Friday, December 28, 2012

MY TOP 10 BEST MOVIES OF 2012 (NOW WITH VIDEO)



It has come to this, My Top 10 BEST MOVIES of 2012! Unfortunately It may not be the best list as anyone else because the great movies  like Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained probably because they are going to be released very late in the country I live in (Some in January and some comes out 2-3 months after) but now I need to put this out there now since we are reaching the end of the year and there weren't any great movies that I have seen recently to put here in this list. But before we go to the list itself we go through the forgotten, the honorable mentions, the movies that couldn't be in the list because of it got... well... Outmatched... Another thing, like i said in my Worst of 2012 list, You and I may or may not agree to something. I might sound like a douche, I respect your opinion but this is my list after all and lastly I will have a tribute video soon, I'm working on it and I will update this post soon.





 HONORABLE MENTIONS



 Rise of The Guardians 

Rise of the Guardians; is a uniquely visualized animated movies (besides #8), It has great characters that are very well thought out (though I still doubt Jack Frost's design to appeal to women), an engaging enough story that really touches on  your childhood a lot (that sounded wrong). But unfortunately it got beaten by no.10 and I would've loved this movie to be in no.10 at least.

Dredd


2012 has many surprises and Dredd is one of them when it comes to Comic Book Movies (and other genres in general), It is a prime example of an enjoyable action movie with a simple linear plot and badass action (and characters).


End Of Watch
(UNFORTUNATELY NOT IN THE VIDEO)

End of Watch is very underrated to be honest, This is a modern buddy cop movie that makes the movie atleast look good for the genre and also (somewhat) re-defines the found fooage genre, it was entertaining, surprisingly intense and well told.

Chronicle

Chronicle was something that re-defined the found footage genre, the found footage genre that would come out in theaters are either about ghosts that can't even be seen until the last second of the film or aliens on the moon. The genre is getting tiring but Chronicle somewhat re-defined the genre along with End of Watch this year. Chronicle was something new to grace the screen for the genre and it told a story of a whiny kid (who has been through a lot) that becomes an asshole because of the power he gained than George Lucas' Anakin (who is very similar to Dane Dehaan's character but badly told). I thought this could have been no.10 but the spot got beaten by it. In the end this was still able to get an honorable mention from me and that's good enough. 

10. Cloud Atlas and Rurouni Kenshin Samurai X (A Tie)

Cloud Atlas was something to think about putting in this list to be honest, Cloud Atlas is unique enough to be in the no.10 spot, The movie has some flaws but In the end the movie still stood out giving a message and i was very entertained by some segments, I was still confused by some parts (especially the further future segment because of the dialogue) but I believe i got enough. Overall I thought it was a challenging yet fantastic movie (And yet that is the title of the review)  but Rurouni Kenshin is as good as this and I can't choose so i made it a tie.



RUROUNI KENSHIN - SAMURAI X

It's been years I've been waiting for a faithful adaptation to an anime for long years and we finally have it and it came out as not just the best adaptation to an anime but also an exciting and interesting take on an Anime classic. But I do wish this is in the top 10 list (trust me the reason why this list took long for me to write because of switching this and Cloud Atlas in the spot).








9. Cabin In The Woods

Cabin In The Woods, Is one of the biggest surprises i had this year. A Horror movie that takes it's extremes in making fun of the horror cliches and genres (almost) seriously (more serious than the Scary Movie films). It was executed very well and it ends up being my favorite horror movies of the year.

8. Wreck-It Ralph

Speaking of making fun of a specific genre we move on to Wreck It Ralph a movie that is also another surprise due to the fact that it features retro videogames in this Toy Story type of storytelling. It's well made from animation to writing and I thought that it was very entertaining and enjoyable.

7.  Skyfall

Skyfall, This movie literally goes back to basics and it is very welcoming to have James Bond back in a more personal story. It has great performances from Daniel Craig and Judi Dench as always but this time they have a villain in this modern Bond movie that actually stood out as probably one of the greatest Bond villains of an extensive series.

6. Looper

Looper is one of those movies that literally came out of nowhere. I was happy to go in this movie blind and end up enjoying the film without knowing what is going to happen next. It has great performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis (who is surprisingly good) and a kid who is not annoying at all (a damn good actor for his age). It is probably one of the best time-travel movies we ever have in modern cinema so far...

5. The Avengers

People will be pissed for me putting this movie in the number 5 spot but this is how high the movie can get. This year we had a great year of Superhero Movies (Fuck, Ghost Rider) and The Avengers was the epitome of Superhero Team movies. It was entertaining and nerdgasmic from start to finish and it was definitely something to watch again and again on the big screen.

4. Argo

Ludicrous is the best word to describe the even based on this movie and this movie alone, because that's the best way to describe it. It's mind blowing to know that this event did actually happened in real life using this crazy plan and I thought the filmmakers executed it very well in this movie. It is intense and entertaining at the same time with great performances from Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, John Goodman and many more. Ben Affleck shows that he can make great movies and be a great actor at the same time.

 3. Moonrise Kingdom

I know it's a big surprise that an unknown movie like this will be in my Number 3 spot, here is why it deserves to be in this spot. This movie is what i call ballsy but also very unique for a children's film (in fact I don't even know If i should even be calling this a children's film) and you rarely see that in children films nowadays.



2. The Dark Knight Rises


The Dark Knight Rises continues  to show how effective Nolan's version of Batman's world is and by this movie I thought that it illustrated the effectiveness well enough despite some little plot flaws here and there. It is still the best ending to an epic trilogy and it definitely deserves  to be in the Number 2 spot of the list.


1. The Perks of Being A Wallflower

The Perks of Being A Wallflower shows that in a movie adaptation the movie can actually be better than the source material (People might disagree on this). I thought that it is worthy to be in the no.3 spot because of how unique of an adaptation it is with really great performances from Ezra Miller, Logan Lerman and Emma Watson as they made me feel welcomed in this group of people and the world itself. This is easily the best movie i've seen this year.



And that was my list of the best Movies of 2012, Like i said with might disagree on things here but i will respect your opinion leaving that part away now. 2012 was a very good year for movies, there were more ups than downs this year and there are many surprises as well. to all my readers, I thank you very much for giving me a good start for this blog, I look forward for more fantastic years with you guys and girls. Thanks Again! 

So What Is Your Top 10 BEST MOVIES of 2012? Talk about it down below and let me know (please I sound lonely in this blog).


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

FISTS AND SWORD FIGHTS GALORE

MOVIE REVIEW - RUROUNI KENSHIN: SAMURAI X

By:
G.P. MANALO

Starring:
Takeru Sato

Emi Takei

Teruyuki Kagawa


Rurouni Kenshin: Samurai X - Tells the story of a wanderer named, Himura Kenshin who was once called Hitkori Battosai (Battosai - The Man Killer), a feared warrior of the war. He meanwhile realized that he had enough of killing and moves on to wandering the lands, walking away from  the men who wants to destroy him. But one day as he go through this small village, he runs into a woman named Kaoru who recognized him and he meanwhile found himself endangering her and the people around him when many found out about him as he gain new friends by his side and encounter old enemies.



Rurouni Kenshin is probably one of the most anticipated movies for me this year. Hence I finally watched it, Despite the fact that it was only exclusive to SM Cinemas i was still able to go out of my way and watch this movie and I have to say this movie exceeded all of my expectations. A little brief history about me and Samurai X, When i was a young kid i remember having 4 VHS tapes of old animes I think i can remember having Samurai X, Pokemon (1st Gen), Dragonball Z, and Voltes V. But Samurai X was probably the most forgettable one in my childhood. But years later (With a bit of an older perspective about anime) I was able to catch the Tagalog dubbed episodes in HeroTV and I was very interested and entertained by it and when i first heard last year that they are making this movie, I was very hyped about it (and surprisingly 90% of the population of Filipino anime fans did too) but i digress. Seeing the first trailer I fear that this movie will be very.... Convoluted. That is always my expectation going into some old cartoon/anime adaptation (some didn't but still ended up being horrendous). In the trailer they showed 4-5 different villains and this is in the span of many episode storylines. Did that happen? Not really, the movie felt linear to the fact that i was able to catch up with all the things going on in this movie.




This movie has some tones here and there that were uniquely handled, Like most (maybe not the most) of the movies the reason why we see some dead or classic 70s, 80s, or 90s movies is because they thought it 's a good idea to bring them back in a REALISTIC,DARK and GRITTY tone while the other tone reminds me a lot of that old school Samurai Cinema. Both were handled surprisingly well as I'd like it to be.The Samurai X anime is famous for it's intense sword fights, despite the fact that sometimes it is a little anti-climactic (at some point of the anime) because of how overpowered the protagonist is but here there was one anti-climactic scene by the end of the movie. The action in this movie is well choreographed, Every fight scene is intense and beautiful (like how my friend described it). The choreography (thankfully) retires from one slash exploding group of men (like in the anime) moves and goes through naturally choreographed sword fights. The action of this movie is intense as it is very well-shot it is not that shitty shaky-cam stunt that you would see in action movies nowadays. Sweeping shots of Kenshin going through an army of warriors, Swords (and a minigun) pointing at you, Japanese Landscape, were just amazing to look at. 



In the writing/directing department I do wish I speak Japanese (fully) to appreciate the writing of this movie but this movie was Subbed in English and by the dialogue that i did read was not bad, sounded cheesy at some point (Hopefully it doesn't in Japanese) but solid writing. The director and writer definitely felt like they are familiar with the source material, They were very loyal to it and they were able to deliver a very well-adapted anime. And the last thing to talk about is the acting, Like i said I do wish I speak/understand Japanese fully to judge this department but the acting in this movie are either in the scale of natural, solid or over the top (In a good way). I can say that everyone did a good job bringing the characters to life in this live action movie. Sato sporting the charm of Kenshin is fun to watch along with Emi Takei's Kaoru. Also fun to watch, Teruyuki Sagawa. I can tell that he had so much fun playing the role of  a flamboyant and ruthless businessman, Takeda and to me he is pretty much the one who stood out in this film. But last but not the least (my favorite character in the anime) Sagara Sanosuke being played by Munteka Aoki is also fun to watch as he brings out a performance of an overly-confident and prideful warrior who carries a big-ass sword.

In the end, Rurouni Kenshin is a miracle to anime fans (er... Otakus), It's well adapted, The filmmakers were able to deliver a well crafted anime adaptation to such a beloved series. The movie may be long (it being a 2 1/2 hours long yet almost close to being 3 hours long) but with all of the entertaining action  you will find yourself not looking at your glow in the dark watch and enjoying the scenes on the screen. This is probably the best anime adaptation to date. Somethings may have been anti-climatically rushed at some point of the movie that was the only gripe i have. The movie does look like it is open for a sequel and if so... Hopefully it is either as good or better than this one. Fans will be very pleased with this movie, while non-fans might find this as a very interesting piece of filmmaking.

THE GOOD:

+WELL SHOT AND CHOREOGRAPHED ACTION
+CINEMATOGRAPHY
+THE BEST ANIME ADAPTATION WE HAVE SO FAR
+GOOD PERFORMANCES

THE BAD:

-ANTI CLIMACTIC EXITS (AT SOME POINT)
-RUSHED PARTS

MY RATING:
4.9/5 - SO CLOSE! (FOR THE WIN!)

DID YOU ALSO WATCH THIS MOVIE? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT, COMMENT BELOW! LET ME KNOW!




Tuesday, December 25, 2012

TOP 10 WORST MOVIES OF 2012


Every Year you can't really expect a good movie, There has to be that kind of movie that pretty much tips the scale of good and bad movies of the year. This is my list of The bad, the Worst, The Terrible, The Shittiest, The Horrible movies of the year 2012. Fair warning, You might think that you like this movie in the list but it is MY list of Bad movies of 2012 in my opinion (not to be sounding like a dick or anything). 


10. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

I know I praised some of the things of this movie but that was just very few pros of the movie but alas the cons still outweighs the pros. Sure it was entertaining... For the most part but it was still a movie that never tried to at least have good direction (even if they had good directors working on this movie)  or at least exert a little more effort to deliver a good movie but instead it was people standing around just waiting for something to happened (and when it did happen it was actually a pretty entertaining fight scene).

9. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

As much as I hate this movie for having Nic Cage spewing out terrible dialogue and delivery (same to the cast). I still enjoyed the action scenes and the CGI of this movie, that being said that's not saying much now is it? It was still a bad Comic Book Movie (The only bad comic book movie of the year). 

8. Underworld Awakening

This movie shouldn't be done in the first place, the second one felt like everything ended now and you don't know what's next. The rise of the Lycans movie wasn't bad as i expected it to be but this one was just really bad filler. It was boring for the most part, The action was very bland and at some point it looks silly and incomplete. 

7. The Lucky One

Call me heartless or a person who doesn't understand love but this movie is just the same cliche and cheesy movie over and over again, When I got in this movie, I literally predicted everything the movie will give me, details like the setting and the progression of this movie. I appreciate the first 2 Nicholas Sparks movies like A Walk to Remember and The Notebook but the more movies it keeps pushing through the theaters, the less interest i have left for movies like this (and novels). Atleast The Vow is somewhat different...

6. Paranormal Activity 4


This movie is literally what I like to call a cash-grab, the sole purpose of this movie is to get this movie made and get it out there just for money because the past 3 movies are actually a big hit. The first movie I thought was something done for one movie (because you don't want it to end up like The Balir Witch Project who ends up having a DVD released sequel). But it proved me wrong the second one I enjoyed and the third one is pretty solid and it should end there... BUT NO! There has to be a fuckin' 4th one! This one is just boring and the same shit all over again with more strings to pull off the jumpscares.

5. Silent Hill Revelations 3D



I enjoyed the first Silent Hill film, I thought it was close to being a good videogame adaptation but it wasn't good enough to claim the title. But this on the other hand is an example of how Video Games movies are done nowadays and it is just having a story that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, Characters that are from the Videogames crammed in there for no reason at all but to live up to the title of this movie. and bad 3D (the 3D is so horrible and I can't even tell what the hell was going on in the dark parts of the movie).

4. Taken 2


Taken 2, Is yet another cash grab movie we have in this list. Man, I would be happy about this movie being atleast a good action movie but it didn't try, I had my hopes up but the movie brought it down flat to the ground. It was a rather bland, senseless movie that i think is another good rental (too bad I didn't give that rating). I would've enjoyed this for the action alone but I couldn't tell what's going on with so many jump cuts. 

3. Resident Evil: Retribution


*sigh* only one movie left, If you read my review you know how angry I was with this movie (having the Resident Evil game franchise close to my heart). This movie is another senseless, badly acted, poorly told movie with some good enough action scenes here and there (despite the fact that they keep ripping off the Matrix) but really this movie is so bad that I thought i wasted a lot of money on this.

2. The Three Stooges

The Three Stooges, from the start hearing news about it (hell they even got this in my school's news journal at some point) I was never on-board with it and when i saw the trailer having it in "modern-day" (having the ******* Jersey Shoe cast in there) Is exactly why I'm afraid that this movie will turn out to be bad than i imagined it to be. And it ends up exactly what I'm expecting a terrible and unfunny movie. The kind of comedy the Three Stooges works for it's time and I did laughed my ass off watching the old reels but having it in modern day setting took out the magic (like HFR 3D to the Hobbit). I felt like i wasted an hour and a half of my life sitting through this unfunny movie that they call a  comedy. 

1.Piranha 3DD

Yes everyone knew this was coming, Piranha 3DD is such a terrible movie, so terrible it's number one in my list of the Worst Movies of 2012. This is just an insult to cinema, I don't care if the "director" of this movie is self-aware that this is a bad movie and he will make a bad movie, that is not an excuse to put this piece of shit out there. I can appreciate seeing naked women but I ain't paying big bucks to see it in the cinema and in bad 3D. Call me all you want for not liking that part of the movie but this is just a horribly made film.


And that was my list of the worst movies of 2012, I will have my Top 10 best of 2012 list by the end of January (Unfortunately) I still have to see a few movies (that happens to be getting released in January) that I would see If it is worthy to be in the list but so far... What do you think are the worst movies of 2012? Comment below let me know! (Please I sound lonely in this blog)





Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WELCOME BACK



MOVIE REVIEW - THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (HFR 3D)

By:
G.P. MANALO

STARRING:

MARTIN FREEMAN

SIR IAN McKELLEN

RICHARD ARMITAGE

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Takes place 60 years before the events of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It tells the story of the adventure of Bilbo Baggins with Gandalf and 13 Dwarves as they re-claim the land named Erbore that was lost by those Dwarves by a Dragon named, Smaug. 

After having great fear of this movie living up to the reviews I finally went out of my way to watch the movie and I have to say the movie actually did for 5 reviews of people I know (and I read and watched 10 reviews actually). I can see why they hate but there were things where they very much overlooked some of the things here and there.

But to get one thing out of the way I have to talk about this “game-changing technology” called the HFR, now the HFR is a new cinematic format that is very high-definition that was filmed in 48 frames per second (Normally, Films would be filmed in 24 frames per second)  and if I would describe it in one phrase it would be “The HD TV of Cinema” and by the first scene (Even the Warner Bros. and MGM logo) you can tell it’s definition showing vibrant colors and smooth panning showing vast landscapes. And I have to say it looks beautiful but it does have its flaws. And that flaw is being too “surreal” sure the landscapes looked vibrant and beautiful to look at but you can tell that the landscape you are looking it is a green-screened set and it shows when everyone went to Rivendell (the background and special effects looked like something a big-budget BBC show can do), the special effects look very incomplete at some point and the CGI characters like the trolls, flying eagles and the goblins look very cinematic in a way that they are cinematic characters for video games. That being said it takes away the experience of being convinced that this is a real world and these are real people on an adventure while fighting goblins and interacting with certain characters. I can definitely see why people are badly criticizing it, and it is because the technology ruined the experience, but you can still get some really good shots, clear action scenes and the technology actually made the 3D look good, It is smooth though it does feel like the movie is being fast forwarded in 2x speed. But it being the first time of putting this technology out there hopefully they can find a way to make this use of the technology better in future movies. I like that they are experimenting on the technology, giving us something new but for now, it is a mixed bag.

Also, To be perfectly honest I have not read The Hobbit book fully, I only read a few pages of it in a book store (I’m that cheap) therefore I won’t be able to compare this to the book (which I shouldn’t be doing).

With that out of the way how was the actual movie? It was just good. I can hear the fear in an LOTR fan’s voice (Implying that I actually have people reading my blog) of an LOTR movie being just good  is just dreadful to hear but it is what it is and it is just good because it did have it flaws of progression. As an LOTR fan, We would all know that this movie (being the first) is the big set up to the world of Middle Earth and the characters that the movie will center around and  it kinda-sorta did the job well enough for some characters old and new, old-characters being re-introduced like Bilbo, Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond, Smeagol and some other people I won’t spoil did a great job re-introducing them in different versions (will explain later) while new characters like the 13 dwarves, Radigast the Brown, Goblins, and an Orc king that I unfortunately forgot his name. But Bilbo is the one who stood out in this film because he made a tremendous job being Bilbo Baggins, Perfectly casted as Martin Freeman. You believe that he is this uptight Hobbit that soon rises up as this adventurous loving and fighting Hobbit throughout the movie. The amount of development they gave his character really built him up to be the heroic type. While, Gandalf…. If you thought Gandalf was a badass in the original trilogy wait till’ you see Gandalf in this movie, Sir (yes you have to add “sir” in his name now) Ian McKellen continues to give out a great performance being a wise old wizard. Though as much as I thought of Martin Freeman stealing the show, Andy Serkis as Smeagol/Gollum (like Gandalf) continues to steal every scene he is in and that scene being (say) 10-15 minutes of screen time. With advanced CGI Technology we have now, Smeagol looks incredibly detailed there was one very scene where Bilbo and Smeagol exchanges riddles at each other and I thought that it was such a fun scene and I could even watch it forever (If there was an Extended Cut, Hopefully we’ll have more riddles) It’s that good. There was that one particular scene in “Riddles in the dark” where Smeagol actually had (I counted) 5 different expressions done by Andy Serkis and it flowed very well as they go together and it proves that Andy Serkis is a very great CGI actor. But last but not the least we have Thorin Oakenshield, Right off the bat he is a badass and they illustrated very well in this movie and hopefully continues building up that kind of character like how they built up Aragorn’s character in the Original Trilogy. In the end, Everyone (Especially the cameos) were all pretty good for the time they have in this movie.



That being said the movie also introduced us to new characters as well. The 13 dwarves (besides Bilbo) are the center point of this film, when I did said a while ago that “it kinda-sorta did the job” basically implies that  some characters were under-developed and you wished they were developed well enough in this first part, because this is the first part after all the big introduction, that warm welcome that the movie is giving you yet the movie didn’t do a good job for some characters, you can say that this movie still have 2 parts in this trilogy but then again thinking about hopefully they will develop some of the dwarves, there were dwarves in the movie that was just a character in the background. Speaking of under-developed characters, Radigast the Brown…. This guy (from early reviews) was being called “The Jar Jar Binks” of this movie, At some point I can see why but he is not that annoying as I was told that he is. I do wish they handled a little bit better, The way they introduced him is just this  guy healing hedgehogs and  (oddly enough) letting birds shit on his head, I pretty much thought that he’d be some sort of Forest Guardian (which he is but) that can heal animals (more than hedgehogs) but all I get is a guy eating shrooms, healing hedgehogs and riding a rabbit sled.



That being said, we go to the flaws of the movie. The biggest flaw in this movie is the pacing, When I first saw the run-time of this movie in the cinema it was (I believe) 3 ½ hours long and I didn’t know how will that turn out but when I finally saw it the progression was very slow. It takes a while to go through the point of this adventure in this it’s more of a build-up of the relationship of Bilbo to this group of people it is interesting thought at some point I do wish they cut out a few scenes, some scenes bothered me because of the fact that it felt very unnecessary, very unnecessary that it should’ve been in the Extended Edition  (If there will ever be any) for the movie. The movie did feel like the Extended Edition of the movie, It was that long and slow, it did caught my interest a lot of times but it didn’t at  few points of the movie.­ The first hour was kinda weak but the last hour (maybe 2) was exactly what you thought the movie should’ve been. But then again, i f i would compare this to the LOTR Trilogy, the LOTR Trilogy had a lot of down time to focus on meeting characters, thinking about plans, and going through some more character developments, they were all interesting in those movies. But here it was overly long and at some point nothing happens at all while some characters end up looking like they belong to the background. You will still be entertained by some visual scenes of action here and there and some comedic dialogue (which there are lots, but then again this is based on a children’s book). Also you will be entertained by the songs in the movie, my friend told me (who is a bigger LOTR fan than me) the songs were exactly in the book though they were shortened (then again he did say one song lasted 15 minutes long). Howard Shore also continues to deliver a really eargasmic score, though he did re-use some in the old ones (some remixes, some obviously re-used).

Overall, despite its flaws I still enjoyed the first part of The Hobbit, It being the first out of three is it worth the being stretched into three despite the fact that it is only 345 pages long? Too early to say really, Maybe director Peter Jackson will make some curve balls of his own to really connect to the Trilogy as he sprinkle his own ideas for the world of Middle Earth. It's slow but when the last hour kicks in, the wait pays off. Peter Jackson welcomes us back to world of Middle Earth with old and new faces. Hopefully we will see some more development as we continue to journey on to this adventure with Bilbo, Gandalf and the 12 Dwarves. I would recommend you'd see this, just note that if you're not in to lengthy movies or never a fan of The Lord of The Rings at all this movie won't change your mind about the series. 

THE GOOD:

+ENTERTAINING
+GREAT PERFORMANCES
+GREAT VISUALS
+BEAUTIFUL CINEMATOGRAPHY
+EARGASMIC SCORE

THE BAD:

-HFR 3D NEEDS A LITTLE MORE ADJUSTMENT IN FUTURE FILMS
-PACING ISSUES
-SOME SCENES SHOULD HAVE BEEN CUT OUT OFF THE FILM

MY RATING:

4/5 - WIN!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

CHALLENGING

       MOVIE REVIEW - CLOUD ATLAS


by:
G.P. Manalo

STARRING:

Tom Hanks

Halle Barry 

Jim Strugess

Cloud Atlas - Tells the story of a cast of people who are living their lives in different timelines that happens to be connected to each other

Cloud Atlas is one of those brainy movies that we’d get year after year, that also take a lot of thinking to it, and a lot of listening and watching skills to watch this movie. Getting that away this movie is very polarizing, I don’t really know if I love or hate this movie at all. But I digress, I thought that this movie is a mixed bag but with more good than bad things inside that mixed bag. And If you did not understand that phrase let me just tell you that in detail.

From the first 5 minutes of this movie it literally throws in a lot of story from the different timelines right off the bat, some shows how it end in the beginning of the first five minutes and some shows how it began it is very confusing from the start but as the film progresses they show you each story connects to each other, the ideas, the symbolisms of the film is showing. If I would give my 50-cents to the idea/symbolisms of this movie (I may be wrong) is having each of the people going through extremes and how those extremes can be a huge impact to the future, How your free-will is being turned down by the people around you and how powerful love is, I may be wrong but that’s actually what I got from the movie.



But the problem of the process is the fact that there were scenes in the middle of those segments that doesn’t need to be there up to the point that it confuses the audience of what is going on (especially in the first five minutes), this is always a flaw to some Wachowskis movies where they place unneeded scenes at the wrong time (There were a lot in Speed Racer), I believe that’s one of my gripes I have with the movie, This movie is lengthy and they do show messages a lot in each segments but I believe that some things should’ve been shortened to deliver that said message somehow. Secondly, It felt unnecessary to have some people being the same people in these different timelines but It felt unneeded for that especially how different their concepts of re-incarnated selves, It’s awkward to see how silly Hugo Weaving looks in a womanly incarnation (or a white Halle Barry) as much as I’m happy to see him in that it’s just awkward to see him look like that and also some other actors who are forced to look Asian in the Japanese-near future segments.



The Wachowskis (since they are not brothers anymore) are always known for their visually entertaining scenes hence we had The Matrix, Speed Racer, Ninja Assassin from them in the past few years. The visuals in the movie are visually entertaining, the vast sets of the jungles in the further future, futuristic Japan in the near future and so on. The action is well directed and thought out. Speaking of well-directed, The acting. The acting in this movie is very unique since one actor is going to be 5-6 different characters are just a joy to see. But the joy to see someone do this is Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks is enjoyable for most scenes either him being an asshole or a heroic lover. But also a joy to see is Jim Broadbent the segments of him escaping an Old Folks home is probably the most enjoyable segment of the rest, It gives a bit of life at some point of the film. I’m not really going to detail about all of the cast because this movie literally has a humongous cast of people, but to me Tom Hanks and Jim Broadbent did stood out in this movie (along with Hugo Weaving and Jim Strugess). But what surprisingly hit me as well is Ben Wishaw and James D’Arcy’s segment, Not only did their segment introduce this brilliant score “The Cloud Atlas Sextet”  but also delivers a very emotional (even if they are both gay in this movie) story out of all of the segments in this film.

In the end this is not the masterpiece everyone is saying nor is it the shit train everyone is saying as well but this is a very interesting and great film we have this year. It is confusing at first, but once you take a day or two to connect the dots somehow you end up either being confused (still) or appreciate the movie at least, I can’t really recommend this movie to the simple minded (I swear I’m not calling you an illiterate or stupid person) because this is a rather challenging movie you would ever see this year, If you do consider watching this movie please keep that in mind. This movie does have its flaws but it is a great and challenging movie that I have seen this year or maybe so far in my life.

THE GOOD:

+BRILLIANT PERFORMANCES
+GREAT SCORE
+GOOD VISUALS
+WELL DELIVERED MESSAGES
+SOME ENJOYABLE SEGMENTS

THE BAD:

-VERY UNNECESSARY THINGS BEING DONE THROUGHOUT THE FILM

MY RATING:

4/5 – WIN!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

NOT THAT DARK AND GRITTY



MOVIE REVIEW:
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS


By:
G.P. Manalo

Starring:
 
Chris Pine

Alec Baldwin

Hugh Jackman

Isla Fisher

Rise of the Guardians - The Guardians are these holiday characters such as Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Sandman, and The Tooth Fairy who protects the children of the world as long as those children believe in them. But when the Boogeyman/Pitch continues to give the children nightmares, threatens and destroys the plans of the Guardians, they found themselves having a new member of their team... Jack Frost.

I wasn't expecting much for Rise of the Guardians when the trailers came out for this movie, I just thought that this looks very generic and stupid but that was the first trailer, when they showed the second one I thought that it look pretty good and surprising that they added one character in the movie. But then again I wouldn't be expecting much because if last year's "Arthur Christmas" (which is almost similar to this movie) did teach me anything it wouldn't be never to expect anything from the first trailer (and ends up surprising me). And I ate all of my words, this is actually a great movie. Theres a lot of heart and layers in this movie, there are also things that may surprise you.  And I have to say I thought this is a very enjoyable movie.

If there is one phrase that i keep hearing from other critics it is the fact that they are calling this movie "The Avengers for Children" (Implying that 100% of the population of children haven't seen The Avengers). I can see that but i think it should be called "The Avengers with Folklore Characters" (then again the Boogeyman in this movie had that Loki-Vibe to him). In fact you can tell that this is a children film with It’s simplicity of the jokes, the storytelling and such. So there was this kiddy vibe to it. Visually I thought the movie is beautiful, the animation is smoothly done especially the action scenes in this movie, I thought the character designs were simplicity at it's best (though Tooth Fairy looking like a hummingbird seems off), And for an Animated movie this has pretty good Cinematography, Little did i know the Artistic Consultant is the same guy who did the Cinematography for Skyfall (And other famous movies like Shawshank Redemption and *Insert Coen Brothers Movie here*).  I did not see this movie in 3D,  The theater i went to doesn't have the 3D version of this movie, which is pretty disappointing because i heard so much praise of how good the 3D is. I can tell that you will get tons of shots here and there that will blow your mind (Just by the Dreamworks Opening). 
"Women will only watch this movie to see me..."

I love how this world is created, the character designs and ideas being put to those characters are probably the cleverest things I have seen on-screen in an animated film for a long time (Wreck-It Ralph is like a month ago now, does that feel like a long time?). Guillermo Del Toro, did a fantastic job visually with this movie. I love how each and every character would have, their own thing to do, having their own stories. They are still the same folklore characters that we know and loved (and forgotten in time) but the creators did their own take on each and every character. It’s like Nolan’s Batman, It’s the same character that we all know and loved but there are some changes from someone else’s idea that makes him the dark and gritty Batman we know now (Not implying that the characters in this movie are as dark and gritty as Batman, but you get the idea). The writing in this movie was good, I love how each character interacts with each other (It’s like someone consulted with Joss Whedon for the writing at some point) . But Comedically-Speaking in this movie, the Comedic dialogue is definitely child-ish though there weren’t any fart or shit jokes that Dreamworks usually do in their movies there were just weak comedic dialogue though there were a few jokes here and there that I did chuckle though they were done by characters in the background (like those walking and talking chicken nuggets in Despicable Me). But I had to accept what it is, having those kind of dialogue be uttered by these characters since this movie is for kids. Characterization wise, I thought everyone is a badass in this movie like The Avengers everyone had their moment to shine though, Tooth Fairy felt weird as a character in this movie on how they emphasized her obsession on teeth (they did explain why but it was just.... egh). I also like the fact that they center around that sense of childhood, believing in something and I loved how it is emphasized in this movie, There was at one point where I felt like a kid again. And I’m a sucker for movies that do that to me lately.

The voice acting in this movie is pretty top-notch, There were many voice actors that I did recognize though some you can tell that it is them who are voicing that certain character, but Alec Baldwin really stole the show with his Russian accent for Santa Claus. And also Jude Law as Pitch, I thought was done very well also, His character in this movie is definitely the Loki of this movie (having said that this movie is The Avengers with Folklore Characters). Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Sandman and The Easter Bunny were badass in this movie and I also like how each character interact with each other but putting them out of the way. Jack Frost is the center of this movie, at first I thought that he’ll be centered way too much, he is but not as much as I was thinking he will be. The characters in this movie were developed enough, despite the fact that they center this whole character when this is a team-based movie, you can still feel that these characters are a team in the end. I liked how they made Jack Frost as an actual person throughout the movie and another good job of the creators to do that. I thought Chris Pine, Isla Fisher were pretty good with their voices and Hugh Jackman sporting his homeland accent is great yet recognizable since he sounded like an Australian Wolverine (I mean the comic book character not the Animal).

In the end this is Dreamworks’ quality animated films, they retire from pop culture references here and there and sticks to them making a very quality adventure movie. This year is basically a year for quality animated films, with films such as this along  with Wreck-It Ralph, Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, Brave, and Paranorman all example of quality animated movies we have this year, In fact this is going up there with How to Train Your Dragon and the first  two Shrek Movies in my good Dreamworks Animated Films of all time. Rise of the Guardians surprised me, It is an enjoyable film, surprisingly action-packed, well voice acted, outstanding visuals, the simplicity of it made this movie great all in all. And in the end I loved it though there were some minor problems such as pacing problems for quite a little bit in the movie, there were some kiddy clich├ęs too that feels uncomfortable to watch but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. I highly recommend you see this movie with your family,whether it's your parents, wife or kids they might find themselves enjoying this movie.
THE GOOD:
+OUTSTANDING VISUALS
+AMAZING ANIMATION
+TOP-NOTCH VOICE ACTING
+SIMPLE STORYTELLING
+GREAT IDEAS ADDED TO THESE CHARACTERS

THE BAD:
-NONE




MY RATING:
5/5 – EPIC WIN!







Saturday, November 17, 2012

FINALLY




MOVIE REVIEW 
THE TWILIGHT SAGA:
BREAKING DAWN
PART 2

by:
G.P. Manalo

Starring:
Kristen Stewart

Robert Pattinson


Taylor Lautner

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 - After Bella gave birth to Renesmee, not only she embraces her life becoming a Vampire but they meanwhile find themselves in a lot of trouble when the Volturi received a false accusation about her being a new-born (since they ****ed shit up a long time ago). And now they must gather an army of vampires because the Volturi will be out to kill them.

Yes, it's finally here the finale of the Twilight Saga. Now, I was supposed to do some reviews of the past 4 to countdown to this but I didn't have the time. But to be honest, I kinda enjoyed the first one, the last 3 not that much. At some point of the saga i enjoy very little snippets of it but I always hate the way every movie is written and executed. This movie on the other hand i found myself enjoying more scenes than that. Does that mean I like this movie, Not really. Let me explain.

Before i can go to anything, I'll try to not compare anything from the book, A movie is a movie after all. I'll judge it for what it is. hence, for what it is, It is still a piece of shit. First of all why I don't like the film. The writing of the dialogue and how the movie progresses is still done very poorly, as always. To be honest everytime i go in a Twilight movie (probably after New Moon) I expect that they will somehow correct their wrongs but they just don't and in this movie they still didn't bother. Making a movie based on a source material is having that opportunity where you can correct your wrongs from the books and make the movie even better than the book (hence, Perks of Being A Wallflower is the prime example for this kind of topic now). Flaws like the acting, writing, directing are still not good. The acting is still bearable to watch and the writing is still bad. Like i said I did read the books and all i can remember from the Breaking Dawn book that the ending of the book felt rushed and anti-climactic for a "Finale" this on the other hand was kinda like that but there was this mid-section of that scene where it just went all out and it was just mind-blowing and entertaining (for me atleast). The other problem here is the development as much as I think this movie is bad I just wish that they developed some characters here and there. I remember some interaction here and there about those other Vampires in the book, because there were a few Vampires here and there are only in the background (meaning they barely done anything at all) and when they do give some Vampires some sort of development, it felt forced and unnecessary. 

The pacing of this movie still feels a bit less compared to the past 4, but throughout the first half there wasn't any intensity (oddly enough  they were still able celebrate Christmas when the Volturi are coming for their heads). The intensity shows in that one particular scene that i was talking about in that battle scene. At some point of the first half felt like nothing is barely even happening (as always) probably after the parts where they invite all these Vampires to fight along with them. You might ask me was it worth it to have Breaking Dawn in two parts? Not really; Part 1 felt like a Music Video there were many scenes that i wished they did cut off to fit this and the first part together it would've been a good choice having two parts separated just feels unnecessary,. Speaking of Music Video, the way they transition some scenes with lyrical music is very awkward it's like how a Phil Collins song will come up in a really really deep scene (ex: Brother Bear), it's that awkward. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson (Taylor Lautner needs to be good in a few more movies to prove that he can be a good actor) can be good actors but they can't in this movie and the writing is to blame. The writing for these movies felt very soap opera, and by saying that i mean it in a very bad way. I don't know why but what was the director doing?  The studio hires great directors (even David Slade who directed 30 Days of Night directed Eclipse and Eclipse still fails) and it felt like they can't really give their all to deliver a good Twilight movie that can be likeable to both fans and non-fans, why couldn't they? But the ones who did stood out to me was Billy Burke as always as Bella's dad, I've always liked him in the past movies being this real dad (not quite a convincing cop since everytime they cut to him he is barely doing anything that a cop does). And also Michael Sheen as Aroh, who is fairly good in this movie (though I don't remember anything in the book of him dressing up like a My Chemical Romance fan) as a flamboyant Vampire villain. Lastly that one Vampire that I can call a Vampire, Garrett. He is probably the only Vampire in this entire saga that we can get, I thought he wasn't bad at all. And also those other two Vampires, Stefan and Vladimir I thought they weren't that bad as well, So pretty much the supporting cast are better than the lead actors, except for Maggie Grace she can kill herself (oh wait she did...).If there is one last thing to bash about this movie it is the fact of how shitty the special effects or should i say "Special Effects". The special effects in this movie shows how horrible it is compared to the last 4, That scene of Bella running in Vampire speed was just awkward to look at, Especially that shot of the baby is just haunting to look at (when you watch the movie you'll see). The wolves are fine, but that baby and the Vampires running are just bad to look at.  

In the end Twilight is still bad, though there were scenes here and there that i find satisfying and enjoyable, but the entirety of it is basically bad. The way i see the Twilight films . For an ending I actually thought it was not a bad ending (though i do like the way it should have ended by that one particular scene). Director, Bill Condon was able to deliver an entertaining enough Twilight movie with some ballsiness (It's a word now) sprinkled in here and there. I'm happy that these movies are over and hopefully if they will re-make this movie, that shit better be dark and gritty. It still has the same flaws and unfortunately didn't bother correcting them, The ending isn't quite perfect but it was better than the book version, Hardcore fans won't bother what I'm saying here anyways. Hardcore fans will still love it, but for people like me you could be two sided with it. For a guy like me, you'll get pulled in to this movie if you have a demanding Twi-hard as your girlfriend. You might find yourselves entertained by that one particular scene (as much as how anti-climactic the reveal was). It got a good run, I have memories of laughing so hard of how bad the past movies were. It was a good laugh. This movie being the last was admittedly a better ending than the book. I'm glad it's all over. 

THE GOOD (+):
+SOME SCENES ARE ENJOYABLE ENOUGH
+SOME CORRECTIONS WERE NOT BAD AT ALL
+SOME GOOD PERFORMANCES 
+A FULFILLING ENOUGH ENDING
+PACING IS A LITTLE FASTER COMPARED TO THE LAST 4

THE BAD (-):
-DIDN'T BOTHER CORRECTING PAST MISTAKES
-STILL SOME BAD ACTING
-BAD WRITING
-HORRIBLE SPECIAL EFFECTS 

MY RATING:
3/5 - NOT THAT BAD, NOT THAT GOOD