Monday, 26 June 2017

The Searchers (1956)

I first heard about The Searchers (1956) through The American Film Institute's Top 10 list of Westerns, with The Searchers occupying the top spot of the list of great (if not greatest) american westerns. Other top spots picks of other genres include 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) for the science fiction genre; and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) for the animation genre. It was my search for what the film people, namely critics/artists, yet not necessarily the general public reviewers or some readers of reviews. But the list of reviews stretch, and sometimes I feel a little annoyed at what I am reading because of what the writer has seen. As the great film critic, Roger Ebert, said, "Most of us do not look consciously at movies." A sentence can mean an infinity, just as a moment in film can as well. Once we have seen a film, we do not forget it easily. It stays with us and at moments in our lives we may consciously or unconsciously recall it. Quotations, acting, dreaming, themes, moralistic values, etcetera-etcetera.

One can guess simply the reasons for not liking such a film. The Searchers, people who dislike it can have a variety of reasons. No exceptions. Not even The Godfather (1972). A simple reason for someone who says that he/she feels alright, but not THAT alright, about The Godfather, is because it is dark, not very moralistic, and more towards entertainment value. Murders, betrayal, assassinations, gangland violence, mob families, all these crime related stuff may not appeal to every audience. Then again, neither do documentaries or even faintly humane films. The Searchers, is a Western. Then again, it is also a faintly humane film. It is also racist, that is what I noticed about the film's titular character: Ethan Edwards. That'll be the reason why some would not like it. Another, and stating rather briefly here, is because it doesn't add up, it connects loosely, and does not line up with reality. A statement such as this, would be coming from either a sadist or a cynic. Humph!

A Western, about an american civil war veteran named Ethan Edwards, returning to his brother's home in 1868, three years after the end of the american civil war. There, when the neighbors's cattle was stolen, the men from the families, with Ethan, set out from their homes to search for their prized cattle. Only to find that it was a Comache plot to draw the men away from their families. Returning to his brother's home to find his brother, Aaron, and Aaron's wife, Martha, dead; and their two daughters, Lucy and Debbie, taken captive; Ethan sets out on a long journey to search for them, accompanied in those years of searching by his adopted nephew Martin Pawley who has lived with his brother's family after Ethan rescued him from the Comaches that massacred his family. In those years, nothing would stop Ethan from looking for his niece. The famous line by Ethan Edwards, "That'll be the day," is said three times in the film. Supposedly, one can already guess where one of those times would be.

What is important, is that there are moments of individual beauty in the film's photographs. Examples of such included the rock formations in the western landscape set as the backdrop of the film's long and enduring 'search', the moments at the lake in winter when the lake freezes and the two 'searchers' speak to each other as the snow falls down upon them, in addition to the symbolically similar opening and closing scenes with the door opening and shutting respectively accompanied with certain music 'tones'. Not quite something seen in film easy, but bias is another aspect because we the audiences are the ones who decides which good story is good, which good story is back, and symbolically similar for the other side as well. However, beauty would be from a different perspective, as 'beauty' is defined differently by different people. Would a gorgeous lady be 'beauty'? Or a relevant, no holes-barred story? Or a well organised scene? That would be up to the audiences to decide. But what is here in this film, can be decided and declined just like any other. Sometimes we praise a no holes barred story, sometimes we purposefully hate it.

Neither like the highly brave High Noon (Fred Zinnemann, 1952), nor similar to the noble Shane (George Stevens, 1953), The Searchers stands tall with beauty. It has it all: Beauty, Story, Music, Humor; and best of all: Humanity. If one can purposefully hate a story, that is just not the way it is. But nevertheless, what is the point of the good criticizing the bad and vice versa? Bottom line: "It is useless to criticize each other." As I once, now shying away from a little academic formality, remarked to a friend. To share an experience would be to step away from formality, I suppose.

It really doesn't matter, Citizen Kane, just overrated. But I never said I never liked that picture, didn't I? Anyway, enough informal moments. I don't look into pictures that way, not like how most others do. I never say: "Interesting, no interest in seeing it again." But rather, "Thank you for your time." Can YOU? Can YOU prove you are a true movie lover? Try telling that to someone who thinks that the story is just nonsensical and doesn't add up. Which one of those stories is this picture here, I can tell what they think by myself just watching it.

The Most Beautiful Story of the West Ever Filmed!
The Greatest Story of the West Ever Filmed! [Tagline: Shane (1953)]
The Story of a Man Who Was Too Proud to Run! [Tagline: High Noon (1952)]

Far and away one of the best films ever.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

A Silent Voice (2017) [Koe No Katachi]

Testing HTML Coding...
Well, what do you know. After such a while, I still could remember the way of doing so.

Hi again, remember me? I know its been a while since I have last posted on the blog, but a long time it has been, and, like most other people, I have been simply thumbing ratings, like most users on a rating site would do. Has one ever given a thought about why they would give ratings to titles of shows? Or do they realize why they would watch the show? As I am enrolled in university, I have taken up classes in psychology. One of which, the theory of the subconscious has taught me one thing, that most of us humans, have been doing things without realizing why we are doing it. Another question remains: Are they interested in recording/remembering what they are doing? Well, apparently I am, as well as most of time I must be, and am, aware of what I am doing. Are you?

Well then... quote this: "Oh, captain, my captain," who knows where that comes from? ... It's from a poem by Walt Whitman about Abraham Lincoln. Where would I have found out about it? Nowhere else but Dead Poets Society (Peter Weir, 1989), and I already own a copy. If one is aware, they'll pay attention to a picture that they are watching. One other aspect is the question regarding WHERE did they watch it, WHY did they watch it would be second in hand in this case. Anyway, WHERE is my highest priority, because that is where it begins, the respect that the audience hold towards cinema and whenever do they decide to choose ethics over money. I can understand that in cinema there is an endless number of titles, and therefore this is not always kept. Nevertheless, in my case, I kept my word for this title, see for yourself, although I have made up my mind not to go in for LUXE Cinema unless its absolutely necessary. Which, in this case, it is. The result? Extra cost for a comfy seat. A reminder, though, that when I was speaking to someone before and after the show started and ended respectively, two new facts can be drawn. Indeed, I still remember.

Before the show, it was a casual conversation. I started speaking to someone next to me (Anonymity must be maintained here). We started talking about several films. When I mentioned Your Name [Kimi No Na wa] (Makoto Shinkai, 2016), I wasn't surprised to hear that the other person (as I said, no information will be revealed about the other person) had watched it online. That is when I would be dropping my news to others; that Your Name [Kimi No Na wa]  (Makoto Shinkai, 2016) is already available in local stores in my country of Malaysia. It seemed, that my patience from the moment that I have known about the film from last year, one of which is from the MAL (My Anime List) site, has paid off. To be honest, it was a surprise, because on the day I bought the disc,  I wasn't expecting to find it in stores. When I did, *Gasp!*, no hesitation!

See for yourself.

After the show, I brought up the subconscious theory I mentioned earlier in this essay. To which the person replied: "I think a lot about movies," and nothing else. I kept my silence, and muttered to myself all the way back to my vehicle, thinking about how much people would appreciate the movies and how ethical will they be regarding how they would watch them. I guarantee you, that the same situation with Your Name, I will go through the same scenario with A Silent Voice (Naoko Yamada, 2017). That is, to wait for its disc, regardless of whenever I have seen it in cinemas or not. I have, and it is as simple as that.

Read it from here if you wish to skip my opening monologue.

Now then, after that long opening monologue, the fun is just beginning. Shall I begin, say, by addressing that I am NOT a fan, or frequent watcher, of Japanese animation? Well, lets just say I hate it for a reason. Some of them, notably Studio Ghibli's pictures, will catch my attention. Others, not so much. I don't have the resources, wealth, or least of all, temptation to access many titles. But if fate, just like Your Name, brings me to it, I will take up the opportunity. I take the opportunity to search for the right titles, inspecting what they are and what they mean. Rather than watching in the state of Otaku, Ecchi or Manga, the last of which I hardly read. Well, you should try reading Arrival (Dennis Villeneuve, 2016)'s baseline story called "Story of your Life" by Ted Chiang. Which asks the simple question: "What would you change if you could see your life from start to finish?"

Specialty isn't my point either, because I don't 'bash'. Understand? I simply state humbly why I think, whenever I like it or not. So, here is my two shillings of opinion: I don't think Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)'s anything special, but My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988), it is really quite something. Regarding A Silent Voice, yes, it is really something.

It all started with the person who took the photo, who mentioned the film to me when he came over to watch Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata, 1988) with me. He mentioned the film's title to me, and says who I did not heard of it. Then he drops his words on me, he told me his friend said that the film is more moving that Your Name. Well, after watching the film myself, I can tell you firsthand that it is quite true. I'll say, compared to someone who is not a Japanese animation fan, the reaction which a regular gives would be totally different, and who knows what kind of reaction would Your Name provide.

While Your Name addresses romance, and, perhaps subtly, gender envy; A Silent Voice addresses bullying... and redemption. While I have not seen The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994)), it's number one position on IMDb's Top has intimidated me and I still believe it is overrated, despite having seen a small portion legally. Back to the subject at hand. I see now that A Silent Voice is among the top rated features of MAL, yet... who cares? I, for one, do not care about either. What I want to see, is what the audience would think.

Certainly, the animation, as I recall, is quite simple. Yet, what I believe holds the highest power, is the construction and intentions of a mediated material (Yes, I take media studies). Unlike most titles that I have seen, Clannad, Toradora, just to name a few, plus most of Studio Ghibli's titles, with the exception of Studio Ghibli, most of the titles that I have seen catches my bad side (yet I do not hold grudges) due to certain things I do not agree with. Fan service is one example, which is why I avoid so many titles. But A Silent Voice is different. It avoids such, plus there is something about it's female lead that reminds me of Taiga Aisaka from Toradora. For all I know, there is still some language, subtitled on screen. That will have to pass, for the other things that the film can say.

What a mediated material is about will be also why people go watch it. Trying not to spoil, although I do not mind spoilers myself, it is, as mentioned about, bullying, suffering for one's misdeeds, and redemption. Indeed, this is a very strong story, and I have to say, very impressive. Nevertheless, it is not always a strong story that drives an audience to impression, it is also entertainment, sometimes guilty pleasures, that do so as well. This boy, whom bullied a girl who is deaf in elementary school, meets her later in life when he is isolated from much of social interaction, punishment for his misdeed. Then, as he makes amends for his mistakes, he starts to see the light once more, and what it means to have a friend. You'll never get that impact of experience if you're watching on a small screen, with or without earphones.

Still trying not to spoil, during the boy's process of redemption he discovers many meaningful things as well. An example is: "What it means to have a friend." That, dear reader, is a way that a mediated material can be empowered, imparting certain ideologies and meaning across, instead of like everyday news broadcasting certain bad news and propaganda. And though little romance is implied in the film, the main topic addressed is still the subject of a boy with a history of bully and his path to redemption. Romance, like Your Name, gives the audience exactly what they want with the 'woah's, the 'ah's and 'oohh's. No, this film is primarily focused on its subject matter. Keep watch, and you will see the subtle mention.

If you have read the whole thing, did I correctly answer your condescending questions? Feel that certain titles are too superior? Well, just be calm. You are not alone. Take a balanced stance, like me. And you'll find something, like this film, quite something.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Arrival's Arrival in Our Nation of Malaysia

Though it may be mentioned on our nation's cinema's previews that Arrival (2016) shall be arriving in Cinemas in the 17th of January, it is NOW, though not the 17th, already in Cinemas. Be sure to catch this "WOW" in Cinemas as soon as possible. To all Science Fiction Fans, I bid thy go.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Netflix: Access Granted

Yes, indeed. I have already requested for my mom to subscribe to Netflix, for a month free, then to decide whenever we want to any further after this free month.

It puzzles me though. There's The Maltese Falcon, The Godfather, A Clockwork Orange, Sunset Boulevard..., No Toy Story 1,2,3? Odd.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Zootopia FanFiction= Zootopia: Remix.

Side Note: Company Policy, the creators of the film are not allowed to read any of these. Rules are rules, depite their curiocity. Nevertheless, Creativity is welcome, yet dangerous. It'll be long to explain. Therefore, not now. NOT NOW!

Progress: File Section: New Reader, Chapter 4.

Chapter One is right here:

Monday, 14 November 2016

Chicken Run (2000) Movie Review And Summary

New Style of Posts.

No More templates. I'm going to create posts with some of the movie pictures, and just create the personal thoughts of the picture, thoughts produced by yours truly, into a post. If there's one thing we've learned from overflowing information is that when we scruntinize every single detail, we experience a stressfullness of overflowing information.

Now, what we would do is to try to avoid that, would we?

Saturday, 12 November 2016

A tiring day of searching.

Does this happen often, that when you're inside a video distributor's store that you'll stress yourself out just so you can pick out the ones that you want to buy, totalling up to within your financial limit? Wellm that's exactly what happened to me.

Given the time, I was rather exhilarated, tired, worn out and exhausted. Both mentally and physically that I could barely breath. Feels like I have just done an exercise run in an air conditioned room, which I haven't. Because if there's one thing we will learn from this situation is that when we find ourselves in a place fueled by creativity (Which is a room full of the finished product of creativity and imagination put together by artists), you'll have a difficult time imagining or absorbing the droplets of imagination around you. You've got to choose because you can't watch them all at the same time, or in a lifetime. And that is exactly what causes the exhaustion.

Yet, there has to be limits. At times, no limits. This time, after exhilaration, exhaustion and tiredless and anguish, I settled on a few. Yet I also made a promise to become once more a casual moviegoer once morely in the future.

These two plus 3 are for me, and the people who want to watch.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Chicken Run (2000)
A Separation (2011)
The Journey (2014)
Room (2015)

Stay Tuned!

Yours Truly,
Tan Wei Jay. (Hopefully, future writer who could type better, after the pain in his left thumb has been fixed and neutralized.)

Facebook Post (12/11/2016)

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The End of The Exams and The Beginning of the Writing Plan Begins.

A promise made before the exams, and perhaps a promise may or may not be kept. There are stories, many of them, out there. And, perhaps you'll deduce, the authors may or may not respond, or care, about the responses to their stories. Because if there's one thing we've learned from story writers is that when you find yourslef in a place like this, you must never expect a full reply at all times at any time from the story writers all the time. You've got to know that they do what they do, you've got to hold it back if they don't respond to every single message. You should know, as in: "What's one more review/response when there are millions of billions of them out there?"

I know, because I don't know how many times I've tried before and, as one would expect, not all of those transmissions recieved a reply. Much like how a humanoid lifeform transmit messages into outer-space, hoping for even the slightest binary response from other beings, and yet recieveing little to no reply.

Well, that leaves plenty of improvement for the storywriters, yet not the stories themselves. Because, if there's one obvious thing (and there are multitudonous of them), is that good storytelling leaves little room for improvement.

I aim to make improvements, myself, or to stories that I want to write. Before meeting some films or games, I was never interested in writing. But apparently, I am now. But should I discover anything beyond a single lasp in my writings, I promise, swift and merciless self justice will decend upon myself. Yet comments are valuable as they strike ideas and room for improvement.

Something that hasn't yet begun, yet hopefully will initiate or else it won't begin. To initiate, it'll have to be planned, bit and detail labled alongside of a hawk with a horsewhip in it's talons watching the author himself. Then, a promise isn't kept, it's being kept, and will only be officially kept if the author himself has finished at least a part of it, or the whole parts of it.

That promise, is to write Stories.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Trolls (2016) Movie Review and Summary

Certificate (USA):PG(Nothing Objectional.)
Running Time:92 Minutes.
Director:Mike Mitchel, Walt Dohrn.
Writer:Thomas Dam(Based on "The Good Luck Trolls" created by), Jonathan Abiel (Screenplay), Glen Berger(Screenplay), Erica Rivinoja (Story by).
Producer:Gina Shay.
Starring:Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russel Brand.

Unusual and colorful, meaningful and lovable (Particially not for some), a pleasant and happy surprise.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Zootopia Screenplay Published!

In the year of 2016, Zootopia was an animation film from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Anyone who has already see the film will know it's entertainment qualities through it's nonstop wisecracks and witty humor. After some time of waiting, Zootopia's Screenplay has already been published on the Walt Disney Awards Page.

(Screenplay by Jared Bush and Phil Johnston.)

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Shaun The Sheep Movie (2015) Movie Review and Summary

Certificate (USA):PG (Nothing Objectional)
Running Time (Minutes Seen):85 Minutes.
Director:Mark Burton, Richard Starzak.
Writer: Mark Burton, Richard Starzak.
Producer: Julie Lockhart, Paul Kewley.

"Baa... Baa...Brilliant...Film, have you ever failed to impress? Nope, never did, never will."

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Despicable Me 2 (2013) Movie Review and Summary

Certificate (USA):PG (Nothing objectional.)
Running Time (Minutes Seen):98 Minutes (NOT SURE).
Director:Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud.
Writer:Cinco Paul (Written by), Ken Daurio (Written by).
Producer:Christopher Meledandri, Janet Healy.
Starring:Steve Carell AS (GRU), Kristen Wiig AS (LUCY), Bejamin Bratt AS (EDUARO), Miranda Cosgrove AS (MARGO), Steve Coogan AS (SILAS), Elsie Fisher AS (AGNES), Dana Gaier AS (EDITH).

★★★, [8/10] | 11/9/2016, Tan Wei Jay.
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Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) Movie review and Summary (1.2)

Certificate (USA): R (Some Language, Violence and Brief Nudity.)
Running Time (Minutes Seen): 99 Minutes (99 Minutes Finished).
Director: Wes Anderson.
Writer: Wes Anderon (Story & Screenplay), Hugo Guinness (Story), Stefan Zweig (Inspired by the writings of).
Producer: Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales.
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Tilda Swinton, Adrian Brody, William Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Saorise Ronan, Bill Murray.

★★★★, [10/10] | 4/9/2016, Tan Wei Jay.
Image Source:

Sunday, 4 September 2016

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) Movie Review and Summary

Certificate (USA): R (Some Language, Violence and Brief Nudity.)
Running Time (Minutes Seen): 99 Minutes (99 Minutes Finished).
Director: Wes Anderson.
Writer: Wes Anderon (Story & Screenplay), Hugo Guinness (Story), Stefan Zweig (Inspired by the writings of).
Producer: Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales.
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Tilda Swinton, Adrian Brody, William Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Saorise Ronan, Bill Murray.

★★★★, [10/10] | 4/9/2016, Tan Wei Jay.
Image Source:

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Update 1: August 2016

When is the last time I saw you write a post or code a post? Hey, I'm looking at you, Wei Jay Tan. A long time ago, in a home far far away, there lived a boy named Tan Wei Jay. His picking up interest in movies have motivated him to write about them, however, as he came to discover, there are complications that come along the way while he is trying his way to pick up in terms of those things that he wants to do. Despite that, further complications has the possibility of keeping him away from doing the things that he wants to do, good things, or so he says. For those few days, he has been doing a lot of other things such as playing games/watching shows rather than writing or reading up things about daily lives. It seems, that he had lost interest in a lot of things in reality, needing time to pick up on that, perhaps he needs to come home to reality rather than continue to live in a world that doesn't exist. That world, would be the film world. But hey, as like a medicine of recovery, it takes time to recover from a disease even with the help of medicine, or a medicine working it's magic with time as it's catalyst. So what does he do? He writes a new post!

"It came to me in a restaurant." He says. (To himself that is, as he is also the person who is narrating here.) "Although I do not believe that I have thrown away the idea of hating the ways of ranking pictures. However, it is still worth executing this idea for a while." What is this idea?

"It is the idea of creating a list of good, if not great, films based upon the star rating with a maximum of four assigned to them. Closer examination would be to say that many create a list of best and worse films. So these best and worse films lists would be titled as: 'Great **** Movies', 'Great ***1/2 Star Movies', 'Great *** Movies', 'Good **1/2 Movies', etc. Until, of course in the ending, would be 'O.K. 1/2 Movies.'. But anyway, this is just an idea of creating a list based off on opinions, of course. Aren't all lists o Movies or books created based upon opinions?" Yes, indeed they are. And before I forget, lets say one thing: In reviews, we write what we want to read ourselves, in them, ain't that right? Also, sometimes we simply write because we know that no one will be reading them but ourselves. At least, that's what some of us have in mind when we write articles or reviews about movies. But it, I'm afraid, is not entirely true. When a comment offends some, that's where it gets heated up. But hey, how many of us have the guilty fun on this godforsaken place that's called the internet? Think you can always get away with the fun you have? Well, the internet never forgets. So just, wrap it up, and don't make waves, O.K.? For those kind of reviewers writing to have fun or simply commenting, I will say one thing: I'd love to see your serious side one day, that'll be the true you."

Upcoming, Kubo and the Two Strings, the latest feature from Laika Animation studios. And Steven Spielberg's The BFG. Both from 2016, and these films I would want to see them in Cinemas on the A.S.A.P. Miss it, and I might feel guilty about it. Please don't. So, this blog's come to live again, and I'm not giving up on the things I want to and like to do. Stay Tuned!!

Written by Tan Wei Jay, finished on 10:10 P.M., 28/8/2016.

Monday, 11 July 2016

The King's Speech (2010) Movie Review and Summary.

Certificate (USA): R (Language).
Running Time (Minutes Seen In These.): 118 Minutes (UNKNOWN).
Director: Tom Hooper.
Writer: David Seidler (Screenplay).
Producer: Gareth Unwin, Ian Canning, Emile Sherman.
Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce.

★★★★, [10/10] | 11/7/2016, Tan Wei Jay.
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