Monday, June 27, 2016

Gods of Egypt: too self-indulgent for my taste

In an alternative Egypt, the world is flat and gods live among mortal humans. The Egyptian gods are distinguished from humans by their greater height, golden blood, and ability to transform into animal-headed deity forms.

Bek (Brenton Thwaites), a mortal thief with little faith in gods and their good will towards mortals, with his love Zaya (Courtney Eaton) are attending the coronation of Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), lord of the air, by his father, the abdicating King of Egypt Osiris (Bryan Brown). Horus is shown getting ready for his coronation as his love Hathor (Élodie Yung) surprises him. Horus hints at marriage and they discuss Hathor's protection bracelet made of the stars which Horus gave to her to protect and save her from her previous role as a guide to dead souls in the underworld.

However, during the ceremony Osiris is killed by his jealous brother Set (Gerard Butler), god of the desert, who seizes the throne and declares a new regime where the dead will have to pay with riches to pass into the afterlife. Horus is stripped of his eyes, which are the source of his power, and almost killed. Hathor pleads with Set to spare him and he is instead exiled. Hathor becomes an enslaved mistress to Set.

A year later Bek has been working as a slave building monuments, while Zaya is now under the ownership of the chief architect Urshu (Rufus Sewell). Believing that Horus is the only one who can defeat Set, she gives Bek the floorplans to Set's treasure vault. Bek is able to steal back one of Horus' eyes . However, Urshu finds out about their theft and kills Zaya as the couple flee.

Bek takes her body to the blind Horus and makes a bargain: Horus agrees to bringing Zaya back from the dead for his eye and Bek will share his knowledge about Set's pyramid.

Later, they are traveling to Ra's (Geoffrey Rush) divine vessel above the Earth. Horus is unable to convince Ra to grant him his power in full or to intervene and defeat Set himself, as Ra is both neutral about their conflict and daily at war with an enormous shadow beast, Apophis, that threatens to devour the world. Nevertheless, Horus obtains divine waters from Ra's vessel, which can be used at Set's pyramid to extinguish the desert thirst and weaken him gravely. Ra tells Horus that his weakness is the result of him not fulfilling his destiny, which Horus believes means avenging his parents' deaths.

Set asks Hathor to take him to the underworld which he next desires to conquer, but she refuses and manages to escape. Eventually, Hathor finds Bek and Horus. Horus at first doesn't trust her, as she is Set's mistress who had blinded him, while she tries to convince him that Set is her enemy as well. When they tell her of their plan regarding Set's pyramid, she warns them of a guardian sphinx who will kill anyone not wise enough to solve a riddle. The group then heads to the library of Thoth (Chadwick Boseman) the god of wisdom, recruiting him to solve the riddle.

Arriving at Set's shrine, they overcome its traps, including the sphinx, to reach the source of Set's power. But before they can pour the divine water in, Set traps them and reveals Horus' deception to Bek: that he is unable to bring Zaya back from the dead. Set destroys their flask of divine water and kills Thoth by taking his brain, but Horus is able to save Hathor and Bek.

Horus admits before the enraged Bek to caring more about his revenge than the mortals. Hathor feels guilt for not exposing the deception, and as the goddess of love helps the doomed lovers. She sacrifices her own safety for Zaya's payment into the afterlife, by giving Bek the protective bracelet which stops the underworld souls from overwhelming her and calling Anubis to take him to Zaya. Therefore, she lets herself be dragged to the underworld, while Horus realizes that he still loves her.

Having obtained Thoth's brain, Osiris's heart, one of Horus's eyes and wings from Nephthys (Emma Booth), Set has them combined with himself. Set travels to Ra, appealing to his father for approval and asking why Osiris was favored, while he was denied leadership and children. Ra claims that all of Set's prior maltreatment were tests preparing Set for his true role, the honor and burden of taking Ra's place as the defender of the world aboard his solar barge fighting against the demon Apophis. Set is dismayed to hear his destiny is to be alone above the planet until he dies, and refuses. He wants to destroy the afterlife so that he can be immortal. Ra tries to fight him, but cannot, as Set has taken the powers of the other gods. He then stabs Ra, taking his fiery spear of power, and casts him off the boat, freeing Apophis to consume both the mortal and underworld realms.

Bek finds Zaya who refuses Hathor's gift as she doesn't want an afterlife without Bek, but then Apophis attacks and the gate to the afterlife is closed. Bek returns to the mortal world where Horus is amazed that Bek still wants to help take down Set, but Bek tells him it was Zaya who told him to, as she still has faith in Horus.

Horus climbs up the outer wall of an obelisk Set is standing on and attempts to battle him, but is heavily outmatched. Bek ascends on the inside and joins the battle removing Horus's stolen eye from Set's armor, being wounded in the process. As Bek slides toward the edge of the obelisk, he throws the eye toward Horus who must choose to catch it or save Bek instead. Horus reaches for Bek and apologizes for all he has put him through. As they plummet toward the ground, Horus finds that he now has the power to transform into his divine form, and he catches Bek and flies him to safety. Horus realizes that it wasn't the recovery of his eye or revenge that was his destiny, it was the protection of his people that he needed to fight for. Now Horus has the strength for battling Set, and he gains the obelisk and kills him. After the battle and Set's death, he then finds Ra wounded and floating in space and returns his spear to him, allowing Ra to once again repel Apophis.

As Horus returns to Bek, a child holds out his other eye which she has found, while people cheer him. But Horus's joy turns to sadness as he arrives to find Bek dying. Horus carries him to Osiris's tomb and lays him beside Zaya. Ra, his grandfather, arrives and offers to bestow any power on him to repay Horus for his life and Egypt's survival, but all Horus wants is bringing Bek and Zaya back to life. The other gods are also revived and have their attributes restored. Horus is crowned king by Thoth and declares the afterlife will be for those who do good in the world. Bek is made chief advisor, and he gives Horus back Hathor's bracelet, letting Horus leave to rescue her from the underworld.

i rather dislike some of the plots. i mean, it was too convenient at times when the Horus-Bek pair triumphed against their adversaries. plus the villain looks decent, not too menacing yet is too detestable in action. nampak muka Set baik je, tau tak!

but Zaya and Hathor both are beautiful, i grant you guys that. as for Ra, the premise of his power is so laughable. how can he be the omnipotent when he couldn't even banish Apophis for good? in the words of Hulk, "puny god!"

i mean, Hollywood has been making movies about Gods and Demigods, be it Greek, Egyptian and whatnot, still, the Gods of their imagination put on screen are full of weakness and sometimes depravities. how ever can we worship that?

think about that. surely there must be the Greatest Power that exist to create us mere mortals and He must be free of all weakness that we have. Because if there is a sign of weakness, of being in need of something, there is no reason for him to be worshiped, for that is no god indeed. and the issue of many gods.. how can that be? i mean, as shown in this movie, too many gods will lead to instability and fighting. there must be only one God, and He is just as well as omnipotent, free from any weaknesses, worthy to be worshiped by all that He creates. nothing at all like Ra or Zeus, for that matter.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Playing by Heart: love Jon Stewart :)

Among the characters are a mature couple about to renew their vows (Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands); a woman (Gillian Anderson) who accepts a date from a stranger (Jon Stewart); a gay man dying of AIDS (Jay Mohr) and his mother (Ellen Burstyn) who has struggled to accept him; two young people who meet in a nightclub (Ryan Phillippe and Angelina Jolie); a couple having an affair (Anthony Edwards and Madeleine Stowe) and a man (Dennis Quaid) who tells his tragic life story to a woman he meets in a bar (Patricia Clarkson), but seems to have a strange connection to another mysterious woman. As the film continues and the stories evolve, the connections between the characters become evident.

I love how the movie reveals the connections between the characters, it was done expertly and seamlessly. At first, the couples' narratives stand independently.

Meredith (Gillian Anderson) is a theater director being wooed by an adroit, enamored architect, Trent (Jon Stewart) whom she tries to rebuff at every turn only to finally succumbed. it is explained that her problem in trusting man starts when the guy next door she married so early in age turned out to be gay and they ended up divorced.

Then there is willful Joan (Angelina Jolie) who's trying to catch the eyes (and heart) of sullen Keenan (Ryan Philippe). Joan is an actress wannabe, and she pulls no stop in ensnaring Keenan's interests, including having her sister steals her car to have Keenan walks her home. it turns out that Keenan is keen to be with her, it's only that he has AIDS, transmitted from his now demise drug addict girlfriend. however, Joan rallies for his affection and in the end, Keenan relents for them to be together.

the film also includes the many secret trysts of Gracie (Madeleine Stowe) and Roger (Anthony Edwards) in which Roger is getting frustrated at not having their relationship out in the open whereas Gracie is content to have the affairs as it is. she is however not content with her rather unimaginative husband though.

as for Hugh (Dennis Quaid), he frequents clubs and dining places each night with different sob stories for anyone eager to hear his stories. his stories are often tragic and imaginative that it could only be true that he's lying.

Mark (Jay Mohr) on the other hand is dying in the company of his mother Mildred (Ellen Burstyn). it is terrible for her to find out that he is gay when it is clearly he's nearing his end. she doesn't even get to know her son's partner who died earlier due to AIDS. it was a heartbreaking moment when they openly share honest truth to each other.

The tale is interwoven with a lover's spat between Paul (Sean Connery) and Hannah (Gena Rowlands) over a supposed infidelity on Paul's side which occurred a long time before their daughter was born. It seems that Paul was attracted to a co-worker once and when he decided not to pursue her, he found in himself that he loves Hannah more than ever.

it is revealed first that Meredith was once Mark's wife, and that after attending his funeral, she went back to her parents' home. it is then revealed that Gracie and Hugh are husband and wife, that he's taking improv class just so he could be imaginative as Gracie wanted.


all in all, it is revealed that Gracie, Meredith and Joan are the daughters of Paul and Hannah. all the couples gathered at Paul and Hannah's vow renewal ceremony officiated by Roger, the family pastor. there, they mingled together and Keenan commended Hugh on his imagination for being able to produce great video games, much to the surprise of Gracie. As they danced together, everything turns out well for all of them, except for Roger.

the most likable character in this movie would have been Trent! i love his sense of humor and honest conversation. i mean, you would have a heart of stone not to like him immensely. so is Joan. her persistence is commendable. i do love the scene where she's sans make up and caught vulnerable by Keenan. yet her beauty shines through.

even though Hannah doesn't understand it, I get it when Paul said he realizes his love is much greater for Hannah once he decided not to pursue Wendy. i mean, that is one solid moment of truth, an epiphany even, for you to realize whether the person you are with is worth staying for or not.

i don't like Gracie much. she's selfish.

to sum it all up, this is a nice family movie. about shedding cynicism and mistrusts to be in love, to take it all, the hardships and all that, in the name of love.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Austenland: sweet and adorable!

Jane Hayes (Russell) is a single 30-something American woman obsessed with Colin Firth's portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice who wishes for a nice Englishman of her own. After yet another failed relationship, Jane decides to blow her savings on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a Jane Austen–themed resort in England.

The resort seems like the perfect escape from 21st-century life. The guests at Austenland, which is run by the prickly Mrs. Wattlesbrook (Seymour), are called by imaginary names, dress in period costume, and conduct themselves like ladies and gentlemen of the Regency era. They live without modern conveniences (though the plumbing is modern). Activities offered at the resort include needlepoint, riding, reading, shooting, and entertaining the other guests through musical performances or theatrics. At the conclusion of each guest's stay, a ball is held ... romance guaranteed!

Upon her arrival, Jane realizes that, while she could only afford the inexpensive "copper" package, the other guests—including Ms. "Elizabeth Charming" (Coolidge) -- have all purchased the most expensive "platinum" option. Although she quickly befriends Martin, the resort's chauffeur, Jane is treated with disrespect and disdain by Mrs. Wattlesbrook, who prefers the resort's wealthier guests. While the other guests are given a wide choice of costumes and shown to luxurious rooms, Jane is given a plain dress and a sparsely-decorated chamber in the "creepy tower" of the servants' quarters. At dinner on their first night, Jane and Elizabeth are introduced to the gentlemen of the house: Colonel Andrews (Callis), an eccentric man to whom Elizabeth takes an instant liking, and Mr. Henry Nobley (Feild), Mrs. Wattlesbrook's handsome—albeit unenthusiastic—nephew. They are also introduced to another, exceedingly wealthy guest, who has been given the name Lady Amelia Hartwright (King). Amelia and Elizabeth flirt openly with Nobley throughout dinner, while Jane finds him rather disagreeable. Their argument ultimately mirrors the one had by Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy upon their first meeting in Pride and Prejudice. Ultimately, Jane is humiliated by Mrs. Wattlesbrook and leaves the table.

Jane again feels left out the following morning during a walk around the grounds. After leaving the group to seek solace with a book in the stables, she is discovered by Martin (McKenzie). Martin flirts with her, but the two are interrupted by Elizabeth, Nobley, and Colonel Andrews, who arrive with news of an upcoming hunt.

Martin's attentions to Jane during the pheasant shooting incites Nobley's jealousy; Jane's surprising skill in turn incites Amelia's. When Jane is forced to walk back to the house in the rain, she is rescued by Nobley. That evening, Jane becomes bored of the group's card games and leaves the house for a walk around the grounds. She runs into Martin; after flirting and witnessing the birth of a foal in the stables, they kiss. The following afternoon, Jane convinces Martin to break the rules: they take a rowboat out on the canal and spend the afternoon together.

The following day, the party is disrupted by the sudden arrival of another actor, the handsome Captain East. Everyone except Nobley is impressed by the Captain, who in turn seems taken with Jane. Martin witnesses the Captain making a pass at Jane from a distance. When Jane comes to visit him in the stables, he rebuffs her for "parading around" with the actors. When she asks if he is breaking up with her, he replies that they were never "going steady." Jane is left alone, angry and confused.

The next day finds the actors and staff relaxing by the staff swimming pool, where Nobley's dislike of the self-absorbed George ("Captain East") is evident. Martin nonchalantly asks the other men's opinion of "that girl Jane," indicating that he likes her despite their argument. Later that day, in the retiring room, Mrs. Wattlesbrook demands that Jane play the piano for the group. Frustrated by Mrs. Wattlesbrook's behavior, Jane defiantly chooses to play and sing the only song she knows -- "Hot in Herre"—before leaving the room. On her way to find Martin in the stables, Jane is stopped by Nobley, who knows about her relationship with Martin and who insists upon the impropriety of a lady being alone at night, "let alone cavorting with the servants." His attitude frustrates Jane and leads to an argument. Back at the house, Jane is accosted by a drunken Mr. Wattlesbrook. She fights off his attempted assault, which draws the attention of Nobley and Captain Andrews.

Frustrated with her "copper" package, Jane decides to take her Austenland experience into her own hands and make her trip worthwhile. She asks Elizabeth for help impressing the men and the two of them steal some of Amelia's clothes. Jane wows the group with her charm, but her stay at Austenland is threatened when Mrs. Wattlesbrook discovers her cell phone, which Jane had smuggled into her room at the start of her stay. Just when Mrs. Wattlebrook is ready to evict Jane, Amelia surprises everyone and steps in to save her. In exchange, Amelia blackmails Jane into creating situations in which she and Captain East can be alone together, which somehow forces Jane into Nobley's company.

During rehearsals for a play, which the guests are to perform for Mrs. Wattlesbrook, Jane and Nobley discover their mutual honest affection for the Austen era. After the play's disastrous conclusion (during which Elizabeth accidentally injures Amelia's eye), Jane and Nobley sneak off to Jane's room, where Nobley confesses that he feels something for her.

At the ball, all the guests dance. Amelia and the Captain dance together all evening (mainly so the Captain can keep Amelia from attacking Elizabeth in retaliation for her injury). However, Nobley interrupts the dance to take Jane to a private balcony where he confesses his love for her. Disillusioned with what she calls "the game", Jane runs away and chooses instead to spend the rest of the evening with Martin, in order to feel something real.

As their Austen experience has come to a close, Jane and Amelia leave the house together. Upon departing, Jane is amazed to discover that Amelia is, in fact, an American, who visits Austenland yearly to distract herself from her marriage to a wealthy elderly gentleman. As Jane leaves, Mrs. Wattlesbrook informs Jane that while Nobley was not "assigned" to her, Martin was actually an actor, meaning that his romance with Jane was scripted. Angry at being duped and suspecting that she was not the first guest assaulted by Mr. Wattlesbrook, Jane threatens to sue Mrs. Wattlesbrook and shut down Austenland. Martin follows her to the airport on Mrs. Wattlesbrook's orders in an attempt to smooth things over. As Jane dismisses his claims of love (which he admits were scripted), Nobley appears and pleads with Jane to believe that his own affections for her were genuine.

Angered by them both, and disillusioned with Austen, she leaves both Martin and Nobley at the airport. Back home, Jane clears out the remains of her Darcy collection (including photos, stuffed animals, and life-sized cardboard cutouts).

A few days later, she is surprised to find Nobley standing at the front door of her apartment, having traveled all the way across the Atlantic to return her sketchpad. Although Jane initially questions his motives, pointing out that he could have just mailed the sketchpad, she eventually believes Nobley's professed feelings. He explains that his real name is Henry Nobley, that he is a history professor, and that he only agreed to work for his aunt so he could experience the Austen era, a time when love was simple. Jane finally believes him and they kiss.

In the post-credits scene, it is revealed that Elizabeth has bought Austenland and turned it into a theme park. Jane and Nobley are among the guests, obviously very much in love.

Mr. Wattlesbrook now works as a garbage picker, Captain East does a strip show of which Amelia is a keen fan, and Elizabeth is living the dream, surrounded by handsome footmen, as well as keeping Colonel Andrews as her co-host/companion. Martin is seen attempting to pick up women as he drives a buggy around the grounds, but they all snub him.

at first i was rather apprehensive regarding the movie premise. Jane does look so desperate with Mr Darcy's cutout and whatnots. but as her character progresses through the movie, it reveals how much she really is just a person searching for love and romance, though rather extremely..

as for Nobley, oh my, oh my.. i'm rather charmed with his good looks.. the way his hair curled, his crinkling smiles, his eyes, alahai.. cair hati mak!

the chemistry is there, JJ Feild is really exemplary in his acting. as well as KR for that matter.. her helplessness evolving into defiance are rather motivating, hurrah! i mean, when Mrs Wattlesbrook made her into an impoverished orphan, she rallied through with the help of her sweet friend, Elizabeth. as for Amelia, she was funny, hopping around like bunnies, hahaha.. i like her character, she's so comic. as for Martin, he's a scoundrel worthy of Mr Wickham's stature, the cad!

i love the ending where Nobley and Jane hang out at Austenland theme park, looking so much in love and in sync with each other. it made me sigh, how adorable! so there, nothing is wrong in going after your dreams.. be it to experience romance at a themed resort or whatnot. as long as you keep your head clear with what you really want and never lose hope. keep up your spirit and never let circumstances beat you down.

have faith. Jane did :)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

How To Be Single: refreshing and hopeful

Alice (Dakota Johnson) temporarily dumps her college boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun) and moves to New York City to be a paralegal. She moves in with her sister, Meg (Leslie Mann) an OB/GYN who refuses to have a baby or any form of relationship.

Alice befriends wild co-worker Robin (Rebel Wilson), who enjoys partying and one-night stands, and local bartender Tom (Anders Holm), who willfully embraces the bachelor lifestyle and hooks up with various women including Alice. Tom meets Lucy (Alison Brie) at his bar when she uses his Internet for free. She explains she is looking for "The One" using various dating sites.

Alice meets with Josh to tell him she is finished with their break and ready to get back together. Josh explains that they can't because he is seeing someone else, which distresses Alice. Meanwhile, Meg has a change of heart and decides to have a child via sperm donor. She starts dating a younger man named Ken (Jake Lacy) shortly after learning her attempt at in vitro fertilization was successful, however she hides the pregnancy from Ken.

Back at Tom's bar, Lucy has a string of bad dates. Tom witnesses this and one night after he kisses her to save her face among her old friends, Tom starts to realize he has feelings for Lucy. As Meg kindles her own relationship, Alice continues to pine after Josh. In an attempt to put herself out there, she attends a Wesleyan alumni networking event, where she hits it off with a man named David (Damon Wayans Jr). But she doesn't pursue it as she notices the ring on his finger, signalling that he's married.

Lucy, having been in a relationship for three weeks with a man named Paul whom she met on the dating site, goes to Grand Central Station to send him off. Paul reveals that he has been seeing other people, thinking she was doing the same. They then break up, as it is obvious that Lucy does not. Lucy, extremely agitated, breaks down at her volunteer job reading stories to children. George (Jason Mantzoukas), who works at the bookstore, soothes her and the two begin a relationship.

Alice and Robin attend Josh's winter holiday party, however Alice finds she cannot watch Josh with his new girlfriend. Walking alone, she runs into David, who shows her a private view of the Rockefeller Christmas tree. Dazzled, Alice thanks him and they begin a relationship. Three months later, as she is singing with David's daughter, Phoebe, David becomes upset with Alice, reminding her sternly that she's not Phoebe's mother. The two break up.

On St Patrick's Day, Alice bumps into Josh and his parents, and he appears pleasantly surprised to see her. Lucy comes to Tom's bar and shows him the swanky outfit she got for herself to share with George. Tom is visibly upset, and he invites Alice to get drunk. The two talk about their frustrations with their feelings for Josh and Lucy, and end up sleeping together in an attempt to distract themselves. Meanwhile, Ken discovers Meg is pregnant, but is eager to help raise her child. Meg, concerned that he isn't truly committed, ends the relationship.

Later, at Alice's birthday party, Robin has invited Tom, David, and Josh without Alice's knowledge. Shaken by the presence of all three men, Alice argues with Robin. Tom goes to confess his feelings to Lucy, who announces she is engaged to George. Now sitting on the fire escape, Alice is joined by Josh. The two make out passionately, but stop when Alice is horrified to learn that Josh is now engaged and was simply looking for closure. Invigorated by a desire to find herself, Alice leaves to go home. Her cab hits Robin, who has purposely jumped on the windshield to get a cab for Meg, who is in labor. Alice and Meg rush to the hospital, where Meg successfully delivers her baby. Ken appears and convinces her to re-enter the relationship, after Alice calls him up telling him about Meg's delivery.

After a while, Alice picks up her courage and goes to see Robin at her apartment. There, she successfully repairs her relationship with Robin.

The film closes as Alice reflects on her time living alone and being single. Tom is seen repairing his tap water plumbing, which he had purposely cut in an attempt to prevent hungover women from hanging around his apartment. Meg and Ken are seen enjoying their life as a couple, and Robin carries on partying. Alice is seen hiking the Grand Canyon by herself so that she can witness the sunrise on New Year's Day, a dream she always had.

i've always been a fan of DJ. i think she's good at acting, making you like her tremendously. RW is in her usual element here, providing confident fat lady jokes like getting out of the taxi through the window and whatnot. LM is believable as the career woman who is rather insecure of being in a relationship. i like Ken way of saying "this is not me leaving, but you pushing me away". though it puts the blame on Meg, still, it gives one hope that he'll come back if asked.

the most attractive guy in this movie would have been Tom. hahaha.. i simply love his character. even though he looks like sleazy sometimes but his protectiveness of Lucy simply melts my heart. as for the most hateful jerk, at first i would have chosen David. but as it is later explained, there is a reason as to why he went berserk when Alice sang the song to his daughter, his late wife used to sing it to her. i revised my feelings regarding him as he earnestly apologizes to Alice at her birthday party. so off the jerk list, you!

the affection between the sisters is palpable and apparent, and the chemistry between them with Robin is believable. even though Robin is somewhat kooky, the sisters love her just the same. unconditional love between friends, right?

this is a romantic movie even though the main protagonist, Alice does not end up with anyone. i so much would have liked her to be with Tom. but alas, that is just my wistful thinking :) this movie is a balm to single souls.. that love can be found just around the corner like what happened to Lucy. it also means it can only work after you discard your insecurities behind like what Meg did. and if it doesn't happen yet, you have to love yourself like Alice did, focusing on achieving other life goals that otherwise wouldn't be met when you are in a serious relationship.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Nonsensical

In 19th century England, Colonel Darcy (Sam Riley) travels to the home of a wealthy family to investigate rumors of a newly infected zombie. He arrives at the home and sits with the family before taking out a small vial containing carrion flies as a means to detect the undead. When the flies land on the house's patriarch, Darcy kills him. Assured that no one else could have been infected, he leaves. One of the young girls in the house retreats upstairs to check on the niece of the recently dispatched zombie. She discovers the niece devouring a servant; the niece then proceeds to attack her.

The Bennet sisters - Elizabeth (Lily James), Jane (Bella Heathcote), Kitty (Suki Waterhouse), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), and Mary (Millie Brady) - have all been sent to China by their father (Charles Dance) to learn in the art of weaponry and martial arts. Mrs. Bennet (Sally Phillips) wants her daughters to be married off to wealthy suitors. As it turns out, the Bingley family has moved in nearby and are throwing a ball, wherein Mrs. Bennet hopes that the young and handsome Mr. Bingley (Douglas Booth) will win over one of her girls. Elizabeth, on the other hand, doesn't want to seek a husband.

The Bennets attend the ball. Bingley instantly sets his eyes on Jane. When Elizabeth overhears a disparaging comment about herself from Mr. Darcy, she walks outside tearfully and encounters Mrs. Featherstone (Dolly Wells), now a zombie. Before Mrs. Featherstone can converse with Elizabeth, she is killed by Darcy. A horde of zombies then attack the party, prompting the Bennet sisters to fight them off. Mr. Darcy instantly becomes smitten with Elizabeth when he witnesses her in combat.

The Bingley sisters invite Jane over for tea at Netherfield. Mrs. Bennet forces her to go on horseback, thinking she will be invited to stay overnight due the oncoming rainstorm. While on the ride, Jane encounters a zombie and fires her gun. The gun backfires leaving a bite-like wound on her hand. She kills it but then spots a zombie woman with her child. Jane hesitates and is attacked by the zombie. At Netherfield, Mr. Darcy orders her confined to her room, in fear that she may have been bitten. While in Jane's room, Mr. Darcy releases his flies to detect a zombie, but Elizabeth catches each fly with her hand and returns them to Mr. Darcy.

The Bennets are visited by Parson Collins (Matt Smith), who intends to marry one of the sisters. He initially sets his eyes on Jane, though he is told that she is with Mr. Bingley. He then tries to seduce Elizabeth, and proposes to her, but states that she must give up her life as a warrior, something that she adamantly refuses to do. Mr. Collins later decides to settle with Elizabeth's friend Charlotte (Aisling Loftus).

After Jane recovers, the sisters attend another ball thrown by the Bingleys. There, Elizabeth meets a soldier named Wickham (Jack Huston), who seems to be charming and polite. He tells Elizabeth that he has history with Mr. Darcy and does not wish to further challenge him. Another group of zombies attack the party, resulting in Bingley injuring himself, and Mr. Darcy joining Elizabeth in fighting the horde.

Elizabeth travels with Mr. Wickham to the In-Between, an area outside of walled-in London but inside a royal moat, to a church filled with zombies, who feed on pig brains to keep themselves from going completely savage. Mr. Wickham wants Elizabeth to join him in helping the zombies. He also suggests that she run away with him, but she remains conflicted. Elizabeth and Mr. Wickham then meet with Mr. Darcy's aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Lena Headey), a notorious zombie killer with major authority and wealth, to try and persuade her to come to peace with the more "civilized" zombies. Mr. Darcy and Lady Catherine blatantly refuse. When she arrives home, Elizabeth is told that Mr. Darcy has convinced the Bingleys to move away. When Mr. Darcy approaches Elizabeth with a proposal of his own, she expresses her outrage at his actions and fights him in a duel. Mr. Darcy pins her to the ground, but offended by her accusations and hatred towards him, he lets her go and leaves.

Mr. Darcy writes Elizabeth a letter to apologize for his actions and to state that he separated Jane and Mr. Bingley for fear that Jane only wanted to marry Mr. Bingley for his wealth, having overheard Mrs. Bennet drunkenly mention it. Mr. Darcy also mentions that Mr. Wickham had tried to elope with Darcy's fifteen-year-old sister for her fortune. Mr. Darcy's letter states that he is battling zombies in London, and that they have overrun the walled city. Elizabeth is then cornered by Lady Catherine and her bodyguard Wilhelm (Ryan Oliva). Lady Catherine states Mr. Darcy has been intended to marry her sickly daughter, Anne, from their youth and confronts Elizabeth about rumors over Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. When Elizabeth denies it, Lady Catherine instigates a fight between Elizabeth and Wilhelm in place of Lady Catherine who Elizabeth has refused to fight. Elizabeth overpowers Wilhelm. Afterwards, Lady Catherine decides to protect Elizabeth's family from approaching zombies and takes them to her estate. Elizabeth later finds out that Mr. Wickham ran off with her younger sister, Lydia and decides to go rescue her.

Elizabeth joins Mr. Darcy in London and helps him battle the undead. Mr. Darcy encounters Mr. Wickham at the old church and rescues Lydia in the basement. While fighting Mr. Wickham, Mr. Darcy impales him and reveals a bite mark on his chest, revealing Mr. Wickham has been undead all along. When a horde of zombies, who had been living normally until the pig brains they had been eating were switched with human brains by Mr. Darcy storm the cellar, Mr. Darcy escapes with Lydia.

While heading for the last bridge from London, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham fight once more with Wickham gaining the upper hand. Before Mr. Wickham can kill Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth rides in and chops Wickam's arm off and knocks him unconscious. Mr. Darcy rides with Elizabeth across the bridge as the army destroys the last remaining bridge to keep the zombies trapped within the In-Between on the inside of the moat. Mr. Darcy is injured in the explosion and is rendered unconscious. Elizabeth tearfully admits her love for him. After Mr. Darcy recovers, he finds Elizabeth and they share their first kiss, agreeing to marry. The two have a joint wedding with Mr. Bingley and Jane, officiated by Mr. Collins.

In a mid-credits scene, the now one-armed Mr. Wickham is leading the zombies toward them, ready for war.

the film really ruins the romance of Pride and Prejudice for me. i mean, i understand that it was just a parody but really, to introduce zombies into the equation really is a nonsense.

the chemistry between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy is clearly non-existent, except when they are fighting each other at Collins' house as to when Mr Darcy confesses his feelings for her only to be rejected. that moment was almost electric, I'd say.

i have many issues with the plot. the weak plot is the only explanation as  to why great actors like LH and CD, the GoT alumni failing to shine in their characterizations. comparing the movie with the 2005 version, the difference is like heaven and earth!

i mean, Elizabeth is supposed to be a strong fearless warrior but many times she fumbled when the need arose for her to slay the zombies. she appeared at times, confused and befuddled that it irked me.

as for Mr Darcy, he is so sullen, too much so that he drove away any idea of attraction that should be. as i said, the moment of passion is only he sparred with Elizabeth. that only is the bright spot for me. the rest, it kinda ruined the Pride and Prejudice for me. sorry. LJ, this is a flop after that Cinderella movie. and it fortuitously featured GoT alumni also as the hapless Prince Charming.. better luck next time, dear.

Monday, May 9, 2016

the Dressmaker: so sad (T-T)

In 1926 in the Australian outback town of Dungatar, schoolboy Stewart Pettyman dies in unknown circumstances. The only witness to his death, schoolgirl Myrtle Dunnage, is branded a murderer and exiled from the town by Stewart's father and town councillor, Evan Pettyman (Shane Bourne). 25 years later, Myrtle, now an accomplished dressmaker and going by the name Tilly (Kate Winslet), returns to her hometown to take care of her ill mother Molly (Judy Davis). Upon arrival, she is greeted by local police sergeant Horatio Farrat (Hugo Weaving), who is secretly a cross-dresser. Tilly returns home to find the house squalid and her mother plainly mentally ill which has earned Tilly's mother the nickname "Mad Molly" throughout town. Unable to remember the events of 1926, Tilly asks her mother about Stewart Pettyman's death, as she believes that day left her cursed. Molly claims to know nothing about the incident.

The entire town is quickly alerted to Tilly's return, as well as that of William Beaumont (James Mackay), son of the wealthy and snobbish Elsbeth Beaumont (Caroline Goodall). Gertrude Pratt (Sarah Snook), the daughter of the owners of the town's general store, possesses feelings for William, but lacks the confidence to tell him.

The town gathers for the local Australian Rules final game, and everyone is shocked when Tilly turns up to the match in a bright red couture gown that distracts the Dungatar players. During the interval, the handsome Teddy McSwiney (Liam Hemsworth) confronts Tilly about her distracting dress, and Tilly agrees to change.

After changing into a black but equally alluring outfit, Tilly gives her business card to Gertrude, offering to make her a dress for the upcoming footballers dance. The last quarter of the game begins, with the teams having swapped ends of the field. Due to this, the opposing team from the nearby town of Winyerp are distracted by Tilly's dress, and Dungatar emerges as the winner.

Later, Gertrude arrives at Molly's house to take up Tilly's offer. Tilly agrees to make the dress in exchange for the truth about Stewart Pettyman's death. Gertrude reveals that Tilly had hidden from Stewart Pettyman who had been bullying her unmercifully, but that she revealed Tilly's location in self-defence. Subsequently, Stewart died, but in circumstances unknown to her. Despite feeling betrayed by Gertrude, Tilly agrees to make the dress for her.

At the footballers dance, Gertrude's dress is a huge success, and she successfully uses it to capture the attention of William. They later become engaged. Soon, all of the townspeople begin asking Tilly for extravagant dresses. Simultaneously, Teddy pursues a romantic relationship with Tilly. Tilly and Sergeant Farrat also bond over their shared passion for designer clothing, and they form a friendship. Noticing that Tilly is beginning to regain the favour of the townspeople, Councillor Pettyman recruits dressmaker Una Pleasance (Sacha Horler) to start a rival dressmaking service to steal Tilly's business. This is initially successful, but when Gertrude hires Tilly to create her wedding dress, the rest of the townspeople return to Tilly, ruining Una.

Tilly uses a feather boa to bribe Sergeant Farrat into letting her read her former schoolteacher Beulah Harridiene's (Kerry Fox) witness statement from the day Stewart Pettyman died. Upon reading it, Tilly discovers that Beulah's statement is false. On the day of Gertrude and William's wedding, Tilly confronts Beulah, and she admits to lying in her witness statement. Tilly rushes to the wedding reception, where she tells Sergeant Farrat about Beulah's lies.

Tilly claims that Pettyman had no right to send her away, but Farrat reveals that Pettyman is Tilly's father, and that he had a right as a parent. Meanwhile, Beulah approaches Pettyman's anxious wife Marigold (Alison Whyte), who became a recluse after the death of her son. Marigold is the only townsperson unaware of the rumour that Tilly murdered her son, but Beulah reveals this information to her. Marigold breaks down and starts yelling at Tilly, labelling her a murderer. Tilly runs from the reception, but Teddy chases after her.

Teddy takes Tilly to the schoolhouse, where Tilly begins to remember the events surrounding Stewart Pettyman's death—Stewart subdued her against a wall, threatening to come at night to murder her mother and assault her if she moved. He charged head-down at her, intending to injure her. Instead, she stood aside at the last moment, and Stewart hit his head on the wall and broke his neck. Teddy reveals that the only witness was his brother Barney (Gyton Grantley), who had been sitting on the town silo at the time and saw the whole thing, but due to being developmentally disabled, no-one thought to ask him. Tilly and Teddy then go to his caravan and consummate their relationship, after which Tilly begins to believe that she may no longer be cursed. Later, she and Teddy sit on top of the town silo. Teddy shows off by jumping into the silo, despite Tilly's warning cries. The silo holds sorghum, and Teddy suffocates as he sinks into the grain.

Tilly becomes depressed after Teddy's death until her mother encourages her to continue dressmaking. While out in town, Molly suffers a stroke, and later dies. Only Tilly and Sergeant Farrat attend the funeral. Molly's death sets off a chain of disturbing and macabre events. While Tilly and Farrat are holding a wake for Molly, Beulah snoops around the house. Tilly drunkenly objects to the music on the portable record player, and throws it off the verandah, where it hits Beulah and injures her. Beulah is last seen being helped onto the train to Melbourne, ostensibly for treatment but really to be placed in an asylum. Percival Almanac (Barry Otto), the cruel town chemist who mistreated Tilly as a child, accidentally drowns in a pond at the back of his house. It is discovered that Almanac's wife Irma (Julia Blake) was unable to save her husband due to being under the influence of hash brownies, which had been baked by Tilly. In order to prevent Tilly's arrest, Sergeant Farrat takes the blame. He is then removed from the town by his superiors, something which greatly upsets Tilly. Tilly visits Marigold and reveals that her husband has been conducting numerous extramarital affairs, including with Una. Marigold confronts her husband about his unfaithfulness, and subsequently hamstrings him and leaves him to bleed to death.

The remaining townspeople travel to the neighbouring town of Winyerp to perform in a competitive Eisteddfod. Once there, they are shocked to discover that Tilly has designed and sewn all of the costumes for Winyerp's performance. While the townspeople are away, Tilly sets fire to her house and to a bolt of fabric soaked in kerosene that is rolled out down the hill towards the town. Tilly states that she is no longer cursed, and leaves the town by train, her sewing machine her only luggage. The townspeople, seemingly having lost the Eisteddfod, return to the town to find that it has burned down.

i love KW in this movie.. she is both bold and vulnerable, being charmed by Teddy nonetheless. the pair have a sizzling chemistry that simply heats up the screen, huhu. i admit, the movie can be somewhat tedious, but having the pair simply jogs the pace along just nice.

i feel so sad when Teddy died, i mean, you could not help but feeling sorry for Tilly.. wondering if truly she was cursed in the first place :'(

the townspeople of Dungatar are so horrible to Tilly. even though Tilly had helped Gertrude wins William right up to the altar still she could not win their loyalty..

i guess it takes guts for Tilly to come back and face her past.. i don't know if i had it in me. if only she didn't lose Teddy, this story would be perfect for me :'( but then, who are we to write the story of our own choosing, right. it touched my heart when Molly said to Tilly "you thought you come back for me but it is really for you..." alahai.. sayunya bila your mom cakap macam tu.. the mother-daughter pair really jives well too.

the movie is charming, i give you that. the costumes are riveting and beautiful. i simply love the scene when Gertrude comes out off that horrid wedding dress into a shocker gown that simply bedazzled William into setting a wedding date.. hahaha.. it's priceless! simply to show that no matter how ugly you look, come the experts and all the equipments, you can come out looking like a million bucks!

this review won't be complete without mentioning the friendship between Tilly and Sergeant Farrant. I confess, i've never liked HW since his portrayal of Agent Smith in the Matrix but by golly, he's wonderful in this movie. a true friend in need :) he was arrested though, taking the fall for Molly's misdeeds that were thought to be Tilly's..

yup. this movie is so sad. but i'm glad i watched it. at least i got to see KW at one of her finest.. and LH is a real eye candy, hahaha