‘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)


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)

 

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‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (2016) cross 1-billion mark, movie review for ‘Manchester by the Sea’ (2016), and final thoughts before Oscars’ nominations announcement tomorrow.


‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, the latest film in hugely successful Star Wars film franchise has recently grossed over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office intake. This film that was released on December 2016 has a story that sets before the original 1977 Star Wars film (hence a prequel) and it starred Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, etc. I watched that movie and I did gave a short review for it in my earlier post. As of 23rd January 2017, the film has grossed US$ 1.011 billion. It is now the 28th film in history to cross the 1-billion mark and it is also the 4th film in 2016 that is able to do so. The other three are Captain America: Civil War (US$ 1.153 billion), Finding Dory (US$ 1.027 billion), and Zootopia (US$ 1.023 billion).

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Coincidentally, all the four highest grossing films in 2016 (of which each of them gross over US$ 1 billion) were distributed by Disney. What a huge success for Disney last year then. The 5th film in the list also goes to another movie distributed by Disney, and it is ‘The Jungle Book’, but it could only accumulates US$ 966 million (still a huge box-office hit). Everyone is loving Star Wars (but not me, and I find that the Americans love it very much), hence this box office outcome for ‘Rogue One’ is very much expected. This also comes after the big hit from ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ in 2015 that managed to gain US$ 2.068 billion, becoming the third movie in history to cross the near-impossible 2-billion mark. The next Star Wars film to be released in cinema is ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ on end of this year and I’m sure it is going to achieve similar success in box office too.

On the other hand, I have watched another new film just now. It’s a 2016 film called ‘Manchester by the Sea’. The reason I watched this movie is because it receives a lot of awards buzz and also overwhelming critical acclaim, with many praising and awarding best actor to the lead of the story, Casey Affleck. I stand with the minority this time. I think this movie is good, but clearly not a masterpiece or a solid top-notch drama as claimed by various critics out there. The movie, written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, revolves on an uncle (Casey Affleck) who is tasked to take care of his teenage nephew (Lucas Hedges) after the boy’s father dies.

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What’s good from this movie is the acting. I find that Casey Affleck did well for his performance here. He nailed all the scenes when he has to convey subtle emotions and expressions. It’s not easy to do that and yet he did it. In past years, we always see showy and dramatic performances that got the actors and actresses winning awards. This year, it’s time to recognize subtle performances. This is one great example and it’s not easy to be done. Hence, I have no issue with Casey being nominated for best actor in Academy Awards and even winning it next month. However, I still think that his performance here in ‘Manchester by the Sea’ to be not perfect yet, as I find some of his scenes are a bit over wooden and pale. Lucas Hedges is great as the teenage boy in the movie and he should get a best supporting actor’s nomination. Same goes to Michelle Williams as Casey’s ex-wife in the movie. Her screen-time is very little and yet she manages to conquer those emotional scenes very well. A best supporting actress nomination for her. Other than acting, there is actually nothing else great about this film. It has a plain story, poor editing, and unsuitable background score too. It’s supposed to be a dramatic and a moving film, but in the end, I don’t feel anything. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Manchester by the Sea’ a total of 7.0. And all those points are mostly from acting only. This is one over-rated 2016 film.

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The nomination list for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced tomorrow. Me, as one of the moviegoers who also loves watching Oscar-type movies are quite excited for it. Who will be snubbed this year? Who get to sneak in? Which film gets the most love? And which film gets forgotten? All will be revealed tomorrow.

As for my final thoughts before the nomination list’s announcement tomorrow, I think there would be a few surprises in the nomination list as expected since Academy loves to give us some shock and surprise every year. ‘La La Land’ is expected to get the most nominations, and together with ‘Manchester by the Sea’, ‘Moonlight’, ‘Fences’, and ‘Arrival’, these 5 films look like they are a lock-in for the best picture nominees. There are 3 or 4 more slots in that category and all the other potential films are trying to squeeze in. Best actor race is not that interesting this year and it looks like Casey Affleck is going to take the Oscar home. On the other hand, best actress race is very competitive this year. It’s like anyone can win it this year with no clear favourite and that makes this category intense and exciting. Alright. I will leave more of my opinions when I published the nomination list in my blog here as soon as it is revealed tomorrow.

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

 

Movie review for ‘Spectral’, ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ and ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ (2016)


This post would be my last movie reviews of the year. In the past week, I have watched three additional new films of which they are all released this year and I have some thoughts to write about each of them. So here it goes.

‘Spectral’ is a military science-fiction film by Netflix about a special-ops team that is dispatched to investigate strange killing of their troops and later found out what they are dealing with is supernatural beings, or is it? This movie is a bit under-rated and it’s a waste that such movie didn’t get a worldwide theatre release. It’s a great movie. It’s full of actions and suspense, and that’s enough for movie of this category. I’m not looking for any deep character development and just a thrilling action ride, and this movie delivered to the best. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Spectral’ a total of 7.8. I don’t even mind for sequels for this film since the story looks like it has a lot of potential to develop, especially on the scientific part of the creation of those ‘supernatural’ beings and the further sinister plots behind it.

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‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ is a must-watch movie for all Star Wars fans. I’m not a fans of this franchise but since it is so popular, I watched this ‘Rogue One’ which is actually a prequel to the earlier films. The story is about the Rebel Alliance which makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow. It starred Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Riz Ahmed, Forest Whitaker, etc. A very ‘international’ cast indeed. I’m surprised that the Chinese actors in this movie get to play more significant roles this time. Chinese cast are usually just taking very minor roles in big Hollywood productions just to attract Chinese market. The movie is fine. I’m actually feeling bored with the first half of the movie and the movie only got my attention in the last part when ‘Rogue One’ ship started its mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ a total of 6.7. This movie is going to earn a lot in box office as expected (I think will gross over US$ 1 billion in box office). And we are going to see more Star Wars films soon since this film franchise now returns to the big screen, since Hollywood knew how much profit they can make from this franchise.

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‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is an animated movie about a young boy named Kubo who must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past. It is a 3D stop-motion fantasy action-adventure film by Laika which is a famous studio specializing in producing stop-motion animated movies. Their past works are ‘Coraline’ (I love this movie), ‘ParaNorman’ and ‘The Boxtrolls’. Their latest work, ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ has a good and moving plot, beautiful visuals and styles, lovely and engaging main and supporting characters, thrilling adventures and hilarious moments. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ a total of 8.0. Another masterpiece by Laika. ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is so far the best animated movie of the year. I’m looking forward to more Laika animated films since I enjoyed watching stop-motion style in animation. It’s unique and interesting.

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

Wrapping up 2015’s films with ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’.


It may sound crazy to you but I have actually had just watched ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ yesterday. It was released to cinemas worldwide from December last year and most of the people I knew (about 90%) went to watch it straight away. I’m not one of them as I’m not a fans of Star Wars. But I would still watch it since everyone else watched it. And here, I did it and that marked the end to 2015’s films. To wrap up my cover for films released last year, I am excited to inform that I have watched a record-breaking total of 101 films released in 2015. That’s the highest figure I have ever achieved since being a movie fans many years ago.

For this latest installment of the Star Wars film franchise that started way back decades ago, all I can say that it is a good movie. As I told you before that I’m not particularly excited to it and that I have forgotten all of its past movies (I did watched some of them as far as I can remember during my childhood years, but I seriously can’t remember anything more besides than the lightsaber). Hence, I won’t be able to give glowing review to this movie. But it is still an enjoyable movie to watch and I watched it as though that the whole plot is new and fresh to me.

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The movie delivered on some wonderful action-packed sequences with great work on the visual effects. The cast on the other hand also did a good job but I’m particularly not happy with John Boyega. I just don’t feel like seeing him here. For the other aspects, I have nothing much to comment. Nothing exceptional for me who are not attached to this whole Star Wars universe. This comment must have hurt the feeling of those crazy Star Wars fans out there. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ a total of 7.0. The movie eventually been nominated for five Academy Awards (but failed to win any), grossed over USD 2 billion worldwide to be the world’s third highest grossing film ever unadjusted for inflation (behind Avatar and Titanic), received widely positive reviews from critics and audiences, and its sequel is now in production (happiest news for all Star Wars fans).

Let’s put aside the movies and I shall focus back on my study. It’s now already Week 5 of my first semester and I’m glad it’s a tuition-free week. This gives me quite a lot of time to work on my coming assignments. About 10 weeks later, my first semester is about to end. That is unbelievably fast.

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

 

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ became only the third movie in history to cross over US$ 2 billion in worldwide box office.


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After about two months in theatres worldwide, the latest Star Wars movie, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ has accumulated a whopping total of over US$ 2 billion dollar in its total box office collection. Even before this particular movie is released last December, many have already predicting that this will be a major box office hit and may be even capable of putting ‘Avatar’ off the top of the chart for the list of highest grossing films in the world when not adjusted for inflation.

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However, now it appears that ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ couldn’t accomplish that as screening for this movie is now reduced drastically since it has already been in cinemas for two months by now already. It also couldn’t enjoy massive hit in other major territories like China where people over there and also in several other countries weren’t too interested on Star Wars. Nevertheless, the movie is still topping many box office charts as expected earlier with the best achievement for it so far is being the highest grossing domestic film of all time in US, with collection of over US$ 900 million from its country alone. It has US$ 150 million more than the previous record holder, ‘Avatar’ at US$ 760 million.

However, ‘Avatar’ collected an impressive US$ 2.02 billion in its oversea taking for a total of US$ 2.788 billion to remain at the top of the list of world’s highest grossing films when not adjusted for inflation. Currently, ‘Titanic’ sits at the second spot with US$ 2.187 billion. It is still possible for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ to claim the second spot by going slightly above Titanic’s figure, but it’s impossible for it to beat ‘Avatar’ in the end. Hence, out of all these explanations above, it is obvious that there are only now three movies in the world that grossed over US$ 2 billion; ‘Avatar’, ‘Titanic’ (both are directed by James Cameron) and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ which had just joined this prestigious club few days ago. It is the highest grossing film released in 2015.

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When adjusted for inflation, ‘Titanic’ still triumphed over ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ as ‘Titanic’ is released in 1997/1998 when the ticket prices were much lower back then compared to the prices nowadays. Anyway, a big congratulation for the people behind this latest Star Wars movie for enjoying success in both box office as well as in ratings. It received very positive reviews from critics and from general audiences worldwide too. The movie had also received 5 nominations in the upcoming Academy Awards (Oscars). That’s all happy news for the movie that had already accomplished many impressive box office records like the fastest movie to gross US$ 1 billion and the largest worldwide opening of all time. The force is really very strong for this film.

Currently, there are a total of 24 films in history that had grossed over US$ 1 billion respectively and out of the 24, 3 of them crossed beyond US$ 2 billion mark as mentioned earlier. There is still no movie that is capable of going over US$ 3 billion. Maybe in near future, some films may achieve that too in view of increasing ticket prices and the bigger appeal of Hollywood films now to other major markets like China.

Haha…I haven’t watch this ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ yet actually. I’m sure I’m in the only group of very few people who are not that desperate to  watch it. I’m not a Star Wars fan and I forgot almost all the things I have watched in the past Star Wars films back when I was a kid. Anyway, I’m going to watch this latest installment too later as I’m waiting for its DVD version.

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