Tag Archives: review

My Movie Watching List 2010 – Part 3

This is the third part of the series, please read the first and second part, too.

History:

  • 26-May: added Robin Hood and Shrek Forever After
  • 24-May: added The Losers
  • 17-May: added Ip Man 2 and Iron Man 2

Shrek Forever After

15. Shrek Forever After

Score: 8

This is the fourth and last installment of the Shrek story, hence it is also known as Shrek 4 or Shrek: The Final Chapter. Perhaps it is not as good as the first two in the series, but it’s way much better than the predecessor: Shrek the Third.

All the original main characters come back, but we also get to see many new characters, both in the protagonist and the antagonist sides. With the new characters, it also brings a new story to the table.

Like all the previous movies, Harry Gregson-Williams is responsible for the music. And as usual, Shrek has beautiful soundtracks to brighten up the mood during the movie.

If you love the original and second Shrek movies, you must be missing the touching and funny story in the third movie. But this time, Shrek is refreshed and back to touch your heart, make you laugh and shed tears in the pretty short 93 minutes film.

It doesn’t matter if you’re kids or adults, boys or girls. If you need entertainment, go see Shrek.

Robin Hood

14. Robin Hood

Score: 6

I don’t know how many times they have to remake this movie. But hey, this time it got Russel Crowe, it has to be good. Sadly, it’s not.

Actually it’s not really the movie about Robin Hood, but Robin Longstride who eventually became Robin Hood. So if you’re interested in Robin Hood’s back story, the movie is for you.

Aside of that, there’s not much to expect. Although Russel Crowe and Cate Blanchett played quite well, I feel they are too old for the roles that took place before the Robin Hood’s era. They also don’t seem to use the British accent throughout the film.

The action is quite good. Unfortunately you won’t get to see much of it. The story was flowing too slow for my taste. It unnecessarily ran for 140 minutes. It would have been better if they packed it under 120 minutes to speed up the pace.

Unless you really really like Robin Hood, better save the money for other movies that are coming in waves this summer.

The Losers

13. The Losers

Score: 5

Initially, I didn’t plan to watch this movie. But the trailer was quite convincing and some friends did recommend it. So, despite the bad reviews it got, I decided to go and watch it.

And it turned out that it was not a good movie. It’s dull and boring. As an action movie, the action scenes were really disappointing. It was not on par with other action movies released recently. Most notably Kick Ass that, in my opinion, has the best action to date.

The acting were sub-standard. Zoe Saldana who performed much better when she was computerized in Avatar as the blue alien, Neytiri. The exaggerating slow-motion scene was ridiculous. The jokes, if existed, were not funny.

Well, it did have some plots and okay story. But they are not what I expected in an action movie.

Iron Man 2

12. Iron Man 2

Score: 7.5

Yet another sequel movie, Iron Man 2 has to prove that it is at least on par with its excellent predecessor. But the only thing it can outperform is the action. While Robert Downey Jr. was still as convincing as ever, Gwyneth Paltrow, however, had less airtime to give space to other stars joining the roster, mainly Scarlett Johansson.

This movie is more action-packed and noisy than the original at expense of the plot and story. If action is what you are looking for, you will get it, along with more explosions and gunfire.

Ip Man 2

11. Ip Man 2

Score: 7

This is the sequel of the well-received original Ip Man movie that was released in 2008. Most of the leading actors including Donnie Yen and Lynn Hung reprised their roles. Sammo Hung, the veteran martial artist and actor did not only continue choreographing the film, but this time also joined the roster as one important supporting character.

While the plot is not as good as the original. But the occasional humor is quite entertaining and enjoyable. The action and fighting scene are also not better than the first. In fact, the last battle scene was boring. Anyway, this is quite a good kung-fu movie unless you’ve expected too much after watching the original.

An interesting fact that I didn’t notice earlier, Lynn Hung who plays as Ip Man’s wife is so tall and big that Ip Man looked dwarfed when they were standing side-by-side.

My Movie Watching List 2010 – Part 2

This is the second part of the series, please read the first and third part, too.

History:

  • 2-May: added Shutter Island
  • 20-Apr: added Kick-Ass
  • 16-Apr: added Ju-on: Shiroi Roujo/Kuroi Shoujo
  • 12-Apr: added Clash of the Titans and REC 2

Shutter Island

10. Shutter Island

Score: 6.5

It could get much higher score, if the first half of the movie was not so boring. Really, I didn’t understand why the pointless and boring part must take a significant amount of airtime.

Fortunately, it’s getting better and better as the story progressed and twisted. Martin Scorsese did make a right decision to cast Leonardo DiCaprio again for his film. DiCaprio once again proved his capacity as a world-class actor.

Certainly, there are other films that are much more entertaining than this. Having said that, you may still be able to enjoy this film if you don’t fall asleep halfway through it.

Kick-Ass

9. Kick-Ass

Score: 8

This is one of the rare movies that actually exceeded my expectations. At first, I thought Kick-Ass was only a movie that makes fun of other superhero movies. It was not. In fact, you get to see some totally awesome action scenes here. Way much cooler than the last year’s Watchmen.

Don’t let the character’s costume fool you. Kick-Ass is not for kids. It is R-rated for the large amount of graphic violence and brief nudity. Although it’s not as bloody as Kill Bill, 300, or Ninja Assassin, it’s unwise to let your younger kids to watch this. As a matter of fact, this movie was criticized morally because of its portrayal of a 12-year-old little girl who coldbloodedly killing people without a blink in her eyes.

If you’re okay with the violence and moral issue, then sit back and enjoy could-be-the-best ass-kicking actions you get to see this year.

On the cast side, there’s only one top-tier star, Nicolas Cage. But the roster is not disappointing though. I liked particularly Chloë Grace Moretz who played the role of Hit-Girl/Mindy Macready. Along with Abigail Breslin and the more popular Dakota Fanning, she is definitely a very promising young actress.

Aside from the action, the plot was not really special. Fortunately, the humor and jokes kept me awake when the action was missing. The soundtrack was good, too. It is dominated with pop and pop rock music that goes very well with the movie’s theme.

This is a very enjoyable movie, unless you can’t stand the few bloody action scenes. I highly recommend it to all action movie fans. This is the best action movie of this year so far.

Ju-on: Shiroi Roujo/Kuroi Shoujo

8. Ju-on: Shiroi Roujo/Kuroi Shoujo

Score: 7

Literal translation: The Grudge: Old Lady in White/Girl in Black

It is released here under the title: Ju-On: White Ghost & Black Ghost

What’s better than two horror movies in less than a week? Three horror movies!

This 10th anniversary edition of the Ju-on series is actually two different movies, each running about 60 minutes. So it can be packed into one full 120 minutes screening.

The first part of the movie, the White Ghost, is quite unique since it is built by many mini subplots, each about 5 to 10 minutes only. Initially seemed independent, the mini stories eventually converged and developed the big picture nicely.

The second part, the Black Ghost, also has the same formula by using multiple subplots. But it has fewer but longer mini stories. Personally I found the second part’s story is more interesting, but the first part has better makeup and visual effect.

Unfortunately, however, the cinema was full with inconsiderate viewers. A lot of people tried to make fun of the movies by mimicking the characters voice, most likely because they wanted to ease their own tense and fear. It’s so annoying it distracted other people from experiencing the horror from the movie.

It’s not as scary as the first and second Ju-on movies, but it brought enough horror to the ones with weak heart to help them stay awake in a bright room at the night or keep them away from staying at the toilet alone. And definitely it’s much better than the last horror-wannabe movie I watched, REC 2. Recommended for Ju-on or horror fans.

REC 2

7. REC 2

Score: 4

This is a movie I didn’t actually plan to watch. Some friends last weekend asked me to watch it. And since it’s a quite rare chance to find buddies to watch a horror movie, I decided to come along.

I haven’t watched the first part, so I didn’t know it was not an English movie. At first I thought it was Italian, but later it turned out to be Spanish. Anyway it got an English subtitle so it was not a big deal.

The big deal is that it didn’t show much horror. Let me rephrase it. There was no horror in the movie. There were one or two shocking moments, but that’s all. The fact that we were looking through a video camera held by the characters in the movie made it even worse. Like in Cloverfield, the picture will be shaky. In many occasions the sound was muted or video was blacked out. Certainly it didn’t help build the scary moment. Horror lovers will laugh at this movie.

To be fair, it does have some plus points, though. The film had a sub-plot — albeit a bit boring — that was integrated quite nicely and cleverly with the main plot. But it’s not what I expect when watching a horror movie. If you’re really into horror movie, you should check Ju-On: White Ghost/Black Ghost instead.

As a side note, I watched this movie at Filmgarde, Illuma, near Bugis Junction, Singapore. It was the first time I watched a movie there, but despite the fact that it is the latest cinema in Singapore, I think it is not as good as The Cathay or Golden Village.

Clash of the Titans

6. Clash of the Titans

Score: 6

I have waited this movie since its announcement last year. I was a bit busy though, I didn’t get the chance to watch it during the first week. So I heard a lot of bad reviews from my friends and critics that the movie was so bad. Not worth watching. Still, I went to watch it last week.

And the critics were quite true. The first half of the movie was so boring I almost fell asleep. The cast and acting were so disappointing. Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson didn’t live up to their names. And the ex-Bond’s girl, Gemma Artenton, who will soon play a leading role in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time still definitely needs a lot of work before she can become a mainstream actress.

The plot was so dull, flat, and boring. This movie actually strayed from the original, but it didn’t make a better story. Even the occasional humor was so bland it would’ve been better without humor at all.

The gods didn’t get much airtime, even though Zeus and Hades supposed to play the major roles here. Considering the title is “Clash of the Titans“, one would expect that there will be a colossal battle between the Titans. But the only time the Titans were mentioned was in the brief prologue narration.

Maybe the only thing that help it not becoming a crappy film is the world-class visual effect. Well, it’s not James Cameron’s Avatar, but it’s not far behind as well. The battle scenes are quite engaging although not as good as 300 or Troy. Especially the one with Medusa. This part of the movie is easily the one I like the most. The great appearance of the Kraken look awesome, but I still prefer the one from the Pirates of the Caribbeans: The Dead Man’s Chest.

I didn’t watch the 3D version and I didn’t think it’s worth the more expensive ticket price. In my opinion, the “parody” film, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is better than this, due to much faster plot and more fun. But if you’re a fan of Greek mythology and special effects like me, you can still enjoy the movie.

My Movie Watching List 2010 – Part 1

This is the first part of the series, please read the second and third part, too.

Since I’m really into movies, I’d like to continue blogging about this topic for the time being.

This post is only a list to keep track of what movies I have watched in 2010. I’ll try to keep this list updated, especially with the movies I watch in the theaters. Scoring is from 1 (worst) to 10 (best). It’s spoiler-free too.

History:

  • 24-Mar: added How to Train Your Dragon
  • 10-Mar: added Alice in Wonderland
  • 22-Feb: added the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, My Ex, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Disclaimer: reviews and scores are biased to my preference, your mileage may vary

5. How to Train Your Dragon

Score: 9

This is another surprise. With a lot of animated movies flooding the market recently, this one is way way above my expectation. The dragons in this movie are not typical dragons. DreamWorks really works its magic by creatively bringing a lot of types of dragons which vary in size, color, nature, and skill to life. These flying reptiles are both scary and lovable. They are even lovelier than golden retrievers. I hope I can get one as a pet 😀

And have I mentioned that you gotta see a lot of them?

How to Train Your Dragon is based on a book with the same title, but the plot was altered to make it more suitable and entertaining for the big screen.

This movie is still in the sneak preview period here in Singapore. Currently it’s only available in 3D but it’s worth the extra premium to see these lovely and wild creatures in 3D. Starting tomorrow (25-Mar), it will be screened in 2D cinemas as well.

Most of DreamWorks animated movies look great, but this one really rocks. The battle scenes are really engaging and you’ll see them quite often, from the beginning to the end. However, I think it’s a bit too dark in some early scenes. The dragons can look scary when they feel threatened, cute when befriended, and beautiful when flying. The voice actors are not the most popular ones — except Gerard Butler which you see practically everywhere lately — but they fill the roles well. Not outstanding, but pretty much okay. The story is a bit typical of children story, nevertheless, the plot is quite well executed.

Overall, this is a fantastic movie. It tells good moral values. Suitable for everyone from kids to adults.

4. Alice in Wonderland

Score: 6

A popular classic story, directed by the unique Tim Burton, backed with a high budget, with the renowned casts like Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter, and the awesome US$ 116.1 million breaking opening weekend box office records, will prove that this movie is one of this year’s top pick. Or not!

Last night (Mar 9) I came to the Grand Cathay to watch this movie. The Grand Cathay is currently, in my opinion, the best non-premium cinema in Singapore. With the size comparable to the GVmax cinema, it is also THX certified. Since Alice in Wonderland is not a pure 3-D movie — unlike Avatar, it’s filmed in 2-D and later converted to 3-D — I’d rather watch it in a bigger 2-D cinema than the smaller 3-D cinemas.

The movie is visually appealing. Tim Burton managed to build the wonderland wonderfully. The characters were alive and the casts were great. But unfortunately, the pace was quite slow to my taste. It couldn’t keep me excited throughout the whole duration of the movie, not even half. There were not enough surprises, if any. And the battle scene was so typical as other animated movies.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

3. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Score: 7

The visual effect displayed on the trailer and the theme (Greek mythology) were the main attraction to me. At first, I thought that it was yet another Harry Potter-wannabe teenage movie (and it seemed that it was), so I didn’t put much expectation other than great visual effect for my viewing pleasure.

After watching the premiere show at GV Plasa Singapura on Feb 11, I found the movie quite enjoyable and entertaining. It was fast-paced and loaded with fresh humors. It turned out to be a fun parody of the Greek mythology. The cast could definitely be better though veterans such as Pierce Brosnan and Uma Thurman were involved as supporting roles.

2. My Ex

Score: 6

Horror is one of my favorite genre when it comes to theatrical movies. The problem is that it can be though to find companions to watch this kind of movies. Companions that won’t scream during the play. At least I got two friends who were interested to watch this movie last Feb 8 at GV Tiong Bahru.

My Ex is a Thai-horror movie. So the cast is not familiar to me. One of the main character, however, was very attractive. She is a fairly known Thai model and actress called Wanida Termthanaporn a.k.a. Giftzy, so it’s not hard to find her pictures if you’d like to know what I meant.

The movie, though pretty predictive, was packed with a nice dosage of surprising and shocking moments. But the make-up was kinda disappointing, it can’t help the acting skill of the actors which was mediocre at best.

1. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Score: 7

Although this movie was released back in 2009, I watched it only recently on Feb 6 at Cathay Cineleisure, Orchard. Partly because my girlfriend told me that the movie was bad. Still I wanted to watch it because of the great list of cast: Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law. And of course because I like fantasy-themed movies.

Well, although it’s not a really really good movie, but it’s not that bad either. The actors also played pretty well to live up to their great names. The effect of Heath Ledger’s death during the making of the film was cleverly covered by the other actors.