Movie Review: Looper

Looper makes you feel Loopy!

Imagine this. This is a world where they already have invented a time machine. It's in the future, the year 2042. Time traveling, however, had been declared illegal, so only the villains use it. They send assassins back into time to take out their enemies. The assassins are called "Looper". 

That is the basic premises of Looper, starring old action hero favorite Bruce Willis and Darknight Rises' "Robin", Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

"Yippee kai -yay, muddafuk..."
Gordon-Levitt plays the young "current" Joe whilst Willis is the older "future" Joe. Current Joe is happy with his assassin job, killing guys and collecting silver as his reward from his boss Abe. Things start getting complicated when some of Joe's fellow Loopers start killing their future selves, and are handsomely rewarded with gold! (The movie calls this "closing the loop")

Later Joe's buddy is killed by the big boss Abe, as he failed in killing his future self. Joe finds himself in the same predicament when he later also fails to kill future Joe. The big boss Abe then starts a manhunt for current Joe.

The movie goes on from there where current and future Joes work together to attempt to uncover the truth behind the killing of the Loopers' future selves. They trace the person behind the killings is a kid, who is living on a farm with his mom.
Sid's mom is the gorgeous Emily Blunt
Then future Joe decides to end all the killing by trying to kill the kid Sid, with current Joe trying to stop him.

Overall I thought the movie was quite interesting. It had enough excitement and violent action to keep me glued to my seat. There are a couple of glaring loopholes plot-wise, though, but then, which action movie does not have loopholes?

I rate Looper 3/5.

Dredd Kicks Mega Butt!

I must admit, I've never really been a big fan of ol' Judge Dredd. I mean, I liked his costume, and the guy does look really cool on his bike, and he seems like a mix between Batman and the Punisher, but somehow the bad ass cop from Mega City One just did not appeal to me like Bats.

As far as movies of Judge Dredd goes, the last one starring Sylvester Stallone was fun, but to me also was not an accurate depiction of the comic Dredd. SO when they did a reboot or sorts with the new Dredd movie, I gave it a chance since super hero movies are the rage these days. The review below captures what I feel about the movie, so check it out below:

You can't dread, Dredd
By Gayathri Nair

To watch this remake of Dredd, let me first tell you this; You do not need to watch the previous Sylvester Stallone version, nor do you have to know the background of this epic comic book character called Judge Dredd.

All you need is a passion for action, a high endurance for gore and well, a sense of humor of course.

Unlike the numerous comic book stories turned into movies, there's always a tendency for the movie to derail from it's main plot to give the audience some required (or un-required) background of the characters. This in turn, keeps non-comic book enthusiasts in the know of what's going on.

That however, is not the case for Dredd.

I came out of the cinema loving this movie. Why? For obvious reasons that are plain and simple – it had an interesting story, nifty script writing, which in hand delivered great conversations, fantastic action sequences, bombastic usage of firearms and the special effects were top-notch. It would be impossible for this action movie to take any wrong turns. And I was right.

However speaking in the shoes of a comic book enthusiast and an avid Dredd follower, you'll quickly recognize several familiarities, such as the fact that the entire movie is set in the distant future and the city it's set in is of a fictional one called, Mega City One – a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets.

We quickly find out that the justice system in this city has gone rogue. Cops are basically the people in charge of setting the rules and sentencing criminals to their fates. So in short, they are the law. Hence they get to judge, be jury and execute as well.

If you're found attempting to murder a cop (or in this case a judge), you're sentenced to death. In other words, you get your head blown off in mere seconds.

There are several other sentencing that is unveiled throughout the movie which are shown in mind-blowing, gun-fighting action scenes, thus delivering much guffaws and providing a fulfilling 96 minuet worth of entertainment.
Amidst all this chaos, enters Judge Dredd, the meanest, toughest and most robotic cop in the city. He can't even crack a joke, or take a joke, which ironically makes every scene he appears in just naturally hilarious.

And speaking of robots, yes, he does play a striking resemblance to our old friend Mr. Robocop himself. In some parts of the flick, it actually felt like watching a Robocop movie instead.

For a non-comic book reader, you'll come to learn the unique architecture of Mega City One. Citizens live in 'slum-towers,' which are boxed up apartments piled on top of each other and can go as high as 200 floors tall.

Moving along through the story line, we discover who our villains are; Peach Trees' complex leader, Big Ma-Ma (a former prostitute turn into drug lord), who is feared by everyone living under her roof.

The vicious Ma-Ma is also gang leader of a troop of criminals manufacturing a new drug in town called the slo-mo. It really doesn't take a genius to tell what this drug does to someone.

When one of Ma-Ma's people is arrested and is being led out of the complex for interrogation, the entire building suddenly goes into complete lock down. Thus starts a game of cat-and-mouse-chase between the criminals and Judge Dredd.

On tow with 'The Judge' in this installment is rookie judge, Anderson, played by Olivia Thirlby, who is also a powerful psychic that reads minds. Thirlby's portrayal was simply fantastic. Innocent looking but with powerful fighting chops, she draws in a fan base rather quickly.
All in all, we're certainly in for a great time with the new Dredd. It's a fully-loaded powerhouse-action-packed movie that delivers the right amount of ka-pow / ka-boom to settle your lust for high adrenaline cinematic pleasures. 

Bourne Legacy - Movie Review

After the superb trilogy of Bourne Identity, Borne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum, Matt Damon was apparently too tired to carry on another sequel. So instead of finding a replacement “Jason Bourne”, the producers got Jeremy “Hawkeye” Renner to play the lead in the Bourne Legacy. As the title suggests, it’s the legacy of Jason Bourne, thus Renner is not playing Jason Bourne, but Aaron Cross, who is another super soldier in a similar super secret CIA program (eg Treadstone).

The "Two Gun" Cross
 In Bourne Legacy, there is news that Jason Bourne is somewhere “out there”, and the CIA Treadstone program is on the verge of being exposed.

Meanwhile, the covert “outcome” program which is apparently similar to Treadstone, has to be shut down. Ed Norton plays Ric Beyer, whose job is to shut down Outcome before it is also exposed to the public. Outcome as it is explained, is a program which enhances its agents with special meds, making them smarter and stronger and faster than normal.

So to shut down Outcome, the order is given to get rid of all the agents and scientists of the program.

Rachel is one hot mama
 Aaron Cross, who is an agent of Outcome, manages to escape during the attack on one of Outcome’s safehouses. Along the way Aaron Cross saves scientist Marta Shearing, played by the ever gorgeous Rachel Weisz. They discover that Aaron Cross’ condition is deteriorating, as he needs the special medication to maintain his physical and mental prowess. So off they go to the Philippines, with the bad guys hot on their trail...

Overall, the movie is quite engaging, but in some parts, it gets a bit boring. The action scenes (where it occurs) are pretty exciting though, and the main actors do a fine job in their respective roles.
Not bad, hopefully the sequel to Bourne Legacy will improve. Maybe a guest appearance by Jason Bourne could help liven things up?

Rocking with the Expendables 2! Movie Review

So! The long awaited old action movie heroes reunion franchise is back! The Expendables 2 returns with bigger explosions, more old heroes as guest stars, more kicks and punches and more one-liners than an old Arnie/Bruce Willis movie combined.

What did I think of it? It was definitely cool! I thought Expendables 1 was enjoyable simply because they managed to team up Sly Stallone with Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren, and they also threw in cameos by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This time, they brought in Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme! Sure, Chuck only appeared briefly, but his moments in the movie were really great! And getting to see Van Damme duking it out with Rocky made the movie more fun in my book. Oh yeah, getting to see the Governator Shwarzenegger kick ass was a bonus too!

Plot wise, there isn’t much to shout about (now we all don’t come to the Expendables movies for the serious thought provoking plot lines do we?), but then, I think the makers of the movie intended to make a fun but pretty much brainless action movie that is done old school. And for that, I think Expendables 2 succeeded. I was thoroughly entertained.

Now all fans wanna know... Will there be an Expendables 3? It would be a blast to have guys like Jacky Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Kurt Russell, Carl Weathers appearing! And definitely must have Steven Seagal! Come on, Stallone! You can do this!

“Fantastic” FOUR, Chinese Kungfu Style!

If you are into super hero movies (which is the rage these days), mixed with some high octane martial arts Chinese kung fu action, then you can’t go wrong with the latest Chinese martial arts (or wuxia) movie The Four.

Based on a classic Chinese novel and tv series set in ye olde China, The Four is revolves around four heroes with special powers and they also have ass kicking martial arts skills to boot. Who are the “superheroes” in The Four?

1. Cold Blood – his power is that he can unleash a beast from within

2. Life Chaser – he has got some fancy footwork

3. Iron Hand – A guy with super strong fists

4. Emotionless – she may be confined to a wheelchair, but she can do many fantastic stunts, and she reads minds too!

Emotionless Crystal Liu
 Anyway the movie tells of how these four superheroes meet, and after the usual conflicts and disagreements with each other, they soon learn that it’s better to work together to take on a counterfeit currency gang led by An Shi Geng.

Looks cool
 What do I think of The Four? It’s got interesting (although not particularly original) characters, great special effects, and the fight scenes were at times, exciting and action packed.

 More of an introductory first in the series, it sets the tone for future sequels. So maybe we should get more of The Four soon.

Trailer below:


Liam's Gonna Kick Ass in Taken 2!

After the cult following that Taken has built up, who is actually surprised that a sequel would follow? 

Taken 2 is scheduled for release on the big screens this October 2012 where cool old dude Liam Neeson once again plays Bryan Mills, the super-cool ex-cia guy who can kick almost anybody's ass without raising a sweat.

Mess with me, I'll kick your ass!
So... the last time he had to save his daughter. This time is it different? Ok, Taken 2's synopsis claims that Bryan Mills and his wife (the lovely Famke Janssen) are the ones "taken" this time, and his  Bryan's daughter (Maggie Grace as Kim Mills) has a part to play in getting Bryan and his wife out of trouble.

Well, we don't really care about the plot do we? All we know is if you dare to mess with Liam Neeson, get ready coz hell will be unleashed! Just like the bad guys who are always unfortunate to be facing Diehard's John McClane  or 24's Jack Bauer, Bryan Mills' opponents will rue the day they decided to take him on. Heck, if they had watched Taken, they would have immediately reconsidered!

So ...Bring on the mayhem in October! Liam Neeson...Taken 2!

The Man of Steel is making a return! 2013!

It's a bird! No, It's a plane!

After the recent DC comics Dark Knight Rises gave us an epic conclusion to the Batman/Dark Knight trilogy, the buzz is on for the next major DC character. Yup, the big blue boy scout known by almost the whole wide world as Superman will be making his big screen reboot in 2013.

As it is a reboot, the movie won't be called "Superman 4", or "Return of Superman", but they have named it MAN OF STEEL. Quite a catchy title. Henry Cavill is playing Clark Kent/Superman. And from some recent previews he looks buff enough to pull off  being in the red and blue Superman spandex suit.

The really brief teaser trailer is also out on the web now, where we see some glimpses of Clark Kent hanging out as a fisherman, and some flashback scenes of him as a kid with a red cape. The best part was seeing Superman streak into the sky. Cool scene, and whets the appetite for the Man of Steel movie.

Hopefully the director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan can do better than the previous Superman movies. They were not very good, especially the most recent Superman Returns, which was really lame.
Also it's great to see the director match Superman against someone who can really test his powers. General Zod is a badass and for those who remember the classic Superman 2 (probably the best Superman movie to date), we recall the epic battle Superman had against Zod and his two Superman-level henchmen. We can only imagine what kind of battle they can do with today's CGI.

The effect hides any country reject into my economics.

Dark Knight Rises Review: The Fire Really Has Risen!

Ok, just finished watching the Dark Knight Rises. The haunting chant of “deshi deshi bashara bashara” is still ringing in my head. What are my thoughts of the latest Batman movie? Here goes...

So what is the Dark Knight Rises about?

Generally it starts slowly, with the viewers getting introduced to the villainous Bane. You can’t really see his face, as it is mostly obstructed by a mouth piece type device (kinda like Darth Vader). Note: Bane’s voice is also electronically muffled, also giving him a Darth Vader kind of voice.

Anyway, we learn that Bane is heading to Gotham, and his aim is to cause maximum carnage and terror. We find out later it is to fulfill Ra’s Al Ghul’s destiny (which was thwarted by Batman in Batman Begins).

In the meantime, our hero Batman has been “retired” for 8 years since defeating the Joker in The Dark Knight, and is living the life of a reclusive billionaire. He bumps into Selina Kyle/Catwoman along the way, and eventually comes out of retirement to don his cowl and cape when he sees Bane make his move at the Stock Exchange.

Dark Knight Returns
 This is where the action and excitement picks up. We finally see Bats in his full Dark Knight glory and I think we all have the same thought when the bystander cop tells his rookie partner that we are “in for a show...”

What follows is the Dark Knight’s first showdown with Bane in the underground sewers. As we know from the comics, a rusty and off form Batman is badly beaten by Bane and he is taken away to a prison (likely controlled by the League of Shadows). 

Broken by Bane
 With Gotham’s protector gone, Bane strikes mayhem and terror as he forcibly takes over in the city, and causes the arming of a nuclear device, set to detonate soon. Commissioner Jim Gordon, Detective Blake, Lucius Fox and the remaining police force do what they can to protect the city against Bane’s criminal army but are hopelessly outgunned and outnumbered. Batman eventually returns (his second comeback in the movie), and with the help of Catwoman, they take on Bane and his soldiers, and try to save Gotham from getting nuked into oblivion.

So how was the movie?

One word best describes Dark Knight Rises: AWESOME!!!

I would say that this is probably THE BEST superhero epic of all time. Yeah, the other epic superhero flick, the Avengers was great as well, but Rises is in a different league. Where Avengers was more of a fun, popcorn adventure, I found Dark Knight Rises to be a monumental roller coaster ride of excitement, drama, suspense, action and emotion. I felt despair when Batman was soundly defeated by Bane. Later seeing Bruce Wayne rise from the depth of the prison into the light of freedom almost made me shout out “Yeah!! Go get that sonnuvabitch, Batman!”

It was also great to see the whole cast play their roles convincingly. Can there be a better Batman than Christian Bale? I doubt it (though I hope I’m proven wrong). And I always liked seeing Michael Caine as Alfred. You could feel his pain and heartbreak when he tried to talk Bruce from coming out of retirement.

 The other guys like Morgan Freeman (Lucius), Gary Oldman (Gordon) were also solid as usual. The newcomers put on a good show as well - Tom Hardy played a scary, intimidating looking Bane, Anne Hathaway made quite a pretty and sexy Catwoman, Marion Cotillard gave us a surprise in the climax by revealing to us who she really was, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt almost had be thinking he was going to be the replacement Batman in the middle of the movie (I thought he would be Azreal), but in actual fact turned out to be Batman’s future sidekick (we were informed that detective John Blake’s real name was “Robin”, hint hint).

Other things that impressed me were the magnificent epic Hans Zimmer soundtrack, the special effects, the setting and atmosphere of the city, and the action sequences. The only thing that I was disappointed with was the fight choreography for the Batman vs Bane scenes. There was not much martial arts techniques displayed, more like a “I punch you, you punch me” kinda brawl. They should have thrown in some mixed martial arts techniques like armbars, joint locks, takedowns, parrying and dodging. Both Batman and Bane were supposed to be trained by the League of Shadows, after all. Oh well, you can’t have everything perfect, I guess.

Nevertheless, I was blown away by Dark Knight Rises. Definitely worth several return viewings. It's the final episode of Christopher NoIan's Batman franchise, and I would rate this one a 5 out of 5.

Any chance Nolan wants to do a fourth Dark Knight? Pleeeaase...? 

Amazing Spider Man 2012 Review

Spider Spider Burning Bright…

So…the reboot of the Spider Man franchise has begun. There’s a new director calling the shots now, Marc Webb instead of Sam Raimi, whom every Spider Man fan would be familiar with.

And now the also familiar Tobey Maguire has been replaced by the younger Andrew Garfield of the Social Network fame, as the famous Peter Parker/Spider Man.

So what are my thoughts of the Amazing Spider Man?

What I liked

1. Good production values – the set looked great, SFX were well done, Spider Man looked amazing visually. The scenes where you see Spidey swinging from building to building were breathtaking, especially if seen in 3D. The sound effects were nicely done as well.

2. The main actors were superb. Andrew Garfield was convincing as Parker/Spidey, and Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), Rhys Ifans (The Lizard), Martin Sheen and Sally Field were all excellent in their roles.
3. The car thief scene was one of my favorite moments, as well as the one with the giant building cranes.

4. There were many scenes which displayed Spider Man showing off his spider powers which are close to what he can do in the comics – lighting fast reflexes, spider sense, agility, super strength (proportionate to a spider).

5.The emo and touching moments between Ben and Peter, Gwen and Peter, Aunt May and Peter etc. It wouldn’t be a Spider Man movie without emo moments right?

What I didn’t like too much

1. The Lizard as the villain. Rhys Ifans did a good job, and the Lizard looked menacing, but overall he was kinda dull. No doubt the best Spider Man villain to me was Green Goblin. But they can’t be using him again I suppose. I would have liked to see some oldies from Spidey’s rouges gallery such as the Enforcers or Scorpion. Main villain? Hmm…All the good ones have already been used. So how about the Kingpin?

2. The soundtrack was not inspiring. To date the best Marvel movie soundtrack so far would be X-Men First Class.

3.Spider Man takes off his mask (or is unmasked) too many goddamn times. I know Andrew Garfield needs some face time, but come on!


It was a good superhero movie, much better than Captain America and Iron Man 2. I would rate it, say 3 ½ out of 5.

Oh yeah, there is a little scene at the end credits, could be giving a hint as to the next villain in the sequel. Is that you, Norman Osborn?...

Movie review of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

With so many big blockbusters coming out this summer, especially the super hero genre such as Avengers, Spider Man and Batman, who would have thought that a movie about Abraham Lincoln vs Vampires would surface?

I actually thought it was a comedic spoof of some sort. How can the former US president take on vampires? Well, that’s the crazy premise that we have been presented with by the director Timur Bekmambetov.

I must admit from what I have seen from the the trailer has intrigued me further, and seems to me to be a great kick-ass kind of movie. Anyway, “Abe Lincoln the vampire slayer” is already showing in the cinemas, so below is the full review:

By Gayathri Nair

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (3D)

Starring: Benjamin Walker, Alan Tudyk, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie, Jaqueline Fleming, Robin McLeavy

It wasn't Abe Lincoln who chopped down trees and couldn't tell a lie, but it was Abe Lincoln who chopped off heads of several vampires and couldn't conceal such a lie.

A very stylish creation by the genius minds of Timur Bekmambetov and co-producer Tim Burton, this is a movie based on a novel of the same title by Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote the screenplay of this war-horror-fantasy-action movie that tells the story of real life figure Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States who possessed a secret identity as a vampire hunter.

I'm still not sure how I feel about seeing the former President of the United States of America holding an axe and fighting blood sucking monsters. I will still admit though, it indeed was a very clever play bringing the existence of vampires into one of history's most finest and memorable achievements.

The fun in it all is to see what sort of roles vampires take throughout the different movies that have been made thus far. This obviously is no Twilight or Underworld but what sets Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter apart from other vampire movies is how they have been fitted into re-telling an event in history that shook the world during that era.

Vampires in the civil war? How could they make that work? Surprisingly, it did and in a rather thrilling way too. There were no delays in the movie and everything takes off in a timely manner. There's really nothing to yawn about in this movie.

The story starts off with Abe's childhood where he comes face to face with a monster in every sense. The murder of his mother leads Abe to vow vengeance but in his quest he learns that evil comes in different forms and there is more to this evil than meets the eye.

From his top hat right down to his iconic beard, Abraham Lincoln is brilliantly played by the fairly unknown Benjamin Walker, who brings this historic figure to life rather well and effortlessly earning his character, who has been told he will have no life except that of a hunter, sympathy and compassion.

When Abe Lincoln swings his mighty axe...

 Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who plays Mary Todd, Abe’s wife, delivers enough to make the chemistry between Walker and herself flow smoothly. Then there's Henry Sturges, Abe's mentor, played by Dominic Cooper who along with Walker creates attractive fight scenes resulting in some of the best action scenes throughout the movie.

The wardrobe and make up for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is also something to awe about. In some parts, the movie reminded me a lot of Sleepy Hollow. Of course with Tim Burton involved in the production, it certainly is no surprise.

Injecting the existence of vampires, adding mystery and suspense and covering that with actual historical facts and events, makes this one of the better movies coming out of a Hollywood that has done way too many sequels and re-boots. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is rather refreshing. Not strictly horror, this movie is more fantasy, but with real historical events thrown in, you won’t be blamed if you were, for a second, fooled to think this is what truly happened in the 1800s.