Posts Tagged ‘Movie

31
Oct
10

The NeverEnding Story, Part IV: The Review of The NeverEnding Story, Part I

NOTE: The short title of this post is “The NeverEnding Story, Part IV” as in the sequel to the three movies.  Hence “The NeverEnding Story, Part IV” subtitled “The Review of  The NeverEnding Story, Part I” is a review of the original “The NeverEnding Story” movie.  However, due to licensing whatnots, you can, at best, consider this as a parody of a parody of a review of a parody of the movie that was not conceptualized as a parody when first viewed but was reviewed with the movie as a parody in mind.   Thank you.

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Prior to Transformers The Movie and G. I. Joe The Movie (1986 and 1987, respectively,) I was very much influenced by another movie called  The NeverEnding Story (1984) during the course of  my childhood.  Despite the fact that I was not aware of the movie’s existence until 10 years or so after it was initially screened in the theatres, the movie was and will always be timeless for me.  I recently rented a DVD version of the movie from the local library due to closures of all video/DVD rental establishments in the lower 48 states.  (I have yet to succumb to subscribing to anything with the word “net” in it.)

First of all, before popping in the DVD, I wanted to make sure that I was to prepared for a huge disappointment at how the movie has aged.  It was an 80’s movie after all.  If The NeverEnding Story had been a non-special-effects movie like The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I might have thought differently.  However, there was the case of Back to the Future series which somehow endured the test of time even in this age of computer graphics and robot actors/actresses, i.e. R. Megan Fox.

So, my pathetic adventure started with the title screen with the ever grandiose and magnificent prelude of a theme song appropriately titled The Never Ending Story.  The NeverEnding Story, from my memory, had been one of few movies that actually have the theme song played at the beginning of the movie where the actual title of the movie is sung in the lyrics.  Forget what I just wrote, I just remembered Flash Gordon.  You remember that one?  The one that sounds like Queen’s Bicycle.  Anyhow, back to the subject at hand.

Engorged with a feminine voice drowning in a sea of synthesized staccato of acid gumdrops, the movie opens and displays its title over a thick flow of twilight haze, obviously left over from the writers and editors trying to figure out how to best enjoy the drugs still left over from the 70s.

Speaking of engorged, this is Morla.  Morla is a character in the movie that takes the form of a turtle that is more or less a large hill.  The screenshot here shows Morla speaking to the main character Atreyu holding unto a tree branch directly in front of Morla.  He is hardly visible but that’s not important.

Did I mention that this movie is actually rated PG?

That’s nothing to be excited about, I guess.  Above shows Atreyu and a random gnome checking something out with the “telescope” of some sort.

Nothing to be excited about, right?!?!?!

If you click on the image and you can see that those are 2 pairs of exposed nipples and breateses.  Yes, this movie was still rated PG!

After watching this scene, I felt rage bigger than the Statue of Liberty.  At least, HERS was covered.

After doing some research, I realized that this movie was actually based on a German novel from GERMANY written in GERMAN with the title of Die unendliche Geschichte. BUT!!! BUT!!! This is a review of a movie and not the next segment of my ongoing series of “What is Wrong with These Foreigners!?”

Going back to possible disappointments, I was utterly shocked at how well the special effects held out.  I expected Styrofoam rocks and badly sync’d puppetry but instead I was greeted with Styrofoam rocks that sounded like real rocks and puppets that far surpass Jar Jar Binks.  For an 80s movie, the special effects and especially sound effects were superb.  The NeverEnding Story is a classic example of solid cohesion between classic puppetry, green-screen, painted scenery, and forced perspective.  I’m surprised that I didn’t notice a single instance of stop motion animation.

Aside from mere visual and aural aspects, the movie did contain a very important moral message.  Without really spoiling a 25 year old movie and to put it as succinctly as possible, the movie sums up what is still true to this day, that one must always keep imagination and hope alive.

23
Aug
09

District 9 aka Peter Jackson’s King Kong 2: La Revue

My partner still has not returned from his trip into the jungles of Borneo so I will venture into the realm of the film industry yet again.  This time, I will quickly review a movie that I have actually watched in its entirety.  Please beg my partner to return as cinema is not my forte.

District9Random

I prepared myself prior to my free viewing of District 9.  In my wallet, I had stashed a coupon redeemable for a movie ticket at a local theatre.  In my head, I had prepped myself up with the rage that can only be filled with the expectation of yet another bad movie.  I kept thinking about Shia Labeof and badly rendered CGI animations in all movies made post-1990.  Even now I rage at the god-awful CGI work done for Clerks.  It makes me want to puke.

However, rage aside, I kept moving forward in queue.  As the end of the queue drew near, I felt a jolt of profound ecstasy.  I could see a gigantic poster of 2012 behind the ticket clerk.  I was thrilled.  I cannot wait to see 2012.  I love movies about the apocalypse or any movies that feature post-apocalyptic world.  Already, I knew I was going to hate and rage on District 9.

*enters theatre, buys a medium soda that was 25 cents cheaper than a large and 25 cents more expansive than a small, takes seat, watches movie, takes one bathroom break, finishes soda, finishes watching movie, takes second bathroom break, walks to car, drives home*

As I was saying, prior to watching District 9, I was prepared to rage at yet another badly done movie about aliens and explosions and explosions.  I was utterly distraught and rendered useless once I realized that the movie was … actually a good movie.  However, I will not disappoint the readers of this regular column.  I, your humble servant and writer feel the need to satiate your desire for me to punish the fiends that created this cinematic masterpiece and I take up my sword (or keyboard) in doing this AWEsome deed.

First of all, District 9 was the most horrendous piece of sparkling trash I have ever seen in my life.  It was like dropping Pop Rocks into my eyes and then hurling myself over the Golden Gate Bridge while I have military-trained snipers shooting at me when it was raining fire and brimstone.  I felt like Alex from A Clockwork Orange during his “rehabilitation.”  I felt like Two Face McGee from the Dark Knight when his face exploded.  I felt like Elaine in The Graduate when Ben took her to a strip club.  I felt like Anakin in Star Wars episodio tre when Obi-the traitor-wan betrays him and cuts him into pieces.  I felt enraged.

If you may, I, your humbler servant writer, shall list some of the issues I had with the movie.

1) The movie had aliens – movies with aliens will always suck.

2) The movie was made by Peter Jackson – Peter Jackson sucks.

3) For some odd reason, I had thought that this movie was based on a video game.  It is not.  Ergo it sucked.

4) Relationship between humans and aliens resembled way too close to reality (hint: the movie is set in South Africa) especially since it almost looked to be didactic to me.  It sucked.

5) ETC – I could name a thousand more but I shall stop here.

Your humble writer refuses to believe that I have actually seen this aberration.  I have nearly erased this fact from memory and thus can no longer recall any of the scenes of the movie.

Seriously though, if I wanted to see a movie with an interesting plot that carries through to the end while characters are fully developed and mixed with great sound/visual effects/cinematography/etc paired with on-par acting, I would live in France eating French fries and possibly doing a French kiss while drinking French wine and join the French Resistance against the Vichy government or maybe read a  bit of Sartre, call myself Guy-Jean, then throw myself over a bridge.  So, it saddens me that I was forced to watch this movie while not having to do any of the mentioned absurdities.

That was about it for District 9: the Review.  This is Jefe Tomas.  If I still do not hear from my partner from Borneo I will have to send out a search party.  If you happened to be named Henry Stanley, please drop me a line.  I have a job for you.

10
Aug
09

GI Joe: a real American hero, and succumbing to reality.

Last week, GI Joe hit it big in the box office.  Beating out real contenders such as Julie & Julia, a cooking movie about the legendary Julia Child, G-Force, a movie about talking rats, and the new Harry Potter which was in its 4th week.  Of course, grossing over $56 million over the weekend is no small feat, especially for the Goliath of a brand called GI Joe.  YO JOE!

The biggest question, however, remains.  Should I, your humble writer, go see such pinnacle of cinematic mastery?  Or should I just write about it without knowing the full truth?

At the moment, I chose the latter… for now..

Although, I cannot see how you can mess up a brand with a movie when it has strong definitive characters and a good storyline.  For instance, GI Joe has the typical good versus evil theme.  Such theme was utilized in Star Wars, Harry Potter, Gigli, etc.  Also, GI Joe has numerous round characters in its brand as protagonists and antagonists.  We have: Duke, the closet homosexual; Cobra Commander, a man with a drape on his head and also the enemy leader; Scarlett Lady Jane, your prototypical female protagonist support character; the Baroness, your prototypical female antagonist part-time femme fatale; and of course, Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, the ninjas because you can’t have an armed conflict without ninjas.

From what I know of the movie, all the characters I listed made appearances, making the movie a guaranteed success.  The obvious applause by critics domestic and abroad proves once again that movies based on toy brands will most certainly succeed.  It is without question that women in their 30s are now desperately awaiting for the Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony live-action movie adaptations.  Bring your kids to the back draft of nostalgia.  Watch GI Joe.  I know I won’t but I know that’s a burden I must carry with me until I do get to see the movie.  For now, I will huddle down in the cave and pray for the storm to pass.  As they say in the InterWeb, “the ninjas are coming.”

Stay tuned for more on movie-related postings.  Knowing is half the battle.  GI JOE!  YO JOE!