Blog Archives

Toy Story 3 Review


Pixar, the animation studio responsible for the Toy Story series, has been riding high on their success. Their last two films, Wall-E and Up were lauded by audiences and critics alike (how often does that happen, eh?). It seemed like they were getting better every time, which is why I thought it was pretty lazy that they followed these two successes with a sequel: Toy Story 3.

Here’s what it’s about:

Woody must spring into action to rescue his fellow toys, who have been donated to a daycare, and get them home before their owner, Andy, leaves for college.

I was a little disappointed that they’d gone with a sequel, but I saw the film anyway, of course. I love kids’ movies, and I love 3D and I really love Pixar. So I caught a matinee with a bunch of five year olds having a birthday party.

Here’s what I thought:

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Top Ten Computer Animated Movies

Knicknack (1989) - one of the earliest computer generated shorts

In 1995, Pixar began the computer-generation trend in animated movies when they released Toy Story. Fifteen years later its second sequel, Toy Story 3, is in theaters. Between the first and third entries in the toy saga, hundreds of computer animated movies have been produced. Some were amazing box office titans, others were crappy straight-to-DVD releases that came packaged with children’s toys. If you’ve seen Toy Story 3 and are eager to go back through the ranks of its predecessors for some more animated fun, here are my personal top ten favorites in the computer animated movie category.

I based my choices on two things: how fun they are for both kids AND adults to watch, and how well the story manages to suck you in. Extra points were NOT awarded for being in 3-D or having famous voice actors or any of those other gimmicks.

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

iPod Stereo

The folks at Apple have spend millions (billions?) of dollars convincing us that we’re not cool unless we buy their products. Toward that end, they’re constantly coming out with newer, shinier, more unnecessary objects that suddenly everyone can’t live without (example: iPod). Why do they do all this? Because they want our money, of course!

Well Apple, if you want money, what’s better than having every teenager in the world buy an iPod to watch teensy tiny movies on? That’s right: having every teenager in the world buy TWO iPods to watch teensy tiny movies on!

How will we accomplish this, you ask? Simple. Modify the new iPods so that when two iPods are placed next to one another, they are able to simultaneously play the same video. If the viewer places one iPod in front of each eyeball: voila!

I call it: iPod Stereo. Like a pair of binoculars, it creates a 3-D like effect in your brain – the illusion of depth!  This is doubly appropriate because Apple likes to create the illusion that their products have depth (i.e. usefulness) when in reality they’re only meeting a demand that they themselves created through marketing the product (though there are possible exceptions for arty pursuits). And what’s more, you can even charge them extra for a little pair of plastic glasses to mount their two iPods in.

So I say to you, Apple, scheming money out of magpie teenagers: there’s an app for that!

Buy an iPod… or two

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Shrek Forever After Review

image copyright Dreamworks Animation
First of all, I should admit that I’ve never really been a Shrek devotee. I’ve never been able to get behind the Shrek series the same way I fell in love with other animated films like Finding Nemo or even Cars.

Maybe it’s just because its Dreamworks (who are perpetually coming in second to Pixar) or maybe it’s because Shrek isn’t cute. But I went to see them all in theaters anyway (I even own Shrek 2 on DVD), so I had to go see this one too – in 3D, naturally. It’s getting so that 2D is uncool.

If you’re coming into this review without a solid idea of what the film’s about or have somehow managed not to see the trailer 5,000 times while watching TV, here’s the gist of it:

Shrek, a family-ogre having a midlife crisis, is tricked into signing his life away by the mischievous Rumpelstiltskin and has to enlist the aid of his old pals Donkey, Puss in Boots, and Fiona (who now no longer know him) to get things back to the way they were.

If this sounds an awful lot like the plot of the second Shrek movie, where Shrek uses magic to fix his problems and ends up screwing everything up, you’re very perceptive. Because this movie is a lot like that, only less imaginative.

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Clash of the Titans Review

While I am inclined to like Sam Worthington (you’ll remember that he’s on the list), I am not inclined to like Greek mythology or indeed any story that features a lot of swords and dust and men wearing skirts, so I hesitated over Clash of the Titans. But the nature of the list meant I had to go, so I did. Twice. Once in 3-D and once in regular D. I wouldn’t have PAID for it twice, but the second time my Dad treated me.

If you haven’t already seen Clash of the Titans or the atrocious 1980s film of the same name that it’s based on, the basic story is this:

When gods Zeus (Liam Neeson) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) send a huge monster to punish mankind for its ingratitude, Perseus (Sam Worthington), a mortal son of Zeus who wants nothing to do with the gods, turns out to be the only one who can stop it.

You see, the Gods need mankind’s prayers. Mankind is not happy, so they’re not offering many. In a stroke of pure genius, Zeus (who sparkles like the Cylons from the old Battlestar Galactica) and Hades (who looks like Voldemort) decide that the best way to reinvigorate their gratitude is to send the Kraken to wipe out their city. (I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me more grateful than having huge fangy monsters sent to kill me).

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

How to Train Your Dragon Review


Since its inception, Dreamworks, as an animation studio, has trailed behind its primary competitor, Pixar. In pair-up after pair-up, Pixar’s are always the funny, warm-hearted, timeless classics, and Dreamworks’ are the pop-culture hobbled toilet humor fests with the depth of a teaspoon. Dreamworks has collaborated with other studios to produce Pixar-comparable films (such as Chicken Run and Flushed Away, which were done in conjunction with British animation studio Aardman.) But it’s not until now that I’ve really felt Dreamworks has made a truly stellar film all on its own.

How to Train Your Dragon is that film. It’s rare find among family films: a movie that kids will love but that parents won’t want to drill through their own heads to escape (as if you need an example, but: Chipmunks 2: The Squeakuel). In fact, there were plenty of adults in the theater, myself included, that had come out to see it on our own, without even using a young cousin as an excuse. The story goes something like this:

When Hiccup, a young Viking without much skill for fighting, brings down a type of dragon so rare that no one’s ever seen one, he finds himself making friends with it rather than fighting to the death with it in the Viking tradition.

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Avatar Review: the blue one, not the anime one

In my head, I have a list of film professionals (writers, directors, actors, composers, etc) whose involvement in a project triggers my automatic ticket purchase reflex. It won’t surprise you to learn that Avatar warranted a reflex purchase, but you might raise an eyebrow if I told you it was Sam Worthington’s name, not James Cameron’s, that triggered it. (If you’ve ever seen True Lies you know why James Cameron is not on the list).


I wanted to love Avatar. I went into the theater hoping to come out feeling the way I felt when I saw Star Wars for the first time – awestruck and excited. When it was over, I was forced to admit to myself that I was neither, though I couldn’t shake the feeling that if I maybe went to see it again, it would be better, just because I wanted it to so bad. So I did, but it wasn’t.

I can blame some of my disappointment on the hype. I tried to stay away from it. It was pretty easy in Cape Breton (the theater wasn’t even full on opening night) but impossible on the internet, which was teeming with pictures and videos and articles on James Cameron and his blue people. With so much anticipation built up, if Avatar was anything other than the most amazing and moving film ever made it was going to be a disappointment.

For those of you who are cave dwellers and STILL haven’t heard of it even though it’s made over a billion dollars, here are the cliff’s notes:

Avatar, a movie James Cameron has been working on for something like 15 years, is a full 3D film that blends live action with motion-captured CGI to create lush jungle planet called Pandora and the a race of blue natives that inhabit it.

The story follows Jake Sully, a wheelchair bound ex-marine who is recruited by a ruthless mining company to take over his dead twin’s avatar and finds himself caring more about the clan of natives he’s infiltrating than the interests of the company he works for.

Sounds amazing, right? And it is, sort of. Is it an amazing accomplishment? Yes. Should James Cameron quit now to rest on his laurels/money? No.

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Top 5/Bottom 5 Movies of 2009

First let me say that I’m not a professional movie critic. I actually have to PAY for all of my tickets, so naturally I haven’t seen everything, and I’m not putting movies on my list that I haven’t seen.

I was going to do Top 10 and Bottom 10 in separate articles, but then I realized that nearly half of the movies I’d seen would have to be on one list or the other (I counted, I’ve seen 42 movies this year, five of them more than once), so I pared it down to 5 of each.

There are some films (Hurt Locker and Bright Star in particular) that might have been on the “top” list if I’d seen them, but they never came to Sydney. I also tend to avoid movies if I think they’re going to be bad, so the ones on this list are the ones that slipped through my filters and/or I was dragged to by friends.

That said, on with the best and worst films I’ve seen in theaters in 2009.

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Page 27 of 27« First...1020«2324252627

SUBSCRIBE TO ZE EMAILS

Subscribe to Ze Feeds

Archives

More Ads By Google

Links by Google