MOVIE REVIEW: MALEFICENT (Robert Stromberg, 2014)

0AA7C2D2-AA85-4286-9204-21AFD6809AEB

SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Maleficent:

1. I’m done with these reimaginings of classic fairy tales because none of them were actually good. Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the Huntsman, Jack the Giant Slayer, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Stop ruining my childhood!

2. Let’s get this out of the way, Angelina Jolie was magnificent. My favorite scene had to be the one where she was staring at the beastie, er, baby from outside the window and she was vicious and gnarling and full of disdain. If only she were given an hour and a half to do that, I bet the movie would have been more interesting.

3. I’m all for female empowerment but did they really have to make the men here look evil and worthless? The king played by Sharlto Copley acted like a creature from District 9. Prince Charming on the other hand looked more like a messenger sent by the actual Prince Charming.

4. Who wants a villain slash hero? Who are we kidding here? We all paid to see a vicious Jolie and we ended up with a neutered version. (Besides, Rubi beat her to it.)

5. Bella Flores, Paquito Diaz, Cherie Gil. Just the thought of these people gives me the creeps. Sadly, this movie was like watching a really nice Gladys Reyes helping Judy Ann Santos do the laundry instead of throwing that damn labada at her and slamming her face in a big palanggana of soapy water. Now where’s the fun in that?

6. It had to be said: Frozen did it (first) better.

7. Those fairies were too corny and annoying. And what happened to their names of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather? I love Imelda Staunton but she was way better as Dolores Umbridge. Ooh, and watch Vera Drake.

8. Maleficent could heal herself, make things float, summon wild creatures, transmogrify humans and animals, and yet couldn’t grow a new pair of wings?

9. Wait, so Maleficent killed Aurora’s father (whom she barely met) and everything was right in the world?

10. So in this feminist version, the movie still ended with Aurora in the arms of Prince Charming and Maleficent with her male aide?

Argh!!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published June 4, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER (Simon West, 2001)

A4618D28-A6E5-48DE-A62A-C637EDA4DE2A

It was fun to see a live action woman with a 36DD not toppling over while walking or doing an aerial ballet. Still, Angelina Jolie should never have messed with the Illuminati.

Also, a pre-James Bond Daniel Craig already practicing for his iconic role with gratuitous nude (shower!) scenes.

+1 for U2’s Elevation during the end credits.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published May 8, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: UNBROKEN (Angelina Jolie, 2014)

A4B9CD11-A4BD-407F-A77D-81DA0DF524C0

SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Unbroken:

1. One of the most heartbreaking scenes in the movie happened at the start when a soldier got shot and he cried, “I wanna go home”. I could only imagine the same pain and helplessness of all the other soldiers currently fighting in these senseless wars.

2. Remember how running was used as a metaphor for life in Forrest Gump? I bet Angelina Jolie has watched that film countless times that Robert Zemeckis could actually sue for plagiarism.

3. I was happy to see Finn Wittrock in the cast. He was so good as Dandy Mott in American Horror Story: Freak Show. Unfortunately, I started to lose interest immediately after his character exited the movie.

4. So Jack O’Connell went for Method acting looking necessarily gaunt and famished with zero body fat. He looked like a cross between Kevin Bacon and Ethan Hawke. Christian Bale will be proud.

5. I wonder if a seagull tastes like chicken. Also, I love sashimi but will it taste the same if I eat fish straight out of the sea?

6. Some people will find the movie’s themes of faith and resilience and forgiveness as life-affirming. Others, like myself, will find them incredibly corny. Life-affirming, but corny.

7. Why did it feel like there were only three extended scenes in the movie? The initial plane fight, the endless boat survival, and the tedious prisoner of war setting?

8. Do not bring popcorn. One scene involved scooping poop and dumping them in the ocean. I was just thankful this was not shown in 4D.

9. Why did it feel like there was sexual tension between Zamperini and Watanabe? The constant torture and name-calling looked exactly like a high school relationship. Was I just too bored and distracted by then? Has anyone read the book? Was it much better than this adaptation?

10. The old Zamperini running in the Japan Olympics almost made me cry. Almost.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published February 27, 2015.)

MOVIE REVIEW: PANIC ROOM (David Fincher, 2002)

A5066E3E-435F-4EDE-9383-D61590932B54

I miss Jodie Foster.

Even with Angelina Jolie kicking ass in her movies, I think that Foster is still the toughest heroine in Hollywood.

In this engrossing suspense/thriller, she played a game of cat-and-mouse with bumbling intruders taking over her new house. The first half of the movie was great but when the characters started doing things they shouldn’t be doing (especially growing a heart), it quickly lost its momentum.

A pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart also starred here and you’d start to wonder what happened with her potentials.

Rating: ★★★☆☆