After watching an action thriller series, I was in the mood for some series based on comic books. This time I wanted to give a DC comics adaption a try. I came across this one when I was reading list of all comic books adapted into TV series and I was intrigued by the premise. What was it about? Let's find out more below.
Brief Story Line
Story was set in the planet Krypton many years before the events of Kal-El aka Superman was sent to earth. The series focused on his grandfather Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) whose family House of El was stripped of their rank. It was all due to Seg's grandfather Val-El (Ian McElhinney - Game of Thrones TV series etc) persistence not to share important information to the government. Growing up, Seg had to work odd jobs and befriended with a bar owner named Kem (Rasmus Hardiker).
Seg-El with his family and friends lived in Kandor city under the leadership of Chief Magistrate Daron-Vex (Elliot Cowan). There were various guilds in Kandor such as the Military Guild under Jayna-Zod (Ann Ogbomo) who was the highest ranked in the military. She had high hopes of her daughter Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campell) who also served in the military and was engaged with Commander Dev-Em (Aaron Pierre).
When Seg-El got a visit by someone named Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos - Melrose Place TV series), his whole life would changed drastically. After an incident during a ceremony, Seg-El also become entangled in the political turmoil where he met with Daron's daughter Nyssa-Vex (Wallis Day). Things also got further complicated when Seg got involved with the rebel group called Black Zero, especially with one of their mysterious leader (Colin Salmon).
So what would happen to Seg-El in his complicated life and how would it linked to the future grandson of his? Find them all in this interesting prequel series of Superman.
End of Brief Story Line
Ok, honestly this series seemed to have sooo many cast and it was a bit hard to keep track in the early part. However, it did not take long for me to grasp the plot as it was not really complicated, despite having large cast. What interested me while watching this series was the appearance of some characters who would later on had impact on the Superman stories that I loved for so many years. Superman was 1 of the oldest superhero that I had known and obviously it gave me sentimental feeling. Which is why anything related to Superman, be it movies or TV series adaptation, I would love to find out.
This series did give me some excitement, especially the characters development. I thought the idea of showing us Superman's grandfather during his early days in the planet before it was destroyed was awesome. We would get to see his history and I thought the plot of involving Adam Strange was quite smart. I would not want to get into too much detail of him, other than he was one of the character in DC comics which had influence in Superman's life (obviously comic book readers would know what I meant). Aside from those, there were also super villains whom we also know in Superman's stories shown in this first season, which made it interesting as well.
When I watched the first few episodes, I thought it had quite fast pace and the story was pretty intriguing. However, later on the story was developing into something less interesting and it did become slower. But since episode 6 onwards, the story picked up the pace again and we got few twists that indeed surprised me. The finale episode though, was a bit peculiar. I thought the early part was not intense enough. Half way through it only, we got more suspense and it had an awesome ending worthy of being a season finale and it successfully made me anxious to wait for second season.
For a TV series, the special effects were pretty decent. There were some nice visual effects (loved the one in the finale episode), but there were also parts which were not too spectacular, especially those scenes during snow storm which looked too obvious done in studio. I like the main lead Seg-El who was charming and a likable character, though I thought his love interest story were probably too much. There was also 1 surprising scene/twist which I personally felt a bit ridiculous in episode 9 (apparently this kind of plot was told in 1 of Superman's comic, at least according to Wikipedia). Other characters that I thought was quite nice were Seg's best friend Kem who added some touches of fun, Nyssa-Vex whom I thought was an interesting character and obviously Seg's grandfather Val-El.
Overall I thought that this series was quite OK. It may not be the best comic book adaptation but it did have the rather gloomy, dark and heavy tone which DC comics had in term of movie & TV adaptations. There were few tragic moments that were typical DC which I had gotten used to. It was nice to see Kal-El's origin family and it was certainly kept interesting with the appearance of characters we know from the Superman stories. Those interested in the story before Superman, can definitely give it a try. But if you are interested in the more cheerful or light superhero stories or prefer the story of Superman himself, then you would not like this one. The choice is yours.
This was 1 of the movies that probably did not appear in my radar, until the past couple of weeks when its trailer was shown few times in theaters. The thing that intrigued me was the name Peter Jackson. When it was promoted for advance ticket sales since last weekend, my wife and I decided to buy them for its first day. So let's find out more on the movie.
Brief Story Line (Warning Spoiler Alert!)
Set in the post-apocalyptic time, the cities of the world now were added with engines that enable them to move around and gather scarce resources & old technologies. London was one of those cities referred to as Traction which could capture smaller cities and collect their resources. Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving - Hacksaw Ridge, V for Vendetta etc) was one of London's respected leader and he had a loving daughter Katherine (Leila George). In London, there was a young historian named Tom (Robert Sheehan - Bad Samaritan etc) who knew a lot about old technology and loved to scavenge through stuff collected when London captured other cities.
Tom's normal life would soon changed when he somehow was caught in the middle of assassination attempt on Valentine by a mysterious young woman, later on revealed to be Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar - DaVinci's Demons TV series etc). Tom had no choice but to join Hester in roaming the outside world with dangers seemed to keep following her around including from an undead soldier called Shrike (Stephen Lang - Don't Breathe, Avatar etc). Their lives became even more complicated when they were involved with the Anti-Traction leader Anna Fang (Jihae) who had her own agenda against Valentine.
So what would happen to Tom and why did Hester want to assassinate Valentine? Find them all in this interesting & exciting adventure movie.
End of Brief Story Line
I mentioned above that I did not know anything about this movie and the trailer which seemed to be full of action using special effects, did not make me understand it better. However, once we got into the movie, soon we would immediately be captivated by the amazing idea of a city that could move and capture other cities. Never in my life that I could have ever imagined such a thing and here it was in a movie for us to see it really happening. My wife and I were totally amazed by this awesome scene and we could immediately picture it as an exciting movie.
As the story progressed, we would be introduced by the various characters in the movie which I personally thought was done adequately but it may not be satisfying those who "must" have proper and deep characters development. For me though it was sufficient and some background story was shown via conversations or flashbacks which I thought covered most of the ground. There were actually quite a lot of characters in this movie but some of them were shown in the latter part.
Talking about the characters, I was a bit ashamed that I did not recognize Hugo Weaving as Valentine here (perhaps due to his beard? but my wife could recognize him right away!). Anyway I enjoyed his performance as well as the two main cast by Hera Hilmar (whom I never seen before) and Robert Sheehan (whom I kind of like in his movie Bad Samaritan). Their chemistry was quite convincing & we got few brief amusing scenes between these two as well. Another character that really caught my eye was Anna Fang, which I thought was amazingly portrayed by the singer Jihae. Her appearance as the Anti-Traction leader was spot on and really kick ass (her fight moves were awesome). The rest of them were too brief to leave an impression, and I personally thought the character transformation of Katherine was a bit illogical. Not sure if it was supposed to be like that in the novel as I never read it.
This movie was filled with visually stunning action sequence with wonderful special effects. The appearance of the various moving cities with all the machines underneath them were awesome! The city where all planes "docked" were greatly created, but there was one scene of a static city which I thought was a bit poorly done and seemed too obvious made by computer (I think it was the matte painting). I really loved the background music of this movie especially during the intense part which added the element of suspense. I thought it was quite seriously done by the composer.
I also felt that this film was having a very fast pace, though in the middle it might have slowed down a bit (which my wife said she even got a bit sleepy). But the finale scene was quite breath taking and very impressive. One of the greatest part I felt, was the huge explosion scene with the amazing sound effect. For a movie with 2 hours + duration, it did not feel boring for me, but I could also understand if people might feel a bit disinterested with such an unusual premise for a long period. It also require full concentration to fully the grasp the whole story and might be tiring.
The film was promoted to be "from the filmmakers of The Lord of the Rings" which I thought was obviously to utilize the name Peter Jackson who served as one of the producers and writers. In addition it was directed by Christian Rivers in his directorial debut who previously worked together with Peter Jackson in the Lord of the Rings movies as visual effects supervisors. So it was no surprise the movie's special effects seemed to be maximized fully. Although the fast pace (which probably felt a bit messy for some) and lack of in depth character developments might not be to the liking of critics (as can be seen in the low critics rating).
Overall I feel this was an exciting adventure film with an uncommon premise, high intensity and fast pace, complete with some great visual effects. There were not a lot dramatic moments in here and everything seemed to be rushed (but not in a bad way for me). There was no mid or post end credit scene either. If you are looking for this type of movie, most likely you could enjoy it. Otherwise just need to have an open mind and imagination to see how awesome this movie was.
Mike's movie moments rating: 4 out of 5 stars
PS: The movie was adapted from a novel of the same title written by Phillip Reeve who also wrote 3 more sequels after this book. Perhaps if this movie is successful enough, they might be interested in making sequels of the film
After finishing few TV series that I was catching up, as usual I wanted to try a new one. Since I did not want to watch a 20+ episodes/season series which would take a long time, I chose this one which only had 8 episodes and it seemed entertaining plus it had a good rating (though sometimes nowadays it may translate differently to me due to some differing opinions/taste). Anyway, I started and finished it only in 1 day. So here goes.
Brief Story Line
Jack Ryan (John Krasinski - A Quiet Place, The Hollars etc) was a former marine who now worked as an analyst at the CIA in the Terror Finance Arms Division (T-FAD). During his work, he spotted some transactions that maybe related to terrorist activity. However, his new boss Jim Greer (Wendell Pierce - The Wire,The Odd Couple TV series etc) was very skeptical and wanted to investigate the matter cautiously. It would later on be revealed that Jack's suspicion was justified and the terrorist referred to as Suleiman (Ali Suliman - The Kingdom, Body of Lies etc) was indeed real and dangerous.
Suleiman turned out to be a family man with his wife Hanin (Dina Shihabi) and three children. Meanwhile Jack also had a thing going on with Doctor Cathy Mueller (Abbie Cornish - Geostorm, Seven Psychopaths etc). As the story continued, Jack with his boss would have to race against time to stop whatever Suleiman was planning to do.
So what would happen to them? Find them all in this exciting suspenseful action thriller series.
End of Brief Story Line
OK, when I watched the first episode which had around 1 hour duration, I thought the early part was too slow and uneventful, but once the story passed the half hour mark it became so much faster with an ending that was truly awesome. I felt that the pilot episode definitely successful in creating intriguing moment and excitement for us. The latter episodes would also have the same effect of suspense, mystery and very entertaining.
However, once I reached the fifth & sixth episodes, I felt the series got the tone and pace down a notch. But it was not making the series become uninteresting. It probably was intended for us to catch our breath a bit and enjoy the more dramatic approach. By the end of the 6th episode though, it would be suspenseful till the climax in 8th episode.
This series had a very good story development, wonderful characters with sufficient background story for us to enjoy and it had got many great action sequences. The first episode reminded me of a John Krasinski's action movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi which I thought was good in the action part. Aside from those qualities, the series also had some complex story and even have some drama plus romance. There were few love making scenes with 1 of them rather explicit. So this series more suitable for adults. Some of the topics shown might be a bit sensitive, though I felt it was not intended as an insult but more like a reality check.
In addition to the 5 main cast, the series also had some recurring characters & guest stars such as Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People, Leverage TV series etc) as CIA deputy director, Matt McCoy (The Hand that Rocks the Cradle etc) as Dr. Nadler, Haaz Sleiman as Ali, John Magaro (Overlord etc) as Lt. Victor Polizzi and many others. Unfortunately though, I personally did not think there was any need to put too much screen time for Victor as I thought it did not provide any really useful addition to the main story line. Perhaps it was just to add some more dramatized effects.
Jack Ryan was based on the character from novels written by Tom Clancy and it was such a well known character and successful novels that there have been 4 actors who portrayed him prior to John Krasinski. We got Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and the latest one was by Chris Pine in 2014 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. With Clancy himself being 1 of the co-producers (which included among others Michael Bay), I believed that this time Kransinski's performance should satisfy him. Btw, this series was created by Carlton Cuse (who had previously created series like Nash Bridges, Martial Law and also show front-runner for Lost) together with Graham Roland (who co-produced series like Fringe, Almost Human etc). So with those huge names, it was no wonder that the series was quite a success.
Overall I thought that this was a good action thriller series. I loved the action sequence and the suspense & thrills during most of the whole season. I also felt that for a TV series, the action part were done very seriously that it had a sense of an action movie rather than series. With a very short 8 episodes for this first season, it was a perfect choice to spend your day in front of TV (a total of 6+ hours to finish). I had quite a great time enjoying this series even if it did slowed down a bit in the second half and the appearance of a confusingly rather non connected character. I even had a sense of suspense I felt like when I watched my favorite series which had similar tone such as 24 or Homeland (at least the first 3 seasons).
So if you are looking for an entertaining short series filled with high octane action scenes with some touches of drama and thriller, then this one is for you.
This movie actually played in Indonesian theaters since Tuesday, but my wife and I opted to see another movie that we had been eyeing since weekend. And due to some movies that I saw in the past 2 days, I only got the chance to see this one last night. My wife did not accompany me as I was not sure of the quality. Anyway, let's get on with the movie now.
Brief Story Line
Set in the year 2028, Los Angeles was in a riot due to fresh water being charged. Criminal brothers Sherman (Sterling K. Brown - The Predator, Black Panther etc) and Lev (Brian Tyree Henry - Atlanta TV series etc) were injured during a bank heist and went to a secret hospital especially for criminals named Hotel Artemis. The hotel was managed by Nurse Jean (Jodie Foster - The Accused, The Silence of the Lambs etc) with her helper Everest (Dave Bautista - Final Score, Guardians of the Galaxy series etc).
In the hotel, there were already few other criminals including Acapulco (Charlie Day - Pacific Rim Uprising etc) and Nice (Sofia Boutella - Atomic Blonde, Star Trek Beyond etc). Later on there would also be other people entering the hotel such as the notorious criminal leader Wolf King/Niagara (Jeff Goldblum - Thor: Ragnarok, The Fly etc) and another person wounded in the riot named Morgan (Jenny Slate - The Lego Batman Movie etc) who would complicate matters for both Nurse & Everest.
Things would soon become bad for everyone in Hotel Artemis when 1 of them had a secret plan that would endanger all the people as well as the livelihood of the Hotel. Especially when a trigger happy son of Wolf King named Crosby (Zachary Quinto - Heroes TV series etc) also came to the hotel. So how would the story continued? Find them all in this quite unique cyberpunk thriller movie.
End of Brief Story Line
Well this was a movie that I thought was quite unique. Honestly I did not know the story at all as I seemed to have read the synopsis once many months ago but I completely forgot about it. So I thought that I would just see the movie and find out the plot as it progressed. The story mostly was set in the old building where the secret hospital was operated under the name Hotel Artemis. With the mysterious surrounding and the nice vintage settings in the distant future time, it created a unique feel of modern but old. And the songs chosen to be played by Nurse also added the oldies sense as well.
I personally thought that the visual effects in the movie were pretty good. But what I loved the most was actually the finale. It was filled with some stylish fight scenes, especially ones involving Sofia Boutella's character. There were some wonderfully crafted fight movies that I felt similar to the ones she did in Kingsman: The Secret Service. However, before we reached to the ultimate grand finale, the early part of the movie was going in a bit slow pace and unfortunately I was a bit sleepy probably due to lack of sleep the night before. Not necessarily due to the movie was boring.
There was surprisingly a bit of a twist in this movie which I felt was not really necessary. It only gave a bit of a surprise, but I thought did not add any important point to the story development, except if the outcome of that twist made the character did something different. That's just my opinion though. Oh one thing that I thought was great about this movie were the appearance of the large ensemble cast which included quite major names and their performance did not disappoint. Even Dave Bautista's characterization was quite nice here, unlike his performance in Escape Plan 2.
Overall I thought this was quite a unique movie. I personally felt it was not too bad and did have some nice parts. It may not be the best kind there is and the duration might be too short plus the action sequence might be more satisfying if they were given more. Btw, there was no mid or post end credit scene in here. And since the movie was already shown in the US theater many months ago (in June to be exact), it was no longer a hits movie for audience to see. I myself felt there was not too much sensation and did not have the most exciting experience seeing this one, but it was hardly the worst movie I ever saw.
If you are interested in such kind of genre, then this might be suitable for you. But if you are the type of audience looking for a full action suspenseful movie, or a thriller that had got a lot of intense thrilling scenes, then you might not be really satisfied. The choice is yours.
Last night me and my wife were quite fortunate to be among some of the people invited to the Gala Premiere of a comedy movie which would be shown in theaters next week. The movie had some well known stars playing in it and we were kind of hoping there would be some of them showing up so we could take pictures with them. Anyway, after the registration and ticket exchanges, we found out that the movie only start at 9.15 pm which was a surprise to us since the invitation mentioned 7.30 PM. Finally at 9.30 PM the movie started. So let's get on with it.
Brief Story Line (Spoiler Warning!)
Pras (Valentino Peter) and Duras (Lolox - Security Ugal-ugalan) were 2 childhood best friends who worked hard for a living as online ojek driver. Pras lived with his mother (Alicia Djohar) and had a girlfriend (Former Indonesian Idol Kamasean) whom he planned to marry, while Duras was financing his sister Monik (Meisya Amira) to be a doctor. With his good looks, Pras had some loyal customers including a famous Dangdut singer called Sofiyah (Titi Kamal - Mendadak Dangdut, Hang Out etc). Duras on the other hand, was not so lucky and had no choice but to borrow money from a loanshark called Ci Asiu (Dayu Wijanto - The Returning, Generasi Micin etc) for his sister's college fee.
Meanwhile a professional thief named Sakti (Ernest Prakasa - Susah Sinyal, Ngenest etc) and his partner Sandra (Taskya Namya) had set a target in the neighborhood where Pras and Duras lived. But their latest plan was hit by some bad luck and would later on implicate Duras and Pras.
So how would the story continued? Find them all in this entertaining comedy movie.
End of Brief Story Line
Well to my surprise, this movie actually exceeded my expectation. To be honest when I saw the trailer, I was a bit doubtful if I could enjoy it, even if it did have some interesting cast. But apparently during the whole movie, my wife and I were truly entertained. There were quite a lot of scenes that were funny and there were few brief smartly done jokes between some of the actors & actresses. However, there were also some bit cheesy jokes and few of the funny moments were not really original, but they were still enjoyable for both of us.
The story itself was not really complicated. I thought that the plot unfolding was done nicely and the pace was actually quite consistent. It was never too fast or too slow to my opinion. The drama and comedy portion were also nicely combined and there was even one touching scene towards the end which involved Duras and Monik which affected my wife. I think the director Adink Liwutang (The Underdogs) did a great job in making sure the large ensemble cast were able to show their abilities in comedic performance.
Talking about the cast, the main lead Valentino Peter and Lolox were pretty decent in portraying their roles. While Ernest Prakasa did not really show off his comedic side and I personally thought his role in here was a bit serious. The scene stealers in this movie would surely be Titi Kamal who was really amazing as the famous singer with her very unique speaking style and also my favorite Arief Didu as Sofiyah's personal assistant Beben. There were quite a number of supporting roles that left good impressions to me such as Dayu Wijanto as the ruthless loanshark and of course her bodyguards/debt collectors Romi & Yuli (played by comedians Fico Fachriza and my wife's favorite Yusril Fahriza). I think in general their acting were very natural and we could picture all these characters in real life.
There was 1 thing that I thought was a bit weird in this movie i.e the dubbing of the cast voices. It gave the sense that the movie was made in studio rather than in the outside. Now I am no technical guy and I know that live recording would be too bothersome with the disturbing noises, but I think there should be a way to make them not too apparent. Anyway it was only a minor aspect that did not make the movie less enjoyable. The background music in here were nice and that theme song Rindu Semalam sung by Titi Kamal was very catchy. It was played all night during our wait for the movie to start. So if you heard the song multiple times like we did, you would have difficulty in getting the tune out of your head.
Overall as a comedy movie, this one really delivered. It had quite a lot of funny comedic moments and the drama portion was nicely done. With an ensemble cast of high profile stars combined with some well known & successful comedians plus cameo of several stars, this movie would surely be entertaining. My wife and I really enjoyed the film which has a duration of around 1.5 hour (including the end credit scene which had a nice music video). There would be no need to over analyze this film or try to find out why the movie was titled Sesuai Aplikasi as it was only mentioned a bit and probably utilizing the popularity of mobile phone apps nowadays (especially the online transportation app).
So if you are looking for comedy movie with a touch of drama, then this one should satisfy you. But if you prefer the slapstick comedy film, then this might not suit you. The choice is yours. This movie would start to play in theaters on 6 December 2018.
Mike's movie moments rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Below were some pictures taken during the event last night. My wife managed to take selfie with some of her favorite stars.
With our friends who unfortunately did not join us as the starting time was very late for them
Special Thanks to Hendro Djasmoro for the opportunity. Looking forward to future exciting events.
When the trailer to this movie was shown so many times earlier, I was intrigued by it and wanted to find out more (I never did saw the first movie). After watching that one via online streaming, I thought it was a good film and decided it would be nice to see the second one. But my wife did not really enjoy and she did not finish it. Hence I saw this new movie by myself last night when it premiered in Indonesia. OK, we will start with the movie now.
Brief Story Line
Few years after the events in the first movie, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan - Black Panther, Fantastic Four etc) had been a popular figure in boxing, especially since he became the heavy weight champion of the world. His life also was in the best shape with the support from his love Bianca (Tessa Thompson - Thor: Ragnarok, Sorry to Bother You etc), his trainer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone - Escape Plan 2, Rambo series etc) and his step mother Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad - The Cosby Show etc).
However things started to become very hard for Adonis when he got the challenge from a stronger and bigger Russian boxer named Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) via sleazy promoter Buddy Marcelle (Russel Hornsby - Grimm TV series etc). Viktor was the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren - Showdown in Little Tokyo, The Expendables series etc) the boxer who "killed" Adonis' father Apollo Creed more than 30 years before.
With so many things going against him, could Adonis fight and get his revenge against Drago? Find them all in this heavy drama with some amazing boxing fight scenes.
End of Brief Story Line
Just like its predecessor and previous Rocky series, this movie successfully blend the drama with some fantastically done boxing sequences. Since I already knew that this was a drama movie, I went along with the story which was having a slow pace and patiently await for the boxing actions which did not disappoint me. If there is 1 thing that I would have loved more was the boxing fights in the early part of the movie which I thought was too little. Personally it would be more entertaining to me if there were more of those before the ultimate finale, but then it would not have enough screen time for the more dramatic moments.
In this second movie, I thought that Adonis Creed character was still similar to the first one who was hot headed and sometimes clouded by his father's legacy. But I really loved how they developed him especially towards the end of the movie. Michael B. Jordan did a really fantastic job portraying this boxer. I also loved the appearance of the rest of the cast, like Stallone as the old Rocky Balbo and Phylicia Rashad as Adonis' step mother whom I thought her aura as a wonderful mother was amazing.
And let's not forget our main "villains" in here, the father and son Ivan & Viktor Drago. This part certainly brought back so much memories from when I saw the 1985 Rocky IV that I thought was a really great boxing movie. In fact, that (and Rocky III) were the movies that made me quite liked watching the sport at least for the next decade during the Mike Tyson period. Though these past many years I did not really enjoy it anymore. Anyway, because of the history of Creed and Drago, this movie became truly intense and the build up towards the final fight were really wonderful. However, I thought that the plot was rather predictable. Somehow when we got to the middle of the movie, we could already guessed how the story would continue. Regardless though, it was still a great 2 hours + journey to my opinion.
The boxing fight scenes as I said above were greatly done. With the effects of good Dolby Surround sound system, it made the boxing fight really realistic even though we knew they were dramatized. I could hear some of the audience made some approving & excitement sound during those fights. But, I could see that the same audience were bored throughout the drama portion as could be seen by them playing handphones all those time. What people must realize is that this is a sports drama movie and not a boxing show. So there would be times where the story need to develop to give dramatic & emotional moments.
Oh btw, there were brief appearance of Brigitte Nielsen (Red Sonja, Cobra etc) and Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes TV series etc). If you had seen the previous Creed or Rocky movies, you might recognize their characters. I also waited through the end credit scene and noticed it had Dolby Atmos sound effect, but the movie shown in Indonesia did not have such effect. This film also had some nice background songs (mostly Hip Hop) and nice instrumental music. There was also that classic Rocky song if you noticed it which was nice to hear.
Overall I thought this was a good powerful heavy sports drama and the boxing fight sequence were well done (even if I personally felt too little). It had some nice reference to the previous movies and the aroma of revenge was greatly maximized in here. The director Steven Caple Jr. whom I noticed did not have a major box office movie to his credit was pretty awesome in here. Those who love sports drama movie should be able to enjoy this one. But those who only wanted to see the boxing fight scenes, I think it would be better not to see this movie, otherwise you would ruin other people's pleasure of seeing the film. You could probably just wait for the movie to be released via online streaming so you could fast forward and just go direct to those scenes, or better yet, just watch a boxing show on TV. Plenty of them around.
I saw the poster to this movie a while back in the cinema and was looking forward to it as it starred Donnie Yen and it's also a sequel to the 2014 movie titled Iceman which had a cliffhanger ending. So when it finally premiered few days ago, I wanted to see it immediately. But alas, it did not play in a lot of theaters and we had many activities during the past few days. Until last night my wife and I finally got the chance to see it. OK, let's move on to the film now.
Brief Story Line
Set exactly after the first movie, He Ying (Donnie Yen - Chasing The Dragon, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story etc) decided to return to his time during the Ming dynasty period to try and change the fate of his family and friends while leaving his friend/savior in the modern world May (Eva Huang - The Sorcerer and the White Snake, Kung Fu Hustle etc).
He Ying wanted to do so together with his old friends from kids, i.e. Niehu (Yu Kang), Sao (Wang Baoqiang - Kung Fu Jungle, Detective Chinatown series etc) and Cheung (Simon Yam - Naked Killer, Exiled etc). But things did not exactly go according to his plan as he would later find out, especially with the appearance of Japanese army led by Hojo (Yasuaki Kurata - Fist of Legend, Shinjuku Incident etc).
So what would happen to He Ying? Find them all in this movie.
End of Brief Story Line
As I said above, this movie was a sequel to the 2014 movie which my wife and I kind of enjoyed. I felt that movie was pretty entertaining, especially the funny moments that would occur when a person 400 years before arrived in a modern world. It also had few decent fight scene with a finale that was quite amazing. When the movie ended with a cliffhanger, and there were hints of the second movie shown after the end credit scene, I was surprised that it took 4 years for the sequel to be finally released. I honestly did not know the reason for this.
Anyway, the director Raymond Yip (Cook Up A Storm, Bruce Lee, My Brother etc) was kind enough to give us the background story from the first movie in the first 5 minutes or so. Which unfortunately did not suffice for the audience who had not seen that one as it might be a bit confusing. The movie itself was quite fun in the early part, but it later on focus more on the drama side, which ultimately built to the grand finale.
Now this was when the movie became disappointing to us. The time travel story might still be acceptable to me since I am a fan of time travel (although in here, the logic was not properly thought of). However, I thought the final fight scene was totally ruined by the insistence of the director to show the special effects where the CGI was poorly done. It was supposed to be a grand fight scene between Donnie Yen and Yasuaki Kurata who used to be the villain in many Hong Kong movies in the past decades (His fight with Jet Li in Fist of Legend was quite memorable) but it was really not satisfying.
And another thing that was not enjoyable was the philosophical aspect that I personally thought took too much screen time. Instead of making us feel the movie had a deep moral message, it had an undesirable effect of confusing and making us want to just skip to the good part, which unfortunately were too little. One thing that my wife and I liked were the songs playing in the background during the drama moment & also during the end credit scene (unfortunately I could not find what the titles were and sung by whom). My wife jokingly said that if we want to have a more satisfying finale, we need to see a third movie. But unlike the first movie, this time it did not have any scenes from the future movie, so there will not be a third movie (Thank God!).
Overall, this was a disappointing sequel. A much lesser quality than the first one which was at least enjoyable and more entertaining. The movie seemed to be too short and did not have an appealing story with having too much philosophical aspects and a confusing dissatisfying ending. With only 88 minutes duration (which included the quite long scenes from first movie), it seemed to have insufficient time to show more story development which I thought would have been nice, especially about He Ying's family and the conflicts related to the character Jade. Even the fights scenes which I am sure audience were looking for, were too brief. I think the drama Big Brother had more and at least had an amazing finale fight scene. I also heard many complaints and sighs of disappointments from the audience when the movie finished
So if you are looking for Donnie Yen's quality movies, I think you can definitely skip this one. It was certainly not one of his best and not even a decent movie. But of course if you are his die hard fan, you are still welcome to see this film. If you want to give this a try, my suggestion would be see the 2014 movie first, to understand the story better. However, be warned that you might be disappointed like my wife and I did. The choice is yours.
Mike's movie moments rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
PS: The 2014 movie was a remake of the 1989 movie titled The Iceman Cometh starring Yuen Biao and Maggie Cheung. It also received few nominations in the Hong Kong film awards which was probably the reason for this 2 parts remake.
Yesterday my wife and I were thinking of seeing a new movie playing since Saturday but then she realized that a Korean movie which had been shown earlier from Wednesday had 2 of her favorite actors in it. Hence we decided to see this one at the 1.20 PM show. Without further ado, let's get on to the movie now.
Brief Story Line (SPOILER ALERT!)
Set in the rather ancient period in Joseon country, Prince Ganglim/Lee Chung (Hyun Bin - The Negotiation, The Swindlers etc) had just returned from Qing country with his loyal personal servant Hak Soo (Jung Man-sik - Kundo: Age of the Rampant etc) only to find out that the first village he arrived at had been damaged by monsters/zombies. He met with the so-called rebels led by Park Eul-yong (Jo Woo-jin - Inside Man, Steel Rain etc) and somehow befriended them including with a great archer named Deok-hee (Lee Sun-bin - Missing 9 TV series etc).
Meanwhile, the military minister Kim Ja-joon (Jang Dong-gun - Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War, All About Eve TV series etc) was having a plan of his own which would dangerously affect the nation. He also secretly tried to kill Ganglim as it might ruin his plan.
With the danger from the zombies as well as the deceitful plan of Ja-joon, Ganglim had to do what he never wanted in the first place, to be responsible of saving his country.
End of Brief Story Line
OK, for me the reason I was interested in seeing the movie was the fact it had zombies and it was said to be from the makers of Train to Busan which I loved a lot. However, when I checked in the largest movie database, I could not find the names involved in these 2 movies, as it was having different directors, producers or writers. So I honestly could not understand the references made, except for the possibility I had to see all the names in the website. Regardless if it was indeed having the same makers or not, we should think of this movie as an individual film and not compare it due to its only similarity was the zombies.
This was actually my first ever experience seeing a period action Korean movie even though there were tons of their movies and TV series set during those times. So it need a little getting used to, to get to know the characters (especially the ones in the palace) as they were wearing same type of clothes with similar appearances. The immediately recognizable character would definitely the minister Kim Ja-joon who was played excellently to my opinion by Jang Dong-gun (whom my wife could not stop admiring his good looks even when he did not seem to be at his best). After a while though, when we finally knew what was happening in the castle, and also when the zombies started to increase heavily in numbers, the movie became a lot more exciting. In here those zombies could sometimes be very fast, but at other times slow (which I found a bit inconsistent).
The things that I loved from this movie would definitely be the action sequence of the fight with zombies. Hyun Bin was amazing in his sword play and fight scenes and that finale fight scene was fantastic. It really satisfied me in term of the action part and both Hyun Bin and Jang Dong-gun really suited their roles. Some of the supporting characters despite having lesser screen time were also good in providing the dramatic moments (but few others did not leave impression). And yes, like any other Korean movie, this one got plenty of those melodramatic & emotional moments, especially towards the final fight. It was as if the director purposely put all of them into those 10-15 minutes to set us up with the grand finale. Btw, this movie was directed by Kim Sung-hoon who also happened to direct another Hyun Bin action movie Confidential Assignment.
For a movie with duration of > 2 hours, this one surprisingly did not feel overly long. Although it did drained a bit of energy due to those emotional scenes which really affected my wife. The zombie effects were pretty decent, the angle of scenes taken from above were nicely done, giving us the rather terrifying sense of the huge amount of zombies. After finishing the movie, I felt that it did not focus entirely on the zombie survival story but it was combined with some patriotic sense plus the power struggle. This was what I felt set itself apart from other typical zombie movie. But whether it actually fit the criteria the zombie movie lovers liked, it may depend on the preference itself.
Overall, I think this was an entertaining period zombie drama movie. We loved this film's action sequence, the performance of Hyun Bin and Jang Dong-gun and even the melodramatic scenes. But we could not say that this was our most favorite zombie movie. It was an enjoyable movie and we did have good time while watching it in the theater. Those looking for such qualities in a Korean movie, should be entertained by this film.
This was one of the movie that I really wanted to see on its premiere day, so when it finally showed in Indonesian theaters on Friday, my wife and I wanted to buy the tickets for around 7 PM. But unfortunately there were no studios near our place showing the movie around that time. So we decided to wait until weekend and finally we saw it today in the Pluit area where my wife had various events. OK let's move on with the movie then.
Brief Story Line
Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly - Sing, Chicago etc) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman - Battle of the Sexes, I Smile Back etc) had been best friends for 6 years and living a routine life every day. That was until the internet started to be installed in Litwak's arcade where their video games were plugged in. Pretty soon Ralph and Vanellope decided to go inside the internet in search of something specific they thought could be found there.
Both of them were surprised by the vast and enormous world the internet was and they met with various characters and places. One of the best places they encounter was an online gaming site called Slaughter Race where they got to know an amazing driver called Shank (Gal Gadot - Wonder Woman, Criminal etc) whom Vanellope admired. And while searching for the item they wanted, Ralph and Vanellope were also introduced to an algorithm specialist of the Buzzztube video program named Yesss (Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Empire TV series etc).
However, due to their little knowledge of the internet world, Ralph and Vanellope might unintentionally endanger the whole internet. So could they return to the Litwak Arcade safely? Find them all in this fun and enjoyable family friendly movie.
End of Brief Story Line
Yes this movie was exactly what I had hoped for in a Disney animated movie. It had got the wonderful story filled with many touching moments and a rather heavy moral message about the internet and friendship. In addition, the movie was also really amazingly animated. The animation were really beautiful and real life like with the lips movement greatly mimic the conversation the actual actors/actresses voiced. And the colorful pictures, especially in the internet world were really stunning and beautifully done.
The story itself was pretty easily understood and towards the ending, it become a bit heavier on the emotional side and quite touching which I knew affected my wife and surely affected most of the audience as well. The really entertaining part for myself would be the scenes in the Slaughter Race world which I felt was absolutely great. And what was also a nice surprise was the appearance of quite a number of Disney's other characters in this movie, which was easily explained because it was in the internet world. It was really fun to see the movie maker willing to make fun of those characters. My wife especially loved the Disney princesses showing up in here, and I think the young audiences would loved them as well.
Aside from those wonderful qualities, i.e. the great story of friendship and the beautiful animations, plus the fun on looking at other Disney characters, there was 1 part that I personally did not really enjoy. It was the scene involving that 1 large character which I thought was a bit too much (even my wife kept on saying it was rather disgusting). Oh 1 more thing that I really need to highlight was the background music in this movie which was fantastic. I felt they matched the mood in the movie perfectly like the song when we felt happy, or a bit suspenseful or emotional.
While seeing the end credit scene, there was 1 song that I felt was nice titled Zero performed by Imagine Dragons. But there was a nice surprise for Indonesian audience as we were also shown a music video performed by Indonesian artist Payung Teduh titled Sebuah Lagu which I felt was very nice. My wife and I happened to also like their other songs. And for you guys looking for any mid or post end credit scene, be sure to wait till the end as it had 1 mid scene and 1 post end credit scene which I personally thought was funny.
I also loved the cast voicing their characters especially John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman as the main characters. My wife also thought Silverman's voice was funny and suit her small character. The other characters were nice as well such as Gal Gadot and Alfred Molina (even if he had brief screen time). Those who loved the original movie should also love this sequel as it still had the great friendship story between Ralph & Vanellope plus the supporting characters from that movie, such as Felix (Jack McBrayer), Tamora (Jane Lynch) and so on.
Overall I thought this was a very fun movie, filled with a lot of nice moments you would usually find in a Disney movie and very entertaining. This was one of those heartwarming movies which would leave you feeling happy after watching it. And as if those qualities were not enough, you could still catch up with the famous characters showed up as cameos in this animated movie which I believe would be enjoyable too. So if you are looking for a family friendly Disney movie, look no more as this was one of their good ones.
In the last couple of weeks, me and my wife have been shown the trailer to this movie few times and every time we were always hyped up by the seemingly cool action sequences. So when it was announced the movie would be playing on the public holiday on Tuesday, we immediately set our sights to see this one. We managed to get the tickets for the first show in my favorite Dolby Atmos theater and well, let us get into the movie now.
Brief Story Line
Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton - Kingsman series, Sing etc) was just a regular lord in Nottingham and having a love relationship with Marian (Eve Heweson - Papillon, The Knick TV series etc). But he had to leave all of them for a Crusade after being drafted by the Sheriff (Ben Mendelsohn - Darkest Hour, Bloodline TV series etc).
Years after, when Robin returned to Nottingham, things were completely different with the Sheriff using his power to force tax money from the people, mostly the poor ones. Encouraged by his new found friend Yahya aka John (Jamie Foxx - Baby Driver, The Amazing Spider-man 2 etc), Robin decided to rob the rich but with the aim of hurting the Sheriff and find out who was the people behind him. There were some unwanted complications as well with the appearance of Will (Jamie Dornan - Fifty Shades trilogy, The Fall TV series etc) and Robin's old friend Friar Tuck (Tim Minchin).
As the series of robberies increasingly hurting the Sheriff, he finally recruited a ruthless ex Crusader, Gisborne (Paul Anderson - 24 Hours to Live etc) to capture Robin whom people only knew as The Hood. So how would the story continue? Find them all in this very entertaining action movie.
End of Brief Story Line
I have been a fan of Robin Hood tales from a very long time. I have seen many adaptations to this classic tale in various TV series and also the movies like my personal favorite Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner with that lovely song from Bryan Adams titled Everything I Do (I Do it For You) which was a major hit at that time. I even saw the comedy movie Robin Hood: Men in Tights, but my least favorite would be the 2000 version starring Russel Crowe which I thought was too dark and he did not really suit the role. Until I saw this movie which to my personal opinion, was the most action packed version and became another major favorite of mine.
This movie gave a really fresh look and perhaps I could say a re-telling of the way the story have been known to us for many years. This time the major characters still exist, but the movie makers and writers made some of them having a very different background and twists. However, the main part was still there, like Robin's love interest was Marian, and their enemies were still the Sheriff who had the support from Guy of Gisborne and so on. So if you had been fans of Robin Hood and are the type who could only enjoy movie adaptation if the story stick to the original tale, then you might not like this version.
For me and my wife though, we were truly entertained throughout the whole movie. The story was very fast paced, filled with many action sequences that were really well made. The use of bows and arrows were really maximized, with some scenes reminded us of action sequences by Legolas in Lord of the Rings & The Hobbits or by Hawkeye in the Avengers. We were also quite captivated by the fight scenes especially during the time in the mines. That was quite breath taking and the visual effects were put up to good use. Fans of action adventure movie should be thrilled and enjoy those. One thing that surprised me though was the fact the sound effects were the standard Dobly Surround 5.1 (according to the credit scene which did not have any mid or post scenes), but still managed to give us wonderful effects. It was a bit odd, since I noticed from the largest movie database, it should have Dolby Atmos sound system. Nevertheless it did not make our experience less enjoyable.
Another thing that also made this movie set itself apart from other adaptations were the way Robin hid himself which gave a sense of Superhero feeling. In fact my wife and I were also discussing that it had similarity with the famous Batman. It might have something to do with the direction by Otto Bathurst in his feature movie directorial debut. Btw, the actions in here were not completely violent type as it did not show blood spattering all around, but there were 1 or 2 scenes which might not be suitable for children (like person hanging from afar) which was why it was categorized PG-13 in the US. But it was put as 17+ in Indonesia, probably due to those scenes.
Overall, I think this movie was very good in term of action sequence. Those looking for such quality in a movie should not be disappointed as the story was quite fast paced, and there was not a major difficult plot that required heavy thinking to understand. It was even quite light with some amusing scenes occasionally, but there was no emotional or touching moments at all. And the romance might be too little compared to the Kevin Costner version. For me and my wife, we thought this was a truly refreshing take and we loved it. We also liked Taron Egerton in this role which I felt really suit him. After two Kingsman movies and this, perhaps he would receive more action roles in the future. And Ben Mendelsohn was amazing as the really obnoxious Sheriff. But as I said above, those major original Robin Hood fanboys might not be able to enjoy this movie and sadly, the critics did not enjoy it either. However, as I had learnt from the many years watching movies and TV series, I rarely use their opinions as basis anyway. So, if you are fans of action adventure movie, go see this one and have fun and enjoy yourselves.