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...