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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Battle of Hogwarts: A Documentary


 July 14 of this year marks the anniversary of the end of the most beloved series - Harry Potter. As a commemoration of this event, I would like to share to all Potter fans a documentary made by fan as well. Battle of Hogwarts features the lives of the most important characters 20 years after the historic event. What happens to them? How are they coping? Are their lives better after the death of Voldemort? Were there any regrets?

These are just few of the questions that was answered in this documentary but most importantly, where is Harry Potter? 

This 5 Part documentary is as faithful as to what I believe J.K. Rowling might want her characters would be.  Enjoy and share some thoughts after watching it...



Chapter 1


Chapter 2


Chapter 3



Chapter 4


Chapter 5



 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme



Eugene Domingo comes back with the film which made her career sky rocketed. The trailer posed a plot that this will not be a regular comedy but it has a pinch of mystery and horror. This is where the movie started to fumble down.


While the first Kimmy Dora was a strong film both for its ingenuity and wit. The story, though offensive, is funny and has the appropriate comic timing. Kimmy Dora 2 suffers what mainstream movies are suffering. It has pushed too hard that it is too generic and almost commercialized. It was a relief that there were no product endorsements in the film. Star Cinema was able to make a coal out of the gem that Kimmy Dora had with its first film.


I won't divulge the plot as it would be a waste of words since the movie bacame very predictable up to its last frame, I would be expressing my sentiments about the film. Yes. I had a few laughs but not as hard as its predecessor. Eugene Domingo is consistent in delivering her performances of two opposite characters: one is a Type A personality devoid of feelings of actual kindness aside for herself and Barry (Zanjoe Marrudo) and to Dora occasionally, and the other who happens to be the complate opposite of the latter. There are no problems with the actors, it was the story itself that pulled the movie down. It was too generic that I suspect that everyone is either too lazy to make a story or they were influenced by the executives to change whatevery original idea the writers have.
 
Kimmy Dora seemed to be following the footsteps of Ang Tanging Ina - a once good plot with a declining quality one film to another. I admire the cinematography and special effects in the film. There were cameos in the first part of the film which lost its momentum in the middle of the film. The characters were not as lovable as the first and lost its charms.


Kimmy Dora is a great film. The only thing that they would redeem themselves is that they would not allow the 3rd installment be a mainstream film but an independent one. Kimmy Dora can survive on its own even without the help of a powerful company.



GRADE: B-



trailer


Rock of Ages


Based on the hit musical comes another film about knowing your destiny, taking risks and standing for your dream. Directed by Adam Shankman, the same person who directed Hairspray, helms this films to his best together with an ensemble that would be almost at par with Valentine's Day.

Sherrie is young girl in search of her dreams to become a famous singer goes to Hollywood to start her dreams. There she met Drew, an employee of Bourbon who has the heart for Rock and Roll but doesn't have the guts to stand for it. Their meeting ignites their passions as they pursue their dream even the circumstances are against them. Stacee Jaxx, played by Tom Cruise, is the rock legend who rose from the Bourbon.

I had my hesitations when I first knew that the director of Hairspray will be making the film. I really find the movie adaptation of Hairspray as bland and dull. The music was not given justice in Hairspray and I am afraid that Rock of Ages will have the same treatment which I was not wrong about it. The opening song was as bland as Hairspray's Good Morning Baltimore. The musical arrangements are also a problem in the film. We know how Glee influenced music as of this moment with their "Mash-up", however, this is not effective with this film. The 80's music is considered to be one of the best aside from the 70s and 60s. 80's music can stand on its own, mash up is not necessary to be put in film. Most of the musical numbers are also not appropriate with how the story is going and left dumbfounded sometimes.

The movie also suffers with very meaningless script. The lack of depth of the characters are also a major problem in the entire film. The singing was also a problem throughout. Though Catherine Zeta Jones, Mary J. Blige and the two lead characters did great, Tom Cruise suffers from the curse of Autotune which is as evident as a pimple of a 15 year old teenager. 

Rock of Ages is good movie if they hired Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) to make it. The film lack the pizzazz that Dreamgirls and Chicago has and that can be a problem.

GRADE: C

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Madagascar 2: Europe's Most Wanted


Madagascar is considered to be one of the most successful 3D Animated films made by Dreamworks to date. Now that children and adults are getting tired of Shrek since Andrew Adamson left the franchise, Dreamworks has something to offer to and that is Madagascar. In the first film, Alex and his friends escaped from the zoo and end up in Madagascar. In Part 2, upon their return, they crashed in Africa in their place of origin and in this last installment, they have one more adventure that could be a sign that the franchise may be ending with a trilogy.

Alex longs New York and the fame that he has back their, this pushed him and his friend to force an alliance with the penguins to fly them back to New York. However, they crash landed again and was stranded in Europe. The fun started when they were tricked by the penguins and now soliciting their help but ended with one problem to another leading them to be dubbed as Most Wanted in Europe by Capt. Chantel Dubois of Animal Control Division. While trying to escape, they have to resort to a circus as circus animals which they end up helping improve their quality of entertainment.

I have seen the revious movies but it is this 3rd installment that I had the most laughs. One of the key characters that made this film is placing a lunatic character for a villain. Capt. Dubois is driven and sadistic to her cause which is to collect the heads of those animal who are in the run, the only thing missing in his wall is Alex's head which can complete her Wall of Success. The last amusing villain I ever laid my eyes on was Yzma of The Emperor's New Groove. Though Yzma is somewhat dumb, DuBois is cunning and determined to her mission with a handful of lunacy. 

The storytelling is strong with this installment unlike with its predecessors. Strong start and a very strong climax. This could be one fun film both for adults and children. This is one of the best sequel for a 3D Animated Film since Shrek 2.

GRADE: B+

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Prometheus


Ridley Scott, the maker of the Alien series, the discoverer of girl power in the person of Sigourney Weaver, is back with a vengeance. It has been too long since Scott helmed something in the silver screen, and this comeback is a sure hit especially for those who are thirsty for the genre Scott is very familiar with.

For starters, Prometheus is a prequel for the Alien series. I did not notice this until I saw the Opening Credits where I found it vaguely familiar and similar with Aliens. Prometheus follows the story of a group of people sent on a mission to find the proof of existence, the proof that god-like creatures exists in different galaxies who are responsible for our existence. Aboard the ship Prometheus are Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and her team with Meredith Vickers (Theron) and David, the android that helps Theron monitor their activities. It was when they arrived in the planet that they discover the existence of creatures and their the reason of their apparent demise. Conflicts rose when a biological entity was able to breach the ship and caused a lot of damages to the ship and its occupants.

The film is co-written by David Lindeloff, one of the brilliant minds who brought us the mystery of the Island in LOST. This somehow increased my anticipation that this will not be as shallow as the earlier Alien films particulary the Alien vs. Predator series. There were questions that were posed in the film. Mysteries that needs to be answered. What is the purpose of these creatures? Why were they destroyed? Who created them? What was the balance that needs to be filled in the search for the truth and new knowledge? The problem with the film is it left us hanging. Most of the questions were not addressed and that it may be a loophole for a possibiity of a sequel for the prequel. 
 
The actors portrayed their characters well. Michael Fassbender portrayed a very convincing android while Noomi Rapace (Girl with The Dragon Tatoo) showed how powerful her character is. The special effects are beyond expectations and provided a very relaistic environment for the planet itself. 

Though the 1st half of the film dragged a bit, the second half was a roller coaster of events that would make cringe a bit and root for the survival of the characters involve. In terms of suspense, Scott has still magic tricks left in his sleeve and I would give that he hasn't given everything yet with this film.

Prometheus is a film to watch by those who saw the first Alien film. Scott reignites the franchise will eye-popping visuals and commendable suspense that is somehow lost in Hollywood's vast number of eye candies.

GRADE: A-

trailer




Snow White and The Huntsman



When Snow White made her first screen debut in 1939, she started the animation business for Walt Disney and made the company one of the best studios during their time. It was that time when everyone was submerged in a fantasy about princesses who are in distress and princes that would eventually save them from their impending demise. Snow White is the queen of all fairy tales. Little girls hold to the promise of Snow White's story - an ending of happily-ever-afters.


Snow White and the Huntsman is a reinvention of a beloved classic. This is a bold risk for the producers - to defy what is already a norm and replace a new religion to the fans of the fairy tale. Though the promise of a good story with a good film is widely anticipated, one is very curious on how they would pull this one off. This is a make or break move for the screenwriter, the director and the actors portraying their characters.


While the movie follows the plot of a princess being envied by her stepmother and was sent to the woods to be killed, there have been a lot of twists and turns with this film by adapting a somewhat Shakespearean approach to the tale. While the title suggests that the Prince is not alone in conquering the heart of the beloved Princess, it also shows that the minor character in the tale will be promoted as part of the lead cast in the film.


One of the worst flaw of the film is the writing itself. Though there has been an attempt to ante the dialogues to match a well written poetry, it somehow failed miserably as words are as boring as how the actors 
themselves delivered their lines which brought me to my second point as to why the film sucked in almost every way or another. Casting Kristen Stewart as Snow White may be a fitting choice for the producers since she sells movies like hotcakes. Thanks to Twilight, we get to see how constipated Kristen in every movie she made. I remember seeing her in Panic Room in 2002 where she starred opposite Jodie Foster and comparing her 10 years after, she hasn't managed to squeeze out a variety of emotions in her succeeding films. Casting Charlize Theron as the Queen is a big mistake. Since when Kristen was more beautiful than Charlize? Although I have to admit that Charlize did well as the sinister queen, but they would looked for someone more beautiful than Charlize to cast as Snow White. Chris Hemsworth, with his accent, somehow lived up with the Huntsman character. The Prince is almost invisible throughout the film.


The plot is also messed up and suffers most of the time with dragging parts. The context of magic was also placed with utter negligence. Somehow, there were things that were plotted out of place. There is too much characterization with the Huntsman and the Queen and they tend to forget that Snow White is still there. There is little motivation to the character that lead to the climatic battle against the queen. 


Snow White may be a hit to all Stewart fans but this film missed to hit what is essential to moviegoers who looks for something fresh. The worst is, this is a recycled idea but the outcome came out to be trash that even the beauty of Charlize Theron could not even save it.


GRADE: D-

trailer