The Garden Filled With Weeds

Movie Reviews, ACG and Cosplay Discussion, or just any rambling topics that come to my mind.

[Movie Review] Frozen December 26, 2013


IMDB – 8.1

Rotten Tomatoes – 89% [Certified Fresh]

Metacritic – 43%

My Rating – 7/10

I’m gonna be honest with you guys… I didn’t love it.

I liked it, it’s a fun Christmas/Thanksgiving/winter season movie, but I gotta say, I expected a lot more than what they had given me.

You see, sometimes expectations play a big role in how much you end up actually liking a movie.

I walked into the theatre with the expectation of Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, two of Disney’s latest successful 3D animated movie.

However the movie lacked the depth I was looking for, and thus I couldn’t bring myself to love it.

But I’m still gonna be fair and look at it as a movie itself, rather than as a Disney package.

First of all, the animation is gorgeous.

They knew they had the potential to make this movie visually stunning, and they made full use of it.

I particularly liked the design of Elsa’s ice castle, and how the color scheme inside the castle changed along with her mood, it’s subtle, but I appreciate the effort.

The characters in this movie… I’ll be frank, I didn’t like Anna during the first one third of this movie, I found her really annoying.

I’m thinking it might be done on purpose, that they wanted to portray her as the annoying younger sister who you both love and hate, if that’s the case, it’s actually done well.

On the other hand, Elsa was presented as the mature older sister, who is always given the responsibility to take care of the younger sibling, becoming selfless.

This aspect is actually pretty clever, I don’t have a sibling, but I feel that people with siblings, and have this silent rivalry or role positioning casted by their parents, would relate really well to the two sisters in the movie.

But my favorite has to be Olaf, I don’t care how people kept thinking he’s an annoying comic relief character, I love him, I really do.

He is the best comic relief character I’ve seen for a really long time, he has all the best lines in this movie, he is caring, you can kick him around and he won’t get angry.

I actually felt the most protective of him because I was worried they’d let him melt away, because of what they did to the comic relief character in Princess and the Frog.

As for the two male characters, they’re pretty lacking in terms of depth, however it’s pretty understandable considering that the focus of this movie is still mainly on the two sisters.

But they definitely could’ve been given more characteristics that make them more memorable, the evidence of that is the fact that I can’t even remember their names at this point of time.

The musical aspect of it felt amateur, I only remember half of the songs, and only 2-3 of them really clicked with me.

One being the opening sequence, the song that perfectly set the mood and background.

Another is ‘Let It Go’, but I’d give credits to Idina Menzel, she’s one of the main reason why I was so eager to step into the theatre to see this movie.

The other one is Olaf’s song, it wasn’t particularly memorable, but I just really liked it, it’s one of the few songs in this movie I didn’t cringe at the awkward timing or childish lyrics.

I have heard people mentioning that the sound track includes several other songs that were cut from the movie, and actually presents more depth, like Elsa and Anna confronting each other having conflict because Anna ask Elsa to put back the gloves, and Anna singing about feeling like she’s less important because her sister is the queen.

I haven’t heard them, but I’d definitely hear it one day, because those two scene might have actually made me love this movie.

The pacing of this movie feels a little bit rushed, that this huge conflict between the sisters that had existed and grew for more than 10 years, is suddenly resolved in just one day.

Part of me really wanted to see Elsa being wild with her powers for a longer time, the misunderstanding towards her would have been more serious and harder to deal with, she would have to do something even more epic to redeem herself.

In conclusion, this movie had the potential to be a classic, but they chose the family-friendly route instead.

It is a pretty decent film for the entire family to enjoy, but not exactly something I’d die to make my kids watch in the future.

For those of you who really loved the film, don’t get angry at me, you know what, I’m envious of you.

I was really really excited to see this movie, you have no idea how much I was looking forward to it.

It’s not fun to not love a movie you’ve been this excited to see, I really wish I did love it, I wish I saw the magic you see in it, I really really want to love it.

But there’s just something that is missing, something I was hoping it’s there, but it’s not, and I’m disappointed, and so I start to see the flaw in it.

I actually do hope they make a sequel, and introduce new threats to this world they had build, maybe a villain with fire power?

 

[Movie Review] The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – A True Revolution December 7, 2013


IMDB: 8.2

Rotten Tomatoes: 89% [Certified Fresh]

Metacritics: 75%

My rating: 9/10

For many years, teenage fiction film adaptions were always judged on another scale.

A different scale from the usual movies, one that is arguably more lenient and taken less seriously.

With past examples like Twilight and Percy Jackson, the first Hunger Games movie created a good impression, increased book sales, brought in some money…

But this one, Catching Fire, is where the real revolution begins.

This film just straight up leapt the franchise onto a whole new level.

The last time this happened, I remember it was Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, where the first Batman Begins was pretty good, but the second just reached such a new height that it impressed everyone, including those who initially were doubtful about it.

A clarification, I’ve read part of the first book, didn’t finish it due to time issues, so I went into this movie with the minimum expectation of the first movie. It’s one of the things I like doing, it allows me to judge a movie as a movie itself, without prior prejudice and expectations because of the book.

One of the first thing I have to praise, is the pacing of this movie.

This movie is just so engaging that I didn’t realise how much time went past by the time this movie ended.

I remember a secondary school teacher told me once before, that a good movie, is supposed to make you not think about anything else, but the movie itself, while you’re watching it. It’s like marrying yourself to the movie for that short moment of time, fully getting inside the world.

And this movie did exactly that, I was into this movie the whole entire time I’m watching it.

It’s a roller coaster ride of events, and a real exciting one.

Another thing is the characters. One of the minor problem I had with the previous Hunger Games movie was that, I didn’t care much for the characters, only a few like Rue and Katniss, but the rest of them you don’t feel that attached to.

However in this one, some of the character’s death just outright breaks your heart, and even if it didn’t, you wish they didn’t die.

They portrayed these character in a way that you start feeling empathy for them, you start to like them, get attached to them, and so losing them became a big deal.

Many had praised Jena Malone’s performance, and I must say, she is amazing, she killed it in every scene, I really want to see more of her, I can’t get enough of her.

I want her to become the next big thing in Hollywood so I can see more of her performance, I think The Hunger Games franchise has the potential to help many uprising stars to become Hollywood’s next big star, like what it did for Jennifer Lawrence.

Talking about characters, in this one, the chemistry between the casts is greatly improved.

You could really feel Katniss and Peeta being stuck in this awkward position where things were supposed to be an act, but it hurts Peeta, and Katniss doesn’t know how to handle it.

In the last one I barely felt anything when Katniss kissed Peeta, but for this one, I actually could feel the tension between them, and I could see the feelings growing between them.

You see the growth in Effie’s character, you see the interaction between President Snow and his granddaughter, which are all really really well established, even though it’s just a few sentences, or a look on their faces.

One thing I’m very grateful about is that they no longer used the same amount of shaky-cam, I’m really not a fan of the misuse of shaky-cam, and I can’t be more grateful for this movie to be more stable than the previous one.

I’m not sure is it just me, or the lack of shaky-cam actually made this movie feel a lot more cinematic, it feels more big-scale, and I guess when you have enough money for a movie, you don’t have to hide things with shaky-cam.

The world of Panem becomes a little more familiar to us in this one.

In the previous one, we just know one or two things about it, but in this one, we get a little more details to the different districts, mainly thanks to the more significant existence of the tributes this time.

The director, Francis Lawrence, I’ve never watched any other movie of his, I just know he directed I Am Legend, and he started off as a music video director before stepping into film.

I have a feeling that this franchise is going to help his career, he’s definitely going to be one of the names people will start looking out for, at least I will have some faith in him when I see his name on a movie poster.

This movie proves that he can take on blockbuster movie and present a masterpiece in a short amount of time.

I am really excited for the next one, I think I’m definitely gonna pick up the books again and finish it.

I want to dive deeper into the world of Panem, I want to find out more about each of the characters, I wish Suzanne Collins continue the franchise and write more spin-off books. Maybe about the first Hunger Games ever, or just the history of the first rebellion.

Of course we don’t know will that ever happen, but that definitely shows that this franchise is getting successful.

 

 
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