Saturday, September 22, 2007

Azur & Asmar

This fairytale cartoon is about 2 children, Azur & Asmar, who grew up together and taken care by Asmar's mother. She was working as a maid for Azur's rich dad.

Azur's dad seperated the 2 kids while young and also sacked the maid.

Years later when Azur grew up, he went on the quest to seek the Djinn fairy, whose story is not sure a fairytale or truth. Being white, he ended up landing on the Arab nation, whose blue eyes were a curse. Hence, he pretended to be blind.

In all surprises, he finally met Asmar's mum, who now is a rich merchant. And she shows both him & Asmar the ropes to meet the fairy.

This fairytale story is set with beautiful intricate & lavish Arabic settings, especially in the homes of the now merchant and the Djinn's fairy's palace.

This movie also drops little snippets of philosophies & beliefs, like that 'tone is more important in getting message accross, rather than language itself'. It comes as no surprise because the movie was dubbed in both French & Arabic, and do not have full translations of each sentence.

In addition, it also shows how some people can perceive things negatively, while other see it in a positive light. This was shown when Azur pretended to be blind, his new found friend, only told him the bad things, even if they seemed ok. But when he finally opened his eyes, he got a shocked to know the contrary.

Interestingly set, this movie is beautiful with its colours & drawings, and is a rather decent show :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

Chuck & Larry are two firemen who are best of pals. One day, Larry (Kevin James) helped saved Chuck's (Adam Sandler) life while in work. In return of his gratefulness, Chuck mentioned that he will repay Larry in whatever he wants.

So, when Larry had problems of tax issues, he decided the only way was to have Chuck be his domestic partner. And he of course turned to Chuck for 'help', not knowing what they would fall into.

Both straight men had to pretend to be domestic partners and even getting married legally in Canada, just for Larry's sake. They even had to lived in together with Larry's 2 kids. Chuck was pissed further as he was then falling for their lawyer, Alex McDonough (Jessica Biel), but had to hide it as the government is cracking on scams of gay marriages.

My initial idea was this was going to be a gay-bashing movie. But it ended empathising on them with subtle lines, giving viewers a better understanding of them and love in general. There is also a showcase of strong friendship bonds as shown among the firemen, when they backed both Chuck & Larry in their 'marriage'.

The usual American or Hollywood jokes are found here, together with the typical Adam Sandler's hilarious actions.

Watch this if you are a fan of humour, or a fan of Sandler.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Home Song Stories

This collaboration between Singapore - Australia is a true life story of writer Tony Ayres.

It shows his growing up years with his beautiful yet dramatic mother, Rose (Joan Chen) and sister May (Irene Chen). It shows her mother's life from her nightclub days in Hong Kong before they migrated to stay with Uncle Bill (Steven Vidler) in Melbourne, Australia for better hopes of a brighter future.

However, his mum's behaviour simply spoils whatever bright future they have, as she kept on with her flirtatious and opportunist lifestyle. On at Melbourne, she befriends an apprentice chef, Joe (Qi YuWu), who although helped her in certain times, but made more damage in the end, falling for her daughter May.

The stories 'ping pong' back & forth of dismay to hope and seems never to end til when Bill came back (again) to save them. However, that didn't seemed enough.

The story first seemed to come more from the mother's point of view, before shifting focus to Tom's perspective. The focus wasn't in depth on the boy's part, and was rather shallow with most times just touching the surface of his feelings, hence not being able to dwell into his thoughts fully. Though viewers can sympathise with the boy at times, but are not able to read & feel for the boy fully. However there is more attachement to his mum instead.

That is where the confusion is - is this movie about the mother or the boy?

And more confusing is the poster in Singapore whereby Joe & Rose were featured instead of the little boy, Tom.

The star of the movie no doubt is superb acting from all casts, especially Joel Lok who played the charming & cute character with wide eyes & full expressions of his faces.

Overall, a good start for a Singapore - Australian production, though with backing from Raintree, I expected this to be a Bigger movie.

Finally, one last note, this movie also goes to show how the Asians or Chinese are able to blend in well in Australia (or any Western country for that matter), speaking their language with their accent. And this showcase by the English movie makes it more thumbs up for Asia, a rare opportunity for Asians showcase.