Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2014 Movie List.

[After using exclamation and question marks in past years, I'm working my way through punctuation. Next year, I think I'll use a comma.]

Only release months (Malaysia-relevant) are below because it's September and we're down to our last one/two movies.

  1. I, Frankenstein (January) 
  2. The Lego Movie (February)
  3. Robocop (January)
  4. 300: Rise of an Empire (March)
  5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (March)
  6. The Amazing Spider-man 2 (May)
  7. Godzilla (May)
  8. X-Men: Days of Future Past (May)
  9. Maleficient (May)
  10. Transformers: Age of Extinction (June)
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy (July)
  12. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (August)
  13. The Expendables 3 (August)
  14. Sin City: A Dame to Die For (donno; probably nevar in Malaysia)
  15. Dumb and Dumber To (November, but probably nevar in Malaysia to)
If I remove Maleficient (which is a movie I didn't want to watch after I read its Wikipedia entry), then I'll get 14 movies for 2014 woooo. But I won't.

I should get started on my 2015 one now, no? Okay, I'll take my own advice.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2013: Movies I Could Be Bothered To Watch.

[And I finally could be bothered (screw grammar!) to release this post. Soooo overdue; includes some movies I didn’t get around to reviewing yet.]

I'm actually pretty proud of myself, when it came to watching movies last year. Out of the 16 on my list, two (#13 and #14) got pushed into 2014, and two others (#2 and #10) I did not watch.

2013 Movie List

  1. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
  2. Warm Bodies
  3. Jack the Giant Slayer
  4. Oz: Great and Powerful
  5. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
  6. Iron Man 3
  7. Star Trek Into Darkness
  8. Man of Steel
  9. World War Z
  10. Monsters University
  11. R.I.P.D.
  12. The Wolverine
  13. 300: Rise of an Empire
  14. Sin City: A Dame to Kill for
  15. Thor: The Dark World
  16. 47 Ronin
The only movie not in this list that I watched is Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, and it's not in because I didn't even know it'd be out in 2013.

So 12 above and 1 outside of list, and I watched 13 movies in 2013 ohwowaccidenttotesneat.

2014 movie list will be up in a bit (and by 'a bit', I mean 'tomorrow or something').

[Blogger's note: This post has been so delayed that I finally saw Warm Bodies and Monsters University on pay-TV. Reviews eventually! And no, this doesn't count as meeting the list; meeting means going to the theatres or at least, watching it in the year it's released in.]

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#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly Faves!

[Splitting posts is not cheating. Not really, anyway.]

Here are some of my favourites from this hashtag; click for pictorial spoilers/answers. If there are no pics, well, you can read.



The Truman Show. Surprisingly good film.

Haha! The Green Mile.

Obscure = better. Dirty Dancing.


Very apt. One of the last Twilight movies.

He lies brilliantly, in fact. The Usual Suspects.

And a special shout-out for:

Going through hashtag search showed me QUITE a number of repeats, though from different people. I hope I've gotten all original ones.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly

It’s purely by accident that I discovered this trending Twitter hashtag.

And I’m very glad I did.

One of my major, major loves (aside from bitchin’) is movies, and I’m having a huge blast going and guessing my way through the tweets. For some reason, Titanic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Star Wars and Forrest Gump are very popular choices, although I did see some good ones relating to Captain America.

This hashtag adds to the long list of things that make me want to get Twitter, but I’m still resisting! But I can’t help but participate in this one, though. In keeping with tradition, my contributions are below 140 characters. Answers are below each description line, blacked out, so please highlight.

  • Surfer dude carries out father’s legacy, targets matricidal detective. #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly
    Frailty
  • Batman and Wolverine try to one-up each other while Alfred and Black Widow take sides. #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly
    The Prestige
  • Extraterrestrial securing preservation of own species, constantly thwarted by humans using time travel and plot holes. #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly
    Men in Black 3
  • Buddy cop movie perpetuates stereotypes of blacks being really, really loud, and of Chinese doing kung-fu. Does this three times. #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly
    Rush Hour films.
  • Aliens make old people young again or something. #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly
    Cocoon. Okay, maybe I jumped the shark with this one.

Argh, temptation! I'm seriously pumped about this one :P

Edit: Updated to include link to posts hashtagged https://twitter.com/hashtag/ExplainAFilmPlotBadly?src=hash. Enjoy!

Re-edit: To black out answers in points 4 and 5. Sometimes HTML is sucky.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Godzilla (2014)

[Watched it on my birthday. Four months late. Spoiler warning still needed? ]

Godzilla was surprising on so many levels:

1) Juliette Binoche

2) Her being in the movie for 10 minutes

3) Bryan Cranston’s very un-Malcolm in the Middle performance (we don’t get Breaking Bad here)

4) Him being in the movie for 20-25 minutes (I wanted to see more of him being serious!), and

5) Godzilla is the freaking good guy!?

Spoilers aside, I was expecting an hour-and-a-half of a dinosaur stomping on a city and puny humans trying to stop it. Yannoe, stereotypical monster movie fare (or as I like to say, an Ultraman movie sans Ultraman).

What I didn’t expect to see was TWO OTHER monsters, and that Godzilla would be the one to take them DOWN!

All this came to me in the scene where Ken Watanabe says that Godzilla was listening in onto the MUTOs’ (I can’t remember what it stood for, but fun fact: this guy from Adventure Time, Adam, has that as a surname) radar pingings / communication / whatever.

Coolest. Realisation-setting-in-halfway-through-the-film. Ever.

I watched this movie with the giddiness of someone discovering everything for the first time, having not seen the Godzilla film from the 90s (but having this vague impression that it was like Jurassic Park). I also slightly overexcited myself by mistaking the first MUTO to be Mothra, just because it took flight. I also got a kick out of seeing Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen together as husband and wife in this film. They’re gonna play brother and sister in the second Avengers movie! Ooooo!

But I’m getting sidetracked.

The great Godzilla reveal was grand, coming out of the water, causing a tsunami, and to see his chunky legs stomp past buildings in Hawaii. There’s a bit of a slow burn until we get to see him in his full glory, but I didn’t notice it much as I was still reeling over the number of monsters in the film and Godzilla being the good guy.

The movie tries to balance a nature vs nurture message (the MUTOs only wanted to breed), but no one really gives a cow when three monsters are duking it out and causing the same level of destruction as Superman and Zod did.

[Reminder to self: Settle Man of Steel review.]

And with a far cooler Fatality take-down! I mean, pry open mouth, breath nuclear down throat, anyone?!

Short review is rather short. I enjoyed this movie a lot.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Solder (2014)

[Slowly but surely. Very slowly.]

I wasn’t all that into the first movie, because there were a whole slew of origin movies at the time, and even though Steve Rogers was actually decent (and not cocky, brash and/or arrogant), it was still an introductory film to yet another comic book character.

So it was completely without much anticipation that I went to see Winter Soldier.

And I was taken aback at how not-boring it was.

Exploring how Steve settles into the modern world after his awakening and the subsequent battle of New York, shit immediately happens when the Winter Soldier (an assassin long thought to be Soviet myth) surfaces and turns out to be Steve’s best friend (thought to have died in Captain 1).

Throw in Hydra, which was thought (lots of thinking in this movie) to have gone done with the death of the Red Skull (also in the first movie), and with this, we have an (implicit) explanation why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have been so freaking humdrum: because Hydra tends to be synonymous with Captain America, and they didn’t want to spoil the storyline for Cap’n 2.

[It actually makes sense that Agents exist to combat Hydra.]

Then you have Nick Fury faking his own death, a few people from past Marvel outings getting outed as Hydra molls (Jasper! Senator Garry Shandling from Iron Man 2!), and though it’s a lot to cram in and digest in a two-hour movie, it didn’t get draggy nor did I find it overcrowded.

I was also glad that Scarlett Johansson wasn't also there to perpetuate the film stereotype of male and female leads falling in love with each other and no one else. Thankfully, there’s not a trace of a blossoming romance between the Black Widow and Captain America.

[Because she needs to have one with Hawkeye!]

After the frankly-mild Iron Man 3 and the slightly better Thor 2 (setting up to gonna-be-good Thor 3), Captain 2 is a vast improvement over its first movie and, compared to its fellow Phase 2 movies, a much better entry to the MCU. Though the first one had heart, this one had also twists and turns worthy of an espionage film (you can’t have Robert Redford in a movie like this without giving him a meaty role like the bad guy. Poor Powers Boothe).

[Fun fact: Redford and ScarJo were in The Horse Whisperer a long, long time ago.]

Do, do watch. This was the movie that made me sit up and acknowledge that Marvel can not do any wrong.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Expendables 3 (2014)

I have absolutely no idea how to review this movie.

If I attempt this like an actual reviewer, there might be quite a bit for me to critique. But I don’t feel like doing that because I found this film a lot of fun, and though it’s not quite as fun as the second movie, I’m not disappointed either.

[Not like Spider-man 3.]

So, I’m just gonna go through this in listicle format (list + article = listicle. Yes, it’s an actual new word, and no, it hasn’t anything to do with ‘testicle’), with what I liked and what I didn’t quite like (in no particular order and with spoilers):

Liked:

  • Evident in this movie and the previous one, everyone looked like they were having a ton of fun hanging out together, shooting and blowing things up aside, which makes the audience enjoy the ride as well. It’s like the action movie version of Grown-Ups, all friends getting together, and that fact itself makes the whole endeavour far less pointless.

  • Wesley Snipes – Damn, I missed this guy. He doesn’t look a day older than he did in the Blade films (and that was a long while ago!), and I loved the part where the team asks him what he was doing time in prison for, and he says, “Tax evasion.” Ha! It was so much fun watching him.

  • Antonio Banderas – Him channelling a benevolent and even more chatty version of Assassins’ Miguel Bane. Despite him being the comic relief that never shuts up, the scene where he tells Sly what happened to his last team is one of the best in the film. It was a lot of fun watching him too, though he looks very emaciated; I hope he's alright.

  • Harrison Ford is actually a supporting character! I thought he was only cameo-ing, but he had far more screen-time than Bruce Willis ever would. That’s probably Sly one-upping his former(?) friend.

  • Kelsey Grammer is also a supporting character and not a cameo! Good on him! Maybe the next one he'll get to hold a gun.

  • “GET TO DA CHOPPA!” One of the reasons why I love the Expendables films is because of all the throwbacks to the actors’ respective past movies, although there’s far less references in this one than in Movie 2. There’re also sly nods to Willis’ falling out with Sly (Ford saying, “he’s out of the picture,” when referring to Willis’ character, Church), and my personal favourite, tax evasion.

  • Young vs old – By introducing the young team and still retaining the old, team make-ups in future movies (if any) would be on rotational basis, I believe. I think with what went down with Willis, it’s Sly’s way of saying that everyone (but him) is expendableinterchangeable. You might think that overcrowding the movie would affect the pace, but I found it fine to split the first half with the youngsters, have them get caught, and then having the oldies break them out and then fight and blow up stuff together. The movie itself is roughly two hours long.

  • Villain-wise, Mel Gibson is more menacing and threatening as an antagonist compared to JCVD and Eric Roberts (from past outings). He still looks good, despite that whole anti-Semitic rant and subsequent under-the-radar that happened some years back. The final fight between him and Sly was just okay, but you have to consider the fact that Gibson isn't an actor known for brawn.

  • Absolutely no romantical notions whatsoever. I don't like romance to distract from my action movie. Just because you have a woman in the show doesn't mean she has to flirt or fall in love or want babies with any of the guys around her.

  • Not liked:

  • Jet Li is out of the Expendables!! I mean, he may still be in future films, but he’s in Arnie’s team so I expect cameos. He didn’t even do any kung-fu this time around. I wonder whether he wanted out, or the other way around. I'm guessing the former; after all, he’s only there for the China market. I think Banderas is his replacement; he got third billing.

  • Not enough Dolph Lundgren!!

  • Terry Crews – I don’t get why he has to get shot (and in the ass too, it looked like). It just makes it look like there’s only quota enough for one black guy in the team (i.e., Snipes).

  • No Chuck Norris!! I enjoyed seeing Chuck Norris tell a Chuck Norris joke.

  • Ronda Rousey – Girl’s got moves, but unfortunately she’s not really good with her face. She looks like pouting, belligerent child whenever the scene calls for her to stare/glare people down.

  • Still not enough Lundgren!!

  • With the above, my take on The Expendables 3 is DO WATCH, if you loved the 80s and action stars that you haven't seen in a very long while. Of course, you can consider the first two outings as having seen them recently, but if you are me, the throwback movies themselves don't count.

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