Tuesday, February 7, 2012

War Horse, A Separation, Carnage & Dragon Tattoo

watched four great movies this past week. three of them are nominees for the upcoming academy awards; ‘war horse’ for best movie award, ‘the girl with the dragon tattoo’ for a couple of awards including best actress, and ‘a separation’ for best foreign film award.

the movie ‘carnage’ is NOT a nominee, but the powerful cast of four, are all academy award-nominees and winners.


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this movie left me with such a good feeling, you have to watch it. it is one of the contenders for best movie award for the oscar, and when you know that stephen spielberg is behind this movie, the more reason you have to watch it. it reminds me of the book ‘black beauty’ by anna sewell, also a story about the ups and downs in the adventurous life of a horse.

this movie follows the life of a young man and his horse whom he painstakingly trained to work in his family’s farm. the horse named ‘joey’ was eventually sold off to be a horse for a high-ranking soldier who vowed to take care of the horse. and so began joey’s life as a ‘war horse’ – from working at a farm, to being strapped as a war horse, to being captured by the enemy, taken away by a couple of brothers, then adopted by a sweet village girl – the adventure seemed endless. and just when you think this is IT, the end will lead you to cheer and cry at the same time.

will joey be reunited with his original owner? well, forget that – watch out for the scene where joey is stuck in the barb wire in the middle of a war-zone. absolutely loved it!

like dolphins, i feel that horses are one magnificently beautiful animal. they’re mighty strong with pure muscle, but with so much grace in their movement. even if you’re not a fan of horses, the multiple storyline (which are all interesting) will keep you glued to know where joey will end up in.

the pace might be slow for some people (like mr. khairul!) but i promise you it will be a dramatic ending; so touching with happy and sadness all in one. a definite must-see.



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‘a separation’ creates history as the first foreign film to ever be nominated for best screenplay at the oscar. it is also the nominee and a favorite to win the best foreign film award at the oscar. this iranian movie had already won numerous awards internationally, so it was hard to ignore the temptation to watch it to see what’s all the fuss about.

the synopsis is simple enough – wife wants to leave the country and take their only daughter, but husband wants to stay because he has a father suffering alzheimer. result – they decided to separate. at first i thought this was just another regular drama about conflicts in a family – divorce, custody battle, courtroom scenes – oh, boy was i wrong.

the movie is addictive. from the very first scene, the words, acting, camera-work and plot pace already got me glued to know what happens next. when the wife left the house, the husband hired a religious woman to take care of the household chores which includes taking care of his ill father – but on one fateful day, something happened that started a domino effect that will change everyone’s life…

this movie is NOT just about the separation but so much deeper than that. issue of religious practice is obvious; one is depicted to be modern, out-spoken, taking charge, while the other is seen to be demure, soft, living life according to the do’s and don’ts of Islam. and in the middle, the daughter, trying to make sense of things; weighing between the good, the bad, and loyalty to her father.

all the actors were fantastic in their role – the words spoken, the expressions and emotions. excellent. especially impressive was the character of the daughter, ‘termeh’ was played by the director’s own daughter! and she did really well. a highly recommended movie, if only to immerse yourself in the hiruk-pikuk justice system of iran.



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what can i say? there are simply only FOUR reasons to watch this comedy movie : jodie foster as an uptight mom, christoph waltz as the annoying workaholic hp-dependent husband, kate winslet as the sensibly patient wife (or so she was at the beginning), and john c. reilly as the peace-keeper turned obnoxious husband – all award-winning actors.

yeap, this movie is JUST about these four characters rambling on and on and on and on in one location. two parents decided to meet up after one of the couples’ son beat the other couple’s son. and they talk. and talk and talk and talk and talk. with a few awkward moments. many funny lines. and a lot of wit.

this movie is based on a play, which explains the one-set location, with just 4 characters. i can imagine this work being staged successfully.

the word ‘carnage’ itself really means slaughtering of a bunch of people like in a battle, or a massacre – in the case of this movie, when the parents meet, they started off really prim, polite and proper – but by the end of the movie, their whole sense of propriety is ‘slaughtered’! no more politeness, no more small talk, no more jaga hati – everyone says what’s on their mind, couples argue publicly, no shame and no inhibitions!

i consider this comedy as a ‘holiday’ for kate winslet, jodie foster and christoph waltz who are all known as character actors for powerful films. so this very light comedy gives them a chance to just relax, and make fun of themselves. give it a try.



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apart from the 18sx scenes, this is a pretty good movie. hey, i’m a sucker for romantic steamy scenes (haha) but in this case, i just think that the sex scenes are unnecessary (some unnecessary long), and distracting. disturbing even.

anyway, the storyline is interesting – a prominent journalist is hired to search for a missing woman, who is believed to be murdered. the journalist then hired another journalist (who is the girl with the dragon tattoo) with a knack for hacking computers to help him with the investigation. the investigative journey starts, with a lot of discovery and questions that needed answers as they searched through newspaper reports and old photographs.

the CSI-meets-criminal minds plot is riveting enough, and this very gothic character – the girl with the dragon tattoo played by rooney mara (nominated for best actress) is one to watch. her character is interesting, and what she does and capable of doing will be one of the high points of this movie.

oh, and someone please tell me why someone who is not really that good looking like daniel craig can be so HOT?? hihi.



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i’m watching a norway movie next…


KambingBujang said...

My Hubby dok tunggu the Girl with Dragon Tatoo. dier ckp buku best giler.siap suh Huda baca. tp huda br baca 10 pages ngn harapan sempat habiskan b4 tgk cter ni.. huhuhuh

Syigim said...

>> huda, ur hubby read the book ke! caya la. kami tgk movie je :) mmg best! mcm criminal minds sikit2, bab2 cari clue tu yg best :)

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