Movies in 2014 (Part 4)

Spoiler alert.

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Dragons?

Dragons?

The story carries on where the first one left us, Hiccup and Toothless have now taught the rest of the people of Berk on how to be friends with the dragons. They have dragon competition, using dragons as tools and helpers. And Hiccup has resumed his role as a pioneer, mapping and searching out other places. Unfortunately, his father has other plans for him, namely to make him Chieftain of Berk.

As usual, he rebuffs the father and went off in search of uncharted lands, which lands (pun intended) him into more trouble as he come face to face with Drago, another chieftain with a certain hatred of dragons. Kind of like Magneto and Xavier of the X-Men, both having their own ideas on existing, either together or with one having a domineering role over the other. In the meantime, Hiccup met up with his long-lost mother Valka, another dragon lover like him, except that she chose to forsake her family and choose the dragons as kin.

Compared with the first, this sequel lacks a bit of oomph. The first had the portrayal of Hiccup on his first ever dragon flight with Toothless which was lacking in this sequel. But then again, this is part of a trilogy and as always, the middle part gets all the negative reviews. Which is neither here nor there. But rather a showpiece for Hiccup as he moves away from a scrawny teen and into his future role as Chieftain of Berk.

There’s an easter egg in one of the scenes between Astrid and Eret (voiced by Kit Harrington), when she asked him, ” Don’t you know anything?”. This is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Kit Harrington’s character in the Game of Thrones, Jon ‘you know nothing’ Snow.

The Imitation Game

Enigma cracked

Enigma cracked

This is a biopic about Alan Turing, possibly the only reason why World War Two ended earlier if you believe the moviemakers and historians. Nobody will ever know. The show is shown in flashbacks as a Sheldon-like (The Big Bang Theory) Benedict Cumberbatch portrayal of Alan Turing, shows up at Bletchley Park to inform the officer-in-charge that he could single handedly crack the German’s Enigma code. He proceeds to piss off every other member of the team as how Sheldon could with his fellow friends on the comedy, by using sheer nerd/geek smarts. Soon, the group members finally realized that he indeed held the key to solving the enigma but it took a lot of effort and took a lot of time to get there.

Meanwhile, we were shown glimpse of how Alan Turing became the man he was. His early school days being bullied around, his affection for his childhood friend (Yes, he was gay) and also his cover-up lover played by Keira Knightley.

Putting the drama aside, this is an important film as Turing, a mathematician, is considered the father of computer science and a pioneer in artificial intelligence. Without his ideas, I would still be typing this on pieces of paper instead of on a keyboard. This is probably how BBC would have wanted a war hero to be portrayed as in the latter part of his life after the war, he was persecuted because of his homosexuality. Which resulted in him committing suicide at the age of 42. It wasn’t until recently that he received a royal pardon for what the British government did to him.

Contrary to popular belief that nerds/geeks are scrawny non-athletic people, Turing is a long distance runner and it was hinted in the movie. His personal marathon time stood at 2 hours and 46 minutes.

I Origins

Do you see me?

Do you see me?

It’s all about the eyes, a researcher played by Michael Pitt is totally absorbed in his research work that on rest days, he takes photos of irises. As a collection for his research. One night, in a fancy dress party, he meets Sofi, who has the most interesting eyes ever, a dichromatic iris, green on the outside, cinnamon at the centre. As usual, he took a photo of them before proceeding to some lovemaking. They say their goodbyes and never meet again.

Not long afterwards, he sees a huge signboard advertisement for mascara in which the model’s eyes looked back at him. Those same dichromatic irises. He tracks her down and they have a whirlwind romance. In the meantime, back at the research lab, he and his lab partner are discussing about eyes and their connection to the human soul. A familiar theme you say? They are searching for evidence that there are certain features in the human eye which are too inherently complex to be regarded as stemming from just evolution alone, and that God really do exist.

It takes a trauma and heartbreak between Michael Pitt’s Ian and Sofi, which comes to a shocking end midway into the movie that as a movie-goer you would go, “What?” The show fast forwards seven years to the present, where Ian has married his lab partner and are about to have a baby. Their eye research has grown by leaps and bounds but Ian is still obsessed over Sofi as shown through a voyeuristic clip as he was about to pleasure himself but was caught by his wife.

When their son was born, the couple made a discovery when the initial iris scan showed a different person on the computer in which the technician put it off as a glitch. When the couple delved deeper, they discover similarities between their son and that of the deceased person. The show somehow seems to suggest that our eyes retain part of the knowledge of a past life, and when shown images of his/her past, the person is inherently drawn towards certain images.

Ian soon makes the journey to India as he feels that that is where Sofi’s irises will be found. It took him some time and just as he was about to give up, he found the girl (Salomina), who shared the same dichromatic irises as Sofi. He paces Salomina through a couple of tests, in which the results came back as unremarkable. As he was disgusted in himself as having believed that Salomina could be the reincarnation of Sofi, although there were certain times during the test in which Salomina picked things that only Sofi would know, he felt stupid. Just as they were about to step into the elevator, Salomina panics hysterically, leading him to recall the reason. Sofi died in an elevator accident, which might explain why Salomina panicked. And the viewer is left to ponder on their own, is reincarnation real?

The movie has a lot of foreshadowing with the numbers 11. If you look at the title of the movie, separate the I and O and you’ll get IOII, which is binary for 11. Salomina’s eyes were scanned on the 11th of March 2013, which adds up to 11 (1+1+3+2+0+1+3). Salomina scored 44% out of 25 questions, 44% of 25 is 11.

Interstellar

I need better robots

I need better robots

Possibly last year’s best science fiction movie. In the not too distant future, earth is ‘blighted’ by an environmental disaster which has rendered humanity at the edge of oblivion and that their only main purpose in life is to grow corn (the only thing grow-able) and to forgo any thoughts of research or exploration. Humans need to survive and to survive, they need food. Nothing else. No TV, no entertainment. We follow the footsteps of ex-NASA pilot Cooper, who with the prompting of a ‘ghost’ and his daughter, decided to take a hunch and meet up with his ex-boss Professor Brand. A selected number of people are on Brand’s crew as they embark on a secretive mission to find a new habitable planet for humans. Unfortunately, they have lost touch with the initial scouts sent into outer space and that the Professor has yet to solve the problem of gravity in order for their Noah’s Ark to leave earth and inhabit the new planet.

Leaving behind his family, Cooper takes the 2-year flight to a wormhole at one of Saturn’s rings, in which they will travel into it and hope to find a new home. The wormhole acts as a shortcut to three possible habitable planets. And here comes the plot twist, traveling through the wormhole will cause a rip in the time-space continuum (gravitational time dilation) , where one hour outside the wormhole, is equal to seven years on Earth. The first planet they see is totally inhospitable, wrecked by hourly huge tidal waves. They leave the planet only to find that 23 years have passed on Earth!

Cooper’s daughter is now a fellow scientist working with an elderly Professor Brand, still unable to solve the gravitational dilemma. As Brand dies, he finally admitted that he cannot solve the problem and that humanity on Earth is forever doomed. The only plan would be Plan B, inhabit a new planet with frozen embryos.

Cooper’s team on the other hand is faced with a new dilemma, they have run out of fuel and can only visit one of the remaining two planets. They choose to visit Mann’s (Matt Damon) planet since he is still transmitting data back. Unbeknownst to them, Mann’s planet is also inhospitable, a frozen arid land. But he wanted the people on Earth to come rescue him, so he faked data. While the team cope with Mann’s betrayal, the crew waste more precious time. When Mann’s failed docking system (he uses the old method) destroys their only hope of reaching the third planet, Cooper decided to sacrifice himself to propel the Endurance (the name of their shuttle) together with Anne Hathaway, to the third planet, while he gets sucked into the black hole.

Surprisingly, Cooper survives the black hole and get thrown into a tesseract. This is where the fun part starts, he finds himself starring at his daughter’s bedroom back home on Earth. The first few tries at communicating with his daughter ended up in him being treated as a ‘ghost’ by himself and his daughter back on Earth before he started his mission. It finally dawned on him that all this while, he was trying to tell his daughter not to let him come on the mission. When he finally got over his depression, he realises that he could still help if he could somehow communicate with his daughter (which is now the scientist). Using his watch that he left for her, he manage to send back data to her, resulting in her solving the gravity problem.

Since we are dealing with the space-time loop, so for the whole duration that he was in the tesseract, it turned out to be a few decades for the people on Earth, who had abandoned it and was making their way into space. His daughter is now an old lady, surrounded by her own family, while Cooper walks in on her after being saved by the people on the ark, because of the precise location given to them by his daughter. Because of him and his daughter, humanity is saved.

Despite the science mumbo-jumbo, space portals, time continuity and hoo-ha, at the end of the day, the undying message is that it is still love that transcends everything. Love, is the only constant in resolving all issues. And Nolan has pulled another rabbit out of his hat after Inception.

The only movie to watch if you plan on watching just one movie.

The Interview

Firework

Firework

Possibly the worst movie ever made but one of the funniest. Made famous by the anonymous hack prior to its release and the threats to pull the movie from ever being released. I had to see it for my own. It’s just a slapstick comedy aimed at a certain regime with an enclosed mind. Keep your brains in storage if you’re watching this.

Seth Rogen and James Franco acts as two wacky partners with their own talkshow, instead of doing the mundane, they decided to interview the Leader. Naturally, Big Brother will want to have a hand in all things, so the two are then given a mission by the authorities to assassinate the Supreme Leader.

With a loose plot, and plenty of cameos from celebrities, be sure to laugh out loud at their oddities and when the Supreme Leader shows his face, you will be hard pressed to believe that he is indeed just like anyone of us, except with a country of people under him.

Please please watch it if only you have the time to spare.

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