The Great Gatsby

Before watching the movie, I heard that it was good and I also heard that it was bad, very bad.  Bad enough for one of my friend to fall asleep 20 minutes into the movie.  I didn’t quite fall asleep but I do think that Baz Lurhmann may want to consider retirement.  I loved his work from Strictly Ballroom to Australia.  I remember watching Romeo + Juliet in Perth and wanting to direct.  The Great Gatsby isn’t like any of his earlier films.  In fact, if anything The Great Gatsby shows that he has yet to grow as a director.

I did like the book when I read it.  In fact, it’s my favourite Fitzgerald.  So when they changed some of the lines in the book and didn’t quote them verbatim, I felt a little cheated.  Simply because the change took away the gravity of the lines as I read them in the book.  The movie also didn’t do justice to the complex characters and relationships.  However, most film adaptations don’t do justice to the book so Mr Lurhmann isn’t alone in this.  I’ve said this before, if I notice directorial calls that I would have done differently, the film is a little flawed by me.  It happened more than a couple of time with this movie.  I even had time to ponder what if Leonardo played Nick and Tobey played Gatsby instead?

Overall, it was a little disappointing but I had to watch it for so many reasons.  The director, the cast, the story and the soundtrack, which I really liked.  Everyone now knows what is my next iTunes purchase 🙂  Unless you’re a big Leonardo fan, go read the book, the story is so much better there and your imagination can be wilder than Baz Lurhmann’s.

Star Trek Into the Darkness

I’m finally catching up on my movie watching and saw Star Trek Into the Darkness.  Real quickly, it’s great if you aren’t a Trekkie but if you are, you’d probably feel a little insulted once the credits roll.  That’s if you weren’t too insulted with the first one as it is.

I wouldn’t say I’m a trekkie.  I’ve watched the series and most of the films.  Enjoyed them all because I have a fascination with aliens from outer space but I’m by no means a trekkie.  All that just means, I did enjoy the film.  Also helps that I do like J.J Abrams, I may not agree with all his directorial calls but I do enjoy his treatments.  On the whole, the movie was a fun ride with a different take and reminded me of why the Vulcans intrigued me.  And maybe just maybe why I chose to be vegetarian 🙂  Beyond that there’s something to be had about leaning on logic and reason.  A harsh lesson I learnt when I was 11 and found out a classmate I barely knew hated me.  Yes, the word used was hated.  Children can be that mean.

Anyway, I was hurt and confused.  Why would someone hate harmless ‘ole me?  Especially if we’ve barely even said hello to each other.  I did say before I have a big ego :p but really I didn’t know why someone would not like me.  The whole incident truly threw me for a loop.  I even confronted her about it and she simply just said, “I just hate you.”  At the same time I watched an episode of Star Trek and for the first time realise that Spock has it right, feelings does seem to be a waste of time and just clouds decision making.

Needless to say I’ve grown since then and that 11 year old smiled at the scenes where her favourite Vulcan struggled with feelings and logic because 38 year old me totally relates despite knowing better 🙂  Not quite as dramatic as saving a race from a volcano but yes, I still prefer making choices erring to the side of logic, which makes me realise why I have a thing for TV fictional characters that have this mind-over-matter approach starting with Spock then Scully, House and Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes is played by Benedict Cumberbatch who plays Khan in the movie.  He’s a hoot to watch in both roles and does such a great job giving both characters enough depth for the audience to root for them.  Like I said, I had fun with the movie and now am inspired to start rewatching Star Trek from the beginning.

Wonder how much I can cover this Vesak Day weekend?

Pitch Perfect

Doesn’t everyone love surprises?  I know I do.

Note to self: the unexpected is key to engaging storytelling.

I think sometimes the world we live in where information is abundant and the marketing of any product leaves nothing to the imagination, I don’t get surprised that much anymore.  Most movies are rehash of stories we only know too well. Even if we knew the ending, it’s how you tell the story that can be unexpected.  The other thing is knowing and understanding the medium you’re working in.  Such are the scriptwriting takeaways from my Singapore to Hong Kong plane ride.

Here’s the lesson plan.  On a plane while you’re putting the final touches to a strategy plan for the new year, Pitch Perfect is pretty much the right movie.  To which I’m happy to report surprised me and managed to get me to bounce along with the somewhat contrive coming of age story.  Also, maybe because they referenced one of my favourite coming of age movies, The Breakfast Club and music from Simple Minds.  ‘Nuff said.  I think so too 🙂

Since the final touches of my strategy plan is done, here’s a little more than my 2 cents of Pitch Perfect.  Maybe it’s just me but singing always make for fun movies.  I’m always up for movies that make me ponder, explore my inner motivation as a human being and exquisite craftsmanship but I’m also the kind that go to the movies for a fun time.  Pitch Perfect was just that.  Enough of Glee and Smash or yet another Step Up movie, Pitch Perfect is somewhere in between all of that.  The story was very predictable but the covers were fun and when Simple Minds is used, it was the perfect plane movie to be playing in the background.  I really wouldn’t mind watching it again at home during a new year holiday too.  Hello Mediacorp Ch 5, yes, instead of Rush Hour. kthxbyeee 🙂

From me in Hong Kong, with my iPhone playing Simple Minds and getting ready to leave my hotel for my dinner meeting, hope you’re having a happy Tuesday too.

P/S: I’m pretty sure there’s a scene for my next script in there somewhere.

T4

It is official, there will be a Transformers 4!!  I am a happy camper 🙂  Michael Bay is back to direct it … I’m still not quite sure how to feel about that.  I actually would like someone else’s take on it but talking robots with lots of action will do it for me every time.  Better than a confirmed Transformers sequel is the fact that Michael Bay has confirmed Mark Walberg as the lead.

I wasn’t crazy about him as a rapper, Marky Mark but as an actor he stole my heart in The Basketball Diaries, in spite of Leonardo DiCaprio being the lead :p  So I’m happy happy happy that he is the action lead man in T4.  I C.A.N.N.O.T. wait!! 27th June 2014 I have a date with Mark Walberg and Optimus Prime.  It really can’t get better than that.

Actually it can.  If Keanu was the lead … Keanu and Optimus … … a girl can dream 🙂

Breaking Dawn Part 2

Right, I’m still a talking robots kind of girl but my sister is a vampire loving one who needed a date for the premiere so I got lucky 🙂

The quick take, New Moon is still my favourite from the Twilight Saga and I’m still Team Werewolf.  More so now than before.

Unfortunately for me, my husband is an aspiring vampire :p  Yes, he’d rather be Edward than Jacob and to throw a spanner in the works I’d rather be Renesme (what is with that name :P) than Bella O_o  All I can say is thank goodness we don’t live out our fantasies 😉

Bella though, looks GREAT as a vampire.  I’ve never been a fan of her through out the series but I have to say I liked her in this last instalment.  She was so much more interesting to watch.

Spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen it and don’t want to know, stop reading now.

According to die hard Twilight fan aka my little sister, a lot of liberties were taken and while the heart is the same with a couple of scenes verbatim from the book, there were quite a few new ones.  I’m not sure if it worked for fans of the series but I thought the pacing worked for me.  I didn’t fall asleep, which I did a little in all the other episodes.  So I guess that means it worked 🙂

The visual effects though were pretty sad.  Don’t get me wrong there were some really nice shots but when you have a few key shots that don’t work, it leaves a bad taste in the mouths of your audience.

Then there’s a fight scene.  They really should have invested some money into hiring a Asian martial arts experts to choreograph the exceptionally long scene.  It was a mess and you couldn’t see who was where or what was going on.  The moves were hardly graceful.  To makes matters worse, it was entirely a vision.  I now understand why my teachers said never write a composition where the ending says it was all a dream or imagined.  It leaves worse taste in your mouth and your appetite unfulfilled.  Both storytelling, no nos.

All that said and done, love stories do rock and I can see why girls and women all over the world swoon over the idea of being able to be with your soulmate forever.

😉

Brave

I love Disney but I love Pixar more and Disney is ruining Pixar for me 😦 Hmph!!

Over the weekend I watched Brave.  I was looking forward to it.  Unlike the usual Pixar library, the protagonist is a girl.  That should have been the first warning sign.  You know why?  Pixar doesn’t make films about princesses.  Disney does.

Honestly, this was a Disney movie that should have been called Mother Bear.  It was not a Pixar film.

Technically, Pixar is one of the more advance studios in the world but what is great about Pixar are their stories.  Brave was no example of their story telling prowess.  It’s a beautiful showcase of their ability to animate hair and wet hair at that!!  The story though … dismal, is all I can say.

It is one of Disney’s Princess movies.  Nothing wrong with that … ‘cept this was suppose to be a Pixar film.  So I was expecting the likes of Up, Monsters Inc, Wall-E, Toy Story … you know what I mean.  Anyway, the modern 21st century princess stories from Disney irritates me.  Why do these princesses all have to be such spoilt brats?  Also, I don’t know why the movie was called Brave.  There was nothing brave about the story at all.  It was essentially about a brat learning that you can’t always have what you want, if you try too hard you might lose your Mummy!!

So my 2cents about Brave, you can honestly give it a miss.  The beautiful way they could animate the hair wasn’t even worth it.  Wet hair bouncing isn’t quite the same as transforming robots.  I’m not giving up on Pixar just yet.

I really hope Disney keeps her talons off this one.

The Amazing Spider-man

If I ever have a son and he’s as adorable as Andrew Garfield playing Peter Parker, it’ll be game over for me.  Yes, that smile too cute to yell at.  The mix of innocence and determination able to talk himself out of any situation.  I’ll be that Mama that I currently roll my eyes at :p

Had it not been for Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, I don’t think this reboot would have worked for me.  The teenage love story is completely lost on me.  Maybe if I were 10, it’d do something for me but I watch a comic book superhero movie because I want some action, which in my opinion, wasn’t enough.  What action that was in the movie was good.  I enjoyed the fight between Spider-man and the Lizard … but I didn’t like the design of the lizard.  I appreciated that they tried to go comic book with the design but I think they forgot this is a live action action realm.  Here’s where I reckon Christopher Nolan with his Dark Knight series is so darn good.  That’s going to be another post altogether 🙂

Meanwhile, the Lizard, I think it’s because I personally like lizards but I really didn’t like the over the top dinosaur look.  The transformation intrigued me more and I would have preferred it if they had left some human elements in the design.

I didn’t go all cougar on Andrew in the movie because he rocks my boat in a I-want-a-son-as-cute-as-him kinda of way.  I was pleasantly surprise to find my teenage crush in the movie too!!  C. Thomas Howell plays a Dad whose son was saved by Spider-man 🙂  Doesn’t everyone remember The Outsiders, Soul Man and Secret Admirer?

While I always thought I could be a cougar, I’m not so sure anymore.  For sure, I can appreciate how hot a young nubile boy can look but I’ve come to realise, put them side by side, I rather the older Dad willing to sacrifice for his family over the superhero cutie.  It’s strange how priorities change when you get older.  In a parallel universe, if Hollywood made a movie about my overly successful life, C. Thomas Howell would play my fireman husband and Andrew Garfield my geek son who founded Facebook on his own 😉