Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) review


This Looney Tunes and live-action crossover is actually much more fun and entertaining than its so-called predecessor with a few clever jokes to satisfy everyone, but the acting for one is pretty bad.

PLOT:In the world of Warner Bros. Studios, Daffy Duck is tired of playing secondhand star to Bugs Bunny, so he gets fired by the vice president of comedy there,  Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman). Also at the same time, D.J. Drake (Brendan Fraser), son of big spy movie star, Damien Drake (Timothy Dalton), gets fired from his security guard job and finds out his dad is a real super spy and that he (with Daffy, who won't leave him alone) must go to Las Vegas and save him and keep the Blue Monkey diamond out of the evil ACME Chairman's (Steve Martin) hands. All the while, Kate and Bugs go on a journey to meet up with the two unemployed teammates to get them back to the studio, or Warner Bros. will fire her. It's a good plot executed fairly great.

ACTING/VOICES:The acting and voices in this movie are okay, but bad for the most part. Brendan Fraser and Jenna Elfman are actually pretty bad in this movie. Fraser had a couple of a good lines, but for the most part, the script let him down. The voice acting for the toons, such as Jeff Glenn Bennett, Joe Alaskey, Billy West, June Foray, Eric Goldberg and others was pretty good. It was actually an authenticity improvement from the last one. The acting overall was pretty bad, especially Steve Martin in with the main two. I just did not like the character and the acting he did for him. Of course, he had maybe a couple good lines. The shiners aside from whom I may have already named are Heather Locklear as Dusty Tails, Timothy Dalton as Damien Drake, Joan Cusack as Mother, and a special cameo by Michael Jordan.

SCORE:The score and soundtrack was mainly made up of some memorable and original songs, along with a bit of mood-fitting action score. The score was actually pretty cool in this movie.

ANIMATION:The animation in this film is more memorable and just better than in the last one. The toons are animated with a bit more detail and more as if they actually existed.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was just a fun improvement over the first Looney Tunes crossover. This movie is a lot of fun and actually clever in referencing to the right places, like with the aliens in Area 52 and the paintings in France. However, aside with the bad acting, this movie gets old fast doesn't capture all of the same joy the original show once had. However, it does much better than Space Jam.

OVERALL,an okay movie with a good plot, better voice acting and bad real acting with a bad script, good score and soundtrack, improved and more detailed animation, a lot more fun, and a lot of good referencing, but aside from the bad acting, this movie seems to get old fast and shine little light into the old feel of the original show.

Space Jam (1996) review


This fun, basketball and Looney Tune movie is a classic to some, and is fairly entertaining, but for the most part, it seems just like propaganda for basketball fans with Looney Tunes to help it appeal to a wider audience than it actually accomplishes.

PLOT:There's a planet far out in space home to a theme park losing it's target audience to boredom, so the big, bad boss sends his tiny and dim-witted henchmen to Earth to fetch what he thinks will bring the kids back to his park: the Looney Tunes. The aliens go to Earth and try to steal away the Looney Tunes and force them into his boss's money-grabbing slavery, but the toons convince the aliens to give them a fair fight. Bugs Bunny and the rest of the toons decide on an event that goes against the current physical ability of the tiny, harmless aliens: basketball. The plan seems to work well until the aliens sneak into the human world and steal away the talents of many talented basketball players, such as Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Larry Bird, turning them into a big, strong, brutal team of skilled players named the Mon-stars. Knowing they now need help to win their freedom, the toons go to the human world and get the help of Michael Jordan, one of the best basketball players out there. Will Michael Jordan get the toons into shape and help win their freedom? It's a decent plot executed almost decently.

ACTING/VOICES:The acting and voice acting in this movie is okay. Billy West, D. Bradley Baker, and Bob Bergen provide the voicing for the various Looney Tunes characters throughout, such as Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, and many others. They don't sound as authentic compared to the original, but they get the job done enough. Michael Jordan does an okay job as himself, the basketball player new to the toon world, as well as the other players, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, and Larry Bird. The voice acting and regular acting in this movie was just okay overall. Nobody truly surprised me. However, the other shiners (or honorable mentions) would be Wayne Knight as Stan, Bill Murray as himself, Danny DeVito as Swackhammer, Kath Soucie as Lola Bunny, and June Foray as Granny.

SCORE:The soundtrack of this movie was mainly made up of special songs composed specifically for the movie, including a modernized version of the classic, "Fly Like an Eagle". The score itself was nothing truly special.

ANIMATION:The animation in this movie was pretty good. The Looney Tunes are animated in a more modernized version of how they were back then, except set in the real world. It was okay overall. It got the job done.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was just okay to me. I loved the fact that it had the Looney Tunes in it, and Michael Jordan played fairly well off the jokes they made. It was entertaining for the most part, and a good bit of fun. However, this movie is almost strictly for the fans of basketball. Even with the Looney Tunes added, most of the movie is centered around basketball and knowing MJ and the other players. Also, a lot of the jokes in here seemed just too juvenile and aimed toward the kids. I hardly laughed. The movie wasn't terrible, but it wasn't too good either.

OVERALL,a neutral movie with an almost-decent plot, okay acting and voices, a score and soundtrack not too special, okay animation, some good moments from the toons, and a bit of entertaining fun, but the movie is mainly for basketball fans, and the humor seems a bit too juvenile and childish.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) review


This fun, edge-of-the-80s rock party is actually very clever and entertaining with a chill mood to it throughout.

PLOT:Bill S. Preston (Alex Winter) and Theodore "Ted" Logan (Keanu Reaves) are two wannabe rockers with big dreams to meet Eddie Van Halen and score it big in the future. However, the band won't have a future if they don't past their big history oral report. Ted's dad is about to put him in military school, and the boys will be forever separated. However, a strange man (George Carlin) comes out of nowhere in a telephone booth which turns out to also be a time machine. This strange man and the future boys themselves inform Bill and Ted that they'll need to travel back in time and learn stuff to ace the report. However, the historical figures they bring back might not fit in too well with the real world.  It's a great plot executed very well.

ACTING:The acting in this movie is pretty good. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter both play "excellent" jobs as Bill and Ted. George Carlin also played a great part as Rufus, the brains of the operation. The other shiners would be Bernie Casey as Mr. Ryan, Terry Camilleri as Napoleon, Dan Shor as Billy the Kid, Tony Steedman as Socrates, Roi Loomis as Sigmund Freud, Jane Wiedlin as Joan of Arc, and Robert V. Barron as Abraham Lincoln.

SCORE:The score in here is mainly made up of 80s rock and pop songs that set the mood just right. I though the soundtrack was pretty cool.

EFFECTS:The effects in this movie were pretty cool for their time. The computer-generated effects depicted the web of time travel as it was told in this movie. Nowadays, I believe the effects are very dated, but I'm sure they seemed top notch back then.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was just a great time. This movie was a fun, time-warped, rock party of a movie. I think almost anyone could have a fun time just watching this; not to mention, there are a few very clever parts including time travel itself. This movie is just a party in itself.

OVERALL,a good comedy with a great plot, good acting, cool score, effects good for their time, a fun time, and some pretty clever parts within.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monsters University (2013) review


This prequel to the popular Pixar favorite was actually a pretty fun ride through the origins of the popular monsters with college humor laid throughout. However, a lot of cliches and borrowed elements were used to make this movie.

PLOT:Ever since he was little, Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) has wanted to work as a scarer at Monsters, Inc., the biggest company in their world. So, he goes to the best college in their world for the job, Monsters University. While there, he meets and rooms with a younger and much friendlier Randy Bogg (Steve Buscemi) and forms a rivalry against young Jimmy Sullivan (John Goodman), the slacker with a praised family name in scaring. They enroll in scaring class but due to their weaknesses, Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren) kicks them out. Mike is devastated and Sulley's mad, but then Mike gets the idea to enter the Scare Games, the college's most famous event, and prove himself to the Dean that he can be a scarer. However, Mike must deal with Sulley's attitude and turn his loser sorority, Oozma Kappa, into a winning team. It's a good plot executed very well.

VOICES:The voice acting for the most part was about as good as the first movie. Billy Crystal, John Goodman, and Steve Buscemi all played very great and still-fitting parts of Mike, Sulley, and Randall. The new voices were really good also. Helen Mirren played a great part as the strict Dean Hardscrabble. There really wasn't a bad performance in the movie. The other shiners would be Joel Murray as Don, Sean Hayes as Terri, Dave Foley as Terry, and Charlie Day as Art.

SCORE:The score in this movie is mainly made up of borrowed score from the first Monsters movie. It's still good though, with a few new and cool themes throughout done by the great Randy Newman.

ANIMATION:The animation in this movie is very colorful and pretty detailed for the most part. The animation of the various monsters was pretty cool, especially on the freaky-looking Dean Hardscrabble.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was a pretty good addition to the Pixar canon of movies and pretty fitting prequel to the older classic, Monsters Inc. This addition added a lot of color, college humor, unique perks, and interesting points as a Pixar movie. I loved some of the dialogue and the big climax near the end; not to mention, the movie was pretty funny by itself. I also enjoyed the references the the first movie this made. However, some of the jokes and plot elements seemed a little cliched at times and it made this seem like just another animated movie at times.

OVERALL,a good Pixar movie with a good plot, good and fitting voice acting, borrowed but good score, colorful and detailed animation, some funny moments, good dialogue and a good climax, but this seems to borrow a lot of familiar cliches and plot elements from past movies.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Grown Ups (2010) review


Well, this movie wasn't as terrible as I expected it to be, but it was still a bunch of squandered talent led by bad, stupid, and shallow jokes.

PLOT:After their old basketball coach passes away, five childhood friends come back together thirty years later with their families to reconnect. Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) married a fashion designer (Salma Hayek Pinault) and had three spoiled rotten kids, Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James) settled down and had a family, Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock) had a family that brought out his sensitive side, Marcus Higgins (David Spade) still lives to party and gets drunk often, and Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider) went through several marriages and had several kids but settled down with a much older woman. This group rents a cabin for a week and learns how to become kids again and bond with their families and each other. It's a decent plot executed very badly.

ACTING:The cast is all-star, including Adam Sandler, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Chris Rock, and Kevin James, but most of these talents are squandered on shallow jokes and one-dimensional personalities. One's the leader, one's a bit sensitive, one's big, one's a partier, and one's weird. They're all simple personalities to be honest. However, I didn't completely hate Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and David Spade's roles in this. Salma Hayek was also pretty decent. If there would be any other shiners, they would be Maria Bello as Sally Lamonsoff, Maya Rudolph as Deanne McKenzie, Steve Buscemi as Wiley, Madison Riley as Jasmine Hilliard, and Jamie Chung as Amber Hilliard.

SCORE:The soundtrack itself was mainly made up of a mix of good classic rock songs placed randomly throughout the movie. I liked the soundtrack.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was mainly a train wreck with squandered talents sprinkled throughout. The jokes for the most part were shallow, stupid, unfunny, and predictable. However, there were some parts in there that were pretty hilarious to me. Some of the dramatic parts in here were pretty okay as well.

OVERALL,a bad comedy with a badly-executed plot, squandered acting talents, a good soundtrack, one-dimensional characters, and shallow, unfunny jokes, but some jokes made me laugh, and some dramatic parts weren't too bad either.

Monday, July 15, 2013

This Is Not a Film (2012) review


This in-depth documentary was a good attempt at breaking free of the Iranian governments laws and glorifying the art of film.

SUBJECT:Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi is about to be sent to prison for six years and banned from filmmaking for 20 years. This mini-documentary shot partially on an iPhone and filmed by Mojtana Mirtahmasb documents the screenplay rejected by the Iranian government and the struggle Jafar has to go through. It's a really in-depth documentary done real well for being shot secretly.

PEOPLE:Jafar Panahi seems to be a real visionary director with a good idea and mind for filmmaking. I appreciate his idea for films and what he points out in his previous films. I also like how Mojtaba Mirtahmasb risked his life to shoot Jafar's struggles. It was a very brave act

OTHER CONTENT:This documentary was very much a picture of life with the Iranian government. I liked how he tried to rebel and get around their laws. I hope one day things are better for these peoples' lives. However, this documentary seemed to be a little bit less enlightening than I expected it to be. I also really wished he finished his screenplay.

OVERALL,an awesome documentary with a real in-depth subject matter, a visionary filmmaker and a brave soul, and a good picture of the Iranian government's oppression., but it wasn't as enlightening as I had hoped it to be.