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Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Better than expected. Oscars are not all about art films and complex dramas
Before talking about Fury Road, I must say a few words about its roots, the Mad Max franchise.
The original Mad Max was one of those movies from back in the days when B movies are like that - sometimes one design element or the poster created a lot of expectations. I personally think Mad Max is one of them. The world setting and the character design is so intriguing that it spawned many works inspired by Mad Max. This, in a way, creates Mad Max shadow larger than Mad Max itself. Perhaps people who are exposed to a long list of pop culture things that are influenced by Mad Max and don't even know it. (This list is readily available on Wikipedia and sites alike).
So the point is? Mad Max is significant as in pop culture, but judging the films based on its influence many be a bit too much. It was what it was - a B movie to begin with.
I didn't see Fury Road when it was released in the theaters. I blame that on the promos and the character designs. It felt like a cheesy reboot without Mel Gibson (although I am not a Gibson fan, not interested in him since Braveheart). Glanced at the poster and I didn't even noticed the female protagonist is Charlize. Had I known it was her, my interest level would be higher.
Then came the DVD release, and I watched it because of the Oscar buzz (as a surprise). This movie is absolutely stunning. Other than that one shot of a CG car flipped over, which looked fake, it's an amazing execution of cinematography. A Mad Max movie should deliver a out of the world experience and amazing car chases and fights. In that regard, the movie delivers just that. Would it be a better movie if there is tighter story, and twists and turns every 15 mins? Of course it would! However, I watched this movie very well knowing it is Mad Max.
I gave it a 7 because it is an enjoyable watch. I love the car designs in this movie. There is not really parts of the movie that fells boring or too long. An enjoyable watch. The Oscar definitely helped this movie to get audiences. The movie is good ride and not winning the best picture is expected. At least it was never nominated for best screen writing. Otherwise I would really have a problem with the academy.
Sex and the City 2 (2010)
SATC lost its magic
I am a big fan of SATC. I started watching the show when season 1 was on HBO, and I bought every single season on DVD. Although I did not love the first movie, I thought it was watchable.
SATC 2 is something should never been made. I just don't know what happened (or not have happened) to the girls, so many years after the end of the TV series. It seemed like there is just nothing left to be told about them anymore. The girls are older, and yet seeming even more immature than before. The jokes are nowhere near what the TV series offered. This movie was just trying to milk on everything.
And the fifth major character of SATC! OMG the CITY! The writer dared moved the story out of NYC and immediately the charm has turned way down. The fish out of water formula was not played well. Things turn a little bit offensive at times.
True fans of SATC, it's OK to stay away from this one to save your fond memories of the show. It's a nightmare. A good example of illustrating when something good should be left that way. SATC is ruined by this movie.
Chung fung che (2015)
A quick and concise review
I will give a short ver review of this movie.
First off like many local HK film this one is full of local slangs and occasionally a few curse words. It's a Guy Ritchie Snatch kind of criminal comedy. It's full of over the top styling and some CGI that look rather low budget, even a little B movie like, for a 2015 movie. It's still an entertaining movie though.
A group of criminals dressed up as police, with a modded mini bus (very iconic in Hong Kong) as a police van. Their plan was to rob other criminals who smuggle money into Hong Kong in dead bodies (returning from China to Hong Kong for cremation). They ran into another group of robbers having the exact same plan.
The protagonists are likable characters. They started to act / think like they are the real police, and even managed to save a few victims. In the mix we also got a real life young cop who got the brains to piece together what these criminals are trying to do.
The story is based on 4 guys who got days jobs, making very little money, and always have ideas on scoring a heist. There is some brotherly love among them. The funny bits comes from their child like acts here and there, and some over the top actions.
The dialogs are not exactly witty and memorable. The acting is good given the quality of the script. The pacing is not bad. I didn't find any part to be too long, or boring.
There are some parts of the story that feels like is missing. Perhaps this is because of the Cocroach sub plot was cut from the theatrical release (rumored cut due to fear of China's censorship).
There is a post credit scene so you may not want to miss that.