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Rating: 3.4/5
Review: "The Spirit of Ramayana" (103 minutes)

"A passable Thai horror movie with an interesting concept but weak execution."

As a low-budget horror movie, it has enough entertainment values. In the recent years, there are a few strong Thai horror movies with decent production values and there are many mediocre low-budget horror movies. The Spirit of Ramayana is somewhat in the middle. It may not look that polished but its themes and concept are intriguing enough.

The story: The narrative is straight forward however its editing made the movie look messy and disjointed. It is a simple story about Mintra, a young dancer who is rejected for the main role because she cannot pull off an evil and sensual side. However, a spirit helps her to unleash her dark side. On paper, it sounds like a supernatural Black Swan. It lacks the emotional depth of Black Swan as the director seems only interested in churning out cheap scares. As the plot develops further, ther…
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Rating: 3.5/5
Review: "The Exchange" (90 minutes)

"A decent fast-paced Thai heist thriller that is marred by weak action choreography and shoddy editing" 

It's a low-key movie. You can hardly find information about this online when you type in its English title. Perhaps you will have better luck finding information in Thai. My curiosity piqued when I couldn't find any English review on it. Should I take the risk in watching an unknown movie? I finally decided that it wouldn't hurt buying a cheap ticket (US$2.50) to experience it.

I actually enjoyed the movie but not the experience. Sure the movie has its own flaws but it is not as distracting as the badly dubbed Khmer language. The dub is emotionless and does not fit the tone of the characters. I know Thai and Khmer are two different languages but I couldn't help by being distracted with the bad lip sync throughout the whole movie.

On the other hand, the movie is fast-paced enough to hold my attenti…
Rating: 3.5/5
Review: "Dolittle 3D" (106 minutes)

"A simple story that is enhanced by the great realistic CGI animals and decent immersive 3D format."

To be frank, I didn't have any expectation for Dolittle because it's a January movie. We all know it's the month where studios like to dump their poorly-received movies. However with a hefty budget of US$175 million, it's really a surprise that Universal Pictures has little faith in it. With overwhelming negative reviews, it is indeed true.

So is it really that bad?

No, it's not if you are looking for harmless fun. Maybe it's better to watch it with a weekday ticket price instead of a weekend ticket price. Critics have complained that it is disjointed and it is clear why they said so. The movie is fast paced but for the wrong reason. Things come and go. I felt many scenes seem to be cut out. It's the same feeling I had with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. What Star Wars has to its advanta…
Rating: 4.6/5
Review: "Avengers: Endgame IMAX movie review" (181 minutes)

This is surely the most anticipated movie this year. This is a non-spoiler review so it won't be very long. The ultimate question is: Is the conclusion worth the wait? Those who have invested 10 over years on every Marvel movie should have no doubts watching this on big screen. I personally find Endgame a little disappointing as it felt safer compared to the brutal Infinity War.

The story: It is a direct sequel. And that's all a reader should know. There are some surprises along the way and it ends in a satisfying way. Audience should know that it is a 3 hours movie so they SHOULD NOT expect an action-packed thrill ride like what Infinity War is. It takes its time with characters and therefore it is reasonable to call it an action drama that delivers an emotional and nostalgic ride. Although it does feel a bit long, I found it consistently engaging. Music by Alan Silvestri is a bit lacking comp…
Rating: 4.3/5
Review: "Alita: Battle Angel IMAX movie review" (122 minutes)

This is Robert Rodriguez's biggest movie yet and costs a staggering US$200 million. It is easy to see why. The sets are massive loaded with CGI and even many characters are CGI. Alita: Battle Angel has everything a Blockbuster has; action, romance, drama, CGI, epic music. Robert's direction is confident despite him handling a large-scale movie for the first time. As this is based on the manga, it suffers the cram condensation of a few volumes.

The story: The start is surprising as it has no big opening action scene (we are used to seeing a big opening action in most Blockbuster). The sets may be big scaled but the opening feels intimate in terms of emotions. We see Dr. Dyson (Christoph Waltz) finding and rebuilding a female cyborg, Alita (Rosa Salazar). The first 20 minutes are engaging as we discover Iron City from the eyes of Alita. From then on, the pace quickens as we are introduced to m…
The Five Best and Worst of 2018


Best

1. Bumblebee
This was a pleasant surprise for the live-action Transformers franchise. Michael Bay's first Transformers still has a place in my heart but his other movies became more tired. Bumblebee is a refreshing new start that the franchise needs. Action, emotions, great CGI, music and 3D. This is what a blockbuster needs.



2. A Quiet Place
It is a surprise hit in 2018. I never knew I would enjoy this so much. Apart from the intense trailers, I didn't know what I would be expecting. However it turned out to be intense horror thriller with uneasy sound design and surprisingly emotional. It is one of the best horror thrillers in years.




3. Ready Player One
The colorful movie is packed with action, cameos and nostalgia that it is hard not to be entertained by it. With so much things happening, it is a joy to watch Steven Spielberg work his magic on the big screen. This is a feel-good journey that you would want to watch.



4. Mandy
This is also anot…
Rating: 4.6/5
Review: "Aquaman 3D movie review" (143 minutes)

As the latest movie to the DC movie franchise, Aquaman has upped the scale in visuals and non-stop action. Director James Wan, famous for his horror movies, shows that he has the action mindset and he delivers. Although the 2 hours and 23 minutes movie may become exhausting, it is still massively entertaining.

The story: As an origin story, it has nothing new to offer the audience. James Wan smartly integrates the flashbacks with the present day so it will hold the audience's attention without becoming draggy. He throws in whatever a big-budget movie should have; non-stop action, romance, loads of CGI, grand set pieces, loads of characters, battle and fight scenes and more. As time passed by, it is clear that he is ticking off everything in the checklist. There are even chase scenes. After a while, it becomes exhausting to watch but I still can't take my eyes off the beautiful visuals. The chemistry betwee…