Red Dawn

1984

2012

So, they finally got this film off the ground!  It was filmed in late 2009 for a 2010 release, but then MGM hit financial difficulties, and didn’t have the money to release and promote it.  Considering the cast, it’s a pity; it would have brought them to the attention of the world a lot quicker.  We have the lovely, the handsome, the twinkly smiling THOR aka Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck from Disney’s Drake and Josh fame, Josh Hutcherson who went on to star in Hunger Games with Liam Hemsworth – TEAM PEETA, Jeffery-Dean Morgan aka Daddy Winchester from Supernatural, Adrianne Palicki also from Supernatural, Isabel Lucas – Athena from The Immortals and Conner Cruise famous for being Tom Cruise’s adopted son.

So, Red Dawn is a remake of the 1984 movie of the same name. The original was about Soviet and Cuban troop’s invading Colorado, forcing a group of teens to become rebel freedom fighters – called the Wolverines.  It starred a young, very young, Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen and a cast of other well know young actors (I just don’t recognise them).  I know that Baby from Dirty Dancing is in it.  I really enjoyed the original, but it was a fairly bleak movie story wise, and not much character development happened, so sometimes, when the kids were all wearing the same army fatigues, you couldn’t tell them apart!  From the looks of the remake, that doesn’t seem to be a problem, but it also looks more sensationalised.  While in the original the Wolverines fight didn’t make a difference to the bigger picture, this version makes it appear that this small band of kids will save the day for all America!  Which is completely stupid.  It makes the film your typical Hollywood blockbuster. I hope I’m wrong.

Interesting fact, the original villain for the remake was the Chinese!  But because the Chinese are slowly taking over the world and because MGM want better box office sales for the China release, every Chinese symbol and reference was digitally removed, altered or dubbed, and the new villain is North Korea.  Which they should have just gone with from the beginning!

Now here’s an interesting fact from the original film that tickled my funny bone.  Apparently the Soviet T-72 tank replica made for the film was so accurate that while it was being transported to the set, two CIA officers followed it and wanted to find out who they got the tank from!

EPIC!!!!!! the trailer

I remember reading the synopsis for this film a couple of years ago. It sounded too cool to be true.

I must say the trailer doesn’t look ‘epic’ but it does look exciting.  For me I reserve the term ‘epic’ for sci-fi and action films, like Star Trek or Avengers or How to Train Your Dragon.  I think the title it lazy, but the film looks promising.  Little humming birds with saddles, SO CUTE.  If you are going to have a fantasy movie that reminds people of Thumbelina, Narnia, The Spiderwick Chronicles (yeah it reminds me of that movie, strange fit), Arthur and the Invisibles, give it a fantasy type name.  The only other issue I have is the main guy looks like Flynn Rider aka Eugene.  Come on at least make the guy blonde, or a red head, or black or green, but must it be the same shade of brown along with the same facial structure?!

Had my gripe.  I look forward to watching this next year MAY!!!!!!!  Why must they torture me so?

Trailers

So I have a couple of new film trailers that made me squeal.

Firstly Perfect Pitch, it looks like fun, the music sounds good, and I love Fat Amy, all the giggles I got from this trailer were caused by her. My favourite scene is the ending scene. Hysterical. Anna Kendrick seems to be working solidly, I hated her in Twilight, but I’ve started to warm up to her, she was quite funny in Scott Pilgrim versus the world, and I really enjoyed her performance in 50/ 50, although I’m still not sure why I watched that film.

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2

YES finally a decent trailer! Well looks like a fun, action packed conclusion to the franchise. I can’t remember any vampires being able to manipulate water, so think I may have to read the second half of Breaking Dawn to refresh myself. Really long wait for the conclusion.

Resident Evil Retribution

I’m deathly afraid of zombie films, they give me nightmares. That being said, I love the Resident Evil franchise. It is such fun, and Milla Jovovich is so awesome. I only found the first one scary, the rest I just view as action films. So this trailer is awesome, it looks like all characters who died in previous instalments are alive! YAY Carlos and Alice can get a second chance J and Rains alive, she had such potential.

Monster University

I thought this was a rumour! Monsters Inc is one of my favourite movies and I am very excited for a sequel, what saddens me is that Boo isn’t in this film, but, this trailer shows me that even without Boo Monster University is going to be a wild ride!

Wreck-It Ralph

So I’m not a gamer, my sister and I need a walkthrough just to finish a game. We don’t have a ‘gamer brain’ as I like to call it. We are inept. That being said, a lot of my friends are gamers in some form or other, so often they’ll give me long in depth discussions of the games they are playing. Which I love, computer games/ playstation/ xb0x games sound so creative and exciting from the outside. Final fantasy is my favourite game, even though I haven’t played the games, the storylines are fantastically complex and original and different, and boy do they look good. so it’s understandable that I’m excited for Wreck it Ralph. Its different for Disney, it looks fun, and there’s a small army of video game references. It would be so awesome if Cloud from Final Fantasy ran across the screen, although highly doubtful.

Another highlight for me is that Jane Lynch is voicing a kickass space babe, and while I can’t say I’m a huge Glee fan, and find Jane Lynch’s Coach Sylvester a horrible mean bully, I must admit she can be funny and she fits this character perfectly. I also hate hate hate John C Reilly, I hate the type of comedy he does. I was subjected to Step Brothers, it was horrendous, and I’m scarred for life. That being said, his Ralph looks like a sweetie.

That little girl in the Candy land game looks like Agnes in Despicable Me. I think Disney should have tried a bit harder with her character design. And then there’s the zombie. Zombies give me nightmare, ridiculous I know but we are all afraid of something and mine would be the zombie apocalypse. But I find the zombie in Ralph’s support group oddly endearing.

Well this movie excited me, something decent to watch in the latter half of this year.

Chun Li from Street fighter in the left corner

Zangief from Street Fighter and Doctor Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog I dont know who the monster is.

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)

Dark Shadows

Oh my. This…is….just…… words fail me. THIS LOOKS RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME!!!!!! Ok now Tim Burton is living up to my expectations of the weird and macabre, his last few films either didn’t interest me and I haven’t watched them, or they weren’t as amazing as the hype surrounding them suggested. I truly wasn’t expecting a comedy; I thought this was going to be some grisly, bloody horror film. Woof, was I mistaken.

FRANKENWEENIE!!!

I feel that name should be yelled, I think it’s an awesome word to yell, with an inflection of horror in your tone.  Like Frankenstein, of which Frankenweenie is a parody.

In the beginning there was Tim Burton’s original live-action short film – Frankenweenie, filmed in 1984, in black and white, while Tim Burton was still working for Disney.  Disney in fact fired Burton for wasting their money on projects like this because they deemed them too scary for children.  I agree, Frankenweenie is not appropriate for children, but that doesn’t mean that adults can’t watch it.  Frankenweenie was not released by Disney until the DVD release of Nightmare Before Christmas, along with Burtons stop-motion short, Vincent.  Both shorts are utterly ridiculous, macabre and downright inspired.  They perfectly complement Nightmare Before Christmas.  Now Tim Burton is taking his half-hour short and turning it into a stop-motion film.  Personally I don’t think it is necessary, since the live-action short was magnificent because it was live-action.  But, the story does lend itself nicely to animation, and since stop-motion and 2D animation are dying arts, I’m excited to see it.  Stop-motion lends itself nicely to Tim Burton’s ‘style’, which I think is becoming a genre in its own right.  Who doesn’t want to see a new Tim Burton stop-motion film?  We haven’t had one since The Corpse Bride, which was good, but to me I found it fell a bit short of Nightmare Before Christmas.

Doesn’t Frankenweenie look amazing!  The dog looks like the dog in Brad Bird’s animated series Family Dog, which I vaguely remember from my childhood.  Shame that poor dog had a horrible family;  he was even more longsuffering than Courage the Cowardly Dog!  (my favourite animated dog, and cartoon).   I have just read that Tim Burton was the character designer on the Family Dog series.  I love the Igor looking kid in Frankenweenie, his teeth, his face; he just looks so ugly he’s actually adorable!  I love those teeth.  My only gripe is that Vincent Frankenstein, Frankenweenie’s master/owner looks too similar to Victor from Corpse Bride.  That being said, I suppose the main protagonists look is another Burton trademark.

Since we are on the topic of zombies, the supernatural and stop-motion, there’s another film coming out this year called ParaNorman. ParaNorman is being released by Laika, the company that made Coraline.  ParaNorman is about Norman, a boy who can talk to the dead, who is the only line of defence for his hometown when they come under siege by witches, ghosts and ghouls.  It looks fantastic, weird and quirky.  This promises to be a highly original and entertaining film.

I love the first trailer, the song Season of the Witch by Donovan creates this really surreal, supernatural feeling.  I also love the zombie toothbrush, it’s just stunning!

The second trailer gives you a better idea about the film, what our characters are like, the mood of the actual film rather than the mood created by the music used in the first trailer.  It appears to be more comedy based.