Reviews written by registered user
austin-takahashi

Send an IMDb private message to this author or view their message board profile.

Page 1 of 10:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [Next]
100 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Friends with Benefits - 2.5 Stars, 16 May 2013
5/10

Romantic-comedies have become such a static routine in Hollywood that even the two lead characters in "Friends with Benefits" have memorized its blueprint. Earlier scenes present us with mild optimism when we learn that our impending couple is considerably aware of the genre's most common clichés. But their advantage leads to no benefit when they go right ahead and implement the things they were formerly trying to rebuke.

By the movie's unsatisfying end, we get the feeling that the purpose of the references was to inform us that what we are watching is no different from the rest of its pack. Instead of utilizing its awareness as a stepping stone for improvement, "Friends with Benefits" lingers in mediocrity by idly pre-apologizing to the faults it plans to commit. What's the point?

What the movie lacks in screenplay is made up for in its cast. Reader, you have no idea how refreshed I was to see a rom-com that isn't starring either Katherine Heigl or Ashton Kutcher. These two actors have spent so much time within the territory of their preferred genre that their careers have gone from complacent to comatose. Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher are to romantic comedies as Milla Jovovich and Jason Statham are to action movies. A personal note of mine that may also come in handy in your future is this: Movies starring Heigl or Kutcher must be so bad that only Heigl and Kutcher and would agree to star in them.

Read more here: http://localmoviereview.com/friends-with-benefits-movie- review/

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
G.I. Joe: Retaliation - 2 Stars, 3 May 2013
4/10

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a no-brainer of a movie. If a supernatural force beyond understanding urged you to like "The Rise of Cobra", then it is likely that you will enjoy the sequel just as much. Bless you. However, if you hated the 2009 film at least half as much as I did, then you should be smart enough to avoid its 2013 follow-up. Besides, I'm pretty sure that you've long decided on whether you'll see this or not since it's already been out for almost three weeks.

Sigh. I shouldn't be writing this review. It's almost 1 in the morning and I have to be at work in a few hours. (Damn it! I have to be at work in a few hours!) So what gives? You see, movies that are as preposterous as "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" are the most fun to review. And, dear reader, when a movie like this is released, I cannot resist. Roger Ebert specialized in reviewing movies that are dumb beyond belief. I write this in further dedication to his spectacular life.

For the 15th time, Channing Tatum reprises his role as Channing Tatum. He isn't around for long through as he is quickly replaced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the film's lead hero. The Rock (The Tooth Fairy) makes a better action star than Channing Tatum, which doesn't really say much for The Rock, since Justin Timberlake and even Jay Leno would also make a better action star than Tatum. With over 20 movies in his resume, Tatum's career highlight so far is playing a stripper in "Magic Mike". Is it about time for the 32-year-old non-actor to take a long, honest look at himself?

Read more here: http://localmoviereview.com/gi-joe-retaliation/

Real Steel (2011)
0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Real Steel - 4 Stars, 29 April 2013
8/10

As soon as the first of many electrifying robot battles in "Real Steal" went underway, I found myself instinctively recalling old memories that I didn't know I still had. I remember how I used set aside furniture in the living room to create space for an arena. I would gather my toys in that arena, and our gang would have some fun. I thrashed them all around, pounded them against each other, and flung them against the ruthless ceiling. Things would be cooler if my stuff could do more than just withstand nonstop hammering, but it was a restriction that my imagination couldn't handle.

"Real Steel" is the giant robot action movie my inner child has been waiting for. It demonstrates deep affection for its robots by investing in aesthetic qualities that similar movies are indifferent to. Each machine is skillfully designed. All the robots enjoy such a specific shape, physique, color and theme that we can identify any of them upon sight. And because professional boxers were motion-captured to generate the mechanical fights we see on screen, the movements between these visually appealing robots are authentic and in harmony. Here is a good example of a special effects movie that doesn't depend on computers to do all the work.

The world in "Real Steel" has reached a time where man is no longer permitted to box. The roars of the crowd appear to like the replacement of human fighters: huge, towering robots that are assembled to disassemble their challengers through brute force. Robot boxing has become so popular a sport that we see it being held in vacant alleys, dark warehouses, and luxurious stadiums. This is the kind of sport that I would prefer to watch from afar. You do not want to be in the front row, uninsured, when one of those massive robots gets tossed out of the ring.

Read more here: http://localmoviereview.com/real-steel-movie-review/

Drive (2011/I)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Drive - 4.5 Stars, 23 April 2013
9/10

One scene that defines the stylish and disciplined vigor of "Drive" transpires inside a slim, narrow elevator. Our heroes enter the elevator; the doors slam shut. By the time they open again, we have been taken through a hint of suspense, a moment of intimacy, and finally, a burst of ultra-violence. That the movie was able to depict and contain three different moods in a limited space and time astounds me. This is the rare kind of movie that fully values its existence, using every second of its running time for its benefit.

"Drive" stars Ryan Gosling, the Oscar-nominated actor who was given more international appreciation in his previous work as Jacob Palmer in "Crazy, Stupid, Love". Here, a name eludes him as promotions only refer to his character as "Driver". The inquisitive effect of a screen name like Driver reminds us of Edward Norton's character in Fight Club, who was only identified in the credits as "Narrator". Both evoke the same aura of ambiguity, although the Gosling character is more subtle and composed.

Driver's professional and personal life is centered around cars. He occupies the role of a stunt driver for the movies. He also works as a mechanic, fixing cars when he's not flipping them on set. Beyond that, he also participates in robberies by agreeing to be the getaway driver. Driving seems to keep Driver occupied. He hardly ever speaks. Ask him a question, and his words halt after the answer is given. There are not more than two instances in the entire film where he speaks three sentences in a row. His quiet nature strays away from conventional personalities and takes us to a person so perplexing, even his fellow characters join the audience in trying to understand him.

Read more here: http://localmoviereview.com/drive-movie-review/

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Green Lantern - 1.5 Stars, 18 April 2013
3/10

Of all the second-rate comic book movies that has occupied most of 2011's summer, "Green Lantern" is the only one of its crowd without a saving grace. "Captain America: The First Avenger" saw a true hero in Steve Rogers, giving as much attention to his human character as with his superhuman attributes. It was the goofy playfulness of "Thor" that made its overall silliness acceptable. "X-Men: First Class" was a prequel that founded itself on prior knowledge, instead of avoiding it. "Green Lantern" doesn't have a singular thing that could make it more than what we already expect. It fulfills the requisites of the superhero genre, then immediately stops trying.

Millions of years ago, long before the nuisance of 3-D, an assembly of aliens called the Guardians formed an intergalactic peace-keeping organization. Each member, called a Green Lantern, was assigned to protect one of the 3,600 sectors of the universe. We're not sure how many planets or galaxies each sector covers, but we trust the judgment of the Guardians. With the whole universe accounted for, the blue, big headed Guardians have decided to spend the rest of their immortal lives in a planet called Oa. This peace is interrupted when a colossal, evil force named Parallax figured that it would be real evil if he started to eat planets; Earth and Oa are on his menu.

Meanwhile, on Earth, our central human characters who coincidentally all have daddy issues, are introduced. Hal Jordan is a reckless test pilot whose actions on the job are always questioned by his authorities. When a severely injured Green Lantern crash lands on our planet, Hal is the one chosen by the Lantern's ring as his replacement. His duty later lands him in Oa, where he meets the Guardians. Plot details are discussed, obvious questions are asked, and shallow dilemmas are regarded with undeserved seriousness as a delay for the obligatory climactic confrontation, like taking 90 minutes to get to a destination 60 minutes away.

Read more here: http://localmoviereview.com/green-lantern-movie-review/

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Soul Surfer - 3 Stars, 16 April 2013
6/10

"Soul Surfer" is a based-on-fact film about the life of Bethany Hamilton, an optimistic, blissful young girl who rode lots of waves, lost an arm, and rode lots of waves some more. Back in 2003, when she was just thirteen years old, Bethany's left arm was bitten off by a shark. Now she is a champion surfer, renowned in her field of sport and admired by people worldwide who share similar disabilities.

What we have here is an incredible, inspirational story that's overshadowed by lazy, uninspired movie-making. In "Soul Surfer", Bethany's life has been reduced to formula, filtered through a lens of familiarization. The raw power of her story becomes covered with so much bland, Hollywood melodrama that very little of it makes is retained in the final product. Aaron Ralston should be pleased with what Danny Boyle did with his story; "127 Hours" was one of the best movies of 2010. However, if I was Bethany Hamilton, I'm not so sure if I would be pleased with what Sean McNamara did to my story.

There is the distraction of another surfer named Malina. She appears in the same competitions that Bethany participates in. She is that character who is selfish, and mean, and willing to play dirty if that's what it takes to win. Malina is only here to fill the role of a villain in a movie that doesn't need one. Is there really room for a character like her in a film dedicated to Bethany Hamilton? Another problem is the dialogue. Because the movie's aim is to inspire, we understand it for engaging in its epiphanies and being vocal about them. The mistake is in the decision to prolong them. It extends simple insights into lecture's length, as if we need extra space to get its point.

Read more here: http://localmoviereview.com/soul-surfer-movie-review/

[Rec] 2 (2009)
REC 2 - 3 Stars, 7 April 2013
6/10

The foremost flaw of "REC 2" is its futile attempt to include a baffling, supernatural plot within its generic, but nonetheless scary, concept. To begin with, the first "REC" wasn't even the kind of film that opens itself to the possibility of a sensible sequel, but here it is anyway, along with the promise of a third and fourth installment.

"REC 2" is an immediate continuation of the original's conclusion. The fast-acting, death-inducing virus is still contained inside the quarantined apartment, surrounded by snipers and covered with some sort of special, government plastic. If there are any human survivors trapped inside, the authorities are determined to keep them in that state. We revisit the apartment when we follow a group of SWAT officers, who are commanded by a Health Official.

They charge into the zombie-infested building with thick armor and heavy weaponry, but their reasons for entering it in the first place are rather unclear. Surely, this isn't a rescue mission, for in the first film, anyone who tried to leave the building was rewarded with a bullet to the face. Once inside, we are informed that their objective is to come up with an antidote against a disease no one outside the apartment has contracted. Yes, a more reasonable option would be to burn down the building until it resembles dust, but no, because that idea wouldn't be enough for three more "REC" movies.

Read more here: http://localmoviereview.com/rec-2-movie-review/

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Horrible Bosses - 3.5 Stars, 30 March 2013
7/10

Nick, Dale and Kurt are average Americans with reasonable and respected intentions in life. Some of their aspirations are no different from our own. Nick is the hard-working office employee who is always the first to arrive and the last to leave. He dreams of a big promotion, which he clearly deserves. Dale is committed to the woman he loves. His plan is to marry her, sustaining their relationship through his earnings as a dentist's assistant. Kurt is content with his role in the chemical company he's in. He smiles in the thought that he could one day be in charge. Nick, Dale and Kurt are such harmless, typical fellas that, when they agree that it would be best to kill their bosses, we wonder how evil their superiors could be.

The bosses in "Horrible Bosses" are indeed what the title suggests them to be, and more. Besides being horrible, they're also psychotic, perverted, delusional, and mean. They make other people's life miserable because they can. They take advantage of their authority by engaging in activities that can only be classified as either immoral or illegal. I describe these bullies from observations I made during office hours. How do these people entertain themselves on a Holiday?

The first of three bosses is Dave Harken, played by Kevin Spacey. Dave is so skilled at publicly humiliating others that he might as well host the next Oscars. Dave knows that he can easily make Nick's dream come true, but won't. Next up is Jennifer Anniston's Dr. Julia Harris, the world's horniest dentist. Julia's instinctive habit of seducing the nearest conscious male would make an ordinary man rejoice, especially if you're her assistant, but not Dale. He fears that Julia's regular sexual stunts will jeopardize his engagement. And then there's Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell), who has recently took command of the chemical company that employs Kurt. Because everything that Bobby touches turns to a strip club, Kurt is not confident that the company will last long.

Read more here: http://localmoviereview.com/horrible-bosses-movie- review/

Scream 4 (2011)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Scream 4 - 2.5 Stars, 20 March 2013
5/10

"Scream 4", also known as "Scre4m", knows its genre well enough to prove its superiority over the dumb horror films it proudly mocks, but it doesn't come close to matching the quality of some of the great horror films it celebrates. Considering the franchise's satirical nature, the past decade has provided director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson with much material to work with. The movie succeeds when it sticks to the self-aware antics that it's known for. Too bad this sequel often abandons this clever concept for ideas we've all grown familiar with.

Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), one of the survivors of the first three "Scream" films, has returned to Woodsboro to promote her new book. She unwisely decides to visit her hometown near the anniversary of the first Ghostface massacre. Since it was death anniversaries and her surprise visits that triggered the massacres, you would think Sidney would keep a safe distance from Woodsboro, but no worries. Upon news that a new Ghostface has started a killing spree, Sidney re-unites with fellow survivors, Dewey and Gale, who are now married. The mature age of the three has granted them a major advantage over the new generation of students. We all know that, in horror movies, adults have a lower mortality rate than teenagers.

The best thing about this franchise is that it occupies a world that acknowledges the existence of horror movies and the people who are obsessed with them. Almost every horror flick made in the past 30-40 years takes place in a different time and universe where there are no horror movies that could serve as a lifeline to its young characters. As a result, teenagers would always commit the same mistakes that would get them killed, or raped, or eaten. For example, when a victim is chased in her house, she would immediately run up the stairs instead of going out the back door, trapping herself and assuring her own death. The characters in the original "Scream" were fun because it was populated by smart, informed teenagers who ended up dead because of a smarter, better-informed villain.

Read more here: http://localmoviereview.com/scream-4-movie-review/

10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
I Am Number Four - Zero Stars, 20 March 2013
1/10

"I Am Number Four" is an insolent and oblivious lump of trash that has been reused and recycled by countless studios controlled by cash- chugging dimwits. Even the most careless of eyes won't fail to notice its touches of unacceptable stupidity. The movie is so incompetently made that it doesn't even meet the incredibly low standards of a Dumb Action Movie. "I Am Number Four" is significantly lower than that.

The story revolves around a hunky, probably shape-shifting alien who is on a crucial mission to, uhm… Forget it. I have no idea what this is about. Why I can't tell you the movie's plot line may not exactly be my fault. In an earlier scene, Number 4, the alien, makes use of quick, lazy narration in an attempt to explain to us his past life, present predicament, and future threats. What we know is that he was originally from the planet Loraine, which was destroyed by the douchey Mogadorians. Nine children, blessed with extraordinary powers, were able to escape and flee to Earth with one guardian assigned to each of them. Number 4 was one of the children. The others are Number 1, 2, 3… and so on.

What we don't know are these: How did the Numbers travel to Earth? Why Earth? How did they land here without getting noticed? Why do they look like us? Can they change their appearance? How long have these invading imposters been here? What do they do for a living? Why do the Mogadorians want them dead? How did the Mogadorians land here without getting noticed? Since they've already killed Numbers 1, 2 and 3, how were they able to operate in stealth while basting their alien cannons in all directions? Why does Number 4 enroll in a school after finding out that the Mogadorians want him dead? Shouldn't he be busy with more important things? Does this movie have a subtle message that school should be prioritize above everything else? Or is just because aliens like to study real hard?

Read more here: http://localmoviereview.com/i-am-number-four-movie- review/


Page 1 of 10:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [Next]