Category Archives: Screen Talk

The One With Pride – A Feel-Good Movie Where Miners & Gay Activists Unite

Pride is a below-the-radar UK film exploring an interesting period in the 1980s: A group of London gay activists, in an unusual display of solidarity, supported miners on strike in small Welsh town by collecting donations and organising the “Pits and Perverts” fundraising concert (talk about reality being stranger than fiction).

Pride Movie Review

“Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners” (LGSM) felt a kinship with the miners, who were also a marginalised minority facing public humiliation and police violence. Director Matthew Warchus and writer Stephen Beresford emphasised the dichotomy through comedy (expectedly, some of miners were homophobic and befriending “the gays” seemed ridiculous to them), resulting in a lighthearted atmosphere, which has greater general appeal.

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The One With Still Alice – Winning Performance By Julianne Moore

Full disclosure: I’m a HUGE fan of Julianne Moore, one of the most fearless and versatile actresses around. Her most accomplished roles were those with characters who were not “perfect”, or even likable. Moore has the ability to humanise them, making them more relatable.

Still Alice

In Still Alice – a simple but effective film – Moore gave her all to portray a linguistics professor who was diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Instead of overplaying the effects of the debilitating disease, Moore chose a more subtle approach where her transformation was felt rather than seen, and hysterics were kept to a minimum.

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The One With The Imitation Game – A WWII Story Everyone Must See

The Imitation Game is an important film because more people, other than historians and WWII enthusiasts, will learn about Alan Turing and understand his immeasurable contributions that led to the defeat of Nazi Germany.

The Imitation Game

Turing’s invention of the machine that cracked the German’s Enigma code not only cut the war short, thereby saving millions of lives, but also laid the foundation for modern computing. In fact, we have Turing to thank for many of the conveniences we enjoy as a result of technological advances.

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The One With Birdman – 9 Academy Awards Nominations & Oscar Contender

Once in a long while, a film comes along that completely blows me away, and I am reminded why I love cinema. Birdman was one of those moments, when what’s on screen echoed life in a way that transcended definition.

Yes, the uninterrupted one-shot scenes that lasted more than 10 minutes each were impressive from a technical and logistical standpoint (in fact, the whole film was made to look as if it was done in a single shot – brilliant work by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki!), but for me, it was the performances that took my breath away.

Birdman Movie

What a cast! Edward Norton as the egotistical star threatening to steal the show; Naomi Watts as the nervous actress making her Broadway debut; Emma Stone as a fresh-out-of-rehab daughter struggling to find her footing (Keep an eye out for her incredible monologue. You have a new fan Emma!);

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The One With Snowpiercer – Class Revolution In A Frozen World

Directed by Korean enfant terrible Bong Joon Ho (“The Host”, “Mother”), Snowpiercer is imaginative science fiction film was adapted from a French graphic novel, “Le Transperceneige”.

Snowpiercer - Fight Your Way To The Front

Set in a future where mankind has inadvertently turned Earth into a frozen wasteland (the result of the botched plan to counter global warming by releasing a cooling agent into the atmosphere), and a high speed train carried survivors on an endless loop around the world.

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The One With Big Bang Theory – And My Dream For Space

I graduated with an engineering degree but decided that a nerdy, geeky path wasn’t for me. I realised a life deciphering formulas and equations while handling grease and fume wasn’t one that I fancy. As I took on my first job, I left all those technical knowledge and brain for numbers behind.

BIg Bang Theory

Today, I watched the documentary behind the episodes on The Big Bang Theory where they sent Howard Wolowitz into space. All that talk about once-in-a-life-time experience and trips into space have reigniting something inside me that was long forgotten.

You know what would be one cool thing I should do before I die? To train for a trip into space and actually step onto the moon. There were twelve persons whom have done that in history, and that number is big enough for me to be a plausible opportunity.

The One With The Good Lie – The Feel-Good Movie That Couldn’t

The “good lie” was right there on the movie poster. Reese Witherspoon’s involvement was at best a glorified cameo, but I guess one can’t fault Warner Bros. for using her star power to draw audiences into the theatre.

The Good Lie

The bigger problem was with the film itself. I do not doubt the filmmaker’s (Director Philippe Falardeau and writer Margaret Nagle) sincerity in shedding light on the plight of Sudanese refugees (often refered to as the “Lost Boys of Sudan”), who fled civil war (1983-2005) and was allowed to enter America through a special immigration program.

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The One With The Theory Of Everything – The Story Jane & Stephen Hawking

For someone who cries at the movies all the time (the slightest swell in the soundtrack can set me off), I was surprisingly unmoved by The Theory Of Everything. Based on the second memoir by Jane Wilde Hawking (Stephen Hawking’s first wife), “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen”, it told the story of the famed scientist, played by a determined Eddie Redmayne.

The Theory Of Everything

Hawking’s battle with the debilitating motor neuron disease (a version of ALS, which was thrust into the limelight last year by the “Ice Bucket Challenge”) was inspiring. There was no doubt that Redmayne put in a great deal of effort into the physicality of the role, and he nailed it. Redmayne also embodied Hawking’s self-deprecating homour in the most endearing way.

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The One With Into The Woods – A Fairytale Unlike Any Other

To say I have been anticipating this film adaption of the Broadway musical “Into The Woods” would be an giant understatement. Since the first time I saw an excerpt of “Into The Woods” on TV during the 1988 Tony Awards, I was hooked. The incredible score by Stephen Sondheim, loaded with innovative chords and unconventional melodies, took my breath away, and I was utterly entranced by the refreshing, original story.

Into The Woods - Movie Review

I’m glad that the film stayed true to both these aspects. The tale centred on a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt), and weaved in familiar fairytales – “Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) and the Beanstalk”, “Little Red Riding Hood” (Lilla Crawford), “Rapunzel” (Mackenzie Mauzy), “Cinderella” (Anna Kendrick).

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The One With Life Itself – A Movie About Roger Ebert

(Razlan’s Note: This is the first contributed post by Alex Lou, whom will be guest blogging for You Got Me Blogging for movies he loves to hate and hates to love)

It is perhaps fitting that my first review of 2015 is about one of the most prolific and famous film critics of our time, Roger Elbert in “Life Itself”

There was a time when Siskel and Ebert’s “Thumbs Up” was my guide to selecting movies. As my appreciation for films evolved, that system became too simplistic for me. After Gene Siskel passed on, I continued reading Roger Ebert’s reviews online, and I often found myself disagreeing with his assessment. For example, he gave a gushing, glowing review of “Knowing” (2009), one of the most awful Nicholas Cage movies (and there were SO MANY) I’ve had the misfortune of watching. Opinions aside, I’ve always admired Ebert’s writing – it was clear, cohesive and reflected his passion for movies.

Roger Elbert in Life Itself

This documentary, based on his memoir of the same name, recounted his career highlights (the successful TV show “Siskel & Ebert & the Movies”, winning the Pulitzer Prize, his “discovery” of Martin Scorsese, etc.) The parts that exposed his ego and his love-hate relationship with Siskel were certainly enlightening, but it was his courage in battling cancer that moved me.

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