Tuesday, August 30, 2016

End Of Line Man.

Once more we must say goodbye. There is much to do, so many reviews to plan, so much school to go, but never fear. I always come back. I shall return the first week of October and then we can monster mash. Until then, watch some movies, have fun, and I shall see you in the future...again.

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Monster In Paris

A true obscure gem. And yes I will wave my Phantom Of The Opera flag proudly!

A Monster In Paris is a delightful family film, with a few nods to the novel Le Fantome De l'Opera by Gaston Leroux. I saw this movie on a sheer gamble and walked away with armfulls of reasons why I love this movie. The story follows a group of characters living their lives when one day through a scientific accident, a monster has been created. A monster with a passion and genius for music, that much like other monsters is a sad character hunted down by human characters. Where do I start with this movie? The plot while simple, just works. It has such endearing characters, beautiful art direction, lovely music, and so much more. Also major props to the climax, it is definitely something new and interesting. It has fabulous use of color, some good comedic moments but focuses on pure heart. And you are convinced of it, you get emotionally invested in the story just like in The Phantom Of The Opera. I kept track of all the nods to various versions of the book, because I'm a friggin' nerd for this stuff. Not only does it straight up use character names from the book, but even uses a line from the book. Bravo movie. And the costume the monster wears...hell yeah. He actually has two, one being this almost crime noir look to it with a long coat and a red scarf, while his other costume is a Phantom costume like to a tee! All white, gloves, excellent mask, and looks badass! What's an interesting choice is the fact the monster never speaks, but he does sing his heart out. Which is kinda clever, and the songs like I said are very lovely. High spirited, awesome dance choreography, just a sweet soundtrack. And the look of the movie is very well done. For everything they did in computer animation, they got it right. True, Paris doesn't look as unbelievably gorgeous as it did in Ratatouille but it still looks good. I'm not sure when the movie actually takes place, I think it's 1910, which is actually when the book was written. Clever. Man I got to tell you to check this movie out. It's different but amazing for what it tried to do. And that is it ladies and gentlemem, goodnight everybody!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hotel Transylvania

Wow my first Adam Sandler movie and it's really good.

When I first heard about this movie, I really wanted to see it even though the actors in this movie aren't exactly my favorite. Hotel Transylvania is a pretty good movie with fantastic animation, a good story, and unique looking characters, all with things you've seen before and have never seen before. So what's the story? Dracula lord of the vampires has constructed a hotel for all the monsters in the world to get away from the humans and get some down time. During all of this he is keeping an eye on his daughter, who is approaching her 118th birthday and wants to head out into the big world and explore it all, but her dad is of course nervous for her safety. And it doesn't help that a human boy has actually stumbled upon the hotel. So the count must keep his identity a secret to prevent all hell from breaking loose, while being a good dad. Sort of a complicated plot but every aspect of it is done very, very well starting off with the animation. It is amazing. Not just in style, not just in color, but how fluid it moves! You never see animation move this quick and flowing it is truly a marvel, beautifully creepy look and feel to everything, major points to that. Another excellent aspect is the characterization, especially to Dracula and his daughter. Dracula is a almost normal guy with the exception of being a bloodsucking beast of the night! He's just trying to run a good buisness, hang out with his friends, and take good care of his daughter. The entire backstory and pivotal characterization of him I dare not spoil, but it has so much heart and very sad to hear but you can identify with him on a human level. The same goes for his daughter! She's a sweet girl, with a fun loving personality and has to deal with her overbearing dad even though she knows he has nothing but good intentions for her. And man I got to tell you, I know for a fact I'm going to be that dad. Like if I have a little girl, she is going to be MY little girl forever, no boys, no dating, no kissing, none of that. I know she will grow up but I really wouldn't want her to. So yet another aspect of Dracula's character that I stand by wholeheartedly. But anyway, the comedy is good, not hilarious but good because it delves into really derivative jokes but it's still salvagable mostly because it does focus on just visual gags and with the animation it really hits well. Now truthfully I have not seen the sequel yet, and with this movie I have high hopes for it. I think it will be very good! But one movie at a time, definitely watch this around Halloween time especially when you have kids, it has elements that kids can laugh at and for adults to appreciate. Definitely a great spooky family film.

Tune in tomorrow for one more movie. Very obscure but great nevertheless.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Corpse Bride

Think of this as a preview to when I come back....

Corpse Bride is a lovely movie, one of Tim Burton's finest in the field of his animated works. The story follows a young man named Victor who is set to marry a girl named Victoria, but through a serious misunderstanding and pure accident he marries a corpse. Yes, a children's movie with serious necrophilic undertones that is still charming and quite lovely. Go figure. The first thing I gotta say is the animation is excellent, with gothic and german expressionist buildings, great use of color, and wonderful cinematography. It does have a few songs, and they are all good but my favorite song in the movie has no singing in it, it's a simple piano duet but it's just awesome. A clever aspect of the film you will notice very quickly is the use of color. In the land of the living it's almost monochrome in color with shades of blue, while the land of the dead is colorful with vibrant greens, and pinks, and violets. It's mixed very well and states that the land of the living well...sucks. It's drab, it's boring, and colorless but the underworld rocks it's like a party everyday down there, with lots of fun and interesting characters! Character wise it does good, it's not perfect but you can tell they tried, with almost everybody's favorite character being the titular corpse bride, Emily. She's just a sweet, caring, lovely girl, and has a good sense of humor. Obviously she has the most character development and personality in the entire movie, you really latch onto her quick and care about her situation all throughout the movie. And...she deserves to be with Victor! I don't hate Victoria, I really don't! She's a nice, normal girl, I have nothing against her but Emily and Victor just make a better couple. They're a good couple together! You wouldn't think so but you enjoy their relationship and want them to go the distance. Now for the other characters there's not much to say, but there are three in there that are my favorites, we got Michael Gough as an all wise skeleton and how could you go wrong with that? Michael Gough is awesome. Then we have Christopher Lee as a priest, it's a short role but he still commands such a presence. And last but not least is a maggot who sounds like Peter Lorre. I'm not on drugs or anything, that exists in the movie. This has always been an enjoyable movie for me because of how much charm and lovely things are in there, plus it has some great dark humor I mean I laugh my ass off at parts, it's kind of hard not to. All together, it's a lovely little movie well worth a look if you have the time.

Well that's it for today. Tune in tomorrow for a different and unexpected damn good movie.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sin City

This movie really did surprise me but not in the way you would ever expect.

Sin City is a pretty damn good adaptation based off of Frank Miller's graphic novel and it does a very, very accurate telling of the story. When I say this is a noir film, I mean it's a noir film especially in the visual sense. This is the noir film you could ever hope or wish to see, it's stylistic, dark, bloody, and faithful to the source material. Now the surprising bit I was talking about is the fact that the movie is split up into parts, almost like a compilation of short films done all in the same style. But not like you would expect. In this two hour and twenty minute venture into the dark and gritty world of Sin City, at about the 40 minute mark the end credits start to roll. Yeah, you read correctly. They literally split this movie into four parts, with closing credits and all. Hell, it takes 50 minutes before you see the title of the movie. Damn. That blows my mind, you never see this. Now storywise between all our short films, there really isn't that much connecting them like in Pulp Fiction, some plot points intersect but it is not the case with all the short stories. One follows a cop who took the fall after saving a little girl and his reuniting with her, a brick of a guy on a revenge hunt for the killing of a woman, and a man preventing an all out gang war between different sections of the city. And the I think genius part of it all is, it's played up. It's melodramatic, and almost theatrical in a way which is how old noir crime dramas, and even the pulp magazines which this movie took inspiration from were made. Another thing I found quite interesting is the fact the entire film shot on location here in Austin, although because of it's unique stylish and gritty backdrop most of the movie is computer graphics. And they did a good job with creating the look of this world with one exception. Okay so the entire film is shot in black and white as your typical noir film but there are pieces of color in the movie, usually around an object or a identifying aspect of a character. Like a guy has red shoes on, or a girl has blue eyes, but there is no real consistency with it! You see blood both red but also white, some characters have color on them and some don't, it seems so inconsistent like you think there would be some kind of rhyme or reason why this is red, that is blue, etc. but no! That's really the only bad thing I can say about this movie, everything is fine. I mean it wasn't great but it's not terrible either. Would I suggest it? Well maybe. Depends on if you like crime drama/noir movies or you enjoy seeing comic adaptations (even if it's from Frank Miller.) so I say approach it with caution. You really kind of have to be in a mood to watch this movie. But I thought it was okay so I leave it entirely up to you.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Pulp Fiction

Still my favorite Tarantino movie.

Pulp Fiction is a fantastic movie by Quentin Tarantino, combining very film noir-esque storytelling with a galleon of star power behind it. I mean we got Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, and of course...Christopher Walken. Oh come on, how can you turn it down now? The plot is...a bit confusing cause you see, it is told out of sequence. No lineart strict progression from start to finish you really have to piece this puzzle together which is why I call it sort of a film noir but it is not a central character in the movie, it's you. You are present for all events and you try and figure out what sequence it went down in. And the plot itself is crazy and hell I don't even think I could recount it without giving something away but it revolves around quite a crew of characters, with a hitman and his partner, a mob boss and his wife, a boxer too, the Professor and Mary Ann, you get the picture. Still awesome and very quotable dialogue, good sense of humor but can still do tension filled scenes, memorable characters, and all around just a great film. Tarantino fan or not, watch this movie if you haven't already you will enjoy it.

And thus tomorrow we will look into more of a comic book film noir, in black and white and stylized like hell. Can't freaking wait man.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Reservoir Dogs

Yeah...this movie was really good.

That's how you make your first movie! Reservoir Dogs was both written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and son of a mother it's good. The plot follows a group of bank robbers who after a diamond robbery goes wrong they all scramble together in a warehouse to figure out who ratted them out. The one element you might be shocked to see is that there is no heist. There is no footage of the bank robbery, it all deals with the aftermath of the botched robbery. I know! I was expecting some Hardboiled kind of action but no, it all takes place afterwards except for two scenes, one right before the heist and one like immediately after it. Now you may think this would be really boring but it is far from that, it keeps your attention throughout the entire film. As with any Tarantino film, the cast is excellent, the dialogue is both intense and funny sometimes both at the same time, the little action you do see is still well done, it's a very, very good movie. But man, Harvey Keitel is my hero in this movie. Stand up guy if I ever saw one and is just awesome cause well, it's Harvey Keitel that's kinda what he does. The infamous torture scene which is the most talked about part of the movie, is really grueling to watch. It isn't the intense action movie you expect but what it actually holds is still worth checking out. Definitely recommend it.

Okay so that is it for this week. Only two reviews, but we got two more next week still in this sort of genre. So I will see you then.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

No Country For Old Men

Alright time to sober up a little bit. For this week and next week, we'll look a more serious films for the most part. So let's get started.

No Country For Old Men is a really damn good suspense movie by the Coen brothers following an everyday man who stumbles upon a whole world of problems after stealing about a million in cash from some drug dealers and is being hunted down by one of the most terrifying characters in film. No wonder Javier Bardem won an Academy Award for his performance, hell if there is ever a reason to see this movie it is because of his performance. This movie is one part suspense thriller, one part character study, and one part trying to figure out what in God's name the ending is. Yeah, one of those movies! But regardless of endings, still a good movie. The cast is a big part of the film's success, Josh Brolin who I think is a good actor does well here, Tommy Lee Jones does fine work like he always does, but Javier Bardem man...he makes a coin toss the most piss pants scariest thing in the world. One of the things I noticed prevalently in the film is the notion of the unknown. Many characters talk about the unknown factors, both in other characters and just in the sense of the world. And more importantly how they don't want to face the unknown but when it comes to Javier's character they have to. It is human fact that we are afraid of the unknown, and in that sense Javier's character is the most fear inducing thing ever. Everything he says is something you never hear, almost riddles mixed with more riddles. You have no idea why he does these things and that's what makes his character interesting and scary. And the other thing I noticed is an unnatural absence of music. Oh, I've heard there is a grand total of about 16 minutes of music but I ain't heard a second of it. It makes the film feel much more tense and uncomfortable so hey, big points for that. I like how the story is set in Texas for the most part, specifically in the year 1980. Although most of the film was shot in New Mexico and Mexico with sparse locations actually in Texas, it looks like West Texas. But after all is said and done, it really an interesting movie to watch and talk about so I say watch it and let me know what you make of it.

Alright, tomorrow we plunge headfirst into Quentin Tarantino's directorial debut.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Suicide Squad


Not the most awesome, badass comic book movie ever but damn good. I saw the movie for free and I feel bad about it, I have to see this movie again and pay for it. Suicide Squad is a really good comic book movie following Task Force X or the Suicide Squad being assembled and put to their first mission. Really good story I must say with lots to keep your attention and entertain you but once again, the characters seal this film. Every single last one of them is perfect in their roles, but major love goes to Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. Terrific Harley Quinn and an unpredictable Joker! I have to say their relationship is super loving in this movie and I am in full force behind it, I always enjoy the notion that Harley and her puddin' have a lovely relationship so major points to that. Christ if I talked about all the characters in turn we would be here all night, there is so much to say about each of these individuals and all of it is good. And a surprising element and to me the best scene in the entire movie is the bar scene, where all of these people get real, hard character development and rises an almost philosophical point that I applaud the film for. This movie does not screw around, the action is good, the humor while most of it was in the trailers is still very funny, the soundtrack is...stellar to the point where I must own them all, the acting is great, the characters are fun and interesting, I do recommend this movie. Quite a bit. I cannot wait to see this movie again, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Just a good time to be had while watching this, so let the good times roll!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Assault On Arkham

This is an excellent stepping stone into the world of the Suicide Squad.

Assault On Arkham is the perfect way to be introduced to the Suicide Squad before the new movie hits this Friday, and I figured it would be great to talk about. So the story of this movie is Amanda Waller, head of the Special Taskforce X better known to us as the Suicide Squad, gathers both veteran members and new members to break into Arkham Asylum and take back government plans stolen by The Riddler. But all is not what it appears to be. I have to say, I have owned this movie for about a year and it is still just a blast to watch, no matter how many times you see it. The animation is great, the voice acting is great, the characters are great, it's just great. Major props to both the script and the music, which are the real highlights of this movie. The script itself is hilarious, action packed, and does a good job building the world even though it is based in the Arkham universe that the succesful video games are set in. I believe this takes place after Arkham Origins but before Arkham Asylum but you really don't need to play the games to appreciate the movie. The music is bombastically badass with almost techno music mixed with a sort of honky tonk rock and roll music, it surprisingly works well. Another great aspect is the fact that the movie is, and I kid you not barely over an hour. An hour and fifteen minutes to be exact. Now surely you can find that kind of time to watch a movie, especially if you want to learn more about the Suicide Squad or are excited for the new movie. Either way, see if you can track it down before Friday, I think you will enjoy it. Until then, pizza party!

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Killing Joke

This really kills me but I did not like The Killing Joke.

Oh, not the graphic novel which is excellent, not the whole movie, but...parts. In advance I'd like to apologize for my rants and anger, but I take issue with this movie. Now this is an R rated movie and I think subject material like The Killing Joke deserves an R rating, so be advised it is not for anybody under the age of at least 17. But that is not the issue, the issue is the first half, or at least I'm pretty damn sure the first half because I didn't time it but whatever, has nothing to do with the graphic novel. It's backstory to make the events of The Killing Joke more impactful and disturbing to view, and in the book no such thing existed and it was for the better! I hate this backstory bullcrap! It kinda pisses on the lore but also is actually part of the lore, so basically Batman and Batgirl are the only superheroes in Gotham, there's no Robin but they fight crime together...but are also in a relationship. I do not hate the idea but the film takes it too far for me, you hear about it in the Batman Beyond series where Barbara talks about dating Bruce for a short period and I rolled with that! But they ruined it for me, I saw so much coming ahead even though I have never seen this material before in this movie, it's so God dang predictable and stock! The backstory didn't need to be this long damn it, it should have been 10 to 15 minutes of pretty much a montage of how good a team Bruce and Babs were together, and that they loved and cared about each other. But instead they drag it out to about 30 minutes of crap, where they bicker, and argue, and fight only to have makeup sex on a fraking rooftop!!! I hate this. I hate it with a passion. It's so contrived and it just feels wrong in so many places. Why did it have to be this long?! Just set up a bit of character arc and move on with the damn story! But once the REAL Killing Joke goes underway, shock of all shocks, it's great! Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill nail it, it may not be their absolute best performances in the Batman universe but damn does it do justice to the story. The animation style is kind of hard to explain, it doesn't look like any other Batman animated movie or series. It looks good but looks a bit too cartoony in some places. The music is very Bernard Hermann-esque with heavy strings and moody and tension filled pieces, so I enjoyed that. There's one scene I absolutely have to mention, that's pretty much like one great big easter egg with Batman in the Batcave and he pulls up the Joker's file which includes several pictures, all of which are taken from the decades of potrayals of the character. You see the comic version from the 1940s, you see Cesar Romero's Joker disguised as Pagliacci just like in the Adam West series, and even Heath Ledger's Joker when he's in the jail cell at GCPD! I friggin' loved that with one tiny issue. The last picture is a picture of a toy factory used as a hideout by the Joker, and it is a straight up screenshot of his hideout in the Batman Beyond movie Return Of The Joker. No difference. How does he have that? Unless it's a repeat hideout for him, I ain't buying it Bruce! That doesn't happen until you're like 80 or something like that. Jesus Christ, I am so torn between this movie. I am borderline schizophrenic over it, the first half is garbage with a few good parts, and the second half is great with a few bad parts. I don't even know if I would buy it. I want you to think about that for a second! Me, the Dark Knight nerd that would, should, and could ever be is seriously considering NOT buying this. I am not even honestly sure if I can recommend it! What is this?? This mess of garbage and greatness, teaming fanfiction a 16 year old would write with Alan fraking Moore!!! I'm gonna need a minute. To tell you the truth, the best part of the entire movie is literally the last scene. You know how sometimes you watch an animated something or other and you say to yourself, "These are people talking in a recording booth." and I cannot ever say that about the last scene. It is perfect. Perfect animation, perfect voice acting, just perfect everything. It is like the characters from the book leaped onto the screen. Sheer perfection. And I would recommend the movie just for that very last scene, but I beg of you please, please do not watch the first half. Skip to the actual Killing Joke segment. I implore you, I beg of you, do not watch that flashback trash because if you see it, it will taint you forever. I made a promise in that theater. Never again. Watch the movie if you like, but I don't think I can go back. Not to this anyway. And it's something I have to live with for the rest of my life. There is no going back, and it drives one to madness.

Until next time...