THE BIG WEDDING (2013)
3 out of 5 stars
Alejandro (Ben Barnes) and Missy (Amanda Seyfried) are getting married and things are getting more complicated. Alejandro, the adopted son of Don and Ellie, has invited his birth mother from Colombia. Meanwhile, Don has been living Bebe after his divorce from Ellie. All hell breaks lose when Alejandro reveals that he kept the divorce a secret from his birth mother because he didn’t want her to think that he wasn’t brought up in a traditional family (think picket fences and happily married parents).
The story is quite simple and there isn’t much to talk about except that weddings are as complicated as the families involved. But Ben Barnes does speak some mean Mandarin! Wished there was more focus on the couple but instead their parents snatched their spotlight! Wow, their lives are much more exciting than the young couples…
LES MISERABLES (2012)
4 out of 5 stars
Based on the novel by Victor Hugo and the successful musical of the same name, Les Miz tells the story of Jean Valjean, a former prisoner who reinvents himself as the mayor of a town in France. He agrees to care for Cosette, the daughter of Fantine, after a terrible incident, all the while escaping Javert, a police inspector adamant on capturing Valjean.
The first time I saw the trailer for Les Miz, I cried. Maybe it was the songs that were sung with so much melancholy. So it’s no surprise that there were tears while watching the movie. Especially when Anne Hathaway, as Fantine, sings ‘I Dreamed A Dream’. There was sadness and anger in her tone of voice and she looked so devastated. Hugh Jackman was fantastic as Jean Valjean. It’s the first time I’ve heard him sing and he sounds quite pleasant. No wonder he’s won a Tony Award!
The other actor that I was mesmerized with was Aaron Tveit, who plays Enjolras, one of the students in the revolution fighting alongside Marius (Eddie Redmayne), the love of Cosette. Most people would probably know him as the jerk cousin of Nate, Tripp, in Gossip Girl but oh man, his voice is one of the best. He sounds the most natural among the male actors/singers and brought a lot of conviction in his voice. Amanda Seyfried sounds good but we’ve heard her in Mamma Mia! The Movie so no worries there. As for Russell Crowe, I shall let you decide for yourself.
I didn’t expect the whole movie to be just songs but since it was based on the musical, what was I expecting? Maybe a few lines of dialogue? But no, it is pure singing with probably less than ten lines of sing-spoken dialogue.
I don’t know what was the spark between Cosette and Marius (because I’m a cynic?) but I do know many of us identify with Eponine, the one pining for Marius. Is there no justice in the world of crushes?!
Watch it because it has been nominated for 8 awards at the upcoming 85th Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hugh Jackman) and Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway).
IN TIME (2011)
– 3 and a half out of 5 stars
Part of the reason I watched this because it stars:
Justin Timberlake. Matt Bomer. Cillian Murphy. Alex Pettyfer.
In the year 2161, time is everything – it pays for your meals, your rides and you earn it by contributing to the society once your clock starts ticking down from the age of 25. Like everywhere else, there is inequality and Will Salas (Timberlake) discovers this the hard way when he gets wanted by the Timekeepers. Amanda Seyfried’s really pretty in her role here, most probably because she “comes from time” – because time is money. I liked how Will and Sylvia (Seyfriend) becomes the modern day Bonnie and Clyde!
RED RIDING HOOD (2011)
– 3 out of 5 stars
Red Riding Hood is a new and darker take on the fairytale, The Little Red Riding Hood. The main difference is the protagonist is not so little and the big bad wolf is a werewolf. Amanda Seyfried stars as Valerie, the titular character, who’s in love with Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) the woodcutter but made to marry Henry (Max Irons) the blacksmith. Just as she’s about to elope with Peter, her sister gets killed by the werewolf and the entire town goes into a frenzy. The arrival of Father Solomon brings about unease when he mentions that the wolf can takes a human form by day, and it could be anyone in the village and Valerie is the key.
One thing was on my mind the entire time: WHO’S THE WOLF? At first, you might think it’s either one of the two leads – Fernandez and Irons, then suddenly, there are more candidates popping up. It’s as if the entire village is made up of werewolves. But I’d say I didn’t the identity of the wolf was unexpected. I say, when in doubt, go back to the original story – it’s just Red Riding Hood, her Grandmother and the Woodcutter.
And there’s been talks that this is like the Twilight version of Red Riding Hood and that might be true in some ways especially since Catherine Hardwicke directed this and Shiloh Fernandez almost became Edward Cullen. Well, let me just say I’m glad Robert Pattinson got the role.
Oh, I saw this really cute interview of Max Irons on Jimmy Kimmel Live, especially when he talked about his boarding school experience. OMG, the British accent!
LETTERS TO JULIET (2010)
– 3 out of 5 stars
Letters To Juliet tells the story of Sophie, who travels to Verona with her fiancé, Victor, as a honeymoon before his new restaurant opens. While Victor is preoccupied with research for his new restaurant, Sophie does some exploring on her own and discovers a group of volunteers who respond to letters written to Juliet seeking romantic advice. She stumbles across a 50-year-old letter and writes back to Claire, the writer. Claire arrives in Verona with her grandson, Charlie, and the three of them embark on an adventure to find Claire’s true love.
I think this movie appeals to the romantics at heart because you must possess lots of faith in love to find someone you met 50 years ago. Throughout the movie, you have this very strong feeling that Victor is a jerk because he behaves like one. Christopher Egan (Charlie) is very charming in this movie – maybe it’s the English charm even though he’s Australian in real life. The part where they search for Claire’s Lorenzo Bartolini is pretty hilarious, because there are so many of them! There was even one that implored Claire to “take him”!
JENNIFER’S BODY (2009)
– 3 out of 5 stars
I didn’t expect myself to be catching Jennifer’s Body as it seemed kinda horrific but I just psycho-ed myself that it’s an extended episode of Supernatural and the two handsome male leads have been replaced by a heroine instead. Imagine being in the theatre with just ONE other person seated far, far away. Yup, I’m kinda timid sometimes.
Anyway, Jennifer only started feasting on boys after a satanic ritual went wrong. Turns out her sweetie pie image is not equivalent to her virginity, a must for the ritual. No thanks to a lowly band aptly named Low Shoulder. Thereafter, Jennifer has to eat flesh to sustain her life and her hot looks. The only one in the know is Needy, her best friend and she has to uncover the true behind Jennifer’s transformation and save the town before her boyfriend becomes the next victim. I’ve to say that I love how the ending played out, and I’m not going to spoil it but let’s just say the evil-doers got what they deserved.
Oh, check out the soundtrack! I like Cobra Starship’s Chew Me Up & Spit Me Out.
MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE (2008)
– 3 out of 5 stars
“You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life…
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen…”
I saw Mamma Mia!! A feel-good movie though I must say, I didn’t feel comfortable when they first started singing Abba’s songs in the first 30 minutes of the movie. I couldn’t really link them up with the story but after a few songs, you roughly get the hang of it. The male cast singing sounded a little odd to me; since you don’t normally hear Pierce Brosnan (former Bond 007 agent), Colin Firth (Mr. Darcy) and Stellan Skarsgard (William ‘Bootstrap Bill’ Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean) singing Abba tunes. The photos of the cast in their younger days were hilarious, as is the ‘head banger’ term associated with Colin Firth. My favourite parts were when there was this ‘procession’ of womenfolk singing and dancing along to Dancing Queen, and the ‘mini-concert’ the cast had after the movie ended. OMG, they were all in spandex.