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THE VISIT

What should be scary is actually one of the funniest movies you will watch this year.

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15-year-old Becca, an aspiring filmmaker, and 13-year-old Tyler, an aspiring rapper, are siblings who are preparing for a week-long stay with their grandparents. The two teenagers, who have never met their grandparents, intend to jointly film together a documentary about their visit.

Their mother Loretta, has not seen her parents in 17 years, after she eloped with her boyfriend, of whom her parents did not approve. He has since left them and cut all contact with them in order to be with his second wife in California. Loretta tells Becca very little about the disagreement she had with her parents, suggesting that Tyler and Becca ask them for more details if they want. And so kids being kids, listen to mummy and start their ‘investigation’ as soon as they meet their grandparents, Nana and Pop Pop.

Nana and Pop Pop are somewhat eccentric from the start but not enough to scare the kids yet more than enough to pique their curiousity.

The movie is slow in the beginning till the real action begans followed by a series of thrilling events like when Nana leaps all over the basement in a game of hide and seek she was not expected to be in, or when Tyler finds his Pop Pop’s soiled diapers piled up in the ranch.

And the best scene in the movie is when Tyler sees his stark naked Nana scratching the walls outside their bedroom and turns to his sister and says, “Jesus Becca I’m blind.” From this scene onwards, it’s hard to keep your eyes half-opened or bury your head in your partner’s chest because Tyler just keeps getting funnier with his raps and one liners.

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Tyler also decides to substitute his vulgarities with names of female country and western singers like Carrie Underwood and Sarah Mclachlan. He does it so well that you just can’t wait for him to ‘swear’ again. Tyler’s character keeps you from peeing in your pants when Nana and Pop Pop do something horrific because you just know a funny moment is right around the corner. It’s almost like you want to feel the fear but you can’t knowing that Tyler will show up and take the thrill away, in a good way.

The film definitely has intelligent elements like how the kids are suffering individually from their father’s absence in different ways. Tyler is terrified of germs and Becca cannot stand her own reflection due to abandonment issues. You do feel their pain when they express themselves in front of Becca’s camera which is used to film the entire movie. You also feel the need to rescue these kids from the their temporary hell when their grandparents start getting freakier.

I would say the scene is which you find out that their ‘grandparents’ are not their real grandparents, may be the only truly petrifying scene which sends chills down your spine. Other than that, this is more of a black comedy in my opinion and an enjoyable one at that.

It gets 4 out of 10 diapers from me.

#thevisit #movie #grandparents #grandkids #horror #Rapper #Filmmaker
More information here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Visit_(2015_film)

LOST IN TRANSLATION

Was never a Scarlett Johansson fan but I am now, after watching Lost in Translation last night. She nailed that role like she was born to play it. So did Bill Murray. These actors took a script which could have gone south and turned it into a movie you will always remember them for. Not easy to do, when the there is no violence, sex, suspense, sound and visual effects or deaths but just a story about two people who have a special connection under unique circumstances.

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The storyline goes like this, ‘Bob Harris (Bill Murray), is an American film actor, far past his prime. He visits Tokyo to appear in commercials, and he meets Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), the young wife of a visiting photographer. Bored and weary, Bob and Charlotte make ideal if improbable traveling companions. Charlotte is looking for “her place in life,” and Bob is tolerating a mediocre stateside marriage.’ Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0335266/

I can empathise with both characters because I too am always questioning where I am at in life and I’m never truly satisfied with my accomplishments. There is always something more or something different that I want to obtain. And this is where Bob and Charlotte become so relatable to most people. Neither of them is facing any adversity or real challenge in their lives yet they allow themselves to play with fire when they act on their attraction for each other. Its apparent that neither want to hurt their partners, themselves or each other, but curiosity gets the better of them leading them to a not-so-desirable outcome. Watching how they try their best to tread carefully yet not enough to keep it totally safe and clean, was genius. Like sharing the same bed for a night but not having sex. You could hate them for being that close or love them for not doing anything about it.  

The movie leaves you with questions like, “Would I do the same if I were alone in a foreign country with someone I felt a strong connection with? Would I be capable of sharing the same bed with anyone other than my spouse even if all we were going to do was sleep? Could I get that close to someone out of boredom or loneliness? Is that sort of relationship acceptable if you’re married?” It’s the type of movie which makes you take a look at yourself and other people and wonder ‘what if I was in that situation or what of he or she were in that situation? How would I behave? How would they behave?’ 

LIT_2Aside from the questionable relationship Bob and Charlotte have which draw you into the movie, is the awesome comic relief provided by another great actor, Anna Faris, who plays a flighty blonde actress named Kelly that may or may not be Charlotte’s husband’s love interest. Kelly really makes you cringe with how ditzy and annoying she doesn’t know she is. It’s that person we all love to hate. The one we dread seeing at a party but can’t help feeling happy they showed up to give us something to talk about the next day. Apparently Anna Faris’s character was modelled after Cameron Diaz but we will never know because Sofia Coppola, Producer, Director and Writer of the movie, denied the rumour. 

Then there is Tokyo and a bit of Kyoto, where the movie was shot. The neon lights, the Helan shrine, the Nazenji temple, the cool clubs, are all so charming. You can’t help but want to go visit and get ‘lost in translation’ yourself.

Overall  it was a brilliantly thought out movie which left little to be improvised upon. The attention and acclaim which Sofia Coppola received was 100% well deserved. This movie gets 8 out of 10 sakes from me! 

 

The Longest Ride 

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I just watched The Longest Ride recommended by a friend’s quirky 18 year old daughter. Thought I was going to suffer through a sappy, painfully dragged out love story, but I actually sat through the entire movie without thinking about a pimple or pair of shoes which surprised me a little.

The storyline was easier to swallow than most of Nicholas Sparks novels and I think it’s cause it wasn’t filled with too many obstacles and ‘reflections’ but it could’ve used way more sex especially with a beautiful young man like Scott Eastwood playing the lead. Maybe next time/movie.

As for the lead actress, Brittany Robertson, no surprise that like Julianne Hough and Amanda Seyfried, she was exactly what you would expect; an affable blonde. You can’t fall involve with her but you can’t hate her either.  Scott and Brittany play Luke & Sophia who’s worlds don’t mash well because he’s farm and she’s city. Similar to a Singaporean girl wanting to be with a kampung boy from Sarawak. She likes art and he likes bulls. She likes nice dresses and he likes wrangler jeans. She likes to explore herself and he likes to stay put. She has annoying friends and he has none.

Actually I take that back. Scott makes an accidental friend …no pun intended, when he saves an old man’s life, played by Alan Alda. Alan plays Ira who gets Sophia to read his love letters to his late wife Ruth. Of course Ruth and Ira had their fair share of grievances which gives young Sophia some perspective relationships and marriages. 

So here’s where I get a little peeved. Why and when does anyone write a letter documenting every single detail about an event? Firstly, who can remember that well except someone with a photographic memory and secondly, why are they in the form of letters instead of diaries??? Nicholas really??? But if you don’t allow the whole photographic-memory-written-letter bother you, Ira adds ample value to this movie as the older, wiser, sicker, father figure who shows Sophia what love entails through his own long ride with Ruth. And luckily for Sophia, Ira dies and brings both Luke and her together at his funeral where he leaves them a fortune in art (what a coincidence because Sophia loves art!!!). 

Granted the ending was silly, yet acceptable because the movie was somewhat enjoyable. And I cannot stress enough how beautiful Scott Eastwood is. Thank you Clint Eastwood for that immaculate creation. So even if you hate Nicholas Sparks, you will probably sit through The Longest Ride without much resistance as long as you’re attracted to men. Unless you’re a heterosexual male, then you wouldn’t even have considered watching the movie to begin with, and you’re not reading this review so it doesn’t matter anyway.

The Longest Ride gets 6 horses from me. 

San Andreas

I didn’t know what to expect from this movie for many reasons. For starters, I had no idea what, (not even where), San Andreas was (yes please judge me now). My sister, son and niece caught the movie before I did and when asked how it was, all three of them said SAD…So I expected to feel depressed watching it but had no clue why.

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Being a good wife, I warned my husband to get ready to walk out of the cinema feeling lousy and I was not wrong and neither were my sister, son & niece. The movie does make you sad, that’s one of the many feelings you experience throughout the 1h 54min in your seat. But more than sad, you feel like you’re watching five tennis matches all happening on the same court at the same time. There’s so much to look at and keep up with, that you either get excited or annoyed depending on what your ‘thing’ is.

Well I got excited because my ‘thing’ is adrenalin. It was thrilling to watch The ROCK airlift a terrified blonde teenager from her falling car and rescue his bionic, nimble wife from the skyscraper rooftop. It was also comforting to see the hero of the movie  drive, fly, ride, jump, parachute, swim, dive, laugh, cry and finally REBUILD.

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The movie, as over the top and unbelievable as it was, does get you thinking about what you would do if faced with such catastrophe, as well as how much you need to know in order to survive. Alexandra Daddario, who plays The Rock’s daughter Blake, did a convincing job as the smart, capable, strong millennial who stays focussed on keeping herself and her two male companions alive with the big bag of tricks Daddy gave her. 

Carla Gugino, who plays The Rock’s wife Emma, was persuasive as Blake’s Mom but not so much as the leading man’s soon-to-be ex wife. Somehow you just can’t see those two getting naked in the shower together when the kids are not home, if you know what I mean. But your heart does go out to this Mommy who lost one daughter and almost loses another, if it weren’t for her husband’s extraordinary CPR skills. 

Now let’s talk about the ACTION. Well let’s see; there were tremors, trembling, crumbling, crashing, drowning, kissing, resurrecting, boats, choppers, cars, planks, poles, shattered glass; I could go on but I don’t have the vocabulary or writing skills to elaborate. I personally enjoyed the action-packed scenes which looked real to me but not to my husband who had a bit to say about the poor special effects. I believe Dwayne Johnson did most of his own stunts, which is not surprising because the guy is an alien with superhuman strength and balls. 

Overall it’s a good couple movie to watch because you have each other to go through all that emotion with and you also leave knowing the do’s and don’t’s’ of being in an earthquake. 

San Andreas gets 6 out of 10 cupcakes. 

Pitch Perfect 2

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Pitch quite perfect, storyline not so much. I love teeny-bopper chick flicks and Pitch Perfect 2 (PP2) is a classic example of one. But there were a couple of loopholes in this movie. Anna Kendrick’s character, Beca, makes a good lead because she’s quite cool and unconventional but there was a slight detachment between her character and the plot. It’s like Beca is a Barden Bella and also an intern at a recording studio and both lives are awkwardly fused together to make one movie.

As for the cast, I think it’s no surprise that Rebel Wilson’s character, Fat Amy, stood out and not because of her weight. She was absolutely funny, boorish, unpredictable and so likeable all at the same time. And it helped that she’s got Bumper to content with. In fact, the whole movie could’ve been about Fat Amy & Bumper who just happen to be part of a capella groups featured in the movie.

The introduction of “Das Sound Machine” (DSM) as rivals of the Barden bellas in PP2, was a smart move. The Germans held their own exceptionally well with their intimidating sound, accents and height. It was fun to watch them tease and taunt the baffled bellas throughout the movie.

Commentators Gail and John were definitely a ‘necessary evil’  in PP2 as they were in the first movie, cracking politically incorrect jokes right on the mark. You just love to hate them but love them deep down inside.

Then there was cute, sweet Emily, the legacy. Which movie couldn’t use an Emily in distress just waiting for her big break. There’s an Emily in every chick flick just like there’s a salad dish at every party. It doesn’t have to be there but it kind of does too. We can all live on chocolate cake and chips but we like knowing that there will be salad because it’s comforting.

Overall I give PP2 a 5 on a scale of 1-10. If you’re a girl and you enjoy girly music and girly plots, PP2 will be your favourite movie for 2015. If you’re not a girl, you might get lucky with one you bring to this movie.

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