Monthly Archives: December 2011

Au Revoir Taipei *7.5/10

Kai, a lovesick young man, wants to leave Taipei in hopes of getting to Paris to be with his girlfriend. Kai spends long nights in a bookstore studying French, where Susie, a girl who works there, begins to take an interest in him. After one extraordinary night, Kai finds the excitement and romance he was longing for are already right there in Taipei.

I directly copy paste the synopsis up there from Wikipedia. Why? Because there’s nothing special with Au Revoir Taipei Script or storyline. Everything is so simple, fluffy and ordinary. There’s no dynamite explosion, emotion engaging, robot fighting, beer drinking scene at all. But that’s the beauty of it. Au Revoir Taipei manage to made me enjoying the hell out of this not so-realistic but cute romantic comedy. Is it because of the little charms that glows out of the girl who played Suzie? I don’t know. Is it because of the Taipei setting of the movie, which the director successfully made it as the replacement of the long overrated romantic Paris? I don’t know. Or is it because when this movie is played on my screen, I was alone in Saturday night without my girlfriend beside me? I don’t know. Quite frankly, there’s nothing really-really magnificent that came out from Au Revoir Taipei. The acting is a little bit sucks(except for Suzie) and somehow made all the actors like a glorified clueless idiots. The music is so typical. The story is predictable, stupid, and a bit dragging on in the middle. But I still found myself liking this movie. I don’t get it. And believe it or not, this so-called easy going movie won the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival 2010, the Jury Award at the Deauville Asian Film Festival in France, the Audience Award at the 2010 San Francisco Asian American International Film Festival the Golden Durian  Award at the 2010 Barcelona Asian Film Festival, and Best Narrative Feature at the Asian Film Festival of Dallas. Where did that come from?

Au revoir Taipei probably the first movie that was so mediocre, it becomes good, that I love. And perhaps becoming the only movie that works like a pointless charm that I never want to get rid of for me. Just throw away all your cynical point of view that came from lightweight movie when you watch Au Revoir Taipei. And probably, you’ll feel the same way that I feel, and starting to recommending this movie to the most of the people that I know.

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Merry Christmas!

Caution, this article is not for people who get easily offended 

That black dude from Casablanca doesn’t lie, time really flies goddamn fast. Its already 14 days before Christmas.  The time of mistletoe, fake tree, fat jolly old man, and countless obviously meaningless jazz musician sell their talent to the devil called money by making a Christmas album finally arrives?  Not again! I only kidding. Because of my unhappy childhood memories, Christmas time always feels like a magical time, even though I live in the third world country where there’s no snow around. But enough of all that stupid bullshit about Christmas. You guys probably already bored of the same old movie that always invade your screen at Christmas right? Movies like Home Alone, Jingle all the Way, Santa Clause or even Die Hard. You’re the luckiest human on earth by reading my blog, because all these movie below will change your 2011 Christmas moment from boring into the most awesome moment of the year if you decided to watch it.

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To kicking off things I choose Nagashi Oshima’s In the realm of the Sense. Why? Because there’s a great amazing scene on it that depicted some pervert guy tasting a girl menstrual blood. How’s that for Christmas? Don’t get me wrong, In the realm of the sense is a great art movie. Actually, I prefer to say that its a great pornographic movie disguised as an art. But this is the movie to go if you want to make some kind of rebellion to old testament bullshit kinda of Christmas because even for all those damn weird Japanese people, In the realm of the sense can be considered as the movie that breaking the barrier that tackles cultural taboos and perceptions between man and female in a very extreme fashion.
All those awkward kissing under the mistletoe getting replaced by grope and groping.

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Marked for Death is a 1990 action movie starring Steven Seagal. For those who never heard Steven Seagal’s name you should be ashamed of yourself. This is the guy that every human being since Vietnam wars always linked to Christmas. All of his movie always using Christmas as the background. Marked for Death tell us the story of Chicago DEA agent John Hatcher. When a gang of drug dealer influenced by Voodoo magic invaded his old neighborhood, John Hatcher taking that personally because he’s in bad mood, just like the tag line said. He hunted all those sorry sob who doesn’t stood a chance fighting against him, just like everybody who acting against Seagal. Back breaking, eye gouging, naked boobs, bone snapping, arms getting ripped off, people getting hit by a hammer, naked boobs(again), everything epitomed a Seagal movies is in here. There’s nothing better than watching Steven Seagal played himself kicking everybody’s balls in Christmas evening. This movie will remind us, that even though its Christmas, there’s still war in other part of the world.

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The third movie is The Last Temptation of Christ. This is the movie that offers us some kind of alternate version of Jesus life, played convincingly by Norman Osborn,  if he decided to married that hot Mary Magdalene. This is the only movie that really paid Jesus Christ the compliment of taking him and his message seriously, as Roger Ebert Says. But for me, this is only an entertainment. But if its good enough to make me laugh, it is safe enough for everybody’s to watch. So bring every single person in your family to gather around in front of your TV,even all those stupid little kids and jolly boring old fat grandpa,  and plug in the movie. Enjoy the best Christmas that you will ever get.

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I choose this fourth movie to challenge you guys to find the real meaning of Christmas. Its Rise of the Planet of the Apes. When a groundbreaking serum to cured Alzheimer’s disease being tested to a chimpanzee, all hell break loose. The apes learns emotion. The apes learns how to eat using spoon. the apes learns that 25th December is Christmas. I considered this seventh flick from Planet of the Apes franchise as one of the best movie in 2011. The Script was smart and surprisingly enjoyable. When you watched all those tortured scene, you will remember the way Santa treat all of his reindeer. Nothing more Christmas-y than this movie. Totally recommended!

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Drive * 10/10

Drive is a solid proof that a magnificent movie only need good story and character, with a little touch of unique art direction. Do not expect any kind of explosion zombie Rambo versus predator Michael Bay-Esqued MTV generation when you watched drive. Comparing Drive to, for example, any of the Fast and Furious flick is like comparing Bjork and Kate Perry. Just put your ass  in your seat, and enjoy the 100 minutes of another one of the kind experience that movie cinema rarely produce nowadays.

Ryan Gosling is playing the driver with no name who obviously, really like to Drive. He’s very talented in it. The first time we saw this guy at the movie introduction with a funky font, He’s some kind of wingman for a robbery. And then he did some stunt works involving car. And then he worked as mechanic. His life is circling around automobile. And like most of guy in this world, things goes downhill when a woman came into his life, introducing him to what we called, INTIMACY and brings out the real deal out from his soul.

Visually, this movie is stunning. Its the perfect combination of 80’s neon, black-white erotic Noir thriller, and any Michael Mann movies based on City of Angels. I’m not afraid to says that Drive is a heavy influenced artsy movie. You can catch various subtle haunting and weird visualization, in a awesome way,  all over the place. Just watch it, and then you’ll know what I meant. And don’t be surprised by the amount of gore and violence in it. It’ll hit you like a thunder in a blue wide clear sky. The retro induced soundtrack is also playing a big part in this movie styles, its like tiny sparks that made a beautiful fireworks complete.

And boy, Ryan Gosling. Where do I start? Seriously, I misjudged this guy. DRIVE is his point of no return for me. I doubt I’ll ever hate him in any performance after Drive. No, I don’t like his work in blue valentine, Crazy stupid love, or even the Notebook. Why? Because he’s bland and blah. Like a fucking rock. But drive changes it all. This darkly brilliant little bastard is charming and mysterious as hell. He’s like the modern version of Client Eastwood’s the Man with no Name. Imagining any actor to play his part is impossible.

Drive is already an Instant Cult Classic in my mind. The Cult that deserve the title as the best movie of 2011. And believe me, Driving is never been so Beautiful.

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