Friday, January 27, 2017

2016 Films ~ My Top 10 Memorable Characters

Aside from doing a top 10 list for my favourite movie of the year, I've also decided to do a top 10 memorable characters from the movies I've watched in 2016 (as you can obviously see from the title of this post). I actually had planned to do this before for 2015 movies but I was short on time so I decided to scrap that plan.

Listing 10 movies was hard enough, now it is for characters (and there are tonnes of them!) so this is an even tougher task to accomplish. So to make my job (slightly) easier, I will only take one character per movie, so even though they are many interesting characters in one movie, I would only picked one that I personally think the best.

These characters are not necessarily have to be the main characters, it can be a small role within the film, but the characters have to make a huge impact on me, or make an impressive impression, to make it into my list.

So without further delay, here are my top 10 memorable characters from 2016 films. I hope you enjoy the list.

10. Lieutenant Commander Leonard McCoy, M.D.
Film: Star Trek Beyond
Actor: Karl Urban

I like this character, he's funny and sarcastic. Even though he might be blunt in his reaction to things, above all he's a good friend and an important crew of the USS Enterprise. There are many characters in Star Trek Beyond, old and new, but Leonard McCoy stands out from the rest with his wit and sarcasm remarks. I hope he continue to stick around in this franchise because he brings a lot of the charm into the movie as well.

9. Lunafreya Nox Fleuret
Film: Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
Voice actor: Lena Headey

Eventhough Lunafreya only has a small role in this film, she still give quite an impact on me. I was captivated everytime she was on screen, she just has that persona and charisma about her. She's a strong-willed person and even though she may seem soft and delicate from the outside, you can tell that she has a strong heart and that she will endure every challenges that befall her. I would say that she's a very good role model and someone who you could look up to as a character.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

My 2016 Top 10 Films

It's my first post for 2017! Let me start the year by counting down my top 10 favourite movies of 2016. I won't be splitting the post into two like I'm used to in previous years so all 10 movies will be listed here.

Altogether I had watched 36 movies at the cinema (I think that's a new personal record for me). It may sounds like an easy task (to pick 10 movies out of only 36) but to be honest, it is still not an easy thing to do.

So here are my 2016 top 10 movies of the year.

10. Storks

I watched quite a few animation films in 2016 and I must say, Storks is a very funny movie. I would say that the humour, especially when it comes to the characters' dialogue in the movie, are more geared towards adults. But luckily the movie also filled with cute characters and physical gags that appealed to kids (and adults!) as well. So it really is a movie for the whole family to enjoy. The two lead characters are beyond hilarious, the babies are super cute, and even the minor characters like the wolves and penguins are fun to watch. I'm sad to see that this movie is not as high-profile as some of the other top-performing animations of the year like Zootopia, Finding Dory and Secret Life of Pets. Hopefully more people will appreciate it once they discover it on the small screens.

Image from Storks official website.

9. Zootopia

Speaking of Zootopia, it is my number nine movie of the year. In my review, I mentioned that the climax of the movie was a bit underwhelming, but overall Zootopia is still a solid movie. The world that the movie is presenting is truly magnificent and the characters are truly diverse not just in terms of the species of the animals but also in their personalities. The story of overcoming hardship and not judging a person (or should I say animal) from outer appearance and stereotypes are also very commendable and encouraging for an all-ages movie. And it seems I'm not the only one who likes this movie as evident by the box-office numbers. As of this writing, Zootopia is the fifth highest-grossing animated film of all time with worldwide gross of more that $1 billion. That's impressive!

Image from Disney Malaysia official website.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

What to watch? ~ 2016 movies: December

It's the last month of the year! But wait, before we put our attention to the 2017 movies, there are still some movies in December that look pretty interesting. Below are some of them that caught my attention. It's almost new year but I hope I'm not too late to share this. Check them out below.

1) Sing

Release date: Dec. 2, 2016
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, Nick Kroll, John C. Reilly

There are quite a few trailers for this movie and I must say that all of them look super entertaining, and the variety of music that were featured in those trailers definitely will help in getting people's attention to the film. It looks like the animated animal version of American Idol where the characters in the film compete in a singing competition. Singing competition is definitely popular in pop culture so I think the film hopes to capitalize on that as well. It does looks like it has a good and uplifting story of overcoming hardship, so I hope the movie will not only be fun but inspiring too.

Watch Sing trailer here.

2) La La Land

Release date: Dec. 9, 2016
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, J. K. Simmons, Tom Everett Scott, Finn Wittrock, Meagen Fay

Here's another musical but this time it's not an animation but a live action musical film, which I must admit I don't normally watch in cinema but La La Land does intrigued me with it's fabulous trailers; the songs, the settings and the cast look amazing. The film received universal acclaim from critics and had won numerous awards with tons of nominations. It is also currently seen as a front runner for the Oscars. Quite the buzz, right? I'm considering to check this out at the cinema when it is released in my country.

Watch La La Land trailer here.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Amazing Race Asia Season 5 Winners!

Parul (left) and Maggie
Congratulations to Maggie & Parul for winning the 5th season of The Amazing Race Asia! These beauty queens not only powered through all the challenges and finished the race first but also made history by making the contestants of the Philippines to win the TV reality competition for two consecutive seasons (season 4 of the show also won by contestants from the Philippines). Good job girls!

I really enjoyed this new season of the TV show, partly because it has been awhile since we had a new season, but even on its own, season 5 is a really good and entertaining season. It has interesting contestants, showcasing beautiful and unique places in Asia, and also contained some pretty challenging tasks as well as some heartbreaking moments for the contestants. I had missed an episode for this season (in which I will try to catch the re-run of it as soon as I could possibly can) but overall I can say that I'm very entertained and pleased with season 5 of The Amazing Race Asia.

While I pretty much enjoyed this new season, I also have some criticisms. First of all, they eliminated a team way too early, and I'm not talking about the end of Leg 1 of the race. They eliminated a team after the very first task of the season which is a pretty cruel thing to do in my opinion. If they don't have the budget for 11 teams, they should have make it a 10-team race from the beginning.

Another criticism is about the countries that they visited, they were only South-East Asian countries. I think they should of at least bring the contestants to one country outside of the Asia region. Or if they couldn't afford it, it could be one of the countries in Asia but outside of the South-East Asia region like Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, India or Sri Lanka. But in their defense, it's a pretty tough economy in 2016 so they might have less budget for this season than they used to.

Anyway, I hope we don't have to wait few more years for another season of The Amazing Race Asia. It has been a great season and I hope they could keep the momentum going by making a new season every year, or perhaps every other year if they couldn't secure enough fund to make it an annual thing.

Before I end this post, I would also like to congratulate Yvonne & Chloe from Malaysia (Malaysia Boleh!) and Eric & Rona from the Philippines for making it into the finale and getting second and third place respectively. A pat in the back is also due to all the people behind the scenes for this great season as well. You all have done a great job so well done!

Yvonne (left) and Chloe

Rona (left) and Eric

Images from the official The Amazing Race Asia website.

Friday, November 25, 2016

What to watch? ~ 2016 movies: November

My apologies for keep on delaying this. I have been busy with some other things in my life...and I have been lazy too! My apologies again. (T_T) Now let's just continue on, shall we? Let's look at the movies that will be released in November that I'm most excited about.

1) Doctor Strange

Release date: Nov. 4, 2016
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins

I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie when it was first announced. I wasn't even sure if I would be interested in it. But as the movie was revealed bit by bit to the public - from casting news to concept art, images and finally the movie trailers - I find it very fascinating and now I'm super pumped to go and watch it at the cinema. I haven't seen it yet as of the writing of this post, but I've read a lot of positive feedback saying that it's a good movie so I will definitely find some time to go and watch it. Can't wait!

Watch Doctor Strange trailer here.

2) Loving

Release date: Nov. 4, 2016
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Nick Kroll, Michael Shannon, Marton Csokas, Bill Camp, Jon Bass

I'm not sure how much is this story or court case is well known in its origin country but as someone who is not from the United States, I have never been aware of this case before but that doesn't mean I'm any less enthusiastic to watch it. From what little synopsis I've read regarding this movie, it sounds like a very good and touching story. Usually this small type of movie don't really get a release date here but I can see efforts have been made to bring smaller and independent movies in my country so hopefully Loving will find its way here.

Watch Loving trailer here.

3) Arrival

Release date: Nov. 11, 2016
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma, Mark O'Brien

This seems to me like an intellectual movie, a movie with a story that asks us to think instead of just having fun at the cinema. I'm definitely intrigued! Based on a short story by author Ted Chiang titled "Story of Your Life", this movie seems to have not just a compelling story but also great performances from a strong group of cast. Hopefully it will reward its audiences with a satisfying watch.

Watch Arrival trailer here.