Tormented (2011, Japan) | Rating: 1.5/5
I just saw this movie sitting on the shelf of Blockbuster and never heard of it before. The cover was ambiguous and the synopsis on the back sounded interesting. I believe the only movie I’ve seen from Takashi Shimizu was Ju-on and Reincarnation, so I didn’t really have any set expectations like I would Sion Sono or Takashi Miike. While watching the movie, I learned that there was an error on the box.
Oldboy (2003, Japan) | Rating: 4.5/5
I thought about writing a full review for this movie, but I think its probably received enough praise over the years. I was very pleased with this movie and I wasn't expecting to be so impressed by the stories, the characters, and the cinematography. This movie definitely deserved all the hype I've heard about it, before watching it. You're probably wondering why this didn't receive a perfect score. Well, there were a few odd camera moments toward the end that were a little off putting during such an intense scene. It's a very small flaw in this masterpiece. I don't think Spike Lee's remake will capture the essence of greatness of the original. I'm skeptical for sure, but even before I felt that way. I'm not sure if I'll go see it or not for comparison sake, but we'll see what happens.
Thor: The Dark World (2013, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5
I must admit I wasn't all that thrilled with the first movie, but I went into this movie with an open mind and I must say that I was very pleased. I really enjoyed this sequel a lot more than the first. The story was simple, but I believe the characters and the action made it entertaining. To take a little detour for a second, I'm really enjoying these strong female characters. In this movie was Thor's mother, which had several dimensions to her that made her likeable and someone you can easily attach yourself to. Thor became a more interesting character and wasn't completely dumb downed either. He loosened up some and brought more chemistry, not only with the audience, but with Loki. My only complaints with the movie was the villain's motive which seemed pretty typical and wasn't expanded enough to make him a real threat (especially compared to mortality) and the slight unspoken tension between Jane and Sif. Hopefully, they'll do something more with that in the future.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013, USA) | Rating: 4.5/5
I debated whether I wanted to write a full length review like I did last time, but I figured I could sum up my thoughts shortly instead. This might seem like a repeat of the first movie, but it's not. What makes this movie great is that you get to see the harsh realities of a "celebrity", the aftermath of the victory. To me, it feels like there's more at risk for the main characters and I found myself gripping a little tighter to the seat for characters I liked in the previous movie and even characters I wasn't attached to. The visuals are stunning and the character development is what kept me hooked. I even had those moments where I had to beat down my emotions. Anyway, if you want a full length review, you guys know what to do. ^^ This is worth seeing and I enjoyed it a lot more than the first.
A Madea Christmas (2013, USA) | Rating: 3/5
It's that time again for the end of the year Tyler Perry movie featuring Madea. Well, this was quite enjoyable. It had some interesting and encouraging commentary on bullying and interracial relationships...kinda. If you've read previous reviews on Madea movies, you already know that I don't review these set of movies as seriously as others. As a movie, there's a lot of problems, but just comparing it to previous Madea movies, it fits right in. Madea was a little toned down and it had some good intentions like most Madea movies, but I still believe that Mr. Perry should take a break from the cinema for a while and gather his creativity for something great later. If you like Madea, you'll enjoy it for sure. No disappointments. Slightly unrelated to the movie, I think I might make a special post about Tyler Perry and his work, but I have some catching up to do before I can work on 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.