Aquaman

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Dive into the underwater world with Aquaman in this groundbreaking movie as he battles against his own step brother who tries to take over both the land and sea world. This movie is packed with action and is sure to keep you on your feet with its suspenseful plot twists intertwined. Aquaman tells the story of a man who lives both on land and the ocean because his mother is from Atlanta while his father is from land. When his stepbrother from the underwater world tries to start a war with mankind, it is Aquaman’s calling to claim the throne that so rightfully belongs to him in order to obtain a trident that will enable him to stop the war. With the help of his friend from Atlanta, he goes on a search for a missing trident that will give him the power to conquer his stepbrother, and end the war before both his homes are destroyed forever.

After watching the movie, I felt that the movie was filmed very well, with interesting  fight scenes and the fascinating plot which kept me on the edge of my seat. I also liked the emotional aspect of the movie as he had to choose between his two homes.  I am also moved by his longing for his mother who disappeared when he was a very young boy. The few romantic scenes such as when aquaman falls in love with his sidekick also add the final touch of emotion in this blockbuster.  Lastly, it was humorous at times with Aquaman’s sarcastic remarks and blunt replies, which made it a very enjoyable film to watch overall and I would highly recommend you to watch it!

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Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

fullmetal alchemist

The suspense. The action. The characters. All three elements excel in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, an anime series that explores the mysteries of alchemy and it’s characters. Edward Elric, the youngest alchemist to become a state alchemist, seeks to find the philosopher’s stone, an object that he hopes could potentially restore his brother’s original human form. It is found that Alphonse Elric, his brother, had his body lost in a botched human transmutation to revive their mother, with his soul bound to chainmail armour.

 

Meanwhile, “Father”, their enemy, cleanses himself of his seven sins: Gluttony, Pride, Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Envy and Lust. He sought to make himself perfect, but in the process loses his own humanity. The seven sins manifest into his servants, but each of them undergo human development in the process, with all of them having one unified goal to serve their “Father”. However, Greed defects from his creator and joins the Elric brothers in search for power. Together, they work to stop Father from taking over the world through alchemy. In the different arcs of the anime, the Elric brothers and their friends bond together to fight against the different personifications of Father’s Sins, only to realise that the different sins symbolise their own insecurities as well, giving them an opportunity to accept and embrace their own sins in the process.

 

Heart-wrenching scenes in the anime series explores the deep complexities of human nature, from the need to sacrifice lives in order to save their own, to paradoxes where the characters find that the sins are a part of themselves and how they should embrace them. Throughout the anime, viewers find that they can relate to the feelings of the characters, ranging from humiliation from failure to the incessant feeling of desperation. The action scenes in the anime, fitted with the beautiful composition of music truly create a sense of excitement and awe that can only be rivalled by the best movies in the world. Each episode felt like 5 minutes as opposed to 45 minutes: The content that has been packed into each episode satisfies the viewer to no ends- each meaningful hug, each torturous cry, each beaming smile; all of them contribute to the meaning that the anime hopes to bring underlying the surface. The tension between each character and their struggles mimic real life, but they each give us a sense of hope that we could potentially overcome each challenge if we chose to.

 

This anime provides comfort to the general audience; with so many things happening in the world, it is astounding to think that all these elements of humanity can be combined together in a symphony of character development and design. The art styles complement all the action that happens in the movie and I am fairly certain that most people who watch the anime will relate to the characters in a way that no other anime can replicate. I implore you to give this anime a watch, especially if you are a fan of fantasy and action anime. This is one of the few anime that has really been ingrained into my mind, with lessons that you can take away and apply in your life.

 

Yeo Hui Min Mandy

3 Wisdom

Dance Moms

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Maddie, Mackenzie, Kendall, JoJo, Nia, Kalani… you name it! These brilliant dance stars have definitely stolen my heart when it comes to everything that has to do with dance. Premiered on July 13 2011, this reality television show, Dance Moms, follows a demanding dance instructor, Abby Lee Miller, as she paves the way for young dancers and their mothers to stardom. In 2015, it even won the Kids Choice Awards for Favourite Reality Show.

As captivating as it seems, the tenacious teen girls have worked incredulously hard for the show to have earned such a huge title. They have weekly dance competitions and having a demanding and stringent dance instructor definitely does not make it an easier job for the girls to cope with. “ Second place is the first loser”, is Abby’s motto for success. Intolerable to failure, Abby has developed a reputation for pushing her students to the edge of their capabilities,  which is no wonder why these girls are such stunning and well-known dancers. Imagine having weekly competitions, a dance instructor who is always on a “ beast-mode”, strict mothers who sets unbelievably high expectations for you and perfecting your arts in dance, all at the same time. What an enormous amount of burden! However, all the hard work and effort put in is, without a doubt, worth it.

If that is not enough, the girls also have to constantly deal with the  petty little quarrels amongst the mothers and occasionally, even Abby. As expected, there would be some tension amongst them, especially with all the competitions, in which the competitive mothers want their daughters to top the charts. At times, when they observe that their daughters are treated too harshly or unfairly, and when the dance instructor have extraordinarily high standards, the protective parents would also talk Abby out of it, and if all else fails, an argument breaks out. Unfortunately, the show was abruptly cancelled on 24/10 due to Abby Lee Miller who was sentenced to one-year imprisonment for fraud.

I love this amazing television show, despite all the drama, as I am absolutely passionate about dancing. Although I lack the talent, this show gives me hope, that maybe, one day, I too can be as successful as these young yet talented individuals, or at least be a talented and skillful dancer.

“ Dance Moms”, such a sweet and simple name for a TV show, yet once in awhile, I would re-watch the episodes on Dance Moms, as my passion for dancing burns brightly in my heart.

Htoo Myat Noe

1 Purity

 

https://www.famousbirthdays.com/shows/dance-mom.html

Once Upon A Time

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Once Upon a Time… a classic opening to many stories that continue to capture the hearts of children with exciting fairy tales such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty. However, this clever opening quote is also the name of a brilliant television show. Filled with excitement, romance, adventure and more, Once Upon a Time has also captured the hearts of people of all ages, including myself.

Once Upon a Time is a very popular American fantasy show. It was created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, the creators of another television show called “Lost”. The show premiered on October 23, 2011 and has been showing ever since, with its 7th season returning this October. It starts in the city of Boston, where a bail bondsperson by the name of Emma Swan is visited by her son, Henry, whom she gave up 10 years ago. He brings her back to the town of Storybrooke. He is convinced that everyone in the town are real-life fairy tale characters from his book that have been cursed for 28 years, with no memory of their real identity.

As the story progresses, we find out that Emma is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming and she was abandoned by her parents in hopes that one day she may break the curse. You may be wondering and yes, I mean Snow White and Prince Charming from the classic animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Along the way, new characters are revealed, friendships are formed and romance blossoms.
During the release of its first season, the show was generally well received by critics. One review from IGN Movies states:

“It’s undeniable that fairy tales have universal appeal; we never tire of reading or watching them… it’s not easy to strike the right note between the real and the storybook; Once Upon a Time finds it though.                 ~Amy Ratcliffe, IGN

In my opinion, Once Upon a Time is the perfect show for me. Although it may seem long-winded at times, the complex characters and storylines keep me on edge. Sometimes, the fast-paced adventures keep me glued to my television screen.

As I watch more and more of the show, I connect with the characters. I find this show very different than others because not only is it medieval-like, in a way, it is also very modern. Although these are fairy tale characters whose lives are much different than ours, the situations they are in help me to identify with them more and help me understand the show even better.

I also enjoy the use of fairy tale characters. I would have never expected to be watching a show which placed Snow White, The Evil Queen and Captain Hook in one room. However, for some adults, it reminds them of the stories they read when they were young and for children, it continues to show them the magic of fairy tales and bedtime stories.

The main message of the show is hope. One quote that I take away from the show is “…the most important thing anyone can have. Hope. Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing.” It reminds me that I should never give up hope and that no matter how bad things are, I should always hope for a happy ending.
I recommend this show to anyone who is a fan of fantasy books, Disney classics or just anyone who is lost and wants to find that hope in their lives. Although Once Upon a Time is at its 7th season, it is still the show that holds a special place in my still childish, imaginative and hopeful heart.

Link: http://www.ign.com/articles/2011/10/21/once-upon-a-time-pilot-review

Rachel Lie

1 Purity

A Silent Voice that speaks louder than words

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If you are wondering, ‘Is this another Japanese movie?’, indeed, it is. Recently, there has been a spark in the anime — also known as Japanese animation — industry. More of these films are starting to play on the big screen, especially in Singapore! One of them was the touching and heartfelt movie — Koe no Katachi (the English title being “A Silent Voice”.)

Ishida Shouya — a young boy with an outgoing personality — meets Nishimiya Shouko, a deaf girl. Nishimiya transferred to Shouya elementary school in her final year, meaning there was a need to make new friends. Her classmates were really fascinated about her situation, having never been friends with a ‘deaf girl’. Nishimiya uses a notebook to communicate with her classmates and they help her through writing notes in class. However soon enough, due to frustration and troubles communicating, Nishimiya is isolated and bullied. Shouya takes part in this too, being an impressionable and mischievous juvenile. When Nishimiya’s mother realises that her daughter is being bullied, Shouya is turned into a scapegoat. The class turns against him, giving him the blame and turning him from ‘bully’ to ‘bullied’. Shouya is now a teenager and is finding his way through life. He decides to try to repay his ‘debts’ from the incident in elementary school in a final effort to make sense of purpose and living. Not before encountering Nishimiya again. Will he be able to make amends?

Well, whether he made up for his wrongdoings is left for you to find out and decide! This curiosity was one of the factors pushing me to catch the movie when it came out in Singapore. There are many other factors too. This movie touches on very heavy subjects like disabilities, bullying and ending one’s life. However, it does so in a touching, heartfelt manner that is sure to give you emotions ranging from laughs to tears. Shouya is a very complex character. You may detest him at first but then when you see him develop, you start pitying him. Sometimes I even questioned, who was the bigger victim because of the incident? He matures very quickly and you can’t help but notice the paralleling qualities between him and Nishimiya Shouko. Nishimiya may be deaf, but she isn’t weak. She stands up for herself and is a sweet, kind and caring girl. She’s a character you’ll love instantly. Nishimiya can be stubborn and strong-willed. However, there are moments when you can experience her loneliness and sadness first-hand which really takes her character to another level. Both characters share similarities ranging from experiences to metaphorical disabilities — some that you can only spot if you see the movie for yourself!

The most outstanding thing for me was the use of ‘voice’. As Nishimiya is deaf, she speaks through sign language instead of talking. Even though she tries her best, others couldn’t connect with her in elementary school as the bridge of communication was lost. Shouya, after being isolated himself, grows to block out what other people say. He, being tired of hearing insults and gossip,chooses to be in a way, ‘deaf’ himself. Both Nishimiya and Shouya helped each other get past the traumatic experience in a twist of events. Their troubles from friendship to family problems are all relatable and heart-wrenching, making me shed tears more than a couple of times. The symbolism was really a great factor in telling the story in one of the best ways possible.

On the whole, I enjoyed this movie so much that I could probably watch it a billion times! The animation was great in terms of quality, the plot and storyline was so real and touching and the character development was spectacular. The relatability of this film is one of its most outstanding features, one that sets it above the rest. It may no longer be in the cinemas, but do catch it when it comes out on DVD or blu ray. This catch is definitely worth a shot!

Sources:

http://koenokatachi.wikia.com/wiki/Nishimiya_Shouko

http://koenokatachi.wikia.com/wiki/Ishida_Shouya

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Silent_Voice_(manga)

Jaime Ng

2 Loyalty

Movie Review

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Although this is not the typical hour-plus movie, this review will be on a short movie, also popularly known as 微电影 in China and Taiwan, produced by our local Singaporean stars – JJ Lin.  Besides producing his music video for one of his hit songs – Practice Love, he decided to produce this short animation movie as an extension of the music  video and as a dedication to his friend who passed away in SilkAir M185 plane crash in 1997, who also became his inspiration to write the above-mentioned song.

This 11-minute long movie tells a really touching and heartbreaking story of what he and his friend went through together before she passed away. JJ Lin takes plays a computer programmer whose girlfriend, a botanist, dies in a meteor storm while on a routine space mission. Overcome with grief, he develops a programme which converts memories into images, so that people can see those whom they miss the most. The entire concept shows an obvious similarity between the plane crash and the meteor storm in the plot. The sad part of the plot was towards the end when it was known to the world that the programme he developed needed to be taken down and banned because people were too caught up with the past and the illusion of reuniting with people who have already left them have resulted in everyone forgetting to live in the moment and moving on from the past. This gave off a really strong impact as it tries to convey JJ’s message that “some memories cannot be wiped away, and some relationships, once gone, can never come back.”.

As an avid listener of JJ’s songs, I really enjoyed how he integrated the concept of futuristic into the movie to illustrate his relationship with his friend together with the song. It made the movie and the plot to be much less cliché and alienating from the typical Romeo and Juliet story but instead made it so much more touching and surprising in the sense that suspense played a big role in the movie without much words being spoken throughout the movie. I personally felt that this element made the movie much more open-ended and alongside with the fact that this movie was released even before JJ shared the story with the public, so it allowed the audience to freely interpret with their own thoughts and feelings about what’s going on in the movie.

Thus, I really encourage you to check out this short movie that really takes your emotion on a toll!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSSyJwlijAc

Rachael Fong

2L

Wreck-it Ralph (2012)

wreck“I’m gonna wreck it!”

The movie follows the trials and tribulations of video game villain Wreck-it Ralph, who was tired of being overshadowed by Fix-it Felix, the “good guy” star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decided he’s tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He took matters into his own massive hands and set off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero. During his quest, he met the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty. But it’s the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world was threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashed a deadly enemy that threatened the entire arcade. Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it’s too late?

The premise is similar to Toy Story. Once the lights go out, the characters are off-duty and have a life of their own. It turns out that acting out these video games is their day job, and there is a transportation terminal that takes them to and from their games at the arcade. Once again Disney has created an immersive world that’s rich with detail, populated by characters who have problems humans can identify with and characteristics that make even bad guys likeable.

Without a doubt, this is my favourite movie in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. I thoroughly enjoyed the intricate plot mechanics and found the concept of sentient game characters leaving their arcade games when the arcade closes and interacting with each other extremely fascinating. The movie featured many game characters that many would have heard of including Pac-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog. I was originally skeptical but soon realised that one need not be a gamer to enjoy Wreck-it Ralph.

The beginning of the movie introduced the idea that a whole other universe could exist in games, plugs and cables drawing me in and keeping my eyes glued to the screen. Towards the end, an unexpected plot-twist was revealed, keeping me on the edge of my seat and along with everyone else in the theatre, I heaved a sigh of relief when the problem was resolved.

For me, the highlight of the film was the friendship development between the two main characters, Ralph and Vanellope, as it was extremely heart-warming and brought tears to my eyes multiple times. Vanellope started out vexing Ralph with her energy, enthusiasm and wide-eyed naivety but Ralph ends up protecting Vanellope, coming close to giving up his life for her. Wreck-it Ralph is definitely a must watch, and I’ll definitely be looking forward to the sequel, Wreck-it Ralph 2, which will be released in 2018.

Source:

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/wreck_it_ralph/

 

Jocelyn Lim (3 Justice)

 

 

Jurassic World

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Released on June 12 last year, Jurassic World is a brilliant film that is reminiscent of the previous series of the 1990s Steven Spielberg Jurassic Park films. Set a little over 20 years after the events of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World takes place on the fictional island of Isla Nublar, off the coast of Costa Rica, where a theme park of genetically modified dinosaurs plunges into chaos when the most dangerous and most intelligent hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, breaks loose. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), a Navy veteran and the ‘commander’ of a pack of Velociraptors; and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), the operations manager, must race against time to save the lives of the terrified tourists, including Claire’s two young nephews, Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson).

One is brought on an exhilarating ride through a prehistoric dinosaur chase. Throughout the movie, I was on the edge of my seat, watching with bated breath as I feared for the lives of the poor tourists. The film cleverly combines the themes of adventure, action and family into one amazing masterpiece. Aside from the heart-stopping action, the theme of family and growing up is intelligently woven into the film. At the beginning, Zach is portrayed as a moody teenager who could not care less what happens to his younger brother. However, as the film progresses, Zach’s cold exterior slowly melts away and one can clearly see how much he loves Gray. The movie also brings up the importance of being resourceful in times of danger, through subtle links to the Jurassic Park movie.

Fans will be excited to know that plans for Jurassic World 2, set to release in 2018, have been made, with production set to begin any time soon. The movie will be filming under the alias Ancient Futures, which already gives a huge hint on what is to come in the following sequel. The plot thickens in Jurassic World 2, where rumour has it that geneticist Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) will work with former head of the park’s security operations Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) to create an army of military dinosaurs – and they will be successful. Furthermore, dinosaurs in the Jurassic World park will no longer be locked up in high-security enclosures, but instead be roaming freely. Also, some breeds of dinosaurs would be domesticated as pets to live with loving families. Therefore, I am sure that Jurassic World 2 would certainly be a much more intense film than Jurassic World, and that fans would be delighted to know that three of the original actors would be returning for the sequel.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic_World

http://www.crossmap.com/news/jurassic-world-2-release-date-and-spoilers-theres-a-feud-between-dallas-and-pratt-upcoming-movie-will-have-dinosaurs-available-in-open-source-29571

Chua Wei Ting (2T)

Movie Review – The Intern

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No matter how old you are, there is always something to share and pass on, and something to learn. Already in his 70s, Ben Whittaker has retired, lived a healthy lifestyle and a contented life, and yet, applied to get back to work again at one of the most successful fashion companies, when no one else would at his age. He impresses the employees with his good attitude during the interview and is assigned to be mentored by Jules Ostin, the founder of the fashion company. However, Jules was doubtful of Ben’s abilities but Ben never lost his enthusiasm. As the movie progresses, Ben does his work to the best of his ability and always helps Jules out whenever he can as Jules starts to face more challenges between home and work. As Ben continually (and never fails) to help Jules during the most challenging point of her life, their intern-boss relationship is drawn closer and Jules learns many valuable lessons from Ben as he gradually becomes her best intern, and her best friend.

Although it is not an action-packed and adrenaline-filled movie, its essence is filled with zest and sometimes humour that will definitely entertain you throughout the 2 hours of the movie. Not only so, it is poignant and meaningful as there are valuable life lessons you will be able to take away from a simple, light-hearted movie like The Intern. No matter how successful you are, sometimes it would not hurt to listen to someone’s advice or seek his or her help when you need it, even those who have a lower status than you as they might have the wealth of experience and knowledge that will definitely give you the encouragement and support you need to get you through when life throws you lemons. I believe you can also learn to adopt the all smiles, positive outlook of life from Ben and take away the most important lesson throughout the movie – learning to let go.

I definitely enjoyed this funny movie that has melted my heart with the wise words said and I believe when you step into the world of The Intern, you will enjoy and feel the energetic vibes from it that continues to tingle and leave you to reflect even at the end of the movie. Released quite recently and effectively presenting the very most important lesson of life that applies to all ages through a modern touch, this movie definitely closes the generation gap between the elderly and the young adults in a humorous and touching way. Reflecting reality at the same time, it gives you the opportunity to laugh and release some endorphins as you watch and learn together with the characters in the movie. I strongly recommend everyone to grab your popcorns and give it a go at being an intern!

Renee Ong

2 Justice

 

Movie Review : Kung Fu Panda 3

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Recently, the long awaited sequel to “Kung Fu Panda 2” finally came out in Singapore cinemas. This time, the movie revolved around Po taking Master Shifu’s place as a teacher, Po meeting his biological father, Li Shan, for the first time, and Po becoming a true ‘Chi’ master.

The movie starts off with Kai, a yak who used to be friends with Master Oogway, fighting with Master Oogway in the spirit realm. Oogway gives in and Kai steals his ‘chi’, helping Kai escape the spirit realm to the mortal world. Meanwhile, Master Shifu announces his retirement and passes on the role of teacher to Po, resulting in the Furious 5 getting injured. Po starts to doubt himself as the Dragon Warrior. Later on, he meets his biological father, Li Shan, before Kai’s minion jade statues start attacking. Hearing from Master Shifu that the only way to defeat Kai was to learn the true ways of channeling ‘chi’, Li Shan promises to teach Po the ways of ‘chi’ if Po returned to the secret panda village with him. Therefore, Li Shan, Po, and Po’s adoptive father Ping set off to the panda village, and the adventure begins.

This movie is a good sequel to ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’, and the answers to the questions in the previous movie. The new characters introduced are interesting and some people have already started writing ‘fanfictions’ on their origins. This movie is fun for all ages and is family friendly. If you are thirsting for a movie that will make you laugh, why not try watch ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’? Personally, I feel that this movie is a must see and is a choice that you will never regret as this movie will give you a laugh and will help you to relax after 1 tiring term of school.

Rachel Goh

1P

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung_Fu_Panda_3

http://kungfupanda.wikia.com/wiki/Kung_Fu_Panda_3

http://www.metacritic.com/movie/kung-fu-panda-3

http://kungfupanda.wikia.com/wiki/Kung_Fu_Panda_3 (Image)