Tag Archives: Review

The Dark Knight: A Movie review

“Another Dark Knight review? Goddamn, we all know its great, Heath Ledger’s Joker is amazing, Christopher Nolan is a God, etc. My God, please just put a rest on this movie and move on!”

That’s probably what you’re thinking right now as you are reading the title of this post. I mean, I know, because this is how I feel everytime I read a review about this movie. And believe me, all the worldly praises that can be written on the face of this planet, I read about this movie. But allow me to indulge you with my review of this legendary movie. Obviously, there will be spoilers thrown here and there in this review but my God, if you haven’t seen the movie, please watch it. You’ll thank me later.

The year the Dark Knight was released in theaters, I was fairly young, around 12 years old. I was used in watching kiddy superhero movies like Superman, the early Batman films, etc. and I was sure that this Dark Knight movie will be just the same. Its Batman anyway, and it should entertain us kids, right? I also heard that Heath Ledger’s Joker is amazing from reviews, so thats another reason to watch the film. So I did.

I was not entertained at all. There’s no cartoonish fight, no eye-popping acrobatic skills, and nothing that will attract kids to see it. Everything is serious, gritty, dark and very cinematic which is very different from the 90’s Batman films. It was more of a cop movie more than anything else and I was very confused as to why critics find the film amazing. In short, the kid me didnt like this movie at all. Not one bit.

Okay, before you crucify me and burn me to the ground, try to understand that Im just an innocent child at the time and I just wanted to see something slapstick and funny. I wasn’t ready for it and I didn’t see it coming. Please don’t judge me.

Hahaha. Kidding aside, I’m so happy that 5 years later, I decided to rewatch the film again. First I watched Batman Begins, which is the first part of the Dark Knight trilogy and I realized that part of the reason why I was so confused as a child while watching the Dark Knight was because I didn’t watched the Batman Begins first. Hey, I didnt know Dark Knight is a sequel! Blame it on my childhood.

Batman Begins is amazing, so after the film ends, I immediately popped in the Dark Knight Dvd. And that night is one of the most historic part of my life because it introduced me to my favorite film. The Dark Knight is the best movie I have ever seen in my life. I wanted to strangle the 12-year old me for not realizing it. 

I know you read this a million times, but let me tell you the reasons why this movie is so good.

1. Heath Ledger’s Joker. Love him or hate him, you know in your heart that what Heath did to the Joker was unbelievable. The dedication he gave just to dive in to the character already deserves an Oscar. And no, not even Jared Leto can compete.

2. The psychological games between the Joker and the Batman is mind blowing. Kudos to the writers. The movie depicts how people are changed when pushed to their limits and our understanding of right and wrong are tested. When we people are facing danger, do we just throw away our morals just to survive?

3. The interrogation scene is…. Wow. I cant even come up with a word to describe that scene. Watch it again on youtube just to remind yourself that a scene so short yet so thought provoking can be made in a comic book film. Epic scene.

4. The casting are flawless. Its a cliche but hear me out. How often do you see big actors (Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman) do minor roles? Not very often right? But the way they are utilized in this film made it look like the characters they are portraying are essential. Im speechless.

5. Of course, Christopher Nolan’s direction. Cinematography, camera angles, zoom in, zoom out. Well executed. When you are young you dont notice these things but as you watch more and more films, you begin to understand why these things matter. They amplify the vibe of the film and gives you this unnerving atmosphere. Good job.

Of course I can go on all day, but I chose these 5 things because they are the things that appeal to me the most. 

I know that everyone of us have different taste when it comes to watching films. But you have to agree with me, even if you dont like the genre, The Dark Knight is one hell of a movie.

“Oh My God, I knew it would end this way. Another ‘The Dark Knight is the best movie’ review. Way to go, Kienji. You really are MAD.”

Thank You for the compliment!

10/10

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Suicide Squad: A Movie Review

I am quite familiar with the Suicide Squad way before the movie because I watched the animated film Assault on Arkham. I thought Assault on Arkham was about Batman since the DVD cover features him and since I am a Batman fan, I didnt hesitate to watch it. So I was kinda surprised when instead of Batman, this group of villains are being introduced and truthfully, I had no idea who the most of them are (with the exception of Harley Quinn). I thought, okay, so these are the villains and Batman will try to stop them. Wrong again. Batman is barely in the movie and the main focus is this group of villains: Suicide Squad. And I admit, it is entertaining and even though there is a lack of Batman, I was pretty mind-blown. I never knew there is a Suicide Squad until that day.

When the news broke out that a Suicide Squad movie was in the works and Jared Leto was casted, I was hyped. Man, if the Assault on Arkham is to be translated on the big screen, it will be epic. And Jared Leto as the Joker? I have so much respect to the actor and I know that even though he wont get to the Heath Ledger level of Joker, at least he will try to achieve that kind of dedication.

Additional cast members were revealed which includes Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn feels true to the comics and her looks bare resemblance to the grungy make up of Heath Ledger’s Joker: messy and angsty. Will Smith doesnt feel like a Deadshot material to me but what the hell. You never go wrong with Will Smith, so its cool.

The movie came. I watched it. And yeah, its a mess. Dont get me wrong, I had fun. The characters are amazing, the dialogues are funny, the introductions to the characters are believable and it doesnt take itself too seriously like the previous DC offerings. Its just the plot. It seems that the plot is just thrown down there so the Suicide Squad can come together and have bonding with each other but other than that, its non sense. 

Spoiler Alert!

The problem with this movie is the problem originated from the group themselves. My God, if Enchantress is sealed and isnt allowed to roam around while her alter ego, June Moon, is active, the Suicide Squad wouldnt be necessary. Sure they are this expendable group that will fight future evil super beings, but atleast contain the group. The group is created to solve problems not create them.

And where is Batman and the Flash during Enchantress’ rampage? They are supposed to be superheroes but they arent even shown during all the chaos. At least explain why they cant help becuase it really is unbelievable. They should be the first responders since they are the good guys. I dont know, maybe they are busy filming the Justice League?

The Joker is the biggest disappointment for me. I dont know if I like him, but I certainly doesnt have any connection to him. Unlike Heath Ledger’s Joker where you feel for his beliefs and motives, this Joker is just pointless to the story. I dont know, maybe he’s just not shown enough but what a let down. Im not saying Jared Leto is a failure because I dont see anything that resembles Jared Leto in that Joker which is amazing, its just that the way he is represented is unnecessary. Like, he’s just there to be a decoration.

Okay, enough with the let downs. There are also some positives and I think it depends on the viewer what will weigh in more to them, the positive or the  negative.

The Suicide Squad casting is perfect. Hands down. All of them are well suited to the role they are playing which is good since this is their introduction to the audience. Majority of the viewers are unfamiliar with these characters and it needs a good casting in order to appreciate them.

Dialogues are pretty funny too especially when it is between the Suicide Squad members. Their dialogues meshed with their personality and that is important because some in some movies, they force dialogue into character which contradicts to his belief and for me, it kinda ruins the character when that happens, so kudos.

And finally. Harley Quinn. One word. Perfect. You just gotta see the film to appreciate her. She is the reason the group worked and I think it would fail miserably without Margot Robbie’s casting. Very good decision.

Overall, if you want a senseless messy fun action superhero movie, definitely watch this film. Just dont think about the plot so much, because there is basically none. 

5/10

The Office: Tv Series review

I discovered The Office during a very emotional part of my life. I was very depressed at that time because my 2 years relationship just ended and I felt so empty. I tried everything to take my mind off of it. I began exercising, I read books, watch movies and I even joined a forum called 9chat (now renamed Cookie for whatever reason) but the saving grace for me is The Office. My God, I love The Office. It was the reason I finally moved on and if I hadnt discovered it, I maybe wallowing in sadness till now. No joke.

A year passed and today, The Office is still my favorite tv show and not just because of my emotional attachment to it, but because it is actually really good. I didnt really knew what a mockumentary comedy was back then and it was really refreshing because it doesnt even have a laugh track which for me is a necessary component of any sitcoms. I admit I didnt immediately got the humor but the more I watched it, the more it grew on me. After I grasped the purpose of the show and got familiarized with the characters, that was where it started: My Office addiction.

Steve Carell did an incredible job in portraying Michael Scott because he is a master when it comes to improvisation, doing a straight face and emulating cringeness which are the key elements to pull off the show. The character walks a thin line between annoying and sweet which is almost impossible to pull off. Michael Scott is the kind of character that makes people uncomfortable but he doesnt mean to do it. He just doesnt have a clue how to get through people and he always comes off irritating to them. There is no denying that Michael Scott is the foundation of the Office and most of the awkward vibe revolves around Steve Carell’s performance.

Jim Halpert, as played by John Krasinski, is the catalyst. I say catalyst because the way he looks at the camera as if to say “tell me you’re seeing this” whenever Michael or Dwight does something inappropriate is the source of laughter. Without saying a word, his poker faces is enough send a message to the audience that he is trapped with weird people around him and the only way he can cope with it is through sarcasm.

Dwight is the smartest idiot in the show , which means he knows a lot of stuff (survival stuff mostly) but clueless on the social aspect. He resembles Michael Scott in terms of self-awareness (which is none) and their only difference is, Michael is superior to Dwight. He is one of the main driving force of the series and seeing Jim prank Dwight is one of the show’s treat.

To describe how the humor of the show goes: someone does something awkward, inappropriate or cringe worthy (Michael,  Dwight) then another someone reacts to this by looking at the camera, staring blankly at them or through sarcasm (Jim, Pam). It may seem simple but this combination is technically what made the show so funny.

The supporting cast doesnt come short of humor either. Their backstories, their different opinions and their egos are so diverse, each character has all something to offer. Even though some of the new added characters in the last two seasons are not very interesting (Im looking at you Nelly), i cant deny that the original cast members grew on me and the way the producers wanted to focus on them after Michael Scott left is a good idea.

If this review looks bias because it helped me through tough times, I’ll say that this is kind of the point of this blog. My Madness. My biases and my obsessions are my opinions and I think that incorporating them to my reviews are necessary because thats how I feel. Thats my opinion!

So, if you never watched the office, what the hell are you doing with your life.

10/10

Final Fantasy X/X-2: Game review

The first Final Fantasy I have ever played is Final Fantasy X-2. Yup, you read it right. X-2. I bought it when I was a child because I thought that it was Final Fantasy 12 (yup, childhood mistake) and I believed it to be true until I guess halfway through the game. There was no internet back then so I was kind of confused story-wise but it was still cool for me considering it was my introduction to the game franchise and admit it, the dressphere is cool. I was puzzled as to who in the world is this Tidus guy that keeps coming out of the conversation and I guess somewhere along the way, it clicked. It is not XII, it is X-2. A sequel. For a moment there, I felt stupid. But from that moment, I knew I had to get the first game. 

And that didnt happen until now. 

The moment I got the ps4, I knew I had to get the game and learn the story of Tidus. He was this mysterious character for me that was only told in stories and legends, like a mythical creature I was excited to discover. It was the perfect time to play the game because I have alot of Final Fantasy experience (1,2,6,9) and I know how the game works.

When “To Zanarkand” theme started to play and Final Fantasy 10 title appeared onscreen, I knew it was gonna be epic. Considering that Yuna was the only character I know from the group sitting around the fire (I only knew Tidus’ name at the time), I was hyped to know these characters.

So did I enjoy the game? Yes, I loved it. During the first few hours of gameplay, the fighting mechanics were explained. The character swap was a refreshing thing to me and I kinda liked it. It is easier to organize your party and it adds an element of strategy to the game. The sphere grid is also a new thing to me because I was so used at leveling up the normal way that it was something that requires getting used to but once you grasp the concept, it is very fun to customize based on your liking.

Graphics is nothing spectacular. In ps2 standard, I think its excellent but knowing that this is supposed to be a remastered version, I think it could do better. im not saying the graphics are bad, it just felt lacking. The voice acting is good but in some parts, I felt that the dialogue are rushed just to fit the dubbing of the Japanese version which filtered the emotions a bit. 

Last but not the least, the story and the characters. The plot of this game is one word: thought-provoking. It is intriguing, mysterious, and it needs the full attention of the player to be properly realized. You dont even know what is actually happening until halfway the game but the bigger picture is shown near the end. The folklore and the culture of Spira is well realized and I give credit to the creative team for that. For me, the biggest achievement of this game is its story and its the thing that I enjoyed the most.

As for the legendary Tidus? I thought he was going to be my favorite character but as it turns out, Auron stands out for me the most. Well-written, well-designed and he is the most interesting among the group, Auron has the best characterization in the game.

After I finished the game, i tried playing ffx-2 again but after a few days of playing I stopped. It isnt as interesting to me now as it was in my childhood and the gameplay change fails in comparison to the first (the dressphere is still cool though). The story is dull and you dont really feel the adventure vibe you had on the first. But I kinda owe it to ffx-2 for introducing me to the jrpg genre so maybe some other day, I might think about finishing the game.

So in a way, my dream came true. i finally played the game even if I had to wait 10 years. I feel nostalgic now. *cries

Score: 8/10

Bloodborne: Game review

I went and played Bloodborne not expecting anything. I knew it was hard but I tried to learn as little as possible about the game because why not? I mean for a game that got a lot of awards and recognition, I want to be surprised why. For starters, I am not really a big fan of the gloomy, dark, horror style of games because I’m easily terrified of the dark (embarassing, I know) and I am literally a newb when it comes to these kind of games. But what the hell, I bought it, might as well play it.

And I was right. Atleast for the first few hours of playing.I had absolutely no idea what Im doing and why Im doing it or where I should go. I was stucked at Central Yharnham and I was absolutely slaughtered by the residents there. I was killed every 5 minutes (which made me stare at the Bloodborne screen awkwardly) which made me want to throw my controller at the screen and destroy my ps4. The situation made no sense or whatsoever which added to my frustration. I was so tempted to look at a walkthrough on the internet but I restrained myself. I must figure this game by myself or I will lose my self-respect. I was determined to conquer the game and get better. 

So after I opened a few shortcuts, leveled up a bit, fortified my weapon and defeated my first boss (Cleric Beast), I was surprised that I was actually enjoying the game. The game is repetitive (enemies respawning and your character returning to the same lamp everytime you die) but you dont feel it. You wanted to learn and strategize how to defeat the variety of enemies along the way (the gunman is the most annoying by the way) which is the point of the game. Dont get me wrong, I still die alot. The difference was I know what Im doing now and how I should do it. There was this drive to finish the game because of the fulfillment you feel beating every boss (and frustration when you die).

Story-wise, I didnt understand much. It is either very subtle or Im just very stupid (I hope not) but it didnt matter. I think that understanding the story is just a bonus. The real trophy is your dedication paying off and beating the game is the best damn feeling I had for a long time. No kidding, I literally jumped after beating the last boss. 

Overall, Bloodborne is an amazing game. Best game I played this year and that is coming from someone who was a virgin in DS before playing this game. Graphics was tantalizing with a very imaginative and thought-provoking design of different areas. Gameplay was smooth and very easy controls, which ultimately depends on the weapon of your liking and the atmosphere is very gloomy and unsettling which surprised me because I didnt feel scared at all. 

To the newbs out there who wants to play Bloodborne, I have a tip for you. Bare with the game for a few hours. It is basically the decisive part where you either hate it or love it. But I assure you, it is most certainly the latter.

Score: 10/10