Posted on 8/06/14 09:31 PM
One of the great things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that it allows lesser known characters to get their own movies and hopefully become popular with the general moviegoing audience. Before they got their own movies, characters such as Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America were popular within the comic book community. Now that they have their own movies and have crossed over thanks to The Avengers, these characters rake in huge box office numbers and have impacted pop culture. Now it's time for Marvel to bring one of their more obscure teams to the big screen, the Guardians of the Galaxy. When the film was officially announced two years ago, I scratched my head wondering who they were and why they were getting their own film. The goal of the film is to open up the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe after it had been teased in previous films. Guardians of the Galaxy successfully did this in a smart and entertaining fashion.
The film tells the story of Peter Quill, a man from Earth who was abducted by space bandits when he was young. Twenty-six years later, Peter is now a space outlaw known as Star Lord. After Star Lord steals a coveted artifact, he is arrested along with other criminals who are after it. These include Gamora, a feisty assassin, Groot, a tree-like creature, Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, and Drax the Destroyer, a hard as nails warrior. The five get to know each other through a prison break and form a team with a goal to keep the artifact away from Ronan the Accuser, who plans to spread terror through the galaxy with its power.
I figured I was going to like this movie from the trailers. The movie was marketed as an action comedy, a tone different from past Marvel films. And the film is exactly just that, a sci-fi action comedy. This is one of the funniest movies I have seen in a while. What makes this film work is how it does not take itself seriously. A movie with a talking raccoon and tree cannot be taken seriously! The film's marketing does a good job of not giving away a lot of the funny parts. This film has a great sense of humor. It's irreverent, sarcastic, and the way it uses pop culture references is clever instead of annoying. Seriously, every two minutes or so, I was laughing! The banter between the characters is entertaining to watch and I smiled just watching them interact. This movie has a script that is really funny but it manages to throw a bit of emotion into there. There were a few parts that gave me feels. Screenwriters, James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, created a great script. From what I've heard, the movie nailed the tone of the comic. If the comics are like this movie, then I'm definitely going to start reading them!
The film has a great cast. Star Lord is played by Chris Pratt, a talented and funny actor who I really enjoy. He does a fantastic job in this film. He's like a mix between Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Tony Stark, and Flynn Rider. He's sarcastic and does not like to be messed with. He also is very funny. He has an admiration for 70s and 80s culture and that was a nice touch. He makes a few 80s references that were pretty funny. Pratt is able to pull off both funny and heroic seamlessly. In my opinion, Pratt could be the new face of Marvel Studios once Robert Downey Jr.'s contract is up. With this and next year's Jurassic World, Chris Pratt is sure to become a movie star. Next up is Zoe Saldana. This is her third sci-fi franchise after Star Trek and Avatar. She's a talented actress who knows how to bring strong female characters to life. She plays Gamora and she is such a cool character. She has good character development and she can sure kick butt. She's like the Black Widow of the team. Drax the Destroyer is played by wrestler, Dave Bautista. Other than The Rock, I'm not a fan of wrestler turned actors. Bautista is awesome as Drax. He's a great fighter with a good backstory. He was also really funny.
In my opinion, Rocket stole the show thanks to Bradley Cooper's voice work. Cooper's adds a bit of a Brooklyn accent to the character and it works. It made Rocket sound a little more aggressive. Rocket is downright hilarious. He's sarcastic and irreverent and I loved every minute he was on screen. Vin Diesel played Groot through performance capture. Although Groot hardly speaks, I still enjoyed his presence. There were two scenes with him that had me laughing hard. Michael Rooker was enjoyable as Yondu, Star Lord's boss. It was pretty much Merle from The Walking Dead as a blue alien. His weapon of choice is a sweet and I would love to get me one of those. I thought Rooker was pretty funny. I liked his character. Karen Gilliam was awesome as the cyborg, Nebula. She managed to be beautiful and intimidating at the same time. Lee Pace portrays the villain, Ronan. Pace's acting was alright but he came off as just another villain bent on domination. He was a little better than Malekith in Thor: The Dark World but he could have been written better. Apart from Loki and The Winter Soldier, this franchise has had pretty weak villains in my opinion. I really hope they starting writing better villains. Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, and Benicio del Toro had small roles but they did pretty good with the little they had. The film rounded up a talented cast and there was not one bad performance.
The film's talented cast was able to integrate very well with the film's impressive special effects. The film introduces to a galaxy with cool looking creatures and locations. The production design in this looks great. The sets are large and detailed and look like something from another world. Just by looking at it, it's obvious that the set designers turned to Star Wars for inspiration. The special effects on Rocket and Groot also impressed me. The actors did a good job communicating with a talking raccoon that wasn't there. Vin Diesel's motion capture work on Groot was also pretty good. The special effects artists made Groot look a lot like Diesel. Another great aspect about the film was the soundtrack. Since Peter Quill is a child of the 80s, his playlist consists of 60s, 70s, and 80s tracks. The film features tracks from Blue Swede, The Jackson 5, and The Runaways to name a few. When these songs come on, they are accompanied by some pretty entertaining scenes. It makes the scene a lot more entertaining to watch. Whoever selected the soundtrack deserves unlimited high-fives!
Guardians of the Galaxy is currently the best entry in Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yup, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been surpassed in my opinion. The film is hilarious, heartfelt, has a great cast, and has one of the best soundtracks in any recent film. These characters will instantly skyrocket to the Marvel A-List along with The Avengers. It's some of the most fun you'll have at the theater this year. Also don't forget to stay after the credits. I can't wait to see the team in their next outing. The best kinds of blockbusters are the ones that are both fun and well-crafted and Guardians of the Galaxy did just that.
"I may look like an angel, but I'm sure as hell not one."
Posted on 7/15/14 01:19 PM
X-Men: Days of Future Past has a lot going for it. You got the casts of First Class and the first three films sharing the screen, a celebrated story arc for the film's inspiration, and Bryan Singer back as director. So can these factors result in an awesome movie? I am happy to say that the answer is yes. This is a movie that both met and succeeded my expectations.
The film serves as a dual sequel to First Class and The Last Stand. In the film, murderous machines known as Sentinels have wiped out the majority of mutants in the future. They have also killed anyone who is on the mutants' side. As the remaining members of the X-Men struggle to survive, Kitty Pryde sends Wolverine back in time to the 1970s to stop the event that leads to the creation of the Sentinels from ever happening. It is here where Logan meets up with the younger versions of Charles Xavier, Erik Lehnsherr, and Hank McCoy. Now it is up to Wolverine and the 70s mutants to change the past in order to save the future.
It is so nice to Bryan Singer direct an X-Men film again. This film marks the return of John Ottman's theme from X2, the Cerebro opening sequence, and the "X" in the 20th Century Fox logo being emphasized. The first few minutes of this film brought back good memories of Bryan Singer's first two films before Brett Ratner stepped in and ruined it with the third one. I always felt that Singer was able to show the themes of prejudice and intolerance in his X-Men films and those were some of the things that made the first two films so special. While I thought Matthew Vaughn did a great job with First Class, I think Singer was the right person to connect the first trilogy to the prequel. For goodness sakes, he was the guy who kicked off this franchise!
I simply loved the look and feel of the film. The way the future is depicted is so grim and depressing. Being an X-Men fan, there were times where I got emotional. It was depressing to see some of my favorite mutants go through some of the events depicted. The look of the future is bleak but stylish. I wouldn't be surprised if the filmmakers were inspired by Terminator and The Matrix for the futuristic look. I loved the way the film portrays the 70s. The culture, the clothing, the music of 1970s America was all here with mutants thrown into the mix. The film was shot digitally but there was a scene that emulated the look of a Super 8 camera. The way this particular scene looked made it feel like you were witnessing what was going on. It was a great touch. I love how this film brings its two time periods to life. Not to mention, the film's directing is superb. The action scenes are shot with much intensity and the cinematography is beautiful.
One thing I appreciate about this series is the acting. The film has rounded up a great ensemble cast. Hugh Jackman returns as Wolverine for the sixth time (seventh if you count his brilliant cameo in First Class). Jackman simply kicks butt in this role and I can honestly see nobody else play this role. He's rough and tough but is able to carry the emotional weight of the character. Some people complain that the films are too centered on Wolverine. I agree they overdo Wolverine sometimes but in this film, and although he's the one sent back to the past, he's more of an observer to all the events. The film is more about young Charles Xavier and Magneto. Patrick Stewart also reprises his role as the wise Professor X and he did a very good job here. Ian McKellen was also pretty good this time around as older Magneto. Some returning cast members such as Halle Berry and Sean Ashmore do not have roles in the movie, but in the small time they had, they did an awesome job as Storm and Iceman. Ellen Page also did a good job. There are new additions to the team. There's Blink played by Chinese movie star, Fan Bingbing, Bishop played by French movie star Omar Sy, Warlord played by Boo Boo Stewart, and Sunspot played by Adan Canto. I'm not very familiar with these characters but I enjoyed their roles in the movie. They have very cool powers. I especially enjoyed Blink and Sunspot's powers. But the best new mutant who was introduced had to be Quicksilver who was portrayed by Evan Peters. His role may have been small but he was entertaining during every second of his screen time. He also gives us one of the best sequences in any comic book movie. This scene got a huge approval from the audience I saw the film with. By the time the scene was over, I wanted to see it again. I doubt the Quicksilver we're going to see the next Avengers movie is going to come close to this.
And now on to the characters who reprised their roles from First Class. James McAvoy returns as young Charles Xavier and he is perfect in the role. In the 70s portion of the film, Charles is at the lowest point of his life. James McAvoy is able to make you feel bad for him. He really comes off as a struggling man who is losing everything. Nicholas Hoult once again plays Hank McCoy aka Beast. He's great at playing a nerd but when he's Beast, he is one awesome creature. The Beast makeup is an improvement over the last film as well. His transformation was obviously CG but it still looked cool. Jennifer Lawrence is absolutely awesome as Mystique. She was beautiful, angsty, and tough. I'm glad that they gave her a big role in this movie. Peter Dinklage was good as the creator of the Sentinels, Bolivar Trask. Lastly, Michael Fassbender is incredible as Magneto. Sorry, Ian McKellen. Your take on Magneto is good and all, but for me, Fassbender IS Magneto. His suit is pretty close to the comics and his motivations come out more clearly than McKellen. He's not only one of the best villains in a comic book movie, he's one of the best villains in any movie. Fassbender simply killed it.
In my opinion, the X-Men mythology is one of the best stories ever conceived. It's exciting, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. This film was able to tell a story that was exciting, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. The plot is wonderfully crafted, the dialogue is smart, and the time travel aspect of this film made sense. Most films involving time travel have flaws in the way they use this plot device. With this film, the way they time traveled was easy to follow and there were basically few flaws. Well, I personally, didn't catch any flaws. The film's plot takes inspiration from the Days of Future Past story arc which I happen to own. I bought it in preparation for the film. While the film is a loose adaptation of the arc, the screenwriters were able to capture the essence of the arc in the film. The film has a lot of emotion. There was a scene where Charles and Erik argue over their beliefs and this was a great scene. It showed two very different sides and each of them made very good points. The scenes with the Sentinels were intense. I don't know about you guys but the Sentinels scare me. They are giant, lifeless robots that are programmed to commit genocide. If such a thing happened in our world, we'd all be screwed. I also liked their design. It's different from the comics but they still looked great.
With its amazing storyline, terrific cast, and spectacular special effects, X-Men: Days of Future Past is not only the finest installment in the franchise, it's one of the best films in the superhero genre. Throughout the film, I was reminded why I was a fan of the X-Men. They may be fictional characters with superpowers, but they are fleshed out characters that have flaws of their own. The mutants are some of the best characters in the Marvel Universe and you will root for them and cry for them. In my personal opinion, this is the best Marvel film. I had absolutely no gripes with it and it enthralled me from beginning to end. Bryan Singer, the cast, and the whole crew have created a film that is simply incredible. Don't forget to stay after the credits to see what's coming up in the series. This exceptional entry to the X-Men series is my favorite film of the year so far.
"Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn't mean they can't be saved."
Posted on 7/09/14 10:23 PM
Two years ago, Sony rebooted the Spider-Man franchise under the helm of Marc Webb. While The Amazing Spider-Man didn't win over a whole lot of people, it won me over. I enjoyed Webb's take on the character. It was unique and different from Sam Raimi's interpretation even though it retold the origin story which was completely unnecessary. Now two years later, we have the sequel to the reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Marc Webb is back in the director's chair and Andrew Garfield is back in the skintight Spidey suit. I found this to be a really good sequel. I found a lot of things to appreciate about it but at the same time, there was one aspect that grinded my gears.
In this sequel, Peter Parker simply loves being Spider-Man. Although he has his critics, the city seems to admire his presence. However, his relationship with Gwen Stacy has hit some bumps along the way. Meanwhile, Harry Osborn walks back into Peter's life and their friendship also hits some bumps. There's also another subplot involving Max Dillon, Oscorp's lonely electrician who worships Spider-Man. After Max is injured in an electrical accident, he becomes Electro and lashes out on our hero. There is also another subplot with Peter finally piecing together the mystery behind his parent's disappearance.
Before I talk about the aspect I wasn't fond of, I'm going to talk about what I did like. By the way, the stuff I liked, I really liked. First off, this film has the best portrayal of Spider-Man we've seen yet. In my opinion, Andrew Garfield has completely stomped Tobey Maguire in the role of the titular hero. Garfield delivers the one-liners and quips like a natural. Also, the suit featured in this movie is the best one. I loved the huge eyes on the mask. It reminded me of the way Todd McFarlane would draw the character. Also, the web-slinging scenes were breathtaking. These sequences utilized slow motion and POV shots extremely well. By the fifteen-minute mark, I knew I was seeing the best Spider-Man. It's as if he jumped straight out of the comics and into the screen.
Andrew Garfield also plays a pretty good Peter Parker. He may not be the total nerd that Tobey Maguire showed us in the original trilogy but I really enjoy the way that character is shown here. I know some people don't like how Peter is portrayed as a hipster skater nerd but I personally like it. It's different and contemporary. Andrew Garfield does a really good job as Peter Parker. He can handle the emotional side of the character with ease and I came to care for him.
The rest of the cast did a great job. Emma Stone once again did a terrific job as Gwen Stacy. Her and Andrew Garfield's chemistry is simply adorable. It just comes off as natural which isn't surprising considering that the two are an actual couple. Sally Field did a good job as Aunt May and there is a tender moment between her and Peter. I thought Jamie Foxx was okay. I don't know a whole lot about Electro but I feel just about any actor could have played the role. When he plays Max Dillon, he came off as pretty goofy. When he was Electro, he was okay. I think Jamie Foxx would have looked ridiculous if they had gone with the original green and yellow suit. I liked how they went with a different design for Electro. He looked cool but there were some scenes that reminded me too much of Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. My personal favorite of the supporting cast was Dane DeHaan who plays Harry Osborn. Dehaan gives James Franco a run for his money. I loved his portrayal of Harry Osborn. I love how nonchalant Harry comes off as first and then just flips out. Toward the end of the movie, he becomes a joy to watch even if his character arc was rushed. Dane DeHaan's acting skills remind of me of young Leonardo DiCaprio. If he keeps it up, this guy could become the next DiCaprio. Paul Giamatti was totally over the top in his small role but I enjoyed it. He made me laugh at how hammy it was.
The visuals in this film were awesome. The actors are able to integrate very well with the CGI. Overall, I like the visual look of this reboot. The film was shot in 35mm as opposed to digital and it looks fantastic. The film is bright, shiny, and is overall appealing to the eye. I liked how the sets were design. The goal of this reboot was to give Spider-Man a contemporary feel and they accomplished that through the visual look and design of this film. Hans Zimmer replaces James Horner this time as composer. Zimmer is not the only composer on this film. He gets some help from Junkie XL and Pharrell Williams, whose career has been on a roll lately. The composers create a memorable score that is exciting and lively. They also add a bit of dubstep into the score. Whenever Electro shot electricity, dubstep played. It was cool at first but later on, it became more of a gimmick. I loved the Alicia Keys song that played during the credits. It was catchy and fit the film perfectly.
Now on to the big gripe I had with this movie. The movie's narrative was unfocused at times. I understood what was going on but I can see why some people had a hard time following the movie. I felt the movie had one too many sublplots. You can take one of the subplots out and it would not make a difference. The film also didn't handle its villains very well. Electro was not very memorable, the Rhino was just a cameo, and there was another villain who was just shoehorned in there. I don't want to give away who the villain was but even if you haven't seen the movie, you already know who it is. The marketing pretty much gave it away. Seriously, the entire marketing team for this movie needs to be fired. They gave away a lot. Also, the film tries a little too hard to build a Spider-Man universe. Although the movie has two villains (three if you count the Rhino), I found four Easter Eggs that tease future villains. Some of the Easter Eggs were cool and others were there for the sake of being there. The film was written by Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the screenwriting duo behind Transformers and Star Trek. The dialogue was pretty good but I think they crammed the film with too many ideas. It's nice to tease and foreshadow sequels but at times, it felt like that was the film's only purpose. There was also one plot twist that made roll my eyes. Another thing that annoyed me was the constant Sony product placement. It was everywhere!
Despite having a sometimes unfocused narrative, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a hugely entertaining and is a worthy sequel to the solid reboot. It has awesome special effects, a pulse-pounding score, a terrific cast, a lot of emotion, and the best portrayal of Spider-Man yet. I will be buying the Blu-ray for sure. I hope Sony and the screenwriters can take notice of the storytelling problems that were present here and avoid them in the third film. If they avoided these problems, this could have been a much better movie. In the end, I was satisfied with what I got. Some people may have disliked this movie, but for me, I had a swinging good time with it!
"You got your braces off...now there's nothing to distract from your unibrow!"
Posted on 7/06/14 06:08 PM
After last year's Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe unveils its third entry with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The film serves as a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger as well as an epilogue to the events of The Avengers and a lead-in to the events to that film's sequel which will be released next year. Captain America would have to be my second favorite Avenger. I say that because it's a tie between him and the Hulk. I really enjoyed the first Captain America movie and loved his presence in The Avengers. It's obvious that I was really looking forward to his next solo outing. After months of anticipation, I was really satisfied with this sequel.
Two years after the events in The Avengers, Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America is now working for S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as trying to adjust to modern life. If you were to awaken after being frozen for seventy years, you would have to catch up on a lot of things. He and Black Widow is the people that S.H.I.E.L.D. sends in order to carry out dangerous missions. When S.H.I.E.L.D. comes under attack from by a mysterious enemy known as The Winter Soldier, it's up to Cap, Black Widow, and the Falcon to take down The Winter Soldier as well as discover the dirty secrets the organization they work for holds.
Many people have praised this film for its political themes. To be honest, politics are not my thing. As I was walking into this movie, I was wondering if I would appreciate the political themes or they would just bore me. As a matter of fact, the political stuff kept me intrigued. The film brought up some issues that relevant today such as military paranoia and foreign policy. These two things made for an intriguing plot. If anything, the movie is a political thriller that just so happens to have superheroes in it. The film's plot is complex but it's easy to follow. There are also a lot of twists and turns that are sure to surprise the viewers. The film's first action sequence immediately grabs the audiences' attentions and prepares for the thrilling story that follows.
The cast in this film all does a good job. This is Chris Evans' third time playing the title character and by now, he has complete confidence in his role. A large portion of the film deals with Steve trying to find his place in the modern world. He sometimes feels lost in this world and you can't help but feel for him. I just love the patriotic, good-natured attitude Evans brings to the character. But Cap isn't always the all-American nice guy throughout this movie. There are times where he has to question his morality and step out of his comfort zone in order to defend the country he cares so much for. It made the character of Captain America a lot more fascinating. While I know that Cap has a lot of fans, I always felt that he was in the shadow of some of the other Avengers. This movie will make you appreciate the character even more.
Scarlett Johansson reprises her role of Black Widow and tags along with our main hero. Scarlett Johansson has always been great as Black Widow and she didn't disappoint here. Anthony Mackie plays Sam Wilson aka The Falcon and I really enjoyed his performance. By the end of the movie, I came to admire the character of The Falcon. I really hope we see him again in future films. I'm not the biggest fan of Nick Fury but I think Samuel L. Jackson did his performance as the character here. I grew to like him a lot more in this movie thanks to his performance. His character was well written. Robert Redford was a welcome addition to the cast and he did a great job. The person who played the Winter Soldier (it's best that you don't know who it is) did a fantastic job. I always felt that the Marvel Cinematic Universe lacked memorable villains. The only memorable villain in this franchise in my opinion is Loki. The Winter Soldier is the best villain in this franchise since Loki. He doesn't talk a whole lot but he is able to come off as menacing. I was on the edge of my seat every time he came on screen. I enjoyed Emily VanCamp in her small role as Sharon Carter. She's a good actress and a pretty one too. I liked her character and I hope we see more of her. The last cast member I want to talk about was Frank Grillo. He played a corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D. operative named Brock Rumlow. I thought Grillo did a good job playing an unlikable character. I have a feeling he will be a villain in a future film. When he came on screen, I felt like punching him in the face. I think the writers wanted to create a character that the audiences come to loathe. If that was their intention, then they succeeded.
The directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, decided to use practical effects for some of the action scenes as oppose to CGI. I thought this was a great decision. The action scenes were planned out very well and there was some impressive fighting and stunt work. Only the climax looked like it relied on CGI. The Russo Brothers establish a tone that is different from the first film. While Joe Johnston gave a great period piece with the first film, the Russo Brothers do a great job bringing Captain America into modern times. The script was also solid. The dialogue was sharp, the comedy was witty, and there is a good amount of emotion thrown in.
In my opinion, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the best film in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I was impressed with the film's engaging plot, the performances from the cast, and the action sequences. The events in this film make a big impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I can't wait to see how things unfold in this franchise. There are scenes during and after the credits that are sure to make Marvel fans hungry for more. Captain America: The Winter Solider is an entertaining superhero film with brains and brawn.
"I'm sorry. Did I step on your moment?"
Posted on 12/30/13 01:05 AM
Frozen was a film that I had been interested in since I heard about it. I was not anticipating it like crazy but I did want to see it. From the way that Disney was marketing it, it looked like it was going to appeal to fans of Tangled, which I loved. After hearing glowing remarks toward the film, I really wanted to see it opening weekend. However, I had a commitment that I had to attend. My siblings however saw it and loved it. I finally got to see it last week with my three siblings and cousin. My little brother and sister had already seen it twice and my other sister and cousin had already seen it before. Now that I have seen the film, allow me to say that I loved it.
Frozen tells the story of two sisters: Anna and Elsa. Both of them are princesses of Arendelle. Since she was a child, Elsa possessed ice powers. She can summon ice and snow from her hands as well as freeze anything she touches. As Elsa begins to age, her power grows out of control and unfortunately, traps the kingdom in eternal winter. Hoping to put an end to the harsh weather conditions, Anna sets out on a journey to find her sister who has fled into the mountains. Anna teams up with Kristoff, an adventurous mountain man. On Anna and Kristoff's journey to find Elsa, they encounter Olaf, a humorous talking snowman, a snow monster, and a tribe of singing trolls.
If I were to use one word to describe the look of this movie, that word would be gorgeous. Frozen has some of the most gorgeous animation Disney has ever put to the screen. The landscapes are vast and beautiful and there is a keen attention to detail. You can see the detail on Anna and Elsa's dresses as well as the freckles on Anna's skin. Even when the characters are walking through the snow, you can see the detail in the snow and in the footprints they leave behind. Also, Elsa's ice palace was such a sight. It looked amazing. The animation in this film is absolutely beautiful.
Music is essential for a Disney movie. Frozen features some of the catchiest, toe tapping tunes in recent years. I'm pretty sure every person who goes into this movie will come out of it singing a song from it. One of my favorite songs from the movie was "Let It Go" which is sung by Elsa who is played Broadway star, Idina Menzel. She is a really good singer and can carry a tune. Not to mention, the lyrics to this number were just wonderful. You really feel for Elsa during this sequence. Also, the visuals during this sequence compliment the music so perfectly. Another song that I enjoyed was "In Summer" sung by Olaf the snowman who was played by Josh Gad, another Broadway star. The movie's voice cast is mostly made up of Broadway stars by the way. This song is Olaf dreaming of what it would be like if he experienced the summer. He is completely oblivious to the fact that snowmen can't survive in the summer and it makes it all the more funny. Not to mention that Josh Gad sings it with so much enthusiasm. It's a very funny sequence.
Another song that I admired was "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?" which is sung by Anna to Elsa at the start of the film. This scene and song helps establish the two princesses and their relationship with each other. It starts off sweet and then it starts to tug on your heartstrings toward the end. If this scene does not rile you up with feels, then I don't know what will. It certainly is one of the best songs in the movie. I found the songs, "Love is an Open Door" and "Fixer Upper" to be funny and cute. I also liked the song, "For the First Time in Forever". The score by Christophe Beck was also pretty good as well. The film would have been nothing without the music and songs. They were wonderful.
As I mentioned above, the cast is mostly made up of Broadway actors. The most high-profile cast member would have to be Kristen Bell, who started off on stage before she started appearing on screen. Bell is a charming, likable actress and she fit the role of Anna perfectly. Anna was optimistic and perky and Bell was able to show this off through her performance. Idina Menzel was also very good as Elsa. She was not only a good singer, but her voice acting was pretty good as well. She put a lot of emotion into this character who goes through a lot in the film. Jonathan Groff was good as Kristoff and Santino Fontana was also pretty good as Prince Hans. Josh Gad steals the show as Olaf. If you think Olaf is just going to be the annoying comic relief, you'll be proven wrong. The writers make him very likable and they make sure he is given the amount of screen time necessary. He was great. The writing in Frozen is really good. The dialogue is snappy and there are some really funny scenes. There was even a surprise in the story that I did not see coming. If there was one thing that I didn't really like about the movie, it was the Duke of Weselton. I didn't find myself at all interested in that character. His presence didn't do much for the story but this is just a minor complaint of mine.
I'm a sixteen year old male myself and I enjoyed Frozen from beginning to end. This just shows that this film can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. Like Tangled, this movie is able to take the motifs that Disney has been using for years and give them a modern twist and present it in a contemporary animation style. The animation is beautiful, the music is great, and the characters are fun to watch. There is also a surprising large amount of heart. As of now, Frozen is tied with Catching Fire as my favorite films of 2013. It's the perfect family film to see this holiday season. I will definitely see this another time on the big screen before its theatrical run is over. And yes, I will purchase the Blu-ray. Frozen is a fantastic animated film that reminds of how much I love Disney. If you are a Disney fan, animation fan, or movie fan in general, do yourself a favor and see it. Let's hope Disney continues to impress critics and audiences. I honestly feel that another Disney Renaissance is on the horizon.
One last thing. The Mickey Mouse short that plays before the movie is worth the price of admission alone!
"Oh, look at that. I've been impaled."
Posted on 12/13/13 11:07 PM
It's been twenty years since The Nightmare Before Christmas was released and ten years since I first saw it. I remember seeing the trailers in front of some of the Disney VHS tapes I owned as a kid and that is how I became interested in it. I remember my mom taking my sister and I to the video store to rent it. I remember liking the movie the first time I saw it but I will admit, it did creep me out a bit. As the years went by and the more times I saw this movie, the more I grew to enjoy it. Now, The Nightmare Before Christmas is not only one of my favorite films to watch on the holidays, it's one of my favorite movies ever.
The film is the brainchild of Tim Burton and is directed by Henry Selick. The film starts off in Halloween Town, a home to many ghouls and monsters. Jack Skellington, the king of the pumpkin patch, grows tired of the Halloween festivities and longs for something new. Jack soon discovers a portal to Christmas Town, a bright and cheerful place where Santa and his elves live in. Jack is amazed by the concept of Christmas and attempts to get the citizens of Halloween Town to celebrate it. Jack also plans to take the role of Santa Claus and deliver toys to children. However, these plans backfire on Jack and the results are unforgettable.
There are many things I enjoy about this movie. First of all, I love the premise. Christmas and Halloween are two of my favorite holidays. Seeing a movie that combines the two is such a treat. There is enough spooky content to make this film appropriate for Halloween and enough bright colors and merriment to make it a Christmas movie. As for the story, it's very original. It's simple, straightforward, and imaginative. Tim Burton creates a cast of memorable characters here. It never gets boring. Every second of the film gives you something wonderful to look at. As for the story, it's very original. I just love the idea of a creepy guy like Jack Skellington discovering such a happy holiday and putting his own spin on it. As for the writing, it's pretty good. There's some good humor in this film.
The characters are one of the most memorable aspects of the film. Jack Skellington, is one of my favorite movie characters ever. I'm not ashamed to admit that I own a few pieces of memorabilia with his face on it. I just love his optimistic and curious attitude. Even when he gets emotional, you kind of feel bad for him. We've all been there before. We want to try something new and sometimes the outcome isn't pretty. You can pretty much relate to Jack. Sally is also a good character as well. She's a ragdoll with a crush on Jack who feels for him. She's another character you can relate to. I'm pretty sure we've all longed to be with someone and hope that our feelings for them are reciprocated. Oogie Boogie, the antagonist of the film, is a great villain. He's creepy, bloodthirsty, and I love the design of the character. Lock, Shock, and Barrel are some of the most sinister children ever created. They may be mischievous but I think they are pretty cool. And who forget Jack's beloved dog, Zero? Gosh, I love that adorable ghost dog. All the characters in the film are cool and the designs for them are awesome.
Chris Sarandon voices Jack Skellington and he brings a lot of energy to the role. He is able to show many of Jack's great traits through his performance. He is perfect for the role. Catherine O'Hara also does a good job as Sally. She is sincere and sweet. William Hickey does a good job as Dr. Ficklestein. His voice fits the grotesque look of the character. I can tell that Ken Page was having a blast playing Oogie Boogie. Like Chris Sarandon, he is full of energy. The voice acting in the film is solid. All the actors do well with their roles.
Like nearly every animated Disney film, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a musical. I personally love the music in this movie. All the songs are memorable. The opening number, "This is Halloween", is a perfect introduction to the Halloween world of the film. I love how each character is introduced. It's a great way to start the film. Another song I like is "What's This?", which is sung by Jack when discovers Christmas Town. I love the lyrics in this song and how Jack compares Halloween to Christmas. I also like seeing Halloween and Christmas come together in the song, "Making Christmas". I also like the song, "Kidnap the Santa Claus", because we get to see how devious Lock, Shock, and Barrel can be. "Oogie Boogie's Song" is also great as well. I love the music in this movie. Danny Elfman wrote some great lyrics and catchy music for this film. Elfman also provides the singing voice for Jack and he does a great job. Danny Elfman's songs and score for the film is just plain awesome.
After twenty years, the animation in the film holds up very well. The Nightmare Before Christmas was the feature length film done in stop motion. Stop motion is one of my favorite forms of animation. It always impresses me. The animation in the film is simply marvelous. The backgrounds are detailed, the sets are wonderfully crafted, and the characters move so smoothly. I just love the look of the movie. It's pure eye candy.
The Nightmare Beofore Christmas is such great film. It has an original, imaginative story, great characters, unforgettable music, and spectacular animation. I love how this is a film you can watch on both Halloween and Christmas. Heck, I even watch it when it's not the holiday season! The Nightmare Beofore Christmas is truly wonderful film. It's a classic film that I will enjoy watching for years to come.
♫There's children throwing snowballs instead of throwing heads.♫
Posted on 11/22/13 01:05 PM
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Posted on 11/18/13 10:31 PM
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Posted on 11/15/13 09:00 PM
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Posted on 3/26/13 11:23 PM
In 1995, Toy Story asked the question, "What do toys do when we aren't playing with them?" What resulted was an imaginative animated masterpiece. Seventeen years later, Wreck-It Ralph asks the question, "What do video game characters do when when we're not playing with them?" Wreck-It Ralph may not be a masterpiece like Toy Story but it's full of imagination, charm, and ends up being a pretty memorable animated film.
The film tells the story of Wreck-It Ralph, the antagonist of the arcade game. Fix-It Felix, Jr. After thirty years of wrecking buildings in his game, Ralph longs for recognition and respect. Ralph then decides to leave his game and journey into the worlds of Hero's Duty and Sugar Rush where he hopes to make a hero out of himself. However, Ralph's journey causes something that puts the arcade in danger.
Wreck-It Ralph was a film I was looking forward to ever since I heard about the film's premise and it did not disappoint one bit. The film was thoroughly entertaining and there was a lot to like about it. The characters are fun to watch, the story is entertaining, and the humor is great. I love the world that the writers and animators created. The way the characters can jump from one game to another is creative and I love the design of Game Central Station, the transportation center that takes you to different games. The games that were created for the film were creative as well. I like how Fix-It Felix, Jr. had an 8-bit Nintendo approach and Sugar Rush had 3D Nintendo 64 approach. Hero's Duty had the look of a modern first-person shooter game with realistic looking graphics and lots of detail on the characters' armor. I enjoyed the unique look of each look. The animation is wonderful and colorful. The characters in Fix-It Felix moved and walked like they would in a game which I thought was cool. The Sugar Rush world was also impressive. It looked so good that I could almost taste it! The animation and design of the film were a joy to see. Big props to Disney.
Wreck-It Ralph is a well written film. The script is humorous and heartfelt. The film had plenty of jokes to entertain kids and adults. There were some parts that did have me busting up. The characters in the film are great as well. Ralph is a pretty relatable character. We all sometimes feel misunderstood and wish we can prove to be something more. Vannelope von Schweetz, a character Ralph meets in Sugar Rush, was entertaining. She was funny and adorable. Her character gets more fleshed out as the film progressed and I started to care for her. Her and Ralph had a great friendship and there was a scene involving them that made my heart feel heavy. I liked the Fix-It Felix and Sergeant Calhoun characters. Fix-It Felix was a nice, good-mannered character while Sergeant Calhoun was tough and hard-as-nails but still had feelings.
Not one of the voice actors in the film were miscast. John C. Reilly's voice fit Ralph perfectly. He had a tough guy voice but still managed to be innocent and nice. Sarah Silverman did a great job as Vannelope. She can be annoying to some but I enjoyed her. I can't stand Jack McBrayer as an actor but I think he's a good voice actor. He did well as Fix-It Felix. The entertaining Jane Lynch also does a great job as Sergeant Calhoun. Alan Tudyk did a good job as King Candy, the ruler of Sugar Rush. I also enjoyed Mindy Kaling as Taffyta, Vannellope's rival. It was weird to see Kaling play such a stuck u p brat unlike her goofy role on The Office. There a some sweet cameos from video game characters in the film. I enjoyed Bower from Super Mario Bros.' cameo as well as Sonic the Hedgehog's. I also liked seeing Dr. Robotnik and Kano from Mortal Kombat. Dubstep musician, Skrillex, makes a cameo and I thought that was cool. I'm a big fan of his music. He also made an awesome song for the film that plays during one of the Hero's Duty scenes.
I loved Wreck-It Ralph. The animation was stellar , the characters were memorable, good story, the voice acting was great, and it was filled with so much humor, charm, and energy. There's lot of nostalgia here for fans of classic games and a lot for modern gamers to appreciate. Wreck-It Ralph is a lot of fun. Disney has crafted a film that is entertaining to audiences both young and old.
"That's not the blunt-force trauma, ma'am, that's just the honey glow in my cheeks. "