Sunday, October 23, 2016

Quick Movie Review

April and the Extraordinary World (2016, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5

Every once and a while, it's nice to see a 2D animation film, especially outside of the usual anime for me at least. I think it's an art form that needs to be kept alive among the Pixar and 3D animation films, along with stop motion films. Going into this movie, I knew next to nothing about it. I've seen previews of it in a couple DVDs I rented and that it vaguely reminded me of more mature animated features that I've seen in class: Waltz with Bashir and Persepolis. I think of these two movies because of the mature content and the visuals. The story isn't beyond a child's comprehension or anything, but I can't see their attention being kept by the earth tone color palette and the focus on dialogue and subtleties. The story is quite simple as it follows a young woman looking for her parents and trying to finish the project they left behind. Her journey leads her to meet a new companion and discovering new parts of herself she never knew about herself. I enjoyed the trip I shared with our main character April, but I don't think it left as big of impression as the two movies I somewhat compared it to. It wasn't a bad movie in the least as I enjoyed the characters immensely and the way the story took some interesting creative turns.

The Shallows (2016, USA) | Rating: 1.5/5

Another small entry to this nonsensical challenge I've created and will probably fail! This is a movie I remember seeing lots of previews for and having little to no interest seeing. When I saw the positive reception it received and some short commentary from TheCinemaSnob, I spared some time to check it out when it hit DVD. I was amused that the Blake Lively's character was from Galveston (my hometown) and seeing it was very unbelievable. It made me research some stuff and I talked to a few people about it. So, the truth is that it's shot in Austraila and someone told me that they originally wanted to shoot in Galveston, but were turn down for whatever reason I forgot. Nonetheless, I wasn't particularly excited to watch this movie, but that didn't stop my curiosity from forming. I've never seen the iconic Jaws movie, but what I know about it, it pretty much seemed like they were trying to make a modern version of it. I believe a co-worker commented that it sounded like it was trying to be Cast Away, another movie I haven't seen. If you combine both of those movies together and take the excitement out, I think you get this movie. It's kinda uneventful and it drags a lot after Lively's first attack. Her battle with the shark was not that interesting to me and the conclusion was blah. I'm sure someone got some thrills out of this movie, but I found it kinda boring and slow.

High-Rise (2015, UK) | Rating: 2.5/5

In 2013, a Korean director by the name of Joon-ho Bong created a little movie called Snowpiercer. It was a post-apocalyptic story that involved a class system on a train that really left a great impression on me. I enjoyed the execution of this concept and the visuals were beautiful and dark. It felt like a lot of care was put into crafting this film and it didn't lose that Asian aesthetic in the tone. So, why do I bring this movie up? Well, me and some IMDb commenters have thought of this movie when it comes to High-Rise. It's another post-apocalyptic concept with a class system, but this time it's in a high rise apartment complex. The main reason I checked out this movie was because I really enjoy watching Tom Hiddleston. So far, everything I've seen him in is quite enjoyable whether the subject matter hooks me completely or not. This was one that didn't completely hook me, but it did keep my interest from time to time. I had a hard time keeping up with the various characters and most of them were very unlikable, which made it hard to care about what was going on. Hiddleston's character tended to straddle the fence in this aspect. The story was very relationship driven, but the dialogue was hard to get into; there might've been low audio issues as well, which kinda takes me out of the moment. Really the thing that I enjoyed the most about this movie was the decline of the residents and the complex. Other than that, I slowly was just waiting for the movie to end so I could watch something more engaging. In short, Snowpiercer was the better movie.

It (1990, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5

Surprisingly, I have never seen this movie...well, mini-series, but I'm counting it as a movie. I've seen snippets here and there and even a review or two of it, but I've never sat down and watched the whole thing. I knew what the movie was about and the tone of least the first part of it. Watching the first half confirmed the campiness, but kinda creepy side of the movie. It focused a lot on delving into the cast's backgrounds and giving the viewers a chance on learning about them and their various situations. Once I flipped the disc over to the second part, it was time for them and myself to face the monster at hand in the "present day". Obviously, Tim Curry made his mark as the snarky, taunting clown Pennywise and I enjoyed his character quite a bit. I think humorous villains in horror movies can be kinda charming at times. Looking at you, Freddy! As for our cast of characters, I enjoyed following them and seeing how Pennywise affected them in adulthood. The second half lacked the campiness of the first half and it took their situation a little more serious, which I didn't mind. It was a nice gradual shift from one side to the other. I also liked that the fear wasn't about the clown, but the individual situations the kids were facing, hence the title. "It" follows you everywhere. Even though this didn't scare me or anything, I can see how people were a little scarred by the shifty clown trying to lure you away in the sewer drain. Pennywise is definitely not one to mess with.

The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016, USA) | Rating: 1/5

Since I saw the first movie, I felt somewhat obligated to check out the sequel, despite what happened to Kristen Stewart and the director. I guess it was a smart move to make a prequel, instead of a sequel to this movie, but it didn't change my opinion going into it all. Once again, I expected a great performance from Charlize Theron and beautiful visuals, but the story would still be lacking. Much like the first movie, I was correct. Unfortunately, Theron's character isn't in this movie that much and it focuses more on Elsa Emily Blunt's frozen queen. Blunt isn't a terrible actress, but her character was just super bland and lacked dimension as a villain. Chris Hemsworth reprises his role, but I still didn't find him all that interesting either. While I should be intrigued by his and his supposed love interest's origin story as children, I simply felt nothing. Honestly, I fell asleep off and on throughout this movie. Every time I woke up, they were still fighting. Yeah, there's more action scenes in this movie compared to the first, but it lacks heart and it felt like it dragged on. I wouldn't be surprised if there's another movie, but I'm not expecting it to be any better than the previous two.

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.

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