Movie Reviews · Nerdy Basement

Movies I Watched 2015, Part 2

Alright, let’s continue the list from last week. Everyone who loves lists, HIGH FIVE! *raise hand* Come on now, don’t leave a girl hanging. *shaking the raised hand* Fine. *self five*

Okay let’s get right down to it.

Whiplash – Here’s my mini review

Another Oscar nominee from the year 2014. It is the movie that changed my mind about drummers. I mean, I’ve always liked drummers, but the order of preference used to be guitarist, vocalist, drummer, bassist. But after Whiplash, drummers shot straight to the top of my preference. The music in this movie is crazy good, it’s holding-my-breath-so-that-I-can-concentrate-better kind of good. I do like jazz music, but I’ve never heard jazz like this. Movies about music has never been this exciting, but then again it is a movie about drums, so in my mind it should be raw and wild. Talk about raw and wild, J.K. Simmons’s performance as the music teacher was a-mazing. He did win the Oscar for it and he so deserved it.
My IMDb rating: 8 out of 10 stars

The Equalizer

The little movie freak inside of me who has an action fetish got quite wet all over this movie, figuratively speaking. First of all, it is Denzel after all, and we all know and agree that Denzel is a hardcore badass, right? But we haven’t seen Denzel being a literal badass kicking ass for a while now, have we? At least not in the way he did in The Equalizer. I have to admit, I do get freakishly excited whenever there are new and innovative way of killing people or getting killed by people. I am a horror freak after all. I mean I love the Final Destination franchise, just because they are always so good at making up new ways to off people. Watching the action of the Equalizer was exhilarating. It is effective, original, practical. And just based on those facts, I had to rate this movie high. And can’t wait for the sequel.
My IMDb rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Inside OutHere’s my review

Pixar is one of my favorite things in life. I do love animation, whether it be the crazy beautiful style of Japanese anime like Studio Ghibli or the more Western style used by Pixar. Both of the studios mentioned above have one thing in common, they always made animation that have heart. Pixar is very big on promoting being yourself, believing in yourself and that love and courage conquer all. Pixar loves to create stories of friendship and loyalty. My all time favorite movie is Up, because despite the sad beginning, it is a story about hope. All Pixar movies also depend heavily on the likability of their main characters, and the story itself is always secondary. But it’s not the case in Inside Out. The story was great and funny, might not be that innovative and definitely doesn’t deserve an Oscar nod for the screenplay. But the main character Joy, I didn’t like her at all. Well, she isn’t that likable. And the others are just downright whatever characters. So for once, I hope Pixar wouldn’t win Best Animation. Just because it’s Pixar, you don’t have to give it an Oscar every time. Nonetheless, it was definitely an entertaining piece. My rating of the movie might sound high, as it didn’t even sound like that I even liked the movie. But it’s still Pixar, and an eight for a Pixar movie is quite low already.
My IMDb rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Big Hero 6

Now here’s a funny piece. Big Hero 6 didn’t get as big as it probably deserved to. It had all the ingredients: the larger-than-life sad beginning, the young likable genius, the cute robot, the friendship, the super hero element. This one movie almost had the material for two movies. Instead of anything missing, I think they put a little too much into the Big Hero 6, making it just being good, and not great. But it was still super entertaining so give it a go if you like animation.
My IMDb rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Jurassic World

The very first movie I went to watch in the movie theater was Jurassic Park. I adore the shit out of it right from the beginning, it was exciting, thrilling and so much fun. The Jurassic franchise is just be one of those sets of movies that I have watched and re-watched more times than I can count and I still am not bored of them. I waited for so long for Jurassic World to come, and it didn’t disappoint. It did not exceed my expectations though, cos the first one is still the best. But Chris Pratt as the hero was a great choice, he carried the whole movie like a true A-list actor that he transformed into the last few years right before our eyes. There were a couple of big holes in the story, for example how fucking stupid those teens in a glass ball can be. But other than that, I have to say bravo to the gigantic effort made for the fourth installment to not suck.
My IMDb rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Penguins of Madagascar

Oh my God I loooove the Penguins. They were like the Minions of the Despicable Me franchise, stealing the show completely of the Madagascar stars. They had their own TV show, which is fucking awesome. And finally they got their own movie! So I really didn’t care much what the movie is about or whether they actually did a great job with the story, as long as there are plenty of Penguin action, I’m going to like it. And I did. And come on, Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of ‘Classified’ the Husky. And OMG BABY PENGUINS *shrill scream and faint from cute and cuddly overload*
My IMDb rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Monster University

Another Pixar movie that I took a while to get my hands on. It’s another one of those sequels that was so anticipated because Monsters Inc was so freaking good but it still took Pixar forever to make. A bit like Finding Dory is to Finding Nemo. I sure hope Finding Dory is going to be better than Monster University. It is not that Monster U was not good, Pixar can never be that bad, but it still felt half-heartedly made. It was heavily relying on the chemistry between Mike and Sullivan. Don’t get me wrong, it was super fun seeing the young Mike and Sullivan, but I was expecting a little more effort from Pixar.
My IMDb rating: 8 out of 10 stars


Now here comes a few honorable mentions out of the bunch of movies that got a seven from me.

Mad Max: Fury Road

I actually really like Mad Max. I just think that I would have liked it a lot more if it wasn’t a Mad Max movie. I mean, I love the original, it will always have a special status in my heart. Because the old one was bold, it was unique, it was like nothing else. And the atmosphere of the original Max Mad, it was something else, it was truly an one of the kind cinematic achievement. And the best thing of all? It didn’t even try to be all those things. So, back to Fury Road. I don’t mind the idea if it’s a brand new movie, set in the universe of Mad Max, just don’t call it Mad Max. Tom Hardy can seriously do nothing bad, he was very good in it. And Charlize Theron was stunning in this too. And the movie was exciting, especially for a huge fan of car chases like me. But in my opinion, it tried just a little too hard to be like the original, it tried so hard to create the same kind of bizarre and unique atmosphere as the original. Maybe it should have accepted the fact that the original Mad Max was made from the era gone by, it simply is not realistic to even try to duplicate it. Mad Max: Fury Road is entertaining as all hell, but it would have been a masterpiece, if only it would concentrate its effort to carve out its own path, instead of going down the same road created by a true masterpiece.
My IMDb rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Killer Joe

The year 2015 was packed with bizarre movie experiences, but Killer Joe pretty much wins the bizarre contest. So it’s all about dysfunctional family and getting way over your head. The punchline from the poster (A totally twisted deep-fried Texas redneck trailer park murder story) pretty much sums it all up. It’s Matthew McConaughey at his finest as this bat shit crazy motherfucker slash bad cop slash psychopath assassin. The story is simple enough, but some events in this movie are creepy, uncomfortable to watch and downright WTF moments all rolled into one. The scene towards the end with the blowjob and the chicken… perfect WTF moment of the year. And I freaking loved it! And then there’s Juno Temple. She nearly always plays the same role, and that is a slightly simple girl who boys and men alike would fall madly and sometimes deadly in love with. And I can totally see why. She’s like this otherworldly creature, like a fairy or an angel that makes you want to lock her in a cage just so you can have her all to yourself. I know, Killer Joe might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I liked it cos it was so full of surprises.
My IMDb rating: 7 out of 10 stars

The Green Inferno

As an avid fan of horror, I am obsessed with some horror sub-genres as well, like creature features, vampires, werewolves, zombies etc. I happened to have a bizarre and unhealthy fetish towards cannibal movies too. It’s still a little taboo maybe to say that you actually enjoy watching people eating other people but I’m quite sure I’m not the only one obsessed with this tiny sub-genre, or else they wouldn’t keep making these, right? *nervous laugh* Anyhoo, the 80s was the golden era of cannibal movies, especially from the Italians. Classics like the Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox received a small cult following. It was the age of exploitation horror. The Green Inferno is a huge nod for the oldies, back to the good old-fashion plot of cannibal tribes in the rain forest. It was extremely faithful to the originals, of course modernizing it a little bit so that it’s still believable. I was super excited when I first heard they were making a cannibal movie in the style of the old days. I was over the moon when I found out who was doing it: Eli Roth. Roth skyrocketed into my favorite horror director status after I watched Hostel and Hostel 2. He only does horror too, and I admire a man with genre dedication. Whatever he comes up with, I’m down.
My IMDb rating: 7 out of 10 stars


I watched this on the airplane when I was coming back from my China trip, so maybe I was too tired? Because I liked Pixels a lot. Despite the fact that I could hardly stand Adam Sandler. But they did have Peter Dinklage and his awesomeness simply outshines everything else. But essentially it’s a ridiculous movie about an alien invasion. Kinda like Ghostbusters but with aliens. But why I liked it so much it’s because all the nostalgia it made me feel. I am a player, has always been a player. Although Pacman and all the pixelated oldies were not from my generation, as with most awesome things I was simply born too late. But the playing in the arcade, and glory felt after beating a machine and spending all your coins on an empty title on the screen, they were one of the best childhood memories that I have. So the reasons of me liking this movie is strictly personal. Stealing the punchline from Playstation 4, this is for the players.
My IMDb rating: 7 out of 10 stars


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