Tag Archives: movie review

Despicable Me – Movie Review

By now, those of you who have read this blog understand that I love my animation. I love old Bugs Bunny cartoons the best, but I have to say that there are some modern cartoons, rather animation, that I’m just drawn to (hey, a pun!) for reasons I never really understand. But like most everyone else, if I see a preview that captures me, I already know I’m going to like the movie heading in; for the most part, that is, Skyline notwithstanding. lol

Despicable Me DVD (Widescreen)








The premise of this movie is simple. A career super criminal has the ultimate plan; to steal the moon. In order to do that, he needs to steal a shrink ray that a young and upcoming super villain stole from him after he stole it from someone else. He finds these 3 little girls that the other villain has ordered cookies from and decides to adopt them and use them to help steal the shrink gun. What he doesn’t expect is that he’ll fall in love with the girls as things move along, and thus we have our story, with me leaving out all the details and ruining it for you.

Our super villain, named Gru, has helpers along with way. There’s Dr. Nefario, his elderly main scientist who sometimes hears the request for a specific item incorrectly, and there’s the Minions, these little yellow weeble looking creatures, some with one eye, some with hair, many that look exactly alike, that are the workers and friends of Gru; he knows them all by name and can tell them apart, even if we can’t. They’re the great innocents in this movie; they do whatever’s asked of them, and when they’re not asked to do anything they just, well, do something; funny as sin.

Of course, it’s the relationship Gru ends up having with the 3 sisters, Margo, Edith, and the youngest Agnes, with the big brown eyes and, if you’ve ever seen any of the commercials, the one who utters “It’s so fluffy!” He’s really frustrated early because he’s never been around kids and could care less about being around them now, but as time goes on and he starts having fun with them that he never had in his life before, he starts to realize the value in sharing one’s love with others.

This is the cutest movie and very funny as well. The music was done by Pharrell Williams, which gives it a much different quality than any other movie, as it was his first time working on a movie. As you can tell, I’m recommending this movie, and I’m sharing this little clip, doctored and chopped up, as a mini-teaser. Buy this movie; I’ve seen it more than 40 times by now.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Skyline – The Review

Last weekend I mentioned that I couldn’t wait for Friday night because I was going to see the movie Skyline. Well, my friend Scott and I did go see this movie last night, and I decided to write a review of it without giving any of the plot away… I hope.

Truthfully, we knew we were in trouble when it took almost a minute to get through all those notifications of producers and studioes before anything got going. What we didn’t know is that the movie would only last about 90 minutes and never really go anywhere; well, at least I had some candy.

The basic premise of Skyline is that one morning at 4:37AM these blue streams of light start dropping out of the sky. Next thing you know, anyone who’s looking at these lights has the veins in their body start popping and they’re drawn to the light, with the next thing occurring is their being sucked into one of tens of alien ships that are hovering around somewhere.

The movie starts out that way, no preamble… and then it goes into flashback mode, 15 hours before that. What the hey? Not only that, but the flashback doesn’t set anything up really, and it only lasts about 10 minutes before we’re back to the lights again, only this time with a mix of what we saw earlier and what was going on that we didn’t see, but now know what’s coming.

From this point on we have fear and we have aliens. There are big aliens, smaller aliens, small flying aliens and the super large alien ships. The two early heroes watch as thousands of bodies are sucked into the ships, and for whatever reason they’re able to look at the light from a distance and not turn into something that’s going to get sucked in.

Everything takes place in one building, although when the military starts fighting back, we get to see planes and helicopters trying to take on these things. Only they’re indestructible. I just have to throw this one out. A stealth fighter hits one of the large alien ships with a nuclear warhead missile. You know that because of the way everything around explodes upon impact. The ship actually goes down, and there’s this large shockwave coming… only it doesn’t break any windows, there’s no fallout, and no radiation. And the ship puts itself back together. Later a guy is able to knock the glass out of another window with his elbow. A nuclear explosion can’t break glass, but an elbow can? Oh yeah; the ship that got blown up… it puts itself back together again, as does every alien that gets creamed by a missile or machine guy or bazooka or… whatever.

The only thing left to talk about is the ending of the movie. I’m not going to give it away, but I will say it was one of the stupidest endings I’ve ever seen to a movie. Scott asked while we were leaving the movie what it was about; I honestly don’t know. It had no real purpose; I guess they figured if there was a real alien attack that there wouldn’t be any conversation at all. Then again, if there was a real alien attack with ships this large I’m betting the military would have known it, we’d have all been told to leave the big cities, and maybe so many people wouldn’t have been killed at all. I mean, as kids we had air raid warnings going all over the place and practiced hiding under tables, both day and night. Not a single warning that there’s an alien invasion coming? Nothing on TV? Please!

I do have to add this. The budget for this movie was only $10 million, and most of the money had to go into the aliens, some of which looked pretty cool. The writing was bad, the storyline was bad, and no one looked particularly great. And one of whom I thought was one of the stars of the movie gets killed early, and of course it’s the black guy, and he was the only person in the movie I knew. Oh yeah; early in the movie the people in the movie think the water is safe, so that’s why they try to get to the water. I was thinking Signs at this juncture, but at the end of the movie you see that anyone who was in the water was killed as well.

I was trying to think of the last time I eagerly wanted to see a movie that failed like this; I can’t. I guess my string of picking winners is over; have to start anew. Skip this one, or wait until it comes on TV; don’t even rent it. You’ll hate yourself if you do. But if you’re not going to listen to me and are thinking about purchasing it anyway, then buy
Skyline from me. 😉
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2015 Mitch Mitchell

How To Train Your Dragon – My Review

You know, sometimes I feel like I just know how to call a movie that’s not only going to be good, but is also going to be popular. Such is the case with the new movie How To Train Your Dragon.

dragon_L1500_

Okay, so I’m a big kid at heart; I loved this movie! It’s the story about a kid whose father is the leader of Vikings, and they lead a fairly idyllic life in relative cold and their only problem is that they have to deal with dragons on an almost daily basis. The main character is named Hiccup, mainly because he’s a super klutz with no real skills and always seems to be messing things up at the wrong time, such as when the Vikings are battling dragons.

Along the way he finds a way to interact with a special dragon known as a night fury, which he names Toothless (but it has teeth) because they’re almost invisible at night, due to being black, and he discovers some things that aren’t know about the dragons and why they’re always attacking the Vikings and stealing their stuff. That’s about all I’m going to give you as far as what the movie is about; if I were writing this three weeks later, I’d say a lot more.

I have to say that they got the main character absolutely correct, as well as his voice. I don’t know this actor, Jay Baruchel, but they couldn’t have gotten anyone else who could have done that part. Gerard Butler, who’s also in the new movie with Jennifer Aniston, portrays the Viking leader, and I have to say I wouldn’t have been able to come up with it being him, nor America Ferrara as the lead female character.

You know, I really can’t think of all that much more to say about it without giving anything away except to say that it’s not just a kid’s movie, which means I believe adults will get a lot of joy out of it. I didn’t see the 3-D version this time around, and truthfully, I think you could get away without seeing it in that version. I loved the bright colors, and I’m not sure how much fun you get when you’re seeing 3-D when the background is darker, which it is in many scenes in this movie. This was a lot of fun; I almost want to go see it again. 🙂 Here’s one of the trailers:


http://youtu.be/oKiYuIsPxYk

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Avatar – My Review

As strange as it seems to me, I’ve only ever done one other movie review on this blog. That was for The Secret, and I don’t know if that movie ever was brought to the theaters. I know was about to the theaters where I live, but it’s possible in the larger cities it did hit the big screens. No matter; here’s my first movie review of something I saw in a theater.

The truth of the matter is that I had no interest in going to see Avatar. While I’m usually crazy about science fiction movies, especially those involving aliens, usually I like the scenarios that are set up where we earthlings are trying to protect our existence. I don’t really know why, and I might have to think about that one of these days, but that’s usually my preference. I think it’s pretty much highlighted when you look back at my list of my favorite sci-fi movies. Anyway, my wife seemed to get caught up in all the publicity this time around, and suddenly she really want to go. And, since it wasn’t a chick flick, I figured why not.

We decided upon the 3-D movie because it was the earliest showing of the thing and we wanted to get it out of the way because we had heard it was close to three hours long. Despite all the numbers that everyone has been hearing about how this movie has been doing, the theater wasn’t packed. I’m not sure what that says about the movie or the fact that it was a 3-D, but I just type that out there.

Since the movie’s been out there for more than a month at this point, hopefully I’m not giving anything away to anybody who still really want to see this movie. But I’m not going to all that many details, so if I tell you what the story is about and you still want to go see it, remember that the movie is still three hours long while my synopsis is very short so you might still enjoy it.

The story is about a race of tall blue creatures in human form living on an alien moon that someone has discovered is rich with a mineral that we, the bad earthlings, desperately want. We have found that it’s not so easy getting what we want from these people who, though primitive, have shown themselves to be a pretty good match against those trying to take their resources. So the thought is to create avatars that look like the blue people, link human minds to these avatars, and have them interact with the blue people, learning their culture and trying to figure out a peaceful way to get them to leave so we can take their stuff.

One of the people who gets linked to an avatar turns out to be a former Marine who has lost the use of his legs and ends up taking over the avatar from his scientist brother who somehow gets killed. Of course he takes over the avatar without any training and without anyone determining what his overall mental state might be. At some point he integrates with these people, who accept him even though they know he’s not really one of them and shows him their ways. Even though it turns out that he’s a double agent, because while he’s with some people who are trying to find a peaceful solution, there is a military buildup which is basically waiting to go in and take whatever they want if a peaceful solution can be found. He of course ends up wanting to help these people keep what they have, because it turns out they have a symbiosis with every living thing on this moon and he comes to understand that, and they need his help to overcome the overwhelming technology of the military so that they can preserve their way of life in the end.

I have to say I like Avatar, I can’t say I loved it. I did not walk out of the movie saying “wow, I got to see that again”. A few hours later, I didn’t have this movie running through my head making me feel as though I had seen something I’ve never seen before. There were couple of great action scenes I’d have to say, where you see stuff blown up, some fight scenes, and some battles with wildlife. And I love stuff like that, yet for whatever reason this movie just didn’t grab me like some other movies have. It was well filmed and well acted, but I just didn’t ever get any emotional involvement in this movie. It’s quite possible that I was numbed by all the attention and publicity this movie had gotten beforehand. That happened to me once before when I eventually saw E.T. the first time and absolutely hated it. Years later when I saw it again I started to love that movie.

On a scale of 1 to 5 I would probably rank Avatar a 3 1/2. I was less emotionally involved in this movie that James Cameron’s other fantastic movie Titanic. Maybe it was the 3-D version that threw me off a little bit. I’m not crazy about having to wear 3-D glasses, and these days they tend to make movies look darker than they’re supposed to be, and I’m not usually crazy about watching movies that seem to be dark throughout most of it. The 3-D effects weren’t bad, but there were some things I thought needed to be stronger for a better effect.

By the way, I want to address one criticism of the movie that I’ve heard. Some critics have said that they see some racial overtones in this movie because, in their words, once again the white man had to save a group of people of color instead of there being able to find a way to save themselves. It’s kind of an ignorant statement by people who have no clue in my opinion of what technology can do against anybody who has no clue about technology. Native Americans did not lose in this country because they didn’t have heart or skill, they lost because they didn’t have the kind of technology that guns offer. If you’ve ever seen the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Data proves that one person with the right technology can take out an entire village, and then hears him say that there are ways to take people out without even needing the ability to see those people, you get to understand that intelligence and heart isn’t always enough to overcome things. I wonder what the criticism would have been if the main character of this movie had been someone like Will Smith. If there hadn’t been the same conversation, then those people would’ve been disingenuous because it wasn’t a racial issue from the get go, it was a technological issue. You people who still might think this; get over it! And I say that with some risk since my wife, who actually liked the movie more than me, thought it had racial overtones as well.

If anyone else has seen Avatar, I like to know your opinion to see whether you agree with me or not.

Avatar Willow Glade Paper Giclee

Avatar Willow Glade Paper Giclee

Price – $184.99


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010-2015 Mitch Mitchell