Sunday, December 30, 2012

B-13: enjoy!

the Poster:

the Trailer:

the Plot:

In 2010 social problems such as violence, drugs and organized crime have overrun the poorer suburbs of Paris and especially Banlieue 13, commonly referred to as B13, a ghetto with a population of some two million. Unable to control B13 the authorities construct a high wall topped by barbed wire around the entire area forcing the inhabitants within to survive without education, proper utilities or police protection behind the containment wall. Police checkpoints stop anybody going in or out.

Three years later the area is now flooded with hard drugs such as heroin and completely controlled by gangsters. Certain blocks are ruled over by various individuals and one high rise apartment block is looked after by an athletic and street-wise man known as Leïto (David Belle). Leïto hates drugs and injustice and wages a one-man war against a neighboring gang lord named Taha Bemamud (Bibi Naceri) to keep his neighbourhood safe and free of drugs. Leïto captures 20 kg of cocaine from Taha, worth over a million euro, which incites Taha to send his thugs to recover the merchandise, led by the towering K2 (Tony D'Amario).

Leïto destroys the cocaine and later evade Taha's thugs using parkour through the building and across rooftops.

To retaliate, Taha kidnaps Leïto's younger sister Lola (Dany Verissimo) to use against him, but Leïto manages to invade Taha's base, rescue his sister, and kidnap Taha in turn.

Leïto takes Taha to the police office at the edge of the district perimeter, but the police are in the process of abandoning their position on orders from the French Ministry, and are also threefold outnumbered by Taha's gang.

The police release Taha and allow him to take Lola with him to avoid a confrontation. In addition, they put Leïto in a cell to contain the situation, but Leïto kills the police chief who's responsible for handing over Lola.

Six months later, outside of B13 in the affluent areas of Paris, an undercover police captain named Damien Tomaso (Cyril Raffaelli) infiltrates an underground casino and attempts to arrest Carlos Montoya, the gangster who owns it. His extraction procedure fails, however, forcing him to fight his way through an army of thugs to escape the casino.

Upon the mission's completion, Damien immediately receives another assignment from his chief and also the Defence Secretary of France, Mr Krüger. He is told that Taha has stolen an experimental neutron bomb that is set to detonate in 24 hours. His mission is to convince Leïto, imprisoned for months, to lead him to Taha's base so that he can disarm the bomb. Damien attempts to pass himself off as a fellow prisoner and helps Leïto escape to B13, but Leïto sees through Damien's act and abandons him.

After fighting off some of the local thugs, Damien locates Leïto and admits the truth.

They team up to disarm the bomb and rescue Lola. The pair surrenders to Taha in order to gain access to his base.

There, they discover that Taha has rigged the warhead to a missile launcher, pointed towards the center of Paris and is prepared to blackmail the government with it. Taha demands a high ransom, which is refused by Damien's government contact.

The pair escape however, and while Taha's thugs pursue them, Taha discovers that the government has emptied all of his offshore accounts in the Bahamas and elsewhere. One of Taha's men asks how Taha will pay them. Frustrated, Taha tries to shoot the member who asked him that only to discover that his gun is empty. Taha offers money from a safe he possesses but knowing that with Tahas accounts emptied, there is no reason to endure his ruthlessness any longer, the thugs shoot and kill Taha.

This leaves K2, a more sympathetic leader, in charge and K2 has a moment of reconciliation with Leïto, suggesting that peace is possible in the future within B13.

Leïto and Damien fight their way to the tower building holding Lola and the bomb. They are confronted by their final obstacle: Yeti, a substantial henchman left by Taha to block their access to the bomb. Damien underestimates Yeti and tries attacking him, but is gradually overpowered. Leito helps out Damien and gains the upper hand with the henchman by tying him up with an electricity cord.

Damien then picks up a brick and smashes it on Yeti's head, knocking him out.

Having defeated Yeti, Damien calls his contact to receive the deactivation code, 9293709B13. Leïto recognizes the code as a reference to the bomb's location (92 and 93 are the two area codes of the departments that make up District 13), the day's date (7 September), and the district, B13.

Leïto deduces that the government has set them up and the code will actually detonate the bomb instead of deactivating it. He fights Damien to prevent him, who chose to believe in the government over Leito, from entering the code. The timer runs out and the bomb does not detonate, proving Leïto's theory.

The pair return to the government building with the bomb and use it to force Mr Krüger admit that he had planned to blow up B13 as a means to get rid of it. The confession is then revealed to have been filmed and is immediately broadcast by pirate television transmission across all channels. The pair's actions cause a major scandal that sparks public support for B13.

Soon the rest of the government promises to tear down the containment wall and bring back schools and police to B13. Leïto and Damien depart as friends, and Lola kisses Damien to encourage him to visit B13 in the future.

the Review:
i remembered this movie did fascinate me back in 2004 when it first came out. time tu mana ada torrent ape seme kan, so access to the movie was limited. imagine, after 8 years have passed baru dapat tengok..

all in all, the movie is solid. the chemistry between the main protagonists are real, the cause of their fights genuine and it involves policy making by the Government on how to eradicate the neighbourhood filled with filth and thugs rotten to the core..

i mean, think about it, think about the fate of the innocents born into the b13-like neighbourhood. to deny their chance for a good life would be barbaric.. something that Leito tried to put across. but then, his belief that surrendering Taha to the cops would ultimately solve B13's problems is kind of immature and child-like even.

oh ya, this is one of the best parkour movies made. and David Belle playing Leito is said to be one of the founding fathers of such swift, elegant and nifty moves :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gone in 60 Seconds: old time Favourite

the Poster:

the Plot:

Retired master car thief, Randall "Memphis" Raines (Nicolas Cage) is forced to return to Long Beach, California to steal 50 cars in 72 hours for Raymond "The Carpenter" Calitri (Christopher Eccleston), the current mob boss there. Calitri threatens to kill Memphis's younger brother Kip (Giovanni Ribisi) after Kip and his associates, Tumbler (Scott Caan), TJ Cross (Mirror Man), Toby (William Lee Scott) and Freb (James Duval) failed to make the deadline to deliver the stolen cars.

Memphis quickly reassembles his old crew including his mentor Otto (Robert Duvall), former girlfriend Sway (Angelina Jolie), former colleagues Donny (Chi McBride) and Sphinx (Vinnie Jones). Raines also reluctantly agrees to allow Kip and his crew to participate after being told by Otto that the job boosting 50 luxury cars would be impossible without them to complete in 3 days.

However, LAPD Detectives Roland Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) and Drycoff (Timothy Olyphant) get the wind of Raines's return to town and begin investigating.

Raines decides to steal all the 50 cars in one night so that the police won't be on to the thefts until it's too late. As the thefts begin, the plan is changed midstream when Castlebeck learns the identity of three cars to be stolen and stakes them out.

Recognizing the police surveillance, Raines instead brazenly steals three alternate cars from a police lot.

After discovering the list of cars needed to be stolen, Castlebeck predicts that Memphis will save the 1967 Custom Fastback Mustang codenamed Eleanor, for last. Memphis had unsuccessfully tried to steal the same model car numerous times in the past but each attempt ended badly.

When Detective Castlebeck catches Memphis in the act of stealing Eleanor a high-speed chase ensues through Long Beach. The chase ends when Raines jumps the car over a traffic jam on the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

Memphis arrives at Calitri's salvage yard 12 minutes after the deadline. Calitri and Memphis argue over the deadline and the condition of the car, which sustained damage during the police chase.

Calitri decides to make an example out of Memphis and orders his men to kill Raines and crush the car. Memphis manages to break free with the help of Attly Jackson (Will Patton) and Kip, and confronts Calitri himself. Calitri is interrupted from killing Raines by the arrival of Castlebeck, who has learned of Memphis's true reasons for pulling the job.

Memphis manages to kill Calitri by pushing him over a railing. Castlebeck, indebted to Raines for saving his life, lets Memphis go. In return Memphis tells him where the stolen cars are.

The film ends at a barbecue held by Raines's crew in celebration of the success of the job. As a token of his gratitude, Kip presents Memphis with a pair of keys in a small box. As Memphis is wondering what the keys are for, Otto invites everyone inside. Memphis realizes that Kip bought a rusty old Fastback Mustang for him to restore as his own. Memphis is worried that Kip stole the car but is assured that Kip actually sold his chopper to buy it. The film ends with Memphis and Sway driving off in the car, which stalls out.

the Film

the Review:

Gone in 60 Seconds is my old time favourite. The tempo of the movie, the characters, the songs, back at that time were perfect.. nonetheless, current viewing simply gives me the feel good factor.. boleh la layan. Nicholas Cage plus Angelina Jolie kot..

the Cops, especially Castlebeck were memorable. his partner was annoying but these days, TO has surely gone places. the villain is also believable. i like the his statement "if I kill you, you'd be dead!" hahah.. spot on!

i give it 3.5 stars just because of the bubblegum-ish good feeling i felt every time i watch this movie :)

the Best Songs:

Moby's Flower

the Cult's Painted on My Heart

the Last Car (Eleanor's Theme)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

13 Going On 30: endearing~

the Poster:

the Plot:

Jenna Rink (Christa B. Allen) is an unpopular girl celebrating her 13th birthday on May 26, 1987, who is desperate to overcome her unpopularity at school. Jenna especially wants to join the "Six Chicks", a school clique led by Lucy "Tom-Tom" Wyman (Alexandra Kyle), who takes advantage of Jenna's desire to fit in by manipulating her into doing her school works and stuffs.

For Jenna's 13th birthday, her best friend, Matty Flamhaff (Sean Marquette), gives Jenna a doll dream house he built for her and a packet of "magic wishing dust" for her birthday, which is sprinkled on the roof of the house.

At the birthday party hosted at Jenna's home basement, Tom-Tom dashes Jenna's hopes of joining the Six Chicks by pulling a cruel practical joke on her. Jenna, mistakenly thinking Matt was responsible, yells at him and barricades herself in the closet where she put the Dream House. She cries and rocks backs and forth, bumping into the wall, wishing to be "30, flirty, and thriving". The wishing dust from the dollhouse sprinkles on her, and seconds later, Jenna awakens as a 30-year-old woman (Jennifer Garner) living in a Fifth Avenue apartment, without her friends or family. It is now 2004, but Jenna has no memory of the 17 years that have passed since her 13th birthday.

30-year-old Jenna's best friend, Lucy (Judy Greer) (no longer nicknamed Tom-Tom), drives her to her work office. Soon, Jenna discovers she works for Poise, her favorite fashion magazine when she was a teenager. Missing her best friend from 1987, Jenna asks her assistant to track down Matt. To her dismay, Jenna learns she and "Matty" have been estranged since high school when Jenna fell in with the in-crowd, and that Matt (Mark Ruffalo) is now engaged to Wendy (Lynn Collins).

Back at office, the magazine editor, Richard (Andy Serkis) informed the staffs that for the 7th time Poise is scooped by Sparkle and this leads to the company decision to redesign their theme to revamp Poise. After Jenna overhears Lucy badmouthing her to a co-worker, she sadly realizes that what she thought she wanted wasn't important after all. This is complicated by the fact that Jenna has become a shadow of her former self. She has lost almost all contact with her parents, and she is having an affair with the husband of a colleague. Not only that, she is generally hated by her co-workers and anyone else she has worked with.

Jenna slowly realizes that the person she has become is neither trustworthy nor likable. in the fit of everything awful, Jenna heads back to her hometown in New Jersey and, while her parents are out, hides in the same closet as 17 years before and cries. Her parents return and find her hiding, and they welcome her in for the night.

The next day, she reminisces by looking through school yearbooks and other items from her school days and catch-up on the 17 years she doesn't remember. These inspire her on her return to Manhattan.

Over several outings and working together on the Poise revamp project, Jenna becomes friends with Matt again, asking his help for her project. Although Matt is engaged and Jenna has a boyfriend, they kiss during a nighttime walk.

After making a successful presentation for the planned revamp for Poise, Jenna prepares for the lunch date with Matt to celebrate the success.

During her time away from the office, Lucy snooped around at Jenna's desk and found the letters that incriminate Jenna as the person who shared Poise materials with Sparkle in return for the offer to be Sparkle Editor in Chief. Matt showed up at the office to cancel the lunch with Jenna and met Lucy instead. Lucy informed him that Jenna's not going to use the photos Matt took earlier for Poise and made Matt sign a release forms that she schemed to take to Sparkle instead for the post.

When Jenna arrived at Matt's home, Wendy was there and commented that Matt was not in, perhaps getting the tuxedo for the wedding during the weekend.

Dejected, Jenna returned to the office the next day only to receive the bad news: Poise is shutting down because the work she put into the relaunch ended up in Sparkle. Jenna learns from Lucy that in all these months, she was the one responsible for sabotaging Poise from within by sending their material to Sparkle. Lucy herself has accepted the position of Sparkle editor-in-chief, using Jenna's work as her own, similar to what she did when the girls were in middle school.

When everything in her world seems to crumble down, distraught Jenna rushes to Matt's house and begs him to call off the wedding. Dazed, Matt confesses he loves Jenna, but cannot change the fact that he's marrying Wendy. From his closet, he pulls the "dream house" he made 17 years before and gives it back to her. Jenna realizes how hard it is to Matt to make such decision and thus, she backs away and leaves in tears, saying that she wishes him to be happy for she loves him.

Unbeknownst to Jenna, specks of wishing dust still remain on the dream house, and as she wishes she was 13 again, she finds herself back in the closet of the basement at her parents' house, being a 13-year-old again. When Matt comes to check on her, she jumps on top of him and they kiss. She also realizes that Tom-Tom will never be a true friend and tells her down.

17 years later, Jenna and Matt are married and live in a house which resembles the dollhouse, happy and content as Mr and Mrs Flamhaff.

the Review:
blame the sick me but i cried buckets over the scene where Matt confesses he still loves Jenna yet he has to honour his promise to marry Wendy.. wallahai.. sedih betul..

sweet je JG ni..
a very nice pair :)

the two main characters are really lovable.. and even the protagonist in the form of Lucy is believable.. what is the main theme is that at 30-ish, we are given a certain time to relook back at what we have done and achieved to the point that is it this that we really want..

thinking back, personally, i only had that one moment when one guy loves me, and i turned him away. it's sad really. and even if i had to ask, do i want to give a different answer if Allah takes me back to that moment in midValley, some 13 years ago, i really have to say, no matter how hard it was to say no, to watch him watch me walk away, i have to say yes, i'd say no again.

kerana Tuhan.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Time - In Teresting!


In the year 2169, genetic alteration has allowed humanity to stop aging at 25. "Living time", which can be transferred among individuals on body contact, is shown by a clock implanted in people's forearms. "Living time" has also replaced the world currency systems, allowing individuals to buy services with their "Living time"; When this clock reaches zero, one dies instantly. Society is divided by social class living in specialized towns called "Time Zones", dividing the poor ones who almost always die at the age of 25 and live in the zone of Dayton, from the wealthy ones who enjoy the benefits of a long life and youth, in the zone of New Greenwich.

28-year-old factory worker Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) lives with his mother Rachel (Olivia Wilde) in the lower class. One day, he saves 105-year-old Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer) from suffering a time-robbery assault in a bar. Hamilton is attacked by Fortis (Alex Pettyfer), the elderly British mobster boss of a middle-aged gang called the Minute Men. Will rescues Hamilton, who tells him, "For few to be immortal, many must die," as there is essentially enough time for everyone to live a full life. An upset Will argues that no one should die before their time naturally ends.

Later that night, Hamilton transfers 116 years to the sleeping Will, keeping only five minutes for himself so that he would have enough time to go to the nearby bridge and die before Will can save him. Resident police force known as the Timekeepers investigate and Timekeeper Raymond Leon (Cilian Murphy), is convinced Hamilton was murdered by a Dayton resident.

Will visits his friend, Borel, and gives him 10 years of time (a year for each year of their friendship). Due to an increase in time for a bus ride, Rachel discovers she doesn't have enough time to pay, forcing her to run home. When Rachel doesn't get off the bus, Will runs to finds her but her time expires moments before she can reach her son's hand, and she dies.

Remembering what Hamilton told him about the inequity of the time system, Will decides to seek revenge and leaves for New Greenwich, the wealthy time zone. He enters a casino and meets millionaire time-loaning businessman Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser), and his daughter Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried), who is intrigued by Will's arrival, and even more when he practically bets all his remaining time in a poker game with her father, and she decides to invite him to a party in her father's mansion. Will wins 1,100 years in the poker game.

At the mansion, Will is apprehended by Leon who confiscates most of his time, save two hours, but he escapes when he takes Sylvia hostage. He returns to Dayton with her, but he drives into an ambush by Fortis. Fortis realizes that Will has lost his time but he steals most of wealthy Sylvia's, leaving just half an hour for her as they escape from the patrolling timekeepers.

Will returns to consciousness and gives Sylvia some of his remaining time. They visit Borel in attempt to get back some time, only to find out from Borel's grief-stricken wife Greta that he has drunk himself to death with 9 years on his clock. Sylvia pawns her jewelry for more time.

After finding shelter Will calls Weis and demands a 1,000-year ransom for Sylvia, and that the 1000 years will be distributed to the lower class of Dayton. However, he is unaware that the call is being traced.

Will discovers that Weis did not pay but decides to let Sylvia go. Leon appears to arrest Will, but is shot in the shoulder by Sylvia. Will transfers two hours of time to Leon so that he can walk out of Dayton, and Will and Sylvia escape in a hijacked limo. Will tells her that she can walk away from this, but she refuses, saying that her life in New Greenwich had no purpose.

They begin a series of "Robin Hood-esque" Time Bank robberies by stealing Time Capsules and then distributing them to the poor. Fortis finds Will and Sylvia and challenges Will to a Time Fight, but Will uses the technique he learned from his late father to defeat Fortis.

Will and Sylvia realize that their previous efforts were futile, as the rich have the power to simply increase the cost of living in the lower time zones, maintaining the status quo of wealthy and poor. The two succeed in stealing a million years from Weis' private headquarters. Will tells Weis that "Nobody should be immortal if even one person has to die.", opposing what Hamilton had told him.

As they return to Dayton, Leon crashes his car into Will's, but Will is able to pass the Time Capsule to a young girl who distributes the time among the people. Leon eventually catches up with Will and Sylvia outside the city, holding them at gunpoint. Will deduces that Leon was himself from the ghettos once but managed to successfully circumvent the system.

Leon realizes that he had neglected to replenish his own time before going after them, and dies. Will and Sylvia are left with seconds to live. Will runs to Leon's car and takes his allotted time, before giving the rest to Sylvia.

Will and Sylvia continue robbing banks as part of their efforts to crash the system, while the rich attempt to cope with the sudden surge of people who now have enough time to change zones arriving from the lower time zones. Lower class workers, now rich with Time, cross Time Zones, signifying the end of inequality among the people.

The last scene shows Will and Sylvia preparing to rob an obscenely huge Time Bank and continue disrupting the unfair system.

i like the concept of time being the commodity. however the ruthless way the price, the cost of everything keep escalating up without notice really irks me. it's a lawless state of living where cops are almost non-existent (judging from the way Will and Sylvia went on robbing spree) and no moral politicians to argue people's right to live. what kept Dayton people at Dayton I wonder.. i mean, there are no boundaries except that the fare to New Greenwich is so exorbitant.

it's a thinking movie, somewhat. and i do feel sad when Will's mom died minutes too early just because she shared her 30 mins so that her son can have some decent lunch. a metaphor that these days we neglect to be thankful for...