Monday, December 31, 2007

The Life Of Buddha

This movie shows how Prince Siddhartha who was born in a royal family became Lord Buddha. It shows Prince Siddhartha's journey where he was protected from the outside world, but eventually his curiosity on suffering made him renounced his royal lifestyle and left his kingdom to go out and search for the meaning of life, especially on causes of human suffering.

Although this movie is an animated movie, it lacks the cheerful animation that most animation brings. Its monotone and serious dialogues leaves a rather meaningful & potential movie a bore to watch; turning it more into a documentary rather than a animated movie.

Although clearly lacking the essentials needed to follow the footsteps of Thailand's animated elephant movie, Khan Kluay, however this movie is still a noble movie and would appeal to those who already know about Buddhism. And it is a real pity as this movie could actually reach out to more people, especially those who want to know more about the religion.

Ponglang Amazing

Tomorn inherits an old and run-down theatre from his uncle, who doesn't want to sell the theatre despite it not having many customers and is making loss. Tomorn wants to sell the theatre, even more so after meeting & faling in love with a pretty broker.

Tomorn meets a young cap driver who helps him with ideas on how to turn the theatre around. This comes with the help of his hilarious employees.

This is a slapstick Thai movie with exaggerated actions & humour, that will appeal more to the locals. The horror part in the movie is played down by its humour, hence not a scary movie, but a comedy which is rather okay to watch.

This movie gives insights to foreigners on the real Thai language/ culture which is normally smooth & yet can be sharp at other moments. The twist in the ending & the antics of the employees help scores for the movie.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Set in the 1860s, during the Taiping Rebellion in the late Qing Dynasty in China, this movie tells the story of three sworn brothers - General Ma (Jet Li), Cao Erhu (Andy Lau) and Zhang Wenxiang (Takeshi Kaneshiro).

Their friendship starts off with a lil suspicion, but then builds up strong... only to be shattered towards the end when their values & objectives differs - General Ma with his quest for power & love; Cao Erhu for his honour & trust for the people; and Zhang Wenxiang for his stand on brotherhood.

This epic movie with its bold poster draws crowds who love Chinese epic movies. Not so attractive for those who want a simple movie, as the stories are actually behind the characters, and this will need evaluation. The grey scenes throughout the movie makes it rather dull, but it gives the setting it needs.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Golden Compass

My initial response to the movie was - "Another fantasy movie, again?". Ever since LOTR & Harry Potter burst into cinema screens, it seems all the production houses are now wanting a pie of the fantasy epics.

This movie which is based on a fantasy book as well sees young girl, Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards), an orphan who is given a fantasy ride & runaway with Mrs Coulter (Nicole Kidman), while her uncle, Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig), is embarking on a trip to the Arctic Circle to investigate a mysterious element intriguingly called Dust.

The movie focus on Lyra's world of wanting to save her friends & fellow children who are missing, and apparently being used as experiment objects. Lyra's confidence, good negotiation skills & intelligence sees her banding together with the Gyptians, the mysterious witch Serafina Pekkala (Eva Green) and Texas airman Lee Scoresby (Sam Elliott).

This young kid is flung into an adventure that took her to the wilds of the icy north, where she allied a polar bear named Iorek Byrnison (voiced by Ian McKellen), who pledges to serve her in her campaign until she prevails.

True to the fantasy movies, this movie shows talking animals and flying ships. But the best part of the movie is not from these fantasies, but more so the the lessons from it - like how a young girl gets people to be her allies by doing smart intelligent & courages moves. The part whereby each character has an animal as their daemon, or more like an inner voice & soul, also shows how we constantly have other thoughts running in our heads for every move we make.

Though the movie has an original plot, some new different ideas from other fantasy based movies - like the daemons, & good lessons, however, the overdose of these fantasy epics has raised the bar much more, and somehow the Golden Compass fall short of it compared to its peers. Unlike the other trilogies like LOTR or Matrix, which each episode can end on its own, the Golden Compass part 1 seems to leave a bad 'hanging' ending, despite good acting from its casts, especially Nicole Kidmans with her evil looks and her evil blue eyes.

Still, Golden Compass is a decent movie, and will be a good watch for fantasy epic fans.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Alvin And The Chipmunks, The Movie

The Chipmunks are back...! Yes, it's Avin...! Simon, Theodore... and of course, their 'single parent', Dave.

The 3 singing chipmunks (and talking ones as well), request to stay in with Dave. A 'budding' songwriter, Dave thought it was a good idea. In return of board & lodging and lots of mess at home, he will get them to sing for him, and hopefully launch his music career.

His unanticipated mischiefs of the trio ended him loosing his job, and they messing up his house. But in a rare encounter, he got them a recording deal which turned them into pop sensations, but which was then too big for them to handle.

By him not wanting a 'family', Alvin and the chipmunks left to stay with the recording company's boss. It was without their presence that Dave missed them, and then made a hunt chase for them. This indeed was a good comeback action, as they too were exhausted from their concert dates schedule & missed him too.

The mischievous trio of Alvin, Simon & Theodore makes this movie a nice watch, with them showing how energetic & fun life can be. Their 3 distinct characters are portrayed well here & gives the movie a good mix of lively characters.

This movie also has the special warmth moments by the chipmunks, especially Theodore making it appeal to both kids & adults, especially during this Christmas season. Also, one of the more interesting part is seeing the 3 chipmunks holding concerts with them taking center-stage!

Fans of the former TV cartoon series will most likely enjoy this animated movie as well. And though the chipmunks have 'grown up' in their dressings & looks to suite the 2000s, they still remain the same fun, happy-go-lucky chipmunks they were.