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My Rating: 3Stars

This afternoon I saw the movie Source Code at AMC Cinemas, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

It stars Jake Gyllenhaal (as Captain Colter Stevens) and Michelle Monaghan (as Christina). Without giving away the plot, it is about a military pilot (Captain Stevens) who wakes up inside someone else's body and had to figure out what happened.

The movie decides not to spend the time to explain the backgrounds or develop the characters, but instead chose to jump right into the story, like the main character's predicament. This is brave of the play writes to do so, you will understand why after you watch the movie. This decision cause the movie to be a bit disorienting for the audiences.

This method would otherwise work well with a different cast of actors, but this cast left us non-engaged and at moments bored. During the first several cycles (do not want to get into this, in fear of revealing too much of the plot) Captain Stevens tried to both figure out the status of his own life and to follow orders to investigate the events that transpired.

Through out the movie the characters insist that they are not achieving time travel but in the end the audiences realize the characters have actually achieved travels among parallel realities.

This movie reminds me of Groundhog Day by Bill Murray, but it is not a comedy so it is not as entertaining.

I gave this movie 3 penguins and will only recommend it if there are no other choices at the cinemas.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
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AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 3Stars

This evening I saw the movie Limitless at UA Cinemas, Times Square, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

This movie has an original story. It is about a down and out writer who receives a custom drug from his ex-brother in-law, which helped pick himself out of his slump. He later finds out the drug is not as described by his dead in-law, and comes to the realization of its deadly effects.

Its lead is one of Hollywood's lesser known stars, Bradley Cooper. He always has a supporting role or shares the lead among other more famous actors, like in: The Hangover, Valentine's Day and The A-Team. This time he shares the limelight with the repeated Oscar winning actor, Robert De Niro. De Niro was delivered his usual great performance, but Cooper just didn't capture the audience with his version of the character.

In the end, this is a good movie to occupy your time or if you cannot find anything else to watch at the theatre.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere

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My Rating: 4Stars

This afternoon I saw the movie Avatar 3D at UA Cinema, Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

Before I went to see the movie I questioned my decision to pay the extra cost to watch the 3D version of the movie, but after watching just the opening credits I realized I had made the right decision. Above all the three times Oscar winning Canadian director, James Cameron wrote and filmed this movie with digital 3D cameras in mind. Therefore to experience the movie as Cameron originally intended, one will definitely have to watch the 3D version.

Aside from the direction, the artifical set of Pandora is beautifully created, matched with perfect original score. It is no wonder that the movie had already received 9 award nominations; including Best Director, Best Visual Effect and Best Origianl Score.

Half way into this almost three hours long movie, I finally understand why others referred to the movie as "Dancing With Smurf", a play on the title of the 1990 movie, Dancing With Wolves, staring Kevin Costner. Although, as most will agree the Na'vi is not as cute as the Smurfs.

The movie rehashes the plot of big corporations taking advantage of natives (the Na'vi) and what appeared to be the under privillaged, for their own corporate benefits. It also highlights the issues of one group trying to impose its own believes and values onto another. Which is the basis of the USA foriegn policies. Of course, it also had to include the chic topic of being more aware of our environment and suroundings.

The movie starts with Sam Worthington's charater Jake Sully, an ex-Marine, finding out his twin brother; a scientist for the corporation, died. Since avatars are grown as human Na'vi hybrides and genetically matched to the human counter part. The corporation did not want to waste the costly avatar offered Jake, his brother's job of operating an avatar on Pandora. Seeing this as a chance for Jake to walk again he took the job. What Jake did not know is that the corporation is minning for the valuable Unobtanium mineral at Pandora, where the largest deposit on the planet is underneath one of the Na'vi tribe's camp. The Avatar program is creates to gain the trust of the Na'vi, so they will move away from the camp, avoiding a military intervention to remove the tribe.

The technologies in the movie is very believable even for a technologist like myself. I particularly like the scene where the operator seamlessly drag an object from the big monitor to his tablet. Reminisce of Tom Cruise's Minority Report and wishfully the soon to arrive Mac Slate by Apple.

Yes the 3D version is more expensive but in most cities you will be able to find the cheaper version.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
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AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 2Stars

This afternoon I saw the movie 2012 at AMC Theater, Admiralty, Hong Kong. Another one of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

Normally I make a point not to get into details of the plot of the movie, but I will make an exception for this movie. The movie is about the destruction of the Earth due to solar flares causing the core of the Earth to over heat and making the crust unstable.

Like many recent movies from Hollywood, this movie also attempts to teach the audiences a lesson. This time the lesson is about the fragile planet Earth and how everything are interrelated. Unfortunately, this will be the only good thing to take away from this movie.

If you go to this movie expecting a captivating plot and storyline you will be greatly disappointed. Of course the movie has a storyline, but it is not complicated nor did it have any twists or turns. The most impressive moments in the movie are from the special effects. It is a movie filled with some of the best special effects from Hollywood. Creating some of the most spectacular scenes in any movie.

The movie reminds me a bit of War of the Worlds from 2005 staring Tom Cruise. In that the lead is struggling to gain the confidence from his children, while trying to save them and the human race from ultimate destruction. John Cusack had not have much luck with movies in the past except may be Runaway Jury, and there's no difference this time.

I suggest you give this a miss unless you are into special effects.

There were several scenes involving the Chinese government in Tibet that will most likely cut when the movie is shown in mainland China. So if you still want to see this movie, make sure you watch the uncut version from outside of mainland China.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
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AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 3Stars

This evening I saw the movie The Time Traveler's Wife at UA Cinema, Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Another one of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

The movie's plot is different from what the title implies and not unlike the 2001 Kate & Leopold with Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman, or the 2006 The Lake House with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. All three movies use the concept of moving between times to deliver a love story that cannot happen.

In this latest movie, Eric Bana (Henry DeTamble) of Hulk fame, delivered a very good performance playing the time traveller who has no control of which time he jumps to or when.

The only thing consistent is that he will always return to significant life events, in all cases he cannot alter the outcome of his past and future. For this sort of movies, the audiences cannot go in thinking everything in the movie will be believable, you have to go in with the attitude that the movie will try to capture you and take you away to an imaginary world.

Usually I gage the ability of a movie the capture my full attention by whether I notice the areas around the screen, rows in front or the people next to me. During this movie I did all three. At times the movie was a bit slow, it had scenes that repeats but did not offer additional information to the plot of enrich the story in any way. This is the main reason it lost one of the penguins from my rating.

If you are a romantic you will enjoy this movie. It has all the elements of a romantic drama, love story that cannot happen, lovers that are kept apart, in this case the condition of time travelling. This is the reason this movie retains the 3 penguins of my rating.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 4Stars

This afternoon I saw the movie Surrogates at UA Cinema, Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Another one of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

Like the many other Bruce Willis movies in the past Surrogates also had a chase scene.

The plot is a fairly typical, but the story had a future element to make it fresh, but not so much so that present day audiences cannot relate to. The movie updated the audiences the background of the story's past 14 years in the first 5 minutes of the movie. This became the premise for the pace of movie. As it is one of the shorter big Hollywood productions at just 89 minutes.

The key message this movie tries to deliver, is that we should spend more time with real life, in-person interactions, rather than Social Networks, avatars and the use of other surrogates to portray a different persona.

I find the story telling well done, the fact that the director and producers were able to deliver the message in just 89 minutes, amazing. If the movie was any longer it will have been too long, any shorter the audiences will be left hanging.

If you are a fan of Willis and the fan of the Die Hard franchise you will not be disappointed. Even If you're not this movie will make you think about your use of services like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, SIMS, SecondLife, World Of Warcraft and alike, so it is a must see.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
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AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

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My Rating: 3Stars

This evening I saw the movie G.I. Joe - The Rise of Cobra at UA Cinema, Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Another one of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

I had fairly high expectations going into the movie and I was not really disappoint. Like many of the movies of this kind: Fantastic Four, Fast & Furious and Transformers, one should go in expecting amazing stunts and special effects. If you were hoping for intriguing plot you would be disappointed, plus great acting would only be a bonus. G.I. Joe was no different.

This movie broke the previous record for the number of vehicles destroyed in a movie through stunts. For G.I. Joe they destroyed 120 vehicles. That was all worth it, as the stunts were spectacular. Mixed with the CGI it made it even more believable. No matter what you do, do not seat too close to the screen, or else, be sure to take motion sickness pills before entering the theater.

Unfortunately, the acting were not good even the dialogues were okay. Particularly bad was Dennis Quaid, who played General Hawk. Channing Tatum (Duke) was there to play his typical role of the good looking hero. Fortuantely Tatum was teamed up with a seasoned comedian, Marlon Wayans to keep his scenes interesting.

It was very obvious they planned a sequel to the franchise, but will they be able to afford the kind of money they spent for this first one, we will have to see.

If you're looking for an action packed entertaining movie filled with eye candy, then this is definitely one to see. If you're more into a good story choose Up instead.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review

My Rating: 3Stars

This evening I saw the movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen at Grand Cinema, Elements, West Kowloon, Hong Kong. Another one of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

Before I went to see this movie I avoided all the trailers on TV and at the cinemas, because there were more than the usual number of trailers I did not want to see all the actions from the movie. Luck I did as I was told from others who had watched the trailers, they were the key scenes from each of the action sequences.

Even without watching any of the trailers for the movie, I was not impress by this movie. The dialogue of the Autobots twins were hard to understand. Not sure why the directors chose to use an US ghetto accent.

If it was not for Megan Fox and Isabel LucasShia LaBeouf would have bombed. LaBeouf keeps playing a character where he's just too lucky to have what he has. He did in Transformers, then in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as young Jones, again in Eagle Eye as the chosen one.

At times the transformers are transforming so fast the audience start to loose track of who are the good guys (Autobots) and who are the bad guys (Decepticon).

The special effects were good and some what believable, but just with good special effect is not enough, as a sequel it did not disappoint, since it was not better than the original. The screen writers even left room for another sequel, but I hope they don't.

Rating Legend:
5Stars Not to be missed
4Stars Wait for the DVD
3Stars Buy from iTunes Store
2Stars Rent it on iTunes
1Stars Waste your time elsewhere
Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesMovie Review