If "Avatar" was THE must-watch movie of 2009, then my friend, "Inception" is THE must-watch movie of 2010 (so far)! And trust me, whatever you have heard from other reviewers, friends or family who have watched it,'s ALL true! The movie will (almost literally) blow your mind away! *grins*

If you have already watched the trailer, it would probably not make much sense to can the mind be the scene of a crime? And they talk about dreams and stealing and, and...well, if I talk about it, it's so much of a spoiler it might turn you off. I myself, however, read the plot of it all in the Wikipedia entry (I actually like spoilers...yes, you've read right! Not that I would intentionally spoil it for you, but I like to see how the movie unveils itself and see how it would wow me, even when I know how the movie ends and all that. It's the process of it, not the destination that matters *wink*) and it STILL didn't make much sense! The whole concept is rather convoluted when put into words, so you WILL have to watch it to really understand what's it about =)

What I CAN tell is that, aside from the brilliant story line, the cinematography and effects are equally (if not more) kick-ass than ever! Since the movie is talking about dreams and the mind, things can get rather abstract right? Sometimes to the point of being utter rubbish (or is it in MY mind only? o.O"). But the film makers portray the inner workings of the mind really, REALLY well...big big kudos to Christopher Nolan for the fantastic scenes and not making it something nonsensical! Not only that, the action in the film is so spot-on and tight, it's a joy to be immersed into it get some slow-mo parts a la "Matrix", some hard hitting scenes like in "Batman Begins" or "The Dark Knight" and then some! To add to the awesome-ness of it all, there is also drama, romance and quite a bit of humour injected's that for a must-watch movie?

Let's not forget the incredible cast as well...we have the big names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, and Marion Cotillard; Leo is rather at his peak I would say...he definitely came a long way from the infamous "Titanic" Jack Dawson, playing the cool and brilliant team leader. But let's not forget the other supporting casts also! They definitely held their own: Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and more. This stellar cast with their strong performances give this movie that edge in its greatness =)

And like everyone says, don't move out of your seat to get popcorn or to go for a toilet break...the story line is so intense that if you missed even a bit of it, you'll find yourself scrambling to understand the bigger picture *wink* It's a rather heavy film, if I may say so myself, but it still manages to keep you on the edge of your seat from the start with the action scenes...even to the very end, when the film cuts to black, you'll groan in either frustration or confusion (as in the audience I was in today); but right after that, you'll definitely go "WOW! That is one. Effin'. AWESOME movie." I think I want to watch it again now....*grins*

The Cove

When you think about dolphins, what is the first image that comes into mind? For me, it was an image of a dolphin flying up from a water and doing some cool tricks at a show in an aquarium / zoo. Recently, after getting exposed to more shows like Animal Planet & National Geographic (thank you Astro!) I see dolphins swimming happily through the waters of the ocean...that changed after watching "The Cove".

"The Cove" is a documentary expose directed by National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos about dolphins being hunted en masse in a particular cove in Taiji, Japan. Apparently, not many people knew about this horrific practice, so they (the film crew) set up hidden cameras and equipment illegally at the cove to uncover the killings...o.O"

Of course, the movie doesn't start off by delving into those footage...rather, we were given a background (sort of) about how they came about this cove, what other whaling activists were doing prior to the movie and the actual process of them setting up the cameras. It is very interesting to note that some of the film crew involved are special effects experts in the film industry and they have created seriously ingenious ways of hiding the cameras along the cove. There is also a brief appearance by some popular actors-turned-activists in the film...see if you can spot them ;)

I have to say though, that although the film is very educational about dolphin and whale hunting I can't help but feel it's very one-sided in the sense that they're trying to push everything on the Japanese about the killings and what not. In return, the Japanese are saying that it's a very traditional culture and has been practiced for quite some time now. I suppose, in retrospect, dolphins are to the Japanese what normal fish and cattle are to the other nationalities who consume them. Coming from a race that has a reputation for 'weird' foods by the Western standards, it's easy to see where the Japanese stand as well as what the film is advocating.

Don't get me wrong...I don't think that killing dolphins mercilessly in droves every year is good, but there is also another side to that story (which the film makers didn't show...naturally). To me, I see it as a documentary that talks about the food industry...much as it is about dolphins and whales, I can't help but also think about countless other animals that are slaughtered and killed for food every year to meet the demands of - you guessed it right - people. Us. You and me included. And yet, we don't even bat our eyes at the enormous number of cattle, pigs, chickens, sheep, fish, etc that are killed for the food industry. They are animals too, no? And yet, we consume them just like any other bulk (myself included). How is that much different from dolphins being killed for their meat in Japan? Is it because it is the norm in other countries to consume other 'normal' kinds of animals that we overlook their suffering too? 

And yet, I still do find myself longing for meat dishes almost every day...I have to admit, I'm no vegetarian! But yes, "The Cove" is a very hard-hitting documentary about the dolphins being killed in droves over the years. The footage of the killings itself is not long, but is enough to make you think hard about the consequences of supply and demand. And who do we blame for that? Not just the Japanese, but the human RACE as a whole...

The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner

Riding on the coattails of "Eclipse", it would seem that publishers are wanting to cash in on Stephenie Meyer's success by getting her to publish yet another book in the Twilight series...still, Stephenie is kind enough to donate $1 for every book sold to the American Red Cross. From what I last saw, there are about 1 million books sold already...that's how big the Twilight series have been! o.O"

To be fair, it's noted here that this book is actually a novella (kind of like a short story if you may) and apparently Stephenie Meyer wanted to release it in the official guide for the Twilight series. The story turned out to be too long after typing, so publishers made it into a separate book...all the more reason for Twilight fans to get it for their collection, no?

"The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner" (TSSL) is self-explanatory, I guess...Bree is one of the small characters in "Eclipse"; essentially, she is the newborn who surrenders to the Cullen family, but ultimately met her demise when the Volturi stepped in. Seems not much to go on because "Eclipse" focused so much on Bella (well, she IS the narrator in the books) but TSSL brings a grittier approach to the other side of the battlefield. Here, the narrator is Bree and we take a look into the newborns' side of the story: how she was made, how she survives within a band of always hungry, always angry group of vampires and how Victoria manipulates the army through her sidekick Riley. 

Bree is definitely no the Twilight series, we see everything through Bella's eyes; often times, it's so focused on Edward and his perfection (not that I'm complaining!) it's quite hard to see past the other things surrounding her in the books. With Bree, she is one hard-pressed girl...everything is nasty and she is always on her toes to stay alive. It definitely paints a different picture compared to the 'perfect' world of the Twilight seems darker and more morbid in Bree's eyes, and it gets more interesting when the Volturi also is mentioned here. Still, one does identify with her as she finds out the true meaning behind the creation of the army and tries to get away from it all. Even though her ending is not a happy one, I think it gives a good perspective on both sides of the story.

If you can, read TSSL (sort of) side-by-side with "Eclipse"'s a clever piece of work by Stephenie Meyer, who weaves the storylines together quite effortlessly and paints a bigger picture of how the big battle between Victoria & the Cullens came about. =) But then, I guess only Twi-hards will appreciate the story...what wouldn't we give for more on the Twilight Saga, right? Yet, for a 'short story', the book is almost 200 pages long! o.O" Go figure. LOL! Now, I'm still waiting for Stephenie to dig out "Midnight Sun" again...heh!

Despicable Me

This has got to be one of the animated films that you MUST watch in the cinema...preferably in 3D! I didn't, and it was still quite an experience, which makes me want to go watch it in 3D now =) 

Who knew that the word "Despicable" could be a whole new meaning in this context? It's awesomely cute, with great actors as the voices and a rather cool (but kind of predictable) storyline. 

The film is basically about Gru (Steve Carell in a voice that doesn't sound like him at all!) who is a 'bad' know, the evil villain thing? He tries to be the best bad guy ever with his throngs of tiny minions (stealing the Statue Of Liberty....the small one from Las Vegas! *snickers*) but kind of falls short almost always. Still, that doesn't stop him trying and he tries to pull off the biggest heist steal the moon! In the process, he is thwarted by another bad guy, Vector (Jason Segel) and gets responsible for 3 adorably cute girls! 

What I love, love, LOVE about this movie is the actors who voiced the characters...they did such an AWESOME job in bringing the characters to life! Initially I only knew that Steve Carell is the voice of Gru, but then after reading more about the characters, it's a very pleasant surprise to learn this movie has quite the cast! They have Russell Brand (Dr. Nefario), Miranda Cosgrove (Margo), Will Arnett (Mr. Perkins), Kristen Wiig (Ms. Hattie) and the ever lovely Julie Andrews as Gru's mother! They all don't sound like their normal talking voices, but I think that's a good thing because it might take away from the story when we see a character that sounds like Julie Andrews and then find it weird! (Well, I do anyways)

Gru and his minions in action

Although the characters are amazingly funny in their own way, the ones that steal the show are the minions! Small and 'ugly' in a way, they bring the most laughs by their antics...and they don't have to talk much! When they do, it's mostly gibberish, but the voice is SOOO cute you can't help but giggle when you hear it =) One scene to note is when Gru walks in on the girls playing with the minions who are in charge of them...and the girls blame the minions. LOLL!

Speaking of the girls, they did a great job too with their own brand of humor and fun: Margo, the responsible eldest girl; Edith, the tomboy-ish girl; and Agnes, the sweet youngest girl with a penchant for unicorns and kitty cats! They bring out the best and sometimes the worst out of Gru, which is hilarious with his outrage and bursts of annoyance. Look out for the scene when they go to Funland with Gru and Agnes wants the unicorn toy. It brings a whole new meaning to the words "Knocked Over!" and "Fluffy"!

"It's so FLUFFY I can DIE!!" 

All in all, a very enjoyable film to watch with your's been a while since I've had so much fun laughing or giggling at a movie screening before =) Quite a nice getaway from all the horror and gory films lately! *wink* 

Twilight Saga: Eclipse

I really don't know where to put myself in the "Twilight fan" category...on the one hand, I loved (and still do love) the books. And yet, when the movies are out, they always seem to fall short...but then I still do go watch them every time it opens in cinemas. LOL! Maybe it's the cast (??!!), or maybe I'm just trying to see what the film makers come up with when they interpret the book...either way, I think I'll still be back to watch the movies until the end of the series. LOL!

"Eclipse" was my favourite book in the series, so I went in with a little bit of anticipation - seeing that the trailer for the movie was quite good - and hoping that they don't spoil the book too much! 

The opening scene with Riley is quite promising...even though it is a slight deviation from the book, but it set the tone for what was to come towards the end, which is quite good =) New director David Slade certainly brings out better material than "New Moon"'s Chris Weitz (but then again, I suppose "New Moon" itself is not a great book to bring to the silver screen in the first place...too dry & morose!). And what comes later in the film is shot rather nicely, with definite better CG and effects. 

Don't think I'll elaborate more on the plot, since everyone already knows what the book is about (if you don't, Google is your best friend! *wink*) but suffice to say that Bella had been proposed to, and she is rather torn between Edward and Jacob, since Edward has come back and Jacob...well, Jacob has his views on who she should love =)

"From now on, I'm Switzerland!" *rolls eyes*

The cast are mostly about the same...we get the Cullen family, the Quileute boys, and some of the Volturi. But there are some other new faces too, like Leah Clearwater (Julia Jones), Seth (Boo Boo Stewart), Riley (Xavier Samuel), and Bree (Jodelle Ferland). Not really big characters, but they are quite memorable, especially Riley. Xavier Samuel is quite a looker and brings the anger to his cute face rather well =) Can't say the same about Victoria though...somehow, I think Bryce Dallas Howard can't pull off the 'scorned vampire whose handsome boyfriend got killed by another handsome vampire' look as well as Rachelle Lefevre. Maybe it's her hair...she had some kind of a bush for hair and it's so distracting (!!), not like Rachelle's natural auburn curls. Still, she is gorgeous as a vampire...her pale face and red lips are just nice!

Can't say the same about some other vampires though...ESPECIALLY the Cullens, with a particular note on Edward since he's the main thing you see throughout the movie. I guess the make up crew didn't get the memo about NOT making vampires being too pale that they stood out from the other 'normal' people in the movie. Some scenes between the cast in the school just makes me go "Edward looks like a zombie instead of a gorgeous vampire trying to blend in amongst humans". And the hair! That perfectly coiffed hair from "Twilight" is gone...*sob* Oh well, people don't come to watch the movie for the make up and wardrobe right (speaking of which, is particularly non-existent for Bella! I doubt that she's THAT poor to not able to get a proper dress for the party...what happened to Alice helping her out?)? I digress...

What I do like about the movie though is the expansion of some of the Cullens' characters in the movie...granted, the book does talk about Rosalie and Jasper's backstories, but it's really nice to see it played out on film. It's almost exactly how I pictured it in my head...which I loved! *wink* The camping scene is also something to watch...I finally found that Kristen Stewart can act cold very convincingly! LOL! That, and some very choice words from Jacob about being "hotter" than Edward just brings it home...=) The big battle between the newborns and the Cullens (together with the wolves) is also something to watch. Although not a very long scene, but it's great to see that they followed through with the vampires being 'hard as marble'. Although the battle between Victoria and Edward wasn't what I expected, but it's still quite a nice thing to watch...gosh, I feel so sadistic saying that I liked people getting killed. LOL!

Wolves and vampires get it on!

In short, it was not bad for an adaptation of the nicest book in the series (for me). Sure, I would miss Edward's nice hair, they could do better with the make up and wardrobe, and there are still cheesy (yet funny that can go both ways) lines; but essentially the story line is good with commendable effort from the film makers in making the movie watchable =) This makes me rather curious too as to what "Breaking Dawn" will will be directed by yet another director but this guy did "Dreamgirls" previously so I'm hoping it's another step up....and no musical-like qualities in it coz the movie is no musical! Although, it would be rather funny to see Edward & Bella burst into song when Renesmee is born...LOLL! *wicked grin*