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Ooops! Noah is Gone... (2015)
The best animated movie with an uninspired name.
Commencing the movie defense in 3... 2... 1!
I, like probably many others, thought this was a generic animated motion picture "for the entire family". I was so wrong. So very wrong. Not only was it not generic; it was way better than expected. After all, it was so good, I am giving it a 9!
Okay, let's start with the premise. It is very simple. A single mother and a single father are separated from their daughter and son (respectively), and need to get back together. The daughter is a hunter-type animal who works alone, and the son is a timid-type animal with a natural gift for building things, and a love for warm hugs. It is one of THOSE movies, with the moral being "we need to work together!" It is, as I said, simple, and not terribly original.
Now, the reason I give this movie a 9 out of 10. Despite the simple old-as-dirt moral, the way it is HANDLED is great. Morals take a backseat, while the front seat gets firmly occupied by the action, the gags, and the dialogue. It is like the movie team were given complete creative freedom to come up with as many interesting scenes as possible, and they done all of them. The timing of the action is great, the lines are great, the voice acting is great, and not a single "funny" moment felt forced (to me anyway, some people are much more picky). Actually, this movie reminds me a lot of Penguins of Madagascar, in the way it's structured (simple moral, but runs on non-stop gags).
The animation has to be mentioned somewhere, so might as well mention it here. It is really good. The only parts where I thought things looked "imperfect", was every time tree branches were used. This animated movie does not have the best looking branches out there. Wood aside, all the textures and atmospheric effects are perfectly fine. And in my books "perfectly fine" equates to "nothing being wrong". The animation itself deserves a 9 as well.
You are probably asking at this point: "But what about the Ark? What about Noah? How are those elements used?" Well, I did not mark this review as containing spoilers, and I am not delivering any. Let's just say, the way the "Ark" part of the story is handled, is the most creative way I ever it seen it handled in any movie. And I'll leave it at that.
I won't spoil the ending either, but I will tell you that I did not see it coming. That was some truly great cartoon writing, and I was pleasantly surprised. Now, to reassure you somewhat, I wasn't born yesterday, and seen and read hundreds of stories. I have frames of reference, and I have developed that thing called "taste". The ending of this movie was GOOD. Trust me on that.
Last, but not least, the movie's title. It was changed for every country it was released in, if I am not mistaken. And it is funny, albeit in a sad way. It can instill the wrong impression upon the potential audience (aka, you), that the people who made this movie did not have any idea what they did. I assure you, the naming problem in no way reflects the actual content, because the movie is great. After all, if it wasn't, I wouldn't give it a 9 out of 10.
Watch it. Now. Don't be afraid. It's really good.
The LEGO Movie (2014)
One of those rare, "perfect" movies.
I have heard it many times, and said so myself; "it's all in the execution." Well, most of times. This is a rare case where a great idea meets AMAZING execution. And no, I am not talking about the animation. I am talking about writing, directing, and dialogue.
You probably seen the trailer. You know the premise: an ordinary ______ will have to become extraordinary and become ZE HERO. How many times have we seen that? More than zero. But what the first impression will not tell you is where the story goes from that basic premise. The theme used the premise as a springboard to dive into the luxurious pool of writing, filled with Swiss chocolate of dialogue.
Not saying this movie is for everyone; no matter how good something is, you may not like the genre or art style. But for what this movie tried to be, it succeeded... AWESOMELY!
Pacific Rim (2013)
Independence Day, DONE RIGHT.
What the title said. The plot of this movie is very much similar to the overly cheesy and terribly goofy 90's Will Smith flick. Aliens invade Earth because they want our land. That is as far as I can go without spoiling much of the plot, and I don't want to; the writing in this one is actually VERY GOOD. Yes, a movie about giant robots fighting giant alien monsters has clever writing. I know, right??
Good writing is not all this brilliant piece of cinema has to offer though. There are the AWESOMETASTIC special effects by Industrial Lights & Magic. There is A+ class acting. The musical score is very impressive. And directing by Guillermo del Toro does not hurt either.
I found nothing wrong with this film. But hey, maybe you will! See it for yourself, and see if this review is trustworthy.
I am impressed... very impressed.
When I pressed play, I was not sure what to expect. I knew a girl loses her mirror and goes to a "magical world" to get it back. I was wondering, what would the moral be: "treat things with respect"? "Don't forget your stuff?" Anyway, my hopes were not that high and I expected something overly predictable. And what did I get? Well, it wasn't a total opposite of what I thought it would be, but it wasn't a cliché storm either. I liked where the movie went and how it ended. It was a truly magical adventure that made me happy, once I took it. I do not want to spoil anything, so, find it and watch it. There is a fansub (a very good one) floating around the Interwebs, plus there is also a DVD release by Funimation planned for 2012.
Now, to the technical details:
Look: 9/10. The character 3D models aren't the best in the industry, but they are alive with emotion and move nicely. The backgrounds steal the show however, since they are either hand-painted or made to look like it. And the colors in everything are AWESOME.
Length: 10/10. An hour and a half, perfect for this film.
Story: 8/10 or 10/10. It is not too complex, but little details here and there make it perfect. Perfect for me, at least. For this kind of movie, I cannot imagine another story. But some viewers might find it too simple for their sofistik8ted tastes, hence the possible rating of 8/10.
Voice acting: 10/10. I only watched the fansub, but I thought the lines were delivered with the right emotion for every scene.
Music: 10/10. Hear it to believe it. I, for one, am going to hunt the down the soundtrack CD.
Closing remarks - SEE IT.
The low rating only prove the movie's message.
This film is about one thing and one thing only - academic freedom. It is not for or against religion. If you still think so... I pity for you. The issue discussed here is not "evolution is bad" or "God is bad"; it is simply FREEDOM. What country is this if you can not hold on to your point of view? What country is this if people are fired from their places for having an opinion different from "mainstream"?
Without spoiling much, let me give you one simple fact - we DO NOT know how life started. NOBODY does. Scientists, the new Gods of the modern world, do not have a clue. The evolution theory explains how species came to be, not how life BEGAN. It is a common misconception. "Darwinists" choose to use the guess-what theory to explain the unexplainable. Fine, fine with me. But what if you get people who think their theory is better than others'?
Science can not prove God created life. At the same time, it can not DISPROVE it. It is all a matter of opinion. How dare some group of atheists try to force their opinion upon everyone else? What happened to freedom? Well, we don't have it in science anymore. If you want to achieve success as a scientists, you better be an atheist. Many who disagreed were fired.
What kind of state are we trying to make here? A Fascist state??? Oh wait, we are.
P.S. The funniest part of the movie is when Ben Stein asked Richard Dawkins about the origins of life. What answer did the most powerful atheist on the planet give? Watch the film to find out!!!
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
An incredible film, hands down.
I have seen this... wonderful creation, and let me tell you how wonderful it is!
First of all, the story. The original books were known for having absolutely no logic, and, at the same time, being very gripping. Same thing here. The plot is... very strange to say the least... but it only does the film good! It actually does have a message buried deep under a huge pile of nonsense, but you won't get it right away. Anyway, whoever wrote the screenplay managed to create a worthy sequel to the original books.
Second, the acting. I would NOT talk about Johnny Depp, who's performance is great as always. Every actor and voice actor (the various creatures found in the film) do their jobs wonderfully. There isn't any bad line (or badly delivered one) in the movie. The dialog is superb.
Third, the visuals. Today every big budget fantasy film ought to have great effects, so it is pointless to say which film is better based on them. To me, special effects are boring if they are there just to show off the big budget. But here, they are used creatively. Take one effect out of the scene and... the magic will be gone. This is one of those rare cases when effects play a part in the story alongside the characters.
Conclusion - Tim Burton has done it again. Don't go and see Avatar, see Alice in Wonderland!!!~!!!
The Secret of NIMH (1982)
A timeless masterpiece.
Animation is rare, it is much more difficult and expensive to make than live action. Good animation is even more rare, because, in the Western world (United States in particular) it is mostly aimed at very small children and, as a result, ends up pretty boring to watch.
While not specifically "adult", The Secret of N.I.M.H. is something of a rare treasure - something a grownup can watch without falling asleep (unless you have a severe hatred for the medium). I, for example, first saw it at the age of 20 (I wasn't babysitting by the way, but watched it alone). And boy, was I surprised! For many years I haven't seen a piece of animation that moved me. But this time it was different - I got that feeling a person gets from watching something like The Good The Bad & The Ugly and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. I absolutely LOVED it. A month later I bought the DVD, that is a honorable part of my collection.
A lot has been said about the movie already, and you could easily find the plot synopsis at IMDb.com, so I won't get into the story here. Instead, I will try to clear the film from some accusations made at the time of its release:
The story was accused of being shallow and the film for having no central character. Well I'll be! Shallow is something I would say about The Princess and The Frog. It is hard to find a western animated feature with a story as complex as in The Secret of N.I.M.H. And, for us "grownups", complex = interesting. Yes, the film has many characters, but it is a good thing. No "Main Guy/Girl + Love Interest + Bad Guy + Comic Relief" formula here. While there is a comic relief AND a bad guy(somewhat), the film is very realistic. And the story never concentrates on Ms. Brisby (the main) too much. Everybody enjoys just enough screen time. Great.
Also, something worthy of mentioning - during the film's production, DIn Bluth wanted to raise the interest in animation in people again. He wanted it to appeal to older audiences. The original intension was to receive a PG rating (watch the film to see WHY). But, because it was ANIMATED, it automatically received a "G". Nowadays such things normally do not happen. Yes, the film IS more dark and complex than an average G-rated flick. It was of a bad film for children. But it was originally aimed at the age group of 12 and up. And it has the word "damn".
Oh yes, and Jerry Goldsmith and Steven Spielberg loved the movie. If THAT does not say anything to you, I don't know what will...
This is NOTHING like the Aristocats!
What you are looking at is the best film about cats. Ever.
This is the best film about cats I seen so far. And I saw... three (not much), "That Darn Cat" and "The Aristocats" and... well, Felidae. This one beats them both with one hand. It has a realistic setting, believable characters, a serious plot, great voice acting (English dub). Also the animation is superb. And cats are portrayed very naturalistically: nice job, animators!
Unless you are a sensitive person, DO watch the film. To like it, you must like cats, animation AND murder mysteries.
P.S. And it is NOT 4kids.
Rumble Fish (1983)
An excellent film, one of my all-time favorites.
This film really touches me. Few films seems to be able to do that, but this one does... somehow. Why is it so special? Well, the only reason I could think of is because it is so complex. There is no one single main character, who has some problem and overcomes it at the end, like in so many movies before and after. There are several, and the issues Rumble Fish deals with are plenty.
For example: Rusty James is upset. Why? His brother, a former gang leader, has been gone for quite a while, and he tries to live his life, getting into fights every now and then, just to "be close". And that makes his life very hard and depresses him much. But that's not the only reason he's upset. There is something that torments him, something that won't let go and leave him alone, and it's not his brother. But Rusty James can't quite figure out what exactly is it. During its course the film lets you find that out (if you can, that is). The thing is that the morals and ideas are so complex and plenty that it will take you several viewings to get them. It kind of reminds me of "The Secret of N.I.M.H.", something just as deep and to complex to understand after watching just once.
If there is something I like about movies is their complexity, uniqueness, style and quality. Characters have to be well-developed, not one-dimensional. There has to be pacing, rhythm, the film must have its own rules and logic that it follows. The problems have to be difficult to understand and deal with. The ideas must be interesting to discuss and to remember. Rumble FIsh has it all. It is a very deep film, certainly not shallow. There is just so much in it that makes it worth buying, even if you seen it already many times at someone else's place.
I know that the film was based on a book. I know many examples out there when the original written source was better. Well, I don't care this time, cause I don't feel like I am missing something. the film doesn't feel unfinished. It doesn't leave you wanting for more. The only thing you may want is to watch it again. Even though I DID NOT read the book, I still believe Rumble FIsh as a film can stand out on his own, a masterpiece to say one word.
Oh, and just to add: the musical score by Stewart Copeland rocks. It just does. If you can find it, buy it - it's a treasure!
The End of Poverty? (2008)
Uses facts and logic above everything else to deliver the message
This is one of those documentary films you simply must see. Instead of trying to shock you or force you to do a specific action, it leaves the viewer to make the decision. It is not about poverty as a whole, and it doesn't try to solve the problem entirely. Instead it is about poverty in Third World Countries. The film uses nothing but facts and logic to make clear that it is caused by Europe and the US, who first took the lives of many, then took the resources, then used religion and forced economy ("fair" trade & such) to make sure those countries will never recover and forever be in debt. It is very good that something makes you realize what our (well, at least recent) leaders had been doing without us knowing. Maybe we are just stupid, letting this happen, I don't know.
The Leopard Son (1996)
Fro those who like Discovery films, but still want more...
This film is about Serengeti. And the animals who live there. Especially leopards. And it focuses on... you guessed it! - a leopard!
The film is wonderful. I never watched Hugo Van Lawick's other works, but I guess they are just as great as this one. It manages to capture the first year(s) of a leopard son growing up to be an adult. His relationship with his mother is really well caught on camera and very touching.
But what sets this film apart from similar ones is the fact that it is about many animals, not just the leopard. Lions, hyenas, cheetahs, baboons, eagles - you name it. Every once and a while the camera shifts to someone else, so it is not a strict animal autobiography.
Kind of nice is that the film has a very natural feeling to it compared with other (later) Discovery works. The "later works" tended to focus more on dramatic camera angles and tons of special effects *cough* Planet Earth *cough*. This one shows the life of animals from their eye view. And there are some nice close-ups too. Hugo tries to focus on timing rather than on "dramatic camera angles". Very nice work!
The music is also outstanding. Instead of some generic African or classical music so common in later Discovery's pictures Hugo found the guts to invite Stewart Copeland of The police. Stewart has a very interesting take on rhythm and music. His score sets this movie apart from all the rest.
It's a pity this movie wasn't released on DVD yet. I guess Discovery decided to forget about one of the greatest movie it ever released and focus on something less interesting. Like dramatic camera angles, special effects and generic African music.
Tom and Jerry Tales (2006)
These series belong in a concentration camp!
Why, you might ask me? Well, because the writers took two classic characters, and created an excuse for animation. Tom & Jerry were placed in absolutely stupid settings and the episodes were filled with the most generic and mediocre humor you can find anywhere.
But not only humor is generic and mediocre, some of the episodes are directly ripped of the classic ones. Don't want to spoil anything, but, let's just say, one involves an octopus and takes place under water. Yes, the Tom & Jerry scene from Dangerous When Wet.
You thought Chuck Jones' Tom & Jerry ruined the characters??? Just wait till you see this abomination!
I like Ralph's work. But was kind of unsure about Wizards. Many reviews said the story makes no sense and the film is amateurish. Okay, after watching the thing... let's make things clear:
1. The story DOES make sense. You just have to watch the film several times, very carefully.
2. The animation is quite good. For you all who likes perfection (are you sure you even know the meaning of the word?), in "making of" Ralph himself states he does not care about cleanliness, as long as a movie has soul.
3. About elves with Brooklyn accents. Have you ever seen an elf??? Do you know how they speak? Or do you think they come from Wales exclusively?
4. I said everything above. ^
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
So much better than the horrible Space Jam!
This movie is an interesting animal. It used the exact same formula as the failure film released earlier, but this time manages to make everything right.
Instead of being a Michael Jordan commercial, this one features a humorous story that doesn't try to sell you anything. It is about a man who finds out that his father is a secret agent. So, he must help his old man who appears to be in some kind of danger. I won't spoil anything, but will just say: this is pure comedy. The film doesn't try to take itself seriously from beginning to the end.
So, what do we have in the end? "Looney Tunes meet Real World" idea actually CAN work. This movie rocks.
10 stars for the original Japanese unedited version
Let's make a few things clear:
1. Yes, probably only Pokemon fans will be able to enjoy Pokemon movies.
2. Pokemon feature films are not stupid, but they are made so when dubbing. For example, in the first movie, during translation, the entire plot was dumbed down and changed and a twenty minute sequence was deleted.
3. The names of the characters were changed in the English adaptations to appeal to younger audiences. Name of the main protagonist is Satoshi, a normal Japanese name. But we got a boy called Ash. That is just epic fail.
4. The names of the movies themselves were almost always changed(for the worst). This one was called "Guardians of Altomare", not "Heroes".
5. The music in the original versions is very good. But in the dubs usually we get some really low- quality stuff.
6. Don't complain that the whole Pokemon franchise is "cockfighting". Don't say the concept is immoral. Remember that it came from Japan, where they have a different view of the world. There, friendly battles are considered a key to individual's growth (Karate, anyone?). "We fight each other to win, only to give a helping hand to the defeated opponent". That's not so hard to understand.
7. In the end, Pocket Monsters (Jap. name) movies are great and should interest any anime fan out there.
P.S. We should do something to stop animation in from being aimed towards small children only in the US. Teenagers and adults should be able to enjoy it too. American companies must leave the original music and plots intact to keep foreign animated movies interesting to us as they were originally made.
One of Disney's best IMO
This is one of the best Disney animated movies of all time. Why??? Because it doesn't have princesses, musical numbers, or over-the-top cuteness. It's basically about the usual gang trying to find a treasure (Ul-Addin's lamp included) and what comes out of it. The movie has comedy, great animation and awesome action sequences. IMPORTANT - this movie is a bit too dark for younger children, so... I would say 8+ rating is perfect.
Duck Tales: The Movie was not received well after the theatrical release, but received a big fan following on video after. Why not becoming one of those fans(this is to you)??
If you are from 8 to 88 and like animation (but do not want something like another Snow White) you should check it out.
the Japanese version is better, but the translation is decent
Okay, first, if you will find this movie not making any sense, please note that it is an "English adaptation", not a direct translation. This version is edited and has a changed story, which many viewers found stupid (the reason for low ratings). The Japanese version was called "too scary and not suitable for children", so, 4Kids Entertainment overwrote practically everything, and deleted no less than 10 minutes of the opening sequence. Don't want to spoil anything, but you actually must watch the original opening to understand the story. An even better option is to view the whole Japanese version with subtitles.
There is ONE good thing about the English adaptation. The original orchestral music that was made by Ralph Schtukett is marvelous. I'm not sure, but the theatrical or the DVD version has some low quality pop songs added to mar an otherwise perfect score.
Even with the story changes and the inclusion of stupid songs (in theatrical or DVD version, not sure), this movie deserves a 7 out of 10. The animation is wonderful, on par with the best things in anime genre. And the original score is great.
This movie is certainly NOT stupid
I liked this movie a lot, when I was younger. Now, as I am... not so young anymore, I am surprised that I still like it. But, I guess you must be a Pocket Monsters fan to like it.
The original Japanese version is slightly different, but still, slightly. The first PokeMon movie was heavily edited for the American release, as was the second one. In case of the 3rd, you get pretty much the original thing.
The movie has a great story, superb animation, and awesome soundtrack (as usual). The music was exclusively composed for the western release by Ralph Schtukett, and it really does the film great service. If only it was released on a CD... Oh, well, you can still hear it in the movie.
Whether you are a PokeMon or Anime fan, you should definitely pick this one up.