April 24, 2014

Free Running Film Review: Brick Mansions


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Parkour brothers

By Ben Mk (Originally Published Here)

For the uninitiated, Parkour is more than a sport — it's an art form, where the objective of getting from Point A to Point B in the quickest way possible demands strength, agility and focus. Its inclusion in films like Casino Royale and The Bourne Ultimatum have helped it to gain mainstream notoriety. But no films have been as instrumental in bringing Parkour to the masses as Luc Besson's 2004 film, Banlieue 13, and its 2009 sequel, Banlieue 13: Ultimatum — both of which starred Parkour's founder, David Belle. Now, ten years later, Besson and Belle are bringing the free running action stateside, with the Banlieue 13 remake, Brick Mansions.

April 18, 2014

Singularly Self-Aware Film Review: Transcendence


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Sentience and sensibility

By Ben Mk (Originally Published Here)

Artificial intelligence has been a staple of the sci-fi genre since 2001: A Space Odyssey. From seminal classics like The Terminator and The Matrix, which have used the subject matter to explore avenues of philosophy and action, to recent films and television shows like Her and Person of Interest, which have blended it with elements of romance and government paranoia, A.I. has served as the framework for many a compelling story. Transcendence is the latest film to tackle this complex field of scientific study, and it may just be the most ambitious film to do so yet.

April 17, 2014

Adventurous, Brave and Creative Blu-ray Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


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The quintessence of Ben Stiller

By Ben Mk (Originally Published Here)

Walter Mitty is just your average, ordinary guy. He carries a briefcase to work, struggles with online dating and harbors a secret crush on a co-worker. But in his daydreams, he saves dogs from burning buildings, climbs mountains in the arctic and is fearless when it comes to fighting for what he believes in. After years of working at the same job and sticking to the same routines day in and day out, he's finally arrived at a crossroads in life. And life for Walter Mitty is about to get a whole lot more interesting.

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.