Thursday, July 28, 2005


The loud music and high octane action from the start of the film make no apologies that this is how a summer popcorn action movie should begin. Rob Cohen, famed for his previous directorial action flicks The Fast and the Furious, and xXx, again weaves his magic in thrusting (pardon the pun) relatively unknowns into carrying the burden of delivering an adrenaline pumping film for the masses.

The trailer sorts of explains the storyline, though I feel that it did not do the film any justice by barely scratching the surface and presenting a very ordinary looking action film - An AI powered jet plane joins 3 pilots in their mission, gets zapped by lightning, which fried its circuitry, and goes rouge. Well, that happens in the first half of the movie, in only first gear. The film may seem like Top Gun meets Behind Enemy Lines meets Iron Eagle, but its futuristic setting makes the fictitious Talon Navy fighter jet a worthy screen successor to the F-14 Tomcat and the F-16 Falcon.

EDI (pronounced Eddie) is the newest addition to a top secret military fighter plane project. EDI is self-learning and self-aware, and downloads every song available on the Internet for its listening pleasure. But in an observational training mission, picks up bad habits, courtesy of none other than Josh Lucas' human, cocky ace pilot. Discussions are aplenty at the start, where characters ponder over the nature of having artificial intelligence wage wars on our behalf - things like being impartial, morality, sense of judgement, self-preservation etc. But you and I know that these themes take a backseat once the action takes over.

Which brings me to exclaim, the action is WOW. Being a fan of films featuring fighter jets, it is definitely a giant leap from the Top Gun days (which is actually a long time back). Here, we have the handsome looking experimental Talon jet, tight and intense dogfights (which may be too fast for some), innovative aerial cinematography (though digitally created), which probably inherited techniques from Fast and Furious - here the camera weaves around jets, zooming into the cockpit, the Heads Up Display, funnelling through the electronics before leaving the scene via what I call the "missile view".

Set pieces did not disappoint, like the mission in Rangoon, Myanmmar, and other locales which I will not reveal to keep the suspense. While standard scenes in an aerial movie will probably include the Ejection seat (note: this ain't a spoiler, it's in the trailer!), this one probably kept me at the edge of my seat with its gripping and harrowing blow by blow account of the thought process as the pilot plummets towards earth.

Digital Domain proved to be a formidable competitor to Industrial Light and Magic for the special effects put into this film. The only cheese I cringed at were the digitized world maps, but other than that, everything else was quite well done.

The cast had their work cut out for them, especially Josh Lucas. With Cohen's alumni of leading men like Vin Diesel making it big, you might expect Lucas to buckle under pressure, but he did a commendable job, actually giving Cruise a run for his money in the arrogance department, if we're to compare both pilots from different films. Jessical Biel is no stranger to action movies, and this film actually reinforced the notion that she could be a potential female action star in the making. My only disappointment was the treatment of Jamie Foxx. Watch and you'll understand why.

While the film tries too hard to layer itself with deeper sub plots like dirty politics and shady government characters, and ended up a tad predictable, for its action alone, it should appeal to Cohen and flight fans who are waiting for end-to-end action. Non-fans however, will probably lay the smackdown on this actioner.

Wedding Crashers

The latest comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. You can read my review at by clicking on the button:

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Seven Swords

Check out my review of Tsui Hark's latest martial arts movie Seven Swords, contributed to by clicking here!

The press conference and meet the fans session reports are out! Check it out by clicking on this link, brought to you courtesy of

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Passing of a Batman Legend: Jim Aparo

I seldom deviate from posting movie reviews, or something about movies. But I have to write it here, as I just can't use the Sideblog for something like this.

I just learnt that Jim Aparo had passed away. For the uninitiated, Jim Aparo is one of THE definitive artists of the comic character Batman. There are other classic artists who ranks up there, with the likes of Neal Adams, Mike Mignola, Norm Breyfogle, etc.

But I grew up on the Batman comics with Mr Aparo, in the 80s. And he drew one of the controversial storylines in "Death in the Family" - where the Joker managed to kill the Jason Todd Robin because fans actually called in to vote that Robin does not live.

In the 90s, he drew quite a number of Batman story arcs, but somehow left abruptly when the Knightfall mega crossover kicked in. And I stopped reading the Dark Knight on a regular basis too.

I guess my only regret is not having the opportunity to meet in person one of the legends and obtain his autograph. Kept postponing my planned visits to the Comics-Con... heard he was supposed to be involved in the recent 2005 one which just ended, but had to disappoint fans due to illness.

Godspeed Mr Aparo.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Island

This review is brought to you courtesy of a preview session, without which I won't be able to write this so soon.

The Island is the latest summer blockbuster offering from director Michael Bay, who brought to you other loud actioners like Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon and Pearl Harbour. But what's different in The Island is his departure from long time collaborator Jerry Bruckheimer, and an attempt to explore a bit on human morality and ethics.

While I won't say that this exploration is thorough, it does invoke some thought when you're watching the film. As you would've already known, this movie is about clones. What if science and technology allows you to live a little longer, replacing body parts which are failing you, a kidney, a lung, from none other than something which has the exact biological make-up as you. This insurance policy, the product, will definitely be clinically compatible, and at your beck and call anytime. Will you proceed with buying into this product, even though it'll mean the birth and subsequent death of some other "you"?

Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson) live in a sterile environment, the Facility, where everything from your outfit to the food you consume are meticulously provided for. Survivors from a contaminated "outside world" are brought into the Facility, to live and work in until such time they win the Lottery and get themselves brought to the last paradise on Earth - The Island. Or so they thought. It's fun looking into the Facility, with its minimalistic Zen like decor, and the technology used to monitor and control its inhabitants look straight out out Spielberg's Minority Report.

But when Lincoln learns the truth of the setup, he brings along his best pal Jordan in an escape from bounty hunters and the law (ala The Fugitive), while at the same time trying to look up their owners in an urban futuristic looking landscape, to explain this truth. And here's where director Bay is at his element, with loud action, explosions, and a tad of explicit violence.

At times, the action pieces brought some sense of deja-vu, from Matrix (the building-windows-helicopter-smashing scene), to Star Wars (the jet-bikes), to an amalgam of elements from his own Bad Boys 2 chase scene (where they dump bodies at their pursuers) fusing into mass mayhem similar to Matrix Reloaded's freeway chase. Signature quick-cuts and camera-panning-around-actors-upper-torso-in-slow-mo remind you that this is action done Bay-style. Of course at times, one must suspend your disbelief when loopholes and improbable luck inadvertently play a part in non-stop action.

McGregor seemed to have a lot of fun in his role as Lincoln Six Echo (no worries, the naming convention does get explained). You might have thought that his exhileration at motorcycles was real (yes, you might also know that he had travelled round the world on his BMW bike), and I felt his using of his native Irish accent and American accent to distinguish between his characters was a nice touch.

Scarlett Johansson is a beauty to behold. Her Jordan Two Delta has tough as nails spunk, as well as a touch of femininity and vulnerability in her character. The development of her love for Lincoln looked right out of Blue Lagoon, given that the clones have an intelligence equivalent of a 15 year old (or so the makers thought).

The supporting characters like Steve Buscemi (another veteran of Bay's movies, given some of the best hilarious lines in the film - listen out for his cow analogy), Djimon Hounsou (who presented a meaner, leaner, younger version of Samuel L Jackson's mo-fo attitude), and main baddie Sean Bean all give commendable performances in an action movie. Don't expect too much character development, but they played their stereotypical role to a T.

Product placement's a fun thing to spot, from Puma, to Microsoft's XBox (I want one of those!), MSN, Calvin Klein (oh when will Johansson star in a real one?) and of course, Nokia (I was wondering when this would appear). Somehow they didn't feel jarring from the scene they're featured in, as some helped facilitate the plot somewhat.

While technology and science may offer us a chance at the elixir of longer life, we must be careful with it and not attempt to play God, in deciding who lives, and who does not. While one may have noble intent, delivery and execution (pardon the pun) of that intent matters.

Welcome to the Island. Good things do happen.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Life! Cinema Listings

Some of you might have already known, but please, allow me to rave a bit.

Yesterday's and today's Life! cinema listings section, go take a look under Cathay's, and find the picture for Crying Out Love In The Center Of The World

If you're alert, you'll spot the 5 stars given by Yup, we're finally being put on mainstream media! How cool is that?!

And of course, no prizes on whose review was that :P

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Mindhunters is titled after FBI's trained serial killer profilers, whose job is to get behind the mindset of such killers, and to profile them according to their perceived traits, trying to understand their motivations, and the who what why questions.

We start off with a brief introduction to a group of profiler rookies and their instructor (played by Val Kilmer), before joining them in a chill session where they show off their profiling techniques. Before you can say "FBI", our group is whisked to an island as part of their routine training, where they are to put what they learnt into practice. But things go awry and real deaths occur, and soon the survivors start to realize that there is actually a real serial killer amongst them.

The narrative is promising, with stars such as Val Kilmer and Christian Slater helming the show, or that's what I thought. When you bump off your stars early in the film, it serves as some kind of warning, wondering if the other lesser known leads will be able to shoulder the film to the finishing line. The premise has potential, but it degenerates into a normal Renny Harlin action movie with slasher tendencies - dismembered animal parts and creative killing scenes.

At times, you thought you're watching Battle Royale, with the island setting, the characters' suspicion on one another, the explicit gore element, the use of a public announcement system, and so on. Or I thought it was another "The Haunting", where the audience goes into whodunit mode while character after character gets bumped off, except that the environment is different. Or the killings look strangely like a bad cousin of Saw's sadistic games.

Though I must give the film some credit, as I didn't really manage to identify who the serial killer was until the very last minute. On the other hand, I felt that the movie somehow cheated by not explaining enough of the backstory, and then telling us "oh yeah, that was what happened, so that's why I'm doing what I'm doing now".

Mindhunters explores the mind behind the serial killer. Or at least attempts to. In summary, if they had stuck more to the profiling process and techniques (with some glimpses of CSI on the big screen), it could probably sustain and emerge as a more intelligent thriller.

Mysterious Skin

You can check out my review of Mysterious Skin contributed to by clicking here!

One of Cathay's exclusive showcase!

Monday, July 11, 2005

All About Dogs

Here's the review of All About Dogs I wrote for

You can check it out by clicking on this link!

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Today marks my first review of a Danish Film (Young Andersen) and a Russian Film - Bimmer. Bimmer's the Russian term for the BMW, and with such a title, the vehicle has to be a plot device in the movie.

The film begins with the stealing of a BMW 7-series by a gang of four petty thieves. Given that it's such a wonderful car, they decide to keep it for themselves instead of selling it off. But before the film reaches cruising speed, a confrontation with another gang goes wrong, and our quartet is on the run from both the cops and from the mob.

So they're off on a road trip in their ill gotten BMW, and scene after scene, we're treated to set pieces, like encounters with a gang of truckers, corrupt cops and a doctor in a small town. Some of these scenes are hilarious, watching our quartet outsmarting and wriggling their way out of situations, while others are sometimes plain boring. So it's rather uneven.

Despite the title being a car model, there is absolutely no car chases in this film, which is a pity, otherwise we could have seen the 7-series being put to good use. However, what's refreshing is the scenery. I haven't seen much of Moscow or Russia, and this film offered an opportunity to do so.

It also attempts to explore the relationships between the friends, to see if there is indeed honour amongst thieves at a time when it really would have counted. The ending is kinda unexpected, but all the more makes you wonder about the this theme.

With an excellent soundtrack each time the Bimmer is driven, you'll forgive this show for some of its shortfalls.

Young Andersen

This Danish movie is shown in Singapore as part of the Hans Christian Andersen Film Festival, running till next week. I also learnt that Singapore is the first country outside Denmark to screen this film.

The narrative of this film is simple, looking back into the early life of Hans Christian, before he was an accomplished writer of stories you and I are familiar with (like The Ugly Duckling, Little Match Girl, etc), he was an uneducated young lad looking for his first major break, be it as an actor, writer, poet or playright.

However, his deficiency was in his formal education, or lack thereof. An opportunity was presented and he gets sponsored by the King to get educated in a school, tutored personally by the school's principal Mr Meisling, and staying with his family. Here he befriends a young servant boy named Tuk, and cements their friendship with his telling of fairy tales.

But with Meisling's unorthodox teaching methods, and ban on Hans Christian's wanting to write poetry, both men clash. It seems that Meisling wants to curb Hans Christian's perceived attention disorder (words cloud his mind and he wanders off developing and writing "bad" poems off the cuff), while the latter deems Meisling too stifling.

The direction seems to be split between wanting to explore the friendship between Hans Christian and Tuk, and to explore the rivalry and resentment between Hans Christian and Meisling. This indecisiveness takes its toil on the overall feel of the movie, as I couldn't understand which, and was feeling a little divided over the movie's narrative objective.

The production sets and costumes are beautiful, and I could say the acting credible. The pace however, needed improvement, as most times scenes drag, for no apparent reason. There were also sub-plots that could be done without, which could probably improve the narrative, as these plots don't add much depth.

Those who plan to watch this film, don't expect to be watching him develop his well known and loved stories (a narrative track similar to Finding Neverland). Rather, it's a film on his self-discovery, and probably regret, which allowed him to learn, and inject these sad experiences into his tales.

Frank Miller's Sin City

The long wait is over. After 5 long months, Sin City has finally made it to our shores, passed uncut. And watching it somehow brought a smile to my face, not that I'm extremely pleased with the gratuitous violence and nudity, but because it stuck to the source material so well, you feel as if you're reading the book and hearing the audiotape (if there is one) at the same time.

For the uninitiated, the Sin City comics consists of various storylines, some of which are adapted for the screen. Created by Frank Miller, he also serves as co-director, which probably explains that this big screen adaptation is as faithful as you can get.

I've read The Hard Goodbye, and watching that segment on screen, wow, every narrative dialogue and monologue, every scene in the book is right there on screen. The action and violence too, every frame adapted the look and feel of the book. Heck, even Marv (Mickey Rourke) looked the part, thanks to prosthetics. Jaime King rocked as Goldie, his goddess, while Elijah Woods rounded off the cast for this segment as Kevin, the chillingly fast and deadly killer.

The other major storylines consisted of That Yellow Bastard and The Big Fat Kill, which I have been slow in picking up, but after viewing the movie now, you bet they'll be added to my comics collection soon. The stories are presented as a whole, so there is no intercut scene which brings you from one storyline to the next, and no confusion. Timelines in which the stories happen however, follows the books, so at some points you might see certain scenes and characters from other storylines.

Casting is wickedly accurate, with the likes of Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Benecio Del Toro, Carla Gugino, Nick Stahl, Alexis Bledel, Devon Aoki, Michael Clarke Duncan, the list goes on. Most of the look like their comic book counterparts, which is simply amazing. The only inaccuracy I can spot is with Alba's character staying clothed in the movie (heh). Too many characters? No worries - the opening credits shows the character as drawn from the book, together with the actors name. So far, only Spider-Man 2 made use of comic book panels in its opening credits (drawn by Alex Ross).

For those with weak stomachs, you might want to think twice watching the show. Most of the violence are shown on screen, but the lack of colours (it's black and white, like the books) somehow cushions the splattering of fresh blood. You have mutilations, shootouts, decapitations, castrations, explosions and the likes. The technique used in Sin City is similar to that used in Sky Captain, and all the backgrounds do not really exist.

If you like Kill Bill, you'll probably enjoy Sin City too, shot and cut by Robert Rodriguez, with Quentin Tarantino having a hand in directing one of the scenes. Fans will probably clamour for a sequel (Marv+Dwight in tag team action in A Dame To Kill For?), I know I would too!

Saturday, July 09, 2005


I could only preview one movie today, Crash or Sin City. Both offered a huge cast and promising material, and boy, did I not regret watching this first instead!

Crash explores racial bigotry and racial stereotypes, and is the equivalent of what Traffic did on the exploration of drugs. Given the strong ensemble cast and character actors like Don Cheadle, Brendan Fraser, Matt Dillon, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe and Sandra Bullock et al, this movie contains many subplots skillfully juxtaposed into one narrative by director/writer Paul Haggis.

We start off with an apparent random murder in a deserted part of Los Angeles, and from the start, racial disharmony rears its ugly head, and does so throughout. Whether be it White-Black, Black-Asian, White-Asian, White-Hispanic, Black-Hispanic, Hispanic-Arab, its off the cuff comments made by characters are starkly honest and probably expresses deeply rooted, prejudiced human emotions, and our preconceived notions of others, like if you're tattooed, you belong to a gang, if you're white and rich, you'll get mobbed by the black folks.

We're brought back 24 hours prior to the discovery of the body, and this is where the tight narrative takes control in managing different subplots, yet keeping the audience thoroughly engaged with each. You have a white couple experiencing a carjack, 2 black boys in the hood (one of them played by Ludacris) and their adventures, 2 LAPD detectives who have more than a working relationship, the story of 2 beat officers on opposite sides of a situation, a couple and their misadventure with the beat officers, a locksmith and his daughter amidst a gritty, harsh environment, and an Arab family. Relationships between characters are also key, as they provide a probable insight into the motivations of each character.

Told in 2 acts, the first sets up the premise and explores a little of the current situation each character encounters, and touches a bit on their backstory. In the second act, this is where the amalgam and intersection of their lives come into play. And this really brings to light what six degrees of separation really mean.

I'll stick my neck out and state that the narrative has NO flaws! Awesome! The twists come so fast, you're still in awe when you're exposed to the next revelation, and the next, until we come full circle. None of the characters are who they really are, as the narrative goes on, you start to wonder, if Mr Good Guy is really that Good, and if Mr Bad Guy is really that Bad. All characters have closet skeletons, even the minor ones, be it whether exposing their true characters through conversations, or actions, or leaving it to the audience to judge for themselves.

It's amazing how the depth of each character, and for so many of them, are touched upon in the same movie. At some point, you hate someone for their prejudiced views or actions, and yet at another point, you pity the same person based upon the situation they're in. Or you might think that perhaps someone has demonstrated moderate thinking, but you'll be surprised still at the same person's subconscious harbouring of stereotypes. Most characters are shady, and this shadiness of character is present, be it if your social status or skin colour. All the actors did a commendable job in fleshing the multi-faceted roles they each play.

The soundtrack contains an excellent selection of songs, but my favourite has to be "Maybe Tomorrow" by Stereophonics, played during the ending. Arnold Schwarzeneggar also had an appearance, on a photograph as the Governor of California, which I felt was a nice contemporary touch.

This is highly recommended, please do not miss this, as it goes into my records as a possible contender for Movie of the Year, with its excellent foray into exploring human emotions.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Fantastic Four

OK, I admit I've always been a closet Fantastic Four fan. Before Stan Lee created the better known Spider-man, Hulk, X-Men, he created Fantastic Four, touted as the World's Greatest Comics Magazine, back in the 60s. Reed Richards is Mr Fantastic, Sue Storm/Richards is The Invisible Girl, her brother Johnny Storm is The Human Torch, and Richard's best friend / one time Sue's ex is Ben Grimm, aka The Thing.

This is not the first time that the origin has been recreated in film (the first one being a desperate attempt to secure movie rights, and is a tacky B-production), but this is the version that's done so right.

And I dare say this is the BEST Marvel comic book adaptation ever, staying very true to its characterization just as Stan Lee envisioned it to be. Classic touches include the bickering amongst the characters and of course the very cliche (perhaps FF popularized it?) basic plot of cooperation and teaming is stronger than the individual. The spot-on rivalry between Johnny and Ben, the use of their powers on one another (always liked it when Richards overpower Ben), and the costumes themselves serve a purpose, highlighting the Invisible Girl's curves... oops, I mean the suits being exposed to the same radiation and adapting the same properties as its wearer, and Ben's fedora and brown trenchcoat looked so in place.

I could go on, like Richard's vow to Ben to help his tragic friend (and themselves) reverse the effects on their DNA, his overworking in their penthouse headquarters of the Baxter Building, the rejection of The Thing's appearance by the public, Johnny's impulsiveness and crave for popularity, and Sue's peacemaker role amongst the boys. What I also liked is that this film takes its time to develop their arch-nemesis Victor Von Doom, as his transformation takes place throughout the movie until the finale.

Compared to Spider-man, there isn't a sappy romance to slow things down (and Mary J Watson was never Peter Parker's first!), nor are there too many heroes and villains like X-Men such that each character has limited screen time because of the focus on its most popular character Wolverine. In this film, each character has their own adequate share of the limelight, though I must mention that the Human Torch outshone the rest in set action pieces, while The Thing stole the show with humour. The film doesn't seem too long (about the same duration as the original X-Men), but it manages to pack all the action, emotion, backstory nicely as one summer flick.

Kudos to the casting team in bringing together actors who look the role too. Although 3 out of 5 stars are more goggle box actors (Alba, McMahon, Chilklis), they sure looked comfortable in their outing on the big screen.

If two's a company, and three's a crowd, then Four's just FANtastic! Looking at box office numbers, I don't think it'll outdo Spider-man, but I'm still game for a sequel - they can bring on Galactus for all I care! Look out for the cameo appearance of Stan Lee, whom you always expect in a Marvel adaptation that meets expectations!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Be With You

I am going to confess that I am becoming a fan of Japanese romance films, with "Be With You" being the second of the genre I've seen in two consecutive days (The other being "Crying Out Love, In The Center Of The World"). But I think many of you in Singapore, being exposed to these 2 wonderful films, have already become converts yourselves too.

While similar in themes about love, and love lost, these 2 films shine in the presentation of picturesque scenes, capturing of the atmosphere, fleshing out its characters, and making every scene count towards the narrative - every scene serves a purpose, every pause punctuates the moment. What differs between these 2 are the settings - Be With You having a more "supernatural" element in its plot, and Crying Out probably a bit more anchored to reality / tragedy.

Death has taken away Mio from Takumi and 6 year old son Yuji, and it is no doubt that they miss their wife/mother dearly. They learn to encourage each other as they fend for themselves - Takumi suffering from a sort of psycho-motor illness which forces him to refrain from overexertion.

Before she departed, Mio had given her son Yuji a storybook, which pens at the end, that come the next rainy season, she'll be back from the Archive Star. It is this hope that Yuji clings onto, with Takumi going along with, even though he knows it's a tad impossible.

However, during a trip to an abandoned shed in the woods, where Yuji was searching for his and his mom's secretly buried time capsule, rainy season started, and to the surprise of both father and son, Mio reappeared, somewhat dazed. While the figure looked like her, she had arrived with no recollection of her past, unknown to her that she was married to Takumi, and had a child Yuji.

Father and son do not know what to make of it, but decide against telling anyone that Mio had returned (how would relatives and friends react, when they already had been to her funeral?). Also, they make it a point to keep it from Mio that she had already passed away, and are determined to make the best of her return into their lives, which definitely needed a woman's touch around the house.

Is this selfish? I do not think so. To lose a loved one so early, and given a second chance to live what should have been, what would you do? And with Mio back into their lives, everyone around Taku and Yuji could see tremendous positiveness in their outlooks.

Since Mio couldn't remember much about the past, she asked Taku to go through from the beginning, how they fell in love and got married. His retelling of the story from his point of view, made up about a third of the movie, as we journey back in time to their schooldays, one date, forty seven letters and a breakup, and husband and wife relive the days of sweet romance.

Will their happy days end? Since Mio explained before she initially left that she's only back for the rainy season, Taku and Yuji had made it an open secret in celebrating each rainy day, wishing that the 6 weeks rainy season will not go, and last forever. You know that it will end someday, and father and son have to go through the pain once again of losing Mio all over. If you know what the ending will be, will you still go through with it, despite the pain and disappointment at the end? This is the thought that runs through your mind as you watch their happy moments together unravel, while secretly crossing your fingers that the ending will change for the better.

But Mio chanced upon her diary, amongst the 47 letters buried in the time capsule Yuji eventually found, and learns of the inevitable. And from here, she takes charge of the situation, knowing that she couldn't be around longer than she wished to take care of her husband (and child), she teaches Yuji to cook and wash, and presumably other household chores as well, so that he could take care of his father. The strength of her love will make you ponder the efforts one would go to ensure that your loved ones are taken good care of once you're no longer around.

It is no spoiler to know that Mio did leave after 6 weeks (she's already dead, remember?), but the film doesn't end there. Taku found Mio's diary, and reading it brings about explanations of their early courtship days from her own point of view, which really is Kleenex time as Taku comes to understand the truth behind certain events. The twist at the end explains the phenomenon of her appearance in the rainy season, and the running theme of living a life knowing its ending, makes a comeback.

I haven't been disappointed with Japanese romances thus far, and it seems to me that every scene, every subplot, every trinket has a point, and are not for the sake of being there. Going full circle to realization seems a style they have mastered, which simply is amazing, in telling a simple tale a different, poignant way. The beautiful soundtrack adds depth and evokes the right emotions amongst audiences, and the main leads Yuko Takeuchi (Mio) and Shido Nakamura (Takumi) exudes commanding on-screen chemistry.

The kid Yuji, played by child actor Akashi Takei, at times seem like a character mix between the kid from Millions and Jerry Maguire, you know, the cute boy who makes you go "awww..." with each of his antics and love for his mom. And Yuji will make you feel no less with each expression of love and longing, and really tug your heartstrings at his calling his "Mama" in helpless efforts of bringing and wanting her back.

Based on a romance novel which I can't read during to my language inability, I am so going to own this DVD when it's out. Highly recommended movie to be watched in a theatre with a loved one, do not miss this!

If you know what the ending will be, will you still go through with it, despite the pain and disappointment waiting at the end? This thought that lingered throughout the movie stuck a chord in me. And those of you who know me, will know my answer - yes, I might be a sucker for that kind of punishment. 6 weeks is a luxury, I only had 15 minutes, and those 15 minutes lasted like an eternity that I'll forever treasure.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Crying Out Love, In The Center Of The World

For those who are not yet in the know, I've got a stint as a movie columnist for recently. So aside from posting reviews on my blog, those that I contribute to will be featured there instead.

Check out my review of this excellent film here, and do join if you wanna be where the movie people gather!
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