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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Art School Confidential (2006) – Her Review October 1, 2006

Posted by Eury in Comedy, Drama, Movies.
2 comments

Did you draw something?  The paper is all white. It's an abstract - can't you see, it's a snowstorm... Oh, wow..it's  beautiful!...you're a genius!

Dir. Terry Zwigoff

Starring Max Minghella, Sophia Myles, John Malkovich etc.

Being someone who likes to draw, I was immediately attracted to this movie… seeing people do art is just something I enjoy. This movie though is not a true glimpse inside an art school but more of a satirical look and perhaps a bit of social commentary about the snobbery that can exist at some level in the artistic community.

As a child, while other boys liked to play football, Jerome (Max Minghella) liked to draw. When he goes off to art school, his parents worry that he may be gay, and his guy friends think it’s so cool that he wants to go there so he’ll get to draw naked chicks. Actually, neither is true. He simply thinks art is his calling and wants to be the very best artist of this century.

Jerome gets quite a revelation though, being good at drawing apparently doesn’t really matter. The worst works seem to garner the most approval, the teachers are blase and don’t really care anymore and to top it off there is a serial killer somewhere on campus!

Although the story goes a bit overboard and the mystery is not difficult to figure out, it’s funny and although tongue-in-cheek, does touch on the fact that some artists can have a better than thou attitude, can find ‘true art’ wherever they feel fit. I’ve seen toilets in museums, depicted as art. Yeah, yeah, you can say it’s a statement on life, art, people, politics.. the throne is still a crapper. People like to follow whatever is popular at the moment even if they look ridiculous in it.. or follow whever is considered cool even if they really are inane.

This is Her review, you can read His review here

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Art School Confidential (2006) – His Review October 1, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Comedy, Drama, Movies, Mystery.
1 comment so far

There's a pink elephant at the art school

Dir. Terry Zwigoff

Starring Max Minghella, Sophia Myles, John Malkovich etc.

Harassed teen boy Jerome (Minghella) finally gets out of high school hell and gets to follow his dream of becoming the world’s greatest artist.

However, all is not well at the Strathmore Institute where Jerome enrolls. Many teachers have stopped caring, and many students are knee-deep in pretentious bullshit. And there’s also the little detail of a serial killer on the loose. As a result the school atmosphere isn’t as chill as he’d have hoped, and he has to find new ways to be creative and compete.

Art School Confidential is written by Daniel Clowes, who wrote Ghost World and the comic book it was based on. Terry Zwigoff was the director then too, and it seems they enjoyed the work and the result, since they’re pairing up to dance again. The result is not as good this time, if a direct comparison is to be made, but the movies are not really in the same genre. While you could say Ghost World went for “melancholic comedy about cross-generational friendship”, Art School Confidential is less easily defined. It’s a satire, and it’s at times good at it. It’s a murder mystery, but it’s not very mysterious. Most of all it’s about expectations and dreams, and how realizing them can be harder if you need to stay in control, instead of letting things happen. Well, it tries to be.

If you only watch it for the funny, it’s probably gonna satisfy you. The trailer is hilarious, and the movie resembles that remark.

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

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Friends with Money (2006) – Her Review September 30, 2006

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

Who says money doesn't buy happiness?

Dir. Nicole Holofcener

Starring Jennifer Aniston, Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener, Greg Germann, Simon McBurney, Jason Isaacs and Scott Caan

A peek into the lives of 4 women, 3 of whom are quite affluent and their not so fortunate friend who has a hard time making ends meet.

This movie doesn’t really tell a story, instead it makes us wonder why they are the way they are.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Franny (Joan Cusack) is the richest of the girls and drops money at the bat of an eye… 2 million for charity, no problem. Things are a little different, though, when Ovilia (Jennifer Aniston) asks her for $1800 to take courses. To me, Franny, is the girl that feels guilty at having so much money, she doesn’t want to look like she is wasteful or throws money around. Charity is a good cause, courses for Olivia to become a personal trainer that she doesn’t believe she ‘ll actually ever do, not so good.

Joan (Frances McDormand) is a clothing designer and has taken to having fits in public and has stopped washing her hair. Ironic, when you discover that her husband creates designer creams and shampoos. Matt (Simon McBurney) is her metrosexual counterpart who comes complete with a British accent; I found him quite adorable. He seems quite happy with his feminine side even though Joan’s friends whisper about him behind her back.

Christine (Catherine Keener) co-writes with her husband. They have all this bottled up frustration that starts to leak into the dialogue of their current writings. Once the words are on paper, though, there is no turning back… they’ve both spilled their beans and it’s just not going to work.

Olivia (Jennifer Aniston) is a mess. Scrounging to make ends meet, she works as a maid. She doesn’t seem to be able to get herself together and has no qualms about getting stepped over by everyone and anyone.

For the most part, I loved this movie. The acting was superb and there were many very funny moments. There was something that bothered me though. The film seemed to be telling us that money does solve all problems as it appears the couple with the most money, have not only a loving and intimate relationship.. but also are truly best of friends. On the other end of the spectrum is Olivia, who almost penniless, can’t seem to get it together. There was also the end of the movie, which left me thinking, ” What? …the ? … ? “

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

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Friends with Money (2006) – His Review September 29, 2006

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

Ok ok, here's the pitch: Friends.. ok?.. with Money!Dir. Nicole Holofcener
Starring Jennifer Aniston, Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener etc.

Having seen the trailer a few months ago and liking it, I was apprehensive this would turn out a world of boring. It didn’t.

There’s not much of a storyline to jot down here, since Friends with Money is mostly about characters, and the dialogue between old friends and family. None of the women (or their respective hubbies) have their hearts on their sleeve, and it’s fun guesswork trying to figure out what they’re actually all about. Why is Olivia (Aniston) single and working as a maid? Why is Jane (McDormand) increasingly wound up and pissed off? Is it because her husband is gay? Is her husband actually gay? Etc etc.

As with quality TV-shows there needn’t be a non-stop thrillride of a story to keep you interested, as long as the writing is good. I wasn’t too surprised that it was well written, since the movie has Joan Cusack in it, who practically never does bad movies. It is an ensemble piece though, and everyone gets their spotlight and manage to use it well.

I mentioned TV-shows, and well yeah. It does have that feel, perhaps because Holofcener (writer/director) has done a little bit of TV. I’m not sure if she borrows from her experience there to make movies, or the reverse, but this movie could easily be serialized into a show. Not a real critique, but it struck me as something worth pointing out.

All in all – well written and played drama. Check out the trailer to see if it fits.

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

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