HOLLYWOOD

Just another WordPress.com weblog

To boldly go where no man has expected before: Star Trek 2009

startrekposterEnough lah for the negative review yah. Let’s think positively now.

Let me write about one movie, in which I put great expectations. STAR TREK, the reboot version, coming May 2009. Sebentar lagi. Saya sudah download comic prequelnya (4 jilid) di iPhone saya. Saya sudah men-download semua Trailernya dari Apple Trailers. Saya terharu saat membaca cerita mengenai sneak preview kejutan di Austin yang dihadiri oleh Spock, er sorry, Leonard Nimoy sendiri. Saat ini saya tak sabar menunggu film ini main di Jakarta!

Semua review sampai saat ini rata-rata memuji film ini. JJ Abrams, yang sebelumnya telah membesarkan Alias dan Lost, kini berhasil mengguncang dan mengembalikan excitement pada franchise Star Trek ini. Kekhawatiran para fans sebagian besar telah luluh, at least yang beruntung telah menonton duluan. Banyak yang menyatakan ini film Star Trek layar lebar paling menegangkan sejak Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982).

Catatan kecil untuk parade pemerannya, saya lumayan suka dengan Zachary Quinto sebagai Sylar, tetapi saya benar-benar bakal nge-fan dengan dia sebagai Spock muda! He was born for this role!

Ya, saya punya harapan yang tinggi pada film ini, semoga reviewnya nanti benar-benar seperti yang diharapkan.

May 31, 2009 Posted by | REVIEWS | Leave a comment

Slumdog Millionaire VS Daun di Atas Bantal

200px-slumdog_millionaire_posterdaun_di_atas_bantalJauh sebelum gegap gempita Slumdog Millionaire (SM), sebenarnya Indonesia telah memiliki Daun di Atas Bantal (DdAB) oleh Mas Garin. Dan saat saya dan istri menonton SM, kami sontak langsung ingat pada DdAB yang juga kami tonton bersama satu dekade yang lalu.

Mau membandingkan SM dengan DdAB, atau Oom Dyle VS Mas Garin? Itu bukan tema tulisan ini kok, tapi saya benar-benar terpancing untuk men-sandingkan kedua film ini.

Mumbay (dulu kita kenal sebagai Bombay kan?) dalam SM, bukankah sangat mengingatkan kita dengan Jakarta? Saya yakin cerita Jamal, Salim, dan Latika akan bisa kita temukan di berbagai kolong jembatan ibukota. Mas Garin menampilkan secuplik kisah serupa, meskipun di Yogyakarta, mungkin karena sebagai kontras atas Yogya sebagai basis kultur penting di Jawa? Itu hanya spekulasi saya, tapi tema yang dibawakan memiliki kesamaan yang khas.

Yang pasti saat menonton kedua film tersebut, perasaan jadi terasa down, sedih. Bahkan banyak penonton yang berkaca-kaca, misalnya saat Jamal bertemu dengan temannya yang masih menjadi pengemis buta dan menceritakan tentang Benjamin Franklin pada uang 100 Dollar Amerika.

Tetapi, kami berdua ingat sekali bahwa perasaan kami lebih sedih sesudah menonton DdAB, karena Mas Garin, dan Mbak Christine Hakim (yang juga producer filmnya) menampilkan suasananya dengan penuh ketelanjangan brutal kejamnya kehidupan. Doyle, mungkin dengan perhitungan bisnis dan selera penonton barat, membungkus kisahnya dengan Cinderella story dan romansa lost love found, dengan akhir yang Happy End, dengan kemenangan tokohnya atas kejamnya kehidupan. Ini suatu yang sangat membedakan perasaan kita saat menontonnya.

Satu persamaan kedua film ini adalah menggunakan pemeran cilik yang memang berasal dari kalangan anak jalanan. Kita tahu bagaimana pemeran Jamal dan Salim bahkan diajak ke Oscar, juga mereka mendapatkan semacam trust fund untuk masa depan mereka. Saya jadi tertarik bagaimana dengan pemeran cilik di film DdAB yah? Bukankah mereka sekarang sudah jadi pemuda-pemuda? Di manakah mereka?

Salute buat Oom Doyle dan Mas Garin yang membawa secuplik kisah dari bawah ini dengan gaya mereka masing-masing.

Salute for humanity.

May 31, 2009 Posted by | INCREDIBLE, RATINGS, REVIEWS | | Leave a comment

NIGHT AT MUSEUM REVIEWS

‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’ Movie Review

Rating three out of Five

Ben Stiller and Robin Williams

Ben Stiller and Robin Williams are back in ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.’

© 20th Century Fox

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian has bigger effects and the setting is of a much grander scale than 2006’s Night at the Museum. There’s more room to stage chase scenes and many more historical figures/pieces of art available to come alive by moving the film’s venue from New York’s Museum of National History to the Smithsonian complex in Washington D.C. 20th Century Fox accomplished the near impossible by being allowed to film inside the Smithsonian, yet they failed to take full advantage of the setting.
With so much new to play around with, there should be no reason for Night at the Museum #2 to feel like a rerun of Museum #1, right? Wrong. There’s even a lengthy monkey-slapping scene in #2, just like there was in the first movie. Granted, this time there are two monkeys. And twice the monkeys should equal twice the fun, but not so with Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.The Smithsonian setting does allow a few really quirky, cute interactions with famous works of art. The most engaging of these being our hero Larry escaping with his helper Amelia Earhart into the famous Alfred Eisenstaedt photo of a soldier planting a kiss on a nurse in Times Square on V-J Day. That, and a touching scene with the Tuskegee Airmen thanking Amelia Earhart for her groundbreaking accomplishments, do set this one apart from the original. But there’s a lot of retreaded material in here that seems just barely reworked for this sequel.

The Story

Amy Adams Night at the Museum 2

Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart in ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.’
© 20th Century Fox

We catch up with Larry the Night Watchman after he’s moved on from his job at the museum to being a rich inventor of semi-useful products. He’s pretty much forgotten about his friends at the museum, but when his old buddies are crated up to be shipped to the Smithsonian’s warehouse where they’ll languish for eternity (or until someone cleans the place and tosses them out), Larry comes to their rescue. The tablet that brought them to life in NY didn’t make the trip, but as luck would have it there’s another tablet already housed in the Smithsonian’s warehouse that has the same magical powers. Unfortunately, the guy who possesses this tablet, Kahmunrah (the older brother of NY’s tablet owner), uses its powers for evil.Kahmunrah’s collecting henchmen (i.e. Napoleon, Ivan the Terrible, Al Capone) to help him open up a passageway between worlds so he can bring forth his army of bird warriors. The gang from NY are ready to fight, but they’re being held prisoner in a shipping container for most of the film. Meanwhile Larry, Amelia Earhart, the monkeys, some Einstein bobble heads, and the Statue of Abraham Lincoln are left to figure out how to stop Kahmunrah and save the day.

The Cast

Ben Stiller slips into his night watchman uniform once again, delivering pretty much the same level of performance as in the first Night at the Museum movie. If you liked him in that, you’ll like him in this. If not, well then why watch this sequel? It’s more Larry-centric than the first movie so if Stiller’s not your cup of tea, pass on Museum 2.Robin Williams is back but barely used, Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan have expanded roles as the tiny cowboy and Roman soldier tag team, and even Ricky Gervais puts in an appearance again as the curator of NY’s museum. And they all do what you expect them to do with the material, though Wilson and Coogan don’t seem to be having as much fun this time around.

From just checking out the trailers I thought Hank Azaria was going to annoy me to no end as the Egyptian Kahmunrah, but he’s actually more entertaining to watch than Stiller or the rest of the returning Night cast. However, his performance doesn’t hold a candle to Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart. I don’t know if Adams is playing her anything like the real Amelia, but it’s a blast to watch Adams get all sassy as the world’s most famous female aviator.

Owen Wilson and Hank Azaria

Owen Wilson and Hank Azaria in ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.’
© 20th Century Fox

The Bottom Line

There’s a batch of other actors thrown into the mix (Christopher Guest, Alain Chabat, Bill Hader, etc) without being given much to do, and way too much time is spent on scenes that are only sort of cute but go absolutely nowhere. Two different scenes have Stiller being threatened if he crosses an imaginary line when one would have been just fine. And we’ve seen the Easter Island statue or whatever it is make rhymes out of dum dum a couple of times already so enough is enough. With so little time to devote to so many new characters, chopping out a few dum dums wouldn’t have harmed the movie whatsoever. I know I’m nitpicking, but I wanted something fresh, something original out of this sequel, and instead it’s mostly recycled material.Kids should still get a kick out of this Museum, but adults may have a harder time finding something worth laughing at this time around.

GRADE: C

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian was directed by Shawn Levy and is rated PG for mild action and brief language.

Theatrical Release Date: May 22, 2009

May 23, 2009 Posted by | REVIEWS | Leave a comment

TERMINATOR REVIEW

‘Terminator Salvation’ Movie Review

Rating four out of Five

Christian Bale Terminator Salvation

Christian Bale as John Connor in ‘Terminator Salvation.’

© Warner Bros Pictures

The summer of 2009 finds a batch of franchises trying to rise from the dead. Okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement as X-Men wasn’t really dead, but you get the picture. Hollywood’s bringing back some popular film franchises and, so far, the results have been mostly positive. Wolverine wasn’t wow worthy, but it was at least a decent action film. Star Trek on the other hand exceeded all expectations, effectively reviving, reinvigorating, and re-whatever else a film series that had flatlined.
Now McG and Warner Bros are rebooting the Terminator franchise, sans Arnold, with Terminator Salvation. Removing Schwarzenegger from the mix is a risky move but, truthfully, as a native Californian I’d rather see our governor concentrate on fixing the state’s economy than stomping around blowing things to pieces while speaking in truncated sentences. And if you’re going to take Schwarzenegger out, plopping in Christian Bale as the film’s main draw isn’t a bad trade-off. So Bale’s John Connor, Australian newbie Sam Worthington (keep an eye on this guy…he’s going to explode – and since we’re talking Terminator I’ll throw in that’s not to be taken literally) is a hybrid we haven’t seen before in a TerminatorMoon Bloodgood and Bryce Dallas Howard fill the Sarah Connor strong female character void, and Anton Yelchin tackles the pivotal role of a young Kyle Reese. It’s not a bad collection of actors for a Terminator film but that doesn’t guarantee, even with Bale in the lead, that this new Terminator is going to live up to its predecessors. Granted, pretty much any new addition to the Terminator franchise would have to be better than Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, a film most diehard Terminator fans would like to use time travel to go back and destroy. But what about living up to Jim Cameron’s Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)? T2’s effects still hold up after all these years, which is really saying something for the work Cameron and the effects artists did on that sequel. movie,
Sam Worthington and Anton Yelchin Terminator Salvation

Sam Worthington and Anton Yelchin in ‘Terminator Salvation.’
© Warner Bros Pictures

Director McG and screenwriters John Brancato and Michael Ferris had a heavy load to bear in bringing this fourth Terminator to life, and for the most part they succeeded in making a movie that is worthy of Cameron’s TerminatorT2, but it’s certainly within arm’s reach of the bar set by that film. franchise. It might not be quite as good as

The Story

After a brief recap of events leading up to Terminator Salvation’s present day – post-apocalyptic 2018 – we find Skynet and its Terminators, Hunter-Killers, Hydrobots, and other cruel machines have left the planet a bombed out wasteland, with just scattered pockets of human survivors. Members of the Resistance (they wear red arm bands as a badge of courage) fight off the machines in organized assaults, but we humans are not winning this war. John Connor, not yet the leader of the Resistance, is disliked by the Resistance’s head guy (played by Michael Ironside) but respected by the grunts on the ground. Along with his right-hand man Barnes (Common) and his eight months pregnant wife, Kate (Howard), John Connor works on hunting down Skynet’s machines. But an encounter with Marcus Wright completely changes John Connor’s perception of Skynet’s capabilities.

Marcus is a hybrid with a human heart and brain housed in a skin-clad mechanical body, a creature – apparently of Skynet’s making – that Connor never knew existed. Resistance fighter Blair Williams (Bloodgood) trusts Marcus – he saved her life – but the Connors aren’t as accepting. Marcus is declared an enemy, Blair has to rescue him from being put to death, and that sets up a confrontation between John and Marcus that changes the course of both men’s lives. John and Marcus discover they share a goal: to keep Kyle Reese (Yelchin) alive. Kyle’s been captured by Skynet and John Connor knows there is no other option than to rescue him. The future of mankind is depending on it and if it means he has to try and trust a machine, then he’s willing to go that far in order to guarantee Kyle’s survival.

The Cast

Bale’s the very definition of intense and he can handle action scenes like nobody’s business. But he opted to use a modified Batman growl in this that just seems out of place. It’s a small misstep but one that bothered me enough to remind me throughout the film that this is Christian Bale. I think it’s the first movie where I didn’t lose sight of Christian Bale the actor while watching one of his characters.Bloodgood’s a real revelation in this, and boy does she kick some serious butt. Howard is also terrific, though underused, as John’s second in command. Same goes for Common as John’s right-hand man. We see little of him but when he’s there, he has an impact.

Moon Bloodgood in ‘Terminator Salvation.’
© Warner Bros Pictures

The two real standouts in the whole production are Yelchin as Kyle Reese and Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright. They’re so good in this I’d liked to have seen more of them working together as a tag team going after Terminators. Yelchin’s boyish good looks don’t at first glance fit with the hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners Kyle portrayed by Michael Biehn. But the more Yelchin’s onscreen, the more Kyle the teenager seems to warp into Kyle the man who will become the father of the leader of the Resistance. And Worthington is the star of this film. The pre-release hype focuses on the John Connor storyline, but Marcus Wright as played by Worthington is the most compelling character to come out of the Terminator franchise other than Schwarzenegger’s Terminator.

May 23, 2009 Posted by | REVIEWS | Leave a comment