Film · Reviews

Days 144-153 | 365 Day Film Challenge

Ten more movie reviews, as per usual now (also, if you’d like to purchase any of these films, please use my affiliate link. It helps keep the site up and running).

DAY 144- CARRIE (1976)

The classic horror film directed by Brian de Palma and starring Sissy Spacek as the titular character, Carrie is a story of a teenage girl who one day starts her period after gym class. Her classmates harass her, traumatizing poor Carrie even further she already is. See, her mom is a super-religious nut who is overprotective of Carrie, and locks her under the stairs frequently. Oh, and Carrie also has telekinetic powers. After some students push her too far, Carrie unleashes her wrath on everyone in her path.

Even though I felt like de Palma lingered on Spacek’s body a little too intensely, I thoroughly enjoyed this horror film. Sissy Spacek was fantastic, as was the supporting cast (including John Travolta, Piper Laurie, and William Katt). Way better than the 2013 remake.

VERDICT: 4/5

http://amzn.to/2olhSX7

DAY 145- MOANA (2016)

Disney’s latest animated tale about a female character who inherits her family legacy, Moana is a visual treat with important messages about being yourself and following your dreams. Auli’i Cravalho voices Moana beautifully, and Dwayne Johnson is awesome as the demigod Mauai. Both have incredible singing voices, and the songs are wonderfully written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (good luck getting “How Far I’ll Go” out of your head). Even though this does use some of Disney’s usual tropes, I loved that Moana was so independent and fierce.

VERDICT: 4/5

http://amzn.to/2oqiPNa

DAY 146- HERO (2002)

Zhang Yimou’s beautiful epic is a wonderfully entertaining film, even if some aspects come off as silly (e.g., the weapons are visibly rubber and some of the action scenes are outlandishly choreographed). These little eccentricities add to the film’s charm, though. The story follows an assassin, Nameless, (Jet Li), who has reportedly killed three of the most infamous warriors who were trying to kill the King of Qin, as he recounts his victories to the King. As the film progresses, though, we learn Nameless may not be an entirely relatable narrator…

Hero is a visually stunning movie, full of vivid colors and beautiful locations. The action sequences are fun, and the story is captivating. Sure, some of it is silly, but that shouldn’t stop you from watching this epic film.

VERDICT: 4/5

http://amzn.to/2oL5Uai

DAY 147- PREVENGE (2016)

I wanted to like this film more than I actually did. Written and directed by first-time director Alice Lowe (who also stars), Prevenge follows Ruth, a widow who is seven months pregnant. The tricky thing? Her unborn child is compelling her to kill people. The concept is incredible, but the acting felt hammy at points, and the camera work was atrocious at times. Plus, the ending was incredibly unsatisfying. Alice Lowe has talent, but Prevenge is definitely rough.

VERDICT: 3/5

 

DAY 148- PET (2016)

Check out my video review of Pet!

 

DAY 149- FARGO (1996)

I finally watched Joel Coen’s classic film, and I loved it. Fargo follows Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), a cash-strapped man who hires two guys (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife Jean (Kristin Rudrüd) so he can cash in the ransom money. After learning his father-in-law will give him the money he needs, he decides to call off the scheme. Too late. They’ve already kidnapped Jean, so he goes on a quest to save her. An extremely pregnant sheriff (Frances McDormand), is on the tail of the men also, but in this case, she’s trying to solve three murder cases. Fargo perfectly encapsulates the black comedy that the Coen Brothers are known for, while also providing a thrilling mystery to unfold.

VERDICT: 4/5

http://amzn.to/2pPNcxE

DAY 150- RULES DON’T APPLY (2016)

Warren Beatty’s first directorial effort in over twenty years follows a young aspiring actress (Lily Collins) who moves to Los Angeles to pursue her dream, under the tutelage of the mysterious Howard Hughes (Beatty). Along the way, she falls for her betrothed driver Frank (Alden Ehrenreich), and also slowly pushes her religious beliefs to the side.

I actually really enjoyed this film, even though it was largely panned by critics. I found the cast to be charming and likable, and was intrigued by the story. It definitely isn’t perfect, and is a little too long for its own good, but if you enjoy cute romantic dramas, check out Rules Don’t Apply.

VERDICT: 3.5/5

http://amzn.to/2oqxpEt

DAY 151- JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK (2001)

This film finds Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith), who first appeared in Clerks and were the inspiration for the comic book characters Bluntman and Chronic in Chasing Amy, as they learn that a Bluntman and Chronic film is being turned into a film without them… and they’ll receive no profit from it. This kicks off a fun, filthy journey as the two travel to the film set to demand the cash they deserve. Fun cameos from Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Ben Affleck, Jason Biggs, and James van der Beek (to name but a few) add to the hilarious adventure. This is personally one of my favorite Kevin Smith films, and even though I tired of the filthy, sexual dialogue (as I usually do with Smith’s films), I enjoyed my time with these two stoners.

VERDICT: 3.5/5

http://amzn.to/2o0T76q

DAY 152- KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (1988)

This movie is pure, cheesy, campy fun. One night, as Halley’s Comet is supposed to fly overhead, a circus tent mysteriously appears in the middle of the woods. OF COURSE, curious bystanders have to go check it out, because it’s a horror movie and people don’t make logical choices. They discover that these clowns aren’t so friendly. They’re actually aliens who capture humans and keep them contained in cotton-candy cocoons, and the residents of the small town have to fight back against the invading clowns.

The special effects are pretty cheesy, but the design of the tent and the clowns themselves is bright and creative, and I laughed frequently. This isn’t a particularly scary film, but it’s good to watch if you just want to clear your mind and have some fun.

VERDICT: 3.5/5

http://amzn.to/2oT1lgb

DAY 153- JACKIE (2016)

Pablo Larraín’s biopic follows the life of Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) in the days after her husband, JFK, was assassinated. Unfolding through an interview she is holding for a journalist (Billy Crudup), she reveals the pain and anguish she’s been through, and how she had to put a brave face on for the public. The performances are amazing, especially Portman’s, and the style is spot on. The film felt soulless to me, though. I didn’t feel like I was looking at someone’s life story; it felt like I was watching a film. 

VERDICT: 3.5/5

http://amzn.to/2o12ao1

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