Showing posts from 2014

42 (One Paragraph Review)

The story of triumph is brilliantly executed and told with spot on storytelling. Harrison Ford brilliantly portrays the man who puts Jackie Robinson in the game. The guy who plays wash in Firefly is in this and he is despicable, but that's good because it makes it better when he gets his comeuppance. I would have like to see more of the baseball games, but I guess that this movie isn't about that. It keeps the focus on Jackie Robinson like it's supposed to. This has many dramatic, emotional and even awesome scenes. The dialogue in these scenes is very well-written. The ending is perfect for this film and satisfying.

I like how not everybody is a racist in this movie; makes it seem more realisticspeeches/monologues are well written and executedactors all do a great job

Rise of the Guardians Review

If Frank Peretti wrote the premise for This Present Darkness with our childhood fantasy characters, it would sound a lot like Rise of the Guardians. This is more than just a heart pumping action movie with cool CGI; it's also a deep movie with Sunday School elements. Don't believe me? Then, let's take a look.

The story centers around Jack Frost (Chris Pine) (which is weird as 3/4 the advertising wasn't), who for hundreds of years hasn't been able to be seen or heard by humans. Why? Because they don't believe that he exists; we quickly learn that it's the belief of human children that they exist that gives these mythical persons their powers. We also learn that an old evil is arising: Pitch Black, a.k.a. the Boogeyman (Jude Law), who is determined to make the children of the world believe in and fear him rather than our heroes. So, Santa Clause (Alec Baldwin) rallies the rest of the Guardians, the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), a…

Disney vs Dreamworks (Commentary)

As you can imagine, spending 11 hours on a plane ride from my ancestral homeland leaves for a lot of free time. And, I don't think there's any better way to spend that time than to watch Dreamworks movies. I had heard a lot from online reviewers that Dreamworks was, like, this big rival to Disney, but I never really saw Dreamworks as that big of a threat so, I didn't believe them. Then, while I was watching these movies, I was going in with a clean mind that hadn't seen these movies in quite a while. And, as I began comparing them to Disney films, I started to believe that there might be a rivalry here.  While Dreamworks isn't the iconic entertainment titan that Disney is, it's still really fun and even deeper than Disney. But, at the same time, I can't see myself completely siding over with Dreamworks because I've always loved Disney movies and probably always will. So, I decided to compare these two giants of the CGI film industry to see which one rea…

The Nightmare Before Christmas Review

Tim Burton kids' films (I can't believe those words are in the same sentence) are like little kids' first introduction to what acid trips look like. And, I don't think acid trips are better represented than in the classic stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas. When you combine such a crazy director/writer with such a cheery holiday, you get a surreal, creative, overhyped musical hallucination.

I guess I should get on to the story. In the town of Halloween, the Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon/Danny Elfman) has become bored of doing the same thing year after year. He feels trapped inside his little world of doing nothing but scaring people and longs for something new. As he walks through the forest, he comes across a circle of trees, each with a door shaped like a symbol of each holiday. He opens a door shaped like a Christmas tree and is thrown into Christmas Town. He immediately falls in love with the holiday to the point of obsession. He descr…

The Oath Book Review

In 1986, Frank Peretti launched his magnum opus. Taking a serious look at spiritual warfare, demonic forces and the power of prayer, This Present Darkness was a worldwide commercial success. Not only did it fly off Christian store bookshelves, but it also sold very well in secular bookstores. Since then, Peretti has released other bestsellers like The House, Prophet, and Illusion (don't read that one). However, there is one that stands above all the others that seems to be the most dark, the most serious, the most thought provoking and the most exciting. That novel is The Oath.

Set in a fictional town in Washington State, we begin with a woman named Evelyn running through the woods. She's bloody, scratched up, praying fervently and scared out of her freaking mind. After she attacks a semi-truck out of sheer terror, she gets taken to a hospital. Her brother-in-law, Cliff Benson, hears what's happened to her and rushes to the hospital. Evelyn doesn't remember what happene…

The Man of Steel Soundtrack Review

Before I start, I'd like to say this. To review a music score is one of the toughest things to review. Because, not everybody hears the same thing. Music can mean so many different things for so many different people. Some people could look for the emotion in it, or just listen to the music because it's cool. And others, still, will put images in their heads to the tone of the song. Personally, I like to imagine action sequences from Star Trek movies. Any way, moving on.

This soundtrack for the controversial Zack Snyder Superman movie was composed by Hans Zimmer, who also composed the music for Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and The Lion King. Zimmer's style has been defined by his overuse of trumpets, a grand, epic tone, and a dark, heavy sound. This soundtrack, though, is, in my opinion, the best soundtrack he has released to date. It's fast-paced, grand, epic and has tons of drums.

What really stands out, though, is Zimmer's ability to give each instrument …

Psych Series Review

In 2006, USA came out with a completely new TV show. They knew it was good, but they didn't know it would spawn the following that it did. Psych would go on to entertain audiences for a solid 8 years. With ingenious writing, unforgettable characters, and a welcome "feel good" tone, Psych never failed to keep the laughs and mysteries coming.

This show was cancelled just this Wednesday, so I figured it wasn't too late to talk about it. The series centers around Shawn, who's been trained by his police officer dad to hone his Sherlock Holmes-like observation ability. Due to a confusion with the Santa Barbra Police Department, he is forced to tell them that the reason he can tell so many things about people is because he's a psychic. He gets his friend Gus to help him with the scam and they start a private psychic detective agency. They solve crime throughout the series, either for the Police Department or for their own agency.

First off, the characters really do …

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Review

When I was about 11, I'd heard so much about the Lord of the Rings that I just had to watch them. Unfortunately, my Dad made me read the books, first. As I was in my room reading dry page after dry page I was thinking, "There is no way that something this boring could be as epic as all that." And to the universe: I apologize. These movies will not only be among some of the greatest films of all time, but they also claim the title of the best book-to-film adaptations ever. Anyone who is able to take books this boring and make them this awesome definitely deserves that prize.

The Fellowship of the Ring is the first in a trilogy of movies adapted from the beloved books by J.R.R. Tolkien (just because I don't like them, doesn't mean I don't give credit where credit is due). The movie all settles around a hobbit named Frodo Baggins, who inherits a magical ring. This ring turns out to be the property of the Dark Lord Sauron, who can use this ring to take over all of…

3 Things That A Frozen Sequel Needs (Commentary)

Ever since the release of Frozen, it has become the world-wide obsession for theater kids, Disney fans and 5-year-olds. Now, there's some rumors going around the internet about a possible sequel. Ok, let's just pretend for a moment that this was actually happening (a kid can dream). Like it or not, people, there were a few bugs that need to be fixed while there were also a few things that should be kept. I've got 3 things a sequel to this instant Disney classic needs to have.

First, a good villain with a villain song. I'm not saying that the twist with Hans at the end was bad (it was actually one of the film's strongest points). But, the villain aspect wasn't explored well, and the film suffered from that point of conflict. To be fair, the conflict is between the sisters but, let's be honest: we haven't had a cool Disney villain since Scar in The Lion King. Mother Gothel from Tangled was uninteresting and you couldn't love her or love to hate her. D…

My Best Friend's Wedding Review

What do you call a romantic comedy that has most of the comedy coming from a homosexual? You call it My Best Friend's Wedding, of course. This cult status chick-flick of the late 90's is often today shown in... they showed in my Brit Lit class. Logic in that, please? I digress. This film is actually not at all bad, it's just not as funny as I expected. A movie about gender stereotypes clashing in a battle for a dude should be hilarious, but it only gets chuckles when the gay guy comes in (of course).
The story of this film is pretty simple: Jules (Julia Roberts) is a food critic who gets a call from an ex-boyfriend, Michael (Dermot Mulroney). He tells her that he's getting married to a girl named Kimberly (Cameron Diaz) and that he wants her to be his "best-woman". Jules gets jealous and goes on a quest to get her man back. She does this through a series of devious manipulations and just all-around being an idiot. Though this does sound like a very good idea f…

The Prince of Egypt Review

Whenever I went over to my grandmother's house as a kid I was always excited for two reasons: she had mint ice-cream and she had movies on VHS that I didn't have at my house. My favorite one was always The Prince of Egypt. If you handed me a bowl of ice-cream and The Prince of Egypt and told me to pick, I would first ask why I couldn't have both and then I would go watch The Prince of Egypt.

Growing up in a Christian house, I already knew the story of Moses, but I'd never seen it told like this. In the story, the pharaoh has decided that the Hebrews have grown too great in number so, he sends his soldiers out to murder every baby boy. But, one family sends their son/brother in a basket down the Nile River, where he's picked up by the queen and raised as a prince along side his step-brother, Ramses. Years later, Moses discovers his true heritage and runs away into the desert to live with a tribe of Midianites. He settles down, gets married, and finds a life of peace…

Frozen Review

This film was hyped up so much I was worried that it was going to be overhyped. I was incorrect to a ridiculous extent. This has taken Disney back to its glory days of fairytale interpretations with a modern spin. This film, made by the same creators of Tangled and Wreck It Ralph, is marked with stunning animation, a stellar voice cast, and beautiful music. The only mistake I made regarding this movie is that I saw it two days after I saw it the first time.

The story of Frozen centers around two princesses, Anna and Elsa, the latter of whom possesses ice powers that she can't control. So, Elsa keeps them under wraps so that she can't hurt her sister. Unfortunately, this keeps her away from Anna and so the once close sisters drift apart into their adolescent years. At Elsa's coronation as queen, though, the sisters get a chance to bond, but things go awry when Elsa gets stressed and looses control of her powers. In her attempt to flee, Elsa accidentally freezes the kingdom …

Doctor Who Series Review

You'd think a show starting 50 years ago would not still be running to this day. Well, in most cases you'd be right but, this is Doctor Who. If a sci-fi about a madman in time traveling blue box from the 60s doesn't sound like television gold to you, then you're in the exact mindset I was in last year. Then my friend got me watching it, I'm hooked, so let's talk about it. Seems the thing to do, yes?

So, yeah, the show is all about a time traveling, humanoid alien called the Doctor (that's his name) who goes around the universe and all throughout history fighting evil and having all sorts of adventures. Along the way, the Doctor picks up companions, mostly young women, to travel with because he gets lonely. There's like one over-arcing story per season but, other than that it's just adventures and exciting entertainment. However, don't make the mistake I made when I went into this show; after all the meams all over Facebook, I was expecting a com…

Robocop Review

I'll admit right up front: I've never seen the original Robocop. And, after all my dad has told me about it, I'm glad. Now, after seeing reviews online, I was just expecting a fun action movie. And, that's exactly what I got, with a little more brains than I was expecting. I warn you, though, whatever you're expecting the beginning to be, it's not it.

The plot of Robocop is simple: the world is being policed by robots instead of cops everywhere except America. The senate is trying to pass a bill that would allow robots to go on the streets. They're not moving fast enough for the supplier company, however, and so they search for a human cop that they could make a cyborg and put on the streets to show machine efficiency. It just so happens that a good cop, named Murphy, is hit with a car bomb by a couple of corrupt cops who work for a mobster who wants Murphy off his trail. His wife volunteers him for an operation to save his life. So, Gary Oldman and a bunch…

The Last Airbender Review

When I was a kid, I never actually watched Avatar: The Last Airbender. But, when it came out on Netflix, you can bet my siblings and I were all over it. It was just the right balance of action, drama and comedy, all while having awesome characters to back it up. So we should celebrate that fact by talking about this piece of crap, I guess.

Jeezum, I don't even know where to start with this. I guess I should start by saying that the film was directed by M. Night Shyamalan, Academy Award nominated writer and director of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs. But, he was also the Razzie award nominated director and writer of such stinkers like Lady in the Water and The Happening. Naturally, any kid who saw the commercials for this film hadn't even heard of Shyamalan so, we really didn't know what to expect. What we got was a horrendous adaptation of a beloved Nickelodeon cartoon.

The premise is not bad, I suppose. Katara and Sokka find an Airbender named Aang, who is the la…

Why Are Christian Movies Bad? (Commentary)

With the announcement that a new Christian film is coming out soon, I actually find myself being annoyed. From the preview, I can already tell how the movie's going to start, progress, and end. Though I'd still watch it any way, since I'm a Christian, but it'll more than likely still annoy me. After watching the trailer, I got to thinking: what is it about these movies that tick me off?

Well, here's the problem: they don't feel realistic. In Christian movies, everybody, even the people who aren't Christian or the antagonists, are too nice. They don't cuss, use foul language, or do anything really diabolical. They're more obviously mean than evil or cruel. If they want a good villain, or good movie in general, they have to make the film feel more realistic. In the real world, even Christians can be mean; in these movies, they're like the perfect human beings. Christian are also flawed people and should be portrayed as such.

If the Christian prota…

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Book Review

Back in 2010, one of my friends handed me a book. I'd seen it once or twice on the school shelves but had never picked it up. I flipped to the table of contents and looked at the first chapter. "I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher" was not what I expected but it's what I got. Little did I know I held in my hands a book I should've read eons before.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief was the first in a line of five books that I will consider the greatest teen novels of all time until the day I die. The plot centers around Percy Jackson, an ADHD, dyslexic twelve-year old who discovers he is part of a world of mythical gods and legendary monsters. And, after discovering his unique heritage, must find the legendary Master Bolt of Zeus, the king of Olympus. If he, and two friends, don't find it before summer solstice (don't ask, just read), the end of the world is nye.

I've often heard this franchise accused of being a Harry Pot…

Batman: Arkham Origins Review

It all started with Batman: Arkham Asylum, the most celebrated Batman game of all time and winner of "Game of the Year". This dark and gritty addition to the Batman mythos had you, as Batman, making your way through the fabled Arkham Asylum which had been taken over by the Joker. Two years later, Rocksteady Studios gave us an infinitely superior sequel: Batman: Arkham City. It was also a big hit and winner of "Game of the Year". After the bitter-sweet ending of that game, we were waiting in agony for another Arkham game for another two years until Warner Bros. Games Montreal, not Rocksteady, gave us a surprisingly satisfying prequel: Batman: Arkham Origins.

The plot of the game takes place 2 years after Bruce Wayne (not Kevin Conroy) has begun his crusade as Batman, hardly anything more than an urban myth among Gotham. Now, the Black Mask is stirring up trouble in Gotham and Batman begins to hear whispers of a criminal mastermind named the Joker (not Mark Hamill). …

My Top 10 Movies

This is my public service act for the week. Not only am I giving you my complete biased opinion, I'm also giving you a list of awesome movies you can now go watch.

Note: Though my number 1 on my list is my favorite movie of all time, numbers 10-2 are interchangeable; they could all be my number 2.

10. The Prestige is one of those movies that makes it onto this list for one reason - the ending.  Sure, everything else is great, too; the Nolan brothers write an intriguing story about two rival magicians, choose great actors and direct it very well.  But that alone doesn't guarantee a spot on my Top 10 list.  The ending had me staring, open-mouthed, at the screen halfway through the credits; it changed everything you thought about the movie, the characters and it never gets old no matter how many times you watch it.

9. Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest storytellers of the past century, no doubt. And ET: The Extraterrestrial is evidence for that. The story of a stranded alien…

Thor: The Dark World Review

When I saw the first Thor movie about three years ago (just so I could be caught up to speed when I watched the Avengers) I felt it lacked something the other Marvel films to that point didn't. Now, after seeing Thor 2, I know what that is: a natural feel.

I saw Thor 2 in, like, November but I still remember most of it. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has now returned to Asgard to defeat generic forces of evil that are invading the Nine Realms. In the mean time, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is being held in a cell on Asgard for the invasion of Earth, which has now been almost 2 years. But that's not even how the movie begins; it begins with a long, and cool looking, prologue talking about, and showing, Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston), a Dark Elf who wants to cover the universe in darkness so his race can be the supreme rulers again. And to defeat this villain, Thor seeks out Loki's help since Odin (Anthony Hopkins) has closed off Asgard and now only Loki knows a way out of A…