Set it All Free via Sing

We really love the Movie Sing. The story itself is simple, but since my two girls really love animals they get really excited to see them sing. The plot is so relevant since there are so many so talent competition on TV right now. There are also a lot of lovable characters. Buster the Panda that own a teather, Gunter the over-excited Pig, Rosita the over-worked Mom of 25 piglets (this itself get them giggles), Meena the shy elephant, Ash the punk rocker porcupine, Johnny the Gorrila, Ms. Crawley the devoted chameleon and many more.

For me the most interesting thing is the brilliant song choice! We can immediately recognize “Firework” by Katy Perry…but some of the songs are from a different year and even different era. I learned about Beatles’ Golden Slumber because Nana Noodleman sings it in the opening scene. Then there is Elton John’s I’m still standing, Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing. Not to mention the songs from the audition. While I wont introduce the entire Crazy Town’s Butterfly to my girls, the movie cut to the perfect part. The fishes singing Beyonce’s Crazy in Love and the Red Panda girls that sing Kira Kira Killer are spot on. I think the writers really did a good job scouring and picking the songs and matching them with the characters of the movie.

The icing on the cake for us is the only original song in the movie. Yup, Set it All Free by Ash. My girls see her as a really cool girl. So, we really love to watch her sing it. After watching the movie we resort to youtube to watch Ash’s part. But, we came across the cover of Set it All Free by Sam Tsui & Madilyn Bailey. While Scarlett Johansson’s vocal is perfect to capture Ash’s strong and feisty character, we really enjoy the softer take of Sam and Madilyn 🙂

 

Third Oscar for Daniel Day-Lewis!!!

Yeaaahhh, finally the award season has come to an end…and Daniel Day-Lewis becomes the first Actor who won three Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role..What a season for him…
I have been quite lucky this year since the cable TV aired all the major award ceremonies: The Golden Globes, The SAG award, The BAFTA and finally the Oscar. I get to watched DD-L took the prize in all of them ^^
Since then, I conclude that he was not only a good actor, but also a good, natural, eloquent, entertaining speaker. If there were a competition for best acceptance speech he can took home all the prize too 🙂

Here are all the speeches that I could find.
In the Globes, he came across as very genuine, and offer to have his award in a time share basis with his fellow nominees

Then in the SAG Award, he made a very good point that it was an actor who murdered Abraham Lincoln and that it only fitting every once in a while that an Actor should try to bring him back to life again…remarkable

And finally the Oscar. His speech about him being the first choice to play Margaret Thatcher was really funny and unexpected.

I still have not got the chance to watch Lincoln. But judging from the clips that every award ceremonies showed and the fact that he won every major award for the role, I am sure that DD-L did very well 😀

Simply amazing…just wander how long will it take this time until he came back with another movie 🙂

The Lord of The Rings vs. Doing a Ph.D

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy definitely are some of my favorite movies of all time. I remembered I watched the first installment of the Trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring back in 2001 when I was still doing my Ph.D. I was so amazed by the spectacular sceneries, the actions, the characters (especially Aragorn!) that I spent quite sometime to learn about the book, Tolkien etc.
I am not going into detail about the movie itself, as I think much have been said about that…
During the periods of the trilogy conquering the cinema, a friend of mine, who is also doing a Ph.D study sent me a joke that the TLOTR story actually really resemble what we are doing as a PhD student!! I remembered that the joke was really funny 🙂
So, as I watched the movie again on TV yesterday I cant help but wanting to read that joke again…and I found it!
Here is the link if you want to have a read for yourself:
http://danny.oz.au/danny/humour/phd_lotr.html

First 3D Experience: Yogi Bear!

I have read about the latest cinematic technology called 3D. But yet again, I am lagging in trying it up ^^
…and finally, yesterday I had the chance to experience it, in a form of Yogi Bear. I was not really planning to watch this movie, but I have wanted to take Ratih my four year old daughter to watch a movie in the cinema for quite sometimes. First, I wanted to take her to see Toys Story 3, but I was too busy at that time. Then, there was this Legend of the Guardian…but something got in the way too…thats why, I jumped right to the opportunity yesterday.
I was disappointed though. The movie is so “ordinary”. lacking in so many levels. Unlike so many animated movies of recent that have interesting storylines while conveying good messages and delivering lots of laughs (Shrek! Up! Ice age 3!) this movie is pretty flat 😦 Sure the 3D effect is interesting. at some point I even scream as I thougt I have been spitted by Turtle-Frog hybrid 😀 But it is far beyond what I have expected from an animated movie. Predictable storyline (especially involving the humans), not so funny lines, and not so many laughs. Half way through the movie, Ratih even started asking me, where’s the lion cause I accidentally mention that the lion will look so huge in the big screen. After a while the 3D glasses become so tiring to wear too..I even felt that my eyes get so tired after finishing the movie. I wonder if it is really safe…
Well, I just hope I can take her to see a better animated movie soon. Afterall, a movie is about the story, not JUST technology!

Half day of Full Entertainment: American Idol and the Golden Globe Rerun

Yeah, finally got the time to post something.
The term has officially came to an end yesterday…and though there are still many many things to do my mind and naturally my body too just refuse to do more works. So I switched on the TV before Ratih is awake and tried to find something worth seeing.
It turned out to be my lucky day as there were American Idol Season 11 and Golden Globe rerun!!!
I have been waiting for the AI since I heard that one of my favorite band frontman is gonna be the Judge!! And I was not disappointed…Steven Tyler made an entertaining judge. Sure he has a lot of antics and blurbed unsuitable words, what can we expect, he is a Rock Star 😀 But, he was honest, genuine and most of all unpredictable!! You never knew what he was going to say…And he has great sense of humour too. I was a bit skeptical for J-Lo though…but then she warms up to me, because she’s not mean and she is so gorgeous 😀 and well Randy, he was Randy as usual..So all in all I was immediately hooked!
After Idol, there was Golden Globe. I was not into the globe this year so much until I heard that Colin Firth won Best actor for The Kings Speech…and looking at some of the preview I cant wait to watch!!! I also want to watch the Social Network now. It looks as though the movie capture the ups and downs of Mark Zuckenber (did I spell his name correctly) pretty well. I must admit that I got into the Facebook phenomenon quite late, as always. I am quite resistant to anything that is addictive you see. I also think that there are some issues of privacy about Facebook. But, the man has created worldwide phenomena, so I am interested to see how he came up with such an innovative idea and see the entire story!

Have you watched these?

A great movie takes you to a different world…

Like many many people, watching a movie is something that I really enjoy doing. Its one of my passions outside traveling and listening to music. Well, how could I resist it, it’s in the gene! My late grandpa and my father are both movie-addicts. So as a child I remembered watching movies like Ben-Hur, ET and Superman with my family. But then as I grew up, I started to have my own choice. I am not a real movie critic so my choices are not extraordinary…to me, a great movie must serve its purpose. If it is a suspense movie then it must make the audience hold their breath and keep guessing the end. If it is a comedy, then it must make you laugh. For a drama, it can do so many things..it can bring tears to your eyes, it can lift your spirit or make you feel in love. A great movie will have a lot of other ingredients: a good story, a great actor and actresses, wonderful setting, and the icing of the cake would be a good score/music! There’s nothing more fulfilling than to watch a movie with all these elements. A great movie takes you to a different world…
Sometimes when I daydream, I wonder how good it must feel to be a movie critic. All you have to do is to watch a movie then write it down…Yeah, I know, I know, it’s a simplification, no offense to all the movie critics out there. But, then I thought, its not a dream…I can be a movie critic (wannabe of course) by writing it here…After all, this is my space, where I can say almost everything rite 😉
So, ladies and gentleman, I will start writing what I feel, love or hate about movies her, starting with lists of my favorite movies…
But, before moving on with the list, I have a confession to make…you may find that a certain actor appears so many times on the lists. Yes, I am a huge fan of Daniel Day-Lewis. So, I love ALL his movies. I know it is biased, but try and see some of his movies for yourself, especially those on the list :D, and you will see that he is such a great actor who deserve the credit…okay okay, I will talk about DDL exclusively in a different post :p
So, without further a do… I will start with the drama category. As I suggested above, drama cover a wide range of topics. I will start with drama related to love. Its always good to talk about love rite?
So here are my choices in no particular order (I find it hard to rank them haha)…

The last of the Mohicans: this is the movie that introduces me to the greatest actor of all time. The first time I saw this movie, I was so impressed (yup, I go on to watch it many many times haha). It has the entire ingredient to be a great movie. The story was captivating, a white man, brought up by his Indian Father, falling in love with the daughter of a British General in a war-torn America. The chemistry between Daniel Day-Lewis as Hawkeye and Madeleine Stowe as Cora was impeccable. Some of the scenes are a little scary, but DDL is searing as Hawkeye! Some of the lines in the movie are so good “No matter how long it takes, no matter how far…I WILL FIND YOU, just stay alive” (Hawkeye to Cora just before he jumps to the waterfall) Owww…how sweet…The scenery are breathtaking and the music score is haunting…My old time favorite 🙂

The Age of Innocence: you may start being suspicious that subjectivity comes to play here…haha this one is also starring Daniel Day-Lewis. This time he is Newland Archer, an upper-class lawyer in a still innocent New York. He is engaged to May (Winona Ryder) who is perfect as an innocent but a little boring May Welland. When, May’s cousin, Countess Olenska (Michelle Pffeifer) who is charming and extraordinary, came to New York due to marital problems, Newland finds himself torn between the life that he knew best with the life that he wishes to lead…Owh, this movie is directed by the great Martin Scorcese, and the music score is so subtle…lof it!

The Bridges of Madison County: I watched this movie only once a long looong time a go…but I can still remember how touched I was with the story. I cant remember the detail, but Meryl Streep is a devoted housewife living a rather mundane life. She meets Photographer Clint Eastwood and has a brief once in a lifetime romance with him. The story is not new, but, perhaps the acting makes this movie so touching…at least to me…

Legend of the Fall: The first of a couple of Brad Pitt’s movie in my list 😉 Here he is at his very best (if I’m not wrong, he was nominated as best actor in supporting role here) shining as a free-spirited, wild as a mountain, middle son of a former colonel Antony Hopkins. The first son is responsible and level headed (Aidan Quinn). When the third son, the most vulnerable one came with his fiancé (played by Julia Ormond), troubles start to surface, as all the three boys fall for this beautiful girl. The story is complex, with lots of conflicts, great acting from the four leading me. The mountaneous backdrop of the movie is also beautiful..in fact, the only downside to me is Julia Ormond…I find her a little “quiet” to attract the interests of all those men…haha..called me cynical, but see and judge for yourself…

The English Patient: this Anthony Minghella movie won Best Picture at the Oscar and deservingly so..It is a tragic love story between two lover played by Kristin Scott-Thomas and Ralph Fiennes. She is a wife of a British officer, and he is a Rumanian explorer. When the two meets sparks starts to fly and they follow their passions with serious and tragic consequences.

Forrest Gump: “My mamma said…life is like a box of chocolate…you never know what you’re gonna get” These lines are the trademark lines of Forrest Gump. A whimsical tale about a phyisically-challengenged Forrest to rise against all odds. The story is fascinating and Tom Hanks plays it very well. For me, two things that I take from this movie is: how Forrest fall in love and stay true to his love for Janie (or is it Jennie), his childhood sweetheart. Then, how his mother loves and supports him to face the challenges in life…Motherly love is amazing, rite? Owh some of the scenes from Forrest’s life are (how he became a football hero, table tennis champion, etc) sooo funny!!

The Piano: another movie that I watched only once so long a go, but I still remember it being so unique and tragic..It’s about a mute woman (Holly Hunter) who went to marry a guy (Sam Neill) in New Zealand. She brought her daughter and her beloved Piano. After sh e got married, her husband sells her piano to a neighbor played by Harvey Keitel. At first, the woman hates him but then slowly their relationships is transformed that brings them to serious situation.

Titanic: what more can I say, you probably have seen this…it has a timeless story, Leo and Kate in it, an incredible set, good special effect and of course that haunting song…My heart will go on and oooonnn….But, unlike many girls that swoon over Leo at that time, I was not one of them…I don’t know why, I just don’t, sorry Leo 😉

Before Sunrise: compared to the other movie, this one is a little quirky with an indie touch. But, it is sweet, has strong performances from the leads and of course the scenery is amazing. Two strangers meet on the train. They instantly click and feel a strong connection that they explore before the sunrise. I love this also because I love travelling by train hahaha…

American Beauty: This is one of the best contemporary movie in years. It follows the lifes, loves of one dysfunctional family. Annette Benning is a dominating wife of Kevin Spacey. Spacey is brilliant as a depressed, mid life crisis man. Tora Birch is their daughter who must handle her own problems too…A stealing performance from Mena Suvari who becomes Spacey obsession. Watch out for that scene where Spacey day dream about Suvari…what a scene 😉

The Notebook: One of the most recent movies that made it into my list. I was a little late to watch it…It already created a lot of buzz due to on and off-screen romance between the leading actor (Ryan Gosling) and leading actress (Rachel McAdams). Usually, this would create a lot of expectation and I would end up disappointed…but, after watching this one, I cant help but fall in love with it…The story is so classic, but the two young leads create such a good chemistry…

Meet Joe Black: Hmmm, this one was trashed by the critics…but, hey who cares, I love it. The story is a little whimsical. Brad Pitt is Death, sent to take a wealthy businessmen Anthony Hopkins’s life, just before his birthday. Pitt ends up falling in love to his beautiful younger daughter (Claire Forlani) so cue all the problems. I must admit, Pitt is irresistible in this movie though he did almost nothing haha…But, what really made me love this movie is how it portrays the relationships between a dying father and his two daughters. How his first daughter loves his father knowing that his father’s favorite is her sister. Imagine if you knew that you will die, what will you do over the last hours that you have? And the scene where he finally must say goodbye to his daughters is so moving…hiks..hiks..Owh, the movie also has that famous line “Thank you for loving me” that inspires Jon Bon Jovi to make a song out of it…

City of Angel: the premise of this movie is rather similar to Meet Joe Black. I guess tragic love story always intrigue me haha..Nicholas Cage is the angel of death..When he’s sent to take somebody at a hospital he saw Meg Ryan…He fell for her and you better see the rest…Moral of the story is: would you trade a million years of eternity for a day of true happiness? The soundtrack of this movie is so good I still love to hear it until now 😉 And I don’t want the world to see me, cause I don’t think that they will understand, when everything would be broken I just want you to know who I am…

Closer: another contemporary tale that follows the relationship of four human being played by a stellar casts Jude Law, Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen. The plots are so complex, I dont even want to describe it here. But the movie is so great in capturing love, lust and infidelity…

Up Close and Personal: “For all those times you stood by me, For all the truth that you made me see, For all the joy you brought to my life, For all the wrong that you made right” are excerpts from the lyrics of Because You Loved Me (Celine Dion) that is the score for this movie. It practically sums up the movie well. Its about a young journalist (Michelle Pfeiffer). She is taken under the wing of a TV professional played by Robert Redford. They soon engaged in a relationships. But the woman does not want their relationships to hold her from her dream. So, the movie is really about how the man support the woman at the cost of his own career…how sweet…

Well, some of you may argue that the list is rather contemporer…I have heard and read some of classic love stories like: Gone with the Wind (watch some part of it, but never in full hiks), Casablanca, From Here to Eternity, On the waterfront etc…But, sadly, I have not got a chance to watch it…but, they are certainly in my must-watched list 😉

Still many more to come, but gotta go back to my real job haha…
To Be Continued…

OSCAR!

Yeah, its finally the time for the event that movie fans worldwide has been waiting for. Yup, its time for the Oscar!!!

If you are genuinely interested about movies, you are probably waiting to see if Brad Pitt and Kate Winslet would finally get their first oscar, and if Danny Boyle and his Slumdog Millionaire will take home best movie. Of course there are those who watch the Oscar purely to catch a glimpse of their favourite star, to see what they are wearing etc etc…

As somebody who really enjoys watching movies, I have been following the oscars year after year. Not that it totally defines what I watched (cant imagine the academy would even noticed my personal favourites like While You Were Sleeping or My Girl :D), but it does influences my watch list. I would not immediately choose to watch Mystic River or As Good As Its Gets if it weren’t for the Oscar buzz that they received hehe…and most of the time I agree with what the academy has chosen…As a kid I watched BenHur and was so thrilled by it. As a teenager I wept over Rain Man and get a fright over The Silence of The Lambs.

I also enjoy watching the ceremony itself to see how somebody that has worked so hard get recognised and acknowledged. Still fresh in the memory is the nite when Titanic and The Lord of The Rings took best movies. And how Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts and Halle Berry shed their tears of joy as they took the oscar for best actress in the Leading Role.

But, my personal interest is on the Best Actor in the Leading Role category 😉

Last year was my personal favourite as I watched the best actor living in the planet took home Best Actor for his fine performance in There Will Be Blood 🙂 A well deserved one!!! In fact it is in this category that I mostly disagree with the Oscar 😛 By now, Daniel Day- Lewis should have four oscars in his credit 😀 They gave him his first Oscar playing a writer with Celebral Palsy, Cristy Brown in My Left Foot, and his work was pure brilliance. Then, he got nominated for his fiery performance as wrongfully imprisoned Irishmen in In the Name of the Father…but they gave the Oscar to Tom Hanks in Philadelphia…I have nothing against Tom, but I think Daniel acting was so moving. Then, he got nominated once again playing Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York. Though the movie makes me squirm over its violence, Daniel is imppeccable! Yet again he lose to Adrien Brody…Well, you might argue that my opinion is biased 🙂 But just look at his movies and see how diverse his roles are and how many impacts he brought into his character. To me, the man has got his own league 😉

Now, back to the Oscar…

Sadly, this year, I have not watched any of the movies who got nominated. Not even The Dark Knight hiks hiks. So I have not got a personal favourite. Purely watch to enjoy the event, and of course I am waiting to see if that particular gentleman would come and present at the nite…Phwaaa…Cant hardly wait!!! Perhaps not the live telecast cos I’ve got a real work to do 🙂

But that day my head will certainly be filled with “And the oscar goes to…”