Tuesday 28 July 2015

SPECIAL: X-Men: DOFP - Rogue Cut

I've recently watched the extended edition of X-Men: Days of Future Past...and here are my thoughts of them...

Note: There will a non-spoiler quick review followed by a Spoiler Discussion part...

Quick Review

          Based on other extended editions I've seen, I thought this film would just add some extra scenes, extra conversations...and maybe a scene with Rogue. It turns out, they even change some of the things that happen in the original cut. And with some very interesting additions that will make fans squeal (like I did), this is perhaps one of the best extended cuts I've seen...and at a running time of about 148 (incl credits)...it begs me to wonder why didn't they choose to use this full cut the first time around in theaters...because this Rogue Cut is awesome!!!
          If you're a fan of comics or even just of the X-Men films...I fully recommend you to watch it!


Spoilers below...


"Hello, Logan"

          And this is where one of the biggest change lie. They apparently show that Kitty gets weak after the slash from Logan's claws, so they have to find Rogue to replace her. There was an exciting action scene afterwards, and a big change to the story that follows - which was Iceman having killed in this battle scene instead of the final battle.
          But my squeal of total fandom came when Rogue uttered the line above after taking over Kitty's role. When I heard that, it came to my realization that Rogue & Logan had a history. He was probably the first other mutant she met, and Logan became almost like a brotherly figure to her...and a lot of the first X-Men film was about them both. So it was like revisiting the first film back 15 years ago. Kitty & Logan didn't have this relationship...so it was nice to have Rogue reconnect with Logan like this. Better yet, the Logan in 1973 feels this as he wakes up!

"But she bugs me..."

          There were other minor additions that made sense, such as Mystique going back to the X-Mansion and then disabling Cerebro. But my favourite has to come when the trio of Wolverine, Hank, & Charles visits Quicksilver. When seeing the original theatrical cut, we are led to question whether the little girl that is Quicksilver's younger sister is Scarlet Witch.
          In this extended edition, we get to hear Quicksilver's mother telling the little girl to "Go bug your sister", with the little girl aptly replying "But she bugs me". And there's your answer, people...its not hard to guess who the other sister is...

Saturday 25 July 2015

Looking Forward: AUGUST 2015

Summer is ending but the fun is not over...I hope...

Fantastic Four (Aug 7-USA, Aug 6-UK, Aug 6-Singapore)

          As much as I am a Marvel fan, this must be my least excitable of them all. No disrespect to the cast & the team, they may yet pull off a great film. But as far as I see, none of those are to my liking. I don't really like the look of the characters. I don't fancy the idea of venturing into another dimension for this group of superheroes. And if the rumours are true, I'm not going to like the origin of the villain Dr. Doom - which is a great character in the comics, and a personal favourite of Stan Lee.
            Again, no disrespect, but as of now, I'd rather this movie not do so well, so we can shelf the Fantastic Four for another time. I'm quite pleased with the comic book flicks we are and will be having in the time being...Avengers/MCU, X-Men, Batman v Superman, etc. In a very personal manner, I'm not too anticipating this film...but professionally, I'm going to give it a go and see if this film pulls it off. Oh, but that final trailer that came out recently looks pretty cool, though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxIldZcUuCk (Teaser)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuV4BCYv-YY (Trailer #1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E7jxEHPMQM (Trailer #2) (Must See!)

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Aug 14-USA, Aug 14-UK, Sept 3-Singapore)

          A spy-fi action comedy...certainly sounds like a good time. Honestly, from the trailers, I have no idea what's really going on apart from this fact that an American agent teams up with a Russian agent. The film seems like it has a classic feel, but in all honestly, I'm not sure if that's really meant to be. But with an exciting looking trailer with some fun action sequences & playful humour, and a great cast (Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Hugh Grant), too, I'm quite interested to see what this film has to bring.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x08iNZ8Mfc (Trailer #1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kMAYU5lII4 (Trailer #2)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_Ky4KPzKwY (Comic Con Trailer)

Hitman: Agent 47 (Aug 21-USA, Aug 27-UK, Aug 20-Singapore)

          Any guesses why this film in particular intrigues me? Well, if you know where I (mostly) reside, and you've seen the trailers, then you'll probably know. Singapore...is one of the few places this film is set in, and a rare trait for a hollywood action flick...and it even looks to be a substantial setting given how much we've seen it in the trailers.
          Apart from that, however, I find it hard to justify why this film will be a good one. It may be entertaining, but I'm not convinced of the quality, especially with regards to some of the visual effects I've seen so far. And the plot doesn't feel appealing & catchy enough - feels like some spark is lacking. But the action may yet be entertaining, and the film itself may be quite good. There's no doubt, however, that I will watch this film, and by then, you'll know whether this is one good action flick or not.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alQlJDRnQkE (Trailer #1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv7lgQ8hiz0 (Trailer #2)

Other Movies:

Dark Places (August 7)
-An interesting psychological thriller with a decent cast...

Masterminds (August 19)
-Hopefully, it will be that kind of comedy that will be a good time-killer...

American Ultra (August 21)
-Another comedy...but with cool action scenes...

Z for Zachariah (August 21)
-The whole film stars 3 casts...but 3 very great actors!! An interesting looking drama...

Regression (August 28)
-Another intriguing thriller...

Tuesday 21 July 2015

SPECIAL: San Diego Comic Con 2015

SDCC ended more than a week ago...and here are my thoughts on whatever came out on the event...

No Marvel, no Sony, no Paramount...it was a relatively quiet SDCC this year, but not without its usual pack of announcements & trailers (some of them leaked)...or, in other words, we still have Warner Bros & Fox to satisfy our geeky cravings...

Lionsgate, Legendary, Lucasfilm...

          Its safe to say that "L" was not the letter of the day...nor the week. These 3 studios have very big upcoming films, but in SDCC, they release no trailers nor any interesting announcements at all. What they have are panel interviews for the fans attending the event (and a live concert if you went to the Star Wars panel).
         Lionsgate had a full trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 shown in the panel - which should be out online within the week, so I'll keep an eye out for that. Lucasfilm had no trailer (but a behind-the-scenes clip) for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, though a full trailer is to be released this fall - which I'm also going to keep a keen eye on...when it comes. Legendary Pictures...well...lets just hope a trailer for Warcraft comes out soon.

The Small Screen

          Most of the TV Series panelists have also no footage to show for (I'm looking at you, Marvel TV & DC TV). Last year, there were exciting footage & announcement with Arrow & The Flash. Not this year, though. Except, probably, for a tease of Zoom as the big bad of The Flash Season 2. Similarly with Marvel TV, only little details came out...such as several characters set to appear in the show, etc. Supergirl & Legends of Tomorrow are exciting additions to the comic book TV world but there is nothing to be had in SDCC.
          Meanwhile, with the BBC, there are some trailers & clips released online. Doctor Who will be returning September 19 and there's a generic-looking trailer to pique our interest. And then there's Sherlock, for those longing for the Cumberbatch-Freeman duo - with a very fun & intriguing clip for the Sherlock Special - out this Christmas. Check it out!

Warner Bros Studios

          There was a panel for Pan & The Man from UNCLE, but they were vastly overshadowed by the appearance from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and a surprise appearance by the team behind Suicide Squad. A full-length, action-packed trailer (also released online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WWzgGyAH6Y) for Batman v Superman was the biggest pleasure I had from SDCC. Some first looks at the new characters, some exciting action, and a feel of the conflict raging...makes me only wonder why this film is still more than 8 months away.
          Thanks to some leaks, the studio is also forced to release Suicide Squad trailer online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLLQK9la6Go). I enjoy the tone and the style of the film, but I had concerns, especially with regards to how the characters look (especially the Joker). But I'm surprised at how good this film looks already, with the release still more than a year away.

20th Century Fox

          There really is nothing that beats Deadpool this year. A true comic fan favourite coming to life in the big screen. The character himself is perhaps the most iconic in the comic book world, and perhaps embodies the spirit of all the comic book fans. While no trailer has been officially released, I have heard nothing but good things about it. And the character is set to break the fourth wall! How cool is that? Even from the footage shown in SDCC itself, the character has made some sarcastic references to the Green Lantern film (which starred Ryan Reynolds) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It really looks to be a comic book film like none other...and I'll be waiting proudly for an official teaser/trailer to be released soon.
          X-Men: Apocalypse also came, and with an exclusive-for-SDCC trailer, comprised of five weeks of shooting. From what I heard, the trailer was pretty awesome by setting the tone & feel of the film. There were positive feedbacks for character like Professor X & Psylocke, but there were concerns - especially regarding the titular Apocalypse. He looked too skinny and very far away from several badass comic book iterations. Looking at the stills, I have that same concern. But I am holding the hope in my hands that with some post-production visual effects, he will look better with the end result. However, initial signs aren't looking good.
          There was also a panel for Fantastic Four, which is set to be out in a few weeks. And Hugh Jackman made an appearance with a sad news - as he is to sign off as Logan/Wolverine in the upcoming Wolverine film in 2017. But he will forever be remembered as the Wolverine.
          Meanwhile, Fox took it a step further by assembling the largest number of superheroes on stage with the whole cast of Fantastic Four, Deadpool, & X-Men: Apocalypse - with Hugh Jackman representing the Wolverine film, and a surprise appearance from Channing Tatum representing the upcoming Gambit film. And who else had to be there to take a picture? Stan Lee himself! What a stage that must be...

(And Channing Tatum helped Stan Lee down the stairs afterwards, while the others were having fun with one another...bless you, Channing!)

Friday 17 July 2015


"I need you to break into a place and steal some stuff..."

          Not the best of Marvel films, but certainly one of the most fresh & fun instalments yet. By fresh, I really mean fresh. You're seeing settings & action sequences like never before. And fun, I really mean fun. An exciting main lead, some humour & action along the way...and then there's these three hilarious trio - associates of Scott Lang - who I find to be more entertaining than I thought they'd be.

          First of all, we got to talk about this being fresh & new. Ant-Man has a really unconventional superpower to begin with, but Marvel did it so well, and instead plays around with aspects & mediums that we have never seen before in cinema. To have action sequences set in a child's bedroom, in vents, scale models, etc is just a sight to behold. And then when it switches to a human view...hilarious. There's just a lot of fun & laughs in these action sequences. And not just that, they really make the action cool in utilizing the swift changes in size...from big to small, to big again. And then there's the ants...some ants that fly, some that make bridges...and by the end of this film, I'd dare say that Ant-Man may yet be one of the most powerful Avenger, in certain situations.

          A lot of people are expecting comedy & humour in this film, based on the cast, trailers, etc - and yes, we get a lot of that. With a main lead like Paul Rudd, its also to be expected, but more than that...he's so likeable in this film. My surprise came with his three buddies...who I initially disapprove for appearing to just be the film's comedic relief. And while for the most part they were...towards the end they have been more than entertaining. I burst out laughing at this one scene (when they reverse their van - those who've seen it will know), and I really enjoyed those three characters.

          There was some drama...not a lot of it, but some very important character moments. I can't spoil it here, but Hank Pym's character has one touching flashback (not the one in the first scene, though). And then there's a similar kind of thing happening with Scott Lang towards the end. The plot feels very straightforward for the most part, but I like the details that go with the narrative, and more importantly, is how they weave this new character as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so seamlessly. It's like a new film...but is already immediately part of the MCU.

          The film isn't perfect, though. While the villain looks badass in his Yellowjacket form...his human counterpart lacks the flair & threat. He still looks quite cool in battle, with the lasers and all...unfortunately, the bar had been set high by Marvel with the likes of Loki, Ultron, etc. And then, apart from some comedic moments, most of the first half of the film is quite dull & slow-paced. You get them trying to build-up the moments & events, but in the midst of it, I just kept hoping for something exciting to happen...which didn't, until somewhere in the middle of the film.

          Otherwise, it is a very solid entry yet again in the MCU. Very fresh, very fun, and very much a great introduction of a new Avenger for the MCU. Oh, and something that I finally get to enjoy again (as with most Marvel films) which I didn't get with Age of Ultron...an awesome score/soundtrack! Well done to Christophe Beck for that...the music during the heists are just exciting & brilliant. And finally, hats off to Peyton Reed, but I enjoy his directing style...with 2 scenes (not to be spoiled yet) in particular.


Wednesday 8 July 2015

SPOILER Discussion - Jurassic World

And here are the list of the magical moments of Jurassic World that made my inner 8-year old scream in joy deep down inside...



"So, who's the Alpha?"

The Park is Open...

          Ah, this moment. A glorious feeling deep down to see park, Jurassic World, open. Similar to that of other theme parks around the world, with the shops, restaurants...the crowds, the trains...but with significantly more humongous attractions...the gyrosphere, the kayaking - I wouldn't say no to that kayaking in the river if given the opportunity. Sadly, this is as close as I can get to feel of this never-to-be theme park. And to see all this with the main Jurassic theme by John William...Glorious! No other words could describe.

          Only...I have to admit I experienced a similar feeling with that song...entering Universal Studios (Singapore) accompanied with that very music. So, that's where you can go to feel that magical feeling.


          Not really a spoiler bit, here. But I just can't say enough how much I admire those velociraptors, and seeing Owen (Chris Pratt) with those raptors...makes me wish I can pet a raptor for real. And that motorbike scene...oh man, I can watch a whole movie of just Owen and the raptors running around the whole island. I just simply cannot behold the awesomeness of the agile raptors running...and the cool sounds they make...
          I could go on forever, so I'd better stop here. Just know, Velociraptors are officially my favourite dino now...and Blue (the one with the blue stripe), just make raptors a whole lot cooler than they already are.

Welcome to Jurassic Park...

          Okay, there is officially so many nods to Jurassic Park, I may even missed some. But I certainly did not miss when Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) jokingly muttered "Welcome to Jurassic World".
          But the best moment had to be when the kids Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) saw that door...and then enters it. And there it was...the main atrium that was in the original film where the T-Rex roared, along with the banner that fell...and my, even that night vision goggles is seen, too. This was really one big fan service to those who fell in love with the original. What a magical moment!

Indominus Rex...

          Just a quick point here. And if I may, without bragging, I just want to say that ever since this creature evaded thermal detection & misled the humans with the scratch marks...I had a big feeling that this dinosaur was part-Velociraptor. I was right, in the end, confirmed by Owen's statement after seeing her communicate with his raptors. But throughout, her intelligence was mentioned over and over. And there was only ever one other dino in the films who's intelligence was singled out.


          T-Rex (and a Velociraptor) vs Indominus Rex! This has to be every child's dream. The little kid inside me was screaming loudest in seeing this battle took place. Yes, it may be CGI-filled, and it may be messy...but after seeing this, here's what I'll say: I don't care! It was fun...it was like a dream to me! Even in seeing the raptors defend Owen and attacks the Indominus, I was already in a dream. Just glad to find out in the end, that Blue is alive...

Note 1: There's always a bigger fish, though...

Note 2: I suppose, wherever the place, the T-Rex is really the king of them all. Do you remember that T-Rex roar in the main atrium in Jurassic Park? Or that T-Rex roar in the docks, overlooking the city, in The Lost World? Yes, the T-Rex made another roar here, overlooking Jurassic World, with that final shot of the film. 

Wednesday 1 July 2015


"I've been waiting for you..."

          As a summer action flick, its awesome. As part of the Terminator franchise, it underwhelms. Let me throw this quick - this film is fun, cool, & action-packed. Its definitely not boring in any way. But the movie experience for me is less than complete, because the plot lacks the depth & significance, is a bit convoluted, and more importantly, the plot twist thing that shouldn't have been revealed in the trailers.

          With a plot involving time travel, there should have been a lot of "Oh wow!" moments, but there aren't a lot of it. The time travel event feels less significant  - as if the plot pushes the action from one place to the other, instead of the action driving the plot forward. It tried to be too smart and plays with an alternate timeline, but the rules & the parameters of time travel in this film isn't properly clarified (unlike that of Star Trek & X-Men: Days of Future Past). In the end, it becomes a bit over-convoluted, and I seem to put the plot aside for the more appealing action sequences. Even worse, is that a lot of the explanations is done by conversations within two characters - with exposition-like dialogues.

           But the elephant in the room has to be the fact that the plot twist is being clearly shown even in the trailers. I have to say, when I watched the scene...there would be genuine SURPRISE if we didn't know what the plot twist was. (Spoiler paragraph below!). Furthermore, a lot of the scenes in the final act, in the bridge, etc are also already in the trailers...so a lot of the time, we are already expecting to see some of the things happening. (For comparison, no part of the final act of Jurassic World is shown in the trailers, at all).

           But I'm not going to take away all the credit from the team, because its still a fun film with great action sequences and excellent visual effects. Arnold Schwarzenegger looks great in his most iconic role...even more so now, I'd dare say, than in his youth. (He's 67 now). Meanwhile the new casts aren't particularly spectacular - Jai Courtney & Emilia Clarke lacks chemistry - JK Simmons is great, but his character is insignificant. But Jason Clarke looks cool & badass, and Matt Smith's reveal is pleasing enough (because this is one of the few things I have been really eager to find out).

Verdict: 6.5


          A lot of you may have probably known about this before the film, like I do. But John Connor is to become the T-3000 and is the main villain of the film. Seriously, he looks cool & badass as the villain - seemingly smart & powerful, too. The problem is that his fate shouldn't have been revealed.
          When I saw that scene when Pops shot John Connor...and then Kyle Reese goes on and claims that Pops is a killer. I thought it would have worked. People may have just been slightly inclined to think that Pops may still be the villainous character. And why not? That would have been a pleasant surprise. Just like how Sarah Connor, for a moment, turns to Pops with a gun. Seriously, it would have been a good double twist. Sadly, for a lot of us, that moment has been taken away.
          Meanwhile, Matt Smith as Skynet's new face is cool. I still like to hear his voice, even when he's lacking the cheery charm of the Eleventh Doctor (Doctor Who). And here's hoping we get to see a lot more of him in the sequel. And...are we now to know him as Matthew Smith?