The Cobbler (2015, USA) | Rating: 3/5
This movie really didn't get much advertising, which is kinda unusual for an Adam Sandler film. I know a lot of people (and possibly fans) have pegged his movies as mediocre or a waste of time and they most likely have good reason to. I've heard little to nothing about the reception of this movie and the little was negative. I wanted to give this movie a chance, because it actually did look decent. Once I watched it, it actually wasn't that bad. I thought the story was based on The Elves and the Shoemaker, but it's not. It kinda follows a kids movie in which the main character has this boring life and wants to be someone else, which eventually happens for him. Although, it has some adult jokes throughout the movie. I guess this movie straddles the fence of being PG-13 and R. Adam Sandler's character is not obnoxious in the least. You understand his character and it's easy to sympathize with his struggle. In short, I enjoyed the first half of the movie, but the second half does become a bit silly and convoluted.
No More Tears for the Dead (2014, South Korea) | Rating: 2.5/5
A co-worker recommended this movie to me and I picked it up noticing that it was directed by the same person who filmed The Man From Nowhere, which I enjoyed. This movie didn't contain as much excitement for me as the previous movie, unfortunately. It is more exciting than The Suspect, but it seemed like certain elements were recycled and slightly tweaked from The Man From Nowhere. The action is good, but the story is a little confusing. I understand the motive, but some details about the main character and his career seem overly complicated like there's details missing to make the viewer understand his conflict.
Why Don't You Play in Hell? (2013, Japan) | Rating: 4.5/5
I'm so happy to see more of Mr. Sono's work and this is one I've seen advertisements for. This movie stays consistent on being out of the box, entertaining, and strange. It puts together filmmaking and yakuza all in a nice, fun, bloody package. The characters are all likable and the movie really doesn't force you to pick a side in this war as everyone's motives seem reasonable. It's kinda odd to have story where you really don't have one person to root for or a central bad guy. I mean, there is one, but he's so entertaining, hilarious, and has such good intentions for his enemy's daughter it's hard to wish ill will of him. Most likely, I'll be giving this movie a full length review, along with Hizimu and other Sion Sono films for a month or something.
Eastern Boys (2013, France) | Rating: 3.5/5
If you look back in my history of movie reviews, I enjoy gay themed movies and lately I haven't been able to watch too many of them. Hopefully, that will change some day! Anyway, I picked this one up from work with no expectations and it had a loose gay theme to it. I thought about doing a full length review and, as I write this, I'm still kinda contemplating over it, but for now, this quick review will have to suffice. The movie really doesn't focus on homosexuality, but more about immigration and the struggle to fit in. Although the main characters are involved in a sort of sexual relationship, they become something more than sleeping partners. Daniel gradually evolves into more of a father figure than a lover. It's an interesting evolution and I was pleasantly surprised that the ending wasn't unhappy. Sorry if that spoilers things. Only complaint I have is the audio. It's really hard to understand them talking, especially in English, so I was happy when the subtitles appeared and there's sadly no subtitle option for the English either. If you're interested in a full review, leave a comment~
Inside Out (2015, USA) | Rating: 4.5/5
Not too many animated films this year have caught my interest, at least this summer. This movie is obviously one of them. I saw this with my mother, who initially had no interest in it, but figured, "it's Pixar!". This is one of those rare movies that both children and adults can understand and enjoy intellectually. It presents some smart ideas and doesn't talk down to its audience about understanding your emotions and growing up. For a movie that has to deal with memories and brain development, it actually makes you think about your own memories and experiences. The characters are entertaining and successfully present friction among each other as they represent different emotions: joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust, but it also succeeds in proving its point of having the joy with the sadness. You can't be happy all the time, otherwise you can't grow and learn from those experiences. This is a great film for the family and the visuals don't disappoint by being vivid, colorful, and eye catching.
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.