dearstrangrs,
Film Box #2: 100 Films Challenge February - March
May 8, 2018

Like the past 4 years, I challenged myself to another 100 Movies Challenge at the start of this year.

I first had the idea of this challenge when I saw one of my favorite Tumblr blog doing the same thing. She (the blogger) was a film major and watched and suggested a lot of movies that inspired and motivated me to love the art of movies more. Well, I’ve always loved movies growing up but this time around, my movie watching widen as I explored more genres and started to appreciate movies beyond the mainstream and my celebrity crushes.

My problem though is I usually go back to my favorite movies, watching them over and over again until I could almost recite their scripts perfectly (yes, I’m talking about you, Lord of the Rings!!) that I forget to explore new ones. So to challenge myself more, I decided not to include my “rewatch” on my list.

Additionally, I tend to slack off by the middle of the year that I haven’t completed this challenged for the past 4 years. The closest I had to completion was 55 films two years ago.

I’m hoping to change that this year no matter how slowly I’m (so far) going! I’ll be updating the blog weekly or bi-weekly about how my 100 Movies Challenge is going along with movie reviews as I’m trying to watch new movies as much as I can weekly as well. For starters, here are the movies I watched the last two months.

  

01. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)  —  
This is one of my “Must Watch Movies.” The movie is so simple yet so deep at the same time, it’s incredible and I love it. I didn’t expect it to be so and didn’t look so much into it being that I was such in a bad place at the time I decided to watch it. Turns out, it was sort of a blessing in disguise. I watched it so depressed and it honestly helped me so much. It made me smile. It made me cry. There are so many layers to the movie—I love their story of love, family, recovery and most importantly, being yourself. Maybe if anti-depressants were films, this would be how it would go and look.

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★★½ | Acting: ★★★½ | Writing: ★★★★½ | Editing: ★★★★ | Visuals: ★★★ | Makes You Reevaluate Your Entire Lifetime Decisions and Go on a Soul Searching Retreat: ★★★★★

Favorite Quote: "You know what? Fuck beauty contests. Life is one fucking beauty contest after another. You know, school, then college, then work, fuck that. And fuck the air force academy. If I wanna fly, I'll find a way to fly. You do what you love, and fuck the rest."

02. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)  —  
This is the first horror film I’ve seen in years. I promised myself to avoid horror films for the sake of life preservation but scrolling through my letterboxd, I discovered really beautiful horror films so I decided to suck it up and watch one—starting with this one.

But is this really a horror film? Sure, it’s creepy as hell and my cousins and I spent almost the entirety of the movie screaming and hiding behind our pillows but it was mind-fucking and artful that I don’t feel like it’ll do it justice by calling it “just” a horror film. It was so much more than a plot-less horror movie with no other reason, level, and/or depth but to scare you. This movie had a story to tell and executed it artfully. The acting was really nice and the cinematography and set designs was top notch. Then again, I’ve only survived watched crappy Western horror films so what do I know.

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★½ | Acting: ★★★★ | Writing: ★★★★ | Editing: ★★★★ | Visuals: ★★★★½ | Creepy as Hell: ★★★★★ | Makes you practive your vocal cords from screaming: ★★★★

03. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)  —  
This is the second film on my “Why the hell did I not watch anime movies especially Studio Ghibli films sooner?!”

It’s not what I expected it to be (like the epic adventure from Spirited Away) but I still loved it so much! This movie touched my nostalgia and reawaken my childhood memories and my innocence through the movie’s charms, the story, and very lovable characters. I feel like this movie is magic itself. I don’t know how to exactly explain it but I feel like this movie is about magic and made of magic… its mere existence is magic.

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★½ | Voice Acting (Japanese): ★★★★ | Writing: ★★★★ | Editing: ★★★ | Animation: ★★★★ | Cuteness Overload: ★★★★

04. La La Land (2016)  —  
The first time I heard about Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling pairing up for another movie, I squealed like a kid having given her entire wish list during Christmas. Then the movie got so popular in the mainstream media that the hype brought down my excitement and I honestly thought that there’s nothing but disappointment for me for this movie. Here I am today though months later after watching the movie (twice) and I’m still crying about La La Land.

What I love about it? Everything! The colors in this movie were so pretty as well as the cinematography, the musical side of it, and of course, the story. The delivery was superb and while I’m not too fond of jazz, I really loved the music in this movie. But, really, what I love the most was—SPOILER ALERT—the ending.

You don’t see something like that in romantic movies. Or at least the ones I usually watch. They usually give into the viewer’s demand for satisfaction in their endings which La La Land didn’t particularly didn’t do; opting for a different style and it’s like a breath of fresh air. It wasn’t really sad nonetheless, was it? It’s a happy kind of sad. Really, I’m okay. I’m okay… I’m—*sobbing*

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★★★ | Acting: ★★★★ | Writing: ★★★★★ | Editing: ★★★★½ | Visuals: ★★★★★ | I love this movie so much but I can't put it into words so lemme give five stars to every element: ★★★★★

05. Coco (2017)  —  
I’m a sucker for Disney-Pixar movies so I might sound bias when I say anything about this movie, that this movie is really good. Also, I really love how these animation films are diving in to more complicated storylines with more complex characters and some plot twists here and there. They’re not just “spoon-feeding” the kids like yes, kids are not stupid. They can understand and appreciate a plot twist or two.

My cousin and I promised not to cry with this one. We both failed (terribly) but at least we proved that we are not dead inside at the same time.

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★★ | (Voice) Acting: ★★★ | Writing: ★★★★½ | Editing: ★★★★ | Visuals: ★★★★★ | For real, look at the animations and the colors, this movie is so pleasing and so pretty: ★★★★★ | Music: ★★★★★

06. Justice League (2017)  —  
Oh dear god, this movie was such a mess. First of all, just when you’ve gotten used to everyone brooding (well, except for Barry—light of my life!), they’re suddenly making jokes in like every second which leaves you so confused. The end was so anti climatic which was, I honestly think, a cheap rip off from Rise of the Guardians. It was such a disappointment and I have yet to recover from the whole “Martha” scene from Batman v Superman.

And of course, let’s not forget the horrible CGI. I'd really prefer to have that scene of Barry and Victor just talking over Superman's grave stretched for the entirety of the movie, 3-hours straight. Yep, would definitely watch that instead.

I still have my hopes up for DC though, mostly because I love the Wonder Woman movie—the lone, proud proof that the DC Cinematic Universe is not to be left out yet. It makes me sad since Justice League was the superhero team up I grew up with and I was definitely looking forward to how they translate the team into the movie screen. I guess I still have to wait a little longer for that dark, action-pack DC team-up we all deserve.

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★ | Acting: ★★★ | Writing: ★ | Editing: ★★ | Visuals: ★★ | Might have watched this for Barry and Khal Drogo: ★★★★★ | Will I keep referring to him as Khal Drogo rather than Aquaman: ★★★★★ | YOU CAN DO IT DC! AT LEAST YOU TRIED, THERE'S ALWAYS A NEXT TIME: ★★★★★

07. Our Times (2015)  —  
I found out about this movie when some fellow BTS fans were talking about it on my Tumblr dashboard. They were saying so nice things to it and I was just in the mood for a coming of age film and better yet to explore Asian films so I decided to watch this movie myself.

Our Times was so cheesy yet cute. It was delivered so nice the teenage romance portrayed in the film would make you swear out to the world why you weren’t given the same experience rather than barf uncontrollably. The two leads are perfect for each other and had so much chemistry. I only wish that they delved more on their school pressure issues but I guess that would be asking too much considering it’s only an almost 2-hour film.

I’d definitely recommend this for when you’re looking for a nice coming out of age film and a really cute high school romance. Yay for my first ever Taiwanese movie!

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★ | Acting: ★★★½ | Writing: ★★★½ | Editing: ★★★★ | Visuals: ★★★½ | Music: ★★★★ | Cringe-y Cheesy: ★★★ | But its okay since they're super cute and adorbs together: ★★★★ | I'M HERE IF YOU NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO AFTER WATCHING THIS: ★★★★★

08. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)  —  
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about The Last Jedi. It’s not bad but it’s not also good. Watching it sleep deprived at 1:30 am also didn’t help. It’s really half and half.

This movie was stunning to watch but most of the time I was just wishing for it to be over. The plot has some good points but was also mostly dragging. The execution was new at some parts but also old. I mean, this movie both had the same story (has some scenes similar to the old movies even) but also made the effort to bring in new elements like the new character Rose and a bigger role they gave to Poe. So really, I was just really confused towards how I feel of this movie. What I’m really sure though is how I feel that the sense of fun and adventure though in a middle of a revolution which Star Wars was all about was kind of lacking.

Bonus points to the movie though for trolling all fan theories about Rey’s parents. When Kylo said, “You’re nothing,” I SEE WHAT YOU ALL ARE DOING!!

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★ | Acting: ★★★★ | Writing: ★★★ | Editing: ★★★ | Visuals: ★★★★★ | How much I love the last part: ★★★★★ | Please stop comparing Kylo to Zuko the love of my life: ★★★★★ | But I still love this movie cause I'm a Star Wars hoe: ★★★★★

 

Whew! This has been super long. I’m always having a hard time writing reviews (this one took a week!) but I’m glad I pushed through! Yaay!! I also have a few re-watch like Marvel films, Good Will Hunting, and etc. You can see all the movies I watched and will watch for the whole year on my letterboxd account. If you’ve seen these movies, let me know what you think. Also, if you have any recommendations, please let me know too!

‘Til next time, yeah?

Like the past 4 years, I challenged myself to another 100 Movies Challenge at the start of this year.

I first had the idea of this challenge when I saw one of my favorite Tumblr blog doing the same thing. She (the blogger) was a film major and watched and suggested a lot of movies that inspired and motivated me to love the art of movies more. Well, I’ve always loved movies growing up but this time around, my movie watching widen as I explored more genres and started to appreciate movies beyond the mainstream and my celebrity crushes.

My problem though is I usually go back to my favorite movies, watching them over and over again until I could almost recite their scripts perfectly (yes, I’m talking about you, Lord of the Rings!!) that I forget to explore new ones. So to challenge myself more, I decided not to include my “rewatch” on my list.

Additionally, I tend to slack off by the middle of the year that I haven’t completed this challenged for the past 4 years. The closest I had to completion was 55 films two years ago.

I’m hoping to change that this year no matter how slowly I’m (so far) going! I’ll be updating the blog weekly or bi-weekly about how my 100 Movies Challenge is going along with movie reviews as I’m trying to watch new movies as much as I can weekly as well. For starters, here are the movies I watched the last two months.

  

01. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)  —  
This is one of my “Must Watch Movies.” The movie is so simple yet so deep at the same time, it’s incredible and I love it. I didn’t expect it to be so and didn’t look so much into it being that I was such in a bad place at the time I decided to watch it. Turns out, it was sort of a blessing in disguise. I watched it so depressed and it honestly helped me so much. It made me smile. It made me cry. There are so many layers to the movie—I love their story of love, family, recovery and most importantly, being yourself. Maybe if anti-depressants were films, this would be how it would go and look.

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★★½ | Acting: ★★★½ | Writing: ★★★★½ | Editing: ★★★★ | Visuals: ★★★ | Makes You Reevaluate Your Entire Lifetime Decisions and Go on a Soul Searching Retreat: ★★★★★

Favorite Quote: "You know what? Fuck beauty contests. Life is one fucking beauty contest after another. You know, school, then college, then work, fuck that. And fuck the air force academy. If I wanna fly, I'll find a way to fly. You do what you love, and fuck the rest."

02. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)  —  
This is the first horror film I’ve seen in years. I promised myself to avoid horror films for the sake of life preservation but scrolling through my letterboxd, I discovered really beautiful horror films so I decided to suck it up and watch one—starting with this one.

But is this really a horror film? Sure, it’s creepy as hell and my cousins and I spent almost the entirety of the movie screaming and hiding behind our pillows but it was mind-fucking and artful that I don’t feel like it’ll do it justice by calling it “just” a horror film. It was so much more than a plot-less horror movie with no other reason, level, and/or depth but to scare you. This movie had a story to tell and executed it artfully. The acting was really nice and the cinematography and set designs was top notch. Then again, I’ve only survived watched crappy Western horror films so what do I know.

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★½ | Acting: ★★★★ | Writing: ★★★★ | Editing: ★★★★ | Visuals: ★★★★½ | Creepy as Hell: ★★★★★ | Makes you practive your vocal cords from screaming: ★★★★

03. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)  —  
This is the second film on my “Why the hell did I not watch anime movies especially Studio Ghibli films sooner?!”

It’s not what I expected it to be (like the epic adventure from Spirited Away) but I still loved it so much! This movie touched my nostalgia and reawaken my childhood memories and my innocence through the movie’s charms, the story, and very lovable characters. I feel like this movie is magic itself. I don’t know how to exactly explain it but I feel like this movie is about magic and made of magic… its mere existence is magic.

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★½ | Voice Acting (Japanese): ★★★★ | Writing: ★★★★ | Editing: ★★★ | Animation: ★★★★ | Cuteness Overload: ★★★★

04. La La Land (2016)  —  
The first time I heard about Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling pairing up for another movie, I squealed like a kid having given her entire wish list during Christmas. Then the movie got so popular in the mainstream media that the hype brought down my excitement and I honestly thought that there’s nothing but disappointment for me for this movie. Here I am today though months later after watching the movie (twice) and I’m still crying about La La Land.

What I love about it? Everything! The colors in this movie were so pretty as well as the cinematography, the musical side of it, and of course, the story. The delivery was superb and while I’m not too fond of jazz, I really loved the music in this movie. But, really, what I love the most was—SPOILER ALERT—the ending.

You don’t see something like that in romantic movies. Or at least the ones I usually watch. They usually give into the viewer’s demand for satisfaction in their endings which La La Land didn’t particularly didn’t do; opting for a different style and it’s like a breath of fresh air. It wasn’t really sad nonetheless, was it? It’s a happy kind of sad. Really, I’m okay. I’m okay… I’m—*sobbing*

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★★★ | Acting: ★★★★ | Writing: ★★★★★ | Editing: ★★★★½ | Visuals: ★★★★★ | I love this movie so much but I can't put it into words so lemme give five stars to every element: ★★★★★

05. Coco (2017)  —  
I’m a sucker for Disney-Pixar movies so I might sound bias when I say anything about this movie, that this movie is really good. Also, I really love how these animation films are diving in to more complicated storylines with more complex characters and some plot twists here and there. They’re not just “spoon-feeding” the kids like yes, kids are not stupid. They can understand and appreciate a plot twist or two.

My cousin and I promised not to cry with this one. We both failed (terribly) but at least we proved that we are not dead inside at the same time.

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★★ | (Voice) Acting: ★★★ | Writing: ★★★★½ | Editing: ★★★★ | Visuals: ★★★★★ | For real, look at the animations and the colors, this movie is so pleasing and so pretty: ★★★★★ | Music: ★★★★★

06. Justice League (2017)  —  
Oh dear god, this movie was such a mess. First of all, just when you’ve gotten used to everyone brooding (well, except for Barry—light of my life!), they’re suddenly making jokes in like every second which leaves you so confused. The end was so anti climatic which was, I honestly think, a cheap rip off from Rise of the Guardians. It was such a disappointment and I have yet to recover from the whole “Martha” scene from Batman v Superman.

And of course, let’s not forget the horrible CGI. I'd really prefer to have that scene of Barry and Victor just talking over Superman's grave stretched for the entirety of the movie, 3-hours straight. Yep, would definitely watch that instead.

I still have my hopes up for DC though, mostly because I love the Wonder Woman movie—the lone, proud proof that the DC Cinematic Universe is not to be left out yet. It makes me sad since Justice League was the superhero team up I grew up with and I was definitely looking forward to how they translate the team into the movie screen. I guess I still have to wait a little longer for that dark, action-pack DC team-up we all deserve.

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★ | Acting: ★★★ | Writing: ★ | Editing: ★★ | Visuals: ★★ | Might have watched this for Barry and Khal Drogo: ★★★★★ | Will I keep referring to him as Khal Drogo rather than Aquaman: ★★★★★ | YOU CAN DO IT DC! AT LEAST YOU TRIED, THERE'S ALWAYS A NEXT TIME: ★★★★★

07. Our Times (2015)  —  
I found out about this movie when some fellow BTS fans were talking about it on my Tumblr dashboard. They were saying so nice things to it and I was just in the mood for a coming of age film and better yet to explore Asian films so I decided to watch this movie myself.

Our Times was so cheesy yet cute. It was delivered so nice the teenage romance portrayed in the film would make you swear out to the world why you weren’t given the same experience rather than barf uncontrollably. The two leads are perfect for each other and had so much chemistry. I only wish that they delved more on their school pressure issues but I guess that would be asking too much considering it’s only an almost 2-hour film.

I’d definitely recommend this for when you’re looking for a nice coming out of age film and a really cute high school romance. Yay for my first ever Taiwanese movie!

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★ | Acting: ★★★½ | Writing: ★★★½ | Editing: ★★★★ | Visuals: ★★★½ | Music: ★★★★ | Cringe-y Cheesy: ★★★ | But its okay since they're super cute and adorbs together: ★★★★ | I'M HERE IF YOU NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO AFTER WATCHING THIS: ★★★★★

08. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)  —  
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about The Last Jedi. It’s not bad but it’s not also good. Watching it sleep deprived at 1:30 am also didn’t help. It’s really half and half.

This movie was stunning to watch but most of the time I was just wishing for it to be over. The plot has some good points but was also mostly dragging. The execution was new at some parts but also old. I mean, this movie both had the same story (has some scenes similar to the old movies even) but also made the effort to bring in new elements like the new character Rose and a bigger role they gave to Poe. So really, I was just really confused towards how I feel of this movie. What I’m really sure though is how I feel that the sense of fun and adventure though in a middle of a revolution which Star Wars was all about was kind of lacking.

Bonus points to the movie though for trolling all fan theories about Rey’s parents. When Kylo said, “You’re nothing,” I SEE WHAT YOU ALL ARE DOING!!

Scorecard Breakdown:
Direction: ★★★ | Acting: ★★★★ | Writing: ★★★ | Editing: ★★★ | Visuals: ★★★★★ | How much I love the last part: ★★★★★ | Please stop comparing Kylo to Zuko the love of my life: ★★★★★ | But I still love this movie cause I'm a Star Wars hoe: ★★★★★

 

Whew! This has been super long. I’m always having a hard time writing reviews (this one took a week!) but I’m glad I pushed through! Yaay!! I also have a few re-watch like Marvel films, Good Will Hunting, and etc. You can see all the movies I watched and will watch for the whole year on my letterboxd account. If you’ve seen these movies, let me know what you think. Also, if you have any recommendations, please let me know too!

‘Til next time, yeah?

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