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Awesome & Touching
This awesome action-packed movie goes beyond the "young men with superpowers" storyline; it also injects poignancy and thought-provoking themes into the script. Andrew, one of the main characters, evokes both sympathy and horror, as the plot unfolds; while his cousin Matt, tries to do some pretty serious damage control (to put it mildly). The movie builds up to a climax that literally flies to Tibet, in the Himalayan Mountains!
A tale of two cousins with very different reactions to power, and the challenges of life. The raw, documentary-like realism to the depiction of "X-Men" type of superhuman powers is particularly good. Cars exploding, people flying....highly recommended movie for 2012.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
Absolutely first class! 11 out of 10.
Of the original trilogy, the first X-Men movie still rates the best.....until now.
This prequel is an absolute stunner - from storyboard, script, mutant characters, pace, cinematography, Foley FX, VFX....you get the picture. In fact, the subtitle for this movie could also be X-Men: Origins. The poignant beginnings of Magneto and Mystique are recounted, as well as the extraordinary powers of Professor X. Yes, indeed! The good professor had plenty of goodies (and hair) in his formative years at Oxford University.....^^
I cannot wait to see X-Men prequel II and III, 3D or not.
Da Xiao Jiang Hu (2010)
Super Funny!!! I kid you not.
For fans of Star Wars, Kung Fu Hustle (Stephen Chow), Swordsman (Tsui Hark) and other iconic movies of the East and West, this martial arts comedy with a refreshingly original (and hilarious one-liners) script will have you splitting your sides.
Fans of Hong Kong's veteran funnyman Eric Tsang, Singapore's multi-talented and versatile actor Mark Lee and Taiwan's Jacky Wu, will love the cameo appearances made by these super comics. Also, did I mention the clever use of CGI to boost the visual impact of 'kung fu' moves during the show?
A must-watch for aficionados of the comedy-kung fu genre.
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
A synergistic blend of Zen & Zeal. DreamWorks SKG has done it again!
What can be better than watching Kung Fu Panda 2? Watching it in 3D, of course! The 'awesomeness' of the movie pops right out (pardon the pun).
With the involvement of so many voice talents, including the triple J's (Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan), Van Damme 'The Muscle From Brussel', Charlie's Angel Lucy Liu and legendary actor Dustin Hoffman, it is no wonder that the entire animated film scores wonderfully BIG on the family 'fun' scale. I could hear kids' laughter resonating throughout the theater the entire time (adults too).
I think DreamWorks Animation is fast establishing itself as THE leader in developing novel materials that explore new grounds, which will ultimately attract new audiences around the globe (from the Hollywood perspective).
Hopefully, for the next installation, acclaimed director Lee Ang can be roped in to inject more 'pow wow' spin to the entire Kung Fu Panda franchise and boost it to even greater heights.
The Dragon Pearl (2011)
Definitely worth watching. A family-friendly movie that weaves fantasy and parent-child relationship issues into its storyline.
The storyboard of this family-friendly (no graphic violence, gore, sexual scenes etc) Australia-China produced movie is pretty original, with touches of Steven Spielberg's ET and Jurassic Park. In fact, Sam Neill is one of the stars, together with Jordan Chan (if you watch Hong Kong action and comedy flicks, you will know him).
Filmed in Hengdian World Studios (Forbidden Kingdom featuring Jet Li and Jackie Chan, Zhang Yimou's Hero etc), the sets involving the underground emperor's tomb and the golden dragon's cave are very convincing.
Above all, the scenes featuring the golden dragon are simply fantastic! In fact, this film has actually set the minimum benchmark for a CGI celestial dragon (with matching awesome audio effects), in true oriental fashion (watch out for the tongue-in-cheek cross references to conventional dinosaur-like/monster-type dragons during the movie).
In future, any self-respecting film featuring heavenly dragon(s) will need to measure up to the life-like CGI rendition in The Dragon Pearl. For this alone, this movie gets 9 out of 10 from me (the presence of Sam Neill and Jordan Chan helped, of course)......!