Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Insane Scheme of a Producer and an Accountant



 What do you get when you bring a producer, a timid accountant, a former nazi, and a foreign accountant who can't speak english? You get the movie that I am reviewing today, The Producers, Mel Brooks' first film. Maybe compared to today's films this movie is not the most insulting thing, but it was considered insulting in 1968 when it came out. The story is about two Jewish men who meet up with a former nazi in order to create a play about Hitler to have it fail. It seems pretty bad, but I'll go more into detail about it really soon. But although it was considered crude and tasteless, it is still one of the funniest films ever made.
 Max Biallystock, a failed accountant (Zero Mostel), is "filling up old ladies" in order to get money from them so that he can keep living a decent life. He meets a very timid accountant, Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder), who accidentaly realizes that if a producer puts on a flop then the public won't care about it and whatever extra money he made from his brokers he can keep. This is a genius scheme for Bialystock and quickly tries to pull poor, timid Bloom into the scheme. They soon count their eggs before they hatch. They do find a "sure-fire flop" and meet up with the author of the play "Springtime for Hitler" Franz Liebkind (Kenneth Mars). They hire the worse director, who is also secretly, at least to himself, gay, Roger De Bris (Christopher Hewett). Together they try and bring this play to life, although only Bloom and Bialystock are in on the scheme. They hire Ulla, a secretary who basically just dances, we see a ton of dirty old ladies, they find an actor who doesn't even know where he is, LSD and the play starts. Now at first it seems like this plane will actually work. The audience hates it, but while Max and Bloom are out getting drunk the audience finds the play as a comedy and soon start to love it. This of course ruins the plan, and eventually Bloom, Max, and Liebkind get together and try to blow the theatre up to collect on insurance, but get caught in the explosion, get sent to jail due to being found "incredibly guilty" and soon start to produce another play. And that is the story in a nutshell.
 It's funny, the storyline is bizare yet you can't stop watching it. Yes, the comedy is a little slow-paced compare to our comedy today, but if you watch this with full attention you will see just how funny this movie is. Zero plays Bialystock great. He is just a rude man who just wants to be rich again, but ends up becoming rich because he finally gains a good friend who cares about him. Wilder is also great as Bloom. He is able to pull off his insane moment and still be awkward and timid, almost to the point that you want to punch himn and just scream "Be a man!" But eventually he does grow up and come out of his shell thanks to Max. Mars is also great as Leibkind. He's a scary man, has that mean look to him, and although the accent is a little over the top, it is still great for this movie. Hewett, although good, is not the most convincing gay man. Beach is better in the new version, but that's not what I'm reviewing. But Hewett is decent, I find Ulla a better actress and she only danced, although it's hillarious when she does. Over all the main charcaters are funny and, akthough not very deep, emotionally attatched to each other. You grow to like both of them by the end of the film.
 This was Mel Brooks' first film, and I must say it is probably his best film. He is a good director, with a ton of funny movies out there, but this one just feels more cared for, along with Young Frankenstein. It has heart to it. The music is also good. Not much music, but still fitting when it is played. Love Power is also very interesting to listen to and watch. This version is not focused on the music like the newer version, which is a musical, and maybe I'll review that one next. But again, not focused on the music but the comedy, so I don't have much to say about this musical score. The directing is top knotch. Nothing special, no need for special effect, except the explosion, but good directing nonetheless.
 I still stand by what I say earlier, this is one of the funniest movies ever made. You want a classic comedy, then watch this film. I recommend any Mel Brooks films, but this one I recommend to watch the most. If you give it a chance then you will have a good laugh and see how smart the comedy was back then. Not saying that today's comedy isn't smart, but just showing that there was a lot less that films could do, yet were still funny. Watch this movie, it's a good one to watch when you want a good laugh.

Verdict: 4/5

Friday, October 29, 2010

When Cartoons Were Good



 Sadly Batman the Animated Series is not too well remembered by most kids of the 90s. BUt there are a few who do remember it. It was one of the best cartoons ever made and spawned a movie that is considered to be the best Batman movie ever made. This animated movie is called Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. It after watching this move I can see why some people argue it's the best, it is as amazing as the animated series that it followed.
  If you watched the cartoon then you will know that the show was not entirely made for kids. It was dark, all the animation was done on black paper rather than white, the storylines were mature, and the villains were just awesome, along with th Caped Crusader himself. This movie follows Batman who is out to catch a villain who is murdering some of the biggest mob bosses in Gotham and blaming Batman for the deaths. Although Gotham is believing that Batman is out killing people, two people don't, Commissioner Gordon, and, surprisingly, the Joker; yes the Joker is in the film, turns out he was part of the gang with the rest of the mob bosses before he became Joker. It also follows Bruce Wayne's former love life with a woman named Andrea Beaumont, who's father was the head of the gang. We also see how Bruce became Batman and we get a deep, emotional story. The ending is good, I won't ruin it for you, and the villains are great, Phantasm, a killer, and Joker, a homocidal maniac, a great combination to pit against Batman.
 Of course there is no acting, but reather voice acting. Kevin Conroy is a great voice for Batman, he was the one who first started giving Batman and Bruce different voices. The rest of the characters kind of fall flat. It's not the best dialogue, but the story is still great and is very interesting to watch. Of course I need to mention Mark Hamill, the voice of Joker, and just to mention, Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films. He is the best voice for the Joker, he makes him funny yet scary. The best thing about Hamill's Joker is the way he laughed. He gave the Joker a ton of different laughs that each showed how the Joker was feeling. Although he didn't act, he still made this Joker a great Joker, in my opinion even better than Heath Ledger's Joker, but that's just my opinion.
 The musical score is also good. It's exciting and fun, childish yet mature. It brings out the darkness of the entire movie. When the Phantasm comes out there's an eerie feeling when he comes out. Yes it's a cartoon about Batman, but the music still plays a vital role in making the movie entertainging. The animation is also great. It's always been one of my favorite. I like the look of it all. As I stated before it is all drawn on black paper, giving a dark feel and having the settings take place mostly at night. It's a distinct style that really brings out the maturity of the cartoon and film.
 This is a good movie. I think the storyline is much better than most Batman movies. It's entertaining to watch and gives Bruce a good romance story, which hasn't really been done. It also includes mystery as to who the mysterious Phantasm is, and of course gives you Joker himself. If you've never heard about Batman: The Animated Series then I suggest you watch the series ASAP. The movie is great, although it may not be as good as The Dark Knight it comes pretty close. If you're tired of these bad cartoons then watch Batman. If you remember this series and are a 90s kid, then watch this film. But to anyone who reads this review watch everything that has to do with the series, finish off with this film though, it will make a fantastic finale.

Verdict: 4/5

Now I also want to give a quick review of the series, I can't help myself, I love the show too much. It's mature, the action is great in almost every episode. You get to see Batman face off against all of his enemies in smart storylines. To me, any episode with Catwoman was kind of boring, but they are still interesting to watch if you want a complicated romance. It also gave Mr. Freeze his deep storyline which won a Grammy. Great series for anyone to watch, young an old.

Verdict for the series: 5/5  If I could give this show a higher rating I would.... I LOVE this cartoon.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

They're All One Person



 Today I will be reviewing a movie about my most favorite musician, Bob Dylan, called I'm Not There. Now I wouldn't be surprised if you've never heard of this movie, but it is still good nonetheless. This movie is mainly dedicated to Dylan fans, the stories are good, but in order to see how everything fits together, because this is a confusing movie, and in order to understand why the characters say what they say.
 This tells the career of the legend Bob Dylan. Sadly most people don't know who he is, but he is still a legend who has written over 200 songs and has had a major impact in the music industry. He has had a very long career and is always seen as a different person throughout his career. He was folk in the beginning, electric soon after, country, gospel, he's done everything, but since he's seen differently this movie has six actors each depicitng a time in Dylan's life. The stories are all different and intertwine if you know the life and career, but if not you can still ennjoy each story as a short story.
 There are six actors, Richard Gere who plays Billy the Kid and representing the country side of Dylan, Christian Bale who plays the gospel singer, Heath Ledger who plays the superstar, Marcus Carl Franklin who plays Woody Guthrie and represents the begginnings of Dylan, Ben Whishaw the poet, and Cate Blanchett who plays the electric period, when Dylan was considered a rebel and traitor to the folk community. To be honest, all actors are great, Franklin plays a good young boy who is acting too old, Ledger's performance is also good and is tied in to a nice romance story, but the best performance is given by Blanchett. She plays Dylan perfectly, from the twitches to the way she moves. She even put a hot dog bun between her legs in order to walk like a guy. She's the perfect Dylan, which is surprising since it's a woman playing a man.
 The soundtrack is one of my most favorites, but this is biased of me due to the fact that I love Dylan's music. He has some of the greatest lyrics of all time, and if you know his lyrics you'll find them thrown into the dialogue the characters. But the soundtrack is great, it doesn't include his mot famous songs like "Knocking on Heaven's Door" or "Like a Rolling Stone," but it still consists of his songs and every Dylan song is fantastic. After you hear this soundtrack you should still listen to more of Dylan's music.
 The direction is great. To tell a complicated man's complicated career by using six different characters is a great way to go. Sadly it does mean that a person who wants to know of Dylan's career will not fully follow along. It's not like most biographical films, but the direction is still goo. You go from a story about a little boy to a documentary type, to a black and white film, it's great and fun to watch.
 I realize this film is motly a film for Dylan fans. If you want to know about this man then I still suggest you watch it, learn a little bit more about him then rewatch the film. It makes a lot more sense when you understand his life. I still would recommend this movie because I'm a huge Dylan fan. Get into his music, it's still powerful today and holds a lot of meaning. If you want to see one of Heath Ledger's final performances then watch it, it will not dissapoint. If you want to see Cate Blanchett as a man then watch this film. There are a few reasons to watch this film. But I do not want to be biased so I will give this movie an honest review.

Verdict: 3/5
 But I still recomend this movie. More people should know who Bob Dylan is. He truly is one of the greatest musicians of all time

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Beginnings of a Legend



 Today's movie is another of my unknown films, unless you are a huge fan of John Lennon. Today I will be reviewing a movie called Nowhere Boy, a biographical film about the legend himself, John Lennon. To be honest I never even heard about this movie until today when I just decided to watch a movie. The 1st thing that caught my attention was the fact that it was about John Lennon. It's an interesting film and if you're a Lennon fan you will really enjoy watching it.
 The main story isn't about the how The Beatle's formed, instead it is a dramatic story about John Lennon (Aaron Johnson) and his "two mothers," his aunt Mimi ( Kristin Scott Thomas) and his mother, Julia Lennon (Anne-Marie Duff). Yes he meets Paul (Thomas Brodie Sangster) and Geroge (Sam Bell) but they are more just supporting characters. The story is all about John and his teenage years and his journey to the legend, showing the creation of his first band, The Quarrymen. It's a nice story, but it's not a very happy one. It's a struggle about John and his confusion of why he wasn't brought up by his mother, but by his aunt. Now if you know the death of Julia Lennon then you know that this does not end well for John. And although it leaves off on somewhat of a happy note, it is not truly a happy ending for a movie, but you must remember that Lennon goes off to become a legendary musician who also played with one of the greatest bands of all time, which can bring some happiness to mind.
 The soundtrack is great for oldies lovers like myself. It's filled with old songs, but don't expect any from the Beatles, since they have not yet formed in the movie. But do expect some from the Quarrymen, the song "Mother" written by Lennon, and a few other oldies like "I Put a Spell on You" and "Shake Rattle & Roll" By Elvis Presley, since Elvis was one of Lennon's inspirations. Although there aren't any Beatles music it is still a fun soundtrack, but I may think that just cause I love oldies, but everyone can enjoy the soundtrack I think.
 There are a lot of bright colors in the film. It's very bright, even the dark scenes are somewhat bright, for what they can be. It's really a delight to watch, it's very easy on the eyes, almost a treat for the eyes. It's also very interesting how the two most dominant women in Lennon's life are showed very differently. His aunt, Mimi, who loved him very much but was much stricter and more formal was always in dark, dull colors, while his mother, a somewhat immature woman but very outgoing and fun was always shown in bright colors. There were some scenes that didn't need to be in, like a sex scene that pretty much just came out of nowhere, or a scene where Lennon is playing his harmonica, but never plays it ever again throughout the film. Just scenes like those were not needed very much.
 The acting seemed somewhat stiff. It wasn't the greatest acting, but it was far from the worse. I think Thomas, who played Aunt Mimi, was one of the better actors. But overall they were decent. It was good enough to keep you engaged with the story and connect to the characters. Like I said, it was far from the worse.
 Over all, it was a good movie. Very enjoyable, it even had it's humor along with it's drama. If you're a Lennon fan then I highly recommend this movie. It was very interesting to see the beginnings of a legend and how confused and angry he was. I recommened this mostly to Lennon fans, you can watch it even if you're not a fan, because as I said beofore, the scenes are nice to look at. Check it out one day if you want, and see how John Lennon was before he was a legend.

Verdict: 3/5

Saturday, October 16, 2010

FINALLY!! A movie that is actually in theatres!



 Now I realize all the movies I've rated are old and a little difficult to find. But today I will finally be reviewing a movies that's out in theatres! Today I will be reviewing Jackass 3 or JACKASS 3D..... Although I don't think 3D in any movie serves any purpose. But I guess I shall get into the review
 It's a fun movie, Johnny Knoxville, Bam, Steve-O and the rest of the gang come together and do their stupid, yet hillarious stunts, that no person in their right minds would ever do. You will laugh till you start to tear up. You will also perhaps tear up from trying to hold back from barfing. There are about three scenes that are pretty disgusting, and if you have a weak stomach I suggest you cover your eyes when these stunts occur. But other than those three stunts the movie is funny and somewhat painful to watch. There is no plot, just like the rest of the films. If you were wanting to watch a movie with a good storyline then you shouldn't be watching a movie called Jackass.
 I can't really criticize the acting because there isn't really acting. It's just a group of guys who get stung by bees, hit each other, and do other stupid stunts like drinking a sweat cocktail (one of the nasty stunts). The stunts are funny though, but it's a good thing this is the last movie because they can only make being hit in the balls funny for so long. But I'll mention again, the stunts are still funny, even the disgusting ones, you can't help but want to watch them all. Just don't eat anything at the moment, I did and it almost didn't end up too well.
 I also can't really criticze the soundtrakc, yes there are a few songs, like Brand New Key, but you hardly notice them playing. The focus is on the stunts and nothing else. The same goes for the directing, there isn't really much to do but to film and make sure to capture these guys doing these stunts.
 The crew is getting older and you can tell that they're not so enthusiastic about going through these stupid stunts The novelty is wearing off, and like I said before it's a good thing this is their last movie, at least hopefully it is, it doesn't need to go any further than three. But I still say give this movie a shot. It's not the best, and it surely isn't the movie for everybody, but it does what it's meant to do just like the other films and TV show, and that's to make you laugh, feel nauseous, and feel pain, and make you happy that you are not part of the crew. So sit back, I can't really say relax, but enjoy the painful ride of Jackass 3D.

Verditc: 3/5

Friday, October 15, 2010

A movie like no other



 Now today I will be reviewing a movie I know won't appeal to everyone, but consider this my halloween review. This movie is the B-Rated cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and if you saw the trailer you will see that this is a movie like no other. You need to enter into this movie with an open mind and go along with the fun.
 This movie is as bizare as they come if not even more so. This film has everything from sci-fi action, a musical, a horror movie, and transvestites. That's right, transvestites, actually transvestites from Transexual Translyvania to be exact. You 1st meet a couple who have just gotten engaged, Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon), and are off to tell their old instructor of the news. And on this rainy night out they take a wrong turn and get a flat tire and must enter a castle to see if they can borrow the telephone. In this castle they meet a handyman and maid and a whole weird party singing "Time Warp" and celebrating. The couple is already freaked out but then they meet the transexual master, Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), and the fun begins. The storyline is not the strongest, it uses all of the old tricks, just throws a few twists. Instead of creating a monster the doctor creates a tanned man to help releive the doctors "tension." The plot is just bizare in so many ways to when it gets into that the transvestites are really aliens from Transexual Transylvania. Not the best storyline but it really is interesting, it also helps that the musical numbers are put in.
 The songs in this movie are catchy with their weird lyrics and rock'n'roll beats. They range from lips singing "Science Fiction," the party singing "Time Warp," Tim Curry singing "Sweet Transvestite" and so much more. These songs are all fun and will remain in your head after the film ended, just like the image of Tim Curry's Frank-N-Furter.
 The acting can't really be criticized because the acting is meant to be over-the-top. The musical numbers are what really bring the characters to life, but even then it's over-the-top. The main focus of this film is Tim Curry. Yes he's over the top, but he plays the part of Frank-N-Furter perfectly. You will never forget his role and although he's the antagonist you will strangely like his character the best, the other characters just aren't cared about nearly as much as as Frank-N-Furter. But this all depends on who's watching, maybe you're uncomfortable with transvestites, if that's the case you really will not enjoy this movie cause Tim Curry does the entire film in heals and fishnets, and this may make you uncomfortable. But if you keep an open mind and go with the flow then you will enjoy this performance.
 The direction style isn't the best, but like the rest of the film, it's fun. You have weird shots, the characters sometimes talk to the audience, it's just fun. It brings sci-fi with horror with comedy with so much more. The entire movie is just interesting. In fact this movie has been shown in theatres for 35 years at weekly midnight showings. Those are a lot funner than watching this film alone, but since most people who go dress up as transvestites it may again cause some uneasiness. I know this film is one of those hate it or love it films, there is hardly a middle for it. I can't really criticize it as a film because it's a cult classic and enjoyable to the right audience. So I will give it 2 scores:
Verdict:3/5
 But that's for movie goers who like movies with good acting and a straight-forward plot.
 For what the movie is supposed to be, an over-the-top, B-rated film it is perfect. I recommend anyone to watch this movie at least once to be your own judge. It's a cult classic and for good reason. As a cult classic I will give it another score.
Verdict as a Cult Classic:5/5
 I hope you watch this movie and enjoy as much as the other big time fans have, including myself. Go out and rent it at least and join in on the "Time Warp!"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

True Grit - Theatrical Trailer [HD]


 Now while I'm talking about the Coen Bros. I suggest you go check out their new film coming this Christmas, True Grit, a remake of the old Western starring John Wayne which won him the Academy Awrd for Best actor and the Golden Globe. So go check it out, it's sure to be very dark and another great film to come from the minds of the Coen Bros

A Twist on The Oddyssey



Finally! A movie review that isn't about a foreign films. What can I say? I love foreign movies. But today I will be will be reviewing The Coen Brothers' O Brother Where Art Thou? Now I realize that I love the Coen Brothers and I will do many more reviews of their films, but I will still give a good, honest review of their films, including this review.
 This is a tale that is loosley based on Homer's The Oddyssey set during the Great Deppression in Rural Mississippi following three men who just escaped from a chain gang and are off to retrieve the $1.2 million in treasure that one of the men, Ulysses (George Clooney's character), had buried before he was incarcerated. They are told by a blind man that they will not recieve the treasure that they wish to find, and from there starts a crazy adventure for the three men. Again, this is kind of a retelling of The Oddyssey so you will see similar characteristics between the characters in The Oddyssey and the characters in the film. You have John Goodman's character, the one-eyed KKK member who resembles Polyphemus, the cyclops in The Oddyssey, you also have three women that the men run into who resemble the sirens, the Blind Seer also resembles a character from The Oddyssey. We are introduced to many other interesting characters, Tommy Johnson who sold his soul to the Devil to play the guitar, he also helps the three men form The Soggy Bottom Boys, a badn that they unwittingley formed after recording the famous folk song Man of Constant Sorrow. We meet two other men who are running for Governor, "Baby Face" George Nelson and many other interesting characters. Each one of these characters are significant in their own ways and are brought to life by the great acting of each actor.
 You become attatched to the three main characters, Ulysses (George Clooney), Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson), and Pete (John Turturro). They're all different, one is the leader, the other is simple minded, and one is kind of just there even though he only had two weeks left in jail if he had not esca[ed on his own. And they allfeel real, the dialogue usually feels natural in most Coen Bros films. The acting is done well between these three men and with the help of the interesting dialogue you really become attatched to these characters.
 The story isn't really original since it is loosely based off an old Greek tale, but the way that it is told is very original. Hard to picture a Greek tale told in 1930 Great Deppression era, but it works. Although isn't isn't supposed to be an entire retelling of The Oddyssey you can still see the resemblance if you're familiar with the Greek tale. If you're not familiar with the tale then it's still a very intriguing story with a funny and light hearted ending.
 I realize I haven't really talked much about the soundtrack of the movies I've reviewed but this is almost essential to this review. The soundtrack is very interesting in that it uses old folk songs. It's not a musical but the music is very upfront and hard to miss. The music fits in very well and keeps the movie light and keep the setting feeling old. The music is fantastic, one of the few soundtracks I actually bought for a movie, it even won a Grammy for Album of the Year. The music will stay in your head, from The Big Rock Candy Mountains to Man of Constant Sorrow.
 The directing is also very good, Coen Bros know how to write interesting stories. They make the dialogue feel real to where the characters talk over each other, or to even where the characters repeat themselves. They also are given personality to the dialogue of each character, the Coen Bros like everything to be exact to where there is hardly any room for improvising. Almost every line that you hear was done the way the Brothers wanted it. Another interesting thing about the direction is the use of the color correction to make the film have a sepia-tinted look to help the film feel dry, dusty, and old.
 This isn't the best film directed by the brothers but it is one of their best. It's an enjoyable film and a good introduction to the Coen Bros. It has a simple kind of story, unlike the other films where they're filled with symbolism, it has good dialogue, unlike the dry dialogue the other films have, plus it has an ending, most of their films just end dramatically, where one moment it's the movie to in one second it is the credits. It's a good film worth seeing. Again, it's not the best Coen Bros film but it's up there. Now go and watch this movie

Verdict: 4/5

Friday, October 8, 2010

Kung Fu Hustle




Today I will be reviewing Kung Fu Hustle. Now I am aware that my previous 2 films were in spanish, but today the movie will be  in Chinese. I'm sorry if you don't like reading subtitles, but this one can be dubbed if you want it that way. I think this is a very enjoyable film for almost anyone, unless you don't like over-the-top action scenes.
 Well let me get started with the review.  Kung Fu Hustle is Stephen Chow's seventh film. It's a martial arts film set in the 1940 and is filled with a ton of humor. The main character is a small-time crook who wants to join the evil Axe Gange who control the city. While trying to accomplish this goal he travels to a slum and sets a war between the people of the slum and the Axe Gang, which starts the exciting, and humorous, adventure filled with funny and bizarre characters.
 This film is different from other wuxia films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Hero due to the fact that it combines humor with the fighting. What also sets it apart from the other wuxia films is that it looks cartoonish. By this I mean you know it's fake, Chow isn't trying to hid how fake it is, he has characters running like the Roadrunner from Looney Toons and the battle scenes are much more over-the-top than the other wuxia films. Chow isn't hiding how fake this movie is because that is what makes this movie so funny. The comedy is old fashioned and simple which helps the movie stand out, along with the great fight sequences.
 The characters in this film are not easy to forget. You have the perverted landlord and his wife, the fat landlady with the loud voice who both turn out to be the exact opposite of what they seem. You also have the three great masters, the coolie, the baker, and the very dramatic, gay tailor, who get really great fighting scenes before the end of the film. You also have interesting villains from the dancing Axe Gange to the ultimate kung fu master who is called The Beast, you even have the harpist playing assassins. Sadly the least interesting, at least to me, was the main character. He was like every other hero, although he was funny at times I just didn't enjoy his characters as much as I enjoyed the others. The acting is good, it's kind of hard to criticize the acting since they are supposed to be very dramatic and over-the-top. But they pull off the humor and they do well with doing the action scenes. Chow, who stars in this movie as the main character, is a decent actor, but although you don't truly connect top these characters you still are interested in them because they're so strange and interesting.
 The story isn't the most original. We have the protagonist who wants to become important, he messes up at first and in the end he becomes the hero of the story. The reason why this movie is good though is because of the humor, which I have mentioned a few times already. The humor is what this movie is about and it delivers. Instead of wanting to be a hero the protagonist wants to become a part of this evil gang, but he sucks at fighting to where he's beaten up by a nerd. Instead of  having characters that support him he has to deal with a slum run by the loud landlady and her perverted husband. It even has the simple things like him being stabbed by his own knives and being surrounded by snakes, the comedy is one of the key factors of this film. But if you don't like the humor then you may like the action. The action is fantastic, it's cartoonish, but very enjoyable, and this movie has it's good amounts of action, from the fight with the harpists to the fight with the 3 grand masters and to the very last fight scene.
 The directing is good for what he was aiming for. Chow wanted to make an over- dramatic film and he succeeded. He has brought this zany cast of characters in this weird world and tied it all in with a good action film and it works. You know it's fake, there is hardly a moment when you think it can be real. Chow wanted to make it fake, he used wirs and trampolines and anything else to make this movie as fun, yet as good, as possible.
 This is another movie which I beleive not be missed. Although it may not be the best film for people who don't like kung fu films or don't like stupid, childish humor. But it has great action scenes which you will want to rewatch, you'll be laughing a lot as well. It's a very enjoyable movie that deserves to be watched and laughed at.

Verdict: 4/5

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Devil's Backbone

 Today I will be reviewing another Guillermo Del Toro film called The Devil's Backbone. I realize that this movie and Pan's Labyrinth are somewhat the same due to the fact that the main characters are children, it takes place in the same time period, and it mixes the innocence of a child versus the cruelness of the realworld and fantasy world, but this is another good film and I think Del Toro is a very imaginative director so I'm taking the time to review this movie.
 Like Pan's Labyrinth, the main character of this film is a young child who is brought to an orphanage with an undetonated bomb in the middle of the courtyard. He is brought here to be cared for and taken care of since his father died in the Civil War. The people who live at the orphanage is the one-legged headmistress, the doctor who fell in love with her, the few children that remain at the orphanage, an evil caretaker who is using everybody, his fiance, and a ghost that has some unfinished affairs that he wants to take care of. Yes, this is a ghost story, but the ghost is not truly meant to be used just to scare the viewers, he is a very important part of the story and helps the film a bit more meaningful.
 At first the film seems boring and seems just like the main character, Carlos, is gonna be the outsider and will be picked on by the oldest kid, Jaime, and his little friends.Although this is how it is at first we get more into the story and see that this is a dark horror film with many mysteries to be solved that have to do with gold, a love affair, a missing boy and a ghost that walks the hallways.
 The acting in this film is pretty good. The children can be a bit bland, but the main actors, Fernando Tielve, who plays the main actor Carlos, Eduardo Noriega, the evil caretaker, and Federico Luppi, Dr. Casares are great in their roles. You get the innocence from Tielve and puts on a good performance. Luppi really brings out the sophisticatedness that he's supposed to and you can tell that he is the good guy and very compassionate. Now as in Pan's Labyrinth you have a truly evil person, the caretaker. Noriega plays this part well as a loathesome and hated character, for you will despise him throught the entire movie as much as you're supposed to despise him.
 This is supposed to be a horror movie, but there isn't many horror scenes, or at least I wasn't scared. Yes, the ghost does show up and the music goes loud to get you excited and easily scared, but he is not just placed here to scare the viewer, he is incomplete, and the true evil in this movie is the caretaker. The living, in this movie, is far more dangerous than the dead.
 The directing is also very good. We have a horror movie that doesn't get by with cheap thrills and has a deep meaning. There is a ton of symbolism in this movie, if you know much about the Spanish Civil War. The acting is also very good and the story is told very well without getting too complicated. Since it's a pretty straightforward storyline, or at least it was to me, some people have said that it doesn't get very exciting. I still thought it was an exciting movie, I wanted to see why the ghost was there, what would happen to all the characters and what was gonna happen in the end.
 I think this is another great film directed by Guillermo Del Toro. He knows how to tell a compelling story that will stick in your head way after you have finished watching the movie. This is another Spanish film, so if you don't know Spanish you will have to read subtitles. But this is well worth it. Do not miss this movie. Go rent this movie, and if you like it enough then buy it. I didn't mention the name that much, so to remind you again this movie is called The Devil's Backbone by Guillermo Del Toro.

 Verdict: 4/5