Movie Review

blog-pic

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

JW.jpg

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

intern1.jpg

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

kungfu.png

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)

Movie Review: Zootopia

Zootopia, Disney’s 55th animated feature, was an instant outstanding hit once it was released into theatres. Why? From an animation perspective, all the animals in Zootopia are stunningly crafted, bubbling with diverse personalities and looks that draw out their distinct features, captivating the hearts of the audience. However, on deeper hindsight, Zootopia provides a parable with invaluable lessons that casts a striking reflection on the image of present-day society. The story plot capitalises on the stereotypical sly fox, dumb bunny dynamic to capture the attention of the audience, before twisting their primitively prey-predator relationship to that of close friends who stick by each other in times of need, regardless of their differences.

On another dimension, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), the bunny whose ambition is to become a cop, demonstrates courage in pursuing her dreams and breaking predetermined boundaries set for each species based on their stereotypes. Judy aspires to be a police officer, and remains determined in overcoming numerous obstacles, eventually graduating as valedictorian of her class, proving that effort pays off. However, she is greeted with even more challenges that cause her to doubt her own ability, and struggles to be given recognition as an official police officer as Chief Bogo delegates her to be a meter maid, a demeaning job for any police officer. Nonetheless, her decision to take on the case of a missing otter and knack for tracking down evidence leads her to Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a sly fox whom she ends up partnering with to solve the case.

Nick himself also has a childhood story to tell, which confined him to the stereotypical characteristics of a fox – shifty and untrustworthy. He carries these traits into adulthood after being shunned for trying to step out of the norm as an adolescent when he was rejected by Junior Ranger Scouts. He becomes a popsicle hustler who resorts to trickery and deception in order to gain maximum profit. It is no surprise that he has associations with all sorts of shady characters, clubs and organisations. However, it certainly tugs on heartstrings as we see how he was forced to conform to society’s stereotypes, and the devastating impact it had on his future. Only through Judy does he realise that not all people judge him based on stereotypes, and regains enough courage to be himself, step out of the boundaries defined by stereotypes and become a police officer.

Whilst Zootopia promises an adventure punctuated with moments that are brimming with tension and suspense, it offers deep insights into our flawed society today, reflected by the stereotypes, discrimination and other issues that are deeply rooted in our society. The parallels to today’s society mean that these issues which has been shone upon by Zootopia are opened for reflection and discussion amongst global citizens. It has certainly hit a chord with audiences from all walks of life through its poignant storyline and strikingly accurate references to issues in our society that has yet to be entirely solved. Suitable for audiences of all ages, Zootopia is definitely not a movie to be missed.

zoo

Chloe Kho (2P)

Movie Review: Now You See Me 2

nysm2.jpg

Following the success of the debut movie Now You See Me in 2013, a second movie known as Now You See Me 2 was released on June 9 this year. Directed by Jon M. Chu, the two-hour film follows infamous illusionists known as the Four Horsemen (Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Lizzy Caplan, and Woody Harrelson) as they flee an invaded stage show and end up in Macau, China, by mistake. They meet a genius tech wizard Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe), who commands them to steal a powerful computer chip that can control all of the world’s computers. The Horsemen agree and do as he demands, but soon find out that Mabry may not be who they think he is. As the saying goes ‘identity is an illusion’, anyone can be someone else, especially in a country where the Horsemen do not speak the language. With the most unexpected help, the Horsemen hatch a plan to make Mabry trip over himself in the process of trying to deceive them. To Mabry’s delight, his scheme goes as planned – or so he thinks. In retrospect, the Horsemen hope to expose Mabry and his sly father (Michael Caine) by performing on New Year’s Eve through a series of stunts, but fate has other things in store for them. Meanwhile, FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) plots his own revenge on prison inmate Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), who he believes is the catalyst of his magician father’s death.

Now You See Me 2, although unable to surpass the first movie in box office sales, was a dazzling film, with the characters’ clever magic tricks and agile moves, and of course, the cunningly intelligent plot. Although the ‘magic’ on the big screen is obviously an entire variety of illusions, it is still exciting to see the deftly executed illusions that create worlds inside a viewer’s mind. The film combines the themes of magic, science and technology, and power into one incredible product. Although one may be initially confused at the beginning if they had not caught the first film, it is no problem as the film soon blankets the audience in a make-believe fog of illusions. Despite critics who may say that part of the film’s success could have been due to the appearance of Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe as a generally pathetic villain, the film is definitely a must-watch this year.

Chua Wei Ting (2T)

 

Anastasia

anasta.jpg

Anastasia is a movie that was released in 1997. It is an awesome animated musical film that tells a story about a girl called Anastasia. I wouldn’t want to give too much away, so these are just some of the details that you can know just to get a glimpse of this fascinating film.

An evil man who hated the royal family cursed them such that they will be killed. As a part of the royal family, Anastasia had to run for her life but unfortunately, she couldn’t get onto a train with her grandmother that was setting off to Paris. A couple of years later, Anastasia had grown up. She had been raise in an orphanage and because she lost her memories, she did not know of her royal heritage. A young man and his partner “befriend” her with the intention of finding her true family in Paris as she said that the only clue she had of her family was a necklace saying “Together in Paris”. Thus they set off to Paris with many obstacles to overcome…

I absolutely adored this movie! It was one of my favourite childhood movies. I loved the music that was so melodious and wonderful. I also liked the plot of a princess finding her true self. Anastasia isn’t just a ditsy princess. She’s strong-headed, smart and brave. It was one of the few animated movies that weren’t produced by the big names, like Disney or Pixar. It also stood out in the sense that the female and male leads had chemistry, not the “Love at first sight” cliché.  Overall, I would recommend that you give it a try! You’re never too old to enjoy a good animated movie, aren’t I right?

Jaime Ng 1 Loyalty

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anastasia_(1997_film)

https://www.buzzfeed.com/juliapugachevsky/reasons-anastasia-is-the-best-animated-film-ever?utm_term=.brxXoB1KXP#.uuB01WL40r

Movies

wdsnsd.jpg

Movies are our idea of an entertaining way to kill time, or it could simply a hobby. Yet how many of these movies can you safely say has left a deep impression on your heart? Not many, I suppose. I dare say that Our Times is one of those movies.

Our Times is a Taiwanese drama centered on the plot of high school life. The protagonist, Lin Zhen Xin, is an accurate representative of many girls in this day of age- young, playful and eager to please her schoolmates- of the opposite sex. She and her friends spend the school day dreaming about singer Andy Liu, or gazing at a well build basketballer in their school known affectionately as Ouyang Feifan. However, they know better than to mix with the gang leader in their school.  Xu Taiyu, and his lackeys, makes it a point to bring disorder upon the compound.

What ensues after is a series of love triangles as well as scenes whereby everyone stands up for what they believe in. I shall not dish the dirt regarding what exactly they made a statement about so that I can leave you room for you to find out by yourself.

Our Times is so popular not only because of its attractive cast, but also because it has a relatable and inspirational plot. It calls for us to take control of our own destiny, and inspires us to make a statement on what we believe in. The story plot is weaved together with punchlines and tear-jerking scenes, adding something special to the whole storyline. One will be missing out on a gem if they choose to forgo this great production. Personally, watching it once left me wanting more and it was in no time that I was headed back to the cinemas with a ticket for Our Times.

Unfortunately, Our Times is no longer showing on the big screens, but I am sure it will be out in DVD stores and on plane screens in a matter of time. Since it is the hot topic, I do not think the plane companies and DVD store owners would pass up the chance to rake in some cash.

In conclusion, Our Times is a movie jam-packed with emotions and a rich storyline. I can guarantee you that you will not want to leave the theatre seats until the credits are rolling.

Nicolette Kum

3W

Movie review: The Mermaid

The Mermaid (Chinese: 美人鱼) is a 2016 Chinese-Hong Kong science fiction fantasy romantic comedy film directed, co-written, and co-produced by Stephen Chow.

The movie is about a playboy business tycoon who falls in love with a beautiful mermaid who’s trained to walk on her fins and hide among humans, in a “honeytrap” plot against him. She ends up going against what her mermaid friends planned for her to do, which was to kill the tycoon due to the sonar that he created, which took the lives of many mermaids. In the end, after realising what he has done, he immediately orders his people to turn the sonar off and save the mermaids who are dying from it.

It is a touching story and as the movie progresses, there are many funny antics and interesting scenes along the way. It is definitely a movie worth watching, if you like a comedic yet touching story! The Mermaid is something different from the usual movies, with mermaids which we rarely see. The graphics also makes the movie even more interesting, with octopus-humans and the underwater effects.

meirenyu.jpg

Also, famous Taiwanese singer Show Luo and famous China singer Kris Wu are also featured in the movie, so you surely wouldn’t want to miss it!

Chevonne Law (4J)