Posts Tagged 'summer'

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

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

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

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

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Wick-Quoting #21: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Movie of the summer with the highest hopes for: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Movie of the summer that is the biggest letdown: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

The main problem with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is how the story is sloppily put-together.  You can compare the movie to a messy peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  The humor is the peanut butter.  The special effects and crowd-pleasing action are the jelly.  The story, from beginning to end, are the bread slabs.  Basically, the movie has way too much peanut butter and jelly for the bread pieces to hold, making the sandwich really messy.  The film seems to try to focus on the yummy insides alone and neglect the story element, just as long as it holds.  What’s wrong with the story you ask?  There are two main problems.

Nuh uh, I'm not passing this film off that easy

1) The main character, Scott Pilgrim (no duh), comes off at the start of the story to be a greatly disliked character.  He has a history of treating girls with no respect, including the drummer, Kim.  He easily throws away his Asian girlfriend, Knives, after setting his eyes on Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).  He also cheats on his Asian girlfriend in order to be with Ramona.  So right at the start, the protagonist is labeled as a douche.  Why would we as spectators want to root for a “hero” like that?  Just because he fights battles with Ramona’s exes?  Why would he even fight for Ramona in the first place when Ramona doesn’t even seem like that great of a girl anyways?  She does, after all, have a shitload of baggage.

It is only at the very end where Scott realizes that he’s a douche and apologizes to the girls that he fucked up.  It is only at the end where spectators are given the chance to see Scott in another light.  The end is too late for that.

Am I also a douche? Yes, yes you are

2) The movie pretty much appeals to the male, white audience.  The movie has a white protagonist with white supporting characters.  He dumps his Asian girlfriend in order to be with a white girl.  The Asian male characters (the Katayanagi twins) don’t have a big role and their fight is the lamest of them all.  Also, the twins don’t even have speaking parts, and they’re grouped as one opponent.  So the film makes it seem like it’s ok for Scott to cheat on and throw away Knives, just because she’s Asian.  Her being Asian makes it a little bit “ok.”  And Knives is ridiculously infatuated with Scott (despite how he treats her) and continues to go around stalking him.  She even goes so far as to fight for him at the end, with a typical dragon lady appearance.  If Knives was a real girl, she would say, “fuck you” and leave Scott to fend for himself.  But of course, Asian girls in Hollywood cinema are stupid and hopelessly in love with white, male leads.

And why do the twins in the film have to be Asian too?  The second most deprecating roles in the film are once again, filled in with Asian actors.  It’s almost like saying making the twins Asian supports the idea that Ramona being with them both at the same time makes it all the more easier to indulge.  Out of all the exes, they get the least amount of film time, they don’t talk at all, and the audience aren’t even made aware of what their names are, as if it doesn’t really matter (which it really doesn’t).  Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is definitely a film that is white, male dominated.

Oh, so that's what their names were

Putting the terrible protagonist and story aside, the graphics and comedy are the top of its genre.  The gay jokes, to the bitchy girl, to Michael Cera’s awkwardness all makes the questionable story less questionable.  The humor serves more than just a comic relief.  It serves as a story relief as well.  The video game references, the Zelda song, and the action captions are all nice touches, but the movie seems to be a bit overboard with those.

Am I the only one who found the idea of fighting for self respect a little corny and ridiculous?  At least fighting for love is generally accepted in mainstream society.  Fight for yourself rather than for the person you’re trying to save is a little bit off course.

This is not the sword of love.. but the sword of self respect!!

If you’re going to watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, don’t expect much story-wise.  Just go to see the witty references and humor.  Don’t even bother going to see the action sequences.  All the battles are won way to simply, with Scott taking so much damage, then at the end he just gives his enemies one hit and poof, they disappear.  The total opposite of a video game if you ask me.  Nice try, trying to make the movie video game-like.

The film is still worth a view just for the humor and references.

6.9

P.S. My review can be pretty much summed up with a comment I found on the internet by chavi00 in response to http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2010/08/go-and-pay-to-see-scott-pilgrim-right-now.html

Scott Pilgrim is pretty on the eyes and light on the substance. It is filled with secondary characters who are more interesting than the leads. The plot is weak and there is a supreme lack of emotional depth. Ultimately, there is absolutely nothing to care about in this movie.

True that brother.

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

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 #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 #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


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