Sep 30, 2012

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, 2012

Ice Age: Continental Drift, 2012
Directors: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier
Cast (voices): Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguziamo, Queen Latifah

Stage: Home theatre (a very sh**** copy unfortunately)

Ice Age in short: When Scrat accidentally provokes a continental cataclysm with a storm, Manny is separated from Ellie and Peaches on an iceberg with Diego, Sid and Granny but he promises that he will find a way to return home. While crossing the ocean, they are captured by the cruel pirate Captain Gutt and his crew. However they escape and Manny plots a plan to steal Captain Gutt's ship and return to his homeland in a dangerous voyage through the sea. But the cruel pirates seek revenge against Manny and his family and friends. 

Preps: You don't need preps for Ice Age. It's cool. The only issue or question is, what have they prepared now and how have they upgraded the last versions. Since my voices tell me that I only can see the synchronized version at the theatres, I finally give up on waiting and provide myself a very sh*** copy of this piece. I want to see it. 

Reality:  Well, I am not disappointed. I am always full of ears whenever Seinfeld steps in the room, have always been a great fan and a huge admirer. As Manny, I can see Seinfeld's faces in spreading the irony. The other side of the coin, Sid, always gives me goose bumps of laughter. Like in some kind of reality show, the main characters in this animation cannot be a fail. Maybe similar story to Shrek, where Eddie Murphy together with Banderas runs the show completely.

Now, the fourth part deals with worlds breaking apart - and explains a really funny theory, how the continents were shaped. It's always a pleasure seeing the squirrel chasing its nut and as always, I am eager to make it to the final scene, where I will again see the nut heaven.

Ice Age is very much alike to Tom / Jerry cartoons or something similar, as I cannot get fed up with it. I would be happy to see this prolonged in some other sequels, which is much more than we could say for any type of movie. But in this sense, I believe the creators of recent animated movies that became notorious really tried to assemble some of the greatest comediants or live show entertainers combined with the best humor and ironic dialogues, plus a funny story. It cannot be a bad assembly.

Therefore, even though we have already seen three parts, I am still hungry for more. This one I liked, as it is somewhere on the same level as its ancestors/previous versions. The stories are something you easy relate to and find it deep in your heart - all the emotional rock n'roll, the uprise, hard downfall (pirates and captivity, being separated from a family) and then a happy ending. Like in good old Disney days.

My personal rating: 7,5 (solid piece, right on the level of all the other Ice Age's.).

Ice Age 4 on IMDB


Sep 2, 2012

Enemy of the State, 1998

Enemy of the State, 1998
Director: Tony Scott
Cast: Will Smith, Lisa Bonet, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Gabriel Bryne

Stage: Home TV selection, late Sunday night

Enemy in short: Robert Dean is a mild-mannered lawyer who works in Washington D.C. He is on the trail of a kingpin named Pintero. Meanwhile, a politician named Thomas Reynolds is negotiating with Congressman Phillip Hammersley about a new surveillance system with satellites. But, Hammersley declines, that is when Reynolds had Hammersley killed, but this murder was caught on tape, and this person was being chased by Reynolds' team of NSA agents, the guy must ditch the tape, so he plants it on Dean (unbeknownst to Dean). Then, the NSA decides to get into Dean's life. That is when Dean's life began to fall apart all around him, with his wife and job both gone. Dean wants to find out what is going on. Then, he meets a man named "Brill" who tells him that Dean has something that the government wants. That is when Dean and Brill formulate a plan to get Dean's life back and turn the Tables on Reynolds. 

Preps: Seen this already, however a loooong time ago. Still, seeing Will Smith normally is a good decision on any point of the day or week. 

Reality: The subject now is the lawyer, being haunted by different parties. It is a good hop into the history, taken that in that time they didn't have decent mobile phones, following devices, etc. However, I would assume it is the best there was in stock in 1998. Therefore, for that time, the movie is a really upgraded one, with the latest tech breaches.

Will Smith is brilliant in the victim's role. I adore watching him playing a smart ass. Still he has a strong, yet fragile figure, trying to avoid the villains and solve the puzzle. The side story with his wife is just a trigger, making this more exciting and the viewer curious what is going to happen.
The cast in complete is a good one. Finding Bonet Lisa is somehow surprising, because we were used of her from Cosby Show. But the others are natural born action actors, we are used seeing them in some kind of conspiracy type of movies.

All in all, good action, good representation of what could happen to every person if someone high enough should want to frame someone. The government and democracy don't work in these cases and you are left to your own surviving skills. At the end it's the higher bidder for your life, in terms of money, that will do the trick. I would see this piece as the pre-inspiration for many action thriller movies that followed, like MI2, Matrix.
The point would be that we aren't important enough to count if someone from state wants us dead. Noone will hear our voice, noone will help us. The other point would be what kind of society are we turning ourselves into - being wired, followed, giving our information out for free and open so everyone can follow. I would see this piece as some kind of prophecy. Although I remember when I saw this piece at the movies in 1998, I thought it was a bit of a science fiction. Noone should have this kind of power. This is a good movie for a good action fright.

My personal rating: 7,0 (solid action piece, filled with anger, and also some funny parts that make you think about Will Smith back when he was at his uncle on Bel Air).

Enemy of the State on IMDB

Master and Commander: The far Side of The World, 2003

Master and Commander: The far side of the world
Director: Peter Weir
Cast: Russel Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd

Stage: Home TV selection

Master and Commander in short: In April 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars, the H.M.S. Surprise, a British frigate, is under the command of Captain Jack Aubrey. Aubrey and the Surprise's current orders are to track and capture or destroy a French privateer named Acheron. The Acheron is currently in the Atlantic off South America headed toward the Pacific in order to extend Napoleon's reach of the wars. This task will be a difficult one as Aubrey quickly learns in an initial battle with the Acheron that it is a bigger and faster ship than the Surprise, which puts the Surprise at a disadvantage. Aubrey's single-mindedness in this seemingly impossible pursuit puts him at odds with the Surprise's doctor and naturalist, Stephen Maturin, who is also Aubrey's most trusted advisor on board and closest friend. Facing other internal obstacles which have resulted in what they consider a string of bad luck,.

Preps: I have also seen this several times. Russel Crowe is one of my favourites. Plus, this is a two times oscar winner. With eight nominations in that year. A must see every now and then.

Reality: Crowe rocks in the movies where he has a giant role, like a protagonist of faith, or someone at the front of an army (as in this case). A strong figure, whose role is to lead towards better life or to win a battle. To have a vengeance, like in Gladiator.
Master and Commander is not an exception. Crow is in one of his strongest roles. The dialogue is brilliant, the action scenes also. The faith in the main protagonist remains until the end of the story. One of the best parts is the continous rivalry between the captain and his scientist, if I may dare to say so. Dr. Maturin, surgeon, is at the same time, his best friend and his worst enemy. He quarrels with him practically the whole time. It is as the doctor is his bad conscious and predicts the dark scenarios (or at least the opposite / being somehow always against what captain thinks, at least in verbal sense.)

I believe the director made a fine thin line between what's too much and what's enough. In sense that the dialogues aren't too long, the battles are not too long. And the story is believable, the music takes you to enter adrenalin and on the other hand calms you down. I believe that a lot of people enjoy watching movies that will take you to the history and show you how some things that are practically extinct, like working on ships, took their role in the food chain. To me, I love to watch good costumography and good made scenes. With items from the past, with music fro the past, with superstition and everything that revolves itself around it. And with Russel Crowe, what a treat.

An extra plus: The scenes from Galapagos Islands. I would really love to go there.

My personal rating 8,0 (a brilliant pirate movie. The Brits do their charm and magic on the ocean and win the war. In the main role, Russel Crowe, the pirate of the sea. Loved it):

Master and commander on IMDB