Posted on 6/16/10 04:20 PM
It must come across as rather odd that I'm reviewing an anime movie. But let it be known right now, I LOVE GUNDAM WING. Seriously. I watched the dubbed version on Toonami when I was young and became addicted to it, even though I didn't really know what was going on. I had watched endless watlz when I was younger, barely knew what was going on but still kinda liked it because the action was solid. I recently re-watched the entire series and came to love it again. I love it mainly because when you watch it when you are older you realize all the political and very complex issues that have caused all the conflicts in the universe of Gundam Wing. The same thing goes for endless waltz.
First, the positives. The new look. The art got a massive upgrade from the main series to endless waltz. The suits look even more awesome then they used to (if that was even possible). Deathscythe actually looks like a robotic version of the Grim Reaper and is possibly one of the most badass things ever witnessed by mankind. Heavy Arms' upgrade somehow managed to give him even more ammunition. I truthfully, didn't know that was even possible. Every single limb is loaded with missiles and even his left arm has a double barreled chain gun. Those are my two favorites but let me give you a quick rundown on the other three. Wing looks like an angel...if it was armed with a cannon that could obliterate a f-ing space colony. Sandrock looks just epic. There are no words that can even describe how f-ing awesome it looks. Altron now has heavier armor and even longer reaching dragon arms. Basically don't mess with him. The plot is surprisingly sophisticated compared to most anime. It's a very convoluted plot that I can't even successfully explain and somehow stay underneath the 25000 character limit. Trust me. Just watch the movie and it'll all make sense. The fights are AMAZING. Just jaw droppingly over the top and absolutely bloody insane. I have never seen Trowa use that much freaking ammo, lets just put it that way.
The negatives however. The plot also works as a negative unfortunately. Once again. If you understood the show completely (don't feel shameful about using a wiki to truly know what's going on), then it might still take you a while to understand what's going on in this film. Once you do though, it makes perfect sense and actually works as a nice story to branch off of the main line. However, you might be very confused for a while, so get used to it. The ending also is a bit cheesy and offers far too much resolution for a world that always seemed to have a massive sense of ambiguity about it. But whatever, they had to use some sort of resolution or people might just beg for more sequels.
Overall though, this is perfect add on to one of my favorite animes of all time. It has the style and feel of the original series and although I would be backing the people that say that it didn't necessarily need a extra story, this works fantastically. If you've seen the series, you've probably already watched it. If you haven't, watch the series first, then go see this.
Posted on 3/27/10 10:45 PM
To start, I haven't actually read either of the books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking-Glass, so my general knowledge of the events of the books comes from that vast pit of knowledge known as Wikipedia. Heres what I see though. It seems Burton decided to splice the two books into one world and then age Alice and throw her into said fused world. For example, its supposed to be the Red Queen not the Queen of Hearts, the chess motif is basically thrown out the window for most of the movie (and even then, it only appears at then end as the stage for the final battle) and now that i read the stuff...seems a lot of this movie is really just Burton pulling a lot of this straight out of no where. Well, now that I've given you the background, let's dive in.
First the positives. The visuals. This movie really took the over-the-top looks of the original and just decided to go overboard to the point where everything is simply a mass of neon colors on some animal that you can't really describe very well. Truthfully, it's just one of those things that one can't describe very well. The characters. Everything just gets fleshed out so much more in this movie. The original is essentially Alice wondering around a very crazy world, running into very crazy people, and in general causing the audience to wonder whether the writer had bee on acid during the writing process. This movie takes all of those insane characters and fleshes them out quite drastically, giving everything a backstory and a general place among the people of Wonderland, thereby giving a sort of insane order to things. The voice acting. Having phenomenal CG effects is one thing, but having the people to voice those creatures well tends to be the problem that movies run into. Not so here. The voice acting is fantastic with such notable actors as Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman and Christopher Lee doing the voice acting. It really helps give the characters more life and depth to them.
However, the negatives. The ACTUAL acting. This is a weird one because there are moments where the acting is not just passable but wonderful however, the bad outweighs the good here. Alice...is extremely hit and miss. She's a decent actress but certainly doesn't portray a character that is supposed to be as full of life as the Alice that most of us have seen in the original or the novels. Depp is really what we expect out of him. He's the classic crazy guy who he seems to portray in all his recent movies. I just more have a problem with the Hatter. He's just...creepy. And I realize thats a strange argument considering the fact that thats kind of the entire point of the Hatter but it seems at points like the Hatter is attempting to hit on Alice...which is just disturbing on FAR too many levels to count. The rest...are pretty forgettable. Crispin Glover is decent enough as the Knave of Hearts (took me a bit to even piece together who he even was). Anne Hathaway is always good but it really comes across as her overacting pretty drastically here. Also, one thing that really annoyed me was the constant paleness. I mean yeah, I was walking into a film by Burton, of course everything is going to have WAAAAAAY too much bloody makeup on but when my first thought upon seeing the grown up Alice in the first shot of the movie is "MY GOD SHE'S PALE", you have made her WAY TOO PALE. Really, the paleness sticks throughout the entire movie, switching from character to character. First Alice is pale, then the Hatter, then the White Queen, then the Hatter again and its just weird. Another little personally gripe. Christopher Lee is the Jabberwock. Most people upon hearing this and knowing what the Jabberwock is (which is an intensely small percentage mind you) think "awesome. Christopher Lee is playing a badass dragon that likes murdering things." However, what you wouldn't predict is that BURTON DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO USE TALENT. The Jabberwock gets three lines before Alice cuts the thing's tongue out. Really? You hire CHRISTOPHER LEE and have him only do three lines? Something is really wrong with you Burton.
Overall, its pretty good. Some of you are probably wondering why I haven't mentioned the plot. Well, it's average. Not good, not bad. It really gets set aside so that we can watch the characters do their work which is actually decently entertaining. If you like the original Alice, you might not like this one all that much. But if you're open to a new take on an old movie or are a Tim Burton fan, then watch it. You might catch yourself enjoying it like I did.
Posted on 3/19/10 11:54 PM
This movie...left me completely dumbfounded. Seriously. Me and the two friends who came with me, all walked out completely dumbfounded by the level of pure insanity that was put into this film. Don't get me wrong, that insanity is what makes this movie amazing and in a way it is Scorsese's mark on a film. By making it so completely batshit that it is purely awesome. Unfortunately, since I don't like revealing much about plot when reviewing, that really won't be covered. But let's dive in anyway.
First the positives. The acting is fantastic. I don't care what people say about Leonardo DiCaprio, he is a fantastic actor and well deserving of his status as one of the best actors of the modern era. Also, I said I wouldn't reveal much, but Ben Kingsley is terrifying. I have no idea how in the hell this man somehow pulled of Gandhi at one point but good freaking god, Kingsley is fucking scary in this movie. He doesn't do anything violent either and really doesn't even raise his voice, he just has this mass aura of power about him.
There is really only one negative. That is the score. No, I am not kidding. Once again, I seem to be delving into this more and more often but the score really does detract from the general feel of this movie and it's quite infuriating. Ugh. I don't know, it's a small gripe but a gripe all the same.
However, this is something I want to do specifically for Shutter Island. This is the perfect counter to a movie like Avatar. This movie is based solely upon atmosphere, setting, characters and plot which stands completely in contrast with the main idea of modern movie making, Avatar, Transformers and other major special effects blockbusters. Another thing, this movie has little to no action. No, I am not kidding. This movie is the most intense thing I have probably ever seen outside of Seven and much like Seven it has barely any action within it. Truthfully, this is why I like movies like this and view these styles as the epitome of movie making. You don't base your stories upon the magnificent stories and characters that you create and are given life by the actors. What I wish to see are more movies like this that prove that movie making doesn't need to be a special effect extravaganza.
Overall, this movie is fantastic. It is a noir, mystery, thriller that grips every bit of these genres that are given new life by Scorsese. The acting is fantastic, the plot is INSANE and it takes full advantage of its characters, setting and atmosphere to breathe life into this story. One warning, this movie is intensely creepy. I can't go into detail because of the whole non-spoiler thing but really you're going to be seeing many many corpses. So if you can't take it, don't watch it. For the rest of you, go see it. But why should I tell you that, it's Scorsese, you should already be out there watching it.
Posted on 3/13/10 11:59 PM
Now this, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call a true masterpiece. This movie...is something else. Something that is so glorious, so wonderful, so moving, so beautiful, that is, in a word, transcendent. I loved it. I loved every minute of this movie. I know I'm usually not one to foam at the mouth at how fantastic a film is, but this is one of those times. We got a lot to do, so let's dive in.
The positives. The soundtrack deserves a mention. I know that usually soundtracks don't make into my little reviews here, but this one deserves a mention because it's so simple and yet it adds so much to the movie. You just have to hear it to know what I'm talking about here. But let's go with the acting now. For those who say Jim Carrey cannot do a serious film, watch this, and then get back to me. The other members are fantastic with Ed Harris playing the Godlike Chritof, a visionary TV producer who created The Truman Show to entertain billions. Going from there, the plot is one of the best, if most insane, film plots I have ever heard. A man is stuck, for his entire life, in a sort of meta-world. An island known as Seahaven that is built specifically to be the perfect world, without fear or danger. Truman is given everything and the world watches as he grows up and lives his life. You may think, from that little description, that Christof is a sadistic evil bastard. And you would be long by a LONGSHOT. There is no real antagonist in this movie. And thats what brings the brilliant allegorical content of this movie. This movie is easily the deepest film I have seen in a long time. Freedom, world culture, God, danger, chaos, everything is discussed in these 90 some minutes of pure cinematic glory. The ending speech by Christof is one of the most touching things I have ever heard. This is one of the movies I will legitimately admit I shed more than a few tears over.
Please, watch this movie. You will love it, I would bet my soul upon that very idea. And if you didn't, than there is clearly something very very wrong with you. I'm sorry that is a terrible way to end this review. In the words of Truman Burbank "In case I don't see ya...good afternoon, good evening and goodnight."
Posted on 3/05/10 02:32 AM
Two quick things about this movie. This is one of the freshest reviews I have ever written. By that I mean that I am writing this review probably...eight ish minutes off of actually watching the movie. The second, this movie will make you realize the derivative nature of Avatar. No, I'm not kidding. Through this movie you realize that Avatar, although good, is not a masterpiece. However, by this statement I am not implying that this movie is a masterpiece. However, it still is damn good. So let's dive in everyone.
The positives first. The acting is actually really really good. I know a lot of people hate on Tom Cruise for being a scientologist but the fact is that the man still can make a fantastic movie. Ken Watanabe is also amazing is also amazing in his role here as the commanding officer of a group of wayward samurai who remove themselves from the emperor's command from the Meiji era. If you know anything about Japanese history, then although this is not an actual account you can see how they came up with this plot. The plot itself is actually quite good. Basically, Americans are brought in to deal with a rogue group of samurai that broke themselves off from Japanese society after the Meiji era began. Now this is actually quite plausible, although not actually true but the plot evolves from there. Now this is why I believe this movie is actually stronger than Avatar. The fact is that this movie also copies the same formula from Dances with Wolves, in that a man is dragged in from his depressing life and plans to fight against another group of people for some reason. This person than ends up defecting to the other side, learning their way, becoming a member of their society and form there fighting against his former group. However, The Last Samurai throws a nice little twist in by the fact that anyone who knows Japanese history knows that the Samurai don't win. Sorry if I just unveiled a massive secret to some of you but the Samurai do not win. This adds quite a bit more to the ending and the general events that occur between Tom Cruise and the rest of the Samurai. Also the action is phenomenal. The ending fight scene is one of the most epics things I have ever seen. Seriously, it's ridiculous.
Now the negatives. Knowing the ending, although adding an interesting angle to the movie also throws off any sense of suspense. Which kind of sucks. Even though it does give the movie a sense of realism, it just sucks to be able to see this movie knowing what is going to occur. The second the gatling gun appears, you know what's coming. Other than that though I truly don't mind anything else in this film.
This movie is amazing. If you were turned on this movie because of A) Tom Cruise or B) the fact that it's named the LAST SAMURAI and it stars Tom Cruise, you are missing out on a truly good film and truth be told I was one of those people when this movie first came out and I'm kinda pissed now. This movie is fantastic. Go see it.
Posted on 3/03/10 03:03 AM
To state ahead of time, I am an X-men fan. This movie is painful to me as a fan and as a movie goer. Well that kind of just explains my entire view upon this movie doesn't it? Unfortunately it kind of does. It's just, this movie screws up so many things that could have been so well. It's really unfortunate. So let's dive in.
First the positives. Jackman. Seriously, Jackman is the only positive and he RAISES this by 20%. His acting is phenomenal. He is Wolverine and easily the most convincing actor of the entire X-men series. He is brutal, hairy, ruthless and the best at what he does. Much like his own character. Well, unfortunately thats it.
Let's dig in to the negatives Ladies and Gents. The plot was garbage. How do you take something that is so amazing, such as Wolverine's origin story, and f#&* it up this badly? Seriously? There was little to no action and they barely covered the stuff that would actually be entertaining! I would have loved to see the original storyline in place. Imagine that! The team going after Omega Red after he stole the carbonadium synthesizer and Agent Zero, Wolverine and Sabretooth kicking his door down and getting into some massive fight in Berlin. It would be amazing. BUT NO. I had to go see Deadpool hack some bullets in half, which was cool but this brings us to problem number two. Deadpool. Really you guys? God, I don't trust directors and writers anymore. How do you mess up Deadpool? He's a crazy, loud, sarcastic, overpowered bastard with a healing factor who likes killing things and talking to people who aren't there (aka this man breaks the fourth wall more than Bugs Bunny). Seriously, the character sells itself! Deadpool is refined awesomeness. Pure and simple. Problem three: Gambit. Once again, purified awesome but NO. You decide to make him a pussy. Come one! The m an knows how to f#*&ing fight and uses explosive cards and the staff as his main weapons! They really messed him up. Also he wisecracks. WHICH HE DOESN'T DO IN THIS MOVIE. Ugh. My final major problem. The ending. Whoever thought Deadpool should be a "Deadpool" of a bunch of dead powers into one body clearly DID NO RESEARCH WHATSOEVER. This isn't hard people! Read a comic or two and you would know what you're doing.
Don't see this movie. I know I warned you all against X-3 too but this one is worse. It really is. It's just bad. They screw up everything that would make a Wolverine Origin film awesome. If there is not a Deadpool movie to redeem this, Hollywood should never be allowed to touch this stuff again.
Posted on 3/02/10 11:10 PM
This is one a the few modern movies I've seen shoot it's own foot by simply overdoing everything. This movie really attempted to take everything that worked about 1 & 2 and just up the ante. That is, unfortunately, not a recipe for a good movie. For example, it is a tactic that was used in revenge of the fallen and we all know how well that one went. So let's dive in.
First the positives. The acting. The acting is actually still pretty good here. Tobey Maguire by this point has really cemented himself as Spider-man. Think about it. When you think of Spidey, do you think of the cartoon or Tobey. I would put good money that it's Tobey. Kirsten...does her part. Truthfully, I never got what Peter saw in Mary-Jane. And James Franco is well...it's James Franco, course you're gonna get a good performance. The action is also good. Very easy to follow, explosion filled yet tension filled and not running off simply entertaining people because things are blowing up.
Now the negatives. The plot is cluttered. The plot line with the New Goblin is fantastic! And through the use of the plot of Sandman could have easily been combined into something that would have easily lived up to the hype. However, the random addition of the black symbiote and Venom was what everyone came for and then he ended up being barely a single part of this massive, intricate story line. If they had just used Venom alone with maybe something small about Harry thrown in they probably would have been good as well but all three just overwhelmed the screen and my skull. Seriously, there was no need for this much plot. Two would have worked perfectly with a man plot and the other accentuating it. Or even just one! Doc Oc and the Green Goblin proved that you just need one villain to make a damn good Spider man movie.
Unfortunately, I gotta say. Don't see this movie. The acting's fine and the actions good but the plot just got so overwhelmed that it ruins everything. Just go see the other two and if you already have I suggest the new Batman series. They seem to be doing quite well recently.
Posted on 2/27/10 11:14 PM
Oh god. I didn't think I would be truly bored enough to actually review this movie but apparently it has come to such. I despise this movie FAR more than anything Michael Bay has produced. Yes, I just said that. This movie pains me. So let's start shall we?
The positives first. The animation is actually quite good. For a 1980's cartoon show, the transformers cartoon always had pretty decent animation but this movie saw a massive leap in the overall presentation of the show and it is well received. The new characters that are created here are absolutely awesome. Galvatron, Scourge, Cyclonus and, of course, Unicron. Unicron is possibly the greatest thing to ever live in the transformers universe...besides Soundwave *cue holy music*. Why you ask? Because Unicron is voiced by ORSON FREAKING WELLES. Yes you read that right. Orson Welles did the voice of a TV show's animated movie. I have no idea how the director managed that but dear god that was the greatest idea ever. The plot's actually surprisingly decent, showing a movement of plot compared to an average episode Transformers. By this I mean the plot actually does something and doesn't just involve the autobots shooting stuff (or in Grimlock's case, eating things) while the decepticons run away in fear, even though their numbers are larger.
Now the negatives. This movie is meant mainly as a marketing tool for Hasbro. THEY KILL EVERYTHING. Seriously, Iron Hide is killed in the first 5 ish minutes. Ratchet goes down the same way. Seriously this movie is a merciless bloodbath. Autobots die left and right without any real reason. Also, I HAVE NO LOVE FOR RODIMUS PRIME OR WHEELIE OR MOST OF ALL THE NEW CHARACTERS. I mean seriously people, these guys are nothing compared to the original autobots. I'm not saying they were perfect but hell you can't kill off all the autobots just because you can? Those were my characters! You can't do that! And on that note, Starscream didn't even get an epic death! He just got freaking splattered by Galvatron! At least Optimus and Megatron had one last epic duel. Not only that the plot pulled a ridiculous number of Deus Ex Machinas. I can understand Unicron but how do you explain the Matrix existing within Prime for so long without it never EVER coming up in the cartoon even once. Also they killed Shockwave. I don't like that, at all.
Overall. It's a bad movie meant only as a marketing tool for Hasbro. Every single one of the characters you love WILL DIE AND THEY WILL DIE WITHOUT ANY MERCY OR BURIAL. This movie will likely kill your feelings of nostalgia and likely murder your love for the transformers. Don't watch it.
Posted on 2/27/10 10:24 PM
If you don't know what the play Richard III is then find it somewhere and read it. I can wait. *lounge music*. Done? Fantastic. This movie is one of the most faithful recreations of, in my opinion, the best play written by the greatest playwright known to mankind (also known as William Shakespeare). Ian McKellen stars as Richard obviously in a new setting, that off a dystopian pre-WWII England.
Let's start with the positives. This movie is a very faithful recreation of the original story by Shakespeare. Normally with modern versions of the Shakespearean plays (such as the modern versions of Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet),you would see the massive change of dialogue or scenes or sometimes even characters. This movie stays faithful to all of it and leaves every scene in. The modern style never clashes with the themes of the original play. The famous opening speech even stays identical and is actually accentuated by the new setting. The exceptional thing though is none of what was mentioned before. The acting is the thing that makes this movie fantastic. Every single character is faithfully portrayed and given new life in this new world. Richard is of course the main character to receive this. Ian McKellen as Richard is possibly the most fitting casting I've ever heard. The man is absolutely phenomenal here and able to get across every ounce of the diabolical nature of Richard while still making you feel sympathy for the lonely man who suffers behind the veil of evil. McKellen manages to endear himself as Richard which is truly something I didn't think possible. No, seriously. I didn't know it was possible.
If you know Richard III or even Shakespeare in general, you will adore this movie. It's a fantastic movie for showing how an old play or even film, can be remade into something more palatable for the modern era.
Posted on 2/27/10 09:41 PM
See this is an interesting case for me. This movie is something that I still can watch and enjoy. Let me try and explain. This movie carries a dark aura that I crave from modern film that I usual don't see. Also, this movie is in a way everything I wanted from a modern Vampire film. A dark, secret history, violent and stylish film. Also Kate Beckinsale. And thats always a wonderful thing. So let's dive in.
The positives first. The action is well done. Every single second of the action in this film is well shot, suspenseful and over the top. Everything that one wants from an action scene in a myth enhanced action film action scene. Next, the acting. Its actually shockingly good. I was quite surprised when I watched it again recently. I mean it's certainly not amazing quality but it's definitely better than what one would expect from a blockbuster action film. The style of the entire movie is AMAZING. It has this awesome dark tone that just endears itself to me. It absorbs all of the gothic stereotypes of old and combines them in a modern tone. Everything in this movie has a slick sense to it and it just amazes me. Also KATE BECKINSALE IN LEATHER. COME ON. I'VE SEEN THIS MOVIE TURN WOMEN FOR GOD'S SAKE. *closes jaw and whips saliva from coat*. Okay well moving on.
The negatives now. The plot's pretty...unappealing. Really, they just didn't do enough with it. When you look at the massive back-story that they created for the two species, you realize that they had so much more to work with. The Corvinus strain and a hybrid is an interesting idea but certainly not the best that one could come up with. It's just...meh. Also although I love the style, a lot of it is ripped off from the Matrix series which was just about to finish in the following months.
Overall, I still like this movie but it has its flaws. The plot's not that amazing and the style can seem like it was ripped off. However, it has the positives of good acting for an action movie, awesome back-story, good action, a dark gothic tone which would be refreshing to most people who are just coming off dealing with the annoyance known as Twilight and KATE BECKINSALE IN LEATHER! WHY ARE YOU NOT WATCHING THIS MOVIE? Ahem...sorry. So I suggest you go see this movie.