Saturday, March 30, 2013

Little Monsters (1989) review


This one was one I always wanted to watch when I was a child, but after seeing it, I realize that it's really nothing special.

PLOT:Brian (Fred Savage) is just a little kid. His family just moved into a new house and things aren't going so great. Brian's parents are fighting, mysterious pranks are being pulled with no one knowing, and Brian's little brother is waking up at night claiming there's a monster under is bed. Brian doesn't believe him, so they trade rooms for a night. However, Brian traps Maurice (Howie Mandel), a dim-witted but fun prankster of a monster whom he befriends. Maurice and Brian become great friends and make frequent visits from the human world to the monster world. However, things don't seem right in the monster world with Brian there. It's a good plot executed rather decently.

ACTING:The acting in here is pretty good. Fred Savage wasn't spectacular as young Brian, but he got the job done. The best performance in here would have to have been from Howie Mandel as the mischievious Maurice. He really played a good part, though more spontaneous than emotional. The other shiners would be Rick Ducommun as Snik, Daniel Stern as Glen Stevenson, and Frank Whaley as Boy.

SCORE:The score wasn't really anything too special. It was pretty uplifting at times with a few good songs laid throughout.

EFFECTS:The effects in here are pretty neat. The make-up effects for Maurice and the other monsters were fairly realistic, though cheesy. I liked some of the ways they played around with the visual effects. The effects of the moving clothes were pretty cheesy as well, but interesting. The effects for the end battle were pretty cool to me, however.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was pretty decent. It wasn't anything too special. The effects were something interesting, and Howie Mandel's performance was great, but it can't live on these alone. The movie overall was pretty bland and cheesy, but it had some good moments. I think they could have done a lot more with it.

OVERALL,a neutral movie with a good plot, pretty good acting, nothing special score, and neat but cheesy effects, but the movie itself was pretty bland and cheesy with more unexplored possibilities.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Wizard of Oz (1939) review


"There's no place like home." Do I even need to say anymore? This classic film is iconic in every way and a family favorite in nearly every household.

PLOT:Young Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) is a farm girl living in the grey plains of Kansas with her Aunt Em (Clara Blandick) and Uncle Henry (Charles Grapewin). Even though she's a young girl, she dreams big of traveling the lands before her. However, a tornado comes along and sweeps her house up with her and Toto, her little dog, inside. The house comes down in the town of Munchkinland in the wonderful land of Oz. To find her way back home, she has to find the wizard in the Emerald City while avoiding the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), who's out to get her for dropping a house on her sister. On the way, she meets a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), a Tin Woodsman (Jack Haley), and a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), who choose to accompany her on her journey to see the wizard, wanting a brain, a heart, and courage in return. It's a great plot executed brilliantly.

ACTING:The performances in here were really good. Judy Garland played an innocent and iconic role as the young farm girl, Dorothy. Playing well off her and each other, Jack Haley, Ray Bolger, and Bert Lahr performed excellent, iconic roles as the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly Lion. I favored Bert Lahr out of the trio, for his performance doubled comedically as it did iconically. Margaret Hamilton also played a great part as the Wicked Witch of the West. She still seems menacing today. The other shiners would be Clara Blandick as Aunt Em, Charles Grapewin as Uncle Henry, Billie Burke as Glinda the Good Witch, Frank Morgan as The Wizard of Oz, and all of the munchkins. There really wasn't a bad performance in here.

SCORE:The musical score and soundtrack for this film are iconic, memorable, and catchy to sing as well as to hear. Everybody knows a song from it, whether it's "We're Off to See the Wizard", "Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead", or even "If I Only Had a Brain." Everybody knows the catchy soundtrack to this film.

EFFECTS:The effects were astounding back in their time and are still very colorful today. The best effect at the time would have to have been the dramatic and iconic change from sepia/grayscale to Technicolor. That was a dazzling change for people back then and is still a prominent mark in film history. The prop effects were pretty colorful, and the more digital effects (such as the fireballs and the bubbles) were pretty interesting. The effects overall back then were pretty top-notch, but they still stand as interesting to watch now.

OTHER CONTENT:This film is iconic on so many levels. Everybody has either seen or heard of the Wizard of Oz, and it's a family favorite for the young children and the older adults. Comparing it to the original book, the film seems to be based only loosely on it. However, this film adaptation improved it from its book form. Everything about this film is really perfect for its time and loveable even today.

OVERALL,an epic film with a brilliant plot, really good performances, catchy score and soundtrack, colorful effects, and an iconic legacy left for filmgoers everywhere.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Flight of the Navigator (1986) review


I used to love this movie in my childhood, but now that I'm older, I notice how cheesy it really is at
times. It still fills me with wonder, but some of the respect I had for it is lost.

PLOT:12-year old David Freeman (Joey Cramer) is just a normal kid. He has a mom (Veronica
Cartwright), a dad (Cliff De Young), and a younger brother. One July 4th, 1978, he goes out to find his brother in the woods. However, he falls in a ditch and passes out. He doesn't realize it, but he doesn't wake up until eight years later. The weirdest part about it is that he's still 12-years old. After a big confusion, he's reunited with his family but taken to an institution for study. After a bit of experiments, the scientists find out he has more unknown knowledge stored in his head, such as star charts from an undiscovered galaxy! Not to mention, David is hearing voices. One night, these voices call him to go somewhere, and he finds himself in a strange flying saucer with a robot named Max (Paul Reubens), who may have details on his long journey. It's a great plot executed decently.

ACTING:The acting in here is okay. The performances overall are hit-or-miss. Joey Cramer did a pretty sucky job as the young David Freeman, but I believe it was due to his age. Paul Reubens does a pretty good job as Max, putting his usual style into the voice. The other shiners would be Cliff De Young as Bill Freeman, Veronica Cartwright as Helen Freeman, Matt Adler as older Jeff Freeman, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Carolyn McAdams.

SCORE:The score in this movie is pretty cool. It's mysterious and has a kind of wonder, conducted by the well-known Alan Silvestri. It was pretty cool

EFFECTS:The effects were pretty great for their time. I still like them. The computer effects used for the spaceships many perks are still pretty cool, and the puppetry effects for the creatures are pretty neat. These effects have aged over time, but they still are neat to look at nowadays.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie has its fair share of pros and cons. This used to be one of my favorites when I was real young, but it's kind of lost its luster to me now. It still fills me with a bit of wonder and nostalgia from the old days, plus it has charm and some good humor to boot. However, this movie is terribly cheesy and has some major problems with plot execution. The problem I mainly have with it is that when David passes out, he doesn't really just pass out. He falls off into the ditch, and he gets right back up. He doesn't lay there for a minute or anything; he just gets back up in 5 seconds. That makes everything a little jumbled and hard-to-follow. This added to the cheesiness and the hit-or-miss acting bring the good idea down.

OVERALL,an okay movie with a great plot, okay performances, cool Silvestri score, great effects for the time period, a feeliing of wonder, nostalgia, charm, and some good humor, but it's cheesy with some hit-or-miss acting and major execution problems.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sinister (2012) review


This modern horror movie actually wasn't too bad! It was shocking with a fresh idea and actually scary.

PLOT:Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) is a best-selling author of true crime novels. So he can start his new crime novel, he moves with his family to a strange house in a small town with a bad past behind it. Shortly after everyone moves in, he goes up to the attic and finds an old Super 8 camera and film with recordings of several grisly murders. As Ellison investigates further into these tapes, his life is plunged deep into a malevolent darkness that could destroy his family. It's a great plot executed very well.

ACTING:The performances in here are actually very great. Ethan Hawke plays a very great part as the haunted author, Ellison Oswalt. He isn't the best horror movie actor, but he got the job done rather well. There was also a great performance by Juliet Rylance as Tracy, his wife. The played off each other very well. The child actors weren't so bad either. The other shiners I'd like to mention would be James Ransone as the deputy and Nick King as Mr. Boogie.

SCORE:The score in here wasn't anything spectacular, but it was fairly unique. It was jumpy at some times and just a creepy theme at others.

EFFECTS:The effects in here were pretty creepy. The blood effects weren't anything special, but the digital effects were pretty creepy. The effects used for the murders were pretty scary.

OTHER CONTENT:This horror stands out in modern times; it's actually good and not just a cheap way to make money. The plot and its twists are rather new and shocking. It uses some generic horror movie cliches, such as jump scares and fake jumps, but the twists make up for it. It's actually really clever and scary, but it's nothing truly spectacular. It's just actually good.

OVERALL,a good horror movie with a great plot, very great acting, unique score, creepy effects, clever twists, and some actual scares, but does have some generic horror cliches.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) review



Though the effects are dazzling and the performances are strong, this is a living definition of the phrase all flash, little-to-no substance. Still, Raimi did a pretty good job of this.

PLOT:Oz (James Franco) is a conman, player, and carnival magician in Kansas. After a bad show, he steals a hot air balloon and flies away, running straight into a tornado. This tornado spirals him into the land of Oz, where he meets two witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis) and Evanora (Rachel Weisz). They currently rule over the Emerald City and tell him that he must slay the Wicked Witch to rule over Oz and all of it's riches. So, he sets out on a journey with his new monkey-assistant, Finley (Zach Braff), to kill the Wicked Witch. However, he runs into Glinda the Good (Michelle Williams) and finds out that things aren't always as they seem. He must now figure out which witch is the Wicked Witch and save Oz. It's a good plot executed greatly.

ACTING:The acting in this movie is very great. James Franco plays a great part as Oz, as did Mila Kunis as Theodora/The Wicked Witch of the West. She played a very interesting part as the Wicked Witch. There really wasn't a bad performance in this movie. The other shiners would be Rachel Weisz as Evanora, Michelle Williams as Glinda, Zach Braff as Finley, Bill Cobbs as the Master Tinker, Joey King as the China Girl, and Tony Cox as Knuck, with special cameos by Bruce Campbell, Theresa Tilly, Betsy Baker, and Ellen Sandweiss (All four were the main characters in Rami's original Evil Dead).

SCORE:The score in here is very detailed and magical. The great Danny Elfman supplies his unique sound to the movie, and it sounds just as good.

EFFECTS:The effects in here are dazzling and very detailed. You can see the details from the flying babboons to the emerald flowers. This movie is mainly composed of special effects, but they're really good.

OTHER CONTENT:This was actually pretty great. This was a special prequel to the original. Director Sam Raimi actually attempted his best to keep everything as magical as the original, from the color-changing horses to Kansas being depicted as black-and-white. However, all of these effects and good acting don't make up for the magic lost. This doesn't contain as much free wonder and such as the original does, and a lot of the true cinephile's will dislike it. I, however, think it's a pretty fair attempt at prequeling the original.

OVERALL,a great fantasy with a great plot, very great acting, magical Elfman score, dazzling effects, and a good attempt to keep things even, but it's missing a lot of the old wonder the original had.

Bully (2012) review


I've been looking forward to seeing this for a long time, and now that I have seen it, I have to say that it is a very good documentary and proves its point to its audience with little to no effort.

SUBJECT:The subject of this documentary is based on five different families that have kids that are being bullied in school. They focus on the family of a girl being persecuted because she's lesbian, the family of a son who hung himself at 17 because of his classmates' pressure, the family of a daughter who brought a gun to school to scare her bullies, the family of a son who's picked on everyday because of how he looks, and the family of a boy who also committed suicide and is dedicated to the stopping bullying all over the world. It's very good subject matter executed and explored brilliantly.

PEOPLE:The dedication and heart of the people in and behind this documentary is very strong and touching to the purpose of it all. I appreciate their journey to stop bullying, for I've been in that place before. There are some really good kids out there getting abused.

SCORE:The soundtrack is mainly made up of alternative rock and pop, but is used very well.

OTHER CONTENT:This documentary really sheds light on the world of bullying and the effect it has on students and entire towns. I appreciate the goal behind it all, but I have a questionable problem with the documentary. The documentary has caught kids bullying other kids on camera via the camera crew, but I believe that had an impact on the kids on tape. What if the kids only acted up this way because they were on camera? What if they never did it until now? I find that questionable.

OVERALL,a great documentary with a brilliantly explored subject matter, very strong dedication and heart, score used very well, and a needed light shed on the world of bullying, but I wonder if the camera had an impression on how the kids acted or not and how accurate it all actually was.

She's All That (1999) review


It's probably disagreeable to most that I liked this as much as I did, but it brought back some fond memories of my childhood and is actually just pretty funny.

PLOT:Laney Boggs (Rachel Leigh Cook) is an unpopular girl at her school. She's very artistic and smart, and the preps despise her for it. Zack Siler (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is the most popular guy in school and thinks he can get any girl he wants. He makes this bet with his best friend, Brock Hudson (Matthew Lillard), after his girlfriend, Taylor Vaughan (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), breaks up with him. Now, Zack is striving to take Laney and make her the most popular girl in school, even though she's wise and persistent to his tricks. All the while, Taylor is becoming jealous and trying to put Laney back in her place. It's a decent plot executed very well.

ACTING:The acting in here is actually very good. Rachel Leigh Cook plays a pretty good part as the wise and artistic Laney Boggs, and Freddie Prinze Jr. plays a very good part as the popular Zack Siler. They play off each other very well and also have some pretty great chemistry. The other performances were just okay, including the likes of Matthew Lillard as Brock and Jodi Lyn O'Keefe as Taylor.

SCORE:The score was pretty okay. It was mainly made up of popular and original songs from the 90s, but it was still pretty good.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie is actually better than I expected it to be. It's very funny and entertaining, and it brings back some fond memories I remember from my childhood in the 90s. However, it's still pretty generic and shallow along with the okay supporing actors. I liked it, but it did have its flaws.

OVERALL,an okay comedy with a well-executed plot, very good acting, pretty okay score, lots of fun, and a lot of memories from the 90s, but it is still pretty generic and shallow with only okay supporting actors.

The Ramen Girl (2008) review


This movie is charming and inspiring, but that isn't enough to cover up the cheesiness and shallow acting.

PLOT:After following him to Tokyo to start a new life, Abby (Brittany Murphy) is heartbroken when her boyfriend decides to leave her for a new job. Now reduced to no more than an American slacker in a foreign land, Abby seeks comfort and finds it in a ramen shop across the street. After a few days of watching, she decides she wants to be trained to be a ramen chef. However, the owner (Toshiyuki Nishida) doesn't get along with her very well, and this is all because neither of them can understand each other's language! So, Abby has to strive to learn to cook ramen from a mean owner, all the while dealing with heartbreak and learning Japanese. It's a good plot executed decently.

ACTING:The acting in here is also pretty decent. Brittany Murphy plays a pretty cool part as the heartbroken Abby, as does Toshiyuki Nishida as Maezumi, the mean ramen chef. These two play off each other very well and have great on-screen chemistry. The other performances are pretty good, but no one's really spectacular.

SCORE:The score in here is pretty good. It's done in an inspiring, foreign feel.

OTHER CONTENT:This was pretty good. This movie's full of charm with a fairly inspiring feel to it. It really glorifies the act of making ramen in Tokyo, and I find that interesting. However, there is a handful of scenes in here that are just very cheesy, and though there are chemistry among the actors and actresses, the acting is pretty shallow and one-track. It's like they only have one real personality trait per character. It's not too bad, but it's not too good either.

OVERALL,a neutral movie with a good plot, decent acting, pretty good score, lots of charm, an inspiring feel, and an interesting view, but it gets pretty cheesy at times, and the acting can be found as pretty one-track and shallow.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) review


With this being one of Jim Carrey's titular roles, you would expet this to be pretty funny. However, this was actually fairly a dumb movie.

PLOT:Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) is a local, well-know pet detective that is said to catch any lost animal. The test of his abilities comes when Snowflake, he mascot of the Miami Dolphins, goes missing. The team representative, Melissa (Courtney Cox), puts Ace on te case of finding him. Things get more fishy, though, when other key players on the team start to go missing as well. It's an okay plot executed near-decently.

ACTING:The acting in here was okay. Jim Carrey played a fairly good role as the goofy detective, Ace Ventura. He had some good moments and some bad moments. Courtney Cox played a decent part as Melissa. The only other roles I can really mention are Dan Morino as himself, Sean Young as Lois Einhorn, and Tone-Loc as Emilio. Except for Carrey and Cox, no performance was truly good.

SCORE:The score in here wasn't anything special. It got the job done.

OTHER CONTENT:This is a weird movie. I love Jim Carrey, but this movie was just pretty stupid. Though Carrey used his typical over-acting plan to get by, some moments just didn't work for him. I had moments where I laughed out loud and I had moments that I shook my head. This movie really isn't anything special unless you really like Jim Carrey.

OVERALL,a mediocre comedy with a near-decent plot, okay acting, unimportant score, and a lot of stupidity, but some scenes made me laugh, and I love Jim Carrey.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ted (2012) review


I finally decided to check out this movie from all the hype I've heard about it, but I realized that it was moslty just hype. This movie is pretty funny and cool, but it isn't as fresh as it wants to be.

PLOT:When he was a little boy, John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) wished that his teddy bear could talk. That next morning, John woke up to find out that his wish came true. Fast forward to 27 years later, and we see that John and Ted (Seth MacFarlene) are still the best of friends. However, things start getting complicated when John's girlfriend of four years, Lori (Mila Kunis), starts wanting John to grow up and move away from Ted. Ted must now get a job and find his own place or sacrifice John and Lori's relationship for his friendship. It's a good plot executed very well.

ACTING:The acting in here is alright. The performances weren't excellent, but they got the job done failry well. Mark Wahlberg played a respectable part as John Bennett, but it wasn't terribly good. Mila Kunis played a pretty good part as Lori as well; however, the best performance would have to be of Seth MacFarlene as Ted. He uses a familiar voice to play the part of the trash-mouthed, pot-smoking teddy bear in a very funny and comedic way. The other shiners would be Patrick Warburton as Guy, Patrick Stewart as the narrator, Alex Borstein as John's mom, and Giovanni Ribisi as Donny.

SCORE:The score was okay and used in a comedic tone, but it wasn't the best and it didn't fit a whole lot.

EFFECTS:The effects in here were pretty good and pretty cool. The effects used to make the live, moving teddy bear were cool and fairly realistic. The scene that really wowed me in here was the part where Ted and John started fighting. That was pretty awesome effects-wise.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie wasn't as good as some people make it out to be, but it was pretty cool. This movie was funny with a unique twist and an entertaining storyline, but it had several problems. The main idea of this movie (romance or bromance) has been overdone and is a bit generic, some of the jokes are hit-and-miss, and the tonal shifts often throw everything off balance. It is supposed to be a rowdy comedy, but it could have been much better than it really was if it wanted to.

OVERALL,a good comedy with a good plot, alright acting, comedic score, cool effects, lots of funny humor, a unique twist, and an entertaining storyline, but the main idea is generic, some of the jokes don't hit right, and the tone shifts too much to feel comfortable.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Wages of Sin (2006) review


Why I even bothered with this puzzles me. This is like one of the worst horror movies out there, but I just love to hate it.

PLOT:Sue Walker (Ashlie Clark) inherits a house deep in the country which her family used to own. She has no memory of the place after the time she spent in therapy. So, to check out the house, she takes her boyfriend, Ron (Brandon Michael), and a couple other friends of hers for the weekend. However, this house seems to have a bad reputation in the town she's in. When they arrive at the old house, memories start slowly coming back to Sue about what happened there: memories of a mentally-disturbed priest she used to be related to. Strange things happen to accompany that and disturb her and her friends. It's a decent plot executed horribly.

ACTING:The performances in this movie suck pretty horribly. No one really did a good job, but Ashlie Clark and Brandon Michael did a nearly-decent job of Sue and Ron. The other two sucked, especially Prentice Reedy. He was the worst actor in the whole movie. Billy St. John tried to play a reasonable part as the evil priest, but it ended up falling flat after a while.

SCORE:The score was interesting. It was repetative, but it wasn't horrible and fit the mood half of the time.

EFFECTS:The effects in here were terrible. They would have been better off with a tube of fake blood and Halloween decorations, which they may have used anyway.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie I only watched because it was given to me in a 4-pack as a gift. I didn't like it at all. The execution is lame along with everything else and the ending is terrible, too. However, I love to hate it. I can sit back and laugh at all of the flaws and treat it more as a comedy instead of a horror. It's like a Troll 2 or Plan 9 type of movie, where it's loved to be hated. I laugh at it rather than get scared.

OVERALL,a horrible horror movie with a horribly executed plot, sucky performances, interesting score, terrible effects, lame execution, and a terrible ending, but I love to hate it so much that I laugh at it.

Constantine (2005) review


This one always has intrigued me, but I never really took any liking to it until recently. It's actually not too bad, but very much strange and gimmick-like.

PLOT:Constantine (Keanu Reeves) is a priest like no other. He was born with the power to see spirits of both good and evil on earth and tried to kill himself because of it. Now, he's trying to buy himself into Heaven by exorcising as many demons from people as he can. However, things get interesting when a cop, Angela (Rachel Weisz), visits him telling about how her twin sister unexpectedly committed suicide. Little does Constantine know that this little issue may lead to him having to save the world from Satan's son. It's a great and interesting plot executed fairly well.

ACTING:The performances in here are okay. None of them are particularly excellent, but they get the job done well. Keanu Reeves plays the role of exorcist Constantine fairly well, as Rachel Weisz does as Angela and Isabelle. Theo ther shiners are Shia LeBouf as Chas, Djimon Hounsou as Midnite, Gavin Rossdale as Balthazar, Tilda Swinton as Gabriel, and Peter Stormare as Satan. It's a pretty star-studded cast, but you can tell that the actors aren't putting their full potential into their characters.

SCORE:The score in here is pretty well done. It fits the mood rather well, but isn't anything too special.

EFFECTS:The effects in here are really good. They're early CG, but they look rather cool. The effects used to make Hell, Heaven, the demons, and the possessions are really cool and wild. They could freak somebody out, not to mention the effects of Heaven and Hell look reasonabley surreal.

OTHER CONTENT:This is an interesting movie. I don't really know where to start. The whole idea behind this movie is just interesting and unique, but it is more of a paranormal action than just a horror. A lot of parts can scare, but it has more of an action feel. This movie could anger some people and entertain others; some Christians could hate the film while some horror buffs could love it. I'm caught in the middle because I liked the horror of it, but I don't necessarily agree with the idea of another angel turning against God to release the son of the Devil. It's too out there for me. This also seems very gimmicky and complicated to the point that it could gain followers or spin off into a cheesy series. It's an okay movie, but it's nothing to freak out about really.

OVERALL,an ok movie with an interesting plot, okay acting, well done score, really good CG effects, unique ideas, and good horror parts, but the actors don't live up to their potential, some anger for my belief, a cheesy and gimmicky feel to it, and complicated plot twists.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Explorers (1985) review


I have watched this multiple times as a child, but not even age has taken away the magic I've felt from this film in the past. It's so out-of-this world that I just love it, despite all its flaws.

PLOT:Young Ben Crandall (Ethan Hawke) is a little strange of a kid because he always watches sci-fi movies and is into all stuff outer space. His best friend, Wolfgang (River Pheonix), is a smart, geeky scientist working on an experiment. One day, after bad boy, Darren (Jason Presson), saves Ben from a bully, the two stop by Wolfgang's house and discoveres the experiment of a lifetime. Wolfgang has come up with a computer that will make a spherical force field of any size that can go anywhere at any speed with no travel inertia. They come up with an idea to use this to their advantage; they want to fly high and maybe even to outer space! They gather the supplies and put a craft worthy of flight in the sphere together, hoping to leave Earth, but something always goes screwy. Each has strange dreams at night, and the coordinates mess up when they travel, so they may thing that some extra-terrestrial force is trying to make contact with them. It's a really good plot executed greatly.

ACTING:The acting in here is pretty great, even for the child actors! Ethan Hawke, River Pheonix, and Jason Presson all three play great parts as Ben, Wolfgang, and Darren. Each enhances his personality in the movie very well. The better performances were from Robert Picardo and Leslie Rickert as Wak and Neek., whom are very important characters in the movie. Their voices fit the part very well. The other shiners would be Amanda Peterson as Lori Swenson and Dick Miller as Charles Drake.

SCORE:The score is very inspirational and far-out. It enhances the relaxed sci-fi feel of the movie. I really like it.

EFFECTS:The effects in here are brilliant for their time. The realistic effects used to make the aliens and the robots are interesting and very fun to look at. They look more real than most CG stuff these days. The computer effects for the dreams, force field, and flight are pretty cool too. For CG in the 1980s, this actually looked pretty cool and nostalgic.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie has always brought wonder and comfort to me ever since I was a younger child. The idea is just a good idea and so out-of-this-world that I felt I wanted to be there. The random humor and scattered wonder just all go together and make this a fun movie. They say its a lot carried on to be nothing, but I see some worth in all of it for the feeling of wonder I get from it. This is just one of those movies that is fairly interesting somehow to everyone because of the wonder and effect. However, this does have a couple flaws; the end product is very cheesy and there are some small plot holes that just make little sense to me. They can't completely mask how I feel for this movie, but they exist to me regardless.

OVERALL,an awesome sci-fi with a great plot, pretty great acting, inspirational and far-out score, realistic and cool effects for their time, a feeling of wonder and comfort from being so out there, and a great span of interest, but the ending is very cheesy and there are a couple of small plot holes.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Frankenweenie (2012) review


Tim Burton has done it again in this charming tale based on his live-action short film from the 80s.

PLOT:In the strange little town of New Holland, Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) abides with his parents (Catherine O'Hara and Martin Short) and his beloved dog, Sparky. Sparky is pretty much Vic's best friend and they act very inseparable. However, Sparky is hit by a car and killed one tragic day, leaving Victor in his despair. Inspired by the new science teacher (Martin Landau), Victor pulls a classic move and brings his beloved dog back to life with wind and lightning. Now, Victor must try to keep this big breakthrough a secret from his peers and parents. It's a good plot executed greatly.

VOICES:The voice acting in here is pretty good. Charlie Tahan is fairly okay as young Victor Frankenstein, but he doesn't really steal the show. The voice that stole the show belongs to Martin Landau as Mr. Ryzkruski. He did a truly chilling performance of the creepy new science teacher. The other shiners would be Catherine O'Hara as Mrs. Frankenstein, the weird girl, and the gym teacher, Martin Short as Mr. Frankenstein and Mr. Burgemeister, and Winona Ryder as Elsa Van Helsing. A lot of the Tim Burton usuals are in here.

SCORE:The score in here is very charming and done well by the great, Burton favorite, Danny Elfman. The themes are very soft, fitting, and clean.

ANIMATION:The animation in here is one of the best things about this movie. The animation in here is of Burton's usual brand and is done beautifully. The movements are smooth and the design is unique and artful. I appreciate Burton for this.

OTHER CONTENT:Tim Burton revitalized his animation skill in this little movie. This movie is mainly built on charm and entertaining twists, which get it by fine, but it's actually quite scary. It's scarier than I imagined it being. There are jumps and creepy visuals to give you scares. Burton takes the classic Frankenstein story and adds a bunch to it to make it a quirky adventure for kids and family alike. However, there are few points for originality. Though class shows through the way it's shot, the Frankenstein genre has nearly been done to death; not to mention that there are several cliches located throughout the movie.

OVERALL,a great movie with a good plot, pretty good voice acting, charming Elfman score, beautiful animation, lots of charm, entertaining twists, a good bit of scares, and class, but it's not that original and fairly cliched.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Brave (2012) review


I didn't expect this to be as good as it really was. Pixar has caught back up with themselves with this film, for it's fantastic, emotional journey through family and fantasy.

PLOT:Young Merida (Kelly MacDonald) is a princess in her clan in Scotland. She hasn't really followed tradition completely, however, and acts more like her father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly), instead of her saintly mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). Merida likes to ride her horse out into the wilderness and shoot her bow. However, things are about to change thanks to the Queen, for the time has come around for Merida's betrothal date, and she must decide out of a competition which son of the three other clans to choose. Merida doesn't want to get married yet and just wants to be free, but her mother won't understand her. So, Merida stands up for herself and runs away, meeting an woodcarving witch along the way, who gives Merida a cake with a spell to make her mother change. The bad thing is that Merida's mother changes in a different and more fatal way than she imagined. It's a great plot executed brilliantly.

VOICES:The voice acting for this film is really, really good. Everyone has to enhance their usual voices by speaking in a Scottish accent, which is hard to do sometimes. The best performance has to go to Kelly MacDonald as Merida, for her voice acting as the main character took the show just as it should have. Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson also did a really good job as King Fergus and Queen Elinor.  The other shiners would be Julie Walters as the wise woman, Robbie Coltrane as Lord Dingwall, and Craig Ferguson as Lord Macintosh.

SCORE:The score in here was also very good. It was done in a Celtic mood to match the Scottish mood of the film with a very contagious couple of songs from Julie Fowlis.

ANIMATION:The animation in here was one of the best aspects of the film itself. This is one thing Pixar has never faltered at in any of their recent films. The animation in here is greatly detailed and very well done. I was impressed, as usual, with the lifelike quality of the animation.

OTHER CONTENT:This film was a really good one. Unlike Pixar's last attempt to move on without Steve Jobs leading (Cars 2), this film actually hit the mark and earned its Oscar for Best Animated Film of 2013 very well. This takes a simple idea for a fairy tale, adds a twist or two, and comes out with an emotional masterpiece with beautiful visuals and a fun trip for the whole family. The jokes and humor, however, seem to fall flat on their face sometimes and seem very directed to the younger age. It picks up near the middle though, when the main twist occurs. I always believed that Pixar never lost its charm, and now I know that it hasn't.

OVERALL,an awesome Pixar film with a great plot, really good voice acting, very good Celtic score, beautiful and detailed animation, and a charming and emotional trip for the family, but some of the humor falters a bit until the middle.