Movie Reviewz: Alice in Wonderland

Tonights review, Alice In Wonderland directed by Tim Burton written by Linda Woolverton  and starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helana Bonham Carter, and Matt Lucas.

Alice, now nineteen and soon to be betrothed to Hamish, a not-as-revolting-as-he-should-be character, run’s away after a white rabbit during his proposal to her. She chases the rabbit to a hole in the ground and promptly falls into the gaping chasm that is Wonderland. After much deliberation and several growth spurts and reverse growth spurts, she opens one of the many doors belonging to the room she fell into, and finds the Rabbit, a Dodo bird, a Mouse, and two odd looking fat boys played by Matt Lucas named Tweedledum and Tweedledee. She is told by the group that she was brought here to slay the Jabberwocky who can only be killed by the Vorpal Sword.. But as the group fights over whether she is the real Alice (this film is the sequel to the animated film of the same name. And Alice forgot that) or not, they’re attacked by a group of…. Red… Cards? And a scarred man with a heart shaped eye patch. Alice, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, escape. But then a giant bird grabs Tweedledum and Dee, bringing them to the castle of the Red Queen. The Knave of Hearts, the evil sidekick and what – have – you to the Queen tells her that Alice is back, although the Knave has never actually seen the girl. Oh, and the Queen has this huge head. Meanwhile, Alice is lost. But wait! The Cheshire Cat Shows up and leads her to The Mad Hatter, March Hare, and the Mouse from before. The Knave of Hearts shows up with a dog named Bayard who’s family has been imprisoned by the evil Queen. He finds Alice, but The Hatter has made he even smaller so to fit in a teapot. he shoos Bayard and the group of red people leaves. The Hatter quickly runs away with Alice but is caught. He saves her by throwing her across a wide river on his hat. She hides under it but Bayard finds her. She convinces him to help her with her cause and he takes her to the Castle and quickly runs to find the White Queen. Alice is found by the White Rabbit and he gives her a piece of cake that makes her larger. Much larger. After talking to the spastic Queen about how back in her country of Umbridge, people would make fun of her because she was so big. The Queen takes her in because her head is… big. Anyway, The Hatter is presented to the Queen whilst Alice sits by her side. The Hatter persuades the Queen to let him make her a hat. She agrees because her head is a touchy subject. Alice finds out the Vorpal Sword is hidden in the cage of the Bandersnatch. Alice steals the sword and runs for it. When the Queen finds out that the girl was really Alice, she decides to  kill the Hatter. But the Hatter is saved by the Cheshire Cat. Tweedledum, Tweedledee, the Hatter, and The Mouse, escape the place and run toward the White Queens Castle where the March Hare and Alice are waiting. And that’s when trouble starts a-brewing….

Don’t. I wouldn’t again. This just wasn’t a good movie. I speak the truth. I’m a big fan of Burton. Sleepy Hollow was good, Edward Scissorhands was good, Nightmare Before Christmas was good, The Corpse Bride was fantastic. This… this is not as much. I felt no attachment to these characters. The Hatter frickin’ start break dancing at the end. Who does that!? Tim Burton doesn’t! Or, he shouldn’t. Because he obviously went there. Half of the time, I couldn’t tell what the characters were saying. The Red Queen was annoying and unfunny. The short cameo by Christopher Lee was a nice surprise. The art direction was the only good part of this movie. It felt like a painting come to life. Now, I saw this in 3D.  I’m not a fan of 3D. I have thick glasses and very bad eyes so that might be a factor but I didn’t like it.

I don’t think I can say anything else. There was nothing to this movie. It was barely entertaining. It is worth a mattinee but don’t bother with the 3D.

-james

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Movie Reviewz: Shutter Island

Tonights review, Shutter Island directed by Martin Scorsese written by Laeta Kalogridis and based on the book on the same name by Dennis Lehane. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, and  Michelle Williams.

*due too some problems with the projector at the theater and my mother being late, I missed the first 5 minutes of the film. Also, I have never read the book*

The year is 1954 and U.S. Marshal Andrew “Teddy” Daniels and his partner Chuck Aule sail too an Alcatraz like hospital for the criminally insane on  Shutter Island off the coast of… somewhere…. called Ashecliff to investigate the disappearance of a patient named Rachel Solando.  Dr. John Crawley explains that she was placed in the mental facility after she drowned her three children. During the search, Teddy points out the caves in the cliff of the island but the deputy warden claims that Solando could never reach them. Teddy also sees a lighthouse and the deputy says that it has been searched. Teddy and Aule ask Crawley for the files on Solando’s attending doctor, Dr. Sheehan but he refuses and says that Sheehan has left the island on vacation just the day before. Later that night, Teddy is plagued by strange dreams about his dead wife. She tells him that Solando is still on the island and that the man who had started the fire that killed her – Andrew Laeddis – is also on the island. Later on, after interrogating all the patients, and receiving a cryptic not telling him to “run”, He explains to Aule why he took the case: to find Andrew Laeddis. Teddy tells Aule that he found a man who “escaped” from the island and told him that they were conducting experiments. When a hurricane hits, it leaves fallen trees and debris all over and knocks out the poswer so that the prisoners are running amok. Teddy, imitating a orderly, meets the man he told Aule about (George Noyce) who had warned him of the experiments, who tells him that this whole place was made for the benefit of him (Teddy) and that he’s afraid of the lighthouse. Teddy attempts to go to the light house, and fails, but his trip back appears more fruitful then he imagines….

Whoa. It was dark, twisty, and great. It was worth the 7 dollars I played and because of the projection screw up, I received a free ticket which is pretty cool. Back on the movie. I enjoyed it, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. Several scenes will scar(e) some viewers. I loved the atmosphere of this movie a lot. I also loved how it was pulled off more of a mystery until the middle part when things go bananas. The cinematography is what hooked it for me. I know some people will not like it, but it’s my kinda thing. The slow moving off-ness was great.  DiCaprio was a amazing actor. Probably the best I’ve seen this year, and when I say this year I mean out of the 4-5 movies I have seen this year. The sound track was obscenely haunting and slightly out of place because it was all previously recorded material from classical musicians. Now, the thing about this movie you should know is there is no twist. Nothing you wouldn’t expect from a movie like this at least. Don’t go in with that on your mind. Go in with greatness in mind. Because it is… greatness…

-james

Movie Reviewz: Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Tonights review: Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief  Directed by Chris Columbus and Written by Craig Titley Starring Logan Lurman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, and Peirce Brosnan based on the book of the same name by Rick Riordan.

The film begins with young Percy Jackson played by Logan Lurman and his crippled friend Grover attending a high school in New York city, New York. Percy’ father abandoned him when he was seven months old to live with his mother and later on, his stepfather Gabe, a crotchety, smelly, pig of a man played with finesse by none other then Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix, Daredevil, Unknown) which was a nice surprise. When on a field trip to a history museum, a substitute teacher pulls him aside and promptly turns into a winged beast and threatens to kill him if he doesn’t give her a lighting bolt of some sort. After being saved by his wheelchair ridden teacher Mr. Brunner and Grover they mutter abut several things that will make sense later. Grover takes Percy back to his (Percy’s) house and crashes Joe’s poker party. They run away with Percy’s mother after Grover beats Joe up and start to drive to a undisclosed location. Percy’s mother explains that his father never wanted to leave and was made to but before she can explain why, a huge monster barrels through the road, throws a cow at the car, and chases the threesome into the nearby forest. The monster in question is a fifteen foot tall minotaur that looked amazing. The three find a arch that leads onto the unsaid Camp Half-Blood, but Mrs. Jackson is apparently not allowed in. She is grabbed by the monster and suddenly turns into golden dust and fades away. Percy, being the righteous fellow that he is, pulls out a pen Mr. Brunner had given him earlier, and thanks to Grover pushes a button on the side and out pops a sword. Queue heroic music. He battles and kills the minotaur, then faints. Three days later, he awakes in a infirmary of some sort and Grover walks in just in time to see him wake up. Grover takes him on a tour of the place (Camp Half-Blood) and at the fighting arena, he spot his love interest, Annabeth, played by Alexandra Daddario. Moving on, he sees his teacher Mr. Brunner, except this time out of the wheel chair and with a extra set of limbs (He’s a centaur). Percy is told that he is the son o’ the sea god Poseidon. After a vicious game of capture the flag, Percy befriends Annabeth daughter o’ Athena and a young man named Luke, son o’ Hermes. They are told by non other then the devil himself (Hades) (played by Steve Coogan who has been brought back from the dead after being impaled upon some spikes at the beginning on Raiders of The Lost Ark) that he (Hades) has Percys mother and will only give her back when a stolen lightning bolt previously owned by king o’ the gods Zeus is delivered to Hades. Oh, Yeah, and if Zeus doesn’t get it back soon he’ll destroy the world or something, I don’t know. And so begins the craziest week of their lives!

BOOM! A surprisingly good movie. For a movie loosely based on a badly written book by Rick Riordan it WAS good. The writer Craig Titley did a good job even having written my least favorite episode of  The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network. The flow was good and the actors were also good for a group of youths. But there are some accomplished actors like Pierce Brosnon , Sean Bean, Steve Coogan, Uma Thurman, and Rosario Dawson. Jake Abel who played Luke, was my favorite character and actor in the film because he made you STILL like him even when he was attempting to kill Percy at the end. I did miss several things from the book like Dionysus, Ares, and Kronos. It kept with the story, but it simplified it. In the book, it was much more of a mystery when they were trying to figure out who stole the bolt, and Zeus and the gods were much more angry at everyone. People are saying that this is trying to be the new Harry Potter. One, nothing will ever top Potter. Two,  This was nothing like Potter in either the books or movie. On the book part, I HATED the writing in the book(s). I couldn’t stand how whiny all the characters seemed. The movie made them older, maturer, smarter and just downright better. The love story betwixt Annabeth and Percy was horribly done and when Riordan attempted drama, he fail miserably. Now, don’t get me wrong, old Rick had one of the best ideas of…whatever year the first book was released, but he could have pulled it of much better. This is a perfect example of a teen movie. I wish I hadn’t seen this when I had. The theater was packed with young teenagers and children brought by they’re parents. There is a special hell reserved for people who talk in theaters whilst a movie is playing. Sure I don’t give a care if you lean over and whisper a joke to the person sitting next to you, but you have the people who don’t even yell at the screen, just say it in a normal voice. I swear I will laugh if someone just screams “don’t go in there” at the screen at a tense part, but when you say it as if you are talking to a person in front of you in a small room where you are all alone it’s just plain annoying. You know who you are.

That will wrap up tonight boys and girls.

8/10

-james

In Which I Present A Few Drawings Pt. I

Hey boys and girls,

Here are a couple pictures from classic James back in oh, 2006 – 2007.

Enjoy!

Movie Reviewz: The Wolfman

Tonights review; “The Wolfman” 2010 remake of the 1941 classic of the same name starring Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, Anthony Hopkins, and Hugo Weaving. Directed by Joe Johnston and written by Kevin Walker and David Self.

(Back in the summer of 2009, I watched the trailer for “The Wolfman” online. I could barley wait for this movie.)

The film is set in 1891 unlike the original set in 1941, stars Benicio del Toro as Lawrence Talbot, a troubled young man who, although born in england, lived in America ever since he came upon his dead mother at age 12. Maybe 2o years later, when in London (acting in a play of Hamlet), he receives a letter from his brothers soon to be wife (Blunt), telling him that the brother in question has been missing for several weeks and the family are considering the worst. He travels to the small village of Blackmoor to find his father’s mansion decrepit and falling apart brick-by-brick. After meeting his father (Hopkins) for the first time since Lawrence was sent away, he begins the search for the savage beast who has caused several killings in the past weeks. The trail leads Lawrence to a small gypsy camp in the forest bordering the town, where  the monster strikes when several townspeople venture there blaming the killings on a pet bear of one of the gypsies. After massacring the camp, the beats chases after a young boy into the forest. Lawrence follows the beast and is bitten, but saved when a few of the villagers from the town find him and scare off the monster. After a few weeks or so, Lawrence regains consciousness. He finds his brothers “wife” caring for him. And when a detective from London is called in on the mysterious killings, everything begins to fall apart for Lawrence…

After being pushed back, re-shot, re-edited, and re-scored (then changed back again), I was very happy for the final release of this film. To begin with the pros, It was very well scored and composed. Danny Elfman is one of my favorite composers. The script itself wasn’t horrible I think, but could use some help. It was very atmospheric and an almost perfect Halloween movie even with the badly made gore. Overall, it was a great remake. On to the cons! The main problem with this movie was the acting. Hugo Weaving seemed to be the only person who really put out for this movie. Even Anthony Hopkins was stiff. I’ll give Hopkins credit for his suitably creepy attitude throughout the movie. Benicio was also stiff, but for him the film was more of a passion since he looks so much like Lon Chaney Jr. who played Lawrence in the original film. Emily Blunt could have put more into her role, but I think she wasn’t given that much to work with. I wasn’t satisfied with the ending with the exception of the twist. This movie is definitely worth a matinée price if you are a casual viewer. If you are a classic horror fan like me, I’d pay full price. One more thing great about it – There was no Hollywood spin on it. It kept with the original storyline and feel. I highly recommend it. That’s it for tonight. See you next week!

-james

In Which We Blame it on Asthma

Hey people!

Boy am I tired.

So several days ago, I started painting my room (light grey and dark blue) and when you start to move things out, dust gets in the air, and when dust gets in the air, I have asthma problems. Since age two, James Willis has had a relatively severe case of Asthma. If you are unaware,Asthma is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease found in roughly seven percent of Americans. Asthma also causes 4,000 deaths a year in America alone. Asthma is not contagious. It is caused by either environmental or genetic factors. Asthma causes inflaming of the lungs, so that airways are narrowed. James Willis have had roughly five overnight visits to the hospital because of the disease. Since I (James Willis) have such a case of Asthma, I must take several medications to counteract the symptoms. Due to certain circumstances, I was not able to take some of these medications for a day or so.

What I’m getting at, is I was sick for a few days. I’m starting to feel better though which is good.

Also, I’m beginning a one man band called Epic Noise. Await updates!

PS

Tomorrow I should have a review of the film “The Wolfman”. See you then.

-james

In Which I Speak About a few thoughts and a movie.

Dear internet,

Today I did nothing. Absolutely nothing. I feel I must make a post since I remembered and If I don’t make one, I’ll probably forget. Over the past week or so, We (as in me and my sister) had a small party for the Lost season premiere which I throughly enjoyed. I don’t know if you watch it, but don’t. It’s addictive and you probably couldn’t start watching it now anyway. I’m slowly on the way to a new movie with the working name of No.1. It’s a short science fiction film about 6 minutes long. It should be fun. It took me about 5 days to write and I think it’s turned out pretty good so far. The script is roughly 7 pages long.  Also, I just made a short “film” about 50 seconds long with my freind Justin. Here it is –

Curse of the Werechair on Youtube.com

Well that will be about all for today.

– james