My little movie watch(ed)list.
Do click on the posters to check out the storyline, cast and rating on IMDB. Happy hunting!
Ghostbusters (2016) 4 out of 5

Ghostbusters (2016) 4 out of 5

I must say, I was truly impressed! Lots of hate for this all-girl ghostbuster team from the very start. It still has a low rating on IMDB though which I can’t quite understand. Perhaps it’s like making a movie remake of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer and they decided to replace her with a male lead – which would drive me insane! I guess from that perspective, I can understand the hate, especially from the loyal fanbase since 1984. I’m not a fan, mostly impartial. If you are somewhat impartial and looking for a fun movie night out with the girls or snuggle buddy, I truly recommend it =) Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig did not disappoint! Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon (new in my personal actor database) really tied the team together. So IN LOVE with the character Jillian Holtzmann! CGI, music and storyline were all pretty awesome. Understand the hate, but damn…. this is still a pretty good movie in my very bias opinion. 4 out of 5.
The Do-Over (2016) 3 out of 5

The Do-Over (2016) 3 out of 5

Starring Adam Sandler and David Spade. This is definitely a feel good movie and not of the rom com variety, which is refreshing. It’s a unique and hilarious tale of two high school best buds getting together again after meeting up at their school reunion. It has a hint of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) but this time, middle aged men hoping to get a second shot at life and done in quintessential Adam Sandler style. Not everyone’s cup of tea though, but I personally find his movies awesome. My favourite would be 50 First Dates (2004) and The Wedding Singer (1998). I remember watching 50 First Dates with old high school friends, Sonia and Cheryl during my mini trip to Melbourne waayyy back when. Most movies and even songs for that matter, have specific sentimental values usually coinciding with particular phases in my life, friends and yes, attached emotions. I can recall feeling young, vibrant and happy during that little Melbourne movie outing. There is something uplifting about meeting up with old friends, catching up, learning to be independent as adults, chasing individual dreams – I guess, it’s the case of ‘growing up apart, together’ if that makes sense. Back to The Do-Over, Adam’s movies tend to be humorous visually, less talk and wit needed. A direct comedy punch and not everyone can take it. I like his movies and this movie in particular despite the (at times) uncomfortable visuals, there is a brilliant storyline and true to Adam’s style, it’s heartwarming and gives you the warm feel-good fuzzies.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016) 3.5 out of 5

The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016) 3.5 out of 5

Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain actually look really good together. I’ve yet to see Jessica Chastain act in any fantasy films before so that was pretty refreshing. Emily Blunt played Freya. I am not entirely sure how Freya was written, how Emily Blunt was supposed to play the character, but she really did bring some heart and at times, vulnerability to the ice queen. I’m very sure that is really hard to pull off for an actor. Charlize Theron can do no wrong in my eyes and did a stellar performance in the brief scenes she had in the film. The effects, character wardrobe, set locations and film soundtrack definitely deserve a strong mention too. Chris Hemsworth? He plays hero roles very well, so no surprise he played the charming, strong and delightfully witty Eric effortlessly. I am still waiting however for him to play a much different sort of role in future. That would definitely be a movie I’d make a point to watch. A movie that wouldn’t need green screens or cgi or any weapons. Yes, a weaponless Chris Hemsworth movie. The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a feel good, very sweet adventure themed family movie. All the strong basics of a good movie. With emphasis on good. Not great.
The Lazarus Effect (2015) 3 out of 5

The Lazarus Effect (2015) 3 out of 5

I’m not a fan of horror flicks (for very valid sanity reasons) but this was pretty good. Sorta in between Blair Witch Project and … actually I can’t really say. For me, Blair Witch Project was crazy mind boggling scary – compared to that – The Lazarus Project wasn’t so bad. I think I fell into the Olivia Wilde trap PLUS Donald Glover (from Community) was in it. In short, don’t watch it alone at night. Just enough scary for horror flick averse movie goers. Recommend it for movie nights in with microwave popcorn or in my case – chocolate.
Filth (2013) 5 out of 5

Filth (2013) 5 out of 5

James McAvoy plays Bruce Robertson, a corrupt, junkie Scottish cop with bipolar disorder (well predominantly, because mental illness in itself is a vast overlapping spectrum). I watched up to only 75% of it because truly, it became a little too hard to watch. Really gritty, dirty, perverted bits in the storyline, but in its defence it wasn’t the entire storyline. It still was done in good artistic taste. It was beautifully executed and director Jon S. Baird did a stunning job and definitely did this novel by Irvine Welsh justice. I finally got it! I finally understood the movie and its objectives. No, no epiphany on my part. I stumbled upon an interview podcast with both James and Jon. It achieved its goal of being a non general viewing crowd pleaser and a movie that makes you decide and gives you power in terms of developing a perspective. It is up to you to decide if you love or hate Bruce Robertson, or love and hate him at the same time or worse, feel nothing at all. In many ways, this movie brings you to the dark (and also delicious) side of mania. It forces you to walk in his shoes through his inner painfully disturbing monologues. Lets just say, I was not at all prepared. I didn’t read the movie synopsis beforehand although the movie poster of him snorting lines of cocaine should have been an indication. After watching the 30 minute podcast. It made me realise that perhaps it wasn’t the crudeness of the character that I couldn’t take. It was my unwillingness to decide that made me stop watching. I still don’t intend to finish the movie. Some things are best left untouched and undecided. With that strong reaction alone, 5 out of 5. Any movie that takes you to the edge (and hopefully back) deserves acknowledgement of at least it’s brilliant originality. Watch with extreme caution.  
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) 5 out of 5

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) 5 out of 5

I knew the ‘self healing guy’ (En Sabah Nur) at the beginning of the movie looked familiar. That was Oscar Isaac (from Sucker Punch and The Force Awakens!). Definitely a pleasant surprise. Evan Peters (AHS alum) came back as Quicksilver and Olivia Munn (The Newsroom alum) made an appearance as Psylocke. Even Sophie Turner from Game Of Thrones didn’t disappoint as young Jean Grey! Similar to James McAvoy, she definitely nailed the American accent. I have seen many British actors fail miserably trying to make the switch. Not easy for sure. But ddayyuummm Sophie Turner, gurl you nailed it! Many new faces, perhaps a little too many but I still truly enjoyed the movie. Similar to X-Men: Days of Future Past, I was hooked from the get go, so much so time passed by reaalllyy fast. It was 2 hours 24 minutes apparently, but to me, 45 minutes at most. I can’t think of anything witty to say really, it was just awesome. I might have preferred an ounce more character development. At some points, it almost felt like just a plot continuity checklist of all the X-Men characters and movies. It felt like a transition movie and an introduction to the next era of the X-Men cast. I really should find this annoying, but I surprisingly don’t. Because if these newer cast members eventually take over the future X-Men movies to come, I must say, I’m pretty excited. No spoilers in this little write up. I shall not put anyone through the agonising pain. I wish there were more Prof X and Magneto scenes though. I can’t quite get enough of that particular love hate mutant bromance. Also wished there was more of Mystique, or a deeper character follow up. I guess that’s the only part I didn’t like, how the movie covered individual character storylines at surface level. But hey, small price to pay for awesomeness, killer effects and interesting screenplay. 5 out of 5.
Room (2015) 5 out of 5

Room (2015) 5 out of 5

Room is an amazing movie. Beautifully shot, written and with an amazing cast. No big explosions, no fight scenes and not a general viewing crowd pleaser. I gather most of us want a break from our everyday lives and watch something exciting and fun, something uplifting and in most cases, that involves supernatural vampires or lightsaber fight scenes. This has none of that. Truth be told, it made me rather depressed and I didn’t have it in me to write a review at that point in time. The storyline is bound to make you shed a tear or two, or angry hot tears in my case. All I could think of was the 2008 Fritzl case. Austrian, Elisabeth Fritzl was help captive for over 24 years in a concealed basement area by her father Josef. She was held prisoner by her father and was raped, beaten and sexually assaulted which resulted in seven children. It was a huge media frenzy in 2008. I guess certain stories never leave you and cling on no matter what. The dark evil side of human nature. It doesn’t make it more acceptable though. Perhaps the use of the phrase ‘human nature’ is too generous for Josef Fritzl. The movie has a similar vibe, less disturbing (thankfully). From start to finish, it had my 100% full attention, no multitasking was possible. It was that emotionally intense. You empathise with the characters and sponge up their emotions, and therein lies the problem. Love hate relationship with this movie. Love for its actors and screenplay. Hate for how it makes you feel once the credits pop up. Still 5 out of 5. No contest. Just watch with caution if you have strong empathy in general. I suggest a blankie, a box of tissues and a cat (if any).      
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) 5 out of 5

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) 5 out of 5

I finally managed to watch the latest addition to the Star Wars saga and I feel like hitting myself with the lightsaber equivalent. How could I have not watched this in the cinema and had more gusto with its arrival? I do have some pleasant memories attached to Star Wars movies in the past especially during my sekolah rendah years. I’d be camping out in my parents room with my siblings glued to the tv on late nights watching reruns on Mediacorp Channel 5 and then more awesome memories whilst in sekolah menengah with my best friend, Low Ee Lyn. In fact I might have the poster still from Episode II. We were mad over Queen Amidala (then Padme) and me personally, Obi-Wan Kenobi. We coined our own Star Wars names =) Ee Lyn was Ellowkin Skywalker and me, Elly-Wan Kenobi. Ee Lyn even bought me some Star Wars wrapping paper at one point. The force was strong with us two pals (miss you kawan). Sentimental attachments aside, I’m happy to say Episode VII is definitely not a let down. A lot of new faces. Although faces I’ve seen several times in different movies the past decade or so naming, Oscar Isaac from Sucker Punch (2011), Adam Driver from TV series Girls HBO, Domhnall Gleeson from Anna Karenina (2012) and Greg Grunberg from TV series Alias and Heroes. I have a strong attachment to these actors from the get go so seeing them in the movie made it for me, an even meaningful reunion of sorts. The current generation of actors. I wonder what it would have been like if it had Tom Cruise/Brad Pitt generation actors. Overall 5 out of 5 and not even counting in sentimental attachment. It’s good. Shame on me. Well, I guess it’s not named The Force Awakens for nothing =) Touche.
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