Sunday, August 1, 2010

Movie Reviews: July 2010

I watch more movies here in the States than in Manila. I have made this a Sunday habit. Nothing special, it's just that it's the only relaxing thing that I could afford as a means of escape. Massages are expensive here, too much food will kill me. Movies are the answer. So, here are the quick reviews of the movies I watched here.


My colleagues and I crossed the bridge from our office one Friday afternoon to Newport on the Levee. While crossing, we took pictures and decided to support the vampire-werewolf-human flare. One of our colleagues, Michelle, is a certified Edward Cullen fanatic. Magazine, keychain, wallpapers, you name it. Though I have read all the books and saw the past two movies, I cannot call myself a fan, but I was interested enough to watch the 3rd installment since it's supposed to be more energized and action-intensive.

When we got inside the theater, little did we know that most of the viewers were shrieking teenage girls who were close to losing their grip on reality. For the whole duration, every romantic scene was destroyed by their shrieks. I didn't even get to enjoy the movie to its full potential.

But the movie is better than the second one and it's the edgiest movie of all. It has more action and in-your-face dialogues. There's nothing extremely special about it except that after watching, I had finally decided which side I was on. I'm for Jacob. Lastly, I also realized how much I hated Bella Swan, the originator of this messy cosmic love triangle.

Rating: Just watch it in DVD.


One lazy Sunday afternoon, my colleagues and I were at McDonald's near our apartment. Spontaneously, we found the urge to watch a movie, specifically a movie with resonating good reviews. Facebook and Review sites declared Inception great, but I had no idea what it was all about. All I know is that it's not drama and Leonardo Di Caprio, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Ellen Page will be there. Since Joseph Gordon Levitt is known to always star in artistic and indie movies, his choice to be included in a publicized major feature with Leonardo Di Caprio no less, is interesting enough. Plus, Ellen Page is there. Next to Zooey Deschanel, Ellen Page is my kind of actor.

To put it gently, we weren't actually prepared for the movie. My colleagues and I had no idea at all what Inception was all about. So for the first few scenes and a thrash of snappy dialogues that really mean rocket science, we were baffled. We saw characters fighting in someone else's dream, and there's Mal, played by Marion Cotillard, who we initially thought was a secret agent in the dream world. There are constant explosions and chase scenes in the first parts of the film; and to force that to reconcile to the scenes of people sleeping with attached apparatus, is weird. Then there's a dream within a dream, an agent's life, a sort of dream architect and then the next thing we knew is that they were on their next mission. The first few parts of the movie are fast and confusing, but I think it's done well in a way that it meant to engage viewers and let them TRY to figure things out at the same time. The plot and the concept slowly unfolded when they were already starting to plan for their new mission. We began to know how the team operates in someone elses' dream, which is to extract or plant information. Their expertise starts to make sense and the concept of their business got clearer. As they hire a new dream architect, Ellen Page's character Ariadne, she became the guide of the audience in figuring out the parameters of the mission and how Inception could become a success or failure. The team's target? A dying energy mogul's son Robert Fischer. He is the future competitor of Ken Watanabe's character, who hired the Inception Team to plant an idea for the the son to destroy the Fischer Empire. Aside from the breathtaking action sequences, the complications of having those scenes in the dream world blew my mind. It's not your normal suspense-action movie with a target. The answers to the complications aren't giveaways. The audience are taken to a visual and mental ride, which is a great combination in a movie. It's beyond eye candy with all the effects. The amazing plot, the production sets and the amazing cast pulled it all together.

When I got out of the theater, I was blown away. It was the same feeling I had when I watched the Butterfly Effect. I was amazed on the concept and it made me think of the possibilities. So far it is the best movie I've seen here. It was so good that I watched it twice. My colleagues and I watched it first in 2D. Yesterday, with nothing much to do, I went back to AMC alone and watched it in 3D. Glad thing I did.

Recommendation: Superb. Watch it in 3D. And don't be afraid if your nose bleeds at the beginning.


Angelina Jolie Movies are always glamour bad ass movies. So we expected to see her beating guys, firing guns, doing amazing stunts and still emerge hot and perfect. Exactly what we saw in Salt. Evelyn Salt, her character, works for CIA and was named as a Russian Spy out to kill the Russian president. Her security and life turned around as officials chase her and she becomes a fugitive looking for her civilian husband. We thought it was the usual frame-up movie,but the twist is that she's indeed a Russian Spy, but not exactly the Russian spy that we thought. She is a trained russian spy out to carry a mission, only that her mission became whatever her choice was. Evelyn Salt's loyalty became complex until we figure out who she is really fighting for in the end. One thing is for sure, she has unimaginable stunts that seemed unrealistic because she always comes out perfect after every scene.

Recommendation: Don't bother about the plot. This is clearly an eyecandy movie. If you're a guy, this is a turn on. If you're a girl, this is unrealistic. There was nothing really to look forward to. You can just watch it in DVD. PS: What's with the first name "Evelyn"? Unless this is a real story, the name Evelyn seems off.


Yesterday I feared for my screwed diet and budget if I go to Sam's Club, so I went to Newport on the Levee alone to watch this instead. I don't normally like humanized animal feature films. I probably missed Harvey so much that I didn't think this through.

The movie has the usual good vs. evil plot. Kitty Galore, a disgustingly bad hairless type of cat, is out to destroy the world. The protagonist, an underdog German shepherd Diggs, was recruited into a Dog World CIA complete with technology and headquarters. Their mission is to protect a bird informant and stop Kitty Galore. They teamed up with a cat agent from MEOW'S, the cat world version of CIA.

Well, the dogs are cute and it made me miss Harvey even more, but I got really bored. I felt like it was a waste of time. The plot was recycled. The action scenes weren't entertaining enough even for kids. The dialogues were flat. It was a total mess. Glad thing I didn't watch it in 3D.
Recommendation: DVD most definitely or not at all!!

Today is a Sunday and I'm out for lunch and a bit of shopping in Florence, Kentucky. After that, we plan to end the weekend with a movie night out. Dinner for the Schmucks is a great contender. With all the work and training that we're doing for the past few weeks, we definitely need a good laugh these days.

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