This has got to be the cutest of the Despicable Me franchise.
Minions tells the story of these single-celled yellow organisms who have been evolving since the dawn of time. Minions live to serve but they often find themselves serving masters for a short time. From the Tyrannosaurus Rex to Dracula to Napoleon, the Minions eventually find themselves without a master. With no one to serve, the Minions fall into a deep depression, losing their zest for life. Deciding that they could no longer wait around in misery, Kevin (Pierre Coffin) decides to embark on a quest to find them a new master. Stuart and Bob (Pierre Coffin) volunteers and the trio begin their search for a new evil master. They eventually meet Madge Nelson (Allison Janney), Walter Nelson (Michael Keaton) and their family of robbers who were headed for Villian Con. There, the minions meet Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), who becomes their master with her husband, Herb (Jon Hamm).
But all’s well doesn’t end well when their plan to help Scarlet steal the Queen’s crown turns into Bob becoming the new king. Feeling betrayed, Scarlet embarks on her mission to destroy the minions. Her plan fails again and the minions save the day with the Queen reinstated. Scarlet had one more trick up her sleeve and was just about to get away with the crown when a young Gru (Steve Carrell) foils her plan with his Freeze Ray. Young Gru sees the minions and instantly has a connection with them. Knowing that they’ve finally found the master they’ve been looking for, the minions follow after Young Gru.
I really enjoyed this movie because it has a lot of laughs and basically takes you away from reality for a while. Granted even if it does not have much of a storyline, it still manages to explain where the Minions came from and how they ended up with Gru. I went into the cinema thinking that they were not going to cover that part because I thought it was just going to be about their life before Gru. So it was a nice surprise when they added a young Gru in. It was also nice to see how Gru actually had a ‘love at first sight’ thing with the minions which made him accept them almost immediately.
Sandra Bullock as the voice of Scarlet Overkill was just perfect. You could almost imagine her performing the actions her character was doing. I almost couldn’t recognize Jon Hamm’s voice because he made it sound quite different for his character and it matched the personality of his character. Allison and Michael both brought their own take of personalities for their character and really made it their own; which was a real bonus.
All in all, Minions is a really fun and enjoyable movie that both kids and adults can appreciate. Laughs are guaranteed and you will definitely not be disappointed!
As an avid dinosaur lover, it is suffice to say that Jurassic World was one of my most anticipated movies of the year. I love the Jurassic Park series and I’ve even caught Jurassic Park in 3D. Till this day, the Velociraptor scene in the kitchen still has me freaked out of my mind.
Set 22 years after the first Jurassic Park in the same Isla Nublar, Jurassic World is a fully-functioning Dinosaur theme park that is home to genetically cloned dinosaurs. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the park operations manager who oversees the park’s day-to-day functions as well as accounts and sponsorship. As part of a way to get to know her nephews better, she invites them to Jurassic World to spend time with them. But as she gets swamped with work, she gets her assistant, Zara Young (Katie McGrath) to look after them. As the park faces a drop in number of visitors, the board and the owner of Jurassic World, Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), green-lighted Dr Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) to create a genetically modified dinosaur that was bigger, better and scarier. Along with Simon, Claire introduces Simon to the new dinosaur that they’ve created – the Indominus Rex. Loving the new attraction, Simon asks Claire to consult an expert, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), and get him to evaluate the enclosure before it opens to the public.
Owen is a Velociraptor trainer who effectively trained four velociraptors – Blue, Charlie, Delta and Echo; to accept him as Alpha. Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), is head of security with InGen. He believes that the Velociraptors were the key to becoming great military weapons but Owen disagrees. Even after getting turned down by Owen once, Vic remained undeterred.
After her meeting with Simon, Claire goes to visit Owen to ask him to evaluate the Indominus Rex’s enclosure. They go to the enclosure and after surveying it for a bit with the information he needed, Owen concludes that the Indominus Rex was dangerous because she was raised in complete isolation. Claire disregards his comments and Owen discovers scratch marks on the walls. Worried, Claire asks the enclosure personnel to pull up the thermal imaging. But to her surprise, there was no thermal hit at all. As Claire rushes to the control centre to contain the situation, Owen and two other personnel decide to check the enclosure out. As she didn’t have visual, Claire relied on the help of two tech park operators, Lowery Cruthers (Jake Johnson) and Vivian Krill (Lauren Lapkus), to describe the situation to her.
Lowery tells Claire that the Indominus Rex hadn’t escaped and that she was still inside her enclosure. It turns out that the Indominus Rex had masked her heat signature which resulted in no thermal recognition. Realizing that they had been tricked, Owen tells the others to leave the enclosure. As the door closes, Owen and another personnel escapes, only to find out that the Indominus Rex had managed to get out as well. Hiding underneath a truck, Owen tries to think of a way out. He sees the Indominus Rex head over to a truck that the other personnel was at and unfortunately for him, the Indominus Rex picks up his scent and eats him. Owen hurries to douse his body in gasoline so as to mask his scent. The Indominus Rex comes over to his truck and sniffs the area Owen was at. Owen held his breath and the Indominus Rex walks away, heading into the park’s interior.
Over at the Control Centre, Masrani calls for the Asset Containment Unit to head out and capture the dinosaur alive. But after the entire unit gets killed, Claire orders for the crowd to be cordoned off within the park center. Unbeknownst to her, her nephews, Zach Mitchell (Nick Robinson) and Gray Mitchell (Ty Simpkins), had just gone off in the Gyrosphere that explores the herbivores in the valley. Despite being told to head back, the brothers decide to go off track where they eventually come face to face with a herd of Stegosaurus and the Indominus Rex. Claire finds out that her nephews were missing for a period of time after a phone call with her assistant. Wanting to find her nephews, she enlists Owen’s help and the two head off to find them. As they begin their journey to track the boys, they discover a severely injured Apatosaurus. Owen holds the dinosaur as he gently coaxes it. Claire moves to touch it and together, they sat with the Apatosaurus as it took its last breath.
Standing where they were, they see the rest of the herd lying dead on the ground from the Indominus Rex’s attack. Even more determined to find the boys before it was too late, Owen and Claire hurries to track them. They eventually follow the boys’ track to where the original Jurassic Park building was. Realizing that there was a jeep missing, Owen and Claire get to work on jump starting the other jeep when the Indominus Rex arrives. They barely escape the dinosaur’s rampage and return to the main park where they got word that Simon had taken two security personnel with him to hunt down the Indominus Rex. But their brave attempt was foiled when the Indominus Rex crashes into an aviary which housed the flying dinosaurs. As each winged dinosaur leaves the aviary, they viciously collide with the helicopter with an intent to kill the passengers inside; bringing the helicopter down into a fiery end.
Gray and Zach reach the main park just as the flying dinosaurs start attacking the park visitors. They had a short-lived reunion with Zara who gets picked up by a Pterosaur and toyed with until her and the Pterosaur gets eaten by the Mosasaurus. They are finally reunited with Owen and Claire, who together with the armed troops subdued the flying dinosaurs.
After Simon’s death, Hoskins assumes control of the park and decides to use the Velociraptors as weapons to kill the Indominus Rex. Owen reluctantly agrees, only if they did it his way. So, together with the raptors, Owen heads out to locate the Indominus Rex. The raptors successfully leads them to the Indominus Rex where Owen realizes what the defining DNA was in the Indominus Rex. Realizing that the Indominus Rex had now assumed the Alpha role as it had Velociraptor DNA, Owen tries to get everybody back to their vehicles. Some got away while others were hunted down and killed by the raptors. Owen manages to save his colleague, Barry (played by Omar Sy), before going after Claire and the boys. While this was happening, Vic had sent Dr Fong away with the other dinosaur embryos; helping him to save his research. Owen, Claire and the boys make it back to the Centre just in time to see Vic packing up the rest of the dinosaur embryos.
Vic tells them his involvement with the genetics project but was cut off when Delta, one of Owen’s Velociraptors, corners him. He tries to mimic Owen’s gestures only to have his arm bitten by Delta who then proceeded to finish him off. The four escape and gets cornered by Blue, Delta and Echo. Realizing there was really no other way out of this, Owen tries to re-establish his bond with Blue, just as the Indominus Rex arrives. Thinking that they were done for, Owen was surprised to see Blue and the others protecting them against the Indominus Rex. The 3 raptors then attacks the Indominus Rex only to be overpowered by the latter. Delta and Echo gets killed while Blue gets flung against the wall. Seeing that they needed more help, Claire goes off to lure the park’s veteran, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Together with Blue, the two dinosaurs work together to push the Indominus Rex towards the lagoon where the Mosasaurus came up to pull the Indominus Rex in with it.
The next day, the park visitors are brought back to the mainland and the boys are reunited with their parents while Owen and Claire decide to stay together. As the movie ends, the Tyrannosaurus Rex is seen climbing to the helipad where he surveys the park before doing a final roar as the movie closes.
Despite the story flaws in this movie, I really, really, really loved it. The dinosaur action was just super impressive and I am so glad they’ve shown a nicer side of the Velociraptors. I really liked that they fashioned Jurassic World after Disney World, making it seem like a real theme park we can visit. I do admit that there were some parts that seemed a little strange and abrupt like Delta visiting Vic Hoskins and the others in the lab. Vic’s death was kinda sudden and it just seemed like they needed him to just die in a justified way.
Unlike other cinema goers, I wept like a baby when Owen and Claire were with the injured Apatosaurus. Even as I do this review now, I still have tears in my eyes remembering the scene. My favorite dinosaurs are the Brontosaurus, Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus and the Velociraptors. So seeing the Apatosaurus like this made me weep uncontrollably. Even with my IMAX glasses on, I could see my mom actually looking at me sympathetically. Needless to say, the beginning scenes with the Gentle Giants Petting Zoo were one of my favorites because I am not ashamed to admit that I am very much like the little boy who hugged the baby Apatosaurus. Don’t get me started on the Velociraptors training scenes man. They were like a dream job if this dino world ever existed. I’ll admit that I’ll probably be terrified but who wouldn’t want to be a raptor trainer!?
Watching Jurassic World in IMAX was truly the best experience ever. It really felt like I was there in the park and each time a dinosaur roared, I was literally plastered to the back of my seat – a similar scenario if I had been sitting in a chair in front of a real roaring dinosaur. The visuals were much more enjoyable and it was just a different feeling you get than watching it normally.
Aside from the awesome computer graphics and dinosaurs, I felt that there were things from the film that got me thinking.
1. Dinosaurs as assets
Claire saw the dinosaurs as assets as opposed to lives. How do we see animals in our real world? Take the animals in the zoo or even the pets we have at home for example. There are some of us who love them like they are a part of our family, a life that we care about. But there are others who think of them as properties, food and even a tradition (here’s looking at you, Yulin). They are a part of our world too and even though they can’t speak our language, they feel what we feel. Just because we bought them or own them doesn’t mean we get to treat them as unfairly as we want.
2. The Moral Compass
We are all capable of betraying our humanity when it comes to deciding what’s good and what’s bad. How many of us can honestly say we put others before ourselves? When the Indominus Rex got loose, the main thing in Simon’s head was the safety of his asset. Where was the worry for the safety of the park’s visitors? I understand that they had to ensure they didn’t have chaos on their hands but wouldn’t it have worked better if they came up with a proper excuse to keep the visitors in their hotel rooms or within buildings? When faced with the decision to lose a gain over doing the right thing, how many of us can say we’d gladly choose the latter?
All in all, Jurassic World is a truly enjoyable movie and is without a doubt up there on my favorite movies list. I’m looking forward to the Jurassic World sequel and I hope that it would carry more story, if possible – even though I won’t complain should there be more dinosaurs to see over the humans! But most importantly, Blue has to return!
San Andreas focuses on a normal day that suddenly turns disastrous when California’s notorious San Andreas fault decides to trigger a 9.0+ magnitude earthquake that rocks Los Angeles and devastates San Francisco. Having been called away to aid in the rescue of stranded visitors at the Hoover Dam collapse, LAFD search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) has no choice but to pass on sending his daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario), to San Francisco. The task then falls to his estranged wife, Emma (Carla Gugino) and her boyfriend, Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd). As Emma heads to a meeting with Daniel’s sister (Kylie Minogue) in Los Angeles, Daniel takes Blake to San Francisco in his private jet. Upon arriving in San Francisco, Daniel had to attend to some things in his office so he leaves Blake in the lobby where she meets potential Riddick employee Ben Taylor (Hugo Johnstone-Burt), and his little brother, Ollie (Art Parkinson).
Having hit it off very well, Blake leaves her number in Ollie’s guidebook before leaving with Daniel. As they were about to depart from the underground parking lot, Blake and Daniel experience tremors while in the limousine. Knowing that it was an earthquake, Blake voices her opinion and Daniel gives his driver the instruction to drive as fast as he could towards the exit. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time for them and the limousine fell through the newly created hole in the ground. Landing at a bad position, the driver gets crushed by a debris, trapping Blake behind him because of the weight. Frightened by the possibility of getting crushed by the debris, Daniel leaves Blake alone and promises to get help.
He heads back up to the lobby of his building to try and rally help but another tremor came on, shaking the building hard. A debris falls and nearly crushes Daniel. Not wanting to die in his building, he rushes out, caring about his life and forgetting about Blake’s. Ben and Ollie overhears Daniel previously while he was asking for help. Not wanting to leave Blake trapped, the brothers head down to the car park to rescue Blake. After doing so, the trio head out of the building in search of a landline for Blake to contact her father, Ray. Upon knowing that her mother and father are safe together, Blake sets out with the brothers to locate a safe spot for Ray and Emma to rescue them. While all this was happening, a professor (Paul Giamatti) with Caltech University was predicting the next possible waves of tremors and hits.
I’m not exactly a big fan of disaster movies because they always have me worried about impending earthquakes and massive tsunamis. I tend to find myself mapping out where I should be in order to survive an apocalyptic setting similar to those from the movies. This film was particularly exciting in terms of the visually stunning CGI and realistic setting. I really liked that they showed the bad side of humans as well, with the character Daniel Riddick. In a disaster situation, you don’t just find the good side of humans but also the selfish and bad side. The side which rather save their own skin then care about the lives of others. The scene where Daniel pushes another person aside just so that he could have his spot showed the true nature of a desperate selfish man.
Of course, I did think there were a couple of flaws with the movie. I’ll focus on two that really got me a little annoyed.
1. Ben’s injury
So before they got to the unfinished Riddick building, Ben had gotten kinda severely injured by a loose glass shard that pierced into his thigh. Ignoring the fact that Blake pulled it out without considering the possibility of a pierced artery, they were met with a tsunami. Even if the water hadn’t affected his leg (due to possibly wonderful bandaging skills from Blake), I don’t think the water had miraculous effects. Instead of looking worn out and very hurt, Ben surprisingly looks like he had an uninjured leg. His energy level seem to have returned and it almost looked inconsistent with the previous scene he was in. My friends and I were debating about this part and we concluded that it could be the adrenaline. But even so, Ben looked way too okay for a dude who just had a glass shard pulled out of his leg.
2. Blake and Ray’s reunion (as the water was rising)
I really didn’t like this part despite the touching moment. For starters, I felt that Blake’s loss of consciousness could be avoided if Ray hadn’t stayed there with her. I mean… Seriously? Only after seeing the life possibly go out of his daughter did Ray find the strength to get rid of the furniture standing in his way!? Instead of accompanying your daughter as she gives up, shouldn’t that give you the ultimate motivation to get to her? I’m sorry but if it was me, I wouldn’t give up so easily and I’d rather my dad try his hardest than listen to me give up.
With that said, I obviously have a new dad figure in mind (besides Liam Neeson). On the way home, I remembered thinking if I could hassle my dad into possibly signing up to be a volunteer firefighter. Of course; he does not have The Rock’s physique but at least he’ll be able to have a part of Ray’s qualities right?
All in all, San Andreas is a pretty good disaster film. I actually liked this film better than 2012. So, if you enjoy a good disaster film with fantastic visual effects, this is the film for you.
I walked into the cinema with a very confident mindset, in which I wouldn’t get scared. But sitting down in between my friends, watching the trailers as time gets closer for the film to begin, my confidence started to fade. And when the opening sequence started, fear became my best friend.
Insidious: Chapter 3 is the prequel to the first 2 Insidious films. The story takes place before the Lambert family. Teenager Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) has been wanting to contact her mother ever since her passing. Sensing that her mother is trying to contact her back, she goes off on her own to seek help from Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), a gifted psychic.
However, having faced a traumatic experience of her own, Elise is reluctant to tap into her psychic abilities to help Quinn. All she tells Quinn is to not go seeking her mother on her own. Quinn doesn’t listen and continues making contact on her own. Shortly after, Quinn gets into a car accident that renders both her legs broken. She eventually becomes the target of a malevolent entity and running out of options, Quinn’s father (Dermot Mulroney) pleads with Elise to save his daughter. Realizing that her gift was given to her to do good, Elise agrees to help. With the aid from two parapsychologists, Elise ventures into the Further; where she finds a powerful demon who has been keeping human souls. Battling her own demon, Elise keeps strong as she hurries to save Quinn’s soul before it’s too late.
I’d have to say that this was probably the scariest out of the other two movies. The realism story setting made me terrified of my own bedroom and things that go bump in the night for a good few days. The most frightening part that got to me was when she sees the silhouette of a person behind her curtain. There wasn’t even enough time for Quinn to think that her eyes were playing tricks on her as the silhouette starting walking towards her bed. There are many times when I’ve encountered situations like this, which were thankfully false alarms. But now, watching this film has made me scared of curtains blown by the wind and being alone when that happens.
In terms of scare factors, I felt that Insidious: Chapter 3 had it on point. They were believable ways in which entities can approach humans and I have to say one scene which gave me the heebie-jeebies was when the entity waved at her backstage. I mean… What the what, right?! I will not be standing there staring at that silhouette. I’d be pretending I didn’t see anything. Besides the scary parts, I have to say that I liked that they kept this in line with Quinn trying to get in touch with her mother. At the end of the film, it wasn’t just the people who were living that were giving her the will to fight the entity but also the spirit of her mother. It’s nice that they didn’t lose that part of the story to all the scares of the film.
All in all, I’d still have to say that no matter what, Insidious (be it 1, 2 or 3) will always be my favorite horror film(s). It doesn’t matter if you’ve watched the first 2 or not. Insidious: Chapter 3 does well as a stand alone too. So, if you still haven’t caught the film, you’re missing out on a good scare! Oh and if you’ve seen the film, be careful of what you hear in the vents!
I never got a chance to watch this because I was a mere 2-year old when it was first released. So being a musical geek, I couldn’t not watch this when I grew older. I have yet to see the Broadway version but till then, this movie version is good enough for me.
Newsies is a musical movie based on the New York City newsboys’ strike of 1899 where an army of orphans and runaways took to the streets to sell the published newspapers of Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst and other publishers.Jack Kelly (Christian Bale) is one such newsie who dreams of a better life in Santa Fe, where he can escape the streets once and for all.However, his dream gets tougher to realize when Pulitzer and Hearst raise the distribution price to 10 cents per 100, making it almost impossible for the boys to earn enough.Having witness the Trolley strike first-hand, Jack gets inspired to organise a newsboys’ strike to fight for their rights.Together with his friend, David Jacobs (David Moscow), the two form a new kind of union that helps the weak and oppressed find courage and strength to challenge the rich and powerful.
Catchy tunes, flawless acting from the cast and an inspirational tale is really what sums this movie up. As a child of the 90s, it never once occurred to me that if I had been born in the 1800s, I ‘d probably be like one of them. Kids of those times had to fight for their rights and even when they did, it was a struggle. Needless to say, I’d most definitely be one of those kids who would be too scared to go against what I perceive as the authority/people with power.
Having watched this film, I’ve been inspired by the Newsies’ undying courage. Even though Jack had been arrested and somehow turned into one of Pulitzer’s prized newsboy, the newsies still didn’t let that get them down. They continued on with the strike despite seeing Jack turn against them (reluctantly). I was moved to tears when Jack finally decided to stop thinking for himself and thinking for the greater cause. Even despite Pulitzer’s threats, Jack stood up for himself and what was right – fair treatment for the newsies. He outwitted Pulitzer and quite literally seized the day.
Newsies is definitely a timeless musical movie that I would watch again and again. The courage seen in the boys’ characters are something that we should all have in ourselves. We should never let other people treat us unfairly or make us feel weak. We’re all Kings and Queens in our own way, and nobody can tell us otherwise.
Based off the musical of the same name, The Last Five Years is a musical film that focuses on the breakdown of a relationship between Jamie (Jeremy Jordan) and Cathy (Anna Kendrick) over the course of the five years they’ve been together.
Having not seen the musical, I started off a little confused with the jumps in time during the film. There were scenes that showed a seemingly young Jamie after a scene that showed the two of them together in 2013. Nonetheless, I eventually caught up and realized that the difference in time during the scenes were memories from Jamie and Cathy respectively. Songs sung by Cathy showed scenes that progressed from the present to the past and songs sung by Jamie showed scenes that progressed from the past to the present. Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan couldn’t be more perfect for their roles as the young couple. Their voices coupled with the emotions they express through the ups and downs of the relationship between the two characters were just gold.
As the movie progressed, it was interesting to see how a couple’s relationship eventually broke down after the first 2 years of being together. They were happy and so in love but as Jamie’s career took flight, Cathy was left trailing behind, struggling to make her mark. It was the classic tale of two people falling in love too fast who eventually realize that love isn’t the only factor that keeps a couple together.
I felt that both characters had a lot of unresolved issues that they needed to address. Unfortunately, with both of them behaving in a way where they want the other to guess the problem, they never got to even try solving their issues. Jamie, to me, was never sensitive to how Cathy was feeling. Despite being successful, he never stopped to see that his wife was falling behind. She wanted to be as successful as he was but she never got a shot.
The part that struck me the most was the part where Jamie expresses his frustration with Cathy who he feels was always being difficult and not supportive when they had to go to his work function; which to me was the direct opposite. Cathy was always there supporting him whenever he needed her to but he was never there when she needed him. In truth, I actually felt that Jamie loved the idea of Cathy as a trophy wife but Cathy loved him as just Jamie – the man that swept her off her feet.
Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan couldn’t be more perfect for their roles.
The Last Five Years is easily one of my favorite musical movies I’ve watched thus far because of the catchy songs and the simple but effective storyline. Now I’m only waiting for the adaption of Wicked to grace the screen.