Saturday, July 31, 2010

review: Inception (movie)

This movie was truly mind-blowing, but then most Christopher Nolan movies are. The previews billed it as the awesome action movie and it was, but at its core, it is a movie about redemption.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Cobb, a man who's life has fallen apart. His wife is dead and he has been forced apart from their children. However, he is looking for his way back to them. How does he hope to accomplish this? By performing corporate espionage and making his return to the USA his payment.

And how does he accomplish his corporate espionage? By stealing the person's ideas from their very dreams (and therefore subconscious). But so far things aren't going well for Cobb until meets Saito (Ken Watanabe), who makes a proposition to implant something in someone's mind. So instead of extracting - implanting, which is infinitely more difficult.

So Cobb sets out to make a new team to dive into their target's dream. The problem with implanting is that you have to delve very deep into the unconscious which is done by diving within dreams themselves. To do this each level of the dream must be created which is where Ariadne (Ellen Page) comes in. She designs and creates the dreams which is perfect because her name is Greek from the story of the women who is the best mortal weaver. coincidence, i think not?!

The whole mission is amazing. The tension keeps building subtly throughout till I noticed that i was consciously starting to worry about the fate of our heroes. Not only was this movie suspenseful but also carried a twist ending and had provoking themes such as the duality of reality and virtual reality, the mind and the body, what is reality vs. sanity. This movie deserves the 5 out of 5 stars. When this movie ended the only thing I could do was think about it and muddle it over and over in my head. That is the kind of movie I love because it makes you think. When you see this movie, and you really should, make sure that you have a person to talk to about the movie and some time set aside to really think about the implications that this movie is making. And also debate the ending.

here's the preview if you need the prodding to go and see it: CLICK ME!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

review: Toy Story 3 (movie)

one word to sum of this movie: nostalgic.

this is what everyone says about the movie - and i sadly am no different. however, this movie is great. same great characters that you remember, including the newer ones introduced in the sequel, having adventures.

i always liked the toy story series because it reminded me of being a kid. not just the toys themselves, but how the adventures always seem to snowball out of control with each action and this installment of the toy story series is no exception. what starts with an attempt to get Andy (the now teen) to play with them before Andy leaves for college and they get put into the attic turns into them being donated to a child care center. when they arrive, Woody and the gang are greeted by Lotso, an old hug-able bear with a dark past (dum dum da!), who welcomes them with open arms showing them how good life can be around at day care. too bad he has no intention of letting Woody and Buzz have the good life. instead our heroes are locked in a room with the youngest members of the day care who aren't known for treating their toys gently. so what's a toy to do? escape of course.

*mission impossible theme start* from here on out things get hairy for the characters. the creators of this movie said they watched every escape movie out there. and it shows. the escape scenes are everything you expect from a movie: action packed, exciting, humor thrown in. you almost forget that they're a plastic space man running from a Ken doll. *mission impossible theme end*

the remainder of the movie centers around the lessons growing up can teach us. about leaving childhood behind and growing up. there are scares and heartwarming moments, that in the end leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling which is exactly what you want out of a movie.

this movie will appeal to little kids for the bright colors and the obvious jokes, but truly this movie is for the people who grew up with Toy Story, my generation and our parents. it's reminiscent of the Shrek series - the jokes go way over the kids' heads to appeal to the adults in the room. all in all i give it 4.5 out of 5 stars lacking only due to the shortness of the movie. hopefully, the toy story saga is done cuz you can't end on a higher note.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

review: Girl with a Dragon Tattoo (movie)

w00t! first review- any feedback would be great please and thanks!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo made it's debut in 2009. It is based on the critically acclaimed best seller of the same name by Stieg Larsson of Sweden and, fun fact, was actually published postmortem. Called Men who hate Women in Swedish, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first book of the Millennium Trilogy.

The movie opens centered on a package. An old man is attempting to open it. When he opens it, it's nothing horrible - just a pressed flower. This is where if you're paying attention things get interesting. First, the old man looks at the postmark on the package (Hong Kong). Second, he's wearing gloves to open it. Third, after seeing what the package contains he starts to cry. Intrigued yet?

Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is our protagonist. He's investigative journalist with morals who's just been convicted of libel against a seedy businessman. Enter Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), our second protagonist and a genius hacker who has been investigating Mikael through his own computer - you can see her in the court room. After leaving the magazine to spare them the associated bad press, Mikael is offered a job by the head of the Vagnar Group to investigate the case of his niece who disappear 40 years ago off an island where all of her family was gathered. Lisbeth who hasn't stopped hacking into Mikael's computer gets sucked into the investigation.

The questions that need to be answered are: What happened to the missing girl? Is she really dead? Who wanted her dead and why?

The movie is filmed beautifully. Not too artistic to make you feel like you should hate the movie on principle and not too main stream to make you feel like you're watching a summer blockbuster. The score is does its job perfectly, heightening the mood of each scene. My personal favorite was the scene where Mikael is looking at the undeveloped film and making a composite video. *chills* All in all I give this movie 4.5 out or 5 stars. It's loses half a star for the multiple "endings", the lack of a more legally satisfying ending, and the occasionally feeling like this film was really good but very long too. Look for the upcoming sequels: The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest. Both should be out in the next year or two. I also recommend reading the Millennium trilogy!!!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is currently, I believe, only available with subtitles (yay!) with the audio in the author's native tongue of Swedish. You can find it currently on Netflix instant watch or at any remaining video rental agencies.... if there are any left.