Sunday, January 24, 2010


I'm tired
of all the lies
the fake smiles
the broken promises
and the false reassurances

I'm tired
of being ignored
being left behind
left alone
watching the others go by

I'm tired
of the annoying voices
the never ending complaints
the loud noises
and the unsolved arguments

I'm tired
of losing friends
losing love
missing people
missing faces

I'm tired
of waiting
tired of the disappointments

I'm tired of not being free
tired of being me

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The 10 of '09

Happy New Year everyone!

As we say goodbye to the year that has gone by, we welcome a new one. My first day of 2010 was nice. I watched a splendid Chinese movie called Bodyguards & Assassins and had a great time. It was better than my second day of 2010, which can be best described as chaotic.

Just like last year, I will now be listing my top ten films for the past year. I have to say that this time, my list is a little less balanced than before. I'll get to that later. Here goes, in the order I watched them:

1. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
This film won 3 Oscars last year, and stars Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button, a man who is born old and ages backwards. Based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it tells the story of a unique man and his adventures, and all the people he meets along the way. Pitt is understated but very effective, and well supported by Cate Blanchett, who plays his love interest, Daisy.

2. Watchmen
Yet another literary adaptation, only this time it's a graphic novel. And one that is critically acclaimed. Watchmen is set in 1985, in a world where America won the Vietnam war, Nixon is President and costumed heroes are outlawed. When The Comedian, one of said heroes who works for the government is brutally murdered, his former colleague Rorschach thinks a conspiracy is afoot and starts investigating, with the help of a few friends. But this is just the beginning, as Watchmen is a character driven piece with a morality tale attached. It's complex and lengthy, but worth the payoff at the end.

3. Taken
You want a no holds barred actioner? Here's one. Taken stars Liam Neeson as a former CIA agent who races against time to save his daughter from a prostitution ring in France. What I like about this film is its straightforward approach to storytelling. No excessive drama, no unnecessary comedy, no detailed subplots. Just flat out, in your face action. And Neeson gets to be a bad ass instead of being the mentor again. Awesome stuff.

4. Star Trek
Are you ready to boldly go where no one has gone before? Well, technically we've all been there before, on TV and in film. But this time, J.J. Abrams is taking us there. He takes the classic and much loved Star Trek franchise and gives it a much needed shot in the arm by making it more hip and energetic, which in turn makes it more accessible and not drowned in scientific jargon. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are commendable as Captain Kirk and Mr Spock respectively.

5. Transformers: Revenge Of the Fallen
I know many people have said that this sequel sucked, and Michael Bay is an idiot. But really, who watches Transformers to get a good story? Do you want to see shit getting blown up? Do you want to see alien robots kick ass? Do you want to see Megan Fox, especially if you're male? If yes, then you can't go wrong with this. It's like the first Transformers, only bigger and louder. Yes, there are some really annoying scenes and characters to put up with, but nothing beats watching Optimus Prime kick the crap out of every Decepticon he crosses paths with.

6. G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra
Another flick the critics would shoot down due to its loud explosions and paper thin plot. But I had fun with this just as much as the Transformers sequel. And G.I. Joe actually managed to get some character development going. Director Stephen Sommers did a great job in giving his characters some background, connecting them to each other and letting them all get equal screen time. I think this film was way better than his Mummy films, to be honest.

7. District 9
An excellent film from first time director Neil Blomkamp, who gives us a sci-fi alien tale that is parallel to the apartheid era in South Africa. Aliens have arrived in Johannesburg, and they are stranded with no way home. A man named Wikus van der Merwe is assigned by his very rich corporate boss to supervise the transfer of the aliens from their slum area known as District 9 to a new site. An incident happens which changes Wikus' perception of the aliens, and his life will never be the same again. Riveting, bloody and very memorable.

8. Up
Pixar does it again. This year they bring us a film about friendship, sacrifice and pursuing your dreams. Up focuses on Carl Fredriksen, an old man who ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies to South America for one last adventure. But he discovers much to his chagrin, that a young Wilderness Explorer named Russell has stowed away on board. Together, they brave the wild, make a few friends and learn the importance of friendship. It's beautiful and heartwarming.

9. Inglourious Basterds
Quentin Tarantino is back. He recovers from the senseless Death Proof and makes a World War II film unlike any you've ever seen before. Basterds stars Brad Pitt as the leader of a team of Jewish American soldiers sent to France to kill every Nazi they can find. Their paths are intertwined with a young Jewish girl who has a score to settle with Col. Hans Landa, who killed her family. Christoph Waltz is superb as the charming Col Landa, and is tipped for an Oscar nomination this year. The film itself of course is brilliant. It is one World War II film that isn't historically accurate, probably because Tarantino isn't aiming for authenticity, but for entertainment value. And he delivers.

10. Avatar
Twelve years after Titanic, James Cameron returns with a groundbreaking effects laden picture. Avatar is set in the future, and stars Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, a paraplegic marine assigned to infiltrate an alien race called the Na'vi on the moon Pandora, by using an avatar, a clone of the Na'vi which he controls while in stasis. His objective: to convince them to relocate so that his greedy corporate bosses and the military can mine a rare mineral on their land without resistance. However, Jake falls for one of the Na'vi as well as their way of life, and eventually has to choose a side. Storywise, it isn't original, but you have got to love the CGI on display. By using motion capture technology that would make Robert Zemeckis envious, Cameron succeeds in creating a whole new world on screen that before this, you could only imagine or dream about. It's a must watch simply for its visuals.

As I mentioned earlier, my list is less balanced. There weren't any comedies or horror films attached this time around. The one good comedy in 2009, The Hangover didn't make it here. It might have been on the list if I had seen it. I've heard nothing but good words about it. The only horror film I can recall watching last year was Drag Me To Hell, and unlike most people, I didn't enjoy it that much. Sam Raimi is seriously overrated now. He ought to go back to making low key films like A Simple Plan or The Gift.

Some other films worth mentioning that didn't make the list are Wolverine (simply because I am a huge fan of the character) and Zombieland (for making zombie films fun again). There are plenty of other films I had hoped would arrive on Malaysian shores, but didn't. Films like Coraline, Brothers, The Hurt Locker, Anti Christ (which is a huge longshot), The Road, Where The Wild Things Are and The Men Who Stare At Goats are all huge contenders for my list. I do hope I'll get to see these sometime soon.

Anyway, here's to another year at the movies.