Movies watched in March 2017

Here are the films I watched last month. I mostly keep reviews on my Letterboxd account now, but I suppose I’ll archive them here every month as well. Various reviews may have spoilers.

Moana (2016)

Enjoyed the film. Great animation and music, and fun story. But just a bit cliche and predictable at times, felt a bit rushed and under-developed at certain moments. Granted, I’m sure a 30-something-year-old well-versed in animation tropes is not the target audience. Overall, a worthy Disney film.

My rating: 3.5 / 5

Burn After Reading (2008)

Coen brothers’ movies can be a bit hit or miss for me, but this one was enjoyable. Some nice twists and their unique brand of humor. Fun movie.

My rating: 3 / 5

The Accountant (2016)

This one didn’t really work for me. I think it tried to do too much. It had the super-awesome-fighting-and-shooting action sequences, the I-am-autistic-genius-and-write-numbers-on-glass thing, the my-mother-left-me backstory family issues, the mystery of the specific case he was working on, and then the whole (completely unneeded) side-story with the treasury agent and his protege. It was trying to do so much that the main character just came across as rather bland and generic. The fight sequences were fun, but with the rest of the film being as bland as it was, I’m afraid this is one I’ll soon forget in the mountain of generic action thrillers. Fun at moments, but ultimately nothing special. And I kinda guessed the ending with the guy being his brother, as it reminded a bit of Gattaca.

My rating: 2 / 5

American Pastoral (2016)

A man’s daughter becomes a crazy evil anti-war protester (and murderer?!) and vanishes, but her father still loves her. This is very meaningful and artistic because of how eloquent and thought-provoking the narration is. The end.


My rating: 0.5 / 5

Miss Hokusai (2015)

A strange film. Slow paced and episodic, which perhaps reflects the manga it’s based on. While the characters are based on real historical artists, it’s often more fantastical and spiritual than academically autobiographical, though that’s not a bad thing. Some “episodes” were so bizarre that I didn’t quite understand what was going on, but overall I enjoyed it.

My rating: 3 / 5

The Taking of Tiger Mountain (2014)

Perhaps a bit longer than it needed to be, and cheesy Chinese CGI always looks a bit silly, but overall it was OK. The ending was funny… just as credits are about to roll, we are treated with an alternative climax with over-the-top action.

My rating: 3 / 5

Boy (2010)

Felt like one of those weird indie films that manages to be funny and depressing at the same time, which are usually hit or miss for me. This one was OK. The immaturity of the father character could be extremely annoying at times, but I suppose that was the point.

My rating: 3 / 5

Passengers (2016)

I like the premise, the idea they were going for, but the execution felt pretty clumsy, with many plot points feeling very forced. How could a gigantic spaceship with such amazing amounts of technology risk critical failure, foretold by a bunch of random systems glitching out? Robots falling out of nowhere? Who designed this crappy system, Dennis Nedry? And it was all caused by… a meteor striking just the right part of the right machine? And the climax was ridiculous and illogical. You have to stand in the path of deadly fire to keep a door control turned? But if it was truly a deadly risk, wouldn’t you… let go of the control? And render the offered sacrifice pointless? And the captain coughing up blood… is there any more cliche way to show you’re dying? Just so much crappy writing that the premise and the talent is completely wasted.

Also, Aurora’s character was really annoying sometimes…

“I’m a journalist, I know people.” HAHAHA

“I’ve never written about myself before. This is the best writing I’ve ever done.” Or something like that. Sounded rather conceited.

“If you live an ordinary life, all you’ll have are ordinary stories.” Or you could, I don’t know, use imagination?

Overall, very disappointing.

My rating: 1.5 / 5

The Way I Spent the End of the World (2006)

Some interesting history, seeing Romania under communist rule, but otherwise I found the characters themselves a bit too boring.

My rating: 2 / 5

Inferno (2016)

Really awful film. I almost hated it instantly when Langdon wakes up with amnesia having a series of really annoying meaningless flashbacks and visions. Characters forgetting the past is such an AWFUL way to plot a story; it creates absolutely no tension at all. I HATE this trope. The only film that ever successfully pulled it off was Momento, and I think even that is a bit overrated. Anyway, the film gets a little more interesting later on, when you begin to realize what the conflict actually is and what’s at stake, though even that is so outlandishly ridiculous that it does nothing to save the film.

My rating: 1 / 5

Evolution (2015)

Very nice cinematography, and I enjoyed the slow eerie pace and creepy atmosphere. But ultimately the whole thing was just a bit too ambiguous for me.

My rating: 2.5 / 5

The Invisible (2007)

An interesting premise ruined by ridiculous plotting and a really stupid ending.

My rating: 2 / 5

The Eyes of My Mother (2016)

The main character’s blank “oops, I killed you” expressions made the whole thing more comic than disturbing. And when it wasn’t being silly, it was boring.

My rating: 1 / 5

iBoy (2017)

Pretty silly.

My rating: 1 / 5

Allied (2016)

While working undercover during WWII, two agents fall in love. But is the woman being honest about her identity? Fun movie, I enjoyed it. The assassination scene was nicely done.

My rating: 3 / 5

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Fun movie. Rather ridiculous in terms of spy technology and such, and they always cheat the fight scenes with tons of cutting and shaky cam, but I guess that’s what the MI movies are all about, right? And as far as MI movies go, I think this is the second best installment, after the first one from 1996.

My rating: 3 / 5