Thursday 30 June 2016

SPOILER Discussion - Warcraft




           Let's start with the lighter thing, first. The part where Medivh turns out to have been poisoned by The Fel, I think? Well, this is one part where I have to admit I am a bit confused because of how the story unfolds and also because I was never a Warcraft fan. This could've been one of the better twists of the film - but it was just downright awful. First of all, the character has been jumping here & there throughout the film, so the twist didn't even feel surprising. If anyone was to be a thorn in the human's side, he would be my first pick, anyway. But also, the fact that it was a demon of some sort that possessed him makes it all look more cheap, and I never clearly understand what that demon was, what its motivation is, etc. It's all just a bunch of confusion, and if anything, it distracts from the main battle that is happening elsewhere.

The deaths I don't really care about...

             For a first film in a fantasy world, there is surprisingly so many deaths. Most of them, I don't really care about, or I don't find them surprising. Let's start with the worse of all - Lothar's son. There was never any proper relationship that is shown between Lothar and his son, so when his son died - it just felt 'meh'. A cheap act that just gives a little more problem to our protagonist. The second one is Blackhand. I don't even understand why he needs to challenge Lothar to a duel, and his death is so quick that I can't...I can't even...whatever, man...let's move on...
             Now, Draka is a character I care more about, but her death is just so cheap. She released her son down into the river stream, but then there had to be that one orc - whose only purpose, it seems, is to kill her. And that's what I don't like. There could have been many orc...or there could have been none, and she could've gone back to Durotan. But no, there had to be that one orc so that Draka could die heroicly.
            And finally, the death of a King is hardly surprising. In many fantasy films that have come before, a King dies. So, while I've begun to like the character a little, his death is hardly any surprise. But of course, the fact that Garona was the one to be told to do it makes it a little interesting, especially to see how this unfolds in the sequels (if there is to be one).

The death I DO care about...

            And yes, my friend, that would be Durotan. A huge surprise for me. While the death of a wife or a child or a King, for that matter, is hardly a surprise, the death of a main protagonist - the most interesting character in the film by far, at that - left me breathless. 
           I seriously didn't expect this. I loved this character and I thought that duel at the end will simply rally the other orcs to rebel against Gul'dan...but he didn't stop and neither did Gul'dan, and unfortunately, it had to end with the death of Durotan. And I was just heart just sank at that moment, because I loved the character so much and I wanted to see more of him.
           The worse thing is...while Orgrim did make a statement soon after which should rally the orcs together - it didn't. So, for the moment, it looks as though Durotan's death is in vain, because all of a sudden the humans attack, and all the orcs fought for Gul'dan, still. Unless, of course, in the sequel, Orgrim is able to rally orcs bit by bit, using Durotan's death as the rallying cry, but I don't know...we'll have to see, I guess.
           But one thing is for sure...I am still not over the death of the great Durotan...

What next?

              Given how successful it was in China and other international territories, I can only assume that a sequel is still very much a possibility. So, what next in the story, then?
             Well, Gul'dan is still at large, and so are most of the orcs. So, its very much possible for Gul'dan to start a new campaign & raise a new army to take on the humans. But, Garona is now being hailed by many of the orcs, too, so for the time being, these orcs shouldn't cause too much trouble under her leadership. Although, Lothar didn't know the truth about King Llane's death, so the next encounter between Lothar & Garona should be interesting.
              Meanwhile, Durotan's son is found by a human, so it will be pretty interesting to see how the life of his son develops under the care of a human - what kind of orc will he grow up to be, etc. Although, it wouldn't be much of a surprise, if like Kal-El (Superman), he learns what it means to be human as a result of this, and becomes a champion of the humans, and may end up being the bridge between humans & orcs. But he's still a baby now, so one question will be how far in the future will the sequel be? My guess is that he'll be a child in the sequel, and then maybe an adult in the third film (assuming it happens), to be the salvation of some sort. But again, just speculative thoughts.
              Now, the one character I'm most interested to see moving forward (now that Durotan is gone) is Orgrim Doomhammer. We know that he is moved by Durotan's death, so the question is, what will he do next? The honorable (but obvious) thing to do is live his life in the spirit of his good friend, Durotan. And using my experience & knowledge of past movies...I can see him doing one of two things. The first is that he can go on to the different Orc clans and rally them with Durotan's name...or he could well find his way to Durotan's son and be a mentor to him. I'm thinking the former is the more likely in the immediate future....but, we'll have to wait and see...

Sunday 26 June 2016


"They like to get the landmarks"

             The aerial battle in Independence Day: Resurgence is exactly the kind of sequence I dream to see in a Star Wars film. But apart from some solid action sequences and a bit of humour - the movie disappoints. Especially when you compare to its 20-year old predecessor, this film lacks the intensity and the emotional weight of the unfolding events.

             The film disappoints, but it doesn't mean that its not watchable. There are some exciting moments, too. And these are mostly the exciting action sequences. And like I said, the aerial battle in the second act of this film is, I have to admit, spectacular! It's exactly what I want to see in a Star Wars film. The Force Awakens potentially had it, but their focus was more on Rey & Han Solo on the ground and the aerial battle became sidelined. I hope to see such intense aerial dogfights in future SW films.

             But back to ID: Resurgence, I have to give the director full credit fo pulling off one of the best aerial battles ever. And I would be mad not to give credit to the visual effects team for these excellent effects - and not just on the aerial battle, but with all the destruction of cities, etc. And to wrap up the things I like about this film - it has humour. Not a lot of them, but it has them, especially with Jeff Goldblum's character. With that, there are some enjoyable moments to be found in the film.

            However, in other aspects, the film is very much a disappointment. In terms of plot, I'm not going to complain the fact that it was straightforward - the first film was like that, as well. But...the first film had an intensity to it. There is a sense of mystery and danger and defending against an unknown threat. Resurgence doesn't have that. And additionally, some scenes feels totally unnecessary, like the opening scene in the moon.

             The other major aspect that lost me in the film are the characters. I'm not praising them, but the only characters I can feel for are Bill Pullman's and Jeff Goldblum's character. Every other characters are so dull and I don't feel any emotional weight to any of them. And perhaps that's why even the final act bored me to death.

             Overall, while it is not entirely unwatchable (thanks to its fun action sequences), I am really disappointed with the film for not having any emotional impact at all. It doesn't even have a sense of mystery & danger which the first ID film strongly thrives on. It lost the sense of humanity versus the unknown, and is now looking like just another fun fantastical sci-fi film.


               Having watched this film, I would not personally recommend anyone to watch this film. But if you can enjoy an action film without any emotional impact or interesting characters, then you may enjoy this film. 

Wednesday 22 June 2016


"I have to find my family"

           It is a really good film overall and has a heartful story, too. But like its forgetful titular character, the film is not memorable, for me. But throughout the film, I really had a lot of fun, and the story itself is heartful & intriguing. As happened with some Pixar films before, I find myself a bit teary in some of the scenes. And it has some throwbacks to Finding Nemo, as well, which was one of the animation films I watched in my childhood.

           The titular character, Dory, has a unique personality, and that is really featured prominently in this film. A lot of the times, I find myself emphatizing with the character, but then I also enjoy her high-spirited personality. Meanwhile, Nemo & Marlin provided the balance to Dory's character as they set out in this adventure to find Dory's family. And there is one other new character, Hank the Octopus, who is surprisingly an awesome character, and even has a character development of his own as he encounters Dory in her adventure. Destiny & Bailey adds to the assortment of excellent characters.

            Now, the plot itself as a whole isn't too memorable. It is a bit generic & predictable in many ways. But thanks to some excellent backstory (and flashbacks) and making use of the events in the first film, there really are some very heartful moments throughout. And overall, there is a lot of fun and humour to be had in this film, and it is made whole with a story that is genuine & heartful. The plot twist may be predictable, and the final act felt a bit over-the-top, but it didn't change the fact that Finding Dory is a really good family film, and is another solid entry in the Pixar canon.


          A really good film for the families, and both kids & adults should find themselves enjoying this film. But this film will really mean a lot for you 90s kids, who grew up with Finding Nemo as one of their favourite animation films.

Sunday 19 June 2016


"There's always more than what's on the surface"

           It feels like a generic sequel, but its a sequel that works. Without getting into anything too technical, this film is fun to watch, and surprisingly very intriguing for a lot of the time. There are some minor issues here and there...especially in the details of the scenes. And you do have to suspend your disbelief like you're watching a superhero film. But overall, I find myself surprised to be enjoying this film.

            And if there's one part I find to be surprisingly quite is in fact, the plot. For one, I find myself intrigued from the moment the four horsemen find themselves somewhere they shouldn't be. I really am curious to know what happened and moreover, what the situation will develop into. And I also like how they delve more into the backstory of Dylan Rhodes, and how that impacts the scenes in the present. This part of the story is what I like best in this film.

             But if there's one part that bothers me...that would be in the plot as well. Not on the disbelief suspension part, though. I mean, yes, there are a great many scenes in which you literally have to suspend your disbelief and just accept it as it is - so that's what I did, and hence I can still enjoy the sequences. However, one sequence in particular is just a bit too extended, and by then the awesome-ness has just disappeared. They could have shortened it and it would have been an awesome scene (like the Quicksilver scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past). But I feel like they overdid it in this film, and towards the end, I was like "Come on, I know it looks cool, but let's just get on with the story". And there are some other minor details (especially with one of the characters), which I can't say without spoiling it.

            That being said, everything else about the movie is pretty good. The action sequences are a lot of fun. There are some humours that hit (although there are some that don't, as well). The music is pretty cool. And while not all of the characters are excellent, Mark Ruffalo's character is brilliant, and like I said, I absolutely love the story surrounding his character. And in the end, Now You See Me 2 is a fun film to watch. It's not a spectacular film in any way, but it really is worth the price of admission.


             If you're looking to have a good time at the'll have it with this film. There are minor problems here and there, but if you can accept it, you'll find yourself with a pretty fun film.

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Looking Forward: JULY 2016


The BFG (July 1-USA, July 22-UK, July 21-Singapore)

          If all I know about this film is the title and the poster, I seriously would've passed. Because nothing on it appeals to me, and I am unfamiliar with the book, either. But with what I know now...well, I know better than to doubt Steven Spielberg and Disney. Disney's recent run of films is more than enough to convince me that they know what they're doing. Put in there the great vision of Steven Spielberg, the brilliance of Mark Rylance, and the magical touch of John Williams - I find myself looking at a film I just can't find a reason to pass.

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

The Legend of Tarzan (July 1-USA, July 6-UK, June 30-Singapore)

            I was initially skeptical about this film, but when I saw the first trailer for this film, everything changed. The trailer itself (as a trailer) is awesome. So, I thought I'm definitely giving this film a chance. But then the second trailer came and, instead of getting me more pumped up, concerns me. I look at the trailer and the CGI doesn't look too well done - and the movement of the animals look a bit cartoon-ish. Another thing that concerns me is knowing that the director of this film (David Yates) has also another film coming out in November in the form of a Harry Potter spin-off - which makes me wonder in times like these (filming, post-production, etc), which film does he focus on?
          In any case, I will still check this film out...but I won't have any sort of anticipation or specific expectation.

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

Ghostbusters (July 15-USA, July 11-UK, July 14-Singapore)

          The first thing that comes to my mind about this film now is the fact the trailer is the most disliked trailer in YouTube ever. I'm not even sure why, actually, but I can only assume that the film looks to tarnish the legacy of the original in the eyes of many fans...but I sure as hell hope its not the case of the cast being all female. In any case, I have never watched any previous Ghostbusters films. Hence, right now, I don't have a clue whether to like or dislike this. And basis the trailer alone...I can see some flaws or some things I won't like...but it looks fun, too. So, I guess I'll be checking it out first...then I'll be able to have a say on whether I like or dislike this film.

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

Ice Age: Collision Course (July 22-USA, July 15-UK, June 30-Singapore)

          If there is one film I know I'm not looking forward to in July - it's this one! Why? Because I think the series has overstayed its welcome and it certainly looks like it ran out of ideas that it had to use a theme that's even weirder...a meteor?? The jokes or humour even felt repetitive. We've seen the relationship between Manny, Diego and Sid too many times and I don't find them funny or fresh or interesting any more. And it feels like it already lost the magic of the original film. I have to say, the first Ice Age was one of the best animation film ever. But the sequels just get worse and worse. And the trailers didn't help either. So yes, this one...I have lost interest completely! And unless it has a surprisingly high rating in Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, I think I'll pass.

Trailers: (Trailer #1) (Trailer #2) (Trailer #3)

Star Trek Beyond (July 22-USA, July 22-UK, July 21-Singapore)

          Now, on the other hand, this is probably my most awaited film in July. Now I admit that I am not a lifelong Trekkie...well, I'm not a Trekkie, period. But I love the Star Trek films since the reboot. And again, while I'm not a Trekkie, but from what I hear, one of the core spirit/theme of Star Trek is about exploring new places and heading into the unknown. In fact, it is there in that iconic 5-year mission speech, right? To explore into the unknown and go boldly where no one has gone before.
           So, when I saw the trailers for this film, to me, it really looked like they are trying to re-capture this spirit of the unknown. It looks like our heroes are stranded somewhere they don't even know, and I like the idea that we will embark on this journey of discovery and survival with our protagonists as together we learn about the place and how to get out of the situation. And plus, I don't know how much (or even if) they will explore the relationship between Kirk and Spock, but the love-hate relationship (and banter) between Kirk & Spock is one of the best I've seen on screen. So, yeah, really looking forward to this!

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

Jason Bourne (July 29-USA, July 27-UK, July 28-Singapore)

          If there is one thing I know I don't appreciate about this film...its the title. They have that luxury of calling their film with something as iconic and cool as "The Bourne Xxxxx", and they didn't use it. Such a waste of an iconic trend, in my opinion. But apart from that, everything about this film looks awesome. The action looks awesome, the story sounds promising - with Bourne getting back into the action after some 12 years away. The cast is brilliant, and its damn nice to have Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon team up again. And if you're not convinced, just check out the trailer (its very cool) - it more than convinced me that we're up for another exciting Bourne film.

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

Other Movies:

          There is another animation film called The Secret Life of Pets (July 8) which is produced from the creators of the Despicable Me films. But this one just doesn't interest me, somehow. A lot of people are, and it could be a good film...but it just didn't hit me, so I'll pass for now. Meanwhile, The Purge: Election Year (July 1) looks to be a good film as well after its quite successful predecessor.
          As for those looking for a shot of comedy, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates arrives on July 8 before Bad Moms comes to theaters on July 29. Another film that need to be mentioned is The Infiltrator (July 13), which boasts a great cast, including Bryan Cranston.

Sunday 12 June 2016


"For Orcs, there is no other life but war"

              After watching this film, I came to the conclusion that either critics nitpick too much...or they just hate video game adaptations. I can see the problems that this film has...but most of the time, I enjoyed the film. The visual effects are spectacular - the Orcs look very real to me. And the action sequences are a lot of fun, too. The major issues with this film are mainly on the pacing and the editing.

             Let's start with the best thing in the film: The Orcs. And not only physically, but emotionally, too. Physically, they look so cool & so real and I really have to credit the visual effects team for pulling such a feat. They look awesome!! And they do look quite distinct from one another, too. 

              And not only from their looks, but in terms of their character, Durotan has that presence & charisma of a leader - he doesn't look fearsome, and instead has that charismatic presence. And that is a character you want to root for. Meanwhile Gul'dan is the opposite end of the spectrum and brings such an evil & menacing feel. These two characters are the prime example of what the film did right, and why I like this film.

           Meanwhile, the human characters feel rather generic. They're not that bad, but when you have Orcs as interesting as Durotan & Gul'dan, the human characters feel a lot less interesting. Even the story arc of the human protagonist, Lothar, is similarly very generic. Meanwhile, Durotan has more of a conflict in terms of who to trust and what should he do or not do. In short, in terms of both plot & characterization, this film has it better towards the Orcs' side.

           Now, the action sequences, which is what you'd expect a lot of from a film like this, are pretty solid. The Orcs really have that size & strength so its awesome to see them in battle. And just in general, the action sequences are fun to watch. And they are seriously enhanced by the super brilliant music/score by the great Ramin Djawadi (Pacific Rim, Game of Thrones). He really is a genius and this is maybe the best musical score of the Year so far, apart from Batman v Superman. It really enhances the feeling on screen, and now I also enjoy listening to it in my phone.

             The problems with this film is that it paces too fast without giving audiences some time to breath it in. It jumps too quickly from place to place and it is not easy to catch on in a fantasy world like this. While I am a huge fantasy world fan, I was never a Warcraft fan, and I do miss out on some of the details, names, etc. But where it mattered, in terms of our main characters, its not that hard to catch on, so overall, I can generally understand what happens. The pacing can be improved, but it doesn't ruin the film for me.

            Apart from that, everything else seems like it works just fine. There is nothing too special that this film has to offer, but in terms of the visual effects & the action, it was brilliant. And in Durotan & Gul'dan, we have some of the better fictional (non-human) characters we've seen on screen. And the musical score - I swear - was awesome. And in the end, it is a fun & enjoyable film to watch.


            If you're a fan of Warcraft, then definitely check this out. I didn't even catch any of the Easter Eggs, but I still enjoyed the film. And if you're a fan of Action or Fantasy films (like I am), then you will find this an enjoyable film to watch. Or if you're just looking for some fun, then you might have it with this film.
            But if you're not in any of the above categories, then this film might be a pretty hard sell.

Monday 6 June 2016


"What button? There are a million buttons"

            Whatever you felt when watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot in 2014, chances are you'll probably feel the same watching this sequel - at least I did. Its a certain extent. There is some entertainment value in the form of the action, and (some) of the humour. And if you're the kind of person who can enjoy that in of itself (like I am), then this film will be kind of fun. But you should not expect this to be a good film.

            I kept my expectations at a low when I came in to watch this film - and hence I find some things rather enjoyable and not as bad as I thought it would be. Before watching the film, I thought that Krang could well be the cheesiest & weirdest villain I'd ever see. But it turns out he's not that bad. He is still weird & cheesy, but, in a film with turtles & rats that can fight martial arts....Krang is just the next level.

            And if you haven't figured it out by now...I wasn't a TMNT fan growing up. I probably didn't watch any of the films or animations, etc. All I had going into the film was the experience and the fun I had with the first film. So, going into this film, I expected more of the same...and that is exactly what I got - no more, no less.

            The action is pretty solid. Its not like super awesome or even memorable, but at least it was enjoyable to watch. The visual effects are also brilliantly done as well, though - especially when it comes to the turtles. And while some of the humour are too cheesy, some of them works. And the plot is seriously super straightforward, but I didn't expect anything more, anyway. So, all this, when you come in with expectations kept to a low and tolerance kept to a high, makes for a decently enjoyable film.

             But if I have to call it out: Yes, the plot is very straightforward and predictable. And most of the characters are uninteresting, even Stephen Amell's Casey Jones. He had no character development or even a pinch of personality. Some people say that Psylocke (in X-Men: Apocalypse) has no character development, but I thought it was okay, because Psylocke to me is always meant to be a side character - the same as Hawkeye in Civil War (and nobody complained about that). But in this film, Casey Jones is a main character, and so this becomes a problem. Furthermore, some of the other characters are just too over-the-top, and their jokes/humour can sometimes be cringe-worthy for anyone above 8.

           In the end, by keeping expectations at a low and tolerance to high, I find this film kind of enjoyable to watch - but in no way will I ever say its a good one.


              I don't think I would recommend this film to anyone in general, but if you're a fan of Ninja Turtles, or if you are just looking for some fun and can keep expectations to a low - then you might find this film enjoyable.