Sunday, November 2

Eagle Eye, Quarantine, and MORE

“The Ugly Truth” (2009)

I saw this in a pre-screening, so I can’t give away much about it. “The Ugly Truth” is a romantic comedy with Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl. I LOVED IT and so did every one I saw it with (a couple of 20 year old girls and an 18 year old guy). It comes out next April, so go see it! Its definitely worth the price of admission.

“Eagle Eye” (2008)

Overall, this movie was disappointing. I was originally excited to see this movie, but unfortunately the writers took what had potential to be scary and psychological and turned it into something that’s been done over and over since the beginning of technology. If you’ve seen the Terminator films, you’ve seen this movie with a better plot. As if the “technology is taking over the world” cliché isn’t bad enough, the movie also forces the two main characters (Shia LaBoeuf and Michelle Monaghan) into having romantic tension, even though the actors have no chemistry what so ever. I think this movie is worth seeing, but not for full price. The action was well done and the plot was interesting until they gave it away about 45 minutes in. All I can say is that I hope Shia Laboeuf starts acting in better movies soon or else his career is going to slow down and so is my respect for him as an actor. Better luck next time.

“Quarantine” (2008)

A movie about people trapped in an apartment building who become infected one by one with some freakish case of rabies doesn’t sound like a very new concept in the horror genre these days. However, the thing that makes this movie different is the fact that it is filmed entirely from the perspective of one news camera. Now, this technique was both suspenseful and extremely irritating to me. Because the camera’s view was often blocked by people or was muddled by being unfocused, it increased the suspense. But it also made me hate the cameraman. The main mystery about the story in my mind was the origin of the freak rabies virus, and the characters addressed this, however it was left unresolved. Near the end, the filmmakers give hints of a fascinating conspiracy theory/cult origin of the virus, but then they kill off the remaining characters and end the film before the audience is satisfied. Also, the whole last scene of the film was far too long and mostly comprised of close ups of the main girl’s face looking terrified. I enjoyed the film overall, but the end left me cold. Very scary, some pretty convincing gore and well made.

“Hairspray” (2007)

I finally saw this film after seeing the original earlier this year, and let me say, it made me love Zac Efron (no easy feat). This movie was one of the happiest movies I’ve ever seen. Watching the optimistic Tracy go through her daily life and then deciding to change it just put a smile on my face. The music was great (especially love songs “I Can Hear the Bells” and “Without Love” and the amazing “Run and Tell That”). John Travolta was slightly disconcerting as Tracy’s mother, but he did bring in some laughs and I think it was definitely a necessary tribute to Jon Waters’ original and to Divine’s original portrayal. Christopher Walken was cute, but nothing new for him. Zac Efron brought a nice realism to his superficial hottie character (also nothing new for him). Amanda Bynes was cute as Tracy’s friend Penny, but her singing was not great. Elijah Kelley was my personal favorite as Seaweed, Tracy’s black friend and Penny’s love interest. Kelley’s singing and dancing are top notch and his character plays a great role in the story. Allison Janney was awesome (as always) as Penny’s crazy, Puritanical, racist mother, but I would have liked to see more of her in the movie. James Marsden was his usual adorable self as the host of the show Tracy and Link dance on, Corny Collins. Queen Latifa was good; Michelle Pfiefer was good. And lastly, Nikki Blonsky was quite good as Tracy, the larger than life, super-energetic main character. The story of “Hairspray” is a great story of empowerment for anyone who is different from the norm, from African-Americans to the overweight. One of the best musicals I’ve seen in a long, long time. Although it might not be for everyone, I think anyone would be able to enjoy it if they put aside their own prejudices against musicals, Zac Efron, or whatever else.

10 Words or Less

“Project Makeover” (2007) [Korea] (4/5)
Funky story, cute ending, super hot Korean man playing nerd :)

“Philadelphia Story” (1940) [US] (3/5)
Funny sometimes, plot moves without convincing motivation

“Saw V” (2008) [US] (3/5)
Less gory than expected, half interesting, too much backstory

“Head Over Heels” (2001) [US] (3/5)
Cheesy but funny rom-com with Freddy Prinze Jr. Very 90’s.

“Bridget Jones’ Diary” (2001) [US] (4/5)
Cute but pretty predictable. Increased love for Collin Firth <3

“Deathrace” (2008) [US] (4/5)
Crap plot, awesome visuals. Like a videogame with amazing graphics.

“My Tutor Friend 2” (2007) [Korea] (4/5)
Interesting to see differences between Japanese and Korean people. Cute.

“200 Pounds of Beauty” (2006) [Korea] (4.5/5)
Sweet, empowering story. Beautiful voice. Pretty relatable characters.

“100 Days with Mr. Arrogant” (2004) [US] (4/5)
First half is hilarious; second half is a bit dramatic.

“Perfect Couple” (2007) [Korea] (2/5)
Not that interesting, not much chemistry, too over the top.

“Sunset Boulevard” (1950) [US] (5/5)
Fascinating psychologically. Cool look into old Hollywood. Basically amazing.

“Seven Chances” (1925) [US] (5/5)
Busten Keaton classic. Doesn’t lose much over the years.

“His Girl Friday” (1940) [US] (4/5)
Fastest dialogue ever. Characters are weird. Very screwball comedy.

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