Red Riding Hood (2011) – Movie Review

Red Riding Hood is dark fantasy film that is based loosely on the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. As the film is directed by Catherine Hardwicke who also directed the vampire saga Twilight, Red Riding Hood clearly attempted to follow the footstep of Twilight.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Amanda Seyfried in "Red Riding Hood"
Amanda Seyfried in "Red Riding Hood"

Valerie (played by Amanda Seyfried) is a young woman who has to choose between her childhood lover, woodcutter Peter (newcomer Shiloh Fernandez) and the wealthy Henry Lazar (Max Irons) who was arranged by her parents for a marriage.

Valerie plans to escape the village with Peter but their plans are interrupted by the werewolf who struck the village and kills her sister. The people of Daggerhorn decides it is time to kill the werewolf considering their pact with the werewolf was over and it has crossed the line by killing a human.

Hardwicke tried to inject suspense in the film by making the viewers to guess who is the actual culprit (werewolf). Despite that and the other details in the film, the storyline is boring and predictable, making the movie dull and disappointing.

While many would have guessed Peter as the werewolf who attacked the village, very few would have guessed it is Valerie’s father Cesaire (Billy Burke) who is the actual culprit. Even so, it didn’t stop the lacklustre surrounding the film.

Amanda Seyfried totally outshines her co-star Shiloh Fernandez and the rest of the casts.

Overall, Red Riding Hood was dark, dull and truly uninteresting, making it one of the worst films in 2011.

My ratings: 5 out of 10.

Red Riding Hood (2011) Trailer

Red Riding Hood is thriller film about a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family’s displeasure. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Red Riding Hood stars Amanda Seyfried, Lukas Haas, Gary Oldman, Virginia Madsen, Billy Burke. The film opens on March 11, 2011.

Inception (2010) – Movie Review

Inception is a dream-manipulating science fiction film directed by Dark Knight’s Christopher Nolan.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe and Dileep Rao in "Inception"
Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe and Dileep Rao in "Inception"

The movie centers around Dominic “Dom” Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a thief who extracts ideas from people’s dreams. Cobb doesn’t work alone, he has a team of equally talented people — Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Cobb’s "Point Man" and researcher, Nash (Lukas Haas), architect for the dream world.

When Cobb’s mission of stealing Saito’s (Ken Watanabe) corporation business plans fails, Cobb and Arthur plan a runaway. Saito shows up through his helicopter and reveals that Nash has betrayed them and offers them a job of inception by secretly implanting an idea in the mind of his corporate rival, Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) in order to prevent a global monopoly.

Cobb assembles his team with new members — Eames (Tom Hardy), a forger who changes identities inside dreams, Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a chemist who composes sedatives for dreams and Ariadne (Ellen Page) architect student whom they train as their new architect. Similar to DiCaprio’s previous film, Shutter Island, Cobb is continually haunted by his deceased wife, in this case, Mal (Marion Cotillard), which is discovered by Ariadne. Cobb reveals to Ariadne that he and Mal spent decades in a limbo dream world until one day, Mal commited suicide because she cannot differentiate dream from reality anymore and she incriminated him in her death, forcing Cobb to flee the U.S. to avoid murder charges. Cobb’s main goal in his final mission is to go back to the States to unite with his children, whom show up in his dreams as often as Mal.

In the final mission, Cobb and his team is joined by Saito as they share the same flight as Robert Fischer from Sydney to Los Angeles. They drug Fischer and sedate themselves in order to enter the dream world and bring it to as deep as the third level. However, unexpected, they are assaulted by mercenaries projected by his subconscious mind as he was previously trained to protect himself from extractors like Cobb. As a result, Saito becomes critically injured but unlike unsedated dreams, dying will not make him awake if the person is still sleeping, instead, it will make him stuck in the dream. The team enters into as deep as the third level of dreams. The first level involves car chase, the second level involves a hotel while the third level involves snowy mountain fortress where Cobb’s subconscious Mal kills Fischer to push Cobb and Ariadne into the fourth level in order to find Fischer and later on, Saito. In order to wake up from the sedated dreams, one must experience a “kick” — a sudden falling sensation, in which case, Cobb’s team has properly planned with Yusuf started off early by driving the van into a river, Arthur blowing up the hotel’s elevator and Eames blowing up the mountain fortress.

Although in the end, Cobb is seen as awakened in the plane with everyone else, including Saito, and is reunited with his children back home. There are many questions still lie around to leave us ponder when Cobb spins the top to test whether it is a dream or a reality.

Overall, Inception is like a labyrinth of dreams that is created by a top-notch architect. It may contain paradoxes, vivid cinematography and delusions.

My ratings: 9 out of 10.