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.

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.

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