Sunday, November 10, 2013


Year: 2013
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Cast: Chloe Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday

Plot: Carrie White is a teenage girl who discovers she has telekinetic powers. Between being a victim of bullying at school and abused by her deeply religious mother at home, how long will it be before she snaps?

Review: I did not read the book nor watch the Brian DePalma original before, so I can't make comparisons here. I've heard many negative comments on this film already, so here's mine. For starters, it's not as bad as they say it is.

Kimberly Peirce updates Carrie in today's world, where bullying can be taken to a higher level via the internet, as demonstrated when Carrie is victimised by her peers after panicking during her first menstruation. Peirce paces the film well enough so it's rarely dull, and with the help of the screenplay by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, succeeds in making Carrie easy to root for.

Of course, Chloe Moretz deserves plenty of credit for bringing Carrie to life. I've admired Moretz's work for a while now, and she is excellent here as the vulnerable and emotionally damaged titular character. Moretz is the exact opposite of Hit Girl here, and I was so amazed watching her being so scared and confused in this film. She really nailed it. Julianne Moore is also awesome as her demented mother, who is deeply religious and plays a huge part in turning Carrie into the person she is. Think of Marcia Gay Harden's character in The Mist and you'll know what she's like. Judy Greer provides some good support as Carrie's sympathetic gym teacher while Gabriella Wilde and Portia Doubleday round up the cast as Carrie's peers, the former being the good girl trying to help, the latter being the mean bitch who wants to inflict pain on the poor girl.

As much as I liked this film though, the film has plenty of room to improve. For the first two thirds of Carrie, I was digging it, until the time came for Carrie to unleash hell on her tormentors, and that's when Peirce's film is left wanting. At this point, you'd think that the more carnage Carrie causes, the better. And she does inflict a lot of destruction, but I expected more, honestly. I don't know if it's because Peirce isn't used to filming gore or not, but I wanted more, seriously. And on top of that, the story could use a bit more substance overall. The audience is never really clued in on why Carrie gets picked on at school (other than looking different) or why she has zero friends (in other films of the same setting, even the weirdos have friends), or why her mother is the way she is. I would have also liked seeing the bullies do more harm to Carrie than what was shown, it would have made the payoff much sweeter.

Overall, I was more or less entertained by this film. Not having watched the original must have worked in my favor. If you like Chloe Moretz, that's more incentive for you to check this out at least once.  (3.5/5)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Thor: The Dark World

Year: 2013
Director: Alan Taylor
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Christopher Eccleston

Plot: An enemy older than the universe itself has returned to bring darkness to all the nine realms. What they need to accomplish that lies with Jane Foster, so Thor needs to protect her and take the fight to them. The only person who can help him do so however, is his mischievous brother Loki.

Review: Marvel has yet to miss a beat in churning out quality entertainment at the movies. This sequel to Thor is an awesome film, being fun and dramatic whenever it needs to be.

Director Alan Taylor, who has worked on Game Of Thrones, presents a story that explores Asgard and some of the other nine realms, with less time spent on Earth, which is surely a refreshing change. To that end, the visual effects and cinematography are top notch in realising these realms, from the beauty of Asgard to the dark deserts of Svartalfheim.

The story itself is pretty good, as it focuses on two of Thor's relationships. One is with his lady love, Jane Foster. The other is with Loki, whom he must rely on in facing Malekith, the new enemy of this film. While the former relationship is typical "where have you been" scenarios, the latter is the more fascinating one. The brothers' discontent with each other, which was explored in the first Thor and The Avengers is given some more time here.

Chris Hemsworth is still solid in his role as Thor, but as good as he is, Tom Hiddleston steals the show as Loki, who gets the best lines in the film. Natalie Portman is still a damsel in distress here as Jane Foster, but thankfully she isn't annoying at all. The other Asgardians get more screen time here than previously, with Rene Russo shining in her role as Thor's mother while the others such as Jaimie Alexander, Idris Elba and Zachary Levi (replacing Josh Dallas) making a better impression of their characters.

There are some minor complaints, like the continuous appearance of Kat Dennings' annoying character Darcy, who still makes jokes and nothing else. The writers also turned Stellan Skarsgard's Erik Selvig into a walking joke, which just didn't fly with me (except for the part in connection with a certain cameo). Christopher Eccleston's Malekith is also rather two dimensional for a villain. Also, Sif's feelings for Thor is hinted at but not explored fully here (and considering how it was noticeably absent in the first film, it felt tacked on). Lastly, why didn't SHIELD make an appearance, since the climax of the film was pretty major?

Despite all that, Thor: The Dark World is a really fun movie, and I wouldn't mind seeing it again. If you loved the first one, there's no reason why you shouldn't go see this. (4/5)

P.S.: Stay through all the end credits, there are two scenes to check out.


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