Sunday 31 January 2016

Looking Forward: FEBRUARY 2016

Deadpool (Feb 12-USA, Feb 10-UK, Feb 11-Singapore)

           Now, I know that there is an overwhelming anticipation on this film from comic book fans around the world...but not me. Not overwhelmingly, at least. I like the character, Deadpool. I like how the character breaks the fourth wall & brings goofiness to every situation he's in. But Deadpool himself is the only reason I'm excited for Deadpool.
            The thing is, none of the other characters in the film are interesting. A lot of them look more like punks than comic book characters, to me. And then Deadpool has to have a love interest?? I know it's probably an effort to give him more background, but I don't want that. I don't need that. Like the Joker, people didn't need to know how he came to be. Deadpool is fun as hell as he is, and that's what I want to see of him, not his origin story.
           Finally, there's that R-rated humour & punchlines. Look, I don't mind that its R-rated, but when you look at the trailers, a lot of the jokes feels forced and loud and simply made rude just for the sake of it. Like those phrases about Deadpool's face...those aren't funny. It feels like the R-rated words are forced into the dialogue just for the sake of it.
            But in any case, I'm still going to check it out. I'm still curious to see Deadpool and if they do the character justice.

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

Gods of Egypt (Feb 26-USA, Feb 26-UK, Feb 25-Singapore)

           Okay, I feel like with this post, I am just incurring the wrath of the Internet. With this film, let's just say that I don't care if this film is full of white people, especially in terms of the main characters. What matters most, is that the actors must be the perfect fit for the role. Even the great Ridley Scott has backed this kind of decision making with the perfect reason:
           In any case, my beef with this film is the fact the visual effects doesn't look well done from the trailers. And even plot-wise, this film doesn't look too promising in my eyes. So, even as I have no actor issue, I have a ton of other issues (or concerns, at least) with this film, already. But still, with the amount of action & visual effects involved, you can bet that I'll be watching this film, still.

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

Other Movies:

Hail, Caesar! (February 5)
-A promising looking comedy with brilliant directors and a great cast...

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (February 5)

Zoolander No. 2 (February 12)

Triple 9 (February 26)
-A heist thriller that boasts a great array of cast...why not?

Sunday 24 January 2016


"Got room for one more?"

          Oh, my, another of Tarantino's film that I just can't help but admire. It's a truly brilliant film in a lot of ways. The characters are great, the dialogues are clever, it has lots of tension, and most importantly, you get so hooked in into the events that unfold in this small place. It started rather slowly, but it gets more and more exciting by the minute. Put it this way, after about half an hour I was checking my watch and thinking, "Okay, I'm 30 minutes into a 2 hour and 45 minutes film". But towards the end, I was like "Oh man, there's only 15 minutes left??". It was that exciting for me.

           This whole film, almost 3 hours long, is set in only two small settings - a stagecoach and a small cabin. That's all. Who on Earth could make a film that long in such small settings very exciting to watch? Tarantino, that's who. And who on Earth can make long conversations between several people just enjoyable to watch? Yep, you know the answer to that. For the most part, there isn't a lot of action. The film relies on dialogue and tension (and comedy, too) to make simple scenes between characters very interesting to watch.

          Of course, the distinctly unique & interesting characters help (again, partially due to Tarantino's genius). Despite having eight characters to follow, each are unique in their own way, and its easy to remember these characters. And they are so brilliantly acted by the cast. All of them. Sam Jackson, Walton Goggins, and especially Jennifer Jason Leigh, who I really admire in this film. It's like these actors really raised their performance another level for this film.

            And then there's the score/soundtrack...simply mistifying!! Even from the opening theme, I was already loving it. It was full of tension and...just simply brilliant. You should hear it yourself to understand it. I can't help myself from hearing it over and over again, now. (As, usual you can find it in YouTube, if you're curious about the music, and listen to "L'ultima diligenza di Red Rock"). Ennio Morricone is a genius, and he totally deserved that Golden Globe (and hopefully, the Oscar, too).

          In a lot of ways, this is a unique film (or in other words, a Tarantino film) which has very exciting plots & characters, brilliant scenes & powerful dialogues. It does start a bit slowly, but as it goes on, it only gets more exciting, and by the end, the 2 hours 45 minutes feels too short. A truly brilliant film!


Wednesday 20 January 2016


"The waves has begun"

            2016 is off to a good start, for me, at least. More unexpectedly so as this is a YA sci-fi novel adaptation, but I have to admit...I enjoyed this film. There are flaws, obviously, but there are some good moments, too. 

          The plot is nothing new. Even in the smallest details, its cliche and its predictable. In the larger point of view, you can already feel if something is wrong, and you can sense the twist coming a mile away. Also, the film takes a while to set the story up. 30 minutes in (into the 110 minutes film) and the film still doesn't feel like kicking off yet, instead still feeding the background of the story to the viewers.

           But when it does kick off, it gets better. The main character, Cassie (played by Chloe Moretz) is a very likeable character. I like the character more and more as I journey with her throughout. Also, there's another very likeable character in Ben Parish (played by Nick Robinson). He's cool, he's kind, he's funny...but the best thing is, he's not like Four or Gale. He's very grounded, but he gives his best. And that's why its easy to like him.

           A lot of the other characters didn't really appeal to me...some are even a bit over the top. But when your two main characters are so likeable, its easier to follow the story. The action sequences are good enough. Nothing else stands out, though. Good enough comedy & drama. Oh, and the soundtrack is pretty cool. And the visual effects are pretty well done.

           Its a pretty solid film for a month of January, and its enjoyable, too. Nothing really stands out, but its a good film to enjoy. Not too eager with the sequel, but not too disinterested, either. Oh, and personally, I still find this film better than the Divergent or the Maze Runner series.


Tuesday 12 January 2016

SPECIAL: BEST OF 2015 - Part 3

A quick shout-out to:
-Mad Max: Fury Road
for almost making my Top 10 list...

Speaking of which...

3. Kingsman: The Secret Service

          Another film in which I enjoyed an unprecedented amount of fun in watching it from start to end. And to my surprise, this film has a lot of heart, too. Before watching it, I thought this film would be just a lot of brainless fun & action - which I would still have enjoyed, too. But a few minutes in, and I'm proven wrong already. This film puts the characters' story front and centre, so the character developments really became the core of the story. And the action sequences, especially the final act, is nothing short of fun. Its brilliant! This is that kind of film where I entered expecting to have a lot of fun, but came out with so much more.

2. Inside Out

          This film really blowed me away at the time. I wasn't very much interested to begin with, and plus it came out late in my country. But when it did, I found some spare time to watch it, and I was just constantly amazed every minute of the film. The idea itself (of some "emotion" characters doing things that reflect the emotion of the person itself) is great, but the execution of it in this film is mind-blowingly brilliant. I can't help but be amazed constantly on how these scenes panned out. Better yet, like a lot of Pixar films before, it knew how to play with our emotions, and the plot is touching & dramatic altogether. (Yes, there may be a tear or two that came out from my eyes...and I'm pretty sure there are no dust in the theatre). And that's my exclamation of awe with this film. A truly brilliant animation flick.

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

           Like a few films in this list, its the fan in me that pushes this film to the top of this list. But its not because of the references. There is indeed a bit too much nostalgic references - of which I could neither complain nor praise, because I enjoyed them. And while I admit that there are minor letdowns within this film, it still doesn't take away how much I enjoyed this film. And as a film, there are some very great characters (both old and new), and there's a lot of awesome action sequences (lightsaber battles, aerial battles, etc), and some very cool planets/worlds to behold. Full credit to JJ Abrams for his brilliant shots/angles, and also to John Williams for another set of brilliant soundtracks. And as a fan - and you may have heard this statement over and over now, but it exactly captures how I feel - for those 2 or so hours enjoying this film, I was living the dream.

Now, here's hoping 2016 will see more great films of this caliber...

Monday 11 January 2016

SPECIAL: BEST OF 2015 - Part 2

Part 2...

7. Jurassic World

          Now, this is one of those movies in this Top 10 list, of which the fan in me gives more meaning/pleasure to the film I watch. Being a fan of Jurassic Park and of dinosaurs in my childhood makes this movie bring back some special memories. The movie on its own is good, but not spectacular. It has action & humour all around it. But the nostalgic references to the original gives more meaning for fans. (Fortunately, its not overexcessive). And seeing some raptors flanking a man in a motorbike in the forest is just one of the many key highlights that satisfies the imagination of a fan.

6. Cinderella

            This film is probably the surprise package of the list. As even after watching this film, I was personally surprised by how much I loved this film. I was amazed that I could, not only enjoy this film, but also re-live this classic tale. Despite a classic plot, no action sequences, and some over the top acting - there are some very powerful scenes and powerful characters that we can come to love, and I really do think its because of how much heart & soul the cast & crew put in into this film.

5. Bridge of Spies

           You certainly can never doubt the quality of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, but these two aren't the main reason why I find this film amazing. The credit must go to the writers and to actor Mark Rylance. Its Mark Rylance's character, Rudolf Abel, that brings out the heart & the drama of this film, and yet also, a lot of the humour. The character he played is very calm & composed, yet has a lot of charisma. You just can't help but love him. And the film's ending is beautifully crafted and works so very naturally for this film. Its really one of the most satisfying endings I've ever seen.

4. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

           I seriously to find it difficult to find another film which is as fun and energetic as this film is. Most of the credit should really go to director Guy Ritchie. He really puts his mark with the kind of scenes that we see in this film. And a lot of the humour comes from how he constructed or designed these scenes. And the three main cast are excellent, and the banter between their characters is just fun & brilliant altogether. Its not the perfect film - with some slow-paced bits and some lack of drama - but I had a ton of fun with this film.

Top 3 in the next post...

Sunday 10 January 2016


When I was making the list of my best films of 2015, I suddenly realize some of the films that I have watched that are just plain boring...

And I recall those YouTube reviewers did make a list of Worst films of the Year...and here is a short list of mine...

Similar disclaimers apply: There is a limit to the films I watched...and if I knew they were particularly terrible (and has no watching value for me), then I would not have made the effort to see them, anyway...

That being said...

5. Mortdecai

          This isn't a film that is boring from start to end - there was a lot of energy with this film and some humour that works, but a lot of the times the humour is just too cheesy-slash-weird-slash-unintelligible-slash-strange-slash-childish-slash-moronic. And guess what - so is the character Mortdecai himself. The slapstick comedy just no longer works in this day & age. Audiences need more smart humour, and this film just did something very brave, but ultimately very foolish.

4. Fantastic Four

           Even before this film is released, I was already not liking the film for the kind of characters it brings up. It tried to be gritty & realistic, but whatever - this is a comic book film, so I'm definitely going to see it, anyway. And it was okay-ish for the first half of the movie...but then it just stumbles down like a rockslide. For the first 45 minutes or so, I could see what they were trying to bring, and I thought this film may not be all that bad. But then, they traveled to another dimension, skipped a huge chunk of what might be the most interesting bit of the film, and then jumped right into a boring finale with a weird villain in a battle that doesn't make sense. And the closing scene didn't help, either.

3. The Last Witch Hunter

           I was having a splendid October (The Martian, Pan, Bridge of Spies) until this film came along. All this film had was some action. The characters (all of them, mind you) are dull & uninteresting. The plot is very generic & predictable. And apart from one or two humourous moments, it really is a boring film to watch, and I'm pretty sure I dozed off a bit somewhere in the middle.

2. The Gunman

           You know, this film must be really boring, because I don't remember what this film is about. I had to look back into my review to recollect the details. This film has just about some good action sequences, and nothing more. There isn't even a lot of them (action sequences), for that matter. And the characters are so uninteresting that you couldn't even find yourselves to care for any of them, while the plot is just totally uninteresting. And honestly, the fact that I couldn't even remember what this film is about should have said it all.

1. Seventh Son

           Why is this film topping my worst film of 2015? Because I was begging for the movie to end as soon as possible. The characters are mostly uninteresting, the plot is just utterly boring, and not even the visual effects is done well. Its a movie that has potential but just ends up mashing so many weird things altogether and ends up with a cocktail of different kinds of garbage. Unbelievably boring!

And there we have first ever list about the worst films of the Year...
If you want to put your thoughts in the comments, feel free to do so...
And hope 2016 will be better than these lot...

Part 2 & 3 (of the Best of 2015) still to come, soon...

Saturday 9 January 2016

SPECIAL: BEST OF 2015 - Part 1

We have just stepped into 2016, so its the perfect time to look back on the best films of 2015...and these below are my personal favourites:

Before we start, please understand these 2 disclaimers below:

Disclaimer 1: I cannot possibly watch every single film of the year (especially those of which genre I'm not a fan of), so this list will only be based on the films I have watched...

Disclaimer 2: Taking a page from the book of some YouTube reviewers I follow closely, please understand that I do these lists & reviews as a fan first and foremost, not as a critic. But I urge you to stick with people like us, or in fact, embrace it! Why?

-> Because film critics go to films trying to find faults or positives, i.e. they have a job to do. Fans (or Cinephiles) like us go to the movies for the experience, and then we let you all know if we love them, why or why not.

That being said...

10. Pan

          At the risk of being shouted at by many other critics or reviewers (or the internet, for that matter) who hate this film, I have to come out and say that I thought this film was FUN. I agree that the story isn't particularly great, and its a bit too cheesy & over-the-top. But apart from that, there is a lot to enjoy with this film. Hugh Jackman is especially brilliant as Blackbeard. And we have a very likeable Hook, who in this film, still has a playful & friendly relationship with Peter Pan himself - and I enjoy those. And the plot surprisingly has heart, the music is great, and there is a ton of humour as well. A decent piece of entertainment at the movies.

9. Avengers: Age of Ultron

          As a fan, I had great anticipation & excitement over this film (maybe a little too much), yet I still ended up having a great time. There are, as I would personally agree, some minor disappointments all over the film. I could do with a list of my own for that: the romance, the Vision's creation, etc, etc. But that still doesn't take away the fact that I enjoyed the film in so many levels. I understand the letdowns, especially when the film is compared to its predecessor, but it doesn't stop me from watching the film over and over and enjoying them just as much every time.

8. The Martian

          When you have a very likeable character like Matt Damon's Mark Watney, you can't help but root for him to survive the ordeal. How rare is it that you watch a film about one person stranded alone in one place, and still have a ton of fun. That's what this film succeeds. Unlike other films that ends up being dark, gritty, and helplessly depressing - this film instead tries to have the most fun with it - and it worked to perfection! Even the scenes away from Mars are great, but its these moments with Mark Watney in Mars that made it special. Both thrilling & humourous, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend anyone to see this.

More to come in Parts 2 & 3....

Monday 4 January 2016

SPOILER Discussion - Part 2: Star Wars - The Force Awakens



"That's not how the Force works"

Han Solo

          Before we get to the tragic bit, let me just quickly say that this Han Solo we see is really the Han Solo of old. The way he small talks out of things and his interaction with Chewie, Finn, and just so Han Solo. My favourite is when he says "What was the second one?" after being threatened by two rival gangs. And its not about the line, but its about how he brings himself to try and distract or even delay the situation. The way he delivers such lines is something unique to his character. For lack of a better word, it was so Han Solo.
          Then we come to the tragic moment when we see this fan-favourite character lose his life at the hands of his own son. We may all see it coming, but it doesn't detract the emotional impact. It hurts for me there and then, and I was emotionally exhausted long after seeing the lightsaber being driven through Han's chest. A powerful scene, and a meaningful one, especially in regards to the story. (And I'd have to give credit to Adam Driver and Harrison Ford for their brilliant performance in that has so much emotion...we saw it, and we felt it, too).

Kylo Ren

          One of the earlier twists to be revealed in the film is that Kylo Ren begins as Ben Solo, the son of Han Solo & Leia Organa. He then trained under Luke Skywalker, but then turned to the dark side. But like Rey, there seem to be more questions than answers about this character. And also like Rey, I love this character a lot. There is something particular about seeing a villain as a broken & angry character, instead of a pure evil one. As I may have said in my review, I have always fancied the dark side, but Kylo Ren made me love them even more, and it gave them more meaning as to what the dark side really is about. 

Luke Skywalker

          The moment I saw Luke Skywalker's name in the first line of the opening crawl, I was overjoyed. I was thinking that he would then be the centre of the plot. The fact that his disappearance let the First Order rose to power, and now people are desperate to find him - the last Jedi. I was beyond excited, at that moment.
            Well, but then we only get to see him in the last minute of the movie - and he didn't even get to say a line. Honestly, I expected to see more of him, but in the end, it was fine. If anything, it made me excited about what Episode 8 holds for us all, especially in terms of Luke's story and Rey's. More than anything, that last scene felt like Marvel's post-credits teaser, but just...pre-credits, instead. Nevertheless, I loved it. I love when things end and they get me even more excited to anticipate the next film.

(And similarly, the soundtrack titled "The Jedi Steps and Finale" (you can try to find them in Youtube) begins with such a peaceful yet inspiring tone, fitting for a Jedi. Amazing!)

           The only thing that bothers me - is the manner in which Luke's location is discovered. To see the opening crawl saying all there is about Luke Skywalker and how significant his character is, I'd expect there to be some special or significant revelation, or at least some rather dramatic moment -which then leads to clues for our heroes to find this exiled Jedi.
          But, no...what we get is two droids - each possessing a piece of a map that when combined, becomes a complete map regarding Luke's whereabouts. And then there's the fact that R2-D2 (who possesses one part of it) only wakes up at the end of film for reasons unexplained. Not only did it feel too convenient, but it feels so insignificant and shallow. Given what was shown in the opening crawl, I hope I can be forgiven for expecting something more meaningful or dramatic about Luke's reveal.

          And this is the only bit that bothers me in particular in what was an otherwise spectacular film that brings back the best of Star Wars, and takes people places they can only ever dream of...

Here's hoping we will get to have more of such films in 2016...
Speaking of which...Happy New Year 2016 to everyone!!        

Sunday 3 January 2016

SPOILER Discussion - Part 1: Star Wars - The Force Awakens

It really is difficult to be talking about The Force Awakens without any spoilers...but we're more than two weeks since the if you even care about SW, you would have watched it by now...

In any case...consider yourself warned...



"That one's garbage!"


          I've always wanted to see a prominent female Jedi character in the movies, and in this film, we have one...well, soon (after she's properly trained, of course). I've played some Star Wars video games where there are just some very cool female Jedi characters, which makes me wonder why we don't have those in the movies. But it's 2015 now, and this is JJ Abrams, so its kind of expected. Going the other way would just raise more complaints from the internet. And yes, so I am glad that all the trailers showing Finn wielding a lightsaber is all just a red herring. And that part when the lightsaber flies past Kylo Ren and into the hands of Rey...that is just a glorious moment.
          Unfortunately, with Rey, there just seems to be more questions now than answers. Who are her parents? Why did they left her in Jakku? All the likes. A lot of the signs are pointing towards the fact that she may well be Luke's daughter. And I kind of hope it is so. But when a movie almost convinces you this is the case...well, by episode 8, it could be just another red herring. If it is, then they'd better pull off a great & meaningful reveal. I'd rather not be surprised than be disappointed by a revelation.
           Anyway, Rey is such a cool character. I love the fact she has Force powers, and I can't wait to journey on with her in Episode 8. And I have said this before, and I'll say this again - the soundtrack titled "Rey's Theme" (you might even be able to find this in YouTube) is amazing. The mix of adventure & simplicity says a lot about her character.

Supreme Leader Snoke

          Now, please don't think of me as shallow, but I don't really like way Snoke looks. I know this is Star Wars - which has an uncountable array of species - but I can't, for now, accept the fact that the Supreme Leader of the First Order, master to Kylo Ren and General Hux, looks something like a bald orc/goblin from The Hobbit films. I may be a bit overdoing it, but I just don't yet quite like the way he looks.
          But I like the way it is revealed to be a hologram. I was in such bewilderment when I initially saw him as a giant. Trust me, giants are not cool in this modern era. Especially not for a supreme leader. Gladfully, he doesn't seem to be.
          In any case, there is surely more to be explained about this character in the future films, and I can't wait to see it. There are so many fan theories out of which, I personally hope to be true - is that he may be Darth Plagueis. I hope this is true, as this will bring more significance to the character we know now as Snoke. Just, you know, wear a hood or something.

I feel like I have babbled too much, and we haven't even got to the major twist, yet...tell you what, lets do it in Part 2...

For now, let's talk about a fun small detail...

The Millenium Falcon

          The introduction of this famous spaceship is really as good as its going to get. After seeing the Quad Jumper shot down in front of Rey & Finn, we then pan to see the Millenium Falcon, and my, was it a glorious reveal. Even better because we even hear Rey exclaim "That one's garbage". I mean, no one can call the Millenium Falcon garbage (except for Luke & Leia before Rey). A minor twist of some sort, but its one that people don't expect to see. And when they do, it was just triumphant.

To continue in Part 2...with that thing about the guy they call Han Solo...