White Bird in a Blizzard (2014, USA) | Rating: 2/5
We meet again, Shailene Woodley! From your unmemorable performance in Divergent, I haven't been that impressed with your acting skills and I'm not suffering through The Fault in Our Stars either to find out if there's improvement. In this movie she does show a little more emotion, albeit two dimensional, but I can at least vaguely remember bits of her character in this one. Apparently, this movie is based on a novel by Laura Kasischke of the same name. Not surprised it's a book. Everything's a freakin' book! Anyway, I've seen previews of this movie in several Magnet Production films and I thought the story was interesting. There isn't anything very remarkable about this movie and Woodley's character can be a little annoying. There's not too much depth to these characters and it's hard to feel sympathy when her mother disappears. In the end, it's not a terrible movie, but I don't see myself watching it again or recommending it to family or friends.
Himizu (2011, Japan) | Rating: 3.5/5
I was pleasantly surprised to see a Sion Sono film drop in the bin at work and it was mandatory for me to check it out as he is one of my favorite directors. I've only seen about a small handful of his movies and perhaps I'll recap the ones I haven't reviewed here later, but I was pleased with this one. I'm even considering adding it to my collection. Sion Sono seems to tackle pretty interesting and sometimes controversial topics in his movies, which I admire a lot. This movie is based on a manga by Minoru Furuya of the same name. I might check it out, but I'm not in a rush to do so. This movie can either be boring, frustrating, or emotionally engaging. For me, it took me a little time to be invested in these characters, but their situation made it hard not to care about them and develop some strong feelings toward their parents and the other people around them. This movie might cause some triggers for people as the characters face a very neglectful relationship with their parents and a hint of suicide. Nonetheless, I'm kinda looking forward to rewatching this film and giving it a full review. Perhaps a Sion Sono month or something will be in the works. We'll see~
I Saw the Devil (2010, South Korea) | Rating: 4/5
It seems like Byung-hun Lee is everywhere in my life or something. Between the ongoing scandal and I suppose my viewing of The Good, The Bad, The Weird, it just seems like the guy is following me. The few movies I have seen him, it seems like he gravitates toward action films, which isn't a bad thing. I think he's a decent action star, but I don't think he's an actor Korea could brag about. He's kinda one note a lot of the time, but this isn't about Byung-hun Lee, it's about this movie, which was interesting. Some commenters on IMDb compared this movie to Oldboy, which would be quite the fun comparison. It has co-star Min-sik Choi who is the antagonist. If you didn't know is quite the opposite of his character in Oldboy. This is definitely a different take on revenge compared to Oldboy as the driving motive for our main character is pure pain and suffering, which makes it all the more interesting.
Dear White People (2014, USA) | Rating: 4/5
I saw a lot of online promotion for this film through Tumblr and my friends on Facebook. It definitely sounded like an interesting and different movie that hasn't been put out in theaters, especially featuring a majority black cast. Originally, I wanted to see this movie in theaters, but it was limited release which proved it difficult and my invitation to a friend didn't quite go through as planned. Nonetheless, I was happy to receive this at my workplace and I rather enjoyed it. It's a good commentary piece that satires the plyte of millennial blacks in everyday life, especially college and/or an environment where the majority is white. It doesn't degrade or bash white people either and it lightly touches on colorism and homosexuality within the black community, which is nice. The acting, cinematography, and content were on point and I honestly wouldn't mind watching this movie a couple more times.
Video Games The Movie (2014, USA) | Rating: 3/5
Some commenters on IMDb complained this documentary is not much of documentary and more of a bragging show among men (and a handful of women), but I honestly didn't see it like that. This is definitely a documentary. It documents the history of video games, albeit briefly in places, but it intertwines personal experiences, opinions, and concrete facts. As a long time gamer, I learned a lot of things from the past, beyond Atari, and some technical facts that I wasn't aware of as well. I found the documentary to be very informative, although it does skip some important aspects in the history of game such as anything related to Sega. But there's a possibility they didn't have the rights or permission to cover that section, I'm not completely sure. Nonetheless, the guests are informative and entertaining. I enjoyed their different opinions and personal experiences as well as the variety of people they selected. I also liked that they addressed the growing number of female gamers.
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.