Sunday, 13 August 2017

Looking Forward: SEPTEMBER 2017

As usual, one of the quieter months of the Year...but with a nice little surprise towards the end of the month...



American Assassin (Sep 15 - USA, Sep 14 - UK, Oct 12 - Singapore)

             At a quick glance, this, to me, looks just like another action flick. There could be more to it, but not from what I can gather from the trailers. It might still be an exciting action flick to enjoy, but I don't see this being much different from many other action flicks that have come before.

Trailers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tlFfArvVDY (Teaser Trailer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yoEyzOkTOI (Trailer #1)


Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Sep 22 - USA, Sep 20 - UK, Sep 21 - Singapore)

               Not sure if this qualifies as the nice little surprise, but it certainly is the only major big-budget blockbuster in September. The first Kingsman film was a surprise, spectacular hit, and it was (I think) my number 2 or 3 film of that year. It was a really fun movie with lots of great humour & cool action, and not without a nice touching story, too. And this sequel, judging by all the trailers that has came out, looks to aim for more of the same, and that is exactly all I want from a Kingsman movie. With some great cast additions (mainly the American counterpart to the Kingsman), this is looking to be one hell of a film to watch.

Trailers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6reo6h7h1wk (Trailer #1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48WwGPbXhMo (Trailer #2)


The Lego Ninjago Movie (Sep 22 - USA, Oct 13 - UK, Sep 28 - Singapore)

               This is the third movie in the Lego Movie series after the highly successful The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie. Both were critically very well received and I really liked both of them, so that actually gives me the confidence in the quality of this next film. But it is the property that I am not quite familiar of and so far, the trailers have not made me much interested in it either. It still does look decent and looks to be a funny animation flick, so I hope to be enjoying this movie. But if you are asking if I am excited about it....not so much yet.

Trailers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJBS1ogEVHE (Trailer #1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d2MYRboCsk (Comic-Con Trailer)


American Made (Sep 29 - USA, Aug 25 - UK, Aug 31 - Singapore)

               Another collaboration between director Doug Liman and actor Tom Cruise. The film is supposedly a biographical crime story which tells about Barry Seal (who I only heard the name before from Narcos). And initially, I wasn't too sure what to expect from this film, and I figured it might well be a serious drama (like most biographies are) about the life of this person. Instead, the trailers came out and I was pleasantly surprised. It took the fun, high-octane style and Tom Cruise looks like he's having a lot of fun in the role. It just seriously looks fun, so I'm quite excited about this film.

Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG9lMOUtyXc (Trailer #1)


Other Movies:

            As usual, you can expect to find some major horror flicks in this section because I actively avoid them. In this month, the big one has to be It (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAUTdjf9rko) which is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, and will be out on September 8th. Meanwhile, this next film is more of a psychological horror/thriller instead and is directed (and written) by acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky. The film is Mother! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtTE_DBKpRY), and will be out on September 15th.
             There's quite a few comedies out in this month, but none of them really caught my attention. So I'm going to go ahead to a drama flick which did caught my attention, and that is Victoria & Abdul (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9Ad1M9DP-c), which actually looks pretty good. It is out on September 22nd.
              The last film I want to call out is a remake/sequel (not sure which) of a film in the 90s, and that is the science-fiction thriller Flatliners (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1S52y5ZVlY). I'm personally not that sold, but if I hear good things about this film, I might go and check it out.

Friday, 4 August 2017

BABY DRIVER



            A movie directed by Edgar Wright is always going to be fun. And this film is very much so. The style of the film is really fast-paced and unique, and the songs incorporated in the film is perfectly put to use. But there seems to be a lack of substance or depth in the plot - which doesn't actually make it a bad movie, but its just not as special as I thought it'd be.

              For sure, there is never any doubt in the directing ability of Edgar Wright. And since he also wrote this film and chose the songs and all, this is his film through and through. And the style he brings into the film is just unique & fun & fast-paced. The way the songs are incorporated in the film is perfect. The beats just match the scenes perfectly, and they enhance the feeling of the sequences. The whole film is really just straight-up energetic and fun to watch throughout.

            Meanwhile, the characters are decent, with some special standout like Jamie Foxx. And the dialogue is brilliant, and a lot of the humour pulls through excellently. Instead, what the film lacks is the substance - the depth of the plot. It is a very simplistic plot. And especially the last act of the film is also kind of dragged out. This is definitely the area that could've been improved.

              But otherwise, it really is a fun watch, with the Edgar Wright-style action & music. It is definitely worth the watch for a good fun, fast-paced movie. Unfortunately, it is all style, but little substance. So, don't expect a great movie, but expect a very fun one.

VERDICT: 70 / 100

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Best Trailers from San Diego Comic Con 2017

It's been more than a week since SDCC 2017, so this is actually quite late, but I just want to share my thoughts on it...
There so many interesting announcements & information from SDCC 2017, but I won't be talking too much about them...I will focus only on the trailers that came out...especially the very good ones...



Star Wars: The Last Jedi (from D23 2017)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye6GCY_vqYk

               Okay, I know this is not from SDCC 2017, but Disney's D23 Expo happened just a week earlier, and this is the only good thing that came out from it (in terms of trailers/clips). That being said, it is indeed really good. It is a behind-the-scenes video, but you really get the feel from it. Some of the images that they show are really cool, and there are some funny remarks (like the one from John Boyega) and some very inspiring ones, too (like from Carrie Fisher). And the music that accompanies it is really awesome, and fits perfectly to the tone of the montage.

Netflix Trailers

Bright: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EZCBSsBxko

The Defenders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_6J9BqgonU

Star Trek: Discovery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWnYtyNKPsA

                First off, Bright is a movie that will be released immediately on Netflix in December. Personally, I am not that keen into this film, but it does look pretty interesting and has a great cast. Meanwhile, if I have to pick the product that I am interested in most, it would be The Defenders. But the trailer is not that great. It's decent, but its nothing to rave about. Finally, Star Trek: Discovery actually looks very cool & has a pretty good trailer. I was initially concerned about a Star Trek TV series, but thanks to the involvement of Netflix, it received a high budget (for TV) which allows the special effects to be done so brilliantly well. It really looks good.

Other/Marvel TV Trailers

Inhumans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU9Z6cKsbY0&t=2s

The Gifted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSvX-azZmG4

                Now I know that there are a lot of DC trailers (Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, etc) that came out...but I have to admit that I am no longer following any of them. Unfortunately they feel too repetitive and I have lost the interest in watching them. Meanwhile, these shows (Inhumans, The Gifted) are new shows, so obviously I am interested and will give them a chance....whether I ended up liking it or giving up on them is another story. Also, before I have DC fanboys shouting at me, I need you to know that I have given up on Agents of SHIELD long before I had given up on the CW shows.

              Now in terms of the above trailers, I have to say that I am just borderline interested in Inhumans. The trailer actually doesn't look that good, and I'm not too sure how the show will be. I am still interested, but I am cautiously optimistic with the quality of the show. On the other hand, initially I was very skeptical about The Gifted, but this trailer is really awesome! It looks very cool, and I like some of the characters involved (Polaris, Blink). And with Bryan Singer directing the pilot, I am now really quite interested in this show.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fvqnGmr9S8

              The trailer is pretty cool, but it didn't add too much excitement for me. Partially, it might be because I am already sold on the film, anyway, but its also partially because the trailer is not great (decent, but not spectacular).

Thor: Ragnarok

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue80QwXMRHg

               Marvel Studios may have released a bunch of videos in the panel itself, but the only one released to the public/internet is the new trailer for Thor: Ragnarok. And I have to say, I kind of enjoyed the trailer and where they are taking this film. I still admit, deep down, I would rather have a dark Thor movie (I mean, the title is Ragnarok, for God's sake). That being said, I really like everything that I have seen so far, and I am super excited to see this film now. Even the trailers themselves are already enjoyable to watch on their own.

Warner Bros Studios

Ready Player One: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znavw4akfoY

Justice League: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_6yBZKj-eo

              Everything that I have heard about Ready Player One is nothing short of exciting. A great premise based on a great novel. Directed by Steven Spielberg, scored by Alan Silvestri, and includes an array of great actors (Ben Mendelsohn, Mark Rylance, etc). But the trailer wasn't very good. In fact, I was quite disappointed by it. The visual looks pretty cool, but the overall trailer quality was poor.

              On the other hand, the winner of the best trailer of SDCC 2017 has to be Justice League. The trailer is 4 minutes long, and it is awesome! The glimpses of the villain is pretty cool (and that voice is super menacing!), and the whole trailer contains some very cool shots and exciting action sequences. I am still not totally into the jokes from Barry Allen (The Flash), but save that, this whole trailer is spectacular. Even the music in the trailer is just epic! And if we're getting into some of the details, I like the the fact that the villain mentioned 'No Lanterns' as reference to the Green Lantern, and of course, we can only guess who that mysterious individual was at the end there. But, as a trailer, it is a very good trailer with cool shots and great music. It is easily the best trailer of SDCC 2017!

Friday, 28 July 2017

DUNKIRK



             For what it set out to do, I think Dunkirk is brilliant. The portrayal of the war and the soldiers trying to survive & reach home is done in a spectacular cinematic experience...with some great visuals, action & intensity, and accompanied by one the best musical scores of the year (by one of the greatest composers of all time). But as a film, I didn't particularly like it. There is a lack of character & emotional journey.

              This is perhaps a film that I watch with more admiration rather than enjoyment. For what it set out to do, in terms of the portrayal of the battle of Dunkirk, it was done brilliantly. Few can do better than Christopher Nolan when it comes to directing action sequences like these. And some of the shots, especially those in the air with the spitfires, are just gorgeous. And the action is brought to life with great intensity.

                The intensity is especially so prominent thanks to the musical score of my favourite composer of all time, Hans Zimmer. I don't know how he keeps creating these awesome score, but he definitely did it again this time. So, if there is one thing that I particularly enjoy in this film, it would be the score. There is one music titled 'Supermarine' which is spectacularly awesome. It will definitely be put on repeat in my Spotify for the next few days.

                 However, I actually don't like the film that much. I think this is no fault of anyone - not the director nor writer, and most certainly not the actors (who were brilliant) - but they set out to do a realistic portrayal of the battle, and not focus on the characters. As such, there is a lack of character development and therefore has no emotional journey that I could have gotten invested in.

                  For me, that is such a pity because I go to the movies for some good plot & characters where I can get invested in someone's emotional journey - otherwise, I could always simply watch a documentary. So it is just unfortunate that this film didn't put forth the characters, and for me personally, that makes the film feel a bit shallow.

                   Which is why, in the end, it was more admiration than enjoyment for me (except for the score, of course), and I do appreciate the great visuals, action & intensity...but as a film, it didn't stuck with me. I might still recommend some people to catch this film if only for the one-time cinematic experience, but I will warn them not to expect too much from it.

VERDICT: 55 / 100

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Looking Forward: AUGUST 2017

August officially marks the end of the summer big-budget blockbusters, but there still quite a few interesting & fun films to look forward to...



The Dark Tower (Aug 4-USA, Aug 18-UK, Aug 3-Singapore)

           A few months ago, I would have been really excited about this film. A science-fiction fantasy western film based on the book by Stephen King. Not to mention the starring roles of both Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. It does sound like a very promising blockbuster near the end of the summer. But the trailers then came out, and I was a bit let down. I'm not sure how to say it, but it just doesn't look as substantial or as action-packed as I thought. I'm not even sure what the plot will be (I don't read books, by the way). And the latest (and hopefully, the last) straw for me would be knowing that the running time is a mere 95 minutes (including credits)....which is very short. In the end, I will probably still watch the film, but I don't feel excited any bit at all now.

Trailers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK9LpM7qmJY (Trailer #1)


Detroit (Aug 4-USA, Aug 25-UK)

               These kinds of 'based on real life' stories aren't usually my favourite kind of films, but this particular one really intrigued me. Well, the main reason for that is that it is a Katheryn Bigelow directed film. That sells me straight away. Then you have some excellent cast in the film with John Boyega, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie, and more. It still probably isn't my most awaited film in any stretch, but it certainly has lots of positive buzz around it.

Trailers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5h7Kgo-zeI (Trailer #1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-2_1tUnIWM (Trailer #2)


Wind River (Aug 4-USA. Sep 8-UK)

          After his awesome work in writing the screenplay for both Sicario & Hell or High Water (which were really brilliantly written films), Taylor Sheridan has got my full attention for this next project of his. Perhaps the only existing question mark is from the fact that this is his first run as a director. But after seeing the trailer, this doesn't feel like much of a concern anymore. I like what I've seen in the trailers, and I like the tone/style of this film. Really quite looking forward to this.

Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZgN0dpFoaE (Trailer #1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGk_sO57Gr4 (Trailer #2)


The Hitman's Bodyguard (Aug 18-USA, Aug 18-UK, Aug 17-Singapore)

              This really looks like one of those hilarious action comedies with a great dynamic from the main duo. I have always enjoyed these kind of films which has excellent chemistry between the main characters, like The Nice Guys, Central Intelligence, etc. And by the looks of it in the trailers, the Samuel L Jackson and Ryan Reynolds certainly looks like they have an amazing & funny partnership brewing. And that's all I need to buy this film. I can only hope that the story delivers, too. But I'm excited about this.

Trailers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d1XOshDSbg (Trailer #1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXKgEBkjZ2k (Trailer #2)


Logan Lucky (Aug 18-USA, Aug 25-UK, Aug 31-Singapore)

                Another great looking comedy. This one, instead, has an array of great actors with the likes of Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, and even Daniel Craig (sporting a southern accent, no less). And with a heist element added into the film, this really has the potential to be one of the better comedies of the year, and I really look forward to this film.

Trailers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsOIuzxMplA (Trailer #1)


Other Movies:

          As most of you may well know by now, I am certainly not a fan of horror flicks, but for those of you who are, Annabelle: Creation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0s3XdCN1uks) is out on August 11. Meanwhile, if you are a fan of animation movies, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nF8T_V22ng) is also out on the same day, while musical animation Leap! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vM-CnKojrQ) will be out on August 30th in the US.

Friday, 21 July 2017

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES



            When I first started this blog, it was because of an awesome, powerful film that concluded what is arguably one of the best trilogies of all time - the film was The Dark Knight Rises. And I gave that film a perfect score. And 5 years later, I have that very same feeling again with War for the Planet of the Apes. It is spectacular in so many ways, from the story, to the characters, to the performances, and more.

            The emotional journey that Caesar went through in this film is so powerful, and you really feel that in this film. And this is due to a great mixture of awesome work from the whole team - from the brilliant performance by Andy Serkis, the visual direction of Matt Reeves, and even the visual effects that really brought it to life.

           Meanwhile, a lot of the other supporting characters are also very memorable. For example, the likes of Maurice & Rocket are such excellent companions to Caesar. They counterbalance Caesar's emotions, but they also care so much for him. On the other side, The Colonel, who acts as the antagonist, is both menacing when he needs to be, but you can also understand the reasons why he does what he does.

               But in terms of standout characters, it has to be both Bad Ape & Nova. Bad Ape acts mostly as a comic relief, but it did not feel forced or cringey at all. The humour really works and adds a nice balance to the overall dark tone of the plot. Nova, meanwhile, is just something else. I don't want to say too much about the character now, but she is really such a wonderful character & plays a big role/impact (not necessarily physically, but emotionally). You'll like her.

                I seriously can't find anything in this film that I don't like at all. I thought to myself, that if this film has a more epic battle, this would be even more perfect. But actually, it doesn't need it. Even as it is, the film is already the perfect conclusion to a spectacular trilogy, and I really enjoyed/appreciated every single moment in this film...for me, this already is the perfect blockbuster. 

                 It has the perfect blend of intense action sequences (with a great accompanying musical score by Michael Giacchino), a great emotional story, excellent memorable characters, and even nice touches of humour along the way. I thought about it for a while, but then I realize, it was a very easy decision for me...this is easily the best movie of the year so far!

VERDICT: 100 / 100

Saturday, 15 July 2017

SPOILER TALK: Spider-Man: Homecoming

### SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! ###### SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! ### ### SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! ###



### SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! ###### SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! ### ### SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! ###

Spider-Man

            In my main review, I spoke about this being the best Spider-Man seen in film. And I obviously can't spoil it back then, but I would like to list down some of examples of these excellent moments. There are actually a lot of these but a good example would be the montage early in the film when he does these little things in the street like stopping a bike theft or helping an old lady with some directions, when Tony & Happy were not responding his calls. All this really feels exactly like what a Spider-Man would do.
           But the parts I like best was when Peter has these conversations with his suit AI, Karen. These are just hilarious. Like when the suit keeps suggesting the instant-kill mode, or when suggesting the different type of web shooters...Peter's responses were just hilarious. And I also like it when the suit was in enhanced interrogation mode and masks Peter's voice. It made the voice intimidating, but the words that came out was one of a young teenager. The most memorable scene, for me, was when he was stuck in the warehouse and has these conversations with Karen while also trying out the different type of web shooters. Again, he does these funny things that only Spider-Man can do.
              All these scenes are super fun & hilarious to watch and which is why I can easily say that this is the definitive film version Spider-Man.

Peter Parker's Friends

             Also as mentioned in my review, I was initially very skeptical about the high school scenes in the film, but I ended up enjoying those a lot. Ned is a surprisingly very fun character, and so is the snarky, sarcastic Michelle. By the way, I don't quite like the MJ reference...but it doesn't bother me much. Meanwhile, I really like this version of Flash Thompson for being more of a fun character & modern bully, instead of the old school physical bully.
              The character of Liz was okay, but what I like was seeing how Peter has a crush on her and how he approaches her. I mean, these are things that we all feel at one point in time, but we don't see it happen with Captain America or Iron Man or Thor. By the way, the reveal that Adrian Toomes was her dad was such a surprise to me. I didn't see that coming at all, but it was a nice surprise.

The Avengers

               A very quick one here. I like the fact that while Iron Man and The Avengers deals with all these big threats and aliens and monsters, but they ignore these street level crimes on the ground, and that is where Spider-Man comes in. This gives that perspective that there are more dangers than just the ones from the sky, but even those closer to home. Which is also why I like that, at the end, Spider-Man rejects the option to be an Avenger, and instead chooses to stay at home and look out for the "little guy" in and around his neighbourhood.

Credits Scene

             I mentioned in my review that the mid-credits scene got me really excited for the future. And that is because, for a while, I thought Mac Gargan (who will end up to be Scorpion) had fallen from the ferry and died. But to see him in the mid-credits scene there gives me not only the relief that the character is alive, but also the excitement that if he gets teased like this in a credits scene, you can bet that he'll show up in future movies.
               And in case you are wondering, I am not necessarily a big fan of Scorpion, no...that's not the reason why I'm excited about this character. Rather, I am very much a big fan of the actor Michael Mando. I am such a big fan of his work, including as Nacho Varga in the Breaking Bad spin-off, Better Call Saul. But his best role remains as antagonist Vaas in the video game Far Cry 3, which is my favourite character ever in video games. I became a fan of him because of this game, and anywhere I can see more of him (more so if its in the MCU) is just going to get me excited.
                 Meanwhile, the post-credits scene is just brilliant. It is hilarious, and was brilliantly delivered by Chris Evans. Amazing stuff.

Friday, 7 July 2017

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING



           I am undecided on whether this is the best Spider-Man movie ever made, but for damn sure, it's the one I like the most, and it really is another excellent film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They just don't know how to make bad movies. This film has great humour, great story, great characters...and this is, for me, the best Peter Parker/Spider-Man in film.

           I just have to start off by talking about Tom Holland's Peter Parker. Unlike other heroes like Iron Man (who is a billionaire) or Thor (who is a god), this is a character who has to deal with day-to-day stuff like school, socializing & even falling in love. It is so nice to see a superhero that needs to deal with & balance these things. And I can say that this is the best Spider-Man on film because of how he acts when he is on that suit. I don't want to spoil anything here, but if you just see what he does when he's in that suit, it is just fun & hilarious, in the way only Spider-Man can be. Which is why the humour in this film really hits!

             The plot was pretty good, but it is the characters that really made it work. All the supporting characters were quite memorable, from the likes of Tony Stark & Happy Hogan, to his high school friends Ned, Liz, Flash, Michelle. There was some great chemistry between the high school peeps, and they really feel like a modern bunch of kids. I was initially skeptical of the high school rom-com part of the film, but I ended up really enjoying it. And on the topic of supporting characters, the villain in this film is arguably one of the best in the MCU. Michael Keaton's The Vulture looks menacing & awesome in the suit, but he stands out more in his human persona.

              If there is anything that lacks in this film, I think that would actually be the action sequences. Not that it's bad, but some other previous Spider-Man movies did it better, so I can't say that this one stood out. That being said, (as mentioned above) I really like whenever this Spider-Man is in his suit in whatever he does...so there doesn't even need to be an action set piece...I thoroughly enjoyed watching this character do what Spider-Man does. There aren't too many jokes/humour throughout the film, but when there is, it really hits the mark.

              Another thing that probably didn't stood out much was the score/soundtrack...but I do have to say that the Spider-Man Homecoming Suite (theme) was excellent, so I'm going to give the composer credit for that. And without spoiling what it is, the mid-credits scene really got me excited for the future, meanwhile the post-credits scene at the end...well, it is very simply a must see!

VERDICT: 83 / 100

Sunday, 25 June 2017

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT



             If you've seen all the previous Transformers movies, then you'd know pretty much what to expect from this new one. A mindless, bombastic action movie with uninteresting plot, dialogue & characters. I can still appreciate the action - and the music/score, for that matter - but nothing more.

             Actually, by now, the action sequences doesn't feel that special anymore. But it does remain enjoyable to see and the score helps to enhance the action. The problem is once it gets overly long, it is easy to lose interest because we don't get quite invested enough with the characters.

            And therein lies the core problem of it all. The human characters are not quite interesting and but somehow happen to have such pivotal roles in the film. Meanwhile, the Autobots themselves are much more interesting but weren't given enough backstory or any character development at all. For example, I would rather see more of an internal conflict that splits the Autobots for a while than just some simple childish skirmish among them. Optimus Prime went rogue, but this doesn't even seem to impact the Autobots emotionally any bit at all. It's such a wasted opportunity.

          In the end, it very much feels like a case of style only but no substance. All you see is some cool action which probably means very little if you're not too invested in the characters. However, the ending does make the overarching plot feel interesting. Somehow, I do still feel interested in this franchise, and yes, I do want to know what happens next. I don't think this film is good at all (and nor will I recommend anyone to see it), but it amazes even myself that I still have interest in the future of this franchise - somehow.

VERDICT: 40 / 100

Friday, 23 June 2017

Looking Forward: JULY 2017

The latter part of the summer movie season sees some powerhouses & some of my most anticipated movies of the year...



Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7-USA, July 5-UK, July 6-Singapore)

              To be very honest, out of all the superhero flicks this year, Spider-Man: Homecoming is at the bottom of my list. Don't get me wrong and think that I'm not excited about this film...it's just that I am excited about the others a little (or a lot) more...for quite a few reasons. Firstly, we have had quite a lot of Spider-Man movies in recent years, and they all pretty much had the same story beats. And looking at the trailer for this film, I don't see any major plot points that stood out or made it feel different. The only difference is the involvement of Tony Stark (whom I'm kind of bored of seeing right now) and Peter Parker's high school life (which is not exactly what I'm looking for from a Marvel flick right now). All that said, I'm still super excited to see this film and Tom Holland as Peter Parker, and for sure, I am not going to bet against Marvel Studios pulling off another awesome film.

Trailers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9DwoQ7HWvI (Trailer #1)
(Must See!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGHGZjDguqw (Trailer #2)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxKbJrjR9qM (Trailer #3)


War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14-USA, July 11-UK, July 13-Singapore)

            By far my most anticipated movie of the summer. The first movie of this reboot series is a surprisingly excellent movie, and the sequel to that topped it in almost every way and is almost my favourite movie of that year. Those two are movies I deeply adore, and this third film could really seal the set as one of the best trilogies in film. And all the signs are pointing in the right direction. The trailers for this film are just spectacular and really brings the feel of what the underlying conflict of this film is all about. And the performances from the likes of Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson just looks brilliant. And I haven't even got to the best part of it all...the war! The war between these apes and the humans (as can be glimpsed in the trailers) looks to be both visually & emotionally intense. Totally can't wait for this!

Trailers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KWAxBlZKMA (Trailer #1)
(Must See!!!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IFAqAIWD6g (Trailer #2)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRf263nVNCM (Trailer #3)


Dunkirk (July 21-USA, July 21-UK, July 20-Singapore)

                I was always going to see a Christopher Nolan film, anyway, there is no doubt about that. But given his last film wasn't particularly spectacular, I was initially a bit reserved. But then trailer after trailer dropped, and it got me more and more excited every time. The backdrop of World War II is something I'm always fascinated about, especially taking into consideration my history of playing WWII-set video games. And that final trailer was the killer for me (link below). It is an awesome trailer with a feeling of increasing intensity, and it is arguably one of my favourite trailers of the year.

Trailers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJePvN_4T_E (Announcement Trailer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5QBye6-ToM (Trailer #1)
(Must See!!!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cmgiys2n1o (Trailer #2)


Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Jul 21-USA, Aug 2-UK, Jul 20-Singapore)

               A big science-fiction blockbuster is usually the kind of film that is right up my alley...but unfortunately I have no interest in this movie at all. There is just something about the world & the aliens in this film that just screams "cheesy". Whereas in Star Wars or Star Trek, the world is still grounded & feels real. And to add to that, the main protagonists doesn't interest me at all. It is a little tricky to qualify, but these doesn't feel like characters I want to follow.
               I may yet end up watching it due to the stature of the film, but I have minimal excitement for the film. Somehow, this movie just doesn't feel right for me.

Trailers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNrK7xVG3PM (Teaser)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3aOg6_7cEc (Teaser #2)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_shrCoqWh9k (Trailer #1)


Atomic Blonde (July 28-USA, Aug 11-UK, July 27-Singapore)

             Initially, this movie isn't even in my radar. But then the trailer dropped, and I saw how cool the action looks. Of course, then I realize it was from one of the director of the John Wick movie - David Leitch - so that explains it. But because of that, and considering the cast involved (Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, etc), I am now very much excited about this film.

Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIqcMl0hzXs


Other Movies:

               There is only one other movie in this month which I had my eye on, and that would be the animation flick The Emoji Movie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_nfdzMhmrA), which will be released on July 28. I am personally not too keen on this film, but I am slightly curious to see what the film will be about and how it will fare. And I don't even begin to know how they manage to get Sir Patrick Stewart to voice the poop emoji...

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

DESPICABLE ME 3



            Somehow, I feel like this franchise has somewhat lost its magic. It remains fun & watchable...I think they never lost the humour, but this new film offers nothing more. And the plot is just terrible. It is short, dull & disjointed. The only redeeming quality is the humour which many people might still enjoy.

            I actually feel disappointed with this movie (given the potential it has), but I have to be fair. The humour is pretty good, and it really is what made the movie still watchable and, to an extent, enjoyable. There is just something about these characters that makes them fun, and seriously, how can you hate the minions. Also, there are some fun pokes & references to the outside world and other movies.

             But that is about all the positives I can think of. There really is nothing more that the film offers. And to talk about the plot, it is quite terrible. When a film is too long, sometimes you might get bored...but when a film is short & has a dull plot, it is just disappointing. And it is super disjointed. Like what happens to the girls doesn't really affect the main plot and just remains as a side story of its own. The same applies with the minions who just went on their own side story which doesn't add to the overarching plot. The previous films didn't have spectacular plot either, but at least they carry an emotional punch. This one doesn't. The emotional change in character and the relationship between the characters was what made the first film a really great movie for me. This one has none of that.

                  In truth, it is not a particularly terrible movie, as it can still be fun & enjoyable to watch, especially if you're a fan. But the film offers nothing more than humour, and the plot is just terrible & disappointing. And that makes me disappointed.

VERDICT: 45 / 100

Monday, 12 June 2017

THE MUMMY



            This might be the weakest summer movie I have watched so far (although, it has to be noted that I have not watched Baywatch, which I heard is really quite bad), and yet there are still good stuffs & enjoyable moments in this film.

             To kick things off, the world itself is quite interesting. The part where they try to introduce us to this "Dark Universe" was quite good, and I feel like I want to know more about this universe. Unfortunately, it seems that because they focus a little too much on this, they sort of forsake the main story itself. As a film of its own, The Mummy is a little too generic & shallow.

             The problems, unfortunately, also run a bit deeper than just the plot as a whole. Without spoiling anything, things will seem a little vague, but I need to say that there are a couple of scenes where the things that happen don't seem to quite make sense. There is no real clarity on what actually happened or where it came from, but it just did (and to the character's benefit, somehow). In movies, conveniences happen, but if the things that happen doesn't make sense and is not explained, it becomes annoying.
             Too vague? Yeah, sorry about that. Oh, and I also want to add that I have a similar feeling with the ending. I just wished there's a bit more clarity & explanation on the events that happened.

              But the movie has its positive aspects, though. The action sequences are quite good, and I enjoyed them. And Tom Cruise's character is quite likable (as he always is), and I liked the dynamic between his character and a few other characters (Chris Vail, Jenny).

               However, the plot still lacks the dramatic element. Meanwhile, the humour is a bit of hit-and-miss. The score/soundtrack is pretty good, but is not as memorable as other recent movies I've seen. Overall, there isn't really much to gush about this film. Nothing particularly stands out, and it is not quite a great film in any way. But the film isn't all that bad either, and can still be enjoyed. It was a fine start, but Universal will have to kick it up a notch if they want their Dark Universe to succeed.

VERDICT: 55 / 100

Thursday, 8 June 2017

SPOILER TALK: Wonder Woman

### SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! ###### SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! ### ### SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! ###



### SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! ###### SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! ### ### SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! ###


Humanity

              Tackled on with a mix of comedic flair & dramatic dialogue is the idea that humans are imperfect, if not hideous & terrible beings. Even the optimism that Diana carries from her life in Themyscira gets tested time and time again in the outside world. I really like these scenes and how they made us open our eyes and realize the things we do as humans and our imperfect nature. Among these are scenes like the powerful conversation between Diana & Steve after Diana kills General Ludendorff.
              But the best scene has to be when Diana calls out the generals in the war room as cowards that should be ashamed of themselves and are doing their business about in the safety of their premises while their soldiers are out there fighting & dying. And it gets better when she compares to her leaders in Themyscira and of course it brings us back to Queen Hippolyta and the awesome General Antiope (who is both such a badass physically, and a very awesome character). Both lead their people in battle, and of course the death of General Antiope plays a big part in defining Diana's character.

Ares

              I think the reveal of the true Ares is pretty decently done, but it is more of the character itself that I have slight issues with. The 'bait and switch' tactic is understandable, but looking back, the character of Sir Patrick Morgan is quite different to Ares that it became harder to buy into the idea. For so long we see this Sir Patrick as someone who is more reserved, and then now this same person turns out to be the God of War. The idea just doesn't immediately sell for me. In fact, the "bait", in this case General Ludendorff, seems to fit the bill so much more.
              The final climactic battle between Diana & Ares was okay for me. It wasn't the best final battle in a superhero flick, but I quite enjoyed it. Meanwhile, one thing I actually pretty liked is the idea that World War I kind of happened because it was partially influenced by Ares himself, as the God of War. It is an interesting concept, although, in the end, humans by nature are both light & dark, and if that darkness takes over, war is one potential outcome.

Steve Trevor

               Steve Trevor is both a great character in general, but also a perfect opposite to Diana. In general, he is very likable and funny and a very relatable person for most of us as we follow his story. But he is also the perfect companion to the more rash & blunt Diana as she learns the human world with the help of Steve. The chemistry between the two is excellent (and a lot of credit goes to both Chris Pine & Gal Gadot), and it is because of this chemistry (and the opposing characteristics) that a lot of the comedic scenes work brilliantly. 
                Furthermore, it is this relationship as well that became the core of the dramatic elements in the film. As their relationship develops, they learn more and more from one another and this keeps us invested in these characters. And that is why the sacrifice of Steve Trevor in the end there was really powerful & meaningful. And there are so many memorable conversations between Steve & Diana, from the more comedic opening encounters in Themyscira to the aforementioned dramatic conversation between Diana & Steve about humanity (after Ludendorff was killed). But I would also like to add that the final moment between Diana & Steve before Steve's sacrifice was as perfect as it can get.