Archives For Fun

I wonder if I’ll have time to catch this for the 2nd time this week.

Anyway, I thought I should post my review for Inception here, so I could participate on the LAMB, because I don’t usually get to participate much. I gotta take any chance at ‘world premieres’ and early… or somewhat early releases. I actually reviewed this in Spanish over at TOMA-UNO.

Inception had been the most anticipated film of this Blockbuster season. I mean, we are talking about Christopher Nolan — whom people are referring to as the new “insert name of any filmmaker” [Hitchcock/Kubrick] — with his stellar cast that includes Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio, Oscar nominee Ellen Page, Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe, Oscar Winner Marion Cotillard, Oscar Winner Michael Caine, as well as Golden Globes nominees Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Cillian Murphy. No doubt, Inception has a dream cast and crew.

In it, DiCaprio plays Cobb, a man on the run from the US system who happens to work on what is known as “subconscious exploration” which refers to entering your brain while on a dream-state to obtain information. Cobb is hired by Saito (Watanabe) for an impossible task to secure the disintegration of the competition’s company. For this to happen, Cobb must enter the mind of Robert Fischer Jr. (Murphy) and insert this idea, and make him believe it came from him. This is known as “Inception”.

Cobb will be joined by his team that includes Arthur (Gordon-Levitt), and a young architecture student named Ariadne (Page).

Despite everything said about this movie, I thought it was pretty straight forward. Of course, repeat viewings of the film would be more than useful, but as a regular movie, Inception delivers as much thrill as any action flick released this season. The cinematography is breathtaking at times, combined with special effects that drags you into the story.

The acting is more than solid, it’s DiCaprio’s most interesting role since his snubbed performance on Revolutionary Road, and I could easily see nominations for supporting acting for Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt at all to have an interesting story as the base of this action thriller. Dreams are interesting, and leaves you enough space to mess around with people’s minds without making them feel like you’ve cheated on the story.

I’m not sure, however, if this is deserving of a #3 spot on the current IMDb 250 Top Films yet, but it’s definitely one of the most interesting offerings of the year. Leave it to Nolan to deliver something like this.

4/5

My dad thought it funny I find cover versions of the Beatles, so we ended up finding a few in Japanese, but this one coming from Malaysian singer Maggie Wong & the Jungle Lynxs sounds super fun!

Plus, Connie Chan~

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Just had the chance to catch Kick-Ass, and let me tell you. Forget about Kick-Ass, we need more Big Daddy and Hit Girl~~~ Better yet, we need more girly potty-mouthed super heroes.

In a movie too centered on the insipid Kick-Ass — mind you, the film is title with his name — Hit Girl rocked my world.

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Entre a Luz e a Sombra (2009)
Genre: Documentary
Directed by:  Luciana Burlamaqui

Between Light and Shadow is a documentary that spans 7 years into the life of a Brazilian actress, who devotes herself to working with the prisoners in Carandiru — which was the largest penitentiary in South America [there’s even  a movie about the 1992 massacre there]– A couple of the prisoners, Rap duo 509-E members Dexter and Afro-X, who were there for different sentences, are encouraged to create music.

The documentary shows that even though the actress [whose name escapes me, and doesn’t show up anywhere] and the guys from 509-E were born in the same city, but where born in different parts of town and in different families, there’s a disconnect. This is why The Actress spends 20 years of her life working with prisoners on theater workshops, dancing, encouraging them to create music, or paint, while also supporting 509-E in their rap careers in and outside prison. The rap duo is granted permission to perform at events outside prison while still doing their sentences because the judge granting these permissions is convinced that this is a good way to give prisoners a second chance.

Of course politicians and police enforcement officers are against prisoners going out and commenting on political issues. And of course the duo, young at that time, was against “The Man” so they didn’t waste any time to speak up.

There are problems in Carandiru, the prisoners take over the prison with hostages — “We have women and kids” read one of the messages they hung — and the situation got out of control. The prison was closed down, the prisoners transfered, and Carandiru was demolished. With terrorist groups running rampant in and out of prison, government officials stopped letting prisoners do public events… even when 509-E was winning big in the Rap festivals and awards.

Finally, as time passed by, Dexter and Afro-X split after Dexter was transfered to another prison, and Afro-X was given probation because he was fathering a child with singer Simony.

In a telling ending, both Dexter and The Actress — who were a couple in the beginning of the documentary — tells us what we’ve known all along. Maybe it’s just better to put your best effort in keeping children out of the prisons. Because once people live “the life” and feel proud of it, there’s never going back.

2.75/5

COMPETENCIA OFICIAL – DOCUMETAL

Screenings:
Tuesday 10 @ 4pm in Centro Cultural Catolica – Sala Azul

La Yuma (2009)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Starring: Alma Blanco
Directed by: Florence Jaugey

La Yuma — don’t ask me what Yuma means, but La Yuma is the boxing nickname of the character — tells the story of a girl from the poor neighborhoods of Managua, Nicaragua, who wants to become a professional boxer. One day she sees her brother mugging a young journalist who loses a disc with his work, so she decides to return it to him, and decides that she likes him. As she deals with her possible love life, as well as her family life with her younger siblings, good-for-nothing mother with her good-for-nothing boyfriend, she finally gets the chance to train under renown boxing trainer Polvorita.

La Yuma pretty much reminded everyone of Girlfight — which launched the career of now the familiar Michelle Rodriguez — for their “tough girl who wants to box” theme, but ultimately La Yuma distances itself from boxing, and focuses on what Alma Blanco’s character has to do for her and her siblings to survive.

Since the story starts out as a boxing film, and then distances itself from it… La Yuma seems a bit disjointed, as if you were watching 2 or 3 different films. However, the film’s protagonist is interesting — she’s tough and sassy with a sense of humor — she keeps bringing you back into the story. The acting is a bit uneven, especially from Ernesto (Gabriel Benavides) the “love interest” and you wonder why La Yuma feels attraction towards him, but characters like Doña Scarlett (María Esther López), or La Cubana (Juan Carlos García) are enjoyable and memorable enough.

3/5

COMPETENCIA OFICIAL – FICCION

Screenings:
Monday 9 @ 5.15pm in Cineplanet Alcazar  – Sala 1
Tuesday 10 @ 7.30pm in Centro Cultural Catolica – Sala Azul
Thursday 12 @ 9.45pm in Cineplanet Alcazar – Sala 1