Tuesday, August 27, 2002

With much reluctance, me and my friends were dragged to the cinema this morning to watch the spy action movie XXX by order of our section commander. With the previous night's fatigue still weighing down on me like a heavy stone, I nontheless tried to make my $6.50 worth by diligently paying attention to the movie. Suspending my disbelief completely to the point of non-existence, this must still be the most "tao xiao" action movie for the whole of this year. XXX or Xander Cage, played by Vin Diesel, is like 10 James Bond rolled into a beefy package. If you are going to catch the movie you might want to skip the spoilers below, but they were so amusing I really had to write this. Let me called this list the "stupendously spectacular tao xiao action moves of 2002 "

1) As a test to prove his worth as the ultimate secret agent, XXX had to infiltrate a mexican drug lord's den, bust all the baddies, create superfluous pyrotechnics, save an injured partner whilst maintaining his cool. No sweat. Whilst evading fire from a helicoptor, he rides up a ramp on a scrambler in a bid to scale over an impossibly high confire fence. In a move of miraculous skill, he spins the scrambler at an angle, flying through an opening in the fence, but not before shooting dead two more baddies as he lands. Tao xiao factor : *****

2)Still at the same scene but with considerably more explosions and helicoptors, XXX continues to out manoeuvre everything. A particular huge explosion rockets him and his scrambler to impossible heights, and he grasps the scrambler by the back seat, guns blazing. Uncountable number of baddies dies. ( This is almost, but not as good as Tom cruise's move in MI2 where he looks in the bike's mirrors, points his pistol to his back and takes out 2 baddies, all done while speeding at breakneck speed and with shades on. ) Tao xiao factor : ***

3)The usual inard local police, unable to infiltrate the king pin's liar because of surveillance cameras located all around the place, requires XXX to take down the communications tower located on the top of a glazier mountain. Taking off from a bomber plane, XXX takes a walk or rather fly in the park as he sky dives to the exact location, setting of an avalanche with explosives that while was able to completely obliterate the tower and all its inhabitants trying to escape on snow-jets, was hardly fast enough to even touch Diesel who was cruising on a normal snow ski. Tao xiao factor ****

Having said all this, the movie is not without its moments. No, really. This is also another reason why you should always try to stay for a movie's end credits , because you never know what might come up, esp for movies with sfx. Just before the main credits were about to roll there was this short segment, about 2 minutes worth of dizzying, fast actioned blend of cgi and beautifully compositioned live action sequences ( all specially created just for the ending sequence ) that played on the many motifs featured in the movie, ending and finishing with XXX's wordings. Very beautifully done, especially to the tune of the pounding music. Look out for it if you ever watch the dvd. Its worth more than the show itself.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

I've been cracking my head wondering how I'll be able to catch the one many shows that I've missed during the pass film festivals, or any other foreign films for that matter that doesn't make it to the ( general public )cinemas here in Singapore. No doubt mainstream hollywood movies still provide a certain level of entertainment value, complete with flashy pyrotechnics, sleek CGI and high-strung plotlines, but one too many of these in a week and you find yourself getting bored to tears. Monopoly is never a good thing, as far as the receiving end of the party is concerned at least. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that i'm all classy and artistic and only watch art house films. But if you haven't seen a good foreign film that eschews high technology in exchange for earnest acting, a simple storyline and pure cinematic sincerity, you've haven't yet seen half the palette of colours that paint the word film art. Doubt the movies linked below are ever going to make it to any mainstream theatre here. Looks like the film fest is my only salvation.

Shunji Iwai ( Love Letter )
Lily Chou Chou : http://www.lily-chou-chou.com/world/

Tom Tykwer ( Run Lola Run )
Heaven : http://www.heaven-derfilm.de/_index.html

Julio Medem
Sex and Lucia : http://www.sexandluciafilm.com/

Wong Kar Wai / DJ Shadow ( MTV )
Six Days : http://boss.streamos.com/wmedia/mcarecords/dj_shadow/private-press_07-02/video/300_six-day_320.asx

Saturday, August 10, 2002

Just had a viewing of Night Shymalan's movie "Signs". To avoid divulging any potential spoilers in the plot, all I can say is that the movie is scientifically subversive at best. ( or should I say worst ? ) This is indeed a waste of production talent with major names like Shymalan himself, ( whose Sixth Sense still ranks as one of the best supernatural thrillers i've watched ), DP Tak Fujimoto ( who shot Silence of the Lambs ), and James Newton Howard who wrote the score. In short, they should have chosen a better story.

Still believe that crop circles are created by aliens ? Go here for an enlightening article :


Thursday, August 08, 2002

Just when I thought the movie theatres are finally offering some watchable movies...The Touch lands with 1.5 stars rating in the Straits Times ! Ha...much as I distrust the movie reviews in ST...I have this inkling they're pretty right with the rating this time...so who wants to watch The Touch ? ( Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon spinoff minus Chow yunfat, plot, crappy chinese, but supplanted by crappy english...etc...etc...)

Saturday, August 03, 2002

Ennui, ennui, that's what it is. These days rushes of creative impulses are hitting an all time low, and a general interest to work seemed to have been stoppered and canned. Inspiration is way out of the lexicon. With my unit implementing new protocols that require us to stay in camp most of the time ain't helping. Sombre thoughts are also starting to get more frequent in my head these days - in such times of bad economic, will I be able to find a job when I ORD ? Throw in the lacklusture movie scene recently, and there's little to do but sink into disparage and complete apathy.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

yo yo! wassupppppppp!