July 13, 2008


No posts for a week. That's because I've been watching movies. Lots of movies. I give you five movie reviews:

Hancock is a very unpredictable movie. You may know what it's like, but you don't. You know what the first half of the movie is, but you'll soon find that the film is not what you thought it was. It starts out with the Hancock from the commercials. He's a bum, people hate him, he meets a guy who tries to reform him, Hancock becomes a better hero, blah, blah, blah. But then, the tables turn with the inclusion of a major twist. You spend half the movie wondering what the hell Hancock's story is, only to be bombarded with it half way through. It's not what you'd expect, and it's from an unlikely source. Unlike the first, the second half is very much serious. Hancock is a different kind of super hero movie which I, personally, find refreshing. It's humorous, packed with action, and a lot of fun. Go see it. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Get Smart
Unlike Hancock, Get Smart is exactly what you'd expect. It's just a fun action/comedy and nothing more really. It's not deep, there's not underlying meaning. You know what you get with Get Smart. Though it is funnier than I thought it would be. If your looking for some fun, go see Get Smart. If your looking for substance, look elsewhere. At least Steve Carell's character is not a total moron this time around.

Kung-Fu Panda
I liked Kung-Fu Panda better than Wall-E. As with all animated movies, it's geared toward kids, but has some underlying meaning and jokes for the adults. Kung-Fu Panda is a great example of this, but it's not at all depressing like Wall-E. The animation is great and the cast is amazing. In animated movies, it's really the voice cast that makes it, and Kung-Fu Panda has a superb one. Though I can't figure out why they would hire people like Jakie Chan when their character has only two lines of dialog. Nevertheless, Panda is a great, stereotypical, Kung-Fu film, but animated and with animals instead of people. Why aren't there ever CGI movies with people as the main characters?

Hellboy II
I have come to the conclusion that Guillermo del Toro is an imaginative genius. He, no doubt, created a more fantasy-oriented Hellboy to prove to the world that he was ready to take on the Hobbit. He has proved his point well. This movie kicked some major ass, though it definitely takes a different direction than Mike Mignola's Hellboy comic series, though not too much different. I'm fairly certain that this film wasn't based on any particular Hellboy story arc like the first movie was, and was probably written by del Toro himself. It's very full of fantastical creatures and the scene in "the underground troll market" reminded me a lot of the cantina scene from Star Wars. The creatures look very real, too. That's probably because del Toro opts for the use of makeup and real people rather than relying on CGI. The CGI that is in the movie is awesome, by the way.
That all being said, the movie itself was solid. I enjoyed the atmosphere that del Toro created and the main characters (well, three of them anyway) were very well acted and fleshed out. The story is strong and at the same time weak. It seems good at the start, but by the time you get to the end it really doesn't seem that threatening. The story, of course, revolves around The Golden Army, an army of indestructible robots created to defend the elves against the humans in an age long past. A truce was made and the crown, which was used to control the army, was split with one piece going to the humans and two going to the elves. The truce was that the humans get the cities and the elves get the forest. The elvish prince returns to get the third piece of the crown and seek revenge on the humans for destroying the world. That part could have been fleshed out more. I would have liked to seen more of the elves' side of the story. The side of the story we do see is the human side where the BPRD tries to stop the activation of the Golden Army. Though the movie is called Hellboy, I couldn't help but notice that the movie seems to be more focused on other characters- Abe in particular. Which is fine, because Abe is totally awesome. But there was never really a sense of impending doom that would have kept me on the edge of my seat. It seems as though a deus ex machina randomly pops out at the end of the movie so that it can actually have a conclusion; the situation that our heroes weave themselves into would have been impossible to conclude otherwise. There was a scene towards the end that kind of sets up things to come and now I can't wait for the sequel! And I especially can't wait for The Hobbit!
Oh, and as a random factoid, Seth McFarlane voices Johann Krauss (another totally awesome character who consists of ectoplasm in a scuba suit).

Batman: Gotham Knight
The film bridging Batman Begins and The Dark Knight is very unique and well done piece. It consists of six interlocking short films chronicling Batman's rise from a nobody to the caped crusader. Each film has a different director, artist, and writer making for six truly unique experiences. The first, Have I Got s Story For You, tells the story of batman's fight against crime from the perspective of three kids, each with their own interpretation of the Dark Knight. The art in this piece is very stylized, and the most unique of the six. Next, is Crossfire, the story of two cops who get caught in the middle of a gang war and are saved by Batman. This is the most badass batman yet! He walks through freaking fire! Third, is Field Test, in which Batman tries out a new magnetized bullet deflector only to dispose of it after it injures a civilian. In Darkness Dwells is probably the best of the six. While many of the other shorts resemble anime, Dwells is more like a living comic book. It tells the tale of Batman's journey through the sewers of Gotham in pursuit of Scarecrow. Batman must first fight off Killer Croc, however and ends up with an injury with leads to the next piece. Working Through the Pain gives viewers the untold tale of Bruce's journey to India where he trains to suppress his pain. The final film is Deadshot in which Batman must take down Deadshot before he can assassinate Commissioner Gordon. All six films are very well done and, really, you've never seen animated Batman like this before. It's actually very dark and violent... and awesome. I'd give this one a look before you see The Dark Knight this weekend. It'll quench your Batman thirst.

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