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I'm a cartoon freak, and love voice actors :)
Eternal Law (2012)
If people are saying Eternal Law has no redeeming qualities, tell them they're completely wrong...
I admit it, I enjoy Eternal Law an ungodly amount every single week. The episodic plots are rarely good. The occasional weekly supporting actor can be atrocious. There are some dodgy special effects.
But the show has heart. It has a beguiling sense of optimism, hope, and the belief that love - while painful - is worthwhile. The show doesn't take itself seriously at all. It knows it is ridiculous. It's not trying to be Drama. The angel lawyers have gigantic wings that suddenly appear in scenes, with very little rhyme or reason. There are scenes in which angel lawyers smoke cigars on top of York Minster with their wings unfurled! But, and this is important, whilst the cheese is strong with this one, there are also a lot of balancing scenes. There are some good, tasty water crackers being used as a base for the cheese (with maybe a bit of pepper, if that's your thing) so that the taste isn't all boursin.
I adore all of the characters, who are well-rounded, with complex motivations and understandings. This is including the villain of the piece, Richard, who is a fallen angel, rather menacing, and yet completely hilarious every second he's on screen. There are compelling dynamics between the leads, not to mention some fantastic dialogue (after the pilot, which still had stellar lines such as "What happens if we get shot in this world?"/"Hurts to buggery.") Zak has epic angelpain, yet still manages to be wise and witty. Tom is adorably confused and on the steep learning curve that is life. Mrs Sheringham is supportive yet tortured. Hannah is oddly compelled to the craziness that is Zak Gist and his emotional temperature control of doom. It's all golden.
And it isn't merely the characters I have fun with. Apart from the somewhat dodgy SFX on occasion the show is shot beautifully, with interesting yet not jarring camera-work and York shown from every stunning vantage-point. The music and credits are similarly quality work.
I am very much looking forward to buying the DVDs. And whilst I doubt there will be a second series, I will jump for joy if there is one. Eternal Law makes me happy. It isn't High Art, but that doesn't mean it isn't good. It is, in its own, special, way. When it's good, it's wonderful, when it's bad, it's laughable. But I am never, ever bored.
Battlestar Galactica (2004)
I like it...
So... I have to say I am liking the new Battlestar Galactica. Watched the first episode (counting the mini-series as the pilot) this morning (I am sneaky and well connected). Sure, it has nothing in common with its namesake but it's name, but I'm not a BSG purist (please don't stone me). It's quite slow, but it's incredibly atmospheric and I imagine it will become more action packed as episodes progress.
The characters, the dialogue, the camera work the special effects, the concepts and ideals... they're all so in-depth. It's one of the most naturalistic Sci-Fi shows I've ever seen. The discourses on God are interesting in a "hmm, robots believing in God? and being fundamentalists?" kind of way. The acting is really good.
Anyway, I think it's cool. It's not for everyone... and I do hope it gets a teeny bit more lighthearted and faster paced... but it is interesting. I don't wonder that Original BSG fans are annoyed, though... it is nothing like the Richard Hatch BSG... at all. I can't help but wonder that they might have benefited from giving it a different name but attributing the basis on Battlestar Galactica. They could have just called it "The Cylons" you know? "Battlestar Galactica" has such a memorable ring to it, I'd have wanted to use it too. I ask the fans of the original to forget it having any correlation with the show you love and just try and accept it as it is.
I think this series is going to really improve, and I'll be enjoying watching it the whole way.
What a Girl Wants (2003)
Not perfect, but pretty darn good!
I was really surprised at some of the nastier comments on this film but then I remembered my planned review of "What a Girl Wants" before I actually went to see the film. *What a Girl Wants is her one hour seventeen minutes of her life back*
And yet - that is not my opening line. Why? Simple. I loved the film! The trailers for "What a Girl Wants" just don't do the film justice - they make the film seem like typical pre-teen fodder, starring a ditzy and sickeningly sweet idiot. However, don't be fooled by lax advertising. "What a Girl Wants" provides many moments of pure, light and highly enjoyable entertainment I wouldn't trade in for all the gold in the world.
First of all, the character of Daphne is actually very likeable, and not a ditz at all (well, no more that other ppl). She has a very real longing to know her father and a very touching way of expressing it. I was surprised at how good an actress Amanda Bynes really was. I had heard all the horror rumours of her show, and yet she proves she's actually very talented.
Second - there is a character hardly mentioned in the trailers I saw - that of Ian. He was played artfully by Oliver James and provided a love interest for our leading lady.
Colin Firth as Henry Dashwood was skilled casting, and I loved him in this film. He gives the film soul. It could easily have become an utter mess if it wasn't for his expert depressed gazes and well timed smiles. Once again, he takes over the film. We switch from Daphne's to Henry's point of view seamlessly. When Henry casts off his carefully cultivated serious countenance we see he is as much of a wild child as his daughter. Scenes between Amanda Bynes and Colin Firth were really quite touching.
I disagree that "What a Girl Wants" is only for pre-teens (altho they will enjoy this film) but I go agree it is a chick flick. However, chicks of all ages will enjoy this film ;)
There are of course, some flaws in "What a Girl Wants" - some of the jokes don't quite work, and there is a distinct lack of trying to make us believe what is happening on the screen is really happening - but who cares? For a light-hearted frothy film, "What a Girl Wants" does a very good job of uplifting the spirits.
Give 'em the ol' Razzle Dazzle
**** This review contains slight spoilers****
Chicago - a city - a broadway musical - and now a film.
Whilst I don't deny I have always enjoyed musicals, I think I have a fairly objective view of this film. I went to see it because it seemed to me everyone else had seen it, and it was the only film playing within my time constraints.
The opening sequence annoyed me slightly - whilst I loved the music, the editing caught me off guard and certain shots just didn't work for me. The next sequence confused me as well, until I realised it was set a month after the first.
As the movie went on I got more into it. Catherine Zeta Jones, Renee Zellweger and Queen Latifah all did their roles justice, but the people who blew me away were Richard Gere and John C. Reilly.
There are flaws in this film, but for a musical it does quite well. I suppose the biggest problem is the main concept - that most of the musical numbers are in Roxie (Zellweger) Hart's head. We are supposed to see everything from Roxie's point of view. The Writer and Director did this, I suppose, to create suspension of disbelief in the audience, but it actually marred the film as a musical. In musicals we expect to see people start singing out of nowhere and dancers to pop up from behind every door - it's a musical genre trait. By placing the musical numbers in a fantasy world, the songs lose their strength as part of the story. It also causes problems - "Class" was cut because it didn't fit into the fantasy concept - well what about "Mister Cellophane"? Roxie does not care for Amos one iota - she would not be imagining him singing this song. Does the film suddenly switch Point of View?
Another problem is that the characters are unsympathetic. The only character I ever felt sorry for was Amos, and I believe that is merely because of John C. Reilly's stellar performance in "Mister Cellophane". If he were played by a different actor I would probably feel indifferent to Amos, because he isn't the brightest bulb in the box, and without "Mister Cellophane" has a very minor role.
I thought the acting, dancing and singing were all brilliant given the context they were in. The musical numbers were all very good, but it is only later, listening to the soundtrack, that you can appreciate them separately. Otherwise you spend the whole day singing the one line "All that Jazz" because it is hard to remember any of the other lyrics from that song - and does anyone even know what "rougeing" one's knees is anyway?
I would suggest Chicago to people who enjoy razzle dazzle, after all, they may enjoy it for what it simply is - entertainment.
The Spiriting Away of Loz
I can quite honestly say I had never actually watched an Anime film before going to see "Spirited Away". I can honestly say that I must have been crazy! What have I been missing out on? Why have I been subjecting myself to Disney drivel, when absolutely breathtaking animation films are coming from Japan?
Of course the English/American dubbing of "Spirited Away" was actually a Disney venture, using actors that have provided voices for Disney films before Daveigh Chase in "Lilo and Stitch" and Jason Marsden in "A Goofy Movie").
I was generally very impressed with the voice acting, however after a while Daveigh Chase's high pitched tones started to grate on my nerves, distracting me from the greater good. Jason Marsden was perfect as the mysterious boy Haku, and Suzanne Pleshette was brilliant as Yubaba & Zeniba.
However the wonder of this film is all thanks to Hayao Miyazaki. He is truly an amazing Director and Writer! The story was multi-faceted. Every time you thought you had come to the end of a mystery, more layers were pulled back to reveal more mysteries. Characters are not what they appear, and what they are is too enigmatic to explain.
There is a lot of humour in the film, and a deep well of emotion. I really found myself caring for Chihiro's well being, and hoped she would get back to her parents. I was completely sucked into the film. Even though, thinking back, all the things which happen in the film are confusing and complex, I never found myself bewildered or bored, as has sometimes been the case.
The animation was beautiful, the colours were used so well to accentuate every minute detail. The landscapes and buildings were incredibly realistic.
The music, however, is what really got me. Jô Hisaishi did an amazing job putting the score together, it was haunting and beautiful, and suited the film very well.
Well, I'm now off to go and raid the Anime section of my local video store... I wholeheartedly suggest going to see "Spirited Away"!
Ghost Ship (2002)
Well, this film is certainly Ghost SHI.*something* and I wasn't thinking of a P.
If you are expecting an in-depth, witty analysis, such as you'd usually expect from me, you will be disappointed.
I have only one thing to say about this film. It's not even one of those films which is so bad it is funny... it is just bad. Don't see it. Don't. You don't need to know why it has a 5.5 imdb rating. No, we aren't all just film snobs. Yes, this film was made only for the money. Don't let them get yours too!!!
This film is a weak attempt at anything, least of all, horror. The acting, the plot, the special effects, it was all pathetic.
My recommendation? Either go see something else, rent another movie, watch tv, or read a book.
One word - Fantastic!
To those who don't enjoy a story, that's full of action, adventure and glory, then don't see this film, and spend your quids, unless you have a bunch of kids.
This is not to say that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a children's film, but merely that if it is not your style (fantasy, action, light entertainment), you will most probably not like it.
I'm an eighteen year old woman (19 in 19 days surprisingly enough) and I enjoy the Harry Potter novels immensely. I'm an escapist, and the novels, and now the films provide me with an exciting and adventurous place to escape to.
I was not disappointed with this film at all. I thought it not only lived up to it's predecessor (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) but surpassed it.
There was more action in this film, but if possible, more character development. As Harry, Ron and Hermione go through the year we see them grow up.
The direction and cinematography were wonderful. The landscapes, no matter how computer generated, were impressive. The action sequences were exciting, the special effects amazing. The acting was superb. All the actors were convincing, including the young main stars, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and I hazard to say, Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy. Jason Issacs as Lucius Malfoy was absolutely brilliantly evil. The words "nasty piece of work" spring to mind.
I did not think the film was over long, or too short. The beginning started amusingly. The ending perfectly rounded off the film.
I suggest this film to anyone with a vivid imagination, whether a Harry Potter fan or not. They may not like it... but at least they would know what everyone is going on about ;)
The Green Mile (1999)
I was surprised and delighted with "The Green Mile". It set me on an emotional rollercoaster. The actors were amazing, especially Michael Clarke Duncan. I was wrapped up in their character's stories, and didn't need to suspend my disbelief at the miracles, it all seemed real. Someone mentioned that the good characters are portrayed as good and need to be rewarded and the bad as bad and need to be punished, but I didn't get that sense from the film at all. Is Del good or bad? He's on death row, so he can hardly be good, and yet he is rewarded with Mr. Jingles. Who can truly say if Percy deserves his fate? This has to be one of the films most covered in shades of grey I have seen in my life. I get a very anti-capital punishment feeling from it.
Whilst I'm one of those people who usually complains at the length movies are getting these days (90 minutes if you're lucky), i did find this film overlong. I thought 30 minutes of the film could have been condensed.
Overall, i give the filme 4 and a half out of five.
The Ring (2002)
Perturbed, Disturbed, Curiosity Uncurbed
After having gone to see "The Ring" on Friday night, I decided to see if other people felt the same I did about the movie, and hoped to find some answers to the many questions I had to ask. I was not disappointed opinion-wise, contrasting and contradictory opinions litter the comments board. But answers I found none. Similar confusion? Plentyful.
I was overall both incredibly impressed and slightly disappointed with "The Ring". It disturbed me immensely, more than most horror/thriller films even come close to doing. The cinematography, direction, sound effects, acting and soundtrack were overwhelmingly effective and left me feeling chilled. I got my money's worth of scare factor, that i know for sure. Many people have said that this film bored them, or didn't frighten them, and I have to ask - were they watching the same film, did they have earplugs or am I just easily perturbed?
I don't know whether to be impressed or disappointed with the unfinished/unpolished sense I get from the plot of the film. It is a clever marketing ploy that you spend that much time ruminating over the powers of Samara. I, for one, have spent the past few days thinking carefully about why there were so many plotholes that need to be filled. They could so easily have made everything clear, but that would have made the film less powerful, memorable and interesting wouldn't it?
I understood the ending perfectly, I think. I cannot see why anyone would be confused by the ending, but maybe I have missed something along the way. I ask myself questions about everything else in the film, but not the conclusion. I do wish it had ended the first time it appeared to, and not the second, but found the real conclusion to be just as satisfying intellectually.
I suggest this film if you wish to be frightened and can easily suspend disbelief.
How to Make a Monster (2001)
So bad it's good...
Yes. I liked the film. I have to admit "How to make a monster" is going into my video or (hopefully) dvd collection when it is available to buy. But I have no illusions that this is a brilliant film. I have no illusions that it is genuinely scary. I have no illusions that the actors actually thought they were doing something worthwhile, especially as one of them refers to it as "our crappy little film" whenever he discusses it. After you see the film think "i want to be a yes" and you'll know who I mean ;). Don't get me wrong - the actors were the best thing in this film. Tyler Mane, Karim Prince and Jason Marsden as the computer nerds were brilliant, but they are virtually laughing in almost every scene!~ I can ignore obvious computer illiteracy, unnecessary nudity, and gore and violence, but only up to a point. I would have been laughing too.
It is mediocrity at it's best, and the most worrying thing is that it could have been so much more. Less gore, and more psychological motivation. No nudity and this film could have had a PG rating... being much more suited to a pre-teen audience intellectually. More humour towards the end could have preserved this film in my mind, as it was, I was disappointed with pretty much everything. But also surprisingly impressed as well. I had never had high hopes for the film, just some light entertainment in moments of boredom, and it delivered that well, at least.
The high points were the humour, unfortunately not carried through to the end, the actors, and the title.
I have just spent my words insulting a film I have a admitted I liked, so I am a girl of contradictions. Let your evil motion capture suit come get me ;) :p