I have written my book recap of 2016 here (although it is a bit rough and I planned to make a new one), so I decide to write a recap for movies that I have watched this year. Like what I have experienced with my books, I also tried to go out of my comfort zone. Usually I am only interested in Indonesian, Japanese, and UK/US movies, but not long ago, I watched German and Norway movies also.
So, here’s the list:
- A Quiet on The Western Front (1930)
This is a classic movie about German youths who got ‘provoked’ by their teacher to fight for their country in The Great War. At first, I was shocked because this is the first black and white movie that I have ever watched, not to mention unfamiliar transitions and the way the actors talked. However, I finally managed to enjoy this movie and related with their characters. Especially when they had to live in trench while explosion sounds were everywhere, fearing death, get shell shocked and so on.
2. Oh Boy/ A Coffee in Berlin (2012)
A German movie starring Tom Schilling. I like his performance in Generation War series, thus I eagerly tried to watch it. The story is quite simple: about a man who want to drink a cup of coffee but encountered some obstacles preventing him to do it. I love this movie because of its simplicity and the main character who were an idealist and stubborn, but deep inside, he is kind.
3. Who am I: Kein System ist Sicher (2014)
Another Tom Schilling’s movie. In this movie, he acted as a hacker who admired MRX, a renowned hacker in the cyberspace. He was a rather timid young man who mastered programming language but get punished because of stealing exam questions in a university. Then, he encountered Max, who turned out to recognize MRX and joined with two other men, named Paul and Stefan. The three of them then create a hacker group named CLAY and started to hack and get popularity until they have to face another group of hackers, F13ENDS. A quite hilarious and thrilling movie, yet touchy at the end.
4. Napola (2006)
Okay, you may be bored reading this, but this is a German movie starred by Tom Schilling (again). The story revolves around a boy named Friedrich Weimer who managed to join in a Nazi elite police academy. He could do boxing well and impress many people because of it. Then, he met Albrecht Stein, a rich boy who turned to be a student in that academy also. Not like most of students, Albrecht did not like war, but he got some pressures from his father, a highly respected police. They became friends and supported each other but the reality was too harsh for them. This movie torn my heart, actually, especially when some innocent kids were killed because of war.
I could not say much for this movie. Like the title, Crazy is practically crazy and full of teenagers’ craziness.
6. Kamisama no Iutoori/As The God’s Will (2014)
They said that Takashi Miike’s movies are on the different level. Perhaps I have to agree with them. Kamisama no Iutoori takes place in a high school, where students are locked and could not find the way out. They are forced to join in games with strange rules and get hard consequences. The loser would die and the winner in each stage would go to further competition, fought each other to be the winner. This movie is full of bizarre things, like daruma doll which could kill, a very big maneki neko who also could kill, and a type of Japanese traditional games which I forgot the name, but also could kill. The blood splattered everywhere, but in small red balls form. Ha! I like Kamiki Ryuunosuke’s acting here. He is just so good as a villain character.
Another Kamiki Ryuunosuke’s (as Takagi Akito) movie. Bakuman is a live action movie, made of a manga series with the same title. Co-starred with Sato Takeru as Mashiro Moritaka, I found Bakuman met my expectation. Not that I have read the manga (I only watched the anime, though), but their acting, the storyline, the supporting characters, and don’t forget the CG (?) effects! You will found Kamiki-Sato team and Sometani Shota as Niizum Eiji fought using gigantic drawing pens, inks, and papers. Woo-hoo!
8.Dead Poets Society (1989)
Idealistic youngsters? Check. Idealistic teacher? Check. Beautiful words and poetry? Check. This is a movie about education which did not just follow the tradition of boring, monotonous lectures and recitations. The students were respected, even though they have unique perspectives. The society itself was founded by some students. They went to the mysterious places at night only to talked and recite poems. Things ran smoothly until Neil, one of the students found that his parents disagree with his decision to study drama (they suggested medicine, instead). Then, what happened happens.
9. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
This movie blew my mind. Creepy yet intriguing. If you are curious what makes a boy could murder his schoolmates without any clear reason, you may try this movie. Ezra Miller’s, Tilda Swinton’s, (even the young Kevin’s) acting were just wow! There are many flashbacks and sometimes the past and the current events just mixed, making the movie a bit confusing at first, but you will enjoyed it in no time.
10. The Social Network (2010)
A backstory of Facebook, from the creation, collaboration, until the lawsuit addressed to its creator, Mark Zuckerberg. It was ironic to see how Facebook, which was a tool to get friends, was started by some disputes between ‘friends’.
11. Good Will Hunting (1997)
A genius who insisted to not attend higher education in any form, read many books, and despised clever snobs at the uni. He’s Will Hunting, who piqued Prof. Gerald Lambeau’s interest for the clever solution that he has written on the blackboard in the campus hall. Prof. Lambeau managed to met him by accident and promised to the police to get psychological counseling for Hunting. Yet, Hunting got everyone’s nerves so no one could stand him (because of his bad attitude and a quite snobbish way of speaking). Lambeau then introduces Hunting to Sean McGuire, his old friend who teach at a college. I personally like this movie for the interaction between the characters and the transformation of Will Hunting.
12. A Separate Peace (2004)
I was curious to watch one of the adaptations of the novel with the same title, written by John Knowles. Not a brilliant adaptations, though, but it captured most of the moments. The story revolves around Gene and Phineas (Finny), two roommates at a prep school.They were very different, but Gene was always admired Finny for his charms which made him got friends easily. Then the tree incident happened. Finny fell from the tree and broke his leg. The war approaches. Some of students enlisted themselves, while Gene was feeling guilty for causing that incident. Their friendship is at stake, but Finny acted as though he did not feel anything. Ugh. I could not stand this kind of friendship story.
13. A Brilliant Young Mind (2014)
Having watched Asa Butterfield’s acting (at brief) in Hugo, I watched this movie. It was about Nathan, a math prodigy (Asa Butterfield) who could not socialize properly who have bad relationship with his mother (Sally Hawkins) after his father passed away. Her mother tried her best to understand his son’s needs and found a math tutor for him. Nathan then joined in UK representatives for International Mathematics Olympiad which will be held in Cambridge after two weeks of math camp in Taiwan. In Taiwan, he met a Chinese girl, Zhang who was paired with him. Zhang helped Nathan to get accustomed in the new place and they got closer then. Back in England, Nathan introduces Zhang to his mother, who permit her to stay during the competition. When they were in Cambridge, Zhang came to Nathan’s room to sleep together. Things got bad when Zhang’s uncle found her and accused her to have an intimate relationship, causing her to withdraw from the competition. Nathan was torn between pursuing the math career and Zhang. Nathan and Zhang’s interactions here are sweet, not to mention Nathan’s awkwardness and his zero experience of falling in love.
14. Exam (2009)
A rather minimalist movie, yet thought provoking and also thrilling. Set in a room, eight candidates for certain position in a company faced their own desks with a paper and pencil on each of it. An invigilator said that there is only one question and mentioned the rules: they must not talk to the Invigilator or the armed guard at the door, spoil their paper, or leave the room. If they do, they will be disqualified. An Asian woman was disqualified soon after the test started because she spoiled the paper. The seven candidates remained then discussed on how they could manage to pass the unusual test. This psy-thriller movie somehow reminds me to survival game, where the survived one at the last will be the ultimate champion. At the stressful situations, human could do anything in order to reach their goal. They could deceive and intimidating other people and broke their promises. Yet there are some kind of people who tried their best to not hurt others. That’s the moral lesson that I got after watching this movie.
15. My Stupid Boss (2016)
Finally, an Indonesian movie. This is a hilarious one about life as a female worker (Bunga Citra Lestari) at a multinational company lead by a strange boss (Reza Rahardian). Somehow I could relate to this movie because, you know, the workplace could be totally chaotic and absurd.
16. Have a Song on Your Lips (2015)
I found this movie after watching a scene of the students singing Tegami – Haikei Juugo no Kimi e – by Angela Aki. The story was quite simple, about a student choir in a school which was struggling for the championship. The previous coach was taking her maternity leave and a new coach from Tokyo came to Kyushu to replace her. After recruiting new members, they trained regularly despite of the hardships during the process. I love it because who could resists Japanese drama about the importance of persistence and having your friends (and teacher) beside you? Furthermore, they made a good choir at the end, with those canon and harmonization.
17. Kimi no Na Wa (2016)
A Makoto Shinkai’s anime movie, which I watched because: 1) It’s Makoto Shinkai’s work and 2) Kamiki Ryuunosuke voice-acted in it. Like other Makoto Shinkai’s movies, you will see many great, realistic landscapes, beautiful skies, and perfect background sounds. The movie itself is about a boy (Taki) and a girl (Mitsuha) who met each other in their dreams and switched body several times after that. Taki then decided to pursue Mitsuha only to find that the place that is supposed to be Mitsuha’s hometown was destroyed by the fall of a comet. How they were switched and experienced different lives of their own and their struggle to met each other was what I enjoyed most of this film. And also, the great OST!
18. The Theory of Everything (2014)
A biographical movie portraying Stephen Hawking, which got my interest only because people talked about Fantastic Beasts and How to Find Them and I realized that this movie (which I have owned for months) has Eddie Redmayne in it. He acted great as Hawking. I mean, it’s very difficult to portrayed that great scientist, no? Eddie Redmayne even got an Oscar for this movie. I love how Hawking in this movie and his wife living their life together, facing the hardships and embraces each other’s weakness , even though they decide to choose different ways at the end.
19. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
A biographical movie portraying John Nash (Russel Crowe), a mathematician who were renowned for his Game Theory. I am always fascinated watching geniuses and how they solve problems, that’s why I enjoyed this movie. What surprised me is that Nash had schizophrenia, which later took its toll on her ability to distinguish hallucinations and reality. Yet his wife (Jennifer Connolly) was always beside him to encourage him. I admired them in the movie while thinking that their real life counterparts may be more amazing.
Okay, that’s all for today. It took me hours to finish this post and actually I am getting tired remembering my experiences with each movie while choosing the words in English. Hope I can watch many interesting movies next year. Hope you enjoy this post also and tell me your opinion on it.