[05/19/24] - it's like they made kill it with fire (the video game) into a movie, and mixed in elements of rec (2007). it also could be a metaphor for the bed bug epidemic and france, and i saw how it could be a response to the covid-19 pandemic. i really liked the movie and its jumpscares. it legitimately makes my skin crawl.

first, i like how they weren't afraid to show how grimey and dirty france could be. it showed the parts that the glitter and filters hide. the apartment building had such an intriguing circular design, and i wonder if it's intentional. it was interesting seeing how the electricity/light was on a timer, and i'm REALLY satisfied with how they brought that mechanic full-circle towards the end, when the five main characters were escaping the hallway.

second, with the opening scene, i do appreciate how i was able to understand the poachers (?) or hunters even though they weren't speaking english, nor were there any subtitles (for me, anyway). and though i didn't understand why one of them killed their friend/coworker, it made sense at the end why it's better to end someone's life after they've been bitten. looking back on jordy's screams through the vent... it didn't click until then. while doing some further reading (on reddit) i saw that someone mentioned this movie could be a warning against removing animals from their homes for the exotic animal trade, seeing that the spiders only ate and reproduced to survive since they were taken out of their natural habitat.

third, the characters were pretty great too. the human plot was good, albeit not as dramatic as it could've been. a very diverse and talented cast. and, as much as it pains me to say this, i'm glad that they weren't afraid to kill the dog. maggie was very well-behaved and she was such a good girl; at least they did her death off-screen.

the spiders were also well-characterized; their weaknesses are light and fire, but they're pretty fast and reproduce at a quicker rate. though the spiders did feel a bit over-powering (how do you EVEN get rid of them, by fumigation? by burning everything down?), i admired how the protags still kept going.

i really enjoy kaleb's character; he collects exotic pets (he has more confidence in his skills than i do when it comes to taking care of another living being), he sells nice shoes (only, to my knowledge), and i noticed his little quirk, where he refuses to "swear" because that's what his buddy jordy said to him last (on the back of the picture he kept).

i liked how everyone was flawed in a way: kaleb tried his best to do good but would always be seen as the bad guy and he would refuse to accept responsibility because of it; jordy (to me) seemed a bit like a know-it-all and would run his mouth; lila of course had to be the one with arachnophobia; manon had to be the headstrong golden child that kaleb gets compared to, the one that doesn't seem to grieve; and mathys was kinda just there, i don't have much to say about him.

i LOVED how diverse the side characters were. ms. claudia didn't deserve to die like that, i honestly wish she was able to move out (it kind of reminds me of when benny was killed in city of god, before he was supposed to leave the hood). as for madame zhao, she had some steel clad BALLS for going head first with a bandana and two cans of bug spray. it also makes sense for why the bugs weren't killed by bug spray because they could've evolved to be resistant. i appreciated how the main group still showed concern for their neighbors; this didn't feel like a stupid decision to me, and it just showed how much the characters actually cared. i like how the movie built up those relationships only to kill those people off. only, the sacrifice of mathys didn't make sense to me, and i feel as if jordy didn't have to die (i honestly feel like lila or mathys could've died instead of jordy so he and kaleb could've had a heart-to-heart instead of having lila be the one to tell kaleb about jordy protecting kaleb's rep).

i wish the movie could've explored the grief of kaleb and mamon a bit more, because (to me! grasping at straws) motherhood kinda seemed to be a bit important. speaking of grief, the scene where lila was mourning jordy was very heavy for some reason, even though he was only a side character. calling back to the first paragraph, i thought this moment was referencing the grief felt during the pandemic, or just with any general terminal illness like cancer, because you'd feel useless since you can't stop or cure it (early in the pandemic or in the late stages of the illness), and you'd feel empty when the person is gone (the nail in the coffin was hearing jordy scream in agony). on a different note, i wish they had more scenes showing that lila and jordy were actually a couple who cared about one another, since i couldn't tell aside from the fact that they were around each other a lot.

fourth, when it comes to the spider holding a defensive position while stuck in the head lights, i might sound crazy, but i understood this to mean that the big spider (probably a momma spider, seeing that the spiders reproduced very quickly) decided that the police officers were the bigger threat than the three in the car, and that the big spider wanted to protect her babies. someone on reddit thought that the spider pausing is the spider noticing how kaleb didn't actually want to hurt the spiders, and that he only wanted to escape. i thought the scene established both sides and their priorities pretty well, but i could be reading too much into it.

as for the the end of the movie in general, a lot of people complained about it on reddit from what i could see, where mathys' "sacrifice" made the situation worse for everyone there, and only served as a catalyst for the final fight (so to speak). emotions were running high, the police (though they did what they could) caused the death of jordy and everyone in the building. it also didn't make sense for mathys to bash the door in, possibly causing the spiders to run rampant in the city, but i guess this just doesn't leave room for a possible sequel to profit off of (and i'm grateful for that). i kinda just took the ending at face value and didn't question whether all the spiders were killed in the demolition or not; i'm honestly just glad the three made it out, though i can see why someone would protest why they got to live.

but their opinions don't matter to me, they're just another perspective to consider. i for one very much enjoyed the movie and was thoroughly jumped and scared. i don't hate spiders, but i won't hesitate to reconsider their life.
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
[05/18/24] - it's a very brain-off movie if you like seeing big monsters fight on-screen. that's it !

first, the movie is really silly. the first instance of silly was when kong used the little kong to beat up the other monkeys. that was funny as SHIT. the monster fights were pretty cool, and the monsters were even more emotive but it was subtle. i noticed they gave godzilla eyebrows, and i like how we could hear skar laughing.

second, the cgi was meh. my senses got overwhelmed pretty early on and i just mellowed out for the rest of the movie because i honestly couldn't tell if it was bad because there was just too damn much of it. in some places, it got very detailed and almost hard to look at, and i'm not sure they even made use of lens focus or blurring. everything was done in post basically, so the movie didn't feel real in some places, especially considering how the actors "imagined" the monsters/environment being there (like mothra's light, the ground shaking etc).

third, in terms of b-plot, the human story was hard to decipher and understand. the human plot is always weak in these types of stories. all of this science mumbo jumbo thrown in at some places to make it seem interesting but i wasn't following. for example, when the iwi tribe changed their village's gravity, i don't understand what the point of that was, except to have that zero-gravity fight between all four monsters.

fourth, don't even get me started on the characters. the characters were more caricatures than anything. i feel weird about how the two pocs were portrayed.

bernie (whom i don't remember from the previous movies) exhibited a lot of negative traits; he was talkative when it wasn't needed (which made him seem like a burden), a bit cowardly and very in-the-moment (with his camcorder and polaroid? don't even ask me how or why the directors decided to include old tech and 80s synth music... it doesn't make sense in the movie's modern setting). in my opinion, he was disrespectful of the iwi tribe and their absent consent because he was recording them as a spectacle. when trapper pointed that out, bernie didn't even get the message and only wanted to record trapper saying he was great (even if this was meant to read as sarcastic, his character didn't develop at all). i also don't like how he referred to his "discord mods" in the very beginning; this phrase is associated negatively with a certain type of person on the internet and i can't get that iffy line off my tongue (it felt as if the directors wanted him to be more relatable in a way by bringing up discord, but it was in poor taste if you don't understand the pop culture and stereotypes surrounding discord). i'm just getting tired of these conspiracy theorists who think the world should revolve around them and their intelligence. it happened in the first few godzilla movies, it happened in monarch. there has to be a new character/personality you can introduce. one more thing i was confused about was how he was able to understand the iwi people after only being with them for a few hours. the outsiders were scared of them at first because they communicate telepathically (fucking how? was this an excuse to not give lines to the other minor poc characters? or was this to make jia feel more "at home"? i don't know), but now the outsiders were interacting with the iwi tribe, and the iwi tribe could understand their english (without needing to use sign language, EVEN THOUGH two of the characters already used it). make it make sense.

as a non-indigenous person, i'm not sure if i can speak on jia's character, but to me she also did feel flat. i appreciate the inclusion with the deaf actress playing a deaf character, full stop. though jia was central to the (human) plot, she didn't feel very impactful because we don't get a lot of scenes with her being independent; she's very reactive and empathetic with kong, but other than that she was given the illusion of choice/independence at the end because of course we knew she was gonna stay with her mom. on another note, though her people (on the surface) were all killed, we didn't get a lot of much needed scenes with her being at home with her tribe to lead into dr. andrews grappling with letting jia go. we need those slow, interaction scenes to feel for jia's struggle of not belonging anywhere except with her people. as an immigrant and a filipino, i can't imagine being the last person of your culture. it feels like it should've been a serious topic, but of course, since it's a monster movie, it's been cut short. maybe i shouldn't be taking this too seriously...

as a small comment on trapper, i fully thought he was gonna betray them at some points because he wanted to go off and do mysterious stuff maybe twice. the peace-loving "hippie" characters always make me a little suspicious, but i'll admit i was wrong about his character. he isn't even two-dimensional, he's just a line. he only has a few lines. he could honestly be removed and the movie wouldn't change.

fifth, if i were to critique this movie, i'd rather there be no human drama and to have the focus be the monsters. i'd love to see a silent monster movie film one day.

sixth, i'm still very biased towards godzilla because he's my beautiful lizard boy. kong is very reliant on human innovation and weapons, but i loved the opening scene where it showed how he defended himself with traps. it really revealed his personality, but it sucks that they never touched on that trait towards the end of the movie. overall, though i'm a bit hesitant to accept how humanized the monsters were (godzilla's eyebrows, kong's interactions with the kid kong, skar laughing and posing with his chest puffed), it was a cool take and made for funny moments.

seventh, i have a few words about mothra. for one, i'm glad she didn't sacrifice herself again. though it certainly looked like she would when she was flying directly towards shimo to unfreeze godzilla, i'm glad she didn't die. as for her design... i don't know if it's just me, but they made her more... feminine, in a way. i had to go back in the movie, but at around 1:36:38, her figure just screams hourglass. now, i'm not trying to sexualize her... her design just stood out to me in a few places, wherever she was seen for a few seconds. in comparison to her design from king of the monsters (2019), her previous design was less curvaceous (to me, she had a more hunched back, shorter limbs and a less defined thorax), not to mention she was more deadly with her sharp limbs. in this movie, however, she looks WAY more humanoid, with longer back legs, a set of longer arms (and a set of arms half the size of the longer ones), bigger eyes, and what i can only describe as fluffy boobs. she honestly looks more like a wasp than a moth. i also don't like the subtitles of the movie when it comes to mothra (on the site i watched the movie on, Legally), they describe her noises as screeches and chitters, but at a few points they used "moans." take that as you will. but i don't know, maybe i'm just nostalgic for her older design. maybe she's always been feminine. but she's still a bug, which is why it's a weird thing to notice. i digress.

it was a fun movie overall, as long as i don't think too hard about it.
Godzilla Minus One
[05/03/24] - GOD i love godzilla minus one. i was SO excited to see the movie was out on streaming, i was literally vibrating in my seat.

as a point of comparison, i will talk about legendary's godzilla (2014, i ignore anything past that), shin godzilla and paramount's monarch in this review, but as always, this is my opinion.

first, the whole movie should've won an oscar for how well-written its drama was. the visual effects was deserved though. i honestly didn't go into this movie with any expectations, only knowing of its oscar/awards reception and people praising it for being a good experience to watch in theaters. though from the trailers, i never thought it'd be a "war" movie. i was blown out of the water (literally, pun intended).

second, i loved how they made the characters complex, individual from one another. koichi suffered from (i think) ptsd and being depressed and/or feeling useless; noriko and akiko were the reason for him to keep living (i LOVE how noriko completed koichi's "war" metaphor); tachibana wanted him to repay for what he did with his crew, but he also wanted koichi to live because he had a family. (i liked the fake-out they did with tachibana as a result, where he put an ejection seat. though i called it early, they made tachibana/koichi seem deadset on going through with the kamikaze plan that i was scared koichi wouldn't survive). koichi's boat crew wanted him to live because they grew alongside each other. (i really enjoyed the downtime the movie showed where the crew was just doing their job. i heard my parents call these scenes "deleted scenes" because they have no impact on the plot, but i appreciate how it characterized everyone). i cried at several points of this movie. when koichi looked out at the line of bodies. when koichi screamed at godzilla. when koichi was leaving akiko. at some points, they made the characters seem unlikeable, or they don't align with what the audience wants. it makes for a lot of surprising arcs and twists. i liked how they redeemed sumiko by making her akiko's caretaker because sumiko knew they were struggling, and because sumiko had empty nest syndrome. i felt for koichi, his survivor's guilt. when sumiko was accusing him, when the dreams were haunting him, when he was questioning if he was even alive. all of those scenes were heartbreaking, raw. (this movie reminds me of that trend i keep on seeing about the "indomitable human spirit," where it mostly relates to humans vs. aliens, where the human gets back up after being shot, dissected, beaten etc). no matter how much godzilla puts japan at minus one, right after they begin reconstructing, they had to keep chasing that new life, that dream. i love it when humans win.

third, in comparison to shin godzilla, i like how they kept the japanese government out of the movie by making them somewhat useless, seeing as they delayed the evacuation of ginza. in comparison to legendary godzilla, i like how they kept the american government out of the movie, since they were japan's "enemies" at one point, it wouldn't make sense for the protags to rely on them to bail them out (amid soviet-us tension). with both of these ideas in place, it makes for a very compelling story when we get closer to our human protagonists. the movie is very political, i'll tell you that (i'll get to that commentary in a bit), but i appreciate having the lens be to the ground and not through a crosshair. in comparison to monarch, the human drama was peak. the characters were very complex and not at all shallow or underwritten like the ones in monarch. this movie is a great example of how you can still tell a human story even when there's destruction happening. by having individual character motivations, different backstories (or lack thereof), and by having the characters stand for different ideals makes for a unique clash of events.

fourth, i absolutely LOVE how the battle against godzilla functions as a "redemption arc," when you use it as a metaphor for the ex-soldiers fighting the war their way. no more lives lost, no more mourning families. everyone working together to protect their future so they can live in it, not for them to die for a cause they're losing hope in. GOD it was so satisfying putting those pieces of the puzzle together. i honestly hope this metaphor holds some cultural significance too, where it aligns with (maybe some of) the views of japanese people who lived during that time; that they could've fought the war differently, but though they didn't, they just make peace with how things are. i just wonder how they received this movie, especially when it comes to the inaction of the government, and how they felt when the common citizens, ex-military came together in the end, the "useless" people coming to help. (this scene was one of my favorites; unfortunately it reminded me of the blue avatar film when neytiri says "eywa has heard you" and the animals rush to help. but it still was a cool moment to see the common man finally being able to help in the war effort without having to go to war).

NOW THE SOUNDTRACK. it was impactful when it needed to be, yet quiet when necessary. i loved the songs for the montages from the beginning, when they were skipping through time, where it created a false sense of peace.

sixth, i loved godzilla's design and how different it was from shin and legendary's godzillas. in the beginning, i liked how he looked like a dinosaur, and was very clunky. similar to shin, i liked how he grew in size as the movie progressed (though his arms shrank haha). my twin said the glowing blue scales popping out reminded her of tai lung from kung fu panda, when he was chained up, and i can honestly see it. (looking back on it, it reminds me of the valves on vi's gauntlets in arcane, with steam hissing out). i love how he was the villain in this movie, and how the protags didn't try to understand why he committing this much destruction, where they only focused on trying to stop him. it's refreshing to see godzilla not be the hero for once (looking at legendary's godzilla). the fucking IMPACT of his atomic breath tho. it's something else. no wind-up, no waiting. just PURE DESTRUCTION once he exhales. it must've been mind-blowing to watch it in theaters with surround sound. not to MENTION his roar and how terrifying it is. lastly, even though he's the main creature, the name of the franchise, i like how they limited his screen time, but kept his presence there, foreboding.

lastly, i LOVED how this movie seems to be in a dialogue with all of the other previous (recent) godzilla movies. for example, in the beginning of the movie, they included a black and white montage of classified government documents and it included a clip of the bikini atoll being blown up (in a similar style to legendary godzilla). if i remember correctly, legendary godzilla showed this, and monarch went into depth on the event. when it came to the japanese government, i like how minus one takes up the opposite dichotomy to shin, where the government wasn't as involved. i liked how they made this godzilla a bit smart (this next idea is courtesy of a youtube comment on a minus one trailer), where the "monster" would strike japan at its lowest point. (though the line "the monster will never forgive us" was never used in minus one to my knowledge). in comparison, i felt that the legendary's and monarch's godzilla was overall dumb/too reliant on humans to do anything. all in all, i like how this movie comments on and critiques its predecessors while being fresh and new.

it's pretty late and my bf sleeping otp is making me tired, but if i remember any more thoughts i'll update this review.

Sweet Home (1989)
[04/30/24] - the practical effects were amazing, i really like the atmosphere it created, some scenes were framed in interesting ways, the lighting was very consistent and clear where it kept the character's faces well lit which is a plus considering how dark the movie was. the set was really well put together and creepy looking.

the only problem i had with it is the plot.

i've watched this movie a few days ago and am only now adding this review. my thoughts still stand though.

first, i liked how the lighting kind of reminded me of pulse a bit, with how dim it is, but your mind still makes up things in the dark. i'll give the effects a higher rating than the story.

second, i liked the scene when emi was possessed by the lady (i think) and her face was fully in shadow but there was light coming from behind her: very uncanny. the growing shadows that looked like hands, and the hair-shadow i really enjoyed, haven't seen that in a movie yet.

third, i feel i could enjoy the movie if i didn't try to make sense of the plot. how did the baby get into the open furnace that was likely spewing flames? why did they need a furnace (albeit THAT BIG of one) if the man of the house was a painter? why did the old man sing a song and "crush" (melt) a bottle? why did he think the same gimmick would help him get emi? (it did but he died anyway so i wouldn't say it was successful) why was asuka targeted, what was her fault to have her die by axe AND melted? how did the father survive? (unless he just cowered).

then, the characters made illogical decisions, or would blatantly ignore clear warnings, or they would just not stand up and run. it's infuriating to see how asuka died when she could've simply moved quickly.

but, the ghost monster thing was IMMACULATE. i loved its design, it creeped me out when i first saw the babies growing out of its skin. i thought the animatronic they (must've) used is very advanced for its time because of how they changed the lady's facial structure AND they made her cry.

lastly i didn't enjoy the ending where the father was found in some cupboard and was allowed to reunite with his daughter. if anything, he was too headstrong, wouldn't listen to aki (who told him she was going to get help) and overall had a weak spine. but for him to get his daughter and possibly the woman? i don't think that should've been the ending when the scene BEFORE IT was about motherhood and losing your child.

other than that, decent movie. great effects.

Late Night with the Devil
[04/25/24] - i loved the ending. the twists. i like the themes of: you shouldn't believe everything you see, but you also shouldn't try to understand it either. skepticism can only take you so far.

i've watched this movie a few weeks ago and am only now adding this review. my thoughts still stand though.

first, it kinda feels like a found footage horror movie with the first few clips introducing jack's situation, as well as the black-and-white behind-the-scenes shots with what i thought was hand-held cameras, not to mention the interviews. i think the movie itself is sort of leaning into the analog horror genre, and i believe more movies should do that. the dread analog horror creates could be used on a greater scale if it was used in a full-budget 90-minute movie. i don't think the movie was scary, but my jaw did drop when jack was stabbing lily after being hypnotized (?) or hallucinating that he was mercy-killing his wife.

second, the visual effects of the girl's head splitting, as well as the practical effects with gus's worms were AWESOME. nightmare fuel.

third, i love the irony of carmichael's pledging allegiance to the "demon." i hate how jack wanted his slice of fame but was using other people's lives to get it. i guess june was in the same vein, writing a book about a little girl she became a "guardian" for; she got really defensive about treating lily like she was family when car wasn't hinting at it, but instead he wanted to prove himself right. it might be referencing how hollywood actors had to go to great lengths to get and keep their fame.

fourth, i noticed what i thought was a woman in the mirror on the table with the other trinkets june kept, but someone on reddit confirmed it was minnie's ghost. i also noticed how lily flinched away from june when june was talking about "love and compassion." i didn't even notice that both carmichael's death and gus's death were foreshadowed: "all wax, no wick," where car melted like wax; and "i'll make your head spin," where gus died by his neck snapping.

fifth, i thought lily was acting weirdly from the start, and someone on reddit suggested that she had been possessed two days prior to being on the show, when she was in her "fugue state," and i honestly can believe that. i just thought, with her being raised in a cult, she wouldn't have the best social skills, but the forced wall-breaking when it came to her and jack felt too real at times.

sixth, i also noticed how they referenced ed and lorraine warren; makes me think these universes are connected (or they're poking fun at these real-life "investigators" and the spectacle they created).

lastly, the scene where jack was under a spotlight while the rest of the audience was shadowed in black reminds me SO MUCH of another scene where someone is walking out to address an audience shadowed in black. at first i thought i was being reminded of the truman show, but i checked and that wasn't it. idk someone help me remember. the whole aesthetic of the movie feels different.
[04/21/24] - (in my opinion) it's a metaphor for abortion and the consequences of forced pregnancy. this movie uses arguments that could just as easily break down pro-life-ers.

i've watched this movie a few weeks ago and am only now adding this review. my thoughts still stand though.

"if this is against god's plan, why doesn't he stop us?" is a line that stuck with me.

first, i love how hypocritical the nuns and priests and cardinals were, when they told the girls to do their vows of chastity, poverty etc., when they themselves were smoking, they possessed human technology, and they're forcing babies onto these women. they're taking advantage of these desperate women who want to find god or their own path in life, or women who simply want to have a roof over their head and clothes on their back (gwen). it feels as if this could happen in real life. i disagree with their experiment because bringing christ back unnaturally is desperate, playing god, and will bring about the end times no matter what, as it said in the book of revelation.

second, i saw some similarities between this movie and "the omen," mainly when the bird hit the window and broke its neck, then a woman committing suicide in front of the main character.

third, at first i thought this was going to be a paranormal movie because it certainly felt that way, with the older nuns being creepy and acting out of character, where they were watching the main character and snipping her hair. but i'm glad that it didn't turn out to be a paranormal movie, but a movie where humans are so desperate for salvation that they'll create a version of it for themselves. i could honestly study this movie, how they foreshadow things, build suspense, how they make the character act in certain desperate situations. ESPECIALLY the imagery. that one scene where sweeney is draped in blue, looking up forlornly at the ceiling with a single tear running from her eye. it felt as if she was sculpted, straight out of a painting, the mary immaculate, like a statue. they made her look so unreal that it boggles my mind how they did it.

[TRIGGER WARNING - child birth/de*th mentioned] --- the ending was my favorite part. her screams felt so visceral, angry, desperate. i felt myself grinding my teeth as she pushed the baby out, as if i was the one giving birth on screen. i watched this movie with my catholic parents, but i think they see the movie as fiction, and they're afraid to think about its implications some more because then they'll be questioning their values.

lastly, some parts i had to straight up look away even though i know i'm supposed to watch everything. when she threw up her tooth, peeled off her nail, hit the baby. it all felt real, as if they could happen to me. i'm scared of childbirth. i don't want to go through that. this movie certainly solidified my stance.

The Omen (2006)
[04/11/24] - god, this movie didn't make any logical sense.

first you have a priest who, in no good conscience, took advantage of a desperate husband who wanted him and his wife to have a child. you had the priest GIVE the husband a child who was born FROM a jackal, and you DIDN'T disclose that information to him because... you wanted god to overlook this "deception" because in the end, you're raising a child, you're fufilling your purpose on earth by taking care of another life! my bf suggested that maybe the priest wanted them to raise the antichrist which... makes sense, but there wasn't any evidence in the movie to even hint at that. why would the priest betray his religion and still live? dunno.

second, the husband DOESN'T listen to anyone, not his wife, and not any of the other religious authorities (because he's "atheist"). i have a problem with the forced atheism because, even though i am atheist, it doesn't mean i'm NOT superstitious, or it doesn't mean i'm going to ignore any clear signs or symbols that something is BEYOND my control or human understanding. this man is so hard-headed. the husband said his wife could go to therapy, but he wasn't phazed by the fact that she said "i think our son is evil." like, at that point, he's an absent father and an absent husband, and he isn't even DOING anything at his "ambassador" job. no black tie events, no diplomatic work, nothing. he's just useless all around. then, you have the only other "good" priest who warned him that his wife would die by his son's hands because she's pregnant and the son wants to inherit everything the dad has. not even a DAY after the priest warned him, the husband heard the news that the priest died in a bizarre accident, THEN his wife told him she was pregnant and she wanted an abortion. (we're not going to talk about the clear patient confidentiality violation that the therapist did when he told the husband what the wife was saying IN THERAPY. like to me, the scene wouldn't even be there if the husband had a more earnest heart-to-heart with his wife). then NOT EVEN A FEW DAYS AFTERWARD, the son attempts to kill the wife, and you hear her whisper to you "don't let him kill me." and... what ends up happening? the husband literally ABANDONS the wife at the hospital... the nanny does some heinous shit with her IV... and she dies. all because he went on a wild goose chase to go to a place a NUN told him about, completely disregarding the directions that the FIRST priest told him.

third, the verses that they referenced from the books of daniel and revelation? they weren't even accurate. i haven't gotten to verse 8 in revelation yet, but when i looked in my ESV, it said something COMPLETELY different from the movie AND the referenced content spilled over into verse 9; they changed the verses to make them more dramatic sure, but for a religious horror movie, wouldn't you want to be accurate? not to mention, in my opinion (and according to the footnotes of my study bible), any mention of the "antichrist" in the bible (especially in daniel) only applies to the political figure antilochus IV of THAT TIME when rome was being established. yes, the movie was right in saying the "antichrist" will arise during a political time, but to say that "political time" is happening in modern times is a stretch...

i'm not sure if i've watched this movie when i was a kid, because i remember the pope dying towards the end, then there being an after credits scene of the antichrist doing wonderous deeds and being hailed as christ, but i could be confusing this for another movie. still... this movie made me irritated because of the characters, the logical stretches they had to pull, the absent b-plot just to make the a-plot work, and the writing of the husband. i would recommend this movie if you don't mind the above, but if you want to consciously enjoy a movie, don't watch this.

Dune: Part Two
[03/09/24] - all in all. a 100/10 cinematic experience. there were many scenes that made me forget i was in a movie theater. unfortunately, in my movie theater, the projector felt too too close to the screen so it cut off a bit of the top/bottom. despite this, my experience wasn't ruined. nor did i have a hard time hearing/understanding the characters' dialogue (i usually need subtitles to be able to understand movies/shows nowadays). EVERYTHING was perfect. the sound, the plot, the costumes, the effects and backgrounds. everything.

another note: i'm writing this review a few days after i've watched it, but the movie is still relatively fresh in my mind. i wrote my thoughts below right after i watched it.

first, i honestly loved zendaya as chani. one of my favorite scenes with her was when she and paul were taking down a dragonfly ship. while she and paul were running, there were a few seconds where she cackled to herself before the ship exploded, and that moment made me feel giddy.

second, in tandem with this moment, i liked when paul first rode the grandfather sandworm. his little out-of-breath "okay, okay" made his character much more likeable, even if he turned out to be an asshole who lost his path towards the end.

ANOTHER favorite scene is the coliseum with feyd. the WHOLE scene being filmed with infrared even though it didn't NEED to be ?? the intense fight scenes feyd was in ?? didn't know elvis had it in him.

third, i still think chani deserved better. i don't understand why paul chose a political marriage over her and didn't correct feyd when he called her his pet. and even though the movie was told from the perspective of paul (in my opinion), i was starting to get an inkling of a thought that maybe paul wasn't good, according to how chani felt betrayed over and over again.

fourth, i was surprised to see florence pugh. she is still really pretty. i wish she had more of a presence (?) in the movie, since to me she deserves it for being her. she literally slayed.

unrelated, but my sister owns the book, and i'm REALLY tempted to take it from her if she doesn't start reading it first.

lastly, i'm loving all the reels i'm seeing that are inspired by dune. everyone is so funny when it comes to dressing as the bene gesserit, or thumping the bed for the pet-worm. also, have been seeing weird content of timothee rapping. i'm not complaining.

[03/08/24] - the movie was very good in terms of keeping you on the edge of your seat. i also like how Elodie was given a (relatively) stronger character than Eleven in "Stranger Things." also funny coincidence, she plays two characters whose names start with an "E." i couldn't find anything to criticize about the movie except the ending.

first, the ending had me confused because i couldn't tell what it was supposed to be/what was happening ? the dragon left the cave to kill the royalty, sure. but where are they going when they boarded that ship ? i thought the fade to black implied they were already home because they changed clothes AFTER the castle burnt down. but no, they were going "home home," with a dragon in tow. also. i thought they were gonna go their separate ways, Elodie and the dragon, since she spared her and helped her get revenge, but no. Elodie just casually tamed a dragon apparently. also don't like how they made the dragon "lipsync"

second, the mother's death was hinted at throughout the movie, but i was disappointed that it wasn't explored more since the theme of motherhood seemed so prevalent. the dragon is a MOTHER who lost her children. i want to see the other side of that, with the girls sort of reminiscing about their own mother. and i'm pretty sure you can still be respectful to the stepmother in the same breath.

lastly, speaking of the stepmother, i also wish she had a more pivotal role in the movie, where she would help the girls more, or have more/less autonomy because of the seemingly passive king. i want to know why she became the stepmother in the first place, but she probably just didn't have enough scenes since the movie is named after the "damsel" in distress.

Paranormal Activity (1-4)
[01/09/24] to [01/11/24] - i watched the first four movies because that's the main story with katie and kristi. i don't think i plan on watching the others just because i'm the most invested in katie/kristi's story, and it looked like the scares in those movies were less subtle and more supernatural/fantastical instead of having little things bother you (in your haunted house). here's how i rank them from best to not-so-best: 2, 1, 3, 4.

note that i didn't write down my thoughts on the franchise until after i watched the 4th movie, so my thoughts on the first few movies could be hazy/sound the same

4: it felt like a let down from the first three. it was less tense, less suspenseful, and there was a lot of incompetence when it came to the family not realizing they're being haunted. it felt like the movie had to tack on the scares towards the end (as per tradition in the franchise), but the scares weren't as hard-hitting as the previous movies. it also felt like the main girl (alex) didn't have a lot of agency. i did enjoy the twist where wyatt was teased to be hunter. i still had questions about what happened until that point, since the third movie didn't bridge the second and the fourth.

3: i thought this was gonna be various video tapes stitched together (like a bad horror movie i watched/my bf fell asleep to called "creepypasta") but i was relieved to find out that wasn't the case. it still left me with more questions about the origin of the curse in the first place, and how it came to be placed on the family, as well as whether katie and kristi had their memory erased because they couldn't remember what happened in clear detail. it also felt like the grandma was just thrown into the movie because they didn't know who the bad guy would be for this movie. come to think of it, i don't think the grandma showed up again, except for in this movie. she was never mentioned again.

1: was pretty good. i like the twist at the end when katie got possessed completely. also, micah was an asshole and i'm glad he died. he was trying so hard to keep control over a situation he literally had no say in, especially with the ouija board and him waiting to call the demonologist. i was on the edge of my seat, and i thought this movie was the best in the franchise, but of course the sequel had to one-up it somehow.

2: is my favorite just because of how scary each jumpscare was. they were subtle when they needed to be, and jarring when we weren't expecting them. the one that gave me a heart attack was when all the doors and cabinets flew open in the kitchen. i had to recover from that one because i didn't expect it. one jumpscare that made me want to run away from my computer was when hunter was getting pulled out of the crib as he cried. i care about kids so it was a little scary to see that the demon (or whatever) wasn't indiscriminate towards haunting kids. and when kristi went missing from the chair, me (and my bf) were thoroughly freaked out.

all in all, the first four movies are pretty solid, but definitely went down in terms of the quality of scares. although the timeline was all over the place, i liked the katie-kristi story. it was very tragic what happened to them as kids and as adults, and it's one of the few movies where a bad ending makes sense because it's a curse and they don't know where it came from.

still, the few things i didn't like where the blatent incompetency or ignorance when it came to the parents/partners believing their wife or girlfriend about being haunted. i'd hope that if i were in a situation like that, my boyfriend would believe me if something was bothering me or making me that anxious. i could see my family having doubts about whether "spiritual" things are real, but i'd like to believe that most people aren't that willfully ignorant when something they can't logically explain is happening. i can't say i believe those things are real, but i wouldn't want to find out if they are. i don't understand why people think being haunted is "awesome" or "cool." maybe not all hauntings are bad, but when it's as disruptive as it was in the movies, maybe you gotta reconsider.

[08/08/23] - i don't really have much to say about this one other than it embodied a fever dream. i watched it with my bf and he said if he was on acid, it would be quite a trip. i think the reality vs. fantasy theme is a staple of satoshi kon's work, although i've only watched perfect blue before. i might need to rewatch it.

[TRIGGER WARNING - sexual ass*ult mentioned] --- i really appreciated all the movie references they had; i picked up on two (besides the glaringly obvious ones like tarzan) - there was tinker bell, then there was the shining, my bf noticed that the news anchors diving off of the buildings reminded him of something but he doesn't know what.

second, i don't know why but the scene where paprika was lying on the table with her hands pinned down with... pins, it reminded me of silence of the lambs, but i will need to rewatch that too to confirm. the sexual ass*ult scene made me very uncomfortable though; i completely recoiled from the screen and had to watch it from far away in my bed. i don't understand osanai's significance to the story aside from being a vessel/puppet to the chief, so it was very jarring to see what he did to paprika.

third, i also didn't understand why atsuko got married to tokita at the end; i didn't pick up on any romance tones between the two of them. i even almost hated tokita's character because he kind of jumpstarted the whole second half of the movie after he remade the DC Mini despite atsuko telling him to do something else to help. atsuko was also making a lot of comments about his weight, but i guess it was just banter between the two of them; i still didn't think it was romantic to say things like that, more like jest between co-workers. but maybe i just missed something subtle.

fourth, despite everything, all the muddiness in the story or the nudity of what looked like a teen (??), the animation was very fluid and detailed, and a few of the sequences creeped me the fuck out or made me shudder. i wonder how kon came up with all the different, diverse dream components. did he have weird dreams ? was it a collaborative dream effort between all the animators, where they contributed an element they remembered from their dreams ? the whole movie felt so surreal.

fifth, it was hard for me to watch the movie with subtitles just because of the sheer amount of things happening on screen, as well as the dialogue sometimes translating to nonsense. if i'll ever rewatch this, i'll rewatch it in dubbed so i can pay attention to the movie more. i just hope things won't get lost in translation on the second watch.

[08/01/23] - i watched this movie two times. the first time, i watched the first half of the movie without english subtitles; it was difficult for me to understand it with only the tagalog dub, but i was able to get the gist of it before we switched to a streaming website with subtitles (and browsers to bypass the ads).

the first time i watched it, i never realized that content moderation was an actual job. mikhail red, the director, said he based the movie on the fact that the philippines is known as the "content moderation capital of the world" (according to wikipedia), a title i didn't know we held. he also wanted to incorporate how mental health is handled in professions on such as those. i was still surprised to find out that...

[TRIGGER WARNING - suic*de mentioned] --- one of the main character's (lyra's) co-workers (aileen) took her own life because she was either cursed by one of the videos she had to moderate, or she couldn't handle the mental stress that the videos and content caused her. she was a relatively new worker too, so it's understandable why she couldn't get acclimated to the content.

second, the second time i watched the movie with my boyfriend, i was able to pick up on some subtleties that i didn't pick up the first time. i understood lyra's character more; she was traumatized at a young age because of her father, and that resulted in her becoming desensitized as an adult. this memory explains why she was able to work as a content moderator for at least a year without breaking or taking a break. i liked how this worked against lyra towards the end.

third, in the end, when it was revealed that lyra wasn't saved from the building, and instead was cursed to watch the same video that her co-worker watched, it made sense to me. while lyra was being "interviewed," she reiterated that she saw the people in those videos as "just data." aileen, the entity haunting lyra, wasn't satisfied with this answer. aileen knew that lyra stood by as she was manipulated, drugged and assaulted by their boss. aileen couldn't let lyra continue to live without the guilt; she had to show lyra that the people in those videos were real, and that the "data" can be someone she knows, but lyra refused to accept that.

fourth, to my understanding, aileen wanted lyra to show sympathy after she showed her two videos, but lyra didn't learn. i don't blame lyra for not being able to learn sympathy immediately, but she did get close with aileen while she was still working. lyra was almost like a mentor to aileen, but the both of them had a different outlook on people.

fifth, there was a moment in the movie that foreshadowed the ending. when lyra and aileen were talking on the rooftop, lyra took a picture of her, but deleted it because it was blurry.

all in all, i enjoyed how this movie was written, and how difficult it can be to navigate relationships as an adult, while also dealing with your own past and career.

[07/30/23] - i liked it a lot. the animation was beautiful, and i was able to understand the movie/connect to it in my own way. i didn't mind the vagueness or lack of worldbuilding since i was able to interpret it myself. i probably cried once or twice.

first, i thought the movie was a metaphor for trauma: how suzume blocked out all her memories of the tsunami; how she used the door as an escape, how she held onto the chair and the memories it held of her mom/her home. i think the earthquakes reminded suzume of her past, and they unearthed something from the back of her head. i also noticed all of the ordinary people (people going to work, school kids, construction workers) ignored the worms or couldn't see it until it was almost too late. they ignored the earthquake sirens and returned back to normal. my sister found out the same night that the earthquake and tsunami that destroyed suzume's home was inspired by the tsunami that caused the fukushima nuclear disaster. there were hints in the movie but i didn't put it together. it adds a whole new lens to the movie.

second, a few of my problems lie in the fact that souta barely has a backstory, so there isn't much there to support his decisions/mannerisms. also, why make him a chair other than a funny gag ? i heard from my sister that we could've gotten a lesbian romance, but they had to censor that. maybe a girl from her hometown dredging up old memories could work better. there's a lot of cultural implications that i (as an american/non-japanese) can't understand. such as, why are people so supportive of a 16 year old running away ? at least she was texting and calling her aunt while she was running away. suzume worked at a bar while she was underage, which is questionable; i didn't realize it until my sister pointed it out.

lastly, i had a theory about daijin being suzume's mother because of what the cat said (ie. [to souta] "you're in the way." [to suzume] "don't you love me ?"). there's some evidence there but isn't explicitly proven by the movie. also what kind of gods are the cats ? what are their powers ? bc the aunt got possessed by one of them, and they were powerful enough to turn souta into a chair/keystone.