Before Sunset

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Director: Richard Linklater

This is a film that does not go without the other. Before Sunset brings back the familiarity, but with a different tone, as it continues where Before Sunset left off. Nine years after they met, Jesse and Celine reunite, this time, set in the city of Paris. Jesse was a published author, who was on a book tour, when he met Celine, on his last day in Paris. It has the same premise as the first: limited time, a single location, conversations exchanged between the two, Before Sunset brings the viewers into a new light on where Jesse and Celine are in their lives.

Now You See Me

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Common, Mark Ruffalo
Director: Louis Leterrier

When I was a kid, magic shows were a rave. No matter if it was good or very amateur, it was still, as they said magic. There were some good acts I've seen, but I was never really in the amazement that what they're doing was magic. I was one of those people who was watching how they do the trick. The summer brought in one of this year's surprise hits, and it was a movie about magic. Now You See Me plays on a con by using a con by itself: magic. It's a step away from the blockbuster flicks that's on screen, coupled with a cast that I found to be formed in random, bringing in the power of special effects. It's an entertaining flick, but it has to be something you see with an open mind, and just allow yourself to be taken away by the whole concept in order to enjoy it.

This Is the End

Cast: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen
Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

When this was announced to be released, I knew I had to see it. I'm willing to bet a lot of people had to see it too because I caught one of the night's earlier show times and the entire theater was packed. I'm not a big fan of dirty humor, but with this cast, I knew what kind of material I'd be expecting. It certainly did not disappoint, even when conforming to the apocalyptic craze. In fact, it helped with their whole comedic craze. I'd say this now: the entire movie was entertaining! It had a ton of laughs and the chemistry of the cast was stupendous. I left the cinema with people who were applauding (the applauding part annoys me in theaters, sorry) and definitely were satisfied with what they saw.


Cast: Daniel Bruhl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde
Director: Ron Howard

If you're one of the car enthusiasts living in Asia, you must know of the Formula 1 weekend that's currently happening in the lovely country of Singapore. In lieu of that, it seems fitting that I do a review about racing. I don't know anything about the world of racing, and watched the film because of Chris Hemsworth (I'm guessing it's an attempt to draw wider audiences in, like me). The only things I know about racing are basically fast cars and badass drivers, and it what Rush is about. Rush takes us to the world of racing, particularly through the eyes of two racers, James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

Farewell, My Queen

Cast: Diane Kruger, Lea Seydoux, Virginie Ledoyen
Director: Benoir Jacquot

I spent the last few days of my summer getting lost in the city of Paris, where Versailles is not far off. It has been twice since I entered the castle and yet everything still amazes me. The rooms were beautiful and grand, and despite the French monarch not ending on good terms (does a monarchy even end in good terms?), I have to admit Versailles must be a pretty good place to live in. You can go on and on in the halls (or the vast garden!) looking for someone and you might never find them immediately because the grounds are huge. If I can go live back in time, I think I'd like to experience living in Versailles for a day. I got to see how life in Versailles was through Farewell My Queen. It gives viewers exactly that: a life in the palace surrounded by people from different walks of life. What's striking about it is that it records the historically important moments during the reign of King Louis XVI, which is the storming of the Bastille. It gives a glimpse of the life and politics that goes through the walls of the once (and still) grand palace of Versailles.

Bottle Rocket

Cast: Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Ned Dowd
Director: Wes Anderson

This review first appeared as part of the Debuts Blogathon hosted by Chris (Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop) and Mark (Three Rows Back). This is a shortened version of the review. To read the entire piece, click here. To see the overview of the blogathon, Armand (Film Police) has provided a list with links, which he updates when the pieces are published. 

Bottle Rocket was the directional debut of Wes Anderson, as well as the debut of brothers Luke and Owen Wilson working together onscreen. After this film, Anderson continued on to direct movies such as Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and his most acclaimed work to date, Moonrise Kingdom. Bottle Rocket was based on a short film with the same title, translated into a feature film. While I do favor Anderson’s latter works, I think that as a follower of his work, Bottle Rocket deserves a place in one’s viewing shelf, as it displays earlier styling that Anderson would soon later hone and strengthen in his future films.

One Season Wonder: Guys With Kids

In a tree, there are good apples and bad apples. The same idea goes for television shows. Sadly, this one makes the cut. Guys With Kids is a project by comedian and host Jimmy Fallon. Considering his prominence in the genre, it would have been safe to assume that the show was going to be a hit, especially with him on the credit. However, 17 episodes in, the show was plugged out, leaving the fate of some characters in a cliffhanger. While I did follow the show because of its easy-going nature, it lacked substance and it felt like the show was in limbo. You have characters pulling jokes in and out, and despite the somewhat built chemistry among the characters, it felt rather forced and limited. Their characters barely had content, and their story lines were repetitive. I don't even think the show found its demographic. Similar man/family themed sitcoms have come out with lesser known backers and yet have lasted longer than a season. The formula behind the show might be there, but along the way, it either never found its story footing, or the show wasn't bringing anything interesting to keep viewers remotely interested.


Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley
Director: Neill Blomkamp

I didn't know much about Elysium, except that it starred Matt Damon and Jodie Foster and it had an interesting premise. Space worlds are done rather creatively, conjuring one concept to another and trying to show off these worlds in different light. However, I think I was expecting something else when it came to the output. It did not lack when it came to action sequences or the effects, but I guess I was expecting something better, something mind-blowing, at most. Maybe it's because I came from a long seminar-type class, and wasn't feeling comfortable with my movie seat (it reclines deeper than usual reclining theater seats) that I wasn't able to fully comprehend and appreciate the flick. Nonetheless I was still excited to see it, but it left me drained and somehow unsatisfied with the final product. Somehow I expected something more, but it simply did not meet my expectation.

The Deep Blue Sea

Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Ann Mitchell
Director: Terence Davies

Have you heard of the idiom "between the devil and the deep blue sea?" Well, I didn't, until I saw this film. What is something so simple turns out to have a lot of depth, although shown in some subtle and unsubtle tones. It's what the main character goes through, when she has to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. However, as problematic as she sounds, being an optimist, I don't think the film was aptly to be titled as such.

Kindergarten Cop

Cast:  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed
Director: Ivan Reitman

When I was a kid I only knew Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator. I haven't caught much of his work outside of that franchise, including his recent work. It's similar how Slyvester Stallone would always be Rocky, and Pat Morita would always be Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid series. One of the outside Terminator work I've seen him in is this, a light comedy about a cop pretending to be a teacher in order to foil the plans of an evil man. While this formula isn't as used anymore, I think it's safe to say that at least every action star has a kid-tandem movie in them. Just look at Vin Diesel, or Dwayne Johnson. Big men with children at their side. I think it's because somewhere in us (whether you like their movies or not), we'd like to see how big men handle little children. With the exception of actual fathers, it's a formula that movies play with time and time again.

Trailer: RoboCop

I actually haven't seen RoboCop (only caught glimpses of it), so I'm not sure how to feel about this one. It looks very well advanced (expecting a lot of CGI), but it's somehow reminding me a bit of Tron (although they're really unrelated with each other). Joel Kinnaman plays the titular role, but I haven't seen much of his work so I can't say much about him. I think this is a good career move for him. It's slated for an early 2014 release, so it won't be long now until promos for this goes full time. 

12 Angry Men

Cast: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam
Director: Sidney Lumet

I'm not usually one to watch a black and white film (it's a preference issue), but I've seen a few. However, none could prepare me for the cinematic classic that is 12 Angry Men. Besides knowing the basic plot, I didn't have other information about it, which served me well because if I did know more about it, none of the events unfolding would be a surprise, or at least keep me interested, knowing how things will go. It was a smart, entertaining and captivating film about one man's conviction to be able to give true justice to a case that seem to be a open and close case.


Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Mary-Louise Parker
Director: Robert Schwentke

Some time ago I was in some kind of a movie crossroad, and decided to catch RIPD at the last second. Considering that I knew it was a bomb, I wasn't expecting much. Needless to say, RIPD is a no-brainier movie that has every element that an action-comedy flick has, but lacks everything else to become a good movie. It became a mush of fast-paced, straight-forward flick that doesn't keep the audience intrigued, nor interested enough to find out something more.

Debuts: Bottle Rocket

Chris from Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop and Mark from Three Rows Back are hosting a Debuts blogathon, which features the first film released by various directors. Since Wes Anderson movies are some of my staples (and I really like his style), I wrote about Anderson's first feature film, Bottle Rocket. The review is now posted over at Mark's site, so feel free to check it out! Click the link or the photo to go to his site. 

August Round Up

New movies seen: 21
Repeats: 8
Total: 29

I wonder how it's like to live in Gatsby's house. A mansion, but only one person inside...that's got to be sad. Hoping the two week hiatus is going to do me some good, as I've managed to whip up a couple of reviews. August has been a busy month, and it's not going to get any slower. The last months of the year are slowly creeping in, and there's more to look forward to. Awards season is about to begin, and the return of fall television to greet us all. But enough babbling and onto this months' links!


If you're a Mumford & Sons/Jason Bateman/Ed Helms/Jason Sudeikis/Will Forte, watch the music video! (from Vulture)

I've been on Buzzfeed lately so here's a few things: Schmidt quotes, Jess quotes, Mean Girls Alphabet, and Which Ryan Gosling character are you?

For all Gillian Jacobs fans out there. 

12 Great Films by Older Filmmakers by Spencer from The Artifice.

Movie Bus Rides to Avoid by Mark from Top 10 Films.

25 Films about First Love from The Playlist.