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It hits you in the guts when you least expect
Although this is not horror, I saw this film during a horror festival. Their idea was to introduce "horror" that was more related to crime/violence, rather than real horror. Was it a success? Yes. I usually lack words to describe what I like about films, especially when I really like them. I wanted this film to be good but I thought it would end up being a normal film - I was wrong. The acting was really good (from main to secondary characters), the crudeness of a life of crime was very clear, the confusion of the main character when facing a clarity that wasn't there before was heartbreaking and your heart will shrink and shrink an shrink as the story goes on. This is not a pretty story and it's not embellished. This is about a girl who was brought to a life of crime, dealing with lack of love and working to survive. It's a film about a human being that is trying to find her spot in this world of horror - horror done simply by people who are just evil.
As a last note, I would also like to add, since this is a Korean film, I was worried my friends wouldn't enjoy it (since a lot of times cultural differences are plastered in the films but unless you understand those differences you won't be truly able to appreciate the work before you), but they actually did. If you want to introduce yourself to Korean films (and if you like action and violence), this is a really good film. If you know something about Korean culture it won't hurt, but if you don't you won't find yourself lost in translation. Totally recommend watching this.
Gekijô rei (2015)
Entertaining jump scares that won't really stick with you after finishing the film
I saw this film at a Portuguese horror film festival (MOTELx) about a week ago. I didn't really know what to expect, since there weren't many reviews online, and we were prepared for the possibility of a bad film. Now, was the film really BAD? Not exactly. It wasn't the worst thing I've ever seen - although some parts weren't creepy enough or the acting wasn't on point. However, if you have seen horror films this is just a film with all the horror stories you've already seen. There isn't anything new, the situations aren't unexpected, the story is repeated, the ending is cliché and pretty much everything about this film has been done before. If you aren't an avid/casual horror film fan, or if you're starting horror films now, it might scare you, since you probably won't be used to the usual plot lines. But for someone like me (a casual viewer) or my friend (an avid horror film fan) it was just a pretty normal film, cliché and, to be honest, after a day or two we kind of forgot everything about it (well, not literally, but you get the point). The only thing that stuck with me for good reasons were the main actress' screams during a few particular scenes, which I thought were pretty on point. But, in general, even her acting was just okay. It's not a film I would recommend - even if it's not the worst thing I've seen.
Are you serious?
Here is the thing: I watched this with some friends in a horror film festival. And that same festival compared the style of this film to BURIED, by RODRIGO CORTÉS. In fact, the beginning of the film is very similar to BURIED: a man wakes up locked in a container with some of his personal belongings and a rock. There is no way out and he has no idea why this abduction is taking place. Even though it wasn't exactly surprising or new, the film was going well, especially when you realize there are more people that have been abducted and all seem to be connected to an almost plane crash a few years before. But here is when things start to get weird.
The rock, remember? Yeah, this rock apparently has some sort of powers that helps people themselves find their inner power. And with it the whole plot turns into a whole different thing. And, in my opinion, for worse.
You can actually put the pieces together with all the information they give you and understand just what is going on. And it somehow makes sense. But this whole rock plot seems to appear almost out of nowhere. It almost looks like they started making the film and suddenly thought: "wow, this isn't that great. Let's just add something else to create a different story!". They achieved the "different", but it just ruined the film. Probably because the rest of the film looks very "realistic", when this fantasy element appears, it seems very out of place.
Not bad but it ain't perfect either
Here is the thing about BURLESQUE: it's a film with entertainment purposes that delivers just that without reaching some sort of superior level in the cinematography industry. At the end of the day, BURLESQUE is a film about a girl who has nothing in life but dancing and singing amazingly without any type of training who might or not get to succeed in life at a club she ends up loving. It's not bad: the songs are funny, Christina Aguilera's voice is amazing, Cher does her job as well, Stanley Tucci is funny and there is some romance and drama during the whole thing to make you interested. But it lacks some depth. Even though it's enjoyable and funny and cute, it's not exactly new - somewhere someone watched something already that resembles this. Also, I thought some things were happening too fast - I would prefer to have less plots. Instead, we had several characters that interacted, with several different plots that worked just fine but would work better if given the time - which was not given.
Basically, it is something people can watch and enjoy and some songs might make you want to dance or sing, but it's not something to be taken way too seriously. The idea is to entertain and that is completely delivered.
Why do they always make me look at these people as idiots?
Every time I watch a film like this (group of people go discover something but everything turns out wrong and a bunch of them die) I fell they are all stupid. Should that happen? No. SANCTUM did have some scenes that kinda creeped me out, me being a person who can't swim properly and, when in the beach, doesn't let the water up her hip. But the rest of it was SO predictable and so... déja vú style, that after a while you just want all of them to die so the film can end. And I do believe that going trough something like this must be terrifying (I know I would be!), but every time something like this goes to the cinema, there are always some scenes that makes the people in it look dumb. And I'm figuring that's not the objective of the film, but after a while gets kinda hard not to laugh on their faces when they're dealing with disaster.
Conclusion: you can watch it, it won't be the most horrible thing you have ever seen but, seriously? It's not really worth the time, specially because the beginning of the film shows you how it's going to end. What was the point of that?
Marry me, Hayao!
This was the second film from Hayao Miyazaki I watched (being the first "Howl's Moving Castle"). I have to say I didn't love this film as much as the first one (that's way I gave a 9 and not a 10): the end doesn't quite satisfy me and I didn't find the story as surprising as in HMC. However, I could I give less than 9 when the graphics are so beautiful and the creatures he creates are awesome and the characters are stunning? How could I ignore the metaphors he's always doing? Well, I couldn't, so I gave it a 9.
For those who are wondering if this is worth it: just watch it. I mean, right now. You will certainly like it and it will make you remember your childhood, your dreams and fantasies. I just wished someone had showed me this before.
Scent of a Woman (1992)
Some films are nice...
...others are unforgettable. I watched this on TV for the first time, late night, a few years ago. When I spotted that old style clothes and hair I immediately decided the film was terrible. But still I kept watching it and, by the end, I had regretted my decision.
This is probably my favorite film of all times: until the tango scene I was convinced the guy playing Lt. Colonel Frank Slade was, indeed, blind - only later I found out he was Al Pacino, the actor I have heard so much off but hat never seen before in any film. Also, at first I thought Chris O'Donnell was a little bit too zen, but then I realized: it's exactly how the character is supposed to be. More, since Colonel is such an imposing and, sometimes, impertinent character, he was exactly what was necessary in the film.
This film may look plain but it isn't: it's a very strong one, showing us how someone who lost all faith in life (Frank - Al Pacino) can learn from someone whose life may end by doing something right (Charlie - Chris O'Donnell): not selling himself for his future. At the same time, Charlie will learn that sometimes you shouldn't trust everything people tell you: usually it is easier to speak the right thing than actually DO the right thing.
It is a beautiful film, to be watched peacefully: believe me, if in the beginning you will wonder how it is possible that someone like Colonel Frank Slade, by the end you will like him more that you thought possible.
Hannah Montana (2006)
Don't get me wrong...
...but this TV series is bad. No, I do not like Miley Cyrus but still I do not think that interferes with my judgment on Hannah Montana. The fact is: even before I realized how famous she and show were, I didn't find this funny at all. Actually, I used to say that everyone in the Hannah Montana Show is funny except for Hannah Montana itself. Well, that is not quite true: I only think two characters are funny and none of them is the main character.
So, I guess little kids would eventually enjoy this, but I simply can't. And, again, it is not because I don't like her; I like The Wizards of Waverly Place and I don't like Selena Gomez either...
It looks like a bottle of water half full but that is wrong.
My summary might look incredibly strange, I know. However, that was the only thing it came through my mind when I decided to tell someone about this film. SPIRIT looks like a bottle of water half full: the animals don't talk, don't sing, the dialogs are rare and sometimes we feel the film never starts. However, that half-water-in-the-bottle left is exactly what we need to love this feature: what matters is the message behind all the beautiful images: the importance of being FREE. Also, the comparison between Spirit and the Native American is beautifully done: they are both free spirits and no one can tame them.
This is, in my humble opinion, an underrated movie. Show it to your kids, let them figure what FREE means and you could just sit with them and be enchanted as well.
Let's pretend this doesn't exist.
Seriously, I don't understand why Disney made this. I read it was because a lot of people complained about the fact that the first film gave the impression Pocahontas and John Smith would eventually stay together or that he had died and, to erase the critics, they decided to make this film to clarify everything. They failed. I liked the first film and I think it was a good way to let people know about Pocahontas even if the way they portrait her history was not entirely correct. This one sucks: not because of the story itself, because this one follows what happened to her, but because of the graphics, the songs, the dialogs... It's so sad to watch this, actually. I find Pocahontas a very clever character and a brave one, as well, but in this film she looked dumb. She spoke in such an empty way it got annoying. Also, John Smith's ambition looks so..."way-too-much". All of a sudden he just wants a boat to travel around the world. I don't remember such obsession in Pocahontas 1...