Tangled

*GASP* look what finally came out!  I have been watching the worlds worst preview trailer of this movie for months!   I give you Disney’s Tangled,  their first 3D Disney Princess and the official herald of the end of Disney’s traditional 2D animation department. As much as I would love to loathe this movie for the mere fact that it’s not 2D, I can’t help it, this movie looks like fun! It’s the “Disney” version of Rapunzil and it looks really good. If you look at the horse you may notice that he has an uncanny resembalnce to Achilles, the horse in Hunchback of Notre Dame. (I pratically dissected that movie in 1st year animation so I know it very well).

Opinions?

Full Metal Alchemist

A really sad thing happened this week: the first manga series I ever read ended. *Sniff*

Ed is eating the donut, Al is the suit of armour

In my first year of animation I was a total newbie to anime and manga. I was the comic book, sci-fi, Disney girl. One of the first things my new friends did was hook me up with some anime and manga. Its sound like they were my “dealers” and I was doing “drugs”, but in a way reading comic books and watching anime, or TV series you love and are obsessed about, is very addictive.  I always joke that when I go get my latest shipment of comics it’s like my “fix”.

So the first manga I ever read was Full Metal Alchemist. A friend lent me what he had of the series, and I started following it online once I had finished what he had. It’s an awesome series.

Bear with me my thoughts are going to bounce around on this one.

FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST MINI SUMMARY WITHOUT GIVING AWAY THE WHOLE PLOT!!!!!!

Is set in a world styled after the European Industrial Revolution. This series qualifies as ‘steampunk’ (one day I’ll figure out what the hell that actually involves). It is written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa, the series started in 2001 and ended this month *sniff* * hiccup* 2010. It consist of 25 volumes and has two anime series chronicling it.

TWO BROTHERS………

A DEAD MOTHER………

ALCHAMEY………..

Very messy and tragic consequences.

Brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric learn alchemy in order to raise their mother from the dead. Unfortunately things don’t go quite how they expected and Ed ends up losing his leg and Alphonse loses his body! Ed sacrifices his rights arm to fix Al’s soul in a suit of armour! Thus the series follows the trials of the two brothers as they try to figure out how to regain their original bodies.

The story is far bigger than this, with discoveries made with far reaching implications and consequences. That’s the beauty of this series is that its equal blends or horror, intrigue, tragedy and humour. Actually I find the manga extremely hysterical sometimes considering some of the situations the brothers get themselves into. There’s human experimentation, murder, massacres, innocence, broken hearts, determination, iron will, and awesome displays of alchemy. Actually Full Metal Alchemist is one of the most popular anime/ manga’s out there.

There’s this huge gaping hole between comics (or more so X-men) and manga and it is this:

Comics can’t be serious and funny, the mix doesn’t work for them because of the style of art they employ.

(manga you read left to right – perfect for those who are dyslexic *ahem*)

Certain comic series (ahem X-men, Avengers, Superman, Batman and comic series still running that was created in the late 30’s) have had so many writers on them that there seems to be no clear direction anymore. What one person writes, get changed or altered by the next because the new writer didn’t like what the old writer wrote! For example the whole weird thing with magneto a couple of years ago, first he was dead, then he was pretending to be someone else in the X-men, who then turned out to be using drugs to amp up his powers so he could destroy New York and then kill Jean Grey (YAY about the only thing they didn’t change from that story run) and then being killed by Wolverine while Proff. X declares him as obsolete. Then suddenly it turns out that THIS Magneto wasn’t the real Magneto! And that Magneto was still alive and would never dream of killing Jean Grey! Phew exhausting right?

In manga, if they kill a character gets killed off, its extremely heroic, heartbreaking, unexpected (most of the time), and when their dead, their dead. Unless they come back from the dead and then its totally unexpected and epic.

Basically manga series end! Yes some series like Naruto and Bleach have been running forever, but there still being written by the same author, there is a main goal that all these series work towards.  True they spin it out a bit, but look at American comic series, Superman and Batman have been running since 1939! The X-men franchise has been running since 1963, and it will never end because they still have stories to tell BUT as each new writer gets his or her hands on the series (and now I’m talking about all long running series) and make changes and rewrites, and sometimes their ‘changes’ damage the series more than help.

So back to FMA. I love it, its a really good read, with wonderfully fleshed out main cast and a wide variety of supporting characters all of them individuals. But the best part of the series is the dynamic of the main characters Ed and Al. In my mind they are like the main version of my relationship with my sister, right down to the older sibling being the shorter of the two (and the height complex that goes along with it!)

Don’t mess with someone who has a hight complex!

Werewolves, Wannabe’s and Airhead’s

Ok so quite possibly the funniest things i have ever read and watched.

I love werewolves, so to read and watch something as ridiculous as this is just….. i don’t know whether to howl with laughter or cry in horror.

The first article is some airhead girl’s response to The Wolfman remake when it came out earlier this year.

http://www.latinoreview.com/news/open-letter-to-universal-your-wolfman-ripped-off-twilight-9247#idc-cover

Seriously, if i ever write stuff i try to make sure i have all the right information, youd think this kid would have looked up The Wolfman movie before writting something like that! Poor Airhead, she’s most probaly 12 and blonde!

The second is a video that my friend had on her facebook page. This is equally hysterical and sad.

Teen werewolves? Don’t you find this a tad sad? Or am i just feeling mean? They’re basically Goths and Emos. Well at least they have friends?

If i wore coloured contact lenses they would be purple or electric blue like the vampire eyes in Underworld, those were cool eyes 🙂

In other news:

Movie remakes The Karate Kid and The A-Team have started in America.  The Last Airbender premiers 2nd July. AND IT WOULD BE WAAAAAAY TO CONVINIENT IF THEY SCREENED THEM HERE AT THE SAME TIME!!!!!!!! I get 2 month of holiday, and there is practically nothing to go watch at the movies, i have to wait till August/ September for them to be released here and then I’m back at varsity! Life is so unfair!

I need to go feel miserable somewhere.

The ultimate Robin Hood Post

So a week after Prince of Persia (which was watched during a long study period between exams) we all went off to watch Robin Hood after my final exam. My friend and i had planned to watch 9 (3D movie with ragdolls in a post-apocalyptic future who are meant to save the world.) but it ended the weekend before. Dang it.

I love Robin Hood, i love the lore and myth that surrounds it. A dashing hero who loses his standing to help the common day man, he steals from the rich to give to the poor. There is his beloved whom he can’t be with because he is an outlaw, and his band of merry men. And they live in the forest. Quite honestly i think the thing that always appealed to me the most was the archery and forest dwelling. I remember when i was little that every weekend i would hire Disney’s Robin Hood and watch it over and over again. I would hire it so often that my parents never considered actually owning it, i practically owned it already. Many years later this was followed by the Kevin Costner Robin Hood (1991), which to my mind is the best Robin Hood i have ever seen. So what if the critics absolutely hate poor Costner, and his very fake British accent, it’s still a brilliant movie. Also the forest village that they live in, completely capture my imagination.

Oh i mustn’t forget the wonderfully hysterical Robin Hood Men in Tights (1993) with Carey Elwes. I love Carey Elwes in this film, it’s like he was one of those old classic Robin Hoods, made back in the 30’s, which makes this movie even funnier. Men in Tights is mostly a parody of the Costner Robin Hood, it also pokes fun at the Disney Robin Hood (1973) and Errol Flynn’s The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).

Then there are the literary retellings. To be honest, i have only started getting into the written retellings recently. My first was the ForestWife Trilogy by Theresa Tomlin. This Robin Hood retelling focuses more on Marian’s story, and the women who supported Robin Hood and his men. It was such a tragic trilogy, but Theresa Tomlin writes stories about strong women and sad, brutal truths of life. In my literary future i have two Robin Hood adaption’s i plan to read. Robin Mckinley’s The Outlaws of Sherwood Forrest, which also deals quite strongly in the role of women in the Robin Hood lore, (which makes sense since both Mckinley and Tomlin are female)

 I have loved Mckinley’s other works, she has a talent for taking our classic fairy tales and telling them in a different lights, which is absolutely unique and creative. Truthfully i have only read 2 of her books, Spindle’s End which is a very unique retelling of Sleeping Beauty. It actually left me feeling respect for Sleeping Beauty, i had always considered her a whit less lump. And then there was Mckinley’s version of Beauty and the Beast, Beauty. I love the story of Beauty and the Beast, and am thoroughly addicted to watching the Disney version over and over again. I enjoyed the book but then ending was an insult to my intelligence and was more like a quick fix, like the author had run out of time.

Then there is Hood written by Stephen R Lawhead, book 1 in the Raven King Trilogy, followed by books 2 and 3 – Scarlett and Tuck. This trilogy seems to be a more Celtic/ Viking version of the lore (i think, i am not entirely sure), the book blurb mentions the Welsh borders. So maybe it’s based in a time period that predates the usual Robin Hood time period. Interesting.

Well it looks like a have completely lost my train of thought. I was trying to talk about Russell Crows Robin Hood. I can’t really decide whether i like Russell Crow or not. I don’t think i like him as a person, and I’ve only watched Master and Commander and Gladiator, so i don’t think I’ve seen enough of his movies to warrant an opinion on the actor. The movie however is another matter.

I remember when the idea of a Robin Hood first surfaced. It was going to be called Nottingham, with the focus on Hood’s nemesis rather than the hero. Then once Crow was attached to the project playing Nottingham, the plot started to become even more ridiculous. I mean seriously would you want to watch a movie based on Robin Hood where the main focus wasn’t on Robin Hood? I’d rather shoot myself in the foot. Then it became Crow would play BOTH Nottingham and Hood! THE HELL THAT’S BEING GREEDY!!!! I stopped monitoring the movie after that, in fact by the time a started following again principle shooting was about over. So you will be happy not know that all the original ridiculous ideas were dropped and they went back to the traditional subject matter and approach.

So now we have a more faithful retelling, or at least we get the character that we are actually interested in, i mean seriously who would want to watch a movie on the Sheriff of Nottingham? Not me.

So here’s the trailer for Russell Crows Robin Hood:

Watched it? Good.

The movie is nothing like the trailer! The trailer indicates that this is your typical Robin Hood, when surprisingly enough when we watched the movie we got a completely different story, which was a wonderful surprise. Sadly, Crow’s Hood, wasn’t the usual cocky hero we all love, his is more erm, older and wiser? (well Crow is the oldest actor to play Robin Hood) Also something that bothered me quite a bit was the serious lack in archery, don’t get me wrong there was archery, but there wasn’t many fancy tricks, you know like in the climatic moments of a Robin Hood, we have witty banter and fancy archery, in the climactic moments of this version there was some sword play. If you changed all the names of the characters, the audience wouldn’t know that this movie was actually about Robin Hood! Which is saddening. But i liked that they approached it differently, just not well. The movie was waaaay too long, half way through the movie my sister whispered to me “i wish they would just shag already so that the movie could continue” in reference to the sexual tension and banter between Marion and Robin. I had to agree. The periods between action scenes was too long and drawn out. So although i was happy to watch a movie that was completely different to what the trailer indicated, it was a bit disappointing not to be given a faithful telling of Robin Hood.

To sum up: i love Robin Hood, especially Costner’s and Disney’s versions, i love Robin Hood books and i sort of enjoyed Russell Crows Robin Hood, but I’m not going to watch it over and over and over and over and over again like the other adaption’s, it’s too long and can’t really be considered a Robin Hood film.

YES IM BACK – Prince of Persia review

Hi

Actually my exams ended last week and i was just vegging for a bit before i got my ass into gear and started posting again. 🙂

Prince of Persia.

I must admit going into this movie i didn’t have very high hopes. In my mind this was my half way through exam treat.

Prince of Persia was one of this year’s “hype” movies. Like Clash of the Titans and Alice in Wonderland, it was a big budget fantasy extravaganza, and although i enjoyed both Clash and AiW, i was ultimately disappointed in both. PoP looked to be the same, working the public into a frenzy of anticipation and then WHAM clean up at the box office but fail to satisfy the audience. Don’t get me wrong there were plenty of other movies i looked forward to and wasn’t disappointed, but then (other than Iron Man 2) all the others weren’t being as vigorously promoted. Or so i think, here in South Africa one can never be sure, they don’t promote movies here as heavily as they do overseas.

When i was in America 2 years ago The Mummy 3 and the Dark Knight came out while i was there. Now i didn’t spend much time in my hotel room, but whenever i did watch some TV, every single ad break, they would play the trailers for BOTH movies, at the start of the ad break and at the end, and in the middle, MacDonald’s meals, and toys in cereal. It was sensory overload. The worst thing was that when i finally got back home, i had to go through it all over again for another two weeks, because our cinema releases are a few weeks after they open in America, so AGAIN i had to sit through The Mummy 3 and the Dark Knight trailers. Thankfully here in SA movie promotion doesn’t seem to be as big.

Back to Prince of Persia. It’s based on a series of games. Many games, with a very big, hardcore fan base. In fact one of my movie buddies has played some of the games. My opinion on movies based on games: it might fail. Although truthfully the only movies based on a game i have watched (or know to be based on games) were Doom; which was ok; and the Resident Evil movies. I’m not into zombies and gore, but damn i love Resident Evil, it’s so cool. Mila Jovovich is just awesome.

So the PoP trailer sold you on this epic, Persian tale, of action, romance and time-travel, but in recent times the trailer is usually the best part of the movie. Also if you’ve watched the trailer, you’ve pretty much watched the movie! That is not so with PoP. Yes the movie follows the classic storyline, hero is heroic, hero gets framed, hero goes on the run with beautiful but irritatingly wilful princess, hero has object everyone wants, betrayal, sexual tension and skimpy outfits, death, hard core evil killers sent after them, more death, hero saves day and gets the girl. It’s a pretty generic story. But sometimes the most generic story can feel so amazing and exciting and original that you don’t really care that you’ve seen this film or read the book in a billion different ways.

Prince of Persia is fun. It has amazing costumes, props and locations, with some stunning special effects and stunts. If this movie doesn’t make back what was spent to make it, then …… well that won’t happen, it is after all a Disney movie, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer the man that brought us Pirates of the Caribbean.

Now the tricky bit: TimeTravel. I can say i have watched very many “time travel” movies, i’ve watched a lot of time travel in sci-fi TV series and most of the time they are able to pull it off, because they have the space of a season to set it up, and make alterations blah blah. They have more space and “time” to move around in. Movies on the other hand are a bit more squished. Truthfully i can only think of 2 other time travel movies off hand, Nicholas Cage’s Next, and the Tenth Star Trek. Now for any of you who have not seen Next, do yourself a favour, DONT. Its 96 minutes of my life i will never get back. It’s all about a man who can see a minute into the future and how the government wants his help to find and atomic bomb and stop Armageddon. Which he doesn’t want to, he just wants to finally meet the girls of his dreams, who he has foreseen, for months. Well the movie was ok up until…..

WARNING HERE BE SPOILERS

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He saves the girls, infiltrates the bad guys layer, oh wait we missed something, world ends, and he wakes up, half an hour into the movie again. Basically rewinding everything we have watched from that moment! I might have been able to handle this if he hadn’t walked off into the sunset with the government followed by the credits! SERIOUSLY could you make it any more obvious you want a sequel? Now that is why Time Travel in movies does not work. Because it is expensive and they don’t have enough time.

PoP works because even as you are watching, you forget he has the ability to rewind time, even if it’s only by a minute, you can watch people die and be saved and still feel scared or heart broken when one of them dies. You forget that rewinding time is an option.

The characters are wonderful in this movie. Even the smallest parts have more depth than most movies. Depth or maybe its personality. My favourite character was the weird Sheik Amar. He was played by Alfred Molina which totally shocked me. I sat through the entire movie saying “i know this guy”. He was just such a strange character.

It is interesting to note that on the web that there seem to be two opinions on this movie: you either completely love it and think it’s the best movie ever OR you loath it’s very existence and must rant. A bit like Twilight.