How to Train Your Dragon – Movie Review

Dreamworks, congratulations, you have made an amazing movie. Paying more attention to story and characters rather than to the jokes that can be drawn out of them, “How to Train Your Dragon” has the soothing feel of a Pixar movie. I can’t remember the last time I was sincerely engaged in the obligatory final battle in movies like these where (Spoiler) the underdog hero overcomes the much bigger adversary.(End spoiler)

“How to Train Your Dragon” takes us to the island of Berk occupied by vicious Vikings that are often visited by those unwelcome, pesky, fire-breathing Dragons. Them Dragons keep taking the livestock of the island of Berk, and the Vikings, as the violent bastards that they are, seek to wipe out the Dragons. You see, the earlier Vikings have passed down their fighting skills, and their hatred for Dragons, from one generation to the other. Killing Dragons seem to be a natural, how do I say this, talent, for the Vikings.

This is true for all them until we meet our hero, Hiccup, the son of Stoick, leader of the Vikings. Born into a culture bred with a universal hate, Hiccup is the first one of their kind to question that hate, and look for a more peaceful opportunity. We, as people, have been here for a while, and it is not unwise to think if our generation is suffering the same type of blindness these Vikings are going through.

Before I go any further, I must confess something. I made judgments on the movie when I first saw the teaser. I was disappointed by it. I know, no critic, or any other person, should make judgments based on a teaser. Believe me, dear reader, after seeing “How to Train Your Dragon”, I have learned my lesson.

The movie’s first half hour reminded me of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” in its take on the father-son relationship. In both films, the son is the society’s outcast, and will later save that society through his misunderstood genius. But, as the movie grew longer, I realized that “How to Train Your Dragon” is much more. It has characters that will genuinely earn our affection and cheer, and it has emotions that will evoke deep thoughts. And oh, the visuals are wonderful.

The message here is simple, but it is told with such love and care that we cannot help but embrace it and make it true in our own reality. “How to Train Your Dragon” teaches us that we should not be quick to judge. (Even teasers.) A little understanding goes a long way. In this case, it will take you to the heavens.

There Will Be Blood Review

Alone and battered, a man strikes silver ore under the scorching soils of New Mexico. He makes enough money to hire a few men as his attention shifts in the search for oil. He strikes again, and it is there a lifetime desire is born: a desire to acquire more.

With a deep and resounding voice, we hear that man speak for the first time as he attempts to lure the residents of a town into a business deal. His name is Daniel Plainview, and he is an oil man. Beside him always is his adopted son, H.W. He brings the boy along just so an illusion of a family is established, and the oil man is one step closer to the owners of potential prospects.

Daniel Plainview is one of the most riveting people I have ever met in the movies. He is not a mere caricature of the ugly side of American capitalism. Penned by the young and brilliant Paul Thomas Anderson and performed by the great Daniel-Day Lewis, Daniel Plainview brings forth a soul that is both an astonishing and compelling example of the evil that can be found in human nature.

Daniel Plainview wants to become increasingly wealthy. He hates people, but he knows that he needs people. So Daniel doesn’t let his hate flow out, he keeps his anger within him, and releases hypocrisy. Here is a man that is so filled with poise and presence that when he speaks, you listen. When he orders, you follow. When he talks, it is evident that he says each word with effort and control, making sure that you understand him; that you know what he wants. He is a selfish, conceited, and above all, a persuasive manipulator.

One night a young man approaches Daniel, and wishes to share information with him for a price. He agrees. Let’s just say that this leads him to the ranch of the Sunday family. It is a goat farm, but underneath it lays an ocean of oil. Daniel offers a price, makes a few promises, and the lot is his.

It is at this point where Daniel meets Eli Sunday, the preacher of the town’s church. He is a corrupt preacher, but his members don’t know that. When Daniel willfully ignores his promise to young Eli, a rivalry begins.

From the outside, they are obviously two very different men. Look deeper, and you’ll see the similarities. Both are deceivers, viewing people as nothing more than tools to fuel their wealth and ego. They have the same wicked intentions, but uses different methods of manipulation, which get into the way of the other. The tension between the two will escalate into harrowing heights. The title suggests things will only go worse.

I will not go any further with the plot. Instead, let me admire other aspects that also deserve praise. The cinematography by Robert Elswit is a wonderful display of visual poetry and the soundtrack by Jonny Greenwood that accompanies it makes “There Will Be Blood” a ravishing work of art.

I am convinced that “There Will Be Blood” is a masterpiece. Many will question its ending, and it will inspire arguments every time the movie is talked about. The movie concludes, how should I say this, in intense insanity. I think this is the perfect ending for a film like this, one that bluntly shows what has become of the man whose simple ambition turned to endless greed, which eventually plunged into sheer madness. Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like you to meet Daniel Plainview. Be careful though, he is more than an oil man.

Review for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is a treat for children and a torture for diabetics. There is so much food in this movie that the characters literally had to build a dam just to contain all of it. And that was just the leftovers.
Flint Lockwood wants to become an inventor. He knows that the small island that he lives in needs his genius. But nobody wants to listen to his ideas because everything he creates either breaks something, or someone. But then, the island’s economy fails, and its citizens are forced to eat nothing but slimy sardines. Flint becomes inspired, and he decides to construct a food-making machine whose name is never successfully pronounced in the entire film.
This is where the fun begins. Flint’s machine works! Literally, it is raining food. That one sentence is basically enough to describe “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” When that first cheeseburger fell from the sky, I knew that I was about to see things I have never seen before in a movie. Here is an animated film that simply wants to be, how should I say this, savored.
You’ll get to see ice cream for snow, spaghetti for tornadoes, a pool of cheese, pizza boats, liquorish ropes, and pretty much everything you can find in a fast food menu except for the salad. Bulimics would throw up by just watching this.

Paranormal Activity 2 – Review

In an age where horror films are defined by teenagers whose I.Q. ranges between “Dumbass” and “Hopeless”, Oren Peli’s “Paranormal Activity” brought needed hope not only to exhausted horror movies, but also to the slashers that occupy them. Man. Freddy, Jason, and Myers must be tired from hacking college students all the time.
If you liked the original, chances are you’ll also like “Paranormal Activity 2”. They are similar in structure: the slow beginning, the creepy middle, and the chilling end. Both movies take place within a home, and both homes are inhabited by a demon.

This is scary.

A home is said to be a place of rest and refuge. Once you explore the possibility that an evil demon might be trying out all the furniture as it plots to murder your family, you’re in trouble. Anyone who doesn’t get scared by that situation is either really really brave or a Satanist.
The members of the Rey family aren’t Satanists and any form of bravery won’t drive that pesky demon away. It wants your baby. It’ll sneak. It’ll surprise. It’ll prevent your pool from getting cleaned or it’ll drag you halfway across your house if it needs to. And on top of that, it’s invisible. Again, this is scary. How can you fight something that you can’t see?

How can you escape from something that you can’t hide from?

The type of villain found here generates a number of possibilities for some great scares, and they are done effectively in both the original and this prequel/sequel. A big difference between the two “Paranormal” movies is their atmosphere. One would walk into this prequel/sequel with an expectation of what the method of horror would be like, and everybody knows that it’s always scarier the first time around; when you don’t know what the hell is going on.
(Spoilers) “Paranormal Activity 2” succeeds in inducing fear but fails in inserting logic. For instance, when the father was convinced that a demon was indeed amongst them, they call… their housekeeper. I guess the nearest exorcist was having a bad day. And when the demon attacked in “wife” form, why did the power go out? Does the demon have electrical skills? (End Spoilers)
These flaws can be forgiven, because “Paranormal Activity 2” did what it’s supposed to do. Its ending (and box office success) suggests that a second sequel might be made, but we’re gonna have to wait to find that out. In the meantime, college students are on vacation and are just waiting to be hacked.

Pokemon Tower Defense Review

No Pokemon fan should ever pass up on Pokemon Tower Defense. Seriously, this game will make you relive your Gameboy Advance days of old and help you reminisce your time as a Pokemon Trainer. Though the game is a fan-made spin-off, it uses the same graphics, is filled to the brim with inside jokes and even stays as close as possible to the evolution scheme you know and love.

While it is not an RPG game like the original, you will be surprised at how all the original Pokemon elements play a part in the game play. There are several roadblocks which are only overcome by paying attention to the storyline and grabbing the correct TM/HM skill. There are several types of stages. Of course, there are times when the objective is to guard sweets or Pokeballs – classic tower defense game play. But, you also get to invade enemy territory by buffing up with defensive moves and sending out your Pokemon one by one.

What Pokemon game would it be without monster collecting? If catching them all is your main concern, you have nothing to worry about. Pokemon Tower Defense features all of the 151 Pokemon found in the Red and Blue versions of the series. It even has shiny and shadow versions of all the included Pokemon. All you have to do is wait for a Pokemon to spawn, let your units damage it until its life bar is red and drag your Pokeball over it. Easy right? Well, unless the spawn rate for what you are looking for is 1 out of 8000.

Because this is Pokemon, you will be asked to choose which version of the game you want to play. Depending on your choice, this makes a few version exclusive Pokemon available to you. If you do not feel like creating a second character to circumvent this, you may want to head on over to the Pokemon Center to trade with other players.

The trading system is an experience on its own. Due to the active community, finding your desired Pokemon is made much simpler. However, that does not mean that you can trade your Kakuna for a high level Mew. You will have to adjust with the market, so to speak, in order to get your Pokemon trade accepted. At any rate, this organic community plays a big part in helping you collect every Pokemon type and have them available to form your team.

The one thing this game severely lacks is an explanation for the series elements. If you happen to be a long time Pokemon Trainer, sure, you can forego the lecture. However, those new to the series will definitely encounter foreign concepts such as TM/HM moves, evolution and Legendary Pokemon GO hack and tips for begginers. Fortunately for those who can ignore these little nuances, the core game play is easy to adapt to for the most part.

The game offers four speeds which help a great deal when trying to level up. With this, you will be able to compress the time significantly and be able to level up your newly caught Pokemon in no time. Thing is, you will have a hard time catching Pokemon while doing this. Not only will their blurs be tricky to identify, your Pokemon also tend to defeat them faster than you can use your Pokeball. It would have been great if there was some way to map toggles onto the keyboard so you can change speed on the fly. For now, you will just have to learn to prioritize what you want out of each stage.

Graphics-wise, we have no complaints. Though this is fan created, the sprites cannot be more authentic than it already is. The writing however is in need of some polish. There are some typos here and there and due to random anime references, the delivery gets a bit confusing at times. Of course, being a free to play game, script like that for a lengthy game such as this is a minor complaint.

If you already love Pokemon, or are by any means intrigued by the idea of mixing up tower defense game play with elements from the series, then by all means play this game. Even with all the popular casual games out in the same genre, this takes the biscuit in terms of mission variety. This is a top-notch title worthy of the Pokemon name, which may be enjoyed by casual game players of all ages.

Edge of Tomorrow Teaser Trailer released

Warner Bros has released a trailer for the upcoming Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt action movie Edge of Tomorrow.

The director in charge of this movie is Doug Liman the man behind Mr & Ms Smith and Bourne Identity, see the trailer below.

 

Synopsis :

The epic action of “Edge of Tomorrow” unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world

Major William Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop—forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again.

But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.

Starring :

Oscar® nominee Tom Cruise (the “Mission: Impossible” films, “Collateral,” “Jerry Maguire”) and Emily Blunt (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “The Adjustment Bureau”) star in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ sci-fi thriller “Edge of Tomorrow,” under the direction of Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”).