I heard about this movie some time ago but completely forgotten about it until few days ago when I saw the poster in the coming soon section on Indonesia's biggest cinema chain website. Without any prior notification or trailer shown earlier, it suddenly popped out of nowhere and premier on last Wednesday. But since me and my wife were already invited to screening of new movie in another cinema, we postponed seeing this until yesterday. Well now we should get on with the movie.
Brief Story Line
Hellboy (David Harbour - Stranger Things TV series, A Walk Among the Tombs etc) was a creature with super strength and working for Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) to solve supernatural cases and fight against dangers they created. Hellboy's superior was also his adoptive father Trevor (Ian McShane - Deadwood TV series, John Wick: Chapter 2 etc). This time Hellboy was given a very difficult and dangerous assignment as he had to face against an immortal & powerful witch called Nimue (Milla Jovovich - Resident Evil series,Future World etc) who tried to destroy the world and humans in it while giving the demons chance to rule the earth.
With the support from a beast with pig's head called Gruagach (Stephen Graham), Nimue managed to wreak havoc in England where Hellboy was assigned. As Trevor was worried Hellboy would be overwhelmed, he also assigned an MI-11 agent named Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim - Lost and Hawaii Five-O TV series etc). And with the addition of a young psychic named Alice (Sasha Lane - American Honey etc), they all went out to fight against Gruagach, Nimue and her army.
So how would the story conclude? Find them all in this gore and really violent supernatural superhero movie.
End of Brief Story Line
When I read about Hellboy reboot where it would have an R rating, I was actually pretty excited. But as I said above, due to very little publicity, it did not garner the hype and excitement it was supposed to get. Before we saw this movie yesterday, my wife told me that some of the people she knew who had seen it, mentioned the Indonesian censor was very rough. And sadly it was true. There were many scenes where the censorship body deemed to be too violent were cut, which resulted to a displeasure on us. I felt a bit cheated as the scenes where they were supposed to be the main attraction of R rating movie were not shown.
Now the movie itself was actually having a rather confusing way of story telling. Firstly we were shown a mature Hellboy and audience were expected to know and understand his power and why he worked in the BPRD, only to be given some brief explanation in the middle of the movie. And such brief flash back was not only once but few times, which was quite bemusing. My wife commented that she felt the movie was like missing parts or scenes that were purposely not shown but we must understand them by ourselves.
The action sequence were pretty awesome, but due to the abrupt cutting in certain scenes, we felt it was dissatisfying. It was liked we were teased and just when we were about to see the climax, it was cut and moved on to another scene. I really do not understand the reason for such cut, seeing that there had been various R rating movies in the past shown in Indonesia that did not have to endure the kind of censor, such as Deadpool 2 and its predecessor or the Indonesian movies like Headshot and other similar Iko Uwais films. It would have been probably better if they just classify this movie under D21+ to avoid such cut instead of D17+.
The sound effects were fantastic, which was one of the very few pluses of our experience. And the make up effects were also terrific. David Harbour's face really looked like a tough version of Hellboy and his performance was quite convincing with his wisecrack jokes. Oh Daniel Dae Kim's character was also a nice surprise. Meanwhile the rest of the characters were just so so to my personal opinion. Of all the fights in the movie, my most favorite was the one where Hellboy fought against 3 creatures at the same time, although the cut scene also ruined the moment.
I actually had seen the original 2004 version of Hellboy, as well as its 2008 sequel and I pretty much enjoyed them. Both of them were fun movies and felt light but the fight scenes and special effects were awesome. The characters were also enjoyable to see, especially Abe Sapien as Hellboy's partner/sidekick. Ron Perlman's characterization of Hellboy was a gentle & caring version, as opposed to the really violent Harbour. There were no light characters and the violence were a lot more gruesome & gore in the 2019 version which might not be to the liking of fans from that original movie. For me personally, I thought the change of tone was a good and interesting idea. However, the inconsistent (and rather confusing) story telling was a minus for me and I could certainly understand the critics' very low rating. Plus obviously the censors really ruined the experience for me and my wife.
Overall this would probably be a better movie to be seen through online streaming without the cutting. If you are fans of the light & very humorous Hellboy and not a fan of too much gore scenes, then this version would definitely be your least favorite. Not to mention if you like to see a movie with very good story telling. However, if you just want to see Hellboy fighting demons & creatures violently, and you do not mind the way the movie was told, then this probably could satisfy you. Btw, there was 1 mid and 1 post end credit scenes in the movie, in case you want to wait and see till the end of 119 minutes duration. Those scenes might be prepared for a sequel, though I highly doubt it would have, seeing the movie seemed to be performing disappointingly in terms of box office.
Mike's movie moments rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Hellboy was a character from Dark Horse comics where some of their well known published works included Sin City, Timecop, Umbrella Academy etc.
2 days ago, my wife got the invitation to the press screening of this movie. As usual, we were always excited to go for a special screening (or press screening) of a new movie released in Indonesia since we would get the opportunity to see them earlier. However, this time it was a bit strange as the screening was held on the same day of its premiere date on 10 April 2019. But anyway, we were still enthusiastic to see this one at CGV FX Sudirman. And after a seemingly long time of preparation and tons of advertisements and few trailers, finally the movie started at 7.30 pm (quite far behind schedule of 7 PM according to the invitation). OK, let us go on with the movie now.
Brief Story Line
9 years after alien invasion in 2019, the world had been in the control of Legislators (aliens representative on earth). Some people who were part of a resistance group called Phoenix tried to fight against the aliens in their "lair" underground called Closed Zone, though they mostly were unsuccessful. A young man named Gabriel (Ashton Sanders -The Equalizer 2 etc) who lived in the city of Pilsen had been wanting to get away from being harassed by Chicago police chief Mulligan (John Goodman - Kong: Skull Island, Atomic Blonde etc) who suspected Gabriel to be involved with Phoenix where his deceased older brother Rafe (Jonathan Majors - White Boy Rick) was a part of.
Mulligan always suspected that Phoenix group was still active and wanted to finish them. He would sometimes go to see a prostitute (Vera Farmiga -The Commuter, The Judge etc) for certain purpose. Meanwhile, his suspicion was apparently called for since there was indeed a new plan by Phoenix to attack the Legislators. And when several of the "sleeping agents" of Phoenix were activated, the plan to launch the attack had been initiated.
So how would the story proceed? Find them all in this alien invasion sci fi thriller movie.
End of Brief Story Line
Well this movie had a really superb start. The early scene was quite shocking and gave us the impression that it would be like that throughout the movie. But later the story was done in a slow manner and made me personally wonder what the movie was all about. Then it started to pick up after around half hour, especially when we found out there was going to be an attack on the aliens. The preparation for the attacks was quite suspenseful and pretty entertaining.
This is indeed not your usual kind of alien invasion movie where people always fight against alien from beginning till end. The category of sci-fi thriller was pretty close to what I felt about the film. It was more like a thriller movie with the bad guys just happened to be aliens. Do not be mistaken though, the aliens here despite not too much shown, but when they did appear, their presence were really felt by us. The way they attack and especially the sound effects and their creepy voices when communicating were awesome. The special effects were pretty decent and not the real spectacular type which was understandable considering it was kind of small budgeted movie. But as I said, the sound effects were fantastic. I got to admit the studio where we had the screening had outstanding sound system and there were even few times where my wife jumped a bit from her seat due to the shocking sound effects.
As a movie with 110 minutes duration, the early part might not be to the expectation of audience. I noticed one or two people who might be bored, playing their handphones during those times. But I would recommend that if you see this movie, you have to be patient as some of the details shown were quite important for us to understand the ending. And to me and my wife, the ending was the cream of the crop, the part where it was worth it to see through the whole movie. This time my wife and I did not realize the movie's intention till almost the very end. It was definitely nice that we could still be surprised by a movie. I likened this with some of M. Night Shyamalan's works, though probably not up to his best standards yet. I also believe that John Goodman's performance in here was wonderful. The director Rupert Wyatt who previously directed Rise of the Planet of the Apes did good job in providing the great ending, despite the early a-bit-too-slow pacing.
Overall my wife and I did enjoy this movie, even if the screening was not on time as promised and the studio was very hot. But the great sound system and the surprising ending really satisfied us. It might not be to general audience standard for alien invasion story, so people have to realize that this is a sci-fi thriller movie with a twist and the aliens were more like background rather than the main focus. If you are fans of alien vs humans movie than this might not be to your liking. But if you are a fan of good old fashioned thriller movie, then this probably would be more suitable with the slow build up to the end. And should you be interested, the film is already playing in CGV theaters since yesterday.
Mike's movie moments rating: 4 out of 5 stars
A big thank you from us to Rivki from CGV for the invitation to this event. We really appreciate it and look forward to future events.
Below are few of the photos from the screening yesterday
Yesterday this movie premiered in the largest cinema chain in Indonesia. I have seen its trailer few times earlier and I thought it seemed like a good movie. So I decided to give this one a try and it happened to be playing in the cinema very near to our home. It was a good thing that my wife was willing to accompany me, as I was a bit reluctant to see this by myself. Anyway, we saw this one at the 6.25pm show. Ok, let's get on with the movie now.
Brief Story Line
It looked like it was going to be a normal busy day in Mumbai on the 26th of November 2008, when Arjun (Dev Patel -Lion, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel etc) left his pregnant wife and baby daughter to go to work at Taj Hotel. The hotel was quite full as various guests were coming to stay that night, including some VIP such as Zahra (Naznin Boniadi - Ben Hur 2016 version etc) with her husband David (Armie Hammer - Mine, Call Me By Your Name etc) & nanny Sally (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) who was taking care of the baby. There was also another VIP guest, a rich but shady Russian businessman named Vasili (Jason Isaacs - Star Trek Discovery TV series etc) and many others from different countries.
Due to its busy night, the hotel staff were all getting ready for their guests. The hotel chef Oberoi (Anupam Kher - Bend it Like Becham, Silver Lining Playbooks etc) was particularly concern with ensuring all the guests eating at the restaurants would be satisfied.
Meanwhile outside the hotel, a group of terrorists started to initiate a seemingly random attacks on various locations. With many people running around on the streets, some of them sought solace into the hotel. Little did the hotel staff know that there were some of the terrorists who also went inside the hotel. So what would happen to the hotel guests and staff? Find them all in this terrifying movie of a horrifying inhumane terrorist attack in Mumbai.
End of Brief Story Line
Wow, this movie was absolutely amazing. It was thrilling almost from the start and it was a nonstop suspense till the end. This film was done in a very outstanding way that there was never a dull moment. The early part where we were shown the terrorists arriving at the city of Mumbai and the introduction of the people were done in a brief but somehow felt sufficient to give the feel of attachment with the characters. Like Arjun's love for his family, or the father figure of Chef Orberoi, the romantic couple of Zahra & David, even the rather snobbish Vasili.
All of these characters were played wonderfully by the cast and each & every one of them were able to provide us a huge sense of distress & sympathy towards them. And the actors playing terrorists were also amazing, since they really made us felt disgusted and horrified by their actions. My wife kept on saying how evil what they did. And to be honest, one of the reasons audience were really strapped to their seats including me and my wife were the absolute horror we felt when watching the terrorists randomly killing innocent people. The film makers were not hesitant in showing the gruesome and violent images in the film, which made the movie really not suitable for the young (it was R rated in the US).
Obviously knowing this movie was based on true events, certainly made us really appreciate the humanitarian acts some of the people in the hotel and outside did. There were many emotional moments for us during the 2 hours 3 minutes movie which touched my wife few times during those scenes. The ending was such a relief to us that it was finally over, though the message shown after the movie ended, left us a bit of irritated feeling. However, there were some wonderful footage before the end credit scene that was inspiring. There was no mid or post end credit scene.
For a movie based on true story, this one had to be one of the best I ever saw. The terror attacks were done in such a detailed manner and the terrifying effects were successfully shown to the audience. The musical effects were amazing, and the sound effects were absolutely superb. There were moments where we would be shocked by the gunshot sound that accompanied the shooting scene. There were also few times where we were holding our breathe when any of the victims were trying to escape or hide with only the sound of terrorists walking around which ended with the loud bang. I was really glad that we saw this one in the studio with great sound system, even if it was only the usual Dolby Surround. Without good sound effects, this movie might have been less impactful to us.
One thing that we have to remember that despite being a true story movie, there would definitely be some parts that have been dramatized. So I hope when people see this, they would not be thinking it was illogical or impossible in certain parts. It should be seen as a movie trying to show us there were still heroes among normal people, and the humanitarian act of some people should be inspiring. This movie itself is a joint production of Australia and India, where the director was an Australian named Anthony Maras who also served as the co-writer. I personally see this film as a drama of terror attack and not an action movie. It is probably similar to movies like Hollywood's Patriots Day based on Boston Marathon bombing, or Indonesian movie 22 Menit based on Thamrin street bombing in Jakarta.
Overall this was a great movie. I was totally amazed by the whole film and there was nothing in here that I personally thought needing any improvement. It was one of those perfect movies which would stay in my mind for a long time. I agreed with one of the critics who said this movie was a masterpiece. Those looking for an amazing historical terror drama, should be satisfied with this. As long as we keep in mind that this is not an action movie a la Die Hard.
I have read about this series for quite some time but only got the chance to watch it during last weekend. To the best of my understanding, it was a darker version of the popular comedy series back in the 90s titled Sabrina the Teenage Witch which I watched quite frequently then. Well let us move on to the series now.
Brief Story Line
Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka - Mad Men TV series etc) seemed like a normal teenage girl and went to Baxter High in the small town of Greendale. She lived with her 2 aunts, the gentle & caring Hilda (Lucy Davis - Wonder Woman etc) and the very firm Zelda (Miranda Otto - Annabelle: Creation etc) plus Sabrina's cousin Ambrose (Chance Perdome). But what outside people did not know including her loving boyfriend Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch - Status Update etc) and best friend Roz (Jaz Sinclair - Slender Man etc), Sabrina was actually a half witch.
On her 16th birthday, Sabrina was supposed to join the coven where her aunts and cousin were members of, called Church of Night with its high priest Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time etc). However, Sabrina was really reluctant due to the requirement to leave behind her mortal life & friends, not to mention there were other young witches called Weird Sisters who really dislike her, namely Prudence (Tati Gabrielle) and Agatha (Adeline Rudolph).
Meanwhile at school, there was a rather mysterious teacher Ms. Wardwell (Michelle Gomez) who seemed to take a very clear interest and hidden agenda on Sabrina. So what would happen to Sabrina's life? Find them all in this very interesting and sometimes frightening supernatural horror series.
End of Brief Story Line
OK, I got to admit that when I started to watch this series, especially the first few episodes, it did not seem to be interesting enough for me. I was even in the state of a bit disinterested and confused of what the series real premise. Was it only Sabrina's doubt of joining the coven, or was it a forbidden love story between witch and mortal? But after episode 4 and so on, the pace started to really pick up and it was much clearer on the main plot. And what really interested me was there were the additional side stories & some bit of mystery which involved every character in this series that were really intriguing.
As the story progressed and we got to know a bit more on the many characters, the show became even darker. The 5th episode was one of my favorites as it had a real smart sense as well as 6th episode which felt a lot like a horror movie as it was terrifying and had a lot of jump scare scenes. But then the pace felt a little bit slower, until the 9th and ultimately the season finale of 10th episode which gave a sense that the second season would be even darker. There was also a special Christmas episode where it occurred after the 10th episode. So be sure not to got it backwards and watch that special episode first (like I almost did when watching the series for the first time).
Based on what I read in the internet, this series was based on comic books of the same title published by Archie Horror (imprint of Archie comics). So the comic book itself was a different version of the comedic style of Sabrina The Teenage Witch comic that was adapted into the Sitcom I mentioned above. Since it was set in the same universe of Archie & friends, this series originally was intended as the spin off to the popular CW series Riverdale, but it was decided later on it would not have any relation since this series was produced by Netflix. However, the city Riverdale was mentioned few times in here, though there was no mention of the characters. This series is co-executive producer Greg Berlanti who happened to be the producer of Riverdale, Titans, Dawson's Creeks, various DC comics series (Arrowverse) and many more.
This series was categorized as supernatural horror which I thought was really perfect as it had numerous supernatural elements plus some horrific images. There were some references to the satanic worshiping which may not be to the liking of very religious people, but if we are able to distinguish fiction from reality and remember that we are only watching series for entertainment purpose, then we should be able to enjoy it.
Of all the large cast whose names were credited in the fun opening credits (with spooky theme song), my most favorite characters were definitely Sabrina herself (played very well by Kiernan Sipka) and of course the two aunties who were convincingly portrayed by Lucy Davis as the bubbly Hilda and Miranda Otto as the loyal to the coven Zelda. The appearance of the black cat Salem also sort of complete the whole cast (I remember the cat often provided comical comments as he could speak in the 90s adaptation). One thing that I did not really get was why Sabrina's other best friend Susie (Lachlan Watson) and another member of the Weird Sisters, Dorcas (Abigail Cowen) were not part of the cast shown in the opening credit, since they always showed up together with the other characters anyway. Oh, there was also a guest star who appeared few times as Mr Hawthorne the principal of Baxter High who was played by one of my favorite sitcom actor Bronson Pinchott (famously known as Balki in Perfect Strangers TV series).
Overall, this was an interesting and intriguing supernatural horror series which was very dark and not your average teenagers story. It had some mysteries and interesting side stories of the whole cast. The performance of lead characters were quite awesome, and it had brief romance but not the R rated type with violence & nude scenes. The second season had premiered on Netflix entirely on 5th April 2019, so there is no need to wait too long to watch what happened next. So if you are looking for this kind of series, then this should be able to satisfy you, but if you do not like to have your image of the funny Sabrina from the 90s series ruined by her dark portrayal, then this might not be the best option. Personally for me, I had quite a lot of fun watching this series and it is a much needed variety in my growing list of series to watch.
This was a movie that garnered a lot of hype as it was adapted from one of the famous novels written by Stephen King, the person considered to be the best horror novelist. My wife surprisingly was willing to accompany seeing this film, as apparently she had seen the original 1989 movie back then and wanted to give this a try. I personally was interested since usually movies adapted from Stephen King novels were not supernatural horror movies. So we proceed to see this on its premier day last night. OK, let us go on with the movie now.
Brief Story Line
Louis Creed (Jason Clarke - First Man, Chappaquiddick etc) together with his wife Rachel (Amy seimetz - Alien: Covenantetc) and young daughter Ellie (Jeté Laurence) plus the youngest Gage moved to a small town to get away from the busy city of Boston. They bought a new house with large acres of land which included a cemetery for pets called Pet Sematary. They also met with their new neighbor, an old man called Jud (John Lithgow - Pitch Perfect 3, 3rd Rock from the Sun TV series etc) who lived by himself.
When the Creeds family cat called Church was dead, Jud told Louis to bury it in a separate location where it was somehow magically brought back to life. This would be the start of the many mysterious and frightening occurrences in Creeds new place and land.
So how would the story conclude? Find them all in this creepy & scary horror movie.
End of Brief Story Line
Well this was one heck of a real creepy movie. And to my surprise, for a Stephen King's adapted movie, it had quite numerous jump scare scenes which was unusual as mostly their movies would be psychological horror thriller. This time, the scary sequence started from the early part rather than a very slow burner where the real interesting moments only began in the latter part of the movie. I also thought the film had a lot of chilling moments where we would be feeling a complete sense of creepiness from beginning till the end.
What I love the most in here was the sound effects which were awesome. The musical background was amazing and there were a lot of scenes where there was only silence and we were accompanied by the sound of crickets in the forest. The long quietness also gave us a sense of anxiousness waiting for some scary thing to happen. And almost every time it was successful in making us terrified. The sound system in the studio where we saw the movie was terrific even with Dolby Surround 7.1 giving the shocking sense during those jump scare scenes. Probably if we saw this with Dolby Atmos, it might have been a more amazing experience.
This film was having a very small cast with everyone providing convincing performances, but the one that really amazed my wife and me was definitely the young Jeté Laurence as Ellie who was totally outstanding. There were not a lot of special effects in here, but the make up effects were great. Oh I also loved John Lithgow's appearance in the movie which was no surprise since he was so experienced in playing various different characters in previous movies/series.
For those who have limited information about this movie, it was a remake of 1989 film which I had seen so long ago, but I could not remember the whole story then and only glimpses of the scenes, especially the cemetery scenes. To the best of my knowledge, this one was not entirely following the exact plots from the novel and there were some modifications to the story. This might have been the reason for the movie having mixed critical review as the major fans of Stephen King might not enjoy such alterations to the story. However, for me and my wife who had not read the book yet, we were able to enjoy the movie since it gave us a lot of horrifying moments. Even my wife peeked through her fingers during some of the scariest scenes for us, particularly the ones involving that food elevator.
Overall my wife and I really enjoyed this scary movie. It was quite full of horrifying moments that successfully terrified us. There were a lot of creepiness throughout the whole film, and to me the climax was quite amazing, albeit a bit predictable. The wonderful performance of the cast also made the movie more interesting. For hard core Stephen King fans, this may not be as satisfying but if I had to compare between the original and this remake, this one would definitely stay in my mind a lot longer. Those looking for a supernatural horror movie would not find it here, but if you are looking for a horror movie that would make you terrified not because of ghosts, this maybe more to your liking. The choice is yours. Mike's movie moments rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This movie was already shown in Indonesia last Saturday night via the midnight show, but my wife and I never considered seeing a movie that late, so we waited until our most convenient time. As we wanted to utilize our soon to be expired vouchers for 4DX studio in CGV, we opted to see this film yesterday which happened to be a public holiday. Well we should go on with the movie now.
Brief Story Line
Billy Batson (Asher Angel - Andi Mack TV series) was a 14 year old boy who had been in and out of foster home many times and finally arrived at a house for foster kids managed by Victor (Cooper Andrews - The Walking Dead TV series etc) and Rosa (Marta Milan). In the same house, there were already 5 other children staying there that consisted of the disabled but positive attitude boy Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer - IT etc), the slightly older girl Mary (Grace Fulton - Annabelle: Creation etc), the boy who loved video games Eugene (Ian Chen - Fresh off the Boat TV series etc), the shy Pedro (Jovan Armand) and the youngest who loved to hug, Darla (Faithe Herman - This is Us TV series).
One day Billy was somehow transported to a magical place where he met with an old wizard (Djimon Hounsou - King Arthur: Legend of the Sword etc) and was given a gift which would transform him into an adult guy wearing weird costume by saying the name Shazam (Zachary Levi - Office Uprising etc). Young Billy finally found out that as the adult Shazam, he would have multiple super powers. And with the help from Freddy, he would slowly learn how to use them.
Meanwhile Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong - Kingsman: The Golden Circle etc) who had been trying to look for magical power source finally found them, albeit evil powers. As he wanted to also collect the power of Shazam, he tried all he could to capture him. So what would happen to Billy who was way in over his head? Find them all in this fun superhero movie.
End of Brief Story Line
OK this was one completely different DC comics superhero movie. It was a lot of fun and enjoyable due to the wonderful performances of Asher Angel as young Billy and Zachary Levi as the adult Shazam. Could you imagine a young boy who suddenly have super powers in an adult body with adult looks? Definitely a lot of things he could not have thought could be done were tried and the result was a lot of hilarious moments. However, what I liked about the movie was it did not entirely providing us only the fun part, but also the bad part that resulted from the irresponsibility behavior of a young boy given so much power.
In term of story, I felt it was OK. The early part was a bit unclear of what the story about and I was actually a bit worried the movie might not be good as the pace was a bit slow, especially the part about the villain Dr. Sivana. However, my wife and I agreed that Mark Strong was totally awesome playing this part since he provided a total contrast character to our superhero Shazam. And once Billy started to get the magical power, then it became a lot more fun and interesting. The additional young cast, especially Billy's foster siblings were also great. Credit to be given to Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddie and the youngest Darla played nicely by Faithe Herman.
This movie was not filled with abundant CGI effects but whatever special effects they had in here were pretty awesome to my opinion. One thing that looked a bit funny to me was the body of Shazam which looked too buffy and seemed unreal, which should not be the case as I understood Zachary Levi really worked out intensely to ensure he had the body of superhero. Btw, since we saw this in a 4DX studio, we really enjoyed the experience of the moving chairs with wind effects on our face during flying scenes, or other effects we felt in quite a number of scenes. The sound effects of 7.1 Dolby Surround system were amazing. During the end credit scenes (which had 1 mid & 1 post credit scenes), I noticed it was having Dolby Atmos effects, which was strange considering the studios that normally had this system, did not show them.
In Indonesia, the movie was categorized for 13+ which I thought was spot on, since even though the story was about some boy magically got super powers, there were some violent scenes which might scare the younger children. There were quite many songs that we could enjoy here and I was particularly fond of songs from Queen and one funny moment with the theme from Rocky movies. There was also one nice surprise during the finale fight scene which I thought was fantastic, even though people who read the comic books would have known about it.
I mentioned above that this movie already played earlier through midnight show. Honestly I am not sure the reason for such strategy as I believed a major premier on the usual Wednesday would have made the movie gotten the big spotlight it deserved. In fact it was also surprising that during the many times I saw movies in theaters in the past month, I never once saw the trailer to this movie. This probably would have explained the lukewarm enthusiasm of movie audience to see the film as it did not seem to garner a lot of attention, unlike other previous superhero movies. I just hope the strategy did not hurt the success of this movie in Indonesia.
Overall I had a fun time seeing this movie. There were quite numerous hilarious moments involving the adult Billy in the form of Shazam, and the villain was really dark & bad (not grey). There might not be as many fight scenes that audience would have wanted but for me it was adequate. This was a quite complete superhero origin movie, and with a duration of 132 minutes, it had sufficient time to provide the whole story for us (but may be too long for some). Objectively though, the earlier part might have been better if it was made in a faster pace and the ending was probably too light for those looking for a grand finale major fights (it had a family friendly sense). So if you are looking for a different kind of DC comics superhero movie, then this one would be a great option.
Mike's movie moments rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Shazam originally was named Captain Marvel when it was first created in 1939. However, due to the Trademark of "Captain Marvel" was owned by Marvel Comics, DC decided to rename the character to Shazam.
Last week while looking through the list of series I had been targeting to watch, I found there was this Marvel series which seemed interesting and was highly rated. So I decided to give this a try and aiming to finish it fast as it only had 10 episodes in the first season, which I managed to do so. And what was the series about? Well let us find out below.
Brief Story Line
A group of high school students consisted of the very intelligent Alex Wilder (Rhenzy Feliz), the gothic girl who was into wiccan stuff Nico Minoru (Lyrica Okano), the very religious church girl Karolina Dean (Virginia Gardner - 2018's Halloween etc), the feminist & socially awkward Gert Yorkes (Ariela Barer), the popular lacrosse player Chase Stein (Gregg Sulkin - Faking It TV series etc) and the youngest Molly Hernandez (Allegra Acosta) were previously very close friends until a tragedy happened 2 years before.
Their parents though were still very tight as they were part of a high profile Charity group called PRIDE and consisted of Alex' parents the lawyer Catherine (Angel Parker) & real estate businessman Geoffrey (Ryan Sands), Nico's parents the successful CEO Tina (Brittany Ishibashi) & her husband Robert (James Yaegashi), Karolina's parents the Gibborim Church leader Leslie (Annie Wersching - 24 TV Series etc) & former movie star Frank (Kip Pardue - Remember the Titans etc), Gert's parents brilliant Bio engineers Stacey (Brigid Brannagh - Army Wives TV series etc) & Dale (Kevin Weisman - Alias TV series etc) and Chase's parents the genius inventor Victor (James Marsters - Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series etc) & his wife Janet (Ever Carradine). Meanwhile, Molly was an orphan and adopted by the Yorkes.
One night, the group accidentally found out something mysterious had been going on during the usual Pride's event. This finding would forever changed their perception of their parents which ultimately made them decide to fight against Pride and stop their plan. So what were their findings and how would these teenagers cope with their parents' dark secret? Find them all in this unique & very unusual teenage superheroes series.
End of Brief Story Line
Hmmm, this was indeed a very unique and unusual superheroes series. At first I thought this would be a lot similar like another Marvel (in the X-Men universe) series The Gifted where there would be a lot of people and some teenagers showing their mutant abilities and had quite significant action scenes. But it turned out this one was a lot more drama than the actions. The first few episodes were focusing more on the introduction of the characters which were a lot (total 16 persons as the main cast) and it needed some getting used to. It did not help that most of them were unknown to me except for very few cast members like James Marsters, Annie Wersching or Kevin Weisman However, once I got to know all of them and be charmed by the teenagers' youthful attitude & their teenagers' problems, I was quite hooked up by them.
When the mystery started to be revealed little by little and this group of young people with completely different personalites had to join forces by combining their own strength & "capabilities", I began to enjoy the series more. Especially in the fifth episode which I felt was the best. Alas after that the pace slowed down a bit and only picked up real fast towards the ending in the season finale. Its ending was really wonderful and set up for an intriguing second season which had been shown its entire season on Hulu streaming service back in December 2018.
For me the interesting part of the series was not the abilities of Runaways (the nickname they used for their small group where the reason for such name was explained in one of the latter episode), but more towards their internal relationship and the unique premise of fighting against their own parents which created a whole lot of different type of conflicts. This was a highly unusual plot and thus became a favorite of mine. In addition, there was also another mysterious character very close to Pride named Jonah (Julian McMahon - Fantastic Four, Nip/Tuck TV series etc) who was really fascinating. I thought the main attraction was actually this unique story and the wonderful performance of the cast, because the powers were not significantly shown in here plus the special effects to my personal opinion were very average. Oh, there was also the cameo appearance of the late Stan Lee in one of the episodes, so be sure to catch it.
This series was based on Marvel comics titled Runaways created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona back in year 2003. From the information I gathered from the internet, the series was said to be set in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), although during the whole 1st season, it was not mentioned at all. And amazingly, the cast in here resembled a lot with the actual Runaways team, at least from what I saw in the comics cover page. So the casting department (and probably the costume department) really did an amazing job in ensuring the series was honoring the comics.
Overall I thought that this was an interesting superhero series. It was quite a slow burner as it took few episodes to get the pace increased and thus require some patience to get to the very interesting part. Due to its unique plot plus the fact that the parents (& their adult problems) took quite a large screen time, I felt it was more like a mystery drama than a superhero series and even though there were super powers involved, they were more like background rather than being the main premise. There were not too much violence shown and this was not as dark & gloomy as other more adult Marvel web series which had been cancelled. In fact, there were also some lighter moments especially involving the romance among these teenagers.
So those looking for a very dark Marvel series or the ones that show a lot of super powers/abilities by the heroes, you might not get them here. But if you are looking for a series focusing on teenagers as the main cast, fighting off their own parents, then this would be a delightful option. The choice is yours.
I heard that they were making a sequel to that very funny movie My Stupid Boss about the absurd & crazy boss in the office, with the favorite character for me and my wife: Bossman. So when it premiered yesterday, we immediately bought the tickets for the show. Luckily it did play in the theater near our home at our usual time of around 7 PM which would make it easier for us. Well let's go right into the movie now.
Brief Story Line
Set sometime after the event from the first movie, Bossman (Reza Rahadian - Benyamin Biang Kerok, Critical Eleven etc) was still the same as before and driving everyone in the company crazy. Diana aka Kerani (Bunga Citra Lestari - Cinta Pertama, Bayu Cinta Luna TV series etc), Mr. Kho (Chew Kin Wah - Cek Toko Sebelah etc), Norah Sikin (Atikah Suhaeimi), Azhari (Iskandar Zulkarnaen) and Adrian (now played by Iedil Putra) were all really stressed out by the antics and the unwillingness of Bossman to spend money on important work stuff. This all resulted to the workers frustration and some quitting their job, leaving the work force reduced significantly. Kerani as usual could only complain to her husband Dika (Alex Abbad - Suzzanna: Bernapas Dalam Kubur etc) who happened to be best friend with Bossman.
Due to this workers issue, Bossman together with Kerani, Mr. Kho and Adrian went to Vietnam to look for cheap labor to work in their factory. A lot of things became chaotic in Vietnam which was further complicated by the problems happening back in the office in Kuala Lumpur.
So what would happen with this group of people with their irritating boss? Find them all in this very funny and entertaining movie.
End of Brief Story Line
Yeah this movie was actually better than my wife and I expected. We thought that this sequel would be a lot messier than the original and the supposedly funny scenes were not good. But it turned out we were still able to enjoy the amusing moments a lot. The main attraction here still would be the outstanding Reza Rahadian as the Bossman. It was amazing how he was able to transform himself into this overweight, losing hair middle aged man who was so self absorbed and seemingly unable to realize his attitude was driving people crazy. Both of us (and the rest of the audience) were all laughing so hard in various scenes involving him.
In this sequel, to my opinion the background story of going to Vietnam was pretty realistic. It did not feel like simply moving the story to another country, but there was an actual purpose of having been in Vietnam. This obviously would create a whole lot of problems for Bossman and his team with the different culture and language (it was really funny seeing how Bossman tried so hard to speak in English). Although there might be a bit of racist jokes involved which probably would not be responded kindly by the more conservative audience.
The cast in here were wonderful just like in the original. Each individual supporting cast were able to nicely counter the Bossman. Iedil Putra who replaced Bront Palarae (Pengabdi Setan) could convincingly take over the role of Adrian who was "in love" with Sikin and added some comical part especially during the hotel room scene. Even Alex Abbad was given more screen time and he did not disappoint as he gave some funny moments as well. There were additional minor roles who appeared in this film such as Morgan Oey surprisingly very fun to see as the Vietnamese guide/help for Bossman, or the versatile actor Verdi Solaiman in a role that I could not believe he was able to pull off. Although some might not really enjoy his performance.
While in the first movie the pace was a bit inconsistent, especially towards the end when the comedic situation was abruptly changed to a much more serious part, I felt this time the transition was a lot smoother. I thought the director Upi who was also the writer, most likely had learnt from the original film and did her best to improve it in this area. And the ending gave something to look forward to as it hinted of a possible more sequels which should not be a surprise since the materials were already available from the few novels written by chaos@work which were adapted into the movies. Btw, during the end credit scene, we would be given nonstop bloopers which were really amusing, so do not leave your seats till the very end.
Overall, I personally thought this was a better sequel than the first movie. The funny moments were abundant and it certainly entertained me and my wife a lot. It had been quite some time since we were able to laugh out loud in almost an entire movie and we certainly had a lot of fun. Reza Rahadian truly is a major star on another level and I really think he deserves all the praise (and the large compensation) for being able to play various different roles so convincingly. Be reminded though, this is definitely a movie to be enjoyed just for fun and not to be over-analyzed. If you are looking for a good time to see a ridiculous boss who would drive anyone crazy and you loved the first movie, then this is definitely a movie for you. And if you have not seen the first movie, then watch it first to enjoy this one a lot better. But if you dislike the original film because for whatever reasons you did not like the jokes in there, then perhaps this one would not be to your liking. The choice is yours.
Yesterday was the premiere of another Disney movie which was quite famous many years ago. It was a live version of the animated movie and it was intriguing how we would be able to see the flying elephant. Good thing the film was showing in the theater near our home so it was convenient for me and my wife to see it. Well now we should go on with the movie.
Brief Story Line
Set in the year 1919, Holt Farrier (Colin Farrel - Total Recall, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them etc) came back from war to Medici circus where he previously worked with ringmaster Max Medici (Danny DeVito - Taxi TV series, Twins etc). Holt's very young children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) were trying their best to cope with the life at circus. As Holt was no longer able to perform his usual act, he was given new task of taking care the elephants, including Jumbo who was pregnant.
When Jumbo delivered the baby, it was a one of a kind elephant with very large ears that made him difficult to even walk. But Milly and Joe who loved the baby elephant took care of him and found out his ability to fly using the large ears. And later on, he was able to perform in the circus by flying and getting the nickname of Dumbo. Due to Dumbo's fame, Medici circus was getting attention from a major amusement park owner Vandevere (Michael Keaton - Spider-man: Homecoming, Birdman etc) who wanted to acquire Dumbo services. With his best performer the Trapeze artist Colette (Eva Green - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Penny Dreadful TV series etc), they tried to convince Medici to join them.
So what would happen to Dumbo and the Medici circus? Find them all in this quite amazing family drama.
End of Brief Story Line
Honestly I never saw the original Dumbo animated movie which was released back in the year 1941. My goodness that was so long ago. Anyway, I only knew about its fame as flying elephant, so if the name Dumbo came up, I could picture the young elephant with his big ears that could make him fly. But that's just about it. Nothing about the movie or any other characters that I was familiar. So when I saw this movie, I was not able to make any comparison whether it was a better one or exactly similar remake in live version (like in the case of Beauty and the Beast).
Now my experience about this film was that it had an amazing special effects. The making of Dumbo was so realistic and lifelike that I felt Dumbo was real. Even my wife kept on saying she wanted to have Dumbo. LOL. I think the huge budget put into this film was really worth it as we were in awe of everything about Dumbo appearance. Weird thing though, even if the story was supposedly about Dumbo, I still thought that we did not get enough Dumbo screen time. There were quite a lot of back story about the people surrounding him which might be the reason for my feeling. Perhaps if the children's relationship with Dumbo were explored more, the emotional moment could be felt a lot better. That's just how I felt though, as my wife was still touched by few scenes in the movie.
I mentioned above that there were some stories about the people surrounding Dumbo, which was nice. I loved the relationship between Colin Farrel's character Colt and his children (which were portrayed quite well by the young Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins in their movie debut). I also liked Danny DeVito's character in here as he gave some amusing moments in the film. Michael Keaton was OK and quite convincing as the money hungry entrepreneur. But I felt Eva Green's character development was not too realistic (too fast to my opinion). Oh there was also another well known name Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine, Argo etc) as the banker, but his presence was too brief and did not leave too much impression.
The drama portion in here was adequate. Movie's duration was less than 2 hours, which was probably why I felt it was a bit too short and seemingly not enough time for the emotional moments. I thought that Tim Burton (specialized in making fantasy movies like Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland and many more) wanted to emphasize on Dumbo's ability plus the grand amusement park which seemed to be given quite a major portion but resulted to the bit lacking of dramatic moments and the Circus part too little. The sound effects were wonderful and I noticed during the credit scenes, it was having a Dolby Atmos effect (which I did not experience as our studio did not support it, but still manage to make us amazed). The background music was nice enough. Btw, there was no mid or post end credit scene in the movie.
Overall, I thought that this movie was quite entertaining. It was amazing in term of making Dumbo so real but personally I felt the dramatic and emotional moments which were usually pretty abundant in Disney movie were too little. But as a fantasy movie, this one was wonderful, with outstanding special & sound effects. I could also picture this to be a grand experience watching in IMAX. So if you want to see Tim Burton in his specialty movie, then this one would be a great option.
I have been eyeing for this movie for quite a while since I saw the poster as it had 3 martial art actors in 1 film. But I did not get the chance to see this one until last night. As it did not look like a movie that my wife might have enjoyed, I decided to see it by myself. And so what was the movie about? Let us get into detail below.
Brief Story Line
Payu (Tony Jaa - xXx: Return of Xander Cage etc) and Long Fei (Tiger Chen - Man of Tai Chi etc) were mercenaries hired for a special mission into the forest of Thailand. During this mission a lot of complications arose and they met with an Indonesian security named Jaka (Iko Uwais - The Night Comes for Us etc).
Meanwhile, a very rich Chinese woman named Xiao Xian (Celina Jade - Wolf Warrior 2 etc) went to Maha Jaya city to help the poor and needy become independent, which would ruin the criminal syndicate's grips on the people. Hence they hired a group of assassins led by Collins (Scott Adkins - American Assassin etc) with several highly skilled members that included Deveraux (Michael Jai White - Spawn etc), Joey (former UFC champion Michael Bisping) and few others.
During the chaos when Collins team were trying to kill Xiao Xian, they stumbled into an unlikely opponents in the form of Payu, Long Fei as well as Jaka. So what would happen when this two dangerous and skillful team fight? Find them all in this full action movie.
End of Brief Story Line
Before I saw the movie, I happened to read the synopsis in the cinema's website (it was only playing in 1 cinema chain), and it was a lot different from the movie's actual premise. And since I do not want to provide too much spoiler of the movie's plot, I tried my best to put as little detail as possible in the Brief Story Line section. So do not be confused when you saw it not really the same as the movie's synopsis.
Now, about the movie itself, it was just like I predicted in term of fight choreography. It was wonderfully crafted and amazingly done. I really enjoyed the different fight styles these 3 martial artists brought into the movie, with Iko Uwais' Pencak Silat, Tony Jaa's Muay Thai and Tiger Chen's Kung Fu all blended nicely. If you are fans of these actors, then it would be quite a dream come true. And what I liked the most was the fact that the enemies were great action actors (and actress) as well. Scott Adkins was no stranger to full action movies and with the addition of Michael Jai White, Michael Bisping and Jeeja Yanin, it made the fights more realistic and not one sided.
However, aside from those hand to hand combat scenes that were awesome, the gun fights were not enjoyable for me personally. I do not know why, but it felt like scenes from 80s action movies which were great back then, but not so entertaining now. The blood effects were not impressive either during those scenes, but they were adequate during the fights. In most cases of full action movie, the plot was almost always neglected. And this one was no exception. The scenario & story was not award worthy at all with plot holes here and there, but that was not the main attraction anyway. People usually come to see this movie just for pure entertainment. And in that, the movie was pretty successful, especially the fighting part (the finale fights scenes were pretty awesome). It was probably due to the movie's director Jesse V. Johnson was quite experienced in directing several action movies and being a former stunt coordinator himself.
I found the movie to be quite unique as it had multiple languages when they converse. Indonesian, Chinese, Thai and English were used by the actors & actresses. It should come as no surprise since this film was a joint production of Thailand, Chinese and US companies. Oh, one thing I noticed despite having an R rating, I thought the movie's fight scenes were not extremely violent, gruesome & bloody like in other Iko Uwais or Tony Jaa's movies (The Raid, Ong Bak to name a few). In here, some of the fights were violent but those wanting to see the more "sadistic" approach might feel something's missing.
Overall, this was a stereotype full action B movie, with best parts in term of hand to hand fight choreography, but a bit poorly executed in the gun fight scenes (especially the special effects). Fans of martial arts should be satisfied having seen 3 different fighting styles in one movie played by several amazing martial artists. However, if you want a movie carefully done with amazing scenarios, or you wish to see a lot more blood in a really violent action movie, you might not like this seemingly senseless action movie. The choice is yours.