Toy Story 3 Review

toy_story_three_ver11

Plot Synopsis

Long time no see cowboy! It’s been many countless years and toy owner Andy has grown up from the young boy he was years ago. In the midst of his preparations for college, the beloved gang of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and friends are left in confusion as to what will happen to them. Andy makes the decision to donate them to a daycare where the toys will be played with to their hearts’ content. With addition of new toys such as Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear, Barbie, and Ken, the visit is bound to be adventurous. The thought of being admired by countless children seemed like a dream come true, however, not all is well in this daycare and the gang must quickly escape before they’re stuck in the there forever.

Characters

toy-story-3-woody

Woody
The renowned rootin, tootin, cowboy and sheriff of the entire toy gang. Sparked with kindness and smart maneuvers, Woody gives it his in all when it comes to making sure all toys are treated fairly and bringing smiles to children everywhere especially Andy. Never one to back down, Woody is always there for his owner and commits to it wholeheartedly. Join this rowdy cowboy in another epic adventure that will surely make you “Reach for the Sky!”

toy_story_3_andy

Andy
No longer the young boy from the first Toy Story that we all once knew, Andy has significantly grown up from his stages of childhood to young adulthood. Already nearing college, Andy must now make the ultimate decision that we all wondered at some point: what will happen to the toys?

toy-story-3-buzz3

Buzz Lightyear
The Space Ranger Hero who’s continuing his duties to save the earth from evil starting with protecting his toy friends in Andy’s room. Naturally manufactured as a leader, Buzz has a voice of reason that guides the mood and atmosphere of the group. Ready to take off against those who threaten his friends, Buzz will be sure to rocket us into an adventure that is “To Infinity…and Beyond!”

Review

Spectacular. Marvelous. Stunning. This movie encompasses all of them and MORE. Pixar stood over the top with this film as if they just picked up characters from over ten years ago and stacked them into a movie like nothing happened! I must say Toy Story 3 has been a long time coming, but hey it’s finally here and truly is a wonderful flick.

Let’s hit it off with the storyline. Each movie so far has dealt with a central theme that is pivotal in every person’s childhood: Toy Story – favoritism of toys, Toy Story 2 – stolen toys, and lastly, Toy Story 3 – growing up with toys. We’ve all wondered at some point, “What’s Andy going to do with them once he grows?” This is a very sensitive topic to bring up especially for the younger audience and many of us would think that Pixar will never allow that to be in sequel because of its sensitivity and potential impact on children. Yet, Pixar came up with an approach that is a magnificent breakthrough to attack this topic in a way that I am very pleased with and have no complaints about.

TOY STORY 3 Toy-Story-3-Easter-1

Wp3_ken_ts3_1600x1200

Ken
As the male counterpart of the popular doll Barbie, Ken dazzles the movie with his sparkling wardrobe and wondrous clothing style. Immediately infatuated with Barbie, it is no surprise that these two were literally made for each other. In time, Ken will have to learn that there is a greater value in friendship than what his endless supply of clothes can ever provide.

toy-story-3-lotso

Lotso
A soft teddy bear plush with a plum nose and delicious strawberry scent. Lotso runs the business that goes about at Sunnyside Daycare. He elicits a kindhearted and wise caretaker when first approached by Woody and friends, but deep down this strawberry scented bear is a hardened, ruthless grudge against children and their negligence of toys.

In regards to the cinematic techniques, Pixar incorporates nearly flawless movements and actions of toys as if they actually imitating real human behaviors in the form of toys. In addition, the colorful scheme that is embedded in a typical Toy Story movie is sharply contrasted by the dark atmosphere that is projected when Woody, Buzz and company encounter tough situations such as nighttime at the daycare or the trash melting scene. To accurately describe such beautiful design, visualize other recent Pixar works such as Up or Wall-E and amp it up from there.

Barbie-in-toy-story-3-meet-kin-barbie-movies-12946442-1280-1024

Barbie
A new addition to the gang from Andy’s sister Molly’s toy collection. Flawless in style, Barbie initially portrays a hopeless romantic who thinks that love was never made for her, but little does she know the manufacturers say otherwise when she meets Ken. Genuine in character, Barbie demonstrates the value of standing up for your friends no matter who they are or what they’re made of.

Onto character development, we can see that none of the main cast has lost touch with their respective roles such as Tom Hanks as Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz. And much to be expected, Pixar has splendidly retained the proper nature of these characters as Woody’s devotion to Andy, and Buzz’s deep value for friendship. However, I was overly shocked to witness classic Toy Story characters that were dropped from this production such as Lil Bo Peep from the first film or even the newly cured Wheezy from the second. Honestly, I wouldn’t expect Pixar to be willing to leave out such vital characters, but I suppose it is understandable since the theme of Toy Story 3 deals with growing up and of course, toys are trashed eventually.

With redefined animations, witty comedy, and a pillar of truth in theme, the revival of Toy Story has brought jovial responses from the audience and has brought an end to this trilogy in the most comforting and understanding way as possible. I absolutely urge you all to watch the trilogy and be touched by the transition of childhood to adulthood with toy pals who are always there for you and as Woody would say, “You got friend in me.”

Rating: 9.5/10

Produced by: Pixar Animation Studios

Director: Lee Unkrich

Toy-Story-3-Poster

Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki Review

Wolf Children Ame and Yuki

Plot Synopsis 

Setting in a common suburban area, 19 year old Hana leads the casual lifestyle of a college teenager. However, while in class, Hana takes great interest in Ookami who turns out not being a college student. It is revealed that his nature is that of a wolf man, and two fall into young love only to soon start a family with the upbringing of a girl and boy, Yuki and Ame. Misfortune hovers over them as one day, the Wolf Man is found dead leaving Hana to care for her children alone. Join Hana as she faces the trials of a single mother raising two wolf children as well as the evolution of Yuki and Ame and their journey of finding their place in the world.

                                  Characters                                                                                                                                                                                       Characters 

wolf_children_2

Hana
A 19-year old college student who falls deeply in love with a wolf-man that she encounters in class one day. Wholeheartedly kind and caring in nature, Hana exemplifies a mother who goes out of her way and beyond to give everything to her children.

24227-Ookami

Ookami (Wolf Man)
A mysterious young man who occasionally sneaks into college courses only to be noticed by Hana. After opening up his heart and true nature to Hana, Ookami takes on the role of a father. With honest and kind intentions, he cares dearly for his family’s safety and wellbeing and will go the distance even if that means confronting death itself.

Wolf_Children-003

Yuki
Hana’s eldest daughter and most needy child. Exuberant and energetic, Yuki yearns to explore what the outside world and its people. However, she sees her bestial transformation as a huge hindrance to fulfill her wish. Yuki will have to understand that being different is good and defines us as a person and human being.

the-wolf-children-ame-and-yuki

Ame
Hana’s youngest wolf child. Ame is portrayed as a weak and shy young boy who lacks confidence. From this, he embodies the idea of a “lone wolf.” With no friends, Ame looks to the animals inhabiting the forest for guidance and teaching. Little does he know that strong contact with nature will foster his growth into a proud and confident alpha leader.

Review

From the plot synopsis, many of you will immediately think “Oh, another twilight spinoff…great!” But this movie goes deeper and transcends the typical wolf man-woman relationship. The film goes into depth on the hardships of being a single mother as well as shedding light upon two youngsters who are born “different.” Yes, it is not 3D animated, but director Mamoru Hosoda has projected a familiar moral of family with 2D animations that does more than enough in teaching us all a lesson.

To start off, the storyline was spectacularly magnificent. The introduction of the film sets upon Hana, a college student, who falls madly in love with Ookami, a stranger, as if following the idea of “young love” from Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. Even though Hana was impregnated at such a young age and most people would condemn such hasty, reckless action, she was ultimately happy. Happy to have a family, happy to share her love, and happy to have Ookami beside her. She portrays a strong and responsible young mother who is not saddened by her pregnancy, but embraces it as a gift. And the film does take into account the low income of a college student with no family aid. Even the father Ookami mans up and takes responsibility for his children with no complaint. At this point, I was overwhelmed by the raw emotion of such a heart filled and lovely family. It amazed me that with such a controversy issue with teenage pregnancy, the couple acknowledged it rather than demean it.

However, the climax arrived with the death of Ookami as he was hunting for food. A saddening scene that left me stunned as endless thoughts of how will the mother handle the working world and care for her children simultaneously emerged. This is the issue that makes this animated movie blossom beautifully. The journey truly starts here for the widowed family as money, education, and work environment are pitted against the trio. Yet, throughout the film, I never felt sympathy for the family because they always emphasized happiness above all else. Even with the “I want” stages of Yuki and Ame as kids was solved by the mother’s rational and fair judgement.

wolf-children-height-check 590200-hana_ame_yuki_snow__crop_

The movie brings forth a strong connection to the real world and that is its highest perk. It relatively portrays the struggles of any young, single mother trifled with countless struggles. And on top of that, the bestial attributes of her children reveals the prejudice of people’s notion of being different. Rather than shielding her children from the dangers of the outside world because of their wolf-like characters, Hana encourages their integration into the world. This powerfully depicts equality for all. The movie emphasizes that the theme that one’s birth should not deter them from being shunned by society. Embrace who you are and pursue what you ultimately want in the end as Yuki continued attending school and Ame chose the path of nature.

Overall, this one of kind film reintroduces the emotional power of 2D animations. With its mix of happiness, sorrow, and marvelous theme of pursuing your path, Wolf Children Ame and Yuki reaches out to the audience with a comforting hand that says, “Everything will be alright.”

Rating: 9/10

Produced by: Madhouse

Director: Mamoru Hosoda

mother-and-her-children

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift Review

Ice-Age-4_01

Plot Synopsis

Join us once more for a fourth time on an arctic adventure with the herd of Ice Age’s beloved Manny, Sid, and Diego. Still adjusting to the life of being a father, Manny has enough trouble trying to protect his teenage daughter Peaches from boys. However, when a cataclysm strikes divides the entire continent, the trio are left adrift the vast sea separated from their friends and family. Now Manny, Sid, and Diego must brave the storm as they encounter exotic sea creatures, explore a new world, and battle Captain Gutt and his fierce gang of pirates. And of course, we cannot forget about Scrat’s eternal search for reunion with his cursed nut.

Characters

ice-age-3-manny

Manfred (Manny)
A woolly mammoth who after three Ice Age installments has moved on from his tragic past and puts his family with wife Ellie and daughter Peaches above all else. Always serious when it comes to situations, Manny has developed a more relaxed nature when with his companions Sid and Diego. However, with his protective and caring nature, Manny continues to stand up for what he believes even if the odds are on the brink of despair. Remember he’s a “poofy” mammoth, not “fat.”

sid-shuffle

Sid
An underground sloth who even to this installment has been portrayed as a clumsy and unpopular fellow among the Ice Age brigade. As annoying and slow paced as he is, Sid brings a cheerful atmosphere to the group with his fantastic humor. Though his physique may not be as intimidating as a mammoth or ferocious as a saber tooth, you can count on this messy fella to keep friendship as his first priority.

images

Diego
A smilodon or better known as a saber toothed cat with the passionate instincts of protecting his companions. A sarcastic personality makes up the entity of this fearsome feline. Diego portrays to us a “tough guy” persona, but behind all this rough fur is a heart of gold. This fellow is ready to pounce on any enemy who dares lay their filthy claws on his friends.

Review

I seriously cannot believe that the fourth installment of Ice Age is already dawning upon us. Here’s a quick refresher on the saga: the first film Ice Age came out slightly over 10 years ago. Feeling kinda old now don’t you? As superb and splendid as the first film one, I have to say though that each sequel was just “good enough” and not at all spectacular or strays away to be unique from the first release.

Sure, the animations have definitely bumped up from the last ten years, but that is simply not enough to drag me to re-watch this movie. Manny and the herd have amped up in detail and design, however, this film is exactly like other sequels such as the Shrek and Madagascar franchise. Let’s begin with the storyline. It should be blatantly obvious that the good guys in these sorts of happy-go-lucky movies always win at the end, but HOW they win is more important. It is up to the directors and producers to convey a meaning way to make the good guys win each time. But, with Ice Age 4, the story is terrible. Getting lost at sea because of a continental divide is a good start, but the dramatic scenes that emerged were in no way at all dynamic or meaningful.  I won’t spoil the story for you, but you can pretty much pretty how it’s going to end without me having to mention anything.

Film Review Ice Age 4

iceage-cast07

Shira
A white, female saber toothed tiger and Captain Gutt’s first mate of the arctic ship. With her dazzling beauty, Shira makes quick work on Diego as she charms him from ever fighting against her. Now don’t be so easily romanced by her, she knows when to put up a good fight and is persistent in her goals. Even more cunning and sly than the captain himself, Shira loyally serves the captain with no resistance because he once saved her during her deepest moments of despair.

iceage-cast06

Captain Gutt
A gigantopithecus and malicious captain of the high seas with his long sharpened fingernails ready to “gut” out any one threatening his turf. Captain Gutt projects the idea that all the seas are automatically his possession the moment he began sailing with his ferocious mates. Though kind at first, don’t be fooled by this primate’s sly tactics to make you a slave for his ship.

Manny is conveyed as such “tough guy” in the film that he doesn’t seem to be willing to offer his friendship to outsiders. Thank the heavens Sid is there to actually put in some heart and comedy to this movie. He is what makes the first Ice Age so comical in the first place. And introducing the pirate crew was pretty interesting, but they weren’t the least bit scary or intimidating. It’s as if the filmmakers thought of some wild extinct species and plastered them with pirate gear. And of course, there’s Scrat with his off-story quest for acorns as usual. I think I have seen enough of this little guy trying his hardest for a measly acorn that he ends up losing in the first three films. Now the dialogue has its perks at times, but that’s about it. The jokes made were barely enough to make me giggle. And any heartfelt monologues within the movie were dull and lacked passion. At least give me something good to hear while I’m spending an hour and a half on you Ice Age.

Overall, I am highly disappointed with Ice Age 4 with its lack of good dialogue, character development, and story line. Save yourself an hour or two and don’t bother watching it. And for the others of you who do, at least the animation is still top notch.

Rating: 4/10

Produced by: Blue Sky Studios

Director: Mike Thurmeier

ice_age_4_continental_drift-wide

The Lorax Review

the-lorax-movie-poster

Plot Synopsis

Inside the globe of Thneedville, everything is artificial and even the air itself is a selling product. Young idealist Ted Wiggins chases after finding a tree to win his dream girl Audrey. His adventures leads him to the abandoned outskirts of the city inhabited by the Once-ler, a ruined old businessman. Upon hearing the tale of how the Once-ler fell into greed for sheer wealth, devastated the once Truffula-filled land, and above all, betrayed the friendship of the Lorax. Inspired to undo the wrong, Ted is gifted with a Truffula Seed, the last spark of hope the city has of integrating trees back into society. However, the money-hungry major Aloysius O’Hare is determined to retaliate against all of Ted’s efforts.

the-lorax-movie-review-orange

The Lorax
With his short-stacked stature and majestic moustache, this whimsical Guardian of the Forest does everything in his power to protect and secure the natural wonders of the woodland. The Lorax himself does not boast his powers to others, but is seen as an equal to humans and animals. His caring and cheerful nature makes him loved by his peers. With his nonviolence logic, how will the Lorax approach the greed that sleeps within the heart of the young Once-ler?

Review

the-lorax-once-ler2

Once-ler
A eccentric youth on a journey to create a “Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need.” Once settled on the sacred land of the Lorax, the Once-ler sought to chop down beautiful Truffula Trees for his invention. However, having lost his moral goodness and being corrupted by greed, he devastates the land to garner wealth only to be left with nothing in the end once resources run out. Having realized his mistake, can the Once-ler redeem his actions before the land becomes a forgotten barren?

2011_the_lorax_wallpaper_008

Ted Wiggins
An idealistic 12-year old boy in Thneedville who lives in a world where trees are nonexistent and everything revolves around air. Motivated to find a tree in order to impress his love interest Audrey, Ted heads out to the wasteland now inhabited by an aged Once-ler for advice. However, in order to find a tree requires him to take a stand against the people’s acceptance of the norm. Can he convince that trees are necessary for a better life before all chances of a natural life is gone?

With the 108th birthday of the highly renowned and esteemed Dr. Seuss on March 2, 2012, came the 3D animated film from the book The Lorax interpreted and produced by Illumination Entertainment. I must say that I was overwhelmed by excitement if this was anything like the film adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who. His works of eloquent rhymes can always put a glisten across my face and just brightens up the atmosphere. Thus, from my previous encounters with his books, I expected nothing, but excellence from this movie.

Immediately from the start, the film bombards the audience with an introductory upbeat musical performed by the carefree people of Thneeville. The film does not fail to get straight to the point. From reviews that I have read about this, most critics simply gave it a below average rating of 50% primarily because of several factors.

First, it does not directly quote every single dialogue from the book and that supposedly takes it away from being an authentic Dr. Seuss classic. However, let’s be real here. The book can be read in 10 minutes tops compared to an adaptation that must run 1.5 hours. The producers have to make it realistic to a point by including dialogue fillers which I found was very enticing and comedic.

?????????????????????

theneed-vill

Aloysius O’Hare
The beloved mayor of Thneedville and moneymaker of selling clean oxygen.O’Hare was once at the bottom of the chain in status level, but made his way to the top when trees slowly died out. However, O’Hare is threatened by the young Ted when he attempts to plant a tree inside the city which would provide free clean air thus, jeopardizing O’Hare’s business. O’Hare encompasses the true evil nature of greed and will stop at nothing to silence the voice of the Lorax within Ted.

Second, the main character Once-ler never showed his full appearance within the book in comparison to the film that completely revealed his visage. Some found this to be the bottom line of the film because it takes away the mystery of his identity within the original storyline. I, on the other hand, thought it was a good addition. Remember, this film was aimed at a young audience, and how dissatisfied would they be if there was no conclusive on the depiction of the Once-ler. Consider how many films you have seen where a movie adaptation completely followed every, single scene within the book.

Now with that out of the way, let’s move onwards to the storyline. I found the tale of The Lorax to be quite adorable and lovable in all aspects. For a Guardian of the Forest, the Lorax is just a down to earth short stacked critter who encompasses the ideals of an environmentalist. It is also notable that the author and producers did not grant him any godly powers. This is a vital characteristic because it advocates the notion of nonviolence. Although mankind takes and never seems to give back, Dr. Seuss and Illumination Entertainment excellently portray that the pain of greed is fully realized when there is nothing left to take, and in retrospect, man’s small actions alone become his greatest enemy.

The inhabitants of the forest constantly bring enlightenment to the film with their charismatic and upbeat nature. Silent in commentary, the critters exert the theme that happiness centers on the comfort of companions and family. It demonstrates that the greed for materialistic comforts such as the Once-ler in his youth seeking cash from his invention should not be pursued. Though the scenes weren’t exactly action-packed, it was good enough for the film to maintain the upbeat and jolly flow that the Dr. Seuss books encompass. This was also demonstrated through the animation with the cartoony feel.

Overall, The Lorax was truly a jubilant animated film that can capture the youthful hearts of the older generations as well as continuing to entice wonder in younger folks. I would 120% recommend this film to any Dr. Seuss lover and for those not familiar with his work, it will definitely hook you.

Rating: 8.5/10

Produced by: Illumination Entertainment

Director: Chris Renaud

the_lorax_hd_wallpaper-wide

Rise of the Guardians Review

rise_of_the_guardians_ver8

Synopsis

Bewildered and clueless about his birth into the world as an immortal entity, Jack Frost soars with the chilly winds enchanting the weather with snowfall and frozen lakes creating endless fun for children everywhere. However, with little recognition and belief from the children, Jack continually wonders the earth invisible to everyone with a lonely persona. Yet, when Pitch Black seeks to insulate the world into eternal chaos and nightmares, Jack must team up with other fairy tale legends to counter Pitch’s schemes at all costs before children stop entirely believing in these tales and thus, ceasing their existence. Along the epic adventure, Jack also must comprehend why he was chosen to be a Guardian with his magical talents, but there a great divide between being chosen a Guardian and being a Guardian.

Characters

Rise-of-the-Guardians-Jack-Frost-poster

Jack Frost
An immortally young and supernatural being chosen by the Moon to be a Guardian. Unlike the other Guardians, Jack roams the earth alone relinquishing an abundance of snow and ice to which his magical abilities center around. He personifies the classic rebel without cause, yet is charismatic and witty in nature. Simply trying to find his place in the world, Jack must first attempt to understand his purpose before even taking on the role of a Guardian.

movies_rise_of_the_guardians_4

Nicholas St. North (Santa Claus)
An immense and buff legend who is very well known for sleighing across the night of Christmas Eve delivering presents. North possesses a heart of gold and is skilled in the mastery of swordsmanship. Whether naughty or nice, as long as the child believes in him, North will always be prepared to fight for their sake. As Guardian of Wonder, North indulges in preserving the everlasting curiosity of children.

rise-of-the-guardians-easter-bunny-poster

E. Aster Bunnymund (Easter Bunny)
Of Pooka descent, Bunnymund is the lone survivor of his race among other 6 foot bunny warriors of philosophical legend. Part sorceror, Part ninja, and entirely brilliant, Bunnymund uses his intricate tunnel system to travel at high speed across the earth. He takes great pride and seriousness in his duty of being a Guardian, and as Guardian of Hope, he yearns to bring about joyful expectations for children to look forward to with his Easter eggs.

Review

Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy all in one film? I never thought the big three would be in the same film any time soon, but looks like it’s here already! To start off, I have to say the interpretation of these classic legends are simply miraculous. Who would have ever thought of Santa Claus having the words “Naughty” and “Nice” tattooed on his forearms or that the Easter Bunny was skilled in boomerangs or that the Tooth Fairy was of hummingbird hybrid? To be completely honest, I had no absolutely clue who the Sandman was before the film. But hey! At least I know now!

Jack Frost is quite the charmer I must say. Even as an animated figure, DreamWorks did a splendid job in molding a handsome rebel that captures the nature of young teens. It truly makes him more admirable as he sees the good in himself throughout the film. The Boogeyman himself was not as terrifying as I visualized him to be as a child. I found his nightmare horses to be more horrific than he himself. I understand that DreamWorks wanted to make it highly suitable for children, but give us older folks here a little scare at least. His animation structure simply depicts a typical man clothed in all black. What’s scary about that?

Onto the story line, I must say the movie started out terribly slow and unpleasing. The movie took a large majority of the introduction to set the stage giving a brief glimpse of each of the Guardians which is indeed necessary, but need not consume so much time. Throughout the film, I was outright confused by the names the characters went by such as Santa Claus going by “North” or the Man in the Moon called “MiM.” Much of my time while watching the film was stuck on who the characters were referring to rather than enjoying the film itself. I also think that by addressing them by their original names would connect with the younger audience more just because it sets out a familiar term that is well known.

Rise-of-the-Guardians-01

-Sandman-rise-of-the-guardians-32653294-800-600

Sandy (Sandman)
Peaceful by nature, Sandy is a truly compassionate and caring friend who values his relationships with the other Guardians and is respected as being the first ever Guardian. As the Guardian of Dreams, Sandy does not speak a single word for fear of waking up children as they dream happily. This leads him to communicate through the usage of his dream sand as it manifests images as if he’s constantly playing charades. However, he is ready to whip off any nightmares endangering the lives of any child.

riseofguardianspostersmall3

Toothiana (Tooth Fairy)
Tooth is a hybrid of part human and part hummingbird and serves as the leaders of her mini-fairy helpers. Her duty lies in collecting baby teeth and leaving behind money. Bubbly, elegant, and even a fierce fighter, Tooth is completely infatuated with Jack and his pearly, glistening teeth. As Guardian of Memory, Tooth’s collection of teeth hold the memories of children and even, the answer to Jack Frost’s origins.

I truly loved the idea that the Tooth Fairy’s collection of teeth hold memories of the children. Even the Guardians’ baby teeth are in her possession. This smoothly paved the way into Jack Frost seeking his own teeth with memories of his past life. And along with this, brings about the common theme that the greatest deeds done need no public recognition. They are great as long as you perceive them to be. And in addition, the teeth memory scene conveys to the audience that even these renowned legends were once human too. It is what they did unseen in their past lives that made them worthy to be immortal Guardians.

The ending of the movie left an unsettling feeling for me. It gave a seriously weird ending message that went something like, “Remember that when the Moon tells you to do something, You do it.” That was completely unexpected and not at all pleasing for an ending. It baffled me that this terribly cliche quote would serve as the ending. If anything, it was horribly worded giving off the notion that if the moon ever tells you to do something, you should seriously do it.

The_moon

The Man in the Moon (MiM)
Little is known about this mysterious man except that he is the first Guardian to live on the moon. He is depicted as a silent, but active observer of the events that occur on earth and communicates to the Guardians through the shining of his radiance.

Rise of the Guardians - Pitch Bogeyman

Pitch Black (The Boogeyman)
As King of Nightmares, Pitch is the arch nemesis of the Guardians who is shunned and unacknowledged by children because of the Guardians’ protections. However, that is all about to change as Pitch unleashes his demonic horses and nightmares upon children to reinforce fear and regain his dominance in the spiritual world.

Overall, a stunning animation that incorporates the wonders of classic fairy tale legends. Though some work could have been done to polish the design and dialogue, it does not stop the film from imposing wonder on us all.

Rating: 8/10

Produced by: DreamWorks Animation

Director: Peter Ramsey

Rise of the Guardians iPad 4 wallpapers 2048x2048 (02)

Brave Review

pixar_brave_2012-wide

Plot Synopsis

As a toddler living in the earls of Scotland, Merida always sought adventure and pursued it willingly with no fear. Yet, her mishaps lured the danger of a colossal scarred bear named Mor’du towards her father and mother: King Fergus and Queen Elinor. After losing one of his foot in the brutal battle, King Fergus was able to secure the safety of his family while the beast vanished into the forest. Years later, Merida has grown into an impetuous and beautiful young lady fit enough to be betrothed. However, during the competitive ceremony of deciding her bachelor, Merida causes an upsetting dilemma to delay the event causing great havoc among the clans fighting for her hand in marriage. An angered argument between Merida and her mother creates a divide between their relationship leading Merida to seek a magic wish to let her live her life. Little does Merida know that her one wish for happiness could potentially ruin the kingdom. Will she be able to atone for her mistakes and secure peace for the land with only a moment of time left?

Characters

Brave_merida_card

Merida
A passionate and headstrong teenager born into royal stature, Merida seeks independence and freedom from the domestic and boring expectations as a princess of the King and Queen. Her wild spirit and untamed hair impeccably match her persona in every way. Skilled in archery and sword fighting, Merida adopts her vibrancy from her father and also, her kindheartedness from her mother. When Merida breaks family tradition, she is forced to face her consequences, but will she be able to correct them before an all out war is started among the clans?

KING-FERGUS

King Fergus
A heroic and renowned warrior especially for his skirmish with the beast Mor’du, Fergus bears a peg leg in memory of his great battle. His vendetta towards Mor’du manifests Fergus as a determined bear hunter. Fergus holds boundless love and security over his family and kingdom. With an unmatched pride in his daughter Merida, Fergus gifts her with a passion for the sword and bow.

brave-queen-elinor-wallpaper

Queen Elinor
A respectable majesty who truly embodies grace, wisdom, and strength in her reign. Completely opposite to her husband, Elinor maintains the peace across the kingdom and her family with her incredible diplomatic actions. Elinor hopes to instill her daughter Merida with the same poise she has been raised to be. Yet, when Elinor’s ideals conflict with the rebellious nature of Merida, a family trouble escalates to threaten the land.

Review

Finally, Pixar presents to us a female protagonist! And boy oh boy, she is fiery and compassionate like her hair. Brave truly promotes the beautiful theme that family will be there in your times of need. And in addition, portrays that even in royal standings, the core of the family does not change nor does wealth change its essence. The film centers itself on the controversy of controlling destiny. And that is a splendid topic to introduce to the younger audience since it sets into the motion the idea that no boundaries or obstacles are too outstanding to hinder your life goals.

Brave-Triplets

Harris, Hubert, and Hamish
Also known as the Triplets of mayhem, these three are quite adorable, but don’t be fooled! Their sly smiles and mischievous pranks always stir up trouble in the kingdom especially when it comes to getting sweets. This trio of mischief share an unfathomable bond with their beloved sister Merida. These three princes truly cannot get enough of hassling their father King Fergus with their giggling and fun pranks.

I found the animation to be very fluid in its texture and execution. The Scottish accent dialogue made the movie truly enjoyable especially since it provided an intriguing intake. Although it was a bit over the top at times, for the most part, it did corresponded with the script overall. To be honest, the story line was fairly predictable, but that is commonly expected of Pixar films. It would be too traumatic for cartoon characters especially of Pixar and Disney descent to not have a happy ending.

tumblr_m3gt8iZrSr1qjwdr9

Mor’du
A bestial legend of 15 foot covered in battle scars and tilted arrows. Mor’du has been terrorizing the Scotland domain for ages and no one can fathom why. His ferociousness and fearsome tank of a body matches his instincts as Mor’du has taken the very foot of King Fergus during a tragic dilemma. However, there is a greater tale to be understood behind the battle marks of this beast.

-Brave-brave-31719356-1920-1200

Aside from the cons, I adored the position the film takes on controlling destiny because it really does inspire the audience to go out and take charge of their lifestyles whether it is passionately chasing after something or finding a less paid job, but enjoyable at the same time.

Overall, Brave follows the guidelines as set out by previous Pixar directors and doesn’t offer much variance in story line, but it does provide that same old nostalgic inspiration.

Rating: 7/10

Produced by: Walt DisneyPictures

Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman

MERIDA WALECZNA (BRAVE) 2012

Hotel Transylvania Review

hotel-transylvania-movie-poster-international1

Plot Synopsis

In 1895, Dracula built a 5-star hotel specifically for monsters in hopes of protecting his precious daughter Mavis from the humans and their wicked ways. In present times, the resort has risen to the name of Hotel Transylvania and homes an abundance of monsters vacationing to get away from the humans. On one special weekend, Dracula invites all monsters that ever existed from Frankenstein, the Werewolf, Invisible Man, the Mummy, and many more to celebrate the 118th Birthday of his daughter. When the party is about to start, the 21-year old human named Jonathan stumbles into the hotel forcing Dracula disguises him as a monster in an attempt to avoid havoc in the resort. However, when Mavis feels an attraction towards Jonathan and ignores her father’s advice on the humans, will Dracula be able to accept this forbidden “zing” or terminate it before any other chaos stirs in Hotel Transylvania?

Characters

Hotel-Transylvania-Poster-1-650x520

Dracula
Owner of Hotel Transylvania, Dracula is a strong yet, overprotective father who prioritizes the safety of his daughter Mavis above all else. Holding a strong grudge against the humans, Dracula will stop at nothing to prevent all encounters with them so that no other monsters will be harmed. Yet, with the arrival of Jonathan and Mavis’ crush on him, will Dracula choose the happiness of his own daughter or protect her from the terrible humans?

mavis-hotel-transylvania-15083-1920x1080 (1)

Mavis
Offspring of Dracula himself, Mavis is a typical 118-year old teenage girl who wants nothing more than to explore the world and escape the domain of her childhood. However, the land itself is infested with the terrifying humans. When the arrival of the human Jonathan enters the hotel, Mavis will have to rebel against the grounds of her own father to chase after her one and only “zing.”

64767

Jonathan
A 21-year old who loves the freedom of exploration within the world. Jonathan is scared out of his mind when he realizes that his stay at Hotel Transylvania and its inhabitants are not your typical tenants. To make matters worse, Jonathan has been forced to emulate as a monster to keep his human identity a secret. Not on the best terms with Dracula for “zinging” with Mavis, can Jonathan teach the monsters that the humans are not the fire-torching and heart-staking villains they portray them to be?

Review

This monster-filled movie reminds a lot of Pixar’s Monster’s Inc. where the monsters play the role of the good guys and humans are depicted as being the actual “monsters.” The animations themselves are above par, but are not entirely stellar. I thought it was a great turn in uniting fearsome monster classics into one film, but characterizing them to be not the most frightening creatures really defeats the purpose of them being classic thrillers. However, I do understand that the film was more directed towards a younger audience and even as an 18-year old college student, I did find the movie hilarious with its comedy and saddening at several scenes. Therefore, adults and the older generation might get a kick out of the film, but that’s nearly it; a kick. I must admit there were terribly dull scenes at times that dragged out the inevitable and predictable plot that would unravel.

hotel-transylvania

64765

Frankenstein
A tall-tale monster renowned for his over sized body, but little does legend know that Frankenstein has one of the biggest hearts. Best friend to Dracula and “Uncle Frank” to Mavis, Frankenstein has lost his monstrous side and in fact, is just a lovable lug. He is bewildered and surprised when he meets a cousin he has never met named “Johnnystein” (Jonathan in disguise).

thn-Hotel-Transylvania-Banner-5-281x300

Wayne the Werewolf
Office worker by day and tired father by night, Wayne and his wife have produced litters and litters of pups. With no respect from any of his kids, Wayne is bummed out from his dull and repetitive life. However, his visit to Hotel Transylvania excites him as he can be himself without too much worrying about the havoc his children will do and leaving their cleanups to the witch-maid service.

Throughout the movie, the embodiment for the word “love” is replaced with the notion of a “zing.” This could have been done to pave the road towards defining the first simple stages of love itself.  Though the idea was nice, I found it excruciatingly annoying that the film constantly repeated the phrase, “You only zing once in your life.” This sounds familiar to you? It should be since it’s essentially the reemphasize of the motto that people nowadays are throwing known as “YOLO” or “You only live once.” Whenever a character said it during the movie, it stung my ears swollen.

64772

Murray the Mummy
Always the center of attention at parties, Murray brings a boisterous and enthusiastic character to the field of monsters. Having to spend most of every year in his Egyptian tomb entertaining the Pharaohs Murray is always ready to lighten up the parties hosted at Hotel Transylvania

griffinthe_invisible_man_david_spade_in_hotel_transylvania

Griffin the Invisible Man
Don’t be fooled by this guy’s lack of visibility. Griffin is by far one of the wittiest monsters at Hotel Transylvania and always goofs off with his friend Dracula. Don’t judge a book by its covers, or Griffin will be giving paybacks soon enough.Aside from the cons, Hotel Transylvania really is an attractive film to behold. What it lacks in some fields, it makes up for in the enjoyment of watching the undead king Dracula panic like never before. And who would have thought that even Dracula acts like a typical father to his kin. I personally found the dialogue to be quite ingenious not to mention Adam Sandler playing the Drac-man himself made the character gold in voice. The movie itself does a splendid job in reminding us people in our current era that happiness is really a choice and no bounds should stop you from indulging in this jubilant and wonderful feeling.

Aside from the cons, Hotel Transylvania really is an attractive film to behold. What it lacks in some fields, it makes up for in the enjoyment of watching the undead king Dracula panic like never before. And who would have thought that even Dracula acts like a typical father to his kin. I personally found the dialogue to be quite ingenious not to mention Adam Sandler playing the Drac-man himself made the character gold in voice. The movie itself does a splendid job in reminding us people in our current era that happiness is really a choice and no bounds should stop you from indulging in this jubilant and wonderful feeling.

Overall, I would recommend people to watch this flick when you’re in a need of a good laugh here and there. Don’t be so harsh to judge this film and it does bring a smile on your face when you see a heart felt side of Dracula once you look past the “blah blah blah I’m going to suck your blood!” So get your reservations ready, and I do hope you enjoy your stay at the 5-star resort Hotel Transylvania.

Rating: 7.5/10

Produced by: Columbia Pictures

Director:  Genndy Tartakovsky

hotel-transylvania (1)

Wreck-It Ralph Review

Wreck-it-Ralph

Plot Synopsis

In the 8-bit game Fix-it Felix, the main Bad Guy Wreck-it Ralph simply wants to be appreciated like his Good Guy counterpart Felix Jr. But there’s just one problem: No one ever loves the Bad Guys. Game after game and with each defeat, Felix Jr. is awarded medal after medal for his noble acts of valor against each of Ralph’s rampage on Niceland’s buildings and its tenants. Shunned by his community and unappreciated, Ralph comes to the conclusion that in order to be truly welcomed he needs to obtain a medal – a symbol of honor and accomplishment. He sets out into the arcade gaming sphere and sneakily makes it into the first person shooter game Hero’s Duty featuring Sergeant Calhoun where a medal is offered daily to winning players. However, Ralph wrecks everything in his attempt for the medal and accidentally unleashes a threatening enemy that can potentially corrupt every arcade game. Ralph’s wild adventure leads him to the candy-coated realm of racers titled Sugar Rush where he meets “The Glitch” Vanellope von Schweetz, a sharp-tongued program who too is dismissed by her people. Ruler of the sugar domain, the flamboyant King Candy seeks to rid of “The Glitch” at all costs. With Felix Jr. and Sergeant trailing Ralph’s wreckage to fix his actions, will Ralph realize what it means to be a Good Guy before the growing enemy shuts down the gaming universe?

Characters

wreck-it-ralph-ralph

Ralph
For 30 years, Ralph has been keeping up his job as the villain of the arcade game Fix-it Felix. Yet, everyday grows harder to love his job as no one seems to like him for doing it. Simply wanting to be accepted by the community and recognized for his contribution to the game, Ralph sets out on a journey into the arcade network to prove that just because he’s a bad guy doesn’t mean he’s a “bad guy.”

wreck-it-ralph-vanellope

Vanellope von Schweetz
Termed as “The Glitch,” Vanellope is a pixelated program who’s been shunned by the sugar-coated inhabitants of the candy-filled racing arcade game Sugar Rush. With a racer’s spirit encoded inside her, Vanellope yearns to contest against the other racers at the starting lineup. Even though she possesses crude humor, underneath that hard exterior is a sweet and lovable center.

1440_Wreck-It Ralph, Fix-It Felix Jr.

Fix-it Felix, Jr.
The star good guy of the arcade game Fix-it Felix, Felix embodies the niceness and willingness to help as programmed to be of a “good guy.” With his magical golden hammer that holds the power to fix any and everything, Felix is constantly praised by Niceland’s tenants as he is awarded medal after medal. However, can Felix and his hammer fix the wreckage left behind by Ralph’s wild adventure?

wreck-it-ralph-calhoun

Sergeant Calhoun
Don’t be deceived by this lady’s pretty visage. Inside her is a rooting-tooting heart of steel as she commands and leads the forces of the game Hero’s Duty towards humanity’s freedom. Sergeant Calhoun will stop at nothing to protect the player against the infested epidemic, Cy-Bug.

King Candy
All hail the sugary reign of King Candy, ruler of the race track and game Sugar Rush. Renowned as the best racer on the lineup, King Candy rules with a bubbly and eccentric persona, but he is heatedly strict when mention of “The Glitch” Vanellope rings the bells in his ears.

Review

As a solid Disney fan, I was immediately sold by the digital animation with the trailer release. Wreck-it Ralph takes on a new spin compared to a typical Disney story line where now there is a role reversal on spotlight shining on the Bad Guy’s perspective. The film’s basis focusing on video games allows it to approach the concept in a myriad of ways. Merging old school classics with new school graphics, the movie targets not only children, but also adults who’ve had gaming nostalgia.

The dialogue of Wreck-it Ralph incorporates a variant of gaming puns and humor that any gamer new and old would instantly comprehend. I must personally say that the language was not a touch from genius. The creation of a central station for the gaming characters to all interact establishes a wonderful home place for the audience to watch as all their favorite avatars casually converse with each other. Alongside its comical side, Disney of course, introduces the “dark side” of the game sphere such as a gaming character that purposely sabotages another game is termed as going “turbo.”

Wreck-It Ralph Website

Ralph himself is such a lovable lug who is just misjudged by his title. Honestly, the way the tenants treat him was a hit to reality that people in real life behave significantly similar this. It may be harsh for the younger audience, but it is what it is. I found the friendship that evolved between Ralph and Vanellope to be an unpredictable one. I did not expect Vanellope to be as forgiving as she was throughout the film because of the tough shell she outlays. The story line itself was superbly innovative with its plot twists at unexpected moments and deep insight on the character development.

Overall, I would highly recommend this movie to watch as it will capture your childhood youth as it did with mine and what’s better than seeing your favorite Street Fighter character costarring with Sonic the Hedgehog?

Rating: 9/10

Produced by: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Director: Rich Moore

wreck-it-ralph-50a9b9c913c1a