264th-266th Movie Review in a Nutshell: Memento [2000], The Hangover Part II, Litsonero [2009]

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’m back with three mini-movie reviews! Two weeks ago I watched: Christopher Nolan’s Memento; the sequel to a sleeper hit – The Hangover Part II; and a 2009 Filipino film entitled Litsonero. While they all had their own charm, I didn’t like them as much as I hoped. Check out what I had to say!

MEMENTO

One of a kind, but just wasn’t that interesting

Being different makes a film stand out, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be liked more. Nolan obviously worked his butt off to glue the story together, but the plot wasn’t really engaging for me. It was a little hard to connect the dots by the end, but the style of storytelling grew on me. It’s uniquely and intelligently made, but the buildup just wasn’t that interesting enough for me to enjoy the ending.

GRADE: C+

THE HANGOVER PART II

Same old story but with an Asian twist

            I didn’t really think that the first movie needed a sequel. This one pretty much had the same story, only with a different setting. I thought that most of the jokes were desperate for laughs, but nevertheless they were still quite funny (like the monkey). Ken Jeong was hilarious, but I grew too tired of the rest of the cast by the time the film ended. Oh, and the end credits? Crazy as hell.

GRADE: C+

LITSUNERO

A movie about pork roasting…not exactly the most intriguing plot

            The last Filipino film I watched was Kris Aquino’s ‘Segunda Mano’, so despite this feeling like an anti-movie, it was loads better and more bearable in my opinion. I wasn’t bored at all with the stereotypical conflicts the main characters were facing, but it seemed forced and you could tell that without it, there wouldn’t be any story at all. The acting was fairly decent, with Paolo Contis standing out from the rest. But towards the end I just felt that primary story of the film was overshadowed by never-ending troubles. The good thing is that it’s a different kind of Pinoy film… a kind of Filipino movie I’d like to see more often.

GRADE: C+

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262 and 263rd Movie Reviews in a Nutshell: Les Miserables [1998]; Mamma Mia [2008]

Les Miserables

A game of wits that starts with a bang but ends with a thud

Superb performances by Geoffrey Rush and Liam Neeson as the antagonist and the protagonist as they propel this drama forward in similar fashion to Catch Me If You Can. This is probably Neeson’s best acting. Uma Thurman and Claire Danes had strong performances as well.

However, I was never really interested with the love stories. And the ending..not what I was expecting. I was slightly disappointed since the tension and the build-up was fantastic. And seeing it end that way it just felt rushed and it seemed like they just bailed out. The rest of the film was still solid though.

GRADE: B

 Mamma Mia

Bad singing, horrible acting, terrible movie

For the record,  I watched this out of curiosity. I was not interested in Abba and nor was I thrilled to listen to the actors sing their karaoke renditions so I’m just going to say it: this movie was terrible.

The songs in itself was not my thing, but even if you take that out the film still has lots of problems. The story was senseless and stupid, the whole cast had embarrassing performances and the movie just seemed like one big train-wreck. Also, I can’t say I liked her performance, but seeing Meryl Streep in a different way felt fresh and that in itself is the only highlight of the film.

Mamma Mia was simply shameful. It was all very karaoke…and not in a fun way. I could imagine other people liking this type of film, so I think that my view is just relative. It’s just not my cup of tea.

GRADE: D-