The Movies of Q3 2017

Hi readers! It’s the first day of July; which means we have officially entered into the second half of the year and also a brand new quarter with brand new movies to look out for! Here are some films from around the world I am interested to see.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

I think “interested to see” is an understatement for how I feel about this movie. No, I am more than excited to watch it. As a fan of Marvel Studios’ works, 2017 has got to be one of the most “blessed” years for me. It’s only been a couple of months since we had Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and now, we are going to have Spider-Man: Homecoming. This is a fresh & different origin story for Spidey, Tony Stark is going to be in it and Tom Holland plays & fits his role so well. Do we need more reasons to watch it?

Dunkirk

The Dark Knight trilogy. Inception. Interstellar. You have probably heard of and enjoyed these films a lot. Well, behind all of them are a great team and the amazing director Christopher Nolan. And now, he has a new film. With that alone, I am already sold for this movie. But considering how it is also based on an inspiring true story about the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of soldiers from a difficult situation, I think this will be something I’ll catch the moment it releases.

The Dark Tower

Now this is a film that really intrigued me. Based on the highly acclaimed The Dark Tower series by famous author Stephen King and serving as a continuation of it, this movie brings to the big screen an even bigger universe full of characters, worlds and stories to discover. Blending multiple genres such as fantasy, science-fiction, horror and Western, this looks to be a cool movie to get into the cinema for.

Wind River

I know what you are thinking – Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch solving a crime together. Haha, though a movie with that plot would be pretty awesome, this is nothing like that. Starring familiar actors Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, this is a crime thriller that will appeal to people who enjoy mysteries, just like me. Sure hope it releases in Singapore soon!

American Assassin

If you have watched him in the Maze Runner films, you would know that Dylan O’Brien is a young rising star. But this time, instead of playing a teenager in a dystopian world, he is an American assassin (duh), trained to fight and thwart terrorists operations. I am personally looking forward to seeing the character developments and interactions in the movie. Hope that us Singaporeans will get a release date for this film too!

Stronger

I always loved movies that are inspirational and uplifting. So I am glad to see that there is one we can look forward to in the next few months. Based on a true story from the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, the film tells the story of Jeff Bauman, a victim who lost both his legs in the incident, yet showed the world that what doesn’t kill you, truly can make you stronger. Jake Gyllenhaal is going to be phenomenal in this, I just know it.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

“Being a Kingsman is more than the clothing we wear or the weapons we bear. It is about being willing to sacrifice for the greater good.” One of the best spy movies I’ve watched in recent years is back with a sequel! The first film had some of the greatest action sequences, musical scores and unforgettable moments I’ve seen in any action movie, and I can’t wait to see more of it again in The Golden Circle. Never has suits and umbrellas been so cool…

… and I guess if I can catch all these films, it will be cool!

And that is my “must-watch” list from July to September. Maybe you will enjoy these films too? Haha. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you in the next post!

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The Movies of Q1 2017

It felt like yesterday that we were just talking about movies at the end of 2016, but here we are in February 2017! Here are some movies I’m looking to watch from now all the way through to March! Maybe you would be interested in watching them too?

The Space Between Us

If you know me, you will know that I love anything that has to do with science-fiction. And this is why I’m excited for this movie. It’s probably going to be my first sci-fi film of the year! But more than that, it’s actually a romance film. Telling the love story between a boy from Mars and a girl from Earth, I’m hoping this film will be as beautiful as it looks.

The Lego Batman Movie

A spin-off from 2014’s The Lego Movie; what else is there to say about this? It’s LEGO and it’s Batman. This combination is going to bring loads of fun to the big screen and I can’t wait to just catch it with my friends who love animation!

John Wick: Chapter 2

If you would love to have a good action film to watch over Valentine’s Day this year, you have one. A sequel to the 2014 hit film John Wick, this action thriller looks to slay once again. Starring The Matrix star Keanu Reeves, John Wick: Chapter 2 sees the returning of a legendary hitman and his face-off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.

Logan

For some reason, watching this trailer gets me slightly emotional. Maybe it’s the fact that this will be the final portrayal of Wolverine by Hugh Jackman. Maybe it’s the reality that this will be Patrick Stewart’s final appearance as Professor X. Or maybe it is the knowledge that this will be the conclusion of Logan’s story after 17 years. Whatever it is, I’m watching this.

Before I Fall

Imagine for some reason, you get trapped in a day, having to live it again and again and again. How would you make this day different and special each time you live it? Before I Fall explores that idea and looks to be really interesting. Got to catch it!

The Shack

Based on the book of the same name, this movie talks about a father’s journey through loss and his struggle with faith. Looking at the trailer and reading just the synopsis of the story, I can’t help but feel this could be one of the most uplifting films these next few months.

Table 19

Now this looks really light-hearted and interesting. This film talks about the story of an unlikely group of friends who met at a wedding table reserved for the most “unwanted” guests. What kind of sparks will fly and what tales will follow from their first meeting? We shall find out in this comedy film starring Anna Kendrick.

Kong: Skull Island

Set in the same universe as 2014’s monster film Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island brings the iconic beast back on the big screen! I remember when I was really young, King Kong (2005) was one of my favorite films as a kid. So I’m just excited to see what fresh take this film is going to have on Kong. And not to mention, it has a stellar cast too!

Beauty and the Beast

Now this is one of the highlights of the year for me in terms of movies. It just looks so amazing and seems to pay so much homage to the original animated film that we all watched when were little. The cast is so fitting of their roles, the visuals are stunning and the soundtrack so beautiful. I think we are all going to feel really nostalgic when March comes.

Power Rangers

As if the last 2 films I talked about weren’t enough to bring back childhood memories, here comes another one! Every 90’s kid would remember the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, so this film would be another major throwback for many of us! Can’t wait to see a whole new portrayal and imagination of our childhood superheroes.

Life

Probably the second science fiction film that I’m going to watch this year, Life explores the possibility of alien life (hence the name) in space, and as seen from the trailer, things don’t go very well for the scientists. Looks like an intense thriller I’d like to catch for sure!

The Zookeeper’s Wife

The last film on this list is going to have to be this drama film set in World War II. Based on the true story of how a couple saved the lives of hundreds of Jews during the Occupation of Poland, this film is going to portray both the terrors of war and the existence of heroes in our world.

And that’s it for my list of movies to watch until the end of March! Do you have any movies that you’re looking forward to that isn’t listed here? Let me know your thoughts and as always, thank you for reading.

Why I Enjoyed: Hacksaw Ridge

This is a spoiler-free article. 

Hi reader! How are you? It’s been 4 months since I wrote to you through this blog, and the last time I did, I was telling you about some upcoming movies. Can’t believe more than a quarter of a year has passed again, but today, I’m going to be talking about one of those movies that has recently hit the shores of my country. It has been the talk of the town and especially among my friends in the past few weeks. By now, you would know that this film is none other than Hacksaw Ridge.

Starring Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge is a film that tells the true story of Desmond Doss, a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian who served as a combat medic during World War II – never using a single weapon.

This was the first film I’ve watched in 2017 and I had zero regrets doing so. If you haven’t caught it, I highly recommend you to do so. Here’s why.

1. It’s very Real

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“In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.”

This is a film about real people and real events. It’s about war. And though I’m not a fan of gore, I must say that the depiction of war in this film is very real. You could just feel a heaviness in your heart as you watch it. What a reminder to us that hate, violence and conflict is never fun or a solution without cost.

2. It’s Engaging

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“While everybody else is taking life, I’m going to be saving it.”

As soon as you step into the cinema and the film starts, you’ll be hooked. That’s exactly how I felt. If you think only the battle sequences will grip you, you will be pleasantly surprised that that’s not the case. From the start to the end, I was fully engaged (you can ask my friends who were beside me). It is an intense war film yes, but it is also one with a compelling story.

3. It talks about Love

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“Please Lord, help me get one more.”

Even though Hacksaw Ridge isn’t a romance film, it is still essentially a film about love. There are a handful of tender moments between Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer’s onscreen characters, but more than that, this is a film about a man’s love for God and the lives of others before anything else, even before himself.

4. It talks about Convictions

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“I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe.”

If there’s one word I can use to describe this film, I think I would choose “inspiring” above any other word. And that is mostly because of the portrayal of Desmond Doss’ unwavering convictions. Without spoiling the details so that you can be inspired firsthand, all I can say is, go watch the movie yourself!

5. It honors real world Heroes

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“With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together.”

Probably one of the best things that I loved about this film is how it gave honor to one of the greatest heroes in our history. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in what Desmond Doss believed in. He’s still a hero. And I’m glad that that are people celebrating him and his deeds even today. Because what we celebrate we elevate. If we stop honoring our heroes, soon we will not have heroes left to honor.

Have you watched Hacksaw Ridge? If not, go catch it with your family and friends this weekend!

The Movies of Q4 2016

Once again, another quarter of the year is around the corner. And with it, comes many more movies we all want to watch. In fact, I think these next three months could be the most exciting season for movies this year, judging by the amount of movies I am looking forward to. There are in total 12 (the most there has been on my quarterly watch list this year) films that I think would end off 2016 pretty well! Here are the reasons why I am going to the cinema this holiday season between October and the end of December.

The Accountant

This year seems to have been a really busy year for Ben Affleck, in a good way. After appearing in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, the actor is going to appear in yet another three films in the next one year. More than that, he is going to direct one of it as well as the upcoming Batman movie which he is also starring in. The Accountant will be the latest film to feature his talents as an actor and I think the film has an interesting vibe to it and I can’t wait to see it. Watch the trailer above.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Tom Cruise is back and he still doesn’t look his age. Taking on the role of Jack Reacher once again, he gets involved in what seems to be a conspiracy and must uncover it to clear the name of a friend. From the trailer, I honestly think that we will see one of the coolest cinematic heroes of the year from this movie. That confidence and that skill is just epic.

Doctor Strange

As you all would know, every installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe gets me pumped. And this is no different for Doctor Strange. What’s more, the cast looks amazing. We have Benedict Cumberbatch, one of my favorite actors playing the titular character! What did we do to deserve this? LOL. But jokes aside, I am excited to see a new hero on the big screen, and the film just feels very different from the rest of the MCU films. I can’t wait to see how it’s going to affect and shift the universe around it.

Hacksaw Ridge

Once in awhile, you get one of those films that teaches you something and inspires you. Hacksaw Ridge looks to be that kind of film. Starring Andrew Garfield, the film tells the true story of Desmond T. Doss, an American soldier who refused to use any weapon or to kill during his service in World War II. I can’t wait to see The Amazing Spider-Man actor once again, but most of all, a movie about staying true to your personal convictions would be something I’ll definitely watch.

Arrival

2016 has so many science-fiction films, I’m not even complaining. If you thought that movies like Independence Day and Star Trek are the last of movies like these that we will see in 2016, you’re wrong. I love Sci-Fi movies and would gladly watch a good one any day. So that is why I am happy to say that there are three more science-fiction films to watch just in these next three months alone! The first one is Arrival, and unlike the action packed spectacles we have seen this year, it looks really different and intriguing.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Harry Potter was my childhood as much as I know it is for most of you reading this. So you would understand the nostalgia that you get while watching the trailer for Fantastic Beasts right? Especially when the recognizable soundtrack plays? How can we miss this film? It is a spin-off and prequel to one of our favorite stories! Set in the same universe as the Harry Potter series, but in an earlier era, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is probably one of the most anticipated films of the year. Got to catch it!

Moana

Walt Disney Animation Studios are back! It seemed like only yesterday that we were talking about Zootopia, and now we have another Disney animated film on the horizon. But I am happy though. It is like a blessing to have two Disney animated films in one year alone. What’s more, it seems that Disney has been doing a consistently good job with their recent animated features. From Frozen to Big Hero 6 to Zootopia, all of these films were so different in concept and plot, yet Disney delivered. I believe that Moana will be the same. New idea, new story, new princess and The Rock. What could go wrong?

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The exciting movies just keep coming and coming, doesn’t it? We have Marvel, Disney, Harry Potter and now we have Star Wars. What a crazy last quarter of the year it will be. Rogue One tells A Star Wars Story that takes place between Episodes III and IV of the Star Wars saga. If you’re a fan of Star Wars like me, you would know what I am talking about. If not, go watch some Star Wars. You know not how exciting life as a Star Wars fan has been since The Force Awakens last year. And the best thing is that it’ll continue for years to come.

Collateral Beauty

Imagine being able to meet Love, Time & Death as actual people and having a conversation with them. How would your life change? This movie explores that idea and looks really profound; the trailer gave me the chills. If there is a movie that I will watch this Christmas season (other than Star Wars), it will be this one. Love the cast, love the ideas and love the setting. A must-watch for me.

Assassin’s Creed

To all the gamers out there, I know this is one movie you’re looking forward to. Personally, I enjoyed Warcraft earlier this year, so I’m hoping that Assassin’s Creed will be good too or even better! This will be my second time seeing Michael Fassbender this year after X-Men: Apocalypse, and I am looking forward to seeing a cool performance from him as well. To the general crowd, yes, Assassin’s Creed is a video game. And now, it’s going to become a movie too.

Sing

Disney isn’t the only one that are releasing two animated movies this year. The makers of Despicable Me who are most recently known for The Secret Life of Pets, are going to give us another treat in the world of animations. Sing looks to be a movie about chasing your dreams and has a lot of singing too! It’s like The X Factor with animated animals and a story. Haha, looks like we are going to be occupied with animated films this holiday – Moana on Thanksgiving and Sing on Christmas.

Passengers

Remember what I said just now about science-fiction films? Here’s another one, and probably the last one that will be released this year in the Sci-Fi genre. While Arrival has a mysterious and dramatic feel to it, and Rogue One feels big and epic, Passengers comes in to offer a different taste of a science-fiction thriller. Starring beloved actors Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, it seems to be one heck of a ride. And honestly, if this is the last film I will watch this year, I don’t think I’ll mind at all.

So what do you think? Isn’t the last quarter of 2016 the highlight in terms of movies? Let me know what movies you would include in your “must-watch” list!

A Year of Writing: Fool’s Bench

Hello readers! Like I’ve said before, time really flies. Exactly a year ago on this day, I announced and launched Fool’s Bench with my first 4 posts. And since then, it has become a weekly rhythm of mine to write something fun or inspiring to just share it with all of you.

At times, ideas came easy and I would have a lot to write about. On other occasions, I struggled to even type a word. But no matter what, I am so glad and thankful for all the support and encouragement I got in the past year from my friends and readers – you.

Thank you for your kind words, affirmation and comments every single week. It is because of you that I know I am making a little difference through the Internet. And that keeps me writing.

So I can’t believe it, but this is my 63rd post! And what’s a better way to celebrate this day than to look back at some (well, actually 30 lol) of the posts that were written here in the past year? Come on, let’s travel back to a year ago. 😄

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Written exactly a year ago at the launch of Fool’s Bench, this post describes what my church is to me.
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Originally a sermon by Pastor Lia, “Ambidextrous Faith” talks about having faith in our battles and finding strength in God.
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One of my first few attempts at writing something creative, haha.
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Written out of a personal revelation, this post shows you from just ONE chapter alone, how amazing the Word of God can be.
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On Thanksgiving last year, I wrote about my incredible pastors & leaders in church.
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One of my personal favorites, “Star Wars for Beginners” is to this date, the most read article on Fool’s Bench.
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Never too late to read my first post of 2016.
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My favorite movies from 2015!
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Memories.
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More than just a song.
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“Every saint has a past; every sinner has a future.”
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“You never get what you want in life. You only get what you prepare for.”
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“Why I Enjoyed” is a series of posts where I talk casually about recent movies I’ve watched. “Zootopia” is still one of the best in 2016.
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On Good Friday, I wrote a short post about our imperfect world and what we can do about it.
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The April Fools’ joke that pranked hundreds of people.
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Every 3 months, I write about upcoming movies that I am looking forward to.
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I believe. Do you?
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A post dedicated to Pastor Lia on her birthday this year.
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This is the second guide that I’ve written about a fictional universe. I’m such a geek.
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Don’t just breathe. Live.
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One of the funniest posts I’ve written. Or at least I think so.
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The 50th post on Fool’s Bench.
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First post after a one-month break. These people are awesome.
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Witness how “funny” me and my friends are.
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Could our current pain have a future purpose?
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Heroes can rise out of the most unlikeliest of places.
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Probably the most read post so far in 2016, this post like the movie, was a surprise hit among my friends.
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A new series of short posts that literally kills time with jokes – around 1 minute to be specific.
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Give with the right heart; give cheerfully.
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The last post of Year One describes the journey of a dream.

And that’s it for Year One of Fool’s Bench! Once again, thank you for reading and sharing, and I’ll see you in the next post. 😉

Why I Enjoyed: Train to Busan

In case you’re wondering, this post is spoiler free.

It’s been a week since Train to Busan has been released in my country and it has already gained widespread recognition among critics and audiences. Almost everybody that I know of that have watched the movie recommends it. So of course, I got very excited and decided to catch it with some friends as well! And I did not regret it at all. Train to Busan is not your ordinary typical zombie film, and here’s why I enjoyed it so much.

1. It is not THAT scary

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As a person that can’t stand horror at all, I was pleasantly surprised to know that Train to Busan is more of a thriller than it is a horror movie. And that is why I even went to the cinema to catch it at all! While a lot of zombie films are horrifying, the “scare” factor isn’t the focus in this one. Just think Jurassic Park, but take away the Velociraptors and replace them with zombies. That’s the kind of thrill I am talking about. But I must say though, there are a few jump scares cleverly placed throughout the movie. 😄

2. It is watchable

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Gore is something that is frequently associated with zombie films and video games. And for some people like myself, it can be discomforting if brought to the extreme (even though the show/movie can be really good). Thankfully, Train to Busan balances out the amount of violence  & bloodshed, and tones it down a little bit in that area. Hence, it does not feature over-the-top graphic violence and gore, making the ride a little nicer. Oops, no pun intended. 😉

3. It engages you from start to finish

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Train to Busan isn’t just watchable, it is great. And that is because it keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire time. Like I said, this movie is essentially a thriller. And I must say, it has done the “thrilling” part super well. Literally, from the moment the on-screen chaos breaks out to the very last frame of the movie, your heart is kept beating quickly and your adrenaline left rushing as you are immersed in the intense situations the characters are put in.

4. It is touching and emotional

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The reason why Train to Busan awed me is because it is different from many of the zombie films that I know of. If you think only romance films or family films can touch you and make you cry, be prepared to be proven wrong. Train to Busan shows that zombie films can hold more than just horror and thrill. Expect K-drama levels of emotions, people.

5. It features awesome actors as great characters

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One of the best things about the story of Train to Busan is probably its characters. They display both the worst and the best of humanity. The evil ones show us how the zombies might not be the real monsters in the movie while the good ones show us how selflessness is what it means to be human. You will hate a few characters but also love certain other characters.

So if you’re looking for a movie to watch this weekend, this is a good one to experience. Catch the Train to Busan for a thrilling yet emotional ride.

The Movies of Q3 2016

Time really flies! The last time we talked about movies, we were in the first half of 2016. But today as we speak, we are already in the second half of the year! In fact, we find ourselves in its third quarter. So in continuation with my quarterly habit of looking at upcoming movies, I bring you now the list of films I am looking forward to seeing in Q3 of 2016. Here are a few exciting ones that I want to catch between now and the end of September.

1. The BFG

Chances are if you have ever read children’s books before when you were younger, you would have heard or seen the name of Roald Dahl. I mean when I was in primary school, all the bookworms in class would be reading at least one of his books. Then when I went to the school library, I would see “Roald Dahl” all over the shelves. If Charlie and the Chocolate Factory rings a bell to you, then you would definitely know this successful author. The BFG which stands for “Big Friendly Giant”, is also a book written by Dahl. And now, it is has been adapted and brought to life on the big screen.

2. Star Trek Beyond

The last time we saw Chris Pine, he was leading a rescue mission with the U.S Coast Guard in The Finest Hours. Now, watch as he captains a starship in the third film of the science-fiction franchise – Star Trek. I got to be honest; I am totally new to Star Trek and have yet to see any of the films or television series nor read any of the books. But I am so stoked to catch up on what I’ve missed so far just to be able to watch Star Trek Beyond better. Science-fiction films like these are the bomb, guys.

3. The Secret Life of Pets

The creators of Despicable Me and its popular minions are back with a brand new animated film – The Secret Life of Pets. As I watched the trailers for the movie, I can’t help but find the visuals so stunning, the concept so fresh and the characters so humorous. Compared to the other animation studios or companies like Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks, Illumination is relatively new and young so I can’t wait to see what else they have to bring to the world of animated films.

4. Skiptrace

Jackie Chan is back! What more is there to say? No one blends action and comedy as well as our childhood hero even at his current age of 62. Personally, I grew up watching a lot of Jackie Chan and I can still remember up to this day that apart from all his films, one of my favorite cartoons as a boy was Jackie Chan Adventures! So obviously from that, you would know why I am so excited to see Jackie again; he just offers this unique flavor to the more than 100 films that he has starred in. And besides, it’s been more than 2 years since we last saw him in a live-action movie! Can’t wait.

5. Jason Bourne

You know, James Bond isn’t the only “J.B” that is cool and dangerous okay? And no, I am not talking about Johor Bahru or Justin Bieber even though they are cool in their own ways. I am talking about Jason Bourne. After 9 long years, Matt Damon finally returns as the titular character in the well-received spy action thriller series. So as you can see, anticipation is at an all-time high for this movie.

6. Suicide Squad

2016 is a strange year when superheroes clash and villains unite. We can see the former in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War, while the latter will be exhibited in the upcoming Suicide Squad. As the third installment in the DC Extended Universe, the film uses a concept that is rarely seen – having the villains as the main characters of a movie. Personally, I just want to see Batman against the Joker again, and also how this film fits into the whole DCEU. So just imagine the Avengers.. but with weird and psychotic people.

7. Pete’s Dragon

So how do you train your dragon? In the real world? The answer is you can’t – well, at least not in peace. A remake of the 1977 film of the same name, Pete’s Dragon seems to have a fresh and interesting tale to tell. Man, Disney is really on a roll this year with their name on film after film and with many more coming up! Just in this post alone, there are three of them! Continue reading to find out about the third one (and that isn’t even the last one in 2016!).

8. Queen of Katwe

Being on a constant “quest” to widen the range of movies that I watch, I find myself in the cinemas this year catching romance films, thrillers and comedies (which I didn’t used to watch as much). In the next three months however, I am going to challenge myself to watch a biographical drama film in the form of Queen of Katwe. And anyways, it is going to be a breath of fresh air with the movies I’m watching and also looks inspiring. So why not?

9. The Magnificent Seven

This last movie in this list could possibly be the last movie I am going to watch before I go into the army. For all you non-Singaporeans reading this, just Google “National Service in Singapore”. And honestly if it is, if Magnificent Seven really happens to be that movie, I don’t think I’ll mind. Because so far, it looks good! With the cast, the setting and the plot that we currently know of, we have a potentially awesome Western film! And for me, it has been a long time since I’ve watched a Western film like that, so I’m looking forward to it. Plus, it looks really cool and has Chris Pratt in it. Can’t wait to see one of my favorite actors in recent years back in action again.

And so that is all for my personal list of movies that I would love to see in this third quarter of 2016! In fact, some of them has just been released in Singapore so I am probably going to go catch one or two of them in the coming week. But how about you? Do you have any movies that you would love to watch too but are not in this list? Let me know in the comments below! See you all again for our next list in October. 😉