Comic Con trailers: Godzilla, Fantastic Beasts

Recently, I saw the trailers for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Godzilla films, and thought I’d pen down some of my thoughts.

First, the Godzilla trailer. I thought the trailer poised the film really well as a giant monster flick; the one shot where Godzilla spews his atomic breath into the sky with the military ship before him as a size comparison is a glimpse of the breathtaking scale of the visuals that I’m hoping permeates throughout the film.

I think Millie Bobby Brown is an interesting casting choice (if someone typecast). Assuming the trailer is simply playing up her popularity and that she is indeed the main human protagonist of the film, I think some interesting dynamics can be explored by the filmmakers in terms of size and stature, both physical and metaphorical. Her character appears to be small in size even relative to the other humans in the film, but perhaps her bravery will render her larger-than-life, comparable to the literal titans in the film.

I think the trailer does leave things somewhat vague, which is good, though those knowledgeable in Godzilla lore may note the presence of certain familiar rivals to the king of monsters and infer how it would play out. I suppose if the filmmakers were to follow pre-existing lore meticulously, we’d probably see a battle between two camps of monsters. (Godzilla and Mothra against Ghidorah in a CGI-explosive Act 3, where the human characters play their own minor parts but are largely left on the sidelines)

Next, Fantastic Beasts.

I liked how the trailer still placed some emphasis on the various fantastic beasts of the wizarding world. We even see some new ones! I had feared that the film would sidelines the beasts to place emphasis on the Grindelwald/Dumbledore storyline and more or less transform it purely into a Harry Potter prequel. Thankfully, the trailer seems to show that the film will offer a lot more. The line where Zoe Kravitz’s character observes how there was no monster Newt couldn’t love was particularly interesting to me. I feel that she meant this not pertaining solely to his care for the various beasts seen in the film, but also to the sidelined people or perhaps those seen as ‘sub-human’ because of various peculiarities. I think it’ll be interesting if the filmmakers explored this human-beast dynamic and what made someone or something constitute a beast. For instance, in our world, we may treat a dog infinitely better than we do another human being. What would that say about the status dynamics between beasts and humans?


[End August Update] Top Ten Favourite Movies of the Year (So Far)

Hey guys!

So it’s nearing the end of August, and I won’t be free for the next few days, so I decided to do this update today. Basically, it’s a modification of my first Top Ten list after watching the movies that came out after the previous list. Enjoy!

SIDE NOTE: I’m SO sorry that I probably won’t be able to post the ANTM Episode 2 recap/random opinions thing for at least a few days, but hopefully I’ll get it out before EP3 comes out 😦

In case you missed it, you can go through my first selection for this list here.


as usual, I’ll start with stating some of the films I DIDN’T watch, which could potentially end up in the list:

The Grand Budapest Hotel (didn’t come out ANYWHERE near me)

Chef (didn’t come out ANYWHERE near me)

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (exams D: )

The Fault in Our Stars (exams D: )

Begin Again (exams D: )

22 Jump Street (exams  D:)

Possibly… Noah (too many other interesting films came out around then)

1% chance: The Expendables (just couldn’t be bothered)

Let’s begin.

10. The Giver


Full review here.

Highlights: The montages of memories, Odeya Rush, Final scene.

9. Neighbours


Aaah this is the only comedy left on the list lol. Let’s hope there are good comedies/romcoms/chickflicks later in the year! (that’s right Love, Rosie)

(adapted from previous post) One of the funnier films of 2014 so far. 22 Jump Street might have taken its place… but let’s not go into that. The plot is simple but really fun and engaging… it’s the typical “an eye for an eye” type of movie, where the two sides keep finding mischievous and hilarious ways to get back at each other. The chemistry between Seth and Zac is definitely there… their one-on-one fights/moments were really interesting to watch. But for me, Rose Byrne stole the show. I definitely remember her best from Bridesmaids, where she delivered perfectly the intolerable and bitchy (sorry) character of Helen Harris III, and here, I really enjoyed her portrayal as a crazy, ingenious mama bear. I mean, who else could pull off that scene where she manipulates Pete and Brooke into having sex? (I should probably put some kind of PG guidance thing here). And not to mention that outrageous (if slightly irkish) scene with the breast milk.

All in all, this was one outrageous and hilarious movie which I will not be forgetting soon.

Highlights (in a few words): that scene where they imitated celebrities voices. that last firework scene.

8. Godzilla


Honestly in any of the previous few years this would definitely have made the Top Ten at the end of the year. But now that seems slightly dubious :/ Aah well, we’ll wait and see. My opinion might change 😮

(adapted from previous post) Ok, we’re starting to get into the blockbusters. TBH, just a note, I thought almost all the blockbusters this year were actually really well made, with only a few exceptions. (I’m looking at you, TAS2, Transformers 4… urgh). Godzilla felt pretty dark to me, but all the more suspenseful. I would pick those fight scenes with Godzilla over the ones in Pacific Rim any day (I’m sorry), because they were simply EPIC. That atomic breath… WOW. I actually found the way they changed perspectives from one human to another to be really interesting as well… since it kind of showed that, well, this mega-sized (and at times, kind of awesome) destruction was happening just about… everywhere. Those long-legged creatures/parasites or whatever actually scared the crap out of me. The visuals were stunning in a big-scale, buildings-getting-destroyed-like-cardboard kind of way, which was expected. As for Godzilla itself (himself?), I don’t know if it’s just me, but I had SO much respect for it (him?). Yea he’s some gigantic, slightly paunchy lizard, but his resilience brought tears to my eyes.

Highlights: The Atomic Breath. Sally Hawkins (because it’s Sally Hawkins), looking at how useless man-made technology was. Las Vegas destroyed.

7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


Another one like Godzilla. Again, we’ll just wait and see what happens to this.

(adapted from previous post) I watched this really recently, so it’s still pretty fresh in my mind. I know there’s some message about humanity etc etc, but to be honest I’ve had enough literature for the term, so I’ll not delve into that. I thought at the main antagonist, Kova, was really what drove the film. He was so brutal, so savage, that any scene with him (which was pretty much almost every scene) kept me by the edge of my seat. When he shot Caesar and those watchmen, I flinched so hard the guy beside me spilt his popcorn. That huge scene where the human base is attacked was so intense and brutal I was literally shaken after that. It was really impactful to me. But perhaps more so was the final fight between Kobo and Caesar, honestly I wasn’t sure how much damage either party was going to take before one of them came out on top. It ended on a slightly cliched note, with the typical “villain-hangs-by-the-edge-of-a-cliff-while-protagonist-looks-on.” kind of thing. But really, that last part was a really fitting end for Kobo.

Highlights (in a few words): that big orange ape (Maurice). that book scene with Maurice and Alex. the final explosion.

6. The Lego Movie


Still my top animated pick of the year! I really have to get around to watching HTTYD2 though lol. Also still waiting on Big Hero 6 and The Book of Life.

(adapted from previous post) Not to be cocky or anything, but I could tell instantly this was going to be a huge hit the moment the first marketing materials came out. And it was. I think the theme song holds completely true, everything IS awesome about this film. Like, literally every part of the movie seemed to be a highlight. The film was funny, reaaally smartly written, visually appealing, and had a really interesting plot. All the characters are so unique and hilarious in their own ways, from Emmet’s “nobody, yet somebody” character, to Batman’s narcissistically hilarious character, to Unikittys overly sweet and chirpy facade. I loved the cast as well, Chris Pratt (from the awesome Parks and Rec), Elizabeth Banks (THG, Pitch Perfect), Morgan Freeman (is it just me, or is Morgan Freeman in like every known movie). That twist at the end where we see a real-life Will Ferrell was pretty cool, and the final confrontation between Emmet/Lord Business, Will Ferrell’s char/his son was really touching, and was probably just about the best conclusion I’ve seen to a movie yet.

Highlights: If I have to choose… The Spaceship Dude. All the Batman-nisms.

5. Edge of Tomorrow


Heard that it barely made enough at the box office or something. Might just be the lowest grossing blockbuster of the year lol. Though that won’t change my opinion of how good the film was.

(adapted from previous post) The most overlooked film this year, in my opinion. The box office receipts definitely wasn’t proportionate to the quality of this film… to me this was definitely one of the best films of the summer, if not the best. The “Live, Die, Repeat” sequence in the film was really interesting and intriguing to watch, and for once, we really see the impossibilty of Tom Cruise’s stunts (through his constant deaths). The chemistry between Emily and Tom’s character was actually one of the strongest and most interesting for me, as personally, I thought that both their warrior-like hearts shone really powerfully, individually, and when put together… wow. I thought the design of the Mimics was really cool, and overall, as the marketing material very correctly states, this film was smart, exciting and unexpected. Those scenes on the beach were so intense, and seeing the intricately planned motions which the two characters went through was almost better than every coordinated mission in the MI series. It was funny, hilarious even, to watch the way in which these plans were made out, which I thought added a nice and appropriate touch of humour to the film. Overall, this is my definition of a GREAT film.

Highlights (in a few words): The (entire) final action sequence. Emily Blunt’s sword action.

4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier


Yup… this is no longer my top Marvel pick of the year. Who would’ve known? I mean, it was definitely an awesome movie, just didn’t think that GOTG could actually top it. Just top it.

(adapted from previous post) The first one was good… but this REALLY showed what Marvel can be made of. I thought it’s straying from the typical “beating-up-bad-guys” thing all Marvel movies seem to have made this film SO much better. After the disappointing Thor 2 last year, I went in with my expectations slightly muted. And boy, was I blown away. The action throughout most of the film was far from Avengers-esque, but more with a touch of Black Widow to it, which I really loved. The whole idea of Hydra completely infiltrating Shield really helped made this film so much more suspenseful for me, it honestly felt to me that it was Chris and ScarJo (and that falcon dude) versus the world, since EVERYONE seemed to be against them. The final sequence with those huge helicarriers felt so unique and enthralling to watch. The way those ships blew each other up at the end…. WOW… the chills… Perhaps more so though, was the connection between The Winter Soldier and the Capt. After the first film, where I really liked the friendship between the two, I thought their fight scenes were more like a fight between two best friends, which is SO much more emotionally conflictive than one between worst enemies. That was definitely the emotional highlight for me through the movie. The chemistry between Chris and Scarlett was good as well, and once again, Scarlett is back in her lovely lethal and sarcastic character, though with a nicely added vulnerability. Maria Hill and Nick Fury also played really interesting roles, and I actually half-believed that Nick Fury had actually died there at the start.

Highlights (in a few words): The helicarrier guns. Colbie Smulders. Emily Van Camp. The emotional conflict between Capt and TWS.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy


The first time I watched this and reviewed it, I gave it like a 7.8 or something. Then I watched it again… and realised just how good it actually was. I was actually REALLY conflicted as to whether I preferred this over Captain America 2, but in the end, I think just the whole idea of these 5 anti-heroes working together and kicking ass pushed this over the edge.

Full review here.

Highlights: Karen Gillian/Nebula. The Blockade. Chris Pratt dancing.

2. X-Men Days of Future Past


OK I am REALLY conflicted about this one. I mean, there are just SO MANY THINGS to adore about this movie, that would potentially push it back into the No. 1 spot for me. If this came out in the few years before, this would have been No. 1, hands down, but… :/

(adapted from previous post) No questions asked, this was THE movie of the summer for me. Where do I even begin? The concept felt really refreshing and new for the “going back in time” thing, to start. And all the scenes in the future… SOO awesome. I was actually hoping there were more of them. The fight scenes in the future were SOOO intense, the most intense ones I’ve seen yet. Frankly, it’s pretty enthralling yet frightening to see my favourite heroes from the original X-Men series (Iceman, Colossus, Storm) fighting such an impossible battle, not to mention the equally awesome newcomers (Blink, Sunspot, Bishop etc.) The Sentinels were shit-your-pants scary, easily the most intimidating antagonists of the summer. It was SO painful to watch those drill-like hands impale so many of the X-Men. The emotional engagement of this film was also… wow. The scene with old/young Charles brought SO MANY tears to my eyes I was bawling like a little baby. That final climactic scene, which flashes the Mystique/Magneto confrontation and the final battle… the chills and feels were just… overwhelming. This film went beyond awesome for me, it had such a poignant, powerful pulse to it, like the beating of a human heart. (Ugh I’ve been drowning myself in literature for my exams). I watched this film 5 times in theatres… more than any other film this year, and each time I felt so equally engaged. Oh of course, the cast. I mean, what can I say? This ensemble cast could easily outmatch The Avengers cast. All in all, this was the film of the year. (so far)

Highlights (in a few words): BOBBY 😀. That 2 seconds of Rogue. All the future fight scenes. Blink’s portals. Old/young charles scene. Storm’s storm/lightning. The love/hate relationship between (young and perhaps old) Magneto and Charles. The Sentinels rising to Magneto’s side. The slow-mo prison break scene. Mystique’s fight scenes. The stadium descending around The White House.

1. Boyhood


Like I said, kinda conflicted about this actually. I mean, Boyhood is beautiful, but there are just SO many things to love about X-Men Days of Future Past. Ah well, we’ll see what happens.

Full review here.

Highlights: Honestly, the beauty of this film is in its holistic experience.

And that’s it! This is my updated list of my fav. films this year. What do you think? Please comment/like/follow 🙂 It would mean the world.

All my best,