Sunday, 11 November 2012

Quick (2011)

Quick, 2011

Quick is an action-comedy about a courier named Han GiSoo. He also happens to be a legendary biker. Without knowing the contents of the packages he delivers, he end up delivering a bomb. This starts his race against a ticking bomb.

For a movie that's less than two hours, they managed to pack up a lot of action into it. It certainly feels a lot longer than an hour and fourty-five minutes due to all the exciting scenes one after another. (This can also be a low point since it feels long when it's really not. Thus, it's a bit of a drab in some parts?) With a pair of silly protagonists, Han GiSoo (Lee MinKi) and his ex-girlfriend, ChunShim (Kang HywWon), we get a serving of a blood-pumping story. There's not a dull moment in this movie because even the opening is already full of stunts and explosions. We get a lively set of characters so they manage to balance out the action sequences with the interesting conversations between the characters.

I love Lee MinKi's portrayal of Han GiSoo as a smooth driver but ends up being spazzy and panicky when the situation gets crucial. His acting is strong when he's being all lulzy but he still manages to insert some warmth into his character. I adore Han GiSoo's gentle moments with ChunShim, but I think I prefer the ones when they go into a rapidfire charades with the police, trying to explain about the bomb.

Frankly, the film's lowest point is when they finally reveals why Han GiSoo's chosen to be the one to deliver the bombs. They build up way too much mystery on Han's involvement in the bombing but we get an overly emotional reveal, followed on quite an immediate toning down of the secret. They give us a grave reason on why Han GiSoo has to pay for being such an irresponsible biker then they brush it off as if it's nothing. If they're going to do it that way, then they should have presented a simpler reason.

I'm glad that they give credit to the movie's stuntmen. This movie wouldn't even exist if not for the stuntmen willing to jump and roll and slam themselves on pavement floor, with fires and all. By showing their braveness in the closing sequence, they already give tribute to the stuntmen who risk their lives just so this movie can happen. I think action movies should do this more often.

Overall, Quick's an enjoyable movie to pass the time. Nothing award-winning about it but it's still something worth watching. With an equal amount of action and silliness, it's a nice movie to watch during Saturday nights with friends. (But I watched it alone. On a friday night. Cue in some sad music please.)

Friday, 2 November 2012

Hana and Alice (2004)

The entire time I was watching Hana and Alice, I kept on thinking that I love this movie. I love this movie. I love this movie. But when I asked myself why, I had to pause for a long time and still couldn't come up with a reason why. I think I now understand what some people mean when they feel fluffy. This movie makes me feel fluffy, but I can't exactly tell you why.

There's a melancholic approach to the story of two quirky girls that make you want to enter the screen and bask in the glorious sunset, too. The story is partnered with some nice soundtrack that only gives more poignant touch to the already nostalgic film. It's a story of two best friends who start to drift apart when they enter high school. It's not clear, though, how they start to go their separate ways. I think it all starts when Hana falls in love and pushes Alice away. But we still see how they treat each others as friends though they tell people that they're not friends.

I re-read what I've just written and realized that I haven't really explained it well. Because frankly, I got a little lost in the movie, too. The story-telling is coherent, but sometimes, there's so many things going on, so many themes being explored all at the same time. Sometimes, you forget what the story is all about. But no, it's impossible to forget that this movie is about Hana and Alice and their friendship.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Bokura Ga Ita (2012)

Bokura Ga Ita was one of the 2012 movies I looked forward to. Thought I haven't watched the anime, I read a fourth of the manga. I know, I know. I practically read nothing but hey, that one-fourth was enough to make me like it. Though I'm not always the best judge of live-action adaptation of mangas, just let me go ahead and say that I enjoyed this movie. But before commenting on its adaptation, let me rave about the film itself.

It's the first year of high for Nanami (Yoshitaka Yuriko). While everyone's busy obsessing over Motoharu (Ikuta Toma), the popular boy in class, Nanami is busy crying over her bad exam results. But just like every other girl in class, she gets drawn towards Motoharu. But it's not just his looks or personality that draw her to him. She sees sadness in Motohari's nonchalant approach to life.

There's an underlying melancholia on the the cheery personas of our two main leads. It may be because the conflict has always been present, even before love blossoms between the two. But it's this conflict that serves as a challenge for Nana and Moto. It takes them quite some time before they can get over the past and focus on what they have at the present.

What I like about Bokura Ga Ita is how the characters seem to defy stereotypes. Nanami is the seemingly manic-pixie character in every romantic comedy, but she has a side to her that proves that she's not one-dimensional. She has a way of understanding people. And unlike most heroines, she's not a noble idiot. Yes, she takes the plunge and fall for Motoharu despite knowing that he still hasn't moved on. But she knows her limits and when she sees that she's being taken for granted. She knows how to let go. Over and over in the movie, they say that Nana is strong, and I agree. She's definitely a heroine I can root for.

Motoharu is not like any other protagonist in a RomCom in a way that he's straight-forward, something that you rarely see in male leads. Honesty may be an issue in their relationship, but Motoharu has always been clear on how she feels for Nana. I guess one of the reasons why I adore Bokura Ga Ita so much is that it has a gradual take on the relationship. It no was does it feel rushed or forced.
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