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Smells_Like_Cheese

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
How Batman got his groove back, 22 July 2012
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Eight years later after Dent's death and Batman's retirement, Gotham City is in a state of peace. Under powers granted by the Dent Act, Commissioner Gordon has nearly eradicated violent and organized crime. However, he still feels guilty about the cover-up of Harvey Dent's crimes. He plans to admit to the conspiracy, but decides that the city is not ready to hear the truth, but his speech is stolen by terrorist leader Bane. Gordon is shot in the process, and he promotes patrol officer John Blake to detective, allowing Blake to report directly to him. As Batman has disappeared from Gotham City, so too has Bruce Wayne, locking himself inside Wayne Manor. Both Gordon and Blake implore Bruce to return as Batman. Bruce decides the time is right, but realizes that Bane may be his match and breaks Batman. Bruce needs to retrain and save Gotham from Bane who is planning on going out with a bang. With the help of a Robin Hood like friend, Selena Kyle, Bruce will show that justice can prevail.

The conclusion to the epic trilogy is complete now with The Dark Knight Rises. I don't think anyone could've expected anyone to save the Batman series the way Christopher Nolan did. Taking a darker and deeper look into the best super hero of all time, he created this whole world where it actually seemed possible for all this to happen. That there are people who could dress like bats to stop the bad guys and villains who dress up and almost destroy the world. Batman Begins was a very good movie, The Dark Knight is a masterpiece, but The Dark Knight Rises falls just a notch short of what I was expecting. The Dark Knight delivers in terrific performances, a great story and excellent cinematography. We have a great villain done right with Bane. Unfortunately with the nightmare that was Batman & Robin, Bane was made into a weird deaf mute which had nothing to do with the comics. Nolan didn't just write Bane well, but he made him very terrifying adding a cold demeanor with the slick intelligence of Hannibal Lector. But the one who steals the show is Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle(who is never mentioned as Catwoman), but her character is written so well and Anne pulls in a great performance, one of her best. I wanted to see more of her on the screen. Also Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is becoming one of my favorite actors, pulls in a great performance and in a twist that I kept screaming with his character was pulled in very well in the end. I liked having this Howard Hughes affect with Bruce Wayne in the beginning, having a good continue from the end of the Dark Knight where he takes a nasty fall with Dent and was limping. It was good to be put back into place where we forget that Bruce is human, he will hurt. In this film, he's broke: financially, mentally and physically and this is all about how he comes back into his own groove as Batman completing his story.

While the film is very good, it falls short of being great. While I liked the subtext of what's going on with Wall Street and how Selina is like Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to help herself and others, it didn't really fit that well with the story with the stock market effect. Tom Hardy pulls in a terrific performance as Bane, but for some reason he's actually not that memorable. I think he lacks that pinch of charisma that Heath had to make the Joker one of the best movie villains of all time. Plus, I wasn't a big fan of his voice, about 40% of his dialog I couldn't understand because it was a bit muffled. Also I wasn't a fan of his voice in general, it didn't fit well with the power he had. Maybe it was because his face was covered, he couldn't get the performance that could've been Oscar worthy. Also the film does feel a bit dragged out, the first 2/3's of the film feels like more talk vs. action and not much Batman. I wish also that there was a feeling of fun, because the story is almost too dark at times. Batman could've had some more juicy dialog that was more replaced by Selina. I also didn't like that they had to make her a love interest in the end, Selina's character on her own was perfect and it feels like a last minute cliché that just gets thrown in for an applause. There are a few inconsistencies with the story that I don't want to give away, but the ending leaves a lot of questions.

But please, don't take the negative comments I have wrong, this is a very good film and worth seeing in the theater at the full ticket price. The effects are terrific and all the performances are magnificent and the world is just awesome to look at as Bane is just playing with it like his own sand box. The ending is one of the best I've seen and a great climax to a wonderful trilogy. That fight with Bane and Batman was too awesome and seeing Gotham fight back for their city was great. It's sad to see Nolan's era of Batman end, but good to know that there was a man who actually was able to bring it back to life.

8/10

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Well, I guess I've learned a lot about the flying fish, 22 July 2012
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Funny to think, before Avatar, Titanic, True Lies, Terminator 2, Aliens, The Abyss, The Terminator, James Cameron was just trying to make it himself. After quitting being a truck driver, he was just the editor on Piranha 2 and somehow got shoved into the director's seat. I can see why he skims over this movie when in interviews people ask about what his life was like before The Terminator. It's fun to see what are the first works are of a huge Hollywood name. I did see this movie when I was a kid and even then I have to say that this was one of the silliest movies I had ever seen in my life. I mean, flying piranhas? I get it, they were trying to make the fish seem impossible to escape from at this point, under water or on land, you just couldn't get away from these monsters. But these monsters looked like something you could get at Spencer's Gifts for a Halloween party.

Off the coast of a Caribbean island, a young couple flee the hotel to have sex in the sea. But they swim into a sunken wreck which is also a piranha lair and they are both killed and eaten by the unseen piranha. The next day, a group of tourists are taking the diving courses provided by Anne Kimbrough, an employee of the Hotel Elysium. One of her divers swims into the wreck, which she has strictly forbidden to her divers. Leaving Tyler to take over and lead the others to the surface, she discovers almost immediately that her 'missing' student has swum into the wreck and been killed there when his badly chewed up body is found. With the help of her estranged husband, Steve, they must figure a way to stop these evil flying piranha.

Now one of the great things about this film I have to say is the first scene. This couple goes underwater to have sex, that is something I have to say I have never seen on the wackiness level for un-needed nudity. Other than that, I don't think there was anything that good about the film even on a camp level. But given the credit where it's due, you could really see talent behind James. As an editor, he did the best he could with what he had. It's like handing over a broken stick house and saying to fix it, he did the best he could, but just couldn't really save the film. But Lance Henriksen is the only actor in the film who actually puts a little effort into this movie and I could see why he made it above the other actors in this movie.

I don't know if I could recommend this film, it just depends on the mood you're in. If you're looking to see all of James Cameron's work or Lance Henrikson, I would say to go for it. But just a warning in advance, this is an over the top silly movie. Some moments work and some don't, there are some laughable scenes, but most of the film is oddly boring for a film about flying fish. Now I would watch a documentary about these flying fish if James made one today, either that or he should've added the flying piranha to his blockbuster film Titanic. I think he would've gotten the full 11 out of 11 Oscar wins if he added those. Anyways, just don't expect anything special out of this movie, just remember, there was a time before his submarine missions deep below the seas being one of the most powerful men in Hollywood he slept on a friend's couch just trying to make a name for himself.

2/10

Piranha (1978)
As if great whites were not enough to keep us out of the water, now we got Piranhas!, 22 July 2012
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Back in the 70's, we had a series of great horror films: a little real life terror with Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a little bit of Hellish terror with The Exorcist and a little underwater terror with the first blockbuster called Jaws. Jaws was so huge that it spawned merchandise, several sequels and actually scarred people out of the water. I'm sure the one's who knew what sharks are really like were just rolling their eyes at the reaction Jaws got and I think that's where Roger Corman(a God amongst Hollywood with the protégés he brought up) got the idea for Piranha. Despite not being a direct spoof of Jaws, you can tell that he was just having fun with the new genre of undersea monsters. Having some goofy lead characters with what is actually one of the most harmless most scary looking fish in the sea, you got Piranha.

Two teenagers exploring at night come upon an apparently abandoned military installation. They take advantage of what appears to be a swimming pool to skinny dip. The teenagers are attacked by an unseen force and disappear under the water. A light activates in the main building and a silhouetted figure investigates the screams, but is too late to help. A determined but somewhat absent-minded insurance investigator, Maggie is dispatched to find the missing teenagers near Lost River Lake. She hires surly backwoods drunkard Paul Grogan to serve as her guide. They come upon the abandoned compound, which functioned as a fish hatchery prior to being militarized. They discover bizarre specimens in jars and indications of an occupant. Maggie locates the drainage switch for the outside pool and decides to empty it to search the bottom. The two find a skeleton in the filtration trap of the empty pool, and learn it was filled with salt water. They realize that the piranhas are heading for the town and they must stop the evil fish.

The film has this often campy and fun feeling to it. Having the silly characters, clichés, gore and nudity is honestly just a lot of fun. This is an over looked horror film I think, it's just a good time. I remember this movie as a kid, my parents were skimming around the channels on Christmas and for some reason this movie was playing. We always joked that it was our new Christmas movie. I think I'll keep that tradition alive, after all, what isn't more about Christmas than killer piranhas? The attack scene at the lake is very gruesome and cool to watch with plenty of prop arms, legs and heads being chewed up with that creepy piranha chomping sound. I have to admit, for a fish that doesn't really attack humans, this made me a little creeped out by piranhas.

Piranha is a good horror/comedy that works and should be given a chance. I'm not sure why it's over looked, but it's a fun movie. I do warn, it's campy and the effects are not that special. The acting isn't anything to brag about either. But this is a horror movie that calls out all the silly clichés. Maybe it was the people who were afraid of Jaws that took this film too much to heart that they were being goofed on with their reactions. Though I think it would be funny if they were actually terrified of this movie and had a new fish to fear. Anyways, Piranha is a fun horror movie and my new Christmas tradition in light of my family.

7/10

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Ironically, I think the actual ice age was shorter than this franchise, 22 July 2012
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is a reason I'm not in the stock market, I'm not sure why some movies continue to get sequels, I never figured they would try to turn Ice Age into a franchise of some sort. The first Ice Age was very cute, nothing special, but enjoyable to watch. The sequels are pretty decent over all, but I never found myself watching them twice. But I guess they were popular enough to spawn another sequel called Continental Drift. So in our quest for a movie weekend, my fiancé and I decided to give this movie a fair chance on it's opening weekend. Over all, it was pretty cute and had it's share of laughs. I do think this was a pick up from the last sequel, but again, it was a movie worthy of a straight to DVD release. The story is predictable and some of the actor's voices just don't work with the characters. However with some new additional characters that were actually pretty funny, I don't find myself unsatisfied with Continental Drift.

Scrat's hunt for acorns triggers the break-up of the Pangaea landmass into the continents as we know them today. In the meantime, Manny and his wife Ellie deal with their teenage daughter Peaches. Sid's family, appear to have been looking for him, but it is revealed that they only want to leave Sid's annoying Granny with him and leave him again. When Manny catches Peaches hanging with friends after he told her not to, Manny and Peaches have a falling out. Soon after, the breakup of the continent separates Manny from his family. Manny gets stuck on a floating ice raft with Sid, Diego and Granny. A large moving landmass drives Ellie, Peaches, and a herd of other animals towards a land bridge, where Manny had told them to go. Manny promises to come back to them, but may have some trouble getting back.

This was a crazed celebrity fest of voices: Nick Frost, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Wanda Sykes, Simon Pegg, Jennifer Lopez, Ray Romano, Seann William Scott, the list goes on. Makes you really wonder where the budgets for these films go when you got big names. A little advice to Hollywood when it comes to animated films: use the money budget towards the script and animation, not the voices. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. I didn't respond too well to hearing Wanda's screeching voice for 80% of the film. Did it really make a difference to have Jennifer Lopez's voice in the movie? But given credit where it's due, I did like the new character/villain, Captain Gutt and his pirates. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do add a lot of comedy to the movie, because of their natural chemistry, it just works. The animation is very nice, especially during the storm scenes.

Over all, I did like the movie, it wasn't a waste of time and I got a few laughs out of it. I think the heart of the film goes to Scrat, no matter how many times I see him chasing after those acorns, I don't think I could ever get sick of it. I also liked how the film took a little clever twist with telling the story of the Odyssey so the kids would not only have a good time, but to learn a great story of adventure. But it's still only worth the rental, at most a matinée. I think the kids will definitely get a kick out of it, but that's about it. I don't know if this will be the last Ice Age, but as long as Hollywood wants it's money and this movie makes number one at the box office, I think we'll probably have another one.

6/10

6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Spidey's back!, 8 July 2012
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

10 years ago, I remember seeing the opening of the biggest film that year, Spider-Man. I'm not kidding, I remember everything about that opening. It was the first time I ever saw teenagers bring comic books to the movie doing comparison notes. I remember it being so crowded and crazy. But I also remember loving the movie and I still watch it today. So when I heard that they were rebooting the franchise, I was kind of curious why they were rebooting so soon. But after seeing the trailers, I still wanted to see the movie. I'm not a crazy comic book fan or anything, I just like super-hero movies. So this review is from the movie-goer, not the comic book advocate. I really did like The Amazing Spider-Man, this was a great pick up from Spider-Man 3. It was trying to touch the territory of being like Batman Begins, taking the character and story a little more seriously without the overage of cheesy one-liners and costumes. What worked well for this movie was the cast and story.

Young Peter Parker's dad, Richard, gathers up hidden documents, and Peter's parents take him to the home of his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, then mysteriously disappear. Years later, a teenage Peter attends high school, where he has caught the eye of Gwen Stacy. At home, Peter finds Richard's papers, and learns his father worked with fellow scientist Dr. Curt Connors at Oscorp. Faking his way into Oscorp as one of a group of high-school interns, Peter sneaks into a lab where a "biocable" is being created from genetically modified spiders, one of which bites him. On the subway ride home, he is shocked to find strange spider-like abilities manifesting. After studying Richard's papers, he visits the one-armed Connors at home, reveals he is Richard Parker's son, and gives Connors his father's "decay rate algorithm", the missing piece in Connors' experiments on regenerating limbs based on lizard DNA. Connors is being pressured by his superior, Dr. Ratha, to devise a cure for the dying, unseen head of Oscorp, Norman Osborn. He one night does the experiment forcing to him to become a giant lizard and wants to seek revenge on those who wronged him, but Peter with his new powers will try to stop him and save the city.

Did I need to see why Peter becomes Spider-Man again? Not really. Also for "nerds", our two leads Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are extremely good looking people. But I'll buy into it and just have fun. I liked the explanation given a little better than the first on why Peter feels the need to be Spider-Man. Also, does Dennis Leary always have to be the downer in almost all his movies? I mean his last lines in the film*Spoiler Alert!!*, he's dying in Peter's arms and tells Peter to leave Gwen alone, that's the finest girl he's ever going to get and he's going to listen to that?! I was telling my fiancé, if I were Peter, I would've hit Dennis before he died and said "oh, how sad you're dying, just go in peace" and play it off like it's sad or just screamed after he tells Peter not to see Gwen any more "Why won't you die?!". Poor Peter, go get yourself a hottie, Dennis's character was a jerk anyways. I digress; the only thing I have to say that was missing from this one compared to the first Spider-Man, it doesn't quite have Raimi's heart. There are a few flaws with the movie, but all the movies are flawed in one way or another. I think this was a fine addition to the franchise and highly recommend The Amazing Spider-Man, it was a lot of fun.

8/10

9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
I could write 5 novels on the things wrong with this movie!, 8 July 2012
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My God, I cannot believe I live in a world where these movies were created. Where do I start? So most of the users on IMDb know of this movie if you've seen Titanic: The Legend Goes On. It turns out that it was a sequel to this horrible movie! The ironic part is, you think nothing could top off the rapping dog on the Titanic, no this movie is much much worse. What could be worse than a rapping dog or Mexican mice? Let's just flat out deny that Titanic was a tragic disaster that killed hundreds of people. No, let's not just do that, in fact, let's make it that the ice berg wasn't just there that crashed into the ship. Let's make it about a couple of evil whalers who can somehow communicate with a gang of evil sharks, dressed like inmates in a prison no less, that peer pressure a puppy dog octopus into an iceberg throwing contest and makes him throw it at the Titanic so the evil whaler's plans will never be revealed….yeah, just as hard as it is reading that, I'm having a hard time typing that. This is for real everyone, this is just sad.

In modern-day New York City an old mouse named Conners tells his grandchildren the supposedly "true" story of the Titanic. In April 1912, Conners was a young sailor mouse on the Titanic's maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York. He is in charge of taking account for the many immigrant mice who are making the trip. Meanwhile, a rich aristocratic woman named Elizabeth and her family board the Titanic. Her father is a famous Duke and is very prominent in the whaling business. He and Elizabeth's stepmother have arranged for Elizabeth to marry Mr. Evarard Maltravers, a rich whaler. Unknown to the Duke, the marriage is actually a scheme concocted by his own stepwife and Maltravers to get certain whaling rights for themselves. Elizabeth is unhappy about the marriage. Elizabeth sees several gypsies dancing at the dock and happily watches them. A gypsy man named Don Juan is dancing with his dog Smiley. He notices Elizabeth and sends Smiley to see her. When Elizabeth takes off one of her gloves to pet Smiley, Smiley snatches it and takes it back to Juan. Juan looks at Elizabeth and the two instantly fall in love. The Titanic then sets off to sea from Southampton on her first, and only, voyage.

Yeah, so I don't know how else to even explain it's badness. The girl Elizabeth, who has one of the lowest plunging neck lines for 1912, goes crying on the deck of the ship and her tears get swept up in a magic moon beam that can help her communicate with all animals?! This is where it gets even weirder, now the dolphins don't just jump up and down to warn her of the evil plans of her fiancé, no they can fly. Also she has mice who are on her side as well. Her fiancé who is the evil whaler has a friggin' eye patch and mustache! Why not give him a cat to stroke to top it off?! So in the beginning of the film, Elizabeth tells her father angrily "I would rather die than marry that old disgusting man!" and he just plays it off with how she has to marry him for stature. Then cut to a scene later on after the mice and dolphins talk to her that they're on her side, she says "I have no intention of marrying that man", her father has a sudden change of heart and says "I want you happy", what the heck did she do differently!? Now history knows that there were not enough life boats and only women and children were allowed on, no, this one, there's room for everyone! Now let's not give the captain any dignity while sinking with this ship, no, let the octopus, who for some reason takes a deep breath before going under water, save the captain! Yeah, this was a whole big cover up and everyone on the Titanic survived and it sank only because of some "greedy evil men". Oh, man, who the heck made this?! Who the heck green lighted this?! I don't know, but what I do know is that I'm going to continue to cry for a few more hours.

1/10

Jack and Jill (2011/I)
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
God, Adam Sandler is so in love with himself! Why not just call the film Adam Sandler, Adam Sandler, Adam Sandler and Adam Sandler dresses and acts like an obnoxious troll?, 8 July 2012
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Think back to the 90's with Adam Sandler, he was a writer/performer on SNL and had several hit movies. Back in the day, his baby sounds and squished faces were not only cute but hilarious. Now, like all humans, he gets older, but mentally is stuck in the 90's where people found his movies very funny. Now, the strange thing is, Adam Sandler has proved a couple of times that he could be a good dramatic actor. I'm not sure why he hasn't moved on… probably because his best friends are desperate for money and he's got to keep his dumb movie company "Happy Madison" going, so naturally he writes a bad story with predictable jokes and for some reason he thinks he's so funny, so naturally the movie somehow gets green lighted and that leads us to Jack and Jill. I was warned several times that this movie was awful, but one of my friends wanted to see this movie and rented it. She begged me to watch it with her and told me that I should keep an open mind…fair enough, right? I was thinking I was too close minded and I should let go and just have a good laugh. So during the movie, my expression did not change, I just couldn't laugh at anything…I look over and my friend is laughing hysterically. Why am I not having the same reaction? I don't know, but I guess I'm one of the rare people that are seeing the down fall of society with Sandler's movies.

Jack, a successful advertising executive in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife and two kids, Sofie and Gary. Jack is incredibly irritated about the Thanksgiving visit of his "identical" twin sister Jill. Following a series of problems from the airport to the house, Jack's patience is soon stretched increasingly thin. Jill's neediness and passive-aggressiveness is maddening to Jack, turning his normally tranquil life upside down. Jill says she has a list of things she wants to do before she leaves; she wants to be on a game show, go horseback riding, and do a studio tour. Meanwhile, Jack's client wants him to get Al Pacino to appear in a Dunkin Donuts commercial. Jill tries online dating, but doesn't get much of a response until Jack alters her profile, leading her to get over 100 responses. Jack feels bad so he takes her to the Lakers game where Al Pacino is supposed to be. He is there and he develops a crush on Jill as he gives her his phone number. Now the commercial is dependent on her taking a liking to Al Pacino.

One thing that I wonder: what the heck did Adam Sandler do to these celebrities who make a cameo in the film? Johnny Depp, one of the greatest actors of our generation makes a cameo. Shaq…well, I withdraw my question on that one. But Al Pacino, did Adam Sandler take a picture of the guy luring children into his gingerbread house or something? But given credit where it's due, Al seems to be the only one putting any effort into this movie. Adam Sandler's character of Jill is very close in the running for most obnoxious characters in cinema history. What I don't get is how in this universe that anyone can stand her? She's loud, racist, crude, ugly and just plain annoying, yet somehow people defend her and somehow 2 guys get a crush on her?! Plus I love how in every Sandler movie now that he writes, his character is: successful, "good-looking", has a gorgeous wife, smart, witty and everyone just admires him of course. This movie in itself is a big joke and I really tried to enjoy myself, but just have to go with the negative reviews on this film, it really is that bad. As for people like other users and my friend who found it funny, try watching other movies. I promise, there's a whole world of comedy out there that is much better than this.

1/10

Ted (2012)
4 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Family Guy: I love Boston, 8 July 2012
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If there is something I discovered opening day of Ted: do not underestimate Family Guy and American Dad fans. Seth MacFarlane has a bigger fan base than I thought, not to say I didn't know that he wasn't famous, just didn't realize how big he was. When I saw the trailer for Ted, I knew my fiancé would love this movie, he always tells me about what I missed on the new episode of Family Guy or American Dad or The Cleveland Show. I'm the average watcher of Family Guy, I'll watch a couple episodes that re-run on TBS at night, and of the three, I'll find one bad, one OK and one absolutely hilarious. In Ted, the jokes just keep coming at you, for every one that misses, the next one is a hit. This was made directly for the fans of MacFarlane's humor. After all, the poster does say "from the creator of Family Guy" and the cast is mostly a typical work day for MacFarlane. But over all, Ted does work as a comedy that I'm sure you could get a kick out of.

In 1985, in Boston, John Bennett is a lonely child who dearly wished for his new Christmas gift, a large teddy bear named Ted, to come to life to be his friend. That wish coincided with a falling star and Ted is brought to life. After John's parents got over the shock, word of the miracle spread and Ted was briefly a celebrity. Twenty-seven years later, John and Ted are still lazy but loving companions enjoying life even while John is pursuing a years-long relationship with a level-headed office worker, Lori. As their fourth anniversary of their relationship approaches, Lori hopes to marry John, but she feels he can't move ahead with his life with Ted around, who has become a vulgar, obnoxious wastrel. John is resistant to making his lifelong companion leave, but he is finally persuaded that night to act when the couple discover Ted at home with four prostitutes. Ted is fine at first on his own, but still wants John to still party with him causing problems in his relationship once again.

Like the shows, there are some jokes that seem to go too far. I don't mind 9/11 jokes every once in a while, but MacFarlane just throws a few out there and some are a little too much. His relationship with Mark Wahlberg in the film is similar to the relationship between Peter and Brian on Family Guy. And sort of in the spirit of Kevin Smith, who is an obvious fan of Star Wars, MacFarlane is a fan of the 80's and is trying to bring a B-Movie back, Flash Gordon. However, I can't deny that I seriously did laugh quite a few times with this movie. We have a good comedic cast that works and one of the things I really appreciate on MacFarlane's part as a writer is that he didn't make Mila Kunis' character a one-note jerk girlfriend who everyone hates. You understand her character and even Mark Wahlberg's. Heck, he even makes Ted, a bear, very believable as a friend who is still stuck in the party mode in life and takes his best friend down with him. There are two villains in here, one is a large child and his dad who will DO ANYTHING to make him happy, almost like Silence of the Lambs style, this dad is just plain creepy. The effects for Ted were great and the story, despite being predictable, was still very decent. I got a few good laughs from it and would say that it is very much worth the watch. If you're the average viewer of the shows of MacFarlane, I think you'll like it too. If you're a die hard fan, there's no question that you're going to love Ted.

7/10

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Four Score and several vamp-outs ago..., 8 July 2012
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When you think of funny movie titles, they're really very clever. One of the main pitches to see a movie is the title, sort of like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. When I first heard of this movie, I got a good chuckle out of that title. My fiancé and I started talking about the sequels: JFK: Zombie Killer, FDR: Witch Slayer, Thomas Jefferson: Werewolf Killer, etc. But I couldn't resist, I had to see what this movie. I'm not sure what inspired this story, I guess Lincoln just didn't make as big a splash as most presidents. I mean he only freed the slaves, is on our American five dollar bill, made it through the civil war and was assassinated, nothing that big. So we had to add another occupation to his resume and what better occupation than what's the hottest trend right now: vampire hunter! You get what you ask for when you see this movie and that's why I'm happy.

In 1818, Abraham Lincoln lives in Indiana with his parents, who works at a plantation owned by Jack Barts. There, Lincoln befriends a young African American boy, William Johnson, and intervenes when he sees Johnson being beaten by a slaver. Because of his son's actions, Thomas is fired. That night, Lincoln sees Barts break into his house and attack Nancy. She falls ill the following day, and dies shortly afterwards. Nine years later, Lincoln decides to get revenge against Barts. He attacks Barts at the docks, but Barts, who is actually a vampire, overpowers him. However, before Barts can kill him, Lincoln is rescued by Henry Sturgess. Sturgess explains that vampires exist, and offers to teach Lincoln to be a vampire hunter. Lincoln accepts and, after a decade of training, travels to Springfield, Illinois. Determined for revenge, he realizes that he may have discovered more than he would want to know while the country goes into civil war and that the vampires have deeper motives rather than just slavery.

I love history very much, my head is like a sponge that just loves to take information in and I love to study everything about history. So I've seen pictures of Lincoln and his wife Mary, both very good people, but not exactly the lookers of the day. Benjamin Walker, who plays Lincoln and people are calling the young Liam Neeson, does a great job of playing the part but doesn't really look like Lincoln, though he is the closest ironically. But the performance is what makes him memorable. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Mary, his wife, she's thin, gorgeous and complete opposite of who Mary was, but still does very well. Now this film is by no means for historical context, I just thought it was funny in the looks department that they pick models to play the average looking people. The action is great and a lot of scenes are very intense and scary. The make up effects for the vampires were great and very intimidating. Everything about this film is really silly when you think in the historical context, but if you just let go, it's honestly fun. Plus, in some sick way, I think this would've been cool if Lincoln was really this bad-ass. He's the original Blade and can really hold himself well against the evil gang of vampire slave owners. You get what you expect and I don't know what else to say for those who are complaining that this movie is too stupid or not historically accurate, it's just a movie. The title explains all, the story is good and the actors had great chemistry and made it work. I'm looking forward to seeing it again, it was a fun horror movie with a good historical twist.

7/10

Brave (2012)
Pixar's good movie, 8 July 2012
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One movie company I've had faith in these past few years to pull out the great films: Pixar. Wall-E, Up, Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., they've just kept them coming and some of these films are extremely ground breaking. Not just for animation but the story and love that they put behind it. This year they bring us Brave, a tale of a princess who wants to change her fate and follow her own path. Yeah, the Disney story that has been done to death, but this is Pixar, they're bound to do something different with it. So after watching the trailers, I wasn't sure what to make of the film but like I said, it's Pixar, I couldn't skip out on it. One thing I have to warn you is that if you've seen the trailer, this is complete opposite of what you would expect.

Princess Merida, a free-spirited and adventurous teenager is informed by her mother that she is to be betrothed to one of her father's allied clans: Dingwall, Macintosh, or MacGuffin. Despite her mother's attempts to explain the necessity of the marriage her by telling her a legend of a power-hungry prince who broke off from his duty and caused the ruin of a kingdom, Merida is dissatisfied with the arranged marriage. The clans arrive with their first-born sons to compete in the Highland Games for Merida's hand, and the princess chooses archery as the main event. Entering the competition, Merida says that as the first-born of Clan DunBroch she is eligible to compete for her own hand, and later has a falling-out with Elinor. When Merida destroys a tapestry depicting her family and Elinor burns her bow, Merida flees to the forest. While there, the "Will O' The Wisps" lead her to the hut of an elderly witch who insists she is a wood carver. After some bargaining, the witch agrees to give Merida a spell, in the form of a cake, to change her mother.

I won't give away what is the big fate changer, but it is something not incredibly original. Though give where credit is due, as usual the animation is very lovely and they captured the beautiful land of Scotland very well. The characters were just a little too typical, the only one that I really enjoyed was Fergus played by Billy Connolly and I really wished to see more of him in the film, he was funny, charming and seemed like a real father that a lot of kids have. Even Elinor played by Emma Thompson, the mother who is almost dubbed the bad guy for making her daughter go through all the customs of being a princess, but those were the times and how ladies were "supposed to act". I wanted to find out more of her character and I think they could've added more sympathy if they explained that she had to go through something similar growing up. The three little brothers are the typical comedic relief and do the job well. As for our main character, Merida, there's nothing too special about her honestly. She seems to be a brat most of the time not giving anything a chance or taking responsibility for anything, a typical teenager. How are we supposed to look up to her if she behaves this way? There are some plot points that are never explained well, like how to reverse the spell that Merida places on her mother. At first the witch says to recite these lines, but Merida never does that and it seems like she doesn't care about her mother's fate. Then there's apparently another way they could reverse the spell all with the power of love. Also the ending seemed to be kind of a cop out and too predictable. However, I would say that the kids for sure are going to enjoy this movie. For the adults, it's nothing special, worth the watch, but just don't expect Pixar greatness.

7/10


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