April 15, 2014

Fire-Breathing Blu-ray Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug


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Dragon quest

By Ben Mk (Originally Published Here)

What is it about dragons that captures our imagination so? Is it their massive size, their impressive wingspan, their ability to breathe fire — or maybe all of the above? Their serpentine visage has graced the landscape of cinema, even entering into the realm of television; but before there was Drogon, Draco or even King Ghidorah, there was Smaug. You could say that he's the grandfather of all dragons; so, given the pivotal role he plays in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, it's befitting that the title of the second instalment of director Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy bears his name.

April 11, 2014

Bone-Crunching Film Review: The Raid 2: Berandal


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Just when he thought he was out... they pull him back in

By Ben Mk (Originally Published Here)

When Iko Uwais' character — a SWAT officer named Rama — emerged bloodied and bruised at the end of 2011's The Raid: Redemption, he thought it was all over. Having just punched, kicked, stabbed and shot his way out of an apartment complex populated by drug dealers, gangsters and killers — rooting out a few corrupt cops in the process — the rookie had seen more bloodshed and carnage that most seasoned officers. But as it turns out, it was only the beginning. Now Rama is going undercover to try to put a stop to the corruption once and for all. And what he faces in The Raid 2: Berandal makes getting out of that infamous Jakartan apartment building look like a cake walk.

Beware the Curse of the Film Review: Oculus


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Who's the scariest of them all?

By Ben Mk (Originally Published Here)

Fear can stem from anywhere and anything. Sometimes, it's justifiable; other times, it's completely irrational; but sometimes — as in the case of spectrophobia, otherwise known as the fear of mirrors — it's because we've seen too many damn horror movies. Whether or not you have a superstitious bone in your body, if you grew up watching the film Candyman, then it's likely that it put the fear of mirrors in you. But after over two decades of waiting for a cinematic successor, a worthy contender has finally emerged — and its name is Oculus.

On About a Film Review: Dom Hemingway


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Hey Jude

By Ben Mk (Originally Published Here)

Rule, Britannia! The UK isn't just known the world over for its monarchy and its fervent football fanaticism. There's one more thing on which the Brits have put their indelible stamp that's never gone out of vogue — and that's the gangster film. Forget Scarface and The Untouchables; Michael Caine, in Get Carter, and Jason Statham, in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, are the bee's knees. And now, prepare to meet the latest addition to this storied cinematic lineage — Jude Law, as a formerly incarcerated safecracker named Dom Hemingway.

April 8, 2014

Bushido-Style Blu-ray Review: 47 Ronin


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Of monsters and men

By Ben Mk (Originally Published Here)

The legend of the forty-seven ronin tells the tale of a group of 18th century samurai — left masterless after the death of their daimyo — who sought to restore honor to their house by avenging their master. It was an act that ultimately cost them their lives; and over the centuries, their story has transcended the pages of history and entered the realm of myth. Director Carl Rinsch's 47 Ronin is by no means the first film to revisit the legend; but it does so in a unique way, interweaving it with aspects from classic Japanese mythology. The end result may bear only a passing resemblance to historical accounts, but it's still a spectacle of sword and sorcery that has to be seen to be believed.