The Garden Filled With Weeds

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

[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] Chronicle – The Story of a Broken Soul March 30, 2012


Ratings:

IMDB – 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes – 84% Certified Fresh
My own – 8.0

I watched this a while ago with Jelly, wrote some reviews and are just not satisfied with them. (well once was because my computer’s power source got cut off due to the lightning, it’s still raining outside now and I hope it won’t happen again.)

Anyway, it’s a really interesting movie, maybe because I am ignorant, but this is the first time I see a movie like that.

The story begins with showing how the main character – Andrew, is an outcast who is bullied in school, with family problems that he can do nothing about, the only person who truly cared about him is his mother who is dying, and his father hated him to the core, giving him the worst life possible.

His cousin Matt is a much more popular guy compared to him and didn’t bother much about him other than sending him to school.

It only gets to the real story when Matt and Steve called along Andrew into a cave with extraterrestrial object, and accidentally gained telekinesis power.

This is the first time I see a found footage movie, it’s a whole new experience, especially with an interesting plot like this.

Andrew, being a complicated and broken person, with the most talent in the supernatural power out of the three, becomes the super villain in comic books.

This is what I like about this movie, the main protagonist isn’t a good guy who saves the world, he is the one attempting to destroy the world.

A rather interesting concept in my opinion, because I have seen enough of socially awkward teenagers becoming heroes saving the day giving virgin boys some hope instead of improving on themselves.

Also a good thing about this movie is that, because the holder of the camera have telekinesis powers, he is able to hold the camera in the air(in excuse for another person to hold it), so it doesn’t shakes as much and make your head go dizzy while watching it.

The pace of the movie is good, though not perfect, a little too slow at times, or maybe it could be just me not bearing to see the painful things that happens to Andrew. Some people may think the movie is going to suck around the middle of the movie, or may get bored and just give up on it.

A rare production of Hollywood where most/all things in the movie actually makes sense, instead of being unrealistically idealistic.

The idea of the story isn’t exactly original, teenagers gaining powers, but it is presented in a rather different way than other movies, a way which actually makes you want to watch it without thinking it will just be a stupid story of teenager angst. It’s a combination of a few factors, which are usually presented individually, that is why it makes this movie a lot more special compared to others.

Not just that, because of how realistic the movie is, people can actually relate to it, especially teenagers just like the three main characters. When they first gain powers, how they start toying around with their super powers, playing harmless pranks on people, doing all sorts of crazy things.

Also the part where popularity could mean so much to a teenager, yet it could be so fragile, one moment you’re a super star, next moment everyone laughs at you without you turning your back.

The expression of these key factors of being a teenager is presented really well, to the stage I could even feel for the characters at some parts of the movie, I believe when a movie could do that this movie didn’t fail.

Throughout the movie I felt really sorry for Andrew, I wished for a happy ending, despite knowing it’s almost impossible, and it would have been lame if this movie did have a happy ending.

He’s exactly like the type of villains we see the comic books, with a sorrowful story behind him, forcing him to join the dark side, and despite doing all sorts of evil things, we just can’t hate him. Even after he got defeated by the hero(who in this movie isn’t exactly one), we feel sad for him, because we know deep down inside he isn’t a bad person, not the evil being everyone else thought he was.

The other two supporting characters(I wouldn’t call them main because of how Andrew is really the center of the story), Matt and Steve, on the other hand, are slightly less developed.

All I know of Steve is that he is a popular model student living in a rich family, and Matt who is trying to hook onto a Good Girl Gina.

Despite that they still played a key role of making this movie not just about how Andrew got mad at the world and start killing, they gave us hope, a little bit of joy in a movie meant to be a tragedy. They made friends with the friendless, they tried to help him, they did, but failed in the end anyway because the problem behind Andrew is a lot bigger than it seems.

The movie showed how cruel the world is and an explanation to how some people become someone like Andrew, our coldness towards people may indirectly caused the insanity of a person.

A few things might have made Andrew completely different, such as if the pharmacy gave him the medicine his mother desperately needed, that would have made a dramatic twist to the story.

The ending was a bit too short, I wanted to see more of Andrew’s madness and his destruction of the city.

Why? I admit I am sadistic, but that’s not the main reason.

The thing is I could feel his rage and anger, I could almost feel it personally, and want to destroy the world in his place.

This is how strong the emotions are which the movie brought to me.

I actually think if I were Andrew, or even if I weren’t him and I gained the same power with the same talent, I would have become someone just like him.

Which is why I felt that the destruction and damage he did was too little, before Matt finished him, saving both the city and Andrew himself.

Despite thinking the destruction scenes are too little, I’m actually satisfied with the fact Andrew got killed.

There are no other realistic solution to solve the problem, which is why I say this movie follows closely to the most possible things that could happen if it happens in real life.

I won’t suggest people who can’t take things seriously to watch this movie, because I literally felt my heart rage when I walk out of the movie theatre with some teenagers completely misinterpreted the purpose of this movie, and start judging how stupid it is.

However it’s definitely worth watching if you’re looking for something different from the usually Hollywood commercial movies.

 

[Movie Review] The Hunger Games – That Game About Survival March 27, 2012


Rating:

IMDB – 8.0

Rotten Tomatoes – 85% Certified Fresh

My own – 8.0, cause they rushed the second part

The theme about people being put into a fight, and kill each other, then only the last can survive and get all the glory, had been told many times.

I see a lot of people comparing The Hunger Games to Battle Royale, well, as someone who loves Anime too, I can tell you, the theme had been told in Animes too, Rozen Maiden, Sekirei, Mai Hime… It’s not just THG, it’s just a theme, idea, and it all depends on how it’s presented, which in my opinion, THG did an excellent job presenting this theme, however Battle Royale is still a classic, just presented in a pretty different way.

They’re both fucking awesome, so let’s stop quarreling and move on with our lives, okay? ^_^

Back to the topic, I have never read the books, so I watched the movie without any expectation.

I thought it’s actually a good way, I did this when I went to watch Angels and Demon too, then I read the book, and the experience was a lot more enjoyable.

Because the movie will definitely leave some details out, let’s say it’s just a 75% of the original, and then when you went from 75% of the story to 100% in the book, you will feel more fulfilled.

Also I think if a movie can survive on it’s own, without people having to read the book to enjoy it fully, then it can be considered a good one.

So I’ve decided that I won’t read Catching Fire and Mockingjay until I finish the movie, despite already getting my hands on all the three ebooks.

Also since I watched the movie without any idea how the original is like, I enjoyed it to the fullest.

It’s a rather teen friendly movie, without too much gore and blood, so people like me who are afraid of blood, go ahead and watch it.

I have to say the idea of the entire story is brilliant, despite being presented in the future, it has some link to the current world.

I also love how it has the depth about the society instead of a story just about kids killing kids, cause if it’s a story about that it’ll become a really bad movie just like The Human Centipede(I know, ew), which is made only for human’s amusement and sadistic nature, which honestly in my opinion, is truly distubing.

The author probably wants people to feel the imbalance of the world, how in Capitol people can be so rich, and how in the 12 districts people can be so poor.

Also how sadistic humans are some times, to see a game of killing without feeling sense of pity.

You might think this is just a story, but what the author wrote are exactly what is happening in the world now, which is why I love  the setting and story so much.

Yet despite the cold-blooded-ness of the people in the Capitol, the theme of care and love is not completely absent in the story, especially Katniss’s love for her sister and Rue.

I’ve always wanted to write a book like that, hidden meaning about life and how sad the world is, yet giving people hope that humanity is still alive.

The characters are each so interesting and well presented, even the side characters, that you just want to see more of them, especially Cinna, Haymitch and Rue, they made me fell deeply in love with them within just the short while they’re on the screen.

They’re like a star on their own, each so special and interesting, if only they had told the story of the tributes too so that their death will mean something more to the audience.

Jennifer Lawrance did an awesome job portraying Katniss, despite the lack of olive skin(which is told in the book), I already loved her when I watch X-Men: First Class, I’m glad this movie became a blockbuster and she’s probably going to become even more famous(in a good way) than Kristen Stewart.

Josh Hutcherson is of course, simply gorgeous, though I kind of hated Peeta at the beginning, but when I really know about how this character is like, Josh’s version of him just can’t help but to make me feel something towards him. I mean just look at those eyes.

I will definitely give the movie a 10 if they kept up to the standard before the tributes start fighting.

The game was disappointing, even from the perspective from someone who had never read the book.

It was too rushed, the fight between the tributes didn’t create much of an impact for me like the first half of the movie.

It only brought my emotions back again when Rue appeared, then got killed, I swear she is the most adorable thing ever, even cuter than Prim in my honest opinion.

Out of topic: For those who are expecting her to be white because she remind Katniss of Prim, well fuck you racist bastard. She’s the most adorable thing no matter what her race or ‘color’ is, so shut the fuck up and stop making the fandom look like a bunch of dumb teenagers, I don’t want to relate THG with Twilight.

I expected everyone except Katniss to die, so Peeta’s survival is really a twist to the story, a rather interesting one too.

One thing I hate about this movie, the action is way too little, and when they finally fight the camera man shakes like he got tickled by a monkey in the forest.

I have mentioned this before, I absolutely hate Hollywood’s style of shaking their camera during action scenes.

Until now they still don’t get it, we don’t feel as if we’re fighting inside too, we just want to see some hot blood action, learn from Hong Kong movies.

The highlight of the story is how they fight, how they survive, the desperation, the thirst for victory… Which is presented rather hastily in the movie.

 

The ending was also sort of rushed, I heard many people saying that the very important part which Peeta realizing everything Katniss did was just for the games was not shown in the movie, which is a complete pity.

 

Because the movie ended like a Disney movie, so happy, everyone is happy, I’d love the depth and angst if the original part was told in the movie too, because that way the happiness wouldn’t become so artificial and forced.

Anyway, overall I would give this movie an 8, definitely worth watching no matter have you ever read the book, but beware, after watching you can’t help but to want to know more about it, so watch at your own risk. 8D

Also I’m wondering why is it that when Hollywood does a adaptation of their own country’s story, they do a good job, but when they touch Japanese stories(Anime, video games, horror movie), they ruin it.

Please don’t ever touch Death Note and make my L an emo kid and my Light Yagami some playboy who I won’t even find handsome.

It’s a rather short review, cause I really can’t say much about how awesome it is, it created an impact to me just like how Indiana Jones did, been a while since a movie did this to me.

I’m also happy to hear about how well the reception is and how much money it’s been earning, because I heard they will only make a second movie if they actually earn enough money, which they already did.

Catching Fire is already planned I suppose, if not I’ll cry a river and drown the world, I mean all of us who loved the movie, right?

That’s all folks. 8D

PS: Yes I was filling up the post with pictures from the movie =w= Sorry cause the review is really kind of short.

 

 
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