THE BEGINNINGS OF A VISIONARY

jobsmovieJOBS (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

This is the story of how Steve Jobs became the legend he was – from college dropout to entrepreneur.

First of all, I love the trailer for this because it features Can’t Hold Us from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis!


Personally, I’m not sure if Steve Jobs appeared topless as many times as Ashton Kutcher did in the movie because just the trailer only featured many topless shots. It was quite interesting to see how much of a perfectionist he was (DUDE, TYPEFACE IS IMPORTANT) and then it’s quite sad how he can seem lost in his own fantasy at the risk of his company’s profits. I wished they showed more about the creation of ipod, ipod nano and the iphone though.

RELAX BODY!

RIPDR.I.P.D. (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

What happens when law enforcement officers die? They join the Rest In Peace Department or the R.I.P.D.. It’s a little sad they still have to stay in the same job in their afterlife but I guess they want to protect the weak anyway. Their job is to rid the living world of “Deados” or spirits that remained on Earth as monsters. They look human but decay and destruction follow them eg. leaky pipes, faulty lights etc.

It may seem like a Men In Black ripoff whenever the monsters appear but the story behind the monsters is actually quite cool. I like how living Nick (Ryan Reynolds) and dead Nick have something common to investigate. Nick’s avatar as an old Chinese guy is hilarious because he’s often seen welding a banana, while Roy’s (Jeff Bridges) avatar played by Marisa Miller is super duper hot.

TO KISS OR KILL HIM

red2RED 2 (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

No one ever really retires, do they?

The group of Retired and Extremely Dangerous retirees are back this time to locate a nuclear weapon and prevent it from going off. It’s amazing how people of a certain age can still handle firearms with so much composure.

One of the best things is watching deal with able-bodied young men as if they were imbeciles. The next best thing is LEE BYUNG-HUN! He’s the youngest among them so he has the most action scenes. Eye candy!

Marvin: If there’s one thing I know, it’s women and covert operations.
Frank: Marvin, that’s two things.
Han Cho Bai: No, grasshopper. It is not.

PUNCH 119

welcometothepunchWELCOME TO THE PUNCH (2013)
4 out of 5 stars

Ex-criminal Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong) is forced to return to London when his son is involved in a heist gone wrong. This trip gives detective Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy) a final shot at nabbing Sternwood after a failed attempt years ago that left him handicapped. 

I’ve been wanting to watch this ever since I saw the trailer. Reasons being:-
1) James McAvoy, and
2) David Morrissey (The Governor from The Walking Dead),
3) Mark Strong plays the bad guy AGAIN.

They say the enemy of your enemy is your best friend, and that might be the case here. Although this new best friend could have been your enemy once. I guess nothing comes in the way of justice, truth and family. It’s great to watch James McAvoy playing darker roles and I almost clapped in glee when Sternwood and Lewinsky joined forces. Woots!

Although the story is slightly predictable, it doesn’t hurt to watch a British crime thriller that stars James McAvoy.

MORTALLY MUTANT

thewolverineTHE WOLVERINE (2013)
3 and a half out of 5 stars

When an old acquaintance summons Logan (aka the Wolverine) to Japan, he is forced to face his own demons – his identity as a mutant and his guilt from killing Jean Grey. What will Wolverine do when he is offered an opportunity to not be a mutant?

Logan: Go fuck yourself, pretty boy!

No X-Men movie is complete without Hugh Jackman saying “go fuck yourself”. Just saying. Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. Wolverine is Hugh Jackman. Somehow, he just looks like he’s born to play the part. I’m not sure there’s another actor who can look like and play Wolverine so perfectly.

Story-wise, the Japanese setting does make it more mysterious especially with the yakuza involved. Asian values does change the perspective of everything. Respect, honour, family and filial piety. Watching Wolverine getting scrubbed down is also a plus.

Tao Okamoto is really pretty as Mariko Yashida while Rila Fukushima plays a feisty Yukio, Wolverine’s self-employed bodyguard. These Japanese ladies exude charm and grace and they can still kick ass. Though I wonder what it must feel like for the Viper? Does she really not crave male company? Or does she dislike them because she can’t be with them? Nonetheless, her body is smoking hot!

STAY FOR A SHORT SCENE DURING THE CREDITS!

TODAY WE ARE CANCELLING THE APOCALYPSE!

pacificrim

PACIFIC RIM (2013)
5 out of 5 stars

THIS HAS GOT TO BE THE BEST MOVIE I’VE SEEN THIS YEAR.

Set in the 2020s, Earth is at war with the Kaijus (Japanese for ‘giant monsters’) that have emerged from a portal in the floor of the Pacific Ocean. The humans have created Jaegers (German for ‘hunters’), giant robots controlled by two pilots whose minds are connected via a neural bridge. As the kaijus evolve and become larger and more powerful, more Jaegers are destroyed faster than they can be replaced. In their last bid to fight off the Kaijus before they take over Earth, a group of Jaeger pilots from different backgrounds gather for the final fight.

Raleigh Becket: There are things you can’t fight – acts of God. You see a hurricane coming, you get out of the way. But when you’re in a Jaeger, you can finally fight the hurricane. You can win.

The Jaegers are really magnificent! Every fight scene is interesting to watch because different Jaegers are operated by different people and each person reacts differently to attacks. But I was really absorbed when Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) were engaged in stick fighting to test their compatibility. #mindblown

Mako Mori is super badass! No doubt raised by another badass, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba). Warning: DO NOT TOUCH HIM!

Charlie Day provides most of the comic relief alongside Ron Perlman. My only grumble is that the version I watched dubbed over Hunnam’s and Elba’s Japanese speaking parts. What’s a girl got to do to hear hot people speak Japanese?

It’s my first time watching Charlie Hunnam on the big screen. He’s soooo fine! He’s soooo clean-shaven! He’s English! I’m totally Mako when she glances through the peephole. For those who don’t know, Charlie Hunnam is known for playing Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy. He’s also usually bearded. But he’s still sooooo hot!

charliehunnam-pacificrim

CHARLIE HUNNAM

BEE-DOH BEE-DOH

despicableme2DESPICABLE ME 2 (2013)
4 out of 5 stars

The sequel to the 2010 movie has created more crazies because everyone’s crazy about minions now. Anyway, in this sequel, Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to deal with a new criminal who has stolen a chemical compound that makes living things into indestructible monsters. Gru must work with Lucy, from the AVL, to find the chemical before it lands in the wrong hands.

Aren’t the minions super adorable? I believe the star of Despicable Me was Agnes, with her “it’s-so-fluffy-I’m-gonna-die!” love for stuffed unicorns. Agnes is still fiercely protective of her unicorns but the star of the show is now the brightly coloured minions! They are super cute as laboratory assistants, getaway drivers, housemaids and firemen. I can’t wait for the Minions movie next year!

Boy: How come you’re so fat?
Gru: Because my house is made out of candy, and sometimes, I eat instead of facing my problems!

despicableme2-2

TRUST THE SPIRIT HORSE

lonerangerTHE LONE RANGER (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

The story starts as Tonto, a Native American warrior, recounts the tale of how John Reid became the legendary Lone Ranger. It is 1869 and the railroad business is expanding but at the expense of the land of the Comanche Native Americans. John Reid’s brother, Dan, and his Rangers are ambushed and killed by the gang led by outlaw, Butch Cavendish. All were dead until a spirit horse awakens John as a spirit walker and Tonto advises him as he tries to avenge his brother and bring Cavendish to Justice.

At 149 minutes, it is pretty long and some parts might be slightly draggy. The build-up to the final scene really takes quite a while. But, at least the music was entertaining as it is an extended arrangement of Gioachino Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”.  It takes a man to wear the mask throughout the movie and Armie Hammer has the voice and face to do so. But it wouldn’t be complete with Johnny Depp’s eccentric take on Tonto especially when he interacts with the Spirit Horse. Helena Bonham-Carter’s ivory leg is a plus.

DON’T MAKE A SOUND

WWZWORLD WAR Z (2013)
4 out of 5 stars

Based on the novel by Max Brooks, Brad Pitt plays Gerry Lane, a former UN investigator who must find a way to stop a zombie-like pandemic that is happening across the world.

When I saw the trailer a few months back, I was really freaked out by the zombies. They are not the slow moving ones you see in The Walking Dead, but they leap, pounce and attack like wild animals! They can topple vehicles and scale walls. It’s easier to shoot them in the head when they are slow moving… Are you afraid yet?

The scenes in New York and Jerusalem were terrifying largely due to the number of people and zombies involved. I can’t help but want to yell at that stupid girl who started to sing into the microphone. So much for walls. I was holding my breath a lot during the scenes in the plane and in the lab. Somehow, you know something’s gonna happen when you leave your weapon of choice away from your reach. I know some didn’t like the ending but I thought it was a good ending because a zombie apocalypse just doesn’t get “solved” that easily.

GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY JORDANS!

whitehousedownWHITE HOUSE DOWN (2013)
3 and a half out of 5 stars

John Cale (Channing Tatum), hoping to impress his his daughter, Emily, brings her for a tour at the White House during this interview for the Secret Service. However, a bomb detonates and father and daughter are separated while the White House is overtaken by a paramilitary group. It is up to John to save his daughter and the President (Jamie Foxx) when this turns out to be an inside job.

How many movies can you make about the White House? See: Olympus Has Fallen. Anyway, I didn’t catch that so I won’t be able to tell you which one is better though both Gerard Butler and Channing Tatum are plausible bodyguards/action heroes.

There’s never a dull moment and if you’re not worried about Channing Tatum, you’re worried about Joey King, who plays Emily. She is a prime example of our generation – using technology even though we are in mortal danger. Her final act really saved the day. That was a really smart move! Tatum and Foxx are quite a good team and even though they are being chased by big bad guys with big bad guns, they still have time to joke about and make sarcastic remarks. Lance Reddick from Fringe also stars along with Jason Clarke, last seen in Zero Dark Thirty and Gatsby.

President Sawyer: There’s some knives in the kitchen.
John Cale: Great. You can make me a sandwich.

A SYMBOL OF HOPE

manofsteelMAN OF STEEL (2013)
5 out of 5 stars

This Superman reboot directed by Zack Snyder stars Henry Cavill in the title role and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. There’s a strong focus on his origins from Krypton and a lot on his pain while growing up.

I caught this blockbuster two weeks after  its release and it was probably the most rewarding 143 minutes. I’ve always wondered why superhero movies pass by in a flash even if they are more than 2 hours long. Well, first thing you notice is Henry Cavill’s incredible physique! That magnificent chest! That oil rig scene sent many a ladies running for cold water! Woots!

There’s plenty of flashbacks into Clark Kent’s childhood and many of them involve his human father, Jonathan Kent, played by Kevin Costner. Some scenes are heartbreaking to watch. Personally, I prefer Smallville’s Jonathan Kent (played by John Schneider). I feel the movie version puts a lot of pressure on Clark concealing his identity and probably why he left home to “find himself”. There are little bits of trivia to pick up all over the movie – like the Smallville Sears store that got crashed into and the Lexcorp trucks.

It’s scary to find so many Kryptonians on Earth because how can Superman win? Everyone has superhuman strength! Each time they throw a few punches, destruction of vehicles and buildings occur. The ending can be controversial to some (I mean, HOW can Superman do that? But that is the only way out!)… and it is not without consequences. Look at that painful, agonizing scream Superman makes. Even with the bluest eyes, dear Clark Kent carries a lot on that broad shoulders of his.

TOUGH AS BITCHES

theheat2013THE HEAT (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

When you put two people that are polar opposites in a team, you get The Heat. Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is straight-laced FBI agent while Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) is a foul-mouthed and violent detective. An unexpected bond results when they team up to take down a Boston drug lord.

It takes a while to warm up to this pairing especially after Sandra Bullock’s character chastises those K9 dogs for their inability to sniff out drugs beyond the smell of meat. The fun starts whenever Melissa McCarthy is around. She may be foul-mouthed and swears like a sailor but she is very entertaining. The funniest scenes often occur whenever Mullins is bossing Ashburn around – whether it is on the dancefloor or in the warehouse. The diner straw scene is super disturbing!

If there’s a sequel, I’ll be there!

PLEDGE OOZMA KAPPA!

monstersuniversityMONSTERS UNIVERSITY (2013)
4 out of 5 stars

This is the prequel to Monsters, Inc. and it tells the beginnings of the top scaring team – Mike and Sulley!

I’ve been looking forward to watching this and it does not disappoint! Mike and Sulley didn’t start off as friends. Mike being small and un-scary versus Sulley, who descended from a line of great scarers. When circumstances forces both of them to join forces to stay in the University, it results in an unexpected friendship.

The members of Oozma Kappa were really hilarious especially during the scene at the library. The team of oddballs can be very endearing. Baby Mike is really cute and he wears braces! There were many laughs especially during their training sessions. Other voices I recognized were Nathan Fillion’s (as Johnny) and John Krasinski’s (as Frank McCay).

Johnny: Enjoy the attention while it lasts, boys. After you lose, no one will remember you.
Mike: Maybe. But when you lose, no one will let you forget it.

STAY TILL THE END OF THE CREDITS FOR AN EXTRA SCENE!

BECOMING A GENTLEMAN

greatexpectations2012GREAT EXPECTATIONS (2012)
3 and a half out of 5 stars

Based on the novel by Charles Dickens, the story revolves around Pip, an orphan, whose quality of life improves when he receives a sum of money from an anonymous benefactor.

I would jump at any chance to watch a classic brought to screen and this is no exception. Though I have only briefly read the book during primary school, I still remember bits and pieces of the story. While reading up this adaptation, I’ve heard many rave reviews about the BBC adaptation and hopefully I have the chance to watch it one day.

Holliday Grainger is delightful as Estella. She is really beautiful and I almost didn’t believe her when she said she had no heart. Jeremy Irvine is really handsome and the younger Pip really resembles him (played by Toby Irvine – his younger brother!). I suppose he did an acceptable job and my favourite scene is quoted below. Overall though, I didn’t feel my heart flutter as much as it should have.

Pip: You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen – on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become accquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. To the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But in this separation, I associate you only with the good, and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm. Let me feel now what sharp distress I may.

EYEING THE BIG PICTURE

nowyouseemeNOW YOU SEE ME (2013)
4 and a half out of 5 stars

Four magicians collectively known as the Four Horsemen pull of a bank heist in the midst of their show and draws the attention of the FBI agent, an Interpol detective and a former magician who earns his keep by revealing other magicians’ tricks.

First of all, JESSE EISENBERG! OMG I just love it when he rattles off like nobody’s business. There were a group of girls screaming for Dave Franco but I’m not really into him. Sure, his fight scene with Mark Ruffalo has got to be one of the most unusual and original ones I’ve seen. Flash paper, a slicing deck of cards, mirrors and all sorts of magical apparatus were used in this fight.

It is perhaps a little hasty to give it such a high score but my mind was really blown after watching this movie. On hindsight, it seems a little all-over-the-place and the conclusion may be a little hasty because I figured it completely during the end credits. What I liked what how they used simple magic tricks on a large scale (you have to watch to understand what I’m talking about). The whole thing may be a little mind-boggling but when was the last time your mind was boggled?