The Intouchables (2011, France) | Rating: 4.5/5
When my workplace first received this movie, I didn't think anything of it, until I saw a preview for it in another movie. It actually looked pretty good and apparently critics thought the same thing as I believe it won some awards for it. It also gained an "overrated" comment thread on IMDb, which amuses me. Anyway, I was excited to watch something new for a change as I don't watch too many based on a true story type of movies and most of the time, I'm unfamiliar with the subject matter. I neglected to see that the movie was in French and didn't have an English audio option, which isn't a big deal or anything, but I have to watch subtitled movies early in the day when I have the proper energy/attention to put into it. Nonetheless, I thought it was a very fun and entertaining story. I really enjoyed these characters, their differences, and how they influenced each other over time. It was also nice seeing the real life people that inspired the movie at the end as well. While I did see a tiny bit of criticism of the movie catering to the usual black stereotypes, I wasn't all that bothered by it at all. It wasn't anything near as annoying as something Hollywood would put together. Honestly, I found Driss quite charming and lovable; I felt like I was gradually falling in love with him at the same time as Philippe.
Now You See Me 2 (2016, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5
The Ocean's Eleven of Magic are back at it again with a surprising sequel. I didn't think the first movie was bad in the least, but it seemed like a good stand alone movie. Of course, the semi-cliffhanger ending kinda gave off a potential sequel. Everyone is back again for another exciting and magical heist! Well, except Isla Fisher's character, which might appear in the third installment. Daniel Radcliffe makes an odd appearance and plays a slightly obnoxious bad guy. Fortunately, Jesse Eisenberg isn't all that grating, so there's not two obnoxious guys in the bunch. The magical heist scenes are still fun to watch and definitely keep you guessing along the way. The addition of Lizzy Caplan's character added some much needed quirkiness to the bunch and I'm curious how she and Fisher will get along, if she appears in the third installment. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to see a small appearance on Jay Chou in this movie.
God's Not Dead 2 (2016, USA) | Rating: 2/5
Back at it again with the sequel! I remember liking this movie, despite it's flaws. Once again, I was surprised that they were making a sequel to this one as well. I mean I don't watch a lot of religious or Christian movies, but usually they're just standalone films. Nonetheless, I was curious what they were going to do in the sequel. My mom and a co-worker commented that they almost cried somewhere toward the end of the film and when I got to that part, I understood why...but I didn't necessarily shed any tears. I really don't cry during movies, so you can't really judge me on an emotional level for this movie. They also either liked it more or about the same as the first movie. Me, on the other hand, I actually preferred the first movie as this one kinda bothered me in places. If people felt attacked for being non-Christian in the first one, they'll definitely feel it in this one. I am a Christian, but I thought the movie's antagonist(s) felt over the top evil and I can't just really see anyone really being like that. The situation was overblown in my eyes as well, which made it hard for me to really get into this movie. I understand what it was trying to do, but I felt like they went off track by really victimizing Christians and villainizing non-Christians/atheists. I also faced the same problem I had in the first movie with some side stories really didn't transition very well with the main storyline. Despite the slightly disappointing negatives, it does have some powerful scenes from Melissa Joan Hart and I'm glad her story was the main story.
Equals (2016, USA) | Rating: 3/5
Unnecessary fact about me: I like Nicholas Hoult! He is cute, charming, and a great actor with a promising future. Judging by the handful of movies I've seen him in, his abilities never falter even if the movie is subpar. Kristen Stewart, on the other hand, I don't have as great of track record with her. I never watched a Twilight movie, but I took the time to watch Snow White and the Huntsman and I wasn't too impressed with her performance. I don't think I've seen anything else she's been in. For some reason going into this movie, I didn't have that low expectation for her. Maybe because the story sounded interesting or that she was paired with Nicholas Hoult. I'm not sure. Nonetheless, I found her performance appropriate. I guess her usual expressionless and emotionless performance fit this restrained storyline, but she did manage to display just enough passion and chemistry to keep me satisfied. Watching these two actors interact with each other was quite intriguing and it made me really want their forbidden love to work out for the better. Sure, this concept has been done before, since I'm currently reading the series I immediately think of The Giver, but the execution made it engaging and kept my interest to the end. I loved the visual aesthetic and I wished the audio could've been bumped up a few notches as some moments were hard to catch and with this kind of movie, dialogue is very important.
Sociopathia (2015, USA) | Rating: 1/5
A small entry to my little challenge, which honestly I'm not doing to well on. This was another one of those movies I thought looked absolutely terrible, but wanted to watch it to get a few laughs. There were two versions at the main menu: black and white director's cut and a regular version in color. I didn't really care too much to watch the director's cut, because with a title like that and a cover like this, I wasn't expecting any kind of depth from it. The first day I attempted to watch it, I had to stop it, put something else in, and save it for another day due to the opening scene. It wasn't anything jarring, grotesque, or something I'm not used to seeing, but I wanted to avoid any misunderstandings from the 'rents. Obviously, I did eventually watch the entirety of the movie and fast forwarded some of the sex scenes, especially that first scene. That gave me even more reason not to watch the other version of this movie. Anyway, this was a farce of a movie if anyone is interested in seeing it. It's a lesbian softcore porn with the good parts of the the Maniac remake, but watered down. The acting is terrible, except for the actress who plays the main character's girlfriend, and everything is very low budget. Although, budget's don't necessarily determine quality, but casually researching the director's previous work, she's pretty much done some other questionable [read as: semi-erotic] horror movies. In short, this movie is a hard skip unless you're super desperate for fap material, because as a horror movie, it's nothing new and doesn't change any aspects of this concept.
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.