Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017): WE ARE GROOT!

Check Marvel site for the movie here.

When I first saw Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, I see it as an ease after bloated and heavy superheroes era of Marvel (except Iron Man series). An orphan boy raised and being disciple of the universe, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), is teamed up by destiny with Thanos’ fierce daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana), broken-hearted Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a savage raccoon made on laboratory Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and a moving tree that must take inspiration from Tolkien’s Ent Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). Quill and his team were both entertaining with their humorous actions and much explosions, and the music mix somehow completes the whole movie into a fresh and adorable superhero movie.

Then Marvel realizes that this fresh and adorable movie has potential to be a new franchise that can help building the background before creating the battle of the universe on Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and of course, generating some more cash. So they created Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (to be coherent with the music mix that always accompanies Quill through his Walkman) with a little additional emotion and Star Wars theme of family issues through galaxies. 

While the guardians are being chased by the Sovereign ships after Rocket steals their Annular Batteries, they are helped by a man named Ego (who could be fitter to be a sexy daddy other than Kurt Russell? Oh maybe Sylvester Stallone could be a candidate too since he is also a cameo here). Quill learns that Ego is actually his father, a celestial thingy that wandered across the universe to “seek life”, fell in love with Quill’s mother. This movie is quite easy to be guessed, as it runs well with Gamora’s feeling. When Gamora suddenly feels that there’s something wrong with Ego, we have no other option but to agree with her. Besides, a deity named Ego sounds more like a villain rather than a graceful god.

Meanwhile, the Sovereign’s High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) hires Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker) to find the guardians and take the batteries. Yondu’s Ravagers find Rocket, Baby Groot and Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora’s sister, and abduct them. A little coup within Yondu’s Ravagers by the heavily salivating Taserface (Chris Sullivan) teams up Yondu and Rocket, and creates the most enjoyable scenes of the movie when Baby Groot adorably tries to help. From Yondu too, Rocket realizes that Ego is a bad guy, and the music starts again, and they escape the ship trying to reach Quill and the others by doing more than 700 leaps that make their face looks like old Looney Tunes cartoons.

On Ego’s planet, Quill has learned that Ego killed his mother by putting tumor on her brain and Ego is trying to create the world of his own by activating all the seeds he planted on many planets he visited (and mating and having children) using Quill’s energy. Ego’s servant Mantis (Pom Klementieff) tells Gamora, Nebula and Drax that this is not the first time Ego tries to activate the seeds by using his children as batteries. This is where we’ve lost the feeling we got on the first Guardians movie. We lost the fun. The music stays on, there’s still explosions everywhere and the humors is still giving us grimace, but somehow the fun is lost. We know that the grand theme of this Guardians movie is about family, but we don’t need more “I am your Father!” scenes without the idea of “father and son ruling together”. The Gamora-Nebula relationship is somehow weirder that we can even see Gamora looks like a girl on her period who yells at literally everything and Nebula feels more soften within her steady built. 

The best thing in this movie is still Baby Groot. His cute built and adorable innocent really feel like he is just a little child among those adult guardians. His round innocent eyes, cute dances, until his wave that can soften Gamora to say “Hi” really stole the show, and even funnier than every humors in this movie told by the “really speaking actors”.

This movie is rated PG-13 for its sarcastic humors so be careful to bring your children watching this. And please don’t leave your seat before the Marvel logo appears. There were 5 after-credit scenes. I give this movie 8.7/10. 0.7 points are from Baby Groot himself haha.

The Fate of The Furious (2017): Family Means Nobody Gets Left Behind, or Forgotten

See the franchise’s original website here.

What do you expect when you are about to see the latest movie from Fast and Furious franchise? This franchise has been morphing itself from movies about sexy girls and sport racing cars into action heroes who want to save the world movie that involves drama, and still, expensive sport cars. The latest movie of this franchise opens with the honeymoon session between Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Leticia “Letty” Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) in Havana, Cuba. Their honeymoon was disrupted by a mysterious woman called Cipher (not Furiosa unfortunately, played by our Empress Furiosa herself, Charlize Theron) who wants Toretto to join her team. 

For his first job, Toretto has to steal a machine from Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and the rest of his team. Feel betrayed by Toretto, the team: ex-criminal Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), tech savvy Tej Parker (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) and of course Letty, try to figure out the motive behind Toretto betrayal. Meanwhile, they were hired by Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) and Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood) to stop Cipher from triggering the third world war. In order to do so, they have to cooperate with their ex-enemy, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) who has been released from the prison.

This movie has released with the same formula as the prequels, with more humors somehow. The big theme is contrast with the movie poster: “Family No More” instead, family is the great background in this movie. Family, in this case his ex-girlfriend Elena Navas (Elsa Pataky) and her Toretto son , also the reason behind Toretto’s betrayal to his said-to-be-family team. Family then becomes the reason Toretto meets Mrs. Shaw (Helen Mirren, whose appearance really made my day), mother of both Deckard and Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), and ask for her help to free his son from Cipher. And since I quote the legendary Lilo and Stitch (2002) quotes on the title of this review, the name Toretto gives to his son at the end of this movie explains why there’s no one left behind (except those who are made dead on the prequels) on this franchise.

However this star studded movie still feels a little hollow, compared to the prequel FF7. Theron, though she plays her role with sophistication as always, could be more ruthless and tactical as the most fearsome IT expert in this world (told to be “even Anonymous scares of her”) than just a women with braided hair and bluetooth headset on her ears. Her character, Cipher, is also lack of reasoning to become a truly good villain. So instead of being the most extraordinary hacker in the world, Theron’s Cipher looks more like a marketing agent with sarcastic face. The consolidation with criminals Shaw Brothers is also confusing, and feels like the agency is now creating their own Suicide Squad. The return of both Jason Statham and Luke Evans can make this movie richer, but a little bit out of context. 

So if you like movie about cars and action, this movie can be your options to spend your weekend. I give this movie 7.7/10.

The Boss Baby (2017): Don’t Think, Just Watch 

If you want to know more, Here’s the boss’ official website.

While a lot of animations nowadays inspired by fairy tales or children books, and it gets heavier with so many messages inserted so you have to explain the moral of the movie to your children, The Boss Baby comes releasing you from that tension. The Boss Baby is 2017 Dreamworks computer animation directed by Tom McGrath. It casted Alec Baldwin as the titular character, along with Steve Buscemi as the main antagonist, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, and Miles Bakshi as Ted, Janice and Tim Templetons, and not to mention our beloved ex-Spiderman Tobey Maguire as the narrator.

What seems to be a perfect life for the imaginative and lively Tim Leslie Templeton (Miles Bakshi) has been ruined by the coming of baby no. 2, The Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin). All the attentions and cares of his parents, Ted (Jimmy Kimmel) and Janice (Lisa Kudrow), now belong to the baby. Frustrated and jealous, Tim figures out that the baby, that has been weird enough to always wears suits, golden watch and Trump-like haircut, actually can talk and plan something. Tim’s effort to reveal the baby’s secret is failed, but somehow the baby manages to ask Tim’s assistance to complete his mission.

The baby is actually a high executive member of helpless Baby Corp, a company where all the babies have made and sorted, as if the idea of babies being made on factory wasn’t feel strange enough for you. Those babies who’s sensitive to tickles are sorted to be sent to families, and those who aren’t sensitive enough are sent to be the management trainee of Baby Corp. The Boss Baby, for short, is sent to investigate the reason behind the declining market, or in this version LOVE, share for babies. The demand of babies are being declined since the demand of puppies are raising, and Baby Corp is getting lose to Puppy Co, company where Ted and Janice work as marketing. Since Baby Corp finds out that Puppy Co. is going to release their new product, that can claim more market shares, they send The Boss Baby to investigate what puppy they’re going to launch.

The Boss Baby and Tim then manage to work together as a team, with all the goofiness that colors this movie and makes it feels like a cartoon we’ve been missed this day. Though in the end, The Boss Baby realizes that family worth more than his prestigious executive position, it still feels like the message is clear to anyone without felt like it was intended. Some jokes might be more suitable for adults, but still, it’s hilarious. You can also recall some memorable scenes from Mary Poppins (1964) or Raiders of The Lost Ark (1981) on Tim’s imaginations, along with familiar songs from The Beatles and the arrangement of Hans Zimmer. Alec Baldwin voices The Boss Baby brilliantly, almost feels like he’s returning his role of ferocious sales executive on Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), especially with the suits and the golden watch. Tobey Maguire feels recognizable, as Adult Tim or the narrator, and it gives us the feeling of familiarity in this movie. 

Unfortunately, this movie is boring on some spots, and it almost felt like it can be simplified onto a 30-mins short movie but they decided to lengthen the movie with a sticky bubble gums that don’t feel fit too much. However, it still enjoyable to be watch. Pssstt… I even suggest you to watch this movie rather than Smurfs: The Lost Village. 7.8/10.

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

The official movie site is here.

Ghost in the Shell is a 2017 Hollywood adaptation of Mamoru Ishii manga with the same name. As in so many other Hollywood movie nowadays, this movie is no exception to whitewashing accusation with the casting of our beloved Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson, as the main protagonist. 

Ghost in the Shell sets on the future New Port City, that looks like Tokyo swallowing so many neon colors gummy bears with hologram advertisements and people that has been “enhanced”. Our protagonist is Major Mira Killian or Major (Johansson) where on the past (and on the original manga) she was called Motoko Kusanagi. Major is an android that has a “ghost” since the brain of Kusanagi is implanted on her. She was made on the lab of Hanka Robotics, under the surveillance of Dr. Ouélet (Juliette Binoche at her best) and later works for government agency Section 9 under the command of Chief Aramaki (Takeshi Kitano, that plays his most of his parts without nearly left his desk chair). She was assisted by Batou (Pilou Asbæk) and Togusa (Chin Han).

One day, Hanka Robotics faces a terror where some of their scientists were killed. Hanka’s boss, Dr. Cutter (Peter Ferdinando), asks for help from Major and her Section 9 team. Major’s investigation leads her to a cyber-terrorist named Kuze (Michael Pitt, under his Kylo-Ren-styled hoodie). Major decides to go and find him, while Kuze continues his plan on killing Hanka’s scientist. When he is nearly killed Ouélet, Major finds and counters him. Kuze makes her questions her reasons why she works for Hanka after all. She confronts Ouélet and figures out she is not the first experiment, though she is the first to survive. When Hanka realizes she knows their real face, they try to shut her down, but Ouélet lets her go and leads her to her long lost mother of Motoko Kusanagi.

Although I have real objection of the whitewashing concept of Hollywood, the casting of Scarlett Johansson cannot be looked with one eye. I mean, who will be more fit into those  eggshell camouflage costume rather than ScarJo? We could find her both scary with her camouflage ability and tempting within her beauty and her agility. However, Johansson’s probably the best thing we can expect in this movie other than Takeshi Kitano who looks so convincing in his role. Other things are so dull.

This movie looks like a cosplay movie, where Rupert Sanders as director is not brave enough to make reformation from the original manga, probably he is afraid he can get the loyal fans of this manga angry. The result is predictable and dull movie. The plot is no surprising at all, even for the one who doesn’t know the original manga like me. The plot seems to be Maze Runner (2014) movie sets in the style of Blade Runner (1998) and on the location of The Matrix (1999). The other characters felt like they are just complementing Johansson, whom her android flat face controls all the emotions of this movie.

So if you think that this movie is this decade’s The Matrix, well it’s not that revolutionary actually. I give this movie a 6.8/10.

Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017): Created for Your Children, not You

If you want to play with our beloved small blue creatures, their official site is here.

Smurfs: The Lost Village is a 2017 Sony Pictures animation movie that rounds its story on our beloved Smurfs, small blue creatures that look like mash up between Hobbits and Dopey from Disney’s Snow White and Seven Dwarfs (1939). Unlike its two prequels that were live action movies combined with computer graphics, this movie is a pure animation movie that completely sweet that it could give you diabetes and purposely aims at your children’s entertainment. So, forget Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria’s scary Gargamel and let us embrace this movie without imagining our old Smurfs cartoon that we used to watch on our childhood.

Smurfs: The Lost Village tells us about the only female on Papa Smurf (Homeland’s Mandy Patinkin) village, Smurfette (Demi Lovato). While every other Smurf has their own personality and talent that becomes their names, Smurfette can’t explain the talent she has. So she tries to find out, alongside her three fellow villagers: Clumsy (Jack McBrayer), Brainy (Danny Pudi) and Hefty (Joe Manganiello), that literally has no better way to explain their personalities and the actors behind look like, actually.

Failed with her first attempt to find out her talent, Smurfette encounters another small creatures that dropped its hat. Soon, she and her three fellas accidentally fall onto Gargamel (Rainn Wilson)’s lair where, they learn that the hat will lead Gargamel into another Smurfs village, far beyond The Forbidden Forest. She insists she must warn that village about Gargamel, so instead of held in Papa Smurf’s detention, she and her three fellas decide to cross the border into The Forbidden Forest. And what do you think about the existence within the Forbidden Forest?

Well, since this movie aims at entertaining your kids, what lies beneath is as fascinating as the Smurfs itself. We will see dragonflies that spit fire, yellow Venus Flytraps or in this case Venus Smurftrap, kissing flowers, glowing bunnies (one later will be called Bucky) and 3D flowing rivers before Smurfette and her friends were found by Amazonian tribe like, all-female Smurfs lead by Smurfwillow (Julia Roberts, whose children must be big fans of Smurfs, I guess). The four were welcomed, Clumsy even takes one dragonfly ride with the female warrior Smurfs named Smurfstorm or Stormy (there will be no other actress that fit into this character other than Michelle Rodriguez) and Papa Smurf that arrives later even shared a coy flirting moment with Smurfwillow, until Gargamel arrives and kidnaps all Smurfs.

So, it’s fun? Yes. Like the other children movie, this movie has fun and message to be sent. The color palette they use, as I said before, is fun and sweet like candies. The adventure is fun too, not giving you thrills but quite fun for little children. I remember when Trolls (2016) released, it was judged to share the same flavor as Smurfs. Now I can get really confused about who inspired whom. Your children might be crying towards the end of the movie, which is actually good, where (spoiler alert!) Smurfette turns into clay that actually still looks like her but don’t worry, it still has a happy ending. 

Smurfette herself is a light and cheerful girl, though it seems like she is a dwarf from Snow White that steal Nancy Sinatra’s hair. The cast of Demi Lovato is good too, replacing Katy Perry’s not so cute voice, and I thought she was going to sing the original soundtrack, but turns out the original soundtrack is sang by Meghan Trainor, by the way. The other casts are still fun. Clumsy still, ehem, clumsy. Brainy has cool gadgets: an useful ladybug that operates like a joint smartphone and printer, his scouting training and his manual book to literally everything. Hefty has muscles and strength, since he is voiced by Joe Manganiello, whom I suppose children won’t care about and mothers (or adult women like me) won’t care either unless he shows up shirtless in front of us. Haha.

Since this is a movie for little children, you can now bring your children into the cinema without worry. And as an adult who desperately needs entertainment, I would give this movie a 7.3/10.

Life (2017): Like a Son Movie of Alien (1979), but Less Intense

Check the official movie site here.

Life is Daniel Espinosa 2017 movie, follows a group of multinational astronauts: American medical officer Dr. David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and engineer Rory Adams (Ryan Reynolds), UK quarantine officer Dr. Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson) and microbiologist Dr. Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare), Japanese pilot Sho Makimura (Sanada Hiroyuki) and Russian Commander Ekaterina “Kat” Golovkina (Olga Dihovichnaya). They catch pilgrim capsule that contains Mars’ soil sample and later find an organism within the soil.

Their discovery becomes a huge hit and claim as the discovery of “other life beyond earth”. Their success story broadcasts on earth and the organism is then called Calvin, based on an elementary school student opinion. Later, they find out that this Calvin hibernates during anorganic environment and when it awakens, it becomes what Dr. North told “It’s basically all are muscles, all are brains, all are eyes”. It turns from a chewed gummy bear, into a wet maneater orchid, into a help-me-I’m-clueless cephalopod. And as the proof that Calvin is dangerous for humanity, there goes Rory Adams’ not so sophisticated death.

After Rory Adams’ death, the extraterrestrial terror of Calvin intensifies. As in this situation where all life become expendable as long as Calvin doesn’t reach earth, the team try their best to avoid him, not to kill him with every possible tools that’re in that space station, or maybe they’re clueless like me. The one by one deaths then becomes usual, but Derry’s sentence at the halfend of this movie clears up everything. “All Calvin did is in order to survive. Calvin doesn’t hate us. He doesn’t want to kill us, he does it to survive.”

So this film reminds me of Ridley’s Alien (1979) and the resemblance is uncanny. The extraterrestrial life out there is somehow affected by our existence and tried to survive their life, even it means that they need to kill us. However, this movie doesn’t give me the same goosebumps and intense as its heritage trails, where even I can’t hold my breath and always terrifying of what will happen next. It gives a little horror but becomes less intense in the half end of the movie. At first I expect a more horrific climax, but it just ends the way I predicted. As I may say that this movie is quite successful as a horror, but just so-so as a science fiction movie. However, the casts are extraordinary. Jake Gyllenhaal is stable as usual, while Ryan Reynolds successfully steps outside his jokey Deadpool personality and becomes more serious here. The rest of the casts, though not as popular as that two actors, are solid too.

This movie is rated R for its quite horrible deaths of the crew, so watch it wisely. I give this movie 7.2/10.

Power Rangers (2017): Saved by Rita Repulsa

The movie site is here.

So, what do you think will be happened if five teenagers gather and gain some magical powers? If you think of a disaster, well, this movie is kind of disaster, at least to your childhood memories, 90s kids!

This movie begins with five not-so-perfect high school students: Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery), a retired quarterback, Kimberly Hart (Naomi Scott, that looks like the combination of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Emma Roberts and Jennifer Love Hewitt), an once popular girl who troubles herself with her friends, Billy Cranston (RJ Cyler), an autistic genius, Zack (Ludi Lin), try-to-be-so-cool guy who looks after his sick mom and Trini Kwan or Didi (Becky G), a queer girl who question her sexuality. They once discover magical crystal contains of five coins with different colors. They try to reveal the secret underneath the coins that seem to give them extra superpowers, though the superpowers have nothing to do at the half end of this movie, until they find an alien spaceship with, yes you’re right, Alpha (Bill Hader) and Zordon (Bryan Cranston) in it.

The movie then dragged forcefully into drama within those five teenagers whether they were really meant to be Power Rangers or not, while on the other side, Rita Repulsa (played by our dear Effie Trinket in the Hunger Games series, Elizabeth Banks) awakens. With her Gothic Queen performance at first, she collects golds from any sources, from homeless’ teeth until jewelry stores, and also her power to create her most powerful and most beautiful monster she called Goldar. She intends to take the Earth’s Zeo Crystal, a key to Morphing Grid Dimension where Lord Zedd lives. As she becomes more powerful and gains her confidence back, she turns her appearance into something more like glamorous punk female rocker and makes me wonder why there isn’t a punk rock band that uses her name as their stage name.

Then well, suddenly the rangers gains their conscience and realizes they have become friends to each other and voila! They can morph into the Power Rangers, use their Zords to battle Rita’s monsters Putties and join each other to form a Megazord to fight Goldar. Yeay. Everyone’s clapping, including the girls beside me, and I just realize that this movie is boring. I secretly wish that Rita Repulsa can beat them somehow, and for the first time the villain wins. It just doesn’t make sense for me that the rangers should go so many dilemma and hard times just to claim their rights to become Power Rangers. The coins chose them already, and Zordon knows that they are the chosen people. So why spend almost half of the movie just to tell that they’re fight so hard for their rights to be the rangers? Instead of that, I think they should be more focused on the background story why Rita Repulsa should take the Zeo Crystal, or the special power that each ranger has within their Zords and their costumes. If you’re not 90s kids, maybe you have no idea that Red Ranger rides a Tyrannosaurus Dinozord, Pink Ranger rides a Pterodactyl Dinozord, Blue Ranger rides a Unicorn Dinozord, Yellow Ranger rides a Triceratops Dinozord and Black Ranger rides a Mastodon Dinozord.

This movie is rated PG-13, so be careful while your kid’s watching it. This is just gonna fulfill your thirst of a battle of giant robots against monsters, and I’m just gonna give the score of 5.9/10.

Beauty and the Beast (2017): Nostalgic yet Unsatisfying Romance

The official movie site is here.

Continuing trend of making live actions from their movies, Disney launched another fairy tale comes to the light in this live version of Beauty and the Beast. As you can guess, our main protagonist, the fearless bookworm Belle (played by our beloved Hermione Granger, Emma Watson), is a provincial girl from Villenueve whose dream of adventure outside her small village. Living with her artist father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), Belle is judged as a lovely but weird girl from her fellow villagers. Her beauty enchants our main antagonist, the manly muscular narcissistic Gaston (played by The Hobbit’s Bard the Bowman, Luke Evans). 

One day, Maurice took on journey to the market, but lost his way and arrived at a strange castle. While he tried to bring back a rose for his daughter, he was captured by the owner of the cursed castle, The Beast (played by Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, whose blue eyes still look magnificent in his faux fur Beast appearance). Worried about his father, Belle comes to the castle and replaces his father as Beast’s prisoner. Her arrival gives hope to other cursed people, Beast’s loyal subordinates: Lumiere the candelabra bouteiller (motion pictured by our young Obi Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth the mantel clock majordomo (Sir Ian McKellen), Plumette the feather duster maid (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), Madame de Garderobe the opera singing wardrobe (Audra McDonald) and her husband Cadenza the harpsichord maestro (Stanley Tucci), and finally Mrs Potts the wise talking teapot (Emma Thompson) and her son Chip (Nathan Mack). They all expect that Belle somehow be the one who will lift the curse and set them all free.

The rest is history. If you watched the 1991 Oscar Winning Beauty and The Beast, then the rest of this movie will be a nostalgia to that one. The dining cabaret for singing the legendary scene “Be Our Guest” to the extension of Beast’s version of Josh Groban’s “Evermore” will give us the nostalgic feeling of the 1991 animated version. The ball scene, with Watson wears that iconic yellow ball gown to Emma Thompson’s version of “Beauty and the Beast” will just remind us of what happens in the animation version, while I still can recall Angela Lansbury version of “Beauty and the Beast”. Josh Gad’s version of “Gaston” is nearly close to the original but however, his voice just reminds me of Olaf from Frozen (2013), whom he also voiced. So it feels like Olaf is singing “Gaston” while I can picture him singing “In Summer” like in the Frozen.

However, those nostalgic feelings are the only thing you will get in this movie. With ensemble casts like Emma Watson (can you imagine other actress portraying Belle other than our fearless and smart feminist Hermione Granger?), Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci and Luke Evans, this movie still feels like lost in the enchanted forest. It makes us happy but still feels hollow, like it just wants to finish another Disney’s live action movie without giving some emotions in that. The Beast is so bland, quite a vain for Dan Stevens’ pretty blue eyes and sweet gestures towards Belle. 

Oh, and the LGBT scene on where everyone is worrying about is taking place nearly at the end of the movie, where Josh Gad’s LeFou is dancing with another man cast, but it only takes place about one minute so it should be nothing to worry about actually. I give this movie 7.8/10, for being a movie where we can escape just a little bit, gives us little happiness before get back to our cruel reality.

Kong: Skull Island (2017): When a CGI Character Upstages Real Humans

Check the official movie site here.

As a fan of science fiction movie, and especially fan of Godzilla (2014, really love this version of Godzilla btw), the movie that comes from the producers of Godzilla is really tempting. I actually expect that the movie will somehow equal the emotion when seeing one of Earth’s giant creature fights for the good sake of the world against another giant creature. And I was not quite wrong. Actually, I just think that this movie is one of the reason why CGI was created.

The movie begins with an obsessed scientist Bill Randa (John Goodman) who wants to explore a place on earth where he claims “God don’t finish His creation”. The place, called Skull Island because the satellite imagery makes it looks like a skull, actually on Pacific, sets on 1973, right at the end of Vietnam War. Randa is accompanied by his assistants Brooks (Corey Hawkins) and San (Jing Tian). Later, join him an ex-British Special Air Service Captain Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), an anti-war top photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), and veteran helicopter squad of Vietnam War led by Lieutenant Colonel Packard (Samuel L. Jackson). 

The movie shares intense sequences right after the squad throws seismic bombs that actually used to study the soil. The bombs provoke Kong to appear and rage violently against the helicopters, just on the first 30 minutes. The survivors were separated into two big groups, one is led by Packard and another is led by Conrad. Packard’s group is trying to pick up every single survivor of his squad, while Conrad’s group encounters Lieutenant Hank Marlow, a WWII veteran who has been stranded on the skull island for the past 28 years. Marlow is the only English-speaking man who has the idea of what’s really going on the Skull Island, or why is it called the Skull Island.

The rest is dragging. All you can see is what could upstage an Oscar-winning actress, our most lovely badass actor for the past 30 years and Loki is just a CGI character. Trust me. The scenario is lame, and it doesn’t give any development to the human character. This is understandable for the movie where the monster is actually the main lead. On this movie, Kong feels more than just a nostalgic character from the 1933 movie (I don’t count that 2005 movie King Kong since that movie is pathetic) that one day equals the Empire State Building. This version of Kong feels more heroic, and somehow reminds me of the concept of Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke (1997) that explains every creature has a spirit to defend their own natural habitat. While Kong shines brightly on screen, our heroes are just lame. Tom Hiddleston’s Conrad that supposedly becomes our Indiana Jones is just keep telling “we must get out of here” in every possible different way you could imagine, not to mention a professional war photographer that runs through tropical forest using tanktop. 

Fortunately, there’s someone that finally realizes that this movie is dragging for much too long and decides to stop it. The last minutes thrilling scenes are back and give the movie the feels of what it used to feel. And it’s good because you can finally leave the cinema with satisfaction, though I would like to suggest that you shouldn’t watch this movie for the actors (like me, I watch this movie for Tom Hiddleston haha), and starts to watch it for Kong. Solely Kong. I give this movie 7.8/10.

Logan (2017): A Satisfying Final Ride for Hugh Jackman

The movie official site is here.

Said to be the last movie for Hugh Jackman portraying Logan aka Wolverine after 17 years, Logan sets on 2029, where mutants seem to be killed off on a somewhat genocide of their kind. Retired and aged greatly since his self-healing ability has faltered, Logan (Hugh Jackman) is now working as a chauffeur to buy a prescription for the old and suffered for dementia Professor Charles Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart). One day, a woman named Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez), a nurse who has been a keeper for an 11-years-old Laura (Dafne Keen), meets him and asks him to take Laura to a place called Eden on the border of Canada. Reluctantly accepts the job, Logan finds out that Gabriela is killed by The Reavers under Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and Laura actually a mutant that shares his genes, including his adamantium claws (she has it on her feet too!), indirectly being his daughter. After some strange experiences he shared with the little girl, he finally decides to take her to whatever-called-Eden.

9.2/10. Probably the most exciting and most complete superhero movie I’ve watched. I always enjoy superhero movies, no matter how shitty it is (I even enjoyed Batman vs Superman last year although I’ve sighed several times), but later too many superhero movies has sent me to my diminishing point of satisfaction. Thanks to this movie, my satisfaction point is now being upgraded. This movie is a complete superhero movie. It has both actions and emotions, all in the right amount. The R-rated given is just a perfect decision so this movie can give us the real thrills without neglecting the fact that mutants, like Logan and Xavier and later Laura, is still human after all. After 17 years watching a apathetic Logan with his superior healing ability, the time where his blood is poisoned, his healing ability is faltered and he finally finds something that makes him a human again has come. That something, or in this case someone, that makes him realized that there’s still heart behind his adamantium rib cage is an 11-years-old girl that looks and rages just like him.

This movie is nostalgic for me too. As I said before, this movie is so exciting. It almost feels like watching a western movie, a Clint Eastwood era, and combines it perfectly into an X-Men movie. I still can portray Logan and Xavier as two old and retired cowboys, finally found something that connects them with their once glorious life, and decided to take one last ride to fight for all they’re once fighting for. Sir Patrick Stewart is still charming, as an owner of the world’s once most powerful brain Professor Charles Xavier, who is now suffered for dementia and depends on medicines to avoid him from his psychic Parkinson disease. The rising star, Dafne Keen as Laura is a perfect nostalgic character to Logan’s glorious time as Wolverine. Within her cold and strangeness, she’s agile and deathly with her claws, a perfect little assassin. And Hugh Jackman can now finally retire with satisfaction from the character that he has inhabited for 17 years.

This movie is rated R, and as I said before, it’s a bloody and brutal movie, so don’t bring your under 17 years old children. And since this is a very good movie for me, I would probably consider a second time watching it if there somebody asks me to. Haha.