Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Rating: 90%
Alright so I finally got my hands on the version of Mutiny on the Bounty that DID win best picture back in the 30's. so here's how that turned out.

Plot: The Bounty is making its way to Tahiti under the command of Captain William Bligh. It's mission is to transport breadfruit to Jamacia. But the journey becomes difficult when Bligh's choice of discipline and lack of care for the lives of his crew disgusts his second-in-command, Fletcher Christian. Eventually this leads to the crew wishing to start a mutiny against Bligh.

Okay, so what makes this version better then the Marlon Brando one? Well firstly, it's shorter which means it doesn't drag so much as the other one did. But it's mainly because the characters are much better in this one. I kind of began to care for the supporting characters a little more then the ones in the Brando version because I thought they were somewhat more developed and more caring that some of them like Thomas would turn out alright. As for Clark Gable and Charles Laughton being Christian and Bligh respectively, they were much better then Brando and Howard. Gable was more of the kind and caring Fletcher Christian that made him appear more of a hero then Brando by comparison. As for Laughton, he had more expression with how evil Bligh is. I mean with Howard, you see Bligh as just the captain during a fair portion of the first half our or so from the Brando film, which means it's not until they're a ways into the sea that you start to get a hint that the guy's evil. But Laughton knows that Captain William Bligh is evil and once he first appears in the film, he doesn't hesitate to practically shove that fact right in your face. In fact the was probably more evil then possibly Howard's Bligh ever could, which is what clearly makes Laughton's worthy of being one of the top villains in the AFI list of heroes and villains.

And that's my review for Mutiny on the Bounty 1935. It's pretty much the same thing as the 1961 version, but it's shorter and the they made the characters much better which makes it a more enjoyable movie then what the Brando film gave us.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)

Rating: 80%
Here's the last film that my family and I watched on Black Friday and the one I enjoyed the most. I did say in my review to the first film that I wanted to see this film considering how well it did int he box office.

Plot: The film starts off with the penguins flying off to Europe with the intention of coming back to bring Alex, Marty, Melvin and Gloria back to New York. But after a while, Alex feels that they are getting old, so they decide to head to Europe so they can retrieve the penguins and go home. But things don't go so well as while they find the penguins, they are being chased by Animal Control officer Captain DuBois who has a special desire to have the head of a lion as a trophy. They escape in a circus train claiming to the circus animals that they are also from the circus. When the gang finds out that this circus is trying to impress a promote in London so that the circus can go to America, they try to work together with the circus animals to try to create a completely different circus that would wow the promoter.

This was actually a really enjoyable movie. I mean my main issue is that the story was predictable on some of the main areas. But it easily made up for it. The animation was SO much better particularly in the second half where we see how the circus turns out, the jokes were an awful lot of fun and the characters were very enjoyable. I mean you have Vitaly who is a russian tiger (which is where he automatically gets points since that's my favorite animal) who was the inspiration to the entire circus, and then there's that bear that King Julien has that weird romance for, (though I probably liked her just because she was voice by Frank Welker) but my absolute favorite was Captain DuBois. Holy frick was this woman messed up. Her energy, her movement, her strength, her undying determination to have Alex's head is just one of the craziest things you could see in a film like this. And my family and I (or at least I for sure) enjoyed all of it. But what I also really enjoyed about this movie is how they were trying to take things completely different with the idea of being of a circus. I mean just that main idea of trying to take things differently and just how they did it was just amazing to me.

Altogether, I still have my hopes for Wreck-It Ralph winning best animated feature this year, but this was a hilarious, fun enjoyable movie that certainly wouldn't be the worst thing for Wreck-It Ralph to lost to if it doesn't win.    

21 Jump Street (2012)

Rating: 75%
Okay so here's the second movie I saw with my family on Black Friday, 21 Jump Street.

Plot: Morton and Greg are former classmates from high school who eventually become best friends at their police academy. They have trouble trying to arrest criminals due to Greg not knowing the Miranda rights so their chief transfers them to 21 Jump Street where they are to go undercover as high school students trying to find the person who supplies some new drug that high schoolers are using.

Okay I had zero confidence in this film. I mean I just thought that the whole thing was going to be completely stupid and that were wasn't going to be a darn thing that could change my mind without seeing it no matter what my friends in film school say. I mean it looked stupid and that it would have a lot of cliches. But I turned out to be half right with this particular film. I mean the story isn't structured too creative but they did have some pretty funny and clever jokes...even when some of them were the kinds that I hate thanks to my experience with the second Hangover film. Really it was the second half of the film that really made this film fun with all the action, jokes and some parts of the story that was awesome. The main characters were more fun then I thought they would be even when sometimes the things they did didn't always make a whole lot of sense.

Altogether, 21 Jump Street may have its cliches and stuff that some people like me would be more disgusted then amused with, but they still gave us some smart and well thought of jokes and points of story that actually makes the film an enjoyable time.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

Rating: 15%
Alright so this Black Friday, my dad has rented a bunch of recent movies for the family to watch. So here's the first one we saw; Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Plot: Back in 1818, Abraham Lincoln was only a boy when his mother was murdered by a man named Jack Barts. He comes back to his old home years later to try to avenger his mother's death but Barts overpowers him and is about to kill him when a man named Henry rescues him. Henry reveals himself to be a vampire hunter and agrees to train Abraham Lincoln to become one himself so he can kills vampires and work his way to get another shot at Barts.

Yeah. It's pretty bad. I mean when we were only about 4 minutes into the film, my mother was already saying "Abraham Lincoln must be in Heaven with his hand on his face." I mean as if the concept wasn't a big enough gamble as a film, then there's the fact that it does bring up dozens of the biggest cliches you can think of, while the action looks cool, it's also very unrealistic and silly in a fair amount of areas, there was a fair share of plot holes and I think what my brother's friends said when they were telling him about it  before we saw this film brought out the best point when they said that it takes itself too seriously. I mean when my friends and I were hearing about this film, I imagined that the whole time, Lincoln would already be an expert vampire hunter in the film and that part of this film is just about a young man who has the hots for some cute brunette is just learning to become one from him and a bunch of other guys. I understand that this is actually how it's written in the book, but I think this would've made it better is with was more silly light-hearted then serious. Because honestly, that's more the kind of film I imagine most people (particularly around my age) would think, when they hear "a movie where Abraham Lincoln is fighting vampires." I mean this take on it is okay, but it destroys whatever suspense or drama they were trying to give when we know that pretty much all of the main characters will live thanks to knowing our history.

And that's my review for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer. It's a nice time at least if you like mindless entertainment, because that's really what it is: mindless entertainment with cliches and plot holes and a story that wouldn't exactly make our great late President's day, let alone ours.  

Braveheart (1995)

Rating: 90%
Well I've finally come to it at last. Reviewing Braveheart as my 375th review. Nuff said.

Plot: In the 13th century, King Edward I of England (but really known in this film as Longshanks) invades and conquers Scotland. As a result, young William Wallace faces the death of his father and brother who were leading a rebellion and was taken to be educated by his uncle. He comes home years later where he marries his childhood sweetheart Murron. But when he tries to rescue her from a couple of English soldiers that result in her being publicly executed, he kills all of the soldiers in the village and rounds up fellow Scotsmen to start a way for independence against the English.

Straight off the bat, I like this movie. I enjoyed the story, I liked the characters, it was big, dramatic, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and gave us one of the most epic, realistic, and graphic action scenes ever made. Now I have somewhat heard that this movie isn't getting as much praise as it use to, to the point that it's been viewed as the number 1 worst best picture winner as of 2005 according to Empire magazine. Although personally I don't think they really know what they're talking about considering that this is actually a good movie and that as far as their list goes, they don't even put in some of the actual worst like Cimmaron, Out of Africa and Shakespeare In Love. So in my opinion, their argument is invalid. But this film also has a lot of issues with historical inaccuracies. I mean not having some inaccuracies is something that's going to be hard to do anyway since most of what's really known/possibly known about William Wallace is in legend or from the epic poem from 15th century minstrel, Blind Harry. But even I have to admit that some of the inaccuracies make me think "Okay, this is what was actually going on at the time with this character. This movie is pretty misleading that way." But despite that, it's still an enjoyable movie that is still telling us a good story That was well put together.

And that's my review for Braveheart. So I'm getting close to reaching 400 reviews which is exciting. Till then, watch out for some other reviews over the weekend as my family and I are soon to rent a couple of films and take a look at that. So see you then.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Life of Emile Zola (1937)

Rating: 90%
Okay so today I finally found myself the time to see The Life of Emile Zola. So here's my review for it. Nuff Said.

Plot: Emile Zola is a french writer who eventually starts to become famous when he writes his first bestseller; Nana, based on the stories told from a street prostitute that he rescued from a police raid. Over the years he writes many bestsellers and as he gets older, he starts to retire and enjoy the comforting life of living in his mansion with his wife. But when a secret french agent steals an important document that is meant for a military officer in the German emissary, the top french army staff decide to accuse an innocent captain as the traitor and imprison him in Devil's Island even when they find the real traitor. So when word gets out to Zola, he eventually tries to make a case to set him free.

Surprisingly, I actually liked this movie. I mean I enjoyed it a lot more then what I was hoping I would. The story was very interesting and very well paced particularly with the first half. I mean the first half of the movie is what got me really invested in this main character which made me even more into this film once the main story kicked in. As the movie went on I just became more and more curious as to what was going to happen. And I didn't expect that to happen to me in the slightest. I mean I was hoping for a good film, but I didn't expect for me to practically be on the very edge of my seat (so to speak) before I was probably even 15 minutes into the movie. But the face of the matter is, who can blame me? On top of the story we get some really good acting, - including a really nice monologue from Emile Zola - well written dialogue and really displays the marveling history on how bad things were with the legal system and the view of the main staff of France. And that's what makes Zola a really good character. I mean he was interesting already when we were getting to know the guy, in the beginning of the film, but when he tries to set this captain free that's when you start to root for the guy.

So all around, this best picture winner is easily a really enjoyable movie to watch and one that I would definitely recommend.   

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Legend of the Titanic (1999)

Rating: 0%
*sigh* yes everyone I actually saw this film...well technically. I mean when I say that I saw this film, I mean I really just watched my brother's commentary video on youtube where he plays the entire movie while making fun of it via voiceover. Sadly, however often my brother did commentary throughout the film, i basically saw and heard enough where it basically counts that I actually watched it. And even if watching his commentary doesn't count somehow, it is still more than anyone should ever see of this movie unless you're watching it through Doug Walker's video review for it. Anyway, let's get this over with.

Plot: Conners is an old mouse that lives in New York who is telling his grandchildren the "real" story of the Titanic explaining that no one actually died when it sunk. ( for those of you who don't know about this film at all until now, you have my permission to take as much time as you like to process what I just said...if you can...before reading the rest of the review.) So the rest of the film goes into a flashback were Conners is a young sailor for all of the mice that are sailing the Titanic. Meanwhile, a woman named Elizabeth is sailing on the titanic while her father plans to force her to get married to an evil whaler. But then Elizabeth befriends some dolphins who can talk to her after one of her tears falls on one of them giving her the power to speak to them through moon magic and find out that they are on a crusade against whalers.

Is this completely confusing you everyone who's reading this review and have never heard of this movie? IT SHOULD! I mean the main thing that's wrong with this movie is that in this "version" of the story of the Titanic, the Titanic hits the iceberg because a group of evil sharks who are in league with the evil whaler, trick a giant octopus to throw the iceberg right in front of the ship, and then the octopus realizes what happens and so saves everyone on the ship (yes I mean EVERYONE lives. as in nobody dies. Not even the band or Captain Smith died.) and then it seems that the octopus dies doing this but then he turns out to be alive along with another mouse that was believed to be dead and everybody lives happily ever after with everybody alive. I know! What is wrong with these people!?! And the things is, when you look at this movie as a whole, they didn't even need to say that this is the actual ship or the actual event into this film to begin with. With the kind of stories that they were telling and with the fact that they were trying to tell it as an animated movie with mice that are often talking about protocol, a war against whales, dolphins and moon magic and stuff like that, I think saying that this was on the Titanic was forced. It would've made much more sense if they just made the movie without even really giving the ship the name or say it contains the same event. They could've just made the film more their own thing rather then a loose 'adaption' of the story of the Titanic and just say that they got the concept for the movie from James Cameron's film. I mean if you want to make a movie based on the concept of another film or event, that's fine. But part of the idea to that is that you leave that actual event or film out of your movie. I mean the thing is that nothing really 'says' if you will, that it's the Titanic. I mean at least with the first animated Titanic film they had the animation of the ship and the passengers and stuff like that make it look like it's from that actual era. Here, they don't even really clue in any famous people from the Titanic or make us believe it is. The band is there for three seconds and are playing in a LIFEBOAT when they are shown and Captain Smith just has a mustache instead of a beard. The whole thing is just unnecessary. Of coarse even if they did do that, it's still a horrid movie. The animation is horrible to the point where they don't really even really bother in trying to make anyone's mouths move, the characters are terrible, the whole organization of the way they're telling all these stories is beyond sloppy, the voice acting is bland and out of place, it- it's just a terrible movie to the point that the way they made it was less then amateur.

All around. This is one of the worst 'movies' ever made that was just poorly done whether they brought up the ship or not. But the fact is they did and ended it with such an ending that utterly dishonors and insults not just us, every every single person who died on the Titanic.

How Green Was My Valley (1941)

Rating: 70%
Alright so now I'm touching on the best picture winners from back in the 40's. And to start that off, I have just finished seeing the film that won best picture back in 1941 even thought many believed that it should've been Citizen Kane considering that, that film has become one of the greatest films of all time. So here's my review for How Green Was My Valley.

Plot: The film revolves roughly around a young boy named Hue Morgan who lives in a valley in South Wales coalfield with his welsh family containing his parents and 5 older brothers and his older sister, Angharad. As the movie goes on, Hue and his family witness all sorts of happiness and tragedy that the people of the valley go through as part of telling what everyday life back then was like.

Okay so the obvious thing to point out that I do agree that Citizen Kane should not have lost to this film in any way shape or form. But does that mean it's a bad or so-so film like some of the winners I've recently seen like Cimmaron, The Great, Ziegfield, and The Last Emperor? Actually no this time. While it's not a masterpiece, the film is enjoyable simply because of what it is really about. Telling us what life was like for those people. They used some good actors that gave us characters to care about - most notably, to me was probably Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Donald Crisp, and Sara Allgood as Mr. Gruffydd, Angharad, and Mr. and Mrs. Mogan respectively, and gave us things that they face that altogether made this movie touching and dramatic with all the joys and hardships that these people went though. It was a well made film that might not exactly had a main plot line outside of just showing their lives, but it was still enjoyable with how they did it and what kinds of characters and events they had that didn't make it worthy for winning best picture, but a nice enough film that it's at least a respectable movie to lose to.

And that's basically there is to say for my review for How Green Was My Valley.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012)

Rating: 60%
FINALLY WE REACH THE END OF THIS HORRID FRANCHISE!!!! So with that said, let's get this review out of the way and move on with our lives.

Plot: Alright so to cut to the chase with the plot, Bella is finally a vampire, and things are looking like she and Edward are going to live happily ever after with their new born daughter, Renesmee despite the face that she grows everyday. But when the Cullen's vampire cousin Irina sees Renesmee and thinks that she's an immortal child, she comes to the Volturi claiming that the Cullens made one giving Alice a vision that the Volturi are coming to kill them. So they try to gather a bunch of other vampires all over the world to try to make as stand as witnesses and try to convince the Volturi that Renesmee isn't dangerous.

This movie actually succeeded where Eclipse did not in actually being a decent movie. With Eclipse, they were actually trying to be good with actual action and some nice comedy (especially with the guy that plays Charlie) and stuff like that, but the usual lack of energy and actual acting that Twilight provides kept me from giving it a 60% at least. But with this film, we get some really nice action and comedy and - dare I say it - the acting in some points was better. Well when I say better I mean that with some cases like Robert Patterson and Peter Facinelli, things kind of went a little similar to how Christian Bale was as Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Rises. Meaning that like Bale in that film, the way they were talking was at least louder and clearer. Except for Michael Sheen, I thought he was kind of weird during some of his acting. But after that the acting was still everyone else being expressionless - especially with Lautner and Stewart with smiling one time while being their expressionless elves the rest of the time. And a lot of the scenes that all go before facing the Volturi dragged a little bit. But what really kills this movie from being anything outside of just decent is the ending. I'm going to write a separate paragraph about it to explain to those who have seen the film, but if you haven't, just know that that what they did just pissed me off and ruined the films chance of actually turning out to be an actually good movie.

Okay so why I hated the ending? Because the thing is, I hated the Volturi. I mean one of the few things the books succeeded in doing when it comes to making you have a certain view to any of the characters, was hating the Volturi. I just hated how they were these evil, cruel, heartless guys that were being the 'police' for the world of these vampires. So when I read the book to Breaking Dawn, I thought it was stupid that they were still around as part of the end of the series. So when all the trailers and some rumors were going around that they were going to change the ending and I was hoping that they would cause... yeah, while it makes sense from them to live because of how they're still the law and just feels more right to me that they would end it with them destroying the Volturi to me. And they made me think that they actually did right until they made the twist revealing that it's all a vision from Alice. And that pissed me off not entirely because it seemed like they were going to do it so much as how they were supposedly doing it. I mean Aro killing Carlisle was a big moment. And then the fighting starts and they kill Jasper, Lilly and Seth for more drama and they finally kill Aro. That whole thing was really well done. I mean the whole time I felt my heart racing both because of the action and them killing the Volturi but also due to still being in shock with those characters getting killed. But then we find out that it was all in Alice's vision. I mean while everyone else in the theater was sighing in relief, I was just being so. freaking. angry. I mean I went home after the movie grumbling about what happened. I know that if they actually went that way, a lot of fans would be pissed more then I am and all of that, especially with killing all those characters. I get that. I really do. I mean even if they did do that, I would be bummed anyway because of Jasper and Carlisle because those two are one of the few characters I actually really liked from this franchise. But as a film, they could've made it something really worthy to the point were this movie could actually been good in my opinion. I know close to no one's going to agree with me, but that's how I feel. But I digress in any case since it doesn't matter now that we're finally done with this franchise.

And that's my review for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. We still get the crap that we normally hate about Twilight, but at least the action and comedy was enjoyable and the acting improved VERY slightly in some cases. And I know that there'll probably be some reboots and all that, but until then, this particular film series is over. WE'RE FREE!!!!!! And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to head off to the bad and drink all of my memories of Twilight away. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Rating: 85%
Well I'm not going to do a video review for this because I've delayed in making one for so long since I say it because I was a little busy over the past couple of weeks. But anyway, here's finally my review for Wreck-It Ralph.

Plot: Wreck-It Ralph is the bad guy in an arcade game called Fix-It Felix, who become tired of his life of being a bad guy and being hated all of the time. So he goes from game to game to try to change who he is by trying to get a medal and become a hero.

Now this film I had little confidence but at the same time really, really, really, really, really, really wanted it to be good. I mean it's basically a video game version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. And even then I wanted it to be good because I wanted Disney to keep giving us decent to good movies again that I believe they've managed to do so far ever since Meet The Robinsons. As it turns out, that's just what I got. It's a good enjoyable movie. The structure wasn't too original but even with that, the story was clever, the characters were good (better then I expected at some times.) There's a whole bunch of video games and also candy jokes that were fun to watch. And the animation is just awesome.   I mean with the Sugar Rush and Hero's Duty worlds were just beautifully done and really worked in terms of making these games more like the modern ones we know today. But the real issue is that it's not as big as I thought when it came to giving us actual characters from actual video games. They just weren't there as often as I thought they would be. But it works at the same time because that means that they were going to go more into their own thing. In the end, it's a well done movie that is a lot of fun, fine movie to be among Walt Disney Animation Studios' many theatrical animated films and is likely to be the best animated film of the year. And with that said I say here's hoping that with this film, Disney will finally have an oscar for best full-length animated film that's try got all by themselves and not because of Pixar. Also I just want to say that the short film that they play was really good to. If not for the story, then more the beautiful animation.

Wreck-It Ralph: Now as far as the general structure of his journey, Ralph was a little bland. But luckily he did get a little better as the movie went on and he began to really know what he really wants and stuff like that.
Vanellope: This character shouldn't have worked, but she did. When I say this, I refer to how she was annoying in the trailer and she was proving me right at first that she was going to be that way throughout the film, but surprisingly as the film went on, the character was getting developed more and because of it, I started to take her much more seriously and ended up having a little fun watching her and ended up caring for her a lot more then I thought I would. So she may not be perfect since she can still be annoying, but as the film progressed she became a likable character anyway.
Fix-It Felix Jr. and Sergeant Calhoun: They were really fun as the supporting characters. Fix-It Felix Jr. was so happy and optimistic and I'm jealous that he has that golden hammer considering how powerful it is. That hammer has to be every guy's dream to have. I mean is something breaks down, you can just hit it with it and it's fine. I know my dad would love to have that for our van and microwave right about now. Calhoun was just such a bad-a and you have to like how her back story was told.

Music: I enjoyed the soundtrack easily. It was just so deep and creative and just really worked with the whole story being about these whole video game worlds. And the song "When Can I See You Again" from the end credits is fun yet catchy as frick.

And that's my review for Wreck-It Ralph, the structure of the story is not perfect, but it's still a very fun, creative, funny and altogether enjoyable film, easily the best animated film this year, lock, stock and barrel.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998)

Rating: 35%
Okay so a few days ago, I was flipping channels to record a TV show when I came across one of the Disney channels that was about to play this movie. Since this was a film I use to watch back when I was growing up, I decided to record it as well and see how it is now that I'm all grown up and have a much clearer knowledge about film and with what's good or bad and all that stuff. So here's my review for The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.

Plot: After the events of the first film, Simba and Nala have a daughter named Kiara, whom Simba becomes over-protective over her by frequently telling her not to go to the Outlands where a group of lions who are loyal to Scar have been banished. Kiara ignores this and goes to the Outlands where she bumps into and befriends a cub named Kovu who is designated to be Scar's heir, and befriends him. But Simba and Kovu's mother, Zira find them and have a face-off. Later Zira comes up with the idea to train Kovu where once he's grown up, he'll use his old friendship with Kiara to kill Simba and become the king of the Pride Lands.

 Okay so what is bad about this movie? Well first of all, the title. I say that because A) considering the title is Simba's PRIDE, people will tend to interpret it the wrong way. Trust me on that. I've experienced it before where me and a group of people are talking about The Lion King and then someone's all "they did make a second movie that was basically their version of Romeo and Juliet" and I say "Yeah I know, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride"...and then most of the people are chuckling and I act all "Don't look at me, that's actually what it's called." And B) I don't think Simba's name should've been in there at all because quite frankly, he wasn't the center of attention in this movie. Other then that, the problems with the film are often mentioned in the reviews for it: it is not as close to as big and majestic as the first movie. And the first...15 minutes or so were structured almost exactly like the beginning of The Lion King from the beginning to after "Be Prepared" (I don't know how much of the first film is that, but the second film was structured almost precisely like those first particular scenes of the first film.) Another problem is that the dialogue is goofy, or at least some of the choices of dialogue sound off and don't make sense. Also the comedy with Timon and Pumbaa is pretty much - as one critic roughly puts it - low humor that the kids at least will enjoy. That point I can especially vouch for because as a kid, I did enjoy their humor. Heck, even though I know now that the comedy isn't really that good, I still sort of enjoyed it in a certain way for old times sake when I saw this movie again . And finally there's a set of plot holes that you can easily notice. My main example, *WARNING SPOILERS* is how they didn't really explain the story of Zira and her family. I mean we understand that Scar was apparently her mate and that Nuka and Vatani are their children but Kovu is Zira's son but not Scar's...but that's not exactly explained how. I mean if Scar did have this family, why was there no Zira and her followers aiding Scar and the Hyenas in the first movie? And more importantly, how is it that Kovu's not Scar's son and yet was appointed BY Scar to be his heir before he died. I mean my best guess is that he didn't know he wasn't his child or something like that, but none of that is explained at all. It's just Zira: Scar's mate, Nuka and Vatiani: their children and Kovu: Zira's son not Scar's but appointed by him to be his heir anyway. *END OF SPOILERS* But all of these issues aside the movie is sort of...okay. I mean the idea is nice, some of the songs like "My Lullaby" and "Not One of Us" - while hardly close to the grandness that the soundtrack in the first film had - were a little enjoyable, and the story altogether had a good way of finishing the story of The Lion King. I guess with that said, at the end of the day, while being among the LEAST awful Disney sequels (aside from The Rescuers Down Under and Winnie the Pooh which were actually good sequels), The Lion King II: Simba's Pride is roughly how I felt about Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas: I grew up with both movies, I know they're bad, but at the same time, I can't help but feel that somewhere there's a good movie buried very, very deep somewhere within the idea or some of the aspects of both movies.

And that's my review for The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. It's more of a film that you're most likely to enjoy only if you're a kid like I was when I was growing up with this movie, but otherwise it's just a poor successor to the first film that deep down I feel could've been so much better. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Hobbit (1977)

Rating: 30%
Alright so a couple of weeks ago I finally read The Hobbit to prepare for the first movie in the new trilogy based on the work of the brilliant J.R.R. Tolkien. But while we wait, I have decided to review all of the animated versions of the books that were from back between 1977-80. So here's my review to the first of these films, The Hobbit.

Plot: Bilbo Baggins is a Hobbit who lives in the town called Hobbiton in the Shire. One day, the wizard Gandalf comes to his home and asks him to comes with him on a grand adventure with 13 Dwarves lead by Thorin Oakenshield  to recover treasure from the evil Smaug the dragon who stole the Dwarves' home in the Lonely Mountain long ago.

If there's one thing I think we can all count on with the upcoming Hobbit trilogy, it's that it will at least be better then this movie. It does have points with making it more for kids and it's...fairly loyal to the book for what it's worth. But for one things I do have a reason I say fairly loyal to the book. They do change a couple of things that happen in the book, mostly stuff that happens during the second half. For another thing, it's... just dull and boring. There's hardly any energy in some of the voice acting, the animation is kind of interesting (especially with the goblins having two mouths holes or something like that. I thought that was sort of clever) but after that it's not all that remarkable. And then there's of coarse the music. It seems like they have music for anything that ever happens in this movie, and most of the music is not that great. And there's some things that they leave you that you wish they wouldn't if you've read the book like pretty any character development at all from really any of the main characters that's not Gandalf, Bilbo or Thorin. If you've read the book, then you'd think this film would work so much better as a kids film with some of the other Dwarves like Balin, Gloin and especially Bombur.

And that's my review for The Hobbit. it may work in some ways as a kids film, it's not that loyal to the book, doesn't do some of the main characters justice, and overdoes playing music that wasn't all that enjoyable to begin with. 

Argo (2012)

Rating: 95%
So last week my mother and I went to see Argo. So here's my review for it.

Plot: In November 4, 1979, a group of militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran capturing all but six people there. The six that escaped take refuge at the home of a Canadian ambassador. The State Department tries to figure out a way to save the hostages, so a CIA specialist named Tony Mendez comes up with an idea to make a cover story saying that the six that escaped are Canadian filmmakers working on a sci-fi movie called Argo, using it to try to get them to escape Iran.

Wow. If I could describe this movie in one word, that would be it. It's dramatic, it's suspenseful it's even funny at some points. And I liked how similar to the actual people they made the actors look and with how they brought up some of the stuff from that time such as the yellow ribbons all over America. Cause that's the thing, when my mom and I were watching this, she told me how the whole things was a super huge deal back then when she was only 11 with the ribbons and everything. She wondered about what was the whole deal about these six people escaping and stuff like that, and with the whole operation declassified and this movie made on top of that, now she can finally know. Which is part of why this movie is good. If you lived from that time and always wanted to know more about that whole deal, here's the movie for you, prepare to feel the suspense. And you WILL feel the suspense. But if there's one real reason why I rated then a 95% instead of  100%, it would be that they might have focused on those people a little too much. They mention the other people that were captured a little bit in the beginning, but after that, they were barley mentioned to the point where I completely forgot about them until on the way home from the movie. I completely get that the six where the main focus of the film since they're mainly what the movie's about, but I still feel like it would've been nice to mention them more.

And that's my review for Argo. It was an excellent movie that leaves you very much at the edge of your seat with extremely well acted drama and suspense that is easily a film that you can enjoy without a doubt.  

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)

Rating: 80%
Okay so originally I was going to review the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty since it's pretty much next on the list of best picture winners, but I got the Marlon Brando one from 1962 from the library by mistake. So I have the 1935 one on hold and ready for me at the library, so in the meantime, here's my review for the 1962 version of Mutiny on the Bounty.

Plot: The Bounty is making its way to Tahiti under the command of captain William Bligh. It's mission is to transport breadfruit to Jamacia. But the journey becomes difficult when Bligh's choice of discipline and lack of care for the lives of his crew disgusts his second-in-command, Fletcher Christian. Eventually this leads to the crew wishing to start a mutiny against Bligh.

This was an enjoyable movie. It's another one of these films that's around three hours long, however unlike The Last Emperor and The Great Ziegfeld, Mutiny on the Bounty takes its time very well. Does it drag? Yes. Some things possibly could've been done shorter. But otherwise it's well acted, and the settings and cinematography are well done and I thought they did a very good job in making all the things that happen on the Bounty or in Tahiti and things like that believable.

Marlon Brando/Fletcher Christian: Now I almost reviewed this particular movie a couple of years ago during my very earlier reviews. Because at that time, I was trying to do a Marlon Brando reviewing marathon. But I decided to be lazy and not do it because of how long it was. But in any case, Brando did an alright job as Fletcher Christian. If you look at the reviews at for this film, you might find a fair amount of reviews saying that Brando wasn't that great in this film. I thought he was fine. Maybe his performance wasn't too different from some of his other films from around that time, but I didn't think that was too much of a problem.
Trevor Howard/Captain William Bligh: One reason it was a shame I ended up with this movie instead of the 1935 version is that the 1935 version of Bligh is apparently one of the greatest film villains of all time according to AFI. What do I have to say about this version of Bligh? *shrugs* he was evil plain and simple. What could the Bligh in the 1935 version be that's different, we'll just have to see when I watch it.

And that's my review for Mutiny on the Bounty. It drags a little but otherwise a well acted film that had good settings and stuff like that, that made it a fairly enjoyable film.      

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Great Ziegeld (1936)

Rating: 50%
Okay so next best picture I saw fromt he 30's was The Great Ziegfeld. So here's my review for it.

Plot: The story is simply about a music producer named Florence Ziegfeld Jr who is trying to make his mark in show business. He makes a habit of often making a hit but then tries to go bigger despite becoming broke due to gambling. Despite this, he often manages to get money from his rival, Billings and makes another hit yet again.

Does it sounds like I'm telling practically the whole story? It should. Because that's all that this character does under exceptions such as little things with his personal life and some big musical numbers and things like that. Just like The Last Emperor, The Great Ziegfeld is longer then it needs to be especially with it's big musical numbers. Now at the same time it's not a bad thing because those numbers were enjoyable. They had good choreography, the costumes were well done, and some of the technical stuff like that big spinning stage and stuff like that were awesome. But in reality, those things seem to be the only thing that really stood out from this movie in any way. I mean the acting was good, but the thing is, Florence Ziegfeld's story seems to be just roughly the same thing as Yancy Cravat's character in Cimarron - not in the manner of trying to create his own empire, but more in the sense that he's facing and beating impossible odds without really any conflict. Sure Ziegfeld's character was a little more interesting then Cravat, but with that specific style, the whole story of The Great Ziegfeld just wasn't all that good of a story.

And that's my review for The Great Ziegfeld. It's a little entertaining with the well done musical numbers, design and technical stuff, but otherwise, the story felt like it was really just the same thing as Cimarron only that the main character's a music producer that keeps it from being a memorable film.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Last Emperor (1987)

Rating: 65%
Okay so here's a best picture winner I've been wanting to see for a while concerning the history and all that jazz. So here's my review for The Last Emperor.

Plot: The film starts with the former emperor Pu Yi being imprisoned and interrogated as a war criminal by the Red Army in 1950. While this is happening, we go through a series of flashbacks of Pu Yi's life as an emperor ever since the day he was named emperor when he was only three.

Now before I saw this movie, by bother who has seem all of the best picture winner said that this was dull and boring and really won only because of how artistic it is. Do I agree with him?...mostly. I mean yes, artistically this movie is beautiful. The design and the way that they made the colors was wonderful without a doubt. Is the movie dull and boring?...well not completely. Like I said, I was particularly interested in the film mostly to just learn the history of the last emperor despite the fact that there might be some historical inaccuracy. (I mean there's not a lot of films based on true stories where they don't alter it a little. Am I right?) But can it be dull and boring? Absolutely! I mean when I was just half an hour into the movie, it already proved to be that it's a lot longer then it really should be without really trying. I mean they should've cut out around 40 minutes of footage to make it more a two hour movie rather then almost three. I mean there is some importance to roughly most of the footage but really they just consistently drag what's happening to the movie on several occasions.

So that's basically my review for The Last Emperor. It's a masterpiece artistically and I enjoyed it for the history, but it was dragged so much that it really was longer then it really should be which altogether makes the movie just...meh.   

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The English Patient (1996)

Rating: 60%
Alright so next to review among the best picture winner is The English Patient.

Plot: A man who is critically burned after his plane is shot down is being taken care of by a nurse named Hana in an abandoned Italian monastery during late World War II. The burned man is only named 'The English Patient", but as the films goes on, the 'patient' gets a set of flashbacks that reveal that he is a Hungarian cartographer named Count László de Almásy, and how he fell in love with a married woman named Katherine.

meh. Just nice. I mean my main issue is that the whole general idea of the romance is a cliche. I mean it feels like it's roughly the exact thing as the romance from Out of Africa. That being said, most of the story in the film is hardly creative or terribly interesting. But I think it's really the second half of the film and all the scenes that are not flashbacks that makes the film enjoyable. Because it's the second half where we begin to get more into all the other stuff about Count Almásy besides his affair and all the things that's happens outside of the flashbacks that makes the story a little more bearable. It doesn't help a whole lot, but at the least it helps make a movie just...meh.

And that's simply all I really have to say about The English Patient.    

Red Riding Hood (2011)

Rating: 35%
I've been wanting to see this movie and make fun of it for a while. I mean when I saw trailers for this, I knew that it was made as basically using the same formula as Twilight. So at last, here's my review for Red Riding Hood.

Plot: Valarie is a young girl who lives in a village in the middle of the forest that lives in fear of a werewolf. She falls in love if her childhood sweetheart Peter, but her mother arranges her to be married to the blacksmith's son Adrian. One night, the werewolf attacks and kills Valarie's sister Lucy. So the village eventually decides to summon Father Solomon for his help to slay the werewolf.

Okay to the film's credit, it doesn't focus on the Twilight formula as I thought. That is to say, I for one thought that this movie was going to practically show the whole Twilight-like love triangle all over our faces almost just as much as Twilight itself does. But surprisingly it doesn't. In fact the love triangle is not really all that big to be in my opinion. Which is something that I'm okay with considering I thought that was something that was really going to make this film plop the way it did. But that doesn't change the fact that is still plopped. The romance aside, it still gives us a fair share of cliches and a couple of things that don't really make a whole lot of sense that is what really makes this film bad. Some twists or certain parts of the story I liked, but not enough to say that this turned out to be close to a good film. That said, it also sucks that Gary Oldman is in this film because of that.

And that's my review for Red Riding Hood. It may not focus on the Twilight formula romance wise as I thought and it has a couple of part in the films that I liked. But it's still full of cliches and a bunch of really things that are just off that make it a plain old bad movie through and through. 

Kung Fu Panda (2008)

Rating: 80%
My review for Kung Fu Panda...that's it.

Plot: Po is a panda who dreams of being a powerful kung fu master despite working in his goose father's noodle restaurant. One day, kung fu Master Oogway has a vision that the evil kung fu warrior Tai Lung will return and that the time is soon to discover who shall become the Dragon Warrior and defeat Tai Lung. So Oogway's old student, Master Shifu, hold a tournament for his students, The Furious Five, to discover who will become the Dragon Warrior. Po tries to get inside the tournament to watch the Furious Five, but in the process, the accidentally ends up in the area and Oogway chooses him as the Dragon Warrior. So despite Po's inability to learn kung fu, Shifu has to train him to become the Dragon Warrior and defeat Tai Lung.

This movie was very cute and extremely well made visually. The main problem with this film is that the structure of the story, has a fair share of cliches. The whole process of what happens to Po and some very specific parts of the dialogue that was used for some of that process was very familiar from other films and even if it isn't, it feels very easy to predict. And another things that some people have an issue with this film is that some people feel that some of the stars that do the voice acting for the supporting characters are underused like Angelina Jolie and Jackie Chan. But luckily, the film pulls off some very well delivered comedy that helps make some of the predictable parts more bearable and the film altogether more fun to watch. But the animation is probably the most impressive part of the movie. I think that there's always a moment when I'm watching this film when I try to think how much of a challenge this film must've been for the animators, particularly when it comes to all of the kung fu movements for the characters. Because while some of the kung fu stuff is relatively similar to some things we're very well familiar with from other kung fu or kung fu related movies like The Matrix trilogy, Kill Bill, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, this film takes advantage of the freedom they can use with being an animated film instead of live action and give us bigger and better action that you can very easily enjoy.

And that's my review for Kung Fu Panda. It has some sense of cheesiness and predictability with the structure of the story of Po and the set of cliches they give us with some of the dialogue, but it makes up for it with well delivered comedy and excellent animation that gives us very enjoyable action making Kung Fu Panda an altogether fun film to enjoy.

And Now for Something Completely Different (1971)

Rating: 75%
So I've been thinking about reviewing Monty Python films for the past month or so now and since I found And Now For Something Completely Different and with Psycho when I went to review that, I decided to watch it again. So here's my review for *poor John Cleese impression* And Now For Something Completely Different. *H.A.K. blows up in a big explosion*

Plot: This film really doesn't have a plot. It's basically a 90 ish long film containing some of Monty Python's best sketches from the show Monty Python's Flying Circus.

This is a hilarious movie. I mean it's easy for me to say since I use to be super obsessed with Monty Python during most of my high school years, but fact is fact that Monty Python has given some of the best comedy sketches that have ever been created. "How Not to be Seen", "Parrot Sketch", "Nudge "Nudge, "Defense Against Fresh Fruit", "Lumberjack", "The Funniest Joke in the World", they're all just hilarious and memorable plain and simple. The main issue really anyone would have with this film or possibly really anything from Monty Python is that plenty of the jokes or sketches are the kind of humor that is primarily for British people and plenty of people outside of Britain will not enjoy the humor and find to be more stupid or revolting or otherwise just plain wrong. But that's something I can understand and agree with at certain points. While this film has some of the funniest things ever, there's some jokes and some of the really random things that they give us that I find to be rather stupid or just plain wrong. So with that I want to make very clear that the comedy for this film is NOT for everyone in the slightest. But aside from the face that there are a lot of things that you wont enjoy when you see this film, you'll still see the most classic sketches from Monty Python that will hopefully make watching this film very fun to watch.

And that's my review for And Now for Something Completely Different.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Rating: 90%
Okay so even though Halloween is over, I have one last Halloween movie that I saw last night a little past midnight, so right after Halloween ended. So here's my review for The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Plot: Jack is a skeleton in the last of Halloween Town who is titled the pumpkin king and the main leader for celebrating Halloween. However, Jack secretly admits that he's tired of the same routine of celebrating Halloween every year. One day after celebrating another successful year of Halloween, he wanders off into the forest where he finds and accidentally falls into a portal that sends him to Christmas Town. Amazed by this world, he decides to try to share it with the people of Halloween Town. But the people of Halloween Town fail to understand the concept of Christmas, trying to compare it to Halloween, so Jack reluctantly decides to play along with their ideas and eventually give into the idea of Halloween Town taking over Christmas.

This was a cleverly made movie. I mean the stop-motion animation goes without saying, but I'll say that it's very well made and carried out anyway just for the sake of those who haven't seen this movie. The story is also creative and the characters are fun. And the whole world that they created was very original and they did an excellent job with the design for Halloween Town especially. I mean most of the creatures that live in Halloween Town are most of your everyday kind of monsters when you think Halloween, but some of them are rather uniquely designed like the Harlequin Demon. (That guy that has half of his whole head as his mouth or something... I'm not sure what's the right way to describe it but if you've seen the movie, hopefully you'll know what I'm talking about.)

Music: The soundtrack to this movie is easily a lot of fun. I think it's common knowledge to view "This is Halloween" as possibly the best song in the entire movie. It's just a very fun song that introduces us to all of the creepiest or most creative creatures and monsters that live in Halloween Town.

And that's my review for The Nightmare Before Christmas. It's a fun, clever and creative film with well done stop motion animation, fun music, and a good story that is all around a very good movie and is another good film to enjoy watching on Halloween. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (1966)

Rating: 100%
I know that long before I have begun really writing for this review Halloween is over, but I still have a couple of movies that I've watched during and post-Halloween that I have to review. So here's my review for It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

Plot: Charlie Brown and Snoopy and the gang are getting ready for Halloween. Sally intended to celebrate Halloween with the gang, but Linus is waiting for the Great Pumpkin whom he believes that will come to the pumpkin patch to give toys to all the little children. So Sally decides to wait for the Great Pumpkin for Linus while the rest of the gang goes trick-or-treating. Meanwhile, Snoopy goes to face the Red Baron with his doghouse (or Sopwith Camel).

How can I not give this film a 100%? I mean it's freaking Peanuts. It's the one that everyone knows it seems, and why not? It's a lovable short film with all of your favorite characters from the memorable comics giving us a very unique Halloween story. Plus I think part of what also makes this Peanuts short a little more memorable then most is that it has a lot of memorable things from the comics. Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, Snoopy with his Sopwith Camel, Charlie Brown trying to kick the football from Lucy, Schroeder with his piano, you get the idea. Oh and naturally this Peanuts special is not complete without the jazz piano song "Linus and Lucy" (that one song that's kind of the theme song for Peanuts. Yeah I know, I don't want to remember it by that title either) I mean the only possible down is Charlie Brown with getting rocks (what set of jerks does that?) 

And that's my review for It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. It's a lovable, memorable Halloween special that is easily a perfect movie to watch on Halloween and a film to enjoy for everyone who loves Peanuts.