Iron Man 3 – Movie Review

27 04 2013

File:Iron Man 3 theatrical poster.jpg

Iron Man 3 is a good movie. If you like the previous Iron Man films and The Avengers, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one. Not only is the cast a top-notch bunch, Shane Black directs this movie like a champ. This third installment in the Iron Man series has an engaging and exciting story, and also blasts away any franchise fatigue audiences might be feeling after last year’s superhero mania. If every superhero movie can be like this, I say: Let’s have more!

There are a few shocks and surprises in the plot, the biggest one involving the villain of this bout – “The Mandarin” (Ben Kingsley). I was absolutely bewildered and terrified with what the filmmakers have done with this character, and it took me some time to come to terms with what I had just saw. I guess that in the context of this film, I can understand what the filmmakers were going for. But still, there are many hardcore fans of the comic books who thought they were going to see certain things from the source material, and Marvel Studios have misled them way off-course. WAAAY off-course…

Considering the hype is the toughest obstacle that a fanboy-targeted film has to overcome, Iron Man 3 delivers enough thrills and emotional resonance to join the top tier of Marvel Comics movies. I am looking forward to whatever comes next.


Watching The Expendables 2 and JCVD on Blu-ray

19 02 2013


I liked The Expendables for being a raw, straight-up action flick, and its sequel The Expendables 2 is even better. Now we have more screen time from Arnold and Bruce, and the franchise even develops a sense of humour towards itself.

The thing people always talk about is the unbelievable Chuck Norris cameo, but I was more interested in Jean-Claude Van Damme’s role as the villain  Unlike the scheming mastermind played by Eric Roberts in the first movie, this installment has an antagonist who can actually physically go up against Stallone & company. Van Damme is without question the stand-out of the movie for me, and almost makes me pity him for the fact that he’s not in better movies.

Which brings me to the next movie I watched…

Apparently, Van Damme only has 3 films that are “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes – Kung-Fu Panda 2, The Expendables 2, and JCVD. In JCVD, Van Damme (acting as himself) is caught in a hostage situation and has to deal with the criminals, one of which being a fan of his. Even though the film might get draggy at parts, it is definitely a unique and interesting one to watch for any fan of Van Damme (which in that case, you probably already have) or any movie lover out there.

All Superheroes Must Die – Movie Review

3 02 2013

All Superheroes Must Die (originally known as Vs) is a superhero movie which managed to gain some attention at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Jason Trost, who directs, writes and also stars, made this thing with a next-to-nothing budget, so don’t expect any kind of epic Avengers-esque battles. This is a raw, violent, sadistic, and somewhat captivating superhero flick.

Charge, Cutthroat, The Wall, and Shadow make up our teenage superhero team, Shadow being the only girl. The cast is a no-name lot, but you might recognize Lucas Till who was in Hannah Montana The Movie (yes, I watched it) and X-Men First Class. I like how this film has tiny flashback scenes scattered throughout to create some kind of back story, although I would have preferred it if the film expanded even more on the background of these characters and their relationships. Nevertheless, I was interested in the story and was never bored.

This film is nowhere as explicit as Super or Kick-Ass, but it does get pretty gruesome in one brief scene which I cannot describe without giving away spoilers. And I don’t intend to give away any spoilers because I am recommending All Superheroes Must Die on account of it being a product of passionate film-making.


Have you watched Battle: Los Angeles?

29 01 2013

Battle: Los Angeles (aka World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles) is an unbelivably generic alien invasion movie which you will probably forget ten minutes after it’s done. So what if it has robot-aliens and giant spaceships flying around, you don’t really care about any of the protagonists, and the action scenes are not anything we haven’t already seen in similar movies. In the end, B:LA just feels like a very poor rip-off of many other sci-fi action flicks.

The only good thing in this movie is Aaron Eckhart who plays one of the soilders putting their lives at risk by fighting off the space invaders. His intensity and convicting delivery of his lines is the only thing that helped me watch till the end. This film is directed by Jonathan Liebesman, who went on to do the slightly more entertaining Wrath of the Titans. He is now set to direct the upcoming Michael Bay-produced Ninja Turtles, and if this is the kind of quality we’ll be getting, I think he better brace himself for the wrath of the TMNT fans.

Watching The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Extended Edition Blu-ray

18 01 2013


The Lord of the Rings might very well be the film franchise of this generation. Either that, or Harry Potter.

What I have here is the LOTR Extended Edition Blu-ray which is probably the most comprehensive collection of LOTR goodness you will ever find anywhere. The trilogy itself is split into 6 Blu-rays (2 Blu-rays for each film) and you also get 9 DVDs of special features, so that’s 15 discs full of content. I haven’t even touched the special features and I’m not sure if I will ever have the time to.

LOTR is magnificent, full of grandeur yet intricately emotional. You definitely have to watch the first film Fellowship of the Ring to really understand the epic story. If you missed that first film, then you won’t even care about all these people (and elves, dwarves, etc.) running around frantically. But once you get caught up in the world of Middle Earth and its lore, then you will most certainly stay till the end. And it is a LONG way to the end.

It’s a pity that the video quality of Fellowship of the Ring isn’t as good as the other two films, Two Towers and Return of the King. Return of the King looks the best with unbelievably stunning photography which makes the picture pop out at you. This is no doubt one of the best Blu-rays I’ve ever seen. The booming soundtrack is awesome and will just blast apart everything in your house and even your neighbour’s.

Until the Super Ultimate Hobbit Extended Trilogy arrives on Ultra-Blu-ray, this is the set that all LOTR lovers and Blu-ray collectors need to check out.

2Yoon – 24/7 – Music Video Review

17 01 2013


Someone decided to take JiYoon and GaYoon of 4Minute and form a duo called 2Yoon (get it?). Teasers promised a unique twist to K-pop, specifically something to do with country music and apparently showing off 2Yoon’s strong vocals. Unfortunately, their debut music video 24/7 is nothing special.

24/7 is a jumpy, clappy song that wants you to get up and dance along. The problem is, I don’t believe this song is as unique as it thinks it is, or even as catchy as it wants to be. The country imagery is certainly prevalent in this music video, but the song itself doesn’t sound that much different from what you would expect to hear in a K-pop song. In fact, this song reminded me a lot of Wonder Girl’s Like This. Sure, there are lots of people dancing on the phony looking farm, but nothing in this piece is able to connect with the audience.

I urge everyone to watch 2Yoon’s performance on M! Countdown to see how much more powerful they are with Why Not, a rock track off their album. The 2 Yoons are brilliant singers, and 24/7 does not unlock their full potential.


Girls’ Generation “I Got A Boy” Music Video Review

1 01 2013


It’s the first day of the year 2013 and already we have a gigantic music video from the booming K-pop factory. Girls’ Generation (aka SNSD) is the insanely popular nine-member girl group who argubly started today’s K-pop craze in the first place. They have been dishing out catchy pop-dance tracks one after another to much fan delight, and I Got A Boy is definitely one of their best works.

The art direction of this music video is marvelous. The sets and outfits all look beautiful, and the girls themselves are absolutely gorgeous. The colourful and spunky hip-hop vibe here feels much more natural and pleasant compared to their other music videos of late. I Got A Boy contains mainly rap, and whoever proposed this idea must have had great guts to drastically move away from SNSD’s usual musical style. This risky move pays off because what we have now is an utterly refreshing exercise that pushes the boundaries of K-pop.

As the SONES (what the fans call themselves) will tell you with fiery passion, these nine ladies (TaeyeonJessicaSunnyTiffanyHyoyeonYuriSooyoungYoonaSeohyunare brilliant singers and dancers, always a joy to watch even if you cannot tell them apart. Everyone has their favourite member and no one gets snubbed here. Each girl gets their own time to step up to the front line and strut her stuff, so big props must be given to the people behind the scenes producing this thing.

Although this new style of Girls’ Generation feels awkward at first, I Got A Boy will suck you in quickly and then never let you go until it’s done. I Got A Boy deserves its place alongside other iconic Girls’ Generation songs like Gee and Genie. This is one song you’ll find hard to forget.


Watching Bourne Legacy & Lockout on Blu-ray

31 12 2012


The Bourne Legacy didn’t make a big impression in its theatrical run and sort of got lost in the whole Superhero mania of 2012. Jeremy Renner punches and shoots his way through lots of people, and Rachel Weisz is there to accompany him. Edward Norton appears and might be the most interesting aspect of this sub-par thriller. My biggest problem with The Bourne Legacy is that it’s way too long (over TWO HOURS!!) The plot wants itself to feel epic and sophisticated, but in the end it was just too complicated and uninteresting for me to care. However, the film still managed to hold my attention to the end with some brilliantly edited action sequences and lots of motocycle revving.

Lockout has the most outrageous car chase I’ve ever seen in a movie. It happens at the beginning of the film and didn’t even last for long, but it was the definitely the best thing in this affectionate sci-fi flick. Guy Pearce is convincing as an action star, probably one of the more grittier ones out there currently. He delivers his cheesy lines with much gusto, and I find it a pity that he isn’t a household name by now. If you think you will be seeing the next Blade Runner, then sorry to disappoint. But if you want to see a genre movie from the Luc Beeson factory, then you’ll probably enjoy Lockout like I did.

2012 in review

31 12 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 350,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 6 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

Best & Worst K-pop of 2012

13 12 2012

IMPORTANT NOTE: These songs were chosen based on and ONLY based on their respective music videos. If a song has more than one music video, only the original version is considered. For this list, I am also including Japanese songs by Korean artists.


Phantom – “Burning”

An unrelenting blast of pure bravado is this year’s gem in a scrapheap of pretentious K-pop.

Secret – “Poison”

This skillfully crafted and juicily sexy noir shows why Secret is K-pop’s best kept secret.

Ji Young – “Wanna Do”

The youngest member of KARA shows off her pop-rock prowess in this beautifully simplistic power ballad.

Big Bang – “Blue”

Juggernaunt boy band BIGBANG never fails to impress both musically and visually with their slick and sharp style.

T-ara – “Day by Day”

Strong Eminem vibes combined with a respectably ambitious music video makes “Day by Day” one of the best rap pieces in recent memory.



Sistar – “Alone”

With a concept so bland and unappealing, you would rather watch grass grow.

Girls’ Generation – “Paparazzi”

Cringe-worthy outfits are just one of the many problems in this unbalanced and over-produced mess.

Girls’ Generation – “Flower Power”

You will not believe SNSD is capable of such low quality material unless you see it for yourself.


In case you missed my Best of K-pop 2011…