Valentine’s Double Feature: Krrish (2006) & Little Dragon Maiden (1983)

Nothing does better than a foreign film double feature, right? Haha. Its the reality over here however, with a Bollywood superhero/romance film Krrish and a Shaw Brothers film, Little Dragon Maiden, I’m hoping that these two Netflix alphabet selections will grab some of your attention. I had no choice because the choices were really limited for these two letters plus let’s be honest that a Bollywood viewing has been overdue.

Let’s check it out!

Krrish (2006)

Krrish

Director: Rakesh Roshan
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Rekha, Sharat Saxena, Manini M. Mishra, Naseeruddin Shah

Krishna is forced by circumstances to use his superpowers and become a masked superhero, Krrish, before getting drawn towards his lost legacy. – IMDB

Being the very clueless person that I am, I totally didn’t realize that Koi Mil Gaaya is actually the movie before Krrish which this movie refers to quite a bit but still stays self-contained so not watching the previous one didn’t affect my understanding of this at all. With that said, this one is a Bollywood superhero movie which starts off pretty heavy on the romance and Bollywood bits with the second act being more Krishna (Hrithik Roshan) discovering his way to be helpful but keep his identity hidden as a superhero/vigilante. The third act is being a lot more action-packed with more fight scenes.

Starring the very handsome Hrithik Roshan (who I first saw in Dhoom 2) and the beautiful pre-Hollywood Priyanka Chopra, its really quite fun to see them together although the romance bits are pretty much really cheesy (as you would expect in a Bollywood film). At the same time, the story is pretty innocent especially because Roshan’s character Krishna has lived most of his life away from people and big cities so when he goes to Singapore to follow the love of his life, he’s a bit like fish out of pond sort of deal which always brings in some laughter but then he is always incredibly smart because he has special abilities. While the romance parts took up most of the first act and a part of the second act, it still felt not as effective as the center of the film being about Krishna finding the way to become Krrish, a masked superhero who ends up saving the day when a fire breaks out at the circus and then leading him to discover his own background especially his father’s past against the evil man of a big corporation who dreams about building a machine to see the future and become God. This part all links to the first film mentioned above because that story is told there.

All in all, as great as Priyanka Chopra and Hrithik Roshan is in Krrish, the romance didn’t grab me a whole lot and the songs weren’t really my taste either. However, while the romance here didn’t quite work, the superhero aspect did. Sure, there was some unrealistic CG effects going on here but then this movie is in the 2000s so its easy to overlook it. I’d be interested to eventually catch up with the first film and the movie after this one, oddly titled Krrish 3 (which made me think that there was a Krrish 2 until I did further research).

Little Dragon Maiden (1983)

little dragon maiden

Director: Shan Hua
Cast: Leslie Cheung, Jing-Jing Yung, Kuan Tai Chen, Leanne Lau, Ni Tien

Little Dragon Maiden mixes the old with the new to create pure golden magic as kung-fu fighting veterans Chen Kuan-Tai and Lo Lieh join relative newcomer Leslie Cheung in a far-out swordplay love story that rocks. – IMDB

Guilty as charged that I haven’t really seen any Shaw Brothers films. If I have, it was when I was really young that I don’t even remember it. However, big fan of Leslie Cheung here and Little Dragon Maiden is a story that almost everyone who knows the Chinese culture has heard of and know at least the basic love story involved. Even though, I haven’t seen a whole lot of movie interpretations of it before, this might be the first one that I finished, its a familiar story.

Somehow pairing this with Krrish works because most of the story is about Yang Guo played by Leslie Cheung who starts off as an orphan and ends up being taken in by who he learns is his father’s killer who doesn’t want to teach him martial arts and when asked, gets sent to join a martial arts sect who bullies him because of his father and he ends up seeking refuge in the Ancient Tomb sect which is where the Little Dragon Maiden is. Because of a promise she made, she ends up taking him in despite the sect’s rules. The obvious happens where they do fall in love. I can get that this story would be touching but due to the length and how its executed, its more outstanding in its martial arts and personality development in Yang Guo rather than the love story which involved some misunderstandings and some bad stuff that happens to the Little Dragon Maiden.

With that said, the fight scenes here and the martial arts bits and such are really fun to watch. Similar to how I liked the creatures in Labyrinth, Little Dragon Maiden has the magical Condor who is a key element in the actual book that its based on which ends up making a late appearance but the design as silly as it looks because it just didn’t age well, there is this fantastic charm to it. You can see it in the poster above.

That’s it for this Valentine’s double feature for the K & L selection!
Have you seen these two foreign films? If so, thoughts?

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Double Feature: Chasing the Dragon (2017) & Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Welcome back to the next double feature! Its been a while, right? I’ll try to be better…I guess I was more burnt out from writing reviews that even I could imagine. Overall, I’m just feeling mostly burned out and not in the mood for writing lately but I’m slowly getting back on track.

With that said, no specific reason when I first chose these two together but the banners are looking like there is a versus vibe to it. 😉 This double feature is 2017 Hong Kong film Chasing the Dragon starring Donnie Yen and Andy Lau, which had its wave of popularity when it was announced and released in Hong Kong (judging from Facebook activity) and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, a DC film that I honestly didn’t care too much about to begin with but it was going to leave Netflix and I just went for it, hoping that low expectations might make it a little more entertaining. One high hopes and one low expectations, lets see how they truly fare, right?

Chasing the Dragon (2017)

Chasing the Dragon

Director: Jason Kwan, Jing Wong, Aman Chang

Cast: Donnie Yen, Andy Lau, Philip Keung, Wilfred Lau, Kang Yu, Kent Cheng, Bryan Larkin, Ben Ng, Ken Tong, Dongdong Xu

An illegal immigrant from Mainland China sneaks into corrupt British-colonized Hong Kong in 1963, transforming himself into a ruthless and emerging drug lord. – IMDB

Chasing the Dragon is said to be based on a true story of real life gangster, Ng Sek-ho and also a remake of the 1991 film, To Be Number One. I don’t know much about the history and I don’t think I’ve seen that movie before so I have no idea how it compares. However, Chasing the Dragon is a good one. Its a bit different from how you would normally perceive in a movie solely focused in Donnie Yen’s fighting abilties.

In this one, he plays the gangster Crippled Ho who while has one or two really good fight scenes, he spends most of it being a triad leader. For audience who don’t speak Chinese, it is a pity because the achievement here is how Donnie Yen takes over the character and nails this really fantastic accent while not making it sound goofy but still manage to feel threatening especially since the movie is set in characters sitting in grey areas. On one hand, there’s a lot of bad that has happened and it feels like Crippled Ho was pushed into the situation and we can’t help but to fight for his escape and Andy Lau (the awesome actor that he is) plays Lee Rock, a corrupted cop who will do anything to be number one and finds his support with Lee Rock. You can see where his grey area is because he becomes fairly ruthless. Their appearances are aided a lot by an even more evil cast by Bryan Larkin as Hunt, an arrogant and even more ruthless British cop who is the top dog and feels threatened by Lee Rock’s promotion. This guy is scripted in such a  way that makes him so hard to like, and it was the intent.

Chasing the Dragon is very much a Hong Kong film and rather meant for a Chinese speaking audience. Be it the way the movie is and how the language, especially the slang nature of Cantonese can get lost in translation easy. The successes of the film also rely on various elements that rely on understanding why Donnie Yen is so convincing in his role. I’m not sure that if I was just reading subtitles and not totally understanding some of the history (the little bit that I know), how it would changed my enjoyment for it. There are some pacing issues and some rather forced bits possibly over-dramatized. While its a pretty good film, its definitely not the best. It met my expectations but I have to say that might have to do with my respect for both of these actors as well as the great supporting cast that was on screen.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice

Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot

Fearing that the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the Man of Steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. – IMDB

Let’s make it really clear that I haven’t seen Man of Steel so I don’t know what happened to make Batman so angry except for the little recap snippet in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. As I said before, my expectations for this one wasn’t high. My difference here is just that I  didn’t feel convinced about this film from the trailer. I have no issue with Ben Affleck as Batman, maybe a tiny issue with Henry Cavill as Superman, mostly because I haven’t seen a movie he has done that I like. The issue with the film might not exactly be the cast because they are all great actors and do a pretty good job. Where this film falls apart is its length which made the pacing so horrible. The story itself falls apart and is flat out boring. It never feels like much happens. There’s some stealthy useless stealing scene, Wonder Woman gets in the way, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor does his crazy act and then takes them down a notch from their high superhero ways and they put aside from issues and team up to fight him. Not exactly a riveting story in my mind but some basic stuff with a lot of padding in between. I wonder if its because I haven’t seen Man of Steel that I don’t have that connection with Superman so I don’t have any stake in how much I care about his making it out of this or not. But the movie itself just wasn’t good because it was boring and at times, felt so pointless.

Either way, not one that I’ll go visit. So far, the top DC film out of the two (and a tenth of Man of Steel) that I’ve seen is definitely  Wonder Woman (review). Not in a hurry to catch up with the DC films just yet. I had low expectations and this one possibly even went a bit lower than that.

Double Feature: Doctor Strange (2016) & A Little Chaos (2014)

Welcome to a much more star-studded double feature! It feels like I don’t watch enough mainstream films anymore but as I am trying to catch up with the few Marvel films that I haven’t seen, I landed on Doctor Strange a few weeks ago but just couldn’t find a worthy pairing for it until well, A Little Chaos the other day which is a period drama but still has the weight of a bigger film to match up. I am working on a few filns that are supposed to leave Netflix in June so those reviews should be coming up.

Doctor Strange (2016)

Doctor Strange

Director: Scott Derrickson

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins

While on a journey of physical and spiritual healing, a brilliant neurosurgeon is drawn into the world of the mystic arts. – IMDB

I am not going to lie that I had my doubts about Doctor Strange, but it ended up being surprisingly good. I have my issues with Marvel that everyone else doesn’t always seem to have especially in terms of The Avengers and Loki. I find that Marvel movies in general suffer from weak villains who don’t have enough presence to make them threatening. But then can we really blame a superhero film because we know the named superhero will become victorious in the end. However, as much as I still dislike using a bunch of Western actors in source material Asian roles seems ridiculous, I honestly do love Tilda Swinton as an actress because she is unique and then the villain is Mads Mikkelsen who did a fairly decent job as well. To be fair, Doctor Strange is a fun role as Marvel injects a lot of humor in their franchise which is a good approach. Benedict Cumberbatch, known for his Sherlock Holmes role definitely had what it takes for it since those roles other than the deductive abilities swapped into a superhero abilities were quite relatable.

doctor strange

The action here was different mostly because it was about shifting and illusions, something like what you’d see in Inception. There are lots of great moments and some comedic moments to lighten up the mood. Apparently the world of MCU is always on extremes of being on the brink of disasters, luckily the heroes always find their strength to make it a little better and in Doctor Strange’s world and his manipulation of time, things can just reverse itself. I may sound sarcastic or maybe a little tired of superhero films, but Doctor Strange is okay. Its fun but nothing outstanding in the MCU realm. The feelings I have towards Doctor Strange are starting to feel lesser and lesser everyday as I start to feel it being forgettable. I enjoyed it more than I expected so that gets a lot of points there. Plus, that ending was all about setting up for a next film or at least an upcoming villain perhaps.

A Little Chaos (2014)

a little chaos

Director: Alan Rickman

Cast: Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci, Helen McCrory, Jennifer Ehle

Two talented landscape artists become romantically entangled while building a garden in King Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles. – IMDB

I’m going to be honest that I love believe that Alan Rickman is a talented man however, I have a lot to catch up in his filmography. With that said, it came as a surprise to me that A Little Chaos was his work as a director. I’m a big fan of period dramas. One of the main selling points is the costume design. In A Little Chaos, it delivers very well especially highlighting the contrast between Kate Winslet’s Sabine De Barra being her normal non-royalty outfits where she gets dirty and they are very basic compared to say the extravagant French royalty with their wigs and big dresses. Matching with the beautiful costume designs is of course my favorite thing about period dramas and that is the score. From the moment the score started in A Little Chaos, I was in love with it. It was so beautiful and matched the scenes so very well. Kudos to Peter Gregson on a great job!

a little chaos

Another really great point of A Little Chaos has to be for those beautiful period drama settings. In this case, it is set in France and the King’s Gardens of Versaille. I’ve been to Versaille back in 1994 and to this day, I still remember a lot of the beautiful environments there and I was just 8 years old back then. This movie has a lot of focus on the whole gardening aspect and the passion for it and how this brought together the two main characters. The cinematography and production set of it all is done really well. Aside from this, the cast here is lead primarily by some familiar faces like the ever so elegant and talented Kate Winslet who is stunning as this female gardener who breaks the societal norms of this period. Paired with her is the also very talented Matthias Schoenaerts who I love so very much not just for his charming appearance but his acting chops. Of course, acting as both director and the King Louis XIV is Alan Rickman and well, we also somehow always get these little supporting roles with Stanley Tucci. The cast here does deliver quite charming and beautiful performances for their characters.

Now, where A Little Chaos loses its appeal is really in the story. For most of it, it feel disjointed and to be honest, it can be boring because there isn’t anything too extreme about it. The romance is quite subtle where its just exchanges of glances and small conversations. It jumps to events that happen that don’t really seem to make any big differences but to bring in some circumstance for people to meet up. There is never any huge turning point that happens. I know what was meant to be that moment but it never feels like it had enough build-up to make it worth it. It just felt rather flat and disjointed and if it wasn’t for these charming talented cast on screen dazzling us with their performances, this would have been a snoozefest. Sad to say, but if the script was a little better, the outstanding character created for Kate Winslet’s character Sabine de Barra and the hints of chemistry between her and Matthias Schoenaerts who plays Andre Le Notre, the King’s gardener would have been quite the romance to watch. Still, it fell short of its potential.

Double Feature: F*&% the Prom (2017) & Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Back full power into the alphabetical train, the next two films in the double feature

F*&% the Prom (2017)

F The Prom

Director (and co-writer): Benny Fine

Cast: Danielle Campbell, Joel Courtney, Cameron Palatas, Meg DeLacy, Aidan Alexander, Michael Chey, Brendan Calton, Nicholle Tom, Jill Cimorelli, Madelaine Petsch

Maddy and Cole were inseparable friends until high school started and Maddy became the most popular girl on campus. When she starts feeling lonely and heartbroken, she reconnects with Cole and the duo conspire to destroy the ultimate teen popularity contest – the Prom. – IMDB

If it wasn’t for the sporadic releases of movies like The Edge of Seventeen (review), Easy A (review) and even The Duff (review), I’d have written off teen comedies in general. Netflix Originals in general have been fairly cool but when it comes to teen comedies, it seems they are not really finding the unique angle to take quite yet. I can’t remember the title of the last one I saw that was a disappointment..gimme a sec..#RealityHigh (review).

F the Prom

F the Prom is absolutely better than that one. It has hints of some of the older teen comedies but unfortunately, does fall flat and gets rather generic. You can’t shame it for at least doing like a Carrie style scene or having a ragtag team of bullied kids. The film is okay for what it is. There are some funny parts and I think Madeleine Petsch fits into the mean girl character (just like she is in Riverdale). I’m guessing this movie is more for this generation as it fits in a lot of social media and lets just say, I’ve been out of high school for almost 15 years now so to be honest, I laugh at some of the overexaggeration of say selfie-taking (since I always feel weird about it) and the emojis and whatnot. Either way, point is, F the Prom might have something and might have its demographic but its not for me and other than some little chuckle moments, I thought it was fairly generic.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

guardians of the galaxy vol.2

Director (and co-writer): James Gunn

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel(voice), Bradley Cooper(voice),  Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell, Sean Gunn, Sylvestor Stallone

The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. – IMDB

Its really hard to not love the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 even when there are some of the normal downfalls I feel about MCU movies. For one, their soundtrack is fantastic and it remains that way in the sequel. On top of that, the ragtag team’s follow-up is one that shows them both bickering but also in the depths sees them forgiving towards each other in their stubbornest or dumbest moments. In fact, its because of their mishaps and their differences that give each of this team so much character and uniqueness and makes them both lovable and fun to watch. With that said, I don’t think in my limited film knowledge would I find so much joy in watching a little baby tree stump who only says three words over and over again. And not to sh*t talk Bradley Cooper but every time Rocket Raccoon talks, I forget that its Bradley Cooper and wonder who does such a great dynamic voice.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

Aside from the strength in the key characters, The Guardians along with some of the new additions to their team, we do also meet some cool characters and cameos. Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn, playing Yondu and his right hand man Kraglin, get a bigger role here and we learn more about The Ravagers. Alongside that arc, we also see a cameo from the awesome Sylvester Stallone. We love Stallone over here, so its always great to see him in all kinds of projects. He only had two scenes but its still really great. The Ravagers is something of a side arc while the main arc really goes to both the Guardians being chased down by the Sovereign, lead by Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) and Peter Quill’s father, Ego (Kurt Russell) showing up. I recently saw Elizabeth Debicki in Cloverfield Paradox (review) who was fairly decent. She’s alright in this one although to be fair, in terms of villains, Guardians still is quite lackluster as always, maybe its because we know our heroes are always going to be victorious. With that said, the Sovereign is an interesting galactic race to see especially when they battle like going to the arcades. On the other hand, Ego is a decent turn of events and introduces also the pretty funny Mantis (Pom Klementieff). The planet is beautiful and they have their own mystery as to what happens with it all.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a fun ride through the galaxy as we see the Guardians save the galaxy another time. This time, there are fun characters, Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone with some new funny additions like Pom Klementieff as Mantis. On top of it all, the best moments is absolutely with Rocket and Baby Groot who have some adorable moments especially when Baby Groot does a great dance around as the Guardians fight a interdimensional monster. Just from that first scene, it already sets a tone for what to expect in the rest of this action adventure.

Wonder Woman (2017)

This week and the next one will be mainly focused on all the reviews that I haven’t got around to and hopefully along with other fun things. I could do these 2017 movies in double feature but as an effort to catch up and not just wave it off quickly, it is worth a full review, although I am sure that everyone else has said it all.

Wonder Woman (2017)

wonder woman

Director: Patty Jenkins

Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Elena Anaya

When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny. – IMDB

Wonder Woman is my first full experience into the DC Universe. I’ve never made it past the first ten minutes of Man of Steel and not particularly willing to fork out a ton of money for Batman vs. Superman because it doesn’t have the rental option apparently and well, I flat out missed Justice League because I have never caught up with any of the others so why now, right? Wonder Woman got some incredible reviews and because its such an empowering character and I personally like Gal Gadot a ton and thought she would make this role great, I ended up renting it. As with Marvel films, I have never read the DC comics so I don’t know about the source material and have no comparison.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is an exhilarating and exciting experience. Visually, it starts off very beautiful in the matriarch hidden island of Themyscira. This island is beautiful along with its lady warriors who are competent and strong. The mood changes complete when Diana Prince (aka Wonder Woman) goes to London and from there, the World War 1 has taken its toll and its grim and dark. The setting drives the atmosphere and ton and this one does that pretty well.

Wonder Woman

The cast also does a great job. The dialogue is decent and they manage to crack a few lighter moments in with Steve Trevor’s assistant and the drunk sniper hired for their expedition and Diana not knowing how normal people dress and act. I love films which use adapting to and learning a new environment as comedic moments and have a really soft spot for it. Wonder Woman does that very well. The standout role here does go to Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. She is strong and powerful and most importantly, very righteous. The ladies from the island was an interesting look at the protected life of Diana Prince as she was growing up and how she fought to be different and strong to one day fulfil her destiny if they were ever found by the God of War. When she does leave, the team that Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine) puts together to find the God of War turns out to be quite the talented and strategic but somewhat of a ragtag team altogether.

Wonder Woman

Do I think that Wonder Woman is amazing? Maybe less than some of the other reviews out there. This was a competent movie and very entertaining. There was a lot of great moments both comedic and emotional ones. There was some great content here to be had. It definitely exceeded my expectations. However, I did find some pacing issues. And forgive me when I can’t quite take seriously that as amazing as I think Wonder Woman is that she was the one that crossed No Man’s Land and defeated the war. But then, I feel slightly contradicting saying that when I can accept all that Marvel Universe superheroes have accomplished in their movies. It was a great scene and triumphant but we did have a good laugh out of the thought of it. Just a minor sidenote about the thought I had when I was watching it. Other than that, the villain here wasn’t exactly standout but still was decent. I’ve seen less prominent villains before.

Overall, Wonder Woman is an entertaining DC addition that was a nice first step into this universe. Gal Gadot does a great job. There’s a nice balance between comedy and emotional elements here. There’s a good bit of action which works for the most part. I had some issues with it but nothing that made me feel like it took away too much from the entertainment value. I’d really like to see another Wonder Woman film though. Probably as this movie took time to set-up Wonder Woman’s origin story, the next one will  give it a deeper plot.

Ant-Man (2015)

Now we know its time for Captain America Civil War, its coming up this weekend and I’m stoked! Next up on the watch list is Ant-Man.  I’m not going to lie that I like Paul Rudd but I’ve never really seen anything that has wowed me yet. Ant-Man has a good enough trailer but nothing that screamed for me to go see it especially since it was released during Fantasia Festival time so I was busy going to see all those lovely indie films that I didn’t catch this one.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man

Director: Peyton Reed

Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Abby Ryder Fortson, Michael Pena

Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.-IMDB

Ant-Man is an interesting addition to the Marvel universe.  For one, I had no idea what to expect since I don’t even know what Ant-Man’s story is to start with.  After watching Avengers: Age of Ultron and having movies for the bigger names in the universe like Ironman and Captain America and Thor, etc., its nice to see the little guys get their own movie.  I mean, Daredevil and Jessica Jones and that universe being created on Netflix series is fantastic for those characters because there is more story and character to build up.  Ant-Man doesn’t really have a lot of skills and I’m going to guess that its hard to make a lot more out of his character although I wouldn’t mind seeing more.  Ant-Man in general is a different experience where its pretty toned down.  There are pretty much two action scenes which makes for a more quiet movie focused on how Ant-Man came to be.  And that’s work well enough to slow things down and build on what the Pym Particle is and what this is all about: how Ant-Man’s suit and science works.  In the heart of Marvel’s style, there is still quite some good humor to keep things light-hearted.

ant-man 2

 One of the best parts of Ant-Man that surprised me since I’m not a huge fan of most of the cast, not that they aren’t talented, is the characters.  Ant-Man grew on me in his fatherly ways.  I still felt like some parts didn’t make a whole lot of sense and then I think about how much they can go with Ant-Man as a character and I don’t feel like there’s a lot more to do with it other than building a supporting Avenger since the team seems to original team after Ultron seems to be busy with their own worlds and lives. Paul Rudd gives a charming performance of Ant-Man as is Michael Douglas as Dr. Pym and the even seemingly smaller role his daughter Hope has.  Although she seems to be in the background, I don’t remember a whole lot except being there to inevitably form a connection/relationship with Ant-Man in a love and hate fashion, I guess. Its been a while I’ve seen Michael Douglas in any movie and this is a decent one.

Ant-Man

Most of the time the supporting characters in the background turn out to be expendable jokers can actually hurt the movie but in this case, the three guys that Paul Rudd brings in to help actually turn out to add to the humor of the story, keeping it light and fun.  I do like Marvel movies because of that a lot and these three, while still sometimes being a little stupid, wasn’t bothersome to watch.  It helped to set possibly the tone of what Ant-Man and further stories would be, especially since it has already announced a sequel, not that I have the slightest on how that is going to turn out. I’m not sure about T.I. yet but Michael Pena’s Luis and David Dastmalchian’s Kurt both delivered some chuckles for me.

Ant-Man

Finally, we’re talking about the villain, YellowJacket/Darren Cross, whichever you prefer to choose. Darren Cross is a little crazy and obsessed over finding the serum/particle, whatever you call it, that can answer how to shrink a person and prove that he can do it also just like his mentor, Hank Pym. The hateful, crazy and obnoxious personality he has was done so good.  The moment he steps on screen, you know he’s the bad guy because you just want to punch him in the face.  Now that is some impressive acting.  There’s not a lot of build-up for his character and in fact, more screen time doesn’t always make him a great villain but I think in the spectrum of things, he embodies a villain better than other Marvel movies are because he’s human and really out of it. That point is reinforced when he’s not the YellowJacket for a long time in Ant-Man either.

Ant-Man

Overall, Ant-Man is a nice addition to the Marvel universe.  Maybe not my favorite but it is full of quite charming individuals.  I’m not sure what to look forward to in its sequel but I’m down with Paul Rudd as Ant-Man and his character in its most clueless way, should being some more laughs just like this one has.  It felt light and fun which is weird because this is supposed to be a sci-fi thriller according to IMDB. As a superhero movie, it hits the points it needs to and that is what matters. It was definitely an unexpected turn of events for me because it did start off a little slow.

Have you seen Ant-Man? What do you think about it?

TV Binge: Jessica Jones [Season 1/2015]

We are finally back with another TV Binge! I really wanted it to be Jessica Jones especially since it was requested after my TV binge of Daredevil. Seeing as Daredevil just launched Season 2 on Netflix, I thought it would be a good time to talk Jessica Jones.

Lets start by saying that I really did not have any faith in Jessica Jones. And it took me longer than I had wanted because I couldn’t get Krysten Ritter as Gia Goodman in Veronica Mars out of my head. She has probably done other roles after this one but I just finished binging Veronica Mars so it was fresh on my mind. Plus, it seemed that she would be doing something completely opposite, being dark and sarcastic and surviving from her own past. I know nothing about superheroes and their source materials. Thats really all I have in my defense.

Lets check this out!

Jessica Jones [Season 1]

jessica jones

Creator: Melissa Rosenberg

Cast: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Carrie-Ann Moss, David Tennant, Eka Darville, Wil Traval, Mike Colter, Erin Moriarty

A former superhero decides to reboot her life by becoming a private investigator.-IMDB

Jessica Jones surprised me a lot..in a very good way.  If anything, I liked it much more.  It had to do with the character of Jessica Jones being much more intriguing to watch and the inner struggles she had and the strong character she portrayed.  The good part also had to do with the pacing of the show.  I say more because I can’t help to compare it to Daredevil, seeing as they are building towards the same mini-series in the future. With that said, superheroes are definitely not in shortage around the universe in and surrounding Hell’s Kitchen, right? They are extremely secretive about who they are.

Jessica Jones

How do we describe Jessica Jones? She has a good heart deep under the layers of pain. She tries to isolate herself so that her dangers won’t affect the few people she cares about. She is a superhero with super strength but now only a private investigator living in a rundown office. And she had one goal to run away from Kilgrave but now she plans on ending him for all the harm he has caused. Jessica Jones grows a lot and the series digs deep into her past and the turmultuous life she lives in now. No one needs a thousand enemies, we just need that one person that is inexplicably hard to defeat.

jessica jones

There is only a few people in Jessica Jones life that is worth a mention and the series does a good job at building on these people, whether its her famous talk show host best friend Trish or whether its her neighbor Malcolm, they all have a specific importance to her life. Their relationships with each other and the motives and characteristics of these two characters specifically become abundantly clear by the end. We know where they stand and where they will be when things take a turn for the bad.

Jessica Jones

David Tennant plays Kilgrave. The enemy of Jessica Jones that destroyed her life and who has the powers of mind control. Kilgrave is ruthless and volatile. He doesnt care about anyone but he does love Jessica and wants her back even if his measures are extreme. If there was a weak link in this, it was that I never actually felt like Jessica was in danger. Kilgrave didn’t feel like he would harm her a lot despite his nature and what he did to others. It was more what would happen and the way he chose for others to go that made him more dangerous. Does that mean he is a bad character? No. We also learn a lot about him and he gets the care needed for us to better understand our villain.

Jessica Jones

However, what stands out for Jessica Jones other than their main characters are the supporting ones.  Carrie-Anne Moss plays the powerful and almost emotionless lawyer that uses Jessica Jones’ service.  The character is selfish and really not that likable but at the same time, the character itself is worth a mention.  At the same time, my favorite part of Jessica Jones is Luke Cage. The connection him and Jessica Jones is amazing.  The sex scenes are intense and awesome and the character makes me look forward to his own series (which should be coming up soon).  Aside from that, there was also Dan Simpson (played by Wil Traval) who really has a big surprise by the end (at least to me because I know nothing about this universe).  I wonder if he’ll be making an appearance in the next one.

Jessica Jones is a fun series with a lot of dark moments, some sarcastic humor and a lot of great characters.  The story is paced well and it kept me engaged for quite a while.  The best part was definitely leaving the series with a greater anticipation for season 2 but also for Luke Cage’s own series. Netflix is cranking up some good stuff and I sure hope they keep it up.  It’ll be fun to see how it all connects together. And well, maybe finding out the secret behind Jessica Jones and her powers, if there is any.

Have you seen Jessica Jones? What are your thoughts?