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Finding Nemo

Posted by Player under Animation

Finding NemoOn a Saturday afternoon, I decided to be brave and take both my 5 year old and my terrible 2 year old to see Pixar’s latest film on the big screen. After Monster’s Inc. let me down last time, Pixar actually surprised me this time. Not sure if the colors or fish themselves put people in a good mood, but pretty much all the adults and kids in the theater enjoyed Finding Nemo.

Storyline:

The film tells the story of a father clown fish who loses his son after an argument. On the pursuit of his son, Marlen, the father fish, meets up with Dory, a bluefish played by Ellen Degenerous. Meanwhile Nemo is learning about the world and the real struggles of other fish in an aquarium! Eventually life long lessons are learned by both father and son, all without getting too emotional or corny.

Effects & Acting:
Usually this is where I talk about how the special effects in a movie either thrilled me or let me down, but this is a complete CGI film, so technically the special effects are the acting and the voices. Degenerous does an excellent job of portraying a forgetful fish, and her voice is quite comical and appropriate for the Dory character. In reality what makes Finding Nemo a good movie is not the fish, but the human predicament and emotion being portrayed, and this is what good drama is all about.

Conclusion:

Overall Finding Nemo was not as good as ToyStory2, but it was better than Monster’s Inc, because the story is simple and the characters are very expressive. It is also the first movie that my 2 year old watched almost completely in the theater, so in that alone I have to thank Pixar.

4 out 5 stars

28th
AUG

Bend It Like Beckham

Posted by Player under Drama

Bend It Like BeckhamEvery year there comes a movie that is suppose to be “ethnic” and we are suppose to view it as good film, Bend It Like Beckham, is such a film. Like other films that fall into this category, namely the film about the kid who practiced ballet against his father’s wishes, comes to mind, this is a film about a young kid who has to sneak around because of a disapproving parent.

Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra is a yound Indian girl who loves soccer, but who’s parents feel she should move past girlhood fantasies and become a woman, meaning taking on responsibility and acting more lady like. However when Jess is spotted by Juliette “Jules” Paxton, an English teenager with the same passion for soccer, she becomes encouraged to play for an all-girl soccer team. Eventually Jess and Jules becomes good friends and since they are girls, good rivals when it comes to the attention of their young Irish coach.

The supporting cast is made up of Jule’s parents in contrast to Jess’s very traditional family. There is a lot of light humor and the plot is pretty much the same as Billy Elliot.

The film features a strange mix of music, from 70’s funk to 80’s feel-good songs, all pretty upbeat.

Although the film lacks the depth of say Muriel’s Wedding, it still has good acting, some decent sub-plots to keep its audience.

Final Thoughts: I’d probably would label this film as a film for women, simply because it falls really close to My Big Greek Wedding, which is also a film aimed at a female audience.

3 out 5 stars

28th

Anchorman

Posted by Player under Comedy

AnchormanWhen I sat down and watched Anchorman, I thought for sure I’d see something totally hilarious and a film I could watch over and over again. But so far I’m a bit confused with this movie. Sure the gags and lines were very funny in certain scenes and sure Will Ferrell as a 1970’s anchorman was dead on hilarious, but the film as a whole just did not click for me.

Imagine the 1970’s when the only people on the News team were men and they were as manly as Tom Seleck’s Magnum PI. That is pretty much the setting for the story. Ron Burgundy is this macho but sensitive anchor who everyone loves and his fellow news guy made up of a ladies man roving reporter, a texas sports guy, and a mentally disabled weatherman are his gang. But this all changes when the network wants diversity and hires a woman to help out with the news. At first Ron is totally attracted to Veronica Corningstone (Christinia Applegate), but then he finds himself at odds with her when she does not live up to his stereotypical woman/wife. Somehow the fighting leads to a cruel prank by Corningstone that ends up getting Burgundy fired and his life falls apart without his job. Along the way there are appearances from Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Jack Black, and others in some very hilarious stereotype gags.

Perhaps my favorite is when the roving reporter introduces himself and says he has named his penis The Octogon and when Burgundy refers to his arms as his Guns.

Critically, I think the idea was to show men in their peak of masculinity and to show exactly how this excess macho state of manhood was in fact feminine: like when the men all kid about porking Veronica Corningstone one day, but then when Burgundy announces he actually has done it, instead of asking for details of the sex, they inquire about what true love feels like.

However some gags just seem so out of place in today’s PC world, like Burgundy telling Corningstone that he is going to smack her and stuff, which makes you think, yeah that is suppose to be funny, but it really isn’t.

The film reminded me of Jack Black’s movie in which he falls in love with an obese women played by Gwenyth Paltrow. In that film, the premise was good, but somehow the director and writer did not pull it off, and ended up with a film that seems less funny and mostly cruel. In Anchorman, we get the idea and the jokes are funnier, but they quite did not pull it off either, so Anchorman remains a movie of stitched together sexist jokes that are plain hilarious but which end up overtaking the story and characters themselves.

I will give it to them, because the whole thing of the Burgundy’s dog barking and him understanding him was hilarious, because he keeps telling the dog at certain times, that he can’t understand Spanish. The idea of a bilingual barking dog is just plain genius.

3 out 5 stars

28th

Bulletproof Monk

Posted by Player under Action

Bulletproof MonkMartial Arts are all the rage ever since the Matrix brought back cool fighting scenes into the main cinema. Since then we’ve seen Cameron Diaz kick high in two Charlie’s Angels films, and even a few mocking scenes in such films as Scary Movie, but in reality the action fighting scenes in most Asian films are a lot better done than most American movies have been able to show.

Bulletproof Monk unfortunately ends up being one of these American movies that tries to give you a lot of martial arts scenes with the same old Karate Kid story in the background and as a film it fails to really excite the Kung-Fu and Karate kid in me.

ChoYung Fat plays the bulletproof monk who is the keeper of a magic scroll that when read will give ultimate power. American Pie’s Stifler plays the kid part of the typical American who has the gift but does not really understand it. That story is of course contrasted with the evil Nazi who is after the scroll and will do anything to get it.

The two become teacher and student in between all the action scenes, eventually leading to a showdown, where Stiffler’s love interest also comes out and helps kick bad Nazi ass. I guess at this point, the film is more Karate Kid 1 and 4 put together.

Most of the fighting scenes are done well enough, to make you think you are not watching Cameron Diaz fighting, but they are nothing compared to say Iron Monkey or Black Mask which are true Asian action films that feature some of the most amazing scenes, I’ve ever seen.

In the end I was bit disappointed because I really expected some comedy out of Stiffler and better fighting from a movie that is title Bulletproof Monk.

DVD sound is standard 5.1 Dolby Digital, but there is a 2.0 Stereo Spanish track so if you like watching films in Spanish, this one at least offers it.

2.5 out 5 stars