Karla Souza as Maru and Ricardo Abarca as Renato ¿Qué Culpa Tiene el Niño? picture image

Karla Souza as Maru and Ricardo Abarca as Renato ¿Qué Culpa Tiene el Niño?

I’m going to blame the fanfic I read right before I picked a movie to watch for my choice on this one. That’s right, I read something about a one night turing into something more meaningful and then I watch a 2016 Mexican movie about a one night stand turning into something meaning. Also I wanted something that was a different and not Asian/Indian Media.

And like a one night stand turning into something meaningful this movie starts as some nothing and the gets a little more complex at end when there a twist that actually makes it rather sweet.

As you might have guessed this movie is about a young professional upper class woman, Maru,  who has a drunken one night stand and gets pregnant. The guy is a very young unemployed loser named Renato and he is all in on being a dad and marriage and love. Maru doesn’t want to get married to him but does due to family and societal  pressures but in they end up in love and have  their baby.

I haven’t’ seen many examples of Mexican movies so I can’t really rate the style of acting but it seemed fine. Maybe coming off a Bollywood where sometimes in the more mainstream movies, they tend to over-act without much subtlety, so in they were over-the-top in this movie it didn’t come across, aside from the weird musical moments but even then it didn’t seem like too much. Here the characters seemed like slight over-exaggerations of real people. They were fairly shades of gray, as in the characters had their ups and down. Were they amazing characters? No. Were they serviceable for the tone and story being told? Yes.

Was this a great movie? No. Was this a serviceable movie? Yes, I mean I finished it, that seems to be an accomplishment  for me right now.      

Shah Rukh Khan as Raj and Kajol as Meera, Dilwale (2015) picture image

Shah Rukh Khan as Raj and Kajol as Meera, Dilwale (2015)

Sorry, this posting series has gotten away from me, much like reviewing Hunchback versions. Anyway let’s see if I can somehow watch/review two more movies before then end of July. On a better note I did at least decide on the next Hunchback version.

Anyway I hadn’t planned on reviewing another Bollywood movie since I just did one but I watched this with a friend of mine so  I figured why not?

Before we get to this movie, a brief history. As a semi-casual Bollywood fan I enjoy the pairing of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. Prior to Dilwale I had seen every movie they have been toegther, which is not major accomplishment. But as a person who enjoys this pairing I was very excited to hear that in 2015 they were going to be a new movie and I had wanted to see it in theaters but then another movie came out around the same time and distracted me. That movie was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Then I heard Dilwale sucked and I forgot all about it. That is until I saw it streaming on Netflix and I knew I should watch it. So was everyone right? Was this the worst movie with this actor pairing?

The answer is yes. I didn’t finish the movie, I’m such a pro at the whole reviewing movie thing. (I know am not.)

I was so confused by this movie. Most of the characters  are terrible. Shah Rukh Khan plays Raj, I think he repairs cars or something but he used to be a gangster. He has an idiot brother who likes a boring yet conventionally attractive girl. Raj is okay with the pairing until he meets the girl’s  sister, Meera. Meera and Raj had an affair 15 years ago in Bulgaria but she was in a rival gang and both their father killed each other or something. And then she shot him.

Was there anything good about the movie? I mean maybe we should just focus on the positives.

Oddly I liked that the film said they were in Bulgaria, as random as that sounds. But there is a movie called Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam, which a way better movie, but in that movie they tried, and failed, to convince the viewer that Hungry was Italy. It was clearly Budapest they went to and not Rome. So I guess kudos Dilwale for saying you filmed in a place and putting that in the story?

What else? The Shah Rukh/Kajol part of the story was better than anything with the younger couple. That should have been the movie. Their chemistry wasn’t as good as any of their other movies.

Some of the lighting was okay. It was OVERDONE in cluttering the frame but it was a nice distraction in parts.

Everything was bad. This movie was bad. If you like the pairing of these actors and want to be a completionist sure you could watch it  but I would recommend the other movies they have been in. Sometimes it’s not worth being a completionist.         

Kyun! Ho Gaya Na picture image

Kyun! Ho Gaya Na

Instead of doing the roulette thing, I decided to take destiny in my own hands and pick for myself. I decided to go for  a Bollywood movie since it had been a while since I last watch one. So I picked Kyun! Ho Gaya Na because it was a period of Bollywood I used to watch when I first started watching  Bollywood movies (mid 2000s) and I do tend to go for the romantic saccharine movies.

So how was this movie? Very boring. I turned it off after and hour because I just couldn’t muster any attention for this movie. I even paused it to try my hand at water-marbling my nails. Which didn’t go well either but I had more fun failing at nail art than watching this movie.

The center conflict of the film isn’t bad, basically the two leads have opposing attitudes on love. The guy, Arjun, wants his parents to choice for him because love is complicated and Diya rather fall in love. It’s a take on tradition vs modernity theme that you see in a lot of Bollywood movies but the stakes are not high so it’s not compelling.

Honestly that isn’t even the issue. A small love-story that is either chill or silly is fine but this is neither. It doesn’t really know what it’s doing with a tone. The acting is also weird combo of hammy and wooden. Aishwariya Rai is only as good as her director.  There isn’t much in the way of chemistry between the leads either which is detrimental in a romance movie.

The look of this movie is off. Some Bollywood movie have a weird super contrast look which makes color pop but darker tones are really dark. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai has that look however that movie know to use a lot of color, Kyun! Ho Gaya Na doesn’t so it look weirdly washed out.

Then there is  the editing and dancing, both of which are  very jarring. To be fair I did stop watching so maybe the songs in the second act were better and the editing was tone down. But not the first three songs.

I would pass on this movie. It’s just all around dull.

I failed this quest line. Shame on me. Or did I beat it because I refuse to have it waste my time?  Those are the questions! That is the true debate! I did really fail at water-marbling though but I suck at nail art in general much like reviewing movies on the internet.    

Meliodas and Hawk, The Seven Deadly Sins picture image

Meliodas and Hawk, The Seven Deadly Sins

Hahahahahahaaa. So the fact that I randomly picked this anime is funny since this anime used to be one my favorites. I still really enjoy this show but I just been on a downward swing with anime as I don’t watch it with some amount of frequency or enthusiasm as I used to. I do have plans to watch the actual second season of this show when it comes to Netflix. I can wait since I have read a lot manga though at present I’m behind.

I first watched this show back in November 2015. I didn’t watch it because I was interested in it though, shounen shows have never been my thing. The only one I ever really watch before this one was Bleach  WAY long ago. I also did watch Attack on Titan but that show drove me crazy. I did watch and enjoy Yu Yu Hakusho though. Anyway I actually watched  Seven Deadly Sins  because I was to making a list of the best Fantasy anime and this was on my radar. I had very low expectations of it but the first episode was a lot of fun and I binged watch the season after that and have rewatched it a few times since. And I have made three AMVs to this show which is actually harder than you would thing.

All that being said I’m not sure how to review this first episode since it’s just one episode and two unlike that Mermaid show and even the Sinbad show, I have a really good working knowledge of what happens in it.

Let’s just start with some world-building. This is clearly a European Medieval world with knights and magic and talking pigs. Nominally it’s going for Arthurian legend vibe but ONLY with names.

Exposition is done through dialogue of extras and the two leads; Meliodas and Elizabeth. We mosty learn that The Seven Deadly Sins, a group of powerful wanted criminals are still at large after ten years and Holy Knights. Elizabeth explains that she looking for the Seven Deadly Sins because the Holy Knights of her kingdom have taken over and she has concluded to Seven Deadly Sins  are the ones to help.

Now with regards to our two leads, there is a total of three fake out identity involving them in this episode alone and this just episode 1. It’s bit excessive especially as the show actually goes out it way to pull this off as Meliodas’ wanted poster in his own bar doesn’t look like him. There is a slightly plot reason for this but it’s really just a plot mechanic for people to be incredulous towards Meliodas as he looks like a child and not like his poster and to make the audience confused/giggle,   

I would say aside from all the exposition this episode is fun especially between Meliodas and Hawk, the talking pig.

Actually from the vantage point of review this episode it’s a little maddening since things occurred that make some of the character out right liars.

All in all the first episode of Seven Deadly Sins is a fun introductory episode. It hooked me the first I watched it and while at this point I don’t really want to rewatch season one, it was still fun to watch it  the first episode.

 

Site Note – I’m a little bum that I didn’t get a Fantasy Movie from this exercise or a K-drama but can you do. Despite my lack of regular scheduled posts I’m considering continuing the random Netflix posts but with Foreign movies for July. And then in August I thought of looking at other French Musicals, which could be fun. As for getting back to Hunchback versions, I’m still thinking about which one will be next but I’m leaning towards that Roland Petit Ballet version next even though I know nothing about Ballet. It’s just been a crazy summer and it doesn’t look like it will let up soon.

 Magi: Adventures of Sinbad episode 1 Child of Destiny picture image

Little Sinbad, Magi: Adventures of Sinbad, Episode 1 Child of Destiny

I  hate that this one got randomly picked as it’s a show I have been meaning to watch anyway since I have seen both seasons of Magi and Sinbad was awesome in that show but this what I got so I shall watch it.

So this is season 1 episode 1 which is entitled Child of Destiny.

I don’t recall to much of Sinbad in Magi, except that he was awesome  but he was cool but he might be a case of less is more and that worries me about this show. Also I don’t recall if he was some awesome chosen  one in Magi. Super awesome child of destiny plots are getting outdated but the show is from two years so methinks of being a tad forgiving.    

This show does has a weird tone. One minute is light then tense then light again. I’m not sure how to feel. I guess because it’s an Adventure it can get away with tonal shifts but it still confusing. At least ease the viewer in the emotional or tense tones.   

There is also a TON of narration for world building mainly about a war, not the best mechanic but plot exposition has to go somewhere. Again it’s the first episode so we can be slightly forgiving but SHOW don’t tell. Maybe that is not the first thing taught for screenwriters?

Mostly this introductory episode is about 5 year Sinbad’s relationship with his Dad,a war-hero turned social pariah. He teaches little Sinbad  what strength means and wars sucks. War does suck.

I would say this wasn’t the strongest first episode of an anime I have ever seen but it was serviceable to get a handle of Sinbad’s origins story, his personality and world-views. Was it the best in execution? No but was middle of the road. I wouldn’t say it would turn me off watching more episodes.

 

Side-note- I apologize that this post was late. Real-life has been tiring and vexing.

Okay so no joke I first got  Mako: Island of Secrets which is the spin off to H20: Just add Water. What are the odds? But when I went to watch it I couldn’t find  it on Netflix streaming.  There is however the Netflix original show  Mako Mermaids which is not the same thing.

As I didn’t not foresee the Movie/Tv show that I randomly get not being available  I suppose I should make addendum to the rules in which I will re-spin if the assign movie/show is not available for streaming. I mean I would have watched it but it’s not there for me to watch and since I purposefully didn’t add Hulu to the mix I won’t watch things on there for this purpose. Nor can I really get the  physical copy of the movie/show So re-spining…..

And we got How to Train your Dragon: Dawn of the Dragons Racers   

Hiccup and Toothless How to Train your Dragon Dawn of the Dragons Racers picture image

Hiccup and Toothless

I like the How Train your Dragon movies but this seems sparse in terms of scope. Sure it’s for a straight to DVD video  but it just very meh and makes me wish I was watching one of the other movies. What I liked about the first movie was the lighting which this doesn’t have. It’s looks flat. At least Toothless is still cute

The story is told as flashback on the formation of The Dragon Racing. Basically we have a basic tradition vs modernity story. Regattas are  boring and old fashion and Dragon racing is cool and hip. My issue that takes me right on out is the use of the word Regatta which is Italian in origin and comes out the 17th century. This story is set with vikings, or roughly 760 to 1060.

So ergo Regatta CAN NOT BE OLD FASHION to to their own world building.  Oddly though if you look up viking boat race on google you get a to the howtotrainyourdragon wiki for the Regatta. Then again they are using Scottish accent for Norwegians so I don’t think there is much attention to internal consistency. Somehow the word Regatta gets annoys me more than the name of the characters or the place of Berk. Then again this is fantasy so I shouldn’t be so nitpicky about a word choice. I’ll admit that.

My point is they could have picked a better word then Regatta, their target audience wouldn’t have know the word so who cares?   Also Stoic is totally cool with forgoing the boat race for Dragon racing so whatever. Let’s turn something inclusive that most of the people can watch to something exclusive that no one can really watch. At least Toothless is still cute!

I feel like this whole thing is How to Train your Dragon: Quidditch Style. It’s not even a race it’s getting sheep for a points. It’s more like flying polo.

Also where did the snow area come from? During the race there was a snowy area. Where was that ? Up a mountains? Another planet? A Fjord? Answer me! Because nothing else was snowy.

While I do like the other How Train your Dragon movies this was not good and more confused then entrained. At least Toothless was cute!!!!!!

Season 1 Episode 1 H20: Just add Water

Cariba Heine as Rikki, Phoebe Tonkin as Cleo & Claire Holt as Emma H20: Just add picture image

Cariba Heine as Rikki, Phoebe Tonkin as Cleo & Claire Holt as Emma, H20: Just add Water

I can appreciate that this children/teen show from Australia is not for me or my demographic but that being said everything about it sucks except for that one dolphin.

The premise is that these three teenage girls get stranded on a creepy island after a rich bully was a jerk. On this island they find this tide pool that was in a dormant volcano and somehow being in the water with a full moon causes moon magic to happen. So now when they touch water they turn into mermaids and they have water magic. Maybe the mechanics of the how is addressed later.

This show has a very 80’s approach to it. It feels like it was made in the 80’s but it’s from 2006. However it having an outdate vibe doesn’t make it bad, you know what does?  Everything. The acting is stilted and unnatural. The camera work is dreadful unless it’s underwater.

Even the structure of how the characters are introduced is awful. They just show up. I guess they all go to school together. Emma swims, that is her introduction. She’s on the swim team. Then Cleo gets tricks on a boat by the rich bully, the kind of character you see in every teen movie in the 80s. The rich asshole does this because the boat is broken because his spark plug was taken and for some reason he gets Cleo on the boat before untying it. Why does he do this? He’s an asshole.

The the last  girl, Rikki, jumps on the boat to saves Cleo. Rikki is the one who stole the spark plug, she admits this because tell don’t show.  They then boat around and run in Emma who joins them for boating fun-times.  That is how these three come to together. We don’t know much about them before said metamorphous.

At least we know that Emma is motivated, maybe. Rikki is impulsive, maybe.  And Cleo is timid, I guess.         

This is show awful, everything sucks. I suppose if you like attractive young ladies swimming you could like it. Or if you want ever wanted Splash meets the Secret Life of Alex Mack but with a Australian 80’s/2000’s vibe this could be the show of your dreams, but that is very specific.

The final random pick is To and From New York. Its runtime of 80 minutes gives me pause but it’s at least short.

 

To and From New York picture image

To and From New York

 

Of all the movies I could have randomly gotten, I got this, a low budget independent  movie that is not as bad as The Room but not as enjoyable either.

The plot is an engaged woman named Lydia, goes to New York City for an article. One  night she goes with a college friend to speed dating. She meets a guy who works in a museum and through some series of events she become friends with him. However the plot is she finds a lead between two missing woman and using her new artist friend and another  friend who is a matchmarker/ hosted the speed date, she finds out what happen to these two women and it’s really anticlimactic.   But the good news is that Lydia breaks up with her fiancee and moves to New York. Though we never meet her fiancee or see the break-up.

That is pretty much the movie.

To and From New York is not good by any means. In an objective grading score it would get no high marks. The  most you can say is that at least the person who wrote, directed and produced  the movie, tried to bring his dream to life and that is worth something. Though it was misguided with too many weird chocker shots and odd edits.

It’s just better to go after a soulless studio cash grabs than a low budget independent movie where art and dating try and save the day in the end. It’s the difference between going after an establish author versus someone who self-publishes on kindle or a fanfic writer. Some people are just better but you can’t be too harsh on the work for being amateurish and unpolished.

If you truly have nothing better to do with your 80 minutes sure you could watch it but there is no reason to seek this movie out unless you want to watch every movie that The Cures’ music has been in because this movie has a The Cure song.

The third random pick is Tamanchey. I have many bad feelings about this one.

 

Tamanchey picture image

Tamanchey

Tamanchey means a pistol, often one built locally with not so high quality materials, so it’s the perfect metaphor for this movie’s execution. This movie is a load of hot rotten garbage from start to finish. It just took my low expectations and really ran with them.    

Nikhil Dwivedi as Munna & Richa Chadda as Babu Tamanchey picture image

Nikhil Dwivedi as Munna & Richa Chadda as Babu

The plot is  two criminals, a gal and a dude are both captured and both of their police vehicle go off a cliff and somehow only them and one cob survive, this leads to nothing. The lady is named Babu and she is a drug ring and seems to really like her work and the guy, Munna, does something with threats. Anyway they fall in love sort of. Munna is into the crass Babu despite saying he likes the demure type.  They have train sex which is on a bed of tomatoes so I guess it’s love on his end. The next day Babu peaces out and returns to her gang and lover/boss. Munna follows and they have an affair. Violence ensues and in the end they both die even though they were turning themselves  in for their crimes.

One of the biggest issues with this movie is the characters, they are vastly unlikable. Munna is a blithering idiot even though it’s reveled at the end that he was some kind of mastermind to keep the boss in the cuckold position. Though in all likelihood the movie was trying to make him naive in matters of love. Babu on the other-hand is crass, overtly sexual and seems to enjoy her life of drug selling and somehow she is boring, not sure how the movie pulled that off but they did.

With the character being unlikable and just not caring it took scenes that are being played as tense into a farcical direction. Though to be fair during a bank robbery the two leads are grinding on each other while they steal from safety despot boxes so maybe it is all a farce. Another indicator that this movie could be a farce is it take the two leads a long time to get the idea to kill the boss so they can be together, two criminals with no real moral compass take over an hour to come to the easiest conclusion.      

Nikhil Dwivedi as Munna & Richa Chadda as Babu Tamanchey picture image

Nikhil Dwivedi as Munna & Richa Chadda as Babu

Typically there is usually something that distracts from the terrible character and lack of story like costumes, or scene framing, or the lightning or music score or with Bollywood the music numbers however this movie has nothing. It goes the extra mile in mediocrity. There is one thing that was distracting though, the sound mixing and by distracting I mean it was bad. I recall from a commentary from a better Bollywood movie that Bollywood are dub over with ADR and with this movie you can REALLY tell, it was that bad.  None of the lines sounded naturally recorded from the actors.       

There is nothing good to say about Tamanchey it was a boring movie with terrible characters and sloppy execution.    

The second random selection is…

A Cinderella Story; Once Upon a Song. Help me.

A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song

Good news is this movie is mercifully short however I didn’t hate it. Granted I set the bar really low at the onset but it’s really just a dumb and silly movie with a Cinderella plot thrown in and  set in  a music school.

 

Megan Park as Lucy Hale as Katie and Matthew Lintz as Victor A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

Megan Park as Lucy Hale as Katie and Matthew Lintz as Victor

The plot is Katie, our cinderella character, is the step-daughter of this shallow bitch name Gail who is the dean of a music school because she couldn’t hack it as a country singer. Gail has a daughter Bev, who can’t sing and a hellion genius of a son Victor. She also has a spiritual guru named Ravi who isn’t what he appears to be.

The Prince is this British guy named Luke. Luke’s father is a big shot music producer who loves money, because of course he does. Luke however just wants to sing and write music. Katie and Luke bond a little and when Katie turns up at a Bollywood themed dance to sing for Luke because she like-like him he falls for her. However he thinks it’s really Bev because of this  whole plot surrounding Katie singing vocals for Bev in a student showcase or Gail is going to take all Katie’s money her father left her.  Also Katie acts as the Cyrano de Bergerac to Bev’s Christian to woo Luke.

 

Lucy Hale as Katie and Freddie Stroma as Luke A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

Lucy Hale as Katie and Freddie Stroma as Luke

Honestly this whole plot could have been avoided if Luke had just remember the color of Katie’s eyes. What is with Prince’s in Cinderella movies not recalling even one aspect of her appearance? It makes it worst since Katie’s eyes were the only thing Luke mentions about her other than her singing and he had meet two times prior to the dance.    

One good aspect was the movie did showcase the friendships between Katie and her best friend Angie and Luke and Mike. It’s just nice to see good representations of friendships with little or no drama.

Once big issue with the movie is that romance was lacking. Katie and Luke do bond over music, singing and guitars brands and there is a mutual attraction but it all feels very much like an after-thought to the larger lip-syncing plot-line. It wouldn’t be a big deal if wasn’t for the Cinderella aspect of the plot.   

The treatment of Bev was also problematic. It would have been one thing if the movie didn’t go out of its way to give her a moment of depth and vulnerability before it ends with her being throughly embarrassed on stage. It was off-putting.

 

Missi Pyle as Gail, Manu Narayan as Ravi and Matthew Lintz as Victor A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

Missi Pyle as Gail, Manu Narayan as Ravi and Matthew Lintz as Victor

Since this movie is a musical I mention the songs. They are ok for the most part. They are by no means amazing but they suit the tone and style of the movie, bland and unassuming. The ONLY memorable part with regards to the music is the chainsaw. One of the random bands uses a chainsaw in their music and yes, it’s great. Also to the movie’s credit they did have a original Bollywood-like song made for the movie and not just a sample.    

Oddly I had a feeling I would get a Bollywood movie, like I was listening to Bollywood music right before this was randomly picked and in way perverse way I got one.

I wish this movie had a bigger budget because they had a chance for an awesome joke. At the end of the movie Gail says that she will have her ‘Nirvana moment’ and then it cuts for her singing a country version of one of the movie’s songs. It would have been much funnier  if she was singing a bad country-cover of a Nirvana song.

   

Lucy Hale as Katie and Freddie Stroma as Luke A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

Lucy Hale as Katie and Freddie Stroma as Luke

A Cinderella Story; Once Upon a Song is a silly inoffensive movie. It’s not amazing but it’s not a total a waste of time. I would say watch it once and get a minor chuckle.