Posts Tagged 'nn'

Wick-Quoting #18: Despicable Me

After I saw the first trailers for this movie, I was like, “wtf is this about?”  Then, later on, when the trailers revealed the little girls, it become all too obvious.  Basically, Despicable Me is about a villain who learns to become a caring father.  Now that we know what it’s about, why should we watch it?  To find out how it happens..

Ballet lessons?

I have to admit, Despicable Me is not a challenging or unique film.  The protagonist, Grue, and the children end up loving each other after each suffer hardships.  Because of the simplicity of the story, the film seems to be directed towards children a little more than I’d like (especially cause when watching the film at the theaters; there’s always some loud kid at a “children’s” movie).  Even so, the film is doing very well, having a worldwide gross of 188 million, with a production budget of only 69 million.  With such a low budget, it’s strange how the film has quite the popular voice actors, including Steve Carrell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Will Arnett, and Kristen Wiig.  Everyone’s favorite character, Agnes, the little girl, is voiced by some unknown girl.  Don’t look up who she is; it’ll just ruin your image of the cute character she plays.

I wanna go to a carnival too

The film has some addictive (and lame) lines.  Sadly, most of the good ones are shown in the trailers.  What the trailers fail to depict is how enjoyable the minions really are.  The minions are interesting characters – they have low jobs and are expendable, yet, they are key spectacles in the film.  What I mean by spectacle is they don’t help really in furthering the story.  While being fun to watch, they freeze the plot, making them only candy to the eye, similar to how women are treated in the majority of Hollywood films.  Even so, I feel they put in the right amount of scenes with the minions to make the film cute and funny, but not too much as to make the film of just adorable scenes.

Minions, get me a bapoy!!

So is Despicable Me the best animation film of this summer?  Sadly, no (it’s pretty obvious what is though).  However, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the watch.  Considering that it is a new franchise, Despicable Me is doing really well in terms of both profit and popularity.  Especially when you look at how it has to compete with Inception and Toy Story 3 – both very tough opponents.

Angel? No.. I'm your inner demon!!

The film is definitely targeted towards little kids (and possibly girls), not so much older boys (like me).  The minions def make this film a popular one.

7.8

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Wick-Quoting #17: Inception

One of the main reasons why Inception is so appealing is because it gives spectators a challenge.  Unlike other films, it assumes people are smart enough to understand what films have to offer.  And people like being treated as being smart.  Don’t you all… you intelligent readers you.

The shots were amazing in this movie

Even before the film came out, I knew (along with a bunch of others) that it would be highly entertaining and be considered an amazing film.  Why?  Just look at the players that make up the film.  First of all, Christopher Nolan wrote and directed.  However, you can’t really trust the legitimacy of a film based on the director alone though.  See what happened to M. Night Shyamalan with The Last Airbender?  Besides Nolan, there’s the awesome cast with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, and many others.  I sort of saw Leonardo DiCaprio as someone who could’ve been easily replaced by another male lead actor.  But he still did an awesome job as the leader of the pack.  And the music was “sensational” (for you AGT people out there).  If a film has Hans Zimmer as its composer, chances are, it’s going to blow you away.

Why is he stalking me?

After watching the film, many people said that some of the scenes reminded them of The Matrix.  For example, the scene in the hallway of the hotel where gravity is shifted about is similar to Neo bending the rules in the Matrix.  I’d have to disagree.  In The Matrix, the character, Neo, is the one who controls he’s unique abilities and bends perception.  In Inception, the strange bending of gravity is not caused by the characters, but by an outer force which they cannot control.  If anything, Inception, reminded me Nolan’s previous work, The Dark Knight.  The epicness of the films, the interesting shots, and the familiar actors, all caused me to think of Batman while watching Inception.  It makes much more sense.  The characters in Inception don’t even wear sunglasses.  And like the guys in Inception, Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight has a slick back hair style.

Similar to this shot, other shots in Inception contain vanishing points

If there’s a film to watch this summer, it is definitely this one.  Just look at Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s facial expression here.

He has an awkward smile on during the car chasing scenes too

The ending of the film doesn’t matter.  Whether the spinning top falls or not, who cares.  You watch the film, are entertained, what more do you need?  Really, the last scene is just something that Nolan added at the end to make you think more about the film and say, “maybe I should go watch the movie again and see if it’s real or not.”  So it’s not as much of a story-adding scene as it is a marketing ploy.

Who's to say that the top spins in a dream?

Now to look forward to Nolan’s next big film.. Batman 3!!

9.2

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

Wick-Quoting #15: Knight and Day

I should’ve learned my lesson after watching Killers a couple of weeks ago.  But no, I just had to risk it again.. for Tom Cruise.  Sadly, Tom Cruise isn’t doing that hot these days, meaning Knight and Day is a big no and NO!!

The film is your typical action/comedy summer flick.  The plot has nothing new to add to the genre.  It’s pretty much what we’ve all seen before a million times already – a secret agent and an innocent civilian join forces and shoot people.  Yes, there’s your car chase on a highway, explosions, gun fights, and the “kiss” at the end – very generic, the same old story.  You can’t even say that the ending is predictable, cause the whole story has no twists.  It’s like Fox is trying to dust off of True Lies (1994); Arnold Schwarzernegger’s golden days.

There's your big guns..

Needless to say, Knight and Day is doing  terribly in terms of profit.  With a production budge of 117 million, it has only made a bit over 44 million; and that already includes foreign grosses too!  This is going to slap Cruise later for the possible sequel: Mission: Impossible 4.  “Possible” because Paramount said they might reconsider the sequel unless Knight and Day does well.  Regardless whether if Knight and Day brings in any money, Mission: Impossible 4 will still most likely be made, with a younger actor attached to the project.  Cruise is losing his sparkle.  It’s a shame really, especially considering his new found popularity resulting from his Les Grossman character.

..and there's your chase scene

So if you’re itching to go to the movies, do not waste your time on Knight and Day.  Go see Toy Story 3 or.. uh.. yeah Toy Story 3.  I can’t believe the writers get paid so much for the crap that they spew out.  Nothing about this film is original.  Explosions, super weapons, and geeky geniuses, we get it, stop using the same old shit, please.  It’s like James Bond, but so much worse cause at least James Bond is a reliable franchise.  You’d think out of all the writers out there in Hollywood, they’d have a story that’s much more interesting and involving.  The title of the film doesn’t even make sense.  They just slapped on a common, witty phrase.  At least Killers (although a horrible title as well) describes the film in its own, vague way.  The word “knight” only has to do with a small figure of a knight in the film and the main character’s last name; minor details that have no influence of what the film is about.  And the connection with “day” is no where to be seen.  It’s not like all the scenes happen during the daytime.  From title, to story, to characters – totally uncreative.

This is MY glove!!

Even if you’re a fan of Cameron Diaz’s smile and Tom Cruise’s “charm” I wouldn’t recommend seeing the film (if you haven’t noticed by now).  “With me, without me.  With me, without me.”

I’m going to have to choose “without you.”

3.9

Wick-Quoting #14: June 2010

Minor Comics

Marvel/Disney is going to start showing brief 10 min films of minor superheroes before feature films.  One of these characters include Dr. Strange, who frankly, I’ve never heard of.  Dr. Strange is actually going to be made into a feature length film and is going to be Marvel/Disney’s first collaboration film.  It’s really difficult to say whether it’ll turn out to be a success or not.  I mean look at Jonah Hex.  Based on a western comic book hero that I’ve never heard of, it’s doing absolutely terrible – its production budge was 47 million while the domestic total so far is a bit over 6 million only.  But then again, look at Daredevil.  A minor Marvel superhero, the film made about 100 million.  But no matter what, superhero films will constantly be made in Hollywood.

http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/102752-marvel-to-introduce-characters-in-short-films

What's his power?

Pirates of the Caribbean

The new Pirates of the Caribbean film is going to be based on the novel, “On Stranger Tides,” which is about Blackbeard and the journey for the fountain of youth.  Apparently, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley will not be in the new Pirates, but I it’s not a big loss, considering Johnny Depp will continue to star in the film.  Depp’s character, Captain Jack Sparrow, is the one who made Pirates what it is today after all.  Hopefully the fourth installment of this franchise will be much better than the fourth film of another franchise that we all know.

http://www.latinoreview.com/news/plot-description-revealed-for-pirates-4-suprises-include-pirates-ships-and-arrrghs-10264

How will they be able to top the previous film? The answer's all in this box.

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye, a very popular novel by Salinger, is catching the attention of a couple of filmmakers.  Some production companies want to turn the book into a movie, despite the author’s negative views on Hollywood.  Being a novel about a boy’s internal struggle on life, it’s going to be really difficult to portray Holden’s character on the big screen.  Some things are better left alone.

http://www.joblo.com/index.php?id=32688

Now this is one cover of the book that I've never seen

Lion King 3D

Seriously, where is the craze of 3D coming from.  Making new movies with 3D is fine, but doing a re-release of a previous classic?  Releasing Lion King in 3D will probably get on some people’s nerves, but it’s the smart thing to do for filmmakers.  Obviously because it will make money.  However, I doubt that the 3D change will improve the storytelling experience.  Instead of playing $10 to see this in the future, just do yourself a favor and watch the original version.

http://www.joblo.com/index.php?id=32689

Let's see how this turns out..

Wick-Quoting #13: The Karate Kid (2010)

The Karate Kid is a pre-sold franchise.  It is already “sold” to a majority of its audience, due to the original version.  Proof of this is that the film is about kung fu, not karate.  But the film is called The Karate Kid, not The Kung Fu Kid.  That’s advertising for you.  Even so, that shouldn’t be the reason to go out and see the film.

In my opinion, if you do watch the film, you should watch the film to the point where Jackie Chan kicks ass.  That was awesome.  That’s it.  After that, the film gets a bit boring and awkward til the end.  It’s a real shame that Jackie Chan doesn’t have more action scenes and comedic lines in the film.  Those are his specialties after all.  I’m not saying that he’s a bad actor in building a serious character.  It’s just that that’s not what he’s known for.

501.. 502..

One element that the film should do without or tone down a bit is the romance.  Because the film is aimed to be a successful Hollywood film, some inclusion of romance is inevitable.  But seriously, having 12 year old kids making out is a bit too much.  And it wasn’t just a light peck.  Then later on in the film, Jaden’s character goes to the girl’s house and practically asks her father for permission for them to “go out.”  But what was confusing was that he asks her father if they can be friends.  Friends?  Then what was the kissing about earlier then?

They're not even in high school yet

So besides the terrible romance, the film has many more faults.  Jaden Smith is not that great of an actor.  But I should cut him some slack, this being his first big hit and all.  And he’s only what, 11?  He’s much better than how Daniel Radcliffe was in the first Harry Potter movie.  But that’s not really saying much.

And the second act of the film feels so long.  You know how when watching a film, you shouldn’t be paying attention to what you’re doing because you should be so immersed in what’s going on in the film?  Well, I found myself shifting around more than twice.  I just started to lose interest in the middle.

It looks good on him

The film is all over the place.  Everything is half ass.  There’s no definite romance – the protagonist doesn’t really end up with the girl.  Jackie Chan isn’t allowed to achieve his full potential, besides that 5 minute fight scene in the beginning.  And even that doesn’t compare to his previous fighting scenes in other films.  But in comparison with the other summer movies so far, The Karate Kid is entertaining enough to watch.  If only the film was a comedy, Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan would’ve made a dynamic, comedic duo.

It’s better than what I expected.  Only ever so slightly.

6.0

Wick-Quoting #12: Killers (2010)

Killers… what does that mean?  Exactly what can be learned about the film from that title?  People kill other people.  I guess that’s pretty much it.  Just like every other action movie.  So besides the vague title, what does Killers have to offer?  Frankly, nothing new.  Now, that’s not to say it’s a bad movie where you’ll find yourself taking a snooze in your seat.  It’s just probably something you won’t bother to see again (and perhaps something you shouldn’t see in the first place).

I spy, with my little eye..

Ex-spy, Spencer (Ashton Kutcher),  meets an ordinary girl, Jen (Katherine Heigl), and live together with a normal life in the suburbs.  Everything is great, until people they know turn out to be killers, trying to take Spencer down for a $20 million reward.  Heigl, known for her typical roles in films such as The Ugly Truth and 27 Dresses tilts the film to be more of a chick flick than a pure action film.  And that’s one of the main problems with this film – it’s too much of a mix of different styles and tones.  It’s like Picasso making something look realistic.  At one moment in the film, the couple is buying a pregnancy test and bickering like a married couple that they are.  At another moment, they are easily shooting bullets right into their neighbors’ skulls.  It’s difficult to settle into one mood while watching.  And considering that keeping audiences on their toes is what action films should do, Killers does so by constantly changing its tone.  Films should be consistent in tone.  A serious film should be serious (There Will Be Blood).  A mature film should be mature (Brokeback Mountain).  And a funny film should be funny (The Hangover).  All the way til the end!!

How many people at this party are going to die?

I had the opportunity to read the original script by Bob DeRosa before it was edited to reflect more of what the final product displays.   It has a solid tone and is more centered on Spencer rather than Jen.  And I believe that centering on the action man and making the story more serious would’ve been a better approach.  The film would’ve been a lot less confusing in the feeling you get (not talking about the plot), and in my opinion, more entertaining.  Although a plus for focusing on Jen is that it allows for a couple of awkward, funny moments.  Killers is “cute” at times.  Perhaps to the point of causing goosebumps.

Arguments, Children, and "Happiness." Pick two.

Considering that Killers is a 4-quadrant picture (it appeals to all four different groups – men under 25, men over 25, women under 25, and women over 25) it should be doing ok money wise.  It has action, a bit of romance (just look at the pink in the movie poster), and older stars (Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara) who play as Jen’s parents.  It’s a bit of a surprise to see the ratings the film is receiving when you consider the film’s quality only.  It’s not that bad of a film to receive only 3/10 stars on imdb.  Now that’s a bit harsh.  According to critics, it has worse ratings than Twilight, which is a slap in the face.  I guess that’s what happens when you piss off critics.  Therefore, you should never listen to paid film critics when deciding what to watch.  They’re only in it for the money after all.

Kutcher is a cool guy

It’s a fun film, but not something you should necessarily pay to see.

4.7


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