Movie Review: Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood
“From the director of Twilight,” clearly states the movie’s poster. So I kinda knew what I was getting myself into when I stepped into the cinema. I had low expectations for the movie and was pleasantly surprised the movie didn’t suck.

Red Riding Hood tells the story of Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), a girl that’s been arranged to wed a rich man, Henry (Max Irons) but is in love with her childhood sweetheart, Peter (Shiloh Fernandez). Valerie plans to run away with Peter, but their plans stop short when her sister is murdered by a wolf – the same wolf that the village has been offering monthly sacrifices to keep appeased. The movie revolves around the plot of trying to figure out who the big bad wolf is. Loads of red herrings are purposely placed in the movie to throw the audience off – which is fine, but some seem a bit forced. Especially Valerie’s grandmother.

The cast does a decent job, with Gary Oldman standing out as the overzealous Father Solomon leading the wolf hunt. Peter and Henry – two guys who are supposedly competing for Valerie’s affection don’t seem to be doing much and you can hardly sense the rivalry between them.

The movie somehow reminds me of a less complex The Usual Suspects/Identity/Lucky Number Slevin – but when you discover who the wolf is, it doesn’t really take you by surprise. However, Red Riding Hood is a movie that is decent at best, and Twilight’s director Catherine Hardwicke somewhat redeems herself with this offering. Hopefully she continues to improve with time. Red Riding Hood gets 5/10.

Movie Review: The Roommate

The Roommate
I saw the trailer for The Roommate before I entered the cinema and expected a typical college/thriller movie, and I was right. While the premise of The Roommate isn’t very common, the typical elements of a movie in the same genre are there, babes, frat parties, booze, murder, sex, and so on. Don’t expect anything groundbreaking and you should be decently entertained.

The Roommate tells the story of a college freshman, Sara Matthews (Minka Kelly, who somehow reminds me of Jessica Alba) who gets a crazed, obsessive stalker for a roommate named Rebecca (Leighton Meester). At first, things are all fine and dandy, until Rebecca starts to fall for Sara and her obsession grows out of hand.

The cast play their roles well, with Leighton Meester standing out as the crazed roommate – she’s actually believable as the crazed psycho bitch she portrays in the movie. There’s really nothing to complain about, and the onscreen babes are definitely serious eye candy. Especially Nina Dobrev’s three-minute cameo.

If you’re wondering about watching this movie in the cinema, it’s not a bad choice as a last resort but you’re better off waiting for it to arrive on HBO sometime down the road. The Roommate gets 5/10.

Movie Review: Source Code

Source Code
I heard good things about Source Code before stepping into the cinema, including its 90+% score on Rotten Tomatoes during its opening week, so I was expecting good things from the movie. Boy I wasn’t let down.

Jake Gyllenhaall stars as Colter Stevens, a soldier who is thrown into an experimental project, Source Code, which puts him into another man’s body to relive the last 8 minutes of the man’s life. In the 8 minutes he spends in the body, he is supposed to figure out who the bomber of a train is in order to prevent a much larger bomb from going off in the city that day.

From the get go, you should know that this is a science fiction movie, and a “time travelling” one at that – so expect obvious flaws and plot holes. It’s never easy to write stories about parallel lives and going back in time without making any mistakes, but Source Code does a pretty good job of covering it up with an entertaining cast, light hearted gags, and romance.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays a convincing soldier who happens to be caught in someone’s body and portrays his character’s emotions really well, especially in the scene about the phone call to his dad. Michelle Monaghan plays Christina Warren, Colter’s love interest in the movie, and does a pretty good job at it – you can’t help but fall in love with her as well. Russel Peters cameos in the movie as a standup comedian and even gets a chance to perform on the moving train. Nothing to complain about here, there’s eye candy for people of both sexes.

The movie ends on a high note, like a typical Hollywood ending, but it somehow doesn’t cheapen the whole experience. You feel for Colter, and really root for him to get the girl. You might walk out feeling a bit confused, and as you start to dissect the plot, you’ll start to be unimpressed. But taking it at face value and with a little thought – just a little and you’ll find that Source Code is one of the best movies you’ll catch this year. Source Code gets 8/10.

Movie Review: Hop

Every major holiday you can expect movies to pop up to cash in on the festivities, and this Easter, we have the 3D animated/live action movie: Hop. I had no idea what to expect besides rabbits after looking at the standee, so I went into the cinema with no expectations at all.

Hop is about EB (Russel Brand), a rabbit that’s next in line to be the Easter bunny. Deciding that he enjoys drumming much more than hiding eggs in the gardens of humans, he decides to flee Easter Island and hide out in Hollywood. There he encounters Fred O’Hare (James Marsden), a man who’s basically nowhere in his life and trying to get back on the right track. Together they embark on a journey to grow up and realize their dreams.

Hop is a movie for families and kids. The jokes aren’t edgy (though Russel Brand as EB does pretty well) and despite the cast, you’re not going to have any Sex Drive/Forgetting Sarah Marshall humor here. It’s been taken down to grade school level. Children are going to love the cute characters in the movie, and adults, well adults don’t really have much to look forward to except wholesome fun. You can expect something similar to Alvin & The Chipmunks – just a whole lot less annoying. And you get Kaley Cuoco gracing the screen with her presence. Mmhmm.

The movie is nothing to shout about, and might even be a little boring for some people, but if you gotta take a younger sibling to a movie to shut them up for 1.5 hours, you can’t go wrong. Hop gets 5/10.

Movie Review: Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (3D)

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
When the movie was first announced and posters starting appearing on walls, I never thought I’d ever find myself sitting in a cinema watching a movie starring child superstar Justin Bieber. As the months passed, and I found myself actually enjoying some of his singles, I thought why not just give it a shot. And I’m glad I did because I enjoyed the movie, surprisingly.

Never Say Never tells the story of Justin Bieber – how this 16 year old boy rose from being nobody to the megastar he is right now. Sure, it feels like one overhyped, full-blown special that belongs in the extras section on a special edition DVD, but they managed to include enough music and fillers to turn it into a movie. If you’re not a fan of the kid, chances are this movie won’t change your mind about him. But if you hate him, you should stay away, very far away. It really is all about Justin Bieber.

His story is pretty inspiring – Bieber actually worked hard to get where he is right now. He wasn’t some overnight sensation that people seem to think he is. Even though it was by fluke that he was discovered by his current manager, he had to face many rejections from labels before he finally got signed. Before he became a star, he was playing small shows at street corners, in schools and talent shows. In fact, the most surprising thing I discovered about him was that he’s a pretty good drummer. In fact, I think if he was drumming for a band now instead of being a pop sensation, he wouldn’t be getting all the hate he’s receiving right now, but we all choose our own paths in life, and this was what he chose.

Concert footage was pretty well shot, though you can tell some parts were just forced just to make use of 3D but his Madison Square Garden show (that was reported to have sold out in 22 minutes) has plenty of theatrics and big name guests to keep things interesting for people who don’t know his music.

Overall, I don’t have anything really bad to say about the movie – except that if you absolutely hate the Bieber, you shouldn’t be watching it in the first place. The plethora of screaming fan girls will probably annoy the hell out of you. If you’re not a hater, give the movie a shot, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Never Say Never gets a 6/10.