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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Not a Fan of the Turtles? Skip it!
First of all, let's take a moment to reflect about the title: "Ninja Turtles"
"Ninja-Turtles" Great! Now, if you really know these four brothers, whose adventures almost covered since the eighties, then you should know they weirdly take things seriously, they're always funny, they're always cool, and, most important, their movies are completely preposterous. This suits producer Michael Bay and the director, Jonathan Liebesman. The first one never takes his job seriously and the second one is preposterous. They both stirred their talents to give birth to a not-so-good, but immensely funny production that could easily compete with the 1990 version. There are some terrible flats here as well. The Shredder (the sworn nemesis of the TMNT) has almost no relevance outside of the action scenes
what I mean is: he is the master mind behind the evil plan (to take control over Manhattan), but he kind of remind me of the Ra's Al Ghul Henry Ducard is protecting in the League of Shadows. He doesn't prove he is the leader. He only fights and lets others to speak in his behalf. The origin of the TMNT is different as well. Splinter's too. And you'll realize that they don't have to be ninjas to be super bad, 'cause they're really big now. For sure, they're the kind of heroes that could make a good match against Superman or Hulk. Just look at the images of Raphael. Do these mutated, pizza-lover freaks, seize a good portion of your childhood and you would like to see them once more in action and as you have never see them before? This is a must see, then, and with an open (very wide open) mind, you might even get to love it. But if you hadn't even played the arcade, or seen at least a couple of the cartoon chapters, then you'll probably end up seeing another piece of trash, because it is what it is. Not a serious thing, but a good piece of karate action, and a more than acceptable performance by Megan Fox, this time taking over the role of Matt Witwicky. This is probably a fan exclusive!
The Science of a Good Title
Usually, here in Mexico the titles of movies change radically, but not for good. For instance, "Rush Hour" movies became "An Explosive Couple", "Bourne Identity" became "Unknown Identity", "Despicable Me" becomes "My Favorite Villain". Do you know the title of Resident Evil? The Cursed Host which actually sounds pretty good in English but in Spanish sounds like well. Something else that is compromised is the continuity of the following titles: like, "Resident Evil: Apocalypses" has no Spanish title, but that is another story.
There are a couple of films that has been better with the title given to them here. I'm pretty sure people would have liked the more "Pearl Harbor" with the subtitle "Between Passion and Fire" on it. It prepares you for a war-romance flick (when you are watching mostly romance with war as a subject and time-space scenario, but is kind of what you were expecting).
When I saw this movie on TV a couple of months ago, I didn't know it was "Hidalgo", the 2004 movie whom commercials trailers where not attractive to me. That was before I knew what it was about. This is simply one of the most entertaining pictures I have ever seen on my whole life, I've watched it like four or five times since. It has the right amount of adventure, action and comedy, half western and half racing.
But I believe it could have been something different with the real name. Here, the name was the name of the race ("Ocean of Fire") which I think depicts better the script. If you consider it, "Hidalgo" prepares the spectator for a movie about the horse, something like, I don't know, "Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron", "Babe" or something like it "War Horse". But the story about Hidalgo, how it was born, how it was trained, the same story filmed with a different view point, focus in the horse, when it is about the cowboy, Frank Hopkins and an adventure in the middle of Arabia. So, when I heard "Ocean of Fire" I knew it was going to be about the race, but I also found a beautiful story about Indians, civil war soldiers, a terrible past and a very weird friendship.
Maybe that is why I liked it so much.
Real Steel (2011)
Machines Don't Have A Soul... That's Why Their Box Is Better
This movie could be even better with a sequel. Just a few movies deserve it, but this year I've found out that Real Steel 2 is the only sequel I strongly wish it turns to be a franchise.
I wasn't this intrigued by any other movie, and I don't think anyone else in the theatre had. Of course, that's what happens when big strong colorful metallic boxers come all together in an unrealistic arena in a not so far future.
This is the kind of productions Spielberg needs to support was it a sound editing nod over there? . Impressive rounds of fighting robots, a funny dancing guy, and a plot--- A faulty boxer-promoter is paid to take care of his own obsessive, idealistic and videogames-expert son for a couple of weeks, while he tries so desperately to attend his dying career as a box-promoter to save himself and the familiar busyness he helped to destroy. And while he ruins it one again and was trying to fix it, he almost lost his own son almost, 'cause, odd enough, his son is saved by an entire short, old aged robot named "Atom", who was discarded and thrown away to a landfill. Full of gratitude, the kid recovers the machine and takes it with him, restores it and intends to introduce it to the boxing world. He soon would find out that his new friend as a big potential, but the only way it would make it to the top is if his father accedes to train it and promote it, forcing him out of the retirement as a humanboxer and as a looser as well, giving him some hope as a promoter, as a father and a human being.
It is not so hard, you see? And, if the plot doesn't work (it did for me), the action, the visuals, the editing and sound will. And, you know what? It leaves room for a sequel.
There is some kind of Pokemón air in all that stuff of giving orders to a fighter, but it changes drastically at the very glorious ending, when the orders are not an option anymore.
I had to force a friend to take me to this movie, and now I'm the one who's forcing him to stop hitting me with the piston combination. That is what I was talking about when I said "excitement". I thought many felt it when Rocky was defeating Apollo. That's what happens when you care about a character, the way you care about the main robot of this story, Atom.
With any luck, this would become a franchise, and lucky enough, a good franchise. At least, there goes a good start for any trilogy.
Bay Could Be A Good Director
The sad thing is, Bay has something others directors work out for years (even decades) to get: means. He gets what he needs, because investors know he sells thickets. So, when you hear about Bay and Spielberg, one can assure there WILL be something extraordinary going on. You will buy and people will be paying Bay for a merely entertaining moment and an absolute mess of a story. That's what I saw yesterday.
There were big robot monsters exhilaratingly killing themselves in confrontations better even than the ones seen on the first one and the second one. There's where I found some kind of relief for my money. The amazing hand to hand combat seen on the first movie was better this time, as I found the most of the Autobots were involved this time in close combat sequences against a giant army of invader Decepticons. I met Dino, Sideswipe, Que and other Transformers from which my favorites were Soundwave and Ratchet. This time, is about one spaceship that crashed on the Earth's Moon in the ages of Kennedy. Therefore, the first step of mankind on our natural satellite (one of the biggest achievements in history) was not even for the sake of science, but a race between the U.S. NASA and the Russian aerospace intelligence to reach the ship and find out what's inside of it. The NASA won, but not much was the prize, only the location of the spaceship. Years later, after a mission in the Middle-Eastern (which has no relation, to me, with the context; just a mere reason to kill Iranians) and a visit to the ruins of the nuclear central in Chernobyl, Ukraine (my God: Russians needing Americans for research), Optimus Prime (Cullen) found some kind of proof of what the space mission was all about in the first place. The spaceship, The Ark, is the rest place of an old buddy named Sentinel Prime (Nimoy), the master of the actual leader of the Autobots. He left Cybertron in the middle of the war and took with him "something" that could have given the Autobots the victory: pillars, hundreds of them. He got lost in space to hide those pillars and, after he crashed on the Moon, he locked himself inside the ship with five of them. The pillars are means of transportation which can be used by Transformers to bring troops to this world and, in Decepticon hands, they could be very dangerous, so it is imperative to keep them away from Megatron (Weaving) and his brand new band of robot-fellas, along Shockwave (Welker) and his giant robot-worm-pet, Soundwave (also Welker) with his scary robot-vulture-pet (Awesome!), and Starscream with his usual cowardice. Decepticons go after those pillars.
The story with the Autobots and Decepticons is poor, but should work alone if it were. There goes Sam Wickity (LaBeouf) again, but this time with the hyper-sensual Carly (Huntington-Witheley) instead of Megan Fox (Bay is a man of word) covering the role of his hot girlfriend. The lucky guy keeps his supermodel in a ruined store and she lives on with his love, cause he still looking for job. She works in a male's paradise and has a female's paradise (and even some non-female) of a boss, Dylan (Dempsey), the guy who cares for her so much to give her a Mercedes (hell of a car), while Sam has a substitute of his Bumble Bee (joke of a car). I had seen this kind of treats, where the girl rather to be with the deprived guy even thought there is a rich (powerful) and handsome guy who falls for her, but this is way too much. It is just ludicrous. Dylan does a deal for Sam to get a shot in a cars company, where seemingly isn't any possible way of a quality standard (or human real emotions). There is where Sam meets a marked guy (Jeong) who has information about something the Decepticons cares so much to send robot-mercenaries to take human lives off At this level, the script is very complicated (not complex) without the characteristically absurd jokes Bay always frequents in his movies. Yes, there are a lot of them in this movie, tons of them. So much, that anyone can begin to doubt about the credibility of every single character. And there, exactly there is where Michael Bay fails every time. Sexy and uninterested supermodel girlfriend; rich Simons with gay butler; armed ex soldiers surviving the fall of a building. Those are affairs that would probably build a good plot each one in a different and separate movie, but in one single movie all of them could be (and they ARE) a complete and irrevocable mess; one that not even all the fights of big robots from all the galaxies would compensate. As the time passed by, I started to think about the Island. If there ever was a movie that made me feel the progress of a director in the matter of legibility it was his Island. McGregor and Johansson provide real emotions, real dialogs and even an amazing change of personality in the same movie But that was then. No real emotions in this movie. No real dialog
Somehow, I know Bay don't want to be a real director. He does his own movies, I know that, but he doesn't take it seriously. He's like a child, a big child that sells thickets and makes movies appear good with exaggerated takes and freezing sequences. Fancy style is what it is. But, as long as he keeps selling, he won't change. If, in some way, I found this movie better than the second one is because the return of the body combat. But both movies are despicable, and if I had known that before I wouldn't have left myself to be tightened by the first movie to see all the other movies in theaters.
Black Swan (2010)
The Best Of 2010
A while ago, one of my coaches made a cruel joke about one of our best foot ball players who chose to become a ballet dancer. It was funny to me then, but now I see that it is probably more painful the process to acquire the necessary straight and technique the dancers have.
The Black Swan does honor to his name, not only on the Tchaikovsky role Nina Seyers (Portman) tries so hardly to improve, but also in Nina by itself. She is a "sweat girl": fragile, pretty, a dreamer, insecure. She is the White Swan. But, oh surprise, she doesn't have a Black Swan. She fakes it and, in a ballet, that's probably something that can be easily detected. The audience wants to see real feelings and Nina can't provide them. Her predecessor, Beth (Rider), surely has his good and personal version of it. Her ballet mate (or competence?), Lily (Kunis), should have not any White Swan at all, cause she is entirely a Black Swan, nothing more and nothing less. She's hot and vigorous. She's brave and confident. She has a two-black-wings-tattoo on her back, like to prove it. She's inaccurate but natural ("She's not faking" Thomas said). At one level, she's just what Nina needs to be to reach the so desired perfection. But, how can it be? That's what this movie is all about.
Anronofsky successfully trapped Portman's twisted metamorphosis into the Black Swan everyone wants to see, in one of the most beautiful performances of the year. A frigid, spoilt and fearful girl, big enough to take care of herself, but weak enough to tell her mother she can take off her clothes on her own. Frighten by the freedom, but more by the conflict inside, reflected in so many surrealistic takes that the movie basically could have told the story without audio. In those brilliant (and even scaring) takes, Nina is being forced by the specter of her evil twin, who seems to wish the freedom Nina is rejecting, to be a real woman. In consequence, Nina scratches her back, rips her skin, breaks her fingernails, etc. She even prints herself in the only similar being around, who happens to be Lily, the Black Swan who can take her place in the stage in a blink of an eye, and Beth, the only being around who reached perfection and drop off. Nina's mother, Erika (Hershey), is most likely the antagonist of this story, for she is the one suppressing her potential with merely love. Inspires her to be conformist and consenting her, instead of letting her go or at least, giving her a little personal space in the bathroom. Hershey should be a good mother, thought.
The most relevant character, after the end, is Beth Macintyre, who happened to be famous and could have given Nina all the answers. But she was too "IN" with her own demons to lead with another person's. When she finds that she's being dumped out of the company, she falls in a depression driven by alcohol and rage that ended showing up a small amount of damage of what a Black Swan can do with a dancer. If Nina would have forgotten about the performance and concerned more about the trap Beth's pride placed on her way, she could have avoid a trap from her own mind. She ends devastated in the hospital ( probably crazy, probably killed: you won't hear it from me), but she didn't leave the stage without a warning to Nina, that couldn't be taken seriously because of the ballet maestro and Nina's owner, Thomas Leroy (Cassel): "Make the most of it, Nina! Yup".
Nothing stopped her from her mind deliriums and the unstoppable search of perfection until it was too late, and even then: her dreams turned into wishes, her wishes turned into fantasies, her fantasies turned into nightmares, her nightmares turned into hallucinations, her hallucinations turned into deliriums, and the deliriums drove her mad.
Aronofsky used visual effects lightly, but one of them is in my favorite take from the entire year (even more that the rolling chamber in "Inception"). Luckily, the story doesn't need all the CGI in the world, cause as I said before, the movie talks by its own. You'll see a good thriller, without exhilarating sound effects and with an exhilarating good screenplay. And yet, it would be one of the craziest, sexiest movies you'll see in a while. You'll found a relivable shiver (or a truly terrifying relieve) at the end, when the White Swan flags and the Black Swan break his cage, just to prove the perfection has a high cost and that thrillers like this are a real mind feast on a time when movies like "Final Destination" sell tickets.
So astonishing that I found that the last Oscar season wasn't about The King Speech and Inception, as I thought, but was about the Social Network and Black Swan. And, obviously, it is so strong that I needed to comment about it even half a year after the premier.
Trick 'r Treat (2007)
Made by Children for the Adulthood
In vespers of the northamerican festive day, Halloween, I've decided to take a look at this movie, from which I knew looking on to Anna Paquin's profile and the advice of a good partner.
From the beginning, the movie don't seem to be different from the new-age-horror-films, (drunk beauties that later will be murdered; wild kids that don't believe in ghost; human beings who dress like monsters to scare the people), but there's something else that the rest of the movies have already lost: an unpredictable drama.
The movie is divided in four stories, a lot of different characters, but they're exquisitely bounded in one pretty town addicted to Halloween. Really nice bounded, if you ask me (though my big brother hate it).
Also, you'll find out that this is unlikely an horror film. From the right side, this is only a union of four terrifying stories, the kind of stories the children tell in front of a camp fire or, yes, in the night of Hallowen. Obviously, this isn't a kid's movie (because of the nude scenes and the extreme violence), but the script was clearly written inspired in children tales...not very common children tales, but they're extremely at the Hallowen-style.
I think people will love it by itself, but I don't want to know about another "Big Brother", so I'll recommend this:
1) Yesterday was the best occasion to watch it, but if you didn't, just wait till the night; turn off the lights; call all your friends older then 8 but younger than 18 (avoid your father and mother, and take your girlfriend if you like) and don't close your eyes in the scary scenes...or you can always wait till the next Halloween, but I doubt you will.
2)Remember: you'll watch a bloody version of movies like "Hocus Pocus" or "The Witches". Do not expect an horror film like the "Bloody Valentine" or "Final Destination"s. A funny movie, indeed.
Worth Your Time
This was the first time I saw that movie, but I'll comment while the good impression still there. I didn't understand why I'd never notice when movies like this are release in Mexico till I saw movies like Minotaur, Anaconda 2, Snakes on the plane/train, etc.
I like when I'm not expecting anything pleasurable or funny in a movie and then they come with this. This is a very well done movie, action-packed, nice drama and the best part: Its not senseless.
Simple like this: Kainan is a traveler from another world/galaxy/universe, who used to be a member of a greedy and conqueror kind (very similar to the humans), whose starship crash into our world, in the Vikings Age, bringing with him a violent and uncontrollable creature (a "Godzilla" looked Dragon) named Moorwen, thats searching revenge against the exterminator of his breed. Afther Kainan is accepted by a Viking community that is being attacked by the Moorwen, he decide to help them kill that beast by the old way (no guns).
Probably the special effects seems to be very old, like ten years ago, but the action is not affected for it. I'd like the way the Moorwen was made, in some cases it almost look cleaver. Its not the typical killer creature and if its not a completely serious matter in the movie... well, I guess the name of the movie is Outlander, not Outlander and the Moorwen.
And about the outlander, I think that Jim Caviezel is to much for the role. He did a good job and he brings some prestige to the film (not enough, thought). He plays Kainan, the alien guy who become prisoner of the Viking who hate him and reject him. At the beginning he's just trying to warn the beautiful King's daughter (Sohpia Myles) from the trouble they're facing with. Time after, he falls in love with her, he becomes part of the village and earn the King's trust, and thats why he fight for their protection. Thats all the drama I need, not the perfect drama of course, but this is not a perfect film, just way to good. The action is the best reason to watch this film... and maybe the best is see it thinking it will sucks, it work for me.
Again, this s just the first impression but like I said, I was not expecting the best picture, just a few action, a few drama and how to spend my time. Ya, I like it.
Forrest Gump (1994)
RUN, FORREST!!! RUN!!! The Other #1
I'd chose this movie the "other number one" on my top, not because the Schindler List be better, only because I've already considered Schindler the best movie I have ever seen when I saw Forrest Gump.
I'm not sure of how can I talk about how much I'd lean by watching this movie. This one was an inspiration to all my family, starring with my dad, that was the one who told me to sit up and watch it with him. The only thing I can say with out fear to mistake is that this is one of the few movies that I can sit and watch over and over and over and over again. I can easily say that I watch it over 100 times in the 2001.Its right now that I realize the hard work and the magnitude of the production of a movie like this.
The Tom Hanks performance is the heart of the success of this movie. He create one of the most charming characters on the history. He lived the horrors that many suffer in that years tanks to the American ambition and trough is eyes everything looks just fine. Through his eyes everything seems so beautiful. The way Forrest live his life his kinda lesson to my own life.
The movie itself is a wonder creation. This is the kind of Beautiful films that deserve the Best Picture Oscar and deserve to be remembered. The conflict between Forrest and Schindler will continue. Till then, I have two number one.
The Dark Knight (2008)
.....And Christofer Nolan Give Us THE BATMAN!!!
I wanna be fast, so lets get right to the point before I lose it again.
Since I read the script from Memento, I'd already knew it: Christofer as the gift and he has future. On this one, he go over the score. He explode every possibility, in any sense and at all direction. In deed, this movie is all drama. May be is one of the fews action movies were I'm almost forgot the action cause I was very scared and fascinated, at the level that I didn't listen to my annoying friend nor his annoying brother nor my mind telling me ¨bathroom, please, give me one¨.
1-IMPORTANT: watch out the kind of theater you chose to see this movie. Because its a dark movie and its very probably that the projector could make it twice darker than the normal.
2-In my case, I'd learn that the most of the Mexican fathers don't give a damn about what kind of movies are they taking to their children in. I mean, I was completely astonished by watching the Jokers madness. Just think in the poor creatures.
3-Its very sad that Heath Ledger couldn't be alive to receive with his own hands the Oscar that he deserves for his performance as the Joker. He was unrecognizable, like if they pay a truly maniac to film him working. Ledger let us one legacy, enjoy it.
4-Nolan is one of the most promising leaflets in the big screen achievements and I hope that big things come from him. I think he is only beginning his career, but hes doing great so far. So keep the good work.
5-Harvey Dent story just break my heart. I didn't watch it come. Aaron Eckhart is a genuine actor, too. At the very level of Christian Bale.
Even if they over do some scenes, every moment in the movie was very exiting (in the good sense), tanks, again, to the music department for do his homework. I'm possibly exaggerating or its just the best movie in the year so far and if right now The Dark Knight is the #1 on the IMDb top, then I'm in favor, 'cuz its fair, and I hope it prevails there (when the right movie comes, you must let the Goodfather go). You're paying for three hours of pure quality. I'll be going to watch it once more the next week.
The Mist (2007)
Very Well Done!!!
Four reasons of why this is a very good thriller:
Number one.- If you know Stephen King's works, you probably know that the man is crazy, so if you listen is name in a movie title, instantly, you can start to expect the worst for the characters, a lot of suspense and an entire-non-sleep-night, so, I wasn't surprised or disappointed. Number two.- I'm already sick of watching the modern thrillers, with stupid characters, stupid lines and stupid scenes... Here you gonna note that every character has is own reason to ruin the day (not the typical "I'm going to walk into the darkness because I'm brave and stupid and nothing's gonna cut my head off" without a concrete explanation), here you gonna note true Screenplay. Number three.- It is a very scary, exiting and original story, that let you thinking for a while before you say "WOW!!!". I don't remember a King's novel that make me reflect as much as I did with this one, actually, I don't remember if anyone did. Number four.- Beside of being scary, bloody, weird, etc. I love the King's stile and I like the performances from this movie, specially Thomas Jane.
My point is: Stephen King doesn't waste is time. If he want to scare you, he does; If he wan't someone thinking about the human cowardice, with-no-regrets, he does;If he want you awake all night long, he does. But he didn't do it with poorly written novels or stupid ideas, he didn't wrote horror just to sell books, he did it because he knows how to scare or call your attention and he take the time to search the for the right words to make you feel. He is the truly Master Of Horror!!! He don't play with you!!!