MOVIE REVIEW: DIVERGENT (Neil Burger, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Divergent:

1. Although the take on factions was interesting, almost all of the elements here were seen and done in previous, more superior movies.

2. I might have missed the explanation but what were the tests for if everyone had the right to choose their faction? Where was the Sorting Hat when you needed it?

3. If the Dauntless group was the cool crowd, why weren’t the rest joining them? I know I would have even if I could barely lift my right leg. Who wouldn’t want to be popular?

4. Was I the only one bothered that brother and sister Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort will next play dying lovers in The Fault in Our Stars? Now that was one way to ruin another adaptation.

5. Tris and Four make seven. But seriously, will this make sense in the sequels? (You can PM me the details.)

6. I was happy to see Shailene flex her acting muscles here, making her character more empathetic. I still think she was robbed of an Oscar nomination for The Descendants.

7. Shailene and Theo James had really good chemistry. I wish the movie didn’t have to push for those cringe-worthy, Twilight-y lines. Oh, and Theo reminded me so much of Christopher Gorham.

8. Of course, Kate Winslet will always be the best thing in any movie (obviously a fanboy here). It must have been refreshing for her to be fully clothed all throughout the movie.

9. I really liked the songs by Ellie Goulding and Zedd, though.

10. FITZ!!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published March 24, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE BABADOOK (Jennifer Kent, 2014)

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Worked as a psychological thriller, failed on supernatural element. Essie Davis was phenomenal.

Wait, why did a top hat-wearing, worm-munching monster become the newest LGBTQ icon? Sure he was dressed like Tito Boy, but which part was supposed to be a metaphor for coming out and being loud and proud? Help!!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published September 22, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: NEED FOR SPEED (Scott Waugh, 2014)

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My notes on Need for Speed:

1. The opening credits reminded me so much of Turbo. Not a good sign.

2. So it was the poor man’s The Fast & the Furious with a less-appealing cast. All that’s missing was the token Asian guy. Meh.

3. Aaron Paul kept sneering like he was channeling Walter White. Or probably Robin Padilla. Every moment had to be…INTENSE!!

He was just terrible in this movie. If it were your first time to see him, you’d be surprised to know that he’s an Emmy winner.

4. Men fondly calling each other bitches. How our action films have evolved.

5. The fun with videogames is that it’s ok to be morally ambiguous. You can crash cars or hit pedestrians and it’s fine. It just doesn’t work that way in movies. You cringe when people get run over or innocent motorists get hit. It’s not fun.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published March 21, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (Noam Murro, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on 300: Rise of an Empire:

1. I felt cheated that after being exposed to excessive violence the only sex scene got cut. Why bother with a R-16 rating?

2. I wonder if Alma Moreno received a cut for her copyrighted tangga.

3. Wow, those crotches (especially Xerxes’) looked like they weighed a ton. I’m surprised these Spartans could still walk.

4. Where did those abs come from? Everyone in town had them but nobody’s hitting the gym. I want what they’re eating!

5. Rodrigo Santoro had gorgeous eyes. He should be the next Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara endorser.

6. I bet the movie’s running time would be half as short without all of those slo-mo sequences.

7. Why is there so much dirt floating onscreen?

8. Eva Green was the single best thing in this movie. I cowered in fear before her. Can we resurrect a Bond Girl please?

(Side note: Never say no to a woman or you’ll end up with blood-splattered screens or blue balls.)

9. I stopped caring after the giant arowana scene.

10. Guys, it’s payback time for being dragged by your girlfriends in Starting Over Again.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published March 10, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: NON-STOP (Jaume Collet-Sera, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Non-Stop:

1. It’s interesting how Liam Neeson has taken the Jodie Foster route of starting as a serious dramatic actor then moving on to commercial thrillers. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. He brings a certain amount of depth in these generic thrillers that make them watchable. (Oh, I guess this is his Flightplan.)

2. I love Lupita Nyong’o and I haven’t even seen 12 Years a Slave. It’s too bad we don’t get to see her do much in this one. She rocked that flight attendant outfit, though. Always a fashion royalty.

3. Forget the plot and suspend your disbelief. Too much analysis and critical thinking will spoil your enjoyment of the movie.

4. I love Julianne Moore but she was so annoying here. Wait, her character’s supposed to be annoying? What a brilliant actress!! (Die-hard fan.)

5. Too many red herrings almost spoiled this stew. It was still fun to play the guessing game, though.

6. There was this money shot of Neeson in full action hero mode (you’ll know it when you see it) that made people cheer in their seats. Cheesy fun, I tell you.

7. I couldn’t breathe during the last few minutes of the movie that I grabbed tightly on my inhaler. I also gasped loudly in one heart-pounding scene (again, you’ll know it when you see it). Yes, I’m dramatic like that.

8. I’m sure this won’t be shown in any of your international flights any time soon.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published March 1, 2014.)