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Peeled away.

Of course, in involuntarily keeping up with my “running” streak, I did not get to step into even one cinema this year. Bagging the top prize in the company’s movie quiz hardly made me a convert: by the time the right movie came along, the pair of gold class tickets had expired, and I never got to use them (I certainly was not favouring wasting them on some sparkly vampires, thank you very much). There were a few films that I had been keeping an eye on for very obvious reasons, but it either came and went very quickly (Warrior), or came not at all (Win Win).

As usual, the bulk of the movies watched were via good ol’ satellite TV – glorious repeats, mixed-up schedules and all – but I have lost all faith in further attempts to turn up at a cinema soon (see also lists for 2008, 2009 and 2010).

Jude Law, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts // Mike Nichols

Alice: I don’t love you anymore. Goodbye.

It was somewhat unnerving when I first saw Jude Law shed tears onscreen in one of my favourite romantic comedies, The Holiday. A few years later, the same feeling persisted in Closer – there is something about seeing him sniffling in defeat, red-nosed and yet politely reaching for a tissue, that makes you wonder if men can indeed cry that beautifully… ahem. Closer is essentially a tale that tells of relationships accompanied by either shy smiles or lonely heartaches, and makes you realise that love can indeed be both beautiful and brutal, fun and farcical. All these, coupled with the strong performances from all four key players, are what held this movie together, calling for repeated viewings and perhaps greater bear hugs from your significant other.

(500) Days of Summer
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel // Marc Webb

Summer: I woke up one morning and I just knew.
Tom: Knew what?
Summer: What I was never sure of with you.

We are warned early on in (500) Days of Summer by the narrator that this is not a love story, but it does not mean that the goofy smiles and broken hearts have to be placed second, after Ikea and The Smiths. The two leads, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, undeniably possess great chemistry together, so much so you actually find yourself rooting for them to embark on a similar relationship in real life as well – though perhaps one with a more optimistic ending. The non-linear narrative also lends a bit to the quirkiness of the characters, as they move back and forth both in their relationships and against time – making it all the more endearing.

The A-Team
Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel // Joe Carnahan

Col. John “Hannibal” Smith: I love it when a plan comes together.

Hearing the theme tune to The A-Team being played here is like finding an old friend again – it brings back a fond familiarity of sorts (and with it, flashbacks of other television series in the 1980s). Thankfully, this particular big-screen adaptation does not disappoint; it may have been modernised to a more current setting with a newer cast and crew, but the team that we have here hardly feels newly-assembled at all. Rather, it functions like a serious, well-oiled machine capable of plenty of action from start to end, and still manages to balance it out with a witty script and an ample amount of laughs. A fun ride all the way.

Also popcorn-worthy:
An Education
Black Swan
The Blind Side
The King’s Speech
Horrible Bosses
Let Me In
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
The Social Network
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Toy Story 3
… more

Similarly, this year’s efforts to catch up with my favourite weekly TV shows via the internet proved a lacklustre affair – no thanks in part to a temporary pay-as-you-use internet broadband plan. The spiralling charges and bandwidth used tend to make my heart bleed, so I tried to exercise more control and restraint over my viewings – though I still made sure that I never missed episodes of Fringe (season 4), Modern Family (season 3) and The Amazing Race (season 19). Soon, my lovelies. Soon.

Details of this entry.Saturday, December 31, 2011, filed under Reviews.
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