December 25, 2012

The Polar Express

Since it's still Christmas, and it's still the Christmas season, I decided to write about a Christmas movie. honestly, I'm not very big on Christmas movies, as much as I love the holidays. I decided to get this one for two reasons. First, Tom Hanks was in it, and you all know how much of a fan I am of Mr. Hanx. Second, I've always been curious about this movie cause I remember seeing the trailer and being on the fence of it, and it caused me to want to watch the movie just to feed my curiosity. But I will keep this short not to take much time from your holidays.

The Polar Express was a 2004 movie directed by Robert Zemeckis, director of Forrest Gump, which as we know won several awards and gained wide recognition. It starred Tom Hanks, also star of Forrest Gump, Josh Hutcherson, Daryl Sabara, Leslie Zemeckis, Eddie Deezen, Nona Gaye, Tinahse, Peter Scolari and many more. It was a commercially successful movie, although critics only gave it mixed to positive feedback.

I kinda liked it. There were a few parts that were a little boring. But for the most part, it was a good movie. It was very family friendly, and very suited for children. It taught valuable lessons while keeping the spectacular element of it. The visuals were great and the effects were just amazing. The visuals itself made the story enjoyable. The story was also worth noticing. I twas about believing, not only in Christmas or Santa Claus, but in general. It's about hope and faith. I thought that was a beautiful focus for a children's movie.

I also want to mention how amazing Tom Hanks was taking on different roles for the movie. He was truly a star and he managed to handle all the roles given to him, in this movie alone. Josh Hutcherson was also commendable as the main protagonist of the movie. Everyone who provided voices, or the action-capture, were amazing. They should all be proud of the movie. Most especially the director for creating this kind of movie. An entertaining movie with a valuable lesson, and of course, my favorite, stunning effects.

Merry Christmas everyone and enjoy the holidays.

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December 22, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I had the opportunity to watch The Hobbit a few days ago, but only had the chance to write about it now. Although I haven't read the books, I can say that I still enjoyed the movie.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was the first movie in the trilogy that will present a prequel for The Lord of The Rings. It was directed by Peter Jackson and stars Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen. The movie has already grossed over 200 million dollars worldwide, and it's just in its second week. The movie will probably earn double of that amount by the time it's finished its run. I'm just guessing. 

The first part of the movie wasn't too impressive. For an ultra-hyped movie, I expected it to grab me within the first few minutes, but it didn't. It was a little boring actually, and given I hadn't had any sleep that time, I was ready to be disappointed. However, after the initial reaction, my sentiments quickly changed, and all very sudden at that. It was so sudden, I couldn't point out where it started to get good. But it did, and it did so drastically. It quickened its pace, but not too quick to make it seem being rushed. I do have to say that the first part brought me down memory lane because of the connection this movie established with the LOTR franchise. It was very nostalgic to see Frodo and Bilbo together again. 

The rest of the movie ranged from good to amazing. Sure there were a couple of parts they could have cut off, but also some parts that really triggered a sense of excitement and satisfaction as a viewer. It was also good that they still had some funny moments even though the movie was all bout action and thrill. It had a balance that provided quality entertainment. I especially enjoyed the parts they were being chased, or being attacked. I thought those moments were the best scenes in the movie. I wouldn't give too much away since I'm sure some of you haven't seen it yet. But yeah, look out for those parts. They were really good, and the execution was nothing less than perfect. 

Martin Freeman was a great Bilbo Baggins. He was on point in every single scene and was a real scene-stealer. Ian Holm did a great portrayal of Bilbo, but Martin Freeman made sure to step up to te plate and rise up to the challenge. He was really good in the movie. Took on the role like he was that character. It was amazing to see that kind of performance. And it was even better to see Ian McKellen back as Gandalf. I could not imagine anyone else play Gandalf and it was almost majestic to see him in this role once again. It's impossible not to be too impressed by this guy. What made it even better was how the two of them managed to create this push and pull dynamics that made the movie much more interessting. 

Other stars returning to the franchise was Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, and Andy Serkis as the creature Gollum. It was refreshing to see these familiar faces on screen again on the very series that created this huge fanbase. However, the additional cast were just as amazing. Richard Armitage was a strong lead for the dwarves. His presence in the movie was always notable, and he delivered in his take o the character of Thorin. 

The movie ended really abruptly for me, with no clear resolution. I guess that's what's so weird for me in this movie. I know it's a trilogy so it can't end in a typical ending way. I don't even know what kind of ending I was expecting but I'm sure it wasn't that. The good thing was that it ended in a sort of cliff-hanger so it just created tat element of excitement and mystery. And that's not too bad at all. I guess the ending was ok, and I'm sure real fans of the book series will love it. As for me, I wanted a different one, but I wouldn't complain too much either. 

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December 09, 2012

Rise of the Guardians

I wasn't too thrilled like the others when I saw the trailer of this movie. It was funny, but not enough to convince me to go see it. But a friend of mine wanted to watch it and I tagged along. I guess it was a pleasant surprised as I didn't expect to have such a great time in the movies, considering I have just finished work.

Rise of the Guardians is an animated movie by DreamWorks, who also did the Shrek franchise. It stars Chris Pine as Jack Frost, Alec Baldwin as Santa Claus, Hugh Jackman as the Easter Bunny, Isla Fisher as the Tooth Fairy, Jude Law as Pitch, Dakota Goyo as the child, and although no one voiced him, I'd like to include the Sandman in this list. I also consider the movie as a comedy, superhero movie given its premise. Unfortunately, the film isn't bringing in enough numbers in the box-office, which is really tough since it was released along with the finale of the Twilight Saga and the latest Bond film, which broke box-office records. It was probably tough to compete with these two, even though RIse of the Guardians had a completely different market.

It's probably one of the funniest animated, children's movie I've seen. Also, dare I say it, one of the cutest. Especially Sandy who stole the hearts of just about everyone in the cinema, proved by the constant expression of different people of "cute" whenever he appeared. Another one worth noticing for the "cute" aspect of the film was the transformation of the Easter Bunny. However, aside from it being cute, it was also hysterical. The members of the audience were literally laughing uncontrollably throughout the movie. It was amazing how a children's movie was being able to trigger emotions from adults (there was almost no children in the movie house when I went). I;m pretty sure the hilarity of it was one of the main reasons why everyone we were all having time. I've been told it was a funny movie by my officemate but I didn't expect this level of quality of humor. It was a joy to watch.

It was an interesting choice to transform childhood figures to be sort of superheroes with weapons, which I though was really cool. Who knew the Easter bunny was a hardcore boomerang thrower. Or that Santa's efficient in sword fighting. I have to confess through that I didn't know who Jack Frost was. I live in a tropical county; snow is definitely out of the picture. I didn't know the idea behind Jack Frost so it was interesting and new for me to see his character develop. I got to know the concept of him through the process.

The movie had a simple, but decent story line. It was about hope, belief, and goodness. It's about protecting the ideals of children: basically, protecting their childhood. The gang was ready to take on the task even though it was a very tough one. It did sound convincing though. Which reminds me, I never figured out Alec Baldwin was the voice of Santa Claus on;y because he dubbed the character with a sort of Russian voice that didn't sound like him at all. That's great voice acting right there. The others did well too. Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Isla Fisher and of course, Chris Pine were all amazing at lending their voices for this movie. Truly awesome.

I'm a little disappointed this movie's not performing too well on the box-office, but I hope they recover their losses in DVD. That way, it will also mean that more people had the chance and opportunity to watch this incredible film. It was very witty! That's what I liked most about it.

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December 04, 2012

Cheaper By The Dozen 2

After the success of the first film, a sequel of Cheaper By The Dozen was released two years after the original. It featured the same cast for the Baker family, with a lot of new faces for their rivals. Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Piper Perabo, Tom Welling, Hilary Duff, Kevin Schmidt, Alyson Stoner, Jacob Smith, Forrest Landis, Liliana Mumy, Morgan York, Blake Woodruff, and Brent and Shane Kinsman were back to cause more troubles, more fun and more heartwarming stories. This time joining the fun were Eugene Levy, Carmen Electra, Jamie King, Shawn Robets, Robert Amell, Alexander Conti and a very young Taylor Lautner. While the reviews were extremely negative, the film still managed to impress in the box office.

I'd have to say that the first movie was way better than this. While still maintaining that charm the first movie had, it lacked something. I still could not point out what it was that made it seem less exciting compared to the first, but there was something definitely missing here. The cast was just as brilliant, and I did like the concept of the story. I liked the performances of the actors and I liked the scenery it had. It must be the overall piecing together of the movie. I'm leaning towards the this since at the beginning I felt that some scenes were out of place, and unnecessary. It also lacked a bit of order and organization. 

What I did like about the movie was how it gave the other kids a chance to be a little more prominent. I mentioned before that the first movie made sure to feature all the 12 kids. This time, they did that as well, and more effectively, I must say. I felt like the kids who weren't as visible before were more present in this film. It was like giving the chance to shine to the other kids. That I really appreciated. Morgan York and Liliana Mumy, and Jacob Smith had breakthroughs. I'm also glad they stuck with creating a story arc for Forrest Landis and Alyson Stoner as they were my two favorites from the first film, Although Stoner had a much bigger role in this film. 

I enjoyed the competitive element of the movie. It added flavor and spice to the movie, and it became a source of laughter. At first, that was how the movie was described to me: two families battling it out. While it did happen, it wasn't until towards the end of the movie. However, I quite enjoyed those moments when the two groups were concentrating on winning. It also proved how reliable Steve Martin's antics are to ensure a good laugh. It's the exaggeration on his face when he reacts that I appreciate. Maybe I'm just really a kid, but I enjoy that kind of comedy, much more than I'd care to admit.

Eugene Levy, Carmen Electra, Jamie King, Shawn Robets, Robert Amell, Alexander Conti and Taylor Lautner were great additions. This "family" escalated the level of entertainment of the movie, and their characters proved to be a valuable asset to the story arcs of the different Bakers. It was fun to see how the relationship/conflict/battle/chaos would develop given the different levels and dynamics of the different characters. This part of te writing I was actually impressed by. It was on the genius side to transform the Baker family into rough and tough family. No more of the sweet side, it was time to bring it on; and that's exactly what they did. 

It was these small things that made me still quite like this movie. The this about this movie was it got better and better as the time passed by, only it reached its maximum point towards the end that it was quite hard to feel as fulfilled as the first one. Having said that, it had its own merits. It was a real family movie, and not just about having a lot of kids. It's having to deal with issues and feelings like letting go, being able to know one's boundaries. It was a mature movie which was odd considering most of the cast were really young. But it had a sense of achievement after it in that it imparts valuable lessons in family life, or life in general. It focuses not only on the hits or misses, but the balancing of both. That aspect of the movie was very commendable.

Sure the first movie was a bit more glorious, and more exciting. But this movie had its own value. I won't even deny the fact that I found myself being amused by the little quirks of the movie. How they were able to intertwine different subjects within a single story line. If we're going to talk about the movie's faults, we should be fair and acknowledge the merits it had, and there were quite some really worth mentioning like the ones I talked about above.

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December 02, 2012

Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday was a 1953 film starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. I guess you could say that this was an old school romantic comedy. It was directed by William Wyler, who also served as the film's producer. The film also featured Eddie Albert, Hartley Power, Harcourt Williams, Margaret Rawlings, and Tullio Carminati. It was nominated for numerous academy awards, including Eddie Albert's nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and won several Academy Awards including the Best Actress award for Hepburn. It's also listed as one of the best rom-coms by the American Film Institute, ranking it number four in that specific category.

It's really different to see a comedy, let alone a romantic comedy, during the earlier years of cinema. It's very different from the ones we have now. I guess we have a different kind of humor now than they did back then. It's a long time ago so a lot of things have changed. It's the same thing I said when I wrote about "The Million Pound Note" where I said that the type of comedy they had back then was extremely different than the ones we have now. It's amazing to see two different sides of comedy, and anyone who'd watch old movies must learn to appreciate it. I quite enjoy both types.

The main story revolved around a royal princess who wanted to be free from all her obligations. One night she decided to run away, but only after a sleeping drug had been induced in her system, resulting to her falling asleep on the streets. Then comes a reporter, although his occupation remains unknown to the princess, who then gets her to his home to rest. Upon learning that the girl he brought home was the princess he was supposed to interview, he saw an opportunity to make great money by writing a story about the princess without her knowing. Thus starts an odd relationship, filled with a few problems with all the lies.

It's one of the most heartbreaking rom-coms out there. I don't want to say too much but the way the story ended, while thoughtful, was emotional. It's uncommon let's say, for a movie of this genre. However, I will say that I liked this ending mostly because it was surprising. It also demonstrated why Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn are two of the most famous stars back then, and up to now. Clearly they brought their selves into the role and made it work. Hepburn was a picture of grace and elegance, while Peck was gentleman.

It took me a while to bring myself to watch this. I wanted to watch this because, as you all know, I am a huge fan of Gregory Peck. Plus, I've never seen a movie of Hepburn before so I thought this would be hitting two birds with one stone. At the same time, I'm also not too big on these kinds of movies so it took me a while to finally hit the "Play" button on this movie. I even saw other films first. Having seen it now, I have nothing but appreciation for the movie. It's a refreshing one for me. Quite different.

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November 28, 2012

Hot Fuzz

I've seen a lot of Simon Pegg movies, and I've never kept it a secret that I am a huge fan of the guy. As I watch his works, not only as an actor/all around funny guy, but also as a writer, I realize that this man is one intellectual person. It's also no secret, as I've written before that I had an amazing time watching Shaun of the Dead, written by Pegg with Edgar Wright, who also directed the movie. A movie that also featured Nick Frost. The reason I mention these three names is because this post will be about another product of the London trinity. 

I present you Hot Fuzz, an action/comedy/incredible movie about a Metro police being assigned in a far off village for being too exceptional. I probably should add thriller to its genre as it was very much like a suspense thriller movie as well; and thrilling it was! It was written by Pegg and Wright once again, with Wright being the film's director. Pegg and Frost starred in the movie alongside a number of exceptional actors including Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Paddy Considine, Rafe Spall, Kevin Eldon, Olivia Colman, Karl Johnson, Edward Woodward, Billie Whitelaw, Eric Mason, Stuart Wilson and many many more! It was well received by critics and the public alike garnering high ratings and a very successful box-office run. 

As much as I enjoyed Shaun of the Dead, and trust me I did, I still found Hot Fuzz even better. I was surprised at how bloody and gory the movie got, but it just stepped up the movie's game for me. It's an action movie so I did expect blood, but it was even bloodier than expected. Of course everything was done with the sole purpose of complementing the script. It worked well wit the story, and the visuals weren't too disgusting, I thought. Surprising, yes, but not disgusting. I also loved how it went from a comedy to film to hardcore gun-firing, headbutting action movie. It remained true to its genre and actually had amazing action scenes. It was weird though that nobody seemed to have any aim, but that's besides the point. But yeah, I was quite impressed by the action element of the movie.

As a comedy film, no one can ever deny the superiority of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as comedy actors. They're funny and witty and have exact precision when delivering one-liners/punchlines. It's actually amazing how these two work so well together. They feed off from each other and that's what a great on screen partnership works. Actually the movie for me was more of an action mystery thriller than a comedy, although the presence of humor is very apparent. After all they are Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, two of the best comedy actors in the film industry. There I said it. 

This movie gave me chills with its mind-blowing mystery crime aspect. I literally got chills all over the movie. That's what's great about this movie, it was exciting and it made me nervous. The whole movie is like one giant episode of CSI/NCIS/other crime shows and I liked it. I am a huge fan of mystery solving, crime investigating that I actually enjoyed myself figuring out the whole thing. It doesn't hurt that the way Pegg and Wright wrote the script was very smart. It was fun to see it all unfold right before you. Some parts were very predictable, but it didn't take the fun away from it.

I really found this movie an excellent one. Probably just became my favorite Simon Pegg movie. I found out they're making a new one, with the London trinity still intact. I just have this feeling that it will even be better. I think it's because with the two movies they had, they made sure to prove that they do create quality movies, movies that people will enjoy watching and spend money on. I can attest to the level of entertainment they produce. I would really highly recommend Hot Fuzz and Also Shaun of the Dead. But as I;ve said, Hot Fuzz was even better for me. It was just one superb film.

I really hope anyone who reads this can see the film as well. Tell me what you thought cause I can talk about this one for hours. I hope i didn't oversell it either, but I really doubt anyone will be disappointed by it. I surely wasn't and hopefully others won't be as well. 

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November 26, 2012

Ice Age

Ice Age is probably one of the most successful franchises in the movie industry, with each sequel impressing the box-office more than the last. In fact, the latest Ice Age movie, released just a few months ago, is one of the top grossing animated movies. That says a lot considering the number of animated movies released in recent movie history, with most having an impressive run.

The original Ice Age movie was released 10 years ago in 2002 and was directed by Chris Wedge. It starred Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, and Goran Višnjić, Jack Black, and Diedrich Bader. Romano, Leguizamo and Leary would then be the main stays of the franchise appearing in all four movies. The film received praises, even being nominated in American Film Institute's Top 10 animated movies. To top that, it was also a huge commerical success, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars. Not a bad start for a franchise. Actually, who would have thought that their profit will only get better and better?

I actually wasn't a very big fan of this first movie. I honestly think that the movies after this one would all be amazing, but I'm not too convinced by this one. I liked the latter part much more than the first part. The sad this was, I only genuinely liked the last 20-30 minutes of the movie (excluding the credits). That part was great and it showed the climactic pat of the movie. Made me sit at the edge of my seat. But that was about it for me in terms of being invested in the movie. Maybe a second go at it would make me feel different. Hopefully. 

The first part was a little boring for me. If you're an avid reader of this blog, you'd know that I am easily pleased by movies. I enjoy watching almost all of the movies I see. You'd also know how excited I get about animated movies, or any kids' movies. I did enjoy Ice Age, just not at the same level I usually enjoy movies. I'm not saying it's a terrible movie, as it's not. But it's not getting me jumping up and down with excitement either. 

The thing I liked about the first part was the trio: Romano, Leary and Leguizamo. I thought the three made the first part of the movie still enjoyable. Ray Romano is really good at voicing Manny. He was able to trigger different feelings such as angst, sensitivity, and sadness. He also was able to depict joy with the sole use of his voice. That was really impressive. Denis Leary was quite as amazing being able to stay incharacter of an evil-turned-good-hearted sabertooth. My favorite, however, was John Leguizamo as Sid. The character of Sid was the funniest, most enjoyable one to watch, much thanks to Leguizamo's performance.

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November 25, 2012

Shaun of the Dead

With people actually planning their strategy for a zombie apocalypse, I present you the most "realistic" film, in my opinion (to be explained later) about a zombie attack. Shaun of the Dead was a 2004 British film about a zombie apocalypse in London, It was directed by Edgar Wright, who also wrote the screenplay with Simon Pegg, who also happened to be the star of the movie. Starring alongside Pegg were Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, and Penelope Wilton. The film was highly praised on critics' sites and did well in the box office as well.

I said that this was the most realistic one because it had a wider range of events, events that actually would happen in the remote possibility of a zombie attack. It wasn't all about taking own the zombies, it was more of the emotional side of it, I guess. It was about surviving, but also about saving your loved ones. It was about the sad and harsh reality of the high chance of losing someone important. I guess that element of the movie made me think that it's a very realistic movie about something highly unrealistic. Although, as some would say, we can really never know if a zombie apocalypse can indeed happen.

From the above statements, one might think that this movie was a drama film in a zombie setting. Let me set the record straight though. It's not. This movie was a comedy film, which did have a few solemn, heart breaking moments. But it's a comedy alright, and one I greatly enjoyed. I found myself laughing out loud because some of the scenes were just too hilarious. The tandem of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost was just incredible. The duo was bloody entertaining, as the British would say. I guess it helped that Pegg, who I think is one of the funniest people, and Wright made a script that could generate some laughter from its audience. It was a very smart script, and obviously a lot of people thought so too.

I'll be honest at first, I wasn't too sure what the buzz about the movie was. I knew it was embraced by a lot of people for being such a spectacular movie. It didn't look that way to me at first and I was already to be disappointed. Then without even realizing it, I was suddenly laughing, being engaged in the movie. Don;t get me wrong, the first part of the film was not boring. It actually laid down the main story of the film. At the same time, maybe I just wanted something a bit more. It did get better and better as the movie went on.

Aside from it being comedic, it was also a real zombie flick, and they didn't hold back on the movie's images. I was actually a little surprised by how gory the film became especially in the latter part of it. Then again, it would have not had the same appeal and value if it didn't do that. It maintained itself as a zombie movie so it only made sense for it to get a little violent, and a little bloody. There might have been an opening of the human body as well. But nothing too disgusting either. Just the right amount, I thought.

Shaun of the Dead was a really entertaining movie. I think the zombie lovers would love this one. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were just amazing in this movie. Nothing I could say but positive things. It made me want to watch all the other Pegg-Frost movies as I have a feeling I'll be in for a treat. All the other cast members also offered great support in the movie, and stood  out on their own scenes. I'm glad they all had substantial airtime to really showcase themselves; and that's exactly what they did.

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November 23, 2012

The Transporter

It's an old film but this was the first time I saw the movie. It was released in 2002, a little over 10 years ago. The film was directed by Corey Yuen, with the screenplay by Luc Besson, also known for his work in Taken, and Robert Mark Kamen. Luc Besson is becoming one of my favorite writers! He's been involved in a lot of movies, and from the ones I've seen, I've enjoyed his work everytime. He has a gifted mind, and I'm glad he's sharing it to the world of entertainment. The film starred Jason Statham, Shu Qi, Francois Berleand,  Matt Schulze, and Ric Young. The box-office numbers for the movie might not have been as impressive as box-office hits but it was successful enough to spawn two more Transporter movies, each one more successful than the last.

I have to say that Jason Statham became my most favorite action superstar. First, he's  very authentic when he does his movies, always believable and never labored. Second, according to some site I read before, can't remember which, he does his own stunts. Which leads me to the third reason, he can take on challenging and intricate choreography which adds volume and value to the stunts he does. I've seen a lot of his movies, not his entire filmography, but still, I've seen enough to see his artistry and his passion for such films. I'm also surprised I never thought of seeing this movie before since I've known it for so long but just never came around watching it.

The transporter's plot is actually very simple if you think about it. It's about a man who does transporting for a living. However there are various elements to this. One of them, which also happened to be my most favorite component, was how thorough the transporters was. Before sealing the deal, he made sure to know the size of the package, the weight, the dimensions, everything. From there he could calculate and strategize in the event something goes wrong. Another one was how there were rules in his transaction. It was very interesting how it played out in the story, and the entire movie.

I mostly enjoyed the choreography of the action scenes in this movie. It was very precise which added more danger. Sure there were some scenes where it could have been smoother but for the most part I liked it. There were different scenarios, and weapons employed to add variety to the scenes. I also very much enjoyed the initial car scene of the movie. It was very well executed and impressive. I thought the details, and what the camera captured showcased the thoughtfulness of the filmmakers. They managed to get scenes both in the exterior and the interior, capturing facial expressions, without forgetting the essence of the car scenes.

To be honest, I found this movie, for the most part, polished. I thought the movie's storyline, though simple, was coherent and concise. It worked out every detail from where the characters would go to, to their background. It added spice in that the characters' background stayed relevant to the story. In terms of execution, it was almost flawless! I loved how the cameras were positioned, and the pictures it took. It was very tactical and very smart. Again, showcasing the filmmakers' ability to create such a dynamic movie.

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November 22, 2012


RED is a real action-comedy! I think every movie incorporates a sense of humor in at least some scenes. However, when it comes to action movies, it's a little hard to do it since it's usually always all about the action. I think RED is unique in this sense cause it perfectly married all the necessary ingredients of an action movie and all the components of a funny comedy flick. It's so flawless that it's actually a funny, but still thrilling movie. It combined it just perfectly. 

RED was a 2010 movie starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Karl Urban, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, Rebecca Pidgeon and Julian McMahon. It was directed Robert Schwentke, while the screenplay was written Jon and Erich Hoeber based on the DC comics RED. It went on to become a box-office success. It was so successful that there will be a sequel which I am already excited about. Too bad that some of the cast, particularly Karl Urban won't be back for RED 2 but I'm glad most of the crew will be on it. 

The main plot of the movie involved the assassination of a man who used to work for the CIA, now tagged as Retired, Extremely Dangerous a.k.a RED. Without a clear reason why he's being assassinated, Frank Moses, played by Willis, contacts his buddies to conduct their own investigation as to why he's become a target. At the same time, William Cooper, played by Urban, had been assigned to finish off Moses. That was basically the plot for the action part of the movie. The constant chasing for Moses by Cooper presented a real action flick. I'd want to point ou tthe scene where Cooper attacks Moses for the first time. If you intend to watch the movie, please watch out for that scene, especially when Moses gets out of the car. That scene was so cool and so awesome! 

The comedy element of the movie was presented right at the beginning when Moses tears up an envelope containing a check just to have an excuse to talk to Sarah, played by Parker. Given their somewhat intimate relationship, despite the fact they've never met, Sarah found herself in danger with only Moses protecting her.  The initial interaction and the subsequent encounters of the two was the whole bulk of the comedic aspect of the movie. That wasn't the only one though especially since John Malkovich stole the scene every single time he was on. Brian Cox also brought the laughs as a loverboy to Helen Mirren's character.Those three sub-plots made the movie painfully hilarious to watch. I would not be the one to complain though as it elevated the entertainment quality of the movie.

I really enjoyed watching this one. Every single component of this film worked, from the story, to the script, to the phenomenal ensemble (special menton to Karl Urban, John Malkovich and Brian Cox who were all just terrific).It's a crazy movie, but it's the good kind of crazy! I was really glad to find out that this movie enjoyed success and that success led to a sequel. Hopefully it wouldn't lose the magic of the first movie.

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November 19, 2012


Skyfall was my first Bond movie. I've seen clips and parts of other Bond films, but this was the first time I sat through an entire Bond film. It's a good start though since Skyfall broke records for Bond films and is one of the top grossing Bond movies. That's a great start, right? It was also the perfect chance to witness Daniel Craig as 007 after hearing a lot of statements, sometimes contradicting, about his performances. I'd have to watch Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace to make the proper judgment, but as far as I can tell, Daniel Craig was a very believable James Bond.

I'll start this post with the one thing I was a little confused about. Correct me if I'm wrong but I though James Bond would have a lot more special gadgets, techie fun stuff than what they showed. I really didn't mind, I just thought about it. This didn't affect my appreciation of the movie, I was just wondering if they wanted to stick more to the action side of it. I guess I got caught up with all the other spy flicks sporting all the latest toys and hi-tech devices that I started looking for some in this movie.

It would make a lot of sense if they did decide to stick with the action as this movie was filled with intense, heart-wrenching scenes. Just the opening scene, the one on the train, was already too intense. The events that happened next even made it even more obvious that this movie meant business. It was thrilling and exciting to see James Bond's ups and downs, successes and failures. This movie presented a more conflicted James Bond, although this assessment is based on watching one full length Bond film and several minutes of other Bond movies. Maybe that was the goal of the movie, to present this whole persona of James Bond. In my case, it was a brief introduction to the life of the one of the world's best agents. It was full of life, which made it all the more genuine, and all the more inviting.

I guess the whole story line worked for me. It's not a secret that I enjoy watching action flicks and I do like it when the film makes me hold my breath. This one did it for me because aside from the usual fighting, it also played the smart card. It really was a smart movie. I was constantly asking myself different questions from the movie because the whole story was rapidly changing, and it was keeping the excitement for me. It was begging me to ask "What happens next?" and I like that feeling when watching a movie. I take it as a sign that I'm deeply involved in the movie.

I also want to highlight the last segment of the movie which was my favorite part of the entire film. It was ingenious, tricky and enthralling. It was just amazing to watch how it all played out in that few moments. How it was about to end. Those scenes made the movie for me. I appreciated how much thought was put in and the great eye of Sam Mendes in directing that single part of the movie.

Daniel Craig possessed the firm, strong attributes normally associated with Bond. He was capable of handling the role, and I guess his performance in Skyfall should have dismissed any doubts anyone had in his abilities to be James Bond. I've heard and read some people saying that he doesn't fit the bill. I have absolutely no idea what they're talking about because from where I was sitting Daniel Craig was James Bond. He took on the role and gave it dimension, a clear sign that he is a brilliant actor. It also doesn't hurt that he can still pull off some tricks, and still able to kick-ass in his fighting scenes.

Other cast members were just as refreshing to see. Judi Dench was impeccable as the authoritative M. I really admired her work here, and she's actually motivating me to see the other Bond films she was in. She was flawless in portraying the character. Javier Bardem's performance as the movie's main antagonist is also commendable as his portrayal of the twisted sociopath Silva was actually frightening. He was very much into the character, and that reads brilliant in my world. It was also great to see Ralph Fiennes in this movie since I've been a huge supporter. I've enjoyed a lot of his movies and it was great to add another movie to that list. It's also promising to know that he would be part of the Bond franchise now as the new head of MI6. The ladies of the movie also made sure to stand-out. Naomie Harris immediately caught my attention in the movie as the stunning field agent, turned M's secretary. Nonetheless, she maintained her vibrant presence all throughout the movie. Berenice Lim Marlohe also looked the part and made her scenes memorable.

Skyfall was a treat for me. It was a little weird when the opening credits turned into an Adele concert, but after that it was all good. It was exciting and highly entertaining. It was a good welcoming to the Bond community and now I understand the craze about the movie. It really was a fantastic film and I am thankful to the people involved for making such a good film.

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November 17, 2012

Cheaper by the Dozen

Let it be now known that I absolutely enjoyed watching Cheaper by the Dozen. It was quirky, funny, and chaotic. Sure with 12 kids running around, it'll be impossible for it not to be chaotic; but it was the perfect kind of madness. It brought the laughs and everything I like about comedy films. Sure it's an old movie, but it's a movie I'd still gladly watch over and over again. It's a classic for me but there's just something in the movie that draws me in. In fact, I stayed in a hotel room just to watch the movie when I should have been roaming the city I was in. But you just can't leave when the movie's on.

Cheaper by the Dozen was a 2003 comedy film starring the amazing Steve Martin. But given the title, he wasn't the only star. Here begins the long list of the stars of the movie: Bonnie Hunt, Piper Perabo, Tom Welling, Hilary Duff, Kevin Schmidt, Alyson Stoner, Jacob Smith, Forrest Landis, Liliana Mumy, Morgan York, Blake Woodruff, and Brent and Shane Kinsman. That was the whole Baker family, but the cast also includes Steven Anthony Lawence, Paula Marshall, Alan Ruck, Richard Jenkins and a whole lot more. The movie was directed by Shawn Levy. The film went on to achieve success in the box-office, which led to a sequel; but of that later, and by later I meant another post.

The whole theme of the movie is family, which all of us, in one way or the other, can relate to. This time it's about having a big one and the difficulties, and joys that go along with it. It added an element of deciding whether or not to pursue a career and if it's possible to balance it with a family filled with young children. Steve Martin's Tom Baker was offered his dream job, while Bonnie Hunt's Kate Baker was given the opportunity to finally publish a book. All that and the reality of having 12 kids. Thus began the fun-filled chaotic lives of the Bakers. It presented the pros and cons of having two suddenly career driven parents. All of which led to a fantastic comedy skit.

What I liked most about it was the good-natured comedy it brought to the table. It was clean, most of the time, and it was witty. Steve Martin really led the already amazing ensemble and did a commendable job at it. He's a real leading man in this movie. It also doesn't hurt that he's incredibly funny. Bonnie Hunt was also a perfect fir for Tom's other, and arguably, better half. The duo made a huge part of the movie for me. Another  thing that made me really enjoy the film was how balanced everything was. With that many people in the cast, it's so easy to sideline some of the kids, but that didn't happen. Every Baker kid had their own character to play, had their own story arc, and had sufficient screen time for viewers to take notice of them.

Among the kids, Forrest Landis definitely was a stand-out. Maybe it was because his part of the story was different from the other kids, but he managed to make his scenes count. Unfortunately, according to an article I read, he stopped acting. Maybe we'll see him soon again. Another stand-out was Alyson Stoner, who I didn't even recognize until I saw her name. She looked different, but still had that same charm. Her portrayal of Sarah made me really notice her in the movie. The youngest twins also made the movie fun. Brent and Shane Kinsman helped make this movie appealing and enjoyable. Let's also not forget the grown-ups who were just as awesome as the other kids. Who knew Clark Kent was really a Baker kid?

Cheaper by the Dozen was a good film in my opinion. It's light, fun movie and a perfect feel good movie. The stars made it an anjoyable experience, with the awesome Steve Martin at the lead. I knew critics didn't like it as much, but I'm going to stick to my opinion and say that it's the kind of movie, I'd gladly watch again. Maybe I'm just that easy to please, or maybe the whole gang made me like the movie. Either way, I'm glad I was able to watch it.

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November 10, 2012


Argo was definitely one of my most awaited movies for 2012. I thought the story was impressive, especially since it's based on a true story of a historical event. Also, I  knew Ben Affleck would do something spectacular with this story, the same way he was able to create the movie The Town, which was a very good film. I waited for Argo to see if it would be as good as I expected, and it was.

Argo was about how the CIA created a fake movie in order to rescue 6 Americans who escaped the US embassy before Iranian revolutionaries took over the embassy and held all the other Americans hostages. It was a real historical moment after the Iranian people were outraged when the Americans took their former leader in to the United States. It was a form of retaliation and the six Americans got out just in time. However, they weren't safe as the rebels were beginning to figure out what really happened. That's where the CIA came in. With the lives of the six people in even greater danger, they had to make a move to save them. Tony Mendez, played by Ben Affleck, then stepped in and delivered an innovative idea, deemed ridiculous at first.

The first part of the movie was about laying out the facts of the event. There was a compilation of photos and videos depicting the scenario and the setting the movie would be revolving in. It was also used as a transition for the introduction of the characters. These slideshows were intertwined with the scenes of the movie, and that I thought was a brilliant concept as it instantly connects the movie to the actual events. The first scenes were powerful because it locates the people in the story. It depicts how the embassy was taken over.The next part of the movie was all about figuring out how to rescue the hostages. At first it offered comedic moments, much thanks to John Goodman and Alan Arkin. They provided comic relief in a movie that was otherwise filled with tension.

The execution of the movie was nothing less than a spectacle. It was magnificent because Affleck did his best to remain loyal to the subject of the movie. He was able to depict details close to the actual. He tried to make this movie as realistic as possible. I was even more impressed when they started rolling the credits since I realized then that the movie actually took time to perfect how the hostages really looked, how the revolutionaries were, as it was based all on historical evidences like the pictures taken during that time, and the broadcasts of the events. Usually, when people say a movie's based on a true story, very little from the actual story remain. I can say that this wasn't the case in Argo. True, I am not all that familiar with the real story; but basing it from what I saw it was a pretty good depiction and narration. I did read however that Canada did a lot more to help the hostages than what was shown.

However, sticking to the movie, it is undeniable that it was a very well-crafted film. The script was clear and concise, direct to the point, and very compelling. The actors were very well-suited for the characters they were playing, and it was amazing to see how these actors, took on the challenge that went with their roles. Everyone was deserving to be part of this brilliant movie. And like another article said, there was really no single star of the film. Everyone was shining on their own right. Even the characters who had minimal screen time were really making it count.

I've seen all the three movies Ben Affleck directed, and I have been pleased with every single one of them. He may very well be on his way to be the next Clint Eastwood; and judging from this blog, you should know how much I admire Clint Eastwood's work. But it's true, I've appreciated Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and now, Argo. I thought all three were well-directed and Ben Affleck played a major role in making these films happen. I do look forward to seeing his other works.

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November 06, 2012

Wreck It Ralph

First of all, apologies for going dark. I've been extremely busy, and my work shift just made it impossible to help me get back in my old writing habits. Now that they've put me back in my previous shift, I think I'll be able to keep up with this whole blogging thing more frequently. And since I'm a little less loaded in terms of work, I do think I can do this! Again, I'm apologize for disappearing.

Moving on, this blog post will be about last weekend's box office winner, Wreck It Ralph, a Disney animated film starring the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Lynch. It was directed by Rich Moore, who's also credited for the movie's story along with Phil Johnston and Jim Reardon. Screenplay was written by Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston. It's on its way to recover from its 15 million budget since it won big last weekend, taking home more than 40 million dollars on its opening weekend. 

I have to say that I went to the theaters without knowing anything about the movie. I just knew that it won the box-office and that was a good enough reason for me to go see it. To be honest, I went to the cinemas hoping I'd still catch Argo, but unfortunately, it was no longer showing. I was a little disappointed since I really wanted to see Argo. I wasn't disappointed at all with Wreck It Ralph though. I guess missing Argo was a blessing in disguise cause it geared me towards watching this awesome animated movie. For starters, it was about arcade games; and as an arcade fan, this movie was right up my alley. It was kind of like Toy Story except instead of toys, it brought to life arcade characters, most notably from Street Fighter.

The plot line was similar to Megamind or Despicable me about a villain wanting to do good. What's different though was Ralph was a villain only in a game. He never succumbed to the idea of him being evil. He was a good hearted person right from the start who had the job of being the game's villain. I thought that was important to point out as at least it had a distinguishing factor. Having said that, Ralph wanted to be a hero, thus pushing him to jump to another game, which then led to him being brought into yet another game. I liked the structure of this to be honest. The games represented the introduction to the rising action to the climax. It was really a superb narration of the movie's story. 

What turned this animated movie into a winner, aside from its awesome ideas, was the graphics it utilized in making this movie. It was bright and vibrant. It was eye friendly and really seemed like the games we play. Each game represented an era of the games, with specific target markets. It was strategic and intelligent to do so. It was inviting to several members of the audience, people who will, for sure, talk about the movie with their friends and family. Bottom line's the movie's smart. Very smart. Going back to the graphics, it had amazing images that was similar to other really great animated movies as well.

It was particularly delightful to witness the actors bring the characters to life. Each and every single one of them provided the quality of entertainment best suited for a movie like Wreck It Ralph. What I wanna know is how Sarah Silverman managed to sound the way she did. It's impressive and hilarious at the same time. But hey, I'm one to just enjoy the show so there's that. Jane Lynch had a commanding voice which really worked perfectly with her character. John C. Reilly's voice acting was also a match with the character Ralph. 

It was an awesome movie, and a good reminder of why I enjoy watching movies, animated movies to be exact. It had a wonderful message, it's family friendly and very well-suited for the kids, and had an amazing imagery. It was vast and commendable. I definitely would recommend it. Although, if Argo's still showing in cinemas near you, I'd suggest go see that first. Don't do what I did, and miss it. It's another incredible film so go see it. Go see bot actually. It will be worth it! 

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October 28, 2012

The Last

I've always been a big supporter of Wong Fu Productions. I always find joy and pleasure in watching their shorts, may it be a comedy skit, or a dramatic one. I've written about them before when I reviewed one of their shorts, one that I first saw during their trip here in the Philippines; but I waited til they've officially released it before writing about it.

This time, it will all be about their latest short, The Last, starring Harry Shum Jr, star of Step-up movies and Glee. It was written and directed by Philip Wang, although the whole crew got involved. It's all about how many people you have loved, and whether you've already found the last one. It's a romantic short, and it had that familiar vibe present in their work. Something smooth and relaxing. At the same time, also inspiring and thoughtful. I also liked the incorporation of why, what, when, where, and why in this story. I was actually thinking that the sixth will be "how" thus completing the set.

Harry Shum Jr. was also an excellent story teller. The tone and delivery he used was perfect for the theme of this short. We all know he can act and dance, but now we know that he can really do a great voice over. It was delicate and moving. Kina GRannis was also impressive in portraying all the characters she was given, the why, what, when, where and why characters. It had a variety of talented actresses to back this whole concept.

In the commentary, it said that the target audience were both the young and the old. I couldn't agree more as this was a short that could appeal to any type of audience really. It talks about something universal in a way that's familiar and inviting. It could relate to people very well. That's one of the best things about this short. It's an awesome short, and it's no surprise it's been getting positive feedback. Philip Wang is really one of the most talented men I know, and someone I really look up to. His works are always meaningful and inspired; and also inspiring. I wish I could create something like this.

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October 20, 2012

Taken 2

Before I start, you have to understand how much I liked the first movie of Taken. It was action-packed, intensely satisfying. I really enjoyed every second of it. The moment I left the cinemas, I started hoping they'd make a sequel. Imagine my surprise and joy when I learned that they did decide to make a part 2. Then it got me thinking, how will they match the success of the first film? Moreover, what will be their story? I didn't want taken 2 to end up like a Hangover 2 and have the same thing happen again, with some minor changes Hangover 2 did maintain the entertainment quality of the first, but at the same time, I wanted something more thrilling for Taken 2.

I finally had the chance to check the movie out, and I'd say they were able to maintain the core elements that made me like the first film. It had the same level of thrill, of excitement, of passion, and of course, action. I guess it's safe to share what's different in this movie compared to the first, since they basically showed it in the trailer. This time, the relatives of the people Bryan killed in the first movie are out to take their revenge. Their course of action will include taking him, and his family. However unlike the first movie, Kim would be helping his father locate her mother when the enemies successfully took Lenore. I thought that was impressive; Kim being a heroine, instead of a victim, or a damsel in distress. It also took Maggie Grace's performance to a new level, I thought.

My favorite scene included the roof top. For those who have seen the movie, I thought that scene was the stand-out scene in the entire movie. I can't necessarily pinpoint why, but I really liked that scene, with Kim saving her parents from dying, Bryan trying to save his child from those chasing her. It's multi-dimensional and it played out brilliantly. The final fighting scene was just impressive. It had a lot of tricks but it still felt passionate. I guess the main reason why people looked forward to this movie was the action scenes, and I don't think anyone would be disappointed by that.

If I'll be complete honest, the first movie definitely was better, although I thought the second movie did a decent attempt in matching the first one. The second movie was a little loose compared to the first one wherein every single detail had something to contribute to the movie. Taken 2 was an intact movie, but I guess the first one had just a bit more fire to it. I'll also say that I was more impressed with Maggie Grace this time around. She has grown into a refine lady with a performance that impressed me. She maintained the fragility of her character, but she also showcased strength. I also took notice more of Famke Janssen this time around, probably because she got a lot more airtime in the second movie. I liked that about it. Above all, I'll always be a Liam Neeson fan. He just has this ability to transform his characters to someone people can identify with. I don't have to say much, we've all witnessed the caliber of Liam Neeson in movie or the other.

I did like the second movie. It had the same level of energy as the first, and it was able to maintain everything that was good in the first movie. Probably fell short on some department, but definitely not on the entertainment value. It was thrilling and moving and it delivered what it promised it would: action. Olivier Megaton, the director, did a fine job creating this movie, especially after the success of the first one. Luc Besson, the writer and producer of both films, really has a creative mind, and an artistic point of view when it comes to telling stories.

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October 14, 2012

Robin Hood

Two words can describe the entirety of this movie: authenticity and credibility. These two words, I believe, can sum up the whole experiencing of watching Robin Hood, the 2010 epic adventure drama film starring Russell Crowe. It was directed by Ridley Scott, who also directed Gladiator. The film also featured Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, Max von Sydow, Kevin Durand, Scott Grimes, Alan Doyle, Oscar Isaac, Lea Seydoux, Mark Addy, Danny Huston, and Eileen Atkins.

The partnership of Crowe and Ridley Scott is divine. I don't know how Scott pushed Crowe, but I though Crowe was able to pull off his characters with great valor and excellence in both movies I've seen he did with Scott. Gladiator was a phenomenal film I looked forward to seeing this almost immediately. In all honesty, if only time permitted me to do so, I would have watched this movie right after Gladiator. But at the same time, I also knew it was a good thing as I wanted to savor the majestic experience that is the Galdiator. I wouldn't have suspected that Robin Hood would be just much of a thrill.

The story tells the tale of Robin Hood, known to most as an outlaw, a thief, a criminal. A man who didn't always do the right thing, but always meant well for the poor people he encountered. While he stole, he only stole from the rich to provide for the poor. A thief with a heart. This movie provided a narration of how such a man became who he became. A noble man who fought in a war, only to find himself in uncommon circumstances. This was the prequel to the famous tale of Robin Hood. I thought the storyline was brilliant, and it gave justice to the legacy of Robin Hood. It demonstrated how fair he was, and also how strong and clever he was. This plot was good enough to maintain the "hero" status of a man who justified the means with the end. Maybe that's just how I saw it, and that's how I interpreted it.

The authenticity of the film had something to do with the credibility of the actors. If you've seen Gladiator, you'd know that there's no one more credible to take up a sword than Russell Crowe. This was his league, his expertise. He knew how to handle a weapon, and knew exactly how to use them.It always felt real when he took up a sword ans swung it to his opponents. When he got his hands on a bow and arrow, and let out a beautiful shot. His mere presence demands attention, and his skills was for pure spectacle. He's one of the biggest names in the business, and I'm glad he still has a lot of projects. His a very talented actor and one I look up to.

Cate Blanchett, Kevin Durand, Scott Grimes, Alan Doyle and the rest of the cast were all equally credible in portraying their respective roles. I'd have to say though that these 4, along with Crowe, of course, were my absolute favorites in the movie. They were firm when they were in the battlefield, but loose and funny when they weren't. They allowed the entertainment value of the movie to skyrocket just with their dynamics and camaraderie. It was awesome to watch them. They gave the sense of lightness with their words, but a real sense of what knight were with their stature and stand. It was, in a way, majestic, to witness it all play out and how their characters evolved through the movie's run.

It's a spectacle, and one to linger at that. It's one of those movies that keeps your mind on it long after the ending credits have finished rolling. It's one that invites and allows you to invest yourself and to be involved in it. I pictured myself being in it because the movie provided the opportunity to do so. It wasn't a distant movie, but rather a close one, and that made a huge difference in terms of what kind of movie experience I'll be having. I really had a great time watching the movie. It was exciting and free-spirited and I liked those things about it. It kept me on the edge of my seat, as one would say. I appreciate a movie that can do that.

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A Very Important Call

This will be a short review of a short film. I enjoy watching all types of films, even the short ones. In fact, I've reviewed a couple of short films here because I genuinely enjoy how people can create a story in just a few minutes. This one didn't even last 10 minutes, but the concept of it was established and clear.

You know those times when you're getting all the calls/messages except the one you really need? Yeah, this short is about exactly that. A Very Important Call is a short film featuring Earl Palmer, who also sent me a link to this short. It's uploaded in and based on the meter, a lot of people are liking this one. It's about a man waiting by the phone for a very. very important call. Unfortunately, he kept getting calls from people he never intended to talk to, like, I think, telemarketers. He then learns that the best way to keep all those calling him away was to be rude.

I think given the premise of the short, the ending didn't come as a surprise. However, that didn't take away anything from the entertainment value of the film. I particularly liked the ending itself, the facial expression while being in a fetal position. I found that really funny. Actually the unnatural sounds he was making was also something worth noticing. I'd like to be able to pull that trick off.

It has good entertainment value and the cinematography is commendable. The quality of the film was really good, and the sound quality was just as great. The movie makers knew how to utilize their equipment and make use of its full capacity in order to produce a quality short. Thank you Earl Palmer for sending me the link. I'm not sure if I can share the link, but you can all search it in

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October 11, 2012

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

I liked Greek mythology when we discussed it in school. I liked it even before that cause I thought mythology's one of the most interesting topics we can all talk about. It's about the stories of gods and of humans, the interaction people associate them with and the overall story being told. I enjoyed reading about the different narrations whether it was a story about victory, conflict or anything else for that matter. Right off the bat, I instantly connected with the idea of this movie.

I have to say that I had a great time watching the movie, although there were a couple of moments I wasn't sure if I was enjoying for all the right reasons. There were scenes that looked really awkward, and felt awkward, which made me laugh and smirk and enjoy the moment. But, aside from those short moments, I noticed that the movie had great visual effects and great sound effects as well. They really knew how to sell the movie's strength: concept and effects. These two worked well together and it was clear that the whole idea of the movie was to fascinate, but at the same time, tell a different perspective of the stories found in mythology.

The movie was humorous which was a great part of why I found this movie entertaining. It had quirks and punchlines not at all suitable for a movie about gods. It's funny and I liked that aspect of the movie. It's like an adventure comedy film about Greek mythology. Most of the entertainment value of the movie could be credited to Brandon T. Jackson, who I thought was like a young Martin Lawrence. He was right on cue to make things lighter with his witty lines and priceless expressions.

The movie was filled with newcomers and old-timers, with every single one standing out on their own rights. Logan Lerman really know how to lead a movie. He has this presence that is suited for a lead role. He can establish a connection with the roles he play because he really knows how to connect with them. Alexandra Daddario did not only look amazing in the movie, she played her part really well too. She was strong and dignified when she did her battle scenes.

The execution of the movie, while commendable, could have been stronger. The battle scenes could have been more authentic. At times it seemed a little too choreographed, and it's always better to see battle scenes that just flow naturally. There were scenes where there seemed to be a disconnect in some areas as well. My biggest concern revolved around how there seemed to be no sense of suffering when Percy Jackson first toured the camp when he just lost his mother. Maybe that's just a minute detail but it really got me wondering.

But in all honesty, I really liked the movie. I watched it cause I learned that there will be a sequel which made me think that it must've been a hit for the filmmakers to do another one. Then it got me thinking that maybe it was a good movie for people to spend money on it. And it was. A very entertaining, fun-filled adventure movie. A very good way to spend the afternoon.

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October 07, 2012


Gladiator was a 2000 award winning drama film starring Russell Crowe, who ultimately won an Academy Award for Best Actor during the 73rd Academy Awards. Also part of the cast were Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Djimon Hounsou, Ralf Moller, Oliver Reed, Richard Harris, Spencer Treat Clark, and Derek Jacobi. It was written by David Franzoni, John Logan, and William Nicholson and was directed by Ridley Scott.

I feel a little lucky cause the past couple films I've seen have been really good. It makes my comeback that more enjoyable. I knew Gladiator would be amazing. After all it's a critically acclaimed movie that also enjoyed a successful box-office run, earning more than 450 million dollars. Not a bad profit, considering the movie was released 12 years ago, when prices of commodities were relatively lower. That just shows how the people vastly enjoyed the magnificence of this epic film. Who wouldn't? It had great production value, a reference to historical events, and a battle performances worth watching over and over again.

The execution of the movie was commendable. The way Scott directed the movie just made a whole idea be brought to life. I liked how every scene was clear and had a direct relation to the story. Nothing felt out of place, and every moment had an impact to the whole movie. I also liked how the cameras were placed during the battles. It captured every detail worth noting during the battles. The splash of blood, the sword fighting, the deaths of the victims. It was all well-planned and very well-executed. I even enjoyed the background music they combined the intense scenes with. Actually, the movie had amazing music, soft, melancholic, exciting.

Russell Crowe truly deserved the honor and recognition he got from this movie. His portrayal of Maximus drove the entire movie to a quality of excellence. He's a hero audience members would certainly root for. His presence in the movie is so big that it captures the essence of a true warrior, a real gladiator. He was strong, courageous, and powerful. The villain made it even better. Joaquin Pheonix's Commodus was cynical and disturbed. Treacherous yet vulnerable as well. Crowe and Phoenix complemented each other well and the push and pull of their characters, the tension and the hatred were all authentic and genuine.

The whole movie was a treat to watch. It deserved the recognition and the love it received upon its release. 12 years later, people still talk about the greatness of the movie. I ever know people who consider this their favorite movie of all time. There's a certain charm and importance to this film that triggers something inside of people; a certain interest. It invites you to take part in history, in entertainment, and in the overall situation. It's a fantastic movie and I greatly enjoyed watching it. I appreciated every aspect of the movie because the filmmakers took the time to polish every single edge of it.

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October 06, 2012

Perks of Being a Wallflower

After a long time of being sick, I'm finally back. Been suffering this outrageous headache the past few days, but fortunately, things are getting better. Hopefully I'll be able to write more now. There's another thing called work that's keeping me from writing more here. But I'm just glad I'm back.

I haven't been able to watch any movies recently, so it was good to finally see the inside of the movie house once again. What better way to come back to the movie zone than by watching an Emma Watson movie? The sole reason I agreed to watch this movie was Emma Watson. I thought this was going to be one of those typical and generic teen movies. But I thought, watching Emma Watson in a role different from Hermione Granger would be refreshing enough to make those usually corny teen movies tolerable. But let me tell you now that this movie set itself apart from its peers. This movie was anything but your ordinary teen romantic movie. This had much more substance, much more volume and a wide range of variety. It did have stereotypical ingredients of a normal teen movie, but this was still of a different level.

I've read some people refer to the movie as a "coming-of-age movie", and I thought it was a perfect description of the movie. It's a period of exploration, a period of knowing and experiencing new things. The movie majestically created that atmosphere in a sophisticated manner. It was not a raunchy one, it was a real movie that combined passion and art realistically. It's a very refreshing movie, and it made me feel good that a movie in this particular genre can be as amazing as this one. I don't hate teen movies. I've seen several and I understand the appeal of it. It's just that most of it start to look the same and this movie was able to bring something new to the table.

The story was multi-layered and dynamic, I appreciated it about it. While my friends call it a romance movie, the movie experimented not only with romance but with friendships, trauma, and abuse. It also had the element of family, death, love, and being in terms of who the characters really were. It's a story of how a boy  who had horrible experiences managed to find his "place" in the world. How he was able to cope with all the anxieties and turned his life around. How he got people who loved him support him through the whole process. It's a real feel good movie. It didn't hurt that this movie, while really moving, was also hilarious. A funny dramtic movie - that's how I saw the movie.

The brilliant story was backed by outstanding performances from the whole cast. Logan Lerman, who I first saw in the movie Gamer (starring Gerard Butler) was able to be real lead i this movie. His performance as the shy, innocent and naive boy who slowly fought his way through his hardships was convincing and heartfelt. Emma Watson was just as amazing. First of all, we have to hand it to her for speaking withour her British accent. That must've been tough. I kept remembering Hugh Laurie, the star of the television series House, who also had to speak without his accent for his work. It was impressive, really. Also, it wasn't just the way she spoke, but also the way she took the character of Sam and made it an adorable yet significantly captivating one. The connection of Logan and Watson was really a treat and it made the dynamics of the characters work.

The other characters also made their mark on the film. Starting with Ezra Miller, who was probably one of the best things of the movie. He gave one of the strongest acting performances in the movie. Actually his portrayal of Patrick was one to give chills and to impress movie-goers. He's a fantastic actor. Mae Whitman was also a hard-rocking yet lovable character in the movie. She was someone you really rooted for. And although she didn't have much lines, Erin Wilhelmi had a charming presence as Alice. I also liked the fact that Nina Dobrev, Kate Walsh, Paul Rudd and Joan Cusack were all thin movie. Everyone in the movie is really awesome and I am supporters of all of them.

I really enjoyed the movie, mostly for the quality of the story and the phenomenal performances of the actors involved in the story. I also liked the direction of Stephen Chbosky, who also wrote the book the movie was based on. It was clear and concise. It wasn't all jumbled up even though a lot of things were happening. I'd say though that the cuts/transitions from one scene to another was a little weird. Although I think that was the movie house's fault. I'd watch it in another place to make sure. It was just weird that another scene was showing when the scene before didn't seem done yet. I'm not sure.

All I'll say now is that the movie is getting a wider release this weekend and I hope people, especially the younger ones, the real target market of the movie, take the time to check it out. It's a movie worth seeing, and a movie so beautifully done as well. It's amazing and seeing the actors bring it to life is something we all can appreciate.

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September 23, 2012

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

I know this movie was panned by critics, and that some people didn't think the sequel was up to par with the original, but I just really enjoyed watching this. Believe me, I do understand what everyone's saying about it, but I just found the movie thrilling. Maybe it's because Garfield has been one of my favorite characters, or maybe I'm just that easy to please. I did like the first one better. I keep coming back to Garfield dancing to Hey Mama! by the Black Eyed Peas. Still one of the best scenes from a movie for me.

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties was released two years after the original movie in 2006. It remained it's principal actors including Breckin Meyers as Jon, owner of Garfield and Odie, Jennifer Love Hewitt as Liz, Jon's love interest, and Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield. It added new people as well like Billi Connolly, Tim Curry, and Ian Abercrombie, who became one of my favorite characters in the movie. The movie had a modest income, earning a profit of around 100 million dollars.

First off, I thought the title was genius, referencing a classic novel. Then going into the story, it became even interesting as it alluded to Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper. For some reason, The Prince and the Pauper works really well with animated movies, like how Disney used it before. I believe it was Mickey Mouse who experienced being part of the literary classic. But yeah, I thought it was nice that they adapted it into a Garfield movie, which then translated to a funny comedic experience.

Bill Murray did a great job with providing his voice as Garfield. It's awesome. The small noises he created did the movie huge favors. It escalated the quality of entertainment of the movie. It's good that Tim Curry was also ready to step into the plate and deliver a voice performance just as good as Murray's. The two of them conversing about the widest range of things was definitely a highlight for me, especially their plan to throw off the film's antagonist. Breckin Meyer was also an awesome choice for the character of Jon. It's a shame Jennifer Love Hewitt had a shorter screen time cause she's a lovely lead actress. I remember thoroughly enjoying her performance in the first movie.

I thought the movie was great. It provided some laughs and was highly entertaining. That's on my part. This short post probably won't convince anyone to go watch it especially if they already have pre-conceived notions about it. I hope they do still try checking it out. I'm glad I did and I thought the movie was worth watching. I am actually hoping for a third installment but I know the chances are slim.

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September 22, 2012

Finding Bliss

Finding Bliss was a 2009 comedy starring Leelee Sobieski, Matthew Davis, Denise Richards, Mircea Monroe, Jamie Kennedy, and of course, the reason I watched this movie, Kristen Johnston. I became a supporter of Kristen Johnston when I saw the movie Music and Lyrics. She was really funny there, and I thought I'd check out her other projects. Finding Bliss was written adn directed by Julie Davis. I was a little shocked to find out that a woman directed a movie revolving an industry not a lot of people openly talk about, but I guess watching the movie made me realize she showcased a different side to it. Shall I say, a more sensitive side to it.

The story of the movie revolved around a 24 old woman who wanted to be a filmmaker. As a person who wants to be involved in the movie industry, I really liked this point of the movie. However, after seeing a bright future, Jody Balaban realized quickly how hard it was to break in to the film industry. As an aspiring filmmaker, she wanted to make ends meet which was the reason why she accepted to be an editor in an adult entertainment studio.

At the same time, Jody didn't let go of her dream, sneaking actors into the studio so she can shoot her own movie. It even led to hiring the adult entertainers as the stars of her very first movie. Here started a string of comical quips with a lot of references in the adult film industry. It was actually very funny.

Kristen Johnston really has a knack for comedy. Se's awesome and really funny. Her facial expressions sell the movie. Jamie Kennedy was another one who really got into character as an actor not gifted with that much intelligence. However, I thought his lines were genius and it really made me laugh. For the Ghost Whisperer fans out there, this was a little different Jamie Kennedy.

I thought the movie had a great cast. It had two strong leads, Leelee Sobieski and Matthew Davis. Plus, it had an amazing supporting cast. Everyone brought their game to the movie and I found the movie an entertaining one. A nice movie to watch on an afternoon to just relax. I should warn you though that since the movie tackles this specific kind of industry, there would be a lot of exposures. Just a warning for the conservative ones.

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September 18, 2012

Two Weeks Notice

So a lot of people like Hugh Grant, and a lot of people like Sandra Bullock so I decided to write about their movie, Two Weeks Notice which was released a decade ago. I hope this post satisfies those looking for reviews of Grant and Bullock movies, and for those requesting the reviews. It's a good place to start.

Two Weeks Notice was a comedy starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock as two opposing sides, a principled lawyer vs a businessman. It was directed by Marc Lawrence, who also wrote the screenplay of the film. Interesting fact: Marc Lawrence also directed Music and Lyrics, my last entry before this. Actually most of the movies he did involved Hugh Grant or Sandra Bullock which tells me they are really good friends. And also that their partnerships work. Another interesting fact: Bullock produced the movie. Good for her as she got even richer since the movie became a successful hit worldwide.

I liked this one better. It was funnier and wittier, if that's even a word.  It had the Sandra Bullock quirks we all know and enjoy. The way she delivers her lines has this effect on the audience, a positive one at that. And it also had the Hugh Grant effect. It was a very entertaining movie. These two actors really created something and I enjoyed it.

The story started with Bullock trying to save the community center and figuring out that the only way to save it was to work as a corporate lawyer for the firm that was trying to knock it down after sealing a deal with Grant's character. Everything went as planned, and Bullock was fully integrated with Grant's life. But everything came crashing down when Bullock decided to quit, giving her two weeks notice. That's the brief version of the plot. A lot more happened in the movie but all were connected to this basic plot.

It was the kind of movie that had a strong appeal. With two strong leads, it was no wonder the movie did as well as it did. With also the power of the supporting cast including Alicia Witt, Dana Ivey, Robert Klein, Heather Burns, David Haig, Dorian Missick, and more, the movie even became even more entertaining. A romantic movie with lots of laughs, that's what Two Weeks Notice was.

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September 16, 2012

Music and Lyrics

The funny things was, when they started playing Pop, Goes My heart at the beginning of the movie, I kept thinking they were re-creating an 80s song. I'm sure I've heard the song before because the moment the started playing, it all sounded familiar. I was even able to sing along with a few lines. I was sure it was a real 80s song they probably borrowed for this film. I was pleasantly surprised that the song really originated from the movie. That just shows how popular the movie was here. I knew the song Way Back Into Love came from the movie (although I did find out after quite some time). I was under the impression that it was the only song that came from the movie. Anyway, I just thought I'd start this off with this.

Music and Lyrics was a 2007 drama-comedy movie starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. Another interesting fact, apparently the stars of the film did their own singing in the movie. That was impressive. Part of the cast were Haley Bennett, Brad Garrett, Kristen Johnston, Matthew Morrison, Campbell Scott, and Scott Porter. It was written and directed by Marc Lawrence while the music was created by Adam Schlesinger. The movie did just ok in the United states but it did rather well in the other markets, earning almost twice as much as it did in its domestic market.

The movie was quite enjoyable even though it never took off for me. It didn't have a drastic progression that I look for in movies most of the time. This time the movie was just simple and it stayed simple throughout the movie. The movie was a formulaic one as well, and it followed a generally used plot line. Also, I'm not sure what it was, but there was a scene that seemed quite awkward that it was really hard for it to be believable. I guess those were the main issues of the film. To be honest, even with these issues, it was still a pretty good movie. Maybe it's because I haven't seen a movie in over a week that watching this made me appreciate just how much I like watching movies.

What made it work, however, was Schlesinger's magic with music. His compositions were enough to carry the movie and make it a hit worldwide. The melody and words of Way Back Into Love was carefully crafted and it was obvious time and effort were put into it. It's also funny how the same man wrote the other songs in the movie like Don't Write Me Off and Meaningless Kiss. I really thought that the music was the movie's strongest point.

It also helped that Grant and Barrymore were in synced when it came to the dynamics that should be presented by the odd partners. There was a time when these two didn't seem as connected as they were in the other parts of the movie, but that was probably an editing issue more than anything cause throughout the film, both of them displayed a significant amount of chemistry. Haley Bennett was a star in the film as well with her zen quirks and smoking performances. She was definitely shining and she made her presence in the movie known. Kristen Johnston also made her mark. While she didn't have much to do, she did everything she did exceptionally. It was funny and awesome.

While the movie won't be at the top of my list of movies to recommend, I definitely wouldn't stop you from doing so. It's a movie to appreciate movie, the struggle of making a song, and the interaction of people in general. It had great insights and occasionally hilarious lines. It was quite enjoyable, actually. Go ahead and watch it if these things appeal to you. They sure do to me. Plus, it was a delight to see Grant, Barrymore and Bennett sing.

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September 10, 2012

The Change-Up

The Change-Up was a 2011 comedy movie starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds. It was directed by David Dobkin while the story was written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. It also featured Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde as the love interests of the two protagonists. Also part of the cast were Alan Arkin, Mircea Monroe, Gregory Itzin, and more. The movie did modestly in the box office but it did earn profits so the producers couldn't have complained. But I really thought the movie had enough charisma to rake up a lot more than that.

It was an awesome comedy film. It was a little bit on the raunchy side, and the humor was definitely dirty. It was all so wrong, but so right at the same time. It's mixture of lewd humor and appealing sexy scenes brought laughter and that's what I appreciated about it. I like comedy movies that go the extra mile to entertain. it's a comedy film after all. I have no problems with nudity or green jokes which was probably a major reason why I really enjoyed the movie. Conservatives would not appreciate this move at all, but I guess we all have our niche and comfort zones. As for me, I'm just glad that this movie was a real comedy movie.

The story was about the body swap of two friends who wanted to live each other's lives. It's a little like Big, the Tom Hanks movie released in the late 80s ( ) except in this case, there were two people involved. I'm sure there are movies with the same story, I just couldn't remember any right now. But yeah, it's a generic story with a cliche story line. But, I don't think any body swaps movie have been this entertaining. If those movies were remotely close to the level of entertainment his movie gave me, I would have remembered them, but clearly that's not happening.

It's one of those movies that had a heart-warming sensitive and dramatic side to it. I guess that's a requisite for any comedy movie, the down time where everything's serious and heartfelt. I'm just glad that the movie snapped out of it and delivered more comical scenarios and surprising events. It kept the story moving forward, and in the right direction. Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds knew how to carry this movie and their quirks created this insane push and pull. It also didn't hurt that the movie featured two very hot ladies, Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde, who were kind enough to fulfill the fantasies of every man in this world.

It's definitely a step-up from the last comedy I saw. It was funny, it was witty, and it was dirty. Not in a disgusting way, but in a hilariously raunchy way. The way good comedies are made. The stars were awesome and the script, though generic, had its own unique qualities that made the movie work. It was an appealing an entertaining movie, probably mostly because of its stars.

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