Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bill (1981) review


This TV movie tells the interesting and touching true story of a man labeled as a retard. We had to watch it in our English class, and I have to say that it wasn't half bad. It was pretty reliable and also entertaining.

PLOT:Bill Sackter (Mickey Rooney) is a simple man. He spent 46 years in the local mental institution because his mother dumped him there in desperation. Since he's been out, he's been wandering the streets and jumping from job-to-job under the care of his welfare officer, Mrs. Keating (Anna Maria Horsford). One day at the local country club, a local aspiring filmmaker named Barry Morrow (Dennis Quaid) finds Bill cleaning the kitchen and starts to become his friend. However, Barry also gets the idea to make a film about Bill. As Bill tells Barry about his life, the two start to grow closer and start to become friends. Things get disrupted, however, when Barry has to move to another job in Iowa to support his pregnant wife, Bev (Largo Woodruff). This is the true story about the life and times of Bill Sackter. It's a great plot executed very well.

ACTING:The acting in this movie is pretty good. Mickey Rooney plays a fairly respectable part as Bill Sackter, but some could also say it makes fun of him. It's kind of difficult to play someone like Bill when you come to think about it. Dennis Quaid also played a really good part as Barry Morrow, Bill's buddy and filmmaker. He did a good job. The other shiners would be Anna Maria Horsford as Mrs. Keating and Largo Woodruff as Bev Morrow.

SCORE:The score in here is pretty basic, but it's also pretty slow and touching, including a catchy song sung by Mickey Rooney and Dennis Quaid.

OTHER CONTENT:This TV movie is actually pretty good. It tells the interesting story of Bill Sackter, a real man who was committed to an institution just because he had trouble reading as a boy. After viewing the documentary about Bill and doing a little more research, I realize that this movie is all true for the most part. However, there are some details left out or changed that throw the story of just a little bit. Also, this movie has the spirit of a TV movie; there's so much more that could have been done if it had been adapted into a real theatrical film. The movie does capture a lot of the true story, however, and holds a pretty strong emotional impact.

OVERALL,a good TV movie with a great plot, pretty good acting, touching but basic score, mostly true events included in the movie, and a pretty strong emotional impact, but there are some details left out and it all seems like more could have been done.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (1999) review


This dirty, loud-mouthed movie was both hilariously crude and a charming treat for the fans of the comedy series. It's crude and dark sense of humor aren't for everyone, however.

PLOT:In the town of South Park, we focus on four good friends: Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski (Matt Stone), Eric Cartman (Trey Parker), and Kyle McCormick, whom you probably already know by now. These four friends sneak into the movie of their choice, the Terrance and Phillip movie. However, these four learn horrible language that infects their classmates and puts the parents of South Park into a raging fit. So, the parents of South Park go on a rampage to make sure Terrance and Phillip and their Canadian race are destroyed. However, a sinister plan is going into effect involving Satan and Saddam Hussein. It's a good plot for South Park executed fairly well.

VOICES:The voice acting in this movie is the basic standard for South Park and it's pretty good and fitting. As usual, Trey Parker and Matt Stone do most of the voices for the characters in the film, including Kyle, Eric, Mr. Garrison, Kenny, and more. Aside these two, the movie has vocal appearances from George Clooney, Eric Idle, Dave Foley, and Mike Judge. The other shiners besides al these would be Mary Kay Bergman as a lot of the moms and Isaac Hayes as Chef.

SCORE:The soundtrack of the movie is pretty funny and catchy. There are crude little songs laced all-throughout. Some are annoying, yet again, a lot of them are catchy and get stuck in your head. I liked a handful of them.

ANIMATION:The animation in here is the standard style of animation always used in South Park. It isn't the best anyone will ever see, but if you've seen South Park before, you'll know that the animation is a key part to how the show and movie work. The animation is actually pretty fun and detailed for this South Park adventure.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was pretty funny, though very crude. There are many moments placed throughout that are gut-bustingly funny, as well as many actually good pop culture jokes. It also has a special brand of charm that appears to the fans of South Park that sets up a child-like innocence and then shatters it with a good joke. However, this one is pretty much for the fans of dirty, black comedy and the show of the same name. The crude and nasty style isn't appreciated by everybody. Also, there were a couple of jokes and running gags in here that really failed to make me laugh and actually kind of disturbed me. Overall, it's a pretty funny movie, but only for those who favor the humor style.

OVERALL,a great movie with a good plot for the show, basic voice acting for the show, catchy and crude soundtrack songs, fun animation, lots of gut-bustingly funny moments and pop culture jokes, and a special brand of South Park charm, but not everybody will agree with the humor style and some jokes even disturbed me.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gorillaz: Demon Days Live (2006) review


This concert performance will probably live to be the best performance the Gorillaz have ever done so far.

Ever since it came out in 2006, I've been watching it over and over again. This concert covers the complete tracklist of the Gorillaz' album, Demon Days, with two additional songs as an encore. Most of the songs were performed either just like the album intended or better. Songs like "O Green World" and "Fire Coming Out of a Monkey's Head" were almost better than the album. However, some songs nearly missed the mark compared to the album, like "Dirty Harry" and "Dare". It nearly turned "Dare" into a comedy act, but either way, I found some bit of good in it. The visuals to the songs were also pretty cool and contained shots of the animated characters as well as some live video; they personified the story of "Fire Coming Out of a Monkey's Head" as well. I love how the band went against their usual style and performed a live show with the band silhouetted, then Damon Albarn, the lead singer, exposing himself in the end. I've been watching this concert and listening to the original album over and over again, for it brings back many memories of better times for me.

Overall, it's an epic concert for the great Gorillaz fans out there.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Argo (2012) review


This Oscar-winning film of 2012 was a pretty cool and accurate thrill ride through an important event of the Iranian revolution.

PLOT:During the Iranian revolution in the 1970s, the people of Iran break into the U.S. embassy in Tehran and take 52 Americans hostage. However, six of the hostages are able to slip away and reside with the Canadian ambassador's house. No one has any idea what to do until Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with the absurd idea of making a fake movie set in Iran, entitled Argo, to sneak beyond Iran's border and rescue the six hostages. With the help of director John Chambers (John Goodman) and Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin), he attempts to sell his idea of the fake sci-fi and make his way into Iran. It's a great plot executed very well.

ACTING:The acting in here was pretty good. I don't think it was truly exceptional, but it was still really good. Ben Affleck played a pretty good part as the clever Tony Mendez. John Goodman and Alan Arkin were pretty outstanding as John Chambers and Lester Siegel, however. There were really no bad performances in the film, but aside from these guys, no one really stood out.

SCORE:The score in here was pretty good. I didn't think it ultimately stood out, but it got the movie along well.

OTHER CONTENT:This film was pretty cool. I like how it was based on a true story. Aside from the lead performances and good execution, this film seemed very accurate. From what I've learned about the Iranian revolution and the time period, this seemed very much accurate, along with the pictures showed at the end to clarify. However, I didn't like how it lagged in the middle and then suddenly picked up at the end. It makes it seem a little unbalanced. Do I think it deserved it's Best Picture award? Yes, I do. It's still a finely-done, accurate, thrilling for the most part, darkly-humored film that reminds me a lot of The King's Speech in structure.

OVERALL,an awesome film with a great plot, pretty good acting, pretty good score, strong accuracy, dark humor, and thrills, but it felt uneven due to a lag in the middle.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) review


I had heard mixed reviews on this movie, and now that I've seen it, I realize how strange this movie really was. It had a few good songs and a certain flair to it, but it was overall lacking and way too out there for me.

PLOT:In the future, there's a company called GeneCo which has helped bunches of people with organ transplants when they were low on money. They could pay on their new organs as if it were a house or a car, in monthly payments. However, if you missed a payment, the evil Repo Men would come and rip that organ right out of you without warning. One young girl named Shilo (Alexa Vega) decides to look into this. She was diagnosed with a blood disease at birth which was inherited from her mother, so she's locked up in the house by her worrisome father, Nathan (Anthony Head), who has a dark secret to hide. Things start to change for Shilo when the owner of GeneCo, Rotti Largo (Paul Sorvino, decides to take her into his world. It's a pretty good plot executed in a strange and almost-decent way.

ACTING:The acting in here was okay. There were some good performances and some bad performances, considering you also have to judge them for their operatic/vocal talent. Among the many faces in here, we have Paris Hilton and Bill Moseley accompanying Alexa Vega and the rest. The best performance would have to be by Alexa Vega as Shilo Wallace. She was the most involved in the movie and in emotion, aside from the Grave Robber played by Terrance Zdunich. The Grave Robber had to be my favorite character. The other shiners would be Paul Sorvino as Rotti Largo, Nivek Ogre a Pavi Largo, Paris Hilton as Amber Sweet, and Sarah Brightman as Blind Mag. Bill Moseley didn't live up to his full potential in her, as he did in some of his previous work.

SCORE:The score in here was decent at times. This movie is told almost completely in song, as it is a sort of a rock opera. For the most part, the soundtrack was pretty awful. The actors weren't very talented singers and the background score just sounded cheap. However, there were a few good songs I liked, such as the beginning scene in the graveyard and the song sung by the Grave Digger in the middle. Overall, though, the soundtrack was not very good.

EFFECTS:The effects in here were okay. The computer animation used for the city was pretty cheap, but I felt it fit in and got the job done. The effects of the blood and gore were also cheap-looking, as well as gross. It's perfect for a fan of the gutsy kind of horror movies, but it was just a little crudely overdone to me.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was truly something strange. It was like combining Rocky Horror with Sweeney Todd, but removing all the clever wit and camp. This movie just feels strange and out-of-place. I appreciate its unique style and idea, as well as some of the songs. However, this movie just feels a bit brain-dead. It seems like they were trying to make this way more serious than it actually is. Had it contained some cleverness in place of all the gore, the movie would have been a little better. However, it's just a strange movie for those who want something a little too different from the norm.

OVERALL,a mediocre movie with a good but strange plot, okay acting, decent but mainly awful score, cheap and okay effects, a lack of wit, a brain-dead feeling of over-seriousness, and just a lot of gross strangeness, but a few songs and characters were really cool and it has a unique style to it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie (2004) review


I can't help but love this movie for the fact that I grew up with it. Even today, I'm still a nerd for the franchise.

PLOT:Yugi Moto (Dan Green) is known among the popular card game, Duel Monsters, as the most best player in the world. After putting together the ancient Millenium Puzzle, the spirit of the great dueling pharaoh was given to Yugi along with the all-powerful Egyptian god cards. In this adventure, Yugi is challenged to a duel by his arch rival, Seto Kaiba (Eric Stuart). However, Kaiba has prepared to finally beat Yugi with two cards taken from the deck of the game's creator. One of these cards, the Pyramid of Light, has a supernatural power given to it by the spirit of Anubis, an evil ruler from ancient Egypt. After a discovery of his tomb and artifacts, Anubis awakens with an age-old grudge against the pharaoh. So, in this one duel, Anubis' spirit is powered through the Pyramid of Light card and is bent on ruling the world and taking down the pharaoh. It's a decent plot executed fairly well.

VOICES:The voice acting in here was okay. The voice acting was done by the same actors who do it in the show, so if you've ever watched it, you kind of know what to expect. Dan Green did his usual good job of voicing Yugi Moto, as did Eric Stuart as Seto Kaiba. The other shiners would have to be Amy Birnbaum as Tea Garnder and Darren Dunstan as Maximillion Pegasus. Everybody else was fairly annoying.

SCORE:The score to this movie wasn't really too important. It was just basic score that set the mood for each scene. It was much like the TV show.

ANIMATION:The animation in here was pretty good. It's in the anime style and fairly detailed. If you're into anime, you'd probably like it. It's pretty detailed with the monsters and comical with the characters' faces at times.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was really no big deal among most people, but to the fans of the franchise, it's pretty good. I've been a fan of the franchise since I was about five years old and I still do get into it some. The movie is mainly all cards and dueling and milking all the franchise has to offer. I like that, since I'm into it, but to those who aren't fans of the series, this movie doesn't really matter. This movie is strictly for fans of the series and card game. Also, even though I'm into it, this movie did have a few problems with me as well. There were some parts of it that were just cheesy and uncalled for, which kind of threw the movie off. Also, this movie is honestly just one great big episode of the show. With all the non-stop dueling, you'd be almost as good with the TV show itself. I'm into it, but I'm sure those who aren't either despise or don't care about it. It's one strictly for the fans.

OVERALL,a good movie with a decent plot, okay voice acting, basic score, pretty good anime animation, and a good following for the fans of the franchise, but there are some cheesy parts to it, it's no different from the show, and it's strictly for the fans.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Persepolis (2007) review


This animated biography about this girl's life explores the culture of an oppressive government in a touching and accurate way.

PLOT:Marjane Satrapi (Chiara Mastroianni) is an Iranian girl who constantly speaks out against the oppressive government she lives in. She loves music, rebels, and her family. This film chronicles her life from her childhood to her early adulthood through the Islamic revolution and covers most every rule from the dark veil she must wear everywhere to the restriction of media interference. It's a good plot executed brilliantly.

VOICES:The voice acting in here was pretty good. Even though I watched the French version and couldn't understand the language (I used subtitles), I still found the voices very well done. Chiara Mastroianni played a great part as Marjane Satrapi, speaking out emotionally, as if she was Marjane. The other shiners would be Catherine Deneuve as Tadji, Simon Abkarian as Ebi, Francois Jerosme as Uncle Anouch, and Danielle Darrieux as Marjane's grandmother. Danielle specifically did a great job among this bunch, due to the script she was given.

SCORE:The background score in this film was very touching and soft, matching the exact mood of the film. This also contained a rather comedic appearance of Iron Maiden and rendition of "Eye of the Tiger". I enjoyed it.

ANIMATION:The animation in here is unique and very accurate emotionally to the film. Though it was very detailed, it didn't cover some scenes as well as I believe a live-action film could've done.

OTHER CONTENT:For the most part, this film was emotionally and factually accurate. It left a fairly good emotional impact on me and made me thankful for the freedoms I have. However, I think a few of the things in the film were exaggerated outside the facts, and I didn't understand this as much as I think I should've. I think this film was mainly made for a certain crowd, and a bit of it didn't catch my attention. It did leave a big emotional impact and had a lot of good parts to it, but I feel that it had just these couple of mistakes.

OVERALL,a great animated film with a brilliant plot, pretty good voice acting, touching score, unique animation, a good emotional impact, and a lot of good parts, but I think some things are exaggerated, and I don't understand it as well as I thought I should've

Monday, April 1, 2013

Me, Myself, and Irene (2000) review


Jim Carrey has a very good comedic performance in here, but a lot of the jokes in the script just seem to fall flat on their faces.

PLOT:Charlie (Jim Carrey) is a state trooper for the Rhode Island police with three black sons and a fairly good temper. However, after too much abuse from the people around him, something in him snaps, and he takes on a double personality. This personality, named Hank, is mean, dirty, and overall insane, but is contained by medication. The force starts to worry about him and considers kicking him out, but they give him one last job of escorting a young lady named Irene (Renee Zellweger) to New York for questioning. However, there is some underground crime going on that could get them both killed; not to mention, Charlie leaves his medication in a hotel room. So, now Charlie must protect Irene from danger while trying to keep is alter-ego at bay. It's a good plot executed fairly well.

ACTING:The performances in this movie were pretty good. Jim Carrey played a great part as the well-tempered Charlie and the mean-and-abusive Hank. It wasn't by far his best role, but he played it in a very unique way. Renne Zellweger played a decent part as the love interest, Irene, but she wasn't all that good. The other shiners would have to be the three black sons, Jamaal, Lee Harvey, and Shonte Jr., played by Anthony Anderson, Mongo Brownlee, and Jerod Mixen.

SCORE:The score and sountrack was pretty good. There were a few pretty cool alt-rock sounding songs.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie wasn't too bad, but it wasn't really too good either. It had some pretty funny parts with a good romance behind it and a somewhat-fresh idea to experiment around with. However, the Farrelly brothers usual style is here, and it shows by a lot of the jokes that are taken too far and are just not funny. They're famous for gross-out gags and crude jokes, and some of them in here work, but a lot of them just fall flat.

OVERALL,a neutral comedy with a good plot, pretty good acting, pretty good score, a few pretty funny parts, a good romance story, and a good idea to play around with, but a lot of the jokes go too far and aren't funny.