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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WHEN IN ROME…

TO ROME WITH LOVE (2012)
3 out of  5 stars

This is yet another ensemble romantic comedy, this time brought to you by Woody Allen, set in the city of Rome. There are four main stories and though I mostly watched because of Jesse Eisenberg, I quite like the story of the young couple taking their honeymoon in Rome.

Eisenberg’s story arc can be quite confusing at first, but as it progresses, you realize the tongue-in-cheekness of it. Well, don’t we all wish there was a voice in our head that could guide us along even though we know we would most likely ignore that voice. It’s good in the sense that it really helps to expose the posers around you – take heed!

As mentioned, I liked the story of the young couple because it was one of the funniest – aside from the opera singer in the shower. Alessandra Mastronardi is really classy and beautiful! And her strange encounter is kinda hot. Penelope Cruz also shone in that segment, especially when her clientele all showed up in the same place. I guess the rich and successful need to de-stress in some way.

JERRY: You know you married a very bright guy, I got a 150-160 IQ.
PHYLLIS: You’re figuring it in Euros, in Dollars it’s much less.

BIRDS VERSUS MONKEYS

RIO (2011)
– 3 and a half out of 5 stars

Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) is a domesticated blue macaw that has been living with his owner, Linda, for the past fifteen years. A chance meeting with Túlio, an ornithologist, brings them all to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where Blu needs to mate with a female, Jewel (Anne Hathaway), in order to save his species. Trouble ensues when smugglers are after them and while Jewel yearns to escape, she learns that Blu cannot fly.

Rafael: Just tell her “you have beautiful eyes”.
Blu: (to Jewel) I have beautiful eyes.

OMG JESSE EISENBERG IS SUCH A CUTE BLUE MACAW. I think his real life awkwardness totally translates into Blu, which is absolutely adorable. The other characters like Rafael the Toucan and Luiz the Bulldog are equally funny. I like Luiz’s fruity get-up for the carnival and his saliva can actually be used as a form of lubricant! Nigel the Cockatoo is brilliant as the villain and he constantly antagonizes the other birds and monkeys. One of my favourite parts was the fight and they announced “BIRDS VERSUS MONKEYS!” The way these animals fight is so damn hilarious!

Both Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway contributed to the soundtrack! Though it’s not the first time we’ve heard Hathaway sing, it’s definitely the first time I heard Eisenberg sing! OMG he sounds so awkward – I like!

HIT REFRESH

THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010)
– 4 and a half out of 5 stars

Adapted from The Accidental Billionaire by Ben Mezrich, The Social Network tells the story of how Facebook was founded.

In 2003, after Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg was dumped by his girlfriend, he creates a website that rates the attractiveness of Harvard female undergraduates. The site gathered 22,000 hits within a few hours before the server crashed. Zuckerberg caught the attention of the Winklevoss twins, who approached him to help them with their site, The Harvard Connection. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg enlists the financial help of his friend Eduardo Saverin when he comes up with the idea of “thefacebook”, an exclusive social networking site for Harvard students. The site becomes a hit and even attracts the attention of Napster co-founder, Sean Parker.

Told from different points of view, you get to decide who you believe to be right or wrong, and if every event happened for a reason. Like that animal cruelty story that busted Saverin and the party which got Parker busted for cocaine possession. The story is also interlaced with the two lawsuits involving the Winklevoss twins and Saverin.

Relationships are build as easily as they are broken and I think it helps to be smart with your words because you never know when it might be used against you. But you’ve got to admire the genius of Zuckerberg, who in the presence of existing social networking sites like Friendster and Myspace, manages to create one that attracts these youngsters with exclusivity and relationship statuses. And the algorithm that Saverin came up with in minutes! Goodness, these people are geniuses! But in the end, what everyone is concerned with is their ambition, social status and money. Zuckerberg is the world’s youngest millionaire, but you’ve got to ask if he did all these to be somebody or to prove something to somebody. Great show, though you have to be mentally prepared because they speak really fast.

TALLAHASSEE: TIME TO NUT UP OR SHUT UP

ZOMBIELAND (2009)
– 5 out of 5 stars

Anyway, I’ve just seen Zombieland and it totally kicks ass! It takes place in a post-apocalyptic America where there’s a zombie virus and almost everyone has become those filthy flesh eaters. There are only a handful of humans left and one of them is Columbus, who probably survived due to his lack of human interaction and his book of rules. He meets Tallahassee who’s a mean zombie killer with a vulnerability for Twinkies. While on a Twinkie mission, they encounter Wichita and her sister, Little Rock, whom they join forces with after several misunderstandings. Together, they form a formidable group against the disgustingly undead. 

Seriously, of all the monsters, zombies are the worst! They enjoy human Happy Meals, suck human bone marrow and absolutely crave all of your human juices. Eewww! The initial onslaught of bloody insides are not the most comfortable opening scenes but you’ll start to laugh it off after a few minutes. Throughout the movie, I was greatly entertained by Columbus’ narration and his rules. Some of those mentioned in the movie are: –

Rule #1: Cardio
Rule #2: Double Tap
Rule #3: Beware of Bathrooms
Rule #4: Seatbelts
Rule #17: Don’t Be A Hero
Rule #18: Limber Up
Rule #22: When In Doubt, Know Your Way Out
Rule #31: Check the Back Seat
Rule #32: Enjoy The Little Things
(More rules can be found here.)

You can see these rules popping up on the screen, like mental lessons, especially Rule #2. The surprise cameo by a well-known actor almost steals the show and just adds more laughs to the zombie comedy. All was well until I got frightened by an old female zombie at the Haunted House. I screamed a little but luckily, my scream was drowned out by the gunshots that followed. Phew. The climax at the theme park was good and hilarious at the same time. I wouldn’t mind watching it again.

There’s news of a sequel in 3D! Plus, Jesse Eisenberg is kinda adorable in his own geeky, neurotic way. =)