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The Expendables

Take a few action stars who have seen better days, add a beautiful Latina,
throw in lots of explosions, and blend in some clever wise cracks, and you
have a nice warm fuzzy throw back to the 80s where men were men and bleed,
swore and kills loads of enemies whilst barely breaking a sweat....

Think Rambo, who could take on the entire Russian army, give him some
equally deadly pals, and let them create mayhem whilst saving the girl and
trading punches, jokes and bullets on a little Island in the Gulf and you
will want the lot to be back.

And get cameos from the man who perfected the art of saying "I'll be back" -
he gets his just dues in a line "he wants to be president" and you finally
see some stars who you may have longed to see together in a single movie for
the longest time.

This is no Oscar material, but Stallone brings out the best bits from these
daddy warriors, and give them the license to kill and to thrill and make the
audience laugh with them too. Testosterone overflows from everyone one of
these oldies, but the have me and I am sure many more longing for
"Expendables II".

Plot: 3/5
Action 4/5
Chick Factor: 3/5

I reckon its worth a rental or more.

L-O-V-E 愛到底 - movie review

L-O-V-E 愛到底




The Asian / Chinese film industry has not been buzzing with too much excitement, and typically likes to produce copies of Hollywood hits, or re-use formulas which have worked in the past. But this show combines the talents of 4 new directors to make a series of 4 short stories, that is both funny and tugs at your heart strings.


The first of the 4, "San Sheng You Xing (三聲有幸)" is a story the lives of 3 people who have the same voice. And if the first 5 minutes does not get to you and make you reach for the tissue, you should check if your heart is still beating…


The way the story is worked in, and the person they chose for the grieving mother, is quite perfect, and I would not be surprised if this was a Golden Horse shoo-in.


Well recommended.




"An elderly mother sits alone on the sofa, silently with her eyes closed. The phone rings suddenly, and she picks it up. To her surprise, it is her deceased son on the line. He wants her to take care of herself, and promises to call back on his death anniversary the next year."



Cyborg She - a review

Cyborg She(My girlfriend is a robot)


If you could travel back in time to love, protect, and change all the wrongs for the one you love, would that be the perfect relationship? What if your protector was incredibly beautiful, always at your beck and call, never leaves your side, and totally loyal, loving, and to top it off, cooks up a mean meal? What’s the catch you say? How about the fact that she is a robot?


Kwak Jae-Young’s previous claim to fame was giving us the very popular love story – “My Sassy Girl”, which was another beautiful story, which takes you a few viewings to appreciate the nuances and the element of time travel in his work. It was also one of the first movies to put Korea and this writer on the world map.


Here, the story is actually a rather simple one at first glance. A man builds a robot, to go back in time to save himself from a calamity which leaves him crippled, and she not only does that, but serves, protects and saves his life more than once. Jiro, the man, then falls in love with the robot, and we live through the adventures of this unlikely duo.


However that would only cover the most superficial elements of this movie, and it bears comparison to many other movies with robots and time travel, whilst paying homage to them. How about the model of the robot? We are never told her name, but she is “Cyberdyne Model 103”, like the Terminator, and will never rest, stand guard erect at night, protecting her master, and is a hybrid of human tissue over a robotic innard. The robot also saves many along the way, usually because the maker (the future elderly Jiro), felt great compassion for the people involved.


But it is the dynamics of the relationship which makes this movie so special, and you should be warned, to get a box of tissue handy, because, whether you are a woman or a seemingly macho man, those tears glands will get a good workout. As will the stomach muscles as you laugh at both the slapstick antics, the subtle interactions of a man falling in love or getting used to a robotic, who is well played by a relatively unknown bikini model Ayase Haruka. She manages to look good (the easy part), act wooden (harder) and give a robot the full range of emotion, whilst reminding you she is made of steel and synthetic material but yet capable of the ultimate love – sacrifice for the one you care about (the hardest of all, to act and in life). She is a combination of innocence, beauty and toughness when the occasion calls for it, and yet, she can do all that without many of the facial expressions, we would call human. Eat that Arnie!


Now for the males amongst us, you may be wondering, or perhaps fantasising, about such a hot model for a girlfriend, but the show also exposes us to our own ego frailties, and reality, which we may not have considered. What if she is always around, 24/7, and isn’t the fun-loving hot chick or walks in an awkward way. Sure some of you may be quick to retort that a funny walk or range of movements is ok, but will you feel shy introducing her to friends, or get tired of having her around all day?


And the killer question, what if she cannot respond in the same way that you might envisage? There is a moment in the movie when Jiro expresses his frustration at not getting the same warm response that he gave to express his love, and blurts out his frustration, and demands that the robot leaves. Some of us may express disgust at a man not being able to treasure what good fortune he has, but it is a real possibility, and we always see people in life, who have affairs, or stray, even when they are married to a woman of their dreams.


The element of time travel is also well used here, and makes you ponder on what you would do to make things right, or will you want to go and live out someone’s life, and enrich their lives whilst showing them what true love is, by giving all of your life. It also allows the story to make us think of what we would do in the name of love for the ones who mattered.


Action fans and the men watching this won’t feel too left out too, as there are some action scenes, which are well put together, and fit nicely into the story, and actually help lead to the most emotional scene in the story. There will be a moment when true love is put to the test, and that leads to another scene, which without revealing too much, is one where love means spending the rest of your life, repairing and taking care of the other. Truly in sickness and in health.


The original dialogue is in Japanese, but it is also dubbed in Chinese, and you can also read the English subtitles, but the beauty of a movie about a robot, is that many of the things she is trying to express, does not require words, and works equally well even if the sound was muted.


Does it end well? Ah come forth the hopeless romantic, the curious, or even those waiting for a great show to make that move on the girl you have been spying….watch it to know the ending… 


So are you sold? Who should watch this? Well for starters please don’t watch this alone. This is the perfect movie for a guy to take his date out, get some tissue paper ready in his pocket, fish it out at the right moments when it gets really emo, and most certainly there will be moments when your lady friend will greatly appreciate a strong warm arm around their shoulders, or gently reaching out to hold their hands in the slightly scary moments, and again, when the show tugs ever so strongly at their hearts. But keep your other arm handy, because you will be reaching for those same tissue too, and that’s good, since you look sensitive and new age too. There are few better date movies around, and it may become one which both of you will enjoy time and again.






Robin Hood - Russell Crowe version


Robin Hood is a favourite story with almost a version every other year. From Errol Flynn to Kevin Costner, there are many iterations from the heroic to the slapstick. So will the paying viewer be interested in a slightly more mature (which is of course the polite way of saying over the hill) Robin, and a Marion which in a few years will need hormone replacement therapy?


The director has worked with Russell Crowe before, and for good or for worse, borrows heavily from his previous work, and many others. It will be a challenge to carve out a unique version of this frequently told story and Ridley Scott tries his hand at a twist which sees Richard the Lionheart dying early on and John his brother actually fighting French invaders, plus a turn of Robin playing the son of a Lord.


Well does it work? In a sense, the story works extra hard to distance itself from earlier versions of the story, and yet remain somewhat true to the often told tale. However we see scenes reminiscent of past movies that Ridley did, such as the Gladiator, in the color tones, the epic battle scenes (lets see if the arrows disappear in the DNR version of the DVD). Add plenty of horseplay and a beach scene which is a inverse play of Normandy and Saving Private Ryan, and you get the idea that they just put together a whole bunch of ideas and hoped that the the charisma of the two lead protagonists will carry the movie.


Well Cate Blanchett and Russell do have some charisma, but they look like a slightly geriatric version of the merry men, and its very hard to believe they have the young and energy to run shoot, and play heroes with swords.


Plot: thin but you may like the twist 3/5


Action: plenty of swords, slashing, bleeding, and action fans won’t be disappointed. 4/5


Chick factor: if you are into Cate in her 40s then this is your movie, but even when she did Ben Button, she was already in need of plenty of CGI to just look believable as a young lady. At least here she does not hide her age and she goes with the “old maid” thing well.


Should you rent/buy or forget it? Well I reckon its worth a rental, but not much more.


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