Monday, January 08, 2007

Four movies and a funeral

It has been a rather interesting weekend this past couple of days. Thanks to the Taiwan earthquake, I still couldn't do much on the internet, so I suddenly had quite a bit of time on my hands. What to do, what to do?

Friday night, I decided to go to the cinema for a late night movie and the only movie that looked interesting enough was "Night At The Museum" starring Ben Stiller and Robin Williams. It's a simple tale of a night watchman who discovers that all the exhibits in the museum comes to life at night. Although it didn't garner very positive reviews, I found the movie to be quite funny and the gags, while almost slapstick, was effective thanks to the seamless CGI effects. Memorable minor characters like a T-rex skeleton who thinks he's a dog, an Easter Island statue who loves bubble gum and a Neanderthal man who loves to eat the fire extinguisher chemical (like spraying cream from a can into your mouth) made for an enjoyable two hours that had the entire audience in stitches most of the time. I guess that goes to show that you can't really trust the critics.

Saturday: Caught up with an old friend for a cuppa and ended up watching "Children Of Men" on DVD at his place. I actually wasn't too keen to watch it yet as I was still halfway through the book. I shouldn't have worried, for even though the premise of the movie was based on the book, the story itself was quite different. Alfonso CuarĂ³n (of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban fame) completely stripped the story to its bare essentials and then reworked in new details and upped the pacing and shock value with scenes of bombs going off in the middle of the city and of 'Abu Ghraib'esque torture that were almost too real for comfort. This is a bleak and yet intense movie about humanity in the face of hopelessness, that has a ring of familiarity in our post 9/11 world today. It achieved 90% 'freshness" on the 'tomatometer' scale at the Rotten Tomatoes website. I guess this is the type of movies that critics would appreciate and for once, I'm glad they do. Highly recommended.

When I got home later that night, "The Sixth Sense" was on Astro. Try as I might, I couldn't help but sit my bum down in front of the television for a few minutes if only to see Haley Joel Osment utter those famous words,"...I see dead people...". Well, those 'few minures' turned into two and a half hours as I once again marvelled at the moodily effective screenplay and superb performances of the two lead characters as they went through their journey of discovery and acceptance of their roles in the netherworld. In contrast to the "Children Of Men", this was a more subtle and quiet movie even though the subject matter was of a more chilling kind.

Early Sunday morning, I went for the early church service which also doubled as an informal wake for an elderly church member who had recently passed away. It was of course a sombre affair and although I did not know the deceased personally, I too was saddened by his passing. Instinctively I resolved to appreciate my loved ones more and to express my love for them every chance I get before it's too late.

Later that evening, as the weekend was winding to a close, I decided to do a mini spring cleaning for my room. Tucked away in one corner was a pile of DVDs that I recently bought, waiting to be viewed. After an intensely sombre couple of days, I decided to wind down by watching a light and more uplifting movie: Take The Lead. It's based on the true story of Pierre Dulaine, a ballroom dance teacher who strives to impart some basic life lessons to a bunch of inner city teenagers on the verge of deliquency. Think 'To Sir With Love' with a touch of tango and fox-trot. Variety magazine summed up this movie pretty well,"...a well-intentioned, feel-good urban tale of adversities overcome... (complete with a) diverse mix of music, people, inspiring messages and the gentility imparted by star Antonio Banderas."

All in all, I think this was a rather memorable weekend. I caught up with a good friend, celebrated the full life of a church member, did some much needed spring cleaning and yet, still found time to enjoy not one, not two but FOUR good movies, critics notwithstanding.

Hmmm...maybe, not having the internet isn't such a bad thing after all. :-)


Siang Loong said...

holla there, am from mlk and was glad to c tat u took good shots of it. u work at KL or mlk? anyway, do u hav underwater shots?


sbanboy said...

Wah I wanna watch that movie ... One night at the muzeum .....