Thanks to You

This completely has nothing with my blog (actually it has everything to do with it). Thank you so much guys for making my morning. All of you are awesome.

I, Robot (G #30)

Trying to tell a joke and it goes horribly wrong…

I, Robot (2005)

Will Smith sure has a knack for telling jokes. Telling one must be like eating robots for breakfast.

The Grudge (2004) – Thoughts From Thatbigscreenguy

Wierd moaning. That’s what I remember the most while being freaked out at the sight of Kayako’s suspenseful yet frightening crawls. “The Grudge” for me personally has always had that eerily feeling that not many horror films have on me nowadays. Usually it’s built up on suspense or the unknown or basically something inevitable to avoid, yet you try your hardest only to end up failing.

*SPOILERS*

Synopsis?

The sight of jealousy causes a misfortune for the Saeki family, where the man of the house goes 187 on his wife, Kayako, because fell in love with her college professor (let that be a warning lesson to me). Through the circumstances of this tragedy however, a curse to be born and thus all who come into contact with it, die horrific yet unexplainable deaths. In comes Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar). With her boyfriend Doug, she must now confront the supernatural forces that begin to haunt her and find a way to survive the curse before it’s too late.

What did I think?

Well if you asked me this question a few years ago I would’ve said that it was absolutely the scariest thing I ever saw. Nowadays I just look at it as having too many faults that I noticed even in my childhood. The first thing I would point out is the structure of the film itself. Remember I mentioned Karen? Well she and Doug aren’t the only ones that deal with the the curse in this film. Others encounter it as well in their own respective stories. Some of these subplots even intermingle, closing any loopholes that might be asked about the film. I understand that there is style to the narrative structure of “The Grudge” which is nonlinear in an out-of-sequence order, but that also kind of works against it in a sense. As a kid, obviously this was nothing more than getting the feces scared out of me for kicks, but I always remember asking myself where in the world did some of these characters come from, if they were supposedly already dead 5 minutes ago.

Another issue I really had with the “The Grudge” was its ending. Let me just be clear that I absolutely hate cliffhangers. I really can’t stand them. They leave something open for the audience to interpret and ask themselves what would’ve happened. To me, a cliffhanger is only suitable for an ending when it’s done right.

If you’re going to have Sarah Michelle Gellar turn around to the sight of Kayako’s creepy eye and the sounds of her terrifying moaning and just have everything cut to black with credits, well that’s just more stressful than appalling. My personal opinion is that to have someone “emotionally invested” is to at least include some kind of closure, not just leave something open in the middle of a sequence that must surely have some kind of immediate result. Obviously the aftermath would be explored in “The Grudge 2” but as far as the first installment goes as a stand-alone product, this was a cheap way to end the film.

Favorite Scene (If Any)?

The one moment that I’ve always remembered about “The Grudge” is the scene with Alex and the “possessed” Yoko. Of course Alex would be the simple-minded twit who decides the follow the creepy girl down a flight of stairs in the middle of the night.

Final Thoughts?

Despite these flaws, I overall appreciated the film and thus will say that I liked it. I  think the original Japanese version is completely superior since it’s all competent about originality. This is just a remake that I’m talking about. If you guys have never seen “Ju-on: The Grudge,” I would recommend seeing that prior to giving this film a go. That’s just my personal take on it.

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (G #29)

Wishing you could’ve had those dodgeball skills in elementary school…

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)

For a tryout on dodgeball, I admit White Goodman would’ve been the guy with my desired skill level.

Why Not the “Philosopher’s” Stone?

The Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

To say that fantasy sucks would be an understatement right? It’s something devoid of tediousness, unoriginality and free spirit. The world of fantasy in any universe should be embraced as magnificent and creative without any limits. Let’s look at the world of Harry Potter for instance. Wizards and mudbloods (or so Malfoy likes to call them) and dragons and elves and everything in between makes a universal world of magic and excitement for any young audience, fresh mind or not.

*SPOILERS*

The first installment in the film series which was released in 2001, always had that hidden question that I would ask myself about it. Why was it released in the US as “…the Sorcerer’s Stone” and not as the title held upon by the book that it was based on? That’s another point I want to talk about. I’ll admit sometimes the unforeseen procrastinating side of my personality prevents me from reading a book before I even see its film adaption. Oops I admitted it, but I’m not going to beat myself up over it. However from what I’ve heard from my friends that actually read all the books, this movie really was a faithful adaption of the book, so why not just retain the original title and save the trouble of making me wonder this question for all these years? Oh well.

Anyways as I was saying, this first part of the film series follows a very young and pure Harry Potter on a magical experience as he discovers that he is very famous for being the survivor of an attack on his family by the evil Lord Voldemort. Oops I said his name. So basically Voldemort’s introduced as the Darth Vader of this magical universe, the Sauron of this wizard world, pretty much the ultimate badass that everyone should fear, let alone mention his name (I honestly don’t remember anymore why it was such a big deal to never say his name). This however is also responsible for giving Harry such a high reputation in the wizard world due to his survival taking place only when he was a mere baby. His parents on the other hand weren’t so lucky.

With his invitation to study at Hogwarts, Harry makes the transition of being placed into the Gryffindor house along with his newfound friends, Ron and Hermione. From there his reputation at Hogwarts grows rather rapidly as his skills in the Quidditch team prove marvelous.

His antics with a troll and a hooded Voldemort in the forest make him a noted stand-out among the first-year students at Hogwarts. After various research they happen to stumble upon the idea that someone is trying to revive the long-awaited Voldemort with the “Socerer’s Stone.” There it is again, why not the “Philosopher’s Stone” instead? The rest I definitely won’t explain as it is rather something that you as an audience viewer should see for yourself if you’re reading this. If anything, I’ll only mention that the film ends with a classic sensational and satisfying climax that leaves you wanting more, which of course we would get in the subsequent sequels.

It’s no surprise, at least to me, that this film marked the start of a notable film series that captured everyone’s attention over the course of the past decade. It certainly can also be seen as the reason for jump-starting the careers of its main stars, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and of course the lovely Emma Watson. They all play their roles and characters very enthusiastically. Harry has that sad but strong background that makes him a worthy protagonist. Ron is that red-haired sidekick if you will, who causes mishaps that are eventually taken care of by the obviously-intelligent and strong-witted Hermione. And Voldemort? Well his only appearance at the end makes him look like what I had mentioned previously, the ultimate badass to be feared upon any name mentioning. Oops there I said his name again.

Without a beautifully handled production set or effects, I don’t think the wizard world would’ve been believable enough for us. For that I personally wish I could thank them as well as Chris Columbus for his magnificent direction and devotion to the book. Till next time, I only await the chance to give my critique on the next installment. So until then, if you maybe lived under a rock and thus never watched a Harry Potter film, this would maybe mark the exact time to start. For a film that I remember so caringly, it really is the notion of a film that can maintain audiences of any age.

The Real “Monsters”

Monsters Inc (2001)

We’re talking about monsters, not humans. If a child touches a monster, he or she is in fatal danger. The appeal of “Monsters Inc” is one that notably gives power to children as the audience. Whether it’s under our bed or hiding in the closet, this Pixar film takes that concept and hilariously turns it around on its own head to show that it is actually the monsters that are more terrified our “toxic” human touch.

*SPOILERS*

“Monsters Inc” introduces the lovable dynamic duo consisting of Sulley and Mike Wazowski. I included Mike’s last name because for some odd reason it’s always been a fun name to pronounce… Wazowski (ah that feel good). While these two have a heck of a day at work collecting children’s screams to help contribute to their world’s power supply, they unexpectedly get a surprise visit. Through a strange unknown pink door which serves as a portal to the human world, Sulley discovers that a little girl has entered the monster world.

This “serial killer” is eventually given the name, Boo, which showcases the progressive bond that Sulley and Mike eventually begin to form with the little girl. I’ve actually always wondered just how is it that monsters came up with this idea. First of all she turns out to be no toxic catalyst. She’s cute, she’s adorable, she’s charming, and best of all even she likes to say Mike’s last name…

Ah that felt great again… After a lucrative chase ensues with the film’s clear antagonist, Randall, Sulley and Mike must find a way to return Boo to the human world before she is discovered and apprehended by the CDA (I guess this is the monster’s version of the CIA).

The characters themselves are full of color and texture and enough emotion to make you fall in love with their uniqueness. Sulley is that horrific string monster that actually turns out to be the most emotional sweetheart, thanks to Boo’c complete purity and charm. Of course this is also displayed by Sulley’s complete concern for Boo’s safety in even the lightest of situations…

Now Mike is a little more close-minded but his bond with Boo eventually becomes a tight one shared by the actions he has taken at the end of the film where he reconstructs Boo’s entire pink door from scratch. Hugging is maybe the most prominent display of love that is shown in this amazing animated film.

And well of course there’s Boo whose lovable charm and limited set of vocabulary, make her the ultimate puppet master and clear bundle of joy.

The animation and motion with hair is a very noteworthy thing to mention about “Monsters Inc.” Almost all the characters in this film have a distinctive hairy feature and thus it’s no secret that the production team had a lot to handle when it came to putting together the finished product. But yes, as any animated film lover would say, it certainly is worth it. “Monsters Inc” is a lovable piece of emotion and storytelling that can even engage adults into the mixture of its audience.

Ratatouille (G #28)

When parents tell you not to do anything in the kitchen and they catch you trying to help out…

Ratatouille (2007)

By far still one of my favorite animated films of all time. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it’s about food… And I’m a real food person 😀