When Margot Kim disappeared following a study night session, David Kim is hellbent on finding his daughter uncovering secrets in the process.
Shazam is directed by David F. Sandberg, it stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Mark Strong and Djimon Hounsou.
Shazam tells the story of Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who’s been chosen by the wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) to take up his mantle
As a comicbook movie Shazam works in many ways, the movie in general is fun and it’s highly entertaining. Zachary Levi plays Shazam and he perfectly embodies an adult with a 15 year old mind. His chemistry with Freddy Freeman who’s played by Jack Dylan Grazer is great and they create this odd mentor, men-tee relationship that’s very fun to watch.
Asher Angel is also great as Billy Batson, you understand why he is the way he is. He’s got a very emotional arc which elevates the movie even further. There’s an underlying message about family and the movie hits this perfectly.
Unfortunately much like the majority of comicbook films the movie suffers from it’s villains. Mark Strong plays Dr. Thaddeus Sivana and though the movie gives a sympathetic backstory as the movie progresses there’s nothing much to his character other than someone who wants power. There are also CGI monsters which aren’t that great.
Overall Shazam is definitely one of the better DC comic book movies, alongside Wonder Woman and to some extent Aquaman. It delivers plenty of laughs and the chemistry between the actors are great, you buy that Zachary Levi is an adult with a child’s mind and he plays this perfectly.
Other characters are also great especially the other foster kids as well as their foster parents and even with very little screen time Djimon Hounsou is great as a wizard who just wants his mantle to be passed. Shazam is highly recommended, though caution there are several scary scenes that might not be good younger children.
I’m gonna be a pilot… best in the galaxy.
Solo is directed by Ron Howard, it stars Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Paul Bettant and Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo.
Solo tells the story of young Han Solo and his origins steaming from how he met Chewbacca and Lando Calrisssian and their adventures years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope.
One of the notable things about this movie is that it looks great, it has some spectacular set pieces almost like a theme park with very big rides scattered around. One prominent line you would have heard from the original Star Wars movies is Han Solo doing the Kessel run in 12 parsecs and they show it here and it’s a great set piece, and it definitely puts you on the edge of your seat.
Elden Ehrenreich is decent as Han Solo, he’s not quite Harrison Ford but a notable aspect of his performance is he’s not trying to be Harrison Ford but rather he’s putting his own take on Han Solo and it works.
With this being an origin story of a character we already know who’s dead, the movie lacks real stakes. We know Han Solo survives, we know Chewbacca and Lando survives so what’s the point? Though there are interesting other characters here and there, since we have never heard of them from previous movies we can assume what happens to them at the end and that results into this being a predictable movie.
Overall Solo is a decent addition to the Star Wars canon, though it is an origin story it still manages to add more story to the Star Wars lore. Your supporting casts are also great, Donald Glover as Lando is good and with a hot talent like him, you can almost assume that they might make a stand alone Lando movie.
However that doesn’t save this movie from the fact that it’s an origin story of a character that we know is dead. And for that it might fail in grabbing any emotional investment from it’s audience. But if you are interested in the origins of Han Solo this one is for you.
Well, that’s just lazy writing.
Deadpool 2 is directed by David Leitch, stars Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz and Julian Dennison.
When Deadpool befriends a young mutant he tries to stop a rampaging Cable, played by Josh Brolin, from killing the kid.
Deadpool is back and he’s even funnier than ever, with so many new avenues to pull his jokes from Deadpool 2 doesn’t hold back with the humour. Ryan Reynolds is still excellent as Deadpool and you can tell that’s he’s having a lot of fun reprising the role
A great addition to this universe is Zazie Beetz as Domino. With her powers being extremely lucky, her powers work in a final destination-esque way affecting everyone around negatively except her. She is fascinating to watch and it also helps that she’s incredibly funny too.
Unfortunately the movie’s plot take a step back as the movie is so funny, you never feel any real stakes are on the line. Where you are meant to care about Deadpool’s relationship with Russell, played by Julian Dennison, that relationship felt lacking. At times you question why Deadpool is trying so hard to save this kid.
Another issue is the CG, at certain parts it looks unpolished and it can take you out of the film momentarily.
Overall Deadpool 2 is still a very fun movie, you got few new characters all of it are interesting to say the least but Domino stole the spotlight in terms of new characters.
The movie is hilarious and is able to make tons of references and if you catch them you’ll definitely laugh out loud. There are also pleasant surprises within the movie that helps elevate it a bit. However with a weaker plot than the first you probably won’t care about the story all that much.
I hope they remember you.
Directed by the Russo Brothers the third installment of the Avengers franchise collects almost all the heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, MCU, to go up against the mad titan Thanos, played by Josh Brolin.
The Avengers Assemble one more time to defeat the Mad Titan, Thanos who aims to collect six infinity stones and wipe out half of the life in the universe.
10 years and 18 movies in the making Avengers: Infinity War is without a doubt the most anticipated movie of this year and boy did it deliver. This is the most ambitious project in recent history and to credit the Russo Brothers and the screen writers this movie is incredible.
Josh Brolin plays Thanos the main villain of this story and they took their time fleshing him out. They gave him an empathetic backstory that makes him one of it not the best villain to date.
A major highlight of these Marvel films is the humor and with all the seriousness and dread that’s revolving around the movie they still managed to alleviate some of it by having endearing and humorous interactions between our heroes. Whether it’s with Thor and Rocket Racoon or Peter Quill and Iron Man. These interactions are something fans would would gleefully watch and cheer.
The action sequences are spectacular and creative, it highlights some of the heroes abilities and it makes them even more interesting than they previously were. There are also certain dramatic moments that can get you more emotionally invested in these characters, Thanos included.
The only glaring issue I have in the movie is it’s not a standalone movie. As mentioned above this movie have a 10 year history behind it and 18 other movies that accompany it, for someone to be fully invested, they need to have some prior knowledge about the infinity stones or previous marvel films.
There are minor issues as well, since the movie is huge in scope the story is divided into quadrants all leading up to one climax and some plot points take a little too long to resolve while other aren’t all that explored at all.
Avengers: Infinity War is something we haven’t seen before the culmination of a 10 year project by Marvel pays off in a big way and it’s not afraid to push the limits in terms of superhero storytelling. With a huge cast to juggle the writers and the Russo Brothers manages to tell a story that’s clear and compelling. If you’re a fan of the Marvel movies there’s no reason for you to skip this film, it’s a must watch for a fan.
People come to the Oasis for all the things they can do, but they stay for all the things they can be.
Ready Player One is based on the hit novel by Ernest Cline, it’s directed by Steven Speilberg and it stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn.
When the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, dies. He announced that he’s left an Easter Egg within the OASIS and whoever finds it first inherits the game company.
Ready Player One is one of the most anticipated movie this year and for me, this movie did not disappoint. The movie is packed with pop culture references from the 80s up till present day and for many this may just be a gimmick. However majority of the time it works, some references are woven nicely into the story creating a generally fun movie.
The visual effects were incredible, especially when our characters are inside the OASIS. Steven Spielberg does what he does best and creating a fascinating world where everything presented is plausible. Our leads have great chemistry and makes up for characters you want to root for.
The movie does have some flaws, one major point of the story is the love story between Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke in a setting where this is unnecessary not only does this feels forced but it also happens in an unrealistic way.
Overall Ready Player One is highly enjoyable from start to finish, it delivers with the pop culture references and it does it in a way that’s not too distracting nor obnoxious and at times it helps forward the plot. Steven Spielberg makes use of the CG effects very well and delivers a very exciting third act. Ready Player One is highly recommended.
What happens now determines what happens to the rest of the world.
Black Panther is easily one of the most anticipated movies of 2018. Starring an all star cast including Chadwick Boseman, Angela Basset, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Michael B Jordan and the list goes on.
Black Panther is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, with the passing of King T’Chaka, T’Challa takes up the mantle of the Black Panther as well as the role of The King of Wakanda.
This movie came with an incredible amount of anticipation, with an all black cast behind and in front of the camera not to mention the first major superhero movie led by a black actor, this movie is ground breaking.
Chadwick Boseman is great as both the Black Panther and T’Challa, however the movie is filled with more interesting personalities. From Lupita Nyong’o who plays a Wakandan spy to Letitia Wright who plays T’Challa’s sister and more importantly Danai Gurira who leads the Dora Milaje. These characters bring so much depth to them and makes you invested into their own story arcs.
One of the most fascinating aspect of the film is Michael B. Jordan. As his story arc brings about a damaged character that you can sympathize with. You understand why he’s angry though his actions are extreme, you can feel his frustration. His role as Killmonger is easily one of the best villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This film does have flaws, at times it’s predictable and the CG isn’t all that polished there are several scenes where the CG looks unfinished and it can take you out of the film.
Overall Black Panther is an incredibly enjoyable film, it’s definitely one of the better Marvel movies. The characters, the story and especially the culture it’s representing makes this movie unique and special. Even with Avengers: Infinity War looming around the corner Black Panther manages to be it’s own movie and if anything makes you more excited for the next movies.
2017 has already passed and with another exciting year ahead, let’s look back into my top 10 movies of 2017. I will also look at other movies which I also liked but did not make it to my list.
This list is purely subjective and does not reflect any official list of any sort
10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Coming in at number 10 is Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Directed by Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards tells the story of a mother seeking justice for her daughter’s death. Easily the strongest aspect of this movie is the acting, this movie has incredibly complex characters, sometimes you root for them sometimes you hate them.
The star here however is Frances McDormand who’s incredibly unpredictable and just owns this movie. You are fascinated by her actions and you want to see where she’s gonna go with it. This is a great dark comedy that keeps you rooting for the good and sometimes bad guys and this is why Three Billboards is my top 10 movie of the year.
Number 9 was an incredibly tough film to watch, it tells the story of the 1967 Detroit riots, particularly an incident that occurred at the Algiers Motel.
Detroit is a movie that’s brilliantly acted to the point that it hits too close to home. This movie will make you angry, devastated and yearning for justice for the victims. But on an impressive note, Katheryn Bigelow directed this masterfully telling a painfully unforgettable story, one that you will remember for quite sometime.
It is an adaptation and a remake of the classic Stephen King Book, It. I love horror movies and there’s nothing I love more than a horror movie with a deep story and this movie gave me exactly that.
Your cast of kids were hilarious and likable and you root for them all the way through. Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise was also great but another great thing about this movie were the scares, they were scary, fun and I enjoyed them quite a lot.
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Number 7 is of course your friendly neighborhood spider-man. It’s exciting to see Spider-Man be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We first saw him at Captain America: Civil War and to see him have his own movie with the MCU elements was very refreshing for the character.
Tom Holland is perfect as the young Peter Parker and the addition of Robert Downey Jr. elevates the movie even more.
6. Blade Runner 2049
Coming in at number 6 is Blade Runner 2049. Directed by Denis Villenueve shot by Roger Deakins, this movie is gorgeous. It’s visually appealing and at times immersive. Ryan Gosling was great as well was Harrison Ford, this is a sequel that has thought put into it and I’d love to visit this world again, in the future.
5. Get Out
Number 5 is Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele, Get Out tackles plenty of themes and subjects regarding interracial dating. From a film making stand point, Jordan Peele did a great job directing this movie, for a debut movie it’s impressive.
The social commentary however is another story, as this presents experiences that are too familiar when it comes to interracial dating or being the odd one in a crowd. Get Out bends the horror thriller genre and it also adds a bit of dark comedy in it but it blends it all into one tight movie.
Coming in at number 4 is Logan. Easily the best super hero movie of the year. Logan delivers a fitting finale for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Another great aspect of the film is Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier portrayed in a state that we’ve never seen him before.
Logan breaks your typical superhero genre by adding a bit of drama and western but also incorporating the R rating exceptionally well. In Logan we see Wolverine slice up bad guys and it is brutal and beautiful and it’s why Logan is my top 4 movie of 2017.
3. Wind River
Wind River was a really nice surprise, having very little knowledge prior to watching it. Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, this movie is dark, cold but incredibly enthralling.
Jeremy Renner is great as this is possibly his best performance in a film since The Hurt Locker. Elizabeth Olsen is also great and both leads compliment each other really well. This movie sucked me in from start to finish and with a tense climax, this movie delivers and that’s why it’s top 3.
2. War for the Planet of the Apes
Seldom does a trilogy get better with each sequential release, however this reboot of the planet of the apes series did exactly that. We saw Ceasar grow from a baby ape to a fearless leader and what journey it has been.
Andy Serkis has been amazing with his motion capture giving us a strong consistent performance as Ceasar. Another impressive aspect of this film is the use of CG on the apes. They were as realistic as they could be and they’re incredible. Overall War for the Planet of the Apes closes of a story that’s well crafted and well thought of and that’s why it’s top 2 in my list.
Before revealing my number one movie of the year here are some movies which I also thoroughly enjoyed but didn’t make it to my list.
Lost City of Z
With no surprise to some Coco takes the top spot on my list. Seldom do I get emotionally taken in a movie and Coco managed to hit me emotionally from start to finish. It’s beautiful animation captures you visually but the story grabs you by the heart. Pixar has done it again releasing a movie that resonates to both kids and adults and a story that will definitely capture your heart.
There you go my top 10 movies of 2017, it has been an interesting year and with the upcoming releases of 2018, it’s safe to say that this year will be an exciting year for movies.
You’ll float too
It is the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s famous novel It. It’s directed by Andy Muschietti (Mama) and it stars Finn Wolfhard, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis and Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise.
In the small town of Derry, Maine a string of disappearances are plaguing the town. However when a group of kids detected a pattern they are determined to stop the cause behind it, a demon clown called Pennywise.
This movie was a lot of fun, one of the most surprising elements of the movie is the amount of comedy it had. One might think It will be a straight up horror movie but the amount of genre that this movie tackled was impressive, from comedy, drama, thriller and it can be considered an adventure film as well as a coming of age story and not to mention the horror side of it. It balances all these elements and it creates a meaty and and thoroughly enjoyable film.
Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise was great, his creepy and scary portrayal of Pennywise was very fitting and he’s terrifying. Though the loser club also deserves a praise as they were all great, with seven characters to juggle from the movie manages to give each character a moment.
However three actors stood out having performed great range of emotions. Sophia Lillis, the lone girl in the group was great, she represents a very mature side of the Losers Club while the comedic side was handled perfectly by Finn Wolfhard who plays Richie Tozier. On the other hand Jack Dylan Grazer who plays Eddie is the most sensible one and all these three actors were amazing.
There’s not a lot of bad things to say about this movie and if there are it’s very minor however one subtle flaw of the movie is it does every other element of it good, to which the horror part becomes underwhelming. The movie delivers plenty of jump-scares and terrifying imagery. But at a certain point of the movie, you stop being scared as you become invested in the story.
Overall It is a hIt, see what I did there, the surprising amount of humor in the film worked a little too well but it did help the movie’s pacing. The Losers Club was fun to watch the raunchy dialogue of the kids will have you laughing throughout the movie however Bill Skarsgard’s fantastic take on Pennywise will leave you terrified. Andy Muschietti is slowly cementing himself as one of the better horror movie director and with this being a huge success we will surely be hearing more about him.
It is a fun, scary and thoroughly enjoyable movie. It’s violent and humorous but it will also make you keep wanting more.
Shall we begin?
Death Note is based of the 2006 anime hit with the same title. It involves a high school kid, Light, who picks up a death note, where whoever’s name is written will die.
Starting with the positives, one of the coolest aspects of the movie is Ryuk, the death god, voiced by Willem Dafoe. Though we don’t see very much of him, Ryuk is one of the characters they got right. His enigmatic yet humorous take on the events around him makes us like the character and with Willem Dafoe’s voice acting, it’s fun whenever we see him on screen.
Another fun thing about the movie are the deaths themselves. If you’re someone who enjoyed the final destination series. The deaths and gore are very reminiscent of that. Some of the death scenes deliver impressive imagery but brutal at the same time.
Unfortunately the movie is filled with flaws and incredibly dumb character decisions. Light, played by Nat Wolff is one of the most inconsistent characters in the movie. Being built up as one of the smartest characters in the movie, he’s easily swayed by his emotions allowing him to create decisions that makes you rip your hair out.
Another problem is Lakeith Stanfield as L, even with a physical death god in view, the movie manages to stay grounded. L on the other hand felt like he’s a part of a completely different movie. His over the top mannerisms are not only distracting but it makes hard for the audience to believe that he’s working with the FBI or the CIA. Lakeith himself is a good actor however the over the top writing of his character didn’t do him any favors.
Lastly Mia Sutton, played by Margaret Qualley, is one of the most unnecessary characters they have in this movie. Her overreaction to the events around her makes her character unbearable. Not to mention she has moments that make you scoff and roll your eyes.
Overall this version of Death Note isn’t very good, though it has some great moments our three leads were poorly written and even the story in itself is isn’t good. The movie felt like there were plenty of conflicting ideas and decisions that went in it and it shows. It’s incoherent script dragged this movie down and with very little saving grace, the fans of the hit anime will surely be disappointed.
The thing about war is… it only works if both sides believe they’re the good guys
The Defenders is the highly anticipated own superhero team up, featuring The Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
There are plenty to like about The Defenders, from the fight choreography to the cinematography this show offers plenty of action packed sequences that without a doubt entertain you.
One cool thing that’s very noticeable is how each character have their own hue in their scenes. With Daredevil having a red, Jessica Jones with purple/blue, Iron Fist with green and Luke Cage with yellow/orange. It’s a nice little touch that stood out and gave the characters a unique vibe.
Another impressive aspect of the show are some of the villains, Madam Gao, Murakami, Sowande and to some extent Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra. The characters themselves are interesting, and though not very threatening to our heroes they have a certain charisma to them that helps the flow of the story.
Unfortunately the show can’t be saved by flashy fight scenes alone as the story itself isn’t as great. The dialogue isn’t impressive either and at times it can be downright corny. You can tell the show doesn’t have a big budget and unfortunately it lowers the show’s overall quality.
Another issue are the side characters, apart from Rosario Dawson’s character, the side characters from each show aren’t given a lot to do and it’s quite disappointing.
Overall The Defenders isn’t perfect it’s not as great as some of the stand alone series but it does deliver in the team up side of things. The fight choreography is great and the cinematography compliments this very well. The interactions between our heroes are fun to watch and though it’s not the same as when we saw the Avengers for the first time, but to see them interact with each other is entertaining.
The Villain, The Hand, isn’t very threatening but it did give us cool characters to look out for. Overall The Defenders delivers an entertaining show, filled with flaws but also filled with great superhero action.
Apes Together Strong!
War for the Planet of the Apes is the third movie of the Apes series. It’s directed by Matt Reeves and it stars Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller and Andy Serkis as Ceasar.
After the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Ceasar and his people are trying to live a peaceful life in the woods. Unfortunately for Ceasar, a tyrant with a battalion of soldiers is hell bent on eliminating Ceasar and his kind.
One of the strongest points of War for the Planet of The Apes is it delivered some of the most convincing CG effects this year, the Apes looked incredible. The emotions and expressions showed by the apes are convincing and it empowers the movie tenfold.
Andy Serkis is also to be given credit, once again delivering a powerful performance as Ceasar. Having followed Ceasar’s story from the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. You can’t feel anything but admiration to his character.
A surprise hit in the movie is Bad Ape. With the dark gloomy tone of the movie, Bad Ape played by Steve Zahn, delivers some much needed humor which in return alleviates some of the serious tone of the film. The character itself is tragic but Steve Zahn managed to make it lovable.
War of the Planet of the Apes will not be an easy watch for some, it has a running time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. There are some scenes that drag and though the scenes themselves are good you can’t help but feel the movie’s length.
Overall War for the Planet of the Apes delivers a blockbuster with strong characters and more importantly a blockbuster with a deep story. Andy Serkis as Ceasar deserves a recognition for his motion capture performance. Woody Harrelson is also great and gives a strong argument as to why he wants to eradicate the apes and all of it makes a compelling conflict of interest.
War for the Planet is easily one of the better movies that came up this blockbuster season and if you’re someone who’s followed Ceasar’s story from the beginning you will have a deep appreciation for this movie. War for the Planet of the Apes is highly recommended.
Can’t you just be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man?
Spider-Man: Homecoming is the 16th feature movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car) and it stars Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May.
Spider-Man: Homecoming tells the story of Peter Parker after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Recently given a new suit by Tony Stark, Peter tries to balance his life by juggling being a high-school kid by day and superhero by night. Hoping to impress Tony Stark and to officially become an Avenger.
This is the 6th big budget Spider-Man movie that we’ve seen on screen and it is safe to say that they got Peter Parker AND Spider-Man right this time. Tom Holland as Peter Parker was great. He captures the witty & clever banter that Spider Man possess and for once we get a Peter Parker who’s excited to be Spider-Man.
One of the things that impressed me is how they got the minor details right. Often times we’d wonder what happens to Peter’s belongings when he webs them in an alley and go about his day as Spider-Man or what if he’s in an area without tall buildings to swing on, they answered most of that.
More great things about this is there are no badly written characters. Peter’s friends felt like real kids in a real high school. Especially being set in New York his group of friends are multicultural, and they tease each other like most circle of friends do.
Surprisingly the villain, played by Michael Keaton, doesn’t fall into the villain problem that most of these types of movies have. His villainous nature has a very human motivation in which he’s just trying to provide for his family.
Though the movie is fun through out the whole movie, the only thing that’s a complaint is how the CG looked at the very beginning. At certain times we can tell that the Spider-Man is CG and not a guy in a suit. Though very minor, it can be distracting.
Overall Spider-Man: Homecoming is easily one of the best super-hero movies this year, it is perfect as a Spider-Man movie and it’s the best we’ve seen the character on the big screen. Tom Holland is a joy to watch, he captures the excitement of what’s like being Spider-Man and his excitement is infectious.
This movie is incredibly funny, the action sequences are great and your supporting characters are also great. There are tons of easter eggs through out the movie and not to mention a running gag that’s easy to miss but still cleverly put. As a movie in general, it’s not perfect but it is perfect as a Spider-Man movie. Make sure to stay after the credits as this has one of the best post credit scenes ever.
only love can truly save the world.
Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins, it stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright.
Wonder Woman is the fourth movie in DC’s movie universe and it deals with Diana Prince’s ventures into WWI as she discovers the world of men for the first time and deals with other imposing threats.
Glad to say DC has finally got one right. Not only does Wonder Woman break DC’s disappointing movie streak but it does it strongly. Wonder Woman offered a much needed rejuvenation from the dark moody environment that Zack Snyder has set up for the DC Universe.
One of the highlights of this movie is your lead, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was great. She pours in a much needed emotion into the role and through her actions Wonder Woman proves herself to be a superhero with compassion and willingness to help.
Chris Pine is also great and even with this being a superhero movie, both leads delivered great acting with plenty of dimensions to their characters which made it easy for the audience to relate.
The movie delivered some jaw dropping and incredibly heroic action sequences but likewise offering some subtle and genuine humor to the movie. There’s even a small romantic element between the two leads and it was played cleverly.
The movie is not perfect and like most superhero movies, Wonder Woman, is not exempt from having a villain problem. With one dimensional villains who are evil just because they’re evil and ridiculously cartoonish, it dragged the movie down a bit.
Another issue is the amount of slow motion used, plenty of the slow motion sequences felt unnecessary and it just made the movie a lot longer than it needed to be.
The biggest issue however is the climax, which doesn’t feel like it was a part of the movie at all. From going to grounded and compelling story ending with a saturated lightshow, the climax felt random.
Overall DC finally got something right with Wonder Woman. It’s a great superhero and it empowers females without beating you over the head with it’s message. The action sequences were amazing and the chemistry between Chris Pine and Gal Gadot was great. Even with stock villains and a ridiculous climax, Wonder Woman is still a great superhero movie and it’s definitely worth checking out in the big screen.
2016 been a phenomenal year for movies and with the Oscars right around the corner it’s for me to list out my predictions for the prestigious awards ceremony.
It’s still a mystery why the Oscars couldn’t just nominate 10 movies instead of 9 as there are more movies that are at least worth the nomination. However the list of nominees are still deserving of their nomination.
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester By The Sea
Moonlight is universally loved by everyone including critics and casual movie goers and upon winning the Golden Globe, it is currently the strongest contender to win the Oscar.
Actor in a Leading Role
Casey Affleck: Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield: Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling: La La Land
Viggo Mortensen: Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington: Fences
Prediction: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
With Denzel having won already 2 Oscars, it’s highly unlikely that they will give this to him. As for Andrew Garfield this is his first nomination and as much as I’d like him to win on his first nomination, I don’t think his role in Hacksaw Ridge is worthy for the award. It boils down to Viggo Mortensen, Casey Affleck and Ryan Gosling. And having seen Manchester by the Sea, it’s only right that Casey Affleck wins this award.
Winner: Casey Affleck
Actress in a Leading Role
Isabelle Huppert: Elle
Ruth Negga: Loving
Natalie Portman: Jackie
Emma Stone: La La Land
Meryl Streep: Florence Foster Jenkins
Prediction: Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Another great list of nominations though Amy Adams not getting a nomination from either Arrival or Nocturnal Animal is surprising. Meryl Streep getting another nomination every time she makes a film is starting to be Oscar meta. Happy with Isabelle Huppert getting a nomination for Elle but it boils down to Emma Stone and Natalie Portman and as for Ruth Negga, it’s her first nomination so it’s unlikely she’ll win.
Winner: Emma Stone
Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali: Moonlight
Jeff Bridges: Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges: Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel: Lion
Michael Shannon: Nocturnal Animals
Prediction: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
In quite possibly the toughest category they have this year, best actor in a supporting role is stacked with great performances. Quite disappointed that Aaron Taylor Johnson didn’t get a nomination for his role in Nocturnal Animals but the same can we said with other actors. As for the winner, Mahershala Ali got this Oscar in the bag.
Winner: Mahershala Ali
Actress in a Supporting Role
Viola Davis: Fences
Naomi Harris: Moonlight
Nicole Kidman: Lion
Octavia Spencer: Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams: Manchester by the Sea
Prediction: Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Another great list of nominees for this category, being really impressed with Naomi Harris’ in her performance in Moonlight, I’m rooting for her to win, however with Michelle Williams gaining her fourth nomination, it might be between the two.
Winner: Viola Davis
Animated Feature Film
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Though quite disappointed that Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name isn’t nominated this is also good list, very happy with Kubo being nominated but Zootopia has this Oscar in the bag.
La La Land
Prediction: La La Land
Very happy with the nominations on this category as all films nominated are spectacular when it comes to the cinematography. However La La Land is one of the beautifully shot film of the year and therefore I have no doubt that it will win the Oscar for best cinematography.
Winner: La La Land
Dennis Villenueve: Arrival
Mel Gibson: Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle: La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan: Manchester By The Sea
Barry Jenkins: Moonlight
Prediction: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
This is a no-brainer, with the increased popularity of La La Land, and the incredible feat that Damien Chazelle pulled with La La Land. It would be surprising if he doesn’t win the Oscar.
Winner: Damien Chazelle
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women
Prediction:La La Land
Winner: Manchester by the Sea
And there you go, my prediction for this year’s Oscars, overall the nominations were great, with La La Land being nominated for 14 Oscars, it would be interesting to see which categories will it win. There are plenty of first time nominations, from Andrew Garfield, Dev Patel, Naomi Harris and Mahershala Ali. By the looks of it the Academy managed to suppress the controversy that surrounded them last year. That said, the Oscars should still be a fun watch, not a fan of Kimmel hosting but hey at least we got a great set of nominations.
The price for your glory is their suffering!
Silence is directed by Martin Scorsese it stars Andrew Garfiled, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson.
Silence tells the story of two Jesuit priests who travels to Japan to find their mentor, Liam Neeson. Unfortunately at a time where Christianity is frowned upon, the priests have to tread lightly in the country in order not to be caught by the inquisitor.
This movie is gorgeous, from the set location to the muted colours and costume design, the movie looks incredible, with a forty million budget the movie looks like it was filmed with at least a hundred million.
The performances are also great with very little flaw on the acting. Issei Ogata, steals the show as the inquisitor who was phenomenal in his role. Though credit is also given to both Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver who also gave great performances.
The story is the main driving point of the film with Scorsese directing, we know we’re gonna get something epic and that’s exactly what we have here. It’s an incredibly gloomy and depressing at times with very little respite from the heavy mood that the film is resonating. However the conflicting ideas is what keeps this movie interesting, the stubbornness of one man led by his fate versus a man who recognizes a move bent on colonialism. It makes a very interesting clash of wills.
The movie however has some flaws, one being it’s two hours and forty minute long. The long silent moments in the first act drags this movie out tremendously.
Another issue is the consistencies with it’s characters, mainly Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield who are meant to be Portuguese priest yet their accents disappears half way through the movie.
Overall Silence is a harrowing film about faith, colonialism and one person’s vanity. The movie is beautiful to look at and the cinematography is incredible, you wouldn’t expect nothing less with Martin Scorsese and with Silence he delivers.
Our main characters were also great especially with Andrew Garfield who’s giving it his all. The Japanese characters were given plenty of depth and aren’t treated as background characters but rather factors that plays into the story’s plot. Silence is a memorable movie, with strong performances and a story worth watching.
2016 have gone and passed and though it’s been a hit and miss for big budget blockbuster movies, no doubt the year has given us some of the most memorable movies to date.
Counting down is my personal top 10 movies of the year, this list is purely subjective and it’s not an official list of any sort.
10. The Witch
Coming at number 10 is The Witch, this haunting movie gave me the creeps when I watched it. From the gloomy look to the sound design to the characters it’s a very creepy movie and it’s one that puts shivers down your spine.
Coming in at number 9 is the Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool. Boy am I glad that this film did great. From the jokes to the characters this movie is incredibly funny and solidifies Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. It revitalized his career and without a doubt revitalized the property.
8. Kubo and The Two Strings
Number 8 is one I was really excited to watch and glad to say I really liked. Kubo and the Two Strings, the stop motion animation was jaw droppingly incredible. The voice acting was great as well as the mythology. Laika studios should be proud of this movie as it is one of the better animations to come out this year.
7. Star Wars: Rogue One
Number 7 is Rogue One A Star Wars Story, I appreciated this film with the tone it took. With darker tone and more serious characters this broke off from the original movies and gave it it’s own personality. The 3rd act of this movie was an intense edge of your seat moment and every Star Wars fan should check it out.
6. Dr. Strange
Number 6 is a superhero movie, Dr Strange. Much like Deadpool this is another origin story but an extremely effective one. The mind bending visuals gave me a unique viewing experience and not to mention that Benedict Cumberbatch depicted Dr Stephen Strange perfectly.
5. Nocturnal Animals
Nocturnal Animals comes in at number 5 and what a great movie this is. The story within a story format worked really well and it’s very tense. All four leads were great in their roles especially Aaron Taylor Johnson. This is an incredibly strong thriller and one that’s worth checking out.
4. The Wailing (Goksung)
Number 4 is a Korean horror movie, The Wailing. This movie is amazing, it’s got horror, drama and mix in a little bit of mystery and you got this gem. The mythology they used to craft such a gripping story is awesome. One of the better foreign movies this year and it’s definitely worth checking out.
3. La La Land
Number 3 is La La Land, directed by Damien Chazelle. La La Land is a musical that features Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. This movie is beautiful, from the music to the look to the dance numbers everything about this movie is near perfect. Definitely one of the best movies of the year.
2. Captain America: Civil War
Adapted from one of the most successful storylines in the comics, Civil War pits Captain America and Iron Man against each other as their different ideologies clash as well as their fists. This is a dream come true for fans who loved the Civil War series and to finally see it depicted in the big screen is incredible. The Russos did a masterful job in adapting the storyline and it makes me want to look forward to their next project.
1. Your Name (Kimi no na wa)
Coming in at number 1 and my personal favourite movie of the year is Your Name. Makoto Shinkai has done it again with his gut wrenching romance and story telling. The animation on this film is gorgeous, the music accompanies the film very well and our two leads are great. The body swapping story worked really well and was executed perfectly.
So there you go my top 10 films of 2016. There are other great movies that came out this year. Movies such as Arrival, Green Room, Zootopia, Moana and the list goes on but these 10 movies are my personal favourites. Let me know if you agree with me tell what are yours in the comment section below. Thank You for taking the time to read this and until next time!!
How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future.
La La Land is a musical and the second film by Damien Chazelle it stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.
Emma Stone plays Mia a struggling actress in Hollywood and Ryan Gosling plays Sebastian a struggling pianist in Hollywood. They fall in love in the most romantic and gorgeous way.
Let me start off by saying that this movie is amazing, from the music to the dance sequences to the cinematography to the overall look. Damien Chazelle has outdone himself in an incredible way.
Both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were great and you can feel the chemistry between them. They are comfortable with each other from their duets to their dance sequences it worked really well on screen and both should be given credit with their performance.
The dance sequences are also amazing as they appear to be filmed in one take, soaking you in as a viewer and keeps your eyes glued to the screen, Damien Chazelle did an incredible job filming the dance numbers and deserves a major award nomination at the very least.
The film’s overall look is gorgeous, you can tell this is a love letter to the older musicals in the 60s. The colours are usually primary colours with deep saturation which makes it pop in the screen which makes every scene look like a painting. The film’s music is also a huge plus as we can tell that Damien Chazelle has a deep love for Jazz. Each song is memorable and lovely to listen to, it does make you appreciate the genre a bit more.
La La Land is easily one of the best movies of 2016 and for people who loves musicals, jazz and loves to dance this is for them. From the romance to the music to it’s characters, this movie rejuvenates the lost love for musicals. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were great and though you can tell they’re not singers, you can tell they had fun with this movie and it resonates to the audiences. La La Land is highly recommended for everyone.
With 2016 nearing it’s end, one could say that this year has been phenomenal with movies. Disney in particular has had a huge success with it’s properties. From the release of Finding Dora, Zootopia, The Jungle Book and Moana not to mention the huge success of the the Marvel movies and recently Star Wars Rogue One. It’s safe to assume that Disney dominated this year’s box office.
2017 in the other hand is looking promising with it’s releases. With possible box office draws like Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2, Kong: Skull Island not to mention intriguing releases such as the remake for Stephen King’s It, a Blade Runner sequel as well as the movie adaptation of The Dark Tower. Nonetheless 2017 should be a great year for cinema and cinema goers alike.
But without further ado, here is my top 10 list for movies I personally can’t wait to watch.
10. Thor: Ragnarok
Though a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Thor franchise hasn’t quite had the success of Iron Man and Captain America. However with the movie’s third installment, interest are peaked as this time he’s being joined by not one but two major MCU characters in the form of Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Strange.
However what really intrigued me about this movie is it’s director Taika Waititi. Taika is a film director from New Zealand and being from New Zealand myself I’m rooting for this movie to be exceptional. With a very satirical form of film making it will be interesting to see what he does with the property.
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
Cate Blanchett (Carol)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange)
Directed By: Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
Release Date: 3 November 2017
Everyone is familiar with the 1990s mini-series with the same title as well as the popular book. Well It is now being remade into a full-length movie and I for one am pretty excited for It. Having seen the mini-series I’m intrigued on how It will transition to a full-length film.
The mini-series of course was in two parts and it fleshed out the characters and really gave that epic feel to it. This movie will be directed by Andres Muschietti who did Mama which is another horror movie nonetheless we can only hope this movie will be something worth remembering in the future.
Bill Skarsgard (Allegiant)
Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things)
Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special)
Directed By: Andrés Muschietti (Mama)
Release Date: 8 September 2017
8. Justice League
Despite the disappointing turn out of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, what that movie did is sort of cement the foundations of the DC Cinematic Universe. Zack Snyder is directing again and a part of me is hoping that he has learned his lesson and actually give this a decent story and be a competent movie overall.
I have a feeling it won’t be as strong as the first avenger movie but I am rooting for it not to be a complete disaster. I am looking forward to this movie just for curiosity’s sake but if anything can redeem the the current state of the DC Cinematic Universe it would be Justice League.
Ben Affleck (Live By Night)
Ezra Miller (Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them)
Gal Gadot (Batman V Superman)
Directed By: Zack Snyder (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Release Date: 17 November 2017
Christoper Nolan’s next film following Interstellar is Dunkirk. Dunkirk is a WW2 movie and despite moving from the usual Science Fiction that Christopher Nolan usually does. It’ll be interesting to see what he does in a big budget war movie.
As usual expectations will be high coming in to this movie and I have no doubts that Dunkirk will give it’s audience a great cinematic experience.
Tom Hardy (The Revenant)
Cillian Murphy (Anthropoid)
Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
Directed By: Christopher Nolan (Interstellar)
Release Date: 21 July 2017
Coming from his amazing directorial debut Alex Garland’s new project is Annihilation. Based on the first book of The Southern Reach Trilogy Annihilation tells the story of four women who venture into a place where the laws of nature don’t apply. I’ve read the book this film is being based off on and I wasn’t too thrilled about it. However with Alex Garland adapting the screenplay I can’t wait to see what he does with this adaptation.
Alex Garland did an incredible job with Ex Machina, which I think was the best movie of 2015 and to see him tackle another Sci-Fi project is exciting. I’m looking forward to this movie and I am sure it will be just as good if not better than Ex Machina.
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
Oscar Isaacs (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Directed By: Alex Garland (Ex Machina)
Release Date: 2017
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
The third comicbook movie on this list is of course Spider-Man. Ever since we’ve learned that Spider-Man will be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe a whole new wave of excitement swept over fans all over the world. We’ve already seen him in Captain America: Civil War and everyone loved him.
Now that we know he’s going to have his own solo franchise under the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). This gives the property a much needed boost as now we know he can interact with the other heroes within the MCU. I personally can’t wait to see this movie and once again I’m sure it will be a great comicbook movie.
Tom Holland (Captain America: Civil War)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Robert Downey Jr (Captain America: Civil War)
Directed By: Jon Watts (Cop Car)
Release Date: 7 July 2017
4. Star Wars: Episode VIII
With the revitalized success that the Star Wars is getting we can only assume this well oiled machine will keep going. Following The Force Awakens is Episode VIII and it continues the story of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and the new character from episode VII.
I can only hope this won’t make the same mistake as The Force Awakens did which is being a carbon copy of A New Hope. But rather give the audience something new and exciting.
Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Adam Driver (Silence)
John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Directed By: Rian Johnson (Looper)
Release Date: 15 December 2017
3. The Dark Tower
Number 3 is a book adaptation and it is one a lot of people have been waiting for. This is of course the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. A lot of people have been wanting to see Roland Deschain’s story in the big screen and I’m personally very much excited about this project.
Idris Elba will be playing the main character and Matthew McConaughey will be playing the Man in Black and with those two attached to this project it gives that star power that can push this as a huge blockbuster movie.
Idris Elba (Star Trek: Beyond)
Matthew McConaughey (Gold)
Katheryn Winnick (Vikings)
Directed By: Nikolaj Arcel
Release Date: 28 July 2017
2. Beauty and the Beast
Growing up in the 90s I was a huge fan of the Disney Renaissance. With Disney having a successful track record of transforming it’s animated properties into live action. I can assume that Disney will do this property right and give it a great live action adaptation.
With an all star cast and two strong leads in the form of Emma Watson and Luke Evans. I can guarantee Beauty and the Beast will be a terrific movie, one that fans of the original can enjoy.
Emma Watson (Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Luke Evans (The Girl on the Train)
Dan Stevens (Night at Museum 3)
Directed By: Bill Condon(Mr. Holmes)
Release Date: 17 March 2017
Finally my most anticipated film is Logan. With Fox taking the same approach they did with Deadpool, making this movie Rated-R. There’s no better way to send off Hugh Jackman with his final role as Wolverine with Logan. With 16 Years in his belt as Wolverine, Hugh Jackman has expressed his interest to move away from the property.
Though as disheartening as it is to hear this, it is completely understandable and with his final role as Wolverine, no doubt Logan will be an emotional and satisfying send off. I personally can’t wait to see this movie and I’m sure it will be all sorts of amazing.
Hugh Jackman (Eddie the Eagle)
Patrick Stewart (Green Room)
Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies)
Directed By: James Mangold (The Wolverine)
Release Date: 3 March 2017
So there you go my top 10 most anticipated movies of 2016. Again this is just movies that I’m looking forward to. There are a lot of movies to look forward to in 2017. From Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2 to the next Fast and Furious movie as well as another Transformers movie and Kong: Skull Island. 2017 will be another great year for movies. These 10 are the one I’m looking forward to the most but feel free to comment what are yours. Merry Christmas and have a nice day.
We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). It stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Forest Whitaker and more.
Rogue One is a straight Prequel to Star Wars: A New Hope which tells the story of a group of rebels who attempts to steal the plans for The Death Star.
With the huge success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Rogue One has huge footsteps to follow. Glad to say, Rogue One, not only managed to fill those footsteps but it also brought a refreshing way of story telling within the Star Wars movie universe.
With a much serious tone and a grittier look, Rogue One emphasizes on the ‘Wars’ in Star Wars. For this movie however, the dark and serious tone worked wonders. Your major characters are taken more seriously and whenever they are in peril you feel for them. Strip away the blasters, storm-troppers and the spaceships. This is a war movie to it’s core. People are afraid, desperate and anxious and this movie captures that perfectly. You see the empire as an intimidating and terrifying force (pun intended).
The movie has a great diverse international cast ranging from Riz Ahmed to Donnie Yen and Diego Luna all of which are good in the film. One character that stood out is K2-SO, voiced by Alan Tudyk. Unlike the C3POs, BB8s and R2D2s, K2-SO gave a whole new meaning to the sidekick robot, with a very nonchalant personality. This provides a much needed humour to alleviate the serious tone of the movie giving it a decent balance of the two.
Although the movie can be praised for having a diverse cast, unfortunately there’s not a lot of depth within the supporting characters. Apart from Felicity Jones and Diego Luna, most of your side characters are one-dimensional. The lack of camaraderie from the ragtag group of characters can be felt and you feel that there is no strong connection among them.
Another complaint is Forest Whitaker’s character, though as great of an actor as he is, he didn’t do too well in this movie and played a character in an over the top manner, from his accent to hi appearance, his character did not mesh well to the more down to earth characters in the movie.
Overall Star Wars: Rogue One is a great refreshing take on a Star Wars story. The serious and dark tone of the movie worked incredibly well and the characters are great. Though there are scenes filled with expositions and character speeches, each act had their own moments. Especially the third act of the movie which is extremely exciting as well as must see Darth Vader scene. Rogue One is easily one of the better Star Wars movies and it’s highly recommended.
There’s strange things going on all over the city. People behind this are not like you and me. There’s a hidden society, it goes back centuries.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a Harry Potter spin off. Directed by David Yates, starring Eddie Redmayne, Collin Farrell, Katherine Waterson and Dan Fogler.
Newt Scamander enters the city of New York with a briefcase filled with magical creatures, but when several creatures got loose, they are blamed for the attacks on the nomag (muggles). On the run from New York’s secret society of witch and wizardry, Newt is on the quest to prove his creatures’ innocence and to discover the sinister truth behind the attacks.
One of the highlights of this movie are it’s beasts and they are indeed fantastic. The creatures are fun to watch whenever they’re in the screen and for majority of the creatures they look great.
One character stood out from the cast and that is Dan Fogler, the nomag. He provides most of the humour which this movie definitely needed.
Unfortunately the movie suffers from a lot of problems as the expectations from the previous Harry Potter movies aren’t met in this spin-off. One major flaw of this film is it’s tone. The film struggles to decide whether it wants to be lighthearted or dark as the the movie switches scenes from one tone to another without warning.
Another flaw are it’s characters, apart from Kowalski (Dan Fogler) the rest of the characters are dull. Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) lacks the charm to make us root for his character and it doesn’t help that he portrayed the character with an odd mannerism that’s difficult to relate to. Ezra Miller felt wasted as he is reduced to a one dimensional role that difficult to care about.
Overall Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them doesn’t quite hit the magical stride that the Harry Potter movies had. The bipolar tone affected this movie in a negative way and it didn’t help that it’s main character is boring.
Though the creatures themselves are fascinating, it is not enough to enjoy the movie to it’s fullest. In a movie that’s meant to be about the beasts, the movie’s convoluted plot derailed the little enjoyments that the beasts brought to the screen.
The film has numerous easter eggs that refers to the previous movies and fans of the series will definitely identify them with glee, however for the casual audience this feels like your run of the mill blockbuster movie that’s all flash and no substance.
If you could see your whole life laid out in front of you, would you change things?
Arrival is directed by Denis Villeneuve, it stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.
Aliens have landed all over Earth and world renowned linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is called in to communicate with the aliens. But when paranoia settles in with the majority of the world’s population and leaders, Louise races against time to translate the alien’s language and discover their purpose on Earth before it’s too late.
Seeing as this movie is directed by Denis Villeneuve the cinematography easily stands out. The way this movie was filmed is incredible as the slow and methodical pace enthralls you from the get go. There are scenes which are breathtakingly tense and they are effective in building up suspense.
Amy Adams is also incredible in her role, from the way she is first introduced to the final moments of the movie, she was consistently great. The movie’s story telling complimented her acting well as the procedural start of the film puts us in her shoes and makes us relate to her early on. The supporting casts are also great, both Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner did a great job portraying their roles.
The pacing of the movie is quite slow, especially around the first act and this can take you out of the movie at least for the first fifteen minutes.
Overall Arrival is an incredibly well made film, from the cinematography to the acting to the story. The execution is perfect, the slow methodical pacing grabs you from the start and it fuels your curiosity to keep on watching. The movie is informative in certain ways as it’s expositions are interesting. To it’s core the movie is a study on human nature but it is structured to be not so overwhelming.
If you’re looking for a big budget sci-fi film with explosions this won’t be for you. However if you don’t mind a slow movie and one that makes you think, Arrival is highly recommended.
Stephen Strange, might I offer you some advice? Forget everything that you think you know.
Doctor Strange is the 13th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is directed by Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister) and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton.
Doctor Stephen Strange a brilliant yet arrogant neurosurgeon has everything a man could ever dream of. However after one horrific car accident he loses stability in his hands and desperate to work again he searched everywhere for a cure. His search led him to Kathmandu where he learned the ways of the Mystic Arts.
One of the major aspect that this movie promised are the visuals and boy did it deliver. This is one of the most visually impressive film this year and it’s safe to say the visuals are spellbinding (no pun intended… of course it was pun intended). Though we’ve seen similar effects in Inception. Doctor Strange did it in a grander scale and it’s fascinating, you never get tired of it and it keeps getting better as it went along. It’s a MC Esher painting brought to life.
Another great aspect of the film is Benedict Cumberbatch himself. Marvel has found their Doctor Strange and Benedict is Doctor Strange as much as Robert Downey Jr is Iron Man. It was perfect casting in Marvel’s part and Benedict delivered. The movie is surprisingly humorous, it knows that it’s a comic-book movie and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Unfortunately like most Marvel villains, the villain in this movie is as dull as the others. Mads Mikkelsen, as terrific as he is felt wasted in his role, having very little presence in the film. Another wasted actor is Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo. His one dimensional take on the character dragged this movie down a bit. He played the role a bit too serious with very little relatability, unfortunately didn’t work too well on the screen.
Overall Doctor Strange is a solid addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It truly is one of their unique properties the mind-bending visuals and a strong lead complimented the movie really well. The action-sequences were incredibly fun to watch but in the end it’s still an origin story and it follows the same beats of previous origin stories in the MCU. Nonetheless Doctor Strange is definitely worth checking out especially in 3D IMAX.
You know why everyone wants to be the king? Cause of the crown.
With the success of Daredevil and Jessica Jones on the Netflix platform, Marvel continues the momentum with Luke Cage. Delivering yet another exciting series that helps set-up Marvel’s Defenders on Netflix.
Following the events of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage (Mike Colter), seeks solace in Harlem, working for Pop’s Barbershop. With Wilson Fisk out of the picture, there’s a struggle for power within the city’s underworld. Caught in the middle is our titular character Luke Cage, who will stop at nothing to save his city.
Luke Cage started it’s season incredibly strong (no pun intended). Though we’ve seen him before in Jessica Jones, this time around, we are given more about his character, from his past to his present psyche and how he’s coping with his abilities. Mike Colter as Luke Cage is perfect as he delivers a performance which has the perfect combination of strength, smarts and charisma.
The supporting casts also take credit as far as the first-half of the series is concerned. Everyone has been impressive especially Mahershala Ali, who played Cornell Stokes or Cottonmouth. He played the character with believable bravado and to the series’ credit, it works. Alfre Woodard is also great as Mariah Dillard as she portrays a councilwoman who wants to make the city a better place, however with ties to the city’s underbelly, struggles to do so legally.
Another excellent aspect of the show is the music, Luke Cage is magnificently scored as it’s able to pull you back to the old 70s blaxploitation movies while being able to mix with present time music. It’s a balance that’s handled really well and compliments the show’s overall theme.
Unfortunately Luke Cage, stumbles on it’s second half as new characters are introduced and the series goes full superhero mode and loses the subtlety that grasped you on the beginning. The new villains are over the top with their presence and line delivery and it derails the show completely.
Overall Luke Cage is still a fun show to watch, it’s got a good mixture of a superhero genre and drama and at times it is charming. The use of blaxploitation theme is well handled having just enough to engage it’s audience without pandering too much. Majority of the characters in Luke Cage are fascinating, the show does a great job juggling the different story arcs, even if some are more interesting than the others.
Unfortunately the villains in the latter parts of the series didn’t work as well as Cottonmouth did but it did give Luke Cage a worthy physical adversary. The show does address the issue of cops shooting unarmed black men though it does it without feeling forced, it was a theme that’s handled really well and should be given notice to. Highly recommended for binging on Netflix.
What we lost in the fire, we found in the ashes.
Reuniting the trio of Antoine Fuqua, Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke since Training Day, Magnificent Seven also features an ensemble cast including Chris Pratt and Vincent D’Onofrio.
Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960’s movie with the same title which is also a remake of a Japanese film called Seven Samurai. Magnificent Seven tells the story of seven individuals who band together to save a town from a heinous bandit with an army.
One of the most crucial aspect a western movie should have is the look and feel of it. Glad to say Antoine Fuqua manages to create a western film that delivers in terms of look and feel. The set design for this movie is impressive, the costume design is spot on and and this feels like an old western flick.
Accompanied by amazing cinematography this movie is great to look at, it moves well in terms of pacing, and when the climax hits, it’s a fun action packed shoot-out that will make you bob and weave as bullets fly through the screen.
One of the stand out characters in the film is Chris Pratt, he’s the one character you can enjoy as his overflowing charm and humour outshines the rest of the cast.
Apart from Chris Pratt, the movie suffers from the lack of character development. The rest of our cast are mostly one-note characters. Even Denzel Washington falls into a cliched role displaying very little range. Our main antagonist is the biggest culprit of them all as he is inherently evil for absolutely no reason. Although he manages to make the audience hate him, overall he’s a cliched character with nothing to offer than be a bad guy.
Though the movie manages to keep a fun vibe all through out, the moment of vulnerability for our main characters isn’t really there despite the shoot out that’s happening on the screen. Though we’re supposed to care for our heroes lives, they are portrayed in a very super-human way, having perfect aim and dodging every bullet, you never really fear for their lives.
Overall Magnificent Seven is still a fun film, though it is filled with flaws and problems, it manages to entertain all through out. In a year filled with superhero movies, Antoine Fuqua still manages to deliver an action-packed western that’s worth checking out.
Kimi no na wa (Your Name) is the latest movie from acclaimed director Makoto Shinkai.
Kimi no na wa tells the story of Taki and Mitsuha, both live miles apart from each other but were able through connect through their dreams and together form a bond that transcends through time.
This is easily the best looking anime movie this year, the artwork in this movie is gorgeous. The details are outstanding at its a pure joy to look at. Once again Makoto Shinkai has out done himself and delivered an artistically unforgettable movie.
Along with the beautiful artwork the story is also incredible, though what starts as a cliched love story becomes something so much more around the movie’s second act. Accompanied by sci-fi and fantasy elements the story enthralls from start to finish. The characters are charming and funny, and though the movie is very strong with its romantic presence, the comedic parts also hit.
As mentioned the movie is very cliched in terms of its romantic aspects, also like similar to other Makoto Shinkai movies it starts quite slow, however if you’re a fan, it’s an issue not worth thinking of.
If you’re familiar with Makoto Shinkai’s work, you know what you’re getting into. That said, Kimi no na wa is without a doubt one of the best movies of the year, from the captivating romantic story to the hard hitting drama, this will no doubt pull the heartstrings of many. The movie is lovely to look at, the characters are great and the fantasy / sci-fi aspect of it is fascinating. This movie is a masterpiece and without a doubt the best anime movie of the year.
This job… we try to save as many people as we can. Sometimes that doesn’t mean everybody, but you don’t give up.
When Marvel’s Civil War came out in 2007 it easily became one of the most unforgettable story arcs involving almost all of the Marvel superheroes. On one side we have Captain America, Steve Rogers leading the anti-registration on the other we have Iron Man, Tony Stark leading the pro-registration. 9 years later Marvel, Kevin Feige and The Russo Brothers (Joe and Anthony) have adapted the story-line as a follow up to Captain America: Winter Soldier as well as Avengers: Age of Ultron. Did The Russo Brothers did a great job adapting the crossover event?
Following the events of Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, The Avengers faces a different dilemma as they are being asked by the United Nation to sign The Sokovia Accords, which would remove their status as a private organization but rather work under The United Nations. This of course brought conflict to the Avengers as Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) believes that the safest hands are still their own though Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) believes that they need to be controlled.
This is possibly Marvel’s best Movie yet, it has everything from drama, action and comedy. For a superhero movie it is near perfect. The characters are great and for a huge ensemble cast The Russos did a great job juggling these characters and giving them enough screen time to standout but not too much to lose focus on the movie.
From Chadwick Boseman as The Black Panther to Tom Holland as Spider-Man both new additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe were not only introduced well but they were also given enough time to stand out from the other superheroes and both actors were incredible. Though the movie was already packed with actors and actresses the addition of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang or Ant-Man also compliments the current cast and he was used extremely well delivering very funny lines and creative action sequences.
All characters were nothing short of amazing, everyone had great moments, great dialogues and as colorful and super as they are, the directors did a great job humanizing these characters and they did it in a way that it adds a great amount of realism to their story.
Apart from the great characters, the action sequences are also spectacular. The fight choreography is clean as it is hard hitting. The Russo brother’s did not miss a beat directing their action sequences. One scene that’s been getting quite the buzz is their so-called splash page event, which is a battle that happens in an empty airport. And this is where the movie kicks into full comic book territory as all the heroes go into full WWE battle royal mode as everyone fights everyone.
And kudos to the Russo Brothers as they shot this as clearly as possible, despite the chaos in the screen you can still see what is going on, you can see who’s fighting who and it is enjoyable as it is exciting. The airport battle scene is possibly the best action sequence in the history of superhero or comic book movies.
There’s very little to complain about the film, one of them is the villain. Though he’s motivation is compelling he was used mainly as a plot device in order to further the conflict and most of the time you forget that he’s in the movie.
Another issue is the movie is not fully independent as in order to completely understand the scope of events in the film, you might have to watch the previous Captain America movie as well as Avengers: Age Of Ultron. It’s not necessary but it does help clarify the events that the movie talks about.
As said before, this is possibly the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, easily one of the best movies to come out this year. The Russos did an exceptional job adapting the 2007 Marvel Comics story-line and though they didn’t follow through the source material, they did their best with what they have and they may have made a better version of said story-line.
The stakes are high and the consequences are severe, Captain America: Civil War pulls no punches as it delivers an emotionally stressful yet incredibly enjoyable film. In the end this is made by fans for the fans. As a movie on it’s own it’s still great but as a superhero movie it’s damn near perfect.
Sometimes, all you have to do is shift your perspective to see someone else’s truth.
Origin is the fifth book in Dan Brown’s series starring the Harvard professor, Robert Langdon. When futurist Edmond Kirsch gets assassinated during his groundbreaking presentation. It’s up to Robert Langdon and curator Ambra Vidal to disclose to the world Edmond’s discovery, the origins of life.
Origin has all the staple elements that makes a Dan Brown novel. A high stakes mystery, Robert Langdon’s female companion and a rogue assassin that’s after our heroes. Not to mention countless of commentary on art, architecture and several exotic locations. Though repetitive author Dan Brown still manages to keep it entertaining.
The book starts out strong setting up the premise of the story, the topic is intriguing and I found myself invested in the outcome. Like previous books starring Robert Langdon, this follows the same beats with our main character adding his commentary on everything around him. Sometimes it’s relevant to the plot however at times it feels tedious.
The novel touches on a lot of themes from religion to science to technology even to the ever growing topic of artificial intelligence. And though far fetched, there’s a level of plausibility on the concepts and ideas presented.
The book drags a bit and there are plot points presented at the start that were completely forgotten as the book goes on. At times it’s predictable and at times it’s hard to care about some characters, right around the middle the story got convoluted and by the third act it becomes a muddled mess.
Overall Origin isn’t one of the better Dan Brown books but it still manages to be entertaining. The ideas presented are interesting and I found myself researching on the history behind it. If you’re a fan of these books, you might find to your liking but if you’re not it’s not recommended.
I just don’t want put anymore stress in my family
Hereditary is the feature length directorial debut of Ari Aster. It stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Gabriel Byrne and Milly Shapiro.
When the Graham family experiences a loss, the family struggles to express their grief, in the meantime weird things start happening around the house affecting all the rest of the family.
Hereditary is easily one of the best horror movie to have come out this year. It is tense, it’s creepy but it’s also well shot and brilliantly acted. Toni Collette gives a powerhouse performance alongside Alex Wolff and the rest of the cast are also great.
Though it doesn’t have a lot of jump-scares, it does deliver in terms of uneasiness. At times it’s uncomfortable and there’s a lingering feeling of dread throughout the movie as one bad thing leads to another.
Another great aspect of the movie is the cinematography, the movie uses creative shots and cuts to amplify the creepiness and once again it’s thoroughly effective.
Though majority of the movie works, the movie does have some flaws. When the third act kicks in, it becomes your typical horror movie having elements that you have seen before. In return, the movie becomes somewhat predictable and it can take you out of the movie.
Overall Hereditary though slow, it delivers the scares, the creeps and the uneasiness. The acting and the cinematography is the movie’s biggest strengths. The story sucks you in with vice like grip and puts you on the edge of your seat and at times you’ll feel helpless.
Unfortunately the movie doesn’t maintain this throughout as the third act becomes your run of the mill horror flick. It has surprises that you’ll never see coming and scenes that are undoubtedly unforgettable and with that it all leads to a great horror film. If you love psychological horror, Hereditary is highly recommended.
We’ll find him. Where ever he is, if he’s alive, we’ll find your dog.
Isle of Dogs is directed by Wes Anderson, it stars an ensemble cast featuring Koyu Rankin as Atari, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson and more.
When all the dogs from the city of Megasaki has been moved to a nearby island. A young boy, Atari, is determined to find his pet dog Spots at all cost.
Much like Wes Anderson’s previous stop-motion movie, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Isle of Dogs looks incredible. The voice acting of the cast is of typical Wes Anderson movie, speaking softly with very little emotions but it works very well. To it’s credit it gave the dogs personalities and makes them endearing.
Your five lead dogs are easily the best part of the movie, Bryan Cranston plays Chief, Edward Norton plays Rex, Bill Murray is Boss, Jeff Goldblum is Duke and Bob Balaban as King. Their interactions with each other and with Atari are great. There’s a lot of charm in their scenes and you can easily find yourself caring for these dogs.
Unfortunately the second half of the movie is not as strong as the first half. Where the first half is all about Atari, his interaction with the five dogs and their journey within the island. The second half becomes less adventurous and more political.
Greta Gerwig plays Tracy Walker who’s fighting for the dog’s and unfortunately she’s the weakest part of the movie, her arc comes of as uninteresting and dull. Sad to say she occupies certain parts of the second half of the movie and it drags the movie down a bit.
Overall Isle of Dogs is still a fun movie, it has all the elements that you get from a Wes Anderson film, the quirky take on the characters, the cinematography and the voice acting it’s all there. Depending on the viewer if you’re a Wes Anderson fan you’ll definitely love this. Though it’s still good it’s not as good as Fantastic Mr Fox but still very enjoyable.