Final Girl (2015, Canada) | Rating: 2/5
Kite (2014, USA/Mexico) | Rating: 1/5
I've come to firmly believe that live action adaptations of anime, manga and video games rarely work in the way that the film industry intends. There are far too many that have been unsuccessful. Kite is one of those unsuccessful adaptations. The problem isn't entirely in the whitewashing of Sawa and Oburi. It was also in the choice to significantly tone down the source material. If you're making a film about a teenage sex slave turned assassin, you're going to have to be willing to show what she's going through. Instead, you mostly have the actress running around and appearing vulnerable when she should have been a more hardened character. One of my biggest complaint is that this ends up looking very much like a Luc Besson action film. The director leaned far too much on Besson for influence.
The Moth Diaries (2011, Canada/USA) | Rating: 2.5/5
Rebecca has just returned to her boarding school after the suicide of her father. She's intensely attached to her best friend, Lucy, to the point of obsession. When Lucy makes friends with a new student named Ernessa, Rebecca begins to believe that the new girl may just be a vampire. This one is based on a book of the same title by Rachel Klein. While I haven't read the novel, I am quite familiar with the vampire novel, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla, that the author drew inspiration from. The film version toys with your perception of reality. Is Rebecca suffering from delusions as the events happen? It's not clear whether she's suffering from a psychotic break or whether Ernessa really is a vampire. The film suffers from being too slow and rather boring overall. I had to watch twice because I fell asleep. However, the ideas for the plot were quite sound.
The Lazarus Effect (2015, USA) | Rating: 1/5
This is another film previously reviewed by Miko. I had similar feelings on this one as well. This film was more of the same old tropes despite a cast that could have been capable of doing something new and different. It's another case of medical research gone too far with horrific consequences. Sadly, it's more of the usual jump scares with not much in between. The characters aren't given any real depth. The use of flashbacks were quite confusing overall. I wouldn't recommend anyone seeking this one out.
Jupiter Ascending (2015, USA) | Rating: 2.5/5
The Wachowski siblings are known for scifi/fantasy films such as the Matrix. Jupiter Ascending fulfills the visual standard that they set with their previous films. However, it fails overall due to a muddled script and lack of character development. The concept is all there, but without the needed execution to pull it off flawlessly. I would have liked to see what they could have put together if they hadn't suffered from script problems and an overuse of cgi. The world they'd created could have been a cohesive female driven science fiction story if put in the right hands.