Saturday 30 November 2013


Relives the classic Disney moments...

          Before I start, I just have to say, this movie is in many ways similar to Tangled, and that is a good thing. In fact, Tangled is one of my favourite animation films of all time. Firstly, the film is about the character 'The Snow Queen', but retitled to Frozen, as 'Rapunzel' is retitled to Tangled, action words relating the character. And then, the leading female, Rapunzel and Anna, are way too similar, in that both are adventurous, awkward, clumsy, yet charming. This is very much a good thing because it is one of the main reasons I like Tangled, pushing aside the mainstream ladylike character and opting for a more interesting & dynamic one instead. So, these similarities are, in my opinion, a positive aspect and an embracement of what they did well with Tangled.

          I said earlier that this movie relives the classic Disney moments, because it just feels so. It has such beautiful songs, good story, and quite an emotional ride too. The voice acting is also good, and the 3D effects are awesome as well.

           The thing that I like the most are the wonderful, beautiful songs. I immediately fell in love as soon as I heard them. They resonate the brilliant, brilliant songs that Disney had brought before, and they are just enjoyable to sing along. The story line is decent, and is not too straightforward. It even has some twisty moments as well, which though were not all too surprising, but lets the plot stray from classic obviousness.

           Though not as strong as Lion King or the Toy Story's, it has quite the emotional ride for a family film, and yes, the moral of the story is a strong one too, good for children to learn. The blend of humour and sadness is brilliant. When it gets emotional, we can feel for it, and when it gets humorous, we can laugh at it. On a further note, the voice acting of the cast are brilliant as well. And to add some technicality, the 3D effects are great and definitely worth the extra price of admission.

          This is indeed one of the best animation films of recent times, and it is old yet new. Reliving the classic moments, but with a modern touch of visuals and songs. A must watch film for the families, for audiences who like music, for those who like animation films, and for everyone, really.


Good: Beautiful songs, Interesting & dynamic main character, Decent storyline, Good emotional ride

Bad: -

SCORE: 8.5

P.S. My favourite song of the whole movie is "For the First Time in Forever". Just the song to cheer up the mood for a better day.

Saturday 23 November 2013


Escalates everything good about its predecessor...

          Catching Fire really improves everything that makes The Hunger Games a great movie. While there are are some minor flaws in the mix, everything else just seem to grow in depth and quality. The film felt so immersive, and the world so real, that the political issues presented, as well as the reaction of the characters, resonates in our feelings as well.
          The plot is one of the strongest aspects of this film, in that it develops from its predecessor quite brilliantly, properly displaying the consequences of the first film, yet also staging for the '75th Hunger Games' which was to be played towards the end of the film. It does not stop there, as the plot is dynamic and ever changing, and really presented us with events that audiences wouldn't come to expect.

          The characterizations are brilliant, and the cast was great as well. Jennifer Lawrence was amazing, and did a wonderful job conveying the emotions like one would really do, given the situation. It's not like other science-fictions where the main hero just seemed so calm, and have no trouble killing bad guys. In this one, Katniss is such a fragile, vulnerable character thrown in the middle of a political warfare in a harsh and violent environment.

          The other characters were great as well. Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) seem more like a developed character than he was in the first film. Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) becomes more like a father figure (but with some "alcohol"). New characters like Finnick and Johanna are interesting additions to the series. These are two contrasting characters that seem to spark some initial rivalries, but quickly grow to become likeable. Praise to Sam Claflin and Jena Malone for brilliantly portraying these respective characters. Oh, and the character introduction of one of the best ever, really smart, funny and cunning. You'll know what I mean when you see it. 

          The movie is not without flaws, even though they are minor and not really a big deal. The games itself felt more like survival than fights. While the stakes are higher, the battle is different this time around. The action sequences weren't what I hoped they would be.

          The finale is interesting. The movie ended with some strong twist and revelations, but finished rather quickly without, perhaps intentionally, explaining clearly what had happened, leaving audiences in a blur. This raises more questions and is such an obvious cliffhanger, one that frustrates a bit, but makes us eager for more. The ending was good, and I liked it and I really didn't come to expect such a conclusion. The only issue was that it felt too abrupt and fast.


Good: Strong dynamic plot, Great characterizations, Amazing cast, Brilliant new characters, Strong conclusion, Clear portrayal of emotions

Bad: Fast and abrupt ending, Not so great action sequences

SCORE: 8.5

(note: I may need to write a spoiler discussion about this, sometime soon)

Monday 18 November 2013

SPOILER Discussion - Thor: The Dark World

I had to make this post because there are some things I like to share about the movie, but won't able to do so without spoiling the surprise. The movie is now out for nearly 3 weeks in Singapore & UK, and nearly 2 weeks in the U.S. So I'm hoping most of you would have watched it by now. If not, then please don't continue below, unless you don't mind spoilers.



Marvel always have delicate surprises for the fans, and Thor: The Dark World is no different. With this one, there are a few things to be discussed, most notably Loki's mischief, Frigga's death, and Captain America's cameo...

Frigga's Death

          This scene, I believe, is where they just had to make that dramatic scene. If there is a character they can kill off, Thor & Loki's mother would be it. The impact is apparent on the main characters, but is not a substantial character to the universe and the fans. So, if there is any character that can be killed off and would make an impact without disappointing the fans, this would be the one. By the way, the funeral scene was majestic, and the visuals of it along with the realm of Asgard, is just stunning.

Captain America's Cameo

          This is a very funny scene that Loki did to annoy Thor. After transforming Thor into Sif, he transformed himself into Captain America. This little cameo by Captain America is a bit of a fan service, while at the same time may also tease for the upcoming movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But the fact that Cap appears in this cameo, is just funny and satisfying for the fans.

Loki's Trickery

          Being the God of Mischief, you would expect him to do naughty & bad things. While this side of him was never emphasised in previous movies, director Alan Taylor made good use of this fact in Thor: The Dark World. From making illusions in the dungeon, and even unto annoying Thor on their way out of Asgard, Loki's trickery was of the funnier bits of the whole film.
           While some were made to be funny, the major acts of Loki were the dramatic twists. Firstly, its the scene where Loki uses his mischief to trick Malekith, while seemingly betraying Thor in Svartalfheim. It was the kind of thing that I half-expected, as Loki's allegiance was one of my greater interests of the movie. When I first saw it, I thought Loki had really betrayed Thor, but when the truth was revealed, I felt caught off guard, while also feeling relieved that Loki turned out good. But the main thing I liked about this scene, is the idea that a stereotypically negative concept like "mischief", when used against the right individual, can be a good thing as well, as in this case, it helped Thor in his plan.
            The second twist was the faking of his death. I was disappointed to see his apparent death, as he was one of my (and certainly many others') favourite character in the Marvel universe. But he was an obvious fan favourite, and so I guess one of the reasons that his death was faked, aside from making it a potential story line for a sequel, is that Marvel felt that a character like this shouldn't be killed off, for the sake of the fans. They did realize their mistake in badly portraying a character in Iron Man 3, perhaps they are now aware that the heart of the fans is an important aspect in this business and intended to not disappoint them.


In the end, I feel that Frigga's death is just a scene that had to happen, while Captain America's cameo is simply a nice touch. While Loki's trickery twisted the plot a few times, but I am glad that the first one was of good use, and with the second, I am just extremely happy that he is still alive, while bringing upon a potential story for a third movie.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Looking Forward: December 2013

This December lacks the quantity of huge blockbusters, but not in quality with one of the biggest movies of the year...

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Dec 13-USA, Dec 13-UK, Dec 12-Singapore)

          And yes, I'm referring to this one as one of the biggest movies of the year, and frankly has also been my most anticipated movie of the whole year. Last year's Unexpected Journey did not receive highly positive acclaim, while some (including me) believed that it properly sets up the story & the world for what's to come next. I just have to mention that everyone's eyes will be looking towards the dragon in this sequel, having its name in the title, teased in the first movie, and shown part of, and his voice, in the trailers. The dragon is certainly the biggest thing here, but the trailers itself promises more action, more drama, and certainly more than just dwarves and hobbits (but elves and men and spiders and orcs and everything that makes Middle-Earth the world it is).

Trailers: (Teaser) (Must See!!) (Main Trailer) (Must See!) (Sneak Peek)

Note: The first two trailers are just among the best I've ever seen. The teaser trailer is super brilliant, with an amazing soundtrack, as well as teasing the dragon in the end (being the core of the movie). The main trailer is just worth the watch because of what it shows, as well as the dragon's voice.

47 Ronin (Dec 25-USA, Dec 26-UK, Dec 19-Singapore)

          An American fantasy film, featuring an ensemble Japanese cast. Keanu Reeves is the only American actor in the movie, but even so, you got to admit he's got that Asian look in him. I have to say, the trailers did look cool, with science-fiction action in a fantasy world. Oh, they have a dragon as well. But to be honest, I didn't feel convinced in a way. The story is of a classical & traditional tale, but with a fictional take to make it an entertaining science-fiction. But I have doubts on the quality of the story. And the stylishness of the action sequences could be annoyingly far-fetched and be a drawback for mature audiences. But still, the trailer displays some decent fantasy action, and curiosity may just drive me to go and watch this.


Other Movies:

Out of the Furnace (December 6)
-A thriller film with a powerful drama, supported with some great casts...

Saving Mr. Banks (December 13)
-A biographical drama that looks good with some amazing cast...

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (December 25)
-An epic film with a strong blend of comedy & drama...

Saturday 9 November 2013


A satisfying science-fiction with solid characters & great visuals...

          Ender's Game is overall an enjoyable story following the character Ender in his pursuit of becoming a commander of a fleet. While the plot may be relatively straightforward, it is still fun to follow, with the addition of strong character developments & excellent visuals, that made this movie a rather satisfying piece of art.

          The trailers may be a bit deceiving as most of the movie is on Ender's progress in the battle school instead of the battle against the aliens. While the technology & setting of the school seems way too advanced, the basic story is very much grounded, reflecting typical issues such as friendship, competition, and even bullying. The story though is very much simple & straightforward, except for the finale where, without revealing anything, the story uncovers a great deal of mystery, while ending with a rather strong & unexpected conclusion.

          The visuals are excellent, giving the movie an extra dimension to the relatively simple plot. The character developments are good for audiences to be able to understand the characters. The finale feels grand in scale, despite it being fast & shallow. The soundtrack is amazing as well. However, the drama isn't really felt, while the humour is lacking, which otherwise might increase the value of watching it.

          It is a simple yet enjoyable movie to follow, with some great character moments, only lacking in the humour & drama which could have made it a great movie adaptation.


Good: Solid characters, Great visuals, Decent soundtrack, Good plot

Bad: Relatively simple plot, Lack of humour & drama

SCORE: 7.0 

Monday 4 November 2013


Touches of drama salvages what is an otherwise unamusing and uninteresting animation movie...

          With the likes of Cloudy, Despicable Me, and 'Disney' animations on the rise, this one stands no chance and is nowhere near the level of these animation movies. Even Turbo which lacks quality in many aspects, still manages to amuse in some ways. Free Birds is for the most part boring and cheesy, and lacks a good plot, apart from a slight touch of drama.

          The humour in this one is all too cheesy & childish. While undoubtedly targeted for little kids, what they should know, is that kids normally watch with their parents, and so there have to be something to show for them. While recent animation movies have been on the rise, and manages to drag not just the below 10 audiences, but even teenagers and adults as well, this one does not.

          The first half of the movie is unbelievably boring. With a very boring unfolding plot, and utterly unamusing humour & jokes, I kept looking at my watch, while regretting going to the cinema in the first place. The second half is slightly better, with touches of drama & even some thrills in the action, which made it just decently good to see, and saving me from the boredom I had experienced for the first 45 minutes or so.

          But in the end, this is still a boring & unamusing animation movie, with a predictable & weak plot, uninteresting characters, while only salvaged by the little touches of drama in the final moments of the film. Otherwise, this is a movie you may want to avoid for the time being.


Good: Touch of drama

Bad: Unamusing humour, Weak & predictable plot, Uninteresting characters, Boring first half

SCORE: 3.0