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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Toy Chest Box

Trilogies seem to be a fad right now. But very few had lived up to its name and outmatched their predecessors. When Toy Story came out in 1995 (?), it was an innovation. It became the first full-length 3D animated movie. Everyone was raving about this new movie making technique. Toy Story not only succeeded in terms of technology but it also captured the hearts of moviegoers. This is the legacy that Pixar has started. When Toy Story 2 came out, I was not ecstatic with it. It's good but it didn't have that WOW factor. It is a movie. Period.

Years went by. We never anticipated that a sequel would be in the works, but apparently, it did. I was in Manila when Toy Story 3 went out and I decided to watch in Imax 3d. Yup, IMAX! Although it costs 400php, I was not disappointed. 


We were again transported back into Andy's Room filled with our beloved toys, Woody, Buzz, Mr and Mrs. Potato, Slick, etc. We saw how Andy grew up and how the toys are finally feeling rejection from their owner. Now that Andy is going away for college, the toys now are abandoned in a Toy Box which was never opened for quite a long time and some of then must suffer the fate of being thrown away, be donated or rot in the attic and they chose the obvious option - attic. The toys feels so "geriatric" when they agreed to be in the attic, as long as they were together. But then, plans changed when accidentally, the toys were mistaken as garbage and then the 2nd best option is to be donated. That is how they end up in Sunnyside Day Care. It was there when they meet Lotso who made matters worse.

There were new characters in the movie which are lovable. Lotsa is the perfect poisoned honey for a villain and some new additions like Ken, etc.

Toy Story 3 aged a lot. This one does not rely on humor alone to enchant its audiences. It's not how the camera works that makes this movie so deep, rather, the movie relied much on its story. Although when the plot was first set in the first 20 minutes of the film, I was amazed on how the story went through without making it sound so far fetched. A lot of movies started right during the first part of the film but come tumbling down at the end trying to fit in a very complicated story and conflicts, Toy Story wasn't. It remained strong as the conflicts unfolded. It explores the deep emotion that are present on these abandoned toys. Though it is represented in such medium, the emotions that were implored in the movie applies to us as humans.

Who can deny that scene where the toys faces oblivion as they were about to be incinerated were one of the most powerful scenes in the movie? It was heart wrenching to see such scene that I really cared like I was a 4 year old losing my own toys. But the last 10 minutes was the most sadistic part of the movie when you have to fight back the tears so as not to embarrass yourself. Giving up things that were part most of your life is indeed hard, and when Woody was unexpectedly placed in the donation box, Andy was reluctant in giving him up but then.... He did. The long dead silence was far more enough to put everyone in Emo-mode, but it reached it's peak when all his toys were lined up in the porch of its new owner as Andy drives away to college.

Toy Story 3 is a bitter-sweet ending to a series which made a mark in my childhood. The movie is enchanting and lovely in its own right. 

GRADE: A+

p.s. Day and Night, the short movie before Toy Story, is such a good metaphor in presenting individual differences and how we can still make the ends meet....

Friday, June 18, 2010

Karate Kid kicks some ass

I could not make any comparison with the old one since I haven't seen the previous version before watching this one even though HBO made a lot of efforts rerunning the movie for the nth time, I simply don't have the time. I know, I am not up-to-date at this moment - I have been busy (?). I was in Davao when this movie was released in cinemas and decided that I go watch this here in Iloilo instead since I allotted my time mostly for sight-seeings.

When Smith was casted as the new Karate Kid, I found it risky since the original one is white. Fans may be outraged with this change, but come on, we have to give this kid a chance, he was good in The Pursuit of Happyness, right? Smith is the son of one of Hollywood's finest actors, Will Smith, and it seems that he had inherited his father's quirkiness. Jaden Smith is a fresh actor and delivers well in any emotion he is required. His comic timing is just right, I was even surprised that he can cry. He is one of the bankable child star of his time, although no one can top Dakota Fanning. 

Jackie Chan is a revelation in this movie. He does not do so much of a comic. In this movie, he is an actor. This movie liberates Jackie Chan from his usual type of movies and he becomes a deep actor with prowess in which he can boast of. I like him in this movie. He is not too light and not too heavy, he is "human" in this one. He is flawed and therefore human.

What makes this movie so good is its ability to make yourself be involved with it. It makes you care with the characters in it. From the time Dre and his mother went to China, the bullying of his classmates, the affection he developed with one of the Chinese kids and until the training. The movie deserves its 2 hour run for a "zero-to-hero" type of movie. It allowed character development. 

The movie can stand on its own feet. It has its own magic. It has its own message to be delivered.


GRADE: A-

note: Michelle Yeoh is the uncredited actress portraying the scene with the woman with the cobra... nice right?




Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Of Knights and Ogres


Okay, I may have missed some blogs but here it is. First things first. After being alone for quite some time now, I have sought refuge in my once considered lair - the cinema, and without hesitation, I watched alone and decided to view Shrek Forever After.

When Shrek was released back in the early 2000, it made a very big hit because of its ingenious plot of using various cartoon and fairy tale characters and made them in perfect synch. When Shrek 2 went out, it was phenomenal. The story, the characters, the humor and the music. I was quite overwhelmed with the film that I watched it countless times. It was in Shrek the Third when fairytale land came crashing by. That movie was a disaster. Less humor, less appealing music, same old and angry ogre.Just like in Shrek 4, Shrek becomes tiresome of the usual day to day activities leading him to ultimately take destiny and fate within his very big ogre hands... and so am I. There was nothing new with the material, well, except of course, the Piper. That and nothing else. Watching it in 3D also kinda helped the movie uplift somehow but if you are talking about the over-all impact of the movie... Naaah... Its a good thing they ended the series. If they try to reboot it, then have Andrew Adamson back as the director.

On other stories, moments ago, I just finished viewing Robin Hood after 2 weeks of waiting. I was really hoping that it will be released the same time as in Manila. And so, with childish eagerness, I sped up to Robinsons and watched Robin Hood. The films started and after 1 hour, it seems that there is nothing going on. Its like a history lesson gone wrong with a bad teacher and considering that Ridley Scott directs the film, the one that I adore when he made Hannibal and Gladiator, i was expecting more. I was expecting blood and gore in the movie but i was disappointed. The blood was not even convincing, it's more like a ketchup diluted with too much water. Anyway, when Robin Hood was announced by King John that he was indeed an outlaw, the film ended. What???!! This is all I am having? I need more. I need more of Robin Hood. This is just an epilogue of some kind? You could have jammed it up in just 30 minutes. Crap. This movie made Walt Disney's version more pleasurable to watch with men in my age.

Oh, I saw Prince of Persia last week too and I decided not to make a lengthy review, its not worth the spaces of my page.

GRADE:
Shrek 4: C+
Robin Hood: C
Prince of Persia: D