Monday, September 28, 2009

The Magic of Sandra Bullock

She is not a “pretty girl” any more, but she still got the magic. After “Speed”, she got bad shots like “Speed 2” and “Miss Congeniality 2”, but she got more good ones like “Miss Congeniality”, “Two-week Notice” and the successful re-union with Keenu Reeves in “The Lake House”. This latest “The Proposal” could be considered as a “reversed” version of her “Two-week Notice” with Hugh Grant several yrs ago – you just need to change the boss from a guy to a gal, and of course, change the super assistant from a girl to a dude.

Sandra did quite a good job in playing “tough girls”, like the “wild cat” in “Speed”, and of course, the Tom-boy cop in “Miss Congeniality”. This time, she is once again, playing an icon for all OLs – the all-mighty editor in chief, a.k.a., “the witch”. While Ryan Reynolds is arguably the most handsome assistant ever, you could be daydreaming about having such a considerate assistant that can do everything from OT, bodyguard, party partner all the way to rush out to buy lady’s pads for you at midnight… The funniest thing is, he even drinks the same flavor of take-away coffee with his boss, cuz he’s afraid that he might spilt her share on the way to office…

The whole story is actually quite predictable – the female boss was forced to fake a marriage with her own male assistant, and they had to pretend to be a couple in love in front of the family members and friends of the dude. Jokes are everywhere, and I particularly like those ones that are quite close to our daily office work. Obviously most audience in the cinema shared the same opinion as mine.

BTW Sandra Bullock keeps fit quite well (although not quite sexy…), and when paired with the latest “Sexiest Man Alive”, the nude scene is pretty nice… Feel like that Ryan shares with Andrew (his role in this movie) in one common thing – they both married a powerful woman…

For the ending, everyone knows lah… Plus, the scenes in Alaska are gorgeous.

(This pic was used to make the cinema posters in Singapore, which I preferred. Wonder why I couldn’t find this version of poster online…)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Splendid Feast – “G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra”

“G.I.Joe” was the only “boys’ cartoon” I watched during my childhood. Now I could even hardly remember the names in it, don’t mention the stories. But the theme song still rings the bell – “G.I.Joe, G.I.Joe, …”. So I headed to the cinema as soon as I found this “beginning” movie was on.

Basically there are two “winning tricks” to make a real-life movie out of a classic comic book / cartoon: You can either make a much “deeper” (and most of the time, much darker too) story to attract those ppl that never watched the original ones, or just use tens of millions of dollars to “reproduce” those classic costumes, scenes and monsters so that the loyal fans will finally pay the bill. This “G.I.Joe” movie chose the second one, by piling up incredibly advanced weapons, incredibly CG effects and incredibly hot hulks and chicks. Don’t expect anything “abstract” or “reasonable” here – what you should expect is just a splendid feast for your eyes.

Channing Tatum is not good enough for my Duke, but anyway he is not doing much “solo” here (Marlon Wayans a.k.a. Ripcord definitely stole a lot of scenes from him), so I’ll just let it be. Sienna Miller showed me nothing but her sexy curves, and the most unforgivable thing is that she even could not make any chemistry with the Korean heart-throb Lee Byung Hun! On the contrary, Lee Byung Hun did whatever he could to make the impression, including showing his six-packs without any reason in his last scene (OK, I admit, there is one reason for that, the box office…).

To me, he did his Hollywood debut much better than his fellow Daniel Henney. Other baddies are just normal, no difference from other baddies in other movies. The only one that “popped up” is Arnold Vosloo (as Zartan, whom I believe that will have some bigger shares in the next sequel), because another “un-credited” role in this movie is Brandon Fraser (as a Joe trainer). That reminds me the “Mummies” series… Another name to take note is the young Storm Shadow (the adult role by Lee Byung Hun), Brandon Soo Hoo. This little boy is only 14 yrs old, with black belt in Taekwondo, fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, and practicing Wing Tsun now. Could he become the next Bruce Lee?
Notable scenes of this movie:
1. The car racing in the streets of Paris. Although we all know that was not true, just use your imagination pls…
2. The fall of Eiffel Tower. You guys French must got some issue with Hollywood – There are quite several movies recently took this big guy down.
3. The attack of Joe’s under-water troops against the secret base of MARS. That reminds me the Pacific War era – the legendary Hornet and Yamato…
Scenes that could have been better:
1. The first confront between Baroness and Duke. Maybe they wanted to make Joe’s look more powerful, by portraying a group of useless commandos…
2. Fights between Baroness and Scarlett. Come on, two hot chicks are fighting! Can you show us sth hotter?
3. Fights between Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes. Again, we expect more skillful sword-plays. Even the laser swords in Star Wars 30 yrs ago did a better job.
And I can promise you that there is definitely gonna be a sequel. But I really got worried for the writers and director of this coming sequel – how would you make the story when you got Zartan in the office of xxx…