Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) review


I can't believe I enjoyed this when it first came out...what was I thinking?

PLOT:When Matt Campbell (Kyle Gallner) develops a strong case of cancer, his family must move themselves and him to a place closer to the hospital where he receives treatment. They find this house in Connecticut that, as it turns out, used to be a mortuary and choose to settle in that; the mom doesn't tell them that it used to be a mortuary. Things are fine until strange things start to happen linking to an age-old, supernatural mystery with Matt being the main component. It's a decent plot executed badly, to say the least.

ACTING:The acting in this movie is far from the best. I couldn't believe some of the characters and could barely feel emotion in their actions; one in particular is Virginia Madsen as Sara Campbell. She tried her best to leave an emotional impact through her character, but I just couldn't believe her fully. Sadly, the acting is so down that she is one of our shiners. The only other one is Gallner as Matt. He actually did a great job at being a haunted, tormented teenager. I liked his acting. One performance I was truly disappointed with was Elias Koteas as Reverend Popescu. I think he did better in "The Fourth Kind", and that should tell you something.

SCORE:The score actually wasn't half bad. It contained some mood-setting peices, some horror jump-score, and a few hauntingly good themes. Sure, this one doesn't have a creepy main theme as some horrors do have, but it does have a few good score peices used to set the mood better.

EFFECTS:The digital effects of the ectoplasm and electricity I thought weren't too bad. They weren't true marvel effects, but they did supply a sense of good imagery. The make-up effects, however, were just plain unscary and overbearing, as in a low-budget modern zombie film.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie didn't have much potential to start with, but what could have been done to bring the movie up higher wasn't done. It was loaded with overused cliches, jump-scares, uncinematic moments, and just the generic bit of horror fare. This movie did, however, contain some creepy imagery and situations that could have saved it if played right enough. Alas, it didn't succeed.

OVERALL,a bad horror movie with a badly-executed plot, unconvincing acting, some good score mixed in with the bad, good digital effects and bad make-up effects, overused cliches, jump-sares, and truly uncinematic moments, but it had a smidge of potential and some creepy imagery/situations.

Madagascar (2005) review


To "celebrate" the opening of the new Madagascar sequel, I decide to recap with the original.

PLOT:In this DreamWorks flick, we follow famed Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), paranoid Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer), sassy Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett-Smith), and longing-for-something-new Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock) from the zoo in New York. When Marty's tenth birthday rolls around, he begins to long for the wild. Everyone else thinks he's crazy, until he escapes the zoo to satisfy his need. When his friends find him, they are caught by the humans, put to sleep, and sent on a boat to a wildlife reserve, but they never get there. A mix-up on the boat (which I choose not to spoil) has them end up on the wild island of Madagascar, which is ruled in part by King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his lemurs. Now the four must try to keep sane and either go home or get used to the wild. It's a simple plot executed decently.

VOICES:The voice acting is pretty well cast. I think Stiller did a stellar job of voicing Alex as did Rock as Marty and Schwimmer as Melman. Each actor seemed to take the role and make it their own by adding his or her own style of acting into it. The only performers that I don't think did as well compared to the others was, surprisingly, Sacha Baren Cohen as King Julien and Cedric the Enetertainer as Maurice. They just seemed to do their jobs with a good voice, but no style whatsoever. Besides the four main performers, the other shiners include Andy Richter as Mort and Chris Knights (?) as Skipper.

SCORE:The score was made up of some pretty well composed themes and a few well-inserted songs; it was decent.

ANIMATION:The animation in here was pretty good. The movements were done precisely and quickly to keep the feeling of the movie going. The character animation was pretty cutesy, but the movements were done very well.

OTHER CONTENT:This isn't one of the better DreamWorks films, but it's not bad either. The humor in here was at times cleverly referenced and actually funny, to more crude and simple. I laughed a couple times, but I didn't appreciate its humor as much as, say "Over the Hedge" or "Shrek". I can only hope this new one has more to offer. The second I didn't seem to care much for.

OVERALL,an ok DreamWorks film with a simple plot, well cast voice acting, decent score, pretty good animation (especially with movements), and some clever jokes, but it was mainly crude and simple anyway.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Law Abiding Citizen (2009) review


Like "The Lovely Bones", this is another one of my guilty pleasures. I can't make myslef hate this movie.

PLOT:Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is a normal guy with a family of three including his wife and daughter. One night, he hears a knock at the door and answers it to find two men dressed in black and armed with knives barging in. They kill his wife and daughter, stealing a few items and nearly killing him. During the case, his DA, Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) makes a deal with the murderers, putting one to ten years and death and letting the other go free. Clyde doesn't like this and begins to hold a grudge. Ten years later, people who were involved in that case start to get murdered one by one cleverly at the mercy of Clyde because he didn't get his vengeance. Now Nick must try and figure out how to stop him and keep the city safe. It's an outlandish plot executed thrillingly with a few exceptions.

ACTING:The acting is decent. It's not the best I've seen by far. Jamie Foxx did a pretty good job. I didn't think Butler did that good of a job; I couldn't truly believe him or fear him. There really couldn't be any shiners besides Foxx because they're let down by an absurd script.

SCORE:The score doesn't really matter; it's just mood-fitting action score with a few cello themes and some inserted songs.

EFFECTS:The only effects there really were included blood and fire, but they were done pretty well. They looked more real than most horror movies do these days.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie isn't all that bad. It's thrilling, surprising, clever at times, and almost scary, but that's not to deter from it's true problems. The movie doesn't only have some flaky acting and a let-down script, but at times in the plot twists and dialogue it comes off as outlandish and absurd, like it was never even possible. It's like a teenage boy wrote this movie as a fantasy of an action movie, yet that' may be why I like it. I can't help but feel on the edge of my seat when I watch this. It may be a little illogical, but it does its job to keep me enthralled. It may be near mindless, but it thrills.

OVERALL,a good action movie with an outlandish and thrilling plot, decent acting by the main actors and flaky by others, mood-fitting score, real-looking effects, and the ability to keep me on the edge, but it has a let-down script and can be illogical at times.

Sixteen Candles (1984) review


The best '80s teen movie.

PLOT:Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) feels she should be at the prime of her life; she's turning sixteen on this day in time, but because of her big sister, Ginny's (Blanche Baker), wedding, her whole family forgets, including her grandparents! If that isn't enough to ruin her day, her senior crush, Jake Ryan (Michael Shoeffling), starts to drive her crazy more than ever, and this huge geek (Anthony Michael Hall) is at his wits end to win her over. It's a basic teen life plot executed with more compassion than some other flicks of its kind and hilariously in its comedy.

ACTING:The acting in here is pretty great for an '80s teen flick. This movie holds the spot as Molly Ringwald's most memorable role to date. She simply plays the role as the distressed teenager well. The other shiners were Michael Shoeffling as Jake, Anthony Michael Hall as the geek, Blanche Baker as Ginny, and Gedde Watanabe as Long Duk Dong, with an honorable mention to Joan Cusack as the geek with the headgear. Baker was hilarious in the final moments of the movie. Hall was his usually funny geek character. I didn't think Haviland Morris as Caroline was all that good though.

SCORE:The score is made up of '80s theme score, TV show themes, and great '80s songs from the likes of David Bowie, Spandau Ballet, and even the Thompson Twins. I liked "If You Were Here" by Thompson Twins best, played at the end of the wedding scene.

OTHER CONTENT:This is one of those comedies you can truly name hilarious for all! The laughs in here are uniquely thought-out, true to an extent, and almost unbelievable. I've always been a fan of the John Hughes teen movies, from this to "Ferris Bueller" to "Breakfast Club", and this shows no difference from that. He always had a sense of what was funny in his time. The only thing I didn't care for about this movie was, though it had more compassion for its characters, we weren't introduced to them enough to feel for them truly. Just another highschool clique, you might say.

OVERALL,an awesome teen comedy with a compassionately and hilariously executed plot, great acting, truly '80s score, and unique, true, and unbelievable laughs, but we can't feel enough for the characters due to the fact that we don't know about them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Over the Hedge (2006) review


This is just one of those movies you can cut loose with.

PLOT:Afer RJ (Bruce Willis), a raccoon, tries to steal bear Vincent's (Nick Nolte) stash of food for the winter and loses it, he is forced to find a group of helpers to help him replace it before his week's time is up and Vincent eats him. The helpers he finds are a group of foragers who are led by a turtle named Verne (Garry Shandling). They have just come out of hibernation and are already on their mission to fill their log to the top with food for next winter, but there seems to be a problem. A large hedge has divided their woods in half with a human-infested seburbia on the other side. Now the creatures must figure out how to forage for their food. These two storylines collide when RJ comes and shows the family of foragers around town, gathering the food in the meantime for Vincent. As the popular vote would guess, this doesn't go completely well. It's a good, children's movie plot executed very well.

VOICES:The voice cast in here is all-star with the above mentioned, Steve Carell, William Shatner, Catherine O'Hara, Avril Lavigne, and even Wanda Sykes. The voice choices are comical, cartoonish, and fit for each character. The shining voices are Bruce Willis as RJ, Nick Nolte as Vincent, Garry Shandling as Verne, Steve Carell as Hammy, William Shatner as Ozzie, and Avril Lavigne as Heather. I thought Wanda Sykes voice was just as normal as usual with cartoons. Nolte's voice was dark and ominous as it should be. Willis actually has a good voice for animation; I think he should do it more often. Shatner was pretty hilarious. Honorable mentions go to Allison Janney as Gladys and Omid Djalili as Tiger.

SCORE:The score was composed of a couple themes by the great Hans Zimmerman and all songs were done cleverly and relaxedly by Ben Folds. I could just drift off to each song he sings easily. I love his style.

ANIMATION:The animation was pretty good for DreamWorks. I've seen much better, but it's not bad at all. The character faces seemed to be the most detailed.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie's just a good, little movie to cut loose and have fun with. It's nothing serious and nothing bad; it's just something to chill out to. Relax. The jokes were at some points clever, and at others stupid, but I do have to admit that that it has a little something for everybody from young child to teenager to adult.

OVERALL,a good DreamWorks movie with a good children's plot, all-star voices, great score by Zimmerman and songs by Folds, good animation, and some clever jokes with something for everything. It's a nice little movie to watch when you want to just cut loose for a little bit and relax.

3 (2010) review


I see a lot of potential here, but the film doesn't seem to know what it wants.

PLOT:Anchorwoman Hanna (Sophie Rois) and engineerng artist Simon (Sebastian Schipper) have been in love for at least 20 years and living with each other. They're real, down-to-earth, childless people that have been through a lot as a couple. Things are going pretty well with their romance until they each meet stem cell doctor, Adam (David Striesow) and fall in love with him. It's a intersting plot executed artisicly, but it is has a few development problems which I'll get to later on.

ACTING:The acting was pretty good throughout. I believe the best performances came from Sophie Rois as Hanna and David Striesow as Adam, but disagreeabley, I thought Sebastian Schipper was kind of bland as Simon. I didn't see true emotion come out through him as I did with Sophie and David.

SCORE:The score was made up of a few calm, mood-setting peices and a few notable songs. It was good, I'd say.

EFFECTS:I don't know if the effects were done in real time, considering this is an indie film, or if they were done through make-up and such, but they were good because they looked real and were even cringe-worthy, which I'll explain in the next section.

OTHER CONTENT:I am new to Tom Tykwer's films and direction styles, but I can already see a lot of pontential in his style. He starts off the film with a passing car and a voice explaining the life of Hanna and Simon, along with an interpretive dance of the film's main events. It also had multiple screen shots at one time, a brief animation, and the notable scene of the three main characters lying naked fading against a white background. He has earned my respect with his unique direction and editing style for sure, but this had a couple major problems. The plot isn't real well developed; some of the events (such as Simon's mother's death and his testicular operation) have so little to do with the plot that it distracts from the main idea of the plot. It really just ends up as unneeded. Also, the character development as a small problem. Tykwer tries to incorporate accurate character development by filming that little scene in the beginning with the passing car and putting those unneeded events in the film, but it doesn't make up for how we see their personalities shine. They end up looking like karma-stricken victims in a horror film due to the problems. This film wasn't really my cup of tea, to be truthful. At times it grossed me out and made me want to stop watching. I think that's another reason why I didn't favor it due to the wonderful direction...

OVERALL,an ok indie film with an intersting and artistic plot, pretty good acting, just good score, real-looking effects, and a visionistic direction by Twyker, but the plot isn't real well developed, the character development has a few problems, and the film just wasn't my type.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Lovely Bones (2009) review


Upon second viewing, my rating nearly stays. I've noticed a couple flaws. 

PLOT:Fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is a happy-go-lucky young girl that likes to take lots of photos and has a crush on this British boy at her school. One day as she's walking home from school, she's stopped crossing the cornfield by her neighbor, George Harvey (Stanley Tucci) who shows her an underground clubhouse full of toys and games galore. Susie starts to enjoy this, until Mr. Harvey starts to get forcible. When things start to get a little too creepy for her, Susie tries to run, but to her surprise she doesn't make it. Now she's trapped in between Earth and Heaven, trying to decide whether to stay connected to her Earth life through spirit, or ascend into Heaven with all the others. It's a very unique and creative plot (based on the book) executed very well, but with a major flaw that I'll get to later.

ACTING:The acting in here is pretty good. I loved Ronan's performance as Susie. For a young actress, I could feel her emotions and I appreciate that. Tucci did a very good job as the creepy killer, George, but his performance grew annoying in some parts. The other shiners in this film were Mark Wahlberg as Jack Salmon and Rose McIver as Lindsey Salmon. I didn't think Rachel Weisz did her job as the mom well enough, and Susan Sarandon ruined her performance by acting as the comic relief.

SCORE:The score was brilliant. It was composed of some classic rock tracks, a couple beautiful, spiritual songs, and some nice mood-fitting score. My favorite song from this film would have to be This Mortal Coil's "Song to the Siren" which is played in the scene with all the kids joining Susie.

EFFECTS:Peter Jackson always does a great job with his visuals, and this film falls nothing short of that. The colorful backgrounds and visionistic depictions of "the in-between" were made wonderfully and beautifully.

OTHER CONTENT:The film was mainly very touching, artistic, beautiful, surreal, and creative, but it had a few deterring flaws which I noticed upon second viewing. The shift between artsy, emotional drama and family comedy didn't work well. Some of the emotion and creativity about the film got lost in the mix, which is also why I didn't like Susan Sarandon's comic performance in here. Another flaw I found was that there was a significant amount of melodrama. There are times where tears came to my eyes, and there were also times where I wanted the sad moment to just end for the good of the film. I don't know how I went along with that in the first viewing.

OVERALL,a great film with a unique plot, pretty good acting, brilliant score, colorful and visionistic effects, with many touching, beautiful, and surreal moments, but the tonal shifts were too uneven and there was a little too much melodrama.

Dazed & Confused (1993) review


Remember the 70s when drugs could only bring you higher, music had a guitar instead of generic drumbeats, and everyone wanted love and peace amongst themselves?

PLOT:It's the last day of school in 1976 and everybody's going wild! The seniors beating the snot out of freshman, getting the beer and weed for parties, and riding out into the night looking for a good time. There are several storylines here. There's Pink (Jason London) looking to the future and what he wants to do with his life, Mitch, a freshamn partying with the seniors, Sabrina, a freshman also partying with the seniors, several other freshman running from the one asshole senior that wants to beat the snot out of them, a group of nerdy seniors looking for something to do, and Slater just getting high. It is a very widespread plot, filled to the brim with 70's nostalgic glory.

ACTING:Decent. Everybody did a good job, even the bland Milla Jovovich. This is probably her best role (XD). The shiners were Jason London, Wiley Wiggins as Mitch, Matthew McConaughey's character, Sasha Jenson as Don, and Rory Cochrane as Slater.

SOUNDTRACK:The best movie soundtrack ever, IMO. Every song on here I either knew or have on my iPod. The 70s rocked in music.

OTHER CONTENT:I loved this movie. It is now one of my favorites of all-time. One of the speeches said in here is the anthem of my little, one-horse town. "I just want to look back and say that I did the best I could while I was stuck in this place, had as much fun as I could while I was stuck in this place, played as hard as I could while I was stuck in this place...." That is my town's anthem for our generation. Also about the lines, every other line in here was either hilarious or deep. The script was written very wisely for comedy taking place in the 70s. This movie is perfect in every way it was made to be.

OVERALL,an epic coming-of-age film with a nostalgic, widespread plot, decent acting with some shining performances, one of the (if not the) best movie soundtracks I've ever heard, and a finely written script. The 70s have NEVER rocked harder!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Fairly Oddparents: School's Out! The Musical (2005) review


I've always been a fan of the Fairly Oddparents cartoon, but this tv special was kind of a bad idea on the creator's part.

PLOT:After having another of their 37-year plans thwarted, the dreadful Pixies (Ben Stein) decide to use the newfound, abandoned son of a couple clowns to make their plans of ruling Fairy World and making life boring come true. 37 years later, summer's just getting out in Dimmsdale and all the kids, including our main character, Timmy Turner (Tara Strong), are going crazy and wrecking the town. When the parents don't know where to turn, Flappy Bob of Camp Learn-a-Torium (who's also the son the Pixies found) comes and suggests the idea of putting the kids in an educational summer camp until it's over. Now it's up to Timmy and his fairies, Cosmo (Daran Norris) and Wanda (Susan Blakeslee), to stop the Pixies plan, destroy Camp Learn-a-Torium, change Flappy Bob's heart, and save summer for all kids all accompanied musically. It's a basic Fairly Oddparent plot executed weaker than the previous Oddparent specials.

VOICES:The voices in general verge on the edge of unique and cartoonish, to annoying and earsplitting. Strong's voicing of Timmy I was never fond of, but it's worse in here considering she's SINGING, but I'll get to that later. The same goes for Blakeslee, but not for Norris. I've always liked his voicing for Cosmo. I liked Stein's voicing for the Pixies because it was the perfect voice choice for a couple of dull businessmen. Honorable mentions go only to Rob Paulsen as Chester.

SCORE:Since this is a musical, you can expect there to be singing. The songs sound much like a cat choking on a shovel, by comparison. This was a bad idea from the start to make an entire Fairly Odd-musical. The voices weren't even good. SPONGEBOB could have done better. There were a couple highlight songs, however: "We're Pixies" (rapped creatively by Redman and Method Man) and "Where is the Fun?"

ANIMATION:The animation, without asking questions, is unique and distinctive. I've lived with this cartoon animation for years and years of my childhood.

OTHER CONTENT:This is far from the best Fairly Oddparents movie ever; in fact, I believe it's the weakest. This was a bad idea put together, with screechy songs, a basic plot, and no emotional impact. Even the "Channel Chasers" special had an emotional impact! This was right before the show started going down the drain, though I wasn't a huge fan from the start. Aside from all I've previously mentioned, there were a few good parts. The song lyrics and script were cleverly written at points with some clever rhymes, multi-genred song ideas, and some actually funny visual jokes.

OVERALL,a tv special that's not too bad with a basic plot,annoying and cartoonish voicing, bad score, distinctive animation, and no emotional impact, but it has clever writing, multi-genre music, and funny visual jokes.

The Muppets (2011) review


A sweet treat for fans and newbies alike, but not the best Muppet film out there.

PLOT:Walter (Peter Linz) and his brother, Gary (Jason Segel) have always been there for each other through thick and thin and have always been devoted fans of the Muppets. One day, when Gary and his girfriend, Mary (Amy Adams) plan to go to Las Angeles on vacation for their 10-year anniversary, they invite Walter and go to the Muppet Studios. It's all broken down and abandoned nowadays and the Muppets have gone their separate ways. Walter sneaks into what used to be Kermit's office and finds an evil oil baron named Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) who wants to tear down the studio to mine for oil. The only loophole in the contract binding the Muppets to their names and studios is that they would have to raise the $10 million available to save the studio. Now it's up to Walter and his friends to get the Muppets back together and save the studios. It's a very good modernized plot idea executed with the same Muppet charm as the other films have.

ACTING/VOICES:The acting is suprisingly pretty good. I thought it'd just be naive actors performing a simple job, but Segel and Adams both pulled off a charming performance. Cooper even did well, though not the best. The voices of the Muppets weren't too different either. Kermit was still Kermit, Miss Piggy was still Miss Piggy, Gonzo was still Gonzo, Beaker was still Beaker and so on. I have to give credit to those who voiced the Muppets for mimicking Jim Henson well enough. I would also like to mention the great performance of Jack Black as himself along with the various cameos of Sarah Silverman, Mickey Rooney, Alan Arkin, Ken Jeong, and Zach Galifinakis.

SCORE:The soundtrack is full of musical numbers and Muppet-worthy parodies of popular songs. The musical numbers were performed well, sung with strange harmony, and even written clever lyrics. The Muppets also parodied a few famous songs, such as "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Forget You", and they did it cleverly in the way only the Muppets could.

OTHER CONTENT:This film breathes new life into the long-asleep characters known as the Muppets with charm, cleverness, and just overall fun for everyone. The only problems I have with this film is that I believe it's a little overrated and cheesy. I've seen a better Muppet film than this, so I just don't think it would qualify as the best Muppet movie ever. Also, the jokes and musical numbers can sometimes go a little overboard to the point of being considered cheesy. I mean, the Muppets are supposed to be silly and goofy, but there is such a thing as too much.

OVERALL,a good Muppet film with a charming, modernized plot, good acting, great voices, and plenty of camoes, well-done musical numbers, clever song parodies, and overall fun for everyone, but it isn't the best Muppet movie and it can get a little cheesy at times.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thor (2011) review


This is true summer entertainement for all Marvel fans to see.

PLOT:In the otherworldy realm of Asgard, there's a powerful hero named Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who's son of the current ruler, Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Thor is chosen of Odin's two sons to be kind of Asgard, but Thor's arrogance and recklessness gets in the way when he revamps an age-old war with the Frost Giants. Due to Thor's mistake, Odin banishes him to Earth to live amongst the mortals and puts a spell over Thor's hammer making it only available to the one worthy of its power. When Thor gets to Earth, he is "run into" by star-studying Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and her family. When the government gets involved on Earth and the war escalates in Asgard, it's up to Thor to find himself as a true hero and put his lesser self behind. It's a well-adapted plot executed quite well for a superhero movie.

ACTING:The acting in here was actually pretty good. Hemsworth did a worthy job as Thor, but I don't think he could have been the best person to play him. Hopkins is a great actor, and even in his old age it shows. He did a wonderful job as Odin. Portman was good too, but this wasn't her best role. The other shiners were Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Colm Feore as Laufey, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Kat Dennings as Darcy.

SCORE:The score is pretty epic and well done, but then again, the superhero films always have good score.

EFFECTS:The effects for this movie are pure eye candy. The way they made Asgard, the Rainbow Bridge, and even the Frost Giants look was great. This is one of those movies that mainly relies on effects to get through, like that of "Avatar". It works well here though.

OTHER CONTENT:This is one of the better superhero movies in my opinion. The storyline, character development, effects, and overall action work together to make a worthy hero film. The only problems I found with the movie that sealed its fate as more for entertainment are the fact that it relies a bit too much on humor and the formulaic "find your worth and then you'll be a hero" plotline. Basically, it's nothing too refreshing, but still great summer entertainment.

OVERALL,a great superhero movie with a well-adapted plot, good acting, epic score, well done effects, worthy storyline, character development, and overall action, but it relies a bit too much on humor and the formula.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mr. Popper's Penguins (2011) review


Really Jim Carrey? Really?

PLOT:Mr. Popper (Jim Carrey) is just a normal, successful business man with somewhat of a broken family. One day, his life changes when his father sends him a crate that contains penguin, whom he names Captain. He later calls his dad back saying that he wants to send the penguin back, but through a miscommunication, he sends him 7 more penguins! Now Mr. Popper must struggle to work his way around all 8 of the goofy penguins, his business, and his family. The plot's a basic childlike idea executed generically.

ACTING:The acting wasn't horrible, but it wouldn't win an Academy Award either. Jim Carrey did a decent job with his usual brand of comedic overacting, but not even that could save him from such a screenplay. The other decent performances were from Angela Landsbury as Mrs. Van Gundy and Ophelia Lovibond as Pippi.

SCORE:The score was as generic as the movie itself. Nothing to shed a tear about.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was one of Carrey's worst endeavors, and this is coming from one of his devoted fan. I mean, what was he thinking? The title initiates something odd, so maybe he went for it. It's almost as bad a mistake as Bill Murray in Garfield (though he at least played the part distinctly). The words I could use to describe this movie aren't great: dreadful, generic, stupid, etc. This isn't the worst I've seen, however. This movie did have some clever moments, it did have a decent emotional impact, and the penguins were actually pretty cute. This movie's pretty bad, but it isn't the worst thing by far.

OVERALL,a neutral-feeling movie with a generically childlike plot, decent acting, horrible screenplay, and generic score, but it did have some clever moments, a decent emotional impact, and cute animal moments.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Grave Encounters (2011) review


Ever been through a haunted house? If you would have documented it, then you would have something similar to this on film.

PLOT:This new paranormal investigation TV show entitled "Grave Encounters" starts to show some pontential running its sixth episode, which takes place at an abandoned mental hospital which is said to be haunted. Lance Preston (Sean Rogerson) and his crew decide to do a lock-in to investigate the supposedly-haunted hospital, though the crew has weaseled their way through show business in a fake way. When they actually start to get some hard evidence that ghosts exist and that this place is haunted, strange, scary, and confusing things begin to happen that try to drive our team into madness. It's a good plot idea to make a movie about that's executed very well.

ACTING:For this independent horror, the acting was great! I felt the fear and saw the insanity in these characters' personas. The shiners were Sean Rogerson as Lance, Merwin Mondesir as T.C. Gibson, Mackenzie Gray as Houston Gray, and Ashleigh Gryzko as Sasha Parker.

SCORE:There was little to no score, but of what there was, it was pretty ominous.

EFFECTS:You can tell just about all of the effects are done with computers, my best guess being Adobe After Effects, but the ghosts and their faces are pretty scary looking in the end. It's like looking up the demon face trend on YouTube. The blood effects aren't half bad either, though they look like cherry jell at times. Compared to most low-budget horrors these days, the effects were pretty well done.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was a very entertaining horror ride! It was scary, intense, fun, and seemingly neverending. The whole experience is like being stuck inside a haunted house attraction with no emergency exits or ways to get out. Thrilling! My only problem I found with this movie is that in it's most confusing parts, it can become unreasonably silly. It's insane and illogical with no real reason! But then I start to think, ghosts are illogical as well, so it isn't that bad.

OVERALL,an awesome indie horror with a well-executed plot, great horror acting, little ominous score, well done computer effects, and the feel of an ultimate thrill ride, though it came off as silly during the confusing bits.

Independence Day (1996) review


Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum kicking alien butt on July 4th? Sounds great!

PLOT:People all over the country have noticed that ther is a disturbance in the signal on their televisions and radios; people all over the world have noticed the giant saucers hovering over their towns. President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and his assisants are trying to figure out what to do about the commotion. One lucky computer genius named David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) cracks the aliens' code and warns the president that its a countdown. As soon as the countdown ends, the aliens start to destroy the Earth's major cities. The president and most of his crew just barely make it out in time. Now it's up to President Whitmore, David Levinson, out-of-work fighter pilot Steven Hiller (Will Smith), and the guys from Area 51 to figure out how to stop this menace. It's a cheesy alien plot executed unevenly.

ACTING:The acting was pretty decent for all this movie had to offer. I've seen all of these guys do better, but this wasn't too bad at all. The shiners are Will Smith as Capt. Hiller, Jeff Goldblum as David, Bill Pullman as the president, Randy Quaid as Russell Casse, and Brent Spiner as Dr. Okun.

SCORE:The score was all for dramatics, but it played well.

EFFECTS:For the time being, the effects were major eye candy. The looming saucers looked amazingly menacing, the explosions looked real, and the aliens looked creepy. It was all for a good look, which it had.

OTHER CONTENT:The movie wasn't half bad for entertainment, but as a film it doesn't stand well. The plot's uneven, it can't be taken truly serious, it can get cheesy, and the character development has some major problems. If one can learn to get over that, enjoy the effects, humor, and sci-fi action along with a surprisingly good script, then this should be a very entertaining ride.

OVERALL,a good sci-fi action with an uneven plot, good acting, dramatic score, eye-dazzling effects, and a good script, but the other mistakes include it's lack of seriousness, increase of cheesiness, and problems with character development.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) review


If I had to use only one word to describe this film, it would be: amazing.

PLOT:In recent events, evidence has come up relating to extraterrestrial activity, from boats appearing in the desert to high-speed UFO chases in the country.  Among these events, we follow two paths to the same ending: that of Bob Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) and Lacombe (Francios Truffaut). Bob witnessed the UFO chase along with his neighbor, Jillian Guiler (Melinda Dillon), who loses her son to the aliens, and both start to effortlessly make models of where he expects them to land. Lacombe has been traveling the world with claims all related to the same, extraterrestrial story. When he finds the right coordinates and signal tones, he decides to make this a government issue. As you can infer, each is led to the same spot somehow. It's a very well thought-out plot executed very uniquely.

ACTING:The acting was very great. Each actor gave an entertaining and convincing performance. The shiners are Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary, Francois Truffaut as Lacombe, and Melinda Dillon as Jillian Guiler, with respects to Cary Guffey as Barry Guiler. He actually played a pretty creepy kid!

SCORE:The score was done by the great John Williams, so you know it has to be good. The score contained a unique, bold, and catchy theme that any fan would recognize right off the bat.

EFFECTS:For its time, the effects were a marvel. They still are pretty awesome as of today. The bright UFOs and detailed desings of the UFOs are amazing at most. I wish effects looked this real today. Even the aliens looked neat and real!

OTHER CONTENT:This film was the "2001" that everybody liked: unique, amazing, suspenseful, and even perfect. Just as in "Schindler's List", I saw Spielburg's perfectionism appear yet again. He has definitely earned my respect as a director rather than a producer (Goonies). I believe this film will live forever in the hearts of the curious young and old.

OVERALL,an epic sci-fi film with a well thought-out and unique plot, great acting, Williams score, marvelous effects, and Spielburg's sense of perfectionism.

Piranha (2010) review


This contains the 3 B's of a campy horror B-movie: boobs, blood, and beer!

PLOT:It's spring break at Lake Victoria and the party is shaking; apparently, the lake's shaking too, due to the fact that a major quake has opened up an underwater trench that releases thousands of blood-thirsty, prehistoric piranha. Caught in the middle of this is young Jake Forester (Steven McQueen), who insted of watching his little brother and sister like his mom and the county sheriff, Julie (Elizabeth Shue), told him to, decides to get in on the spring break action by being a lake guide for Wild Wild porn director, Derrick Jones (Jerry O'Connell) and his Wild Wild Girls (Kelly Brook and Riley Steele). The story heats up when Jake's love interest, Kelly (Jessica Szohr), joins the group. You can tell just by the set-up that this is going to be a viscous bloodbath between man and fish. It's a great horror plot executed to the greatest factor of grit and camp.

ACTING:The acting wasn't a marvel, but it was still pretty great for a horror movie. The shiners were Steven McQueen as Jake, Jerry O'Connell as Derrick, Kelly Brook as Danni, Ving Rhames as Deputy Fallen, and Brooklyn Proalx as Laura Forester, with cameos b Richard Dreyfuss as Matt Boyd and Christopher Lloyd as Mr. Goodman. I kind of felt that Elizabeth Shue didn't do anything too much to be considered really special.

SCORE:The score is mainly made up of dramatic horror score and modern rave-party songs, and each does the job of fitting the mood at the right time.

EFFECTS:Being made in 3D (believe me, it was much better in theaters, when it WAS in 3D!), you wouldn't expect the movie's CG effects to be any good, but when it came to our razor-toothed killers, the effects were pretty detailed. The better effects, however, were the natural make-up and prop effects used to show the injuries and corpses the piranha left behind. They were truly grisly and even frightening.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie has everything a good CAMPY horror movie should have: bloody carnage, crude jokes, nude girls, drug abuse, and an unavoidable setup or premise. Aja definitely did a great job of making a fun horror flick. The only problem with this movie is that it's not supposed to be perfect at all, so it doesn't come off as THE BEST horr film ever by far. The only part where it truly felt like a serious horror instead of a campy one is when the piranha hit the beach and the carnage starts ensuing; even then, they make it full of grit.

OVERALL,an awesome horror flick with a great, campy plot, great horror acting, fitting score and soundtrack, detailed CG effects and grisly make-up effects, and everything this movie needs to be the ultimate campy horror, but it wasn't made to be perfect obviously, for it shows.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Jeff Dunham: Controlled Chaos (2011) review


It's back to the basic format for this comedy special review! Jeff Dunham is back, and he's pulling out all the stops and being harsher than ever, leaving hardly anyone unoffended and taking Walter, Achmed, Jose, and Peanut with him! There are also two new characers which I will not spoil. Though this one can get kind of meaner than the others, it makes it even funnier than the others! However, this one is for fans only, for it borrows ideas from previous gags. JD, your fans still love you. Keep it up!