Archive for film

Movie review for ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ and 2-billion box office milestone for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2018 by vincentloy

Dinosaurs return to the big screen. The fifth film in the Jurassic Park film franchise, ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ opened on international markets much earlier than its debut in the US to our delight. We get to watch it two weeks earlier. The release of this latest film also coincides with the 25th anniversary of the first film that started it all. Can’t believe it has been 25 years already since the first time we are seeing the ‘kids hiding in the kitchen scene’, ‘raptor knowing how to open a door scene’, ‘T-rex saving the day at the end of the movie scene’, etc.

In this ‘Fallen Kingdom’, the story sets few years after the event in ‘Jurassic World’ whereby the theme park is now permanently closed and left abandoned. The dinosaurs roam freely until a volcanic eruption on the island occurred that will put them into extinction once again. Owen and Claire returned to the place to rescue them but were actually tricked to do so by a businessman to make profit by selling them and on the other hand creates another powerful hybrid dinosaur called Indoraptor. Another hybrid dinosaur on the limelight after the terrifying Indominus Rex that brought an end to the ‘Jurassic World’ theme park in the 2015 movie.

I think I have very high expectation before the movie and so after watching it just now, I felt a little disappointed. I have to say that 2015’s ‘Jurassic World’ is better and more exciting than this one. Well, this ‘Fallen Kingdom’ is also worthy of a praise by me mainly due to the fact that the people behind it can still creatively moving the story forward from and after the first four movies. The starting scene of this that features the Mosasaurus escaping is thrilling while there are still some heartstopping scenes after that. However, the level of intensity seems to have gone down and the supposingly climax-reaching scene in the end couldn’t hit me.

The 2015’s ‘Jurassic World’ has a great introduction scene to the opened theme park, had a great flow of story in the middle, and a jaw-dropping finale fight scene between the dinosaurs. All that is gelled into a great and an entertaining movie. This ‘Fallen Kingdom’ couldn’t reach that high standard set by its predecessor, but it is still a good effort. I like the play of light, shadow and colour in this one which delivers it into a darker tone and intended horror buildup of the story (there are still some funny moments to lighten up the mood). Besides that, I am also moved by some very sad moments involving the dinosaurs as the movie also goes deep to the emotional side.

I missed the post-credit scene unfortunately (didn’t know that Jurassic Park movies now beginning to have post-credit scene too) but I knew the details of it already and find it unimportant. Jeff Goldblum is in here but for a very unimportant cameo role who is just present to deliver some golden quotes. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ a total of 7.3. It’s still fun and nice to watch; I will never get bored of another Jurassic Park film.

This movie is expected to gross over US$ 1 billion (I’m thinking about US$ 1.3 billion) in its final box office revenue just like its predecessor. ‘Jurassic World’ in 2015 gained over US$ 1.6 billion worldwide. ‘Fallen Kingdom’ is predicted to earn lesser than that but will still easily cross the 1-billion mark. On the other hand, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is in a certain position to reach the 2-billion box office milestone by end of this weekend or latest by early next week. It will be the only fourth film in history to reach that impressive figure (after ‘Avatar’, ‘Titanic’ and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’). Now the question is whether it will eclipse ‘Star Wars: The Force Awaken’ which earned US$ 2.068 billion back then for the third spot in the table of highest grossing films of all time (unadjusted for inflation). There is quite a high possibility for ‘Infinity War’ to do so.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

 

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‘Avengers: Infinity War’ crosses US$ 1 billion in record time.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2018 by vincentloy

You must be joking if you told me that you haven’t watch the ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. You must be belong to the 1% of the world population if you haven’t and didn’t plan to watch it, or you are in China where the movie will only be released this coming week. It is the biggest movie of the year so far and is expected to remain so despite some upcoming major releases like ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ and ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’. You can check out my review for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is my previous post.

As predicted, this particular movie that saw Marvel superheroes assembled together to take on Thanos broke multiple box office records. It has the biggest worldwide opening at US$ 640.5 million, easily dethroning the previous champion in this record; ‘Fate of the Furious’ that gained US$ 541.9 million in its worldwide debut. The 640.5 million does not even includes China, the second largest market in box office as the movie will only has its premiere in that country on May 11th if I’m not mistaken.

Besides that, the movie has now accumulated over US$ 1 billion in global box office and is the 34th film in history to do so (unadjusted for inflation). ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is the fastest film to reach the milestone, as it only needs 11 days to do that. This is calculated from April 25th, where the movie had its first ever release to today (May 6th, Sunday). It is the second movie of the year to join the 1 billion dollar club, the other being the ‘Black Panther’ which is also from Marvel. What a successful year for Marvel. Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ and ‘Deadpool 2’ will also be released later this year.

Besides than doing well in the box office, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is also getting positive reviews. It currently has 84% rating from critics and 92% audience score in Rotten Tomatoes, 68% in Metacritics and 8.9/10 from IMDB. Well, DC will be very jealous of these achievements. Their previous film ‘Justice League’ (released last year) that saw a similar assembly of superheroes too only raked in US$ 658 million in its final grossing. Very disappointing. DC, ‘in time, you will know what it is like to lose’ (quote from Thanos).

Let’s get back to Marvel. So what do you think ‘Infinity War’ final box office intake would be by studying its current impressive run in the entire world. I think the movie will end at around US$ 1.8 billion and will be the fourth highest grossing film in history (after Avatar, Titanic and Star Wars: The Force Awakens that have each grossed over US$ 2 billion). I don’t think ‘Infinity War’ is capable of hitting 2-billion. It may have a chance to get near to 1.9 billion. It all depends on whether people will get back to the cinema to watch it the second time or not.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is awesome!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2018 by vincentloy

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is by far my most anticipated movie of the year and I’m so excited that its release has finally arrived. I have watched all the previous 18 MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) films that began 10 years ago with ‘Iron Man’. I’m thrilled and impressed by how far Marvel has gone to in the development of their films with many of them being exceptionally well executed, and them having all the stories culminate into this third Avengers movie.

I’m also amazed by the creative marketing from my country (Malaysia) in promoting this ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ such as installing a lit Avengers logo on the top of the Telekom Tower (Stark or Avengers Tower as shown in the first Avengers movie resembles a lot like the Telekom Tower) and having large visual projection of the film’s advertising on the facade of Suria KLCC mall which is directly at the base of the Petronas Twin Towers.

As for the movie itself, it is awesome! Marvel has accomplished it again by delivering to us an amazing movie of which almost all previously appeared Marvel superheroes assembled again to take on the villain, Thanos who finally collect the Infinity Stones by himself to power up the Infinity Gauntlet and be the most powerful being in the universe. It’s a bit sad of not seeing Hawkeye and Ant-man joining the huge group of superheroes here (I felt a bit incomplete). Anyway, the movie still has all the charm from the multiple exciting battle scenes, some humorous moments and interesting emphasis on the character development of Thanos. He is not just a bad guy who aim to wipe out half the universe and be evil for no purpose. There seems to be reasoning on his part (although I couldn’t agree on his stand) and I praise Marvel for adding this story to refine this particular character.

This makes no time for the superheroes to shine on their own (most of them only has very few lines in the movie), That is reasonable due to the huge number of superheroes involved while most of them already had their arc explained in their past individual films. The whole movie is quite straightforward except the very end which will puzzle the audiences especially those who are not a strong Marvel comic fans. I only understand some of the ending theories as explained by some people out there on the internet. Spoiler ahead; I don’t think all those who are dusted after Thanos snapped his finger from his Infinity Gauntlet complete with all the six Infinity Stones will just died like that. I believe they or some of them may appear again (maybe resurrected?) in the next Avengers movie scheduled next year. And where has Thanos went to in the end? I don’t quite get that. I think I need to research a bit more on the details of the ending. It’s an open conclusion as expected because Marvel will not just end here as there are so much more future plans ahead for MCU.

The battle scenes are fantastic and explosive till I wouldn’t even want to blink for once during those scenes. Besides that, I can really feel the intensity especially when Thanos appears with those amazing score and the CGI of Thanos’ appearance properly worked on. (it’s so cool watching the scene when Thanos used his gauntlet to pull and throw a planet onto the superheroes…and also many other scenes!) It’s actually very hard to make a movie not only about one superhero but to gather a lot of them into a single production with a great villain and plot. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ a total of 8.0. If you haven’t watch it and plan to do so, please stay till the end of the credits for a post-credit scene (typical for Marvel movies).

By the way, this movie is going to make a lot of money in worldwide box office. There is no doubt it will be the second movie of the year to gross over US$ 1 billion after ‘Black Panther’ (currently has US$ 1.3 billion in box office). I’m thinking that this ‘Infinity War’ will hit US$1.8 billion in the end.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Full winner list for the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards, and my quick opinions for some categories.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2018 by vincentloy

The 37th Hong Kong Film Awards was held yesterday to honor the best of Hong Kong films in 2017. I was very free on the Sunday’s evening and so I watched the whole awards ceremony which lasted for almost 4 hours (definitely overrun). I am not interested in most parts of the ceremony because I actually didn’t watch any of the nominated films (no love to Hong Kong films last year, I only watched very few but not the nominated ones). I am only excited and curious on who will win the best actor and actress this time. Here below is the full list of winners and nominees along with my comments in several categories:

Best Film from Mainland and Taiwan
The Great Buddha (Taiwan) (WINNER)
The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful (Taiwan)
Youth (China)
Duckweed (China)
Wolf Warrior 2 (China)

Best New Director
Kearen Pang — 29+1 (WINNER)
Jonathan Li — The Brink
Chapman To — The Empty Hands
Derek Hui — This Is Not What I Expected
Chan Tai-lee — Tomorrow Is Another Day

Opinion: I think this category should be removed because it is way too early to reward first-time director. There can be many other ways to reward first-time director rather than an award immediately.

Best Visual Effects
Henri Wong, Eric Xu — Wu Kong (WINNER)
Park Young-soo, Kim Wook — Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back
Jang Seong-ho, Park Young-soo, Son Oh-young — The Thousand Faces of Dunjia
Yee Kwok-leung, Chui Tak-piu, Jules Lin, Loki Ho — Shock Wave
Victor Wong, Eman Tse — The Founding of an Army

Opinion: When you do a movie about the mythical Monkey King legend and you place in heavy amount of CGI, you will win. The quality of visual effects in Asia is still quite far behind compared to Hollywood production. Every CGI scenes look fake especially in these kind of fantasy movies.

Best Sound Design
Kinson Tsang, George Lee — Paradox (WINNER)
Tu Du-chih, Wu Shu-yao — Our Time Will Come
Kinson Tsang, Yiu Chun-hin — Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back
Nip Kei-wing, Ip Siu-kei — Shock Wave
Hao Gang, Wang Chong — Wu Kong

Best Original Film Song
“An Unheard Melody” — Concerto of the Bully (WINNER)
Composer: Peter Kam
Lyrics: Keith Chan Siu-kei
Performer: Ronald Cheng
“Fake a Smile (For Hector)” — 29+1
Composer: Subyub Lee
Lyrics: Subyub Lee
Performer: Subyub Lee
“Flowers in Blossom” — Love Education
Composer: Kay Huang
Lyrics: Lam Kwun-fan
Performer: Sitar Tan
“Jeung Seung Si Sau” — Vampire Cleanup Department
Composer: ToNick
Lyrics: Leung Pak-kin, Gingerlemon Cola
Performer: ToNick
“When I Love You” — This Is Not What I Expected
Composer: Chan Kwong-wing
Lyrics: Han Han
Performer: Cheer Chen

Best Original Film Score
Joe Hisaishi — Our Time Will Come (WINNER)
Wong Ngai-lun, Janet Yung — 29+1
Peter Kam — Concerto of the Bully
Veronica Lee — The Empty Hands
Kay Huang — Love Education

Best Action Choreography
Sammo Hung — Paradox (WINNER)
Li Chung-chi — The Brink
Yuen Cheung-yan, Yuen Shun-yi — The Thousand Faces of Dunjia
Ku Huen-chiu — Wu Kong
Yu Kang, Yuen Bun, Yan Hua — Chasing the Dragon

Best Costume & Make Up Design
Bruce Yu, Lee Pik-kwan — Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back (WINNER)
Man Lim-chung, Polly Chan — Our Time Will Come
Bruce Yu, Lee Pik-kwan — Wu Kong
Yee Chung-man, Bruce Yu, Kwok Suk-man — Chasing the Dragon
Dora Ng — This Is Not What I Expected

Best Art Direction
Man Lim-chung, Billy Li — Our Time Will Come (WINNER)
Yoshihito Akatsuka, Liao Huei-li, Guo Zhongshan — Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back
Irving Cheung — The Empty Hands
Eric Lam — Wu Kong
James Cheung — Chasing the Dragon

Best Film Editing
Li Ka-wing — Chasing the Dragon (WINNER)
William Chang, Shirley Yip — In Your Dreams
Azreal Chung — Shock Wave
Mary Stephen, Kong Chi-leung — Our Time Will Come
Wong Hoi — Paradox

Best Cinematography
Jason Kwan — Chasing the Dragon (WINNER)
Nelson Yu — Our Time Will Come
Tam Wai-kai — The Empty Hands
Mark Lee Ping-bing — Love Education
Kenny Tse — Paradox

Best Screenplay
Sylvia Chang, You Xiaoying — Love Education (WINNER)
Kearen Pang — 29+1
Ho Kei-ping — Our Time Will Come
Pang Ho-cheung, Jimmy Wan, Luk Yee-sum — Love Off the Cuff
Cheung King-wai — Somewhere Beyond the Mist

Opinion: Since Sylvia Chang won here, it looks like she will lose the best actress trophy later. It’s okay because she has won it before many years ago.

Best New Performer
Ling Man-lung — Tomorrow Is Another Day (WINNER)
Larine Tang — The Yuppie Fantasia 3
Stephanie Au — Love Off the Cuff
Hanna Chan — Paradox
Rachel Leung — Somewhere Beyond the Mist

Opinion: I didn’t watch the film, but I am already amazed by Ling Man-lung’s acting just by seeing the short clip of his performance as an autistic son in ‘Tomorrow Is Another Day’ alone. Hence, I think he deserved this award.

Best Supporting Actress
Deanie Ip — Our Time Will Come (WINNER)
Joyce Cheng — 29+1
Estelle Wu — Love Education
Susan Shaw — Vampire Cleanup Department
Baby Bo — Somewhere Beyond the Mist

Opinion: Deanie Ip is a wonderful actress and it’s lovely to see her return to the stage again after winning best actress few years ago.

Best Supporting Actor
Philip Keung — Shock Wave (WINNER)
Philip Keung — Concerto of the Bully
Yasuaki Kurata — The Empty Hands
Paul Chun — Love Off the Cuff
Gordon Lam — Paradox
Yasuaki Kurata — God of War

Opinion: I have seen quite a number of Hong Kong movies in the past with Philip Keung in it. In most of those movies, he is not that noticeable because he is always playing average roles. Hey..not this time. This time, he got a role that won the recognition he deserves.

Best Actress
Teresa Mo — Tomorrow Is Another Day (WINNER)
Chrissie Chau — 29+1
Zhou Xun — Our Time Will Come
Stephy Tang — The Empty Hands
Sylvia Chang — Love Education

Opinion: Teresa Mo deserves this award. She has placed a lot of effort in Hong Kong film industry in all these years. After failing to win in previous occasions (has been nominated several times in the past), she finally prevailed this time. I’m glad for her. She too is a wonderful actress. I particularly like her comedic roles (although this award-winning role is not).

Best Actor
Louis Koo — Paradox (WINNER)
Ronald Cheng — Concerto of the Bully
Andy Lau — Shock Wave
Tian Zhuangzhuang — Love Education
Ling Man-lung — Tomorrow Is Another Day

Opinion: I already expected this. Louis Koo has been the frontrunner in this category after winning several best actor prizes in some other awards earlier for his role in ‘Paradox’. He has been nominated several times in the past too (but never win before) and no one is of doubt that he is a lead actor material. His time came and I’m happy for him winning his first Film King  in Hong Kong Film Awards. He has also won TV King many years ago from TVB.

Best Director
Ann Hui — Our Time Will Come (WINNER)
Kearen Pang — 29+1
Herman Yau — Shock Wave
Sylvia Chang — Love Education
Wilson Yip — Paradox

Opinion: Ann Hui again. She is a great director but at this point, I’m tired of hearing her name again. She has won the best director for a total of 6 times (most wins in directing). I think the voters tend to choose only the familiar name in this category (and also in some other categories too). This is discouraging to other directors who also did great jobs.

Best Film
Roger Lee, Stephen Lam, Ann Hui — Our Time Will Come (WINNER)
Alvin Lam, Andy Lau, Chan Pui-wah, Esther Koo, Alice Chan, Jeffrey Chan, Simon Li, Thomas Tang, Chang Bin, C.K. Wong, Xingbo Guan — Shock Wave
Patricia Cheng — Love Education
Wong Jing, Donnie Yen, Andy Lau, Connie Wong — Chasing the Dragon
Soi Cheang, Paco Wong — Paradox

Opinion: Yet, another film by Ann Hui winning best film again. Usually those artistic and historical movie (and usually boring) will win. I’m not against it but again, I’m tired of seeing the similar type of movie taking the top honor. The voters should opt for innovative (boundary pushing) or truly moving (warm and relatable) works next time.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

71st British Academy Film Awards: List of winners and my overall opinion on the final race to the Oscars.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2018 by vincentloy

The 71st British Academy Film Awards, or simply known as BAFTA took place on 16th February 2018 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. This is the fourth of the five major televised awards in recognizing the best of Hollywood films every year.
‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is the biggest winner with 5 wins including the coveted ‘Best Film’ prize. The film also won ‘Outstanding British Film’, completing the difficult feat of nailing both the best film prizes BAFTA offered. Its big win here reinforces its position as the Oscar frontrunner particularly in the best picture race where ‘The Shape of Water’ is another serious contender. After winning Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Screen Actors Guild for Best Cast for Motion Picture, and then this BAFTA for Best Film, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ now is predicted to win Best Picture in the coming Oscars as well. The only major televised award it missed out is Critics’ Choice for Best Picture that went to ‘The Shape of Water’. I’m still hoping that ‘The Shape of Water’ will upset ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ in the Oscars.
As for the four acting categories, it is a lock. Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney can now safely practice their Oscar speech. There is no more competition. It is very unlikely that other nominees will win after they won all the major precursor awards leading up to the Oscars. James Ivory is sure to win ‘Adapted Screenplay’ in the Oscars too for ‘Call Me By Your Name’ while competition for ‘Original Screenplay’ remain heated with ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ and ‘Get Out’ battling each other. On the other hand, I’m 100% confident that ‘Coco’ will win Best Animated Feature in the Oscars without any further explanation required.
Leading with 13 nominations, ‘The Shape of Water’ is now expected to take only ‘Best Director’, ‘Best Production Design’ and ‘Best Original Score’. This movie deserves more in my opinion (including ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Actress’, etc) but it looks like no one can block the immense love to ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ from the industry people. On the other hand, it’s a pity that Timothee Chalamet lost the Rising Star Award to Daniel Kaluuya because the latter is a homegrown (definitely an advantage since this category is voted by the public). Timothee Chalamet definitely had a more stellar year (2017) in films (‘Lady Bird’ and ‘Call Me By Your Name’). ‘Blade Runner 2049’, ‘Baby Driver’, ‘Dunkirk’, ‘Phantom Thread’, ‘The Shape of Water’ and ‘Darkest Hour’ win in the remaining technical categories. Notable highlight here is ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ losing ‘Best Visual Effects’ to ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and this hurts its chance in the coming Oscars.
Here below is the full list of winners for the 71st British Academy Film Awards (2018):
Best Film
“Call Me By Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“The Shape Of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *Winner
Outstanding British Film
“Darkest Hour”
“The Death Of Stalin”
“God’s Own Country”
“Lady Macbeth”
“Paddington 2”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *Winner
Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer
“The Ghoul Gareth Tunley”
“I Am Not A Witch” *Winner
“Jawbone Johnny Harris (Writer/Producer), Thomas Napper (Director)
“Kingdom Of Us”
“Lady Macbeth”
Film Not In The English Language
“Elle”
“First They Killed My Father”
“The Handmaiden” *Winner
“Loveless”
“The Salesman”
Documentary
“City Of Ghosts”
“I Am Not Your Negro” *Winner
“Icarus”
“An Inconvenient Sequel”
“Jane”
Animated Film
“Coco” *Winner
“Loving Vincent”
“My Life As A Courgette”
Director
“Blade Runner 2049,” Denis Villeneuve
“Call Me By Your Name,” Luca Guadagnino
“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“The Shape Of Water,” Guillermo Del Toro *Winner
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin Mcdonagh
Original Screenplay
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“I, Tonya,” Steven Rogers
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“The Shape Of Water,” Guillermo Del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin Mcdonagh *Winner
Adapted Screenplay
“Call Me By Your Name,” James Ivory *Winner
“The Death Of Stalin,” Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, David Schneider
“Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool,” Matt Greenhalgh
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Paddington 2,” Simon Farnaby, Paul King
Leading Actress
Annette Bening, “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool”
“Frances Mcdormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *Winner
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape Of Water”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Leading Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” *Winner
Jamie Bell, “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool”
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
Supporting Actress
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” *Winner
Kristin Scott Thomas, “Darkest Hour”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape Of Water”
Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer, “All The Money In The World”
Hugh Grant, “Paddington 2”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *Winner
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Original Music
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Shape Of Water” *Winner
Cinematography
“Blade Runner 2049” *Winner
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk Hoyte”
“The Shape Of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Editing
“Baby Driver” *Winner
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk Lee Smith”
“The Shape Of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public)
Daniel Kaluuya *Winner
Florence Pugh
Josh O’Connor
Tessa Thompson
Timothée Chalamet
Make Up & Hair
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Darkest Hour” *Winner
“I, Tonya”
“Victoria & Abdul”
“Wonder”
Costume Design
“Beauty and the Beast”
“Darkest Hour”
“I, Tonya”
“Phantom Thread” *Winner
“The Shape of Water”
Sound
“Baby Driver”
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk” * Winner
“The Shape of Water”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Visual Effects
“Blade Runner 2049” *Winner
“Dunkirk”
“The Shape of Water”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
“War for the Planet of the Apes”
(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Just watched my first 2018 movie. Movie review for ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2018 by vincentloy

‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ is the third and last installment of the ‘Maze Runner’ film franchise which is based on a series of novel of the same name. In the first movie ‘The Maze Runner’ released back in 2014, Thomas wakes up in a maze with a group of other boys (Newt, Minho, etc) and later a girl (Teresa) with no memory of the outside world other than dreams about an organization known as W.C.K.D. He slowly remembered his past with clues he discovered in the maze and he attempted to escape the deadly maze with the others. In the second movie ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ released a year later in 2015, Thomas and his group (known as Gladers) continued their journey on the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with obstacles (particularly Cranks, the infected victims from the Flare virus that turned to zombie-like creatures) to find more clues about W.C.K.D.. They have uncovered their plan which is to torture the immunes and extract blood from them to be made as a cure to the virus. They have also teamed up with resistance fighters and Minho is captured in the end. Finally, in this last movie ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’, the group went into W.C.K.D. base in the Last City to rescue Minho and other captured immune kids.

With the quick recap of the whole story explained, now it’s time to move on to my review for this final film. I recommend you to re-watch the first two movies before going to this third one. This movie is quite long (over 2 hours plus) but I am engaged to it from the beginning to its end, thanks to the multiple exhilarating action-packed scenes. The movie is mostly about the mission to enter the enemy’s territory that involves a lot of guns, fights, explosions, and Cranks (the zombies). There is not a a single scene that feels draggy. From the opening scene that involves Mad Max-inspired train hijacking to encounters with Cranks in a tunnel, and then to breaking into the W.C.K.D. labyrinth-like base, everything is fast-paced and thrilling. Besides than actions, the movie also provides time for characters’ development and emotional moments. Conventional young adult films (like The Hunger Games or Divergents) would focus on romance, but this ‘Maze Runner’ series emphasized on friendship (and bromance) and that is what I’m happy about especially from this concluding film that tells a lot more on this aspect. Thomas do love Teresa but nothing much is shown in their relationship (only a quick kiss in the end…sorry for spoiler). Thomas focuses more on his mission to save his friend, Minho and he also reserves most of his emotion to Newt especially in the end when the latter turned into Crank, struggled and killed himself. This movie is doing all the right thing for Newtmas’ fans while staying true to the books. The ending of this movie is an emotional one and it provides a satisfying conclusion to the overall storyline and the friendship between Thomas and Newt.

Dylan O’Brien (as Thomas in the movie) has proven to everyone that he is a great young actor that can take on other more challenging roles from now on (evident from his previous work in ‘American Assassin’). Thomas Brodie-Sangster is perfect for the role of Newt while Ki Hong-lee is also good as Minho. Kaya Scodelario (as Teresa) is also convincing in these three movies altogether. Their chemistry is very good between one another. Although they are just mostly running around in this film series, but I still see effort from them to carry the story through with more matured performances.

The visuals are brilliant. It is obvious that a lot more money is spent on this final installment. The views of the dystopian setting the film is centered on (and views of the Last City) are breathtaking. The set design is also cool (particularly the W.C.K.D. labyrith-like base) while the score is fascinating as well to compliment the visual progression of the movie. This is a very satisfying conclusion to this film series. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ a total of 8.0. I enjoyed this movie a lot. At one point in the past, I was worried that this final installment will not get to see its release date because of a serious accident involving Dylan O’Brien during the early filming of this movie in 2016. The accident has delayed the production for around a year and filming only resumes last year. I’m glad that Dylan recovered and decided to finish the movie and I  compliment his effort in it after a tragic accident from it that almost took his life.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Third major stop of 2017 Hollywood film awards season: Screen Actors Guild Awards 2018

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2018 by vincentloy

The 24th Screen Actors Guild Awards was held yesterday on 21st January 2018. It is the third of the five main trophies to be won in the annual awards season for Hollywood films. There were Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice before this Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Now, there are two more major ceremonies to follow to wrap up the honouring for 2017 films and they are the BAFTA and the Oscars.

I’m putting up the full list of winners (nomination list included) for both television and film categories. I am also putting in my opinion to summarize what I felt on the awards presented in film categories.

24th Screen Actors Guild Awards’ Full List of Winners

Motion Picture Awards
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” *WINNER
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Judi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Steve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes”
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson,”Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” *WINNER
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture
“The Big Sick”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Mudbound”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Baby Driver”
“Dunkirk”
“Logan”
“Wonder Woman” *WINNER
“War for the Planet of the Apes”
Opinion: Looks like Gary Oldman (best actor), Frances McDormand (best actress), Sam Rockwell (best supporting actor) and Allison Janney (best supporting actress) are going to make a clean sweep at all the five major awards. They have done so in Golden Globes, Critics Choice and this SAG. They are certainly the frontrunners for the remaining ones; BAFTA and Oscars. Looks like the dark horses (Timothee Chalamet in best actor, Sally Hawkins in best actress, Willem Dafoe in best supporting actor, Laurie Metcalf in best supporting actress) appeared to have no longer posing any threat at this stage. Although I did not enjoy the movie ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’, but I have to admit that this film is going to be an Oscar frontrunner for best picture. It has won best motion picture-drama at Golden Globes, and won a number of acting awards in Critics Choice and this SAG. The other movie that is considered a strong contender now is ‘The Shape of Water’ (I prefer this one). However, I think its chance is lesser than ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ because the Academy members (comprising mostly of older generation) would not enjoy a sci-fi movie about a woman falling in love with an amphibian and will only consider it as a technical excellence. I’m also very surprised that ‘The Shape of Water’ or ‘Call Me By Your Name’ didn’t even get nominated for the cast ensemble (but ‘Get Out’, ‘Mudbound’ and ‘Lady Bird’ did). Last but not least, I’m delighted for ‘Wonder Woman’ to win the action performance by a stunt ensemble. Definitely an awesome movie. 
Television Awards
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”
Jeff Daniels, “Godless”
Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”
Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”
Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies” *WINNER
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies” *WINNER
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us” *WINNER
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
Claire Foy, “The Crown” *WINNER
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Sean Hayes, “Will & Grace”
William H. Macy, “Shameless” *WINNER
Marc Maron, “GLOW”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black”
Alison Brie, “GLOW”
Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” *WINNER
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“The Crown”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Stranger Things”
“This Is Us” *WINNER
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“Black-ish”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“GLOW”
“Orange is the New Black”
“Veep” *WINNER
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
“Game of Thrones” *WINNER
“GLOW”
“Homeland”
“Stranger Things”
“The Walking Dead”
The next awards is the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) to be presented on 18th February 2018.
(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)