Peeples (2013, USA) | Rating: 2/5
I remember seeing the trailer of this and thinking, "this is just Meet the Parents with black people". I had no real interest in the movie whatsoever, then one day I decided to give it a try. I must say...it was exactly what I thought it would be except without the laughs. I probably genuinely laughed once throughout this whole movie. Acknowledging it is a bit saddening. In short, the movie is pretty standard and predictable. The little changes they made by having the father not be as perfect as you think he is and his family hiding secrets themselves does add a little freshness, but unfortunately it doesn't quite redeem this bland movie. If you feel the need to watch it, it's not terrible, but you honestly won't be missing out if you decide not to.
Byzantium (2012, UK) | Rating: 3/5
I only briefly heard about this limited release through Film Brain and what little buzz I heard elsewhere seemed pretty neutral toward the movie. While watching it, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to add it to my review list...until I got to the climax. This is definitely a different take on vampires and having two female leads was a big step up compared to the usual. The movie is a bit slow, but makes up for the pacing with intriguing characters and progressive dialogue moments that develop the characters further. Once the climax arrives, I felt myself shift a little closer to the action wondering what was going to happen next. The tension building is very subtle, but you definitely feel its existence near and during the climax.
This is the End (2013, USA) | Rating: 3/5
I did have interest in this movie, but I didn't feel too pressed to see it in theaters. Once I finally got around to seeing it, it definitely went a different direction than I thought. There's a lot of apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic movies nowadays. They all have this bleak approach to it and an intense (or at least attempt of) sense of urgency. This was different. Sure, there were stakes up on humanity, but it wasn't robots, zombies, some random disease, or anything like that; it was the rapture. A concept not many mainstream movies would choose as a possible cause for the world's end. Some viewers may be put off here and there with the religious tidbits throughout the movie, but I wasn't personally bothered by it. I found it to be a bold choice more than anything else. The comedic moments ranged from the typical gross, perverted, and drug related humor which got a little annoying or simply boring, but I enjoyed watching these characters interact with each other during this unexpected event. I think it was more amusing that the actors practically made a caricatures of themselves and their relationships with each other in some way, then interlacing it with this religious apocalypse, especially the scene with Emma Watson. If you want a fun little rollercoaster ride with some hilarious actors, I would give this movie a chance.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010, USA) | Rating: 1.5/5
I've been avoiding this movie since its release. As much as it should appeal to me as a gamer, I never had much interest in seeing it. With the overhype from friends and somewhat overrated cult status, I continued to avoid it until now. Well, I thought the editing was unique and exciting and the video game theme throughout the movie was amusing, but the story was very...lacking. Between each fight scene, I found myself not caring about the dialogue or character interactions in between, especially with Scott. Scott was annoying...very annoying. He's not very likeable, he's way too awkward, and I simply don't understand his character whatsoever. Some of the other characters were okay, but then there might've been a couple they didn't have much going for them. So, I don't understand the whole hype over this movie. Maybe it was the monotonous set up with the battle scenes and supposed character development or the fact that Michael Cera is kinda annoying.
Don Jon (2013, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5
I believe this movie came out at the end of the Joseph Gordon-Levitt hype and that this was in limited release. The plot sounded interesting and a bit risque, depending on what direction he wanted to take with this whole "porn addiction" thing. I had some expectations with this movie mostly concerning Jon's relationship with Barbara and I was surprised that it took the slightly unexpected route. I wasn't completely blown away by this independent film, but I was impressed with the subject matter and how it was handled. Sure, there are some extreme elements to this typical situation of settling down and accepting emotions, but it didn't take away from the overall message. I will admit that Barbara's accent can be a little distracting at times, but for the most part I think it deserves a chance. I hope there is another movie in the future directed by Mr. Gordon-Levitt.
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.