I'm actually quite pissed off that I don't see any posters for The Last King of Scotland or Half Nelson around! Dreamgirls is only showing in the theater in town which traffic I wanted to avoid during the CNY weekend. Anyway, I saw better film selection showing in Singapore when I was in Orchard Road couple of weeks ago.
So, I decided to get myself some nice movies for the weekend at home:
- The Last King of Scotland
- Half Nelson
- Saw III
- Alpha Dogs
- The Illusionist
Dreamgirls is definitely one of the best musicals ever made! You'd find that it's hard not to fall in love with the character Effie (Jennifer Hudson) in this movie. She's the lead for The Dreamettes (The Supreme) but had to give way to Deena for she lacked the personality to cross over and appeal to wider music audience. Jennifer performance for And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going is simply fantabulous. Oprah actually called Jennifer the day after she watched the show saying that her performance was a religious experience. Ha! She just won Oscar's Best Supporting Actress!
The Last King of Scotland is another biopic and Hollywood romanticizing with the Africa continent after successful The Constant Gardener, Blood Diamonds. Forest Whitaker portrayal of Idi Amin is charismatic, charming, and brutal. I love the Swahili accent and there are lots of funny and suspense moments in this film. Gillian Anderson (X-File's Scully) is in this movie -- looks like she's been putting on great tan on her! Nice! Forest Whitaker just won Oscar's Best Leading Actor!
Half Nelson is an indie film. You can expect a lot of drama from white male teacher teaching history in a black neighborhood high school; high on drugs most of the time; and had a weird relationship with one of his black girl student who turned out to be his "shrink" and favorite student. I can see that Ryan Gosling taking leading roles in future big studio productions.
Saw III is a great sequel to Saw II. There's entirely different game this time. Jigsaw tests his apprentice, Amanda and she flunked it! The highlight of this movie is when the female doctor, Lynn performed a brain surgery on Jigsaw in that unhygienic hideout place while she was placed with a collarbone device around her neck; a life-death time ticker - she'll die if Jigsaw died! Can't wait for Saw IV.
Alpha Dog, an ensemble cast film of a true account on how fucked up drug dealers life can be. In order to get payment, the borrower's brother is taken as hostage. Ironically, the hostage was having a time of his life - came to age with drugs, booze, and sex. In the end, someone made a stupid decision to kill the kid. Filmed in California where the actual event took place, this movie has lots of that "F" words in the dialog. In the end, most of the dealers got jailed and killer is now in the death row.
After Sideways, Paul Giamatti performance in The Illusionist, a period drama is a must see. In this crime of passion film, you'll be awed with illusions performed by Eisenheim (Edward Norton) in theaters in Vienna. If you are smart enough, you'll figure it all out the puzzles during the movie before finally Chief Inspector Uhl (Giamatti) unlocked them in the end. I definitely love Vienna as backdrop and truly mesmerized when Eisenhiem summons the spirit of the "dead" onto the stage.