Thursday, March 5, 2015

Quick Movie Review


White Bird in a Blizzard (2014, USA) | Rating: 2/5

We meet again, Shailene Woodley! From your unmemorable performance in Divergent, I haven't been that impressed with your acting skills and I'm not suffering through The Fault in Our Stars either to find out if there's improvement. In this movie she does show a little more emotion, albeit two dimensional, but I can at least vaguely remember bits of her character in this one. Apparently, this movie is based on a novel by Laura Kasischke of the same name. Not surprised it's a book. Everything's a freakin' book! Anyway, I've seen previews of this movie in several Magnet Production films and I thought the story was interesting. There isn't anything very remarkable about this movie and Woodley's character can be a little annoying. There's not too much depth to these characters and it's hard to feel sympathy when her mother disappears. In the end, it's not a terrible movie, but I don't see myself watching it again or recommending it to family or friends.



Himizu (2011, Japan) | Rating: 3.5/5

I was pleasantly surprised to see a Sion Sono film drop in the bin at work and it was mandatory for me to check it out as he is one of my favorite directors. I've only seen about a small handful of his movies and perhaps I'll recap the ones I haven't reviewed here later, but I was pleased with this one. I'm even considering adding it to my collection. Sion Sono seems to tackle pretty interesting and sometimes controversial topics in his movies, which I admire a lot. This movie is based on a manga by Minoru Furuya of the same name. I might check it out, but I'm not in a rush to do so. This movie can either be boring, frustrating, or emotionally engaging. For me, it took me a little time to be invested in these characters, but their situation made it hard not to care about them and develop some strong feelings toward their parents and the other people around them. This movie might cause some triggers for people as the characters face a very neglectful relationship with their parents and a hint of suicide. Nonetheless, I'm kinda looking forward to rewatching this film and giving it a full review. Perhaps a Sion Sono month or something will be in the works. We'll see~



I Saw the Devil (2010, South Korea) | Rating: 4/5

It seems like Byung-hun Lee is everywhere in my life or something. Between the ongoing scandal and I suppose my viewing of The Good, The Bad, The Weird, it just seems like the guy is following me. The few movies I have seen him, it seems like he gravitates toward action films, which isn't a bad thing. I think he's a decent action star, but I don't think he's an actor Korea could brag about. He's kinda one note a lot of the time, but this isn't about Byung-hun Lee, it's about this movie, which was interesting. Some commenters on IMDb compared this movie to Oldboy, which would be quite the fun comparison. It has co-star Min-sik Choi who is the antagonist. If you didn't know is quite the opposite of his character in Oldboy. This is definitely a different take on revenge compared to Oldboy as the driving motive for our main character is pure pain and suffering, which makes it all the more interesting.



Dear White People (2014, USA) | Rating: 4/5

I saw a lot of online promotion for this film through Tumblr and my friends on Facebook. It definitely sounded like an interesting and different movie that hasn't been put out in theaters, especially featuring a majority black cast. Originally, I wanted to see this movie in theaters, but it was limited release which proved it difficult and my invitation to a friend didn't quite go through as planned. Nonetheless, I was happy to receive this at my workplace and I rather enjoyed it. It's a good commentary piece that satires the plyte of millennial blacks in everyday life, especially college and/or an environment where the majority is white. It doesn't degrade or bash white people either and it lightly touches on colorism and homosexuality within the black community, which is nice. The acting, cinematography, and content were on point and I honestly wouldn't mind watching this movie a couple more times.



Video Games The Movie (2014, USA) | Rating: 3/5

Some commenters on IMDb complained this documentary is not much of documentary and more of a bragging show among men (and a handful of women), but I honestly didn't see it like that. This is definitely a documentary. It documents the history of video games, albeit briefly in places, but it intertwines personal experiences, opinions, and concrete facts. As a long time gamer, I learned a lot of things from the past, beyond Atari, and some technical facts that I wasn't aware of as well. I found the documentary to be very informative, although it does skip some important aspects in the history of game such as anything related to Sega. But there's a possibility they didn't have the rights or permission to cover that section, I'm not completely sure. Nonetheless, the guests are informative and entertaining. I enjoyed their different opinions and personal experiences as well as the variety of people they selected. I also liked that they addressed the growing number of female gamers.


If there's something you want me to review (or want a more in depth review of the movies above or previous ones), check out this post on how you can submit requests.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review: The Boy Next Door


Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Kristin Chenoweth
Directed by: Rob Cohen
Language: English
Rating: R
Running Time: 91 minutes


Out of the first batch (read as January) of movies for 2015, there were only two movies of interest for me (later 3), this one and Mortdecai (then Selma). My mom wanted to see both as well, but obviously we opted for Jennifer Lopez. Mr. Depp, I'll get to you when you're on DVD.


After finding out about an affair, Claire Peterson struggles to get back into the dating scene while raising her son and figuring out her emotions for her husband Garrett. Suddenly, a gorgeous forbidden distraction moves in with his great uncle in the form of Noah Sandborn. Noah entices some suppressed feelings Claire has and tries to give her a better life than what she has now. Unfortunately, this dream man is more of a recurring nightmare.

The Boy Next Door is a very paint by numbers obsession film. In other words, this movie is very cliche and predictable. Does that ruin the enjoyment for me? Not really. In fact, my mother and I thought the predictability was very amusing and we found ourselves laughing at the content.


The acting, for the most part is...decent. Jennifer Lopez does her best to portray her character Claire as a dimensional character. She worries about her sick son, tries to remain professional as a high school teacher, and keeps her dignity with her decision between her husband and her convincing young neighbor. Her son Kevin is your typical awkward kid with a medical condition. He lacks confidence and is constantly bullied about his past which makes him an easy target for Noah to get closer to his goal. Noah has charm and charisma which fits his pretty boy image. The supporting characters simply follow the stalker movie tropes as much as the main cast: the cheating husband who wants redemption but doesn't look as physically appealing as his wife or the guy she's attracted to; the best friend that supports and encourages our protagonist to move on, not make the same mistakes, and gives her strength during her crisis; and the pretty girl and principal who are basically just that. The bullies are pretty weak too.

I really don't blame the actors for their bland roles or the actions they take, I blame the poor writing. Most of the cringeworthy dialogue comes from Noah's end as I feel he goes from zero to a thousand too rapidly instead of a gradual clinginess or insanity. Claire's dialogue comes off as clumsy sometimes and it's usually when she talks to Noah about his feelings and sometimes her son. Lastly, Garrett's lines seem too bland and robotic. The delivery doesn't help either.

Honestly, my mom and I really enjoyed ourselves watching this movie, despite it being no where near perfect. I would've liked more of a gradual crazy development with Noah and better dialogue for these characters, but the predictability made the trip entertaining and amusing. The Boy Next Door is a harmless obsession movie, so if you skip out on it, you're not missing out on anything. But if you feel the need to see it, I would wait to rent it.


Rating: 2.5/5


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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Review: Tusk


Starring: Justin Long, Michael Parks, Haley Joel Osment
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Language: English
Rating: R
Running Time: 102 minutes


I saw bits and pieces of promotional material for this movie and it sounded pretty interesting. Most people, I'm sure, are drawn to it because it is a Kevin Smith film and I know he has a lot of followers. Honestly, I haven't seen too many of his movies, but maybe I should give them a try some day. Either way, I respect and enjoy the man when I do see him participate in things.


Wallace Bryton, a podcaster, travels to Canada to meet a fan that submitted a video to him and his friend Teddy on their show. He plans on interviewing the kid, but finds out that an unfortunate situation has occurred causing him to change his plans. Discouraged, Wallace finds a notice that may provide an unusual tale for him to share with Teddy and their podcast listeners. He meets up with an older gentleman by the name of Howard Howe and shares a cup of tea as he listens to his life story. Three days later, Wallace's girlfriend Ally hasn't heard any word from him and learns that he has disappeared. Now it is up to Ally and Teddy to find out what happened to Wallace?

I had little to no preview on what this movie might intell. All I knew about this movie was that it was a horror movie, Kevin Smith directed it, Justin Long was one of the actors, and somehow tusks were going to be involved. While I was approaching the end of the movie, I did share and watch the trailer for the first time and it definitely doesn't give anything a way, which is a very good thing. So, it's safe to check it out. Since I had no clue what I was getting myself into, I was anticipating to see how tusks were going to be involved in this movie.



Seeing the genre of this movie on IMDb, I was curious how they would combine comedy and horror into this movie. It isn't an impossible feat to obtain as comedy horror movies do exist. In this movie, we start off with some light humor to settle the viewer in and, of course, set up the plot of the story. The humor is definitely successful in this movie; it's a bit perverse, nerdy, and at times dark in places. Justin Long and Haley Joel Osment have some good chemistry between them and I believe their relationship together. Also, it's nice to see grown up Osment. Most people only remember him from how he looked from The Sixth Sense, so, yeah, he looks about the same just older...like most people. Anyway, I really enjoyed Justin Long's character Wallace. He delivers a bit of jerk personality, but a lovable enough jerk that you care about what happens to him. Genesis Rodriguez, who plays Ally, does a great job conveying her emotions about the whole situation as well as her serious feelings toward Wallace. I truly believed that she loved him and that is very important for the audience to care about him and his disappearance. Michael Parks as Howard Howe was absolutely perfect with his sophisticated, yet eerie presence. It's not hard to feel equally intrigued by this man along with Wallace and at the same a bit uncomfortable for some unknown reason. Lastly, I want to say that Guy LaPointe was very amusing. Johnny Depp is truly a master of disguise.

Aside from the acting, I thought the story effectively pulled me in as well. You have no idea what horror is around the corner for Wallace or his loved ones. It's perfectly bizarre, yet believable. The pacing and editing is done very well. The viewer gets just enough background to understand why Wallace flew to Canada, understand his relationship with Teddy and Ally, and put enough trust into our antagonist. I know already mentioned that I enjoyed the humor in this, but I wanted to add that the Canadian/American jokes were on point in this movie. I like the call back to Degrassi as well, since I'm a fan of the show and I remember the couple episodes Kevin Smith guest starred filming a movie there.

Although I haven't seen it yet, in some ways (and this doesn't really spoil the movie), Tusks reminds me a little bit of The Human Centipede, but I'm sure this movie is way more entertaining than that movie and assuming more intelligent. I will leave a tiny bit of gross out warning, but I've seen more disturbing looking things in other movies than this. It's definitely not overdone, so I wouldn't worry about it relying on gross outs or whatever. For the most, I thought this movie was very refreshing, especially since there seems to be lack of interesting horror movies out there. Thank you, Kevin Smith, for producing such a creative, humorous, yet creepy film! You give me hope.


Rating: 4.5/5


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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Quick Movie Review


Antiviral (2012, Canada) | Rating: 3/5

Four out of five of the movies in this review were found through previews in other independent or lesser known movies. Obviously, I was drawn in by the premise and the visuals, so I just wanted to get that out of the way instead of repeating myself over and over again in the same post. In the real world, we do live in a culture where people idolize celebrities to an unhealthy degree. You can find evidence of that in promotions of Korean and Japanese idols or even My Strange Addiction or similar shows where people spend ridiculous amounts of money dedicated to their favorite celebrity. Some go so far as to follow this person from place to place, hack their social media accounts, stalk their family, or even the extreme of plastic surgery to look exactly like them. I feel like this movie is good commentary to that obsession and idolization as people pay to be injected with the same diseases as their favorite celeb. Some may even go so far as to literally consume them as well in meat market places. I think I would recommend this movie mostly because of the premise. The movie is decent overall. I think its weakness is the dialogue and a bit of the characters, but the premise and visuals are intriguing enough to keep you engaged.



Mockingbird (2014, USA) | Rating: 1.5/5

If you were given a camcorder as gift from an unknown person, what would you do? According to this movie, you think nothing of it and just accept that you won something without any questions. Unfortunately, accepting such a silly conclusion leads to dire consequences: you've accepted participating in a game. There are definitely better and more entertaining movies than this that deal with a similar concept such as Saw and Would You Rather?. In this movie, we have three groups of contestants: a woman, a couple, and a clown. They all have to follow different rules to win the ultimate prize. Of course, the prize varies between each group. Unfortunately, the movie is very unbalanced on what they show with these people which makes me care less about whatever happens to them. The woman screams and whimpers majority of the time, the couple has a little story so there is a little care about them, and the clown is easily unlikable and mostly unrealistic. Unfortunately, a lot of the clear focus is on the clown: this middle aged, unemployed man that still lives with his nagging mother. He's given the most interesting tasks compared to the other two set of participants. I would definitely skip out on this movie. It's not particularly interesting, story or character-wise, and, of course if you have a clown phobia, I wouldn't watch it.



Not Safe For Work (2014, USA) | Rating: 2/5

A law firm is handling a controversial, yet important case and there's some shady dealings lingering about it that involve the mafia. Yeah, I feel like this has been done before. I'll agree with an IMDb comment on wishing that there was more detail about the case to understand the risk involved, but the movie was pretty decent. It's a typical cat and mouse type movie with a regular office guy getting fired and turning into the hero. I enjoyed the chase and I thought the hitman was effectively intimidating. In short, it was an entertaining chase, but pretty predictable. Also, why the cliffhanger ending?



John Wick (2014, USA) | Rating: 2/5

"The best Keanu Reeves movie since The Matrix!" I guess they kinda got that right, considering Reeves hasn't had any stand out roles since then, which is pretty sad. I'm about to make a few people, including myself, feel old but that's 16 years ago. Crazy, right? Well, this story is definitely less convoluted than The Matrix franchise. In fact, this movie barely has a plot and what there is of a plot is really...weak. It felt like 98% of the movie was action scenes and the remaining 2% was dialogue, because I barely remember any conversations going on. Doesn't help that I hard time reading the stylistically placed subtitles. I've been watching subtitled things for roughly 11 years, I'm used to them being placed on the bottom of the screen in white or yellow font with a black outline. Similar to Only God Forgives, the visuals were very appealing and the action scenes were nice to watch, even though they were a bit repetitive at times. Once again, it's unfortunate I didn't enjoy this movie as much as I'd hope, especially since there's a sequel rumored to be in the works.



Honeymoon (2014, USA) | Rating: 2/5

Something about this movie kinda interested me and I had no idea what to expect from it. These little indie films are really hard to decipher when it comes to quality, but for the most part I never really have expectations for them which saves on any chance of being disappointed or upset. The movie does start off a bit slow, which isn't a problem for me as long as there's something that hooks you into it, and it seems like a typical story about a newlywed couple. Obviously, something strange occurs, but you don't completely find out until you approach the end. What you find out about the wife Bae is a combination of wtf, why, predictability, and a tiny bit of disappointment. I feel like there was potential in certain places in this movie, especially the lack of elaboration with Bae's relationship with this childhood friend, but the conclusion is just a complete let down from the almost intriguing build up. It's really up to you whether you want to watch this one or not, but you're not missing anything if you choose not to.


If there's something you want me to review (or want a more in depth review of the movies above or previous ones), check out this post on how you can submit requests.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Top 5 Recommended Music Videos


"Animals" by Maroon 5
I first heard this song on the radio and I was immediately hooked. I guess I like how overtly sexual this song is and the beat is nice; it almost sounds like there might be a little bit of the band left. I'm sure by the time I listen to the band's latest album, V, I'll find it just as boring as the last album. Nonetheless, I enjoy this song immensely and the video has that slightly uncomfortable, creepy sexy vibe to it. The visuals definitely give the lyrics a different tone than when you just listen to it. Probably isn't safe for work due to the sexual and graphic nature of the visual content.



"Big Bad Wolf" by In This Moment
I'm still fairly new to this band and I'm not sure if I recommended a video of theirs when I first got into them or not, but here's one. From their latest album Black Widow, I feel like this seems more cohesive. I enjoy the balance of sexy and chaotic from the visuals, camera angles, and styling. Maria looks fierce and the rest of the band blend in perfectly with this aggressive, grimy song. I look forward to listening to Black Widow and maybe I'll brave it out this year and see them live too.



"Lip Reading" by Jolin Tsai
Honestly, I think kpop should take notes on sex and sensuality, because this video is everything I would want from female kpop girl groups that's more mature in age. Think Brown Eyed Girls' "Abracadabra". Not only are the visuals dangerous and sensual, but the music and lyric delivery carry that same tone. You feel easily wrapped around Jolin Tsai's voice along with the male lead in the video; a sense of trust, yet you're on edge with what might happen. I'm looking forward to listening to her new material.



"My Avatar" by BOYFRIEND
Not a BOYFRIEND fan, but I like this song and the video is very simple. I'm surprised how natural sounding their Japanese is. That's pretty impressive to me! The video is mainly focused on the choreography, which is pretty good as well. They display some impressive moves and definitely fit in with the jpop boys like GENERATIONS, which this video really reminds me of.



"青空ギロチン" by My BACTERIA HEAT IsLAND
It's hard to express how happy I am to hear TenTen or Taira or whatever the heck he's calling himself's voice again. I know this band was temporary, but I'm happy this is the real deal after the disbandment of Chemical Pictures. The PV is mostly band centric, but it does have some cool sepia toned effects and smoke to make the set more atmospheric. There's also some beautiful scenery and imposed artistic shots of flowers and TenTen acting a little. Also, this song kinda reminds of me KuRt in a very good way. Not just the vocals, but the overall sound. I'm looking forward to listening to their first wide release.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Quick Movie Review


The Guest (2014, USA) | Rating: 2/5

We've already had movies recently that deal with strangers coming into a person's home intentional. The main character usually thinks nothing of it, but soon they learn their mistake the hard way. This is another one of those movies and I couldn't help but compare it to a recent watch, No Good Deed. While the execution differs, the basic elements are somewhat the same. The major difference is our protagonist is more mentally unstable and has a military history. I mentioned that the pacing felt dragged out in No Good Deed, I didn't really have that problem with this movie, but my feelings toward it are about the same. It's pumped with more violence, so it kept my attention a little more, but it's still forgettable.



Horns (2014, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5

I believe the only post-Harry Potter movie I've seen from Daniel Radcliffe was The Woman in Black, which I thought was pretty boring and I'm surprised there's a sequel that exists. I must say this is way better. Similar to Life After Beth, this movie focuses on a male protagonist who is coping with the loss his girlfriend, except Radcliffe's character isn't annoyed by her like the other movie. The movie takes some supernatural elements that deal with finding out what happened to said girlfriend, but instead of zombies we have Satan...kinda. I thought the story was very interesting, unique, and entertaining. There were plenty of twists and turns and I was on the edge of my seat toward the final act.



The Man From Nowhere (2010, South Korea) | Rating: 4/5

I was amused to the see the comments on Tumblr mention that Liam Neeson got his technique ideas from this movie. Too bad Taken came out before this movie. heh I can see the similarities even though I've never seen a Taken movie, but it definitely has that urgency and need to protect that I'm sure those movies would have. This movie vaguely reminded me of A Company Man. Maybe because they're both Korean action movies with male leads and that feel a sense of need to protect a specific female character. Both of these movies are great and I think one major difference between the male leads is that in this movie we barely know anything about his background. He's almost a silent protagonist, but I enjoy the mystery behind him. Despite his background being ambiguous, the movie gives you enough to care about his cause and understand his motives, which can be a challenging task to execute. Overall, this was an exciting movie from the start and it was easy to get sucked into the action.



Amusement (2008, USA) | Rating: 1/5

I forgot which friend mentioned this movie scaring her, but I was curious. Anything that scares or traumatizes a friend I'm interested...and I'm very aware how strange that sounds. Before I comment on this movie, I do not recommend this to anyone who has a fear of clowns. This will not help you get rid of that. Anyway, I didn't know what to expect going into this horror flick, except the obvious clown on the box cover. The movie starts with a couple on a round trip...a very drag out moment with them that I deem almost, if not completely, irrelevant to the rest of the story. I figured the director needed to pad out some time so the movie will be at least over an hour long. Once the main plot of the movie gets rolling, there's lots of details missing to truly pull you into it. So, you end up not caring about these three young women being terrorized by a childhood friend/peer. The movie mainly focuses on the gore and trying to gross the viewer out. It makes a poor attempt of creeping you out with its characters and its jump scares all seem to fall flat due to lack of build up and perhaps predictability.



Tyler Perry's Madea's Tough Love (2015, USA) | Rating: 2.5/5

Even though I have my criticisms about Tyler Perry's work, I still manage to keep track of when he has something new out and don't worry, those criticisms will be voiced in a later post. When I saw this new title, I thought it was another movie inspired by one of his plays, instead it was a straight to DVD animated release, which I think was for the best decision. This is a family friendly movie with minimal singing. The animation is pretty decent and made me miss watching The Proud Family on the Disney Channel even more. The story isn't anything new. It's something that has been done millions of times with the same outcome, but overall it isn't a terrible film. There are some minor problematic stereotyping, but nothing to really get seriously angry about. Overall, this is a basic harmless cartoon that you can watch with the kids.


If there's something you want me to review (or want a more in depth review of the movies above or previous ones), check out this post on how you can submit requests.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Quick Movie Review


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014, USA) | Rating: 4.5/5

Out of the recent hoards of teen novel adaptations trying to cash in what Twilight and The Hunger Games have ignited, thi series has been treated better than any other: The Host, Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, etc. As much as splitting the final part into two like Harry Potter is annoying and a bit of an obvious cash grab, it's hard to complain when this movie has been executed so well. There's great emotional dilemmas, character development, and pacing. I'm looking forward to this year's final installment and delving into the universe again when I begin reading the series.



The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (2014, USA) | Rating: 4/5

Similar to the final installment of Lord of the Rings, this is where the bulk of the action lies. The movie's beginning does not waste any time dropping you into the story, picking up immediately with Smaug causing massive destruction. Reiterating that I am not a die hard Tolkien fan, I enjoyed every facet of this movie. The visuals and soundtrack were unsurprisingly stunning and the acting and pace were very impressive. There were a couple visual hiccups where the CGI was a bit distracting, but not terrible overall. I still wish Legolas did not exist as most times I kinda want to cringe or roll my eyes. His presence feels obviously unnecessary and I felt that way when he appeared in The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. Whether Tolkien fans will be pleased with this now completed adaptation or not, I'm not sure, but I was thoroughly entertained.



Unbroken (2014, USA) | Rating: 4.5/5

This isn't a typical movie I would watch as I'm not into historical war stories, but I wanted to show my support for Angelina Jolie and Takamasa Ishihara (a.k.a Miyavi). When I posted about this news, I was very interested in how this would go. The Miyavi I knew 9-10 years ago in Oresama is definitely a different Miyavi that we know now. I heard that the musician has received a lot of well deserved praise and as a fan I'm very proud of his growth. He was truly intimidating and very convincing. Jolie's directorial debut, despite some viewers' opinions, was amazing. The cinematography and pacing was well thought out and executed near perfectly. For someone who doesn't watch this genre of film, I was thoroughly invested in this man's life and felt his pain and triumphant. Jolie definitely put a lot of care into the story and casting and I strongly commend her for her excellent efforts. Say what you will about actors turn directors, but I look forward to another Jolie film in the future.



Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014, USA) | Rating: 4/5

I've always enjoyed the Night at the Museum movies. I find them highly enjoyable and family friendly. After the unfortunate passing of Robin Williams, seeing this hopefully final installment of the franchise was mandatory. Seeing these characters come to life one more was very satisfying and I had the same feelings as I did when I watched Toy Story 3 from beginning to end. Night at the Museum has always had a very simplistic plot to it and this third installment is no different. The chemistry among the characters is still entertaining and fun, the sub stories continue on from previous installments, and the comedy is great for all ages. Although, I still don't think Rebel Wilson is very funny at all, so a lot of her jokes fall completely flat. For all those who enjoyed the previous films as much as I have or a Robin Williams fan, prepare to break out the tissues toward the end.



As Above, So Below (2014, USA) | Rating: 1.5/5

When I saw the previews for this, I wasn't expecting it to be any good. Honestly, I watched this out of shear curiosity as I know current audiences would enjoy stuff like this. My prediction for this was mostly spot on as I thought it was just a slightly more modern day version of The Descent. I know a lot of people love The Descent and thought it was suspenseful, scary, and unpredictable; I, on the other hand, thought it was alright. I know, I know~ Some of you are going start throwing tomatoes at me for that comment, but it wasn't a bad movie at all. It was creative and different and played on the fear of claustrophobia, which isn't something most movies would use. As for this movie, it has very similar elements to The Descent, except it involves cults and magic and whatnot. I don't really know. The movie barely held my attention and I didn't care about any of the characters. A lot of the time I was confused whether this was supposed to be a first person point of view type of movie like [REC] or not as the camera perception constantly switched throughout the movie. In short, I think I would stick to re-watching or watching The Descent over this movie, but if you really want to see it, I suppose it's harmless.


If there's something you want me to review (or want a more in depth review of the movies above or previous ones), check out this post on how you can submit requests.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Quick Movie Review


Like Father, Like Son (2013, Japan) | Rating: 4.5/5

Sometimes it's nice to take a little break from unusual Asian films and watch something a bit more dramatic. I went into this movie with an open mind, wondering how this story would play out. The concept of being switched at birth has been done before; there's even a television show about it here in America. In this movie, they take this approach of opposites between both families. One couple is a little more structured while the other couple is more carefree when it comes to raising their children. They also both come from two opposing economic classes as well, one family is more high class and the other is more working class. What they have in common is the love they share for their children and trying to undo what they've brought up for 11 years becomes difficult. On the surface, it seems like an easy task to simply swap your children, but when you get down into it, it's the most difficult thing in the world and this movie successfully portrays that struggle. It might not be a complete tear jerker, but this movie will definitely pull at your heartstrings.



Into the Woods (2014, USA) | Rating: 4/5

Hollywood has given us a little break with fairy tales and stories that Disney has already covered for a bit, so now we have a new batch coming out soon such as Cinderella and some variations of The Jungle Book and Peter Pan. I suppose this movie starts off the fairy tale onslaught we'll be receiving in 2015, although I'm not really complaining. This fantasy musical film was adapted from a Broadway play, which I didn't know about until someone mentioned it on the internet's popular soapbox Tumblr. Musicals for me can be a little hit or miss I suppose. I have no real problem with them and more times than none if I watch them by choice, I enjoy them. I'm sure growing up with Disney helps in that sense. Anyway, I feel like this movie briskly skimmed through well known fairy tales at a good pace that you can fill in the blanks and not be confused, but also not be annoyed if the characters tell you what happen. Some stories have been revised from what some of us remember (a.k.a the Disney reimaginings), but I believe it makes the stories that more interesting. It's also a bit self aware of itself and the characters are very entertaining.



Hide and Seek (2013, South Korea) | Rating: 3.5/5

I came across this movie at work and wondered how it got there. My theory is that I requested an American movie with a similar title starring Robert de Niro and Dakota Fanning, but this Korean film came in instead. What I didn't realize was that I also added it to my watch list on Netflix as well, so either way this movie was going to be watched. I honestly didn't know what to expect from this movie. It definitely isn't purely horror, but more of a thriller sub-genre. The movie does build up slowly, but this is all for the better. Everything seems normal, but something feels a little off when the main character's brother comes into play. Naturally, things become increasingly more interesting as the protagonist investigates further into his brother's location. Sad to say, a good Korean thriller that keeps you on your toes are hard to find.



Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005, South Korea) | Rating: 4/5

Similar to the third installment of the Vengeance Triology, I feel like what needs to be said about this movie has been said already. I honestly didn't know how this revenge flick would go, since there's only so much you can do when the protagonist's motivation is revenge. Of course Chan-wook Park has successfully made a trilogy out of it, although I still need to watch Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. I guess I am watching this backwards. Anyway, the cinematography is stunning and it was nice to see a fully dimensional female lead that I think the American industry could take notes on for future projects. She was very convincing in her goals and desires and I really wanted to see her succeed and grow from her struggles. The pacing is good as well and the twist and turns the story provides plenty of entertainment to keep you engaged. Lastly, I hope that the forgotten news about an American remake for this starring Charlize Theron continues to be forgotten.



No Good Deed (2014, USA) | Rating: 2.5/5

Originally, I wanted to see this movie in theaters, but I never got around to it. When I saw the previews, I really wasn't expecting much. The idea seemed too familiar and recycled, but with a black cast. Nonetheless, I somehow had interest in it. Honestly, I didn't think it was anything special. The conclusion was unexpected, but the pacing, for me, seemed like it dragged on and on. I really wanted Idris Elba to have more charm and a hint of sophistication in his character, but his progression was sped up some, probably because all the other characters seemed so bland in comparison. I like Taraji P. Henson, I really do, but all the roles given to these actors were simply roles not full fledge characters. I wish the movie offered more backstory to Henson's relationship history with her husband and maybe cook up a little chemistry with Elba's antagonist. One credit I will give the movie was that Henson's character was not completely helpless. Her actions seemed realistic and a small part of me that actually cared wanted her to win the fight.


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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Top 5 Recommended Music Videos


"GO CRAZY" by 2PM
We meet again, 2PM~ *sighs* I still don't really like this group that much, but these fun little concepts, I can't resist. As much as they don't do each year, it's refreshing to hear and see something I actually like from them. Similar to "Hands Up", I have no problem shamelessly blasting this. Heck, I've watched this bizarre, ridiculous video more than twice. I wish more groups would be less serious in their videos every once and a while.



"D Island" by Z.Hera
Z.Hera is sadly underrated and I wish she received as much recognition as Lee Hi as I think she's more interesting, but that's not the purpose of this post. I was happy to learn that she had something new last year and absolutely gorgeous visually and audibly. I was pleasantly surprised to see some racial diversity and the story can be interpreted a few different ways as well. Maybe there's a romantic relationship or perhaps something platonic. Nonetheless, give this girl a listen. She's absolutely beautiful inside and out and I hope to hear more from her in 2015.



"Sugar Free" by T-ara
I know this group still has haters, but hey, I just follow the music when it comes to them and most kpop groups. Upon first viewing, I was not expecting the onslaught of visuals on my eyes. Definitely a seizure warning would've been nice. Anyway, I was happy to see something new from them. It's a very simple song with a borderline EDM sound and yes, I'm aware that there is an EDM version of this song which I actually don't like. The choreography is very basic, but the girls look stunning and I'm just impressed that there's 600+ transitions in this nearly four minute video. Hopefully, there won't be another attempt of adding anymore new members and just produce more music.



"Mask" by Stellar
As much as sexy concepts were getting on people's nerves and a little bit of mine, I thought this was a classy sexy. I wasn't feeling Stellar's debut at all or "Marionette", but I loved this song quite a lot. It's beautiful and showcases their voices very well. I didn't even know that this talent existed! The beat has a nice funk pop sound to it that's sensual and mature. The choreography reflects that as well, even though I didn't like the butt focus. They could've picked something else. Anyway, give this a listen and a look, because I think these girls look lovely and their voices sound just as lovely.



"Too Fancy" by Lip Service
I was pleasantly surprised to see a follow up to "Yum Yum Yum" and there's a new member too. I kinda wonder if this was a coincidence that this came out around the time Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" was popular or a clever plot. Either way, I am looking forward to more music and videos from these fine young ladies. It's like a rap parody of real life struggles, perhaps first world problems. I don't know, I think their content speaks to women's daily struggles.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: Gone Girl


Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris
Directed by: David Fincher
Language: English
Rating: R
Running Time: 149 minutes


Before the massive announcement of a movie release, I saw this book circulate quite frequently. I asked a co-worker about it and she expressed her honest thoughts about it. I voluntarily asked about the ending, which she had a problem with, as I didn't originally plan on reading the book or seeing the movie. Once I saw the preview for the move with my mom and I, we were suddenly interested in it.


Amy Elliott Dunne has gone missing! Her husband Nick has no idea whether she's dead or alive, but he is desperate to find her along with Amy's parents. Nick is very cooperative with the police in their investigation, but all signs point to him as a guilty suspect in the case. But he's innocent, isn't he? Either way, the most important question is: where is Amy?

Where to start with this review? *sighs* Right from the start, the movie sutures its viewers in. I immediately felt locked into the story and distributing feelings for nearly every character. Pushing aside knowing the conclusion, I was curious how it led to it, which was a very tense and exciting ride. With great pacing, presentation, and action, it was easy to be immersed and have your mind trying to figure out the mystery.


Currently, I'm reading the novel, so I can't give a full comparison but I feel like the main casting choices were spot on. Ben Affleck gave me everything Nick demanded emotionally and he effectively created this emotional conflict you have with his character. Rosamund Pike also did a fantastic job in the same emotional department as his wife Amy. The scripting was on point which was done by the author herself Gillian Flynn. The minor exclusions with some scenes and detail emphasis was also well placed.

For those worried about Tyler Perry's appearance, fear not, I thought he did a good job. Neil Patrick Harris on the other hand...well, he fulfilled his "something is off with this guy" role, but the sex scene was awkward to watch. It didn't feel authentic and I think they could've tried filming that again. Also, a little warning, it might be awkward watching the sexual content with your parents, at least I felt that way with my mom. Sorry~

Overall, the movie is fantastic! So far with what I've read, it is a successful adaptation. Either medium will suck you into the universe and you're immediately curious what direction the story will pull you along. I recommend checking out both the movie and the book, if you have time.


Rating: 4.5/5


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