December 2011 | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Review: SLEEPWALKER 夢遊 (2011)

Review: SLEEPWALKER 夢遊 (2011)

Angelica Lee stars as Yi, a lonely woman who runs a garment factory in her own apartment. She's been living a mundane life and frequently haunted by a repeated dream over the years -- a weird dream in which she finds herself stranded in a wasteland and a corpse is buried somewhere underneath. Not only that, she is also a sleepwalker who often wakes up from terrible dreams that she can't remember how come her hands ends up being dirty, her belongings misplaced or her footprints appeared on the bedroom floor. However, it isn't just her terrible dreams and sleepwalking issue that plagued her ongoing life. Her ex-husband Ming (Kenny Wong) has gone missing, and Yi is the main suspect since she is the last person Ming has met on the night of his subsequent disappearance. Sergeant Au (Huo Siyan) suspects something is not right with Yi, especially after she has caught her wandering around at night in her nightgown. That's not all, Au's cousin Peggy (Charlie Young), who has recently paid the ransom for her kidnapped son, is reportedly missing as well. Could these two separate missing cases are somehow connected? As the movie goes on, Yi agrees to cooperate with Sergeant Au to recall her dreams through a series of hypnotism, which subsequently reveals something that Yi has never suspect all this while.

Review: HUGO (2011)


RATING: 3/5

Mention the name of Martin Scorsese, he's a legendary filmmaker who is best known for directing gangster movies as well as anything that is related to violence and dark characters (e.g. MEAN STREET, TAXI DRIVER, GOODFELLAS, CASINO, THE DEPARTED). But a children's fantasy adventure? It's really hard to believe when I first heard Scorsese was going to adapt Brian Selznick's award-winning children's book The Invention of Hugo Cabret into a movie. But before you write off his first attempt to tackle such genre, let me assured you that HUGO isn't a colossal mistake he is making here. Instead the movie is somewhat heartwarming and at the same time it's perfectly understandable why Scorsese is so peculiar for tackling his first children's fantasy adventure at the first place -- Selznick's book happens to celebrate the wonders of cinema's early days -- a subject that Scorsese loves very much. In fact HUGO has been widely praised by critics as one of the finest movies Scorsese ever directed. As much as I wanted to believe so, I found the universal praise for this movie is an overstatement. HUGO is hardly a masterpiece that one might expect, but still good enough to make this movie worthwhile.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Review: THE TREE OF LIFE (2011)


RATING: 3/5

With just four movies stretching in almost 40 years of his directing career, reclusive director Terrence Malick's highly-anticipated and long-awaited fifth feature, THE TREE OF LIFE, had recently awarded the coveted Palme d' Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. It was a surprise anyway, considering most viewers has booing off the movie during the screening premiere. Not only that, THE TREE OF LIFE has also been compared to Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi masterpiece, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968). No doubt that from the outlook of the movie, Malick has made a daring and extraordinary approach to explore the wonders of life, the mysteries of death, and the creation of the universe in the utmost spiritual and philosophical point-of-view. The result is a visually elegant, avant-garde drama that is both mystifying and fascinating piece of cinematic experience. However it's hardly the kind of so-called overwhelming masterpiece many critics has been praising all over for this movie. More on that later.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

TOP 10 BEST MOVIE POSTERS OF 2011!




When comes to marketing a movie, poster plays one of the most important parts for attracting a viewer. After all, first impression always counts, right? So here we go -- my personal pick for "Top 10 Best Movie Posters of 2011!" right below.


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

TOP 10 WORST MOVIES OF 2011!




Four days more, it will be the end of 2011. Before we usher for 2012 with more new movies ahead, here's my (rotten) pick for "Top 10 Worst Movies of 2011!".



Sunday, 25 December 2011

Review: SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS (2011)


RATING: 2.5/5

When SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009) ends with a highly-promising note that hinted a greater thing will come, I'm sure a lot of die-hard fans (especially for the movie version, of course) and viewers alike, are anticipating the arrival of Professor James Moriarty in the much-anticipated sequel SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS. After all, Moriarty is Holmes' No.1 most accomplished adversary he's ever faced in his detective career. Unfortunately, the sequel fails to capitalize the potential suffers mostly from unnecessarily bloated yet pedestrian script.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Retrospective: Top 10 Best (Unconventional) Christmas Movies




It's Christmas Eve! And no Christmas would ever be complete without watching a couple of Christmas movies, right? After all, it's a part of everyone's family tradition during this joyful season and among the common picks are those unforgettable classics including IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946), MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947), contemporary classics like HOME ALONE (1990) and THE SANTA CLAUSE (1994) and recent ones like this year's ARTHUR CHRISTMAS. But for those who wants to break away from watching the same old traditional Christmas movies, why not watch something different? Here's my pick for "Top 10 Best (Unconventional) Christmas Movies" below:


Saturday, 17 December 2011

Review: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL (2011)


RATING: 4/5

Despite the fact that most fans and critics have hailed J.J. Abrams' MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (2006) as the best series to date, the movie itself was surprisingly underperformed at the box-office, managing only a disappointing $133.3 million over a hefty $150 million budget. Ever since then, the future of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise was sagging while the star power of once-invincible Tom Cruise was waning just as fast. Six years later, the franchise has finally been given a second chance and the result is MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL. This time around, the fourth installment is helmed by Pixar's animation ace Brad Bird, who was responsible for some of the studio's biggest hits including THE INCREDIBLES (2004) and RATATOUILLE (2007), debuted his first live-action movie ever. It's an inspiring choice but at the same time, it's also a big gamble for choosing a director whose background mainly on animation. Well, for those skeptical viewers, rest assured that Brad Bird's keen eyes for visual flair makes him a terrific choice after all. As one of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters during this holiday season, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL is one hell of a spectacular entertainment.