Man of Tai Chi (2013)

Man-Of-Tai-Chi-18Roze-Rating: 3 / 5

Keanu Reeves makes his directorial debut with this relentless martial arts film exposing the powers of Tai Chi. It follows the transformation of Tiger Chen from an honorable man of the martial arts to a greedy underground fighter. Manipulating him through this journey is Donaka Mark (Kaunu Reeves), who exploits Tiger’s transformation to a select few. What Tiger doesn’t know is that Mark is not in it for the fighting but for the killing.

This film may not satisfy the few craving a kung fu flick with strong characters and an exciting narrative as Man of Tai Chi lack in those departments. The premise is quite straight forward, a man strives to take Tai Chi beyond its limits. A sketchy millionaire offers him money to fight in random locations, allowing him to release the beast within himself like never before. Once getting too addicted to hurting people he realizes he has crossed the dishonorable line of the martial arts code. Thereon he tries to redeem himself. The characters are also quite one dimensional as well, except for the protagonist. He experiences quite dramatic moral changes. Other than that there are no other characters to be interested in.

What the film lacks it gains in badass fight scenes which are practically all throughout the film. I suppose compared to your odd Kung Fu flicks the fights may not be too unique but they are nonetheless exciting to watch. Keanu Reeves does a great job in filming these fights and making them easy to watch but also exciting. What stops it from getting boring is that Tiger Chen fights a number of different fighters with particular fighting skills which gives the fighting sequences diversity. Tiger also grows as a fighter as the fights go on, he gradually gets more intense until he eventually explodes.

Tiger Chen puts in a great performance turning from stuntman to lead man. What makes it that more awesome is that he does all his own stunts but he isn’t that bad of an actor either. That could be me blinded from all the subtitle reading but from what I saw he wasn’t too shabby. Keanu Reeves plays a man of very few words, I suppose that was to give him a constant ominous demeanor but ultimately it felt kind of odd. Nevertheless he makes a badass fighting opponent.

Man of Tai Chi is a story about a man of innocence being turned into a man of evil after experiencing too much power. It takes awhile but once realizing he has lost all integrity of what Tai Chi really is, he manages to dig deep and become the master he has been training for all his life. Decent modern kung fu flick but nothing unique. That being said it’s not a bad first directorial attempt by Keanu Reeves.

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Iron Man 3 (2013)

Iron-Man-3Roze-Rating: 4.5 / 5

(Spoilers)

The third installment of the Iron-Man series directed by Shane Black gives us a vulnerable Tony Stark post Avengers. Still hung up on the New York attacks not too long ago, Stark suffers from anxiety attacks and insomnia. His obsession with the Iron Man suits hits new heights as he restlessly tinkers left with an excess of suits. Creating fear in the eyes of the American public is newly established villain The Mandarin, who has bombed countless locations with the aim of exposing America’s corruption. His next bomb puts Happy Hogan former Stark bodyguard into hospital. Rashly giving away his home address to the media and ultimately The Mandarin, Stark may have just created new demons.

What I like about the Iron Man series so far is that in each film Tony Stark grows as a person. We see him develop as the films pass which ultimately keeps him interesting and engaging as a character. No doubt he is probably the most popular Avengers character so far just because he fails to get boring. In the first film we see him experience a traumatic kidnapping which opens his eyes to the business he’s in. It pushes him to change his moral values and his business ethics in order to prevent world violence. Creating the Iron Man helps him make up for years of bad business but also to protect him from the villains he has. Iron Man 2 exposes an over confident Stark, he feels immortal to danger and is ignorant to the thought of others greater than him. He’s invented an even bigger rock star persona which leads him to alcoholism. The pain beneath that hard exterior. Once realizing that there are people with special abilities just as powerful as Iron Man he is brought back down to reality. To become a respectable hero he must put others in front of himself, which is concluded in The Avengers film.

In this third installment Tony Stark is in the process of having a fresh start but first he must overcome his anxiety. The alien attack has affected Stark more than you would expect as living in a world which he once knew is now absolute. He learns that the suit doesn’t define him but he defines the suit. It takes a while but his revelation helps rid of the anxiety and tackle his demons head on. Shane Black freshens up the Iron Man series with a much more engaging sequel where Stark is glorified and not the suit. The action is better and so is the comedy.

I think the prospect of having The Mandarin in this film was a huge turn on for all the fan boys out there since he is one of Iron Man’s main enemies. He is also one of the more interesting ones. In the comics he gets hold of these alien rings which he spends most of his early years trying to master. He eventually figures them out and is able to use each ring for different things, for example ice blasts, fire blasts, mind manipulation, electromagnetic rays, disintegration beam, black light, etc. Cool things like that. From the trailer, personally I was freaking excited at the idea of this villain, and I had no knowledge of him at all. He had a menacing voice, genuine look to him and he was being played by Ben Kingsley. I’ll be honest I didn’t do too much research into the villain before going in which is why when we see that Ben Kingsley is actually just a decoy for Guy Pearce’s character I wasn’t too disappointed since for most of the film we just see him sit and talk. He looked cool but we don’t see him do anything impressive. Of course this wouldn’t have been a good thing for any fanboys. For me it was quite a shock but also hilarious. After researching his abilities I think it’s a villain wasted but it didn’t harm the film in any way.

Guy Pearce is always a joy to watch on screen, he’s especially slick, coy and menacing as Aldrich Killian. He is of course the demon Stark makes 13 odd years ago when he ditches him at the roof of a hotel. Killian reinvents himself into successful business man at AIM. He invests into a human regrowth program called Extremis which is anything but stable. As a villain, he’s nothing new, we’ve all seen these pompous, well dressed villains on the screen before, which is another reason why decoying The Mandarin was a miss. But then again he does breath fire.

The lead up to the big boss showdown was great, we see Tony use his wits and mechanical brain to save the day with little help from the suits. Of course they come in handy at the end. What I thought the past films lacked was a good Iron Man vs Villain showdown. This film had a great build up, some good sequences but at the end of the day Iron Man didn’t have the last punch. It just felt off and annoyed me a little that Pepper was the one that ultimately finished Killian off. I mean I can get over it but I just didn’t see the appeal and any reason for it. We go to Iron Man films to see Iron Man beat the shit out of the villains not Pepper. Also when Killian reveals him self as the Mandarin, we don’t really believe in it. It’s not the awesome reveal that I think it intended to be.

For an action film this is definitely a must watch. The sequences may not be anything groundbreaking but they definitely get out hearts racing. From the destructive attack on Tony’s home to the Airplane explosion. Definitely the best action film you will see this year. We get to see heaps of different suits that Stark has made during his anxiety period, their utilized in new ways and have new tech which makes for entertaining sequences when they are on the screen.

One thing that I wont forget from this film is its great theme tune. Past marvel films really lack a good theme song or one that fits. Once the credits hit the screen and that tune started playing, it really gave Iron Man films a comic book film identity.

Overall for a comic book film its incredibly solid and rewatchable having seen it four times now. It has purpose, clear character growth, logical action sequences and enough destruction for us to be pleased with. It’s a great addition to the Iron Man series and would be an exceptional last.

Man of Steel (2013)

2013_man_of_steel_movie-wideRoze-Rating: 4.5 / 5

Probably one of the most anticipated films this year, Man of Steel is a total reboot of the Superman franchise. Was it needed? I think most fans of the superhero would agree that it’s been due ever since the surge of comic book films over the past few years. Man of Steel explores the origins of Clark Kent tracking back to the demise of Krypton, fast forwarding to Kent’s journey to self actualization hoping to discover his destiny on earth.

I’ll confess that I haven’t actually seen any previous Superman films, so I’m quite clueless in terms of comparing past films with this one although I am aware of some Superman facts (who isn’t?!). One thing is for sure and that’s Man of Steel trumps its predecessors in the special effects department because this film boasts some of the best CGI and action sequences of the past decade. A lot of people don’t seem to be a fan of Zack Snyder, I think mostly due to his unique style. His past films include 300, Sucker Punch and Watchmen. All films which are far from bad but have something in common and that is a distinct visual style. Man of Steel joins his list of visually stunning films and may make the list of the most aesthetically pleasing films of all time. It’s hard to find a scene which isn’t beautifully shot or constructed. The film is clean, crisp, slightly grainy and contains some of the best lighting I’ve seen. Only negative would be that the sun seems to be conveniently placed in the background for more scenes than it needs to be.

In my second viewing I grew to appreciate Snyder’s storytelling technique, it’s unique and efficient which totally enhances the viewing experience. I really like how we start off in Krypton and get to see it on the big screen which I don’t think past films ever touched on. This would be a massive win for the fanboys out there. Once the film makes it to earth we’re entertained to a number of flashbacks which occur parallel to Clark’s journey to self actualization. The flashbacks have a lot of substance and we get to learn about his past and the ideologies that he was brought up with. This gives reason to some of his actions in present time. This was probably my favorite aspect of the film because some of the flashbacks were incredibly emotional, (Spoiler! If you’ve never heard of Superman) namely Jonothan Kent’s death scene which I totally loved. I mean I would never risk my life over a dog but that moment where he holds his hand up and accepts that he’s going to die for the greater good of mankind but also Clark was incredibly emotional but also hit on how much trust Clark had for his father to just let it happen.

I was quite pessimistic about the casting of Henry Cavill at first but once seeing him play the Man of Steel for real, he proved to be a perfect casting. He didn’t just get totally ripped for the part but he captured how human Superman is for such an extraterrestrial being. Small things like acting all cool when wanting to smash a brotha’s face in and that look of remorse when reluctantly doing what’s necessary. Michael Shannon as General Zod was a total win, you wont get anyone more intense and scary than that guy. The “I will find him!” quote will live on in my mind for a long time. I also really liked Lois Lane (Amy Adams) as a character in this film, she wasn’t a damsel in distress and when she was she took matters into her own hands. The fact that she can take her liquor says a lot about her character in general.

Lastly for a superhero film I think the action was awesome and far from generic. It definitely got your adrenaline pumping. I liked how the kryptonian’s fought, it seemed really appropriate that they could shift from punch to punch with intense velocity. If they can jump for miles then shouldn’t they be able to punch really fast? The action sequences had a genuine video game and comic book look to them from the fighting movements to the fire explosions; which proved to be the theme of the fights. Even though I found the action pretty epic, I think that’s where Man of Steel put a lot of people off, leading to quite a few negative reviews. The first half of the film was perfect in terms of narrative which made the action satisfying for me, but once it started you never had a chance to breath; it was relentless. After awhile all the noise, music and explosions start to lose impact and an emotional disconnect starts to develop which is why I think some people ended up leaving the film unsatisfied. That being said any action junkie would love this film.

Despite the lack of fun and joy with this first installment of the rebooted superman series, there’s a satisfying amount of action and narrative to keep you glued to the screen. Man of Steel is a total origin story of where superman came from and how he became more than a kryptonian but a symbol of hope to mankind.

On a final final note, Hanz Zimmer is a genius, the score for this film is amazing. I like how it’s present throughout which is definitely important for comic book films. I feel that comic book films nowadays lack a distinct theme song.

What do you guys think of the new superman? better than the classics? Do you agree with the critics or do you think they are being picky for the sake of being haters?

Emma Stone: Top 5 Films

emma stone banner
Emma Stone has quickly grown to be one the best female actors today with her recent triumphs in Easy A, The Help, Crazy Stupid Love, The Amazing Spider-Man and Gangster Squad. Of course she has some big films coming out soon, one being a Woody Allen project and of course a Spider-Man sequel. Before she starts getting involved in some serious blockbuster films I thought I’d recap on her best 5 out of 15 films in my opinion, since I’ve basically seen them all. There are a couple of films that I had to leave out despite enjoying them thoroughly, the films being The Rocker, Crazy, Stupid, Love and Gangster Squad. Even though I enjoyed them a lot, they didn’t quite match up with the following five films which prove to be pretty awesome.

5) The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Emma Stone takes on the role of Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s love interest, and totally triumphs making Bryce Dallas Howard’s interpretation of the character insignificant. To be fair Spider-Man 3 didn’t do too much justice to any of the characters and the trilogy itself, so I will take that comment back. From Spider-Man history in terms of the comics and films, we usually see the girl becoming a damsel in distress and the hero has to rise above everything to save them. Which is why Emma Stone’s take on the character was a lot more unique and memorable. Instead of being eye candy, she actually had the brains and the courage to take on the villain as opposed to standing in the most vulnerable positions with no defense plan. Ultimately it was a great performance exuding genuine on screen chemistry with the lead (Andrew Garfield), making the Spider-Man reboot a successful comic book film.

4) The Help (2011)

This film challenged Emma Stone’s ability to take on a drama, after thoroughly proving her capabilities of starring in comedy flicks. The Help exposes 1960s America focusing on its Civil Rights dilemma’s. Emma Stone is of course the hero of the film playing an aspiring author, Skeeter Phelan, coming out of university with a genuine motivation of succeeding in her field of work. After experiencing her friends discriminating attitudes towards their maids, she decides to interview two maids about their experiences with their employers and taking care of white children. This soon prompts maids from all around the village to contribute to the book idea hoping to expose the realities of racism in America. It was interesting to see Stone involved in a film with such a dark subject. At first you’re kinda expecting her to break out a silly face or a weird noise, but she balances the seriousness of the character perfectly; making her passionate and witty, illustrating her intelligence as well as humor. She joined the ranks as one of the best female actors after this film, and being cast with a group of talented women would have helped her immensely.

3) Easy A (2010)

Easy A definitely has Emma Stone written all over it. You can tell she had a lot of fun filming this movie since the character pretty much mirrors her personality. The film take’s on school culture with a unique angle integrating The Scarlet Letter as a way of boosting ones popularity. Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) originally a nobody, has had enough of being invisible and attempts to climb up the social ladder by perceiving herself as the school bike. Eventually the lies get too much for Olive and the reality of having such a reputation means a lack of respect from her peers. As said before it shouts out Emma Stone with scenes of her being wacky and going all out weird, but that’s the charm of her character and ultimately leads to quite a fun and enjoyable film. 

2) Zombieland (2009)

This is one of Emma Stones most inventive and stylish films, mixing zombies with comedy. It focuses on a group of survivors within “Zombieland”, which is a post apocalyptic world infested with zombies, trying to find their next “home”. For some, home is a twinky and for others it is a theme park across the country, but despite their difference in ambition they all have one goal, which is to survive. Emma Stone takes on a pro con artist called Witchita, using her skills along with her little sister to con their way to a theme park so that they can both finally liberate in some fun. Stone rarely portrays characters which exude sex, but this is by far her sexiest role, I mean what’s sexier than a girl who can take on zombies like a boss while looking as hawt as she does. There’s a reason she’s been linked with a future zombie film, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”, it’s because she completely smashed this one.

1) Superbad (2007)

There’s no doubting the hilariousness of Superbad which is why this makes it one of my favourite comedies of all time. It has some of the most memorable characters and jokes you will see in a comedy film. It has a pretty simple plot, but what makes it so good is that it’s scarily relatable. We have all been in at least one of many situations Superbad explores, from indulging in messed up porn sites to going through literally anything to pursue a chance to bone. What also makes this film epic, is that it helped propel Emma Stone’s career from being unknown to being one of the most liked actors today, and for that we thank you Superbad. Despite the lack of Emma stone, it still ranks as her best film for me, and what a great film to debut in.

What are your Emma Stone favorites? and which upcoming Stone films are you looking forward to the most?

Iron Man 3 (Trailer)


The earliest comic film to come this next year is Iron Man 3, probably one of the most anticipated films of 2013 after the massive success of The Avengers. I just fear that the bar will be so high that the next Marvel films wont be able to satisfy all of our expectations. What I thought they did smart prior to The Avengers movie was that the films leading up to it were all good but not amazing, I think that was deliberate because they literally went all out on The Avengers and it paid off.

Regardless I think I will enjoy this movie as long as we get to see some new Stark ingenuity and some new Iron Man related fire power. From the trailer we get to see a load of explosions and some large scale action, which is exactly what we need from this Iron Man film. The first of the series was good but there was hardly any action, the second one had a bit more action and I think this third one could do with a lot more. It looks a lot darker than its predecessors so perhaps Tony Stark’s drinking problems will start to come out or maybe a more brutal, no nonsense Tony Stark emerges since it looks like Pepper Potts gets kidnapped. The cast is pretty amazing, not sure what roll Guy Pearce will play since I haven’t read up on Marvel characters lately, but he’s awesome so nothing less than greatness will be seen from him. Of course Ben Kingsley plays The Mandarin, I think he looks the part and his accent sounds very menacing. Looking forward to this!!!

Man of Steel (Trailer)


Literally jizzing my pants to see this movie, since the sudden surge of comic book films, I’ve been totally hooked. Literally been researching every characters back stories, seeing if there’s possibilities for films or if they can be in future Avengers films. No wonder comic book crazies are so into this stuff, the speculation is the funnest part of the comic book experience.

Anyways for some reason a lot of people hate Zack Snyder, and I don’t get why, I mean he brought us freaking 300, with the most epic quote ever “This is SPARTA”. One thing he does bring to a film, is heaps of style and along with it comes a unique tone. I’ve seen three of his five films, and the have all been pretty good, 300 is just fuckin’ epic, Dawn of the Dead is one of the best zombie flicks I’ve seen and Suckr Punch was… interesting, not bad, but a bit too unusual for me, but then again it’s a bunch of girls half naked playing with guns, I wasn’t exactly complaining for 1 and a half hours.

So one thing is for sure, and that is we are going to get a scarily dark, gritty and realistic version of Superman. I totally love these type of films, I just love a dark and gritty film when done right, and in this case, it seems fitting, since it is quite a dark origin story, and his superpowers would be a burden in the real world. One thing I am excited about with this trailer is the CGI and effects, they look pretty amazing and I think we’re in for some large scale explosions to go with the drama. Gonna be sick.

Man on a Ledge (2012)

man-on-a-ledge-503f16fbf3429Roze-Rating: 3.5 / 5

Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is an ex-cop turned fugitive, who has checked himself into a hotel to seemingly end his life. He stands on the ledge, outside his hotel room window until Lydia Mercer is requested on his behalf to try talk him down. As time passes it becomes evident that there is more to Nick Cassidy’s actions than assumed. He tries to resurrect his life rather than end it.

Its premise is very interesting and set the film up for an engaging and entertaining hour and a bit. It wasn’t the best film, nor was it the worst, but what it did offer was a reason to stay glued to the screen. At first your not sure who your meant to root for but as the film progresses you really care for the main character Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington), and that’s what makes the film so entertaining. Despite that, the film didn’t really take advantage of it and instead some parts seemed very lazy and half assed. Although there were very few, those moments ended up being the most important, especially the final scenes.

Overall an awesome build up but very rushed ending. Sam Worthington and the actors cast as the police force, Anthony Mackie, Edward Burns, Elizabeth Banks, Titus Welliver and Co were pretty solid. The only problem I had was the relationship between Jamie Bell and Genesis Rodriguez, individually they were good but they just didn’t have any chemistry together. Their scenes, intentionally comedic, felt quite flat and ultimately unreal. Still a solid film, but not solid enough to be amazing.