Sabtu, 28 Maret 2015

Thursday Movie Picks #37: All in the Family Edition: Mother-Daughter

I know it's not Thursday...but whatever.

Mermaid (Richard Benjamin, 1990)

Mermaid is an underexposed (and perhaps underrated) film. The story is both touching and hilarious, the dialogue is witty and quirky, and the actors are wonderful. The best thing about Mermaid is perhaps how honest it is in showing a relationship between family. People usually throw some cheesy conflict and shallow characters for a family film. Well, Mermaid contains 'cheesy conflict' and not-so-deep characters, but the witty dialogue, liveliness, and quirkiness make it so refreshing. I love how Winona Ryder expresses the awkwardness from Charlotte. Cher just does whatever she wants and little Christina Ricci is the anchor of Flax's family.

Wedding Dress (Kwon Hyung Jin, 2010)

Oh, this film is really cheesy. Nothing groundbreaking or unusual about this film. However, Kim Hyang Ki and Song Yoon Ah did a good job on each of their roles. But I gotta give more credits to Kim. Not only she acted very good for someone her age, but she did a better job than Song.

Ko Woon (Song Yoon Ah) is a single mother who works as a wedding dress designer. She lives with her only daughter, Sora (Kim Hyang Ki). Sora is a shy girl who doesn't have friends, and her mother's business doesn't help it. One day, Ko Woon is informed that she has a few days left to live. She decides to fill her last days to cheer Sora up.

Freaky Friday (Mark Waters, 2003)

The best thing about this film is seeing Jamie Lee Curtis riding a motorcycle with a rocker dude.

But seriously, Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan are very convincing in the whole switching body thing. They really seem switching bodies! However, Curtis did a better job than Lohan. She really seems like a whiny teenager stuck in a grown-up's body, while Lohan seems like a goody-two-shoes bitch. I wish the film dig more on the mother-daughter relationship, though. I always feel that the film ends too smoothly. They just learn how hard it is to be the other one, but they never have a heart-to-heart talk or some sorts of it.

Still, I love this film!

Kamis, 19 Maret 2015

Thursday Movie Picks #36: Movies Adapted from Young Adult Novels

Hello, everyone! I missed TMP last week, but here I am now. Thursday Movie Picks is a series that is hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves and if you want to join it, you can click here. The more the merrier! 

Anyway, this week's theme (which is Movies Adapted from Young Adult Novel) is so far, my personal favorite. I'm just glad that there are some adults who understand how young adults think and feel. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 (David Yates, 2011)

I'm still waiting for my Hogwarts' letter. Oh wait, I got a squib letter. Nevermind.

This is my favorite film from the Harry Potter series. It's...just really epic. Unfortunately, I think Alan Rickman is overpraised for his role in this film. Yeah he's amazing, but it's not his performance that touches me. Instead, it's Snape's story itself. 

The actor that disappoints me the most is...Daniel Radcliffe. Come on dude, you starred as Harry Potter for seven times before this film, yet you could only give us that? Thank God that his two sidekicks, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, were able to steal my attention. Watson and Grint definitely deserve praise as much as Rickman's.

And the ending scene!!! I love the scene, perhaps because they didn't change the actors for the scene. But it only reminds me that there won't be any Harry Potter films in the future. Even if they reboot this film, it won't feel the same. Those people in Harry Potter films, practically grow up with me, and you can't replace or try to recreate it with different people.

Little Women (Gillian Armstrong, 1994)

Boys, this is a chick film that doesn't really involve Ryan-Gosling-like-gentlemen or Darcy-like gentlemen. This is a film about sisterhood, growing up, and family. I'm not a fan of the novel, which gives too many cliche messages. Although the film isn't groundbreaking, it's an enjoyable or feel-good film.

Winona Ryder and young Kirsten Dunst are sweethearts. I love how Winona Ryder can express the Jo's liveliness, headstrong character, and compassion. Young Kirsten Dunst is a true brat for this film. Susan Sarandon is also amazing, but her character doesn't really need a complicated acting skill or some kind like that.

The best thing from this film: young Christian Bale!

Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)

Before you protest, this link indirectly says that Carrie is a young adult novel.

If we put aside the horror aspect from Carrie, we get a story about a young girl who is bullied by her friends and her own mother. Carrie isn't just another horror film, it's also a film how 'standing up for yourself' thing isn't as easy as everyone said. People have different capability and capacity. Maybe it's true that bullying victims are generally weak, but who knows what they will do once they have balls to stand up for themselves.

Carrie makes me question how to distinguish joking and bullying. I also hate it when people underestimate the affects of bullying because the effects of bullying can last a very long time for some people. I'm happy that Carrie can show the viewers how serious bullying can be from the start.

For you bullies, just pray that none of your bully victim (or victims) is someone like Carrie.     

P.S: I really love The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but the film is chosen for too many times.

Rabu, 18 Maret 2015

The Five Senses Blogathon

Yesterday, I read a post from karamelkinema about The Five Senses Blogathon. This blogathon is hosted by My Film Views and if you want to follow this blogathon, you can click here.

In The Five Senses Blogathon, you have to associate your five senses (smell, sight, touch, sound, and taste) to film-related things. You can relate to a particular scene, a particular film, or anything related to filmmaking or watching films.


Oddly, I relate sight studio's logo. I don't even understand my own choice, haha. Maybe because some of these logos are so iconic that we don't need the writing to know which company it is. I think the logos also remind the viewers how they produce so many great films.


It's pretty hard for me to pick something that really affects me as sound. There are too many films with great songs and score, and there are too many scenes where music roles as an important key. But I'm always fascinated how sound and music can create anxiety in horror films. Seriously, The Shining would be 10 times less scarier without Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind.  


This sucks but...I can't relate anything with smell from my experience in watching films. Hell, I never really pay attention to popcorn's smell or the seat's smell.


In case you don't know, that scene is from the 2005's version of Pride and Prejudice.  

The fact that Elizabeth hates Darcy's guts and the restriction of PDA in that era, create an impression for me. My inner-fangirl squeals when the jerk-like-but-actually-shy Mr. Darcy tries to communicate his feelings to Lizzie by giving his hand to Lizzie! It shows the inner feelings and passion Darcy has. The restriction of PDA in that era also exhibits a subtle sensuality.

God, when will I have my own Mr. Darcy? *just kidding, I don't really like 'cold guy'*


I wouldn't mind eat all the chocolate in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Seriously, Tim Burton's Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is a magical and delicious film that will make you wish that a factory like Willy Wonka's is real. I always imagine the taste of all the chocolate or how I will slurp the chocolate river. Hell, sometimes I wait for my bubble gum to taste like roast beef or baked potato. 

And that's children, is how I met your mother

Senin, 16 Maret 2015

Cinderella (2015)

Gue demen fairytale waktu gue masih eek di celana. Tentu saja gue mencintai fairy tale karena gue gak tahu betapa konyolnya the idea of love at first sight, atau bahwa rata-rata protagonis di fairy tale selalu digambarkan dengan kata cantik, seolah-olah kebaikan bisa terlihat dari luar. Anyway, Cinderella merupakan film fantasi Amerika tahun 2015 yang disutradari oleh Kenneth Branagh dan ditulis oleh Chris Weitz.  Sama seperti Maleficent, Cinderella merupakan recreation dari sebuah fairytale klasik. Karena gue cukup terhibur dengan Maleficent, gue mencoba untuk memberikan Cinderella suatu kesempatan (although I know I won't like this film).

Salah satu ciri khas Ella (Lily James) adalah lunacy daya imajinasi yang besar. Ia percaya bahwa binatang-binatang di sekitarnya mengerti apa yang ia bicarakan dan ibunya bahkan mendukung kepercayaan itu *which I don't really support in real life*. Ibu Ella memberikan suatu nasihat yang akan menjadi prinsip Ella yaitu have courage and be kind. Bla bla bla, ibunya mati, lalu ayahnya menikahi seorang janda bernama Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett).  Lady Tremaine tidak sendirian, ia membawa kedua putrinya yaitu Anastasia dan Drizella. Saat Lady Tremaine membawa sepercik 'keceriaan' ke rumah Ella, sang ayah pergi meninggalkan Ella bersama keluarga barunya. Bla bla bla, Lady Tremaine dan dua putrinya memanfaatkan kepolosan dan kebaikan Ella sehingga status Ella menjadi babu.

Pangeran Kit (Richard Madden) didesak oleh ayahnya (Derek Jacobi) untuk menikahi seorang putri untuk memperkuat posisi kerajaan kecil mereka. Sayangnya, Pangeran Kit telah jatuh hati pada seorang wanita misterius yang ia temui di hutan. Pangeran Kit yang sudah jatuh terlalu dalam memutuskan untuk memperluas undangan pesta dansanya hingga pesta dansa itu bisa dikunjungi setiap orang.

Kapan ya gue gak spoiler?

Gue tahu kok ini diadaptasi dari cerita yang super klise dan targetnya bukan penonton yang serius, tapi...

I dislike this film. Come on, kita udah di era modern, masa masih bikin film dengan tokoh, pesan, dan dialog yang super naif? Gue sadar betul kok film ini diadaptasi dari mana dan target penontonnya siapa, tapi tingkat dreamy dan kenaifan film ini sangat mengganggu gue. Gue melihat banyak bocah ingusan nonton film dan ngerasa kesel sendiri karena gue tahu sebagian dari mereka akan mendapatkan kesan yang kurang tepat dari film ini. Yang membuat kenaifan film ini sulit dimaafkan bagi gue adalah fakta bahwa film ini dibuat di jaman modern dimana otak yang bikin nih film harusnya udah lebih maju daripada pembuat film yang versi kartun di tahun 50an. 

Film ini juga tidak punya sedikit ramuan kegelapan, kalaupun ada, terasa terlalu subtle buat gue. Trust me, a speck of darkness is always good because the world is dark. 

Be kind and have courage my ass

I want to smash my head everytime I hear this line in the film.

Bercita-cita jadi orang baik dan idealis macam Jokowi, Munir, Martin Luther King jr, Mahatma Gandhi, atau orang lain itu bagus kok, asalkan lu juga make otak. Jangan sampe lu keseringan make hati terus otak lo karatan kayak si Ella. Cinderella kurang menekankan pentingnya untuk menjadi orang yang tidak polos dan agak jahat. Well, mungkin diperlihatkan lewat bagaimana 'derajat' Ella turun karena ia terlalu baik dan buta terhadap maksud ibu dan kedua saudari tirinya. Tapi orang yang terlalu fokus pada akhir dimana Ella mendapatkan prince charming mungkin melewatkan hal itu.   

Lady Tremaine dan putri-putrinya emang jahat, tapi mereka tahu bagaimana mereka bisa mendapatkan yang mereka inginkan. Mereka menggunakan otak mereka secara efektif. Ella bisa saja mendapatkan hal yang ia mau...if she trains her brain enough...which she doesn't do, because her mother only told her,"Be kind and have courage." Well fuck that advice, because you also need your brain. What's the point of kindness and courage without wisdom and cleverness?

Salah satu hal yang gue pelajari dari sejarah adalah bahwa sometimes, the victims let themselves to be victimized. Ella sebenarnya tahu bahwa ia dilakukan secara semena-mena oleh trio macan, tapi dia membiarkan mereka begitu saja. Alasan Ella membiarkan dirinya dilakukan semena-mena adalah ia ingin tetap berada di rumah milik orang tuanya. But in the end of the day, she lets herself to be victimized by the three stooges. Dia mengatakan Lady Tremaine kejam namun gagal melihat bahwa kenaifan dan sifatnya yang super 'baik' juga berperan dalam kesialannya. Also, it's quite ironic that Ella tells herself to have courage, but doesn't have balls to rebel against her step family.

This bitch had it too easy

Yang gue maksud dengan bitch bukan ibu tirinya kok, tapi si Ella.

Sumpah, tuh orang hokinya banyak banget anjir. Waktu dia membiarkan gaunnya dirobek, dia kedatangan ibu peri yang membuat gaun yang lebih bagus. Waktu dia cengak cengok di loteng, tikus-tikus yang bukain jendela.

Kurang hoki apa coba? 

Selain itu, hal ini memberikan kesan bahwa hoki akan selalu ada dan yang harus kita lakukan hanyalah be kind and have courage. Well, kenyataannya tidak semua dari kita punya kehokian yang sebesar itu. Kehokian yang terjadi pada Ella pun terjadi bukan karena dirinya, tapi karena orang lain membuka kesempatan itu. Ibu peri yang berusaha, bukan Ella. Tikus-tikus yang membukat jendela, bukan Ella.

...or is it? Gue sadar sih kalau Ella gak ngasih susu ke ibu peri, si ibu peri juga ogah bantuin Ella. Kalau Ella gak baek sama tuh tikus CGI, mereka malah gigit Ella. Jadi gue harus mengakui kalau sifat baiknya Ella memang meningkatkan presentasi kehokiannya. Sayangnya di kehidupan nyata, boro-boro orang yang lu bantu bakalan bantuin lu balik, best friend lu aja punya hati buat backstab lo

The actors

Cate Blanchett is a badass, as usual. Sumpah, dia bisa banget bikin ekspresi sedih yang bisa menipu penonton. Dia juga bisa memperlihatkan seorang ibu yang sayang anaknya, tapi malu sama kebegoan anaknya, haha. Untung nih film punya Blanchett.

Sebelum gue nulis, gue merasa gak suka dengan aktingnya Lily James. Tapi gue mempertanyakan diri gue sendiri apakah gue gak suka aktingnya, atau gak suka karakternya. Sometimes, people have a hard time to separate between the actors who act and the characters they play. Saat ini, gue memutuskan bahwa akting Lily James cukup, apalagi mengingat dia itu rookie.


Gue tahu kok film ini diadaptasi dari kisah yang super klise dan target penontonnya bukanlah penonton yang serius. Tapi gue pikir kedua hal itu bukanlah alasan untuk membuat film dengan pesan-pesan yang kurang tepat kepada penonton yang masih ngadu ke bokap nyokap mereka. Meskipun sang sutradara dan penulis melebih-lebihkan be-kind-and-have-courage stuff, ada kemungkinan mereka berusaha memperlihatkan kekurangan pesan itu lewat turunnya derajat Cinderella. Unfortunately,  Cinderella only gives me a super naive protagonist who's ironically doesn't have enough guts to rebel against her step family. And I don't like it. 4,5/10

Kamis, 05 Maret 2015

Thursday Movie Picks #34: Black and White Movies Made Since 1970

This is Thursday, which means that there will be a Taco Thursday! Just kidding. Hello and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks. This meme is hosted by Wandering Through The Shelves, and if you want to join this, please click here. This week theme is Black and White Movies Made Since 1970...which means I can't show off how much classic films I've watched, haha.

Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979)

Manhattan is one of the known works of Woody Allen. 42-year-old Isaac (Woody Allen) is dating 17-year-old Tracy (Mariel Hemingway). Then he meets Mary (Diane Keaton) who is the third wheel of Yale's wedding (Michael Murphy). 42-year-old Isaac realizes that Tracy is too young for him and Mary is more suitable to him.

I love the witty dialogue, the complicated love story, the cinematography, and I definitely love Manhattan in 1970's. But my favorite part of this movie is the ending scene.

Schindler's List (Steven Spielberg, 1993)

How dare you Mr. Spielberg! How dare you for making me question humanity! Steven fucking Spielberg makes me depressed through this film. I can't believe that son of bit*h made a wonderful film like this instead of another blockbuster film.

Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) is a Germany businessman slash womanizer moves to Krakow. He tries to create a a new business by bribing the German officers to let him building a factory. His factory becomes a crucial one as it is the shield of more than 1000 of Jewish people.

Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, 2007)

Marjane grows up a lot faster than most children. She reads about Marx, she wants to be prophet, and she loves to talk with God. Those things aren't the only things that make her more mature than most children. She sees the changes in her country and notes every single that doesn't make sense to her.

I have a mixed feeling about this film. I had read the novel before I watched the film. There's not many changes in the film, therefore this film kinda bored me. In the same time, I don't know a better way to adapt Persepolis into a film. But still, it's not fun to watch something and know more than 90% of the lines. Nevertheless, Persepolis is one the most important coming-of-age films. The novel is also a must-read book for all young adults and children. Heck, I read the novel when I was in primary school.

Kamis, 26 Februari 2015

Thursday Movie Picks #33: All in the family edition: Father-Son relationship (biologically related)

Hello whoever you are! This week Thursday Movie Picks, which is hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves is father-son relationship (biologically related).  A little warning: the films that I picked are quite mainstream. 

Life is Beautiful / La Vita e Bella (Roberto Benigni, 1997)


The winner of the 1999 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film tells us a story about an ordinary man who determines to bring happiness for his loved ones.  Guido (Roberto Benigni) is a Jewish man who's married to Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), an Italian woman.  They have a son together named Joshua (Giorgio Cantarini).  After Italy is occupied by Hitler, Joshua and Guido are sent to concentration camp.  

I usually don't like this kind of film. You know, the sappy, witty-wannabe, and inspirational-wannabe. But I love this film.  I think it's because despite the bitterness and desperation in concentration camp, Guido does anything he can to make Joshua happy.  It shows us that parents' duty is not only fulfill primary needs, but also provides their children joy and hope.

I understand that Life is Beautiful is not a realistic film, and perhaps quite silly. But personally, it brings happiness to me. 

Kramer vs Kramer (Robert Benton, 1979)

One can argue that Kramer vs Kramer doesn't deserve Academy Award for Best Picture, but Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep did a marvelous job in this drama film.  Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep) leaves Ted (Dustin Hoffman) because her husband constant neglection.  This puts Ted on a rocky situation for he never takes care of Billy (Justin Henry), his son.  

I love the dynamic between Ted and Billy.  Although Billy is Ted's own flesh and blood, they never really interact.  Therefore, they kinda resent each other at first.  Ted is pissed off because he can't understand Billy while Billy is pissed because his father really sucks at taking care of him.  As time goes by, they learn to cope or tolerate with each other.  The messy separation and resentment become a deeper bond between father and son.  

Meet The Robinsons (Steve Anderson, 2007)

This is an odd Father-Son film.  Lewis, a genius kid, ruins his science project.  As disappointment pours him, he meets an odd boy, Wilbur.  Wilbur will bring Lewis to see his mother, if he fixes his science project...and the time machine.

Lewis never has a father figure. His orphanage is run by a lady and the viewers never see his father. Despite his lack of father figure, he's a father himself in the future. He can even befriend his (future) son.  

Other than showing how Lewis can befriend his (future) son, Meet The Robinsons shows us that all parents were kids and teenagers themselves.  But kids don't grow up in the same era with their parents. This is an important point because parents often compare their time with our (children) time. Parents can't compare their generation with their children's generation because so many things change. What worked for our parents or grandparents doesn't always work on us (today's generation).  However, it's not wrong to use the traditional way as long as we understand the situation.        

Kamis, 19 Februari 2015

Thursday Movie Picks #32: Oscar Winning Movies (Best Picture/Best Animated Fim/Best Foreign Fim)

"And the oscar goes to..."
I am not a fan of Oscars.  I never really care about them.  I never forgive them for giving Oscar to Cher instead of Glenn Close in 1988.  Heck, they give Best Picture nomination for "The Theory of Everything" instead of "Interstellar".  Really, Oscar?  But there were some days where The Academy gave the Oscar to the right people.   The most memorable one is when "Shakespeare in Love" was the winner of Best Picture in 1999.  Just kidding, I still realize that some of my favorite films are the winners of Oscar and I'm grateful of that.

Enough for the hate rant chat, this week Thursday Movie Picks (that is hosted by Wandering Through The Shelves) is Oscar Winning Movies.  Not just any Oscar Winning Movies, but from Best Picture, Best Animated Film, and Best Foreign Film.  The movies from this list aren't considered the best from me, but they are my personal favorite.  If anybody interested to be a part of this series, you can click here.

Best Picture: The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965)

Initially, I picked "Titanic" for this category. But another blog had listed me before I did, so I took "The Sound of Music" as the replacement.

As a seven-year-old kid, I didn't like this film.  I felt that it was too long.  But as I matured a little, I enjoyed the songs, the story, the choreography, and the scenery of Alpen and Austria.  I love this film so much that at some point in my life, I remembered all the song's lyrics and their order.  

I still feel that 174 minutes is too long for a film's duration.  I don't like the second part of this film because it's not as exciting as the first part and it's too dramatic for my liking.  But without the second part, the viewers would be left hanging without knowing the fate of Maria and Captain von Trapp.  Although I don't really like the second part, it isn't really bad.  We can see how the situation changes in Austria after it's occupied by Hitler and the dilemma of the von Trapps.  I also can not think any scene in the first part that deserves to be cut.  In the end of the day, I understand why The Sound of Music needs 174 minutes to entertain some of us.

Best Animated Film: WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)

What will you get if you mix comedy, romance, dystopia, post-apocalypse, and sci-fi together?  You get the most loveable robot and one of the best works from Disney-Pixar!

I must admit that Wall-E doesn't have many symbolism like Miyazaki's films.  But WALL-E is a very heartwarming film that contains a little homage and social message. The captains are fatter by the predecessor from time to time.  The personality of Captain B. McCrea is also an indication that most of the captains are not really in charge because the work is handled by an auto system.  Some people in Axiom don't even realize the beauty of outer space.  In short, the excessive use of technology can blind us from knowledge, health, and simple things that are actually beautiful.  I'm not saying that we should lessen innovation, but we have to be careful so that technology isn't the one who controls us.

There are two kinds of "ignorance" that represented in WALL-E.  First, WALL-E's attitude and infatuation for EVE remind me of a little child.  WALL-E doesn't have pride, great scientific knowledge, and power.  WALL-E only does what is considered as good by him and the people he care.  And although EVE can be hostile and impatient toward WALL-E, WALL-E still follows EVE because simply his infatuation or love for EVE.  While it gives an innocent to WALL-E for this film, there's a high chance this kind of ignorance will only bring devastation in real life.     

Second, people in Axiom don't give a fuck about outer space, knowledge, where they belong, and most importantly, where they came from.  Heck, they don't even know they have swimming pool!  They only care for...their super chairs.  But I understand why ignorance is a bliss for some people.  It will be quite depressing to know that your 'home' is ruined for good and nobody cares.  Being knowledgeable either makes you a tortured genius or a disappointed idealist.  But if a lot of those axiom people are knowledgeable, I think they can save earth even before EVE brings the plant.    

Wow, I just realize that it's quite long, haha.

Best Foreign Film: The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman, 1960)

When I looked the list of Best of Foreign Films winners and nominees, I was surprised that none of Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy, Wong Kar Wai's films and Park Chan Wook's Vengeance Trilogy got nominated for Best Foreign Film! But the most annoying for me is no nomination for "The Seventh Seal".  I don't know about you, but I never heard of "The Barbarian Invasions" and "Burnt by the Sun".  Once again, really, Oscar?

While I really like this film, I never truly understand the meaning and the symbolism in this film.  According to wikipedia, there's an aspect of nihilism in this film.  The nihilism is expressed by the apathetic (or is it sociopath?) attitude from the herdsmen.  They show no remorse after they rape and rob an innocent girl.  

For me, The Virgin Spring only shows that we live in a fucked up world with fucked up people.  All knowledge, belief, principle, moral, and conscience become meaningless in the face of strong rage and strong desire.  There are two innocent people in this film, Karin and the youngest herd.  Karin is the victim of strong desire (greed and lust) while the youngest herd is the victim of strong rage and desire (to revenge).  Both are simply in the wrong time, in the wrong place, and with the wrong people.

If you still say that we are the one who determines our fate and all those shits, watch this film.

Other favorite films that I can not leave: 
Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, 1961) Best Foreign Film  
Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991) Best Picture
Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977) Best Picture
Life is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni, 1997) Best Foreign Film
Titanic (James Cameron, 1997) Best Picture
Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001) Best Animated Feature
Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007) Best Animated Feature