Saturday, August 24, 2013

Superhero Movie (2008) review


This overdone spoof movie borrows from the likes of Spiderman and X-Men, but doesn't live up to the epic spoof it wants to be. Most of the jokes are just too juvenile and crude.

PLOT:Rick Riker (Drake Bell) is a nobody at his school, crushing on popular girl Jill Johnson (Sara Paxton) and hanging with his best friend, Trey (Kevin Hart). Things start to change for Rick, however, when he's bitten by a genetically-mutated dragonfly which gives him the strength of ten men and the power to grip nearly anything easily. Now Rick becomes the Dragonfly, the town's new superhero. A new villain forms around this same time as well. Lou Landers (Christopher McDonald), owner of a big company in town, goes through an experiment to cure his terminal disease, but something goes wrong and changes him. Now he can drain the life out of any person by just touching them. With this power, he turns into the Hourglass, bent on taking over the world. It's up to the Dragonfly to stop him now, if he can get his wings. It's a decent spoof plot executed horribly.

ACTING:The acting in this movie was pretty bad. Drake Bell tried to bring things up as Rick Riker/The Dragonfly, but his script mainly brought him down. He was actually one of the better performances of the movie, as was Leslie Nielsen as Uncle Albert and Sara Paxton as Jill Johnson. Most every other performance sucked, mainly Christopher McDonald as Lou Landers, Ryan Hansen as Lance Landers, and Marion Ross as Aunt Lucille. The other performances I want to mention that weren't too horrible would be Keith David as the Police Chief, Tracy Morgan as Dr. Xavier, and Jeffrey Tambor as Dr. Whitby.

SCORE:The score really didn't matter much. It was all generic superhero-type score and a couple of other songs added in.

EFFECTS:The effects don't really matter in this movie, but they weren't good anyway. The digital effects were too fake, the prop effects were even more fake, and some of the more visual effects were just awfully done. Then again, this is just a spoof movie so they only do what can get the job done.

OTHER CONTENT:This was one of the worst spoof movies I've seen. The humor was more juvenile than most of the others I've seen and there were only about two parts that made me laugh out of something besides stupidity. I believe that it borrowed the right superhero movie aspects, but it didn't parody them well. I believe this could have been done way better than it was. Not to mention, the actual theme of "getting your wings" was just plain cheesy overall.

OVERALL, a sucky spoof movie with a decent plot, pretty bad acting, generic score, fake-looking effects, juvenile laughs, and a cheesy theme, but it could have been done better, and there were a couple of moments in there I found funny enough.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dawn of the Dead (2004) review


This amped-up remake of the Romero classic adds more excitement, a more intricate story, and a bit more added scare to the overall zombie subgenre. However, the movie remake also comes with a few deeply recognizable flaws.

PLOT:The Earth has officially been taken over by a zombie breakout and is rapidly getting worse. The last two remaining that we focus on the most are Ana (Sarah Polley) and Kenneth (VIng Rhames). To flee and find shelter from the undead, the two take shelter in an abandoned shopping mall, where they meet a mean group of security, including stubborn CJ (Michael Kelly) and several other survivors. After the outbreak starts getting worse, the group decides the best thing to do would be to sail to another island in hope of a safe zone. It's a good plot executed very well.

ACTING:The acting in this movie is alright. Some performances are pretty good and others really suck. Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames were pretty okay as the main characters, Ana and Kenneth. Most of the other characters were just okay. The shiners would be Mekhi Phifer as Andre and Ty Burrell as Steve. The rest would be in the middle of okay and forgettable.

SCORE:The score in here is pretty well done, with some good horror score and a few well-placed songs, such as Johnny Cash's "The Man Comes Around" and Richard Cheese's cover of "Down With the Sickness". I enjoyed it altogether.

EFFECTS:The effects in this movie are kind of cheesy, but they also get the job of being scary done. The effects assist with the scares being effective altogether. Compared to the original, these effects are more charged and violent. Both are good nevertheless.

OTHER CONTENT:This fueled remake of the classic is actually almost as good as it is or even better. The energy in this movie is way more charged and in-your-face as compared to the older one, which is a bit more subtly creepy. The constant action goes together with the creepiness in this one and kind of draws it all in together. However, some of the directions this movie decides to go in seem a bit cheesy and overdone. I believe for zombie films, there is a fine line between good substance and overdone cheese. This movie crossed back and forth over that line several times, but still worked it all out together in a way. One thing I also didn't like is that the characters in this seem more forgettable and less complex than they did in the first one. I couldn't really place as many people as I could before.

OVERALL,a good zombie movie with a very well done plot, okay acting, well-placed score, cheesy yet scary effects, more action, and a few more independent scares, but there are forgettable characters and a few overdone sequences.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke (1978) review


This smoked-out comedy is an unintelligible blast for stoners and simple-minded audiences everywhere, with simple and goofy laughs as well as glory to the famous herb.

PLOT:Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong both meet together in this movie for a road trip of stoned-out proportions. The duo go on a trip across the states, smoking pot and looking for instances to score big dope, including stopping at a rock concert, drifting in and out of drug busts, and finding a whole van made of marijuana. It's a pretty stupid plot executed as well as it could be.

ACTING:The acting in here is okay. For the one-dimensional scripts the actors were given, they did a decent job. Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong both played a pretty decent part as the smoked-out main characters of the movie, playing off each other's dialogue fairly well with simple humor. Everyone else wasn't really that special except for maybe a couple of extras that were funny. Tom Skerritt was pretty good as Strawberry.

SCORE:The score was mainly composed of original songs by the duo themselves about meaningless rebellion and marijuana itself. It wasn't really important.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was really just a call to all stoners out there to glorify good old Mary Jane itself and the feelings it gives. I didn't really care much about the movie myself, but there were a few scenes I found funny due to the simple, silly slapstick. This movie isn't going to be one of your favorites if you don't smoke weed or find its effects funny.

OVERALL,a neutral drug movie with a bad plot, okay acting, unimportant score, some simple slapstick jokes, and a lot of glory to marijuana, oblivious if you like it or not.

A Bug's Life (1998) review


A lot of Pixar fans say this is one of the weakest films they made, but the voice acting, clever script, beautiful imagery, and simplicity of the story come together to make it an overall great film.

PLOT:Flik (Dave Foley) is an oddball ant in his colony on Ant Island. He always tries to come up with a new way to gather grain and food faster to reach the ants' annual goal: collect enough food to offer to the grasshoppers, who offer them "protection" while really pushing them around, and then scavenge enough for themselves. However, Flick really screws up with one of his inventions and loses all of the food gathered up for the grasshoppers, causing them to burst into the anthill and demand twice the amount of food by the end of the season. Flik then, to the great disappointment of Princess Atta (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and the rest of the colony, stands before trial to be sentenced. Flik comes up with an idea, though, to go out to the city and find bigger bugs to help them fight the grasshoppers away. Granting Flik his wish in hopes he won't return, the council sends him out to the city where he finds a group of bugs appearing to be tough. However, little does Flik know that they are circus performers. It's a good plot executed very well.

VOICES:The voice acting is done very well and just very well cast overall. Dave Foley plays a great part as the outcast hero, Flik, as does Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the princess-in-training, Princess Atta. Kevin Spacey also plays a very great part as the villain and leader of the grasshoppers, Hopper. There really isn't a bad performance in the whole film. The other shiners would have to be Phyllis Diller as the Queen, Richard Kind as Molt, Hayden Panettiere as Dot, Joe Ranft as Heimlich, David Hyde Pierce as Slim, Jonathan Harris as Manny, Denis Leary as Francis, Madeline Kahn as Gypsy, Michael McShane as Tuck and Roll, Roddy McDowell as Mr. Soil, Bonnie Hunt as Rosie, and John Ratzenberger as P. T. Flea. The cast is nearly all-star as is.

SCORE:The score in this film is light and very well composed by the great Randy Newman, with a unique theme and original song, called "The Time of Your Life".

ANIMATION:The animation in this film is very beautiful and pretty detailed for its time. The animation of the blue sky, green trees and grass, and the many different colors of the bugs are just beautiful, colorful, and detailed overall. If you don't appreciate the movie for its story, you could at least appreciate it for the beautiful, early Pixar animation present.

OTHER CONTENT:This Pixar film is known as one of the weakest because it doesn't go as deep and intricate into its story and lesson as the likes of Wall-E or Ratatouille. However, I believe the pure simplicity of the story and its lesson of making a difference and standing up for yourself is enough to accomplish the simple task of making a great film and entertaining the masses. I will admit, I'm also partial to this film because it was a major part of my childhood and the memories that came with it. However, this Pixar film also has some pretty smart dialogue between the characters to match, played off the characters very well. I honestly don't see that much of a flaw in this film. It's simple, beautiful, and well-acted to say the least.

OVERALL,it's a great animated film with a great plot, very well done voice acting, light and well composed Randy Newman score, beautiful animation, a simple and entertaining story and lesson, and some smart dialogue.