John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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Not going to watch it unless if I am forced to.
March 23, 2012
Today, I saw the cover for Happy Feet Two on my Teacher's desk. I remember seeing the original Happy Feet when I was 14 years old, seeing it on the big screen at my local AMC Promenade Theater, and I enjoyed the living hell out of it. And I gotta admit that George Miller is at the helm and he is one of the film's 4 screenwriters. I can also add that some of the voice cast from the original has returned, such as Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Robin Williams, as well as new members, like Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, P!nk and Sofia Vergara. And John Powell returns to compose the score, too. I've been through these kind of movies before, so sitting through this one may just be a breeze, and as a sequel to the original, this should be at the very least different. That should be it.
Later, on March 23, 2012
Okay, what the fuck did I just watch? This is more like of a episodic movie than a real movie. What's the point of having a new baby penguin named Erik in place of the original's main character, Mumble? It's altering the original storyline! Also, why did the Mighty Sven appear in the first place? He appears in the movie for no goddamn reason!! And I didn't even see a sliver of story in this sequel. Why do these two orange krill, Will and Bill, pop up from time to time? No goddamn reason! Is there a reason to have the penguins trapped in an iceberg? What?! NO?!!? Yep, this is more like randomness than a real movie told by good storytelling. Mumble has to save a Elephant Seal? Come on, why doesn't this movie have a storyline? Because it's nonexistant, that's why. Oh, and LIVE-ACTION, REAL-LIFE HUMANS appear in this animated film. I AM NOT MAKING IT UP! I really, really, REALLY didn't laugh so much through the first half of the film that I watched. Next week, the attack will continue with the second half of the movie...
March 28, 2012
It's Wednesday and I have to suffer through the last few minutes of this lackluster sequel. Part two of the movie began with the penguins tap-dancing on ice and Will being thrown back into the water. And then, Mumble and Erik have to see the elephant seals ONCE AGAIN...this time, to reunite the trapped penguins. And WHY DOES ERIK START SINGING ALL OF THE SUDDEN?! Does he have a URGE TO LET OUT SOME LYRICS OR SOMETHING?! Afterwards, Mumble, Erik and the elephant seals all join together to save the group of penguins that are trapped. And how do they do that? By doing a rendition of Ice Ice Baby, of course. And Will, Bill and all of the other millions of Krill join in the tap dancing as they fill up all the broken ice to fix the problem. And once the problem is solved, Mumble thanks all of the elephant seals for helping him out. And so, Gloria, Mumble and Erik all huddle together. And that is where the movie ends, everyone. I'm glad this 100-minute piece of random occurences is finally over, but why did I have
to sit through this movie?? There are still many questions left UNANSWERED!! Why did Miller, Eck, Warren Coleman and Livingston all trade in a thoughtful storyline like the one found in the original Happy Feet and in Toy Story 3 for a mash-up of random occurences in order to make a story for the movie? It's like watching a YouTube Poop, only not as fun!! Yes, there is energy in the movie, but it's all bogged down by those f**King worthless occurences that make up the story, which is sadly not here in the sequel! Come on, Miller, you can do much better and much more than this!! YOU WON AN AWARD FOR DOING SUCH A GOOD JOB ON THE ORIGINAL HAPPY FEET, AND YOU DEMOLISHED YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING THOSE AWARDS WITH THE SEQUEL! If you're gonna make another animated film other than the two Happy Feet films, just write a GOOD script this time instead of a messed-up one like the one for the second Happy Feet Film!! GOD!!!!!!!!!! And, is Miller's animated film career going to move on or will it, sadly, be left behind??
Please, for Pete's sake, TELL ME! And if this movie is goin gto stay around much longer, I'll quickly change the channel even before it comes up! GAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! I'M HAVING A HEADACHE OVER THE MOVIE'S NONSENSE!!! URGH!!!! MAKE IT STOP!!! PLEASE! NO MORE!!!
April 6, 2012
Ugh...It's thankfully all over now. But, seriously, Happy Feet Two, although the animation looks great, is a big mess in terms of storytelling. The Box Office returns for the first film is what caused Miller and Co. to greenlight a sequel. Yes, the film is at 100 minutes long, but almost nothing happens. Yes, it's nothing but an episodic movie.
You have the scenes when the iceberg traps the penguins, the part when The Mighty Sven (voice of Hank Azaria) comes in and starts singing, the live-action part when th ehumans come in to rescue th epenguins, Mumble helping out the Beachmaster and all. But...it made me feel empty inside. I felt dead inside after its 100 minutes of its noisily incoherent narrative.
Yes, many children, teens and adults can definatley learn from many movies, but even Happy Feet Two can insult its target audience!! In fact, it gives out a very huge "FUCK YOU" to the young children that watch it. The side story of Will and Bill (voiced by both Matt Damon and Brad Pitt) is impressively animated, but even then, it doesn't make any sense here, also.
Mumble returns as the lead penguin, and is now married to Gloria. Mumble and Gloria's son, Erik, is shy and reserved, and the other penguins tease him when he tries to dance. Erik and his buddies leave the colony in search of adventure and run into Ramon, who simultaneously channels a Rastafarian and a sex addict. Ramon leads the runways to the Mighty Sven, who claims to have been saved by humans and enjoys dispensing nuggets of knowledge to the other birds. Mumble eventually catches up to Erik to bring him home, but a large iceberg breaks free from the ice shelf and traps the rest of the Emperor Penguins in a large canyon.
Don't let my synopysis of the film trick you. Happy Feet Two has no cohesive story to speak of, and instead assaults the viewer with scene after pointless scene of rapping baby penguins, poop geysers and cloying single servings of virtue. Happy Feet Two is a mess, I say! It's not really a movie at all, but a poorly concocted cash grab full of random cutesy images, a ton of characters and pop songs. George Miller was one of three directors on dancing-penguin hit Happy Feet, but takes the reins solo for Happy Feet Two. The opening scene provides a medley of Kidz Bop-quality recreations of various pop songs, including LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" and Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack," which is re-written as "bringing fluffy back." It feels like the filmmakers wanted to assault viewers with as much stimuli as possible. Penguins dance, jump, and swim for your attention during the obnoxious medley, which is only the first of many groan-inducing songs.
The lessons in the film are so trite and their onslaught so pervasive that they completely overwhelm the movie. And, for the voice actors? Happy Feet Two is one of those movies that features so many stars that the voices become distracting. Aside from Wood as Mumble, almost every other voice actor is overly recognizable. From Williams to Azaria and Sofía Vergara, the film is full of recognizable voices. Instead of characters you get these voices, and random celebrities and a nonexistent story do not make a good movie.
I wanted to love Happy Feet Two as much as the original. I really did. If only it had the same type of storytelling as Toy Story 3 had, then it would have been a decent sequel. But I was wrong. Instead, it's unfunny, unfocused and grating. Happy Feet Two is an inferior sequel hell-bent on assaulting viewers with cute, merchandising-ready images and generic life lessons. There is no storyline, the big number of voice actors can get distracting, and those looking for a complex story should move along. There is no reason for paint-by-numbers clunkers like Happy Feet Two to be released when animated movies like Kung Fu Panda 2, Toy Story 3 and The Princess And The Frog exist.
During the last few minutes of Happy Feet Two, I just wanted the commotion and the cacophony to stop. The film flopped hard at the box office, which should send the message that moviegoers are smarter and more branier than the studio anticipated. Happy Feet Two gets a 3.2 out of 100. See why I only gave it a 3.2 and not a lower score? It's because of the excellent animation, the cute penguins and John Powell's score (GOD, I really love his music sometimes). Those are the only three Pros that this movie has. But there are too much cons for this movie, like no story, no plot, too much nonsense and little rewatching value. As it stands out, I don't want to sit through this movie again. The lack of creativity in this movie baffles me -- I can do better by creating original traditional and digital artwork and posting them up to my DeviantART or Furaffinity account. Happy Feet Two is the most annoying animated film from a major movie studio that I have seen in a while right now. Not recommended.
Ever since Scooby Doo was released in theaters back in 2002, many movie studios have been cranking out Live-Action/CGI hybrids based on existing nostalgic cartoons and comic strips...to ruin our childhood memories of these properties. Fox has tarnished Garfield, Alvin And The Chipmunks and Marmaduke, Disney destroyed Underdog, and even Warner Bros., the studio that made the two Live-Action/CGI hybrid Scooby Doo movies, Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, assaulted our good times with Yogi Bear in 2D on the TV with the 2010 Live-Action/CGI hybrid, 3D-Enhanced movie of the same name.
But even a history of enduring the previous crappy live-action/CGI hybrid movies based on cartoons and comic strip characters -- truly cannot prepare you for the Computer-Animated, Live-Action, 3D-Enhanced waste of film and misery that is The Smurfs. Directed by Raja Gosnell, YES, the very same person who helmed the live-action/CGI Scooby-Doo flicks, and written by J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, Jay Scherick and David Ronn, one of them having already another critically reviled film for Columbia, Daddy Day Camp.
A recycled storyline and not-so-cute CGI Characters make this movie tedious to sit through along with its long 103-minute running time. A waste of talented actors -- Both live-action and the voice actors -- means that this movie squandered its entire cast. The PG rating that the MPAA has given this movie is a red flashing warning light that this is NOT a kid-friendly movie. Even those who love and cherish their own childhood memories of The Smurfs TV Cartoon of the 1980's should definatley stay away from this terrible live-action/CGI reboot. This is absolutely a skippable movie.
The story follows our blue-colored protoganists, The Smurfs themselves, Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Brainy Smurf, Gutsy Smurf, Clumsy Smurf and Grouchy Smurf (All voiced respectively by Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, Fred Armisen, Alan Cumming, Anton Yelchin and George Lopez) as they try to outwit Garagamel (Played by Hank Azaria) while trying to get back to their home world while being trapped in New York.
The main storyline is a rip-off of Disney's Enchanted, the 2007 Alvin and The Chipmunks Reboot (Another live-action/CGI hybrid movie of a cartoon franchise that was given very negative reviews by critics), and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. You have seen those three movies before. The studio and the film-makers, however, just used a different cartoon property in order to make you not remember and instead trick you into seeing a completley original movie. That is not the case once you watch it, however. You are seeing a mash-up of three different movies only in disguise as a original storyline made for The Smurfs.
MAJOR SPOILER WARNING! MAJOR SPOILER WARNING!
If you really, really, REALLY want to watch The Smurfs (What the hell is wrong with you if you have childhood memories of the 80's cartoon that inspired this live-action/CGI hybrid movie?) and you don't want the ending spoiled for you, read no further and instead skip to the next paragraph of the review. All set? Good. Okay. Here we go. At Belvedere Castle, after increasing the dragon wand's power with bits of Papa Smurf's beard, Gargamel finds himself facing all the Smurfs that were summoned to New York by Brainy conjuring the blue moon. As the Smurf army battles Gargamel, Smurfette fights Azrael and saves Papa Smurf before they join the fray. Though Gargamel attempts to break the Smurfs by killing off Papa Smurf, Patrick saves him while Gutsy knocks the dragon wand out of the wizard's hand. Clumsy tries to catch it, and to Papa Smurf's surprise, manages to catch it and send Gargamel flying into a trash can and being hit by a bus with the advertisement "Blue Moon" with it before Papa Smurf breaks it. Soon after, the Smurfs take their leave as Patrick receives a call from Odile that he still has his job. Later, while Patrick and Grace have a baby boy, whom they name Blue to honor them, the Smurfs rebuild their village in the style of New York, where the Winslows reside. Meanwhile, Gargamel and Azrael are still trapped in New York.
Both the live-action and the voice cast of the movie are WASTED big time. Neil Patrick Harris has starred in enjoyable fare, such as the three Harold and Kumar movies, The Muppets reboot (as a cameo), and in TV's How I Met Your Mother. NPH is a respectable and likeable actor. However, in The Smurfs, he is neither in this movie. He's just plain bored, and at times, depressed, and frantic. Jayma Mays is good in the TV series Glee, but she is wasted the same way as Harris is in the Smurfs movie. Hank Azaira is good as an actor, but even more as a voice actor, is also wasted in his role as Gargamel. He is on a mission to slay The Smurfs, but for what reason? We will never know.
Yelchin, Cumming, Winters, Welker, and Lopez are all decent actors, and even they are wasted in their roles as the voices of the main Smurfs of the movie. I wish they would never signed on to this movie in the first place. That would have saved them their paychecks. And to their fans, the suffering.
The movie is also not funny. When I sat through this piece of shit movie, I did not laugh at one single so-called "funny" moment in the movie. It is unfunny. It will not make you laugh if you cherish your childhood, it will make you angry and scream curse words at the movie while you watch it.
The movie was actually not shot in 3D, but howver, POST-CONVERTED to 3D during the post-production of the movie. Many post-converted 3D movies do not work as much as movies shot in 3D with 3D Cameras. And the 3D is actually just un-needed for this kind of movie. The studio just post-converted it to 3D in order to cash in on the success of James Cameron's Avatar, which made lots of money and got much better reviews from critics than The Smurfs.
And, of course, adding insult to the injury, is that The Smurfs movie offends Peyo's creation of the Blue-colored beings. He first created those characters in comics in the 1950's, and they were adapted to the TV three decades later, in the 1980's. The live-action/CGI movie bastardizes its source material and destroy's Peyo's work by adding uneccesary elements to it. Peyo must be spinning in his grave about this movie, right now.
All in all, The Smurfs is a VERY, VERY terrible movie. It has nothing new to offer, squanders so many good actors and voice actors, is written by four not-so-good screenwriters, directed by a director who will most likely never make a good movie, joins a parade of childhood-destroying live-action/CGI cartoon and comic stip character movies, is post-converted in unwanted 3D and has no reason to exist other than to outrage everyone who loves Peyo's creation of the blue-colored characters. Earning a low 0.8 out of a perfect 100 in my review, this is a perfect example of what can really go wrong when adapting a beloved cartoon or comic strip series to the big screen in the form of live-action/CGI hybrids. The movie was also terrible that Cinema Blend criticized parents for taking children to see The Smurfs instead of the well-received Winnie the Pooh, which was released earlier in the July of 2011. The movie tries to entertain, but instead messes itself up and makes everyone --including kids -- feel blue. Its only excuse for existance in Hollywood's movie library is to frustrate and make Smurfs fans very angry, make parents and kids wish they watched a much better movie, to cash in the 3D craze and to destroy our childhood filled with characters that we all know and love instead of returning to the good old days when older Smurfs fans were much younger. The movie also wastes the talents of Harris, Mays and Azaria in the live-action roles, making them seem bored and frustrated instead of trying to act as their respectible characters in the movie. It also can turn once die-hard Smurfs fans into Smurfs haters because of how godawful the movie is. And putting the final nail into the coffin is the fact that the movie is also getting a first and a second sequel, only offering more torture instead of enjoyment. Modern live-action/CGI hybrid movies based on classic cartoon and comic strip franchises do not get any more worse than The Smurfs.
Animated sequels are a mixed bag. Some of them work, but most don't. Making an animated sequel to a good animated movie is easy. However, engineering a good animated sequel is difficult. Basically, if it's not Toy Story, then it is going to fail.
Here are some examples: Happy Feet Two, Shrek The Third, Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Open Season 2, Most of Disney's DTV sequels, and Garfield: A Tail Of Two Kitties. Heck, even the CGI feature film studio god Pixar made its very first big critical misfire with Cars 2.
All these sequels that I have listed above failed with critics. But, however, I read online back then that Kung Fu Panda 2 got good reviews. It made me think "Hey, I want to check this movie out!"
So I did. I bought the Blu-Ray Combo Pack on January 15, 2012. However, I was too lazy to watch it at home. Then, on February 3, 2012, I finally got my very first viewing of the movie at High School.
And on February 10, 2012, I finished the movie. It took me 2 weeks to finish the movie in no time! :D YAY!!! And, guess what? The sequel is SLAM-BANG AWESOME! ;) Yep, you read it. It was GREAT!
I sadly have never seen the original Kung Fu Panda (I will try to, soon), but this sequel hits all the right notes in making a good animated sequel to a well-recieved animated original film. The story revolves around Po and the Furious Five the second time around, as they team up together to take down Lord Shen, an evil peacock hellbent on taking over the world by using deadly Fireworks.
The voice cast is top-notch. Jack Black reprises his role as Po, the lovable Panda Bear who utilizes kung-fu techniques. Gary Oldman is a good choice to play the bad guy, Lord Shen. Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu and David Cross make good voice actors, also.
And the animation works, too. DreamWorks has released animated movies that are truly eye candy as well as Pixar, such as How To Train Your Dragon, Megamind, Monsters vs. Aliens and Bee Movie. Colors are good, the environments are impressive, and the fur on Po is just lifelike, with lots of textures. There's also a 3D version of the movie avaliable, so make sure to get some 3D glasses if you want to see it in three dimensions! ;)
The Dreamworks Animation Logo variation at the very, very beginning of the film and the 2D-Animated Prologue are both just simply sensational. And the end credits are also well-done, too, by using music and 2D animation along the way. And the movie is as dramatic as it is funny. The movie has a positive message about friendship and making desicions. The movie also has plenty of humor to tickle your funny bone along the way.
And, when I saw the sequences with Lord Shen in them, and when he defeated Po, I was like "GOD DAMN YOU, SHEN! YOU ARE A EVIL PEACOCK!!" And, when Shen was defeated, I was like "YAY!!!" The movie also has a Twist Ending! I don't want to spoil it for you, though.
The screenplay is decent. Not to mention the score by John Powell and Hans Zimmer. It works, too. The two composers have added a Chinese flavor to the mix. All in all, this is a worthy sequel to a great DreamWorks animated film that came out back in 2008.
Kung Fu Panda 2 got a "Certified Fresh" and a 81% "Fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes. Interestingly, Industrial Light and Magic's very first full-length animated feature, Rango, also released in 2011, at a "Fresh" 88% on the Tomatometer and is also Certified Fresh, is 8% higher than Kung Fu Panda 2 and 5% higher than Puss In Boots. Puss In Boots is at 83% on the Tomatometer, which is 2% higher than KFP2. So DreamWorks might have to give up the Academy Award if Rango succeeds in winning the Awards Ceremony in February of 2012.
But however, overall, Kung Fu Panda 2 is worth your Skadoosh. It's one of those animated sequels that I can recommend without any reservations. It's no Toy Story 3 or Toy Story 2 in terms of critical achievement, but it's still one of the very few best-reviewed animated sequels out there. Kung Fu Panda 2 gets a 8.3 out of a 100. :)