American Beauty

American Beauty (1999)

Genre: Drama, Romance

This is one of those films that go down in history for being completely unique and stunning in their script writing. This movie was recommended to me for a long time and when I did watch this, it was definitely worth the watch ๐Ÿ˜€ . The acting is superb in this movie throughout especially from Kevin Spacey who plays the main role Lester Burnham. He plays a suburban father who is having a mid-life crisis and became obsessed with his daughterโ€™s friend Angela Hayes (Mena Suvari). He does become it bit creepy as his infatuation grows but this also makes him rather captivating throughout ๐Ÿ™‚ . The film was quite dark especially how it began as it hinted to how the film would continue and was a very interesting start ๐Ÿ™‚ . I liked how the film was narrated by Lester as this brought us closer to the film and wanting to see how things would end. I liked how the film did not just focus on just Lester but others too and I liked the character of Ricky (Wes Bentley) especially as you learn what his family is like ๐Ÿ™‚ . I loved how each characterโ€™s problems built together and all lead to the last scene which was my favourite section. The ending was shocking, different and has stuck with me since I watch it ๐Ÿ˜› . The film is very arty and this works in its favour because the scenes are quite memorable (such as the roses on the ceiling scene ๐Ÿ˜› ). Itโ€™s a very psychological film that will have you thinking and questioning the idea of the โ€œAmerican Dreamโ€. This may not be to everyoneโ€™s taste and to be quite honest, the ending was the best part of the entire movie for me. But it deserves a watch once and it is unique ๐Ÿ˜€ . Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

I give this film 4.5 Stars out 5!

Panda American Beauty
…Look Closer

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages (2012)

ย Genre:ย  Comedy, Musical, Drama

This is another musical adaption that has made it to the big screen and I know many have mixed reviews about this one. However, I loved it ๐Ÿ˜€ . The story developed well, was captivating, entertaining and had very good songs ๐Ÿ™‚ . The mixture of song and story flowed well and it did everything I expected a Musical movie to do. Yes, the story is cheesy but I loved it as it is what you expected and it helped the comedy aspect ๐Ÿ™‚ . I did laugh at parts and found the relationship between Dennis and Lonny funny especially during their song โ€œI canโ€™t fight this feeling anymoreโ€ ๐Ÿ˜› . There are some pretty big names in this film such as Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Bryan Cranston and Catherine Zeta-Jones ๐Ÿ™‚ . What I loved is that each character was well crafted and each brought something to this story. The choreography in this is epic ๐Ÿ˜€ ! Some of the dance sections were clean and professional. My favourite song / dance choreography was โ€œAny way you want itโ€ as it was effective and fitted the story while being a โ€œmusical momentโ€. Tom Cruise was amazing as Stacee Jaxx showing off his versatility as an actor. He was funny but not too comical and his relationship with the reporter was my favourite couple (their story in this film) ๐Ÿ™‚ . I also liked the character of Patricia Whitmore (Catherina Zeta-Jones) as she was a well crafted character and quite fearless plus I liked her song โ€œHit me with your best shot!โ€ ๐Ÿ˜› . Overall, this is a great musical movie that hits everything you want and will have you still singing the songs when itโ€™s finished ๐Ÿ˜€ . Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

I give this film 5 Stars out of 5!

Panda Rock of Ages
Nothinโ€™ but a good time.

The Smurfs 2

The Smurfs 2 (2013)

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family Film

So this sequel is as bad as the original movie and makes the first seem better than it actually was. We have in this sequel, characters that we got familiar with in the first movie and a few new ones ๐Ÿ™‚ . The new characters that were good were Vanity Smurf (John Oliver) who was kind of funny, Vexy (Christina Ricci) who was probably the best addition in this and the step- father who added humour when he was โ€œtransformedโ€ ๐Ÿ˜€ . However, the new addition of the other โ€œnaughtyโ€ was too stupid that he became irritating and cringe worthy. The human side of the story was too cheesy for words and struggled to captivate ๐Ÿ˜› . Though to be fair, there was one sweet moment between Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and Victor (Brendan Gleeson) when he learnt the truth. Otherwise it was overacting from all human characters especially Gargamel (Hank Azaria) who was that stereotypical, cheesy, bad guy. He was so over-the-top you donโ€™t laugh at any of his jokes or comedy. The graphics of the Smurfs themselves was great as usual and deciding to make this all about Smurfette (Katy Perry) was a good idea ๐Ÿ˜€ . I liked that they used an original storyline here for her and explored the idea of turning her โ€œbadโ€. However, I wished it had focused more on that rather than passing over it and being too childish instead. Plus, there was a major inconsistencies with the turning into a Smurf. I will try not to spoil but if Smurfette when changing got blonde…then why did no-one else change? Overall, this film is as poor as the first and probably only small children will like this ๐Ÿ™‚ . Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€

I give this 2 Stars out of 5!

Panda Smurfs 2
Get ready to get naughty!

Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood (2011)

Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

This movie should have been awesome but comes out as just alright. The cast chosen for this movie are pretty big names such as Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke and Max Iron ๐Ÿ™‚ . I know they can all act as I have seen them in other things, but in this they are just passable.ย  I felt nothing for any of the characters especially those in the โ€œlove triangleโ€. The โ€œthroes of passionโ€ between these lovers was lack lustre and I quite honestly did not care who survived or who she would end up with ๐Ÿ˜› . The look of the wolf is decent and graphics arenโ€™t bad ๐Ÿ™‚ . The visuals are great and the colour palette of this movie is worth the watch ๐Ÿ˜€ . The story is good enough but predictable and anti-climatic. The twist is pretty good (probably the best part) as you donโ€™t suspect who it is ๐Ÿ˜› . However, I wish the film did not have its annoying anguish and just plain angry moments. Like how the town treated Valerie or bringing in that medieval torture device! The story had plot holes and failed to truly captivate. Though to be fair, this isnโ€™t the worst movie and thanks to the twist, is passable ๐Ÿ™‚ . You can see Twilight movie elements as the one of the directors in this was involved in that movie ๐Ÿ˜› . It tried to focus on teenagers who liked that film rather than focus on the actual story of Red Riding Hood. The main problem is this film tries to be too many things which then leads it to just being an alright movie. ย I am not sure I would recommend this movie but it not the worst I have seen ๐Ÿ˜› . Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

I give this film 2 Stars out of 5!

Panda Red Ridding Hood
Believe the legend. Beware the wolf.

The Smurfs

The Smurfs (2011)

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Children

Whether good or bad you will be compelled to watch this movie at least once if you ever loved the Smurfs as a child ๐Ÿ˜› . Overall, this is an amazing movie for children that will have them laughing and enjoying throughout ๐Ÿ˜€ . It is a little too childish and tries too hard to be funny for the adults to enjoy this but it is not too offensive to watch as a family. Though, the storyline was easy enough (plain and simple ๐Ÿ™‚ ) to follow and to keep you watching until the end. The CGI is alright and the cast in this are pretty good (Neil Patrick Harris, Katy Perry, Jayma Mays plus many more ๐Ÿ™‚ ). There is also some modern references that you will note which can be funny and the slapstick humour is okay. The major problem with this movie is that nothing is truly memorable and you donโ€™t really connect with the human characters or the Smurfs. Plus this movie might not keep you captivated throughout if you are older than a certain age. However, saying this it is a movie about Smurfs and it does what it says on the tin ๐Ÿ˜› . Overall, this is a really pleasant and traditional childrenโ€™s movie that is just about escaping a villain and returning home ๐Ÿ™‚ . If you go and watch this with little expectations than you might enjoy this and feel quite nostalgic for the original Smurfs ๐Ÿ™‚ . Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€

I give this film 2.5 Stars out of 5!

P.S. Happy Easter ๐Ÿ˜€

Panda Smurfs
Where the Smurf are we?

ย 

London Road

London Road (2015)

Genre: Adventure, Musical, Mystery

This is such a strange and unique movie that surprisingly captivates you from the beginning to the end ๐Ÿ™‚ . ย Not only is this film a musical based on a real life murder enquiry (and the community around it) it is using โ€œrealโ€ words. Literally the words used from the people and interviews at the time ๐Ÿ˜€ . It is slightly comical hearing real comments taken apart especially during the (basically) beginning section song with the news reporters ๐Ÿ˜› . This is so strange but it had me wanting to watch, enjoy and couldnโ€™t wait to see what song would be created next. The dark tone at the beginning of the movie worked well and the progress of the story changing into a happier tone worked. I loved that the ending and that the sense of darkness has not really disappeared from the community especially with the comment of one of the characters (would like to say who but I would spoil ๐Ÿ˜› ). The musical element doesnโ€™t detract from the story and you become engrossed to see who the murderer is and how the community are impacted. There are some worthy and surprisingly big actors in this movie such as Tom Hardy and Olivia Coleman. This may not be the best musical ever made or real life adaptation, but this was an enjoyable watch ๐Ÿ™‚ . It was dark and grim but made it entertaining and oddly inspiring with what the community did to improve. A very avant-garde movie that I was glad to have watched once ๐Ÿ™‚ . If youโ€™re looking for something different than I think I might recommend this one ๐Ÿ˜€ . Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

I give this film 3.5 Stars out of 5!

Panda London Road
Everybodyโ€™s very, very nervous.

Rio 2

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family Film

This is a pretty decent sequel to the original Rio movie and is as good as the first ๐Ÿ™‚ . The colours of this movie are very bright and the music is okay although not very memorable. The original cast is back which is good to see though some arenโ€™t focussed on as much because we have new characters to get used to. The narrative is fine and is easy enough to follow ๐Ÿ™‚ . However, I do miss elements from the original story and some parts arenโ€™t very good. The moments where Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) is made to look like a fool just became annoying because I like Blu more than the new characters. This also put a strain on the relationship between Blu and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) which was not great. Plus some parts of the story did have some clichรฉ moments and the โ€œhunt for a Starโ€ sub plot was really pointless but I guess it is there for comedy reasons. However, on the up-side the relationship between Nigel (Jemaine Clement) and Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth) was great ๐Ÿ˜€ . Gabi is fabulous and her song was the best part in this entire movie ๐Ÿ˜€ . If she had been in the first movie I might have enjoyed the original movie better ๐Ÿ˜› . However, it does end sweetly and the โ€œclimaxโ€ of the story is captivating enough for you to leave the movie feeling good ๐Ÿ™‚ . Rio 2 is a decent sequel and is worth a watch if you love the original movie and is great for the entire family especially children. Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€

I give this film 3 Stars out of 5!

Panda Rio 2
Back to the Party

 

Ghost in a Shell

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

This film adaption of the original Japanese Manga is exactly as I imagined it would be and more ๐Ÿ˜€ ! I have never watched or read the original 90โ€™s Manga (or Anime) ย so I am unsure how true it was but I was so captivated that I did not mind ๐Ÿ˜› . The worldโ€™s set up is original, bright, well crafted and (kind of) believable. It looked like a realistic future and with that small introduction at the beginning, you believe that those characters actually โ€œliveโ€ there. Even though this is clearly a dystopian world it didnโ€™t feel depressive which helped make this film enjoyable ๐Ÿ™‚ . Not only was the world set up great (making me want to learn more ๐Ÿ˜› ), the music and characters were also crafted well. The CGI and design of Majorโ€™s robotic body was great. Also everyone elseโ€™s CGI for the robotic parts did not seem fake (which is obviously a good thing ๐Ÿ˜› ). I loved all the characters but my favourites were Batou (Pilou Asbรฆk), Kuze (Michael Pitt) and Scarlett Johansson as Major stole the show ๐Ÿ˜€ ! The fight scenes are plentiful, the chase scenes are good and parts are a bit scary / freaky (like the Geisha Robots ๐Ÿ˜› ) . There are nice shocking moments and twists that should have been predicable but were great instead ๐Ÿ™‚ . I loved that twist and I loved when we start learning more about Majorโ€™s past ( I canโ€™t say which part in the movie as I donโ€™t want to spoil ๐Ÿ˜› ). The pace flowed well and I would have liked to watch more of this film. A great Sci-fi that kept me entertained throughout and I would happily watch again ๐Ÿ™‚ . I definitely recommend whether you were a fan of the original or not ๐Ÿ˜› . Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

I give this film 5 Stars out of 5!

Panda Ghost in a Shell
They did not save your life. They stole it.

Rio

Rio (2011)

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family Film

This pleasant enough narrative aims to keep the whole family entertained but mostly the children ๐Ÿ™‚ . The story is easy to follow but enough to keep you captivated with a decent enough amount of humour ๐Ÿ˜€ . It has lovely sweetness and a decent villain to battle against even if the ending is quite predicable ๐Ÿ˜› . The scenery of this animation is pretty impressive and the colour scheme is great. It definitely makes you think of Rio and the music in this film is awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ ! The characters are all good and likable (some more than others) but overall they all complement the narrative. The beginning scene and how Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) was captured was great. There were moments in this movie that does try to shock (danger element for the characters ๐Ÿ˜› ). The villain Nigel (Jemaine Clement) was cool and he meets a pretty nasty end but fitting ๐Ÿ˜› ! The humans of this story were also good and it was nice to see two separate storyline running at the same time ๐Ÿ™‚ . I wanted the birds to succeed as such as I wanted the humans to find them. As much as I enjoyed this movie and could sit through the entire of it without being bored, it is not really that captivating. This movie aims too much for the children that it may grate a little for the adults. Overall though, it is still a wonderful film for the entire family if you overlook the predictability ๐Ÿ™‚ . Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€

I give this film 3.5 Stars out of 5!

Panda Rio
The bird who never learned to fly will discover a place he can soar.