Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Thoughts on Journey to the West

journeytothewestDirector Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle) returns with this comedic action-adventure, loosely inspired by the Chinese literary classic Journey to the West.  The film tells the story of Xuan Zang (Zhang Wen), a Buddhist monk learning to become a demon hunter.  Unlike other demon hunters, who set out to destroy demons, Xuan Zang is instructed by his master to use a book of nursery rhymes to coax the goodness out of the demons.  When a certain demon becomes particularly difficult for either Xuan Zang or, extremely skilled fellow hunter, Miss Duan (Qi Shu) to defeat, Xuan Zang is instructed to seek the assistance of, the imprisoned Monkey King, Sun Wukong (Bo Huang).  However, he is warned that the Monkey King is an extremely evil trickster and must be tamed, using the methods Xuan Zang has been taught.

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Thoughts on The Unknown Known

unknownknownA decade after winning an Oscar for conducting a one-on-one interview with Robert S. McNamara in The Fog of War, Errol Morris tries to do the same for, former US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld in The Unknown Known.  The title is a reference to a quote Rumsfeld makes, describing something that someone thinks they know, in which it turns out that they don’t.  Much of the film focuses on Rumsfeld’s term as Secretary of Defence, under President George W. Bush, and his involvement in the war in Iraq.  The film also goes back to the beginnings of Rumsfeld’s political career, in which he was part of the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

My Thoughts on Captain America: The Winter Soldier

CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldierIn his second solo film adventure, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), better known as Captain America, is still trying to get used to life in the modern world, after spending 70 years in suspended animation.  Rogers has remained a part of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., doing missions with Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), aka The Black Widow, under the orders of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).  A sequence of events leads to Rogers and Romanoff on the run, while pursued by a mysterious assassin known as The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), who has ties to Captain America’s past.  Meanwhile, Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), a senior leader within S.H.I.E.L.D. and member of the World Security Council, is preparing to launch three Helicarriers, which are designed to preemptively eliminate threats.

This Week in Movies – April 11, 2014

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Here’s what’s playing this week

What I’ll Be Seeing:

Other Releases:

Toronto Film Events/Screenings:

My Thoughts on The Raid 2: Berandal

TheRaid2Director Gareth Evans returns with the sequel to his high octane Indonesian martial arts action film The Raid.  Mere hours after surviving the raid of the tenement building, Rama (Iko Uwais) is recruited into Jakarta’s anti-corruption task force to go undercover into one of the city’s largest crime syndicates and uncover the corruption in the police force.  Sent to jail as part of his cover, Rama (going under the name of Yuda) befriends Uco (Arifin Putra), the son of crime boss Bangun (Tio Pakusadewo), who Rama begins working for upon his release.  However, it turns out that the syndicate is in a power-struggle with a Japanese crime family and a gangster named Bejo (Alex Abbad), with Rama finding himself right in the middle of the chaos.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Birthday in the VIP

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A habit that I’ve developed over the years is that I would always go see a movie on my birthday.  Granted, this is nothing special, since I already see more movies than the average person, however it doesn’t stop me from going anyway.  Since my birthday’s in early spring, the film selection has never been of the highest quality, with me usually seeing a comedic release.

As I celebrate my 32nd birthday today, I thought that I would do something different this year, which happens to be the tenth year that I kept track of the films I saw on my birthday.  I figured today would be a good opportunity for me to experience the new Cineplex VIP at the Queensway Cinema here in Toronto, where I’ll see last weekend’s big release Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  I redeemed a promo code for a discount, so I only got my ticket for $7 (with the VIP tickets usually being more than $20).

It will definitely be interesting if this experience, which includes leather chairs and in-theatre food/drink service, is truly worth the extra cost.  We’ll just wait and see.

Monday, April 07, 2014

R.I.P. Mickey Rooney

MickeyRooneyIt is quite sad to hear that Mickey Rooney, one of the longest living Hollywood icons, has passed away yesterday at the age of 93.  Born in 1920, Rooney has been acting for practically all his life, beginning with the Mickey McGuire short films from 1927 – 1934.  In the late 1930s, he would continue as a teenage actor, starring in films with Judy Garland.  Rooney received his first Oscar nomination in 1940 for his leading role in the film Babes in Arms (1939) and would receive subsequent nominations for The Human Comedy (1943), The Bold and the Brave (1956), and The Black Stallion (1979).  Probably one of Rooney’s most infamous (and controversial) roles was in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, where he played the Asian stereotype I.Y. Yunioshi.

Friday, April 04, 2014

This Week in Movies – April 4, 2014

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Here’s what’s playing this week

What I’ll Be Seeing:

Other Releases:

Toronto Film Events/Screenings:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Thoughts on Noah

NoahFrom director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) comes this epic, based on the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. Noah (Russell Crowe) is a descendant of Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, who lives a simple life with his family, while the descendants of Cain, lead by Tubal-Cain (Ray Winstone) sends the world into ruin.  One night, Noah receives a vision that a great storm is going to bring about the end of the world.  After seeking the advice of his grandfather Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins), Noah sets out to build a giant arc to save two of every animal on the planet.  Many years later, as the great storm nears and Tubal-Cain and his forces prepare to storm the ark, Noah begins to realize that humanity must not survive.  This leads to him having to make some difficult decisions aboard the ark.

Friday, March 28, 2014

This Week in Movies – March 28, 2014

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Here’s what’s playing this week

What I’ll Be Seeing:

Other Releases:

Toronto Film Events/Screenings: