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WALK THE LINE, fine performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon

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I am rather ignorant to the details of Johnny Cash (and June Carter)'s history, and I don't remember ever listening to any of his songs before (well, I might heard some when my dad was playing it, but I don't think dad was that into Johnny Cash either), thus I can only evaluate the biopic based on whether it could hold the attention of any viewer who does not know anything about its subject. After all, I'm not anal when it comes to judging the factual accuracy of biopics (I can never understand why some people like condemning biopics that much just because they aren't accurate enough, yeah, I'm looking at those who complained about 'A Beautiful Mind' not examining John Nash's homosexual tendencies), it's more about whether it 'works' for me as a film.

Why did I watch Big Momma's House 2?

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Do not believe what everyone else said, Big Momma's House 2 is absolutely a necessary sequel. There is a need to see Martin Lawrence going around dressing up like a fat woman again, and then bonding with three children in your typical Hollywood manufactured warmhearted scenes that are similar to the gazillions (pardon me, but what is bigger than gazillion? Bazillion?) of inoffensive family films out there. There is a need to see Big Momma in a bathing suit to understand the true concept of being grossed out (yeah, look at left pic to suffer what I suffered). Six years have passed since Big Momma's House 1, but I am sure absolutely everyone's hungry for this sequel, since it did make 28 million during its first weekend in the United States despite everyone pretending to complain about it before its release. And hey, I'm sure we are always craving for films about poor misfits teaching seemingly rich but emotionally lacking people what is it like to be a family. Hey, h

My Recommended Valentine's Day Films Part 3: Hollywood Films

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Well, this is the hardest part of my romantic film recommendation series. How can I possibly compile a decent list of Hollywood films when there are so many of them out there?? Hmm. Once again, I'll try to separate them via categories. As for the film reviews, I'm not going to painstakingly put them up, you can do your own search at Roger Ebert 's, or head to Rottentomatoes . Click title for info. Once again, I'm going more for feel-good films than the sad and tragic ones. And I'm also avoiding three hour epics, so nope, I won't be mentioning that little film about that sinking ship (... I'll probably get lynched if I do anyway). I would recommend Brokeback Mountain , but it's too depressing for V.day viewing too.

CAPOTE, Bennett Miller's impressive film debut, Philip Seymour Hoffman's great performance

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I felt disturbed when watching the biopic, Capote. Maybe it had to do with how much Truman Capote reminded me of, well, myself. Except the gay and effeminate part. Both of us are ambitious, egoistic, manipulative, charismatic, persuasive... well, the fact that I’m drawing comparisons between Truman Capote and myself in a film review should speak volumes about my ego. Anyway, this is a biopic of Truman Capote, but thankfully, it isn't the type which begins with a childhood event and then ends with a death scene. Nope, this, like many of the recent biopics, focuses only on a pivotal event of the person's life, and in the case of this film: the six years Truman Capote spent to write the groundbreaking non-fiction book 'In Cold Blood' (he used a style which made the whole thing look like a gripping fictional novel instead of some dry report. Check out Wikipedia's entry about New Journalism ) that became an international bestseller and made him, according to the film

My Recommended Valentine's Day Films Part 2: Japanese, Korean and Other Asian Films

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While compiling the list for part 2 of my recommended Valentine's Day films, which will focus on Korean and Japanese films, I was suddenly struck by a chilling realization that had never occurred to me before. Despite watching quite a number of Japanese films, there just doesn't seem to be an absolute romantic film that really stuck to me. Unlike the Koreans, whose amount of sentimental and melodramatic romantic films are more than enough to flood an entire nation and make everyone die of diabetes, almost every single good Japanese film I can remember isn't exactly pure love stories. Just thrillers, action films, psychodramas, sci-fi tales, horror tales with maybe a bit of subtle romance tossed in as a subplot. I wonder why. Maybe it's because the Japanese are somewhat more cynical than the Koreans, hence they don't really make all those fullblown romantic melodrama the Koreans are so famous for? But then, to be fair, the Japanese television dramas are entirely a

My Recommended Valentine's Day Films Part 1 - Hong Kong Films.

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Well, Valentine's Day is coming, and it's up to me, the Great Swifty, to recommend to you all some of the finest romance films (in my own opinion) to watch with your loved ones, or, erm, in my case, by myself just so that you won't feel so alone. All right, it'll make you feel more alone, but hey, who gives a shit when you're watching a good movie right? So, for the next few days, I'll be providing a list of films from different countries to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Perhaps after HK, I'll look at Japanese and Korean, then Hollywood (which, naturally, will have a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG list). My personal criteria for such films is simple, they should be mostly romantic, sweet stuff instead of angsty tragic stuff. But then, since tearjerkers do work fine too (for couples, so they can hold each other while bawling their eyes out, not recommended for singles, who will be driven to suicide by the overwhelming angst). These films aren't in any

THE NOTEBOOK

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Well, since Valentine's Day is coming in a week, I have prepared to get myself into a romantic mood by watching some romantic flicks in the past few days. Two days ago, I went with the Korean flick Il Mare (currently being remade by Hollywood with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in it) and Tim Burton's animated feature, Corpse Bride , then last night, I checked out the much talked about ' The Notebook '. Despite having the DVDs for quite a while, I've never gotten the chance to actually view it, but to most of my female friends whom I lent the DVD to, almost none of them told me that they did NOT cry at the film. Not knowing whether I could take another emotionally-charged film about Alzheimer's Disease after being emotionally-raped by the over-the-top emo Korean film, Moments of Love (sad and tragic tale of a young woman in her 20s suffering from Alzheimer whilst her poor husband had to suffer, read Lovehkfilm.com's review here ), I had always left The N

Ang Lee's BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is heartbreaking

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Everything that can be said about this film in a review has already been said by most American critics here . And based on Technorati, it's been the most talked about film for the past few weeks since its victory at the Golden Globes. So what can I say about Brokeback Mountain in this review of mine to make it not sound identical to the thousands and thousands of film critics and bloggers out there? Alas I am at a loss. Even the Malaysian Chinese media, usually stingy over its coverage on the Awards season, has spent day after day reporting on its awards haul and raining praises on director Ang Lee. Chinese newspapers haven't paid that much attention to the Oscars since, oh, right, when Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon came out. If Ang Lee wins the awards for Best Picture and Best Director during the Oscars, he will become the first Asian director to ever do so, not even the legendary Akira Kurosawa had done this. Even if viewer ratings are going to be low in Am

The Shopaholics 最爱女人购物狂 by Wai Ka Fai

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This movie is a difficult one to review, since I walked out of the cinemas with mixed feelings after seeing it. One part of me felt that I was robbed, and agreed with my sister that it was a pretty lame film since everything was so inconsequential, shallow and over-the-top silly. After all, it was just days after I've seen the old Chinese New Year screwball comedy Eight Happiness (starring Chow Yun Fat, Jackie Cheung and Raymond Wong, along with Bobo Fung, Dodo Cheng etc), despite how dumb the latter was, it was a film with heart and sincerity, the scenes between the siblings and their loved ones were affecting. Why am I comparing Eighth Happiness with The Shopaholics? It's simple, The Shopaholics is directed by long-time Johnnie To collaborator, Wai Ka Fai. And Johnnie To was the one who directed Eighth Happiness (long before he became known for shooting his gritty crime drama and stylish triad films, Johnnie To was known for Stephen Chow movies like Justice My Foot!). And

VIDEOS: The beautiful Green Dragon waterfall at Wuyishan & a 4-year old Chinese tea-making prodigy

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Malaysia's most prolific vlogger strikes again! I've spent the entire day editing these four video clips. Basically, it's a continuation of my China vacation videos (yes, it's incomplete). All these clips were shot on the same day, but since some of the stuff I witnessed were so interesting then that I've decided split them, so you can enjoy them separately.

Video of Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner. Wong Kar Wai-style.

Haven't been able to go online for the past three days. PAINFUL! PAAAAAAAAAAAAIN!