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Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, a Movie for Men and Women

A day of work and sleep deprivation exhausted me. Yet, last night I still decided to go see Marlina Sang Pembunuh Empat Babak (Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts) at a movie theater nearby my office. As the film started to roll, I was half awake. “I would fall asleep,” I told myself.
I was wrong. It only took me several minutes to make my eyes and my mind wide open. I was craving to know what would come next.
Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts narrates the story of Marlina (Marsha Timothy), a widow living by herself in the savannah of East Sumba, Indonesia, with a mummified corpse of her husband. He died a year after she lost her son in a miscarriage.
Local belief hold that people must arrange a traditional ritual, which cost millions of rupiah, to bury the death. If one has not gathered enough money, then the deceased must be kept at his or her house.

Marlina had been working hard to raise enough fortune to bury her husband. One day, however, Markus (Egi Fedly) came to her house. He…
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Why Bad Reviews Don’t Stop Me from Watching X-Men: Apocalypse

Rotten tomatoes rated X-Men: Apocalypse, the latest installment of X-Men universe, rotten,with only 49 percent of approval.Critics’ consensus in the website mentioned that the movie had wasted several “strong performers” and “resonant themes.”
Meanwhile, Metacritic gave a mixed review for X-Men: Apocalypse witha 52 Metascore,making the movie to be the lowest rated of the X-Men movie adaptation since X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), which hasa 58 Metascore.An X-Men movie which is even worse than The Last Stand? How bad can it be?

Apocalyptic reviews have indeed slammed Bryan Singer’s latest take on X-Men. However, I still went and watched the movie last night. I was satisfied. love it. And I want more …


X-Men: Apocalypse is set 10 years after Magneto’s attack to the White House in the acclaimed movie X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), which was also directed by Singer. In Apocalypse, Charles Xavier aka Professor X (James McAvoy) has finally started his School for Gifted Youngsters. Along w…

People Behind Pendekar Tongkat Emas Could Have Fought Better

There was a time when martial arts movies or television series were very popular in Indonesia.

At such time, I really loved watching Saur Sepuh movies on local television. I also really enjoyed watching popular TV series such as Si Buta dari Goa Hantu, Wiro Sableng or Misteri dari Gunung Merapi.

Therefore, I was very excited when I heard that Mira Lesmana and Riri Reza would produce an Indonesian martial art movie called Pendekar Tongkat Emas (The Golden Cane Warrior). “About time,” I said to myself."Can't wait to see it!"

Since its resurrection in 2000, Indonesian film industries have never paid much attention to martial arts movie. They have mostly produced crappy horror movies, or romantic comedy, which frankly deserved no place on the big screen. Thus, I thought that PTE could rekindle my lost joy of watching martial arts movie.

I became more excited when I learned that Ifa Isfansyah, the man behind an acclaimed movie,Sang Penari, would direct PTE. My expectations f…

Meet the 2015 Supergirl; A vulnerable female hero with superpower

Female-led superhero movies are rare US’ export commodity.

Since the booming of superhero movies in 2000, for instance, only Catwoman (2004) and Elektra (2005) featured female as the lead hero. Unfortunately, citing many reasons, the feline antihero and the female assassin successfully failed in the market.

The failure of female superhero movies re-affirmed the existing myth in Hollywood that female superhero movies are cursed (or, are allegedly set to fail according to this website). This is interesting because according to the statistics released by the Motion Picture Association of America, 52 percent of moviegoers are women.

Therefore, I was excited when I found out that a Supergirl series was being made. And, after watching the first episode of the series, I actually think that this time, female superhero characters will not fail.

Supergirl series first aired on Monday, October 26, 2015 at CBS. This is the latest installment of DC Comics character after Flash, Arrow and Gotham a…

Let's Kick Our Colonial Mentality Out

Is app-based ojek a messiah for Jakarta’s traffic?

App-based motorcycle taxi, known as ojek, in Jakarta is the capital’s newest sensation. When you hit the road, you will find it extremely easy to see motorists donning green helmet which displays Gojek or Grabbike logo on it. They boast that they have thousands of drivers in the capital.

Gojek and Grabbike are two smartphone applications that enable users to order ojek with a rational price. They break away from the conventional ojek which usually charge irrational fare. They calculate fare based on distance through google map.

For instance, I once tried to take an ojek from my office building to a train station which is only 5 km away. If I took a taxi, it would cost me around Rp 40 thousand. However, it was a Friday evening, meaning that only miracle could help me get a taxi in Sudirman area, the main business district in the capital. After waiting for an empty cab for more than an hour, I gave up.

Then, I decided to take an ojek to take me to the station since my train was about…

Ramadan Lifestyle in Capital: Partying or Praying?

In one week, Muslims all around the world will welcome the holy month of Ramadan. In this month of devotion, evaluation and reflection, Muslims are all expected to increase their prayers so that after the month ends, they will become better persons.
The Holy Quran has taught Muslims that during the Holy Month, they should have more worshipping activities. Muslims are essentially taught to be closer to the Creator.
However, my two year stay in Jakarta has taught me a different face of Ramadan
The capital city has taught me that Ramadan is the month of discounts and sales. Starting next week, malls around the city will probably start offering discounts that are so hard for us to ignore. Thus, during Ramadan, instead of swarming mosques, people will swarm malls.
Sales and discounts have clouded our memories of a promise that God once made. We suddenly forgot He once said that our one good deed would be counted as ten good deeds during Ramadan. We suddenly forgot that there is a night …