WHEN THE TWO MOONS CONVERGE

YOUR HIGHNESS (2011)
– 2 and a half out of 5 stars

A medieval comedy revolving around two Princes – Prince Fabious and Prince Thadeous, and the adventure that awaits them when they set off to rescue Fabious’ bride-to-be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) from the evil wizard, Leezar (Justin Theoroux).

It’s pretty obvious this was gonna be a bad, mad movie but I wanted to watch it because the trailer made me laugh so badly – the part where James Franco got bitten and no one wanted to help him suck the venom out. LOL! Natalie Portman plays a fierce warrior who can hold her own, even better than the combined strength and wits of Thaddeus and Courtney, his hilarious and funny-looking sidekick.

Danny McBride and James Franco collaborated on Pineapple Expressand I have to say it was much funnier than this movie. There are plenty of lewd jokes (some that border the line of disgusting) and that prized souvenir from the minotaur that appears from the second half of the film can be rather distracting. Can’t believe they would rather banPineapple Express and bring this in instead. But oh well, it was a good laugh.

THOR, THE GOD OF THUNDER

THOR (2011)
– 4 out of 5 stars

Thor (Chris Hemsworth), son of Odin, is the successor to the throne in Asgard. However, his rash and arrogant ways destroys the truce between Odin and Laufey, leader of the Frost Giants in Jotunheim. Odin strips Thor of his power and banishes him to Earth, so that he may learn humility and prove himself worthy of the throne.

OMG CHRIS HEMSWORTH IS SO HOT!

He put on 10kg of muscle to play Thor and I think it paid off really well. He looks good arrogant and was also funny when he brought his “ancient” ways into the modern world (ie. smashing his cup for another cup of coffee!). Norse mythology has always been interesting, so having hot people playing gods are a plus.

I liked Sif, the Goddesss of War, too. She’s the only female warrior fighting alongside Thor and she knows her weapons. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is just really creepy and I can see right through him, man. He appears to defend his brother but he’s actually stabbing him in the back!

There’s an uncredited cameo by Jeremy Renner (HOT!) as Hawkeye and Stan Lee as always in movie adaptations of Marvel Comics characters. This movie, and the upcoming Captain America (Chris Evans) is building up to the hype of 2012′s The Avengers! Stay till the end of the credits for a sneak peek of what’s to come in The Avengers!

PREMATURE VENTRICULAR CONTRACTIONS

NO STRINGS ATTACHED (2011)
– 3 out of 5 stars

No Strings Attached is a romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman as Adam and Emma, two friends who decide to have a “no strings attached” physical relationship. However, this being a rom-com, one of them will start to develop real feelings and it starts throwing the relationship off balance.

Emma Kurtzman: He’s so tall… when he stands next to me, it looks like he’s kidnapping me.

The movie has its funny moments – like how they took off their clothes outside the car before continuing their business back in the car and seeing Natalie Portman trying to tackle Ashton Kutcher. I would think it’s Portman’s most “carefree” role yet – she jumps out from the back of the couch and calls people “bitch”. The height difference between her and Kutcher is hilarious.

Adam Franklin: You can’t fight me, you’re miniature. You fight like a hamster.

The ending is predictable but it’s a break from all the Oscar movies (127 Hours, Black Swan, The King’s Speech, etc). Nothing like a chick flick when you feel that James Franco hallucinates more in 127 Hours than Natalie Portman inBlack Swan.

Emma Kurtzman: You look like a pumpkin, bitch!

The only good thing is the Period Mix – how come no one thought of it before? Plus, if Emma is complaining that she’s not getting enough at Westwood Teaching Hospital, may I suggest she switch to Seattle Grace-Mercy West Hospital (location for Grey’s Anatomy) where doctors are good looking and always looking for a good time in the on-call room/supply closet. 3 out of 5 stars.

Adam Franklin: If you miss me, you can’t text, you can’t email, you can’t post it on my Facebook wall. If you really miss me, you come and see me.

THE MOMENT OF PERFECTION

BLACK SWAN (2010)
– 4 out of 5 stars

Black Swan is a psychological thriller starring Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers, who’s vying for the role of the Swan Queen in her ballet company’s production of Swan Lake. Nina is the perfect fit for the White Swan while rival dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), is the perfect fit for the Black Swan.

From start to finish, I was completely riveted by Natalie Portman’s performance. You can sense her desperation to break out of her own shell to embody the character of the Black Swan. At the same time, she has to contend with her mother, a former ballerina who pins all her hopes on Nina, and controls almost every aspect of her life. The scene where her mother cuts Nina’s fingernails still send some shivers down my spine. That, and the other scene where Nina peels off a scab on her finger. OUCH! Don’t they use nail clippers? There’s also Beth, the company’s former star, who’s forced to go into early retirement as Nina rises to be the next star. To Nina, Beth is the symbol of perfection and she seems disturbed that Beth is being brushed away so blatantly by Thomas, her ballet director. Thomas, on the other hand, is constantly trying to push Nina out of her comfort zone, through loads of sexual harassment.

Thomas Leroy: Perfection is not just about control; it’s also about letting go.

She starts hallucinating and breaking down – blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. And so, Nina’s quest for perfection leads her to madness. The final scene was saddening, especially after what I heard Thomas call Nina. But at least Nina managed to deliver an exhilarating and perfect image of both the Black Swan and the White Swan.

As at time of post, Natalie Portman won Best Actress at the 17th Screen Actors Guild Awards and 68th Golden Globe Awards among others and the movie is up for five nominations at the 83rd Academy Awards.

LOVE AND LIFE IN NYC

NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU (2009)
– 3 out of 5 stars

Caught New York, I Love You some time back, but I didn’t feel much love at all.

Like its predecessor Paris Je t’aime, it is an anthology film that joins several love stories in New York. Featuring stars like Orlando Bloom, Natalie Portman, Shia LeBeouf, Ethan Hawke, Hayden Christensen, Anton Yelchin, Bradley Cooper, Maggie Q and Shu Qi – it is an ensemble you would want to see onscreen. The Ethan Hwake/Maggie Q segment made me blush cos Ethan Hawke was speaking really awkward stuff. Some other segments just made me feel more ‘lust’ than ‘love’.

I only liked two stories, which were directed by Brett Ratner and Joshua Marston. Brett Ratner directed this segment about a guy’s prom night after being ditched by his girlfriend (a 10-second appearance by Blake Lively). It ended up being the best night of his life – with his useful belt. Joshua Marston directed the segment where an old couple celebrates their 60th anniversary and rediscovers love for each other. Awww…

Anyway, I liked Paris Je t’aime better. Each segment brought out the theme better and there’s Gaspard Ulliel! I can still remember he charmed me the moment his messy hair, grey singlet, lit cigarette appeared onscreen. Not to mention he speaks smouldering French. Oohlala.

PARIS I LOVE YOU

PARIS JE T’AIME (2006)
– 3 and a half out of 5 stars

Next, I saw Paris Je T’aime, which is a series of 18 five-minute short stories. Some of them are memorable, some forgettable, some just plain sad while some are just plain funny. Some that I liked were the ones: the story of this cleaner and his crush on a medical student, of which a mistake brings them together yet apart again; the cross-cultural attraction between the Muslim girl and French guy; the Oscar Wilde ghost thing – teaching a couple to love again; the love scene between the vampire and the tourist– ouch!

Well, it’s kinda late now so, good night!

DO WHAT YOU FEEL IS THE RIGHT THING

V FOR VENDETTA (2006)
– 4 and half out of 5 stars

WOW.

V for Vendetta is really breathtaking and empowering. Fell in love with the show and the characters. Engaged the audience into believing that though man with ideas die, his ideas do not die along with him. As in the case of Guy Fawkes and V. V is really so good with his knives and swords, bloody was splashing out of his victims. Revenge is really sweet in this case, for greed and power has made him a victim of tests against human rights. Yet he managed to move the entire totalitarian-Britain, made them all wear his masks, wig, cape and hat. The civilians’ participation could be said to have been in full force, with the entire crowd gathering minutes before the Parliament, waiting for V’s promise to blow up the Parliament House. Alas, evil does not triumph and the good man do not last. V dies and leaves his legacy behind.

Natalie Portman’s acting is convincing and so real, I could feel her very emotions. I could feel her pain when she was tortured, her fears, her love and her heart. Hugo Weaving as V is charismatic – it’s like the mask could speak without words.

To V the Vigilante.