EYEING THE BIG PICTURE

nowyouseemeNOW YOU SEE ME (2013)
4 and a half out of 5 stars

Four magicians collectively known as the Four Horsemen pull of a bank heist in the midst of their show and draws the attention of the FBI agent, an Interpol detective and a former magician who earns his keep by revealing other magicians’ tricks.

First of all, JESSE EISENBERG! OMG I just love it when he rattles off like nobody’s business. There were a group of girls screaming for Dave Franco but I’m not really into him. Sure, his fight scene with Mark Ruffalo has got to be one of the most unusual and original ones I’ve seen. Flash paper, a slicing deck of cards, mirrors and all sorts of magical apparatus were used in this fight.

It is perhaps a little hasty to give it such a high score but my mind was really blown after watching this movie. On hindsight, it seems a little all-over-the-place and the conclusion may be a little hasty because I figured it completely during the end credits. What I liked what how they used simple magic tricks on a large scale (you have to watch to understand what I’m talking about). The whole thing may be a little mind-boggling but when was the last time your mind was boggled?

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THE MOST HOPEFUL MAN

greatgatsby-1THE GREAT GATSBY (2013)
4 out of 5 stars

Based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it follows the life of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his neighbour, Nick Carraway (Tobey McGuire) who recounts his encounter with Gatsby during his time in New York in the 1920’s. There is mystery surrounding Jay Gatsby, the businessman who holds extravagant parties yet no one seems to know anything concrete about him. But one thing is clear to Carraway; Gatsby is in love with his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, whom he met in the past. However, she is now married. What follows is the doomed romance of Jay and Daisy, which could only seem to be wishful thinking on their part.

Like any Baz Luhrmann production, music plays a big part in the movies and audiences were treated to the likes of Lana del Rey, Florence and the Machine, Fergie and Jay-Z. It makes you feel like you’re at Gatsby’s parties.

I felt really sad after the movie ended. I’m not sure if Gatsby was really hopeful or deluded. Perhaps I’m too cynical for my own good but if I agreed with Carraway, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels the same way. Or maybe I’m just not that into doomed romances anymore (that should be a good thing, right?).

I didn’t know Callan McAuliffe was in the movie as young Gatsby, or young Leo! What a striking resemblance! And I didn’t recognize Adelaide Clemens (Parade’s End) in the movie at all! I blame it on the eye makeup.

Jay Gatsby: I knew it was a great mistake for a man like me to fall in love…

greatgatsby-2

NIGHT OUT WITH THE B-FACES

BacheloretteMovieBACHELORETTE (2012)
4 out of 5 stars

This movie is about a group of friends from high school who have to attend the wedding of Becky (Rebel Wilson) and cannot stop bitching about it because they were not the first to get married and they think Becky is the least attractive of them all. Havoc ensues during Becky’s bachelorette party when Regan (Dunst), Katie (Fisher) and Gena (Caplan) accidentally rips Becky’s dress and they have one night to fix it.

Katie: Silver lining! We’re going to get to throw a bachelorette party. We’re going to get to dress up and be cool. It’s going to be just like prom!

This was really funny and it’s possibly due to the fact that Kirsten Dunst uses the phrase “fuck” A LOT. I mean, in real life, people use the phrase all the time too. Like when she was making a call and the girls were squawking at the back, she mouths “shut the fuck up” and everyone is silent. Talk about it being the universal language. Another thing to note is the “journey” of the wedding dress. Double eew at the strippers’ club!

I think my favourite character is Gena (Lizzy Caplan) probably because she’s the coolest girl who acts like she doesn’t care about anything but she really does and her past with Clyde is so OMG. That is my favourite kind of “ship” ever. I also like Dunst’s character of Regan because she strives for perfection in a way not so different from most of us. Overall, I think it’s a good show though brides would prefer less hoo-ho from the night before their wedding.

A NEW GUARDIAN

ROTGRISE OF THE GUARDIANS (2012)
3 and a half out of 5 stars

This is a story about Jack Frost, who helps the Guardians in their fight against Pitch Black, the Boogeyman, who aims to make children lose their belief in the Guardians and ultimately, lose the innocence of childhood.

Well, the Guardians are made up of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and the Sandman. This concept relates more to children in Westernized countries because they celebrate Easter and Christmas in a big way. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was quite a nice film with cute bits like the elves with the bells and Baby Tooth!

It was full of laughs and I enjoyed the Sandman’s antics the most. I have probably heard the least about the Sandman and I am more familiar with the scarier versions of the Guardians, i.e. the evil Tooth Fairy. The Easter Bunny is quite adorable as well, even though it’s male. Dakota Goyo (Real Steel) voices Jamie and he sounds so hopeful – no wonder he has a meatier role in this.

STAY DURING THE CREDITS FOR AN EXTRA SCENE about the morning after. Watch the movie to understand!

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:

THE GIRL IN THE GREEN SCARF

CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC (2009)
– 3 and a half out of 5 stars

 Woohoo! I caught Confessions of A Shopaholic!

It’s very funny and has many LOL moments, just like the book. As mentioned, it combines the first two books of the Shopaholic series (Confessions of A Shopaholicand Shopaholic Abroad/Shopaholic Takes Manhattan) so the movie might seem a little incoherent and rushed at times. Isla Fisher stars as Rebecca Bloomwood, a shopaholic who communicates with mannequins, has a piling debt of $16K and a stalkerish debt collector in the form of Derek Smeath. Watching and reading how she tries to escape from his clutches is simply hilarious! There’s also Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy), her boss and romantic interest, who’s delightfully British. =) Seeing how Bloomwood gets out of her sticky situations might seem unrealistic (like the Shopaholic series) but it’s just how life presents chances to her and how she manages to twists it to her advantage.