Movie Review Short: #7
The Adventures of Tin Tin (2011)
This is a mo-cap animated adventure that is based on an old comic series. This particular adventure revolves around an old sea family rivalry and the search for treasure.
It’s lead character is a young reporter who somehow solves cases like a genius despite his idiotic behavior throughout. Luckily, he had a smart dog for a partner. When I say Tin Tin bugged me, I mean it. One example, (I mean seriously) he’s riding a motorcycle with the little important scrolls in one hand, waving precariously in the wind, while a hawk flies around trying to steal them. Just guess what happens to those scrolls. Put them in your damn pocket idiot! This is the type of behavior he exhibited throughout. I haven’t yelled at the TV this much since those kids in ‘28 Weeks Later’.
The film itself was clearly made to be 3D. I say this because I watched it in 2D and the amount of 3D-esque gags thrown in reminded me of a Disney theme park film. But I let it slide due to the fact that it didn’t detract from the plot at all and that it actually had a cool story and didn’t use the gags as a crutch so good on them. The music was also good, but then again everything John Williams touches turns to gold.
Overall, it’s a fun movie with a good story that leaves the ending open for a sequel. The main character frustrated the hell out of me but maybe that was the whole point. It was a solid effort and I look forward to his next ridiculous adventure.
Movie Review Short: #5
The Endless Summer (1966)
I’m sure we’ve all seen the pink/orange posters for this at Target these past couple years at back-to-school time, but it wasn’t until I came upon it on Netflix that I decided to give it a watch - and boy am I glad I did. This movie is ridiculous.
The premise it that these two famous (professional?) surfers have decided that once Summer ends in the overly crowded California, they are going to travel around the world following the summer season, hence ‘Endless Summer’. Making stops all over Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii amongst others. But what was really interesting was seeing these two dudes hang ten on waves that had never been surfed before on deserted beaches.
Keep in mind this is 1966, before the surfing craze had really left the US that much. So everywhere they went, people were amazed. It was a welcome change to Cali for them where the waves were so crowded they had to zig-zag around one another…on surfboards.
This whole movie is made documentary style with a hilarious narrator talking over everything, explaining what is going on. I about died laughing on a couple occasions. It’s just pure 60’s, campy fun! The music is great but the cinematography is mind blowing. The silhouette shots are beautiful, as well as all the locations around the world. They even had shots where the camera was on the surfboard checking out their fancy footwork.
This movie is great fun, probably the most entertaining documentary I’ve ever seen.
Movie Review Short: #4
Drive is interesting. It’s not for Michael Bay drones who only love action and explosions. And it’s not for people who are sensitive to violence (it has quite a bit of gore). You have to go into this movie with the mindset that it’s an indie, art-house film sprinkled with action and gore for flavoring. It’s still a man’s movie, just it’s aimed more towards sophisticated, cultured men.
Ryan Gosling does a phenomenal job playing Driver. His character development is actually quite good, which is important, because this is essentially a character-driven movie. There’s maybe 10-15 minutes of action total. The cinematography is top-notch filled with shadows and neon, it’s like modern noir.
But what makes this entire movie come together is the amazing techno soundtrack. Just listen to ‘Nightcall’ by Kavinsky (above). Damn that’s fresh. Or ‘A Real Hero’ by College. Dat Music!
Movie Review Short: #3
The Secret World of Arrietty
As a huge fan of everything Studio Ghibli does, it was no doubt that I was going to run out and see this opening weekend. It was also no surprise that it didn’t do that great in the box office. People are still confused by these movies. It’s a cartoon, it must be a kid’s movie right?!? Well to a certain extent, sure. But really, they are so much deeper than your typical Disney or Dreamworks film.
In this case, it’s basically an adaptation of ‘The Borrower’s’. Except this time, John Goodman is kept out of the picture and the cartoonists took it seriously. It’s about a boy with a heart condition who has been sent to live with his aunt and her housekeeper so that he can rest before his big operation. Once there, he discovers the little people living in the house when the rambunctious, 14-yr old Arrietty gets seen on her first ‘borrow’.
It really is a great, heartwarming film and I absolutely love that at least one company out there can still make fantastic hand-drawn animation. If you’re a fan of Spirited Away or Howl’s Moving Castle, or even just a animation fan in general, go see this! Show your support for hand-drawn animation!!!!!
Movie Review Short: #2
Safe House (2012)
Ryan Reynolds is a safe house keeper in South Africa who dreams of becoming a top CIA agent. One day Denzel Washington, who just happens to be an ex-agent, gets brought in for interrogation after waltzing into the US Consulate there. One thing leads to another, and Reynolds gets his wish, protecting Frost (Washington) from an unknown group that is trying desperately to kill him. Explosions, hand-to-hand combat, gunfire, car chases…the works…Safe House delivers the goods. It’s a thrill-a-minute monsoon of action with only a few pauses to breathe.
Don’t get me wrong, this movie was quite impressive. The backstory was a tad hard to follow at times, but I really think this was made to just be a blockbuster. It’s a fun movie and it did quite well opening weekend and I’m sure it’ll continue to do so. In the end I think it’s worth a watch for action fans. It doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but you get to see Denzel being a bad ass, so it’s all good. Is it perfect? No. Do I feel I’ll ever watch it again? Maybe, but I wouldn’t be heartbroken if I didn’t.
Movie Review Short #1
The Artist (2011)
In a time when high-tech, explosive CGI blockbusters are the mainstay, along comes a little known movie to challenge it all, getting awards and nominations out the bajinga. You gotta wonder really: Who needs pointless 3D? Who needs color? Heck, who even needs any voices at all? Taking the audiences back to the era of silent films and managing to keep the viewers captivated and able to follow along is a challenge - especially with the current generation’s ever decreasing attention span. Using little more than music and occasional cue cards, ‘The Artist’ is a beautiful, even comedic, love story between a disgruntled, has-been silent film star and a young, energetic talkie actress. But really it’s all a metaphor for the end of an era, the changing of the guards. Nominated for tons of Oscars, I have no doubt it’ll take home a butt load. Personally, I’d give it Best Picture myself….and best actor to the true star, the adorable dog.