Monday, July 22, 2013

Fruitvale Station - Movie Review

Fruitvale Station.

This movie is based on a true story of Oscar Grant, a young man who was killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle at the Oakland, California Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit Station (BART).

Oscar is a man down on his luck and probably had some bad decisions in his life, but after his daughter was born, decides to clean up his life.

This is not a long movie, and it takes place on the last day of 2008. The movie follows the last day of the life of Oscar as he met a series of events which actually builds his character up and makes you feel for the character.

The interaction between the character felt very real and you can feel the joy and mischievousness of Oscar and his experience on the last day. There was several humorous parts, and even though you may already know the ending, you will still feel the outrage that such an incident could happen.

Oscar's mom told him to take public transportation when he goes to watch the fireworks and he followed her instructions, but unfortunately he met an enemy from prison and had a scuffle. The fight was not even the severe as may know, the train was very crowded (during new years) and no weapons were involved. But the transit police came and tried to arrest people involved in the fight.

Then the whole ending came as an officer claimed he mistook his gun for a tazer, shot Oscar and killed him.

The movie was very well directed and indeed, very very sad. Several people in the cinema cried, and many people swore not to take public transportation again.

The pacing of the movie was a little slow at the start, but if does get you to know the characters and their struggles before the abrupt end.

I'm not a love story fan or a sob story fan but it is a Great Movie. (But may make you sad the whole day)

Overall: 9/10

-- Robin Low

Saturday, July 20, 2013

R.I.P.D. Movie Review

Yes, the R.I.P.D. 

This is a Supernatural Comedy based on the comic with the same title. It stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges. (Also James Hong and Marisa Miller as their avatars.)

From the trailer, you pretty much can tell a lot about the movie. Ryan Reynolds is a veteran cop, killed by his partner and joined R.I.P.D. to hunt renegade souls. Jeff Bridges is assigned as his partner, and they get involved in a bigger plot that Kevin Bacon was planning, to release all the souls on earth to bring fourth the Armageddon.

I could see that Jeff Bridges's character, the lawman from the old west who keeps talking about his death and how coyotes ate his face instead of having a proper funeral, can be pretty annoying, but I do find a lot of the interactions pretty hilarious as well.

This was an ok movie. Plot was very straightforward and simple, and the action scenes are pretty ok. But as a resident of Boston, you can identify a lot of the movie and where it was shot at, and there was actually great fun trying to figure out where the location was.

I like the movie overall, and not sure if I would pay extra for 3D, but I'd recommend it if you like Boston.

Overall - 6.5/10

-- Robin Low

Friday, July 19, 2013

Forest Hill Cemetery Lantern Festival - Review

I was at the 2013 -15TH ANNUAL LANTERN FESTIVAL at Forest Hill Cemetery in Massachusetts, and here is what to expect if you are interested in going next year.

This is an annual event held in summer.

Admission is FREE; $10/car.
Address: 95 Forest Hills Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02130
Telephone 617 524 0128
Fax 617 524 0848

It started at 6pm this year.

Firstly, I must say, Forest Hills Cemetery is a very old and nice cemetery. In fact, some of the graves are more than 100 years old. Located just outside Boston (Jamaica Plains) By itself, this is a very nice place to visit.

Being a pretty large event, there are quote a bit of live performances. Ranging from local bands singing, Japanese Dancing and Drums, the event does try to make it cultural. After all, its a lantern festival and you can purchase lantern floats for $10 at the tents.

I feel that the event is not very well organized though. There are many people, but just not enough information on it. If you go to the website, there is no information on the performances at all.

Granted it starts at 6pm, if you do not bring your own food, you do not get dinner. You get to buy cold water for $1 a bottle, but that's about it. As for photographers, this is a pretty nice event, many things to shoot, and the sunset is pretty nice there. with the lake in the middle of the cemetery.

So some Pro Tips:

1) Bring your own food, absolutely nothing nearby to get food from. The dead do not eat... except for perhaps brains?
2) Bring $10 for parking and canvas perhaps to sit on for a picnic.
3) Arrive at about 6pm to get a good place to watch the performances and release the lantern.
4) Remember, there are lots of trees and wilderness, so bring insect repellant.
5) Bring a good camera suitable for low light photography, many things to shoot.
6) Bring a flashlight. As the event winds down, there is no lights in the cemetery.

Overall, I think this is a rather fun event, great for a summer night. If you park outside, the event is totally free!

-- Robin Low

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Pacific Rim - Movie Review

Wow! Jaeger (Giant Robot) vs Kaiju (Giant Monster) Movie... Can't go wrong right?

The trailer looks awesome, the graphics rendering and posters look awesome, and directed by Guillermo del Toro??

One good thing I can say is that the 3D of this movie is pretty damn good.

If no matter what I write, you still intend to watch this movie, don't read any further. PLEASE. Because, I'm going to share spoilers and tell you why this is the WORST Movie I've watched in this decade.

But, as many of you who would like to watch this movie would understand, Giant Robot vs Kaiju movies are not there for the plot, not there for logic, and not there for acting right? The premise of using Giant Robots against Giant monsters is pretty, erm... THERE IS NOT WORDS TO DESCRIBE IT.

I mean, maybe it is written by the same writers as Sharknado, it would make more sense.

Here is the low down.

1) Freaking Kaiju comes out from a rift in the Pacific Rim and attacks the San Francisco. It eventually got taken down, but death toll is high. Then another Kaiju came and destroyed another city. The human race united and decided to build Giant Robots to fight Giant Monsters.

2) You need 2 brain-connected pilots to pilot the Jaegers, they need to be in sync and they fight the Kaiju hand to hand.

3) The main character (the Jaeger Pilot) loses his brother in a fight against a Kaiju and ended up in Alaska where he became a construction worker for a few years. (Because he likes building? Instead of tearing building down?)

4) After killing Kaiju(s) and losing a lot of Jaegers, the human race decides to build walls around cities instead of building bigger and more powerful giant robots. And guess what, the humans discontinued the Jaeger project.

5) The walls could not stop the Kaiju in Australia, and the Jaegers had to be revived to fight the Kaiju again.

6) The scientist in the movie decided that he could connect with the mind of the Kaiju (yes, they have 2 brains like dinosaurs because they are too big?) and the scientist can find out more information about them, and find out their secrets, just to find that they have hive minds and they were being sent over to destroy humanity, which they previously came and killed the dinosaurs, but decided that the planet was not ready yet as they prefer a planet with holes in the ozone and a higher level of carbon dioxide. So our global warming caused them to come.

7) At this point, 4 Jaegers remain, and when the Kaiju appeared, it was the first time they came in pairs. They destroy 2 Jaegers, and could shut down the third one because they can emit an EMP pulse to shut down the electronics of the Jaegers (the third Jaeger) The Heroes have to get into their Jaeger and save the day because their nuclear powered Jaeger is analog while the others are digital. (What ever that means) Does it mean that their Jaeger is running on carburetors while the others are fuel injection? But I do see computer screens in their Jaeger.

8) After defeating both the Jaegers, the Heros return. The scientist who connected  his mind with the Kaiju, decided that he needs to find out more because he did not get enough information before the last Kaiju's brain died. With 2 freshly dead Kaiju, the scientist wanted to connect with the brain again.

9) Yes, the one of enemy Kaiju was pregnant, and the baby was in the brain? Huh? And the baby came out and ate Ron Perlman... Nooooooooooooooooooooo! Talk about fucking with your head, I guess the Kaiju are fucked in their heads too. So the baby came out and was strangled by its own umbilical cord. And the scientist could get information from its brain, and they find out their plan to bomb the "Rift" would not work as they need the Kaiju's DNA before the rift accepts them.

10) They follow the plan, to go to the "rift" and nuke it shut. Hmmm, as in the last battle, the Kaiju shut down the third Jaeger, but did not destroy it? One of the pilots got injured. Remember, there was a big whoop about connected minds, the Boss man, yes, the one in charge of the operations, was also a Jaeger pilot, and he could miraculously sync with the pilot with the injured partner, because he has experience.

11) So, all the Kaiju that came before were "Category 3, and later Category 4..." Guess what? Now they fight underwater with 2 - "Category 4" Kaiju and a "Category 5". And as expected, the Boss Man sacrifices himself and his copilot as they were carrying the nuclear bomb to seal the rift, and he managed to detonate the payload as the Kaiju(s) close up on them while the Heros kill their Kaiju with a Sword. The Heroes then dragged a dead Kaiju and wanted to go through the Rift and detonate their Jaeger, and not surprisingly, the category 5 Kaiju did not die and the Heros killed it easily with their sword and just into the rift with the Kaiju. (I guess the Cat. 5 Kaiju too much damage from the Nuclear explosion and died easy)

12) As the Heros sustained serious damage and were running out of oxygen, the Main hero decided to give his oxygen to his cute asian girlfriend co-pilot and continue on the mission of detonating his Jaeger. And the denotation failed. Yeah right, no oxygen, and it fails right? He needs to do a manual override. But of course, he succeeds.

13) The Hero escapes in the escape pod and goes back through the rift. SO, WHAT IS THIS SHIT ABOUT NEEDING A KAIJU TO GET THROUGH THE RIFT AGAIN??

14) The Hero reaches the surface of the water and his girlfriend who arrived earlier swims to his pod. He appears to have no life signs, she hugs him and cries, and like the Matrix and all the other lamo ending of endings, the Hero wakes up!

Yay! They live happily ever after.

Apart from the plot, acting, storyline, science, premise, overly game like CGI, bad romance ending, I can say, I kinda enjoyed this movie.

Again, I would say, the 3-D is very good.

As this movie falls so low beyond my expectation, I cannot rate it. But I'm looking forward to watch Sharknado now.

-- Robin Low

Monday, July 01, 2013

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain - Movie Review

Initially, I was like "Who is Kevin Hart?"

When I see his face, I was like, that is the dude in the scary movie, and I did not think much of the movie. "Kevin Hart is the short black guy, that is kinda funny, right?"

So after checking Youtube, I found that he has 1.8 million views on one of his videos which was pretty funny, and since I was given these preview tickets, I gave it a chance.

At the theater,I realized that this show was packed! Nobody told me he was that famous? I mean, did I miss something? And apparently I did! The demographics of the crowd was 90% African American, and I guess I was at the right place to watch an African American comedian...

So apparently, this was his sold out performance at the Madison Square Garden, and various other clips put together, to be "milked" into a movie. Brilliant idea right? My thoughts were, is this going to be worth the money to go to the cinema to watch this?


This is basically paying to watch a GOOD stand up comedy sketch. It is very crude, with lots of swearing though. A lot of original stuff, very entertaining. And most importantly, you get to learn about new stuff...

LAB - Local Ass Bitch

This is something I can call a lot of people I know... right?

Overall, this would make a great matinee, great energy, loads of fun and very interesting!

Rating: 7/10