Warcraft is a game that I can recall playing in my childhood as far back as I can possibly remember. To me, it was the best fantasy roleplaying game out at the time, when technology and computer graphics were still a burgeoning area. To this day, I can still remember the distinctly hideous orc that graced the cover of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. It entertained me to no end, seeing my human characters collect gold from the mine, chop their own timbre, and build their own infrastructure; all while fending off malicious orcs with their shields, swords, and turrets. Needless to say, for a young boy at the time, this was the epitome of video game fantasy that regularly drew me into another world. At the announcement of a Warcraft film, I was completely stoked. This would see all the years of my involvement in playing the game, actualised through a cinematic film. For some reason I had no doubt in my mind that the movie would not upset, call it blind devotion; but I was that confident that viewers were in for something rather spectacular. Before entering the Xtreme Screen auditorium at the cinema, I saw a sign at the entrance that read, ‘10,000 watts.’ I expressed a sheepish grin to myself thinking, “It’s time to go into war.” I probably wasn’t wrong for thinking that actually, because from the moment that the movie started, viewers were treated (or shall I say threatened) to an absolutely menacing and thunderous tribal war beat. This alone was enough to fully grab my attention as I heaped handfuls of popcorn into my mouth while washing it down with copious amounts of L & P.
What followed thereafter was a truly unforgettable experience. In fact, I would personally have to rate Warcraft the best movie that I have seen all year. Move aside Game of Thrones, because if Warcraft were a day time television series, I would go so far as to say that it would put many shows out of business. In short, the Orcs, a race of green giant warrior beasts, flee their homeland of Draenor through a portal to the peaceful land of Azeroth. Here, they unload a full-fledged attack on the humans for control over the land. Durotan, an Orc soldier, questions the brutal ways of his clansmen – led by warchief Blackhand and the maniacal warlock Gul’dan – Durotan believes a compromise without bloodshed is possible. Seeing the Orcs in the film really was like seeing it in the game, only it was one hundred times more realistic and can’t even be compared to Shrek. I loved how aggressive they looked, and just when I thought Durotan was about as tough as it got, wait till you see Ogrim Doomhammer and Blackhand. Also, the details that were put into bringing these Orcs to life in front of the screen were so surreal. For example, the skulls and ginormous trinkets they wore around their backs/shoulders, as well as the ring piercings that were attached to their tusk like tooths were really interesting and original to see. As per the game, I felt fired up during the movie when the antagonist was getting the upper hand. For instance, I thought the fight between Durotan and Gul’dan was completely unfair. Watching it actually made you despise Gul’Dan so much that you would give anything to see all the Orcs unleash oblivion on him.
Unfortunately, the reality of it would probably be that they would all get themselves mercilessly killed. In a way, realizing that I was watching the movie and not playing the game, I felt helpless I couldn’t do anything about it. In all, the director of the film does keep his focus narrow, centred on six main characters, which are then connected by several relationships and motivations. It appeared as though Duncan Jones was attempting to capture as many different perspectives as he could on the war as time allowed. But, attempting to create and service so many viewpoints and well-known characters, ensures that no one person or theme is carried throughout the movie. In fact, I found that friendships were forged rather easily, romance appeared to be forced, sacrifices were far too abrupt, and the twists were so quick and painless that it held little emotional weight. There needed to be more of a build-up in my opinion. It could be said that any opportunities that could have been used to draw non-Warcraft players into the story, only move the plot forward along the conveyor belt. That aside, the visual aspects of Warcraft are something that cannot be ignored and should be seen to be experienced. As a visual learner, this is what I enjoyed the most about watching the movie, and if you’re a person who appreciates world class graphics and don’t mind a bit of fantasy intermingled with warfare, then this movie will most definitely appeal to you also.
Reviewed by Linn Win for Pink&Sparkles
ME BEFORE YOU
Tissues, tears and heartbreak. These were the words that sprung up when people talked about the movie Me Before You. After having seen The Notebook and parts of Dear John, I had figured that this would form part of a trifecta of legendary love films and it sure didn’t disappoint. Me Before You portrays the love story of Louisa Clark, a common born young lady who falls for a wealthier counterpart in Will Traynor, who is left paralysed after a freak motor cycle accident. Clark, played by Emilia Clarke (ironically) is an unambitious 26 year old who is cheerful with joy and strives hard to support her family. When her family’s financial situation became dire, she takes up the job of providing care to Traynor (Sam Claflin). As viewers, we see the struggles she has in getting close to building a relationship with someone closed off to the rest of the world, drowning in self pity. Eventually, her optimism and spark succeeds in helping Traynor open up and the two form a special bond. Clark finds outs not long after she began her quest to help Traynor to get better that he is on a 6 month deadline to live or die. And he would fate it to end his life in his own hands. The theme of Euthanasia is well on viewer’s minds as we progressed to each scene in the film.Is it going to happen or not? The viewer hopes that there will be a better day ahead for the two but this proved not to be so. Despite her valiant efforts in trying to help Traynor open up and enjoy life again, the pain and disparity of being paralysed was too much of a contrast to bear from his previous life before the accident. The infections, the pain, fever and other complications that came with his paralysis proved too much to bear. Reprieve for him was no where to be found. Though he parted ways with Clark, Traynor left her a noble message and provided her with the life she couldn’t have imagined with his financial resources. He teaches her to live, breathe,explore and reach out for something greater for herself but at the same time, holding true to her values. Though one life parted, another blossomed.If there was a silver lining in this film, this would be it. This movie balanced euthanasia, love, hope and choice perfectly. If there was a downside, the film lacked a definitive climax to really bring home the point of loss strong. Nevertheless, Me Before You for me was a solid film and one worth bringing out the tissues. A 3 out of 5 stars for me.
Reviewed by Htut Win for Pink&Sparkles
Humour from Hart and muscles from Johnson. Yes, a weird combination in a film but any doubts I had in the effectiveness of this movie delivering a people’s elbow was put to rock bottom pretty quickly! Central Intelligence, a film played by Kevin Hart and Dwane Johnson (aka The Rock), of two former high school friends reuniting and going on an action packed mission to take down a notorious alias called ‘The Black Badge’ was humorous, exciting and fun filled! The plot of the film follows the shared mission between two high school friends Calvin (played by Hart) and Bob (played by Johnson). Their strong and lasting friendship was highlighted in Calvin being a friend to Bob when he was bullied. This formed the foundation of their friendship and the basis to which Bob strongarms Calvin in getting his help in taking down The Black Badger, an anonymous seller who was believed to have plans to sell CIA Satellite data to a black market buyer. Bob and Calvin go on a series of adventures in the film jumping from buildings, running away with an Uber and taking down the mysterious Black Badger who turns out to be Bob’s old partner. All’s well that ends well as the saying goes as Bob and Calvin save the day and end up going to their high school reunion together. Amidst the laughter and hilariously funny jokes, the underlying theme of friendship and staying true to your high school friends runs lively throughout the film. It makes me as the viewer reflect on my own friendships and the happy times now past. With a sweet undertone and some over the top action and humour, this film is without a doubt, worth the watch! A 3.5 stars out of 5 for me.
Reviewed by Htut Win for Pink&Sparkles
MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES
Brothers Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave Stangle (Zac Effron) enlisted Craigslist ad to find dates to their sister’s wedding which eventually went viral. The wedding was to be held in Hawaii, definitely picture perfect! The initial sequence contrasts what Mike and Dave recall as family bonding time with the disastrous reality, and that’s where we learn why these guys really need to bring nice girls to the wedding. Disaster should really be their middle names.
They meet their matches in trashy best friends Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick), who are just as much of a hot mess. Tatiana is the wild-eyed, trash-talking alpha of the duo, while Alice is the sweetly perky yet aimless sidekick still reeling from being jilted at the altar. Tatiana and Alice see Mike and Dave discussing their search on TV and put down the bong long enough to hatch a plan to meet them “accidentally” outside a Manhattan bar. There is definitely an allure to seeing Kendrick play the ‘bad girl’ role; away from her prim persona—with the original “Pitch Perfect” movie. It may not be the most ideal fit for her talent, but it’s interesting to see her stretch, however I felt that she was a bit out of place for this movie.
Despite their efforts, “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” offers raunch with no smarts. I recall moments from the movie such as the thoroughly inappropriate massage the bride receives at the resort’s spa from the naked and limber Kumail Nanjiani, and it gets dragged out ad infinitum. There’s also the moment when Tatiana reluctantly pleasures the brothers’ bisexual cousin (Alice Wetterlund) in the steam room in exchange for backstage passes to RiRi. That got me raising my eyebrows, did that just really happen?
And then there’s the nude, drug-induced incident involving the horses at the resort’s stables. Similarly, merely making references to pop culture phenomena does not count as humour, such as an extended and ill-fated homage to “Jurassic Park” which left me feeling a tad bit confused.
When I received the invite to the advance screening of this movie, I didn’t need to think twice. Zac Effron, enough said. However, that’s where it all ended for me, personally. It’s an easy movie to watch, full of laughter & giggles and it definitely cheers you up if you’re having a slightly under par day; but there were some moments in the movie where I felt quite uncomfortable watching…if I am to be honest.
Reviewed by Chanel Henry-Win, Editor
Hope you have enjoyed this Movie Edit. Each month, we select certain movies to feature and review. Until next time … x