Tony Manero (2008)

I read about Tony Manero for the first time one or two years ago (it was on Dell on Movies, if I'm not wrong), and I found the concept very interesting. So my quest for the past years has been to find the movie and watch it.

Set in Santiago, Chile, during the dictatorship of Pinochet in 1970s, the film follows Raúl (Alfredo Castro), a 52-year-old unemployed man who is obsessed with Tony Manero, John Travolta's character in Saturday Night Fever, so obsessed that he watches the movie in the local movie theatre on repeat in order to memorize the dialogue and especially all of Travolta's dance moves. This guy wants to be Tony Manero so bad, he's willing to do anything to achieve his goal.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)

I didn't remember why See No Evil, Hear No Evil ended up on my watchlist (it was because of Kevin Spacey, by the way), but the title intrigued me, I saw it was a comedy with Gene Wilder and I watched it. 

David Lyons (Gene Wilder), a deaf man who runs a convenience store, befriends and hires Wally Karue (Richard Pryor), a blind man. Then a murder is committed in the store and they both witness it. Because of their impairments, they can't identify the murderer. Also, the police suspect them of the murder and arrest them. That's when the real killer (Joan Severance) and her associate (Kevin Spacey) show up as they don't want to take any chances, David and Wally manage to escape and it's up to them to clear their names while both police and actual murders go after them.

Born in China (2016)

Nature documentaries have always been my favourites, and pandas are some of the cutest animals on our planet so (and the most relatable too as all they want is to be left alone to eat and relax), as soon as I saw Born in China's poster, I watched the documentary. 

Set into the wilds of China, Born in China follows a year in the lives of four animal families --snow leopard, snub-nosed monkey, giant panda, and chiru (Tibetan antelope). 

Specifically, the documentary follows a snow leopard, Dawa, as she struggles to provide for her two cubs and protect them from predators; a young monkey, Tao Tao, who joins a group of outcasts as his baby sister steals all the attention and love of his family; a giant panda, Ya Ya, who lives in peace with her growing baby, Mei Mei; and a herd of chiru as they migrate to give birth to their cubs.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

My brother and I used to watch the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series all the time when we were kids, and we loved it too. He loved it so much he even wasted money on the new franchise. I, on the other hand, couldn't care less about those movies and I skipped them. This one though, the first movie about those turtles, I checked it out. Not that I thought it'd be good, because it isn't, but because there's Sam Rockwell in it. 

Unfortunately, Rockwell is barely on screen as he plays a thug "working" for the Foot Clan, a mysterious ninja criminal organization that terrorises the streets of New York. It's up to four mutant ninja turtles, Leonardo (Brian Tochi), Donatello (Corey Feldman), Michelangelo (Robbie Rist) and Raphael (Josh Pais) to protect the city. 

Seoul Station (2016)

After I watched Train to Busan, I learnt that a prequel was released less than a moment later, a prequel that was made before but not released as the studios feared it would be a disaster. That prequel is Seoul Station (Korean: 서울역 Seoulyeok), an animated film that should supposedly tell us how the pandemic started. But that's the problem with Seoul Station, it never explains us anything. 

Taking place in and around Seoul Station, the film follows several groups of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse that unleashed in the city and the government trying to lockdown people. 

Mamma Mia! (2008)

Though I haven't seen it in ages, Mamma Mia! is still my favourite musical. Maybe it's because it's the first adult film, and by adult I mean non-animated film, I saw on the big screen with my mother, or maybe because it actually is a pretty good film, but I love it. Since there's still plenty of time since the sequel hits theatres (September in my shitty country and yes, I'm going with my mom this time too) I rewatched this and I took advantage of it to review it. 

Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried), a 20-year-old who lives on a beautiful Greek island with her mother Donna (Meryl Streep) and is about to get married, has only one dream, that her father walks her down the aisle. The problem is that she has no idea who her father is. So when she finds her mother's old diary and learns her mother had three relationships before she was born, she invites the three men on the island, absolutely positive that she would recognize her father as soon as she sees it. Of course she doesn't, and things get way more complicated as Donna finds out the three men are on the island.

Fahrenheit 451 (2018)

I read Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 last year and to say that I loved it is a little reductive. I'm not the only one who feels that way about Bradbury's novel and therefore turning it into a good movie was not easy. That said, I had high expectations for HBO's Fahrenheit 451 because of the network's resources and the cast, especially the cast. Unfortunately, it's a misfire.

Set in a distant future, when books are banned and firefighters, in order to destroy them, start fires instead of putting them out, the film follows Guy Montag (Michael B. Jordan), a young fireman who does his job without questioning believing that's the right thing to do. One day, while on his job, Guy witnesses something terrible and begins to question his task. 

Train to Busan (2016)

TV shows, movies, comic books, video games, songs, they all have been infected by zombies which is great if you ask me since I love zombies. The problem is that cinema is saturated with these monsters and very often movies involving them are a let down which is why I avoid most of them. Train to Busan (Korean: 부산행 Busanhaeng) though has been on my watchlist for quite some time as I've heard great things about it --also, it's South Korean and they know a few things when it comes to making horror movies. 

Seok-woo (Gong Yoo), a divorced man who is always busy with work and has no time to spend with daughter Soo-an (Kim Su-an), offers to ride with her on the train (the daughter wanted to go by herself) to see her mother in Busan. But as soon as the train departs, a zombie outbreak happens and Sok-woo, with the help of another passenger, Sang-hwa (Ma Dong-seok), tries to isolate the safe front cars from the infected ones. 

Thursday Movie Picks: Friendship

You don't need a plane to fly. Plastic wings may make you cry. Kites are made for windy days.  Lawnchair with balloons fly away. Inflatable pants you may as well skip. If you want to fly, all you need... is friendship. 

Fifty Shades Freed (2018)

I am not a fan of this series. I didn't even read the novels (I did try to read the first when it was published but only read a chapter or two and I was using the treadmill, that's how much focus I gave it). I had no interest whatsoever in knowing how the story would go but I watched Fifty Shades Freed anyway. Why? Because I have so much fun reviewing these garbage movies and Fifty Shades Freed, just like its two predecessors, falls into that category.

Believing they have left behind their past, Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) and Christian (Jamie Dornan) get married and set off on a honeymoon around the world. Turns out they did not leave their past behind after all. In fact, Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson), Anastasia's ex-boss, is back and continues to threaten their relationship.

Hoop Dreams (1994)

I've been meaning to watch Hoop Dreams for a very long time but I kept putting it off because of its length, two hours and fifty minutes. I had pretty high expectations because it is featured in the book of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and I've only heard great things about it.

Hoop Dreams follows five years in the lives of two African-American teenagers, William Gates and Arthur Agee, both from inner-city Chicago, both dreaming of becoming professional basketball players, and both recruited by St. Joseph High School, a majority-white school, the same school their idol Isiah Thomas came from. It shows what their lives were like, the struggles they had to face on a daily basis.

The Way Way Back (2013)

The Way Way Back is yet another of those movies that ended up on my watchlist because of Sam Rockwell. I wasn't sure though whether I would have watched it because (a) Steve Carell is in this and (b) there was something about the film that just seemed off (which is funny considering I had not seen the movie). Eventually, Sam got the best of me. 

Shy 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) spends the summer with his mother (Toni Collette), her obnoxious boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) and his annoying teenage daughter Steph (Zoe Levin) at his beach house. Once there, Trent has his friends come over to party all the time and Duncan, ignored by everyone, takes the small girl's bike he finds in the garage and goes to town. That's when he meets Owen (Sam Rockwell), the manager of the local water park, and his summer takes an unexpecting and fun turn. 

Early Man (2018)

Since I enjoyed all three Aardman Animations films I've seen, I was expecting Early Man to be a pretty good film. Unfortunately, it didn't meet my expectations. And by far. 

In Stone Age Manchester, a small tribe of cavemen live peacefully in a small valley. One day, their valley is invaded by the evil Lord Nooth (voiced by Tom Hiddleston) who wants to finish off the Stone Age and move to the Bronze Age. One young caveman, Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne), challenges Nooth's football (soccer if you're American) team to win the valley back.

Chicago (2002)

Though it won Best Picture in 2003, I never bothered watching Chicago for one simple reason, it's a musical and I'm not really into them. Then Birgit picked it for the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge, it sounded fun and decided to watch it. And what can I say, it probably didn't deserve the Oscar but it's a fun musical.

In 1920s Chicago, Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger), a housewife who dreams of becoming a vaudeville star, kills her lover (Dominic West) after finding out he was never going to make her famous. As he discovers her infidelity, Roxie's husband, Amos (), refuses to take the blame for the murder and Roxie is sent to jail, pending hanging. There she finally meets Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), the vaudeville star she admires the most, who is in for murder her husband and her sister --they were having an affair. Both represented by greasy lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), who is known for having his clients acquitted and making them famous, the two women start fighting for the fame. 

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Two years ago Deadpool completely changed the way we look at superhero movies, mainly because of its unique, hilarious and, yes, vulgar, approach to the genre. I'm one of those who loved it and yet I wasn't really looking forward to seeing Deadpool 2 because we all know how sequels go, especially when the first film is such a success. Luckily, Deadpool 2 is another hit. 

Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is still a mercenary who takes out the bad guys, and he still is in a relationship with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). When his life takes a terrible turn, he tries to find a new purpose with the help of the X-Men, but things take a turn for the worst when he sets out to protect a mutant kid, Russell (Julian Dennison), as the kid is hunted down by a time-traveller mutant named Cable (Josh Brolin).

Thursday Movie Picks: Twisty Thrillers

Twisty thrillers are my favourite kind of movies which is why I was very excited about Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks this week. When I realised I've used most of my favourite twisty thrillers, well, I was no longer excited at that point. Lucky had that I had my music on shuffle mode and a song by an Italian rapper came on. How did it help me? Because each line of that song spoils a movie and I remembered about some pretty shocking twists. Without further ado, here are my picks.

Like Crazy (2016)

I'm not into modern-day Italian cinema as most of the films we made nowadays are pretty stupid (those are the kind of movies that sell here and therefore the market is saturated with them). Like Crazy (Italian: La pazza gioia) didn't seem like that kind of film and I was very interested in seeing it but unfortunately, it never screened in my city, and then I kinda forgot about it. 

Beatrice (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) is a patient of a mental institution who has a hard time socializing with the other patients. When a new resident, Donatella (Micaela Ramazzotti), arrives, Beatrice hit it off with her and they become friends. One day, when they are doing educational work outside the institution, the bus that is supposed to pick them up is late and they get away and embark on an adventure together.

The 15:17 to Paris (2018)

Though I didn't love J. Edgar and I definitely need to rewatch American Sniper (I rated it 9/10 in the good old days), I usually like Clint Eastwood's movies. The 15:17 Train to Paris is a different story. The trailer didn't look that appealing to me and now that I've seen the movie I know why. 

The 15:17 Train to Paris follows the course of the lives of three friends, Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, from the struggles of childhood through finding their footing in life, to the trip through Europe where they managed to stop a terrorist attack on a train from Amsterdam to Paris on August 21, 2015.

Deep Web (2015)

My knowledge of the deep web is pretty basic which is why I decided to watch Deep Web, with the hope of learning something about the dark and dangerous side of the Internet. But I'm not sure I found in this documentary what I was looking for. 

Though the plot everywhere suggests that Deep Web is a documentary that explores the rise of the darknet, one specific website/black market, Silk Road, a place where people can sell/buy basically everything online, illegal stuff of course, like drugs, guns, hitmen even, it is barely about that.

The Winning Season (2009)

I watched The Winning Season with no expectations whatsoever. To be honest, I watched it to see Sam Rockwell with red body paint, a blue wig and blue thigts dancing. Anyway, I'm still amazed by how sweet and enjoyable this film was.

Once a successful High School basketball coach, Bill (Sam Rockwell) is now a drunk busboy who has a terrible relationship with his ex-wife (Jessica Hecht) and his teenage daughter Molly (Shana Dowdeswell). A friend (Rob Corddry) who is now a principal offers him to coach the girls' basketball team and Bill has a chance to redeem himself. 

Open Season 3 (2010)

It goes without saying that Open Season should have not been turned into a series which explains why Open Season 2 was released direct-to-video which does not explain why Open Season 3 was even made. It's not a surprise that this third movie is just as bad as the previous sequel. Actually, if possible, it's even worse. 

Elliot (voiced by Matthew W. Taylor) and Giselle (voiced by Melissa Sturm) have started a family and have three kids. So when Boog (voiced by Matthew J. Munn) awakens after hibernation, Elliot has no time to spend with his friend. Boog is angry because nobody has time for him and goes on a guys trip alone and somehow ends up in a Russian travelling circus where he switches places with another grizzly bear, Doug (also voiced by Matthew J. Munn), and falls deeply in love with Ursa (also voiced by Melissa Sturm), a female bear 'working' at the circus. Meanwhile, Doug pretends to be Boog and tries to roll the other animals. As soon as they find out, they embark on a rescue mission.

Red Sparrow (2018)

This is basically Jennifer Lawrence's Atomic Blonde, is what I thought after seeing the trailer for Francis Lawrence's Red Sparrow. I also thought that it looked way less exciting than last year's spy movie which by the way I didn't love. As expected, Red Sparrow turned out to be a pretty awful movie.

Set in modern-day Russia, the film follows Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence), a famous prima ballerina whose career is destroyed by a rival and is forced by her uncle, Vanya Egorov (Matthias Schoenaerts), to serve the State and is sent to the State School Four, where she learns to use her body and sexuality as a weapon. Her first mission is to get close to CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) to find out the identity of his Russian informant.

What's Your Number? (2011)

I saw What's Your Number? for the first time before the blog, when my obsession with Chris Evans started. I really enjoyed it at the time. Because of the perving going on on Twitter lately, I decided to rewatch it but I wasn't as impressed. With the film, I mean. Evans is still perfect. 

Anyhoo, as if getting fired wasn't enough, on her way home, thirty-something Ally Darling (Anna Faris) reads a Marie Claire article stating that women who have slept with more than twenty guys don't get married. She writes down all the guys she slept with and realizes she is a nineteen. So she decides that the next man that she sleeps with will be her husband, but she screws that up by sleeping with her disgusting former boss (Joel McHale). She then enlists her neighbor, the womanizer Colin Shea (Chris Evans), to track down her ex-boyfriends.

Beauty and the Beast (1946)

After reviewing last year's Beauty and the Beast, which we can all agree that it was not a good movie, Birgit from BB Creations (check out her blog because it's great) mentioned Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (French: La Belle et la Bête), and how the new one, although she hadn't seen it yet, would never hold a match to it. And she was right. Not only this version of the Grimm brothers fairytale is better than the Disney live-action, but it's better than the original 1991 Disney film too. 

A half-ruined merchant (Marcel André) goes off one night in the darkness hoping to fetch some goods from his ships before his creditors get them. But he gets lost on his way back and takes shelter in a castle. He picks up a rose and that's when the castle's owner appears, a creature that is half man and half beast (Jean Marais), and tells him that he has a choice of dying or having one of his three daughters come to live in the castle. Belle (Josette Day) who has always been selfless, sacrifices herself for her father and goes to the castle, and soon discovers that there's more than meets the eyes.

Thursday Movie Picks: Cannes Favourites

It's one of the most exclusive movie events and yet I don't care much about it. Yes, I'm talking about the Cannes Film Festival. This year's edition began two days ago and for that reason --and also because Steven from Surrender to the Void suggested this theme-- we are picking Cannes Favourites for Wandering Through the ShelvesThursday Movie Picks

Game Night (2018)

I kinda have a thing for Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams so when I heard they made a movie together, a crime comedy, I was very excited. To that, add the fact that I've read only good things about Game Night. You can imagine how excited I was. And thank god I was not disappointed. 

Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams), who met during trivia night at a bar, fell quickly in love and got married, host competitive game nights every week with their friends. This time, Max's older and more successful brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), comes to town and tells the group that he'd be hosting a murder mystery night. So when Brooks gets kidnapped, they all think it's part of the game. But as they set out to solve the case, they find out that it wasn't part of the game and they find themselves entangled in a real crime. 

Tickled (2016)

Tickled caught my attention a while ago while I was looking for good documentaries on IMDb. Not only did it have a pretty high rating, but it sounded like an interesting watch as I had no idea there was such a thing as tickling competitions (like I had no idea there were arcade games competitions as The King of Kong A Fistful of Quarters taught me). 

Turns out there's no such a thing as tickling competitions as David Farrier, a pop culture reporter from New Zealand and co-director of this documentary, discovered when he started investigating. It all started when he stumbled across some videos on the internet in which young, athletic men were tied and tickled by each other. Farrier knew there was a story there so he started researching. 

Mr. Right (2015)

Though I'm not into romantic comedies and I ralery like those with Anna Kendrick, I checked out Mr. Right anyway because Margaret over Cinematic Corner mentioned this movie --one scene where Rockwell is on a date with Kendrick and starts dacing with her to dodged bullets-- in her entry for the Mr. Rushmoore blogathon. Sure, she said it wasn't good, but could I miss a movie with Sam Rockwell dancing? The answer is simple, no.

After breaking up with her cheating boyfriend, Martha (Anna Kendrick) is heart-broken. A few days later, she bumps into a stranger (Sam Rockwell) that asks her out immediately. Though she thinks he's a creep, she agrees and they end up spending the next 10 hours together. They eventually fall in love but Mr. Right, as Martha calls him since she doesn't know his name, isn't perfect as she thought he was. She discovers that he wasn't being sarcastic about killing people, that he's actually a hitman and shit gets real. 

Open Season 2 (2008)

You know how, with trilogies, the second movie is always better than the first one but then the third sucks? Well, this trilogy isn't following that trend as Open Season 2 is even worse than Open Season

Elliot (Joel McHale) is over the moon as his antlers have grown back and he is getting married to Giselle (Jane Krakowski), the doe he's in love with since always. But things don't go as planned. He breaks his new, huge antlers before the wedding and starts panicking even more when he realises he and Giselle will be together forever and ever. Meanwhile, Mr. Weenie (Cody Cameron) is kidnapped by his former owner and Elliot, with the help of Boog (Mike Epps) and the other animals, goes to the rescue to avoid getting married. 

Johnny English Reborn (2011)

Since I enjoyed Johnny English and I'm looking forward to seeing the new movie releasing later this year, I checked out Johnny English Reborn. Though I didn't have very high expectations, it still managed to disappoint me. 

Dismissed after an embarrassing mission in Mozambique, Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) has spent the last five years in a monastery in Tibet, learning new skills and training the weakest parts of the body. But when MI-7 learns that the Vortex, an agency of skilled assassins, is planning to kill the Chinese premier, Johnny English is called back in action and, with the help of rookie Agent Tucker (Daniel Kaluuya), he must stop the Vortex before they succeed.

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Because I loved Some Like It Hot and The Apartment (both Billy Wilder movies), and I have read nothing but great things about it, I had very high expectations for Sunset Boulevard. And the film was just as good as I was expecting it to be.

In Hollywood of the 1950s, Joe Gillis (William Holden), a young, down-on-his-luck screenwriter, is hired by Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), an ageing and fading silent film queen, to write a screenplay starring her. Joe accepted the job as he believed he could manipulate the rich woman but he soon finds himself imprisoned in the lonely mansion of the starlet and develops a toxic relationship with her. 

Lootera (2013)

Lootera is one of the many Indian films Sid suggested me. I usually like the stuff --movies and TV series-- he suggests and therefore I had quite high expectations for this film. I guess there's always a first time for everything as this film turned out to be a disappointment. 

In 1953 India, Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha), the feisty and only daughter of the local Zamindar (Barun Chanda), falls in love with Varun (Ranveer Singh), an archaeologist who went to her village to excavate her old family temple in search of a lost civilization. But Varun hides a secret that could drive them apart. 

Thursday Movie Picks: Characters Making a New Start

At some point in our life, we all wish to make a new, fresh start. Maybe it's something as silly as a new year resolution, or something more serious, but I do know for sure that it's never easy. In movies, however, is a whole different story. It is so much easier, right? They decide to do something and accomplish that. Well, not always. Anyway, that's the theme for this week's Thursday Movie Picks, the weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, and without further ado, here are my picks

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

I was scrolling through Emma Stone's filmography when I first saw Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. It sounded like a really dumb movie from the title and having not heard of it before, I figured she only had a small cameo in it. Turns out I was right, but the film was pretty entertaining so I guess it's a win. 

The film is a mockumentary about Connor 4 Real (Andy Samberg), an internationally renowned pop star who became rich and famous at a young age. He is used to people loving him and his music, but when his new album turns out to be a failure, Connor does everything in his power to maintain his celebrity status. He is really willing to do anything, anything except reuniting with his old rap group, The Style Boyz.

Lost in La Mancha (2002)

Though I haven't read Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote yet, I've always been intrigued by the story which is why I'm really looking forward to seeing Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. I had no idea how hard it's been to make that movie, but now, thanks to Steven who picked Lost in La Mancha for a Thursday Movie Picks back in April, I do. 

This is indeed a documentary about the making of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Not the movie starring Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce that premiers in Cannes this month, but Terry Gilliam's first attempt to make the film, back in 2000. It was supposed to be the making of the film, but it was a failure so it became about Gilliam's failure in making the film, which is why it was eventually renamed Lost in La Mancha.