Ramblings of a Princess

Category: movies (page 10 of 11)

Revivals Galore

I’m sure I’m not the only one who noticed the recent wave — no, tsunami — of revivals recently. Be it in fashion, music, tv or movies, the oldies are back. Bangles, gypsy earrings and Chucks look cool again (but shoulder pads, big hair and silver gloves do not, thank God). Jazz is resurfacing in the airwaves, whether old school or in a new, poppish sound. Old comic books and TV series are getting reboots and do-overs… Batman, Spiderman, TMNT, Fantastic 4, and Transformers, just to name a few. It’s already out in the news that Alvin and the Chipmunks is being made (if not finished yet), and The Smurfs and Voltron are rumored to have scripts completed.

Well, it seems like a couple more of those are going to jump in and join the party.

By the power of Grayskull!!!
It had been set aside to be a possible rumor, but in May 23, the news was finally confirmed: producer Joel Silver and the Warner Brothers studio are teaming up for a new big-screen version of He Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Originally a toy by Mattel, He-man became a minicomic in 1981, got DC Comics pages in 1982, and then an animated series that ran from 1983 – 1985 (though I think I got to watch it in the ’90s). I distinctly remember my brothers and I playing pretend for it. Of course, being the only girl out of the four of us, I was either Teela or Adora, depending on who was in the scene.

The series has had several incarnations, actually, including The New Adventures of He-man in 1990, and the new He-man animated series in 2002, shown in Cartoon Network. There’s also been a previous live action Masters of the Universe film in 1987. I didn’t get to watch the movie, but when I saw a photo of a well-oiled He-man, I’m actually happy that I didn’t. (What is it with the 80s and oiled bodies and hair?!)

Looking at the photos, I couldn’t help think how cheesy they looked. (But in the 1980s, people might have thought that it was high tech.) Now, with all the awesome make-up artists, costume designers and the amazing powers of CGI, I’m kind of thinking that they just might be able to pull it off. (I’m excited to see how they’ll do Skeletor. Heeheehee.) Still, I’m hearing loyalists saying that the the film probably won’t do the original animated series justice. Ah, well, we’ll have to see.

I’m just hoping they’d not oil the actors. I mean, Warner Brothers pulled it off in 300, right?

Read more in the Variety article: He-man Returns to the Big Screen.

Thun-der, Thun-der, THUNDERCATS!!!
Ah, yes. Yet another 80s animated series to be revived, according to Variety (and a couple more movie news sites) two days ago. The challenge here, now, is not how to present macho guys without looking narcissistic or — God forbid — gay. I think it’s in selecting the perfect cast for Lion-O, Panthro, Cheetara and their mutant-feline clan, as well as Mumm-Ra.

With the magnificent recent film rendition of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by Disney and Walden Media, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Thundercats would look so realistic, we’d all believe they actually existed in the real world. Ah, yes. Thank God for technology.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if the action scenes are great. I just hope that it won’t be an all-effects, all-action movie. I hope they come up with a good storyline for it.

Again, Warner Brothers takes care of this film. The screenplay will be by Paul Sopocy. Producers will be Paula Weinstein (Blood Diamond), along with Dick Robertson and Lew Korman.

Read more in the Variety article: Warner Purrs for Thundercats.

Spiderman 3

After weeks, I FINALLY got to watch this. Chique and I decided to watch it on a whim, and I’m very very glad we did!

Spiderman 3 is the much-anticipated third part of the Spiderman series. Reviews from my friends are different. Some say it was awesome, some say it was just fine. Some say I wouldn’t be missing anything if I didn’t watch it on the big screen, some say I wouldn’t be missing anything if I didn’t watch it at all.

Well, I say you ought to watch it. And I say you watch it on the big screen. Make sure you watched the first two movies, though! Or at least have a friend tell you what happened. But I think you really SHOULD watch the first two movies because they’re awesome. I think you’ll appreciate the movie more if you knew (and watched) the relationships between the characters.

Spiderman 3, as reported all over the net, is an action-packed, plot-packed movie. Man, oh man, they’ve got it right.

The fight scenes are AWESOME. I LOVE how they directed it, with all the whooshing cameras and all, catching the beautiful cityscape and taking the audience on a breathtaking ride as Spidey takes to the air in leaps and bounds (and swings).

The CGI is amazing! Venom and the Sandman were both very believable, I think. When I was watching the movie, I almost forgot that the effects were computer generated.

The plot — or multiple plots, rather — was very well done. Peter, MJ, Harry, the Sandman, and Eddie all had their own plots, and yet it wasn’t tiring to the mind. All the players moved through the story in harmony. Even though the plots were developed separately, they eventually swirled together, melding into one solid story. Each character was developed beautifully, letting the audience feel for each one… And yet the focus on Spiderman was not lost. This is a feat that is hard to achieve, in my opinion.

The relationships between characters were beautiful. The twists in those relationships are very real and believable, as well. None of them seemed cheesy or forced to me. I praise the writers for their work! They managed to take two characters, develop their chemistry, then pit them against each other, and then reconcile them once again…all this done seamlessly.

The resolutions in this movie were done in convincingly. Although not all issues were resolved, the movie ended in a very good — albeit bittersweet — place. It seems to me that the movie was left a tad bit open-ended, leaving space for a part four. And yet, the story was closed so that the audience is satisfied with the ending (at the same time craving for more).

I suppose my only complaint about the movie is that some things happened that didn’t necessarily have to happen. There could have been ways around those unfortunate circumstances… The characters could have done this, could have done that, and so on. But hey, if they did, then the drama wouldn’t be there, now would it? Hehehe.

My verdict for Spidey 3? LOVE IT!

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Don’t worry: there won’t be any spoilers in this post. Hehe.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is an adventure movie, the third of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. At World’s End is directed by Gore Verbinski. The cast includes returnees Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Geoffrey Rush, Jack Davenport, Tom Hollander and Naomie Harris. Chow Yun-Fat appears as Sao Feng, and Keith Richards as Jack Sparrow‘s father.

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Although I still maintain that the first movie (Curse of the Black Pearl) would’ve done fine by itself, I think At World’s End is a good ending to a good series.

The opening sequence gave me goosebumps, and the ending left me kind of stunned. And since I’m not usually one to be emotional over a movie, I think it’s saying a lot. I think that’s what surprised me most about this movie: the dark feel of it. I mean, in the opening sequence, you’ve got pirates singing a lament. And right after that, the government hangs an 8-year-old to death. In a Disney movie. Seriously. An eight-year-old, dude… @_@

*ahem* Moving on the rest of the movie.

The script is amusing, what with the classic Jack wit being doubled by Johnny Depp’s genius acting. It’s funny how, technically, he doesn’t follow what lead characters are supposed to do in stories (grow, mature, and learn something). But hey, the Black Pearl desert him and the Pirate King of the Brethren be somebody else, Captain Jack Sparrow is still the main pirate. Although I think he lacked zing compared to the first two movies, he’s Jack Sparrow enough to be enjoyed.

Will is more of a hero now more than the last two movies. Just a little bit more, and he might’ve dethroned Jack from the hero pedestal. But he didn’t. So there. Hero#2 for you. As for Elizabeth, my goodness, I love how she evolved throughout the series. From damsel in distress to full-fledged pirate and swordswoman, and so much more. Awesome, awesome. I can say a lot more about Will and Elizabeth, but I suppose I can’t say anything right now, lest I spoil it for everyone reading who hasn’t watched yet. Heeheehee.

Cutler Beckett as the antagonist is good… Just a military man fighting the bad pirates. My only problem about it is that, although he does a good job being nasty, I don’t think people will ever think that he’ll get the better of Jack. Not at all.

Davy Jones was… well, I like him. Tentacles and all, I think he was made human in this movie. Sorry, but yeah: I always love it when, in the middle of a series or a movie, antagonists are made human and not-too-antagonistic. Mad scientists who simply want world domination for the sake of world domination never appealed to me.

Keith Richards’ appearance is funny. When I first heard that he was supposed to appear in Dead Man’s Chest, I couldn’t wait to see him and Jack in a scene. Haha! For the benefit of those who don’t know, Johnny Depp based his character on Keith Richards. I’m very very glad he did; aren’t you? XD

Amidst the comedy, the swashbuckling swordfights, the climactic final battle, and the unexpected twists, the characters were given ample time, and nearly each of them has their own subplot. This is good and bad at the same time, as there seems to be too many subplots for a 168-minute movie. Don’t get me wrong, though: I like the subplots. I like the twists and scheming… I’m just thinking that not everybody might not like it as things can get a little bit dizzying.

I compare it to its predecessor, specifically Curse of the Black Pearl. What I like about the first movie is the straight out, breezy, pirate-y fun. Get the pirate, get the girl, beat the stiff East India Trading Company. Yey. This time around, you’ve got a handful of issues flying around, and everybody’s scheming something, and everybody seems to have their own agenda while trying to fool everyone else about their allegiance.

The good thing about this is: it gives the movie depth. It gives the characters depth, and… well, it sets up the stage for the characters’ own sequels that you can continue on your own. Also, it separates the movie from its predecessor and gives it its own identity. (I hate it when a sequel is just the remake of the original movie.) As I said: good and bad.

In this movie, questions are answered, problems are solved. Some of them, anyway. But still, the ending pretty much wrapped the series up. Although some new problems arose, I think there won’t be a part four. Or at least I hope there won’t be a part four. I think they should just leave it to the imagination. Fanfiction writers are going to have a field day, I’m sure.

Oh, by the way, do NOT leave the theater just because the credits begin to roll. Watch till the very very end, savvy?

My verdict for At World’s End? I like it. I’d give it a 7 out of 10. I like it, but I’m not jumping out of my chair to put it into my list of favorite movies. But still, as I mentioned in earlier, I think it did fine as an ending to this series.

If I’m right that there won’t be another Pirates movie, and this is the last we’ll see of Will, Elizabeth, and Jack– oops, I mean Captain Jack Sparrow, then we’ve left them in the right places.

Top 5 Worst Things They Do In Movie Sequels

What’s worse than a bad movie?

Easy.

A bad sequel.

Sequels are usually a fan’s best friend because when it comes to an awesome movie, we as fans always crave for more, whether or not the film is open-ended. And movie makers, as movie makers, want to make more awesome movies to make people happy, and bring in big bucks while they’re at it.

But, sometimes, sequels can be a nightmare. No one intended such sequels to be bad, so what do sequel makers do wrong? Setting the usual movie mistakes aside (like bad script, bad acting, etc.), here are the common mistakes:

#5 Lack of Originality
I think this is the most obvious mistake of all: making a sequel that echoes the first movie a tad bit too much. Although it is a good thing to stay faithful to the original film, almost retelling it can get boring. Like what they did with Bring It On Again. The characters are new, the setting is new, the cheerleading routines are new, but the story’s is almost exactly the same and the approach is the same.

I must point out, though that the third Bring It On movie was pretty good, even considering the fact that the story is the same. What made it different is that the conflicts are different, the feel is different, and… it’s basically a whole new movie altogether, at the same time following the legacy of the first film.

The Next Karate Kid can be another example. Although Pat Morita stayed as Mr. Miyagi, they put in a new kid who isn’t that interesting of a character at all. It became sort of a remake of Karate Kid, just less convincing and more boring.

#4 New pair-ups
Spending one whole movie developing a pair-up, and then suddenly saying that the couple’s not together in the sequel is plain stupid. Like in Speed 2: Cruise Control, the audience is surprised when Annie (Sandra Bullock) has a new boyfriend when in the first movie, Speed, she and Jack (Keanu Reeves) were established to be perfect partners of sorts. And also in Princess Diaries, they built up the childhood friends to couple plot for Mia (Anne Hathaway) and Michael (Robert Schawrzman), and then, in the opening scene of the sequel, Mia goes “we’re just friends now”.

Now, I understand that this might have been caused by the actors being unavailable, but I was thinking: couldn’t they have just changed the actor but kept the character? The Batman and Bond movies survived recasting, right?

#3 Overemphasizing the good things
Great movies have great things in them. It could be great characters, witty lines, cool costumes, or great sets. But if the sequel takes the good things and becomes too dependent on it, it becomes a flop.

Here’s an example: Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde. People love Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon). She’s cute, there’s no denying that. She’s ditzy, and that’s what makes her cute. But in the sequel, the cuteness became annoying, and her passion for her Chihuahua became irritating. Heh. It really is bad to have too much of a good thing, isn’t it?

#2 Forgetting the good things
If overemphasizing the good parts isn’t bad enough, forgetting what made the original film great is just a crime. Yes, we believe that movies should be “made over” to some degree so that they won’t be exactly like the first movie. However, straying too far from the original concept causes disastrous effects.

One example I can think of is Batman and Robin where “witty” remarks abound, villains wear neon colors, and Gotham City is anything but gothic. Batman is supposed to be the Dark Knight. DARK. Not comedic, not shiny, and definitely not colorful, thank you very much.

Another example can be Staying Alive, the worst sequel ever, according to Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Worst Movie Sequels Ever Made list. Whereas Saturday Night Fever made disco dancing a hit, Staying Alive‘s dance numbers, complete with scantily-clad women and a sweaty John Travolta in a Tarzan-meets-Rambo costume, are just…. yuck.

#1 Not knowing when to stop
Villains emerge from hiding, and supposedly dead men suddenly come to life. Bernie (Weekend from Bernie’s) just couldn’t rest in peace, and Jason (Friday the 13th) just won’t die, and eventually ends up facing off with Freddy Krueger!

I think this is the worst mistake ever, making a sequel when it doesn’t help at all. It not only turns a sequel into a flop, but it also tarnishes the prestige of the original film.

Some movies just shouldn’t have a sequel at all, really, whether or not the audience clamors for one. Sometimes it’s better to just leave it to the imagination. Sometimes that’s what makes an awesome movie be more awesome.

So, as a fan, I implore movie makers: even though we love movie sequels, please don’t make one unless you really really really have to, else you’ll explode.

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So…yey. I hope you got something from this post if you’re an aspiring filmmaker, or if you’re a fanfiction writer. Comments about my Top 5 are welcome, whether or not you agree with it.

This here is my contribution to Problogger‘s Top 5 Group Writing Project. If you have your own Top 5 of anything, go on over there and join, too!

movie week

I watched three movies in the last seven days. I’ll tackle ‘em one by one.

Flushed Away
It’s about a mouse named Roddy who lives the life of a beloved pet in a posh Kensington flat. One day when the holidays came, all was going well for dear Roddy, as he had the house all to himself. That is, until a sewer rat named Sid arrived and attempted to share (take over) Roddy’s domain. Roddy tries to be cunning and lures Sid to the “Jacuzzi” (i.e. toilet bowl). The plan backfires, and Roddy ends up getting flushed away. He is dumped into Ratropolis, where he meets Rita, the captain of the Molly Dodger. After an encounter with the mob (coupled with other mishaps) Rita decides to help Roddy go back home, in exchange for a ruby from Roddy’s castle. But of course, the road home is not an easy one, and the two encounter crazy rats, vile toads, treacherous waters… oh, and throw in a slug or two, just for fun.

Watched with Sara. I was actually a bit reluctant at first — I personally wanted to watch Music and Lyrics again, but the screening time wasn’t fit to our schedule — but I’m glad we decided to watch this. I read in reviews that it was actually an underachiever, or, to put it more bluntly, a flop. The movie’s production expenses were high, and the money that came in was just a teeny tiny bit over breaking even.

Personally, though, I thought it was hilarious. Nowhere near Shrek or other amazing fall-off-your-chair comedies, but it was funny. The plot was actually light; just right for a feel good movie. The dialogue had its laugh-so-friggin’-loud moments; I was glad everybody else in the theater was laughing with me or else I might be embarrassed. The antagonists were amusingl it was so fun laughing at them. The “romance” (if you can call it that) was treated so lightly, you know it was there, but know that it almost wasn’t there… and it’d be perfectly fine.

If I took anything home with me that day, it was a smile, and the new knowledge that slugs could actually be made to look cute.

Dreamgirls
Based on a musicale of the same title, Dreamgirls is about the music, friendship, and the cost of fame. The story revolves around a group of three women who called themselves the Dreamettes. Lorell, a young girl with a wide smile and a supportive voice; Deena, a girl whose beauty and voice is underrated and unnoticed, even by herself; and Effie, a powerhouse of a woman, every inch a diva.

The movie was great, I still can’t believe that Eddie Murphy sang so well. Well, ok, maybe I believe it, but I certainly didn’t expect it. Jennifer Hudson was amazing, totally deserving of her Oscar. Beyonce was great: she portrayed humble, yielding Deena well. Jamie Foxx was cool as an anti-protagonist, methinks. The rest of the cast was cool, the choreography was awesome, and the song numbers were superb.

I think my only problem with it is that the switch from “movie mode” to “musicale mode” and back was a bit conspicuous. Unlike in Chicago where the transition was so smooth, you won’t even notice it until you realize that they were already singing (you thought they were still just talking). For me, the toggle was a bit distracting.

The music was great. The acting was great. I just wish that they made it that the two melded together well.

Nevertheless, I liked the whole movie as a whole.
The Pursuit of Happyness

“This part of my life… This small part right there… It’s called happiness.”

Oh, gawd I love that movie. Dramatic, inspiring, and amusing, all at the same time. It’s heartfelt. It’s moving. But, even if you don’t like drama, you’ll still like this movie, I think.

Will Smith’s chemistry with Jaden was amazing, which really isn’t surprising. But the great thing about it is that, while watching the movie, I almost forgot that they were Will and Jaden Smith. I thought they were Chris and Christopher Gardner. I’m sorry if I can’t explain it well, but that’s how it was for me.

Hm. My review for this movie is a bit short… But of all three movies I wrote about today, this is the one I loved most. Watch it, I tells ya. WATCH IT.

Music and Lyrics

The story, light-hearted.
The characters, well done.
The dialogue, hilarious.
The music, enchanting.
The lyrics, addicting.

My goodness, I enjoyed this movie! The flow of the story from comedy to drama to romance and back was seamless. Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore excellently portrayed their characters. The supporting characters were awesome: they built up the main characters and yet had their own significant and unique roles. The soundtrack was enchanting and hilarious at the same time. (I totally blame it all on Hugh Grant for making “Pop! Goes My Heart” play over and over and over in my head.)

And the best part about it? I didn’t think any of those comments while I was watching. I was too engrossed in enjoying the movie.

And, oh yeah: I was too busy laughing, too.

“Not your typical Pinoy film.”

I was attracted by the catchy catch phrase, the awesome soundtrack, and the movie poster that was, indeed, different from those of most local movies. So we went to watch Pinoy Blonde, only the second time I watched a local movie in a theater. Ever. I can’t say that my two hours and 81 pesos (traveling and food expenses not included) was wasted. But I can’t say it was spectacular, either. My review in a nutshell: “It was fun!” I’m not jumping up and down giddily, but I’m still smiling.

Eto na ang totoo…


Story: The movie (sort of) revolves around the cousins Conrad and Andrew, who are wannabe filmmakers. Their uncle sent them (just Andrew, actually) to an errand. There, the chaos begins.

Wag nang mag-atubili; bumili na kayo…


Review:
Pinoy Blonde is undoubtedly funny if you like watching movies. I love how addicted to movies Conrad and Andrew were. Despite the arguments (which, by the way, the movie is overflowing with), the two boys were hilarious. The star-studded cast also helped. For some reason, I found it funny that local actors with such big names were in the movie, and they did almost nothing but a cameo appearance.

Although I still maintain that the video editors still have a few points to to improve on (not that I’m the expert or anything), I thoroughly enjoyed the direction. The funny moments were in all the right places — which is everywhere. I think Peque Gallaga is a great director. Sure, he’s no Steven Spielberg, but great, nonetheless.

My favorite thing about the movie are the parts when the boys would turn their situations into a movie scene. That, and the animation sequences. Oh mhay ghulay, the animation…. LUV! Man. I just have to say it out loud for the millionth time: Filipinos are SO talented. I just wish they demonstrate the full potential of their talent more often.

By the way, I think the opening sequence was cool. And the website has a kick-butt layout. And I loved Conrad and Andrew’s outfits… Common, I know, but I like ^_^

Eto na…ang totoo…
Wag nang mag-atubili; bumili na kayo…

Oh, and I actually liked the acting. I loved the acting. A shocker, right? But I did. Seriously. There’s no sarcasm in that sentence, I swear.

But, then, after the fun, after the laughter, and after walking out of the theater, I wondered: “What was the point of the film?” For the life of me, I cannot answer my own question.

Where was the conflict? I… dunno.
When was the climax? When… Uh… Uhm…. What was the question again?
Was anything resolved? Well… Was there anything to be resolved in the first place?

After a while, I figured that the movie was basically a movie about movies. The discussions about directors, filmmaking, and film quality may be the essence of it all. Maybe Pinoy Blonde is a serious movie, after all. Just cloaked in the comedy presented by the Quizon brothers.

But, still. Tonight, I don’t want to dwell too much on that. Charlie had said, “It doesn’t have to have a point. That’s why it’s called candy.” I guess you can look at Pinoy Blonde as something like that. A no-brainer in its truest sense. Don’t think about it. Just enjoy. I did.

Tenten…Tenenen… Tenenten… ASTRO!

Disclaimer: I do not own Pinoy Blonde, obviously. Directed by Peque Gallaga. Produced by Tony Gloria. Released under Unitel Pictures.
If you have violent reactions, you may post a comment. But I will say this now: this is my personal opinion. Don’t let this hinder you from forming your own.

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