Tag Archives: film

Film Review: Halbe Brüder

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Title: Halbe Brüder
Year: 2015
Director: Christian Alvart
Actors: Sido, Peri Baumeister, Wilson Gonzalez Ochsenknecht
Genre: Comedy
Language: Deutsch with English subtitles

Review:
Julian, Yassin, and Addi never crossed path before in the past, but one day they were gathered in a lawyer’s office just to be told that they were half brothers from their mother’s side. They were also told that they have got an inheritance, but only be given one clue how to get to it. So, the three men embarked on a journey of a lifetime as brothers.

I watched this film during my flight to Indonesia. Since my German was very much limited, I found the English subtitles helped a lot. I grew up reading subtitles, so it did not bothered me for one bit. However, I also know that for some native English speakers, the existence of subtitles could spoiled the fun of watching films — or just simply disturbing. But honestly, not watching this film just because it is subtitled… you’re missing something.

This is definitely a good comedy film. Like many comedy films, the storyline was just not logical. You cannot use your logic to make sense of some stuff in this film. It is not supposed to do that. Instead, it will make you say: “oh my dog… really??”, and laughed. And, no.. it is not that kind of “borderline bad cheesy” actions or “outrageously rude slapstick” either.

I cannot say much about the actors. I haven’t watched many German films (as much as I want to — I believe it would helped me in learning German better), so I don’t know many German actors. But these three main characters were definitely portrayed really well by these three actors. I wonder if they are the equivalent of Nicholas Saputra or Reza Rahardian in Indonesia — really good, but not yet go international.

It is not meant to be heavy, or deep. It does not promise you a good moral of the story. It does not try to confuse you with plot twists or anything like that. I believe its sole purpose of being made is pure entertainment. And it worked really well. It was enjoyable to watch, it definitely made my flight much more bearable, and it stuck in my head.

Again, I know that lots of people have problems with subtitles, but I will say it again that not watching a good film just because you cannot be bothered to read subtitles means you are missing so many good things in life. So, I will recommend Halbe Brüder, especially for these kind of people. It is light, it is not difficult to follow, and it is a good film. Who knows in the end of the film you suddenly want to learn German? There are lots of people want to learn Japanese because they watch animes.

I also will recommend this to other people. Like I said, it is good film, and definitely worth watching — as I rated it 4.5 out of 5. However, it is not for children though, as there are explicit words, sex scenes, blood, etc. Don’t say that I haven’t warned you 🙂

Prost!

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Film Review: The Hateful Eight

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Title: The Hateful Eight
Year: 2015
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Actors: Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Channing Tatum

Review:
Since I was never a Tarantino’s fan, I dismissed this film when I saw the teaser. However I did not say no when my brother in law said he’s going to treat my sister and I to the cinema, and watch this film. After all, I quite enjoyed Inglorious Bastards (come to think of it, I haven’t written its review, have I?), it could be that good — I thought.

The premise is that in the middle of a nasty winter in Wyoming, eight travellers stuck together in a little cabin because of the storm coming. Two bounty hunters, one prisoner, a war veteran, a new sheriff in town, a public executioner, a coachman, and a cowboy coming home to see his mum for Christmas. What could go wrong?

Well, it is Tarantino’s film, everything could go wrong, so there will be no surprise in it. What is a surprise was that I enjoyed the film thoroughly. It was slightly draggy for the first ten minutes, but then things escalated pretty quickly and I got really absorbed in the story. It was exciting, and well… it is understandable that it was rated 21+ — even with Indonesian butchering style censorship it was still pretty gory for your little ones, so just leave them with your mum.

I found Samuel L Jackson as the star of the film. He was awesome, funny, witty, and was pretty much owned everybody else in the film. I expected more from Channing Tatum but I don’t mind with his appearance. Kurt Russell though, I almost can’t recognise him, and he was good too — but again I think Samuel Jackson owned everybody else in this film.

I can’t compare it with other Tarantino’s films because I don’t watch many of them, but I can say that it was a good film. It was definitely entertaining and it doesn’t hold back at all. It has all things un-PC, so if you are a bit twitchy about that this is probably not your cup of tea. It has a lot of swear words and blood gushing scenes, so if you are into a sweet and lovey dovey drama, you might want to skip this one too.

Having said that, if you are 21 years or older, and you want to watch something worth your money on weekend in the cinema, I could recommend this– but not for first date unless you know your date like films like Kingsman or Die Hard, this might be a good choice. No, I don’t give warranty, you cheeky bastards.

My verdict is 4 out of 5.

Film Review: The Imitation Game

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Title: The Imitation Game
Year: 2014
Director: Morten Tyldum
Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kiera Knightley

Review:

Cumberbatch portrayed a celebrated British mathematician Alan Turing, who in his way of inventing a computer also helped the allies to cracked the enigma code.

I love Benedict Cumberbatch. I believe he is not only extremely good looking, and incredibly posh, he also has a voice that can make me blush and gush (come on, say “Flibbertigibbet” again). But those are not the reasons why he’s a good actor. I believe that he is really into a character, that he becomes “it”.

Unfortunately, the same reason that makes him great, has also become his downfall. In this imitation game, all I could think of is Sherlock Holmes, but in a different era, and with different hairstyle. I can’t overlook the similarity between the fictional character, and the portrayal of a real person. Was he to “Sherlock” to be Alan Turing? Or Alan Turing is actually shared a similar personality with Sherlock?

Apart from that one little thing that bugged me, I really enjoyed watching this film. I am not particularly happy with the plot time lining, I think it could end up confusing for some audience. But it was wonderfully written, it delivered not only the story, but also the message it was trying to send.

I like Kiera Knightley in this film. She is not one of my favourite actresses of all time. The last film that I think she was good at was when she was kicking balls in Bend it Like Beckham. But in this film she looks grown up, not only as a character but also as an actress. There’s a maturity in her solid performance in this film, which made her acting believable.

This is the kind of film I would like to watch with my family. This is the kind of film I want my children (if I had any) to watch. Not only it has a historical content in it, it also delivers a strong moral message for an issue that should be introduced to children since they’re young. All, without reducing the entertainment value of this film. I would be more than happy to rate this film 10 out of 10 if it’s not because of the timeline and Sherlock thingy, so I should settle this down to 8,5 out of 10.

 

Film Review: East is East

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Title: East is East
Year: 1999
Language: English
Genre: Comedy
Director: Damien O’Donnell
Actors: Om Puri, Linda Bassett, Archie Panjabi, Jimi Mistry

Review:
In mid 1940’s a Pakistani immigrant, George Khan came to Salford, UK and got married to Ella, an English born and bred woman. Twenty five years later, George Khan’s family consists of Dad, Mum, six sons, a daughter and one fish and chips shop.

After one incident that has practically smeared his face with black ink, George Khan — worried that his family wouldn’t be able to be accepted by the Pakistani society by being half-bred, tried to integrate his half English family to the Pakistani community in Bradford. The only way he thought the best, might not be the way his children wants. The clash of cultures have begun.

I couldn’t help comparing this with “The Namesake“, as I watched these two films back to back. Of course it is not completely the same, they also have different storytelling point of view. While The Namesake took the modern American, and a bit of Hindu – Indian as the background of the story, East is East portrayed the life of the family of Islam – Pakistani life in the 1970’s England.

I would leave The Namesake behind, as we have already talked about it last week. East is East is a completely different film. It is categorised as comedy, and since it was marketed more to the English audience, it doesn’t surprised me at all. It has different kind of comedy to those the American’s Hollywood comedy films. It is closer to how the Korean film makers made their comedy drama.

It began with a hilarious self deprecating joke, taking on the stereotypes we always heard. Some viewers might missed the tongue-in-cheek attitude and could easily thought that this is offensive. But these viewers might be just some closed minded bigot who could never take piss on themselves – a.k.a. the boring people.

While the story developed, it became darker and gloomier, and then without you realising it, you have stopped laughing and started to think… “oh shit”.

Watching this is not necessarily an emotional roller coaster, but it definitely gets me. I might be a little bit objective since I could easily relate to the characters, but it could only happen with the brilliant script writing and good actors. You might not realised at the beginning as I did that the little girl over there was Archie Panjabi, you might know her from her prominent role at The Good Wives, although she played a role on Bend it Like Beckham with the young Kiera Knightley.

This is a must watch, at least according to me. I would rate this film 9/10

Film Review: The Namesake

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Title: The Namesake
Year: 2006
Director: Mira Nair
Actors: Kal Penn, Irffan Khan, Brooke Smith
Language: English

Review:

This film is adapted from a novel by Jhumpa Lahiri by the same title. It was a story about a boy named Gogol, an American born Indian who wants to fit in American life while his parents are still stuck in the old Indian tradition where they were born and raised in.

For me, this story hits really close to home. I am not an Indian, but living in between two cultures makes me feel what the characters in this film feels and portrays. It was indeed a really good story, and was acted really well. It’s too bad that this film is not a big hit since it does convey a lot of messages to everyone. A very important message.

Of course this is a drama, not the action movie with big blast and explosions everywhere, so t might not attract many audiences. Although we can see some famous faces in this film such as Irffan Khan from Life of Pi, Kal Penn from Harold and Kumar or the TV series House M,D and How I Met Your Mother, and Brooke Smith from Grey’s Anatomy.

I love this film. Set in two different countries, USA and India, it portrayed the life of both very different culture.

I have to admit I haven’t read the book yet. I wish I had before I watch this film, but I honestly did not know that this was taken from a novel. That was my ignorance, and I would probably have to make up for that one.

I would recommend this film for anyone. This is quite vanilla, so it is very suitable as a family drama, although little children who doesn’t understand the depth might find it a little bit boring.

Film Review: Mysterious Skin

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Title: Mysterious Skin
Year: 2004
Director: Gregg Araki
Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michelle Trachtenberg, Brady Corbet

Review:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, you said, squealing while fantasising the younger version of this handsome boyish looking man. I think I better put the disclaimer in the beginning of my review, because if you are expecting a romantic comedy or any kind of vanilla drama, this is not the kind of Joseph Gordon-Levitt you would like to see. This would shatter all your fantasy of the perfect Joseph Gordon-Levitt you might have had in your mind.

Mysterious skin is a film made from a novel of the same title by Scott Heim in 1996. It is a dark drama about the life of two adolescent boys: Brian and Neil. Brian grew up as a very quiet boy who believes that he was one of the alien abduction victim when he was young, and Neil who grew up being a gay prostitute. Their life entangled in the past in the little town where the setting of the story was taken.

It would take a lot to make me feel that a film is disturbing, and I was a little bit disturbed in a way that I don’t know. I would have to put a very big disclaimer in the beginning, that this is not for everybody. As much as I think that this film is really good, some people would find this film as too much too handle.

This is definitely not a family drama. It has a lot of explicit sexual content, strong word and violence. Not for kids, not for the faint hearted too.

I would still rate this 10/10 and recommend this for my friends. 🙂