Thursday, June 19, 2008

Get Smart: Review

I was incredibly tired from college but I got pulled to see Get Smart. And it was funny as shit! Laughed the whole way through!
So Get Smart is based on a 1960's comedy series about an agent named Maxwell Smart who is assigned with Agent 99 played by Anne Hathaway who are trying to investigate the people behind an attack in CONTROL headquarters and uncovers a plot involving KAOS and lotso nuclear bombs.
The big change that the movie makes from the series is that the character Maxwell Smart is no longer that bumbling incompetent idiot who gets things done on sheer luck. Now we have a character who is a smart man but just makes stupid mistakes which makes the character a whole lot funnier.
Everyone is perfectly cast in this film. We have Steve Carrell who is always funny as hell as Maxwell Smart. We have Anne Hathaway as sexy Agent 99 but still an intelligent woman, The Rock as the undercover villain, Alan Arkin as the Chief and Hiro Nakamura with some other guy playing the sidekicks to Steve Carrell.
Anne Hathaway is smoldering in this movies. And she does a pretty decent job in this. She and Steve Carrell have great chemistry, she's incredibly funny with him and tell me you didn't like it when she tore of her skirt and did the tango. What I need from her right now, is a movie where she's dressed in tight leather and swinging a samurai sword. Yes that is my fantasy. Don't judge me!!!
And why can't The Rock just stick do doing decent roles like in Gridiron Gang and in this one. He's not a bad actor that man, it's just that he's been doing some really shitty kids movies like The Game Plan. He does an okay job in this, nothing to go crazy about but definitely a step up from what he did in The Game Plan.
There's a lot of funny moments I loved in this film. The Cone of Silence bit is hella hilarious, cameos from Bill Murray and The Great muthafuckin Khali were fantastic to. I neve knew the guy could speak fluent English. He was always mumble mumble mumble rarr in WWE. I loved all the James Bond references and parodies and I loved Steve Carrell's humor in this.
The only complain I have is that this didn't have to drag on for 2 bloody hours. I was so tired at the end I could barely remember half of the movie. There were plenty of stuff that they could have shaved off in this. Like that bit with KAOS which really didn't do anything for the story.
So yeah, funny movie.. great characters. What more can you ask for a summer comedy?

RATING: 6/10

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kung Fu Panda: Review

Dreamworks has hit a home run with this film. From the very beginning I fell in love with this movie.
Kung Fu Panda is set in the fictitious Valley of Peace where kung fu is like a religion and the kung fu masters were revered. But when the valley is threatened with the return of the evil Tai Lung, the kung fu masters decide to choose the Dragon Warrior to protect the people. But things get a lil screwed up when Po, an obese slacker panda is chosen.
Kung Fu Panda takes every best fight scene from every best Shaw brothers film and merging them together to make an action animated film that I hold on par to The Incredibles. The kung fu fight scenes in this is absolutely gorgeous to watch and they do a lot of creative stunts with these characters that real life actors can never do. It really comes across like real people fighting and it's really exciting to watch.
And this film is hella hella funny. I'm still in stitches when I think about the scenes from this movie two days later. This is everything an animation comedy should be. Finally, I have a smart, funny, kick ass animation film that doesn't rely on pop culture reference jokes or fart jokes to make the show entertaining. This film is genuinely hilarious to the bone. Even some scenes that weren't meant to be funny had me laughing my ass off.
Jack Black brings the funny to the character of Po which is by far one of the funniest animated characters this year. Po has a lot of heart to him, he's likable, he's adorable and he is super hilarious. Especially when he's fighting, cause his kung fu style resembles that of a drunken kung fu master where it's completely spontaneous almost accidental for the most part.
The filmmaker really did his homework when it comes to paying homage to kung fu and kung fu movies. The Furious 5 as we may already know, is an homage to the Five Deadly Venoms and I've heard that the characters monkey, tiger, viper, crane and mantis symbolized the 5 styles of kung fu which they got down to a T. They really didn't have to go that far to make Kung Fu Panda a more entertaining film but the fact they did that makes this movie even more enjoyable for kung fu fans.
And great voice cast overall, Dustin Hoffman is almost unrecognizable as Shifu, Angelina Jolie is great, Jackie Chan is great, David Cross- great casting on his part, Lucy Liu and Seth Rogen were fantastic and Ian McShane! God damn that dude has a cool voice! 
So after many years of Pixar reigning as animation king, Dreamworks finally comes out with a classic themselves that could very well take the Oscar from Pixar this year. I love the hell out of this, this is my favorite animated film this year.

RATING: 9/10

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian: Review

This book was my least favorite in the Narnia series.And The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe didn't leave much for me to expect. Prince Caspian really put the nail in the coffin for any hopes of me seeing a good adaptation of Narnia.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is very much like Shakespeare's Hamlet. It's about Narnia hundreds of years from the last film being ruled by some evil king who has ordered the death of his son/nephew (I forgot) Prince Caspian played by Ben Barnes. Caspian escapes and accidentally summons the Pevensie children back to Narnia.
Now the reason why this was my least favorite Narnia book is because of all 7 books, this one had two stories instead of one main plot. And also because we only see Aslan for 3 seconds. We have this story of Prince Caspian forming a rebelion of Narnians to retake the land from the Telmarins. And we have the story of the Pevensie children trying to figure out what the hell they're doing back in Narnia.
The film bored me during the Pevensie children's side story. It's basically and hour long sequence of them walking through the jungle with a 70 year old pedophilia dwarf while constantly asking, "What are we doing here?" "What happened?" "Where's Aslan?" While I get that this was all in the book and was necessary, the director could have easily shaved of 30 minutes and focused on what was the real plot of the film, Prince Caspian.
I still feel that the Pevensie children were gravely miscast. Hardly any of these characters are memorable, I just didn't care about them. When you're making a series as big as Narnia, you gotta have good actors that can carry characters. Take Harry Potter for example. Radcliffe, Watson and Grint. Just by their surnames you can picture their HP characters. It's like the second film already and if people can't recognize the main characters, you're series is in deep shit.
But I think that Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley are really coming into their own and they were the better half of the Pevensie kids in my opinion. Hopefully they'll have better material to work on when Dawn Treader comes around.
But what I did like was Ben Barnes as Prince Caspian. He was the only character I liked in the film and his scenes does make up huge ground that was lost developing the Pevensie children's plot. Horrible accent aside, he fits that image of young, strapping, medieval rebel.  Plus I love the hair, I wonder what shampoo he uses?
The CGI of the film is spectacular like in any fantasy film. My personal fav is what I call the 'sungaiman' scene. You know, the part where the river turns into a man and terrorizes a bunch of soldiers on the bridge. Yeah, that scene was pretty cool. And I felt the part with the trees were much better than the Ents in Lord of the Rings. The battle scenes have vastly improved since The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The editing is a whole lot better and it finally feels like an action battle instead of a Disney version of a battle.
But all the great visuals and battle scenes still couldn't redeem an hour long of the annoying Pevensie children walking and talking. This would have been a better film if it stayed with Prince Caspian for the most parts and ex that horrible use of Regina Spektor at the end. I was like... WTF? This is a fantasy medieval film. You can't have a pop song in this. Where the hell is you're orchestra God dammit!

RATING: 5/10

The Incredible Hulk: Review

Now I always thought Ang Lee was a great director but I remembered when he made Hulk, man I wanted to slap that Chinese man silly.
On the other hand, this is what a Hulk movie should be. See when it comes to comic book movies, sure we gotta have emotions and character development but too much emo stuff is boring. We gotta have some action man, we gotta have cars blowing up, buildings collapsing and shit. The Incredible Hulk is one heck of a movie that makes me forget all about that turd Ang Lee made a few years back. And though it's not as great as Iron Man, I till enjoyed this film a lot.
So The Incredible Hulk is about Bruce Banner played by Edward Norton who's this scientist that accidentally becomes poisoned with Gamma radiations when an experiment goes bad. Whenever his heart rate reaches a high level, the little scrawny man turns into one bad ass green wonder. The film sets he Hulk story very much in today's world encompassing the military into the plot which opens up the movie to a possibility of an Avengers franchise.
But let's not look to far out just yet. Let's just talk about this kick ass movie. So the first thing that I really loved about Hulk was Edward Norton who plays Bruce Banner. There is simply nothing this guy can't do. I mean, he did Fight Club, he was King Benedict and now he lays a big green guy and he's absolutely kick ass.
He really fits the character of what Bruce Banner should be. Not the muscular Eric Bana in the last film, Bruce Bane is first and foremost.. an ordinary scientist who is always more brains than brawn who gets thrust into this world of violence when he get's his power. He is scared. For himself and of himself and what he could do to the people around him. Edward Norton plays that brilliantly and I identified with his Banner much more than Eric Bana's.
What's also great about this film is that the director was smart in making the decision to edit this movie into s sort of manhunt film. Throughout the movie,we're following Bruce Banner as he is trying to outsmart the military and stay under the radar while he works on a formula to cure his disease. We're tense through most of the film thinking, "Is he gonna escape?" or "Will they catch him?"
The series borrows the premise of the Bourne films in a way where we get some really great action and chase scenes and then the movie stops for a moment of plot development and goes back into more action scenes. The film is tight, it's fast paced and it's fruckin entertainment galore!
The second best performance in this was Tim muthafuckin Roth baby! For a dude that's verging on 50, he's still one bad ass. He plays some sort of super soldier who isn't afraid of the Hulk but fascinated at it's power and goes to great lengths to achieve that same power which of course leads to him becoming The Abomination. The fight scene between Hulk and Abomination is great. It's kind of like Transformers where there is so much stuff going on you can't hardly catch you're breath.
But what I hated was Tim Blake Nelson as this bumbling wise-cracking professor who is really just there to be the comic relief of the film. Now, I loved the guy in O Brother,Where Art Thou but he was downright annoying here. Right where the movie is about to reach it's action packed climax, we get this guy who's practically falling over himself and acting like a total foo. He was playing the exact same character from O Brother. Cant the dude do anything else than just being silly Hill-Billie type of characters?
And do watch out for the Robert Downey Jr. cameo at the end. With something like that,you can bet you're life there's going to be an Avengers movie somewhere down the line. And if they can keep up this streak of fantastic origin stories with Thor, Ant-Man and Captain America.. The Avengers movie is going to be epicness.
So overall The Incredible Hulk is great. Their setting everything up nicely for the real big cheese and I can't wait for that to happen!


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