Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cub (2014) Belgium

Transformation from a scout-cub to the real one.





Genre:
Thriller.


Original title:
Welp (Flemish)


What's in:
On-topic, Spoilers as Synopsys, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 5½-minute read.


Review:
     Legends are created to inspire, scare, obey and for entertainment. Sometimes for some people, it's a great opportunity to utilise the concept to do illegal things. Whatever this movie is about you must observe carefully and try to apply these theories. You will get the story, but enjoying watching it is up to what you were expecting and what it delivered. If you had seen numerous similar horror-thriller, then you feel awful.

     Belgian horror-thriller, well, that's what they say, but I doubt it. It sets in the summer scout camp, which is directed by a newcomer. A thirteen member of the scout team heads to the woods to set a camp. But it was about a 12 year old Sam, who is a cub scout. He's a first choice of pick to bully by his fellow scouts, especially by the den leader as well by one particular pack leader. He's always late, weak and his over imagination makes him a weirdo in the herd. During in the camp, he discovers what was said to be a legend is real. Not bothers to convince others since they never going to believe him. His adventure is to go deep and discover the secrets, but all the above finds the right place for his essence.

   Kai does exist.
He lives in a tree house in the woods.

     The 'Marina' girl was in a prominent role. In this 80 minute movie every role was a prominent one. There was no time to develop character, but simply a straight forward presentation. Began with the spilling werewolf concept and it did not hold longer the suspense. Once you know it's not a horror, but a thriller you would lose the interest. Follows the cliche, the same old killings without the reasons or proper explanation. Well, at that time of the story that how it looked, but sooner or later you will know the truth. It's not only the camp versus the whoever hunting/haunting them. It's about the basic instinct, the first reaction to the situations. There is no surprise on the pack leaders, their's behavior is not just based on the fiction, merely true in reality.

     Traps were the best parts compared to the killings, but too short to have pleasure. Initially I expected it to be a children's horror movie since they are involved, but there are some contents that do restrict them from watching it. Commercial recognise is very important for filmmakers, so they didn't fear to bring the cliche on. I still feel the end should have been a little creative and a fresh idea could have served it well. Not only the end you are going to predict, well, almost everything before from happening.

     Keeping mystery is the key factor for a movie if the director and writer want to surprise the viewers. Does that 'hold-back' is good enough to satisfy the audience during the twist is the question. First half of the movie nicely keeps the suspense, all about the next half where smartness lacks. Actually, there is no twist at all, the story itself reveals from beginning till the end. All we have to do is figure it out ourselves what this battle is about, other than good versus bad. I'm itching to say it, but it'll spoil if you have not seen the movie yet, so I let you find yourself.

     As the Belgians perspective the film is okay kind, but not to the rest of the world. Overall an average movie compared to the international standards, but the production quality is impressive. A nice concept, set off very well, but the blow is maybe the influence of Hollywood in today's world cinemas, especially in this genre that did not help to finish it off ably. The days gone by this movie will be forgotten, but I believe in this filmmaker who has a good knack for this type of films will definitely come up with another brilliant product in a near future.



Similar movies:
High Lane, Hwayi: A Monster Boy, Let Me In, The Shrine, The Ruins, As Above So Below.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial

Thursday, April 23, 2015

That Thing Called Tadhana (2014) Philippines

A broken heart needs another heart to mend it up.





Genre:
Drama, Romance.


What's in:
On-topic, Mild off-topic, Mild spoilers, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 5-minute read.


Review:
     A movie first must get notice in its domestic circuit, then rest of the world come check it out on the curious. I don't know this was a blockbuster or not in the local market, but heard lots praise for it, especially, from the youngsters. I have seen only a few Filipino movies and this one was one of the good films. Very very similar movie to 'Before' trilogy and a fine beginning of the series. Yes, I heard the second movie is already in talk, so guessed probably it going to end as a trilogy.

     Unlike 'Before' trilogy, this movie is not set in the casual manner, between the two. Most importantly, it's a road movie, a travel tale. The one of two who meet are affected by the recent love failure. So, the narration concentrates mostly on romance and about mending the broken heart. A pair of two actors with a good chemistry and nicely shot in the beautiful places. Like advertising Filipino tourism, the movie takes us to the finest locations.


     It commences just after the 8 years of romance ended for a woman. It does not show how, but later revealed by orally. Beautifully brought those heartbreaks and heartache on the screen. How the boys and girls mourn for their broken relationship was presented quite impressively. All the good times spent together pops out in the front and the rest of the stuffs are just pitch black. Even after breaking their heart, they feel they want to forgive them and give a second chance.

     I liked the honesty in the movie, I mean the characters talk as in reality, not the craps. If you ever was in love and saw the failure, you would know what I meant. Whatever the account between them, the animation narration was the plus point in this whole storytelling. The story begins with an arrow asking a question for a lost heart. And the answer is the movie itself that you are going know in the end. It might not understandable by the serious people, but morally appeals to the lover boys and girls, I mean to the guys who are insanely in love with someone.

   There are all kinds of love in this world,
           but never the same love twice.

     I thought it was about and for youngster, actually it's about the people who are on the leap from there to the middle age. So, the crisis here is, the chances are fading away to fall in love madly, crazily again. Those days, the playful younger days are gone, what should be done now onwards is the movie that chronicles with lots of fun, emotions and a simple twist at the end. Though, the end was not properly explained, but leaves open. I'd say save whatever you are going to predict it to be, because like I said the sequel's quest to fill it up. But I hope it makes the same impact as this one did to me.

     It's more like a 'coming-of-age' for those who are between teen and middle age. I can't say it was the best, but a good movie. Since the loop is open, all I can do is wait for the follow up. Who knows, after the second and even better third movie, it might pop into one of the best romance-trilogies ever. So I'm keeping an open mind here. Hope they won't mess it up. In the meantime, you can give it a try because it was not any nearer to be called bad and I'm sure you would enjoy it if you like a simple romantic tale.



Similar movies:
Venus in Fur, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight, Carnage.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods (2014) France

The same old Astrix & Obelix in a new awesome look.




Genre:
Animation (3D), Adventure, Comedy.


Original title:
Astérix: Le Domaine Des Dieux (French)


What's in:
On-topic, Off-topic, Medium spoiler, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 5-minute read.


Review:
     Like I said in 'Song of the Sea' review, its a 3D animation dominated world. That's mainly in Hollywood, but trend spreading so fast everywhere. Even the Japan shifting gear from anime to 3D anime, I saw it in 'Space Pirate: Captain Harlock'. From a comic book to 2D animation is easy because they are much alike, but it's different when it comes to the 3D. I have seen Micky Mouse and Co transformed into 3D characters that I did not like, because some characters do not suit for that kind of leap. In Micky Mouse, the ears were the biggest drawback. But 'Tintin' was a success and so expecting 'Popeye' would do the same magic which is due next year (2016).

     I have seen all the 'Asterix & Obelix' movies so far from both the format, live-shot and animation, but this is the first 3D animation. I'm so happy that it came overall very well, every detail was retained. Even those mud-smoke/dirt-smoke (whatever it's called) shown exactly as it to be which forms during their fight after the consumption of magic potion. That concept is for comic book, to make understand the readers the situation because the picture is still. But in a motion picture you can show the whole action, if they make that change the trademark will lose. So I must praise the technical side of the movie for the lossless transformation.


     It's like a new beginning in the series in the 'Asterix & Obelix' franchise. Especially this story was not freshly written for the screen, but taken straight from one of the comic books in the series called 'The Mansions of the Gods'. In 3D animation, emotions, violence, comedies would be a little realistic. That's why the movie like 'Brave', 'Frozen', 'Up' appealed strongly on the sentimental side. Gaul's favourite food, the wild boar hunting was compromised, because children would be watching the movie and it might disturb on the softer side of them. Just like the filmmakers avoided the Giant's children and women in 'Jack the Giant Slayer'.

     One of the best things in 'Asterix & Obelix' movies is that the movie might not be awesome, but still it entertains and keeps you engaged. You can't spot the flaws, in animation all are relevant. A man can jump 1000 feet high and leap a mile away. So if there should be something, that must come from the technical side. Since it (Gauls in 3D) is new and so much fun, you can't concentrate finding those faults or you will miss the actual enjoyment.

‘‘It's weird that the house looks like a box.’’

     As usual the story set in the first BC. The Gaul's enemy the Romans comes with a new strategy to defeat them. They begin to build the large mansions near to their village and later to invade by seducing the community by the Roman culture. So the fight begins between them where the innocent civilians and black slaves get affect more. But Gaul's main intention is to keep the ecosystem unaffected, especially they're against the Romans modern fancy civilization. What happens to the Julius Caeser's 'Veni, Vidi, Vici' is the movie's final battle to disclose.

     Probably a best 'Asterix & Obelix' movie compared to the previous couple of movies. Good to see a non-Hollywood 3D animated movie with a great quality and doing well commercially as well. A whole family together watchable movie, not only for the children. Hoping for the a sequel, I mean very soon. All the above it was short and sweet which runs about 80 minutes. If you are a fan of this comic, you will love it, because lots of the frames look alike. Must be dedicated  to the fans.



Similar movies:
All the Atreix movies, including animations and live-actions.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Good Lie (2014) Hollywood

The lost boys of Sudan.





Genre:
Drama.


Tagline:
"Miracles are made by people who refuse to stop believing."


What's in:
On-topic, Largely off-topic, Medium spoiler, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 5-minute read.


Review:
     Migration is the part of life for birds and animals for millions of years. For the different season, to be in the different places, away from harsh nature is to comforts from any severeness. Still happening in greater number everywhere except humans who thought enough is enough, let's stay and face the challenges. Wow, that's awesome, the civilization was born. So those who stayed in the different places, formed different race, different culture and language with borders around. All kinds of people (religious) have to live together, if something goes wrong between them, the weaker must retreat, but to where?

     I have to mention all these, because to remind ourselves how far we'd come. Today to travel to another continent you've to pass so many formalities like visa, passport, security check, background check, check-up for latest fast spreading disease, body scans for smuggling, purpose of visit etc. It is better to turn into a bird and fly away than going through all this. That's why I am not a nationalist and call myself the citizen of planet Earth, which put me on debate with guys around on the several occasions.

     Okay. The movie was inspired by 'Lost Boys of Sudan'. The true story of four young Sudanese, after their elders were killed in the attack of their village they team up to escape. Henceforth living in the refugee camp in Kenya, looking for an opportunity for a better life. It lands, but struggle continues as to adapt the new place and finding the right employment. The journey from nowhere to the land of dream, but they had no dream at all, all they wanted was a normal life anywhere peacefully. On the other end, the rules and regulations begin to haunt them, which they were not used to it.

‘‘We found strength in sticking together
But our hope of ever leaving was fading.’’


     Definitely an inspiring story. For the meaning of the title, you have to wait until the last minute. Because all the great stories told in the history began or ends with the great sacrifice. That was a touching scene, I just imagined, in reality, how tough it would have been. You probably don't understand what I'm saying, but I'm trying to keep spoiler away. We had seen the similar theme from another angle in Gerard Butler starer 'Machine Gun Preacher'. Yep, about the same war, but set in a different place. The main difference is this movie is not a heroic tale like that where a white man fights for the innocent Africans. You know there are about 20.000 boys and girls orphaned and displaced during the civil war that lasted for nearly 25 years. The writer had to pick just one from the thousands of stories. So that's how 'The Good Lie' came, a story of complete integrity.

     From the filmmaker of Oscar nominated foreign movie 'Monsieur Lazhar'. One of my favourites from Canada. I loved all his previous films, so the expectation for this was same as always. It partially feels like a docudrama, but it was not. Leaping into Hollywood did not change his style of film making. He turned into an American movie in which something lacks today, reality and honesty with dynamic story than its characters. Reese Witherspoon's presence did not affect either, the narration was neutral from the perspective of character preference. In fact, Reese Witherspoon's existence helped to put some familiar face on the posters. Especially for the marketing purpose for the wide release, other than the film festivals. So this movie definitely is to go for it, only if you're not seeking entertainment.



Similar movies:
Amreeka, The Golden Cage, In This World..., Welcome (2009), Africa United, The Kite Runner.

Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial

Friday, April 3, 2015

Song of the Sea (2014) Ireland

Brand new from non-Disney and non-Studio Ghibli.





Genre:
Animation (2D), Adventure, Fantasy.


What's in:
On-topic, Largely off-topic, Mild spoilers, Dialogues.


Length:
Approximately 5-minute read.


Review:
     If you ever watched 'The Secret of Kells', you will never think of skipping it. Though, people watch it in the interest of the Oscar connection. From all the nominees it is the clear winner according to me, even far better than the real winner 'Big Hero 6'. The American Academy Awards had failed to recognise the true ingenuity. That does not stop win the heart the of millions of children around the world. As for the adults, it makes you feel young again for a while. Lots of humour in it with faint emotions at the end along the kids favoured flavour throughout.

     Far East and far West film industries ruling the animation production, but Tomm Moore from Ireland is trying to open the new gate from the European division. Not many people are aware of him, one more movie and its success may lead to the greater heights for sure. This animation technics are very unique, but not the first time in the use.


     The character illustrations were cuter to enchant the young kids. Watching the movie is like reading a children's storybook with the large pictures everywhere and a couple of lines of words in the corner of the page. Like the anime in Japan and 3D animation in Hollywood, this would mark the Euro on the map. There are many animations are made and still making in Europe, but this one is the new perspective of hope to reach all the major and remote places of the Earth. Wish it moves in the right direction.

     If you had known how all the fairytales work, you would feel you can predict this story because, you know defeating evil, breaking curses, the happy endings are the usual part. So what matters is the storytelling, how well the stories are presented on the screen. This film excels in that point, and the music is the another highlight of the movie. Whoever the music director/composer I must praise him. Almost a year ago I saw the trailer for the first time and I felt like I already loved the movie, mainly because of the music.

‘‘Hold this shell to your ear and listen carefully.
You will hear the song of the sea.’’


     In his earlier movie the director told a simple and short story extraordinarily, and still I hum that beautiful 'Aisling song' sometime. This movie had a wonderful adventure story of a boy called Ben and his little sister Saoirse. In the journey of running away from an owl witch, the magical creatures and an ancient seashell guide them a path. On the right time the title song makes the way to delight next 10 minutes of the crucial segment in the narration. I love the original version, in Irish even though I don't understand. It was good and catchy, even for the grown ups as well. Feels like, want to visit those places from the movie, but sadly our only option is Disneyland, huh.

     Disney and Studio Ghibli are the king and queen of fairy tale movies. No one would, but if you are mildly fed up of those, here the new dimensional fresh tales from the Ireland's folklore. Though, it sets in the modern world, but does not abandon to bring the key factors. Like the ancient meet the modern world with the same intensity. Kind of new to hear the words like Selkie, Macha etc., but, brand new for the people who live thousands of kilometers away in the different continents. Animation movie fanatics would love it, but if there are any children like niece and nephew in your home or visits you, watch it with them on that occasion and you would feel differently.



Similar movies:
The Secret of Kells, Ponyo, Eleanor's Secret, My Neighbour Totoro, The Little Mermaid.


Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


External link(s):
HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial  HTML tutorial