A-to-Z Challenge (2015 edition): Challenge Aftermath

A-TO-Z CHALLENGE:
REFLECTION AFTER THE CHALLENGE


Now that I’m all rested up from the Challenge, I decided to do a vlog response for my reflection post.


But for those of you who don’t want to watch the video, all I mention is the problems I had during the Challenge:
1) finding time to post — as in I should have prepped by watching some of these films in March
2) commenting on other participants’ posts in that last week and a half of April

I also make a point that next year’s Challenge should make it mandatory for participants to categorize their blogs. (i.e. My blog is a PR, or personal blog. So anyone who wants to specifically go to personal blogs could hunt them down more easily.)

For my detail watch the video:

And I apologize for the background.

A-to-Z Challenge (2015 edition): Z is for Zathura

A-TO-Z CHALLENGE:
DAY TWENTY SIX


It’s here! The end of the A-to-Z Challenge!


We made it. So let’s get this final film review underway:

Zathura: A Space Adventure was my ‘Z’ movie. I was going to watch World War Z, but that would be cheating. It’s just that Zathura wasn’t at the top of my list of choices. It looked…well, boring…

But I was pleasantly wrong!

Before I knew that the same author who wrote Jumanji, I figured it had to have been pitched like the children’s classic. Same sort of premise–two kids, in this case two brothers, find a magical board game that launches them into another world. Same sort of dire need to go home motivating the children to complete the game, etc.

I liked the family dynamic aspect. These two brothers are suffering the repercussions of their parents’ mutual divorce, and they’re growing apart prior to the start of the game. Kristen Stewart is also in it, but she really plays a minor role. She pops up more toward the end, and that’s about it. Which was great because I think she sucks at acting. She doesn’t offer a range of emotion at all.

This is the gist of it in Twilight and in The Panic Room.

 Frozen Stewart aside, the movie has tons of heart-racing action (i.e. the Zorgons) and teary moments (e.g. astronaut guy talking about wishing his kid brother away), and just straight up weirdness that touches on unconscious incestuous thoughts.

Ahem.



Yeah, for once I agree with you there.

A-to-Z Challenge (2015 edition): Y is for Your Sister’s Sister

A-TO-Z CHALLENGE:
DAY TWENTY FIVE

 

Before I jump into this review, let me just say I was super tired when I was watching this Sunday morning, and I thought the film was called “Your Sister’s Keeper” and it was a Jodi Picoult rip-off. But that isn’t the title. And Your Sister’s Sister is not a rip-off.

The film follows after the one-year anniversary of the MC’s brother’s death. I hope that makes sense. (I swear, I must still be tired while writing this. Yeesh.)

Anyways, let’s try this again: the MC, Jack, lost his brother a year ago and his best friend, Iris (played by Emily Blunt) invites him to crash at her father’s cottage. So he goes up there without Iris to spend a weekend thinking about the shambles his life has been since his brother died. What Jack doesn’t expect is company in the form of Emily’s elusive older half-sister, Hannah.

Hannah just broke up with her long-term girlfriend and she’s a mess like Jack. And after they drink a lot, they sleep together for two different reasons, though both equally selfish. It’s their selfishness that comes to light and nearly ruins their relationship with Iris when the latter decides to drop by for a surprise visit, not at all expecting her sister to be there or for Jack, whom she’s fallen in love with, to have slept with her sister.

Stuff happens, the ending is…umm, poetic. Annoying AND poetic.

All I’m going to say is that there’s a birth control test and we don’t know if Hannah’s pregnant or not. And no, I highly doubt there’s a sequel. My bad, that should read…The End.

A-to-Z Challenge (2015 edition): X is for X

A-TO-Z CHALLENGE:
DAY TWENTY FOUR


I was going to go with X-Men for this one, but I found another film and so I didn’t have to cheat and watch Project X either.


XNight of Vengeance was like a poetic crime thriller. Crazy crap happened, but there were more intimate moments…and by intimate I don’t mean the load of sex in the film. The plot follows two characters, 30-year-old Holly, a prostitute who’s had enough of the sex world and is calling an early retirement to the City of Lights, and 17-year-old Shay, a runaway school girl who leaves behind her world after her mother dies.

Tbh I have no clue why this film is called “X”? The meaning is lost to me. I mean I sort of figure the subtitle makes more sense. The film takes place in one night…well, two sorta, but really the action all goes down in one night.

And there’s a lot of action. Some cop defies the laws of…well, he defies death over and over until he bites the bullet and finally dies. The taxi driver, Harry, is adorable. Shay is crazily naive, but her loyalty to her deceased mother and the fact that she’s just so lost makes my heart break over just thinking about it. I loved that Holly came back for her…watch the film and you’ll get what I mean.

The ending was bittersweet, but I couldn’t imagine it happening any other way.

Fair warning, of course. It’s R-rated for a reason. So approach with caution as there’s more nudity than violence, although one violent incident made me a bit squeamish. Don’t let that stop you from watching X. It’s a good movie, if you don’t mind nudity, violence and swearing.

A-to-Z Challenge (2015 edition): W is for What We Do in the Shadows

A-TO-Z CHALLENGE:
DAY TWENTY THREE


I went ahead and decided to role with another vampire flick. What We Do in the Shadows is like the male version of Vamps: instead of two single female vampires, the film is a mockumentary following the lifestyle of 4 male vampires rooming together.


It was okay-funny, not haha-funny. We get to know each of the vampires. They’re all old, so it was a nice contrast when a young vampire joins their little night party. The mythology was shaky if non-existent. The purpose of the so-called “documentary” was to follow these vampires in their natural habitat. In the end…the whole camera crew is killed, so I never figured out how the end was filmed.

I guess the company dispatched other guys? It was weird.
Also not just vampires, as zombies and werewolves make a cameo.

Lol @ that motto.

It’s a strange movie, with a strong concept but a sorta weak execution… It could have used tighter direction. Still check it out if you’re looking for something varied.

A-to-Z Challenge (2015 edition): V is for Vamps

A-TO-Z CHALLENGE:
DAY TWENTY TWO

Okay, I didn’t make much of an effort to avoid a vampire movie… So I picked tastefully–*cough*Vampires Suck*cough*–and went with an Alicia Silverstone film (or a film with Alicia Silverstone starring) because I figured I couldn’t go too wrong with her:
 
 
 
And I was right!
Vamps wasn’t great, but it had a pretty sweet ending. By sweet I mean satisfying. It wasn’t by any means a HEA. And this isn’t a romance, necessarily. If Vamps were a book, I would call it a chicklit. As in, some romantic subplot(s) but the romance could be removed and the story reworked easily.
 
So Vamps follows Silverstone’s character, a 160+ year old vampire, and her more newly-turned vampire roommate, played by Krysten Ritter.
 
Both girls are trying to live a modern-life, and Silverstone is having more trouble, even as she takes the younger Ritter character under her, err, bat wing, to teach her about night life and especially on how to survive without drinking from humans. Ritter’s vamp character never drunk from a human, but she doesn’t have to deal with urges when she lands herself a hunk of a human bf.
 
It was more cheesy than funny. But the minutes flew by. It’s a cute movie, and I don’t have much to complain about. I did cringe every time they stuck a straw in a rat…that doesn’t count against Vamps though.
 
 

A-to-Z Challenge (2015 edition): U is for Upside Down

A-TO-Z CHALLENGE:
DAY TWENTY ONE


I watched another Kristen Dunst movie. I actually didn’t want to. I’m not a fan of her acting. She’s pretty but plain, and she’s typecast into these daze-eyed romantic roles. But her character, Eden, was a far cry better than her role as Marie Antoinette. That much I can say in this film’s favor.


So, what is Upside Down about? Well, it made me wonder if it was based off a YA dystopian-scifi novel. It would make a good book, but the visuals were better captured through the film medium.


The sad part was this movie would make a better thriller than a romance…or w/e it was going for. Nothing revolutionary happened. I mean, in book terms like me put it like this: it was authors Amy Ewing’s Jewel trilogy and Kiera Cass’ The Selection series (I’m using these examples cause I just read these books).

Like these books, Upside Down was a love story set in a world that happens to be fantasical place where two–and discredit me here for my science skills–planets are in the same orbit??? Wikipedia describes it as a “two-planet home world”, so there. They probably get the visual across better.

It took me thirty minutes to warm to the movie and the world that was being presented to me. I still don’t understand WHY the pink bees can float from world to world to gather pollen? Or why the honey had to be pink, and not red, or green or blue? Not that I was complaining. Pink is my favorite color.

Tbh I was waiting for hte part where they would have sex. No, I wasn’t being a pervert. I was just…curius. How does one have sex if Eden and, hero Adam, are from opposite worlds? And no. No those dumb names were not lost on me. The sex was off-screen but I know it happened because Eden, who I keep wanting to call Eve, tells Adam the news that they’re to be parents to twins and that, SURPRISE, her pregnancy seems to have changed gravity for her and she’s able to live with him…”down below”. Yes, I laughed every time someone said “down below”. Sounded like a frikkin’ euphemism for hell or some other terrible abyss when the way I saw it, it all depended on what world you were on.

Lol, could this get any more Biblical? (Maybe the sequel will star their twins, named Cain and Abel, err, I mean Kain and Able.)

Joking aside though, I liked this movie better than Elizabethtown. Just don’t get too disappointed if you don’t get the MJ and Spidey upside down kiss. This is how close we get, and in a role reversal:

And closer:
On a totally random note, this film is Canadian. So go Canada!

A-to-Z Challenge (2015 edition): T is for This is the End

A-TO-Z CHALLENGE:
DAY TWENTY


I was happy when I saw the end…of this movie.

It was bad. I mean I went totally expecting it would be annoying and long, and annoyingly long because Seth Rogen was in it.

Well, to be fair, Rogen and Jonah Hill and Danny McBride. Put them all together, acting like themselves–which doesn’t matter because they ALWAYS act like themselves. In. Every. Movie.

Or in every movie I forced myself to watch with these actors. Although I loved Hill in both Jump Street films, though again he was typecast in that role, too.  Let it be known, I hated 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. And no, I haven’t watched Pineapple Express yet. BTW that last film is described as a “stoner action comedy”. I guess this means like Harold & Kumar, which was pretty terrible when you take away a couple giggles I had.
I make it a point to avoid things I know I’ll probably dislike.

And you know what?! They actually mention it in the movie! Ha. Best part, and I had to grudgingly give kudos to Rogen.

And what was this movie supposed to really be about? I wasn’t expecting it to go the Biblical apocalyptic way. Why? -shakes head-

So this movie was just a bunch of guys who decide to get stoned over the course of a religious apocalypse. There’s an exorcism. Beams from the sky that are not from alien invaders, unless you count angels and God as aliens…
McBride eats James Franco. Random face-dropping of celebrities (i.e. cameos from Rihanna, MacLovin’ Plasse, Michael Cera, etc. Also Channing Tatum who looked to be reprising his role from Magic Mike–another dumb movie. Great premise, stupid execution).

Oh, oh! The best part was heaven. And since they kept name-dropping Jesus and the Holy Trinity, I’m guessing a Christian heaven… But what the heck. This ending basically undid the whole premise of the film: to be good enough to get beamed up to heaven.


Soooooo. 
The only good thing I could say about this movie was this.

A.J: OMG we’re back again.
Me: Umm… Where did you go to start with?

Watch this film at your own discretion.
WARNING: you may lose your time and hate yourself for it.

A-to-Z Challenge (2015 edition): S is for So Undercover

A-TO-Z CHALLENGE:
DAY NINETEEN


I had a lot of movie choices for ‘S’, but I decided to go with So Undercover. And that would be two films this year where I’ve watched Miley Cyrus star as the MC (the first was LOL w/ Demi Moore).
 
Since I didn’t mind that first movie and Miley’s acting didn’t force me to chuck my remote at the TV, and I was drawn by the premise of a college sorority (what can I say? I think drama! And I liked House Bunny) I went ahead and watched the film.
Overall it wasn’t a terrible movie. I don’t actually go out of my way to consume entertainment I’ve been warned is crap… Why would I waste my time when I could use it better doing/watching/reading the things I might love?
Anyways. So Undercover is an okay movie, once you can get over the bad jokes and equally cringe-worthy conversations. Miley is awkward. Hella awkward, and after watching two movies (and a couple Hannah Montana episodes), I know it has nothing to do with the character’s portrayal.
 

 

It was a tame version of Mean Girls meets Veronica Mars, only more awkward and I didn’t really like the Dad’s character. The love interest was a cutie. The sorority girls were airheaded, but they weren’t as nasty as they could have been which was nice. And yeah, not a bad movie, so not discredit it just ‘cuz Miley’s in it.
 
 

A-to-Z Challenge (2015 edition): R is for Role Models

A-TO-Z CHALLENGE:
DAY EIGHTEEN


Usually I go into watching movies like Role Models reminding myself to be open to the experience (sorta like how I tried and failed with Grownups and Daddy Day Care).


Do you see my point?

But all my preparation was unnecessary because the movie was decent. It was actually pretty cute. Predictable, that’s for sure, but cute.

Paul Rudd–who I don’t always like to watch–had a very distinct role that contrasted with Seann William Scott’s typecast “perverted party guy” role. Throw in MacLovin’ and some mouthy little kid in and you got yourself a movie that you definitely shouldn’t watch with your kids unless you’re cool with them seeing boobs and Scott smoking pot.

Looks can be deceiving. This is more raunchier than both Grownups & Daddy Day Care, so choose your movies wild.

That being said, I did have a problem with the kid in this movie being exposed to the nudity and the language. And he was cussing so much… Oh man, I understand that he got permission to play the role from his parents/legal guardians, but the idea of exploiting your kids into roles like these are just disgusting.

Case in point:

First, holy graphic… And come on!! How is this funny? Also this bullsh** stereotype of angry black people needs to stop!
 
Anyways, overall the movie was just fine once you looked over the misogynist, child exploiting, lame jokes (e.g. that woman from Gleewas not funny) crap.