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Posted on 4/03/11 07:24 PM
Animation makes the impossible, possible. Not just through visual effects, but through emotion, animation has steadily increased the level of reality via effective details both in terms of atmosphere and plot. As the decades passed, and technology improved for cinema and animation alike, the idea was to make the fantastic as relatable as possible while maintaining the enduring and entertaining implausibility of imagination's vast horizons. Such delightful absurdity can only really be accomplished with animation, from viewing space in crisp detail to making a man fly. You get both and more in Megamind, the animated comedy starring Will Ferrell and Brad Pitt as born rivals, and Tina Fey as the reporter and eventual love interest of the villain-turned-hero Megamind. While live-action films are intended to depict an entirely realistic world regardless of its genre, even science-fiction, the suspension of disbelief is far more courteous to animation-and Megamind is more than willing to quench the audience's thirst for clever comedic animation that is entertaining for the whole family.
The strongest story can suffer at the hands of incapable actors and actresses or even miscast ones. Occasionally, choosing an actor to specifically break the typecast roles of their past is effective, such as in Psycho's selection of Anthony Perkins for a serial killer rather than his past as a sweet boy-next-door type. Fortunately, each member was strategically decided upon for Megamind. If not for the stellar cast, the film would be far less significant and would suffer exponentially higher due to a less-than-perfect screenplay. Will Ferrell is in fine comedic form, comfortably settling into the shoes of his blue counterpart. Oddly enough, somehow Brad Pitt equally matches his complementary character "Metroman", who is loved by all, considered incredibly handsome, and has an ego much larger than the city he protects-Metro City. Familiar face Jonah Hill also happens to look like his character, and this is a result of the finest point of Megamind-the casting. The voice acting is superb throughout; ensuring that from one scene to the next consistent chemistry is developed and articulated properly. Each character is very specifically dimensional, to the point that only the right cast could form a distinctly attractive story. It is certainly a twist to have a villain as the main character though. One of the easiest ways to make any character likeable is to make them humorous, and is often applied to villains because they are by their very nature unlikeable. Audiences enjoy a laugh, and are drawn to those that make them laugh-it feels good. Immediately, Ferrell's uncanny ability to be consistently funny invokes a sense of much needed connection between the audience and the protagonist. Even more-so invoking our sympathy, another tool of building an identifiable character, Megamind is revealed to have a tough childhood. That is to say, he was constantly outshined by Metroman, raised in a jail, and rejected by society in every conceivable way. Undeserved punishment is the screenwriting term for such formula.
And that's where the film suffers. In fact, it's the only place lacking flair. The strongest screenwriter is a playwright, not only because of the latter's ability to build successful climaxes, but successful character development. Every line of a story must contribute to moving the plot forward, a character forward, or be undeniably entertaining. Regardless of an effective, well-placed cast, the foundation of any piece of cinema is the story. Animation is still latched onto stereotypical representations and therefore must compensate in storytelling that surpasses the quality of the live-action film people have grown only recently accustomed to as serious cinema after a century of filmmaking. The derivative plot, which interestingly was applied not too long before Megamind's release by the animated feature Despicable Me, features a supervillain of low stature who comes to change his ways. The audience is entirely aware from the beginning that the main character can never be a villain, and therefore Megamind's protagonist must endure a journey from evil to good. We could never forgive him if he didn't, and would feel cheated. Parents would be quite dismayed their family movie suggested being bad wasn't such a bad idea if you happen to be good at it. Evil is far easier to create than good in this world, and it's a message Megamind actually conveys rather well. Still, we know that the main character will get the girl, and also temporarily lose his best friend for dramatic impact. It's like watching a Disney "princess" movie. There's a code to be followed in order to maintain the expectations of audiences, and Megamind serves it up without a second thought. It's really quite frustrating. Although, however occasionally archetypal in plot, the humor is absolutely spot on, and catching all of the Superman references is simultaneously entertaining and amusing. The turning point early in the film is the strongest addition to the story's strength, which considers the possibility of a hero failing. If the villain succeeds, what ensues? We are so comfortable with the knowledge that a hero falling is impossible that it really is quite unexpected when the plot dares to remove its superhero.
The tone of the film stays true to its superhero genre, upholding familiar environments and the feel of graphic novel storytelling. Frames that are reminiscent of comic books often feature a specific lighting, characters in motion, and vivid colors that even in the dark have a distinct texture. Playing with shadows is something of a necessity, and the character's feelings and positions in the story-or even the story's intended atmosphere altogether-must be reflected by lighting. Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, is a very stark tale of demented minds and complex psychological profiles whose protagonist has a warped sense of justice and has been distorted by the underbelly of his city-and accordingly the novel is full of scenes mostly taking place during the night, and in the middle of the rain. Similarly, you have Megamind as a superhero comedy, following a comical hero that is taking a path towards generically defined goodness which results in sharp, cartoonish colors with very few shadows. When Megamind is reflecting on the downside of defeating his arch-nemesis, the scenes are filled with the darkness of night, and when he loses the girl, rain pours heavily. When Jonah Hill's character completes his journey to the shadow of his persona, he moonlights by nearly killing his own love interest. It's a conventional approach to the film that more likely than not was only assumed because it translates to a young audience easier, rather than any aesthetic preference. Still, the characters themselves uphold a significant amount of fidelity to comic books and graphic novel imagery. The hero generally has a square jaw, and beady eyes that suggest strength and intent. Oddly enough, Brad Pitt really does convey this common trait of superheroes. Supervillains are famous for having a physical derangement of some kind, such as the ridiculously large head of Megamind. They are also known to have distinctly large eyes, to reflect the distorted view of the world they have. Megamind maintains as many archetypes of superhero storytelling as possible, and it actually comes off with a successfully stylized vision. Another quality, that makes Megamind a great deal more contemporary in fact, is the reality of physics in the film. The elements, such as rain and dust and metal and sunlight, are so accurately depicted that it feels that much more humorous and/or alarming whenever action and danger is involved. When Fey's character, the reporter, is tossed up into the air by the newfound villain, we really are quite terrified for her because the gravity and laws of Earth have been established as exact to the world we live in. When the same villain tears off an abnormally large piece of structure and throws it sharply at Megamind in the thrilling finale, the building is too heavy and quickly topples to the street and skids rapidly along. Scale and perspective, when added to this acceptance of the natural laws of our planet, increases the strength and awe of such rules being so openly broken or simply bended for the duration of the film. The result is the most visually stunning and inviting scene of the film, in which Metroman soars through the city buildings towards the abandoned observatory Megamind has the reporter held hostage early on in the film. The ferocity, the visceral nature of a human flying in such proper perspective and amidst such complex details is more striking than any other image throughout the film, even more-so engaging than the particle effects applied during the skyscraper throw.
If one thing is absolutely synonymous with the aesthetic value of cinema, it is sound. Animation required no acting. Animation was as purely visual cinema as any film before the advent of The Jazz Singer in 1929. When sound was introduced, it should have in fact improved the artistic zeal of films. Unfortunately, dialogue came to substitute visual sense altogether, with very few exceptions. However, the impact of scoring a film has remained a constant in considering the effect of sound. The scoring for today's cinema is what largely remains of classical composition and since the beginning has established tones, moods, and definitions for characters and situations in cinema. Gone With the Wind had a score almost equal to its massive runtime, and if one considers it, the most memorable moments in cinema history are associated all the time with the music. When it made us laugh in Charlie Chaplin's City Lights, when a murder scared us to death in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, and when a waltz accompanies Michael Corleone's murders in The Godfather. Music is much easier to embed into the minds of audiences, and is often a weapon harnessed by commercial sales tacticians to use the cumulative effect of repetition. Here in Megamind, the music drives forward with the plot, and is generally accompanied by the soundtrack-songs performed by bands, which in fact are ideally positioned in this particular film. Generally, it is the soundtrack that supports the feelings and theme of the film, while a central theme that is established earlier repeats itself where necessary to tie characters and themes together. It is interesting to note that both Metroman and Megamind are given the same theme, thus associating the two as the same, foreshadowing the eventual turn of Megamind from a villain to the hero of the story.
Few people comprehend exactly how animated directing is accomplished. Whenever the casual view considers a director, the initial image is the stereotypical chair upon which he sits with a bullhorn whilst kicking things in outrage. How is this possible when there is no physical set? But that's just the thing. And certainly a very important one to recognize at that-since the director has total visual control of any project, as is his role, a director of animation has endless more responsibilities than a live-action director. Sure, he may not be restricted to the restrictions of a physical camera. But since the creation of animation is entirely visual, quite literally everything is in the hands of the director. One attached to the project can only hope the Producer was intelligent enough to hire the proper director for the film. In this case, the story happens to be so simplistic that the actual visual sense reflects it. Even if the director very wisely selected wonderful perspectives for comedic and adrenaline-filled shots, there is very little room for excelling in an essentially non-complex screenplay. What we ultimately receive as the audience is something average that if its accompanied storyline had been more original, would have produced something stunning via the director's obvious potential.
Posted on 1/11/11 10:57 PM
A visually enticing, well-paced film that delivers aesthetic zeal, emotional intelligence, and likeable characters.
After completing No Country for Old Men, it seemed not a far stretch to believe that the Coen Brothers would be more than capable of developing a truly effective Western, this time in the form of a direct remake. Held off by the comedy Little Fockers, we now inevitably find that True Grit has climbed to the top of the box office, pulling in a well-deserved $14.6 million over the weekend. Being a film entirely centered upon vengeance, it was unlikely it would ever garner much profit on the holiday marked by peace and cheer, so it remains no surprise that the film has picked up the pace. With Black Swan sinking in popularity, True Grit's well-paced, atmospheric, and stylish fidelity is driven by well-casted and high-caliber performances, with very likeable characters and an emotional depth drenched in enigmatic, truly intriguing histories. In comparison to Little Fockers, being yet another addition to the myriad of sequels we face, hand-in-hand with the Tron sequel, True Grit towers and I predict a fortitude allowing it to survive the upcoming opening films this weekend to remain in at least the third seat of the top Box Office.
Posted on 10/15/10 03:22 PM
Its originality, willingness to disturb, and main characters who can only fight the inevitable drive this eerie, unfortunately partially effective film.
Deeper than an experiment gone wrong, this film addresses some stunning growth and development psychological analysis with proper accuracy. Although the CGI is something of a drawback, it doesn't remove the overall sense of impending doom that drives the tension of the entire film.
A foreboding, successful horror film that isn't afraid to take its time. The power of the film is the effectiveness of building anticipation, the inevitable to happen, something that has not been executed quite so well since Rosemary's Baby. Although we instinctively know things will not turn out well, all we can do is cling to hope as uselessly as the main characters. Vincenzo Natali has weaved together a tale that ultimately defines the unpredictability of the human psyche, something greatly addressed in the director's earlier film Cube. It is truly, most simply put, disturbing to observe the development of a creature that shares human qualities, and cultivates into a moment which is most easily expressed as the reveal of a very simple truth-life cannot be controlled, and most significantly cannot be controlled by science. The scenes strung together essentially emphasize human impulse, and curiosity, reflected both by our two main characters, and Dren, the half-human creature. The psychological profiles of each display a profoundly deep, and collective representation spread among many layers of the human psyche. The violence of the film is truly frightening, ultimately because it both encapsulates and reminds audiences of the imminent chaos resulting from the very human impulses to find and create purpose and fill internal voids, and the very scientific impulse to progress despite risk, personal or otherwise.
The science of the film is quite murky, unsure of itself and as one of the three main characters-Dren-was born from it, we find ourselves in the midst of an equally irresolute character profile. The psychosexual implications and situations appear logical, but take away from the strength of the film. It supposedly builds up to the final moment in which *SPOILER* Dren rapes Elsa (Sarah Polley), but such a horrendous, disgusting, and thoroughly revolting event should have been only hinted at subtly throughout the film. Overall, the seriousness with which the film takes itself makes the silliness of the sexual encounters that much more unnecessary and poorly executed. The creature's discovery of sex and the pursuit of it completely abandoned the scientific perspective, and the opportunity for psychological exploration to the point where the film nodded far too much to the creature film genre, developing an archetypal finale in a familiar location and familiar situation that doesn't do the originality of the premise justice.
This film is striking, intriguing, uncomfortable, and only half successful.
Posted on 8/23/10 02:48 AM
I believe Luis Bunuel would be thrilled, as cold and gripping this film is with an exploration of the sub-conscience that defines a storyline which demands attention to follow?but the effort is worth it.
An expertly crafted balance between Action and Self-Conflict forms Leonardo DiCaprio?s character into a relatable, emotionally driven protagonist with two goals: acceptance and inception, and the latter being used as a means of allowing Dom Cobb, DiCaprio?s character, to confront his guilt is a unique, creative approach which matches the complexity of the human psyche.
The development of the world in which dream-entering technology is possible is effectively executed, slowly presenting the rules essential to the practice, and the players involved to use it. The pace of delivered information never exceeds a limit of keeping understanding entirely possible. The inclusion of the ?totem?, while it may have an odd name, truly engages the audience fascinated with the ability to enter dreams, elements of the mind that are a universal interest not only because of their mysterious nature but because we all dream. It is most engaging because it allows us to imagine just what our own totem may be, including us in the adventure, and because it is so very practical in a world where reality and the surreal blend so seamlessly.
The score is undeniably resilient, and truly one of the most powerful pieces Hanz Zimmer has composed. The theme feels epic, as grand as the mind, and as moving and emotional as the path our protagonist walks throughout the film. It never ceases to build, in some way or other, as endless and complex as the surreal, seemingly branching off into a labyrinth of its own that appears to loop within itself and ultimately manages to resonate within our minds? be it consciously or not.
The performances in the film are absolutely up to the task of supporting a film as complex and demanding as Inception. Although few of the characters are truly defined as complex beings, as the true intentions of the film reside within DiCaprio, who delivers as always, somehow the cast manages to outline their roles as the necessary pieces of the puzzle they are, forming a character through their team and the?simply put?incredibly well-written dialogue.
I have never witnessed a film build towards a climax for so long, and the finale truly felt as captivating and satisfying as Inception?s. I was utterly awestruck by the execution of a story so complicated, which ultimately acknowledges itself as the story of one man. It truly goes to show how complex we are by nature, and simply how beguiling we are as a species, capable of such compassion and intensity. Christopher Nolan has undoubtedly captured the essence of the aesthetic margins of film.
While it may be particularly well-told, and understandable to the viewer willing to commit, it appears to be far too confusing for your average movie-goer. On a personal note, I actually read a post inquiring as to what the ending meant. I found that far more perplexing than the conclusion to Inception itself. I thought the rule of the totem was possibly most clear among the many rules of Inception.
Perhaps the film acknowledges far too many rules when considering the utterly puzzling structure of Dreams, right down to the natural symbolic significance of symbols, such as the crunching glass. Such rules are difficult to comprehend without the attention Nolan?s Memento equally required. Audiences don?t seem to particularly crave this story anymore, and majority of complaints are simply about its inevitably intricate story. I suppose if you can?t understand the reasons for the character?s actions, you can?t even begin to connect to them. Anyone who ever mentioned the characters were ?cardboard cutouts? were essentially correct (excluding DiCaprio); they just failed to understand it was necessary?because they didn?t realize the intentions of the film were to tell Cobb?s story, and no one else?s. The entire story explores his mind, with inception merely being an action sub-plot to get audience members who want a popcorn-film to come watch. Face it?someone actually got you to think when you sat down for your escapist film.
Without a doubt, Nolan has managed to match intellectual storytelling to stunning visuals and action-sense. Without a doubt...Nolan has crafted a modern-cinema masterpiece.
Posted on 8/18/10 10:53 PM
The Other Guys
For another ?buddy-cop? film, it simply cannot seem to achieve a personality of its own, and although its intentions are to be hilarious most of the time, it never surpasses the amusement of the trailer.
The performances are quite believable, as both Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell have proved themselves as talented actors in other films. They provide characters with great chemistry, and Wahlberg?s frustration with Ferrell?s character never gets out of hand. In fact, it is the humor of Wahlberg?s character that truly seems to drive the comedy of the film. The incredibly creative sequence in which [SPOILER] the two are bribed multiple times before returning to their interrogation is possibly one of the best scenes of the film. The scene is accompanied by other almost equally creative scenes of comedic timing, which are always executed just right.
While much of the film is amusing, it never reaches hysterical. In fact, the majority of the sequences feel desperate for some reason or other, if only because of whatever individual expectations you may have walking in as an audience member. The result is a formulaic plot with comedic sequences that feel like they should be funnier, and somehow this spoils the willingness to enjoy the film.
The plot in itself seems very detached, even for a formulaic approach. It seems to spend more time with comedy skits than telling a core story near the beginning, although picking up to a reasonably driven plot about a half hour in. However, the plot is still trapped within the restrictions of the genre; as much as it attempts to be a parody of the genre, it remains conflicted with becoming exactly that.
The film is so simplistic, in fact, that this is all that I had to say about it.
Posted on 8/09/10 05:49 PM
After the barrage of Comic Book heroes coming to life on the big-screen, this film was inevitable- and I can say without hesitation it was executed just right.
Kick-Ass is a revisionist genre film, disconnecting itself immediately from all other Superhero styles with just its opening shot, which seems to quite accurately summarize what the rest of the film is going to be like. Originality sparks this high-octane, rule-bending film. As opposed to a visual effects extravaganza, we have ourselves one of the few character study Superhero films. The characters are limited to what only the human body is naturally capable of, and this allows for the romantic idea that such a feat as becoming a superhero may be conceivable, especially since the hero is developed from a teenager who doesn?t seem to be extraordinary in any way. However, this does not leave the protagonist blank?Aaron Johnson, in some way, manages to personify the average teenager while still developing a distinct character. The thing that truly separates Kick-Ass from the rest of its genre is the gritty, realistic violence that is the result of equally gritty and realistic means of enforcing vigilante justice and the criminals? defense.
The pace is well secured, beginning with a bang and simply progressively building until the very end. Such a cinematic crescendo is generally quite unfamiliar, an effect well accomplished here. It may be because our protagonist is steadily progressing as well, and meets an accomplice who drives the second half of the story home. The balance between the development of Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl is superbly crafted, just enough time spent on either character to lead to the team-up at the end.
The soundtrack keeps the hardly-strolling-along film upbeat and is every bit as violent and/or outrageous as the entertaining film, each song well fitted to its image counterpart.
Despite the metaphorical strength of Hit-Girl?s symbolism (a comment on the unnatural maturity of the general youth these days), it is still quite shocking to hear an 11 year-old girl say the word C***. Sure, it proves to the audience that there?s no rule it can?t break, but it is so deliberately offensive that whoever even continues watching the film depends on who is most easily offended. (They would later have to witness a grown man kicking an 11 year old girl in the face)
While quite well-placed, the violence of the film was not implied in the marketing, therefore losing much of its potential audience. It just never seemed to find its voice amongst viewers, until its release on Blu-Ray. Not a well-planned release.
Our protagonist feels devoid of any distinct character personality, and it?s only just balanced by his attempts to become a character: Kick-Ass.
Posted on 8/07/10 06:26 PM
Its biggest flaw is its insincerity. As a remake of one of the many iconic movie-monsters in Universal?s 30?s, The Wolfman has an astonishing amount of expectations to live up to, which nearly cripples the film itself.
We live in a decade of what are essentially escapist films, and many are for the most part quite tasteless. What The Wolfman manages to do is assemble a well-placed cast in a genuinely creepy setting. Careful attention is paid to ensure that every frame resembles the glum, murky atmosphere that encapsulates the style of its predecessor.
Despite the opening, the film proceeds to take its time, something most audiences could care less for in modern cinema?anything that takes too long to develop an exciting action sequence or emotionally jarring situation appears to be quite unwelcome. So, regardless of consensus The Wolfman chooses its own pacing, and allows itself to develop at a reasonable tempo. As Anthony Hopkins? ?Lecter? once said? ?Good things come to those who wait.?
The acting is not sub-par. In fact, it is just above adequate, especially with the help of Hopkins, who always manages to present a strong performance with humanness and character. Realization of his symbolic significance is evident, effectively displaying a morally corrupt man who has come to believe that permitting the darker side of himself to assume control makes for a satisfying life. Benicio Del Toro as our protagonist seems sufficient much the same way Jodie Foster did in Silence of the Lambs?Hopkins has a tendency to draw in the audience to himself.
In spite of the satisfying gloom of the meticulously placed tone, there is a surprising lack of?surprise. The film takes a few stabs at it, but nonetheless the violence feels inevitable and ineffective. The gore is quite horrific, and suited, but few scenes manage to actually execute a well-done scare. Considering the genre, and the plot, the audience went in expecting to be scared, and unfortunately will leave unfulfilled in that respect.
There is an unrelenting focus on nostalgia for the original that seeps into every scene.
The romance of the story appears quite bleak and uncertain, in spite of its well-hidden inevitability.
The score, unfortunately, isn't quite Danny Elfman's zenith. Although it does conjure up proper images of a gloomy victorian-age street basked in moonlight, it just doesn't quite have the same haunting appeal that Elfman is capable of. If anything, the whole thing feels rather formulaic, as though Elfman decided to toss in a score because he was paid to, and if the composer doesn't seem to care- why should the audience? Somehow, the score felt otherwise bleak and simplistic. (In fact, four notes of the melody are almost identical to James Newton Howards' melody in "The Deserted" for Peter Jackson's King Kong)
To me, the film is fresh if only because it was released at the right time, and that is when anything except an escapist film was needed.
Posted on 8/07/10 06:25 PM
Twilight is the result of being as archetypal and ineffective as its source material.
The film accurately and effectively markets itself to a target audience that was already begging for a movie just for them: the teenage/pre-teen girls who long for a soap opera that speaks only their language the entire film, appealing to their every romantic need.
Highly commercialized, the film utilizes the most repetitive of plot lines, particularly the "forbidden love" of two main characters who- unfortunately- have absolutely no character. The film's protagonist is a soulless vessel for the audience to inhabit in order to live out the fantastic life of meeting the ideal boyfriend, here evidently meaning: bad-boy, sensitive, and forever loyal in one. She is deliberately made average, and soulless, for this opportunity, because if she developed any distinct characteristics then not any girl could become her or imagine herself as the protagonist.
The performance is positively horrifying, forcing me to run back to M Night Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender". Kristen Stewart, an actress with potential, is forced into a position where she has no character to construct. Nor does anyone else, because each character is plastic enough that the pre-teen/teen audience may substitute any of them with someone in their real lives. As such, Robert Pattinson delivers an awful, utterly painful character that even he appears to know, on-screen, that all he has to do is present his image, and the chemistry that should exist between Pattinson and Stewart is perfectly absent until the girls of the audience will it to be there.
The vampire element is used only to twist the Forbidden Love archetype. However, since the author herself can be quoted "it isn't a vampire story", there should have been no reason to explore the mythology of the creature in such a disheartening, insulting, and laughable manner. The film intends to be a vampire story, selling only the idea of a vampire falling in love with 'you' instead of the idea that we may explore the psyche of a love-starved teenage girl. Surely this film does not imply that a love-starved teenage girl does not supply a complex enough character to even explore.
As such, the Vampire aspect, which can be treated with respect (Stoker's "Dracula", Rice's "Interview with the Vampire") in the literature medium, should have been abandoned completely and we may have ended up with a romantic character study with at most some potential. But when a vampire can sparkle, and the entire weight of a film's strength relies on it, and Pattinson gripping his mouth when a fan blows wind through Stewart's hair, unless you are the blinded target audience you realize this film is a disgrace to the film community, and a waste of time to anyone who has any self-respect.
One can only marvel at the precision with which Twilight sells to a customer who hadn't realized they'd been begging for Twilight, and how everyone else's word means nothing to this customer concerning the more-than-obvious insult Twilight is to their intelligence; an overly fantastical, romantic plot that single-handedly degrades the literature medium, the film medium, and integrity of its audience.
Posted on 7/31/10 04:05 PM
As a remake of a campy source material, this is a solid popcorn film.
This film managed to fill in some plot holes from the original, particularly the reasons for certain actions of the original characters. The overly-romantic purpose of Perseus' adventure in the original is replaced by a revenge-plot concerning his father's death. Such immediate care for Andromeda was far too poetic. Calibos' back-story is more credible as well, including his blood creating the giant scorpions instead of the Medusa head he clearly could merely have stolen in the original. Bubo the owl was Far too significant in the original, with the ability to fend off two soldiers, rescue Pegasus, and fight the Kraken himself. How utterly unbelievable, laughable, and annoying- fortunately, the remake has the sense to ignore this character.
The cheap effects of the original simply refused to deliver, aside from one of the most memorable and frightening of creatures, the infamous Medusa; whereas our remake mostly manages to deliver the high-octane action sequences that audiences today expect. For its time, the original was far behind, considering Star Wars had already been released. For its time, the remake fits well enough.
If there was one character that did NOT need to be changed, it was Medusa. The remake, in its attempt to own the new version completely, makes Medusa quite attractive, and completely CGI, both of which are entirely unnecessary. There is zero suspense in her fighting sequence, and her ability to control turning others to stone makes her less fearsome. Her giggling the whole sequence is laughable. The bomb inside the new character does absolutely nothing against her, a very distinct plot hole.
Pegasus too falls prey to unnecessary change, becoming black. There is absolutely no reason for that but artistic ownership, and is a direct insult to any fan of the original. The new characters aren't entirely needed. Although Perseus' poisoned bite makes sense to the plot, considering Hades' body itself is now all evil creatures, certainly another means could have been found to fixing him than a desert tree-man. The Io relationship we could care less for, and if anything we find it rather strange.
Lastly, the Kraken is one of the most dissapointing climaxes of cinema history, since we are given the impression it can cause a horrifying amount of damage and proceeds to do nothing except stand up in the water for about two minutes of cinematic time until Perseus turns it to stone.
Clash of the Titans is a popcorn film that, for our time, is essentially what the original was for its time that- for me- manages to satisfy as an escapist film the same way Knight and Day does.
Posted on 7/29/10 12:42 PM
This piece of the toy trilogy did not seem to be openly accepted by fans of the first two, likely because it sustains a different tone. However, it brings back each of our favorites, and pulls in a new set of toys to play with.
The film explores a much darker, relatively saddening, nostalgic atmosphere that doesn?t give the audience the same attitudes of the first two?which was essentially ultimate triumph. The inevitable age we all reach when we must abandon our toys and dolls that came to be significant to us more personally than we are often aware, is a universal moment and therefore speaks strongly to us in the film. It is a very romantic appeal to believe that these toys we must leave feel just as sorrowful when that moment comes. The relationship between Jessie and Buzz Lightyear isn?t as stale in retrospect, considering we skipped so much time between Toy Story 2 and the latest installment. It actually developed quite nicely, and balanced well with the rest of the story. The adventurous element was maintained from the previous two films, with an intriguing prison-break plot that leads to one of the most jarring deux ex machina scenes in the series, in which we almost believe it could really be the end. The suspense is articulated well by suggesting earlier that the little green saviors were removed. Emotional ties to the first two films are well intertwined into how each character reacts in Toy Story 3. The humor is well-placed, through the physical and the dialogue speaking to any audience. Unlike the previous two, this film speaks more to the audience, and less amongst the toys themselves, while still developing the very loveable set of toys and dolls.
Sometimes, it can get to be a bit much. Lightyear suddenly becoming Spanish-speaking seemed to incline him to dance, and the amusement wears off quickly despite the timely tool to prevent Jessie from understanding him. The humor is well-placed, but seems to be far less apparent than in the previous two, perhaps taking away a bit of the charm that drew us into the characters?despite that it was likely deliberate to emphasize the glum tone. The film has a tendency to rely on previous character development to improve on the characters in this film, as a means to focus more on the theme?however, this was to be expected, and isn?t really all that bad considering the worst part of this is that it speaks most to the older fan base that grew up with Toy Story and its sequel.
Toy Story 3 is a definitive family film, and a solid resolution to characters we grew to love in the previous two.