Thursday, July 3, 2014

Team USA's Exit From the Round of 16, Told Through Tweets


The United States' Men's Soccer Team made history in their game against Belgium, resulting in their elimination from the Round of 16 of the World Cup. They ended the 90th minute with no goals scored for both sides. But football is known for its unpredictability, and true to form, all goals were scored in added time.

The second half of added time showed the world the best football ever played by the Americans. All thanks to their coach, Jürgen Klinsmann.

And then I read the tweets about him. And the tweets about US Soccer. Which made for a great morning read yesterday.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: Noah, or How the Hollywood Style of Adaptation Was Applied to Biblical Narratives


The art of adaptation has many forms (I am of course talking of adaptation in its literary sense). Adaptation is the process by which a work is transposed from one medium to another. For example, a novel can be adapted from a stage play, or a poem can be adapted into a short story. And movies can be adapted from almost any medium under the sun.

The film Noah from director Darren Aronofsky is one such example, coming out as the second of at least three films this year adapted from biblical sources. Understandably, viewers would tend to compare Noah with other biblical films such as The Passion of the Christ, The Last Temptation of Christ, and The Prince of Egypt.

There are some films which are considered modern-day adaptations of Biblical stories, like the obvious modern-day Christ narrative The Matrix, but in my opinion, these aren't so much adaptations as modern-day retellings. Yes, they may be similar, but they are distinct. Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet is a modern-day adaptation, while Romeo Must Die is a modern-day retelling of William Shakespeare's classic play. So where does the difference lie?

"Adaptation? Retelling? I'm confused now."

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Essay: "Mali"-ficent, or How Disney's Best Villain Turned from Bad to Bland

Maleficent was the Celia Rodriguez of the Disney universe. Her outfits look like she's best friends with a gay designer, and when she arrives in parties, everything stops. In fact, she doesn't need an invitation to come to parties. She is so kick-ass her grand scheme to get back at the king for not putting her on the guest list is pure genius: everyone in the kingdom will fall in love with Aurora, only to have their hearts shattered when she turns 16 and she dies of a needle prick.

That's as cruel as giving a baby AIDS by sharing a druggie's needle with her. For 16 years, people around Aurora build relationships with her knowing she will die soon if she so much as breaks her skin with a needle. It's hard to get emotionally invested with a girl like that, but Aurora is gifted with beauty and charm, so it's really a Catch-22.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: Edge of Tomorrow, or Everything's Been Done Before

The thing that hath beene, it is that which shall be: and that which is done, is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing vnder the sunne.
Ecclesiastes 1:9

You might be wondering if this is the Noah review, because of this Bible verse in fancy old English. No, it’s not. And the old English text comes from the 1611 version of the King James Bible.

What does the verse mean? In a nutshell, what it’s saying is that nothing is original anymore, because everything has been done before. Sounds like a perfect descriptor for Hollywood cinema.

The only thing that hasn't been done before is the collaboration between Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past, or The Longest-Running Non-Rebooted Movie-Comic Franchise So Far


The X-Men film franchise is now on its fifth film (2013’s The Wolverine is considered a spin-off, which would make 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine a prequel slash spinoff – or a sprinquel, if I may coin the term. What's that? No, I may not coin the term? Okay then.), and Days of Future Past (DoFP, because I love acronyms) is the second film in what we all first thought was a reboot. DoFP ends somewhere before the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, which could actually allow the filmmakers to pretend that third X-Men movie never really happened.

"Yes, I've gained weight, but only because  I actually
never thought we'd be asked to come back. ."

Friday, May 23, 2014

Review: Godzilla 2014, or The New One with Weight Problems Big Bones


Remakes and reboots are the bane of Hollywood, and could possibly cause the downfall of American cinema. This year, an American reboot of an American remake of a Japanese icon makes its way to the big screen.

This year's Godzilla audience can be divided into two camps: those who hated it, and those who loved it. Let us discuss both sides and the points they raised, whether or not they are valid.

Godzilla and MUTO chibis. Your arguments are invalid.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 4DX


My reaction at the end of the movie The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was to exclaim quite loudly, "Great screenplay!" And after absorbing the entire experience, filtering out the fancy 4DX gimmick (which shall be discussed in another post), I wondered what made me say it was a great screenplay. The best Marvel movie for me so far is still Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and that was a great screenplay. Some have called Spider-Man 2 a "bridge movie", defined as a second film in a franchise trilogy with no other purpose than to connect Parts I and III together.

Almost became a bridge movie were it not for Heath Ledger.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: Rio 2, or Why I Hate Sequels

Enable Magazine

As far as computer animation studios go, Blue Sky is probably at the back of the pack, trailing behind industry leaders Pixar and DreamWorks Animation. However, Blue Sky also seems to be making the same mistake as the other studios by attempting to capitalise on the one thing that Hollywood should avoid like the plague – sequels.

Although the babies are kind of cute.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier. IMAX 3D


I said before that I am not really that keen on watching any more Marvel movies, with the exception of The Infinity Gauntlet. So I wasn't really excited about watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier, since Captain America wasn't really one of my favourite superheroes, anyway.

But boy, was I wrong.

"Not half as wrong as getting that rebond, eh Scarlett?"

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Review: Divergent, or Why It's Different From The Hunger Games

I wasn't really keen on watching Divergent. I didn't read the book by Veronica Roth. I'm not particularly a fan of any of the leads—except I find Brit gents generally and naturally more appealing. In fact, I watched this because it had an earlier screening time at the mall on my way home and I didn't want to stay up too late (yeah, I just gave away my age). But I can say it was not a complete waste of time.

I'm going to put this one sexy back out now to get it over with.