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Ghost in the Shell (2017)
Amazing remake, but not worth the IMAX ticket price
This is review for the IMAX version of Ghost in the Shell.
I just saw "Ghost in the Shell" at the local IMAX theater. I expected stunning 3D cinematics and so on and so on. Basically the bar was set way too high, as this is one of the two super-cult mangas of the 90s (the first one being "Akira" 1988).
Well, in short - the movie is great! Worth every cent seeing it on a big screen.
Now in detail - I probably had to first see again the original, so I could compare them, but I didn't. Maybe for good, as I watched the movie without way too much expectations and honestly enjoyed it. Stunning visuals - yes, great music - yes, great play - yes, Takeshi Kitano - YES, YES, YESSS!! (Who does not love Beat Takeshi?? :) Yes - and Scarlett Johansson. Well, she's great too, but can't beat the Beat ;)
The only two things I do remember from the original are the first scene and the last scene, and these two do match, as of my memories. The other thing is the music - the hypnotic vocal theme. The music of the current version is great, but no match. It's just different. However, they included the original theme as well, just it's in the end credits.
The only problem with this movie is the IMAX version - honestly, it does not worth the price of the IMAX ticket. Just there is nothing really worth seeing in the IMAX version! Yes of course - great picture quality, but hey I go to IMAX for stunning 3D visuals, not just great picture quality and "Ghost in the Shell" 2017 version is simply not enough 3D-enhanced for IMAX, so don't bother yourself going in there, unless you are just a fan of IMAX. In the last 5 years there was just one movie not created for IMAX, but really stunningly 3D-enhanced for IMAX and that was "Dr.Strange" 2016. No other movie IMAX version really got me so much, as "Dr.Strange" for IMAX. "Ghost in the Shell" 2017 looks great on IMAX, but not so great to worth the money for. At least my opinion.
Oh and one more thing I didn't liked - no post-credits scene. Not that the original had one I remember of, but just letting you know there is nothing to wait the end of the credits for, unless you are one of these fans who wants to read the small notes.
Good thing is - they mentioned that the soundtrack is going to get released, so check it out! It is not as stunning as Daft Punk's music for the second "Tron", neither "Stranger Things", but still it's great. I would give it like 8/10.
So final words - go see it! But in case you can't see it on IMAX - don't be sorry.
Great movie with a major fail!
I saw this just few days ago in a local theater. In brief:
The good: + Great visuals + Nice music + Cool story
The bad: - Teen pop in a music about classical ballet! - Daisy Dukes-like pants in a 1900 France?
So generally I enjoyed the movie. It is sort of Cinderella story. My little one did not wanted to see it, so I went alone. However, this is a movie about classical ballet. There are few moments, where they actually are supposed to dance on a classical music background, so in the beginning of the movie there is a scene with the music from Swan Lake, in the middle of the movie there is a ballet school with classical music background and in the end, the final scene is supposed to be showing The Nutcracker, however on this one they play (*drumroll please*) ... CHEESY TEEN POP!!! Yep, that's right - we get ballerinas dancing ballet, supposedly on the music of the Nutcracker, but instead there is some cheesy teen pop! This is the major fail I talk about. Seriously, you cannot ruin a movie in such a bad way normally. No idea what talent you need to come up with such a stupid idea. Instead play the Nutcracker music for a minute until the credits start to flow, then transition to the teen pop. Would be much better, but no - they failed it. Also - in 1900 France they show us a girl wearing leggings and something similar to daisy dukes on top. Hellooooo? Reality check here? There is no such a girl, even in Paris in 1900s which would wear such a thing.
But again - in general the movie is fun and amusing, despite the few horrible moments I mentioned. It is also little surreal, as they show some pretty cool flying, but it's a cartoon after all, so I don't mind the daisy dukes so much (but I seriously do mind the music!).
Bring your kids, enjoy!
Ratchet & Clank (2016)
For what it is - it's AWESOME!!
Let's start with this - I never played any Ratchet & Clank games, however I played the Sly Cooper games and I have an idea of what Ratchet & Clank games are all about. Point is I went to see the movie completely without any expectations, except the trailer gave me the idea it is gonna be a sci-fi adventure cartoon. So I came out of the cinema, just few hours ago.
Indeed, it is a sci-fi adventure cartoon and for what it is, it is truly awesome!! Graphics are great, music is great, sound is great, the plot for what it was intended to be is great!
Now, speaking of the plot, this is not a serious sci-fi cartoon. This is intended to be a funny movie, to make you relax and just have some fun, that's why I am still saying "for what it is". I have no idea of the game plot, so I am judging the movie only here. And honestly I really had some fun watching it.
Also, despite the warnings of cartoon violence and so on, I personally find it absolutely kids-friendly - no real scary moments, no sudden scary sounds, no real scary characters, in fact I intend to grab the blu-ray disk when it comes out and show it to my 3-year- old son, but if you doubt my judgement - go and give the movie a try, before bringing your kids there. Fun is guaranteed anyway.
I am not going to reveal much of the movie, except to mention that they intend to release a sequel, because there are two animation sequences in the end of the movie and the first one is clearly talking of a sequel.
The other thing to mention is they make reference to Sly Cooper, which movie is intended to be released a bit later this year and which I am awaiting so much, because there is one scene in the movie where they show picture of Sly Cooper (they show more pictures too, but I just did not paid attention to the others).
So to finish - for what it is, it's awesome! For me, as a parent, it's totally kids-friendly. It is also family-geared, because the duration is set to 1h 34mins if I remember correctly, which is the usual family format. It is fun and it is really making you relax and enjoy your time, so just give it a try.
As I said, I've never played any of the Ratchet & Clank games, but now think I am definitely going to give them a try.
Turbo FAST (2013)
Far better than the movie!
First of all let me clarify - the movie is not bad, it does have great graphics and effects, but did not impressed me at all. So I was more than skeptical about the TV series, but since I showed the movie to my two-year-old son, decided to give the TV series a try anyway.
I was more than impressed with the TV series. Especially the first 3 episodes (currently saw the first 6 episodes from season 1), because they lack violence and it's pure racing fun. Speaking of violence they introduced some creepy insects (my son got scared of the spiders in one of the episodes, so careful with the little kids!), but in general Turbo FAST are super-fun to watch series.
The funny thing is these do not have the superior graphics of the actual movie, but the story is much more interesting and fun. Basically every episode features a race with a different rival with often very funny characteristics. There might be an additional task, like a mini-quest or fight or character dilemma, but in general the series are about the race and this time all the snails do race.
The most important thing is that this movie features very distinct characters and this is what's most catchy here. Every character is projected with unique features, tag lines, moves and look and it makes it a fun journey to the viewer to discover the characters bit by bit in every episode.
What is real fun is that they do incorporate here and there some mild adult fun, making joke of known pop-culture phenomena, like for example "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977) and so on (won't go into details for not to spoil anyone).
In general watching "Turbo FAST", gives the feeling of watching "Dexter's Laboratory" (1996) very much - same short, funny and fast- action packed style of show, except "Turbo FAST" seems funnier to me.
And one more important thing - the music is much better than the music on the movie. It is a blend of pop and western-movie- soundtrack (think of Ennio Morricone), so expect some ear candies here.
Basically I love everything about these series, starting even with the title sequence. It's just what TV series should be - short, cool and fun, not necessarily with great graphics and effects - pack a cool story with cool music and let the people have fun watching it.
This is not your typical adventure movie. This is a marvelous drama about culture clash - the clash of civilization and nature. I will not spent time to describe everything here, because words are really not enough. Despite not being popular, this movie is among my favorites and a must-see I could say. Very very good story, amazing views, especially the aerial ones, wonderful music and great acting.
Speaking of acting, everybody love Tom Berenger and Daryl Hannah, but I must give credit also to Aidan Quinn and especially Kathy Bates, whose acting in this movie I like the most.
I am not aware who are the people playing the native tribes, but they deserve a great credit for good acting too.
This movie is greatly underrated, so do not consider IMDb or another score and just go and see it.
Triumph of technology in every way
I admit I was not familiar with the Disneynature brand, until one day I purchased a Disney blu-ray disk on which there was a trailer for "Bears". The trailer impressed me so much, that when I saw the "Bears" blu-ray disk, it was no brainer to buy it.
We just watched it last night, the whole family. The movie it a total triumph of technology in every way, so if you are an audio- and videophile, this disk is simply a must-have. First we begin with breath- taking views of nature in high-definition. Everything we saw was a pure honey for the eye - things we could not imagine to see on a screen when I was a kid. The movie uses a combination of different filming techniques for showing different sceneries, starting with aerial breath- taking landscapes of the Alaskan mountains, amazingly shot close-ups of different animals and wonderful slow-motions of swimming salmons.
Unfortunately I cannot say very much for the audio, as my two-years-old kid was making too much noise while we watched and also sometimes there was a narrator voice, however there was a pleasurable sound, especially I liked very much how the water and the footsteps in the shallow waters were recorded. Kudos also for the stone-falling and the claw-scratched mussels sounds.
As for the movie itself, kudos for Disney for few things. First, as this is a family movie, they managed very well to get rid of the violent scenes - animal fights were gently censored and only few delicate scenes were shown. Second, the bloody scenes were censored - there were almost no blood shown in the entire movie, with only very few exceptions - I noticed just one scene where a bear caught a salmon, but this scene was not really bloody. In general it is still appropriate movie for the whole family. Then we come to the story, which of course in a 100% Disney style was told very well, with both tension, some drama, action, humour and finally a nice happy ending, even with a moral of the story. The main keywords however, are "cute" and "heroes".
I cannot miss to mention, that this must be a well budgeted movie, as they seem to had plenty of good resources to use, both technical and human talents. The result is that we have the chance to see a movie about the brown bears, showing their life in a way only few other movies succeeded (like "The Bear" 1988). So for what I paid for this disk, it worth every cent, as I had a wonderful experience watching it.
I recommend this movie to every one, regardless the age. I will definitely look for the old Disneynature movies and I cannot wait for the "Monkey Kingdom" blu-ray disk to come out!
Jodorowsky's Dune (2013)
Spiritual enlightenment in a documentary form
This movie is a spiritual enlightenment in a documentary form.
Let us start with this: I own the blu-ray version of the movie. Never saw any Jodorowsky movie, but I am huge fan of both books and David Lynch's "Dune".
So far somebody would expect me to judge this documentary from the perspective of a "Dune" fan, but honestly I tried to be as neutral as possible. Of course, part of me was the "Dune" fan when I was watching, part of me was trying to get into the mind of this crazy genius, as Jodorowsky appears to be.
Some quick facts and impressions: I have never seen the theatrical version of the documentary, but the blu-ray version do contains additional footage, giving even a bit more insight from both Jodorowsky and Michel Seydoux on the events and relationships of Jodorowsky and the crew. I consider this bonus material a very valuable add-on to the whole story, so I do recommend you to buy the blu-ray version.
What to say... The movie pretty much speaks about itself. It is well done and very interesting to see, especially it touches such a mysterious subject in the world cinematography, as the never made movie about "Dune". What the movie shows however in addition, is a valuable insight on Jodorowsky's mind and we are given the chance to experience from first person perspective the creative process of the mind of a genius.
Yes, I said I have never seen a Jodorowsky movie. However experiencing the way this man thinks and creates, I cannot deny he is a true genius. While we are not given the chance to see the whole book he prepared for the movie studios, showing the storyboard of "Dune", we almost feel like we could watch the movie from some of his words.
Jodorowsky's "Dune" would have been a true spectacular movie. David Lynch's "Dune" is already spectacular - we have the monsters by Kit West , the same who created the monsters in "Star Wars", we have the music of the legendary TOTO and Brian Eno, we have a whole constellation of famous actors, including Sting in addition. Jodorowsky was about to offer much more - different music for every Dune house, starting with the cult Pink Floyd, even more constellations of stars - Mick Jagger, Amanda Lear, Orson Welles, H.R.Giger and even, oh my, Salvador Dali! And all this experienced in a totally different palette of colours trough the prism of Jodorowsky's mind.
Honestly, while I think the movie would have been very very different than everything we saw and maybe considered too "mature-rated", if not even little "pervert" by some, I think the world really lost by not having this movie created.
The moral of the story however, is that even true geniuses have to consider the budget and some boundaries in the end. Otherwise we are left with nothing, but legends.
The Maze Runner (2014)
Real good! Real amusing! Well done!
I must admit I really missed the kind of movie where a bunch of kids go for an adventure and here it is, The Maze Runner. Well not really that the kids want to be there, they are put there. However still the movie satisfies me.
To be precise, this is an adventure post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller (at least I would define it as such). And unlike Hunger Games, this one lacks all the political stuff (at least in this episode!) and instead focuses on the action and character development.
The movie clearly points out in the end that there would be a sequel, but that's all. Everything the end teases with is that the next episode will focus on putting the kids into another big trouble and that's it. So no spoilers really.
I will try to keep this out of any spoilers too, so will instead focus on only what the trailer suggests. And as the trailer shows, this movie is about a group of kids put into the centre of a maze which they have to explore and survive and meanwhile have to solve their own conflicts. None of the kids remembers anything, except in few days after they are put into the maze they remember just their name. From this point on starts the adventure. This is everything you will see in the trailer.
Based on this alone, the movie flashed three things inside me immediately - "Labyrinth" (1986, David Bowie) - The Maze Runner is written in 2007, but who does not remembers "The Labyrinth"? That was such a huge movie from my childhood. I still own it on blu-ray and the soundtrack on original CD and listen to it often. And I am not the only one, I am sure. And I am sure James Dashner, the author of the Maze Runner books was heavily been inspired by this movie, just he decided to make it darker. Nothing wrong really.
Yes, the movie is based on books, but I never read them. If you just watch the movie you will experience one well narrated story, enough dose of unknown to make you puzzled and wait for the answers to appear, nice effects and not bad music.
The most disappointing for me was the absence of a teaser after the credits. But I can live with it. After all I really enjoyed the movie.
Now as I said, the movie flashed three things inside me and "Labyrinth" (1986) was the first one. Okay, the difference was that in "Labyrinth" they put Jennifer Connelly in the outskirts of the maze, while here they put the kids in the centre. The other two things however were the kids themselves.
The main actor, Dylan O'Brien looks exactly like a very young version of Jean-Claude Van Damme. I am sure he can't do the Van Damme split, but he really does look like him. Maybe a version of Van Damme before "Breakin" (Yes, Van Damme does appear in "Breakin" too).
The other thing is, this movie really flashes back a resemblance to "The Goonies" (1985) to me, because of Blake Cooper. This kid really resembles Chunk from the Goonies (Jeff Cohen). I don't know why, but he is one of the most memorable characters to be from The Maze Runner. Maybe because he is so different from the others.
As I said, I really enjoyed the movie. What I miss is just a little more character development, which I hope to see in the next episode. And I really want somehow Blake Cooper back in the team!!
My final verdict - a very enjoyable teen movie!
Boring, boring, except for the actors.
I love Transformers and everything Transformers, but this movie is an exception. I also never expected to see a boring Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg movie, but here we are. I even have no words to express how boring this movie was. The writer should be fired.
It would be much easier for me to just list what I liked about this movie:
- Mark Wahlberg (of course) - but I love all Marky movies in general. - Nicola Peltz - this chick looks killing. Nothing else on her from me. - Bingbing Li - I must say she not only looks great, but acts great and does martial scenes great. She's the one which added a lot to the fun element of the movie. - Fun - despite being boring, they put lots of fun elements to the movie, mostly jokes.
Most memorable things about this movie:
- Nicola Peltz's eyes and lips. - Bingbing Li's cuteness, eyes, smile and hair. - The fact that they show there could be like two different new story lines.
Worst moment of the movie (***SPOILER ALERT HERE***):
- The resurrection of Galvatron when he rebels the humanity - we have a robot like two stories high, running around and at some point they show human guards which guard in standing position in the foreground, and the huge robot who just came in the background. At some moment the robot fires a projectile. The guards react like one second later. Why this is worse - we have a huge robot, whose metal heavy steps should echo within the building when he walks, not to speak when he runs, let's add he also roars and finally opens fire. Small explosions should be heard too, not to speak about the other noise. Should be code red and everybody should run around like ants, but no - they are guarding peacefully in tranquillity. Well, who knows - maybe they allow the guards in the super- secret facilities to use MP3 players during shifts, don't they?
I can't wait for the next Transformers movie, but please skip this one.
A true LMFAO!
If you haven't laughed recently is just because you haven't seen TED yet! I saw it today. According to the trailers I was expecting to see one of the freshest movies of 2012, but instead truly laughed my a** off! Cannot remember the last time I laughed so much... on "Biodome" (1996) maybe.
I used to die laughing at every TED trailer, which is very uncommon. But the movie has to offer much more. Very predictable overall story line with happy ending, but indeed the true power of TED lies in the way the story is developed, especially the dialogues. There is a very powerful situation comedy (sit-com) screenplay experience hidden behind the movie, in the best meaning of a sit-com. I mean the people behind the movie really put their best.
Speaking of the overall qualities, nice soundtrack, great computer animations of the Ted character and great play of Mark Wahlberg. Must say Mila Kunis appearance was great too. Not really a strong play, but a really sexy Angelina Jolie-esh appeal. Dialogues? Kick a**!
This is my first review where I will not reveal any spoilers and will keep it very short, because I really would recommend you to go and see the movie.
A 2012 must see!