Archive for the Movie Reviews Category

Lust, Caution (ζˆ’ | θ‰²)

Posted in Movie Reviews on October 30, 2008 by niennavarda

To kill the enemy, she would have to capture his heart....and break her own.

To kill the enemy, she would have to capture his heart....and break her own.

1942, affluent and sophisticated Mrs. Mak enters a posh cafe and makes a phone call to Second Brother. Flashback, 1938 to a shy university freshman girl, Wong Chia Chi left by her father for England after the war broke out. Mrs. Mak isn’t Mrs. Mak but Wong Chia Chi disguised for an ambitious and dangerous ploy to assassinate a top Japanese collaborator, Mr Yee.

In the throes of war, what can a handful of university students do? Kuang Yu Min, the head of Wong Chia Chi’s theater troupe felt they ought to do more than just stir up their audience’s patriotism. They engaged themselves in a plot where each student would have a part to play to kill a country’s traitor. Wong Chia Chi transformed herself inside out to lure Mr Yee into an affair by first befriending his wife. It was to be a play with no rehearsals and only one take. After a significant twist, Wong Chia Chi and Kuang Yu Min becomes more involved with the plot as they become part of the underground resistance group. The deception makes Wong Chia Chi’s identity and emotions hang in the balance.


I never got to watch this movie when the film was released last year. And instead of doing my much needed review for the upcoming JLPT exams this December, I watched this movie instead. I have no regrets, though. This movie is the kind of movie that makes a strong impact on you and somehow makes you a bit different after watching it.

The lighting and cinematography was excellent and aptly sets the mood of the time. Tang Wei as Wong Chia Chi was also superb. To be able to portray so much with those controlled emotions must have been very demanding but she made switching from a shy freshman to a sophisticated married seductress look effortless. Not to mention the graphic sex scenes she had to do. Gad, that MUST have been hard. And Tony Leung (Mr. Yee)… well Tony Leung IS Tony Leung. Enough said. As for Wang Leehom (Kuang Yu Min), maybe the role wasn’t as demanding as Wong Chia Chi but he fairly did well. But did I say that Wang Leehom was drop-dead gorgeous? OMG, ang gwapo niya!!! And did I say he also sings, composes and plays various musical instruments? OMG!!! Tulo laway =P~

On a personal note, I like the movie because I like tragic endings. The movie’s plot must have already been used countless of times but I like the subtlety of how the various elements were portrayed. The movie didn’t have a flowery screenplay (yep, no quotes for me) but the emotions were eloquently portrayed from the acting. Foregoing love for a higher purpose, patriotism, the need to grow up fast in turbulent times, breaking through a cold, unfeeling heart – these elements have all been used before but Lust, Caution makes you see them in a different light.

I was deeply moved when Mr. Yee cried after Wong Chia Chi sang for him. The cold, unfeeling, killing machine traitor was after all, human. The movie also made me think of how far can I go when fighting for my country is in the line. Can I do what Kuang Yu Min did? Can I allow the woman I love put her life in the line and let her body be used by the enemy for a higher purpose?

Well, in the end, Wong Chia Chi chose her emotions over her country which is stupid, but in reality could you really let someone who loves you so much and whose life has changed because of yours (not to mention someone you’ve already learned to love) be killed because of your deception?


Ang jologs nito at walang koneksyon sa pelikula, pero naalala ko lang bigla ang isang quote ni Bob Ong: “Kung hindi mo mahal ang isang tao, wag ka nang magpakita ng motibo para mahalin ka nya..”

Bakit ko ba ito nadagdag? Si Tinats kasi eh, puro Bob Ong ang laman ng diwa πŸ˜›

Natsu Yasumi (August 9): Batman, The Dark Knight

Posted in Happenings, Jologs in Japan, Movie Reviews with tags , on August 24, 2008 by niennavarda

Spent one the busiest, most expensive, most tiring, practically one of the best weeks of my life last natsu yasumi (August 10 – 17). One week of not having to go to work and actually living your life – need IΒ  say more? Yeba! πŸ˜€

(Posted this blog kind of late. Had been preoccupied with so many things, too muchΒ  nyornyor and had been too lazy to write. Need some morale boosting… anyone? :P)


August 10

Why so Serious?

Why so Serious?

Last minute shopping and Batman day at the Fuchu Toho Cinema with Tinats, Tid, Justin and Apple. My long wait for “The Dark Knight” to be finally shown in Japanese cinemas has finally come and am so glad that despite of the hype that usually makes me expect too much and ruins my movie experiences, Batman did not disappoint. “The Dark Knight” was lower on the action as compared with Batman Begins” but has a way better screenplay that will hit you really hard and blow your mind away. Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker was also his best performance ever and to me is the best villain the screen has ever seen. I can’t help to think how the hell he was able to internalize Joker’s sociopathic role. Awesome.Β  Truly deserving of an Academy Award. He has indeed gone a long way from “Ten Things I Hate About You.” Too bad he’s already dead :(( Such a waste, really. Anyway, his legacy lives on. To me, he has proven himself to be one of the best actors the world has ever produced (so kids, lesson learned, DO NOT mix prescription drugs.)

And of course who wouldn’t love Sir Michael Caine as Alfred? I seriously wish that I have someone like him to talk to. Need someone to help me organize my cluttered mind, too.

Christian Bale? Also the best Batman ever and I’m sooo glad Katie Holmes did not go back for this installment. She would just be an eyesore. Maggie Gyllanhaal may not be the prettiest actress there is but she truly is a great one.

Hats off to Christopher Nolan! Would definitely watch “The Dark Knight” again and again. It just really sucks that movies are outrageously expensive in this country :(( Anyway, for Batman, I would spare no expense. I just love dark and brooding men πŸ˜›Β  Anyone who wants to go with me?Β  To watch The Dark Knight, I mean πŸ˜€


Posted in Movie Reviews on February 6, 2008 by niennavarda


I’ve been out of touch with the world lately that I’ve just watched Stardust on DVD last Sunday. Man, I regret being a hermit and not watching this on the big screen. The movie was great! Maybe not as monumental as The Lord of the Rings but it was highly entertaining. It is a must see for people who like fantasy and happy endings.

After reading all of The Sandman, I can’t believe Stardust was written by the same author, Neil Gaiman. The screenplay adaptation of Stardust was light and whimsical compared to the dark, adult overtones I am used to in The Sandman. The plot isn’t really that new and the twists are predictable but it was a fun movie to watch. I still think that Neil Gaiman is a genius. I have to read the book.



Tristan Thorne (Charlie Cox) was hot (insert giggles here) and I have a really soft spot for geeks-turned-into hunks/losers-turned-into-heroes twists, being such a total geekoid and loser myself. I think it is every geek’s dream to live life out of the ordinary. *Sigh* I wish I could have the same adventures in an alternate universe.


I hate Claire Danes but prejudices aside, she did a good job as Yvaine.


Michelle Pfeiffer was ooohlala gorgeous! She has always been such a great actress. Great rendition as Lamia. Oooh, and how I wish I would age as gracefully as her.


Robert de Niro as the closet queen, Captain Shakespeare was such a lovable character. Mabuhay ang mga bayot! Hehehe. Robert de Niro is simply… Robert de Niro. Enough said. Mahusay!


The ghosts were all hilarious that it kind of made me sad when they all disappeared in the end when a new king of Stormhold was finally chosen.


And Ian McKellen… wow, Ian McKellen, I have always been a fan. Wonderful voice, great narration. Again, mabuhay ang mga bayot!

Overall, I give this movie a 4-star rating. Fun, exciting, feel-good πŸ™‚

I am Legend

Posted in Movie Reviews on January 14, 2008 by niennavarda

Movie Poster From

This movie sucked. It had an intriguing start which made you sit at the edge of your seat and expect more but the last 30 minutes was like pouring ICE COLD WATER over yourself. It was just terrible. Not even Will Smith’s strong performance could save it from a total wreck.

I hate it when people make me expect and put me down. Movies have the same effect on me.

It seems like the producers were all in a hurry to finish the film and cut it short. It was empty. It lacks character build up. Everything went down after Dr. Neville’s dog died. I mean, what’s up with the girl and the child appearing out of nowhere? And what’s up with those “zombies/vampires?” What makes them tick? Where do they get all their rage? Why do they hate Dr. Neville so much? Was this movie an effect of the WGA strike? It seemed like the beginning and ending was written by two totally different people or one with a classic case of Multiple Personality Disorder. Man, you’ve got to give those writers what they want. I wouldn’t want to take any more movie crap like this one.

In addition, I’m quite disconcerted with the running water. Why is there running water? The electricity, I can understand but water? Who is running that service? You’ve got to pay attention to those details, man. It’s irritating.

Overall, the movie had a great start but ended in a flop. I would give it 5 raw tomatoes. Hilaw, pare, hilaw.

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

Posted in Movie Reviews on January 10, 2008 by niennavarda

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Movie Poster

We watched this movie over the holidays and loved it! Mind you, we even watched it with half the movie without subtitles πŸ˜›

There isn’t really much to the story but it was mondo entertaining. Loved the dance numbers πŸ˜€ Would even want to learn the Jhoom Barabar steps and dance it with my sibs! Hehe.

Maybe it’s just the “Indian blood” that flows in my family or Bollywood movies are just purely entertaining but we promise to watch more Bollywood films from now on πŸ™‚ We even resemble them.

My dad looks a lot like Amitabh Bachchan (The old guy singing the Jhoom Barabar theme) and I think I even kinda look like Lara Dutta (Laila/Anaida) if I would care a bit more about how I look πŸ˜›

For the movie synopsis, click here.

Below is the opening scene of the movie with Amitabh Bachchan singing the theme. It makes me kinda want to sway this way, this way, sway this way, this way πŸ˜›