Blog Archives

Puss in Boots: Movie Review

Puss in Boots

Image via Wikipedia

It began a long time ago… you may want to sit down for this.

-Puss (Antonio Banderas)

Puss in Boots is back, and this time around there’s no sign of donkey, Shrek, or the usual storyline. Puss In Boots brings a fresh, rollicking, action-packed adventure to the table – abundant in sword fights, dance fights, and angry goose mothers.

The story kicks off with a Casanova-like Puss, escaping from an unknown villain at the dark of night. After a narrow escape, he ventures to a saloon for a glass of leche. Here he receives news of the infamous golden eggs, and the fantastic goose who lays them, residing in a castle far into the heavens. The only way to get there is to obtain the magical beans and plant them in a specific spot to create beanstalk. Simple, right? Until Puss learns of the bean’s current “owners,” the notorious Jack & Jill who seek the goose of legend for the great wealth it may provide. A race to obtain the beans ensues and Puss finds himself intercepted by the elusive Kitty Softpaws, who extends an offer of partnership, one that puss would readily accept…

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

-Softpaws (Salma Hayek)

…if it wasn’t for his orphan “brother.”

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

-Puss

Puss first met Humpty in an orphanage as a mere kitten, and they forged an immediate friendship and a club dedicated to tracking down the magical beans. They had many an adventure together – stealing beans from local vendors, and planting them whenever they had the chance, hoping one day to find the ones they were looking for. One day, however, a raging bull escapes from its pen and charges through the town, heading straight for an elderly woman. Puss swoops in, saves her, and consequently becomes the town hero – receiving his well known boots and cap as a reward. From this point on, Puss vowed never to steal again, an oath which Humpty observed with annoyance – for although Puss had taken the path of straight and narrow, Humpty would not, and continued to strive for his goal by whatever means necessary, even by breaking into the head soldier’s household and stealing gold so that he may escape from town. Puss arrives on the scene as Humpty hobbles out of the grounds, unaware of his theft. Humpty prompts him to drive him away, and Puss obeys. Soon, however, he realizes the depth of their situation. Soldiers chase them until they reach the town bridge, and all the while Puss furiously chides Humpty on deceiving him. The next moment, their cart overturns and the gold falls into the river. Humpty, unable to stand up, rolls around and asks Puss for help. Puss, however, regards him as a traitor and runs off, leaving him to the guards.

Present day, Humpty asks Puss to join him (and Softpaws this time around) in capturing the beans. After much hesitation and backstory, Puss agrees, wanting to use the golden eggs to pay back the villagers and head Soldier… will Puss, Humpty, and Softpaws succeed in their endeavor or will Jack and Jill get to the castle first? All the while there is treachery afoot…

Christian & Family Perspective [See CS & PI for more information]

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+).

Excerpted from Adventure Writer's Blog:Preliminary Review

The character of Puss transitions from a thief, to an unrighteously accused outlaw, seeking to making up for crimes he did not commit. He does also, however, constantly retain a rogue-romantic-avenger aspect – flirting with female cats (most especially Softpaws, with whom he wishes to have many more adventures), and shaving off opponent’s hither and thither.

In conclusion, I greatly enjoyed Puss in Boots and would certainly recommend it for the family setting. It has, in my opinion, far surpassed the Shrek series.

Advertisements

Puss in Boots: Official Trailer

Looks like all those Old Spice parodies and other videos have paved the way for the Official Trailer, look for a review on the Adventure Writer’s Blog shortly after the film comes out.

Kung-Fu Panda 2

Kung Fu Panda film poster, with Po in the middle.

Image via Wikipedia

Everybody’s favorite Kung-Fu fighting panda returns in this latest film! And although the film is the second highest grossing in the United States, the inevitable question must be asked: did DreamWorks make the cut in meeting fan’s expectations with this sequel, or did they fall short?

The film starts with a history of its primary antagonist – Lord Shen, heir to throne in Gongmen City, and a dastardly peacock with plans for world domination (or at least all of China). He has taken the beloved recreational firework and turned it into a destructive weapon of war, yet he does not stop with this apparently inexcusable act.. After learning of a prophecy told by his parent’s soothsayer that he will one day be thwarted by a black and white warrior, he ascertains a team of wolves and makes a mass genocide of the panda species – gaining the attention of his parents who banish him after learning of his evil deeds. Enraged, he takes over the royal palace (which has now come under the control of Kung Fu masters Thundering Rhino, Storming Ox, and Croc) a short time later (once his parents have died of grief), using his firework cannon to defeat the legendary Kung-Fu masters – exterminating Rhino, and locking Ox and Croc in the dungeon.

After the brief introduction, we join Po, the Dragon Warrior, on a fairly usual day. After some training with Shifu (pay close attention, as the particular move he is taught will become a pivotal point in the film) Po joins the Furious Five on a mission to town where wolf bandits are stealing all the metal they can find in order to mass-produce cannons for Lord Shen. While fighting, Po sees a “vision of the past,” incurred from a symbol he spots on the head bandit’s sleeve – portraying his birth mother and father, and a great fire seeming to envelope them. While thus distracted, Po is knocked down and the bandits flee into the mountains with a fair amount of the metal. When the warriors arrive back home, Shifu briefly tells them of the attack on the Kung-Fu masters (shown at the beginning of the film), before sending them out on a mission to defeat Lord Shen. All the while, Po remains in great complexion over his past, at one time inquiring of his goose father, Mr. Ping, “where he came from.” When the warriors arrive at the city and encounter Lord Shen, they found themselves poorly equipped, and nearly defeated. The future seems dim for Gongmen City, but there is hope on the horizon if Po can master “inner peace,” and grow as the Dragon Warrior.

From a family perspective, the movie is quite enjoyable! Suitable for a variety of ages, with content fitting for each. The violence and images are about at par with the first movie, never displaying blood and gore, though with evident death. The movie is rated PG and should be reserved for kids beyond their toddler years, around 6-10+. From a Christian perspective, the movie is abounding with philosophy from Eastern religions, entailing inner peace and other such conceptions – Bhuddist philosophies which have been been pointed out by a recent Freshly Pressed post. The lessons within the movie must be taken with spiritual discernment – having confidence in oneself is a must, however, having foremost trust and confidence in God and His Son is vital. The world we live in now is not an illusion – we have been created and placed here for a purpose and given free will to choose. We have been made for love – to have passion for our God and passion for his work. We are not good in and of ourselves, we find righteousness in the process of sanctification – following God and defying self through the power of the Holy Spirit given us.

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

2009 ESPN Zone Chicago Ultimate Couch Potato C...

Image via Wikipedia

The last few years have shown a variety of great movies, yet what of future films? In no particular order, here’s a few movies you may want to check out when they come around to theaters:

  1. Like Hoodwinked? It certainly brought about a fresh perspective to the old tale of Red Riding Hood – and an entirely redone plot to boot. While not at the same level of DreamWorks, it certainly passed as a successful animated film.  Coming to theaters April 29th, 2011 (my birthday as well) is its sequel: Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil [1].
  2. Thorarguably one of the greatest super heroes in the Marvel Universe (although I remain an advocate for the Green Arrow) comes to theaters May 6, 2011, let the epic war of the worlds begin [2].
  3. If you’re a fan of this Disney series, you’ll certainly want to watch its next installment! Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides comes to theaters May 20, 2011 [3].
  4. Now who could forget DreamWorks Kung-Fu Panda? Or miss its sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom? Watch Po face off against one of his greatest challenges yet… an Emperor Peacock! Skadoosh-ing into theaters May 26, 2011. Somehow I’m not shaking in my boots, though its certain to be one of this year’s best family-comedies [4].
  5. Did someone say X-Men? Marvel is  on a one-track, no-stops, back-to-back movie release agenda, and X-Men: First Class is next in its line-up! Can’t pass by an origins movie, now can we? Be sure to see all the action June 3, 2011 [5]!
  6. The green guardian sweeps into theaters June 17th, 2011 [6]. Green Lantern appears to take on the traditional role of recent super hero movies, with a modern plot and perception twist in order to expand its audience not only to comic lovers, but to the general movie-goers as well. Whether the series will meet up to the Iron Man trilogy however, is yet to be seen.
  7. Jim Carry takes on the role of Mr. Popper in theaters June 17, 2011 [7] on Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Watching how this fun children’s novel meets modern cinema will be something to behold indeed, and with Mr. Carry at the forefront of the show, we may have some laughs as well.

Here we’ll have to cut the list short until tomorrow, which will list movies from July 2011, to late 2012. Be sure not to miss it!


That’s one long list…

This weekend I’m compiling a fairly lengthy list of films, 2011-2012, that may just make that blockbuster status with an explosion of box office sales. Included are films generally related to what I typically review. Such as Kung-Fu Panda II, and many others.

If you’re looking for a good movie this year, or even planning ahead for next year – don’t miss it!

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.

Shrek Forever After

Shrek Forever After

Image via Wikipedia

Shrek Forever After is a movie that  retains the same, consistent tone that is held throughout its series. It has the same toilet humor laughs, childish appeal, and a heaping portion of DreamWorks magic to create a universal appeal – beyond age and gender. The Shrek series has just about something for everybody – the princess in distress for the avid Disney fans, the fearless Ogre and all the chaos that entails his very existence for the action-adventure lovers, and lots and lots of comedy. It’s a fairy tale, an old time adventure, and a bundle of laughs – and The Final Chapter is no exception. A movie fun for the whole family, with no strings attached except for the fee to rent or purchase it. Though if you think this movie is the end of the series – you haven’t heard about the upcoming Puss in Boots, which you can find information on at the end of this review.

Shrek (film series)

Image via Wikipedia

Shrek Forever After was a surprisingly toned down movie – by which I mean, a bit less of the usually breakneck-pace of  toilet humor, and a greater family appeal. Shrek Forever After takes on a fairy-tale, moral-of-the-story attitude this time around, with humor to lighten the mood in an otherwise melancholy tale. Its a movie without the typical feel of blockbusters – it’s something pretty innocent which the whole family can watch and enjoy without having to worry about questionable content. It’s a breath of fresh air in the midst of a literary and Hollywood focus on things that may be deep, and emotionally compromising in ways that may challenge positive attitudes and rather bog you down. There are, however, movies like Shrek Forever After, and others by DreamWorks, Disney, and the like – which are fun to watch, and pleasant in contemplation.

The Plot

It’s your typical Ogre day taking care of the kids, overseeing a donkey-dragon crossbreed play-date, and sharing fairy tales with a talking cat and your friend donkey at least for Shrek anyways.

The problem is, the daily routine is getting boring. Why couldn’t things go back to the way the were? This is Shrek’s dilemma. No longer is he the villager’s worst fear – but rather a tourist attraction. Not even a peaceful mud bath! One thing leads to another, and this aggravated Ogre finds himself at the end of his line. After an angry outburst at his children’s birthday, following the smashing of the remaining cake (after the pigs had eaten the first one), and an argument  with Fiona – the day doesn’t seem like it could get any worse. Or could it?

Primary Plot Details [and Potential Spoilers] Follow…

Shrek, emotionally compromised, somehow finds himself face-to-face with Rumpelstiltskin, the evil fairytale mastermind whose plans had gone awry when Shrek saved Fiona. Seeing a chance for revenge, Rumpelstiltskin convinces Shrek to sign a magical contract, which he claims will give him a day as he used to have it. The villagers running in fear, relaxing mud baths, owing time to no one but himself – the good old days. All in exchange for one day of Shrek’s life to trade with Rumpel. Still fuming from his confrontation with Fiona, Shrek signs the contract and in the next instant, finds himself transported into a familiar, and much missed world where all his dreams are practically a reality. His old life is back… but is that such a good thing? Soon he finds out that Fiona was never rescued from the castle, she knows nothing of him, and she’s wanted by the evil dictator of Far Far Away, Rumpelstiltskin! Moreover, after being captured by witches loyal to the new kingdom (then escaping), Shrek learns that the day that he traded Rumpelstiltskin for the current reality, was the day of his birth, and that if he doesn’t find a remedy he will soon disappear from existence. Shrek enlists the help of Donkey (who has no idea who he is, but tags along anyways… after lengthy persuasion) and discovers, surprisingly by Donkey’s origami expertise, that he can be returned to his reality if he receives true love’s kiss. With this in mind, Shrek sets out to find Fiona, and instead finds the Ogre resistance (against Rumpelstiltskin’s kingdom) headed by Fiona. Will Shrek succeed in winning Fiona’s love and returning to his reality? Or will he disappear forever? I think anyone who is familiar with the series can formulate a good portion of the ending.

Conclusion

The movie series (and this particular film in particular) comes highly recommended, unless you’re the type of movie-goer who strictly watches films such as Inception, and other deeply serious psychological thrillers. It’s a nice, decent family movie – and even though it entails some childish humor, it may even get a few laughs out of otherwise stoic audiences.

Upcoming Films [ 12 ]

Puss in Boots (Shrek)

Image via Wikipedia

→ Puss In Boots [In Theaters November 4, 2011]

Alternatively entitled Puss in Boots: The Story of an Ogre Killer the title speaks volumes. The story follows the personal escapades of Puss in Boots, on of the most beloved and unique characters in the Shrek series – and I’d suppose he hunts Ogres… just going out on a limb there. With Antonio Banderas reprising his role as Puss, the film would appear most promising – what’s more entertaining than a cat with both the style and abilities of Zorro (also played by Antonio)?

Kung Fu Panda film poster, with Po in the middle.

Image via Wikipedia

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

It’s the return of everyone’s favorite Kung-Fu fighting panda, Po! Now that he’s an epic Kung-Fu master, and not to mention the Dragon Warrior, Po is full of confidence and sure to be raring for another adventure. Though the praise of the townspeople and relaxation must wait – for a new threat, a sinister King peacock by the name of Lord Shen, has entered the scene! With the help of Sensei Shifu, the Furious Five, and a new [to the series] elite Kung Fu team, will Po succeed in defeating Shen? Or has he finally met his match?

 


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



Next up…

Medieval illustration of a Christian scribe wr...

Image via Wikipedia

As I compile reviews and whatnot, I’ll do a few brief “how-to’s” of various sorts, including Forum-making, basic graphic-making, and more reviews. Maybe the original Iron Man?

In addition, I will answer some of the prompts given at the Daily Post.

Look for it this week on the Adventure Writer Blog!

 

 

Book icon with the French flag.

Image via Wikipedia

In the meantime, feel free to read some of our most popular articles and pages!

Kung-Fu Panda

Polls! {Updated}

The X-Structure

Disney’s: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Boredom by Snow: How to Stay Entertained

Iron Man II

Artemis Fowl & The Atlantis Complex

WordPress comes to Nintendo DSi

How to Train Your Dragon

Tron: Legacy 3-D

How to Train Your Dragon

Como entrenar a tu Dragon - 00132

Image by Daniel Semper via Flickr

How to Train Your Dragon is about a boy named Hiccup, an out-of-sorts viking, who lives in a world that sees strength in line with respectability. But he’s more of the creative type… so while his father, Stoick the Vast, the viking chieftain, is out with his fellow men hunting dragons, Hiccup is putting his imagination to work. His sight is set on catching Night Fury, the most elusive and dangerous of all dragons – to gain the admiration of the viking community, and his crush – a tough viking girl named Astrid.

His plan to catch the most infamous Night Fury? Intense studying! And the creation of ingenious traps! Who would’ve thought that one day he would actually catch something? None other than the prized dragon itself. Yet, as Hiccup’s viking nature would otherwise demand, he does not kill the dragon but instead keeps it as a pet – feeding it fish, and gradually gaining it’s trust. Soon, he learns more about the world of dragons, and becomes a sort of Dragon Rider, (*cough* Cornelia Funke & Christopher Paolini reference *cough*) gaining enough of Night Fury’s trust to finally ride him (though at first somewhat unwillingly). A hero is born!

Amidst these fortunate developments, Hiccup finds himself in a dilemma. First of all, he must constantly keep Night Fury hidden, or risk exposure and his dragon’s capture… and ensuing demise. Next, his father has registered him for dragon-killing lessons – during which, he defeats the dragons by anatomical means, knocking them out without any harm. This fact is, however, unknown to anyone else, and they believe Hiccup to be a skilled warrior, rather than who he really is – a unique viking boy who has, with an acute intelligence, found a benevolent position among dragons.

It is inevitable that an intense competition is to take place – Hiccup vs a fierce breed of dragon – to the death! While Hiccup refuses to kill the dragon, the dragon has other plans – putting Hiccup in a life-and-death situation, in which Night Fury (named Toothless), comes to the rescue!

At first the villagers respond negatively, capturing Toothless and taking him to the home of all dragons, in hopes of a successful crusade against them. When, however, the vikings find themselves overpowered by an enormous Godzilla-size dragon – Hiccup, along with his persuaded friends (and crush), mount upon dragons of their own and come to the rescue! Successfully defeating “Dragonzilla,” Hiccup becomes a true hero and finally gains his long-desired respect. Dragons become incorporated into the community, and everyone lives happily ever after! Or do they? Find out in the sequal, coming out in 2013! (and a threequel coming later)

 

As many of the other movies I’ve reviewed recently – this movie is also a great choice for the family setting. Enjoyed by the young and old – that’s the magic of DreamWorks! (no, not Macy’s) It shares a similar “heroic, adventure, comedic” feel to it, that most DreamWorks movies appear to contain – which provides for a relaxing and most enjoyable movie atmosphere.

Fun-Wikipedia-Fact: “…the writer-directors of Disney’s Lilo & Stitch, took over as co-directors”

No wonder it reminded me of Lilo & Stitch!

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

In order of relevance, recomendation, and other factors…

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

Tron: Legacy [December 17, 2010]

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.