Friday, September 9, 2011

The Way Back, The Wave & The Perfect Host

been awhile since i last reviewed a movie. watched a lot of good movies, but never found the time to sit down and think up a review. however, these 3 movies are too brilliant to be ignored.

furthermore, these are highly recommended by mr. khairul, who wanted me to watch more ‘underdog’ movies out of the mainstream, so that i could tell my readers that there are also equally interesting movies out there than just movies about fast cars, vampires or little blue people. hihi.

one is a true story about the extraordinary plight of escaped prisoners in siberia on ‘the way back’. another one is ‘the wave’; about a class assignment gone out of control in just 7 days. and finally a dark comedy about a bank robber who escaped being caught, but got himself into a weird dinner party with ‘the perfect host’.

two words for all three movies : highly recommended.


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how far can human will take you? how’s 4,000 miles? by walking?

world war ll is on. the characters in this amazing film escape from a siberian *gulag camp, and then travel from siberia, across mongolia and china, finally into india. all by WALKING. yes, ON FOOT. unbelievable – but that’s the gist of the film, based on a true account.

*gulag is an acronym that stands for ‘chief administration of corrective labor camps’ established as a place for convicts, who were made to worked to death.



google map showing their journey. from siberia, mongolia, china then india. on foot.


they face the harsh cold of the snow and the scorching hot gobi desert. they can’t stop walking, or they’ll get caught. they fight wild animals, and hide from villagers who will kill them at sight. they even lost some friends along the way… (this is NOT a spoiler – at the beginning of the movie, a writing on the screen will tell you that only three survived the journey).

imagine. from siberia. across mongolia. into china. and finally india. must. keep. walking.

this movie was co-produced with the national geographic entertainment, so you know you’re going to see incredible shots of sceneries throughout the journey; and you know you’re getting quality story-telling.

i hate war movies. though set during world war ll, this is however, NOT a war film.

it’s a film about determination. a film about friendship. about survival. about adversity. about going against all odds. but most of all, it’s a film about hope. if you need a good cry, watch this movie, and be inspired.


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ever been in a class with a lecturer that’s so cool in his unorthodox way, that you just become engrossed in his teachings, and methods of learning? the lecturer in this movie is such, but what he’s not prepared for is how strongly he has affected the students in his class.

in this german movie ‘the wave’, a lecturer is teaching the subject ‘dictatorship’ in a 7-day program, and tries to make the class interesting through an experiment – what if the class were a country, under the dictatorship of a leader – himself?

lesson one : “discipline is power”. so he makes all the students call him ‘herr’ or ‘sir’ as a mark of respect (out of class he is addressed simply by name), and must not speak, unless permission is given. one student is disturbed by this, and drops out from the class. the rest had fun, and the class becomes popular.

lesson two : “unity is power”. to feel united, the lecturer suggests everyone taking the class to wear white shirt, and blue jeans. subtly, those who do NOT wear white in the class are slowly boycotted. the students, in turn, start to feel pride, and a sense of power. the innocent lecturer continues his experiment, not knowing the ripple he had created.

lesson three : “action is power”. it’s day 5 of class, and the students do more than just write assignments. they want to act on what they have learnt – that ‘action’ IS indeed, power. things are starting to spin out of control…

it was just a 7-day class program, and that was all it took.

this is a fantastic movie with a powerful message served in such a simple setting – a harmless classroom. it’s in german, with english subtitles yet i still find the script good and the acting excellent. definitely a must-see, especially fans of foreign films.


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i LOVE movies with a twist in the end, but ‘the perfect host’ is so twisted that it’s sick! in a good way, of course. not ‘saw’ kind of sick, but just great!

a bank robber on the run stumbles upon a house he plans to use as hiding spot. the owner of the house happens to be waiting for his friends for a dinner party that he’s hosting. and so begins the twisted tale of ‘the perfect host’. and that is all the summary i’m leaving you with. haha.

at one point of the movie, you’d think that you’ve gotten to the twist already, and then you get to another twist – and yet another! it’s a pretty cleverly plotted movie. original storyline and great script. the script was so good that i was imagining the movie being made into a 2-man play. that would be so awesome.

for clueless ones, david hyde pierce is more popularly known in his role as frasier’s younger brother in the award-winning sitcom ‘frasier’. he’s also the voice of the stick-bug in disney’s ‘the bug’s life’. i’d never guess he would be so at home in a dark role in this movie, since i know him as a comedy actor. he delivers an exceptional performance, worthy of a film-award i dare say.

despite my positive review, some may find the movie a little draggy with just the two major characters dominating the whole movie. i suggest you try watching till the end, because the twist is so worth the wait.


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three more reviews coming soon : ‘water for elephants’, ‘the rise of the planet of the apes’, and ‘the beaver’. all with animals in their titles!


Liz Rohaizat said...

The Way Back mmg best! lebih2 lagi true story kan? rasa mcm tak percaya diorg boleh cross over the countries on foot. isk, rasa nak tgk lagi pulak movie nie.

yg lagi 2 tu tak pernah tgk.

Hanis MY said...

tak pernah tahu movie ni semua... mcm menarik... nak try download la, thanks for sharing...

Syigim said...

>> liz, baru terbaca yg rupanya cerita sebenarnye tak sebijik2 mcm dlm movie. mamat tu tak escape, tapi dah direlease pun dr prison. xtau la mane yg betul, tp yg pasti movienye mmg best! hihi

>> hanis, menarik! jalan cerita best, tak boring. :)

Liz Rohaizat said...

betul tu la. movie tu based on novel. dulu hampir nak beli novel tu sbb ingat cerita sebenar. sekali bila google, baru tau rupanya dia dibebaskan. kira tak challenging sgt la.

lps tu ada pulak org ckp, tu bkn dia tapi lagi sorang prisoner. entah la. tp movie tu best!

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