Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas! 5 Great Christmasy Films Just for you!

Movies are not the "true meaning of Christmas"--of course God sending Jesus to be our Savior is--but many Americans associate certain films with the now commercialized holiday. Christians have no problem with Christmas flicks, as long as we don't get distracted from the importance of Jesus. I have a few timeless classics that are my favorites at this time of the year:
  1. The Family Man (2000)
  2. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  3. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
  4. A Christmas Story (1983)
  5. Elf (2003)
I hope you get to watch them all this Christmas! God's blessing to you and your family!

P.S. My favorite Christmas TV special is A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965). It is 25 minutes and is awesome!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Chronic(WHAT?)cles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

We've all seen "Lazy Sunday", the Chronicles of Narnia SNL digital short. (If you haven't, watch it now!) Andy Samberg raves about the Narnia film he's going to see. I didn't see it on a Sunday, but I still really enjoyed C.S. Lewis's Christian themed fantasy novel turned film.

This film isn't the best film you'll ever see, but I'll tell you that it is one of the most exciting family films I've seen in a while. There is sword fighting and a battle with a sea monster and more...all with a PG rating.

The exciting musical score is composed by newcomer David Arnold. He incorporated the previous Narnia theme written by Harry Gregson-Williams excellently and added brilliant new characterizations to this salty sea flick. (The Dawn Treader is the ship that the characters spend most of their time.)

This film is really quite eye-popping. I didn't see it in 3D, because I'm sick of overpriced 3D films and the dimmer picture. I appreciate the beauty of the film and I don't need gimmicks like 3D to make it entertaining for me. The battle sequences and fight scenes are really well done and visually believable. The story is well told, and the Christian themes definitely come out.

The only complaint I had were the characters/acting. The acting was fine, but I didn't feel like the story was about the characters and what was going on with them. I felt like the story was being told, and the characters were just kind of there. The only character I really got in to was Eustace, played by newcomer Will Poulter. He will be the lead in the next couple Narnia films, if they get made. Even with some lackluster numbers domestically for the opening weekend, I'm praying that the worldwide totals bring in the profits necessary for another film.

Overall, this is an awesome film for everyone (even little kids). Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader runs 115 minutes and is rate PG. I give 8 ramheads out of 10.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

5 Scenes that I would have liked to see in Deathly Hallows part 1

If you haven't seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, you may not want to read this, as I talk about what is and isn't in the film. If you haven't read the book, you'll be confused.

5. Phineas Nigellus in the beaded bag

4. Harry stealing and eventually burying Mad-Eye Moody's magical eye

3. Harry, Ron, and Hermione listening to their friends on Potterwatch radio

2. Dudley's heartfelt goodbye with Harry

1. Harry telling off Lupin at Grimmauld place

To make room for some or all of these scenes I could have gone without the Harry-Hermione dance. It was a little weird and didn't really go with the flow of the movie. I didn't hate it, but I could have gone without it.

What do you think? What scenes did you want or did you not like?

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Half that is more whole than what a whole would have been: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Review

About 12 hours ago I got home after a great night at the Movie. The Movie that millions have waited for. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1. This movie wasn't a whole movie, but it was a whole half.

Part 1 will please the most fans of the books since Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in its true-ness to the books. It was exceedingly true to the books, it was more naturally adapted than some of the recent Harry Potter films, and it was very well paced. This is mostly to do with the wise decision that Warner Bros. made to split Hallows into two films. WB's decision was good for them (more $$$) and good for fans (fewer fans angry about what they left out).

The pace of this film is what made me really happy. In the past 3 films the plot just seemed rushed and I was disappointed about certain things that were missing (especially the key plot points that are now plot holes.) In the Hallows book, the first half is mostly fearful, figuring-out-what-to-do-next camping. It is a little slow and anxious feeling. I believe that the filmmakers did an excellent job creating this feeling and pace onscreen. They really set the tone for the film right at the beginning with Voldemort and his disregard for life. He is really evil.

The acting was phenomenal. Rupert Grint gave us an outstanding emotional performance of Ron. Radcliffe is excellent and Watson is completely rid of her trying-too-hard facial expressions. The amount of care and effort is definitely visible. Also, while watching the credits I got to realize how many top-notch actors this franchise has, all of which are British (of course).

The cinematography is amazing. This film was very beautiful and the scenes were very visually pleasing. New composer for Harry Potter Alexandre Desplat's score is superb. The only thing I wish would have been included was some more of Hedwig's theme from John Williams' original score. There was a little, but I would have like a little more. Other than that little detail, I loved Desplat's work. (I'm listening to it as I type this.)

There are a few scenes from the book I wish would have been included, but I will wait until my next post to divulge.

As a story, it was incomplete. But since that is what the filmmakers were intending, I'm fine with it. It was much better than the split between Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3 as the film was just better. For those people who haven't read the books and are casual fans of the films, this one might be a little tough to follow. That is because it isn't shallow or flaky, it is pure plot meat. Mmm....meat. To the die hard fans, you will be pleased.

Part 1 runs 146 minutes and is rated PG-13. Definitely not a kid's movie. I give it 10 ramheads out of 10.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Harry Potter 7 Movie Posters!

Yo. So I was just sitting here listening to some Relient K and I saw online that they have more new posters for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. I decided to change them a bit and make them [better]. Here are the 2 I decided to play with (mine are on the left):

Sunday, September 26, 2010

She took a giant s*** on my face. Literally.


-Well, no, not literally. That's disgusting.

The Indy flick gone mainstream (500) Days of Summer (2009) features many of these hilarious, random lines. There are a lot of things going for this movie.

First off, the film has a lot of acting talent. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are both excellent and perfect for the roles.

The film really has no plot. It is kind of like Up in the Air in that way. In a lot of ways. This film is real. Well, no. Not really. But it does have to do with real (in the movie) characters that are not idealistic or extraordinary. This film is not like most films. It isn't what you'd expect. The characters aren't what you'd expect.

I was actually a little confused with some of the happenings. The characters aren't predictable. They are just like us; they are human. This is what makes this film something different and something special. It is brilliantly written.

There was this really funny scene that reminded me of a scene from Spiderman 3. It was really cheesy and awesome. I like cheesy and awesome in ways like this.

(500) Days of Summer runs 95 minutes and is rated PG-13. (I would definitely abide by the 13-year-old-and-up rule). I give it a pleasantly surprising 8 ramheads out of 10.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Not many movies really require use of your brain...this one does.

The Matrix (1999) is the brain-racking story about how machines took over the world, and are creating a virtual world [The Matrix] that tricks the imprisoned humans' minds. Neo (Keanu Reeves) gets called over to the real world (out of the Matrix) because it is thought he is the chosen one. Only through him can the war between the machines and the humans end. That is, if he is really the chosen one...

This film is a major thinker with an incredibly complex, inventive story. The most recent film I can think of that compares to it is Inception. If you have not yet seen this piece of filmographic history, I suggest you buy it now. (You can get the trilogy at Walmart for like $13).

The acting is spectacular. The music is good. The effects are awesome (even with today's standards).

This film is in my top ten best films ever. It changed the way films were being made. It changed the way films were being watched. It definitely is a work of art.

The Matrix runs 136 minutes and is rated R. This is not a film you should show to your kids. I give it 10 ramheads out of 10.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm a Schmuck...are you?

A couple days ago I was privileged to view Dinner for Schmucks (2010). I was expecting to enjoy it, but not nearly as much as I did. Hilarious slapstick gold.

Paul Rudd plays a guys who's trying to move up in his company. In order to do so, his boss is making him attend a dinner, but he has to invite one interesting idiot. Then he meets Barry. By meets, I mean hit with his car. Barry (Steve Carell) is a clueless, lovable man who likes taxidermy-ed mice. He is amazing. Perfect. He makes a mess, but you still love him. The film also features Zach Galifianakis (from The Hangover), Jemaine Clement (The Flight of the Conchords), and Jeff Dunham (in a small role).

The story is interesting, the acting is phenomenal, and the humor is the funniest I've seen since Anchorman. Props to Steve Carell.

Dinner for Schmucks runs 114 minutes and is rated PG-13. I would abide by the 13 rule. I give it a deserved 9 ramheads out of 10.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Because I'm engaged...

...I just watched License to Wed (2007). It stars Robin Williams as Reverend Frank who takes Mandy Moore and The Office's John Krasinski through extreme premarital counseling.

Just a precursor: this film is not the best ever, nor does it pretend to be. It is a humorous, light, romantic comedy with a decent message. It does miss a lot of points, especially with a reverend as a main character. God is only mentioned and the premarital sex is not at all frowned upon.

It's not my favorite film, but it is one that I've watched--and laughed at--more than once. License to Wed runs 91 minutes and is rated PG-13. I give a replayable, above average rating of 7 ramheads out of 10.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's not easy being green...

Nope, this review has nothing to do with Kermit the Frog. I'll be reviewing Shrek the Third (2007). I'm going to make this one quick.

Shrek doesn't want to be king, so he has to find the only other heir to the throne. This turns out to be whiny Artie (voiced by Justin Timberlake). Prince Charming is the villain (who is also really annoying). Pretty much, there's 40% good old Shrek, 50% annoying Artie and Charming, and 10% obnoxious happy ending. When I say obnoxious, I definitely mean it. Uber obnoxious.

This is the worst of the 4 Shrek movies.

Shrek the Third runs 93 minutes and is rated PG. I give it 4 ramheads out of 10.

"In the world of cons...Eddie's a Pro"

I found the tag line for Dana Carvey's 1990 film Opportunity Knocks to be too good to pass up as a title to the said film's review. This cheesy film wasn't all bad (but I wouldn't consider it good either.)
Dana Carvey essentially plays himself (named Eddie) as a funny, extremely lucky con man who falls in love with his victim. This causes problems. There are a lot of cheesy moments. Also, the popping music is a little obnoxious. The acting is average.

The theme is very confused. It wants to be a comedy, but turns into a romantic redemption movie. Yup.

All in all, this movie is cheesy. Hands down.
It runs 103 minutes and is rated PG-13. I give it a better-than-expected 5 ramheads out of 10.

Opportunity Knocks (film)Image via Wikipedia

New layout, 2.0

Just an explanation for the layout: The field background is mean to feel like an outdoor movie screen, with my banner as screen. I've also maximized the content, condensing the 2 sidebars into one and moving the lists of reviews into separate pages (accessible through the tabs) from the sidebar. I've changed from green-overload color screen to white and green and red and gold. It feels more elegant (to me at least).

If you have any more comments, please help!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New like?

So I decided to change the layout. Do you like it? What do you think?

Jolly Green G--Ogre, #4

Here's my super-quick review of Skrek Forever After (2010). Shrek has a moment of weakness (and alcohol). He makes a deal which changes everything for the worse unless he can fix it. A classic, "don't-know-what-you've-got-'til-it's-gone" theme. Pretty entertaining humor. Shrek. 4. The end.

Decent entertaining movie with minimal lasting impression. Not as good as the first, but on par or better than 2 or 3. It runs 93 minutes and is rated PG. I give it 6 out of 10 ramheads.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I dreamed a dream

No, this post has nothing to do with Susan Boyle. It does have to do with dreams. Inception (2010) is a film all about dreams.

This is going to be a spoiler-free post, so if you haven't seen it yet, don't worry. Inception, in general terms is a brainy action-adventure film that deals with going into dreams with more than one person. That's all I'm going to say.

My first impression of this film was "Wow, that was COMPLEX!" In all honesty, this might have been the most complex and biggest 'thinker' movie I've ever seen. (The Matrix series is a close second.) You need to be pretty intelligent to successfully watch this film.

The concepts are amazing. The writing and imagination is quite incredible. The characters are relate-able humans, but still are incredibly impressive. The acting was phenomenal. Leonardo DiCaprio is an extraordinarily talented actor. He gets into the role like none other. The supporting cast was solid (Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe). The music was excellent. Hans Zimmer rarely disappoints.

Inception was stunning, brain exercise that really worked. This is what movies are all about. I would give it an Oscar (or a few). Christopher Nolan does it again. It runs 148 minutes and is rated PG-13. I give it what it deserves: 10 ramheads out of 10.

Friday, July 16, 2010

We meet again...wildcat.

A couple weeks ago I reviewed High School Musical 3 and didn't give it great marks. Today, for comparison's sake, here's my review of the first High School Musical (2006).

The first time I watched it, it greatly annoyed me. That is because I expected it to and I wanted it to because of what I had heard about it. As my sister watched it more and more times, I saw parts of it and started liking some of the songs. (Yeah, that's right.) Then I was impressed with the dancing. Really impressed. This made-for-TV movie doesn't feature a greatly impressive plot, polished editing, or perfection, but what it has is honesty. This is High School Musical before the "HSM franchise" and popularity. It is a Disney Channel Original Movie. It's real. I don't like this movie because of the popularity, but for what it is. For the fact that it promotes the arts, and doing a little of everything, and its anti-clique attitude.

High School Musical shows that song and dance aren't lame. The dancing and songs are polished and practiced and downright impressive. The actors (especially Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens) have chemistry. [Their on screen chemistry led to a relationship...] That chemistry was missing in HSM3.

Well, that's all I have for you tonight...

High School Musical runs 98 minutes and is rated TV-G (definitely a family film). I give it 8 ramheads out of 10 for being real and for not selling out (yet).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Arvy and age-travel

This week I watched a couple of mildly popular films that my siblings got from the library. Here's a quick rundown:

The first one, RV (2006) stars Robin Williams in a slap-stick comedy about family, RVing, and life. It is a cheesy emotional family film wrapped in slap-stick humor. It was pretty funny, pretty ridiculous, and entertaing. It was not, though, amazing. It will entertain you, but won't make you feel like you just watched something awesome. It is rated PG and runs 99 minutes. I give it an average 5 ramheads out of 10.The second one I watched, 17 Again (2009) stars Zac Efron in a cheesy, predictable yet entertaining family-comedy. Efron does a great job. Period. This film is packed with awkward funny moments, the kind in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and I loved them. There are a few cheesy effects, but otherwise this is a funny, nice movie. It runs 102 minutes and is rated PG-13 (barely). I give it a likeable 7 ramheads out of 10.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Here's a quick plug for some SWEET music

Listen to Sweet Diss and the Comebacks. They are from Seattle, they love The Office, and they play good music. Check them out on MySpace: or download an album at this link:

Also, makes sure to Like them on Facebook:

Here's a sample of their music (It's called Jimmy in a Well ;):

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Watch out Pinocchio

Here's another quicky review:

Bicentennial Man (1999) is a modern day Pinocchio. Robin Williams plays Andrew, an android that has innate personality, emotions, and capability to love. Encouraged by Sir (Sam Neill) he learns how to be human, makes millions of dollars, and eventually requests freedom (which happens to be one of the themes). This film makes one think about the important things in life. Long story short, I love this sci-fi Robin Williams epic.

Bicentennial Man runs 132 minutes and is rated PG. Definitely a family film. I give it 8 ramheads out of 10 (it's not perfect, but very good).