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Madly Madagascar (2013)
We couldn't think up a plot to last 90 minutes so we gave you 4
I enjoy the Madagascar flicks. Like the Shrek movies, each subsequent installation lacks s little bit more, but you come to expect a certain amount of fun from the series when a new one comes out.
Madly Madagascar isn't a movie. It's 4 short stories the first and last of which are the Madagascar gang, the 2nd from Over the Hedge and the 3rd which just seems to be a random animated short with a bird and a businessman (although winds up being the best of all of them).
Since the character developments can't go anywhere in 20 minutes per story for the Madagascar group, this flick scores lower than it could have.
Worth a watch if you have kids, but if you're checking to see what happens next with any of the characters, don't bother.
Las aventuras de Tadeo Jones (2012)
Slightly Below Average
On an absolute scale with 5/10 being an average film, I scored this film a 4.
The animation is pretty good, but let's face it, as technology improves, this really isn't a selling point anymore, it's expected. While this is obviously meant to be a children's film, the plot is mind numbingly shallow (not simple, but shallow), and adults will probably be checking their watches for the duration of the film.
We are introduced to a childhood Tad, who despite his inherent love for archaeology, seemingly doesn't even attempt to pursue his dream and becomes a bricklayer instead. Still playing make believe on the job, Tad gets fired (for the 7th time) and through a sequence of forced and uncomfortable events, becomes swept up in a search for a lost Incan city of treasure. Along the way he picks up several sidekicks, but overall nobody on the expedition really seems to belong there apart from the pirates attempting to steal the treasure for themselves.
We are given a stereotypical, lazy Hispanic guide that constantly lies about his family and is always trying to make a buck, a love interest that just wants to find her father, and Tad whose background makes him no more qualified to go on a treasure expedition than you or I. Towards the end, the message of the film seems to be that you don't have to be rich and successful to be happy, but the filmmakers missed a great opportunity to drive this home. They could have shown Tad's dream of becoming an archaeologist ruined by poor grades, lack of money, or needing to take care of a sick relative. He could have been constantly reciting geographical facts about South America, because even though he never achieved his dream, he still gave it is best by reading books in the library, watched the Discovery channel, etc. But no, instead we're given the man-child Tad that just hops on a plane and follows the linear adventure to the end of the road.
Overall, it's a decent kid's movie, but the funnies are few and far between. The plot continues to smash square pegs into round holes for forward motion, and anyone over 13 will most likely be bored. If you're deciding between this movie and something else, do yourself a favor and pick something else.
Battle Los Angeles (2011)
"I can help, I'm a veterinarian"
I think she's great in her own element but I knew from the trailer that Bridget Moynahan didn't belong in this movie as indicated by the above quote. All in all this film could have been better. One of the facets that made Independence Day great was the level of planning and knowledge that the viewer was granted through following characters at the pinnacle of the American government and military. Unfortunately films like Skyline and Battle LA enjoy the uninformed characters instead that fumble along until the plot decides to actually do something.
The last fifth of the movie were pretty good but the setup needed more work and the middle 60% just wasn't necessary (fluff) and didn't contribute anything to the plot. It was like a cliché horror movie where you guess which character dies off next all the while being supported by shallow dialogue that's supposed to be meaningful just because the actors are yelling their lines. Is that how inexperienced military personal would speak in a similar situation? Possibly. Does it make a good movie? No.
Worth a watch but only a tad bit above average for me. 6/10
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Scott Pilgrim vs My Lamp
Would be more entertaining. I've been reading the other reviews on here and I just can't understand for the life of me how this movie ranks at almost an 8/10. Yes, I realize people view graphic novels as capable delivery devices for quality literature. That doesn't warrant a 2 hour plot that jerks to each cutscene like some guy tripping on acid, waits to deliver any sort of message till the last half hour, then flip flops back and forth about 5 times right at the very end trying to appease everyone in the audience. Combine that with preteen concepts and daydreams of love & fighting and this whole thing was like The Wonder Years in a video game played by someone with severe ADD. This is by far not the masterpiece people made it out to be.
I won't lie, there were some funny bits just from the sheer nature of having the characters say random things for the entire 2 hours but there was nothing that even came close to the applause this movie has received. Originally, I wasn't going to watch this at all based on the trailer but I kept hearing good things so I gave it a shot.
The Good: Funny bits, decent fight choreography, interesting cinematography choices integrating the comic book/video game world with reality, hot Asian chick
The Bad: Extremely immature love story, random main character, laughable plot, terrible scene transition
4/10, I recommend not seeing it to begin with but if you do make sure you do so with someone who gave this film an 8 so you can ask them to point out exactly what they were thinking
My Blueberry Nights (2007)
I Just Need Someone to Talk To
****Minor Spoilers***** An amazing film, throughout which my title seems to be the strongest notion. It isn't uncommon to find movies that you can relate to or that trigger a certain emotion in yourself that you enjoy feeling. But once in a great while a movie comes along that really speaks to you. I could easily write several pages but I will do my best to confine my thoughts to several paragraphs.
This is a film that you can let roll on in the background like a rhythmic blues song and and let it talk like only the out-of-focus can. Yet always present in the rhythm is the sad drawn out song of how lonely we can become and all the ways we dance around our heartache in an effort to run from it or allow the feeling to linger. In either case we never really put it behind us. This is illuminated by Jude Law's keys as well as the intermittent chapter screens constantly referencing the time elapsed and mileage from the first heartbreak.
You will often see characters hesitate not in dialogue but in action which really adds to the notion that this movie is about the journey, rather than the destination. At one point Elizabeth states "I don't have any specific destination in mind but...I'm just gonna go till I run out of places to go". Her character is very relatable, has a natural beauty that allows you to pay attention to her without getting distracted and only speaks when she needs to. Thumbs up to Norah's utilization.
Weisz gives a great performance (although I hate seeing her play dark roles) that really hits deep around the 45 min mark. She delivers a key scene involving a bar tab that came across strongly to me as an analogy for responsibility in matters of the heart.
Portman also really came through on her role and bears its weight without flinching. I wasn't quite sure about why her character was placed in the movie till the very end of her story but it fits. The strategic use of Jude Law keeps male viewers interested and the story tied town to a timeline.
Once in a very great while the dialogue sputters unnaturally and while the cinematography is very good, there are a handful of uses that jump out against the tone of the film. Either way, this movie has made it to my top 5 and I will be checking out Kar Wai Wong's other films for sure. Well done! 8.5/10
Peaceful Warrior (2006)
An Uphill Journey - In a Good Way
This is a somewhat interesting film in the way it plays out. Having never read the book, I'm not sure how it measures up but the movie is definitely a worthwhile experience.
Somewhat abstract and a little confusing at points, the plot can become repetitive or jerky over 120 mins. However, even with a somewhat slow start, the movie gains more and more momentum with time leading to a semi-strong finish that I found enjoyable.
I think this film could have been great with a little more focused direction and the trimming out of 15-20 mins but it is still worth a watch. 6.5/10
The Warrior's Way (2010)
This Movie Deserves an Award
The Warrior's Way is a tri-fold mix containing the oh-so-annoying combat style of anime combined with barely laughable humor and topped off with a mind-numbingly absurd plot. Of course, all three of these things are subjective but I'll try to back up what I say in the spoiler section. With the exception of Alpha & Omega, I can't recall any other movies where I knew within 2-3 minutes the whole film was a bust, so I humbly put this movie forward for a Bustie award.
In the end, I gave this 'film' 3 stars. They don't use a homemade camera so I guess that's a plus, the music's alright for the scenes (except for one Tarantino rip off), and the last 15 minutes has some decent action. Other than that I wasn't attached to a single character (quite the opposite actually), I was insulted by the supposed 'plot twist' and I felt like the whole movie just eeked itself into existence from several scene ideas.
This is a Red-Box flick at best.
**********SPOILERS************ You will be treated to ninjas falling to land on buildings (from nowhere), popping up from under frozen water (again, really?) and fights getting reduced to the "he's so awesome, one sword strike without looking kills em all". One of the first scenes contains our "hero" slicing through half a dozen enemies spaced along a good 10 ft span in one fell swoop...and he's so fast they didn't even swing at him. Annoying.
Now we move on to the humor. What the movie lacks for in actual dialogue or situational humor it decides to make up in costumes and circus folk. Heck, if the movie is moving along slowly, just have your knee-high 'little person' with an 8 drawn on his head grab someone else's testicles for a laugh. If that doesn't work we can always rely on the terrible pairing of a serious battle-numbed warrior with a honkey-tonk loon that reminds me a lot of the red-headed cowgirl from Toy Story 2 and 3.
Last but not least (unless of course you wrote this movie script) is the plot. We begin with someone who has made it their life's pursuit to remove their enemy from the face of the earth yet stops at the last one (a baby) then runs off with her. A stretch but OK. Now his own clanmates somehow know this and decide to kill him along with the child. Zzzzzz. But it gets better, the main female protagonist has a score to settle as well with a man that tried to rape her as a child and in the process murdered her entire family. During her struggle she burns the man's face and he is forced to wear a mask. Later on in the story despite the masked man's recounting of events in a manner that really only he could, we find out that he really ISN'T the same man but is just a decoy. *@#&ing absurd. That's not a twist, it's called lying to your audience.