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Roger Ebert April 8, 2010

Posted by huymix in Celebrity, Movies.
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Whenever I read movie reviews, I make sure to check out what Roger Ebert has written. While I would say I do not always share his viewpoint on any particular movie I can say that I feel comfortable with his reviews because:

  • He takes the movie for what it is. So, if it’s a silly action summer blockbuster or if it’s high-minded or if it’s a kid’s movie he treats the audience differently. By differently, he is more forgiving of story problems in a summer blockbuster and kid’s movies than in an Oscar nominee.
  • The tone of his writing is written such that I feel it is very much his personal perspective.
  • He is at a point in his life where his opinion is pretty well his own and I don’t feel like he get’s affected by hype. Maybe I’m wrong but at least I can’t tell whether he’s affected by hype.

Roger Ebert has gotten to a point in his career that any professional (or unprofessional SnuhZone blogger) reviewer would love to have. He’s done it largely due to building a long-standing trust with his audience and, in my opinion, continues to have his audience for the above reasons.


Michael Jackson – This is It February 11, 2010

Posted by huymix in Celebrity, Movies, Music.
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As I have said before, Michael Jackson is my favourite artist of all time. That includes any group, band, composer and solo artist. I’m sure you are well aware of his death and the concerts that could have been in the O2 in London. I think that even if you have strayed away from MJ since the 90’s, you should still watch “This Is It” because:

  • The documentary brings the reasons why you liked him in the 90’s, 80’s, and 70’s back. I don’t mean he’s going retro, rather, the documentary reminds you why he captured the world so well. The music, dancing, work ethic and in particular, the ambition all are brought to the centre stage. He never lost his touch and in “This Is It”, you will be reminded that he was one of the greatest performers ever.
  • Thinking back on the film, I realize that I felt that they were able to put me in the concerts that never were as best as possible. I am a firm believer that if he was able to do at least 1 show, it would have been the best concert ever. Since I never had a ticket and the show never happened, “This Is It” did an excellent job of delivering the concert experience.
  • It’s just good to see Michael Jackson without all the craziness around him. Generally, you would have seen him in the media swarmed by paparazzi, fans and reporters. In the movie, you see him at work in a much more natural, comfortable environment. His personality, drive and ambition shine in these scenes.

For some twisted reason, I think “This Is It” is actually more interesting because Michael Jackson died. I don’t mean it is good he died but rather I feel like otherwise the film would have been just a competent filming of the concert. While the concert itself would have been amazing, the story and interest in “This Is It” as a movie would have been nearly zero. “This Is It” is the most stark example of situational irony I could ever think of and served as a fitting tribute to the greatest entertainer ever.

Coraline July 24, 2009

Posted by huymix in Movies.
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I haven’t watched “The Nightmare Before Christmas” so I have no way of really comparing “Coraline” with that movie. All I know is that if “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is anything like “Coraline” I’m not sure I want to watch it. Despite my reluctance, if the opportunity to watch “The Nightmare Before Christmas” comes up I’ll watch it because I enjoyed Coraline. Check out Coraline because:

  • It’s actually scary. Not jump you out of your seat monster closet. The last time I was scared like that was during Pan’s Labyrinth.
  • The “real life” characters are a much better characterization of real people than in live action movies. Which you can take either as praise for Coraline or damning for live action. I choose praise.
  • You will remember this movie. Sometimes you see a movie and it is so bland and generic you almost forget everything by the time you leave the theatre. Coraline is not like that at all. Please note, I do love stupid action movies too, it really depends for me.

Coraline is out now on DVD. So unless you’re stuck in the boonies where Amazon doesn’t ship or no store is around you have no reason to not choose to watch Coraline over something like Transformers (either of them! That’s right I don’t like either movie).

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen June 28, 2009

Posted by crarence in Movies.
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The summer of action blockbusters rolls on! How does the highly anticipated sequel fare in my eyes? Well, let me premise my review by saying I was an 80’s kid who grew up watching the show and collecting the toys, and I absolutely loved the first film. I saw it a whopping 4 times in the theatres, plus half a dozen times on DVD. When the trailer came out, I was glued to youtube.

I have mixed feelings after watching the movie. From an action stand point, the film definitely delivered. It also filled in little gaps left from the first film like the tense relationship between Megatron and Starscream, and Optimus kicking some serious ass. There was lots of eye candy, both in women and cars. Ultimately, I still have to give it a F- because

  • The movie was too god damn long. They could have cut an hour out of the film, easily. Too many side stories – government in-fighting, drawn -out humour with the parents, comic-relief with the roommate and that sector 7 guy – the movie is about giant fighting robots, dammit!
  • I was really uncomfortable with the caricature of theĀ  twins. I mean, you already killed the token black robot in the first film…did you really have to push the envelope so far in the second?
  • Lots of fighting robots…little character development in most of them . They introduced so many new robots in this film with lots of interesting potential, yet do nothing with them. Can we find out more about Arcee (the female bike trio,) or Sideswipe (the bad-ass sword wielding robot,) or some of the cool looking villains? Looking at the cast…apparently there was an autobot named Jolt…really? What did he do? I just saw the film an hour ago and I can’t remember.

The film’s going to do well regardless, based on the strength of the first film. But I highly doubt it will do as well, since even fanbois like me are unwilling to watch it more than once in the theatre. Michael Bay seemed to have learned from the first one and madeĀ  a lot of improvement, but there is room for more. As a tip – stick with doing more with the robots! That’s what I came to see! Don’t add more humans! The parents are fine…in small doses. Same with John Tuturro. Keep their roles minimal. Get this right, and the third film will exceed both.

Up June 1, 2009

Posted by huymix in Movies.
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Up MoviefplusUp Movie Poster

I’m a big Pixar fan. Ever since Toy Story, I’ve been hooked on each movie that’s come from them (with the exception of Cars). Just so you know, I did end up watching it in 3D but I don’t really think it benefits from 3D so I would recommend just watching it normally. The fun/awesome parts have nothing to do with 3D and have everything to do with:

  • The supporting cast is awesome. Not just the kid, but the dog and the bird are great because they have unique and fun personalities and motivations.
  • The use of colour and shapes in the design of pretty much everything gives everything an unstated personality. For example, if you just looked at the chairs you can tell, just from the chair, the personality of the person who sits in it.
  • The story is fun and fantastical but has some pretty sad stuff. I definitely think a story needs bitter to appreciate the sweet. Up’s story executes this balance well because it that balance feels natural. Some movie’s try to have achieve this balance and it comes off feeling artificial.

Anyways, I can almost always recommend Pixar movies. Also, it’s a great movie to go with kids/dates/your parents (if you still do that).

Tyson – Documentary May 27, 2009

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Tyson fightfplusTyson Documentary

I heard really great things about this documentary when it debuted. I had only gotten around to watching it now. While I don’t think it’s a great documentary, I think it does exactly what it needed to do. If you get a chance to watch “Tyson” I would recommend you watch it because:

  • It destroys a lot of the baggage and myth about Tyson that’s built up over his career. It’s about as honest as you’re going to find without being dry about it.
  • The real life story of Tyson is way more interesting than a lot of the fictional movie stories out there.
  • Minimizes any “acting”. The whole documentary really is an interview with Tyson with snippets from the past edited in. I suppose it can be argued that its one-sided and unfair, but I’m tuning in to hear what Tyson has to say about it, and this documentary gives me the maximum amount possible.

In a sad twist I coincidentally watched “Tyson” the same night his daughter Exodus died. It made everything he said seem even more tragic. If you think you know Mike Tyson and haven’t watched “Tyson” than you really don’t know him.

Note: After watching Tyson I feel like I can understand where he’s coming from even though I don’t come from the same perspective at all. For a man who’s motivation has always seemed shrouded in mystery, “Tyson” was very effective at lifting that shroud of mystery.

Terminator: Salvation May 22, 2009

Posted by crarence in Movies.
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Summer 2009 has already seen a couple of great action flicks, with more scheduled to come. I can confidently say that Terminator: Salvation, will be remembered as a success. Why you should go see it:

  • The film revitalizes the franchise by breaking away from the tired premise of the first three films. Yay for a fresh plot!
  • Great acting on the part of Sam Worthington and Anton Yelchin. The latter in particular plays the role of a young Kyle Reese perfectly, you’d almost swear that they just de-aged Michael Biehn somehow.
  • Lots of cool action and smooth CGI. All the effects were very realistic, conveying the feel of a post-apocalyptic world with pseudo-advanced technology perfectly.

If you were a fan of the Terminator series, but felt disappointed and disenchanted by the third film, you’ve got to check this one out.

Star Trek: Crarence’s Review May 20, 2009

Posted by crarence in Celebrity, Movies, Shows.
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Just came back from watching Star Trek, and I had a great time. Even if you aren’t a Star Trek fan, I predict you’d have alot of fun watching it as well. The visuals are great with the right mix of clean and gritty, and they pay respect to the original series without looking silly.

  • All the characters were done really well and get a fair amount of screen time. I’m particularly impressed by Zoe Saldana, as she really brought Uhura to life.
  • There are a lot of inside jokes and homages for Star Trek fans (Kobayashi Maru, red shirts on away missions, wriggly brain worms, exotic green women, and lots of catch phrases.)
  • Rather than simply being a prequel, the movie goes far beyond this scope by…well, I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. Suffice to say, I’m on the edge of my seat for the sequels.

If you haven’t seen it yet, do not wait and get out there now to check it out. In a summer of blockbusters, this one is going to stand out.

Star Trek (Movie) May 19, 2009

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Star Trek EnterprisefplusStar Trek Movie LogoHaving just watched this movie, the reasons for why I like it are still fresh in my memory. Just so you know, if I had to scale my Star Trek nerdiness between 1 (not at all a fan) and 10 (hyper-fan (i.e. Brent Spiner stalker level)) I would have to say I’m about a 7. I watched mostly Next Generation and Voyager and the newer movies. However, I’ve never watched the older movies and only some of the original show. Knowing all that, Star Trek deserves an F+ because:

  • The action that is there is pretty satisfying to watch. The action is not crazy overcomplicated (unlike Transformers, which should be its own post) and is something very different than normal.
  • Its pretty funny. For those that can recognize some of the main sayings of the original cast, the movie will be even funnier. Karl Urban and Simon Pegg are awesome.
  • It brought Star Trek back to the mainstream. Honestly the last Star Trek movie was probably an F- and the last show Star Trek Enterprise I watched 1 episode and was completely apathetic towards. To completely revive the Star Trek name is a pretty big feat. Good work Mr. Abrams, good work.

All in all, Star Trek is a pretty great summer-ish popcorn action flick. It’s not going to win any Academy Awards but who cares. I watched in IMAX and while I don’t know if the experience was significantly better I can say I had a very good time watching it that way. Also, I don’t think this movie should just be for the guys out there, so ladies give this movie a shot, it only looks nerdy. Please forgive my live-out-loud nerd moment: Live long and prosper!

The Warriors March 23, 2009

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The Warriors Moviefplus

The Warriors Logo

This movie is not well known to the public at large. That’s a shame because it’s really quite good. I learned about this movie only because I played the videogame by Rockstar a year ago and I’m glad I checked the movie out. Even if you don’t like gang movies or action movies, The Warriors is a movie you should watch because:

  • A ton of creative and fun gangs. Especially, The Baseball furies, Lizzies, Rogues and Riffs.
  • The violence is pretty stylized and is more fantastical. So while there’s violence, it’s not too realistic.
  • Features some of the most iconic visuals/quotes of the time. The lips of the radio DJ, “Can You Dig It Sucka!”, and “I’ll shove that baseball bat up your ass and make you a popsicle”. In context of the movie these quotes are great.

This is a fun movie as it never drags on and on (ahem Australia!) and has a dynamic pace. Once you see this movie, you will remember: “Warriorssssssss, come out and plaaaayyy-ayyy” and you’ll understand why that quote is awesome. This movie is an American classic and you won’t regret your journey with The Warriors.