Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Movie Review: The Green Inferno (2015)

The Green Inferno (2015)

Starring: Lorrenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns, Sky Ferreira
Released: September 25, 2015
Rating: 4/5

Summary: A group of students staging a protest in the Amazon when their plane crashes and they're taken by a village of blood thirsty cannibals.

My Thoughts: I must have to say this movie was much better than I thought it would be. I saw it in theaters a couple days ago and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the feel of this film. I didn't think it was going to be much. I originally thought it was going to be a bloody, disgusting mess and that I would leave with an upset tummy and a bad taste in my mouth from seeing such a bad movie. It was bloody and disgusting, yes, and the acting was horrendous, but it was more than that. 

The cannibal genre has really died out in the last couple years and while the movie is mainly about rabid cannibals, there's a serious message presented within this film. I can't quite get what it is because of the film's humorous exterior. It's funny and full of jokes that don't aid the movie in any way. It got a giggle out of a couple of people, but the movie is about cannibals and people are being ripped apart limb by limb, literally, and you add in a guy masturbating or the group trying to get the cannibals high and you just can't really take it seriously and you're left a little frustrated.

However, because it doesn't happen so often, it's forgivable. The visuals of the jungle and the camera shots were beautiful, the story of the group and whether or not they'd make it, the death scenes that occurred every couple second and that left me wanting to leave the theater because of how graphic they were and even the creepiness of the tribe and their rituals just made the film for me. A couple of scenes left me cringing because of how dumb they were or how violent they were and while, I did enjoy the experience, there serious message it was supposed to portray didn't come to me because of the humor in it.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Movie Review: The Gift (2015)

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 The Gift (2015)
 Starring: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, Allison Tolman
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Rating: 4.3/5
Summary: A happily married couple reunites with a man who claims to have gone to high school with the husband and all hell breaks loose once the man starts getting creepy.
My Thoughts:  So I've seen The Gift twice now and I've only now formed a coherent thought on it now and although it ranks high in my head because the main characters moved from Chicago to where they are now. I really loved that, but it wasn't the greatest. There were some things about it that weren't all right. One thing being that it was beautifully shot. Like seriously, the camera angles in this movie were great!

The Gift starts us off with a completely normal premise where we have an overly friendly man and a couple. I had expectations for this film to be a little bit better than a Lifetime movie as its in theaters, but it surprised me a lot. Instead of a villain we hate and characters we root for, the roles are reversed. We have a very unlikable lead who you despise and a villain we want to get away in the end. Why? You'll just have to see the movie for that. The characters and their psychology is what worked for the movie. The different archetypes of characters were different from your typical thriller. Again we have the lead male who you end up hating, a villain with actual, defendable reasons for his actions and the wife. The wife who's at the beck and call of her husband and the only line thing want her to say is: I want a divorce. As I said, the lead male, her husband, is a huge dick.She has a mystery surrounding her that makes for a good character. Too bad we never find out what it is.

What left me disappointed was the amount of questions it left me with. The obvious question on the ending and what happened is not what I have issues with, it's the minor details that were left unexplained are what left me is what I have major issues with? What exactly happened in high school to Gordo? It's explained but not in immense details. What happened in Chicago to Robin? Why is she a huge pill popper? What happened to Danny? There are more questions you're left with than answers and that is what frustrates me. That's sloppy writing. It's as if they're so focused with that shocking ending and wanting you to leave the theater thinking about that, they leave you with unanswered questions on little things throughout the movie. And trust me, they're noticeable. You're just like: What?! And finally, the overly fake belly. No one likes an overly fake pregnant belly. It's annoying and everyone knows that although it's a movie, it's fake. It's like they stuffed a ball under her shirt and that's it.

So in all, The Gift was good. It's different from anything I've seen recently as it has this weird, psychology to it that leaves you thinking about a lot. Bullying and how exactly it effects people was a huge theme in this movie and it having adults as the cast was cool, a different take on the story. P.S: another huge line of the movie is: "I don't think I've asked you about [insert question here]? Tell me about it."

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

We Need to Talk About Cece: A Pretty Little Liars Recap

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After all the snarky comments and blog posts over the course of FIVE YEARS, we've finally come face to face with A and not ABC Family's usual antics of unmasking A only to tell us it was all a joke the next season. 

And who was A, you ask? None other than the mysterious Cece Drake herself...

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I honestly couldn've called this seasons ago when we first met her, but as always they had to throw in all these twists and turns, but when we found out who the hell was doing all this, it just wasn't satisfying. It wasn't what I wanted it to be. It was shocking. IT WAS DUMB.

Not only was the reasoning behind Cece being A full of so many plot holes that were more confusing than shocking, but it was just boring. I waited for something, just about every PLL fan thought three seasons ago. Sure, the whole transgender thing was a good for a minute, it after a got old. It looked as if Cece wasn't originally going to be A, but with all the celebs coming out as transgender, trans-fluid and whatnot, they decided to hop on the bandwagon out of nowhere to surprise us.

Surprising? I think not. 

Again, even her reasoning behind it was just a mess and basically just "because", but even when they threw Sara being Red Coat at us, I was still not surprised, but did we get any explanation on that? Nope, they just went on with Cece's story and tried to stop her from blowing up Rosewood(?) I think...But I mean, we're finding out who A is, why would we need to know about anything else. We only asked for this, not anything else.

I was waiting for an actual twist. An actual turn. And that night, we got squat. Hell, I wanted even one of the Liars to be involved somehow. I didn't even care that I called it, I would've just been excited they decided to take that risk. PLL has been unrisky, PLL has been predictable and this whole season has just been them traipsing about Rosewood, trying to find A and just about doing so every episode and then something happens and A gets away. Seriously? That's all we can get. And now with a seventh season being green lit for being the (hopefully) final season, we may be able to put this show to a grave...

PLL is done for after this season finale. It's been a good show and at points has had me on the edge of my seat, but that, again, was three seasons ago. If anything, I'm on the edge of my seat reaching for the off button because I can't take any more of Hanna's "one-liners." Seriously, who writes this? Because it's just flat out bad now.

Spencer? Aria? Emily? Hanna? Hah, I don't give a hoot because they all are just teenagers doing dumb things, saying dumb things and trying to solve a dumb mystery with their dumb boyfriends like some idiot's version of Scooby Doo. There characters just aren't real anymore and it's sad, but that maybe because they kept the show going LONGER THAN NECESSARY. We didn't need six seasons of this. We didn't and moving on to the next one, the girls are five years older and still probably going the same stuff all over again.

Will I be watching this next season? Probably because I've come this far and it's the last season, but if there are any more, then I'll go along with my friends and promptly delete this show from my DVR.

You've been warned, Marlene King or I'll call A...Or Big A...or Red Coat...or Black Widow or whoever the hell these characters are on you....Oh, wait they're THE SAME PERSON...Right? But we don't need an explanation on that...Good Golly, CECE IS A.

Monday, August 17, 2015

TV Review: Drop Dead Diva (2009-2014)

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 Drop Dead Diva (2009-2014)
Starring: Brooke Elliot, Margaret Cho, Jackson Hurst, Kate Levering, April Bowlby
Seasons: 6
*Streaming on Netflix as of August 17, 2015*
Rating: 5/5

Summary: After a shallow supermodel is killed in a car accident, she's sent to heaven and promptly sent into the body of an plump lawyer after pressing the "Return" key. Now she has to navigate herself in this new body and manage this stranger's life.

My Thoughts: WOW. WOW. WOW. Lifetime sure has some hidden gems on their network. Being a fan of their work with Jennifer Love Hewitt on The Client List, I decided to give this a look since JLH's show was cancelled and,boy was I surprised. I knew vaguely about the premise before I started watching the show and I thought it was interesting, but I could never take the time out of my day to sit down and watch it, but because summer is upon us, I had the sit down...and watch all six seasons of Drop Dead Diva...with barely any stops...hour long episodes...I officially have no life and because whatever amount of a life I had was dedicated to Drop Dead Diva, it was okay. 

The acting was phenomenal and one of the main reasons I loved the show. Fred, Stacey, Kim, Jane and Terri. They were like my friends  because it felt so real and they each brought something to the show. Stacey's bubbliness, Jane's style and intuition, everyone was different and it was refreshing to see these bunch of people interact with one another. It's not your typical show, it was refreshing. Plus the whole law tie-in was something different. I loved it!

Another thing that worked well for the show were the story lines. After the 4th season, they got a bit repetitive, but you've come so far with these people that you just can't let go until the very end. Anything is possible on this show, I mean for Christ's sake you can come back from the dead, and it happens. Drop Dead Diva has this underlying message and it kind of shoves it in your face, but it a positive way that you don't even notice until the show is over. Don't judge a book by it's cover, Drop Dead Diva tells you because maybe that overweight, brilliant lawyer is actually a cute, blonde model on the inside. The sentiment of it reminded me of Legally Blonde and everyone loves a little Legally Blonde.

Although the show tapers off in it's last couple seasons, it's a great show to start off with. You bond with the story, the cast and whatnot and you don't let them go until your done. I still find myself reminiscing about the show sometimes when I'm out and it even made me consider a career in law, but then I think: Shit, real life is definitely NOT that fun.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Movie Review: Return to Sender (2015)

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Return to Sender (2015)
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Shiloh Fernandez, Nick Nolte
Release Date: August 15, 2015
Rating: 1/5

Summary: When Amazing Amy, I mean, a small town nurse goes on a blind date things take a turn for the worst when he turns out to be now who he says he is.

My Thoughts: Here is the prime example of a perfectly good thriller that starts of with a BANG! and then fizzles out and finally, it leaves you with an ending that has you thinking, but not about much because this movie wasn't much to start with.

When I first saw that Rosamund Pike was in it, I was very, very excited. She was great in Gone Girl and once she got into her element in this film, it started to become a good film. She is literally was drives this film forward, not because of the lack of actual characters in the film, but because she was one of the only ones who brought something to the film. Well, her and her father. Their relationship is another thing that I enjoyed about the film, again, because it drives the movie forward, but the fact that these are the only things that kept me watching were a giant waste of such great talent. The writing was good, yes, and so was the direction, but the movie itself was just a letdown. Very shitty, Lifetime movie-esque.

 After the initial event, there's literally nothing happening. You spend most of the film waiting for something to happen and when I say that, I mean literally most of the film. And when that something does happen, which I'm just going to say is the ending, you're left in a little bit of disbelief because it happens out of nowhere. There's nothing building up to it. It's just brought out of nowhere and you're left to think about it. 

It's watchable, but only if you're patient. Return to Sender is basically a kind of crappy Lifetime movie with some big names attached to it. And the star's abilities are wasted on a bad script and bad just overall bad plot.

Movie Review: Southpaw (2015)

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 Southpaw (2015)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, 50 Cent
Release Date: July 24, 2015
Rating: 4/5

Summary: After losing his wife in a freak accident(?), famous boxer Billy Hope screws his life up and needs get his life back on track.

My Thoughts: Having not seen a sports movie in just about forever, I was interested to see this take on a boxing flick because I have a feeling these are either hit or miss. This, my friend, was a complete hit. Although this movie has the feel of a typical Lifetime movie, McAdams' impeccable charm and Gyllenhaal's almost unbelievable hardness give it this sparkle that takes it a step above a typical dramatic lifetime movie. That and the higher budget and the camera angles and the fact I was sobbing like a goddamn baby.

This movie is beautiful and when I saw beautiful, I'm not just talking about Gyllenhaal's abs because while those are pretty must amazing, the camera work was visually pleasing. By that I mean, during the boxing scenes, it looks like HD Pay-Per-View with a twist. We get that sparkling HD quality of a boxing match, also equip with the little HBO label in the corner to make it more "official", but we also get the third person views from Jake's perspective that make it so that it doesn't look like we're watching just another fight. 

Then there's the homeliness of the characters. It feels so natural and fluid when they're interacting with each other. Everyone stepped up their game and gave the movie life, which is another reason why I really enjoyed it so much. Because in all honesty, this kind of movie has been done time-and-time again, but the actors make it something different. They make you feel as if this is the first time you've seen this happen and you don't even realize it until you're chatting it up with your friends about the movie days later. Seriously, it's a giant cliche! Some big, tough guy, possibly an athlete has something traumatic happen to him to screw his life up and he's working so hard to get it together, but it's his attittude that's doing all the fucking up and you're rooting for him the whole time, hoping he doesn't screw up again and when he does, you're right there along for the ride. With most of those movies, you know what's going to happen from the get go, while I was watching Southpaw, I completely forgot about it. As I stated before Gyllenhall was tough and it surprised me. I almost couldn't believe it was him as this movie looked like it would be a better fit for someone else, but he rocked this role. He played it well as he shuffled through his shitstorm of a life trying to battle his demons while getting his ducks in a row. Southpaw had a lot of psychology to it that you could pinpoint and because it wasn't that kind of movie, you sort of overlooked it, but it was there. I wished they'd played on that aspect a bit more, but we can't always have what we want.

And while there are all these good things about this movie, there are some things that could've been better as in explanation, explanation. I know movies can only be so long and I'm nitpicking, but leaving the theatre, I had many questions. Who was Forest Whitaker's character to him? How did this happen? Why did he do that? Who is this character? So many things happened so fast without much explanation and while lots of people (i.e my friends) ignored it, it stuck with me. But I'm a movie reviewer, there's only so much I can forgive. 

Overall, this movie is an experience. I've never seen Rocky, so I can't say if it's "OUR GENERATIONS ROCKY," but I can say it will be something you'll be thinking about long after you leave the theater. And it will also leave you wondering about Jake Gyllenhaal and just how wonderful of an actor he is. Can someone say "Oscar"?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Anime Review: Say "I Love You" (2012)

Say I Love You (2012)
Subbed/Dubbed: Both, I watch the Dubbed version.
Episodes: 13
Genre: Romantic Dramedy
 Run: October 6, 2012 - December 20, 2012
Rating: 2.5/5

Summary: After being bullied (supposedly) when she was younger, Mei Tachibana has become a social outcast by choice. Soon after she meets Yamato Kurosawa and after love at first roundhouse kick, they soon begin to fall for each other, resulting in Mei opening up to not only him, but other people as well.

 My Thoughts: Say I Love You was one of the most frustrating, yet adorable animes I've seen in a while. I've never been so involved in an anime in a while. While this show has an immense amount of problems, I overlooked them for the sake of the characters and the fact that I had grown attached to them for so long. 

Personally, I'd only watch this if it was a last resort and I really had NOTHING ELSE TO WATCH, but in my opinion, in that span of about 3 hours, it was fulfilled since I had nothing else to do. Like I said, it was adorable, it was frustrating, but watchable. One of the main problems I had was the fact there was no plot. There was nothing happening. No rising action, nothing. Sure, there was a problem that popped up out of no where, (I.E a model student starting to have an interest in Mr.Kurosawa ), but after 3 or 4  of the 13 episodes, they were resolved and then ZIP! A lot of people say bad things about the beginning of the show because she kicks him down a flight of stairs and they start to date. It's unbelievable, yes, but it's a friggin' anime, not an MTV show, it's supposed to be unbelievable as most anime are. It's just that nothing freaking happened!

What kept me watching were the characters.  The way they acted, the way they talked, it was very similar to my friends and how they are. Sure, we don't have these kinds of situations going on in our everyday lives, but this giant group of characters could've been plucked from my circle. They got mad over stupid things, they said some stupid things and acted very stupidly in very stupid situations and that, unfortunately, is the way my friends act and I get very frustrated with them for doing things like that, so of course I'd get frustrated at these fictional characters. I just can't yell at my friends, like I yelled at my computer screen, trying to get my advice through these people's heads. That's what kept me invested: the characters and how believable they were written.

The art is interesting as it was visually pleasing, but not all complex and stuff. The drawings are simple, but there the simplicity is perfect for this kind of show. If it was overdrawn and complex, it would take away from the story, or whatever they want to call what happens in this 13 episode span. 

So, in all, Say I Love You wasn't anything great and was actually quite bad, but the characters and their shenanigans are what kept me watching. If you have nothing else to do, watching this won't kill you, but it won't make you happy either. You'll just feel like you wasted your day, but, hey, what else were you doing?