This is the official blog of Winna Efendi, author of several bestselling Indonesian novels.

Rabu, 10 Agustus 2011

(movie) Transformers: Dark of the Moon

There's a case of successful action movies because of the awesome action sequence, but always in that rare case the movie's backed with good acting, well-written script, and tight plot. This third installment of Transformers movie lacks all three.

All the stars in this movie go straight to the amazing high tech action. It sure is really noisy, and often exhausting, but fun to watch. What annoys me the most is the characters - Sam becomes this crazy and sarcastic man still acting like a teenager, and not the very least heroic until the middle part of the movie kicks in. I know they're trying to make us sympathize with this character going through the growing pains part, and I've seen Shia in better movies, but still.. come on. I especially hate the delirious Jerry Wang character it's almost racist and offensive. The others are also out of character, saying things that are meant to be funny in the midst of a gory action scene, but they don't sound funny at all. In fact, they ruin the entire movie just by talking. I blame it on the script. Very badly written script. The movie could have finished in an hour, yet they give us random stuffs and stretch the plot for an hour more.

I loved the first Transformers movie. Didn't quite like the second. Loathed this one. It bored me to tears, if not to the edge of annoyance.

Minggu, 07 Agustus 2011


She looks at me with searching eyes,
but I look away, unable to meet her gaze.
When she's walking away,
I stare at her hunched back, her weak posture, her wrinkled skin.
Knowing I should've said something, but I never did.
Knowing I could be that person, but I never was.

I'm sorry
The words form their weight on my lips, but are never spoken.
Until she's gone.

(book) Mockingjay

Oh no. It's what I've been dreading the most, the last book in the trilogy. In this last adventure, Katniss has lost Peeta as she's brought back from the blown-up arena, and is desperately wishing she can get him back, safe. She's also appointed as the face of the rebellion, as a mockingjay.

Again, I'm going to be spoilery here, so alert, alert!

I'm a bit disappointed with how things go. At the beginning, we lose the characters we love most, namely Cinna. In the end, we also lose more people we grow fond of from the second book, namely Prim and Finnick. In fact, those two are my favorite characters.

Compared to the second book, this one's very slow paced. We're shown the state of hell Katniss is in, and how she's desperately trying to grasp loose ends, find the right way to make things right, and seems to be losing her sanity, if not her courage, to find out the truth. She's as reckless and impulsive as ever. Maybe it's what the Games do to her, and the Quarter Quell, and losing Peeta, but I start to agonize having to read her personal trauma over and over again.

In the middle of the book, I start disliking Peeta and how Katniss handles the fact that he's not the same anymore. Even Gale changes, and even though everything and everyone is in character, I find them very boring, if not very unlikeable. And then, we're faced with Katniss's choice to uncover the truth for herself, and we're brought to.. what?

I think the consequence to what Katniss has done must be unforgivable, not to us readers but to the Capitol, to the rebels, and to the people who support it. I find it unbelievable that in the end she is free, easily so. And how Peeta finds his real inner self back, I have no idea. It seems surreal to have the endings so neatly tied in a bow for us to conclude. I feel betrayed somehow, but maybe it's the feeling of losing something I really like, the ending of the book.

Overall, I love the first two books better. I like the arena better. I like it when Katniss and Peeta are pretending to be in love, when she's conflicted about her feelings, when she's ruthless. I want the girl standing up to volunteer for her sister, even if it means her death. I don't want beaten down, crying Katniss, having nightmares every night and feeling her happy ending is undeserved.

Maybe it's just me. I can't help feeling slightly disappointed because half the fun and conflicts are simply vanished from the third book.

Sabtu, 06 Agustus 2011

On memories

I haven't been writing much lately. Not my blog, not fiction, just review after review.. and many not done properly. But tonight I feel like writing something, at first about music, but turns out I want to write more about memories.

I remember back in high school, my group of friends loved listening to a radio station.. this program every Monday called Getar Cinta, hosted by Sarah Sechan. We loved sending questions and listening to the horoscopes, the love problems, like they could be solved as easily as math equations. I even got my question read on air, under the sender's name Chloe. I don't know what exactly got me thinking about it.. as the memory hasn't resurfaced for years. It was a decade ago and now I'm off doing my own stuffs, growing up seems like such a long time ago.

And then fresher memories come knocking at my door. I remember the warmth of our small house. I miss that place, the efficiency and the ease of coming home.. the smell of food easily reaching my doorstep, and the chatters easily heard. I miss the comfort of a small home, my tiny square room, the white bed sheets and the window overlooking the sea. I miss everything about it, the privileges I can't have in this place we call a house.

But it's always easier to appreciate, and less to complain. Everything always changes, gradually or not. Therefore here I am, sitting and typing as words pour out, and after taking a moment to miss out on the things I no longer have, I will resume my life as I always do.

These little memories might fade over time. But I like to think that they sometimes hide. They hide, until one day it comes back to us, slivers of the past, and make us remember of the good times, the bad times, and the little things that make us who we are today.

Memories are just memories. They can drag us down, they don't lurch us forward. But I like the fact that I can always look back and see what was there, what had always been there. Memories are bittersweet. Memories are beautiful. Move on, but always remember them.

(book) Catching Fire

My review might be a little spoilery, and for that I apologize in advance.

I love the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy, so much that I can't put it down, literally. It felt the same way as when I read Twilight a couple years ago. It continued to haunt me long after I finished reading it. But unlike with Twilight, whose counterparts I didn't love, this one I still am in love. The second book doesn't disappoint.

It still revolves around Katniss, this time throw Gale to the mix, forming a love triangle you can never really pick sides on. I used to think Katniss and Gale are just meant to be, but like every friendship blooming into something else, it's clear that while he understands Katniss better than anyone, he doesn't necessarily want the same things as she does, nor does he want the best for her. That's why I switch to team Peeta, though I still think Gale's hotter than him :D

In the second book, Katniss and Peeta are thrown into the Game again, this time taking form as the third Quell, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Game. They suspect it's President Snow's doing, because Katniss's so-called survival tactic with berries from the previous book is seen as a motive for uprising from other districts. So they try to survive the Game again, teaming up with other tributes who might have some other motives.

I appreciate that readers aren't just thrown into the whole thing just to experience the same stuffs again. I'm happy about the plot twist, the hidden motive, and the planning that Katniss herself does not suspect. I'm happy that they make allies this time, and it's stronger than before. I'm glad that the writer throws in some new surprises, some mix of friendship and tragic deaths and more to keep us wondering.

What a page turner. My only complaint is that the pace is too fast. One page we're at the beginning of where the story ended from the previous book, the next we're at the Game again, and then it's over.

I can't wait till I read Mockingjay, and I'm glad I've supplied myself with the final book so I don't need to agonize myself waiting like I did when I was done with The Hunger Games. Oh yeah, can't wait to see how the movie turns out too! :)

Kamis, 04 Agustus 2011

(movie) Midnight FM

Midnight FM caught my attention because of the premise. I watched it partially for research (job as a radio announcer), mostly because I just love a good thriller.

This movie might've been a mighty good thriller, if only it didn't drag for so long. For nearly two hours we watched as the psychopath killer played cat and mouse with the kid, while the mother grieved and tried to get there faster than the killer. There were some good moments and some scary moments too, but perhaps the plot was too slow paced and diverse that it took the nice moments out of the whole picture.

There were several cliches - the dead cops, the stalker fan who turned out to be the hero, and he didn't die after being beaten up several times. Even the climax was cringe-worthy.

Suffice to say, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It's my first time watching Su Ae in a movie/drama, and I heard so many good things about her. I think the flaw doesn't rest within the acting, it's the writing that needs more focus and plot twist.

Rabu, 03 Agustus 2011

(movie) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2

Amazing! I had high hopes for this movie and it didn't disappoint. Every moment is heart-wrenching and gripping, and although I've read the book from cover to cover, I still didn't expect it would be executed this wonderfully.

Now I have greater respect for the change of theme and execution in the previous two or three installments. I once complained that it went from cheery and fun to dark and gloomy, but I guess it was necessary for a change in story. The characters were simply not kids anymore, and I was glad the director brought the change and made it believable as well as magical.

Now that the whole thing has ended, I'd like to cherish back all the seven books and eight movies, and remember them as something that grew on me during my adolescent years.