Thursday 28 May 2015

TV Review: Agents of SHIELD S2

The show improves in the second season, but still suffers from not being able to touch the big boys in the big screen...

Note: While many TV Series has recently ended, I am currently quite busy and with many movies out, the TV reviews will be delayed, and will be out as soon as I have time to spare...

          The show has, in this second season, become more daring with their characters & the storylines. And they have ever-exciting characters like Coulson, Hunter, and even Fitz that you always want to root for. But it still didn't get me excited week-in week-out like Arrow or The Flash did. And the show still suffers from trying to be influenced by the MCU films, but can never influence them in return. It's a one-way relationship.

          But even within the show itself, they have many faults, still. What had them resurging in the first season was a game-changing story (a fallout from The Winter Soldier). And maybe they thought it worked well, so they stuck with the same formula. They were trying to change too much in this second season, that it becomes less significant. They seem to be doing too much, it becomes convoluted & complex. Especially in the first half of the season, I was kind of lost on the emphasis of the characters. There was just too much going on.

            With regards to the relationship to the MCU films, it's disappointing when you want to feel like a part of the universe but can never touch the big guns that make billions in the worldwide box office. This show will always suffer from just being that small world that occasionally gets fed from the other side. It's disappointing for the show, but in a personal way, I'm quite happy. Because this show did one thing wrong (in the first season). In how they revived Coulson and tempered with his memories, It's not just disappointing, it's stupid to think this exists in the MCU. So, I'd rather not.


          So, I'll just take this as some TV show on the side to occasionally fill my time in the midst of my business. It's not the most exciting show, even the finale's cliffhanger doesn't really get me that much excited for season three. This is probably my least exciting show of all the shows I'm still watching. Well, at least I'm still watching it. I've kicked Gotham out. Oh, and how about a quick review for Gotham?

Gotham review: Boring as SH*T! I didn't even manage to finish season 1. Season 2, get out of the way!

Sunday 24 May 2015


"You wanted to see Tomorrowland?"

            Not the most spectacular or memorable of films, but a complete blockbuster indeed, with a lot of humour, decent action sequences, some meaningful drama, great actors, and excellent visual effects. It still lacks in suspense and a spectacular final act, but the overall ride feels like a complete blockbuster experience.

            Whenever an action-adventure is able to have a lot of humour in the mix, its always great, and the ride becomes fun & entertaining. And this film is a great example of that, as the journey to find Tomorrowland is filled with fun humour & reactions, and I enjoy the discovery more than the actions were. And most of the laughs came from new star Britt Robertson, who surprised me at every turn of how good she can be as a smart yet funny protagonist - making a really likeable character in Casey Newton. Full credit to her. George Clooney was great as always, but in this film, Britt stole the show.

           Come to think about it, this film actually doesn't have a lot of action sequences. But then again, it doesn't really bother me, because the journey is a lot of fun. There are still a lot of visual effects to behold, and most of them comes in the form of discovering Tomorrowland, apart from being in the place itself, obviously.

          I said this film is a complete blockbuster experience, because despite the film having lots of humour from start to end, it didn't leave out the dramatic moments. There was one very touching moment towards the end, which actually builds up from the very first minute of the film. There's not a lot of drama (or sadness), but there is this one moment that hits deep, and this is good enough for a summer action blockbuster.

            Unfortunately, the film is not a flawless one. The film lacks suspense throughout, perhaps because the stakes are not made urgent, and also because of the weak robots/androids. The androids they are fighting seemed more annoying than threatening, and looked weird rather than frightening. The final act is good in drama, and in visual effects, but lacks the spectacle of potential action sequences.


           Apart from the lack of suspense & spectacle, the movie is indeed a rare, complete blockbuster experience - with some action sequences, awesome actors, brilliant visual effects, some meaningful drama, and a lot of fun & humour along the ride. A great summer movie.

SCORE: 8.0

Monday 18 May 2015

Looking Forward: JUNE 2015

More laughs than action in this hot month of June...

Jurassic World (June 12-USA, June 11-UK, June 11-Singapore)

          I was a fan of Jurassic Park growing up, so this film is always going to be very close to my heart, and I'm super excited about it. Furthermore, the first trailer showed a lot of awesomeness, with the theme park & resort (much like those that we have in the real world), open for the masses. In fact, it is so beautiful, I can only dream of this awesome entertainment resort. Probably, watching this film is as close as I can get to entering the best never-to-be theme park in the world. And with less than a month until the release, I just can't wait to have fun (and the thrills) of the most exciting blockbuster in June.

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

Inside Out (June 19-USA, July 24-UK, Aug 27-Singapore)

           Those guys in the animation studios just can't stop surprising me. Who would have thought about making movies about the voices in your head? Well, these people does, apparently. Their creativity just blows my mind yet again. I may not be the most excited guy in the world, but I really am super curious right now. There's a lot of fun already from the trailers, and while I'm not sure how entertained I will be from this animation flick, I'll be there to watch it when I can, that's for sure. (brainfreeze!!)

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

Other Movies:

Spy (June 5)
-Melissa McCarthy may have made too many repetitive jokes/humour in her comedy flicks, but with some action & exciting cast...I'm looking forward to this...

Ted 2 (June 26)
-A sequel to the commercially super successful Ted...and this one has an intriguing premise, too...

Friday 15 May 2015


"What a lovely day!"

          I wasn't initially very eager to watch this, and I intended to watch this film a bit later, but when I saw that it received a 99% rating in rotten tomatoes at the time (176 fresh, 2 rotten), I had to quickly see what the fuss is all about. And yes, I did have a great time with Fury Road. It was proper fun & action, but the plot was pretty straightforward. But I can say this: this film has heart - and that's good enough to be a solid summer action blockbuster.

          I didn't find the action sequences as revolutionary or as exhilarating as they say, but it was brilliant. I've seen better, but it really is a brilliant work of art. It may also be due to more practical effects used instead of CGI. Perhaps my favourite part of the sequences was seeing wide shots of the chasing pack of cars behind our protagonists. There is a feel of ongoing thrill & suspense all around the action. And I have to give big credits to Junkie XL...because the soundtrack...was AWESOME. It really enhances the thrill and excitement of the chase, of the fights, and of the explosions. If every movie can have this combination of action sequence & soundtrack, no film would be boring.

          The main plot (the big picture) was pretty straightforward. Apart from some small twists, it really is very straightforward. But it does have heart, and it's a great feeling to follow the struggles & desires of our main protagonists. To learn of their background & nature, and then join them in this action-packed ride. With that said, the supporting characters are less significant in this film, and the main villain isn't really any kind of menacing or even intriguing villain. Just one typical power-hungry maniac.


           There is sufficient humour throughout, and some drama as we follow the hearts of several protagonists. This film lacks in an interesting plot as well as a powerful antagonist, but it's a thrill ride from start to end with super exciting action packed sequences accompanied by one of the best soundtracks in recent months. Yet, it still has heart. And this, for me, is one solid action blockbuster.

SCORE: 7.5

Wednesday 6 May 2015

SPOILER Discussion - Avengers: Age of Ultron

"Fortunately, I am mighty..."



It's been almost a week out in the US...2 weeks since I watched it...and I cannot hold this back, I have to talk about this before it tears me apart...from the inside...


          Yes, this is about Stan Lee's lovely cameo. He muttered "Excelsior" while being drunk and dragged away by two men. "Excelsior" is the famous catchphrase of Stan himself. Nuff said.

"You didn't see that coming?"

          Now here's a big thing. The death of one the Avengers: Pietro Maximoff. The line above was a great exchange between him and Hawkeye, the man he saved by giving his life. What started out as a joke, and continues with some playful insult with one another...ends up with this sad, tragic moment. Add to that the fact that he saved the Avenger who we had just learned of his background, and has a pregnant wife. I don't want to imagine should he be the one to die. And in the end, Barton's newborn baby has a hero as his middle name: Pietro.

There was that one rant from Hawkeye in Sokovia that was just very funny. Bet he never thought that it would end up this way.

"Oh, for God's sake..."

          Yes, this was the line we heard when Ultron was being thrown away by Hulk. What I'm really concerned about here, is whether Ultron really is gone. Initially, I had the hope that since Vision never really wanted to kill him, and we didn't really get a shot of his last body being destroyed (it was a distant shot), he may still be alive. I love Ultron, and I want to see more of him.
          But then again, Vision did say Ultron & all traces of his existence must be destroyed for the sake of the humans, and we did see Vision cut off Ultron from the internet, and possibly destroying his last body, and if so, I guess this is it. I mean, this is Marvel, so, you never know. But if it is the end for him, then I'm glad Ultron made his mark in the hands of Joss Whedon & James Spader - and they did him justice.

          And yet, maybe since he's no longer connected to the net & not much of a threat, Vision may decide in the last moment to preserve the mind (program) of Ultron somehow, somewhere...I don't know...

"I was born Yesterday..."

          Before the movie, the character was kept in a veil of secrecy and we know nothing about him - except that he is in the film. But in the end, seeing Vision in the movie - he was awesome! Not only was the performance by Paul Bettany brilliant, but the character itself is awesome in every way. How he looks, how he speaks, how he fights. He really is the surprise of the film, and I didn't expect to like him - but I do now. It gets better to know that Ultron had a major part in his creation, reflecting his origin in the comics. And yet, many had their suspicions confirmed, that it is indeed an Infinity Stone in Vision's forehead. In the end, he was a great character, and I can't wait to see more of him.

Oh, but if Thanos is going to get all the infinity stones anyway, what happens to Vision then?? #heartbroken

"Avengers...A- "

          By the end of this film, the Hulk was MIA, Thor went to Asgard, Hawkeye is with his family, and Tony quits...again...kind of. Although thanks to the magic that is the internet, we know that Tony Stark & Hawkeye will be back for Civil War. In the meantime, there is a new Avengers team under the lead of Cap, mainly in new members War Machine, Falcon, Wanda Maximoff, and Vision. I'm not here to talk about these characters because I'm open to see wherever they take these characters in the future.
          What is very interesting about this is the notion of a changing roster of the Avengers. In the long running existence of the Avengers in the comics, the roster can and has always changed from time to time, and we fans know that. And Kevin Feige (President of Marvel Studios) always said that they want to introduce this notion to the world, that heroes can come and go, but the Avengers, as a team, will always be there.
          It goes without saying that, in the sense of the MCU films, this means that once the contracts with their actors are over for good, the Avengers and the films in the MCU could still go on. This is just a soft way to start to introduce the changes. But then again, they could always come back to being an Avenger. So, while the future may be uncertain, you can bet on Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor to be back as an Avenger in Infinity War...I hope. Damn you, Marvel!

Sunday 3 May 2015

TV Review: Scorpion S1

Action packed, but gets episodic & dull...

          Of all the TV Shows I've been watching this season, this has been the most episodic. Initially, this show struck me for being a very fun, action packed show with some interesting & distinct genius characters to root for. But their characters & personality quickly grow old, and it becomes less interesting as the show progesses. And the fact that the show is very episodic means that there is little progression in the development of these characters.

          The action remains high & entertaining (for a TV show) even towards the end of the season. It's practically one of the few reasons why I held on until the end. The only other interesting thing is how these characters use their genius minds to solve problems. Mostly they get repetitive as the show goes on, but some, especially regarding behavioural psychology & the reading of human emotions, remains pretty interesting. Although I must address again that these things grow old quick in this show, as there's not a lot of new interesting tactics & problem solving methods.

          Scorpion started out pretty interestingly as well because the main characters have distinct, unconventional personalities that sets them apart. While there are some character conflicts & developments within the episodes, mostly, they don't carry over to subsequent ones, making it very episodic indeed. There's only a few subplot lines that do carry over, but even those seem insignificant & uninteresting.

          Disappointingly, even the season finale lacks an interesting case. It only has the power to restore the problems brought from the previous episode. By the end of it, nothing has practically changed from where the series began. And there's really almost nothing to look forward to for next season.


          The action sequences and some problem solving ideas & methods are what kept Scorpion watchable. But towards the end, the show gets very repetitive & insignificant & dull. Even the season finale lacks a game-changing story, and now, I'm not at all looking forward to Scorpion S2...