Friday, August 2, 2013

Cowboys & Aliens

A surprisingly entertaining take on the typical cowboys and Indians.  With a relatively broad group of characters that arch throughout the film, you are given the opportunity to truly care about these people and ride along with them as they fight against the aliens.  I am almost tempted to go back and count the number of shots of Daniel Craig's Ass!  Seriously, though.  While I enjoy seeing this hansom man's backside, this is a limit that they most certainly crossed in this film.  It's not like you get the same with the other characters, just Daniel Craig.  

Aside from the yummy Daniel Craig eye candy of him lookin' hot in his cowboy outfit, this film was actually entertaining.  Some of the plot was a little predictable, but I would say mostly for the character stories, not the actual alien plot.  The girl's story was kind of interesting and not anything I would have expected!

I am not a western fan in general, but this had enough excitement and character development to hold my attention and over all, I actually enjoyed this!  I really thought they were going to take this in a really different direction.  I am glad they didn't!

Definitely worth a watch!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review: Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

Snow White and the Huntsman

The unspoken characters in this film are certainly the landscapes, locations, and scenery   They are very well thought out and well utilized. Although this is a story we all grew up with, Rupert Sanders wanted to give us more of an action/adventure film and her certainly succeeded.

The story pairs her with a Huntsman from another town to help her escape.  The magic isn't over the top in this film.  I was happy to see that when it was used, they kept it subtle.  The Mirror was one of the realistic mirrors that I have seen used. Not the melting metal dude, but just the disk.  I liked the queen Charlize Theron embodied, except when she screamed! It was so over the top and forced, it just pulled me out of the movie and made me laugh.

The cinematography is incredible and I really enjoyed the visuals.  The makeup on the queen is amazing.  Especially as she transforms from old to young and back. The scene where she comes out of the milk bath is very cool and executed perfectly. I  am not sure if it is CG or if she really did that, but it was a great visual. If it was real, it had to be some kind of paint or something.

I like that they stay true to the fact that the princess has a collection with nature and the creatures around her.  They don't take it to the cartoony level, but the subtlness is just enough.

With her being locked in the tower, it makes since that she would be as pale as snow.

While I am not a fan of the Twilight serious I did take into account the fact that her crappy character in that film was partially due to the character she was portraying as well as the the writing and directing. With
that said, I don't think she is much different in this film, her acting that is.  She stares a lot, and the only real difference is that she is doing something... kinda.  She is very helpless at the beginning and only survives with the help of the huntsman.  She actually had me concerned for her a few times.  I don't think another actress in the same situation would have given her much of a different experience... well, actually... yeah. They would have, but her constant blank stares and lack of emotion do leave much to be desired.

There is an amazing scene where the Dark forest nearly consumes her with fear.  She is blasted with what I can only imagine is some kind of neurotoxin that causes her darkest fears to comes to life. The visuals were amazing and it made me feel like I was tripping a bit! Very cool.

The bowl headed brother of the queen is an annoying character that I didn't quite understand.  I get that he's loyal because she is family, but he's just annoying to me and I don't get his motivation aside from loyalty.

I really must say that the cinematography really does make the film.  the visuals, sets, and lighting are really done well.

Ok, the fairy world is beautiful and I really do like some of the lenses used. I have to say that some of these shots truly are breathtaking.

I must say, though, I would truly be creeped out if two little naked dudes climbed out of the front of two birds and walked past mushrooms with eyeballs in them.

I did feel like I was watching a bit of Princess Mononoke with the big elk thing and the bad guys coming after it, and her. Thanks for letting me borrow your picture: Source.

Wow... This all almost makes since... They just combined the two films.

I don't get why we don't have more of a conversation about William being with these bad men?  Even just a quick argument about using them to find her. I do like the bit of a love triangle they create.

What? That is where they left off this film? Which guy does she choose? I mean, I guess we are suppose to know that the Huntsman is her true love, since that is what broke the spell, but doesn't anyone ever question why or how she woke up?  I guess in a situation like that they were just happy to have her back.  But the Huntsman seemed almost like he choose to stay on the outside and not become a King. He obviously loved her, and so did William. It is clear that she had feelings for William in the forest when she thought the queen was him, so... did she take the safe route and go with William, or is that left for the next film?

Overall, I rather enjoyed this film.  It was incredibly beautiful with incredible cinematography and they did try Charlize Theron made a great queen. She really looked the part and aside from her almost comical yelling, she was very much like Maleficent, from Sleeping Beauty in her evilness.  Maleficent, by the way, one of all time favorite female villains.
to stay away from anything TOO fantastic. I applaud them for trying to make a more realistic version of the story, but there were a few things that just sort of fell flat for me.  I almost wish they just would have made a film called the princess and the Huntsman rather than making it Snow White.  I really liked the story, how it was done,

Chris Hemsworth, also known for his role in Thor, really played a ax welding warrior really well!  Wait... Where have I seen something like this before... Humm... That's ok, it will come to me. LOL! He really takes the character to heart and knows how to make it his own. Although I didn't like Thor, I did like him, and I enjoyed watching him again in this film. He is certainly a talented actor.

That brings us to Kristen Stewart... *Stares blankly into the screen with her mouth agape while crickets chirp  So, she didn't do too bad a job, but much like her role in Twilight, she does a lot of staring with her mouth open and shows very little facial expression.  She is just kind of boring to me, even though I liked this. If the film would have been less amazing visually, and the focus more on her, she wouldn't have been able to carry it. Overall, she did do a decent job. The role seemed to call for someone that could walk around and stare at things and she does that pretty well. I think I would have liked to see her arch a little more doing the story.  She doesn't truly begin to arch until the end and even then it is very little. She rallies her people in death and only when she rises from the dead are they ready to follow her.
She should have learned to fight in the woods, but we never saw that, she should have learned to lead, but she never did, she should have learned to close her mouth... I don't mean to hate, when when you notice that, you just can't stop staring... It would make a great drinking game, but you would never see the end of the film!

I didn't like that they recon the queens motivation, making it more about a spell that was placed on her rather than her pure vanity. In the fairy tale, it is all about her being beautiful and staying eternally beautiful at any cost and Snow White is just too pretty.

Thank you for reading!  if you have any questions, or comments, please post them!  Keep watching for more reviews.  If you have any suggestions for films, please post those as well!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: Green Day's American idiot (2013)

Let me start by saying that Green Day has been in the list of my top favorite bands for almost 20 years and they certainly withstand the test of time. This review is not about the band, only the music that someone decided to make into a musical.  I know this isn't a film, but who said I was limited to writing film, reviews! Exactly! So here goes.

Friday, May 17, 2013 I attended the opening show of Green Day's American Idiot in Tampa, Florida at the STRAZ center. I know, what a dorky name.  I was concerned when the first musical number started off with the three lead men off key and the microphones were to hot on one.  I was happy that they improved and so I chalk this up to human error.  The music was well preformed over all and it was just as the album is with minor narration added in, in the form of diary entries and letters to the main characters mom.  Went to see this with my Mom, by the way, and I KNOW she had no clue what the album was about because she about walked out! LOL!  My biggest complaints about this show were only a few things.  The choreography was weird and didn't always feel right.  There were several times where the chorus would come out and be  bent over doing what looked like they were pounding the floor for several minutes.  It was awkward and I wasn't feeling any emotional connection with them at that time, just confusion. Another issue I had is that I felt they could have done more with this.  They had a great album that was literally a rock opera and they just rewrote the music and created a story with it. With that said, I felt the show was engaging, vibrant, and did convey the message of the album.  Although a bit hypocritical  This was a fairly entertaining show.  The actors worked very hard and I could see that they put their all into it and for that I give them a round of applause.  Would I see this again... No... Not a chance. I'll go listen to the album if I want to go back to this story. Would I recommend seeing this?  Not at $50 bucks a ticket. I'm sure it will come out on DVD or.. just listen to the album and save your money. It was entertaining to watch but really just made me want to see a good show, like Book of Mormon! I'm excited that they will be here in November! Yay!

Prometheus: Sneak Peek

OMG, I want SOOOOOOO bad to like this film!  Even now, after seeing what an abomination the film was, the trailer still makes it look so epic, I want to see it.  That’s just wrong! LOL!  For that reason alone, I may try to give this POS another viewing so that I can share with you have terrible it really is… But it’s SOOO BAD!  Ug… frustrated… Thanks HBO GO and your Epic extended Sneak Peek of this crap!  
I think what frustrates me the most was that this  film could have been SO good!  It is the short cuts, the lack of thought, incite  or attention to detail that really made this film bomb.  Characters that are unneeded, plot points that are never explained, or unnecessary  and worst of all idiot conveniences that were there for no reason.  If those points would have been better thought through, if the characters would have been better developed, especially the unneeded ones because I certainly saw potential there, this film could truly have been epic.  I have lost my faith in Ridley Scott because of the lack of care in this film.  
Ok… I have convinced myself to do it…  I will fight through the crap and sit through Prometheus once again for this review.  It will be coming very soon…
Read more reviews at Building Priceless.

Review: Mirror Mirror (2012)

mirror mirror eyebrows
Oh… Ummm… I mean This is my review of Mirror Mirror (2012)
Ok, first off,  WHY DOES EVERY FILM HAVE TO END WITH A MUSICAL?????? I just don’t get it! Is it a Musical? NOOOOO!!!! So why are we putting a musical montage at the end.  Do writers just not understand how to end a film anymore?  Do they lack the creativity to leave the audience in awe without ruining any true feelings they have created during the film?  SHIT!!! All I can think of now is that awful song that this film ended with… That and the hideous dress they put Snow White in.  Maybe that is their goal… To erase all memory of  the crap you just watched, although I must admit that there are a few decent films that end on a musical number like Ella Enchanted.  A Guilty pleasure of mine only because I really enjoy Anne Hathaway.  ERG… Just trying to slush this crap off and remember what actually took place in the film.
It’s like… I’m under the queens spell… Hummm….
Mirror Mirror is one of the modern remakes of the fairy Tale, Snow White and the Seven Dowarfs. If you don’t know it, it is the story of an evil queen, brought in to help raise a motherless princess, but is truly a wicked and vein woman.  It is said that she murdered her husband and kept Snow White locked in the castle until her beauty became too great that her began to surpass her own.  The Queen NEEDED to be the most beautiful and sent her advisor to kill the girl.  Being faithful to her father, he lets her go.  She runs through the forrest, finds some dwarfs that take her in, and in the end defeats the queen with the help of the dwarfs, a handsome prince, and the inner strength she finds within her own heart. Much like the fairy tale, the Queen is played by an evil women… J/K, lol, Julia Roberts is actually one of my favorite female actress’, although getting around $75m per film on AVERAGE can throw anyone a little off.  I can only guess where most of the budget went.  I enjoyed the sets, they breath life into an industry that would rather green screen something than have something practical.  The costumes were a little over the top, however that seems like the theme in this film.  Throw in a few modern zingers like “focus groups” and… Ug… a… (Oh I don’t want to say it) a… Musical number… *Vomit* at the end and we have a modern fairy tale movie.  Let’s empower the woman a bit, maybe have her read about all these damsel’s in distress and she doesn’t want to be one.  I get it, women are empowered and these stories are outdated, but what girl doesn’t like to be saved at least once in her life… I know you are saying no right now, but on the inside, you agree!
So we have this girl, that simply wonders for the first half of the film… literally… she wanders around her room, wanders into a party, wanders into town… You get it… She wanders.
Once she is taken in by the dwarfs we “GOTTA HAVE A MONTAGE…A MOTHER FUCKING MONTAGE…” Sorry, gotta throw in a little love for Team America.  Literally, we have a Rocky montage with her training, standing on a ball, and… learning to find the strawberry?  I didn’t know carnival games helped you fight an EVIL QUEEN that can do MAGIC!!! Oh well, I did kind of like the outfit changes.  I get what they were going with, but I am not really sure how they came to the outfit she found.  Were these clothes they stole?  Was she making them? Do the dwarfs just HAPPEN to have a closet full of women’s clothing?
Ah yes, the dwarfs… I liked them! I am actually glad that they changed their names while still keeping the generalized characteristics of the originals. Grim… “Grim would go on to write several fairy tales…” Really? I digress, I think they were probably some of the most thought out characters in the film and although I thought the stilts were a little stupid looking, I did like the idea of deception.
The beginning felt awkward to me, with Julia Roberts talking about the story that she was in and then at the end coming back to her to finish it.  I get that they were trying to tie it in and have a way to tell the story, but how about letting Grim tell a tale… SINCE HE BECOMES A STORYTELLER!!!  It’s not like you had to give away who he was to do this.  They could have done a waist shot and kept it close enough that you didn’t notice, focusing in on the people he was telling the story too… Or.. Maybe just reading the book he wrote…
On that note… WTF!!!  What is with the HUGE bow on the back of her dress at the end????  Where they trying to match her EYEBROWS???
Ok… now that I got that out of my system…  Back to the story.
They did a great job making the story their own and adding a few twists to it.  Julia put on a performance as did the other characters.  Timon, sorry can’t think of his name at the moment, made for a good henchman and roach.  The prince, which I think played the prince in The Prince and me 2, or something else… he does make a good boring, simpleminded, yet handsome prince. Ug.. EYEBROWSSS…. Sorry, they are Plaaaaaggggguinggg me… I see them in my mind… They… they… they are everywhere!
I liked the dwarfs, they were well casted.  I like the dude that played the king.  What’s his name? Oh right, the Lord from Game of Thrones. I think he just walked off the set of one and right on to the other.  Same gear and everything.  Must have been this film first, though, because his cloths are all tattered in that show.  Good show, though.  I think it is back at the end of this month!  Yay!  But… When is Breaking Bad back?   Another good show.  I’ve always wondered how to dissolve a body… * crickets chirping* What???  They do that…
Mirror Mirror is did have a cool Mirror effect. I like that she explores herself within the mirror.  That was a nice twist.  As if her inner reflection was advising her.  Now days, I think we call that Bi-Polar… no… Schizophrenia? Something like that.  What was Drop Dead Fred? An imaginary friend? Wow, that’s funny.  both of those films have several really bad characters, a stupid, but simi unique plot and a bland, brunet that does what everyone tells her until she manages to seek out her inner strength.
Wait… Which film were we talking about? I lost track.  It’s had to keep track of so many Sherk format rip offs.  I mean… at least donkey was funny at time and not some wannabe side kick who’s comedy has been dumbed down and simplified for the masses because Hollywood thinks we are dumb.  Oh… What’s that you say?  Dumb sells?  Smart bits get overlooked and even when they are a cinematic masterpieces like Citizen Kane, people just look at it, see black and white and go… Uuuhh… That’s dumb… RRRIIIIIGGGHHHTTT… The FILM is dumb… I attribute it to all the sugar and caffeine we are pumping into people so they will work faster, for longer, and for less money.  It literally costs me an HOUR of work, actually a little more with taxes taken out, to GO WATCH A MOVIE AT THE THEATER…  all so they can pay Julia $5m per day… ERG… They just spend as much as they could on that HUGE FUCKING BOW tied to her back at the end of the movie…
The fight scene at the end is very anti climatic, but the reveal was pretty cool. I didn’t see that coming.  Snow White marries the prince, the witch gets what she deserves, blah blah blah happily ever after.
Overall, not a bad watch.  Lagging in places and I will not be adding this to my collection, but not bad.
I think they needed music, bright colors, and a a lot of motion to keep the caffeinated and sugared up kids in the theaters after consuming a 64oz Mountain Dew and 6 boxes of sugar covered gummy bears.
See more Reviews at Building Priceless.

Review: Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

I am not usually taken aback by a film, but Oz the Great and Powerful was a film the whole family can enjoy. It showed us how to look inside ourselves and although we may strive for greatness, we often overlook the inner strength that is already there.  I was pleasantly surprised buy the use of graphics in this film.  Although, at times, I did fell like I had fallen on to Pandora and was waiting for a big blue cat creature to come out of the woods. Oz was beautiful and Raimi kept very true to the original while giving us a new vision of the fabled land.
Seeing this for the first time, and never having seen Wicked, I really didn’t know how most of the early story came to be.  This helped to put together some of the missing pieces while building the great wizard into the man he was destined to be.   This is one of those films where you know the outcome, but the journey to that realization was a good one. I especially enjoyed the well written parallels between the characters back home and his new friends.
I saw this in 3D.  Generally, I am not a big fan of movies jumping out at me around every corner, but this wasn’t like that. Yes, of coarse there were a few moments but at points I felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride right there with Franco!  They utilized the 3D to bring you into the story ,rather than just to poke you with it.  SPOILER ALERT*** At one point, they are dancing and it feels like you are in Francos arms right there in Oz.
The animated characters were something I was afraid of.  In the previews, I saw a weird little girl doll and a flying monkey… WHAT!!! Oh crap, these are going to be the annoying comic relief to make the kids laugh… At least that is what I thought.  The Monkey and the doll were integral to the wizards character arc and although they did pose as the comic relief at times, it wasn’t over the top.
All three witches did good job.  I really enjoyed seeing the dynamics between the sisters and learning a little more about how the Wicked Witch became green and so evil. Franco is always a solid bet in my book and he never lets me down.  One person that I felt was overshadowed in this film was Zach Braff.  He is in the first part of the film and is the voice of the monkey throughout the remainder.  His light comedic style really brought his characters to life and ensured that you didn’t take them too seriously unless you needed too.
Excellent visuals, beautiful sets, amazing acting, and a well written script.  I would definitely recommend seeing this.  More than once… probably.  Will I buy it… maybe in $7.50 Blu-Ray bin.  $9.99 tops.  Absolutely worth a look, though.

See more reviews at Building Priceless

Review: The Fountain (2006)

The Fountain (2006)
I write to you tonight as the gentle glow of the moonlight is reflected in the glistening teardrops adorning my cheeks.  I am humbled.  I am nothing more than a woman in love that fears a life without her better half. This film defies time and space to reach deep inside your soul.  It reminds you to grasp the fleeting moments we have on this little blue planet and reflects upon the fear we will all one-day face, death.  I enjoyed the symbolism and applaud these visionaries for keeping the theme strong throughout. In life there is death and death gives life.  Although we are all destined to parish, we constantly better ourselves to avoid the inevitable.  Those great leaps help future generations to life longer giving us more time to truly live.  Without death, what is the value of life?
Hugh Jackman plays a scientist conflicted with his own fear of losing his dying wife, Rachel Weisz.  She is plagued by a tumor that he spends his life trying to fix.  Even with the advances he makes, they are too late. I am young, and fear the moment when my husband and I will be taken from each other into the uncertain. Some believe there is an afterlife, a heaven, or even that we will be reborn.  This film made me reflect on the inner understanding that we are all a part of nature and are only given a short time to enjoy this gift.  Jackman’s character is taken through stages of grief, from denial, anger, and into acceptance. When we realizes that death is life, is able to let go and move on knowing that the gift he has was meant to help others in his same situations.  Weisz’s death will help others live.
While in a bubble of his own creation, Jackman brings a tree that at first we are lead to believe is the tree of life.  I believe the vision of this tree was more a reflection on his own inner desire to save Weisz.  The tree, in essence, represented her.  The stories parallel a book that Weisz writes about a Conquistador that is sent looking for the tree of life by the Queen of Spain.  In her condition, she learned to make piece with death and understood that her death is only the beginning of life.  She was not afraid and was able to convey this in her book.  By asking Jackman to finish it, he was able to face his daemons and allow that fear and loneliness to die, making way for the creation of a new man, and a new world of medicine.
The visuals were incredible; they used light to help tell the story. The symbolism helped to drive the story, and while confusing at times, the story made a statement about life and death.  I really enjoyed this film and will certainly be adding it to my collection.  I am unsure how it took me this long to find this film, maybe in our early relationship, this film wouldn't have made as much since to me.  I am glad that I watched “The Fountain.” If you get nothing more for this blog, I do recommend anyone that has ever been in love, to see this film.
See more postings at Building Priceless.