Insurgent (2015, USA) | Rating: 3/5
Honestly, I wasn't too impressed with the first movie, but the previews to the sequel seemed promising and exciting. I was very happy that it did live up to my expectations. Shailene Woodley brought more to the table with her character and that made the story more interesting compared to Divergent. Although certain elements still reminded me of other teen novel movies like The Giver and Hunger Games, it didn't ruin my enjoyment. The action was great and the effects were pretty impressive. A few little complaints though: the romance aspect was kinda meh at times and I just wanted the focus to shift back to the main motive of the characters; occasionally Kate Winslet's acting seemed unnatural, mostly when she's upset, and some of the parent relationship problems seemed a bit contrived, especially with Four and his mother. Otherwise, I was quite entertained and curious how the movie is going to move forward with such an ending.
Nightcrawler (2014, USA) | Rating: 4/5
I wasn't completely sure what this movie was about when it was in theaters, but for some reason, it interested me. I never could find the time to view it in theaters, so I was happy to receive it on DVD. The whole movie is an intense and [almost] frustrating experience in a very good way. Some people may not understand the whole concept of this film, but basically it's a satire on news media and how the society takes that in. The movie is pretty brutal in more of mental sense as Lou Bloom takes desperation and inspiration to a whole different level. Ethics and loyalty come into play with each crime he covers and sometimes you become infuriated with him and his behavior. The movie is shot very well and the characters help immerse you in the story, even if some of their choices are questionable. This movie definitely deserves the praise it has received and I think aspiring broadcasters and journalists can appreciate the content.
Let's Kill Ward's Wife (2014, USA) | Rating: 2.5/5
I saw this movie in a preview of a DVD I rented and it looked hilarious, plus I really like Donald Faison since way back in the day when he was on Clueless. Even from the preview, it looked kinda cheesy, but it had potential to be actually enjoyable. Fortunately, my judgement was correct and I found it quite entertaining. The story is a little weak, but the characters make it enjoyable throughout the whole film. I will admit majority of the entertainment is when they kill Ward's wife and how they handle that situation. There are a few laughs, so it doesn't fail in comedy, but I can imagine some people finding it rather stupid. The general main complaint about this movie is the abrupt ending.
Before I Go to Sleep (2014, USA) | Rating: 2.5/5
I believe I saw this film on the shelf and found the cover intriguing, then a co-worker was curious whether I watched it or not. So naturally, I had to check it out for myself. The plot is indeed intriguing and amnesia can be an interesting catalyst to a story as well, especially when it's done right. Memento comes to mind with this concept. At times the story can be a bit clunky and predictable, especially concerning the husband. Nicole Kidman's performance is good, but sometimes her character can be a bit bland and annoying. It was interesting seeing Mark Strong in another movie too and he basically kinda plays the same character as he does in Anna. There is potential in this movie, but it's not perfect the way it is.
Book of Life (2014, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5
I wanted to see this movie in theaters, but I never got around to it. I was looking forward to catching it on DVD as I didn't hear much feedback about it, which is quite unfortunate. The story is fairly simple, but executes certain elements of the typical love triangle in a unique way to make it more interesting. It also doesn't appropriate Mexican culture of the Dia de la Muerte/Day of the Dead either. The animation style is very unique and I like how the characters in the story look like puppets. The colors are bright and vivid even in the darker settings and I found the movie thoroughly entertaining. I think that more people should give this animated feature more of a chance.
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.