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Quickie Thoughts: “Spiderman Homecoming” and “Dunkirk”

July 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Spiderman Homecoming – This may have been my most anticipated Marvel flick ever since his appearance in Civil War. The problem was, it was a little overhyped for me. But it was still a good movie nonetheless. This is the one Spiderman movie where he’s completely in character. Smart and a wisecracker. Vulture surprised me. I think Michael Keaton did an amazing job playing the villain and he was quite menacing in certain scenes. The one issue I had was the amount of school that was in it. Sure, I’m not the target demographic, but it bought down the pacing for me. Other than that, I would rank this 2nd best after Toby’s Spiderman 2. Rating: 8/10

Dunkirk – Imagine a gripping intro scene like from the Dark Knight that’s extended to a full length film. That’s the feeling of Dunkirk. So much tension and panic that you can feel it. I was kinda surprised the length of the movie considering Chris Nolan movies tend to be over 2 hours. Hans Zimmer once again shines with his score. It’s almost like he has one continuous track throughout the movie. The movie is quite realistic with its war scenes, no spectacular explosions. So don’t go into this movie expecting your typical war action movie. When it was over, I felt kinda shell shocked because of how immersive it was. Overall, it was a riveting experience. It’s so worth seeing it on the big screen, however it’s not the kind of movie I’ll rewatch. Rating: 8/10

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movie review: The Case for Christ

April 16, 2017 Leave a comment

When I first saw the trailer, my immediate thoughts were “oh great, another Christian movie that’ll most likely be awful.” Let’s be honest here, a lot of them are just plain terrible. Only handful of them are good such as Ben-hur, Passion of the Christ, and Hacksaw Ridge. The fact that so many awful Christian movies exist makes the community look bad and embarrassing. I went to a Willow Creek service to see Lee Strobel get interviewed by pastors and said they already saw the movie and thought it was pretty good. Of course that did nothing to change my skepticism because it sounds biased. Lee admits how terrible Christian movies can be but assures this won’t be bad. So I decided to give the movie a chance before immediately writing it off. So how does The Case for Christ stack up? It’s actually quite decent!

I knew of The Case for Christ book for many years since I own a copy of it, but shame on me for not reading it (yet). What really caught my interest was Lee’s desire, as an atheist, to debunk the existence of Christ and the faith. The story starts when his wife became a christian after a friend sharing the gospel with her. This enrages him because this new purpose of life his wife found is taking away her away from him. It’s actually amusing of him to think that she’s cheating on him for Jesus. So there begins a journey of Lee, as a professional journalist, to seek the origins of Jesus trying to find loopholes to prove Christianity wrong that it’s nothing more than a cult. Long story short, he finds enough solid irrefutable evidence that concludes God does exist, Jesus is the real deal, and converts to the Christian faith. There’s a certain theme in this movie that does a fine job depicting truth. When someone looks into a case with presupposition or bias, that prevents them from seeing the whole picture.

Yes, I’m quite surprised the movie was pretty good. Some scenes were well shot especially the cathedral where Lee walks in. The acting was decent throughout. No one annoyed me. The pacing was consistent. Aesthetically, I’m not too sure about this. It takes place in the 1980s so there were some questionable things like the lifestyles during that time. One scene that nearly teared me up was the father and son relationship of Lee and his pops. It’s a very relatable thing for me since I struggle that same issue. What’s interesting is, I never knew that most well known atheist had either abusive fathers or were abandoned by them. This was addressed in the movie by a psychologist Lee meets in the 3rd act of the movie.

As for my criticisms, nothing major but some personal nitpicks. First is how watered down this movie is compared to what Lee’s testimony really was. He described himself as a profane drunkard who would come home and kick a hole in the wall making his wife and kid cry. I guess they really wanted to keep the PG rating in order to make this movie friendly enough to the youngsters. 2nd, I really wish they went into more detail of the evidence that was shown here, but that would run the risk of info dumping making the movie dry and boring. Nonetheless, it went straight to the point. I’ve heard some criticisms about scenes not actually happened in real life, such as Lee’s family in the restaurant incident in the beginning of the movie. Now I haven’t read the book so I have no clue. Whether this was true or not is irrelevant to me because it’s dramatized and the main focus is the investigative journey. For the sake of the script, there had to be a catalyst to get the plot going. There’s not a single movie based on history or biography that’s 100% accurate. If it was, I doubt anyone would had the attention span to sit through the entire thing. Heck, this even includes fictional book movie adaptations.

Other than that, I think this movie is worth the watch at least once, whether you’re a Christian or not. It dwells straight into the apologetics without too much detail. I don’t think it’s that good of a movie to own but it does deserve a recognition for being one of the better Christian movies out there.

Rating: 7/10

 

Here’s a hilarious review from David Wood. Watch it!

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movie review: Ghost in the Shell

April 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Before I give my thoughts, here’s a disclaimer. I went into this movie without any presupposition or expectations. I believe it’s fair to judge a movie by its own merits rather than comparing it to its original source. Because going to see a movie with those preconceived mindset will automatically disappoint viewers. With that out of the way, let’s dive into this.

+Jaw dropping beautiful cyberpunk world
+Cinematography
+Memorable soundtrack
+Shelling sequence
+More personal story of Major
+Mostly well good action scenes
+Great cast especially Scarlett Johanson and the guy who played Batou
+Interesting first antagonist
+Kenji Kawai’s famous track used in the end credits.

-End villain is just another Hollywood typical corporate bad guy
-Psychological theme of human and AI identity ditched after the 2nd act
-Some CG looks prerendered such as the underwater scene with jellyfishes in the background
-A certain action scene that involved super bright flashing stun batons almost gave me a seizure
-Aramaki’s acting wasn’t convincing

So yes, my first impressions came out good overall! I don’t think I’ll go pay to go see it again but I do recommend seeing it. Whether or not you’re a fan of the franchise doesn’t matter. It depends how open minded you are with how this movie turned out. And just throw this out there, I’m an Asian person myself and I have no problems with the casting here especially when the movie’s world is built upon a cyberpunk setting.

Rating: 7/10

Categories: movies, review

movie review: Hacksaw Ridge

November 20, 2016 Leave a comment

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“Please Lord, help me get one more… help me get one more.”

When I heard that line during the scene where Doss solo rescues the wounded men, I was literally on the verge of tears.

Hacksaw Ridge is probably the best movie I’ve seen this year. It’s also the most intense, graphically violent war film I’ve seen since Saving Private Ryan. When those war scenes hit, they hit hard like a high speed truck that suddenly appears right in your face. But more importantly, it’s a very moving story that’s uplifting and inspirational.

This story was actually based on true events. Desmond Doss did save more than 50 wounded soldiers including the Japanese soldiers left behind in the battlefield of Okinawa. And he was 7th Day Adventist christian who became the first conscientious objector.

The first half of the film focuses on Doss’s civilian life and the persecution he faces during his boot camp training. There’s many happy moments with scenes of Doss and his romantic interest Dorothy. It’s actually quite sweet despite of being hokey at times, but this makes Doss a very likeable character. The 2nd half of the film is where the war comes in. Seeing how convicted Doss throughout in the midst of that brutality was incredible.

Thematically speaking, it’s heavy and multilayered. Desmond wants to serve his country while at the same time follow the commands from the bible. In doing so, he puts his faith as priority over the country’s commands. Which comes to a question, while Desmond certainly glories the Lord from his works, would taking a life of an enemy be glorifying to God considering the circumstances? On top of that, Jesus commands us to love our enemies and forgives those who persecutes us. When Jack Glover told Doss that he believes the book as much as he does, Jack still goes out there to fight the war. It’s a tough question that we Christians have to go through. These are just one of the themes that the movie brings up. Although, this is my first time hearing about 7th Adventist Christians, I don’t see any bible verses about not eating meat or worshiping Saturdays. Sounds like a man made rule from certain divisions. But that’s a discussion for another time.

I came out of the theater absolutely stunned. To say I’m still thinking about this movie after a few days really means something. I actually wouldn’t mind if I went to go see it again! Say what you want about Mel Gibson, but you can’t deny his directing skills. Also, all the actors did a splendid job. Not a single one felt like a miscast. Before people start misunderstanding what this movie is, it’s NOT a christian movie but it’s a movie ABOUT a christian who’s strongly convicted with this way of serving. I highly recommend this film whether or not you’re not into war films.

Rating: 9.5/10

Update: Here’s an interesting facts/movie comparison.

http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/hacksaw-ridge/

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movie review: Doctor Strange

November 13, 2016 Leave a comment

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I knew nothing about Doctor Strange other than knowing it’s a marvel hero.

After seeing this, it’s like a poor man’s Iron Man in terms of formula, except in a breakneck speed without giving us time to properly develop the character. Ever since Civil War, my standards for superhero flicks has risen. It either be on par with Civil War or surpass it. Doctor Strange was as underwhelming and generic as it gets. The plot was nonsensical. Instead of wasting time training Strange, why not have that bald old hag use the men she already has in her dojo? In typical marvel fashion, their villains are weak as their motivations. I can’t even remember their names. The visual effects are the best thing about this movie. It’s like I’m watching Inception on steroids. Of course let’s not forget the acting, Benedict Cumberbatch (I can’t spell his name) fits right in with the character. It’s decently entertaining film, but ultimately forgettable.

Rating: 5/10

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movie review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

August 13, 2016 Leave a comment

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Brief Thoughts

I wasn’t disappointed because I expected it to be bad just as most people said. It’s too long, literally too dark, messy, offensive, and a thunderstorm of trash.

This garbage disrespects the very essence of these heroes by regurgitating them, and shits them out into something written by someone with no prior DC knowledge or script writing. Ban this director from ever making superhero flicks. Kick out Jessie Eisenburg. Keep Ben Affleck as Batman. I’m not going into details on my thoughts but here’s a video review from Double Toasted which I agree with for the most part.

 

I have zero hope for upcoming DC movies. Not even Wonder Woman can save it.

Rating: 2/10

Categories: movies, review

Re-Review: Star Trek Beyond

August 10, 2016 1 comment

Alright, it seems like the reception of this film was much higher than expected which was quite surprising.

I decided to give it a watch again but this time in the “methods” network cuz I ain’t wasting my money the 2nd time on this shit.

Now after seeing it the 2nd time, there’s a review on Roger Ebert’s website, written by someone else obviously, that pretty much summed up my thoughts.

Yes, there’s a promising setup (the Enterprise crew is held hostage by a vicious bad guy who rules a backwater planet a la Kurtz in “Heart of Darkness”). And there are suggestions of classic “Star Trek” style action-plus-characterization-plus-cleverness, and pleasing performances by a cast that has settled into each others’ rhythms, as a real-world naval crew would after years of sailing together.

But the movie never delivers on its considerable promise because it’s always in such a hurry to get to the next action scene.

Star Trek Beyond? More like Star Trek BEGONE!

Compared to my first viewing, my impressions only got WORSE. My initial opinion still stands, however there’s more flaws I noticed on both the technical and the writing. I realized this is another revenge flick considering Into Dumbness was also based on that. The entire middle (snooze) act where the crew was separated had so much back and forth with the scenes cutting to the next separated crew members that there was really no real character moments where I was invested in. The scene with Spock feeling sad for his future self’s death was awkward as hell. The villain’s motivation, which is unbelievably stupid, reveals way too late and too rushed. There’s no remorse for this guy because he’s the bad guy. That’s it. The enterprise getting destroyed AGAIN throughout the trilogy. This one’s rather minor but Sulu portrayed as a gay was unnecessary since he was never gay to begin with in the originals. It was more of a tribute to George Takai. The ONLY thing I liked about the movie was the beginning where the enterprise was traveling in uncharted territories in space, now that’s true to the franchise’s core.

So yes, this movie still sucks. To be honest, I don’t mind if Star Trek takes the action packed route of a film as long as it’s decently written, but the fundamentals of the franchise have to be there. Where’s the build up to the next major scenes or character moments? It’s like watching porn where a dude and a chick undress and immediately cuts to a scene where they’ve already reached the climax without any fucking motion. This movie has so many damn plot holes that it’s an insult to the franchise and my intelligence. Just because it’s science fiction genre doesn’t justify majors plot holes, just putting that out there.

In the end, I wondered, “What’s the point of this movie?” I can’t wait to see HISHE‘s take on this.

New Rating: 2/10

Want a mindless shallow Fast & Furious-type movie in space? This is for you.

Categories: movies, review