Friday 30 January 2015

Looking Forward: FEBRUARY 2015

Not a lot to look forward to apart from several interesting blockbusters...

'Jupiter Ascending' Theatrical Poster.jpgA well organized gentleman's closet containing suits, shirts, umbrellas, as well as several large guns, hand guns, and other weaponry.

Jupiter Ascending (Feb 6-USA, Feb 6-UK, Feb 5-Singapore)

          The film was delayed for about 7 months previously, and honestly, I do not know what that implies about this film. The trailers so far does seem to point out that this film has great visual effects and action sequences, too. The scale seems big with a lot of the film supposedly set outside Earth, and there some interesting characters & casting, too. So far, the trailers point in the right direction, but whether this film will actually be awesome...I am well ready to be surprised when this comes out in cinemas very soon.

Trailers: (Teaser) (Trailer #2) (Trailer #3)

Kingsman: The Secret Service (Feb 13-USA, Jan 29-UK, Feb 12-Singapore)

          Now, this is a film that intrigues me quite a lot. Initially, it seems like a cheesy, violence-oriented, pseudo-comedy action flick. Well, it may still be something like that, but initial reviews are very, very positive indeed...and I can't imagine why. There looks to be a lot of fun along the way, with some amazing cast as well, but the humour & action looks very cheesy indeed. So, it really intrigues me...what does this movie did right? With all that, interesting cast, awesome director...well, I can't wait to have some fun with this film.

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

Other Movies:

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (February 6)
-I was never a fan of SpongeBob...never! But some people are...I think...

Fifty Shades of Grey (February 13)
-Somehow, this February has more movies I'm not interested in...I'm staying away...not sure about you...

Focus (February 27)
-An comedy-drama with a very interesting premise & great cast...

Sunday 25 January 2015


"This isn't about money, this isn't about politics"

Blackhat poster.jpg

          Not as exciting as I thought it'd be, but a solid piece of work. The film has its moments, but most of the time lacks the thrill & suspense as an action thriller.

          There are some moments in the film, especially towards the fight sequences, that are entertaining. But other times, it just lacks the suspense. The scale could have been big, but they played it small. And a thriller should have been fast-paced, yet this one is slow. There are moments that thrill & surprise, but when it is over, the pace suddenly slows down again.

          This is neither a good point nor a bad one, but the film does feel authentic. The fights feel authentic, meanwhile the language fits according to the region and situation, too. But as a movie, they have the privilege of making it a bit more over-the-top and people would still believe it. But they didn't.

          Some of the minor plot points seem less believable and less significant. There were some humour & drama in the mix, but not enough of them. Meanwhile, the characters were pretty dull, except for Chris Hemsworth's and Viola Davis'. Both characters have their moments, but otherwise, the film feels like there is no proper character to invest in.

          In the end, there are some moment that thrills, some that surprise, and some that excites. But as an action thriller, you expect more of it, more suspense & more thrills. The plot works but could have been improved in scale & scope, meanwhile most of the characters are full. A movie that can be enjoyed, but is not one of the most exciting films in recent time.


Good: Thrilling & exciting moment, Decent plot

Bad: Lacks suspense, Dull characters

SCORE: 6.5

Thursday 22 January 2015


"An order of noble knights combating the forces of darkness"

Seventh Son Poster.jpg

          Being delayed year after year, you could be forgiven for thinking that this movie would have got it right. The visual effects were a bit too exaggerated, and that's the best aspect of the film. Almost nothing else works, and I was sleepy for almost half of the duration of the film.

         Just to make it easy, I start off with some of the good stuffs. They did put effort in the visual effects (though maybe a bit too much). Guess that's what you get when you delay a movie for too long. But it comes in with some nice action sequences as well, so there's some points won for that. And another thing is the quite likeable main character. Not the best main protagonist, but the kid does have his moments. So, some exciting action sequences and a likeable protagonist, is about all that you can get.

          The plot didn't work so well. It was super straightforward, and too fast-paced. It goes from one scene to the other, without giving viewers time to breath and experience the characters. So, don't even make me say anything about drama or humour.

         And then there's the characters. Firstly, there are too many, that they become less significant and less interesting to the viewers. Yet, most of the characters themselves do not work, especially the character played by Jeff Bridges. The character tried to be charming, but it didn't work. Most of the enemies didn't really work either, except for the one character played by Djimon Honsou. Every other character is just....boring.


Good: Exciting action sequences

Bad: Most characters are boring & insignificant, Dull plot

SCORE: 3.5

Wednesday 21 January 2015


"The LAPD, the FBI, the CIA...they're all gonna come for you!"

          There is that one thing with this film that bothers me, that nothing else just seem to matter. The chase scene where the cops are after Liam Neeson's character Bryan just inappropriately stupid. The shot cuts are too fast, and the cameras are super shaky...what was the director thinking about? Mashing about shot after shot to make it look cool? Instead, I can't understand what I'm seeing, and it's confusing. Super messy, super sloppy, and my opinion...stupid! A filmmaker of his class shouldn't be doing this.

          Other than that, the film is just what anyone in the right mind would have expected. It's fresh in the sense that no one else gets "taken" for Bryan Mills to rescue. The film raises up the stakes, and the plot (and the twists) serves the story well. There is just enough comedy & drama to fill things up, meanwhile all of the characters work well, especially one Forest Whitaker's character, with his cunning intelligence.

          I have to say there is nothing wrong with the plot, nothing wrong with the cast & acting. It's the directing that gets me. If there's one thing this film could change, it's the director. Everything else works for a nice action entertainment. And as always, it's great to see Liam Neeson in action.


Everything else works okay for a Taken movie you would expect, except for the underwhelming director.

SCORE: 6.0

Tuesday 20 January 2015


"With your gun, with a silencer, with your ninja swords"

Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb poster.jpg

          This film surprised it's not as bad as I thought it'd be. I thought it'll be just full of cheesy and awkward humour. Frankly, I have only watched this recently, because I have little interest in it prior to watching. Boy, was I wrong. There things to enjoy of from this film, notably the action packed visual effects, the plot, and most of the humour.

          Inside it is still a lot of cheesy and awkward comedy...there is no escaping that. But bearing that, there are other aspects that made this movie simply a very good piece of entertainment. Most of the humour works, to my surprise, especially those coming from the small guys Jed and Octavius (they were my favourite).

         Next, in contrast to convential comedies, this movie has one standout factor: the visual effects. And Secret of the Tomb plays to that strength, employing awesome visual effects to a lot of the exhibits that come to life. And in the midst of it, some excellent action sequences, too.

         And the plot is not half bad either. The story works, and the little details surprise me, more than most. A small cameo return of a (some) characters from the first film, really surprised me. Yet there is another cameo of two major film stars (Initials: HJ & AE) which really caught me off guard. I was so pleased to see these cameos, and they apparently work well, too.

          For the most part, the movie works. Not a special, awesome, must-watch film, but it really is a good time in the movies, and a solid piece of entertainment that is a good fit to close the curtains on one of the most entertaining franchises of recent times.


Good: Super unexpected cameos, Some excellent comedy, Nice visual effects, A plot that works

Bad: Some cheesy & awkward comedy

SCORE: 7.0

Friday 16 January 2015

SPOILER Discussion - The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

I think this post is long overdue, given the film is out for almost a month now...but it's just something I want to share with you guys...



Death of a Dragon

It was to be expected but I was surprised to find out how fast it was...12 minutes - is all it takes for Smaug to meet his end. All before the title appears. The death may have been more majestic had it been after a long, struggling encounter in the previous film. But since it's two different heroes (Thorin & Bard) in two different places, I guess Peter Jackson made the right choice. Plus, it means that fans will have to watch this one, too, to see the dragon's end. I am simply in awe every time I hear the dragon's voice, as I have stated before. But also, in here, it's great to see the sheer power & scale of the dragon in the open world, instead of in a confined kingdom.

Deaths of some Dwarves

Some of these deaths come as a shock to me. The first death, Fili, is already very expected, and is not quite emotional - if not for it being done in front of Thorin's eyes. Kili's death is similarly less emotional if not for Tauriel. Meanwhile, Thorin's death is both a terrible shock and a powerful drama of a dark hero trying to redeem himself. It's only fitting that Bilbo is by his side in his final moments. It's a shame he has to go, but at least he goes as Thorin Oakenshield, not the King Under the Mountain.


Tingling in my mind is the question of Erebor. I don't read the books, but I had hoped the film would have answered this (extended edition...maybe?). With the line of Durin gone, including his blood (nephews: Kili & Fili), who then would take over as King? Or maybe care for Erebor? Balin is the perfect leader of the remaining dwarves, but I knew he is to be in Moria someday (The Fellowship of the Ring). Maybe the whole company left, is a possible option, but then what happens to the strategically, resourceful, Erebor? Couldn't leave it for the bad guys to take, unless Sauron is indeed unable to make a move yet.

Note: For those who knows, given that the movie series has ended, I welcome your answers for it, in the comments, if you'd like.

The Loose Threads

Along the film, loose threads are either properly tied, or just lead on for the imagination to work. One exciting moment is when Thorin gives Bilbo the mithril armor (referenced in The Fellowship of the Ring). The scene in Dol Guldur kind of explains how Sauron is driven far east to Mordor, while also allowing the potentiality of Saruman meeting him & turning bad instead - though this is not exactly shown. Thranduil's orders for Legolas to see a dunedain ranger called Strider (we know him as Aragorn, the rightful King of Gondor and of Men) is again a very exciting scene. Meanwhile, the idea of the bigger picture: why Sauron sends Azog to stop Thorin's quest, and then retakes the mountain when Smaug had gone, is properly explained by Gandalf, and that becomes the biggest knot that explains why this story arc exists, and how it become the start of the war of Middle-Earth, which ends in The Return of the King.

Monday 12 January 2015

BEST OF 2014 - Part 2

Top three in this well as some honourable mentions of films that almost made it to the Top 10...

Honourable Mentions:

-I commend Fury for being a movie that takes us along with our heroes - with a special feeling of being part of the tank crew - and for the whole time, we were in for an emotional adventure in times of war.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
-This film proves that the franchise is still one of the strongest YA novel adaptations. It brings to life a dimension of revolution in a science-fiction life of a young teenager. And at every turn, the action is plot-driven and powerful. Several moments are less satisfying, including the ending, but the powerful story keeps us wanting more.

Now for the Top 3:

3. Maleficent

          Maleficent is the genuine surprise of the pack, even for me. I came in expecting a simple, darker Disney film about this titular villain. What I get is a beautiful untold story about Maleficent. The story itself may be slightly predictable, but how it is told is what caught me off guard. It unfolds so perfectly as we get to feel so much for the main character, and with so much fun along the way. And by deviating from the classic tale, they can make it a properly dramatic & touching story that even I can't hold back my tears. Angelina Jolie is so perfect for the role, and so is Elle Fanning. All the characters fit perfectly for a beautiful film with touching drama & joyful humour along the way.

2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

          This is a movie so wonderfully constructed, that you can relate to and feel for the humanity and intentions of each of the characters. The conflict is seamless and natural, yet the battles - epic, and the struggles - emotional. It's so easy to understand the characters, both human and apes alike. The unfolding story is not so predictable and is not merely a war between the apes and the humans. Each action unfolds to the other, while the battle sequences plays to the strength, agility & intelligence of the apes for some amazing fight scenes. It's again very easy to root for these main characters we love, but strugglingly hard knowing the end of the story would have to favour one over the other. But by the end of this film, the satisfyingly emotional experience we have is all that matters.

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

          Probably Marvel's best film to date, the story plays around with a dimension of political thriller, beyond that of casual superhero films. The film does play less with superheroic powers, but doesn't lack any exciting battle sequences at all. The titular villain is awesome, and so is the mist surrounding the character. The story, as fans would have known, is an emotional one for our hero, and it unfolds perfectly - with a flawless, continuous, fast-paced combat between the titular heroes which is the best fight scene I have seen in recent times (I could just watch it over and over again). The story does have a lot more impact on the whole MCU and to these characters in the film, and beyond doubt, I can't wait to see what happens next to these characters. There really is no better way to put it: the best Marvel film to date.

And may we welcome a brand new year full of adventure & drama as the movies of 2015 slowly arrives to our cinema screens... 

Wednesday 7 January 2015

BEST OF 2014 - Part 1

It's a week into 2015, and so here's a look back on my Top 10 favourite movies of 2014...
Disclaiming the notion that it will be according to the scores I gave...because this will be more based on which movies I enjoyed most when watching it first time out...

So, here goes:

10. How to Train Your Dragon 2

          Still one of the most solid animation franchises of all time. Not as ground-breaking as its predecessor, but very solid with all the cool action sequences, some very human drama, and humour that everyone can enjoy. Kids will admire this franchise a lot, while even adults will have more than just a good time with this film. A very satisfying time in the theatres indeed for the families.

9. Exodus: Gods and Kings

          There are some disappointing moments with this film, including the climactic scene. But everything that comes before that is just a wonder. The strength of the story is suddenly overshadowed by the epic scale of the events and the world itself. How much effort is put in by Ridley Scott and his team is beyond me, but my, is it worth it. The grand details & awesome visual effects (even those of the cities & the villages) is in itself a wonder to behold.

8. Guardians of the Galaxy

          This is certain to be in the Top 10, simply for what is has admirably achieved. Being a Marvel movie unlike any of those other Marvel movies, adding a dimension of fun and silliness (and classic songs) to our unlikely yet likeable heroes - and manages to pull of a blockbuster full of action, humour & drama - is an achievement on its own. Further, it does this with characters that even fans might not know about. Certainly one of the most exciting films of the year.

7. Big Hero 6

          I regret that I am unable to make a review of this due to time constraint, but I certainly hope this would more than make up for it. This is...the best animation film of the year. Not as good as Frozen was last year, but this film has all the things you could ask for. Aside from the helplessness of Baymax, everything else works to perfection. The action pieces are cool, the humour are great, and most importantly...the drama within the story is so touching and inspiring...I might have cried, yeah. Awesome film, really.

6. Edge of Tomorrow

          Certainly one of the most complete blockbusters of the year. Not the most memorable or ground-breaking, but the experience in the theatre is a complete one indeed. With an easily likeable hero to root for in Tom Cruise, lots of plot-driven drama & humour, and some fast-paced science-fiction fight sequences, it's easily the most complete experience you can ever have in the theatres. Not a minute is boring.

5. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

          A satisfying end with an epic climactic event & dramatic finale is what any trilogy needs, and this film does just that for The Hobbit trilogy. Not a lot left to tell, and certainly not the best of the three. But this film gives a fulfilling and satisfying end with the right stories to tell, and several awesome action sequences around the place. With enough drama & humour in the mix, this film ends this franchise strong, and I leave the theatre with Middle-Earth planted firmly in my memories.

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past

          The strongest instalment of the franchise to date, with a super stellar cast beyond that of any film I have ever known. The film combines the X-Men cast of old and new to perfection in an event bigger than ever before. There are lots of awesome action sequences with brilliant use of visual effects to display all the different mutant powers in a combination of different kind of fights. Further, the story plays with a notion of time travel that is put into good use, and the story, along with the humour & drama works well to make one of the best superhero films in recent time.

Top 3 to come in the next post...