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Yogi Bear (2010)
Best Cartoon To Live Action Film EVER!
Alright, most live action movies made about cartoons are not worth watching.
This film actually remains true to the source material. Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake (whom I doubted would be good in any film or doing anything) both do very believable voices for the main characters of Yogi and Boo Boo.
Admittedly, there wasn't much laughing in the theatre that I can recall, but there were some very humorous moments. The story does suck you in though, despite the story being a bit trite and unsophisticated.
The main thing is that the film captures the spirit of Yogi Bear beautifully. There is plenty of picnic basket stealing. Plenty of hijinks that are committed.
The only reasons I didn't rate this a 9 or a 10 is because some characters didn't appear such as Cindy Bear or Snagglepuss whom was a regular on the cartoon.
Maybe the love story could've been done a bit better, but all in all it was a very entertaining movie.
Not Really A Scooby-Doo Movie
SPOILERS!! For one, the point of any episode or film in the Scooby-Doo franchise is to figure out who the masked villain is before the gang does. The best episodes and movies really build up multiple suspects or makes it hard to figure out who the villain really is.
Approximately one hour into this film I had it all figured out. That's not good. The plot was way too easy to decipher, even without reading any online spoilers.
Why is this not really a Scooby-Doo movie? For one there is not a masked villain and the supernatural aspect is indeed real.
Of course, "Mystery Begins" had real ghosts and real magic, but it was easy to dismiss this as a fluke. The first two live action films portrayed real monsters but those films happened much later in their careers, whereas if they battle real monsters and ghosts in the prequels, why is it so hard for them to believe in such things later on? Continuity is completely thrown out.
This film could be called "Scooby-Doo Meets The Exorcist And The Frog People Invade Lake Erie".
Though I must admit that they handled the love story between Shaggy and Velma 200 times better than what atrocities they've been committing in "Mystery Incorporated".
I gave this a 5 because it was alright, but I had hoped for a lot better. They should've watched every sea creature episode of Scooby-Doo before attempting a film in that vein, and they really need to keep in the spirit of classic Scooby-Doo and stop this real supernatural aspect stuff. They're just having the gang encounter real supernatural phenomena way too early in their careers. They would've been better off adapting an original episode to live action instead.
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
I've read a few other reviews and some are really bashing this film, and thus I'm going to defend my 10 out of 10 vigorously.
First off, I have not read a new DC Comic since the 1990s. I have read about certain arcs on Wikipedia, and I've heard about certain stories in DVD special features. I have kept up with the Timm-verse cartoons in retrospect, and have been following these direct to video releases near religiously.
First off, there is foul language in this one, so be careful with the younger kids. It's more of an adult story this time around.
When it comes to Superman this has been the most powerful I've ever seen him animated. When it comes to Batman, well, there's a believability issue that orchestrates the age old question of which hero is better-Superman or Batman? To elaborate, twice in this film Batman defeats two of Superman's most powerful foes, Doomsday and Darksied. It's great and empowering to see Batman defeat them, but it also makes Superman look utterly inefficient as a hero. Plus it raises the question of why didn't Batman save Supes during his first battle with Doomsday, if Bats can take down Doomsday in a one on one confrontation (albiet there was a whole legion of Doomsdays fighting an army of Amazons, and even the Amazons were holding their own against the cloned Superman killers!) and Superman can't.
It also does not make sense for the title to be "Superman/Batman Apocalypse" for a number of reasons. For one, it is indeed a Supergirl story. Secondly it should be spelled "Apokolips". Thirdly, how can it be a sequel to "Public Enemies" when that film already had a cousin for Superman in Power Girl whom had originally sided with President Luthor? Mega plot hole there. Yet the film's title is really just being a bit nit picky.
The film was vastly entertaining. It was surprising as the plot twisted and turned. As for character development Supergirl was a bit shaky, but there's a good reason for that. Upon arriving on Earth she only had a fragmentary memory, and as a teen her personality was still a bit of a blank slate, and of course she was trying to adjust to a new world and culture as well.
There are little touches throughout the film that a true fan can appreciate. One is the inclusion of Krypto the super-dog, as well as the zoo inside the Fortress of Solitude. My favorite is a little event that happens between Superman and Darksied that just made me smile. I won't spoil that one! I believe this film was better than "Public Enemies" and vastly superior to "Crisis On Two Earths". For me those two films were the low points of the DC direct to DVD catalog.
Now for DVD buyers I would stay away from the 2 Disc Special Edition. It is a ripoff. You're better off buying the Blu-Ray version, even if you do not have a Blu-Ray player. I don't have a player, but I bought the Blu-Ray because when I do get a player there's lots of good sounding Blu-Ray special features. It also came with a regular DVD with a digital copy too, so I was still able to watch the movie today AND the Green Arrow short! I must say, the Green Arrow short is the best one thus far! Again, the film kept me delightfully entertained and was on par with "Under The Red Hood".
As for the movie being an adaptation of an existing comic storyline, well, I take it that the people who complain about that didn't like the movies "Watchmen", "300", or any of the other films based on graphic novels or story arcs either. Some comics fans like being able to see a favorite storyline come to life, much like the 1990s X-Men cartoon which remained pretty faithful to comics continuity despite a few character differences in the story lines.
I highly recommend this film to anybody who likes superhero movies! Sincerely, Exchronos
Robot Wars (1993)
Bad but Fun
For years I've searched for this movie only remembering a couple scenes from it, because I always found it on TV right about in the middle, and I'd realize "hey...it's that one movie I like I never get to see all of" and watch the rest of it never even knowing its title...until a couple years ago.
I finally was able to watch it from start to finish today, and I must say, it was hilariously bad. Yet they tried to make it good, they had good little details and nice little gags, and the robots are awesome, but there is NO characterization at all. Literally, every character is just an action film stereotype. The acting itself is horrid. The lines border on obnoxious to just plain why on this Earth would anybody say that? Set in 2040, which they eventually get around to after noting a toxic scare in 1993, a weapons/huge killer robot ban in 2015, and some other craziness. There's one big armed robot left, and it looks like a scorpion. It takes tours across the American desert to a modern ghost town (modern as in 1993) so people can see how life was like in the 1990s...when there was still a United States (they call where they're at North Hemi, which I eventually realized was short for Northern Hemisphere...uh huh...yeah right...). The bad guy is an oriental general from the "Eastern Alliance" who takes over the giant robot with the help of "Centros" (pretty much Mexicans, or Latin Americans, you get the picture though...). Then the hero and his sidekick ace mechanic "Stumpy" find a giant robot in good condition buried underneath the supposed 1993 abandoned city...and they fight! Throw in a very incomplete love story, and wondering what happens after the robot fight, like what happens to the hostages that seemed to be running out of air and got tossed like footballs during the big fight, and you've got a great movie to make fun of while watching! Oh yeah, and they never explained how Drake (the hero) knew the villainous General Wally either. I mean, Drake didn't seem to have any quarrels with the General, but the General definitely wanted him dead...for no apparent reason...maybe his "hero sense" was tingling?
When you think 1993 you think Jurassic Park, Star Trek The Next Generation had been on for awhile, but when you see this movie, it's like that never happened and we're still in a 1985 rendition of the future...trying to use early 90s slang...seriously, if you like bad movies, this one will give you plenty of ammunition.
Legends of the Superheroes (1979)
Not To Be Missed!
Now "Legends Of The Superheroes" is broken down into two episodes, "The Challenge" and "The Roast". Here's a breakdown of why neither should be missed by any DC Comics fan.
For "The Challenge": Not only do we get a reunion of Adam West, Burt Ward, and Frank Gorshwin from the 1960s Batman TV series and feature film, but we get a multitude of heroes and villains making their live action debuts! The Huntress wouldn't see another live action portrayal until the 2003 series "Birds Of Prey" and unfortunately she is quite underused just like the Flash is, of whom eventually got his own live action TV show in the 1990s.
The super villain roll call in itself is worth the watch, just to see every villain try out their powers on Gorshwin's Riddler while he attempts to conduct the roll call! The actor who portrays Solomon Grundy is perfect for the role, and his best performance is in "The Roast" where he single fistedly makes Ed McMahon sorry for ever hosting the show! In possibly one of his finest performances Frank Gorshwin pretends to be a psychiatrist for Captain Marvel, and gives an incredibly fine example of multiple personality disorder from an actor's...and an arch-villain's perspective! Then the actor who plays Sinestro is a hoot disguised as a gypsy, and the ring fight between Green Lantern and his traitorous nemesis (for the first time ever in live action spectacle!) is not to be missed, even if the special effects aren't much more than green and yellow laser beams (what'd you expect, it was only two years after "Star Wars", geesh! No constructs for those who love seeing things built out of green energy.). The actor who plays Dr. Silvana, the super nemesis of Captain Marvel, is hilarious as heck when he opens up a lemonade stand with lemonade mixed with a potion that takes away super powers! Seriously, the villains really steal the shows from the heroes! For "The Roast": The actor who plays the Weather Wizard has great comedic timing, but you may not know what weather conditions he was referring to, if you weren't around or were too young to remember weather prior to 1979. Again the actor who plays Dr. Silvana is an utter show stopper, and puts in a fine performance that's highly enjoyable. The Atom makes an appearance, and Frank Gorshwin is absent this time around. Batman and Robin's role is highly diminished, except for when Robin plays charades with Batman trying to explain that he totaled the Batmobile while trying to park it! The humor tends to be a bit more adult, but it's not like today's entertainment...this is still child friendly. Then we get a song and dance number from DC's evil wizard Mordru who does a super villainous rendition of "My Favorite Things/That's What I Call Entertainment"! These are definitely a must see if you get the chance, they are hilarious, and may even appeal to those who love "so bad they're good" films! Sincerely, Exchronos
The Quick and the Undead (2006)
The Good, The Bad, And The Undead
You've probably read a lot of bad reviews of this movie, and so did I. Yet you can't really appreciate this film until you've watched it, and even then it takes somebody who really understands it to really appreciate its cinematic value. Clint Glenn pulls off possibly the toughest act any action actor could attempt, and that is the blending of Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name character with that of Kurt Russell's cult iconic Snake Plissken character from "Escape From New York". Never before has the two styles of both iconic cinema loner legends come to a blend of cinematic brilliance and perfection. Imagine a zombie film shot like a Sergio Leone western yet with post-apocalyptic grit of John Carpenter's "Escape" movies. You no longer have to imagine because that film is "The Quick And The Undead". Clint Glenn's character also embodies a trait that few horror icons have had in the past-the immunity to infection that lead Vincent Price to be the last man on Earth, that made Charlton Heston the Omega Man, and finally got Will Smith killed in a movie...and about time! Although one must admit that the character relations could've been a bit more flushed out, as in the hero's past relations to the villain and the lady on the villain's team, and a better explanation on the DVD cover that the outbreak did not happen 85 years ago in the old west, but that the story happens 85 years into our future-which one can realize by comprehending the opening title sequence which effectively carries back story exposition which most people probably didn't pay attention to. Now another big whopper of surprise-the story brings the conflict back to being man versus man as opposed to the now repetitive man versus zombie meaningless action bonanza of mindless gore. In the tradition of the original "Dead" trilogy, man is still the ultimate evil while the zombies are the plot device to real human drama. As in the Dollars Trilogy (Man With No Name Trilogy for those who don't know its other name) the power and corruption of human society by greed plays a pivotal part in the story and its surprising and satisfying ending. If you don't like to think while watching a zombie film, if you become as brain dead as the zombies portrayed on the screen, then this may not be the best film for you to watch...just keep watching the endless modernized remakes of the original "Night Of The Living Dead" that big movie studios keep cranking out year after year after year. Yet if you want a film that's mentally engaging, shot in a superb homage style of great filmmakers of better film days past, and are ready to take a zombie hunting journey with a lone hero created by his surroundings only to master what surrounds him...then this is a zombie film for you, and is vastly the best independent zombie film since George A. Romero's original independent film masterpiece "Night Of The Living Dead".
Best Movie Made Thus Far
This movie was an experience, and one of the very few and rare films I have seen where the theater audience actually clapped at the end in admiration. No prior knowledge of Transformers is needed to see and enjoy the film, and it can please those of all generations, not only the ones who have or are growing up with Transformers being active in pop-culture.
The greatest thing about this film is the story and how each subplot seamlessly unfolds making the human aspect of the story shine through glorious CGI action. I did not expect the film to be funny, but humor threads the film beautifully. The plot itself was ingenious, and has the right mix of human character story lines and the Transformers themselves-something I was initially afraid would be off balance leaning towards the human characters more than the Autobots.
The only precaution I'd suggest is not to take any children along that may put yourself in an awkward position if you haven't had "The Talk" with them yet. One scene between the teen owner of Bumblebee and his parents mentions a sexual act which may get younger children asking you about what they're talking about-and a few parents/grandparents after the show were a little frustrated at that scene due to having to explain it to their kids/grandkids appropriately, or get around explaining it due to not being prepared for it. It's a funny scene, but if you're a parent or grandparent not wanting to explain the facts of life to a small child after the movie, at least now you've been warned.
To me, it was probably the best movie I've ever seen, and I hope more fantastic action-packed character driven films follow its lead and expands the imagination of what can be done on film, and how the awesome, no matter how improbable, can still entertain when done right.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Great But Flawed
If you're a fan of the comics, and know the back story behind the events of the film, then it is a rather great and enjoyable film. Be warned though that this is not a good film to hold the attention span of most very young Spider-Man loving viewers unlike the first two films of the series. Most of the film is character development bookended with action, and its in that middle part where the young children of the audience I was in started to get bored, and I must admit even I was getting a little anxious for some action. Also, it seemed that most of the audience got a little lost during the part where the black suit begins to alter Peter's personality, and the transition back to his true self wasn't as handled in great detail as the transition to "Bad Peter". After viewing the movie there seems to be a few plot holes in character development, as we are shown unimportant tidbits and the tidbits we need for the plot are left out. If anything I'd say the way the film was edited left more to be desired and some things could have been left out. Another item that hampers the feel of the movie is the fact that it also mirrors the Spider-Mania that has occurred due to the film, and made Spider-Man from the semi-loved Maryl hated by the masses superhero into a full blown celebrity, something that was Maryl avoided in the comics for a very long time. To the extent of what was in Spider-Man 2 was great, like the scene on the train, but in this film it takes public love for Spider-Man overboard, and even dwindles the amount of time we see Peter at the Bugle or see the negative views about Spider-Man, which has been an integral part of the character's mystique in most representations. Although they do use Spider-Man's celebrity status in contrast to Mary Jane's pitfalls, there really was little character development on Mary Jane's part for most of the film.
The special effects were spectacular, and the fights were very well executed. More Spidey VS Sand Man throughout the film could have helped keep the pace going, but unfortunately the middle of the film seemed to be quite villain-less other than a dark Peter Parker.
So, if you're a fan of the comics, know the back story, and understand what's going on with the black suit, it can be a very enjoyable movie to watch, but in the end it could withstand a better editing job. When they come out with a Director's Cut DVD (hopefully) it may be done a little more justice in cutting down the slower paced parts and adding whatever deleted high paced scenes that may have been cut. I wouldn't recommend taking the small kids out to see it, because they will lose interest after the first hour, and won't regain that interest until the last half hour of the film.
I give it a 7 because of the reasons above, and it really was a better than average movie, but it wasn't the blowout 10 I semi-expected. After X-Men 3 came out I had lowered my expectations a bit, and where if X3 had more it could've been better if Spider-Man 3 would've had less...or had the right stuff in the time it had its flaws, it could have definitely been better. The pacing and humor were off, and the feel of the film didn't match the feel of the previous films in tone or spirit.
Possibly Worst Vampire Film Ever Made
As a vampire enthusiast I was quite excited to watch this film, and yet I was disappointed with what I watched.
The story has some merit I guess, and the characterization is a little over simplified. They at least seemed to try to make this a good film, and while watching I was ever hopeful that they would succeed.
The acting is believable at best, and the urban atmosphere is greatly accomplished. Yet in the end it still leaves something to be desired, and not everything is explained to satisfaction.
On the level of being a vampire film I do not believe it adds anything entirely new or sufficient to vampire mythos at all. In fact, the main plot seems to be a thematic rip off of "The Monster Squad" minus the other monsters, hero kids, or scary German guy (that last part may have been a spoiler, not sure though).
In conclusion, if you want to see a vampire film with a 99% African-American cast, 1972's "Blacula" is a million times better than this low budget disaster.
Superman Returns (2006)
What Superman 3 Should Have Been
First off, this was my first time ever seeing a Superman movie on the big screen. I have seen the original quadrilogy, but only on DVD and TV. This movie was actually worth the anticipation that built up while watching the previews. Once the lights dimmed, the Warner Bros. logo came up, and then the original Superman theme started as the credits rolled through space (a more detailed space than before, I might add) it was like pure magic.
The film seems to pick up where Superman II left off. The characters are nearly flawless continuations of the Superman II characters, and watching Superman I & II before seeing this movie may be beneficial (especially if you haven't seen them in awhile).
Brandon Routh does incredible justice to the part, and we finally get to see what James Marsden can do as an actor. Kevin Spacey was magnificent, and Parker Posey was wonderful.
The film was very moving, and quite emotional. Everything seemed to work, to just click into place.
If you're a fan of Superman, or at least acquainted with almost any incarnation of the character, this film can be a greatly satisfying experience.
I will warn though that although the plot works, it is a bit, well, it's unique.
Overall it is a very powerful and emotional movie that may even bring a tear or two to your eyes during some moments.
I don't want to divulge too much, because part of the fun is trying to unravel the mysteries while they happen in the film, the surprise and shock of answers other media has never been bold enough to attempt.
This is not just a movie, but an experience. Bryan Singer has done what no other director has successfully done before...make a true to the source sequel to a movie made over 20 years ago.
Superman really has returned.