The The Green Inferno (2014) – Disturbing? Horrifying? Worth Watching? You’ll be the Judge!

Eli Roth has a twisted mind when it comes to sick storylines. I personally only liked Hostel, and looking at this one, it seems like a thrill ride full of fear and shock moments, but I am afraid it might end up in a big gore fest without substance. And that weird disclaimer at the end talking about “This tribe has never been filmed before…”… Is he trying to make it look like a true story? This movie is standing on shaky ground in my opinion. But we will find out in less than 2 months!

Tammy (2014) – Glad I went to see it anyway!

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Actors: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd, Mark Duplass, Gary Cole, Nat Faxon, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh, Ben Falcone, Sarah Baker, Rich Williams, Steve Little, Dakota Lee

Duration: 96 min
Rated: R

You might Like this Movie is you enjoyed:
Identity Thief (2013)

Long Story Short:
Tammy loses her job and catches her husband cheating the same day. Ready to leave her old live behind she decides to go on a road trip with her grandmother.

Review:
We all know what a goof ball Melissa McCarthy is, and that’s why we love her. She can be raunchy sometimes, and relies on stereotypes, which in her case is the heavy set clumsy girl, but all that doesn’t matter, because she is simply adorable and hilarious. And since she is doing a great job, why not relying on it? Stick to what you know.

With that said, I don’t think Tammy is doing her too much justice. It’s the first movie McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone take full credit for; they wrote the script and produced it, so it goes without saying that this piece is very important to them. I think with the pressure they have been putting on themselves by wanting to make this movie a success they were too stiff and staged with some of the dialogue parts, certain scenes seemed like a skit and at times it felt confusing whether they wanted to create a comedy or drama. It wasn’t funny enough to be a comedy and not serious enough for a drama, not consistent enough for a dramedy. The idea was simple and could have been executed in many different ways, but I believe they wanted to show McCarthy’s sentimental side, which I actually liked as well. But whenever a sad moment was about to happen it was killed by a cheap laugh.

The movie has an amazing entourage like Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates, only to mention a few, and while I think Bates was giving an amazing performance as usual, I felt like Sarandon got a little lost because it didn’t fit her persona at all; Tammy’s grandmother was not complex enough for her. Actually I wished they would have made Kathy Bates the grandmother and Sarandon her friend.

So, is it worth watching? I think it is, especially for everyone who likes Melissa McCarthy. Does is have a deeper meaning? Not really, but why are people trying to look for one? People will always find something negative about a movie and I agree, it might not be the best movie Mrs. McCarthy has ever come out with, but it was a project and an experience she wanted to make. Maybe she realizes that she should work with scripts from someone else from now on, or establishes a deeper meaning and character development next time she writes a script with her husband.

I enjoyed myself and could look past the few slow parts. And I will watch again in a few years.

Rating: 6/10

My Name is Khan (Indian with Engl. Subs) (2010) – Everyone Needs to See This!

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Actors: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol Kajol, Katie A. Keane, Kenton Duty, Benny Nieves, Christopher B. Duncan, Jimmy Shergill, Sonya Jehan, Parvin Dabas, Arjun Mathur, Sugandha Garg, Zarina Wahab, Razia Khan, S.M. Zaheer, Arif Zakaria, Vinay Pathak

Duration: 165 min
Rated: PG-13

You might Like this Movie is you enjoyed:
Forest Gump (1994)

Long Story Short:
An Indian Muslim man with Asperger’s syndrome is going on a long Journey to see the President of the United States to give him an important message: My name is Khan – and I am not a terrorist.

My Review:
Too little attention is paid to movies that could actually change the mindset of many people, and therefore the world; My Name is Khan is one of them.

I have to admit, I just wanted to see it because my favorite Bollywood couple was in there, Kajol and Sharukh Khan, who have been acting together in original Bollywood productions such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge – two must sees for Bollywood fans.

My Name is Khan is an international production and takes place in the United States but is mainly kept in Hindi.
The story is about the misconception that our society created towards Muslims after the terror attacks during 9/11. Even now, more than ten years after the attack, people are getting the side eye for being of middle eastern origin. I get two side eyes, because I am German, which reminds some people of Hitler, and Pakistani – no explanation needed here. :D
The storyline is pretty simple but at the same time it keeps you guessing until the very end. As usual we are being delivered with an ending that some might call cheesy, but it is still settle and not over the top. Emotions are running high and eyes won’t stay dry. The actors convince, however, and this is something I never really like about the international Bollywood productions, the script for the English speaking people is very staged and seems more like a play, or even a cartoon. I always wonder if it is the actors and how they deliver their lines or the just the script that fails. Also, Bollywood loves to play with stereotypes which is why black women for example are usually very sassy and snappy, but mostly they also have a big heart, but I guess that’s okay.

Nonetheless, I can say that My Name is Khan is no less than brilliant, and probably Sharukh Khan’s most challenging role. I loved every minute of it, it never got boring, the storyline was never dragging and it left me inspired and sad at the same time.

It is definitely a good movie to watch in schools and to use for discussions. If you really think about it, it is not about Muslims, but minorities who are looked down on, or anyone who has to face ignorance from people who don’t even have a clue. At the end of the day we are really the same, just the shell is different.

Rating: 8.5/10

Django Unchained (2012) – Does Violence Succeed Over Inspiration? – A social Study

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Category: Western/ Action
Actors: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Dennis Christopher, James Remar, David Steen, Dana Gourrier, Nichole Galicia, Laura Cayouette, Ato Essandoh, Sammi Rotibi, Clay Donahue Fontenot
Duration: 165 min
Rated: R

You might Like this Movie is you enjoyed:
Inglorious Basterds (2009)

Long Story Short:
A freed slave is trying find his wife and rescue her from the barbaric hands of her owner. A former dentist – a Caucasian – is helping him.

Review:
I know people have mainly praised this movie, called it a classic, or a Spaghetti Western (?) – only the wind knows why. And while I have to admit that the entire cast was simply brilliant with their performances, and I also like Quentin Tarantino, I cannot recommend this movie. I don’t understand how someone can enjoy it.

Let me explain, that when I watched the movie, I was the only light skinned person in the movie theater. Well, I am kissed by the sun, but I stood out. While the movie was playing I felt the rage growing. I heard people say “Yes, that’s exactly what the white man did to us.” The anger felt real and current, not for something that happened in the past. It felt like an anger that is still slumbering insight people’s minds that creates the (mis?)perception of still being oppressed.

I am currently living in a mainly black neighborhood and every day I get a different impression from my surroundings. There is definitely a pattern that shows that “someone” or “something” is trying to oppress the people who live here, or at least holding them back; for instance: the only internet connection that’s available here is so slow that I can barely post an entry on my blog because it takes up too much speed that I am not provided with. So even looking for jobs online is a pain, especially if you have to fill out application forms when the connection keeps crashing. Furthermore the gas prices here are outrageous. But if I drive towards the areas where mainly Caucasian people live the prices are lower. Why is that? Is someone or something trying to keep the poor or less fortunate people down while making the privileged people richer?

At the same time, I get the feeling that a lot of people are complaining about this situation but no one is standing up or willing to do something about it, so basically they are doing it to themselves. People are complaining about having no money, but they rather go to the gas station and buy a roll of toilet paper for 1$ every three days instead of going to the grocery store and get a package with 14 rolls of toilet tissue for 7$ which is half the price of what they are paying. Instead of keeping their neighborhood clean I see people throwing out trash on the streets, when there is a trash can three feet away from them.

Movies like Django Unchained don’t really help making a difference. Django got more than half a million votes on IMDB and a rating of 8.5/10, while inspirational movies like, Akeelah and The Bee(2006), Remember The Titans(2000), A Time To Kill(1996) – hard to watch but with the most impressive pleading- , The Blind Side(2009), Antwone Fisher(2002), Soul Food (2007) or even the The Color Purple (1986) hardly get one hundred thousand votes. So does violence succeed over inspiration? Choosing violence over inspiration creates anger, and anger holds us back. Why? Because we keep focusing on the negative aspects in life rather than the positive ones. Eventually we think that we don’t deserve any better and start accepting. Eventually we stop caring, and this attitude will reflect on our children. And unfortunately I see this behavior every other day.

Yes, I admit, people of color – and by people of color I mean anyone other than Caucasian – still have a harder time being hired in certain establishments than Caucasians, especially in the U.S. – the country of freedom but also segregation; where else do we have China Town, Greek Town, Polish Town etc.? But if we work hard enough we can get just as far as anyone else, maybe even further, we might not even have to depend on anyone to hire us, and become successful entrepreneurs?! There are no limits in life. And until we understand that, there won’t be any change.

Now, coming back to Django, here are a few more things I didn’t like about it:

The release date:
Why would someone chose Christmas time to release such a movie? I am not looking at Christmas as a Christian holiday, but a time families usually spend together and have a peaceful time. Well, not if they went to see Django. But Les Miserable was too depressing too, in my opinion. So either choice would have caused anger or depression. Though one to choose from.

The use of the n-word:
It was used at least 110 times. I mean, I get it, black people were treated and talked to in the most horrible ways, but do we really have hear it to an extend where I am pretty sure it starts to feel normal for some people? I myself felt a pain in my stomach every time I heard the word. I despise the n-word, and not even a black person should use it if you ask me. Why would you use a word today that represents anger, pain, torture and humiliation? Like Maya Angelou once said, “The “n” word is like poison, whether you take poison from a vial or pour it into Bavarian crystal, it is still poison.”

The idea of turning tragic events into a comedy:
Sure, I had to giggle, too, about certain scenes, but at the same time I couldn’t believe the fact that I was actually watching a movie about slavery and had to laugh.

The glorification of violence:
Django was not only brutal in the revenge scenes, but the torture scenes of the slaves seemed even more gruesome to me, which raises the question: If a director choses to show a scene more graphically than others, does he want to create a more dramatic effect, or does he actually enjoy it more?

Those were my honest and true feelings about Django Unchained. Like I said, I admire the entire cast and their acting, and I really like Quentin Tarantino, From Dusk Till Dawn and Kill Bill are two of my all time favorite movies, but in this particular case I just can’t agree with the majority and applaud him for a master piece that in my opinion was a slap in the face.

Rating: N/A

The Devil Wears Prada (2006) – Let’s get some Facts Straight

tumblr_n4p0kj0mFT1r3129po1_1280Category: Comedy/ Drama
Actors: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, Adrian Grenier, Tracie Thoms, Rich Sommer, Daniel Sunjata, David Marshall Grant, James Naughton, Tibor Feldman, Rebecca Mader, Jimena Hoyos, Gisele Bündchen
Duration: 109 min
Rated: PG-13

You might Like this Movie is you enjoyed:
Don’t tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead (1991), 13 Going on 30 (2009), Confessions of a Shopaholic (2012)

Long Story Short:
Andy Sachs’s biggest dream is to be a journalist. When she is given the opportunity to work as the assistant of the editor in chief for a renowned fashion magazine, she sees that as a way to set foot in the industry. However, the tough and shallow world of fashion is not welcoming her as friendly as expected.

Review:
I adored this movie ever since it came out. After watching the movie I have read the book and both were equally well done. I decided to write a review about The Devil wears Prada because a fellow blogger critiqued it very harshly by basically calling it a cliché movie, saying
“Oh look. It’s a movie about someone whose friends support her until she reaches her goals, at which point they abandon her until she gives up her goals for them.” Furthermore he wonders, “Why is this story used so often? Can’t a girl be successful and have support from her friends at the same time? Sheesh.”

Since I couldn’t let anyone belittle one my all time favorites, I wanted to point out a few things here:
The Devil wears Prada is a great adaptation of a brilliant book; the characters have depth and the actors have been wisely chosen. Having Meryl Streep as the evil, bitter and eccentric editor in chief of one of the most popular and successful fashion magazine in the world was the best choice. Maybe Glen Close would have been a good pick, too, but Mrs. Streep was just perfect. I always say it, and I will say it again, Meryl Streep would even be a great choice to play Batman.
Which leads me to my first point: If you love Meryl Streep you will love this movie, too.

It is not a typical story of a girl who gets abandoned by her friends because she becomes successful. Her friends distance themselves from her because she becomes too self-absorbed. She slowly falls in love with the fashion industry, starts dressing differently and sets her priorities in favor of her job, rather than her friends. On top of that her transformation also effects her character: she becomes superficial. So as a friend wouldn’t you react the same way? I know I would leave her alone, after trying to spend time with her without success.
Meryl Streep has a very complex character as well. Miranda is the chief executive of a very successful magazine which means she has to represent a strong leader, and we all know women have to work extra hard in leading positions. Every scandal or weakness could be fatal. This is why she pretends to be an unapproachable witch, everyone is scared of. But Andy soon finds out the truth about her.
So, if you like well developed plots and characters, you won’t be disappointed either.

From a fashion aspect it is probably the most inspirational movie from the past decade. Anne Hathaway is a beauty and her transformation scene is everything.
Anybody who is interested in fashion or the fashion industry is going to love and appreciate this movie as well.

And with that I rest my case! :D

Sure, it is not an art house movie of extremely high value, but it has a very nice storyline and a wonderful cast. It is never cheesy or cliché. But I will say that: Due to the theme it is more on the feminine site, but I know many straight men who enjoyed it as well. So it is your choice to make.

My Rating: 9 /10

Review: The Den (2013)

simondaniel27:

I have seen this movie a while ago, and I thought the acting felt… not realistic. But somehow real. Life is not made by a script and that’s how it felt to me. I was quite shocked about the ending, because it wasn’t quite an open ending like the usual found footage movies. I had so many mixed feelings about it, that I actually didn’t know how to review it.
This review here describes it the best, which is why I am going to share it with my followers. Many thanks to Zoe (sorry can’t do the two dots above the e) Great job! Check out her blog at http://zuts.wordpress.com

Originally posted on The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger:

the den poster

Elizabeth Benton (Melanie Papalia) is a young student who has devised a study for her graduate thesis in social media studies: she will study the activities of random people online. She is given a grant to do her work, and uses a program called “The Den”, which is a random webcam based chat program that randomly pairs two people together to chat. Elizabeth goes into lockdown, even letting her relationship with Damien (David Schlachtenhaufendwindle, and the only time she sees/chats with him is online. A specific user keeps popping up by her, though there is no working webcam. The results that she is getting back on her study are just a little bit disappointing.

However, soon things change when it appears that someone has hacked Elizabeth’s machine, and starts to do some funny things. They record intimate moments of her and mail it out to the people that gave her…

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