lessonsinescapology: (Default)
I have mixed feelings about this instalment. It's just not the same without Paul Walker.
lessonsinescapology: (Default)
A Monster Calls (2017): Oh wow. I went to see it mainly for Liam Neeson's role as the monster but the film is definitely a hidden gem! The cast, soundtrack, cinematography, everything combines together to make a masterful whole. It deals with some harsh realities of life that the young protagonist must face as he is growing up amidst the turmoil of his current situation. I certainly recommend it to everyone though I doubt any child would be as affected by this narrative the way an adult would. I feel the film resonates more with adult viewers but many children grow up fast so it might be worth taking them to see it.

Sully (2016): about US Airways Flight 1549 and its pilot, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, based on the autobiography Highest Duty by Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow. The film stars Tom Hanks as Sullenberger, with Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney. A beautiful drama with great actors that suffers from an opening scene which ruined the plot and tension for the rest of the narrative. *headdesk* It also stalls in the middle but then picks up speed toward the end. A flawed film with bad pacing and predictable use of "flashbacks" but still worth seeing for the strong performance of Hanks and Eckhart.

I, Frankenstein (2014): Australian fantasy horror thriller action film written and directed by Stuart Beattie, based on the graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux. It stars Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, and Jai Courtney. A fun and intriguing twist on the popular figure of Frankenstein and Eckhart delivers a good performance as an anti-hero who is more human than the rest of the characters. Worth watching because it does get a few things right about this tale and there's no righteous preaching at least about the so-called superiority of humans. Yes, I'm getting sick of that tirade being included in every sci-fi/fantasy/horror film.

Jack Reacher (2012): Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher and Rosamund Pike as attorney Helen Rodin. An overall strong cast with an entertaining if average action plot. The villain was unexpected and menacing.
lessonsinescapology: (Yay)
Arrival (2016): I've never seen a film by director Denis Villeneuve so didn't know what to expect when I went today to see this but I was floored. The confident direction by Villeneuve, expert cinematography by Bradford Young, and the haunting soundtrack by Jóhann Jóhannsson all combine seamlessly to create an intelligent and affecting sci-fi film.

I'm not a fan of Amy Adams as most of her roles rely on her beauty rather than her acting ability but she really shines here, almost carrying the entire film by herself with Jeremy Renner providing support and warmth of emotion as her co-star, which is a nice role-reversal for female/male protagonists. She should get an Oscar nomination at least for this role.

This film won't appeal to everyone as it's pace and presentation is so very different than most commercial work, it asks its audience to think and feel outside their comfort zone, but it's definitely rewarding as a viewing experience. The intimate themes of love and grief play against a backdrop of fear and violence as the world reacts to the presence of aliens and the ending is....

For a hint of the film's mood and plot, look up the musical piece "On the Nature of Daylight" by composer Max Richter; it's used to excellent effect here.

PS: can I say how cool it is to see a translator save the world? That doesn't happen often! XD
lessonsinescapology: (Yay)
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYJPEkGQQUw

This looks promising. The cast of actors is undeniably talented and it seems they didn't rely too much on CG. Here's hoping the marketing doesn't spoil the film through too many trailers and TV spots.
lessonsinescapology: (Black)
I went to see it yesterday and at nearly 3 hours, it was a long movie made even longer by the strange choices of its director. There are no spoilers below since the trailers/ads/TV spots/etc. have pretty much shown everything related to the simple plot of the movie.

In short, is it worth paying a cinema ticket and queuing to see it? No and here's why:
Read more... )
lessonsinescapology: (Stormy)
Batman Vs Superman opens this weekend. I looked at the run time and it's nearly 3 hours?! Whoah. What exactly warrants that much screen time? O_o

The Huntsman: Winter’s War, on the other hand, looks great. Full of beautiful landscapes, fantasy, magic and medieval gowns^_~ The strong female characters are another incentive to see it. Here's the final trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9cPxenX1-0
lessonsinescapology: (Rose)
A Little Chaos (2014): A beautiful film. Suffers from pacing problems. But the cast more than makes up for it. The gardens as metaphor for married life^^

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013): Oh dear, what a mess. This film couldn't decide if it wanted the wonder of magic à la Harry Potter or to go all grim and morbid like a horror film. Watch this for Godfrey Gao as Magnus Bane, who is undoubtedly the best actor in the cast, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Valentine Morgenstern, who seems to really delight in being a villain. Lilly Collins is pretty but she can't act.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011): I should have watched this sooner. A masterpiece of film-making that could only be possible with a Swedish director and a star-studded cast of British actors. Gary Oldman is perfect here and Benedict Cumberbatch gives a surprisingly restrained performance as Oldman's partner. I love the director's decision of not revealing the face of Smiley's wife; that was a good dramatic choice.

Bridge of Spies (2015): If Guy Ritchie's Man from UNCLE was a fun-filled look with humour and nostalgia at the Cold War era and its films, then Steven Spielberg presents the harsh truth here. It was a time of war and paranoia, propaganda on both sides, and ordinary people caught in the great game between two super powers. Tom Hanks is in fine form here as a lawyer who endeavours to do the right thing, no matter the consequences. Mark Rylance gives a fine performance as an enigmatic Soviet spy.
lessonsinescapology: (Lantern)
Apparently there's a film coming out in Feb 2016 called Gods of Egypt. I'm quite amused by the trailers. The impression is that of a videogame populated by human avatars! XD The palette is bright and garish, almost obscenely so.

Set/Seth is also the Egyptian deity of the red desert and has an animal's head, an extinct animal according to scholars. He doesn't look anything like Gerard Butler^_~ I'm actually going to see this film if it gets released here. It looks like it will be fun and laughable at least.

PS: we won't mention the cast is entirely white for some reason, okay? *raises eyebrow*
lessonsinescapology: (CAWS)
This trailer is more coherent than the first one and includes more complete scenes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8wGE4_yCso

I can't wait for this film to arrive! *starry-eyed fangirl here*
lessonsinescapology: (CAWS)
Is it just me or has Jennifer Lawrence/Mystique taken over the important role and screen time of Magneto as a leading character in the X-Men films? In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the focus shifted to her over Magneto who was sidelined and the whole point of breaking him from prison was lost as Mystique is hailed as a saviour in the climax scene.

Now the same issue appears in the trailer for Apocalypse. Even if Lawrence is an actress with a lot of appeal among male viewers, it's not her story that should be the main focus of the films. The core of the X-Men verse has always revolved around the relationship between Magneto and Professor X. I'm rather underwhelmed by the trailer. *sighs*
lessonsinescapology: (CAWS)
This was a nice surprise when I came home and back to internet-connectivity, I've watched this trailer more times than I can count^^ *insert fangirl screams here*

The idea of "accountability" seems to pop up often in superhero films. Remember Senator Kelly from the first X-Men film? I'm curious to see what CA:CW will do with it. It's natural than Steve Rogers won't agree with it given its infringement on basic rights and the recent mistrust he has for government/its departments. I recently re-watched CA: The First Avenger, The Avengers, and CA: The Winter Soldier over the weekend and it's been fun to note the trajectory of the characters as they grow/develop over the films.
Read more... )
lessonsinescapology: (WTF)
I somehow didn't realise the guy with the twitchy movements and mop of hair was Lex Luthor in the Superman vs Batman trailers o_O Such a weird portrayal of the character... it's even worse than Kevin Spacey's take. Michael Rosenbaum is the only believable Lex so far.

Zack Snyder seems to have a thing for overblown images and music. I suspect this film will be as subtle as the first one. I'll still go see it if only for Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot.... Batman's armour is so clunky though^^
lessonsinescapology: (Default)
A Greek gods film by an Indian director? I was curious enough to watch it.
Read more... )


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