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Ender's Game (2013)
I went into this movie with pretty low expectations- but I was very pleasantly surprised.
Firstly, it probably helps that I love both the sci-if and action genres. Don't go see this movie unless you like space and battles, preferably together. But you also shouldn't see this movie if you want space and battles for mindless entertainment; this movie tries to delve much further than that, and for the most part, I believe it really succeeded.
Visually, Ender's Game is pretty spectacular. There's a lot to love about the visual effects, and kudos to the team that put them all together. It made for great viewing due to that aspect alone. The soundtrack was very fitting, and I enjoyed it all the way through. I gotta love me some epic soundtrack music, and this score really delivered in that department!
But of course, it's the story that plays the biggest role here, since it's a book-to-screen adaptation. That alone made me hesitant to see it, since I've been disappointed by many book-to-screen adaptations before. Here, I found nothing I could really hate; the movie feels rushed at times, but in the grand scheme of things, there is far more that I liked than I didn't. I thoroughly enjoyed it all the way through, and no single mistake changed my viewing experience for the worse.
I'll be letting my friends know that this is worth a watch, and I'd be more than happy to watch it again. I'd also highly recommend this to fans of the genre, books, and just good movies in general. While I left the movie feeling like I'd just seen something awesome, the movie left me thinking deep and interesting thoughts. Now that's a good movie right there.
Once Upon a Time (2011)
Cheese Factor 10
I have a very big problem with shows that don't have a clear identity, and Once Upon A Time is one of them. Simply put, Once Upon A Time is too cheesy for anyone over fifteen and often incorporates themes too dark for under-seven-year-olds. So what audience is Once Upon A Time trying to appeal to, exactly?
To be fair, I loved the premise of the show. I thought it was clever, mostly original, had a very intricate story-line and was well put together. Underneath that, though, I was constantly bothered by unspeakably cheesy character names, cringe-worthy dialogue, sappy music, and a confusing half light, half dark tone. I made it through two seasons, but looking back on it, I wonder how managed it and more importantly, why I bothered.
What do I think would have made this show better? If it had picked to go either much darker and realistic or much lighter and surrealistic, instead of weirdly in between.
a) Once Upon A Time should have focused on the darker elements of its story and gone the older-children-to-adult route. The atmosphere should have been moodier, more realistic, with sharper, more clever dialogue, more serious music and way less of that Disney-type feel.
b) Or, Once Upon A Time should have played up the light elements of the story and aimed for the ten-and-under-with-parents audience. The atmosphere should have been less serious, even more magic-focused, brighter in setting and themes, and with a hint of Disney's fairy-tale style comedy.
But what happens when the show gets caught between dark and light tones? Firstly, it results in some of the cheesiest dialogue I've ever heard. Also, the writers have no idea how "evil" to make the villains, since they don't know which age group they should be dealing with, which means characters (especially antagonists) tend to lose and gain personality traits whenever the plot demands it- until they are all very much OOC. I really did want to like this show, but I now get the sense that they couldn't decide if I, the audience, should be a kid or an adult. And after two seasons of cheesy writing and tone-confusion, not even magic can save my interest in Once Upon A Time.
Can you say, "Overrated"?
For a comedy, I really thought this would be a bit more, y'know... funny.
There are really only two ways "Bridesmaids" could have gotten this awful:
1. Bad comedy writers write bad comedy. 2. Good drama writers write good drama which is then turned into bad comedy.
See, here's the thing: Bridesmaids is a movie with an identity crisis; it can't pick a genre. It feels like a pretty good drama was written and then taken to the producers who said "there are too many dramas out there; what we need is a comedy." The times when this movie sucks the most are the times when you could tell the writers were trying to be funny- "trying" being the operative word, here. The fact that I can pick out every single supposed to be "funny" moment in the movie shows that it is not, in essence, a funny movie.
The best comedies I've ever seen had me laughing from beginning to end, with a few exceptions. If you asked me to pick out every time the writers put in a "funny" moment, I would probably end up telling you that the entire film was funny, and that it was too hard to pick out a few moments from that treasure trove of hilarity. Of course, comedy doesn't always mean "laugh all the way through", and I would have been just fine with only a few stabs at humor in this movie had they not all made me cringe until I disappeared into my seat. My friend watching with me tried to coax the people showing us the film to turn it off, because the level of idiocy had surpassed embarrassing.
Ultimately, it was the writing in the movie that made it unbearable for me. They couldn't figure out what kind of movie they were writing, and the price for being unclear conceptually is essentially a mess.
Did this movie have anything worth the 2 hours and 12 minutes it wasted of my life? Yes. Melissa McCarthy was actually pretty amusing. It probably helped that I already loved her from other films.
Rotten Tomatoes, you lost my respect when you gave this a 90/100.
The 10th Kingdom (2000)
Even the Cover Picture makes me Smile!
This is one outstanding series-turned-movie!
Probably the best thing about "The Tenth Kingdom" is its characters, and just second to that, the story. The characters are endearing from the beginning, and you fall in love with them as the story progresses. Of course, the characters excel mostly due to their fantastic actors, who deliver completely genuine performances. There are lots of laughs, but there is a seriousness that makes everything seem that much more real. The story itself is woven together exceptionally- I have a hard time finding something to compare it to, the story is just that well put together. There is not a single moment in the movie that I just don't like... I love the whole thing, all 417 minutes. And speaking of 417 minutes, that equals just shy of 7 hours. I have seen people say that it has a running time of 4 hours, and also 10 hours. It is neither- it runs basically 7 hours long, and it is worth every minute. I would highly recommend it for all and any ages. The Tenth Kingdom is a fantastic film, that will always be special to my family and I!