was.

This movie was thoroughly disturbing. On the cover of the DVD, it was written that it’s based on true events. Well, until I checked Wikipedia, I thought the four main woman characters were real women. They’re actually fictional but what happened to them at the Magdalene Asylum was true. In fact, the treatment at the real asylum was much worse than what was depicted in the film.

Anyway, it’s about four women who are considered as ‘fallen women’ because they aren’t ‘pure’ anymore. Margaret, who I think looks kind of like a smart girl, was raped by her cousin at a wedding. Bernadette, an orphan, is always flirting with boys. Rose gave birth to an illegitimate baby. Crispina gave birth to a baby out of wedlock too. Notice their similarities? They’re connected with men in one way or another but it’s them who have to suffer for it. That was during the 1960s in Ireland.

When I say that the movie was disturbing, it was literally disturbing. I felt uncomfortable and fidgety while watching it. I couldn’t stand the cruelty the girls received at the asylum. They were treated like scum, humiliated, bullied by the nuns, and even one girl was forced to ‘do a job’ for a priest.

I’m glad to know that the last Magdalene asylum was closed in 1996.

Edward Scissorhands

I absolutely love the haunting sound effects in this movie. You know, those ohhh, ahhh being sung by some choir or something. I first watched this when I was a small kid and was just intrigued with the guy who had scissors for hands.

Now that I’m older and understanding more things, I noticed the contrast being used in the movie. Did you notice the bright and cheery colours in the neighbourhood, from the houses to the people’s clothes? Then, Edward’s mansion is dark, gloomy, just enveloped in some sort of blackness. Even Edward (Johnny Depp) was dressed in black. Why was the contrast being used?

This movie is about a man, Edward, who was created by an inventor. The old inventor died before he could give Edward a pair of hands so he had to be content with scissor-hands. One day, an Avon saleswoman, Peg finds Edward all alone in his mansion. She then invites him back home and kinds of adopt him.

At first everyone in town was curious in the new, strange guy. He became popular immediately because of his talent at cutting bushes, dog’s hair, and people’s hair artistically and fashionably. You could say that he’s a creative guy.

Edward also falls in love with Peg’s teenage daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder). She behaves awkwardly toward him at first but then develops an understanding of Edward’s feelings. Kim’s boyfriend was also constantly making fun and bullying Edward. This makes things worse for Edward who’s just gullible.

A touching and poignant movie directed by Tim Burton.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

This is one of my favourite movies of all time. I’ll definitely never get bored of watching it and enjoying the jokes in it. I highly recommend this movie to people who like Robin Hood or just like English history. I’m not sure if Robin Hood really existed?

Kevin Costner is Robin Hood and some critics said that his attempt at speaking English without an American accent was pathetic. Huh, I didn’t notice that in the movie. He performed really well as the prince of thieves.

I also enjoy watching Morgan Freeman as Azeem or Great One, which is the meaning of his name! Azeem is Muslim while Robin Hood and the other English people are Christians. Although the Holy War was going on, Azeem and Robin Hood understood and trusted each other. Because Robin Hood saved Azeem from prison which they were in together, Azeem has vowed that he will save Robin’s life in future. That’s how they’re always with each other.

Of course there’s a love story in it too. Robin falls for his childhood friend, Marian, whose hair Robin burned when they were kids. Robin also has to fight off the Sheriff who desires to gain more power and also to take over King Richard’s throne. The Sheriff also had his eyes on Marian. So, she has two men fighting over her but it’s obvious that she prefers Robin more.

It’s a tremendously exciting and fulfilling movie. You’ll enjoy every minute of it! Oh, and do check out Alan Rickman’s performance as the power-crazy Sheriff! Quite different from his role as Professor Snape in Harry Potter, eh?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hearts In Atlantis

At the beginning, we see Bobby Garfield receiving an old baseball glove in the post and later attends a funeral. He also finds out that Carol is already dead and seems really upset to hear about it. After that, we see a flashback of Bobby’s life when he was 11 years old.

Bobby (Anton Yelchin) and his two best friends, Carol and Sully enjoy having adventures and going to the fair together. Bobby’s life also changes when they have a new boarder to live in his house. An old man with paper bags to put his stuff in. This makes Bobby’s mom (Hope Davis) suspicious of Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) but Bobby is friendly with him and even earns a dollar a week just by reading newspapers and looking out for the bogeyman.

Bobby’s mom keeps telling him that his father was useless and only left them a lot of unsettled debts. But was Bobby’s dad as bad as that or was he something else?

This movie was based on Stephen King’s book. So you can expect something extraordinary especially with Ted and also Bobby! Anthony Hopkins was brilliant as usual playing the character of an unusual man.

I’ll also look out for the book.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Movie Review: August Rush

All right, where do I start with this movie? I thought that most of it didn’t make any sense at all!

Evan Taylor (Freddie Highmore) lives in an orphanage and he claims that he can hear the music in almost everything. He also believes that he will find his parents again. If they don’t find him, he’ll set out to find them himself. The other boys in the orphanage are aghast with his peculiarity but he remains firm with what he believed in.

Then, we will watch a flashback of what happened 11 years ago. Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell) is a gifted cellist while Louis (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a singer in a band. They happened to meet at a party on a rooftop and slept with each other. After that, due to unforeseen circumstances, they never see each other again. Lyla becomes pregnant and is constantly being pressured by her strict father to give up the baby. Later when the baby was born, Lyla’s father gave the baby up for adoption without her knowing. Instead, he told her that the baby did not survive.

Louis, on the other hand, has no clue of all the drama in Lyla’s life. He is miserable in his own life too, being unhappy that he couldn’t meet Lyla again. After that, he stopped singing and took up another job where he got to wear expensive suits and ride in expensive cars. He found a new girlfriend too, Jen (Becki Newton) but apparently doesn’t tell her much about himself.

And then back to the present. Evan finally decides to run away from the orphanage in search for his parents. He then meets Arthur who was singing on the streets and tells Arthur that he has no place to stay. Arthur brings Evan back to Wizard (Robin Williams), an eccentric man who loves music too. Wizard then makes Evan change his name to August Rush because it sounds better than plain Evan Taylor. He was probably afraid that somebody might find Evan and bring him back to the orphanage.

Now this kinds of reminds me of Oliver Twist! Instead of picking pockets and bringing the money back to Fagin, the kids in Wizard’s clan perform in the streets and bring back their earnings to him.

Now why did I say that this movie doesn’t make sense? First, Lyla and Louis barely knew each other. They were already sucking face after less than ten minutes of knowing each other. After their one night stand, they still can’t forget each other and you can see that they haven’t really moved on in their lives. They were still pining for each other.

Secondly, wow, is Evan really that talented? He has possibly never seen any music notes in his life but after a brief music lesson, he managed to compose something magnificent. Okay, so he’s a child prodigy but that was quite hard to believe. Anyway, that scene was interesting, where he was writing out music notes as if that’s what he did every day when it was actually his first time.

I still enjoyed this film despite its ridiculous storyline. Rhys Meyers is gorgeous. Girls will enjoy looking at him. He also sings in the movie! Yeah, a chance for you to drool over him. Freddie Highmore was quite okay as young Evan Taylor and as a weirdo who loses himself in the music he hears most of the time.

But I was disappointed that they didn’t show what happened to Arthur and Wizard in the end. The movie ended way too soon. They should at least have told us what Arthur and Wizard have become.