Space Battleship Yamato: The Review

1 09 2011

Crap Pun Review: Hop Aboard the Space Battlestar Yamato!

Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted…I’m sure all one of you has been waiting for my update with baited breath.

Lots to cover, more to come.

Space Battleship Yamato is the live action adaptation of the 70’s sci-fi anime of the same name. Those of you from North America may know the show as Star Blazers.

Ive actually been waiting to see this one as soon as I found out that a live action movie version is coming out.

The plot of the movie is pretty similar to the show: Earth has been decimated by aliens, mankind is on the brink of extinction, a solution is provided by other aliens and humankind’s last hope is placed on the crew of the Space Battleship Yamato to get to said aliens. Hijinks ensue. It’s a pretty straightforward plot. I just didn’t expect it to be two hours plus.

If you haven’t seen this, it’s definitely worth a look. Just don’t expect too much depth plotwise

 

What I liked:

– it’s fun and nostalgic (I was on the edge of my seat the first time they primed the Wave Cannon)

– recreated anime characters in real life without looking silly

– fantastic looking SFX/space battles and high production values

– adapting the look of the anime as only the Japanese can (Hollywood should take notes)

– the aliens corking (literally) the ship’s main cannon with a giant plug

– having the shit completely and utterly kicked out of them after they return from their successful mission

 

What I loathed:

– it looks like they bought the sets  from the Battlestar Galactica reboot

– aliens with Dune eyes

– biting the BSG drop onto a planet

– generic Japanese melodramatic ending

– biting the ID4 surprise attack scene

– making the villains totally alien instead of just blue humanoids

– he movie crapping out in the last twenty minutes

– using a Steve Tyler song instead of the awesome theme song from the 70’s

(The original and much more dramatic song)

 

In short: Much like Tron Legacy, it’s very easy on the eyes, but utlimately lacks substance.





Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Review

6 08 2011

Shit Pun Review: This is One Diary You Might Want to Keep Locked

Diary of a Shitty Dickhead, more like. Okay, that was a bit harsh. But stay with me. It’ll get better.

Based on the popular series of children’s book by Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid follows the highjinks of Gregory Heffley as he traverses through the hell that is middle-school…or junior high…depending where you’re from.

I don’t know about the rest of youse, but for one reason or another, all the Canadian schools I attended did NOT include this middle-school business. I stayed in the same school until Grade 8 before moving on to a proper high school.

I digress.

I’m assuming they’ve taken some liberties in adapting this book into a movie, because I honestly can’t fathom how a child so unlikeable as Greg can attract readers for so long.

We’ll get into that later.

The film’s your typical “year in the life” of the main character, the flick starts with the beginning of school and ends at the end of the school term. Lessons are learned, friends are made, kids are humiliated. The end. I have to give this flick some props, though. I’m usually not one to check out a kid movie because the current studio affairs are so trite it’s rather annoying. But the bits they showed in the trailer actually got quite a few laughs out of me. That’s why I decided to check this flick out.

While the main character is a bit of a shit, the actor that portrayed him, Zachary Gordon, was quite good. I guess I just expect Disney-esque “acting” whenever I see a film aimed at the younger market. You know, where they just mug and overact to no end. Devon Bostick plays Greg’s older brother Rodrick and the two really sells the brotherly ‘love’. But the reason why I was able to sit through this movie was not because of those two. The real charmer of this movie is Robert Capron as Greg’s best friend Rowley. A sweet, innocent kid who manages to fight off Greg’s ‘makeover’ when Rowley was deemed not ‘cool’ by Greg.

I couldn’t really understand why this movie isn’t about Rowley, because he deserves the title of wimpy kid a lot more than Greg.

If you haven’t seen this, I advise caution. It’s not a bad watch, as long as you know what you’re in for.

 

What I liked:

All the child actors that were in the movie. They all had their moment to shine. Aside from Rowley, I especially liked Grayson Russell as Fregley, the weirdo ginger kid.

– There were genuine laugh-out-loud sequences…Greg passing out from touching a booger tainted note.

– Rowley becoming more popular than Greg because of all the shitty things Greg did to him

– Music cues that cater to the parents. Using Total Eclipse of the Heart as the audition song for the school musical? COME ON!

(Sorry, this is the best quality I can find of the scene.)

 


What I loathed:

– It felt like there was no solid story, a series of sequences strung together for 90 minutes.

– Greg is such an absolutely dick of a kid who doesn’t see the error of his way even when it smacks him in the face.

– Characters repeatedly tells you that what people think of you isn’t important. But nobody seems to be heeding that advice.

– Greg is a horrible role model for kids to be identifying with.

– Movie parents never seem to understand situations that would be easily resolved with a good slap in the face.

 

What I’m Not Sure About:

– It’s oddly homoerotic; from the shirts & skins game, the wrestling, Greg & Rowley’s relationship is played out as that of a couple

– Steve Zahn is now the “dad”…I STILL don’t know how I feel about that.

In short: Don’t show this to young kids. Watch it yourself if you’re inclined to a few laughs and not mind a shitty kid as the main character.

DEFINITELY not from the movie.

Another for the road.





Attack the Block: The Review

3 08 2011

Crap Pun Review: Happy to Defend This Block!

I know this is will come off as lame, but the only reason why I went to see this movie was because Edgar Wright’s name is attached as the producer. And you know what? Not a bad decision. This flick was definitely worth the price of admission.

The premise is simple: A gang of kids from a housing estate mugs a lady, then ends up saving her and the rest of the estate from a barrage of aliens that have landed in the area. Hijinks ensues.

It’s in limited run as of now. So if the movie comes ’round to your part of town and you haven’t seen it, get off your arse and head to the cinema!

What I liked:

– Nick Frost. He’s always a pleaser, even in a tiny cameo.

– The alien’s design. Big furry monkey-bears with no eyes and bio-lumiescent teeth. No shitty CGI monsters here.

– “It’s too much madness to explain in one text!”

– Slow-mo used to accentuate the story instead of Zack Snydering the shit out of every shot.

– Straight forward story, no obligatory twist at the end.

– Likeable characters, and the director, Joe Cornish, got pretty decent acting out of the kids.

– It’s action-packed right from the get go but maintains a good balance between the comedic and the dramatic.

– This was a much better adventure/action/sci-fi/comedy film than Super 8

What I loathed:

– Only one white guy bites it. Every victim was a minority.

What I’m Not Sure About:

– The generic, store bought samurai sword one of the kids used CANNOT stab something to death. They’re NEVER sharp.

In short: Fuck Super 8,  fuck Cowboys & Aliens, spend your hard earned money and go see “Chavs & Aliens” instead!

Luke & Harry Treadaway (Luke is in the film)





Captain America: The First Avenger Review

27 07 2011

Crap Pun Review: This Cap Ain’t No 90lbs Weakling!

The summer of 2011 brought us Thor, X-Men: First Class, The Green Lantern and last but not least, Captain America: The First Avenger. In all honesty, I was only really interested in X-Men and Cap. I really wasn’t planning on seeing all four.  I had high hopes for Cap when I first eyed the trailer and speaking truthfully, I wasn’t disappointed by the end results.

This is the last solo Avengers flick before the big Assembling (pun intended) next year. Here’s hoping Mr. Joss Whedon doesn’t fuck it up. But honestly, everything he touches turns into fried gold. I shouldn’t worry, really.

I digress.

For those who don’t know Cap’s origin story: Steve Rogers was a skinny weakling who gets turned into a Super Soldier. He goes overseas to punch Hitler in the jaw. Red, white and blue, etc. The end. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

The movie was a lot more fun than I anticipated. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s definitely worth a go at the theatres.

Just promise me this: Promise me that you won’t see it in 3D. Pinky swear! No, seriously.

I’ll hunt you down. I’ll know.

What I liked:

– Red Skull’s wheels (It looks like Captain Nemo’s car from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)

– Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci’s performances. Jones brought the gruffs laughs, Tucci brought the drinks and the German accent.

– Chris Evans’ performance. He got the goody goody and the heroics juuuuuust right.

– Skinnified Steve Rogers SFX was pretty well done

– They decided to stick to the WWII era instead of trying to modernize it and send him to Iraq or something

– Actually getting an English actress to play a brit!

– Working Cap’s original costume into the story (and it STILL looked better than the costume they had from the 1990 movie)

– Giant-ass missiles that were clearly labeled for their intended targets

– Tommy Lee Jones eating steak…*nom nom nom*

– Captain America’s old timey theme song when he’s selling bonds

– Didn’t try to crowbar a love interest for Steve Rogers. Well, sorta.

– Chris Evans topless. *phwar*

What I loathed:

– Not enough Chris Evans toplessness

– Most of Cap’s action sequences was just one giant montage

– The climactic action set piece was in the middle of the movie instead of the end

– Yet another anti-climactic climax

– The disassociation of the Red Skull had with real Nazis and making him and HYDRA “badder than Hitler”

– Generic orchestral music. Come on, Alan Silvestri, you wrote music for Back to the Future!!!

What I’m Not Sure About:

–       Hugo Weaving’s acting, which gets WAY cartoony once he peels off his face

–       Lt. Hawk (Neal McDonough) from Star Trek: First Contact as Dum Dum Dugan (He used alright looking?! Now he’s an old dude in a bowler!)

In short: Go watch Chris Evans sling a shield into your face!

One for the road.





Red (2010): The Review

14 07 2011

Crap Pun Review: Red is the New Gray

I had my doubts when I first heard about this movie. I figured this would be a Space Cowboy for the government conspiracy/action-comedy flick genre.

Boy, was I wrong. Well, sorta.

Essentially, the flick’s about oldies kicking the arses of everybody younger than them (well, mostly Karl Urban’s arse), with the obligatory twist at the end.

Red = “Retired, Extremely Dangerous.” It’s what it says on the tin, strap in and enjoy the ride.

If you haven’t seen it already, give the movie a spin!! It’s definitely worth an hour and a half of your day!

Details and skin after the jump.

What I liked:

– Helen Mirren shooting guns in an evening gown. HAWT.

– Helen Mirren throat chopping some dude with her classy purse.

– Helen Mirren doing ANYTHING in the movie.

– The chemistry between the cast. It seems like everyone was having a good time. And getting a fat paycheque to boot.

– John Malkovich being generally nutty.

– Morgan Freeman’s French accent.

– Postcard scene wipes.

– Gun vs. bazooka sequence and homerunning a grenade by Malkovich.

– Karl Urban getting his arse completely handed to him by Bruce Willis.

– “Open the pig!” (Just watch it.)

What I loathed:

– Using Toronto to sub for Chicago and everywhere else. Being a Toronto native, it really took me out of the movie.

– “Kickass” music cues when there’s no need to. Yes, Bruce Willis just took down a hit squad and blew up his house. We get he’s bad. No need for the cockrock.

– The ridiculous shot of Willis stepping out of the cop car as it spins out of frame.

– Willis’ whisper acting. It was like he’s been taking lessons from Nicole Kidman. We had to turn the subtitles on because we couldn’t hear a damn thing whenever he spoke.

– Richard Dreyfuss’ annoying villain voice.

– Not nearly enough Helen Mirren.

What I’m Not Sure About:

– The lack of plot and the obligatory twist thrown in for good measure.

In short: Get a nice hot cup of tea, put your feet up and have a grand ol’ time!

Karl Urban in his Xena days. Grrrrrrr!





Summer Wars: The Review

7 07 2011

Crap Pun Review: The season’s right for an awesome film.

Summer Wars is a film about Kenji Koiso, an eleventh grade math genius who agrees to take a summer job at the hometown of his crush, Natuski. Much to his surprise, his “job” is to pretend to be Natsuki’s fiancé at the 90th birthday of her family’s matriarch. Meanwhile, his attempt to solve a mathematical equation causes a collision between OZ (virtual world) and the real one.

I’m gonna have do something different for this review. I tend to crap on a lot movies in my reviews, but this time around, there won’t be any crapping because I can say, with 100% certainty, that I’m constipated.

Okay, maybe 95% certain.

I bought this film without doing any research other than seeing clips of the sequences and thinking, “Wow, those are some cool character designs they’ve got in this film!”

I have no problems with the film itself. It’s an awesome film. It’s the way the film was marketed in North America that I have a problem with. Judging from DVD cover for this film, people might give it a pass because it looks like a generic Pokemon/Digimon type anime. I guess they have to reel anime fanboys in somehow. Judging from the poster alone, you’d have no idea that the entire movie takes place in the countryside and invovles a 90 year old woman and her family.

Yes, there are Digimon-looking avatars kicking ass in a VR world, but don’t be fooled. That isn’t what the movie is about. At its core, this movie is about the bonds between a family.

Note: I watched the original Japanese dubbed version. I can’t guarantee the same level of enjoyment if you decide to watch this with the English Dub.

Japanese Poster (Left) vs N American Poster (Right)

If you haven’t seen this, go hunt down a copy and watch it already!

What I liked:

– superb animation

– the strong-willed, 90 year old family matriarch

– character designs within the world of OZ

– good balance of humourous and serious moments

– evokes the family relationships found in Miyazaki films. (But with more asskicking sequences.)

What I loathed:

– the last part of the movie was a bit War Games-like

– predictable anime story arc (But still enjoyable!)

In short: SEE IT!





Green Lantern: The Review

30 06 2011

Crap Pun Review: Excitement’s escaped Green Lantern’s light.

So the 3rd of the 4 Comic-Hero flicks to be out this summer is Green Lantern. I honestly had no intention on seeing this movie at all. The reviews out there for this movie have not been kind. I didn’t expect them to be. Out of boredom, I decided to give it a go…I went in with no expectations, and boy, did it not disappoint. Or disappoint, for that matter.

The movie’s not bad enough to be crap and not good enough to be superb. It’s just kinda moot and hanging about in purgatory.

I tried to get into it. Really, I tried. But there was just nothing to sink your teeth into. Essentially, the ring picks Hal Jordan (actor Ryan Reynolds) to be its next bearer. He goes through a short training montage, and somehow ends up defeating an enemy (Parallax) who has been kicking the rest of the Green Lantern Corp.’s asses throughout the movie.

If you haven’t seen it already…Save your money. Wait for it to come on Netflix…or borrow it from your friend who’s a bit dim if you REALLY insist on seeing it.

 

What I liked:

– Ryan Reynold’s performance (Not a lot to work with, but he’s funny, charming and can talk in a DEEP voice…heh)

– Hal Jordan trying to activate The Lantern sitting on his coffee table by yelling at it

– the design of the Green Lantern ring (Kinda like a bulky 70’s class ring.)

– he discovers the power of the ring during a dirty, back alley brawl after 3 guys kick the living shit out of him

– Mark Strong as Sinestro and Tim Robbins as some Senator

– silly lines that made me chuckle: “Gravity’s a BITCH!” & “You’re afraid of being afraid!”

– Pumpkin Squid Green Lantern!

 

What I loathed:

– whoever the hell this chick, Blake Lively, is (What is she, 13, or something? ‘Cause that’s what she sounded like.)

– Ryan Reynold’s performance with said chick (No chemistry between them whatsoever.)

– rock music blaring to show how bad-ass a character is

– Hal being reminded REPEATEDLY how irresponsible and childish he is (Got it the first time around, thanks.)

– the editing was a bit rough and I could’ve done with less CG dolly moves everytime you show Oa (Lantern Corp. home planet)

– CG’ing the Guardians was NOT a good idea

– Kilowog’s poorly written exposition during the training montage

– CG Bacon Suit and the mask that looks like Hallowe’en makeup

– was it just me, or did it look like Ryan Reynolds was wearing guyliner during the first half of the movie?

– not enough school children absorbed by Parallox

– the climax was very anti-climactic (I threw some shit at the villain, he chased me into space, he gets sucked into the sun. The End.)

– lack of Ryan Reynolds skinage

 

What I’m Not Sure About:

– updating the Green Lantern to make more slick and alien-like

– shortest training montage EVER

– Peter Sarsgaard’s giant dome and his Edward Norton-esque performance

One for the road.

 

In short: It can wait for a really rainy day. And I mean REALLY rainy. Like Noah’s Flood kinda rainy.