Monday, August 10, 2009

Review: Reincarnation (Rinne)

Starring: Yuka, Karina, Keppei Shiina, Shun Oguri
Directed by: Takashi Shimizu
Language: Japanese
Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 95 minutes

I was a little hesitant to do a full on review of this movie, but I feel it deserves more detail than just an opinion filled paragraph. I downloaded this movie months ago and ended up watching the end online since it cut off.

The story starts off with Nagisa Sugiura and her friends at a diner or something. They have a discussion on reincarnation and we get the first glimpse of a potential ghost in the reflection of her friend's cell phone. Later, we learn that Nagisa has an agent and is working on getting a role in a movie based on a series of murders in a hotel. She starts seeing bits and pieces of the crime, during her work through the eyes of a little girl she portrays in the movie. Gradually, we see the murders in more and more detail.

The reason I wanted to watch this was the interesting storyline. Even though the director used a cliche element of angry ghost, I still wanted to check it out since it had to deal with reincarnation, whether you believe in that sort of thing or not. I enjoyed the way the director went back and forth between Nagisa's visions of ghost from the actual events that happened in the hotel they're shooting in and the scene being filmed by the director in the movie. There were a lot of great visual moments like the doll being a key element of the plot and also the lack of sound toward the climax of the movie.

I thought the acting was pretty decent, especially Yuka as Nagisa, since it was her first time being in a movie. She reacted to every situation thrown at her with skill and she should continue building on her resume. In the middle of it all, I became a little disconnected with the movie and a tad bored with some of the dialogue, but in a way I couldn't keep my eyes off the screen. There was a lot of good moments where anticipation built up inside me, but somewhere toward the end I became a little confused and I had to read some viewer comments to piece together everything.

In the end, if you're the type to watch angry ghost movies like The Grudge and The Ring, you should probably check this one out. It isn't mind blowingly fatastic, but it isn't a complete boring disaster either. The movie is worth watching and the ending to it guarantees some satisfaction.

Rating: 3/5

Quick Movie Review

Up (2009, USA) | Rating: 4/5

The latest Disney Pixar movie to hit the big screen and it has been doing great in the box office. It's another great movie to watch with the family. Like many Disney masterpieces, it is a bit of a sad film, but it brings joy by bringing two opposite characters together on a wild adventure and giving us a great message at the end of it all.

Dance Flick (2009, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5

Another crazy Wayans family parody to add to their list of Scary Movie series and other people's recent parody films of typical teen flicks, super heroes, disasters, and wandering in an alternate world of your own closet.
I know a couple critics complained about the movie being dated, but all parody movies are. I thought it was hilarious and entertaining. It was also worth seeing the movie a second time. The acting was good, especially the new generation of Wayans and the jokes kept me laughing (as well as my family).

The Proposal (2009, USA) | Rating: 3/5

I'm really picky about seeing movies in this genre...the whole romantic comedy. I already knew things would become predictable, but I still managed to be entertained and laugh at the jokes. It had a nice storyline and the chemistry was good, kinda gave me a Meet the Parents vibe at times.

Orphan (2009, USA) | Rating: 4.5/5

This movie came out a couple weekends ago and it seems to have mixed reviews. Some believe it targets orphanages in a negative light. I guess in a way it could, but for me and the people I watch the movie with (my mom and a couple friends), we didn't read into it that deeply. We all really enjoyed the movie to the point we discussed it the next day. For me (and mi madre), we want to watch it again and I think I want to add it to my movie collection when it comes out on DVD. If I get a chance, I would like to rewatch 1993's The Good Son and compare the two, since a lot of people including my mother thought about this movie.