Movie Review: Summary - Mid-2012

Hey all, I know it's been awhile, so I'll squeeze short reviews of the movies I managed to see up to now - latest film being The Dark Knight Rises but that film deserves a post of its own :)

No one knew what this film was about prior to its release: it's a Scott Ridley film so there's bound to be aliens. That's it. However the film proved to be another one of those movies that leaves you with more questions than answers. A supposed prequel to the Alien movie saga, Prometheus expands the Alien universe and brings the idea that humans are from a higher race to light. 

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
There's something cool about visualizing one of the most iconic President of the United States swinging an ax to slay vampires. The film cleverly weaves the fantastical idea of an ax-wielding vampire slayer around real events of Abraham Lincoln's life. Analogy between slavery and vampires victimizing humans is fleshed out and the action scenes are stunning works of special effects (it's probably mentioned before but the scene with horses is one to look out for). 

The Amazing Spider-Man
This reboot was refreshing and completely wiped the slate clean from the previous Spider-Man movies: Andrew Garfield + Emma Stone - HAWT! Though I wasn't fond of Peter Parker's sk8ter boi personality, the humor and chemistry between the leads was good; Spider-Man has a lot of glib now...in 3D the special effects were stunning. All in all, it was highly entertaining, there was more effort taken to develop the characters. 

Snow White & The Huntsman
Evil evil queen with psychotic tendencies? Check. Burly huntsman? Check. Noble handsome lord-cum-prince? Check. Dark Forest with creepy sh!t and fantastical creatures? Check. Action and grit? Check. So what did I NOT LIKE about this film...oh yes. The ever-dull and bland Kirsten Stewart. The trailer tricked me into thinking the impossible: that this gal can act. I.WAS.SO.WRONG! Towards the end she just sounded like Kirsten; at least the other actors maintained a somewhat European accent throughout the film. Her screaming and stoned expression would not convince me to fight a deliciously malicious queen. 

Mirror Mirror
Julia Roberts was amusing as the evil queen. The film has modern overtones and you'll be easily charmed by Lily Collins' Snow White; she saves the prince in this outing! One thing that the film imparts upon me is that the outcome of your review on any film starts with your expectation. I expected this film to be fun-filled, hilarious and entertaining: I was not disappointed hence it was an enjoyable film for me. The same can't be said for the darker Snow White & the Huntsman. Pfft. 

Men in Black 3
I've not seen the 2 predecessors to this film, so many of the elements are unfamiliar to me but the story is easy enough to follow; years ago Agent K apprehended and imprisoned Boris the Animal, the last survivor of the Boglodite race. Boris escapes and traveled back in time to  kill Agent K. Present-day Agent K disappears and Agent J travels back in time to save his partner and kill Boris. Josh Brolin is hilarious as a stiff, however younger Agent K. Will Smith's antics are amusing. All in all a good film to watch! 

John Carter
I was intrigued by the trailer, and I've not read the original novel by Edgar Rice Burrough, so I entered the cinema with no expectations. This is Taylor Kitsch's first feature film; he became popular after playing Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine film. John Carter was a soldier disillusioned after the death of his family and doubted the purpose of the military (ie to protect or to conquer). He is accidentally transported to the planet of Barsoom (Mars); due to the low gravity coupled with his bone density, John displays immense strength and is able to leap to incredible heights. He is draw into a conflict between the cities of Helium and Zodanga. Zodanga is led by Sab Than, who is given a powerful weapon by the mysterious and powerful Therns. Sab Than proposes a union between the two cities through his marriage to the Princess of Helium, Dejah Thoris. Dejah is willful and refuses to give in, so she persuades John Carter to help in the war to free Helium and ultimately Barsoom from the clutches of the Therns. The Barsoom environment is brilliant and I found the story interesting. 
Did you know that Lynn Collins who portrays Dejah previously worked with Taylor Kitsch in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as Kayla Silverfox? :)

Rihanna's first appearance on the silver screen? Meh. Never liked that woman. Battleship is inspired by the popular board game: naval forces from around the globe are participating in RIMPAC at Hawaii. An alien spacecraft lands in the same vicinity and creates a forcefield, leaving 3 battleships against a giant alien battleship. Taylor Kitsch plays rebellious and undisciplined Alex Hopper onboard USS John Paul Jones; his older brother Stone Hopper is the commanding officer of USS Sampson. Captain Nagata of destroyer Myoko join forces to fight the alien army. My take on the film? Don't go in expecting an intelligent plot. It's all about special effects and ships battling out at sea. If you can do that, you can enjoy the film. 

Wrath of the Titans
Perseus' wife Io has passed away and he lives a simple life of a fisherman with his young son Helius. Perseus' father Zeus informed him that due to lack of devotion from humans, the powers of the gods are waning and the prison of Tartarus cannot be contained. He requests his son to help bring together armies but Perseus refuses to get involved for the safety of his son. Zeus and his brothers Hades, Poseidon and Poseidon's son Ares travel to Tartarus to negotiate strengthening the walls of Tartarus. Hades refuses and an attack ensues, injuring Poseidon and immobilizing Zeus. Zeus learns that Hades and Ares conspired to release Kronos, the father of the 3 brothers by draining Zeus' divine power. As Tartarus breaks down, monsters are unleashed onto humankind. Perseus joins forces with Queen Andromeda and Agenor, Poseidon's demigod son to find Hephaestus, a fallen god who knows the way into Tartarus in order to rescue Zeus. The plot improved considerably from the prequel Clash of the Titans; more human emotion and more interaction between the characters is observed. 

The Vow
I'm not ashamed to say I cried during the film. The film is based on a true story: a man has to fight to win his wife back after she suffered amnesia from an accident. A very simple story with very simple emotions but often it's the simple emotions that has us undone. 

Man On A Ledge
What do you do when you see a man on the ledge? Your attention is fixed on him...and you're blind/deaf to other happenings around you. Sam Worthington plays a cop who was framed for a heist and catches the attention of the public by standing on the ledge. Little do the public or the cops know that the gimmick was an effective one to prove a man's innocence. The movie really played the vertigo effect very well; half the time I was dizzy looking down from the ledge lol! 

I do not know why I watched this futuristic film but it was entertaining and had a silly enough premise to make everything work: the US President's daughter is an aid worker who is investigating claims that prisoners in the space prison MS One are forced to be lab rats in cruel, inhumane experiments. However prisoners take the entire prison hostage and President Warnock engages CIA agent Snow to rescue his daughter in exchange for his innocence in a crime he didn't commit. Guy Pearce plays the grumpy agent to annoyed perfection, a man forced to wade through demented and violent criminals to rescue the leggy Emilie Warnock in exchange for his innocence. It was funny and had enough action to keep the film from being a boring one!

The first half of 2012 has brought many goodies for Malaysian cinema-goers, I'm looking forward to the upcoming films, like Frankenweenie, and The Hobbit, among others :)

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