Tuesday, October 30, 2012

“Cloud Atlas” Review

(warning: general spoilers below)

This past Friday I went to the premier of the movie Cloud Atlas, not really knowing what to expect, except that it was a movie spanning several “lifetimes” (having seen that in the few previews and from the one friend that I had talked to about the movie). I did know that it was a three hour movie.
The movie starts off with Tom Hanks sitting as an old man talking in some weird language, then segues to 1849 where you see a “younger” Tom Hanks digging in the sand of a South Pacific island beach. The movie stays there for a few minutes to introduce you to another of the main characters, before shuttling you off to 1930’s London, I think, into the bed of a pair of men, post-coitus, and you realize that one of the men is the “same” man that Tom Hanks was talking to on the beach in 1849. This is the way that the movie begins, weaving its way thru several hundred years, introducing you to six different story lines. Each story line focuses on two characters which would invariably tie into another storyline later. 1849 South Pacific ties into 1930’s London, 1930’s London ties into 1973 San Francisco, 1973 San Francisco ties into 2012 London, 2012 London ties into 2144 Neo Seoul, and 2144 Neo Seoul ties into old Tom Hanks’ time.
I don’t want to give too much away, since I was accused of doing that in my last review, but the main characters are a doctor and his patient (1849), a master musician, his apprentice and his lover (1930), a magazine writer and a corrupt organization (1973), a publicist on the run (2012), a created being, her lover, and her captor (2144), and a group of post-apocalyptic refugees living in the jungle trying to survive.
The movie itself was well written and directed, but I do have to say that I was a little confused due to the jumping between time periods. But after a while, the story telling mechanism begins to make sense, when they went back to 1849 after seeing “old” Tom Hanks’ again, and then on to 1930s and so on. You find yourself drawn into the movie and began to see the story lines begin to meld together, and even begin to see the people that were the same thru the timelines. When the movie ended, I could not believe that three hours had passed and that it was over. I was completely enthralled in the plot, and plan on getting this movie when it comes out on video just to watch it again to make sure that I had not missed any important plot points.
As the movie progressed there was a bit of language, sex, and nudity (both male and female), which I cannot downplay so it may not be for all ages. In fact, the first swear word was the “F” word dropped by Halle Berry, and it was not the only time it was used in the course of the movie. But, the movie did not have too many swear words in it (15-20 total for a 172 minutes) and 3 sex scenes, plus 4 different nudity scenes (including the sex scenes) .
In all, this was a very good movie, well worth your time, and may be something to use for a study in human behavior, as it does explore it in depth. As I mentioned, it would not be for the young (under 10, because of the language and nudity, and the small bit of violence that was shown), but it would be ok for all others as long as a parent was there to explain what was going on or fast forward thru the nudity and sex. Definitely am going back for seconds on this one.

Plot: 9.8/10
Humor: 9.3/10
Family Friendly Language: 8.9/10
“Family Friendly” Violence: 9.0/10
Nudity/Suggestive Situations: 8.5/10
Overall Rating 9.1/10

As always, if you like what I have to say, please leave me feedback below or send me an e-mail at childofking88@aol.com. If you don’t like what I have to say, please leave me feedback below or send me an e-mail at childofking88@aol.com.

As always, be kind, please rewind, and remember two wrongs may not make a right, but three rights always make a left.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Frankenweenie Review

Now, first off, let me say, I am not a Tim Burton fan, so, I went in to Frankenweenie with a little trepidation and hesitation. But, I had been watching trailers for the movie for the last few months and with each new one, had been getting more stoked for it.

So, opening night, I purchased my ticket for the IMAX 3D show and bought my small popcorn, Twizzlers, and large Coke Zero and plopped down sixth row center to enjoy my first black and white movie in a theater in my life. I love the old time horror films like Dracula, Frankenstein, Curse of the Mummy mainly for their over the top acting and kind of camp feeling and was hoping that Frankenweenie would be the same.

The theater was having problems with the audio for the preshow and I did not get to hear any of the “pre-“previews of Arthur Christmas, Brave or Adventure Time, and then when the actual preview for Oz the Great and Powerful came on, the 25 people who were in the theater were almost blown out by the sudden change from no audio to excessive loudness.

The movie itself was a definite departure from your standard Disney fare, with it taking a dark turn about ten minutes in (spoiler alert) with the death of Sparky. Even though the actual death was not shown on screen, I actually did not want to see it happen (the death occurred off screen) and felt bad for Victor, even though I knew it had to happen to drive the plot.

In the meantime, it is announced that the school is supposed to have a science fair.

Following the dog’s burial, Victor is in his science class, when the teacher begins to talk about reanimation, which gives Victor an idea. A la Frankenstein, he builds his laboratory in the attic of his parents’ house and begins to work on bring his beloved dog back to life.

He succeeds, and works (quite miserably) to keep the resurrected dog a secret, as the dog escapes from the attic and is spotted by the “Igor” of the movie, who black mails Victor into replicating the feat with a dead fish, which turns invisible for “Igor” upon its resuscitation.

Once “Igor” (whose name is Edgar E. Gore) has left Victor’s house, he runs into two of his classmates and shows them the invisible fish. They immediately think that Victor is going to win the science fair with this discovery, so they have to come up with something bigger and better.

Hijinks ensue as the pair try their hand at rocketry sans a working rocket.

Finally, the entire science class find out how Victor brought Sparky back to life and decide to bring various animals back to life or supercharge other animals (Sea Monkeys, a Cat that happens to grab a bat at the exact moment the lightning strikes the wire). All of the beasts grow into monsters and it is up to Victor and Sparky to save the city, at the ultimate sacrifice of Sparky’s life, or so it seems. . .

The movie definitely pays homage to the classic monster movies, with nods to Godzilla, the Mummy, of course Frankenstein, and Dracula. Tim Burton also slips in a subtle nod to his Batman movies with a Batman kite that Victor uses for the reviving of Sparky.

This is a great way to introduce children to monster movies, with no swearing, no onscreen violence, no sex, and it gives parents a way to talk to kids about good and bad afterwards. I would definitely watch the movie again and again, even knowing the ending, and even though I am an animal lover and do not like to see animals die (seeing a dog get “hit” by a car) would give a parent an in road to talk to a child about death if the question was brought up.

Plot: 9.8/10
Humor: 9.7/10
Family Friendly Language: 10/10
“Family Friendly” Violence: 9.5/10
Nudity/Suggestive Situations: 10/10
Overall Rating 9.6/10

As always, if you like what I have to say, please leave me feedback below or send me an e-mail at childofking88@aol.com. If you don’t like what I have to say, please leave me feedback below or send me an e-mail at childofking88@aol.com.

As always, be kind, please rewind, and remember two wrongs may not make a right, but three rights always make a left.