pablocatepetl has written 20 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • Mulan

    Mulan

    ★★½

    Dull and lifeless. Bland characters, weak battle sequences. Taking Mushu out was a mistake. Taking the Jerry Goldsmith vaporware score out was a mistake. Taking the songs and everything Disney out of this Disney classic was a mistake.

    This could be my review of every live-action remake Disney has released in recent years. None of them have moved me or entertained me, as technically impressive as they are. I haven't seen Aladdin yet, though, so maybe I'll like that one.

  • The Fog

    The Fog

    ★★½

    This movie is ok. It’s got a pleasant atmosphere to it. There’s plenty of lovely shots of the small idyllic seaside resort town, with its quaint bait shops, charming little radio station, and adorable town square, in the morning and after dark. This film could almost be a relaxing, nostalgia trip if it weren’t for the vengeful zombie pirates. The slayings in the movie are well-shot but somewhat lame. The Fog is minor Carpenter and nowhere as great as The Thing or The Halloween. It lacks interesting characters and memorable action. But the soundtrack by the director is pretty cool!

  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    ★★½

    Very mediocre. Cohen just simply wasn’t able to accomplish any really impressive gotchas on the public like he did in the original. With all the cartoonish costumes and the over-the-top scenarios, I felt like I was just watching a raunchier version of Impractical Jokers. And I don’t think it’s because Cohen’s brand of humor is outdated: the original Borat still stands as an all-time classic full of incredible reality humor, but the effort put into the jokes this time around…

  • TRON: Legacy

    TRON: Legacy

    ★★½

    The Daft Punk soundtrack is classic, a lot of the visuals are cool, and there are some pretty interesting Milton-esue philosophical ideas, but ultimately I didn’t care too much for this. It’s so hard for me to get emotionally invested in a CGI heavy sci-fi world—at no point did I forget I was watching a movie and care about what was going on. Not disappointed though, since I didn’t particularly care for the first Tron film anyway. Despite it’s revolutionary…

  • Blow Up My Town

    Blow Up My Town

    ★★½

    Early directorial effort by Chantal Ackerman. Exactly how many of these “black and white depressed young people doing nothing for fifteen minutes” short films exist in the world? Dull, but not pointless. Couldn’t stand the constant childish chatter over the soundtrack, and the restless activities in the kitchen were barely enough to keep my attention. Didn’t care for it, and anyway, there are several other films that do what this film does but better.

  • Go Back to China

    Go Back to China

    ★★½

    Actually quite a cute and charming movie. A very competently produced independent dramedy feature. The film follows the journey of a spoiled London Tipton-esque heiress who is too inexperienced to get a job, and spends all her time partying with her girls in L.A. After getting her trust fund assets frozen by her overbearing, serial-philanderer toy magnate father, she is forced to Go Back to China and join the family toy manufacturing business. There she is appalled at the way…

  • Not Without My Daughter

    Not Without My Daughter

    ★★½

    Sally Field plays an American woman who is tricked by her Iranian husband (played by Alfred Molina) to bring herself and their daughter to post-revolution Iran. There, where she is forced to adhere to strict Islamic customs, she finds that she is trapped from leaving by the country’s strict laws against wives of Iranian citizens. Part escape thriller and part domestic drama, it’s fairly alright for a film. Not essential viewing by any means.

    Sally Field doesn’t get much interesting…

  • The Other Guys

    The Other Guys

    ★★½

    First 15 minutes were a lot of fun. Lots of crazy, over-the-top action comedy spectacle. Gave me a lot of the entertainment I wish we had gotten from the disappointing Hobbes and Shaw movie.

    After that, movie loses a lot of steam for me. Some decent chuckles here and there, some clever one liners, but ultimately nothing memorable. Lots of very talented comedy guys here, given varying amounts of screen time (Steve Coogan, Rob Riggle, Ben Schwartz, Zack Woods), but ultimately…

  • The Crow's Nest

    The Crow's Nest

    ★★½

    Very cute! This is one of the very few feature films to emerge from El Salvador, my ancestral home. It’s a simply told comedy-tragedy of a poor old man working at a piñata store, trying to scrounge up some cash after receiving a deadly extortion letter at his doorstep. It’s a very familiar story to the working class of Central America. Blackmail, robbery, poverty, addiction, isolation, and meager living are recognizable territory. What I admired about this film is how…

  • Quartet for the End of Time

    Quartet for the End of Time

    ★★½

    A black and white short directed by a 21 year old Alfonso Cuaron. In terms of content and theme, it very much has the character of a student film. It’s all about male depression and loneliness (a favorite subject amongst artsy film students), and the young Cuaron uses sparse voice over and long takes to communicate that state of detached, isolated ennui through the screen. The film explores the soft, maddening background noises of urban living, the day to day…

  • Doña Lupe

    Doña Lupe

    ★★½

    Guillermo De Toro directed this when he was only 19 years old! Already we can see the young artist’s fascination with expressionistic lighting, religious, folkloric imagery, and magical realist storytelling.


    As someone who’s grown up watching a lot of forgettable, low-budget Mexican films, this one does not stand out except for the previously mentioned points. However, I think that’s also what I like about it. This film is undeniably, unapologetically Mexican to its core. The humor is very sharp and…

  • Judgement

    Judgement

    ★★½

    An interesting early directorial effort from the great Park Chan Wook. The acting is well-performed, the black and white camera work is intelligently composed, and the simplicity of the music scoring is effective. The film is a morbid comedy of sorts interspersed with footage of real-life tragedies. The comic situation of the piece is confidently absurd and over-the-top.

    Somewhat of a dull watching experience, although you do see traces of the artistic excellence that would later go on to make incredible, breathtaking pictures like Old Boy.