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Beauty and the Beast (2017)
It Was Everything I Hoped It Would Be!
I still remember back in May 2016 when they announced the first Trailer for Beauty and the Beast would be airing tomorrow on Good Morning America and that night...I didn't sleep a wink! The anticipation was incredible, like going to sleep on Christmas Eve! Although it was only a teaser, as soon as the piano played that infamous opening theme, I felt my eyes well up with tears. I don't remember the last time I was this excited for a movie. Now 10 months later, it's all over. The cartoon version is my favourite Disney film so needless to say, I set the bar high, and there would be hell to pay should the 1991 film be dismissed or tarnished. Let's begin with the obvious: The Cast. Everyone has had their own ideas about who were the ideal choices but I feel they got everyone right on this one. A healthy blend of Broadway stage actors and film actors gave the heart and soul needed to this film. Those criticizing Emma for not being a "singer" need to cut her a break. When casting a role in a live action musical, more must be considered beyond singing ability such as a recognizable face as well as mannerisms that embody the spirit of the character (like Audrey Hepburn over Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady). Now with the demand of a live action film where previous cartoon incarnations of this character were rendered with a combination of computers, drawings, and an actor who only provided a voice, the complete package must be sought in your leading lady. While not a Broadway singer, Watson's portrayal of Belle comes across as Honest, impassioned, and earnest when expressing through song, her yearning for something more. I am not familiar with Dan Stevens or Luke Evans prior work but whatever it was that Director Bill Condon saw in them, he was right. The emotional ebb and flow that Beast suffers weaves its way into your heart of seeing him as more than just filled with rage without reason. This is showcased the best in the new song "Evermore". I was in tears at his broken heart when he releases Belle. He was not born a beast, he was made a beast. Stevens was the right choice. As regrettable as it is to have to give adulation to a character who gives himself plenty enough as it is, the show was undeniably stolen by Luke Evans as Gaston. While the cartoon version has almost more of a comedic element to him until close to the end, this Gaston reveals his true sinister capabilities beyond his unbridled narcissism much sooner, and the audience has a much stronger contempt for Gaston for reasons other than his unhindered persistence of our heroine. The supporting cast does their job exactly as expected among Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs Potts with little deviation from that of their cartoon counterparts, and appropriately so. McGregor does quite a service singing Be Our Guest which, let's be honest, is THE song that comes to mind when people think of this movie, so much that it becomes a tagline with nearly everything to do with it, and Emma Thompson retains all the emotion and simplistic charm in the eponymous song during the infamous ballroom scene that is guaranteed to leave no eye in the audience dry. The scenery of the film leaves little to be desired in the ways of design, as it all suits the architecture of this fantasy world. However, with the kind of financial position an entertainment company like Disney has, I did find that some scenes could have benefited to be shot on live locations. There could have been expansions of atmospheric and emotional enrichment from the addition of an actual dense and dark snow sprinkled forest or a real golden sun kissed barley field embraced by a cloudless baby blue sky when Belle emphatically proclaims her desire for "adventure in the great wide somewhere" instead of what were all clearly soundstages in the Disney studio backlot. As for the additions to the story, I felt they were all very well written and did nothing but add to the depth and dimensions of our protagonists. Knowing about Belles mother and Beasts parents were a welcomed addition to what up until now was only answered with conjecture. Let us not forget as well that the 1991 cartoon was a hand drawn piece of work culminating in 2 years to produce an 85 minute film. The addition of another 35 minutes to match the new one would've added a year to schedule and millions in production costs. These additions are not the frivolous and unnecessary expansions that left so many fans disillusioned with the Star Wars trilogy. Finally the music. What can be said of Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashmen's ingenious music and lyrics that haven't already been stated? While some new songs written by Menken may not stand up to the old classic numbers of this story, they certainly don't take away anything from it either. As mentioned before, the song Evermore is a much welcomed addition that brings a tear to any man who knows the bitter taste of heartbreak. The added sidenote that Disney's people scoured the archives and found Ashmen's lyrics cut from these songs, and are now included in this new film is a particularly touching and heartfelt homage to a man of such tremendous creativity and genius. Affectionately remembered by his friends and family and immortalized in his lyrics, it is a shame that he were not here to see this beautiful film nearly 26 years after the original.
To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful.
Though it may not have the prestige of being "original", I have no doubt that this film will continue to inspire legions of new Disney fans and reinvigorate the dreams of the old ones. Well Done!!
Inside Out (2015)
One of the most beautiful lessons to teach your children
A valuable lesson for both children as adults alike. All through the film, Joy is focused on making sure Riley never feels the emotional pain of being sad, especially when Riley is put through her first real time Of emotional turbulence in her young life through her moving across the country and leaving behind everything she loves and now misses desperately. By the end of the movie, Riley ends up in the arms of her mom and dad crying and finally allowing herself to express what she is feeling inside. And at the same time, Joy realizes that in attempting to keep Sadness from influencing Rileys world, she has been denying Riley what she has truly needed...Riley needs to be sad. Children have a hard time comprehending adult world problems and parents need to teach their children that some times if you need to be sad, it's okay to be sad. Sadness is what allows you to enjoy the good times. There can not be joy without sadness. This film had me welling up in my Theater chair more than once and I'm a 24 year old man.
This film teaches one of the most valuable life lessons about how we interact and react to be world around us and that our emotions and experiences are what make us who we are. I don't know that I Can wait for the Blu Ray release to see this movie again. Easily one of Pixars Best!
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
I waited Four years for this? To Begin as to why I felt this was the most disappointing moment in my cinematic history since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I feel I must work at this chronologically in list format...
1) The first Star Trek movie went to the trouble of creating a new story in an alternate timeline which in my opinion was to avoid needing to follow continuity of the original series and maybe have some new ideas. So why have a new idea for the first if all that will comprise the sequel is a wrath of khan remix? 2) What is with the constant need to make Spock a human? I understand the desire to give him some emotion, but I believe they went in excess on this one. He rarely seems to be the Spock we know who has a good dose of Vulcan moments as well as human moments.
3) The tongue in cheek references to Wrath of Khan got to be a little much. At first it was an attitude of "oh thats interesting, they're referencing Wrath of khan" to "Okay are you serious!" even right down to the point where Kirk and Spocks spots are reversed and Kirk dies, only to have Spock Shout "KHAAAAAAAAN!!! This part drew more laughter than any kind of emotional release from the audience. Drawing on nostalgia to hold the fan's attention is a sign of laziness and poor scripting.
4) The resurrection of kirk was incredibly anti climactic. There was an entire movie devoted to Spock's resurrection in The Search for Spock, but here, we are treated to a deus ex machina solution of using Khan's "Super blood" to bring Kirk back.
5) Another inclusion of leonard nimoy was contradictory to what happened in the last movie. Old Spock told new spock that he could not count on interference with their lives or destinies, and just because Khan rears his head again, he decides to overrule his previous conviction and tell the enterprise just what they're dealing with. If Old Spock truly didn't want to have that responsibility, why does new spock seem to just have old Spock on Speed dial? Old spock should have just disapeared from the galaxy and never contacted the enterprise again. " To boldly go where no man has gone before"?, try "To casually go where everyone who has seen Wrath of Khan has gone before" Anyone who truly knows Star Trek should've left this movie in disgust at what the franchise has become. Mr Abrams, your future endeavours with the enterprise are no longer necessary and you shall be where you truly belong in the Star Wars universe, where flashy colors, weak story, weaker dialogue, and fond memories of the better trilogy fed ox office revenue to the garbage prequel trilogy that fell victim to a poor director and a nameless rabble of cronies who told him only what he wanted to hear.
The Social Network (2010)
Am I the only one who was angered by this movie?
The movie was good for what it represented, and in terms of direction, it is a beautiful piece of work as always from David fincher. I can not be clearer, it is a well done movie, and the cast is stupendous. But i couldn't help but hate everything about our central character of mark zuckerburg and everything that he stands for. What makes it worse is that this is based on true events. So lets recap for a moment...
A narcissistic, and morally bankrupt mark zuckerburg decides he doesn't stand out enough in life even though he has been admitted into one of the most well known and prestigious academic institutions in the entire western hemisphere. So he decides after a little quibble with his girlfriend, he acts like a complete child and puts the rumour mill into full swing in order to avenge is insulted honour by posting humiliating things about his ex girlfriend on the internet. Afterwards, he decides to set up a minor internet site that rates the attractiveness of female Harvard students. (I'm sure i don't have to mention the shallowness of these actions, but I feel I must all the same). Then, two twin Harvard athletes decide to ask him to design essentially a myspace for Harvard students, and piece by piece from the input of many other people from the school, zuckerburg pieces it all together with the help of his colleague Saverin. As they watch their idea flourish and grow, the twins decide to take on zuckerburg in a legal battle, and also try to insight a breach of Harvard's code of conduct (neither of which are upheld for reasons i can't abide). Further on, with the help of the dipsh!t who has taught the world how to single handedly destroy the music industry, zuckerburg then turns around to cut his friend and first investor, Saverin, out of his share from 34% to .03%. And now after countless legal battles, Zuckerburg has become the youngest billionaire in history.
So what have we learned...
we have learned that society rewards people who are so deluded on their own over inflated self worth (like facebooks opening stock price), that they steal, lie, cheat, and worst of all, betray friends and loved ones for the almighty dollar. Why didn't anyone take care of him when they still could!!! If I was president of Harvard, he would have been out on his a$$ the minute he violated the code of conduct and never been permitted to even mop the floors of Harvard university. If no one upholds the code, why have it? I sincerely hope this class action lawsuit against Zuckerburg falls through, and he loses everything and spends a few miserable years in prison for his alleged insider trading. If he has openly admitted the accuracy of this movie and that he indeed did backstab and cheat his way to the top, I have no reason not to believe he wouldn't commit insider trading.
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
why so much hate?
It absolutely baffles me how so many people (Mostly women) hate on Kristen Stewart, and yet they go see every single Twilight Movie several times in Theaters. She is a bad actor when it comes to the Twilight movies, because lets face it, the dialogue is painfully awful in those movies!!! If you are forced to work with a garbage script, you can't expect it to turn out good. I enjoyed Snow White and the Huntsman very much, and I thought the entire cast was spectacular, (yes, Even Kristen was good!!). And for everyone who thinks she isn't nearly attractive enough to play Snow White, you have missed the entire point of the story. Charlize plays a beautiful tall blond goddess of a woman, but is cruel, empathy lacking, and sadistic. Snow White is the embodiment of life itself, has an affinity for nature, animals, and clearly has it within herself to care for other people. With a great disdain for sounding cliché, that is what true beauty is. And I don't know about the rest of you, but I find Kristen Stewart very attractive. She looks like someone that would grow up in your neighbourhood and has that certain something that makes her stand out above all the cheer-leading bimbos at your school, because she doesn't conform to the Hollywood standard of beauty (pouty duck face lips, long Barbie doll legs, anorexic-thin mid section, over-sized fake breasts, and an IQ that matches her waist size).
I give SW&THM an 8/10 for a great dark story, beautiful direction and cinematography, a top notch cast, and for not forgetting to include the dwarfs!!
Languages do not make or ruin a good movie. English Version is Better by 1000 Miles!!!
I'm going to begin by saying that I read the books first, watched the 2009 films afterwards, and I have just come back from seeing Fincher's adaptation for the second time. And Fincher's is by far the superior of the films. I am no stranger to the story and experienced it in the "proper order" as many elitist fans would call it. (While the ever more elitist "fans" would not have even watched Fincher's version). Fincher's Direction is superior; Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross's musical genius sets the perfect tone for the film, and best of all, the cast lends themselves to a brilliant story in ways that I believe would be irreproducible by any other actor/actress. I may be blasphemous for saying this but I don't care. Rooney Mara nailed the role better than Noomi Rapace and I look forward to Fincher's future endeavours with Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist in coming years. And as for you people who are ever insistent on the same lame-@$$ed arguments to appear like you know what everyone else "should" enjoy...original languages do not make a movie good. "Passion of the Christ" was not more enriching because it was in Arabic. Not wanting to read subtitles is not a curse of the Lazy Man and the fact that you do does not mean you are more intelligent, cultured, or artistic. It means you are boastful,arrogant, and are looking for something to make you feel superior instead of going to watch a movie for a good story. If you want to be 100% pure in your Stieg Larsson enjoyment, learn Swedish, move to Stockholm, and bask in the glory that is your raging unmerited self esteem. If a language is reason for you not to enjoy something, you've missed the point entirely of watching a movie.