Before Midnight

[Blogpost contributed by Bob!! Who is a big fan of this trilogy.]

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If you believe in soul mates and the magic of true love, this series is for you. Do yourself a favour and catch the two movies that preceded Before Midnight first: Before Sunrise (1995), and Before Sunset (2004).

What makes the trilogy different is that throughout the movies, there is no real plot to speak of. Aside from walking and talking, not much happens. The audience is pretty much forced to eavesdrop on the intimate conversations between Jesse (Ethan Hawke), and Celine (Julie Delphy) who met as strangers on a train in the first movie. The series truly shines as we seldom get treated to cinematic romance that is as real and raw as the Before franchise, and the banter on the every day topics of love and life.

In Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, the series depicted what seems to be the start of something special, and the evolution of it. This is done in real time, as we follow Jesse and Celine over the course of 9 years from the time they first met in Before Sunset to the time they meet again in Before Sunrise. For fans that have been following the series closely, the wait is finally over for the third instalment.

9 years after Jesse and Celine’s surprise meeting in Before Sunset, Before Midnight continues Jesse and Celine’s spellbinding love affair, very much in the same vein as the first two movies. Even before the movie was released, it was revealed early on that Jesse and Celine would be married and have a pair of beautiful twins. Unsurprisingly, the plot had been given away intentionally as it was never really the draw of the series. What then could the audience expect in Before Midnight?

Looking visibly older, Jesse and Celine joined a group of friends for a 6 week long vacation in Greece and finally confronted all the problems accumulated over the course of their marriage. With that, Before Midnight took on a more serious tone, as it seeks to portray the more quotidian life of a married couple. Jesse appeared mellower, but still retains his flippant and charming side while Celine took on a more typical façade of a miserable mother and wife. There was a lot of talk about the couple’s marriage and the future, amongst other deep wisdom that Jesse’s Greek friends had to offer. All of which were a distraction from the whimsical and intimate conversations between Jesse and Celine that was such a hallmark of the franchise – and I wouldn’t expect less from a culmination of years of thought and collaboration between Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

In Hawke’s own words: “Some people come to me and they think that this movie is darker because Jesse and Celine are fighting, or it’s less romantic, but I feel that they’re fighting with each other because they still desire to be connected. In a lot of ways, just because you blow up with somebody, it doesn’t mean something negative is happening. Sometimes it has to happen. Something about not fighting is dishonest. And that can be more toxic and more poisonous than fighting.”

The escapist in me loves watching movies for the fantasy, idealism, hope and happy endings. Thus I can’t help but be a little disappointed with how real the movie has become, especially when the magical love that was so enthralling in the first two movies took on a darker and more static nature. Some reviewers said that Before Midnight is about the after that takes place after happily ever after and I can’t agree more.

Although Before Midnight was not as captivating as Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, it did a very good job of bringing across the point on how falling in love is not a choice, but staying in love is. For that alone, this is definitely a must watch.

Les Misérables

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Yes, I’m gonna be another muck that raves about this movie.

I don’t proclaim to be a crazy les miz fan – in fact I didn’t even remember what the storyline was about and was too lazy to read the wiki entry on it (TL;DR… but read it after I watched the movie!) But it turned out to be close to 3 hours of awesome – the actors delivered absolutely compelling performances. I was completely won over.

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Hugh Jackman and Valjean’s Soliloquy

Anne Hathaway and I Dreamed a Dream

Samantha Barks and On my Own

Eddie Redmayne and Empty Chairs and Empty Tables

The entire ensemble and One Day More… Do you Hear the People Sing

And did you know they sang live? That lent their performances such an imperfectly perfect raw quality. Amazing. Almost every solo was shot with a close up of their faces; few transitions and pull aways, lending to the intensity and power of the execution of the song. The emotions…

OHMYGAWD so good. so riveting. goosebumps.

One thing I kept noticing was that Eddie Redmayne needs to shake his jaw for vibrato.

Ok to lighten things up, there was a typical Beng / Lian couple sitting beside us making comments EVERYWHERE. Slightly annoying but some were hilarious. Here are some snippets of what I can remember:
(Edit: included some loose translations for my non mandarin reading folks.)

  • 她拔了牙还可以唱歌? (pluck teeth already still can sing?)– When Fantine sings I Dreamed a Dream
  • 这样就死掉?(just like that, she die already?)– When Fantine dies
  • 如果他掉下去我会笑 (if he falls down, i sure laugh.)– When Javert sings Stars
  • SHIT (faeces!)– When Gavroche dies
  • 她的腰细到要爆炸(her waist small until want to explode.) – When the Beng first sees Samantha Barks

Brace yourself for the most epic comment:

  • 很像 wolverine leh. oh 原来是那个 HUGE JACKMAN (looks similar to wolverine leh. oh it really is that HUGE JACKMAN)

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and half the time the Lian was complaining that she was 很乱(very confused) and that the show was 很(very) boring. TSK?

Anyways if you haven’t caught the movie CATCH IT. Think twice if you are a dimwitted lian.

Other related awesome videos:


Nick Pitera is awesome.


Bride and Groom have awesome friends.

kthxbye

Life of Pi – some crazy beautiful stills

“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.”

Life of Pi

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Credit: kafka-on-the-shore.tumblr

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(Ref to the original book cover.)

Life-of-Pi

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Credit: Edge of the Plank – Life of Pi review

Movie was made amazing with its cinematography. Ang Lee needs to direct everything.

and then some…

So… I watched TED last night

…and it was such a good movie!

I RARELY laugh at jokes and this movie got me LOLing throughout. It has a witty script, really random moments, and there’s a certain disconnect with how Ted behaves and the wholesome image you have of a soft cuddly teddy that keeps you glued to the screen. I guess Seth McFarlane (Family Guy) lived up to my expectations.

Ted is this bear that came to life when lonely boy John made a wish upon a falling Christmas star. Ted grows up to be a brash and inappropriate teddy –

1. He smokes a lot of pot

2. He is very horny

3. He keeps calling John to convince him to do terrible things!

They have a very cute but also slightly vulgar thunder song:

While it’s okay for boys to play with teddies – how does this one fit into a 30+ year old man’s life?

Go catch the movie. I promise you laughter – and maybe some tears. 😥

Oh yes – it’s rated M18 (coarse language, sexual scenes and drug use – if you couldn’t tell by now). Sorry xmms and xdds.

Sneaks: 31 August – 02 September 2012
Release date: 06 September 2012 (Thursday!)

Many thanks to omy for the invite!

P.S. You can follow Ted on his Twitter account.

P.P.S. He also has a Tumblr that is rather NSFW.

P.P.P.S Look! Ted was at our KPOP comp.

Place Ted on your photos with this nifty Facebook app.

Adios amigos. xx

Cathay Cineleisure Movie Ticket Giveaway!

A coming of age story of a young person’s interchange from child to adult – and are those as separate as we’ve been led to believe? Here’s an upcoming show that explores that notion:

GIRL IN PROGRESS

Cast: Eva Mendes, Cierra Ramirez, Patricia Arquette, Matthew Modine, Eugenio Derbez
Opening: 23 August
Runtime: 88 mins

As single mom Grace juggles work, bills, and her affair with a married doctor, her daughter, Ansiedad, plots a shortcut to adulthood after finding inspiration in the coming-of-age stories she’s reading for school.

She then starts researching on coming-of-age stories and compiles a list of experiences she thinks she needs to go through to jump-start adulthood, but well, we all know that plan is going to backfire. At the end of the day, Ansiedad and Grace must learn that sometimes growing-up means acting your age.

“Being a parent doesn’t make you an adult.
Growing up doesn’t solve your problems.”

So I was gonna write about a bunch of problems girls face while growing up – but then it got me thinking, when do we grow up? What defines being grown up? You don’t reach an age and think, hey, I’m grown up. I’m 24 and yeah it sounds a little grown up but I still feel far from grown up.

I guess you could say the problems we faced as teens were a little more adolescent. Boys, school, identity, family, friendships. Now that some years have passed, nothing much has changed. Switch school out for work. There you go: boys, work, identity, family, friendships. In fact, I think problems escalate…


Tsk. Boys.

Anyways! If that got you thinking… or if you’re still distracted by Eva Mendez in that dress, the good folks at Cathay Cineleisure Orchard are giving out 3 pairs of movie tickets to a preview screening of Girl in Progress on the 21st of August 2012, 7.15pm. All you need to do is answer this question:

Which actress plays the role of Grace in Girl In Progress?

Send your entries to contest@cathay.com.sg in the following format:

Subject: Cathay Cineleisure Orchard Contest – Girl In Progress – Stephanie
FULL NAME (as in NRIC):
NRIC/FIN:
MOBILE NUMBER:
EMAIL ADDRESS:
Question: Which actress plays the role of Grace in Girl In Progress?
Answer:

*Only the first 3 winners will be notified through email by Cathay Cineleisure Orchard.
*Incomplete entries will not qualify for the contest.

Easy peasy! Scroll up and you’ll see that I’ve given you a clue. Send away, and enjoy your movie date ☺

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

If the world was about to end in a little less than a month, what would you do, given your capabilities?

Here are some of my bucket list entries:

  • Apologize to everyone that I need to apologize to
  • Say I love you to everyone that I really love
  • Do a (quick) tour of Europe
  • Bungee Jump
  • Skydive
  • Hug a polar bear
  • Get toasty next to a fireplace in a log cabin on a snowy mountain.

…and I think I’d be pretty content ending it there.

Sounds good?

Another question – who would you be with during your last days?

I honestly don’t know.

There’s an upcoming movie called “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”, in cinemas 2 Aug (that’s tomorrow). In it, Steve Carell plays someone on a mission to reconnect with his first love and Keira Knightley, someone desperate to get home to her family. I think it’s gonna be interesting.

Seeking a Friend for an Interesting Movie.