Love is All You Need

love is all you need2013 Robert Festival – Winners Audience Award, Best Actress.

US release date: May 3

Pierce Brosnan is an uptight, a tad assholic, English widower in his Copenhagen based lemon and vegetables company. He doesn’t have to speak Danish in the office, or anywhere else. A standoffish big boss, burying his nose at his big business. And then he unexpectedly met his future in-law when the troubled, but lovely, mother of his son’s bride (by the way, his son is troubled too) accidentally backed her lemon yellow car to the side of his Jaguar.
Love is all we need? Of course not. John Lennon tends to simplify things. And Susanne Bier is once again good in uncovering some true bitter facts of women’s life, also a thing or two about their men’s. Is it a romantic movie for middle-aged ladies? Yes it is. But it’s a good one.

My Rating: 6/10

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Iron Man 3

ironman3US release date: May 3

We must give at least a full thumb-up to Shane Black for doing the best he can against the massive challenge to strung a coherent, hopefully better, or at least ‘cooler’, post-Avengers Iron Man movie.
Black tries to do it by giving us a more complex storyline, more (almost) chaotic–and as Pepper Potts succinctly says herself: violent–action scenes. But in this virtually unwinnable situation Black somehow forgets the very central theme he wrote himself for this film: Tony Stark is Iron Man. The Iron Man suits are not. No matter how much Iron Man suits Black throws on-screen, there will be no multiple ‘wow’ factor. The ‘wow’ is always remain one: Downey’s Stark. The Mark 42 armor might be a very handy plot device, but it is also more goofy than cool.
It’s the third sequel and naturally everybody also wants bigger, better, villains. So out of the enormous Marvel’s super villains catalogue, Black chose Warren Ellis’s ‘Extremis’ plot, and turned Aldrich Killian into a blonde-haired superbaddie that after a while somehow strangely will remind us of Superman IV‘s Nuclear Man. Maybe it’s the blonde hair, or maybe Guy Pearce here somehow does look a bit like Mark Pillow, but ‘Nuclear Man’ is definitely never cool. Certainly not better than Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash/Crimson Dynamo, definitely not bigger than Iron Monger.
Is Iron Man 3 the ‘Superman IV’ of the Iron Man franchise? The closing, not necessarily better, chapter? Maybe. But overall, it’s a real nice try. Black gives a good fierce fight where it’s an almost instant fail for other filmmakers. Well, where are Nick Fury and Black Widow when we need them the most? Better luck next time with the Captain America and Thor sequels!

My Rating: 6/10

Paradise: Love

Paradise2013 Viennale Austrian Film Awards – Winners Best Actress, Best Director, Best Film.

US release date: April 26

At home: flat screen LCD TVs and camera phones are everywhere, but love is nowhere to be found.
At vacation: souvenir sellers and gigolos are everywhere, but love is still nowhere to be found.
Of course this is not paradise. This is earth. There’s only money, no love. Maybe it was there somewhere when you were young, but not anymore now. Hakuna matata!

My Rating: 8/10

(WARNING: explicit trailer NSFW!)

The Numbers Station

the-numbers-stationUS release date: April 26

For secret agents, and some secret-ish agents, numbers are best friends, while doubts and conscience are their worst enemies. In between, are guilt, loneliness, and excessive booze.
On the field however, doubt, conscience, computers, guns, and some patchy scriptwriter-assisted sound recording analysis and detective skills are still their most trusted friends, at least in these kind of spy flicks. In between fighting bad guys are the expected arguments and heart to heart talks with each other. And finally, let’s not forget the ultimate ever-handy ally for movie spies: excessive explosives.

My Rating: 5/10

Midnight’s Children

midnight's children2013 Genie Awards – Winners Adapted Screenplay, Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.

US release date: April 26

They who never realize how steep the price for an independence is, might never fully appreciate a story about two boys, Saleem and Shiva, born in the exact moment of their country’s (Or, countries. India and Pakistan.) independence, switched and then separated by social status. Later on the boys find more children who share their very similar but very different fates, a thousand more of them, by telepathic and supernatural powers. And then more dramatic reversal of their fortunes come when Saleem’s non-biological father finds out a slanted little fragment of the truth, and when war swept over their–also very similar but very different–countries.
It’s a heartbreaking, beautiful, and magical story no matter how the filmmakers might fall short in effort to make it into a spectacular movie. And you don’t have to love Salman Rushdie, or hate Indira Gandhi, to like it.

My Rating: 8/10

Kon-Tiki

kon-tiki2012 Norwegian International Film Festival – Winner Audience Award.

US release date: April 26

The oceans are not barriers, they’re roads, even some 1500 years ago. Or at least that’s what a Thor Heyerdahl tried to prove, practically to everybody, back in the late 1940s. He can’t swim and don’t have enough money to do it. But he’s doing it anyway.

My Rating: 6/10

Java Heat

java-heatRelease date: April 18

Zaman sudah berubah. Film laga blasteran sudah tidak seperti masa Frank Zagarino dan Ayu Azhari. Kini bintang Indonesia bukan cuma jadi sidekick. Di Java Heat Ario Bayu mendapat porsi setara, bahkan dalam banyak kesempatan Kellan Lutz si ‘American Hero’ justru jadi sekondan. Tapi ada satu hal yang hingga sekarang tetap sama: dalam film laga blasteran harus ada… Frans Tumbuan.
Jalan cerita cukup sederhana, dengan beberapa lubang logikanya; di satu sisi gagal memaksimalkan peran Mickey Rourke, dan Atiqah Hasiholan yang cuma tampil sebagai damsel in distress, namun di sisi lain patut mendapat pujian karena tidak sekadar dar-der-dor. Ada pesan yang ingin disampaikan oleh Connor Allyn bahwa seorang hero belum tentu seorang pahlawan, ‘teroris’ berkedok agama itu sesungguhnya tidak berjuang untuk agama, dan orang yang memakai nama Muslim juga belum tentu betul-betul seorang Muslim; realita sederhana yang justru sering tidak disadari oleh masyarakat kita, dan diangkat menjadi sebuah cerita film oleh sineas lokal. Adegan laga yang diusung juga lumayan realistis, jagoan-jagoan di film ini adalah manusia biasa yang kena gebuk dan tertembak, berulang kali, dan tidak bisa melumpuhkan lawan dengan satu peluru atau sekali pukul. Walau tata laga terasa kurang maksimal, paling tidak adegan aksi dibangun cukup variatif dengan logika gambar dan kontinuitas adegan yang terjaga.  Sayang film tidak didukung oleh sinematografi dan editing berkualitas, sehingga pada akhirnya adegan-adegan tadi tidak bisa ditampilkan dalam angle dan rangkaian gambar terbaik.
Akhir ceritanya? Penjahat kalah, jagoan menang. Apa lagi yang anda cari dari sebuah film laga?

My Rating: 6/10