The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012, USA/New Zealand) | Rating: 3.5/5
I definitely can't compete with Ophelia's expertise in her review. I don't think I could make a full review of this epic story as I am not a Tolkien fan whatsoever. I'm just a casual moviegoer that just happened to see all the Peter Jackson re-tellings with her mother. It was quite enjoyable adventure and I'm sure many have heard the controversies surrounding it with the various screen options. I believe we had the normal frame rate and 2D all the way, of course. There were some great moments and most likely, I'll see the rest of The Hobbit films with my mom.
Samurai School: Be a Man! [Sakigake!! Otokojuku] (2008, Japan) | Rating: 3/5
Sadly, I found this more enjoyable than Death Trance. The main focus isn't on Tak Sakaguchi, which is good. He's not a bad actor or anything, but the script played to his strengths of being the action star. Granted the script was co-written by him...and directed by him too. Good grief, man! Anyway, this is more of a comedic action flick than something more fantasy and action packed like Death Trance. There's some amusing moments and very likeable characters. This is a good movie for good laughs.
Palindromes (2004, USA) | Rating: 3/5
So, I saw this last semester in class and I must say that this disturbed me and a lot of the class at the end. It is a very interesting piece and has many interpretations to it too, which makes it even more enjoyable and worth a re-watch. We probably had a different perspective than most viewers as our teacher gave us a paper of each scene and what kind of actor played the main character Aviva. I was going to do a full length review, but I don't think I have the energy to. Nonetheless, it's up for request if anyone's interested. Anyway, in my experience, the actor change might've been an element of whether the audience might change their feelings toward Aviva if she was younger, older, black, white, male, female, etc. There's many reasons for why the director chose to do this, but I welcome anyone to check it out. I do warn you that you might feel uncomfortable during certain scenes as the plot involves opinions on abortion.
Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids (2004, USA) | Rating: 2/5
As I mentioned before, there's going to be quite a few documentary reviews in this section from me unless I really have something to say. Anyway, this documentary had some controversy surrounding. Zana Briski, one of the directors, gets involve with these children that are living in the red light district of Calcutta and she tries to provide a better life for them. The criticisms came from the translator, at first, and some other people by saying that Briski actually made these children's lives worse with her involvement. To me, it felt like a Hollywood movie where "white people save the day" kind of thing. This affected my sympathies for these children and their families. It felt like a false advertisement when reading the title and the synposis of it as it's really about Briski's attempts to "better" these children's lives instead.
Death in Gaza (2004, UK) | Rating: 4/5
If you're unsure of the situation between Israel and Palestine, then this is a great documentary to see, especially through a child's perspective. It is graphic in certain parts and there's so many hard hitting reality moments that I wish I can mention in detail. Vaguely, there's a part with one of the boys hanging out with this secret group that definitely tugs at your heartstrings and another scene with boys playing with fake weapons. It's informative and heartbreaking. I recommend it.
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.