Tag Archives: action

Movie Review: Transformers – The Last Knight (2017)

So we’re already on the fifth of the Transformers series in The Last Knight — and have you seen it last night? Ho, kidding aside, this franchise is one of the most followed series for past the decade — and rightfully so, it’s got a good foundation way back from its first release in 2007.

The Synopsis. Humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Now, it’s up to the unlikely alliance of inventor Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English lord and an Oxford professor to save the world.

Looking deeper and beyond movies, humans against machines could be in an inevitable war — what with the continued development of robots, yes, especially in terms of AI. See for one, there are already those who lost their jobs to automation — and later on, this number would only grow.

Yet what’s more scary is when the time comes that these robots could not be controlled anymore — and that’s gonna be the start of a real war between man and machine! Actually, these thoughts came to screen in The Terminator from long time ago — and the Transformers only made it a little ‘playful’.

Anyway, ever since Shia LaBeouf (a.k.a. Sam Witwicky) had been replaced as the franchise’s lead star, the movie has actually gone sour. Like, the interest just got affected somehow, let alone, when Megan Fox left after the movie’s second installment. Not that Mark Wahlberg did a bad job, it’s just that the ‘life cycle’ jumped way too far. Hey, can’t they just grow with the film? Like Harry Potter and many others, you know.

The box office just shows the effects. Let’s see why.

One. The Last Night have become a little messy, yeah, the story line. Like, robots having a past here on earth?? These are just robots, mind you. And trying to incorporate robots into human history is already like an overdose of brainwashing. It’s unnecessary. This is not some kind of super hero or fantasy film like Peter Pan or something — so, there’s no need to go overboard.

Two. If the foundation is shadowy then what follows is sort of questionable — like robots at sea or something like that?

Three. The movie is what, more than 2 hours long?? Wow, just way too long! Two hours could have been enough to make a diehard real satisfied, so definitely scenes should have been cut in the narrative.

In all, if all you want to see are robots that are fighting then perhaps you would be entertained here; then again, the battle scenes have just become a little monotonous — while the effects are, well, guess they just tried too hard to give viewers a good time.

Movie Review: John Wick 2 (2017)

When we hear the name Keanu Reeves, what’s our recall? Action hero. Suave actor. The Matrix?!

Oh, it’s been almost two decades since The Matrix ‘started’. Hey, that makes Keanu kinda old, eh? Hehe. Well, good grooming and makeups can do wonders especially a healthy lifestyle! So.

Anyway, he’s back again in John Wick: Chapter 2..

Have you actually watched this film? The action scenes here are quite hard-core, you know, like being shot from within 3 inches — and just a lot of stabbing — yeah, in different parts of the body at that! But it’s realistic as can be, no Matrix here. Hehe. John Wick bled a lot, too.

How ’bout the ‘body search’? Sure you noticed how the lady struck in between Keanu’s legs during a ‘standard’ search. You agree on that? Yep, it looks a little ‘hard-core’ too, but for issues like ‘national security’ — guess that would be necessary — with due consideration to gender, of course.

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As Winston said, “Rules. Without them, we live with the animals.”

Still, what made us intrigued by this movie is seeing the ways of the underworld. Sorta reminds us of Mr. Right but in a more serious way.

T’is a lesson here. Once you get linked to the ‘underworld’, it would be tough to get out of it. So, think twice before doing something you might just regret — or worse, pay for with your life later on.

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Deception and selfishness are what put rules in a ‘bad light’

For as we know, we are governed by rules. Yup, ever since Adam and Eve’s time! And it’s not about trying to control, for then, God is the one trying to control us. See, He says “not everyone who calls Lord, Lord will be saved but only those who follows the will of God.”

That even sounds like a threat! But it is what it is. Rules keeps us safe. Following ’em shows our commitment. Whether with God. At home. School. Work. Play. Or in any relationship. Following = Commitment.

Eversince man has been governed by rules
Ever since, man has been governed by rules

Key here is, if you find something ‘tough to swallow’ — then talk it over. Fix especially if family. Not quit. After all, we’re not goons!

Till John Wick 3.. Ciao!

Back In Time: Tristan and Isolde (2006 Movie)

Our featured ‘back in time’ movie for today is one set in the Dark Ages; and while reviews had been mixed as most critics say it failed to achieve the sweeping romanticism that it aimed for — as it’s competent but static — we say, the message was delivered well tho there were times when scenes were like a drag. Especially on the supposed love-triangle.

Incidentally, Tristan and Isolde took 2 hours to finish. Quite long, eh?

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James Franco (Tristan) and Sophia Myles (Isolde)

But t’was memorable. James Franco is just one of those ‘rare’ stars who’s perfect for ‘sword and sandal’ films. Nahh. Not the gladiator type but the romantic, knight-in-shining-armor type. Yeah! And Sophia Myles? At first glance, one could even mistake her for Kate Winslet. Still, both are just as captivating for movies like these, just as the rest of the cast were great.

So, if one didn’t find such movies as ‘sweeping’.. then it must be in the execution. As for this film, did you actually notice (or remember) that t’is from the director of ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’? Oh, no wonder the drama; yet this one though has a more ‘moving’ love scenario.

The film’s ‘narration’.

Britain, the Dark Ages. The Roman empire has fallen. The land lies in ruins, divided among feuding tribes. To the west, Ireland has flourished — untouched by the Romans, protected by the sea. Led by their powerful and ruthless King, the Irish have subdued the Britons; knowing that if Ireland is to prosper, the tribes must never be allowed to unite.

Frankly, being sort of history-based, the plot is quite common. But the real ‘meat’ is in the evolving romance of Tristan and Isolde that ‘brought down a kingdom’ — as the plot says.

LESSONS AND KEY QUOTATIONS

ONE. Tristan and Isolde’s love has been compared to that of Romeo and Juliet — being of different, or coming from opposing clans, so to say. So obviously, such is most likely to incur pain, more than lasting bliss. While love is said to be more powerful than war, how willing are you to really leave everything (homeland, relatives, and all) behind for the sake of love? For the sake of having your own family?

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See? Love is sacrifice. And if you are able and truly committed — success and happiness awaits.

TWO. Words intended for King Marke of Cornwall: ‘When a man can’t rule his woman, how can he govern an entire kingdom?’; whether in film or reality, such saying makes sense. Say, if your spouse doesn’t support you in your undertakings, how would you truly succeed? As they say, behind ‘every’ successful man is a ‘supportive’ woman.

Why did God create Eve, anyway? Got the point?

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King Marke and Tristan

Problem with modern society is.. If spouses are not like-minded, they divorce if only to attain success and happiness. But that’s not what God wants (but rather follow His laws for ‘real blessings’ to come). This is why the world is plagued with immorality.. And an impending doom. Have you read the Bible lately?

THREE. While Tristan and Isolde’s love did not bring down a kingdom as legend says that Marke defeated the Irish, rebuilt castle D’Or, and reigned in peace until the end of his days — the ‘real’ problem developed when Tristan and Isolde started an ‘untruthful’ relationship.

Isolde didn’t tell Tristan from the start that she was Ireland’s princess while both also didn’t immediately tell Briton’s King Marke that they already had an affair even before Marke was to marry Isolde as a prize to unite the warring factions. Otherwise, Marke would have thought twice; and even so, Tristan may not have fought the tournament in behalf of Marke.

Isolde and her father, the Irish king
Isolde and her father, the Irish king during the tournament

Yes, if there was no wedding between Marke and Isolde, there may not have been a truce of sorts (still, the other Kings would have connived with Marke to kill the ruthless Irish king just the same) but things would not have gotten worse.. And difficult. Especially for Tristan and Isolde. Truthfulness and purpose are important factors when desiring a lasting love.

Yet such is fate.

Movie Review: The Magnificent Seven (2016)

Next up, a remake. Originally done in 1960 with Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson — The Magnificent Seven of today stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke. And again..

In a Western setting.

The Synopsis. Industrialist Bartholomew Bogue seizes control of Rose Creek, an Old West town, in search of gold. In the process. Bogue kills the husband of Emma Cullen and so inevitably, Cullen together with other desperate residents sought the help of warrant officer Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington). Chisolm then recruits a diverse group of gunslingers to take on Bogue and his men. Soon, The Magnificent Seven were fighting for more than just money..

Know what’s fun about such films? Recruitment. Fortifications.

While people would watch this film because of Denzel Washington, it’s interesting to have seen how well Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke accepted their roles. And certainly, the inclusion of Lee Byung-hun into the group did some justice to the times we are in. Just needs a little more dialogue in the future.

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Left to Right: Vincent D’Onofrio (as Jack Horne), Martin Sensmeier (Red Harvest), Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Vasquez), Ethan Hawke (Goodnight Robicheaux), Denzel Washington (Sam Chisolm), Chris Pratt (Josh Faraday), and Lee Byung-hun (Billy Rocks)

Anyway, while there are those who misses Western kind of movies, ‘just missing’ may not be enough. The current box office of $65.1M compared to a budget of $90M shows that something’s not right.

Yep, and one could be the ‘setting’ itself.

Why Western again? The original did ’em Western ’cause that’s the trend during those times. Today, we’re more ‘advanced’; okay, more than just being Western, the issue really lies in the story line. There’s not much difference with the original. And this is why the Western setting makes the 1960 version even more similar to the current one — making it kinda predictable, therefore, boring.

The original Magnificent Seven
The original Magnificent Seven

Though there’s an obvious ‘good’ thing..

That somehow The Magnificent Seven paved the way for more ideas on ‘group’ heroes that we now know. The Justice League. The Avengers. Even the Suicide Squad. Yeah, cool eh?!

And maybe that’s all that matters. For now.

Movie Review: Mechanic – Resurrection (2016)

Well, how else can you resurrect a hired gun — or anyone for that matter — but leverage his weakness! In the case of Mechanic Resurrection, or like most of the movies’ said ‘good’ guys — it’s using either their family or their girl as ‘bait’. Anyway, the film starts in a boring way that almost made us quit watching if not for the change of scenery.

And wow, just how beautiful Thailand can be?! Not to say that Brazil is not but we all know just how cool Thai beaches are, ya’ know!

And so, we guessed it right. As others would also put it, the film was just something like an exotic working vacation. How many countries did they shoot in? Six? Brazil, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Bulgaria and Cambodia.

Beautiful Thailand
Beautiful Thailand

Even for the traveling, this movie is still very dry. The acting. Just lacks passion and intensity. Sadly, the producers just used the body of Jessica Alba to sell the movie — but instead, it didn’t really do good to Jessica as well as she became somethin’ like a trophy again; when she already had strong characters (Fantastic Four, Machete among others) where she’d really fight against the villains.

Jason Statham and Jessica Alba
Jason Statham and Jessica Alba

Meanwhile, the rest of the cast is pretty weak, too. Tommy Lee Jones. Michelle Yeoh. Sorry to say this but they’re ‘has-beens’. And in this film, Michelle’s character is almost useless; while Tommy Lee’s performance is kinda ‘so-so’.. Just lacks conviction.

While the stunt on one of Australia’s skyscraper with the pool is cool, one of the more noticeable flaws that made us *sigh happened just about 14 minutes into the film. How could Jessica Alba suddenly become unconscious when she appeared perfectly fine and even talking with Statham right after beating up the guy in the boat??

The skyscraper swimming pool scene
The skyscraper swimming pool scene

Yep, also ‘analyzing’ the escape of Arthur Bishop (Statham) after the ship’s explosion was anticlimactic. Sorry.

Yeah, and notice that Mechanic Resurrection is quite similar to action-romance-comedy film ‘Mr. Right’ that starred Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick? From the ‘plucking out of retirement’ to ‘using the lover as bait’ to ‘getting back at the mastermind’. Well, both were rather poorly done.

Incidentally, Mechanic Resurrection had a budget of $40 million but is currently just $20.6M at the box office. So, see?

Movie Review: Gods of Egypt (2016)

So, have you seen the ‘Gods of Egypt’? Well, the title in itself is quite interesting that one could try to get to the theatres for it. And you know the appeal of a sword-and-sandal movie! If well-thought, it could be the start of another franchise!

Anyway, the film has that usual story. A divided land ruled by an evil king with the ‘rightful’ heir to the throne put into exile. You guessed it, the story is about Horus (God of Air; son of Osiris, the King who was killed by his brother Set to be the king instead) and his journey to reclaim the throne he lost to his uncle, Set.

Still, what made the movie a little interesting was Horus’ pledge to help Bek bring back his lady-love, Zaya to life. Of course, as she’s already dead. So, is it love? Hmm…

More Negatives Than Positive 

Gerard Butler as Set
Gerard Butler as Set

Anyhow, the cinematography is just burning. Like, burnt yellow? Meanwhile, the gods are too gilded. And so matching their wings instead of being feathers which is more ‘fathomable’. Even the voice of the king in open ground (in 2 settings) was more like talking to people just 3 feet away from ’em, it lacks conviction which should not be the case. Perhaps the movie could have also used a more popular star for it’s lead role, that would help. As it was, Gerard Butler (as the evil Set) was the only most internationally recognizable actor on the set.

Gods-of-Egypt-robots-fightingAnd what about too much computer enhancement? Like the sea of digital extras, the giant snakes, the falling of pillars, and all those explosions! Hey, it’s almost like watching an animated film!

The movie sort of ended with some good parting words from Horus to the people, ‘the afterlife should not be earned with gold but good deeds, compassion and generosity. What we do and how we act in this life matters’.

This would have been great if more emphasis were given to it. Like not ending the film yet. Nah, it’s not to make it even longer but cut other ‘fighting’ scenes among others to accommodate this ‘afterlife’ reminder. Should be the moral of the story. And somehow, it could have helped save the ‘Gods of Egypt’.