Tuesday, December 25

Happy Holidays!

I meant to put a much happier greeting. This holiday season has been pretty busy, with all the parties and preparations for Christmas. Unfortunately for me, I have lost access to my personal laptop, thus the sneaky usage of my mom's computer (also why there is a lack of blog movement lately). Hopefully it'll be fixed by the time New Year rolls in. With that, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20

Trailer: The Great Gatsby


The holiday season has been pretty busy (especially for the days to come). TV has still gotten the better of me, but I think I've been having sort of a good movie run lately. More of that to come (hopefully). For now enjoy the trailer! Can't wait to see the movie, although I haven't read the book. 

Wednesday, December 12

Pitch Perfect

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp
Director: Jason Moore

To tell you the truth, I'm not a fan of musicals. The only musical movie I've watched willingly was Moulin Rouge, and I loved this. Pitch Perfect felt like a rendition of Glee on screen, but I found this enjoyable (while I avoid the former like the plague. Sorry, just really not for me). I never knew Anna Kendrick could sing until I read up on her and saw that she's a Tony nominee. She should get more theater jobs, especially if she's good at them. Anyway, this movie has good sounds, and the plot is an underdog favorite. Despite not being a fan of musicals, I find myself putting this on my go-to list on movies I'd enjoy on a relaxing day.

Tuesday, December 11

Welcome to the Rileys

Cast: James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart, Melissa Leo
Director: Jake Scott

Oh look, it's Kristen Stewart's stripper movie! Before her Twilight fame, she was already circulating in the indie scene, and I must say, her choice of films work for her. While Welcome to the Rileys does not triumph over Adventureland, her performance in the film is good, although she wasn't given as much material to work with. Seriously, she should get back to the indie scene. 

Sunday, December 9

Rise of the Guardians

Cast: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman
Director: Peter Ramsey

If I were a child, I would be mesmerized by all this. If these characters are as cool as they make it on screen, it would be awesome. I'm no longer a child yet I am still mesmerized by all this. Ditto my second statement. Rise of the Guardians has been one of the funnest animated features I have seen this year. It combines craft, a good set of (minor) characters and the charm that just gets you throughout the entire film. It may be a kid's flick but trust me, if you're looking for a fun watch, this would be it.

Tuesday, December 4

November in Film

November and I did not work, film-wise. Instead I got sucked into the worlds of Mad Men, 2 Broke Girls and Drop Dead Diva (Castle and Veep would probably be next). I'm still finishing up the first season of Mad Men (January Jones will always be Betty Draper forever--I saw new season spoilers so I wondered what happened to her) while I'm on the second season of Drop Dead Diva. TV is getting the better of me. 

New This Month
Battleship
Total Recall
Ted
In Time
Moonrise Kingdom
The Ten
The Ides of March
Home on a Range
Carnage
For a Good Time Call
The Reunion
Hope Springs
Welcome to the Rileys

Rewinds
White Chicks
Ice Age
The Royal Tenenbaums
Back to the Future
Back to the Future II
IRobot
MIB II
Zoolander

Tuesday, November 27

Trailer: Les Miserable


Stevee from Cinematic Paradox posted this trailer, and I must say even if I am not excited for it, this trailer is starting to change my mind! It's much better than the first one I saw and there is actual singing from the movie. The cinematography is not bad. Other characters are finally featured (finally!). While my friends are waiting in anticipation (especially the early screening), I will simply ponder on whether I should watch it or not. Les Miserable comes out here on January (boo), so I guess the cinemas will be starting the year right.

The Ides of March

Cast: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Director: George Clooney

I've been meaning to write up a review for this but I don’t know where to start. So after numerous drafts, here it is: this is a misleading movie poster. Besides knowing that it’s a political flick, I don’t know much more about it. The local cable channel recently showed the movie and after watching it, I was caught off-guard. Not because of the plot of the film itself, but how the performances made it interesting. I tend to shy away from political films but this is a good one.

Thursday, November 15

Moonrise Kingdom

Cast: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray
Director: Wes Anderson

After many futile attempts to watch this, I finally finished Moonrise Kingdom. I wanted to watch it because I read that it was good. Plus, it was Wes Anderson so I already knew what to expect. However, after the film, my thoughts were undecisive. Did I like it? I don't know. Did I not like it? I don't know either. I understand why people raved about it, plot-wise, it was very Wes Anderson but there were some aspects just got me (for a lack of a better word) irritated.

Sunday, November 11

Ted

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth McFarlane
Director: Seth McFarlane

When I first watched the trailer for Ted, I thought ‘this is going to be funny’. I watch Family Guy and American Dad on occasion that based on Seth McFarlane’s material, I already know what kind of humor to expect (especially since it was rated R). People I know watched this before I did and I got mixed feedback from them. After watching this for myself, I am officially crossing this off as a guy film. They’d probably be able to relate to the references more and it really does seem like the movie was targeted for their demographic. While it did solicit some laughs from me, most of the time I was just staring at the screen and following the plot.

Thursday, November 8

My Movie Alphabet

After the success of her own Movie Alphabet, Mettel Ray started her own blogathon because of it! I thought, why not try the task? It's a chance to get out of my writing rut and get my mind working. I suggest you go try it because it does challenge you. I have to say, I was left stumped with a couple of letters after filling in the ones I know. So without further ado, here's my movie alphabet! (blogathon guidelines here, Mettel Ray's Movie Alphabet here).

Tuesday, November 6

October in Film

This has somewhat been long overdue, considering it's already been almost a week since October ended. Based on the rate of the reviews I've posted and the movies I've actually watched this month, there wasn't a lot that I posted. So without further ado, here are this month's films!
Month's favorites include American Psycho, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Midnight in Paris and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Saturday, October 20

The Underdog

One of Hollywood’s overused money-making movie plots is the underdog plot. We have a guy, who in one way or another has some problem going on with his life. Then, he is thrown into a team of players who are really bad, so bad that they are usually just scoffed as a loser team. Then, with that guy’s help (somehow), the team transforms into a fighting machine and at the same time, resolves the guy’s personal problem. We all know how the story ends: they win, they prove themselves and that’s that (or they lose yet they still proved themselves). Usually, underdog plots go to the world of basketball (see Coach Carter and The Winning Season, two underrated films), with the occasional glance at football (Little Giants). But for the sake of argument, I’m taking a look at two underdog films with a comedic touch: Rebound and Kicking and Screaming. Two different sports, same plot.

Thursday, October 18

My Week With Marilyn

Cast: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh
Director: Simon Curtis
Why do the people I love always leave me?
This movie has been on my to-watch list for an awfully long time and it’s only now that I had the time to sit through a biopic about one of Hollywood’s iconic celebrities, Marilyn Monroe. She led a rather eventful life, which came into an end when she died at a ripe age of 36. Even as years past, no one could forget the blonde bombshell that made her name in Hollywood’s limelight.

Friday, October 12

300


Cast: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham
Director: Zack Snyder
This. Is. Sparta!
Back in high school, a friend of mine was raving about this movie (and most people who watched it were), but besides it being hella bloody, they said there was an ab party going on in the film. They were right; the Spartans were the epitome of men physique. They really are very chiseled. Beyond that, the film presents a part of history that seem to have jumped out from the pages of a history book and onto the big screen. As a bit of a history nut (who also prefer Roman and Greek history), this was a great portrayal of the battle.

The film is about a Spartan king, King Leonidas, leading a battalion of 300 men to block the Hot Gates. It is through this narrow road that the numbers of Persians would not be important, as there was no other passageway to Greece (or so they assume). You know how it goes in history: all but one die, because he was sent back to Sparta. The Persians move forward and now face the Athenians in battle. Because of the strategic war planning (my professor drew a graphic representation, something with the sea, etc. etc.), Athenians were able to win against the Persians in this battle. Though not an accurate reenactment of history, it gives a general historic ground for its viewers, not to mention seeing the battle commencement with our eyes makes an historical event jump out of the pages. Plus, this was based on the comic material, which also adapted part of history.

The visuals of the film are amazing. Besides the ab party going on with the men, it presents a different Greece, something far off from the recent Titan films. As for every action/war flick, there has to be someone of a comic relief, these coming from two soldiers played by Tom Wisdom and Michael Fassbender. Lena Headey looks beautiful in the film, and of course, Gerald Butler was great as the Spartan king. This was the role that placed him on the map, so kudos for him. He's really good.  The script was also well-written, and the fighting scenes were amazing. The formations, the fighting style and how they all coordinated together were good. It really looked like they were born to be fighters, protectors of Sparta. However, in the end, they were portrayed as those who fight with the heart. 

Friday, October 5

American Psycho

Cast: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas
Director: Mary Harron

Before Christian Bale rose to fame due to the blockbuster Nolan hit Batman, he had films here and there that are worth the mention of his career. This would be one of them. All I can say while watching the film was ‘So. Much. Blood.’ Told in a narrative form, it’s a story of Patrick Bateman’s life. You know, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Wednesday, October 3

Lars and the Real Girl

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
Director: Craig Gillespie

Of the three Ryan Gosling films I’ve watched this is my favorite, and the only one I liked so far. I’m sure he has more notable ones but those are films I have yet to see. For the two times I’ve seen this, I haven’t lost the admiration I have for it; it still stands as one of my favorite films, and something I would rave to others to watch. It’s simple and heart-warming (for a lack of a better term) and it never fails to get me whenever I think about it.

Tuesday, October 2

September in Film

Here's a little Perks to start things off! (source)
I've been a terrible film blogger. Really. I've been somewhat busy with work and at home. Not to mention, I'm in a blogging rut (and have just been somewhat lazy). Somewhere between my endless 30 Rock marathons and reading books, I caught a couple of movies. I never got around to reviewing most of them, but I did enjoy...well, most of them! I'm still sort of in a rut, so pardon my future posts (or the lack of them).

Friday, September 28

Trailer: Smashed


I've heard good reviews about this film, thus making it on my list of movies to watch!

Friday, September 7

Win Win

Cast: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale
Director: Tom McCarthy

An unexpected gem (for me, at least), Win Win is a comedy drama that manages to captivate the audience as the film goes by. The plot isn't as different as those similar to it (sports, angst-ridden teen who's actually really good at something, financial problems, etc) but what brought this film to stand on its own is the acting that was involved in making the film. Win Win is about a lawyer who also works as a wrestling coach to make ends meet; he is in a financial bind. His practice is not doing so good and he's getting stressed because of it, not to mention his family doesn't know about their financial standing. He saw his way out of a financial turmoil when he signed himself up as the legal guardian of his incapacitated client, earning him $1500 a month. What he didn't expect is that the missing family members would show up at his client's doorstep, first in the form of the client's grandson (who turns out to be his savior on the wrestling team).

Giamatti shows off his acting chops through embodying different personas (lawyer, provider, mentor) without getting one persona mixed with the other. In each situation, he knows how to position himself and does not let the rationality of his other roles get into him. His mistake makes him human. In each role he portrays, he is able to embody them with zest, making him easily identifiable in a scene. He is also aided by Ryan and Cannavale, who portray their roles quite well. Shafter, in his first role, also embodies the angst-ridden teen well. He doesn't blend in with Giamatti's style, nor does he let his fellow actors swallow him. He is not a wallflower, he stands out. He is able to express the writing and provide his own mark on the character. While the movie may not exactly hit a mark, expressive acting and writing did bring this film into the radar of sport comedy-drama.

Saturday, September 1

Newlyweds

Cast: Edward Burns, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Kerry Bishe
Director: Edward Burns

Though not a thought-provoking nor widely acclaimed, Newlyweds is still a film to watch. Set in New York, it tells a story about Buzzy, a gym trainer and Katie, a restaurant owner, who recently has gotten married. They were on their second marriage, and at the start of the film, they claim that their relationship set-up is a key to making their marriage work, something that Katie's sister Marsha attest to. Not only is Marsha's marriage putting a bit of a damp to the couple's relationship, but Buzzy's half-sister Linda moves in with them while trying to reconnect with a past lover.

Trailer: Seven Psychopaths

This looks insanely (to use the word loosely) funny. The trailer itself constitutes a few laughs, and Colin Farrell is making his name in the comedy genre. The entire movie revolves around three friends kidnapping a gangster's dog, with each character adding its own eccentricity to the film. I hope the comedy does not disappoint! Will definitely be putting this on my watch list.

Monday, August 27

Zombieland

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson,
Director: Ruben Fleischer

This might be the only movie about zombies I will ever watch. Zombies creep me out, especially when they start eating people. Finally mustered up the guts (I made sure I wasn't eating when watching this) to watch this film, considering that it's been in my film library since forever. It does make an entertaining film about trying to go cross-country to LA while fighting a ward of zombies that cross their paths. Right now I feel that I've been watching every Jesse Eisenberg film made...with the exception of The Social Network. I have no idea why but I have a tendency to shy away from Oscar films, with the exception of the recent Academy Awards film list. I still have one more film in my list, then I'm definitely tackling on The Social Network. Anyway, back to the world of zombies...

Thursday, August 23

Trailer: 10 Years


Ensemble cast, meet drama. Drama, meet a bunch of actors crossing over to the genre; apparently the romantic comedy genre has been exhausted with too many ensemble films. After a trail of good Channing Tatum films this year (except The Vow), this comes (he is clearly the star of this). It's basically about high school people coming together for a reunion. It's not a wild reunion like in American Reunion, but more of a serious, on the down low reunion kind of thing. Based on the trailer, there's nothing much to expect; comedians have just crossed to the drama side (see the abundance of actors in comedy). If I do decide to watch this, I'd probably wait for it to come out on DVD.

Wednesday, August 15

The Gender Swap

Two movies shot two decades apart from each other and yet the similarities are uncanny. Of course, She's The Man has the similar plot as Just One of the Guys, about a girl who poses as a boy to prove that they have what it takes and their gender should not be a hindrance to achieving their potentials. I recently caught Just One of the Guys (whose most famous actor is the bully who was also in The Karate Kid) and while the film droned on (it felt longer than it's supposed to), I couldn't help but seeing the resemblance of She's The Man. It felt like it was the exact same movie in a more modern setting. Below the cut are my thoughts on the following.

Bachelorette

Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan
Director: Leslye Headland

They are a bride's worst nightmare...if only she knew.

Bachelorette stars Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher as bridesmaid to their high school friend, played by Rebel Wilson. I don't even know why these women are friends with her, or she with them. I think the norm is, if you don't like a person, you find ways not to see them. However, in this case, they put up with her so that they have something to talk about; it's like high school never ends for them, literally.

Tuesday, August 14

Broken English

Cast: Parker Posey, Melvil Poupaud, Drea de Matteo
Director: Zoe R. Cassavetes

I totally forgot why I wanted to see this film. It's been with me for a long time now and it's only now that I decided to watch it. I think it's because I like the trailer, that's the highest possible reason. I didn't expect that the film would turn out this way. It's nice, and people can relate to it at one point of their life.

Monday, August 13

Trailer: This is 40

I've unknowingly been watching a couple of Judd Apatow films lately, and as much as I am excited to see this one, I really do hope it doesn't disappoint. I recently watched The Five Year Engagement and Wanderlust, and have mixed feelings about both. I like it, but I prefer his other films. Knocked Up was nice, so really hoping this is as nice (or even better) than the first film. Sort of sequel is still a sequel, after all.

Wednesday, August 8

Adventureland

Cast: Jesse Eigenman, Kelsey Ford, Kristen Stewart
Director: Greg Mottola

This movie now makes me wonder why Kristen Stewart ever agreed to star in Twilight, and seals Jesse Eigenberg's previous and future films for me.

Monday, August 6

Battle of the Fairest

I know I'm a tad bit late on this, but after recently watching Mirror Mirror, I couldn't help but make the juxtaposition between Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman. First, let me start by saying that I didn't like any of the films. I considered Mirror Mirror to be a comic, but as the film went on, I just wanted it to end. Snow White and The Huntsman was draggy. Still, despite the differences of genre, I couldn't help but compare the two franchises while watching the former film. Here are my thoughts on the following.

Sunday, August 5

Brave

Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson
Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell

One of the methods to which I determine whether I see a movie or not is the online rave about the said movie. Brave was a movie that got positive feedback, and a bit of raving from the online world. Not knowing much about the premise of Brave, and skipping out most of the reviews about it, I had almost no preliminary expectations. It's a Pixar film, and it's the first that Pixar released it's female lead. One thing I liked about this movie: her flaming red hair. It's just there, and how it's different from the usual wavy/straight hair characters. Her hair was wild and fiery red. I love it.

Thursday, August 2

Trailer: Celeste and Jesse Forever

This is one movie I can't wait to watch. Celeste and Jesse Forever is the epitome of those who decide to stay friends after ending a relationship. I think the general rule is that exes can never be friends. There are exceptions, perhaps. Three reasons why I want to watch this film: plot, Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones. Sundance films, get released faster! This is now on cinemas.

A Single Man

Cast: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult
Director: Tom Ford

To be honest, I'm still at loss for words after watching this film. I guess there were just too many to describe the film, but to sum it up, A Single Man was brilliant. It was tastefully done, the acting was magnificent, and the aesthetics? Beautiful! This is now officially my favorite film of all four actors involved. Everything was done in detail and with finesse. For Tom Ford's directorial debut, he adapted a good story and he has done so with style. For this review, I've decided to break it into three parts: plot, design and music.

Tuesday, July 31

Trailer: The Bourne Legacy

I know this has been released a long time ago but I never really bothered to watch the trailer, until I watched a movie in the cinema and the trailer popped out. I have mixed feelings about the fourth film. I loved the first three and I'd start to catch it whenever I see it on TV. I don't want to expect too much on Legacy because the first three films are awesome but at the same time, it's Jeremy Renner, action star, so I think he can bring it.

Friday, July 27

Mirror Mirror

Cast: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer
Director: Tarsem Singh

A lot of thoughts came into mind while watching Mirror Mirror. The adaptation seemed to be a lot of stories put into one, using Snow White as a main character. Three stories came to mind: Ever After, Burton's adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. While seemingly offering a whimsical adaptation, it felt that it went too long, and didn't have much of the fun it wanted to have. 

Saturday, July 21

LOL

Cast: Miley Cyrus, Douglas Booth, Ashley Greene
Director: Lisa Azuelos

I have a mindset that if Miley Cyrus is in a film, it's bound to be bad. This is one of them. Again, she showcases herself as another angst ridden teen, in her monotonic talking voice, always having that apathetic expressions. Her acting is evident when she shows other emotions because it looks like her character is acting. Seriously. I don't get why child actresses are always clamoring to play that angst girl. Every angst ridden role is annoying. Including this one. Instead of watching The Dark Knight Rises like everybody else, I am stuck watching films like these.

Monday, July 2

Notting Hill

Cast: Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Richard McCabe
Director: Roger Michell

Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant brings a unique spin on the romantic comedy, between an actress and a bookkeeper, two people worlds apart. While this is one of their famous works (when romantic comedies were still solid gold with actors like them), I couldn’t help but play a bitter card as I had a question mark hovering over my head from the start. This wasn’t a love story that was technically supposed to happen, as 1. He did not introduce himself, and 2. They never exchanged numbers.

Saturday, June 16

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Cast: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett-Smith, David Schwimmer
Director: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon

It’s messy, it’s crazy, it’s fun. It’s the perfect movie to wrap up the trilogy. Let’s just hope a fourth one isn’t on the works. While the first two movies were all set in Africa, this one travels to Europe and adds a circus to the mix. While it’s not my favorite in the trilogy, I like it the right amount to not watch it again for a very long time. 

Saturday, June 9

Snow White and the Huntsman

Cast: Kirsten Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin
Director: Rupert Sanders

Snow White and the Huntsman is a darker take on the familiar Disney adaptation that we all know. It rivaled fellow fantasy adaptation Mirror Mirror, which was released earlier this year. Because I like Kirsten Stewart more than Lily Collins, and prefer Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron, I decided to go see this one before seeing the former. Based on the pilot, trailer, advertising and the cast, I assumed that this would be the better movie. Unfortunately, I should have gone to this without much expectation as I ended up disappointed. Oh, to be fooled by advertising.