Category Archives: Movies

Modus Anomali (2012)


A man is on a holiday in the woods with his wife and two kids when they are surprised by the arrival of an uninvited guest. Suddenly, he experiences a time lapse. Before he understands what’s going on, he finds himself separated from his family. And when he starts finding several alarm clocks that seem to have been planted throughout the woods, he knows he has to race with time if he wants to see his family alive.

Basically that was sort of the synopsis of the movie from Rotten Tomatoes, and to be honest, I can’t tell you further or I’ll spoil the story. I’m guessing this review might not be spoiler-free too for some people, even though I WILL NOT reveal the ending here.

Last year I’d been waiting for this movie to be released in cinemas, because, well, I love Joko Anwar’s works (his movie “Pintu Terlarang” was good too, by the way, so make sure you check it out too). Unfortunately, when this movie came out, I was in Malaysia for a student exchange, so I couldn’t enjoy the cinematic experience. Thankfully, the DVD version of the movie came out, so I could still (sort of) enjoy it at home.

First of all, for a 86-minute-thriller, this movie is quite slow, so be patient. I was quite bored the first 30 minutes, but good things come to those who wait, and trust me, it was WORTH IT. There are many things to highlight about this movie, and I couldn’t list which one is the most important, so I’ll just list it in order of “appearance”.

1. The language. I know this is an Indonesian movie, but the movie is in English. Literally. I don’t know why, but somehow we have this understanding that if the movie is Indonesian, then the title and the language used in the movie must be Indonesian. Well not Modus Anomali. The title might be very Indonesian, but the language used is full-on English. Some might get annoyed with the Indonesian-accent or the English used in the movie (and all the props inside), but not me. I’m really happy with it.

2. The main actor, Rio Dewanto. His expressions throughout the movie really made the movie, and really made you question the clues you gather along the movie. Before Modus Anomali, I’ve seen his act on “Arisan 2” (where he acted as a gay guy, and trust me, he looked really gay then), and also on “?” (Tanda Tanya), and he is really, really good.

3. The make-ups and props. There’s nothing more satisfying than a thriller/gore movie with a decent and beliavable blood, scar, or wound, and Modus Anomali scored with flying colors.

4. The story. Most thriller movie ends with every questions and mysteries answered in the end, and you get out of the cinema with a certain satisfaction of knowing about it. For me, this doesn’t happen with Modus Anomali. You finish the movie with questions and doubts; you doubt whether the movie is good or not; whether your guess about the plot is the right one or not; or whether the clues you picked up along the way are real. In a way, this movie forces you to discuss it with people who watch it with you, and when you finally understand about the premise of the movie, you’ll actually think, “Damn, this is genius.”

I might be exageratting, but that’s what I felt after watching the movie. Before Modus Anomali, I watched The Conjuring, but I’m not satisfied with it. Sure, it’s quite scary, but in the end, it’s not that good compared to other horror movies I’ve watched. With Modus Anomali, I was not sure the movie was good or not, and I started having questions But after I found the answers, I was really satisfied, and understood what Joko Anwar want. This is a good movie.

But, if there’s any similarities between Modus Anomali with The Conjuring, is I wish it can go at least a step further. It can be better, this is why I give Modus Anomali 9 out of 10.

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5cm. (2012)


Let’s just say that everybody’s been waiting for 12th of December 2012 (12-12-12) to come. Some say it’s the apocalypse (Mayans said it’s gonna be on the 21st, but oh well), and some just say it will only occur once in our lifetime, and we’re not gonna get another triple digits until another century-BUT ANYWAY.

I’ve been waiting for this day as well: the movie version of “5cm.”! I was really anxious to find out about how this movie goes. Will it be better than the book? Or will it be just another attempt to make a movie “inspired” by the book, and failed horribly?

First, about the cast. I must say that most of the cast was really spot on. However, I though Riani was supposed to be more of a sweet girl than a hot-girl-that-nobody-can-ever-lay-their-hands-on. Raline Shah was way too hot to be Riani, at least for me. The rest of the cast was good enough, but sometimes their expressions are just….eh. Sure, they made it look believable like they’ve been friends for 10 years, but in some scenes they didn’t act very natural.

Maybe it was the dialogue that made their acting fell short? I’m not really sure. But I really do think that their conversation were way too cliche. Too bad, actually, because I thought the way-too-dramatic-words were replaced to made it more natural on the screens, but apparently, they didn’t. Some people said the dialogue are pretty cool and inspiring, I say it was pretty boring. Not really something I love to watch in a cinema, as much as reading it in words. After all, they say the movie was “inspired by the book” and not “based on the book”.

Let’s just say, for me, it’s neither very good or very bad. I still think the book is better than the movie, since the depth of the story develops better through the book. I can’t really say it failed either, because I still love how Rizal Mantovani shoots the majestic Mahameru. I also really appreciate the fact that each cast didn’t use any doubles and really climbed the highest mountain in Java with their own feet, so bravo!

Still, I expected more out of this movie than just good casts and scenes. I want a great story as well, and I didn’t get it.

Rating? Six out of ten, just because I read the book already.

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Perahu Kertas (2012)

I needed a day to think about what I want to write about this movie, cause I had a hard time deciding what I feel about the movie. I know I was excited to watch this movie, partly because it’s an adaptation from one of my favorite Indonesian writer, Dewi ‘Dee’ Lestari.

For you who haven’t read the novel, Perahu Kertas (or Paper Boat, in English) is a story about two youngsters Kugy and Keenan, where they tried to find their role and passion in life. The story revolves around these two, with Neptune as their witness. Curious? It’s a really interesting story by Dee, although I must say it’s not my favorite among all her works.

Aside from the story, I really enjoyed the casts. Hanung Bramantyo and Dee picked the perfect casts, from the peculiar Kugy (Maudy Ayunda), cool and collected Keenan (Adipati Dolken), lovely couple Noni (Sylvia Fully) and Eko (Fauzan Smith), the young curator Wanda (Kimberly Ryder), the mature, almost Goddess-like Luhde (Elyzia Mulachela), and the Knight in shining armor Remi (Reza Rahardian). Overall, I’m happy with the casts, cause they played their parts perfectly.

Now, my favorite part of the movie: the scoring. I fell in love with Dee after the Rectoverso album, and I’m glad she’s involved in the scoring of Perahu Kertas also. The soundtracks are perfect for the movie. Not to mention Maudy Ayunda’s voice is perfect in singing Perahu Kertas, the main soundtrack for the movie. You can see that I said the word “perfect” many times, and trust me, it’s lack of better words.

I must say that I had a mixed feeling about the movie after I stepped out of the theatre, and my friend, with whom I watched the movie with, haven’t read the novel, so she can’t really say much about it. Throughout the movie, I knew it was not that far from how Dee described the settings and characters. I enjoyed it, but I felt something missing from the movie. I hope it’s only the fact that there are two parts of the movie, and maybe I’ll feel complete after I watch the second part.

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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

It’s been a while since I reviewed a movie in my blog. Not that there are no movie worth writing about. Mostly I did not have enough words to express what I felt about the movie. For example, The Avengers. I rated the movie 5 out of 5 stars on my RottenTomatoes account, and I still can’t explain why I enjoyed the movie so much.

But this time it’s different. My head’s filled with words about this particular movie the minute the credit rolled.

As always, I will not give any spoilers about the movie. This is merely my review, and it might sound too subjective, since I love it so much.

For starters, the movie is actually the continuation of The Dark Night. If you haven’t watched it, I suggest you do. It’s best if you also watch Batman Begins beforehand, to really grasp the flow of the story. If you don’t, then I suggest you just shut your mouth and enjoy the movie to its fullest.

The story began after 8 years of Harvey Dent’s death, and Gotham City was at peace. Or so the Mayor thought. New villain’s in town, and he’s not clownin’ around. No offense there, Joker. Again, this new villain, Bane – like the previous villains – tried to correct the Gotham, with his own ideology. That’s basically the plot, so you’re not completely blanked out about the movie.

Now, where to begin the review…. The Characters?

I loved the new characters in this movie. Anne Hathaway is perfect as Catwoman. Marion Cotillard is definitely hotter than the previous “Bat-girls”. Bane? Well I personally love Tom Hardy. However, as a villain, nothing beats Heath Ledger as The Joker. Not even close, at that.

Next, the story.

I think The Dark Knight is better in terms of storyline than The Dark Knight Rises. However, I like the ending of The Dark Knight Rises better. One thing to highlight about The Dark Knight Rises is the fact that Batman is, and always will be, Bruce Wayne. Kinda miss that fact in The Dark Knight. I’ll say that in The Dark Knight Rises, Batman is more….human-like.

And now, my favorite part of the review, the action sequences.

The Dark Knight Rises definitely win in this aspect over The Dark Knight. There were some scenes where my jaw literally dropped by how awesome the action sequence was. I even considered on buying a Bat-pod because Catwoman looked so good in it. (No, it wasn’t a spoiler. There are lots of pic of Anne Hathaway in the Bat-pod anyways)

All in all, in so many ways, The Dark Knight might be better than The Dark Knight Rises. At least, that’s what some of my friends thought. However, I still think The Dark Knight Rises is better, in terms of cast and action sequences.

In the end, Christopher Nolan has done it again. He may disappointed me with Batman Begins, but he made it up on The Dark Night. This time, he effed my head so bad with (I’m not sure about this) the end of the trilogy. The ending might not be perfect, but it definitely excited me about what will Warner Bros produce next for Batman. If you love Batman, or superheroes, this is your kind of movie. Fight for the tickets!

The rating? Perfect 10 from me.

P.S.: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT bring kids to this movie. It’s not a family-outing movie like The Amazing Spiderman, where the villain is a lizard. Too many violence for kids to see. So please, save your kids from boredom and keep them safe in their blankets at home, instead of annoying other people who really want to enjoy the movie in the cinema.

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Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Later today I just felt like watching Moulin Rouge! and write a review on the movie. I know it’s released about a decade ago, but I know that this musical will always be regarded as one of the best musical film ever made. As always, I will begin the review with the plot.

The story takes place in France in 1899, where a young writer named Christian (Ewan McGregor) came to Montmartre to be a writer who writes a story about love. The problem is, he’d never been in love. Suddenly, he came across a bohemian group who’s rehearsing for a play called Spectacular Spectacular. And then after a befuddling introduction into Moulin Rouge and its bohemian idelogy, lo and behold, he’s suddenly meet and fell in love with Satine (Nicole Kidman), a beautiful courtesan, a star in the nightclub. After that, you can watch this movie yourself, because I just can’t spoil it any more than this 🙂

When this movie was released, about a decade ago, my parents wouldn’t let me watch this movie. Ten years later, after I watched this movie myself, I still don’t understand why they wouldn’t. In general, Moulin Rouge! is a musical drama that doesn’t involve many adult scene. I’m just glad that I still keen on watching this movie, even after it was almost impossible to find 😛

Overall, I was very impressed with the combination of the story and the music, because I just can’t imagine any other way to deliver this beautiful musical drama. You’ll get what I mean after you watch it 🙂 As for the acting, I can’t think of any other actors and actresses that can act for these characters, especially Nicole Kidman. I can’t imagine any other actress to play the role of Satine, since she played the part perfectly, it’s as if she IS Satine herself. As for the music, the synthesis of the music was very beautiful, so I take my hat off (if I ever wear one :P) to Craig Armstrong and Marius DeVries, for making some enchanting musics.

In some part, I thought that the director (Baz Luhrman) or maybe the editor (Jill Bilcock) has had too much caffeine while making this beautiful fast-paced musical, since some scenes is going very fast that I can’t wrap my head around it for a moment. But still, in the end it all makes sense. If this musical was a REAL musical (and not a movie), I would be the first to give standing ovation. No wonder this movie won many award, some of them are Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actress, and Best Original Score. It’s such a beautiful movie, that I would give this 9 out of 10. If you love music and drama as much as I do, you shouldn’t miss this movie!

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Minggu Pagi di Victoria Park (2010)

Finding a decent movie in Indonesia is like finding a needle in a hay sack. It’s close to impossible, but when you find it, it’s worth the search. Minggu Pagi di Victoria Park (Sunday Morning in Victoria Park) in my opinion is one of the few decent movie in Indonesia. Sets in downtown Hong Kong, the movie captures the life of Indonesian labor, especially women.

The main character of the movie is Mayang (Lola Amaria) who works in Hong Kong to search for Sekar (Titi Sjuman). Despite their hate for each other, Mayang still searched high and low for the troubled Sekar. The movie also captures the images of women labor overseas (or in this case, Hong Kong). Only few of the cast is a professional (and when I say professional, I meant those who ever act in front of the camera), but they all played their role naturally.

Unfortunately, I personally think that the movie lacks its “drama” for Mayang. In the movie, Mayang is quite fortunate compared to the negative image of Indonesian labors overseas. Some also say that Lola Amaria’s blank expression in her acting made Mayang so rigid, although I personally think that she played the role beautifully. Nevertheless, Lola Amaria succeeded in conveying Indonesian laboring overseas in her perspective.

This movie really worth the time (and money if you have to pay to watch) by Indonesian people, especially those who named the Indonesian labor by “Devisen Heroes”. Also, this movie is very suitable as a socialization medium for labor applicants who wants to work overseas, so that they can reconsider their decision, not just because of the salary in foreign currency. Therefore, I rank this movie 7,5 out of 10.

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Walk The Line (2005)

Entah kenapa, film-film tentang riwayat hidup artis-artis selalu menarik perhatian gw. Awalnya gw memang ga tau kalo Walk The Line adalah film yang isinya riwayat Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix). Setelah nonton, baru nyambung deh 😛 Seperti biasa, film dimulai dari masa kecil Johnny Cash, masa remaja, sampe akhirnya awal-awal karirnya dan bertemu dengan June Carter (Reese Witherspoon). Ada beberapa lagu yang mungkin dikenal pada masa itu, macemnya Cry, Cry, Cry ato Walk The Line yang jadi lagu-lagu andalan Johnny Cash.

Tapi bukan berarti film ini cuma buat penggemar Johnny Cash lho. Sebernya bagi yang suka film drama dan biografi artis, film ini menarik banget. Castnya meyakinkan, karakternya menarik, lagu-lagunya catchy. Gw yang awalnya ga kenal sama Johnny Cash jadi kagum sama penyanyi tahun 60an ini 😛 Ceritanya, seperti yang gw bilang tadi, adalah drama. Well, ga mungkin kan film biografi seseorang dibuat komedi? Jadi yaa semacam menonton sejarah lah. Karena gw memang demen sama sejarah-sejarah musik, seneng-seneng aja sih gw nonton film ini. Tapi, harus gw akui, film ini ga cocok sebagai film di saat santai. Jadinya malah ngantuk, ato malah bikin mood turun. But still, gw masih merasa film ini sangat layak buat ditonton dengan nilai 8 dari 10.

300 (2006)

Film ini adalah tonggak kesuksesan Gerard Butler. Dari film ini, namanya langsung eksis di antara cewek-cewek yang kesengsem sama six-packnya 😛 Oke lah, yuk mari dibahas filmnya 😀

Fokus film ini di perang di Thermophylae, di mana bangsa Sparta melawan Persia. Sparta yang dipimpin sama Leonidas (Gerard Butler) melawan pasukan Persia milik Xerxes yang saat itu ekspansi ke seluruh wilayah Yunani. Dari Asia, sekarang dia mengincar Yunani. Athena udah kalah, dan target selanjutnya Sparta. Well, selayaknya seorang Spartan, Leonidas ga gitu aja nerima Xerxes dan membiarkan Sparta diduduki Persia. Dengan 300 prajurit terbaiknya, ia menuju Hot Gates di daeraH Thermophylae buat nyegah pasukan Xerxes menuju Sparta.

Buat yang ga ngerti sama sejarah perang di Thermophylae, judul dari film ini mungkin keliatan kayak 309 instead of 300. Well, sejarah perang Thermophylae memang ga banyak yang tau. Mungkin anda-anda sekalian harus nonton film ini buar ngerti kenapa perang di Thermophylae ga banyak yang tau 😛

Nah, sekarang penilaian. Buat yang demen sejarah, jelas banget film ini adalah a must see movie. Dan hukumnya wajib, kudu, harus, buat ditonton di bioskop. Trus lagi, walopun ini film pertamanya, gw rasa Gerard Butler bener-bener sukses membuktikan kemampuan aktingnya. Gw memang ga pernah ngerti pengalaman aktingnya, yang jelas setelah film ini, muncul film-film lain yang dibintangi oleh Irish man ini 🙂

Trus lagi, gw suka sama sinematografi dari film ini. Walopun suasananya perang, jadi mencekam gitu, gw malah excited banget sama perang dan efek-efeknya. I think it’s beautiful, despite there’s blood everywhere 😛 Ceritanya menarik, dengan detil dan make-up yang keren. Not to mention the 300 men in their capes and underpants 😛 Oke-oke, gw jadi ngelantur. Langsung nilainya aja deh ya. 9 dari 10 buat Zack Snyder dan seluruh pendukung film ini 🙂

Alfie (2004)

Aah.. Another old-but-not-so-old movie 😛 Kali ini yang akan gw bahas adalah film remake tahun 1966 dengan judul yang sama tahun 2004 yang dibintangi oleh Jude Law 🙂

Tokoh utama film ini, jelas, Jude Law yang berperan sebagai Alfie. Di sini ia berperan sebagai Alfred Elkins, seorang Englishman yang pindah ke Manhattan untuk merubah nasib dan… nyari cewek… Yes, he’s a womanizer, folks! He never thinks that one woman was enough and keep his pants up.. Trust me, he’s the kind of man that you’ll love and hate at the same time. Di film ini diceritakan gimana dia belajar mengenai hidup sampe akhirnya dia ngerti hidup yang benar seperti apa.

Pertama kali gw liat film ini di salah satu channel tipi swasta yang menayangkan late-night movies. Gw ga ngerti sebenernya ini film tentang apa. Yang gw tau, film ini menarik karena menggunakan point of view Alfie. Jadi, sepanjang film the gorgeous Jude Law ngomong ke kamera seolah-olah dia ngomong sama kita. He’s so adorable with his British accent! Buat mereka yang ga suka film drama kayak gini, mungkin bakal merasa film ini membosankan. Well, not me 😛 Di antara banyak film drama yang bikin ngantuk, I think this one can keep you up 🙂 Lagipula, buat gw film ini unik, beda sama yang lain. Mungkin itu juga yang membuat gw ngasih nilai 8 dari 10 🙂

Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Temen gw ngasih tau soal film ini, katanya dia penasaran sama Megan Fox yang berlumuran darah. Hah? Gw cengo. Apaan lagi nih… I just watched it, and I know why now 😛 Ada 2 tokoh utama, Needy Lesnicki (Amanda Seyfried) sama Jennifer Check (Megan Fox), BFF dari kecil. Begitu tumbuh, Needy jadi cewek dork dan Megan tumbuh jadi cewek perfect di sekolah mereka. Long story short, suatu malam ada suatu kejadian yang membuat semuanya berubah 180 derajat. Apa itu? Liat sendiri filmnya 😛

Gw memang ga banyak cerita, soalnya filmnya cuma 90 menit, itu juga kerasa kayak 2 jam. Abisnya film thriller semi horror gitu deh. Sampe pertengahan film, masih kerasa banget thrillernya, walopun kalo bagi cowok-cowok mereka bakal ngiler sama Megan Fox yang foxy banget di sini 😛 Menuju ke belakang, malah jadi kayak komedi… Well, not exactly a comedy, tapi kayak thriller yang ga 100% gitu.. Endingnya sucks banget, walopun gw akuin agak sedikit susah ditebak…

Kalo gw bilang sih film ini bukan film box-office yang bikin penonton rela antri berjam-jam demi tiket, tapi film yang-kalo-ada-DVDnya-mending-minjem-aja. That kind of movie. Seru kalo diliat bareng, rada spooky kalo nonton sendiri, tapi endingnya selalu sama: “Gini doang?” Tebak sendiri deh gimana endingnya 😛 dan untuk itu, gw kasih nilai 5 dari 10. Ckckckckck…