Thursday 27 June 2013


An emotionally satisfying typical action movie...

          In truth, there is nothing new and special about 'White House Down', but it is emotionally satisfying to watch. You can feel the excitement of the movie, but when you think about it, its just a typical action movie, with some interesting little touches that made the movie slightly above ordinary.

          I'm going to start by mentioning the little touches that made it good. My favourite is the fact that the president, played by Jamie Foxx, is apparently not that mainstream president that is too serious. He is a friendly and fun character indeed, and well done to Jamie Foxx for portraying him.

          Some other aspects that made it good is that it is able to emotionally touch the audiences. As viewers, we can feel for the main characters and root for them. Similarly, we can also sense the danger and troubles caused by the villainous characters. Channing Tatum plays a likeable action hero, so that is another positive thing.

          Those touches aside, the action sequences are good, but not special. The plot is simple, but well presented. There are funny bits too, but the drama not so much, except for the final scenes. It is pretty much everything you'd expect from an action movie, but when you watch it, it is fun and entertaining.


Good: Interesting little touches, Emotionally satisfying

Bad: Typical action movie

SCORE: 6.5

Tuesday 25 June 2013


A creative animation movie that has its moments...

          'Monsters University' has a decent plot, and has genuinely funny and dramatic moments. It also re-introduces the characters in a good way, but the movie didn't reach my expectations in some aspects, including the ending.

          I have to start by praising the excellent re-introductions to these characters. It feels good to know the initial characters of Sulley & Mike, Randall as well, to know how they were and how they developed into the characters we know in 'Monsters Inc'.

          By decent plot, I mean that the story did well in having the events unfold in the way that they shaped the characters emotionally. The little details are a bit predictable, but overall the storyline is good. It also has its moments. When it is funny, it is funny, and when it is dramatic, it does feel like it. It emotionally touches the audiences to feel for the Sulley & Mike, although not in other characters.

           I have to say the idea is creative as well. Some may say that there is lack of originality because they use the theme of university. In contrast, I think it is creative. To have monsters impersonate humans, getting them to university is very creative indeed. Sometimes we can just admire the things that they do and how that resembles to human life, and that is funny, and not a doubt, creative.

           And in that aspect, I have to criticise some of the supporting characters. Some of the characters are not properly constructed and presented, in the sense that they do not feel right. Some characters are like Johnny Worthington (supposed to look more menacing that what his character is), and some are just upright annoying which makes me don't enjoy the movie fully.

          The ending, especially the part that connects it to Monsters Inc is not what I expected. It doesn't feel directly connected to 'Monsters Inc'. Although what they did in the end is a fine touch, but it doesn't feel as grand as I hoped it would. And the main story is not about university, it is mostly about the scare games which caused some lack of coherence with the title. Although the sense of university is good, but it is only a small part of what the movie is really about. It really explores the character development of Sulley & Mike in an emotional level, but everything else feels ordinary.


Good: Great re-introduction of characters, Decent plot, Funny & dramatic moments, Creative idea

Bad: Uninteresting supporting characters, Lack of grand and epic scenes

SCORE: 7.0

Wednesday 19 June 2013


Enjoyable at the time, but leaves no impressions after...

           'World War Z' is fun to watch, but leaves no impressions after. In terms of quality, it is just like any other movie you'd expect, but the presentation is good, and to me, the movie felt diverse, incorporating action, drama, and even horror too.

          The movie feels diverse because the earlier parts feels like a drama film, while the middle part is more action packed, and the final scenes is more horror instead. So, it feels like watching three different movies with the same characters in the same world.

          In the theatre, it is actually fun and enjoyable. We can feel the suspense and intensity of being in a world with lurking zombies. The only action sequence you can expect is against zombies, but it is not bad. The plot is actually good, and the discovery even more so. However some scenes do get a bit predictable at times. Lack of humour made the tone feel too serious (it should be, but humour can be incorporated any time in any movie).

          This is one of the few movies I have watched that doesn't have a grand finale (boss fights, etc). Well, I can respect that this movie is planned to be a trilogy, and that the story is based on a novel, so I can accept that. But I do felt troubled when I watched it, and the movie suddenly ends just like that, without a strong finale. It was a bit disappointing, but after the movie, I can respect that.


Good: Suspense and intensity, Diverse, Decent plot

Bad: Leaves no impression, Lack of humour, No finale

SCORE: 6.5

Monday 17 June 2013

Looking Forward: July 2013

Though this is the last month of the summer, movies just keep coming and this July, we will be seeing lots of potentially good ones...

Pacific Rim (July 12-USA, July 12-UK, July 11-Singapore)

           This looks to be a big one...and by big, I really mean big. The movie is about giant alien monsters from beneath the pacific, and mankind must retaliate with huge robots. So it is, really, big! Many have expressed enthusiasm, but I have to admit, I don't feel convinced of the potential existence of a good storyline. I may be wrong...with the trailers showing some massive fight sequences and Guillermo Del Toro at the helm, there may just be something to look forward to.

Links for trailers: (Trailer #1) (WonderCon Trailer) (Trailer #3)

The Lone Ranger (July 3-USA, August 9-UK, July 4-Singapore)

          An action adventure comedy set in the west in a cowboy-ish era, starring Johnny Depp. Yeah, why not? Honestly, I have never been a big fan of Johnny Depp other than his pirates movies. Other characters he played in other movies, are pretty much similarly eccentric characters that rarely went well. Johnny Depp is Jack Sparrow, and vice versa. He is great in that role, but not as good in others. Back to the movie, did I mention that it has a $250m budget? Well, that's a huge number, so yeah, it looks like they did something with this one. The trailers did look great, and it's been a while since we last see these type of western movies, so why not?  

Links for trailers: (Trailer #1) (Trailer #2) (Trailer #3) (Trailer #4)

Despicable Me 2 (July 3-USA, June 28-UK, July 3-Singapore)

          Gru, and his 3 kids, and the minions, are back! Despicable Me was highly successful and was a favourite among movie-goers. Now the sequel is here, and surely we expect something great from it. I loved the first movie a lot, as it was very funny, yet it has a great and creative story too. From the trailers, this one looked just as great as the first, so it is certainly a movie to watch this July. Oh, and kids will definitely love it, too!

Links for trailers: (Trailer #3)

The Wolverine (July 26-USA, July 26-UK, July 25-Singapore)

          I may have mentioned this before, but I am a big fan of Marvel (among them, Wolverine). Granted, X-men Origins: Wolverine pretty much sucks, and I was disappointed. But this one, incorporating the story arc on Japan, looks to bring something new to the character. The trailers didn't really show much apart from the villain, and the characters central to the story, and I wasn't totally convinced that this is going to be great, but I am interested to see what the movie brings to the character, and maybe, Wolverine might just redeem himself.

Links for trailers: (International Trailer) (Exclusive Trailer) (International Trailer #2)

Other Movies:

Turbo (July 17)
-Looks to be another interesting animation movie by Dreamworks animation...

RED 2 (July 19)
-The first movie was fun, so perhaps this one will be too...

R.I.P.D. (July 19)
-A creative idea, and from the trailer, looks fun as well...

The Smurfs 2 (July 31)
-I never liked The Smurfs, but it seems to be a favourite among casual movie-goers...

Saturday 15 June 2013


A strong movie to reboot the franchise and potentially start a DC universe, yet beautiful on its own...

          One notable strong point of 'Man of Steel' is the unbelievably epic fight scenes (best I've ever seen). The movie also benefits from such great cast and amazing soundtrack too. Decent story, but though the first half was rather too fast, the second was exceptionally brilliant.

          The strongest aspect of the movie are the epic fight scenes. My favourite is the fight in Smallville, Kansas. The scenes brilliantly displays combinations of speed, strength & powers in epic fights between Kryptonians, causing massive destruction all around. I couldn't have wished for a better fight sequence.

          Another aspect I find exceptional is the soundtrack. Hans Zimmer did it again. He produced this amazing soundtrack which stuck in my head hours after the movie ended. And the experience of the movie is greatly enhanced thanks to this amazing soundtrack. The movie also benefited from such wonderful casts, including Henry Cavill, Diane Lane, and Amy Adams, but I reserve special praise for Kevin Costner who displays his fatherly side so well and shows wisdom & belief with such touching actions, and Michael Shannon in being a villain that looked menacing, exposed, and determined at the same time. 

          The story was decent, and the approach to introducing the things we know and love (the suit, the 'Superman' title, his daily job) is brilliant. There are several dramatic moments in the movie too. But one thing that slightly unsettles me is that the timeline jumps in the first half of the movie felt a bit incoherent and too fast. There were no time to feel the situation, when suddenly the scene had already changed. I do believe it may be because there are too many things to be told, but too little time. But since Lois Lane's introduction, the movie flow got better and the story is easier to follow. Though the first half may be slightly tricky to follow, the second is just exceptionally brilliant, and overall it is a great movie to watch.


Good: Epic fight scenes, Amazing soundtrack, Great cast, Decent story & approach

Bad: Tricky (fast) timeline jumps

SCORE: 9.0

Thursday 13 June 2013


Thrill and suspense lifts up what is an otherwise lifeless movie...

File:After Earth Poster.jpg

          'After Earth' is pretty much a lifeless movie, with a dull and predictable storyline, no sense of humour and drama, pointless flashbacks, and many more to name. But what lifts up the movie is the suspense and feeling of danger in an unknown world, or at least, a drastically changed world. This feeling makes the movie not as boring as it would have been.

          In a game, this would have been considered as a survival genre. The thrill and suspense seems deliberate to put audiences at the edge of their seats. And the aggressive and dangerous animals is quite a fresh touch, instead of the stereotypical aliens. The pace of the movie is slow, but perhaps that is to add the suspense, so it is justifiable. The director successfully instilled the suspense to audiences with a dangerously changed world, and some decent directing.

          There have been criticisms about the actors, but I am not going to be harsh. They did their best, and for that I give credit. Granted, the roles they played do not fit. Will Smith would do a hundred times better in a comedy genre, and maybe so is Jaden. At least, Will Smith is not the serious type and his character did not fit in well here, but he gave it his best, and so did the other casts, and it turned out okay, so no complaints there.

          The story is so dull and predictable, you can already know how it ends after only 10 minutes (the introduction of 'ghosting' and Ursa). I don't recall laughing any time in the movie, and though one expects that with this serious tone, the drama would be great, it isn't. Flashback scenes perhaps are intended for the drama, but it was pointless. There was no proper connection regarding the flashbacks and the present time. It's just nonsense. Action sequences are mediocre, but the soundtrack is decent.


Good: Deliberate thrill and suspense, Decent soundtrack

Bad: No humour, No drama, Dull and predictable plot, Pointless flashbacks

SCORE: 4.5

Tuesday 11 June 2013


Fresh and fun...

           'Now You See Me' is not that great, but is fun to watch because of it's amazing visuals and satisfyingly entertaining scenes. It's also fresh because of it's creative idea, but is otherwise ordinary and have nothing that made it memorable. Enjoyable at the moment, but not memorable.

          It is fun and enjoyable throughout, perhaps because the tricks in the movie are just so well presented, and also explained properly which makes it a joy to see. And the other factor that make it look great, is perhaps the cast. With the likes of Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, and also some decent performance by Mark Ruffalo and Jesse Eisenberg, the scenes seem cool and interesting at the same time.

           The story wasn't that great, but it was a fresh and creative story which makes it interesting, and the ending revelation was, at least to me, surprising as well. But otherwise, towards the end, the scenes felt rather repetitive and predictable, and we kind of expected the things that will happen. Other aspects such as the soundtrack were okay but not great, and so is the humour. Absence of drama and good action sequences made it feel just a fun and fresh movie to watch with no special moments.


Good: Fresh idea and creative storyline, Cool tricks, Great cast

Bad: Absence of drama and proper action

SCORE: 7.0