QUITE A KICK

DRIVE ANGRY (2011)
–  3 out of 5 stars

John Milton (Nicolas Cage) has only one thing on his mind: revenge. Jonah King (Billy Burke), leader of a Satanic cult, killed his daughter and plans to use her baby as a sacrifice on the next full moon. Milton is joined by gutsy waitress Piper (Amber Heard), who helps him fend off King’s men and the mysterious Accountant (William Fichtner) aka the Devil’s right-hand man.

The Accountant: I need you boys to stand down. Captain, you know what this badge means, right? Federal Bureau of get the FUCK out of my way!

The primary reason I watched this was William Fichtner! OMG he’s uber-cool in this movie as the Accountant and he’s worth one star of the rating! He has the best lines (lots of hilarious f-bombs and he uses BAMFs perfectly) and I like how he flips the coin before showing his (fake) FBI badge. Amber Heard kicks some major ass and gets to play with firearms while giving out super-deadly right hooks. She’s such a tough cookie – I like! To think the last time I saw her, she was a girl-zombie who tried to eat Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland. Very fun movie even though some parts are utterly outrageous.

Cultist: We’re gonna live forever!
The Accountant: If, by “forever”, you mean the next five seconds, you’re absolutely right.

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MAGIC AND OLD MAN SHOES

THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE (2010)
– 3 and a half out of 5 stars 

Caught The Sorcerer’s Apprentice a while ago; it bears some resemblance to Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief because they both involve magic/mythology in the modern world.

In this case, the sorcerer’s apprentice is Dave, who is the Prime Merlinian (Merlin’s successor) that Merlin’s immortal apprentice, Balthazar, has been searching since Merlin’s death. The Prime Merlinian is the only wizard that can defeat Morgana, whom Balthazar has trapped into a Grimhold (nesting doll prison) before she could wreak havoc. Dave, a physics student, is reluctant to help but does so when he realizes he wants to learn magic. Through a series of clumsy and unfortunate events, the evil witches and wizards trapped in layers of the Grimhold are released and Balthazar and Dave have to join forces to save the day.

There is some resemblance to the original Sorcerer’s Apprentice starring Mickey Mouse, particularly the scene where Dave uses magic to assist in household chores. Not a good idea, in cartoon or otherwise. Morgana’s successor is oddly interesting because he prefers to use his powers for profit and dresses like some Criss Angel wannabe. Best of all, he even manages to spoof a line from the Star Wars franchise, “These are not the droids you’re looking for”. Towards the end, you know that Dave will rise to the occasion and fulfill his destiny as the Prime Merlinian but the process is fun to watch because he behaves kinda awkwardly. And, please STAY TILL THE END OF THE CREDITS!

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!)

FRESH CUT

NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS (2007)
– 3 and a half out of 5 stars

Caught National Treasure: Book of Secrets with my family. It’s quite good, considering that most sequels turn out disappointing. I guess treasure hunts are seldom lousy, in a sense. It’s well-paced and it’s wonderful how these clues are concealed in seemingly obvious places yet it takes a bit of brain matter to discover them. I especially enjoyed the banter between Jon Voight and Helen Mirren.