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a short diary of some part of my life.

Posts from the Movie Category

21 is what most Indonesians used to think about when it comes to watching movies. They are not alone anymore. A few years back, there was a new kid in the block, Blitz. Blitz broke 21’s monopoly in theatre industry. Blitz came with a storm, they offer new designs and new seat styles (although some of them look rather silly).

21 was the old dog.

They changed the name to XXI, it is now read as ‘X X one’.

I guess it’s good for getting younger people and get them back to equal footing as Blitz. While Blitz is touting their seat styles as a major selling point, XXI seat styles remains to its core. It’s a theatre at its best, not something different. There are different kind of people who prefer XXI and Blitz. They can co-exist. Those who prefer classic movie theatre will likely choose XXI and those who crave trendiness and completely different seat styles choose Blitz.

IHMO, as a fan of movie theatre, I don’t want to care about their ‘architectural design’ and add-ons (great snack bar, arcade, restaurant, etc). The ultimate deal-breaker for a great movie theatre lies with the picture and the sound quality.

The latter can be indistinguishable by ‘mortals’, but anyone can easily spot bad or good picture quality when shown. Blitz has noticeably lower picture quality. XXI wins by a good margin. XXI is now starting to use 4k pictures at selected theatres.

Blitz also loses in term of sound quality. I confirmed this several times and I would not go back to Blitz, simply because the differences are at an astonishing level. Listening to Blitz sound system is unbearably harsh to my ears. XXI’s is much more enjoyable, especially when served with films with great sound effects.

I don’t see why Blitz lets this happen for so long, they should have upgraded their equipment to equal playing field as XXI’s.

XXI remains the champion and they should be. They deserve the spot because they offer the best experience. It’s that simple.

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CableTV are notoriously bad in content richness and quality. Most of the time, we don’t need that many channels, yet we must subscribe in bulk. It’s already bad enough in the US, it’s even worse in Indonesia. I’m not going to say the name of the companies. Let’s just say, I have not found one that I like and I’m skeptical that I would find one.

I couldn’t wait any longer for great contents, so I searched the possibilities of having Netflix and Hulu Plus on my lap, streamed to Apple TV via AirPlay from my iPad.

At first, I thought, well this should be easy, VPN would solve it right away. It turned out it’s not that smooth. VPN performance greatly depends on the location of the server and its’ network traffic. VPN is also a tough bred, not all of them are good. My choice of VPN slows down the streaming, I got basically the most choppy Netflix experience. VPN for basic tasks are fine but for the Netflix, it falls apart.

After a long search, I found UnoDNS. It is a DNS service that fools Netflix and Hulu, masking where I am in the world, thinking I am in the US. I don’t think Netflix and Hulu care much of my whereabouts. I’m after all, a returning customer who loves their services.

UnoDNS does not slow down my download speed. It’s only tricking my location. So far, the streaming is not choppy and I can get the HD streaming service. It’s the most satisfying Netflix and Hulu Plus experience I can get in Indonesia.

Pros:

1. Superb ending to end the trilogy.

2. ‘Overall’, the storyline is very decent.

3. Bruce Wayne’s story showed how he is struggling with the loss of the love of his life and the means to live. It’s about him being Batman and Bruce Wayne.

4. Finally, there is somebody who can throw punches to Batman.

Cons:

1. Catwoman looked cheesy. She doesn’t add any depth to the story. Batman (used to) has all the tricks, theatricality, detective-skills, and toys. She has none of them. Not even the theatricality. Oh and, the costume is pretty much useless. Anybody can spot who she is with that bare mask.

2. Michael Caine’s scenes looked weak. He should have had a bit more screen time.

3. The fighting scenes were really bad. The film makers should have hired a action/fighting-chroreographer.

4. Some of the camera angles could have been better, thanks to the huge IMAX cameras I guess…

5. The film promised to be the biggest and most epic batman film yet. The film makers failed to deliver it. Such a waste of extensive numbers of people used on the set. The film scenes with a lot of people in it do not feel big or even terrifying at all.

6. The studio should not have given all the script to the hands of David S. Goyer and (sadly) Chris Nolan. Scenes where Batman and Catwoman went down to the sewer and Catwoman trapped Batman down there looked pretty stupid to me. In fact, it looked just like Blade Trinity (directed by Goyer).

7. The lack of darkness, e.g: who gave the idea to film the final scenes on broad daylight? They should have filmed it at night.

I like the previous film better. I think Bane is not a better villain than the Joker but a different one. I’m disappointed with the pace of the movie, the camera angles, and to some extent, the fighting scenes were very poorly directed. The only decent part of the fighting scenes was the sewer where Batman got beaten badly and Bane broke his back. I guess I can say the same thing with the previous two films, the fighting scenes were also poorly directed and shot.

Despite my disappointments, I still rate this movie 3 out of 5. It’s not going to win any award, it’s entertaining enough to find out how the trilogy ended. It’s Nolan’s biggest and worst film yet.

I found this hilarious read about the new Transformers 2 movie on a forum.

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>>Are there honestly 46 new Transformers in the movie?
I have no (bleep) clue. It’s impossible to tell most of them apart except for Optimus and the Racist Twins (there’s another yellow Autobot who I constantly thought was Bumblebee). There could be 46, or there could be 12. I honestly would believe 12 if someone had said that.

>>What is the status of the Transformers at the beginning of the film?
The Autobots have joined the military to hunt down the Decepticons. We’re told the Decepticons are “doing things,” but they appear to be hiding peacefully when the Autobots show up and brutally murder them.

>>What?
Yeah. The Decepticons aren’t apparently doing anything, then the Autobots show up, the Decepticons run for their (bleep) lives, and the Autobots hunt them down and brutally murder them. It’s kind of weird.

>>Why is the U.S. military helping them?
Supposedly to help keep the Transformers a secret from the public. Although since the climax of the last film was a massive firefight involving 50-foot robots and took place over five miles of downtown Los Angeles and the beginning of this film wrecks several miles of Shanghai, China, they seem to be incredibly (bleep) at their job.

>>How does the U.S. military help them?
Well, not at all, actually. They just kind of come along with guns and stuff, and act like they’re going to help, but the Autobots do all the work.

>>Why is the U.S. military in this movie at all, then?
Because Michael Bay has a huge erection for jets and tanks and aircraft carriers and considers giant robots only a necessary evil for the film. At least 15 full minutes of the film’s 150-minute run time is nothing but footage of jets and tanks and planes without any robots or actual action whatsoever.

>>How is Sam Witwicky dragged back into the fight?
Well, he finds a fragment of the Allspark shard. You know, the Allspark that he spent all last movie being told he shouldn’t give to Megatron, but when he gave it to Megatron, it killed Megatron. That one. Anyways, the shard makes the Beef see symbols and act like more of an spaz than usual.

>>So the Decepticons want the shard? Why?
Uh… to bring Megatron back to life?

>>What?
That’s what they said.

>>But the Allspark killed Megatron in the first movie.
Yes.

>>…and now it can also bring him back to life.
It’s very powerful, this Allspark.

>>Uh-huh. So what’s their plan to get it?
They send a small R/C car who talks like Joe Pesci in Casino to get it.

>>Shouldn’t they have sent Starscream or somebody?
Look, there’s another Allspark shard and get that one anyways, so it doesn’t matter.

>>Well, then why do they give a (bleep) about Sam?
The symbols. In his head. That the shard of the Allspark gave him.

>>They weren’t in the other shard?
Apparently not.

>>So how do the Decepticons plan to get the symbols, I guess?
Well, the Decepticons have very cunningly created a hot chick robot who they enrolled in the same college and put in the same astronomy class as Sam. And they made her a huge slut.

>>Wait.
Waiting.

>>There’s a slutty Decepticon?
Yeah, she’s a real ho. The Decepticons apparently have an incredibly powerful slut-making program, because she has it down, man. Anyways–

>>Didn’t Sam touch the shard and get the symbols stuck in his head on his first day of college?
Yes.

>>So the Decepticons made a slutty robot to attend his college and enrolled her in classes and put her in on-campus housing just in case Sam ended up being important at some point in the future?
Apparently. It was an elaborate plan, but it sure paid off.

>>How so?
Well, not at all. The slut-bot made out with him for a little bit then immediately tried to kill him, neither for any apparent motive or gain.

>>It sounds preposterous.
Doesn’t matter, because the Decepticons use the shard piece they do have to resurrect Megatron! He’s back! Ooo! Scary!

>>Why is this scary? All he wanted was the Allspark, and now it’s gone.
…because he has a boss! He’s called the Fallen, because he’s so evil! He has an evil plan to use a machine on Earth to blow up the sun and make energon! Or something! It’s not very clear.

>>Now you’re just making (bleep) up as you go along, aren’t you?
Best not to think too much about it. Anyways, the symbols in the Beef’s head are a map to where this machine exists, so the hunt is on and Sam shortly is captured by other, less slutty Decepticons in one of the many instances where Bumblebee inexplicably abandons the Beef so he can conveniently be in trouble.
Then a robot called the Doctor who speaks gibberish with a German accent shoves things up Shia’s nose and gets the symbols.

>>That’s that, then, right? The Decepticons win?
No! Because Optimus Prime saves Sam before they cut off his head, which has another treasure inside!

>>Really? What is that?
No one really bothers to explain this, actually. Suffice to say, the Decepticons continue to want Sam. Oh, then Optimus Prime fights three Decepticons at once and dies.

>>Where the hell were the other Autobots during this fight?
I don’t know. They were with him before the fight, but then they disappear and show up right after he dies. But they appear sad about Optimus dying. Marginally. I mean, they don’t get any screen time or dialogue to convey any feelings or anything, but there’s some sad music playing for a little bit afterwards. I assume this means the robots that are off-screen are grieving.

>>Well, if one shard brought Megatron back to life, can’t Sam just use his shard piece to resurrect Optimus?
Yes. He could.

>>…

>>Well?
He doesn’t.

>>Why not?
I’m not sure exactly.

>>Then what the hell does he do?
He decides get those symbols that were in his head translated to figure out what the Fallen’s up to.

>>Which Autobot does the translating?
Err… none of them. Actually, it’s John Turturro.

>>What. The (bleep).
Yeah, since he was laid off from his super-secret government agent job, he now works in a NY deli and runs a super-popular Transformers conspiracy theory website. Like ya do.

>>And why couldn’t an Autobot translate these symbols?
Because Bumblebee is mute and the Racist Twins are poor black robots from the slums of Cybertron who never learned how to read. It’s a sad commentary on Cybertronian society. Like The Wire, actually.

>>Where the hell are the other Autobots?
I don’t know. Away. They seem to be unable to be reached. They’re probably grieving about Optimnus still. Clearly, John Turturro is the reasonable solution

>>So Turturro translates the symbols.
No, that would be silly. He does, in an incredibly bizarre series of connect-the-dots, lead them to Jetfire, an elderly and deceased Transformers whose corpse is hanging out in the Air & Space Museum.

>>What good is he dead?!
Ah! Remember the shard? Sam uses it to bring Jetfire back to life!

>>Not Optimus?
No! This way, Sam can get the symbols translated… so he can, er… find the ancient machine… that can, uh… possibly bring Optimus back to life.

>>You have to (bleep) be kidding me.
Moving on! Jetfire teleports everyone to Egypt, including some of the missing Autobots —

>>Wait, what? Teleports?
Yes, teleports.

>>Transformers don’t teleport.
Jetfire does.

>>But — wait a second, he’s a (bleep) jet. He could fly everybody to Egypt, right? And that would make perfect sense for both the character and the franchise!
Well, I guess so. But he chooses not to. The point is Jetfire teleports them all to Egypt where he explains that there used to be 7 or 8 Primes, and they traveled around the galaxy blowing up suns for energon. But they never did it on planets with life.
Well, they had set the machine up on Earth and not noticed all the life running around, and one of the Primes just said (bleep) it, let’s do it anyways. This was evil, so they called that Prime the Fallen and beat the (bleep) out of him although he escaped.

>>Okay…
So that other mysterious reason that the Decepticons wanted Sam’s brain? It’s because it contains some very vague clues about the Matrix of Leacdership, which is the device that turns on the sun-exploding machine. The Fallen needs the Matrix to blow up the sun and get his Energon.

>>Hold on. That’s what the Matrix of Leadership does in the movie?
Yes. Works the sun-exploding machine.

>>I’m fuzzy on how “Leadership” covers that.
I didn’t name it. But it does sound a little nicer than “Matrix of Blowing Up the (bleep) Sun.”
If I may continue, in order to protect the Earth, the 6-7 other Prime hid the Matrix on Earth and made a tomb with their own bodies. Isn’t that cool?

>>…

>>No. No it is not. If they wanted to protect Earth, why did they leave the Matrix on the planet? They’re a space-faring race, they could have hid it anywhere in galaxy! Second of all, what the (bleep) does making a tomb of their own bodies do? Shouldn’t they have stayed alive to protect the Matrix? Or finish off the Fallen? Or just not die and leave Earth and the entire Transformer race in jeopardy?
Uh…

>>And why hide the Matrix at all? Don’t they need Energon to survive? Didn’t they say they go to other lifeless planets? These idiot Primes just doomed their whole species for no (bleep) reason whatsoever! No wonder the Decepticons are so pissed.
…ahem. Eventually, Sam and crew find the Matrix, which instantly crumbles into dust. Sam puts the dust in a sock because he thinks it will bring Optimus back to life.

>>Grr.
What follows is the most spectacular part of the movie, as Sam and Mikaela try to run the several miles back to the military camp during a massive Decepticon attack where the military has dropped Optimus Prime’s corpse.

>>Why is that awesome? They could drive back in one of the Autobots and be there in a minute or two.
They don’t do that.

>>What?
They walk.

>>Of course they do. And I assume the Autobots just mysteriously disappear again until a second before a Decepticon is about to kill Sam.
Yes. Exactly.

>>I am already incredibly sick of this movie, and I’m just typing questions about it. Sam resurrects Optimus, Optimus kills the Fallen, end of story, right?
Pretty close. Sam dies, though.

>>Really?
Yeah, for a little while. But then the Transformers in heaven send him back because he still has work to do.

>>(bleep) you.
I’m serious.

>>(bleep) you. There’s no way.
It’s true. The 6-7 Primes are there in the clouds like Mufasa’s head in The Lion King, and tell Sam he’s awesome and he needs to live again so he can bring Optimus back to life.

>>I may be ill.
Then Jetfire appears out of nowhere and rips out his own heart right in front of Optimus to give him his elderly old robot powers. This makes Optimus into a flying badass who defeats the Megatron and Starscream and the Fallen in a little less than two minutes. After the last 30 minutes of the movie have been nothing but explosions — not all of which have any obvious causes — it’s a bit disappointing.

>>Anything else you want to add?
Well, only that although Sam jams the Matrix of Leadership into Optimus Prime’s chest to resurrect him, a Decepticon takes it out like 10 seconds later and Optimus is fine. Just a little weird, is all.

>>Can you give me any reason I would want to see this film in theaters?
I can’t answer every question, man.

>>Why does Sam’s mom buy and consume a pot brownie?
Well, Sam’s mom was in a coma for the last 30+ years, which explains how she had never heard of marijuana, and why she didn’t understand the consequences of eating it even after her husband specifically told her it was a pot brownie (Sam was unfortunately conceived and born during this period). A better question is why any college student in America would be selling pot brownies at an on-campus bake sale, let alone to a middle-aged woman.

>>A lot was made of how Shia the Beef’s hand injury was written into the film. How was this done?
Well, sometimes Shia had a huge bandage on his hand, and sometimes he didn’t.

>>That doesn’t sound “written in” at all.
Well, no actual words are used to explain it. It might be more accurate to say it “shows up sometimes.”

>>Why would a robot need to fart, pee, or vomit? And why would it need testicles?
Michael Bay does not understand what a robot is.

>>What is the point of the character of Sam’s college roommate, and why the (bleep) does he stay for the entirety of the movie?
I have no clue. He’s not comedy relief, because that’s covered by 90% of the Transformers themselves. He technically leads the Beef to John Turturro, but surely there could have been another way to do that. Besides, Turturro just leads them to Jetfire anyways. It’s all extraneous.

>>Why can only a Prime kill the Fallen? Why can Jetfire teleport? Why can the Fallen wave a staff and make (bleep) fly around? Why do actual cars and Autobots get sucked into Devastator’s maw, but John Turturro and that other kid can run around?
Because… because (bleep) YOU, that’s why.

>>Can you explain Megan Fox’s appeal?
Yes. She looks like a porn star and has the same acting talent as one, yet for some reason she makes mainstream movies. This tonal disconnect is what’s so appealing about her.

>>If you had to pick a single scene that exemplifies Michael Bay’s utter disdain for story and continuity, what would it be?
When five Decepticons sink to the bottom of the ocean to retrieve Megatron’s corpse. A submarine tracks five “subjects” going down, and when they get there, one of the Decepticons is killed to give parts to Megatron. 5 -1 +1 = 5, right? No, because the sub somehow tracks “six” subjects coming up. Not only is this very basic math, this is the simplest of script errors. It could not possibly have been more than one page apart in the script. And yet Michael Bay either didn’t care to notice or didn’t give a (bleep). “Math? Math is for (bleep). My movies are about (bleep) blowing up, man.”

>>Could you sum up the film in one line of its dialogue?
“I am standing directly beneath the enemy’s scrotum.”

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F
unny, I had pretty much the same impressions as Q&A above.
I enjoyed watching all the explosions and the pace of the movie, but the storyline is just awful.