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The King is Back
After last year's action-packed epic Pacific Rim, this summer offered moviegoers a different take on the "kaiju," or giant monster monster genre. British director Gareth Edwards, responsible for the cult indie film Monsters in 2010, gives us a dark, down-to-earth Godzilla film that combines what made the original 1954 film great with modern filmmaking technology, creating a unique experience that will appeal to hardcore fans of the character like myself as well as the average moviegoer.
The film focuses primarily on the Brody family: Joe, his son Ford, and Ford's wife Elle. Joe's wife was killed in a bizarre incident at a nuclear plant in Japan 15 years ago, and Joe is convinced that the government is covering up the true cause of the disaster but he must venture into the restricted area around the plant to obtain proof. He drags Ford into this expedition too and they discover that there is fact a secret within the supposedly abandoned plant: a prehistoric creature feeding off the radiation from the reactors. This Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism, or MUTO, escapes and begins a rampage from Japan to California, but an unexpected savior appears to battle this threat: Godzilla, Earth's greatest predator and the MUTO's natural enemy.
The story is highly engaging and driven mainly by Ford and the MUTO, with Godzilla not having a major role until near the end. This may be a disappointment to some, but I feel that this is a very economic use of the character that preserves his mystery and avoids turning the film into a 2-hour mess of action scenes. The human characters, while not particularly deep or complex, play their parts in the story alright. MUTO is an awesome villain monster, with a unique design and behaving with a balance between ruthless cruelty and animal instinct. Godzilla's screen time, though brief, is consistently incredible. Bigger than ever before at a staggering 350 feet in height and boasting a stunning new design, this Godzilla is so powerful and primordial that he does not even notice or attempt to attack humans a single time. He's so high above us on the food chain that we're like flies to him, distractions from the MUTO, which is worth his time.
While I enjoyed this film immensely, I do feel that there is one genuine complaint to be made, which is that at two points the movie establishes a fight between Godzilla and MUTO and then cuts away to the humans just as the battle begins, and it is not until later that we actually see the combat. One cutaway would be acceptable, but two felt like too much of a tease and detracts somewhat from the battle which is shown. This does not ruin the movie however, as I found the human element compelling enough to fill that time, but I would have preferred if the cutaway trick was only used once or not at all.
So in conclusion, this is a film for the crowd who felt Pacific Rim was too campy or unrealistic, and brings some other recent monster movies to mind such as Cloverfield and Peter Jackson's King Kong in its serious take on the material. Unless you demand Godzilla to be on screen the entire movie, this is a very good Godzilla reboot and I dearly hope that there will be sequels that further explore this new take on the character.
A fun, exciting, and beautiful series from the minds at Rooster Teeth
RWBY is a new animated web series from the Texas-based studio Rooster Teeth, who in the past ten years has given us Red vs. Blue, RT Shorts, Achievement Hunter Let's Plays, Rage Quit, and countless other funny shows. Unlike their previous work, RWBY is purely animated (no machinima or live action) and highly story-driven, although there's still plenty of humor to be found. It's inspired by anime, video games, and action films, but manages to not fall into many of the traps and clichés of its influences and becomes a truly original and creative work on its own.
RWBY is set in a fantasy world where mankind, which represents light, is locked in an eternal struggle with the Creatures of Grimm, who represent the darkness. Special warriors called Huntsmen and Huntresses fight off the Grimm to protect society, with the help of a powerful substance called Dust. The show focuses on four girls who attend Beacon Academy, a school where Huntsman are trained. Each girl is modeled after a fairy tale, and each has a defining color which everything about them is linked to: Ruby (Red riding hood, red), Weiss (Snow White, white), Blake (Beauty and the Beast, black), and Yang (Goldilocks, yellow).
RWBY has its strengths and weaknesses, but as the show has only recently finished its first volume and has already shown huge improvement since it began, I think it's safe to say there are great things to come in the future. The main appeal is in the beautiful art design and the intense, crazy fight scenes that are what initially turned heads when the show's trailers were unveiled. The show is far from nonstop action, but when fight scenes do happen they're always well worth the wait. The soundtrack is also consistently awesome, with a mixture of hard-hitting metal tracks, sweeping orchestral pieces, jazzy pop songs, and somber piano tunes that always help to set the mood.
On the other hand, RWBY suffers a bit in pacing, writing and voice acting, but all three of these areas got a lot better during the first volume alone. The last two episodes in particular stand out for the high quality of their dramatic scenes, with Blake getting a very touching and shocking story arc to herself that is much better handled than the writer's previous attempts at character development and makes up for the fact that Blake herself was very one-dimensional up to that point. If the trend continues, hopefully the writing and acting will be more even when the next volume starts, and the show can really shine.
Overall, RWBY is definitely worth a watch despite its flaws, and as it's an independent production made by a very small crew on a very small budget, it needs all the support it can get. It's also not a huge time investment, as the episodes are only 5-15 minutes long and the whole first volume isn't any longer than most animated films. Check it out and become one of the many fans eagerly awaiting volume 2.
Extremely underrated British monster mash
Gorgo is one of only two major British giant monster films I know of (the other being The Giant Behemoth), and it seems to be fairly unpopular among IMDb voter and Rotten Tomatoes voters, but I honestly couldn't tell you why. I think it's a great movie, not just as a monster film, but in general, and I feel that it really doesn't get the appreciation it deserves.
The movie starts slow but picks up once the monster appears. Our leads are Joe and Sam, sailors whose ship is damaged by volcanic activity near a small Irish chunk of rock called Nara Island. The inhabitants of Nara are about to make a fortune from priceless viking artifacts found off their shore, but since the volcanic eruption they're being attacked by a 65- foot reptilian monster. Joe and Sam, in exchange for their pick of the viking treasure, capture the monster, promising to turn it over to Irish scientists for study. They go back on their word however and instead give the monster to a London circus because the circus offered them more money. A young boy from Nara, Sean, tries to convince them to let it go but they pull a King Kong and insist on displaying the beast for profit. Things go bad when the monster, now called Gorgo, receives a visit from its mother, a 200-ft tall, indestructible Goliath who trashes London and challenges the might of the British military.
So like I said, the beginning is slow but once Gorgo is captured the movie really picks up and never looks back. The first half is laden with dodgy blue-screen shots but footage involving Gorgo and its mother is created using men in rubber suits, miniature sets, and full-sized moving props, all of which have aged very well. The monster design is great, with very dinosaurian legs and haunting red eyes, and the monster vs. military aspect is as well-done as any of the Godzilla films Gorgo is often compared to.
Other areas of the movie hold up well too. The human element is better than you'd usually expect in a movie like this, with Sam and Joe being very morally ambiguous characters who slowly come to terms with their awful mistake, and Sean being a child who is the voice of reason among a cast of foolish and greedy adults. The music is also beautiful, with tracks well-suited to the mystery and wonder of the open ocean and the horror of Gorgo's mother's rampage.
Overall, Gorgo might not be as good as the original King Kong or the original Godzilla, but it definitely deserves more recognition and love than it gets. It's far above average for a giant monster film, and with a newly remastered DVD and Blu-ray release on shelves, it looks better than ever today. If you're a fan of giant monster films, Gorgo is required viewing.
Pacific Rim (2013)
All my life I've been a huge fan of "kaiju" and "mecha", or giant monsters and giant robots in layman's terms. Godzilla, King Kong, Gamera, Tremors, Gamera, the films of Ray Harryhausen, Big O, Gundam Wing, Zoids, and Transformers were the stuff of my childhood. I LOVE these kinds of shows and movies more than anyone probably should, and when I heard that one of my favorite directors was working on what could be the monster movie to end all monster movies, words could not describe my excitement. I knew that if anyone could make a movie like Pacific Rim work in 2013, it would be del Toro, and upon seeing the film, I'm happy to say that it completely lived up to my hype.
The story is familiar kaiju territory with some new twists: enormous monsters begin emerging from an inter-dimensional portal in the Pacific Ocean and attacking our cities. To combat the monsters, equally massive robots called Jaegers are constructed and deployed, holding the beasts at bay. After ten years of war, the kaiju are beginning to win and the Jaeger program is being shut down in favor of gigantic walls to keep the monsters out. However when it becomes clear that the walls are unable to stop the monsters for even an hour, Marshal Pentecost gathers the remaining pilots and Jaegers of his dying program and plans a direct attack on the monsters rather than waiting for them to come to us.
Jaegers are so immense and complex that a single person cannot pilot them, so a neural connection must be made between two pilots to share the work, and to do this they must have compatible minds. The only surviving pilot of the "Mark 3" class of Jaeger, Raleigh Beckett, quit when his brother and copilot was killed in action. Now he must work with Mako Mori, a Japanese girl who is a compatible with him but is inexperienced in combat.
Pacific Rim takes a very old-fashioned plot of monsters fighting robots and cleverly spruces it up for a modern audience. It's familiar but fresh. The concept of the pilot compatibility leads to a lot of character development and a very clear message of teamwork and partnership. Raleigh and Mako are very likable characters, as are Pentecost and his "research team," a pair of goofy scientists that provide incredibly funny comic relief. The writing, pacing, and music of the film are all also very good.
But you don't want to know about all that, right? You want to know about the giant monsters and robots. Well don't worry, those parts are extremely satisfactory as well. The CGI is absolutely breathtaking, and these titans actually look and feel hundreds of feet tall. Movies like the recent Transformers trilogy have giant robots that move so quickly and weightlessly they look like they're full of helium, but here the machines and monsters move slowly and with actual weight. Every punch sounds like hundreds of tons of metal slamming into hundreds of tons of flesh, every step sounds like the ground is crumbling and shifting. There's also a beautiful array of colors present, a nice change of pace from all the recent movies that use almost monochrome color schemes. It's also very easy to tell what's happening, unlike movies like Transformers where the action is filmed in shaky-cam and everything is a big blur. Overall, this movie really delivers on the fight scenes, more than you could imagine.
So that's Pacific Rim. If you're a fan of this stuff, it's criminal of you to not go see this. It's the ultimate kaiju/mecha movie, and it knows it. If you aren't a fan, go see it anyway. It's just as entertaining and enjoyable on a normal level as something like The Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises.
Legend of the Blue Hole (2004)
A fantastic short film and a great example of James Rolfe's talent
Some of you may be familiar with James Rolfe, better known as the Angry Video Game Nerd, for his series of rage-filled classic game reviews, but what many don't realize is that James has a massive body of work outside the AVGN series. The Legend of the Blue Hole is possibly the best of his non-AVGN films, and certainly his most serious and thought-provoking.
The film is designed like an episode from an anthology series like The Twilight Zone, with a introduction describing the strange and horrific local legends of New Jersey. The story focuses on a college student named Jason who is mocked by his peers for his belief in UFOs and other strange phenomena. Jason is given a mysterious old book by his friend Samantha that speaks of the Blue Hole, a body of water deep in the Jersey pine barrens that is said to be the deadly, bottomless home of the Jersey Devil. Jason seeks out the Blue Hole and finds something bizarre there...but not what he expected to find.
The pacing is tight and the story is clever, with a brilliant twist ending that pays off all the anticipation as Jason is nearing his destination. The acting isn't great, as one would expect from a student film, but it's passable. The cinematography is excellent, and James Rolfe's skills as a cameraman and an editor really shine. The special effects are minimal but well-done.
Overall, this is a bit of an oddity among Rolfe's work. While he's known for over-the-top slapstick humor and extreme graphic violence and language, Legend of the Blue Hole is a quiet, steady look at a genuinely creepy topic, and it stands out to me as a very personal and psychologically rich project for the director. It can be viewed on Youtube, on Rolfe's website, Cinemassacre, and is available on DVD along with another of Rolfe's films, The Head Incident, so if you're interested in a film like this definitely check it out.
Monster Roll (2012)
An amazing short film and a great concept for a longer feature
Monster Roll is what you'd call a proof-of-concept film: a short, low- budget project made with the intentions of a feature film being made later. So it's sort of like a combination of a short film and a long trailer.
Exhibiting a degree of fun, creativity, and imagination not seen in many films today, Monster Roll tells the story of how in ancient Japan a pact was made between man and the sea. Man swore to kill only the animals he would eat, but the pact is now long-broken. Our wasteful fishing has angered the sea and caused ancient, enormous monsters to rise and attack our shorelines. Within a few moments the movie evolves from a brief comedic scene in a sushi place to an epic giant monster battle, with very impressive CGI creatures that put some Hollywood creations to shame. The movie ends with a promise of incredible battles between man and the sea monsters, along with the return of the pact of eating what we kill.
Monster Roll is a pretty fantastic short but it definitely leaves you wanting more. The balance of humor and action, the quality of the special effects, and the premise itself all suggest that a feature film expansion would be a great thrillride. With Pacific Rim and a new big- budget Godzilla film on the horizon, the giant monster genre may live again, and Monster Roll will hopefully find its place among this new generation of creature features.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
A solid Iron Man movie that defies all expectations.
Iron Man 3 was bound to be a movie that would sharply divide opinions. Very different from Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and very unique as a superhero movie in general, it takes a fresh and creative approach to a growing film universe and gives a satisfying chapter in the evolution of Tony Stark.
The story this time involves ghosts from Tony's past returning to haunt him; Aldritch Killian, a scientist he rebuffed in 1999 resurfaces as a charming and brilliant head of a revolutionary new project while the terrorist group that kidnapped Tony in 2008 begins to bomb American cities while releasing disturbing broadcasts starring a mysterious figure called "The Mandarin." Tony, still shaky after the events of The Avengers, sets out to stop The Mandarin's attacks and discovers links to Killian's experiments. Straining his relationship with Pepper Potts, damaging his reputation, and having to solve many of his problems without his Iron Man armor to use as a crutch, Tony becomes a much richer and more tormented character than in the previous movies, reflecting the chaos and danger surrounding his life as a superhero.
With a cast like this, praising the acting is fairly pointless. Robert Downey Jr. continues his fantastic performance as Tony Stark for the fourth movie in a row, and Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle are great supporting actors as before. Guy Pearce is a little bland but still quite acceptable as Killian, and Ben Kingsley is perfect as the Mandarin.
The script, like in the other Marvel Studios movies, is a highlight and really ties the film together. There are a lot of complaints of plot holes and lack of aim in the script, but I didn't find either of those accusations to be true. The dialogue is sharp and funny as it's always been in this series, especially Tony's.
The visual effects are as stunning as you would expect from a movie like this. The Iron Man armors look so real you could touch them despite being CGI, and the animation of them has become even more complex and ambitious than in previous movies. The designs for the numerous armors are varied and distinct, even in the dark and from a distance. A great deal of creativity was put into Stark's technology this time around, from the ways in which he can take the suits on and off to the new gadgets and weapons included. Anyone who's a fan of seeing the workings and advancement of Tony's armor in great detail will be pleased.
Overall, while it wasn't perfect, I enjoyed it and I think it's another great chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 9/10, very recommended.
Now for some spoilers: The major complaint about this movie is the treatment of The Mandarin. In the comics, he's a Chinese martial arts master who wears ten rings that each give him a different superpower, and these rings come from a race of alien dragons. Despite being a pretty popular character, you can see his origin is a little far-fetches and somewhat stereotypical, so it wouldn't work on film. Iron Man 3 found a clever way to include the Mandarin without involving the crazy backstory: he's a fake. The Mandarin you see is just an actor paid by the film's true villain to appear in the broadcasts as a face of evil to draw fire away from the real threats. He wears the robes, he has the rings, and he speaks with menace, but he's basically the product of an elaborate hoax. Many fans are absolutely outraged that the character was represented this way, but I think it's brilliant. The Mandarin is a character you can't leave out of an Iron Man story, but you also could never handle him like he appears in the comics without it being ridiculous. I'm glad they found a smart way to include the character in a novel and unexpected way without totally destroying what remains of the suspension of disbelief.
Evil Dead (2013)
A boring, uninspired, un-scary imitation of a classic
The Evil Dead is one of the top names when it comes to classic horror movies. Right up there with Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, and other famous flicks, the original Evil Dead trilogy is just pure classic. The first movie was a great serious horror movie, the second perfected the genre of comedy- horror, and the third is an amazing straight-up comedy. They're a great piece of pop culture greatness and they deserve the praise and attention they get.
Then there's 2013's Evil Dead, which just dropped the ball. In place of Ash Williams, we're given David and Mia, two incredibly two-dimensional 20-somethings that we're supposed to feel sorry for because they have a sad backstory involving the death of their mentally ill mother and Mia's drug abuse. The movie tries to build character by just revealing to us that these two have a hard life, and it doesn't work. They go to a cabin in the middle of the woods to help overcome Mia's dope addiction by going cold turkey, and they're joined by two of their old friends and David's new girlfriend. There's absolutely no chemistry between any of these characters; Eric and Olivia, the friends, don't act like they even want to be around the others, and David and his girlfriend don't act like they're even remotely interested in each other. David and Mia are supposed to be siblings with their difficulties getting along but the movie awkwardly jumps from them loving each other to hating each other. In short, we're stuck with five unlikable, worthless characters who do nothing but bicker. Fun stuff.
The setup for the horror element is much like in the original, with the discovery of the ancient book in the basement, but it's done more poorly. Eric, for reasons that are never explained, reads a passage from the book out loud in a dramatic, theatrical voice, summoning a demonic force. What is the book, and how did it get there? The old movies answer that question but here we're given a scene of a woman being burned alive by a group of people with the book, who then for some reason leave it in plain sight and doom whoever uses the cabin next. After the demonic force appears, the movie becomes a tired and lifeless retelling of the first movie. People get possessed, possess other people, someone gets locked in a basement, yada yada yada.
Really, the script in this movie is pretty much as bad as a horror movie can have, and the acting is pretty bad too. So, what about the reason we all came, which is the gore? Disappointing. Sure, it's an extremely graphic movie, but it goes for the fiendishly sick, gross-out type of gore rather than the imaginative, over-the-top splatter and chaos the trilogy had. It's just unpleasant, un-called-for mutilation and torture that happens for no reason have the time. Instead of the possessed people just trying to kill the normal people, and vice versa, we end up with scene after scene of both parties mutilating themselves in every possible way, and it gets old fast. The classic scene of Ash cutting his hand off was enough to cover three whole movies, but the 2013 version obsesses itself with people chopping themselves apart. Not to mention, the gore doesn't even look very good. The blood looks like chocolate syrup and the makeup for the possessed is worse than it was in Evil Dead 2.
So the story, acting, and gore all fail to impress. There's really nothing else left for a horror movie to defend itself with except for being scary, and Evil Dead 2013 is one of the least scary horror movies I've ever seen. It's loaded with cheap, obviously-timed jump scares and graphic violence, but not once does it come close to creating suspense, terror, dread, or even surprise. It's just by-the-books, generic horror tropes and clichés played out far past their welcome. Everyone in the theater was either laughing or asleep by the end, and that's an awful sign for a movie that's meant to scare people.
So, in conclusion, if you're an Evil Dead fan, I don't advise you waste the money to see this. It's not Evil Dead. It's just another boring, gross horror movie trying to hide its flaws by throwing loud noises at you every few seconds.
Some good parts and some bad parts; worth seeing but nothing amazing
I was really excited by the trailer for V/H/S, and really worried by the negative reviews it gathered once it came out, but I couldn't pass on watching it. As a whole I enjoyed it, but individual parts of the movie have their faults.
The main story is about these scumbags who spend their time trashing houses and filming themselves publicly undressing women, until they get offered a huge paycheck for breaking into a house and stealing a specific VHS tape. They go to the house and find the owner dead, and they also find tons of unlabeled tapes. They start popping tapes into the owner's VCR and we see the contents of five of them, with each tape containing a different short horror film.
The first story is about a trio of guys filming their night with a pair of glasses with a camera hidden in them. They go to bars picking up women and bring two back to a hotel room, but one passes out from drinking and the other acts like a confused animal, whispering "I like you" to the guy filming but hissing and snarling at the others. Eventually the two guys she doesn't like try to have sex with her and she turns into a monster and kills them, but when she reaches the guy filming, whispers "I like you" again, but then she realizes he's afraid of her and kills him too. This one is really well-done, with good acting and a clever way of doing "shaky cam" by using the glasses camera, and the girl is a really cool and interesting character. This is probably the strongest entry in the movie.
The second story is about a couple honeymooning in the desert. You can tell there's something wrong with their marriage because they sleep in separate beds in their hotel room and generally don't seem to get along. The honeymoon footage gets really boring and the acting is dull. Eventually things get interesting when someone breaks into their hotel room and films herself stealing money and playing with a knife. After another day of pointless honeymoon footage the intruder comes back in and murders the husband, then reveals herself to be the wife's secret lesbian lover. While the murder scene is brutal and well-done...why exactly did they kill him? Why not a divorce? This is one of the weaker stories, but it has those few good scare moments.
The third story is a spin on the slasher movie format; three college-age losers go into the middle of the woods at the request of their friend Wendy. Wendy tells the other three that she goes to this lake in the woods once a year, and keeps cryptically talking about murders. The others realize, after lots of stumbling around through mangled dialog, that last year Wendy came here with a different set of friends and they were all murdered by someone. She tells them that she has come back with them as bait to catch the killer and get revenge. The killer is invisible but he shows up on camera as a static-covered outline, and he makes short work of the three doomed victims then comes for Wendy, who lures him into a bunch of traps. Eventually he escapes the last trap and kills her as well. This one had a cool idea, and a really cool villain, but the terrible acting and dialog prevent it from reaching its full potential.
The fourth story is my least favorite. It's all told through webcam conversations between a long-distance couple, Emily and her boyfriend. Emily complains that her apartment is haunted, and that she has a sore bump on her arm. She acts like an idiot, picking at her arm with a fork instead of seeing a doctor and exploring the apartment at night with her eyes closed. Eventually she runs into a ghost and is knocked out, and immediately her boyfriend runs into the room, revealing that he's lived right next to her the whole time. He cuts her open and pulls out an alien fetus, then has a conversation with his alien masters about making her injuries look like an accident and asking about the tracking chip in her arm. The story ends with him talking to a different girl on webcam and telling her the same things he told Emily. This story has some interesting ideas, but like the previous one the acting and writing are abysmal. Plus, if Emily's problems are caused by aliens, why does she keep seeing ghosts? Are the ghosts the product of the aliens, or is she just living in a haunted apartment on top of being an alien victim?
The final story is another good one. Some guys are invited to a Halloween party at a friend's house, but when they get there they find it deserted. Searching through the house they find creepy stuff, such as hands coming out of walls, and assume it's elaborate Halloween decorating. They go up to the attic and witness an exorcism of a young woman, but they think she is being tortured and they save her. This causes the house to go crazy and start attacking them, with hands coming out of every surface, gravity being defied, and all sorts of chaos that would be at home in a Poltergeist film. They escape with the girl but she teleports out the car and leaves them on a train track with the engine stalled and the doors locked, causing them to be hit by a train. Overall, this is a creepy and interesting story, and has the best special effects of the whole film. It's a good finale to a uneven anthology.
So that's V/H/S. The framing story, the honeymoon story, the slasher story, and the webcam story all need some work, but the monster girl part and the exorcism part are great. All in all, it's a 7/10.
An Unexpected Pleasure
I was really skeptical about The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey for a few reasons: 48 frames per second, being the first part of a trilogy and still managing a long run-time, and general bad word of mouth I've been hearing. Thankfully, it far exceeded my low expectations and ended up being a very enjoyable and well-made experience.
I must admit that I have not yet read the book, but I am familiar with the old Rankin-Bass animated film so I know the basics of the story of The Hobbit. This is roughly the first third of the book, and it covers some of the iconic scenes like Bilbo finding the One Ring for the first time and the party encountering the Goblin King. The movie starts very slowly with an overly-long sequence of dwarfs arriving at Bilbo's house, and things do not get interesting until about an hour in, when they finally leave on their quest to the Lonely Mountain to reclaim the ancient dwarven city. Once they get moving, the film is a relentless display of beautiful scenery, awesome battles, stunning visual effects, and tons of cameos from Lord of the Rings cast members.
An Unexpected Journey's biggest problem is without a doubt the slow pacing at the start, which is a problem it shares with Peter Jackson's last big film, King Kong. However, also like Kong, the other two hours are well worth the price of admission. The acting, the music, and the choreography of the fight scenes is all great, and I really felt like I was witnessing an epic adventure for the first time despite already knowing the story. Although the high frame rate was very off-putting and strange at first, I got used to it by the time the journey started, and I liked it how it looked for the most part. I wouldn't say I liked it enough to want to see more movies presented this way, but I don't think it hurt the movie like some people say it did. I also loved the 3D in this film, which made the beautiful location filming and CGI really come to life.
Overall, I highly recommend this movie, despite its boring beginning. If you liked the Lord of the Rings movies, or the type of swashbuckling, exciting action in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, you will enjoy this as long as you weather through the opening and get used to the frame rate.