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: