Sunday, December 7, 2014

300: Rise of an Empire (2014)

[Late, late, late.]

Ramping up the blood and gore and blood (censored version in theatres so no nudity), this movie is just an excuse to apply Zack Snyder’s stylised camera-work and techniques on battles at sea.

Initially publicised as a prequel, then a sequel, this movie is actually a during-quel, parallel to the events in 300. It starts with a very short backstory on Xerxes, and continues on to the before and then after of the Battle of Thermopylae.

The focus this time is on Themistocles, who faces Eva Green’s Artemisia, both on the battlefield and face-to-face (and you know where the latter would lead teehee), and eventually to the Persians’ defeat at the Bay of Salamis. This is spliced with scenes with the Spartans (no Gerry Butler this time), as they refuse Themistocles’ request to join them in battle at first, and, after the death of the 300, they provide reinforcements at Salamis.

[For the record, it’s been six months since I last saw this movie, and apart from Xerxes and Eva Green, I had to Wiki everything else up.]

I’m rather disappointed that there isn't much on Xerxes’ origins and how he became the God-King, although Wikipedia tells me that he wasn’t all that special in the first place, so I guess the movie had to at least have some historical basis. Eva Green steals every scene she’s in, and despite my being a horrible feminist, I looked forward to seeing her every time she comes on.

[Xerxes-related, I’m also rather disappointed that there wasn’t enough Rodrigo Santoro. Even my mum said he was pretty]

I kinda forgot why I’d enjoyed 300, and this movie reminded me (in part) of the ‘why’: war strategies. From the first film, you had the Spartans form a barricade with their shields and push Persians off glorious-looking cliffs; with this movie, it’s applied on naval engagements, seeing Themistocles and Artemisia trying to outsmart and outwit each other. The part where Themistocles rode his horse onto ships and fought people just blew my mind! I mean, it’s not strategy; it just looks seriously cool, and you’d never think to bring a horse to a naval engagement unless you’re transporting it or something.

Post is short. I transfer the adjective from Godzilla to this review.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

OMG, BC is Dr SS!

Translation: Oh my glob, Benedict Cumberbatch is Dr Stephen Strange!

After months of rumours, BC is finally confirmed to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Sorcerer Supreme.

And he said he would be busy being Hamlet ;)

["Just when we thought he was out they pull him back in!"]

Welcome to Marvel, Ben!! Looking forward to the end of 2016!

Blogger's note: Posted this from cellphone! Edited to add this note and to reduce font for one of the lines. Whee!

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dumb and Dumber To (2014)

In my quest for nostalgia, this movie doesn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, it isn’t as funny as the first one (though on the crude scale, it’s a match).

It had a good start, though.

After a catatonic Lloyd reveals he was faking it for 20 years (the exact number of time between this movie and its first, Dumb and Dumber), Harry is need of a kidney and they both set out to find Harry's illegitimate daughter to see whether she is a donor match. Hilarity, devious plots and pranks ensue.

The movie parallels the first one almost to a ‘T’, as if trying to see whether the same formula could work 20 years later. From the road trip to the large villainous sidekick getting inadvertently killed, down to Lloyd having a fantasy sequence (where he kicks ass and then imagines his love interest's tatas to be the front of a truck) and undercover police (not so obvious, eh), from the insidious plot underway to the Lauren HollyLaurie Holden, I can go on and on.

Don't get me wrong; it's not that I didn't appreciate all the references and tie-backs to the first movie, it's just that it's exactly the same movie. The difference is that I could name so many funny things from the first movie, and not that many from this one; laugh-out-loud moments were far and rather few.

My main quibble with the movie were some plot devices that, even when proven that they weren't in fact loopholes, still weren't satisfactory at all. Like, how can the conference people not know what the renowned Dr Pinchelow looked like? Couldn't Kathleen Turner write smaller on the postcard and go, "Dear Harry, I'm pregnant so I need the 40 bucks you owe me, love Fraida"? It's as if there was no other way to create comedy (or acts of stupidity, if you will) in the film and they had to rely on such sloppy writing.

And with all the throwbacks, I thought there could be a connection between Laurie Holden toand Mary SamsoniteSwanson, because the resemblance is uncanny. Alas, it was not to be. And (again) since we're on the topic of throwbacks, it's not the same without Harland Williams nor a Jeff Daniels' explosive diarrhea scene.

On top of that, I actually feel sorry for Lloyd (easily the mean-spirited of the duo, based on the first film), when he gave up his kidney for Harry, only for him to reveal it to be a prank.

So, Dumb and Dumber To: watch, or don't watch?

If you like/love the first film and also throwbacks, do watch. If not, well, then don't.

Malaysians, there is a scene in the movie that's (quite obviously) cut, but no worries. Just YouTube the trailer, and there it is.

[Despite the long list of similarities, I left out two of the best throwbacks in the film, one of which is in the post-credits scene. It's worth the wait if you're a fan.]

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

And this (related).

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Thursday, November 20, 2014


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oh-em-fricken'-gee, Marvel!

First off, Civil War! Phase 3's first movie is Civil War!!

Then, then, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange! Though it's not final yet and after he said 'probably not' at one point because he was gonna be Hamlet!

And now my week is complete (despite it just being Wednesday) because the scene they released with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is, in fact, the one they showed in Comic-con!


Well, half of everyone. That, I know now.

I embed said video below. The rest of the vid is mostly footage from the leakedreleased trailer from last week.

[Cumberbatch and Hiddles in the Marvel universe!! Internet, start imploding at the thought! Now, if the 'Batch becomes J'onn J'onzz... he will officially win the (comic book) world.]

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

I chose a totally good day to Google updates on the second Avengers movie.

The official trailer just leakeddropped! Usually I have awful timing and only get up to speed, like, a week later or something.

It seems that the official trailer was supposed to air during next week's episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but this was all over the Interwebz yesterday.

Marvel's reaction to this was:


and they relented and followed up with the official release (embedded below). Do watch in (H)HD!

Two-and-a-half minutes long, we finally get to see Ultron as portrayed by James Spader (having been teased in that awesome multi-character poster released some months ago), and he sounds fantastic at being foreboding and malevolent (I guess all that talking on his part in The Blacklist really helped). I cannot wait to see/hear him (heard he also did the motion capture) when Age of Ultron finally opens.

One more reason to look forward to Labour Day! iMax here I come!!*

*Disclaimer: Still dependent on whether I've the cajones to go through paying RM30 for something that might make me nauseous.

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