Two more concept arts from Age of Ultron.

First poster for The Hobbit: Battle of The Five Armies

Three concept arts from Marvel: Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron

Age of Ultron aka Avengers 2 is on the cover off Entertainment Weekly. First look!

Daniel Radcliffe stars in this poster from Horns.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

(2014, thriller/action/sci-fi)

Directed by Matt Reeves

Written by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Mark Bomback

Starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee

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I can’t help but feel like this is an ape movie. By ‘ape movie’ I mean, the actors are apes playing apes characters dealing with their ape life dramas and conflicts and apes sentiment. The humans are some kind of background, supporting roles in their lives. What I’m saying is, if this were a human-animal relationship movie, the apes would be the humans and the humans would be the apes. If you know what I mean.

I wasn’t kidding when I said those apes scared the shit out of me. They have been since Rise. They’re just so creepy. Not how they look, but how they talk, I guess? Not that talking apes are odd, it’s the way they talk, the way they say their words out loud. With that deep, thick, raspy voices and sharp stares. Jeez, I winced and covered my ears every time I sensed one was about to speak.

The movie picked up a while after where Rise left off. The world is facing ‘apocalypse’ or more of a ‘human extinction’ because the apes, who were experimented on in the previous movie, are known to be the source of the spreading virus which was resulted in Simian Flu plague among the human race. People die from the disease, or if not, from the riot over the disease. One day, a group of immune survivors come across the growing nation of evolved apes led by Caesar and an occurring event during the unexpected rendezvous causes the apes to feel threatened. The conflict of trusts and coexistence between them increases the likelihood of interspecies war happening.

Andy Serkis is the strong soul of Caesar as he is the leader of the apes, the strongest, wisest of them (now with a family of his own). Jason Clarke is the human male lead, portraying Malcolm, an ordinary man who’s gone through big loss and just trying to help and survive. Keri Russell and Gary Oldman(!) are to my surprise nothing more than supporting roles. It’s amazing how the apes are the one with the core story (love, brotherhood, betrayal) and it’s so sentimental and nonetheless engaging, while the humans seem to be just random survivors they happen to cross paths with.

The film is undoubtedly enjoyable, entertaining, scaring and a good one. A simple life drama with so much familiarity reflected in a sense of difference and at the same time, similarity. And it’s refreshing, although scary.

And at the end of the day, we are all apes. Primate, I mean.

Two worlds, one family.

My Rating: 7.8/10

BLENDED

(2014, Comedy)

Directed by Frank Coraci

Written by Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera

Starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kevin Nealon, Emma Fuhrmann, Bella Thorne, Braxton Beckham

It’s one really short review.

During the first act, before the whole gang goes to Africa, I was that close to regretting spending my money on the ticket. I mean, it’s not even funny and it’s unsurprisingly clichéd (well what do you expect?). But then they all go on a fantastic vacation to South Africa and from there it keeps getting better. There’s nothing entirely new though, just another absolutely familiar story, scene by scene. Sometimes it’s hilarious, sometimes fun, sometimes it’s emotional. I don’t know if it’s just me, but they made me cry. I cried when Lauren (Drew) offers Jim (Sandler)’s tomboy oldest daughter to go to the salon to get a makeover (her mom has passed away). I cried when Lauren sings his youngest daughter to sleep when she tucks her in. I even cried when Lauren goes through with a scary parachute ride across the desert.

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore has that cute chemistry.

Although it’s nothing new, it’s still very entertaining. It’s a fun family comedy and by setting it in Africa, it takes us to a beautiful new place, it’s enjoyable, it’s touching and at the end of the day, it’s completely refreshing. It’s a perfect choice if you need a two-hour light-moviewatching time.

My Rating: 6.8/10

HBO’s THE NORMAL HEART

(2014, TV/drama)

Directed by Ryan Murphy

Written by Larry Kramer

Starring Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello

Before I get into the movie, I’m going to start with this.

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What girl doesn’t want to open her front door and see this? I keep wondering why this guy isn’t Christian Grey. 

But that’s just about the look. Matt Bomer isn’t that huge as an actor despite his talent. He is on TV mostly (White Collar), he’s in Magic Mike a little and he didn’t get the role of Superman. Now that I think about it, he could’ve been Superman. But I guess it wasn’t meant to be. Or is it because he’s gay (which I’m sure women all over the world mourn)?
That’s what this movie is about. It’s about what being gay’s got to do with anything. It’s set in NYC in the 80’s when HIV/AIDS was a completely unknown disease and had only begun being an epidemic among homosexuals. 
In the lead is Mark Ruffalo, playing Ned Weeks, a gay writer and the only few of his gay community who’s not afraid to speak up. When his friends start dying one by one, his help is asked by a female doctor who’s working on the new-found virus and treating those infected (played by Julia Roberts). He forms a health crisis organization with a group of his friends to raise money, all the while asking his respected lawyer older brother to back his up and encourage everyone to fight and to force the ignorant government to pay attention to the plague and do something about it.
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Ruffalo’s performance is strong as an open and forward homosexual fighter who’s trying everything he can get his hand on to save his friends, especially the love of his life Felix (Bomer) who’s also diagnosed with the virus. Also in the supporting roles are come-out actors like Jim Parsons and Jonathan Groff. Taylor Kitsch also plays an important roles as the president of the organization and a friend of Ned’s who’s also experienced great loss because of the disease. 
If there is nothing better for a TV movie, this Ryan Murphy directed, Plan B Production (Brad Pitt), and play-based film, which teaches us about humanity and about being despised for not being with the common crowd or walking the straight path, should win the Emmy and the Golden Globe following last year’s success of Behind The Candelabra
I think everyone should watch The Normal Heart, if wasn’t for having a heart then for the sake of humanity. And a good movie.

My Rating: 8.5/10

Late TV Thoughts

Okay, let’s get to this finally.

Fargo

The first time it showed on TV, I intended to write my thoughts on it but decided to skip it and just write my review on the entire show the second its finale aired (didn’t turn out so well!).

Riveting and compelling, with so many wtf moments, Fargo delivered a whole first season of good dramas, thrilling actions, terrific performances and awkwardly funny bits.

Adapted from the 1996’s film by The Coen Brothers with the same name, Fargo is an outstanding black comedy (my new fave genre!). Set in present time Minnesota, it tells a tale about how one person and one accidental event cause a horrible domino effects. Martin Freeman plays his part (Lester Nygaard) comically as a desperate common townie who is bullied by his friends and wife. One day he bumps into Lorne Malvo, an antagonist played by Billy Bob Thornton. He’s mysterious and capable with crazy hairstyle/fringe that reminds me much of Javier Bardem’s Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Man. Lester unintentionally shares with Malvo an information that eventually leads to unthinkable crimes happening around town. That’s the pilot and it’s amazing and it ignites pretty much everything that occurs during the rest of the season. It’s jaw-dropping, it makes us think and it makes us laugh guiltily, which is the part I like the most about dark comedies. I feel horrible because I was ROTFL when Lester kills his wife.

If you’ve seen the 1996 film, you can tell that this show is interconnected with the film. Close to the end of the film, Steve Buscemi’s character buries a briefcase filled with cash down under a pile of snow and leave some kind of shoving tool to dig it with. Somewhere in the middle of the show, a character, in the exact same spot, find the briefcase and abruptly go insanely rich. I cannot really explain it, you should go see it yourself. It’s one of the must-see TV shows of the century.

Orphan Black

SPOILERS!

It’s not every day you find a show with that girl-power aura, where the characters are fierce females who seemingly don’t need no man. It’s a fantastic show, very thrilling, an extraordinary story. Tatiana Maslany performs exceedingly on the lead, portraying a bunch of different sestras (bravo to the makeup artists too).

The season finale is action packed until the last minutes when everything starts to finally cool down. Peace is restored after they beat Rachel. But then the tension is building again as they giving out clues piece by piece as to what is in store for season 3. Helena is taken somewhere, she’s the poorest one she’s probably going to be a lab rat again somewhere else. Cosima could die soon. Alison’s family is on their feet again after she works it out with husband. Sarah gets Kira (and Cal, perhaps?) back. Every clone is happy and dancing. Even Felix. But then turns out there’s another one of them, a younger one this time. She’s adopted by someone with even higher position at DYAD and it’s still unclear what the project is all about. In the end, they reveal that there are not only the female clones, but also the male ones. I was hardly hoping they’d show a clone of Paul (cause he’s cute, it’s going to be an even better show with not one, but five Paul Dierden). But, disappointingly, it turns out to be that guy whose name I forget from that church/cult thing where Helena was taken, thought to be a miracle, and impregnated.

Suits

The new season begins with Mike freshly out of the firm and no longer a protégé of Harvey at Pearson Specter, where he has to carefully keep everyone in the dark about never going to law school. He’s in investment banking now in a company which name I forget which is listed as one of Pearson Specter’s client. Expecting Harvey not to treat him differently, the tension between them builds. Caring about each other but not wanting to admit it, they both just want to win. With Rachel still an employee of the firm, she’s forced to work with a client who turns out to be the married man she used to have an affair with. Her relationship with Mike is tested as they try to keep it strictly professional and to keep what’s between them alive and stronger.

Honestly, I never really understand most of the cases the characters in the show are dealing with. I’m mainly here for the dramas, the hilarious scenes from Louis Litt and the charm of the handsome and brilliant Harvey Specter. It’s a good show, though. How do I know? Because it makes me want to be a lawyer, or at least, to play a lawyer.

True Blood

More blood and less sex this season, perhaps? Picking up where it left off last year, with the absence of Eric in the first two episodes and the lack of romance between Sookie and Bill, I have got nothing to say for now. It’s mostly about brutal and mass vampire murders now.

Penny Dreadful

I like this show. Even though one episode feels too long sometimes, this thriller/horror/mystery series has been putting me on the edge of my seat, or bed. Set in London long ago, the characters are old myth legends from, as the title says it, famous penny dreadfuls. The master of vampire, his love Mina and her dad Malcolm, Dorian Gray, Victor Frankenstein and his monster, van Helsing and at the latest minute, werewolves. Five things I pick up during this debut season; slaughters, sex, family, exorcism and poem, all surrounding the good drama and the horror concept. Looking forward to season 2. Watch the pilot to see if it’s for you.

The Leftovers

I ask my bro to watch the pilot with me to see if it’s any good. And in that one hour, I still got no idea what this show is all about. I don’t know if it’s a good sign or a bad one, because it could mean it’d be empty or that I want to continue watching to find out what it’s all about. My bro didn’t like it. He said if it turned out to be good later he’d watch it.