JOHN CARTER (Andrew Stanton, 2012)

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It was easy to see why this was the biggest box office bomb of all time (at least, for now). The visual effects were cheesy, the plot wasn’t that interesting, and it had an awful actor in the lead role.

To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of the Star Wars movies and this one made The Phantom Menace look like a classic. Dear Hollywood Studios, we have had enough of these Mars movies. It’s time to explore another planet.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published April 2, 2012.)

THE HUNGER GAMES (Gary Ross, 2012)

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More than Battle Royale, this movie reminded me so much of The Truman Show. The latter was a brilliant satire on the entertainment industry and reality show voyeurism.

This movie had the chance to achieve the same heights, but decided to play it safe (what happened to the actual games?). I wouldn’t even compare it to the book since they’re two different visions. I’d encourage everyone to go pick up the novel.

Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t my first choice as Katniss and she sure had me converted. I loved the supporting cast, especially Elizabeth Banks and Stanley Tucci.

Overall, it was a fine enough piece of entertainment.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published April 2, 2012.)

DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX (Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda, 2012)

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Expect Dr. Seuss to embed environmental issues in his stories written for kids (or were they?). With its bright color palette and prancing animals, the movie sidestepped the theme and focused on the cuteness factor. I’m not sure if kids will enjoy it as much as Despicable Me but it should be good enough to keep them quiet for a few minutes.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published April 2, 2012.)

THE WITNESS (Muhammad Yusuf, 2012)

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With this and My Kontrabida Girl, it was a Gwen Zamora film festival for me this week. Too bad though that someone who was fine in terms of acting (and looked great onscreen) ended up in two stinkers. For a suspense/horror movie, this seemed to be very confused in terms of plot and tone. It was just a mix of flashbacks, montages, and dream sequences. It could have ended at the 1 hour mark but it took upon itself to add another hour to (very slowly) explain the entire twist. This is a dumbed-down flick for audiences dumb enough to see it.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published March 24, 2012.)

MIRROR MIRROR (Tarsem Singh, 2012)

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The first of the Snow White retellings this year didn’t really set the bar for the other flick. It was simply a comical take on the originally disturbing fairy tale peppered with pop culture references and supposedly funny one-liners.

Julia Roberts as the Queen was Julia Roberts being Julia Roberts. Sometimes funny, oftentimes bored, you actually might wonder why she even signed up for this thankless role. Lily Collins barely registered onscreen and she had this makeover montage that didn’t make any sense and definitely wouldn’t make her a star. And please don’t get me started on that Bollywood production number.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published March 23, 2012.)

ONE FOR THE MONEY (Julie Anne Robinson, 2012)

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What was wrong with Katherine Heigl? Wasn’t Killers enough? Was she trying to sabotage her own career with another misfire? Why did she even choose to star in this second-rate Bounty Hounter? Everything you hated about Izzie Stevens was in full blast all throughout this movie. Neither funny nor action-packed, this one was a real stinker.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published March 8, 2012.)