Wednesday 31 December 2014

Looking Forward: JANUARY 2015

With a new year bearing on us soon, it's time to take a look at movies coming out in amazing 2015...starting with January...

Taken 3 (Jan 9-USA, Jan 8-UK, Jan 8-Singapore)

          When even the second movie already feels repetitive & boring, I can't even fathom why I would want a third one. But with synopsis & trailers out, I can at least relax that no one is "taken" yet. In fact, the film is more like a manhunt: a typical protagonist on the run, trying to set things right. Sound super typical & cliche, but with Liam Neeson as the hero, and some cool action pieces, I can't see why this won't be a good time filler at the start of the year.


Blackhat (Jan 16-USA, Feb 20-UK, Jan 15-Singapore)

          An exciting premise, a well-proven director, and a fan-favourite actor makes this a very promising movie to watch. The trailer doesn't make it a lot more exciting to watch. The thing with computers is always expected to happen when a movie says cyberterrorism, but everything else seem to be more on drama than action. I will definitely watch this, but I can't say I'm totally anticipating it.
          Oh, and Jakarta (Indonesia), my home town (country) is in it, too.

Trailers: (Trailer #1) (Trailer #2)

Mortdecai (Jan 23-USA, Jan 23-UK, Jan 29-Singapore)

          With the recent flops in Johnny Depp's movies, it gets harder to root for him in new various eccentric roles. Only Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter have really worked well for him (although Tonto was alright). But any other of his film roles have so far failed him, and with a similar tone of eccentricity like most of his other roles, it becomes hard for me to get interested with this. But with a lot of excellent supporting cast, as well a trailer that's quite interesting, it's fair enough to give this film a chance.

Trailers: (Teaser) (Trailer #1)

Other Movies:

Strange Magic (January 23)
-A musical animation film by George Lucas...

Project Almanac (January 30)
-An intriguing science-fiction movie centering on teenagers, and presented with found footage scenes...

Wild Card (January 30)
-A lower budget action flick starring Jason Statham...

Happy New Year 2015 to everyone!! And keep watching movies...

Saturday 27 December 2014

SPECIAL: Mid-Season TV Review - Part 2

Several more series...


          Scorpion also felt episodic one after the other, solving distinct crimes again & again. But with this series, there was more fast-paced action as well as a lot of humour to keep the "episodic" events fun & light. There is little to enjoy within the main storyline, but the crimes & problems were made exciting by the main characters that can keep us interested & excited. The main characters, with unique characteristics & persona of their own, is the thing that makes me want to watch it one episode after the other, despite its repetitive theme.
          Unfortunately, the mid-season finale didn't feel like a finale. It's just like any other episode, with a touch of christmas. To be fair, they never promoted it as a mid-season finale, but to me, that kind of makes it less than what it could be. In the end, it's just another weekly time filler for me. A finale that impacts the main characters gives more depth to the story.

Conclusion: Simply put: very episodic. Excellent time filler with lots of action & humour, but almost no depth to the characters & the plot. Feels okay to miss out occasionally, but otherwise is fun to watch.

The Flash

          The Flash is probably the best series so far this season, followed closely by its sister series, Arrow. But overall, these two are just miles ahead - way better than any other series this season. Mixing action sequences, excellent visual effects, tons of humour, deep emotional drama within the main characters, as well as proper discovery as we journey alongside the main characters, there is no better series so far, than The Flash! The episodes never felt boring with new discoveries, of villains & plot points alike as we journey with Barry Allen. The action & humour kept each episode after the other just as exciting, or more, and the drama within the family just shows that this is a series that means business...not a simple superhero show.
          The mid-season finale worked well, too. It had been building up to this, so this episodes holds a lot of emotional plot significance, but it didn't even lack the action & suspense too. The main antagonist proves to be more than a threat, so it feels like a great archenemy to look forward to. While there was a partial reveal, not explicitly confirming anything leaves me begging for the series to (no pun intended)!!

Conclusion: Even without the hanging threads of the mid-season finale, I would still beg for more episodes of The Flash. Really recommend everyone to see this, everyone!!!


          Arrow is so good that it breaks my heart to have to put it second behind The Flash. Arrow have been my best series since 2012, and is probably the best series I've watched ever. Which is why probably series 3 finds it hard to keep it up. The first few episodes struck hard and was full of central emotional plot points, but then it kind of slowed down, before pushing hard towards the mid-season. The only setback of this series, is that the middle episodes (5 to 7) are kind of boring & less exciting, and that sometimes, there are too much characters that I find it hard to care for those we see less.
          But the mid-season made me realized why this show does not intend to slow down. It ends hard & powerful...really powerful! But it also reminds us the significance of the characters surrounding the Arrow, as well as the powers of those enemies he has made throughout the years. The main villain of this series finally show its true abilities, but it also reminds us why the cunning archenemy (Merlyn) is again, one step ahead of our hero. No question that the end of this episode begs for more to I really hope I can catapult to January 21 immediately.

Conclusion: There were several episodes that are less exciting, but in terms of the main storyline, this series keeps reminding us why we had fallen in love with this series and will always do, at least in the foreseeable future.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

SPECIAL: Mid-Season TV Review - Part 1

Most of the series I've been following are in their mid-season break, so here are my thoughts below after half a season with these series...

The Blacklist (Resumes: Feb 1, 2015)

          The Blacklist went out first, early in November after just 8 episodes. Compared to the first season, this second one so far placed much more emphasis on the main storyline, making whatever happens seem to have more of a significant impact on the main characters.
          The fall finale didn't fall short either. With twists & turns that shock as well. The only setback for me is that there seem to be too much going on in that finale episode than I had expected, leaving little for me to look forward to in future episodes. I'm sure there's more excitement to come, but they didn't leave loose threads enough to get me begging for the series to continue soon.

Conclusion: The series overall improved in plot significance, but the mid-season finale fail to keep me engaged afterwards. I will definitely see the continuation come February, but it will be out of my mind temporarily...

Forever (Resumes: Jan 6, 2015)

          Overall as a series, it felt so episodic one after the other. Some episodes hold meaningful significance, especially in relation to the main character's situation. In general, it only feels cool to see the deduction our main character does, and we do care for him. But not with everyone else, and its hard to keep being interested with the episodic crimes.
          But I was surprised at how good they managed to get their mid-season finale done. There was enough intensity, as well as twists that kept me at the edge. And the main villain reveal was good. It was a bit predictable in the sense that I knew the actor was a great actor (he should have a big role there). And he kind of fits the bill too, but at least the reveal was strong enough. And now I'm left with enough excitement for the series continuation. 

Conclusion: The whole series is just good enough to fill in my spare time, but the mid-season finale did well to get me excited for more to come. I only hope the episodic crimes will get more significant & exciting.

Gotham (Resumes: Jan 6, 2015)

          Gotham failed rather terribly in living to expectations, at least of mine. Some characters were interesting, but that's about it. The story felt episodic and felt more like a dark, strained cop-buddy series so far. The major characters in play were less interesting, and most of the villains out so far are poor in character & reveal too. Its even hard to begin to like the main protagonists...all of them.
          The mid-season didn't even do enough to justify it as a "finale". The only thing that felt right is how the final moments change the life of the main character. There was no interesting villains, no interesting fights. The Penguin is the only exciting character to watch so far. And my only reason to hold the see more reveals of the Batman villain origins and see if they can improve.

Conclusion: Had I not been a comic book fan, I would have left long ago. My only reason to continue, is to simply see more villains and hope they get it right.

Agents of SHIELD (Resumes: Mar 3, 2015)

          This series improved drastically over the first season. The only disappointment is their inability to touch the major characters in the MCU, and so there was little connection to their big screen counterpart. Series 2 started a bit messy the way I see it, but they keep a hold on it, and towards the mid-season finale, the story was set straight, and there was enough curiosity to keep the series going.
          The fall finale left a lot hanging, and a lot of loose threads. There will be lots of questions & intrigue among fans, but it was a bit poor & would be confusing for non-initiates. The fall finale also disappoint in the death of some highly rated characters, but the ending left a lot to be intrigued. A pity for non-comic book fans, but others would find the mid-season ends well, and leaves excitement for more to come when the series continues in March.

Conclusion: I probably stand by my earlier opinion. Though the series improved, non-fans would find it confusing & boring, while fans (as am I) would just be intrigued enough to see what is to come after this.

Extra Note:
Agent Carter is coming in for an 8-episode run from January 6th, ending just before Agents of SHIELD is set to continue, so make sure to look out for that...looks super promising!! More than SHIELD, to be honest...
In the meantime, have a happy holidays and Merry Christmas!! :)

Saturday 20 December 2014


"Will you have peace...or war?"

          It was not the grand, epic finale I thought it was, but still a solid, entertaining chapter that gives us one last taste of Middle-Earth, and tying all - well, almost all - loose threads from the previous 5 chapters in the saga. It's not to say it's not good, it's just not as epic as how Return of the King ended the previous trilogy...but, heck, I can't even find anything bad about this movie.

          The action sequences were every bit as fun as I can hope for. Powerful rhythms of the armies' movement, cool whacking and slashing of the axes and the blades, and some weirdly awesome action piece by Legolas (he always gets to do the weird & cool stuff). And some very emotional fights between our main heroes and villains also made it much more significant. And I have just seen one of the coolest fights ever...the one in Dol'll know it when you see it. It is just mind-blowingly cool.

            Speaking of Dol Guldur, that scene itself actually holds one of the most important ties to the LOTR trilogy. It doesn't exactly & immediately ties in, but fans can easily guess what it meant & how it can unfold into the LOTR trilogy they know. Throughout the film, there are other bits like this that does the same - some towards the end, yet some also in the middle as well. The plot on its own feel straightforward, but it's these plot ties that made it such a meaningful story to tell.

          The first two films made it feel safe & fun with no protagonist deaths. This one cranked up the emotional lever, and has dramatic deaths for - without spoiling anything - a few of them. Meanwhile, there is humour along the way to keep this climactic event light & fun - most of it coming from one comic relief character. But still good, fun humour anyway.

          Thranduil had a large role throughout, and I was satisfied by how Lee Pace pulled it off. Evangeline Lilly is also awesome, especially throughout the final moments. Martin Freeman & Ian Mckellen had always been awesome since the start, meanwhile Luke Evans as Bard has some very cool, entertaining acts. But it was Richard Armitage as Thorin that successfully portrays a sickness within, before rallying his company for one last march into battle. 

          And the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug is just...ohh...perhaps the best voice I've ever heard of. The mix of the actor's brilliant intonation & pronunciation, mixed with the growling effect of the dragon is just - mind-blowing!! I can't help it, sorry. Overall, though, the film is very solid & entertaining, with majestic moments that simply dazzle. While not as epic as LOTR trilogy, I'm proud to call this Hobbit trilogy one of the best in recent times, and I can't to watch the whole trilogy back to back to back (and back again).


Good: Awesome & cool action sequences, Defining plot points, Decent emotional drama, Excellent humour, Brilliant cast

Bad: Straightforward plot

SCORE: 8.5

Saturday 13 December 2014


"Something is coming, that is far beyond you and I..."


         For some of the time during this rather long movie, I felt rather bored, but most of the time, I was excited, and more importantly, amazed by the visual spectacle of an epic event brought to life. I had fun following the unfolding events, although some plot details are better left untouched for a more compact, fast-paced, awesome film.

         The film started well with an action scene and a potential rivalry building, but then slowed down for up until the first hour. I felt bored during those moments more than most, and admittedly, I checked my watch a few times. It is the only setback I felt of the whole film because what follows, is some awesome spectacle. The middle part was the best & most exciting part, as I was left in intense suspense & awe of the amazing visual effects, of the plagues brought to life. And somehow, I felt sympathy for the people, including main antagonist Ramesses himself (I give full credit to Joel Edgerton for bringing to life such a relatable & emotional character).

          I was immersed in the world since then, and from there onwards, it was only the wait for the final epic moment in the Red Sea. In between is just Moses' struggle in finding a way, and Ramesses' getting hell bent on revenge. I was rather surprised (slightly dissapointed though) with the climactic moment in the Red Sea. The ending was more of a necessity, but didn't feel satisfactory enough. 

          So in the end, there were moments that just dazzled and make me lost in words, but others were just boring plot points, some of which could have been removed. My full credit is for Ridley Scott for such an amazing work, especially on how much effort is put into the details, that brings to life such an amazing world and epic event that it centers on. Acting-wise, Joel Edgerton is the only one that took me by surprise and was beyond amazing. Action sequences were story-driven, meanwhile no comedy as I recalled in a film so dramatically-toned.


Not really good & bad aspects, more of a amazing moments & some boring moments.

SCORE: 7.5

I want to share something, just my opinion (not to be taken offensively or personally):

          Many people, including critics, still complain about races in casting. I understand their views, but personally, I just had enough of these racial issues. I am over it for long, since I realized what this is, is just movie-making. This is entertainment, this is the show business. What we want is great movies, great actors for the role (and maybe marketing-wise too). But all this ever just a movie, not even a documentary. If he or she could portray the character well, and the movie become great, then why not? I believe its pasttime that people still complain about casting issues, and just enjoy the movie for what it is. This is how I find myself to enjoy movies more than most, by putting these kind of issues aside. But this was never meant to make you or others change your minds about this. I just wanted to share my thoughts on this, is all. Have a good day, everyone! And keep enjoying movies... 

Saturday 6 December 2014

SPECIAL: Top 10 Most Anticipated of 2015 - Part 2

Top three of 2015!!

Note: I will not be putting Furious 7 in here (even if it should), because it was already in my 2014 post, with the release date changed (remembering Paul Walker) after that post was published. For the sake of giving opportunity for other movies, it will not be included in this Top 10. But just for you to know, if it had, it would have been in number 6, in between Mission: Impossible 5 & Terminator: Genisys.

Top we go!!

3. Spectre (November 6)

          The most famous british spy in the big screen. "007" will be back with his 24th (wow, what a number) appearance. Daniel Craig has made Bond into his own with his recent movies, and Skyfall is just awesome. With a game-changer story like never before, yet still has the excellent action sequences, and a lot of fun and laughs along the way, Skyfall was, in my eye, the defining Bond movie for my generation. Repeating a quote of mine on the previous post but just as true, if this next film is half as good as this one, then the Bond franchise is in very safe hands.
           More to add to the excitement is the recent news of the title, the car & the cast. What intrigues me the most is the casting of Christoph Waltz & Andrew Scott. If I have only seen Inglorious Basterds and Sherlock series, it'll already give me the utmost confidence of what kinds of villain they can portray. And with the return of SPECTRE, this next Bond flick couldn't get any more exciting.

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18)

          The most famous science-fiction movie franchise ever - with earnings close to the billion per film (with Phantom Menace passing the mark) - and whose legacy spreads beyond the films, reaching out to the games, animations, novels, and even comics - is back! I have always been a Star Wars fan since I was a kid, especially with the movies and the video games. A lightsaber has always been my dream fictional weapon, and if anything, fight sequences of lightsaber duels are beyond awesome. With the speed, agility, and the awesome clashing sounds of the sabers, these duels alone would be enough for me to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The only thing holding me back so far is the all new cast, most of whom I'm still less familiar with, casting a tiny glimpse of doubt. But with J.J. Abrams (his work, the flawless Star Trek Into Darkness) at the helm, and some of the original cast returning, I have nothing but pure excitement and anticipation for when this movie comes out.

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)

          This was never in question, ever. Being a longtime Marvel fan by blood (figuratively, of course), there can be nothing I anticipate more than this. To see these awesome superheroes band together again, now with a villain that is a true nemesis to the Avengers. The first film was a tremendous success, and I have every confidence that this will replicate that feat. Joss Whedon is a true genius and does this as a passionate fan as well. He challenged and overcame the impossible with The Avengers, and now he's up for more with this super anticipated sequel. With an awesome trailer (& several sneak peeks) out, I can with sheer confidence claim that this is my top most anticipated (and I hope, the best) blockbuster of 2015.

Other Movies:
-Jupiter Ascending (February 6)

-Kingsman: The Secret Service (February 13)

-The Divergent Series: Insurgent (March 20)

-Furious 7 (April 3)

-Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15)

-Tomorrowland (May 22)

-Inside Out (June 19)

-Pan (July 17)

-The Fantastic Four (August 7)

-Hitman: Agent 47 (August 28)

-Hotel Transylvania 2 (September 25)

-London Has Fallen (October 2)

There are certainly many other films to look forward to...these being the ones that quickly caught my eye and are among my top anticipated ones...
Yet these dates are by no means certain, as changes are bound to happen occasionally...
However, 2015 does seem to be quite exciting when we make a list like this...

Friday 28 November 2014

SPECIAL: Top 10 Most Anticipated of 2015 - Part 1

Note: I've just hit yet another benchmark of total pageviews, and I would sincerely thank all of you readers for continually supporting my blog, and make me feel like I have not written for nothing. You all have my complete gratitude, and now, let's kick on with a SPECIAL post...

With 2015 just over the horizon, we can already peek ahead on the big, big blockbusters waiting for us in the wonderful year ahead...

Now 2015 may not be the epic year we once thought it would be, after the delays of Batman v Superman, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Independence Day sequel, etc. But the year remains to hold some of the biggest movie projects ever and the year end holiday season (November-December) looks to be so very hot indeed...

Ant-Man Comic Con header

10. Kung Fu Panda 3 (December 23 March 2016)

Note: This film has been moved to 2016 after this post has been shall not be removed, but it will mean (like Furious 7), that it definitely won't be in the list for 2016

          The Kung Fu Panda films are always a joy to behold. Full of laughs, strong in drama, and even awesome in the fight scenes. The first film was the first time I had myself amazed by an action scene in an animation movie and kind of start to put my trust in their qualities. In the second, every single aspect is upped and this has become one of my favourite animation film franchises of all time. So, yeah, really looking forward to this one.

9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (November 20)

          The final instalment in the series. I'm not a book reader, but with the final chapter divided into two parts, certainly we can expect to have the epic, emotional things happening towards the end of the story in this instalment. Katniss have become an unlikely hero for many to root for, and the first part of this chapter has just been released, and my, have the story been set up for one big emotional showdown between the rebels & the Capitol. Certainly not the film to be missed next year.

8. Ant-Man (July 17)

          Six months ago, Ant-Man would not have been on this list. But the excitement with the news & the casts kind of instil more confidence in me with this one. Plus, this is a Marvel Studios movie...yes, those movies which have been under the supervision of Kevin Feige and friends...the ones that had been doing superbly both critically and comercially in recent, yeah...certainly this one is going to be good as well, right? Furthermore, this will now act as the final film in Phase 2, following Avengers: Age of Ultron. So this film will have the challenge to follow up and get fans excited for more in the next step of the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.

7. Minions (July 10)

          Minions...why not? After all they are the adorable stars of the Despicable movies, are they not? The first two Despicable movies were great fun, and they have become a fan favourite in the long list of animation movies. While the second movie didn't improve much from the first, maybe its time for Gru and the kids to take a break, as the minions takes centre stage for 2015. The minions are always adorable and funny in the eye of movie-goers, and its interesting to see how the writers bring about the story of these little yellow minions.

6. Terminator Genisys (July 1)

          Terminator Salvation did not do so well, while the preceding Terminator films were just a bit too old for me, so I'm kind of expecting the defining Terminator film for my generation. Now while little details are being shared to the public, it's good to know that Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back for this, and some excellent cast joining the mix as well in Jason Clarke & Emilia Clarke (& Matt Smith). Meanwhile, I have quite the confidence in director Alan Taylor for his works in Thor: The Dark World & Game of Thrones. But in the end, I'm just still looking for that defining Terminator movie to finally pull me into their world.

5. Mission: Impossible 5 (December 25)

          Tom Cruise, the action star you never want to miss. Even at the age of 52, he is still looking very good and making such awesome action movies. Meanwhile, the Mission: Impossible films are his most famous movies, and Ghost Protocol was one of the best action movies EVER. I certainly did not exaggerate enough with the uppercase, because trust me, every single minute of Ghost Protocol was awesome. The suspense of the things he did, the stakes that is laid upon, and even the quick change of plans needed when things go wrong. Yet it is funny for a lot of moments, and the action is brilliant. If this next one is even half as good as this one, it will still be more than enough to be a top action blockbuster.

4. Jurassic World (June 12)

          I was always a fan of the Jurassic Park movies since I was a kid. While the films kind of gets worse as the trilogy progresses, ending with the rather disappointing Jurassic Park 3, the first film was an absolute treat with the breakthrough CGI at the time & the sheer suspense brought on screen. While the original cast like Jeff Goldblum & Sam Neill won't be back, we have some new exciting cast in Chris Pratt and friends. Thought I'm not familiar with the director, there are really only two reasons needed to justify me seeing this. The first is simply because I'm a big fan of the series...the second is because of Jurassic World as a theme park, full with the attractions (dinosaurs), resorts, and even rides in the island where it all started. The place is beautiful, imagine if it was real. I mean, who would not want to see that?? 

The top three to come in the next post...along with some other movies to look out for when 2015 arrives... 

Saturday 22 November 2014


"You will rescue Peeta at the earliest opportunity, or you can find another Mockingjay!"

          Like many other final chapters in novel series that have come before or are yet to come (or The Hobbit for that matter), people were critical of the decision to split the final chapter into two parts, claiming it's mostly due to monetary potential. Specifically for this, reasons include the small number of pages & no clear split in the book. It may be true, and I can see what they meant, but in all honesty, I'm glad they did split it into two parts.

          The tone feels very different than its predecessors, even from the start. In here, its all about the revolution, and Katniss (and the audiences) are no longer in the dark. Instead, we have a wider view of what's happening in the whole of Panem, allowing us to really understand the situation. Despite being the third film in the series, it starts like a new film, because it really feel like just the start of the revolution. The only difference being our familiarity with the characters. Hence, the split works for me, because it's a shame if the revolution has to end, despite just beginning. And it gets me wondering what the first two films are, because they seem to be simply Katniss' (and the audiences') discovery of the situation at hand. Mockingjay really kicks in and feels like the heart of the story behind it all, so to set it up for one final showdown was a very nice feeling.

          In more technical terms, there are not a lot of action sequences, but they are powerful. Every single action done is strongly driven by the necessity of the plot. There are no extended fight scenes, instead we have actions which are meaningful & purposeful, which is not a bad thing, really. The plot works & feels fresh, because we no longer have a narrow vision, and the revolution really begins now. Other aspects like humour, drama, or even music is decent, but none of them can really commended. We have been sticking with generally the same cast & characters, so they were great, as we knew it. But even the newcomers are excellent. Slow pacing may be the only thing lacking, given the idea of splitting a small book into two films, while staying true to the books closely. Powerful plot & action opens up the door well for one more ultimate showdown between the rebels & the Capitol, as we wait the final instalment of the series, a year from now.


Good: Fresh & excellent plot, Powerful plot-driven action, Decent drama & humour, Great cast

Bad: Relatively slow pacing

SCORE: 8.0

Saturday 15 November 2014

Looking Forward: DECEMBER 2014

This year ends with some of the biggest movies of epic proportions in terms action, setting & story...

Exodus: Gods and Kings (Dec 12-USA, Dec 26-UK, Dec 11-Singapore)

          The first of the epic films is a story based on the Book of Exodus, specifically; of Moses. I had a feeling this may be of similar stature and tone as that of Noah, just earlier this year. But when I saw the trailer, I was surprised by the scale of the setting, story, and even the action. The rivalry of Moses and Ramesses as the core of the story seems to work well, and then they take it to another level with grand scale battles & kingdom wide implications. Take that, the plague, and the splitting of the red sea, and it becomes a visual wonder to behold. The visual effects team will have to work hard on achieving great results, but the trailers alone proved that they have indeed worked hard & pay attention to a lot of the details. Under the helm of Ridley Scott, and brought to life by casts like Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, and more, this is certainly one biblical epic not to be missed.

Trailers: (Teaser) (Main Trailer) (Must See!!) (Final Trailer)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Dec 17-USA, Dec 12-UK, Dec 18-Singapore)

          The term epic may not even be enough to describe this defining chapter of the Middle-Earth saga. Panned out in six magical films of visual wonders, the saga is to be concluded in this Peter Jackson masterpiece that will be the centre piece that ties loose ends and connects the story past, present & future. And as far as wars & battles go, Peter Jackson may have made the best of them, but this upcoming titular battle is sure to match them & amaze audiences everywhere. While Middle-Earth films are known for their thrilling action pieces & stunning visual effects, the story will be no less significant as we previously left Middle-Earth with many matters unresolved, and implications are sure to be massive, both to this film and to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. With lots of ties to be knot, the threat of a dragon still lingering, and a great big battle to come. We will surely jump in for the ride, one last time!

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

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (Dec 19-USA, Dec 19-UK, Dec 25-Singapore)

          Perhaps not one of the epic films I mentioned, but is sure to entertain. The final instalment in the series, Secret of the Tomb will also pay tribute to two stars, Mickey Rooney, and most notably, Robin Williams. The story takes on the idea that the powers of the tablet that allows the attractions to come to life, is dying. But the plot matters little when it comes to comedy. However, even on the entertainment & comedy side, I find it hard when judging by the trailer, as all the jokes & humour seems old & repetitive. They need to find new kinds of humour to keep it fresh, unfortunately, from the trailers, it doesn't look like it. I the film proves me wrong, and with a further cast of Ben Stiller, Ben Kingsley, Ricky Gervais, and more, it surely would be disappointing if the film does not entertain the way their predecessors did.

Trailers: (Trailer #1) (Trailer #2)

Other Movies:

Into the Woods (December 25)
-A musical fantasy taking the stories of fairy tales, featuring an ensemble cast of Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, and many more...

Unbroken (December 25)
-A war drama film, which focuses on the survival & resilience of an olympic athlete in a raft, and then in a Japanese POW camp...

American Sniper (December 25-Limited Release, January 16-Wide Release)
-An authentic take on the life of a sniper, emphasising the doubts & decisions, and more importantly, the consequences of his actions...

Friday 7 November 2014


"I'm coming back"

          Even after halfway into the movie, it felt like a science-fiction expedition that is straightforward to follow, until such a moment came, and the final hour of the film was all Christopher Nolan. Another magic made yet again, and though the movie felt a bit too long, there was no minute where I wish I was somewhere else.

          It's hard to talk about plot here, and I seriously do not want to spoil anything. But just know that the first half of the movie was very easy to follow, before taking a leap, and towards the end, it's all Christopher Nolan once again, and you find yourself piecing all that you have known together to make sense of the movie.

          The visuals are breathtaking. And I'm especially in awe of the effects they made on the wormhole, with colourful dazzling effects and the bending of the space. It certainly was a wonder to behold. There certainly wasn't much more of spectacular visuals, but it came into place in every scene brilliantly, be it in outer space or in other planets. 

          And the other thing that left me in awe is the music. Not just in awe, but in chills. Hans Zimmer conceive such a brilliant piece of theme that is now stuck in my head, and probably for days to come. Even more brilliant, is how it came to be, so I would like to share this:

          The core of the story being the relationship of a father and a daughter makes for a powerful piece of drama, and several times I feel the emotion so deeply. I almost cried at one point of the story, because how the story is set out is brilliant, and touching in the heart. Full credit to a number of the cast who I can't praise enough. Matthew McConaughey was unbelievable! He should win another Oscar for this. From his crying, to his anger, to his calmness...brilliant! Young Mackenzie Foy was the surprise of the lot, she was amazing as young Murph being left by her dad. Yet everyone else is great as well, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, and of course Michael Caine...perhaps this is one of the most perfect cast ever assembled.

          There is only this slight matter of pacing, in which certain parts of the film could have progressed faster than it was. So it does feel quite long, but there was never any minute where I wish I'd rather be somewhere else, because the world, the characters are worth investing for.

          There was great humour along the way, which made the journey even more pleasant. The robots TARS & CASE were great, and provided some extra humour & drama too. There was almost no proper action sequences, but it was never the intention of the movie, and I wouldn't expect it either. But the suspense throughout, especially under the constraint of resources was intense. And, there was never any doubt on the directing part, is there?


Good: Brilliant visuals, Great plot, Powerful drama, Decent humour, Amazing cast, Wonderful music

Bad: A bit slow at times

SCORE: 8.5

Friday 31 October 2014

SPECIAL: MARVEL Phase 3 Line-Up - Part 3

The remaining two movies, which you might already know of if you've been following the news, but anyway, here it is...

A quick update before we start:
I've just found out that Ant-Man will no longer be part of Phase 3, and will act as the last film in Phase 2 instead.


Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 (May 4, 2018)
Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2 (May 3, 2019)

          This is the big thing, the massive event where everything in the MCU will culminate in. Beginning in Phase 1, where we see The Tesseract & Loki's Scepter, moving on to Phase 2 where we are further introduced to The Aether & another yet unnamed Infinity Stone (purple orb) in Guardians, and into Phase 3, expect more stones to be revealed, where everything will culminate in a battle against the mad titan Thanos, who in the anouncement teaser, is seen wearing the Infinity Gauntlet with all the gems attached. Again, the title seems no less conspicuous, clearly hinting to the fact that this will the biggest of battles, with the involvement of the Infinity Stones.
          The battle is probably going to be so big, that the whole arc is to be split into two parts, with a one year gap in between, which will not feel too long once the epic battle takes place. And a film of this epic scale allows the possibility of more new characters to be part of the fight, and more importantly, even the Guardians of the Galaxy. Not only is the movie scale & scope big enough to fit all the characters, but even the story would probably allow the settings to take place in the cosmos, other dimensions, realms, etc. It feels massive, but I hope (and I do have the sheer confidence) that there will be a strong emotional plot holding all the action & settings together. 
          Releasing in May 2018 & May 2019, the journey is still quite a long one. (But the excitement & anticipation is surely high...and will be even more so...)

Phase 3 - Overall Thoughts

          In a quick glance, there seems to be more new character standalone films than the sequels. Equal in numbers, though, if we take into account the two Avengers films. However, the way I see it, Phase 3 may well be the end of the line for our original Avengers: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America. Because they seem to have no plan to go beyond a trilogy for their respective standalones, and by the end of Phase 3, would have done three (or four) Avengers films as well. Add to that the fact that the actors' contracts would have been exhausted by then. So, unless Marvel has another big plan for these characters going forward (crossing fingers), it does seem like these characters won't go beyond Phase 3.
          So, in the end, it will feel like Phases 1-3, will be like the big trilogy that encompasses the story arcs for our original Avengers. Afterwards, stories told may be of the newer characters introduced, and the Avengers roster might have changed completely by then. It's not all bad, and yes, by then, I would still have complete faith in Marvel, but it's just sad to feel that the stories of the original Avengers may end by 2019.
         Of course, this is just my speculative vision, and there's still hope for them to appear in Phase 4 and beyond. Chris Hemsworth won't be too old to continue by then, and Sebastian Stan should have 9 movie contract, so it's too early to cross them off just yet. And in this industry, anything can happen. From recasts to recontracts, anything can happen, and it's in their (Marvel) hands that we can simply place our trust that they will bring what's best for the fans and for audiences around the world. In the meantime, let us simply enjoy what is up ahead for us: The 9 movies in Phase 3 is sure to be one hell of a journey in a three year span...and we're not even done with Phase in line, Avengers: Age of Ultron!!!


Thursday 30 October 2014

SPECIAL: MARVEL Phase 3 Line-Up - Part 2

Continuing yesterday's post of my thoughts on the Phase 3 Line-Up from Marvel...

Thor: Ragnarok (July 28, 2017)

          This is probably my most anticipated sequel in Phase 3, simply to see Loki back in the mix again. Now Ragnarok is a very significant event in the comics: it is the apocalyptic battle which ends up with the destruction of Asgard, and one of the trigger is due to Loki's actions. While fans would be familiar with the word, general audiences may not be, hence Kevin Feige's word that Marvel will educate the world on the meaning of "Ragnarok" (presumably through future films) until when the film arrives.
          Kevin Feige also explained that the word Ragnarok essentially means "the end of all things", so it really does feel as if the future is grim for Asgard and all the Nine Realms. More excitingly, is that he further claimed that this story arc will change the Phase 3 the way that The Winter Soldier did for Phase 2, so expect it to be something big. 
          And seriously, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) should be reason enough to go see this movie.

Black Panther (Nov 3, 2017)

          Black Panther is a character long overdue in the cinematic universe. It's among the fans' favourite, and has significant presence in the comics universe. The character brings diversity to the world of MCU, but is a very welcome one. And if pulled off right, I think the people would love this character, as he's easily relatable and not overly superpowered. And in fact, we already have an actor in the awesome Chadwick Boseman (while we're still waiting for confirmation for Doctor Strange), and he's set to be introduced in Captain America: Civil War, before gracing his own film the following year.

Note: There was a film scheduled for May 4, 2018. But as Kevin Feige skipped it temporarily during the announcement, so will I. I will discuss about it in the final part.

Captain Marvel (July 6, 2018)

          Similarly, this could almost be said as a character that is long overdue in the MCU, and again is similarly bringing diversity to the roster, being the first female Marvel superhero to have her own standalone film. Lots of alter-ego have taken the mantle of Captain Marvel in the comics, but for this film, Marvel is taking the character Carol Danvers, also known as Ms. Marvel. An interesting character, as Kevin Feige said, is of Earth origins but have adventures as far as the cosmos, so it will bring a new kind of movie for the MCU. Not one of my most anticipated films to come as of now, but I have been proven wrong before, and I have complete faith in Marvel that they will pull off another amazing movie with this superheroine.

Inhumans (Nov 2, 2018)

          The 20th film in the MCU, and much like the 10th (Guardians), looks to be yet another wildcard. Guardians of the Galaxy was a gamble that paid off unbelievably well, and that gives the confidence for Marvel to not only bring a sequel, but bring another group of cosmic-based characters with different personalities & settings. General audiences will have little to no clue as to who these characters are, and so it's again up to Marvel to introduce them, and make them awesome in the eyes of the world. I felt that way with Guardians, but apparently, not with Inhumans, as I've had the privilege of knowing them once before. Still, here's hoping it can be great & appealing to not just the fans, but to everyone.

One last post for the remaining two films, and a general thought on Phase 3...

Wednesday 29 October 2014

SPECIAL: MARVEL Phase 3 Line-Up - Part 1

Marvel said they were holding a big event with some big announcements...and they really mean fact, it's beyond's...the whole Phase 3 Line-Up!!
As a Marvel fan by heart & soul, this is an excitement overload...and below are my thoughts on them...

Here are the announced line-up:

Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016)

          This was speculated recently but it's nice to know it's been confirmed. (Hey, Marvel even joked with the subtitle Serpent Society, before revealing the truth towards the end of the event). The subtitle Civil War is a bit direct in hinting us of what the story is about, and Civil War is a story arc in the comics which, in essence, splits the superheroes of Earth into two sides, a pro registration and an anti registration, under Iron Man and Captain America, respectively. So, expect a big & emotional battle between our two notable Avengers above.
          Some of my friends have pointed out concerns that since Marvel have only introduced a rather small number of heroes in the universe, there may not be enough characters to call this a war, maybe not even a sense of it. Though it may be true that the scale & impact of the event may not be as powerful as it is in the comics, I personally have faith in Kevin Feige (President of Marvel Studios) and the team to pull off something amazing. 
          But, hey, Black Panther is confirmed to be in this film, so that's another exciting character in the mix, right?

Doctor Strange (Nov 4, 2016)

           This is my favourite of all the new characters to be introduced in Phase 3. In fact, Doctor Strange may well be my favourite superhero in the MCU so far (Note: superhero, not supervillain - Loki, Winter Soldier, Ultron - I just love villains), because there is a certain personality with the character Stephen Strange, and there's another thing about his style and his tone which makes him even more interesting. He is really rather different than other heroes that came before, and as Kevin Feige stated, this film will introduce the supernatural side of the universe, with parallel dimensions, etc. 
          One thing to note is that the release date is pushed to November, instead of the originally flagged July date. Nevertheless, a few months is nothing if it means getting yet another awesome Marvel film. Hey, especially if Benedict Cumberbatch is involved (Still...still...not officially confirmed...).

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5, 2017)

           Guardians 2 is another that gets a change in the release date, albeit a move forward instead of a delay. One reason may be due to the unexpectedly huge success of Guardians of the Galaxy, but another may be simply because James Gunn have already started working on it, compared to other projects that may need to wait before getting started. Either way, Guardians was an excitingly fun surprise, and I certainly expect more of the same from the sequel, and I can't wait to see what James Gunn has in store for in the next space adventure.

More films to be discussed in the next post...

Saturday 25 October 2014


"Yeah...I'm thinking I'm back"

          I scanned the reviews, most of which gave highly positive, of this film before seeing it. After which, though, I have to almost completely disagree with the critics & reviewers. There are some fun to be had with this, but it lacked in almost every aspect a great action film should have.

          To start with, it lacked tension. In fact, it feels less and less exciting as the minute goes. And still along the lines of the action sequences, it lacked variety. The first fight scene was still cool and fresh and exciting. As it goes, it just repeats the style, the tone, over and over again, just on different settings. And if you have a main protagonist that was once feared by the criminal underworld, and didn't give him an equally powerful antagonist to face him off: no tension will arise. Somehow you always feel that this hero you're rooting for, will always pull through. Seriously...not exciting!!

          And then there is the plot, which just takes on the theme of revenge...again...and again. It's repetitive, and when it should make us feel for the characters, we don't. The protagonist, John Wick, takes on this mission simply out of revenge, and then the primary antagonist, takes on his as a revenge to the revenge mission that John did. Worsened by the fact that we never really get to relate to these characters.

          Action, tension & plot; all the things a good action film requires. And John Wick lacks in all. Yet it's not all bad, as the cast did prove great, and wow, did Keanu Reeves just pull off another wonderful performance. And the style of the action did start well, cool & fresh, until it starts getting repetitive. More importantly, they played a lot with the humour and the jokes and the dialogues, which is where all the fun is to be found. So, yeah, there are some fun to be had from this, but nothing makes this movie even close to a good action flick.


Good: Stylish action sequences, Awesome cast & performances, Nice humour

Bad: Repetitive action, Low tension & suspense, Boring plot, Lack of drama 

SCORE: 4.5

Tuesday 21 October 2014


"The best job I ever had!"

          Fury is a film about a tank and her crew in the final moments of war. It focuses on the drama and the action, and tries to achieve as much authenticity. They seem to try and imitate the tone of Saving Private Ryan, but not to that level. The movie lacks in plot, but their authenticity combined with some dramatic tensions and tank battles makes this feel like a fresh change, after a string of science-fiction, fantasy blockbusters in recent time.

          I would really have to say that this movie really did take a more serious & authentic tone, making it, in a way, kind of darker & tragic. So, for people who can't enjoy films like this, they probably won't. But those who can appreciate the nature of this film, will most likely enjoy it, the way I did. It was not as bloody & tragic as Saving Private Ryan, which could be considered good, because SPR is a bit too much. This one still plays the action sequences to their strengths, which leads me to my next point:

          The action feels bloody brilliant. There are moments of tension like in the wait for the tank's cannon to be reloaded, and whether it will miss or hit. It's a different kind of action than what we usually see (gunfight, sword fight, hand-to-hand), yet it's very suspenseful, and I really appreciate the magnitude of the sound effects. It felt real, and gave it a more devastating and powerful feel, the sound of every cannon, every bullet, every mortar.

          Unfortunately, the plot is so predictable and cliched, and is very straightforward. But the characters are great, and the bond built within the tank crew is the core of the relationship. At first, it's a bit hard to like the crew (though understandable, given their experience with the war), but then slowly, we begin to like the characters one by one, and after midway, we feel like we are already part of the crew, part of the tank, and we just want to root for them. And everything that happens to them just keeps adding on to the drama. And little humour is to be expected from a movie of this nature.

          It does feel like a fresh film, because it's been a while since we see one like this. It still plays to their strengths with some explosive action sequences, strong suspense & drama. But those who go to the films for just some fun, probably won't find it here. Those who can't appreciate, will enjoy the film. Others probably won't.


Good: Explosive action sequences, Strong suspense & drama, Great characters

Bad: Predictable plot, Little humour

SCORE: 7.0


Tuesday 14 October 2014

Looking Forward: NOVEMBER 2014

Bless you, November, you are awesome! Not only is this the month of my birthday, but it really has a...and I can't believe I'm finally using this word...SURPLUS of blockbuster movies...yes, indeed...

Interstellar (Nov 7-USA, Nov 7-UK, Nov 6-Singapore)

          Christopher Nolan is a true genius in this industry, and his works have dazzled me and many others, time and time again. This one, yet again, looks to be another of his iconic masterpiece. The kind that incorporates science-fiction in ways we never imagined, while having a very human drama in its core. So far, details have been pretty much in the blur, but if the trailers are any indication, there will be lots of twists and revelations, and certainly no shortage of human drama that will storm our hearts and minds. And the array of talent in the cast is also amazing. I'm expecting a jaw-dropping, mind-blowing, heart-crushing (maybe I'm slightly exaggerating...slightly) kind of film that is another masterpiece by the great Chris Nolan. 
          The final trailer is simply stunning, and a must watch!!

Trailers: (Teaser) (Trailer #2) (Trailer #3) (Final Trailer) (Must See!!!)

Big Hero 6 (Nov 7-USA, Jan 30-UK, Nov 13-Singapore)

          I was initially excited by the idea of having (now Disney-owned) Marvel comics characters in a Disney animation film. What I did not realize, is the characters their taking are...well...not what I expect. The only thing sustaining my hope for this film is that it is a Disney animations project, the kind that produced the amazing Tangled & Frozen in the past years. Now it will really have to work hard and prove me wrong, because the trailers kind of looked unbelievably childish so far, and without proper theme & story. The action sequences looked promising, but the characters don't. As of now, I'm just kind of half-interested with this one.

Trailers: (Teaser) (Trailer #1) (Trailer #2) (NYCC Trailer)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (Nov 21-USA, Nov 21-UK, Nov 20-Singapore)

          It's been quite the journey with our heroine Katniss, and now the story takes a swift turn as we leave the games and turn towards the big thing behind all this, the revolution. As we left Catching Fire, audiences are still left in the shadows with questions unanswered, and plots left hanging. So, now, we will get to see what the events in the first two films transpire into, and hope it can replicate the brilliance of its predecessors. Trailers have come and teased us, but still left a lot of plot in the dark. But it's enough to get us back in the ride with the Mockingkjay. 

Trailers: (Teaser) (Main Trailer)

The Imitation Game (Nov 21-USA, Nov 14-UK, Jan 22-Singapore)

          The smallest budget of the bunch, yet promises quite the story & drama, and even comedy too. A dramatic take on the historical events of Alan Turing and the cracking of the enigma code, yet that particular event may be of less interests, with a powerful story revolving the character. The film boasts an all-round talented cast in Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Mark Strong and Charles Dance, and quite the comedy and drama surrounding the historical discovery. And then comes the trailer that more than convinced me that this is one awesome movie I just can't miss.


Penguins of Madagascar (Nov 26-USA, Dec 5-UK, Nov 27-Singapore)

          The Madagascar films have always been funny while also keeping strong with the emotional ride with the characters. What sets them apart is that they have uniquely distinctive characters. And now we follow upon the bunch that is most intriguing yet is rarely focused upon in the films, instead having to run in their own TV series instead. Here we are now, with the first feature film focusing on the Penguins of Madagascar.
          These penguins are adorable yet they live the lives of espionage, which makes them both cool and cute at the same time. Each of these penguins, one with the other, have distinctive characters which makes them quite the unique team to solve all kinds of problems. Teaming up with an elite undercover task force to stop a villainous force from taking over the world, this may be the definitive crossover genre of animation & spy thriller. What a combination! Not convinced? Check out the trailers. Still not? Let me tell you that among the voice cast is Benedict Cumberbatch ( seems familiar...) and John Malkovich. If you are still not convinced, then go jump off a bridge, because, man, this is going to be one awesome animation film!!

Trailers: (Trailer #1) (Trailer #2)

Other Movies:

Dumb and Dumber To (November 14)
-A sequel to the successful 1994 comedy Dumb and Dumber...

Horrible Bosses 2 (November 26)
-Another sequel to another successful comedy...

Saturday 11 October 2014

SPECIAL: More TV Series

Just over a week in October now, and more TV Series have followed, and here are my first impressions I have on these TV series below...

Forever (New)

          Forever is already 4 episodes in now, given that they presented two in their first week of release, and they have so far given me some deep lasting impressions. Most of the time it may feel episodic, with case after case for respective episodes, and though the main character's observational skill & intelligence may seem familiar in presentation (recall: Sherlock), beneath all that, there are deeper meanings within the plot, especially concerning the case of the main character (which, in case you haven't heard, cannot die). He's been living for 2 centuries now, and that character brings out the meanings of life, death, and hope by the contrast of his life to the mortals around him, and that in turn gives viewers a sense of drama & meaning as well. It can be very touching indeed with this series.

Conclusion: If you can enjoy episodic investigations, this is a good one to watch, because it always bring deeper meanings with every episode, and intrigue is always in the play.

The Flash (New) & Arrow (S3)

          It should easily make sense that I put them together because they exist in the same universe, but I'll give separate impressions on each.

          The Flash surprises me (and a lot of others) with just how brilliant their pilot episode is. Great action & visuals, check. Excellent and intriguing plot, check. Mix of humour & drama, check! And furthermore, the main character Barry Allen is not your ordinary hero, he is flawed yet funny at the same time. He's just the character you want to invest your time in. And seriously, for a superhero show that usually focuses more on action (which they did well), they put a great mix of humour & drama that really works surprisingly well. And to exist together with Arrow, gives it a more interesting dynamic.

            Meanwhile, Arrow had already been strong & consistent, and they may have actually been improving episode after episode, for two full seasons now. So, it's up to the show runners to raise the bar & the stakes even more now, and one episode in, and they didn't disappoint. There was a slightly calmer overall tone (aptly titled episode, 'The Calm'), but it didn't stop finding trouble & action, as well as more plot to unravel which sets the ground and the game afoot for the upcoming season. It's a good and decent start, but what gives it it's heart, is how the episode ends in such the surprise and the cliffhanger, that this show really tells us, we're up for something epic this season, and personally, I can see that happening.

Conclusion: The Flash is a must watch for everyone (unless you are turned off by science-fiction...but who is?), and similarly for Arrow, is more than just a complement to it's sister series, but is a definite must watch! Even if you have not seen the first two seasons, go see them now!!

Agents of SHIELD may have found new life in season 2, and Gotham started strong with their characters, but this cross-universe world of The Flash & Arrow is the superhero show to beat, and I certainly believe this will be the most epic cross-universe series ever, and my, are we for one hell of a year...