Movie review: Jason Momoa keeps Aquaman afloat
This is by far the most entertaining DC superhero movie.
Wonder Woman gave us class and elegance, while Aquaman delivers cheese by the truckload. But cheesiness is what keeps this origin story afloat.
How serious can you be in a movie that has armoured seahorses? And let us not forget that drum-playing octopus.
The best way I can describe Aquaman is that director James Wan has curated a best-selling cinematic greatest hits compilation.
The film is made up of scenes reminiscent of those seen before in other blockbusters, such as How To Train Your Dragon 2, Jurassic World, The Lord Of The Rings, Thor: Ragnarok, Indiana Jones, Avatar, Pacific Rim... the list just goes on.
This is largely entertaining.
Much like how Arthur surprises Atlantean warrior princess Mera (Amber Heard) that an imbecile like him actually possesses in-depth knowledge of Roman history, Jason Momoa surprises with his ability to adapt to different genres in the movie - action, drama and comedy.
He clearly knows he cannot take the subject matter too seriously, and there is always that wink, smirk and devil-may-care attitude that makes him rather charming.
Heard is an adequate sidekick cum love interest, and the repartee between Mera and Arthur is often corny but bearable.
While Wan has a good hold on the action sequences, that cannot be said about his storytelling, which is rather messy.
The pacing and balance are thrown off by the convoluted underwater politics championed by Patrick Wilson's power-hungry King Orm and Dolph Lundgren's King Nereus.
The de-ageing of Willem Dafoe, who plays Arthur's Atlantean mentor, is also quite disconcerting.
Another off-putting element is Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's bad acting - all he does is pout and put on that "Look at me, I'm the bad guy" face.
His Black Manta makes a worthy adversary though.
Thankfully, Wan knows it is best to point his camera squarely on Momoa.
Be it being a reluctant hero or riding a monstrous sea creature into battle, this is Momoa's film. He is truly the real deal. - 3.5 Ticks
STARRING: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
DIRECTOR: James Wan
THE SKINNY: Arthur Curry (Momoa), a man of both the land and sea, is called upon to claim his title as King of Atlantis when his half-brother Orm (Wilson) declares war against the people on the surface.
Movie reviews: Bumblebee, Roma
Looks like having a newcomer on board is key to refreshing the Transformers franchise.
This is Travis Knight's debut live-action feature film after his 2016 Oscar-nominated animation Kubo And The Two Strings, and under his new direction comes a gender switch.
Goodbye, macho heroes; hello gungho teenage girl who happens to be a motorhead.
After a losing battle on Cybertron, B-127 aka Bumblebee is sent to Earth to establish a new base for the Autobots. But our yellow warrior succumbs to injuries and loses his memory after transforming into an old beat-up VW Beetle.
Angsty Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) finds him, and what ensues is a cute relationship between her and the child-like Bumblebee, much like one between a pet owner and a puppy.
The visual effects are a spectacle. Keeping the number of robots to just three means no over-the-top, mind-numbing sequences. But the movie belongs to 22-year-old Steinfeld, who holds it together, reminding everyone why she is an Oscar nominee. - JOANNE SOH - 3 Ticks
Currently streaming on Netflix, Alfonso Cuaron's comeback film after winning the Oscar for 2013's Gravity is fast gaining the same amount of awards buzz.
But the black-and-white semi-autobiographical Spanish drama is so slow in the first half, you may find yourself wondering what all the fuss is about.
Roma follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a domestic worker for a family in Mexico City.
When she faces an unwanted pregnancy as her employer's (Marina de Tavira) husband abandons her and their children, the women's personal strife starts to dovetail with the political turmoil the country faced in the 1970s.
That is when all the critical accolades become justified.
For the most powerfully personal story of his career, Cuaron drew on his childhood memories and dedicated Roma to his real-life maid. It is a highly emotional and enthralling love letter to the women who raised him.
But the film should come with a trigger warning. There is a harrowing, heart-breaking birthing sequence that left me in tears. - JEANMARIE TAN - 4 Ticks
Still in cinemas
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