Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review - Total Recall, Brave, The Watch

Here are my reviews on some movies I have seen recently. Feel free to comment and share your views.

LOL (2012)
Starring Miley Cyrus, Demi Moore and Douglas Booth. Directed by Lisa Azuelos.

The acronym "LOL" stands for laugh out loud but in this case, the movie LOL brings you no laughter, only pain and misery.
So we basically follow the life of Lola (Miley Cyrus) and her interactions with her family and friends. That's it. This is the most pointless movie ever, there is NO plot. We just basically sit there and watch Miley Cyrus prance from scene to scene with her family and her friends at school. LOL has no emotion and no real meaning. Lola seems to have a somewhat strained relationship with her mother and suspects her new found love interest of cheating but we see no real developments. To top it off, the acting was just horrible. The best way to describe the movie LOL? Predictable and nauseating CRAP. 
Rating: 0/10

Total Recall (2012)
Starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel. Directed by Len Wiseman.

Remake to Arnold Schwarzenegger 1990 classic with a slightly different plot, heavy CGI and familiar faces. However this remake failed to match the original, not even close. Instead of trying to save lives on Mars (as was in the original), this time Quaid/Houser (Colin Farrell) must save a colony from synthetic robots. Not very original and I think that's why I hate this Total Recall remake. Plot-wise, it was a FAIL. I think they should have just stuck to the original story.
A decent beginning but a weak plot quickly became its demise. For most of the film, we follow along the same path as the original movie where Quaid comes to the realization that he is not who he think he is. We see some elements being brought over from the original movie, like the three-breasted woman and airport scene. There were cool action sequences and the acting was okay. Kate Beckinsale was a bad-ass but quite frankly Total Recall was a let down. 
Rating: 4/10

The Woman (2011)
Starring Pollyanna McIntosh, Sean Bridgers and Angela Battis. 
Directed by Lucky McKee.

Sequel to Offspring, The Woman shows us the last remaining survivor of a cannibalistic tribe roaming the woods like a wild animal. However she is discovered by Chris Cleek (Sean Bridgers) who intends to civilize her. This poses a challenge and she is locked in the family cellar. Over a period of time, they try to domesticate her until one night while the rest of the family is supposedly asleep, Chris rapes the woman. Trouble stir between the family members and it is hinted that Chris had raped his own daughter. Chris's true intentions surface towards the ending of the film.
What you thought would be a movie about a family willing to help a uncivilized woman turned out to be much more. From the get-go, I realized that Chris's wife and daughter seemed very withdrawn and distraught and the truth will eventually surface as the movie goes along. It is revealed that Chris is a misogynist and the woman is not his first victim. At first I thought it would be a pretty predictable plot but a few surprises unraveled itself which surprised me a bit. Not only was the film a semi-horror to begin with, it becomes more psychological wen we drift away from the woman and learn more about the family and their issues. The acting was done well; Chris seemed so perky while the rest of the family seemed so depressed and withdrawn. Pollyanna played an impressive savage and overall the movie was pretty cool. 
Rating: 7.5/10

Brave (2012) 
Starring Kelly MacDonald, Bill Conolly and Emma Thompson. 
Directed by Brenda Chapman.

Merida is a skilled archer or what you'd call a "tomboy". The clans first-born sons arrive to partake in a competition to win the princess Merida's hand in marriage. Unfortunately Merida is not interested and wants to choose her own life. Facing a lot of pressure from her mother who wants her to act like a princess, Merida wanders off into the woods and stumbles upon a witch who grants Merida a spell to "change" her mother. However, the "change" is not what Merida anticipated and now Merida must do what it takes to break her mother's curse.
Using beautiful fluff animation, Brave was more than I expected. Apart from the cute Irish/Scottish accent used, Brave had surprising depth. For most parts, you think would be your typical Disney/Pixar story but the plot even unravels twists. The story of bravery was touching without being overly sentimental and the humor was on point throughout the movie. The characters were consistently fun throughout especially the Clans. Although Brave isn't Pixar's best work, I believed that Pixar definitely redeemed themselves from a disappointing Cars 2.
Rating: 8/10

The Babymakers (2012)
Starring Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn and Kevin Heffernan. 
Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar.

What do you call a boring movie with a few laughs? - The Babymakers. I got a few laughs throughout this movie but overall the film was rather dull.
The movie is basically about Tommy (Paul Schneider) - a man unable to impregnate his wife aka he is "shooting blanks". This surprises him because years before he had donated sperm to the local sperm bank and he was told he could conceive. Tommy finds out that there is one remaining batch of his sperm left at the bank. He tries to get it but was refused because a couple had already reserved it. Therefore Tommy resorts to stealing HIS own sperm in heist-style so he can make his wife happy.
A storyline not too familiar but a bit predictable and yes I did get a few laughs, but honestly this movie could have been way better than it was. I did not feel the characters at all, they seemed lifeless and I think that was the major downfall of The Babymakers. The thought of a dude having to steal his own sperm to impregnate his wife was interesting enough but it was rather poorly executed. With a better cast, I feel The Babymakers could have been a hit.
Rating: 5/10

The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
Starring Jason Segel, Emily Blunt and Chris Pratt. 
Directed by Nicholas Stoller.

After meeting the love of his life, Tom Soloman (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) are ready to get married. Unfortunately for them obstacles present their way in form of schooling so Tom and Violet opt to extend their engagement til after Violet finishes. They move to Michigan where Violet adapts quickly while Tom struggles with his new environment. Years go by and their wedding is still delayed due to Violet's studies. New obstacles arise and Tom and Violet realize it's not a easy walk down the aisle.
The Five-Year Engagement boasts a strong cast with a good script but I felt it was a little bit too lengthy. Charming and mature, the humor is somewhat consistent within the film. Jason Segel proves why he should be taken serious as an actor and Emily Blunt was selfish yet so charming and innocent. It may be a bit too drawn out but The Five-Year Engagement is a decent watch.
Rating: 7/10

The Watch (2012)
Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill. Directed by Akiva Schaffer.

Funny men Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill come together in this sci-fi comedy flick. They are joined by Richard Ayaode and make up the "neighborhood vigilantes" or so we thought. Anyways Evan (Ben Stiller) coworker dies strangely so he decides to form a neighborhood watch to catch the perpetrator. However they uncover more than they expected and it is discovered that aliens roam the neighborhood, even disguised as humans.
This movie was flat out boring and dumb. The whole alien-comedy concept did not connect and the jokes were not funny. The movie features solid acting but a mediocre script and story. I would have rather if this cast was featured in The Babymakers instead of this dull, joke of a movie.
Rating: 3/10

Movies Also Watched:

Frozen River (2008)
This movie highlights a woman's struggle to provide for her family. She resorts to smuggling illegal immigrants across the US-Canadian border via a frozen river, in order to make ends meet. A low budget film showcasing a great performance from Melissa Leo and a good supporting cast. A suspenseful, touching and grim film.
Rating: 8/10

The Hobbit (1977)
An animated look into J.R.R Tolkien's book "The Hobbit". Bilbo Baggins, along with friends, sets out on an adventure to reclaim lost riches. The film stays true to the book but misses some elements. This may be attributed to the very short run time. Nonetheless, there were okay musical numbers and the characters were bubbly.
Rating: 7/10
Once Were Warriors (1994)
A powerful and emotional film about abuse - domestic abuse, sexual abuse, alcohol abuse and to some extent, drug abuse. Jake (Temuera Morrison) suffers from alcohol addiction and often gets violent against his family. Every fist thrown in this movie is felt as if you are actually in the movie. a series of events occur throughout the film and a mother must stay strong for her kids. A heartbreaking story, engaging film with well developed characters.
Rating: 8.5/10

Blazing Saddles (1974)
A movie laden with racial slurs but Mel Brooks does what he does best and let us enjoy the movie nonetheless. An entertaining and crude western parody set in the 19th century where a black man becomes sheriff, much to the white folks dismay. Many may find this movie offensive but I found it rather hilarious. Character chemistry was great and the humor was consistent throughout the film.
Rating: 8.5/10

Three Colors: Blue (1993)
The first installment of the Three Colors trilogy. A dark film about a woman's life after the death of her husband and daughter in a car crash. Julie (Juliette Binoche) attempts to kill herself but cant bring herself to do it. She decides to start over, cuts all ties from the past and throughout the movie, we see a journey of rebirth and liberty. The movie is defined by Binoche's great performance. Her portrayal of a woman stricken with grief and limited dialogue was amazing and her silence deafening. Great overall movie with an amazing score.
Rating: 9.5/10

The Quiet Earth (1985)
An experiment gone wrong? Quite so. A man wakes up one morning and realizes he is the only one left on Earth. Scientists experimented with a new energy source and it wiped out all life on the planet. Luckily for Zac (Bruno Lawrence), he was able to find others and they embark on a mission to set things right. The characters were pretty solid in this movie especially Zac. His hallucinations and meltdown at the beginning were too funny. The Quiet Earth has a very interesting and engaging plot made even better with the characters interactions and depth.
Rating: 8/10


  1. Nice list you got there LOL. I myself knew that TR would have flopped and was thus never at the theatre to see it. Brave twas Awesome! The Woman twas Awesome!!! didnt watch the others the trailers held no interest to me

  2. lol i didnt like the plot of this Total Recall at all