The film opens on a chameleon named Lars during his daily routine of putting on productions with his fellow tankmates (AKA non-living items), a hobby that helps escape the static existence he has grown accustomed to. But when he literally hits a bump in the road he goes flying out of his owner’s car to be left alone in the middle of a desert. Venturing out away from the one marking of human civilization in this barren land, Lars eventually happens upon a small town called Dirt, where he is able to once again blend into his surroundings in the only way he knows how by stepping into the rough boots of Rango, a tough gunslinger who just might be what this town needs to survive in the worsening water shortage. [Read more...]
Rango’s story might be a familiar hodgepodge of classic film’s and such, but the title character and the amount of weirdness the film throws at us elevates it to accompany the incredible ILM animation.
To call the film is actually almost an understatement. The film constantly borderlines on being inappropriate for children, has some rather graphic imagery, and it is nearly photo realistically produced by the pros at Industrial Light and Magic. Please, ILM, make more animated films; beautiful stuff. I didn’t even get to see the film in its full digital glory, stuck watching on film, and it was still incredible to look at. But enough gushing on how pretty and weird it is.
The film follows Rango, a lizard, who has been living his life acting out scenes with his inanimate surroundings of his tank/cage. When he is bummed out the back of his owners car with nothing but his wind up orange fish in the middle of the desert he is sent along to discover Dirt. Dirt is a more or less waterless, western, town that is losing its town’s people by the day as their water supply has all but dried out. When Rango shows up he puts his acting talents to work and conjures up a tough guy persona for the townsfolk and soon finds himself as the leader on the hunt for the town’s water.
So I have already been excited for the upcoming film adaptation of The Tempest for a while now for more than a decent amount of reasons. Let’s just go down the list. 1 – Say what you will about Shakespeare re-appropriating stories and using crazy language that needs Sparknotes’ No Fear Shakespeare section to understand, that man is ridiculously awesome. Not relevant enough for you though? 2 – Julie Taymor is directing. Most probably know her for Across the Universe, but this isn’t her first time with Shakespeare based films. Oh, but you care about actors? Fine: 3 – This film stars Alfred Molina, Djimon Hounsou, Alan Cumming, Russell Brand, and Helen Mirren as magic man (or woman, as the case may be) Prospera. HELEN MIRREN! (Sorry, but after seeing RED I am having trouble not getting overly excited for her). So that compilation of facts was enough to get me on the bandwagon, and today things got even better when I saw the poster. So awesome!
When I originally heard that Disney was planning on making a feature length film based on the segment from the 1940s film Fantasia I was a little skeptical. Well, actually I was flooded with images of dancing hippos and potty training (don’t ask), but that’s neither here nor there. Like I was saying, I was skeptical; not Pirates of the Caribbean skeptical, but you get my point. And just like back in 2003 I am more than pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
Thinking past a mouse finding a roundabout way to do his chores, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice introduces a backstory spanning way back to the final days of the sorcerer Merlin as he fights to stop Morgana in the battle between good and evil. When the final spell has been cast Merlin lies dead, Morgana is entombed in a magical nesting doll, and Merlin’s apprentice Balthazar must now begin the long journey to find Merlin’s successor, the Prime Merlinian (feel free to take all the time you need to laugh that one off). After a long, long time of searching Balthazar finally comes across a young boy named Dave who just might be who he has been looking for all this time, and the best chance the forces of good have against stopping Morgana from ever being a threat again. [Read more...]
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a fun and thoroughly enjoyable fantasy film that is fast paced and features some great performances by its leads; if only they could have gone a bit grander in the fights and action set pieces.
The film opens with a little back story as we encounter Merlin fighting with Morgana who is trying to steal a powerful spell from him and the ensuing fight leads to Merlin’s death and sets his apprentice, Balthazar, on a quest to find the Prime Merlinian, the fabled sorcerer’s successor. Enter Dave, who comes across Balthazar many hundreds of years into his quest and he is revealed to be a potential successor to Merlin. A bit of a hiccup delays any training and Dave grows up unknowing of his lineage until Balthazar reappears ten years after their first encounter and the set off to stop a growing threat of the possibility of the resurgence of Morgana.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time may not be the most faithful adaptation, but it still keeps the spirit of the video game alive in this production in its representation of the comedy, characters, and action of the fan favorite game.
The brief backstory of this incarnation of the Sands of Time story starts with an incident on the streets that leads to Daston being adopted into the royal family. A decade later he is beloved by his father and both of his brothers, and because of this he plays his part in his brother’s decision to attack the holy city of Alamut though he has some reservations in concern to this decision. The sand is briefly allowed to settle following the battle before an incident occurs forcing Daston to flee from the city with the help of Princess Tamina. Though it would be nice to think that she is simply committing her good deed of the day, she is quick to reveal her ulterior motives for helping in the escape. [Read more...]
This could be the best video game adaptation yet, certainly the best looking, but it still feels all too clichéd and familiar even though the action is pretty exciting at times and there is a lot of it.
The film follows Dastan, a street urchin plucked into royalty after the king sees him perform a selfless act in the local market as a child. Flash forward ten years and Dastan and his two brothers, Tus and Garsiv, through adoption are about to lay siege to a holy city in Persia. Their uncle, Nizam, advises the future king Tus to attack at the behest of Dastan and the siege results in Dastan coming into possession of a beautiful dagger that is revealed to have mysterious powers. After a series of unfortunate events Dastan ends up on the run with the holy cities high priestess, Tamina.
An Education is one of those little treasures of a film that sneaks up on you in not only the quality of the overall film but by the incredible turn by its star Carey Mulligan.
Jenny is a seventeen year old school girl in 1960’s England and is set on getting into Oxford for seemingly everyone around her. Bright, pretty, and cultured well beyond her age, Jenny seems to have a pretty good head on her shoulders even if she thinks all the work she goes through is a bit much. Enter David, a late twenties/thirty something man who spots Jenny on the corner in the rain and offers her cello a ride as he is fond of music and would hate to see it ruined and wouldn’t dare expect Jenny to accept a ride with a stranger. She eventually hops in and the two hit it off quite well which leads to David and Jenny both looking for this relationship to go somewhere further. Jenny’s parents are loving and demanding and are a bit taken aback by the prospects of David, but before they barely realize it he smooth talks his way on to Jenny’s arm and into the night for a show with his friends. The two’s relationship grows and progress with the utmost respect to Jenny’s wishes and an unlikely romance begins to bud as Jenny begins to doubt her seemingly chosen path to attend Oxford. [Read more...]
François Girard up to the magnificent Red Violin is a mixed bag that starts of great and slowly devolves into something not quite as great. The film follows Michael Pitt as Hervé Joncour who decides to take on the job of a silk merchant who travels from France to Japan to get the most pure silk worms possible for local entrepreneur Baldabiou (Alfred Molina). Hervé leaves behind his new wife Hélène Joncour (Keira Knightley) for Japan [Read more...]