Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Princess Diaries (2001)

Rating: 60%
Well I have to admit it; after her spectacular performance as Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman I just felt that now would be the time to finally look back to how it all began where many people such as yours truly first saw her in a trailer to this movie and later saw the movie itself in theaters. So without further ado, he's my review for The Princess Diaries.

Plot: Mia is a 15 year old high schooler who lives with her mother in San Francisco. She is generally viewed as invisible socially in school and has trouble when it comes to public speaking. But one day, her grandmother Clarisse, her late-father's mother, comes to visit from the European country of Genovia and tells her that her father was the prince of Genovia and Clarisse is the Queen, making her the princess of Genovia. Mia is shocked and run away from her grandmother and is furious with her mother for not telling her about it. But eventually Clarisse and Mia make an agreement to help Mia train to be a princess before a Genovia annual ball to give her time whether or not to really become a princess.

For the most part, this is an...okay film. I mean yes, usually girly movies like these suck like heck and are only entertaining in the slightest to their primary audience, and...yeah this movie did have a lot of really cheesy moments, the second half is roughly structures like any romantic comedy or something like that, and a couple of odds and ends that gives us the reason for any of us that aren't little girls to not really like these kinds of movies. But this movie to me really stands out because at the very least, it has some decent charm to it. The acting was alright, some of the supporting characters had some cute moments, some of the comedy all around had one or two moments that made the movie pretty fun to watch when I was a kid and while I don't laugh at now, I still like it for just how nicely done some of it was. But I do like that it wasn't trying so hard with throwing us joke after joke or was shoving a lot of romantic moments or anything, it just focuses on what was happening to Mia in a decent, pace that altogether gave us a decent, fun movie that - while girly- can still be a nice movie to enjoy.

Anne Hathaway/Mia: I enjoyed watching Hathaway in this film. She gave us this girl who has this cute personality with her trying to adapt to the whole princess thing while trying to deal with it at school or at home and still having the decision to make as to whether or not be a princess. I agree that most of what I just said was done in a cliche way for the most part, but unlike most actresses around that age when it comes to a girly movie, she still manages to give us a character to care about cliche or not that makes it little wonder that she's gone so much farther to the point of currently being the best Catwoman in a Batman movie, and there's plenty of room for optimism for her upcoming performance as Fantine in Les Miserables.  
Julie Andrews/Clarisse: For the most part, there's nothing much to say other then saying that it was Julie Andrews being Julie Andrews just the way we love her. Having a strong confident kind of energy with her smooth and gentle sounding voice and everything. Her dialogue may not be the best kind for her to shine the way most of us know and love her, but she still gave us an enjoyable performance.

Music: Personally, I liked that this movie didn't have much of an original score. In fact, I kind of enjoyed the moments where there was no music at all but just plain dialogue. That kind of helped take some of the slightly more dramatic moments a little more serious. Not spectacular of coarse but nice. As for the songs, I liked that there some songs that (while modernized) were brought into the film such as "Little Bitty Pretty One" and "Stupid Cupid". And as girly as "I"m Supergirl" and "Miracles Happen" were, at least they both were decent songs to remember even now once in a while.

Editing: Most if it was okay, but there where some cuts that didn't make sense. Mostly around the beginning where there's the scene where Mia and her mother are rock climbing and there's random points in the dialogue where they cut to just random things like a rock on the rock climbing all or just most of her mother's body for some reason. Then there's the scene where Paolo is giving Mia her makeover and there's the shot where it's the bottom of the chair and you see the chair spinning around from the reflection of the bottom of it. The editing and music was at the very slow pace that while it made sense as a transition...just felt a little off.

And that's my review for The Princess Diaries. It brings plenty of cliches from the book, but we still get some cute moments and some acting that may not be the greatest but is still enjoyable and all around was a nice way for Anne Hathaway's career to begin. 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

Rating: 95%
Well a little before The Dark Knight Rises hit the theaters, one my best friends suggested that I come over to his place for his to show me the whole extended edition of the Sweden trilogy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And conveniently, by dad got the American version of the movie so I could compare both version of the first book. So here's my thoughts of the Sweden version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. 

Plot: Mikael Blomkvist is a journalist who is gets attacked publicly after following a lead to a man he's trying to take down that turn out to be an ambush against him that leaves him and the magazine he works for disgraced. But then he gets offered by Henrik Vanger, who's a retired CEO of his family's business to write about his family's history and to try to crack the case about his great-niece's disappearance 40 years ago. At the same time, the story is about Lisbeth Salander, a researcher and computer hacker whose legal guardian has recently had a stroke and has gained a new one who unlike the last one, gets control of her finances and gives her monthly allowances in exchange for sexual favors.

Better then the American version? Entirely. It takes it's time of roughly three hours of film very well and being much more descriptive then the American. What really helps was that this was done in subtitles which, considering my family and I prefer that anyway because we find it a good tool to make sure we understand everything and know all the names and stuff when watching a new film, made all the difference. And even then, this movie was done SO much better visually. I mean we gets these extremely well done close ups of files, pictures, stuff that either Mikael or Lisbeth are doing on their laptops, that made things super clear on what's happening whether Lisbeth was hacking or Mikael was looking at certain people in his tree of suspects or whatever that's called. The American one may have won best editing and was at least nominated for best cinematography, but when it comes to giving us very clear, descriptive, and meaningful visuals to help with the story, the Sweden version is highly superior. I also really like that this version also gives us a side story over what was happening at the Millennium over the whole Wennerström deal unlike the American version which I liked.  Now what really makes me want to read the book is that there's a lot of things that are done in completely different ways. Some clues are told differently, there's one character who's nice in one version but is trying to blow Mikael's brains out in another, all around, I'll definitely have to read the book and watch both version again to know which movie is more loyal to it then the other. 

Michael Nyqvist/ Mikael Blomkvist: Now I definitely would like to read the book to know how to really view Mikael as a character. Because honestly, I think he was roughly the same thing as he was played by Daniel Craigg. He has a sort of quiet tone but still very persistent attitude when it comes to solving the mystery. So better or worse then Daniel Craigg? I really do not know. Really until I've read the book, I don't really know for sure how to take Mikael as a character for sure. 
Noomi Rapace/Lisbeth Salander: Now when it comes to being an ultimate psycho, I have to admit that Rooney Mara displays it the best. But with Rapace, I kind of see Lisbeth to be more...human I think would be the right way to put it. She has her psycho side of her and all, but it's not as super descriptive as Mara does. Rapace make her Lisbeth a little more of a real human being who just has a lot of darkness in her past which made her a much more enjoyable to watch.

Music: Very nice. Plain and smooth most of the time, but it kicked in pretty well whenever there was suspense.

Editing: While they didn't win Best Editing like the American one did, the editing here was just better in terms of telling the story because it had much better visual shots and they used it very well.    

And that's my review for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The American one my have a slightly more psycho Lisbeth and an opening credit sequence that kick MAJOR rear, but this one tells the story so much better visually that no matter which one I'll find to be more loyal to the book, I'll still find this one the best as a movie.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and what I have to say about the Aurora shooting

Rating: 80%
It's been four years since The Dark Knight came and taken both Batman and the idea of superheroes in general to a whole new level. Now they have finally made the third movie for the Dark Knight franchise. Did they give us the movie we've been waiting for? Let's find out in my 300th review: The Dark Knight Rises.

Plot: Eight years after The Joker was defeated and Harvey Dent was killed, Gotham has been living in peace under the Dent act which helped Commissioner Gordon nearly destroy organized crime completely. Bruce Wayne has locked himself up in his mansion feeling like he has nothing left to live for after stopping The Joker and losing Rachel. But then while Gordon and the police follow a lead to an investigation, Gordon discovers that a group of terrorists lead by Bane where he manages to escape, but is shot in the process. Shortly after that, Bane and his followers attack the stock exchange in Gotham where he begins to start creating chaos in Gotham leaving Bruce Wayne to come back as Batman and try to stop him.

Now I will say that as a movie, The Dark Knight Rises did not best The Dark Knight, but it's likely going to be just as memorable. The story despite a couple of issues is very deep and complex. The characters where very loyal to the comics, some of them where loyal at some unexpected points and altogether were an extreme lot of fun to watch throughout the movie. The action was much, much better then they were in the first two films, mostly in the extent that the fights were shot in much wider camera shots then they were in Batman Begins and Dark Knight which to me, made it easier and more fun to watch. But there are a couple of issues that I had with the film. For example, *WARNING SPOILERS* I thought it was really dumb how they first showed Selina Kyle as Catwoman. I mean she's just being Selina Kyle in a couple of scenes, and then in the middle of a chase scene she all of the sudden is Catwoman for the first time in the movie for 15 seconds and then it's back to the chase scene. I think it would've been better if we first saw her as Catwoman in the film during the scene where she attacks Daggett over the matter of getting the program she's after. Because while that wouldn't have have been perfect, I thought it would've given us a more dramatic entrance for Catwoman then just put her in for 15 seconds in the middle of a totally different scene as a way to introduce her as Catwoman. The same would be the way they introduced Crane in the movie. He wasn't shown until he started sentencing that one guy, and I thought it would've worked better to first show him when they first showed the courtroom during Bane's speech. Then there's a bunch of really cheesy parts in the film like Bane going "impossible" when Batman returns to Gotham, the whole thing about a bomb and that Batman has to supposedly sacrifice himself to keep it from blowing up Gotham, and then there's the part when Bruce Wayne escapses the prison, which was cheesy in itself that it would be set as a really dramatic moment, but it's just that he escapsed just by succeeding in making that ledge which I think would've only been good if he did like a certain clever thing where he would make it or something like that. Then, the final battle was not what I was hoping for. I mean whenever I was thinking about what the final battle was going to be like, I kept thinking it was going to be a battle where it's Bane and his mercenaries verses, not only Batman and the police, but practically every man, woman and child in Gotham. (Not really children mind you, but you get the idea.)  Cause considering the times in the Batman comics where Batman will rely on even gangs to help him whenever there's a war in Gotham like in The Dark Knight Returns,  I thought that even the civilians would be wanting some action against Bane and his men as part of the final battle for Gotham,. But not only did that not happen, but strategically, the battle for the sake of the police sucked. Finally, there's the ending. Obviously, there's the stuff that's really confusing and all that, but I really have trouble accepting it. I mean the idea to it is wonderful. I mean we're talking about ANY superhero let alone Batman getting to live happily ever after with their city or other place being permenantly evil/crime free forever. I mean that's a grand idea to me because when it comes to superheroes, the best ending you'll get is one ultimate catastrophy averted and the hero gets the love interest. So it's pretty big of the idea of any superhero let alone Batman hang up the cape for good knowing that everything's going to go wonderfully from here on out. But the problem is that they really rushed it. It just ended too quickly and while I kind of like it, quite frankley can't except it because it's so rushed that it really doesn't feel right. *END OF SPOILERS* But other then that the only real issues I had with the movie as a whole was there there were tiny bits of dialogue and certain parts of the plot that I did find a little cheesy. But regardless, it's very dark, complex, with some very good action, better acting from some of the particular actors from the trilogy, and like the other films, packed with some very well done story/character development that brought the story of Batman to a dramatic and memorable conclusion.  

Christian Bale/Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman: First thing to say is that Bale actually did a rather excellent job as Bruce Wayne. I mean I thought he was fine before with being focused on the mission while secretly being a playboy billionaire, but he improved in this movie to the point where even if he's in the batcave with Alfred or something like that, he speaks so much louder and clearer which made him so more more believable as a character. As Batman I enjoyed him more when it came to the action because again, they gave us much wider shots, and just how they gave us more gadgets for him to use. He may still have the voice, but so what? He's still Batman and he's still awesome. And Bale does display every bit dramatic thing that Batman goes through extremely well.
Tom Hardy/Bane: Well the first thing is that I was really skeptical at first when it came to Bane's voice. I mean sure, part of it is that I can't always understand him as people have mentioned already, but I imagined that his voice was going to be lower and deeper then it turned out to be. But I got over it after a while and still really enjoyed how he really was menacing, powerful, dangerous and while wasn't as psychotic as The Joker, really gave us an even wider scale of chaos in Gotham. An being an improvement from the Bane in Batman & Robin? Biggest understatement of the fricking millennium.
Anne Hathaway/Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman: When Anne Hathaway was announced to be Catwoman in this film, naturally, we all were skeptical about the whole idea that the woman who was once that cute teenage girl from Princess Diaries and has since been in between nice to less then good films like Devil Wears Prada, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Valentine's Day and so on would all of the sudden be Catwoman. But at the end of the day, she actually turned out to be the best Catwoman there is to date. She was pretty much exactly who Catwoman is; smart, manipulative, cunning, hot (like that even needs to be said) a skilled thief, a bad-a fighter, yet has he conflict between good and evil and with her relationship with Batman. I mean the bummer thing is that they never even mention her name, but oh well.) Michelle Pfeiffer still did an awesome job as Catwoman and she still will still be remembered well for it, but it's Hathaway who gave us that ever so popular burglar that has tricked Batman and stolen his heart time and time again ever since she stepped foot into the comic.

Music: Now there was not a lot of new music to listen to since most of it was some of the same tracks that we have with both Batman Begins and Dark Knight. But there some new tracks here and there that while I currently don't find them excellent were still pretty good.

Editing: Aside from my issues that I mentioned during the spoiler alert section, I enjoyed the editing a lot especially since, again, the camera shots for the action were wider which made the action and the editing for it much more enjoyable.

And that's my review for The Dark Knight Rises. It may not exceed The Dark Knight, and it has a few stuff that didn't work out the way I for one wanted it too, but it's still an excellent, very well done movie with great characters, very complex story, and just an awesome film to bring the Dark Knight trilogy to a satisfying conclusion. And thus that brings me to a total of 300 reviews so I'd like to say thank you for reading my reviews, and here's to maybe reaching 400 eventually.

Also, here's my video review of The Dark Knight Rises and a new thing I decided to do for my reviews called a spoiler video.


Spoiler Video:

But as I finish this review, let us never forget the shooting that took place in Aurora, Colorado, which is only less then an hour or so by car from where I live. That said, I ask that you let your prayers be very well with everyone that was in that theater whether they were shot or not. This was a horrible thing for anyone in there to experience even if nothing happened to them. And prayers for the shooter that justice is done to him, but at the process of that, that somehow he'll realize and be truly ashamed for what he's done. It's not likely that he will but that's where we must bear in mind that all things are possible in The Lord and pray to him that it may one day happen. And that as long as we are willing and are truly sorry, he'll forgive even the most horrible of our sins and help us over come them as Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 10:13: "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful, he will never let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way where you can stand up under it." I know that it looks like things will never go that way for the shooter, and it feels like we should treat him like he's Hitler or Bin Laden, but we must also remember to love our neighbor; a commandment that so many of us will forget. I know I do and probably still will in the future, which proves all the more that we are only human because only God is God.  But though I do not have answers as to way someone would do this, as one woman named Marie who was there at the shootings pointed out in verse; "When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?" Psalm 56:3-4. In other words as she has also put it, God is always good, but man is not.

If you want to see the rest of Maire's post, here's a link to it:

Who knows what's in store for everyone after what happened, but until then, let us rely on The Lord to help us through it as we continue to remember what happened.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Dark Knight (2008)

Rating: 90%
Alright to last night I saw this movie again to prepare for The Dark Knight Rises. So here's my review for The Dark Knight.

Plot: Since the events of Batman Begins, Lt. Gordon and Batman have been working on getting rid of the entire mob to completely rid Gotham of crime. After a mob-owned bank is robbed by the Joker, they decide to clue in the new District Attorney Harvey Dent in their plan to take down the mob. But when Batman captures the Chinese accountant who has all of the mob's funds, the mob decides to call the Joker for help. So the Joker sends a message where he declares an ultimatum stating that Batman has to unmask himself and people will die everyday for every day that he doesn't.

What can I saw that you likely do not know already? It's a wonderful film. The story itself is very creative and well thought out, the characters are awesome especially with how some of them introduce to us how Batman as a franchise makes it all psychological when it comes to its characters whether its the villains or even Batman himself. The action is very good, the special effects are awesome (especially when it comes to the Bat-Pod), the dialogue is very memorable, and one thing that I find especially nice about this film is how while it is very dark and every thing, they did gives us some comedy here and there that is very enjoyable. The first five minutes or so of the movie is very clever to the point where it almost seem like it shows itself as its own short film which is really cool.  But there's a couple of things that don't really make sense, such as *WARNING SPOILERS* how it isn't always clear that Lucius Fox known that Bruce Wayne is Batman. I mean I guess it's not a big deal because you can figure it out for yourself, but from my point of view from the first few times I watched the movie, I had trouble knowing for sure, so I guess for me, I would've liked them to just have said it straight out that he knows. But again, that's just my take from it. And then there's of coarse, the movie ending with Gordon saying that there's only five people dead when in fact there's at least nine people dead that Gordon should know about not counting the robbers that Joker killed earlier in the movie. Maybe the characters actually think it's just five and they somehow don't know or not considering the other deaths, or maybe that's a problem with the script that they didn't find before shooting that scene or something. I don't know, but that little error is confusing considering its inaccuracy. *END OF SPOILERS* That aside thought, it's an excellent film that did an excellent job at taking the idea of not just batman, but superheroes in general to an entirely new level.

Christian Bale/Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman: Same thing as the last film, but the one major down that's part of why The Joker really stole the show in this film was how some of Batman's dialogue turned out to a little cheesy. But he still did a good job at the end of the day and you can at least enjoy how we get more into Batman having different kinds of gadgets like with the Batpod, the Night vision Bat goggles (or detective mode to people like me who play the Arkham games) and the Timed Grenade Launcher.
Heath Ledger/The Joker: I know we all say the same thing but that shouldn't stop me from saying it: Heath Ledger's Joker is a masterpiece of a performance. He was unpredictable, he was psychotic as heck, he. was. truly. The Joker. I mean Nicholson's Joker is just as memorable, but Ledger brings out the psychological aspect of who The Joker is, showing how he views the world, how he'll do things just because he can as Alfred points out, and most of also how they keep it a total, utter mystery as to where The Joker come from or where he came to be. Because for some people like my brother, they prefer to have The Joker without any past in him at all because that's what makes him even more dangerous because that can leave you just as defenseless as to how to stop him. It's a terrible tragedy that Ledger didn't live long enough to see how he turned out as The Joker in this film with how he has truly set up bigger standards for future actors to play the Joker in other film version of Batman possibly to come, and also that he didn't live to see himself win best supporting actor for his amazing performance. All let's left to say is that Ledger has our thanks for giving us a truly wonderful performance and that he should be well remembered for generations for his performance.   
Aaron Eckhart/Harvey Dent a.k.a. Two-Face: While Ledger stole the show when it comes to the super criminals in this film, Eckhart did do a brilliant job as Harvey Dent. He really showed Dent as a man who will stand up to crime and finish what Batman started and he'll do whatever it takes to get it done. Now how he was as Two-Face was an excellent result two. I mean the visual effect for making him Two-Face is cool and fun too look at, which is where I wish he was Two-Face much more often in this movie, and while they don't show the dual personality that Two-Face has in the comics, he still gave us at the very least, a really good introduction as to what his villain is like in the comics. Plus even if he's not a perfect Two-Face to some people, you can easily admit that he beats the living crap out of Tommy Lee Jones' version of the super criminal.

Music: The music is so much better in this movie. I mean they kind of upgraded the theme track for Batman which is awesome, and then they gave us the Joker's them track "Why so Serious?" which is a very interesting piece with all the different kind of instruments and notes that Hans Zimmer used in this piece which turned out to be very enjoyable to listen to.

And that's my review for The Dark Knight. It's a creative, well put together movie that really brings Batman and the idea of superheroes into a new level while giving us performances that we sure as heck are not going to EVER forget anytime soon.    

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Batman Begins (2005)

Rating: 85%
Well now that I have Singin' in the Rain reviewed, that leaves me with only three more movies to review before I'll have written a total of 300 reviews. So for the past month or so, I have planned to make the last three movies to be the entire Dark Knight trilogy. So let's get started with doing that with Batman Begins.

Plot: Bruce Wayne develops an interest to fight against crime when his parents were killed by a mugger when he was just a kid. He starts to travel the world to understand crime where he eventually meets a man named Ducard who represents a group of ninjas called the League of Shadows led by Ra's al Ghul. Ducard trains him to become a ninja, but when Bruce learns that the League of Shadows kills criminals and intends to destroy his home city, Gotham because of its corruption, Bruce destroys their temple killing Ra's but saving Ducard. He comes back to Gotham with an intention to fight the corruption, where he becomes - you guessed it - BATMAN!!!!!

Generally speaking, this is a really good movie. I mean it's dark and edgy like Tim Burton's Batman only this time they really took the darkness with developing things like Gotham and if corruption and the dark knight himself to a whole new and more realistic level. Primarily there's only two actual issues that I can think of with this movie. First is that since and intro movie, which mean we usually have an hour or so before we get to the stuff we are really interested in and even then may not get as much as we would like in the movie at the end of the day, which is what makes most "first movies" not all that enjoyable like Transformers and Hulk. Technically because the amount of appearance of Batman himself in this film I can see people thinking that about this film, but at least Batman Begins uses the rest of the time with really awesome story/characters development and things like that, where that is not a big deal at all unlike Transformers and Hulk. So in my opinion, this is not one of those less pleasant "first movies", but I understand if anybody feels that way. The second thing is that some of the dialogue is not that great. I mean most of it is awesome, but sometimes there were a couple of lines that I thought where kind of cheesy like Rachel saying "Justice is about harmony. Revenge is about you making yourself feel better" or Gordon just plain old defying Flass by saying "There's nothing wise about what you do Flass." And then there's that guy in Wayne Tower during the climax in the film who kept saying how important it was to stop the train like three times even though Batman had already explained it when he was talking to Gordon. But regardless, both issues are roughly a mere nuisance if you will since with those two things still comes with very well done acting, well thought of story, and just one movie that really does the trick as the beginning of The Dark Knight trilogy.

Christian Bale/Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman: In a way, I think he displays Batman the best. Primarily, I say that because Christian Bale gives us a deeper idea about what Batman really is with how he really strikes fear into his enemies and all around view Batman as a symbol. His voice may sound like he has throat cancer or whatever to some people, but even if it's true to a certain extent, I think it works really well.
Michael Caine/Alfred: Well he may not have more of the innocent fragile butler kind of appearance unlike Michael Gough (Lord rest his soul), but I view Caine to be better. I mean that in the extent that while he's the loyal butler he also includes how Alfred is also his...I think the right word would be adviser. Gough touched on that a little bit in Batman and particularly Batman & Robin, but this is where we really start to get that with Caine.
Liam Neeson/Ducard: Now naturally Ducard has a secret that is reveled in the climax, but I won't mention it more for those of you who haven't seen this movie yet. Anyway, to be brief about Neeson, I thought he did a really good job with the part and just all around giving those of us who first saw this movie not knowing his character (like me), a good introduction of what he is.
Gary Oldman/Sergent Gordon: Oldman is definitely the best Gordon there is so far. I mean Pat Hingle (Lord also rest his soul) didn't do a bad job or anything, but Oldman focuses more on just how Gordon really wants to fight crime and really is Batman's primary ally/partner in the war against crime in Gotham.

Music: I really enjoy the score to this film. It gives a really exciting melody that is fun to listen to while watching this film through and through.

Editing: The editing is pretty good as a whole. I had one or two little issues such the possibility of a specific shot being shown twice at two different points in the film.

And that's my review for Batman Begins. It may have a couple of issues, but never the less, it's an awesome film and much more in-depth for a film about Batman.

Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Rating: 95%
Well today was the day some theaters where going to play this movie to celebrate it's 60th anniversary. But since I didn't want to spend my money on it as sweet of an idea it is to watch such an old classic on the big screen, I just watched the movie at home. So here's my review for Singin' in the Rain.

Plot: Don is a popular silent film star who was original a singer, dancer and a stunt man and barely tolerates his leading partner Lina who believes is in love with him just because the public thinks so. One night along the way to a party, Don is attacked by fans and escapes by jumping into the car of a woman named Kathy who drops him off but not before telling him that she's an actress and thinks that because he works in silent films, he's not a real actor. He meets her again to find her as one of the dancers at the party, but Lina becomes jealous and gets her fired. Don find her again while he and the company works on its first talking movie. The movie gets terrible results at the preview due to the sound, but then Don, Kathy and his best friend Cosmo decide to turn the movie into a musical.

What can I say that you probably know already? The movie's a classic. The story is good, the characters are lovable (with the exception of Lina of coarse) the music is memorable and what really got me from watching this film today along with the music was the choreography. I think this movies as one of the wackiest and more creative choreography I've seen. I mean just the first dance number with the violins alone made me go all "I wanna dance like that all creative and stuff". I think my only issue is that there are a couple of stuff during the dance/singing numbers that don't entirely make sense. *WARNING SPOILERS* For example, in "Moses Supposes" it ends with Don and Cosmo just piling a bunch of random stuff and then it ends which i find weird. Then there's the broadway melody where during the end, part of the set are a bunch of large boxes or whatever with a big letter in each one...just what's the purpose to it? Both of these aren't really big deals and maybe there doesn't really need to be an answer, but all the same, I just wonder. *END OF SPOILERS* But otherwise, it's just an excellent musical classic that can easily be enjoyed through and through.

Gene Kelly/Don: Well he's pretty easy to like. I mean he's smart, clever caring and all around the hero of the story which that alone makes him fun to watch when it comes to him in this film.
Donald O'Connor/Cosmos: Man that guy was crazy. I mean he had some creative and energetic body movement, he has some pretty funny lines, all around he was pretty entertaining as the comedy star (at least I think that would be the right way to put his part in the film)
Debbie Reynolds/Kathy: She was pretty likable as the female lead of the story, but honestly I thought she would be in the film more often then she was. I mean she was in it a good amount but there some point in the film - I think it was the whole mic thing - where it felt like a gap in a sense to not have here there at all. I mean the scene in itself is fine but when we see her again, somehow I was all "hey Kathy, were have you been?" But I digress especially since that matter is probably as small of a deal as the stuff I said in the spoilers. 

Music: pfff. do i even need to bother? "Moses Supposes", "Make 'em Laugh", "Good Morning" and of coarse, "Singin' in the Rain". Just excellent music that should be well remembered.

Editing: It's mostly good but there were a couple of bad cuts here and there, mostly one cut - i forget which scene - but there was one action two characters did during the end of one shot, then it cut to a wider shot which started by playing that action with the two characters all over again.

And that's my review for Singin' in the Rain. It has a few issues here and there, but it's still a wonderful, fun, creative lovable film that has rightfully been remembered for so long. So here's to another 60 years of remembrance.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spirited Away (2001)

Rating: 90%
Well here's the next Miyazaki film to watch and review. This is probably the first time I've seen this movie since... 2003 or 4 or so. So here's my review for Spirited Away.

Plot: Chihiro and his parents are moving much to her displeasure where her father takes a wrong turn and finds themselves in an abandoned amusement park and they end up exploring it. Along the way, her parents smell food that they end up eating while Chihiro wanders around. But along the way, she find this boy wandering in an abandoned bathhouse telling her to leave the park before dark. But before she tries to leave, spirits start appearing in the park and her parents have been turned into pigs. She meets the boy whose name is Haku again, he tells her to go to the boiler-man in the bathhouse which is now occupied with spirits and ask for a job. This leads to her asking a job to a witch named Yubaba who gives her a job in exchange for stealing her name and giving her a new one; Sen.

Out of all the creative films that Miyazaki has come up with, this is his most creative if not THE most creative he's done (I'd say it is, but I gotta be sure after seeing the other films). I mean you have all these creatures and spirits all over the place that just messes with your head from the duck spirits (sort of), to that one-footed lamp, to...well the list just goes on and on. That aside it also gives us a unique story with some pretty fun and interesting characters. Plus you'll probably enjoy that fact that with the Disney version to this film, there's a lot of familiar voice actors like David Ogden Stiers, Susan Egan, Suzanne Pleshette, John Ratzenberger and Jason Mersden.

Chihiro/Sen: For the most part she was a pretty good character. I think most people really enjoy how she grows over the movie from being so scared and all when all the bad stuff start happening to her, but then starts to hold her own and become pretty brave as the movie goes on. The one thing I don't entirely get is how she was able to know whether or not she could see her parents in the pack of pigs during the climax, I mean maybe there's a way, but maybe it's hard to tell since she only saw them when they first turned to pigs for only like, 10 second or so.

And that's my review for Spirited Away. It's a charming and creative animated film with some familiar voice actors and a story to enjoy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Rating: 80%
I admit that finally seeing this movie took longer then I would've liked, but in a way, who cares? I finally saw this movie and I'm pumped to finally review it. So here's my review of The Amazing Spider-Man

Plot: Peter Parker is a high schooler who lives with is Aunt May and Uncle Ben after his parents died when he was little. One day he find papers that had to do with his father's research which connects to his father's former partner Dr. Conners where he tries to meet with him to talk about his father at OsCorp where he works, but along the way he ends up in a lab full of spiders which results in one of them biting him while ultimately leads to him getting spider powers and, of coarse, eventually leads him to being Spider-Man.

Okay I'm just going to say it, I think this is the best Spider-Man movie to date. I mean don't get me wrong, the first two Spider-man movies where very well done, but this change was like Chris Columbus getting replaced with making Harry Potter; the movies were memorable, but it was high time to take it to the next level. And holy motherly crap did they. I mean the action was excellent, the comedy was well done, the romance was wonderful, the characters was pretty darn loyal to the book, sometimes in some pretty unexpected ways. But there were a couple of issues about the movie. For example *WARNING SPOILERS* during the second half of the movie Peter kept taking his mask off an awful lot. I mean it made sense at some points, but then there's points where he has his mask off for no reason while he's looking for The Lizard. Then there's the fact that we have Peter Parker skateboarding. It's just that Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man doesn't skateboard. Like, ever. I mean I can understand that they're trying to make him like an average high school guy, and it did come in handy when it came to him starting to get use to his powers (which I personally really liked because it does make a lot of sense for him to have to kind of figure out his moves which they kind of never do in any Spider-Man anything, so points for that kind of development) But...I don't know, I guess it's just a little peeve about that kind of difference from the rest of the Spider-Man stuff, and I'm glad that it was there for not a very long time in the movie. Then there's the part where he unmasks himself to get this kid he's saving to trust him. What's wrong with it? It's been done before. See in the last episode of Batman Beyond, Batman does the same thing so a boy he's trying to save him can trust him and not be scared. Now Spider-Man was a little better with how the scene was kind of more suspenseful and he even lets the kid put his mask on to kind of help him not be afraid, but still. Then there's the odd fact that they show Peter accidentally destroying stuff back in the high school, but no one actually puts two and two together to thinking he's Spider-Man*END OF SPOILERS* But my absolute biggest issue was their design for Lizard. He freaking looks like Scorpion with the head of a Goomba from the Mario Bros movie. I just don't get why they would do that. I mean the Zorgons from Zathura were designed closer to what The Lizard is suppose to be. Yeah they're MAKING A BAD KIDS MOVIE LOOK GOOD!!!!!  But nevertheless, it may be a totally different take all around on our webheaded hero, but so far it's a take I hope won't take long to see again.

Andrew Garfield/Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man: Oh I enjoyed him as Peter/Spidey. He was funny, he was clever, and his action scenes where awesome. I think when it came to action, he's definitely the best Spider-Man when it comes to showing him being fast, having web shooters and especially his strength. I mean you can easily enjoy the scenes where he discovers his strength. As Peter Parker he did some pretty good acting and just acting like a normal teenager was sweet. Altogether, Toby Maguire may have done a swell job with introducing so many of us to Spider-Man with the original series, but Garfield did a wonderful job at taking it to the next level.   
Emma Stone/Gwen Stacy: It's kind of strange looking back to the day I found out that Emma Stone was going to be Gwen Stacy a little over a year ago. Because when that happened, I started watching a few of her movies to try to get to know her as an actress, starting with Easy A...which resulted in seeing it around 7 or 8 ish times before I returned it to the library. So from there I ended up seeing her in a lot more of her movies to the point where after a while, I practically almost forgot that it all started over the matter of her playing as Gwen. Because if you see some of my other reviews, you will notice that I've come to find her a really awesome actress. And I was far from disappointed here. She was funny, she was smart as heck, she was even really freaking brave at some points. And the romance between her and Peter where wonderful. Simply loved it. I mean upside down kiss aside, I say to heck with Mary Jane, if I wasn't a kind of Team Gwen kind of Spidey fan before, I sure as heck am now. Altogether, she gave an excellent performance, she's become my #1 favorite actress over this past year and she's done a darn good job keeping it that way with this movie.
Martin Sheen and Sally Field/Uncle Ben and Aunt May: Uncle Ben in the original series was pretty good when it came to being this kind of mentor and all around person to look up to, but while Uncle Ben in this movie was roughly the same thing, he was more realistic. Aunt May was more realistic too, but she wasn't entirely Aunt May. She didn't have a sort of totally sweet and fragile attitude. Though she did seem like she may have a pretty strong spirit, so here's to seeing more of that in the next movie. Finally *WARNING SPOILER* I thought it was beyond messed up that they actually SHOWED UNCLE BEN GETTING MURDERED!!! I mean sure there's flashbacks here and there, but on a whole, there's roughly no Spider-Man anything where they actually show Uncle Ben getting shot. I mean that's a nice change, but...holy crap that was still pretty messed up to watch. *END OF SPOILER*
Phys Ifans/Dr. Curt Conners a.k.a. The Lizard: Now aside from my issue with his design as The Lizard, he was a decent character. But I will say that they didn't really develop a whole lot about Dr. Conners outside of him just being this scientist who use to work with Peter's dad and really whether or not he really was a good guy deep down both before and after he became the Lizard.

Music: I actually really enjoyed the music. I for one would recommend staying for the whole credits just to hear the score. Because I thought a lot of it gave a much nicer, action/adventure kind of score that was not as cheesy as the score in the original series. So the score for the original trilogy was nice, but I am considering the score to be a pretty enjoyable replacement for it with this version of Spider-Man.

Editing: I enjoyed a lot of the editing, but I thought there was a little to much blackouts. Most of them where only for a split second, but I thought they weren't really necessary.

And that's my review for The Amazing Spider-Man. It does have it's issues, some of them I really, really dislike, but it's still a wonderful new take on Spider-Man that I think is easily enjoyable for everyone, and one that should be very well remembered all around for the years to come for all Spidey fans.

Here's my video review for this film

Part 1:

Part 2:

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Rating: 95%
Okay so shortly after I saw Woman in Black, at my grandparents' we watched a second movie which turned out to be this film; Hotel Rwanda.

Plot: Paul Rusesabagina is the manager of the hotel Mille Collines in Rwanda where the tension between the people of Hutu and Tutsi has started a war in Rwanda. As the situation worsens, Paul and his family witness neighbors being violently executed, and when it officially becomes a civil war, Paul has to make so many bribes that he barely negotiates the safety of his family and all of his neighbors. He takes them all to the hotel where he ends up using it to protect more refugees while continuing to bribe and ask more favors in order to keep the hotel safe.

This is just an emotional and powerful film. If it can be summed up into just one word, that would would be brutal. And boy was it. In this film we see a lot of genocide, fear, and suspense that makes it really hard to watch. I mean I for one just hate watching all the genocide and stuff because it makes me wish something happened long before we are ever even half an hour into the film which resulted in all the guys that caused this genocide to get ripped to shreds and made into trophies. Yes I know that's dark, but so what? Whether it's to kill the guys who are causing the genocide or to just help the refugees get the frick out of there, this movie can get you so much that you're left really wishing something was done about it long before the civil war really started. But nonetheless, it was a very well made film that also had from really strong acting and as far as I know had some good educational values.

Don Cheadle/Paul Rusesabagina: Cheadle did an excellent job as Paul Rusesabagina. He really showed what the character was going through and how he kept having a struggle between worrying about his family and worrying about the hotel full of refugees pretty darn well. When it comes to the competition between him and Jamie Foxx in Ray for Best Actor I will admit that Foxx had a much more creative and altogether original character, but that doesn't stop Cheadle's performance in this movie to be any less awesome.
Sophie Okonedo/Tatiana Rusesabagina: When it came to being emotional, Okonedo was the best. Whether it was watching her neighbors getting kicked out of their houses, protecting her kid and friends, and let's not forget how she was when Paul was asking her to make that particular promise, she just displayed it all extremely well and believable pretty much the whole time.

Music: The music was very good, i think it helped bring in most of the really brutal scenes in the film.

And that's my review for Hotel Rwanda, it gives us a powerful and brutal story with spectacular acting that will probably get you every time you watch it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Woman in Black (2012)

Rating: 60%
Okay so I tried to see this movie around the time it was coming out, but that didn't exactly work. But luckily, my parents rented it and we just brought it to my grandparents' house to finally see it.

Plot: Arthur Kipps is a widowed lawyer with a four-year-old son. He is assigned to go to this town to go to this large manor and obtain all the paperwork he needs so it can be sold. But while he's doing so, he keeps spotting this mysterious woman in black which eventually results in some terrible things happening to the children in the town.

Now what make this movie not very swell is that when you think about it, the whole ghost thing just makes quite a few stuff predictable. What doesn't help is that the first 40 minutes of the movie is really slow, which was fine with developing the characters and the story, but then it kind of dragged whenever it was just Arthur in the manor. Luckily the movie came around with giving more of the actual story about The Woman in Black which made the movie much more interesting and entertaining, and there was a couple of scary moments where I did make a decent jump. *WARNING SPOILERS* But there were a couple of issues that there was to the story. One that my family and I mostly agreed on was how most of the time no one would tell Arthur about the story of the Woman in Black. I mean my mom did point out that it wasn't natural to do that around that time or something like that, but there was still his friend Sam who didn't believe in it. So you'd think he'd at least brief him on it. Then there's the very end where even though they brought The Woman her son back, the curse didn't lift and that resulted in Arthur and Joseph getting killed. To put it simply, WHAT THE HECK!?!?!?!?! They give them her son back but she'll still kill the kids? I mean seriously, I'm siding with my mom where right after the movie ended where she said "what a cow." *END OF SPOILERS* All together, this may have an old fashioned idea, and a few issues with the story, but it still gives an interesting plot with some good acting and all around is a decent horror/thriller movie.

Daniel Radcliffe/Arthur Kipps: Now for some people like my brothers, it was hard to take Radcliffe seriously in terms of not being Harry Potter. Now I will admit that it was a little hard considering his ever so familiar voice and face where it was like if he ever called someone Hermione or had a companion that sometimes says "bloody hell", that was it for trying to be something different from Harry Potter. But neither happened and Radcliffe all together did a very good job in being a different character and just did some good acting all around. He has a long way to go since leaving Hogwarts, but I have a little bit of hope that he'll pull through and be able to make it through not just being Harry Potter.

Music: Some of it wasn't that original considering it was natural horror music, but the theme score or whatever is the right thing to call it was fairly nice.

And that's my review for The Woman in Black. The idea is old fashioned, but the story is interesting and the acting is good and it's a nice movie to watch when it comes to seeing how fairly well Daniel Radcliffe is doing as an actor ever since he left Hogwarts.

An American Tail (1986)

Rating: 70%
Now up till a few years ago, I only knew An American Tail from the sequel to this film, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. But then I finally saw this movie when I was a little older when Toon Disney had that double cartoon movies thing back in the day. So here's my thoughts on it seeing it again last night.

Plot: Fievel and his family are mice who live in fear of cats coming to eat everyone. When their home was destroyed in a fire after the village was attacked by Cossacks and their cats, Fievel's family sail to America where it's suppose to be a long to oppertunity, and above all, there are no cats. But along the way, Fievel is separated from his family when he fell of the ship during a storm. He ends up in America where after some influence from a pigeon named Henri, he goes off to somehow find his family in New York.

Now I've heard a couple of critics not really care for this movie because it's mostly just dark and gloomy. And for the most part, I have to agree. It has comedy relief on one or two points, but otherwise it's mostly a pretty sad film. I mean Fievel is going through a lot of hard stuff with either being tricked, attacked by cats, and just finding it so hard to find his family. I think it helps to be amusing for kids a little bit that it's all talking animals and stuff, but it still is pretty dark. But either way, it's still a nice, well made film that does have a decent story and it does have at least some cheery parts and some entertaining characters.

Fievel: I thought Fievel was a very cute character. He was slightly brave yet he was young and innocent which made him easy to love an care for as a character.
Tiger: I thought this was a nice way to introduce him as a cat who doesn't eat mice, but while he was a little cute with how funny he was, I may enjoy him more when I get to Fievel Goes West.

Music: The music is very good. I mean this movie does contain the song "Somewhere Out There" which is a pretty good song. One I did think was nice when I saw this movie again last night, was how the kids doing the singing voices of Fievel and Tanya weren't the best since they were kids. I though that was a nice touch in the movie to make these characters more believable with their choice of voice actors for these very young characters.

And that's my review for An American Tail. It may not be for all kids considering how it is dark and gloomy mostly, but it's still a nice film with nice characters and some good music to enjoy.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 (1996)

Rating: 20%
So as I said during my intro to the first movie, I saw this movie first a long time ago. So here's how this movie turned out seeing it again with me being now older and wiser when it comes to viewing films.

Plot: Charlie meets his friend Itchy in Heaven after he died chocking on a drumstick. While Itchy loves Heaven, Charlie has grown over it and wants to go back to Earth. But then Charlie's old enemy Carface steals Gabriel's Horn - the horn used to open the gates of heaven for recently dead dogs to enter - Charlie volunteers to go down to Earth to retrieve it. So he goes down to Earth with Itchy to find the Horn, but along the way, Charlie find this attractive female dog named Sasha who is trying to help an eight year old boy named David to find his family, so he decides to try to help them to try to win Sasha's heart. this didn't really turn out as good as I thought it was. Some of the animation isn't too swell, especially with animating Red. I just thought he was kind of half done in a sense as far as design. And sometimes the tone was a little too light. I mean that when it comes to the setting, but I mean that with some of the animation too. Especially with heaven. I mean Heaven may be a wonderful bright place, but they made it so bright that even the dogs were made in really bright colors. Now as for the story itself, it has plenty of plot holes and issues to go through. *WARNING SPOILERS* For example, I didn't think of this stuff much until I read/watched these comments, but the Dues ex machina effect of Gabriel's horn is dumb, I don't get why Itchy couldn't go back to Earth (I mean he probably would've declined the offer anyway considering he loves Heaven, but still), and how Charlie was allowed only one miracle. And what I easily thought didn't make sense was how there where no guards or enchantments to protect the horn in heaven. I mean sure the lack of guards technically makes sense considering the whole "dogs are so loyal" thing that is brought up in the first movie and that they apparently have never had a dog like Carface in heaven before, but still, a few enchantments to keep it safe wouldn't hurt. And finally, it wouldn't make sense for Charlie and Itchy to be invisible and need the collars in the first place, because since they're looking for the horn and possibly would need to be visible to ask around or to ask for help in finding it, I feel they should've been able to be invisible or visible by will to make searching for it easier. *END OF SPOILERS* But to be honest, I do like the story better. I mean sure the story in the first one had some points despite not being very original when it comes to Charlie conning Anne-Marie, but I while the villain wasn't too special, I liked some of the aspects of the story such as the main character wanting a little more and how there's a villain that's trying to do an evil plot that has to do with doing something against heaven because that sounded more interesting in the dark and suspenseful kind of way. Sure it didn't end up as dark and supenseful as I remembered, but I still like the idea of what it was suppose to be.

Charlie: I thought I was going to like Charlie more in this movie considering he's not conning someone only to end up really caring for them. I mean sure it was that way here too but it wasn't as...well easily displayed as it was in the first movie if you will. But did I like him better then he was in the first?...yes but not by much. He is better in the sense that he has a more big grand adventure kind of thing going on, but at the end of the day, he comes out more as a really big stupid jerk. So I didn't really care for him as a character.
Itchy: Well you have to like him easily because he's Dom Deluise. But you also have to pity him. I mean he's the more serious and common sensed one, but he keeps getting ignored and pushed over. I think regardless of either movie, you really have to pity him.

Music: The music was not that good. I mean many people have pointed out how Charlie's talking and singing voice are not that similar at all. But even then, most of the songs where not that good at all. "It's too Heavenly Here" had a decent ring to it when Charlie actually sings the title, but then it changed from being all calm and quite to all of the sudden being all loud and exciting which kind of ruined it. I feel like if it stayed calm and quite and only went a little exciting when it got to talking about what Charlie wants and a little more work on some odds and ends, it could've been a really decent song. "It Feels So Good To Be Bad"...just was not all that good straight off the bat. "I Will Always Be With You" was not very original and "Easy Street"...just didn't care for it.

And that's my review for All Dogs Go to Heaven 2. I liked the story when it came to the general outline of it being better then the first, but on a whole, the animation, setting music and some of the characters were just not that well done.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Anastasia (1997)

Rating: 70%
Now this is a movie that I never owned but did see once in a while. I saw it for the first time in years a little over a year ago, but since I wasn't too big on reviewing films just yet, I didn't review it. But, since I've become a little interested in making myself officially familiar if you will about Don Bluth's films, I didn't waste too much time to put it on hold at the library. So here's my review for Anastasia.

Plot: In 1916, the Romanov monarch celebrates their 300th anniversary of their rule with a ball where Empress Marie Feodorovna gives her 8 year-old granddaughter, Anastasia a music box and a necklace with the words "Together in Paris". But shortly afterwords, a sorcerer named Rasputin casts a curse on the Romanov family after selling his soul in exchange for a dark relic to use to destroy the family. Rasputin starts a revolution which results in the Empress and Anastasia trying to escape. But along the way, Rasputin tries to capture Anastasia only to fall into some ice and drown and when they reach the train, the Empress to climb in the train, but Anastasia falls and is knocked unconscious and is lost into the crowd. Ten years later, the Empress, now living in Paris, is holding a big reward for the return of Anastasia if she's alive. So a conman named Dimitri and his friend Vlad try to find an Anastasia look alike in order to get the reward. They find this woman named Anya who has no memory of her past from before she was 8 years old, so they trick her to believing she is Anastasia and take her to Paris to meet the Empress.

Now there's the obvious reasons why this isn't a spectacular movie. Those reasons would be that it's an obvious Disney knock-off, and it's hardly historically accurate at all. But I think we can get over the fact that it's not all that historically accurate since it's probably not suppose to be, and for a total Disney knock-off, it didn't do that bad. In fact this one is probably the best Don Bluth at the very least has done. It's not all "magical" like Disney, but we still get a decent romance, some fun supporting characters either human or animal such as Vlad and Pooka, and some of the music i thought was pretty well done. It has a couple of stuff that doesn't make sense or was weird and stuff like that, but at the end of the day, it's still a nice film.

Anya: She was a nice character. She was smart, friendly, stubborn at a fair few points, but still had this desire to find out who she is.
Rasputin: How he was as a villain was mixed. Most of the time he was pretty evil looking and all, but then there's him falling apart or doing weird thing like dressing up like Anya where you can't really take him too much seriously. I mean sure the falling apart kind of makes sense since he's in limbo and everything, but there's no reason for the dressing up like Anya or stuff like that. So he was mostly a decent villain, but it was stuff like that, that kept him from being anything else.
Bartok: His character was a little...I want to say confusing, but I feel like there's a better word for that. I mean by himself he was being the attempted main comedy relief, but then there's his relationship with Rasputin. I mean part of it is because it seems like they're close friends (which is generally rare for most villains and their sidekicks) but then he sometimes acts like it's not a big deal if something bad happens to Rasputin. I mean when he dies earlier in the film, he's like "oh no" at first, but then he kind of acts all "now what" right after that. *WARNING SPOILER* And then the same thing happens when Rasputin dies for good. Only this time, he somehow good just because he's happy that the good guys won or something and then gets the female bat. *END OF SPOILER* So on a whole, I don't think they really did a good job in making it clear about Bartok when it came to what side he was and how he was with Rasputin. So here's hoping they develop him a little more in that Bartok the Magnificent movie.

Music: I generally really liked the music. "Journey to the Past" I agree to it being nominated for Best Original Song, but I feel like "At The Beginning" should've been nominated too. I mean would either one have won? Considering they were against "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic, no. But they were both fun songs with really good melodies that both deserved to have been nominated. "Learn to Do It" was a nice song, and it's so called reprise I feel should've been developed more to be its own song because the way it was going, it felt like it should've been. "In the Dark of the Night" was an awesome villain song. I will admit that some of the lyrics didn't make sense and the bugs where probably not the best choice as the animated chorus in the scene, and I thought the light brownish bug with the really low voice being brought in during the end of the song should not have been there. But it's still a really awesome villain song that's a lot of fun.

And that's my review for Anastasia. It may be a Disney knock-off that's historically accurate and has a couple of other issues, but it's still a very nice movie that you can have a nice decent time watching.  

Batman (1966)

Rating: 55%
Well with Dark Knight Rises coming, we are faced with the particular question as to how Anne Hathaway is going to do as Catwoman considering of some of us, even Hathaway view that role to be pretty big to fill after Michelle Pfeiffer's performance in Batman Returns. But lately, my boss has reminded me that there is the Batman movie based on the Adam West show where according to him, we also have a Catwoman that is supposedly awesome. So I went to find this movie to not only take a look at the Catwoman there, but also to get idea about the Adam West Batman himself. So here's my review of the 1966 movie of Batman.

Plot: Batman and Robin start out trying to save Commodore Schmidlapp who is trapped in this yacht. They come to rescue him in the Batcopter, but the yacht suddenly disappears and Batman is attacked by an exploding shark. They discuss the event with Commissioner Gordon where they figure out that it's all the work of Penguin, The Joker, The Riddler, and Catwoman all coming together to take over the world. goes without saying that this was completely for kids. I mean to be fair, this was still at a time where comics such as Batman didn't really try to be as dark and complex as they are today. I mean it wasn't until around the time they made The Dark Knight Returns that Batman became the way we know him. So that's where you kind of have to be patient and just go easy all around with this kind of Batman. Does that mean it gets an automatic pass as a movie...not entirely. Some of the acting is a little mixed and there's some issues that you may have such as seeing the homosecual interpretations between Batman and Robin, mostly because of stuff like Robin's costume containing him pretty much showing his entire legs. But regardless, it's loyal to the Batman comics from that time and the action should get something of a pass considering it's time even if they did have the text in bright colors going "wham," "pow" or whatever during the very end.

Adam West/Batman: Now I like Adam West when it comes to his appearances in shows like the animated Batman movie, Fairly Oddparents and Family Guy. With how he is in the role he's most famous for I'm...okay with it. I mean it's not the best, especially when he tried to be a little emotional during the very end, but like everything else in this movie, he gets something of a pass considering its time.
Burt Ward/Robin: To but it briefly, I don't like his costume and his catchphrases aren't the best, but hey, least he's not mostly whiny like in Batman and Robin.
Lee Meriwether/Catwoman: Alright, so here's the performance I was especially looking for in this film because of TDKR. Now do I feel the same thing about her as I am with Adam West and the movie all around? yes. But she was a good actress and her character was well done...even is she did have that "purrrrrrrfectly" catchphrase.
Cesar Romero/The Joker: Generally he was good, I mean he had the laugh and everything. But he wasn't always The Joker to me. There were some points where he was really just being this evil man kind of guy rather then being the actual total psycho that we all know and love.
Burgess Meredith/The Penguin: I think he was the best among the villains. He just had more the smart, clever villain unlike the rest.
Frank Gorshin/The Riddler: I really enjoyed watching him considering Jim Carrey's Riddler in Batman Forever. On a whole, he was just plain old Riddler just how he's suppose to be. But he wasn't perfect. Mostly on how he got a little carried away at how crazy it is, and it was just silly that there were points where the laughed just like The Joker...I mean where does that make sense?

Music: I'm not big on the music, but I did like actually hearing where the original song originated.

Editing: it was mostly alright. but there where points like when the Batcopter was crashing, I have mixed feelings as to whether or not I agree to cutting from shot to shot on that via cross dissolve, but that's me.

And that's my review for Batman. It's good considering it's time, but that doesn't help me be in any way amused to to entirely other then a few particular aspects of the film.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Brave (2012)

Rating: 65%
At long last we have the next Pixar film after Cars 2. Does it bring back the awesome Pixar...well...awesomeness? let's find out.

Plot: Merida is a Scottish princess who loves archery. But her mother keeps trying to make her act more like a princess. One day, her mother works on trying to make Merida be betrothed to one of the sons of the allied clan leaders of Scotland. Merida doesn't want to get married by force, so she asks a witch to help her change her mind, but that doesn't work out, so she has try to reverse the damage she's done.

Now here's the million dollar question: is this an improvement from Cars 2?...yes but not by much. I mean yes, the characters are fun, the setting is creative, and the comedy is awesome. But the plot was terribly predictable. I mean as far as how predictable it is, it cuts pretty close to the predictability of Chicken Little and the first Cars movie. There was one thing that was unexpected, but that just brought new things to predict what was going to happen. The sad thing at the end of the day is that the story all around make the movie set more for just kids then for adults. So we may have gotten another good movie from Pixar, but it failed to meet the standard of being for adults as well as kids like any other Pixar film that just makes it one of their weakest.

Merida: While she's not among my favorite main Pixar characters, she still was cool. She did have the kind of free and independent spirit and was a decent bad-a with archery and knowing how to use swords and spears. I didn't like how in a couple of ways she was being a little to similar to known archers, especially Robin Hood when they did the archery tournament, but still.
Merida's family: They were probably the best characters in the movie. I mean i liked the mother by default just because she was voiced by Emma Thompson, but her brothers and her dad were hilarious.

Music: The music was pretty enjoyable. Then again, it's easily likable when it's Scottish music.

And that's my review for Brave. It's a nice movie, but the story makes it too much like a kid's movie rather then a movie for both adults and kids that it doesn't go far in the usual standards of being a Pixar film.

Here's my video review to this film:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Zathura (2005)

Rating: 35%
A long time ago, I watched this film when I was at a friend's birthday sleepover. Probably less then a year or maybe more after that was when the first Twilight movie. Before I went to see that movie I found out that Kristen Stewart who was playing Bella was the girl that played the big sister, Lisa in Zathura, so I was a little surprised to see her be...well...Kristen Stewart as we know her now in Twilight cause I thought I remembered her actually having emotion most of the time in Zathura, and have been wanting to see it again to see if I remembered right since then. So after that finally happening only a couple of days ago, here's my review for Zathura.

Plot: Walter and Danny are brothers who don't get along at all. After their parents got divorced, they have been living in their father's house with their big sister Lisa and bicker at each other on a regular basis. One day while they are waiting for their mom to pick them up, Danny finds a game called Zathura and starts playing it with Walter. But as they play, their house ends up floating in outer space and they have to finish the game despite facing aliens and meteors as they play, to bring their house back to normal.

Now I know that you guys find this to be a kids movie knock-off of Jumanji, but in fact, it's based on a book by the same author who wrote Jumanji. But that hardly saves the movie. Now I admit that this movie works as a kids film. I mean it has some characters that you might like and kids probably will enjoy that adventure. But if you're not a kid, you're probably not going to care for this movie a whole lot. I mean it's not just that it's made for kids, but it also is way too utterly similar to Jumanji. I mean yes it's a spin-off to Jumanji, but there's some things that are so similar to Jumanji then event he book of Zathura is. I mean this is coming from reading the plot of the book through wikipedia, so my information may be inaccurate, but it seems like the Zathura game being like the Jumanji game is practically the only similarity the book has. The Zathura book seems to be a little different and even ends differently then in the movie. So it just went too far in being like Jumaji.

Josh Hutcherson and Jonah Bobo/Walter and Danny: Now I'm sure they're alright in the view of the kids, seeing as this is a kid's movie and all that, but honestly, I didn't really care for them. I mean sure their acting wasn't spectacular which is not a big deal since these were very young actors, but their constant bickering was so annoying. I mean I can relate to them when it comes to me and my siblings, but that doesn't entirely help me like these guys any more. 
Kristen Stewart/Lisa: Now earlier in the movie she wasn't that big acting wise. She was mostly just the way we all know her ever since the first Twilight film. But after she was unfrozen and finished taking a shower afterwords, she actually showed some pretty big emotions. Part where her mouth and her eyes would be wide open, on a whole, she acted pretty well with emotions to the point if all you know of her is her normal Bella face, you probably won't recognize her in this movie. So we can hate her all we like, but the truth is, she really was a decent actor once. Maybe she will be again eventually when her Twilight days will be finally behind her.

Music: eh, it was okay. nothing really stood out.

Editing: Some of the editing I didn't like. Mostly when the house was being pulled into the gravity of a star, where there was a cut that affected the continuity of Danny trying to get to the other side of the room.

And that's my review for Zathura. You may enjoy it if you're a kid, but otherwise, it's way too similar to Jumanji that it doesn't work and you'd probably only like to see it if you want to see Kristen Stewart actually having some decent emotion. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Footloose (1984)

Rating: 80%
I remember when I first heard the song. It was played once or twice during the Thespian Conference during my senior year in high school and used to be played a fair bit in my word processing class later that year. But just like Grease after I went to see Rock of Ages, when my boss found out I hadn't seen this movie yet, he suggested that I see it. So this is my review for Footloose.

Plot: Ren is a teenager who moves to this small town called Bomont with his mother. Not long after he gets there, he learns from his new friend Willard that the city council has banned dancing and rock and roll from the town. He soon falls in love with this rebellious girl named Ariel even though she has a boyfriend and he starts to fight against the ban from dancing and rock and roll from the council which is lead by Ariel's father, Reverend Shaw Moore.

I'm just going to admit it. I liked this movie a lot more then I thought I would. I mean don't get me wrong, the plot, while a little more developed then what you usually get from a music vs. non music kind of musical like Rock of Ages or Glee, it's still a music vs. non music kind of story which has been over done. But personally, I find the story to actually be a little more complex and well developed. I mean the movie is made to be pretty serious most of the time, even an intense during the last scene between Ariel and Chuck, and just the whole music vs. non music thing is not as black and white as it usually is with these kinds of musicals. Now when it comes to the end of the movie, there are some things that I disagree or just really want to add about when it comes to Ren's speech and stuff like that, but on a whole, as the character Andy during the end said it, "Comes pretty close". Other then that, the music is good, the dancing is creative, the characters were well developed, and it's an enjoyable film to watch.

Kevin Bacon/Ren: I thought Ren was a good character. He did have that normal bad-boy routine just as transparent as Danny in Grease, but at the same time he had a more heroic side where he had this determination to do what was right that I enjoyed about him.
John Lithgow/Reverend Show Moore: I think I enjoyed watching this character the most during the second half of this film. I mean the things he faces and what he does or how he feels about him made me really start to care about this character. Really, he's the main reason why the general story is not that black and white. Heck, I'd actually like to meet someone like him and talk to him about his beliefs and mine when it comes to stuff like what was happening in this film. 

Music: The music naturally is awesome. It was nice to know that the song "Holding out for a Hero" actually originated from this movie. And naturally I enjoyed the actual song "Footloose" which I liked that it was nominated for best original song at the Oscars back then.

Editing: Most of it was good, but there where a couple of cuts, mostly during the beginning of the movie that I thought where weird concerning the continuity of the movie.

And that's my review for Footloose, in a generalized point of view, the plot is not that swell, but it comes out as a musical that turns out be much more dramatic and three-dimensional then most musicals that makes it entertaining.