Friday 30 December 2016

SPOILER TALK: Rogue One (Part 2)

Now, for the more plot related spoiler stuffs...



Episode IV Connections (Victory, Transmission)

            After watching Rogue One, I immediately went back to play Star Wars: A New Hope because it felt just right. And immediately I noticed the wordings in the opening crawl and I noticed something that really linked back properly to the events in Rogue One. And this is something I never really paid attention to.
            The crawl mentions of a victory of the Rebel Spaceships, in the midst of which the Death Star plans are stolen. This is clearly the battle of Scarif we just saw in Rogue One. But I just like how the film actually takes it word by word from the opening crawl and stick to the continuity of it. The crawl says that it is in this battle that the plans are stolen, and we know it is true that Jyn & Cassian stole this plan in the midst of this battle. Meanwhile, the crawl also mentions of some Rebel spaceships, and we know that in Rogue One, we do have a space battle outside the system (and not just a ground battle).
             Furthermore, as I watch along in A New Hope, I then only realized that Darth Vader made a mention of "transmissions being intercepted". I have never paid full attention of the word transmission, but now it makes perfect sense, given how Jyn had to transmit the plans instead of delivering it by hand. Everything just fits perfectly. And for that I am particularly impressed by the Rogue One writers and director for really sticking to the continuity of the original film.
              And finally, someone in the internet pointed out that in the Imperial Round-Table meeting with Tarkin and Vader, you can see several empty seats there. Could one of these be for Krennic?

Death Star weakness (Exhaust Port)

              This is also another one that makes more sense in Star Wars: A New Hope. We never actually really complained about it, but now this film is able to explain how there is small weakness in the Death Star (in the form of a thermal exhaust port) that can pull off a chain reaction that would immediately blow up the space station. Again, we never really complained about it, but now it makes total sense that Galen Erso had actually placed this small weakness on purpose so that the Rebels have a chance to stop this terrible weapon. A splendid move, indeed.

Episode V Connection?

               This is not so much a proper connection, but it is a very interesting observation. There is clearly a Rogue squadron in this film as you may notice in the Hoth system. And then when you look at the credits, you can see Rogue 2 to Rogue 4 are credited...but no Rogue 1...why??

Could the rebellion intentionally leave Rogue 1 unused in honour of the fallen heroes who stole the Death Star plans?
And if so, did the Rogue One writers/director pick this up? Or was it an unlikely coincidence?

Some Easter Eggs

                There is clearly a lot of Easter Eggs in this film, and I wouldn't be mentioning all of it here. But I have some of my favourites. One of which is that recurring line of "I have a bad feeling about this". I like the way it is pulled off (or, almost pulled off) in this film, with K-2SO beginning to say it but is then stopped by both Jyn & Cassian. I thought it was the perfect execution.
                Also, in the space battle at the end, there is one rebel using the code name Red Five. And of course, he died. Why? Because that code name later goes to be re-used in A New Hope by someone we know as Luke Skywalker...

Being an avid Star Wars fan, I could go on and on and there is probably a lot more to talk about, and especially once I re-watch the film again and again. But just to conclude, Rogue One may not be the best but this is a Star Wars film I really love, and I am happy to see the Star Wars universe keep on expanding (in stories, characters, worlds, etc), and I am happy to be able to experience the dream, and I look forward to more of these with upcoming SW films, starting with next year's Episode VIII...

Thursday 29 December 2016

SPOILER TALK: Rogue One (Part 1)

The first part of the SPOILER TALK will focus more on characters...meanwhile the second part will focus more on the plot details...



Let's start off with one of the biggest movie spoilers...

The characters who didn't make it out alive...

             Which in this film is pretty much everybody! You look at the main cast, and every single one of them didn't make it out. From Jyn Erso & Cassian Andor, to the likes of Saw Gerrera and villain Director Krennic. None of them made it out. Some people did mention that these characters all must die because they are nowhere to be seen in A New Hope. But I personally always believed that that is a weak assumption, and you can always have some characters survive and move to someplace different. wrong I am (in this particular case).
             Anyway, to talk about every single one of them would take too long. The death of Director Krennic was pretty poetic, given that the last thing he sees is the beam from the superweapon of his own creation. Meanwhile, I did not quite like the last moments of Jyn & Cassian...It didn't feelt right for these characters, but I won't complain. The rest of the team, on the other hand, pretty much dies somewhere in combat. Instead, the one death I feel quite sad of is in fact the droid, K-2SO. Its just the way that he takes all the blaster fires while he make one last statement to Cassian & Jyn, that gets me.

Characters from the Original Trilogy

               Of course, the appearance of these characters is very much a surprise for me, especially because the original actors who played these characters are either too old, or are no longer with us. Hence, my genuine surprise to see Governor Tarkin. It was a nice surprise because he is such an integral character to the story. But initially it was also a bit jarring for me, because the CGI of the character was really noticeable. In that first scene between Tarkin & Krennic, I was partially happy, but also partially distracted by the CGI of Tarkin. But as the movie wears on, it seems like it became less and less noticable. And in the end, I am pleased with the appearance of Tarkin because he is such an integral & significant character when it comes to the Death Star.
                Another character that made a minor cameo is in fact, Princess Leia herself. Same as Tarkin, there is CGI involved with this character, but I did not feel it noticeable. So it is either they did the CGI better in those scenes (apart from the first), or its that I have grown more accustomed to it. In any case, I personally feel that Leia's appearance is not actually necessary, but it is a nice touch that the movie ends with the plans in the hands of Princess Leia.
                Separately, Bail Organa is a character that appears (albeit from the Prequel Trilogy, instead), but it makes a nice connection to the franchise. Furthermore, it is nice that he made mention of one certain Jedi (SW fans would of course catch the mention of Obi-Wan Kenobi), and that he also mentioned of his upcoming travel to Alderaan (and we know what sadly happens afterwards).

And if we're talking about characters from the Original Trilogy, we of course, have to mention...

Darth Vader

              It is of course not a big surprise to know of Vader's appearance because of his reveal in the trailers. But the scenes he's in were really powerful. There is no explicit mention of this, but it does seem like the planet where he first meet Vader is Mustafar (yes, that one in Revenge of the Sith). The scene that follows with Krennic is a really powerful scene and really shows the Darth Vader that we know from the Original Trilogy. It was a brilliant scene, save one bad pun from the Sith Lord himself.
                The second one was just majestic & terrifying to witness at the same time. It must have been a scene that Star Wars fans have been dreaming to see - Darth Vader just wasting a bunch of rebel fighters using a combination of his Force powers and his lightsaber skills. Beginning with the ignition of his red lightsaber in the dark, and then just walking and wasting all the terrified rebels ahead of him. Imagine the terror you must feel being in that hallway. It is such a majestic scene, and really what Vader should have been like. Ruthless, menacing & terrifying - it is, for me, one of the best scenes ever in a Star Wars film. The perfect scene for the perfect villain!

Also, on a separate news, it is a sad time for all us SW fans to hear the passing of our dear friend Carrie Fisher. All our thoughts & condolences go to her family.

Anyway, second part of the SPOILER talk coming Tomorrow...

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Looking Forward: JANUARY 2017

A brand new year, a brand new excitement...
January, as usual, isn't the biggest of months, but we have a mix of (what I'd like to call) B-Class Action Movies and some Oscar contenders that start their wide release...

Underworld: Blood Wars (Jan 6-USA, Jan 13-UK, Dec 1-Singapore)

              One of those B Action Movies. You can always feel it from the trailers (or past movies in the franchise) that these are movies made with a smaller budget & with less big names. And usually these movies also come with either generic plot or with weak characters.
            More about this franchise, specifically...I have never watched any of the previous films because they never intrigue me, anyway. And judging by the looks of the trailers, I can definitely tell you that I'm not excited about this film as well. But I did ended up checking it out because I was bored anyway (it was out earlier in December in Singapore), and if you want, you can check my review of this film to help you decide whether to watch this film...

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

Live by Night (Jan 13-USA, Jan 13-UK, Jan 12-Singapore)

            Now, Live by Night, on the other hand, is not a B Action Movie, and is in fact a likely Oscar contender and a movie I am so really looking forward to. Ben Affleck has proven himself to be one of the best directors in recent time with such excellent movies like the Gone Baby Gone, The Town & the Oscar winning Argo.
             And this next movie of his is another of the crime genre - which is surely right up his alley. So, I have all the faith that this is going to be an excellent film, and I really look forward it.

Trailers: (Trailer #1) (Trailer #2) 

XXX: Return of Xander Cage (Jan 20-USA, Jan 19-UK, Jan 19-Singapore)

            I would probably classify this as one of those B Action Movies because of the style of the movie, and because of the plot of the movie. But I would also say that I am somehow quite excited with this movie. I know it will probably be a bit cheesy and just end up being plain stupid fun. But I like the look of this film, and plain stupid fun can be quite entertaining sometimes...if done right.

Trailers: (Teaser) (Trailer #1)

Split (Jan 20-USA, Jan 20-UK, Jan 19-Singapore)

              I have to be honest with you...the trailers of this movie creeps me out. And that means it did its job well, being a psychological horror thriller. I am not a fan of horror, as many of you would know, but this movie looks brilliant. The idea that a person harbours 23 different personalities is already enough to intrigue me...and then you look at that performance from the brilliant James McAvoy...and I am left speechless. I am not a person to jump in to a horror thriller, but this film looks brilliant. Mr Shyamalan has a few misses in the past decade, and this film looks to put his record straight.

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

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Jan 27-USA, Feb 3-UK, Feb 2-Singapore)

              Yep, a B Action Movie, this is. I have watched all the previous movies in this franchise, and I always feel the same coming in and out of each one. I came in with low expectation, and I came out always with a partial disappointment that my expectations were spot on. They always have cool moments here & there, but overall the movie is a simple action movie with a zombie apocalypse plot that originated from the video games. So, yes, I know what to expect coming into this film...

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

T2: Trainspotting (Mar 10-USA, Jan 27-UK)

              I would usually put movies basis their release in the US. But given that this is a British film and that it comes out in most countries before the US, I'd like to give it a mention here. Yes, this film is the sequel to the hit black comedy crime drama Trainspotting by Danny Boyle 20 years ago. And given that all of the original cast returns, along with one my favourite actor Ewan McGregor, what is there not to be excited about?

(The only trailer out there is a red band can find them on YouTube)

Other Movies:

               For more of the likely Oscar contenders, we have A Monster Calls (
) which is a fantasy drama by director J.A. Bayona. This film has a strong cast and looks to have a powerful & emotional plot. It will have its wide release in the US on January 6th.
              Next up, we have Patriots Day ( which has its wide release on January 13th - and this is yet another collaboration of director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg, after their recent outing Deepwater Horizon which was critically acclaimed, but not a box office success. 
               Also, we have a film by the great Martin Scorsese called Silence ( It is one of his passion project, and if Scorsese has a project thats borne out of passion, you can bet its going to be a brilliant film. This comes out on January 6th.
                And finally I just want to point out that another movie also comes out (on January 13th) and that would be the action comedy Monster Trucks ( - a film of which I have no interest at all.

Saturday 17 December 2016


            For two years in a row now, I am so happy to have been able to experience the dream of being in the Galaxy far, far away...and I still can't believe that I'll have this feeling every year from now. It is really one of the beauties of these Star Wars movies, and to watch them in IMAX, really makes me feel like I'm there. Rogue One, in particular, has minor flaws, but I was locked in for the majority of the film, and it really does have some very special moments.

                Simply to put it out of the way, I have to say that the first 20 minutes of the film was not the best. It jumped too quickly from one place to the other, from one character to the next - and it didn't really give us time to breathe or understand the situation (and I am a Star Wars fan). The same applies to the final few minutes which ended a bit too abruptly. Additionally, the title font was crap, the score/music was so-so, and there are some moments which didn't really work.

                 Having put those minor issues out of the way...I really loved this film! I was locked into this film for many reasons. The plot wasn't too complex, but there are a lot of moments that really connects to the original Star Wars (A New Hope) in a lot of ways - more shall be discussed in my spoiler discussion. The characters were decent, and the standout for me would be the droid K-2SO, and his owner Cassian Andor (Diego Luna). I like how they portray the rebellion in this film, and Cassian Andor plays a big part in that respect.

                The visual effects was decent, but I really have to give credit to director Gareth Edwards. I like how he puts scale & scope into the shots, and there are a lot of moments (especially watching it in IMAX) where I felt like I was really there. And the settings (the planets) are gorgeous. And I am not talking just about the gorgeous beach planet here. Even when you see the alleys (in the first scene with Cassian Andor) or the markets in Jedha, you really feel like it was in a Star Wars universe. To put it simply...I have played the online video game Star Wars: The Old Republic and traveled to various & distinct planets in there - this film makes me feel like I've visited some of those planets first-hand.

                And I have yet to mention the best part of this film. The third act of this film is spectacular! The action was excellent all over, and there's so much weight/stakes to it. The space battle on its own is brilliant, and the part I like best is when we see a shot from further wide, and we see a squadron of fighters navigating in formation. The cinematography of the battle sequences are excellent, and watching it in IMAX, really makes it feel epic.

             In a way, this is a different Star Wars movie, but it really fits perfectly to the universe. And as a Star Wars fan, I love that we're expanding the universe with characters & stories & events like these. This film has minor flaws, but for the most part, I was once again, living the dream!

VERDICT: 88/100

                This doesn't even need to be said, but for Star Wars fan, this is a must-watch. For casual moviegoers, I would still highly recommend this film (though you may want to bring a SW fan with you to help explain the minor details).

Sunday 11 December 2016

Best Movie Trailers of 2016 - Part 3

3. Independence Day: Resurgence

Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:

              The second trailer was really good. It has a music that is both exciting & powerful, and really fits the tone of the film. But it was the first trailer that is probably the most perfect trailer for this movie. The music was brilliant, carrying a tone that is both dark & mysterious. And using the speech from the first movie is a really nice touch, and to end it with a quote that is cut off...just perfect! I really felt that this trailer is the best trailer imaginable for this movie. I was really, really excited for this film after watching this trailer! 

(Imagine my disappointment then after watching the film....but that's another discussion for another time...)

2. Suicide Squad

Comic Con Trailer:
Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:
Comic Con Remix:

               This is a very prime example of excellent marketing. The movie sucks, but it earns big bucks at the box office. One of the reasons for that is because the trailers are really good, and they made it look like DC's version of Guardians of the Galaxy, which a surprise hit by Marvel a few years back.
                The first Comic Con trailer above was already pretty good, despite making it feel like a darker movie. The two main trailers are really top notch and made it look like a super fun film. The best thing is is the fact that the trailers on their own are really fun & entertaining, and I like the way they fit all the action & scenes to the rhythm of the music. I watched these trailers over and over again and enjoyed them a lot every time. Even the final Comic Con remix trailer was not too bad, although by that point, it didn't feel like anything new. But the two main trailers are so very good, and I personally got super excited about this film because of them...

(Imagine my disappointment then after watching the film....but that's another discussion for another time...)

1. Rogue One - A Star Wars Story

Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:

             The teaser trailer is a bit standard, but I quite liked it. It is not too bad, but it is a solid teaser trailer. The first main trailer was really good, and like the Fantastic Beasts trailer, made really good use of the Star Wars theme. I like the combination of story & action, and it had some really beautiful shots, too. 
             The second main trailer is what really stood out for me. It does not make use of any Star Wars music, but the music that they use was perfect - which really brings out the feeling of hope. I thought that trailer was really good, and the music is just a perfect fit. As I am a SW fan, and the previous trailers have done really well, I thought nothing else can get me more excited (and not that I need to be) for this movie, but this trailer surprised me and got me even more excited that I already was. I have watched it over and over and I do personally believe that this is the best trailer for a 2016 film. Just amazing!

(I just hope I don't have to imagine a disappointment after watching this film...)

Saturday 10 December 2016

Best Movie Trailers of 2016 - Part 2.5

Special Post!!! My personal favourite trailer in recent memory...

I know my blog is supposed to be about movies, but I want to share one special video game trailer which I really adored. The game is called Death upcoming game by a gaming icon, Hideo Kojima.



              Truth be told, the above trailer isn't as much like the other trailers - as it is not really a collection of montage. It is more of a teaser footage really.

              And this trailer above, the first 2 minutes are a bit slow and just showcases the world it inhabits. But the final two minutes of this trailer is very simply...PERFECTION.

             Firstly, let me just quickly say that Mads Mikkelsen is one my favourite actors alive, and his involvement in this game has been speculated but not confirmed, until this trailer. And the best way ever to confirm some character or some actor's involvement is, in fact, through a trailer.

             Moreover, the way the character is revealed, as we go down the tunnel until we finally see some skeleton soldiers before we finally see the reveal of Mads' character, is brilliant. And his character looks so badass & awesome - really, really cool. I mean...just glorious, isn't he?

             And finally, as is the recurring theme about trailers, the music is key. And in this trailer, the music (in the final two minutes) that accompanies the reveal of Mads Mikkelsen is majestic - it is cool and haunting at the same time. It really is the perfect music! I have watched it over and over again and fell in love more and more...

           The final two minutes of this trailer is easily one of the BEST trailer moments I have ever seen!!
           This is not a movie trailer, nor it is a conventional montage trailer - but as an art, I cannot hold back my amazement and appreciation for that reveal!! 

           For this moment of brilliance, I reserve my special praise for Hideo Kojima, and he should happy to know that I am totally sold on this game now... 

Friday 9 December 2016

Best Movie Trailers of 2016 - Part 2

            The teaser is actually pretty good, and it has a decent music. It was a bit standard, and has nothing special, but it works well in showing what to expect from this film (and what kind of visual effects this film has) and is a solid teaser trailer. The main trailer was much better. The music in the latter half of the trailer was really good, and it showed more in terms of story, action & effects. A really good main trailer that increased my excitement for the film itself.

6. The Nice Guys

Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:
Trailer 3:

              This first trailer also isn't too special, though it showcased some of the humour. The second and third trailer, meanwhile, are really good. There is a lot of humour, and they really fit to the rhythm of the song (Long Cool Woman). A very good trailer (both the second & third trailer) for a very good movie.

5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:

              Being a spin-off of the Harry Potter films, it has the advantage of being able to use the original Harry Potter music in the trailer. And it did it brilliantly. I like the bit when that music came strong in the teaser trailer, and it also really gave us a feel of this new magical world, and of main protagonist Newt Scamander. The first trailer (which was released in Comic Con) showed a bit more of the plot & characters, but didn't really gave me too different a feel than the teaser trailer.
            The final trailer was much better. It didn't make too much use of the HP music, but still remains a very good trailer. The music is different, but brings about similar feels, and I really like it, to be perfectly honest. I personally prefer to hear this new music than a re-use of the HP music. A super, solid trailer.

4. Captain America: Civil War

Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:

             As usual, I have to always comment on the music. Whenever a trailer music is good, it has the basics to be a great trailer. This one has it. And to be perfectly honest, this first trailer isn't too flashy and doesn't feel too special. And it only shows some of the characters a bit of the plot, but is helped by an excellent trailer music.
              The second trailer, on the other hand, is much better. It clearly puts our two heroes into opposing sides, and really explains the point of view of each. From there, it builds up into more and more action (yes, with an excellent trailer music, too), and ends with a very special moment and cuts just at the perfect moment that leaves us wanting more. And don't forget about that sting with the (re-)introduction of a certain Marvel superhero.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Best Movie Trailers of 2016 - Part 1.5

In this post, a few honourable mentions and some disappointing trailers...

Honourable Mentions:

X-Men: Apocalypse

Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:
Trailer 3:

               The first trailer isn't too fancy, but it is quite good, especially with that eerie music. I saw it once in the theater and it had quite an impact. The second trailer is, similarly, quite solid. It is not the best, and the song is not too impactful, but it is not too bad. The third trailer, is better, and following in the spirit of the final trailer of Days of Future Past, is also the most energetic & light trailer of the three. But that bit at the end would have been best left as a surprise in the movie...

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:

             The trailers aren't really all that good, especially the second one. But in the first trailer, I like the way they make use of the theme of 'Time'. The sound effects and the background makes good use of that theme, and it really fits with the whole tone of the trailer. A pretty solid trailer for a movie that I wasn't too keen on.



Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:

            The first trailer actually isn't too bad. I quite liked it, in fact. The second trailer started off pretty cool, with a rather soft yet dark tune. And then the beats started playing, and it goes downhill from there. The modern tune really doesn't fit to the theme of a fantastical world inhabited by Orcs. A poor choice of music for a trailer.

Assassin's Creed

Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:

              Oh, these two trailers are just terrible. Both for quite the same reason. Terrible choice of music. The first one is really, really bad. To use a Kanye West music to accompany scenes set in the 15th century. The worst thing ever. The music in the second trailer is not as bad, but it probably is because the first one is just too terrible. And apart from the music, the styling of the fonts is also a bit amateur-ish and doesn't feel quality. Where trailers normally make us more excited to watch a film...I was already excited for this film, until the trailers put me off. Just terrible!
             In fact, there has been many fans re-doing the trailers with music from the video game and they become much, much better.

Here are some examples:

Trailer: (I like this tune)

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Best Movie Trailers of 2016 - Part 1

Trailers have always been a big part of the movie world...they are what gets people to be aware and more importantly, be excited about their films...

For some, trailers are viewed as an art on its own...a variety of scenes collected into one montage that provides viewers with a feel of the overall tone & plot of the movie - it is a skill not many have mastered...

Which is why some trailers are rather disappointing, but some of them, as below, are really good piece of entertainment on their own right...

Kindly Note:

1. These movie trailers listed below are based on movies that are out in 2016 (not necessarily the trailers themselves).

2. They are ranked purely from the trailers themselves, not the movies. The movies themselves may well be very bad, for all you know.

3. ALL the trailers that is released for a movie is considered (hence, a movie with two excellent trailers will be ranked higher than if only one of them is good). However, I will only consider full length trailers...not those one minute trailers.

Best Movie Trailers of 2016:

10. Star Trek Beyond

Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:

            A lot of people didn't really like the first trailer, but it was okay for me, personally. But it is the second trailer that really got me. It will be the first time I mention this, but you will see this statement over and over again...the music is critical to a trailer. And this second trailer started of with an excellent piece of music that set the tone for the remainder of the trailer. And what follows is a nice montage of action that shows what a Star Trek movie is all about.

9. The Legend of Tarzan

Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:

            It is the rare occasion where the first trailer, for me, was better than the second. It had great music, and was a nice collection of scenes of the movie. The second one started a bit slow with more of the background of the character, but ended quite nicely with a quite good music piece, too. But the first trailer stood out more for me, and I personally liked that one better.

8. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Trailer 1:
Trailer 2:

              The teaser was a bit simple but it was a teaser that came out almost a year before the release of the movie, so as a teaser, it was really good. It gave us glimpses and what the tone of the film is. The second trailer was also really good, and accompanied with an excellent music in the final minute of the trailer. The last trailer would have been quite good as well, with a nice music. The only drawback is that spoiler it had to give away. It would have been much better without the reveal of a certain monster.

Sunday 4 December 2016


          This was not a movie I had been excited for, nor had I been intentionally planning to see it. But as I had nothing better to do, I thought I'd give it a go - going in with a reasonably low expectation. But I went out finding the film pretty watchable. I enjoyed a few scenes, and found the rest of it watchable.

           Watchable isn't actually a positive statement - it just means that at least I don't find the film boring (unlike a few big budget blockbusters of the Year - I'm looking at you, ID: Resurgence). And the fact that this film is made on a small budget made me keep a low expectation and increased my tolerance level. In contrast, when you come to watch an ID: Resurgence, you'd expect much more. Anyway, this is not the time to rant about Resurgence.

              If I can put out one positive thing about this film, it would be the villain's appearance. I won't even put it in high regard, because the villain itself remains a pretty generic villain, but the look & sound of the character is pretty cool. So it is a small positive that this film can boast.

              Otherwise, I do acknowledge that this film has a very cheesy & generic plot. The plot device used to drive the story is pretty standard & expected, and even the resolutions are pretty weak. And the visual effects are definitely those of low quality VFX. But I can bear all this because I came in knowingly that I had walked into a low budget generic fantasy action flick.

               This surely doesn't mean that this a good film. Far from that. It just means that if you had come in with the awareness that I did and managed to lower your expectation, it is not a terrible film, and it is, as I said, watchable.

VERDICT: 45/100

              Worth the price of admission? Nope. Worth the time & travel? Nope. Worth to watch if it came up in Cable TV and you had nothing better to do and you can enjoy these low budget fantasy action flicks? Sure.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

SPOILER TALK: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them



Gellert Grindelwald

            Thanks to movie news that spreads fast nowadays, I did happen to know that Gellert Grindelwald is to be played by Johnny Depp, and that he would have a cameo in this first film. But given that we see the back of his head in the beginning of the film, it is a slight surprise to see his revelation at the end.
           But the real surprise for me is to find out that Colin Farrell's Percival Graves is the man that turns out to be Grindelwald himself. It is a nice surprise for me. And I do like the look of Depp as Grindelwald, so I can't wait to see more of him in the sequels.
            And I do recall the mention of Grindelwald in Deathly Hallows - Part 1, but I wasn't actually too familiar with the character. Then I did a little research to discover that Grindelwald is the most notorious dark wizard before Voldermort. This fact really excites me, and I like the idea of this character being the big bad of this Fantastic Beasts saga.

           And finally, I just want to add a point which I realized from a video review in Collider (YouTube), which I echo 100%: Does this revelation means that we won't see Colin Farrell in the sequels?
          I mean it could be that he never existed, or it could also be that his is locked up somewhere and Grindelwald simply borrowed his form. But even if its the latter, will the real Percival Graves be significant enough to appear in sequel films? Personally, I really hope so because I like Colin Farrell so much, and I like his character here. But now it all depends on Rowling's story...

The Deathly Hallows Symbol

             I spotted the Deathly Hallows symbol in the necklace that Graves gave to Credence, and I thought it was a real nice easter egg. But then after realizing that Graves is in fact Grindelwald, it makes complete sense now. After all, he did own the Elder Wand at one point. And I would even bet that we would get to see him wield it in one of the sequels...


            The ending of this film really felt like a closing of a chapter so its hard to see what the sequel will hold. But we do know for sure that there will be sequels, and there's even word that the next one will be set in Paris. This brings up a lot of question like how many years on would it be, what events takes place, etc. But it would remain as speculative questions until we have more news about it.
             Meanwhile, my concern now is that we might not get to see Jacob Kowalski in future movies, especially given how it ends. And yes, btw, I did get a bit tear-y at the end there just before Jacob stepped into the rain. I liked the character a lot, and I do want to see him and the girls rejoin Newt in a new adventure...but given that Jacob's memory is wiped, and with the fact that the next film is set in Paris...I'm quite concerned we might not see them in future movies. At the very least, I am hoping that they would appear in one of them, if not the immediate sequel...but we'll have to see...

Sunday 27 November 2016


          This may be one of the most boring & predictable...REVIEW (not movie) - you will see from me. Because the feeling that I have watching this film is almost the same as most of the Disney animation films that came out recently (Tangled, Frozen, Zootopia, etc). Everything you'd expect them to get right, they did. And the talent on board really brings the best out of the film, with proven Disney directors Ron Clements & John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) and music with the collaboration of the brilliant Lin-Manuel Miranda.

            One of the best things about recent Disney animations has always been characters. In Moana, this film has a very strong & relatable lead protagonist, and her interactions & dynamic with Maui is fun to watch. It becomes so easy to be invested with your lead character when the problems that they face is something so relatable. 

               From there, its down to the plot to take the character to different places and different situations. And I have to say, the plot didn't disappoint. There is a certain arc that Moana goes through, and it is fun to watch her deal with different situations in her own unique way.

              And like Tangled & Frozen, this film really has some excellent original songs. These songs are nice to hear, and even better when seen in the context of the film. They really enhance the emotions of the scenes, and when they're this good (thanks to the talent of Lin-Manuel Miranda and co.), it elevates the feels of the film significantly.

              And while there is no doubt in the talents of directors Ron Clements & John Musker, and the voice of Dwayne Johnson, there is one unknown talent in this film - and that is lead voice actress Auli'i Cravalho. She is a revelation! For one, her singing voice is excellent. But more than that, she is excellent with her character emotions, and to be specific, I like the scenes where she reacts frustrated/angered by Maui's actions.

              The film is not absolutely perfect because there is a scene which I don't quite like which has a song that doesn't fit in. But apart from that one small blip, I really enjoyed the rest of the film a lot. I was very much emotionally invested with the film and with the characters, and with such excellent characters & interactions, and some brilliant songs along the way, this film is yet another brilliant Disney animation film!

VERDICT: 88/100

              It is, like most other Disney animation films, a highly recommended film to watch!

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Most Anticipated of Q1 2017

I know I had just recently did my Top 10 Most Anticipated of why am I doing another one just for Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) of 2017...?

1. Well, firstly, a full year is too broad, and hence I am not able to call out most of the movies that I'm excited about...I suppose 10 is a bit too small of a number...

2. Secondly, and more importantly, the trailers usually only come out within 3-6 months of the release of the film - so movies in the latter part of the Year don't usually get fairly judged because no trailer had came out for them yet. And trailers are important because they show us the tone of the film, the characters, and what the plot in general is...and their job is to get us excited... 

The Top 10 of the Year will always remain as to call out the upper echelon of movies I am most excited for within the Year (regardless of the trailers)...but this quarterly posts will give more movies a chance to be mentioned...

My Most Anticipated Movies of Q1 2017:

           A quick shoutout (honorable mention) to King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and The Great Wall, both of which I'm quite excited about simply because of their respective directors Guy Ritchie and Zhang Yimou...both of which has their own unique style & vision.

5. John Wick: Chapter 2 (February 10)

            Unfortunately, it seems, I am one of those few people who actually didn't like the first movie. The action was excellent, but I didn't find anything else interesting. The plot, to me, felt really dull. I don't know - maybe I need to re-watch it. But with everything that others had been saying, and with everything I've been hearing & seeing about this film - the cast, the trailers, etc - I feel like I'm quite excited about this film and willing to give this franchise another chance.


4. Beauty and the Beast (March 17)

             A romantic fantasy film is usually not my thing...but this is more than that...this is a Disney live-action remake of an animated classic. And like their animated counterparts, Disney's track record of their live-action films show have been nothing but great. I loved the recent movies Cinderella and even more so, Maleficent. I can't predict if this will be in the same league, but with a director like Bill Condon, and a cast that includes Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Sir Ian McKellen, and more...I think this film is on the right track indeed...


3. The Lego Batman Movie (February 10)

           Oh man, this film looks super fun! All the trailers for this film shows us that it is going to be a very fun movie and it is not afraid to mess around with the lore and reference its live-action counterparts. It really looks like a fun movie, and it probably is my most anticipated animated film of the Year. Just check out the trailer!


2. Kong: Skull Island (March 10)

            Everything I've heard about this film is so good - and I always like the idea of a group of people going to this island to uncover its secrets. And I think we all know how its going to go down - but I am super stoked about this film. The first trailer came out and I was initally concerned with the look & size of Kong. But the second trailer came out just recently, and I really like it. I am hoping that they focus on the story on its own and doesn't focus too much in setting up the upcoming Godzilla v Kong movie. But I like the look of this film, and I really look forward to this movie.


1. Logan (March 3)

            This film is one of the main example why I had to do a quarterly Most Ancitipated post. Logan was initially ranked lower in my Top 10 of the Year, but then the trailer came out - and I fell in love with it - I just needed to push it up. The trailer really made a statement - that this was not going to be your generic comic book movie. The tone of it made it feel like it was a character drama more than anything. I feel like crying everytime I watch the trailer...and I probably will by the end of this movie as Hugh Jackman's run as Logan comes to an end...


Saturday 19 November 2016


              In a lot of ways, this is a really, really good film. The characters are great, and the character dynamics are even better. The overall story is good, with a lot of humour throughout, yet it doesn't forsake the dramatic tension of the main plot. And the visual effects and the look of these magical beasts are, for lack of a better word, fantastic! The bits and pieces of connections to the original Harry Potter saga is just the icing on the cake...

             The best thing about this film, for me, are the characters. Eddie Redmayne's Newt Scamander is a very unconventional yet likeable protagonist. And I like the fact that his character is one that feels more comfortable with creatures than with humans. Even more so when we get to see him have such relationships & interactions with some of his creatures.

              And still on characters & relationships, I really like the team of protagonists that accompanies Newt in this quest (Kowalski, Queenie & Tina). Kowalski (Dan Fogler) is the surprise standout for me, and his character dynamic with Newt is brilliant. And even as this film doesn't focus on the romance, I can feel the relationship that develops between Kowalski & Queenie. And finally I just have to add that Colin Farrell is brilliant as always, and I really like his character.

            The overall story is also very good. But J.K. Rowling is someone you will never bet against, anyway, when it comes to writing great stories. There is some really good fun humour throughout, and I really enjoyed them. But at some darker moments, I can feel the dramatic tension, too. The story really has the perfect balance of action, humour & drama.

            Finally, my special credit should go to director David Yates and his visual effects team. I watched this film in IMAX 3D, and it looks spectacular. The look of these beasts are brilliant, and overall the visual effects are really well done, especially with the 1926 setting.
            Also, with the IMAX 3D, the 3D effects were really put into effect. There are many moments when the objects or the creatures just jumps out of the screen and close into your face. The last time I felt such 3D effects would probably be in one of the Hobbit films, and they didn't even do it as much as David Yates did here. So, if you have the extra bucks to spare, I would actually recommend IMAX 3D.

             If I have to nitpick, maybe I can (with some slight pacing issues, etc), but I don't really want to because I really enjoyed this film a lot. A perfect blend of action, humour & drama, and some spectacular 3D effects makes this a wonderful return to the wizarding world! Can't wait for the sequel now...

VERDICT: 91/100

             Highly recommended. For Potter fans, a must watch!!