John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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While it comes off as corny, feels like a product of the '80s and it feels weird seeing Hannibal being played by somebody other than Anthony Hopkins (Mads Mikkelsen: Hold my beer) but Manhunter is still a decent above-average police procedural thanks to Michael Mann's assured direction, good performances and stylish visuals.
So uh...comparing this to the original is a bad thing but I've never seen the original and I saw this movie first back in 2010. I prefer not to tread on too many toes but this technically isn't even a remake at all. The movie's about kung fu and takes place in China whereas karate is Japanese but the main producer wanted it called Karate Kid with scenes that are references to the original for marketing purposes. The beginning is a bit slow-paced before the awesome fight scene with Jackie Chan and the bullies not helped by a script that forgot to take into account that the character is being played by Will Smith's son, not Will Smith as a 12-year-old boy. Let's not talk about Jaden here. The movie's also a bit overlong at 140 minutes! However, once the aforementioned fight scene comes in, that's when the movie started grabbing my attention and it never let go. I enjoyed the training and when the actual tournament came up, I wanted Jaden Smith to win with some really good kung fu moves and reflexes. Ignoring the nepotism issue, I still think Jaden's character by himself is a woobie. Seriously, when the bullies beat him up, it was just as heartbreaking seeing it today sometime after I'm writing this review as it was when I saw this movie in the cinema back in 2010. Plus, some gorgeous scenery that suddenly gave me a craving to go to China much like how Narnia and Lord of the Rings gave me a craving to go to New Zealand. This movie could've been a very obvious cash-in but effort was put into it even if most of that is owing to the fact that it was called "The Kung-Fu Kid" by the film crew during production and wasn't technically a remake. But, hey, whatever increases your chances of box office success.
Abandoning the Disney formula in favour of a buddy comedy, The Emperor's New Groove might be simple (In your best South Park voice, kids: David Spade is...A LLAMA) and unambitious - truth be told, part of me wishes that the epic movie called Kingdom of the Sun which this movie was going to be saw the light of day though I'm not too sure of Owen Wilson doing one of the voices - but the deadpan humour, vibrant animation (it's Disney's Looney Tunes) and gut-bustingly hilarious villains make the "anti-Disney" Disney movie an entertaining 70-minute diversion.
Because when I think of Asterix, I think teen romance! Look, I don't mind romance and a majority of Asterix movies released after the Big Fight fell into that trap but still, this barely feels like an Asterix movie. It doesn't help that Abba, whose personality is essentially "a poor man's Disney Princess" was a completely original character. And it seems to me that Asterix has less dialogue in comparison to Obelix and Justforkix. This came out in 2006 and by this time, what few 2D animated movies were still being made were wise enough to realize that the Disney formula just doesn't make sense anymore, even if Albert Uderzo was reluctant at the time to turn his and Goscinny's creations into Pixar characters. The script is also a bit too modern for this old-fashioned historical comedy. They have a training montage with the cheapest cover of Eye of the Tiger they could get the rights to and a quirky animal sidekick (also not in the original comic book) whose name is literally SMS. A shame this movie wasn't as good as it could have been because the animation is gorgeous, the movie is intermittently funny, the Gauls do remain faithful to their comic book counterparts and the dubbing is really well done. I know I expressed my frustrations in the past with the Gauls having American accents preferring the voices from Twelve Tasks and the XXL games (Olympic Games, included due to having the same developers and game engine) but here it's very easy to forget that this was done by French animators, not a big Hollywood animation studio, with the voices really fitting the characters and nary a frame of animation where the lip movement doesn't match up with the English script. You'd think the voice acting would be terrible, since more famous actors were involved here in another misguided attempt to boost Asterix's U.S. appeal but even though I know I'm hearing Paul Giamatti and Brad Garrett's voices, they really match with the designs. While the American dub of the Big Fight and the first Asterix movie back in 1967 are still the animated Asterix movies that really rubbed me the wrong way, Asterix and the Vikings still wasn't as good as it could have been in spite of the fact that effort really was put into it.
Last Action Hero has a good premise, offers some interesting ideas even if they do fall short when they are executed, has enjoyable action sequences and is occasionally funny but the inconsistent tone, overlong runtime and uneven narrative structure prevent this satire from fully realizing its true potential. Speaking of satire, one of the lines in thie movie are "You can't just go around life nitpicking every little thing". That line makes me laugh sarcastically because of the poor, naive scriptwriters. Don't you know that nitpicking every little thing is the only way to make a living nowadays? The time for proper jobs is past. Now, we're living a new era! THE AGE OF YOUTUBE! PEOPLE HAVE BEEN NITPICKING EVERY LITTLE THING SINCE 2012 FOLLOWING THE TEMPORARY ENDING OF NOSTALGIA CRITIC! YOUTUBE IS NUMBER 1, NITPICKING IS PEOPLE'S JOBS NOW!!! Large ham speech much, me?