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Showing posts from October, 2016

Doctor Strange [IMAX/3D]

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First up, Marvel Studios has got some fancy new credits...

Doctor Strange was a thoroughly enjoyable film and a distinct departure from the usual MCU fare with a lot more (effective) humour and minimal bombastic action. And as per usual, Marvel scored in its casting, not only of Benedict Cumberbatch but also Tilda Swinton, regardless of her character's supposed skin colour.

The biggest problem, as with almost all MCU films, is the villain. Another wasted actor in Mads Mikkelsen, although by the end of the film, you do sense that Marvel is trying to correct that. Nonetheless, the MCU is still failing when it comes to character development as compared to the Marvel/Netflix franchise.

You know, I will pay good money to see Cumberbatch and Mikkelsen act on the small screen over 10 - heck! even 5 or 6 episodes - together! Sherlock Holmes vs Hannibal Lecter. One can only dream.

Director Scott Derrickson did a great job in visualising the multi-dimensions, but unfortunately it was not en…

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

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A thoroughly predictable but yet sufficiently entertaining enough Tom Cruise-type film as long as one accepts the plot holes and film logic. Cruise is his usual charismatic self although Reacher is a decidedly more stoic character than Ethan Hunt, Lens Grossman or Jerry Maguire.

Director Edward Zwick does a decent job in going through the beats but the film would have benefited from at least a 10 to 15 minutes trimming off its 118 minutes run time. And credit to the writers for at least trying to pass the Bechdel Test, but their attempts could have been a tad more organic to the story.

At least Colbie Smulders wasn't just a pretty eye candy and she had one good kick-ass moment. Also, Heroes Reborn alum Danika Yarosh was appealing enough and managed to elevate her character from being just another annoying teen.

Ultimately, this was an entertaining entry into another Cruise franchise but whether it gets a sequel or not is really inconsequential. Tom Cruise's action movies are …

Westworld

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Pilot: One of the best praises I can give Westworld is that I WANT MORE! The whole concept of it isn't original...not least because it was based on Michael Crichton's 1973 film. This was Dollhouse (Joss Whedon's most under-rated, yet truly fantastic, show) meets Humans meets Black Mirror. It was beautifully shot, superbly acted (kudos to Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris...the others like Thandie Newton and James Marden haven't really had a chance to shine yet), and very smartly written! By the end of the pilot, you kind of know what is happening but yet you don't really know...and you so want to know more! That mysterious tease is so rare these days in scripted drama. The biggest problem though is HBO senseless obsession with gratuitous nudity and violence. Although the latter did, admittedly, played a narrative function and hopefully - if I am right - a thematic one too. Just like Whedon's Dollhouse, sexual …

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

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This film fits Tim Burton vast, creative imagination so well, with its scary creatures, paranormal happenings and Victorian-esque settings, Burton had created an imaginative gorgeous world that was filled with both wonder and fear. This was more akin to Burton's under-rated Big Fish than his seminal classics, e.g. Edward Scissorhands. Burton failed in delivering on the YA-aspect of the story and Asa Butterfield's and Ella Purnell's lack of chemistry did not help things. Although Eva Green was an excellent muse to play off of Burton's eccentricity and could very well be his next Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter. Vanessa Ives would have been proud!

Jane Goldman wrote the script and it was quite evident that she was more familiar with writing about, rather than of or for, the weird and paranormal.  Beyond that, her grip on charactersation and translation of the YA bits to the screen. was at best rudimentary. Most of her dialogue was clunky and the film succeeds more a…