Chronologically. You will see Psycho (1960) above Frankenstein (1931) if I do those reviews at some point.
They are available, however keep in mind I have my own schedules of movie reviewing and there are movies that I have reviewed on a now dead YouTube Channel and some movies I have reviewed on my regular YouTube Channel. You may also post requests in Contact Us or the Request form on my YouTube Page.
Often being called Pirates 4. You guys do realize that means you're calling it the fourth movie in a series started by a lesbian porn?
DISCLAMER: This film is really hard to talk about without spoiling minor details. I don't spoil anything major, things that keep you from enjoying the film, but if you don't want details that aren't publicly available yet revealed, please don't read this.
I saw both the 1st and 2nd film in the theaters, and loved them. I haven't watched either of them since (wait wat) but I knew enough of the Pirates franchise going in. Basically, to understand the jist of this film, here is what you need to understand: Captain Jack Sparrow is an awesome pirate who [used to] command the Black Pearl, and this takes place back when most Pirates films take place. That is seriously all you need to know. Judging from other reviews and my own memory, this film follows the continuity of the 1st film but not 2 and 3. It does bring back some characters from the original film, but you will get to know them well enough that you won't get confused.
Take THAT Fast Five! I ain't buyin' your foot-long brothah!!!! Now, you might want to know what to expect going in. Even if you do expect something or another within reasonable assumption from the trailer that I do not state, you will be able to latch on to the idea fast enough. This is a Pirates movie! It WILL have your classic cliches - and more on that in a second. None of the annoying cliches though, no parrots or ARGH. Just accents, gold teeth, crazy ass beards - including Blackbeard - sword fights, alcohol, you get the gist. This is also a fantasy movie! It has a lot of supernatural elements, and never speculates about whether or not these supernatural elements are true or not.
That said, there are two moments of bad CGI, but they are at polar opposites of the film and are very short. This is also an action movie! You will get very excited and there WILL be fights! Speaking of those fights, there are a lot of really big battles. Like army vs. army. Only one fight that is purely between one on one, and the resolution is left open after the battle. I have no problem with this, those battles are freaking epic. Furthermore, the battle that happens in the climax, it is bigger then army vs. army. It's army vs. army vs. army vs. army vs. army. In fewer words, most of the battles are army vs. army battles.
These battles are done extremely well. A little shaky cam sometimes, but nothing like The A-Team or Cloverfield. The problem is with these types of battles it is hard to concentrate, and a good mix of stuff is always welcome. I don't want all one on one matches either, I just wish we had a close to equal mix. Regardless, what we got was awesome, and beggers can't be choosers. Everytime a battle starts, YOU WILL BE PUMPED. Now, let's talk about our characters. Johnny Depp plays Jack Sparrow. Actually, scratch that, Johnny Deep IS Jack Sparrow. He always has been, and he always will be.
If you knew me in real life, you'd probably understand more of Jack Sparrow. Jack Sparrow is the type of person who likes to entertain himself. He is funny, witty, clever, and unexpectingly awesome. But he does it to serve his own ego. Through this, his one-liners can come out kind of awkward...but umm...*cough*Arnold!*cough.* He never shows any real emotion, but he is also not such a 'character' as he is an awesome person that you can see through his epicness and understand his trials and tribulations. That's one thing I love when a movie can accomplish - when a 'character' isn't really a 'character' and he or she is more of a 'person.'
We have two love stories in this film. One is between Jack and another character who I assume was in Part 1. He was in love with her and left her for...umm...ever, but now she's back. And, PLOT TWIST, she is the first mate on Blackbeard's boat. Trust me, that wasn't even scratching the surface of spoiling the movie. Their relationship is love-hate, and it grows a lot during this film, but never reaches a final resolution. This is partially because it sets it up for a 5th film, which I am so looking forward to seeing! Although, it wasn't too much of a cliffhanger or set-up, it was just that it didn't have any resolution.
Poor cliffhanger if I ever saw one. Just...no resolution. Nothing super exciting, other then the possibility of [the recovery] of the Black Pearl. But it just ends with no resolution to the two characters in the main love interest. Most of the other characters have their resolutions, however most are characters that didn't have resolutions coming to them. Speaking of which, this movie is super gigantic and epic. We have Jack's team, Blackbeard's team, The Spanish Army, the English Navy, and one other faction that I cannot remember at the moment all searching for The Fountain of Youth.
A lot of people have suggested that they get rid of all but the first two factions, to focus on those two factions. Well, yeah, but here's the problem. This movie focuses on those two factions as much as they could. Adding the other factions does nothing bad but makes the film even more epic! How they do this is make the film 2 hours and 17 minutes. This I find perfectly fine. It WILL feel long. You'll be like "dude...when is this gonna end?" But then you'll turn right back and say "DUDE, LET IT NOT END!!!" You will NOT be bored during any moment in this film. Every moment is captivating, whether it be action scenes, dialogue, or scenery.
Speaking of the scenery, the Fountain of Youth is so beautiful! I'm pretty damn sure it isn't CGI, because it reminded me of a scene from Indiana Jones...the older ones, but the newer one as well, even though that did have a share of CGI, it still had beautiful REAL sets. The Fountain of Youth is no exception. It is so damn beautiful, and you are put right in the mood with Hans Zimmer's wonderful score. The music in this film is pitch perfect. It puts you right in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" mode. When not in the Fountain of Youth and it is not the most wonderful thing you have ever scene, the atmosphere is also pitch perfect and the sets are detailed, even the ocean is atmospheric at points.
You seriously could spend all day looking at scenery from this film, mostly because IT'S REAL! Except for 2 or 3 parts of CGI, and 2 out of those 3 parts are bad, 1 is really good. So...can my thoughts be anymore scattered? The other love interest (OMG Ca$hman 4 paragraphs ago?) is between a crew member and a...ugh...mermaid. Don't get up in arms. This movie presents Mermaids as they should be. Absolutely beautiful creatures who suck you in with their looks and then drown you before they eat you. However...one mermaid sees true compassion and kindness in one crew member, something she never sees in a pirate.
Yeah...I'm not sure if I like this or not. It's not even a really good love interest, it has plenty of emotion running through it but they don't have great chemistry. There is seriously nothing that these two people are compatible with, but they love each other and it shows through the legit emotion that they show. Whatever, it's a good relationship, but not a great one. Blackbeard is not the character I expected. Instead of a total badass who has the power to kill the giant Elephants from Lord of the Rings in ten million fold, he is a sad, sinful, stupid little worthless shit who has a lot of power in the vein of American Politicians, except not quite as neat and tidy.
That is NOT how I want my Blackbeard. What's more, is he has actual SYMPATHY for a certain character or another. Yeah, you did Blackbeard wrong. You guys did BLACKBEARD WRONG!!! How dare you, you, you, ADAMANTIUM RAGE!!!! DON'T TELL ME TO CALM DOWN!!! NOBODY TELLS ME, THAT I DUNNO CONTROVERSY!!!...Okay, calmed down. My real gripe here is that we had four epic things in the trailer: Blackbeard, Pirates, Mermaids and Zombies. (Yeah, Blackbeard is above all Pirates.) Well, the pirates and mermaids are good, and Blackbeard was done completely wrong.
I guess this makes him more of a 'real' character, but Blackbeard isn't a real character. Maybe back then, but he is now a Legend of the ancient times. He has become a Fantasy character through our society, and thus should be treated as such. I really don't care about what he 'really' was, I wanted to see a Badass version of Blackbeard. Now, what about the Zombies? Barely there and they both act and are treated as real human beings, they are just there. Like, I said certain characters in Jurassic Park novel were just there to keep the story going, yeah, that looks like genius compared to these Zombies.
WHAT THE HELL CA$HMAN STOP MAKING ME READ REVIEWS THAT ARE 1X PARAGRAPHS LONG! Well, I think you got your wish, because I can't honestly think about much else to talk about. One last thing I have to say about the Pirates o/t Caribbean franchise. It is today's Indiana Jones. Think about it. It's a film that has every good Pirate cliche of 50 years ago, it respects them and does them right, it's a great Fantasy-Action on it's own, and it has a main character who is above all the cliches and is super likable. Indiana Jones, enough said. Indiana Jones had the cliches of an Action movie of 50 years prior before it's release, but otherwise fits all the factors.
Even specifically talking, the fourth film in each franchise features a love relationship with the main character and character who is back from a previous film. Each also has two films that are regarded as great by most movie critics (1 and 4 for Pirates, 1 and 3 for Indy), and two films that are regarded as let downs even though I personally think they are underrated (2 and 3 for Pirates, 2 and 4 for Indy, and yes I think all four of those are underrated, for most of the same reasons!) So enjoy this wonderful franchise as it is, our new version of Indiana Jones. I hope Spielberg and Lucas will give - or have given - their blessings on the franchise. And to think it's based off a theme park ride!
To sum how I like this movie would be of similar difficulty to sum up Romeo & Juliet, adjusted for length of each material. But overall, if you are looking for an awesome summer film, you look no further. I give it a 4.2/5. Next week: Thor.
I, Da Ca$hman signing off.
I could think of so many alternative titles right now.
Hugh...So, we had a 3-Film Anniversary Special, an Abbott and Costello Review, and now it's time for something else nostalgic from the beginning of this site. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the best thing. Me not seeing prior movies that would help understand the film. When I reviewed Robin Hood (2010), I mentioned I had not seen any previous versions, not even the Disney, '38 or '91 film. Yeah...that might have helped and it received fair yet troll-like criticism. The reason why I didn't see any prior versions in preparation for that film was because I thought the newer version was a remake and not a prequel. Boy was I wrong.
And now it's time to be wrong again! In fact, today is May 15th, 2011, and Robin Hood came out on May 14th, 2010! So I've never seen or heard a review of any Fast & Furious film, both my fault and not being my fault through subscriptions and lack of research. I thought these films were completely separated, yet retained a similar theme. Yeah...wrong. I could tell right off the bat that these were characters we were supposed to already know. And I was like "SHIT." So, the first half didn't keep my attention enough, but I kept it enough to at least know what was going on...sorta.
By the second half, I was attached to these characters enough. In that sense, the film has amazing character development, if you're able to attach to characters in the fifth movie going only half way through without seeing any previous films. The Rock was someone who I wish got more screen time. This is The Rock, who was great as a Face-Heel (a hell who acted like a face) in Pro Wrestling. He is pitch perfect as an Antagonist here...but maybe I'm entranced by that fucking badass beard. The rest of the characters are basically A-Team (movie) characters. Badass but vulnerable. An impressive character who is also connectable.
The action scenes are fun and over-the-top, but they could have been better and they are few. In fact, this movie feels really short. For not paying attention for half of the first half (or about 1/4th), it only felt a little over an hour. Thus, I also feel like they needed more time for development and dialogue. This movie had several moments to end, and the "twist" wasn't worth it, in my opinion. There's not much else I can say for this movie. Basically, it is The A-Team compressed into 1/2 and set in Rio De Jenario. If you're looking for a contemporary, action-packed, cheesy racing movie...there are many other good choices above this.
I, Da Ca$hman signing off.
The third in the Earth Day Series...wow, I hope this makes up for my "Oceans" review.
Territory Wars, Broken Fangs, Bad@$$ Names, Death, Abandonment and all in a Rated G Family Movie. This...is ripping off Jeremy Jahns (IT HAS SPREAD TO THE WEBSITE AAAGH!!!) There is not much in this movie that is critiquable. Let's start off with the narrator. Samuel L. Jackson is the narrator. I'm just picturing the head of Walt Disney going "oh yeah, Morgan Freeman is taking a break so let's get the other black guy that isn't a total goof...ya know...the one that specializes in saying the M.F. word." If you go back to my Sorcerer's Apprentice review you know just how much I dispise Disney for it's racism.
But surprisingly he does a very good job. Him and Freeman seem somewhat similar. As expected, Freeman is more calm and Jackson is more exciting. This helps when you have a movie called "African Cats" VS. "Oceans" and "Earth." So improvement on that. The cinematography, for what they had, is wonderful. They had to hide in the bushes, so the fact that they were able to get these kinds of shots are incredible. You haven't heard a lion roar until you've heard it in the theater. Unless you've actually heard it in the wild...in that case you are extremely lucky.
This movie follows three families: Kali's, the one who wants all territory north and south of the river; Fang's, which is struggling to survive; and Ceta's, who is a Cheetah and not a Lion, and she is just a single mom trying to take care of her young. These three storylines create for some very dramatic sequences. It's amazing that they caught these absolutely amazing stories on film. They also transition very nicely through each story. There are some goofy moments but nothing that isn't supposed to be expected in a Disney film. One of the great things about this film is that it sheds some light on the predators.
Normally in a nature film, you're usually siding for the herbivores during a chase scene. I was actually siding towards the carnivores during this film. For one, animals have to eat. Another, this film focused on the carnivores. But it did put Hyenas in a bad light, as Disney typically does. (Hmmm...Brown Fur vs. Yellow Fur...Hmmm...Simba vs. Scar...Hmmm...Racism...Hmmm.) This is very refreshing compared to most of these nature documentaries. This is also the best out of all the Earth Day documentaries. There isn't much left to say about this film, it's just a really good nature documentary that feels like a storyline but I don't feel right critiquing it like a storyline because it wasn't scripted.
The Rating? There is nothing really wrong about this movie that can't be excused. Therefore, I'm gonna give it a 5.5/5, and the Kick@$$ Seal of approval. (Adding Angry Joe to people I've ripped off.)
I AM NOT AN OSTRICH! I AM NOT AN OSTRICH!
Shrek has supernatural creatures in Far Far Away Land. This has Birds in Brazil. I could just end it right there, but I want to make this review at least 1 paragraph. So...ugh...ummm...Well this movie was so, so nothing. I didn't hate it, in fact I enjoyed myself throughout. But I cracked a smile for a combined effort of probably 3 minutes. It is just a total waste of your time. But in a good way. There is nothing that contributes to cinema, entertainment, the arts or your free time here...but you won't regret it. I guess the two female leads were cool characters, but this is basically just every single Dreamworks film (even though it's by 20th Century Fox) mashed up with birds in Rio. There is NOTHING to say about this film. I guess it will make you want to go to the beach...in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this whole thing was just an advertisement for Brazil.
The Rating? 3.1/5.
...I haven't been so emotionally invested in a movie in...years.
The first act is confusing and dis-jointed. I will admit it. But, the first act lasts for about 10 minutes. That's about 1/9th of the film. The other 8/9ths are very different. This movie doesn't force itself to go into a 2nd act, but rather have numerous acts that create a 2nd spiritual act. Also, I'm only going to talk about plot details that are related to things in the trailer. Anything not hinted at in the trailer shall not be mentioned (like the revel of the main Antagonist.) The idea of going back in time for eight minutes of someone's life allows for many different situations to happen upon multiple trips back into the memory.
Let’s talk about one of the biggest parts of the film, the characters. Our main character starts out as the typical “American-Soldier-Idiot.” He wants to serve his country really bad but is too short tempered and doesn’t have enough patience in order to fully serve his country. Throughout the movie, he naturally and gradually turns into a character who is able to combine reason, love, and real emotion into some of the most heartfelt choices ever made. I will admit, during the lesser side of his development, you will be face-palming a freaking ton.
He is a very unlikable character at first. He is unable to follow orders OR THINK. At the same time, he is not a boring character. He is a character you don’t like, for the wrong reasons; but you care about him. You care about him very much. He is probably one of the most attachable characters in recent cinema. When he eventually evolves, he becomes one of the most likable characters and if you don’t care about him you are the most jaded prick out there (if I may take a line out of Jeremy Jahns’ book.) In fact that’s true throughout the whole movie (except for the 1st act.)
The plot unfolds…like, literally. It unfolds gradually. It isn’t spoonfed to you at the very beginning, but it is also not confusing if you have an I.Q. 95 or above. (Average is 90 for those who don’t know.) It is presented in a way that the audience is able to absorb as well as dive into to, yet it is not spoonfed. It’s not like “here’s your story, here’s your characters, enjoy some explosions and science babble.” But to make it simple: he goes back into memory, a new detail is explored, he goes back to the “capsule”, a new detail is explored, and repeat until you have an hour and a half.
Each time he goes back into memory is about eight minutes, since that is the time limit for the Source Code project. That is just enough to both allow for many details to be explored throughout the entire film and keep each separate enough so that by the time we are done absorbing one we can take in another. Perfect balance I say. Each detail also contributes to the development of the main character, which allows for natural feeling development. The two people who are controlling The Source Code Project are also interesting characters that unfortunately aren’t explored enough.
One starts out as a person who does good but does it in an antagonist fashion, and another is someone who does antagonist actions in a protagonist fashion. Throughout the movie, they have enough development and change to switch sides, which does allow for more interesting twists and turns and emotions towards the characters however doesn’t create a solid image of these two since they aren’t truly explored unlike the characters that actually go onto the train. Often people will say the story is the most important part of a…well, story. But I beg to differ.
The characters are the most important. Give us a story like Inception but have completely unlikable characters and it will be a horrible film. This movie creates some of the best characters in recent cinema history, but only one is explored to his fullest potential, which is our main character. But how is the plot? There is a ton of debate over whether certain films are original, namely Avatar and Inception. On one side, Avatar is just another copy of Pocahontas and Dancing With Wolves and Inception is just a James Bond film mixed with The Matrix. Whether you agree with these statements or not, you can’t say this about Source Code.
Now you may be saying “Ca$hman…it’s Time Travel! This idea has existed for like nearly 120 years!” It’s not really time travel, it’s memory travel. I’m not going to spoil how it works…but trust me…this is some of the most intelligent writing for an idea that I’ve seen in a very long time. Inception is probably more complex, but that is very much an outlier and it isn’t quite as accessible as in this film. (Do I need to do a re-review of Inception?) You may know that this film deals with terrorism. While the terrorist threat doesn’t exist, at least this movie has the balls to make the terrorist a White American instead of an Arabic Muslim.
I won’t spoil anymore about the terrorist, because there is a lot more to this awesome character. This film is also huge sequel material with it’s plot device, yet it doesn’t act like it wants to have none or more. It just tries to be a movie. That’s one of the great things about this film. The writer I think wasn’t thinking about money or what would make the audience happy, he just wanted to make an awesome film. Coupled with Inception and The Adjustment Bureau…HOLLYWOOD, YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK GUYS!!!!
There are some very intense scenes, namely the explosion and transfers, as well as one gore shot, but it doesn’t try to scare you. Just throwing that out there. For such a huge film fan as I, for this to be one of the most emotionally investing films I have seen in so long…that is a sign of a great film. There’s so much to this movie, but I covered to the general gist. Go watch this movie right now! Unfortunately it isn’t perfect though, due to it’s lack of exploration and the main character being unlikable at first. Otherwise it’s overtly perfect. So I’m going to give this film a 5.46/5!
I, Da Ca$hman signing off.
What is this movie?...That is a VERY good question.
For those of you thinking that this movie will be a thriller...you're sort of right. Some people say it's not a thriller at all, more of a really good love story. I beg to differ, it is a mix of thriller and romance with a hell of a lot thought provoking material to keep you thinking both mathematically and morally. If you don't like thinking, then don't watch this movie. If you do like thinking, WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!!!! Most films that come out, especially today, are either fun or clever. Clever is not a synonym for smart. Rango is a clever film. Dreamcatcher is a clever film. Battle: L.A. is a fun film (the big one which I never reviewed.) The A-Team is a fun film.
This is an intelligent film. One that gets you thinking, not just entertained. Plus, a documentary doesn't get you thinking most of the time (though some do), most just feed you information. Granted, films like Bowling for Columbine and Inside Job are thought provoking documentaries, but those are classic documentaries. So this film is a gem in that sense. However, how does it do at getting you to think? Just a warning, I'm not holding back on the spoilers in this review.
So this story is about a team of people who are never mentioned as The Adjustment Bureau...hm? They simply refer to themselves in descriptions, such as "the people who make sure things go according to plan." Stuff you have gotten from the trailer right? Right off the bat you know this is going to be a controversial movie. Is free will right? Is it wrong to make sure things go exactly to plan, never let other people live out their dreams? Or is it vice versa? Just at the right moment the movie will give thoughts about it. The history of The Adjustment Bureau leads as this.
Since the revolution of farming and society, The Adjustment Bureau has been there. How? They are not truly humans. They describe themselves as beings that are very much like Humans however much smarter, and they live much, much longer. They are also run by a Chairman, who makes all the plans but never tells why. *Cough.*A METAPHOR FOR GOD AND ANGELS!!!!*Cough.* They make sure everything is according to plan. When the height of the Roman Empire emerged (a vicious violent empire but that's for another discussion.) They decided that Humans had become advanced enough to evolve on it's own.
Right? HaHaHa WRONG. They entered the Dark Ages. So with that said, they decided that they had given the privilege too prematurely. They kept around for a long time until they let go again in 1910 when things seemed even so civilized. What happened in the next fifty years? World War I, World War II, The Holocaust, The Depression, and nearly destroying the world in the Cuban Missile Crisis. They now have control again. So from that, you could probably form an opinion of the situation. They've already given you evidence that the human race needs supervision.
This section of the story focuses on Senator Norris (no, not Chuck.) Senator David Norris. He was the youngest Congressman to ever be elected (assuming this takes place one year in the future or more I can suspend my disbelief.) He then runs for senator, and before his big speech he meets a girl in the bathroom-because she was hiding due to the fact she had just crashed a wedding a few floors up-and they basically have enough of a meaningful and relatable conversation that they start having feelings for each other...or a mutual crush as you may call it.
After this he feels as if he can't put up the bullcrap anymore of being a politician (which turns out to be great foreshadowing.) He delivers a tremendous speech that is not forced or synthetic in anyway, he just spills out all the truths of being a politician. He then retires his run and lives a normal life. The Adjustment Bureau on the other hand, does not want him to ever see the girl that made him the man who is today ever again. But the member who was supposed to take care of this task, fell asleep on the job. He was supposed to spill his coffee before he got on the bus and take the next bus. But he ended up not spilling his coffee.
This leads to a series of ripples including the discovery of The Adjustment Bureau by David Norris. He learns everything, and many events following this provoke thought both mathematically and morally. They don't spoon-feed all the details at once, and let detail by detail be discovered by both the main character and the audience. But at the same time, this movie has the pace of a trailer. Now that is a way to spoil audiences if I ever saw one. Eventually the reason as to why he can't ever see his girl again comes up, that he is to be President, and the girl is to be one of the greatest dancers in the world.
If they do fall in love, he will be average Joe, and she will be teaching dance to six year olds. This is where things really get controversial. These characters have some of the greatest and most realistic chemistry that I've seen, yet they are not meant to be together. Why are they so in love? 12 original drafts of "the plan" had them fall in love, but it was changed at 2005. So many fragments of that plan had infected itself within the new plan. So, what is right? The reason why they wouldn't pursue their dreams is because they would feel that love is enough, they wouldn't feel as if they need the attention of an audience.
So now things get really controversial. One might say that if it feels that level of right, it should be, right? Well, they only really feel in love due to fragments of the original plan. Plus, if he doesn't become president, some crazy dictator might become president. If she never becomes one of the greatest dancers in the world, there might not be enough inspiration in the Dance Industry, thus gradually destroying the Dance Industry, and leaving a from of art damaged and possibly destroyed, with many people losing their jobs. But even at this, David Norris still wishes to pursue his love.
In launches an awesome and one of the most artful and heartfelt climaxes in the last decade, and definitely in Romance history. Finally, the chairman orders David Norris' history to be re-written. With blank. Why? That his never answered. But we can definitely assume that it was because the Chairman felt he was intelligent enough not to need supervision anymore, and that if him becoming president, or if he falling in love, or both, would be truly meant, that he would right it himself. Now here is where the first problem with this movie comes in. They leave it very open ended.
What? Does he become president? Does she become one of the greatest dancers in the world? And if not or so, what are the consequences? Even if he were to not become president and the president who takes his seat is fine, that works for me, the Chairman was right. But if they didn't pursue their dreams and the predicted consequences emerged, then that proves that they do need supervision, right? There is a mixed message here. One side is saying "if you truly want something, go for it no matter what." The other side says "you must be intelligent enough to have free will."
And what is right and what is wrong? The open ending makes the movie feel a little stupid on itself, as it feels as if it definitely leans towards the first argument. However, it may just be that it didn't want to decide for the audience, it didn't want to spoon-feed. It wanted to let the audience feel for itself. Yeah, that works for intelligent people like me, but idiots are just going to soak in the closet thing they see without thinking for themselves. Maybe it's trying to say "forget the idiots. This is for the smarter people out there. After all, it is the dumber that are being controlled by the Chairman. Now that you can think for yourself, you should be able to decide for youself."
Even with this argument I'm having with myself, it still sends a mixed message. But the important thing is to say "as you have the ability to think for yourself, decide for yourself, should you have the right to act for yourself?" This movie spreads an intelligent message throughout and keeps you thinking the entire film. It debates with itself and isn't so one-sided...well, as was in its own ability anyways. This movie isn't perfect, but it is a he11 of a lot better than most crap that comes out in the theaters lately. But let's talk about some more stuff. The atmosphere is very artistic and soothing when it needs to be. However, it feels as if it is ripped straight from The King's Speech.
The soundtrack is very similar. It is almost a metaphor. The soundtrack and the atmosphere fall in love just perfectly, just like the two main characters. However, the soundtrack feels ripped straight from The Social Network, not to mention the theme song IS the theme song for Sunshine (2007). The characters are diverse and with as many dimensions as possible. The story, as we've probably already assumed, is detailed, explanatory, interesting, intelligent and well thought out. (Although this IS based off the Philip K. Dick short story, however that was written in 1958, and more that attributes to The Adjustment Team has happened throughout history since then.)
Matt Damon does an excellent job here in this role. Emily Blunt? Ehhh...she's alright. The actors for The Adjustment Team do an excellent job, what with General Zod being their leader and all! It is also very refreshing to see an African-American be a protagonist, but not just a protagonist, a protagonist within a team of antagonists. Even furthermore, there aren't any real antagonists or protagonists here. It plays much more as if this were to happen in real life, that there are two opinions and people who believe in one or the other, and pursue them. This is very refreshing to not have anybody labeled "evil" or "good."
So naturally, the characters are written this way and the actors do these kinds of jobs great. It wasn't like I wasn't cheering for T.A.B. at times during the film. Everyone has a heart. This movie is fantastic. It does have a great share of flaws, but not without such genius to overshadow that. So, I'm giving this movie a solid 5/5!
I, Da Ca$hman signing off.
Not Battle: Los Angeles, Battle OF Los Angeles...I will explain.
The Asylum is an interesting company. They produce mostly "mockbusters," or "Mokbasters," in Russian. Mockbusters are films that cash in on big blockbuster films. Often they will try to get their titles as close as possible to the film they are ripping-off. This can go as abstract as Allan Quarterman and the Temple of Sculls (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystual Scull) to the deceiving but not completely Transmorphers (Transformers), to strait up being obvious like War of the Worlds (War of the Worlds.) Today we will talk about the newest Mockbuster, Battle of Los Angeles, which is as close to Battle: Los Angeles as possible!
Technically, the film isn't supposed to be released until tomorrow. However, I got to see it on the SyFy Channel, due to their partnership. One common trait that has been found in The Asylum films is terrible, terrible CGI. You can assume this is because of price, because for the most part good special effects were strictly exclusive to major blockbusters. Not anymore though, it seems, as near perfect CGI becomes more and more common place, and even student films at least have CGI that moves realistically and you can suspend your disbelief against. But even on March 12th, 2011, The Asylum continues to provide absolutely awful, synthetic CGI that moves more synthetically than ever.
As soon as the film started, I said "ugh...this is the climax. Are they starting it at the end? What is this, a 20 minute film? The Comcast TV Guide stated clearly that this was a 2 hour film. Unfortunately, I was correct. The film drags immensely slowly. Is it good or bad that there were 72 explosions, not counting the final ending where the mothership crashes and explodes like a good 30 times!!! Well, you can say it's fun, especially if you count like me, but at the same time it just means they used this completely repetitive tactic to fill up time. It becomes an extremely repetitive film, which is not good when we have giant alien brawls.
Is this the alien equivalent to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen? I don't know if we will ever know. Due to the fact that they, quite literally, "cut to the chase", many necessary things for a good movie are missing. (Of course with the release of "Rubber", my previous conceptions of what a movie should be are being compromised.) Characters are nearly non-existent. There is absolutely no character development. But one thing keeps them from being COMPLETELY non-existent. First off, they are the typical archetype for a military personal. And the actors surprisingly do a really, really good job at it...for an Asylum film.
Second, let's analyze another trend of Asylum films. Most Asylum films will have characters dead with little or no mention of any sadness from other characters and just blood for fun. Here, they actually try to be dramatic and give a crap about the characters. Is that a good sign for The Asylum? Let us hope, they might be able to improve throughout their history. But for now, the characters are still very one dimensional. But they ARE taken seriously and the actors actually take is seriously...as much as they can with Asylum's reputation. Asylum also has a tendency for plot holes. Yep, we got 'em. Dumb characters and space ships being shot down with normal hand guns galore!
The one piece of CGI I actually found pretty good was the mothership. But I soon figured this was because it was ripped straight from the better (but not good) District 9. *Audience*WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? DISTRICT 9 IS A GREAT MOVIE!!! GIVE US SOME REASONS WHY YOU DON'T LIKE IT!!!!*End Audience.* Calm down guys, I'm probably going to get to it one way or another, but I'm not in a hurry. For now, look at Doug Walker's review on TGWTG.com. That isn't my absolute opinion, but he does a good job. Anyways, the cinematography is on and off. Most of the time it is average Asylum camera work. Other times it's outright lazy and crappy.
But sometimes it's actually at the level of a high-end blockbuster. Another good sign I hope? Also, pay attention to the allusions to E.T. They mention that the aliens love Reese's Pieces, a trait that was also carried by E.T. Soon after this, they also show the aliens' hands first, which looks just like E.T.'s hands. I won't spoil the actual alien design, even though he is there for about 7 minutes, and he is nothing to look at. *Cough*IT'S A TRAP!*Cough.* (Wow, I have advertised Red Bull and Reese's Pieces in a completely non-profit website twice in a row!) One last thing I would like to address is the original Great Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942.
This is a "sequel" to the original, taking place in an alternate reality. All events up to 2010 are normal in this alternate reality, but sometime in 2010 (most likely late), the U.S. Government engaged in a battle with the original aliens that were in the 1942 Air Raid. They actually do find a person from the original 1942 Air Raid who was held hostage all this time in Close Encounters fashion. (Not a spoiler, happens so early in the film and is barely mentioned.) They wasted so much potential to delve into the mythology of the actual event, not to mention go into greater detail of the character who was from 1942.
But I guess that isn't Asylum's style, is it? There is also a Ninja-Power-Ranger-Lara-Croft-Samurai type character. NOT. KIDDING. She's awesome, but she doesn't get as much screen time as she deserves. The two interesting characters get less screen time then all the generic characters! Argh! I know this review has been mostly negative, but I would like to say that if you are in the mood to watch a bad movie, and you have a friend with you, it will be a lot of fun. Poking out plot holes and laughing at the special effects (CGI blood hitting the camera FTW!!!) So all in all, this is an absolutely terrible film and is supposed to be, but is actually very good compared to most Asylum films.
The Rating? 3.4/5
One word to describe it but many words will describe it. What is that word? Bad@$$.
First, let's get the Elephant out of the room as fast as possible. (Unlike Angry Joe with Magicka.) The characters. Obviously the intention with the characters is to have a character who is very big city like and nervous go into the Wild Wild West with W3 characters. Being a strong part of this film is tribute to classic Westerns (with a twist we will get to later), they're gonna make the characters in any way shape or form stereotyped, right? Now, there are two ways you can put stereotypes into a tribute. You can do it the good way, and laugh with them, or you can do it the bad way, and laugh at them.
5 Western characters have the feel of laughing with and tribute. Otherwise, they are laughing at. Rango himself is usually a very great character. He has LOTS AND LOTS of development time, he has a very interesting personality, and most of the time he doesn't over-do it on the city folk feel. There are times where you feel like "dude, he's too stupid." But most of the times you can relate to him very well. Now, if you can get past the characters being Western stereotypes, they are still very interesting and play a vital part of the story. Now, let's talk about the hype.
The trailer to me looked sooooooooooo stupid. All of them. When reviews started poring in, people were saying "It's not a kids movie. It is a tribute to classic Westerns in a different style. It has themes of death, smoking, alcoholism, and the idea of hell. It is Bad@$$." Yeah, okay. It's a Nickelodeon film with talking animals. Even if it ISN'T a kids movie, kids are going to go see it. Plus, I can tell you right now some of the animals I couldn't take seriously due to them being animals. The Mayor, Rango, The Love Interest, The Armadillo, the first Antagonist, the final Antagonist, I could take them all seriously because they were well written characters.
People like The Mariachi and the framed villains are too cheesy to detach themselves from the CGI talking animal they inhabit. Plus, I can tell you they were definitely trying to target kids with the poster. He's holding a wind-up plastic Goldfish to his chest, ARE YOU KIDDING? There are a couple scenes which are interesting that are helped due to the characters being animals, and the set-up is also helped due to the fact that he is an animal, but the rest could have easily been done without being animals. Then again, since the CGI is so awesome...most of the time, I guess it is more refreshing to look at animals and not humans.
Whatever the case, they were trying HARD to target kids. Plus, there is some pretty cheesy comedy. Now, it's not absolutely garbage, the comedy is spot on and some of it isn't even cheesy. But plenty of it is fast-food (but really good fast-food) comedy that kids will eat right up after Jungle Book 2. The soundtrack is awesome. Enough said, it fits the mood more than perfectly. The dialogue was NEVER boring. Not once did I get bored during the entire film. Nothing ever felt dry (pun lol.) Gosh...what more to say about this movie?
There are many references to the old Westerns. Including a cameo that was one of the most Bad@$$ things you could have done for this film. If you are ready for an awesome Western with an unexpected twist, go check this out. The Rating? As an overall film it gets 4/5. In the land of animated films we live in, for having 10x the balls minimum of any other animated film, kids or not, these days, it gets 4.75/5. Let's average it to 4.375/5
I, Da Ca$hman signing off.
Red Bull is for Pu$$i3s!!!
Michael Bay is the disease that will infect any Steven Spielberg film. Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and now this are three good examples. Michael Bay has also done the grossness that is Pearl Harbor, The Rock, and the remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. (I know I like those remakes, but most people don't, so more likely I'm wrong. But I hate the two Transformers movies.) But Steven Spielberg, on his own, usually does great work. I won't even list his masterpieces, I'll just say that True Grit came out literally two months ago, he was in the same position of Executive Producer but there was no Michael Bay. THAT movie was awesome.
So let's get on with it shall we? In my news article, I already stated that it was going to be a Teen Sci-Fi movie. But I also stated that Back to the Future is officially a Teen Sci-Fi movie. That movie was awesome. Let's break it down by act. The first act is very intriguing, but it focuses on storyline. Now let's clarify on storyline. The storyline is a very good proposal, but it fast-forwards like four movies. They should have made a movie about what happened that made the nine go to Earth. Then maybe make a sequel about Number One. If it does well, do Number Two, and then end the series. Number Four should have never been done.
It should have just been a novel or something like that. Oh...wait...IT IS A NOVEL!!! NEVER MIND!!! Oiy Schabatsche. I need to read a little more. Anyways, so the effect is that we don't know enough about these characters or their culture, and thus cannot attach to them. So, characters and storyline are out of the window! That means this movie can't be that good, can it? It gets worse. The second act, as in the bulk of the film, is High School Drama Bullcrap. I was just day dreaming as the bad music played and there was some sort of dialogue going on, but I just didn't care. Speaking of which, the dialogue is lazy and generic.
Example: *Guy Shoots Guy* "I Play a lot of XBox." Cheese and Rice my Dog! So, to re-cap, Dialogue, Characters, Storyline, First and Second act, ALL OUT THE WINDOW!!! One character, Henri, I actually liked a lot. But he doesn't get enough screen time, is overshadowed by the generic main character, and his actor is really forcing it. In fact, every actor really forces it. They just don't seem to care about this movie! The only character I liked, but not loved, was a surprise twist who I'm not going to spoil...actually, don't see this movie, Number Six was Bad@$$.
The Dog I cared more about then the rest of them. But he is awesome, because he transforms into a Gigantic Host sized Orga-Dog-Host-Alien-Predator-Thingymabober. But I wasn't able to even enjoy him enough! First off, HE IS ALWAYS WANDERING AROUND, YET NOBODY EVER GETS WORRIED! Second off, there are numerous plot holes concerning him, don't ask. Third off, he is CGI. And his monster is CGI. All the powers are CGI. But you know what's bad about all the CGI? It's not good. It's too glassy, it doesn't look realistic even for simple things like dogs.
The third act, however, is freaking awesome. I gotta be honest, it was like Machete's final battle except just a tad bit poorer, and more geared towards teenagers and Sci-Fi fans. I was expecting The Alien to come out and bite the heart out of a Predator, then Terminator to shoot down Triple H, and then the main character would run into Frankenstein, and he would get tackled by The Wolf Man, and THE ANGRY VIDEO GAME NERD - SOMEBODY STOP MEEEEEEE!!!!!! Those people didn't actually show up, but you get the idea. So if you do see it, see it for the final act. Kind of like Destroy All Monsters.
Final verdict, this is a lazy, lazy movie with bad acting, bad writing, bad special effects, bad characters, bad dialogue, but great action. It really only does deserve a 2/5, but the final battle deserves a 4/5. NO ROUNDING HERE.
I, Da Ca$hman signing off.
The FIRST Review of Spring 2011!!!! You know what that means...
So the recent weekend that this came out we had a choice. All the little girls and very little boys would all see either "You Just Got Bieber'd In 3-D," or the really, really generic looking Gnomeo and Juliet. All the stupid guys and girls would see Just Go With It, or see the past two with their kids. Then all real men would then go see this movie, right? WRONG. That weekend was Valentine's Day Weekend. The real men had dates. So, this movie made about $8 Million compared to Bieber'd and Just Go With It's $30 Million. Movies don't just show for one weekend though, it'll make more money.
My point is: MEN...and everybody else who wants to see this movie...GO SEE IT THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY YOU HAVE. But how is it actually? This movie is about Hadrian's Wall. The story/historical event goes that in 120 A.D., Emperor Hadrian of Rome ordered more exploration of Northern England by 5,000 Roman soldiers. All 5,000 Soldiers never made it back within 20 years, and a wall was built to separate what was thought to be the end of the world from the known world. Now, the son of one of the warriors, who's name is apparently very forgettable, wants to prove his father's name. By the way, none of this is spoilers.
This son is now ruler of Rome. In a clash between a slave and a warrior, he single-handedly saves the slave out of mercy. The slave is then made his, as this slave is British, and he takes him into the land that his father once went in and never returned. That's all I'm gonna tell you, but there's plenty of good stuff in the plot that happens from beginning to end. Now, how is it, exactly? Well the set-up is risky. It could be seen as a Roman-White Epic, in which it seems like Generic: The Historical Adventure. It could also be seen as a story of a son wanting to restore his father's name, and a relationship with a slave being different and merciful. This could be seen as meaningful in that light.
However, what is a Nazi was going to restore his father's name by killing more Jews? This is the problem the set-up faces. I like the set-up, it's simply taking a source material and making it into it's own gift. I just wish it didn't make Romans look so heroic, but then again, they really don't. I tell you, the Romans aren't seen as awesome in this film, which is very refreshing. They are more of the society this man lives in, and he is actually above them. This is his story...NOW WHY CAN'T I REMEMBER HIS NAME!!! The cinematography, while good as far as angles, is pretty amateurish as far as shaky cam. I say the cinematography gets a C.
The acting is very good. I could see that some people might not like it, but I loved the epic style that the actors brought to the table. They totally embodied the character but at the same time put on a show. They didn't do it perfectly though, but it was pretty dang close. The atmosphere and scenery are very well done. Mist is placed exactly where it needs to, and in other places it's not. Every little detail rings the emotions and sensory feelings of what is going on. If we are in a marshy swamp in Northern England, BOOM, you feel a marshy swamp in The Unknown World. If we want a sandy, grueling, gritty battle arena in Ancient Rome, BOOM, you got it!
The writing very much rings Lord of the Rings writing. It's not a bad thing, you might think you've seen this before though. It's actually very good writing, but not the best at the same time. In fact, it's great writing. Contrary to assumed assumption, there is not much action. They have like three battles. The emotion and excitement come from the characters. These characters are near perfect. They are extremely relate-able yet so heroic, a perfect balance that if one got even a little more focus the balance would have shifted towards a trait. The characters are epic, near perfection.
The plot never gets old. Twists and turns are unexpected yet conventional, keeping you invested throughout the entire film, along with everything else that is awesome in this film. All in all, a very epic, character driven, emotional, awesome film. I'd say go see it. It will be worth your time and money for sure. The Rating? 4.2/5
I, Da Ca$hman signing off the first Spring 2,011 Review.
Best Picture Winning? Oh well. I'm going to try to give it a fair review. I have been a Nerd/Geek snob in the past, being completely bias against Romance and Drama. Let's see if I can let go of that bias and review neutrally! Welcome to Part 2 of "I, Da Ca$hman'$ Movie Review$ and New$ 1 Year Anniversary." Let's dive right into The King's Speech!
And for the 1-Year-Anniversary the Website's coding is both acting worse and better! What? Well, this is very similar to Iron Man 2, just reversed. (In more ways than one.) The first act is boring and confusing, jumping events without any transition and very little introduction to the characters. The second act, they tried very hard, but there are too many things wrong with it. First off, whenever King George the VI, talking to his therapist, whenever he would star to really be successful, he gives up at the best parts. Now, I know this was done for emotional feeling, but it is the wrong one.
You see, I would feel more if George would have tried more. Throughout the movie, his relationship continues to boil and get worse and worse with the therapist within himself, while the therapist appreciates him more and more. While this can work in real life, this is fiction, whether based off Historical event or not. Let's have King George actually TRY throughout the film, especially seeing his terrible condition. The guy cannot talk to his 5 year old daughters without stammering 70% of the time! I do feel sympathy, and very much empathy, for him. But I can't feel that much for him.
The Reason? It's not obvious. You see, I had a very similar experience with a therapist WHEN I WAS IN 7TH GRADE. Not on stammering, but on emotions. This guy acts just like me in the 7th grade, and I have Aspergers. He's an adult, and in line for royalty. Childhood trauma and stammering don't make up for being a total - though not intentional - douche bag. I know I'm going to get a lot of heat for this. Bertie's wife (AKA King George VI), is very little on screen and when so she acts stuck up. I see a lot of wasted potential in this character, she could have been a huge part of the story and something that made us feel more.
But since this is such a highly regarded film, let's get on to the good stuff. Colin Firth is both a great and bad actor. He does great in making the character realistic. I tell you after the movie you will have HIS EXACT condition for at least T-Minus 5 hours. The only time you'll be able to talk is either if you swear your @s$ off or yell at the top of your lungs. But, again in the second act, he focuses too much on the stammering aspect of the character, and not enough on making him an emotionally attachable character. The atmosphere in this movie is amazing, tells you that the director knew what he was doing and paid attention to every single detail.
King's Speech should have won Best Art Direction, hands down. The soundtrack is also really cool. Normally this classical stuff would put me right to sleep. In some of the most boring parts of the film, it was THE thing keeping me from falling asleep. I can't explain it, but I can tell you that is a great feat for soundtrack. But Inception still wins for me in the soundtrack category, but King's Speech is a worthy nominee. Now for the best thing about this film. The third act features such emotional development for the characters, and such great events that it reminds me of the genius that is Shawshank Redemption.
No matter how much you feel like skipping it, watch it for the third act. And it won't work it's magic if you haven't seen the 1st and 2nd act. I really could have cried during the third act (and I assume a lot of you did.) The friendship between Bertie and the Therapist is personified at it's finest in the third act, and that is the height of it. The therapist acts like how a therapist should, a father and a conscience when King George felt like he never had one. He went through a lot of trauma as a kid, and yet he made it. Indeed, such a great third act. But guess what? A loopy and lazy first act and a contrived second act don't help that either.
So the third act gets 5/5. The first act gets 2/5. The second act gets a 3.8/5, being nice. This averages to 3.6/5, which is sad because that ending really left me so emotional.
I, Da Ca$hman signing off. Prepare for Cloverfield, coming tomorrow!!!!
It's been an entire year, has it? Well, the best is yet to come, but now I think I should take on the daunting task of re-reviewing Iron Man 2, something that needs to be done here. Happy Birthday I.D.C's.M.R.A.N.!!!
The original Iron Man was a very fun film, you can see my review of that as well. However, it was highly overrated. Mr. Black gave it 5 stars. I gave it 3.8. But how is the sequel? My original review praised it as a fun action movie that couldn't be beat. Pssyhapliahepanbkapifne;zickenaph, I can do better than that!!! So let's dive right into "Iron Man 2" Part 1 of the "I, Da Ca$hman'$ Movie Review$ and New$ One Year Anniversary."
An extremely basic summary would be that this film had a great first half and a dull second half. But why is that? Let's dive in. The opening scene definitely sets-up the character of Ivan very well as a vengeful villain, you can feel his pain, but you know he is still the villain. That right there is character development, emotions and feelings for the characters. Right after this scene, the Stark Expo scene occurs. For the first half, This is pretty much just used to pump up the audience, and pretty cheaply though. But it's okay, because as James Duncan Rolfe once said, every movie would be better with AC/DC. But at the same time, this film only features TWO of their songs. Two? TWO? TWO?
I love AC/DC. Maximum Overdrive had the best soundtrack, hands down. To continue, during more of the second half of the Stark Expo scene there definitely is some well foreshadowing of the Tony Stark character that is spoiled on the outside, and almost dead on both insides. It is an excellent contrast that makes Tony Stark a very well rounded, unique character...for the most part. This character is fully set-up in the courtroom scene, making him a 3-dimensional character. Showing him as a cocky, funny dude who doesn't know how to stop. This can work for him and against him. That's one thing I like. Tony Stark isn't a protagonist or antagonist, he is both at the same time.
Not even talking Wolfman type characters. He constantly fights himself during every second that he is on screen, he is so well written as a character. And with that, he has such an awesome actor to back him up, Robert Downey Jr. The writing makes us connect with him. The actor makes him connect with us. Both the writer and Downey Jr. do a fantastic job at their jobs. The senator character, who appears in this scene, doesn't appear in much else of the film. But he, while being the villain, is still very interesting and we want to see more of his Despicable persona.
As Tony Stark's blood gets more and more toxic, we feel more and more with the character, showing he is not perfect, and most celebs aren't. It keeps the character moving. This archetype for Downey Jr. to follow was so executed, that after he finally gets his resolution to the blood toxicity issue, we don't feel as much with him, thus making the movie a bit more dull. But we'll get to that a little later. The cinematography in this film is nothing to brag about, not in the slightest, at least for a major studio, but it is still very good. The editing however, is near perfection.
The scene where Ivan attacks the race cars and Tony shows off his new Iron Man suit (which neither suits appear later in the film, WHY), is well edited, well paced, well filmed, entertaining and shows off what this film can achieve at it's peak. Mickey Rourke does a freaking fantastic job playing Ivan. Sort of swimming into the bad stuff, aside from what we talked about with the blood toxicity, the dialogue is very much generic. I sometimes day dreamed during scenes that were just talking, and not many important things were happening. But swimming back to the other lane, the soundtrack is great, even when it is not AC/DC, still very good.
The party-wreck scene reaches the speak of the Stark character development. Amazing emotion shown throughout the scene. Justin Hammer, another main character, is NOT a good character. Annoyingly written and an annoying actor, he's just not useful. I would have much rather have seen Ivan be the mastermind, not this corporate douche bag who's too corny to be the main villain of an Iron Man movie, but too dark of a persona to be the main villain of an Iron Man movie! WTF? During the scene when Tony looks at his father via gigantic futuristic screen, you can see a lot of parallel between father and son. It is an extremely powerful scene.
Several scenes in the second half feel really drag, and it spreads to other scenes that taken out of context would be freaking awesome. Speaking of which, 1:24:47 exactly, is that a Captain America shield? Foreshadowing to the Avengers anybody? The Hammer drone's introduction is a prime example of how politicians can easily lie through their teeth for money and fame, not to mention power. The special effects are amazing. They're not perfect, but this is an action-comic-book-Iron-Man-movie after all. An A.C.B.I.M.M. The action scenes are very good, but they have a lot of room for improvement.
Now, back to the blood toxicity issue. As I said, when he runs out of problems and he becomes another generic character who needs to save other people and not himself, he starts to feel less and less like a 3-dimension character and more like a 1-dimension character. Also, it is very hard to really feel like Hammer is really a threat. As I said, he is just annoying, not threatening like they want you to believe. How is he in control of it all? I don't feel like he could really do much, so in the end all I care about is seeing the final battle between Ivan and Iron. but what is it, like 1 minute of a fight? BULLCRAP.
The ending is very anti-climatic, the jokes are stupid, etc. This film has a great, well-thought out, wonderful first half, but it feels like they gave up at the end and gave us a half @s$ed lazy second half. They knew it was going to make money after a certain amount of time, but I think I should give it the critiquing it deserves. The first half is an easy 4.8/5. However, the second half gets the mark of 3/5. This ranks to a 3.9/5, making it just as good as the original, basically. The original got a 3.8. This is I, Da Ca$hman, signing off and marking a clean slate. Next time...Cloverfield!!!!
Yes, I did it. I gotta review the remake! It's the 60th Birthday of the original! I can't be a coward!
WARNING: This review has a lot of spoilers. Some are marked and some aren’t. But it is the only way to properly assess my confusion on the film.
Unlike the original film, this movie starts off with a prologue. It starts in 1928, instead of just getting to the point. Now, I can see the use in this. This might be used to explain some shit or it might be used to create an atmosphere. But that prologue just left me confused. The only thing that it told me was “this movie has an art style of green and blue.” Which I could tell from the poster. But it asked more questions than it answered, for instance…WHAT IS THAT THING? Throughout the film, Cinematography goes back and forth between extremely over the top good and amateurishly bad.
There is one character around 15 minutes in the film that I really thought should have more attention. She clearly has human compassion, and although I support knowledge over compassion, I do believe human decency is a great thing to hold. I’m going to explain the situation, so if you want to see for yourself what I am talking about I will mark this explanation of the scene with parenthesis. (Basically, as Helen talks to her son over the cell phone she snuck in, a Military Official walks in on her and asks if that was a cell phone. Helen says yes, though reluctantly. She then says “Can I borrow it?”)
Unlike the original film, this film is loaded with wonderfully put together and appropriate special effects and atmosphere. Except for Gort, which sort of pisses me off that they did him like this, visually. He really looks synthetic, he looks less real then the original. Sure…he’s bigger, but I don’t see a purpose to it. The UFO reveal scene seems to confusing. These thoughts were going through my head as I watched it: Why would Klaatuu kill people? Why did he cause an unnecessary sandstorm? Why does his spaceship look like a Christmas Ornament done Hollywood? Why did they shoot him? In the original he has a sharp looking object that looks like an altered tazer gun. Here…he is just there, and he doesn’t even look threatening. He is just a blob.
When they examine the patent, they don’t spoon-feed you the explanation however they do hint at things as they go along with the examination. It is actually a really compelling scene that adds to the film instead of taking away from it. Then they analyze the scar tissue. Oh boy, did they. I was fine with it being born on Earth in the past, that was okay. What I didn’t like was how it ages exponentially. In the original, they make clear that he looks a lot younger then he actually is due to his planet’s life expectancy being close to twice our life expectancy. That really takes away the message of a superior being through a superior society.
When they visit the patient they state that “it knows our language.” Ignoring that they state as if English is the only language on the planet, they also hint at the fact that it learned our language through being on the planet. Remember in the original that it learned our language through listening to 26 years worth of radio. To this day, we’ve had approximately 86 years of radio, 83 when this film was released. It would even make more sense if he had learned through the radio now than back then. It doesn’t make sense that Klaatuu would forcefully and apparently sneak out, as in the original he snuck out like a mouse as to cause less of an international incident. That didn’t go to well in the original but here he didn’t even try.
Klaatuu brings up something that I really wish the original Klaatuu brought up in the first place. That this is NOT our planet to mess with. It has a very carefully constructed circle of life that interacts with all life forms, as I explained in the Philosophy section of my website. Why the original Klaatuu never brought this up I will never understand, because it is a great piece of Philosophy that helps address the problems the human race posses. Simply put: THE EARTH IS NOT A VIDEO GAME. Mr. Barnhard in this film feels more authentic then the original Mr. Barnhard. He isn’t completely authentic, but he feels more like an actual human being and not “a scientist.”
Helen is okay. Bobby takes a huge hit, as he is reduced to a whiney, idiotic little kid. He doesn’t even mature. In the first one, he wasn’t perfect, he was too optimistic and idealistic, but this is out of control, especially considering that he does not mature later on in the film. All he says is “my Dad would have done this, my Dad would have done that!” He doesn’t give a shit about the safety of his own mother, he just wants to kill everybody that the Military sees a threat against. This character is truly not necessary. However, the original archetype for Bobby could not exist in this film as Klaatuu is a serious, no games person.
In the original, he was light-hearted and fun yet reasonable, so that he could be on the good side of everybody. I guess we’re moving into Klaatuu aren’t we? In the original, he was a reasonable person that tried to interact with humans both through reason and calm, collective, cool emotion, and could handle each situation individually and not like a fucking U.S. Assassin. That’s why we felt so sad for him as he was chased by the U.S. Government, because he truly didn’t deserve it. Here, he just says “I’m gonna kill you, no matter what.” Yeah, I don’t feel so sorry for him anymore.
I do agree on his side of the story, but he is taking the approach in an uncalled for manner. And yes, this is probably because of the cast choice of Keeanu Reeves. In fact, the actress for Helen is basically a female version of Keeanu Reeves. Bored but strangles herself to act like she cares. Now, the relationship between Helen and Bobby is…well…it belongs on Hallmark. NEXT. “Oh, I forgot, you’re an alien, you don’t understand anything.” Aside from philosophical discussion between Mr. Barnhard and Klaatuu, which gets an A+, and a little bit of philosophy here and there between Klaatuu and random people which gets a C+, the dialogue gets a straight F.
This film, contrary to popular belief, does have its share of philosophy and intelligent thinking. Not even I would agree with, and several plot holes still exist, especially when compared to the original film. It also isn’t nearly on the level of the original film. But for a movie made TODAY, it is much smarter than the average film, let alone blockbuster. Including that it doesn’t sound pompous. It explains both sides of the argument in logical, philosophical and calculated ways. As I reached the 1 hour mark, I was starting to wonder if this film is a sequel and not a re-imaging. That would explain modern day times, why Klaatuu is more direct and on a “this species has no hope we must kill you all” approach…which, surprisingly, I like better.
A re-imagining of a film that was mostly focused on intelligence, social commentary and dialogue should either use a different opinion or adjust it towards contemporary standards. This film sets it towards contemporary standards and adds a different opinion, as Klaatuu is much less optimistic. However I still can’t be sure if this is a true sequel, as Klaatuu is talking about local events of killing the planet rather than intergalactic events of war. Either way, it sends the message correctly, but nowhere near perfectly.
WAIT A MINUTE, WAIT A MINUTE, WAIT A MINUTE, WAIT A MINUTE, WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, WAIT A MINUTE, WAIT A MINUTE, WAIT A MINUTE, WAIT A MINUTE, WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, WAIT A MINUTE, WAIT A MINUTE, WAIT A MINUTE, WAIT A MINUTE, WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, WOAH…WOAH…WOAH. What the fuck? What the - the ---the ---the. Okay…holy fuck I…WTF? Okay, *MAJOR SPOILERS* The way they take out the planet is by insects eating…everything. Why is this in The Day The Earth Stood Still? Why is this not in another movie? DUDE, it’s bugs eating EVERYTHING! That would make for such a great plot!
Whether used in a Stephen King Novel, a Roland Emmerich film, a SyFy Channel Special, or anything else you can think of that would be appropriate for this…WHY NOT MAKE A MOVIE ABOUT THAT? Why do we have to remake a perfectly wonderful movie and not have a movie completely focusing on THEM? On a side not, they also talk about the next Noah’s Ark being this situation. Again, another great idea! A modern day, more technology based Noah’s Ark scenario! That could work in so many fucking ways! WHAT THE HELL? *MAJOR SPOILERS OVER.*
WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, WOAH…WOAH. *MODERATE-MAJOR SPILERS.* Huh…I really wish I didn’t have to do this. Okay, Bobby (called Jacob in this film) asks Klaatuu to resurrect his dead dad. This is because he saw Klaatuu resurrect a soldier who he just murdered with a car. My question is - why not? He tries to explain it to him, but in religious nutball sense. That doesn’t work for me, since Religion and God is imaginary and this is Science, something based in truth though often but not always based in greed.
The whole “Noah’s Ark” thing doesn’t count since the alien just sees it as forcing the next mass extinction before it’s too late. That’s all in the Earthling’s heads. The only logical explanation I can think of is that the body has been under there so long that it decomposed and thus you are not able to bring to life a bunch of bacteria and insect shit, but give a better answer then “the universe never truly wastes anything.” THAT MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE!!! AAAGH!!!! *MODERATE-MAJOR SPOILERS OVER.* *MODERATE-MAJOR SPOILERS*Okay…Okay…Klaatuu suddenly has a change when he sees Hellen and Bobby crying over Bobby’s dead parent. Yeah, fuck not. I want to see PROOF that the human race can change. Mr. Barnhard suggests that societies only change on the brink of extinction. Well…that’s never actually been proven but it works in this film’s universe.
And yet THAT isn’t what makes his mind change about the entire fucking human race! No, it’s two parents who are crying over one of there dead! “Gee, they’re crying, I guess they do have emotions. I also guess two people are enough to represent 6.5 Billion of their kind! Hm, I guess I better try and get this over with.” Also, why does he not have complete control over everything that happens because of him? Especially on a foreign PLANET, you would need complete and utter control over everything that you do and say, including launch an apocalypse.*MODERATE-MAJOR SPOILERS OVER.*
I think the overall way to state how this film plays out is this: It has three scriptwriters. One is a person who wanted to create an intelligent, philosophical sequel. The second is Roland Emmerich doing a Re-Imagining. The third is the one who came up with those…things…and wanted to do an original movie but Hollywood wouldn’t let him. It has great characters and crap characters. It has a lot of intelligence yet a look of idiocy. It has lots of special effects but also a lot of good atmosphere. It has a story that feels like a sequel but acts as a remake. And then of course…THEM. This film is just a bunch of confusion. For the sequel piece, it gets a 4.5/5. For the remake piece, it gets a 2.5/5. For the…other piece…it gets a 3.7/5. This adds up to 3.5 and two thirds of a tenth/5. Check it out if you want, but every person on the planet can go without seeing this. By far you should see the original.
Funny story: You know I’m 15. This film came out 3 years ago, so that the time I was 12. At that time, as a 12 year old, I was not able to stomach films that were intelligent that did not focus on being exciting. (the original TDTESS for example.) So, as this film focused much on both excitement as well as philosophy, it was the most intelligent film I could stomach at the time. In a nutshell, I told people I was “meant” to see this movie. Little did I know that films far more intelligent exist. Oh well, lesson learned.
Announcement: Gigantic Marathon happening between tomorrow and the 15th or so. Otherwise, enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend!
I, Da Ca$hman signing off.
In Summer 2,007, in front of a horrid adaptation of Transformers, a killer trailer played in front of it. It was shaky, hard to make out, and extremely scary. There was some sort of monster in the trailer, but nobody could have seen it. It was too in the shadows. This was followed by the head of The Statue of Liberty flying across the streets of Manhattan, and the title/release date 1-18-08. What happened after the trailer? My favorite film of all time. Welcome to the third and final part of "I, Da Ca$hman'$ Movie Review$ and New$ 1 Year Anniversary." So let's dive right into the J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves masterpiece, Cloverfield!
Almost IMMEDIATELY the film blew the freak up. It extended from simple YouTube videos, to extremely creepy and hype inducing YouTube videos, to NATIONAL NEWS OUTLETS covering the film! Many different rumors were invented. The one I was first exposed to was the idea that it was the sequel to the 1998 GODZILLA film. There were also rumors of the most insane as Orga, the most silly as Power Rangers, to the most mystifying as Ctulu, and the most absurd but convincing as a Whale who had got caught in a oil spill. Some even went into completely new ideas, such as a Tyrannosaurus Rex with horns and is bi-pedal.
This HAD to be the best hyped film of at least two decades. Was this cheap? Possibly. To me, it doesn't look like your regular movie hype. The hype for this film was to create an experience. One of the biggest reasons why this is my favorite film is that it is more than just a movie. The Blair Witch Project definitely inspired the style of both the film and hype. Godzilla was also an inspiration, which we will get into more even later. Giant Monster. But it did more with it, it told it from the view of the citizens, and that is extremely powerful. Some people were reminded of 9/11 by this film. You know what really shocked me? THIS WAS A COMPLAINT.
No $#!T idiots. It was a huge disaster that killed tons and tons of people in Manhattan, and the entire country stood still with fear. That's not being controversial, that's having balls. THAT is a situation that can put real fear in you, fear for not just yourself and other people, but fear for millions upon millions of people. THAT is the greatest fear ever. 9/11 is just another huge disaster that put people in fear. It's not bigger than Pearl Harbor or The Civil War. Yet they can make movies about that? This wasn't even ABOUT 9/11, it was just in the style of it. To put you in a fictional fear that you had that can compare to a real fear of 9/11 means power and balls.
So it had the hype and concept/style of The Blair Witch Project, had a Godzilla style Plot, and had the balls to reveal what a monster attack would really be like in real life. It would be like 9/11, Pearl Harbor, The Civil War or The Cold War. That combination alone is masterful. But it also had the aftermath of Pulp Fiction. In Pulp Fiction, now everyone wonders what was in the briefcase. In Cloverfield, before you wondered what the monster looked like, and now you wonder what exactly it is. That is something that is apparent in the film that makes it realistic. If it was just citizens, none of them would have any idea what it really is.
So it's more than a movie. It does feel like you are a U.S. Government agent trying to investigate the film and piece together exactly what happened. That is genius, making a film so interactive. Before, it was like the report had just been filed with the U.S. Government. On 1-18-08, the U.S. Government found the tape from 5-22-07 and allowed government agents to view it. Then it was the time when we knew what it looked like, so we could form theories. But we still don't know what it is. What an ingenious way to stay away from traditional film making, in which it is a simple story. It's one of the biggest risks in cinema history, of course not everybody will love it.
But they should. Will Cloverfield 2 finally reveal what it is? Well, that's debatable. First off, during the scene on the Brooklyn Bridge you can see another person is also videotaping the event. So maybe Cloverfield 2 will be the same events but from that person's point of view, allowing for a few more hints to be released but not. It's like th U.S. Government getting more and more evidence. It takes a very long time to figure out a case like this, especially so strange. So it figures that the next big piece of evidence only allows for a few extra hints. That's how it would really work in the U.S. Government.
However, some time after the film was released, J.J. Abrams actually released a statement about what it is. This was a huge spoiler. To me, the Cloverfield monster and it's parasites acted in a way that an extremely barbaric species of Xenomorphs would act. A distant, barbaric cousin of the Xenomorphs? That would be really interesting. But unfortunately, Matt Reeves has confirmed that it is NOT an E.T. J.J., what were you thinking? He says that it was originally a marine animal that is only an infant yet has been around for thousands of years. It ended up eating a lot of Seabed's Nectar.
This is a very addictive natural steroid used in the Slusho drink, which is a drink invention of the film and once a possible title for the film. After eating all of the Nectar, it went into a sort of hibernation. So, thanks to idiot J.J., who shouldn't be thanked for the genius that is Cloverfield Matt Reeves should be, we don't have the sense of being a U.S. Government official anymore. It was wonderful while it lasted, but you can thank that idiot for it. There is one possibility that Matt Reeves will try to stay away from this and actually make it an E.T., and maybe J.J. was releasing a false statement to fool many people.
This would be like the U.S. Government releasing a fake report to cover up something big. It works fine. But let's not get our hopes up. If it turns out to be something different, then we can see this whole plan was very awesome and that we shouldn't have believed the hoaxers. It's a hope. But, if this is the case, there is still one mystery. It's evolutionary chain. What would that be? Still, let's just hope that this is - in storyline - the U.S. Government releasing a false explanation to calm the civilians down, making the civilians think they can handle the situation.
We can always hope. J.J. Abrams is a PDB anyways. He doesn't quite understand the genius that Matt Reeves does. With the ingenius "hype" aside, let's focus on the film itself. (In the 10th paragraph?) After all, this is a movie review, not an "experience review." Like Blair Witch Project, or any other film in this genre, it is a film that is a "lost tape" from people who experienced the event hands on. This makes the characters and the events much more powerful. You feel like you are actually there, and not just hearing a story. The film also adds many realities.
Like I said, the civilians not knowing what it would be is something that would actually happen. Also, in a recovered tape, with all the damage the camera took, it's possibly that it would glitch to footage that was taped over. And this helps, since the April footage reveals a little more about the plot. Hud is kind of a "convenient" character. He, for some reason, feels like it would be good to document this, even though the news is documenting it right now, and not focusing on just getting out there. But this is good, since how else would we get the footage?
No person who is smart would actually keep filming, so a character like this is VITAL for there to be LOGIC. The big plot between these guys is that Rob is trying to find his girl, who is stuck in the disaster. This is where my ONLY complaint of the film comes in. When he finally finds him *MINOR SPOILERS* she is impaled, but she is still alive and they are able to help her out. What? It's not like in the shoulder or in the leg or anything like that, it is in her heart! She would die from that! *MINOR SPOILERS OVER.* It's okay though. This doesn't really count for anything, because the character of Rob is not fueled by finding Beth, it is about his love and passion for her, as we see in the very early part of the film that they are both very in love.
THAT is what you call a great, dedicated human being. Which there is a little foreshadowing to that. When crap starts getting crazy, right before, Jason, Rob's brother, says "forget the world, and hang on to the people that you care about the most." Jason dies later in the film. It is a great story about being selfless and caring about other human beings to that degree. Rob is the epitome of a great, well-written character. Would it have been more powerful at that moment that Beth had been dead? Yes. But, the ending is amplified in power a million times, as they both die together and let each other know they are okay.
Plot hole MY ASS. Who the fuck cares? It's so powerful in their relationship, that the plot hole is like an ant that is on your arm. You just swipe it away and forget about it. Speaking of ants, you can tell Matt Reeves paid special attention to the film, knowing it would bring monster movies back into the main knowledge of the average people. It made monsters cool again. So he put in 3 stills from King Kong, THEM and The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. I am so glad that Cloverfield brought back monster movies. Sure King Kong was there in 2005, but that wasn't a remake of a monster movie, in atmosphere. That was a remake of an American classic, in atmosphere.
Cloverfield was a monster movie, and you can tell by the ending theme. Rob doesn't ever think about what potential he could have had in Japan, he just cares about his girlfriend, because he is a loving, caring human being. Again, "forget the world, and hang on to the people that you care about the most." Of course, this is a horror film, so how is the horror? Probably my tenth time watching it was today, and it still freaked me out. Of course, a first time viewer, watching in the right atmosphere, should be scared $#!Tless. And it is amplified by how you feel you are actually there.
It's not just cheap screams, it is the feeling of possibly dying, and the feeling of possibly millions loosing their lives. That is true fear. So any time when the monster tries to kill you, or someone screams, it's not because of the loud noise startling you. It's because you want to continue to live, and you want other people, who have lives just as equal as you, to live. The special effects are so and so. They look fantastic, but they move a little artificially. Also, every single character you feel so much for, because you feel like you know them, not just are watching them.
This movie succeeds at putting you in the movie more than any other movie can ever do in history. And it does it for a time span of at least 5 years. It had wonderful emotion, fear, plot and everything else. It was one of the great masterpieces of film, that made movies interactive again, and made monster movies relevant again. Cloverfield is by far my favorite film for what it accomplished! And this 18 paragraph review should prove why. The Rating? What the he11 do you think? 6/5!
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off. May we have another great year, and may Cloverfield get the love it deserves!
A film that is successfully as dramatic as it is comedic. Well done!
There are a few things that I don't address. I've addressed writing, production value, directing, execution, editing, special effects, visuals, dialogue, characters, acting, scenery, art direction, soundtrack, and many other things. But two things I usually don't address is messages and symbolism. It's not like I haven't addressed this in the past, Cloverfield I definitely made it clear that I loved the message, and in Unstoppable I made it clear my attention on the symbolism. But as my US Government teacher once put it, "the first time watching you haft to pay attention to the story, then the second time around you look for symbols and messages."
The point of these reviews is to make you want to see it for the first time or not, or consider re-watching it if you feel like you may have seen it the wrong way around. I'm not writing essays about even deeper meaning then is clear after a first watch. Why do I do this? Well, I don't wanna make you look for symbols if you don't even like the movie in the first place! Closing on diatribe, and conclusion of it, there is a message that I will emphasize in this review of this film. In fact, that is the goal of this film. So let's get into the 2004 Fantasy-Comedy-Drama, A Day Without a Mexican!
The idea for the storyline is, first off, extremely bias. It's obvious portraying the "stance" that we should keep the illegal immigrants in our country, regardless of citizenship. (Wait...) If I may go on another diatribe (this review is losing credibility by the word I swear), I highly agree with this stance. First off, the idea that we should not get them citizenship or the ideas that we should deport them all are clearly wrong. It would solve nothing. They WILL come whether or not they can be citizens. Giving Citizenship would not make us super overpopulated, because WE ALREADY ARE OVERPOPULATED.
Giving them citizenship would only better our economy. If you're about deporting them, you're basically saying destroy America's economic foundation, and in a recession nonetheless. They are working on our agriculture, our sewage, and all other unnecessary jobs that no regular citizen would want to do, for even less pay then those jobs usually go for, sometimes nothing at all. Hmmm...sound familiar? *cough*Slavery*cough*. While I always wish for the best for people, unless we are willing to give them citizenship, coming here illegally is there best option, especially considered against Mexico.
You take away that, you get tons of jobs not filled, and tons of necessary jobs not being done. You ever see that show, World's Dirtiest Jobs? It's on the Discovery Channel I think? Yeah, that's what they're doing, and it's very needed by our society. We should be thankful for them. THEY are doing more for this country then our rich white businessmen will ever do. Nobody needs video games (Bill Gates), computers (Bill Gates), chatting (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace), movies (Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, James Cameroon), but we do need food, agriculture, and sewage.
So now that I've basically explained the message of this film to you, and that I agree with it strongly, I hope you take it into consideration and that it is a bold film. It is extremely bias, but that means that is has the balls to tell [it's version of] the truth. It has also been noted that this film had a huge impact on teenagers. I am a teenager, and believe it or not, I didn't completely understand or believe this point of view before hand. I thought that we should either give them citizenship or deport them. This film made me change my mind on that, somewhat. I still think citizenship is the best option, but I don't think we should deport them. It had a huge impact on this Teen.
Okay, hopefully the diatribe is finished. If there is one thing that is at fault in this film, it is the acting. Nobody feels natural, it all feels artificial. They aren't bad actors, but they are trying to hard and are not seeming real at all. They feel more like a written character then actual people, and that's a problem. The characters aren't also anything special. I think the most potent characters are the ones that are not here. I guess now I haft to explain the plot. But it simply, everybody in California wakes up one day with all people of Below-The-Border Americas Bloodline vanished, and a purple mist that doesn't let anything out or in of the state.
The people who speak the most potently in this film are the people who are missing. But they aren't really explored. This film tries really hard and succeeds at not being a science-fiction. I think that might have been a mistake. It might have had less of an impact on the teenagers, but I think discussion on this particular subject would have been very interesting. First off: what is this purple mist, where did it come from, and what connection does it have to the disappearance of Latinos? Second off: why is it all people of Latin-American Decent. Third off: you'll notice how they come back. It was...really confusing. How did that one event do anything to change California?
I understand it is a symbol, but logic before symbolism. Speaking of which, symbolism is present here, but if you want to look for it, you'll need more then one watch. That's not a problem though, this movie has very big re-watch value. It's not a movie that would get very old. The comedy is so fucking funny. It's very dark, but it's not so cruel that it's disturbing and distracting. It's ballsy and sad, but at the same time so funny and not distracting in it's disturbing aspect. My favorite moment here is, "the whole enchilada." You'll know it when you see it, and it is so fucking funny.
This film is also very dramatic. It isn't super drama, you won't be crying on the floor or any shit like that. But this film is genuinely emotional to a very large degree. At one point in the film - you'll know it - I probably could have cried if it weren't for the fact I was confused by the logic. I'm not quite sure what else I can say about this movie. It is very funny to laugh at as well. I could see this appearing on RiffTrax. It also leaves you with a cold feeling if you stop half way through. You WILL feel like half the population of the planet, or whatever you're in (neighborhood, workplace, school, etc) is gone. Unfortunately you don't get to choose which half.
So I definitely recommend this movie. If you are looking for something funny, dramatic, political, entertaining, refreshing, meaningful or any combination of the above, check this movie out! It's not a perfect film by far, what with the characters, acting and stupid moments. But I give it a 4.3/5
I, Da Ca$hman signing off.
WARNING: Fight Club like situation about to commence. In other words, controversial opinions about to be held in this review.
So the film opens…and…ugh…it opens. I have absolutely nothing to say about the opening. Oh well, better luck next time Jake. I told you not to steal my glasses. Both of them. The jobs for the candidates mothers show an interesting setup that shows Democracy down the tube already. I assume you probably don’t know what this movie is about, so let me tell you. This documentary is about a Chinese elementary school that wants to have a Democratic election for class monitor. The candidates are chosen by the teacher and not written in themselves. Liu Lei is the current monitor, who uses brute force but has the viewpoint that these immature kids will not accept him as a leader unless he uses brute force.
The alternative is to have the class with no discipline, in his view. Xiaouf is a timid girl who tries her best but doesn’t seem like she has what it takes. Cheng Cheng is a kid with spunk who is very likeable, but uses some dirty tactics and can seem a little immature at times. Now that you know what this is about, let’s analyze it a little more. The Chinese culture shown here is different, for sure, and may come off as spontaneous, but is really probably as spontaneous as the culture we are used to. In the second day from the announcement of the election, the idea of democracy is down and abused like a glitch in Super Mario Sunshine, showing that it’s not going to be a greatly nice election AT ALL.
The “Out of Tune” moment shows how a parent can influence a child that much. Early on, it is clear that Cheng Cheng is the most “eccentric”*cough*LAZY-POPULAR-MASS-MAJORITY-OPINION*cough* of the group. Luo Lei is probably a much better – but a tad bit misguided – candidate. Xiaouf is trying, but I’m not so sure she would do a great job. She seems to be too spoiled, and too bubble gum like. For example, She makes many excuses with Liu Lei takes the criticism more formally on the hate debate. She’s like that annoying sister, y’know? Would you like her in any political power?
Onto the hate debate, it’s disturbing enough this is standard in schools in China, while here it would be shamed upon. What’s even more disturbing is that due to The Cultural Revolution, these kids are synthesized to it from their parents, making it even more disturbing. I don’t completely lean towards Liu Lei though. While his actions are pro, his statements are completely unprofessional. The debate between Luo Lei and Cheng Cheng is quite exciting and showcases jugular aiming TO DA MAX. Luo Lei left speechless shows the more intelligent are not the ones who are society friendly.
Other words, the more intelligent usually aren’t good speakers, but their moral standards are very strong, indirectly making their writing a much better source of expression. But I’m going on a tangent. The decision to elect Luo Lei was unexpected by me, yet expected by many others, as I expected Cheng Cheng, the popular opinion, to win. To be clear, I would have liked someone who was organized. Luo Lei was my favorite, but he was still brutish. But Cheng was a spoiler, and Xiaouf was spoiled, so honestly I was routing for Luo Lei. No third grader, especially in China, is going to be organized and political and intelligently accurate. Whatever you think of the situation, it is still a good documentary. 3.5/5
DA BEAST SOUNDTRACK EVAH!!!
Yeah, the parents who took their kids to see this after seeing the trailer were in for a bit of a nasty surprise. But not as nasty as some people make it out to be. This is the 15th Anniversary of a movie that both holds name for one of the best soundtracks ever, yet at the same time takes one of the greatest "Horror" masterpieces and turns it into an animated feature film. So does it still work today? Did it ever work? Let's find out. Oh and ummm....you're not getting out of here without hearing some of that badass music.
The opening spells out the film in a whole. It has one great sense of epicness but it is unnecessarily interrupted. Most of the time it is interrupted by who I see as the one thing bad about this film. THOSE FROCKING GARGOYLES! I hate them. They are so annoying. So generic. So stupid. Get them off the screen! I can't stand them! The only times when they add anything good to the story is when they are pepping up Quasimodo and during the climax, but even then, these scenes are merely average, and the scenes where they are talking amongst themselves are just freaking unwatchable!
I get it, they were added for the kids. But I don't have any sympathy for those kids. Plus, they add a big plot hole which I think if you watch the film I think you'll be able to spot. Quasimodo, on the other hand, is pure opposite. He is the perfect character. He is not over-powering yet not under-powering. Oh and...keep in mind this is coming from a dude who empathizes with this guy, as I have lots of hardship trying to fit in. But I've never had a war defending a Catholic, or any Church for that matter, especially one of the honor of Notre Dame. (Which translates to My Lady in French.)
This way, he is exactly on "our" level, and I connect to this character as much as I connect to the keyboard I type on...wait, that was not a good comparison. Whatever. Not only is he on "our/my" level, but he is in a land of super 1st class super Catholics. Yeah, that's a very good situation for some conflict right there. He is not at all annoying (Gargoyles) yet he is not so super awesome (Pheobus), he is just so natural...even as a character who started the Universal Monster craze (aside from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a whole 10 years earlier.) Quick little nit-pick: there is a goat smoking Pot. Ugh...yeah, no. No thank you. Get that goat outta here.
The "Fool" character is just an okay character. He is good but not bad, I liked seeing him on screen, but there was nothing special about him and a little bit of him was kind of Despicable. The animation is pretty good. On the surface it look like typical 90's Disney Animation. Tangent: Ya know, Disney kind of had a short run for a return. They ruled 1927-1977 (50 years), then was not ruled 1977-1988 (11 years), came back 1989-2003 (13 years), and then went down 2004-2009 (5 years), then came back 2009-Present (2 years.) They didn't have much of a return during the second rise of Disney compared to the first rise.
Tangent over. Anyways, typical 90's Disney animation. But unlike other films of the 90's in Disney, say Pocahantus or Hercules, this movie goes above and beyond with setting the mood as far as animation. Some Disney films do this better, but this is on the better side of the bell curve. This especially helps out during the festival scene, which turns into such a sad scene you star to feel sick. Man does it do it's job great. Esmerellda is a character that acts a lot like Jasmine from Aladdin. This isn't helped as Quasimodo takes one a similar role to Jasmine, and Esmerellda takes on a similar role to Aladdin.
Trust me, Quasimodo doesn't act like Aladdin though. I wouldn't mind this so much if I hadn't already knew Jasmine and Aladdin so great before seeing this film. In fact, I gotta say, though I loved the soundtrack, I feel as if a lot is stripped straight from Aladdin. So, what is this, Aladdin in France instead of Saudi Arabia? Ummm...no, but that's the closet movie you can blame for being a hack-job of. Again on Phoebus, he is a very cool character, but he seems more like a face playing a heel, and instead for most of the film (seriously, like 95%) he is a heel playing a face.
For those of you who don't know the General Entertainment terms of "heel and face" that were created through Pro Wrestling, Face=Protagonist and Heel=Antagonist. (They're pretty much both as fancy and intelligent and it's easier to type face and heel as opposed to Protagonist and Antagonist. Also, Pro and Antagonist make it specific, as only one character usually is the pro or antagonist OKAY STOPPING TANGENT!) This movie has a perfect pace, not too fast but not too slow. Several scenes pay homage to classic Universal monster movies, showing respect for who made this movie famous. An obvious example is the Windmill scene (Frankenstein), and another, the acrobatics scene which is homage to the 1923 version, in which Lon Chaney was prasied.
Lon Chaney Sr. had pounds of make-up on, a huge rubber hump, one eye blind, and yet still was able to perform so epic acrobatics. The relationship between the three main protagonists is a stark contrast to most Disney movies, and is refreshing and emotional. Opposed to other animated features in France, like Ratatouille, this film (and Beauty & The Beast for that matter) does not shove down the idea that you are in France. It's just...in France. The climax tries to be epic but remains very cartooney, however giving one of the greatest and most ironic ends to a heel in all Disney Villain history.
Overall, this film would be rated 5/5 for the awesomeness that it has been praised for, but for using over-used character archs (not from the original story), and those damn Gargoyles, I'm giving it a 4/5.
I, Da Ca$hman signing off.
Continuing the St. Patrick's Day tradition...sort of.
Well, I've made it my St. Patrick's Day tradition to watch a Leprechaun movie that day in consecutive order. The first one was last year, and next year will be 3, and so forth. So, my question is, is this a sequel, or is it a re-imagining? It doesn't follow the original story of the first one, and instead creates a storyline of it's own with a totally different Leprechaun, just same actor and same behavioral patterns. But completely different back story. So, seeing as this is not a true sequel to the original and is more about a different Leprechaun, it would be interesting to see if they did an Anthology series with the whole thing with different Leprechauns. We will find out next year.
But for now, which is better? Honestly...this is better, and I will explain why. Sure, the first one is more Famous/Infamous, but this actually qualifies as a good, fun, exciting, scary and gross horror film. The first one was just a bad movie that you sit back and laugh at. This one, even if watching alone, is still awesome! Sure, it has a ridiculous premise, Warwick Davis overacts (which is sort of a good thing, as explained later), and the actor for Brittany is absolutely boring. Other than that, this movie is actually a quality slasher film. It is not a masterpiece like Friday the 13th, not even a classic like Child's Play, but it qualifies as a well-made horror film.
The opening represents the transition between the first and second. In the opening, there are some moments which are very creepy, and some moments that are just ridiculous. Surprisingly, the "sneeze three times and she is my bride" idea is not that stupid. If he was just watching to see if she would sneeze, then it would be ridiculous. But they guy is actually causing the sneezes, creating a master manipulator of evil. We always wonder if G-d is evil or good, and we always fear the possibility of a vengeful G-d. Or if the Government is controlling our every move (BTW, seeing The Adjustment Bureau soon.)
Here, we have that kind of sensation. That someone else is controlling our destiny, and it makes for an excellent fear factor. I know, right? Such a crazy premise is actually quite scary. I ask you, do you want to be prisoner to a killer Leprechaun? No! And many folk tales actually depict evil Leprechauns, Dwarves and other things, so it doesn't seem too off the wall for a Fantasy-Horror. (Doing a much better job than last year, aren't I?) This movie successfully pumps you up throughout most of the film. From the opening credits to the climax. The problem is that there are very big chunks of the film that feel like Climax level excitement.
For a Leprechaun film anyways. So the Climax doesn't feel as epic as it should, but it still qualifies as an exciting climax. It's just like they spread all their effort across the film, rather than focus the effort on certain spots. (Bowser and Leprechaun are running the communism here!) Throughout the movie, certain details are added to feel like the makers know who is the audience. They mention Bela Lugosi in the film, as well as the resting place of Harry Houdini being the residence of the Leprechaun. (I'm not spoiling anything, many of the spoilish type statements I make are explained in the first 20 minutes.)
There is also a time when the main character says "Trick R' Treat." And Brittany says back "wrong holiday." Obviously the writers and directors were self-aware. Also, certain luck symbols are implanted here and there, such as walking under a ladder. Speaking of which, one of the biggest improvements is The Leprechaun's weakness. In the original, he is weak to 4-Leaf Clovers. "That would be like if Dracula was afraid of Bats!" - James Duncan Rolfe. Here, he is afraid of Iron. In the way it is explained, through mythological readings, it makes a lot more sense.
That was one of the biggest problems with the original Leprechaun, it didn't make much sense. Granted, a killer Leprechaun on it's own doesn't make much sense, but this is Fantasy-Horror. However, four leaf clover weakness contradicts the rules of it's own universe. Fantasy grants you the ability to create your own universe and lay the groundwork for it. But when you are basing it on another universe, you have to apply by some of the necessary rules within the original land. In the original, it doesn't. Here, it does. Now, onto more of the horror aspects. The gore in here, is awesome. It looks real, for a movie, and it is sure to gross people out!
The Leprechaun's lair is very creepy, very atmospheric. When I was a kid (and I'm not an old dude at The Oscars), I visited the local museum a lot. I still do on occasion. Sometimes they would have those creepy exhibits that were dimmed down and moist, sometimes they would be bat caves, some were mines. I always felt creeped by those exhibits. If you had an similar experiences, where a moist, damp, sandy, dark, atmospheric cave is scary to you, then you should get the chills from The Leprechaun's layer. Now, let's talk more about The Leprechaun character.
Warwick Davis' overacting actually helps. He is like the Joker. A mentally insane villain who has complete control. Can you imagine the catastrophe? An insane villain in charge of it all! One who has no sense of feeling for other human beings, but loves to fear them by acting so over the top! He is no Joker, but he sure is a contender. They also do something that wasn't in the original though, which is make him an actual being. In most movies, ESPECIALLY slasher films, the main vilian is usually an all-powerful being that shows no signs of weakness until the very end, making him very unrealistic. He's less like Hitler and more like Satan.
In this movie, they turn that tide. In the bar scene, one of the main characters (whose name I never could understand, we will refer to him as WARNING), WARNING is able to mess with The Leprechaun, by challenging him to a drinking contest ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY in front of a bunch of people celebrating. It is said that a Leprechaun can always hold his liquor. He is actually defeated in this contest, and it makes him much more of a character that is at a vulnerable stance. It basically says that "he has powers beyond us, but he is still a living being, he has imperfections even in strategic and power ways."
That, I think, makes him an awesome character. Now, don't get me wrong, a character who barely interacts and is shrouded in mystery can be good, such as Jason Voorhees. I just think it is refreshing to see a villain who is not so super mega powerful and can only be destroyed by some convoluted fashion that is only found 20 minutes towards the end! Now...please, someone help me. I am writing a 11 paragraph review for Leprechuan II!!! What? Anyways, what is the rating for this movie? I think it deserves a good ol' 4.25/5!
I, Da Ca$hman signing off.
DAH! 1 year away from an anniversary review! Oh well...
The original’s opening seemed to be missing a second half, believe it or not. This wasn’t a bad thing, however this movie starts the story with the second half of the explanation of the opening that was not present in the original film. Of course, neither of these endings really saw much light shed in the original novel. So you may think this movie is off to a good start, right? It turns out this is not truly the case. The obvious first thing to notice is that this cast has less characters, and while this could be good for more focus on different character development, looses some of the charm of Lord of the Flies are replaces it with more of a Lost feeling.
In other words, with more characters, it feels more like a society or tribe is being built and not just having some kids stranded on the island, which this movie feels more like, but not completely. Another thing you will notice about the cast is the attire. Instead of choir boys, they have military outfits. While this is good visual symbolism for what is to come of the boys, the transition is a little less disturbing seeing they were already half insane. Not to mention, it differs from the original novel, and becomes more mainstream. Remember when I said the scenery and atmosphere was beautiful even with Black and White in the review of the original? The film crew didn’t the mistake to waste color, and fleshes out scenery and atmosphere to its fullest potential.
Another improvement is that they actually used wild boars, instead of domestic pigs. They still aren’t as dangerous as they could be, but at the same time, this is a movie. An interesting choice by this film crew was to make Jack a blonde. This choice is very smart to represent how the white, blonde, Christian folk always have felt they have been in the right when really they were in the wrong. However it doesn’t match up with the aftermath. The living, breathing adults on the island is an interesting, risky choice but I don’t like it. I think it takes away some of the fear both source materials had that was the fear of being alone and only with those that are as barbaric or more barbaric as one self.
There also seems to be too much detail on Piggy’s weight. There’s a difference between making a sympathetic character and just being forceful. *cough*OPRAH*cough.* Jack’s character being overtly intelligent and realistic however easily angry is the opposite+-1/14th of the original Jack character. Another interesting choice they made for this movie was to make the children American. This creates nothing and only makes the movie more mainstream. This story is not mainstream, why did they think it was such a good idea to make it mainstream? On the other hand, why do these kids swear so much? That’s not mainstream, and it’s not in the fashion of 50’s Brits who are 8-12. Even with American kids in the 90’s it still is ridiculous the amount of cursing these kids create. I guess military school did something, but that aspect I don’t even like so it doesn’t excuse it.
A famous phrase from the originals source material is “his name’s not fatty it’s Piggy.” Well, here, they change fatty to $#!T Brain. What? Not nearly as clever, catchy, funny, ironic or cruel. The transitions are also a little too sudden. To continue, how is it that a big budget 90’s film has more plot-holes than a low budget 60’s film? What logic goes into that? The ghost story introduced in this version is sudden, cheesy, and harms the introduction of the beast. Let’s leave the negative for a little bit and say that the soundtrack is greatly improved in this version. Now let’s go back to the negative.
The dialogue is much more immature in this version, weakening it so much more. “If I knew what time it is, I’d know what’s on TV.” DUDE, there is not TV, and apparently there is not maturing dialogue! Another thing is that these 8-12 year olds care about things that are not within their attention span such as protein. It doesn’t make logical sense! Now if you’ll excuse me, RALPH’S GOT DA CONCH!!! Believe it or not, this film actually does a better job of presenting the obsession of hunting. Huh, this film is not totally mainstream after all. The dream sequence(s) do add a sense of hopelessness for this film, which adds to the fear it is - I think - trying to present.
Continued, the symbolism represents a direct sense of death being better than this island. With religious music playing in the background, and Simon saying they’re going to be saved, that being foreshadowing for Simon’s fate. A great scene in an upsetting mainstream film. On to a much more minor complaint, the lizards are a much poorer addition. They are a small, small source of food and not mentioned in the original source material. The puffer fish, however, is a cool addition. While having blood be paint instead of actual paint being more realistic, it does take away some of the touch of fear that both source materials had.
You see, blood is a naturally occurring thing, which also inhabits the body, thus it feels more comforting to those who don’t have that irrational fear. Paint is unnatural, and can go through many different very scary patterns that touch your fear on a deeper sense. This choice of blood relies on the very loose hope that everybody watching this will have that irrational fear of blood. When not being immature, both the dialogue and the acting are very stale. Another thing, you think as time goes on and movies become longer you think they’d stick CLOSER to the source material, right? Whatever.
Along with the Puffer Fish, the Bananas are also a cool addition that add to…something. Yeah, I like bananas and puffer fish, sue me! More on, to further force the mainstream feeling of now instead of the 50’s they change the beast for the worst. To further force the mainstreamness, Piggy is very overplayed as a fat wimp. In the original source material, he was a wise, smart kid who was being stereo-typed by his peers. Jack and his crew are very obviously played. Also, LITTLUNS, not LITTLE ONES. Piggy’s Olympic story is useless. But to focus on a small piece of positive, THE ACCORDION! They added The Accordion! That’s awesome!
From the book, when I saw that it brought back some Nostalgia! In the original movie, the death of Piggy is held back but for a good reason. In 1990, they had a more accepting audience that allowed them to do a more gruesome death, though not nearly as disgustingly, depressingly gruesome as the book. Overall, it has many, many flaws compared to both source material’s, but some things are made up with some improvements. It is mainstream, but it’s not Bull$#!T. It’s above average, but nothing great. 3.5/5
So in preparation for...ah FORGET IT. I'm ripping off MarzGurl. I'M RIPPING OFF MARZGURL. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!!!?
I'm non-violent. I'm liberal. I'm against torture. Gandhi is one of my most inspirational people of all time. Martin Luther King is also up there. But I swear I am the most cruel human being on this planet...to myself. I'm going to take one of the brightest - if not THE brightest - memories of my childhood and make it look NOT PERFECT. I swear I'm gonna *record skip*Audience: You really know you're doing a great job at being a hack, right? Yeah, yeah, I know. But the matter of fact is it is true. At least I'm not going to those wretched sequels and ruining it even more.
Point is, let's get the negatives out of the way as fast as possible. This movie is 1:08. Most kids movies range around 1:35. Even children's movies of different eras. Because of this, the pacing is abnormally fast and intense events sometimes go right through the movie. The only intense moment that I thought got the true "quiet moment" treatment was Little Foot's Mother's Death. Don't get me wrong, there are many, many intense moments, but they don't get the "quiet moment" treatment they should. Instance: Petri seems to get eaten for a moment. Everyone is sad for say 25 seconds, and then Petri returns.
Excuse me if I say that word wrong, I swear half the cast is French. Speaking of which, Petri sounds like Daffy Duck, am I right? Back to the negatives. With that pacing and time, it feels like there could have been more to this film. Not that I'm like "dude, why didn't that happen." It just feels like there wasn't enough. Not that it was a paper with many holes, just a few holes that are very intense. Point is, this feels closer to a 2-Part Special of a TV Series then a feature film. There are also some cartooney moments...I just wanna clarify something really, really fast.
KIDS. MOVIES. THAT. ARE. ANIMATED. DON'T. EQUAL. CARTOONS. So many filmmakers don't understand this. Kids Movie = Simple Plot, Somewhat Fast Pacing, Kids in the Lead Roles and you can add Animation as an added bonus. No slapstick or zannyness is necessary! In fact,I would see this movie as a Kids' Drama. It doesn't need humor. Just doesn't. Except for Petri...he's freaking hilarious. Fortunately, this cartoonish stuff is kept to a bare minimum! Now that I'm done making this movie not perfect *sobs* let's talk about some of the great stuff. Taking a card from BlazeTheMovieFan, we're gonna talk about Story and Characters first.
The Story basically goes as that there is a worldwide drought in the time of dinosaurs. 5 Kids get separated from their herds in the greatest "earth-shake" to date. They go through many trails and tribulations, try to get along, and eventually make it to "The Great Valley," the last place on earth with "green-food." Yeah, you gotta remember that Dinosaurs didn't have scientific terms back in the day. I'm surprised they know the term "earth." I'm REALLY surprised they speak English, but how else would this movie go if they didn't? What, would it be like Caveman? HAVE FUN SLEEPING KIDS!
So how is this story? It does something that I swear no film has ever done. It takes the historical event that everybody knows about, the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, and puts it in a different perspective. It puts it in the perspective as if there was no science, no knowledge of history, as it was back then. It puts it in a natural dinosaur perspective. It doesn't even go "hey, these dinosaurs think it's okay, but we know better wink wink!" No, it acts completely natural. It also toys with the idea of a sanctuary which I will get to in a second. But overall, the story is super refreshing and allows for some very emotional moments and is overall just well done.
The characters? Little-Foot is our main character. I feel like he was a little type written. No, he's a great character. But he's one of those characters where you're like "Damn, I've seen this before!" You know what I mean. The kid who is very innocent and doesn't understand much yet is brave enough to go along without his guardians, whether or not they will return. Cera is just a whiny little toddler who thinks she can do whatever she wants if she puts her mind to it. You think this kind of character would end up learning, right? Well...a little, but not enough. So our two biggest characters are just...average.
Petri is so funny, but is in the vein of Daffy Duck. Yeah, that character doesn't belong in this movie. Even though his interactions with the rest of the film feel unnatural, he is still my favorite character. THIS Petri. Not THOSE MOVIES. Ducky is cute. That's about it. But she's genuinely cute, not that fake synthetic cute that they use these days. She reminds me of my sister...except a little more clever. Petri actually reminds me of...me...but a little less clever. Spike is awesome. He doesn't get too in the way all the time. One instance I can think of where he really holds the group up. He has a special charm of being a character who you really care about without any dialogue.
So, the first two characters are average, our little guys are good, and the big Spike is great. I would say that's a good, varied cast of characters. Let's talk about animation. Of course this movie is animated. And by none better then DA BEAST animator EVAH, Don Bluth himself! Ya know...this is the most beautiful movie ever. Yep, I'm not even freaking out. I'm not even debating it. This IS the most beautiful movie ever. Please, anybody out there, tell me a movie that is more beautiful then this. Dialogue is a little lacking, but whatever it's a kids movie, it can be forgiven. I wasn't expecting great dialogue either, but it was still a little lower then my expectations.
Even though we've already talked about storyline inside the movie, let's talk about it outside the movie. This movie is like an onion. The more you grow up the more layers you peel away...and the more you cry. Unfortunately some of those other layers get caught in the shuffle. This movie has a lot of subtle mysticism. The first thing you do after seeing this first, when you're five, is make the connection between the things and how the dinosaurs first refer to them. "Earth-shake" is obviously "earth-quake." "Tree Stars" and "Green Food" are obviously leaves and plants. Long-Necks=Brontosaurus, Three-Horns=TriCERAtops, Flyers=Pterodactyls, Spike-Tail=Stegosaurus, and Big Mouth=Ugh...Ugh...
After you've made those simple connections though, you start to notice other things. This is taking place during the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, right after the Meteor hit. The great "earth-shake" is Pangaea separating. You notice these things. Not only that, but the mysticism continues with after-myths. For instance, how is Little-Foots mother speaking to him and creating her own cloud to show him the way if she is dead? Is this film religious? Is there any underground mysticism? Some have even proposed the preposterous ideas of "Everyone is in purgatory" or "everyone is finding their own 'traits'." *wink wink.*
The biggest part I feel is The Great Valley. How is this little spot so immune to all dangers and droughts? And in their universe, are they still around at the time of man, living in their own little island. (TRYING...TO IGNORE...SEQUELS!) When I was a kid, I even had a dream about this. I dreamed that the 5 kids were hopping around on cars in the streets, but they were in ghost form. (Yeah, I dunno if you should be scared by that or not.) You discover something new out of this movie every time you look at it. In Conclusion...I swear to god I wasn't planning 12 paragraphs. I guess I just have a ton to say. I was just looking around On Demand and I saw it on the list.
But this is a great movie, superbly epicly beautiful animation, a great story that builds on itself within the viewers maturity, good characters but have room for improvement, and kind of lazy pacing. Of course being from my childhood, I want to give it the highest rating possible. But I'm sorry, I can't do that. Here is your 4.7/5.
THE Bruce Lee Masterpiece.
Angry Joe gets the Elephant out of the room at the end of the review. I'm getting it out right now. Machete. Just. Got. Beat. Or, in other words, it never won. The final Royal Rumble and the final showdown between Bruce and Han afterwards are two of the best - possible the two best - fight scenes that I've seen ever. Especially when you consider this is 1972. And the entire movie is masterfully choreographed. Ignoring my future rating, the fight scenes get a 6/5 straight from I, Da Ca$hman. During the climax, I was fighting along with the Kung Fu experts. It takes something to get a 280-ish pound teenager at 9:30 at night to start going crazy in his Living Room and start doing Karate Chops.
But even a Martial Arts movie isn't made by the Martial Arts...well, yes it is but there is more to this. Most of the characters are very good. I cared about them and loved learning about them. Sometimes what I learned turned out to be very ugly, but that only strengthened the relationship with the characters whether good or bad. There are some main characters I didn't quite like. Let me just put it this way: Big Muscles, Small Head, No Character. The atmosphere in this film is quite beautiful. The scenery is fantastic and the 1972 style film grain make it feel even more classy.
But they don't force atmosphere down your throat. They just send a ton down your digestive system naturally. This movie deserves an applause for it's atmosphere! But great atmosphere doesn't come without great cinematography. While some cinematography felt like 70's Martial Arts Cinematography (which it's supposed to), some of the Cinematography was so, so, so beautiful and symbolic. You will get stuck in a trance from watching this movie. And that's not broken by the soundtrack. The soundtrack is so beautiful, so natural yet at the same time electric enough for you to get pumped.
The storyline is Martial Arts cliche. But that's what we came for! Besides, the storyline is executed so extremely well. I wanted to see Lee get his retribution. I was so invested in the story. Overall though. There are some parts of the story that could have been thrown out. Again: Big Muscles, Small Head, No Character, No Need. The dialogue overall very good. And I'm just going to have to say: A lot of things in this movie were touched by the Martial Arts Cliches. But that's very good, especially considering this is where it came from. That said, this dialogue is some of the best Martial-Arts-Esq dialogue that I have heard.
With all this positive stuff, this movie isn't perfect. I spotted at least three points of animal cruelty. Some of the actors don't give enough of an effort. But of course Bruce is beyond awesome. But most of the other actors are just cruising, they don't really feel like this movie is that important, and they're just having fun and relaxing. Did the not know this would be THE Martial Arts Film? I guess not. I mean, some of the emotions on there faces are priceless. And like I said in the Gamera reviews, different cultures accept different things. But this is hysterical. Drinking Game: How many times do I say But in this review?
I'm not quite sure what else I can say about this film. There are some minor inconsistencies I guess. The directional style (aka directing) in this film is very well done. Yeah, I said it had great execution, and the atmosphere was amazing, but the ability to combine them to mix together perfectly is another thing. Props to the director! This movie is extreme but not perfect. It is way above 4/5, but it isn't a 5.5/5. It has it's mistakes, and it is slightly aged. But DAMN! Those fight scenes are awesome, the symbolism/atmosphere/cinematography is beautiful, the storyline is great, and the director wonderfully mixes it all together. 5.13/5!
A masterpiece of cinema based off a masterpiece of literature. To Kill a Mockingbird doesn't have anything on that!
NOTICE: This review does not have the greatest of transitions due to the fact that I was going strait from notes. Not like forming a review from notes, this is pretty much just notes turned into a review. This is because I had so much of life to go that I was not able to actually review it until at least a month later. But enjoy, though chunky, this review is very good and the movie is one of the best I've seen.
Since this film sticks very close to the original, and being that I was not able to review the original book, I will mention things great about the book that they didn’t put in here, and differences, although there are not many considering the time and just overall. The film starts out in the right mood with sad sounds and pictures – representing memories – of the characters. It follows with pictures similar to the airplane scene in King Kong, without the gorilla or the buildings, of course. This sets up several aspects of the terror, which include falling out of the train and barbaric tribal rituals of the children. The action of just using pictures on it’s own even helps set up the right creepy, sad, memoir mood of the film that helps with the theme of losing innocence.
While black and white this film is, the jungle and atmosphere of the island still spring beautiful but hateful just like The Lord of the Flies himself and other aspects of the film such as draw to hunting that the children undergo. While not my personal image of the film, the actors they chose for the film embody the characters that they portray perfectly through appearance, personality and voice, as far as was “acceptable” in the filmmaking conventions of the 60’s compared to the novel writing conventions of…well, forever, although the novel was written in 1954.
Symbolism is definitely present in this film, from the conch representing powerful voice and charisma, which can “fool” people for a while but eventually they start to think outside the realm of the voices and start to think on their own instincts in time of crisis like this. to what I think the pelican represents of the loss of innocence as the pelican appears less and less as the film progresses, where as the film progresses the children lose their reasoning. The soundtrack, on the other hand, I could live without. Yes, it’s the early 60’s, but I don’t think that excuses the error in this film that is the soundtrack.
One reason why the soundtrack is as bad as it is, is because the original film had such a haunting quietness that helped you go insane with the characters, which was not only a very interesting and dark experience on it’s own, but also helped you relate to the characters. On other notes, The choice of using choir boys is interesting and surprising, and while does ring a bell of English stereotypes, does not truly hurt the film in the slightest. The giant rock featured earlier in the film is great foreshadowing, met with exciting but obvious music. Jack not killing the pig early on represents not wanting to lose innocence and having fear, which to Jack seems like a bad thing however is actually a very good thing to hang on to. Reason, it works.
There are many good visual details in this film, including Piggy’s ears, which they give much attention to in order to actually look like a pig. Piggy and pigs are what Jack and his tribe kill, are there any connections you may ask? You’d haft to see for yourself. Another point, the planes in this film are a little to unrealistically fast, however what I just said is the epitome of nitpicking, I just wanted to say it.
The island feels much fuller in this film, with lizards, horseshoe crabs and other animals, where the original novel had an insane feeling of solitaire. The tribe of Jack’s clearly favors instinct – hunting pigs – vs. Reason – lighting the fire. No matter how smart and intelligent one can be, we have to recognize where we have had reason for only about 40,000 years, where as we’ve had instinct ever since our species’ birth AKA millions upon millions of years. Therefore, instinct shall always power over us in times of crisis. Reason is now adapted to peaceful cities and other nice things, where instinct is adapted to harsh jungles. Thus, our instinct takes over in times of trouble. The tribe using the glasses of Piggy’s, then him losing lens, and eventually his specs being crushed and taken away, represents the gradual loss of innocence and reason throughout the film.
During one of the assemblies, when the beast is quickly dismissed from being a ghost, represents how many will quickly disprove skeptics when really their own thoughts are about just as rational, as they usually cannot multi-factor think. Finding the beast, however, is the fine line between reason and instinct for the group. Piggy has several ideas about how grown-ups are more civilized than children, when in fact children tend to be more civilized, however more playful. Adults are more barbaric because of the loss of innocence, which quickly leads to loss of reason.
This film shares a few things in common with Psycho, Dementia 13 and Night of the Living Dead. It was black and white in the 60’s, and helped flesh out more harsh, scary and disturbing elements of film. While not affective today, the parachuter scare scene must have been shocking in the 60’s…not compared to the films mentioned before of course. Confusing the parachuter with a beast is a mix of insanity, fear, loss of innocence and loss of reason. Jack going to feast shows how instinct takes over, in which the #1 goal of instinct is food. Simon and other intelligent littluns have some great arguments and points to back them up however are not given the chance to really be acknowledged because they don’t know how to express their arguments correct.
The face paint that the savages wear represents loss of reason and loss of innocence, where they resort to letting it take over in order to survive. Thankfully, “right up her @$$” was kept in. Which leads me to another point that deals with the novel. In the book, when they kill that sow, the language looks as if they were raping her. This is symbolic in how insane the children have gone, and how much innocence they have lost. You have to be pretty insane to be a rapist. This is an excellent use of language, that unfortunately had no chance of making it into the movie for several, several reasons. When the film is not using it’s ridiculous soundtrack, it actually can retain the original haunting atmosphere of the novel.
The pig head is crafted well and detailed, it is very disturbing. In some ways unrealistically disturbing. This is intensified by the flies and the noise of them haunting Simon’s eyes. The original title for Lord of the Flies is a translation of a Hebrew word that was commonly mistranslated as Devil. This represents the Devil’s temptation in a similar fashion as Instinct tempts you, which is a genius connection. During the tribal scene right before one of the deaths, the actors for the savage tribe go insane and show off some great acting. In some ways, the conch represents international laws. To me, the insane tribal scene that we just touched on, followed by someone’s death is one of the greatest and most well-crafted film scenes that I’ve ever seen.
“Lord of the Flies” is a clever use of the word from William H. Golding. It is a translation of a Hebrew word that has often been mistranslated as Devil. The “Lord of the Flies” is Jack in a lot of ways, how he lures the weaker to his clan that seems fun but is really he11. Instinct can also be seen as The “Lord of the Flies,” because of how it so much differs from reason and the time period, it is a tempting force that you have to fight against. More on how the symbolism works, Piggy’s glasses slowly being lost and destroyed represents reason within the savages having the same action.
The editing is spot on. The cinematography is incredibly fantastic. The directing may not seem like much, but after thinking about it this film and all the child cast directing is mega superb. The film holds a surprising advantage over the book as it takes advantage of the visual aspect of Cinema. It is stunningly beautifully crafted. The film pulls your emotional strings so tight. It truly is a masterpiece of not just, but yes emotion. There is so much to this film, it’s absolutely amazing! The final chase scene is as exciting and disturbing as ever. And yet…some people never get to leave. This movie is absolutely awesome! A masterpiece of cinema, it has emotion, characters, craftfull visuals and just about everything else! This is one of my favorite movies! However the soundtrack can keep the film down just a tad bit, but it definably made up by many other aspects. 6/5
I, Da Ca$hman signing off.
The 60th Anniversary of this film, I better do it justice.
The 50's had a lot of monster movies and alien invasion films. This was the one that started the alien invasion craze, as Beast From 20,000 Fathoms started the monster movie craze. Therefore, this also created all the cliches. It was back then, all this stuff was new and innovative and featured in such a fantastic film that everybody and there dog wanted to use it in their films. Therefore, you have the alien UFO effects and the talk of atomic energy and bombs that was all in the loop back then. After all, we were only 6 years removed from World War II and in The Cold War from 1945-1991.
But this is more of a simplistic movie. Not too many crazy special effects, and Klaatuu looks very human. In this film, simple mis-understandings such as shooting the aliens hand right out of the UFO are understood by Klaatuu. He understands it was an accident by fear as he is a far smarter being then the general population of the planet. However, he isn't crafted to be insanely smart. The only thing that feels unnatural with his intelligence is his mathematical ability, but that is never fully explored, and is used only as a tactic to gain the attention of the smartest man on the planet, Dr. Barnhard.
During the first act of the film, he is trying to catch the attention of the people to let him speak to every world leader on the planet. They tell him that is near to impossible, but Klaatuu does remind them of the United Nations. The person speaking to Klaatuu then asks how he knows of that, and he says he has been listening to the radio broadcasts of earth for a very long time. Umm...yeah, forget how they're doing that, but Radio had only been around since 1925, so only 26 years? That's not a very long time, considering he is 130 years old due to the life expectancy on the planet, so to him wouldn't it feel like 13 years of our time?
This film has very little special effects and costumes. Klaatuu has a costume at the beginning and end of the film, but it is not impressive, it looks like a modified version of our own spacesuits. In fact, that is very fitting, as he is basically a modified - advanced - version of us, just trying to warn us of the impending danger. Gord is featured in this movie, and has a few scenes where he firez hiz lazah at soldiers, but they are short. For the time, they hold up quite nicely. Otherwise, it is more about Klaatuu trying to catch the attention of the World Leaders, and learning about the world through a boy named Bobby.
Klaatuu I find is an awesome character. I can relate to him as he tries to use his intelligence in a place where no such intelligence exists. At one point he even says that he has gotten rid of stupidity of his planet, we haven't. The way he interacts with us is extremely natural, considering he is from an alien planet. He doesn't have a super advanced knowledge of our planet - the social interactions specifically - but he also doesn't act like a total dumbass. He knows how to be polite and ask for things, talk to people, start a conversation, and do good things, but he doesn't know things like who Abraham Lincoln or Dr. Barnhard (who is totally fictional) is.
Whether or not he could have been better, it wouldn't have mattered much, because he is a near perfect character, though not perfect, probably because he is a foreign character from another planet and it is hard to craft that while being very human at the same time. In any case, they did a great job with the character of Klaatuu. The character of Bobby is the main child actor of the film. He has a lot of cliches, but here they are done semi-well, and while he isn't totally likable, he feels perfectly like an innocent little kid of his age. He isn't overtly mature nor is he overtly immature.
There are several other characters in this film, and they play all the roles that would haft to be filled in later 50's Sci-Fi films. They are done well, but nothing to speak about. Dr. Barnhard is an interesting individual though. He almost feels unnatural. No, he does feel unnatural. When he firsts discovers the true identity of Klaatuu, he is accepting, and I can understand that if he is the smartest person on the planet, he can also be relatively nice. However, things go a little too crazy in the conversation between the two, and at some points you're like "why isn't he more afraid of things to come?" He never truly shows enough fear, even when it feels natural. This is probably done by the actor, since he is written well.
Speaking of the actors, as for 50's Sci-Fi acting goes, they are pitch perfect. All of them seem interested and attached to their character perfectly, except of course Dr. Barnhard, who doesn't appear to much in the film. The premise today is nothing new, but back then it was a whole new prospect. For one, aliens matched the fear of Russian, Nazi, Communist and other type of invasions. Two, they also bring up an intergalatic atomic war, and of course that seemed like the course they were heading for. This was one of the first times it had been done, and so it felt extremely scary to deal with this subject material at the time.
But the thing I loved about this movie the most is the dialogue. So many interesting points are made about our society. It offers so much social commentary that it is unbelievable. Never was I let down by what somebody had to say. But, I grew up watching Godzilla films, which gave me something most teenagers don't respect, patience with dialogue. To actually listen to what people had to say. True, Godzilla films I would probably recognize as not the best dialogue ever, but compared to other films I was watching in the 2nd Grade, they were very dialogue oriented and at the time I was always interested. Through that, I have had an inherit and slightly unjust love for 50's Sci-Fi dialogue.
Well, I guess I better wrap it up. This film is extremely smart, has some wonderful dialogue, not much special effects, a couple of great characters, a lot of good characters, great actors, and a storyline that should catch your attention if you are into 50's Sci-Fi, and maybe even if you're not. This, truly, is one of the best Sci-Fi films of the 50's, up there with Gojira, in which they actually focus on the subject material in a civilized and not silly manner. However a couple things get it from getting the perfect stamp of 5.5, so I'll give it a 5.3/5
I, Da Ca$hman signing off.
By MPAA standards, officially called "Meet the Invisible Man."
Man! Holy Crapballz! I haven't had the problem of their not being any good trailer available in ages!
Speaking of the old days, remember I reviewed Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein back when this website was first started? Well, even though we had the 1 year anniversary a long time ago, it's time to go back memory lane and review another A&C Monster Movie. This is Meet the Invisible Man everybody! Let's dive right in!
This is a Horror-Comedy with some Science Fiction thrown in. Mostly, it is a comedy film. The comedy in here is pure genius, as A&C usually pull off. It's not super high class. It's not low-brow either. It's about as high-class humor as you can get while still remaining accessible to the general audience. It has it's share of slapstick, but it is not as in large quantities as some people expect. It is mostly high-class yet simplistic "Who's on First?" routines. My favorite is the "bill" routine. You'll catch it when you see it. These jokes don't make you feel like you're watching something as stupid as Family Guy, nor something that holds a "better then the rest" humor. It doesn't try to be smart or dumb, is what I'm trying to say. It just tries to be funny.
Through that, this film is laugh out loud funny throughout most of the film. So, in short, "Who's on first" comedy. Now, let's talk about the story. The usual Invisible Man story goes for a more horror-drama aspect. Here, he doesn't do anything really bad. I won't spoil what he does, but it's nowhere near killing, robbing and other things. In fact, The Invisible Man featured in this film is a framed criminal who admires the original work of John Griffin, who is a former boxer. This feels extremely different from the original Invisible Man films. Is this okay? Yeah, it's acceptable, being this is a comedy. But A&C Meet Frankenstein was more true to the original films of their series'.
Several things to poke at the original films. For instance, the cigarette that is a staple in the previous films - and also a symbol - is featured. It also follows every single line of logic of the originals. Now let's talk about the characters. Bud and Lou (called Bud Alexander and Louis Francis) are the only comedic people in this film. Every other character feels like they are in a serious film. Most of the time they act natural, however in the pivotal moment in the film, it feels like the writer was purposely making these characters really dumb. I guess they might act this way in real life, but it just feels really forced.
That said, the writer does a good job at keeping the forced idiocy to a minimum. It's kept to such a minimum that it actually adds to the comedy if you're going along with it. The Invisible Man in this film, Tommy Nelson, is somewhat tame for the first half of the film. In the second half of the film, he becomes such an over the top maniac it's so fucking funny. The atmosphere is very exaggerated and pokes fun at classic Universal Monster films. Fog is everywhere! In a lot of Universal Films, fog is used for ambiance. Now that it had been a staple, it's just absolutely everywhere. Even in a fucking boxing ring!
You've probably already figured it out: but this is a spoiler: the climax is a boxing match. The commentary in this match doesn't talk much. The audience is also clearly invisible yet very audible. Anybody who watches sports at all would find this match very disturbing, kind of unsettling, yet at the same time relaxing. It's like watching a calm, collective yet climatic acid trip. It feels really strange, and you'll see it when you see it. This film actually has a considerable amount of gore for 1951. There's human blood, muscle, people stabbing other people, and hamster skeletons (WTF?)
Well, I don't know what else to say. This is a laugh out loud comedy with some gore that pays tribute to classic Universal monsters films. I give it a 4.5/5.
The oldest living Universal Monster Movie. Since there is no trailer, why don't I just show the public domain film right here?
Okay, guys, this film has no "first" in it. Is it the first Universal Monster film? No. 10 years before this Universal did Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Is it the first to make Universal Monster films popular? No. Hunchback of Notre Dame and Phantom of the Opera, two of the earliest popular horror films, were not portraying their creatures as monsters. The fear was unintentional. This happened back in the first horror film, The Devil's Castle (1896). Not until Dracula did fear become intentional, and in Frankenstein they specifically call him a Monster. Yeah...I think those movies were popular, don't you think?
Here's what this movie accomplished: it put both Universal and the classic story on the map. But you didn't come here for a history lesson, did you???...Okay fine. But this is a review, let's see how good this movie actually is. Et since it is the 15th Anniversary of the Disney film, we will compare this film to the original film. We're also gonna have some French words scattered around here, but none that won't be easy to understand for someone who doesn't understand all but common French (Toi, Moi, Et, Je, J'ai, Il, Est, Un/Une). Now...Allons-y!
In le '96 version, Quasimodo est dis-formed, c'est it. That really enforces le stereotypes that Universal created of un sympathetic monster avec Frankestein et Dracula. Here, il est aussi disordered (blind et deaf), et disturbed. This really does create an authentic sympathetic monster. Il doesn't just have the appearance of un sympathetic monster, but il aussi has the personality et tragedies of a sympathetic monster, and previous to the events of le cinema. In le Disney version, il didn't have much tragedies until the events of the present of the film dude to his sheltering.
In this film, he has tragedies before the event of the film. That definitely helps with feeling sad for him over, not just the events of le cinema, but aussi his entire life, et that is much more effective for un character. Now that we've gotten that outta da way....Lon Motherfucking Chaney Senior! That dude is so fucking effective. Il est un master of acrobatics. Tu really don't understand how hard est was. That dude had pounds of make-up on just his face, a wig filled with gel, one eye closed shut, and a TWENTY POUND RUBBER HUMP on his back. He was also wearing an uncomfortable jacket, uncomfortable shoes...yeah, and way more.
People don't understand how enduring an actor he was. I don't care how wonderful it looks, but whoever the fuck est playing Le Green Lantern, you have nothing. You're having your costume put on you by the fucking computer! Look what the people before you had to do! You have NO RESPECT FOR PAST CINEMA. No American, OR Bollywood, OR French, OR ANY filmmakers have ANY respect for the film industry of yesteryear. (Holy Shit c'est une word.) I don't like to hate on people of today, because technology est not what's important, but you are lazy bastards.
Sacrebleu! Whatever. Et not only is he able to do all that make-up and costume, but il aussi est able to perform some acrobatics that TO THIS DAY have not been matched in any way, shape or form. He also is very convincing as Quasimodo. He creates fear from both the character and himself. He also mixes that with the flavor of likability that is very contradicting yet mixes well with the fear factor. Speaking Wrestling Talk, Quasimodo in le Disney version was un pure face. A pure protagonist. Here, Lon Chaney plays a heel, somewhat antagonist, that we cheer for. This only comes every once in a while. In cinema, est hasn't happened in the 21st Century, and definitely not this way since the 50's.
In Wrestling, only few have done it. Sargent Slaughter, Undertaker, Kane, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and all of those from the 80's and 90's. Soundtracks of silent films are usually pretty good, but this one just takes away the cake. They also went all out to make the sounds as much as they can. They got environmental sounds, such as bells and whips, but the dialogue is still silent. If you're a fan of le Disney film, you wouldn't be disappointed. Granted tu have the patience that un silent film requires. They aren't extremely distant from each other. Aside from adjustments from horror-action to animation-drama, they are basically the same story with similar characters and you should be able to follow it expecting something similar to the film you know, and vice versa.
I gotta tell ya though, I'm more attached to the characters of this film then the 96 film. Especially...THOSE MOTHEFUCKING GARGOYLES!!!! AAARGH!!! ADAMANTIUM RAGE!!!! One character who is much better in the 96 version is Claude Frollo. In the older version, he barely gets enough screentime. In the 96 film, he is the main antagonist, and not to mention gets one hell of un badass voice. Il deserves a voice, and it just sucks away all evil in le older version after seeing the newer version. One character who isn't even in the 96 version is Esmerelda's M-I, I, Mean...Umm....the women who hates gypsies....
Elle doesn't get much screen time. Mostly at the beginning, punishment scene (oh, you know), and before Esmerelda is supposed to receive her punishment. This character has so much potential, I wish there was a film that explored her more. It's possible, of course knowing there is a 1939 version, and several other obscure versions. (I know you horror fanatics are shouting at me, but there a lot of films I need to watch.) If I may say something a bit crude - even though I already have several times - Esmerelda's actress is hot. You think you've seen hot actresses from the 1920's-50's...no, no you haven't. She's hot. Really hot.
As a silent film, dialogue is used in subtitles. Thus, emphasis in voice is used little to none. I use more emphasis then they do. Thus, this film KNOWS how to use a soundtrack. Even as the soundtrack alone is amazing amongst most silent films, this movie really knows how to use it. It calms down when it needs to calm down, pick-up when it needs to pick-up, and many other things. Wow, what is this, 10 paragraphs? My reviews are so long nowadays. Phoebus' actor just seems like such a stereotype. Only during one scene does he feel authentic. I feel like my thoughts are scattered and not focused at all!
The climax is executed perfectly (SEE?) I would just like to point out one more thing to this review before I close out: Lon Chaney does everything I've already said, but without talking. That is all. This is an amazing silent film, one of the greatest of them all, but don't confuse this for any "starting horror movies" or "universal monster movies." It was extremely popular, and it is an amazing film, showing exactly what Lon Chaney Sr. is capable of, and how he is better then EVERY actor after him, even his own son, with an amazing soundtrack, god damn there is so much awesome about this film. I give it a 4.8/5