Sunday, September 21, 2008

Babylon AD

Well, I watched Babylon AD too. Given the critical review it received, I wouldnn't exactly say it sucks.

Vin Diesel is Toorop, a mercenary tasked with bringing a special and mysterious girl from a convent to the US of A. Come to think of it, I have no idea where on earth he was at the beginning of the movie.

The girl in question is Aurora (Melanie Thierry) and her constant companion Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh). Aurora appeared to be very knowledgeable on many subject common and uncommon. She even knows how to operate a 30 years old submarine but she is also irritatingly emphathetic to the suffering of others. Other than that, put her in a singlet and a pair of shorts, let loose her hair and she is still pretty hot.

It became clear very soon that more than one faction wanted and needed her so Toorop's job isn't somuch of getting her to US safely than ensuring that she doesn't falls into the hand of the other faction. The question is who Aurora really is and why is she so important to so many people?

Compared to Death Race which I watched a week earlier, Babylon AD is more properly produced and tastefully directed but it still suffered from the things that don't make sense plaguing the movie.

The movie started right with the introduction of Toorop, his character and what he stands for. We were treated to a mildly exciting journey they made as Toorop tried to smuggle Aurora and Rebeka to the US. Along the way, the movie created the mystery of Aurora real identity.

But after creating the stage for what could be of biblical proportion, audiences were left with the tacky revelation of science experiment gone wrong (gone right?). And if Aurora is so important to everyone alive, then what exactly is Toorop fighting for?

As an action movie, it isn't so bad but ultimately has nothing fresh to offer. As a science fiction, its element is too weak and too brief. As a biblical fantasy, the mystery it successfully created in the beginning was ravaged by its sudden transition into science fiction toward the end of the movie. In the end, the villain was not properly dealt with and we could not see the relevance of certain incidents that took place. Maybe there is some kind of significance to the ending. Aurora did gave virgin birth to a pair of twin girls who were one black and one white but I certainly couldn't see the meaning.

I was prepared to defend the movie but such anti-climatic ending changed my mind. Too bad.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Death Race

I was planning to watch Babylon AD when Duncan told me Babylon sucked, watch Death Race instead.


I know Jason Statham was in it and though I thought he looked the part of a tough guy, I was never really a fan. Beside, the title and poster looked really cheesy and I expected the movie to be the same. But I watched it anyway.

Death Race is a very old school type of movie with an unlikely concept, a simple story and a small little twist to the plot. Done right, it can still be entertaining, provided one is willing to overlook all the holes that filled the entire movie. Holes that simply doesn't make sense.

It doesn't make sense that corporation can and would take over operation of correctional facility (they don't call it prison anymore).

It doesn't make sense that said corporation has authority to grant release order to its prisoners.

And it sure as hell doesn't make sense that in times of economic turmoil, so many people can actually afford paying to watch Death Race.

Still, I can see why such movie appealed to my buddy. Death Race is a sport broadcasted by aforementioned corporation from one of the prison it controls. Participated by its prisoners, the race promised anyone who wins the race 5 times release and freedom. But this isn't just a simple race to the finish line. Each car is heavily fortified and even more heavily armed. Driving over a lighted icon of sword or shield placed along the track will activate either the offensive or defensive system of the car. And it's not exactly a good idea to take the lead right from the start as that would means others can fire at you while you cannot fire at them. You don't just lost a race, you can literally die in one.

Wow! The whole idea is just like one big video game.

In the middle of round 2, the warden even introduced a new secret weapon called the Dreadnaught, presumably meaning "Dreadful Juggernaut". As the name might suggests, it is a super heavy vehicle that is both destructive and near indestructible.

Question. If the Death Race show is as popular as implied in the movie, why would they released something so powerful it can potentially kill every racers in Death Race and in effect, killing off the show along with them? And how does every vehicle, regardless of size and shape able to maintain similar speed to each other?

Ahh... more holes that just don't make sense.

Obviously I have many problem with its realism, or lack of it. But if I were to judge this movie solely on its entertaining value, then it's not so bad. Fast cars that are armoured and fire machine guns and missiles. Race sport that plays like a video game. Hot babes in tight clothing who know about cars. Yeah.. a guy could like a movie like this. Just don't worry about the things that doesn't make sense.


"Be careful what you wish for
Cos you just might get it all...
And then some you don't want..."
Sung the bridge of Chris Daughtry's Home.

Not for the first timeduring my blogging existence that I thought I got to write something other than movie review. And so something did happened on the first Wednesday of September. Something for me to write about.

I was robbed.

OK, technically, I was mugged but it lacks the dramatic effect of robbed. A bike pulled up right in front of me just as I was approaching the junction to the outdoor parking lot, its rider asking for my IC. Not looking the slightest like a police officer, I demanded for his identification. That was when he unzipped his jacket to revealed a machete hidden within and I know I was being mugged.

I remembered being very angry. This is my hard earned money and now I have to give it away to someone who did nothing more than hides a weapon in his jacket?

My immediate thought was to fight and take him down but a quick scan of the area suggested that there will be noone around to help me if I am unable to overpower him. So I co-operated and handed him my wallet. Even as he was taking the cash, I was grumbling aloud about how unfair this is. When he asked for my phone, I handed it to him too and demanded he return the SIM card but he wasn't interested in my old model. Suddenly, I was glad I never got around to replacing it. He asked for my other phone too, the bulge being rather obvious in my pocket but I just told him off, saying that was a company phone that I cannot give away. He didn't insist but instead, turned around to made his escape.

Huh? What a wimp! I could have take this guy!!

Part of me regretted that I was in no shape to fight back but another assured me that I did the smart thing. That's it until I realised that I was so absorbed in the thought of beating him up that I forgotten the time tested and proven art of self defense.


The street wasn't that busy. All I needed to do was run across quickly and I would reached the commercial building I came out from. And I wouldn't lost that RM300 - 400 I was carrying in my wallet.

I am feeling really stooopid right now.