jump to navigation

Over the Hedge (2006) – His Review October 11, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Movies.
3 comments

Overt hedge joke
Dir. Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick

Starring Bruce Willis, Gary Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Nick Nolte, Avril Lavigne

Over the Hedge is part of a slew of “animated funny animal movies” that started (as much as a slew can start) with Madagascar. I’d call it a slew, not quite a whole bunch, but still it’s been difficult telling them apart unwatched. Most of the trailers seem.. well, a little dull. Watching this was a pleasant surprise though, since it’s actually very good. Here’s the plot:

A forest animal with a bandit mask accidentally destroys the food supply belonging to a bigger forest animal that is big and also fat. Zorro then has to return the exact same amount of food supplies to Biggie within a week, or he is as dead as a doorbell. He tricks a bunch of small forest animals (too many to vaguely describe) into helping him gather food, under the pretence that he’s helping them gather food for next frozen-cold brrr-type season.

Oh and there’s also a hedge.

Man, this review isn’t turning out very good is it? I wish there was some way I could magically erase digital text.

Anyway, the movie’s got some extremely funny scenes in it, things that made me cry with laughter. It’s also got some less good aspects, but luckily there’s not room for many errors, with it being so short. It’s not entirely original, but a mix-and-match of things that work is fine with me.

This is His review, you can read Her review here.

Keywords: , ,

Over the Hedge (2006) – Her Review October 10, 2006

Posted by Eury in Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Movies.
3 comments

Put a cork in it, will ya?

Dir. TIm Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick

Starring Bruce Willis, Gary Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Nick Nolte, Avril Lavigne

When RJ (Bruce Willis), an overachieving raccoon, gets caught raiding a bear’s cavern, the bear wakes up, is both very hungry and very angry. The lot of food rolls down a hill to utimately be run over by a huge semi-van leaving only crumbs in the wake. RJ makes a one-sided deal with the bear… he’ll bring him everything that was lost within one week or the bear gets to do whatever he wishes to him… which cannot be anything pleasant.

When the food ends up under the van, I was a little worried… and thought to myself, “oh.. geez, I could see that coming from a mile away and now the whole movie is probably just going to be unoriginal and boring”. Well. thankfully, it was not!

It is springtime, the animals have come out of hibernation to find suburbia has built a residential area all around them and they are separated by a huge hedge. Worried that they will not be able to gather enough food to last for their next winter snooze, RJ comes to their rescue by promising to show them how to stock up in no time at all, by raiding the human’s pantries. Of course, this is RJ’s way of tricking them for his own agenda.

What ensues is truly hilarious and great fun for the whole family. The few bad guys are merely an overstuffy lady that hates all critters, apparently even humans, the pest control guy and of course the bear. It’s really not very violent, (well, a bit, but only of the Bug Bunny type kind) and they all get theirs when the time comes.

This movie was laugh out loud funny, especially in the second half where many movies start losing steam, this ones picks up the beat and doesn’t let go!

I fixed up an image to create a family-friendly wallpaper for your computer.
Simply click on the thumbnails below:

click here for a 1024 x 768 wallpaper
click here for a 1280 x 960 wallpaper
This is Her review, you can read His review here

Keywords: , ,

Asterix and the Vikings (2006) – His Review October 10, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Movies.
1 comment so far

Much more fun than the Romans

Dir. Stefan Fjelmark and Jesper Moller

Starring Roger Carel, Lorànt Deutsch and Sara Forestier

The comic book / graphic novel turned into film, as per usual.

I don’t know if kids growing up today read much at all, let alone a 50 year old series of comic books, but Asterix was a part of everyone who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s in Sweden. Among other classic french and belgian serials like Lucky Luke, Tintin, Spirou, Blueberry, Finn och Fiffi (Suske en Wiske) etc, it was read by one and all, and readily available for loan at the local library.

The “heritage” has yet to be ruined. Despite updating the music and a few minor jokes, the look and feel of Asterix is very much intact. The animation is top-notch, and the 3d-to-2d rendering looks consistently good. Storywise, it’s just cosily familiar and fun, mostly harmless entertainment. If you know how it goes, it’ll live up to your expectations. If you don’t, this is as good a chapter as any to get introduced.

This is His review, you can read Her review here.

Keywords: , ,

Asterix and the Vikings (2006) – Her Review October 10, 2006

Posted by Eury in Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Movies.
1 comment so far

it takes a viking to raze a village

Dir. Stefan Fjelmark and Jesper Moller

Starring Roger Carel, Lorànt Deutsch and Sara Forestier

Asterix and Obelix are given the mission of taking Justforkix and turning him into a great warrior. Justforkix is like most young teens, not too keen on having to work, a bit of an underachiever and more into having fun.

The Vikings have the mistaken idea where they believe that being afraid will make them be able to fly. Capturing the young and very frightened Justforkix, the Vikings treat him as a god and await for him to teach them how to soar through the skies.

In pure Asterix tradition, this movie is full of visual jokes and puns. It also has interjected some modern references (such as the Viking version of Ikea.. Vikea, of course) and peppy music.

Hey, this is pretty easy…it’s Asterix! Most people I know either love this type of movie or hate them… so depending which camp you sit your butt in, will tell you if you should watch this or not. If you have never seen an Asterix movie… and you like slapstick-type humor, you will most likely enjoy this.

This is Her review, you can read His review here

Keywords: , ,

Krrish (2006) – Her Review October 8, 2006

Posted by Eury in Action, Adventure, Comedy, Movies, Musical, Romance.
2 comments

The masked man, what masked man, the one with the mask on...oh...him?

Dir. Rakesh Roshan

Starring Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Rekha etc.

Krishna (Roshan) is a young boy that has inherited super powers from his dad. Hoping to keep him by her side and away from any evil influences or dangers, his grandmother is extremely over-protective and by the age of 20, he still plays with very young children, has animals as his friends and is extremely naive…. until one day, a group of kids from a young adult’s camp practically come crashing down on the little Indian village.

His grandmother looks like she’s about his age, but with a bit of makeup in the creases of her mouth and some grey added to her hair. I want to look like that when my grandson is supposedly 20…. and yeah, he’s supposed to be 20, looks like he’s thirty which makes sense, since IMDB’s stats say he’s 32.

Krishna falls for a young girl, Priya (Chopra) that he saves from a crippling accident while dropping from a paraglider. Since this is a Bollywood type of movie, of course we get to see them dance, often… at times knee deep in snow! What? Yep.. don’t ask… it’s weird, it’s funny and that’s all that matters , I guess.

Without going into the details of exactly why, but believing that Priya loves him and hoping to marry her, Krishna goes to see her in Singapore where trouble starts falling into his lap. Having promised his grandmother not to let anyone know he has super powers is a difficult promise to keep when tragedy strikes and he is the only person who can help. A mask and a black leather coat later, we witness the birth of Krrish… (yes, we are saved from having to see yet another superhero become a wizard at sewing their own costume 😉 )

Of course, dancing moments mixed with romance are sprinkled throughout this movie. There is plenty of lipsynching going on… the lips really don’t match, the girl singer has a really, really high-pitched voice and yes, amazingly… everyone always knows the moves.

I have to admit there are some really cool action scenes in this movie.. With leaps and bounds he takes out his opponents… all the while fans are blowing wind on Krrish.. which makes his black leather coat and long hair waver; he looks every bit the part of super hero.

There are also some really huge holes in the plot and stuff that just doesn’t make sense. It’s as if two people wrote the story and didn’t have time to get together to compare notes. Still, as I said earlier, I laughed and often… sometimes because the movie was funny, like whenever this one guy says : “Just imagine”… there is a voice over that yells out “brrrooulllalaloooyylllall…” and then sometimes because the movie had such ludicrous moments that didn’t just make sense… I was like…what?… then almost spit out my coffee… (or was I having a beer?) but who cares… most important is it was crazy enjoyable.

This is Her review, you can read His review here

Keywords: , , ,

Krrish (2006) – His Review October 8, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Action, Adventure, Comedy, Movies, Musical, Romance.
1 comment so far

Just Imagine! Blblblblblblblblblb!

Dir. Rakesh Roshan
Starring Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Rekha etc.

An indian superhero. He runs fast, he jumps high, he fights like a whirlwind, and of course he sings and dances the pants off N’Sync.

Krrish tells the story of Krishna (Roshan), who grows up in a small Indian village feeling out of touch with everyone because of his special abilities. He can’t play with the other kids because he’s too strong, so he has to cope on his own, frolicking through the forest. As an adult he’s not that bright, and gets tricked into going to Singapore, hoping to find love. He promises his grandmother to keep his powers hidden, which proves to be tricky.

Everything including the kitchen sink has been put into this movie. I’m not overly familiar with Indian cinema, but I am fond of the style – mixing old and new into any genre. There’s of course plenty of butt-jiggling and shoulder-twitching to music – hard to pull off in a Spielberg or Bay production, but effortlessly interwoven with the rest of the movie here. The other ingredients don’t blend as easily though. There’s action and fighting (excellently shot and edited), which is pretty graphic if not necessarily bloody, which comes into stark contrast with the very kids-friendly plot and dialogue. It’s a pretty extreme gap between the two, which seems an odd way of trying to reach a wider audience.

There’s also some awkward casting choices and subplots that make some sequences feel long, and others totally unnecessary. The grandmother is played by an actress in “old-people make-up” – glasses and greyhaired wig, which robs most of her scenes of any real connection. The sudden change from happy and frolicking Krishna to the dark-caped vigilante Krrish isn’t made to work. There’s plenty of non-intentionally funny scenes, where dialogue doesn’t quite reach Cap’n Kirk level, and just end up embarrassing.

Oh, and it’s 2.48 hours loooooong.

All in all, I can’t say I’m disappointed though. It’s a fun movie, with some good action sequences, good humoured characters who you end up liking, and an OK ending. I was also quite impressed with the production value of it, it certainly looks spiffy. If you like a bit of kung-fu mixed in with your singin’ and dancin’, then check this one out. A footnote: This movie is a sequel to Koi… Mil Gaya, but completely watchable on it’s own. It’s in hindi, with some english interspersed, so you’ll probably be watching subtitles (Gah! Reading! Scary!).

This is His review, you can read Her review here.

Keywords: , , ,

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) – His Review October 3, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Fantasy, Movies.
2 comments

Save time and money on both travel and housing now!

Original title: Hauru no ugoku shiro
Dir. Hayao Miyazaki
Starring Chieko Baisho, Takuya Kimura etc.

Young Sophie is a mad hatter. She makes hats for a living, and she is mad because a witch put a spell on her that makes her look like a 90-year old woman.

All is well in Someplaceorother (name escapes me), apart from the fact that the country is at war with it’s neighbour, for reasons unclear. While out walking, a seemingly safe and mundane thing to do, Sophie meets the mysterious wizard Howl and becomes entangled in his “evil plot to not take over the world but rather be left alone in his walking castle”.

The story in Howl’s Moving Castle is paper-thin, but I really don’t give a rat’s ass. How cool is this movie? On a scale from 1 to 10 it’s about.. oh.. 10. If you yourself define a scale, you can’t place your mark outside of it. It was clever around the time when “cats” were “hip”, now it’s the mark of morons. I’m not gonna compare it to Miyazaki’s other works, since he’s in a league of his own, far above the competition, and outside the restrictions of mainstream animation. By now his name is a guarantee of quality, since even if something is off, the rest of the ingredients are tasty enough anyway.

Watch it for the unparallelled cuteness factor of wheezing dogs and sleeping cow dolls. Watch it for the technicolor views and cool action sequences. Watch it for the love of God (Miyazaki).

Oh, and watch the trailer here.

This is His review, you can read Her review here.

Keywords: , ,

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) – Her Review October 3, 2006

Posted by Eury in Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Fantasy, Movies.
1 comment so far

They say beauty is only skin deep... how thick is your skin anyways?

Original title: Hauru no ugoku shiro
Dir. Hayao Miyazaki
Starring Chieko Baisho, Takuya Kimura etc.

A wonderful animated movie where we follow the adventures of Sofî, who during wartime, works in a hat shop. One day, while being bothered in a backlane by soldiers, she is whisked away by a young man (Howl) who is not only handsome, but a wizard. She falls in love at first site, but before the night is through, a spell is put on her by a nasty witch that makes her very old. Not knowing what to do she runs away and through an act of kindness, comes to live in Howl’s castle as the housekeeper.

I will not tell you any more of the story because it’s fun to have it unfold but I can say that the director, Hayao Miyazaki, has done a marvelous job of making the characters more than 2D cartoons. He brings them to life by showing us their many facets, such as the brave and bold Howl, who at times is insecure and he even makes us feel sorry at some point for the Witch of the Waste. He makes us think twice about what we really love about the people we care for and why.

Are these gorgeous images, or what?

Although it’s very, very pretty, it’s also quite an adventure with both action and bad guys. Heck there’s even a bit of drama and also a little romance. It’s got an weird castle that looks like a junkyard contraption that not only has legs, it also flies. Although it did have all these characteristics, it was not a movie that tried to be everything and failed, instead it brought all these different aspects together rolled up in very cool graphical eye-candy. It was simply delightful; a true treasure.

This is Her review, you can read His review here.

Keywords: , ,

The Storm Riders (1998) – His Review August 25, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Movies.
1 comment so far

Der Sturm Ritter ja aber bitte

Dir. Wai Keung Lau
Starring Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Sonny Chiba, Kristy Yang, Qi Shu, Michel Tse

If you know nothing, or next to nothing about Hong Kong movies – that is to say movies made with traditional HK cinema sentiments – let me give you a few hints. If you want to skip it, scroll down to the review. Let’s call it..

A short list of rules for HK cinema.

The characters are often named after their main character trait, so you instantly know who they are. For example someone who is fat generally has no other traits, and is called Fatty or something similar. The sister of the main hero can be named Sister, just to clear things up. If a guy is brooding, then Cloud is a good name, since there’s a dark cloud permanently above him.

The story consists of minor events that are interlinked, and seldom referenced in the rest of the movie, with the exclusion of the beginning and the end – you are often given the setup for the end of the movie right at the start. An example would be: Hero-type-person is face to face with his foe, just about to do battle. He has a cool looking sword. Then there’s a flashback or similar, in which Hero goes on a complicated quest. Then we get to the end, forget all that happened in between and just continue from the prologue. What happened to all the stu-uff? Nevermind.

The effects can be very cheesy. Now, this is of course subjective to your taste, but HK cinema is over-the-top cheesy. While, in a hollywood movie you may sneer at a fake looking dinosaur texture, here you are so overwhelmed by the audacity of the FX-makers and fight choreographers that it just becomes genius. It’s OK to have a Poser-rendering as your main effects shot. It’s totally fine to throw apples at Newton, and have people falling diagonally.

And yes, yes you can steal entire plots from other movies. If you think the Hollywood remake jungle is thick, then Hong Kong is.. well, thicker. With foliage and vines and junk. It’s very hard to be original when the style demands otherwise. Think of it more in terms of homages, or clichés, and you won’t choke when you see the same thing happen in yet another movie.

That probably won’t explain the genre (yes, I’m calling the entire HK movie output one genre, bite me), but it may give you a solid starting point.

On to the review:

The Storm Riders is in some ways the end of an era. After this movie, big-budget HK cinema has become more and more polished (bigger budgets presumably). You get the regular storyline, the usual protagonists, and probably one of the best attempts at live-action anime ever, all with an apparent lack of constraints on the imagination. Suspending your disbelief is impossible, to become engrossed in this story you would have to be dead. The stunts and effects, and even the story, is just so freaky that you have to smile.

This is the movie that made Qi Shu (Chi Hsu / Qi Hsu / Shu Qi / Kei Shu / Qui Shu / Kei Su) a star, reached a new box office record, and it’s got a fire monkey in it. A Fire Monkey!

So yeah, you can go see it now.

This is His review, you can read Her review here

Keywords: , ,

The Storm Riders (1998) – Her Review August 24, 2006

Posted by Eury in Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Movies.
1 comment so far

Let me give you a hand.. I mean arm!

Dir. Wai Keung Lau
Starring Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Sonny Chiba, Kristy Yang, Qi Shu, Michel Tse
Click for larger poster>>

Conquer is the leader of a clan and wants to be the best in all the World of Martial Arts. A prophet, Mud Buddha tells him he cannot foretell his complete future but he does say that it depends on two young children, Wind (Ekin Cheng) and Cloud (Aaron Kwok). After murdering the children’s parents, he raises the boys as his own. The story continues 10 years later when the boys have grown up. Wind is quite calm and Cloud is very stormy and unpredictable.

I wish I had seen this movie before seeing Hero (Xing xiong) which totally blew me away with it’s storyline, music and imagery. I just couldn’t help but compare them to the detriment of “The Storm Riders”, (Fung wan: Hung ba tin ha) I ‘m not saying this was a bad movie, per se… just that it seems lacking to me when I had just recently seen the other and was so thoroughly impressed with it.

I also kept looking at the principal players and found that they made me think of living manga characters and there seemed to be so many different people involved, and often for short spurts of time that I often was left wondering if this was written after some book or legend and I was missing some of the information needed. The first part of the story was confusing to me, but mid-point I did feel the pieces did come together and I finally understood.. maybe it was the coffee break that helped 😉 .

Although it did come together, there were things that simply distracted me… a box called the Ice Vigor (I won’t say what it is) but to me it looked like it was out of paper maché and another place it seemed like the rocks were made out of chipped styrofoam. Stupid details that shouldn’t be important, like dresses that, at times, I found looked too modern for the story, or a costume that should look old and torn, but looked somehow like it was cut with scissors. I know this sounds insignificant but often the finesse and wonderfulness of a movie are in those little details that just make everything flow so wonderfully when they are perfect. Now, I ‘m not saying it was really bad … but if I’m distracted enough to see these things, then at that moment, I’m not engrossed in the story, now am I?

If you are a fan of martial arts action, there is plenty of it in this movie; if you like special effects, there are even more. It is very fantastical and the stuff of superheroes. Think bigger, faster, more grandiose … not pretty like in the movie Hero, (see my review here) but it still works and some of the effects are quite spectacular and very cool looking.

This is Her review, you can read His review here

Keywords: , ,