Blog Archives

Puss in Boots: Notes and Quotes

Just like last time with Captain America, here’s our Puss in Boots: Notes & Quotes!

The full review is now available here!

Chatbotté1885

Image via Wikipedia

Preliminary Review (Full-Review Monday)

Puss in Boots is a fantastic movie, easily comparable to the rest of the related-Shrek series. It’s highly enjoyable for all ages – the audience I sat with consisted of elderly individuals, young people (children & college aged), as well as middle-aged adults.

Regarding age and religious confliction, the film is suitably rated PG and is mostly quite humorous, even “dark” foreboding scenes are somewhat predictable and not at all extreme in violence, imagery, or language. There are some concepts which parents may need to discuss with their children, but otherwise its a great, family-friendly movie for ages 7+ (Common Sense says 6+).

Highlighted Movie Quotes

It began a long time ago… you may want to sit down for this. -Puss (Antonio Banderas), regarding life story.

I’ll steal you blind before you even know it. -Softpaws

You’re better than that. – Orphan Caretaker & Puss (3x) – marks many turning points in the film.

I smell something familiar… *great whiff* … something dangerous… *contemplates* … something breakfasty… HUMPTY ALEXANDRE DUMPTY! How dare you show your face to me? -Puss [see teaser]

Holy frijoles! -Puss

Advertisements

Films to Look Forward To: Up & Coming (Part II: Jun. 2011 – Oct)

For the first part of this post, simply visit Films to Look Forward To: Up & Coming (Part I: Jan. – Jun. 2011)

  1. Ladies and gentlemen – start your engines! Disney & Pixar’s Cars 2 swerves into theaters June 24th, 2011 [1]!
  2. Autobots and Decepticons once again clash on the world stage – in a battle of epic proportions. Watch all the action unfold in Transformers: Dark of the Moon coming to theaters July 1st, 2011 [2].
  3. Everybody’s favorite bear visits the modern movie era in Winnie the Pooh, July 15th, 2011 [3].
  4. Whatever happened to the Smurfs? Well it would appear they were getting ready for their big movie debut in The SmurfsAugust 3rd, 2011 [4].
  5. First there was Ian Flemming’s James Bond, then came Disney’s Cody Banks, followed by the box office hit Bourne SeriesAugust 19th, 2011 – Disney’s Spy Kids return in Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, certainly one of the best spy movies for kids [5].
  6. One after another – film producer after film producer – everyone wants a shot at the classics, and its certain the 2011 film, The Three Musketeers, is no exception. On October 14, 2011, we’ll be able to see what Summit Entertainment has to bring to the table.

Alpha and Omega

Alpha and Omega (film)

Image via Wikipedia

Alpha and Omega promised to be a good film – its marketing seemed to present it as a fun adventure for children, yet with enough substance for more mature audiences. As I watched the beginning of the film, however, I had second thoughts. Everything seemed so random and cliché, as if put together hastily or without forethought. As the movie progresses, you may spot some familiar scenes – which appear to resemble Disney’s Lion King somewhat. The film appears to be trying too hard – making a half-baked attempt at being serious and emotional, yet resulting in confusion and uncertainty. The film however, is not an utter failure. Although the plot is unsatisfactory in many cases, one must keep in mind the audience. This movie is terrific for young children, as they are not yet the critics of blockbuster films that mature movie watchers often become. They may catch onto the wonder that is yet available for them to grasp, and Alpha and Omega may prove to be a very enjoyable film.  I was not so disinterested as to stop the movie completely, and would consider it a fairly good film all around. It generated that same magic that so many DreamWorks movies seem to produce, yet in short bursts. It conveyed emotional sentiment and could easily connect with its audience at times, it worked out character development and generated suspense. While I would not recommend this film to those movie watchers who are rather more interested in films such as Inception, Iron Man, [etc.] than the animated spectrum of the movie industry, I would not entirely direct animation-apt movie watchers away from the film. It’s simple, yet not overly cheesy. It simply doesn’t contain the fluid and indescribable feel of many more thought-out films.

Nintendo DSi vs Nintendo 3DS

Although it has yet to be released in the United States (it’s official release is March – 27th for the U.S.), the Nintendo 3DS seems quite promising, simply from its marketing campaign. Yet will it truly measure up to expectations?

English: Nintendo DSi Polski: Nintendo DSi

Image via Wikipedia

The Nintendo DSi
The Nintendo DSi, and it’s XL Version as well, brought about a large change to the Nintendo DS line. It started with the simple DS system, and the slightly improved Lite, which enhanced visual capabilities with it’s brightness level feature. Then comes the DSi – the first in its line to introduce duo built-in cameras with corresponding software, a voice-record system with alteration features (such as pitch or echo), and even going so far as to make available the option of a built-in, Opera-based internet browser, along with the animation program Flipnote and its Hatena sharing capabilities – further allowing a SD Card Slot for additional memory. The DSi was certainly developed for personal use, complimented with fun, socially interactive features.

Opera Browser 2.0

Image by Jorge glеz via Flickr

Fun Fact: I’ve recently noticed an increase in web searches relating to DSi Flash player inquiries which have been redirected to this blog. The Nintendo DSi does not support Flash Player on its web browser, nor any other add-on’s. Therefore many online sites such as YouTube, or MMORPG game sites like Club Penguin or Adventure Quest are rendered useless and incapable of operation. This is unavoidable and cannot be fixed.

English: Nintendo 3DS Deutsch: Nintendo 3DS

Image via Wikipedia

The Nintendo 3DS
According to Wikipedia (and now first-hand experiences), which has based its information  on reliable resources, the Nintendo 3DS features push-buttons, D-pad (which operates with similar purpose to the control pad. Allows users to pan through environments, scroll through menu’s, etc.), analog stick, touchscreen, volume slider, 3D depth slider, wireless communications switch, 3DS/DSi/DS and SD Card Slots, and a variety of programs, including Wii-based features, such as 3DS Sound , Mii Studio, PictoChat, Street Pass Mii Plaza, Face Shooting, Download Service, 3DS Camera, Augmented reality games, 3DS Shop, Internet Browser, an Activity Log, and 3D movie playback capability (with movies by Warner BrosDisney, and DreamWorks). As it’s main attraction, the Nintendo 3DS enables 3-D game play for select games, including a slider to adjust the 3-D graphics at any time. The dramatic effects of 3-D gameplay requires no special glasses or additional equipment as it operates on the concept of autostereoscopy. It certainly ups the ante!

Nintendo 3DS Experience Group

Image by HK-DMZ via Flickr

Hopeful Developments

As terrific as all these new and returned features are, there are some updates that could be made – and hopefully will be, such as:

-Increased Web Browser Capabilities (We don’t yet, since Nintendo has yet to release the update containing their web browser): Now we do, the Nintendo 3DS Browser is superior, includes an automatic “word-guesser” which saves time!

-Upgraded FlipNote software with additional, advanced options: Nintendo has now released SwapNote, superior to FlipNote. Send notes to your friends, and even animate the process of drawing, instead of page by page animations (although this is still possible).

-More release-date choices in bundles – such as with Mario Kart 3DS, and others I’ve commonly discussed (a few bundles are currently available from GameStop, though they’re not really big deals): Nintendo carried through in this aspect as well, with Zelda, Mario, etc. bundles!

Check the Adventure Writer Blog in March 2011 for a full review on the Nintendo 3DS  and perhaps one of our first video blog posts! For updates, check: The Nintendo Series [3DS/DSi] category, which is where all  Nintendo 3DS [and related DSi] posts will be added.

If you liked this, be sure to check out…

Upcoming Nintendo 3DS Games

Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney {Level-5 & Capcom}

Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle

Nintendogs + Cats

Mario Kart 3DS

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Kid Icarus: Uprising



Toy Story 3: An “Investigative” Review

Holmes - Paget 1903 - The Empty House - The Re...

Image via Wikipedia

A look at the highest grossing film of 2010: Toy Story 3!

Disclaimer: The author of this post has been reading too much Sherlock Holmes, and writing far too much in the mystery genre. As a result, this post may resemble a detective novel, rather than a movie review.

Is Toy Story really the number one animated film, or is there another story behind it? This question plagued me as a Toy Story 3 promotion flashed across the television. I had to find out.

My investigation led me to Wikipedia, searching the articles belonging to Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and at last, Toy Story 3. It did appear that each film was number one in the box office during each of their releases – and Toy Story 3 did indeed accumulate a fame even greater than it’s predecessors. But what did the charts say?

Wikipedia: Highest-grossing films of 2010
As of December 30, 2010 [1]
Rank Title Studio Worldwide North America United Kingdom Australia
1 Toy Story 3 Disney·Pixar $1,063,143,492 $415,004,880 $116,625,632 $37,957,715
Soruce: Wikipedia– Highest Grossing Films

It certainly appeared that Toy Story 3, in itself, already had quite a solid case. Therefore my conclusion – by deduction and observation, led me to believe it was indeed “#1.” Now onto the review!

Toy Story 3 is everything that it’s box office performance reveals. It follows in the footsteps of the previous two films, and establishes a satisfying finale to the film franchise.

Toy Story 3

Image by Jerrod Maruyama via Flickr

Toy Story 3 retains it’s terrific appeal to the family. It is throughly entertaining, and should prove satisfactory to the critic. It’s storyline picks up shortly after where the second film left off. The audience may observe that many toys have disappeared from the scene, including Woody’s beloved Little Bo Peep. In a brief history, through family videos and the filming of family videos thereof, we witness the growth of Andy, until at last stopping at the approximate age of eighteen, where he is preparing for college – a fact which instills dread into the remaining toys. What will be their fate? To the attic, forsaken for years to come? Or worse? At last, Cowboy Woody rallies the troops, revealing the simple truth that, as his toys, they should be there for Andy no matter what. With this encouragement however, chaos still manages to find it’s way into the mix, and the toys end up “mistakingly” being donated to Sunnyside, a children’s daycare. Amidst the joy of finally having the chance to be played with, the toys soon find out there’s a dark side to this daycare. For it is run by the evil Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear aka Lotso, who, through being left behind by his owner, has become a wicked tyrant. Will the toys get free and return home to Andy? Or will they be trapped forever – forced to stay in the toddler’s domain (where they are torn apart, and thoroughly mistreated) while Lotso’s gang enjoys the elementary-middle school side?

Totoro seen in the Toy Story 3 Trailer.

Image via Wikipedia

Regardless of the seemingly “dark” storyline, the movie is (in conclusion) an altogether positive and happy tale, exploring the aspects of true friendship, teamwork, and Disney happily-ever-after’s.

For fans of Japanese anime, a character from My Neighbor Totoro (that is, Totoro himself) by Hayao Miyazaki makes a cameo appearance among the toy’s belonging to the daycare owner’s (or caretaker)  child, a girl named Bonnie (who plays a dramatically [and most unexpectedly, at first] important role in the plot).

If you liked this movie, be sure to check out…!

In order of relevance,  release date, and other factors…

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom [May 27, 2011]

Green Lantern [June 17th 2011]

Captain America: The First Avenger [July 22nd, 2011]

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World [August 19, 2011]

Sherlock Holmes II [December 16th, 2011]

National Treasure III [Christmas 2011]

Ice Age: Continental Drift [July 13th, 2012]

How to Train Your Dragon II [Summer 2013]

 

2010 Favorites:

Disney’s A Christmas Carol [Available on DVD]

Despicable Me [Available on DVD]

Kung-Fu Panda [Available on DVD]

How to Train Your Dragon [Available on DVD]

Adventure Writer Favorite: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [In Theaters]

 


Tron: Legacy 3-D

Tron: Legacy

Image via Wikipedia

“Man, I’m all over this!”

Tron: Legacy is one of those movies that you can’t judge by it’s Preview – but if you do, you’ll get something you never expected – unless you typically have dramatically high expectations. It has the critics raving, the audience dazzled,  and it’s box office sales thoroughly secured. Afterall, this is by Walt Disney Pictures.

As for the story – Tron: Legacy is the sequel to Tron (1982), which I had not heard of before now (whoops!).  The movie starts off with it’s focus on Kevin Flynn, a brilliant engineer and CEO of ENCOM International, a company which, since his disappearance, has strayed from it’s founding principals. The events prior to his absence play out before the movie-watching audience, taking a look at his family life and near-obsession with a project called The Grid – the new frontier, in a digital sense.

Kevin leaves behind a son, Sam Flynn, to whom he told stories of The Grid and had, of which, promised him a trip there the day before his disappearance. With a mysterious atmosphere well established, we find Sam, a troubled boy with neither mother nor father – for his mother had died a time long ago, seeking out a life for himself, while fighting mixed emotions about his father. The movie portrays his development from the point where his father disappears, showing him left behind with his grandparents, then making the decision to seek out his father, going out on his bike into the rain – this transitions to Sam Flynn 20-years later, this time on a motorcycle, speeding down a highway in a sort of Tony Stark fashion. He, at once, gains a bad-boy – vigilante perception, evading the police, infiltrating his father’s company (which has since fallen from it’s founding principals, charging for their software, instead of providing it for free), and stealing their latest software which he proceeds to upload to the internet for all to have.

The redesigned Light cycle as featured in the ...

Image via Wikipedia

When he arrives home, Sam discovers ENCOM executive Alan Bradley already there, whom he promptly ignores until grabbing a drink – both for him and his guest. Mr. Bradley, who has already learned of Sam’s night’s activities, tells him he has received a page from his father’s old office – an office which has remained abandoned for years. Sam takes up, though at first hesitant, this new opportunity to find his father. At his father’s arcade, he finds a hidden passage behind an old Tron game, leading him to his father’s hidden workshop where he developed The Grid. After tinkering around with his father’s computer, and finally solving the program, Sam finds himself zapped into the world of The Grid. Here he must fight for his life against Clu, his father’s clone, who has  established a sort of tyrannical leadership over the world – in response to his initial programming of creating a perfect world. Accompanied by Quorra, an apparent female “program” loyal to his father, can Sam find his father, stop Clu, and get back home in time?

Tron: Legacy is filled action-packed with thrilling suspense, a few psychological complexities, human emotion, and an inevitable and complementary touch of romance. While the movie may not explore the depths of the human heart so as to touch it’s audience, and instead focuses a great deal on breath-taking special effects, and beautiful graphics, it is certainly a wonderfully crafted film. If more time were spent focusing on the storyline, a much greater movie would have been the result. It is a thriller that will appeal to action-movie lovers, and to other general movie-watchers. It is fitting for ages around 10+ (for which Common Sense stipulates as well).

As for it’s 3-D aspect, unlike some critics and reviewers, I must insist that it should very well be seen in 3-D. It brings out the graphics tremendously and heightens the entire movie-watching experience. The effects are not too distracting, and rather compliment everything within the film, though if you’ve had bad experiences 3-D, you may wish to stick with 2-D.

If you liked this movie, be sure to check out…

In order of relevance, recommendation, and other factors…

National Treasure III (Christmas 2011)

Adventure Writer Favorite: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [In Theaters]

How to Train Your Dragon II [Summer 2013]

Disney’s A Christmas Carol [Available on DVD]

Despicable Me [Available on DVD]

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom [May 27, 2011]

Kung-Fu Panda [Available on DVD]

How to Train Your Dragon [Available on DVD]

Iron Man II [Available on DVD]

Iron Man III [May 3rd, 2013]

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World [August 19, 2011]

Captain America: The First Avenger [July 22nd, 2011]

Green Lantern [June 17th 2011]

Sherlock Holmes II [December 16th, 2011]

Ice Age: Continental Drift [July 13th, 2012]

From Wikipedia: Movie Release Dates.


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Da...

Image via Wikipedia

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third installment of the TCON (The Chronicles of Narnia) movies released by Disney, Walden Media, & 20th Century Fox. The first movie, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was a hit, making way for it’s sequel, Prince Caspian, which received a fair amount of positive and critical feedback from it’s fans. The latest film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, seemed to promise much when I first came across the previews – a surge of excitement at finally being able to see the magic brought to life in another blockbuster film. However, was it successful?

Overview & Speculation:

Unlike my opinion with Prince Caspian, I believe The Dawn Treader is well accomplished. Although some areas of the movie differ from the book, I could recall a plethora of scenes that I remembered were in the book (when I read it sometime around 2004). The end even serves to make way for the next two books in the storyline, The Silver Chair and The Final Battle. Though the Final Battle will most likely be the only option, as it appears the Dawn Treader film has already taken many scenes from The Silver Chair.

The movie is filled with amazing effects, beautifully accomplished animation, all-around design, and a fitting cast. It returns with the same feel that was brought about by The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, taking the audience back into the magic, wonder, adventure, and inspired genius that is the world of Narnia.

As for the basic storyline:

It has been a year since the events of Prince Caspian, and Edmond and Lucy find themselves in a terrible situation – as the war persists, they must live with their Aunt and Uncle… along with their cousin, Eustace Scrubb, who takes an immediate disliking to the Pevensie children and their Narnia non-sense, and finds no trouble, in his odious manner, in expressing his aversion. As in most stories as this, the boy is bound to become a believer. But how, one may ask? Why, being sucked into a painting! The room fills with the water, once a mere beauty to admire in the painting, now a torrent which violently tosses them back into a sudden reunion with Narnia, and onto one of their greatest adventures yet. Evil has shrouded the land of Narnia once again and Prince Caspian, accompanied by his royal castaways (Edmund and Lucy), must gather the Seven Swords of the Seven Lords (that’s a mouthful…) and set them on Aslan’s Table, which will vanquish the darkness if they succeed.

Many characters reappear from the previous movies, including one of my personal favorites: Reepicheep (beside my top favorite Aslan.)

It’s a terrific movie fit for the whole family – although there are some elements which may be unsuitable to younger audiences [Rated PG].

Religious Elements:

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader is rich in Christian elements and theology.

“I am,” said Aslan. “But there [in your world] I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

The name He speaks of is evident and beyond misconception, though some people may bring up controversy to attempt to establish otherwise. In the world of the Pevensie’s, and our world as well, His name is Jesus Christ – Savior of Humanity – The Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

If you liked this movie, be sure to check out…

In order of relevance, recomendation, and other factors…

Tron: Legacy [December 17, 2010]

Disney’s A Christmas Carol [Available on DVD]

Despicable Me [Available on DVD]

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom [May 27, 2011]

Kung-Fu Panda [Available on DVD]

How to Train Your Dragon [Available on DVD]

Iron Man II [Available on DVD]

Iron Man III [May 3rd, 2013]

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World [August 19, 2011]

X-Men: First Class [June 3rd, 2011]

Captain America: The First Avenger [July 22nd, 2011]

Transformers III: The Dark of the Moon [July 1st, 2011]

Green Lantern [June 17th 2011]

Sherlock Holmes II (December 16th, 2011]

Ice Age: Continental Drift [July 13th, 2012]

From Wikipedia: Movie Release Dates.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol (2009 film)

Image via Wikipedia

There seems to be nothing better than the classics, and that’s just what Disney has come out with! This new version of A Christmas Carol takes a technologically advanced twist with it’s portrayal on Charles Dicken’s classic story. As an animated feature, one may assume the movie to have a child-like  aspect about it – however, that is not that case. The new adaptation uses some quite amazing animation software and technology to create life-like characters from the actors that portray them. If you’re interested in the technology, I suggest looking into it!

For those unfamiliar with the story, A Christmas Carol is about the life of a man named Ebenezer Scrooge, who, even in the most practical situations, refuses to give up his money. This scrooge of a man, who frowns upon society, looks upon Christmas as a “humbug!” Hardly wishing to engage in the spirit of the holiday. It was however, inevitable, that the spirits of the holiday would inevitably visit him. Through the visits of three phantasmagoric beings, the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, Scrooge is changed forever, opening his heart to the world, and dedicating his life to uplifting the Christmas season and the spirit of giving therein.

It’s a highly recommended film, and fans of the story won’t be disappointed!

Despicable Me

Despicable Me

Image via Wikipedia

Despicable Me is a new animated film produced by Universal Studios. It’s about a super villain named Gru who, due to being denied money from the Bank of Evil, must come up with a dastardly plan of mass-proportions… and he certainly has. With his heart set on stealing the moon and proving himself as the greatest evil villain of all time, will Gru achieve his goal? Or will three little orphan girls get in his way?

Despicable Me is certainly a movie for the whole family – filled with heart-warming moments, a dash of Shrek-level toilet humor, and loads of laughs. For those seeking a moralistic film, this movie has a little bit of that too. Teaching the importance of family, friendship, and achieving your dreams. It’s an imaginative adventure that will not fail to please.

The plot is simple, and follows the example of many of the family-films produced by Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, and other such companies. It doesn’t have any deep psychological meaning, complex  characters, or intense action sequences. It’s made for kids and kids-at-heart.

If you liked this movie, be sure to check out…

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom [May 27, 2011]

Kung-Fu Panda [Available on DVD]

Megamind [In Theaters as of 11/27/2010]

How to Train Your Dragon [Available on DVD]

Toy Story 3 [In Theaters {as of 11/27} & on DVD]

WALL-E [Available on DVD]

Ratatouille [Available on DVD]

Up [Available on DVD]

Tangled [In Theaters as of 11/27/2010]

From Wikipedia: Movie Release Dates.

 

 

Iron Man II

Iron Man 2

Image via Wikipedia

One of the most action-packed movies of the season, Iron Man 2 is one of those Blockbuster movies that come in short quantities. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, & Mickey Rourke.

Join Tony Stark on his latest escapade – after admitting to the public his identity of Iron Man and changing the focus of his company from war to peace (allowing Hammer Industries to rise up as the main weapons developer in Iron Man 2), Stark’s life has changed … little more than what we’d seen before. Stark is still the self-absorbed womanizer that everyone knows him by, and still claims the world stage [and world peace]. Yet dark days are soon to come – Stark’s palladium cores have gone from the life-saving power source we knew them as in the first movie, to a slowly developing poison which would eventually prove fatal – making an antidote of the highest priority. But that’s not all! With new exposure to the public eye, Stark has also brought the attention of a new adversary, Ivan Vanko, who comes to be known as the son of the alleged creator of the palladium core. With time running out, and the mass-production of Iron Man suits [in the hands of his enemy] becoming a horror-filled reality, Tony Stark must find a quick solution to a complex problem.

Cover of "Iron Man (Two-Disc Special Coll...

Cover via Amazon

If you liked this movie, be sure to check out [in order of release]:

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader [Dec. 10th, 2010]

Thor [May 6th, 2011]

Transformers III: The Dark of the Moon [July 1st, 2011]

Sherlock Holmes II [December 16th, 2011]

Iron Man Anime (G4) [2011]

The Avengers [May 4th, 2012]

Batman Begins Threequel [July 20th, 2012]

Iron Man III [May 3, 2013]

From Wikipedia: Movie Release Dates.