Monday, July 20, 2015

Marvel's Ant-Man MOVIE REVIEW

So I just found out today that Ant-Man just topped this weekend's box office, but falls short on the estimates. I mean it's a good movie, but can you really blame people for not wanting to see a movie about a superhero named Ant-Man? Their loss though 'cause liked I said, it's a good movie.

The thing is that in every superhero movie, the titular character(s) should always own the show. Thankfully, the filmmakers found a way to make both Ant-Men, Scott Lang (present) and Hank Pym (past), pretty damn great characters to root for. It's nice to see the contrast between these two people and see them interact with one another.There's something these two that makes our extraordinary vision towards superheroes, human. 

Compared to Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Ant-Man is A LOT smaller in scale. But once the viewers are taken into the realms of our tiny superhero, the experience is other-worldly. Often times seeing movies like these in 3D felt unnecessary, but this time seeing it in 3D really adds-up to the experience. 

I also LOVE the way this movie ties into the rest of the Marvel movies. It doesn't feel forced or redundant, it felt natural and flowed perfectly at the time it needed to be addressed and it's fun to see a couple of folks from the previous films show up here on Ant-Man.

It's very unusual for the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2 to end with an origin story and with that Ant-Man actually had a quite a bit few tropes that were acquired from the first Iron Man movie. I wouldn't go into details and I wouldn't say it's a bad thing because if it worked for Iron Man then it also worked for Ant-Man. 

I fear that the film will suffer the loss of its original writers Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the former being the original director. Good thing is that it didn't really deteriorate, but the changes somewhat held back the movie. It could have been more witty, some characters could have been written better, this could have been THE definitive action-comedy experience from Marvel, but it still a fine movie. 

There's still a lot of great things about this movie. The cast is spectacular, Paul Rudd (Scott Lang) and Michael Douglas (Hank Pym) are my two favorites. There's some good humor in it and the action/adventure sequences truly are immersive, considering the scope when you really think about it. I mean it's a guy who shrink to a size of an ant and pulls off a heist, to us it looks like tiny ants trying to get tiny bits of your food, but to him it's like Die-Hard meets Guardians Of The Galaxy, even though none of those movies were heist movies but you get the point. 

Like every other Marvel movies, Ant-Man is adventurous, action-packed, comedic at times and above all else, a full fledged fun experience. It may not be a perfect movie, but this film in particular shines above its peers because it tells us that sometimes you don't have to be bigger to be better. 


Enter the world of the Ant-Man (the Microverse)
The Ant-Men
Wright-ish influences
Great cast


Wright-less Wright film

Score: A-

Marvel's Ant-Man now showing in theaters.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Jurassic World MOVIE REVIEW

Before I start my review, let me share this little story I had. 

This was the first time I went to Universal Studios Singapore, Transformers and The Mummy had my heart pounding mad, but not one of them made me shiver in joy and feel the nostalgia as I enter The Lost World: Jurassic Park section. That scene in this film were the boy is running around in excitement throughout the park in the beginning of the film and with the classic John Williams' score playing, that was me in The Lost World section in Universal Studios and I had the same nostalgic feel watching that sequence. That's how BIG the Jurassic movies had influenced me.

Some of the critics says that scene was a bit anti-climatic, but I don't care, it worked on me like BIG TIME. 

Jurassic World seemed to have divided critics , but the movie undeniably reinvigorated the fans and moviegoers' interest to the franchise. I can babble all day how the movie felt short in some departments, but I'd rather discuss first why this movie's awesome in all the right places. 

Let's be honest, the real reason you go to see a Jurassic movie is to see dinosaurs. Dinosaurs in action, dinosaurs eat dinosaurs, dinosaurs eat people, vegie-dinosaurs or however Lex (the little girl from the first film) calls them. Here in Jurassic World, you get ALL of them. From the half of the second act all the way to third act is just non-stop dino/monster mayhem that just escalates as the film progresses. 

The human characters are split, but they all have something in common. They're all cartoon characters, some are good and some are.. eh. Good thing is they got excellent actors to portray such characters. Despite the cheesy dialogues, it looks like they were having fun so I guess it's cool. 

The CGI in this movie is spectacular. We live in an age were people and movie goers are used to seeing CGI, but this is the first time this year I'm hearing people cheering in awe or screaming in terror over a bunch of CG dinosaurs. Sure the film's too reliant on it you'll kinda miss the practical effects from the previous films, but there's still some of that here too. 

The film tried to tackle as many story plots as it could, some are excellent and some just felt flat. Sure most of them are tropes, but the good ones actually hits the mark and the not-so good ones just felt generic. 

The thing is, though, with all the crazy stuff happening, you just don't care if some of things in this movie ain't that good. You're too busy geeking out on all the callbacks from the previous film, you just don't care if some of the things happening in the film are absurd or even stupid. And that soundtrack..

Despite lacking in some places, Jurassic World is undeniably a true engaging summer blockbuster flick and dare I say it, THIS IS THE BEST JURASSIC PARK SEQUEL. Screw what the critics and the nay-sayers say, this movie made my inner 8 year-old self happy and that's good enough for me. Trust, you're going to have a LOT of fun with this movie. 

DINOSAURS!!! (Clever girls)
That Monster! (the Indominus-Rex)
Them CGI
Great actors
That soundtrack

Generic archetypes and tropes

I will give Jurassic World an unbiased score, but to me that score won't matter. Jurassic World is officially my favorite 2015 movie, so far. 

Score: B 

Jurassic World now showing in theaters everywhere.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Feels like forever since the last time I've done this. 

The past few months had quite a bunch of good movies to offer. but for this month, I took a week off for a full experience of rejuvenation, amusement and recreation. Basically what I'm trying to say is that I went on a vacation which limits me to only seeing two movies this month. This month I have decided to see the craziest and wildest this month has to offer; Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2.

Since I have seen both movies together at the same day and I didn't had the time to write separate reviews for each film, now would feel like the best time to unfairly compare this two movies and decide which one I liked the most. 

So going into the theaters, these are the two recommended must-see movies at my local theater. If you were a guy like me who wants to see stuff blow up, punches thrown solid and guts spilled over and you just saw these two trailers below:

If you were in my shoes, which movie you'd go see first? 

If you truly understand me, you know I went to see Fury Raod first, so let's talk about. 

At this point of time, remember that I have only seen the first Mad Max starring Mel Gibson. I was supposed to binge watch all three movies, but I didn't had the time. So hours before I go to the airport, I took this time as an opportunity to just dive in to the latest installment, leaving me slightly unprepared for the things I am about to see or feel and man... it felt great. 

The experience felt like director George Miller schooling the cast and crew of the recent Fast and Furious movies on how to make absurd, intense, electrifying without the exhausting too-much feel action set pieces. 

This film looks massive, the way that it is shot is just too glorious and too gorgeous you can see how big the scope of this thing is. The best part about it is that most of the action sequences used practical effects like the first three movies. Of course some parts were enhanced by CGI, but you'll just have that feeling in your gut that someone must have died doing this stunts and crazy stuff (which thankfully none, by the way). And no crappy shaky cams, which makes the experience even better.

The cast was great as well. Tom Hardy did a good job being Max. He wasn't trying to replicate what Mel Gibson did, but he did a fine job making this character his own. But you can definitely tell he was side tracked by a far superior supporting character, Furiosa played by Charlize Theron. 

I have very little complains about this movie, but the things I see that could turn off a first time viewer is that of the lack of dialogue in this film. The film is one big epic car-chase scene with a few brakes here and there so there's very little time for character exploration, but they surely made the most out of it. Another one is the mere fact that this movie is simply mad. So if the things you saw in the trailer are just not your thing, you'll probably won't like Fury Road. Again, this are not negatives, just the things I thought some people would not like. 

So after watching Fury Road, I set my sights on the Barden Bellas for some hardcore aca-show and I guess it was, aca-alright (?)

Short story first, I loved the songs in the first Pitch Perfect movie, but I thought the was okay, if not, boring. So going in to this one, I had a small hope inside my heart that maybe just maybe some improvements would be made.

First off, the performances, the aca-numbers are aca-exceptional. They were grand, epic and perhaps even more than those of the first movie. The movie was shot by not-so-first-time director Elizabeth Banks who is also in this movie, so you can the fiery coals in her craft that she is giving her all, all of her strength and energy are reflecting throughout this film. 

The characters are still pretty one-dimensional, but the actors (or actresses for this case) did a great job owning it. Anna Kendrick kills it as Beca, Rebel Wilson playing Fat Amy felt easy and so are the rest. There are a few side characters that stood out though. 

The entire movie is about the Barden Bellas getting their groove back after a few hiccups along the way, so we spend most of the first act of the film seeing it as a homage to the first film and that just felt redundant. Then even went to some absurd situations you question the motive behind it. Well the motive is clear, but still, why go to a boot camp? It's the journey of when they're finally getting their groove back when the film got interesting. The ending wasn't as grand as you want it to be though. 

So what do these two movies have in common? energy. High energy is what makes these two movies stand out among the rest of what this month has to offer. But i'm guessing you already figured out which movie I liked better. 

Pitch Perfect 2 was good, but felt it was child's play compared to Mad Max: Fury Road. 


Mad Max: Fury Road - A+

Pitch Perfect 2 - B-

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron (SPOILER FILLED) MOVIE REVIEW




Avengers: Age Of Ultron starts out with a very comic book-y, Joss Whedon-y, giant fight sequence between the Avengers vs. what remains of the evil organization H.Y.D.R.A. led by Baron Strucker somewhere in the high a snowy part of Europe. The Avengers mission is to retrieve the Loki's Sceptre from Baron and as they were able to infiltrate the base and knock out Baron, they run in with the Maximoff Twins, Pietro the speedster and Wanda the weird mind bender. As Peitro shows off his ability against some Avengers, Wanda sneaks and messes up Tony Starks mind with vision; the defeat (and perhaps death) of The Avengers after they went on with a round 2 match against the Chitauri. 

Frightened by this, Tony Stark had a brilliant idea on how to prevent such trouble and damage, proceed with the Ultron program with the use of Loki's Sceptre. Because he's Tony Stark, he kept this a secret from his teams mates, except from an dismayed-Bruce Banner and went on to pursue with his plans and thus Ultron is born.

Unfortunately, Ultron (as an artificial intelligence) is displeased with how the humans run the world (or atleast with what he saw) thus set out a plan to make things right, restore peace by eliminating all human life form. So he kills the other artificial intelligence in the room J.A.R.V.I.S. and attacks the Avengers at the Avengers Tower as he caught them off guard. 

The Avengers disassembled (pun intended) Ultron but his consciousness traveled through the internet and this makes every single one of our superheroes mad at Stark. Jumping back to the twins, Pietro and Wanda were contacted by Ultron, now with a new body and promises them that together they will destroy the Avengers.

Team Ultron and The Avengers faced again once more at the cargo ship of Ulysses Klaue, a smuggler on the strongest metal on earth vibranium, which is what Ultron is after for. The Avengers failed to subdue Team Ultron as they got their heads messed up by Wanda with visions. Natasha under going the Black Widow program, Steve with his dream dance with Peggy Carter, Thor with something bad going on in Asgard and Bruce with something that makes him mad. Probably a sad, disappointing and furious face of Betty Ross knowing this growing thing going on with him and Natasha. As Bruce is forced to wreck havoc in South Africa as Hulk, a back-up less Iron Man pursues him with his Hulkbuster armor. Now in what point of time did Tony made this armor and what made him do this armor? I don't know, they never said, just roll with it. 

Because of the incident, The Avengers had to go hiding for a while at a barn which turned out to be Clint Barton's home with his wife and kids, which brings our heroes to an internal turmoil among themselves. Thor temporarily left the team to pursue some unanswered questions from his visions. Nick Fury randomly shows up to be this not-a-director-but-a-concerned-old-man. 

Ultron uses the vibranium to create a new artificial intelligent life form, powerful and bent with his vision. The Avengers knew about this so Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow went on a sparring match with Ultron and his buddies through South 'Korea, or atleast Seoul to steal the Ultron's new A.I. that is still in process. They successfully snatched the packaged and they were able to bring a long a now convinced-that-The-Avengers-are-good-and-Ultron-is-bad Maximoff twins, but Black Widow is kidnapped. 

The Avengers had a small fight among themselves, a sample of a physical confrontation that foreshadows Captain America: Civil War (Captain America v Iron Man, yes it really did happen, but it was short) as they were debating whether it is a good idea to activate Ultron's A.I. and probably use it against him. Thor interferes the fight and activates the A.I. who keeps saying the word vision, thus maybe we should call him Vision. Thor did this because he had some sort of clarity from his premonition, which we never really saw get resolved. Thor concluded that it is okay to trust Vision, since he carried his mighty hammer. 

Steve called it enough, it's payback time and put an end to this. So with all they got, they pursued Ultron who took over Baron's base and terrorizes a city nearby, but before doing so they made sure everyone got out of the city and save Black Widow, or so they thought. Before they could get anyone out, Ultron unveiled his ultimate plan. It is to create a gigantic propeller with the vibranium, carry half of the city into orbit with it and strike the earth down with the floating city like a meteorite in hopes to create an explosion powerful enough to wipe humanity, I kid you not, this is his plan. Thus embarks on a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonngg roller coaster of action, destruction, superheroes vs. robots. 

As you might have guessed it, The Avengers thwarted Ultron and his plan with a little help from Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. who just randomly pop-out of nowhere to help and with them is War Machine. Lots of casualty and one in particular is the life of one of the heroes; Pietro. Yes, it is Pietro who died. Ultron is "killed" by Vision and mission accomplished. 

Sometime has passed, the New Avengers head quarters was formed. Iron Man and Thor left The Avengers, Hulk went missing after the fight with Ultron, which made Natasha sad, and Captain America formed the New Avengers; War Machine, Falcon, Vision, Wanda Maximoff, Black Widow and of course, Captain America. With one epic final shot the last lines (from Captain America) are "Avengers, Assemble!", but before he could say the second word the screen cuts to black into the credit scenes. 

There is no after-credit scene, but there is a mid-credit scene. With Thanos, finally getting his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet and says the words "finally, I will handle this myself.." or something like that. I think I'm paraphrasing it, but I'm pretty sure he said something like that. 

In terms of visual entertainment, I liked this movie a lot. There are a lot of action sequences and a lot to choose from. The final fight was long, very long. I really like the humor in this film, there is a good amount of them. Some of the work, others don't, but that's normal. The characters interactions are top notch, especially the way how they unconventional relate themselves to each other as monsters and how we the audience segregate the good monsters from the bad monsters. 

There are certain things I don't understand though like, why does Ultron hate being related/compared to Tony Stark when he acts, thinks and speaks so much like Tony Stark?

I didn't mind the build-up to the Black Panther movie with Ulysses Klaue, I initially though it was going to feel forcefully stuffed, but it worked out just fine. 

The visions the Avengers had were visually haunting. We get a better look to Natasha's past in the Black Widow program. We get to see Steve feeling incomplete as he really didn't witnessed and experienced the end of the war and also his supposedly dance with Peggy Carter, thus showing him how much of a war freak he is. 

It is those Thor that makes me scratch my head. It is about asgardians partying to their death and Heimdall blaming their impending doom to Odinson. So he went to see Erik Selvig to get some sort of resolution from this that we never got to see. But it did contribute to the story, still this a big question mark on my book. 

Now there's this thing with Black Widow and Hulk. Practically, it wanted to show how tormented these two souls are and shows that they are destructive monsters of the team. But it's hard to get invested with this. But to the grander scheme of things, this just felt random. Not in a bad way though, but let's just say it wasn't as touching and moving as it should. 

I was really pumped up to see the New Avengers and this made me intrigued to see this roster in action. 

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron hits theaters this April.

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron (Spoiler-Free) MOVIE REVIEW


After 2 and so years of waiting, we now have the opportunity to witness the first of many (hopefully) sequel to the massive-behemoth The Avengers (2012) and Writer/Director Joss Whedon's swan song to the franchise, Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

This Hulk-sized sequels is jam packed with action, adventure and humor that we all loved from the first film, but now with a dash of dimness with what could possibly the darkest movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2. 

Everyone and everybody just wanna know, is this movie better than The Avengers? Did it exceed all expectations? Now to answer the questions.

Realistically, Ultron failed to recapture the magic of the first film. You know? that feeling of thrill and excitement of seeing our beloved heroes on-screen side-by-side for the first time. For me, this is plainly unfair for the film. This is simply because the film isn't trying to do so. The first scene of the film is one epic action sequence with The Avengers already in the midst of action. No, this isn't the first time you saw them kicking butts, wrecking stuff and exchanging witty banters. As the how the film quotes it, Ultron simply "run with it" and you should too. The magic from the first film is now off the table, Ultron is a different kind of magic. 

In terms of entertainment value, Ultron never felt short in pleasing it's audience. There is a good amount of fight scenes that could pretty much satisfy anyone. You want Iron Man vs. Ultron? Done. Captain America vs. Ultron? Sure. Thor vs. Ultron? Why Not? These and more of it, it's there to punch its way in through your eyes and will blow your mind. 

Oh and did I say the witty banters? Yes, they never go away and they are as many as the punches each Avengers threw. Well maybe not, but you get the point. Writer and director Joss Whedon knew that he needed fire extinguishers to the heat, a tasty snack to cool off the chili and so he delivers. 

The film also took its time to focus more on the relationships and connections between each Avengers and how it contributes to the menacing scheme of the titular villain, Ultron. 

Ultron (James Spader) acted more like Tony Stark's twisted reflection than being the Pinocchio to Stark's Geppetto. It's interesting to see how these face-off each other, both physically and mentally. 

Tonally, Ultron in many ways is similar to the first film, but different on others. It's bigger, bolder, tougher, darker, but with all these changes is still very comfortable on its own skin. It's a very comic book-ish movie and most probably the most out of all the Phase 2 movies and it proudly wears it. 

Now this is where the rest of the disappointment comes from.  

The story itself isn't as solid and focused as one would say. In movies like this, it's hard to become emotionally invested to the grand scheme of things especially in the ones that you should, when they're not selling it to you very well. Why is thing here? Why is this person there? Should I ship this? There are certain elements of the story that just doesn't work simply because they're not earned  and some make you feel the movie is just dragging on and makes you say "I don't care about this" because you simply feel the need to be invested to real deal and not be distracted with this certain plot points that leads to future films, but just makes the movie clustered with more stuff. A person can only chew so much until that person unintentionally spits some of the food and drool with saliva. Plus the final act started with so much energy and power and it never stops until when it ended the whole thing just felt anti-climatic. These are some of the prominent problems or blockbuster movies particularly superhero films and this film did nothing about it, except they just roll with it. 

Between this and the first film, I like Ultron  better. Because visually it's more entertaining, plus the fact that it's bigger and meaner. But bigger and meaner isn't always better I might say. 

So if you're a person who this movie change your mind about your own personal negative thoughts about superhero flicks in general, if you wanted to see a movie that would prove Birdman wrong, there's a good chance this movie might disappoint you. But worry not die-hard and casual fans, Avengers: Age Of Ultron is fun and energetic enough to keep you entertained, thus making it a solid sequel. 

Score: B+ 

Marvel's Avengers Age Of Ultron hits theaters this April.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Batman Vs. Robin MOVIE REVIEW

Batman Vs. Robin is a direct-to-video animated film which is part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. It is a direct sequel to last year's Son Of Batman. Voice actors Jason O'Mara, Stuart Allan, David McCallum and Sean Maher reprise their respective roles.

In the film, Batman and Robin continues to clash in regards to their trust issues with each other. In the midst of the struggle is the re-emergence of an old-school local criminal secret society, the Court Of Owls. Batman and Robin must then decide if they are to face the threat as a unified team or to give-in to the Court Of Owls schemes of turning the dynamic duo against one another.

Batman Vs. Robin has undeniably improved from its predecessor. The film tries to be a bit more focused on having the audience by into the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Damien Wayne, who is Batman and Robin respectively incase you didn't know, as opposed to how Son Of Batman did it, which felt it dragged on for centuries. Most of the main plot points were fleshed out just fine. Do keep in mind that the film is extremely focused on Batman and Robin so they take the lion's share of the film's attention, sorry Nightwing and Alfred fans. 

Now I don't really have any problems with the characters and how they were written, except one, Damien Wayne. I don't know, I'm just not a fan of this kid. Maybe that's why I didn't enjoy Son Of Batman that much.

The animation is still top notch, though most character designs seems a bit off. The voice actors did a great job, it's like they're aware that they're aware that they have to do better than last time and they certainly did. 

Director Jay Oliva usually hits the mark on directing animated fight scenes, which is a lot in this film. The final 20 minutes or so (I lost track) was just an endless onslaught of fight scenes and each fight scene keeps getting better than the last.

Now of course, we wouldn't call this movie Batman Vs. Robin if there wasn't any fight between Batman and Robin. Though I'm not gonna tell you who won the fight, it was still very satisfying to see. Compare to the final fight between Batman and Red Hood in Batman: Under The Red Hood, this fight is a tad bit shorter but is still packed.

While I wouldn't call this as one the finest DC Animated films, Batman Vs. Robin still did a good job at improving from its predecessor. I would say it could have been more, but at the same it could have been worse. It's a fun time for Bat-fans and a must have for any fan boy out there. 

Intense fight scenes
Better writing
Moderate entertainment value
Almost unapologetic brutal and obscene

Felt longer

Score: B

Batman Vs. Robin arrives at April 14, 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Big thanks to Warner Bros. Philippines for giving the chance to see this movie. 

Run All Night is an action-thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Starring Liam Neeson, Joel Kinnaman, Common and Ed Harris.

This film features your typical grim, hammered and withered-Liam Neeson that we've been seeing since Taken. Whose going through his typical guilt-driven emotional dilemma caused by his very dark past. What I'm trying to say is Liam is still playing the same role and has been going with the same thing ever since still in this movie. 

It's given that the film's going to be typical and cliched, but the golden the remains, is this movie part of Liam Neeson's list of good films or bad films? Let me elaborate.

A lot of the supporting cast didn't really stick, but still did fair. Joel Kinnaman was pretty legitimate on what he was appointed to do, which could have been really compelling, but for Joel's part there's not really much to own with a middling character. And then there's Common, does it really have to be Common? Then again, why not?

The story's pretty much what you've imagine or guessed just by reading the title. It's very simple, easy to follow, the grit was necessary. Some of the dramatic parts, well, most of the dramatic parts wasn't really as fascinating as it should, but it's not what we came for. 

We came for the action, the suspense, and more non-stop action. Nothing really ground breaking, but are definitely breath taking, thrilling and utmost entertaining. 

The practical effects are stunning, but it's the CGI that almost killed the experience. And what's with the flying camera shots? Whose idea was to put a GoPro on Superman and put him in charge on filming? There's even this one particular action scene where the camera's shaking like hell.. Was the camera man having spasms? That's just mean for whoever put the guy in charge. 

What I'm trying to say is, if you have seen movies like Taken (all of them), Non-Stop, Unknown, The Grey and such, you've probably already seen 70-80% of Run All Night. But to answer the question, yes, it's still a very entertaining movie.


Liam Neeson kicking butts
Pretty fair cast ad characters
Dark and twisted, with some sense of humor

Absurd screenplay
Lack of challenge 
Ineffective drama

Score: C

Run All Night opens at March 12 in Philippines cinemas everywhere.

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