May 31, 2012


Up was an animated film  directed by Pete Docter and released in 2009. It garnered positive responses and did  very well in the box office, earning more than 700 million dollars worldwide. Word of mouth encouraged me to finally see it because I know several people who watch this movie over and over again. That triggered me to check it out because this movie, I thought, had to be great if all these people are gushing over it. And it was. It's a fantastic, touching story.

It was a touching movie since it had several messages like pursuing a goal or a dream, being with the people you care about, etc. The target audience of the movie were children and I think the children can pick up a lesson or two from this movie. It explored the joy of triumph, the security of relationships, but also the despair of losing the people you care about. It portrayed to kids real life in a superficial setting. It's also funny how it went to an aww-type of movie, to dramatic, to comedic, to action. I was waiting for the horror/suspense-thriller part to start but it didn't happen. But yeah, this movie had a lot to offer, and I was happy to take on those offers.

The characters were also cute (and I don't say that word often). The characters were appealing not only because of their cuteness but also because of their personality and traits. You got an adventurous energetic kid paired up with an old grumpy man with a kind heart. Add a talking dog and a weird bird and you have the whole gang.

It's a heartwarming story between two people and a couple of animals. It's also an enjoyable movie, and one that made me smile. It had strong messages conveyed in a children-friendly manner. This movie was absolutely fine, and one of the best animated movies ever made. Maybe I just really liked watching it. But that's enough reason to see it. It's great and you won't regret watching it. Also, a movie with that much balloons tied to a house to make it float has to be the best reason to check the movie out.

Pulp Fiction

The year 1994 brought three of the supposedly greatest films of all time - that's according to the American Film Institute's list of 100 best films released a few years ago. These movies were: Forrest Gump with Tom Hanks, The Shawshank Redemption with Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, and Pulp Fiction with a star-studded cast including John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Christopher Walken, Tim Roth, and a whole lot more. In reality The Shawshank Redemption didn't make the first version of the list. However, after celebrating its tenth year anniversary, the list was edited and The Shawshank Redemption entered the list, outranking the other two.

I personally thought The Shawshank Redemption was the best among the three, but I absolutely agree that all three were deserving. I had the chance to finally watch Pulp Fiction. I've heard a lot of things about it, and a friend of mine recommended it to me a while back. However, I couldn't find the movie then. If i'll be completely honest, Pulp Fiction was probably my least favorite among these three 1994 movies, and I am not trying to take anything away. Let me say this now, Pulp Fiction is a great movie. The story was great, the way they developed it was brilliant, the actors all gave it their all I felt. There was nothing to complain about. But yeah, I probably just prefer the other two.

Pulp Fiction was definitely the funniest among the three, although its humor was geared towards a darker side, a more violent one. After all , it is a gangster movie where bloodshed was a normal occurrence. It wasn't gory or disgusting, at least most it wasn't. However, they kept the mood light with the use of humor. I think I'll consider Pulp Fiction to be the most creative as well, utilizing nonlinear narrations for the movie. I greatly enjoyed that aspect of the movie. I liked the intertwining stories plus the back stories of the characters. I don't know about you but that was one of the best things in the movie for me. It was a very smart and sleek move.

Of all the gangster movies I've seen, this is the most entertaining one. It had its own brand of wits and had smooth transitions. It was extremely light considering the premise and the storylines. It was enjoyable and a lot of fun to watch. It's even better to see all those faces in one spectacular movie. Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, John Travolta, and Uma Thurman were definitely the standouts. But even the other actors were just amazing it's impossible to not notice them. Whoever was in-charged of the casting made the right calls.

Quentin Tarantino is a genius and he constantly exudes brilliance with the works he produces. Watching his creations is like a privilege because I know how much thought and work went into it. The results are always admirable, and I can never find any faults in his works. He definitely is one of the industry's best, and I look forward to seeing his other movies.

I'm really glad I finally saw the movie. That's one big chunk in my bucket list if I ever had one. I;ve been wanting to see it, and now I'm done. It felt like accomplishing something to watch the big three of 1994 (although I'm not sure if other people consider these three the big three as well). Regardless of that these three films are must-sees. All of them were fantastic. I actually hope I was a little older (no, a lot older) in 1994 to see all these three on the big screen.

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May 30, 2012

Alone With Her

If you're a fan/reader of this blog, you probably know how much I like psycho-thrillers. The psychological parts of these kinds of movies always intrigue me. The human mind is a very complex organ and I think there will always be something new to discover - especially how people act and react to certain situations.

Alone With Her is a psycho-thriller, although quite different from other films of the same genre. It's about a stalker who locked in on a prey and followed her every single move. He installed cameras on the woman's apartment, went to the same coffee shop, watched the same movies, listened to the same songs, practically lived a life similar to hers, aiming to establish a connection with his prey.

He also managed to manipulate his prey's life by knowing the details. He was able to interfere with her date, get her kicked out off the job because he knew a lot of details. Well, he did also help her with a lot of things, but only did it because of his ulterior motives. He might have cared about her, but the things he did were selfish and not selfless.

It's also a current issue. Just watching the news, we see a lot of stalking stories, from celebrities to normal citizens. The film made a point clear, our advanced technology make it a lot easier to stalk and be involved in the lives of other people. There are gadgets that were created to help mankind, but sometimes along the way, we find harmful uses for it. To be honest, I don't condemn these technology. I think they're wonderful. However, it's supposed to be used in a righteous way. I think it's the abuse of these technology that lead people to use them in dangerous ways. That's what the point is trying to say. We have to be responsible for what we do, and hopefully we'll be able to determine right from wrong.

The tense mood throughout the film, and the idea of using the hidden cameras as the movie's main viewpoint were very effective. It kept the atmosphere be filled with mystery and suspense. It also helped that Ana Caludia Talancon and Colin Hanks were very genuine in portraying their characters.

Cast Away

Cast Away was a 2000 film starring Tom Hanks. Hanks earned another Academy Award nomination for his performance of the movie, and seeing the whole thing, you'll understand exactly why. If I'm not mistaken, this was the 5th time he was nominated for an Academy Award. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Tom Hanks is one of the best actors, and one of my favorites. This movie just re-affirmed that!

The basic plot of the movie revolves around a man who got stuck in an island after the plane he was riding crashed. He stayed there for several years without any means to contact anyone for help. He was forced to be familiar with the island including where to get water and food. He had to discover a decent place for his shelter. He lived the life a lot of us are scared to experience, one filled with loneliness and suffering. It took a toll on Chuck Noland (Hanks) both physically and mentally.

The main message of the movie is survival, time and decisions. Being stuck in an unfamiliar territory, he had to learn fast how to cope with the surroundings and gather food and water for sustenance. It's like the reality show Survivor, except there were no hosts, competitors, and most importantly, there was no prize waiting at the end of his stint. One more thing, there's no assurance that stint would actually end. Throughout the movie, there were a lot of references of time, and just how important time is. This was clearly depicted on how events happened. Being away for several years, Chuck knew that things would be a  different, although I'd bet that he wished nothing would have changed. There were also scenes about the decisions we make in life. Do we get on the plane, do we get out of the car, and which road would we take? In our everyday lives we face decisions that will affect the course of our lives. That's what I got from the movie.

One would argue that it was a somber movie. That it was filled with pain and depression and sadness. That it was about losing the one you love and losing everything you were used to. That it was about being placed in a new place with no one and nothing. It was about everything we don;t want in our lives. All of the things mentioned are true. However, at the end of the day, it's also about triumph and the drive to survive. It's about gaining something or someone new despite the loss. It's about learning new skills, and being able to adapt to unfamiliar situations. It's about exploring oneself.

It was a really magnificent movie. It was moving and it's one of those that makes your heart feel heavy, but also gives that sense of hope at the same time. It's funny because it was actually raining here when I watched the movie so it had that extra effect. Seriously, though, it is impossible to encapsulate just how fascinating the movie was with this entry (although I do hope you'll still enjoy reading this). It was everything I expected and more. Definitely one of Hanks' finest performances.

May 29, 2012


Untraceable was another 2008 movie starring Diane Lane, Colin Hanks, Billy Burke and Joseph Cross as the antagonist. It received negative reviews from critics and did not do very well on the box office, earning over 51 million on a budget of 35 million. At least they still earned profit. Some critics even had strong opinions against the movie. I'll share my opinions later on.

The movie revolved around a murderer who abducts and kills people. His murders were made available for public streaming through a website he set-up. The catch was as the number of viewers increase, the victim would die faster. The murder processes were engineered to kill the person through a sophisticated system linked to the viewership of the website. It actually seemed like the finale of CSI or NCIS or other crime shows. It was full of suspense as it became a race against time.

At the beginning of the movie, I was starting to understand why the critics didn't like it. I felt like nothing was happening, it was moving too slow, the second victim wasn't all that convincing in his performance, although the first was very convincing. However, midway through the film, I had a change of heart. Things got a lot better. It suddenly became intense I felt chills watching the following scenes.

Spoilers below! Proceed to the last paragraph to skip the spoilers.

The turning point for me was when Griffin Dowd, Colin Hanks' character, was abducted. The part where he was strapped on a chair under water gave me my first of several chills. The process for his murder was simple: as the number of viewers increase, more and more sulfuric acid will be released on the water, hence burning his skin off to death. Hanks' portrayal of the struggle and rationality was brilliant. He was slowly dying, but he also knew he had to send a message across before he died. Watching his pain and suffering felt so real and really disheartening and I just felt that moment of fear.

From that point things picked up, from discovering who the murderer was, why he chose these people to kill, the reason behind his motives, etc. It also built-up the part where Jennifer Marsh, Diane Lane's character, was to be abducted and killed by the psycho-killer. I would have to say the ending was a bit anti-climactic, but not bad at all. It was still filled with suspense that made me anticipate the next few minutes.

I guess it showed their message, how the media feasts on just about anything that might shoot ratings up. How networks fail at acknowledging the people on the other side of the TV screen, feeling the pain and being vulnerable. I could name a lot of instances where the media had failed to recognize the dangers of their coverage. However, I do know that there are benefits to covering certain events. I guess at the end of the day, some will win and some will lose.

I don't know why some felt strongly against this movie. It may not be the best movie out there but it's definitely not the worst. It was actually pretty good, and I would re-watch this movie again. It had the proper amount of suspense that kept me engaged, at least the second half that is. It was all worth it just because of the second part of the movie. Also, it was really weird seeing Jesse Tyler Ferguson in this movie, especially the role he played. Who knew he could be a badass?

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May 28, 2012

The House Bunny

To start this off, I was surprised by how many faces I recognized in this movie. I was quite shocked to a lot of familiar faces in one ensemble. I knew Anna Faris was the star of the movie but I didn't know Emma Stone, Colin Hanks, Kat Dennings, Katharine McPhee and Rumer Willis were also part of the cast.

House Bunny was a 2008 comedy film revolving around an orphan who became a Playboy playmate. However, after celebrating her birthday, she was kicked out of the mansion and was forced to look for a new home. This is the part where all those familiar faces come in as members of the soon-to-be disintegrated sorority. Now this is the part where I realized this might have been a chick flick of some sort, but I decided to watch it anyway because Anna Faris was really funny. It was alluding to different fairy tales, and even that was funny.

It was, as one critic put it, formulaic. I won't disagree as it really was a generic plot for a comedy. It was predictable and I knew exactly what's going to happen next and how it would end. It was the usual not very smart girl with a very big heart lost in society. There were girls who weren't popular, and were the laughing stock of the school. They even had the touching speech at the end.

However, having said that, I still quite enjoyed it. Probably it's because despite the basic plot, they had competent actors to deliver the goods. Nevermind the plot, the stars of the film brought the laughs. It's one big cliche but at least they managed to execute it in a funny manner that made the movie enjoyable. It also helped that Anna Faris is really good at exaggerating expressions. I still find it amusing how she's come so far from being the pregnant girl in FRIENDS to being a supporting character in Lost in Translation. It's amazing to see where she is now. Also, the other stars of the movie went on to do just as well. Emma Stone will be starring in the new Spider-Man movie, and has starred in several successful movies. Kat Dennings and Katharine McPhee have their own successful television shows, 2 Broke Girls and SMASH, both renewed for a second season. Colin Hanks will be in an upcoming movie with Seth Rogen and Yvonne Strahovski entitled The Guilt Trip according to IMDB. Although if I'll be completely honest, I hope Colin Hanks will be given a lot more projects because he is probably one of the most underrated actors (which is funny because even Colin Hanks himself recognizes that). But he is a very capable actor, and a great one at that. I still don't know why The Good Guys was cancelled cause I liked that show, although I only saw a few episodes. I am looking forward to see him enjoy the same amount of success his dad has (Fun Fact: Tom Hanks is one of my top favorite actors)

I'd go on and say that it's a nice movie to watch while relaxing after a day's work, or in a Sunday afternoon. It's relaxing and calming, and let's not forget, funny. The stars were allowed to shine, and they stepped up to the plate to give a comical performance that I absolutely enjoyed.

Horrible Bosses

This is one astoundingly hilarious movie. I did expect it to be funny mainly because it did well in the box office, earning more than 200 million dollars. That's not a bad figure at all. However, aside from that, I also considered the stars of the movie. You got the former star of FRIENDS, Jennifer Aniston, SNL star Jason Sudeikis, star of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Charlie Day, who got a ton of recognition for his performance on the film, and Jason Bateman who starred in several recent movies. Add Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrel, and Jamie Foxx to the mix and we're just about ready for trouble.

Trouble is exactly what the film produced. It started by introducing just who these horrible bosses were. One was a self-indulgent, paranoid freak. One was a whore-ible sex maniac. The other one was a cokehead who didn't care for the business. Each of the characters had a unique personality and individuality. I totally enjoyed how they toyed with the ideas of having difficult bosses, and I appreciated the fact they each "horrible boss" was different from the others. I guess that's their way of showing the wide possibilities when it comes to having a boss. However, though the matter was pretty serious, it was still a lot of fun to watch their"suffering" under these characters.

I was also amused with the idea that they made references to "Strangers on a Train," a 1952 film that I absolutely enjoyed. As a huge fan of the movie Strangers on a Train, I was delighted to see that there was an allusion to the great thriller. The whole concept of it was interesting and exciting, and they employed it in a comical manner, and I found that hilarious.

I also liked the twists and turns of the movies: will they kill their bosses or not? Who will kill which boss? The answer is a little predictable but still enjoyable. Predictable because they already set it up for viewers to guess what was about to happen. However the development and manner they did it was funny and still effective.

According to Wikipedia, which I know isn't always reliable, there will be a sequel to this film. I'm not sure how they're going to do that considering they already solved their problems, sort of. I think I can see one part of the story, one involving Bateman's character. As for the other 2 employees, I don't know what they're going to do to exploit these characters. I would definitely want to see it though.

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May 26, 2012

Due Date

Due Date is freaking hilarious! I was smiling within minutes and kept that smile throughout the film. It was that fun watching it. I laughed so hard at some of the scenes because it had the perfect marriage of a witty script and actors who can deliver and do those lines justice. The tandem of Robert Downey Jr, and Zach Galifianakis is something I want to see often! These two are geniuses, that's what they are! Simply amazing! However, they aren't the only geniuses. We also have to acknowledge the brilliance of Todd Phillips, the director of the movie. He co-wrote the screenplay with three other people.

For the basic information, Due Date was a 2010 comedy movie starring the awesome duo of Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis. The film also featured Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan (one of the stars of Gone Baby Gone: It's about Peter's (Downey) journey to Los Angeles along with Ethan (Galifianakis), trying to beat time in order to arrive in LA before Peter's baby is born.

It had a Harold and Kumar vibe to it. For starters, pot was also involved in this movie. Moreover, the basic plot of the movie reflected the same plots used for Harold and Kumar - they have to achieve something in time, but thing get out of hand along the way. They stumble upon different obstacles and personalities on their way to LA, getting beaten up by a disabled war veteran, being arrested by the Mexican police, and all sorts of things. All these things made their journey a lot more interesting. That, in return, made a comical road trip. And I enjoyed it a lot!

Aside from the comedic aspect of it, I also enjoyed seeing all the different locations they shot at. Since this was a road trip movie, they showcased a lot of different places and it made me feel like I was exploring the United States just by watching the movie. I particularly liked the one at the Grand Canyon, though I'm not sure if they actually shot at the Grand Canyon. They did shot at multiple locations and I enjoyed seeing every single one of them.

I liked this movie a lot. I know critics didn't particularly praised the film, but the hell with that. This was a comedy movie, and they brought the laughs for me. I was thoroughly amused by it. Plus, it's a comedy with a heart. Of course it all worked because they managed to find the perfect pairing of Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis.

May 24, 2012

Men In Black 3

Men In Black or MIB is now on its third film, ten years after the release of the second one. After the success of the first two MIB movies, released in 1997 and 2002 respectively, J and K are back to combat aliens in our planet. With the records set by the first two films, and a whopping budget of 215 million dollars, this movie has a lot to prove, and a lot to live up to. Hopefully this movie won't suffer the same loss as Disney's John Carter. I don;t think it will. It's a film that can stand on its own and rake in the viewers to earn a huge profit.

This entry may contain possible spoilers. Don't continue reading of you do not want to know certain details about the movie.

The third installment to the franchise was released here in my country yesterday, and I had the chance to check it out a while ago. It was pretty scary considering before I left the house, I saw someone claim that MIB3 was one of the worst movies he'd seen. Well, I beg to disagree with that. MIB3 was not bad at all. It was witty and action packed. There were a couple of uh-oh scenes, but as a whole, it was a pretty good movie. Probably not as good as the first one, but still on the same league as its predecessors, or even better than the second one. To be honest I can't be too sure. I'd have to watch the first two films again, but I distinctly remember liking the first one so much. It still had the charm and wits to grab me.

It also had a great set-up to get to know the character of Agent K when he was a lot younger. It even revealed a connection between Agent J and K even before K recruited J. It explored the character: his life, his story. It allowed J to get to know K on a more personal level, one that he's longed for and made clear in the beginning of the movie. It showed a different side of Agent K, a side I was very grateful to see. He was fun and a lot more interesting. It even explored his love life a bit!

The villain of the film was creepy in a lot more ways than one. The appearance made me get the goosebumps. I did recognize, though, the excitement he brought to the film. He was pursuing the death of Agent K, and that created the main action part of the film. It did only feature a few action sequences. However what they had was good enough for me. I think it's because the movie revolved more around the characters, more than their battle against the villain (but it was still a major part of the film). It focused more on the story than in the fight scenes. Although the fight scenes they had were funny and engaging at the same time.

It was weird to see how the men in the black suits have aged. But although their looks have changed, the caliber of their acting performance is maintained. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith had a great chemistry on screen that make their partnership very likeable. Add Josh Brolin to the mix and you have one of the most exciting trios. Of course they didn't appear as a trio, unfortunately. But it all worked out well. I actually liked this mix. There was just something in there that made me appreciate these agents. The characterization, the funny lines and the perfect facial expressions were epic!

I did enjoy the movie and several scenes made me laugh so hard. It was entertaining to say the least. No, make that highly entertaining with an almost perfect script, phenomenal actors, especially Josh Brolin as a younger Agent K. If you liked the previous MIB, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't check it out. I'd say go for it and watch it because the film was entertaining for me to really enjoy it. I had a lot of fun watching it, much thanks to the humor the script possessed, and the ability of the actors to be hilarious. For me, that's more than enough to recommend it.

May 23, 2012

Nothing Without You

This will not be a movie review. It will be another preview since I got the chance to see the teaser of another independent film being produced. It's one that I'm excited to see, and hopefully I will have the chance to see the whole feature.

I have to say I'm extremely grateful to all the networking sites for allowing me to connect o people I don't personally know, especially to people who's passions lie in the movie industry as well. It's been great and a lot of fun to talk to filmmakers, writers, and directors of different movies, especially the independent ones since they don't garner much attention. They should, though, since the material they posses is very interesting and very intelligent.

After seeing a preview of Remember O Goddess, I got the opportunity to view the teaser of Nothing Without You. Nothing Without You is a psychological suspense thriller about a woman accused of murdering another woman. The quest then begins to prove her innocence and locate the real criminal. I do like psycho-thrillers so that's probably one of the reasons why I liked the whole idea of the movie.

Visit their official website You can see a lot of great things in the site.  You can learn more about the movie, see production stills, and even read the back story of the movie. Let me tell you this, Xackery Irving has a great talent and from what I've seen, I know that this will be an amazing project. Writing about it is a huge honor for me because I feel like I am having the opportunity to support great movies in my own way.

Xackery Irving, being the amazing person that he is, sent a few stills. Here's a glimpse of the fantastic film he's creating.

You can also check out their Facebook page and support them as well. You can be updated through that as well. While you're at it, you can follow me on twitter!/sirfilmreviewer or email me at Help spread the word as well. There also other independent film makers who need support so if you can, go check them out.

May 22, 2012

Pearl Harbor

Even before the film started, just with the sound, it already set a melancholic atmosphere. Of course, the subject of the film is one that became a turning point in our history. One that depicts tragedy and destruction. It proceeded however in a lighter note. Showing the kids playing, or how Affleck's character pursued Beckinsale's character. It also set the background on the relationship of Rafe and Danny, how they always did things together, how Rafe always protected Danny, how the other responded to the actions of the other.

The movie was mostly centered on the love story of these two pilots and a nurse. I guess this movie was a romance with the Pearl Harbor during wartime as its setting. Although it did still have the war, the bombings, the sinking ships, the people getting wounded and slowly dying, the main story of it focused on the development of the relationships of these three lovers. I must admit that I expected it to be similar to Saving Private Ryan, which is one of my favorite movies, and probably my favorite war film. However, despite that, I do not feel dissatisfied at all.

This movie had great cinematography. Everything about it was interconnected and nothing felt too out of place. They also had fitting music as background to build up tension, or to heighten up the drama. The logistics of the movie showcased how much preparation it took to create this movie. I'd say all those efforts paid off, considering it became a box-office success, earning 450 million on a budget of 140 million (based on Box Office Mojo)

I also liked how there's an attempt to stay true to history. I don;t think that was the goal f the movie given that its central focus revolved around the love story of the three characters. However, I'll say that I was amused how familiar names were brought to it like Halsey and MacArthur. I am not very familiar with the American history, I am familiar however with my country's history and I did recall studying about these people, especially MacArthur, who became a vital character in the shaping of our nation.

Some of you might not know this, but my country was invaded by the Japanese troops during the war. Our nation also suffered from all the atrocities and violence that occurred during that time. I am grateful that I did not have to go through that. I do hope I won't have to, despite everything that's been happening recently. I guess what the movie accomplished was their depiction of just how ugly wars could be. I do think that there are no real victors in any war. There are only losers because in whatever way you look at it, both sides would lose people, lose infrastructures, lose a lot of things.

I still think Saving Private Ryan is the best war film, although even that had another focus as well. But I was impressed by everything about the film that it just had a huge impact on me. Pearl Harbor is not a bad movie itself. It had its own merits, including how visually satisfying it was. It was a romantic war film, different from the other war films I saw. It did still have that action and intensity, and also the drama of the war. Overall it was a good movie, and I did enjoy watching it.

The Blind Side

First of all, I did not have any clue why the title of the movie was The Blind Side, but I'm glad I got it within the first few minutes of it. It also started with a few football plays, which made me like football. I must admit, football for me is what Americans would call soccer. That's the sport I grew up playing. I also won't claim to be a huge NFL fan because I am not, although I have seen a couple of games, and I've tried playing the NFL game. It is a very interesting sport. Although I'm not a very big football fan, I do find it entertaining and interesting.

It then went on to introduce the characters of the story. The moment I saw Mike, I rooted for him. I guess it's the vibe that Quinton Aaron had for the character of Mike Oher that had me rooting for him. I knew how the ending would go but I wanted to witness the journey. It's a perfect victory story, a kid from a poor neighborhood who didn't have much making his way through life and becoming successful. That's amazing. I've always believed that hard work always pays off, and seeing the hard work he put in to get to a whole new point in his life is beyond me. I am in awe of this guy.

The story was very compelling, especially in today's society where the people at the top of the pyramid don't always recognize the people at the bottom. It's a really timely, strong story, one that makes you appreciate what you have and think about the people who don't have as much. It was inspiring to see a great family adopt and take care of a complete stranger for the simple reason that it was the right thing to do. It's equally inspiring to see how Michael triumphed despite all the obstacles he had to go through. Here's a person who knew who he was, and recognized the people who got him there. I think his personal experiences shaped him, and people who cared about him managed to help him be even better.

Leigh Anne and her whole family did a really nice thing. A life changing deed for a person and I'm sure they're all proud of what Michael has accomplished. It was also good to see that they're still in touch, which shouldn't shock anyone since the bond they had built is strong. The actors playing them made them even more likeable. Come one, you got Sandra Bullock bringing her own brand of wit and humor to a role. I've seen several of her movies, but this one still surprised me. For one thing, how did she manage to have that accent? This lady is very talented and she constantly proves it with whatever she does. I didn't know that Tim McGraw, who I listen to, ventured into acting. It was surprising to see him in this movie, but he did just fine. I guess he knew he could do it, and that's why he did it. Lily Collins, who is probably now known as Snow White for her role in Mirror Mirror, was also likeable. Her character was cool as well, willing to risk her self to break social barriers. But the one who managed to really get noticed was Jae Head as SJ. That kid was really good.

Coach Carter has been my favorite sports movie. To be honest, The Blind Side is challenging that. I must watch the two movies again to decide which one I'll choose as the best sports movie, but it will be tough. I do hope that the story presented in The Blind Side is as close to the reality because it's an incredible story to begin with, and sticking to the real story will be enough to capture viewers. I will say this: This movie is awesome!!

May 21, 2012

127 Hours

127 hours was a film released in 2010 starring James Franco. It is based on the true story of Aron Ralston who got stuck in a boulder for five days, wit limited water, limited food, almost without anything. It was a very, very great and touching movie. It's downright inspiring and beautifully made. I'm a very visual person so I appreciaated the visuals of the movie. The scenery they used for the cinematography was breath-taking. It was really beautiful and it made me want to visit the place. I also liked how the film did not just focus on one scope, and it utilized three panels to portray a variety of things. It really was an excellent movie, and it has a long list of awards and nominations to back it up.

Coming into it, I expected a melancholy story of a man who got stuck, but minutes into the film I had a huge smile on my face. I even had to make sure that I was watching the right movie cause it didn't seem entirely right. James Franco appeared and the mood hasn't changed. I was enjoying it for the humor, for the scenery. Then all of a sudden the accident happened and the whole atmosphere changed. It went from light to heavy fast, as fast as him falling. It did have some sense of humor in it, but it was mostly about his struggle to get out, to be free and to escape.

Being stuck also served as a connection to his memories, a chance to look back and reflect on everything's that has happened in his life. Reminiscing simpler days with his family, going through a rocky relationship with his then girlfriend, hallucinating better situations, re-visiting regrets and thinking how things could have gone another way. It was emotional and deep and very moving. It even makes it more real the way Franco acted it out, every single muscle in his face, arms, the whole body, worked to depict just a portion of how Aron suffered and struggled.

Aron Ralston has to be one of the bravest men on earth. I didn't understand some of the things he did, but I understood the quiet, and sometimes noisy, desperation. It's impossible to fully understand his thought process. But at the end of the day, I respect and admire him. I truly find him inspiring for facing the challenge and being resourceful and creative. I also admire how despite the situation, he managed to throw in a few laughs and humor. I appreciate how he, a person stuck in the middle of nowhere, never gave up. Mostly I admire how even after what happened, he continued to be a climber. I respect the person he is, and what he's gone through. I admire his passion for doing the things he loves, and for not giving up on them when it almost made him lose everything.

I personally think it's a must watch. Just a warning though, there are scenes that can be unappealing. A couple of scenes are not for those with a weak heart or a weak stomach. Even I had to pause the movie just to take a moment off it and prepare myself. It was really bloody, borderline disgusting. However, it really was a fantastic movie. I read that the movie adaptation was actually close to the real events, so I'm betting that you'll be in awe of Aron Ralston by the end of the movie.

May 20, 2012

40 Year Old Virgin

A combination of Steve Carell, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, and Jane Lynch is the perfect mixture of pure comedy. Add Kat Dennings and Jonah Hill to that mix, pure awesome comedy! I've seen a part of the movie before, but I didn't realize how funny it was until I saw the whole movie.

It all happened when they were all cast to play different roles in The 40 Year Old Virgin, a movie written by Carell and Judd Apatow, also the director of the film. The movie revolved around the character of Carell who was still a virgin at 40 years old (as the title of the film suggests) It then followed the pursuit of his three friends to find him a girl and help him have a sexual encounter. They tried different things from bars to speed dating, but it still took a while for it to happened.

It was a hilarious movie, although the humor and visuals might offend certain people. It was funny nonetheless. They went on a crazy adventure and seeing them go with it brought laughter. The lines were pretty good and the delivery made it even better. It was also amazing how these characters have very different personalities - personalities that produced different opinions that led the 40 year old virgin to be confused.

They also added a romance aspect which I guess they did to build the character. It worked for me cause it provided the opportunity for Kat Dennings and Jonah Hill to show up. These two are funny and you have Dennings' 2 Broke Girls and Hill's movie career to prove that. Catherine Keener played the love interest role very well. The character was actually dynamic that had different sides. It was interesting to see it all play out.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that all these actors came together to piece this funny film. From the conceptualization to the film itself, it was amazing. It was really good and it was an awesome way to spend the afternoon - laughing and enjoying this fantastic movie. It was a rude and naughty comedy but it was a funny rude and naughty comedy. Sensitive people might want to stay away from this film.

May 19, 2012


Safe was a 2012 action film starring Jason Statham and Catherine Chan. It was a film directed by Boaz Yakin, who also wrote it. It puzzles me how this movie has not earned enough money to even recover the costs that went to production. That's a huge shame because it was a pretty good film. I know it's been showing in theaters for a while now in several locations. However, it's the first week of showing of it here (if I'm not mistaken) and I'm glad I caught it. 

To be honest, I had mediocre expectations after I saw that it didn't do very well in the box office and the critics didn't love it. However, I've never relied on those things to measure a film. I have always felt that critics are way too critical at times, and box office don't necessarily reflect the quality of a film. I always have to see it before I can even make any conclusion; so despite the not very promising things I saw, I still went ahead and watched the movie. 

The story was a little simple, yet a little confusing. It was all tied up well in the end, but at the beginning, it was hard to follow what was going on. It had the Russians, the Chinese, the police and it was all very chaotic at times. Things picked up though, marked by the meeting of Statham's character, an ex-MMA fighter who got caught with a conflict against the Russians, and Chan;s character, an eleven year old Chinese girl smuggled into the United States to be a counter. The film then followed how their relationship grow, and how they face enemies from all sides. They managed to crack the code, get what was involved and provide a happy ending to their story. 

The choreography of the action scenes of the movie was very impressive. That covers everything from hand to hand combat to gun fights. There were a lot of fight scenes (after all, Safe was an action movie) but each had a different approach to it, and a different feel. Everything was very exciting though. Also, as I've mentioned before, I like a good car chase scene, and this movie had one. It even got accompanied by Mei's (Chan) wits and charm. I chuckled when she accused Statham's character as being crazy.

The movie had flaws but it was a pretty good movie. I expected an action movie and I got exactly that and even more. It had a rough guy and a charming kid as leads, what could possibly go wrong? But seriously, it was pretty good, and it was amazing to watch all those sequences. It also had a strong supporting cast which  gave the movie an authentic feel to it. I can tell you that I left the movie place satisfied. 

Fermat's Room

Fermat's room, or La Habitacion de Fermat, was a 2007 Spanish movie starring Alejo Sauras, Elena Ballesteros, Lluis Homar, Santi Millan, and Federico Luppi. It was directed by Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopena. The also served as the co-writes of the screenplay; and they did an incredible job with it. This movie had everything going for it and it was amazing

Several posts ago, I posted about Remember O Goddess, a Korean independent film I got the chance of viewing the preview of. Now I've also invaded Spanish cinema, much thanks to another request I got. The thing I like about requests is that they also serve as recommendations to films I must see. It allows me to expand my scope in terms of movie watching and that's always a good thing. I particularly appreciated how I got immersed in a very different type of cinema, one I haven't gone to yet. It was also great that the first Spanish movie I ever saw was this thriller.

The whole idea of the movie was fascinating to me. I never liked Mathematics when I was in school. But a couple of years ago I saw a Japanese movie called "The Professor and His Beloved Equation," which was also a math movie. That movie made me appreciate the greatness of numbers. In this movie, I again appreciated math. There must be something about math and movies that works magically cause I greatly enjoyed both films. I enjoyed how they utilized the numbers, the equations, and even the mathematicians to make the story flow. I'd like to give emphasis to the names since that scene gave me chills, and as I'm typing this, I got another one. That was insane.

This was different though as it was a thriller movie. It was a race against time, and solving more enigmas would buy them more time. The moment they take more time that was required, the room would start shrinking. That's the main premise of the movie, and that, for me, was a fascinating idea. The conceptualization, the writing, and the execution all came together. I also liked how there was a back story of how these people were related, there was a lot of substance to it and it worked. It toyed with a lot of things but remained technical as well. From the employment of numbers to the science of the technology involved, it all played equally important roles to make the film the awesome movie that it is.

Te movie was very engaging and very exciting. Just to illustrate how horrifying yet exciting it was at the same time, my heart was beating fast, and I couldn't sit still. How could you not feel for the people stuck in a shrinking room, solving mathematical problems for survival. I also liked the twists it had, it was well crafted and it was pure brilliance. I liked the transitions from casting the victims, to the meet-up, to the room itself, to the identification of who was behind it all. I liked the themes the movie used. I liked everything actually.

If you want to give Spanish cinema a try, or European cinema for that matter, this movie is a good place to start. Let me also say for those people afraid of thrillers, don;t be afraid of this one. It's a thriller but it's not a typical thriller. It's an intelligent one. In fact, this movie is probably one of the more intelligent films created. This can potentially leave viewers in awe and that is a clear sign of a really good movie.

If you also want to send requests or recommendations, you can email me at You can also follow me on twitter!/sirfilmreviewer

May 18, 2012


Sideways was originally a novel written by Rex Pickett in 2004. That same year it was transformed to a feature film, directed by Alexander Payne, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Kim Taylor. It starred Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Sandra Oh, and Virginia Madsen. It went on to become a critical and a commercial success, earning more than 100 million dollars.

According to the research I did, the film is classified as comedy-drama. Critics named it as one of the funniest movies of that year, and those comments sparked up a few expectations. For me, it's a dramatic film more than anything, and a wine documentary with the amount of wine involved in it. I actually learned a couple of things about the different kinds of wine which was really nice. It did have several funny moments and scenes, but to be honest, I wouldn't classify this one as a comedy. Does that take away the brilliance of the movie or the story? Absolutely not!

As a drama movie I thought it was really good. People might have assumptions that it would be boring; even I did. But as it turned out, I actually liked the movie a lot. I wished I got the chance to read the book before I saw it. Hopefully, I'd be able to find a copy of the book soon and get into it. (Just a side comment: Rex Pickett followed me on twitter! How great is that?) I liked the story of two friends having a last week together before one of them got married. The development of that week, which turned for the crazy fast, was interesting to watch. The different dynamics of the relationship of the two engaged me into the movie.

The characterization of these two was amusing, and touching at the same time. You have one person falling apart, loathing himself for having a failed marriage that led to a divorce. You got another one who's about to be married and decides to screw around. The two are very opposites and yet their friendship works for them. Even the characterization of the women they encountered in their little trip blew me away, moreso Stephanie. The characters itself makes me want to read the book, and that;s saying a lot because I'm not really a huge fan of reading. There's just something about these characters that makes me want to explore their personas more, know a little more about them, get to know them better. All these characters have different baggage and I guess the interaction of all those played well in the movie.

I think I liked the movie because of its messages - the rise and fall of things. It's just brilliant. There was a variety of scenes that showcase the ups and downs we all are familiar with, and that in itself is brilliant. It was also metaphorical and philosophical which just emphasizes the depth of the story, I think. The whole story, as a lot of people have already pointed out, was truly moving and inspiring to a certain extent.

For wine junkies out there, this will suit you just fine. A bit of drama and a whole lot of wine isn't a bad idea for an afternoon movie. A lot of the things I wrote came from my perspective of it, and there's a huge chance my interpretations do not necessarily coincide with the writer's vision. But I hope I made sense. I also want to encourage anyone and everyone to see Sideways the Play. Rex Pickett, if I am not mistaken, wrote the play, and I'm sure it will be good. It's actually their opening tonight, and I wanted to do a little tribute. I really wish I could be there and watch the play because I know it's going to be amazing.

May 17, 2012

The Assasination of Jesse James

The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was a 2007 film that got multiple recognitions from different award giving bodies, taking home some of them. It made several top ten lists, but was a box-office flop, according to Box Office Mojo. In a way I understand why. It's not a film that would really appeal to anyone. It's not something everyone would want to see or might be interested in. After all it's about an outlaw/robber - actually, it's about the death of an outlaw/robber. However, I believe this movie could have done a lot better and could have been a lot stronger. They had a brilliant cast, a good script, a fantastic setting, and I thought it had everything going for them.

I liked the film for that reason. I haven't seen much of Western cowboy movies, but I liked this one. It went slowly but was not boring. It revolved around several characters but was not confusing. It also had action and drama, with a bit of humor thanks to Bob Ford's (Affleck's character) fanboying over Jesse James (Pitt). It really was funny seeing Ford's eyes sparkle in the presence of Jesse James, and I have to give credit to Affleck for doing it exceptionally. I thought that in itself was a good reason to appreciate the movie. However, aside from that, the film also offered a variety of things. It's like an inside look to the life of the outlaws. It showcased different characteristics. I especially liked the paranoia(?) Jesse James was experiencing.

It was surprising and equally amusing when I saw the actors in the movie. I knew it starred Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck but I was surprised to see the other actors. For starters Jeremy Renner was in the movie, and I might have forgotten he did this because I had to go to the movie's Wikipedia page to make sure it was him. I was also glad to see Garret Dillahunt in it. I just realized he'd been on several movies that I saw and there's not a single one of them where he didn't deliver. The biggest surprise, however, was Zooey Deschanel. Seeing her in this movie was a little odd, it seemed so out of place only because I've never seen her in such a role/movie before. Of the films I've seen where Deschanel was a part of, she always had an upbeat energy, a calm and collected persona and the woman you cheer for. Deschanel does sweet and cute perfectly, but seeing her in this film made me see her in a different light; and that is a very good thing. Don't get me wrong, she was still cute and actually a little sexy, but she had a different feel to her in this movie in those few minutes she was shown.

I'm also glad this film provided Affleck the opportunity to be his own self, to be his own star if you'd like to put it that way. I felt like this movie allowed Casey Affleck to prove that he also have what it takes to make his mark on the film industry, just like his brother, Ben. I can tell you know that Casey Affleck was nothing but spectacular in this movie. He really did it. He was next to Brad Pitt, a huge star, but he made sure people would still notice him. Brad Pitt was amazing as usual. He is a great actor, and I think nobody doubts that. He has all those awards to prove just how talented he is at what he does, and his performance in this movie was no exception.

I'm a little disappointed it didn't do as well as I felt it should have. The movie was very interesting to say the least, well at least in my opinion. Although the pace of the scenes were a bit slow, it managed to hold my attention and I didn't get bored. I think I actually liked it a lot more than I expected. It was thrilling and exciting and I had a good time watching it. I guess anyone who's into cowboys, gangs, robbery type of movies will like it. The partnership of Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck must be a very good reason to see it.

May 16, 2012

How To Lose Friends and Alienate People

How to Lose Friends and Alienate people is a book written by Toby Young in 2001. It was transformed into a movie in 2008 starring Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox, Danny Huston and Jeff Bridges. I am familiar with the book since I've seen it in bookstores. I've read the back of the book so I had an idea what it was going to be about.

The story of the film mainly focuses on a guy who moved to New York after he got hired by one of the more elite magazines. He then struggles to get a story in the magazine, wanting to see his work published. Eventually he got in to the famous circle, but felt conflicted. There's also a little romance going on the side. If I remember correctly, the book tackled a lot more, re-telling the tales of the adventure of Toby Young. Since this is a movie adaptation, of course scenes had to be chosen.

What I saw was far from the expectations I might have had. I don't know what expectations I had, but I'm sure this was not it. Seeing the book, I had the impression that it would be similar to I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell ( - that it would be an all out insane movie. The impression I got from the back of the book was that the main character would be a lot more adventurous that what I saw.

I absolutely enjoyed Simon Pegg and Kirsten Dunst. I was actually shocked when I found out Kirsten Dunst was the female lead here because I haven't seen her in a while. I didn't know she did this. Simon Pegg was entertaining as usual. He really is funny from the way he speaks, the way he acts, the facial expressions. He's really good at providing some fresh laughs. I would know, I follow him on twitter and some of his tweets there are some of the funniest ones on twitter. Jeff Bridges was also great. Megan Fox not as much, but she was ok. She was good in Transformers though. (Unfortunately, those are the only movies I've seen of her)

The movie had several funny scenes. I think my expectations might have hurt me because I had an image of me laughing hard or something, and I didn't. I think if I didn't have those expectations I might have liked it a lot more. It wasn't bad at all; it's just a little underwhelming for me. It was definitely a fun movie to see, but like I said, I expected more. However, all in all, I was still entertained by it, and I had a good time watching it.

May 14, 2012

To Save A Life

To Save a Life is a 2009 religious drama film directed by Brian Baughn. It stars Randy Wayne, Deja Kreutzberg, Joshua Weigel, and many talented and amazing actors. It's not a very popular film, which is probably the reason why I haven't heard of it until now. It was a touching film dealing with current problems today.

There's a high probability that I never would have seen this movie if it wasn't for an e-mail I got requesting for a review of this movie. To tell you the truth, I wasn't all that convinced about it at first. After doing a few research about it, I went ahead and decided to watch it anyway. Now let me thank him for requesting it. It was good. It was not a groundbreaking movie but it had a certain level of depth. There was a direction to it and that in itself must be appreciated.

Suicide in itself is always a touchy subject, even more when it's teen suicide; and that's how the movie started. Jake, the protagonist, was attending the funeral of a friend who committed suicide, a friend his turned his back to. It narrated how the friendship was formed, and how the friendship was broken. The incident caused Jake to doubt a lot of things, to question anything and everything. Through this, he slowly transformed himself, transforming others as well along the way.

I think this movie could be categorized as a teen movie as well. Sure it's not the usual "teen movie" filled with smiles and romance and whatnot. I think this is even better because it's genuine as it tackles a lot of things kids these days go through, some of it I'd seen myself. It had suicide, desire for popularity, drugs, depression, pregnancy, divorced parents, desire to be part of something that mattered. Yup, the people who made this movie threw in a lot, and tried to work every possible angle in all these issues. As you can see, there's a wide scope of issues being tackled, from serious ones like suicide and depression, to relatively minute ones like desire for popularity. It did feel like it was one after the other, and at times it felt a little forced, but only in a few scenes. For the most part, they managed to keep it coherent and the story flowed.

I really liked everyone involved in this movie. From the stars to the supporting cast, everyone was really impressive, minus one scene that felt a little awkward for me. Randy Wayne fully embodied the persona of the popular kid who wants to things right, of course, Jake (Wayne) had the right motivation and experiences to do so. I'm glad that he's working on more projects so we should all be seeing a lot more of him soon. The ladies of the movie were just as brilliant. Deja Kreutzberg as Amy and Kim Hidalgo as Andrea, although playing very opposite characters, were equally superb. I got caught up in the relationship of Jake's parents, not because my parents went through something similar. It was more of David Starzyk and Laura Black  really owning their characters and acting the hell out of it that I got caught up and felt sorry for them in a way. I guess that's how you know the actors are doing a fantastic job, when they start reeling you into the story and grabs you. My favorite character though was Chris, played by Joshua Weigel. Everything about the character Chris, and the way Weigel acted the part out were perfect.

It's a shame some critics did not particularly like the movie. Like I said, this movie was not revolutionary, but it was a really good film. Maybe I'm saying this because the issue is very current and very apparent. It's like an educational video I guess. People need to learn a lot more on these issues. I read that this movie got a PG 13 rating, which is understandable, but I don't think there are still people fooling themselves believing that these things aren't happening - that kids aren't experimenting with all sorts of things. Unfortunately, these things are now part of our society. The right thing to do is to guide them (well since I'm still part of the youth, guide us) - teach us about it and not pretend that it's not happening. I do think this movie can help in its own little way. After all, the characters involved are mostly teens. It had a message, and the movie delivered it. This can serve as an inspiration for people to save a life.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. You can follow me on twitter!/sirfilmreviewer or follow this blog. You can also e-mail me at if you have requests, just like this one.

May 13, 2012

Easy A

I've heard about this movie, have seen a few minutes of it when my friends were watching it. I just never brought myself to seeing the entire movie. That was dumb because this movie had me laughing so hard. To illustrate how much I enjoyed this movie, at this moment, while I am typing this, I am still smiling. This is Hollywood gold if there ever was one.

Let's start with the basics. Easy A was a 2010 comedy film directed by Will Gluck, written by Bert Royal. It boasted a stellar cast with Emma Stone as the lead. Other actors in it were Amanda Bynes, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Penn Badgley, Aly Michalka, Lisa Kudrow, and Thomas Haden Church. Lots of popular names. It didn't cost much though as the reported budget was only 8 million. Multiply that budget by more than 9 times and you have the reported revenue of the movie. Not bad at all.

Now let me tell you why I think this movie did so well - so well even critics liked it. First off, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, this movie had an awesome cast. Emma Stone was mad funny! The way she acted her part had me literally laughing out loud. She was phenomenal, and no wonder this movie boosted her popularity, she did everything right in this movie. She acted the dramatic scenes well, she acted the comedy scenes even better. She's like a chameleon. Aly Michalka showed some pretty serious acting chops here. Fiesty, mean, and sensitive all wrapped up in the body of Rhiannon. Amanda Bynes as a religious leader was a treat. She always cracks me up and I do hope she gets another shot at Hollywood and make more movies.

On to the older ones. Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as Emma Stone's parents are probably one of the coolest parents, if not the coolest. I'm slowly becoming a huge huge fan of Stanley Tucci, from the Hunger Games to Easy A to Captain America. This guy is everywhere and I have no complaints at all. I was also glad to see Lisa Kudrow in this movie, mostly because I'm a huge fan of FRIENDS (watched every single episode). Glad her character also had a crazy side to it as it brought back the Phoebe days.

Second reason why the movie did well? The story and the script. For those who have seen it, you won't be able to deny how witty and hilarious the script was. This movie would not have worked at all with a less hilarious script. The screenplay was the main reason I liked this movie, so a big thank you to Bert V. Royal. As usual, there's a dramatic conflict/issue towards the end. Yet, even with the drama and the confusion and the self-doubts, the screenplay stayed true to its being a comedy film. It didn't try to hard to be emotional. Everything was just natural, with hints of laughter here and there. Of course with a script like that, a great director should be brought in, and Will Gluck rose to the challenge. Of course since he;s producing the film as well, he might as well make it amazing. That's exactly what he did. He took care of the blocking, the angles, and who knows what else. All these people involved made sure they'd create a film worth watching. Now we have Easy A.

I also just want to add that the scene with Emma Stone and Dan Byrd in the bedroom will probably be on of my favorite scenes in any movie ever created. That scene forced me to pause the movie and calm myself down. It was hysterical, and I mean that in the best way possible. But really, to whoever thought of that scene, thank you! That was my favorite part of the movie because it was hilarity at its finest. It didn't hurt that these two are talented goofballs who happened to be actors as well.

I personally would like to thank Blake Shelton for tweeting about the movie, which then encouraged me to actually go see it. I've heard only good things about it and I still don;t know why I never saw it before. I know I'm a little late with this, but as the famous saying goes "Better late than never." I'm just thankful I did see it cause missing its pure awesomeness would have been a shame. It was that good!

Speed 2: Cruise Control

Speed 2: Cruise Control was the sequel to the 1994 film Speed (My review of Speed here Jan De Bont returned to direct this 1997 movie, only this time, he also served as a producer. Sandra Bullock also reprised her role as Annie, but Keanu Reeves turned down the offer to return as Jack. Jason Patric, also from the LAPD, then came aboard as Annie's new love interest and crime-fighting partner.

It started very slow. During the first movie, Keanu Reeves was saving lives, pulling people out from an elevator set to crash. There was action right from the get go. This film started with a car chase scene which had promise, but in terms of action, it was a bit underwhelming. It made sense though since it was set-up to introduce the new character, Alex, Annie's new boyfriend. The scene also introduced their relationship with one another, which apparently didn't start in the most honest way possible. It also gave the direction on how the two characters ended up on a cruise ship where all the action will happen.

Even when they were on the ship, things were still moving slow. This film, I guess, focused on the relationship between the two since they've been together for 7 months. I guess they wanted to fill in the viewers what had happened to Annie and Jack, and Annie and Alex. Personally, I liked the idea of it, since there's a gap. It was just a little too slow. But again, I appreciated how they were trying to tie loose ends and relaying a structured plot.

It was right at the one hour dot that things really picked up. The action started and I really started to feel excited. They started really utilizing the ship as a setting, similar to how they abused the bus to create tension and thrill. This is the core of the film, the fight against the psycho-criminal, the pressure to keep the passengers safe, the desperation to get the bad guy. From this point on, it really started to get better. There were a few scenes where I felt the sense of excitement I got from the first film.

I think part of the reason why some people were not pleased by the movie was the fact that there were too many things going on, including some unnecessary scenes and characters. Or maybe the coherence of everything was just not very clear. One example I noticed was Drew, a young deaf girl. I did not fully understand how she fit in the story except for the scene where she was being rescued by Alex when she got lost. However, looking at the big picture, I think creating the character did not really do anything for the story line. Although Christine Firkins did amazing portraying the lovable character, I felt like they were throwing different things to create more suspense than they needed to. I might be wrong; chances are I am. But that's what I thought while watching it,

It wasn't as bad as some people made it to be. Critics panned it, some viewers didn't like it, the box-office was just ok, especially compared to its predecessor. People made it seem like it was such a disaster, which I felt was too much exaggeration. Was it better than the first film? No. But it had its own merits. It had excitement and thrill, it had romance and drama with a pinch of comedy thanks to the supporting actors. I would have to say though that Sandra Bullock and Jason Patric were the best parts of the movie.


I had no idea what this movie was about. I've never heard of it, had no idea there was such a film. But Justin Long and Jonah Hill were in it and that's enough reason to sit through it and watch the whole movie. It might have been a good move.  I just saw it on TV and was entertained by it.

The main plot of the movie revolves around a high school graduate who didn't get accepted to any colleges, much to the disappointment of his parents. In his attempt to win over his parents' approval, he, with the help of his friends, created a fake school, with a fake website, a fake dean, and a fake acceptance letter. Of course, this will also serve as the main problem as people start finding out the real deal behind South Harmond Institute of Technology.

I did enjoy the movie and it was pretty funny. It had the right number of rejected college applicants, with just the right mixture of different personalities to add humor to the film. (I can't say it was an extraordinary film.) It was OK, and it was decent. I will say, however, that it was entertaining and it had some hilarious scenes, much thanks to Jonah Hill. It had a firm message as well. The main struggle of the movie was to stand up against the status quo of the educational system. Standards had been set, and we all follow it because the promise of doing so is enormous. However, this film pursued the idea of chasing your passions, learning what you actually want to learn and not be mere pawns to society's standards.

It also featured issues within the family. There are always expectations from parents, and sometimes these expectations don't necessarily reflect what we want, what we're passionate about. Although, building a fake school was a little extreme. But hey, (Spoiler!) he managed to build a learning institution, and managed to convince the higher-ups to put the school on probation, a step towards accreditation. That doesn't sound like a bad deal at all. I guess it's a way of portraying how something so wrong can just turn into something right and incredible.

As a whole, I can say that it was a nice feel-good comedy movie. Jonah Hill was definitely a stand out in this movie, and Justin Long did great as well. It's one of those relaxing movies you can watch at the end of a long day. A little humor will never hurt after an exhausting day.

May 12, 2012

Runaway Jury

John Grisham is my favorite author, without a doubt. I don't read much; in fact I really do not enjoy reading as much as other people. That's one of the toughest part of school for me. Yeah there were some I really dived into, but I struggled to finish some. However, I always find it inspiring to read John Grisham's books. His books are real page turners - it is fast paced, has constant action, and has twists and turns.  His way of writing engages me, an that's a hard thing to do in terms of book reading. I have read a few of his works and I enjoyed every single one of them. I understand how people can say they "can't put the book down" when I read his works, and for me that's a testament to the quality of his books.

One of the books he wrote was Runway Jury,which I though had a very interesting plot. Unfortunately, I haven't read the book. Fortunately, however, I saw the film. The film was released in 2003, starring John Cusack (I told you this would be a John Cusack day), Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman, and more. It was directed by Gary Fleder.

The basic story line of the movie revolves around the justice system, an inside view of the possibilities that surround a court trial. It gave an insider's look, or a behind the scenes preview of what goes down in a court proceeding. Lawyers, I think, will love this film (and possibly hate it depends on which side they're on). It's a bit controversial actually. However, both sides will possibly agree that this film delivered. Some of the details were different from the actual book, but I guess it maintained a sense of loyalty to the material written by Grisham.

The start of the movie was pretty intense already. My heart might have skipped a bit because even I was surprised by how the film started. Like I said, I haven't read the book (though I already have a copy of it) so I only have a tiny fragment of idea on how the story would go down. Watching the initial portion of the movie caught me off guard. But it was a good thing since it engaged me into it quickly and I constantly anticipated the next scenes. It also served as the root cause of the trial, which then lead to the assembly of the jury. As it turned out, the jury is not as independent as one might think.

It went on to depict what happened to the jury members. The manipulation and deceit started and it was a matter of time before sides were revealed. Drastic moves were committed by the master manipulator, but he wasn't the only calling the shots. It soon became a battle for the power over the jury. The development of it was a little amusing only because I kept asking myself if these things actually happen. Chances are they do, but a part of me still doubts that. It really was a cat and mouse thing, it's just a matter of who will play the cat, and which party will play the mouse.

I felt like this story aimed to reveal the misuse of power in society, that even the justice system that's supposed to be fair isn't a leveled playing field anymore. People who the money have the power, those who have the power have the influence, and those people get their way, most of the time. It showcased how people can stand up to a person of stature to redirect a certain standard. Like the movie said, this was a David and Goliath sort of thing, and as we know, David beat the giant. No slingshots were needed in this movie though.

I liked how I got a taste of the legal system. The battle of deception and greed against the virtuous and honest. I felt like I got a taste of how the justice system works. I am not claiming that the justice system is flawed, or that all verdicts can be bought. Not at all. I do think, however, that a lot of things can be improved on. It was well-played out and it created this magnificent movie. I think To Kill a Mockingbird remains as my number one courtroom/legal movie, but that doesn't take away anything from the brilliance of this film. It was great in all levels, and I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

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Just a heads-up, this will be a John Cusack day. The next two entries will be about Identity and Runaway Jury, both starring John Cusack. I didn't really plan on it, but I guess it's not a bad idea at all. Allow me to start with Identity.

Identity was a 2003 psycho-thriller film starring John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, and a whole more. It was directed by James Mangold, who is set to direct the 2013 movie The Wolverine, and written by Michael Cooney based on the novel of Agatha Christie's, "And Then There Was None." I am not familiar with the novel, but I want to thank Agatha Christie for inspiring the creation of this brilliant film.

Identity has always been one of my favorite films of all time. I think this is one of the smartest, most creative movies ever done in history. From its concept, storyline, cinematography, to castings, performances, and overall execution, this film had me. I re-watched a few minutes ago, and was again impressed.

It's about a man who suffers from multiple personality syndrome. As a traumatized child, he created different characters/personalities. The main problem of the movie revolved around his involvement in murder cases, killing 6 people. He's about to face execution, but a psychiatrist wanted to defend him, citing he was suffering from insanity; hence, he wasn't aware of committing those crimes. Thus started the core of the film, the 10 strangers stranded in a motel, being killed one after the other. In the end, only one would survive, and it better be the good one.

The development of the story, from the moment all of them came to the motel until the last survivor was revealed, was very, very exciting and thrilling (after all this is a thriller). I remember the first time I saw this film, my heart was racing, I couldn't keep still and I just wanted to know how it's going to end. That's still how I felt after re-watching it. That sense of vigor and excitement while watching the characters survive were still there. It was like watching the movie for the first time. I was at the edge of my seat, paused it at times when it was getting really intense, took a few moments and then pressed the play button again.

The whole cast was also strong. John Cusack was a great hero for this film. He was strong but also compassionate. Amanda Peet, Ray Liotta, John Hawkes, Clea DuVall, John C. McGinley were all amazing. It was weird though seeing McGinley in this kind of role especially when he's played the role of Dr. Perry Cox on Scrubs for 9 seasons. But this had a strong cast to deliver and achieve the film's potential.

It gave me chills the first time, and it still gave me one today. I strongly believe that this is one of the best movies, not only in its genre, but all genres. It had excitement, drama, suspense, action, and the mixture of it all was just perfect. It was freaky, but it was the right kind of freaky. It had a lot of twists which kept it interesting, and kept me wanting to know what would happen next. From beginning til the end, this film did not disappoint at all. This would be one of those films, for me, that would never get old. I'd be happy to watch this movie over and over again.

The first time I saw the film, I knew it would be one of my favorites. I just loved the whole idea of it, especially the psychological part of it. Today, after re-watching it, I just proved that. It had the same effect on me as it did years ago. I was left in awe once again. There was still a joyful sensation in my body caused by how amazing the whole movie was. These reasons were exactly why I always encourage other people to watch it.

The next entry will be up in a few hours, hopefully. If you want to be updated with my latest entries, you can follow me on twitter:!/sirfilmreviewer or e-mail me at

May 11, 2012

Remember O Goddess

This will not be a movie review. I know this site is called mrfilmreviewer but for now allow me to be mrfilmPreviewer. I chose that name because I had the privilege of watching a short/medium length preview of the film Remember O Goddess, a Korean film directed by Yoon Jung Lee. I came across this movie thanks to certain networking sites: (a networking site for people in the film industry) and Twitter.

I can't emphasize the fact that I enjoy all kinds of movies from all sorts of cinemas. In fact, I've seen a number of Korean movies, although most, if not all, were mainstream movies. This is the first time I came across a Korean independent film and I liked the experience. Readers of this blog won't be too surprised to see another independent film title here. After all, I've already made reviews for Winter's Bone ( and Good Day For It (, both American indie films. However, this is the first time I'm writing about a non-Hollywood film in this blog.

The premise of the film is simple, yet interesting. There's a man who lost his memory and attempted to identify himself by reporting his disappearance to the police, hoping someone would recognize him and tell him who he really was. That hope then came in the form of a convenience store cashier, but he let his chance slide. We all have a place in this world. Sometimes, we get lost and sometimes we just need one person to rely on and guide us back. Unfortunately, he let his guiding light get away. This caused him to take drastic measures in order to have another chance of re-connecting with the people in his life.

The 25 minute talked about searching for one's identity, missing out on a valuable opportunity, desperation, and love. It had a comic relief here and there, but the film maintained the paradoxical balance of calmness and frustration, of satisfaction and despair. It was quietly moving, and definitely surprising. I think this film had power because it had a strong definite message. A lot of things were said in just 25 minutes.

I also want to point out how incredible Kim Tae Wook was. I particularly appreciated how the preview ended. It's attention-grabbing, and emotionally charged and very unexpected. With the way the preview ended, it could already stand on its own. It could be a short/medium film.  That's the thing; the whole preview was smart and creative. If this preview was an indication of the quality of the whole feature, we could all be assured that the end product will be phenomenal.

If you want to see the preview, you can click this link I'm very pleased to know that the project managed to raise funds to continue this amazing movie. If I only had the money, I would contribute to this project for sure because it would be worth every single penny. However, since I'm in no position to do so, let this blog entry serve as my contribution to the movie.

May 10, 2012


I just re-watched Speed after so many years just because I remember really liking it when I first saw it on TV. Unfortunately, me liking it and a couple other scenes were the only things I could remember. Watching it again made me confused since I couldn't remember seeing half the scenes on that movie. Then again, I saw it probably more than a decade ago so I guess it was a very good decision to watch this one again. It's like re-visiting childhood in a sense and I guess that's always a good thing.

Speed was a 1994 film starring Keanu Reeves as Jack, Dennis Hopper as Howard, and Sandra Bullock as Annie. It's was nominated for several awards, and it also took home a big fat paycheck, grossing around 350 million dollars on a budget of less than 30 million. To say that it had a decent income would be a huge understatement. The reason it earned the big bucks: it was an awesome movie.

The film went by fast! It's that kind of movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat, stirring up all the excitement you have in your body. I was really impressed by how much they utilized almost everything on that bus, or any obstacles a running vehicle can encounter: traffic, unfinished freeways, a bomb! Just like Buried (, the film also had restrictions since the mojority of the film took place in a bus, and there's only so much you can do with a bus. However, unlike Buried, which filmed the whole film using just a single wooden box, Speed had a lot more locations to shoot at, and it also featured the other cast members in different locations. Having said that, the way Jan de Bont, the director of the movie, and Graham Yost, who wrote the film (and from the looks of it, Joss Whedon also helped in the writing process) abused the bus was downright amazing.

The beginning of the movie was very new to me. I remember the film as only being in the bus. Seeing the start of the film with the elevator was weird, but it was a good kind of weird. Plus, it also served as a lead to what would happen next. It set the introduction to the bulk of the film. The ending was also weird because I also couldn't remember it at all. (Semi-spoiler--Proceed to the next paragraph if you haven't seen the movie. But if you like spoilers, read on) In my memory the movie ended when Jack(Reeves) and Annie(Bullock) got off the bus. I distinctly remembered them putting a rod on the pedal of the bus, tying ropes to the steering wheel, and getting on the cover of the access panel. I remembered seeing them under the bus and swirling once the cover hit the ground. I also remembered the bus exploding, and Jack's boss talking to them. And that's it. I thought that was the ending. Everything that happened after that all new to me.

The middle part was just as good as I remember it. The whole sequence was very exciting - too exciting I was cheering on the characters. I know that's weird but it was pretty intense. Imagine having to drive a bus that couldn't go below 50 miles per hour. The pressure of it all was what excited me the most, and also, like I said, how they utilized the bus. The whole chunk was planned out very well and it kept the excitement going. It presented a challenge after the other, which kept the excitement at a constant.

Sandra Bullock has to be one of the most entertaining actresses in Hollywood. I always enjoy watching her, and I don;t think there's been a Sandra Bullock film I didn't like. Yeah, I'm easy to please, but I can't remember a movie where I didn't enjoy her being part of it. I'm probably sounding like a typical fan, but I'm just saying what I think. Keanu Reeves was a fitting actor to play Jack Traven. He was stern and firm, but also vulnerable. I kept thinking he's really good at action movies, having flashbacks of The Matrix. However, the stand out for me was Dennis Hopper as the twisted, demented bomber. He was very convincing playing a sick psycho rather well.

I'm very tempted to watch Speed 2:Cruise Control, which I know failed to impress the critics and the box-office. It was widely panned but I want to see it because it would be unfair to label a movie bad based on the thoughts of others. I want to see it for myself. It;s a little scary though since even Sandra Bullock was not very pleased. I'll let you know if it impressed me or not. At least I'm sure that its predecessor was absolutely fantastic. That's more than enough for me.

May 08, 2012


Imagine being in a wooden box with nothing but a lighter and a mobile phone to keep your sanity. Well that's the basic premise of the 2010 film Buried, starring Ryan Reynolds as Paul Conroy. It was written by Chris Sparling and directed by Rodrigo Cortes. The movie received critical acclaim, which I thought was well-deserved, and had respectable earnings considering it grossed almost 20 million on a budget of less than 2 million.

I already read the plot before watching the movie so I already knew what was going to happen, and how it would end. I usually do the same for other movies. But, sometimes, there are films that make me wish I didn't, and Buried just made it to that list. After watching the entire movie, I wished I hadn't gone to Wikipedia and read the plot, especially not the ending. Whatever you do, if you plan on watching this fantastic film, don't read any spoilers, or visit its Wiki page.

I was still surprised when I saw the film though. I knew Reynolds would be trapped in a box, but I didn't expect the full 90 minutes of the film to be focused on him. I assumed the other actors would be shown in an office or something, or that his wife would be shown talking to him. I was surprised to find out that the camera would be on Reynolds the whole time. The filmmakers didn't have much room. Everything was limited by the corners of the box, although of course they used space outside the box. However, as a whole, it was pretty much contained in that one box.

The start of the movie was genius! It was dark, nothing could be seen but noises could be heard. Without showing anything, I knew exactly what was happening. I heard a struggle, and a restraint. Then a fire from a lighter appears and all the speculations were confirmed. There he was tied up in a wooden box. In fact, the film relied heavily on its audio much more than its visuals. There were a lot of times when the screen remained black to depict the darkness of the setting. However, it also made sure that viewers were still aware of what was happening through the background noise. I knew when Conroy was searching for something, if he was moving, if he was crying. Everything I heard made me visualize what was happening in that tiny box.

It had a strong story line, a well-written script, and great acting from Reynolds. I still find it weird at times to see him in these kind of roles mainly because I've been accustomed to seeing him in comedic roles. I remember watching Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place, which did pretty well until the network chose to sabotage it and placed it on a Friday timeslot. I know he has done a lot of non-comedy films, but I still associate comedy to his name. He did gave an awesome performance in this film though, which ultimately proves how versatile he is.

*Everything below shows my personal insight, in a semi-reflective way. The following section is not exactly a review but more of an analysis. This part will contain spoilers as well. So allow me to give this a try.

I think the movie was about desperation. In the movie, Conroy did things in order to have a tiny bit of hope that he would get out of there alive. He called everyone he thought could help him. He did everything people told him to do to save his friend, his family and himself. The whole movie was an act of desperation of a man who got trapped in the face of death.

The movie shows the danger of war and terrorism as well. If you watched the film, you'd know that the kidnappers weren't exactly terrorists, or at least that's how I understood it. They were regular citizens caught in the middle of the war between Iraq and the United States. With every war comes famine and the inability to get hold of certain necessities. This lack of power then drives people to commit crimes as a response to their needs. That was how Conroy ended up in a wooden box, buried under the ground. It was a means to extract money - money the kidnappers can use. There's a chance I'm wrong in this interpretation, but that's how I understood the scenario.

It also talks about the inefficiency of several institutions. Sure, the situation was extreme, and there's not really much people could do. However, it was very apparent how he was transferred from one person to another until someone finally addressed the situation. However, as the movie reveals, he wasn't much of a help either.

What really frustrated me was how the company Conway worked for wanted to deny their responsibilities to Conroy. The sad reality is these companies do exist. There are corporations who treat their staff as tools, and the moment their profits get threatened, they immediately cut their connections with them. I just couldn't believe that the company would do that to him, especially at a time like that. It must've crushed Paul Conroy to know that he would die and his family would not get any assistance from the company, which had a hand in causing his misery.

For a film that used a box for its setting, this film had a lot to offer. Thrill, drama, social commentaries are just some of them. I was a little doubtful at first since the premise didn't look too exciting but Cortes definitely abused that box and created this masterpiece. From the looks of it, not a lot of people have seen the film, which, I think, is a great shame.

May 07, 2012

Cars 2

I'm no longer a child, but I still enjoy watching animated films. I like children's movies. There I said it. I am not even ashamed to admit it. Who doesn't like watching those light, heart-warming stories? Only evil people will hate on animated films, especially the likes of Cars 2.

Cars 2 had a lot to live up to since the first one was not only loved, but also went on to be very successful. I personally liked the first one and I remembered watching it over and over again a few years back. That's also when I started rocking out to Life is a Highway by Rascal Flatts. (After hearing Life is a Highway, I became a huge supporter of Rascal Flatts even though I'm not into country. Just a fun fact I guess) Going back to the movie, Pixar probably was pleased with the outcome. With an increased budget, the studio probably expected higher returns, and that's exactly what they got. The film grossed over 500 million dollars worldwide, beating the original.

I liked the first one a lot, but I must say that I liked the second one even more. The story was better, the cinematography was better. Overall, Cars 2 was better for me. The first one was like a drama-comedy film, except with cars in it. It was a self-exploration I guess for McQueen. This one was an action-comedy film, still with cars in it. This one had drama too, focusing on McQueen's friendship with Mater. However, it was more of an ass-kicking Bond-like film more than a tearfest.

I also liked the settings. I am extremely fascinated by Japan, both as a country and as a nation, and seeing it as venue for McQueen's race was a delight. I appreciated how they incorporated different stuff about their culture like geishas, their very high level of technology, and their language. It showed different aspects of the Japanese and that was well-appreciated. Italy was the other setting, and just like Japan, Italy's been on my list of places I want to visit. Their food is beyond words, and even the movie took note of that. Japan+Italy=best combination of venues for me.

I was also glad to find out that all the cast members from the first movie returned to do the sequel, especially Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy. I also liked the addition of Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer as Agents McMissile and Shiftwell respectively. These are some talented voice actors. Michael Caine made me have that Bond-like feeling while watching McMissile  do his thing, and it was pretty badass.

I am really hoping for a Cars 3, although I don't know the likelihood of that. A guy can hope I guess. In the event they do make one, I surely hope all the actors will be back to reprise their roles. I want to see how Mater deals with the agent life of Shiftwell, or if McQueen can be an undercover spy in a race event. I think there are still a lot of possibilities to be explored and it will be a shame to not use them.

May 06, 2012


Since I've been watching some heavy stuff/movies lately, I decided to take another direction with this one. It's been a while since I've seen a comedy film. Then it dawned on me that I haven;t written an entry about any comedy film, which is weird since comedy is my favorite film genre. I like getting some laughs than feeling depressed or something, so I was legitimately shocked when I realized there's not a single comedy film in this blog. However, it's all good 'cause I have the perfect comedy film to start things off.

Superbad was released in 2007, starring Jonah Hill, who recently became a Golden Globe and Oscar nominee, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Emma Stone and Martha MacIsaac. It was directed by Greg Mottola. Just to show how good this movie was, the film had a budget of 20 million, according to Box Office Mojo, and earned more than 160 million worldwide. That's more than 140 million profit! If that wasn't enough, critics also praised the movie, calling it one of the best movies of that year. Even Rotten Tomato gave it a high rating.

All the success the film achieved were well-deserved. It was hilarious! There were a lot of cussing but it just made it even funnier. There was even a scene where Seth (Hill) had to say "fuck" in every single line. You gotta give props to the kid for saying the word that many times. Setting that aside, the script of this movie was pretty good. It helped that the actors delivering the lines were naturally funny.

The basic plot of the film was simple, they had to get booze for a party. The characters then fell into different sorts of troubles just to 1) get some booze, and 2) get them to the party. The story line reminded me a bit of Harold and Kumar movies: there's one goal but somehow they end up on a crazy adventure. The only difference is in Superbad, nobody was high riding tigers. And also there was no Neil Patrick Harris in Superbad, sadly. But just like Harold and Kumar, I enjoyed every single second of their "journey" to impress the girls they liked. It involved getting a fake ID, using the fake ID, singing for stoners, getting "period blood" on the shorts, running away from the cops, and hiding from the same cops. A lot happened just to get those booze to the party place; and it provided the laughs.

Jonah Hill is one funny dude. He's starting to climb up the ranks of my favorite comedy actors, and that list includes Steve Carrell, Ben Stiller, Tina Fey, Seth Rogen (who's also in the film) and more. I'm still waiting for the release of 21 Jump Street here in my country, but I'm betting that it will seal the deal and Jonah Hill will be one of my favorites! His portrayal of Seth was amazing! Another actor who stole the show for me was Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Mcloving. The name was funny to begin with, but he lived up to his name. I didn't know who Mintz-Plasse was before watching this film, but he definitely made his appearance in this film have an impact on me. I must say though, the first time I saw him, I thought it was a digitally enhanced version of Ed Helms. Michael Cera, who I know from Juno, was probably not as funny as the other two, but he was still worth watching. He's the anti-thesis of the other two, more emotional and a little too goody two-shoes.

The tandem of Seth Rogen and Bill Hader was priceless. The two cops running around town creating a mess, that's something! Let us also not forget the ladies of the film. Emma Stone's a big star now, but she was just starting out in this movie. After watching her, I now understand how her first film appearance lead to more roles. Martha MacIsaac portrayed the sweet Becca well too.

I can't tell you enough how good the movie was, at least for me. I was laughing almost the entire film. Great actors, great script, great director, great movie. Superbad was supergood!