Toy Story 4. Surprisingly entertaining from start to finish. Why I say this is because this is the fourth edition of Toy Story saga and I was wondering how Pixar still got the ability to match the ever consistent trilogy of Toy Story. Hence, expectations were quite high. My oh my, it was simply beautiful and heart warming. Come to think of it, Pixar didnt’ need to do the fourth installment but they pulled off another magic. It was totally refreshing and new lovable characters (and funny too). It had a good closure and I hope that’s the finale of the Toy Story saga. So which is your favourite Toy Story series? I would say I love Toy Story 4 the most. Verdict: 8.5/10
Men in Black International. Come to think of it, this has the same fate as Toy Story as this is the fourth movie in the MIB saga. Now this one, I kinda questioned a bit. Is it really necessary to make another MIB movie since the last two were considered mediocre at best and bombed at the box office. Guess what? MIBI bombed terribly in the box office, only raking in a mere $30 million on its opening weekend, which is considered low in today’s era. The movie itself stunk and I tried my best to enjoy it. It was flat through out and my interest level waned from the first five minutes. Not even the star power of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson can save this movie. A movie they could have done without. Verdict: 5/10
Dark Phoenix. Why are sequels currently not as entertaining with the exception of Toy Story 4. I have yet to catch Secret Life of Pets 2 and Child’s Play (2019) but I also don’t have high expectations. I came to watch Dark Phoenix, an X-Men Series with low expectations. The funny thing was the movie performed below my low expectations. How bad is that? All my peers who watched it gave it a thumbs down except for Del Goh who rated it a 7/10 (we had a long argument about the score lol). But yea, it’s no rocket science that Dark Phoenix even scored a low 23% on Rotten Tomatoes and only raking it USD 60 million AFTER THREE WEEKS. Now that’s a scary figure. I can’t believe I had to endure this crap. The consolation was that Dark Phoenix fared better than Halle Berry’s Catwoman. Verdict: 4/10
Nabil Abd Kadir and I gave Aquaman a thumbs up
So have DC Extended Universe redeemed themselves for the lackluster product (Justice League, Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad)? Many would say that Aquaman could potentially be the deal breaker for DCEU in terms of its success and also the reception it will receive from movie-goers. I’m for one wasn’t all that thrilled when I watched all the trailers of Aquaman. I just happened to love movies so it was a no-brainer that I will eventually watch Aquaman.
Out went Zack Synder whom I really loved with his previous works such as Watchmen and 300. His influence on the DCEU have been so mediocre and I’m glad the studio decide to bring a fresher director and now we have James Wan who is well known for movies like the Conjuring 1 and 2 and let’s not forget, he directed his biggest movie to date in terms of box office revenue – Fast and the Furious 7. So to have him on board for Aquaman brings a fresher look on things and did he deliver on all fronts?
The Good. This, I have to agree, that having James Wan to direct an already troubled studio for DCEU, was a bold move but a better decision. The movie delivered higher than my expectations as I had reservations from their trailers. This is one of the those movies where you can excuse some of its cheesiness (many layers too) and also its silliness (aplenty). Other than that, I had a blast with Nabil who also gave an encouraging feedback because we both shared the same sentiments when it comes to the DCEU.
The half-Atlantean Arthur Curry aka Aquaman was played by Jason Momoa whom we all are familiar with from the Game of Thrones series. There were times his physique was purposely used to woo the female audience which I thought weren’t necessary. He was a much better representation of a superhero character and something that Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill lacked in this department.
I was also drawn by Mera, a princess from Atlantis played by Amber Heard (hottie) but I felt the movie tends to sexualize her presence on screen though it’s a PG rated film. It must have been all those subtle curves that raced the blood to our hearts :p I was surprised to see Nicole Kidman on screen and there was too much CGI on her to make her look youthful.
As for the storyline and action sequences, it was commendable. Perhaps, many would talked about the final act of the movie which was a huge improvement from an already well-received DCEU movie, Wonder Woman. Yes, this one I would agree and I would give an extra point for this.
And lastly, for the Good part, is the CGI effects on Aquaman. It wasn’t as messy and eye sore like that in Dawn of Justice and Man of Steel especially in the battle scenes. Even the portrayal of Atlantis was visually ambitious and stunning. Yea, yea, there were times when the CGI can be problematic and reminded me of our hit local movie, Bodyman. Kidding, kidding, but I was just saying how it wasn’t up to a blockbuster kind of CGI.
The Bad. Well, it’s a DCEU movie, right? Many could have gone wrong but it didn’t. James Wan managed to fix those broken pieces in DCEU but I can still feel the cheesiness and cringeworthy moments in Aquaman. It was almost at borderline but I was glad it didn’t go to Twilight level.
The silly moments were tolerable but I wasn’t totally affected by it. Definitely no “Martha” kind of materials in Aquaman. If you were to analyze this movie as much as I did, you will probably know what I am referring to on those silly moments. I guess the screen writers (Will Beall, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick) could have work better on this and I wouldn’t mind increasing my rating for this movie.
Like I said before, Aquaman has its silly moment, campy at times but it was a ridiculous fun ride.
The Ugly. I have no comments on this because I truly enjoyed this film from beginning to the end.
Final verdict: A movie that all of you should dived in to :p because it’s gonna be a great swim till the end. Rano’s score: 8/10 Nabil Abdul Kadir: 8.5/10
Aquaman on Rotten Tomatoes so far
BRUNEI FILM BLITZ KICKS OFF WITH THE KUROSAWA RETROSPECTIVE
The Brunei Film Blitz is back with bigger and better opportunities for film enthusiasts in Brunei Darussalam. This year, the Brunei Film Blitz is hosting various events including Mark Shepherd Masterclasses, Power Up Workshops and Level Up International Screenings. All these are designed to support the local film culture and explore national identity through film.
This Sunday, 9th December 2018, the Brunei Film Blitz kicks off with a retrospective screening from the legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa at Mahakarya, Level 3 Plaza Athirah.
The three films being screened are: Hidden Fortress 1958 (12:00pm), Yojimbo 1961 (3:00pm) and High and Low 1963 (7:30pm). A KINO Close Up: Akira Kurosawa Influences and Influencer will be held at 5:30pm consisting of a presentation discussing the cinematic relevance of Akira Kurosawa.
Akira Kurosawa was a Japanese film director and screenwriter, who directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years. He is regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema.
As the first Asian filmmaker to achieve international prominence, Kurosawa has naturally served as an inspiration for many notable Hollywood directors today. Oscar winning film director Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pacific Rim) referred to Kurosawa “one of the essential masters”, citing Throne of Blood, High and Low and Ran as among his favorite films. Similarly, A-list film producer J.J. Abrams says he drew from Kurosawa while producing Star Wars: the Force Awakens.
In 1990, he accepted the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Posthumously, he was named “Asian of the Century” in the “Arts, Literature, and Culture” category by AsianWeek magazine and CNN, cited there as being among the five people who most prominently contributed to the improvement of Asia in the 20th century. His career has been honored by many retrospectives, critical studies and biographies in both print and video, and by releases in many consumer media formats.
On Sunday, a retrospective will be held as part of the Brunei Film Blitz from 12 Noon. Reserve your seats today by logging into www.bruneifilmblitz.org or contact us on +673 8188777.
Synopsis for Brunei Film Blitz Kurosawa Screening
Title : Hidden Fortress (1958, Japan, Akira Kurosawa). George Lucas’ Star Wars (1977) is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining films ever made, a global phenomenon that shaped and defined modern Hollywood. But not many people realise that it was profoundly influenced by this classic samurai film. Not only are the two stories remarkably similar – with the assistance of two bickering peasants (robots), a samurai (Jedi knight) escorts a princess with hidden treasure (secret plans) through a landscape dominated by enemy forces and a powerful secret fortress (space station) – but Lucas also borrowed certain stylistic devices from Kurosawa’s classic! Once again, the great Toshiro Mifune delivers a masterful central performance and Akira Kurosawa directs with his usual consummate skill in this action classic. To be played at 12pm at Mahakarya, Level 3 Plaza Athirah.
Hidden Fortress (1958, Japan, Akira Kurosawa)
Title : Yojimbo (1961, Japan, Akira Kurosawa). A dishevelled ronin (masterless samurai) arrives in a run-down rural village dominated by two rival gangs and pits one against the other, setting them on a course of mutual self-destruction. This classic samurai film was later remade as an Italian Western (For a Fistful of Dollars, 1964, with Clint Eastwood) and an American gangster film (Last Man Standing, 1996, with Bruce Willis), demonstrating that in the end, it is both a universal story and a brilliant action film. With a superb and unconventional central performance by the great Toshiro Mifune, audacious widescreen compositions and an unexpected mix of violence and dark humour, this is one of the most memorable and influential Japanese films ever made. To be played at 3pm at Mahakarya, Level 3 Plaza Athirah.
Yojimbo (1961, Japan, Akira Kurosawa)
Title : KINO Close Up: Akira Kurosawa influences and influencer This presentation discusses the cinematic relevance of Akira Kurosawa. Open to all ages and film experience/interest levels. 5pm at Mahakarya, Level 3 Plaza Athirah.
Title : High and Low (1963, Japan, Akira Kurosawa). Although Kurosawa is best known for his period piece samurai films, he also directed just as many films set in contemporary Japan. This is one of the best: an incredibly tense crime thriller about a rich businessman held to ransom when his chauffeur’s son is kidnapped by mistake, which, in its second half, unexpectedly morphs into a powerful drama about social injustice. This, then, is both a brilliant, stylistically audacious genre film and a brave and complex piece of social filmmaking with a strong moral message. It is all held together by Kurosawa’s usual deep respect for humanity and sense of justice – perfectly embodied by Toshiro Mifune’s riveting central performance. Another undoubted classic of world cinema. To be played at 7pm at Mahakarya, Level 3 Plaza Athirah.
High and Low (1963, Japan, Akira Kurosawa)
Students get boost from Progresif for Film Blitz
Devin Edwards, Progresif’s Chief Marketing Officer, 3rd from left, with students from Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien College, Meragang Sixth Form, Rimba Secondary School, Raja Isteri Girls High School, Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College and Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna Secondary School. Also in the photo were representatives from Brunei Film Blitz.
Progresif is paving the way for the development of future filmmakers and producers in its latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative for Brunei’s creative industry.
The company announced that they are sponsoring 15 students from six schools for their entry into the Brunei Film Blitz 2018 (BFB), giving them the opportunity to expand on their talents and passion for film.
Abd Mateen Yakof, Wan Wafiy Hasif Hj Wan Joffry, Md Adam Aiman Hj Mohd Firman, Md Ilyas Abdullah @ Ilyas De Lara Bautista, Md Rosmuliamin Mustapa, Md Haziq Hafizzudin Shahron, Mohd Danial Basyri Zamain, Md Azizul Halif Hj Bagul, Lim Hui Ying, Muhammad Adam, Dk Syarifah Afiqah binti Pg Hj Shamsir, Dk Aida Nabilah binti Pg Haji Dahlan, Nabilah Munazah binti Raup, Abdul Hazim bin Mastadi and Rauufah will all have full access to film workshops and screenings during the BFB 2018.
The nominated students are currently studying at Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien College, Meragang Sixth Form, Rimba Secondary School, Raja Isteri Girls High School, Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College and Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna Secondary School.
This is also the second consecutive year that Progresif has supported the Brunei Film Blitz as part of ongoing efforts support and nurture the growth of Brunei’s creative industry.
Devin Edwards, Progresif’s Chief Marketing Officer, said: “Our investment into the local creative industry stems from our belief that Brunei’s creative talents can grow much further when they have a platform that supports them.”
“This is our second year of supporting the Film Blitz and we’re proud to be able to play a role in nurturing the abilities of young filmmakers, so they are inspired to pursue their passion and turn their talents into viable careers or businesses,” he said.
The BFB aims to push the abilities of local filmmakers to international standards through a series of workshops, screenings and a competition to produce a short film in 96 hours.
The winner of this competition will receive a full scholarship for a two-year Diploma in Screen and Media, also sponsored by Progresif. Winners will be announced on December 24 during the Gala Awards Night.
Registration for the BFB is open from November 9 until December 20, 2018. To register for the event, visit www.bruneifilmblitz.org
Hari Minggu Yang Ke-Empat, an upcoming local film
Terry Wong, Chan Man Ching, Kai Anwar, Siti Kamaluddin, Liyana Yus, Munji Athirah, Dhimas Amanda, Ian Zulkifli during the press conference of ‘Hari Minggu Yang Ke-Empat’ (HMYK4)
Following the success of its first film Yasmine, Origin Artistic is set to release its very first Bruneian Hari Raya flick in local cinemas nationwide on June 14, in time for the start of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.
Directed and produced by award-winning director Siti Kamaluddin, the new film, ‘Hari Minggu Yang Ke-Empat’ (HMYK4), is a heart-warming drama-comedy about family forgiveness and second chances. It is the first Hari Raya movie to be produced by a local filmmaker.
The film stars Kai Anuar aka Babu Si Nur, Liyana Yus, lan Zulkifli and Terry Wong.
News of the film release was announced yesterday at a press conference at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT). Among those in attendance were HMYK4 cast members and production crew, including director and producer Siti Kamaluddin.
HMYK4 is the culmination of experience gained from producing Yasmine, and sees many firsts.
According to Siti Kamaluddin, she said, “This new film is different from Yasmine, as in Yasmine a mix of standard Malay and Bruneian Malay was used, but HMYK4 is very Bruneian,” she said, adding that the idea of doing the movie came up while she was working on her new script just right after Chinese New Year.”
“I thought, why not make a movie on Hari Raya as there has never been one on it, and it will be a good topic of conversation during our Hari Raya visits.”
“I hope everyone will come and support the film and get it trending with the hashtag #liatsekampung come in groups to watch it as it is always fun to have a good laugh together,” said Siti.
“Unlike Yasmine, this film is also a very interesting model for me, as I worked with a Brunei-friendly budget and our cast is fully local. Hopefully we can draw a good response for the film and maybe progress to making a few movies a year.
“What I find as a director and writer – and I am also involved in the production side – is that I have to work extra hard. We multitask and we work with a much smaller team compared to Yasmine and this is a much scaled-down project.”
Liyana Yus is back once again. Image courtesy of Bahyiah Bakir of Borneo Bulletin.
On the choice of the cast, Siti said the new actors were selected after viewing audition tapes. However, Kai Anuar’s (Babu Si Nur) talent was spotted by her during Brunei Film Blitz, which Origin Artistic participated in as part of the Brunei December Festival held in collaboration with Brunei Tourism.
“During Brunei Film Blitz, I got to watch a short film of one of the winners – Kai – in the open category. I got to see Kai as a different character from Babu Si Nur, and I was amazed to see how talented he was… I had him in mind (as part of the cast) for the script,” she said.
Talking about local films in general, Siti said making movies is not just simply shooting and screening them in the cinema, but the film profession requires a lot of career responsibilities and involves many interconnected disciplines and skills.
“It is a very technical job but is also very creative and corporations play a big role in supporting the local film. This (HMYK4) is not just a one off television show… 10 years from now you can still refer back and see the movie,” she said. “For me HMYK4 is very iconic as it our very first Hari Raya movie and it will probably be popular in other countries as well. We look forward to the screening.”
Siti Kamaluddin with Babu Si Nur on the set
Dhimas Ananda, Director of Photographer on the set
The production team in deep focus during the shoot
Main cast member Kai Anuar beamed that it has been a pleasure to be part of the film and that it has been one of the best experiences he’s ever had in his life.
“I’ve learnt a lot in the filming process… from pre-production with rehearsals and script reading, right up to sessions with the director and the other cast. All this was done to build chemistry before the actual shooting, and to get a feel of the emotional states we should be and to familiarise ourselves all the filming dos and don’ts,” he said.
As for the star of Yasmine, Liyana Yus, the new film was a much less nerve-wracking experience and more of a chance to display the acting skills she has honed in the previous production.
“I just applied what I’ve learnt from Yasmine, and at the same time shared my experience with the new actors. For me perhaps the next challenge will be to progress from playing a teenager role as in Yasmine to a character aged in the 30s,” said the actress.
Siti expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support for the film from various corporations such as Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd, Brunei Press, Radio Television Brunei, Jollibee Brunei, Archipelago Development Corporation, Tiong Jaya, Sri Sentosa (Hertz), Cuckoo Brunei, Nazmi Textile Mall, Aiking Trading Co, Harwood, Golden Corporation, Colourland and Smart Paint, Rainfresh, and Brunei Halal.
She also accorded appreciation to the MPRT, Department of Civil Aviation, Royal Brunei Police Force, Fire and Rescue Department, the Ministry of Health, as well as her Brunei fans for their support of the film.
“I love making films for Brunei and wish to thank the Brunei audience for their continuing support. I hope to produce more films from Brunei to continue sharing our stories to the global audience,” she said. Source: Lyna Mohd of Borneo Bulletin.
You can follow updates of their production on social media @harimingguyangkeempat
Japanese Film Festival 2018
His Excellency, Mr. Motohiko Kato, Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam (3rd from left) and Mr. Masafumi, Senior Project Manager, Film and Broadcast Media of Japan Foundation (2nd from left) and Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Putera Maharaja Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Ghani binPehin Datu Pekerma Dewa Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Rahim, a Legislative council member (4th from left) during the official launch of the Japanese Film Festival 2018
His Excellency, Mr. Motohiko Kato, Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam giving his welcoming remarks to the audience
The Japanese Film Festival 2018 kicked off in Brunei Darussalam last night at The Arena Cineplex, Kiulap. Attending the opening ceremony were His Excellency, Mr. Motohiko Kato, Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam and Mr. Masafumi, Senior Project Manager, Film and Broadcast Media of Japan Foundation, other members of the Diplomatic Missions in Brunei, media influencers, clubs and associations related to Japan.
The Japanese Film Festival is organised by the Japan Foundation and Embassy of Japan to Brunei Darussalam. This is a platform used to raise interest in Japanese films among audiences in the ASEAN region. It aims to provide opportunities for people to gather offline and online, under the vision of building a system for an extensive bridge between the Asia-Pacific film market and the Japanese film industry as mentioned by Mr. Masafumi.
There will be seven films being screened daily until the 28th of February 2018. The genres include drama, animation, manga adaptation and mystery. Do refer to the posters for details and you can google them for more in-depth review.
The cool thing about Japanese Film Festival 2018 is that the ticket admission is FREE and the way to claim your ticket is to collect your tickets from 5pm onwards at Arena Cineplex at Seri Q-Lap Mall. Each of the screening begins at 7:30pm.
For more information, you can contact them at 863 6488 or visit their Facebook Page or instagram @jffbrunei
What Rano thinks: I’m so pleased that there’s finally a Japanese Film Festival, showcasing more than 5 Japanese films. I’m a movie junkie and furthermore, I love Japanese movie for some reason. There are a few titles that I love rematching such as Zatoichi, Your Name (animation) and Battle Royale to name a few.
Good job to the Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan to Brunei Darussalam of making this possible because I normally see this kind of events in Singapore when I traveled. So this is a good start in creating more interest in Japanese films. I’m hoping to catch another one tonight if I can get hold of the tickets 🙂
His Excellency speaking to the management of Times Square Shopping Centre
Hello Ms. Junko Kurihara 😀
We caught the first film, Chihayafuru Part I
A’aqiil of Filterworks Production was also present
The screen times for the selected movies at Arena Cineplex
Bodyman screening extended till 15th February
Stuart’s remark: “This is a not to be missed experience, once in a generation thing. When someone ask in 20 years where were you during Bodyman, you’ll remember the exact moment of your existence in 2018.”
A strong crowd last week which made the management of PESTAB to extend the screening times of Bodyman until the 15th February. It is only being screened at the auditorium of the Information Department (Jabatan Penerangan) at the government area (old airport)
It was my second viewing and I had a great time. Third time, lucky?
One of the characters in the 90 minute featured film
With the producer/director and the social influencers of Brunei Darussalam
BodyMan, a new instant classic film
All of us gave a thumbs up for entertainment value. One of them said it’s worth another viewing.
They have subtitles too
BodyMan. A superhero from Brunei, created from an experiment on a random Bruneian. His mission was plain simple – to win the heart of his doubtful girlfriend and blessing from his girlfriend’s parents and of course, defeat the antagonist. The movie is produced by Ad. Deen and part of the Pestab Entertainment Production.
The Good. This is a common quote from my peers – “The trailer (of BodyMan) is so bad that it’s good.” After watching the movie yesterday, I do condone with the sentiments. It was super entertaining from start to finish. I would say that it was slightly down in terms of laughter after the first five minutes but the “pace” picked up after the transformation of our Brunei hero. I already had this expectations that BodyMan is gonna entertain me on many different levels and it met my expectations.
The choppy editing with clumsy 90’s CGI made it amusing to the eyes. It was a nostalgic feeling, catching 100 minute featured film. Those who were born in the millennium won’t be able to digest what we meant. To add on, many Apple users will be familiar with the music scores, mostly taken from iMovie.
The Bad. It’s quite a long list but I shall keep it short. Firstly, I can’t comment so much about the acting. I have definitely seen better acting performances in our local drama series or locally made films. There’s definitely room for improvement in this department. The only actor that’s redeeming is the superhero himself Salleh aka BodyMan.
I realised after finishing watching the film, if the producer were to take out the Nyonya lady and the Genie, it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Neither I had feel for their characters nor I laughed or were entertained by their on screen presence. The laughing sound effect on the supposedly funny bits weren’t even funny to begin with. Ironically the scenes or bits we laughed at were those non-intentional ones and they didn’t need any laughing sound effects for that matter.
At many points of the movie, I was a bit confused where I was supposed to focus on as the scenes kept breaking without proper transitions. Perhaps the director/producer can work on this for their future movies. Bruneians have a level of expectations when it comes to editing and such. I’ve seen new generations (even teenagers) producing commendable editing work even with the use of their smartphones. Then again, the editing segment of this film were quite entertaining itself.
The producer could have avoided some stereotyping scenarios. This mostly came from the so-called “Genie”. The traffic light joke can be seen as tasteless and some people might find it offensive.
Verdict. Honestly speaking, I never had so much fun and laughter in a movie especially seeing the reaction from my peers. Important thing is to leave your brain at home and enjoy the $5 cheap thrill movie and I can guarantee you that you will be entertained. BodyMan will be a cult classic with more than 15,000 views on their trailer youtube and who knows the producer might be inspired to produce a sequel. Entertainment value: 9/10
The viewing is only at the auditorium of the Information Department. The timings are 5pm, 7pm and 9pm and the last day of show is on 8th February 2018.
Safarul had a ball watching it. He was almost in tears.
Social influencers, AnakBrunei and Marul, also had fun watching
The music still lingers in my head and here is the lyrics if you are keen to sing along
The timings for the week until this Thursday
Have you seen Thor:Ragnarok? What do you thin?
In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok–the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization–at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger–the Incredible Hulk!.
I could go on and on and on. This could be one of my top 3 movies of 2017 for now. I simply had so much fun, watching as a movie goer and also as a Marvel fan. Frankly speaking, I am not fond of Thor’s character among the avengers but after watching Thor: Ragnarok, I might just have another perspective and have more compassion for Thor.
It was amazeballs from start to finish. Well, not entirely but 80% of the time, I was truly entertained. First thing is the humour. I know it’s not so typical of a Thor movie to head into this direction but the formula seemed to have paid off and I don’t mind seeing this brand of humour being injected for Thor. This was completely different from first two Thor movies and it was never too late to fix what went wrong especially in the second one.
The estranged relationship between Thor and Loki also gave depth to the plot and it was also the first time that I felt some compassion for Loki #nospoilers Loki was more subdued and still very relevant in the Marcel Cinematic Universe. Am I tired to see the family squabbles? Not just yet. The bromance was nicely executed.
The one that I was most impressed with was Cate Blanchett in her portrayal as Hela. She was so intimidating as a villain and totally convincing one too. She still has got what it takes to pull off as a hottie despite her age. To me, she’s like the female version of Loki and I would more of her on screen.
Thor’s final trilogy shared some interesting insight on one under-rated character of The Avengers, the Incredible Hulk. We finally have a deeper understanding of Hulk’s character through his words and actions and I couldn’t have done it any better for Hulk’s screen time. You will come to a point that he could be your favourite Marvel character. Just like how Spider-Man appeared in Captain America: Civil War.
I am also in love with the soundtrack and choice of music, upbeat and chill at the same time. I had the same vibe when watching The Guardians of the Galaxy. Not much emphasis is normally given to superhero movies apart from when Hans Zimmer is involved (Man of Steel, The Dark Knight). Of course, it is tricky to create a music score for a light hearted theme like Thor:Ragnarok and the overall music feel was just fitting to the theme.
A very impressive start for Taika Waititi’s first direction in the MCU. I have not seen his earlier works such as Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows and Boy, movies that are non-action based or Hollywood types. I’m definitely looking forward to his other movies and I hope he will be involved in other MCU movies in the near future.
Friends caught the sneaks at The Mall Cineplex
It’s hard to pick out flaws when you are so engrossed and entertained throughout the film. Every scene was purposeful and I didn’t feel any drag or whatsoever.
Perhaps one pointer if I want to highlight was the different direction taken by Waititi – too much comedy packed in one movie may lose the credibility of the seriousness or the urgency of Thor’s character. The humour could have paid handsomely if this was a Spider-man movie. Nonetheless, I wasn’t too concern if Ragnarok’s tone was lighter than the first two movies.
None at all. Nothing to report about badly in this category.
Nothing short of brilliance and a superb direction by Taika Waititi in his attempt in the MCU. Ragnarok was purely entertaining from start to finish and I can’t wait for the upcoming, The Avengers: Infinity War Part I. Definitely giving this a second viewing. One of the best films of 2017. 9 out 10 stars.
Friends caught the sneaks at The Mall Cineplex
Review: Blade Runner 2049
What my friends thought of Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner 2049. Did it succeed or did it fail? There were quite mixed reviews to begin with for the sequel of Blade Runner. This was also the first time that all my friends whom I watched with gave it a thumbs down. Do I agree with them? Only to an extent. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Here’s my breakdown.
The Good. I am with awe with the visuals. Even though it was set in the 2049, director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario) trusted Roger Deakins the cinematographer in creating a modern, dark, solemn world and yet every shot was breathtaking. Every shot taken in this movie had its purpose and that alone stole my attention. The way it portrayed LAPD Officer K’s (Ryan Gosling) movement on screen, they were all beautifully shot. This is one masterpiece from Roger Deakins and I won’t be surprised that he will be nominated for Best Cinematography in the upcoming Oscars.
Ryan Gosling was the highlight of the show apart from the visuals. Playing a cop in the future, he was placed in a situation where he slowly began to discover twists and plots to his disbelief. I was a bit worried if RG was fit for the role or being passed the baton to continue the Blade Runner legacy and plus it’s an action adventure movie where he is hardly in it. For me, it was his expression and emotions that made me invested in the almost-three-hour long movie. His character kinda bring back the memories of Driver where he acted in.
I love the twists and how the story unfolded from time to time. The music score and the deliberate pacing were enough to gain my attention (though I had a short snooze twice because I had lack of sleep). Yes, Denis captured the essence of the suspense with loud music though it can be too repetitive to some point.
The Bad. Yes, it did have its flaws and first thing’s first. Denis Villeneuve’s taste or direction of movie is not for everyone or even the mainstream movie goers. Those who appreciate Star Wars kinda sci-fi, you won’t get that feeling in Blade Runner 2049. It was mostly 80% drama and 20% or even less of action. The same went for Arrival and Sicario of which I both enjoyed. The only ones who seemed to enjoy as much as I did was Jinn, Del Goh and Nee Khern.
The sound factor or in this case, the music score did annoy a few of my friend’s movie experience. Even some of them were mocking the sound effects during our discussions of the film. Yes, to me, it did suit the theme of the movie but it was at times overkilled or overplayed in an overstretched movie.
The Ugly. The duration of the movie is a big minus for me for Blade Runner 2049. I could understand why all the pieces were necessary to explain the plot and twist along the way but it didn’t need to be almost 3 hours long. Harrison Ford could have more screen time as he was a focal point in the original Blade Runner and the chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford could have been stronger.
Verdict: This is a masterful film making and only Denis Villeneuve can pull off an amazing follow up and paying tribute to the original Blade Runner 2049. Not many will enjoy this but I surprisingly did. 7.5 out of 10.