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.

UNDER HYPNOSIS

tranceTRANCE (2013)
4 out of 5 stars

In this psychological thriller by Danny Boyle, Simon (James McAvoy) is an art auctioneer who suffers from amnesia after an attack during a heist. The problem is, the painting is still missing and Simon was the last one to see it. Franck, the leader of the heist, engages a hypnotherapist to unlock Simon’s memories.

I’m the kind of viewer that tries to figure out the answer as the movie progresses and I kept changing my mind during Trance. You thought it was this but something happens and it becomes another thing altogether. One thing is certain though – hypnotherapists are badasses. Rosario Dawson holds her own against these thugs and even makes them do scary stuff.

It’s nice to see James McAvoy back on the screens after so long. I missed him! It’s nice to see him play dark characters and I look forward to Welcome to the Punch! His performance here reminds me a little of Wanted because that’s the only movie I’ve seen him scream a lot. Mind not blown completely but still worth a watch.

ONE PRESENT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (2011)
– 3 and a half out of 5 stars

Arthur (James McAvoy) has to deliver the last of Santa’s gift in order to uphold the spirit of Christmas. Will he make it in time? … Now you know Santa isn’t the one breaking and entering, going down chimneys, doing Mission: Impossible gymnastics to give you your Christmas presents. He’s probably not the one checking the Naughty/Nice list.

James McAvoy as another animated character? No problem! OMG I just love his voice! Even his blinking LED-slippers are adorable. Plus, it’s so amazing that the gas from the Aurora Borealis is used to power the sleigh! Bryony the wrapping elf is obsessed about wrapping and using only “three pieces of tape”.

Betcha didn’t know the lead characters are voiced by Harry Potter alumni.
Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn) voices the current Santa, Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour) voices Grand-Santa and Imeda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge) voices Margaret Claus, Santa’s wife.

MUTANT AND PROUD

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (2011)
– 4 and a half out of 5 stars

Set in 1962, it tells us the origin of the X-Men and the Brotherhood of the Mutants, led by Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr otherwise known as Professor X and Magneto. The introduction of mutants in the ’60s threatens to bring another war as the US faces another with the Cuban missile crisis.

OMG I LOVE X-MEN: FIRST CLASS!

I mean, I liked the previous X-Men movies but I think MICHAEL FASSBENDER totally charmed my socks off! As if they were still there after watching Jane Eyre… Anyway, James McAvoy is really charming too!

Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are the new faces of the latest bromance. I ship it! Woohoo!

There’s the lighter side of Prof. X – he walks, flirts and scores with women because he can totally read their minds. There’s the vulnerable side of Magneto, because his power was manifested through the darkest moments of his past and his mission was powered mainly by revenge. Can I just add that Michael Fassbender did a really good job playing Erik/Magneto? I mean, I don’t even blame the guy for doing what he did even though I didn’t quite agree with his character in the previous X-Men movies. I liked Jennifer Lawrence too! Her character gives you a lot to think about in terms of mutants versus humans and mutants who have to hide versus mutants who don’t – and that caused her to make a life-changing decision. And of course, how allies Charles and Erik became enemies due to their diverging views on mutants and humans.

Other mutants/characters include Mystique/Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast/Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), White Frost/Emma Frost (January Jones), Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), Havok/Alex Summers (Lucas Till), Banshee/Sean Cassidy, Angel, Azazel, Riptide and Darwin.

Look out for the special cameos during the movie itself. The first one is PRICELESS!

DO YOU GNOME?

GNOMEO & JULIET (2011)
– 3 out of 5 stars

Gnomeo & Juliet tells the story of two families of garden gnomes – the Reds and the Blues, which belongs to two elderly neighbours who despise each other. When they leave the house, the gnomes come to life and pit themselves against each other, like lawnmower races and competing who has the best kept garden. Very gnome-y stuff.

It’s a pretty cute movie, though the story’s been done to death even with the slight twist towards the end. What I liked was that whenever they touch, they “clink” because they are made of porcelain. I thought the funniest character was Benny (Blue), who has the ability to be really silly. Like when they headed for their stealth operation, he carried a spray can that jiggled loudly whenever he moved. Oh, and he dressed up as a sunflower! So much for stealth. The other funny one is Featherstone, the pink flamingo, who speaks with a Spanish accent and is probably the most indestructible one of all since it’s made of plastic. I think my favourite scene would be where all the gnomes gather on the edge of the porch, mid-action, causing a jogger to stop in her steps. Cute story.

JUST HOLD ON

WANTED (2008)
– 4 out of 5 stars

Didn’t have time prior this to blog about Wanted, the other movie I caught over the weekend.

It stars James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie and starts with a pretty long introduction of how sucky Wesley Gibson’s (McAvoy) life is. But the movie progresses with how he trains to be part of The Fraternity, the coolest thing to ever happen to him. What I really love about the awesome movie is the effects; especially when Wesley finally toughens up to go against his irritating supervisor and his asshole of a best friend. Love the keyboard. Of course, I love the ending too – amazing though I still can’t comprehend how does such a gun works.

THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD

ATONEMENT (2007)
– 4 out of 5 stars

Anyway, I went to watch Atonement… and I loved it!

It started with Briony’s imagination and her unrequited crush on Robbie. It eventually led to a false police statement to turns the lives of Robbie and Cecilia, Briony’s sister, upside down. The movie traces her path to atonement, and also how Robbie and Cecilia continue their ill-fated relationship together. The ending is unexpected and a little sad.