Movies

Ah, a post about movies. Have been wanting so long to write a post about movies. There are currently so many summer blockbusters in the cinema and one really is spoilt for choice. Big bang movie lovers love the summer movies, for all the visual extravaganza and entertainment, doesn’t matter mindless or not, so long as one is entertained for that couple of hours. Life is hard enough eh, so why not spend some hard earned money on some good fun entertainment. And there you have TRANSFORMERS, HARRY POTTER, ICE AGE, etc.

But for a true movie lover, ahem, or movie snobs, movies like TRANSFORMERS can rarely satisfy them. I for one must admit that I enjoyed the fun in TRANSFORMERS, the visual and especially sound effects, all the running with extra focus on Megan Fox’s upper body, etc. But truly, in terms of substance, what is there in the movie? There is hardly any new ideas, nothing to stimulate thoughts and feelings (except perhaps for the extra adrenaline pump).

But contra this to DEPARTURES. Not many people in the movie hall though but all those who went, I believe, took home with them a certain thought, a certain feeling. Yes, the movie does not have big bangs and loud sound effects and stunning graphical effects, but what it has is something that touches us more deeply into our heart. A message that penetrates our being. It is like eating a really nice dinner compared to eating fast food.

I think I have mentioned before in a post about TOKYO TOWER that one feels like giving our parents a call right after watching the movie. Japanese movies have this kind of effect on me. It really touches me deep. Yes, I do love movies by European filmmakers, for example, but Japanese movies moves me a lot more. A family drama in the tradition of Ozu, DEPARTURES tells not only about family issues but also opens our eyes to a rarely, if ever, touched upon subject matter.

The performance is first class (oh the so cute and lovely Ryoko Hirosue whom I last seen in BUBBLE FICTION, – who is Megan Fox compared to her? Nobody!). The music is superb, with a very strong focus on the cello and we see Pablo Casals’ records everywhere.

It’s a wonderful movie and I hope that you would have seen it before it leaves the cinema. It will be a great treat for yourself and whomever you bring along to watch the movie.

On another note, I think I owe SELL OUT! a short write up here although I have commented on the movie on Facebook when an ex colleague in TGV asked me what I felt about the movie. As I have said in the Facebook post, SELL OUT! is a bold movie. It refuses to follow the more traditional “Malaysian” movies’ footsteps. It criticizes but done in quite an amusing way (although I only really laughed at the opening scene of the movie). It is sort of a musical and may put some people off (I remember watching EVITA and overheard someone at the back saying “oh my god, they are singing throughout the movie! aren’t they gonna say anything??”.) But don’t worry, there are dialogues in SELL OUT!

Anyways, for whatever its shortcomings, the movie did successfully interpret the many ills and problems with our society in quite an unconventional way and this deserves praise. We need more filmmakers that dares to get out of the box.

A side note, SELL OUT! was produced by my ex-company, ASTRO SHAW and for whatever insider stories I have heard about it, from the making to the marketing to the distribution, kudos will have to be given to the boss (I think it was Ralph Marshall’s call) for supporting filmmakers like this.

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