The Garden Filled With Weeds

Movie Reviews, ACG and Cosplay Discussion, or just any rambling topics that come to my mind.

[Movie Review] The Last Stand – Another Action Movie That Tried Too Hard February 25, 2013


NOTE: YES, SPOILERS, DUH

IMDB: 7.0

Rotten Tomatoes: 69%

I’m usually a person who don’t say much during movies, and I hate it when people around me talk, but for this particular movie, I almost banged my head on the floor as this movie unfolds it’s terrible logic.

First, I must mention how robotic Arnold Schwarzenegger reads his lines.

I’ve not seen much of his movies, except Terminator 2, which was awesome, and suits him perfectly.

Then I watched this movie and I realised, he is just like that, it wasn’t his acting.

Look at him, how is this not T-101?

I was half expecting him to say ‘Hasta la vista, baby‘ at the end of the movie after he captured the bad guy.

That wasn’t the big problem, we all know Arnold Schwarzenegger, and so we’re not especially surprised by that.

The one thing that got me very annoyed was how the movie tries too hard to be serious.

It was trying to reach a level like Mission Impossible or James Bond, when in actual fact, no one came to the movie to watch that.

I can tolerate, in fact, even enjoy a brainless movie, I can look at bad guys getting kicked in the ass for no apparent reason except to be simply told that he is evil, I don’t need to know his background story to enjoy watching him getting hit by the main protagonist.

So when the main antagonist of the movie tries to explain about death, about a story how his niece, who was very close to him, tries to shoot him in the head, hesitated, and instead got killed by him, I couldn’t help but wonder, was that really necessary?

There was no conclusion to the story, he didn’t explain why did his niece do that, maybe he killed her best friend’s parents? Or she found out about what he had been doing and couldn’t get over her own moral values?

But the story ended there, he killed her.

The bigger problem was the entire concept of the hostage in this movie.

The leader of FBI can let a whole SWAT team go face the criminals and die, yet couldn’t get over the fact his own FBI agent was captured and might be killed.

The movie would have ended in just 20 minutes, if he had done the right thing, which is to blow the car up.

That guy at the back who knows about cars, that guy you assume is a small character(and he is), was the only person who made sense in the entire team of ‘elite’ agents.

Why can’t you kill her? You have to answer to her parents? Dude she is a FBI agent, you don’t become a FBI agent and not expect death to come to you sooner or later.

If she was a civilian, okay, I understand, she would be an innocent soul trembling, but… she happens to be an FBI agent, I believe she’s went through enough training and seen enough things to not act like a normal civilian.

This movie once again made FBI looked like the most useless team of people on the planet, 5 people could do the task that an entire team of elite made up of at least 50 men couldn’t. Really?

Also, the FBI hostage, did she get the job by having sex with the leader? Because her level of intelligence definitely seem lower than a normal human being.

Was she really expecting to be living happily ever after with the antagonist? Did she really not know that he was going to push her down the car? She’s dealing with one of the most dangerous criminal on record, yet she lets her guard loose to the stage she’s asking for sex from him.

I was hoping that she was just working undercover, pretending she sides with him after receiving the money, but instead later kicks his ass.

But that never happened, she was a bimbo even till the end of the movie, playing hard to get, flirting furiously.

Once again, how did the leader of the FBI suddenly suspect that she was working with him? I thought a moment ago you still couldn’t bear to plant a bomb on the car because she’s in there.

The death of the young police officer was unnecessary, I get it, you want to make it seem sad, serious, a huge issue.

Come on, we all know that at the end of the movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger is gonna kick that guy’s sorry ass, why? Because he is Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It’s also ridiculous, how his two best friends, after winning the battle, started spinning in circle, happily in love again, completely forgotten about his entire existence.

It would have been more appropriate if he only ends up in the hospital, telling them to go get that bad guy, and at the end of the movie everyone visit him, he would be happy to see his two best friends happily together again, and his respect for the sheriff multiplied, becomes a determined youth, striving to be just as awesome as the sheriff.

You don’t mention a youth with aspiration, then let him die in the lamest way possible, without even saying any last words that meant something.(no wishing you two lover best friends back together is not meaningful)

That’s one thing Jackie Chan actually does well, he knows who to keep alive, he make sure his movies are pure action, no matter how bad the story is, the ending makes the audience happy.

They also didn’t make good use of the two comic relief characters, Johnny Knoxville’s character didn’t live up to the expectation, except the flair gun part, that was awesome. However I was still expecting him to showcase how passionate he is about guns, how these knowledge become a huge advantage… but that didn’t happen.

From the moment Luis Guzmán’s character took swords, I was hoping, he’s gonna slice the enemies and stab them, showing them that traditional weapons can be just as deadly and bad-ass, but that didn’t happen either.
(Correct me if I’m wrong about these two parts, maybe the cinema in my country cut out certain parts of the movie)

Overall the movie was a pathetic attempt on all aspects.

I heard that this movie was the director’s Hollywood debut, and that it’s pretty important to him. But if you ask me, his past movies were a lot better than this. Maybe he just lacked a good script, as I noticed that the directing didn’t have any problem, the graphic visuals was pleasant. I really hope Hollywood give him another chance.

This was also Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first lead role since Terminator 3, not a good start if you ask me, but he is Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his name itself would bring people into the theater.

Overall, 6/10.

Worth watching for the action, but just try to tolerate the stupid logic from the script writer(s).

 

[Movie Review] Chronicle – The Story of a Broken Soul March 30, 2012


Ratings:

IMDB – 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes – 84% Certified Fresh
My own – 8.0

I watched this a while ago with Jelly, wrote some reviews and are just not satisfied with them. (well once was because my computer’s power source got cut off due to the lightning, it’s still raining outside now and I hope it won’t happen again.)

Anyway, it’s a really interesting movie, maybe because I am ignorant, but this is the first time I see a movie like that.

The story begins with showing how the main character – Andrew, is an outcast who is bullied in school, with family problems that he can do nothing about, the only person who truly cared about him is his mother who is dying, and his father hated him to the core, giving him the worst life possible.

His cousin Matt is a much more popular guy compared to him and didn’t bother much about him other than sending him to school.

It only gets to the real story when Matt and Steve called along Andrew into a cave with extraterrestrial object, and accidentally gained telekinesis power.

This is the first time I see a found footage movie, it’s a whole new experience, especially with an interesting plot like this.

Andrew, being a complicated and broken person, with the most talent in the supernatural power out of the three, becomes the super villain in comic books.

This is what I like about this movie, the main protagonist isn’t a good guy who saves the world, he is the one attempting to destroy the world.

A rather interesting concept in my opinion, because I have seen enough of socially awkward teenagers becoming heroes saving the day giving virgin boys some hope instead of improving on themselves.

Also a good thing about this movie is that, because the holder of the camera have telekinesis powers, he is able to hold the camera in the air(in excuse for another person to hold it), so it doesn’t shakes as much and make your head go dizzy while watching it.

The pace of the movie is good, though not perfect, a little too slow at times, or maybe it could be just me not bearing to see the painful things that happens to Andrew. Some people may think the movie is going to suck around the middle of the movie, or may get bored and just give up on it.

A rare production of Hollywood where most/all things in the movie actually makes sense, instead of being unrealistically idealistic.

The idea of the story isn’t exactly original, teenagers gaining powers, but it is presented in a rather different way than other movies, a way which actually makes you want to watch it without thinking it will just be a stupid story of teenager angst. It’s a combination of a few factors, which are usually presented individually, that is why it makes this movie a lot more special compared to others.

Not just that, because of how realistic the movie is, people can actually relate to it, especially teenagers just like the three main characters. When they first gain powers, how they start toying around with their super powers, playing harmless pranks on people, doing all sorts of crazy things.

Also the part where popularity could mean so much to a teenager, yet it could be so fragile, one moment you’re a super star, next moment everyone laughs at you without you turning your back.

The expression of these key factors of being a teenager is presented really well, to the stage I could even feel for the characters at some parts of the movie, I believe when a movie could do that this movie didn’t fail.

Throughout the movie I felt really sorry for Andrew, I wished for a happy ending, despite knowing it’s almost impossible, and it would have been lame if this movie did have a happy ending.

He’s exactly like the type of villains we see the comic books, with a sorrowful story behind him, forcing him to join the dark side, and despite doing all sorts of evil things, we just can’t hate him. Even after he got defeated by the hero(who in this movie isn’t exactly one), we feel sad for him, because we know deep down inside he isn’t a bad person, not the evil being everyone else thought he was.

The other two supporting characters(I wouldn’t call them main because of how Andrew is really the center of the story), Matt and Steve, on the other hand, are slightly less developed.

All I know of Steve is that he is a popular model student living in a rich family, and Matt who is trying to hook onto a Good Girl Gina.

Despite that they still played a key role of making this movie not just about how Andrew got mad at the world and start killing, they gave us hope, a little bit of joy in a movie meant to be a tragedy. They made friends with the friendless, they tried to help him, they did, but failed in the end anyway because the problem behind Andrew is a lot bigger than it seems.

The movie showed how cruel the world is and an explanation to how some people become someone like Andrew, our coldness towards people may indirectly caused the insanity of a person.

A few things might have made Andrew completely different, such as if the pharmacy gave him the medicine his mother desperately needed, that would have made a dramatic twist to the story.

The ending was a bit too short, I wanted to see more of Andrew’s madness and his destruction of the city.

Why? I admit I am sadistic, but that’s not the main reason.

The thing is I could feel his rage and anger, I could almost feel it personally, and want to destroy the world in his place.

This is how strong the emotions are which the movie brought to me.

I actually think if I were Andrew, or even if I weren’t him and I gained the same power with the same talent, I would have become someone just like him.

Which is why I felt that the destruction and damage he did was too little, before Matt finished him, saving both the city and Andrew himself.

Despite thinking the destruction scenes are too little, I’m actually satisfied with the fact Andrew got killed.

There are no other realistic solution to solve the problem, which is why I say this movie follows closely to the most possible things that could happen if it happens in real life.

I won’t suggest people who can’t take things seriously to watch this movie, because I literally felt my heart rage when I walk out of the movie theatre with some teenagers completely misinterpreted the purpose of this movie, and start judging how stupid it is.

However it’s definitely worth watching if you’re looking for something different from the usually Hollywood commercial movies.

 

[Movie Review] The Hunger Games – That Game About Survival March 27, 2012


Rating:

IMDB – 8.0

Rotten Tomatoes – 85% Certified Fresh

My own – 8.0, cause they rushed the second part

The theme about people being put into a fight, and kill each other, then only the last can survive and get all the glory, had been told many times.

I see a lot of people comparing The Hunger Games to Battle Royale, well, as someone who loves Anime too, I can tell you, the theme had been told in Animes too, Rozen Maiden, Sekirei, Mai Hime… It’s not just THG, it’s just a theme, idea, and it all depends on how it’s presented, which in my opinion, THG did an excellent job presenting this theme, however Battle Royale is still a classic, just presented in a pretty different way.

They’re both fucking awesome, so let’s stop quarreling and move on with our lives, okay? ^_^

Back to the topic, I have never read the books, so I watched the movie without any expectation.

I thought it’s actually a good way, I did this when I went to watch Angels and Demon too, then I read the book, and the experience was a lot more enjoyable.

Because the movie will definitely leave some details out, let’s say it’s just a 75% of the original, and then when you went from 75% of the story to 100% in the book, you will feel more fulfilled.

Also I think if a movie can survive on it’s own, without people having to read the book to enjoy it fully, then it can be considered a good one.

So I’ve decided that I won’t read Catching Fire and Mockingjay until I finish the movie, despite already getting my hands on all the three ebooks.

Also since I watched the movie without any idea how the original is like, I enjoyed it to the fullest.

It’s a rather teen friendly movie, without too much gore and blood, so people like me who are afraid of blood, go ahead and watch it.

I have to say the idea of the entire story is brilliant, despite being presented in the future, it has some link to the current world.

I also love how it has the depth about the society instead of a story just about kids killing kids, cause if it’s a story about that it’ll become a really bad movie just like The Human Centipede(I know, ew), which is made only for human’s amusement and sadistic nature, which honestly in my opinion, is truly distubing.

The author probably wants people to feel the imbalance of the world, how in Capitol people can be so rich, and how in the 12 districts people can be so poor.

Also how sadistic humans are some times, to see a game of killing without feeling sense of pity.

You might think this is just a story, but what the author wrote are exactly what is happening in the world now, which is why I love  the setting and story so much.

Yet despite the cold-blooded-ness of the people in the Capitol, the theme of care and love is not completely absent in the story, especially Katniss’s love for her sister and Rue.

I’ve always wanted to write a book like that, hidden meaning about life and how sad the world is, yet giving people hope that humanity is still alive.

The characters are each so interesting and well presented, even the side characters, that you just want to see more of them, especially Cinna, Haymitch and Rue, they made me fell deeply in love with them within just the short while they’re on the screen.

They’re like a star on their own, each so special and interesting, if only they had told the story of the tributes too so that their death will mean something more to the audience.

Jennifer Lawrance did an awesome job portraying Katniss, despite the lack of olive skin(which is told in the book), I already loved her when I watch X-Men: First Class, I’m glad this movie became a blockbuster and she’s probably going to become even more famous(in a good way) than Kristen Stewart.

Josh Hutcherson is of course, simply gorgeous, though I kind of hated Peeta at the beginning, but when I really know about how this character is like, Josh’s version of him just can’t help but to make me feel something towards him. I mean just look at those eyes.

I will definitely give the movie a 10 if they kept up to the standard before the tributes start fighting.

The game was disappointing, even from the perspective from someone who had never read the book.

It was too rushed, the fight between the tributes didn’t create much of an impact for me like the first half of the movie.

It only brought my emotions back again when Rue appeared, then got killed, I swear she is the most adorable thing ever, even cuter than Prim in my honest opinion.

Out of topic: For those who are expecting her to be white because she remind Katniss of Prim, well fuck you racist bastard. She’s the most adorable thing no matter what her race or ‘color’ is, so shut the fuck up and stop making the fandom look like a bunch of dumb teenagers, I don’t want to relate THG with Twilight.

I expected everyone except Katniss to die, so Peeta’s survival is really a twist to the story, a rather interesting one too.

One thing I hate about this movie, the action is way too little, and when they finally fight the camera man shakes like he got tickled by a monkey in the forest.

I have mentioned this before, I absolutely hate Hollywood’s style of shaking their camera during action scenes.

Until now they still don’t get it, we don’t feel as if we’re fighting inside too, we just want to see some hot blood action, learn from Hong Kong movies.

The highlight of the story is how they fight, how they survive, the desperation, the thirst for victory… Which is presented rather hastily in the movie.

 

The ending was also sort of rushed, I heard many people saying that the very important part which Peeta realizing everything Katniss did was just for the games was not shown in the movie, which is a complete pity.

 

Because the movie ended like a Disney movie, so happy, everyone is happy, I’d love the depth and angst if the original part was told in the movie too, because that way the happiness wouldn’t become so artificial and forced.

Anyway, overall I would give this movie an 8, definitely worth watching no matter have you ever read the book, but beware, after watching you can’t help but to want to know more about it, so watch at your own risk. 8D

Also I’m wondering why is it that when Hollywood does a adaptation of their own country’s story, they do a good job, but when they touch Japanese stories(Anime, video games, horror movie), they ruin it.

Please don’t ever touch Death Note and make my L an emo kid and my Light Yagami some playboy who I won’t even find handsome.

It’s a rather short review, cause I really can’t say much about how awesome it is, it created an impact to me just like how Indiana Jones did, been a while since a movie did this to me.

I’m also happy to hear about how well the reception is and how much money it’s been earning, because I heard they will only make a second movie if they actually earn enough money, which they already did.

Catching Fire is already planned I suppose, if not I’ll cry a river and drown the world, I mean all of us who loved the movie, right?

That’s all folks. 8D

PS: Yes I was filling up the post with pictures from the movie =w= Sorry cause the review is really kind of short.

 

 
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