Movie Review: Only God Forgives (2013)

Only God ForgivesThis was quite the cinematic experience. And to think people walked out of the theatres because they couldn’t take whatever they were seeing, I have to say that this movie was pretty darn brilliant. I liked it.

Plot: Julian, who runs a Thai boxing club as a front organization for his family’s drug smuggling operation, is forced by his mother Jenna to find and kill the individual responsible for his brother’s recent death.

If you can look past the violence & the distasteful nature of this film, I’m sure you will consider it a masterpiece. Then again, it’s a slice of the pie, so you’re going to have to take it in no matter how disgusting and immoral you feel. THIS MOVIE IS CLEARLY NOT FOR EVERYBODY.

Purely falling under the style over substance category, it’s that type of film where you don’t care for the characters let alone for the thin story it tries to tell us. Disengaging yet I can’t say that’s a bad thing. I gotta say that I loved the location though, it was perfect. I want to go to Bangkok now! The lights and the hue of this film are just so stunning. Also the soundtrack, it was like I’m in a dream. I jumped a little in some scenes because I knew there was blood waiting to be shed, I had to cover my eyes, because I myself, couldn’t tolerate that much violence.

One more thing, Ryan Gosling’s eerie machismo creeped me out a little and Kristin Scott Thomas (this is the first time I’ve seen her in a film), oh boy have I become an instant fan. She played it perfectly! Vithaya Pansringarm, the Thai actor, was brooding and excellent. I admit, it was a little tough to watch but I’m glad that this film proved me wrong about the jeers it received at Cannes last May.

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“There’s no place like home”

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So my friend Eloisa wanted to use the deal she got where she will pay full price for one ticket and only a dollar for the next one. It sounded like a steal (which it actually is), and I am so glad to have witnessed this Mirvish production of a classic movie.

I thought it was fantastic in all levels. From the actors, the props, the music, the costumes, I mean EVERYTHING. I really enjoyed it. The songs were amazingly done, especially “Somewhere Over The Ranbow”. It’s still beyond me why I never saw the actual movie, but I remember catching it a little over 2 years ago on cable, but I didn’t finish it. I highly recommend this to you guys. I am growing fond of plays and somehow a part of me wishes to be on-stage, or be in one of those grand musicals. I know I don’t have the talent, but I’ll take the role of a knight or like village person # 2! I’ll put that on my bucket list!

Just wanted to follow up on that title, those 5 words really mean lot to me. It was mentioned in the last few scenes of the production by Gilda and Dorothy, “There’s no place like home”. Truer words couldn’t have been said, at least for what I constantly feel. I mean I live in a city where there’s so much life and all that good stuff but I find myself often looking for my home country, even though a lot of my friends won’t agree with the idea of me coming back there to work. I have thought about that dilemma a million times over and at the end of the day, I just feel like I really do testify to that statement, because there is NO place that can substitute what you consider to be your home, where your heart always looks for and your mind wanders to. And to think that Eloisa will be travelling to that country for vacation next week! I am so jealous! But I’d rather go home by December.

Movie Review: The Bling Ring (2013)

The Bling Ring

 

“I mean I don’t consider myself an A-list looking guy”

That line was ridiculously bad. I can’t believe I waited so long, and with great hopes for this awful movie. I took my Korean friend to see this so he could learn more on how to converse in English, now I’m thinking it’s a super fail.

Plot: Inspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers, Rebecca (the ringleader), Marc, Nicki, Sam and Chloe, known as the Bling Ring, use the Internet to track celebrities’ whereabouts in order to rob their homes. Victims included Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Megan Fox, Rachel Bilson, Audrina Patridge, Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr.

I mean it’s a decent inside look to what really went down during those Hollywood burglaries but that was all there is to it. Was it actually supposed to have that impact on viewers? The one where you say “huh?” after you saw the movie. Sofia Coppola baffles me: maybe I’m not a fan of her film-making? I liked Somewhere though. Unlikable characters (but Emma Watson’s Nicolette Ramirez is hilarious, and I still love her), one-liners that will certainly make your eyes roll twice, and a terribly slow pacing is what you’re gonna get. I really can’t believe how shallow I am. Let me leave you with a much better line, these may not be exact to what Leslie Mann’s character said, but it’s somewhere along:

“We wind up being the average of the people we surround ourselves with” 

“I’m so embarrassed I’m not a real person yet”

Frances HaThis is becoming quite the movie review blog that I have wanted it not to be. But wait, I absolutely love movies and even though I watch a lot, there are few that stick out and just stays with me. This is one of those films: FRANCES HA.

Directed by Noah Baumbach and co-written by its star Greta Gerwig. It definitely seemed like a tribute to the 1960’s French New Wave Cinema, and oh, was filmed in black and white. It explores obsessive friendships, coming out of the nest, random trips to Paris, diminishing fortunes, dancing and most of all, stuff twenty-somethings go through. I was able to see it for free when I won passes from The Toronto Film Scene (thanks guys!) and I tagged my friend Cynthia along. We had the best time, just laughing at the theatre, waiting a long time and getting some good insight about the movie at the Q & A that preceded (Greta and Noah were in attendance).

Anyway, I’m just going to say it: this EASILY became my favorite film so far this 2013. It was just splendid (and I actually decided to use that word). It was a great portrait of someone who just hit rock bottom, but still manages to be super endearing and full of life. I have thought about so many things that happened to Frances in the movie and put myself into the same situation: whether I’m going to go nuts or just be like her, who’s ever so positive despite knowing deep in her heart that she’s bound for more unfortunate mishaps but then STILL TRIES. I don’t want to be a person who just stops caring and trying. So many of reflections of humanity and just a raw depiction of what it’s like to be 27 and not have your life figured out. One more thing: NEW YORK CITY! Geez I want to end up there so badly.

The title of my post was a line from the film in which Frances goes on a date with her best friend’s acquaintance, she just got a tax rebate and she insisted she paid for dinner but her credit card was declined. She then says those words and the theater burst into laughter, she runs to the closest ATM (which almost took forever). It was one of the movie’s best moments. Alright, so there you go, my review and my insight on this wonderful gem. I am going to post yet another blog about my thoughts on growing up and growing old, and why I want to take some more chances this year.

 

Movie Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

The Great Gatsby

So I finally got the chance to see this much-awaited, stylized movie by Baz Luhrmann! I saw it on 3D too so I think I made the most of it!

Plot: An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby’s nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await.

My take: It didn’t take me a while to wrap my head around the story, since I haven’t read the book too. I loved how the “movie magic touch” worked in its favor because the 1920’s was such a gorgeous era, style-wise and attitude-wise. Made me wonder if I actually lived in that decade. The casting was perfect, Leonardo DiCaprio shines and says “old sport” about 200 times and I was perfectly fine with it. The other actors also did amazing. It was such a tragic film, and the narration kept me glued to my seat though I admit I dozed off a couple times. 9/10!

 

Movie Review: Spring Breakers (2013)

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Never have I had a thrilling, absolutely hilarious time at a theater other than when I watched this gem by Harmony Korine. That’s an understatement, folks. Here’s the low down.

Plot: Four college girls who land in jail after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation find themselves bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to do some dirty work.

My take:  “I got shorts. EVERY FUCKING COLOR”

I didn’t know what to expect from this movie other than the fact people kept saying it’s raunchy, wild, and an all-out neon explosion. They were right. I, for one, was really excited when it premiered at TIFF. I even have pictures of the four girls, with me. It was a delight. The movie, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved it. The whole “finding yourself” thing was brought up and made sense yet you know these girls won’t be able to do that since they’re on a crime spree. They have good intentions though: TO HAVE FUN! James Franco really outdid himself, he was hilariously brilliant. Selena Gomez, who I thought was gonna be wilder, really showed off some acting chops there. Vanessa Hudgens was class A, her role was terrific and how vulnerable it was, just plain amazing. The other 2 girls, Ashley Benson & Rachel Korine, I felt they were fillers. But they did what they had to do, and overall it was really a great, non-traditional, f***** amazing movie.

Movie Review: THE END OF LOVE (2013)

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I think that I’ve been doing quite well with my March Movie Project. I may not post a lot in here, but you can definitely check out my movie reviews on my Letterboxd account (FOLLOW ME TOO HONEY BOO BOOS), it’s an online film journal. Anyway, I felt compelled to post my review for Mark Webber’s THE END OF LOVE in here because I highly recommend it, and I think it’s one of the saddest movies ever in recent memory.

Synopsis:  It tells the story of struggling actor, Mark (played by writer/director Mark Webber), who is forced to grapple with his inability to grow up when the mother of his two-year-old son Isaac suddenly passes away. As he kindles a relationship with a young single mother, he begins to realize that he can no longer remain in denial about the real-life consequences his choices have on Isaac.

My take on it: When I first saw the trailer, I was like “I’m gonna need a box of tissues for this”. It already felt depressing at that point, and I waited for it to come out in theatres. When I finally caught it yesterday online I was really excited. The movie itself is crossing the lines of reality and fiction when it comes to characters, Amanda Seyfried, Michael Cera, Jocelin Donahue, Aubrey Plaza and Jason Ritter all played themselves, while Shannyn Sossamon didn’t (in fact, it would have been awesome if she played herself because she is also a mother of two). The first few minutes already built up the path it would lead, and I was so drawn to the movie because the little kid is too adorable to ignore, and Mark Webber plays the character with so much torment and agony. The things that happened in this movie are very realistic, even though we sometimes don’t feel for the people living in L.A (they are humans too). Especially when his car got towed and he had to pay a big amount of money which he just got, and when his roommates kicked him off. That was so sad. Bottomline, I can’t say I enjoyed it, because that would be a wrong word. I can say I loved it, and I felt for the father and son. You should see it guys.