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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 Dec 08, 2013 2:22 am

From the Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magical thread:

http://ltahime.forum-motion.net/t722p80-mahou-shoujo-madokamagica#141512

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Luu Sky Sapphire reviews Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie: Rebellion
SPOILERS WARNING!!!

"Faust! You are condemned!"




Konnichiwa! Aoi-san and friends welcome you!


Courtesy of Manville 12 Plex in NJ.


My Madoka, Mami, Homura, Sayaka and Kyoko keychains posing with my Rebellion movie tickets.
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I was a late entry into the whole Madoka franchise. Nothing about the series interested me since a lot of people over-hyped it by saying it was the greatest thing ever in anime since...well...probably Evangelion. They're saying the same thing about Shingeki no Kyojin and that turned out to be a disappointment. But when I finally got to watch Madoka months after it's final episode aired, I can see why I enjoyed the series compared to the hundred of fans out there. In the introduction video to Rebellion, the wonderful seiyuu of Madoka filled us in on what we were about to see. It was apparent that the people in the theater earlier wanted to see blood, guts, "tropes" and style with little substance. It's ironic that the people involved with this film wanted us to enjoy it the way I wanted to enjoy it and the way it was meant to be enjoyed. I don't know the exact words, but it was along the lines of:


"This is the story about the emotions of these girls."

That right there made me want to shake hands with Aoi Yuki and all her talented team of friends, as the well the talented crew at SHAFT and Aniplex. This film is not about how many tropes we can count or the fights, but rather the characters. It's mind boggling how many fans in the audience with their Kyubey plushies missed the point of the movie. Regardless of it being the third film in the trilogy; also a sequel to the television series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion was meant to showcase love and despair in their truest form. Only it's never simplified. The animation team went to great lengths to tell it's story through amazing cinematic brilliance, with some of the best visuals ever in a Japanese animated film. The series was no different either, only now it's become bigger in scale, richer in symbolism and constant references to the past episodes. The Madoka anime series made me a believer with it's story of love. Whether you take that emotion as friendship or romance, love comes in many forms. Elements of Sailor Moon and Mai-HiME can be found peppered throughout Madoka, only it's more bleak and more elaborate, telling it's story through abstract art and tragic characters. The idea of obtaining magical power, only to be servant to a lifetime of battling Witches and having to become a Witch through the inevitable despair caused by an impossible battle is depressing. But through Madoka Kaname (voiced by Aoi Yuki), we see that there is a surviving light in a tunnel of suffocating agony. The series finale left a lot open to interpretation and surprisingly, this film answer my biggest question of all: What happened to Homura? Keep in mind that a lot of what I say comes from speculation and what I've seen throughout the anime canon. The manga and all of it's canon is not connected, I know that much. I do not have any knowledge of video game canon or if it has any relevance here. This is just what's in my brain.

Rebellion picks up immediately after the series/movies left off, with Madoka returning (bear with me here...), along with her teammates Kyoko Sakura (Ai Nonaka), Mami Tomoe (Kaori Mizuhashi), and Sayaka Miki (Eri Kitamura). They're all living a normal life again and fighting a new threat called "Nightmares" that take over the dreams of human beings. One of their latest victims in the film is Hitomi Shizuki. After restoring her dream with one of the most creative attack patterns I've ever seen, we suddenly meet Homura Akemi (voiced by Chiwa Saito) once again. She is back to being a shy girl with glasses and eventually reunites with the girls. Wait until you hear the round cake tune, it'll be stuck in your cranium for years. During an investigation, Homura discovers that her and Kyoko are unable to leave the city of Mitakihara because of a Witch's barrier. Homura then reveals the obvious (at least for me) that she remembers everything from the previous films/episodes; convinced that it's an alternate universe that suits her ideal world. One of the creepiest aspects of the film is finding out that Mami is raising Charlotte (now called "Bebe" ), the very Witch that devoured her head in the previous life. Using her time stop ability, Homura threatens "Bebe" to reveal it's true colors; that it is she who is responsible for this false world. After an amazing battle between Homura and Mami (they'll be talking about this one for a long time, trust me), it doesn't take long for Homura to realize that the very witch she wanted to destroy is herself. Kyubey (voiced by Emiri Kato) explains that her great despair has caused this. With assistance from all the Incubators, they were able to seal Homura's soul gem in hopes of gaining Madoka's powers. You see, not only does Kyubey remember Madoka's wish to save the magical girls from their cruel fate, but also that she has become a Goddess herself. The Law of Cycle established a system that interferes with Incubator goals to harness vast amounts of energy. To obtain the greatest of energy, they need Madoka's omnipotent power.

Madoka is unable to remember anything up until now, although there is a beautiful scene where her and Homura express how much they care for one another. Even if they did somehow forget each other. Homura comes to a tragic conclusion; in order to ensure the safety and stability of the Law of Cycle (which can also be classified as Madoka herself), Homura accepts her fate as a Witch and enters the transformation. The girls (including Nagisa Momoe, obviously Charlotte aka Bebe's human form before becoming a Witch) arrive in time in a spectacular battle against Homura's Witch form. They succeed in saving Homura's soul gem and Goddess Madoka makes an appearance to lead Homura to salvation.

Let me just say this. If the film ended here, I would of been blown away. Most Madoka fans who welcome the idea of leaving things open for the sake of speculation and debate is fine. However, I don't share the same sentiments. The tone has been bleak since the beginning, even with Goddess Madoka rewriting the laws of the universe, the Wraiths still came into existence. So we never got the feeling of triumph, rather, repeated gloom for characters that never had a chance from the start. But I do agree if you say giving Madoka a happy ending would be too risky. The series is not supposed to be the usual magical girl series where a Deus Ex Machina solves everything. But if the series took a leap of faith, it would of taken the audience by surprise. What happens instead didn't surprise me at all and here's why. It wasn't bad, I want to make that perfectly clear: It. Was. Not. Bad. It was just blunt, obvious and by no means did I expect Homura and Madoka to live happily ever after after an exhausting hour and a half.

The moment Madoka touched Homura, she was rewarded by having her powers absorbed. That's right, Homura has become evil out of her love for Madoka. This twist came out of nowhere and yet I'm not surprised. Whether or not despair helped water the plants of obsessive love, Homura has gone through Hell so much that she became Hell itself. Going so far as to call herself the "Devil". In a very intense scene, Homura's power spreads across the entire universe in every single detail. I'm not the biggest Kyubey fan as most people know, but even I share his concern here. Homura has become something more dangerous than anything the Incubators have ever encountered. Kyubey might of well of said "What have we done?" during Homura's monologue. If Kyubey got served badly in episode 12, you've seen nothing yet. He gets it bad in this film and I wish I enjoyed it. I should enjoy it, but knowing Homura has become a monster, it's hard to do that. I don't feel sympathy for Kyubey, but I do feel sorrow for the seven billion people who are part of Homura's sick game of rewriting all creation. What's brilliant about this ending reflects on the viewer on their own unique speculation and theories on where the series goes from here. The ending opened doors to the possibility of Homura vs. Madoka, only it won't be played completely straight. Not if SHAFT has anything to say about it. Rebellion is a classic tale beneath it's beautiful artistic visual direction and score by Yuki Kajiura (Mai-HiME/Otome, Noir, Madlax). It's definitely the anime 'Citizen Kane' of recent times. Homura Akemi is a meek little girl who is taken away from her best friend at an early age. Eventually she becomes an idealistic young girl with principals and a mission to do good. Ultimately she is consumed by her own despair and a fear of losing the ones she loves, a fall from grace if you will. Madoka's ribbon can even substitute as a "Rosebud" theme. It's beautiful storytelling about love in a world where nothing is simple. Nothing is certain. In Mai-HiME, the Carnival brought great misery to the battle princesses, only to be revived by the one who was violated by the mastermind. Her long awaited revenge. In Sailor Moon, the darkest of times is dispelled by the power of love and hope, something Madoka tried to do. Rebellion takes that concept and throws it in the dumpster. But Usagi Tsukino was limitless with her powers while Madoka still had restrictions, despite being a Kami. No wonder fans refer to Rebellion as the End of Evangelion of the series, it's dark(er), depressing and miserable. These elements are what make the film great and from a standpoint of someone who enjoys great direction and art, this is one of the best animated films I've seen in a long time. Taking my number 3 spot of all time for Japanese animated films. It's rich with it's detail, cool visual work, Matrix style action sequences that don't make me ill and one of the best art directions ever. The yuri subtext in this movie is more than enough to please fans of Madoka x Homura. There are several moments of embrace and sweet exchanges about how much they care about one another. Even after Homura obtains her new Kami powers, she still pines for Madoka by rewriting the past. She does this by having Madoka be the new student in class, so she can become friends with her first, rather than Sayaka. It's practically obsessive ownership of your girlfriend. Maybe a fourth film wouldn't be so bad after all if it's played straight as a romance between Kami and Devil. A most forbidden fruit indeed, but that's what makes Yuri juicy.

Rebellion is a little predictable, but, I can overlook these flaws with repeated viewings. Rebellion is a masterpiece in every conceivable way, knocking down everything you loved about the series and throwing it's own unique spin on the characters. It's a technical and storytelling achievement that stands the test of time, but only for those who watch the series.


+ Beautiful animation!
+ Fantastic score!
+ Total irony
+ Complex characters
- Predictable ending...
+ ...saved by Homura's character arc coming full circle.

_________________
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.

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sun May 25, 2014 9:52 pm

Luu Sky Sapphire reviews X-Men: Days of Future Past


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So...X-Men: Days of Future Past. Probably the only movie, with the exception of Superman Returns (both were done by Bryan Singer! FEEL THE IRONY! TASTE THE IRONY!), that came out of the screen itself to tell me, "You wasted your time watching the previous films because...THEY NEVER HAPPENED!"

As soon as I got that message, I felt myself sinking into the chair, feeling betrayed and abused like most women in a 3 month relationship she took too seriously. Or did we? X-Men: Days of Future Past is a convoluted mess of a film thanks to 'First Class' screwing around with the continuity. Bryan Singer was given the task of connecting all the films together into one giant event. This seemed awesome at first, as I was very familiar with the Future Past storyline from the comics and the 1990s animated series. Both were very well done; showing us a Terminator-esque story where the X-Men and human race are nearly extinct thanks to Marvel's own Skynet, the Sentinels. To prevent this cliche apocalyptic future, one of the X-men must return back in time to stop an assassination which triggers the creation of mutant annihilation with the help of Sentinels. Of course, the Sentinels become self aware and turn on their human creators. They would follow Master Mold, the giant Sentinel from the comics and animated series, who was originally designed to make Sentinels faster. He goes batshit crazy and orders the destruction of all beings, humans and mutants alike.

Sounds exciting, right? Well, in 2014's X-Men Days of Future Past, we don't see any of that. The movie just opens to the already enslaved world where Sentinels (who are all sup'ed up Nimrod types) are running the place on their own. The movie obviously picks up where last year's 'The Wolverine' left off, fast forwarding years into the future where a band of mutants led by Charles Xavier are hiding out from the Sentinel massacre. We get a look at some cool new mutants like Blink...and some that were important to the original Days of Future Past storyline, but now just stand in the background - Bishop. What a shit load of fack. Why does the most pivotal character in this famous storyline take a backseat? HUGH JACKMAN OF COURSE! He's come to save the day as usual and the reasoning is more of an excuse really.

For some reason, Kitty (played by the lovely and gay Ellen "Beyond: Two Souls" Page) can now send a person's consciousness back in time....???????? HUH!? What happened to the time machine Bishop uses in the animated series?! I thought Ellen Page can only go through walls. Where did she get this new power from? PLOT CONVENIENCE! BUT WAIT! DERSHHH MOAR!!!!!!! Ellen Page is unable to send someone back more than a month, or else the person's body would rip apart. Gee, if only we had someone who couldn't die until the studios says to and heals instantly....

Luckily, the movie gets a little better here. But truth be told, how could you ruin the opening of the film? Yeah, we get a little fight scene, which never happens thanks to Ellen Page. The fight scene with the Sentinels was thrown in there to EXPLAIN how her new ability works. I felt like leaving at that point. However, like I said, things actually improve a little. Wolverine is sent back to 1973 to get Charles and Magneto to cooperate. Not only that, they must stop a young Mystique (played by the always amazing Jennifer Lawrence) from killing the creator of the Sentinels, Bolivar Trask (played by Game of Thrones's Peter Dinklage. It's so sad that even I know that without peeking at Wikipedia. BTW, that show still hasn't grown on me and never will. )

It's interesting to see Logan placed in a situation where he has to be the peacemaker between the young Charles (played by James McAvoy) and Magneto (played by the overrated Michael Fassbender). Both do well enough in their respective roles and they do have good chemistry...on the yaoi sense. It feels natural whenever they get into a squabble. Anyway, we follow Mystique in scenes where she is trying to kill Trask, plotting to kill Trask and infiltrating his office. Jennifer Lawrence's performance is good as usual, but there was something off about Mystique's role in this movie. When did she became so important? Thanks to her eventually killing Trask, the Sentinels go into production for many years throughout the events of ALL the previous X-Men movies. Yeah, whatever. They would of scrapped that idea when the "cure" of Last Stand showed up. That, imo, was a more effective way of mutant oppression. So many plot holes.

Because of Mystique (and Magneto being a total ass), President Nixon approves of Trask's Sentinel idea. Trask even has prototypes that are ready to go! ENOUGH WITH THE PLOT CONVENIENCES! GAWD! WHERE WERE THESE MAGIC PROTOTYPES SHORTLY BEFORE YOUR DEATH IN THE ORIGINAL TIMELINE!? Now you see why I hate modern day time travel stories. Nothing can get it right. Not this, not Final Fantasy XIII-2, not Stab 5: Clock of Doom.

Can I just stop complaining about this movie and talk about the stuff I did like about it? Don't worry, this won't take long. Despite the material, X-Men: Days of Future Past does deliver on the action sequences. The opening "fight" between Blink, Iceman and the others against the Sentinels is fast paced and brutal. These versions of the Sentinels are relentless in combat. I feel bad for Colossus. He got it the worst in the second real time fight. OUCH! I loved all the 1970s references; cars, posters, music, and news. Very cool period piece shit going on. But why on Earth didn't they mention the release of Enter the Dragon or Bruce Lee!? I would of believed him being a mutant instead of JFK. That's right, it's implied that the JFK assassination a decade earlier was done because he was a mutant. Not only that, Magneto tried to save him because of that reason. I laughed so hard in the theater, as did everyone else. That is just being cartoony. At least with 'Prometheus' implying that the Jesus might of been an Engineer, our brains were tickled because it made a creepy kinda sense. (Remember that, honey? Dwita Marzelia ). I can even accept anime/manga series 'Madoka' implying that Joan of Arc was a Magical Girl. But John F. Kennedy being a mutant is pure unintentional comedy. Anyway, I do like the music for the film. John Ottman brings the excitement and emotional weight of the storyline (when it isn't being retarded) nicely. The movie is also shot well; you can tell what's going on in every action sequence or moment of confrontation like every time Mystique attempts to kill Trask. The performances are also well done. From Ellen Page, JLaw, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and James McAvoy are all good. Whenever James McAvoy tries to convince Jennifer Lawrence to not kill and seek another path, it's emotionally strong and honest. We even have James as young Xavier having an emotional discussion with Patrick Stewart Xavier. This was the best scene of the movie. Up until now, young Xavier was like this lost and drunk Jack Sparrow type of dude. When faced with his future self; a future self who is wise beyond his years, he breaks down. He cannot believe he'll become this good person with the ability and willingness to help others. Why couldn't the whole movie be like this? The rest of the cast are kind of meh. I couldn't of been more bored when Nicholas Hoult started talking. This is a major crime because Beast is awesome! Hank McCoy is my second favorite X-Man. Thank goodness good ol' Kelsey Grammer arrived at the end. OOP! Did I spoiler that? Might as well come clean because that's all I liked about the film. Most of these are little things that happened in the middle act, which was great.

So, the ending. We reach the unveiling of the new Sentinel prototypes made by Trask. Little does he know that Magneto had placed railroad tracks into the Sentinels, acting as an endoskeleton so he can control them and kill the President, Trask and all the service men in one go. By this point, Magneto is already wearing his helmet to block Xavier's mind power. Mystique is faced with the ultimate decision that will decide the fate of humans and mutants forever. Though everyone saw it coming, I can forgive this moment. She fires her plastic gun at Magneto, wounding him. She agrees to spare Trask, ensuring the safety of the future. The Sentinel program is scrapped, Trask is arrested and mutants are on the country's good side since they saved the president. Where was Wolverine during all this? During the battle (or lack thereof since the Prototype Sentinels fight was disappointing), Wolverine is launched into the Potomac River where he is feeling the ouch of reinforcing bars impaled through his body, thanks to Magneto. Luckily, he is able to return back into his body in time after JLaw decided to let Trask go. As he awakens in the year 2023, he sees that the school is back, the sun is shining, the mutant students are running about, Anna Paquin shows up for about two seconds and...omg....omg.....OMG.........X-MEN, X2, LAST STAND, AND THE WOLVERINE NEVER HAPPENED!? CYCLOPS (Scott Summers) AND JEAN GREY ARE ALIVE AGAIN!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?

((Quck BTW: Famke Janssen is pushing 50 and Jiminy crickets!, she is as gorgeous as ever)

>:3 YOU KNOW WHAT? fack YOUUUUUUUUUU! You retcon'ed the entire series! Now whenever someone watches the older films, they'll be like:

Person A: Awww, Logan killed poor Jean.
Person B: Don't worry. Watch the 7th film where they go back in time. She comes back.

The emotional moments of the previous films are gone because now we know everything can be fixed with time travel. Hey! Did your cat get run over? NO PROBLEM! Get Ellen Page to send you back a few hours before it happened! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Characters cannot grow and learn from their experiences if they can simply go back and prevent their death from happening. Jean Grey and Scott are basically brand new people from now on. Great. This is one of the rare times I'm not satisfied with a happy ending.

The biggest crime is that 'The Wolverine' never happened. That was and still is the best film in the series. It followed the formula of an action movie and not a super hero one, which made it unique. In fact, one of the reasons I loved the 'The Wolverine' so much was because it was structured like an Indiana Jones film. The main hero has an opening scene that has NOTHING to do with the main storyline. Then at the 13 minute mark, he's given new information on whatever the main storyline is about. He travels to another country where he gets a sidekick (Yukio) and a love interest (Mariko) and eventually defeat the main villain and his henchman in a climatic battle. Great stuff!

'X-Men Days of Future Past' isn't a terrible film. It had some really strong moments. Unfortunately, I have to say that the film is a disappointing one. It could of been so much better by making very simple changes. The convoluted time travel storyline to connect all the films, only to erase them from existence doesn't sit well with me. They basically rebooted the series right in front of our eyes and not in some secret board meeting at Fox Studios. I still think you should see it for the spectacle of it all, but it's no way great or amazing as people say it is. It's just a really cool Men's shirt with several rips in the front where people can see my nipples. It's good with cool designs and color, but needs sewing work. Badly.

Luu Sky Sapphire rates 'X-Men: Days of Future Past':

 HiME  HiME  HiME / HiME  HiME  HiME  HiME  HiME 

A very generous 3/5 Sapphires.

LOW MATINEE: Optional to own on DVD/Blu-Ray. See it only once every 10 years. It's good, but not great.

_________________
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 : 38606
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:56 am

bump 

Luu Sky Sapphire reviews: Edge of Tomorrow



Ever died over and over again in a game that was just plain hard? The difficulty setting set so high, even on Easy, that you cannot beat it. Not that it matters because you're so stubborn to win, you continue torturing yourself? That is 'Panzer Dragoon Orta'...I mean- 'Edge of Tomorrow'. An action sci-fi movie so good, it's not actually a movie. It's a beautiful video game I can't stop playing, even though there's no controller. :'D

'Edge Of Tomorrow' stars Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Charlotte Riley and Hudson from Aliens (Bill Paxton). It is directed by Doug Liman, who directed the romantic comedy 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' and the Bourne films. Now, I have to be honest with you. That is not a good track record as the Bourne films were dull, lifeless action films. And Mr. and Mrs. Smith was two good looking people at their silliest. That's all. In this film, Liman shows what he's really capable of by delivering a movie that takes story and visual elements from some of the best stories ever told and combines them to create a masterpiece. I'd probably say he had more to do with the visual part as Edge of Tomorrow was adapted from a Japanese novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka called 'All You Need Is Kill'. I've never read it personally, so I can't do a proper comparison. Not that it matters; the movie is well acted and has some of the best contemporary action effects and scenes I've ever seen. THE ALIEN CREATURE DESIGN! WOW!!!! Before I talk about the movie, be aware that I won't offer major spoilers. This movie is too good to be spoiled, unlike 'Days of Future Past' which needed to be talked about because it required stitching.

The story follows William Cage (what kind of name is that?), played by The Last Samurai who somehow survived the Gatling gun attack because..he's white. Cage is basically a PR Major who is trying to enlist people in the military to fight alien invaders called the Mimics. Now this is a cool name! The Mimics arrived on Earth via meteorites and started taking over the world. Why they're called Mimics is self-explanatory in the film, they can mimic our actions and predict what we're going to do next. Very unique ability for creatures, usually "bugs" act like wild animals (ala Xenomorphs), but this is a welcomed change. The Mimics themselves look sooooo good! A cross between an octopus and metal tumbleweeds. Very awesome and weird! Now, since we're clearly not strong enough to combat the metal spaghetti monsters on our own, the military has mecha suits called "Jackets" which enhance strength, speed and shoot gunfire and missiles from the top and front. It's around this point that we meet the baddest female heroine (with ammunition) since Ellen Ripley. And that is a bold statement too!

Meet Rita! THE FULL METAL BITCH! *gets shot at* I mean, The "Angel of Verdun"..bitch. I'M NOT THE ONE WHO WROTE IT ON THE SIDE OF THAT BUS, OKAY!?

I cannot begin to describe seeing Emily Blunt in a role like this. Normally, Em is cast in drama and comedy films so much that it's impossible to imagine her doing action. I remember during a discussion with friends many years ago about actresses we'd love to see in action roles and I did bring Emily Blunt's name up. The response met with laughter as nobody could imagine Emily as being anything beyond the angry chick from 'Devil Wears Prada'. Boy was I wrong, Emily Blunt expressed intensity beyond my wildest imagination. Her character of Rita is definitely the quintessential hero of the film, becoming the poster child for the military's fight against the Mimics. Her skills are so great that she's feared and respected by her peers it seems. Meanwhile, Cage is being drafted to join the military himself, though he's hesitant to do so. At the boot camp, he meets Bill Paxton's character, Sergeant Farell. Now there's something about Sergeant Farell that stands out to me- HE IS HUDSON FROM 'ALIENS' IF HE NEVER DIED! THIS IS WHAT HE BECOMES! Next to Ripley and Hicks, Hudson was the most popular character from Aliens and to see Bill tapping into that character again is amazing! What's with all this nostalgia lately, people! First Sailor Moon and now this? I cannot cry happy manly tears forever, you Facking assholes. >:'''3 Some of the funniest moments in the entire film are between Bill and Tom, although Bill clearly steals the show.

So Cage gets ready for battle and doesn't do very well in the beginning. He's basically lost like some newbie in Titanfall (oh, the similarities). By the way, every time a drop ship flies by, I immediately think of 'ALIENS'. Movie, you're treating me too kindly here~ Enough of the flattery!

"There's something wrong with Cage's suit!"

"YEEEAH! There's a dead guy in it!"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I'll never forget that line.

Anyway, isn't it ironic how Cage's first battle feels very D-Day and we just passed June 6th not that long ago? Give the marketing guy a prize! Now, what happens next may confuse you a little, so bear with me. It makes better than sense Days of Future Past's So-Be-It time travel power for Ellen Page. Cage eventually ends up dying because he sucks at fighting Mimics, obviously. During which time, Cage is covered in the blood of an Alpha. I guess a rare type of Mimics that are far and few between compared to regular Mimics. Because the Alpha's brain (called "Omega" ) has the ability to time travel, Cage becomes one as an Alpha and somehow, the DNA triggers the ability to reset. This may sound stupid but at least we know this ability is alien, so there is some credibility there.

This is the point that may or may not lose the audience. Not longer do we get the traditional linear storyline of alien invasion. We're giving a story telling element through repeating the same event over and over again, ala 'Groundhog's Day'. And just like that great film, Cage learns over the course of the second half what to do, what not to do; he is teaching himself. And WE are learning. The biggest strength of his reset ability is deciding to spend time with Rita and join her in more action sequences. There's even a great scene where their Jackets go bad and they take the fight on foot. The action sequences are so rich with perfect detail, using CGi where it's most needed. When a scene calls for the time reset, it's used in the best possible way each and every time! So there's so much spoiler from here on, so I'll sidetrack a bit to talk more about the effects. Remember those mech suits? PRACTICAL. I repeat. PRACTICAL. I had to confirm this after I got home by watching any behind-the-scenes video available and to see that the Jackets were real? Boy was I Facking shocked to learn that! There was barely any green screen in this film; the fire, sets and locations were all legit! Everything was shot nicely, very little shaky cam. You can tell what was going on most of the time.

Emily Blunt...stretching....yoga....muscle tone....in a Mass Effect cosplay....slicing aliens with a big sword......pass the tissue.....

I have to give the film credit for not presenting Cage and Rita with the typical Hollywood romance. Both Cruise and Blunt's characters are not exactly lovers, per se. More like comrades in arms in a complicated relationship...make sense? She is drawn to him because he has an ability that she no longer has-oop, can't spoil that part for you.

And why was I the only one who liked Charlotte Riley's character? Her Bandai Shizuru Fujino accent was hilarious! XD

This amazing movie has the subtitle "Live. Die. Repeat." which is kind of wrong as you watch it. It's more like "Fight. Die. Learn." A philosophy people can embrace in a real life scenario. See this movie is less about the alien attack and more about the spectacle and making decisions in life. It reminds me a little of 'Madoka: Rebellion', showing how psychological damaging it can be to die or see someone die repeatedly.

As for the ending...here's what I think (SPOILER ALERT. SKIP THIS PART AND GO STRAIGHT FOR THE OVERALL SCORE):

The Omega set a loop at the time Cage was getting off the plane (or he can start the loop when ever he wants either works). So, since Cage got his first loop from the alpha, the Omega was always present in the time loop when he went back. Remember, once he killed the Alpha the first time and got his powers we never did see that Alpha again because it could no longer loop back because Cage stole its powers by killing it. So fast forward to the end of the movie, when Cage killed the Omega, he stole its powers and looped back without the Omega, so since the Omega wasn't able to loop back in time, just like a queen bee, all the drones die off since the Omega is no longer present in the new time line.What's interesting is that at the end of the movie, Rita's poster is different. I'm starting to think that the reset may actually have reverberated back to when Rita was after the Omega in Verdun.

Overall, Edge of Tomorrow is a visual delight with a great hybrid story of two of cinema's greatest films, while adding in visual effects seen in contemporary video games. Emily Blunt is fantastic, and admittedly, Tom Cruise did well too. We care about Rita and Cage's story all the way. When Cage starts off as an insurance PR stiff to becoming a better warrior, we're invested. When Rita kicks all kinds of ass, only to show vulnerability when she discovers Cage's familiar ability, we're invested. My only complaints about the film is that the soundtrack isn't very memorable. For a movie like this, I was hoping a masterpiece soundtrack would accompany it like past films did. Also, I felt like it needs a Director's Cut. I understand the Omega and how it works perfectly, but the casual viewer may not since it borders on science fiction physics that a big dork like me is used to. Aside from that, this is movie of the year worthy! It's fantastic and I knew it was going to be good long before anyone talked about it. It was last year I brought up the teaser poster and everyone just kind of laughed it off. Don't blame the initial reaction, it does look like a video game, but don't be fooled. This is a MOVIE and not commercial diarrhea like 'Days of Future Past'.

Luu Sky Sapphire gives Edge of Tomorrow:

****/***** 4/5 Sapphires.

+ Amazing visuals
+ Emily Blunt's performance! The entire cast was good, though.
+ Interesting time travel concept
+ Action done right, you don't grow numb to it!
- Meh score. Should of hired John Williams.

Rating: STANDARD FULL PRICE

Definitely buy it on Blu-Ray/DVD. It's worth owning. Not one of the all time best films, but it's close. One of the few that rules the modern decade, anyway.

---

Also, I just finished watching 'In The Blood', starring none other than the gorgeous Gina Carano.



There's no need to review this film. We've seen this film a million times; some family member is stolen and pissed off father/mother/wife/husband beats up a bunch of generic bad guys to retrieve him/her.

Despite this, Gina did it with style. The woman has a great intensity and oozes with physical presence. Her buff physique and biceps that are as almost as big as mine are a marvel to behold on Blu Ray quality. *DROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL*

She racked up quite a body count too. Overall, entertaining little movie with all the cliche trimmings. But I gotta be honest, even though I've seen this movie a million times, this is one of the better ones. It depends on the actor/actress. The 'Taken' films are lame since I don't buy Qui Gon Jinn as a bad ass. *I* can beat Liam Neeson while singing "My Favorite Things" by Julie Andrews.

Gina Carano was an actual fighter, so I can buy her as an physical presence in the movie. She was fantastic and acted better than she did in 'Haywire'.

Luu Sky Sapphire Rates 'In The Blood': ***/*****

MATINEE

+ Gina Carano. This woman is a warrior goddess. Why was she not cast as Wonder Woman? Oh yeah, because Nolan, Snyder and Goyer are f*cking idiots.
+ Awesome kills (THE SHOVEL KILL WAS EPIC! )
+ Exotic locations are well shot...
- ...but certain action scenes are not. Very choppy editing
- The entire supporting cast is godawful and generic.
- Final fight's ending sucked.

_________________
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 Jul 26, 2014 11:24 pm

bump 
Luu Sky Sapphire Reviews 'Lucy' 2014

---

Aspirin, anyone?

Lucy is without a doubt, one of the dumbest movies, USING an interesting premise, I have ever seen. But like Jaws attacking Sea World, another great idea, it wasn't executed well and 'Lucy' is no different. It is said "While a person may indeed utilize 100% of their brain in order to get through their day, it does not mean that their thoughts are being processed as efficiently as possible." Then we reach the conclusion of, "Relativity is constructed of material that you cannot even prove exists." Then your brain train definitely jumped the tracks in between.

This movie is just horrible. The idea of unlocking the brain's full potential is smart and can be debated to no end. But why is such a brain teaser (pun intended) punctuated by hokey tongue-in-cheek and mediocre action sequences? Scarlett Johansson doesn't strike me as a badass, even when she is no longer "human" thanks to the magic blue goo that stimulates DNA and the brain electrically; based on studies that go way back. Ugh, the movie doesn't know what it's trying to be in literally every frame.

Miss Johansson does well enough as a living entity processor, capable of being anywhere and controlling time itself, but it's ultimately a movie based on a theory that could of been fascinated. Instead, we get shoot outs and awkward comedy with constant tone shifts. It's fascinating in a way. Had they played this movie straight, with Morgan Freeman and his team of egg heads trying to understand Lucy and explore capabilities that surpasses a dolphin's by light years, then I would of loved this movie.

I'm no expert in Quantum physics or any type of advanced science. What I can tell you is that this movie didn't work the way it *should* have. That's fact; rather than fiction.

Luu Sky Sapphire rates 'Lucy':
*1/2/*****

LOW RENTAL

+ Fascinating premise...
- Ruined by hokey action and humor
- Bland performances
- Exposition for self-explanatory science.
- ANIMAL TRANSITIONS. LOTS OF ANIMAL TRANSITIONS.

_________________
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 Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:36 am

Retro-Review: Disney's Cinderella (1950):




---

Let's be honest here, how many versions of this classic European folk tale have we seen? It's so common, that even your run-of-the-mill cartoon parodies it on one of it's many episodes. Even more modern works seem to be influence by it; like Memoirs of a Geisha. The rags-to-riches storyline is in so many works of fiction, whether it be books, television or film, that we sometimes dismiss it immediately. Thing is, it's hard to dismiss this classic premise when it was done perfectly in Disney's 12th animated motion picture, Cinderella. The history behind Disney's Cinderella
is something you can research through the making of featurette, and Wikipedia, if you're lazy. What I want to do is give a quick review on the film itself, without any comparisons to other version, which in my opinion, pale in comparison.

I had the privilege of watching this film again for the first time since it's 2005 DVD release, which I still happen to own! It's been a while, so my friend requested that we watched Tangled and Cinderella back to back, to sort of compare the eras. Thankfully, we watched Cinderella second, because it felt like a proper upgrade from Tangled. Nothing against Tangled, I enjoyed the film, but it's got nothing on Cinderella as a whole. Tangled, like the more recent Frozen, lacks the magic you feel when watching Golden era film. I'll make the comparison afterward; but allow me to share why I feel this way.

Cinderella is about a young and beautiful girl named Cinderella, who lives in a Château with her Stepmother and stepsisters, was once a happy child with a father and a wonderful home. When it came time to find Cinderella a new mother, her father met Lady Tremaine (brilliantly voiced by Eleanor Audley) and her two heavy bags of luggage named Anastasia and Drizella. Hmm, make that three, since Lucifer is quite a load himself! Though Lady Tremaine tolerated Cinderella for the longest time, her chance to place the girl under her thumb had arrived when the kind man suddenly passed away. Leaving a young Cinderella to slave away for her step family is bad enough, but her home also deteriorated thanks to the constant spending of Drizella and Anastasia. Despite the suckiness of what her life has become, Cinderella continued to keep her head up, in hopes that her dreams will come true. Finding a happily ever after, even when everything is against her.

I'm shocked how people overlook Cinderella (voiced by the lovely Ilene Woods) as a character, in terms of progression. Snow White was delicate, not rude, not a fighter by any means...just about the kind of 1930s woman today's society scoffs at. In reality, it was a more classy and feminine time for women, and considering Snow White was a princess who never ventured out of the castle, one could understand her reactions. In her defense, she schooled an entire house full of men. Think about that! In Cinderella, the character of the same name is a progression of the all-American woman (symbolically, of course). This was 1950 and even Cinderella herself resembled the 1940s woman with her "Betty" hair and sassy attitude. Yes, SASSY attitude. Cinderella is a much stronger woman than I remember! She talks back, insults people (who rightfully deserve it) and isn't against animal violence when it came to Lucifer, Lady Tremaine's trouble making of a cat (the name is PERFECT for him). Cinderella has more of a backbone than Rapunzel or even Elsa; disobeying them during the scene where she learns that it was the Prince who danced with her. She even starts humming "So This Is Love" in their faces; clearly taunting them in a way that screams, "I won!" Otherwise, Cinderella is a kind person who appreciates the friends in her life and the opportunities given to her.

What Disney film would be complete without critters! Without much access to the outside world, Cinderella's friends are mostly her dog Bruno, her horse and a shit load of mice! The most famous of the mice, Jaq, is one of the most charismatic mascots in Disney history. He's sly, devious, smart and always helpful. Yes, all the mice are helpful, but Jaq is clearly the brains behind every operation. He even leads the other mice in a mission to grab chicken feed, without being spotted by Lucifer. In the film, the mice meet a chubby new addition to the gang, who Cinderella comes to name Octavius. But for short, we'll call his Gus. Gus is another fantastic character, he's like a mix between Scrappy Doo and Jerry. He plays out as the perfect sidekick for Jaq as he's always trying to be the tough guy against Lucifer and the stepsisters; being quite protective of Cinderella. His emotions get the best of him so many times, that it makes all the chase scenes with Lucifer even more exciting. Seeing Lucifer chase Jaq and Gus is hilarious; harkening back to cartoons like Tom & Jerry or Sylvester and Tweety shorts. The fun characters don't just stop at the mice! The King and The Grand Duke are also a hilarious pair, constantly going back and forth with marriage plans for the Prince. When the Grand Duke reports that Cinderella got away, The King literally tries to kill him! And for the record, this is after the King makes the Duke smoke a few dozen cigars. I love old fashion, NON-PC Disney. That was the studio at it's strongest.

One of the biggest characters in the film is the music itself, believe it or not! You don't see this in Disney or Pixar films, where the music and sound effects caused by certain instruments help tell the story! When Jaq is sneaking past Lucifer, they sync flute notes whenever he shuffles his feet. The music by Joseph S. Dubin and Paul J. Smith goes insane during Lucifer and mice scenes and switches to a more romantic waltz and dream-like score for Cinderella's scenes.

Speaking of the waltz, the build up for the famous ball scene is pure magic in itself. Cinderella's Fairy Godmother (voiced by Verna Felton) is an amusing old woman with a quirky personality of her own; constantly surprising Cinderella with new and exciting ways to setup her memorable night. Why does the horse need to pull the carriage? Why not make him a coachman instead! And let's not forget the iconic "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo", a catchy tune that had trouble leaving my headspace. (I've been humming it all night!). The ball scene itself is as gorgeous as the rest of the film. I forget to mention how beautiful the film looks, the art design, even in the chateau is gorgeous with good mixes of colors so vibrant. It's one of the most aesthetically classy animated films in the Disney library. The movie is so incredible to look at, especially after the remastering job on DVD. I can only imagine the perfect brilliance on Blu-Ray!

There's essentially two stories going on in Cinderella, one being our title lady and two being Jaq and Gus. This is the film's ONLY problem. While I like Jaq and Gus, they dominated at least 50% of the film with their subplot. Though I'd never have their scenes removed, they should of provided more characters moments for Cinderella. Reflecting back on her father, what kind of goals she had in life and perhaps other things. But these are just nitpicks, as Cinderella offers us a fairy tale and not the meaning of life. That's why Enchanted tainted the Golden Era with it's theme of "realism". There is no "realism" in fairy tales and that's why we love them. By making these characters think and react like real people, you take away the fantasy and daydream variables that make these classics rich. Because Cinderella chooses to do what works, it becomes timeless. For those bothered by the fact that her and the Prince fall in love instantly, may I remind you again that fairy tales are like good dreams, where something wonderful actually happens to you. The Prince himself represents the unrealistic male (okay, he did yawn when introduced to the 800th single female, haha) of your dreams. And Cinderella is the woman who accepts this because this is, as she says, "a wonderful dream come true." Yes, the Fairy Godmother said the spell was temporary, but in keeping the glass shoes in tact, that to me, was her telling Cinderella that her dreams can come true if she (Cinderella) made it so.

In a brilliant finale, Lady Tremaine discovers that Cinderella is the mystery girl the Prince danced with the other night. So to sabotage her chance at fitting the slipper, immediately becoming the Prince's bride, she locks Cinderella in her room. Jaq and Gus go on an exciting and quite tension filled mission to bring the key to Cinderella. Keep in mind, there are no fights, sword battles or winter go haywire. This is essentially a climax where two mice try to retrieve a key and get past Lucifer one last time, yet Disney's genius animators and screenplay writers put you on the edge of your seat! The music, again, helps sell the concept as a race against time to release Cinderella.
And once Cinderella does get released, Walt and his Disney team did the brilliant job of having the glass shoe shatter. Only to have Cinderella herself save the day with the OTHER shoe she saved. Not only do we feel her victory over Lady Tremaine, we applaud Cindy for being a slick woman in her own right.

Disney's Cinderella is a marvelous, timeless classic. I must drag Tangled and Frozen back in here to give my reasons why Cinderella is the better movie. I feel the two recent hits don't do anything to make their film magical because they were too busy trying to be contemporary-what I dub, "hipster ironic". Perfect for memes, not so much for cinematic genius. Cinderella trumps them for remembering what it is; a fairytale.  Yes, it has that 1940s flare to it, Cinderella's character helps with that, but it doesn't poke fun nor change the well known material (in retrospect) so drastically just to be hip. It's a sweet story for all time; especially for the open minded who will take note of it's purity. The newest films play it so safe, that it feels too commercial. Too politically correct. Something that only fits the Tempur-Pedic mattress-era it's set in. Cinderella, despite it's one major flaw, is an honest dream come true in itself; with dazzling animation, music, characters and even story! I also noticed something I rarely gave this movie credit for in the past, it's quite funny! A lot of what happens with Jaq and Gus, even Cinderella herself (GET UP, YOU SAY! TIME TO START ANOTHER DAY! Even HE orders me around!) are part of the charm and majesty.



**** 1/2 / *****

HIGH FULL PRICE

+ Breathtaking animation (the painted backgrounds are jaw-dropping)
+ Wonderful characters
+ Beautiful score and songs
+ Most memorable version of the story
+/- Wish we got 5-10 minutes extra of solo Cinderella character study instead of mice antics, so I can give it a perfect score.

_________________
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 Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:15 am

bump

Luu Sky Sapphire reviews Dumb and Dumber To:


---

To sum it up, watching the sequel to the 20 year old original was like spending time with an old friend. This old friend made you laugh a lot; you guys did everything together during early childhood. Then one faithful day, you grow apart due to being different (something we'd grow to treasure when we're older. In my case, however, I never picked a crowd. If I liked you, you were never rid of me).

20 years later, you reunite with your old friend and spend the entire day together. You have the best time ever. Yeah, he or she made not be as wild as you remember, it's just great to see him or her again for a while before life continues for the two of you. That, my friends, is Dumb and Dumber To.

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their roles as Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunn (respectively) after 20 years, and let me tell you, they've still got it! The movie was a lot of fun; strange because, as you know, comedy films are rarely reviewed by me. Why? Well, comedy films aren't that good. They haven't been good for a long time. In fact, most of my more modern comedy is not pure comedy; just part comedy like 'Devil Wears Prada' or '13 Going on 30'. Dumb and Dumber To, like the original, is never taken seriously. THOUGH, one thing does hurt the film. Actually, a few things.

Yes, Dumb and Dumber To, while fun, it isn't perfect. The problems lies with the jokes being rehashed from the first in a less clever situation. In the original, Harry and Lloyd were morons, but in the sequel...well, they're still morons...only now they've developed a mean spirited nature. It's not frequent, but it does make me cringe when they get this way. The biggest problem with the film is the fact that the world has become a much dumber place. I blame the rise of iphones, social media, etc. What made the original great was these two cartoony morons existed in a grounded world. In the sequel, EVERYONE around them is a cartoon, right down to the people who run the science convention in the finale! Had the movie pit these two dummies against a mundane world again, I think it would of been a lot better.

Despite it's problems, I had a great time with the guys again. I choked on my popcorn during the Stephen Hawking scene, that was the funniest thing I've seen all year, haha! Jim and Jeff share great chemistry once more, really showing how much fun they had making this. The opening is a bit slow, but the rest of the film mirrors the original in a new way. Rather than chase down a dream girl, the guys discover that Harry had a daughter (and Lloyd wants to bang her) played by the adorable Rachel Melvin. I've never seen this actress in anything before; she's gorgeous and ironically, plays an even dumber character than our two heroes! She's not laugh out loud funny, but her antics are really cute.

I don't blame people thinking Dumb and Dumber To would fail. I had serious doubts it could recapture the hilarity of the original. The original is leagues better due to Jim Carrey being at the top of his game at the time (not to mention a movie thought out script), while this one feels like an enjoyable reunion film. For what it is, Dumb and Dumber To is a MOCK! YEAH! ING! YEAH! BIRD! YEAH!-ING good time! ALSO! The post-credits ending! I LOVED IT! HAHAHAHA! Was not expecting that to happen at all!

Luu Sky Sapphire rates Dumb and Dumber To:

***/*****
3/5
Solid Matinee

+ Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels chemistry
+ True sequel to original
+ The Steven Hawking scene
- Falls flat at times
- Being set in a 2014 setting with 2014 society makes our heroes look like Valedictorians by comparison

_________________
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 Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:35 pm

Luu Sky Sapphire reviews 'When Marnie Was There'



---

Literally left in tears.

2014's 'When Marnie was There' proves that even without Miyazaki at the helm, you still get something timeless that will never disappear from your collective mind.

I love this movie. Everything from the gorgeous animation, beautiful score, and great sound is very well done, and what you'd expect from Studio Ghibli. But what this film does best, which is saying a lot, is tell a human story. Arguably, one of the most human in the entire Ghibli library. 'Marnie' plays out like a beautiful melody in one of your daydreams. It's a magical and heartfelt tale about a girl named Anna, who suffers from Asthma and heavy depression. To help her recover, her foster Auntie sends to to the country to stay with a lovable pair of relatives. Even in a better environment, Anna continues to suffer internally and runs away to be left alone. When she finds the famous and rundown Marsh House, she meets a beautiful girl named Marine. Anna is so blown away by Marnie's kindness and mysterious aura, that the two become intimate friends. As the film goes on, they learn more about one another, and learn to adapt to their respective worlds, which they found to be a burden.

'When Marnie was There' is based on the novel by Joan G. Robinson, which I haven't read in quite some time. If there are any comparisons to make, I would have to read the book again to be exact (I'm ordering a copy of the original novel as I type this). What I can truthfully say now is that 'Marnie' is perfectly paced and well told. Our supporting characters are a pleasure as they assist Anna and regard Marnie as their own personal interest and legend. Meaning, no character in this film is "just there". Everyone served purpose. Anna and Marnie themselves are wonderful, I cannot begin to describe how real these two are. Their relationship is one we look on from the outside, yet, we've been there before. Everyone experienced their personal dilemma; when we feel like we've hit our lowest point in life, with nobody who cared to notice. So we feel like we ARE them.

Sara Takatsuki and Kasumi Arimura bring so much depth to Anna and Marnie. They both deliver passionate performances. It helps seiyuu when the script is powerful, selling us two characters with a bond nobody would understand.

As a bonus note, there IS yuri subtext! Quite heavy! Nothing official, though. The ending explains why and it makes perfect sense. I wasn't even disappointed with the reason Anna x Marnie didn't become a staple. It brought me to tears. But let me tell you! For 75% of the film, Anna and Marnie do act like lovers. That's all I'll say~

I wish I could talk about this film in heavier detail, but like Pinocchio, Cinderella, Wolf Children, Sailor Moon R: The Movie, Madoka Rebellion, Mononoke and Hunchback of Notre Dame; 'When Marnie was There' is not an animated movie. It's an experience. One in the most realistic way possible. In fact, it's the perfect summer movie. You have the most magical time and then leave, but you carry those precious memories of that place forever. When we see Anna grow into a much stronger person, we see that the trip wasn't a waste. This trip changed her, thanks to Marnie.

For magic comes when you least expect it.

Rating:

*****\*****

BETTER THAN SEX


'When Marnie was There' is a beautiful film that hits all it's emotional and development high notes with accuracy and precision. I haven't given a film a perfect rating in quite a while, this truly was a special film to end Studio Ghibli's illustrious career.

BONUS:





Got it on Blu Ray. Not surprising. Viola

_________________
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 : 38606
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:15 am

Luu Sky Sapphire​ reviews Jurassic World:

---

Hollywood: Don't worry! We're not making the same mistakes again like we did with Jurassic Park III.

No, you're making all new ones. Okay, so we're back on the old island...ALL fences this time...and you want to send many, MANY people on the ground while your Frakenfishasaurus ensures that your film has action sequences devoid of all tension.

It's no shock to you or anyone else reading this that if you saw the 'Jurassic World' trailers, you can safely safe you saw the entire film. You know what made Jurassic Park and even it's two underrated (I can safely say that now) sequels work? Suspense. Tension. BUILD UP. Despite the original film taking it's sweet time to give us dinosaur action, it carefully laid the seeds of character development, science (of the science fiction) and wonder that is Jurassic Park. John Hammond's substantial upgrade from his flea circus.

But even the idea of "fleas on parade" would be more exciting than Jurassic World.

I want to set the record straight before I carefully dissect this film: This movie is neither horrible, nor good. It's in the head shaking grey area of B movie schlock. In other words, it's bad. So bad in fact, that I compare it to one of the worse sequels in the Alien franchise; Alien Resurrection. What makes Jurassic World a bit more tolerable compared to that trash are certain aspects that gave it heart. It certainly didn't have the wonder we were hoping for, but there is SOMETHING the film offered that prevented me from disowning it. Suffice it to say, a lot of these elements were destroyed almost instantly. So come with me, to an island off the coast of Costa Rica, where Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum were smart enough to avoid.

Good points:

Jurassic World's a train wreck mess (or, rather a monorail mess), yet it somehow gets a couple of well deserved free passes from me. Starting with it's title character, Claire Dearing, played by the gorgeous Bryce-Dallas Howard. She is the park operations manager of Jurassic World and a complete corporate stiff. Everything she says is straight out of her cold, thick park handbook and laboratory jargon. Claire is fascinating, willing to drop all humanity (when she clearly has some) to get shit done. She is direct, intelligent and successful...at the same time, she's clueless, awkward and a little crazy. It adds a lot of depth to a character when she puts on the most impenetrable shield, only to shed it off when everything goes to hell. Some would say she's basically Grant and Hammond mixed into one, I wouldn't argue with this motion. This works in Claire's favor, for she was the only one in the entire cast given the tools to develop into a stronger character. No, screw that; she was the only one given character development. This is a highlight for me personally, as I heard the early criticisms regarding her character. There are questionable actions taken by Claire, but if you pay attention, they're only brought on by Chris Pratt and the older brother character. That aside, I was invested in Claire and respect any woman who can trek and survive this entire escapade in high heels. She's a regular Sailor Mars in that aspect. You go, Bryce. Without you, the trio of morons would of died. She doesn't exactly turn into Aliens Ellen Ripley, but a Diet Alien 1979 Ripley. That's all you could ask for in a character like that. Score for women.

I enjoyed seeing the park up and running in certain places. The gyrosphere ride was unnecessary, they could of easily made it a jeep ride. The tree trunk tunnel in the T-Rex kingdom was cool, the Mosasaur show was nicely done, the Herbivore kayaking was nice and I especially enjoyed all the park's functions like those nifty holograms. There was an exceptionally cool scene where one of the V-9s (K-9...V for Velociraptor, do the math), ran into the hologram and...well, at least we got our Dilophosaurus return...sort of.

I liked the return of the original Jurassic Park, more specifically the Visitor's Center, which has turned into a ruin. Lots of nostalgia waves hitting my face. On the flip side, it's just shoehorned in there without any real purpose. I'm just glad to see it, because it reminds me of a superior film I could be watching instead.

Lastly, I enjoyed the...oop. Maybe I should save that for last. It's rant time! >:D

Before I get to the best aspect of Jurassic World, I must get my frustrations out in the open Gallimimus field. I mentioned early that Jurassic Park movies THRIVE from the building of suspense and tension. Well, prepare to be disappointed, because we get none of it here. Oh sure, you could count the Indominus Rex hiding from thermal readings like it's 'Aliens', but it happens so fast and you see plenty of the creature before it break out and kills everyone. Recall back to the first Jurassic Park, where we get the atmosphere and a tropical storm, while our protagonist, the comic relief, the kids and the bloodsucking lawyer. All parked next to the T-Rex paddock as the power goes out. The Rex slowly makes his entrance, starting with the rumblings, then tensions rising, then the missing goat, BAM! GOAT LEG! then a glimpse of the Rex's animatronic head and finally, the CGI break out where Rexy is perfectly detailed and powerful. Fast forward to The Lost World. Malcolm brings Kelly to the "High Hide" (a HIGH HIDE, GET IT? YOU GO UP AND YOU HIDE...HIGH!) and proclaims the following nonsense: "This is a completely different situation right now" and BAM! Pissed off T-Rex roar because the baby's missing from the nest. Malcolm rushes back to the trailers where Julianne Moore and Vince Vaughn (that fucking moron) are nursing the baby. Malcolm desperately tries to return the baby, but then BAM! Mommy's very angry. We see not ONE, but TWO T-Rexes. Upping the ante from the original was an excellent decision. And by the way, this also happened during a storm. I've always said the storm and Rex combo ALWAYS works, it's white knuckle awesomeness. Jurassic Park III, sadly executed it's attraction, the Spinosaurus, in low-key fashion. But at the very least, the Spino was introduced through it's roar and Alan Grant's "No. It sounds bigger!" We don't even see the Spino in it's entirety until the plane crashes. So while it was rushed, it had SOME build up to it's credit. This brings me to my next point.

Indominus Rex is not terrifying at all. It's introduction and first break out was done in broad daylight and without tension. It just shows up and stuff happens. That's it. And this formula would press on throughout the entire movie. Indominus Rex shows up, stuff happens. Indominus Rex shows up, stuff happens. Indominus Rex shows up, stuff happens. He's more of a Nemesis from Resident Evil 3 than the Spino was, there's no denying it now. All the while, the control room people are monitoring it and trying every option possible to stop it. Of course, nothing works. This happened three times, you know.

Speaking of which, Colin Trevorrow denies writing the sequels out of continuity. I don't believe him, no matter how many easter eggs were lying around. You're telling me that Isla Sorna's two incidents were not mentioned AT ALL? The events of the original Jurassic Park are mentioned, in addition with a returning Dr. Henry Wu, but it feels like a hustle on the movie's part. They don't add anything to the overall experience because it takes place 20 some years after Jurassic Park and 15 after Jurassic Park III. That's another reason why I refer to it as the 'Alien Resurrection' of the series. It takes place so far into the future, that whatever happens doesn't matter and that hurts it. But this is not a science fiction in space, Jurassic Park can be credited for being more ground than the Alien franchise. To exclude the incidents of the previous films and not give a solid explanation as to WHY Jurassic World had to be made, hurts the film a lot. THIS film is less of a sequel and more of a spin off. No one can rightfully call Lost World and JPIII spin offs because they involved Grant, Ellie, Hammond and Malcolm. Let that sink in and try to call TLW and JP3 "spin offs". How the hell is InGen even still around? None of their troops are gonna mention the large body count from The Lost World? No lawsuits from their families? They've truly become the poor man's Weyland-Yutani here, wanting to use the Raptors as weapons. Charming.

Of course, what would our corporate stiff-turned-survivalist Claire be without her supporting characters. Honestly, I could care less about the staff people and the military goons from InGen, because they're here to get eaten and nothing more. Owen Grady on the other hand, played by Chris Pratt, is a Raptor Whisperer who establishes himself as the alpha to his exclusive pack of Raptors: Blue, Delta, Charlie and...Mushu, I think. Does it matter? For a film that promoted the Raptors are being trainable and having questionable thinking processes (thanks to the Indominus), you'd think the film would invest more emotion between them and Owen. Instead of developing this no different than Travis and four Old Yellers, we HAVE to see Owen doing more important things. Like sass Claire and trying to get a quickie behind the bushes. Chris Pratt as Owen Grady is a one-note character who delivers lines via teleprompter moving at high speed. Personally, I've never been fond of Pratt's work. He doesn't work in a film like this. He's too shallow to be an Alan Grant and he's not intelligent enough to be Malcolm. One of the biggest contradictions is Owen's supposed love for the Raptors. Even after all the carnage, he doesn't express ANY humanity whatsoever. No mourning over the Raptors he raised and trained, nothing. What's more important is "surviving" with Claire. What an asshole. Furthermore, the sight of him kissing Claire (she just saved his life) while hundreds of people are dying around them is disturbing. We have succeeded in creating the a mean spirited Jurassic film. The least that can be said about Pratt is that he's not the worst actor in the film. Nooooo, not by a long shot.

The two brothers are TERRIBLE. The younger one is trying to put on this sympathetic performance, but it's the older brother that should of had his head torn off by a Raptor. This actor, Nick Robinson, is an emotionless twit. No matter what situation he's in, he always looks so BORED and indifferent towards everything. You have Bryce's strong performance, selling all the cartoony CGI dinosaur wreckage, meanwhile, Robinson is just like...meh. This actor is garbage, one of the worst performance I've ever seen in recent memory. He makes Kristen Stewart look like Mick Jaggar. On the whole, the brothers subplot was another godawful, but unnecessary addition...to Jurassic World. The film actually opens by focusing on these two shits like we give any ourselves.

Perhaps the most outrageous aspect of Jurassic World is the effects. This franchise has always prided itself on the fact that it used animatronics for the dinosaur effects. They were beautifully crafted and moved realistically with the right camera angles. Major props to Stan Winston and his team. Poor Stan, he must be rolling in his grave knowing that Jurassic World uses NO animatronics. NONE. The Dinos are fully CGI at all times and they look awful. Fortunately for the movie, these monstrosities appear better in night scenes, but that doesn't happen until the final act of the film. Until then, you're stuck with the same SyFy Channel quality dinosaurs. This truly is the end of old school practical effects; I wonder thinking how horrible it was for my fiancee to see The Hobbit franchise disregard the practical effects that made the Lord of the Rings films stand out. I knew that feeling myself since 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull', but at least that used one or two practical props. This had NONE. Laziness. Pure laziness.

Lastly, the film moved at such a frantic pace that we're not allowed to digest anything that's going on. We can place blame on the brothers subplot, which didn't need to be there. Had the film focused on Claire and Owen forming a more friend-like relationship as they survive through the deep jungle of Isla Nublar, I would of been satisfied. At least we would of gotten character development, Owen's deeper feelings on the Raptors and the park as a whole, plus more Claire toughening herself up. Perhaps even realize that running barefoot would probably be a better option. ANYTHING to establish some dialogue, humanity and even foreshadow more dinosaur chaos. There was a nice quiet moment for the dying Apatosaurus, where you can feel Claire's pain. In fact, that was her "What have we done?" cue.

Jurassic World does have one extra thing going for it. I won't lie, after all the trash I've witnessed on screen, one major scene stuck out to me: Claire unleashing the T-Rex, and in turn, Rexy fighting the Indominus Rex. This was AWESOME for a few reasons.

1. This was clearly the T-Rex from the original film, if you noticed the Raptor scars from the first movie. And if you're still in denial, the Jurassic World fruit snacks will enlighten you.

2. Rexy is shown to be an aggressive fighter compared to the Rex from JP3. Yes, Rexy had trouble with the stronger foe, but you felt a sense of effort coming from her. Total badass. Nobody would be upset that Rexy started to lose before Blue jumped in. This is like Terminator fighting the T-1000. "Not like me. Frakenfurtersaurus. Advanced prototype."

3. Claire watching as the gate opened is an AWESOME iconic shot that will forever remain in my memory. That type of visual is what cinema is all about; building up to the solution of the story's problem. Bryce did a fantastic job standing her ground and leading the Rex over to the Indominus.

4. The Raptor and Rex team up wasn't as bad as I thought. It was a contrast to the original where they were fighting one another. Now they're a team. Thematically, it makes perfect sense.

That was worth the near 2 hours of waiting. That shot of Claire, Rexy, the battle and the OBVIOUS finish are quite spectacular.

'Jurassic World' is not a good Jurassic Park film, unfortunately. It's littered with problems, both in the effects, acting and execution. The supporting cast is dull, the storyline is rushed, there's no wonder and the comedy went overboard. Even the death of Zara, the caretaker, was played for laughs rather than shock value. In 'Jaws 2', when the shark consumed Marge after she saved little Sean's life? It was terrifying and tragic, adding more heat on the shark. Here, it's played off for that "OHHHHHH!!!!" reaction. Zara may of been careless, but she didn't deserve that. Not to mention that her character did nothing to deserve such a fate. Nick Robinson on the other hand...

Overall, 'Jurassic World' is proof that one should leave well enough alone. There are some good things sprinkled here and there, but it's not enough to justify a worthy sequel to the franchise. Let alone one that claims it's a direct sequel to the superior original. So, after careful consideration I decided...not to endorse this park.

*/*****

LOW RENTAL


+ Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire is fantastic...
- When Chris Pratt doesn't interact with her.
+ REX AND BLUE VS. INDOMINUS REX!!!
- Recycled and uninspired score
- Nick Robinson in general
- Raptors were humanized, then forgotten like dish rags.
- No mentions of previous films that would of helped this one

I'll finish this with a paraphrased quote from Alan Grant from Jurassic Park III, which I find to be the better film. Isn't that sad?

"What Colin Trevorrow and Universal did with Jurassic World, is create video game cartoon theme park monsters. Nothing more and nothing less."


Last edited by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:30 am; edited 1 time in total

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Luu Sky Sapphire
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:30 am

Luu Sky Sapphire reviews: Disney + Pixar's 'Inside Out':


---

After two good movies, one guilty pleasure and one godawful abomination (Jurassic World), 2015 seemed a little lacking. There wouldn't be the promise of something great or original.

Until now.

Disney X Pixar have made some good films in the past decade or so. But tonight was the culmination of their brilliant storytelling abilities. This is mostly Pixar's baby, though, as it's completely different from the mediocre 'Frozen' and insulting 'Big Hero 6'. Keep it mind that this movie is full of spoilers that should not be ruined by my review. So don't expect too much, other than the praise it deserves. The magic is waiting for you at the nearest cinema. What I can do for you, is build up the hype around this wonderful film.

'Inside Out' tells the story of a girl named Riley, who since birth, had each human emotion manifest to fulfill their duties. Their job is to react to all of Riley's many situations in life through a control panel that reacts to their touch. This includes little marbles called "core memories", all which power the personality islands that make Riley who she is.

The emotions are all a delight to watch. Joy being my absolute favorite. She is voiced wonderfully by Amy Poehler. Imagine that! I've always pegged Amy as funny, but could never pull off something with brains. Boy was I wrong! Amy made Joy immensely likeable, funny and heroic. Because she's happiness and all things positive, Joy's good intentions make her the leader of the emotions, due to her conception that being happy makes one untouchable. Phyllis Smith, who voices Sadness, is another delight to the story. Bill Hader as Fear is hilarious, Mindy Kaling's Disgust is sassy and Lewis Black as Anger had everyone in stitches! Speaking of which, I can reveal this early for you all: There is NO villain in this film. This is a story about something more important than fight between good and evil. There's a realism to 'Inside Out' that makes you look at yourself or someone you know. Trust me, deja vu, deja vu, deju vu.

I wish I could talk about this film further. The world of the emotions is a visual delight (IMAGINATION LAND!!!) The gags are creative, the voice acting is superb, the emotions and side characters are a delight (every single one of them) and there's a clever use for ALL the emotions! By the end of the film, I can say I understand the human spirit now. There are two people in my life that I'd like to have a conversation with, AFTER they've seen this film, because it revealed to me another side of people with Riley's second and third act conditions. Even through it's central theme, 'Inside-Out' is a breathtaking experience AND an effective comedy.

Pixar finally has it's 'Pinocchio'. It's 'When Marnie Was There'. It struck gold with the most emotional roller coaster ride I've felt in a long while. It accomplished what I want to see in film: Creativity. Originality. This kind of wonderful tale can only come from a talented group of people who understand film and what it needs to be. If we can develop high standards, works of art like this film can change our lives like a great book or memorable music, then we will get more 'Inside Out's and less 'Jurassic World's.
---



Luu Sky Sapphire rates 'Inside Out':

HiME HiME HiME HiME 1/2 / HiME HiME HiME HiME HiME

HIGH FULL PRICE

+ Brilliantly written
+ Amazing voice cast
+ Beautiful animation and visuals
+ Lovable and well developed characters (JOY IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL!!!)
+/- The third act would of benefited from a stronger subject matter. Regardless, it worked wonderfully. I just wish it took that risky leap to make the climax stronger. Had it done this, I would of given it a perfect score. You'll see what I mean.

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Luu Sky Sapphire
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:14 pm

Luu Sky Sapphire Reviews: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens



"I am a Jedi. Like my father before me."

Yeah, no shit! And with a family legacy comes new adventures and trials our galactic heroes must face. I have to be honest here, I was always skeptical about this film. You've read my reactions to the concept of Episode VII; I deemed it an unnecessary addition to an already complete story. The Battle of Endor in 'Return of the Jedi' is the big all, end all of movie battles. It sealed this trilogy (prequels? What prequels?) nicely with all the characters at their best. The heroes overcoming the opposition once and for all. There was nothing more to explore...until now.

The Force Awakens reunites many of the original cast, including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, but now introduces some young meat to the franchise. There's no room to complain as John Boyega as "Finn" is a likable sidekick character who fights and believes in what's right. As a rouge Stormtrooper, he wants to avoid (and then fight) the First Order; the Empire's leftovers. Consider them the Neo-Nazis of the galaxy. Elsewhere, you have whom I consider the shining light of this film - Daisy Ridley as "Rey". This lonely female scavenger secretly has dreams of adventure during her routine of searching for broken parts to sell. It was fated that Finn, during his getaway (thanks to the underdeveloped Poe, played by Oscar Isaac), meets up with Rey to protect the BB-8 unit, team with the legendary smuggling duo of Han Solo and Chewbacca, and aid the Resistance against the First Order.

I must praise J.J. Abrams for bringing back humanity to Star Wars. The emotion, the character moments, the honest humor...all missing in Star Wars media after Return of the Jedi. Let's face it, the prequels sucked, the Clone Wars TV series sucked and most of the novels and comics have better use when burned. The Force Awakens is a revival of what made Star Wars good in the first place; elements I've always insisted on since The Phantom Menace:

Practical effects.
No stupid dance choreography for lightsaber duels
Shooting on real locations.
Actual sets
Muppets
A more memorable John Williams score

The Original Trilogy felt real; so full of life because everything was actually there. The creature muppets, the models, the exotic locations that pass as alien worlds...The Force Awakens nails it perfectly. None of these things would matter without the performances, and we had some of the best in a long time. To see Carrie Fisher give a sincere performance as Leia (something I thought we'd never see again) was magical. Her and Harrison Ford's quiet moments brought a tear to my eye. Kudos to Adam Driver as Kylo Ben, I mean Ren, ( Trollface ) for putting on a menacing show as the devotee of Darth Vader. He reminds me a lot of Vader, with a little dash of prequel Anakin. But my biggest hats off to Daisy Ridley, who we not only root for against opposition, but also for breaking the female stereotype of needing rescue. SPOILER. There's a scene where Rey is captured by Kylo Ren and during her interrogation, Rey's force sensitivity is made apparent. Not only does she get into Kylo's head, exposing him as a Vader fanboy, she also (in the most badass scene ever) practices the Jedi Mind Trick on a Stormtrooper guard until it works. The scene had a pinch of humor that I actually found amusing. Scenes with Finn are especially funny because he's kind of like Jar Jar Binks done right- still cowardly, but he does his best. Finn really is the everyday man in a wacky situation. My respect to John for not giving us yet another cocky male character who can do anything and everything.

That one scene...*CRIES* I WASN'T EMOTIONALLY PREPARED FOR IT!!!

Now, one of the main attractions to a Star Wars film is the lightsaber battle. WATCH THE FIGHTS BETWEEN FINN VS. UBER TROOPER, FINN VS. KYLO AND REY VS. KYLO....that is exactly what I'm talking about! Real, practical, non-dance choreographed sword fighting! Rey and Kylo were having fights similar to the Original Trilogy, or even a sword fight from the Japanese anime series- Revolutionary Girl Utena! It was not flashy, just two people trying to one up the other in vicious combat. This is the best lightsaber fight since Luke vs. Vader II in ROTJ, hands down.

The same could be said for the film as a whole. The Force Awakens really is a dazzling film that reminds people why we loved Star Wars in the first place. It's not about the toys, the stupid video games, the idiot fanboys that can memorize every line from the EU...it's the ORIGINAL TRILOGY as a *self-contained story*. Star Wars was never a sandbox for us to play in, it's an experience to view from the outside. Yet, we live through the existing characters we can relate to. Boys, not just girls, should want to be like Rey. A strong individual who embraces her gifts and proves her worth by becoming more than she already is. Finn is also a devoted friend and ally who will never give up on you. We can relate to everyone, even a little droid like BB-8 can emote better than anyone in all three prequel films. We're seeing FILM MAKING at work during this adventure. Something missing from every franchise as of late, with the exception of the excellent Hunger Games franchise.

If I had to give the film as negatives, it would have to be it's double edged sword: It's too familiar territory. Disney played it extremely safe by creating a sequel that can easily pass as a remake of 'A New Hope' and that's really my only issue (aside from the extremely fast pacing that doesn't allow the audience to take in quiet moments and breathe after a big battle scene). It's how I feel about Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade. Both of these Indiana Jones films are so similar, you end up choosing which version you like more. To me, I will always place A New Hope over Force Awakens, due to innovation and better pacing overall. HOWEVER, The Force Awakens is easily my 4th favorite in the series, only a small notch below A New Hope. This film is wonderful, adventurous, well acted and well made. You know, what Guardians of the Galaxy should of been?

There is life after 'Return of the Jedi' after all. I cannot believe I'm admitting to this, considering J.J. Abrams was presented with the difficult task of following up on, what I consider, the franchise's best film. Rey will be the greatest of all the Jedi training under...oop...better not spoiler that. Shizuru Fujino



Luu Sky Sapphire gives The Force Awakens: HiME HiME HiME HiME / HiME HiME HiME HiME HiME

FULL PRICE

+ Wonderfully crafted. Star Wars is officially back!
+ Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are fantastic
+ Old faces return and still got it!
+ Focus on characters and caring about what's going
+/- Played it safe by paying TOO much tribute
Minor - Pacing is a little too fast.
Bonus + EXCELLENT FINAL LIGHTSABER DUEL!

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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 Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:57 am

Movie review: Side Effects


This movie was ridiculously clever. It had me interested because it's about a woman suffering from severe depression, who goes through different side effects when taking various anti-depressants. The other reason why I was interested in this movie was because it has a great cast: Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum, and Rooney Mara. Being a fan of Rooney Mara and Catherine Zeta-Jones, I had to look into this movie.

I quite enjoyed Rooney Mara's performance as Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and I quite enjoyed her performance in Side Effects. This lady knows how to act, especially when it comes to acting as a character who is acting as something she is not. The same goes to Catherine Zeta-Jones, acting as a character who is acting as something she is not. Both women perfected the art of acting as characters who pretend to be as something when they're totally the opposite. Jude Law did a great job portraying as a character who has a habit of putting stress levels up to 1000% without breaking a sweat!  Happy And Channing's character, well, he didn't really offer much. He was mainly a tool for the movie~

The movie fools you on the spot. It's one of those movies where you're convinced that this is happening, but really that was happening. The twist almost had me as surprised as when I saw the horror film called Orphan. If I could badly describe the plot in Side Effects, then I would say it's about a woman pretending to be mentally ill just so she can reunite with her lesbian lover. Oh yes, Rooney Mara got to make out with Catherine Zeta-Jones. Then she got to make out with Cate Blanchett in the new movie Carol. Now isn't that girl lucky or what?! cocky

The pros of this film is that it has a good plot, a good twist, and great acting. They even described well the side effects of Zoloft, which tends to make people sick. It made me sick too when I took that medication! devious I liked how they described the world of depression, how severe depression can really affect you, and how screwed up the psychiatry system can be. I also liked how they mentioned real criminal cases that involved mental illness, or any medical problem. I have heard cases about people pretending to be mentally ill, or have any other medical problem, as manipulation just to get what they want. That tends to happen a lot when it comes to female criminals.

And now for the cons: the music was a bit dull, Channing's character was useless and mainly a punching bag for the plot, the depression Rooney's character had was a bit unrealistic, and Rooney's hair extensions were SO FAKE. Those fake hair extensions were such a distraction~ I did not like how Rooney's character went from completely happy to severely depressed. Depression does not really work that way in a span of a day or two. Then again, maybe it can happen Think Some people do have the skill to be totally happy when they are not Think Think Think But then again again, Rooney's character was only pretending~

Overall rating: 7/10

Kuga Natsuki
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:38 pm

Well, as I've seen from some MManiacs, depression can be a long process, or a roller coaster. Always depends on the person. Never seen the film, but anything with Rooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones is worth checking out.

Except the Elm Street remake and The Rebound. Terrible films (that I sadly own).

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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 Kuga Natsuki on Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:10 am

Definitely look into it if you're interested cocky

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:06 pm

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies Review


---

Self-aware spoof films will always have a place in my heart, as long as the performances and concept are done with great passion. Speaking of passion, February is an interesting month with wacky, violent films being released. Deadpool making big numbers, even though that film doesn't qualify as anything more than numbness of the brain. Let's just put it this way: My friends went to see Deadpool recently; while I've been bed ridden for the past couple of days. High fever, violently coughing sticky phlegm that refuses to escape my body and suffering massive toothaches due to my recent fillings. As it turned out, I had a better time than they did.

Thankfully, I got to see Pride & Prejudice & Zombies before these events and boyyyyy, did I love it. I must warn readers that this film is definitely more suited for fans of P&P than the zombie film genre. The zombie apocalypse serves as a backdrop to the actual drama that's going on...the drama you should be familiar with by now after reading one of Jane Austen's most famous literary classics.

As the trailers suggested, a zombie outbreak has fallen upon the land in Jane Austen's classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England. Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet (played by the gorgeous Lily James of Disney's Cinderella 2015) is a master of martial arts and weaponry. The introverted Mr. Darcy (played by Sam Reilly) is a fierce zombie killer (his hidden talent!), yet the epitome of upper class prejudice. As the zombie outbreak intensifies, they must swallow their own pride (har) and join forces on the blood soaked battlefield! YEEEEEAAAAAH!!!!

What made this schlock goodness great was that it delivered what it promised (even if you have never read the spoof book of the same name). It's Pride & Prejudice...with zombies. The zombies are definitely treated as an alien entity, since they're in the film, but not as much as people are used to. In an age where shitty zombie movies are everywhere (I only care about the Resident Evil films and maybe some selects from Asylum for laughs), this film appropriately placed the zombie action when it was ready. To sell the ridiculous concept, I feel Lily James did a fantastic job as Elizabeth Bennet. She carried the film for sure, although Matt Smith did have some great Collins moments. Lily, however, is clearly having a blast with the role. Excellent casting for the Bennet sisters and everyone else.

The major downside to the film was the ending.You'd expect a balls to the wall massacre to cap off the movie, but instead, it comes to a screeching halt. You'll see what I mean. It's sad, since the film was doing so well up until the ending. The post-credits ending kind of saves it, but the movie is gravely mistaken if it thinks a sequel will happen. There isn't enough zombies for the typical fan, but when they were on screen, and getting slaughtered, I was digging it. No undead messes with Lizzy Bennet and whatever dangerously sharp implements she has hiding underneath her petticoat.

Like Jupiter Ascending last year, this movie was fun, dumb and took two completely different entities and mushed them together. I had a great time with P&P&Z, a perfect way to start my 2016 movie year because I know the WORST is yet to come with movies like Dawn of Justice, Gods of Egypt, Allegiant, Captain America: Civil War. You know, 2-3 hour movies we'll forget about in 2-3 minutes. Yay.

At least with this, we're getting what was promised. And there's nothing sexier than a good Lily James snarl.



Luu Sky Sapphire rates Pride & Prejudice and Zombies:

***/*****

MATINEE

+ Lily James as Lizzy Bennet. kawaiidesuplz
+ ZOMBIES interrupting a classic story
+ Great action and overall production
- Weird zombie POV moments
- The climax...
- Not enough zombie action for die hard fans

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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 Jul 22, 2016 2:04 am

Luu Sky Sapphire reviews: Ghostbusters 2016

When I watched Deadpool (for free on Pub), I remember not laughing. Not once. It's true that a comedy fails when it doesn't get one cackle out of you. Not even a chuckle. Ghostbusters 2016, the dreaded terror that all man-children feared since Paul Feig announced it's production, has not only made me laugh by the truck loads; it was the most fun I had in the theater since Mean Girls and 13 Going On 30. Comedy genre-wise.

Ghostbusters 2016 stars the lovable cast of Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon. Oh, god...KATE MCKINNON! I would marry her if I could! >:3 I'd have to be a woman first...anyway, let me start off by saying this: the comedy genre is without a doubt, the most subjective genre of all. Comedy is quite specific for each individual. The original Ghostbusters worked off dry and sarcastic witty dialogue. It wasn't laugh out loud funny, but very clever where we rightfully chuckled with Bill and the guys. Ghostbusters 2016 did not go in that direction since dry and witty was accomplished. Instead, the girls go for a more over-the-top routine with playful humor and teases. It's amazing how strong the chemistry is between these four women; as if they've been friends since birth. I've noticed that Kate McKinnon improvises A LOT! Yes, there are many throwbacks to the original film, but with their own modern day twists. It's also great to see the original cast involved as cameo characters.


Kristen Wiig plays the awkward Erin Gilbert, currently a university teacher to distance herself from her old passion of paranormal phenomenon. This also means distancing herself from Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), who slinks back into her life to investigate a recent paranormal event. Joined by the brilliant and charismatic engineer, Jillian Holtzmann, they begin their paranormal investigation. When subway worker Patty Tolan spots ghosts occupying the tracks, she ends up joining and aiding the "Ghostbusters" in their quest to bust spirits. Not to mention stopping the oddball occultist Rowan from causing the apocalypse through a giant ghost portal.

I'll never understand the hatred for this film. As much as I love the original, it does feel like a slow burner compared to this. Keep in mind that the original wasn't meant to be this major epic film. Just a lighthearted comedy with great performances and cool effects. Um, that's exactly what we got here! Granted, not all of the performances in the new film were great. I stand by my sentiment that Chris Hemsworth was the low point of the film. We get it, movie. He's dumb, yet perfect? Whatever you say. Luckily for us and the rest of the moviegoers, the main cast does justice to the original. Here's the truth: Ghostbusters is first and foremost about the characters. The great chemistry between the main leads. The saving New York element is ALWAYS secondary. Ghostbusters thrives with it's lovable Ghostbusters team, played by some of the best comedians and actors. A disgrace to the original? How? 2016 is doing exactly what it takes to be a Ghostbusters film. It still feels different regardless, considering that Erin, Holtzmann and the others are completely different characters. They don't resemble Peter, Egon, Ray and Winston in any way; making the chemistry feel new-and it works to various degrees of success.

This is the funniest film I've seen in a while. The humor is cute, clever and full of energy. Everyone had a blast making it, and you're right there with them. In addition to the comedy and cast, the ghost effects, while CGI heavy, were nicely done. There's more detail to these ghosts than say...the shitty Scooby Doo films. Some of the ghosts were creepy, like the Macy's Day parade ghosts...so there is a sense of horror to the film (the opening scene is way more intense than the library opening of the original. It sets the tone perfectly. Praise to Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, btw. No longer are they playing obnoxious characters! They're lovable scientists with their own wacky quirks. Leslie Jones is also a show stopper as Patty, but the real star is Kate McKinnon as Holtzmann. Kate plays a character that you'd want hanging around you at parties! Her magnetic personality and comedic timing are excellent. There's a scene where her character is being asked how many regulations she's broken, and she responds with childlike responses:

"1? *smiles* 2? *Eyes sparkle and grins wider* 1 AND A HALF!?"

SHE'S FUCKING ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All in all, Ghostbusters 2016 isn't the best film of the year. That honor still belongs to 'Me Before You'. HOWEVER! THIS IS THE MOST FUN MOVIE OF THE YEAR! HANDS DOWN! So do yourselves a favor and ignore all those man-children who gave free passes to Jurassic World (garbage that deserved the negative response Ghostbusters is getting. Guess it didn't because Chris Pratt dominated 99% of the movie telling Bryce's character what a piece of shit she is, but he still wants to fuck her. I digress, though.) Ghostbusters 1984 shouldn't be deified as an untouchable masterpiece of cinema. It was a simple movie with cool effects and lovable leads. I see the same thing with this film. Ghostbusters 2016 isn't perfect, but it's a fantastic ride I'll NEVER forget! Once I can watch over and over again to cheer me up and brighten my day. That is a true comedy. Who You Gonna Call? THESE GALS!


Rating: HiME HiME HiME HiME / HiME HiME HiME HiME HiME

FULL PRICE

+ On par with the original and Ghostbusters 2.
+ Fantastic cast and chemistry.
+ Cool ghost effects (Especially in the final battle).
+ Kate McKinnon as Jillian Holtzmann.
- Chris Hemsworth's tedious performance interrupts the magic.
- The new Ghostbusters theme by Fall Out Boy is just godawful.
+ USED THE ORIGINAL GHOSTBUSTERS THEME ONCE (at the most appropriate moment) The goosebumps felt SOOOOOO good!


Kara Ballenger Pupzter Hathaway Shezaei Neko

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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 Luu Sky Sapphire on Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:38 pm



Review: 'Only Yesterday' from Studio Ghibli

Often times, when you've become a grown adult, you think back to your childhood. Whenever you spot anything with familiar imagery, or when you happen to be put in a situation that causes a deja vu spell. This is the essence of 'Only Yesterday', a lost 1991 classic that hasn't been released (officially) and dubbed in English in the States until recently.

The story follows Taeko, a Japanese woman in her late 20s, who is living the life of the brutally mundane. She lived in Tokyo her entire life, works and remains unmarried. She decides to break the monotony by visiting family out in the beautiful countryside of Yamagata. Throughout her travel, and stay in Yamagata, Taeko begins to recollect on her past. Being reminded of her childhood at every turn. What makes this film stand out is how powerful these scenes are. Taeko's childhood was pampered; provided with everything a young girl would need. Problem was, she had to deal with many hiccups a young girl encounters. These moments, whether it's obtaining a complete pineapple (in Japan, it was extremely common to eat out of a can. Imported fruit was hard to get in 1966, the year of the flashback), experiencing menstruation, or doing poorly at school due to fractions.

I related so much to the film, as I, too, think back to the past quite often. Taeko had a tendency to bring up the joyous and painful moments of her childhood whenever she felt comfort, frustration and sadness. Her interactions with the ambitious farmer, Toshio, made her feel at ease with the present moment. His optimistic outlook made Taeko feel better about pursuing the idea of self-discovery. What she is capable of, not to mention what she could have in life. Toshio shows her that the old ways of farming are not so ineffective. There's a bond between people and the Earth; a joint collaboration. Something people from the city and big corporations have forgotten. This inspires Taeko, but it also scares her. The resolve of the matter felt so natural, that I became emotional. You have to watch the discussion scene between Taeko and Toshio in the car; it's one of the most realistic conversations in an animation film. Like Studio Ghibli's 5 star masterpiece 'When Marnie Was There', 'Only Yesterday' is a film that comes off like a well written live action drama. Only, rather than feeling phony Hollywood, it comes off more like a raw documentary. Following a woman with so much to offer the world, but never fully realizing it; connecting with another human being who "gets" her. You want to win a woman's heart? All man jokes aside - you must be honest with her. As for your nostalgic past, they have indeed made you what you are today. Taeko's entire childhood of 1966, the biggest year of her young life, shaped her into what she would become. At 27, she hasn't seen anything. Hasn't been anywhere. To discovery yourself and your worth at a place of pure serenity; with people you care for and connect with...you have, at last, found yourself.

'Only Yesterday' is a wonderful film. I'm still in shock that it hasn't been released by Disney at the time, all because menstruation is mentioned. I'm not kidding! Look it up! It fills my heart to know that in 2016, we can see this film in all it's glory. The animation is gorgeous, which is typical of Ghibli. What made this entry earn recognition was how the character muscle and breathing movement was animated realistic. A new technique at the time, and it's aged wonderfully. Aside from it's stellar Japanese seiyuu voice cast, the English dub was excellent. Daisy Ridley, Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, had never voice acted in anime before. She played Taeko with the warmth of a snow pea (in a really good way!). Her gentle, sweet and mature tone of voice suited Taeko. Dev Patel also did a great job as Toshio. Dev gave Toshio the every man voice, filled with determination and dorkiness. Toshio is not a smooth talking man, just a farmer with great passion in what he does. Dev really brought that out of him. To know that Daisy voice acted alongside some of anime/gaming's greatest voice talents in Laura Bailey (Tohru Honda in Fruits Basket), Stephanie Sheh (Sailor Moon herself), Grey DeLisle (Setsu Oiwa in 'When Marnie Was There') and Tara Strong (Rikku in Final Fantasy X) is awesome!

Highly recommend 'Only Yesterday' to those who love coming-of-age stories. While not quite 'When Marnie Was There', it's comes awfully close. There's so much truth to the narrative, and it's characters. Taeko shines a light on Japanese women, sure, but anyone can relate to her story. And I mean *anyone*. We are who we are, not just because of the choice we make. Sometimes, the choices made for us are what make us. This film gives it's viewer the opportunity to chase dreams. And above all - happiness.

Rating: ****/*****

FULL PRICE

+ Studio Ghibli's most realistic story
+ Gorgeous animation
+ Never ending substance
+ Stellar voice acting in both languages
- Pacing can be a little slow...
+ ...But if you don't mind, then sky's the limit

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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 ShadowMikoto on Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:53 pm

I mostly just watch animated movies. If I were to choose a non-animated movie though, it would be the Count of Monte Cristo, which was a movie I seen in theaters and really liked. I also really liked Hansel and Gretel (the newest movie for it) My favorite animated movie would be Coraline.

So if I were to categorize these as top three favorites, they would be:






ShadowMikoto
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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:14 pm

ShadowMikoto wrote:I mostly just watch animated movies. If I were to choose a non-animated movie though, it would be the Count of Monte Cristo, which was a movie I seen in theaters and really liked. I also really liked Hansel and Gretel (the newest movie for it) My favorite animated movie would be Coraline.

So if I were to categorize these as top three favorites, they would be:






Ooo! Nice selection there, Mikoto! Coraline is definitely the best of the bunch. The new Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was really fun, too. Gemma Arterton was a hot Gretel. kawaiidesuplz

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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 ShadowMikoto on Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:18 pm

Luu Sky Sapphire wrote:
ShadowMikoto wrote:I mostly just watch animated movies. If I were to choose a non-animated movie though, it would be the Count of Monte Cristo, which was a movie I seen in theaters and really liked. I also really liked Hansel and Gretel (the newest movie for it) My favorite animated movie would be Coraline.

So if I were to categorize these as top three favorites, they would be:






Ooo! Nice selection there, Mikoto! Coraline is definitely the best of the bunch. The new Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was really fun, too. Gemma Arterton was a hot Gretel. kawaiidesuplz

I agree, I agree! Mikoto Minagi Brave is another animated movie that I really like, too!

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Re: Favorite movies and film reviews

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