Friday, June 1, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

Written by Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini

Directed by Rupert Sanders

My husband was more enthused than me anticipating for this movie. I guess because of all the Snow White movies that came out, it’s good to have a comparison. Partly because of Charlize Theron, in one of her interviews, she mentioned about her curiosity in the origins of wickedness, so here goes a review in lieu to power. 

My first reaction stepping into the theater was, “I hope I don’t fall asleep.” Low and behold, I said it out loud and a dood that looks like Einstein said, "I hope not." Hubby thought that was funny!

I am mostly interested in all the evil witches I have seen in movies such as Mirror Mirror played by Julia Roberts, Dark Shadows played by Eva Green, and Snow White and the Huntsman played by Charlize Theron. By the way, I will refer Julia Robert’s character in Mirror Mirror by her real name since she is only referred to as “The Queen.” I will also do the same referring Kristen Stewart and Lily Collins by their real names who played Snow Whites in those movies. When it comes to beauty, we have Ravenna, who owns her beauty, Roberts who owns vanity, and Angelique who actually never put much emphasis on beauty, so props to her.

Ravenna used her beauty to rule over numerous kingdoms, Robert ruined her own Kingdom due to vanity, and Angelique is basically an ugly character because she made her prey her slave. What they have in common is being the biggest fish in the sea. But being a big fish comes with a big price tag. They all ended up living a  miserable life.

Now, I think Ravenna and Roberts both understood that love is a two way street and most importantly, not only are people capable of choosing them to love, they too can choose, but to them, love never took the front seat. Ravenna married the most powerful man, killed him, and then took over his kingdom. Roberts married the king for his money to support her vanity and then turned him into a dragon. Although Angelique only locked up Barnabas in the casket and didn’t kill him, she basically made him immortal and locked him up forever. I suppose that’s why we elect our presidents who can bring better choices for the people other than death, death, or death?

The difference amongst how these evil people came to power is pretty similar yet different. Ravenna was born poor, repressed, and powerless. Her environment made her the way she is. But she knew what she is capable of. She just needed to do summon it. Roberts was born evil and knew herself well, so being evil runs in her blood. She only needed to hide how evil she really is. With Angelique, although she was born evil, it didn’t matter whether or not she knew it. All she cared about is her own wants and needs. She wants both love and power. Whether or not that is possible is up for debates. But her desires make her a dictator. It also forces people to kill her off in order to survive.  The saying goes…. Insane people keep doing the same things hoping for a different result. If you cannot tell, I think Angelique is a bit of a loony.

Now comparing Snow White in Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, I think Kristen Stewart played a more powerful character compared to Lily Collins.  I would say Collins is more conniving in getting people to fight her fight. Both Snow Whites can defend themselves; however, Collins used her kindness to manipulate people to do her shit. Stewart used her entitlement as the princess, understood people’s repression, and use people opposition to the queen as her power to rally up an army. She's basically the quite until taunted type. I remember at the end of the movie, she had this awkward look like she's about the say something epic but nothing came out of her mouth.  I suppose the difference is that Collins can make people risk their lives for her a lot more willingly while Kristen Steward is requiring actions from people based on their own free will. Difference is, people can withdraw their help with Stewart anytime, while you also risk a relationship with Collins. Collins is more of the sit there and look pretty type. But she is completely able to kick ass, but rather sit there and be lazy.  It's a lot more fishy. But how much can Collins put on the table? Doesn't seem like a lot.  I suppose during the time of war, Kristen would be more powerful. But during peaceful time, I can see people swimming to Collins. That's when Collins get all the power. 

Stewart is a better fighter but she cannot act.  Collins also cannot act.  Stewart definitely has a better presence that captures an audience a lot faster. Although in real life, it’ll take much longer period for anyone to successfully even arrange a riot, but hey, anything is possible in the movies. Using kindness is not realistic either. But we can see the tradeoff to get people to work is to bring something more positive into people’s lives and not just crap. 

Perhaps Robert’s character believed that  destroying is easy but you can never push people too far. That way, she can keep poisoning her prey and keep her agenda going.  But her downfall is the truth and you can only keep the toilet lid closed for so long before it reeks of bad odor.  But even if you unmask her, the truth only makes life a lot harder for her henchman. So it is probably easier for them to fake like they don't know. But of course there are also those scum bags who recognize goodness but loves ruining people because their happiness is relative to how much people suffer. It's almost like a blockage technique competitive people use to throw people in a loop. Being a badass like Ravenna will only have people rebel against her in no time.

Ravenna plays solo. As much as her own brother was on her side, at the end, she didn’t save her own kind when it comes to risking her benefits over saving her own brother. I think Roberts treats her henchmen a lot better. Just for fun, if you had to work for an Evil Queen, and there is now way out, who would you choose? 

With Evil, it seems to be balanced out by Goodness. The more evil something is, the more strength goodness will harness. So is being neutral really that bad? Or should one just go big or go home?  I have come to the conclusion, that power is really stupid. Look at certain rich people who spend all their time harassing people who mention them in a negative light. As much money as they have, they just to use their power to suppress people who talk smack about them. At the end, they are only slaves to people’s criticism. They want it all, just like all those evil queens. But because they cannot tolerate a little irritation, it creates a much larger mess than just leaving people alone.

As with the movie, I would rank them as the following.

Snow White and the Huntsman
Mirror Mirror
Dark Shadows

I wouldn’t say this movie is way awesome or a must see, but at least you get great costumes. Ravenna‘s dresses are far more glamorous than Roberts’. You also get more action, better scenery, and better acting. Although it is played in more realistic setting, Ravenna did over acted by a lot.  In acting, you do have to go big or go home but going too dramatic is an overkill. But minus her acting skills, no doubt, she does have the most powerful role.  Julia Robert wasn't that evil either, so you cannot really she did a great job performing that role. But after all, Mirror Mirror is more tailored to kids.

Snow White and the Huntsman has a lot of scenes that aren’t too coherent. They seem to have carelessly put it in just for CGI purposes. It’s like a “look what I can do” movie, which doesn’t care for the audience’s entertainment purposes. Come on now. If you want to make money for a movie, care for the audience’s experience and stop showing off what is just a repeat of what other movies have done. Doing a buy one get one free delio for a movie is kind of silly. If I want to appease my senses, I could have watched Avatar. You cannot beat it in that arena. But I suppose I can see this is harmless if the maker of the movie doesn't care for the bottom line and perfection. But I suppose the people who do care are investors, critics, and people like me who wants to watch something awesome.

I’m not sure about how I feel about this movie. Now in between this movie, I went to the bathroom once. It wasn't interesting enough to hold my bladder. It’s not a movie that will draw your heart, attention, and emotions. Stewart needs a bit more work when it comes to acting, the story needs to be a bit more coherent instead of randomly putting in cool scenes just because the idea seems cool, and I think the cast need better chemistry. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dark Shadows

2012 Written by John Augus and Seth Grahame-Smith
Based on characters created by Dan Curtis
Directed by Tim Burton
I was really excited to watch this movie. The hubby and I waited two hours in line under hot weather waiting to get in. After being the playground for bugs and hearing how much people liked wasting money while in line, we finally got in. Basically after hours under the sun, you guessed it, the theater wreaked of bad BO. But that's okay because the preview looked awesome, but as long as the lines were, there were many empty seats.  Hopefully all this talk won't hype you up too much because the preview was pretty much false advertisement. Here's really how I feel: it wasn't that funny.

So to set the stage, lets first talk about the preview. If you haven't see it yet, please see clip below.

Now that you've watched it, it's just fair to assume the following...

1. Humor
2. Humor
3. Humor

Gosh, where should I begin? Basically this movie started as the Collins family moved to Collinsport, Maine. They created an economy specializing in seafood. That meant they were rich and had many servants, yada yada yada. Barnabas Collins played by Johnny Dept was the handsome heir to all this bonanza. One of his servants, played by Eva Green turned out to be a witch, was also attracted to his power. Imagine a psycho bitch killing everyone close to you just to ensure a permanent place in your heart. Basically she wants a puppet, but it ain't going to be a free bird like Barnabas. I feel bad for anyone who gets remotely close to him. He's the equivalent to a human blood diamond. Just stay away if you want to live. As much confidence as this witch has, jealousy wins again, and Barnabas, who believes in freedom, ends up locked away for eternity. The girlfriend, the family, and even future family members ended up dead or cursed. The message is clear. Stay away from possessive people. Stay away from people being the target of possession.  Otherwise, you will suffer something worse than death. Not only that, these women are so irrational to even kill innocent people or even those who happened to breath the same air as their target at any time.

Ok, lesson learned. Let's move on. I really like Michelle Pfeiffer's character. She played Elizabeth, a rich lady and now the owner of the dilapidated mansion. She's somehow related to Barnabas, and I don't remember to what extent. Michelle Pfeiffer had played amazing witches before, and standing up to Eva Green, the powerful witch of this movie, she doesn't lack power one bit. The difference in power is that the witch is out there to protect her own feelings through killing people, while Elizabeth is out there to protect her family. But the flaw to her character is that she can be bribed with money, but she only did it to protect her family. Who would live with a Vampire in exchange for money? That's one twisted personality.

Speaking of greed, the doctor played by Helena Bonham Carter, got close to Barnabas hoping to steal eternal youth though stealing his blood. Her own greed let to her demise. It's weird how it seems more dignified to be greedy to protect the family but when it comes to doing it for yourself, it's just not cool. I can only imagine rigor mortis being the only incentive in screwing a vampire. NO NO NO!!!

As much as Barnabas ended with everything he had hoped for, he's still full out shit. Anyone who loved him or happened to be around him ended up suffering. His past life girlfriend, his parents, the people who got him out of the casket, the people who helped him sort through his emotions, his human meals, and even the witch. The witch offered herself sexually, and he took it, even after she had him locked away for centuries What kind of douche bag does that?  But I feel for Elizabeth's nephew played by Gulliver McGrath the most. He became an orphan just because he had to sleep with his hot servant even though he clearly is in love with somebody else. The witch and Barnabas are equally as crappy in nature. But because you expect witches to be evil and main characters to be awesome, Eva Greene did a great job. Now with Johnny Depp's role, he's just sleazy.

Now I had to think about the least offensive character and that has to be the daughter played by Chloe Mortz. She got along with Johnny Depp, and "surprisingly," she got cursed as a baby. You can't tell what she is when she transformed, maybe a demon, an alien, a cat.....oh wait, she's a werewolf??? Smokes!!! Not like her part wasn't already screwed up enough being undeveloped/ disjointed.

Now, Victoria, played by Bella Heathcoat, played an extremely pitiful character. I don't know if we should call her stupid or brave. She fell in love with a two timer, possessed her reincarnation, and would risk her life two times for a blood diamond. Which normal person in their right mind would marry a douche bag like Barnabas and die for him so many freaken time? Can't ghosts go in and out easily to see how many woman he had slept with? This irks me!

As much as I did enjoy some of the characters for portraying how nasty people really are, I was looking for a fun movie that matched the preview. All the fun parts were highlighted in the preview and no humor got developed further. As you can see, you know which character boils my blood. The preview sure did a lot of false advertisement and kicked ass for making people wait in line for hours for what seemed to be better rent at home. This movie did not meet my expectation. In fact, as fictional films meant not to be real, it sure didn't make a whole lot of sense. I am reluctant to give them credit for that.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Little Bit of Heaven

A little Bit of Heaven 2012- Director Nicole Kassell

Warning! A Little Bit of Heaven will make you cry. Kate Hudson who plays Marley, is a single marketer who also fears love. Thankfully, she is surrounded by supportive friends. Otherwise, the life she leads will be a destructive one. Why you may ask?  Well, she's a bit (ok, not just a bit) of an emotionally selfish one, which I will explain later.  The screen develops as  she finds out she had colon cancer. Of course, we all know what that means? Time to be frivolous and PARTAY!

In the mist of a colonoscopy, she had a brief encounter with God, played by Whoopi who granted her three wishes. Wasting no time, she wished for flying and a million bucks. Kicking in here with my analytical skills, I believe her choice of flying, indicates her thrill seeking personality. Once she dies, she can never feel anymore.   Her choice of money is just a  tool to buy her happiness. By the way, her wish was granted through life insurance. It wasn't a miracle.  She then took her friends to get some Gucci and Pucci, which seems a bit odd to me that her friends are into expensive memoralbilias. I don't know about you, but I don't like keeping expensive bad clutter. Oops, I meant bad memories.  She just had to traumatize her loved one just to make sure she never gets forgotten. But it was a mix bag of reactions, so I guess to each their own.

Her doctor played by Gael Garcia Bernal of course had to fall in love with her. For what he lacks, he finds it in Marley, which is humor and excitement. Marley had taken him to a transvestite bar and taught him to be less robotic because doctors are just plain boring (SARCASM!).

Now for the positive, Marley gets a midget escort for the night. It was just a joke from her friend, but Marley wasn't  shaken up. She owns her friend by faking up a sex scene. The friend had a WTF look on his face. It was priceless. We now know what makes Marley happy. She needs the control. The last laugh is hers. Not so fun as her friend, but it sure was funny looking from outside in.

As she gets closer and closer to her death bed, she gets more and more frustrated and everything that came out of her mouth was just plain nasty. Trust me, you'd want to kill her. She'd make a sore loser who would take anyone and everyone with her to her grave. She committed a BUI which means, anyone unlucky enough to be around her is going to suffer. She just enjoys screwing with people's emotions. Unfairly, she only got hit in the head and gets a second visit from God. I'd send her to hell if you'd ask me.  But, as she thought her life had ended, she began to regret leaving with unreconciled relationships. She didn't die (sadly), but she did deliver her third wish. She wished for love. It's probably the most humanistic side you will ever see in her. At least she wasn't an absolute dead cause.

My husband tossed over a kleenex as I un-shamefully started whipping off my tears and soaked it with tons of snot and tears because all the apology scenes were hella emotional. I had to take the time to think about why I reacted the way I did. The hubby enlightened me that people who strive to live (in this case, the emotionally selfish ones) are full of life. When they die, it's just a bummer that life is just so freaken fragile and beyond our control.  I guess it's almost like assholes have a very low base line, and it doesn't take much for anyone to like them once they offer the tiniest amount of kindness. Not the most best message to send out there, but that's life for yah. BTW, if you are looking for a good message from this movie, I'd say forget about it. It's more of a movie that reinforces bad behavior, but without a doubt, this movie is relatable. I wouldn't go as far as hating this movie. In fact, I think it's quite great. Just make sure you have a strong heart. Probably wouldn't be that great as Marley's friend though. So to conclude this movie, she finally passed away. She died with a party, which is much played out in TV shows that I just cannot regurgitate the name of. Please leave comments below if you got that one figured out. Thanks!

I'd say, this is more of an experience type of movie. Make sure you grab enough toilet paper to wipe down those tears. It's interesting that this movie left me more sad than happy. Why would a person pay for a movie just to be sad? Maybe it's another one of those to movies created for actors/actress for an Oscar nominee. I wouldn't really call it my form of entertainment balling on a Friday night. I think this movie is powerful, but not one to re-watch for the second time. At least I watched it for free.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


2011 Directed by Joseph Kahn
The movie, Detention, is basically a mystery. Well, a mystery that’s kind of confusing that is. Although it has a mystery plot where high school students are being murdered, and the suspect is unknown, do not expect logic in figuring out the plot. However, this does add a sense of unpredictability that’s pretty refreshing. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t call it refreshing if you weren’t born in the 90’s to understand the references that were going on. Here are some absurd incidences or spoilers to expect.
  1. Time Traveling
  2. Cinderella Movie references
  3. Paranormal activity
  4. Quantum Grizzly Bear
  5. A minor boob scene
  6. Dude from Hunger Games
  7. Film within film
My husband seems to enjoy this way more than I do, so I would say, this movie is not for everybody. It has a very old school horror film feel.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mirror Mirror

2012 Written by Melissa Wallack & Jason Keller

Another classic remake in comedy version. Yay! Well, let's not "yay" too soon. I just watched the open screening of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and I must say that movie blew Mirror Mirror out the water. With big productions containing Julie Roberts as the queen, it's fair to assume that this movie better kick some serious ass. Well, that never happened, but she did slap Snow White ON THE CHIN. Wow what an evil witch!!! Cough, cough, sarcasm!!! But hey, this movie is tailored to youngsters, so that's as much violence as you get. If you want more action, it's probably better to watch Kristin Steward's version of Snow White. Other than the queen, other memorable characters include the Brighten played by Nathan Lane. Let's just say his punishment to save Snow White was to turn him into a roach which happened to get molested by grasshoppers. Oh you perverted minds. This is all talk and no scenes, so no worries, your kids will still come out innocent unless already tainted. MUAHHAHHA!!!

The seven dwarfs probably played one of the better parts of the story. They were heroic, funny, and well, it's an automatic score for being dwarfs. Go ask Chelsea Handler. Other than Armie Hammer's moderately good looks, that's about all he got for being Prince Charming. Step it up son. At least we get an Indian dance skit from Lily Collins. It wasn't funny, but at least she was into it. For a split second there, I thought, "Is Lily Collins Indian?" A WTF moment hit me. These days with Glee being so popular, dancing skits are just about played out. So false alarm, she didn't redeem anything. Collins and Hammer were not particularly memorable in the movie, but hey, the only people they are appealing to, are kids with very little expectation. Seriously, all they need to do is look hot, That's enough to launch them into a better film.

All insights aside, I did enjoy certain philosophical aspects of the film. Yes, we have to inject some imaginary props. With materialism being so widespread these days, the queen is as shallow as any woman you will find at the mall. The queen decides to tax the poor to fund another one of her elaborate parties, and the excuse was to convince the people that less is more. Maybe it wasn't that philosophical after all (hehehe), but at least it was honest. Let the poor learn from this movie to work for materialism. WHAT A POSITIVE MESSAGE (SARCASM ALERT!!!). Yeah, what kind of impression are you injecting to kids people???

Here's a couple more of my favorite quotes from the movie (Oh so surprisingly, they are all from the Queen):
"Let snow do what snow do best. They fall."
"It is important to know when you have been defeated." Oooo La La... Ok, Lily Collins's last words as Snow White nailed it. Wait, the best you can do is just repeat the Queen's lines? Oh so dramatic. It's been done so many times.

At the end, the movie was centered around Julia Roberts. One can get the credit as she tossed it to Snow, and perhaps to the targeted audience, it's just natural for little girls to want to be Snow. But Julia Roberts had rocked the stage by being the most evil. Her insatiable desire for power, vanity, and the hunt, makes her the best evil person of them all. Julia Roberts was given the most epic lines anyways. If Lily Collins can play Snow a bit more sweeter as the script followed the old script and fell into deep sleep after eating the poisonous apple, she would have rocked her part and the focus would be on Lily Colins. But there was no death, no overly sweet part for her, as the story line rushed her to the finish line of happiness. So as much as the classics set the stage for whoever played Snow White, the stage belongs to Julia Roberts. She owned it. But Julia Roberts should have owned a better stage. This one sucked.

A++ for nice CGI. The Evil Queen's dress as she plans to marry Prince Charming is to die for. GASP!!! Too bad you cannot see the dress in its full glory.

Julia Roberts may own the stage over all the characters of the movie, but the movie does not own the stage for being great enough to earn great money at the box office. Although it is not a horrible film, it is also not a memorable one either. This film showed very little talent at all. It's more like a film to introduce the next teen idol.

Perhaps not much of a movie review but more of an acting critique. I think I am getting somewhere with this.