YOU FOUND ME

THE LUCKY ONE (2012)
– 3 out of 5 stars

Based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, Zac Efron stars as Logan, a Marine, who finds a photograph of a woman, that kept him miraculously alive in situations where his comrades were unable to survive. He vows to track down and thank the girl in the photo when he returns home.

Well, I have to say I prefer The Notebook! Nothing beats McGosling – not even The Vow – OMG why did Ryan and Rachel break up? But then, all great romances end so people will always use them as the golden standard. But I have to say Taylor Schilling is quite pretty – she gives this really healthy and fit image especially when she’s with the dogs. I don’t think there’s anything wrong objectifying Zac Efron over here – how else would we all get clean, shiny pots?

And back to the subject matter… which is Zac Efron’s bra-unhooking skills.

ONCE YOU WATCH IT, YOU WILL WATCH IT AGAIN.

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WHAT BIG EYES YOU HAVE…

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!

THE SPIRIT OF THE WEST

RANGO (2011)
– 4 out of 5 stars

Rango tells the tale of a chameleon who gets stranded in the Nevada desert and winds up at Dirt, a town populated by desert animals and plagued by water shortage. He creates a brand new personality that is tough, fearless and full of bravado. When he accidentally kills the hawk that has been terrorizing the townsfolk, he becomes a symbol of hope and is appointed the new sheriff. Rango does his best to protect the townsfolk and in the process, becomes the hero he always wanted to be.

OMG I think I almost died (of happiness) in the cinemawhen I heard/recognized Timothy Olyphant’s voice as the Spirit of the West! Considering the fact that I didn’t know any other voice except Johnny Depp’s, it was a pleasant surprise! However, since the image of the Spirit of the West is unique to each person, I can’t find any picture of him/her/it – not even in Rango’s perspective. So, here’s an alternative:

Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in FX’s Justified

The movie really caught me unexpected, in a good way. Basically, the story’s about Rango trying to find his identity and the process is hilarious and a little sad at times but coupled with the fact that it’s also a Western… needless to say, I enjoyed it thoroughly. The owl mariachi band provides witty and funny songs/commentary throughout the film and they are constantly pessimistic about the fate of Rango. Rattlesnake Jake (Bill Nighy – perfect evil, creepy voice) sends shivers down my spine and you wouldn’t want to drink from his shotglass.

I can totally imagine Johnny Depp doing this in real life.

Plus, the film was acted out while the actors recorded their voices, so the characters have human-like expressions. That includes Johnny Depp’s always-quirky performance, full of his signature charm and swagger. Must watch!


And here’s a featurette from Rango:

“YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M CAPABLE OF.”

I AM NUMBER FOUR (2011)
– 4 out of 5 stars

On Valentine’s Day, I had a “date” with I Am Number Four at Cathay Cineleisure – thanks to InCinemas.sg! That “date” includes Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Callan McAuliffe and Jake Abel!

// Alex Pettyfer was previously seen in Wild Child and can be seen next inBeastly with Vanessa Hudgens. Timothy Olyphant is in Justified! Callan McAuliffe was in Flipped, which was sadly not shown in Singapore. Jake Abel was in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and also Adam Milligan aka the Winchesters’ half brother in Supernatural! //

I Am Number Four is based on the novel by Pittacus Lore. It centres around Number Four/John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), one of nine remaining aliens from the planet Lorien, who have come to seek refuge on Earth while on the run from the Mogadorians, another alien species. He is protected by his guardian, Henri (Timothy Olyphant), who will train him when his Legacies/powers manifest themselves. These last Loriens have to be killed in the sequence of their numbers and Numbers One, Two and Three are dead – this means John is in danger.

Sarah: What’s your name?
Number Four/John: John… Smith.
Sarah: Okay, you don’t wanna tell me your name…

I think I nearly jumped out of my seat because the the movie kicked off Kings Of Leon’s Radioactive (!) followed by The Black Keys’ Tighten Up, both of which were in the running for Best Rock Performance/Song for the Grammys that day.

John: A place is only as good as the people you know in it. I think this is a pretty good place.

There’s plenty of action and suspense in the movie and some parts even caused me to grip my seat real tight – like when the Mogadorians and their “pets” appear. The opening scene grips you right from the start and you just mentally prepare yourself whenever there are dark places involved.

Sam: (on shooting down a Mogadorian) I play a lot of X-Box.

Timothy Olyphant is Olyphantastic as usual and he sure channeled Raylan Givens when he fired that shotgun! I wouldn’t mind being home-schooled by him. Then I have this semi-crush on 16-year-old Callan McAuliffe, who plays Sam and provides most of the comic relief. It won’t be obvious at first when he keeps his head down, but once he starts to open up to John, you’ll be charmed (by his eyes and smile)!

Number Six: If you slow us down, I’ll shoot you myself.
Sam: I believe you. Can we go now?

Teresa Palmer totally kicks ass as the feisty Number Six. I liked that she was fireproof and could disappear and appear out of thin air! Dianna Agron stars as Sarah, John’s love interest and it has blossomed off-screen – such a good-looking couple! There are plenty of funny moments too, like when Sarah’s mother switches the porch lights on and off in a bid to distract the young couple from making out too intensely. And I’d like to add that Singaporeans are a sentimental bunch cos there was a collective “Awww” when John’s dog, Bernie Kosar, appeared at the end.

The movie opens in Singapore 24 February 2011.

Here’s a really cute interview featuring Alex Pettyfer on Ellen and on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:

NO ONE AND EVERYONE

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2009)
– 4.5 out of 5 stars

Watched this and I think it’s so good, it makes me want to read the Millennium Trilogy rightaway.

An investigative journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, is offered an assignment from Henrik Vanger, the former CEO of Vanger Enterprises, to look into the mystery of the disappearance of his beloved niece, Harriet Vanger, 40 years ago. A comprehensive investigation into Mikael’s personal and professional history was carried out before Vanger decided to engage his help. The investigation was handled by Lisbeth Salander, a private investigator/hacker. Mikael accepts the assignment and moves to Hedeby. As he delves deeper into the case, he injects life into the cold case and has a shot at solving it with the help of Lisbeth.

At 152 minutes long, this is one of the longest films I’ve seen but I do not regret it. It is much better than splitting up the film into two parts and show them half a year apart. You can literally feel the adrenaline build up when Mikael discovers new leads into the old case.

The most shocking scenes would involve Lisbeth and her guardian because the guardian is simply sick in the head. I really wondered how he became a guardian. OMG Lisbeth had to limp home after that?! I suppose those are the parts that deserve the R21 rating. The photos from the news clippings aren’t for the weak-hearted because they are every bit of grotesque imagery. Lisbeth may be a very tough and intense woman but somehow, she’s still subjected to such anti-feminist treatment. But her retaliation was nicely done. Mystery-wise, it is very thrilling. Considering that it’s a 40-year-old case, you have to consider the fact that technology isn’t as advanced; photos are captured on film, records are not kept, sorted or could have been destroyed and most of the people involved may have passed away. Thus, Mikael and Lisbeth really did a good job through good and thorough research and having a keen eye for detail. Especially Lisbeth who could really hack into files and discover old news clippings that could be related to the case. If you read your fair share of thrillers, you could even guess who’s the perpetrator towards the end of the movie.

Mark your calendars because the two sequels open in Singapore on:
September 16, 2010 – The Girl Who Played With Fire
October 21, 2010 – The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

GO BABE RUTHLESS!

WHIP IT (2009)
– 4 out of 5 stars

Yayy! I caught Whip It!

First I need to mention that I heard Kings Of Leon’s Knocked Up during the opening credits! OMG! I can recognize that bass line anywhere! That got me pretty much stoked and anticipating the movie and the songs it features (MGMT’s Kids, Kaiser Chiefs’ I Predict A Riot, etc.).

Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page) is a small town girl stuck in her mother’s dream of beauty pageants. One day, she discovers the world of roller derby and she makes the cut for the Hurl Scouts, despite not having any experience. She falls in love for the first time and has to find a way to juggle her parents and her best friend in order not to let herself and the people around her down.

The Manson Sisters, Rosa Sparks, Bloody Holly, Babe Ruthless, Maggie Mayhem, Smashley Simpson and coach, Razor.

I think one of the first things that attract you is the names these roller derby girls have? Bliss becomes Babe Ruthless after she learns that in a contact sport like roller derby, she has to make contact (get rough) and be ruthless. Other names include Iron Maven (Juliette Lewis) and Eva Destruction (Ari Graynor).

It’s nice to see Bliss finally finding her own ground after going against her parents and boyfriend. The final game was really exciting because the Hurl Scouts executed their strategies and even did a double-leg whip! I think one of the warm fuzzy feelings emerge when Bliss’ parents finally accepted what their daughter was good at and not force their dreams on her.

Check out: Whip It!: Clip – 23 Seconds | TotalFilm.com for a quick introduction to the rules of roller derby.

THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT

(500) DAYS OF SUMMER (2009)
– 4 out of 5 stars

(500) Days of Summer recounts the duration of Tom and Summer’s relationship from the first moment they met. Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls in love with Summer (Zooey Deschanel) at first sight over their mutual interest in The Smiths, a band he was blasting in his headphones which Summer sings along. But it’s pretty obvious he’s more into the relationship that she is, as she said she doesn’t believe in love. Still, they grow closer together until they broke up in the middle of the 500 days and Tom tries to win her back.

Personally, I totally understand how Tom feels when he was in that lift with Summer. It’s a nice feeling to find someone with the same music interests as you, especially when you can’t seem to find anyone that listens to the stuff you listen. So you can’t really blame him when he gets a strong feeling that Summer is The One. It was uplifting to see him burst into dance after his first night with Summer to Hall & Oates’You Make My Dreams. I also liked the scene where they were in the karaoke – super fun!

As for Summer, she believes in being free and independent like the modern woman. But after meeting Tom, she starts believing in ‘destiny’ and carves out her future unlike what she embodied. Tom, too, makes his talent to good use by chasing his dreams and getting out of his comfort zone at the greeting card company. I guess you can say both of them matured through this relationship.

Videos:
Joseph & Zooey Cut A Rug During A Bank Heist
Joe & Zooey Portray Sid & Nancy Cinemash

Plus, the movie has a great soundtrack! Easy listening songs that brings you memories of the movie. Also, if you had observed carefully, Zooey Deschanel has really beautiful blue eyes that speak for themselves.

Here’s her with her sister, Emily Deschanel from BonesBoth have really beautiful eyes.

And if a double-decker bus crashes into us
to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die
and if a ten ton truck kills the both of us
to die by your side
well the pleasure, the privilege is mine