"300: Rise of an Empire” doesn't top or equal the original, but this companion piece to the 2007 blockbuster "300" still offers some deliciously sly camp filled with the franchise's signature speed-ramping fights and bloody CGI gore. This time, the story utilizes love and vengeance for its central theme, while consistently delivering a sense of duality to the story and character elements presented in the "300" movie canon. The film is primarily set in the Greek waters where epic naval
‘Pacific Rim’ Film Review: Monstrously nostalgic metallic mayhem
"Pacific Rim" is epic action art for those who love robots and monsters. This monsterfest is a hybrid of just about every major cinematic genre. It showcases the grandest traditions in war, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, alien, monster, and robot movies. Full of mechanized mayhem, it taps into that primal fondness of seeing two big things tearing each other apart. It may be a generic, familiar, and cliché-ridden piece with cardboard characters, but it still wins its target audience over through the visceral
‘Angels and Demons’ Film Review: From suspense novel to audio-visual flair
This "Angels and Demons" film adaptation is a less contemplative and a more motion-driven version of Dan Brown's novel. "Angels and Demons" mounts the visuals the way I imagined them while reading the Dan Brown novel. That part is impressive. However, the suspense part that hooked me to the book gets lost in the film adaptation. For a movie based entirely around a beat-the-clock goal, the momentum gets significantly lost and the far-fetched plot surfaces more without the packed intensity and
‘Syriana’ Film Review: The real terrorist
As a modern issue-related film, "Syriana" manages to turn one of the most controversial topics in the world into a challenging, thought-provoking story of the world's grandest schemes, powerful companies, and most dangerous people. This film generates a debate on who the real terrorists are in the midst of international chaos, politics, and corruption. This political drama's morale can make one think of the gas used in every step on the accelerator and the LPG used when cooking food. America sharing
‘The Wolverine’ Film Review: The Contemplative Adamantium
"The Wolverine" is a fairly solid standalone offering that redeems itself from the significantly weaker "X-Men" spin-off "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." Somber and restrained, this film presents a refreshing noir reboot for the franchise. Compared to other "X-Men" blockbuster movies, it utilizes a contemplative tone and a deliberately slower pace, while clearly managing to keep the momentum for another brewing sequel. Interestingly, this dark and slow-moving character study doesn't feel much like a summer superhero movie, which isn't actually a bad thing.
‘Runner Runner’ Film Review: Draws and flops
"Runner Runner" is stacked with a deck of familiar stars. Unfortunately, these famous names, along with this crime flick's gorgeous locations, are only able to paint a good vibe for the first few minutes of the tale. It actually starts off with a solid draw, but it easily folds on the flop a couple of scenes later. Amidst the technically pleasing presentation, this cinematic offering is unable to hold up to the needed excitement and suspense expected for the material.
‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’ Film Review: Capping a decade of epic magic
For this concluding chapter, there is that sense of nostalgia on how everything started and how things come to an end. Gracefully aging in terms of look, treatment, and emotional exploration for the last 10 years of its existence, the "success spell" for J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series has never been broken. Now, for the final film of the legendary franchise, the little boy in Harry officially becomes a man. With it comes a capper to a decade-long saga loved by
V for Vendetta: Freedom! Forever!
The Plot of This Satirical Film Brings Itself Close to George Orwell's “1984” “V for Vendetta” is a daring and imaginative view of Britain as a fascist state in the 2020s. The character V (Hugo Weaving) is thrillingly a Batman, Joker, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Shakespeare rolled into one. A visually striking and compelling sci-fi concept as it is, this graphic novel adaptation breathes a different air from the most overused of Hollywood genres involving comic book superheroes. Being a thought-provoking
‘District 9’ Film Review: Thinking man’s sci-fi
"District 9" is a hybrid of a film: a Hollywood material that looks like a successful anti-Hollywood venture and a brilliant social commentary. Produced by the people behind the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) franchise including its helmer Peter Jackson, this motion picture delivers its universal message about ethnic tolerance through the tale of a doomed extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth, mainly in a South African ghetto, until these beings suddenly find a kindred spirit in a
‘War of the Worlds’ Film Review: A movie about family and alien invasion
Steven Spielberg's movie version of "War of the Worlds" goes a more family-driven route than the H.G. Wells novel. The cinematic engagement one can get from "War of the Worlds" centers on its being a family story more than the alien invasion plot the title suggests. The narrative focuses more on family relationships while showing a glimpse of some American tanks and aircrafts mercilessly incinerated by three-legged, tripod-looking alien machines and extraterrestrial tentacles grabbing humans toward the worst end. With some blatant