Reviews written by registered user

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31 reviews in total 
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23 out of 38 people found the following review useful:
Could / Should have been much better, 30 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Being a X-Men comic fan, I could not wait for this movie to come out. Days of future past is one of the story arcs which define the X-Men comics and seeing that Bryan Singer came back to direct, I thought that this effort would surely bring back the X-Men franchise in the eyes of the fans....or does it. Seeing that Rogue was cut out of the theatrical release was not a good start. But when I saw that there were plenty of other mutant characters I kept my hopes up for a classic offering.

As there was not a single cinema in town that offered the film in 2D in original language, I was forced watched the 3D version. Totally unnecessary and the viewing experience is made worse because the polarised glasses make the "future" scenes even harder to see since they are mostly filmed in darkness.

My first complaint is that the movie dives straight into action. A fight between the last of the mutants and the sentinels. There is no explanation on why these were the last mutants standing, and who they were. The movie also ignores the otherworldly Marvel characters who would be more than a match for the sentinels. The sentinel powers are also given a twist, plus their design differs from what we know from the comics. Now a great start for me.

Most of the film is based in 1973 and, during these parts, we see a total of 6 mutants with 4 or 5 other cameo appearances. There was no logical reason for why Wolverine chose Quicksilver for breaking into the Pentagon. Whereas the first Bryan Singer X-Men movie gave us 4 mutant villains, this movie only contained misguided characters. When compared to the other X-Men movies there are relatively fewer action scenes which really show off the mutant powers. It just felt cheap to me and to be brutally honest I was more impressed by the trailers than the film itself. I genuinely felt conned by Days of future past.

The mid-credits scene was also placed after ALL the credits have rolled. That means you have to sit through 5-10 minutes of uninteresting info. I won't give away what it entails (although you can easily do a google) but I would say that it brought me very little excitement as it does not tie in with any of the other Marvel movies.

The first X-Men movie in 2000 was a no-nonsense classic. The Wolverine showed promise in bringing back the same gritty action. Unfortunately, Days of future past was a disappointment for me.

Special ID (2013)
6 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
A piece of rubbish.. but still better than Iron Man 3!, 2 January 2014

The Hong Kong film industry is a mixed bag with one side of the spectrum containing half decent films with fairly good acting and plot, and the other side containing complete and utter tosh story lines with the only redemption being the fighting. Hong Kong triad films (of which there are millions which gives you an indication of the type of people you will find in Hong Kong...) mostly fall into the 2nd tosh category. The only exception was Indecent Proposal... I mean, Internal Affairs 1 (and possibly 2...) which someone in America loved so much that they did an American version.

Donnie Yen has also starred in million of Hong Kong films. As someone mentioned, his career is also the same mixed bag. In recent years he has been involved in some respectful titles (Yip Man, Return of Chen Zhen, Painted Skin and Dragon Tiger gate amongst others). The problem is, he is known for his martial arts ability and poorly underused (or recognised) for his acting.

But I can't help but feel that he has been forced into being in this film. No-one in their right mind would choose to be in this pile of rubbish, much less a HK A-star.

Personally, there was one good thing about this movie. Despite being utter rubbish and a waste of 90 minutes it is STILL better than the rubbish that is called Iron Man 3, and that is why I gave Special ID 2/10. God knows how that other rubbish ended up as top grosser of 2013...

Prisoners (2013)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Arguably the best film of 2013, 12 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As all other reviews have stated the strength of this film lies with the quality of acting, and with the number of A-list stars this is exactly what we expect. I was also impressed by the tempo and atmosphere. There are moments where the silence itself gives you cause to expect the worst, and this is a prime example of a film where the acting, camera-work and script all come together to generate the sense of foreboding. It is the difference between a good horror film such as Ringu and a slasher title such as Scream.

I can't help but feel that there was a change in script because the abrupt does not really deliver its intended impact. If you have watched the film then you will understand what I mean. I would not be surprised if there was an alternative ending in the DVD release.

I did not give it a perfect 10/10 purely because the ideas were not original. But in a year in which there have been a huge number of blockbusters that failed to impress, this film is truly a welcome relief that 2013 was not a disaster the movie industry and brings relief that artistry is not lost.

17 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
A fresh makeover of a classic Chinese legend, 17 August 2013

This is a feature film version of the Yang army story which is one of the legendary stories passed down from generation to generation amongst the Chinese population. The fact is, the film will not raise any kind of excitement or appreciation for anyone else other than Chinese people. For example, many reviewers do not even know that there are multiple versions of this story portrayed in multiple TV series. "So what?", they ask... well because you have something to compare to and once again, I stress that its all down to appreciation of the history of the story which most critics will have lacked.

It is true that there are similarities to 300 and Troy but this is executed with style. In fact, I would use the word "Style" to describe this remake. It has a stylish look and feel to it which saved what could have been disaster. The cast features a few big names who struggle to exert their screen presence due to the vast number of prominent characters. To my surprise none of the actors and actresses impressed me with their performances, which I found merely adequate. Instead, I was more impressed by the sets and choreography as well as the movie score. The cast features two big names, Ekin Cheng and Raymond Lam, who I had expected to shine. Instead they are allowed to fall back on their wooden acting (both are guilty of this acting style) which left the rest to veteran HK actor, Adam Cheng. Unfortunately Adam Cheng tends to excel in roles that are less serious, and I felt that someone with more physical presence was needed for the role of the General.

But still, I gave this film 10/10 purely in an effort to balance up the poor ratings given by the clueless. I was half expecting someone to confuse this film with "Saving Private Ryan". I never thought anyone would own up to it....

Byzantium (2012)
8 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Above average take on the vampire genre, 17 June 2013

As most reviews have mentioned this is a refreshing and original variation on the vampire theme which does not fall flat on its face. I went in with the knowledge that Neil Jordan was also responsible for "Interview with a vampire" all those years ago. Byzantium had a similar feel to that.

Without giving away too much of the plot, we see two vampire who have opposing ideals. In this way, we see a stark similarity to the contrast between Lestat and Louis. We never truly find out how they became vampires but this mystery was actually best left untouched.

The only weakness for me was, I did not feel anything for any of the characters. There were romantic sub plots but these were so cold. In fact, the tone of the film was very cold and barren.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Heavy but surprisingly good, 17 June 2013

I watched this without being aware that it is based on a book. However, I an a fan of Guy Pearce and he played this role with his usual proficiency. The story and plot were solid and engaging, and the faint touches of humour gave a well-rounded polish to a low budget title which holds its own very well.

The usual elements of a good thriller plot are there. The pub scenes were probably the best and certainly produced the most chuckles.

If there was any complaint, it would probably be that Guy Pearce was too good looking for this role, and I felt that someone moodier and beefier might have done it more justice.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Great for D & D fans, 17 June 2013

This low budget title is the third film of the D & D series. In terms of budget, storyline and effects it matches what we got with the second title. I would probably compare it with Armageddon 2 as the style is a close match.

The acting is not great but not terrible either. The plot and formula is very loyal to the D & D world, and it was cute to see some stereotypical elements being thrown in :) The lead actor makes for a perfect Paladin, and the rest of the characters portrayed their D & D roles quite faultlessly.

The ending could have been better and could actually have been engineered for a sequel.

Side Effects (2013/I)
Original and thoughtful thriller, 17 June 2013

Considering the regurgitated titles that have been coming out, that are coming out and that will come out, this movie gets 10/10 for me for originality, storyline plot, acting and food for thought. And all this achieved with a fraction of the budget needed for Man of Steel and the rubbish that is called Iron Man 3.

For people who enjoy films that make them think deeply about various issues, this is that film. It needs concentration throughout and the controversy theme will cause rifts with many people.

This is also a film that relies not only on one or two lead characters, but all the roles have their place and importance.

To summarise, I am very impressed and this is a rare titles in this day and age.

6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Brainless flick but not too bad, 17 June 2013

The title was obviously chosen to attract audiences but apart from the (very) loose connection to the Vikings, this has nothing to do with Thor. Indeed, the tribe could have been any other and it would not have mattered.

The acting was sub-standard with the best performance being from the dying King who manages to survive the entire duration of the quest despite us being told that his stomach contents are leaking out...

The storyline had potential but unfortunately ended up being extremely strange and needless. Characters behaved strangely without explanation. They also casted the wrong actor for the lead role. His acting was not terrible (in that I mean I have seen much worse than him in Hollywood blockbusters....), but they should have chosen someone with more physical presence.

In a nutshell, this is probably not worth your time watching but I can't say that its abysmal either when you take the budget into consideration. Pound for pound, it is still better than Man of Steel and a hundred times better than the rubbish that is called Iron Man 3.

8 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
I agree with the critics..., 16 June 2013

In contrast to the "most useful" reviews, I actually agree with the critics. The budget clearly went into the action and for this, I score the movie 10 out of 10. The fight scenes are an incredible match for what you see in the cartoons, and I was very impressed. Unfortunately, there were only two other positive aspects for me:

1. Russell Crowe, who gave a surprisingly good portrayal of Jor-El.

2. Although I disliked the rest of the movie, it is still better than the rubbish that is called "Iron Man 3".

Although you could argue that this was the Superman from an alternate age, I did not get any kind of feeling for the actor's portrayal. Disappointing since he obviously felt bad after losing the 2006 role to a relatively unknown actor who, in my opinion, did a better job of playing Superman than he did. We waited 7 years for him to do a better job and yet, we get a lifeless wooden performance instead. That said, Amy Adams was no better. Both the leads gave very wooden lifeless performances which was a big big letdown. For me, the lead actor and actress had no chemistry whatsoever.

I normally hate reboots but after watching this version of Superman, I can't wait for another reboot.... the decision to pull the plug on Brandon Routh was a stupid one.

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