Pages

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

REVIEW: Tangled in Disney Digital 3D

MOVIE
Tangled

CAST
Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi

RATING
PG

RELEASE
November 24, 2010

DIRECTOR(S)
Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

STUDIO
Walt Disney Pictures

RUNNING TIME
1 hour 39 minutes






GRADE
A++ (102)






STARS
****1/2











REVIEW:

The Disney Coperation is probably more famous for their Disney Princesses than Mickey Mouse himself, believe it or not. With notable princesses like Cinderella, Belle, and Ariel, Disney has had an easy time leading studios in the animation business, not even including PIXAR. So when Disney announced that they were bringing back princess movies, there was a little bit of controversey brewing around it. And then The Princess and the Frog came out, and surprised everyone, including me, but mine was in a good way. Now almost a year after their triumphant return to the princess genre, Disney is releasing another princess movie, now based on the classic story of Rapunzel. But the one difference between this princess and the others is that is one is computer generated, instead of hand drawn. After seeing the movie, I feel completely shocked from it: it is a flawless and nearly perfect animated film!!!

SYNOPSIS FROM Movies.com:

When the kingdom’s most wanted—and most charming—bandit Flynn Rider hides out in a mysterious tower, he’s taken hostage by Rapunzel, a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair. Flynn’s curious captor, who’s looking for her ticket out of the tower where she’s been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an over-protective chameleon and a gruff gang of pub thugs. In theaters this holiday season in Disney Digital 3D™, “Tangled”is a story of adventure, heart, humor and hair—lots of hair.

End of SYNOPSIS

I had no idea that Disney could pull something like this off on their own until I saw this movie. What I mean by this is, Disney has always made genuine classics, Pinocchio being one of my favorite movies of all time. But recently Disney hasn't been hitting out-of-the-park grand slammers out of their animated movies. The closest ones for me were movies like 2002's Lilo & Stitch, and 2007's Meet The Robinsons. Plus, I was never fully into the princess movies throughout my life, so this movie wasn't on my must see for the holiday season. The previews didn't even do much for the movie either. But that's the thing: the trailers won't do the movie enough justice. Yes, I get that Disney was trying to get a male audience for this movie, which it does, but next time, get a better marketing campaign. They also should've tried to mention that this is a musical, a good one too. It's not really such a big deal, since all Disney princess movies are musicals, but Disney could've mentioned that this was a family musical, which could increase the audience for the holiday season. Hey, musicals do add to the 3D movie experience after all.

Another thing that Disney didn't manage to do, which was actually smart so they could get the male audience into the movie, was mention the fact that this movie is a musical. Alan Menkin really provides the audience with catchy and fun songs, along with a great score. I usually don't listen to the scores in movies, but Disney scores have something that just draw the viewer into the movie. Although, I don't know many 10-14 year olds who enjoy movies/musicals like I do, so I don't know what will happen when they find that little fact out. But whether they see it or not, they'll be bound to get an fun action movie they were promised from the commercials. Come on, who doesn't know a man who's a fan of sports and action packed movies? So to all guys who aren't into the Disney genre, you might want to lose your macho/suave/charismatic character you have everyday in school for two hours, and just sit back and watch what you may be surprised about as being a really good movie.

Like I said before, this is Disney's first CGI princess, which also means that this is Disney's first 3D princess. Like most 3D released Disney movies, this one was made for the extra dimension. The entire movie isn't meant for the 3D effect, but there's one scene involving floating lantern lights that's so eye-popping, that it makes you're eyes hurt in a good way. Other than that one scene, there are a few dimensionalized scenes that can be interesting to look at in 3D, but isn't that why 3D was created? Sure, you can go a long way with pop out scenes, but it's the depth in the movie that makes a movie worth the extra cash. So what I'm saying is, if you're going to see Tangled with your family, pay the extra cash and go 3D. Some may not think it's worth it, but for the one floating lantern scene, I'm sure they'll agree with me.

So how much did I enjoy this movie overall? Well you, as moviegoers may be surprised by this as to me saying this statement: I thought this movie was better than Toy Story 3, making it my favorite movie of the year so far!!!! WHAT, you may be thinking. How can something like Tangled be better than Toy Story 3? Well the main reason for me was that I enjoyed myself more in this movie than in Toy Story 3, even if I saw TS3 at the world premiere. Believe me, Toy Story 3 is an excellent movie, and deserves all of the Oscar nominations/wins it will probably get, but I personally thought Tangled was a better movie. So should you see Tangled? In my opinion, ABSOLUTELY!!! Should you see it in 3D? Yes, because it will enhance a lot to the movie when you see it. Will you enjoy it as much as I did? Maybe, You never know. What I'm saying is, who's the only one that can top Disney at what they do? Disney, of course! So prepare to get Tangled as you put on your 3D glasses, because Tangled IS the best movie of the year so far!!!




PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:


The Chronicles Of Narnia:
The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader


Yogi Bear


Justin Bieber: Never Say Never


Mars Needs Moms


Cars 2


The Smurfs Movie






video

Saturday, November 20, 2010

REVIEW: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

MOVIE
Harry Potter
And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

CAST
Daniel Radcliffe,
Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

RATING
PG-13

RELEASE
November 19, 2010

DIRECTOR
David Yates

STUDIO
Warner Bros. Pictures

RUNNING TIME
2 hours 27 minutes




GRADE
A+ (99.5)







STARS
****










REVIEW:

From the first glimpse of the literally "deforming" Warner Bros. logo, to the film's climatic cliffhanger of a conclusion, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the first of the final movies in the series, never loses its steam. The movie, which is part 1 of "The Deathly Hallows," which is the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series is basically the back story to what's going to happen in Part 2, come July 15th. I was expecting a lot from thi movie, since I'm not a fan of "The Order Of The Phoenix" and thought that last years "Half Blood Prince" was more of a comedic rom-com than the typical Potter film. But my oh my, Harry Potter once again went high above my expectations.

In their supposed 7th year at Hogwarts, Harry, Ron, and Hermione decide to leave Hogwarts to complete a mission started originaly by Dumbledore. This mission involved defeating the evil Lord Voldemort once and for all. But in order to do this, the trio must find and destroy seven Horcruxes hidden throughout the magical world. A Horcrux is a split piece of a person's soul that keeps a human or wizard alive no matter what. At the same time, the trio learns about The Deathly Hallows, three different items that combined together, the wizard possesing all three would be unbeatable.

One of the main reasons why I absolutely love this movie is because it is completely different from any of the others in the series. Yes, the trio isn't attending school anymore, but it's not just that. It's mainly because in some ways, you get to see different sides of the characters. For example, in one scene, (SPOILER) while Ron is wearing one of the evil Horcruxes, he gets very agressive at Harry and eventually leaves the trio for quite some time. (END) That's only one of the great things about this movie's difference from the others.

Another great thing about this movie is that it explains more than it does in the other movies. You get reintroduced/introduced to characters mentioned in the books and movies, plus you get more information about anything than you could've in the previous entries in the series. This movie is about 2 and 18 minutes, not including credits. Without including credits, this movie is around the total running time as Order Of The Phoenix, the shortest/my least favorite film in the series. What's good about this is that this is ONLY part 1. The movie may feel slow at times, but it's that kind of pacing that shows that Warner Bros. really thought about splitting the final book into two movies, instead of thinking about it for the $$$. Yes, this movie WILL make a lot of money, but story, visual effects, and acting are the other reasons why people go to see the "Potter" films.

Speaking of acting, all of the actors in this movie do a superb job as usual. Most are quirky and funny at parts, but it's the darker characters that are indeed, dark. As it turned out, every player in this movie other than the three main leads have very miniscule roles in this movie. Most are only in the movie for 1-2 scenes, and thats about it, until Part 2 at least. But other than the small roles, the three main actors are all fantastic. The one main praise I can give from the trio is Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the series. I was never really a fan of him aside from the 1st and 2nd movies, since he never really played anything other than an angry, scared, or humerous guy. He's like that in this movie, but he really steps up his A game in this movie, especially with his intensity in one scene of this movie. But not just him, all of the main actors have really aged and matured over the past decade, and I can't wait to see the trios final role in the series next summer.

This movie is rated PG-13, and for a good reason, too. This is probably the most intense movie in the series, because a lot of frightening scenes, one in paticular involving voldemort's pet snake. Potter readers, you know which scene I'm talking about (Godric's Hollow). Not just that, but there are a lot of shocking deaths in this movie, and a intense torture scene that even had me turn away for a second or two. Along with that, there's one intense scene involving Ron attempting to destroy a Horcrux in the forest, along with Harry being choked underwater by this same Horcrux. So whether or not you're kid's a huge Harry Potter fan, this is more for either kids who have read/seen all of the books and movies and are slightly fearless enough to handle this, or kids 11 and over. End of story.

So overall, "Part 1" isn't the absolute best movie of the year, but it's in my top 10 for sure. With some quirky and funny moments throughout, and many intense and frightening scenes, this is one of the more enjoyable movies of the year, other than some stinkers from earlier in the year. Who would've thought that the creation of a down on her luck writer who started writing the first book in a coffee shop turn into a quote on quote "Worldwide Phenomenon"? I know I probably wouldn't have thought this, if I was old enough to see the movies when they originally came out. So if you have the means, this is one of those movies that is an absolutely worthwile theater experience. So do you want to see a good movie this holiday season? Well then you might want to travel with Harry, Ron, and Hermione to search for "The Deathly Hallows", Part 1.


PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:


The Chronicles Of Narnia:
The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader



Tron: Legacy



Yogi Bear



The Green Hornet



The Green Lantern



Red Riding Hood


Kung Fu Panda 2:
The Kaboom Of Doom


Cowboys & Aliens
video

Sunday, November 14, 2010

REVIEW: Unstoppable

MOVIE
Unstoppable

CAST
Denzel Washington, Chris Pine

RATING
PG-13

RELEASE
November 12, 2010

DIRECTOR
Tony Scott

STUDIO
20th Century Fox

RUNNING TIME
1 hour 38 minutes






GRADE
A (96)







STARS
***1/2











REVIEW:

Trains, trains, more trains, action, comedy, suspense. These are the words I first thought of when I first saw the trailer for Unstoppable, the 5th collaboration between Academy Award winner Denzel Washington, and acclaimed director Tony Scott. From the trailers, I wasn't so enthusiastic about this movie, since it looked like any other action thriller. In fact, this was only my second Denzel Washington movie in theaters, and my first one for Tony Scott , so that was a slight plus for me. But boy, was I surprised by this movie. It's not going to win any Oscars I bet, but this movie is surely one hell of a good time!

So here's the basic plot: Two men are working on a railroad, both of whom don't like each other. Then an idiot accidentally lets a train go 60+ miles heading to destroy many towns and cities. Now it's up to these two men to eventually thin of a plan to stop the train from destroying/killing towns and citizens. Pretty basic, right? Just from that simple plot you can already tell what happens in the end. But it's not the story that drives the movie, it's everything else in the movie that drives it.

One of the main things that kept driving this movie was the acting. I don't think that there has ever been a bad Denzel Washington movie that I've seen. The same goes for Chris Pine, but his other main starring role was in the superb 2009 hit Star Trek. Rosario Dawson and Kevin Dunn both are good as the supporting characters. But I was the most impressed with Kevin Dunn's performance as the guy who doesn't want to risk his job for anything. This is a step for Kevin Dunn who is probably best known to me as Shia LaBeouf's father in the Transformers series. Chris Pine has a lot of charisma that will surely take him to super-stardom. As for Mr. Washington, he should just keep doing what he's doing.

Teens may not think that this movie looks appealing, but believe me if your kid really enjoys lots of action and suspense, with lots of your daily dose of "Boom, Boom, POW!" then this is their kind of movie. I'm rarely into these kinds of movies, since their mostly just lots of explosions nonstop, but with it's charismic charm and great acting, I enjoyed just as much to get into my top 20's of the year. But overall, Unstoppable is a fast paced, action packed thrill ride that may keep you on the edge of your seats until the ending. So if you like to spend 2 hours watching action packed movies with Denzel, then your mind may just be surprised by Unstoppable. And a quick point out that this movie IS a theater experience, not a DVD rental on a cold Sunday afternoon. So in truth, Unstoppable is a nearly superb movie.






PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:


127 Hours



The Next Three Days



Love And Other Drugs



Season Of The Witch



Unknown




Sanctum



Battle: Los Angeles

Saturday, November 13, 2010

REVIEW: Megamind 3D

MOVIE
Megamind

CAST
Will Ferrell, Tina Fey

RATING
PG

RELEASE
November 5, 2010

DIRECTOR
Tom McGrath

STUDIO(S)
DreamWorks Animation,
Paramount Pictures

RUNNING TIME
1 hour 33 minutes




GRADE
A+ (97)




STARS
****







REVIEW:

Dreamworks Animation has been having a solid year so far. With successful movies like How To Train Your Dragon on their bill this year, they're going to have a hard time topping something as heartwarming and funny as "Dragon." With their latest movie, Megamind, they fail to give a touching and heartwarming story for Academy members to notice, but they sure as heck give the audience a smart and hilarious animated movie that is surely one of the funniest movies of 2010. Most of it is thanks to the voice acting. It can also be because of the animation and its use of 3D, but whatever it is, this is an incredibly funny movie that should be a must see for audiences everywhere.

SYNOPSIS (Taken from Moviefone.com)
BE WARNED THAT THIS SYNOPSIS HAS SPOILERS, SO WATCH OUT!

From the studio that brought you Shrek, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda, Megamind is the most brilliant supervillain the world has ever known. And the least successful. Over the years, he has tried to conquer Metro City in every imaginable way. Each attempt, a colossal failure thanks to the caped superhero known as "Metro Man," an invincible hero until the day Megamind actually kills him in the throes of one of his botched evil plans. Suddenly, Megamind has no purpose. A supervillain without a superhero. He realizes that achieving his life's ambition is the worst thing that ever happened to him. Megamind decides that the only way out of his rut is to create a new hero opponent called "Titan", who promises to be bigger, better and stronger than Metro Man ever was. Pretty quickly Titan starts to think it's much more fun to be a villain than a good guy . Except Titan doesn't just want to rule the world, he wants to destroy it. Now, Megamind must decide: can he defeat his own diabolical creation? Can the world's smartest man make the smart decision for once? Can the evil genius become the unlikely hero of his own story?

It's hard to describe the complexity of Megamind for me. No, not really, since this movie doesn't have a bit of originality, other than Will Ferrel's hilarious voice as Megamind. I'm not saying that this was a bad movie, far from it, but every movie needs some originality, doesn't it? Other than little sense of originality, Megamind exceeds in expectations. Like every DreamWorks movie, the animation is stunning. The creation of Metro Man can make you sort of give you a sense of imagination of what Brad Pitt looks like as a superhero. That's both funny to the kids, but funnier to the adults as well. Megamind, as a movie proves that Will Ferrell can do any role he wants to, as long as it's in comedy. But believe it or not, Will Ferrell isn't the only perfect voice casting in this movie.

It's not just Will Ferrell that takes the spotlight in Megamind, it's most of the ensemble cast that have their own spotlight moments in the movie a few times as well. One of the funniest characters in this movie happened to be David Cross as Megamind's evil assistant, Minion. I've never been a fan of David Cross, since all I've seen him in were villain roles in the Alvin and the Chipmunks series, and Year One with Jack Black. But hearing his slightly calm voice in such a huge and monstrous looking creature was the only role Mr. Cross could be in for this movie. Another funny voice in this movie belongs to Jonah Hill, who plays an ordinary camera-worker turned superhero named Hal/Titan in this movie. Although Jonah Hill plays the same character, (Just like his Superbad costar, Michael Cera) he is just flat out hilarious as this supervillan wanna be, who has a crush on Tina Fey's character, Roxanne Ritchi. (Who doesn't have a crush on Tina Fey, anyway?) So basically, it's just Jonah Hill playing a muscular Jonah Hill in tights. That may seem annoying, but it's one of the biggest reasons why Megamind is just a whole lot of fun.

Whether you're a hug fan of one or two of the cast members, enjoy DreamWorks movie, or are taking the kids to see a movie, Megamind, from the moment it begins, is a funny, lighthearted, and visually amazing movie. I doubt it will achieve the greatness of How To Train Your Dragon and Pixar's Toy Story 3, but it's still a funny and harmless the whole family will love. This is also a good movie for parents who want to expose their kids to A-List PG-13 stars like Will Ferrell and Brad Pitt. But isn't that why Dreamworks are made, to expose younger kids to adult, PG-13 A-Listers? Well with this kind of cast, this is a movie not to miss. So when you're walking out of the movie (try to catch it in 3D, by the way) well surprised by what you saw, you'll know then that you had a "Megamind" for going to see Megamind that day.








REVIEW: Life As We Know It

MOVIE
Life As We Know It

CAST
Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel

RATING
PG-13

RELEASE
October 8, 2010

DIRECTOR
Greg Berlanti

STUDIO
Warner Bros. Pictures

RUNNING TIME
1 hour 54 minutes




GRADE
B+ (89)





STARS
***







REVIEW:

Wait a minute, haven't we seen a romantic comedy with a baby before? We probably did, but I don't remember a baby involved movie other than Tom Selleck's classic Three Men and a Baby. But now Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel of Knocked Up and Transformers fame decide to star in this completely predictable chick flick. Now me, I'm a sucker for chick-flicks, and once again, a movie like this did not disappoint for me. Yes, this movie is very dumb, predictable, and just flat out was never needed to be made. Yet, if you're a guy like me, or a dude who's forced by his wife or girlfriend to see this with her, there's a possibility you might be suprised by the turnout.

Holly Berenson and Eric Messer are nothing alike. Holly is the typical neat freak, strict like girl making delicious sweets for a living. Eric Messer is a free living guy working as a camera controller for basketball games, plus hooking up with women every night. The one thing that they both have in common with each other is their best friends, whom the latter are married to each other. But as fate would happen, Holly and Eric's best friends seemingly died in a car accident, leaving behind their 1 year old daughter Sophie in the care of the two. What will happen to Eric and Holly as they must take care of the one year old girl? For them, "life as we know it" will never be the same for them.

There isn't much to talk about other than this movies is predictable and dumb, but also sweet and heartwarming, filled with plenty of belly-laughs for the family. Other than language and some sexual content, this is a perfect family film. Kids around 9 and up will enjoy it, as well as parents desperate for a good time. One can actually compare this movie to Three Men and a Baby, which I enjoy more than this. But this movie still is just as lighthearted, but not as language filled as the other. So if you're with someone who needs a funny and somewhat heartwarming movie with a baby, then you're sure to enjoy Life As We Know It.





PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:


How Do You Know


Gnomeo And Juliet


Love And Other Drugs


Hereafter

Friday, November 12, 2010

REVIEW: The Social Network

MOVIE
The Social Network

CAST
Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield

RATING
PG-13

RELEASE
October 1, 2010

DIRECTOR
David Fincher

STUDIO
Columbia Pictures

RUNNING TIME
2 hours 0 minutes







GRADE
A+ (100)








STARS
****








REVIEW:

For those who frequently go onto the Internet, they are bound to have a facebook account. However, for anyone who doesn't know what facebook is, this social networking site is an online website in which you can create a profile and communicate and socialize with friends, plus keep up with daily life in sports, entertainment, and your friend's lives. It is currently one of the biggest trends happening in the world. And it all started because of a very gifted college student when he created it. The Social Network is the story of the creation of Facebook, and the tragedies that went with it, and as it turns out, it is a smart, well written, and funny movie that is one of the best movies of 2010.

Mark Zuckerberg is possibly one of the smartest people out there. He can hack into Harvard's system, create a website, and eventually get the site to crash within a matter of hours. But after a sad breakup with his girlfriend, Mark has a breakdown which leads to the creation of a website within Harvard's system where college kids can socialize with friends, post photos, and basically take the entire experience of college and put it online. He called it "The Facebook." But before Mark knew it, The Facebook became the most talked about thing on campus. But with the help of a few people, The Facebook became one of the most talked about things in the world. The Social Network explores the creation of facebook and the troubles Mr. Zuckerberg would get into along the way.

Like I said, this is one of the best movies of the year. One of the many contributors to making this a great movie was the amazingly well written screenplay. Aaron Sorkin, who wrote this funny and dramatic movie deserves an Oscar nomination for this cleverly written script. Despite being mostly based on the real life events of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, the movie feels like it's its own original story. Aaron Sorkin only loosely based the information off of real events, so in a way, this really is an original story of sorts. And that's just one of the many reasons why The Social Network is near perfection.

Another contribution to the perfection of The Social Network is the actors of the movie. All of the actors are doing their characters justice, and are performing them very well. Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Mark Zuckerberg might even get a Best Actor nomination this year due to his performance. But the one performance that I personally deserves it all is Justin Timberlake as wise-cracking, cocaine-addicted Sean Parker, whose contributions to Facebook eventually tear everything apart. Overall, the acting in this movie is flat out superb and mostly unforgettable.

I would like to point out, though, that this IS NOT a kids movie. Despite being about Facebook and its creation, the main setting is in college, in which it shows the sexual and alcoholic side of college everyone has heard about. This movie is more for mature 13 year olds and up, but could also be for ages 15 and up since the movie, despite being a mear 2 hours at length can get a bit draggy for those who can't handle slow and thinking movies. But overall, for those who are very mature and can handle movies like this, then they will enjoy seeing The Social Network.

I can keep going on praising The Social Network all day if I wanted to, but for this review, I wanted to just share the main keys of the greatness of this movie. David Fincher will also be a shoe-in for a Best Director nomination, since he was the main reason of how this movie became possible. This movie is unlike any of the other blockbusters this year like Toy Story 3 and Inception, yet it still has that blockbuster movie feeling despite the serious looking trailers. But just to sum everything up, The Social Network is one of the must sees of the fall movie season. So if you like facebook, have a great taste in movies, or just enjoy dramedies, then you might want to log on to The Social Network.





PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:


Hereafter


The Tourist


The Next Three Days


How Do You Know?


True Grit