Darian Tan's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

The Monkey King (Da nao tian gong)
15 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Donnie Yen made a complete monkey out of himself with this film, and also out of every single person who paid money to watch this borefest.

Script/Direction: 1/3
Unfunny and melodramatic; no method in the madness.

Cast/Acting: 1.5/3
Chow Yun Fatt is dashing as the Jade Emperor, while Donnie Yen makes for one hell of an ugly monkey. The rest are just silly. But you can tell Yen tried hard to be a believable monkey. +0.5 for effort.

Production/Effects: 1.5/3
The CG is...bad. The makeup/prosthetic is almost laughable. But if measured against Chinese standards, then I guess it's...sort of okay. +0.5 for trying.

Special/Other: 0/1
When you see Donnie Yen's name attached to a film, you expect good action if nothing else. The complete absence of such, therefore, is not only conspicuous but very disappointing.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
15 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Wow. I never expected this film to be so good. Captain America actually managed to out-cool Batman. At 2+ hours of sheer awesome, it's totally worth the weekend ticket price.

Script/Direction: A+
The action is outstanding, and the script is really good. Even the requisite cheesy one-liners don't sound cheesy; every character had a chance to shine and did so.

Cast/Acting: B+
My dislike of Sam Jackson as Fury has abated somewhat, but his whiny voice is still grating. Acting-wise, Scarlett is the weak link but it only shows because the other actors were so good.

Production/Effects: A+
I love the design of everything. The CGI is understated and doesn't take centre-stage (a good thing.)

Extra/Other: +10%
This movie completely exceeded my expectations (considering that I thought the first film was rather meh) and in fact leaves me with the feeling that this the best superhero film ever filmed to date. The remarkable thing is that it actually managed to convince me that Captain America can truly be the leader of the Avengers (something I found hard to believe since he is relatively less powerful than the others.)

Noah (2014)
15 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

While the biblical account is somewhat sketchy and certainly leaves room for interpretation, this film was probably understating things when it mentioned (almost in passing) its use of "artistic license" in the opening caveat. As it stands, it's more apocalyptic sci-fi/fantasy than historical/period drama--not necessarily a bad thing per se, but it probably won't impress fundamentalists.

Script/Direction: B
The beginning trickles slowly, almost excruciatingly; the climax is like the bursting of a dam. I'm not so sure about the fast cutting--it gives the film an amateurish and low-budget/indie feel.

Cast/Acting: B+
Has a number of British actors. (Generally I like British actors, because they usually have such clean and clear enunciations, even when they're screaming.) Ray Winston, as the antagonist Tubal-Cain, stood out for me.

Aesthetics: B+
While I have no doubt that the effects (animals, water, etc) are no mean technical feats, they don't really make that much of a visual impact on me. Noah seemed to be wearing denims at one point, which struck me as kind of odd. All in all though, the film looks good, if a little bland.

Bonus: +10%
It's a novel approach to a biblical story for sure, but when you pretend it's not a biblical story (not hard to do), then it loses its novelty immediately. It just so happens that I'm a fan of (post-)apocalyptic sci-fi/fantasy though, so I appreciate this film as a nice (even if not exactly breakthrough) addition to the genre.

X-Men: Days of Future Past
15 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

In the future, Charles (aka Professor X) and Eric (aka Magneto) are married but people-being people-just won't let them be. Giant robots were created to hunt down and kill all the perverse people...resulting in the robots killing everyone. In a last-ditch plan, Charles and Eric send Logan (aka Wolverine) back in time to find their younger selves and prevent the assassination of Trask, designer of the robots (and a secretly repressed homosexual)-whose death supposedly set off a huge wave of anti-gay-ism.

...Logan finds the young Charles in a hopelessly emo state; he hasn't gotten over Eric's "abandonment" of him in favour of Mystique. His only companion is Hank (aka Beast), who can never truly be a substitute for the much handsomer Eric. Nevertheless, Logan convinces Charles to work with him to prevent a future where gays are not tolerated. Together (with the help of Eric's bastard son, Peter-whose superpowers presumably include accelerating ageing), they break Magneto out of "the most secure prison on the planet" (even though its walls are plastic and all the guards use plastic weapons.)

They then get on a plane to stop Mystique, the would-be assassin. While onboard, Charles and Eric get into a violent tiff-each accusing the other of abandonment-but eventually make up, and enjoy a passionate round of mutual stimulation (via chess.) At this point, Eric decides it's Charles that he loves after all, and he resolves therefore to eliminate Mystique from the picture. He fails and she escapes.

...Eric penetrates the orifices of the robots' bodies with steel bars and somehow-although it's not quite clear how-this enables him to activate and control the robots. He gatecrashes an event where the President of the USA is about to unveil the robots to the world-and drops a stadium around the place because damn, that must look cool. He makes a speech about how people are homophobic, but actually it's right to be so because homos ARE scary. To demonstrate how scary they can be, he will kill the President in front of international TV. Charles, Logan, and Hank try but fail to stop him. Finally, Mystique shoots and defeats him with a plastic gun she must have kept hidden in her ass all this while. Eric emotionally blackmails Charles into letting him go.

...Logan wakes up in the new reality. He sees Jean (aka Phoenix) leaning seductively in a doorway and is about to molest her when Scott (aka Cyclops) jumps out of nowhere and cock-blocks him. The end (more or less.)


Best char/actor: Jennifer Lawrence (+stunt double) as Mystique. Her acrobatic fighting style is cool; certainly better than Wolverine waving his fists around.

Worst char/actor: James McAvoy as young Charles. I can't stand his British accent...it just seems so out of place.

Best moment: The prison-break scene, where Quicksilver does his thing and steals the entire show.

Worst moment: The bonus scene at the very end of the very long credits (they must have listed every single employee of the 500 VFX companies that worked on this.) It's a very short one and totally not worth your time waiting for it.