Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

Fox’s website for the movie is here.

Jacob “Jake” Portman (Asa Butterfield) is a teenager who is awkwardly social and often being bullied by other teenagers. One day, his visit to his grandfather Abe (Terence Stamp) turns into disaster after Jake watches his grandfather killed and his eyes were taken by a giant monster. His willingness to discover the mystery behind Abe’s death lead him to encounter the extraordinary Miss Alma Peregrine  (Eva Green), and her peculiar children. Jake lately discover that Miss Peregrine and her children is facing the same enemy as his grandfather, monsters led by Mr. Barron (Samuel L Jackson). After Barron kidnapped Miss Peregrine, Jake takes an important decision to lead the children and face the monster of his grandfather’s childhood.

6.9/10. This movie is soooooooooooooooooo typically Tim Burton’s dark and mysteriously beautiful, but for me that’s the only thing good about it. I don’t know about the book, never read it, but the movie plot is terrible, and even the storytelling doesn’t work at all. You could be amazed by the children and their peculiarities, Emma (Ella Purnell) with her air-bending ability, Olive (Lauren McCrostie) the fire-bender, the invisible Millard (Cameron King), but they helped almost nothing to its plot. You can almost fall asleep for the first half of the movie, and still can enjoy the movie. 

Eva Green and Samuel L Jackson live the characters up to their names, although Eva’s portrayal feels like a little comical, but Samuel L Jackson is good. His appearance at the last half helped the movie plot improves so well. Asa Butterfield is failed in directing the whole emotion of the movie. His acting doesn’t improve since the last time I saw him in Enders Game (2015).

This movie is a little disappointment for me, but still if you can enjoy the views, just watch it.

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Storks (2016)

You can check their official website here. Thank you.

Storks is an animated movie about Cornerstone storks (I know, what do you expect? Haha) that stopped delivering babies and chose to …… deliver package (kinda lame, huh?) Their sole reason why they stopped delivering babies is Jasper (Danny Trejo) became possessive of his last package and made the package lost its destination, and later grew up to the only human working in Cornerstone, Tulip (Katie Crown). Tulip’s sloppiness irritates Cornerstone’s current CEO, Hunter (Kelsey Krammer), who later assigns Junior (Andy Samberg), to get rid of Tulip in order to become his successor. Junior then assigns Tulip in Letter Sorting Department, expecting she would never appear in main department again. Somehow, a letter from hopeless boy Nate Gardner (Anton Starkman), changes everything. Tulip reenacts the baby making machine, and along with Junior, she has to deliver the baby to the Gardners.

7.3/10. The animation is cute, the babies are SO ADORABLE, but they lacked in plotting the story and sending the message. A truly good animation movie is a combination of strong plot, cute animation, enjoyable soundtrack and clear message for all their young audiences. And this movie, again, is failed in plotting the story and sending the message. I mean, come on, how can a couple of stork and human meet a pack of wolves at one time, and face the backbitinb colleagues at the other time? There’s so many bad people in one animated movie that you just cannot decide who the main villain is! The pack of wolves is cute and creative (they can be anything, literally ANYTHING!!), maybe the only humorous characters in this movie, but why should create them if you were implying that the storks themselves is their true enemy? This is confusing for me, and surely confusing for kids too.

And what’s the message behind this movie? That parents should spend their time with their kids instead of being busy all the time with their works? Or maybe we should embrace our true fate and stick to the reason why God created us in this world? I don’t have any idea. Please hint me. Or maybe their true message is that we should not expect too much from this movie, haha.

Anyway, if you are searching for an ease from your cruel world, or from your killing work routines, or just need a movie to be watched with your kids, this movie could be an option. Please just don’t expect too much.

Deepwater Horizon (2016)

You can check their official website here.
Deepwater Horizon tells us the story behind the Largest Man-Made Disaster, Deepwater Horizon Explosion and oil spill, on 2010. The main story is telling how Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg), Chief Engineering at Deepwater, heroically tried to save all the Deepwater’s crews, including his Offshore Installation Manager James “Mr. Jimmy” Harrell (Kurt Russell), crews Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez), Caleb Holloway (Dylan O’Brien), Jason Anderson (Ethan Suplee) and many more. The incident itself killed 11 rig’s crews including those on drilling department.

8.4/10. I read the incident first as one of the assignments for my Corporate Ethics lecture on my postgraduate school, and decided to watch this movie right after the trailer was launched. I don’t know how to expect, as the based-on-true-event movies usually ended up being so damn good or fall inexcusably. However, this movie is good. Not so good, but okay. They build the plot carefully, try to capture every single fact of the incident, without forget to add the sense of thrilling since this is an action movie. Their dramatization of the incident is not too excessive, but I think they need to broaden the camera shooting angle so audience can see the whole situation and thrill more. After so many dangerous and exploding (literally) scenes, I think they are going to give us a back-to-the-beginning ending (since they start the movie with the interview with Mike Williams, so I thought there’s going to be a full interview at the ending), but the movie just end. No interview, no continuity, big turn off for me.

Mark Wahlberg is just okay, just like he used to be. Kate Hudson could be more emotional, but the one that I feel disturbing is Gina Rodriguez. I don’t think she got the proper portion here, or maybe just not a proper script, because I see she is soooooo bland, stiff, and Gosh, I just wished to see other actress than her.

Finally, after read the full coverage of news about the incident and watch this movie, we should really learn something.

The Magnificent Seven (2016)

And the wikipedia page is here. I couldn’t find any official website so hopefully the wikipedia page is enough.

Ok, where should I start? This remake tells us about the citizen of Rose Creek, represented mostly by Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) whose husband (Matt Bomer, just appear to be dead in the next scene) being killed by greedy industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), fighting for their hometown. The citizen of Rose Creek later is being helped by duly sworn warrant officer a.k.a bounty hunter Sam Chisholm (my fave Denzel Washington), and his six companion: gambler Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), Civil War sharpshooter veteran Goodnight “Goody” Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Goody’s knife expert friend Billy Rocks (Lee Byung-hun, the only Korean actor I recognize all this time), a legendary religious tracker Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), a vigilant outlaw Vazquez  (Manuel Garcia Rulfo) and Comanche warrior and traveler Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).

6.8/10. I usually don’t like remakes, and this remake is just so-so, waste of resourceful talents, and failed in giving us tastes to every single character. Forget Denzel, he’s just being Denzel as usual, driving all the moods of the movie by himself. We will talk about Chris Pratt’s Josh Faraday and Ethan Hawke’s Goodnight Robicheaux. Josh Faraday is another version of Vin Tanner (play by Steve McQueen in the 1960’s Magnificent Seven), and guess what, I feel that Pratt has just returned to his stereotype of playful, happy-go-lucky young man since Parks and Recreation (2009) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Hawke’s Goody is worse. Goody is supposed to be traumatic since his killing experiences in Civil War, but instead of giving us the chill and the feel, Goody looked like a terrible coward who runs before the fight, only to be returned at the middle of the fight and then being killed. At first, I was expecting that Goody might be the last hope that would help the others crushing Bogue’s army, but well, maybe I was expecting too much. And the fact that Chisholm held old vengeance against Bogue feels like just being told without any feelings.

And you kno what’s the worst for me? This movie was scored by the legendary James Horner, and continued by Simon Franglen after Horner’s death. Horner and Franglem has made the film score more dramatic with full orchestra, but the only full score I heard is just before the credit title. Come on, we all know THAT Magnificent Seven’s popular score, and we need to hear it more often than this!

The only thing good for this movie is the fact that Antoine Fuqua the director includes so many races in the casts, make it more believable of post-Civil War era. We can see black cowboys, riding along with white cowboys, asian and also Indians. 

This movie is PG-13 rating, and full of killing scenes. We only need Quentin Tarantino to make this movie more bloody. Please be wise in allowing your children to watch this. 

The Power of Acceptance and The Strength in Letting Go

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Kalo kalian pernah baca blog ini, ada satu postingan gw tentang Life is Always Full of Surprises. Coba deh scrolling2 di blog ini.

Akhir-akhir ini gw baca bukunya Deepak Chopra The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Ada satu chapter dalam buku itu, kalo gak salah chapter 4, yang bilang kalau sometimes, kita harus menerima apapun yang terjadi pada kita dengan lapang dada, karena jika kita terus melawan dan mengingkarinya, justru malah akan melukai kita lebih dalam. Dari sini bisa disimpulkan bahwa kadang dengan menerima keadaan, kita bisa jadi lebih tenang dan melihat peluang baru yang mungkin muncul di masa depan.

Gw, yang seumur hidup “dipaksa” berjuang untuk segala sesuatu yang gw inginkan, merasa luar biasa tertohok. Gimana mungkin gw bisa tenang menerima sesuatu yang buruk yang menimpa gw dan melepaskannya dengan ikhlas padahal gw tahu sesuatu itu awalnya sangat gw inginkan? However, time seems to befriend me this time, and show me the power of acceptance, and the strength in letting go.

Sebagai contoh, pada suatu hari, hidup kembali melemparkan lemon ke muka gw. The ripest one, the handsome one *eh. Gw pun menyambut kedatangan lemon dengan suka cita karena lemon ini nampaknya mampu menjanjikan lemon lain yang sangat gw mimpi-mimpikan beberapa tahun terakhir ini. Beberapa bulan setelah gw memiliki lemon ini, gw baru sadar kalau lemon ini mulai membusuk dan menunjukkan tanda-tanda yang sama sekali beda dari yang gw lihat pertama kali. Karena the fighter way life taught me before, gw tetep bertahan memegang erat lemon itu, meski gw tau dan semua orang udah memberi tahu gw kalau lemon itu membusuk. Gw berusaha mengubah lemon itu, memoles lemon itu, memberi pengawet dan sebagainya sehingga nampak jadi lemon yang gw inginkan. Pada akhirnya, lemon itu kembali membusuk, dan gw dengan berat hati melepaskan lemon itu dari genggaman gw.

Awalnya, gw menyesal melepaskan lemon, dan sampai saat inipun masih sering mimpi buruk keingetan lemon itu. Namun gw sadar, bahwa memperjuangkan sesuatu yang mustahil mungkin hanya akan berakhir melukai gw lebih dalam. So I just accept the fact that the lemon is not there anymore, settle things that has been broken during my relationship with that lemon and try to move on with my life. Berat? Pasti. Bagian paling berat adalah bahwa setelah seumur hidup gw “dilatih” untuk pantang menyerah, kali ini gw seolah “dipaksa” menyerah.

Kejadian ini membuat gw menyadari the power of acceptance tadi. Dalam ajaran islam (I’m moslem but not the religious one) juga diajarkan tentang ikhlas dan tawakal. Walaupun gw sampai saat ini tetap beranggapan bahwa ketiganya harus datang setelah kerja keras, pada akhirnya gw tahu bahwa setelah kerja keras, kita harus tidak memaksakan output yang kita inginkan (tawakal), dan dengan lapang dada menerima semua kejadian dan hasil yang mungkin, jauh di luar ekspektasi kita (ikhlas).

Karena, well, life is always full of surprises, right? And acceptance is always a choice.

Pete’s Dragon (2016)

The official website is here.

Pete’s Dragon is another Disney live action movie that told about the story of a boy name Pete (Oakes Fegley), whose parents both died in a car accident near a forest. He is then saved by a giant, green fur dragon (forget Toothless or Daenerys’ babies who have scales) whom he called Elliot. One day, Pete was encountered by a girl named Natalie (Oona Laurence), along with Natalie’s father Jack (Wes Bentley) and Jack’s girlfriend Grace (Bryce Dallas-Howard). Pete’s existence, and with Elliot too, make everybody realizes that stories been told by Grace’s father Meacham (Robert Redford) is true all the way.

8/10. Since Maleficent (2014), Cinderella (2015), The Jungle Book (2016) and the upcoming Beauty and the Beast (2017), I always have interest to see Disney animations turn into live action movies, and so far, there’s no live action movies that disappoint me, including this movie. The original movie is cute and beautiful, and this live action version offers us the same feeling as the animation. Not as thoughful and thrilling like The Jungle Book, but still it gives us nostalgic feelings of the original one. The scenery is beautiful, the plot is comforting enough to be watched with your whole family, and IMO Oakes Fegley did better acting than The Jungle Book’s Neel Sethi. Wes Bentley is cute with beard, and I always love Karl Urban, haha. Oh, plus Elliot the cute green dragon who behaves like a puppy. Go see this movie with your kids, fellas!

Sully (2016)

Since it inspired on true events, you can read the real Sully’s official website here.

Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) is an US Airways pilot who, one day, took all risks to land his plane on Hudson River, and miraculously saved 155 lives, including him and his crews. While dubbed as the hero for the landing, later known as The Miracle of The Hudson, he and his first officer Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) faced allegations from the National Transportation Security Board for not returning to La Guardia Airport in NY, risking his passengers and his whole crews, and expecting for insurance instead.

8.9/10. I really love this movie, deep without making us sobbing too hard, well-told stories and superb actings from the actors (yea, like you don’t know Tom Hanks haha). Clint Eastwood is giving us the whole incident in flashbacks, which little by little put into the main plot cleverly, without making us confused at all. He delivered the whole emotions to us, from how a familyman and kind-hearted Sully keeps his low profile while dubbed as a hero, into his stressful life-changing trial. I’m not a big fan of drama movie, but this movie is good without making me bored.

A must see, btw.

The BFG (2016)

The official movie website is here.

The BFG is based on Roald Dahl’s children story with the same name. The movie itself told us about an orphaned girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) who accidentally encountered a giant (Mark Rylance), later she called her BFG -acronym of Big Friendly Giant-, whose job is catching dream balls, mixing it up and delivering it to people every night. Despite of his intimidating appearance, the BFG turns out to be bullied by other giants, who are bigger than him.

6.9/10. I found this movie interesting, not in a very good way, but in term of confusing. I expected quite too much since Roald Dahl’s story is usually dark, magical and deep, but this movie somehow, seems to lose it all. I agree that the editing job is FLAWLESSLY AWESOME, since you surely cannot found any glitch in frictions between the real character (Sophie) and the CGIs (BFG and his giant fellas). On this, you can be sure since this movie is a colaboration between Disney and Steven Spielberg. You know how it sounds. However, this movie is quite confusing for me too. The plot is not quite make sense. How can you be so calm while kidnapped by a giant? Even if you know the giant is friendly enough, you should be more intimidated and scared. Meanwhile, Sophie is used to be a curious and smart girl, for example, but she turns to be the most disturbing element IMO. Her repeated Bee-Ef-Gee calling is so boring, and she should show more emotions too, instead of being so stiff and trying so hard to look smart but failed successfully. 

Train To Busan (2016)

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More information, please visit their web here. Or their Korean official web here, if you are able to read Hangul.

8.7/10. Train to Busan told us about a fund manager Seok Woo (Gong Yoo) and his daughter Su An (Kim Soo Anh), who take a KTX bullet train ride to Busan in order to meet Su An’s mother, or Seok Woo’s ex-wife, and celebrating Su An’s birthday there. Their ride turns to life-survival ride since they were trapped on the zombie-filled bullet train, alongside expecting couple Sung-kyung (Jung Yu-mi) and Sang Hwa (Ma Dong-seok) and teenage baseball lover Jin-hee (Ahn So-hee) and Yong-suk (Kim Eui-sung).

I usually don’t watch Korean movie, TV series, or even porn! Haha. I don’t know, I see their movies or TV series was just fully depending on their actors’ pretty faces, and their actings is just blah. I just watched their thriller and horror movies since it promises me with gorier scenes, compared to their Western comrades that very much depends on CGIs and heavy makeups. Since this movie was categorized as Thriller, or even Horror, and the reviews were quite promising, then I just decided to watch this movie.

And the reviews were not totally wrong. I mean, this movie is well-paced, if it’s not said to be fast-paced, thrilling and their actings were believable. Taken theme of surviving in Zombie Apocalypse, the movie cleverly took us into eerie plot, gave us thrills all over the movie, and suddenly hit us with emotional stab at the ending. The movie also composed beautiful and unique upside down relationships between father and daughter, husband and wife, and teenage lover, during their survival fightings with zombie hordes. Unfortunately, I feel that this movie owed us explanations on how the zombie apocalypse begin, and should be given more suitable way on how a pain-in-the-ass character is finally killed. I think they can used the TV broadcast (that were on the train) to explain how the tragedy begins, and how massive the effects are, to give us more believable stories. However, if you were into Zombie movies or just thriller movies, you should probably consider to watch this movie.