Iron Man 3 – Movie Review

27 04 2013

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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.

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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.

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Have you watched Battle: Los Angeles?

29 01 2013

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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.





Skyfall – Movie Review

19 11 2012

Having a James Bond movie released now is almost like medicine for the recent marathon of superhero/sci-fi movies. Skyfall is directed by Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition), and may be the most polished 007 flick yet. The story flows quickly but steadily and fans and non-fans alike will be sucked into the exciting plot.

Daniel Craig plays a convincing James Bond, but perhaps the most memorable performance in the film is from Javier Bardem, who plays the villain of this bout as if he is auditioning to be the next Batman villain. With cruel, crooked line delivery and devilish facial expressions, Bardem might as well be the best Bond villain ever seen on screen. This villain even has an intriguing back story that involves Bond himself, transforming Skyfall into an unexpectedly personal tale for both the hero and the villain.

The scenes leading up to the climatic action sequence gets a little draggy and unnecessarily sappy, but by the time the credits come along, I was absolutely in awe of what a comeback James Bond has made on the cinema screen. Skyfall is a must watch for everybody.





The Dark Knight Rises – Movie Review

21 07 2012

The Dark Knight Rises is the concluding chapter of the Batman Begins/The Dark Knight trilogy and it sure ends this series on an epic and memorable note. Director Christopher Nolan creates a hauntingly realistic and brutal world for us to experience this war/crime drama, but yet manages to incorporate certain light-hearted and sci-fi-ish moments to keep the story in line with its comic book origins.

And wow, this film gave me the goosebumps. Christopher Nolan’s storytelling style is slick, tight, intense, and brings across the theme of the film effectively. Those saying that Nolan doesn’t know how to direct action will be surprised because The Dark Knight Rises contains lots of exciting car chases and hard-hitting fight scenes. The down-and-dirty fist fight between Batman (Christian Bale) and main villain Bane (Tom Hardy) in the sewers is emotionally devastating and absolutely heart-breaking. When Bane [SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER], I felt my own heart getting hammered as well.

With The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man still fresh in audience’s minds, you would think that people are starting to get sick of superhero movies. Fortunately, the studios making these things know what they are doing (Green Lantern not included) and it seems like the superhero genre is the hottest thing in cinema now. As an avid comic book fan, I could not be happier.





Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows / Wrath of the Titans – Movie Reviews

13 07 2012

Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law return for another crime-busting adventure in Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows, once again directed by Guy Ritchie. The stylish direction from Ritchie and solid performances from the two main leads are what saves this sequel from being a total failure. I liked the first Sherlock Holmes film because of it’s ingenuity and trippy nature. A Game of Shadows does contain some surprises and finds ways to involve the audience into its story, but the overall product feels too forced and perhaps even dull for the most part. If anything, this film could have been half an hour shorter.

He was in Avatar, Terminator Salvation and Clash of the Titans, but nobody knows what this guy’s name is. (Ans: Sam Worthington). Luckily for Wrath of the Titans, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort!) is here to add some credibility to what can be called a 90-minute video game cutscene. Watch as people run around screaming one another’s names (“Zeus! Zeus!” “Perseus! Perseus!” “Hades! Hades!”), as well as giant monsters creating chaos all over the place. Wrath of the Titans is definitely less embarrassing than Clash of the Titans, but this lackluster fantasy tale is lacking an interesting story and likable action star.





The Amazing Spider-Man – Movie Review

29 06 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man is directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer), and is marketed as “The Untold Story”. Spoiler: He gets bitten by a spider.

So it’s the same old story all over again – Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is the nerdy kid who likes a girl (Emma Stone), gets bullied in school, bitten by spider, gains super powers, fights crime, meets villain, saves the day… nothing special. The earlier portion of the movie dwells a little into Peter Parker’s parents and how they might be partially responsible for Peter Parker’s powers, but it didn’t really go anywhere important.

I love Spider-Man’s villain gallery because these dudes always have some kind of personal connection with Peter Parker himself. The baddie this time is The Lizard, a handicapped scientist who wants to regrow his missing arm. By a fatal failed experiment, he now transforms into a mini godzilla and wrecks havoc in New York City. The Lizard in monster-form thankfully does not look cartoonish, but rather believable and you can even see emotions in his face. He wears his white lab coat for a brief moment, a wink to how he looks in the comic books.

One thing I found exceptional about this movie is the music. The score of this film actually sounds a lot like the previous Spider-Man scores, but this one has its own unique hook and compliments the slick feel of the movie. I like the overall look of the movie, but the staging of certain scenes felt slightly awkward, especially during the middle act. Action scenes are frantic and hard-hitting, and I appreciate the fact that Spider-Man is capable of experiencing pain – both physical and emotional.

This reboot has nothing on the movie phenomenon that was 2002’s Spider-Man, but 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man will create a whole new generation of comic book fans like that original flick did to me ten years ago.