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Coco (I) (2017)
10/10
Stunning, beautiful, colorful, powerful, sad, happy. A joy of a ride.
28 October 2017
I may be biased, since this movie portrayed perfectly what life is all about in a small Mexican town.

Or, perhaps I wanted to see Pixar really get back on the game. Go beyond Up, and make a complete movie that was as beautiful as the first 20 minutes of Wall-E.

I got my wish.

This is the movie I wanted Pixar to make, once again. A movie about what family means. A movie about the choices we make, and the roads not taken.

This is a stunning work of art. It'll move you from happiness to tears, from memories of the past to the joy of the future. To understanding, to remembrance. To the joys and pains of being alive.

I can't even begin to imagine how Pixar made a movie about life and death that is so colorful, so absorbing, so poignant, and so approachable for kids, and with so many layers upon layers upon layers of meaning and significance for adults.

To watch Coco is to love Coco, and to remember the Cocos in your life that are no longer among us.

Thank you, Pixar.
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10/10
Mind blown. I thought I'd never experience Star Wars this way again since 1977
21 December 2016
...when I was 3 years old.

This movie had me literally at the edge of my seat, hands sweaty. I couldn't stop staring at the screen. I felt I was, once again, piloting an X-Wing. I felt the excitement I thought I'd never feel again. I felt fear when the most famous bad**s of all time was back. I was exhilarated. I cried. I cheered. I had a new hope at the end of it all.

This is what the prequels should have been, instead of the garbage Lucas dumped on us. This is what we deserved all along. This is Star Wars, all grown up. And it's better than it ever was.

I'd consider this as good as Star Wars; better than every other movie, and quite frankly, far better than I could have ever expected.

Thanks Disney. You have definitely saved the franchise.
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Ghostbusters (2016)
2/10
A movie can be good or bad, but it should never be boring. This one is.
21 November 2016
You can enjoy bad movies (Manos, Plan 9). You can enjoy good movies (too many to mention).

But one thing a movie cannot ever be is boring. That never works for anyone.

This movie is a major bore. Nothing interesting happens (that you haven't seen before, with way funnier actors). It's a Ghostbusters rehash, with far worse acting. That's it.

The leads have NO chemistry whatsoever. The original Ghostbuster actors were a team inside and outside the set, and it showed. These actors have nothing going for them.

Dialog is boring, acting is boring, everything, everything is boring. It's just a waste of time.

It could have been bad, and it would have been a better movie than this.

Don't even download it from somewhere. It's honestly not worth's anybody's time.
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5/10
This is "The Phantom Menace" of the Independence Day franchise
2 July 2016
Yesterday, I watched ID4 (the original) just to make sure I wouldn't ignore any references on the new movie.

I shouldn't have. Because I was reminded of how silly great the original movie was. It was like a serialized comic book, everything made sense, the pacing was great, the characters were awesome, etc.

The new movie is like a boiling pot of good ideas that fail to impress. I went to see it with my son. When we came out, we started discussing which part was our favorite. We kept scratching our heads - and we couldn't remember a single scene!

The original is full of silly epic moments. The President's speech. The doctor being attacked by the Aliens. Will Smith punching the alien and screaming "WELCOME TO EARTH!"

The new one? My son said "dad, they made the aliens look stupid. They used to be so scary".

That was pretty much the extent of our conversation.

I couldn't imagine how they'd be able to make a bad movie out of the franchise. But they did.

No wonder the movie theatre I went to was basically empty!
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4/10
Awful. For all their money, DC can't seem to make a likable movie about Batman or Superman lately
26 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
First: we all knew Henry Cavill would suck. He sucked before, it was just a matter of time before he was absolutely unlikeable as Superman again.

Second: the minute Ben Assfleck was cast as Batman, we knew we were in deep trouble. He can be a good actor, but here's one word: Daredevil.

Third: Zack Snyder. Need I say more?

While Robert Downey Jr. and the rest create likable characters in a likable universe, with interesting settings and issues, this movie is all about big explosions, bizarre relationships and... well, not much more. Where did the third major player come out from? Why was she there? Where's the rest of the Justice League? Why was it all dumb explosions? Could they have found a dumber Lex Luthor? Why on earth would Batman care so much about what Superman was telling to him in the end?

Why did I waste 2.5 hours, when this movie was so absurd, so empty, so stupid?

Really, Ant-Man is Oscar material next to this. Guardians of the Galaxy is a thousand times better. And those are the small Marvel Universe movies.

Why did they insist on casting Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck is beyond me. They destroyed the franchise before it started.
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10/10
Is this the best Star Wars movie ever?
19 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I was absolutely sure this was going to be an epic failure. Disney. Star Wars. The horrible taste the prequels left us with.

I watched the prequels before watching the movie. They were even worse than I remembered them. Atrocious. Unwatchable.

The best thing that could ever happen was Disney getting Lucasfilm off George Lucas' hands. There. I said it. George Lucas, thank you for not being involved AT ALL in this movie. You almost destroyed Star Wars with the "prequels".

But JJ Abrams and Disney... they created a masterpiece. This is movie is so stunning in so many levels I can only compare it to when I was 3 years old and watched Star Wars in a huge movie theatre. Goosebumps, chills, the whole deal. This movie feels real, looks real, just like the original trilogy did. This is amazing - I couldn't imagine Disney topping "Episode 4" - but in my humble opinion, they did.

Disney, JJ Abrams, everyone involved - feel proud about yourselves. You made me forget the prequels ever existed, and made me feel like a 3 year old kid for 2 hours.

If these guys do Episode 8 and somehow state that the prequels were "some sort of mythology that never happened", I'll be happy for the rest of my life.

10/10
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2/10
Terrible, horrible movie. Make sure you know what it's about, then avoid it at all costs
8 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
First of all - I'm a fan of The Little Prince. I've read it ever since I was a very young kid, and now that I'm a middle aged adult, it still holds tons of surprises and things to thoroughly think about. It may as well be my favorite book ever.

So, when I saw there was going to be an adaptation of the book, I hoped for a somewhat true to the book story. Anything close to it would have been fine by me, really. I mean, the book just doesn't lend itself to a movie, IMHO. It's just too deep and complex, and too simple and sweet at the same time.

The book, to me, it's the sweetest and most delicate balance of what being a human being is all about. What moves us, as seen from the eyes of a wise, sweet, innocent child.

The movie, therefore, is an atrocity and an insult to Antoine De Saint-Exupery. Period. It's the grossest, vilest insult to The Little Prince I could ever imagine.

First - I should have known from the ads. The Little Prince is a little icon, far away from the main characters - The Aviator, The Fox, and... The Girl???? Where did the little girl come from? Apparently, the movie makers thought they just couldn't make a movie without adding extra characters. And then, I suppose, they thought making a movie about the original story would have been too difficult, so they just tossed it all away and wrote an original story about a little girl and her mom.

I wish I was kidding. I'm not. The Little Prince story is just an excuse to move along a primary story about something else. It's treated as an extra, as something superfluous, as something - I guess - they had to do because the movie was named "The Little Prince", If you went in, expecting to watch something related to the real story, you are going to be very, very disappointed.

Second - the story never goes into what makes The Little Prince so special. You get to see the Little Prince traveling through asteroids, talking to his rose, taming his fox. Is any of this explained or explored in detail? No. It is treated as a distraction to the main story. The filmmakers never even bother to explore the symbolism behind the story. It's merely treated as an excuse for telling an alternate story.

Third - and this is where the spoiler goes. The Little Prince is all about love, tenderness, anger, happiness and ultimately, sadness. It's a moving story, told in the sweetest way possible - through the eyes of a small child. What on EARTH were the filmmakers thinking when they threw in action scenes? WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!?!?!? I won't spoil it all, but when I saw scenes straight out of a video game, with violence, planes zooming in and out, adventure, etc., I almost walked out of the theater. The only thing that made me stay there was my child.

Fourth - another spoiler. The aviator was a child with a wonderful imagination, who grew up to become a jaded person. The Little Prince helped him question his beliefs and rediscover a sense of wonder he had lost. In the movie, the aviator is a childish old man. Not "child-like", or full of wonder. The whole point of the book was how an adult can become responsible, knowledgeable, yet retain his sensibility and sense of wonder throughout. Nowhere is this to be seen - the aviator is just like a spoiled, irreverent, incoherent child. Which is even more absurd when you see the real Little Prince's sequences, and you realize how different both versions of the aviator are.

Fifth - another spoiler. If you ever want to see part of your childhood ruined and torn to pieces, go watch this movie. You'll see where The Little Prince ended up. And believe me, you'll want to shout your lungs out at the filmmakers for destroying your childhood image of what his little Majesty would end up like. It's a travesty. It's depressing. It's false. And it's absolutely, completely wrong.

This is the most misguided, insulting and infuriating book adaptation I've ever seen. It's as if Star Wars: Episode 7 was about a kid watching Star Wars: A New Hope 30 minutes at a time. It's just... wrong.

Shame on everyone involved in making this travesty. 2 stars, because the animation showing what The Little Prince was really about was actually very well done.
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5/10
Yet more proof Steven Spielberg is a hack who should be kept away from a camera
28 June 2015
Sure, the action scenes are fun. Let's get that out of the way, because that's pretty much everything that is right about this movie.

Certain people did one or two things right. George Lucas, for example. Steven Spielberg is another. But every single piece of cinema he has done after, say, Jaws, or Indiana Jones, is simply terrible.

Take this movie. Jurassic Park had a certain charm, but once you get past the couple of minutes of CGI, you notice how terrible the movie is. Bad acting, bad plot, terrible acting, ham-fisted approach to storytelling, horrible acting, you name it.

All of this - and more - is in this movie. It's basically a remake of Jurassic Park - it's the exact same premise, with mostly the same characters. Can Spielberg think of anything else other than child geniuses? The story is laughable - you get this feeling that the characters need to do something, fast, and they stop and try to drive the story... slooooowly. The ham-fisted approach is there - characters won't only tell you what is going on, but what exactly is going to happen.

The whole movie feels like a mega-million dollar school project.

Once, I thought Spielberg was an amazing presence in the movie business. But that was 30 years ago. Right now, I can't imagine why people flock to watch his movies. Perhaps because the alternatives are even worse.

Save your time, watch it on video. Better yet, avoid.
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3/10
After a surprising Part I and II, we get The Bore Games
14 June 2015
Most people have already said what is wrong with this movie. But I'll just add - NOTHING happens during the movie. Nothing. I was expecting SOMETHING, anything - all I got was hesitation and doubt from every single character.

That, and the fact that the main character (Katniss) looked scared 100% of the time. She had a single facial expression: OMG. No smiles, no strength, no nothing. For a movie that is supposed to set her up as a hero, this is a disaster. All I could think of what "JEEZ, I get it! You are troubled! MOVE ON!!!".

Terrible. Should have listened to my friends, who said just to skip this one and read the books.
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3/10
Stunningly bad
30 August 2014
I can't believe Disney tried to do a movie like this.

Attempted rape. Murders. Sexual overtones everywhere. A story far too complex and mature for kids filled with talking gargoyles and "funny" characters. It's too boring and scary for kids, and too dumb for adults. What's

But worst of all - the fact that the whole story is acceptance, and the fact that beauty is found within - and yet Esmeralda falls in love with the beautiful stranger, completely ignoring the main character of the film - because he's deformed.

So, I guess the lesson here is - you can be a hero and have a heart of gold, but unless you are handsome and cool, it really doesn't matter.

Easily, the worst Disney animated movie ever made.
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Rock of Ages (2012)
4/10
This is what happens when a boy buys his way towards a leading role
25 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The movie.. is somewhat enjoyable. Tom Cruise really rocks, as does Paul Giamatti, Rusell Brand and Alec Baldwin. They give it their best. Catherine Zeta-Jones shows up in a role that's completely disposable - nothing she does has any relevance on the outcome of the movie, but she's OK.

I don't mind the script at all, either. All I wanted was some rocking music, nice settings and funny one-liners. I was there during the 80's, so I expected the hair bands, the glam, the excess, but all in all, the fun of the whole era. It wasn't that much to ask.

The big issue I had was that, while the supporting characters were awesome, the leads were incredibly dull, bland and awful. It's painfully obvious Julianne Hough has nothing to do with rock, and is more of a country singer. Her style and voice simply have nothing to do with the 80s, or rock. When she comes on screen and asks the audience if they are ready to rock, she should have been boo'ed off the stage. She was just a pretty face without any sort of voice resembling rock. We expected Joan Jett, and we got a fourth rate Dolly Parton. But I could have barely tolerated her, if not for...

Yes, Diego "Boneta" - actually, Diego González. The only reasonhe's in the movie is, well, money. Tons of it. His father, Lauro González, used tobe a big shot on a telecommunications company called SatMex, with close ties to Televisa, the leading TV station in Mexico. His son didn't want to study and wanted to be an actor. So his dad used his money to buy call center time and got his son into something like American Idol, only kid based. The call centers called in day and night voting for Diego Gonzalez - and a "legend" was bought. No talent, no singing voice, no acting ability - only money, and tons of it! The kid hasn't accomplished anything in México. Funnily enough, he may only be remembered for being in a group that was a virtual clone of the "Z-Guyeeez", the band that was mocked during the movie.

If you ever wondered why such a weak character was picked as a lead for this movie, now you know. In my opinion, Gonzalez and Hough destroyed the movie. And that is a shame, because Tom Cruise was simply amazing, and had a voice and personna that simply took over the entire film. His performance is reason enough to watch the movie!
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1/10
Beyond painful. Unfunny, unwatchable, stupid. Awful. Terrible. Why?
18 September 2013
So, first of all. I know Spaceballs is not the Citizen Kane of comedy movies. It's more like UHF - a campy comedy classic that's somewhat under-appreciated, and yet funny after all these years. Quotable; sort of a loving parody of all those movies it lampoons so well.

The cast made the best of a good script. Rick Moranis was funny while he was on screen, Mel Brooks was OK, and the rest of the group played their part to varying degrees of success. Daphne Zuñiga was a better Princes Leia than Princess Leia ever was, actually.

It's a movie I can still laugh at. Not bad, after all these years.

But... THIS?

What in the world is THIS?

The first two episodes are so bad they are actually painful to watch and make you wonder what in the world compelled Joan Rivers and Daphne Zuñiga to agree to appear here. Basically they retell the original story. Except for the fact that nobody is funny. Not even one voice is worthy of a smile. No single line is funny. There's no comedic timing. They almost ad-lib the entire movie, but you finally understand how funny things were the first time around - every joke falls flat because nobody seems to care. The animation? A kid in his basement with Flash could do something better looking. The characters aren't funny at all. Dark Helmet is moronic. Every woman is reduced to a pair of giant boobs jiggling. Planet Spaceball is now "Planet Moron". I mean. Really? "Moron"? That's the joke?

Basically, the whole series remind me of a 5 year old trying to tell an adult joke. He may know the words, but he doesn't know what he's saying.

And that sums up the entire series. To me, it seems as it as made by people who were told they were doing a remake - continuation of Spaceballs, but never got the joke the first time around.

A complete, utter, total waste of animation.
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Planes (2013)
3/10
Come on, Disney. This is not a new movie. This is Cars I and II on air.
14 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
There's one thing to be said about this movie. It made me appreciate Cars a lot more. A LOT.

Why? Because this is Cars I and Cars II, all rolled into one. I'd say it's as enjoyable as Cars II (which I really hated). It's the exact same story with a couple of different things - the hero now comes from the small town. Wait. That's the only difference.

You know, rookie makes it big, wins a race, then finds an old plane who mentors him, and then he goes on a race throughout the world.

It. Is. Cars.

The scenery is straight out of Cars, but far less imaginative, far uglier, far blander.

The characters ARE the same. There's Mater, Doc Hudson, Sally, Chick Hicks, The King, and Lightning McQueen.

Except for one single thing. Cars I looks like a masterpiece of storytelling next to this. Sure, it's formulaic. But character development is awesome, and you truly end loving Doc Hudson and the gang.

I'm sorry to say this, but this is a failure on every single level. I have to admit, it's not as obnoxious as other studios efforts, though - meaning yeah, I watched it and didn't feel the need to walk away from the screen. But I was expecting far more from Disney / Pixar.

Hmm. Brave, Cars II and now this. Disney / Pixar are going downhill fast.
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Man of Steel (2013)
3/10
About as terrible as Superman Returns.
9 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers ahead.

Not even remotely kidding. Not really caring about the comics, all I wanted to watch was a good movie. Something like the Batman reboot. I don't mind if it follows the canon or not, or whatever.I didn't even care if it was Oscar potential. All I asked for is to be entertained.

Nope. Didn't happen at all.

Sure, the SFX are great. And the new suit is OK, I guess. Other than that... what on earth did I watch? I waited and waited. The first half was slow and boring, but I thought it'd build up to a terrific climax. As many pointed out, I wondered about the plot holes (how did Superman know he had to go north? How did Louis Lane fall in love with Superman? How did he do all the amazing feats of strength while near the ship? Why didn't Superman take the battle outside Metropolis? The list goes on and on), but didn't care that much.

What I did care about was - the second half was just explosions and nothing more. Violence, destruction, and that's it. The Avengers was fun because the characters had someone to talk to while mayhem happened around them. Batman was interesting because he had Alfred and the Comissioner around. Superman has.. nothing. All we see are loud crashes everywhere. The action goes by so fast you don't really see a thing.

The characters are completely forgettable. Even Laurence Fishburne is a bore.

I really can't believe this movie had something to do with Christopher Nolan. Batman begins is leaps and bounds better than this movie. I really wanted to like it, but in the end it's just as forgettable as Superman Returns. And that's a really bad thing.

It seems Christopher Reeve will forever be THE Superman, after all.
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9/10
A movie that really took me back to 1980's....
30 November 2012
These movies... animated movies... are so difficult to rate.

Because they all take you places that don't really exist. How do you know it's a good movie when you have no frame of reference? Should you judge them for how they make you feel? Or the worlds they create? Either way - there's so much to enjoy about Wreck-it Ralph I really wouldn't know where to start.

It's just so obvious when you love whatever it is that you do. And it's immediately apparent how much love everyone who was involved with the movie have for video games and animation. To say that Ralph's worlds were perfect would be an understatement - they are reinterpretations of the perfection that the original video games already were. There's one reason why Pac-Man, Q*Bert, Street Fighter, etc. are still in our collective consciousness - and that's because they did everything they could with the very limited resources of the time in the best way possible. But watching them, reinterpreted, on the movies is an awesome sight. "Ralph" shows an entire world where you can lose yourself into, looking for the smallest, tiniest detail you may have just missed.

The story is pretty good and fun; the cameos by every video game character are fantastic, the animation is as stunning as anything. It's such a great movie I can hardly believe it comes from Disney, and not Pixar.
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TRON: Uprising (2012–2013)
9/10
The best product ever to come out from the TRON franchise.
3 November 2012
TRON was a very special movie - combining the earliest efforts of CGI with a storyline that was far too confusing for people of the 80's. It was good; could have been better, but I can't see much to complain. People still remember it three decades after it was made. Very few movies can boast such a claim.

The rest of the franchise has been hit or miss - mostly "miss". TRON 2.0 was a good game, although it was underrated and mostly ignored. TRON: Evolution was a mediocre game with a weak storyline. But TRON: Legacy was the worst of them all - millions of dollars spent on a completely forgettable story with some of the best FX ever made. It was a major disappointment.

Enter TRON: Uprising. I was very intrigued when I saw the teaser trailer on the "Legacy" Blu-Ray - and I was absolutely blown away when I saw the first episodes. This is TRON done right. The animation is nothing short of astonishing - the artistic direction, fluid movements, and incredible set design beat anything that came before on the franchise, and it's quite frankly, the most gorgeous cartoon made for TV I've ever seen. I'd probably not be disappointed if I saw a movie with this kind of quality.

The storyline actually makes sense. What took Disney 1.15 hours to tell during "Legacy", this show tells us in 20 seconds (no exaggeration) - Flynn is nowhere to be found, Clu rules, TRON is missing. That's the way it should have been done in the movies. Each episode is interesting and fills in the details of what happened to the TRON universe during all those years.

Each new episode brings a new surprise - be it story arcs, animation, special effects, music - it's just mind-blowing.

Disney finally did TRON right. It only took them 30 years!
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Frankenweenie (2012)
8/10
Stunning, beautiful, deep, emotional, dark. Tim Burton is back, and yes, he's better than ever.
29 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I have to agree. Ever since Big Fish, Tim Burton seemed to have lost his vision. He was making zany, bizarre works like Alice, but although they had his trademark Gothic look, the stories were sort of boring. The human element that tied together the craziness in Batman or Beetlejuice, the search for life's meaning of Big Fish - he traded it all for huge budgets and epic movies devoid of heart and soul.

"Frankenweenie" is, then, a revelation. Proof that, just as one of the characters in this movie implied, experiments are next to worthless if they are not loved; it's obvious Tim Burton loved this film. It's basically 1984's Frankenweenie, but with even more heart and soul, a bigger, better story, and even more lovable characters. But underneath, it poses strong questions to viewers, and dares to gently challenge our perception of life and death.

I'd dare to say Tim Burton made two endings - one that was as kid-friendly as he could make it, and another one, the real one, which happened 1 minute before it. It was almost as if the movie's ending was a wink to all the parents in the movie theater, telling us "it's all right, kids will love this one", while he had crafted the real one a couple of seconds before it.

I'd say this is at least on par with Edward Scissorhands. It's so great to see an awesome director like Burton getting back on track. Frankenweenie is definitely one of my favorite movies of all time.
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Before Sunset (2004)
10/10
Surpasses the cinematic excellence of its predecessor. A rare delight.
29 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This is quite an extraordinary movie. A single, long shot, running in real time, about life, love, regrets and hopes. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy take their characters and play with them in bittersweet ways - it's the only "romantic" movie where there's not a single kiss on screen, not a single touch, if I recall correctly; and still, it's so poignant, so melancholic, so sad, so brutal, so real... I can't think of any movie that can come close to the way this one portrays relationships.

Jessie and Celine are absolutely real - they are not characters, not actors, they are simply breathing, living persons. They have matured so much since the last time we saw together, and practically every question we as an audience had for them is answered. The way they both gently lead us towards an ending we are somewhat expecting, and then raising even more questions at the end than the first movie is simply brilliant.

I sincerely hope Before Midnight is as good as this movie. I'm sure Linklater, Delpy and Hawke will make it happen.

This is easily one of the best movies I've ever watched.
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6/10
Such an epic disappointment.
17 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
It actually took me years to watch the first 3 Harry Potter movies, which I considered to be aimed straight at kids. Once I did, I really found myself enjoying them (especially Prisoner of Azkaban, IMHO the best of the series), so I decided to get the books.

I've read them twice since them, and found them entertaining - and I thought the first three movies were very faithful to them, given the time constraints.

It all seemed to change with Order of The Phoenix, though. While the earlier movies felt like a story being told, OOP was more like a bunch of disjointed scenes that the viewer had to assemble into a plot. I thought The Half Blood Prince was the worst - from talking with friends, it was obvious there was so much stuff thrown out from the books some things didn't make any sense at all (as if, who cared who The Half Blood Prince was - the movie never made it obvious).

Enter the epic finale. Once I finished reading the last HP book, I was pretty surprised J.K. Rowling actually made simply the best ending I could ever think of, and wondered how it'd look on the big screen. One word: terrible. Director David Yates should have been fired a long time ago (after Half Blood Prince) - and the Deathly Hallows suffers under his helm. It's completely disjointed - even though he had two movies to tell the story, the MAJOR plot points are missing: the real Albus Dumbledore life story, Kreacher's conversion, Snape's story, Harry's decision to seek the Horcruxes instead of the Hallows, the real way Harry defeated Voldemort, the sacrifices some of the characters went through (and the deaths of some major ones) - it's all gone or severely cut, and it was replaced by tons of CGI and lame one-liners.

I suppose WB thought they'd rather go for epic fights, instead of telling the entire story as it was meant to be told, fearing people would not understand it. Sad.

I have to wonder whether people who didn't read the books understand where the mirror came from, why Dumbledore's brother was still angry at him, why Neville killed Nagini when only Ron and Hermione knew they had to, and why Dumbledore used Harry the way he did. I guess not.
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Cars 2 (2011)
4/10
Pixar's Edsel.
26 June 2011
It had to happen. Nobody's perfect, and they had to fail sometime.

And it's not that it's a bad movie. Far from it. It's just that whenever I see Lasseter and Bird's names, the LAST thing I can think about is a mediocre movie. I'm one of the very few people (apparently enough) who LOVES Cars - so I really was waiting for its sequel.

I should have known after watching Tron: Legacy. John Lasseter is losing his magic touch. If he was really involved on that movie's plot, then something happened to his movie-making talent. This, the next movie he's involved in, suffers from the same problems.

I won't spoil the movie for you - you already know what it's all about, anyway. The story is far too complex for a kid (I was left scratching my head at the end about certain things). There are too many new characters to care about. The show is stolen by Mater, and not in a good way - he was funny in the first movie as a supporting character, but he's just not likable enough to carry the movie all by himself; I was expecting a Lightning McQueen movie, after all. When it all comes down to it, the plot is absolutely unremarkable - and that's quite a remarkable thing, considering this is Pixar we are talking about.

I *suppose* this has to do with the Mouse House. Back when Pixar was an independent studio they could do anything they could ever want. Now they are part of a bigger company, and they seem to be following their directions. Why? Well, have you seen Disney's California Adventure? That park was a disgrace, and part of the things they are doing to fix it is creating - yep, you guessed it - Radiator Springs, which will be opened in 2012. I can imagine the pressure was on Pixar to create a sequel to a sort of unloved movie, and as much as Lasseter and Bird tried to create something like The Incredibles, they ended up with, yep, you guessed again, their brand new Edsel.

Here's hope Pixar can do a comeback with their next film.
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TRON: Legacy (2010)
6/10
Fails to capture that special something TRON had
27 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I wouldn't call myself a TRON hardcore fan - I couldn't even crack a single message from their website during their "Flynn lives" viral campaign. Still, I know the movie perfectly well - I watched it on a movie theater when I was 8 years old, and I simply could never get out of my head the Recognizers and Lightcycles. I did master the Intellivision Tron Deadly Discs game, and the movie jump-started my love for all things computer related. I've watched the 20th Anniversary DVD and all the extras far more times than I can care to count. Guess I'm a TRON hardcore fan after all.

I had mixed feelings about this movie. On one hand, a sequel to TRON made all the sense in the world - the original movie correctly predicted plenty of concepts that we now take as granted (the importance of a network, transports, I/O ports, security, etc.), so a sequel could do something similar. The script could basically write itself; back then, writers had one very difficult time trying to convey the inner workings of a computer network to an audience that was not as computer saavy as today (I'd say they sort of failed - TRON's weakest part was its story). Also, Disney couldn't just hire everyone; they weren't the powerhouse they are now, so they had to do with a scrappy team of visionary but amateurish people. Now, with $300 million dollars at their disposal, any actor they could ever want, all the technology they could ever need, Pixar and their creative team, how could Disney make Tron a failure?

If you want an answer to this question, just go watch Tron: Legacy. It IS a failure.

Why? I believe that TRON, as näive and silly as it sometimes is, has its heart in the right place - it always strives to tell a story, and uses technology as both a backdrop and a principal character. It's not technology for its own sake, either - the Lightcycles, tanks, recognizers, and the complete universe of Tron really made you feel as if you were somewhere else. It was completely unlike anything you had ever seen before. The art depicted on the movie was so striking I think it'll be remembered for years to come just because of it. And, as I said before, it correctly guessed at the future of computing. I wouldn't hesitate to call it a landmark movie, even considering all of its problems.

Tron: Legacy is just another product Disney marketing decided to sell. It has no soul whatsoever. It's not innovative or inventive - most of the things you'll see come from other, more successful movies. Examples? The aerial pursuit near the end of the movie is lifted directly from Star Wars. The bar scene is a near perfect copy of the one on Matrix: Reloaded. The attack scenes are also lifted from the Matrix. Jeff Bridges is The Dude in a cybercostume. The rebel kid hacking computers seems like a copy of Terminator 2. At no time did I think to myself "this is something I had never seen in my life", as I did with Tron.

Furthermore, there's no story of any importance whatsoever behind all the CGI. The original TRON dealt with issues we face nowadays in any computer network (well, at least if you are a geek and work with computers). Tron Legacy doesn't even make any effort to predict the future, or to point out at any risks technology poses to people in the XXIst century. It's a completely disposable product, which is sort of enjoyable when you watch it, but can't bear to think about it afterwards. Because it really makes no sense and it doesn't make any important points.

I cannot believe Disney couldn't get someone - anyone - capable of writing a good script, hiring decent actors (Sam Flynn was TERRIBLE) and getting a director with at least a couple of good movies under his belt. The only reason why I give this movie a 7 is because, even though you've seen everything before, it does look great on the big screen. I especially liked CLU - I never noticed I was looking at CGI. Awesome technology.

I'm completely positive this sequel will go down in history as others, such as Blues Brothers 2000, the Star Wars prequels, and Matrix: Revolutions as one of the worst ever made. Sad. It had so much potential it's incredible they actually blew it.
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Tangled (2010)
6/10
Thank you, John Lasseter!
28 November 2010
I clearly remember the last time I was excited about a Disney movie. It was "The Emperor's New Clothes". My son sort of likes "Bolt", but I can't stand it. With Pixar around, who wants to see stuff like "Home on the Range" or "Chicken Little"? In my eyes, Disney was absolutely defeated by Pixar in every conceivable way.

Which is a shame, really, since there are so many great things about Disney - nobody used to be able to tell a story like them, and their hand-drawn visuals do things that CG can't.

So, what happens when Lasseter does Disney? Well, "Tangled". It rocks. It looks awesome - completely distinct than any Pixar film, with a beauty of its own. The story moves slowly at first, but the set-up is well worth it. There's a moment that will probably take your breath away. It was magic, the kind Disney were masters at.

I loved it. While nothing this year was going to be able to beat Toy Story 3 (I mean, why even try?) this is a great 50th film for Disney. They should be proud of themselves. They are definitely back in the game, with a little bit of Pixar magic.
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Toy Story 3 (2010)
10/10
Absolutely stunning ending to the best trilogy of all time
19 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I won't play with words - Toy Story 3 is the best film I've watched in a long time. It may be the best movie I've ever watched, actually - I was amazed, blown away, driven to tears. I laughed, cheered, cried. It made me feel alive, like very few movies before it.

It's no secret - Pixar is the studio that cannot make a bad movie, even if they tried. But this movie goes far beyond anything they have ever done - they have made a CG movie that makes any live action one feel wooden and... fake.

The Toy Story Trilogy is a tribute to every single value that makes us human beings. It has love, friendship, values. It dares to explore the most complex of human emotions via a bunch of plastic toys. It goes places where adult movies rarely dare to go, because they don't have a worthy comment about anything in the end.

Pixar understands human nature, and makes us proud about it. Thank you, Pixar, for devoting your lives and souls to making movies. Thank you for Woody, Buzz, Hamm, Rex, and the rest. Thank you for making me laugh, cry, think and contemplate life. Your legacy will surely not be forgotten soon.
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Boogie (2009)
6/10
Fun, fun, fun
25 January 2010
I never thought a movie about Boogie could be this good. It's so faithful to the comics, it even includes a couple of jokes from them - the best ones I ever read, actually. The drawing style is exactly as I'd have thought Boogie should look like in a movie - Boogie's voice is dry, sarcastic and funny. I'd think as a whole, it's a bit more violent than the comics ever were; nevertheless the whole package is perfectly executed.

It's a terrific tribute to Fontanarrosa's work. Highly recommended (if you ever liked Boogie in the first place - I suppose it's too violent for most people).
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Avatar (2009)
4/10
You've seen it before. It looks better here, but that's about it.
27 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This review is full of spoilers.

You've seen the story before. It's basically "Pocahontas" on some other planet - even with silly song numbers throughout the movie. You've seen the whole "everything is connected to everything else" deal, and glowing effects all around the characters - in the 80's, in "Tron". You've seen the battle between the natives against the evil empire - in "Return of the Jedi". You'll feel a bit ill when you realize you are looking at thousands of Jar Jar Binks on the screen all the time, just like in the prequels. And everything else - you'll just know Cameron simply stole it from "The Matrix" trilogy (right down to the "plug-in" sequences and the human-controlled robots). There's even a "Tank" character, but this time it's a female - and it's also from Latin America! You'll immediately know which characters live and which ones will die at the end. You won't have to guess twice at who the bad guy is. You'll know exactly what will happen and how it will all end.

You'll notice how poor the acting is (come on, the lead from "The Hottie and the Nottie" as a scientist?). You'll be bothered by jumps in continuity ("where did that guy come from???"). And you'll find out that James Cameron simply cannot edit a movie to its proper length, even if his life depended on it - you could cut 1 hour of this one and it wouldn't detract much from what it is.

And you'll have nightmares all over again about Celine Dion - when you listen to the songs on this one. It's "Titanic" music all over again. Same conductor, same style of music. The song at the end is a dead ringer for "My heart will go on". Ack.

Sure, the visuals are awesome - if you catch it on 3D. If you don't, well, you'll be bothered by things that you just know should be jumping out at you, but in 2D, they look like someone's afterthought.

6 stars, only because it looks awesome. But I bet I'll forget about this one in 2 or 3 months, tops.
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