In 2005, when the The Chronicles of Narnia book series still became… MoreIn 2005, when the The Chronicles of Narnia book series still became one of the best-selling novels since the 1950s, Disney adapted the second book into a feature film titled "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe. When it was first released in December, it received a critical acclaim from critics and fans approved of it for being faithful to the source material. Despite it's expensive budget, it became a huge hit at the box office with only 745 million worldwide and with that, the production for Prince Caspian began in 2007. Then, on May of 2008, when it was first released, it received positive reviews as well, but not as high as the LWW's score.
As a fan of the books, I was ashamed for not seeing the first Narnia movie in theaters, but seeing as how I now have, I had much anticipation to see this back at 2008. When I saw it with my brother, we apparently enjoyed it and while I prefer The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe to be the best of the film series, I think this is a pretty good adaption of the book that everyone thought to be the worst entry of the series.
Before I would see why I understood all the hatred it had, there are some good things that I liked about the film. The title character of the film, Prince Caspian, played by Ben Barnes, is a fine character in the movie even though he's much older compared to the book. The Pevensie kids are as likable as ever, the Narnia creatures are great, especially Reepicheep, who is a funny comic-relief while serious and even though Aslan appeared near the end of the film, it's great to see him in the dream sequence Lucy had. Now, the villain being turned to a Hispanic ruler may be the reason why this movie received the bashing in the first place, but I actually liked the portrayal. Sure, his accent may have disappointed others, but his motives are solid it started to make me like him.
The storyline, despite a few changes here and there, is true to the spirit and tone of the book while having a much darker & mature tone, which makes it very satisfying. The writing, however, is the strongest part of the story. It maintains the adventure elements from the book. Kudos to the screenwriters who made the script. :) The visuals are great, the scenery is beautiful to look at and the CGI effects on the Narnia creatures are awesome. Aside from it's sluggish pacing (I'm OK with two hours, but I nearly fell asleep), the direction from Andrew Adamson is solid and flows the story really well. The battle sequences are great and the music score from Harry Gregson Williams retains the same themes from the first Narnia film, but it has an epic tone to it.
Overall, Prince Caspian isn't as strong as LWW and I understood the hatred it had, but I personally think this is an underrated sequel to an epic film. Totally recommended to others who haven't seen it yet. I hope you Narnian fans out there won't hate me for saying this. I just think it's that good.
Seriously, why didn't this movie received better than the reception it… MoreSeriously, why didn't this movie received better than the reception it had? I thought that this was a very underrated Disney flick next to Robin Hood and The Black Cauldron. Sure, it's not in the same depth as the later films including most of the Renaissance films, but it's still a good movie to watch for the whole family. Now that it celebrated it's 50th Anniversary, this is my final review for 2013 before 2014 starts.
It tells the story bout Arthur/Wart, a measly servant knave who dreams of becoming a knight but is barely certain he may act as squire to castle lord Sir Ector's son Kay. Then, the sorcerer Merlin and his grumpy, talking owl Archimedes invite themselves to the castle and move into its dilapidated north tower. Merlin, who can magically access the future, intends to prepare Wart for a grand future, so he gives the squirt dangerous lessons, transforming themselves into animals to learn the mental skills befitting a knight and a ruler.
With that said, there are a lot of good things about this film. The animation is beautiful and it's character animation is decent. The characters are likable and the voice acting is solid. The story has heart and comedy mixed perfectly, the writing is excellent, and there is a great moment where Merlin battles against Madam Mim in their animal forms which made the whole movie worth it. The songs, while not the best work from the Sherman brothers, are tolerable enough to listen to and the music score is solid.
Overall, The Sword in the Stone came this close to becoming a masterpiece, but with all of my heart, as a Disney fan, this is an extremely underrated movie that deserves a lot more recognition than the reception it received. Thumbs up! :)
After Walt Disney died in 1967 right before The Jungle Book was… MoreAfter Walt Disney died in 1967 right before The Jungle Book was released, they other workers decided to continue making more films without him in honor of his memory. Later, in 1973, after The Aristocats received lukewarm reviews from critics, but found it's audience in 1970, they made an adaptation of a legendary hero who robs the rich and give to the poor known as "Robin Hood".
It tells the story about the title character and others in an anthropomorphism way about Robin Hood and his friend Little John as they attempt to bring the money back to the poor, but they must also bring peace to Nottingham from the evil tyrant Prince John.
Seeing this as a child, is it still a classic that holds up to this day in it's 30th Anniversary? Not exactly, but with all due respect, this is a very entertaining Disney family movie for kids and adults to enjoy. The animation, aside from some recycled bits from Snow White, Jungle Book, & Aristocats in the "Phony King of England" sequence, is very lovely with beautiful backgrounds and solid character animation.
The characters are likable and are helped by a solid voice cast. Brian Bedford as Robin Hood is charming enough and his line-delivery is solid! Phil Harris, the guy who voiced Baloo in The Jungle Book and Thomas O Malley is The Aristocats, is both funny and serious as Little John. Monica Evans is very lovely as Maid Marian and Peter Ustinov did a solid work as the hilarious villain Prince John. The other characters are great and so are the sidekicks especially Pat Buttram as the Sheriff of Nottingham.
The music score is nice and while the songs may not be as memorable as the other Disney films, particularly Beauty and the Beast & The Lion King, but they're pleasant enough to listen to. The dialog is hilarious and smart it makes up for the overall episodic plot. There are a lot of great moments including the fight scene after the archery contest and the climax.
Overall, Disney's Robin Hood may not match the same depth as the more superior films, but it's still a fun-filled entertaining family film that everyone will watch again and again for all time. Recommended! :)
Last year, author Suzanne Collins sold her film rights to Lionsgate… MoreLast year, author Suzanne Collins sold her film rights to Lionsgate and with that, they made her first book of a trilogy into a feature film, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, etc. Produced on a 78 million budget, it became a huge hit at the box office in it's spring break weekend in 2012, received a critical acclaim from both critics and audiences along with fans of the books. With that, the second entry of a new franchise was in the works.
As a complete fan of the books, I loved the first film. Even though it lacked some of the plot twists and the ending could've used some fixing, it was well-acted from a solid cast that portrayed the characters from the books perfectly, it had some great action sequences aside from some violent ones, it had some great visual scenery (not to mention some cool special effects), and it was well-paced. So, having repeatedly read the second book, I prepared myself to see it with my family two days ago and when we saw it, it really blew me away.
Not only did this sequel exceeded my expectations, but it managed to be much more compelling than the first movie. It has the same thing that made the previous entry so perfect. The same cast of actors did a great job with their roles and the two main leads played by Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, Katniss and Peeta, had some great chemistry together. Woody Harrelson is still as likable as Haymitch; Donald Sutherland's sinister presence as President Snow really amazed me and Phillip Seymour Hoffman did a good job as Plutarch Heavensbee. The side characters, including Gale Hawthorne, and the new tributes in the 75th Annual Hunger Games are very interesting and the actors including Sam Clafin, Liam Hemsworth, & others.
The storyline is faithful to the book and is also touching and engaging that has some heart in the right spot. The love story is also handled perfectly well and it shows that Peeta and Gale help Katniss instead of pining her love affections unlike in the Twilight series. The writing is very strong and has some humorous bits while the dialog is very amusing. The visual scenery is great, the CGI effects on the orangutans is solid and really scary-looking. The music score from James Newton Howard is much more effective while using the same themes from the first film, but the best part would have to go to the action sequences.
The fight sequences with Katniss and Peeta along with their allies fighting against other tributes who are trying to kill them are of sheer excellence, but the final part where Katniss shoots the arrow with an electric cord tied to it to blow up the Arena is surprisingly epic. Also, the ending is very good, but I won't spoil it to those who haven't seen the movie yet.
Overall, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is an epic sequel to a great movie. It left me totally excited for Mockingjay in two parts in the next two years. With that, I'll be willing to anticipate for those films. Recommended to others and fans of the book trilogy. :)
Having seen the previews for the movie, I've started to read the book… MoreHaving seen the previews for the movie, I've started to read the book it was based on. When I read it, it was very fascinating. It's kind of like a mixture of Harry Potter meets Star Wars (with a little bit of Hunger Games) and has a very complex story. It's characterizations are well-done, the characters are interesting, the action is superb, and the writing is fantastic. So, when I saw this movie, I said to myself, "This isn't so bad after all." But while I do think this is a decent interpretation of the novel, it's also pretty flawed, so before I can get to the good stuff, there are three problems I would like to point out.
1) The pacing. It started out OK in the first ten minutes, but the rest of the movie is very slow. Near the end of the film, it's also a bit rushed despite having a huge set up for a sequel should the movie do well at the box office in a matter of days.
2) The script. To be fair, it does follow the source material from the novel a bit closely, but it left out some of the important details in order to shorten the minute length. Also, it should've had scenes with Ender with his relationships with the other kids including Petra, Bean, and others.
and 3) The lack of characterizations. Aside from focusing on only Ender and his training while also handling all the hard tasks that he's been going through along with Colonel Graff, the side characters a bit undeveloped. I'm not blaming it on the actors, they did a really good job. It's just that they were underwritten quite a bit.
That's it for the flaws and now to the good stuff. The visuals are nice to look at especially the Battleroom scenes. The CGI effects aren't that bad and the action sequences are very entertaining they remind me of a video game inside a stadium, which is a good thing. The storyline, despite it's flawed script, follows the book a bit closely while staying true to the message about the way we might do to protect our people, but only at what the cost to do so. The music score from Steve Jablonsky (the guy who did the music for all three Transformers movies) is very effective and atmospheric.
The best part, however, would have to go to the acting. Aside from what I've said about the side characters not given much to do even though the actors themselves did a very good job, the two actors Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford did a great job as the two characters Ender and Colonel Graff. Asa captured Ender's intelligence and humanity from the book very well and it made me relate to him and while Harrison Ford isn't given much to do other than giving orders, he did a fine job as the gruff colonel.
Overall, Ender's Game isn't a terrific movie that I would recommend to fans of science fiction movies, but aside from the flaws that I've already started, this is a decent and a bit faithful interpretation of the novel from Orson Scott Card. It's worth for at least one ticket, but to fans of the novel will be pleased by how much effort Gavin Hood (director of X-Men Origins: Wolverine) had in making a classic 1980s novel come to life on the big screen.
When I saw the trailers, I became very amused and read all five Mortal… MoreWhen I saw the trailers, I became very amused and read all five Mortal Instruments books with a sixth book coming next year. Then, as I watched it, it turned out to be a very interesting film. Although, I do understand the critical reception it had due to it's similarities of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight, but I don't think it's as bad as they say it is because what these critics don't know is that "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" is entirely different than those films and much better than Twilight in my opinion (heck, even better than the "Twilight-wannabe" Beautiful Creatures).
Before I can get to the good stuff, I would say that there are some flaws. The story is a lot more engaging than Twilight and Beautiful Creatures and the opening is well-done, but when it comes to young-adult film adaptations, it did left out some of the important stuff that have already caused an outrage to the fans, although they did give a lot of nice detail of the world created by Cassandra Clare. Also, the romance between Jace and Clary is poorly done because it transited some scenes a bit too fast and there wasn't enough chemistry.
With that said, everything else was great. The visuals are breathtakingly beautiful, the scenery is nice to look at, and the special effects are very cool (even the creepy demons look realistic). The music score, aside from a few out of place pop songs, is epic with a lot of atmospheric stuff in it. There are bits of funny moments and the action sequences are entertaining, but the best part would have to go to a decent cast of actors.
Lily Collins is very appealing as Clary and emotes very well with the supporting actors, Jamie Campbell as Jace is very witty, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers is very sinister as Valentine Morgenstern. The script is fine with really smart dialog and the direction from Harold Zwart is solid.
Overall, TMI: COB isn't as excellent as the other fantasy films like "The Lord of the Rings", "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "Harry Potter", but like I said before, it's a lot better than Twilight and I strongly suggest that anyone, especially those who haven't read the books, can go check it out! It is that good! :)