Posts Tagged '7'

Wick-Quoting #50: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

“Stupid monkey! He’ll learn who’s boss soon enough.”

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes opened this past weekend with relatively positive reviews from many critics and sources, successfully nabbing a “Fresh” 81% rating from Rotten Tomatoes and a solid 8.0 from IMDb.  It is clear that this film was a highly anticipated prequel to the famous Planet of the Apes franchise, and for the few who are not familiar with the franchise, the Rise was a curious introduction to the hairy apocalyptic universe.  However, that is all the acclamation this film deserves.

Franco and Pinto

The Rise does contain some well known talent, such as James Franco who plays the emotionally driven scientist, Will, and John Lithgow, who plays Will’s father, Charles, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.  Other familiar talents include Freida Pinto, best known for her role in Slumdog Millionaire, Tom Felton who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series, and Andy Serkis who is popular for his role as the creature Gollum in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.  This mixture of cast mates, including Brian Cox and Tom Felton, does achieve some fine moments on film, and the digital manipulation of Andy Serkis to create the ape, Caesar, is quite remarkable, but other than that, the film has little to offer.

Caesar did something bad

Due to the fact that the Rise is a prequel, we know what ultimately happens before we even take our seats in the theater, so we are just waiting to see how it happens, similarly to how Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode III.  Therefore, it is the journey that is supposed to fully entertain, not the outcome.  But in this case, the Rise does not live up to its epic outcome.  The desperate Cal grad (Go Bears!…)  attempts to develop a cure for Alzheimer’s disease to save his father, while his boss Steven Jacobs, played by David Oyelowo, takes advantage of the potentially, very profitable drug, which leads to the demise of humans and the rise of the apes.  In addition, a lot of the screen time is taken up by the apes’ interactions with each other, which is necessary for the plot, but very boring to watch.  If I wanted to see CGI on CGI action I would have bought a ticket to see The Smurfs instead.

Those aren't real monkeys?!

Despite my critiques on the predictability of the plot and the tiresome grunting of the apes, the Rise did well in the box office results coming in first for the weekend and grossing $78 million worldwide.  Due to this relative success, there are rumors of a possible (and unnecessary) sequel.  A movie depicting the mass extinction of the human race due to a deadly virus is hardly a film I plan to waste any of my time on.  Plus, it looks like they have already made this film.  It’s called Contagion.  Go see it on September 9th if you really have nothing else to do.

6.0

Quoted by Ander

MWP: 7.0

New Site: http://www.mrwickedproductions.com/wickquoting/?p=232

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Wick-Quoting #45: Thor

“Whoever wields this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”

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Out of all the big comic book movies that came / are coming out this summer, the only one I’d honestly never heard of was Thor.  Now having watched the movie, I still don’t feel any big need to read a comic, but… I can say I know of its existence now.  Actually sorry, that’s a bit of a harsh way to frame my opinion of the movie.

Brothers

Thor is about the titual thunder God pissing off his father and being cast to Earth to redeem himself.  He’s too hotheaded and war hungry, which his father disapproves of.  And since this is Hollywood, he’s going to meet a girl, who in this case happens to be played by Natalie Portman, and of course she’s pretty brainy but otherwise just runs around a lot and is often shocked by something or another.  Still, there’s a pretty strong cast of characters, and Loki and Thor’s relationship with each other as well as their father was the overall highlight of the film for me as it gave the movie a very real sense of emotion that I feel most comic book movies lack.  The battle scenes aren’t thrilling, but the special effects were pretty good.  Overall, the film is exciting and moves along at a good pace.  It’s not exactly the best comic book movie out there, or really anything super special on its own, but it’s pretty good for a one time feel good view to fit the summer blockbuster vibe.

Lovers

To conclude… I actually don’t have much else to say. I don’t know anything about the Thor comic books but the ending is just begging for a sequel, so we’ll see what happens there… and I probably will go watch it, if that does happen.  Also, for those of you who may know even less than me about this movie, it really has nothing to do whatsoever with actual Norse mythology.  But you probably all knew that already (hopefully) so these few sentences are just space filler.

7.6

Quoted by Sawazz

MWP: 7.7

New Site: http://www.mrwickedproductions.com/wickquoting/?p=189

Wick-Quoting #42: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

“There should be a “Captain” in there somewhere.”

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Yoho yoho a pirate’s life for me!  No matter what, you got to love the Pirates franchise, even if the latest installment is a bit on the disappointing side of the plank.  But really, you can’t expect much – what could have been done has already been done in the first three movies.  Still, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is not something you should just glance over (like the forth Shrek movie).  Although the new Pirates lacks a compelling story, it still has the sparkle of excitement from Captain Jack Sparrow.  And everyone loves Jack… except hipsters, of course.

Don't be a hipster

Pirates 4 starts a completely different story from its prequels, which most people would find as a wonderful thing, considering how a majority of viewers were getting tired of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley (I, on the other hand, loved them).  Out with the old and in with the new: replacing them are Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz.  While I enjoyed watching McShane play his bad guy role, I did not like Cruz all that much (despite her physical appeal).  She seems a bit out of place in the series, too clean and not rough enough.

They be mermaids in these waters!

The movie is quite long and in some parts, quite slow as well, especially because there is a lot of attention shown on minor characters.  I found these minor characters (the mermaid and the religious guy) to be very tedious and annoying to watch – I just wanted them to die and get them off screen.  I didn’t pay $10 to watch a budding romance between two characters who I don’t give a shit about – I want to watch Captain Jack Sparrow for crying out loud!

This island looks familiar

The ending of the movie is not very satisfying; however, the action, one-liners, and scenery make up for what the film lacks.  Pirates 4 had a budget of $250 million and has already made well beyond that (over $806 million worldwide).  Making that much money, there will probably be another sequel?  I guess this goes to show that this is the movie that almost caught the end of Captain Jack…

7.9

Quoted by MWP

Check out my new site: http://www.mrwickedproductions.com/wickquoting/?p=147

Wick-Quoting #40: Rango

“I tip my hat to you… One legend to another.”

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Well, the trailer for the film delivered a bunch of heard-em-before oneliners and an iffy concept – an chameleon named Rango fools his way into becoming a town sheriff and then is faced with numerous comedic hardships upon realizing that being the sheriff actually comes with some dangerous work.  But since Johnny Depp is voicing Rango, I naturally assumed that there must be some kind of off-kilter, whimsical factor to the movie as well.  I mean, Johnny Depp!  The man doesn’t just do normal animated movies like that!

How goofy!

And, long story short, he really doesn’t.  Rango is basically a film about what I just briefly explained.  Except that there is a handful of strangeness – a mystery afoot involving water, Rango’s silly and light headed qualities that remind one of Jack Sparrow’s own method of don’t act serious and don’t get taken seriously, then find yourself in trouble later on yeah sure but bust your way out of it in a cool manner, and well… some other strange things that you can see for yourself.  The other characters as well as the villains and the fight scenes also deliver a taste of originality that proove to be funny and fairly exciting.  Not to mention the over-arching mystery of the plot – that one got to me, and it delivers an environmental message in a pretty interesting way.  Although those who don’t really know the background of what Rango is trying to tell audiences may not get the full impact of the message, as a Society and Environment major I appreciated what the filmmakers were trying to show young audiences.  And it is certainly nothing for older audiences to scoff at either – I don’t want to preach here, so lets just say, water is important and SCARCE folks.  Yes, in our real world too, not just the world of Rango.

Especially in a desert!

Now, if there are any problems with the film that I felt myself and gathered from friends who also saw the film, it is that as an animated movie – it is a bit difficult to concisely explain, but – I suppose there isn’t a lot of magic to it per say.  Rango is actually a pretty factual film despite the whimsy of a lot of what happens and the characters, and there is no rosy and teary moment of revelation and comraderie or whatever as audiences might expect from watching pretty much the only reliable House-of-Good-Animated-Movies these days, Pixar.  And there aren’t as many friendly laughs and oneliners for kids and feel goodness as a Dreamworks movie like Shrek or Kung Fu PandaRango doesn’t really do feelgood and has a more abstract comedic feel, but I did still appreciate it.  Although its appeal seems to be somewhat hit or miss, I’d recommend giving Rango a try.  I think the filmmakers did try to make a film that stands out a bit from the bumpercrop of other animated films out there, and they have succeeded.  Now it’s up to audiences to accept the film or not.

Rattlesnake Jake is a pretty cool character

7.1

Quoted by Sawazz

MWP: 7.8

Check out my new site at: http://www.mrwickedproductions.com/wickquoting/?p=129

Wick-Quoting #32: How to Train Your Dragon

“You, sir, are playing a dangerous game! Keeping this much raw viking-ness contained! There will be consequences!”

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As mentioned in a previous post, animated movies for the past few years have all been pretty much the same thing: constantly regurgitating the same stories again and again.  However, How to Train Your Dragon (which will be referred to as HtTYD hence forth) is considered to be a Dratini amongst the plentiful Magikarp.  This is, of course, according to many ratings from different sources, including IMDb, which gave HtTYD an 8.2 (which is pretty high for IMDb).  Taking this into consideration, along with the good word from many movie goers, I was stoked to receive HtTYD in the mail from Netflix.  However, HtTYD has been one of the greater disappointments for me.  This only goes to show that you can’t trust reviews (other than mine, of course).

Don't let that cutie deceive you..

During the first 15 minutes of the movie, my eyes were wide open, and I was expecting to be thoroughly entertained for the next hour and a half.  The opening scene of different types of dragons attacking the village with the vikings fighting back is a unique clip to see.  The idea of having so many types of dragons reminded me of Pokemon, which left me with a nostalgic feeling.  But once the movie started to focus all its attention on its main character, Hiccup, I started to lose interest.  For starters, Hiccup is whiny, weak, and has a very annoying voice, sort of like the “protagonist” of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (notice the quotes).  I found it difficult to side with such an uninteresting and bony character.

The other side characters are just sort of... there

Speaking of uninteresting characters, the side characters, which includes the other teenage vikings (which I forgot the names to), don’t have a great deal of character development at all in the film.  Astrid, the main female teenager, is the only one who really shows a complete 180 in personality, which is quite disappointing.  In the beginning, she hates Hiccup and dragons, but just after one ride on Hiccup’s dragon, Toothless, she automatically turns into Hiccup’s left hand bitch.  The change is quite unconvincing and does little to add Astrid as a strong, female character.  Hiccup should have just said, “One ride, and instead of hating me, you’re going to want to have my babies!”

They should fish for more unique plots

I don’t want to ruin the story, but let’s just say that Hiccup starts off as a loser and ends up as a hero in the end.  There is nothing creative or unique of how the story gets to point B.  But interestingly enough, despite my disappointment with the film, HtTYD has almost made almost 500 million worldwide and has very high ratings throughout the http://www.  Here’s the bottom line, besides having vikings and dragons, the movie really has nothing new to offer.  I guess watching it in 3D at the theaters did wonders to its quality, similar to Avatar.  Oh, Avatar

7.2

Quoted by MWP

Sawazz: 7.6

Wick-Quoting #29: Megamind

“I was destined to be a supervillain, and we were destined to be rivals!  The die was cast!  And so began an epic enduring lifelong career… and I LOVED IT!”

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Hi everyone, I am a guest poster for Wick-Quoting, reviewing movies that Mr. Wicked hasn’t yet seen (or doesn’t want to see)!

For the past few years, movie theaters have been flooded with computer graphic animated films that often come with a 3-D option.  When was the last time any of you saw a traditional 2-D animated film in theaters?  The only high profile example I can think of in the States in recent years is Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.  Anyway, while the medium of computer animation has provided us with some great films – such as, of course, any Pixar film – the rest of these movies out there, with their similar witty banter, cool graphics, and feel good morals, all feel like part of one big series.  A couple examples of the kind of films I’m talking about here include Monsters vs. Aliens, Alpha and Omega, Legend of the Guardians, and so on and so on.  Of course, some of these movies are pretty good, but it doesn’t change the fact that their basic formula includes the requisite wittiness, graphics, and morals.

I wonder what's going on here

Megamind is no different.  The film is about the titular antihero Megamind’s endless battle to defeat his archnemesis and hero of Metro City, Metro Man.  But when Megamind finally accomplishes his lifelong goal, he suddenly faces the realization that maybe he was aiming for the wrong thing all along.  Oh, and just like a certain other anti-villain film that came out this year, a minion is featured!

MINION!!

The above is spoiler free Megamind in a nutshell.  Sounds a bit like the summary of some cheesy “how to change your life” book doesn’t it?

A notable aspect of Megamind is that it features a surprisingly robust lineup of voice actors from Tina Fey to Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt.  (Ben Stiller is in the mix too!)  However, honestly the usage of Brad Pitt and Tina Fey’s voices seems like a bit of a waste.  Both of them are talented individuals, but their talents aren’t really suited to voice acting since they sound pretty generic.  Whenever you hear Jonah Hill, on the other hand, you know unmistakeably that it’s him, and I must say I think his voice matches his character pretty well.

A famous cast has definitely helped the film's rep

Overall, just like Brad Pitt’s voice acting in this film, I’d say that the best word to describe Megamind is generic.  Sure there are cool graphics, witty lines, and a feel good plot with a few twists and turns.  For a mindless dose of decent entertainment, I’d say Megamind is just fine. But overall in this big overarching series created by the many other computer graphic animated movies out there, Megamind doesn’t particularly stand out.

7.0

Quoted by Sawazz


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