Friday, September 5, 2008

The Mummy 3

The Mummy 3 - Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

the mummy 3

This 3rd installment of The Mummy series sees its focus on Asia (China particularly). Retired Rick O'Connell(Brandon Fraser) & wife Evelyn Carnahan-O'Connell (Maria Bello) joins in once again with son, Alex O'Connell (Luke Ford) to combat the evil & greedy Emperor Han (Jet Li).

The Mummy 3 - Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

With a setting in olden days Shanghai, the plot is full of the usual adventures that Rick is accustomed too. Only difference, this time round, his son has found romance with the daughter Zi Yuan (Michelle Yeoh), Lin (Isabella Yong).

Why You Should Watch This Movie
If you are the sort who loves Indiana Jones, this has a close resemblance to its adventure of good vs evil in lots of heart pounding battle scenes. The battle towards the end maybe common in most adventure movies, but nevertheless is rather amazing. In fact the CGI throughout the movie is well done, as expected from a huge blockbuster like this.

The showcase of old Shanghai is quite eye catching as well.

Why Not
For the already known & too familiar plot, like the many adventure movies, making the 'adventure' less interesting.

And if you are here to watch Asian icon Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh or even Hong Kong actress Isabella Yong, you'll be a lil disappointed. Jet Li is masked in the devil suite nearly all the time, while Michelle Yeoh's & Isabella's roles are rather minor for this huge movie.

Conclusion & Rating
Truly one for adventure fans only. Do not go in with too much expectations - or higher expectations than the previous 2 movies before.

The Mummy Trailer

3 stars.


Wall.E - Animation

walle, wall.e

Disney is back once again. Or more so, Academy Award winning director, Andrew Stanton, with his group of talented group at Pixar teams up to create this robot cartoon in the future.

Earth by then is only a waste land and people live on spaceships. Meanwhile, robots like Wall.E (whose full name is Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) is created to clean up the earth.

His daily routine brings him to find 'interesting' items made by humans - things that are common to us, but which amuses the robot. But nothing beats the special day when a space robot, Eve, comes to earth and stumbles him.

The story then revolves on these 2 robots trying to 'save planet earth' for humans. And of course, in between the romance of the robots build up.

Why You Should Watch This Movie
To see how a rather silent movie that goes with very little dialogue, and yet remains understandable. And it is interesting to see a romance between robots, set in a rather futuristic time, when robots control humans.

Why Not
If you have very high expectations on animation, this movie may not give the same all time high like Finding Nemo or even Monsters Inc.

Conclusion & Rating
One of the better animations to date, especially with so many animated movies coming out now. One for the whole family!

Walle Trailer

4 stars.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Money No Enough 2

Money No Enough 2

Remember the big blockbuster from Singapore - Money No Enough? Well, it's back!

Set in modern day Singapore, 3 adult brothers lead their lives in a cash driven society.

Eldest brother, Yang Bao Hui (Henry Thia) is the responsible, caring but not rich and 'blur'.

Second brother, Yang Bao Qiang (Jack Neo) is the successful businessman making monies from real estate. However, he is a big gambler in his business & take huge risks, plus he has a selfish wife.

Third brother, Yang Bao Huang (Mark Lee) is also a rather successful businessman, who has just started to taste some success. Problem is his business thrives on 'bad people' both from his suppliers & customers. And he doesn't treat his wife well.

The three brothers are united by their aging mother who loves her children very much.

As the title goes, its about money - from having it, to not, and overcoming it.

Why You Should Watch This Movie
Because it's down to earth and full of reality. Nearly everyone can 'feel' for the characters in the movie if you are from Singapore, or even if in Malaysia. Either you are in the situation or you know someone close in it.

You get to see the real life of Singaporeans - from living in HDB flats and even in big bungalows. It is really very Singaporean (and the reason why many 'heartlanders' love Jack Neo's movies).

For fans of Singapore's acclaimed director, Jack Neo, well this movie is close to his signature styles of very local content. And interestingly, it's good to see talented Mark Lee playing the slightly less Ah Beng here.

Why Not
This movie is too real, and to one big extend is too 'dark'. If you expect this to be a comedy where you are to laugh your hearts out, be warned for it's most likely to give you the opposite effects.

And the selfish needs of people are shown here, much to which is overdone, though not necessarily unreal.

Conclusion & Rating
If you can get the perception that this is not really a full comedy (but yet with some jokes & humour in between... and lots of sad depressing moments), then this movie can be worth watching.

Money No Enough 2 Trailer

3 stars.

*It opens in Malaysia 28.8.08

Friday, August 1, 2008

The X Files - I Want To Believe: Movie Review

The X Files: I Want To Believe.

the x files movie

What do you do with a successful TV series, seen globally? Come out with a movie of course. But the X Files have already done that in their first movie in 1998. With such success, a continuation is obvious.

The winning team of proucers, directors & writers come again together to create this 2nd feature film of The X Files - I Want To Believe. A new story with a winning team & catchy music score.

Here, an agent is abducted and the FBI seems to be a lil lost and hence needs the help of Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) & Mox Fulder (David Duchovny) who were now retired agents and pursuing their own lives.

However like it or not, they find themselves getting very much involved in this case of a series of girl abductions.

Why You Should Watch This Movie
If you like the mystery that evolves around the X Files (ie a fan of the TV series). This fiction movie stays quite close to its TV series of unsolved mysteries, up to the very last end.

For those who like movies which have some thought process, then this one is a good watch, as the case evolves each time with more clues.

Why Not
Somehow, a FBI movie seems a lil more suitable for the TV, especially when it is very close to the original TV series itself - only difference longer time & with a much more 'matured' agents.

Conclusion & Movie Rating
A superb movie for the thinking souls, that is if you don't mind the lil TV like drama. The rather catchy tagline lives up to its status.

The X Files Trailer

3.5 stars.

*Want to read the David's or producer Frank's blog? Read it on The X Files Official Site.

Batman: The Dark Knight Movie Review

batman, the dark knight movie

Synopsis (with some info from Warnerbros Batman).
The Dark Knight is another movie series of the successful DC comics of the action hero, Batman.

One on hand, there is Batman (Christian Bale), who together with the help of Liutenent Jim Gordon & District Attorney Harvey Dent, who plans to make a crime free city. However, on the other end is Batman's old faithful, enemy, the Joker (Heath Ledger), a rather crazy character who 'is not so serious' and likes to create havoc & trouble, for the sake of pure fun.

batman, the dark knight joker

The battle between the 2 builds up with both sides seems at times to be winning only to loose it in the end.

Why You Should Watch This Movie
If you are a Batman fan, you would most likely have watched this movie. Even non fans will be quite pleasantly surprised that this movie has turned out to be one of the better Batman movies of all time.

But the real winner here is not Batman , but the Batman villain - who else, but the Joker, or for that matter - the award nominee Heath Ledger. His superb acting as the crazy & care-fee Joker steals the show, and truly Batman is more like in the dark shadows than being the Dark Knight.

From the crazy laughs to when he gets real serious, the late Heath acted like a true talent.

Hong Kong is also a winner here in a way when Batmand does a 'stopover' to the Chinese city.

batman, the dark knight vehicle

As for gadgets wise, this Batmans has a fair bit, especially on his Batman suit & also the Batman vehicle - a rather futuristic motorbike that only superheroes use.

Why Not
The only setback in the movie is that as the many other super heroes, it is a lil fictional that the authorities don't know who Batman is. And in this Batman movie, the Dark Knight seems to have a weird computerised voice (did the other movies have it?).

Conclusion & Movie Rating

batman the dark knight joker

From 1960s to today, the Batman has reformed itself. If you are into action packed movies, a dose of fiction (or a lot depending on how you see it), like good acting and love Hollywood blockbusters, then head to the theaters now.

4 stars.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Red Cliff Movie

Mandarin movie.

red cliff movie, (赤壁 - Chìbì)/ The Battle of Red Cliff

Red Cliff (赤壁 - Chìbì)/ The Battle of Red Cliff is a Chinese epic movie that comes in 2 parts. It is set during the events during the End of Han Dynasty. Just like many other epic Chinese movies, the Red Cliff Part 1, sees 2 groups teaming up & collaborating to fight against their enemies.

The 'good team' is lead by Zhou Yu (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) and Zhuge Liang (Takeshi Kaneshiro). And together with the mighty spirit & tomboyish princess of Sun Shangxiang (Zao Wei), they managed to pull off the first attack despite their lack in army numbers.

In between, the 2 strategists show their war strategies & ideas which allow them to win rather effortlessly.

Why You Should Watch This Movie
1. The war strategies were superb. Unlike most battlefield movies that head to shoot/ kill with the usual attack plan, this movie introduces the Chinese war styles that is rather uncommon and good in trapping the enemies. This makes some of the war scenes very interesting & 'new'.

2. Beautiful sceneries & backdrop location in China, makes this a breathtaking movie journey.

3. There is some impart of lessons on life & Chinese culture which is done very subtly.

Why Not
1. The first 45 minutes was just a lil too complicated & without much direction. The war battlefield right at the start of the movie didn't help and in fact was a lil boring, especially when there weren't much clue yet.

2. This movie seems at times a lil loose and just a lil too much focus on the expressions of the actors faces. In some ways, it just seems like it is a big budget art film because of its rather long pauses.

Conclusion & Movie Rating
John Woo's attempt in making a Chinese epic is much desirable in bringing Asian movies to a new level. It is an ambitious attempt, which he has succeeded. He would have done much better if the script was tighter & the beginning a lil more clearer.

This movie should appeal to a wide audience including the non Asians for its Oriental appeal (script & philosophies). Definitely one of the better Chinese epic war movies and for that matter, one of the better war movies.

3.5 stars.

Red Cliff Trailer

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kung Fu Panda Movie

Synopsis (with info from Kung Fu Panda Official Site).

kung fu panda movie poster

The Kung Fu Panda movie revolves around Po (Jack Black), the 'son' of a bird noodle seller in a small village.

His father has plans for Po to take over the business someday soon. However, Po seems disinterested in it, and has dreams of becoming a kung fu warrior, despite having near zero experience in kung fu fighting.

But, true to animation style, there was an opportunity - when Master Oogway holds a competition to find the new hero to beat his old student-turned-bad, Tai Lung (Ian McShane),who is believed to be soon escaping from the tightly controlled dungeon.

Of course, the clumsy & inexperienced Po somehow managed to land himself this role, envied by the fellow kung fu mates, the Furious Five — Master Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Master Monkey (Jackie Chan), Master Mantis (Seth Rogen), Master Viper (Lucy Liu), and Master Crane (David Cross).

They were rather hostile towards him at first & do not believe in him being the savour, and especially so because they have been much more well trained in kung fu.

But, as the story unfolds, Po learnt a lesson that 'there is no secret' and that believing in oneself is the way to succeed. And so, with training, supervision & belief by Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), Po finally saves the day & beats Tai Lung.

kung fu panda movie, master shifu

Why You Should Watch This Movie
1. This is a movie for both family (kids) & adults. The storyline is tight & yet it manages to have the right humour at the right time.

kung fu panda movie, master tiger

The Master Tiger

2. Wonderful animation. The kung fu fighting & kung fu forms are comparable to that of real life.
3. For its beautiful China backdrop throughout the movie from mountain views to the village.
4. Animation fans will be glad to see the great details that went behind to make this Kung Fu Panda movie so real.
5. Apart from the teachings of good triumphs over evil, the belief one has within is imparted as well. This seems to be the key message here.

Why Not
Though this animation movie still lacks behind some of the all time favourites, but it's hard not to like this movie. Can't think of bad points, but maybe that it may seem a lil weird a Chinese backdrop movie with Chinese characters all in English.

Conclusion & Movie Rating
A must watch for all animation buffs & movie goers who want authenticity, humour & action.

4 stars.

Kung Fu Panda Trailer

Friday, June 6, 2008

Iron Man Movie Review

iron man movie poster

Synopsis (with info from Iron Man: Official Site).
This comic turn big screen sees Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. starring as Tony Stark/Iron Man, a billionaire and a genius continuing his father legacy of war weapons in Stark Industries.

During his business trip, he was kidnapped and his body inserted with an electromagnet attached to his chest. The terrorist group has required him to re-invent a powerful missile that he had just created.

However, instead of building that, he went to create an escape plan by building a powerful suite which he could wear and protect himself to escape. That was the first Iron Man suit he created.

After his survival, he realised that the weapons he & his company created were not meant for his first objective - peace, but instead for war and mass destruction. That is where he plans to 'save the world' using his Iron Man suit, which he perfected over time.

The film also stars Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow and Oscar nominees Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges and directed by Jon Favreau.

This movie is a joint collaboration between Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios.

iron man poster, robert downey, Gwyneth Paltrow

Why You Should Watch This Movie
If you like action-packed movies, or super hero movies. The effects are quite impressive, similar to those of what is expected from action-packed movies. And of course, if you are a big fan of the comic character of Iron Man itself.

Basically, it's a ride of Hollywood enjoyment.

Why Not
Because you will know the ending even before watching the movie. And because it's always the same Hollywood action-hero plot: good vs evil, with machines along the way and evil-in-disguise. It's just too predictable.

Conclusion & Movie Rating
A fun family action-movie suitable for the kids, minus a few steamy scenes. An okay watch, and will definitely be a big blockbuster, but not one that is a must see.

2.5 stars

Iron Man Trailer