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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)

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2018 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards: Winners list

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2018 by vincentloy

Here comes the second out of the five most prestigious film awards for the annual Hollywood award season. The 2018 (23rd) Critics’ Choice Awards was held yesterday that honours the best of television and movies in year 2017. I will only post the result for the film categories as I have not watched any television series from the West for the past year.

So, without wasting any more time, here’s below is the full winners’ list for 2018 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards alongside with the list of nominees and my opinions. Do note that the number of nominees for each categories are inconsistent as they range from 4 to 7 for normal categories and 10 for best picture category:

BEST PICTURE
“The Big Sick”
“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“The Florida Project”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water” – WINNER
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Opinion: Delighted for ‘The Shape of Water’ to win. I have just watched this movie recently and it was fantastic and brilliant. Looks like the Oscar race for best picture will be now only between ‘The Shape of Water’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ which had just won Golden Globes last week in Best Motion Picture – Drama. I still prefer the former. I find nothing exceptional for ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’.

BEST ACTOR
Timothée Chalamet – “Call Me by Your Name”
James Franco – “The Disaster Artist”
Jake Gyllenhaal – “Stronger”
Tom Hanks – “The Post”
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out”
Daniel Day-Lewis – “Phantom Thread”
Gary Oldman – “Darkest Hour” – WINNER

Opinion: Expected result. Gary Oldman is overdue for awards and this is a perfect year for him. He is now the locked favourite to pick his first Oscar for best actor later. I’m quite happy that the list is expanded to 7 nominees in this category to fit in Jake Gyllenhaal as a little recognition to him as he has been very great in his recent film works. As for the other awards that has 5 nominees only for a category, he must be the one to be left out sadly.

BEST ACTRESS
Jessica Chastain – “Molly’s Game”
Sally Hawkins – “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – WINNER
Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep – “The Post”

Opinion: Looks like Frances McDormand is on her way to win her second Oscar. She is now also locked for best actress win in the remaining awards including the Oscars. She is great in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ but I find Sally Hawkins to be much more exceptional from her performance in ‘The Shape of Water’. Besides that, I am also annoyed by Frances McDormand’s strong personality and rude attitude. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Willem Dafoe – “The Florida Project”
Armie Hammer – “Call Me By Your Name”
Richard Jenkins – “The Shape of Water”
Sam Rockwell – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – WINNER
Patrick Stewart – “Logan”
Michael Stuhlbarg – “Call Me by Your Name”

Opinion: Willem Dafoe lost a lot of momentum by losing to Sam Rockwell again in this Critics’ Choice after being defeated too at the Golden Globes. Looks like Sam Rockwell is climbing the stair very quick to the top of the race and he is now the frontrunner to snatch the Oscar later. Well, he deserved it as I find his performance in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ excellent. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Mary J. Blige – “Mudbound”
Hong Chau – “Downsizing”
Tiffany Haddish – “Girls Trip”
Holly Hunter – “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney – “I, Tonya” – WINNER
Laurie Metcalf – “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer – “The Shape of Water”

Opinion: Similar case to Willem Dafoe-Sam Rockwell situation. Allison Janney continued her winning streak by taking this Critics’ Choice for best supporting actress. She now overtakes the previous favourite, Laurie Metcalf. Well, I am equally amazed by both of their performances. 

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Mckenna Grace – “Gifted”
Dafne Keen – “Logan”
Brooklynn Prince – “The Florida Project” – WINNER
Millicent Simmonds – “Wonderstruck”
Jacob Tremblay – “Wonder”

Opinion: Jacob Tremblay had won this before and so I don’t think he would be winning again. Dafne Keen is great in ‘Logan’ but performance in superhero film is usually not sought after for awards. I have not watched ‘The Florida Project’ and hence I have no comment to the winner’s selection in this category.

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
“Dunkirk”
“Lady Bird”
“Mudbound”
“The Post”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – WINNER

Opinion: Agree with this. Although I don’t think ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is a masterpiece, but I have to admit that all the main cast (Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson and other supporting cast) did amazing jobs in this movie.

BEST DIRECTOR
Guillermo del Toro – “The Shape of Water” – WINNER
Greta Gerwig – “Lady Bird”
Martin McDonagh – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Christopher Nolan – “Dunkirk”
Luca Guadagnino – “Call Me By Your Name”
Jordan Peele – “Get Out”
Steven Spielberg – “The Post”

Opinion: Happy for Guillermo del Toro to win. His direction is brilliant in ‘The Shape of Water’. He is now the hot favourite to pick the Oscar and that puts Christopher Nolan aside. Poor Nolan. He has directed some stellar works in the past but never win big. I hope his chance will come very soon again next time.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor – “The Shape of Water”
Greta Gerwig – “Lady Bird”
Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani – “The Big Sick”
Liz Hannah and Josh Singer – “The Post”
Martin McDonagh – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Jordan Peele – “Get Out” – WINNER

Opinion: ‘Lady Bird’ is tipped to win this, but ended up losing to ‘Get Out’. Looks like ‘Lady Bird’ is not getting any love from Critics’ Choice. I have to admit that ‘Get Out’ do have a standout story in a horror theme, a genre that usually has typical and repetitive plots. 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
James Ivory – “Call Me by Your Name” – WINNER
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber – “The Disaster Artist”
Dee Rees and Virgil Williams – “Mudbound”
Aaron Sorkin – “Molly’s Game”
Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad, Stephen Chbosky – “Wonder”

Opinion: ‘Call Me By Your Name’ has its only chance here and yup, it won. Competition in adapted screenplay isn’t strong this year and so it makes way for ‘Call Me By Your Name’ to sweep multiple awards in this category easily including the coming Oscars.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Roger Deakins – “Blade Runner 2049” – WINNER
Hoyte van Hoytema – “Dunkirk”
Dan Laustsen – “The Shape of Water”
Rachel Morrison – “Mudbound”
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom – “Call Me By Your Name”

Opinion: Didn’t watch ‘Blade Runner 2049’ but I heard a lot of good words on that movie particularly on its technical achievements. 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeff Melvin – “The Shape of Water” – WINNER
Jim Clay, Rebecca Alleway – “Murder on the Orient Express”
Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis – “Dunkirk”
Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola – “Blade Runner 2049”
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer – “Beauty and the Beast”
Mark Tildesley, Véronique Melery – “Phantom Thread”

Opinion: Glad that ‘The Shape of Water’ win this one too because it clearly has amazing production design that successfully enables me as an audience to immerse myself into the movie. 

BEST EDITING
Michael Kahn, Sarah Broshar – “The Post”
Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos – “Baby Driver” – WINNER
Lee Smith – “Dunkirk” 
Joe Walker – “Blade Runner 2049”
Sidney Wolinsky – “The Shape of Water”

Opinion: Happy for a recognition to ‘Baby Driver’. It was a great movie. The editing is brilliant in that one. However, I have a feeling that ‘Baby Driver’ will not win for the coming Academy Awards in this category as usually a film winning this award will be getting a best picture nomination in Oscars’ history. ‘Baby Driver’ certainly won’t be getting a best picture nomination.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Renée April – “Blade Runner 2049”
Mark Bridges – “Phantom Thread” – WINNER
Jacqueline Durran – “Beauty and the Beast”
Lindy Hemming – “Wonder Woman”
Luis Sequeira – “The Shape of Water”

Opinion: There has to be something for ‘Phantom Thread’. And yup, Critics’ Choice found a category for it. I would prefer ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to take this.

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP
“Beauty and the Beast”
“Darkest Hour” – WINNER
“I, Tonya”
“The Shape of Water”
“Wonder”

Opinion: Gary Oldman’s transformation as Winston Churchill in ‘Darkest Hour’ is something that many people talked about. The make-up is incredible and it makes me not even able to recognize that it was Gary Oldman. So, a win for ‘Darkest Hour’ in this category is expected.

BEST SONG
“Evermore” – “Beauty and the Beast”
“Mystery of Love” – “Call Me By Your Name”
“Remember Me” – “Coco” – WINNER
“Stand Up for Something” – “Marshall”
“This Is Me” – “The Greatest Showman”

Opinion: ‘This Is Me’ won in Golden Globes but ‘Remember Me’ won in Critics’ Choice now. So, it’s the battle between these two in the remaining awards. I’m okay with any of these two songs winning.

BEST SCORE
Alexandre Desplat – “The Shape of Water” – WINNER
Jonny Greenwood – “Phantom Thread”
Dario Marianelli – “Darkest Hour”
Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer – “Blade Runner 2049”
John Williams – “The Post”
Hans Zimmer – “Dunkirk”

Opinion: Another expected and satisfying outcome. Alexandre Desplat crafted a simple yet magical soundtrack for ‘The Shape of Water’. The score adds extra layer to the movie.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk”
“The Shape of Water”
“Thor: Ragnarok”
“War for the Planet of the Apes” – WINNER
“Wonder Woman”

Opinion: Also happy for ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ to win as that was the last movie in its film franchise. The creation of the realistic apes in the movie is a challenging task to do and yet so amazingly delivered in this movie.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“The Breadwinner”
“Coco” – WINNER
“Despicable Me 3”
“The LEGO Batman Movie”
“Loving Vincent”

Opinion: ‘Coco’ all the way. Everybody is now 100% sure that ‘Coco’ will take the same prize in the coming Oscars too. This wonderful movie has been snatching almost all of the precursor awards and it totally deserves all of them. 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)”
“A Fantastic Woman”
“First They Killed My Father”
“In the Fade” – WINNER
“The Square”
“Thelma”

Opinion: No comment in this category as I have not watched all of the nominated films. 

BEST ACTION MOVIE
“Baby Driver”
“Logan”
“Thor: Ragnarok”
“War for the Planet of the Apes”
“Wonder Woman” – WINNER

Opinion: Delighted for ‘Wonder Woman’ to win. I had an awesome time watching it months ago. Brilliant movie and is the ‘only’ brilliant movie by DC in recent years.

BEST COMEDY
“The Big Sick” – WINNER
“The Disaster Artist”
“Girls Trip”
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”

Opinion: I am surprised that ‘Lady Bird’ lost for this one. Even if ‘Lady Bird’ lost, I would thought of it losing to ‘I, Tonya’ or ‘The Disaster Artist’. It ended up losing to ‘The Big Sick’, a movie that has not received a lot of awards buzz. I’m surprised.

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Steve Carell – “Battle of the Sexes”
James Franco – “The Disaster Artist” – WINNER
Chris Hemsworth – “Thor: Ragnarok”
Kumail Nanjiani – “The Big Sick”
Adam Sandler – “The Meyerowitz Stories”

Opinion: Expected. James Franco won here after similar win in Golden Globes few days ago. Well, his winning will end here as there are no longer separate category for acting performance in musical/comedy in the remaining award presentations. It will be all just nominations for him from here onward.

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Tiffany Haddish – “Girls Trip”
Zoe Kazan – “The Big Sick”
Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya” – WINNER
Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
Emma Stone – “Battle of the Sexes”

Opinion: Saoirse Ronan surprisingly lost to Margot Robbie here. Again, another surprise. Saoirse Ronan won in Golden Globes but now Margot Robbie came into the light by winning in this Critics’ Choice. But I’m actually happier that Margot Robbie won as I find that her performance is slightly better than Saoirse Ronan. Anyway, both of them are sure to be nominated for best actress in the coming Academy Awards but they won’t be able to win. So, it is very obvious that ‘Lady Bird’ is totally shut out in Critics’ Choice to the shock of many people.

BEST SCI-FI OR HORROR MOVIE
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Get Out” – WINNER
“It”
“The Shape of Water”

Opinion: This is the category for ‘Get Out’ to win. Enough said. 

The next major Hollywood film awards will be the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) to be held on 21st January 2018.

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

Movie review for ‘Coco’ (2017). It’s certainly 2017’s best animated film.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2018 by vincentloy

I was quite excited when the screener copy for ‘Coco’ is out recently but I do recommend that the movie to be watched in cinema for its rich visual. It is my most anticipated animated movie of the year. Even before its release, many has already predicted it to be the frontrunner this year to win the Oscar. Well, they were absolutely right.

‘Coco’ is an animated film that follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel Rivera who is accidentally transported to the land of the dead, where he seeks the help of his deceased musician great-great-grandfather to return him to his family among the living. The concept of the film is based on the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead. It was produced by Pixar and released by Disney.

Pixar never disappoints on creating animated movies that made people cry. Well, I have not gone to that stage yet but I do felt moved by the storyline of ‘Coco’. The revelation scene and the ending are particularly emotional. The movie has plenty of humorous scenes and emotional moments. I am amazed that the studio delivered both of these elements in such a great way. This light-hearted and fun movie also taught us on the matters of life and death, importance of family, and the vibrant Mexican culture. Besides than all that, ‘Coco’ is also filled with beautiful songs and exciting adventure that will please both the kids and the adults.

The other major compliment to the movie is definitely on its visual. The rich palette of colours topped with detailed scene designs especially of the places in the ‘Land of the Dead’ in the movie are amazing. On the other hand, the vocal performances are great too. Vocal performances are usually not being emphasized in animated films as the involved actors or actresses are not visibly seen in the movie but rather represented simply through voices of the animated characters but this movie shined in that aspect too. The fully dimensional characters also help out a lot. Out of the songs presented in the movie, ‘Remember Me’ with the multiple versions it had, stood out. Simple lyrics but with beautiful and touching melody that enhances the emotional value of ‘Coco’.

‘Coco’ is certainly the best animated movie of 2017 and also one of the best animated movies of all time in my personal opinion. It has everything, and delivered everything to the perfection. The movie is beautiful, highly entertaining, deeply affecting and I have an awesome time watching it yesterday. Pixar has been using similar formulas to churn out good and touching animated films and they are still the best at it. There is also a nice plot twist near the end (but I’m already expecting that one earlier).

Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Coco’ a total of 8.6. That grade means that ‘Coco’ is also my best reviewed film of 2017. Well, it translates similarly to the 97% rating that it has now from Rotten Tomatoes, 8.8 out of 10 from IMDB and 81% score from Metacritic. Since I find that there are no other 2017 animated films that even try to compete for the best this year, ‘Coco’ is hands down the frontrunner and the most deserving pick to win best animated feature at the upcoming Oscars and other major film awards too. It is an instant classic.

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

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is the latest film to join 1-billion dollar club and movie review for ‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2018 by vincentloy

As expected, the latest film in the Star Wars film franchise, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ has grossed over US$ 1 billion on its worldwide box office recently. The movie reached the milestone only about three weeks from its release date. As of 2nd January 2018, the film has grossed US$ 1.056 billion (US$ 533 million from US and Canada and US$ 523 million from all other markets). It is very seldom that the international intake is more than the domestic intake for a film and this ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is an example. It proves that this film franchise is intensely popular in US. On its release week, it has the second largest opening ever if I’m not mistaken.

The movie is now one of the four films in 2017 that grossed over US$ 1 billion respectively. It is currently the 22nd highest grossing film of all time but that ranking is expected to rise further as the movie still observes high attendance from all parts of the world and that it has not even released in China yet. I’m expecting that it will have a final box office intake of somewhere around US$ 1.5 billion. It will not come close to 2015’s ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ that has gained US$ 2.068 billion to become world’s 3rd highest grossing movie of all time (unadjusted for inflation). ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ will ultimately topped the chart as the highest grossing 2017 film, defeating ‘Beauty and the Beast’ that stands at US$ 1.263 billion. The conclusion is; whenever you are producing a Star Wars film, you are sure to get over 1-billion dollar box office return. I’m not a fans of this franchise and I have not watched it yet (no huge interest on it).

Now, let’s talk about another movie and I’m giving my quick review to it now. It’s ‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’. I watched it two weeks ago. It’s a sequel to the first ‘Jumanji’ film in 1995(and 2005’s ‘Zathura: A Space Adventure) and has its story set 21 years after the first film. I remembered those two films and I loved both of them. The plot now follows four teenagers who are transported into the video game world of Jumanji, playing as the characters they chose, and must beat the game in order to return home. It is no longer based on a board but rather on a video game. The movie starred Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, etc.

I had a great time watching it. There was so much fun in this movie. Hilarious moments in almost every scenes, gorgeous visuals, likable cast, and great actions. This is one of the most entertaining movies that I have watched in recent years. I’m happy that Hollywood decides to remake ‘Jumanji’. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’ a total of 7.8. I am seeing Dwayne Johnson everywhere. He is taking up so many movies (Fast and Furious franchise, San Andreas, Journey to the Mysterious Island, G.I.Joe: Retaliation, Central Intelligence, and upcoming Rampage, etc) right now, and is a much needed actor for movies that require an extreme body physique.

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

 

Had just watched the first two Oscar-bait films of the year, and they are both coincidentally LGBT-themed.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2017 by vincentloy

A lot of Oscar-bait films are usually released in December to leave more impression and effects to the critics and awards’ voters. This is also the month when film studios would release a lot of screeners for guilds and film’s associations to vote for the best of the year. Hence, you would see some films that have recently or have not yet been released to the public and yet have their clear-version copy out there in the torrent sites. The first two Oscar-bait films of the year that I have recently watched are ‘Battle Of The Sexes’ and ‘Call Me By Your Name’. They are both coincidentally LGBT-themed. This particular theme is getting a lot of love recently as the general public is now more open towards accepting it.

‘Battle Of The Sexes’ is a biographical sports film loosely based on the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Robert Larimore Riggs. The film dramatizes the events leading up to that match between King (Emma Stone) and Riggs (Steve Carell), and their personal lives, particularly touching on the affair between King (she is married) with her female hairdresser. Billie Jean, a successful female tennis player, fights for the equality treatment of women and challenges the general perception during that period of time that women are ultimately weaker than men in sports. She accepts the challenge by a veteran male player, Riggs who boasts a lot of himself and relaxes before the tournament. King defeated Riggs in the legendary match.

It is a very solid film. It stands out without requiring any over-dramatic scenes but relies heavily on excellent performances by Emma Stone and Steve Carrell. Emma Stone is fantastic in this role and her performance here is even better than her last year’s role in ‘La La Land’ that won her Best Actress at the Academy Awards. Up till now, I still disagree on her Oscar win. She just won because she is popular, well liked by a lot of people, and ‘La La Land’ is getting a lot of love. Her performance in ‘La La Land’ is nothing extraordinary. Her role here is much better and challenging. Does that mean she will have a chance to win it again this year? Nope. She just won it last year (Academy wouldn’t want to award a young actress another trophy that soon). Steve Carrell is also wonderful but I think getting nominations is the furthest he can go. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Battle Of The Sexes’ a total of 7.5. This is an Oscar-bait film but is not getting much buzz lately. Hence, it will get a number of nominations in the coming awards but will mostly likely not winning much.

‘Call Me By Your Name’ is different. This movie is getting more buzz and has received standing ovation during its premiere in film festivals earlier. It is a romantic coming-of-age drama film that chronicles the romantic gay relationship between Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a 17-year-old living in Italy, and his father’s American assistant, Oliver (Armie Hammer). The story is set in Northern Italy in 1983. The movie explored the tension between pain and pleasure experienced by Elio whom is a teenage boy and in the midst of experimenting with his sexuality and falling in love with a guy.

Timothee Chalamet is a young actor whom nobody will recognize on the streets. Now, you have to remember his name. He is the star of the film. At such a young age and with such a daring role, he portrayed Elio with absolutely genuine acting. He is getting Best Actor nominations in a lot of places and having won some. He truly deserved it. The ending scene alone is enough to make audiences weep for his story with Oliver in the movie, and be moved by his performance. Armie Hammer has also done a great job as Oliver and delivered his character in an intimate and restrained way. The chemistry between the two of them is exceptional. Some scenes are quite graphic in the movie but I think it’s fine as in the end, no explicit content is shown. This self-discovery story is moving and is enhanced with great cinematography, scores and performances as highlighted earlier. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Call Me By Your Name’ a total of 8.0.

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

 

Movie review for ‘Annabelle: Creation’ (2017), ‘It’ (2017) and a big news for ‘Despicable Me 3’ (2017).

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2017 by vincentloy

Hmm…I’m up to some horror movies recently. Well, it is the Hungry Ghost Festival now and it further sets the mood to watch some scary movies in these weeks.

‘Annabelle: Creation’ is a supernatural horror film that acts as a prequel to 2014’s ‘Annabelle’ movie and is the fourth installment in ‘The Conjuring’ film series. Remember the freaky Annabelle doll from the first ‘The Conjuring’ movie? The real doll (by now, you should already know that there is really a true story behind the doll) actually looks much more friendlier but of course for a horror movie purpose, a new doll with scary features has to be created. And then, it became so popular that it has its own stand-alone movie. And that’s not enough. Now, we have a prequel to that stand-alone film that drives from another film. And after the success of ‘The Conjuring 2’ as well, we will have a new stand-alone movie for that creepy nun too, soon (next year).

Let’s get back to the movie. It tells the story of a family who has its one and only daughter killed in a freak traffic accident. After that, the couple experienced strange things in the house and they assumed it was their daughter. But it’s not; it’s a demon craving for some horror and manifest itself in a doll. Several years later, the couple welcomed a group of girls and a nun to their house and the demon resurfaces to haunt and possess the children. This movie is slightly better than 2014’s Annabelle. The doll itself is still very creepy eventhough I have seen it many times by now. However, I find that this film series now is showing more and more of the demon’s feature (a black figure with horns?) and that somehow didn’t quite make it that scary anymore for me. Too much have been shown. The intense horrific and heart-stopping atmosphere has been toned down in my personal opinion. However, I am still impressed by some scary scenes or old school tactics used in the movie. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Annabelle: Creation’ a total of 7.2. I also like that the ending of this movie links to the starting scene of 2014’s Annabelle for a sort of continuity.

Next horror movie I have just watched is ‘It’. What a name. Just ‘it’. That ‘it’ refers to a clown called Pennywise. It is a supernatural horror film based on a novel by Stephen King and tells the story of a group of 7 children in Derry who are terrorized by the eponymous being, mostly in the form of a clown. First of all, I have to say I hate clowns. There’s the irony. Clown is created to entertain kids, but they turned out scaring them, and that’s the point for this movie (and also for several other movies in the past too). The movie delivered an effective horror outcome but it didn’t quite scare me. But if a kid is watching this, I’m sure he or she will be very terrified. It just didn’t work out for adults.

However, I still have to compliment the movie for being very effective as said earlier. The story is straight to the point, fast-paced, and covered a lot on these characters of innocent kids. These kids gave a very good performance in this movie. Another extra point to the movie is for its emotional grasp. I do felt the friendship between these kids and the sadness of one of them for losing his younger brother and his dedication to find him. However, this movie also sends out a bad message; implying that fat boy will not get the girl while a handsome one will. You will know once you have watched this movie. There is also some unexpected funny scenes throughout the movie. The clown is creepy and without any background knowledge of this story, I would say that it is all just the fear in the mind of these kids (the clown isn’t real?). Out of 10 points, I rate ‘It’ a total of 7.8. Now, this is just Chapter One as revealed at the end of the movie and I’m looking forward to Chapter Two which is going to be set 27 years later when they all turned into adults (of course will have older cast to replace them for those characters). This movie is safe for adults. Warning: just don’t bring kids to watch this. It is going to be a hell for them.

Let’s not talk about the horror stuff anymore. There’s a good news, and it’s about ‘Despicable Me 3’, an animated movie released few months back. The movie became the 31st movie in the history to gross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. The achievement is accomplished as this week ends. It is now the 6th highest grossing animated film of all time and also the 3rd highest grossing film in 2017. That’s impressive. It is a good news to this movie as it will be out of the worldwide theatres very soon and yet it managed to cross the milestone and join the 1-billion club.

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

Movie review for ’47 Meters Down’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2017 by vincentloy

It has been so chilly in these few days in Perth. Perth city recorded only 1.7 degree celsius early this morning. It almost nears the freezing point. The worst thing is I think that the heater in my room is not working well. There is not much heat radiating out from it. Please don’t be down. I need you for the rest of the winter. You are super crucial to someone like me who enjoy being in warm rather than in cold weather like this.

Alright. Back to my blog’s topic. I have watched two new movies in my first few days here in Perth. They are ’47 Meters Down’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’. Here’s below are my quick reviews of them.

’47 Meters Down’ is a survival horror film about two sisters who go on a holiday in Mexico and are invited to cage dive and see sharks up close. The cable holding the cage breaks and it plummets 47 metres down to the ocean floor, trapping both of them. Then, you know the story…they have to find a way to escape with their air supplies running low and the great white sharks stalking around. It’s basically another shark movie.

They are a lot of bad shark movies out there but not this one. It has a good plot and I particularly amazed by a twist of the story in the end that kept me surprised. I didn’t expect there is such a ‘shocker’ in this kind of monster movie besides than the typical jump-scare moments when the shark suddenly appears. The two female leads in this movie are doing good without any exaggerated performance. The movie did deliver by giving us realistic picture that kept me to the edge of my seats. The direction this particular movie is going is different with the typical shark attack movie. The only minor issue is that the cage and the failed cable really looks too crappy. Once I saw them on the first time, I wouldn’t want to get into that cage straight away. Out of 10 points, I rate ’47 Meters Down’ a total of 7.2.

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ is the third and final installment of the ‘Planet of the Apes’ reboot series. If you do not remember much from the first two movies, don’t worry. This movie starts with a brief summary of what happens in the first two movies. Here in this concluding chapter, Caesar leads a team of apes to confront human who started the war against their species.

The movie is quite long (over 2 hours) and can be shortened by reducing the amount of time spent on watching Woody Harrelson staring very long on Caesar in many scenes. Other than that, this movie has absolutely no negative things for me to comment on. The CGI is extremely great as the apes look very realistic. The background or setting views are amazing too. Groundbreaking visual effects. Andy Serkis gave another tremendous performance portraying as Caesar, the ape that serves as the leader of its species. You can felt his sadness, his anger, his happiness, his power, his toughness, his anxious, and his care all from his facial expression. Another excellent job the movie did is touching on the relationship between human and apes, and the messages delivered out from it are exceptional and moving. There is no point for seeing which species is stronger; ape or human. In the end, mother nature overwhelms. That is reflected through the ending of the movie. The movie goes deep to the messages it wanted to deliver and succeed also by its great actions, emotional parts and engaging storyline. There are also some unexpected funny scenes in this movie, mainly due to one ape that even wears winter clothing to join Caesar. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ a total of 8.2. I think this is the second movie of the year so far that I have given over 8 point in the rating. What an epic conclusion to this reboot trilogy.

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