Monday 26 May 2014


"We have a new enemy...we need a new weapon for this war"

          With minor flaws that has little impact, X-Men: Days of Future Past is the summer blockbuster we've been waiting for. It has tremendous action sequences & great visuals, while employing a strong & dark storyline, with enough humour & drama for audiences to capture all there is about this wonderful franchise. This is the defining X-Men film that centralizes and set things right for the whole series.

           There is just no other way to put this, but this really is the defining X-Men film we've been waiting for. It's strongest aspect is the fact that it feels like the centre of it all. Before this film, the franchise is spread out and messed up, but this film ties them all together & wraps things together in one big box called "X-Men". It's hard to say too much without spoiling it, but its just good to know that this movie fixes the wrongs of the past, and opens the door for the future (speaking in terms of the franchise itself). So it really feels like the centre of the franchise, and it is kind of fitting, with such an ensemble of the old cast and the new, and more importantly, Bryan Singer himself made sure that this is one for people to remember for the ages.

           Speaking about the details, the storyline was great, and while time travel story usually provides complications, Bryan Singer set the rules straight from the start and so it didn't feel too complex to follow. And once again I just have to say my main reason for singling out this franchise (and this movie) compared to other superhero movies is the theme of mutants being a despised minority race instead of a glorified hero or team. This became the major theme of the film once again, and it really works. 

           The action sequences and visuals were an absolute treat, especially in the future setting. The opening sequence itself was a blast and one of my favourite fight scenes. Fights in the past was not half bad, and my, does Magneto (past version) look badass with his immense powers. There was little humour in the future setting, but the first half of the movie (in the past) was just pure entertainment, with lots of laugh in Wolverine, Quicksilver, and even Professor X himself. The drama was well presented throughout, with characters we know and love playing major roles in the story. Most importantly, the idea of Professor X finding his hope & rightful ways, as well as Mystique trying to find her true nature, is well presented as the core of the drama in the film.

           As I did mention "minor flaws that has little impact" in the first paragraph, here's just some ideas why. Without spoiling anything (I hope), the switching between past and future in the second half of the film felt like it took something away from the film, especially concerning the drama and about embracing the moment and feeling for certain characters. More importantly, though, it felt as if not much story or plot is given to the future characters (even Xavier & Magneto), that it gets hard to even feel for them. Despite the cruel scenes in the future, the stakes are not presented to be high so as to regard feelings for the future characters. Meanwhile, the ending also felt too loose and leaves many explanation needed, making it less satisfying than it could have been otherwise. Yet, they do not matter much when you have a movie as fun as what you see throughout the two hours, and this is simply the summer blockbuster we've been waiting for.

Note: It would require watching most of the other X-Men films to understand the whole of this film. General audiences will enjoy the movie, too, but to get the future experience, it is recommended to have knowledge of past X-Men films.


Good: Excellent action sequences, Great visuals, Brilliant plot, Great mix of humour & drama, (Assembling the whole franchise together)

Bad: Less satisfying ending

SCORE: 9.0

Wednesday 21 May 2014


"The arrogance of man is thinking that nature is in their control...and not the other way around"

          The world's most famous giant radioactive lizard is back, with a blast. The film did justice with the direction it took with the film, some great characters, and most importantly, the monster itself. However, as big monster movie goes, this one does come with some considerable cons that kind of lowers the overall movie experience.

          The directing is one strength of the film that took me by surprise, especially considering that this director is new with bid budget blockbusters. The way the monsters are presented feels glorious, and how the director take most shots from the point of view of the humans easily justifies the magnificence and terror brought upon by the creatures. And some credit must be given to the visual effects team as well, for not only does the creatures look fantastic, but the destruction around them is amazing as well.

          The film has a relatively standard and predictable plot, but has strong elements of drama, most of which can be attributed to the brilliant cast, with special praise put aside for one Bryan Cranston. The film put lots of focus on character and human story, which in time feels a little bit overused and boring, but sets up for a good story to follow in the steps of these characters. 

          As monster movie goes, this film could do with more action and battle. Many stated disappointment in the second act (you'll understand when you watch it), although the director's vision and brilliance kind of justifies that scene. And with lack of humour, and with a standard and relatively boring plot, this movie succeeds in what it sets out to do, but in general lacks as a summer blockbuster.


Good: Excellent directing, Great visual effects, Strong characters

Bad: Lack of action, Lack of humour, Relatively weak plot

SCORE: 6.5 

Monday 12 May 2014

Looking Forward: JUNE 2014

Yes...summer continues...

Edge of Tomorrow (June 6-USA, May 30-UK, June 5-Singapore)

          From what I can see, this films looks to be kind of similar to Tom Cruise's previous movie, Oblivion, with science-fiction setting, and a story focused more on character and drama. Since it is based on a novel, so there is confidence that the story is going to be good. Not a lot have been revealed from the trailers, but it looks to have good quality of story & drama, and the only thing I can hope for is that it is balanced with some very exciting science-fiction action sequences, and then it could, as a whole, be a high quality summer blockbuster.

Trailers: (Trailer #1) (Main Trailer)

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June 13-USA, June 27-UK, June 12-Singapore)

          Its predecessor was such a huge hit, commercially & critically. It was very successful commercially and earned a lot of fanbase with a very funny & relatable main character, and an awesome looking dragon. Yet, critically it earned the respect of reviewers with an astounding 98% in Rotten Tomatoes. It has such amazing visuals & action sequences, had lots of humour, and yet is grounded with a very strong & deep emotional story in which the general audience could feel for. It was one of the best animation films in recent years, and now I believe this sequel can repeat the success and be this year's best. The trailers were cool, and expanded the universe and introduced new types of dragons, and intriguing characters too. Boasting a set of amazing voice casts, this is going to be one to look forward to this summer, for both kids & general viewers alike.

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

Transformers: Age of Extinction (June 27-USA, July 10-UK, June 26-Singapore)

          There are conflicting thoughts with this franchise. People are saying it gets worse as the original trilogy progresses but it earns more and more money. This franchise have not really worked as a story teller, with shallow characterizations & weak plots. Yet, it boasts some very amazing visuals, sound effects & is absolutely flying with all the battle sequences. With this new one though, personally I don't feel all to eager, though I'm hoping it would employ better story lines to drive the film. But there are exciting additions for this film, including the fan favourite Dinobots, which are just something to look forward to. The trailers so far have not shown a lot, and personally I was a bit disappointed with the effects & explosions so far. Hope that they would improve it for the final cut, and if it can just be another exciting, thrilling action movie, then I would be pleased to pay the price of admission.

Trailers: (Teaser) (Trailer #2)

Other Movies:

The Fault in Our Stars (June 6)
-A teenage drama based on a successful novel...

22 Jump Street (June 13)
-A sequel following the successful action comedy 21 Jump Street... 

Friday 2 May 2014


"Then let's go catch a spider!"

          Despite some minor flaws, this film really is the defining Spider-Man movie and in nearly every way, it feels great and representative of the character. The action is great, visuals are excellent, includes brilliant casts, and has the right balance of humour & drama, only to be slightly let down by the mix of the plot.

          Starting with the strongest point of the film, the visual effects were brilliant. Just looking at Electro as he is kept me in awe most of the time, and the electric beams are just beautiful. This, in turn, enhances the epic feel of the fight sequences. They are excellent, with mostly fast-paced action that really represents of how Spider-Man fights. Some slow-motion scenes are included, too, but they feel right and not overused. Credit must go to Marc Webb for this brilliance. And though there is not a lot of action sequences, each one is extended and long enough to give us the thrill & satisfaction. Meanwhile, the soundtrack was brilliant thanks to Hans Zimmer (and the Magnificent Six), especially the music when Electro appears on screen.

          It gets better with the right balance of drama & humour. In the comics, Spider-Man is a jokeful character, and here we get to see more of him like that, and the humour in here feels (most of the time) just right and not forced upon. Most of the drama felt cliche but not towards the end, where it kind of strikes. And these two aspects are highly strengthened by the brilliant casts. Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone are brilliant and excellently define their characters well in this sequel. But most of my praise go to newcomers Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan. Dane put up an excellent performance as a desperate CEO, before becoming the Goblin to take revenge. Meanwhile, Jamie Foxx did well to portray the transformation of an ordinary Max Dillon to become a menacing villain in Electro.

             The plot rather lets it down a bit. Not to say the plot is not good, but the mix and flow kind of confuses and some scenes feel rather unimportant. The main plot itself is very good, carrying some strong emotional scenes. The background & progression of the villains are great as well. But the love life story is a bit excessive and the secrets of Peter's parents suddenly doesn't seem that interesting, with the uprising of the villains a much more intriguing plot. But the story sets up well for a sequel, and now we can only wait for two more years for the continuity of the story.


Good: Excellent visual effects, Exciting fight sequences, Brilliant cast, Right balance of drama & humour, Great villains, Amazing soundtrack

Bad: Mix of the plot

SCORE: 8.5