Wednesday, March 22, 2017

'Iron Fist' Is Disappointing and Flawed, but Definitely Not a Disastrous Failure

Iron Fist is the last Marvel/Netflix solo series before they all team up for the much anticipated The Defenders series coming later this year.  Unfortunately, while the previous Marvel/Netflx series are profusely praised, this one is met by critics with animosity, considering it Marvel’s “first failure.”  Personally, though, I don’t think it’s honestly that terrible.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

'Beauty and the Beast' Is a Gorgeous but Unnecessary Live-Action Remake

The 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney’s most revered classics.  It’s a masterpiece.  So when a live-action remake was announced, it was all but certain that it was going to pale in comparison.  And it turning out to be something superior is an impossibility.  Hence, since it would be a lesser film no matter what it does, there’s only one approach left for it to take to avoid being a hated remake; that is, to essentially duplicate as much of the immaculate essence of its source material as it could – meaning it should retell the animated classic in live-action form down to a T.

Monday, March 20, 2017

For Such an Epic Concept, 'The Great Wall' Is Too Vapid

The Great Wall is an epic fantasy alternate history monster film that reimagines the Great Wall of China as mankind’s last line of defense against a massive horde of rampaging monsters.  The movie is a joint venture by American and Chinese film production companies, is directed by renowned Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, and features an entirely Chinese cast, save for Hollywood stars Matt Damon, Willem Dafoe, and Pedro Pascal.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

I Kind of Hated 'Resident Evil: The Final Chapter'

The Resident Evil franchise is completely muddled, convoluted, nonsensical, and unexceptional (by this I mean the live-action series of movies starring Milla Jovovich and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson; the animated movies are actually reasonably good).  It’s an objectively awful and generally unremarkable film series.  But I’m not gonna lie and say that I didn’t find some enjoyment from these movies.  For Alice is an entertaining, attractive badass, and it does have a couple of cool moments (e.g. appearances of characters from the games, gratifying kills, army of Alice clones, etc.).

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Top 10 Fictional White Men Who Have Mastered Eastern Martial Arts


This is the list that I mentioned I might write when I did my list on fictional Asian martial artists.  For this, I used the following guidelines:
  1. Must be Caucasian.  The trope of a Westerner becoming an Eastern martial art master almost always involves a white man.
  2. Must be explicitly established or at least heavily implied to practice some form of Eastern fighting discipline, whether real or fictional.
  3. Being a martial artist is a major defining quality of the character.
  4. No characters that equally practices Eastern and Western fighting styles (like Batman and Daredevil).
  5. Again, this list is only for white men who exclusively or dominantly use Eastern/Asian fighting styles, real or fictional.
Honorable Mention: SNAKE EYES
As a white man trained as a ninja, Snake Eyes was actually a top contender for this list.  But since I didn’t put his rival Storm Shadow on my list for Asian martial artists, I decided to also leave him off this list in order to make room for other characters.  Deserves an honorable mention though.  (Besides, both Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow made my list for ninjas.)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Though Very Appealing, 'Tangled: Before Ever After' Is Just Not For Me

Tangled: Before Ever After is a made-for-TV movie serving as a sequel to Tangled (Disney’s 2010 animated film adaptation of the classic fairy tale “Rapunzel”) as well as the pilot for the animated TV series Tangled: The Series (which is set prior the events of the short Tangled Ever After).

Sunday, March 12, 2017

'xXx: Return of Xander Cage' Is Barely an Entertaining Action Movie

xXx: Return of Xander Cage sees Vin Diesel revisiting a not-so-iconic role: Xander Cage, the legendary operative of the Triple X program, an NSA initiative that turns highly-athletic adrenaline junkies into super field agents.  The plot involves Cage, who had faked his death, coming back into the fold  to recover a world-threatening device called “Pandora’s Box” – which was recently used to kill his Triple X mentor/recruiter, NSA agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) – while working with and against other ridiculously badass daredevils.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The First 'Jetsons' Production in Nearly Three Decades Is a Crossover with the WWE Titled 'The Jetsons & WWE – RoboWrestlemania!'

Some WWE fans are probably not too thrilled with this recent trend of ludicrous direct-to-video WWE crossover films with animated properties.  Personally, I choose to not go hatin’, but just proceed to have fun with whatever insanity and amusement they have to offer.  (Besides, don’t wrestlers have the personalities of cartoon characters anyway?)  Thus, I’ve begun to look forward to these animated movies with nearly the same fond anticipation I have for Lego’s delightful, underrated direct-to-video animated film ventures (usually, featuring the Justice League, but there was also a Scooby-Doo! one last year; coincidentally, WWE also had Scooby-Doo! crossover film last year).

So what’s up with WWE’s latest production?  A crossover with one of the most iconic families in fiction – the Jetsons!

Monday, March 06, 2017

'The Assignment' Has This Ridicuously Insane, Original Premise

I decided to watch this B-(C? D?)movie because of its interesting, insane premise: a hitman is forcibly given a sex change, and as response, he – now a “she” – goes on a vengeful warpath.  Though it somewhat reminded me of the twist of the Spanish psychological thriller film The Skin I Live In, I thought that this was a creatively original setup for a revenge thriller movie.

The Assignment (also known as Tomboy: A Revenger’s Tale and (Re) Assignment) centers on the ridiculously unique experience of contract killer Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez), as he is subjected to a sex reassignment surgery against his will by the sociopathic Dr. Rachel Kay (Sigourney Weaver) – partially, out of  revenge for her brother whom Kitchen killed, but also for the purpose of conducting an experiment assessing gender identity.  Of course, Frank is ballistic after being atrociously violated, and proceeds to seek and kill everyone that has a hand on it.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

'Sing' Is an Unremarkable Yet Amusing Animated Musical

Sing is the last 2016 film that I’ve been meaning to watch.  From its trailer, I knew that it’s going to have a clichéd storyline.  But I didn’t care, since the concept of an American Idol for anthropomorphic animals looked tons of fun.  Plus, it boasts a stellar voice cast, with names like Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Seth MacFarlane, John C. Reilly, Nick Kroll, and Youtube star Tori Kelly.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

In 'Sōshitsu', 'Digimon Adventure tri.' Starts to Feel Rewarding

The second-half of Digimon Adventure tri. starts strong with Sōshitsu (“Loss” in English), the fourth installment.  With Kohuhaku setting this movie up by shifting the setting to the Digital World and the DigiDestined getting to “re-meet” their Digimon partners (who have reverted back to their baby form and lost their memories after the world’s reboot), some expectations were raised because of the “back to basic” feel it brought – expectations that Sōshitsu fortunately met.  (Warning: this review is going be a little bit spoiler-y than usual.)

Friday, March 03, 2017

'Logan' Is as Beautiful as It Is Badass

Logan is supposedly Hugh Jackman’s last outing as James Howlett a.k.a. Logan a.k.a. Wolverine, the iconic X-Man that he has portrayed superbly on the big screen in a span of nearly two decades.  If this is truly the end for Jackman, it proves to be a great send-off as Logan is a beautiful, genre-defying film.

Monday, February 27, 2017

'The Girl with All the Gifts' Brings Something Fresh to a Staling Genre

With the horde of zombie properties out there, the challenge is not about telling an exciting story, but making an original one, much more inserting fresh ideas to a generally staling concept.  The Girl with All the Gifts succeeds in that.

A Wedding Reception Performance


We recently attended a wedding; played some stuff during the reception.  Here's some footage of the event...


click here for more videos

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The 5th Bernel Zone Awards for Big Screen & Small Screen


It’s Oscar season once again, and – wow, it’s already the 5th year that I’m doing this?!  Anyway, this is once again the annual “awards show” of this blog with regards to film and TV.  For this installment, it may be a tad shorter (not sure though, didn’t check) than usual because there are no “moment” categories here, since I’ve already made posts dedicated to memorable film and TV moments of 2016.

Here goes…

Best Movie Hero: Desmond Doss (Hacksaw Ridge)
What’s most impressive about this character is he’s based from a real-life person; whatever remarkable display of courage and resolve that his movie version (played fantastically by Andrew Garfield) has shown is more or less corroborated from verifiable sources.  I personally find Desmond Doss an inspiring movie character.

Runners-up: Christian Wolff (The Accountant), Doctor Stephen Strange (Doctor Strange), Sang-hwa (Train to Busan)

Best TV Hero: Lee Jae-han (Signal)
In my review for Signal, I called that he would be my choice in this category.  And I’ve not encountered another small screen hero since then that has truly overtaken the charming combination of badassery, heart, vulnerability, and goofiness that Lee Jae-han has.

Runner-up: Luke Cage (Luke Cage)