Posts Tagged 'how to train your dragon'

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

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Wick-Quoting #5: 3-D

“Modern life is so thin and shallow and fake. I look forward to when developers go bankrupt, Japan gets poorer and wild grasses take over.”

-Hayao Miyazaki

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I remember back when I was in middle school, my uncle took my siblings and I to see the new movie, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.  I have to admit, I was pretty excited, considering the fact I watched the previous two of the series and that it was going to be my first movie in 3-D.  The experience was disappointing, however – the story was bland and the 3-D wasn’t as great as I imagined it to be…

FALSE ADVERTISING!!

3-D at the time was something more experimental than it is today.  The reason for Spy Kids 3-D‘s success was because it was considered to be something new and different.  Of course today, it’s a completely different story, as people can choose whether to watch a movie in 3-D or not.  My main problem with 3-D is that it allows filmmakers to get lazy with their plots.  It’s almost as if the 3-D images can make up for anything that the film lacks.  This was definitely true with Spy Kids 3-D, which influenced me to already have a negative impression of 3-D, 7 years ago.

Nowadays, after the success of several movies in 3-D (such as Monster vs Aliens, the 3rd highest grossing animated film of 2009, and of course, Avatar), films in 3-D are coming out of Hollywood like ants on a hill.  Avatar, pretty much the main cause for 3-D craze, made way too much money (as mentioned in my previous post) causing the money makers in Hollywood in becoming greedier.  3-D, something which was rare only a couple of years ago, is now entering mainstream interest.  Just look at all the films that came out this past month. 

This is one movie where you can tell it sucks by watching the trailer

Clash of the Titans, a remake of a 1981 film, is a good example of 3-D influencing moviegoers.  It opened with $63.8 million in the US and Canada.  Even so, the film has generally poor reviews, and some even mention that 3-D hinders the experience.  Other films with 3-D additions include How to Train Your Dragon and Alice in Wonderland.  Getting even Tim Burton to join the movement is astonishing to say the least.  Burton, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Sweeney Todd, needs no extra help in enhancing the worlds he displays.  This only goes to show how successful 3-D is so far and how money-hungry Hollywood has become (not that it wasn’t before).

Would this be better in 3-D?

This is not to say that some good movies are coming out in 3-D.  How to Train Your Dragon, for example, has both a decent story, and nice graphics.  3-D does add to the experience, but is this what people really want?

Having a dragon beats having a dog.. any day, any time period

However, Hollywood does have a reason for all of this, with problems due to pirating.  With actors and writers striking, lots of productions are being shut down.  About 50% of industry heads gone, and some big companies, like Paramount, are only making “big” movies (Transformers).  3-D is just the savior Hollywood was looking for.  It’s no wonder so many companies are turning to 3-D – it is much more difficult for people to pirate and enjoy a 3-D movie.  3-D requires people to actually go to the movies and pay the extra 3 dollars or so. Now here’s the kicker: Why are people willing to pay extra to see a movie in 3-D, even though the plot is most likely crippled by the visual enhancements?  Do people really rather want to watch movies like Transformers 2 instead of movies like Memento?

OMFG, THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!11one1!!!1

Because of piracy and other problems, similar to what the music industry faced (and is facing) earlier, Hollywood is unable to support the middle directors and filmmakers, resulting in only the big budget, 3-D filled, story-deprived movies to exit the gates of Hollywood and enter theaters and dvd/bluray.  What is going to happen to all the potential masterpieces that resulted from these middle filmmakers?  Sadly, we will be seeing a lot less of them in the decades to come for sure.

My main fear is the film industry permanently going down the path of 3-D and visuals.  I’m all for some good graphics, but 3-D is pushing it a bit too far.  Films are made to allow people to experience what they see on the screen, and maybe, even feel like they are a part of it.  In the future, people might actually end up being in the films with 3-D aspects surrounding them 360 degrees.  This is not watching a film.  3-D does all the work for a movie, engaging viewers with the characters and plot.  I can only imagine the wonders it’ll do for character development and plot twist.

Spy Kids 3-D has made over 197 million worldwide. It's no wonder Rodriguez is writing a Spy Kids 4..

With legit films like Fight Club making only 100 million, I guess it’s time to say goodbye to these good old types of films and say hello to flashy and ridiculous (not the good kind) films.

PS: If you ever go movie hopping, I suggest supporting the good films and movie hopping the “cheap” 3-D stuff.. oh wait, you can’t cause you need the 3-D glasses, oh shit!!


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