Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Review: The Mummy - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

The ideal companion piece to the Beijing Olympics. I'm being sarcastic, by the way.

"You can’t fool the audience by excavating the same mummy thrice (or can you?), so the filmmakers behind the third Mummy moved the supernatural shenanigans to China and made the murderous villain a Chinese Emperor. What perfect timing to release this movie during the Beijing Olympics..."

Read my full review here. Related reviews: The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's hard out here for a big movie freak...

Even though I have moved on to a new job after languishing in a dead-end one for nearly a decade, I still can't decide if it was the best or worst decision. With time, you can earn a lot of respect and goodwill even in a company that supposedly don't appreciate what its workers contribute, and that gives you a lot of stature and leeway in your workplace. With a new job at a more well-known company, the prospects are better but at a price: you start not necessarily at the bottom, but you still have to prove yourself all over again. And it's really damn hard to work without the stature and leeway that have been the oil that greases your engine. Throw in the pressure of excelling in night classes (my only ticket out of this career hellhole), and it has been a really pleasant experience the last four weeks. I hope to make it through another two months, and will draw strength from the cinematic tough guys I worship, who obviously went through stuff that were a lot worse.

I will also try to continue maintaining the Site and the Blog as I have not done so in the past month, partly because I pay $14 every month to keep the love going. I also realised that the online part of my life has always been keeping my sanity intact, and that sanity has been unravelling in the last thirty days that I wasn't writing or contributing anything. Thankfully, I have my bro Will2k pulling up his sleeves for our cause, who dominated the review section with his most undervalued two cents on the latest big-budget ouevres.

This post will lump belated reviews and recommendations together for your reading convenience.



I thought Hellboy was the best showcase of all of director Guillermo del Toro's weaknesses in pacing and editing blockbuster movies. His style may work on independent movies, but mainstream audiences are a restless bunch who need to be constantly prompted with big musical cues and zooming cameras. Still, his movies hold up because of the director's penchant for monsters and the supernatural, who are more often the good guys than the bad. Throw in an Indiana Jones-like opening, complete with occult-obsessed Nazis and a badass blade-wielding bad guy, and Hellboy got me hook, line and sinker. I don't know how Hellboy 2 would fare without any WW2 sequences or Kroenen, but we'll soon see.


Seems like only yesterday that I saw I Am Legend, and here we have another Will Smith blockbuster already unleashed to the masses. The Fresh Prince seems determined to take on every genre out there, and Hancock is his answer to the recent superhero trend. There seems to be some effort to make things a little more interesting. Hancock isn't your usual goody-two-shoes crimebuster - the guy swears, reeks of alcohol and the people he rescued don't seem to even like him. Way too many superhero movies this year, but I'm not tired of them... yet.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Will2k reviews Cloverfield!

"I felt I’ve enjoyed it more than the highly budgeted Godzilla movie. I really regretted not watching this movie in the cinema as I would have been awed by the disaster scenes if I had seen it on a big cinema screen or a wide-screen TV. Damn it!"
Read Will2k's review here! (with spoilers)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Alas, the dreaded review nobody wants to read about... the Big Movie Freak's negative review of the latest Indiana Jones flick.

"...As the saying goes, the whole should be greater than the sum of its parts. Unfortunately, as a whole, Crystal Skull feels like a tired, by-the-numbers Hollywood blockbuster that is closer to the Van Helsing camp than anything in Spielberg’s oeuvre. Spielberg has fashioned a movie that has more in common with his imitators of late than even his last two (and very recent) blockbuster outings; smothered in a thick, fake, plastic-ky layer of CGI, and plagued with an unusual lack of quality control and enthusiasm in telling its story..."

Read my full review here.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Will2k reviews Iron Man!

"Iron Man is a movie that I did not have much idea about because I never really followed any of its comic or cartoons. However, I was expecting some metal vs. metal bashing and smashing, and I wasn't disappointed! The best part about it: I’m pretty sure it's better than Transformers! The movie is nothing short of amazing. Detailed, superbly designed, marvelous engineering and very creative technology... impressive stuff! If this movie had been released when I was young, I would have bought the suit from the supermarket and a few of the 6-inch figurines!"

Read Will2k's review here! (minor spoilers)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Review: Speed Racer

"After seeing everybody’s reviews and comments and the poor box office results for Speed Racer, I’m more convinced than ever that for many people, including critics themselves, summer movies are all about action and special effects than they care to admit. Good stories, acting and direction are all but secondary, and act as mere leverages for critics to justify liking junk-food cinema. Speed Racer happens to be that rare movie to prove this hypocrisy, with a story and performances that are better than what you would expect from its ilk, delivering what critics often claimed to have wanted in their popcorn movies. Yet action and aesthetics were their foremost complaints when it comes to reviewing this movie, and somehow the plot, acting and direction (which were far from bad) got unfairly skewered in the process..."

Read my full review here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Review: The Forbidden Kingdom

"...For a movie that has Chan, Li, Chou and acclaimed fight choreographer Yuen Woo-ping collaborating together, the action was surprisingly lacklustre, and this was not because of a lack of violence due to the PG rating. On the bright side, the amount of bone-crunching action was rather substantial, and the filmmakers weren’t shy in depicting some up-close-and-personal bloodletting. However, the fight maneuvers themselves were just too rote, and even paled in comparison to what these stars delivered in their most recent movies. Kungfu fans will be sorely disappointed by what’s on display here..."

Read my full review here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Review: A Battle of Wits (Muk gong)

State Wars
Set in China’s Warring States period, A Battle of Wits focuses on the small, city-state of Liang. Getting news of a massive Zhao army en route to Liang, the politicos of Liang, including the Liang King (Wang Zhiwen), his prince Liang Shi (Choi Si Won), adviser Si Tu (Wu Ma) and General Niu (Chin Siu-Hou) must decide to either defend their keep, or surrender to the enemy. Before General Niu manages to officiate their surrender with Zhao general Xiang Yanzhong (Ahn Sung-Kee), a special Zhao regiment has already reached the gates of Liang. Moments before, aid from Liang ally, the Mozi tribe, came in the form of Mozi brethren Ge Li (Andy Lau). Before you mock his name, I should warn you that the Mozi are known for their deft in strategic warfare, and Ge Li proves this by successfully repelling the Zhao regiment. His accomplishment earned widespread adulation, including those from the Liang prince and female soldier Yi Yue (Fan Bingbing), much to the chagrin of the jealous king. He suspects that Ge Li may try to usurp his throne, and plots to do away with the Mozi after the Zhao army has given up on invading Liang. Taiwanese star Nicky Wu plays the Chinese Legolas, Zi Tuan.

A Battle of Wits is another one of those “against all odds” movies like Lord of the Rings, Troy and 300, with a city of 4,000 up against an army of 100,000. Most of the fun in Battle is from observing how Ge Li overcomes wave after wave of attacks from the Zhao. Actually, Ge’s defensive maneuvers are more about brutality than strategy - employing many cheap, gruesome tactics like spike traps and fire pits to kill as many enemies as you can within the shortest amount of time. Although the Zhao army lost only a fraction of their men, the psychological impact is severe, demoralising Xiang’s troops who were supposed to be on their way to a bigger, more important battle up north. But Xiang himself is no idiot, and devised some sly maneuvers of his own. It’s interesting to note the Mozi’s inner conflict between the two key components of his religion - “universal love” and cold pragmatism. It’s his love for humanity and peace that brought him to Liang’s aid, but cruel logic dictates that in order for Liang to survive, Zhao soldiers must die.’s Kozo described Ge Li as resembling a Jedi Knight. Apart from trudging about a sandy landscape in a brown, hooded robe, the Mozi is also very monk-like, keeps a short crop of hair, and abstains from material possessions and even a disrobing Fan Bingbing. You can say that his ability to outguess his opponent’s movements is a kind of Force power. The only thing missing is elegant sword skills and a lightsabre, though Ge is pretty wicked with a bow and a specially modified arrow.

My only gripe with the movie - the romantic subplot, which involves an improbable female soldier character in 5 B.C. China, who is porcelain-fair and pretty to boot. (Why couldn’t they just make her a Liang princess?) Admittedly, Fan Bingbing provides some much needed eye candy in a sea of grimy, ragged people that are the civilians of Liang. Either ways, it’s still leagues smarter and more entertaining than 300, and loses out to Troy only from a lack of star power (unless you see Fan, Wu and Super Junior member Choi as “stars”). It’s also better than the messily edited theatrical cut of Seven Swords. (I’m still waiting for the five-hour epic version, Mr. Tsui Hark.) Of course, in the biased eyes of this Rings fan, nothing beats Lord of the Rings. - BMF


Written and directed by Jacob Cheung Chi Leung (Never Say Goodbye, Midnight Fly). Stars Andy Lau Tak-Wah, Wang Zhiwen, Fan Bingbing, Chin Siu-Hou, Choi Si Won, Ahn Sung-Kee, Wu Ma and Nicky Wu. Based on the novel Bokko by Sakemi Ken'ichi.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I Am Legend - Book and movie comparisons (Spoilers!)

(Warning! Spoilers ahead!)

Just finished reading I Am Legend. Looking at the thickness of the book, I thought it was a novel, but in fact it's a short story. The rest of the book is a compilation of other short stories by the author, Richard Matheson. I didn't know this until I finished reading the I Am Legend portion. Imagine my surprise when less than a quarter through the book, the story suddenly ended!

The big difference between the book and movie is not just that the original hero wasn't a black dude, but the book is really actually about vampires! Fear of garlic, crosses, sunlight, the works. The great thing is that the author uses scientific reasoning to explain how vampirism works, and why they feared the abovementioned objects, which at first glance seems a little illogical. The movie used very, very little of these stuff, but concentrated more on the "last man on Earth" concept. Also, I think it's probably the best and ultimate vampire story I've ever heard or read about. It makes Anne Rice look really stupid.

As for the ending, well, it's like those Twilight Zone kind of ending. It's not something stupid like I woke from a dream or he goes into the next dimension or something. Though a little shocking (and an ironic joke), it still makes perfect sense that it ended that way. But it's also very sad and depressing. Everybody seemed to like the book's original ending, but it might be too much for regular folks at the cinemas, because they'll be so disappointed at the outcome after all the hard work and sacrifice Robert Neville made.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Spoovans' edited review of I Am Legend

I've finally found some time to edit Spoovans' I Am Legend review. It's one of his better written reviews of late. It needs more humour though, or at least more Car Freak-related quips on the Mustang or whatever else that Will Smith drove in the movie, which is really Spoovans' area of expertise. I'd hope he writes something about cars and their relationship with cinema someday, but he has been real busy building a career (and making lots of dough) with a marine company of late, so that someday could take a while to come.

Here's the unedited review if you missed it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Spoovans' edited FF2 review!

Recently, the Car Freak a.k.a. Spoovans posted a rather bizarre review of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Bad writing or insane genius? You be the judge! I've uploaded an edited version of his review here. It might give you an understanding of how this movie freak thinks, or it might only give you a headache! Best of all, he managed to squeeze one short automobile-related comment near the end! Click on this link, if you dare!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

An (unedited) review on I am Legend-comparison between old and new

HI Guys,

Before I proceed to the review, I do admit that living in solitude with all the cool stuffs in the world is rather cool.
This movie is based on based on the 1954 novel "I am Legend" by Richard Matheson. The first silver screen adaption of this book was the 1971's 'OMEGA MAN', with Charles Heston (a.k.a the NRA Taiko in USA) as Richard Neville. In this version, Richard Neville,the doctor,due to an experimental vaccine, is the only survivor of an apocalyptic war waged with biological weapons. The plague caused by the war has killed everyone else except for a few hundred deformed, nocturnal people calling themselves "The Family". The plague has caused them to become sensitive to light, as well as homicidally psychotic. In this version, Richard Neville is trying to get out of the city and find a human colony. In terms of execution, the movie is somewhat similar to sic-fi movies of its time, esp. Planet of the Apes etc.

Fast forward to 2007, in latest adaption of the novel, the producers decided to name the movie as the novel title, I AM LEGEND, and I do have to admit, it is definitely an improvement in comparison to its predessor. In this version, The movie begins with a newspaper interview with Dr. Kripper (Emma Thompson) who is speaking about the her scientific breakthrough. She has taken the Measles virus and altered it at a genetic level so that it attacks only cancerous cells. The treatment has proven 100% effective in over 10,109 clinical trials. The film then cuts to three years later and we see that New York is deserted. Grass is breaking through the concrete, cars are rusting in the streets, and entire buildings are covered in titanic sheets of plastic with Biohazard signs plastered all over them. Our Hero, Richard Neville (Will Smith), comes blazing in his Mustang GT500, hunting deers in downtown, run down NY (In Omega man, Charles Heston breaks into a deserted dealership and drives out the Mustang from the store window).
As in the earlier version, Neville is the last human survivor in what is left of New York City and maybe the world. For three years, Neville has faithfully sent out daily radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But he is not alone. Mutant victims of the plague -- 'The Infected' -- lurk in the shadows

In a nutshell, the special effects of this movie is ok, not that it is bad or anything, but after watching Beuwolf, playing countless gory video games such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill etc; 'The Infected' looks nothing more that 100% CG characters, fresh from the PC. I really wished the Director paid more attention on this. As for the storyline and cinematography, the pace was good and there were times I was on the edge of my seat, especially when Neville was entering an Infected hideout trying to get his dog back. The other character are Alicia Braga (Anna) andCharlie Tahan (Ethan), though their contribution didn't matter to the to the movie plot, they were in the movie till the end.

The movie centered on Neville's coping with his solitude life, that is constantly in battling to stay away from 'The Infected'. And by potraying the effects in embarking in risky genetic biotechnology projects with inadequate safety protocols, I believe the movie highlights the state of our modern hightech biotechnology industry, where company rush to produce cures for major ailments from the most unlikely sources, in order to claim novel discoveries and patents, in order to attain instant fame, glory and monetary rewards that comes with it.

In short, I would say that this is one cool movie, and I am definitely getting a DVD copy of this movie.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

(Unedited) review on fantastic 4- rise of the silver surfer

Hi guys,

Before I start, allow me to confess that I am not a big fan of fantastic four, but I will be as objective as possible.

I do have to admit that I have enjoyed the first installment of the Fanstastic Four, as I wasn't a die hard fan of the comic book, hence I took it as any other action movie, simple storyline of good versus bad, with the good guy being a brilliant doctor (Dr.Dean Richards : Ioan Gruffurdd
) pitching a high risk space project to a successful industrialist (Victor Von Doom : Julian Mcmahon), who happens to be his uni buddy, he agrees and ropes in his assistant (sue storm : Jessica Alba) and also ropes in Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) and of course, lets not forget Ben Grimm (Micheal Chicklis). They are up in space and a freak cosmic storm hits them, they are back home and they realise that they have superpowers.
In the meantime, while the Fantastic Four team is gelling, Victor Von Doom is facing real world corporate problems, looming bankruptcy and drought of financial backers.

The first movie was nice due to the special effects, Julian Mcmahon performance as Victor was not bad though the human torch, aka Cris Evans was rather over the top at times. Though I personally did not find Dr.Dean Richards performance as a nerd, entertaining at all.
With the Rise of the Silver surfer, It was actually much better compared to the first, especially in the beginning when you have planets being destroyed and a white light zooming through space. And Dr.Doom's return to movie, just when we though he was finished, was not too shabby either.
The downfall of the movie, in my opinion, is the ending of the movie. Especially when the silver surfer has a change of heart and decised to save earth by destroying himself and his master. I really found the Silver surfer character rather cool, as he is invincible and all powerful, totally focused in destroying planets for the singular purpose of serving his master and has no conscience or feeling so to speak, or thats how the movie made you believe at the start of the movie.
Another archillies heel of this movie is the sappy romantic moments between Dr.Dean Richards and Sue Storm, rather sad actually.
And I found the human torch entertaining when he was a torch, not as Jonny storm.
The sucky moments is when they unveiled their 'Dodge' flying 'Thingamagic', and when it splits into four pieces and drew the no.four in the sky, that just 'killed' the movies for me.

All in all, a rather average movie, suitable for those who either loves Jessica Alba or are die hard fans of Fantastic Four


Monday, December 3, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

A short review on Ratatouille

Yo Lam,

I did watch Ratatouille when it was released quite some time back, and yes it definitely a really cool animation movie.
It is fun, heart warming, but it does not patronise its audience as some of the other hollywood animation movies(i.e Flushed away, surf up etc).
I especially enjoy the hero of the show, the rat, as he is an average rat with a gift, and also the food critic, anton, though he was rather cold at first, but towards the end of the movies, you realise that he is rather too passionate about his profession.
In short, a cool movie that is definitely worth a second or third watch.

take care man

(p.s. My girlfriend found the movie rather so-so, to my surprise!)