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.

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A WOMAN’S HUNCH

kinopoisk.ruZERO DARK THIRTY (2012)
4 out of 5 stars

Maya: I’m the motherfucker that found this place, Sir.

Brought to you by the team behind The Hurt Locker, the film is the dramatization of the events leading to the discovery and killing of Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda. Jessica Chastain really anchors the movie as Maya, a CIA officer, whose entire career has been focused on finding Osama bin Laden. While the chase was good to watch, the ending was really sad to watch because Maya’s world just crumbled around her.

The torture scenes were a little hard to watch but thank goodness there is no gore. It is incredible work and dedication because there is a lot of information yet not all of them is useful – some are just there to mislead and some are just waiting to be discovered. You’ve got to admire Maya’s persistence especially when she writes the number of days the team has been lying idle instead of doing something. Guess these guys still need someone (a woman) to push them to do something.

Oh, I spotted Fredric Lehne (the yellow-eyed demon in Supernatural) in the movie!

JUMP, VIRGINIA, JUMP!

JOHN CARTER (2012)
– 4 out of 5 stars

Well, it took quite a while for me to find a poster that featured Taylor Kitsch’s amazing abs. So let your eyes savour it!

Based on The Princess of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, it tells the story of how John Carter, a civil war survivor who gets transported into Mars, otherwise known to the natives as Barsoom. Little did he know that he just fled from one war to another. Warring tribes are fighting for control over Barsoom.

Wow this is a really good adventure movie. Even if it’s based on material way older than the generation now, I thought the magic was there. The characters are real and the good ones fight with integrity and honour. There’s humour and there’s romance too.You really want to root for John Carter as he fights off those blue-blooded alien lifeforms and help Helium and the Tharks stop Zodanga. Like Tars Tarkas, you can’t help but be amazed each time John Carter leaps into the air. And Woola, his alien pet, is really cute too. He really displays all the good qualities of a dog. He gets the award for cutest alien.

And how amazing is Taylor Kitsch?! Too bad he cut his signature locks after this movie, but his eyes convey so much more. But his hair matters. Lynn Collins doesn’t only look pretty, she fights well too. Coincidentally, they were both in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as Gambit and Silverfox. Plus, the actor Daryl Sabara who plays John Carter’s nephew, Ned, is Juni from the Spy Kids movies! How has he grown!

But according to this article, the plans for a sequel is zilch and it’s such a pity because it has been such a long time since I have truly enjoyed a movie, its story and its characters so much. Your loss, Disney.

SPY VS. SPY VS. SPY

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY (2011)
– 4 and a half out of 5 stars

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH! TOM HARDY! GARY OLDMAN! COLIN FIRTH!

Alright, I’m done with my screaming. This is such so British I love it!

Gary Oldman plays George Smiley, a retired MI6 agent who’s been tasked to find a mole among them. He engages the help of Peter Guillam (Cumberbatch) to finish what his old friend left behind – clues to the mole. Things get even more complicated after Ricki Tarr (Hardy) barely returns from his mission.

Actually, I have no idea how to describe the story to you all but it’s definitely intriguing. It’s set in the 1970s, meaning that the spy techniques used are really  old school – tapes, recordings from bugs hidden in lamps, undercover spies who are in danger of dying and getting tortured. Plus, it’s British!

The acting is real good – Gary Oldman barely speaks or smiles and yet his face says a thousand words. One of the sadder scenes was when Guillam sent away his partner after Smiley told him clear his unfinished business. And I gotta tell you, be prepared to see grown men cry.

GREEN IS THE COLOUR OF WILL

GREEN LANTERN (2011)
– 3 out of 5 stars 

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) was chosen by the ring when Green Lantern Abin Sur crash-lands on Earth after being attacked by Parallax, an alien that feeds on fear. After pledging himself to the Green Lantern, he realizes that the ring grants him otherworldly powers and he belongs to an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe. Hal is disheartened to learn that the other Lanterns believe humans are too primitive to fully harness the power of the ring. But he gets a chance to prove them wrong when Parallax makes Earth its next target.

“In brightest day, in blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those that worship evil’s might
Beware my power — Green Lantern’s light!”
– Green Lantern oath

Well, the movie didn’t suck as bad as those reviews I read, so I’m glad I saw it. But I have to say it didn’t really wow me as much as other comic-to-movie adaptations (like Spider-man 2 or X-Men). I think many didn’t like the CGI suit, but after watching, I think I understand (partially) why. The Green Lantern projects his will through his ring and these projections are CGI-ed and so is his costume/mask have to be CGI too, for consistency’s sake?

Well, they could have provided more shots of Ryan Reynolds shirtless to compensate for the CGI suit. Blake Lively is gorgeous, as usual, and she looks good in anything and I think dark hair suits her quite nicely. She mostly wears her hair down so there isn’t as much hair porn as there is on Gossip Girl.

WITH NO POWER COMES NO RESPONSIBILITY

KICK-ASS (2010)
– 5 out of 5 stars

Hello! I’m fresh from watching Kick-Ass and it’s really kick ass!

The film revolves around comic book-loving teenager, Dave Lizewski, who wonders why no one has ever became a real superhero and fight the blatant crime that’s been all over their neighbourhood. He orders a scuba diving suit online and decides to become Kick-Ass. He fails miserably (got his ass kicked) – after getting beaten, stabbed and knocked down – but is “reborn” when his accident left him with damaged nerve endings and metal bone holders. Apparently, they help him withstand pain better. He later meets Big Daddy and Hit Girl, who rescue him when one of his missions go wrong. Unknown to Kick-Ass, all these henchmen are under the payroll of the local crime syndicate leader, Frank D’Amico, who decides to hunt the superhero down. At last, a superhero showdown between the good and the evil.

First of all, Hit Girl is AMAZING! Played by Chloë Grace Moretz, last seen in (500) Days Of Summer and Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, she steals the show. She can handle her weapons well – the butterfly knife, guns, knives, etc. She can even kick walls and deliver great kicks!

She was awesome during her first scenes when she rescues Kick-Ass, rescue Big Daddy and the final scenes where she was gonna take out Frank D’Amico. She took on a warehouse full of armed men! That’s plenty of gusto for an 11 year old!

She’s currently 13 years old but she shot it at 11. That’s uber cool. What was I doing when I was 11? Playing block catching. There seems to be lots of controversy regarding her use of “coarse language” – it’s rated M18 in Singapore – like the C-word, F-words and whatever words I wouldn’t type here but could say it in the next second. Oops. But really, I think they don’t really know what’s happening in schools these days. I think I have heard worst.

Anyway, the funnier parts of the film occur when these not-so-super superheroes get into action. Like when Kick-Ass and Red Mist meet in the dark alley; both are actually just teenagers but they are trying to put on their toughest front. The relationship between Big Daddy and Hit Girl is actually kinda cool, if you can get around the fact that she does not have a childhood revolving around dolls and all things pink, cute and fluffy. Those things do not help you when you get bullied in school.

I thought it was really empowering to stand up against crime like that. Of course, all this is just fiction and comics and all, but it was really enjoyable to watch. Slightly bloody at first, especially after Hit Girl appears, but hey, she’s like my idol now. (I’ll watch it again if time permits!)

GIANT LOOKING GLASS

SHERLOCK HOLMES  (2009)
– 4 out of 5 stars 

Well, before the clock strikes 12 and it’s New Year’s Eve, I’d better spit out my reviews before 2010 hits!

In this movie, Holmes has to solve the case of Lord Blackwood rising from the dead after his execution. London is thrown into terror as Blackwood dabbles in black magic and resumes his killing sprees. To add to his troubles, his former flame, Irene Adler, returns with a hidden agenda.

Admittedly, the prime reason I watched this was Rachel McAdams! It’s her third movie release this year and I’m happy for her! Well, first of all, I think this sleek version of a Sherlock Holmes who does boxing for a hobby is really cool! He’s more playful than what you envisioned from reading the books and the part where he finally solves the case (as always) is amazing. Little things that laymen (like you and I) don’t observe or just look past are actually vital clues. Even if we see them, we are unable to connect them in anyway. However, credit must be given to the bad guys – Lord Blackwood and gang. To be able to cheat death by hanging and mix science with their supposed black magic at that time (1891 AD) is no mean feat.