The Man of Steel: Best Superhero Flick Ever ( with Spoilers )

yummyIf you haven’t seen the Man of Steel movie, do not read this. This review is intended for those who have seen the flick. I might write a spoiler-free review if I feel like it. But for now, this review is going to be spoiler-laden.

In anticipation of the Man of Steel movie release, I reviewed the first 2 Superman flicks and the 2006 Superman Returns movie. I just wanted to go into the movie and be able to give a really good comparative review. I am a Christopher Reeve Superman fan and believe him to be the best Superman ever but Henry Cavill as Superman, nails the role. I don’t know if I want to compare the two Supermen since their roles are very different. They may play the same hero but the circumstances of their lives are different. Henry Cavill’s Superman is much darker and more conflicted. Christopher Reeve’s Superman is lighter. It’s just that Christopher Reeve with his presence and classical acting training, just makes us believe in the possibility that a man can fly based on his ACTING alone. Henry Cavill has a pretty much easier time since he is aided by CGI effects. But I loved how he played Superman and Clark. This is perhaps the first movie where Superman has no Clark alter-ego and vice versa.

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I also love the writer’s direction of making Superman emotionally-vulnerable. There may be no Kryptonite this time but Superman still has a weakness– his emotional pain of being bullied as a child because he was ‘different’. I guess, the theme here is about ALIENATION and how Superman has struggled all his life to find out who he is, where he comes from and what his purpose in life is. I like how the writer has created an emotionally vulnerable Superman who is not accepted by both the humans and the Kryptonian rebels. He really is struggling to find his place in the world. And I’m glad that at the end of the movie, they’ve somehow managed to make him choose his path in the world which was what his parents, Jor-El and Lara, wanted for him– the power to choose his own destiny.

Another thing that I loved about the movie is the beginning. In other Superman flicks, the audience never got a chance to really get to know Superman’s parents and his home planet. Finally, the filmmaker has allowed the audience a glimpse of Krypton. We see a Krpton unlike anything else we’ve seen– a world with a sort-of caste system and a fixed political system. The movie audience also get to know Jor-El better. I think it is great that the casting director chose Russell Crowe to play Superman’s father. In this movie, at least in the first few minutes, we see Crowe reprising his role as a gladiator or warrior. It is interesting to note that Crowe had influenced Cavill to go into acting. The two actors had met years ago, when Cavill was still a student. Crowe somehow inspired Cavill to become an actor. It’s such a great coincidence that Crowe now plays Cavill’s father in the movie.

man of steelI really like the casting choices which includes their choice for Lara, Superman’s mother. Although she only appeared briefly in the film, she gave the role some sense of justice because of her dignified acting. I love how they chose Kevin Costner as the father. I wished that his role as Jonathan Kent was more expounded but in the brief scenes that Costner was in, he was able to convey Costner’s values and his sense of responsibility for raising a special son. I love how Diane Lane played Martha Kent. Her acting gave the role more ‘meat’ and her character didn’t feel like it was written just because. She plays an integral part in the making of a noble Clark Kent. I love Michael Shannon as General Zod. He is not the typical bad guy.  In a way, I can understand why he is doing bad things. He just wants to save Krpton and the Kryptonians. I understand why he would reject Kal-El since he sees Kal-El as someone who has become more ‘human’ than Kryptonian. He is one tough baddie and a worthy villain for someone like Superman. I kind of felt bad that they killed off his character.

All the characters are great in this movie except for Lois Lane. Amy Adams is a good actress but I don’t think she was a good choice for Lois Lane. I mean, to tell you frankly, there’s no chemistry between Clark and Lois in this film. There are actors that have on-screen chemistry and it kind of works but not these two. Perhaps in time, they can make the ‘spark’ happen during the sequel.

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Although I LOVE the film to bits and now prefer it over the original Superman movie, what I don’t like about the flick is that it somehow derivative of the other movies I’ve seen over the years. Or perhaps I’ve been watching too many movies? Anyway, I feel that the movie is like a mish-mash of ideas from other flicks. First, the concept of creating Kryptonians through cloning. During the scene where Jor-el swam to the genesis chamber and stole the Codex, the babies floating in water somehow reminded me of The Matrix. In The Matrix, the humans were being seeded and created artificially. In Superman, the same thing happens. The Kryptonians are created artificially and we see babies floating in the artificial womb. It may also be coincidental that Lawrence Fishburne, who plays Morpheus in the Matrix flicks also plays Perry White. Perhaps, Fishburne had an input somehow?

In Krypton as Jor-El was escaping from the rebels, he was riding some kind of flying animal or dragon. The animal kind of reminds me of the creature that Jake Sully rode on in the movie Avatar. The winged creature looks the same. Perhaps they have the same creature designer?

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In Metropolis, the buildings were being pounded to bits and falling apart much like in the third Transformers movie. They had similar shots and angles. The buildings were falling like dominoes and they really had the same camera angle. Perhaps Zach Snyder was influenced by Michael Bay?

The helmets and the ships used by the Kryptonians were very similar to the helmets and the ship in the movie Prometheus. General Zod’s army even wore similar-looking uniform/armour that the Engineers in Prometheus wore. And the computers in Krypton with their 3D metallic pixels looks like the 3D metallic pixellated map that the Prometheus crew used. The helmets/suits that Zod’s army used were similar to the helmets/suits that the Prometheus crew used. The look of the Kryptonian Elders somehow reminded me of the look of the evil dude in Hellraiser. Did they have the same costume designer? It’s worth checking out.

Another thing, the destruction of Krypton sort of reminds me of the destruction of Vulcan. Interestingly enough, in the movie, Star Trek, Spock’s mother dies with the dying planet. In Superman, Lara, Kal-El’s mother also dies in the dying planet.

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Even though the film’s ‘look’ isn’t original at least the concept of Krypton, Superman’s past, the concept of General Zod– is all-original. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that they made this into a purely SCI-FI flick because duh, Superman is an alien. I’m a sci-fi fan and I am sure the sci-fi fanatics are just crazy about this movie! I also like their twist on Lois Lane figuring out Clark Kent as Superman before he ever came out as Superman. At least now, it is more believable that Lois is a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter. Overall, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the film. I doubt though that they could top this flick. Even Iron Man 3 can’t top this flick. It’s just so GREAT. However, they will have a harder time pushing the envelope in the sequel. I mean, how can they re-conceptualize Lex Luthor? How can they top the special effects? The CGI in this film is just crazy! I mean, we saw it on IMAX and it was just CRAZY! There are scenes however that are too fast that it takes a long time for my eyes and brain to process the information. Other than that… This movie is probably the BEST SUPERHERO FLICK EVER! It has action, sci-fi, romance, adventure, CGI effects, great acting, a great story! This Superman flick is light years apart from the previous Superman incarnations! I can’t wait to watch it again!

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Beautiful Creatures Movie Review: Flawed Beautiful Creatures

Cover of "Beautiful Creatures"

Cover of Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures is a movie that has a rather complicated plot. It has characters that are not that well fleshed out. The exposition is circuituous and the dialogue can be funny, charming and sometimes not that well thought out. You can sense that the director is really trying hard to sell and tell the story of star-crossed lovers, Lena played by Alice Englert and Ethan played byAlden Ehrenreich. The movie mostly works and mostly doesn’t. But what keeps the movie afloat isn’t the main character but the side characters played by veteran actors Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson. Emma Thompson is so great here trying to do a Southern accent. She’s such a talented actress and I think she may have chosen this project only so she could play a Southern Belle.

What I loved about the movie is Ethan played oh so perfectly by Alden Ehrenreich. Ethan is this small town boy who dreams of escaping to the big city. His character is witty, charming, funny, literate but at the same time kind of innocent. You really believe that a boy like him could fall in love with a brooding witch. Ethan plays the damsel in distress so to speak since his lady love, Lena, is a powerful witch or rather as she would prefer to be called a ‘caster’. The visuals are great but I would rather that the director focus on developing the characters rather than focusing on the visuals.

To those who haven’t read the novel where the movie is based, the plot may be a bit confusing. There’s a part where the past must intersect with the future but the transition didn’t work out as well as the director had hoped. It ended up being a confusing mess. The movie jumps from scene to scene and somehow there isn’t even a smooth transition between scenes. We don’t know how many days have passed. There were scenes that were totally uneccessary or redundant.

The director of the movie, Richard LaGravenese worked mostly as a screenwriter but he has directed a few films. He also wrote the screenplay for this movie. Perhaps he should work with a good film editor because not everything you write should end up on the movie screen. There are several things you need to leave out. Apparenlty, he wanted to cram a lot of elements from the novel into the film.

I love the visuals of the film though. The beginning of the movie was haunting and a bit soulful. I would have thought that the opening scene would have set the mood for the entire film, unfortunately, it didn’t. The film would have been perfect if the kinks were smoothed out. The character of Lena was okay but the scene stealer has to be Ethan’s character played by handsome and charming actor, Alden Ehrenreich. He is almost perfect in this film. He is such a talented actor and I can sense that he would transcend this mess of a film. He will have many more movies to come. I just hope he makes a few more romantic movies because he has that boy-next-door charm that sadly doesn’t exist in Hollywood anymore. He plays innocent and charming so convincingly that he steals every scene that he is in. I’d watch the movie again just to see his performance. This girl needs her eye candy you know.

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I give the movie an overall rating of 2 over 4 popcorns.

I give Alden Ehrenreich’s performance a 4 over 4 rating.

I give the visuals a rating of 3.5 popcorns.

Overall rating of 3 popcorns.

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Mama Movie Review: Oh My Mama!

Mama is one scary movie. I don’t easily get scared but this movie is so creepy and has many ‘jump in your seat’ moments which makes it a really scary flick. The movie is based loosely on the true story of the feral girls named Amala and Kamala. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. The two girls were found in an Indian jungle during the 1920s. The girls grew up wild after being raised by wolves.

Mama incorporated this true story but added a twist. In Mama, the two girls, named Lily and Victoria, were raised by an overprotective ghost whom they called Mama. The two girls lived in the forest with the motherly ghost until they were discovered by their Uncle, after having been missing for 5 years.After their discovery, the girls were made to live with their Uncle Lucas and his devoted girlfriend, Annabel. Annabel is played by the almost unrecognizable Jessica Chastain. Chastain plays a dark-haired, eyeliner wearing, tattooed rocker chick who ironically enough, doesn’t like kids. The character of Annabel slowly warms up to the kids even if she’s become suspicious of their strange actions. She also experiences strange dreams after spending time with the kids.

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Mama isn’t your usual gore fest with blood, dismembered bodies and the like. It’s just a straight out horror flick with scary sounds, dark shadows and scary chase scenes. The movie is atmospheric, disturbing and will probably make a grown man pee in his pants. There are deaths in the film but most of these deaths are stupid and unnecessary. You find yourself shouting at the screen, “Don’t go there at night! You’re asking for it, stupid potential victim person!” There are two characters made redundant by the exposition. And there are characters created just so they could die a very horrible death. Another negative thing about the movie is the CGI Mama. It is obvious that the ghost is CGI. Can’t they make a CGI character less CGI-ey?

Overall though, Mama is one scary movie. I like how they incorporate certain elements of fact with fiction. I like Jessica Chastain’s acting in this film. She takes the more subdued approach and we rarely even hear her scream. I love how scary and unpredictable the kids are. I swear I love kids, but if I were taking care of feral kids, I’d probably pass. I don’t necessary love the ending but I like how
unpredictable the ending was. It’s the type of horror flick that makes you look over your shoulder after emerging from the theater. 

I give it a grade of 3.5 pop corns over 4.

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Top 5 Movies of 2012

5. Sinister

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I’ve never been scared of a horror movie ever. But Sinister managed to give a few chills and scares. To make sure that you really get scared they added a serial killer, a few ghosts and a demon.  This movie is from the same makers of Insidious. It’s original in a way because it combines several genres into one film. It’s a combination of a thriller,mystery and a horror movie.

4. Prometheus

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This movie has many plot holes. The characters did pretty stupid things. But still it can’t be denied that the movie is visually breathtaking. We watched it on Imax. There is also a memorable scene where the lead character gives birth to an alien. How cool is that? It combines elements of Ancient Aliens and the Aliens movie. The aliens on the film are kind of enigmatic. We don’t really know what their motives are for creating humans. Guess that’s why we need to watch the sequel. What makes this film remarkable is the talented Michael Fassbender. His take on the android, David, is so spot on. David is creepy and morally ambiguous. But at the same time, he’s adorable even if he is a bit homicidal. That’s why I just love Michael Fassbender.

3. The Amazing Spiderman

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Some critics say that we don’t need another Spiderman movie. But after the terrible third Spiderman flick, I say, it was time to REBOOT! I love the casting of this movie. Andrew Garfield makes the best Spiderman. What’s more, he’s an actual fan. I’m not saying that Tobey Maguire sucked as Spiderman, I’m just saying that he was just playing a character named Peter Parker. Andrew embodies the character of Peter Parker. The actor knows what the character is really all about. Peter Parker is not a dorky teenager. He’s a teenager who feels incomplete because of the mystery of his past. Martin Sheen did a really great job playing Uncle Ben. Sally Field was underutilized in this film as Aunt Martha, but I’m sure she’ll have a bigger role in the sequel.

2. The Dark Knight Rises

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I was disappointed when this movie first came out. I mean, the movie felt bloated. It was also rushed. It’s like they wanted to tie up all the loose ends in 2 hours time. I didn’t want the franchise to end yet. But after watching the film again, I dare say that it’s a great movie. Finally, the film focused on the character of Bruce Wayne again. They also have great villains. The Bane is badass. The character of Catwoman is just perfect. I love the ending. The director finally gave Bruce Wayne the happy ending he deserved. I just feel sad that Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy has come to an end. I wish he would make 10 more Batman films. The ending gave me goosebumps. It was the same feeling that I had after Batman Begins ended. Perhaps the end is only the beginning?

1. The Avengers


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I love Thor, Captain America, The Hulk and Iron Man separately. Combine them all together and you have a billion dollar hit! The movie was fun to watch on the first outing. But after you watch it too many times, you get to see the plot holes. I hated how superficial they made Loki in this film. After Thor, Loki’s character has downgraded. I mean, he’s not just your typical villain. He has more depth than that. I wished though that they had utilized another villain. I mean, I kind of like Loki’s character. He was complex and intelligent in the movie, Thor. In this film, he just comes off as rather stupid and crazy. I mean, trying to rule Earth because of a grudge? Come on, that’s just too shallow. This movie should be number two on my list but it has all my favorite superhero characters. I can’t wait for Avengers 2. I hope they find a better villain next time.

Blast From The Past: A James Bond Movie Review

It would seem that the third Daniel Craig Bond movie is overextending the good will of the near-perfect Bond movie, “Casino Royale.” I wish that Skyfall had a little more substance and action to it rather than its pretty visuals. But all we get is a rather simple story of betrayal and revenge. Something was definitely missing in this Bond movie. I just can’t put my finger on it. What I can say with certainty is that it is a much better film and has more understandable plot compared to the previous Bond film “Quantum of Solace.” It’s just not as memorable or up to par to Casino Royale, a film which single-handedly made Craig famous overnight. But still, Bond can be forgiven–lack of action and oomph factor notwithstanding. It’s all because of Craig. Who can resist Craig’s dewy blue eyes? More than any other actor before him, Craig makes James Bond a more relatable character. In this third outing, Bond not only bleeds but becomes mortal and flawed. Bond goes on hiatus and turns to alcoholism. The film also shows Bond’s origins. We get to understand why Bond is internally wounded.

Unlike the other previous Bond films, there are really great supporting characters here. The most likeable characters (which I’m sure will be back for the next film) are Eve and Q. They’re the comic reliefs and represent the younger generation. I kind of like the whole direction they are going, especially the part where they have made Q younger and more nerdy. He’s certainly the Q for the Y-generation. Initially, I had thought that Ralph Fiennes would just be an expendable character but apparently, he will play a much bigger role in the upcoming Bond films. Fiennes plays the pragmatic Gareth Mallory. He sort of sympathizes with Bond but at the same time, he knows he has to do his duty in keeping Bond and M (played by the regal Judi Dench) in check.

I can see what the director, Sam Mendes, is trying to convey. He is telling the audience that there is a tension between the old and the new. James Bond is sort of like a relic of the past. Times have changed and espionage has taken on a new meaning with the advent of the super computers, the internet and social media. How can Bond thrive in this post-Julian Assange/Wikileaks world? Perhaps that is why there are scenes played out in the most modern and sophisticated city of Shanghai and scenes played out in old Europe, in Scotland, where Bond was born. Bond must traverse both the new and the old so he can somehow reach a balance and be more relevant in this ever changing times. Bond somehow also questions his place if he is still relevant, seeing that the younger generation have somehow taken over. But we all know the answer to that, Bond will always be reinvented and will therefore always be relevant. However, there is one character, whose methods and means have become old-fashioned and will therefore be replaced. I can’t say who that character is. But that character was the relic of the mid-90s feminist movement, and sadly, since we are in the 21st century, that character had to be replaced. Having lived through the 90s, even I feel old.

Since “Skyfall” marks the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise, there are scenes which are obviously plays hommage to the past films– the appearance of the silver Aston Martin, the emergence of Q and the introduction of Money Penny. Of course, only the Bond fans could relate to this one. I’m a bit disappointed in the villain Silva, played by Javier Bardem. I think he is such a weak character. I don’t know if it is the actor, or if it is the script, but somehow, his character just didn’t have the gravitas to pull off ‘evil’ and ‘sinister.’ And his blonde hair and effeminate ways were too distracting. He may have been the wrong actor to play the part. No offense to anyone, but I had a hard time understanding what he was saying. There was a scene where he showed up for the first time and he was talking about his mother and two rats. I couldn’t understand half of what he was saying. And pray do tell, why does an obviously Spanish guy work for the MI6? I thought they had to be British. This obviously is a casting blunder. They should have asked Ralph Fiennes to play the part, he was great at playing the Evil Voldemort. And he also has the physique as well as the proper accent to play the part. I guess they didn’t want him to be typecast?

What I like about the film is the stunning visuals especially those scenes set in Shanghai and Macau. In fact, I realized how drab Europe is compared to the two featured Asian cities. I was waiting for more action sequences to be set in Shanghai. Instead, they whizzed on to boring old England. I also like the young addition, Q and Eve.

What I don’t like is the lack of action sequences and the straightforward plot. I also hated the villain. He’s such a total bore. I also dislike how easily they dispensed of a female character. Does a woman have to be killed off in every Bond film? Maybe I’m just being old-fashionedly feminist, but why does Bond have to sleep with beautiful one-dimensional girls in every film? Criticisms aside, I liked this film better than Quantum of Solace. But I’m biased, I will always have a special place in my heart for the wonderfully made Casino Royale. And oh yeah, the Skyfall theme gives me LSS (Last Song Syndrome). Can’t keep the song out of my head.

Skyfall Trailer: 

5 Love Lessons from 500 Days Of Summer

I never understood why many film critics were raving about the movie, 500 Days of Summer. I knew beforehand that the movie involves heartbreak so I was a little hestitant to watch a depressing movie. I was finally convinced by a friend to watch the movie. After I watched the movie, I got a lot of things from it.

The movie is about a boy named Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who falls haplessly and hopelessly in love with a girl named Summer (Zooey Deschanel), thus the title, “500 Days of Summer”. The movie doesn’t go about things chronologically so there is some time skipping and time rewinding involved. I don’t know if it helps with the flow of story or if it just one of the director’s gimmick. The way the scenes were played out however, kept me glued to the screen. I wanted to know what happened next.

I’ve seen the trailer of the movie. So I guess I won’t be spoiling it for those who haven’t seen the movie yet. Yes, the movie ends badly. It’s about how Tom falls in love with the wrong girl but thinks he is in love with the ONE. Haven’t we all made the same mistake, thinking someone was the ONE only to find out that they’re not.

Here are 5 Love lessons that can be gleaned from the movie:

Lesson 1: Define the Relationship

Probably one of the most important things one must remember before entering a new relationship is to first define the relationship. It’s so easy to make this mistake. When you are attracted to someone, sometimes, you can’t help but to disregard common sense. However, not defining the relationship ultimately leads to a heartbreak. Tom made a major faux pas when he didn’t define his relationship with Summer from the very moment it started. He just kept on going out with her and even sleeping with her without even establishing if they were going to be in a serious or open relationship. Apparently, Summer wanted to be in an open relationship and Tom, wanted a serious relationship. The problem arose when Tom became too attached to Summer. The girl apparently just wanted to have some fun. Tom wanted more. Tom would have avoided a major heartbreak if he only defined the relationship from the very beginning.

Lesson 2: Make Sure You Are On The Same Page

This is related to the first lesson. But it involves much more than the relationship. It involves the people who are in the relationship. Many people make the mistake of falling in love with a person they think is the ONE, only to find out that they share nothing in common save their physical attraction for each other. Physical attraction may be one of the reasons for people to get together, but it shouldn’t be the only basis for being in a relationship or staying in a relationship. That’s why there’s a courtship period. You’re supposed to get to know each other and move past the ‘attraction phase’ and to that phase called ‘long-term relationship phase.’ Tom and Summer didn’t share anything in common save for their attraction to each other. It’s nice to have physical intimacy with someone you’re attracted to, but it all becomes meaningless sex if you don’t even share common values and common goals. In order for a relationship to thrive, one must assess if his/her partner is on the same page with them. It’s never too early to discuss your expectations, the things that you value like religion, having kids, etc. So many couples are in a relationship for the wrong reasons. It’s best to end a relationship right away if you don’t see where it is headed. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time. This is the common reason why relationships and marriages fail in the long run. You can avoid an unhappy relationship by just heeding this love lesson.

Lesson 3: Know Reality from Fantasy

Sometimes when we are in a relationship, we project our own expectations onto the other person. We fail to see the person for who or what they truly are. During an interview, Joseph Gordon-Levitt had this to say about the character he played: “He [Tom] develops a mildly delusional obsession over a girl onto whom he projects all these fantasies.”*

That is why when you start seeing someone, you must always have the right mindset. When you are dating, you are trying to assess if that person fits your idea of the ONE and not make them fit your idea of the ONE. Therefore, you must enter the relationship with the right attitude. The relationship may or may not work but that shouldn’t stop you from trying to find the right person for you. Please remember that there is a right person for you, should you continue on looking. You can’t make the wrong person the right one by projecting all of your fantasies onto that person. Enter a relationship with your two eyes open not closed. Look for yellow or red flags. Try to determine the other person’s authenticity. It’s nice to be romantic and all but not the point of disregarding common sense. Try to see the relationship and the person for what it truly is. Remove your rose-colored glasses.

Lesson 4: Love Yourself First
The reason why Tom attracted Summer in the first place is because he didn’t love himself. If he valued himself, he would never have entered into a relationship with Summer, knowing beforehand that Summer was only looking for a fling. If you know your self-worth and your value, you only attract healthy relationships.
In the movie, Tom’s heartbreak became an impetus for him to go after his dreams. But he could have avoided heartbreak in the first place if he valued himself.
And in any relationship, the person with the stronger personality and will power, will always try to dominate over the person with a low self-esteem. This is what Summer did to Tom. She was very non-committal and poor Tom took the bait because he didn’t think he deserved better. He was used and discarded. The sad thing is that he allowed himself to be used.

Tom became depressed after Summer left him because he thought that he needed someone else to make him happy. That is one of the many pitfalls of a relationship. People always believe that happiness is outside of themselves. That’s why when someone leaves them, they believe they can no longer be happy. Tom could have avoided his major depressive episode, if he only realized that he should have loved himself first.

Lesson 5: Know What You Want

We must have a clear idea of what we want in a relationship. We must have a list of traits that we are looking for in a person. We must not waver in our idea of the ONE person that is good for us, otherwise, we end up with relationships that are bad for us and far from what we truly want. Tom had an idea of the ONE, but I’m sure he didn’t define it enough otherwise, he wouldn’t have fallen for Summer. I’m sure he wanted to be in a serious relationship but that is not what he got. The reason is because he compromised his ideals. Never compromise. Always know what you want. And the same thing goes not just in relationships but in life as well.

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*Direct Quote Source:

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The Dark Knight Goes Kaput

I can’t say I like the latest Batman flick, Dark Knight Rises. I can’t say, I hate it either. I’m sort of ambivalent about the entire movie. All I know is that there are aspects of the movie that I like and aspects of the movie, that I don’t like. There are also aspects of the movie that leave me wanting more. Overall, the movie was too serious. Batman/Bruce Wayne is too serious in this film especially with Christian Bale’s gaunt, emaciated, injured look. Commissioner Gordon is too serious as well. Alfred is way too serious. And the protege, Detective Blake, takes his job way t0o seriously. Heck, even Bane is mad serious to blow up Gotham. Only Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman provides some levity to the otherwise dark, heavy and foreboding film. But then, her character is the weakest of all the characters on the film. The movie is also a bit predictable except toward the end part. I knew who the entire brains of the operation was way before it was revealed.

What I like about the movie is the cameos of 2 previous villains. There’s one villain that would make the audience laugh out loud due to his kookiness. And the other villain, appears via Bruce’s hallucination or is it a mere hallucination? I can’t reveal more since that would spoil the fun. All I know is that there are parts that would want you to stand up on your seat and clap. But there are also some heavy stuff like Batman’s existential angst and stuff. Christopher Nolan and his brother, should have added more light moments to the script. The movie is weighed down by taking itself too seriously. We’re talking about fantasy here, not reality.

What I loved about the film was when the action picked up toward the end. The first part of the movie had action interspersed in between. The latter part was all non-stop action.

I’ve often wondered what Batman would do once he retired his cape. This movie, answers all of that. I really loved the ending though. It’s what I’ve always wanted for Batman and Bruce Wayne. There’s a huge surprise at the end which would make any audience leap for joy. But I can’t reveal that in this review.

All I can say is that Dark Knight Rises should not be missed. It’s just no way as exciting or awe-inducing as the first Christopher Nolan Batman flick, Batman Begins. It’s nowhere near as smart as the second film, The Dark Knight. But Dark Knight Rises, gives the satisfying ending that Batman truly deserves.

Amazing Spiderman Review: Amazing Visuals

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I have a splitting headache. I’m not used to staying up late in the morning anymore. I had to stay up late though to catch the IMAX midnight screening of the Amazing Spiderman movie. Fortunately, the movie was well worth a few hours of sleeplessness. In fact, I forgot I was watching a movie at midnight.

When the movie producers announced that they were making another Spiderman movie, I was very happy to hear the news. The third installment of the previous Spiderman franchise was absolutely terrible. I thought that they could do better and with the latest Spiderman reboot, they did just that.

I didn’t know much about Andrew Garfield and I thought he wouldn’t make a good Peter Parker. I was so wrong. He makes a great Peter Parker. Unlike the previous Spiderman movies, Garfield is given ample time to really show his acting range. In the previous films, Tobey Maguire basically had to act glum. In the latest Spidey flick, Andrew Garfield’s character, Peter Parker goes through a series of emotions from sadness, angst, anger, elation, grief and love. Many other things also happen to Peter Parker in this film and I don’t mean just emotionally. In this film, Peter Parker gets cut, bruised and bleeds. I love how human his character is. There’s another dimension to his character here as he searches not just for who is but also where he comes from. He has so many questions regarding his long lost parents. Peter Parker has abandonment issues as well.

This film though is not nearly as iconic as the previous two Spiderman flicks. I mean, who can forget the upside down kiss between Spidey and Mary Jane? Who can forget the scene where Spiderman was carried by the people on the train? There’s one scene in this new film though that stands out. That’s when Spiderman tries to rescue a little boy. This scene is one of the best scenes in the film as the tension is truly palpable. I was at the edge of my seat wondering if the boy was going to get rescued or not.  I believe that it was at this moment that Peter Parker realized his mission in life. He was no longer just a masked vigilante. This was when he became a hero.

The visuals in this latest film is so AMAZING. It helps that I watched it on IMAX. It’s so wonderful how technology has changed so much in 10 years since the first film came out. I mean, the villain, Lizard Man, looks so real and so menacing. In fact, a girl watching with us in the back row, was constantly screaming whenever Lizard Man would appear. It’s how realistic the monster is. Of course, I didn’t shout since I’m desensitized to movie monsters. Another great thing about the visuals is that Spiderman looks real as he swings from building to building. In the previous three films, Spiderman obviously looked like a CGI character. In the latest flick, I didn’t know which was CGI and which was real. The CGI was that seamless. The CGI is so detailed and just so mind-blowing. I love how the director tries to use the first-person point of view in some of his shots. The audience can see what Peter Parker can see as he jumps from buildings or swings from building to building. I can’t rave enough about how breathtaking the visuals are.

Rhys Ifans does an ample enough job as Dr. Connors aka. the Lizard. His character however is not as iconic as the Green Goblin or even Dr. Octopus. However, the Lizard is probably the scariest villain in the movie franchise. Unfortunately, Emma Stone is the weakest link. I don’t know why she was cast as Gwen Stacy in the film. She was only able to display a few emotions such as infatuation convincingly. I wasn’t convinced as to how she expressed grief. I wasn’t really drawn into her performance the way I was drawn in to Andrew Garfield’s performance. Also, there isn’t really much onscreen chemistry between the two unlike Tobey and Kirsten. I have a feeling that she may be replaced by another actress in the sequel. I’m not saying that she’s a bad actress. Somehow, she just doesn’t fit into this kind of genre.

I totally enjoyed watching the film and may watch it again. Overall, the film is visually spectacular. The performance by Andrew Garfield is great. I just can’t get over the fact that there aren’t that many iconic scenes or scenes that really cling to you. What made the original so memorable was the fact that it came out at the time when September 11 had occurred two years prior, and people everywhere were looking for a hero. Spiderman became symbolic somehow. But today, with the number of superhero flicks that are churned out yearly, there’s almost a ‘hero surplus’. Did the movie tug at my heartstrings the way the original did? No it didn’t. But it sure is enjoyable and very watchable. What I love about this film is that it’s not more about Spiderman, the hero, but about Peter Parker, the lost boy in search of himself.

Nothing To Wow About The Vow

I tried watching The Vow during the Valentine’s season to check if it was really a romantic film. The plot wasn’t that original though. It’s about about a wife, played by Rachel McAdams, who loses her memory after a car accident. The wife can’t remember anything about her husband. As a consequence, her husband, played by Channing Tatum, must woe his wife back in the hopes that his wife would regain her memory. I kept watching the film hoping that the wife would recover but the movie ended and nothing happened. The wife never remembered who she was. The moral story of the movie is: WEAR A FREAKIN’ SEATBELT!

Movie Revisited: Bridget Jones Edge Of Reason

When I saw this movie a few years ago, I didn’t like this as much as the original. But a few years later ( almost a full decade later ) I’m actually starting to really appreciate this movie. The thing is, I expected it to be a romantic comedy. But if I take the movie for what it is– being more like a comedy than a romantic movie– I really start to appreciate it more. I just laughed out loud during the skiing scene. Renee Zellwegger has impeccable timing for doing physical comedy in this movie. We may not see much of Mr. Darcy oh but he makes up for his screen time by snogging Bridget a lot. And I mean, a LOT. I’m actually envious. Snogging is top of my to do and have list: Snog for hours with a special someone ( do ) Someone To Snog with ( have ). I really do mean it. I would love lots and lots of hours of  SNOGGING to make up for the years of non-SNOGGING.


Anyway, I digress. The thing is, this movie is really genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. Is it because I didn’t have a sense of humor nine years ago? I don’t like the fact that Mark Darcy disappears during the middle part of the film. But I found Hugh Grant’s portrayal of Daniel Cleaver quite delicious. In fact, I understand exactly why Bridget Jones falls for him. In this movie, Hugh Grant is charming, humorous, attractive and very tempting. He would have been perfect for Bridget Jones save for the fact that he’s a serial womanizer. Oh well. No one is perfect. But he comes awfully close.

I’m not saying that I’m switching sides. I’m still a Mark Darcy fan. But I guess, Bridget Jones is right. Mr. Darcy could lighten up. But I guess, that is why he’s so compatible with Bridget Jones. He’s such a great foil to Bridget’s boisterous character. He’s reticent, smart yet absolutely sweet and loyal. What did Bridget Jones do in her past life to deserve a man such as Mr. Darcy? She must have created good karma.


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