Sunday, December 30, 2007

How will 2007 shape up?

The Year 2007 at the cinema:

  • Vexille ***1/2 (Utterly predictable storyline - Japan gets annihilated yet again in animeland - but a story well told with spectacular visuals and at a rolllicking pace. Cool!)
  • Citizen Dog **** (Whimsical, hilarious and very Thai, this film captured the essence of Bangkok oh so well - buildings, dogs and plastic bottles! Although it was a smidgen saggy in the middle...)
  • Elizabeth I: The Golden Age ***1/2 (Strong acting, beautiful costumes and luscious visuals but, really, way too OTT. A caricature of history really, albeit an entertaining one.)
  • Moebius Redux: A Life in Pictures *** (An engaging and informative look at the life of comic illustrator, an insider's doco for comic buffs.)
  • 5 Cm Per Second *** (Beautifully drawn and put together, but perhaps a leetle too much teen angst.)
  • Tekkonkinkreet ***1/2 (A visual extravanganza with pretty good characterisation for an anime feature. Not sure if the storyline really worked though...)
  • Lust, Caution ***1/2 (If only the narrative structure had been tighter and more focused. Tang Wei and Joan Chen were wonderful to watch.)
  • Lars and the Real Girl **** (Thoughtful and touching, with a quiet gentle humour. Ryan Gosling does an excellent job here.)
  • The Triplets of Belleview ***1/2 (Great music, whimsical characterisation, but stylistically best appreciated by film buffs)
  • Sicko *** (Michael Moore back to his entertaining self, after the angst of Iraq, but the novelty has worn off)
  • Ratatouille**** (Funny, entertaining, heartwarming without being maudlin. Definitely one of Pixar's better offerings.)
  • Jesus Camp **** (A chilling look at religious extremism - disturbing to say the least)
  • Hairspray **** (Good stuff - great energy, fun choreography, spot-on casting. Kudos to John Travolta for a lovely performance.)
  • Brave Story ** (Patchy at best - it made me feel like yelling "Keep It Simple, Stupid!")
  • 881 ***1/2 (not the slickest or tightest of productions but loud, campy, funny and touching at the same time. oh, and great music too...)
  • Black Sheep ** (what a waste - this could have been so much baaaaaaa-der)
  • The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros *** (would have benefited from tighter story-telling and better editing but an engaging film nonetheless)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ***1/2 (saved by the rollercoaster ride pace, brand-new special effects and some brilliant casting)
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time ***1/2 (high school love story but one made palatable by good visuals and a sense of humour)
  • Shrek 3 *1/2 (a handful of clever jokes - we love Gingy's flashback scene - but it's time to retire the franchise)
  • I Don't Want to Sleep Alone **** (typically Tsai Ming Liang but possibly more accessible than most of his recent work. Malaysia should lighten up - this is really NOT about it at all.)
  • Volver ****1/2 (trust Pedro Aldomovar to take a soap opera plot and turn it into pure gold. Brilliant!)
  • Notes of a Scandal *** (stereotypical characters saved by superb acting)
  • Little Children *** (surprisingly decent but let down by an ending way too pat)
  • Requiem ***1/2 (Intelligent thought-provoking movie that Hollywood-style horror junkies should stay clear)
  • The King *** (Gripping but ultimately flawed.)
  • The Queen **** (give Helen Mirren the Oscar for Best Actress already)
  • Pan's Labyrinth ****1/2 (yes it was that good.)
  • Curse of the Golden Flower **** (***** for superlative visuals, * for plot, a jing1 ma3 jiang3 for Gong Li as Best Actress, and one for her heaving bosom as Best Supporting Actress, haha)
  • Borat ***1/2 (**** to Sacha Baron Cohen for impeccable improvisation skills)