Surprisingly compelling and wonderfully satisfying. Mix juvenile delinquency with AIDS in one story and you're bound to see some explosions, both emotional and actual.
I Give My First Love To You (2009, Japan)
Imagine Nicholas Sparks eating sushi while writing another sappy novel. Still can't help the waterworks, though.
Movie 43 (2013, USA)
Critically panned by many but absolutely enjoyed by Lead Character. Lead Character laughed so hard his Adam's apple split, forming a second pair of testicles. Favorite moment: Chris Pratt getting hit by a car, blowing the shit out of him.
21 and Over (2013, USA)
Light comedies are supposed to make you forget about all of your problems for an hour and a half, but this one just adds to them. Benign. A waste of time.
I Give It a Year (2013, UK)
A British romcom with British Rafe Spall, Australians Rose Byrne (a goddess!) and Simon Baker, and American Anna Faris (a demigoddess). Quite effectively adorable and funny if you're in the mood, otherwise this might make you retch. Important: Lead Character was in the mood when he saw this.
Mental (2012, Australia)
Film director PJ Hogan (Muriel's Wedding, My Best Friend's Wedding) reunites with Toni Collette (Muriel's Wedding, but not My Best Friend's Wedding) in another music-filled comedy that makes you realize there are a number of things that you cannot joke about, but mental illness is not one of them.
Admission (2013, USA)
Tina Fey and Paul Rudd are likable enough to make this comedy compelling, but it fails to serve its purpose as a comedy, as it has rendered Lead Character depressed after.
Exam (2009, UK)
In search of a movie that takes place mostly in one tiny location, or as Lead Character would call it, a "claustrophobic" movie--like Cube (1997), Treed Murray (2001), Phone Booth (2002), Buried (2010)--Lead Character found Exam, a psychological thriller that indeed has the same riveting buildup as the other "claustrophobic" movies he's seen.
Fermat's Room (2007, Spain)
Another "claustrophobic" movie whose premise grabbed Lead Character by the collar immediately. Four mathematicians are trapped in a room whose walls close in whenever they fail to solve a puzzle within a given amount of time. Why are they there? Who put them there? How are they connected to each other? Frak, yeah!
Rabbit Hole (2010, USA)
Heart-rending performances from Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. Well, mostly Nicole Kidman, as the grieving, the pain, the torture, the unimaginable feeling of loss is more felt from her, which isn't saying Aaron Eckhart is insufficient; just different.
Spring Breakers (2012, USA)
Well-received by critics, but ill-received by Lead Character. How is it possible for Selena Gomez to be considered prettier than Vanessa Hudgens?
Syrup (2013, USA)
Ill-received by critics, but well-received by Lead Character. Amber Heard is sickeningly gorgeous.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, USA)
Lead Character's pick to win the Best Picture Oscar, and Leo was pretty much everyone's pick to win Best Actor except for the Oscar voters. But of course, 12 Years a Slave had to win (fucking white guilt). And Matthew McConaughey had to win Best Actor (fucking hetero guilt).
American Hustle (2013, USA)
Amy Adams is a goddess.
Frozen (2013, USA)
Really? You want to know what Lead Character thinks of Frozen? Isn't it enough that "Let It Go" exacerbated Lead Character's hernia?
Prisoners (2013, USA)
Lead Character's 2nd favorite Paul Dano movie, after There Will Be Blood (2007) and before Little Miss Sunshine (2006).
Side Effects (2013, USA)
This is Soderbergh on a good day. Rooney Mara's performance here is more of a revelation than her performance in Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011). She's officially become Lead Character's 2nd favorite Mara, after Kate Mara and before Mara Clara.
The English Teacher (2013, USA)
Pretty benign. Perhaps this is a good watch on a rainy day and you have plenty of food at home. Because Julianne Moore is a goddess and she can never do anything wrong. But never watch this if you're hungry and all you have in your fridge are condiments. Are condiments supposed to be refrigerated? I know mayo should be. But ketchup?
The To-Do List (2013, USA)
Has some memorable funny moments, and Aubrey Plaza is always fun to watch, but all in all, you're just thankful this is low-budget, because....wait, I know you do not have to refrigerate soy sauce, but what if you've already mixed soy sauce with slices of tomatoes and onions? Refrigrate that? Or will its smell only dominate your entire fridge? Anyone?
The Canyons (2013, USA)
So sad to see novelist Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho, The Rules of Attraction) write a movie that is this bad. And that breaking of the fourth wall in the last frame of the movie, that doesn't even convey anything artistic. The only thing that would have saved this wreck is an unsimulated sex scene between James Deen and Lindsay Lohan. Let's see if that broad can handle his huge dick.
The Rules of Attraction (2002, USA)
Quite a satisfying watch. Perhaps it's up there now in Lead Character's favorite teen movies of all time. See, Bret Easton Ellis, you have got to leave the screenwriting to actual screenwriters.
The Call (2013, USA)
An effectively engaging thriller despite the absurdity. This might work better as a TV series, though.
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007, Romania)
A chilling take on the topic of abortion. Well, abortion may very well be always a chilling topic, but this one just sucks it out of your uterus, whether or not you have one. Five stars out of four.
About Time (2013, UK)
One of the few movies that made Lead Character bawl his eyes out. Although the crying may be attributed to him getting locked out of his friend's apartment for over eight hours with no money for lunch.
Sana Dati (2013, Philippines, English title: If Only)
Lead Character had high expectations on this movie, and they were successfully met. Weighty. Emotionally-charged. A gem.
Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (2013, Philippines, English title: Norte, the End of History)
Powerful performances from the cast, especially Angeli Bayani, who could gut you effortlessly even without delivering a line. Lav Diaz just needs to stop masturbating, though, and learn to cut overindulgent scenes, scenes that never really help push the story along any better than if they are shorter. Here's what will make you a genius: tell a shorter version of a story and manage to give it as much impact as its longer version.
Gone Girl (2014, USA)
The movie has a lot more interesting bits than the book. And Rosamund Pike looks like she smells good, while Lead Character is pretty sure Ben Affleck doesn't.
The Skeleton Twins (2014, USA)
Bill Hader shines and Kristen Wiig sparkles. It will make you laugh hard and then sit quietly still, heavy-hearted.
Obvious Child (2014, USA)
Hands down the most romantic movie about abortion ever made.
Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (2014, Brazil, English title: The Way He Looks)
The Portuguese title, Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho, literally means "Today I Want to Go Back Alone." But perhaps "The Way He Looks" sounds more poetic in English than it does in Portuguese. This is beautifully made with no pretensions, perhaps somewhat Wattpad-esque in its execution of a romantic story, but definitely masterful enough to resound like a genuine heartbeat for years. This is the type of movie that Lead Character wants to force everyone to watch.