July 31, 2006

The official Spider-Man 3 blog

The official website for Spider-Man 3 has been updated with a new movie blog. Check it out at:


Anyway, I still can't get over the fact that Thomas Haden Church and Topher Grace are going to play Sandman and Venom respectively. You might not recognise his name but Thomas is better known for his comedic roles including the recent 'Sideways'. As for Topher, he's better known as the skinny dude in 'The 70's Show'.

July 28, 2006

Material Girl to star in new animated movie

Although Madonna has vowed not to make any more movies, but she will be the voice to Princess Selenia in a new live action & computer-animated fantasy, 'Arthur And The Invisibles'. Other stars appearing or voicing characters in the movie film include Mia (The Omen, Peyton Place) Farrow, Snoop Dogg and legendary musician David Bowie. The movie is based on a children's novel by Luc Beeson, who will also be directing the movie. Beeson is known for his action movies 'The Fifth Element', 'La Femme Nikita' and 'The Professional'.

The story is about 10-year-old Arthur, in a bid to save his grandfather's house from being demolished, goes looking for some much-fabled hidden treasure in the land of the Minimoys, a race of tiny people living in harmony with nature.

The movie will be released sometime next year.

July 27, 2006

The first 'Iron Man' poster

I wrote about the upcoming 'Iron Man' movie recently. Well, here's a look at the first offical poster which has just been released.

July 25, 2006

Star Trek XI

Although this might not be exactly be new to everybody, I thought I'd just share this article which I got from startrek.com. Besides the new poster has just been released to coincide with Comic-Con.

BREAKING NEWS: J.J. Abrams to Produce "Trek XI"

J.J. Abrams, producer of hit shows Lost and Alias, as well as director of the upcoming Paramount film "Mission: Impossible III," is slated to produce and possibly direct the next Star Trek feature, according to today's Daily Variety and sources at Paramount Pictures. There is no title as yet for the new movie, but it will be the eleventh in the franchise. (Until a title is selected, we will usually refer to the project as simply "Star Trek XI.")

Although there isn't an official Paramount press release announcing the movie, it is a confirmed project under development with a 2008 release date targeted. Word about the Abrams project surfaced this morning (April 21) in the daily trade paper. He will be writing the script with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who penned "M:i:III." STARTREK.COM will keep you up to date on all official statements as they are released.

According to Variety, the proposed story will focus on the early days of James T. Kirk and Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and their first mission in space. UPDATE 04.27.06: Abrams has since indicated this may not be the case; see this article for his recent comments.

Abrams' producing partners from Lost, Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk, are cited as being producers on "Trek XI." This project is separate from the previously rumored script developed by Eric Jendresen and overseen by Rick Berman. The former Star Trek producer is not involved in this project.

This announcement is exciting news, and we look forward to following developments on this project every step of the way!

July 21, 2006

'Tim' on TMNet

I remember the first time I saw the movie 'Tim' was more than 20 years ago. At that time I was studying in Australia. (Oops...now you know how old I am!). Recently I had the pleasure of watching this movie again on TMNet's eLane broadband channel.

For those who don't know, eLane is part of TMNet's BlueHyppo portal. Subscribers can stream and watch movies, documentaries, fashion etc. over the internet. (TMNet should be paying me for promoting them...hehehe!) When I saw that 'Tim' was one of the featured movies for the month, I subscribed immediately. RM20 for one month's access is slightly on the high side, but what the heck!...I get to see some other rare movies there as well which I could not find at my local DVD store.

Anyway, back to the movie.... 'Tim' is an Australian film starring Mel Gibson. This is one of Mel Gibson's earlier movies before he became internationally famous. I don't think this movie was ever shown in our local cinemas. You won't believe how young Mel Gibson looks in this movie. I believe he's only 22 years old.

'Tim' is a movie about a mentally challenged 24-year-old man who falls in love with an older woman, Mary Horton, played by Piper Laurie.

Tim helps Mary appreciate the small things in life, as only a mentally challenged person can, and Mary helps Tim understand some of life's changes such as the marriage of his sister and the death of his mother. Through time, Mary learns that Tim has much more potential than anyone has ever given him credit. They soon fall in love.

This film was based on a novel written by Colleen McCullough, who also wrote The Thorn Birds.

Although the movie looks a bit dated, I still enjoyed it's heartwarming and touching story. The ending is a bit of a letdown though. Gibson is terrific playing a handicapped young man, showing a softer side of him that we seldom see in his later roles. Very much a chick flick, this is one of those movies you want to watch with your better half and to cuddle each other with.

By the way, the ladies are going to have a good time watching Mel Gibson in tight shorts!

July 19, 2006

What is 18?

Some of you might have already read about the latest fiasco in our local Malaysian independent film industry. Here's an excerpt from the article which was published in theSun on July 14:

By Llew-Ann Phang

The Sun. 14 July 2006.

PETALING JAYA: What’s behind the documentary “18?” that it had to be vetoed by the Malaysian Embassy in Seoul from being screened at the EBS International Documentary Festival (EIDF) there?

Festival organizers Korea Educational Broadcasting System (EBS) had to close the curtains on the award-winning documentary by Danny Lim after the embassy rejected it for featuring “an anti-government political activist.”

The embassy’s choice for the festival‘s Five Nations Fair, being held from Wednesday to tomorrow, is Hisham Abdullah’s 45-minute “Songs of Change”, which tells the story of Kelantanese dikir barat activist and tukang karut Halim Yazid.

Lim, who is a senior writer with Off the Edge, said the festival director informed him of the embassy’s rejection late last week.

Lim said that even though former exiled activist and Internal Security Act detainee Hishamuddin Rais appeared in the documentary, he did not make any political statements.

Apparently, the film was vetoed by the Malaysian embassy in South Korea from being shown in the film festival because it features an 'anti-government political activist' - former ISA detainee Hishamuddin Rais. The embassy later denied this and said that they don't really have the power to veto the film and all they did was recommend some other films.

The film had won the Gold Prize in the Short Film: Documentary category of the 2005 Malaysian Video Awards, and was also the runner-up in the amateur category at the 2005 Freedom Film Festival. It was screened at the Singapore International Film Festival last year, and at the Jakarta Film Festival in 2004.

The synopsis of 18? is as follows:

What is 18? This mysterious number is but one of a prominent crop of graffiti that has popped up around the streets of Kuala Lumpur.

Sprayed at strategic urban spaces and applied with a seemingly socio-political agenda, the 18? graffiti and its like (eg “Legalize ganja”, “Ada apa dengan National Service?”, “Pertahankan Hak Asasi”, etc) brazenly takes its place alongside advertising banners and billboards in our urban sightlines.

What does it mean? What is it selling? Why? Who did it? 18? - the documentary - attempts to uncover the mystery behind the graffiti.

For those of you who want to watch it can download it at Danny Lim's website http://danlim.twofishy.net/18/download.htm

July 18, 2006

The new Janet

It was just a few months ago when we saw Janet Jackson's big butt pasted all over the web.

Now after weeks of dieting & exercising, she reveals a newer, slimmer and fitter self in time for her 40th birthday and her upcoming album "20 Years Old" to be released in September.

In the meantime, she has released the new single "Call On Me" featuring Nelly.

Just look at her on the album cover and see the difference. Wow...she looks HOT!

'Supernatural' Thursdays

For the past 2 months or so, I have been staying home on Thurday nights to catch my current favourite TV series, 'Supernatural'. With a lot of series nowadays featuring lawyers, doctors and housewives, this series brings back the horror/sci-fi genre that has been short supply recently since we saw X-Files many years ago. (Of course, I won't even bother categorising Charmed and Buffy in the same genre.)

The pilot episode starts with the Winchester couple, their young son, Dean, and their baby boy, Sam. One night the mother wakes up to hear the baby crying in the next room. She heads to Sam’s room, where she sees a shadowy figure that she thinks is her husband standing over the crib. Eventually she realises it's not her husband when she goes downstairs and finds her husband sleeping on the couch.

Panicked, she rushes back up to Sam's room. John, the husband wakes up to his wife's screams and goes running to their baby's room only to find his wife dead and fire spreading out from her body. John tells Dean to take baby Sam outside and made a desperate and futile attempt to save his wife while the house was consumed by flames.

20 years later, Sam is about to apply to law school and is living with his beautiful girlfriend, Jessica. But one night Dean shows up and tells him their father is missing. Sam is skeptical at first. His father has been missing before and has always made it home. Then Dean tells Sam their father was on a hunt, looking for the thing that killed his wife since she died.

The brothers traced John to Jericho, California, where they found more clues about their father's location. But Sam declined his brother's invitation to continue the search, opting instead to return to his life with Jessica. Unfortunately, shortly after arriving in his apartment he finds Jessica pinned to the bedroom ceiling and bleeding from the abdomen. As Sam watched helplessly, she burst into flames, just like how his mother died 20 years ago.

Dean rescues his brother from the burning apartment. Sam eventually decides to resume the search for the demon who killed his mother and his girlfriend. The brothers then picked up the trail of clues leading to the whereabouts of their missing father.

From then on, we see the brothers travelling from town to town each week in search of their father and battling evil spirits and ghouls along the way.

'Supernatural' is something we don't see a lot on TV these days. Even though some of the episodes are not very original, some of the scenes will still scare the hell out of you. Each episode features a different ghost or creature based on some superstition or folklore, such as the Lady in White (who stands by lonely roads and lures men to their death), the Red Indian beast known as Wendigo, killer bugs and Bloody mary (a long-haired female ghost who comes crawling out of a mirror, ala The Ring).

Overall, I would recommend this series to all horror fans out there.

July 17, 2006

"Looking For Comedy In The Muslim World"

With a title like that, I doubt if this movie will ever make it to our local screens. In fact, Sony Pictures Classics was originally going to distribute the film in US but decided not to, citing controversy over the film's title, which they wanted to change. Warner Independent Pictures then picked up the film for US distribution.

When I saw this movie at the DVD store, I didn't think twice about buying it. To be frank, I'm not really an Albert Brooks fan, (I prefer Woody Allen !) and I have only watched a couple of his movies so far. Of course, Brooks is best remembered as the voice of Marlin in Finding Nemo. I guess what made me get the movie was the title and to find out what the fuss is all about.

A lot of people has criticized this movie just on the fact that the movie was filmed in India, and well, everyone knows that India is not a Muslim country. So what ? If you are going to watch a politically correct movie, I'd suggest go watch Scary Movie 4 (lol) !! And obviously there's also lots of Indian jokes. So if you find this kind of thing offensive, I suggest you stay away from this movie.

The film begins with Albert Brooks (playing himself) being called upon by the US Government to discover what makes the Muslim community laugh. So off he goes to India and Pakistan on this mission. On arrival in Delhi, Brooks hires a female assistant, questions people in the street, and performs a hapless stand-up routine that only raises a few miserly chuckles. "It's not the end of the world when you bomb," Brooks said later in the movie, and is overheard by a Pakistani agent who thinks he's disclosing the USA's secret plans to attack Pakistan !

I find the movie funny, in a laid-back and gentle kind of way. It's a great satire on
cultural differences and how little Americans understand the Indian culture. The movie is refreshingly different, instead of the normal big-budgeted movies we get nowadays. There's some nice scenes of Delhi and Taj Mahal too. The jokes about the crowded airplane and call centers in the rundown office are hilarious. Overall, the movie is worth watching if you are looking for few laughs and something original.

July 16, 2006

Spiderman 3

I found this great looking poster of SPIDERMAN 3 on the web, with Spidey's costume alternating between black and red.

For those of you who have been following the stories going round on the internet, Spiderman 3 will feature the super-villain Venom. Who is Venom ? As the story goes, a strange black ball from outer space is causing Spidey's costume to change to black. Not only that, it has the ability to change it's appearance to anything. The black stuff is actually an alien symbiote that is trying to control his mind. When he realises this, he tries to fight it. He discovers that the symbiote's only weakness is extremely loud sounds. So he goes up to the church bell tower and stands there while the bells chime. This loud noise drives off the symbiote who then goes after Eddie Brock, one of the reporters from Daily Globe who has a previous grudge on Spider Man. Eddie gives himself permanently to the symbiote and the two bond to become Venom.

Spiderman 3 will open in Summer 2007.

July 14, 2006

Top 10 signs that STAR WARS is taking over your life

10. Your car is named "Millennium Falcon".
9. You have/had at least one pet named Chewie/Chewbacca.
8. When you get a cut, you look in your medicine cabinet for bacta.
7. You know what bacta is.
6. When asked your car's top speed, you give it in sublight units per standard time part.
5. You've actually tried using the Force.
4. You're given to spontaneous outbursts of "Down with the Emperor!"
3. You kneel before you boss and say "As you wish, my master" when he gives you an assignment.
2. Your favorite outfit is a bathrobe with a flashlight hanging from its belt.
1. You're convinced you father is a black armored megalomaniac and that you have a twin sister somewhere.

July 11, 2006

A heartwarming ghost story

If you are going to watch DORM expecting a typical Thai horror movie, you will be greatly dissapointed. Although the movie is made by the same team who brought us 'Shutter', this one does not have any long-haired female ghost. Instead, it is a heartwarming story about friendship and growing up.

Directed by Songyos Sugmakanan (My Girl), the movie is set in an all-boys dormitory run by the creepy dorm mistress, Ms Pranee. Charlie Trairat (who also acted in the lead role in My Girl) plays Chatree, a young boy who is reluctantly sent to a boarding school by his father.

He feels angry, lonely and abandoned. To make matters worse, his classmates start to spook him out with eerie ghost stories. One day he befriends a mysterious boy, Wichien (Sirarath Jianthavorn). Together, the two boys began a journey of discovery and friendship. As the movie unfolds, we start to understand more about Wichien and the dark secret he is keeping.

The first half of the movie has some suspenseful scenes like shadows along the corridors, howling dogs and creaking toilet doors. The second half slows down and starts to focus on the frienship between the two boys, making it more of a family movie.

The plot is weak and predictable, and by the third quarter of the movie I have started to look at my watch and wondering when the exciting parts will be coming. The saving grace is the strong performance by the two boys. The cinematograhy of the movie is also quite good as it gives a very nostalgic feel to the movie. The scene where Chatree sees the ghost drowning (or rather floating) in an empty pool is very effectively done.

Overall, watch this only if you do not have anything else to watch in the cinema. Better yet, save your money and just buy the DVD.

Pirates 2 review

When I got an invitation to attend the 'Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Man's Chest' premiere last night, I was a bit hesitant after my last experience (see Superman story below). However, since it's going to held in One Utama which is near my home, so I thought I'd dropped by anyway. Besides, the first PIRATE movie was one of my favourites, and I was looking forward to this sequel ever since they announced it last year.

So how's the movie, you ask ? On the upside, it's 2.5 hrs of solid action, adventure, humour, special-effects fun ride that is way better than the first movie. On the downside, you have to have watched the first movie to follow the storyline. I must confess that I had more or less forgotten the details of the first movie, so I was a bit lost in certain parts.

Since this is the 2nd part in a trilogy, there is no actual beginning or ending. Audiences who are not aware of this will feel a bit lost, and will be wondering what the hell just happened when the movie finishes abruptly.

Pirates 2 begins where the first movie ended, with Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) waiting to marry Will Turner (Orlando Bloom). Before they could tie the knot, they are both arrested for aiding Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) escape in the first movie. To get out of getting hanged and save his true love, Will is instructed to steal a mysterious compass away from Captain Jack.

Meanwhile Captain Jack is having problems of his own when his debt to the evil, slimy creature Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) comes due. But Jack knows the secret of Davy Jones and he's looking for a way to unlock it to get out of his contract.

Compared to the first movie, this one focuses more on action and special effects rather than character building. Johnny Depp's role is more toned-down this time around compared to his over-the-top acting the first time. Bloom and Knightley also has less intimate scenes together.

The CGI is great, especially the wiggling tentacles of Davy Jones, and the sequence where the Kraken monster attacks the Black Pearl is very well done.

I can't wait for the next installment where Keith Richards (from Rolling Stone) will make an appearance as Jack Sparrow's dad, and Chow Yun-Fat as Captain Sao Feng, a notorious pirate from Singapore !!

I'm going off to buy the DVD copy of Pirates 1 now.........

July 10, 2006

The new Bond girls

(L to R) Eva Green, Caterina Murino, Ivana Milicevic

As we are all anxiously waiting to see if Daniel Craig can hold the lead in his debut as James Bond in the upcoming CASINO ROYALE, here's a sneak peek at the latest line-up of Bond girls.

French actress Eva Green is the female lead, Vesper Lynd, Bond's assistant and early love interest. Green is better known for her potrayal opposite Orlando Bloom in 'Kingdom of Heaven'.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is Italian actress Caterina Murino, who plays Solange, the bad guy's wife. Murino is not so well known outside of her native Italy and in France where she's appeared in a variety of small film roles.

Last, but certainly not least, is Bosnian-born model-actress Ivana Milicevic, who's is better known to Americans than the other two actresses, and who has had small parts in movies like 'Head Over Heels', 'Vanilla Sky' and 'Paycheck'.

July 7, 2006

Nominations for 2006 Emmy

The nominatons for the 58th Emmy Awards has just been announced. Surprisingly last year's winners 'Lost' and 'Desperate Housewives' were snubbed this year. Alfre Woodard who plays new neigbour Mrs Applewhite was the only nominated cast member of Housewives, while Henry Ian Cusick, who plays ill-fated hatch-tender Desmond in 'Lost' is nominated in the Oustanding Guest Actor category.

My current favourite comedy, 'My Name is Earl' has been left out as well with only a single nomination for Jaime Pressly for best supporting actress.

Results will be announced on Aug 27.

Drama Series: Grey's Anatomy; House; The Sopranos; 24; The West Wing
Comedy Series: Arrested Development; Curb Your Enthusiasm; The Office; Scrubs; Two and a Half Men
Miniseries: Bleak House; Elizabeth I; Into the West; Sleeper Cell
Made-for-TV Movie: Flight 93; The Flight That Fought Back; The Girl in the Cafe; Mrs. Harris; Yesterday
Actor, Drama Series: Denis Leary (Rescue Me); Peter Krause (Six Feet Under); Kiefer Sutherland (24); Martin Sheen (The West Wing); Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit)
Actress, Drama Series: Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer); Geena Davis (Commander in Chief); Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit); Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under); Allison Janney (The West Wing)
Supporting Actor, Drama Series: William Shatner (Boston Legal); Oliver Platt (Huff); Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos); Gregory Itzin (24); Alan Alda (The West Wing)
Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Candice Bergen (Boston Legal); Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy); Chandra Wilson (Grey's Anatomy); Blythe Danner (Huff); Jean Smart (24)
Actor, Comedy Series: Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm); Kevin James (The King of Queens); Tony Shalhoub (Monk); Steve Carell (The Office); Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Actress, Comedy Series: Lisa Kudrow (The Comeback); Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle); Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine); Stockard Channing (Out of Practice); Debra Messing (Will & Grace)
Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Will Arnett (Arrested Development); Jeremy Piven (Entourage); Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle); Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men); Sean Hayes (Will & Grace)
Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm); Alfre Woodard (Desperate Housewives); Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl); Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds); Megan Mullally (Will & Grace)

July 6, 2006

IRON MAN is coming soon

For all you comic geeks out there, Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment has confirmed the production of IRON MAN. This movie will kick off the 2008 summer season. This will be the first movie to be produced by Marvel under its alliance with Paramount, Jon Favreau (Zathura, Elf) has come on board as director. So far, no actor has been identified to play the lead role.

Favreau has started a blog at his official site at myppace.com/jonfavreau to provide fans with updates about his forthcoming Iron Man movie. However to view his blog, you have to be a registered MySpace member.

The story follows billionaire weapons-manufacturer, Tony Stark, who confronts the sins of his past after he is injured by one of his own weapons. Equipped with a high-tech suit of armor, he becomes Iron Man to combat evil on a global scale.

Among Marvel's other projects is a sequel to 2003's Hulk. Captain America, Nick Fury and Thor.

July 2, 2006

'The Host' - A new monster movie from Korea

When 'The Host' was shown recently at the Cannes Film Festival, the movie won rave reviews and received a standing ovation. After giving us an overdose of horror movies, Korea is finally diversifying to a genre which its neighbor, Japan is famous for - the monster movie. The movie is about a mutant monster that rises from the depths of the river Han to terrorize Seoul. When a young girl is taken by the creature, her family undertakes a dangerous rescue mission to find her.

This is one of the most expensive independent movies made in Korea. The director, Bong Joon-Ho estimates that about 40% of his $11 million budget went towards the design and creation of the monster.

After watching the trailer, I think the money was well spent. Even though some critics commented that the monster looks 'goofy', I think the CGI looks awesome. (You can see a glimpse of it in the poster on the right.) This is one movie that I will be eagerly waiting for.

The movie will be premiering in Korea on July 27th. I guess we probably have to wait a few more months before it comes to our cinemas.

Official Website
Theatrical Trailer (Downloadable, 9mb, Windows Media)
Theatrical Trailer (Streaming, 300k, Windows Media)
Theatrical Trailer (Streaming, 700k, Windows Media)