Everyone's A Critic
Have something to say? Join the club!

May
27

How long has it been? Too long, I know.

How To Train Your Dragon

Technically, there’s not a thing wrong with this movie. It sentimental and all that garbage I expect from Pixar, not Dreamworks. The battle at the end was pretty cool as well. It’ll just take a while for it to grow on me; I had hyped this film to the stratosphere in my mind.

I can take the story and compare it to Kung Fu Panda; Outcast trains, Outcast gets accepted, Outcast saves the day. But the thing with KFP is, that the Chinese culture was studied and applied with respect. Can we even study the Viking culture anymore? I’ve yet to read the book, but from the looks of it, they’re just roaming nomads.

The children…what a pity I could hardly understand what they were saying a lot of the time; They were a riot. Too many people were talking at once, and American accents! The adults had Scottish ones! That gave me a headache trying to keep in tone with everyone.

But kudos for Toothless. If a dog was a dragon, he is the example of how it would act. Seriously, I’m not even as expressive as the little animated dragon.

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid

Now, see I have read these books, and considering they’re just a collection of unfortunate events, it’s not terribly hard to shove it all into a film.

There was even time to use creative liberty. (Ahaha, bathroom scene. You’ll know which one. And the woods. And the dance.) Along with shoving random people into it like Angie, who also played the little annoying jumpy girl in Big Momma’s House 2.

You see in the movie what you can’t see in the book; How Greg is someone who always looks down on nearly everyone else when there’s no need to, considering the children (Besides…nearly every kid with a speaking line.) aren’t that bad.

Advertisements
Mar
18

Best Asian-Setting books I’ve read thus far;

    Geisha of Gion by Mineko Iwasaki
    Peony In Love by Lisa See
    Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur Golden
    Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Ineligible to be considered; Snow Flower and The Secret Fan , also by Lisa See. Haven’t found it yet beyond Google Books.

But all of the above deserve a mention by far, especially Peony. Read it, and consider who’s literally raining on your parade, or saving your life.

Feb
27

Previews shown at ‘Cop Out’.
‘Death At A Funeral’
‘Clash Of The Titans’

Previews shown at ‘Percy Jackson’
Something that involves forest animals beating up some dude.

‘Cop Out’? Fabulous Idea
In this movie, Bruce Willis plays a cop (I’ll give you a few minutes to absorb that piece of shocking information.), and Tracy Morgan is his sidekick. Okay.

I wasn’t totally sure what anyone was trying to do until about 15 minutes in the movie, and THAT’S after being verbally assaulted with the F-bomb 22 times (I counted.)

After that point,my mother just had to leave. Another correspondent told me that the following swear-fest film was pretty bad.

‘The Lightning Thief’

Now, here is the show! Whenever we come across a movie adaptation of a book, we need to lower our ‘connectivity’ expectations that it will match exactly (If it did, why bother making a film?) and be aware to judge it as a movie.

Four Things That Worked
1. Upping everybody’s ages: At first, it seemed like incredibly lazy casting, but in the novel, two 11-year olds are cavorting across the country with a satyr. In America, land of the ‘Let me call the police in an instant.’ people. It makes more sense this way.

2. The Special Effects: Most people who complain that they’re a little dull or early ’00ish probably say ‘Avatar’ and are now intent on holding every CGI movie after it to a standard they can’t reach. There’s nothing wrong with them.

3. Trimming the Story: Mind, I said trimming it, not changing it.

4. The Cast, Especially: Alexandria Daddario. We all knew she looked nothing like Annabeth’s clear-cut description in the books (But how many people are blond haired grey eyed? Who can act?), and she seemed to try extra hard to appear how her character was supposed to act, in spite of the warrior princess lines they kept pricking her with in the beginning.

A few Things That Were Iffy

1. The dialogue. Some of it was so very cheesy. They tried very hard to make Grover the funny(goat), and most of the time, the lines are quite funny (‘They’re working class Americans!’), but others (‘This place needs an extreme makeover.’) Were played out.

2.Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert!

Killing future plot opportunities: Well, perhaps not. Anyone who read the book will know about Luke’s betrayal, but the ending of the film does some fabulous murdering of plot bunnies and red herrings.

3. Lack of ‘Harry Potter’ spark.
When I first read reviews claiming that this was a knockoff of HP, and that it didn’t have the same amazing ‘WOW’ factor, I got angry. Then, I remembered;

-Most of the reviewers didn’t read the books.
-Most of them don’t KNOW they’re books.

But after seeing the movie, I was inclined to agree. Here, the world was quite ordinary-intentioned. In ‘Potter’, we stepped into a magical world. Here, we go across our own dull little country seeing only pockets of mythicalness.

Overall, if you never heard of it in your life and find yourself in this movie (like my mother), you’ll think it’s really good. If you view and review movies (like me), you’ll find it fairly ordinary, even for a fantasy film. It’s by no means bad, though.

Jan
24

Previews shown…actually, none. Way to go, dollar theater.

So….The Princess And the Frog. A return to the age of Disney that didn’t make people nauseated?

Pros
Hand Drawn Animation

Neutrals
The songs. While each of them were nice, only ‘Friends On The Other Side’ and ‘When We’re Human’ don’t feel a tad off-putting.

What happened here?
Character showing ratio.

Yes, Tiana and Naveen are the main characters (Much more likeable as frogs, by the way),but there are characters you unintentionally like a lot more, like Charlotte, Louis and Dr. Facilier.

Speaking of the doctor, he’s the villain. You know that, I know that, how come it takes someone paying strict attention while watching the film to be reminded of that? He was probably in the movie for a grand total of 9 to 11 minutes, counting all of those background shots. For example,

Spoiler Alert

Facilier intends for Lawrence to marry Charlotte, after which he will kill ‘Big Daddy’ and claim his fortune.

(Thank you Wikipedia)

You wouldn’t have gotten the impression about the murder if you hadn’t seen the 43 second shot in the movie, or read the above statement.

And, first impressions are important. We are given the impression that he controls the voodoo, shadows…which one is it? In his scene where he is on screen for a full minute and a half, he’s asking the voodoo in the spirit world for help. What? Make up your mind. Though, if he said something like ‘I have powers at my command’ in the beginning, he probably wouldn’t be as respectable (or cool).

Let me refer to the video below;

Seriously, why didn’t we see more of that? It probably would have been a blast to go into the Other Side. (Sequel plot please?)

Overall, it’s new Disney making a good attempt to be old Disney. By all means, keep it up, and show your villains a little more, yes?

Jan
18

Yahoo! Synopsis

Denzel Washington fights his way across a post-apocalyptic wasteland to protect a book that holds the key to humanity’s future.

Not entirely true; half of humanity can’t stop finishing each other off and eating them to even consider reading the bible.

While everyone played their parts ass-kickingly good, there was only one message that came across that I had a problem with;

Women, unless you’re useful of bait, you’re pretty much going to be an unpaid prostitute when the world ends.
I even prefer the mother and son role than this.

There are lots of biblical references (But for American audiences, clearly something that 90% of people would recognize), including the Egyptian cat.

The cinematography was beautiful. The shots of the sky and landscape, and the beautiful music. The monologue at the end actually made me teary-eyed.

I really do love this movie. It makes me want to be nicer to people, to even pick up a King James Bible and read it.

It’s good enough to get spot #3 on my list of Top 5 Movies.

Jan
05

Okay, new Mario RPG references aside…I’m talking about The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, who also wrote the very awesome Underland Chronicles. This is one of those books that stalk me from store to library, like the Olympians and Ranger’s Apprentice, that I decided to pick up.

This is hands down the best first person story I have ever read. It isn’t too in-depth with the feelings. Maybe because until the tributes are chosen, Katniss doesn’t really need to be all sympathetic. She reminds me a lot of Luxa (Who is also a contender in the ever-popular ‘Cool Name Awards’) from ‘Underland’, though Katniss is far more likable. I did have to roll my eyes at a case of over description (IBM), but only once.

From the beginning to ‘Let the 74th annual Hunger Games Begin!’ is simply wonderful, a fantastic delight to read and in-vision yourself in.

The slightly disappointing part is the titular event.

It’s essentially a game of survival–which, each of the 12 Districts have already been doing in their own ways. I expected there to be something like ‘obscure crazy event that you could kill people in’ that would perhaps end at 6 PM, where the remaining survivors could rest, plot, and possibly knock someone off in the dead hours of the night. Cunning and backstabbing, that’s what I wanted to see. And there’s some, which is pretty good.

Pseudo-Romance! How I love it so. Seems like the residents of the Capital and Panem are still as gullible as the extinct North Americans. Sad ending, though.

The sequel, Catching Fire, seems more my speed. I’ll be sure to pick it up soon.

Dec
25

This is a wonderful double review (Sort of) of Did You Hear About The Morgans? and Avatar (IN 3D!)

Previews:
Besides ‘It’s Complicated’, which was playing next door, and ‘Valentine’s Day’ (With all the star power) and ‘Bounty Hunter’ (Which looks hilarious), I don’t remember a thing because there was this HUGE CARDBOARD ADVERTISEMENT OF PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF WHICH IS COMING OUT NEXT PRESIDENT’S DAY RIGHT BY THE ENTRANCE!

…But I’m not too excited for it.

What about the Morgans?: First of all, if you are going to use my name, please stick it on a movie that will keep my interest for longer than it takes to register that Hugh Grant is on the screen. Easily predictable from start to finish, and I couldn’t even finish it, it was that boring.

…Which explains why I was in Avatar 3D.

I’m not going to wordvomit all over my keyboard about how lovely the film looked, even if the 3d personally gave me a headache with my poor eyesight. Or how interesting and engrossing the story is, because it is.

I’m going to give my props to Zoe SaldaƱa!

Many minority actresses don’t seem to want to touch science fiction roles with a 10-foot pole. I’m beyond proud and excited to see her in both Avatar and this year’s earlier hit, Star Trek.

Nov
26

In reality, I wanted to see Fantastic Mr. Fox, but got stuck with this. Anyways…

Plot You’ve seen the sports movies where there’s a low on his luck individual–usually African American–who comes from a bad neighborhood, and their only future is something in sports?

Tadaaa!

What it isn’t; This isn’t Michel Oher’s story told from his point of view. This is his story told from the view of the family who adopted him, and it’s unintentional.

Points of interest; Spoilers Ahead

* Mike has the sanest drug-addict mother I’ve ever seen. And usually, in these movies, the parents of the down-and-out usually rant and scream about how there’s no future for this boy, unless it’s working at a low end job or being a pimp. She doesn’t do that. She actually wants him to have a good life! Wow!

* There are few scenes of violence and racism. Another pleasant surprise.

We need a problem, quick

Why was the biggest problem the fact that the NAACP thought that the family was preening him simply to go to ‘Old Miss’? Shouldn’t they have put him in a good foster home after…his foster family fell apart?

Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy made me want to try to tolerate the South. That’s a huge house to try and clean, however.

Nov
22

Excuse me if I keep calling it 2021.

Well, anyway, down to the review.

Plot The world ends, as predicted by the Mayans. I think I needn’t tell you that the movie got most of their prediction wrong. The crap hits the proverbial fan.

What you didn’t know This fellow was the same director who gave us The Day After Tomorrow, which I liked. Apparently, you can only destroy the world in a creative manner so many times. Though, to give credit, Tomorrow‘s giant weather mess was mostly snow, ice, hail, and cold water.

Random Thoughts
-How come everytime the world ends, the president is black?
-There’s a diagram they show in the film; all the planets line up, and the earth’s core melts, and tectonic plates shift.

HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN, when Venus is said to be between Earth and the Sun? Isn’t Venus larger than earth? The Sun’s rays would only hit the poles of the earth at that rate.

Acting Award Goes To The children. I’ll eat my hat if the girl isn’t chosen to be Lily again in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; The Prince’s Tale. I kept calling the boy Percy, which, in turn with the main character, Jackson, kept making me laugh at inappropriate intervals.

Ironically enough, there was a Lightning Thief Poster right beside the movie room.

To sum it up Stuff happens, people die…it’s too long, and not too interesting, either.

Nov
18

For those unaware, there are things coming out at the movies this week.

The Blind Side ; If you want to read a condensed version of the story, look for it under a different name in a past Reader’s Digest issue. No more than a year or two ago.

Planet 51; Another kid’s movie with Dwayne Johnson. Only difference is this looks pretty cool.

Old Dogs A further showing of 90’s stars.

And that’s it! It isn’t? Oh yeah…

There’s also a little movie called New Moon . Someone mind explaining to me what that is about?

…Oh, it’s that. Guess I need to take a club and pepper spray to the movies this Saturday when I see ‘Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs’.

Apparently, there needs to be a worldwide ‘big deal’ every 10 years, starting in the ‘6’ of the year. Like Harry Potter–a story that one does not need a degree in ‘SMeyer English’ to even understand–was published around the ’96-’97 area, and had steam until the end of 2006.

Twilight was released in 2005, and got steam around the falltime of 2007. We’ve got 7 long years to go…

And for once, Miley Cyrus has my respect