300:Rise of an Empire, Pompeii,
The Five, Firestorm
300: Rise of an Empire
Written by Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad; and directed by Noam Murro
Cast includes: Sullivan Stapleton as Themistocles, Eva Green as Artemisia, Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo, Hans Matheson as Aeskylos, Callan Mulvey as Scyllias, David Wenham as Dilios and Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes
Running Time: 102 min
Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy
Had moments but a lot of the movie was re-showing scenes from the first epic. Granted, the events of this movie supposedly corresponded with the first. Zack continued the use of the ‘slo-mo’ scenes extensively. The weirdness factor was just as high but at least some things were explained more in detail like the birth of Xerxes. The character of Artemisia held my sympathy for most of the movie; not sure if that was what they were going for. Overall, I can’t consciously recommend this to anyone. Hey, if you are bored one Sunday and want to watch, it will at least keep you entertained.
MDL Rating: 6.5
Written by Janet Scott Batchler and Lee Batchler and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast includes: Kit Harington as Milo,
Carrie-Anne Moss as Aurelia, Emily Browning as Cassia, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Atticus, Jessica Lucas as Ariadne, Jared Harris as Severus, Joe Pingue as Graecus, Kiefer Sutherland as Corvus, and Currie Graham as Bellator
Running Time: 105 min
A slave-turned-gladiator finds himself in a race against time to save his true love, who has been betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts, he must fight to save his beloved as Pompeii crumbles around him.
Someone on twitter said to me “Here’s a spoiler…everyone dies”. Well, anyone who has studied Ancient European History should be very familiar with the stories. Surprisingly, I went in expecting the worse and got a story that I liked. Imagine my shock! I thought it was well put together and the special effects were impressive at times. I definitely was never bored. As far as the love story, there wasn’t one really. The movie was like any other I’ve watched. I already have an affinity with Kit Harington as I am I big fan of Game of Thrones so it was nice to see him on the big screen. Adewale is a wonderful actor, so his inclusion in the cast was a plus. Man! Kiefer has aged! That’s all I’m going to say. This movie is a crap shoot recommendation; some will like it; some will not. If you like movies with great special effects and not too squeamish (yeah, a lot of flying body parts), then you will like this. I sure did!
MDL Rating: 7.5/8
The Five (2013)
Written and directed by Jung Yeon-Sik
Cast includes: Kim Sun Ah as Eun Ah, Ohn Joo Wan as Oh Jae Uk, Lee Chung Ah as Jung-Ha, Ma Dong Seok as Dae-ho, Jung In Ki as Choel-Min, Shin Jung-Keun as Nam-cheol, and Park Hyo Joo as Hye-Jin
Running Time: 123 min
Eun-A (Kim Sun-Ah) lost her family at the hands of a serial killer. She is now mentally and physically destroyed. Eun-A then decides to get revenge. She enlists the help of four people marginalized by society including a North Korean defector, ex-gang member and a person heavily in debt. All four persons need organ transplants. Eun-A’s plan is then set in motion.
Thoughts Pretty decent movie. Again, not for the squeamish. The sadistic nature of the serial killer, Oh Jae Uk, a sculpture artist is horrible to watch. To imagine that someone so crazy to do all this for their art! Kim Sun-Ah gave a strong performance in this. As the suffering and crippled widow who barely survived, her existence was only to get revenge; nothing else matter to her. But as for the revenge, my feelings are that the ending was way too tame compared to the violence Jae Uk did against her family, other women and others. Way too tame! I wanted a more horrible death.
MDL Rating: 7.5/8
Written and directed by Alan Yuen
Cast includes: Chen Yao as Yan Bing, Ka Tung Lam as Tou Sing Bong, Andy Lau as Police Inspector Lui, Jun Hu as Cao Nam, Ray Lui as Brother Pa
Running Time: 118 min
A storm is heading to the city, and with it comes another occurrence so destructive, it vows to bring down everything it touches. A crew of seasoned criminals led by the notorious Nam (Hu Jun), armed with high-powered weapons, pulls off another smooth and violent armored car heist in broad daylight in a crowded street. A hardboiled senior police inspector Lui (Andy Lau), hot on the trails of Nam and his tight crew, determines to put an end to this madness that causes the lives of innocent people Tou (Lam Ka Tung), an ex-con desperate to leave his criminal past behind, volunteers to be Lui’s snitch in exchange for a fresh start with her girlfriend Bing (Yao Chen). But little does he know what hellish situation he’s getting himself into.
Everybody dies?! Damn near! Oh man! That’s why I love Singaporean movies! They are filled with stunts galore, great acting, superb special effects and a story line you may never see again! The multi-story fight between two buildings? AWESOME!! Andy Lau is the King!! I just love this man! This was my first introduction to Gordon Lam as I’ve never seen him before as well as Ray Lui as the head bad guy. This movie definitely shows you the best (and the worst) of police work. The theme of “At any cost” is prevalent in this story. It was well told, filmed and acted. I really cannot say more. No, another movie not for everyone but if you like a decent Singapore movie, try it; you’ll like it.
MDL Rating: 8.5