Saturday 28 October 2017


             At this point, Marvel Studios seem to know what they want, and they have perfected their formula. Granted, this is a Taika Waititi film through & through and it is very much his vision, but Marvel signed off on the guy and on the film, so they know what they want. Like many recent MCU films, Thor: Ragnarok focuses on the fun & light-hearted tone and feels more like a comedy than anything else. I cannot deny that it works and I really enjoyed it (and as recent record suggest, fun movies like these prove success in the box office), but I have to admit I kind of miss the intensity from the likes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier...

                If you have seen the other two MCU films this year, you probably know what to expect from this film. A lot of humour & comedy mixed with cool, colourful action in a fast-paced story. The humour in this film is top notch - I think it is better than the other two MCU films of the year. It really is a very funny film from start to end, and there is never a boring moment. And you can't deny that films like these gets people flocking to the theatres (and I can now see why DC and Justice League strives for similar tone...)

                But as much as this is a very fun film and a film that people will really love, it is not exactly perfect, nor it is the best of the MCU film by any stretch. For me, the plot - especially in terms of the execution/delivery - lacks the depth. Maybe it is because that they focus too much on the fun and humour, that they didn't deliver the more powerful moments as they should have. Which is why (and I am not particularly complaining) I think if it had more balance between the humour & story (like The Avengers or Doctor Strange), the powerful moments would have been more felt. For that matter, the first two Thor movies (as much as they are not that great) have an excellent balance of drama & humour - they are pretty funny when they can be, but they don't forsake the storytelling.

                All that being said, the plot actually doesn't hold back at all and takes bold moves (more in the spoiler review). And the characters in this film are pretty good. The banter between the characters (Thor & Hulk, Thor & Loki) are excellent fun to watch. And Loki remains the most charming character in the MCU. What it lacks is character development (perhaps also borne from the lack of dramatic pacing), and the smart & Shakespearean dialogue that is more prevalent in previous Thor movies.

                Other aspects are more on the 'good, not great' level. The action is colourful & fun. The music is also decent, but does not stand out. Oh, and the villain Hela is interesting as a character, but doesn't do much in terms of character significance.

                But despite all my above comments, in the grand scheme of things, it remains a very fun & fast-paced film with top-notch comedy with likable characters you can enjoy to watch. I suppose I'm just trying to pick out why I did not enjoy the film as much as many others seem to do, and why it felt a little out of place given how previous Thor movies executed their storytelling & humour. For sure, the Thor movies will never be as intense as the Captain America movies, but Thor, Thor: The Dark World, and The Avengers showed that there could be better balance.

              Nevertheless, ignore most of my comments above. If you like MCU movies, and if you like fun & fast-paced storytelling, you will have a hell of great time with this film! Go watch it!

VERDICT: 79 / 100

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Looking Forward: NOVEMBER 2017

November is upon us...and that means more big blockbusters...

Thor: Ragnarok (Nov 3-USA, Oct 24-UK, Oct 26-Singapore)

               This film might not be my most excited MCU film coming up, especially with the likes of Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War not too far over the horizon. But Thor remains one of my favourite Avenger, and Loki still is one of my favourite character in the whole universe - and who doesn't like Tom Hiddleston, anyway?
              And to add on to that, the film looks like a lot of fun, as the trailers have shown. Heck, even the trailers themselves are already fun to watch. But it really looks to be one of the funnier MCU movies, and I really think this movie will deliver the popcorn fun we haven't had for a while now.

MUST SEE: (Teaser)
MUST SEE: (Comic-Con Trailer)

Murder on the Orient Express (Nov 10-USA, Nov 3-UK, Nov 30-Singapore)

              There is quite a few reasons why I am really looking forward to this film. First of which is the director, Kenneth Branagh, who is one of my favourite director. There is always an element of beauty & wonder to his vision, especially looking at his recent films like Thor or Cinderella. Especially the latter which I didn't expect to like, but ended up loving it.
               Back about this film, I really like it when films has an element of mystery because there is always that level of intrigue that keeps us interested/invested in the story. Of course, if the ending don't deliver, it may still fall apart, but I have hope with this one. And finally, look at the cast! Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, just to name a few. A stellar cast with a brilliant director telling a suspenseful mystery...hell yes!

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

Justice League (Nov 17-USA, Nov 17-UK, Nov 16-Singapore)

             This is supposed to be one of the biggest movies of the Year, but it is now pretty low in terms of my excitement level. I have mentioned this in my social media, but I'll say it again. Out of all the things scheduled for release in November 17 alone...this is the third (yes, third) most interesting thing for me. I am more excited about The Punisher series from Netflix, and more importantly, the video game Star Wars Battlefront II. And we are in fact talking about a movie which assembles Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and co. for the first time ever.
              Without putting anything into negative light, I have to say that the fact that Zack Snyder dropped and Joss Whedon had to mop up gave me a slight concern. Despite the fact that Zack Snyder's recent films haven't been great, I would rather it remain as one person's singular vision. And if the rumours are true, then we have the final nail in the coffin, and that would be the rumour that the movie is only 121 minutes long. Not saying that longer movies are better, but for a movie with so much great characters, a movie that is (excluding credits) less than 2 hours long doesn't really air confidence. And to put into perspective, both Avengers movie which has came out was about a full 20 minutes longer than the rumoured runtime of Justice League.
               For sure, I am still excited about this film, and my concerns could just well be that, and I might find this a really great film. But right now, it's just nowhere near the excitement levels I would expect from a movie this big.

Trailers: (Trailer #1)
MUST SEE: (Comic-Con Trailer) (Final Trailer)

Coco (Nov 22-USA, Jan 19-UK, Nov 23-Singapore)

            I am not particularly that excited or interested with this film. But it is a Pixar film, so there is good reason to believe that this may well be one of the better animation movies of the year, especially given the ones we've had so far hasn't really stood out (Despicable Me 3, The Lego Ninjago Movie). And I also have a certain fondness/interest of the Mexican culture and this Day of the Dead festival.

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

Other Movies:

             What this November also isn't short of is comedies. The first of which is A Bad Moms Christmas ( which comes out on November 1st. This is a sequel to last year's surprisingly pretty good comedy, Bad Moms, which now introduces their respective mothers into the party.
             In a coincidental parallel, the next comedy in my list is about dads instead of moms. Daddy's Home 2 ( is a sequel as well, and to further add to the similarity, this time introduces their respective dads into the story. This film is out November 10th.
               The last comedy that interests me is yet another sequel - though this time it is the British film Paddington 2 (, which I think is out on November 10th but only in the UK for now. It comes later in the US and in most other countries.
              Apart from the comedies, there are a few interesting political dramas. The first, out on November 3rd, is LBJ ( which tells of the story of Lyndon B Johnson's political career. But the one that caught my interest more is the one that tells of Winston Churchill's time during World War II. This film is called Darkest Hour ( and stars Gary Oldman, one of my favourite actor alive. This film is out on November 22nd in the US.

Friday 20 October 2017


             I didn't actually expect to like this film, but truth be told, it's not bad. This film has all the looks of a typical simple-story action flick, not unlike a few things Gerard Butler has done recently. And it actually ends up like one...but it's pretty well done. So it's not that this movie has brilliant story or great action or anything, but for what it is, it is done quite well & I kind of enjoyed it.

              Almost all aspects of the film can be classified as 'good not great'. One thing that stood out for me - because I really don't expect it at all - is some of the character relationships, especially Gerard Butler's character and his brother. It is very well thought out and explored throughout the film. Again, I feel like they could actually show or tell more about their backstory to make it more meaningful, but I didn't expect such intricacies, so I'm glad they went out this far.

               On the other hand, if I had to pick out a thing that I don't quite like - that would be the dialogue & the humour. A lot of the jokes are dull and flat - some, a little cringy. Meanwhile, the plot is fine, the action is decent...even the visual effects were pretty good. Again, nothing particularly stood out or is outstanding, but they were good enough to make me enjoy the film. A decent watch.

VERDICT: 60 / 100

Saturday 7 October 2017


             I mentioned recently that I am probably not the biggest fan of the original Blade Runner, but I do appreciate its story potential & world expansion...and I think this sequel more than delivered. This film treads on similar footsteps to the original in some aspects such as the lack of fantastic action sequences (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, by the way) and slow pacing, but the story & characters are excellent, and the setting is gorgeous.

             For a futuristic setting science-fiction movie, Blade Runner 2049 lacks the fantastical action sequences which most others have, but then again, this film was never meant to be about that. In fact, what made Blade Runner special was the concept of Replicants and how their existence challenges the idea of what it meant to be human.

              And so to have a story revolving around that concept which is both smart and constantly engaging, I think, is brilliant. And that is where Blade Runner 2049 duly delivered. In many ways, the story is much like a typical police-detective story with a lot of mystery/investigative element as we follow the protagonist in uncovering the plot - but again, with the added science-fiction concept of Replicants - and that is probably why the slow pacing didn't bother that much. As such, the overall plot is smart & interesting, meanwhile the story which slowly unfolds keep us constantly engaged.

              The remaining aspects of the film are kind of a mixed bag. The lack of action sequences remain a missed opportunity to take this film up another level. Similarly, a little more humour will never be out of place, as long as it is delivered in the right place & time. Meanwhile, I really like the engaging story & dramatic elements that pours out from it. And to quickly speak about the more technical stuff, I think the visual effects are really well done, and I find the world & setting both gorgeous and unique.

               One last thing I want to credit are the acting performances of some of the cast. In general, all the performances are decent, but without spoiling anything, the stand out scene for me is when two people are looking at a certain memory and you see the emotions immediately in their facial expressions. That level of performance stunned me.

               Anyway, initially I didn't really think I would like this film, but actually, I do. I still feel that by not having more action sequences & humour (though this is in keeping with the tone & style of the original film) is a missed & untapped opportunity to take this film to the highest level among the cinematic elite. Yet, it remains one of my favourite films of the year, and I really like it.

VERDICT: 80 / 100

Sunday 1 October 2017

Looking Forward: OCTOBER 2017

Despite the lack of big-budget blockbusters, this October is packed with a lot of potentially good, interesting movies...

Blade Runner 2049 (Oct 6-USA, Oct 5-UK, Oct 5-Singapore)

               I am not the biggest fan of the original Blade Runner, but I do appreciate the story & the setting, and I also realize its potential for story expansion. And it seems that this sequel does just that. Everything I have seen and heard about this film points to this being a great film - the strongest aspect being the director, Denis Villeneuve, who's recent work is nothing short of brilliant (Arrival, Sicario, Prisoners). And to top it off, the trailers for this film are excellent, especially the second trailer. Really looking forward to this now!

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

Professor Marston & the Wonder Women (Oct 13-USA, Nov 10-UK)

                Well, what are the chances that in the few months after we have our very first live-action Wonder Woman film - and just about a month before that same character reappears in Justice League - we have a biopic about the creator of Wonder Woman himself. Either this is brilliant planning to try and make use of all the hype of the superhero flicks, or just lucky timing. But about the movie itself, I am slightly curious but have no real intent of seeing it.

Trailer: (Trailer #1)

Geostorm (Oct 20-USA, Oct 20-UK, Oct 12-Singapore)

               Oh, look, a sequel to London Has Fallen. Wait, what? Oh, it isn't. No wonder the president looks different. Anyway, I actually have a bit of concern with Gerard Butler's recent action films. They have been either very generic (like LHF) or just poorly written (like God's of Egypt). And looking at the trailer for this film, I have this bad feeling that it could fall into either category (or worse, both), especially with some bad jokes/lines already shown in them. If this film could prove me wrong, it will make October (in terms of movies) a little bit brighter.

Trailer: (Trailer #1)

The Snowman (Oct 20-USA, Oct 13-UK, Dec 7-Singapore)

              Mystery thrillers like these are always intriguing to begin with. Especially with a trailer like this one has. There is a sense of creepiness and danger, as the lead character picks up the clues from the actions of the serial killer - and for audiences, it is an intriguing ride to follow the character as we ourselves try to figure out the truth. Whether the film pulls it off and whether it's good or not is another thing we'll have to wait and see. But for now, I am quite intrigued by this film.

Trailer: (Trailer #1)

Suburbicon (Oct 27-USA, Nov 24-UK, Nov 23-Singapore)

                A crime comedy film, but with a very different & unconventional style. Much like the above, I am quite intrigued about this film right now, especially due to the interesting setup and how the film is presented...but whether it ends up good is something we'll have to wait and see.

Trailer: (Trailer #1)

Other Movies:

              As mentioned above, there are quite a lot of potentially good/interesting films. The first of which is The Mountain Between Us (, which is out on October 6th, and looks pretty interesting judging by the trailer. Not to mention the brilliant main leads.
             Now on October 13th, there are four films of my radar (though none that I'm really too keen of). The first of which is an action film starring veteran actor Jackie Chan, which is called The Foreigner ( Unfortunately, it does look like a second-rate action flick. The other three are biopics. The most interesting for me would be Marshall ( which is about the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. It stars Chadwick Boseman, and the trailer looks pretty cool.
             The next one, I think, will bring out a lot of tears, and it is called Breathe (, starring Andrew Garfield as a man paralyzed by polio as his health deteriorates, but not his spirit. Finally, there is Goodbye Christopher Robin ( which is a biopic about the writer/creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, starring Domnhall Gleeson.
             Out on October 20th is a film about a crew of firefighters titled Only the Brave ( The cast involved looks great, but I'm not entirely convinced about the plot. Nor the trailer for that matter. But, we'll see, it might be good.
             Finally, you guys who follow my blog will know I actively avoid horror flicks, but if they come to my radar, I will let you know. And on October 27th, we have Jigsaw (, which is apparently part of the Saw franchise.