Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Man with Two Brains (1983)

Juga dalam kategori cult di rental shop. Agak setuju disebabkan gaya lawak yang bersahaja. Cuma jangan terpedaya dengan tajuknya yang agak tersasar dari jalan cerita sebenar. Namun begitu, masih menghiburkan.

Meet Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr (Steve Martin), the famous brain surgeon. Perhaps the name is not unfamiliar, though it is unpronounceable; the good doctor is the inventor of the celebrated "screw-top" method of brain surgery, in which the top of the skull twists off as easily as the lid of a pickle jar. The man may be a medical genius, but his talent for love leaves something to be desired, which explains his marriage to a gold-digging vixen (Kathleen Turner). Ah, but Dr. Hfuhruhurr may yet find true love, in the form of the disembodied brain he discovers in the lab of a mad scientist--David Warner, gone the Frankenstein route. (Lovely image: Hfuhruhurr in a rowboat, taking the brain out for a romantic ride on the lake.) Thus, in its own utterly goofy way, does The Man with Two Brains delve into the eternal dilemma of male indecision: does a man fall in love with a woman's body, or with her mind? Along the way, of course, there are gags both highbrow and very, very lowbrow, a mind-body split that might be why critics have tended to prefer the more sophisticated slapstick of All of Me (directed, like this film, by Carl Reiner) and Roxanne among the early Steve Martin outings. Still, this is one of Martin's funniest pictures, and a game Kathleen Turner, fresh off her Body Heat success, ably spoofs her own sultry image. The cerebral love object is voiced by Sissy Spacek.

SKOR: 7/10

Human Traffic (1999)

Dikategorikan sebagai filem 'cult' di tempat rental DVD. Dua makna, cerita memang best ataupun tak faham. Keputusannya, cerita tak berapa best dan paham. So tak berapa layak kot nak letak dalam kategori kult ni.

Human Traffic wants to be a Trainspotting for the rave set, and so it has thick British accents, hip snotty attitudes, slick visuals, a propulsive electronic soundtrack, and unfortunately some very weak writing and drab characters. A band of friends, with the cute names of Jip, Koop, Nina, Lulu, and Moff, are sex-obsessed clubgoers having some sort of premature midlife crisis. Jip and Lulu are best friends, only their friendship is about to be threatened by sexual tension. Koop gets ravingly jealous about his girlfriend, Nina. Moff masturbates a lot and has a repressive dad. Jip's mother is a prostitute. Koop's father is a paranoid schizophrenic. What little plot there is revolves around whether or not they'll get into a particularly hip club. Critics usually complain that movies are too much like music videos, but Human Traffic could stand to be more of one. All the best moments are when the tepid dialogue stops and the driving beats and quickly edited images take over. A brief break dancing sequence is a moment of genuine dazzle. The actors aren't completely without charm, but the movie is just trying too hard to achieve the effervescent buzz it seeks.

SKOR: 6/10

You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008)

Peh... punya la tak best lawak dalam filem ni sampai gua boleh buat keje lain nengoknya... Kalau larat lawak slapstick melampau, memang ni la ceritanya.

If You Don't Mess with the Zohan feels like an extended and crazed sketch from Saturday Night Live, there are reasons for that. Zohan's star and SNL alumnus Adam Sandler is joined by several fellow cast members (in uncredited cameo roles) from his years on the NBC show. But Sandler also co-wrote the film's absurdist script with SNL veteran writer and sometime-performer Robert Smigel. Echoes of a few of their classic skits on the show--built around high-strung Israeli characters obsessed with disco and selling junk electronics out of a New York shop--are in revisited in Zohan and are a lot of fun to see again. Zohan is unbridled nonsense thrown at the wall, but with a sunny disposition that proves surprisingly persuasive. Sandler stars as an Israeli intelligence operative who fakes his death to reinvent himself in New York City as a hairdresser. Putting the lie to assumptions that any man in that professional field must be gay, Zohan routinely provides raucous sexual favors for all of his older female customers. The sight of bottles of gels and hairsprays falling off shelves while the indefatigable Zohan pleasures randy grannies on the other side of a salon wall is pure SNL, and is funnier than it might sound. The silly story involves an old, Palestinian enemy of Zohan, the Phantom (John Turturro), showing up in Manhattan, but everything is really leading to a Big Apple version of the resolution of Israeli-Palestinian conflicts we'd all like to see on a large scale. The film is almost instantly forgettable, and there are many times it veers toward the dumb, but it also sells itself well as a nutty concept.

SKOR: 3/10

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Downfall (2004)

Memang melekat tengok filem ini! Sungguh dramatik. Dan yang paling menggerunkan kita berasa kasihan kepada diktator tersohor ini.

The riveting subject of Downfall is nothing less than the disintegration of Adolf Hitler in mind, body, and soul. A 2005 Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film, this German historical drama stars Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire) as Hitler, whose psychic meltdown is depicted in sobering detail, suggesting a fallen, pathetic dictator on the verge on insanity, resorting to suicide (along with Eva Braun and Joseph and Magda Goebbels) as his Nazi empire burns amidst chaos in mid-1945. While staging most of the film in the claustrophobic bunker where Hitler spent his final days, director Oliver Hirschbiegel (Das Experiment) dares to show the gentler human side of der Fuehrer, as opposed to the pure embodiment of evil so familiar from many other Nazi-era dramas. This balanced portrayal does not inspire sympathy, however: We simply see the complexity of Hitler's character in the greater context of his inevitable downfall, and a more realistic (and therefore more horrifying) biographical portrait of madness on both epic and intimate scales. By ending with a chilling clip from the 2002 documentary Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary, this unforgettable film gains another dimension of sobering authenticity.

SKOR: 9/10