2013 is almost over. I've missed quite a lot of movies this year but will still say that its been one of the best 12 months in terms of films being released! Now if only I could afford to blog more often. Right then, here's two quick movie reviews so that December won't be a barren month. Both are based on true stories (although I do have doubts on elements of the first one). Happy holidays folks!
# 47 Ronin 
"If we do this, there's no coming back!"
|Gifs taken from here|
Directed By: Carl Rinsch
Written By: Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini, Walter Hamada
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikunchi, Jin Akanishi
The Story: Based on the true-life legend of the 47 Ronin, a samurai group that set out to avenge the murder of their master.
The Verdict: Without knowing much about the movie while going in, I was actually surprised at how big of a role fantasy elements played in 47 Ronin. To be honest I would have preferred less magic, witchcraft, mythical creatures, and CGI. Whenever the film focused on the more grounded drama of the samurai/ronin, we could feel an emotional pull to the story and felt much more invested (and interested) in the film. As for the fight sequences, the choreography on display is spectacular. Keanu Reeves (playing the character Kai) has proved in the past that he makes a pretty stellar martial-artist, and it is no different here. The same can be said of the other samurai too, particularly Hiroyuki Sanada (playing the character Oiishi), all whom we can have no problems in believing that they are indeed top-notch samurai.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
# Captain Phillips 
"I came too far, I can't give up"
Directed By: Paul Greengrass
Written By: Billy Ray
Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahamt M. Ali
The Story: Based on the true story of Captain Richard Phillips (played by Tom Hanks) on board the MV Maersk Alabama cargo ship as it is been hijacked by Somali pirates.
The Verdict: What's one of the best conditions to watch a movie which is based on true events? By not knowing how those events unfolded in real life, that's how. That actually was the case when I viewed last year's award winning film, Argo  for the first time. The climatic scene in that film was one of the most intense and suspenseful cinematic experience I've had in a while. Captain Phillips also succeeds in generating those tense and fearful moments, only here it is present from very early on in the movie and lasts right to the end. Tom Hanks has starred in many of my favorite movies (list of my 10 Favorite Tom Hanks Movies here), and with the brilliant Captain Phillips, he manages to add another notch on the belt.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10