Sunday, April 12, 2015

Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

This is a review I've been holding off for a while because of a few things, but now there's little reason to hold it off any longer, so here at last is my review for Muppets Most Wanted.

Plot: Taking off exactly after the very end of the last movie, The Muppets are trying to figure out what to do next. Then a guy named Dominic Badguy suggest that they go on a European tour with him as their tour manager. Meanwhile, a criminal mastermind named Constantine, who looks almost exactly like Kermit, escapes from escapes from a Siberian Gulag and tricks the police into believing that Kermit is Constantine. So Kermit is imprisoned in the Gulag that Constantine was imprisoned in, and tries to find a way out. Meanwhile, Constantine takes Kermit's place while he and Dominic use the Muppet's tour to steal valuable items all over Europe.

I think my brother Tommy put it best about this film; the last one was cute and clever, while this is just cute. Now when I say that I agree with that, I don't mean that there's absolutely nothing clever about this movie, it's just not as clever as the last one. But that being said, it's still a fun film. You get to see your favorite characters, you watch a lot of guest stars, and there are some funny jokes. Most of what makes this film funny is taking advantage of the fact that is is a sequel and it's aware of the problems that go with it from some characters not getting enough attention, to the fact that it's not going to be as good. The other jokes aren't quite as funny, but they are good enough that you will get a good chuckle out of them once in a while. The musical numbers are fun to listen to, but it really is the first song We're Doing a Sequel that stands out the most because of its not only funny, but really catchy. Heck, it's getting stuck in my head just typing about it. If there's one thing that probably bugs me the most about the film is how little attention we get of some of the cameos outside of Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey. I mean those three are enjoyable, and I think I would agree with Tommy in saying that Tina Fey is having fun with her role. But there's some cameos like Christoph Waltz that I wish had much more attention on. This is really a nitpick at the end of the day, but it still bugs me the most about the film. 

And that's my review for Muppets Most Wanted. It's not as clever as the last film, but it's still a fun film with its cute comedy and lovable characters. If you like the Muppets, you'll have a nice time seeing their latest film.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cinderella (2015)

Hey everyone, sorry that it's been a while since my last review. I've been busy with school and work and a couple of other things. But I'm back and I'm making up for lost time starting with the film that I saw a couple weeks ago but couldn't review until now. So without further ado, here is Cinderella.

Plot: So the story takes know what? Screw it. You guys know the story, there's no point in writing a plot paragraph for this.

Alright, so what did I think about this version of Cinderella? I would say that my basic feeling for it is that it gives exactly what it delivers through and through, but with a couple of changes that some of which work. Cinderella herself, while is exactly what you would expect her to be, has a little more of a reason to put of with her stepmother and stepsisters. They are able to take advantage of her because of her promise to be kind and have courage like her mother told her to be, and she can't leave because it's her family's house and there's too many memories there. Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine, doesn't have as much of a evil presence as the original Lady Tremaine, but still had a sense of cruelty and manipulation that make her as mean as she's expected to be. Plus, we also have more of a backstory of who she was before she married Cinderella's father, that gives her a better motivation then just be cruel to Cinderella because she's not her real daughter and how much her father loved her. The Prince or Kip as he's called, gets a lot more screen time than the original prince and even meets Cinderella before the ball. And the story line about his father gives us a new and more serious view as to why he is trying to find a wife for Kip which I personally enjoy. Now some of the changes with these characters don't completely work. Cinderella over does saying her moral of being kind and have courage, the stepsisters are a little cartoony, and Cinderella meeting the prince before the ball has been done - and even done better in some cases - with films like Ever After, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella and even A Cinderella Story. But they still have something about them that you can appreciate about them. Even if the prince and Cinderella meeting each other before the ball is nothing new, they still give us their own different spin on their relationship that even delivers a good moral in the end about how they should see each other. Cinderella message of being kind and have courage ties into how she handles being nothing more than a slave in her own house despite having no hope and the evil stepmother and stepsisters being...well... evil. As for Anastasia and Drisella being, just trying to still be a little like the animated movie I suppose. If there's one character that I dislike, and this is my biggest problem with the movie, it would be Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother. She...just didn't have much to work with. If you enjoy her scene, please don't let me stop you, but to me, she was just so out of place. In fact I think she was a better narrator then she was the Fairy Godmother. But I digress. The production design for his film is very beautiful. The costumes especially stand out really well (Anastasia and Drisella's dresses aside.) You all have seen Cinderella's dress, and it is gorgeous. My mom, my future sister-in-law, Danae and my best friend Candra made it clear of how they would've gone crazy other that dress of they saw this film as little girls. But a lot of Lady Tremaine's dresses where surprisingly appealing too. They just had these very fancy and artistic looks to them that sometimes you might be looking at them more then you're actually looking at the character. The music was also very enjoyable. The lullaby that Cinderella's mom sings to her is not only soothing, but also a little catchy. And I'm not going to deny it, I liked the "Strong" song during the end credits. Yeah it's more or less bland, but it has such a good emotional feeling to it that I can't help but enjoy it. Finally, the strongest part of the film was the last third. I mean the first two-thirds of the movie are fine, but it's the last third that has the real changes to the story that makes it more interesting. They make it all to clear that the climax is not going to be just like in the animated film, and what they go with instead is, in some respects, smarter than what as in the original film.

And that's my review for Cinderella. More than likely, we'll probably still enjoy the animated film much more than this one because it's the one than many of us hold dear and have the most fun because of the characters, comedy, music and so on. But for what we have here, we still have a good movie that we can enjoy and, if nothing else, appreciate because of the changes to the story and the characters that it makes whether they work or not.   
Rating: 70%