The Garden Filled With Weeds

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

[Movie Review] Mr Peabody & Sherman March 25, 2014


IMDB: 7.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 78% Certified Fresh

Metacritic: 60/100

My rating: 8/10

The trailer definitely did not do this movie justice, after I watched the trailer I thought it’s going to be a really childish movie that’s only aimed at children and hard for anyone above the age of 13 to like it.

Of course, after giving it a chance, my prejudice was proven wrong.

For someone who is not of the targeted demographic, they manage to draw me in by using this strong sense of nostalgia.

The nostalgia for the 1960s cartoons that’s still being shown over and over again on TV, for many generations.

Naturally the visuals are of modern-day 3D animation, but the humour is definitely what we remember of the olden day cartoons.

I must also say I really like the pacing of this movie, it caters very well to the short attention span of most children, and thus everything is moving very fast, changes happen all the time, from one thing to another, and it’s simplistic enough for the kids to understand and catch on, I can hear the children laughing at one joke to the next.

My favorite part of this movie, is the father and son relationship between Mr Peabody and Sherman.

There’s a lot of moments which are so realistic that you can definitely find a piece of memory which you’ve witnessed that kind of fits exactly into the situation at that point.

Such as when Sherman is trying to reason himself, and said something hurtful to Mr Peabody, then Mr Peabody says something that shows how disappointed he is at Sherman, and Sherman sort of just lowers his head in silence.

It touches on both sides of this issue, between the struggles of parenthood and the struggle of accidentally upsetting your parent.

Those are the moments that made me take this movie more seriously than I did initially.

The history aspect of this movie is the part which I assume, would only find connection with older audiences, there’s a lot of puns that even I didn’t get.(Though I must say I’m not that knowledgeable myself)

Which is why it’s fitting for Sherman to constantly say ‘I don’t get it’ at Mr Peabody’s historical puns, because I bet a lot of the younger audiences wouldn’t get it either.

There’s one thing that I really really hated about this movie, which is Penny.

Let’s all agree to this, she’s a bully, she bullied Sherman, and terrorizes the other students.

I don’t like how this movie handled the issue on bullying, they had the perfect opportunity to educate children to not bully, or how to actually face bullies.

The reason why it bothers me so much is because children relate very well to such things, bullying and getting bullied, and by not addressing it properly, it kind of sends a different message to kids.

I’m not very sure whether it was cut from the movie, or it just didn’t make it into the final draft of the script, but there was almost no condemning towards Penny’s actions.

All of a sudden, she became a nice girl, she no longer bullies Sherman or anyone, she became compassionate and developed a friendship with Sherman.

It just feels like a very important scene was cut from the movie, something like Penny and Sherman apologizes to each other and  agrees to being friends.

But when you don’t touch on it, I’m afraid some kids would think that what Penny did was actually right and acceptable, and would end up copying it, because they would assume the victim would be like Sherman, doesn’t get that affected and ended up becoming their friend.

Of course I’m not a child expert, but I do have experience on being bullied, and so as someone who relates to Sherman very well on that aspect, I don’t feel very satisfied with how this issue was handled.

I understand that it’s properly just a plot point for Penny and Sherman to collide into each others’ life, and for the rest of the movie to happen, a convenient story that is also interesting enough.

The ending of this movie felt very rushed, and everything just worked out of convenience, all the problems Mr Peabody had just poof and disappeared.

But I can forgive it because after all this is a comedy, it’s still a movie aimed at kids at the end of the day, so when goofy things happen and solve all the problems, it really doesn’t affect how much I enjoyed this movie.

In conclusion, everything about this movie is very simplistic, from the character design, to events that happen, it won’t exactly be remembered as an animation masterpiece, but definitely entertaining enough to be a movie worth watching just for the fun of it, for the entire family.

There are some re-watching values for those who want to understand all the historical puns that Mr Peabody made, or for kids to grow up and find new surprises that they would only understand with more knowledge about this world.

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[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] Despicable Me 2 – The Adorable Family Flick July 26, 2013


7.8 – IMDb
75% – Rotten Tomatoes

My rating: 7.5
Today on the bus I’ve found the perfect way to describe Despicable Me 2.

Imagine if someone presented you with a plate of dish, which has all the best ingredients in the world and has all your favorite food in it, but the problem is, none of it was cooked well.

That’s exactly how I felt about Despicable Me 2.

It’s fun, it’s cute, it’s adorable, it’s heart warming, it’s exciting, it’s hilarious…

But none of these elements were extremely well executed that I could call this movie a classic.

In this sequel to the original Despicable Me, Illumination Entertainment learnt from past experiences, and realised that the audiences loved the minions way more than they had expected them to.

And so they decided to give the minions more screen time, and even went to the extend of making them a big part of the crisis Gru had to face.

They were trying to achieve too much in too little time, and throwing in every good idea that was mentioned in the development period of the script.

One of such example is the minion who starts having a crush on Lucy after seeing her.

It was a fun idea, but that only lasted for a few minutes on-screen, and then it was never mentioned again.

Talking about Lucy, I have to comment on how likable this character is, it’s actually very rare for the audience to immediately like a character the instant they see them(not attracted, just like), especially not a female sidekick.

We know how female sidekick usually turns out to be, sexy and hot, their only purpose is for guys to fantasize.

However Despicable Me turns that entirely around, and gives us a female sidekick, who will be liked by both male and female audience, not overly sexualized, not overly annoying, has the shyness of a female yet the goofiness that doesn’t make her just a beautiful flower vase.

I also really liked the sassy villain El Macho, however he was a pretty shallow villain, and was defeated in a really short time, in a pretty lame way.

Everything is so rushed in the movie, and I could hardly feel the connection between the characters, it’s like being given an apple, and before you could take a bite, someone switch it with an orange, and before you could peel the orange, someone switch it to a strawberry.

However, despite that, the movie does what it promise to do.

It brings you laughter, the minions are really cute, even the kids became more likable than before.

There were several moments where I literally burst out in laughter, and not many movies could get me to do that.

Most of the audience, would definitely enjoy this movie greatly, especially children.

It’s better to look at this movie from a mindless point of view, just absorb in and buy whatever that’s presented to you, and I promise you, you will have a good time.

This movie does have it’s flaws, but it’s not bad enough to make you feel like they’re not even trying, in fact they’re trying very hard.

I guess we shouldn’t be so harsh on a company who is still trying to find it’s place in an animated industry dominated by Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks.(maybe Bluesky too)

It is the perfect example of a fun movie, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, it gives you what you’re possibly looking forward to.

Not just that, the tone and pace of the movie stays constant throughout, which is also pretty commendable, a lot of movies today just drifts away when the script writer has a writer’s block but has to rush for deadlines.

There’s not a single moment where you feel that this movie isn’t entertaining you, it just keeps showing you new things that amuses you, maybe it’s bad in the aspect of underdevelopment, but in terms of entertainment, it’s perfect.

The romance aspect in this movie is also really well done, especially how they showcased young love which does not last; The romance that blossomed between Gru and Lucy is really natural, it’s not cheesy or forced, I’m actually convinced that these two characters really do love each other and I feel happy for them.

I would recommend everyone to go see this movie, or maybe just a friday night when you snuggle in your bed and trying to find entertainment, this is the perfect fit.

If you have a child, or a sibling who is still young, let them watch this movie, they’ll have the time of their life.

Maybe not in a Disney movie way that’s like, when they grow up and re-watch it, they’ll discover many new things they hasn’t when they’re young.

But for this movie, it’s exactly what parents are constantly looking for to show their kids.

I still hope they had developed the story and the character interaction a little more, but even without that, I still enjoyed the movie nonetheless, and that itself, already proves that this movie is a success.

At the end of the day, aren’t we all just hoping to be entertained?

 

[Movie Review] Arthur Christmas – Do you believe in Santa? December 23, 2011


So my friend just randomly invited me to watch this movie with her, and it was quite a while ago, so I can’t remember everything as clearly.

But here is a review, I think this movie is actually worth a review, recommended for everyone in the family.

Fun fact, before the movie start they showed a video of Justin Bieber singing “Santa Claus is coming to town”, I almost went out of the theatre when that happened.

Ratings –
IMDB – 7.2/10
Rotten Tomato-92% fresh
My own rating that’s a little too high at times-8

Trailer – 

Gwen, who is sending a letter to Santa

Do you believe in Santa?

I once did, then my mom asked me a pretty innocent question, “You still believe in Santa?”

Then my dream died.

However in this movie, they’re giving out a message to everyone, perhaps all the kids who still believe in the magic, to not lose faith in this obese man dressed in red climbing down your chimney.

So the story follows the same old routine, an ordinary guy, who is probably labelled as ‘useless’, having a little special thing in him that no one discovered.

Yep that's him

He is Arthur, the son of the current Santa Claus, and his job is just to read and reply all the mails sent in by children for Santa.

Perhaps that’s what made that special part inside him alive, reading all the innocent letters sent in by the children around the world made him believe in what’s right about being Santa.

All those wonderful elves that seems more like secret agent than elves.

The movie displayed a very different perspective of Santa, such as the high-tech spaceship that travels at extremely fast speed(can’t remember the specific speed), and deliver presents to all the children in the world with the help of elves that should probably work as secret agents instead of giving presents.

The present that was left out

Then a child was left out due to a mistake, the part of this movie that brought up the question – does one single child really matters?

The answer the movie gave is, yes, of course it matters.

The reality side of this movie is perhaps Arthur’s exceptionally capable brother, who made the entire delivery process during christmas high-tech, and determined to become the next Santa Claus, also, Santa Claus himself, who lost his passion for being Santa, and fell asleep without any problem despite knowing a child was left out, then the father of Santa, who was also the former Santa, who only wanted to show his grandson that he is still capable of being Santa.

It showed the ugly side of people who only want to become something for that certain title, like someone who wants to be a doctor but doesn’t have the determination to heal and cure people from their illness.

The movie is filled with passion, at a good pace, the climax of the movie had a lot of action packed, with Arthur, his grandfather, a gift wrapping elf, and a few reindeer pulling a sleigh named Eve across the sky with the help of magic dust.

Just to deliver that one present to Gwen, the child that shouldn’t be left out by Santa,

At the end of the movie, like all animation for everyone in the family, Santa himself, his father and Arthur’s brother Steve saw that bright smile on Arthur’s face when Gwen opened her present, and agreed that Arthur is the person who should become Santa, in order to bring joy to every child in the world.

Why is this movie worth watching?

It’s one of those movie that keeps your dream, your hope for humanity and the world alive.

It tells a story about a useless guy who has a wonderful good intention becoming a respectable figure who bring happiness to everyone.

Despite being slightly predictable and cliché, unlike most Disney movies filled with unique surprises and deeper messages, it’s worth watching simply for the fact it’s a movie that NEEDS to be watched during the festive season to get the atmosphere alive.

You might say those who still believes in Santa are naïve, but admit it, you wish you’re still naïve, and someone makes that effort to keep your dream alive.

‘Cause admit it, having a dream really does feel magical.

Now for my random rant about movies LOL

The next movie I want to watch is We Bought A Zoo, I can’t seem to resist movies based on true stories, like The Blind Side, and I love animals, I really do, so I suppose I’m going to like a story about a group of people trying to keep a zoo alive in order to save the animals.

I’m not sure is New Year’s Eve worth watching, it seems like one of those movie they invite a long list of celebrities just to make sure there are people who actually watch it. Which reminds me, Valentine’s Day kinda sucked.

Oh well that’s all, I’m sorry I haven’t been updating, I’ll try to update more often~ Next post should either be The Muppets review, or EOY review, or maybe, just maybe, a year review.

Yep, both reviews, have a good day. 8D

 

 
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