Saturday 24 October 2015


"Every one deserves a defense...every person matters"

          Bridge of Spies is a movie without combat, cars, or gunshots, but its as good a film is gonna get without all three. A decent plot, some great humour, amazing characters...this is some fine & memorable work by Steven Spielberg and the team.

          To start with, yes, this is a film without action sequences. It was never intended to, and it didn't have. Unfortunately, a guy like me always reserves some points for good old action sequences, because that's one of the reasons I go to the movies. Thankfully, while the film does feel long and lacks the action, it isn't draggingly long or even close to boring, because the characters themselves are interesting and the dialogue is great, with a lot of the humour coming out from the witty dialogues.

           So, yes, there are some very interesting characters in the film. Tom Hanks' James B. Donovan is one of them, no surprise there. He has great character moments and some excellent, meaningful lines. Couple that with Tom Hanks' acting ability, and yes, he's a character you'd root for. But the surprise standout for me is Mark Rylance's Rudolf Abel, the soviet spy. I've never heard of the actor before this film, but wow! He's so great as this character. Very charismatic, and speaks with short, simple, witty lines. Amazing character!! (And now I can see why Spielberg decides to get him as the lead for his next film, The BFG). And there's some excellent & loveable humour between these two characters.

           Now, the plot...when I think about it, the plot isn't actually great. In fact, it's rather predictable and a little too convenient in how it unfolds. But then the ending really gets me. The climactic scene and the ending is brilliant. I just love it. And maybe, to me, it compensates the lack of an intense plot throughout. And I suppose, when you have an ending as good as this one, it makes the 2 hours you spend feel very much worth it.

           Again, without action, this is as good a film is gonna get. Very great characters - Excellent humour & dialogue - A good enough plot, and with an exceptional ending. It really is a good film, though you have to forgive me for putting some emphasis on the lack of action. But its one of the reasons why I (hopefully, we) go to the movies. So, what I would say is this...this is a must watch film...but not a must watch on the cinema. There's no added thrill in watching it in the theatre, but its a film you really have to watch at one point. It's worth it.


Tuesday 20 October 2015


The full (and final) trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out!! 
And this two-minute beauty is worth every other minute of the six months I've been waiting since the last trailer...

First things first...

Why I am Writing this post?

          The answer - a combination of how far JJ Abrams & co. have rekindled my love for this dream fantasy, and of me trying to make up a mistake I made a year ago. The mistake - is putting this film in number two of my most anticipated film of 2015.
           Well, in a hollow attempt of justifying myself, a year ago we know next to nothing about this film...and Age of Ultron seems like one hell of a movie (until I watch it and find it less than spectacular). If I knew then what I knew now...The Force Awakens would have been at Number 1 by a long mile. And it is now!
          And the other reason being that since I wrote that post, the teaser trailers came out...teases after teases, interviews, toys, behind-the-scenes...and now my love for this dream fantasy world is rekindled. I remember now why I fell in love with this epic universe more than a decade ago. (And perhaps the fact that I recently played Star Wars: The Old Republic helped...)



          Now, don't be silly, if you haven't seen it by now, do it! If you have, go see it again! It's so cool. If you're a Star Wars fan, then even the music itself should see you squeal like I did. And then there's the lightsabers, the Millenium Falcon, the Stormtroopers, the Fighters, Han Solo, Kylo Ren, Rey, Finn, and the list goes on...oh, yeah, don't forget BB-8...
          It's a super cool trailer! The shots look great. The continuous angles, the wide shots...JJ Abrams fingerprints is everywhere, and I love it! The shots of the flying Fighters or the X-Wing blasting away is spectacular in terms of visual.
          And the best thing about this trailer...we know nothing more about the plot of the film. It's how it should be. This is the perfect marketing. We get all squealy & excited about the film, but still know nothing about the majority of the plot. They even left this one and only full trailer to come out only two months before the film. And even before then, fans everywhere are already eager to see it. They don't have to use a lot of bait, and they're already getting all the fishes. This is marketing at its best!
          In any case, the trailer is super cool. I've watched it more than 5 times now...and I'm probably going to see it another 50 times by the time the movie comes out...oh, I'm so in love with Star Wars!  

Thursday 15 October 2015

Looking Forward: NOVEMBER 2015

As we near the final months of the year, and with the holiday season approaching, some big blockbusters are making their mark...

Spectre (Nov 6-USA, Oct 26-UK, Nov 5-Singapore)

          With the same team behind the highly successful & undeniably great Skyfall, Spectre looks to build upon the success and is looking to be one of the best Bond film in decades. In all that I've seen & read, all the signs are very positive and looks to improve upon its predecessor. Nothing has seemed to suggest otherwise.
          The return of the criminal organization Spectre also brings a terrifyingly resourceful & threatening villain in Christoph Waltz's Franz Oberhauser. He certainly looks the part, and the way I see it...he seems to be born to be a Bond villain. The trailers all look very cool with explosive action sequences, but also brings that theme of Oberhauser being that mysterious figure that Bond has overlooked in his past missions. None of the signs are showing this film to be less than what Skyfall was, and if you've seen Skyfall, then you'll know why I am really, really excited about this!

Trailers: (Teaser) (Trailer #1) (Must See!)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (Nov 20-USA, Nov 20-UK, Nov 19-Singapore)

          After three films of similar theme with Katniss pitted against Snow each time, somehow, I'm not too anticipating this final film in the saga. Others may feel differently as they await the conclusion of this epic revolution. And I can understand why. Its a great story. The action sequences are great. The characters are interesting, and the actors are brilliant as well. Our protagonists have grown from participants of a cruel game into icons of a rebellion, and we are close to the final battle that sees this game's end.
            But unlike many other final chapters in film, I'm just not too anticipating this one. The similarity in theme, in struggles, in conflict, and so forth, has kind of overstayed its welcome (in my mind). I'm fed up of seeing Katniss whine at one point and then suddenly acting all rebellious and angry on the other. In fact, I'm kind of pleased that the series is concluding. I'm still excited for this and obviously I'll be watching this film, for sure. I'm just not too anticipating it as much as I suspect others do, for reasons above.

Trailers: (Teaser) (Trailer #1)

Creed (Nov 25-USA, Feb 19-UK, Nov 26-Singapore)

          I'll be honest with you...I didn't even know this film existed until I saw the first trailer. But seeing said trailer made me quite interested about this film. Not that I've seen all the Rocky films, but I know how big the franchise is. And seeing this spin-off intrigues me. Its nice to see another side of Stallone's Rocky being the mentor this time around. And its even better to find Apollo Creed's son as his mentee. In my deepest hopes, I expect to see some good chemistry and a growing relationship between these two main characters. Apart from this, I know little about this film, but the trailers sold me. I unexpectedly find the first trailer quite catchy.

Trailers: (Trailer #1) (Must See!!) (Trailer #2)

Other Movies:

The Peanuts Movie (November 6)
-A very childish looking animation, I'll pass...

Legend (November 20)
-A crime thriller with an array of talented cast...

The Good Dinosaur (November 25)
-Pixar rarely disappoints with their animation flicks...but I find little appeal (as of now) with this film...

Victor Frankenstein (November 25)
-Looks to have quite the chemistry between the two lead characters. If there's not too much horror elements, I might go...

Sunday 11 October 2015


" Neverland!!"

          This film is fun! Yes, its very cheesy and a bit too fantastical, but its a lot of fun and very light-hearted, and surprisingly comes with a heartful plot. Some of the characters are particularly interesting, despite being over the top. Visually, it's a treat, and the action is accompanied by a great high-energy music.

          Let's get the mud out of the way first. It is a, actually, its very cheesy. A lot of the dialogues, as well as the characters themselves, in fact, are very cheesy and over the top. But the actors themselves did a great job. Only Hugh Jackman could make an over the top Blackbeard very cool & charismatic as he is in the film. And then, even some the action sequences and the effects are very cheesy & fantastical, you'd be laughing out of the silliness at one point.

          But, if you can bear the silliness of this film (like I did), you'll find that there's gold beneath the mud. Its seriously fun if you can ignore the occasional silliness. Blackbeard is the standout character for me. He's so charismatic! And cool and a little bit badass, too. Just from the way he looks, he'd be laughable if it wasn't Hugh Jackman behind the beard. And he's funny at times, too. A wonderful character. And Garrett Hedlund also makes James Hook very likeable, you'd want to root for him. And main characters Peter Pan and Tiger Lily weren't half bad, either. A great array of characters and cast, for the most part.

          And then there's the plot, which is surprisingly very heartful and easy to follow. There isn't a lot of surprises or twists, but the characters themselves have their own motivations, and the intertwining of these makes for very nice subplots. Meanwhile, the main plot regarding Peter himself is very touching and heartful. And if there's one thing that this film did right (which I find recent films don't), is the pacing. I felt it was paced perfectly -nothing was too fast or too dragged on.

          And yes, there's quite a lot of humour. But I bet you wouldn't suspect that a lot of them came from Hugh Jackman's Blackbeard. And then the action sequences are good enough...not great, but they're accompanied by a brilliant high-energy soundtrack/score by John Powell. There isn't a truly quality aspect of this film that makes it special, in fact it is quite a light & straightforward film. But if you can bear/ignore the cheesiness, it is really fun with lots of humour with an awesome villain and a heartful plot. A good film that's worth both the time and the price of admission.


Tuesday 6 October 2015


"I'm gonna have to science the shit out of this..."

          The Martian is a surprisingly very enjoyable yet thrilling experience as we follow astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) in his attempts at survival. Films like these tend to be more dark & depressing, but not this one. This film instead explores on the science behind the survival - the situation, the options, the outcome, the consequences. And what made it enjoyable is mostly due to the humour & light-heartedness all around, yet is also partially due to Matt Damon's charisma that we enjoy seeing him in HAB, and get to root for his rescue to be a success.

          The time we spent with Mark Watney in the HAB is probably the most surprisingly entertaining moment. He's just so cool & full of spirit, yet remains light-hearted and humorous as can be seen when he's entering his log, or when he's attempting communication with NASA. It's just fun to be there with him and see him do his thing - botany and all. It's easy to have scenes of a person stranded alone to be dull & depressing, but Mark Watney here makes it seem like an enjoyable experience. Of course, there's bound to be trouble here and there, but not to the extent of it being a grim & depressing situation. There are major setbacks, yes, but we get to really root for the character to think and solve the problems.

          The scenes on Earth also feel very real, while keeping it quite light-hearted as well. There's a lot of discussion and issues that feel very true to what is in the real world nowadays. There's some very modern complications & events that plays out. Similarly, there's a lot of fun banter & chemistry between the crew of the Hermes. And the array of distinctly interesting characters makes for fun scenes & conversations between them.

          But the film is not the perfect film by a long shot. The plot in general is very straightforward (though its hard to expect otherwise), although the little details of them attempting this survival & rescue is interesting on its own, incorporating a lot of math & science. And there aren't any action sequences per se, although we are seeing intense, physical, thrilling scenes along the way. Despite it being just a bit too long for my taste, the pacing is generally great. Ridley Scott knew what he was doing - when to jump, when to montage. And overall, it makes for a very pleasant & enjoyable experience in the theater. Not the perfect film, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend anyone to see this.

SCORE: 8.0