Posts Tagged 'dreamworks'

Wick-Quoting #44: Kung Fu Panda 2

“My son saved China – you, too, can save! Buy one dumpling, get one free!”

=======================================================

Kung Fu Panda 2 is the other sequel that came out on May 26 (along with The Hangover Part II).  The main difference between the two is that Kung Fu Panda 2 acts like a proper sequel – it builds from the previous movie and presents a new challenge while getting deeper into the development of the characters.  Through the conflict, Po (Jack Black) ends up learning about his past and his real family.

The panda returns!

While the story is a bit cliche (defeat the enemy who is jeopardizing lives and kung fu), the action makes up plenty for it.  Considering it is an animated movie based around kung fu, you can’t expect anything less.  Po and the Furious Five bust out some interesting and new moves.

The gang's all here

The film does have a touchy side to it when Po’s past is shown of how he came to be Mr. Ping’s (James Hong) son.  When Po as a baby panda was shown, a wave of “awww” traveled across the theater.  Along with James Hong, plenty of other famous actors took part in the making of Kung Fu Panda 2, including returning voice actors, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, and Seth Rogen, along with new additions such as Gary Oldman, who voices Shen, the evil Peacock.  Gary Oldman surprises me considering all the various roles he has taken, like Sirius Black from the Harry Potter series and Jim Gordon from the recent Batman trilogy.  He reminds me a bit of one of my favorite actors, Hugo Weaving, who has had unique roles in The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and Transformer series as well as his performance as V.  Apparently he is The Red Skull in the new Captain America movie and is returning as Elrond in the new Hobbits movies.

Awww

Hugo Weaving aside, Kung Fu Panda 2 is as good as it gets when it comes to a family, action movie.  The ending of the film, however, is very similar to the whole idea of Shaolin Soccer, but I guess that comes with the kung fu territory.  Even though the movie has an obvious plot, it is still a good watch, especially for children and families.  My only concern for this series now is that DreamWorks will commit and overkill and release three more sequels later on (like how they did for Shrek).

7.8

Quoted by MWP

Sawazz – I thought the action and comedy were great, above average, but the ending feels like such a rip-off of Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer! – 7.6

New Site: http://www.mrwickedproductions.com/wickquoting/?p=180

Advertisements

Wick-Quoting #40: Rango

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

=======================================================

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 #34: Kung Fu Panda

This animated feature film did very well back in 2008, making over 630 million worldwide.  It’s no wonder a sequel will be released later this year.  What made this move so successful?  For starters, it has a collection of well known actors involved.

The voices of the characters match pretty well

The cast includes Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, and Ian McShane.  Each voice actor matches his/her character fairly well.  It even seems like most of the characters were designed to resemble their respective voice actors (the similarity between Jack Black and Po the panda is striking).  Dustin Hoffman connects very well with his character, Shifu, mainly because just like Shifi, Hoffman is a master – a master at acting.  Therefore, his character commands a similar amount of respect.

The dragon scroll

Unlike other films from DreamWorks, Kung Fu Panda lacks in pop songs and celebrity references, which are common in media for children in order to draw in adult audiences (such as Katy Perry in Sesame Street).  Even though the movie is considered to be for children, it still can entertain adult audiences as well with its engaging characters and unique idea.  In fact, the inclusion of such outside references of songs and celebrities would have only hindered the movie as a spoof instead of an original comedy.

FOOD!

On December 2010, DreamWorks Animation announced that there will be a total of SIX films in the Kung Fu Panda series.  Are they fucking serious?  That’s more than Shrek (even considering the sequel starring Puss in Boots).  Of course, this is DreamWorks that we are talking about, so it is only natural for successful franchises to be dragged out a lot longer than they should be.  Hopefully this franchise won’t go past the third installment.

A duck making food? What does the tiger eat?

Enjoy the movie before DreamWorks overdoses in panda fever.

8.1

Quoted by MWP

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!”

=======================================================

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 #16: Toy Story 3

This is more of an analysis than a review.  There is no need for me to persuade you to watch Toy Story 3.  It is fawesome.  And seriously, if you haven’t watched it by now then you probably 1) will never watch it anyways and you’re 2) missing the hell out!!

It’s easy to say that Pixar has “done it again” as expected.  Toy Story 3 easily makes viewers laugh out loud (literary) and cry.  So far it has made about 570 million, which is almost 100 million more than the previous film, with a production budget of  200 million.  200 million is a lot more than I expected and it got the job done.  Toy Story 3 beats its closest animated rival, Shrek Forever After considering both money made and entertainment value.  Thank god.  It’s surprising how Shrek still does so well considering that it feels like they’re beating a dead horse (or donkey).  When the film first came out, I wasn’t even sure if it was the 4th or 3rd of the series.  They should’ve stopped at 3, but that’s what happens when you got little kids’ support.  If you think about it, Shrek to kids is sort of like Twilight to fan girls.  Because of little kids supporting Shrek, DreamWorks is wasting time reusing old stories when they could be making something completely fresh and original.  And as for Twilight, I see it fucking EVERYWHERE now.  It’s all about freaking vampires and werewolves – commercials, advertising, movies.  How can you even compare Twilight and Harry Potter?  Seriously, little kids and fan girls ruin EVERYTHING!!

Holy shit, those fan girls are crazy

Back on topic, ah yes, talking toys.  It’s really hard to choose a favorite scene in Toy Story 3, cause it’s all good really (excluding Jesse’s whining).  The opening scene is cleverly done and reminds viewers of the opening of the first Toy Story, only told in a different fashion.  But a general consensus is Buzz’s dancing scene.  It’s strange how a short time of dancing can be so freaking funny.  I laughed so hard watching it.  The only reason I was aware of my position as a spectator was cause of the laughter.  Which is a good thing, unlike being hella bored and catching yourself picking your nose or something.

Buzz Lighter al rescate!!

Pixar is known for their animated actors.  Their actors are actually much better at acting then real life actors.  They express themselves better which comes at no surprise for computer animation.  They say that acting is made up largely from the editing, which is true.  Image a man with a blank expression.  The camera then cuts to a shot of a sandwich, then back at the man.  Viewers would get the impression that the man is hungrily staring at the sandwich.  Now replace the sandwich with a fine woman.  The meaning from the man’s face changes completely from hunger to sexual desire.  It is this editing technique that helps actors in doing their jobs.  It’s what allows Kristen Stewart to act.  Now Pixar’s characters are able to completely overcome this trick, because their facial expressions are superb compared to real life actors.  This is not to say that the characters in Toy Story 3 don’t use editing to their advantage.  It happens all the time.  And some characters need the help more than others, especially the ones with limited movement (the ones made of plastic).

Their faces are not as expressive as Woody's

Yes, some of the characters I’m talking about here include Barbie and Ken.  These two characters are limited in their movement and expressions due to being made of plastic, but this doesn’t mean that they aren’t great characters.  Quite the opposite, they are filled with personality, even to the point where a joke is made about Ken’s fashion statement.  These two characters, although they play minor roles, make the film a much more enjoyable experience.  Who can say no to a barbie now?

So there you were..

I’m glad that Toy Story 3 introduced a new side to Buzz that wasn’t previously seen before.  Buzz is frankly, compared to Woody, a boring character.  If you were to describe Woody, it’d be along the lines of loyal, stuck-up, wuss, determined, and leaderish.  If you were to describe Buzz, not the crazy space ranger Buzz, just plain ol’ Buzz, it’d be along the lines of brave.. and.. uh.. kind?  Having Buzz’s Spanish side brings a whole new light on the character, although it should be considered pretty much a whole new character in itself.  I’m not hating on Buzz, I’m just saying.  I’m really happy for you and imma let you finish but Woody is the greatest toy of all time.

Here we go again..

Without a doubt in my mind, Toy Story 3 beats the previous two and is one of this year’s best films.

9.1


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3 other followers

RSS MrWickedProductions

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Wick-Quoting

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

mrwickedprod

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Blog Stats

  • 54,401 hits
Advertisements