Epic

Epic

It took me a couple of minutes to place the tale, as Epic began. It has been quite a few years since my children were young enough to have me read the tale to them, however, as I heard the tiny soldiers refer to themselves as Leafmen, my memory of evenings with the William Joyce book suddenly snapped back into my brain. The Leafmen (and the Brave Good Bugs)! Of course! MK of Epic by Blue Sky The story is somewhat different than that wonderful children’s book, hence the new title: Epic. The story was in wonderful hands, however, since William Joyce not only co-authored the script, but was also the Executive Producer of the film. MK is a teen back from school, visiting her absent-minded, science obsessed, and possibly delusional father. Kudos to Blue Sky, by the way, for the female protagonist that doesn’t suck. MK soon finds herself in the middle of a battle between the good Leafmen, who protect the life force of the forest, and evil Boggens, who cause all the decay. MK, voiced by Amanda Seyfried, plays an integral part in the survival of the forest when the Forest Queen dies before the ceremony for the new Queen comes to pass. The Queen’s protector, Ronin, voiced by Colin Farrell is the ultimate chivalrous soldier and Nod, voiced by Josh Hutcherson, is his brash young student, who isn’t learning nearly quick enough to stay out of trouble. Luckily for MK, Nod starts getting his act together when she needs him most. Epic reminds me of a miniature Avatar in some ways. Many of the themes...
Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3

Robert Downey Jr. takes over the screen once again as the head of Stark Enterprises, as he battles a new nemesis in the form of the Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley. Gyweneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle also return in their respective roles as Pepper Potts and War Machine in the fast-paced superhero film. Iron Man 3 doesn’t waste any time before they through you into chaos and mayhem. Of course, there’s nothing like giving the press your address to give to a set of psychotic lunatics to shake things up. I have a feeling Stark thought better of that move when suddenly the Mandarin is blowing up his home with Pepper inside! The third movie in this incarnation of the Iron Man saga doesn’t sit still very much. It starts off fast paced and stays there through much of the film. It slows down a bit when Tony Stark gets help from Harley Keener, played by Ty Simpkins. I really must say that I loved his interaction with this kid. Stark is rough on Harley, fairly mean and dismissive, but the kid just calls him on it, puts him in his place, and moves forward trying to help the superhero as much as he can. Ty Simpkins steals the show quite a bit with his quiet performance. Probably my favorite scene is when Tony Stark is having yet another panic attack, and Harley tells him to calm down and breathe, and then says: “You’re an engineer right?” Stark says, “Yeah… right…” and the kid says, “Well, why don’t you go make something?” This instantly calms down Stark as he...
Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas

© 2012 – Warner Bros. Pictures The latest ambitious project by the Wachowskis (Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski) is Cloud Atlas, an intricate tale of lives through the ages. This is a fascinating film from the creators of The Matrix. The script is imbued with philosophy, as is most of their work. They take us on a journey in Cloud Atlas with a storyteller, who weaves us through lifetimes to show us how a connection in one lifetime can sustain us or undo us. The course of the characters is so intricate that according to IMDb “the directors told the actors to think of their roles as a “genetic strain” rather than a series of individual parts, with actions in one story-line affecting another.” Love, of course, is the eternal bond that snakes its way through the ages. The desire to protect those we love, and shield them from harm can propel us to great deeds, as can the need to repay a debt of gratitude for a kindness extended or a life saved. Along with the love themes are the questions of courage and truth. Which things are worth risking your life, and what is the price to pay for cowardice or indifference? When is a hidden truth worth risking everything to expose? © 2012 – Warner Bros. Pictures – Still of Xun Zhou in Cloud Atlas In Cloud Atlas, you will watch as the cast transforms in each age in which they live. You’ll have to pay close attention because the stories are interwoven and Tom Hanks in one part of the tale is not the same...
The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

I will admit that I am a fan of the comic book and the movies that come from them. Yes, there have been some bad films made from comics, but there have also been some great films that originated from comic books. The best of class has to go to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, which concludes with The Dark Knight Rises. The screenplay was written by Christopher Nolan’s brother, Jonathan Nolan and then tweaked by Christopher into it’s final form. As Jonathan noted in the production notes of The Prestige,”…he’s somehow able to look at my ideas and flip them around in a way that’s just a little bit more twisted and interesting. It’s great to be able to work with him like that.” If that’s how they work together than Jonathan gave Christopher a great basis to tweak in this trilogy. Assembling a heavy hitting, Oscar-winning crew once again, Christopher Nolan worked with cinematographer Wally Pfister, effects masters Paul Franklin and Chris Corbould, and composer Hans Zimmer, and the list of stars isn’t a skimpy one either: Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gorden-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, and of course, Christian Bale. Who wouldn’t be looking forward to this film? Christopher Nolan and Wally Pfister give their films such a unique look that it’s hard to imagine one working without the other, and that’s especially the case in this Dark Knight trilogy. Every screen is so impeccably crafted that you are totally immersed in their world. Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises © Warner Bros. Along with The Dark Knight Rising in...
Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom

It appears that teaming up Wes Andersen with a member of the Coppola family was a marvelous idea. The screenplay for Moonrise Kingdom was written by Roman Coppola and Wes Andersen, and directed by Wes Andersen. For me, this film has taken Wes’ work to an entirely different level. I’ve really enjoyed his work through the years, although I’ve thought some of his work was more successful than others. I was not a particular fan of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, but I felt it suffered for want of a more aggressive editing than it received in Post. In contrast, Moonrise Kingdom is impeccably edited and I wouldn’t change a thing.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download Wes Andersen’s comedies have always had their own quirky voice and pacing and Moonrise Kingdom is no exception, but this film has something different. In Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Andersen connects with his audience in a way that he hasn’t in the past. I think the collaboration with Roman Coppola has added a richness to the film’s vision that it was lacking before, but that can be the incredible strength of collaboration: a synergy that didn’t exist for either person on their own. Wes Andersen’s Moonrise Kingdom publicity still I adored the quirky characters in Moonrise Kingdom, the sweet awkward love story of the pre-teens was so perfectly handled, I can’t imagine a better scene than the one on the beach. After spending a night on the beach in a little pup tent, the young people awake to a search team descending on them. Jared Gilman zips up the tent and...
Big Miracle

Big Miracle

Big Miracle poster Big Miracle is a film that was based on an international effort to free three gray whales that were trapped in the ice near Point Barrow, Alaska in 1988. The effort was named Operation Breakthrough for fairly obvious reasons, since they had to break through the ice to have a chance to save the cetaceans. The film was actually based on a book written about the event called Freeing the Whales by Tom Rose. A film made for families, Big Miracle stars Drew Barrymore. Unfortunately, the producers of the film should probably have cared less about having star power and more about focusing on telling the story in the best possible fashion. Watching Big Miracle was interesting in some ways and yet it missed the mark in others. The film ended up being primarily about the people involved in the effort to free the whales, without very much attention devoted to trying to educate people about the whales themselves. I found this peculiar at the very least. How do you take a story of a heroic attempt to save a family of whales, and make almost no attempt to educate your audience about the life of the whales the story centers around? Instead of educating the audience about the gray whales, Big Miracle focused on the politics involved in getting anyone to care about saving the whales. In many ways, Big Miracle is a primer in public relations. The film follows the individuals involved in motivating people into action, which people actually were able to make a difference, and what they did that made people change their...

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