Monday, April 20, 2009

Max Payne & Paul Blart in a Gran Torino

hey hey hey it's movies with syigim again! this time i'm reviewing a gothic action movie, a comedy and a powerful drama.

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i like this brother of a nu kid on da block. in 'four brothers', 'the departed' and a few others, mark wahlberg has shown that he can actually act. and he's hot! (do you remember his abs when he's with the funky bunch? grr!)

mr. khairul told me that max payne the movie is adapted from a video game of the same name. throughout the movie i can't help but notice the possible 'levels' in the game that the character has to go through to 'win'. it's not necessarily a bad thing, but makes the characters too 2-dimentional, like chris o' donnel's. who is he again in the movie? hmm.

it has a simple storyline. a cop with a sad past - wife and baby murdered. he was never the same. moody, brood, quiet. vowed to find the killer. all sounds too familiar. but what separates max payne to other vendetta movies are these gems:

  • the gothic-city-like setting - dark, gloomy and constantly snowing (if you're thinking batman, nope - this is better)
  • the eerie, shadowy flying entity
  • and for mr. khairul, (who insists i add this) it's that olga chick
  • oh, and watch out for a cameo by the 'promiscuous girl'! i didn't know, so it was a pleasant surprise!

it took me quite a while to understand the plot, but i like the comic book feel (you'd know if you've seen 'sin city') that surrounds the movie. max payne is quite the action hero, and i'd compare him to jason bourne anytime. i particularly like the scene when max payne thought he's as good as dead under the icy cold water - and we see a vision - max payne, back in his home, he sees his wife and baby alive and well, so we're thinkin, that's it - he's dead. but then the wife says, "..not yet, max." and boom - he wakes up and saves himself. nice bit.

after the long credit, there's an additional brief scene that obviously showed there would be a 'max payne II'.

"nanti memang ade second part la. i tau tajuk dia!" mr. khairul excitedly said.


"pak payne." he said, dramatically.

it was so, so corny i didn't have the heart not to laugh. pakpayne, maaf ya. gurau sikit! lepas ni dah ke saudi!

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the trailer seemed promising. also, i really like him in 'hitch' where he acted alongside the awesome will smith. funny guy.

after watching the movie, it was proved true - only the trailer is promising.

i've fallen for this before - the trailer seemed to show that it's a decent movie with the funniest scenes but it's not always so. a well-made trailer should pick the funniest from the many many funny movie scenes but the problem with 'paul blart : mall cop' is, the trailer contained the only funny scenes in that whole movie.

sure, the banging against the stationary van while drooling over the cute chick bit is funny, but that's about it. the kitty cat plaster brought a smile, and the sliding towards the pillar bit brought a little laugh. then on, it's just a poor excuse for a comedy. enough with fat jokes!

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* spoiler alert! trust me, you just have to watch this movie!

man, i hate a great sad movie.

'saving private ryan', 'paying it forward', 'braveheart', and the latest, '7 pounds' - these are all fantastic movies with sad endings. the worst thing is, no matter how much i'm sure that somebody is going to die in the end, i can't seem to look away and just had to watch till the finishing line.

sorry to spoil it for you, but i have to tell you that 'gran torino' falls in this category. produced and directed by the still-goin-strong-at-78 clint eastwood, it's sad, but leaves you feeling good.

a war veteran, walt, lives next door to the hmongs, a vietnamese-american family. racism opens the movie. war veteran hates any chinese-looking people, african american hassling chinese girl on the street, the war veteran is shown sitting next to an indian lady wearing sari, while a nurse at a clinic wears tudung.

eastwood potrays the best ol humbug of a war veteran, especially in his tone of voice and facial expression. he's a bitter man, who doesn't give a damn about anyone until one day when his neighbour boy tries to steal his car.

walt loves his car, a 1972 gran torino. the boy in the vietnam family, a quiet, passive tao (affectionately called 'toad' by walt) tries to steal it as 'entry ticket' to the hmong gang. he fails. and that was the beginning of an endearing friendship between the two.

they're so different and have nothing in common - a white and an apek, an atuk and a young boy, a war veteran and a kid who has barely finished school - yet i really enjoyed their exchanges; walt with his mulut laser, and tao just being his age. but i must say, it's always, always eastwood who steals every single scene he's in.

i highly recommend this movie to all you movie fans.

oh, and after you've seen it, tell me - is it just me, or do you just wanna punch the priest?

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that's all for now. join me again as i review another set of movies. till then!

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