The Peanuts Movie (2015, USA) | Rating: 4/5
Young or old, the Peanuts franchise has been part of your childhood or is currently part of your childhood. When a Peanuts movie was announced, I was a little worried that it would end up like most nostalgic properties: dumbed down and delusional. Fortunately, the movie offered a good balance of fast paced action and dialogue for the kiddos and nostalgia for the older crowd who remember the comics and shows from back in the day. The shift to CG animation didn't detract from the comics classic style and showcased a great variety of colors and emotions for the characters that'll keep audiences smiling. In short, the movie was very satisfying and should be a lesson on how to take a nostalgic property and make it entertaining for all ages.
The Loft (2015, USA) | Rating: 1.5/5
I've never heard of this movie, until a co-worker recommended it to me. And boy, *sighs* I was not amused. The story seemed promising and the actors gave me hope, but I ended up mostly frustrating with actions of the selfish, dumb characters and the conclusion just made me facepalm...hard. While a couple of the men were quite charming, despite them being pigs too, the others' selfishness and level of infidelity mostly overshadowed any bit of good they had. I know that was probably the point of the story, but if we were supposed sympathize with at least one of the characters even a little bit, the movie failed to provide that. I later learned by a friend that this movie is a remake by the same name and I'm not really persuaded to really watch it. I'm sure someone will like this movie, like the co-worker who recommended it to me, but for someone like me, I found it more frustrating, annoying, and stupid.
Dope (2015, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5
Sometimes you just gotta give a little known indies film a chance and enjoy yourself. As a POC [surprised? lol], I was expecting this movie to connect to me personally on some level and...it did. While I didn't grow up in a dangerous neighbor with drug deals, gangs, or anything, I could still relate to the characters not fitting into the societal norms of what "black" is. While the movie doesn't completely focus on the awkward struggle of blackness, it does play a part in the narrative and the situation for our main character Malcolm. His relationship with his friends, a beautiful girl, a stranger with a hefty deal, his academic future, and his morals keep you rooting for him and wanting to him succeed in this crazy and unfortunate situation. It's funny and entertaining and sometimes unbelievable, but I feel that anyone could enjoy this indie flick and take something away from it.
Hidden (2015, USA) | Rating: 4.5/5
Alexander Skarsgård + zombies = a good time for Miko.
Yes, I shamelessly watch certain movies for the actors, whether they're good or bad. Haven't you seen the countless Johnny Depp movies I powered through? heh Anyway, I expected this straight to DVD release of horror to be bad with some lovely eye candy, but surprise, surprise! I actually enjoyed this post-apocalyptic/infection flick. I saw a preview for it and it actually looked interesting, although I had some doubts that it'd be anything worth recommending. The story is a slow build of mystery as the characters remain underground for a good majority of the movie, but once they go above ground, you have no idea what to expect. Is it zombies, aliens, strange creatures, the government? The unknown on the surface really keeps you engaged and even when they arrive on the surface, the action doesn't hesitate to pick up. Things go so fast, you almost have to double back to figure out what the heck is going, but really, it's easy to keep up with the twists and turns of this thriller. Check it out for not only Mr. Skarsgård, but the fabulous, exciting story and brilliant character development.
Final Girl (2015, Canada) | Rating: 2.5/5
Since it was around the time Scream Queens and American Horror Story: Hotel were still on air, it was interesting seeing a movie starring both Abigail Breslin and Wes Bentley together. Granted I have seen her in another horror movie by the name of Maggie recently. Anyway, I didn't expect too much from this flick as it didn't seem to have that emotional touch that Maggie did, but it was definitely entertaining. I think if the writer(s) put more effort in the details of Breslin's backstory and motivation, then I think this movie would be even better. The movie isn't terrible in the least, but it isn't something I would recommend strongly. The story is weak and it requires you to turn your brain off while watching. There's not much depth in the plot and you simply have to take what's given to you. With quick execution, it does successfully cover the basic points of the plot and that at least makes it fun.
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.