Haha…This week, I got to watch 3 shows in 3 days in a row! Had I gotten any means of transport, that number would’ve increased! Maybe I’m just compensating for all the time that’s spent NOT watching movies last month due to tight schedule and tight budget. So here’s the review on all 3 shows.
Over The Hedge
If you ever thought of how weird us humans are, then just think how weird we would seem to animals. It’s a simple movie, about trust and family but in an animal’s point of view. Weird, humans are weird, and we humans know it.
Over The Hedge is originally a comic strip made by Michael Fry and T Lewis. It started when a raccoon named RJ (Bruce Willis. Can you believe it?) got into trouble for stealing food from a bear named Vincent (I missed some of this part due to a faulty projector. I had to go out, hunt for anybody in a uniform and rush back to my seat.). He promised Vincent (Nick Nolte) that he could replace the food within a week, or he gets it.
RJ then stumbled upon a group of forrest creatures who’ve just awakened from their hibernation facing a new threat, a suburban housing area. RJ, sensing that this could help fish him out from the deep shit he’s in, made his move. He taught them the art of surburb living. Verne, the leader of the group, was either cautious, or jealous of the changes RJ brought them.
What I like about this movie, is when it shows what wrongs we have done, all in order to enjoy life. dialogues such as the SUV dialouge, the don’t-drink-and-talk-on-the-phone-while-driving scene, and many more.
The animation are smooth, but since it claimed to be made by those who made Shrek and Madagascar, there’s nothing to shout about. This is made worse by the lack of story and depth, and more slapstick jokes and cheeky exagerations, as compared to the aforementioned clever dialogues. Dreamworks have to brush up their storytelling now.
In the end, Over The Hedge is an enjoyable movie, and please, listen carefully to the dialogues, as there are some deep meanings that slaps you right on the right cheek (what cheek? You choose).
This is what entertainment is about. Pixar and Disney‘s collaboration have been known to produce among the best in the animation world. While Disney, having the distributive, reputative and story telling skills, Pixar completes the picture with technical expertise, as seen in all of their movies.
Cars, is simply about… ahem… cars. It revolves around Lightning McQueen (or as translated by the translator Kilat McQueen), a cocky new race car, who’ve been thinking about only one thing other than himself: WINNING. He stands within the best three that comrises of The King, a seasoned race car, alway’s holding the first place in the Piston Cup, and his nemesis, Chick Hicks (Michael Keaton).
Things changes when he got sidetracked and stranded in a rural town along the Route 66. an old and forgotten route that used to be one of the backbone of US’s roadmaps. Although all that’s left is some rusty old cars and several shops, they have the purest of heart.
Sentenced by Doc Hudson (with influence of Sally Carrera (Bonnie hunt) the Porche Carrera) to repair the road he damaged, McQueen(Owen Wilson) had less than a week to get to California for the big race after The King, Chick and himself ended in a tie.
Cars was wonderfully done, both asthetically and technically. The story’s simple, yet sends a clear but cliche message. There are a lot of Disney‘s own production telling the same story: Some cocky city guy got stranded in a rural area and found him/herself there.
Since the cliche story, I’d rather go on to other aspects, as the story still DO work. The story telling is superb. Forget the fast and flat storytelling of Chicken Little and The Wild, Cars has more dynamic. There’s the adrenaline pumping intro, the building of characters, the slow romantic scenes (They left the How Do Cars Reproduce question to the Animals…er…Cars Planet), and in the end, you have your own personal favourite character other than McQueen.
Oh, Pixar no longer do the “Blooper Scenes” anymore, at least in the credits, we’ll see when the DVD comes out. In Cars, they showed what happens after the story ends. Do note what Mack (John Ratzenberger) was taking about in the cinema. Clue, listen to the voices. It was kind of an internal joke, but I think you’ll get it.
Bangsawan Naga Chini
Thanks to the Hardy Boys and Secret Seven (7 Penyiasat) book series, I had always thought Naga Tasek Chini legend was about a real Dragon. after watching this, I am not sure.
This was my first foray into a bangsawan show. I would have liked it, but having interludes between scenes is just not my taste. Much like watching a movie, and having ads slotted between scenes.
Bangsawan Naga Chini tells a story of 2 twins, seperated by differring ideals, joined by one love. Arus Putra (Jehan Miskin) and Gempita Sakti (Ako Mustapha) had split their lands in the swamps of Chini into 2, one , led by Arus Putra, retains the so-called original ways, while Gempita Sakti embraces the lure of commerce and wealth.
This had led them into hating each other, even more so, when both loves Putri Mayang Sari (Zuliana Abd Aziz or Ju). To add to the twist, according to their customary, Putri Mayang Sari must marry Arus Putra, although she is in love with Gempita Sakti.
And when an entourage from Kemboja led by Arya Cakra (Tony Eusoff) and Jantan (Ebby Saiful) was held captive by Arus Putra, war became inevitable as Putri Mayang Sari and the wise sage Adi Guru (Yalal Chin) helped the to escape to Gempita Sakti.
and in the end, whomever wins, the people will suffer, and the soldiers will kill they’re own brothers and friends.
I was entirely hooked to the show, mainly because the seat I got was a very good seat. I was just 5m from the stage, with clear view (not so, the lady in front of me had a long head, it seems) of the whole stage. That’s why when the interlude kicks in, I really felt annoyed. I can’t say much here, this is the way of the Bangsawan, although not in it’s pure form.
Technically, the set was marvellous. The audio could be improved though, as some performers cannot project their voices that well, such as Yalal Chin (he’s old, so I don’t think he can project that loud), Ako Mustapha (not much bass in his voice and the words never come out from his mouth, but thru the throat, it seems) and Tony Eusoff (shame on you..). Songs are mimed apparently, and that drops the entertainment level down a notch. Ako‘s voice, and his voice while singing, are clearly different.
As for performance, I’d say they had done their best, but I’ve seen better. I’d give a standing Ovation to Yalal Chin and Juhara Ayob. I love how Yalal Chin speaks as Adi Guru. Jantan may steal the scene a little too much, but his character works. And I love how they show how our warriors fought. it seems logical that they stayed as low as possible to the ground, almost hugging it. Maybe it’s their way, but beats watching the ‘war’ scene in Lang Buana.
Overall, I really did enjoy the show, and deserves a standing ovation.
Oh, the Dragon’s cool, but the fire’s pathetic. use some other tricks next time. Projection from across the room and spotlights don’t match.