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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Watching The Expendables 2 and JCVD on Blu-ray

19 02 2013

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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.

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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.





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

18 01 2013

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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.





Watching Bourne Legacy & Lockout on Blu-ray

31 12 2012

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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.





Watching Brave and The Dark Knight Rises on Blu-ray

11 12 2012

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Brave, widely recognised as a huge drop in quality for Pixar, arrives on Blu-ray and I did not hate it. It is in no way a bad movie, just a very underwhelming one. The story feels like a rejected idea passed on from Disney, especially since it centers around a princess. There is too much slapstick going on and not much that’s new to see in this “finding yourself” tale. But at least the movie is beautifully animated and has great music. If anything, I definitely recommend letting your kids watch Brave than Ice Age: Continental Drift.

The Dark Knight Rises signals the end of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and I wonder what DC/Warner Bros is going to do with the Batman film franchise now, or any of their superhero properties for that matter. The Zack Snyder directed Man of Steel is arriving next year, and I am remaining optimistic. There is also Justice League planned for 2015, but don’t you get too excited yet. The last time a Justice League film was announced, it never saw the light of day. All we got was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it  Superman+Batman logo in I Am Legend.