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petetherock

Movies You Watched Recently And Felt Strongly About

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It's been a while since I have written, so much has happened this year..

Let's start with a light hearted one:

Soul Of Bread (愛的麵包魂)

Starring one of the sweetest actresses in Asia to ever grace the silver screen: Michelle Chen. This Taiwanese sweetie pie is sweeter than any of the confectionary items in the show. The plot is rather simple. It’s a romantic comedy about the contest of two men who excel at baking for the love of our sweet Michelle Chen.

It uses a mix of Taiwanese and Mandarin, and brings us into small town Taiwan, in a way that has not really been seen since a much older 70s production called “The Story of a Little Town” (小城故事 ). There is sharp wit, and the director takes us into the heart of Taiwan, whilse we see a battle on the bread front, between two men who could not be any different.

We have Gao, the classic retro man, one who has never set foot out of his little town, speaks Taiwanese, and looks like a hoodlum. But he has a good heart, but is uncouth, shoots from the hip and feels totally threatened by the newcomer. French Taiwanese Bread, who looks like Adonis, articulate, cosmopolitan, and earnestly comes to learn how to make bread.

The battle ground is the baking table, and the winner takes all, bread, girl and everything, and it is a fun movie with a lot going for it due to the solid chemistry, the genuine feeling you get that everyone is having fun filming and acting in this show, and of course, the absolutely adorable Michelle Chen, so looks the part of the sweet girl next door who has to decide if her desire to see the world and the charm of ‘el sauvo’ is more important than the honest kind man that is always by her side.

You have to watch to the end to see how it goes.

4/5 for plot

No action to speak of, and minimal surround effects, so even a DVD might suffice.

A keeper for me.

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Edited by petetherock

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Two Guns: Movie Review

After I watched this, I had a lot of mixed feelings… the kind you get when you just witnessed something that could have been so much better… not that it was rubbish, but with some tighter story editing and a better plot, you could have had a movie that Quentin Tarantino could have been proud of. I guess that summarizes it for you about how I feel about this show.

Denzel Washington and Mark Wharlberg play two uncover agents from different agencies who end up robbing a bank and being double-crossed by their respective agencies. They come together to outwit their foes reluctantly and survive all the attempts on their lives.

This could have been a movie which combines the best of the buddy cop movies with the kind of tension from Training Day, another Denzel Washington movie which was far more successful. Instead it doesn’t know if it wishes to do worse than Street Kings, and it doesn’t have the slick coolness of Three Kings, another more successful robbery caper.

However it isn’t all bad, as the two main actors exhibit solid chemistry and the basic premise of the story works, just that there are many loopholes and impossible scenarios. Bill Paxton was quite awesome as the bad guy, and the good action made it alright for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I would recommend this for a rental and if you like it, then buy it.

Plot: 2.5/5

Action and surround: plenty of shootouts, but nothing new or inventive in them, but the surround effects and bass will keep the home theatre fans happy. 3.5/5

Check factor: One gal isn’t a lot even if it’s Paula Patton (from Mission Impossible)… 3/5

3/5

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42: Movie Review

Sports movies are usually a sure bet. You get action, drama, sometimes romance thrown in too, and a few rousing moments that allow you to leave the cinema with chests swollen, a feel good factor and a certain albeit temporary urge to take up the sport featured in the movie that one was just watching..

42 is about Jackie Robinson, the first Black player in the US professional Baseball league. It’s sheer arrogance to call a league the World Series when only one or two nations are playing, but that’s the Americans for you…

But this is a touch above the rest, thanks to a fine cast, who avoid overacting, whilst giving a realistic portrayal of the hardships and obstacles faced to be the first Black pro baseball player.

You cannot help but root for him, and at the end, you will be up on your feet cheering him on.

Plot: 4/5

Action and surround: the baseball arena is a fine place to showcase the surround effects and bass that will keep the home theatre fans happy. 3.5/5

Check factor: almost non-existent… 2.5/5

Recommended for sports movie fans as a keeper

3/5

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The History of Future Folk http://www.rottentom...ture_folk_2012/

A little gem of a movie that may have slipped under the radar.

It may be a low budget Indy Sci fi, but it has plenty of heart and a great story.

All I can say is put a red bucket on your head and HONDO !!!

Wife and I watched it today and loved it :rofl:

Off to Bunnings for a red bucket (already have a banjo)

Hondo

Edited by tableturns

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Unbeatable_Regular-Poster-1.jpg

Unbeatable – Movie Review

Dante Lam is an interesting Hong Kong director who can bring the best of his stars. In Nick Cheung, he has one of the best material to showcase. Nick is willing to make a lot of effort in preparation for his roles, and here, he does a massive transformation, beating his 45 year old body into shape, and producing a top shape chiseled body for his role as a down and out ex boxer who wants to make a comeback as a MMA fighter.

The movie borrows heavily from many other movies, such as Warrior, which borrows from traditional hits like Rocky, and other boxing shows before. What makes the difference is the intensity Nick Cheung brings, and his chemistry with the younger, and new actor Eddie Peng, who does valiantly to keep up and the precocious and yet lovely young actress Crystal Lee who is like Asia’s Dakota Fanning.

Sporting movies with an underdog concept are always welcome, and even though the boxing plot the backbone of the movie, it’s much more than just a sporting movie, and the acting brings this movie to a whole new plane, with a greater focus on relationships, and making the best of difficult lives. There is hope, amidst the sadness, and Nick does wonderfully to portray the down and out boxer, with a solid supporting cast. The MMA fighting scenes are also quite well done, and there is plenty of action too.

4/5 for plot

Surround and action 4/5 : good use of surrounds, bass and the 7.1 DTS-MA soundtrack works well to impress.

Chick factor: lots of sweeties, but not a movie about hotties. The plot and good action, plus the humorous scenes will more than compensate.

A keeper for me.

PS: for the trivia fans, Nick worked for 9 months to get his body in shape, and for the audiophiles, the initial cans the lady used are Panasonics (Panasonic RP-HTX7-W1 Stereo Headphones -White) whilst the I think the second pair are Philips SHL5905BK/28 CitiScape Uptown Headphones and the lovely song is Sound Of Silence by Ania Dabrowska.

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The Chef, the Actor, the Scoundrel

An interesting and slightly outlandish Chinese production, set during WWII in China, where a group of Chinese Resistance fighters try to wrestle the secrets of an antidote to a cholera epidemic out of a couple Jap scientists.

The plot is over the top, and totally outlandish, with bright colors and crazy acting. Good chemistry and the whole show is largely set within a small place but you will be glued.

Good surround and fantastic bass, a real demo for mid and deep bass.

Recommended for a watch at least, but you will need to understand their lingo.

Edited by petetherock

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http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2014/01/the-secret-life-of-walter-mitty-movie.html

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Movie Review

Well recommended..

I leave you with the motto of Life Magazine as depicted in the movie:

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer,to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

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Gravity

- it's a solid effort, driven by a more than credible solo act by Sandra B. Yes, there was good and also very funny dialogues by George C, but it's very much a marooned and struggle to survive genre movie, which pits this movie squarely against powerhouses like Castaway, which to me is the gold standard of this genre.

And against Tom's effort, perhaps I am biased, as I like him, he is the master, and she is merely the pupil. Even in Life of Pi, the young boy did exceedingly well, and you also have to consider Robert Redford's recent effort, and as much as I like Sandra, she isn't in the same class.

Nevertheless it was a very enjoyable movie, with a few holes in the plot, but the use of silence, space, and the twirling about was very effective.

Any effects were secondary to the plot, and Sandra had to carry the movie with the range of her emotions, which had to change from confusion, fear, to resignation and finally courage and hope.

Spoiler:

Wished the hallucination of George was real, even if it was implausible, but I like nice endings and it would have been nice to see him break the space walk record and live to tell the tale.

3.5/5

Nice use of surrounds, but it's not a big bad bass sort of show.

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Non-Stop

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is an interesting action thriller with a strong element of who-dunit on a plane. It stars Liam Neeson, who at 61 is the go to person for someone who can play a thinking man's action hero, taking up where Harrison Ford left years ago. He can think, and yet packs a mean punch despite his years, and carries a back story of loss and sadness which adds an element of sympathy.

This movie has a simple idea, an air marshal has to find who is demanding a ransom of 150 million to prevent someone dying every 20 mins. A little like Speed in the air.

With someone like Liam Neeson, who has proven he can act in heavy movies like Schindler’s list, and can pack a punch in the “Taken” series, he carries the movie well aided by other actors like Julianne Moore, who plays a co-passenger with a mysterious past that is never quite fully explained even until the end.

There is an obligatory Muslim man, and other stereotypes who provide red herrings whilst Liam tries to figure who is the real bad guy, and people keep dying at the 20 minute mark.

The tension and build up are good, but the third act is a bit of a letdown as the tension and timing built up rushes to the finale too quickly, almost as though they needed to finish the movie before the two hour mark.

That took away a bit of the suspense, and believability and made this a 3/5 instead of a 4. There were a few plot holes too …

SPOILER ALERT:

Why did a 20s Marine have difficulty overwhelming an alcoholic ex NYC Cop?

How did they the knife on board?

Why didn’t the plane explode on landing, you can’t dump fuel that quickly..

And as WEB mentioned, the 4 mins felt like ten times longer..

It was also the widest A 320 with acres of spaces..

I don’t think they will be showing this show on inflight systems anytime soon ;)

Action was tight, thankfully without the shaky cam. But there was not much bass or surround use, which is a pity.

No real chick factor here, but it wasn’t missed.

I consider this a rental, since it’s hard to withstand repeated viewings once you know who the villain is, but it was an entertaining 100 mins or so.

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"Her" (2013)

A lonely man called Theodore Twombley falls in love with a seemingly autonomous computer programme called Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Simple, and yet audiences can read into it pretty much anything they want to, or need to: the lonely and heartbroken will see the movie as being about the death of love in the modern world. (Warning: do not see this film if you are heartbroken. You will probably throw yourself under a bus afterwards.)

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The History of Future Folk http://www.rottentom...ture_folk_2012/

A little gem of a movie that may have slipped under the radar.

It may be a low budget Indy Sci fi, but it has plenty of heart and a great story.

All I can say is put a red bucket on your head and HONDO !!!

HONDO ;)

Thanks Kopthat

Great movie :wub:

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Running Out of Time - movie review

Watched an oldie, produced in 1999, when the two Laus were still young, and botox free..

Classic Johnnie To stuff, centred around characters and a good plot instead of merely pyrotechnics or a big production. It pits Andy Lau as a sort of baddie with 4 weeks left to live against the negotiator cop with no social life, Sean Lau. They compete wits against each other and also against the clock as Andy suffers from some fatal illness.

The other cops are made to look silly, as these two slug it out in mental battles amidst a jewel heist.

Lam Suet, and some of the others (the Viet guy from PTU) are also in this show. The girl on the bus is now Ekin Cheng's wife..

It has a front heavy soundstage, but it's decent enough fair, and you are intently listening in on the wit, and please make sure you watch this in Cantonese for the best content.

Recommended for all fans of Johnnie's work and also of classic Hong Kong cinema. This was made before big money from China, and the obligatory insertion of a Chinese actor / actress with over the top pyrotechnics that seem de riguer for the current crop of productions from HKG / PRC.

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Thunderbolt - movie review

Got round to another oldie, this one by the master of stunt himself, Jackie Chan. If you felt the adrenaline rush whilst watching the recent movie "Rush", then you will get 10 times the cardiac jolt from this action thriller.

There is no CGI and the stunts are amazing. The plot is almost by the way, but essentially Jackie plays a car garage owner, who has to race the main villain to rescue his sister.

There's plenty of car candy and eye candy too, and those who miss the old madhat, Jackie martial art sequences will relish this show, as he takes on legions of baddies in almost impossible stunts, and Ken Lo, who is his bodyguard in real life play an amazing villain who is almost the match of him.

The video transfer and sound on this older release DVD is nothing to shout about, and the dynamics are a little flat, but what happens in the show will make you more forgiving.

Recommended for race and action fans.

JCThunderbolt_poster.jpg

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The Cave - movie review

If you are a fan of climbing, thrillers, and don't mind suspending your disbelief or groan at the poor acting, this movie has a lot going for it. There are good sets, with some excellent climbing sequences, and in spite of the fact that it's 'only' a DVD, the surround effects are top shape and you get a yarn that mixes some Aliens with Pitch Black and even Prometheus..

Good enough for a rental, and I often use this to showcase what a good surround setup can do, even with lossy audio.

A keeper for me.

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Blood Work - movie review

This is one of Clint's lesser works, and made $26 mil on a budget twice that..

It's a slower pace movie and feels more like a TV episode than a full movie. There is something comforting to see Clint in action, even at his age (it was 2002 when they made this), but it doesn't work as well as his older Dirty Harry movies. There is a tone similar to Zodiac, but it just doesn't have the pacing, nor the action to keep up.

Good enough for a rental.

220px-Bloodworkposter.jpg

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The Cave - movie review

If you are a fan of climbing, thrillers, and don't mind suspending your disbelief or groan at the poor acting, this movie has a lot going for it. There are good sets, with some excellent climbing sequences, and in spite of the fact that it's 'only' a DVD, the surround effects are top shape and you get a yarn that mixes some Aliens with Pitch Black and even Prometheus..

Good enough for a rental, and I often use this to showcase what a good surround setup can do, even with lossy audio.

A keeper for me.

513JC4G6XQL._SY300_.jpg

I really enjoyed this movie. DVD quality was very good but I ended up buying the blu ray version of the movie from Yes Asia and the LPCM lossless audio track was awesome. Definitely a great movie to demonstrate your surround sound system

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220px-A_Perfect_World.jpg

On a roll with Clint's movies and this week is Perfect World, a movie he made in 1993 whilst doing The Line Of Fire.
Another subtle, and quiet hit that showcased Clint's directing, and here Kevin Costner was still at his peak, and it was a successful movie which shows that Clint could direct and still do a very good job of acting.

Kevin plays an escaped convict who takes the kid TJ Lowther along for a ride with Clint in pursuit.
It's a little off the usual beat, and Clint doesn't play a role which stretches him much and he rides along in the same vein as he did in Line of Fire, but Kevin and the little kid steals the show in a little Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid set in the 50s in the time of Kennedy.

Not a lot of action or surround material for demo, but it's the dialogue and acting which sustains this.

Recommended for a rental at least or a keeper if you are a Clint fan.

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Switch - movie review

Oh dear, this movie is the epitome of what is wrong with Asian films right now...

It has a decent plot idea, the hunt for two halves of a priceless painting, and takes you to many exotic locations. You get many attractive mega-stars, plenty of eye candy, and as many Audis as you wish to blow up.

But it borrows so much from a variety of movies, such as Mr & Mrs Smith, Treasure Hunt, True Lies, and many more. There is rampant use of CGI, but is so poor quality that it spoils the action.

Lin Chilin may be one of the most beautiful women in the world, but she can't act and she gets herself into shows where her lack of acting chops shows only too clearly...

The action is frenetic, but the plot development is thin, and after a while, you aren't sure who is the truly bad guy, and the villian played by a scrawny Chinese actor in a peroxide hairdo and a cheesy Japanese accent doesn't really create fear... I think Javier Bardem asleep looked more menacing than this chap.

There are huge sets, and evidence of big money, but sadly it fails where older movies like "The Legend of Wisely" or "Dr. Wai in the Scriptures with No Word" did much better..

If you are a Lin Chiling or Andy Lau fan or just want lots of eye candy, you won't be disappointed.

A rental at best...

YMMV...

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Monument men movie review

This was apparently based on a true story of Americans who went into nazi occupied Germany in a bid to get back as many of the precious artwork and other historical artifacts that Hitler's men were looting.

George Clooney and his friends certainly had fun making it, and there are many buddy banter moments.

However the pacing is a little irregular and you get moments of tension and emotion and yet some rather disjointed and slow scene. A tighter editing and less forced emotions would have served this plot better.

However all in all, it's a interesting enough plot and worth a rental at least.

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Lego the movie is one more in the list of Lego related movies / films that cleverly use lego bricks to make characters. Transformers have nothing compared to this, the dialogue is far wittier and the transformations are merely a small part of this show, which is interestingly a character driven one with a good theme behind it.

Ordinary man can strive to do the extraordinary and be 'The One' as the bad guy tries to make everything conform and create the ultimate weapon.

Not merely a distraction for the kids, it will be interesting for adults and reasonable distraction for a day out at the movies and the kids will certainly want you to buy it for multiple repeated viewings.

There is a positive none too subtle family theme, but it's easily palatable and the wit keeps the adults interested, whilst the non stop flowing action will enthrall both adult and child.

A keeper or at least a rental.



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It was a crack up in parts.

Loved it. Very clever also how the story integrated without a spoiler

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LEGO movie was awesome.

I was a little disappointed with the ending but it wasnt enough to detract from my overall enjoyment of the film.

Really glad I saw it on the big screen and cant wait for the Blu-ray.

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LEGO movie was awesome.

I was a little disappointed with the ending but it wasnt enough to detract from my overall enjoyment of the film.

Really glad I saw it on the big screen and cant wait for the Blu-ray.

Did you watch it in 3D?

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Did you watch it in 3D?

No, just 2D.

But I can imagine it looking pretty damn spectacular in 3D.

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