Sunday, 27 July 2014

SPECIAL: San Diego Comic Con 2014 - Part 1

It's that time of the year again, when San Diego is home to the biggest comic convention to all fans around the world...the time when the biggest movie franchises to get to share their joy with fans, bringing their casts in panels & interviews...and even show some footages too.

Well, for poor guys like me stuck halfway around the world...all we get is the bloody announcements and probably some details and clips of what is shown/revealed there...and I'm here to share some of them and my thought of them...

I'm going to go with the four big studios that I'm excited about...two for this post, two for the next...

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros Pictures

          Now Warner Bros initially announced having panels for Jupiter Ascending, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Which is what they did, except they add a surprise for fans with the guys from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Yup, you heard that correctly. Zack Snyder brought along a clip (which we do not get to see) of a stare down between...well...Batman & Superman. Along with him came Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and even Gal Gadot. But no questions were asked, so no new information about that movie there, aside from us getting on a picture of the Wonder Woman in the film (link:

          It was great to hear more about Jupiter and Mad Max but I'm not too excited about them yet, so I'm gonna skip discussing that for now. Now The Hobbit is a different story entirely. It is my most anticipated movie of the year, yet I'm still not getting anything (although the guys at San Diego do). Well, I've read the description of the trailer shown (link:, and it does feel very epic indeed. Peter Jackson himself said about the story getting that much darker heading towards the tone of The Fellowship of the Ring, and yes he mentioned that not all characters will live by the end. So, yeah, expect some emotional drama in the film then. But for now, all I want is just a teaser trailer to come out online for the general public to see. Really can't wait for it.


Legendary Pictures

          Legendary Pictures did not provide any details beforehand, but I have to say, I'm very pleased with what they announced in their presentation. Five movies; about the upcoming Blackhat, Crimson Peak, & Warcraft, as well as the announcement of Godzilla 2 & Skull Island. Again, no clips or anything for us to see. But from the description of the footages shown, Blackhat, the cyber thriller coming January 2015, seem to be a very cool movie indeed. Movies involving technology easily has the potential, but may easily fail if not appealing to audiences (recall: Transcendence). Not much about Warcraft for now, but they did show some details about Crimson Peak and it certainly looks like Guillermo del Toro knows what he's doing. And Tom Hiddleston, so, yeay!

          Now the announcements are what gets me most excited. Knowing the plans for Godzilla 2 is good, especially with the mentioning of the new types of kaijus (monsters) that may appear in the next movie. However, it may still be a long wait away, as director Gareth Edwards will have to finish the Star Wars spin-off (November 2016) before moving on towards this gigantic monster sequel. On the other hand, we have Skull Island to come in November 2016. For those who don't know, Skull Island is the island where King Kong is found. So, this one will be about the origins of King Kong, and be a prequel to the King Kong movies that came before (no idea which one). No other details exist, but I'm certainly so looking forward to this one.


To be continued...
Next post will be all about superheroes...

Saturday, 19 July 2014


"They're animals!"

          I was ultimately surprised by how much emotional depth is put into place by the actions & interactions between the vast array of both ape & human characters. Add to that some visually pleasing action sequences, unpredictable twist & turns, and strong narrative, we have yet another excellent summer blockbuster.

          The thing that really caught me off guard is just how much emotional depth they are able to bring to screen, even with the apes. The different apes each portray different kind of personality and vision, and seeing them like this gives them a very human character, both good and bad. So to see them interact with one another, with very strong emotional background, in turn results in such believable actions by each characters. Such conflicts & tensions then arise, and much alike what happened within the human circle. Each have their own reasons for being who they are and do the things they do. All this gives us such a great emotional story to invest in for two strong hours.

          Initially it seems like the narrative was going to be straightforward. But what in fact happened is that there are twist and turns along the way that takes the story into directions we rarely expect. With good & bad characters on both sides, it certainly feel a bit more complex. But with characters to root for on either side, tension & suspense is kept throughout as they interact with one another trying to achieve their respective goals.

          The strong emotional delivery is in no small part thanks to the amazing cast. Credit certainly due to the apes motion capture actors, especially Andy Serkis. But my personal commendation is to human character actor Gary Oldman. Though he has only a small amount of screen time, but his performance was (as always, perhaps) brilliant. The way he shakes when he himself feels scared after encountering the apes, and when he grieves at the loss of his family, gives us a convincing portrayal of a character.

          Technicality-wise, the action sequences were excellent, and so are the visual effects they were presented upon. Very strong emotional plot becomes the key to why this is such a great movie. But it could be improved upon with more humour and light-toned scenes added into the mix. Nevertheless, it is such a great movie on its own and really is yet another wonderful summer blockbuster.


Good: Strong emotional depth, Excellent narrative, Brilliant cast, Amazing action sequences, Great visuals

Bad: Lack of humour

SCORE: 8.5

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Looking Forward: AUGUST 2014

Despite summer ending, Hollywood does not stop coming at us with a pack of blockbusters to look forward to...

Guardians of the Galaxy (Aug 1-USA, July 31-UK, July 31-Singapore)

          There is no one more skeptical than I was when this movie was announced, not even when the cast & director was announced, and not even after a press conference too. I was very skeptical & doubtful, and highly concerned with this film being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It just did not seem to have the same flair & theme.
          Yet, trailers after trailers come, and my perception of this film at this moment has turned 180 degrees. Two thumbs up for the director & producers for that. From the trailers, this film has the tone of light, humour, weirdness, yet ultimately entertaining. As a superhero film, as an action adventure, as a science-fiction film, this one feels different than all other mainstreams in the respective genres, and it presents us with a very fresh feel. The trailers show some action packed sequences, and a lot of laughs to go along. In every way, it didn't look like it will disappoint. Put it this way, if I had seen all these trailers, this film would be in the Top 5 of my most anticipated of 2014. And my, the third (UK) trailer was just spectacular, and I love it! It's a must see!

Oh, and that raccoon is just awesome!! 

Trailers: (Trailer #1) (Must See!) (Trailer #2) (UK Trailer, #3) (Must See!!!) (Extended Trailer)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Aug 8-USA, Oct 17-UK, Aug 7-Singapore)

          Not unlike the case above, I was quite skeptical about this. Well, I was never a fan of TMNT anytime in my life, but even with all the news about the production of this film, never really got me excited. Curious, yes, but not excited. However, the final trailer of this film kind of showed that it has potential. The action sequences were looking good, and the visual effects weren't half bad either. The cast may be my main concern for now, but based on what I have seen, this film have the potential to be a fun time to be in the cinemas, and we'll have to wait and see if this film can be a hit with both critics and movie-goers alike.

Note: I got the release dates from IMDB, but if this is true, fans in the UK will have quite a long wait.

Trailers: (Teaser Trailer) (Trailer #1) (Final Trailer)

The Expendables 3 (Aug 15-USA, Aug 14-UK, Aug 14-Singapore)

          A movie with an all star cast that made the classics a classic; movies that were the blockbusters of the 80s & 90s, and so. Who would not want to watch this??
          Well, everyone, really, if the movie sucks. And that is the case I see with the first Expendables film. It was just full of loud gunfire, and nothing more. Yet the second film seem to achieve what it set to do. Make a film that's entertaining, and it worked! The second film was pure fun & entertainment, and I enjoyed it the whole way. It may still lack the script & drama, but it was fun, and that's all that matters. So, if this film can emulate it and give us some dose of fun, and the price of admission would have been worth it. And I guess there really is no need to mention the cast. Phew! Talk about too much of a good thing.

Trailers: (Trailer #1)

Other Movies:

The Giver (August 15)
-A familiar feeling but an intriguing science-fiction film...

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (August 22)
-The sequel to the famous neo-noir crime thriller Sin City...

The November Man (August 27)
-A typical looking action film, starring Pierce Brosnan...

Saturday, 5 July 2014

SPOILER Discussion - Transformers: Age of Extinction



I did say that the focus on the plot is what made this film better than the rest in the franchise, and so here's why...

Not the exact quote, but this is what I get: Mistakes are what makes us human...and sometimes from those mistakes, comes the greatest things. (Cade Yeager)

Being Human

          Now this may not be the biggest detail, but the quote above is a very nice quote and is a touching highlight of the film. It was when Cade Yeager tried to convince Optimus to stay and defend the humans. At this point, he was trying to convince Optimus to help despite the mistakes the humans made over and over again, by telling him that if he had not made the mistake of buying the truck which is Optimus, he (Optimus) would not have been there at the time. But what he could really mean within was, his daughter, whom was conceived as a "mistake", was really the best thing that ever happened to him. That is nice.

Hunting the Transformers

            This is one that is not so spoilery but I don't feel like disclosing earlier, for the sake of viewers getting the full experience. I just like the idea for a change, where the humans finally get tired of these wars and decide to hunt down the remaining Transformers, even the Autobots, with their own hands. This even pushed the great Optimus Prime, who once glorified the freedom and safety of the young human race, into a point of desperation when he decided to leave the planet for good.

Forces in the War

          Now I mentioned that the forces of conflict is beyond Autobots vs Decepticons. Well, truth be told, even the Decepticons are not officially there. To begin with, the middle party here, with an interest of his own, is the main baddie Lockdown. He is a bounty hunter with a purpose of his own, to capture Optimus Prime. To do that, he sides with another party, the "evil" humans, making a deal with them in working to capture Optimus. Now, a secret force at hand is Megatron's mind inside Galvatron, whom have a plan of his own during the movie. All this complexity, along with the Autobots issues with the humans, raises the stakes to a whole new level, making it a fresh feel for a Transformers film.


          Probably the biggest reveal of them all, is the return of big bad Megatron himself. In the animation series, Galvatron is indeed Megatron himself. So to initially see Galvatron as a new baddie, one as a creation of humans, may feel like some letdown. But in fact, it provides the opportunity for the return of Megatron to the story. In fact, it gave him new kind of abilities and power, and now with him on the run, there is just bound to be sequels coming with the clash of Optimus and Galvatron/Megatron just coming out again sometime soon.