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Favorite movies and film reviews

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:14 pm

bump


Just returned from watching Jurassic Park 3D with the crew and holy crap, I haven't had a great theater experience this good in a long time.

The movie is just as relevant now as it was back when I saw it as a kid in 1993. The CGI is still superb as always, the cast and crew behind all the magic is just incredible. I said I wouldn't do a review of Jurassic Park and I'm sticking to that. Come on, what else can be said about this film? It's one of the all time greats in 3D.

The 3D was pretty good too, using it's power the best scenes like the T-Rex introduction, the Raptor jumping at Lex and so on. People in the theater REACTED to the movie, something I haven't seen in quite a while too. Normally, nobody says one word with most modern day films. You get silent reactions for Twilight, TDKR, Lord of the Rings, etc.

For Jurassic Park, the crowd went INSANE. The audience could tell the movie had limitations compared to today's films and they loved it. It felt more real that way. The dinosaurs were CGI (beautifully I might add) in some shots, animatronics in another shot...man, that's what film making is all about. And as always, Malcolm's (played by Jeff Goldblum) lines got the most laughs. The scene where the T-Rex first appears...I'll never forget it. Just like in 93, all the girlfriends clung themselves to their guys...JUST FOR THE BUILD UP! The water vibration was enough to spook everywhere and the pay off? EXCELLENTLY EXECUTED.

The Raptor kitchen scene btw? You could literally FEEL the tension in the theater. DAMN, THIS MOVIE IS Facking GREAT. Where was this thrill when I went to see any of the Paranormal Activity films? Or Cloverfield? Amateurs. Nao Yuuki

Jurassic Park is a classic. Steven Spielberg stated in an interview that Jurassic Park coming back was a way to find out if today's audiences would be interested in the movie. Your expectations were surpassed, my friend. Jurassic Park IV will do just fine.

Luu Sky Sapphire rates Jurassic Park an easy 4 and 3/4 lawyer chow out of 5.

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Midori Sugiura on Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:44 am

OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN
Just saw Olympus Has Fallen, and I have to say I'm impressed.
As a foreigner I get sick and tired of all the Pro-USA chest beating "we are the best and everyone else is our bitch"
I mean no offense to anyone, but it gets annoying sometimes

I thought I had this film tagged, USA's enemies combine their forces and attack Washington DC from all sides as well as other cities, they terrorists aim for control of the nukes and intend to launch them at South Korea

I was wrong, the film doesn't involve attacks on anywhere but Washington and the President and his cabinet ends up trapped with the terrorists in his own bunker and they try to get the codes for something called "Cerberus" out of them,

meanwhile an Ex-Special Service agent played by Gerald Butler tries to retake the white house and save the president's 12 year old son.

I was adequately surprised by this film, it's actually quite good and there was a guest staring of TEN News from Australia, Full Screen baby! That made my night, I love stuff like that.

I'm giving the film a solid 7.5/10 Give it a watch

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:01 pm

Films like Olympus Has Fallen slip under the radar around here. You're the first to recommend it to me. Arika Yumemiya

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Midori Sugiura on Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:33 pm

Luu Sky Sapphire wrote:Films like Olympus Has Fallen slip under the radar around here. You're the first to recommend it to me. Arika Yumemiya

I do what I can

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Kuga Natsuki on Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:19 pm

I recently saw a famous French film called Amelie, and I must say, it was better than I thought. Tis a new favorite film of mine on the list

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:54 pm

Nymphetamine wrote:I recently saw a famous French film called Amelie, and I must say, it was better than I thought. Tis a new favorite film of mine on the list

Amelie is wonderful! One of my favorite films ever. It's hard to believe that this is the same director who did that piece of shit, Alien Resurrection. Not his fault, he is more suited for artistic films and not sci-fi. Why he was chosen to direct an Alien film is unknown and random.

Regardless, Amelie is a classic.

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The law of physics: Whenever there's this much gay in one room, Shizuru manifests!
When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.

Luu Sky Sapphire
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Midori Sugiura on Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:01 pm

My favorite film is a weird one, Army of Darkness

It just hit every funny bone I had, and was a sequel to my favorite horror film, Evil Dead 2, the Evil Dead remake sucks BTW, and the original 3 films were an intricate part of my childhood


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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:40 pm

Still didn't see the Evil Dead Remake. Only one person recommended it to me since the protagonist is a female. I dunno, that still isn't enough.

*patiently waits for Hunger Games: Catching Fire* Don't care for Iron Man 3 or Man of Steel.

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The law of physics: Whenever there's this much gay in one room, Shizuru manifests!
When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.

Luu Sky Sapphire
Administrator. The Showstopper. The Headliner. The Main Event. The Icon. Mr. Mai-Series.
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Midori Sugiura on Wed May 01, 2013 12:24 am

Luu Sky Sapphire wrote:Still didn't see the Evil Dead Remake. Only one person recommended it to me since the protagonist is a female. I dunno, that still isn't enough.

*patiently waits for Hunger Games: Catching Fire* Don't care for Iron Man 3 or Man of Steel.

I'm a huge Zod fan, as you can imagine Luu, I am in tears, hot angry tears...of anger

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Wed May 01, 2013 6:46 pm

Terence Stamp's performance as General Zod is impossible to beat and yes, that's a fair generalization. Michael Shannon has a tendency to overact (ever see Bug?) in a role that requires a lot of expression. His eye popping face will be the new Bane Sean Connery voice and Bale growl: Unintentional comedy. That's just me though, you can sing his praises when the time comes. Wink

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When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.

Luu Sky Sapphire
Administrator. The Showstopper. The Headliner. The Main Event. The Icon. Mr. Mai-Series.
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Midori Sugiura on Thu May 02, 2013 5:58 am

Luu Sky Sapphire wrote:Terence Stamp's performance as General Zod is impossible to beat and yes, that's a fair generalization. Michael Shannon has a tendency to overact (ever see Bug?) in a role that requires a lot of expression. His eye popping face will be the new Bane Sean Connery voice and Bale growl: Unintentional comedy. That's just me though, you can sing his praises when the time comes. Wink

Ah, the film Bug...Pray I never meet the writer of that film, I will ensure he never writes again

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Thu May 02, 2013 6:27 pm

Midori Sugiura wrote:
Ah, the film Bug...Pray I never meet the writer of that film, I will ensure he never writes again

I have very mixed feelings about it. Bug felt very rushed with plot holes galore. Yes, I'm aware the film is about two people and their descent into madness, but it just wasn't executed well. Ashley Judd put on a performance that was both amazing and horrendous at the same time, something I would of never thought possible from her.

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The law of physics: Whenever there's this much gay in one room, Shizuru manifests!
When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.

Luu Sky Sapphire
Administrator. The Showstopper. The Headliner. The Main Event. The Icon. Mr. Mai-Series.
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:43 pm

Luu Sky Sapphire Review: Man of Steel (2013)


First things first. During my review, I will not make any comparisons to the original Superman films from the 1978 original to Superman Returns. Nor will I elaborate on the similarities 'Man of Steel' shares with Superman 1978 and Superman II. It's really not fair to 2013's summer blockbuster 'Man of Steel' because the original works by Richard Donner and Richard Lester are infinitely superior films and comic book adaptations compared to this rubbish. Like I said with my reviews of Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, there is no such thing as the "nostalgia" goggles here. That is something imbecilic fanboys invented to "win" arguments against anyone who has an opinion against Nolan related anything or anything "new". Might as well tell me that I'm "it" in a game of tag and that you've triple stamped a double stamp to avoid getting tagged back. If it's new, it's got to be better. To me, I don't care how old or new a film is; if it's bad, it's bad. If it's good, it's good. I call it like I see it. That's being subjective and in this film's case, I found it to be the worst Superman film by far. Does that make it a bad movie? Not entirely, though I can justify my statement by giving my own honest opinion without resorting to comparisons to older SUPERMAN films, as if they didn't exist. Let's see if that makes this a better film. So whether you like it or not, here it goes. My review of 2013's 'Man of Steel' as both a movie and as a Superman movie.

The problems with the film begin almost immediately as we see Lara (the beautiful Ayelet Zurer) give birth to Kal-El, the baby that would eventually become Superman. We see a different Krypton with giant beasts and rich alien scenery, thanks to Snyder's visual works. Now, I'm aware that this film is a reboot of the series, so it's only logical that the entire origin story is presented to us again. However, rather than add any unique twist to give it that Zack Snyder stamp, it follows the standard mythology. This disappointed me as movies that want to distant themselves from previous works usually add their own flavor to a universally known back story  while at the same time, keeping the spirit of said backstory. We didn't get that here, even with the addition of the genetic codex in a Superman film; a device that can create artificial Kryptonians. This is just all just *too* familiar. General Zod (played by Michael Shannon) and his goons who long disagreed with the council, plan a takeover before the planet's eventual doom.  Jor-El (played by Russell Crowe) refuses to join Zod in his campaign and is killed for it. By that time, Lara had already sent her son to Earth where he will be safe from Zod. Zod is captured and sentenced with his army to the Phantom Zone, which he escapes from during Krypton's destruction. He is determined to find the son of Jor-El in hopes that he will not only join him, but locate the codex to build his new Krypton. A Krypton on Earth.

The moment Kal lands on Earth, we jump ahead many years and see him (as an adult, played by Henry Cavill) as a cast member on "Deadliest's Catch". During his fishing job, he exposes his abilities during a burning oil rig incident. We get several flashbacks from this point on, where Kal is named Clark Kent by his Earth parents. Clark is really young and scared of his own abilities. We see that he can't control his powers to the point where they mess with his head. Several of these flashbacks involve Jonathan Kent (played by Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (played by the uber gorgeous, even with old make up and grey hair- Diane Lane. Maybe it's just me, but anytime Diane Lane was focused on, I wanted her badly. She is incredibly good looking). They both comfort Clark by informing him of his worth to the world and as their son, despite not being his real parents. They also protect his identity as many suspicious incidents occur where Kal tries to save others in trouble, like in the bus scene. It frustrates him knowing he can't save people without exposing himself, but Jonathan reminds him constantly that keeping your identity is very important. Now I found this to be laughable as Clark exposes himself a lot during the course of the film. Anyone with enough sense would know who he is the second he debuted as the Man of Steel. We meet Lois Lane soon after (played by Amy Adams). Now I normally enjoy the Lois Lane character in everything she's involved in. She's suicidal, intelligent, sexy and always willing to get the big story. Amy was all that, except she lacked chemistry with Kal later on. It felt very rushed. Anyway, We see her follow Kal into an area of the arctic where a space ship was buried. Inside the ship, Kal speaks with an hologram of Jor-El who explains (in great detail /end sarcasm) about Kal's origin and Krypton in general. Lois gets attack by one of the ships security bots or whatever that thing was and goes unconscious. By the time she wakes up, Lois goes on a massive search for leads on this mystery man. Soon enough, she gathers enough leads (okay, the bully from the school bus incident was the plot device needed) and finds the Kent Farm. Kal tells her that he wants to mix with the human race because they're not ready for him as an alien visitor. General  Zod appears on Earth with a simple message in all languages possible: Bring me Kal-El in 24 hours or Earth is screwed. The U.S. military creates paranoia all around, questioning if Kal-El and Zod are hostiles. Kal hesitates to turn himself in at first as he doesn't trust Zod, but he is convinced by a priest to do so for the sake of mankind. The Christianity references (like Kal exiting the hole in Zod's ship in his crucifix pose) are about as subtle as a cinder block to the crotch. But even they are no match for the mindless action sequences. Once it is revealed that Kal had the codex inside of his cells, the movie gets suffers and never recovers. There isn't much to talk from here aside from non-stop fight sequences from SmallVille to Metropolis. With Zod's terraforming plan to make Earth into another Krypton shattered, he takes his frustrations out on Kal in an extremely long and lifeless fight where nobody gets the upper hand. It finishes with Zod trying to kill a few people with his heat vision, as if he hasn't killed enough people already with his terraforming plan. Kal tries to make him stop but Zod refuses and SNAP! Pays for it. Realizing that he resorted to killing the last of his race, Kal roars in agony. This would of been emotional if Zod didn't actually *kill* anyone until he resorted to taking lives at the last second. The film ends with Kal deciding to work at the Daily Planet; as a way for him to join society and have a normal life without the cape.

This movie may have been directed by Zack Snyder, but it's entire narrative of "Hope" and "finding your place in a foreign land" is told to us through very dry exposition. I don't blame Zack for this as much as I do Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. There are reviewers who say the exposition weighed the film down, yet they gave free passes to The Dark Knight trilogy. This was just as bad as Nolan's Batman films when it comes to exposition. Though 'Man of Steel' doesn't share The Dark Knight trilogy's pretentious dialogue (thank heavenly Jesus), a lot of the film devotes itself to relentlessly explaining motivations and organizations. You know, since we're too stupid to remember. This is Nolan's work; believing what he writes is way in over our heads. This is not complex writing in the slightest when Kal's journey is one of acceptance and finding your place in the world. Zod's journey was his pride as a Kryptonian. So much that he was willing to risk countless human lives to restart Krypton over again. You say you've humanized Superman, yet you've distanced him from us even further by presenting him as an petulant alien.  Henry Cavill's performance is very bland as Kal-El, Clark Kent and Superman. Yes, he does have a good build for Superman and he does resemble a more primal gruff ladies man compared to previous actors in the suit. The beard helped. Sadly, he never seems to transform into any form of identity when the story needed him to, because he's just playing the fisherman we met in the Deadliest Catch scene; not saying much and roaring like a lion. Henry lacks the charisma and kindhearted "square" attitude that made the character so admired.  The younger Clark in the flashback scenes conveyed more emotion through his scenes because he had more to work with, but why in flashbacks? The flashback element of the movie didn't work for me. It felt sloppy seeing the pinnacle of Kal's bad memories with Jonathan dying in the tornado (to protect his son's identity as a being with powers) and then seeing another flashback scene with Jonathan alive and well spouting more mind numbing "Uncle Ben" dialogue.


Film 101, Nolan, Snyder and Goyer: When you plan to kill off a supporting character CENTRAL to the protagonist, make sure we don't see that supporting character ever again. To keep the emotional volume high for the protagonist who wishes he had his father figure around to comfort him. We, the audience, should also miss Pa Kent too. I really must give a shout out to Diane Lane for making the emotional scenes work. You can tell she tried so hard to deliver heart in such a bland film. The "focus on my voice" scene was really well done, showcasing Martha's warmth towards Clark. We don't get enough scenes like this as they're all replaced by non-stop action sequences.

Michael Shannon as General Zod is also a pretty bland performance. He's a villain with interesting motives to turn Earth into his once glorious Krypton, only now under HIS rule. Unfortunately, the guy just isn't evil enough. He doesn't want to kill humans for the sake of killing humans, he's a sad man who is holding onto a past that is long gone. What we thought was a vicious cold-hearted commander is really a little man in an armored play suit crying for his ruined sand castle. So to make his boo boo feel better, he wants to make one in OUR sandbox. There there, Zod. Here's a tissue.

The music by Hans Zimmer is also lacking. The piano scores are pretty nice for scenes that try to express humanity for Kal, but the drumming of war for practically every single action scene is repetitive and dull. There's nothing in the soundtrack that gives the film identity as a Superman film. It just sounds like most action films these days where the bass is  amped up like a loud fart in the bath.

The biggest offender of the film that many reviewers have probably touched on is the constant action. The entire last 45 minutes is a loud and exhausting mess with buildings falling, terraforming, Superman fighting Zod, the military unable to understand that none of their conventional weapons WORK. Bullets clearly don't work when fired on Faora (Zod's henchwoman), so what do the soldiers do? THEY KEEP SHOOTING HER!!! Same goes for missiles and even a knife. Remember in 1984's Supergirl when one of the truckers pulls a knife on Kara and even though she used heat vision on him, he still thought he could take her? Well, 'Man of Steel' brought stupidity to a whole new level by having the Colonel believe he could take Faora in a KNIFE battle after she took out his entire squad without effort. At least in Supergirl, Helen Slater got to silence the trucker. Here, the scene was rendered pointless by Superman's interference. The action is just all over the place with collapsing buildings. It defeats the purpose of Superman trying to protect the human race when he's crashing into buildings. Innocent people that are either inside or nearby the building running for their lives. Thanks for all the property damage, Kal! Appreciate it. You killed my friends, family and all the people who were trying to hide out in that dark alley, but that's okay, you killed Zod, so that makes my pain go away. Yaaaay. A real Superman would realize people are getting hurt and lure Zod to a place where they can fight without any distractions. Both have sunbathed enough to fly to any remote location in space for a final showdown, so why not? I know the answer: We must top 'The Avengers' and every Michael Bay film ever made. It takes you out of the movie when you've been fooled believing this was going to be a story about a foreigner struggling with home versus heritage. (That was for you, Death Battle) and instead, we're treated to a PS4 video game with Quick Time Events speedrun. Granted, Zack Snyder's visuals are amazing in films like 'Sucker Punch' and '300', but that's all he's good with. Visuals. Cartoon fights. For the most part, he did a great job making this the most aesthetically visual looking Superman film to date. The problem is that substance is missing to match it's style.

As a Superman movie, 'Man of Steel' failed for me. It's not an inspiring story about a hero learning to become one of us and dealing with human emotions, but one of a bland hero who did more harm than good. Countless lives were lost partially because of him. This is overlooked by fans of Superman in favor of him kicking more ass. Hey, if that's your thing, good for you. As a film on it's own, it's visually entertaining. Krypton and the CGI work during the terraforming of Earth isn't too bad. Zack is terrific when it comes to making grand spectacles on screen, I just wish he didn't overdo it. There are some strong performances by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, doing what they could with a "deep" and "brooding" story underneath it's cartoony exterior. Other than that, I don't find anymore redeeming qualities for 'Man of Steel'. It's 'The Avengers' without the fun and excitement that a comic book movie should have. Even with the entire Avengers team, the stakes were higher with a chance of losing the war. You never sensed that Kal was in any kind of peril as he was completely on top of things against Zod and company. Again, you say you want to "humanize" Kal and instead, it's back to square one as the boring and invincible superhero NOBODY can like or relate to. Congratulations, Nolan. Do everyone a favor and stay away from DC Comics films, so we can have fun with these legendary characters again. There has not been a good DC film since 1992's Batman Returns and I blame that on less creativity and substance and more emphasis on social commentary I've waited years to escape from. Thank goodness there's a place I could enjoy masterpiece films like Superman 78 and Superman II. They may not be as good, but they understand what it means to be a comic book movie.

Thank you, Marvel. Thank you. Just keep Spiderman 3 in the trash where it belongs.
Luu Sky Sapphire rates Man of Steel:

KrugerfreeKrugerfree/KrugerfreeKrugerfreeKrugerfreeKrugerfreeKrugerfree

2 KRUGERFREES OUT OF FIVE: 2/5

RENTAL

+ Good performances by Diane Lane and Kevin Costner
+ Visually stylish...
- ...perhaps a bit TOO stylish.
- Bland performances everywhere else
- Uninspired and dull. Devoid of humanity in production, character and story.

Worth seeing once as you may enjoy a new take on Superman. If you're looking for the greatness of the Christopher Reeve films, stay away from this one. This is not the Superman films you remember. Yes they are superior, but I can understand why a whole new audience wouldn't look back on them with fondness. "Out with the old and in with the new" is their motto. Their loss, not yours. Purchase Superman 1978 and Superman II (Lester's version) on Blu-Ray instead.


Last edited by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:06 am; edited 1 time in total

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Mai-X-Project

The law of physics: Whenever there's this much gay in one room, Shizuru manifests!
When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.

Luu Sky Sapphire
Administrator. The Showstopper. The Headliner. The Main Event. The Icon. Mr. Mai-Series.
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Kuga Natsuki on Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:38 am

^ I'm really looking forward to seeing Man of Steel on Father's Day... -_-

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:59 am

Haha, something wrong with Father's Day? ;p In any case, I hope you enjoy it more than I did. rei hino

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The law of physics: Whenever there's this much gay in one room, Shizuru manifests!
When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.

Luu Sky Sapphire
Administrator. The Showstopper. The Headliner. The Main Event. The Icon. Mr. Mai-Series.
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Kuga Natsuki on Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:46 am

I doubt I will Shiho Huit I never really liked Superman, anyways >_>

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Konaxookami on Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:06 am

Now Luu, now that you have posted your review of Man of Steel I feel like I HAVE to throw in my own two cents about the whole affair. (I feel like saying that going into the movie without hoping to find something bad in it is the key to seeing this movie.)

You don't really need optimism for this movie, but you can't go into this movie expecting it to be lady fumi-awful or praise the heavens they have given us the Superman movie to end all Superman movies.

I knew going into the movie that it wasn't going to be the Superman I was used to. There would be no campy-ness, the humor wasn't going to be there. Hell, since it was a new origin I mourned the loss of Lois and Clark's banter and Clark's general puppy dog following of Lois in the bull pen. I knew that wasn't what I was getting here. I was getting the post 9/11 'imagine if this happened today oh wow this is insane' reimagining that we got with the Dark Knight Trilogy (Which also has it's pros and cons)

This Superman starts off on Krypton, lush with shiny metals and wide lensed shots of a green screen turned into the capitol, Kandor. Kal-El is being born-the first natural birth in centuries. (Which admittedly is probably the reason he's turned out so 'wishy washy' to Zod and his people.) It's a nice switch considering if they ever wanted to do the whole 'Doomsday' plot line, they'd kind of be screwed since I don't think he'd be able to do the weird 'healing coma' thing that he did before since he um...DIDN'T COME OUT OF THE BIRTHING MATRIX? But whatever. I somehow doubt they'll make Death of Superman into a live action-even if it could segway the return of Supergirl and Superboy to the movie world because heaven knows that young superheroes are nonexistent in the DC movie verse.

But I'm getting off the point big time here-wow. The thing that worked with the whole Krypton sequence was that it set up the whole idea of the 'old world' vs the 'new world' ways of thinking. The 'old world' of bull headed, one way thinking was well...old. Forcing and breeding folks into one caste stripped them of the Hope that the House of El strived towards. (supposedly? Hey I'm waxing poetic I can have my liberties). The way that Jor and Lara decided to give the Hope to become ANYTHING he wanted to be. Something that people like to say we have here on Earth, but from the time you're born you're expected to follow a certain path of life, whether it's following the path your parents took, or the one society deems 'your type' to be suited for. 

It's a dig at the was the government works today. The way they debate and stick stubbornly to the old ways-while the moment someone tries to change it they snap and bite saying that the old ways work-even when it's clear they aren't. They end up destroying Krypton in any case-and before that happens Jor-el and Lara give Kal the ultimate burden/choice/hope what have you of bringing back the Kryptonian race on Earth. Even though he's going to be an outsider. 

Of course there's the little bit where Jor gets stabbed and killed by Zod, who is a petulant child throughout the whole movie and really ugly looking with the hair cut and the eyebrows like urgh...he fits the bad-guy role well, but the writing for Zod was repetitive and by the end I was pretty glad it was over.

The Inclusion of the Phantom Zone was a nice touch though!  I do love when they throw in comic bits like that. Kind of wish Zod had been thrown back in the Phantom Zone so we could have used other Zod related/Zod caused Phantom Zone incidents in the future but I'll take what I can get as far as comic book goodies. I won't be greedy I swear. But the Krypton sequence could have been shorter, and simpler. Like really guys, the planet is exploding and you're holding trial? There are better ways to be going about this...

(This is going to be long I can sense it oh boy)

The montage of Clark now in his 30s it would seem (he's been wandering around for like 10 years? Oh Clark...) and the whole Oil Rig scenario is basically set up for Lois to track him down later, but it does show even before he puts on the suit, and before he really accepts his powers, he's still trying to help other people. Though it sort of seems suicidal the way he's been going about it. His little journey of getting to the arctic where the Kryptonian ship was seemed a bit long, but again shows how much Clark hates bullies. How even though he's being taunted and teased and pushed around, he won't fight back. He's better than that, even if it hurts him inside. (Wow that was cliche ugh)

Which brings me to the flashbacks! I'll agree Luu, some of them were disjointed and really just camera porn. They were a cinematographer's candy store. (Especially the one at the end? Like what's up with that I don't really get why that was there.) They worked in a few ways-Clark's always been 'good'. Even when being bullied he still saves everyone. Even when he father tells him not to. He's got to do it. He knows it's the right thing to do. (I'll also take that little bit about Lana, Clark's first girlfriend in there too.) The 'make it smaller' flashback is undoubtedly my favorite though. It's so subtle, so small. Clark's so young and confused but his mother's there and that makes everything okay. It really does. He can make it smaller. Even when everyone is making fun of him and teasing. His moment in the classroom where he was panicking is so heartbreaking because can you jut imagine being that age and having that happen to you? It would be horrifying. 

But I'll get to who I REALLY want to talk about here. Amy Adams as Lois Lane. I knew no matter what they gave her as far script she was going to take it and really run with it. And she did. Her intro where she cuts off any bullshit and misogyny right at the get go is just what I wanted from my Lois Lane of the modern day. No bullshit for her, no sir. She's gonna do her job and snoop around. Admittedly act a little stupid when she gets in a clearly ALIEN ship, but it wouldn't be Lois if she didn't goof up somewhere. And of course we finally get her and Clark meeting and Clark where did you get your medical degree I really don't-You know what, just do your thing. I'll just watch. 

Which leads the Lois getting stranded on the ice, and Clark getting his moment with his father at last. This scene sort of dragged a bit as far as the exposition since we already all KNOW this stuff. Even a person who has never picked up a comic knows this stuff and since they showed us all this stuff at the beginning...Though the steel/mercury/KRYPTONIAN ELEMENT THING that made the images was pretty-it was sort of unneeded. Actually it could have been cut altogether. I'm also going to mourn the loss of the red underoos of the Superman suit. RIP red briefs. You'll live on in my memory forever. The learning to fly sequence was fun, and next to Lois trying to find her proof because oh please Perry I'm going to go out and prove this exists and you aren't going to stop me. 

A complaint I had throughout the movie was the whole LACK OF CARING IF CLARK'S NAME WAS USED AND HIS FACE SIR PLEASE DO A BETTER JOB OF HIDING YOUR FACE. It's pretty yes, but that just means more people are going to remember it. But the flashback of the classic teenage (not really teenage because it's Cavill playing it) angst was a bit cliche, but the way they pulled it off, cutting off the sound at the end of the scene so it was more diluted was good. The emotions given off were enough to really cement that this was a kid who struggled his whole life with these powers and in the end he wasn't able to use them to save one of the most important people in his life. It led him on his hobo path. And Lois understands. She backs off. 

WHICH IS SUPER IMPORTANT. Because Lois Lane never backs off of a story. The fact that she understood this man. That she got what he was doing and why he wasn't ready to show off himself to the world. It's so GOOD. Because Lois Lane has a heart. She a reporter, but she gets it. She feels for Clark the minute she meets him. Sympathizes. And protects him in the only way a normal human can. She keeps his secret. (At least for now. By the end of the movie the amount of times she said Clark around other people or Clark himself went out and 'revealed' himself was a bit ridiculous). She even gets chewed out by Perry, which we all know she hates.

Of course her good intentions are sort of ruined by the fact that Zod decides to highjack the human race's broadcasting waves and announce his ultimatum. It's around here where the movie stops being about Clark's journey to bring back Hope and change and the ability to rise above the odds and it turns into the giant LET'S SO HOW MANY BUILDING WE CAN DESTROY HECK YES. MORE PUNCHING AND BULLETS.

The scene where Clark and Lois are in the interrogation room and he is more than snarky is a good call to how confident the uniform makes him. Like really. It's a very classic Lois and Superman moment. It reads like a scene from the comics and it's very simple. But Henry Cavill's face is so very attractive and Amy Adams is so charming that it's really just one of my favorite scenes in the movie. 

Once they board the ship though-it all sort of goes downhill. Whatever happened to the plot? Plot? There was a plot? Of course, Lois Lane proves to still be as badass as can be, Jor-El proves you really can never get rid of him, and Clark is generally kicked about like a hacky sack by a very attractive Kryptonian woman and bouncer. The poor town of Smallville gets decimated, the army looses some confused men who shot at things that could not be hit by bullets, and of course Clark proves that it's all about adaptation. And suddenly after he and the other Kryptonians DESTROY Smallville, Clark and the Army are palsy. What. 

But the PHANTOM ZONE RETURNS. I knew this plot point would be important again. There had to be a reason for the creepy, weird, sinking into the bones of humanity acid trip. Lois is gonna be awesome and finish the job while Clark acts like a human bomb and destroys the terraforming device. (Which was just an excuse to destroy Metropolis using CGI. Which is super rude.) And there's more of that sexual tension/trust growing between Clark and Lois because they're pretty much in this together now and I'm pretty sure both of them are okay with that.

But again, we get back to the slugfest that the movie has become. I guess, it IS an summer action blockbuster. So they need the action-but it's just too much. It DRAGGED. And when I finally figured it was over-after Clark DESTROYS any vestige of the 'old ways' (hey look i brought that point back lookit that), and the whole of the Zod Gang gone-I thought the movie was done. I mean-they even had that Kiss I've Been WAITING for the whole movie and jesus what good dialogue right there. You two need to stop being so cute and in character right now. Bless Amy Adams. 

But as I get ready to see the wrap up-FREAKING ZOD POPS UP AGAIN. This was unneeded. Another ten minutes of fighting? Please stop this. We don't need it. We've heard it before. Bred for battle, lalala, MY LIFE IS OVER, and all that jazz. The old system certainly doesn't want to die out that's for sure. The end where Clark's got him though-and he's about to kill that family-WHICH SHOULD HAVE JUST MOVED- it's the sort of ultimate choice that Superman doesn't really make. I mean, Batman is the 'no killing ever' kind of guy, but Superman is the All-American good guy who hands the people over to the police and doesn't kill. He just doesn't. But he has to choose. And he chooses Earth. He chooses Hope for the future. And that's a good thing. Even if it kills him inside.

BUT that's where Lois comes in. And this is one of the things about this movie that works. One of the few things, but a big thing nonetheless to me. Lois is Clark's humanity. She's the anchor that keeps him from flying off into space and staying there. She, in all her bluster and bravado, is the calming and soothing human who makes him happy and she is his home. She's there for him in that moment. She doesn't even need to say anything. They just have each other. They fit. They really do. And Amy and Henry had great chemistry as far as acting goes. I could see them joy-seeking in each other and gosh they just look like such good chums in real life. 

Then finally at the end I get to see my Clark Kent being a reporter in those glasses. FINALLY. Two hours and some change later I get to see the way that Lois just knows and she gives him 'that' look that means he's in a load of trouble but gosh darn it if they won't enjoy this' and Clark just does his farmboy smile and the movie ends on that lovely note. Leaves it open for more movies. (If they did another one, how about taking a comic story line and putting it in film? What, we don't do that? But, you know Brainiac's storyline is really nice and it involves Krypton and Supergirl and-no? Okay...)

But Luu is right when he says there's a lot wrong. It's a half hour too long, it drags, and the fights are repetitive and drawn out. It's not much fun when they can just keep getting up, is it? Too much exposition and not enough of just letting the characters be themselves. (there were some great moments with Perry showing how much he cares about his employees but...) The cinematography wasn't bad, but it was inconsistent between flashbacks and the action. Sometimes shiny, sometimes soft, sometimes hard. They needed to pick a style and stick with it. The script had a strong beginning with it's themes, but they lost it near the end and the whole 'hope' thing was lost in the end in alllll that fighting. And there's the whole Clark's identity nonsense but I'm gonna chalk that up to people thinking that comic book logical will work in a 'realistic' adaptation. 

Personally I found it too be too dark for Superman. I get the whole post 9/11 DARK hero theme, but the Marvel movies have been pulling it off much better. They made The Avengers a good movie through great character work and a 'loose' plot. This movie should have STAYED focused on Clark and Lois and Zod but they lost that and as such the movie lost it's OUMPH factor. And the fights dragged too long. Short fights are the way to go. But fights sell so the masses apparently. (Not to me but meh, I'm a writer I have different views on fighting) The score wasn't bad-but I feel like I heard the same theme more than I'd like to count. There was a lot of repetition. The softer stuff was great, but the tension music all sounded pretty much the same. And it wasn't entirely effective in getting the blood pumping as it was making the heartstrings jerk during flashbacks.

Overall, the movie is around a 3.5/5. 

It could have been great, but it was only okay. The only reason I'm giving it this grade is because Amy Adams and Henry Cavill carried it through the whole movie, along with the few side characters that gave it flair (The Kents, that one Army Sergeant, and Jor-El). Zod was lacking. I thought his character was flat. He had two states-RAGH I'M ANGRY ANGRY ANGRY and I AM A RIGHTEOUS MAN WHO WILL CURE THIS LAND OF IT'S SICKNESS OF THE HUMAN RACE. 

But yeah. That was stupidly long. But then again, I'm an English major, it's my job to find stupid stuff to talk about in essays and bullshit my way through them. (Most times...)

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:55 pm

I really enjoyed your entire analysis and thoughts on Man of Steel, Ally. You obviously enjoyed the Lois Lane portrayed by Amy Adams; something I didn't really touch on and here's why. While I agree she was a more involved Lois Lane (they're all involved! But Amy's Lois was extremely stubborn lol), didn't she feel a little tacked on? If you took Lois out of the movie, it wouldn't of made much of a difference to me. I wish I could feel that chemistry her and Henry COULD of had, it felt more like passion by the end of it; which is fine, it doesn't have to be romantic. It's just that there was something about Kal's love for Lois that furthered his humanity. Made him one of us; a human who finds comfort in someone special. Not to compare, but that's why I prefer the romance/I finally have a friend to talk to side of the relationship that Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder executed so flawlessly.

Ever watch the interviews with Amy and Henry? She takes over most of the interview. XD I like Amy as an person, she seems like a fun chatterbox to be around. Henry just smiles (I'll give you a chance to feint with glee, Alex. :p ) and nods his head  like "yup yup".

Also, did you notice the vast amount of product placement? It kind of takes me out of an action movie if there's a battle going on in IHOP. O_o;

Now I'd like to make this clear, since I kind of left it out of my review. Even though the film didn't captivate me, or surpass past films, I do not want it to fail. The success of Man of Steel could get me the following:

Supergirl - Who was hinted at in 'Man of Steel'
Wonder Woman - A gritty story about Princess Diana would work. She is very different from Superman and Batman; coming from a warrior background.
Justice League - IT'S ABOUT TIME. If DC is stuck on realism, this project will never come true.

I'm with you on The Avengers film, Alex. When it came out, I didn't like it so much. Now, I have to rate Avengers one star higher than before. At least it had fun and Marvel is willing to take chances with their heroes. The thought of Thor and Captain America may sound silly to people, but at least Marvel went ahead and did it.

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Kuga Natsuki on Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:55 am

Time for my reaction about Man of Steel >:3

Spoiler:
It did kick Superman Returns hard in the groin more than to infinity and beyond, but honestly, Man of Steel bored me to death. The director, Zack Snyder, honestly, most of his films suck. All the guy puts in his films are either cheesy effects, camera porn, porn on camera, etc. Man of Steel was, out of all of them, full of unnecessary camera action porn. All you see is a bunch of punching and throwing, destroying buildings and cars. And when Superman killed the antagonist, do you know what he did? He snapped the enemy's neck. He could've done that sooner! Good job, Superman, for bringing America in a debt of a trillion more dollars o_O Also I thought Amy Adams wasn't a good Lois Lane. Maybe because the woman annoys the hell outta me :3

I also thought that Hans Zimmer's music was boring ._. And the plot of Superman is just like any other superhero movie plot: You're either a hero who is a stranger on Earth or an American who had an unfortunate event of gaining superpowers. Then they either explore their powers or are all "Who the fack am I? HALP". They gotta keep their identity secret. They get in a girl's pants. They get into unnecessary battle scenes. A lot of the superhero films I saw in the past few years look the same to me. Same ol cliche fragments for the plot.

I guess I'm getting really bored with superhero movies these days ^_^;

There you go Akira Okuzaki

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:45 am

My mind went blank during the 45 minute action climax. ^^;

I actually like Superman Returns better for at least being a glorified tribute show for the old films, not to mention having the John Williams score. Man of Steel did try something new, but it ultimately forgot what makes Superman SUPERMAN. Had Man of Steel had some humor and a Kal/Clark/Supes played by someone with a great dramatic/comedy background with a great look, this would of been amazing. I felt Henry was very stiff; kind of sensed that from his awkward interviews. What works in the New 52 just doesn't translate to the much wider movie audience. In the words of Pocahontas:

"But he's so... serious."

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:57 pm

Luu Sky Sapphire reviews: Pacific Rim (2013)


---

Where do I begin with a movie like this? You know when you play with your action figures, namely Godzilla toys and robots, smashing this together while someone tosses pots and pans in the background? That's 'Pacific Rim', a more honest and feel good movie than 'Man of Steel'. From the very start, this film knew what it wanted to accomplish: Monsters and giant mecha fighting each other and catering to Otaku who adored classic series like Godzilla, Evangelion, Patlabor and yes, even the recent Muv Luv: Total Eclipse. But what people tend to forget is that it also aims to satisfy Western action nuts with influence from 1996's Independence Day, Transformers and even that terrible Godzilla from 1998 (especially the cartoon series where Zilla fights a monster of the day).

Directed by Guillermo del Toro (whose best film was 'Pan's Labyrinth' by far), Pacific Rim is filled with a pretty decent cast. Charlie Hunnam plays the generic Raleigh Becket, our hero and protagonist that was more dull than waiting at the dentist's office. He's literally a character who's just there to serve his purpose of fighting the kaiju and standing up for the characters with depth. Speaking of which, the real star of this film is Rinko Kikuchi as Mako. Mako is treated like a secondary character for a good amount of the film until we learn about her rich backstory (richer than Raleigh by leaps, bounds and margins). She is also a better fighter than every Jaeger pilot there is. She is also, to my amusement, a stereotypical Japanese ANIME girl. She shows an obvious interest in the male lead, she hides, get all uke (insecure, shy, etc.) around him and again, is the most unlikely candidate to pilot these things and yet she excels at it. Any major tweaking to her character and it would be Rei Ayanami all over again. And Ron Perlman...really? I know Toro loves you and all, you're his Hellboy, but come on.

The real strength of the film isn't the characters or it's story though (we'll get to that later), it's the battles First off, the 3D is VERY good for this film. Everything came out at you (literally) and it didn't seem awkward. The fights in the movie are very impressive, everything is well shot and edited, not much "shaky-cam" like in the garbage that was 'Batman Begins', All the Transformers films and 'Man of Steel'. They did what I've always suggested: ZOOM AWAY. ZOOM AWAY AND DON'T CUT AWAY FROM THE ACTION SO DAMN FAST. Seriously, film isn't even a major and I have a better idea of how to shoot an action sequence and apparently, Toro does too. The action didn't bother me; it felt very powerful. Each punch by the Jaeger could be felt from your seat, thanks to a little helping hand from the booming sound. The bass is kicked up several notches in this film. It's sad that the action is so loud that you can't hear the score, but that doesn't bother me here. Even smaller fights like when Mako and Raleigh had their match. Nicely choreographed.

The Kaiju monsters themselves were also nicely done. Because most of them took center stage under cover of darkness, the CGI looked more realistic. I haven't seen good creature CGI work that nicely since 'Jurassic Park' and maybe some aspects of 'The Lost World: Jurassic Park'. No category 1,2,3,4, or 5 Kaiju looked better than the other, they all were sculpted well and expressed brutal animal-like instincts. Very cool. The Jaegers from all over the world also look amazing. They didn't have that traditional mecha look per se, it was more that with a combination of Michael Bay's Transformers. Not a big thing mind you, it's hard to make a mecha look super cartoony in a live action.

Now for the problems with the film. Let me begin by saying that I can ignore the story, which in all fairness was very easy to follow. Monsters show up, we beat some, monsters get stronger, we make robots to fight them until they're all gone...the end. The film deliberately did this on purpose, so I can't fault a story that had it's selling point attached to it. My biggest problem with the film is the characters and their relationship towards their Jaeger. Yes, you read right. Bottom line, this movie seems to forget one major thing that made Otaku connect with the older series: The love for their mecha. All of the Jaeger were treated as machines, no more than tools needed to get the job done. In other mecha series, we see the protagonist make a somewhat spiritual relationship and bond with their vehicle. Shinji with Unit-01, Ayato with the RahXephon, Heero and Wing Gundam, and so on. Most of the time we know the mecha can't speak back, but we know that there's a connection. There was no bond between Raleigh or Mako with Gipsy Danger, it's ultimately just a huge toy to them. Nothing more. This hurts the film for me and it's a shame because the mecha in any series are characters in themselves. Think about that.

Overall, it was a Otaku-tastic experience watching this film. It's not really Gundam Wing or Power Rangers, it's definitely a throwback to Patlabor, Godzilla films, loosely based on Evangelion with a pinch of Mazinger and Muv Luv: Total Eclipse. The effects are great, the movie as a whole is great fun and that's all that matters really. It doesn't take itself seriously at all, it can get pretty campy at times (remember the Cradle-WoodGrain scene? CHEESE. PURE UNTAPPED CHEESE!!!). Even side characters like the hyper fanboy scientist Geiszler and his insane English boyfriend from Torchwood, Gottlieb, are CHEESE. But among the cheese are so many awesome moments and kick ass sequences that will make you go WHOAAAA! It's definitely the Otaku wet dream you've always dreamed about, but I wish it had the symbolism, complexity and extremely dysfunctional characters that Evangelion had. If it did, the movie would of been near perfect. But this is just good fun and nothing more. And unlike 'Man of Steel', this was the biggest blockbuster ride of the summer that was HONEST about what it was: GOOD FUN WHILE SHIT GOES KABLOEE!!!


Luu Sky Sapphire Rates Pacific Rim:

Kuroch Kuroch Kuroch  and a half / Kuroch Kuroch Kuroch Kuroch Kuroch 
3 1/2 out of 5 Kurochs!
High Matinee

+ Epic scale battles that are well shot and edited in a coherent manner.
+ Very nice effects on action, mechas and monsters.
+ Throwback to so many different series we grew up with and continue to grow up on.
+ MAKO IS STRANGELY HOT AND THE BEST CHARACTER
+ MAKO'S ENGRISH ! XDDD
- Simple story
- Boring male lead. He should of been like Shinji. Resistant and reluctant to pilot these things to cause more drama/tension within the story.
- The characters lack depth overall.

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When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.

Luu Sky Sapphire
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Kuga Natsuki on Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:06 am

I just got back from seeing the Conjuring. It's another movie to my favorites list XD Here's my review on it

If you haven't seen the Conjuring, DON'T READ THIS:
Ok, so we all know that the original Exorcist has been known as one of the scariest horror films of all time, right? But in my opinion, the Conjuring is way better than the Exorcist. The Exorcist is no where near as scary or heart-jumping than the Conjuring

My main reason why I wanted to see the Conjuring was because it's based on a true story about one of the most frightening paranormal cases Lorraine and Ed Warren had investigated almost 40 years ago, and the story wasn't told before the movie was made, because it was that scarring for the poor family who had experienced the demonic activity, and for the Warrens. Also I've been a fan of the Warrens for years, since I've heard of them during my obsession days of watching paranormal documentary shows

On about the movie! The Conjuring is probably James Wan's masterpiece, because the story, the casting, the acting, the effects, they were all fantastic. The actors who played the Warrens looked and even acted like the real Warrens. The illusions were so perfect! And the genre of the film was handled really well, like how an old-fashioned ghost story should be, so that was a nice surprise. Comparing the Conjuring and the Exorcist again, we all know the Exorcist is pretty much about a girl who gets possessed by a demon all because she played the Ouija board. That's the whole story. The Conjuring had a mystery in the story, why was the house haunted in the first place and whatnot, and since the Conjuring is based on a real case, the plot has to be as authentic as possible, because real hauntings, especially that happened over 200 years ago, the stories are fascinating, which is why I love the paranormal

In the Conjuring, the reason why the house the family moved in was haunted, was because during the witch trials years ago, a woman was accused for witchcraft, and reasons for that is because one time she had a baby, and 7 days later, she sacrificed her baby to Satan. Before she committed suicide, she cursed everyone whoever goes on her land and blabbed on about Satan, then hung herself (though in real life, she died of natural causes)

Other people lived in the house the witch lived in before. One family in particular, a mother killed her children. The movie mentions a spirit boy named Rory, who was unfortunately drowned in the lake that's by the house. The movie later revealed that the mother didn't kill her children on her own will; the witch's spirit possessed the mother and made her kill her children, because the witch still worshiped Satan in the afterlife

Now when the main family moved in, the movie's climax shows the mother driving 2 of her 5 kids back to the house, and tried to kill her daughters in the house's cellar, the same place where the previous mother killed her kids, and where the witch killed her baby. The main mother was possessed, of course, but she was stopped before she could've killed her daughters. Then there was the intense exorcist scene (more intense than the Exorcist xD), and the youngest daughter was somewhere in the house. When she was found, the man who found her said she was under the kitchen, and that's when the possessed mother dashed to try and kill her again, but Lorraine and Ed Warren continued to perform the exorcism on her, and the demon was banished before the deadly deed was done, and thus a happy ending

The happy ending was obvious, yes, but my point is that the story had a much grimmer tale, which is why I enjoyed it

The movie, like all films, has flaws, yes. The years of the hauntings were rushed, but if they weren't, the movie would've been like a million hours long lol. But other than that, the movie is amazing. Even the kid actors were phenomenal. Kudos to them for taking on such horrid roles!

I give this movie a 5/5

There's my review :)

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:26 am

bump 

Why is everybody acting so strange? Why are people running? What's with all the explosions? Movie, if you don't explain what the Hell's going on-ZOMBIES!!!! AND THIS TIME, MILLA JOVOVICH ISN'T HERE TO SAVE US!!!!


Luu Sky Sapphire reviews World War Z



World. War. Dragon Ball. Z. So World War Z is based on a 2006 novel of the same name. I've personally never read the book so I can't tell you if it was a faithful adaptation or not. What we have here is a very expensive zombie film with a more real world feel to it. The Dawn of the Dead remake from 2004 and the Resident Evil are all expensive films, but World War Z goes for bigger with millions of zombies and explosions. At this point in my young life, I am sick to death of zombie films. I can give the Resident Evil movies a free pass because they are the epitome of entertainment. Meanwhile The Walking Dead just doesn't do anything for me, other than learn how to speak Bandai Shizuru. This film is set in a realistic 2013 setting, so *we* can relate to it. For a two hour film, I can stomach it.

Rather than focus on a group of survivor barricading themselves, the film tackles how this plague affects social and political structures across the world. Please note that the film never explains how this outbreak got started and it doesn't really have to. It's here and we, the viewers, are treated like the panicked civilians just watching from afar. Helpless to do anything but wait to live or die. The movie stars Brad Pitt playing as Gerry Lane, a former UN investigator who is living the good life with his family. That is until this massive undead outbreak happens. After a fast pace opening with him and his family having to escape Philly, he is brought back on board to work for the UN again. To help find anything that could reverse this outbreak.

The film is never boring, there is always something happening. Whether it's covert operation missions in an area filled with zombies, city shoot outs or the dramatic moments where Brad contacts his wife and tends to his new friend Segan (the prettiest "boy" soldier I've ever seen...); everything is intense. But as intense as the film can be, it's very light in comparison to other zombie films. Is it just me or is World War Z very bloodless? The PG-13 rating might have something to do with that. This isn't a bad thing per se, they were able to squeeze in so much violence with the rating.

There were two stand out scenes for me. The first was the attack on Jerusalem. Am I sick or did that entire scene make anyone else laugh? The people thought they were so safe behind their giant wall (just like in Pacific Rim) and guess what happens? Just guess. THE MILLIONS OF ZOMBIES STACK THEIR BODIES ON EACH OTHER TO CLIMB OVER THE WALL. WHAT. THE. HELL. That is the most hilarious thing I've ever seen and it wasn't supposed to make me giggle. The second scene that made a good impression was when Brad Pitt, Segan and the facility workers had to sneak into a room to get the anti-serum pathogen. Easily the highlight of the film with tons of suspense and close calls, Brad really sells it here. There were little sprinkles of brilliance as our heroes carry very little weaponry and even have to give them up to proceed further. Like the chilling scene where they sacrifice their axe to hold the creaky door open.

World War Z is a different zombie film than what we're used to seeing. It's more about cooperation and being a family than whacking as many zombies as possible. The survival horror aspect is there, but because of it's message of "Hope", it's more of a disaster film than a zombie one. Wetochan and LiteraryAnomaly were right; this was a solid flick at the core. Traditional gore was replaced with tension and suspense.The movie even ends with a message of again, "Hope". Yes, you read right my stupid sorry parasitic sacks of entrails, this movie actually has a HAPPY ENDING. Let's just say they found the most realistic way to wipe out all the zombies on Earth WITHOUT resorting to nukes. It's not a perfect film, but World War Z leaves the impression that a zombie movie is capable of being sophisticated. If you're not a horror fan, you'll enjoy this. It's a zombie movie a *casual viewer* can watch.


Luu Sky Sapphire gives World War Z:

***.5/*****

3.5 OUT OF FIVE

Matinee


+ Fantastic action sequences
+ Realism works here
+ Feel dat tension!
+/- ZOMBIES...that stack like legos.
- Too tame. Not for the traditional zombie crowd
- Brad Pitt is too lucky. Surviving a plane crash and choosing the right pathogen. I can only suspend my belief so many times.

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When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.

Luu Sky Sapphire
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:43 pm

Rather than write my review of Curse of Chucky (just came out today on DVD/Blu-Ray), I've uploaded an audio review on YouTube. Enjoy!



Overall score:

nao lick nao lick nao lick  .5/ nao lick nao lick nao lick nao lick nao lick 

3.5 out of 5 Yuukis.

+ Return to dark and serious Chucky
+ Amazing cinematography
+ Fiona Dourif is incredible
+ THE POST-CREDITS ENDING!
- Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky are still canon.

_________________
Mai-X-Project

The law of physics: Whenever there's this much gay in one room, Shizuru manifests!
When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.

Luu Sky Sapphire
Administrator. The Showstopper. The Headliner. The Main Event. The Icon. Mr. Mai-Series.
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:59 am

Luu Sky Sapphire reviews
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
SPOILERS ALERT!!!


---

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the sequel to 2012's sleeper hit, The Hunger Games. It is also the second book in the incredible trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Last year, I didn't expect anything going into the first Hunger Games film. It was on a day where me and a few friends had no idea what to watch and it was miserable week in terms of weather. So I picked out the Hunger Games because of it's interesting arena concept...maybe it'll be cool?

It was. It was *very* cool. Not only did The Hunger Games deliver as a film, it also introduced Jennifer Lawrence to the world as a legend in the works. From this film, you could already see this wonderful actress shine. She brought so much depth to the character of Katniss Everdeen and I wasn't even familiar with her original book character. So out of curiosity, I went ahead and read the first book by Suzanne Collins. Wonderful author by the way, she knows how to make us experience and feel what her tragic characters go through. The world she created is a horrifying one that we, the audience, wanna see taken down. As you read each book, your desire to see justice done grows and you start rooting for Katniss Everdeen in the process. Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic as Katniss Everdeen, bringing to life the exact same character that Suzanne thought of in her mind. This doesn't change in this year's follow-up film, Catching Fire. Katniss in a lot of ways is a stronger person compared to her time in the first Games, but at the same time, she is also damaged goods with constant nightmares and images of death she herself caused. And Rue, don't forget poor little Rue.

Catching Fire is excellent for so many reasons. This goes beyond just staying faithful to the original book. You fans who are faithful to the books need to keep in mind that this is a motion picture, a lot of liberties will be taken as a result of the adaptation. But once the movie gets going, you can clearly see how seemingly flawless it is. Most of the time. Catching Fire follows in the tradition of a sequel and a second act in a trilogy with many different elements. The stakes are much higher, the characters are stronger than ever before yet at their lowest point against the enemy, and finally, the ending leaves us with a question mark. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Aliens, The Empire Strikes Back, Superman II and Terminator 2: Judgement Day are some sequel/second act masterpieces that came to mind while watching Catching Fire. The film is so rich with it's expansion of the first film, giving Katniss Everdeen stronger threats inside and outside the arena. Panem was a place of uncertainty amongst it's people until her character came along. Thus why her defiance with Peeta in the first Games was so damn good, it started a domino effect that President Snow is unable to fix no matter how hard he tries. Now before I jabber-jay- on about the film (har har har), I want to make it clear (if I haven't done so already with my praises...) that the first Hunger Games was a great film. It's not exactly perfect, but it was the sleeper franchise I've been waiting for. Since many book-to-movie franchises didn't do anything for me in the past decade or so, The Hunger Games just kind of snuck into my life like the most beautiful girl you ever saw being transferred into a classroom. The best part is knowing that after talking to this girl, she is not only normal, but a very inspiring person. I can easily interpret this person as Jennifer Lawrence, but that would be too easy. We're both awkward dorks, so we'd probably get along. But really, the only complaints I've ever heard about the first Hunger Games movie was the "shaky cam". I'm not a fan of the "shaky cam" either, but it was appropriate in a film that was more grounded in reality than say Man of Steel. What a Piece Of Shit that was.

The other complaint was how it wasn't faithful to the book. You have to remember that the Hunger Games and Catching Fire are almost 2 and a half hour films, there's only so much book content you can squeeze in there. In the first book for example, it takes Katniss a long time to find water. During her search, we get to explore what's on her mind and feel her frustrations and thirst. This can't be done on film because it would be a little slow. In the film, Katniss finds water almost immediately. Gary Ross who directed the first film wanted a faster pace for his version and it wasn't bad. Remember, Suzanne gives us a chance to picture what Panem, the Capitol, all the Districts and even Katniss' surroundings might look like. Film will always give you it's interpretation and I'm afraid you're stuck with it. This is a completely different argument with books vs. movies, but I'm just saying how you can't expect too much book material in a film. One of the few things that did disappointed me in the first movie were the Muttations. They were described as wolves in the book if I remember correctly, while the movie made them giant bulldogs. Lame. What saved the scene of course was Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson selling their asses off to make the scene work. And that the Muttations had cover of darkness, making the CGI less cartoony. In Catching Fire, Francis Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer Lawrence) takes over as director and gives us a more faithful adaptation. It's not quite 100% though, but what he was able to squeeze in was perfect. There's just one key scene he should of added in for character's sake, but we'll touch on that later.

Catching Fire takes place a year after the first film, starting the movie off with Katniss and Gale shootin' the breeze. Here we find Katniss perfectly established from the first film. She freaks out when she remembers killing Marvel during her Turkey hunt with Gale. Katniss isn't all sunshine and rainbows after surviving the Hunger Games; she's haunted. A badly written character would be perfectly fine after a year of riches and peace; not Katniss Everdeen. Shortly after, President Snow arrives and lays it all out to Katniss that her defiance with Peeta has triggers an uprising. The people look to her as a symbol of Hope. Katniss counters by telling Snow she is no leader or symbol of any kind, but Snow insists that she is and threatens her to keep this facade of her romance with Peeta alive for the cameras. The Capitol loves their star-crossed lovers from District 12, why not continue making a show out of it for the rest of their lives? If Katniss and/or Peeta refuses, Snow threatens to kill everyone dear to them. This scene was perfectly lifted from the book word for word, I loved it. Katniss and Peeta meet up again, along with the drunken Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and 2005 Aeon Flux fashionista, Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks). These two really are the C-3PO and R2-D2 of the series. One is loaded with information and golden passes while the other is totally useless except for etiquette and protocol! haha! Just half-kidding, Effie does have a good heart and she comes off more human in this film thanks to her attachment to her victorious couple. They all begin their victory tour by heading to District 11. After a beautiful scene where both Peeta (you're so good with words, dude! As described in the book) and Katniss pay tribute to Thresh and Rue, an old man whistles the four note tune and forms the three finger salute from the original movie. The Peacekeepers don't like this and shoot the old man dead. Katniss freaks out, Peeta learns of Snow's plot and Haymitch does his best to make sure they focus on the Victory Tour. What happened out there was a political statement, so he recommends that they suppress how they really feel for now.

Before reaching the Capitol, Peeta comes up with the idea of marrying Katniss in hopes of pacifying President Snow. This plan may have convinced the people of the Capitol, but not Snow. During a gala party in Katniss and Peeta's honor, there's a scene where Snow shakes his head in disapproval. He's not buying this marriage thing, so upon Katniss and Peeta's return to District 12, we see an army of Peacekeepers raiding the homes and factories. Romulus Thread was said to be a cruel force of nature in the book, but in the movie he comes off as an over-the-top drill sergeant. The scene was going so emotionally well until he had to start talking like cancer throat Batman from the terrible Nolan films. Thankfully his screen time was limited. Thread whips Gale during the scene as punishment for tackling him to the ground. Brave Katniss stands up to Thread, even with a gun to her face! Haymitch shows up just in time to remind Thread who Katniss and Peeta are, so he lets them off for now. Just when we thought things couldn't get any worse for our heroes, the 75th annual Hunger Games is about to surface it's ugly head. Only this time it's a Quarter Quell; a special event taking place every 25 years with special conditions and rules. The unique rules for this year's Hunger Games were specially designed to kill Katniss. Snow wants all existing winners of previous Hunger Games to battle to the death this year. Katniss is upset by this bullsh*t rule and immediately seeks out Haymitch. I don't know about you, but I'm so happy they kept the drinking scene here. Even if we didn't see a totally shitfaced Katniss! haha!

At the reaping, Katniss is obviously chosen being the only female winner from District 12 and Haymitch is then chosen. Peeta immediately volunteers so he can protect Katniss in the arena. You have to love how the director humanizes Effie in this scene. Compare her to the previous film where she favored the Games with comments like "I just love that!" and an upbeat "May the Odds be ever in your favor". Now she is visibly upset by this decision to throw Katniss and Peeta back into the lion's den. Fantastic performance by Elizabeth Banks, I'm shocked! As with the first film/book, Katniss and Peeta meet their opponents from the other Districts. Most of them don't get any character development or focus, but that doesn't matter since we're aware of the danger at hand. They're all perfectly trained killers, with a few exceptions here and there.

We meet Finnick Odair *cue girls screaming their wet panties off* played by Sam Claflin. For some reason Finnick comes off a lot more cocky in the book. In the film, he is less cocky but still maintains his confidence. There's even a small implication on his man-whore lifestyle that was talked about in the book. Since he looks like a model from a Calvin Klein billboard, this doesn't surprise me. We also get to meet Johanna Mason, a popular favorite from the book series. Lawrence cast Sucker Punch's Jena Malone (ROCKET!) for the role. It's the moment we've all been waiting for. All I can say is when the blu-ray is released, I will have HQ screen shots of the legendary elevator scene for you all. IT'S WORTH IT. Jena nailed it as the kooky in-your-face Johanna, she really is kick ass in the role. A perfect opposite to the more kindhearted and level-headed Katniss, probably why these two get at each other's throats a lot in the book. We also meet Lynn Cohen as the elderly Mags, Amanda Plummer as Wiress (NUTS! Tick-tock! Hickory dickory-dock!) and Jeffrey Wright as BeeTee aka Volts. Jeffrey Wright's performance was pretty good too, he really came off as BeeTee with his quick wit and firm confidence.

Everyone enters the dome arena where the setting is now a jungle surrounded by a dangerous force field. In the books, Katniss mentions how different a forest and jungle are. She isn't familiar with this type of environment and it shows in the film. Now compared to the first film, Katniss immediately obtains her bow and arrows and establishes an alliance with Finnick and Mags. They grab Peeta and enter into the vast jungle where a lot of random shit happens. Long story short (and a lot of dead bodies later), Wiress reveals to Katniss, through her tick-tocking rambling, that the arena is built like the face of a clock, with a new threat occurring every hour. The Games this time, again, were made to intentionally kill Katniss and Peeta. Mainly Katniss. Johanna shows up with Nuts and Volts to help Katniss and friends and trust me, they need all the help they can get. After Peeta got fried by a force field and the group dealing with poison fogs and rabid baboons, they could use an extra hand or three. I do admire the action sequences throughout the Games alone, even the baboon attack was exciting with Katniss and Finnick racking up the body count. It's a shame we didn't get to see the Morphling drawing a flower on Peeta's cheek scene, but I have to say that Josh Hutcherson nailed the scene. The guy really is Peeta, his sensitive nature and tendency to be supportive and say the right words, it's all believable. That's the thing with this film, we actually care about the main characters. Earlier in the film, Johanna Mason is interviewed by the living cartoon character known as Stanley Tucci, where she outright swears the Capitol off enough to make a nun faint. Like in the book, Johanna takes no shit from anybody and is fully aware that she has nobody she cares for, so she sees herself as invincible to the Gamemakers' cheating ways. Speaking of which, Jennifer Lawrence once again displays acting brilliance during the jabberjay scene. With the constant screams of Prim and Gale being repeated at high volume, Katniss is thrust into a visibly shaken state of fear. It was hard watching her squirm and be vulnerable when she is such a brave heroine. This is what a good main protagonist is, someone who isn't perfect or invincible. We can relate to Katniss cowering in fear because both Prim and Gale could of been tortured to death to produce these recordings. She can't bear to hear them in pain, even if they were somehow faked. It goes back to what I said about the stakes being higher, Katniss is being attacked physically and mentally. The jabberjay threat was done by Plutarch Heavensbee (with Snow's approval) to psych her out and it worked. We the audience understand why it would work and in turn don't blame Katniss for covering her ears in terror. I would of done the same.

Probably the most crystallizing scene in this movie series so far was when Katniss uses BeeTee's electricity wire plan to her advantage. This was blowing up the Death Star in both 'A New Hope' and 'Return of the Jedi' for 2013, the theater went INSANE when Katniss destroyed the force field with her arrow. When I saw Pacific Rim a while back, everyone cheered when Mako pulled out the sword and sliced the flying Kaiju in half, but this was more of a crowd-pleaser since everything was set up for Katniss to fail. There was no way she could win until the wheels in her head start turning and the Gamemakers became her bitches once more. The film ends with Haymitch, Finnick and Plutarch recovering Katniss and she wakes up to find them planning to visit the mysterious District 13. Plutarch Heavensbee is revealed to be a leader in the rebellion against the Capitol, though was inspired by Katniss and Peeta ever since the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss doesn't care that a Gamemaker is a good guy, all she cares about is Haymitch lying to her. Worse is knowing Peeta and Johanna were kidnapped by the Capitol. She is then put to rest by the crew, but when she awakens to find Gale, he tells her the worst news possible. While he was able to help Prim and Mama-Katniss to safety, all of District 12 has been wiped off the map. Right before the film closes, Katniss looks at the camera with a face that expresses strongly determination and hatred.

And then...the Hunger Games Catching Fire logo slowly forms, ending the film with the four note whistle.

I applauded for at least one whole minute with the audience. Something I haven't done since 2005's Memoirs of a Geisha. This really was the movie I've been waiting for. The acting was superb by our leads, especially Jennifer Lawrence who really is a modern day Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley (from the first three Alien films). Her emotional weight is powerful and the ordeal she must face, the feeling of loss, it's all perfectly done. The Games might of felt rushed with a lot of the deaths happening off screen, but that's not what the movie is about. Those who expected a bloodbath with countless fight scenes are the same drooling idiots who watch the Star Wars prequels for the lightsaber battles. This movie is less about the Hunger Games and more about the spectacle and the rebellion. The moment Katniss volunteered and the moment Peeta was chosen and in the 74th Hunger Games, their destiny was fulfilled. It was to become a domino effect leading up to the rebellion whether anyone liked it or not. It's because of WHO these people are that caused this uprising. Katniss chose to defy the Capitol and the people found the Hope to project that strength onto themselves. And in the moments where Katniss felt like all was lost, Peeta become her emotional support. Peeta will never get prizes for being a prince-like guy.
He's always sitting, injured, getting his ass handed to him and yet he's still a tough dude. He survived two Hunger Games and pulled through for Katniss because he is her other half. They both make one complete person, a seemingly perfect one. It's like what my girlfriend always says: Without the engine, the car won't run. I am the engine, you are my car.

I agree that some crucial book moments didn't occur in the film like Bonnie and Twill, their backstory and journey to District 13. This is lite compared to the biggest missing element from the film. In Suzanne's book, there's a chapter where both Katniss and Peeta study their opponents for the Quarter Quell. Including Haymitch. Through this chapter, we learn about Haymitch's Hunger Games victory and how it ended in tragedy with poor Maysilee. He had his own Katniss and Rue moment, but it wasn't enough to spark an uprising like Katniss did years later. This was needed in the film and they left it out. I was a little hurt by that because it shows you a more violent Games compared to the 74th and it gives Haymitch more character points. We want to know more about Katniss and Peeta's drunken mentor in his prime. If this scene
made it's way on film, I would of given this movie a perfect score. What a waste, but thankfully the rest of the film is great storytelling and characters coming at you from all directions. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Jena Malone, Donald Sutherland and even little Willow Shields as Prim Everdeen all do a magnificent acting job. With the exception of Patrick St. Esprit's horrible performance as Thread. Catching Fire really is a combination of all the second films I've mentioned earlier. It's got a more edgy atmosphere like Temple of Doom, it explores the very core of the characters with the subtext of love in the darkest of times like in Empire Strikes Back, and it pits a bigger challenge against it's main female protagonist like in Aliens. Catching Fire is movie of the year for me. Both Pacific Rim and The Wolverine were entertaining thrill rides that I enjoyed a lot, but Catching Fire is the highlight of the year for me. I had a good feeling for this franchise since the first movie and now after reading all three books, I can only Hope that both Mockingjay films live up to the book. Without spoiling too much, Mockingjay kind of wraps itself up quickly. However, the movie versions could expand this world in ways we haven't even begun to imagine. Suzanne's world is vast and if they keep Francis Lawrence around, we can see more of it.

Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoooooooooo.

Luu Sky Sapphire rates The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

HiME HiME HiME HiME .5 / HiME HiME HiME HiME HiME 

4.5/5 HiME Tattoos

FULL PRICE


+ Brilliant acting by just about everyone. Especially Jennifer Lawrence.
+ Breathtaking story
+ Tons of humanity and grit.
+ Inspiring story elements.
+ Good soundtrack
+ CGI is very good this time!
+ Jena f*cking Malone as Johanna f*cking Mason!
+/- If only the Haymitch's backstory was included.

_________________
Mai-X-Project

The law of physics: Whenever there's this much gay in one room, Shizuru manifests!
When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.

Luu Sky Sapphire
Administrator. The Showstopper. The Headliner. The Main Event. The Icon. Mr. Mai-Series.
Administrator. The Showstopper. The Headliner. The Main Event. The Icon. Mr. Mai-Series.

Posts : 38480
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

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