Saturday 29 December 2012

An Expected Movie Otherwise...

SCORE: 8.5 / 10

File:The Hobbit- An Unexpected Journey.jpeg

         Given that we have seen the Oscar-winning 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy by Peter Jackson, we would have come to the movie with some expectations, and a huge one too. Granted, some aspects were met with absolute brilliance, however, at times, the movie felt too repetitive, justifiably (which I will explain later).

          The world of middle-earth, as visualized in the movie, is one aspect that I will cherish for long, and that I will come to expect more of in the sequels. Full credit to Peter Jackson for being able to create the majestic world for all of us to see, and in IMAX 3D, the world is just stunningly beautiful.

          There were never any doubts about the story, as it originated from Tolkien's novel. But credit must be given for the producer's ambition. I was surprised that they were planning to create a trilogy from one single novel, and perhaps this is why the movie felt repetitive at times. I haven't read the novel, so I don't know how it should actually be, but in my view, there were too much repetition in the scenes. But it doesn't feel bad at all, because the fighting scenes, the creatures we see, the world of middle-earth are all able to cover for the movie's downside. I shall be enthusiastically waiting for the next two.

           The casting was also brilliant. It was nice to see the recurring actors & actresses back, such as Sir Ian Mckellen, Cate Blanchett, and Hugo Weaving. Yet it was good to see new cast, including and especially, the hobbit himself, Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman. Freeman is such a talented actor, I enjoyed every bit of his scenes. He really bring life to the character, and not to mention the funny bits that bring the movie come to life, and definitely not boring, given the 170 minutes duration.

          So, even as there are some downsides to the movie, I just can't help but feel that the movie is brilliant in the way it is brought, and how it entertains audiences. Personally, I want to seem more of middle-earth, more of the relations among the characters, more creatures to fight, and hopefully I will be able to see that in the upcoming sequels.

Sunday 4 November 2012

007 is Back...

SCORE: 9.0 / 10

          After a run of no blockbuster movies in the casual months of September and October, Skyfall certainly reminds audiences what top movies are made of. It certainly is the best Bond movie ever. It has the actions its supposed to bring, has lots of humour, and the plot itself is so impressive, added by the excellent direction of the movie. Such a great movie to watch after a drought of blockbusters.

          For a start, the plot and story line of this movie is just excellent. This is actually more of a transition movie, with lots of changes when comparing the beginning of the movie, and the end of the movie. The whole story was great, revealing lots of secrets from the past, as well as introducing characters which have been an integral part of the classic Bond movies, such as Q & Miss Moneypenny. Not to mention the revelation of Skyfall (which was actually Bond's home in the past). And one point to note is that the final scene in Skyfall Lodge, is very much not James Bond-like, but it certainly is a great scene. It brings something different to the movie, and gives a more personal touch, considering what happened in the latter parts of the scene.

          Though the movie is nearly 2.5 hours long, it certainly is not boring, and it really is able to make the audience feel the story. What makes it not boring is really the countless scenes containing humour, which I deeply praise as it is normally not that easy to have lots of humours in such a full of drama & full of action movie. But what impressed me again is also the amazing characterization. You can feel the emotion and persona of every character in the movie, including and especially the villain, Raoul Silva. The directing is also excellent, and it certainly is able to bring out a great story, and delivers it well to the audience.

          Big credit to the acting cast also, I never doubted them though. Daniel Craig makes a confident and tough looking Bond, Judi Dench have always bring something special to her character M, and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva was, I think, the standout performer here. He certainly brings the character to life, and yes, I think he will most likely be one of the most memorable Bond villains ever. You can feel the emotions of every character here. Another thing to credit is the opening song. Adele was not doubt a great singer, but also the tone of the song is very touching and fits perfectly to the movie.

          It's hard to find a flaw in this movie, and probably the only thing lacking is the minutes of action of the earlier parts of the movie. However it suddenly doesn't seem that significant, as the great plot & revelations, numerous humours, excellent directing & characterization, and every other aspect of the movies is just so great, that I can really ignore the lack of the minutes of action.

          Overall, it was just so great, certainly the best Bond movie ever. As a semi-transition movie, it goes with such a great story, and it brings out some things that have been missing in recent movies, reliving the characters that have been an integral part of the classic 007 movies (a good touch considering this movie is 50 years after the first). Every single aspect of this movie is to be commended, and I think that "Skyfall" is brilliant!! Must Watch!!


Tuesday 25 September 2012

Reaches expectation...

SCORE: 6.0 / 10

                Awesome 3D effects, smart directing, and unique style of action covers up for all the setbacks produced by this movie. Resident Evil: Retribution is the 5th movie in the series, yet it still has all the flaws from its predecessors. However, due to my lower expectation of this movie, based on my judgment of previous movies of the series, I can seem to accept its similar flaws, and appreciate some achievements it made through this movie.

                The positives I saw in this movie, among them include the amazing 3D effects put to good use. Excellent directing also give a great dimension for the movie, and its style of action is unique as always, with many slow-motion effects, which apparently seems cool for this movie. And I also find that the opening and ending sequence is pretty cool, with the backward scene of the opening sequence (pretty unique as I have never seen such scenes in other movies elsewhere).

                However, the flaws carry on from its predecessors, where the actions all seem too similar. No sense of humour, no sense of adventure. And also the storyline is not so good, and it is much too predictable. It lacks characterization and drama too. I thought Leon was an important character (at least it was in the video games) however it was not characterized as such in the movie. I didn’t know that was Leon until near the end of the movie, and he didn’t even seem like such an important character throughout. The drama lacks the feeling, especially when there are so many deaths, yet I am unable to feel such drama.

                Another thing I like about this movie is that it serves as a transition movie quite well. The producer planned one other sequel as the series finale, and I see this movie is quite a good transition, especially with the ending sequence seen as such. I honestly appreciate the big picture of the series’ story, although the plot in every single movie all seems too predictable and casual. However the big picture of the story is good, and by watching this movie it seems a good transition, from escaping capture, until knowing that they are to protect humanities last stand. By that amazing ending sequence, we can expect the final movie to be about those heroes in the group battling the zombies and the Red Queen for the survival of the remaining humans.

                Hence, I can’t say that this is a very good movie, but it sure is very interesting, and I would very much like to see a final movie to conclude the series. Therefore I do hope that this movie will earn lots of revenue, and the producers will want to create the final movie.

Friday 7 September 2012

Money Worth Spendable...

The Expendables 2
Score: 8.0 / 10

                ‘The Expendables 2’ is a much better than its predecessor. It is much more fun, and energetic, and not boring at all. This is maybe the opposite to ‘The Bourne Legacy’, which I came to watch with high expectations. While in this case, since I knew the previous movie isn’t that good, I didn’t expect much from this one. I just love the cast, don’t you? Turns out, it stands out in several aspects, and turn out to be such an entertaining movie after all.

                The story is, well, straightforward, and well perhaps is as what had been expected, similar to its predecessor. And the action is simply “boom boom”, shoot-and-kill type of thing. Not the type of action we go look in an action movie. But again, this is perhaps as we had expected judging by ‘The Expendables’.
                Besides, there are several aspects that stands out, and is perhaps beyond expectation. Firstly, the characters are cool, in a way. They have their own unique charisma, which makes them look great in a way. During the fight, it’s not the action itself that is cool, but how these characters do it, which makes it look cool. And the humor, definitely makes the movie much more energetic and fun to watch. I lost count how many funny scenes there are in the movie. Definitely makes is not boring at all.

                Then again, there is no doubt that these actors are basically legend. But what I like again with this movie, is the number of references to great movies that these actors once made their legends on. One most memorable to me is the scene which include Schwarzenegger’s “I’ll be Back” (reference to The Terminator movies) and Willis’ “Yippee-Ki-Yay” (reference to The Die Hard series). There are several others including Chuck Norris’ movie about the cobra thing. Perhaps I also lost track of these scenes.

                Of all I said, this is not a movie you go to looking for a dramatic story, etc. But I can tell you that this movie is spectacularly entertaining & fun. The story and action maybe lacking in quality, however, with the number of humorous scenes, fun explosive action, and references to what these great actors once achieved, this is one to watch before summer ends, and the start of a shortage of blockbuster movies.


Stallone: That belongs in a museum…
Schwarzenegger: We all do…

Thursday 23 August 2012

Nearly As 'Bourne'...

The Bourne Legacy
Score: 6.5 / 10

          This movie is a good enough movie to watch on your spare time, but it is not a great movie. This movie didn't live up to expectations, or at least, my expectations.

          It is as 'Bourne' as it can be, however lacks the minutes of action. The first half of the movie is considerably boring, up until the moment when Aaron Cross saves Dr. Shearing at her house. The second half was better, with more lively action and intensity & urgency of the situation, making the movie feel much exciting.

          Credit goes to the directing, and also the acting of several top class actors & actresses, especially Jeremy Renner. And the music is great too, without it the first half of the movie will be dull, and the second not as intense. The movie is as 'Bourne' as it can be, with the team having the intel, surveillance, and assets apparently trying to track down a man & a woman, seemingly looking for answers.

          However, the downside is that the action is lacking. Not by quality, but by quantity. I don't seem to recall much of an action. Beside the final chase, I only remember the scene where Aaron saves Dr Shearing at her house. And I don't see the necessity to have such a long scene in Alaska. I know what it meant to show (about Aaron's training), but taking that long for a scene such as that, just feels redundant.

          Credit also, perhaps to the writers, as I realize that it may be quite difficult to assemble a story, parallel to another one which is considerably a great one, without having to show the main character again. However, overall the movie lacked action, and didn't live up to expectations. It is a good movie, but it is below it's predecessor 'The Bourne Ultimatum' in nearly every aspect. It is good to watch if you have spare time though.

Friday 10 August 2012

Not as we recalled...

Total Recall
Score: 6.0 / 10

          Someone who lives in the 1990s would have known about a movie titled ‘Total Recall’, as it was a blockbuster movie of the year 1990 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Well, this year, we had the privilege of watching a remake of said movie, which is best known for its complicated story line. Well, I came here with expectations, but I was fairly disappointed. The story was nowhere near complicated.

          Although, to be fair, I have to admit that this movie is well packed with fast-paced action movie-goers would love. And it also includes several jokes which lift up the mood a bit. The directing was well done. And the cast is full of talents with the likes of Farrell, Beckinsale, Biel, and also Nighy. The world of the movie, the setting, is also one to be admired of. Great vision by the director.
          However, other aspects went wrong. The movie lacks the drama a good movie should have. The characterization isn’t very good, especially for a first movie, where it should have had brought up the characters properly. Honestly, I didn’t get the feel of the characters besides the main character. The story wasn’t anywhere near complex. I understood the story well just by watching it once with no subtitles too.
          The movie basically went wrong where it should have gone right. Viewers perhaps had expected a great story line, but it failed to produce such. And not to say the movie is too short, but perhaps it lacks the drama, feel, and characterization which made the movie feel incomplete in a way. However, credit to the cast and actors, and also the fast-paced action which saved the movie from being a humiliation towards the original movie. This movie is worth watching if you have spare time to, like I do.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Simply A Novel...

The Hunger Games
Score: 7.5 / 10


          I have only recently watched this movie as I did not have the chance to watch it at the cinema earlier this year. And as preliminary comments, I believe that this movie has a great, great story. Not to forget that this is indeed an adapted from a novel, but a well adapted one indeed.

          There's nothing more to say about the story line. It is everything a novel should be with the deep, detailed characterization, drama, etc. But beside this, nothing else is made great. The action is simple and not so intense. Good for a novel but not so much a movie. I only managed one or two smiles in the movie as it lacks humor. I appreciate the directing which is actually pretty good.

          The story wasn't actually that perfect either as it lacks common sense, but as I criticize this, I guess I come to criticize the novel itself too. I found no logic in the sense that there can only be one survivor, where the ones from the same district must have had something more between them, than just to kill one another. I'd find it more interesting and logical had it been district-for-district than man-for-man. It would have been more fun to see the strategy of each district, utilizing their tributes effectively to win the games, and see more teamwork and relationship. But I guess you just can't change the story of a novel.  

          Oh, and also, the fact that when Rue was killed by another opponent, I somehow had a tingle in me to believe that Katniss may have been happier it happened. It certainly would, compared to if Katniss have to take Rue's life, should they both remain the last two standing. I guess, for the story makers, this part of the dramatization, and it certainly made it look more like a tragic loss than a necessary loss. The fact that the rules changed, it was a surprise, but not an unexpected one really. It had been coming, and it should have been like that from the beginning.

          Honestly, I never read the novel of this movie. I guess it was better that way. Had I read it before as I did with the Harry Potter series, I may have been disappointed coming to watch this movie. I can say that the story is slightly better than the Harry Potter series, but the action and humor that a movie should have is not yet present.

          I can see that they are already planning ahead, with the sequel coming  up next year, followed by the last novel which will be divided into two-part movies. Hopefully they will improve it to make it more a movie, otherwise it would be just like this one...simply a novel.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Past Movie: Flightplan (2005)

Flightplan (2005)
Score: 7.0 / 10

       I just recently watched a movie from the year 2005, titled Flightplan. It is a good movie with a great story line and characterization. When I watched the movie, all the way I felt anxious and curious as to what actually happened. It only lacked some action and some sense of humor but all that is covered up by the surprisingly great story.

       The opening of the movie is a bit confusing and boring. I wasn't into the story, until the time when the child went missing in the plane. From there on, the feeling of anxiety and curiosity was there with me, I even felt some sense of horror, which I imagined myself with some feeling of paranoia.

          And the movie was injected with some unpredictability, especially when the bad guys reveals himself. For some time, I had thought that the main character is suffering some sort of mental & psychological troubles, but surprisingly she was right in the end.

          There was even some moral of the story, that is "Never give up, and always believe in yourself, even when no one else does". The main character was, basically, against everybody in the whole plane. She had some support but only formally and by procedure. No one, not the captain, the crew, nor any single passengers believed in what she believed in.

          The movie is great overall. It only lacks action and sense of humors, but all that is covered by everything else being great, the story line, drama, unpredictability, characterization. I recommend you to watch this movie if you have not.

Thursday 26 July 2012

More Than Just A Movie...

The Dark Knight Rises
Score: 10 / 10

File:Dark knight rises poster.jpg

               This movie is, in my opinion, the best movie I ever watched of all time. It is just…phenomenal. No other ways to describe it. With a running time that long, I am thoroughly impressed it can still produce the great action, with and outstandingly excellent story with lots of surprising revelations. I certainly cannot find a flaw in this movie at all.

                Bane was just an exceptional villain, he may have all his schemes planned in mind the way The Joker did, without the signs of craziness, of course. And the way he fights and his strength certainly matches that of Ra’s Al Ghul. He is a combination of both villains. He is big, tall and looks creepy from the outside wearing a mask like that, and his voice certainly adds the shivers.
                At first I expected Catwoman to be another villain too, but then perhaps it may be too much for Batman. It was good to see that in the end Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne ended up together. John Blake is a great character, and I did expect something to come from him, but I didn’t expect him to actually turn out to become Robin in the end.

                What impresses me most of all are the revelations of the story. It was surprising enough to understand Bane as Ra’s Al Ghul’s son, and we all certainly believed in it throughout the movie, at least, until the surprising revelation in the end. John Blake gets to become Robin. Bruce Wayne certainly knows how to make a dramatic ending, with Alfred feeling grief until he went to that cafĂ© in Italy looking at Wayne as he had dreamt. I was temporarily saddened knowing the ending is sad, from the point the Batman takes the bomb away with The Bat, up until the point where Fox realizes that the autopilot had been fixed. An absolutely stunning end to the movie.

                I walked out of the cinema, stunningly impressed, and believed that this got to be the best movie I have ever watched, and believed that this Batman Trilogy by Chris Nolan, as more than just 3 movies, but as a Legend...