GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (2017)

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I like how the 2nd installment is very character-driven, very personal. I feel that GotG does better character development than most superheroes movies. It’s a lot funnier than the first one too. Predictable one-liners, but they give me giggles just fine.

One thing though, the soundtracks are great but they feel forced to fit into many of the scenes. Unlike Vol. 1 that’s so memorable because it feels natural.

It’s still a helluva fun ride, that what matters.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND (2017)

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Kong Skull Island is glorious! I love the “banana for scale” dramatic shots. He’s as huge as those pillars in Halong Bay!

If you’ve seen the posters, it’s pretty much what the visual style looks like on film. I personally like it. Unlike Pacific Rim or Godzilla that I think is too dark you barely see anything, Kong Skull Island is brightly colored. Visually pleasing. Perhaps too heavy on the yellow tint but it looks different from most recent monster films so that’s an applause from me.

And thank goodness, no gorilla-woman romance whatsoever.

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (2016)

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Rogue One: Another Daddy Issue Story

Rogue One’s time frame is too far from Revenge of the Sith to be called Episode 3.5. The entire movie is merely the extended version of A New Hope’s opening scene.

This is the most menacing Vader has ever looked in the franchise. Full-on badassery! Gareth Edwards certainly knows how to work those Vader bits (including the dad joke that got me choked).

Donnie Yen’s Chirrut steals the spotlight for me. He’s probably the most well-written and performed character in Rogue One. And also K-2SO, the second snarkiest robot after TARS from Interstellar.

Last but not least, the honorable mention: The CGI faces. Smooth.

HACKSAW RIDGE [2016]

“In peace, a son buries his father. In war, a father buries his son.”

What I admire about war films is it’s never about the war itself. It’s always about the humanity, patriotism, courage — and this time, Mel Gibson’s directorial comeback (it’s been 10 years!) proven to be a solid victory with its portrayal of faith put as the spotlight.

Desmond Doss played by Andrew Garfield (who gives his finest performance) wrestles with his belief not to bear arms in the violence of war, and yet ultimately saves 75 lives.

Hacksaw Ridge is a remarkable visual narrative of inner struggle when man’s religious conscience conflicted with his duty and the safety of his band of brothers. Will he stand on his ground?

An honest illustration of the brutality of war and the unyielding faith of a man.

DOCTOR STRANGE [2016]

I’m not too familiar with the character as much as the other superheroes, but I’m glad they bring him into the MCU because Doctor Strange is a breath of fresh air in a trend where everything exploded and destroyed all the time.

I’m usually not crazy about films that rely too heavily on digital fx. However, this one is a necessity that will not only gratify your viewing pleasure, but eventually becomes a cinematic sorcery that brings art to life. It’s like being inside the world of M.C. Escher’s painting “Relativity”. Surrealism at its best! A wild acid trip you can experience without taking any recreational shrooms. THIS is what CGI made for.

Now let’s put aside the visual orgasm for a moment, and talk about the humor and pop culture references. I love the Hannibal’s mouth & body restraint and Sherlock’s popped collar easter eggs! I initially thought he was a frigid character, turns out Stephen is strangely amusing.

Most important of all, the silver-haired Benadryl Cumbersmaug without a doubt is something to drool over.

COLD IN JULY (2014)

It started off with a promising premise, until the plot went all over the place. It’s like the writer couldn’t make up his mind, then completely rebuilt the story at the last minute.  I know it’s supposed to be a ‘plot twist’ some sort. Well, it gets twisted severely it breaks the story. I’m sorry, a cold shoulder is all I can give. Even with strong performances such as from Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, and Don Johnson weren’t enough to bring back Summer this July.

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (2014)

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I do not have any complaints. This hardly ever happened.
Days of Future Past exceeds my expectation. And trust me, expectation was pretty high considering the marketing hype.

First off, I might have underestimated Quicksilver. But oh boy, with not much of screen time, Evan Peters nailing it pretty damn good. In fact, I can say many of the greatest bits have Quicksilver in it. He is a scene stealer. Even when Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto are ALL in the room.

I remember McAvoy saying Days of Future Past is better than The Avengers, well they both are VERY different. No brainer all-out badassery with lots of cool stuff? You go for The Avengers. If you wanna see something that has more depth, character-driven, and sentiment, Days Of Future Past is the one to go to.

It is safe to say, Days of Future Past is the strongest installment of the X-Men franchise. I can’t be any happier if it ends here. It’s a perfect closure. Almost too good to be true. But then again, we’ll be getting X-Men : Apocalypse, in which I am most definitely excited for.