Saturday, October 03, 2015

Monthly Movie Review : September 2015

Coraline: While exploring her new home, a girl named Coraline (Dakota Fanning) discovers a secret door, behind which lies an alternate world that closely mirrors her own but, in many ways, is better. She rejoices in her discovery, until Other Mother (Teri Hatcher) and the rest of her parallel family try to keep her there forever. Coraline must use all her resources and bravery to make it back to her own family and life.

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)

Review: The first time I watched Coraline was probably when I'm still in primary school. It tells a story on a girl whose parents were really busy they couldn't afford much time to spend with her. When she found the secret door, she found an alternate world with a much more welcoming family. She would have stayed, if only she didn't find out the truth behind the secret door.

The button eyes creeps me out still, but at the same time it thrills me. I love how brave Coraline was, and how much she sacrificed to save her parents. It was a movie that every child should watch, because it shows how much your own family worth. No matter what, family is still family.

Into The Woods: As the result of the curse of a once-beautiful witch (Meryl Streep), a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are childless. Three days before the rise of a blue moon, they venture into the forest to find the ingredients that will reverse the spell and restore the witch's beauty: a milk-white cow, hair as yellow as corn, a blood-red cape, and a slipper of gold. During their journey, they meet Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack, each one on a quest to fulfill a wish.

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)

Review: I would have definitely rate Into The Woods with five stars if the singing were reduced by a notch. But it was a musical movie anyway, so I can't complain. I love the fact that they used the original story of the fairy tales (for instance, when Cinderella's stepsisters' toe and heel were chopped off by the stepmother, or when the prince in Rapunzel's story became blind and etc.) that were normally untold because of the cruelty of those parts. But it's the original story, and I appreciate Into The Woods for showing it.

Though I'm not really fond of the princes (especially Charming, because, wow just wow, such a playboy) I love the female characters a lot. Despite Red Riding Hood's shameless act (stealing the baker's breads for her grandmother), she's still a sweet and brave girl. Though Cinderella wanted to see the prince, she still end up fighting for herself and I loved her character the most. The baker's wife and Rapunzel had their ups and downs, but I did enjoy both character. And the witch just spiced up the story some more.

I don't think I'll be able to watch this movie again anytime soon though, I had enough high-pitched songs to last for months.

Home: After a hive-minded alien race called the Boov conquer the Earth, they relocate the planet's human population -- all except for a little girl named Tip (Rihanna), who's managed to hide from the aliens. When Tip meets a fugitive Boov called Oh (Jim Parsons), there's mutual distrust. However, Oh is not like his comrades; he craves friendship and fun. As their distrust fades, the pair set out together to find Tip's mother, but, unbeknown to them, the Gorg -- enemies of the Boov -- are en route.

Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars!)

Review: I know I always say "this movie is the cutest" almost every time after I watch a great animation movie, but I'm still going to do it. Home is one of the cutest movies ever produced! Oh has such a sweet personality, despite his clumsiness. Tip has such a brave heart and it's amazing to see an independent young character like her (Rihanna's voice is a bonus!). And Pig (gosh, what a name) is by far the fattest and cutest and fluffiest animation cat that I have ever seen. I want him as my pet too, please!

With all the ruckus that Oh made, Home became a really sweet comedy animation movie. And the drama added was great too, mother-daughter relationship between Tip and her mother, and the friendship between Tip and Oh are definitely able to capture anyone's heart.

Death Bell 2: This film is about a group of high school students and teachers who get locked in the school after the swimming instructor is murdered. In South Korea, the high school student and swimmer Jeong Tae-yeon (Yoon Seung-ah) is found dead in the pool, which is found as a suicide. Two years later, teacher Park Eun-su (Hwang Jung-eum) joins the high school where Tae-yeon's stepsister Lee Se-Hee (Park Ji-yeon) is haunted by nightmarish visions and is bullied by the student Eom Ji-yun (Choi Ah-jin). Eun-su finds it difficult to get respect in the classroom and is backed up by an older teacher, Cha (Kim Su-ro). Se-Hee and her classmates are selected for an elite "study camp" held at the school during the summer break where 30 students study for their university entrance exams. The school's swimming trainer is murdered in the showers, and the words "When an innocent mother is killed, what son would not avenge her death?" found scrawled on a blackboard. A voice warns the students that they'll all be killed unless they can answer who is the murderer and why. The students and teachers find they're locked in the school when more deaths begin to happen.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5 out of 5)

Review: After watching Death Bell, I had this thought that Death Bell 2 would exceed my expectation. Not so much. The story line was quite good, but the presentation fell pretty flat. The most gruesome part would be when one of the students was killed by sharp blades attached to the motorbike, and that was probably the best part (this is my dark side speaking). I think Death Bell 2 shows more drama than the first movie, but it did not quite capture my heart. I don't think those dramas were needed even.

And the ending.. I still don't really get it. Who actually died and who survived?

Death Bell: On the eve of the dreaded university entrance examinations, the lives of 24 of the smartest and brightest students at one high school, are on the line. Locked inside a classroom and nowhere to escape, a television monitor broadcasts a terrified Hae-yeong, the top student at the high school, tied up and seated on a chair inside an aquarium that slowly begins to fill with water. A voice from the monitor announces if the 24 cannot finish the exam administered within the allotted time given, Hae-yeong will die and so will everyone held captive inside the classroom. Thus begins the examination that will determine whether they live or die.

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)

Review: I started watching Death Bell with the thought that it was a ghost story. But what I got was serial murders of students in a school camp. I enjoy watching dark, thriller and horror stories, and I could say that Death Bell is a great one. Despite some reviews telling how Death Bell stole concepts from other great movies, I think I'd still like watching Death Bell.

Some of the parts did not make any sense (like when a teacher was killed, and the students were still terrified to escape the school. They could just easily outdo the killer judging by their number) but the killing parts were rather good. It did break my heart when Kang Hyeon was stabbed, he helped the others so much. And I felt sorry for Yina because she lost so many people that she loved, all because of the teacher himself (and Jiwon's parents too, of course). It was a really sad ending for me.

Back To 20: Shen Meng Jun (Grace Guei) is a crotchety 70 year old widow whose family decides its time for her to go to a nursing home. Feeling forlorn, she wanders the streets and impulsively decides to take a final portrait at a photo studio she happens by. Upon leaving, to her astonishment she realizes that she has been transformed back into her 20 year old self. Given a magical second chance at youth, she changes her name to Meng Li Jun (Yang Zi Shan) and decides to chase her dream of becoming a singer. Will she find success and love this second time around?

Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars!)

Review: Back To 20 is still one of my all-time favourite movies. I can (probably) watch it everyday and still won't get bored of it. Well, mostly because I can watch Luhan's handsome face all day (。╯ᴗ╰)〜♡ Back To 20 tells a lot of family matters. It still wrenches my heart every time I see Shen Meng Jun getting sad. Well, yes, she did have her own mistakes, but seeing old people being sad always makes me want to cry.

I actually really enjoy watching Meng Jun (& Li Jun)'s character developing, although I hoped not to get a mother-in-law like her. And who can ever say no to Xiang Qian Jin and Tan Zhi Ming? ❣ (●❛3❛●)

This movie is perfect for all ages, and I'd definitely recommend it to everyone that I know.

Villa Nabila: The experimental horror movie, directed by famed film director Datuk Yusof Haslam’s youngest child, Syafiq Yusof, will be presented in a semi-documentary form and will depict the “true stories” that have taken place inside the villa. According to the trailer, the movie was inspired by a Nov 19, 2013 incident when a 16-year-old boy was reported to have gone missing at the spot. Although he was found the next day and was said to have slept over at his friend’s house, the trailer showed him being interviewed denying the rumour and claiming that he had lost his memory on what actually happened while he was missing. The young director also interviewed several building contractors. They were supposed to demolish the villa, which has been labelled as the state’s scariest location. The contractors were seen relaying stories of the strange incidents they witnessed while carrying out the attempted demolition. Villa Nabila has been abandoned for more than 40 years, causing various horror stories to be spread about it. Among the tales is a warning that anyone who visited the place should do so in even numbers or else they would be leaving with a new addition — a supernatural entity.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5)

Review: There's a reason why I always stay away from watching local horror movies. Because they often leave me a bigger impact compared to other countries' horror movies. Somehow, one of my friends (Izah) convinced me to watch Villa Nabila with her (okay, I'm lying. I got the movie from another friend and invited Izah to watch it with me ha ha). It was okay, but I still find the ghost a bit annoying. I'm not sure how much truth they put in the story, since it was based on a true story, because some of the parts didn't really make sense. But if most of those are true, then it was really creepy.

I did sleep with the lights turned on that night though.

Sinister 2: Hiding from her abusive, estranged husband, Courtney Collins lives in a rural house with her 9-year-old twins, Dylan and Zach. Young Dylan receives nightly visits from ghoulish kids who show him disturbing images of families being slaughtered. It's all part of the grand plan of Bughuul, the evil spirit who recruits innocent children to murder their loved ones. The only hope for his intended new victims may be a former deputy who's familiar with Bughuul's fiendish work from the past.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5 out of 5)

Review: I've heard good talks about the first movie of Sinister (yes, I haven't watched it yet), so I thought maybe I'd just watch Sinister 2 because it was released just a few days before my friends and I went out for a date. I left the cinema feeling devastated though. Sinister 2 was definitely not my kind of horror.

I think the videos of the children killing their own family were just too much. And Bughuul bugged me so much too, like, what did he really want? He still wasn't defeated until the end of the movie, which added more fire to my annoyance.

Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death: 40 years after Eel Marsh House's first haunting, a group of children and a schoolteacher take refuge at the house, escaping from WWII London. There they will awaken the house's darkest inhabitant.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5)

Review: I originally rated this movie with four stars, but had to reduce a star after replaying the movie back in my mind. The concept of the story and the time line used (World War II) grabbed my attention, but the story of Woman In Black didn't. It is still ridiculous, how when a woman loses her child, and then when she died, she'll start a killing spree over children. You lost your child, you must know how painful it felt. Then why kill those innocent children (and man) cruelly?

Till next time ♡ Love, Humaira

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