Clueless (1995)

Earlier this week, I posted up the review on Emma for The Classics Adventure. You can check that out HERE if you missed it.

As normal, I went searching for the adaptations.  Unfortunately all the actual adaptations wasn’t available on Netflix.  The only one was Clueless.  I’ve seen Clueless a ton of times but I like it a lot.  It has been a few years since I revisited it though so I’m pretty excited to watch this again.

Plus, its a nice little break from the random Netflix picks.  At least I’m sure a good bunch of you have already seen this or at least heard of it 🙂

Clueless (1995)


Director: Amy Heckerling

Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Elisa Donovan, Jeremy Sisto, Brecklin Meyer, Dan Hedaya

A rich high school student tries to boost a new pupil’s popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way.- IMDB

Clueless was among one of the first chick flicks that I ever watched in my life.  It was a good start because its also a very fun movie to watch.  The reimagining of Emma into Clueless helped me a lot in reading the actual novel this time around. I could relate to the characters and even though there were little changes and differences to the source material, it still held a good part of the entertainment especially in the character of Emma who is now Cher in this modernized version played by Alicia Silverstone and let me add, in an flawless way to who I would imagine Emma to be in real life. The setting is now put into high school which we all know is kind of just like reality and our social life with different groups and classes, judgement passed on other classmates before knowing them and the likes of that stuff.  You know, its high school.  I’ve graduated from that part of life over 10 years and I can still remember it.


While Cher is spoiled and self-centred and thinks she is always right when she’s altogether ditzy and kind of ignorant, she does have a kind heart. She cares for her father and her friends and she genuinely does think that she is doing good to the people around her (even when she isn’t).  And that is exactly the Emma I see in the novel.  Alicia Silverstone does a fine job as I mentioned before but what really is great as well is Tai who is the opposite of Cher who lacks some class and poise.  Brittany Murphy captures that role very well also as a girl who really doesn’t know this new world that she’s moved into and believes that Cher can lead her to be accepted by others even when matchmaking her to someone she convinces herself to like and neglecting where her feelings truly lie. What comes out of this is the theme of friendship and just being able to embrace who you (and your friends) are. Especially not trying to make someone like you because being different, even in all their silly and quirky ways, is what makes them who they are.


Jane Austen novels almost always like to address the whole social class theme and with the contrast of Emma and Harriet which is our Cher and Tai here, we can see it transferred perfectly in Clueless.  While the match ups for the guys are the same and successfully capture each of the male leads as well.  We have our Mr. Elton who is Elton here, with his particular emphasis on class and basically is a pretty snobby and fake person. On the flip side, we have the obvious choice for Tai who just jives well with her but Cher dislikes who is our Mr. Martin who is out of the pack of Cher’s group played by Travis.  Then, we come to our final guy, our Mr. Knightley, who is Cher’s ex-stepbrother, Josh who remains close to her family, helping her father out and always around to give her some pointers on her choices (even when she doesn’t listen). I have to say, I totally forgot that Paul Rudd was in this until I watched it the last time and then I realized that he’s super adorable in this one and its hard to not like him.  A side note would be that I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a lot of his other roles (in the limited ones that I’ve seen so far).  To wrap this up, while not a love interest, I think its fair to say that I do like Cher’s dad here more than the one in the novel, just as a personality sort of difference and that he is more enjoyable to watch even in all his lawyer-ish ways.


Its a lot of compare and contrast for this review but that’s because I’m quite impressed at how Clueless does a decent job at adapting a classic set in 1800s to the 1990s. The characters are portrayed well and Emma is fun and funny because it does in a very sarcastic way, poke fun at the style and silly teens and all that sort of thing.  It was just pure entertainment.  I can’t say revisiting it now that I don’t see flaws but I still like it a lot.

Overall, Clueless is a fun little film that is very good adaptation of Emma while adding in a modern twist to it.  The cast does a fantastic job at portraying their character with the exceptionally awesome performances of Alicia Silverstone and Brittany Murphy.  Paul Rudd is absolutely adorable as Josh.  Its just a fun trip down the 90s style and language.  Although its pretty dated for the outfits and whatnot, its still stays pretty entertaining after all these years.

Have you seen Clueless? Do you think that it is a good adaptation of Emma? 

Double Feature: Deadline (2009) & Gallants (2010)

While I use this week to rest up my mind, I’m going to review those backlogged movies (or at least some of them). Hopefully. I just feel like I need to recuperate my energy a little so it might be a bit sporadic.

Either way, Deadline expired on Netflix on December 1st whereas, Gallants still has a few days left.

Lets check it out 🙂



Director: Sean McConville

Cast: Brittany Murphy, Thora Birch, Tammy Blanchard, Marc Blucas, Claudia Troll

Alice (Brittany Murphy) decides to go to a secluded and abandoned house to finish up a script before the deadline. Its not long before she experiences some abnormal events in the house.   As she follows the trail, it leads her to some video camera tapes from the previous owners.  As she uses these as her muse, she realizes that there is more than she expected.


Deadline was nothing to call home about.  Honestly, I can’t really remember the majority of the movie and I just saw it last Saturday.  Could have to do with the fact I was sipping on some wine, but I don’t know.  Either way, it started off alright.  Push a few logical issues out of the way, like why the f would you trap yourself to the point where you let some other person take your car.  And, if there’s some crazy thing that happens to my computer like “He won’t let me go” or something along those lines goes off for no reason, I’d leave. Like, I’d grab my shoes and my wallet (side bag/purse, whatever you fancy) and leave, even if it means walking out for miles. BUT, thats just me.


I’m not exactly sure why I chose to watch Deadline.  I guess I never saw anything else from Brittany Murphy and felt like I should (for whatever reason) and well, Thora Birch did really well in this movie I saw last year from a DVD I grabbed from the bargain bin with like 10 flicks on it called The Hole with Keira Knightley.  I had my hesitations since I just did a month of horror and was frankly not really into any  more of it but still, this was going to expire.  Either way, its nothing that I’m going to recommend.  It tries really hard to get that twist right and I guess it does because thats about the only part I remember of the ending.  And then, there was one part that was a tad creepy but its really predictable (but I’m easily scared so I still turned away).

I’m not hating on Deadline.  I’m just not a fan.  I’m not sure it even had the potential to be better so I’m indifferent to it. Thats really where I’m at.  If I say anymore, it’ll just sound like I really hated it.



Director: Clement Sze-Kit Cheng, Chi-kin Kwok

Cast: Siu-Lung Leung, Kuan Tai Chen, Teddy Robin Kwan, You-nam Wong, J.J. Jia, MC Jin

Highly respected Master Ben Law has been in a coma for the last 30 years. His two disciples have been taking care of him ever since.  When a young and weak low rank office worker Cheung is sent to the village to claim back some property rights for a real estate project along with collaboration with the village’s real estate company, he meets the two disciples who now own a teahouse and this event awakens Master Ben Law.  Having a blur in his memory, he confuses Cheung for his two disciples and starts training him for the martial arts competition.


Gallants is a peculiar martial arts movie.  It seems to try to mock the style of Stephen Chow’s absurd comedy in the form of Kung Fu Hustle.  However, the story isn’t quite as good, especially when it doesn’t seem to know whether its a comedy or a drama.  However, it does feature some older stars from back in the Shaw Brothers days, stirring up some nostalgia.  I’ve only seen a little of Shaw Brothers and that was when I was really young.  I haven’t had the chance to see more.


Some of the characters did draw me in.  The guy who plays Ben Law is absolutely hilarious in a really awkward way.  It reflects well that he’s well behind his time because he’s stuck 30 years ago and has everything mixed up.  Whereas, in the bad guys group, I really love MC Jin (the guy in the red track suit above).  He’s really fun to watch all the time.

I’m pretty sure Gallants won’t appeal to everyone.  The start of it took me a little while to get into, just the characters and the story itself.  But if it does successfully grow on you along the way, then you will have a decent amount of enjoyment and entertainment with this one.  It worked for me to a certain extent.

I really should get more Hong Kong movies in.  I’ve always wanted to add a focus on those, just never got around to it.  So many things to watch!


Deadline wasn’t too good.  But Gallants has a strange humor that worked for me but not so sure it’ll appeal to everyone.

Have you seen Deadline? How about Gallants? Do you like martial arts flicks or Hong Kong movies in general?

Double Review: Sin City (2005) & Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)

Surprisingly enough, I got selected for a special advanced screening of Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.  However, my memory of the first one was not that great especially since I didn’t remember much, so I decided to revisit it the night before I went.  The experience of being the first group to see the movie is definitely great and since I’ve been doing this little blog and diving into the world of movies, I’ve learned that I’ve changed a little in how I appreciate movies and that is the main reason why I wanted to revisit this.

Since I’ve been massively behind with everything, I decided to just go ahead and do a double review of these two movies. It baffles me that after almost 10 years we get a sequel for Sin City but still, lets see how it all went.

SIN CITY (2005)

sin city posterDirector: Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez (special guest director: Quentin Tarantino)

Cast: Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Alexis Bledel, Powers Boothe, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jaime King

A film that explores the dark and miserable town, Basin City, and tells the story of three different people, all caught up in violent corruption.-IMDB

I have no other way has to how to describe this movie but just use the synopsis in IMDB. I’d give it a shot but honestly, I think it all starts with this.  The first time I saw Sin City in theatres with some college friends, I thought it was THE most boring thing ever.  Why? Because nothing made sense and it was like a jumble of nothing.  It was beautiful and black and white gory and brutal.  Its not really not my thing and as I rewatched it a few nights ago, I saw it in a different light.  There is a brilliance to the jumbled-up story and I stayed awake for it and apparently, I only remembered two parts from the original viewing.

Sin City

What I absolutely love is the style.  The black and white and the interlacing of sharp colors: the red silk (and sometimes, blood), the colors in the eyes, the contrast in hair and that sort of thing.  It just makes an impression.  Then you have one of the bad guys, Yellow Bastard who is just a disturbing and ugly character that popped out because he was literally yellow.

sin city

The second thing that I love about it was the cast.  Bruce Willis is just amazing as Jack Hartigan.  Clive Owen is awesome as Dwight.  And then there’s the passion and chemistry between the characters. The stories gave time for the characters to grow and develop in exactly the space and time it needed.  Each of the stories had their impact and honestly, Basin City has some pretty impressive characters.  The Old Town girls are brutal, violent and fun to watch.

sin city dwight gail

As I sit here thinking about it more, its really starting to grow.  The third thing that works is the stories.  Everyone has something that makes it worthwhile to watch. It has exaggeration, sarcasm, darkness, violence, manipulation.  This town is full of ugly people in personality.  Its corrupt and dark but strange enough, its also covered in beautiful women who are almost as lethal as you can imagine.  There are boundaries and all that.  Its a pretty amazing set-up for a movie.

Sin City has the formula for a great movie and for the most part, it delivers.  The question is whether its your type of movie.  I love the comic book visuals, the sharp contrasts, the set up of the town and the stories of our main characters, and especially the fantastic cast.  It was well-balanced, brutal and very fun to watch. However, its not exactly my type of movie that I go for everyday so it took time for me to really see it through.  The second viewing definitely made me praise it a lot more.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)

sin city a dame to kill for

Director: Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller

Cast: Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Powers Boothe, Bruce Willis

Some of Sin City’s most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with a few of its more reviled inhabitants.-IMDB

On a lesser run time than the first one and having a few new characters, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For still lacks a little something.  I loved the style that was equally has beautiful as the first with the black and white and sudden colors to give it a great experience.  The music was awesome and matched the atmosphere.  I’m trying to pinpoint in my mind if there were 3 or 4 story arcs right now but they weren’t quite as fun as the first.


The characters were great because the cast is still very decent.  Mickey Rourke returned as Marv and is still as violent (and a bit stupid) as before.  The new additions of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green and Josh Brolin all bring something new to the table. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets his own story arc as a cocky gambler who never loses.  He goes to Kadie’s to challenge Senator Roark except in the corrupted sin city, he gets warned time and time again that its not a wise thing to do.  As much I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt in absolutely anything and he is very wonderful as Johnny, I felt his story wasn’t quite where I wanted it to go.

sin city a dame to kill for

The next story arc was for an older Dwight (previously played by Clive Owen) but is returned this time played by Josh Brolin. Dwight’s story is possibly the most elaborate.  He is trapped in a flame that he can’t shake off.  He tries to not respond to the attractive Ava, played by Eva Green who is now married to a rich man.  She comes back and he falls right back into her arms.  This leads to a game of manipulation, a trap, revenge and a lot of naked Eva Green scenes. This one was actually pretty fun to watch.  The chemistry, passion, manipulation all works out even if you can predict what will happen 😉

sin city a dame to kill for

I guess, the fourth story would be Marv retracing how he ended up where he was, except I’m wondering if there was anything for him.  Except, Marv, played by Mickey Rourke (like the first one) is the key to drawing everything together because he appears in all the stories in one way or another.  If anyone is easily manipulated, it would have to go to him. Plus, he is the action and the brutal violence.  There is no doubt that Marv is a great character and Mickey Rourke does a great job, even after 9 years he still has the essence of Marv in him and revives him on the big screen.

sin city a dame to kill for

I personally like the follow up with Hartigan’s death and the impact it has on Nancy the best.  The roles are both still played by the original two, Bruce Willis and Jessica Alba. Although Nancy and her dancing scenes are thrown around the entire movie and it lets the audience see how she’s completely broken by it all.  Its a mental struggle for her and she not only wants revenge that she can’t pick up the courage to do so she drowns herself in alcohol.  In her struggle, she sees glimpses of Hartigan, as if he’s never left her side.  Its really something to watch.  There was one shocking part that I never would’ve guessed and its pretty awesome the way they handled it.

Overall, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is not as good as the first one.  The stories lack the punch it had in the first one, even though there are two that particularly stand out.  However, the style and the music is still amazing.  The 3D is done extremely well and adds to the overall effects.  The cast does a great job at bringing everything they can to the movie and for the most part, they do a very good job.  Even the new additions, Joseph Gordon-Levitt brings a charm to his story (even though it falls flat), Josh Brolin has a compelling character and story and Mickey Rourke is fantastic once again as the ever so violent Marv.

I need to make a point of saying this: If you were a fan of the first one, the chances of you enjoying this one more than me is very high.  Keep that in mind when you decide whether you’d like to see this 😉

Are you a fan of Sin City? What makes it so great to you? Have you been anticipating the sequel? Do you think its been long-awaited or unnecessary?