Tag: Drama

Aftershock

Wow. Aftershock. Wow.

Here is a trailer.

I am not sure why the choice of showing stuff backwards, but for those two lazy to click on it, or on a phone, it opens with a young Chinese girl awakening in a pile of dead bodies. She is wandering around throughout the chaos, lost, and not remembering who she is. This story begins during the Great Tangshan Earthquake of 1976, where a mom and father are separated from their 5 year old twins.

The mom is left to a very unfortunate choice, where she has to abandon one of her children, and chooses her son. This is all super intense and what not in the first 20 or so minutes. Then next 110~ minutes of movies are of how their lives are affected from this choice, as both children grow up in different paths, and how it also destroys the mom mentally.

Of course this movie is subtitled, and long, but it is so worth it. I can’t say anyhting about the actors past works, bu the lady who plays the mom gives one of the best performances probably ever, in her own Sophie’s Choice-esque role.

The title is really good, and geology based, so therefore sexy. Aftershocks of an earthquake are obviously the rumblings after the main quake, and can be just as devastating and last a long time. Similarly, this movie has the earthquake happen early, but the aftershocks of the movie are over the next 32 years of each characters life.

Not gonna lie, sometimes I was confused about who was who. I might not be able to tell foreigners apart as well as I would like. I probably have a view of the world equivalent to the internet.

According To  Amurrika
Except I spell it “Amurrrika!”

This movie may be my favorite foreign movie I have ever seen. I’ve done a few others on this site, which have been good, but never HOLY SHIT AWESOME GOOD. Obviously this movie is pretty emotional too. The special effects of the earthquake, kinda cheesy, kinda real. China has some weird censors, so that certain things can’t be shown, but I was amazed at how much I cringed during it.

4 out of 4

A Better Life

When I first saw A Better Life I figured it would be pretty stereotypical. So I was guessing it would be the same as the others, and I’d probably just give it a 2 out of 4. You know, “well done but I have heard this all before”. Same reason why I don’t read any new Holocaust books. All the same stuff, over and over again.

The story is of an illegal immigrant (with a killer moustache) trying to make his way in LA with his younger son. He finally has the opportunity to have a secure paycheck, by buying a truck and equipment and starting his own business, instead of relying on labor corners, or whatever.

Tom Selleck
Not that killer though.

Eventually, some bad things happened, which while watching you will recognize and hope it wont. But it does. And it SUCKS. It feels bad, and you can’t fix it.

But thankfully these problems aren’t generally based on immigration policy in the US. Instead the overall focus of this movie is on the relationship between a father and a son. At this point in life, the son is getting to the age where he may quit school, join gangs, and ignores his fathers advice. It is a story of the father who just wants to reconnect with the boy he once knew.

I didn’t realize it while watching, but the dad is played by Demián Bichir, who played the Tijuana Mayor in a few seasons of Weeds. Wow!

Better Life Stache
This was originally to show the dude’s stache, and the kid, but man, I think that guy in the background is making a face at the camera.

3 out of 4.

Never Let Me Go

Hey look, another sad movie. So here are some more jokes to make me feel less depressed.

Never Let Me Go is the sequel to the Titanic. It is the year 1975 and Jack is now a frozen zombie monster, searching for Rose who promised to never let him go, yet doing so anyways. It is a tale of humor, drama, and horror, as we find out the story you thought you knew of the Titanic was all a lie.

Zombie Yeti
Really I am just glad a search for zombie yeti worked.

But seriously, Never Let Me Go is based off of a dystopian book of the same name. It is taken from a fictional song played a few times in the movie. In it the world is a better place! Life expectancy is now in the 100s, as a cure for most diseases has been found. And by cure, of course I mean just get rid of the ailing body part and replace it with a new one! Where do they get these organs from? Oh of course, Organ Donation Farms. More or less. Easiest way to grow new organs is to grow a new human. Schools/Compounds are set up everywhere where these clone humans are raised to be very healthy, so that in their mid-twenties they can give “donations” until they are “complete”. Whoa. Must suck to be those people. Which is why the film focuses on three kids from one of these places!

The main girl is played by Carey Mulligan, who really likes the boy played by Andrew Garfield, and the other friend who gets the boy, Keira Knightly. I can admit I have never heard of Mulligan before, but she was fantastic. All the actors did a fantastic job.

It is told in three parts: Of their life in school when they are young and learning, of their life after school in the early 20’s where they can live on their own, and of Carey’s life as a Carer, someone who helps the clones accept their fate and get better post donations. You may watch this going WHY, WHY DON’T YOU JUST RUN! The movie answers it so well at the end, that I would be a major asshole if I spoke of it.

Major Asshole
Major Asshole!

Thankfully, all of you are going to watch it now. Because it is great. Might not have heard about it much, so that’s why I am telling you this movie was great.

4 out of 4.

Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy? Alright, title alone, that sounds shitty. That is worse than judging a book by its cover. That’s not even getting an opinion on the cover.

I still decided to watch it, but when I read the description I thought it would be fantasmic.

Fantasmic?
Disney tells me this is a word. Autocheck does not. But autocheck isn’t a word. So what is really going on here?

A married couple on the verge of separation are leveled by the news their 18-year-old son committed a mass shooting at his college, then took his own life.

Whoa! That sounds awesome! I have always been interested in the lives affected by school shootings and the like. Not of those who were injured/killed/their families, but the families of the shooters. How does THAT feel? That guilt? That awkwardness? That attention?

My favorite episode of Six Feet Under had a workplace shooting, where the shooter got three people and himself, and showed the family of the shooter who attempted to have a private ceremony for him still (plus everyone’s opinions on the subject). It is WAY too interesting of a topic to never be talked about. Should people not be able to be grieved and honored if they do one bad thing out of a more or less normal life time? It is hard to say.

But this is a movie site. Carry on, self.

The parents are played by Michael Sheen and Maria Bello, and they were fantastic. One particular fight scene they had over the incident, involving a disk he sent home the night before the task was just so intense, I was scared. In the disk he would have explained to him why he did it, but it was never shown to the viewer. Probably to represent how these things are impossible to tell, in real life.

The shooting is never shown, but the attention it receives is just very real. Alan Tudyk also ninja’s his way into the film, so you know it has to be good.

Steve The Pirate
Just ask Steve The Pirate

So yeah, obviously this is a serious drama, and the main two people in it did a great job. It could have been a bit better, but definitely a solid movie.

3 out of 4.

Café

This movie focuses on a about a week in the life of a West Philadelphia Café. About 96% of the movie takes place inside this cafe, through the conversations of the patrons. This is probably the most diverse cafe ever, as it has more than just hipsters.

Hipster Cafe
These are the normal Cafe patrons that I am used to.

Movie magic is the only way to describe how Jennifer Love Hewitt can be a barista. Jamie Kennedy she was dating at the time, so he is also in this movie as “sketch guy”. There are tons of characters though, from guy who looks like a fat Jemaine who is flipping out about reality, to lady trying to hire people for some urban kids program, to a cop, to his drugged out cousin, to two strangers who met at a movie, to a writer who just wants to write about whats going on, to the other barista who really wants some of that Jennifer Love Hewitt.

This movie opens with tragedy, and then starts off a few days earlier so the viewer can watch the events that transpire up to the tragedy. You know, because it wants to be a non nonsensical movie. The part that intrigued me the most when I read the cover was that the last line of the synopsis mentioned something like: “…and then they even begin to question if their lives are even real.” What?

WHAT?

Is this some drama/sci-fi movie out of no where? I watched it just to find out.

JLH What
Well. “Just” is a strong word.

Turns out that last line ends up being a lot more than just some smaller thing, but a big piece to the whole movie. While watching it, I was able to guess certain events would aspire. Parts are definitely cliche, and parts are just silly. The ending however is off the wall. While it is happening, you think it is just a piece of shit obvious ending. “Oh no, don’t do that!” you will say to the movie. Then it does it and you get mad. But then it goes just one step further to give a different ending than you may have expected. That is why I am giving it a higher rating. It is trying to go for something different, despite the cliches. I like trying.

Also a big shoutout to the chick from Flipped, for being in this movie as well. She’s gonna be a star!

2 out of 4.

The High Cost Of Living

Watch out everyone! This film is secretly a foreign film!

Canadian Barbarians
I heard the Canadian barbarian tribes paint themselves before every ice fishing tournament.

Yep. A Canadian movie. That technically means foreign. The High Cost of Living is a pretty weird foreign indie film. The only notable star in it is of course Zach Braff, as he loves this kind of shit. This time instead he plays a drug dealing american in Ontario or Quebec. I think the latter. Because the other main star is a French Canadian lady. Who is many weeks pregnant!

Unfortunately, thanks to drugs, going down the wrong way of a street, and sudden contractions, Braff ends up hitting the woman in the middle of the night. He freaks out. Has drugs in the car, so flees and calls an ambulance. The woman loses her child from the accident. These aren’t spoilers, just the beginning.

What happens then is watching the woman feel super distant from her husband, who she thinks doesn’t care. Braff cares about what happened, so he tries underhanded means to get to know her and find out information, eventually becoming her friend.

Twisted, I know. As any movie with a secret like that, of course the truth will eventually come out near the climax, and you have to watch how they all deal with it.

The film counts as foreign, because at least 1/3 of it is probably subtitled for French Dialogue. Damn you sneaky subtitle movies!

The ending, while kind of predictable was neat. It teaches us that crime never pays.

2 out of 4.

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. This movie is a love story, if you couldn’t guess. Probably most movies with Bride or Wife in the title (aside from Chucky?) are love stories. I wasn’t sure what this movie would be about, in terms of science fiction, just knew that the love aspect was the main point. I also knew it was based off a book of the same name, that some of my friends who were girls liked way too much.

Anyways, this stars Rachel McAdams (who likes hockey), and Eric Bana, playing a much better role than he did with Hulk or Hanna. As we all know, H movies are lame anyways. It is important to know that the dude cannot control his time travel a-

Hulk
JUST LIKE HE CAN’T CONTROL THE HULK. OH MAN CONNECTIONS!

-nd he doesn’t just build a machine and just go nuts, it is just the result of a gene condition. They also don’t spend hours of the movie explaining how it all works, but they let it work it out naturally to find the answers. I like that. Science fiction is hard, and if it had a lot of it in it, it would drag away from the story and leave itself up to more scrutiny.

The basics are he travels in the past and future of his own life, meeting the girl of his dreams at a young age. This story is just one timeline of his life, and metaphysically we have to assume it is just an infinite timeline where the past can never be changed. Everything will always happen. Sure free will is gone, but who believes in that anyways? Besides, you know what infinite timelines means? Infinite sex with Rachel McAdams. The first time he meets her when she is a kid, it is super creepy pedophile like though.

Pedo Pedo
“Yeah, when I time travel I am naked. Just a thing. Don’t be afraid.”

3 out of 4.

Where The Road Meets The Sun

The description of Where The Road Meets The Sun mentions that it is about a man who gets into a coma and loses his memory after a car crash, and how he copes with it after. Huh. Interesting description. Unfortunately it is about 1/4 of the movie.

ITS A TRAPP
Soon all of the internet memes will be on this site.

The movie is actually about four different people, who all end up in the same hotel/hostel whatever in America, and how their lives become connected. We have Mexican immigrant, Japanese car crash man, British playboy, and the hotel manager, an American. The Mexican and Brit become friends, both being bus boys, while the older people become friends. There are some scenes where they hang out together and talk too.

And then some stuff happens. People leave, others get shot. Life sucks, haven’t you heard? Then it ends. To me it felt like a series of smaller stories put together, but didn’t really have to be. The beginning was definitely confusing, as it involved meeting the people, yet not knowing the movie was about a bunch of different people.

You know what the bigger problem may be here? Nyquil. It makes things weirder than they should be, and could be the reason this review is lackluster.

Nyquil

1 out of 4.

Blue Eyes

This film is also known as Olhos Azuis, in case you want to be able to IMDB it. But why would you do that when I just provided a link? I had no idea it was another language for the title either until I looked up an actor and found it under the (Spanish? Portuguese?) title of Olhos Azuis. Anyways, this is definitely a Brazilian and more based film, half of which is in English, the other half in…not English.

Blue Eyes
This is not the cover of the film, but it should be.

Story tells of an Immigration officer at some airport on his last day before forced retirement. He definitely gets drunk during the party, but then continues throughout his day. The story tells two tales back and forth, his last day at work, and him traveling in Brazil much later. At the airport, he harasses a group of people, including becoming violent with one individual, and against all belief, hounding another. Each individuals storyline is told through these interrogations and with their conversations in the waiting room. Shit. Goes. Down. You just watch in disbelief at how horrible he is acting. And it sucks. It does.

The actual movie is done on a low budget. I could see how grainy it was on my TV, was distracting at the beginning but I got used to it. The story while not being true, is apparently based off a few different stories. I can’t confirm that, just what the director said. It will make you mad, but that is good, because it makes you feel. Normally I also talk about who is in it, but for reals, I know like no one. All unknown actors.

unknown actors
Not to be confused with actors who starred in Unknown.

3 out of 4.

The Shunning

Movie about Amish peopleeeeeeee.

For Richer Or For Poorer
Not this one.

Watch out. Quaint stuff. So it bugged me for the first twenty minutes, trying to figure out who the main chick was (Danielle Panabaker). Knew her from some movie. Probably someone in some movie who I have seen recently…or maybe ha….OH WHAT THE FUCK. SHE WAS IN SKY HIGH TOO.

I keep watching all these new movies and they are flooded by the cast of Sky High. She was the plant girl. Maybe Sky High is actually the best stepping stone for so many young actors, and soon all of them will be leading movies in the future, and we don’t know it yet? Maybe they are all the next brat pack?

Sky high plants
Often described as her “Carrie” moment.

Okay, so I haven’t talked about the movie yet. In The Shunning, there is an Amish girl, doesn’t like it, wants to be free. Turns out she wasn’t born Amish, nor does anyone know it yet (aside from her ‘parents’). So this dramatic film felt like a lifetime made for TV movie. Any deceit that was felt I couldn’t relate too. I couldn’t feel for the girl, nor did I see the problem. So what if you aren’t related biologically? Doesn’t mean you should forgo your whole past and assume you shouldn’t remain Amish. Oh well, was pretty bored.

1 out of 4.