Monday Movies: Fish Story, Being John Malkovich and The Dark Knight Rises

I wish I have time to write one review per movie for these next 3 movies…but lately I have so much to share and I think putting 3 movies in one post in a better option 🙂

I watched these 3 movies somewhere this month. The first two movies are quite odd but I really like it, the last one is the movie a lot of people been talking about.

Apart from these three, I also watch Son of Rambow in TV…it was a fun children film and I love their accent. I rewatched Sunshine, it was my fourth time viewing and instead of making me bored it made me like it more, I am thinking of upgrading my rating on the movie. I also rewatched Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz because I wanted to write about The Ice Cream and Blood Trilogy (soon).

This week, I am not planning to watch any movie because I have just received Doctor Who 2006 and 2007. I am planning to finish the entire episode before seeing other movie. I really like this series and David Tenant is so cute. Review will be written for each series. Plus…the Olympic has started and I will be busy watching the games 🙂

Now…let’s start the review.

Fish story (2009)

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Staring: Gaku Hamada, Atsushi Itô, Mirai Moriyama, Dakaku Hama, Tabe Mikako, Kora Kengo, Omori Nao
Based on a Novel by: Tamio Hayashi

I first heard about Fish Story from Priska @ Purisika’s Random Review. She gave the movie high rating and it has one of my favorite Japanese actors, Mirai Moriyama. The story intrigued me. I couldn’t find its DVD (no surprise there) so I downloaded the movie (sorry but I have no other choice). When I finished watching it, I was left speechless…it was an amazing domino effect movie.

For someone who rarely seen Japanese movie, they might think that the movie is too quite or too slow…but for someone like me who has been seeing Japanese movies since teenager, the slow and quite pace is just another ordinary Japanese movie style. Throughout the movie, we were left questioning what is the connection of each story? As I have said before, it’s a movie with domino effect, they revealed the connection of each story at the end of the movie and that ending was so unpredictable…and you know how I LOVE unpredictable story.

The movie started with a group of three men in a music shop. Japan was left deserted because everyone was leaving the low ground to find protection of higher ground such as mountains. They were trying to avoid being killed by tsunami as a huge meteor was about to hit earth. Each man in the music shop had different opinions on the meteor crisis, one odd visitor was ready to die and very pessimist, the shop owner was so sure that 5 heroes will save the earth, the customer was hoping that somehow the earth will be saved. The three men were living in 2012.

The story then jump back and forth to years before 2012 as the shop owner explain about a Punk Rock band from Japan named Gekirin. The band was formed before Sex Pistols turned punk into famous music genre. Gekirin had a song called Fish Story. The film suddenly took us to different stories, a man who tried to be brave by saving a girl; a strange priest who believed the earth was about to end; a member of the hospitality staff on an ocean liner who had been trained to be a champion of justice since childhood tried to safe a girl from a bunch of ferry hijackers; and the story how Gekirin made Fish Story. All these short stories from different time connected to how the earth was saved, I was left clueless till the end on how it all connects.

I really really like this movie, my guess of how it all connects was totally wrong…and that’s why I was left speechless when they explained it step by step… A wonderful domino effect. And I have so much love toward movies I can’t predict. I also like how the attempts to save the earth are NOT only by Japanese even though it’s a Japanese movie, unlike how American makes saving the earth movies, they always focus on the fact that ONLY the American can save the earth (i.e. Armageddon, Independence Day, etc). I also like the cast, Mirai Moriyama was brilliant there, he was so convincing as a martial art master (thanks to his dancing skill)…unfortunately, there was one actress that I dislike,  Tabe Mikako was a terrible actress, her crying act was soooo made up. She was the reason I couldn’t give 5 stars for this movie.

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Director: Spike Jonze
Staring: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, Orson Bean, Mary Kay Place, and John Malkovich.
Writer: Charlie Kaufman

I had wanted to see this movie since the day I saw the trailer, which was back in 1999. The movie was not released in Indonesian Cinema and over the years I sort of forgotten about this movie. Then Priska @ Purisuka’s Random Review reviewed the movie and I remembered about how I wanted to see this movie. Since I couldn’t find the movie anywhere, I – again – downloaded the movie. This liking non-blockbuster movie is forcing me to do piracy 😦 … sorry.

Being John Malkovich is a weird but very original movie. The idea that a person can be inside someone else’s body is an interesting idea. I wasn’t expecting anything when I saw the movie…all I know is that a tunnel can take someone into John Malkovich mind.

Craig Schwartz was an unsuccessful puppeteer. His wife, Lotte, asked him to find a job to help supporting their life. Reluctantly he searched for a job and found one. His new work place was a bizarre place with a very low ceiling on floor 71/2. Craig fell in love with Maxine Lund and tried so hard to attract her. Maxine had no desire at all toward the quirky Craig. Craig accidentally found a small door which could take him into John Malkovich. He could only be inside him for 15 minutes, after that he was thrown somewhere.

He told Lotte and Maxine about his unusual experience. Maxine wanted to make money out of it while Lotte wanted to try it and became addicted with it. The story then involved around these three people. A strange love triangle and John Malkovich was caught in the middle of it all.

There were some very funny moment that made me laugh so loud, I guess calling it as Dark comedy is correct because it is a funny movie in its own way. It’s a bizarre movie and I can understand if some people couldn’t enjoy it as much as I do. The oddity of this movie makes me wish I could have written such story, something that other people never think of.

I read that Malkovich was half intrigued and half horrified when he first read the script…I am glad he took the job because I couldn’t think of any other actor to play his role. He is a unique actor…as unique as his fictional character

The Dark Knight Rises

Director: Christopher Nolan
Staring: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine
Writer: Jonathan Nolan & David S Goyer
Rating: 2,5 stars

First of all, my condolence to all the victim of Colorado shooting.

TDKR is a highly anticipated movie by many people. Although I like Batman more than other superheroes in tight suit, but I am not as eager as everybody else toward the movie. My original plan was to see it in DVD…but then I heard that Nolan’s favorite cameo makes another appearance. Well, that only means one thing…to the cinema I shall go 😉

Nolan mentioned that TDKR is his last Batman movies. As a last movie, he sure made it as long as possible…plus more explosions. I enjoy the movie but…hate me if you like but I stand with my opinion…I couldn’t say that it’s a great movie, it’s just a fun movie. It is still better than other superhero movies which end up only as fill in the time kind of entertainment for me. TDKR shows a lot of human aspect of the superhero.

I will try to summarize the story without spoiler. The movie took place 8 years after The Dark Knight. Gotham had become a peaceful city and they owed it to Harvey. Batman was blamed for Harvey’s death and he never showed up in public again. Something made Bruce Wayne decided to show up again…and so did Batman. Batman had to deal with machinery named Bane. Bane planned his action very well and causing so much problem to both Batman and Gotham city.

I can’t say more than that as the movie is still new and some might not have seen the movie. More than what I have said would result in spoiling the movie. I know I wouldn’t be able to write good review at all, therefore please check Ruth @ Flixchatter’s review for a better read 🙂

Despite all the great reviews and I also sort of hoping that I would be as impressed as everybody else…but sad to say I wasn’t impressed that much. Now that I have seen what Nolan could do in movies such as Inception, Memento and The Prestige…all the explosions and the twist in Batman seemed inferior to those three movie. Inception, Memento and The Prestige left me with speechless moment when the movies end…When TDKR ends, I didn’t get that awed moment at all. I like it, I am not going to say I don’t like it, but still when I wrote this review I have already forgotten most of the story…the scenes from the movie didn’t stay long in my mind (except for that part involving one actor I love the most). And there are so many exaggerated part and plot holes in the story. To top it all, the ending is just meh.

Maybe there is something wrong with my movie taste…the old me would definitely love TDKR but the new me somehow can only say I enjoy it…and what I enjoy the most is not the story/plot but the cast, everyone plays brilliantly. I love the father and son relationship between Bruce and Alfred, the relationship between Gordon and Blake and between Bruce and Selena. The cast is the winning team of this movie. Plot wise it was okay, Jonathan Nolan could do better than that (please don’t hate me for being a story/plot oriented person).

So happy to find this review by Henry Mananpiring who also has same opinion with me about TDKR, unfortunately it is in Indonesian Language…you can use google translate if you want.


Have you seen any of these movies? Do share your opinion 🙂


  1. Fine look at these. Everyone has a different experience with TDKR. I saw it again yesterday, with my son, and I enjoy even more than the first time. Thanks, Novroz.

      1. Ah that is one of my favorite scenes 😉
        He looks great there, we can safely said that Crane is the only villain appears in every movie…thanks to Nolan’s love toward Cillian 😉

        His rank in imdb is climbing high after TDKR…unfortunately he said he won’t be playing in big movies for a while.

    1. A lot of people seemed to be rewatching TDKR, maybe just like you I might enjoy it more after second viewing…but for that I will wait for my brother to buy the DVD. There is too much parts that aren’t making sense to me, but I am glad you enjoy it more than me.

      Thank you, Mike 🙂

  2. Hi Nov, thanks for the link love to my review, how very kind. I hear ya, I have some issues w/ it as well, hence I don’t think it’s the best of the trilogy. I am impressed enough w/ it where I still want to see it a second time on the big screen, not IMAX again though, too expensive. I love seeing Cillian there too, I immediately thought of you and how delighted you’d be 🙂

    Oh I still want to see ‘Being John Malkovich’ but haven’t got around to it, I bet it’s perfectly tailored to the quirky but always-watchable actor!

    1. Imax is also very expensive here. I wonder will you like it more or less after your second viewing.

      I have a lot of issue toward the movie…too much nonsense in it in my opinion and I think Jonathan Nolan is capable of making a far better script than that. I enjoy the action and the cast, but not the whole plot.

      Hahahaha it seems that my love toward Cillian makes some people think of me when seeing him 😉
      I love how he sentences Gordon with Death…by exile. I laugh so loud at that part.

      Do watch Being John Malkovich, it’s one unusual and yet fun movie. I’d loved to know what you think of it.

      1. Yep, too much nonsense is right, and like you said I expected more from the Nolan brothers. Ha..ha.. well people said they think of me when they see Gerry Butler 🙂

        Btw Nov, I hope you’d participate in the Nolan film ranking post I’ve got on my site. Curious to see your list.

        1. Well that includes me 😉 I Never knew anyone who loves Gerry so much like you.

          I have only seen 5movies by Nolan, but I will be there soon 🙂

  3. Fish Story sounds interesting.Generally i don’t mind slow pace as long as its done well. And ‘Being John Malkovich’ is one of those movies i’ve wanted to rewatch. And mt review of TDKR should be up soon, but personally i didn’t have any major problems with it. And i wish Deborah Ann Woll would get a role in a good blockbuster, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet ;(

    1. It is interesting…when a movie left me speechless than for me it’s interesting.
      Glad you like John Malkovich too…it’s a very original movie which I will see it again one day.

      Looking forward to your review, Julian 🙂
      I am not gonna say I have major problems but there are some parts that I just find as something a bit TOO much. I know how Jonathan Nolan can be so unpredictable but what he did with TDKR is something usual and not special.

      Ah…don’t worry much about her…my Cillian is going away from blockbuster by choice, so maybe Deborah is also better in small movie.

  4. yay for Fish Story & Being John Malkovich. Setuju tuh Mirai Moriyama keren banget di film itu *berkat bakatnya pas nari2 di Waterboys kali ya* 😀 dan Being John Malkovich emang salah satu film teroriginal yang pernah ada (sama kayak Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind yang ditulis sama penulis yang sama). kalo TDKR, Batman Begins sama TDK aja belum pernah nonton *malu*

    1. Hehehe anda salah!!! Mirai bukan bisa nari pas di waterboys tapi dia emang dah belajar nari dari umur 4 tahun. Kaykanya dia kepilih buat main Waterboys juga karena kemampuan narinya 😉

      Wah kalo gitu gw mensti cari nih Internal sunshine-nya. Jadi penasaran dengan isi otak Charlie Kaufman…Thank you Priska buat recommendationnya 🙂

      Hahaha ga usah malu, gw juga belum nntn banyak film superhero. Batman sih bisa dibilang yang paling bagus dr semua film2 superhero yang beredar, tapi ga wajib2 amat juga nntnnya.

  5. I’ve only seen Being John Malkovich and loved it. Such a creative movie. I’m interested in seeing Fish Story, but I’m not sure about the Batman movie. I enjoy them, but it is expensive to see movies in London so I might wait till DVD.

    1. Yeaaa another Being John Malkovich fans 🙂 It’s odd but indeed very creative.
      I sure hope you can find and view Fish Story…the idea is also original.
      Is it that expensive? I mean seeing movies in cinema is also expensive here but not at the point where I need to hold myself from watching in cinema.

      1. Going to the theater is much more expensive in London than it was in Boston. I could go, but I’d rather save the money for a trip or to buy books. For me it is about prioritizing. And since I’m not super excited about the Batman movie, I’d rather put the money into my savings account. Now the Hobbit, I’ll go to the theater!

        1. Ah…I see what you mean. In a way, I am also like you, I don’t go to the cinema as often as my fellow movie bloggers…I didn’t even plan to watch TDKR in cinema till I know Cillian is in it

          The Hobbit is a MUST, when watching TDKR … they played The Hobbit trailler, tho I have seen it so often in youtube, but seeing it in bigscreen is amazing!! Made me more eager and December fells so long.

    1. Hi Fanfan, I don’t think watching TDKR again will change my opinion because a great movie can awe me in just one viewing, beside I don’t watch movie twice in a row unless I REALLY REALLY LIKE IT, like Inception and Matrix.

  6. BEING JOHN MALKOVITCH was a weird movie, and I generally can’t stand Kaufman’s writting, I preferred Malkovitch in SHADOW OF A VAMPIRE

    1. It’s weird…I agree!! But I really like it because it’s very original and not something I can easily guessed where the story is going to take me…and I really like that kind of story.

      I am not a fan of vampire, but I like Malkovich…I might watch that movie one day.

  7. Fish Story sounds really neat, may have to download that one myself if I can’t find a copy.
    I loooove Being John Malkovich and I liked Dark Knight Rises a fair bit more than you, but can see your points.

  8. I haven’t seen any of them but would like to see the first two very much.
    I’m sure I will end up watching the last one as well but after the shooting and all – it’s sort of not urgent.
    I was aware of Being John Makovitch but I’ve never heard of the Fish Story before. It sounds unusual and good.

    1. The first two movies I wrote were great…at first, I planned to share them for World Cinema Series…but I had already shared both Japan and USA. I am sure I will watch both movies again one day.
      I am not surprised you never heard of Fish Story before…it’s on a different league to 13 Samurai but it still has strong story.

  9. Yeah, Being John Malkovich was very original and unafraid to be weird. I remembered how amazed I was when I watched this couple of years ago. Of course, John Malkovich would be terrified reading the script 😀

    I can understand why you dislike TDKR. The story seemed too much and especially the climax felt very long, perhaps Nolan wanted it to be a big end. I too loved the cast. I’m not much of a fan so I’m just going to say that much. Nice write-up, Novroz

    1. Original and unafraid to be weird is a perfect tagline for Being John Malkovich 🙂
      I am glad that despite him being terrified he still agreed to do the movie because I can’t think of other actor fits to do his role…Malkovich is such an eccentric actor. I am glad you like it to Andina 🙂

      Ah!!! I DIDN’T DISLIKE TDKR…please don’t get me wrong. I just don’t think it was a great movie…only a good movie. I wasn’t as impressed as everyone else but that doesn’t make me dislike it. It was a fun movie despite all the weakness.

      Thank you Andina…may I assume you haven’t seen it yet? 😉

  10. I’m looking forward to your ice cream and blood trilogy review.

    I stepped off the Batman movie train a few year ago, and now I feel compelled to sit down and do a marathon of them sometime. I’ve just been missing too much.

    1. Will write it somewhere this month 🙂

      A marathon of Batman will take hours as the last two movies are almost 3 hours…but it’s a fun idea to watch movies continuously…I did that with Matrix and Lord of The rings once.

  11. The only one I’ve seen is Being John Malkovitch and it’s a truly weird movie! I’ve got it on DVD and must watch it again some time.

    Can’t say I’m terribly interested in the batman movie – I was into the superman ones (the ones with Christopher Reeve) but not really the spin offs of the other comic book heros.

    1. Being John Malkovich is indeed weird, but its weirdness is the reason why I like it, I could safely said that it’s a good weirdness 😉

      I was also into Superman once, in fact I used to love superhero movies but as I get older…those superheroes are no longer interesting. I like unpredictable movie more.

  12. Glad you got to see TDKR. still enjoyable even though it wasn’t all that you wanted it to be. I KNEW you would be in love with the cameo. I was excited too when I saw it. Prob not as excited as you, but overall I was thrilled!

    1. Yup…it was still enjoyable though I didn’t love it as much as everyone else.
      Hahaha…he is the most handsome cameo in the movie 😉 Although only one minute but he still shows his annoying Crane’s personality 😉

  13. Yes Novia. I think there is something wrong with your movie taste 😉 Just kidding of course, I think this movie has some very significant flaws despite being exhilarating and fun as you noted. So like many, I have been a bit ambiguous about its standing among Nolan’s films and his Batman trilogy.

    1. lol … I do believe I have something wrong, I keep liking movies no one knows or likes and find movies people think great as just another good movie ;p

      A bit ambiguous? hmmm…did you or didn’t you think it’s a great movie? just wondering 😉

  14. Writer Charlie Kaufman has come up with some pretty heavy premises in his time, but his best foray into the realms of the strange and bizarre came in 2004’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a sci-fi romance story notable for its mind-bending plot and mesmerizing visual style. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet star as Joel and Clementine, two former lovers whose dysfunctional relationship leads them to a technology company that specializes in erasing painful memories from subjects’ minds. This ingenious premise allows director Michel Gondry to really have some fun playing with time and space, and in some scenes objects and people will disappear out of the shot as they are systematically being erased from a character’s memory. All this makes for some amazing sequences, but what really makes Eternal Sunshine such a weird trip are all the questions it forces the viewers to ask themselves: are we nothing but the sum total of our memories? Would it be worth it to delete bad experiences from your mind even if you lost a little of yourself in the process? That kind of depth of subject matter is a rare find in movies, and it’s a big part of what makes this film such a strange and memorable experience.

  15. Pas liat penampakan Cillian, gw reflek ketawa 😀 emang dah om nolan kaga mau keilangan Cillian sedikit pun ya..

    1. Hahaha iya!! yang lebih lucu, si Mathew Modine (yang jadi polisi pengen ngerebut jabatan Gordon) dapat peran yang lebih sering muncul…tapi yang ada di premiere malah si Cilli 😉

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