MOULIN ROUGE! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)

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I’m definitely Toulouse-Lautrec hanging from a high beam screaming the cheesiest, yet incredibly magical line: “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” (Truth! Beauty! Freedom! And above all, Love!)

(I still can’t believe that Luhrmann was snubbed of a Director nom. To quote the hilarious Whoopi Goldberg in her Oscar 2002 opening monologue, “I guess Moulin Rouge just directed itself!”)

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published June 27, 2017.)

HERO (Zhang Yimou, 2002)

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Why do I have this weird feeling that Direk Chito Roño chanced upon this film one late evening on HBO before he started pre-production for The Healing? Also, Christopher Doyle’s cinematography was just WOW!!

I remember having the biggest crush on Zhang Ziyi post-Crouching Tiger. Felt so bad when her Hollywood debut via the terrible Horsemen failed miserably. Crossing my fingers for her redemption in God Particle.

And I developed a slight fear of arrows after this. Not even kidding.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published June 29, 2017.)

BRIDE WARS (Gary Winick, 2009)

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Burning questions:

• I couldn’t understand why they chose to sabotage each other’s weddings when they were supposed to be the best of friends. Shouldn’t they have tried to ruin the life of Casey Wilson instead (especially since she acted really maldita to them)?

• Would any woman in her right mind ever dump the leaner version of Chris Pratt for another guy?

• They looked so much in love. Why didn’t they marry each other instead? #LoveWins

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published July 1, 2017.)

DARK WATER (Walter Salles, 2005)

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One of the better Hollywood remakes of an Asian horror movie. I liked how it focused more on the psychological drama (maternal love, abandonment issues) and minimized the cheap scares (although I missed the elevator scene, definitely the scariest one in the original).

On the flip side, it was affected by some pacing issues and a wooden Dougray Scott (he was supposed to play Wolverine?!).

I wish Jennifer Connelly didn’t suffer from the Oscar curse (Winter’s Tale! Noah!) because she was just fantastic in this one.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published July 3, 2017.)

 

INCEPTION (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

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I dreamed a dream in time gone by…I dreamed a dream in time gone by…I dreamed a dream in time gone by…I dreamed a dream in time gone by…Now life has killed the dream I dreamed. (In my chosen reality, this film is further proof that art and commercialism are not mutually exclusive.)

Marion Cotillard and that Edith Piaf song! ❤️

I have this strange fascination of ambiguous endings and the one used here with the spinning totem was just perfect. Chase your reality!

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published July 4, 2017.)

THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS (Ken Kwapis, 2005)

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Why can’t all jeans be magical and fit all shapes and sizes? It would definitely help me save a lot from buying bigger ones every year.

Loved the cast of (then) young women, although a pre-Emmy America Ferrera was the clear standout.

Those express shipping fees must have cost a fortune, no?

“But Tibby, the pants have already worked their magic on me. They brought me to you.” 😭😭😭

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published July 5, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT (Johannes Roberts, 2018)

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Even worse than the first. Watching this movie about a family of morons getting butchered definitely put the torture in torture porn.

It was so bad that I was gleefully singing along to Air Supply’s Making Love Out of Nothing At All while the whiny daughter was getting ready to be filleted.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published June 16, 2018.)

MOVIE REVIEW: BAO (Domee Shi, 2018)

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I found the accompanying short film Bao a more effective representation of parenting (than The Incredibles 2). One scene elicited the loudest gasps from the audience and I immediately knew how much I loved this bizarre little treat. The fact that it broke my heart in just a few minutes (very much like Up’s opening sequence) was just a bonus.

I probably would never look at a dumpling the same way again. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have strong cravings for Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao (those in HK, not the terrible ones in BGC) after watching, though.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published June 19, 2018.)