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Waka okami wa shôgakusei!

A drama anime
The theme of Okko's Inn is that there is honor for employees to give it their all for their job, regardless whether the job is glamorous. You can see this theme repeated in other Japanese movies.

There is also an undertone that women are especially suitable for working in the service industry like an inn. That's why all three inn keepers are women. Maybe I'm being over sensitive.

There are ghosts in this movie but they are not fully exploited. They could be replaced with human or eliminated altogether and make little difference to the movie. Kind of like the small sidekick animals in Disney movies. Actually, this movie could be easily shot with real actors. I think they choose anime format to give it a more family friendly look.

Overall look and feels is like a Miyazaki anime.

The Invisible Man

Entertaining but not logical
Like many scary movies, the protagonist was made slightly stupid to fit the plot. For example, if if a crime happened near you and the criminal put the weapon in your hand, why would you hold on to it for everyone to see? And if nobody believes the strange things that's happening around you, why not put up security cameras or try to gather evidence somehow?

And later on in the movie, the protagonist suddenly changed from an abused woman personality, into an aggressive violent person. Real people just don't switch like this. While this makes for an entertaining movie, it is not very believable and is maybe written by a lazy script writer.

This seems like a low budget movie, as none of the actors are familiar faces. Even the main character is plain looking and looks like she could use more makeup.

Another thing, if you invent an invisible suit, wouldn't you keep track of how many units you made, and perhaps lock them up or make them not usable without a key or password? Apparently, the inventor is too stupid to think of this.

The movie succeeds in being scary and has a good pace. I just wish the script was given more thought to make it more believable.


Not bad
One way I gauge a movie is by how much I skip or fast forward while watching. For Mula, I didn't skip at all.

There are Chinese action stars like Donnie Yen, Jet Li, and Cheng Pei Pei. Most of them have small roles in this movie. It's a pity. However it's surprising and good to see Jet Li acting again, although he is heavily made up and has very little action. I don't even recognize him until late in the movie.

It's a typical Disney movie, so some magical stuff are added. This also creates a small role for Gong Li. Some of the story line are hard to believe, like how could a girl pass as a man, or that the family did nothing after she ran off.

The main actress is a new face to me. She's fine, though I suspect the real Mulan (if there ever was one) was a lot more musculine. This would help explain how she could pass as a man and not caught.

Many Chinese may criticize the movie for this and that. But so far this is the best and only Mulan movie. So give some credit to Disney for making this movie.

Overall I find the movie entertaining enough.

You Should Have Left

Not a satisfying movie
Just like many other horror movies, You should have left doesn't make sense. There is no rhyme or reason to what happens. It's just a series of odd things happening stringed together to make this movie.

To its credit, I watch the whole movie almost without skipping forward. But in the end all that amounts to nothing meaningful.

And this movie is based on a novel?? It's hard to believe.

Frozen II

Confusing or boring
I had a hard time following the plot. Either because it was too boring or it made too little sense. There was no memorable song. It's as if they know (assume) that the movie would be a hit even if they don't put an effort into the plot and the music. It reminds me of Mary Poppins 2. It seems Disney just don't have what it takes to produce a good sequel.

Last Christmas

Slow start
I almost quit watching in the middle of the movie because it was kinda slow and ordinary. But I persevere and the later part of the movie picked up a little and have an unexpected twist. In the end it was an ok movie.

One thing they could improve on though, is if the main character is supposed to be a singer, then use an actress that sings well. On the other hand, the mother played by Emma Thompson does not need to sing well but she actually sings better than Kate.


Wrong Movie and not very exciting
It may be an oscar worthy movie, but it's the wrong movie. I expect to see a movie about the joker that is the nemesis of batman. I did not expect to see a drama about a mentally ill person. Throughout the movie there are moments of what I call time-fillers. These are moments you know nothing important is happening or is going to happen because there is only one person sulking. I skipped those segments whenever I can. I almost gave up the movie two thirds of the way. But I finished it because it has raving reviews on IMDB. In the end, it was just as disappointing as I anticipated it would be. Is hollywood going to make other super hero movie sequels as dramas? I hope not. There is a place for drama, but it shouldn't be in a super hero movie.

The Lion King

top notch CGI
I cannot see what part is CGI and what part is real. I'm guessing the entire movie is made in CGI. It's the most realistic CGI I have seen so far.

The animals movement also look very realistic with one exception: animals look like they have been neutered.

The story is a little simple, probably because it is written for kids.

I'm impressed by the CGI. Even though the story is a little simple, I still think it is a milestone in CGI movie.

Annabelle Comes Home

Not scary enough
After one hour into the movie there is still not much scares going on. I had to speed up the movie to 1.5x. Eventually there are a lot of banging, noise, etc but nothing scary for long. The plot can be summarized in a sentence or two. The only good thing is they have good looking actors.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

Mostly fighting; not much plot
The movie is 90% fighting and 10% story telling. But the story is very simple, it could be summed it up in a few words. On the plus side, this plot is easy to understand.

The fight scenes are not that good. John Wick is slow, and the unimportant fighters usually fight in stupid ways, like not taking cover in a gun fight, not ambushing, or not ganging up on John Wick. And of course most of their shots miss him.

Don't know why they threw in Halle Berry. Her character could be played by an unknown actress and nothing would be lost. Actually I think an actress trained in martial arts or dancing would be even more fitting.

Keanu Reeves' acting skill seems to have deteriorated. At times he seems to be reading the script out loud.

If you enjoy a lot of hand combat, this is an ok movie. If you want to see a story, watch something else.


Good actress
In this movie, Aladdin is actually somewhat stupid and abnoxious.

If I have a magic lamp I would guard it with my life; yet people in this movie just casually put it in their bag along with other trinkets, making it easily stolen or lost. Aladdin insisted on being a prince and then in the middle of the movie, for no reason suddenly decided it's no use and gave up. I hate sudden movie personality change. I don't see much in Aladdin that's worth pursuing. They should make Aladdin more likeable or make the princess get rid of him at the end.

Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) is a much better singer and actress than Aladdin (Mena Massoud). Actually he looks more like a slimy character than a hero. They should have picked a better actor to play Aladdin.

The genie is supposed to obey its master but it seems to be biased and prefers to help Aladdin more. Genie tried to be funny. But it only made him look like a Robin Williams wannabe.If you want to be funny, be funny your own way.

Jafar is the bad guy in this movie and is an important role. But he is not scary or mean enough. Something wrong with the casting director maybe?

It's a pity, they could have made this movie better without spending much more. All they need is better casting and better script.

Miao xing ren

an OK kids movie
Most adults may find this movie just so-so. It would probably work better as a kids movie.

The cat character design is too cheap. It is done by putting a person in a cat suit, and add CGI for the face. This results in a cat that is too big. The CGI cat head is also not that adorable. Hire better artist next time?

As for the movie plot, the Dad/Husband is depicted to be very stupid to the point he becomes unlikable. I don't think this adds to the movie. The script could be rewritten to make him less stupid and more likable.

There is one remarkable thing about this movie. Hong Kong child actors are typically terrible -- must be a cultural thing. However in this movie, both child actors are pretty good, especially the little girl. I read she is actually not from Hong Kong but from mainland China. That explains it.

I probably won't recommend this movie to an adult friend. But I did not regret watching it myself.

Long Shot

Mildly funny not romantic
I guess this is supposed to be a romantic comedy.

However, I find the romance between the two main characters not very convincing. It is difficult to believe an attractive secretary of state would fall for a not very attractive writer. So if the romantic part doesn't work, what's left is comedy, but it's not that funny. I was able to suppress my disbelief and finish watching the whole movie. So it is still a watchable movie. It's a pity. If only they had cast the right actors/actress it would be a much better movie. Heck, if Seth was willing to shave off the shaggy dog look it would already be an improvement.

The Curse of La Llorona

A better horror than most
Most horror movies have no story and no ending. This one have both. That is a rarity nowadays so I'm giving a higher rating than most.

Granted the story and the ending may not be that great, but at least the movie is satisfying at the end. Many other horror movies just end whenever the movie pleases.

It is not without its flaws. If La Llorona's objective is to find scapegoats to die in place of her children, why didn't she stop after the first two children?

And if La Llorna is so easy to kill, why didn't anyone else try to kill her before? And why didn't she take precaution against the thing that could kill her?

I wouldn't pay to see this in a theatre. But watching a rental or streaming is ok entertainment.

3 Idiots

More depth than the title implies
I watched this due to the high rating on IMDB and another site.

After watching a few minutes, I thought it was just going to be a senseless comedy. However, as the story unfolds, it turns out there's more depth and twist and turn to the story then expected. I was pleasantly surprised.

I wish hollywood could make this kind of movie. But fat chance because there is no special effects, no car chase, no nudity, and no martial arts fights.

It is a very human story. Full of emotions and ups and down.

It brings smile to my face, and tears to my eyes. A great movie.

Qimen Dunjia

not bad for a chinese fantasy movie
The effects are not as good as hollywood, but still to be encouraged. It is already a big improvement from the wire-only effect where the actors are flying through the air while being suspended by wires.

My main gripe is the CGI monsters are all very western style. I notice this in many chinese movies. Could it be that it's cheaper to animate a western style creature than to custom make chinese style creatures?

I find the movie engaging enough I did not fast forward it and watched the whole movie.

Alita: Battle Angel

Beautifully rendered
What I like the most is how beautifully Alita is rendered. When I first watched the movie I had no idea the entire character was CGI. I thought only the eyes were CGI.

The story itself is ok, nothing special.

One thing I don't get is how romance can form between a human and a cyborg. It is obvious the cyborg is not meant to procreate, by observing her anatomy when she was not fully clothed. So why would a man be interested in her? And why would she be interested in a man?

Jennefer Connelly character is kind of wasted. It could be any actress and wouldn't make much difference. Perhaps she plays a more important role in sequels?

This movie is a visual feast.

The Professor

Even the preview tells you it's about a dying professor's story of coping, so I'm not spoiling anything.

A professor is diagnosed with uncurable cancer, and what follows is how he copes with the last phrase of his life.

It's a bit melodramatic. People get sick and die all the time. Especially when you're 60 years old, you have seen it all. There's no need to be overly sentimental.

Despite being melodramatic, there are still nothing exciting in this movie. No surprises, nothing to look forward too, no suspense, no joy.

But it's interesting enough I didn't fast forward through the movie.


Makes no sense
All movies are supposed to have a story. If this one has a story/plot, it is a very terrible plot. Any person can come up with a more interesting and logical plot than this.

For some reason, many horror movies have no plot or have illogical plot and they still get made into movies. Who are the producers and how can they not go broke making these movies??


Suspenseful, but bad spaceship
Before episode 7, I had few complaints. Like, they spend too much time in personal details that sometimes don't matter. And people seems to have no fear of alien life form, sometimes touching them with bare hands.

The creature plot reminds me of the movies "Alien", and "The Thing". This is the main plot of the series, and of course there are many sub-plots.

But in the middle of episode 7, there is a very bad subplot which made me wonder if I want to continue watching this. The group discovered a leak in the ship in a specific compartment. Common sense says seal off the compartment and that would be the end of it. Oddly, there is no way to seal off a compartment and they have to go seal the leak manually, with sealant. Who build a space ship like this? Anyway, later on when they failed to seal the leak, the ship's computer decided to jettison the leaking compartment to stop the leak. Say what?? If the compartment cannot be sealed off, how is jettisoning the compartment going to stop the leak? Wouldn't it create a bigger leak? And if the compartment can be jettisoned, then obviously it can be sealed off. And if it can be sealed off, why bother with jettisoning the compartment?

Not only that, the jettisoning procedure cannot be overridden. Who designed a system like that? And not only that, the computer locks the doors without regard to whether there are people trapped inside or not. Sure this adds drama but it makes the series feel fake.

The writers are just too lazy to come up with a coherent story and think the audience can accept anything. I can accept there are space monster, but cannot accept a space ship is designed so illogically.

Mary Poppins Returns

No creativity
It's like the writers are so afraid to do something original and offend the Mary poppins fans. They basically use the first movie as a template and make the new movie fit the template. For example, in the original movie there is Bert the chimney sweep. In this sequel there is Jack the lamp lighter. In the original movie there is a scene where the main characters dance with cartoons; in this movie there is also a scene where the main characters dance with cartoons. In the original movie there is a tea party at a ceiling; in this movie, there is a party in an upside down house. In the original movie, Mary Poppins' image in the mirror talks independently of the real person, and you probably can guess the rest. There is very liitle original, creative gag.

The Michael Banks is the weakest main character. He looks too skinny. Is there a reason they cast a skinny person, I wonder. Turns out, there isn't. He is the father figure in the sequel, which correspond to the father figure George Banks in the original movie. Unfortunately, he is not funny and does not feel like a father figure.

Some famous actresses and actors are cast in the movie gratuitously. Like Meryl Streep. She doesn't talk in British accent. Too stuck up to practice the accent? I don't like her character. There's also Angela Lansbury. She appeared for maybe five minutes and sang a song. Adds nothing to the movie.

As for the main character Mary Poppins played by Emily Blunt, she was ok I guess, but does not have the charm and cheekiness of Julie Andrews. It seems in this sequel she mainly just tag along and watch on the sideline. But isn't she the main character? Perhaps the writers are afraid to make her do anything original, lest it damages her reputation.

I also didn't like the songs -- they're not as catchy as the songs in the original movie.

The sequel illustrates without a good script, the movie just doesn't work.

A Quiet Place

dumb monster movie
Right at the beginning I thought this was going to be a dumb movie when the premise was revealed: that people need to keep quiet to avoid being eaten by blind creatures that hunt by sound. Wouldn't the creatures all became roadkill on the freeway or train tracks? And how the hell did they evolve to be blind?

If this was real, people would live near naturally noisey places, like a waterfall. But instead, they choose to live in a quiet house. Also, what kind of family allow their youngest and most vulnerable child to trail behind without any adult to look over him? Considering how dumb they were, it's amazing they were the only surviving family, beating even the military.

To get pregnant during a crisis like this? Do they have no means of birth control?

It turns out the creature can be killed with a shot gun. So why didn't they shoot them earlier in the movie?

It looks like they have time to set up warning lights at the house. So why didn't they also set up some speakers to play distracting noise to lure the creatures away from the house? To take this idea one step further, why not set up a booby trap?

About the nail on the stairs - firstly, who hammered a nail onto the stair pointing up? Secondly, why didn't anybody remove it once it was discoverd?

I don't understand why the man needs to let himself be killed to distract the creature. He could throw a rock or something away from himself and the kids.

When the movie ended, it felt kind of short. What, that's it?? Oh, my bad. I forgot at some point I set the playback speed to 2x because the movie is so slow.

I don't understand how this movie gets such a high rating.


not bad, but still just another scary movie
In most horror movies, the victims or potential victims usually do stupid things which eventually lead to their downfall. Surprisingly, the potential victims in this movies don't act too stupidly.

In fact, I was surprised when the kid figured out how to avoid becoming victim to the clown. I would never have figured it out myself.

But despite the smartness of these kids, overall it's still just a watch it and forget it movie.

I'm tired of seeing ghosts and creatures whose ambitions are to simply kill or scare people. Come on, do something more ambitious, write a novel, win a reality show, foil a terrorist attack, or invent something.

6 Days

So so inspiration
The movie is about a snowboarder getting lost in the mountains and the flash backs he sees before the end.

Firstly although I like to see a happy ending, it's also difficult to root for this character for being so stupid.

For example, you would turn off your cellphone if there's no signal to preserve battery so you can try elsewhere. But he didn't.

You would also write large letters in the snow so that rescue helicopters can see them. He didn't. You would also stay in an open area so that you're easier to see. He runs around in the trees.

I don't understand how the radio trick works. It's true radio receivers emits a weak signal, but for the rescue team to catch it, they have to be scanning the entire frequency spectrum, since they don't know what signal would be transmitted. No only that, they have to have multiple antennas in order to triangulate the location of the signal. And, how many snowboarders carry an AM/FM radio? I highly doubt the rescue team has this kind of setup. This makes me think this part of the movie is made-up. Possibly other parts are too.

When they found the snowboarders, they didn't give him water or food. That's just cruel.

And other than not dying, what did he do that is so inspiring?

Personal Shopper

Starts to become interesting only at the end, but then it ended
This is a very slow movie. After 15 minutes I still wasn't sure what the movie is about. That's a bad sign.

Then when a gratuitous nude scenes came about, I figured that's an even worse sign. Usually, only boring movies need these.

At the end, something did happened, but it wasn't fully explained or fully developed.

This is no where near a horror movie as IMDb suggests.

I think the ending of this movie is where things are starting to become more interesting. There is so much more the movie can do, after what is revealed at the end.

A better plot would be to shrink the movie to half an hour, and use the rest of the time to further developed the plot.

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