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