Movie Reviews – Three for the Price of One

Posted on April 1, 2010. Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , , |

I think I needed this week as my break time. I’ve been super busy getting things ready for bridal showers, job interviews, beginning new jobs, and other randomness. Thanks for bearing with me and my unusual blog posts!

As a treat and a thank you for hanging with me, I thought I’d post some mini movie reviews. No major spoilers, just my commentary. I’ve seen three movies in the last two-ish weeks, and I’m going to comment on all three, starting with the first one I saw.

What could be better than discovering you're a demi-god?

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

I saw this movie with my best friend, and my first big moment? Seeing Sean Bean. For me, Sean Bean will forever endear himself in my memory as Boromir from Lord of the Rings, so seeing him in this movie was an interesting treat. Though I can see the logic in going from Boromir to Zeus; it’s a kind of irony I enjoy.

The other actor I didn’t expect to see was the one, the only, Pierce Brosnan. From 007 and Mamma Mia darling to Centaur? Yes, that’s right. Pierce Brosnan plays a centaur in this movie based off a children’s book. I was mildly disturbed by that imagery, honestly, but I rolled with it as Brosnan’s not a major player in this story.

To me, the movie lacked oomph. It was a rather contrived plot, and the end result was as I expected it to be. It was a movie where I could tell from the beginning who the bad guy really was, and while I enjoyed the interactions between the three main characters, I was a little disappointed in the end result.

That and the fact that the depictions of the Greek gods were off. I’m not up on all my Greek mythology anymore, but I don’t recall the gods actually caring for and loving their demi-god children. But that’s a main theme in Percy Jackson, one that was a little hard to swallow.

I give it a 3 out of 5 possible stars, personally.

How many Mad Hatters can compete with Johnny Depp?

Alice In Wonderland

I saw this movie with my friend Victor the other night. I’m rather glad we went on Tuesday because one of the less popular theaters in town does a Tuesday deal where all movies–with the obvious exception of 3D ones–are only $5.00 for a ticket. So I saw this movie for half the price I would have paid to see it in the more popular Regal Cinemas theaters in town.

To be fair, my main beef with this movie was over the fictional Alice’s history. Instead of Alice Liddell, the screenwriters turned her into Alice Kingsley, daughter of a tradesman instead of a college dean. This immediately soured my experience of the movie, especially after having read Alice I Have Been.

However I found the movie interesting enough. I’d have liked a little more surprise personally, but what can you do in Wonderland, or Underland as it’s more commonly known in the film? The entire movie was an exercise in discovering identity. It follows some of the same themes of Lewis Carroll’s classic in that Alice is constantly deciding who she is, but it twists it a bit.

Instead of a lovably insane Hatter, Alice is confronted by a surprisingly lucid and deceptively flirtatious Hatter. It was one of the odder elements of the film: questions of a romance between Alice and the Mad Hatter. (Okay, so that was a little spoiler, I suppose – sorry!) But it was also an interesting development that I didn’t see coming.

And in the same way that Carroll left you charmed but confused in the books, the movie left you confused as well. There was plot, and woven into the movie were elements of both of the Alice books, but then there were moments where I wondered what on earth was going on.

From Depp’s accent changing during the entire movie to Helena Bonham Carter’s disturbing portrayal of the bigheaded Red Queen, the movie was just slightly to the left of creative genius. It managed to land somewhere between artistic disaster and breaking creative license.

All in all, I’d say this movie, too, merited a 3 out of 5 stars in my book, but I’m glad I saw it.

Who wouldn't want a pet dragon?

How To Train Your Dragon

Last but certainly not least, I went to see this with my parents tonight. And let me say I’ve been wanting to see this ever since I first started seeing previews for it. I am so glad I saw it tonight!

So I give this movie points for creativity, and I’ll go ahead and warn of a few minor spoilers here since I simply can’t keep it to myself. First of all, who wouldn’t enjoy a movie where the main character is named Hiccup? I laughed so hard when he told his name. Not only that, but who wouldn’t love a pet dragon named Toothless?

The basic plot, as you might have gathered from previews, is that this village of vikings has been fighting off dragons for years, and now Hiccup the disaster has come along and managed to befriend one of the beasts. No one else knows, but Hiccup is slowly learning how to tame dragons, and through this, he becomes a celebrity in the viking village while learning how to be Toothless’s friend.

If that isn’t enough to endear you to the movie, consider this: Hiccup is the son of the village leader, Stoick, voiced by Gerard Butler. In a village where everyone is expected to kill dragons, Hiccup is the black sheep son that Stoick can never be proud of.

This is an adorable coming-of-age tale that ties in cultural lessons as well. Discovering the differences in dragons is what wins Hiccup the town’s respect. Helping Toothless and being open to what dragons need is what endears him to the dragon population. But his biggest triumph isn’t till the end of the movie. But I’ll leave that for you to see. πŸ˜‰

I definitely give this movie a 5 out of 5 stars. Dreamworks did a fantastic job, and I would see it again in theaters without batting an eye.

Really, what more can you ask for? Go see the movie! You won’t regret it, and if you do, tell me, and I’ll buy you a book and send it to you. Honest! But you have to have a valid reason you don’t like the movie. Just saying – otherwise everyone’ll say they hate the movie just to get a free book.

With that said, I think that’s all I have to say about movies for tonight. We’ll be back to your regularly scheduled programming next week, I think. I’ll try to get in the swing of things now that I have a new job. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

So tell me, have you seen the movies I listed? What did you think of them? Are you going to go see any of them? Tell me, tell me!

-Rae-

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3 Responses to “Movie Reviews – Three for the Price of One”

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We read the whole Percy Jackson series, and the movie obviously left a lot out. I liked it because it was fun, but it wasn’t nearly as good as the books. They left out entire plots, in the books there’s divided loyalty, conflict over Chronos and the Olympians, a terrible prophecy, and the bad guy was a complete surprise that you didn’t find out until after the whole lightning thing is resolved.

As far as the gods loving their kids, that does show up in the books, but as a Greek myth buff I didn’t have a problem with that. It was a modern retelling with some artistic license. I was cool with it. πŸ™‚

My son wants to see How to train a dragon now though!

Alright. Alright. I’ll tell ya. Sheesh.

:-p

I did see How to Train Your Dragon. I didn’t realize it was based off of a book until after seeing it. I thought it was a good film. Enjoyable, but I honestly don’t understand the intense fascination for it.

I mean with Ratatouille I got it. With Wall-E I got it, With Finding Nemo I got it, but with this I thought it was just a fun movie about a kid and his dragon.

Whatever, I’m happy for it’s success. I’m a sucker for most animation and animated films in general.

-Ed

I have nothing to say on the topic of the movies, but I just wanted to say hi and that I hope the new job is going well.


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