Elizabeth Tai

Scribbles about reading, writing and publishing in the digital era

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Reasons not to be TOO excited about Cloverfield

clover1.jpgDespite the headline of this post, I’m one of bazzilions who can’t wait to see what the heck is behind the destruction of New York City in Cloverfield. Is it
a) Godzilla, but with better CGI?
b) an angry, 30-foot lawyer? (Doesn’t that shadow in the poster look like a guy in a suit?)
c) giant clovers from outer space?

The Movie Blog – one of my favourite movie blogs ever – has three reasons why we shouldn’t be too excited over the supposed pre-summer monster blockbuster:

1) There’s nothing be be excited about.
The trailers have shown us nothing. Now, that might be a GOOD thing, and add to the experience in the theater when we see the monsters on the screen for the first time, and really get an idea of what the film is about for the first when we’re actually in the theaters. However, for now, I’ve got nothing to be pumped about. All I know is that there’s a big monster. That’s cool and all… but that alone isn’t enough to get me excited. I haven’t seen the monster. I don’t know what the movie is even about really… so why would I be pumped?

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Enchanted lives happily ever after

enchanted.jpgI continue to marvel at the success of Enchanted at the box office. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 94% rating! What, that’s like what the Lord of the Rings trilogy got. Why? I don’t get it. I mean, it’s incredibly predictable and although it is fun and funny, it shouldn’t be enough to catapult it to that high rating.

 

Yet, I – an ardent consumer of bloody vampire and zombie flicks, and whose favourite book is Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers – find myself humming the Happy Working Song and have a mad urge to twirl and sing to fluffy cute animals.

 

Maybe that’s the secret to Enchanted’s enchantment: It’s unabashedly silly and fun, despite the fact that you’re a grumpy cynic, you’ll be drawn in.

 

And here’s the dynamite: It’s not too adult for kids and not too kiddy for adults – the perfect family movie in a month filled with grim, bloody and depressing flicks. No surprise why it did well in the box office.

 

When I interviewed director Kevin Lima, he said that he had a feeling that this movie could change his career – if it does well. Well, it looks like Enchanted success is gonna make it happen for him.

And for the heck of it, here are the articles I wrote for Enchanted:

  • Labour of Love
  • Humorous turn
  • Keeping it real
  • And here it is: The Happy Working Song!!!

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    The Golden Compass: Non-reader, Non-spoiler thoughts

    golden-compass.jpg

    Yes, so non-Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials reader here.

    So way better than Harry Potter.

    I want a daemon hare too!

    And a talking polar bear.

    And a talking ferret.

    And a talking dog.

    Damnit, I want daemons to be real!

    golden2.jpg

    The Olimetre something something is cool. Don’t understand how she can read it though. Psychic or something?

    Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel. Sexy beard, sexy name, sexy daemon. Hubba hubba.

    Nicole Kidman is so classy and beautiful. I think she’s hot. And I’m a gal.

    Next year will be Visit Oxford Year….

    I really don’t mind being called a witch in this universe. Nice bows. No aging is a nice side benefit.

    Polar bear vs polar bear is WWE with steroids. Wait, they are already on steroids.

    Lyra doesn’t annoy me. That’s good.

    What religious controversy? Bah.

    I want to hug Mrs Coulter. Weird.

    And who’s her tailor? Cos I want him/her.

    Poor kid. Sniff.

    Then, the end. And I hear screaming: What? That’s the ending?! Eyeris is one of them.

    See, that’s why it’s good not to read the book before watching the movie. See? See? Being blisfully ignorant = Good.

    Darn. Looks like I have to read the book. Will probably hate second movie.

    Golden Compass readers, at the end, take a deep breath and say it over and over: There will be a sequel, there will be a sequel… think about the cute animals!

    Now entertain me and tell me what’s your daemon. (click daemon)

    I covet these posters:

    golden.jpg

    golden3.jpg

     

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    Keanu as Constantine? Who were they kidding?


    Neo, part deux.

    While at Kinokuniya recently, I decided to browse through Constantine graphic novels to get a feeling who this Constantine person is.

    When I first saw the trailer, I thought it was kinda cool. I didn’t think Keanu Reeves could act to save his life, but I didn’t know anything about Constantine then. So, hey, I thought – he was good as The One, so this may be no different.

    After reading some of the books (cough) by browsing through them at Kino, I echo Constantine fan sentiments: WTF? Keanu as Constantine?!

    First, Constantine is English.
    b) he cusses like there’s no tomorrow
    c) he oozes attitude
    d) blonde

    Keanu isn’t a good Constantine fit because:
    a) he looks like a yuppie fresh out of a Starbucks refill
    b) he’s not blonde.
    c) attitude? My pooch has more attitude.

    Some people say it’s just not fair to evaluate the movie before it’s even released, but if you can’t even get simple basics right like the fact that his secret name is Ged, not Sparrowhawk, you git (sorry, wrong movie adaptation) then this movie has no reason for existing.

    Who would’ve made a good Constantine:
    a) Ralph Fiennes
    b) Paul Bettany
    c) Not Brad Pitt. Okay, maybe Brad could do. As long as he can pull off a convincing accent.

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    Sin City rocks!

    This is for you fanboys out there

    Now, this looks like a movie that respects the material. I have not read Sin City, but a check at the Sin City section at IMDB reveals that:

    After a poor Hollywood experience in the early-’90s, Frank Miller refused to relinquish the movie rights to any of his comic works, “Sin City” in particular. Robert Rodriguez, a longtime fan of the comic, filmed his own “audition” for the director’s spot in secret. The footage, shot in early 2004, featured Josh Hartnett and Marley Shelton acting out the “Sin City” short-story “The Customer is Always Right”. He presented the finished footage to Miller with the proclamation: “If you like this, this will be the opening to the movie. If not, you’ll have your own short film to show your friends.” Miller approved of the footage and the film was underway. Rodriguez also screened the footage for each of the actors he wanted to cast in the film – all of whom are reported to have been instantly amazed.

    There’s more news there as well.

    Have a look at the trailer. It’s super cool as well. I’m probably going to convert it to VCD so that I can watch it in all its glory on TV. You can tell I have too much time on my hands.

    Everyone looks as if they belong there. Benicio del Toro looks cool as well as Bruce Willis. I wonder who Hartnett and Wood is playing.

    A fan did complain that Jessica Alba was miscast as Nancy. Why? Apparently because she won’t take her top off. Now, I know you fan boys are dissapointed, but hey, I will testify from what I saw on the trailer that she gyrates, slithers and wriggles very well.

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    Review: Return of the King extended edition

    Faramir giving his future wife an adoring look. Yeah, you got that right. It’s me he’s looking at.

    So, I’ll spit it out – I’m dissapointed. Now, before eyeris gets a heart attack, let me explain myself.

    I shouldn’t have read the book before seeing the movie. Then the dissapointment wouldn’t have been so acute. It doesn’t help that my favourite chapter in Return of the King is The House of Healing and The Pyre of Denethor. Pete Jackson mangled that pretty good.

    In the extended edition, The Houses of Healing is a blink-and-you-will-miss-it sequence. Instead of Aragorn healing Faramir, Eowyn to prove to the Gondorians that he is indeed the King returned, we get a “set up” for Faramir and Eowyn to exchange cow eyes at each other. (grumble)

    Hey, I love Faramir and Eowyn being together and all that. Faramir is one of my fav characters. However, in the movie, Eowyn seemed so … frivolous to have gotten over Aragorn so fast. And I agree with eyeris when he said that the Extended Edition made Aragon more … wussy.

    The Houses of Healing, if it had been done right, would’ve lent additional strength to Aragorn. Same with the ghosties at the Dimolt (sp?). What I don’t get is why must Pete extend the battle scenes even more? Honestly, one could scrape a few minutes from those scenes to do justice to the Houses of Healing or other crucial scenes.

    Also, now I get why Daphne is so irritated with movie-Gimli. In the EE, he seems even more like a clown. Yeesh.

    I didn’t get to see Faramir and Eowyn wed! (bawl) The scene was shot, y’see.

    Also, as I was watching the documentaries in the EE, apparently they also shot scenes about the fate of the rest of the team. There’s a scene of Gimli looking at jewels and one of a very delicious-looking Legolas (with longer, more pristine hair if it’s possible) walking in what could only be the forests of Ithilien. After the War, he helped rebuild Ithilien with Faramir.

    Ah, what could be! Pete, if only you could’ve just scraped 5 minutes of extended battle to allow us to see these scenes. But boys will be boys …

    PS: I will never ever read a book before the movie again. I mean, look what happened to Legend of Earthsea!

    Comments from the old blog

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    Tom Hanks will be The Da Vinci Code’s hero

    He’s a good actor and all, but does anyone out there echo my sentiments that Tom Hanks doesn’t feel like a Robert Langdon (spelling? Too lazy to check)? I don’t know. I’ve always thought Robert would be … cuter. More like Indiana Jones or something. And here’s from someone who has not read the book.

    Why have I not read the book? Well, I’m a person that avoids a book if it’s hyped up! Maybe it’s the snob in me who wants to say, in a plummy Brit accent: “No, I shan’t read the book.”

    Truth is, I just haven’t gotten around to doing it. I tend to be slow when it comes to book trends. I tend to read the “kewl” books months after the publicity has died down. Always waiting for a discount or a second hand book to come out.

    If I’m to start on Dan Brown’s books, I most probably would not start with Da Vinci but with Angels & Demons. I kinda like the title.

    Comments from the old blog 

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    Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort

    And I say, good choice! Fiennes is a fine actor (pun intended) and I loved his turn as the serial killer in Red Dragon. Or maybe I’m just partial to red heads.

    Anyway, my judgement on how fine (again! Ha!) a fit he is for the role probably doesn’t really mean anything since I’ve not read the book. :P So Potter readers, what do you think?

    According to BBC’s Fiennes named as Potter villain, filming has already begun for the fourth movie, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, but Fiennes have not shot any of his scenes yet.

    Brendan Gleeson, who will appear in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village will play the new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher Mad-Eye Moody.

    Miranda Richardson is Rita Skeeter.

    The movie will be in theatres in 2005.

    Well, since The Lord of the Rings no longer has any installments (though one does hope for The Hobbit), this is something to look forward to.

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    Brad Pitt as Mr Darcy?

    I nearly fell off the stairs when my sister told me that Brad Pitt was going to play Mr Darcy in an upcoming production of Pride and Prejudice.

    “Brad Pitt as Mr Darcy? Brad Pitt is Mr Darcy?!” And I made an idiot of myself by flapping my arms in an indignant manner.

    “What? What’s wrong with Brad Pittlah?” my sister asked.

    “He can’t carry it off! Mr Darcy is aloof, aristocratic, lordly!”

    “Pitt handsome what!”

    “It’s not about looks lah!” I stamped my feet. And continued to foam at the mouth explaining why Pitt, despite having met him in real life and knowing he is indeed a slab of grade-A American beef, can never be Darcy.

    Anyway, somehow the thought of the bronzed blonde Adonis as the aloof, gentlemanly Mr Darcy was a great affront to me. And I think I’m not the only one to think so – many Austen-ites have a specific idea how Mr Darcy should look or behave (the closer they are to Colin Firth the better ;) ). Pitt just rubs us, or at least me, the wrong way.

    Thank goodness then – thaaaank goodness – when I found out that no, Pitt is not going to be Darcy, someone called Matthew Macfadyen will be. According to BBC.com in Spy drama star is ‘new Mr Darcy’, he stars in a british spy drama called Spooks.

    Kiera Knightly will play Elizabeth Bennett. I think she can pull it off, but we’ll just wait and see, honestly. Why do they always use the current hot, young thing for prominent roles? Oh yeah, to lure the crowds in. Duh.

    All I can say about the adaptation (seventh, I think) is that more Austen is never bad.

    Unless they cast Brad Pitt as Mr Darcy and have rock-themed soundtrack.