Category Archives: Review

Movie Review: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey

***Spoiler Alert***


Bilbo Baggins is recruited into a clan of dwarves to go take back the homeland of the dwarves.

Bilbo Baggins is reluctant at first because he is somewhat comfortable in his home.  Gandalf insists on Bilbo Baggins going, while the head of the dwarves clan Thorin doubts that a Hobbit like Bilbo Baggins could be of any use on the journey.

After everyone leaves, Bilbo changes his mind and chases after the clan.

The group is tested by huge trolls who threaten to eat them all.

Then they are chased by goblins who have history with the dwarves.  Dwarves and Goblins were at war with each other over the Dwarves’ homeland.

They are rescued by the Elves, but Thorin (head of the dwarves) resent the Elves because they stood by and didn’t help the Dwarves when they were being attacked by the Dragon.

The dwarves leave the elves and are captured by cave-dwelling goblins.  Bilbo is separated from the group and meets the Gollum for the first time.  This is where he takes the “ring” from Gollum.

Bilbo rejoins the group, but only to be ambushed by Land Goblins.  Bilbo proves his worth by standing up for Thorin while he was helpless.

They escape and this is the moment when Bilbo is finally accepted into the clan of dwarves as one of their own.

Final Thoughts:

This is a fantasy adventure film, full of humor, companionship, and lore.

There is always a battle or action waiting at the next corner.

The action scenes are reminiscent of the ones from Lord of the Rings, where battles are drawn out and can stretch from one mountain to another.

Gandalf can be a source of inspiration with his wisdom and Bilbo’s quick-witted decisions are always one step of his opponents.

Enjoyable film for anyone who’s already a big fan of the Lord of the Rings series.


4/5, because in my opinion, it still doesn’t measure up to the original Lord of the Rings series.

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Movie Review: Silver Linings Playbook

***Spoiler Alert***


An interesting love story between two emotionally unstable people.

Bradley Cooper suffers from bi-polar depression, while Jennifer Lawrence resorts to sex as a way to sort through her problems.

Bradley Cooper is released from a mental hospital and is told to visit his doctor regularly.

Bradley was sent into the mental hospital because he had a violent outburst when he found out his wife was cheating on him.

Bradley was put on a restraining order by his wife and asked never to come around areas where his wife would go often.

Still Bradley is convinced that they are still in love and that she wants him back.

Bradley jumps through hoops and tries just about anything to win her love back.

This is where Jennifer Lawrence comes in.

She tells Bradley that she comes in contact with his wife often and promises to hand her a letter from him, if he promises to do her a favor.

The favor is compete with him in a professional ballroom dancing competition.

They compete, bring out the best in each other, and while she falls for him early in the movie.  By the end of the movie, he recognizes how important she is and chooses Jennifer Lawrence over his wife.

Final Thoughts:

This is a character driven movie, where as the story unfolds, you become more and more invested into Bradley & Jennifer’s lives.

It’s unique love story of how two people who are considered abnormal members of society find a way to create their own little world where society norms cease to matter.

I particularly enjoyed the family dimension in the story, between Bradley and his father.

Everyone is trying to cope with Bradley’s bi-polar depression and his father ends up being the one most affected by it.

Great love story, that appeals to both sexes.



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Movie Review: Submarino

***Spoiler Alert***


A pair of brothers are responsible for their baby brother Martin because their mother is an alcoholic.

One day, they both wake up and find their baby brother dead.

Fast forward to the adult versions, the older brother Nick uses violence to deal with his problems.  He also washes away his misery with alcohol.

He is friends with another woman from the apartment who he visits for sexual favors.

Nick meets one of his old friend who is somewhat slow and socially awkward.  Nick finds out that his friend is a virgin so they visit a prostitute house.  They are turned down so Nick brings his friend to meet the woman at the apartment.

Nick leaves and when he comes back he finds out his friend killed the woman because she wouldn’t stop screaming.  Nick takes the rap for the death.

Nick’s brother is also grown up with a kid.  The kid’s name is Martin.  His wife had been killed in a car accident.

Nick’s brother is a drug addict and depends on heroin to get through the day.  Social services are threatening to take the boy away if he can’t bring in any income.

The father and son are inseparable, but because of his drug addiction, he often passes out and forgets to take Martin to school or buy him any food to eat.

Things get desperate when he turns to selling heroin on the street to support his kid, but the police find him and put him in jail.

His kid Martin is placed in a foster care.   He becomes de-moralized and commits suicide.

The ending of the story, you find Martin and his uncle Nick at the funeral service.

Final Thoughts:

This movie grabs your attention and never lets go for the rest of the movie.

It seems that death follows this family throughout the whole movie.  Each turn of events revolves around the death of a baby, a woman, a mother, or a brother.

This is true in everyone’s life, but one doesn’t realize the significance of it as much as it is hi-lighted in this movie.

This is a dark, surreal, and cold movie.

I give it 5 stars because it depicts accurately the lives of those who do not have much, yet are constantly being challenged to put up with more and more.



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FB Status Update: Thao Vs Metrosexual Dude

Driving on the road with my cousin TA and asked her the following question:

“You know the guy John really well right? He’s pretty feminine. And you said that I’m pretty feminine. Would you say that his feminine side out-scales my feminine side? Or are we both feminine in different ways?

TA: Well, I wouldn’t say he’s feminine.
Me: OMG, he knows about all the celebrity gossip, like who is pregnant, in a divorce, or about to die.
TA: Still, I would put him in a different category. He’s more metro sexual than feminine.
Me: What?
TA: He cares about how he looks, you don’t.
Me: Of course I care about my looks.
TA: He’s willing to drive 50 miles to a barber who knows what he’s doing. You walk to your kitchen and get a haircut from your mom.
Me: My mom does a decent job.
TA: He spends money on getting braces and teeth whitening. Your teeth are yellow and your breath stinks.
Me: I just had korean bbq!
TA: He brings face wash whenever he travels. Do you bring face wash on your travels? Wait, I should ask you this first … Do you even have face wash?
Me: What’s wrong with using water to wash my face?
TA: I rest my case.
Me: -.-

My search for a guy who’s more feminine than me continues …

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Movie Review: The Yellow Sea

***Spoiler Alert***


A man is gambles owing millions to a gangster. He settles the debt by traveling to South Korea to assassinate a business man. He accomplishes his mission but finds out many people are after him including cops, the gangster, and a dirty corporation.

He is also searching for the whereabouts of his wife who has disappeared a long time ago.

All this chasing pushes the gangster and dirty corporation against each other. They butt heads and many lives are lost. The gangster gets the final laugh, before dying himself.

The man escapes to his home country on a boat only to die halfway on the trip with what he believes to be the ashes of his wife.

Final Thoughts:

The movie starts out really slow and ends slow. The best part is definitely the middle where he plans out his assassination and is constantly being chased by cops, gangsters, and people from the dirty corporation.

There’s definitely a feeling triumph as the two evil entities (gangster and dirty corporation) go at each other, devouring each other until nothing is left.

Good story, but takes 2.5 hours to tell it which in my opinion is too long.



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Movie Review: The Grandmasters

***Spoiler Alert***


Another movie about Ip Man.

This one jumps back and forth from other characters who are somehow related to Ip Man.

The movie starts out with his beating 20-30 people in the rain for no reason at all except to show you that he can.

The leader of the martial arts organization is stepping down and he is looking for someone to take his spot in the Southern region.

Ip Man takes up to the challenge but he must battle other martial arts master’s to prove his worth.  When he finally reaches the grandmaster, they duke it out and Ip Man wins.

The grandmaster’s daughters wants to avenge her father’s loss and challenges Ip Man.  They duke it out and she wins.

Through the exchange of fists, they both have fallen for each other.

Before anything can happen, the Japanese invade China and Ip Man is thrown into poverty.

Meanwhile, the grandmaster is betrayed by his top student and is killed.  The grandmaster’s daughter seeks revenge.  She finds him and avenges her father but at the cost of losing all her martial arts ability.

Ip Man then travels to Hong Kong, sets up a new martial arts school, and meets up with the grandmaster’s daughter for one last time.

She dies and the movie ends shortly after.

Final Thoughts:

Of all the Ip Man movie out there, this one is the most artistic.  The fight scenes are well choreographed and it seems more like a chess match being played out.

The fight scenes in here are comparable to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon or Jet Li’s Hero, where fights aren’t all about blood spilling, bone-crunching, and brutal violence.  The fight scenes here focuses on details, beautiful music, and scenery.

This movie also uses an actor who has few, if any, martial arts movie background.  Tony Leung is known for his dramatic/charismatic demeanor on screen if anything at all.  They do a convincing job of portraying him as a martial arts master.

There is definitely more emphasis in story telling then action, so if you came for action only, you may be disappointed.



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Movie Review: Jagten (The Hunt)

***Spoiler Alert***


A male care-take Lucas at a child care center is accused of sexual abuse.  The event never happened, but the girl who accused it was just making it up.

When she brings it up, her teachers and parents want to believe it to be true because they argue that a child cannot make these kind of things up.

Quickly the Lucas’ life is turned upside down.  All his friends with kids turn on him.  The community including the stores do not welcome in there anymore.

Only a few people stand by his side including his new girlfriend, his son, and one of his friends.

After a hearing, the judge concludes that he isn’t guilty.  Despite this, the community is convinced that he got away with murder.

They harass Lucas, throw rocks into his house, and kill his dog.

One day, the man confronts the girl’s father at church.  They used to be best-friends before the incident happened.  From his intuition, he can tell now that his friend is really innocent.

He forgives his friend and brings him food for Christmas night.

A year passes by and everyone is coming together to celebrates Lucas’ son first hunt.  Lucas gives his son a rifle and they go on a deer hunt in the forest.

The last scene show Lucas alone in the forest when out of no where a bullet buzzes past his face and hits a tree 1 feet away from him.

He looks up the hill and sees the outline of a figure.

The movie ends there.

Final Thoughts:

This movie dives deeply into the scenario of what happens when everyone believes in a lie.

It is extremely frustrating to see everyone become so blinded by what they want to believe which causes them to lose all sense of the truth.

One wonders throughout the whole movie, who is to blame for all of this?  Is the child false accusing at fault?  Is the Lucas at fault?  Is the community at fault?

Perhaps this movie illustrates the inconsistencies that we live with.  Perhaps this movie shows how we can all by hypocrites.

For sure, it shows the gray area that lies in between reality and truth.



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Movie Review: The Client

***Spoiler Alert***


A married man is accused of killing his wife, but no one knows how or where the body is.

The prosecutor has once prosecuted this man before of killing a high school girl, but because lack of evidence, they were forced to let him go.

The defending lawyer takes on the case but is somewhat unsure about his client’s innocence.

Throughout most of the story, there are many holes in the married man’s story that slowly gets revealed with further investigation.

Everyone is lead to believe he is really innocent until the very end, when a couple of things happen.

First of all, the defending lawyer brought up an exercise to look at the door just in case the supposedly wife comes through the door.  Everyone looks except for the husband.  Everyone looks because they’re not sure if she’s really dead or alive.  The husband doesn’t look, because he knows she is dead.

The defending lawyer’s investigator discovers that during the night of his wife’s death, he visited the same area that they had memories of in a picture.  There he learns that witnesses have seen the man carrying something into the river.

In the end, the defending lawyer approaches the guilty man demanding the truth.  He secretly records the confession on an audio recorder and later uses it to bring his client to justice.

Final Thoughts:

This is a very intelligent thriller that brings you on a emotional roller coaster from beginning all the way to the end.

If you love CSI or Criminal Minds, you will fall in love with this movie.

The investigation process is very thorough, but the crime that was committed was executed precisely leaving no evidence for anyone to work with.

Acting performances were top-notch.



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Gaming Apps Review: Candy Crush Saga


Puzzle game by that is extremely addictive.  The goal is to match up 3 or 4 same colored candy to achieve a goal.  Goals include reaching a certain score, reaching a certain score by a certain time limit, reach a certain score by a certain # of moves, destroying objective pieces, and completing special candy orders.  You can play this game on your android or apple device.  It also can be played through facebook.


Free to play, but you only get 5 lives.  You can pay money to get more total lives.  You get a free life every 20-30 minutes.  You can also get free lives by asking your facebook friends for lives.  There are special items that you can pay such as unlimited time, extra moves, and starting with special candies.


Varies by stage and can range from easy to extremely difficult.  They always throw in at least one difficult stage for every ten games you play.  Each new kingdom presents one new puzzle problem that they present in the game which they will combine with previous puzzle problems.  This keeps the game fresh and extremely tough to beat considering the fact that you must take into account all the problems.


You can get more lives by watching advertisement.  Pretty much 1 life per commercial you watch.  It’s one way they make money off of you.  By forcing you to ask friends for lives, it makes Candy Crush a social game where the more you interact with friends the longer you can play.  Even if you don’t ask friends for lives, you have to ask them for tickets which is required to go to the next kingdom.  Time limit on lives, forces you into a habit of coming 2-3 hours later to play over and over again.  After doing this for a couple of days, it becomes second nature to log onto Candy Crush.


5/5, for being extremely addictive and rewarding if you surpass levels in which you were stuck on for 4 days.

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