Friday, October 26, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph - Spoiler-Free Movie Review

I was very fortunate to attend a special pre-screening of this movie thanks to my friend Adam! It was well worth it, as you'll see in the review.

The plot is simple - in the first half-hour or so, the film gushes in building up the arcade world and its inhabitants. You've seen the trailer, so you know the basic plotline of this first third of the movie: Ralph is unsatisfied with bad-guy life, he explores more games to find out what's out there, and finds a way to be accepted.
Even though the plot is simple at times, there are plenty of laughs and a few clever twists that keep the film interesting at all times. There may be some disappointed with the lack of cameos in the film, but there are still tons upon tons, most of which most people will not gather in the first viewing, particularly if you don't know the games of the era. Even still, the film does not pander to the gaming audience so much that there is a joke at famous games' expense every few minutes. No, that would make for a much different feeling movie likely made by another company. Instead, Wreck-It Ralph chooses to stick to its Disney roots after the main plot kicks into gear, a choice that is by all means the correct one.
Would it have been fun to see more game-jumping? Sure, but not at the expense of the characters and their stories. Speaking of which...

You may have expected a soundtrack full of chiptunes and repetitive beats, but arcades and video games have fully advanced since then. Hero's Duty, one of the fictional games, has a fairly fitting dubstep song in particular. I was never annoyed with the music, and though it wasn't the most memorable of Disney's soundtracks, it was very good.

The main characters are all enjoyable, though some may feel that Vanellope (the little girl) grates a bit. For a 9-year old, this isn't so bad. Even though I did find her annoying at times, she is still a very strong foil to Ralph and without her, the movie would not have been nearly as interesting. Ralph himself is deadpan and fun, as well as given opportunities to revel in what he does best - wreck it! The film never falters on the main "programming" of its game heroes. Rounding out the rest of the cast is Sgt. Calhoun and Fix-It Felix. These two add dimension to the film and have their own unique stories, some moments of which are the best of the movie. In the end, they are all endearing and you'll be cheering for them. The primary villain of the movie is a treat as well, but experiencing him is for when you're in your theater seats. Many a gamer will love the references that he goes through.
The cameo appearances are fantastic, of course. Ken and Ryu have nice banter early on, and everyone's seen the "Bad-Anon" scene. Zangief isn't voiced by his VA in Street Fighter IV, but the rest of the characters that appear are, and that goes a long way into how Disney got the rights and times of all of these people to create such an enjoyable experience.
There aren't too many other fleshed-out characters in the film, but the rest of the citizens of the arcade are fun and wonderfully animated and voiced.

This movie does what Disney does best - makes you feel good - while in the creative and familiar setting of an arcade. That is no less than a winning formula. The characters are fun, the movie moves along smoothly, and oh yes, paperman, the short film before the movie proper, is a real treat that must be seen.
Disney gets it right again, but this time, with combos and quarters galore.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - No-Spoiler Movie Review

I know, I said I'd write about Pokemon. But I'm a film student and I just saw The Dark Knight Rises.

Bear with me, it's been a good few months since my last review and I expect this one to be more lengthy than my Avengers review despite the fact that I like that movie just a smidgen more. There will be for the most part no spoilers, just a few cast details and such.
The main thing I want to address since lots of people are either pro-Avengers or pro-DKR is that both movies try to do different things, and in my opinion both succeed. I also believe that most comic book fans prefer one company over the other, but are at least fans of the other. If you're not, you're missing out. On to the review! There will be no spoilers.

It's not a Mark Review without a picture.

The plot is a bit slow to pick up, but there are even more new characters in this movie than the previous in the trilogy. There are many establishing moments and the movie is well-paced. I was never too confused and even though there were plot twists, there were no moments where I wished the movie would backtrack to explain something. 
I was completely satisfied with the plot and it also served as a closing to the circle of the Dark Knight Trilogy, which Hollywood seems to be avoiding at the moment. That itself shows that Nolan knew how to handle these movies. As you may have guessed, the "Rises" in the title tells the audience that Batman has all but vanished from Gotham, and needs to come back one last time to set the city on the right path. The plot reflects that and there are many micro-stories that set up every big event that occurs in the movie, instead of big stories that build up bigger and bigger like in Spider-Man 3, to put it in perspective. 
The movie also doesn't drag too badly if you're already a fan of the series. If you aren't, it may suffer in that regard, but each character is given a spotlight and then some. There is a clear beginning, middle, and end...and a clear end to the trilogy as well. There could be room for questions but in the end it's not a big deal because - well, let's face it, he's Batman.
As far as comic accuracy, I personally don't feel there needs to be careful attention to detail in every single scene to a certain comic. When I go out to watch a movie, I go to enjoy it as a movie, and this film succeeds at that with no doubt in my mind. They are different forms of media and should be treated as such. I may be biased being a film student, though.

This is a point I don't address's in my nature. However, I enjoyed the score and nothing really stood out as bad. It picked up where it needed to, certain scenes that could have done without were accentuated with it, and overall it made the movie more enjoyable, which is what a film score should set out to do.

As I said before, there are many new characters introduced in this sequel. The mayor, the new cop, Catwoman, Bane, and many more. They all fit into the Nolan mythos well and hold up the movie on their own strengths. There are also recognizable faces such as someone Torchwood fans will see as Owen Harper. It was cool to see and like The Avengers before it, this film has an all-star cast consisting of only the best actors.
Anne Hathaway played Selina Kyle really well, certainly much better than Halle Berry (not that it was hard, but you know). She plays off of Bruce like Catwoman should, and evokes an image of the character that is both deceptive and resourceful.
Speaking of which, Bane was also well-played. In the comics, Bane is very smart and resourceful, but he is generally a larger, burlesque villain. In the film that is smartly reduced to someone still powerful, but there is more emphasis on how intelligent Bane is and his plans to revolutionize Gotham. It's yet another version of the character that was written to fit in these three films and it shows. I would say I enjoyed Bane more than I did Joker in the previous film, though I do love TDK. 
The cop in the movie played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt is good as well. He represents what Commissioner Gordon does but in a younger light, and that is important because of many of the actions he pulls off that Gordon would generally have trouble with - not that Gordon skips out on some awesome scenes, because he doesn't.
As for the other characters, there's not a lot I can say without giving away anything major, but they're all very good and the old non-deceased characters also come back with a bang. They all carry this movie with the magnitude it needed, and I wouldn't have replaced any of them.

That is one of the biggest themes of the movie, I feel. Magnitude. While watching the film, that was the major word in my mind. Everything is important, everything was important, and this was undoubtedly the film that carried the most weight in the trilogy. Is that to say I liked it more than TDK? ...Yeah, I'd say that. Every single move by the characters left me wondering what would happen next, what the repercussions of each action was, and what might happen should the heroes fail.
Of course, you expect the heroes to win. There's no other way to end the trilogy. But with the ultimate win, there are many penultimate losses. Failures. Souls breaking, bodies dying. That much was necessary, as without each one, the movie would have left with an unsatisfying ending. Not to say it wasn't happy, as indeed it was.
Overall, I'd say that The Dark Knight Rises succeeds at what it set out to do - tell an incredible Batman story, be heavy-handed without being anvilicious, and ending the trilogy on a very high note.
I still like the Avengers better, yes, but that movie was about fun and style. This movie was about the people of Gotham and what Bruce Wayne needed to do to be the real hero.
I can't give it a perfect score, but I haven't seen the perfect movie quite yet. However, this is one I will speak praise about, just the same as my other favorite movies.
I believe in Batman.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Back from Hiatus

I know it's been a really long time since my last post. Blogger decided to fuck up and I couldn't really do anything so it fell out of favor for a bit. However, it seems to be better now so I'll be using it to post more coherent things than I do elsewhere, and hopefully gather a lot of different interests that will be understandable.

This will include more movie reviews, comic reviews as I plan to get more of those, especially with the advent of many new #1s with both DC and Marvel, Pokemon TCG content and possibly videos if I can find the time, and much more.

Still isn't a specialized blog by any means. I like to talk about everything I'm into, and that's the direction I'm taking.
No more MLP for a little while, but eh.

My first post is likely going to be focused on the Pokemon TCG as prereleases roll around and the new set, Dragons Exalted comes out, as well as my thoughts on the rotation and what it entails. I know there's plenty more you can read, but the more opinions there are, the more you can sort of piece together what should be important and formulate your own if you're having trouble adjusting.
Look forward to it!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Tokyo Game Show 2011 Trailer

Who am I kidding, by now, you've probably seen it already. Still. Get hype.

This trailer reveals Vergil and Iron Fist, and later on in TGS there should be other character trailers. The game's also coming to Playstation Vita! Crazy.
Next blog post will be all about My Little Pony, for the record.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Kamen Rider Fourze - First Episode Thoughts

The show's first episode, titled "Youthful Henshin", literally just aired this weekend. It wasn't the strongest opening Rider's ever had, but I don't think I was going to expect that much anyway. After having been pretty lukewarm to OOO, this wasn't a priority to watch. However, glad I did and it was just full of energy all the way through from the opening.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Release List

If you're a follower of the blog, I can only assume you're excited about up-and-coming releases of things, and I am too. This post will serve purposes. Should be updated semi-regularly.

Pony poster is happy poster.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 2 Countdown

It will update whenever you refresh the page. Alternatively, you can use The airdate is September 17th.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger - Mid-Season Review

Well, I said I would do it and we're on episode 25, 26 coming tomorrow. That's generally a good estimate of the halfway point. The show's been really great so far, and the first Sentai I've fully enjoyed in a few years. Great characters, music, just awesome. Let's make it showy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Movie Review

I know what you're thinking, another one? Hey, I like movies. I can't help that fact, and I wanna major in film. Deal with it. Anyway, this was surprisingly pretty good. I wasn't expecting much, good or bad, and I would probably get this on DVD so I could watch it again.

Me Tarzan. You Jane. Wait, wrong movie.