The Lorax AND Wrath of the Titans

Finally a decent film to go watch.

Now I wasn’t religiously raised on Dr Seuss so I don’t have many of his books, in fact I only remember one and it had something to do with fried green eggs and ham.  I find Dr Seuss books get turned into rather psychotic movies.  Such as The Cat in the Hat, which I haven’t watched, and How the Grinch stole Christmas, which I have watched and enjoyed, but there was something definitely unhinged about Jim Carey/ The Grinch. I enjoyed Horton Hears a Who tremendously, the animation and facial expressions were some of the best I had seen in 2008, it marked an immense improvement in digital animation showing the animators now had more freedom to explore expression in their 3d software.  Horton Hears a Who showed the animators were now able to “play” with their software.  I also enjoyed the narrative of Horton Hears a Who, what I didn’t like was Horton, again voiced by Jim Carey.  I can’t explain why I don’t like Horton, he was beautifully animated, I just found him slightly……. unhinged?  But then it’s Jim Carey, and he always plays unhinged so no surprise there.  What I really loved was that weird yellow creature Katie; she was so cute and slightly scary.  Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I find Dr Seuss movies are slightly weird, in a disturbed kind of way, which isn’t bad if you’re an adult, but they’re kids movies so one should feel slightly worried.

Now The Lorax looked fantastic, those little teddy bears were just too cute for words!  I loved the scene in the trailer where the Once-ler dropped his axe on the little bear, and it makes this cute little sound, recovers and then wiggles its tail, oblivious that it’s being blamed for chopping down a tree, while it is pinned down by the axe. It’s just so adorable, and strangely reminds me of my Yorkie Jellicoe, who even when she’s in trouble wags her tail.  I found The Lorax a visually stunning movie, it imitated the Dr Seuss art perfectly, but was translated well into a 3D animated style that had more rounded definite lines than Dr Seuss’s artwork.  It’s nice to see a children’s film with a definite message, that of respecting the environment, there hasn’t been one of those in a while.  What was also very interesting, and my friend pointed this out, is that its message is so current, dealing with an issue that must be dealt with today, and yet The Lorax is actually a very old book, published in 1971.  It shows that today’s issues of deforestation and pollution, capitalism and consumerism were issues that some people were aware of even in the 70’s.

Yes there is singing, like any typical children’s movie.  I didn’t mind the singing, I think there were actually only two numbers.  The opening song was brilliant, incredibly funny to watch, like the family who has a glowing kid, or the delivery guy who sings and does the splits at the end of the number and gets escorted down by the ankles (still in the splits) off O’Hare’s car.  I really enjoyed the song the Once-ler sung when he was becoming rich, I found it very bad-ass rock, and I enjoyed it choreography.  I loved Grammy Norma voiced by Golden Girl Betty White, she was so funny and cool, and sneaky like a ninja.  I totally loved her.  I also loved how the Lorax left the Once-ler, a beam of light from the heavens lifts the Lorax up and while he ascends he’s holding up his tail which raises his legs.  It’s hysterical, here we have this sort of biblical ascension reference, and the Lorax is lifting up his tail for support!  It’s so funny!

This film also had some very nice animation.  Nothing mind blowing, but it had some very unique facial expressions, totally fantastic and new.  Who knew you could manipulate the lips and jaw in that way?

I really enjoyed the Lorax, it had enjoyable characters, a good story, good comedy and those adorable little teddy bears.

Wrath of the Titans

Was there any hype for this movie?  When the first one was released we had spent a month being bombarded by the trailers.  I don’t recall seeing any trailers for Wrath in cinemas, but then truthfully I think I’ve only been to one, maybe two films since the beginning of the year, there seriously hasn’t been anything worth spending money to go see.  When my friends and I met up we realised that I was the only one in a group of four who had actually seen the trailer, and that was online and several months ago!  The only reason we went to see Wrath was because we all wanted a group outing, and it was Wrath of the Titans or 21 Jump Street, and no one wanted to see that!

It wasn’t a bad film.  We were looking for some mindless entertainment and we got it. Wrath didn’t tax the brain too much and its special effects were just so cool it entertained us nicely, and Liam Neeson was in it, and I am seriously in love with him.  I must admit the minute they said that they had to defeat Kronos, I flashed to Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian, epic ending to the first series, epic book.  Kronos in Wrath is the kind of enemy you look at and scream ‘AW SHIT’ and run for your life!  How the hell is one supposed to defeat a giant walking volcano?  Well apparently Perseus can, on a Pegasus.  Shame that poor thing you won’t believe how many times I was afraid the horse’s wings were going to catch alight and fall to the ground burning? My sister became bothered by all the sand in the film, there was just so much of it being flung around, I just felt sorry for the poor soul who had to sit in front of the computer to animate and render it!  The only thing that really bothered us was the way the action was filmed.  Now I know hand held cameras that follow the action is all the range, but it was handled really badly in this film.  We had trouble seeing what was actually happening because there was too much motion blur, people spent too much time getting flung all over the place and we couldn’t see what was going on. It was particularly bad in the Labyrinth, too much falling and movement that the eye couldn’t track so the viewer had no clue what was going on and what they were seeing.  The whole point of cinema is being able to ‘see’ what is happening on the screen, so I hate an loathe with a passion hand held cameras, like the Bourne Films, I don’t watch them because I can’t follow/ ‘see’ what’s happening.

(PS these reviews are a tad old, I wrote them, and then forgot to post them)

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