When the Smurfs were invaded by Ads....
(Review of Avatar and Angels & Demons)
Avatar was not a movie I expected to see since I was looking forward to seeing the Chipmunks movie if any during December. A majority of the time I am correct when I don’t look forward to seeing a movie because the trailers show signs of disappointment. I’ll give a quick list of few signs from that one should watch for when watching trailers:
1. The trailer somehow finds a way not to explain the storyline.
2. When the animated figures are never in the screenshot with the actual actors of the film.
-In the When the Earth Stood Still the commercial kept on yelling at that stupid giant to freeze but for some reason they were never in the same shot. That’s because the stupid giant Cyclops thingy was too smooth and shiny to ever look it belonged with everyone else in that craptacular film.
3. It’s a children movie with too many innuendos.
-Cat in the Hat; geez. I didn’t think you could ever destroy a childhood gem like Cat in the Hat but Austin Powers found a way when during the commercial he smacked a garden ho and called it a “dirty ho”. This is not something you want when your goal for going to the movies is avoid the repetitive nature and easy sexy jokes
4. When the sequel trailer has no one in it from the first movie.
-George of the Jungle wasn’t that great of a movie but it was entertaining and Brendan Frasier himself was genuinely funny guy. Than when George of the Jungle 2 commercial started appearing audience had to be taken back when guy who was repeated referred as George looked nothing like Frasier. This almost could’ve been tricky enough to make some think it’s a plot of a George copy-cat but not really.
Avatar definitely had the second one and small bits it would should something that needs to be done via computer with a real actor the people look like they are from Starcraft or something. The thing about Avatar is I couldn’t tell if it was because I was watching the film in 3-D or the graphics aligned with what was actually filmed. It’s an important factor for me since I’d always much rather film a kick apple robot. I will admit Avatar had too many villagers in the script to do such a thing but doesn’t mean I should give them slack for their animation. If one doesn’t have the technology to do it than don’t do it I exclaim especially since the 3-D glasses now cost an extra $3 extra to watch it. To finish off this spiel, Avatar’s graphics were smooth except for the giant robots where the people controlled them by sitting inside. That was surprising for James Cameron to make look goofy since his Aliens 2 hand the same thing when Sigourney Weaver went one on one with the mother Alien.
In this review there will be a lot of nit-picking at this movie but be sure to look at the rating at the end because it is still unquestionably worth seeing before DVD. These new 3-D effects were cool and not the hoky ones that would be used in 80s movies, where something had to be thrown at the audience for them to notice what they are watching in 3-D. It was simple but noticeable. A few times during the film I took the glasses off to see the difference and everything looked fine if it was in front but if an object was in the distance it would be a little blurry.
The acting was very good with Sam Worthington leading the way with Sigourney Weaver taking the assist. Sam Worthington had to portray of an injured veteran on a journey back to revival from leg paralysis. Hmm. The guy is a very good knuckle head which the audience wants gain happiness no matter how many people tell him he’s screwed up. Sigourney is a translator of sorts, who is passionate of what she fights for though every time she tries convincing anybody anything she’s always portrayed by others as the crazy tree hugger. Sounds a little like her Aliens role. The third top actor is the one you see in the trailers shooting and yelling to destroy everything kind of giving away how well the diplomatic solution went. This is a very black and white character but he’s not all wrong. General Nutso is shown as the bad guy because he wants to use the army to invade the Smurfs (blue people). Well, hello he is a general what else can he really suggest? Team diplomat was more worried about their journey than their actual goal. General Nutso may have laid created the same results no matter what but it doesn’t less procrastination would’ve helped save some lives.
Who can blame Team Diplomat for wanting to spend their time just observing the awesomeness and fantasy of the Smurf world? Majority of Avatar aimed at becoming an official warrior in the Smurf tribe. Cameron created a world one could easily fall for in those nerdy Warcraft video games from the animals the Smurf get to ride to the being 10 feet tall and having a tail. Really, who doesn’t want a freaking tail and be blue? Well, not Smurf blue but more Nightcrawler blue.
The feature is a little less than 3 hours and you feel it. The best way to measure this is if you stop and check you cell phone during the phone. I did and I could imagine that is the point of the movie Tara began her nap! Since a lot of the movie spent time on Sam Worthington’s character observing the Smurf’s culture and not trying to complete anything that made a difference to the humans it wasn’t really plot driven.
Another quick thing to pick at that I thought was awkward and didn’t make a darn thing of difference was the black doctor until the very end. The reason he bugged me was the fact he walked in on Worthington’s character, Jake, telling General Nutso and friends how to invade the Smurfs to where he gave a shocked face of disappointment. That facial expression gave the impression that there will actually be something interesting to happen in the human side of the movie like a confrontation. No, not really and it could’ve balance out the awkwardness at the end of the movie when Team Diplomat and Team Kick-apples had about three verbal arguments that went nowhere.
Smurfs had an appearance I swear had to make 3/4 of the audience jealous besides the weird tentacles in their hair but even I wouldn’t let that ruin being 10 feet tall and blue. Color and height is not the only thing a majority of American audience will be jealous. The shape every single Smurf was in was just silly how each and every one of them didn’t have an ounce of fat. It reminded me of pro wrestlers in video games and on action figures of how they are always given six packs no matter their abdomens look in real life. Giving even a few elders a more realistic appearance compared to us would make people walk out of the theater going, “What a disgusting figure those aliens had!”
If I was Cameron though, I would probably make the decision of all pretty rather than all ugly.
The story won’t drive you into watching but everything else will. My friend Lucas pointed out that the storyline of people with technology attacking “savages” is actually derived from Dances of the Wolves. His comparison reminded me of several of paranoid goals I thought this movie since seeing the trailers. Hollywood is so hippy that I couldn’t figure what message it was trying to send to audience. Was Avatar trying to say shame on America for taking the Native Americans home or did it have an anti-corporation or general anti-Army? It could’ve just been a good storyline in general but you have to watch out for those shifty eyed celebrities.
In conclusion this movie receives 4 & a quarter out 5 stars. Even though it may have been very long it fit because of the epicness of the world that had to be introduced to the audience. There are many things for audience to find to enjoy in this film from cool battle to new creatures of beyond to technology to Michele Rodrigez, everyone’s favorite spunky latina.
PS for Avatar I heard a pretty funny spoof advertisement for Avatar on the radio when I was in Cold Sprink for Jake’s Hockey tournament, where they got 3rd Go Johnson! Well, in the advertisement the soldier on planet Smurf were getting a warning from their captain about a Smurf spy within their forces. When the soldiers hear of this infiltration, the soldiers try to figure what kind of disguises the Smurfs would use and suggestions came as using a funny hat, handle bar mustaches or sunglasses. Dumbfounded the general goes, “I suppose but they are 10 feet tall, blue and they have tails. It should be pretty obvious” place.
Then a soldier double checks, “but they still can be wearing some sort of disguise”
“Well sure they can but it would be quite obvious”, argued the General.
The soldier finished the conversation with saying, “Good, everyone look for some fake mustaches.” I thought it was funny advertisement to recite.
Angels and Demons review
One warning, I should give about any book that turns into a movie is 99% of the time readers say the story is always better on paper than on the big screen. Usually the best order to go is watch the movie than read the book. The only problem with this is order is there are fewer complaints but when reading the book you lose your creativity of imagining what characters look like in the book.
Angels and Demons was mystery thriller that made sure there was no way audience can piece together the pieces to the large mystery. It was kind of an interesting ride if you are a tourist expert. Many of the parts of the puzzle that Tom Hanks character was trying to figure out is gibberish to the audience. The characters sound brilliantly smart when they are discussing how to stop the terrorist attack but who cares if the audience can’t follow what they are talking about. These smart discussions made audience blank out for a good quarter of the movie. If script writers were going to change the story from the book they could’ve at least slow down the characters so they give the audience some trivia to walk away with about the Catholic religion or Rome.
There is one thing this movie made sure force audience to walk away with is that the Catholic religion as an organization tortured people something hundreds year ago for not believing in the same religion. People who are big Angels and Demon fans exclaim how people can be mad about what movie claims about Catholics, if it’s a fiction. If I wrote a fictional book where, Obama is terrorist I would receive so much gruff for the portrayal of Obama even though my book would be fake. Don’t act so uppity if you can’t take it both ways.
Angels and Demons made it likely for audience to figure out who the real bad guy is when Ewan McGregor’s priest character several time bragged about how ashamed Catholics should be for being torturers. Why no matter how much proof that the church has done these torturing would a priest who has the power of the pope almost brag about how bad your own religion is? Ewan McGregor did a good job playing the proud priest throughout all the troubles they were going through.
The cuts that did in fact bother me were to the character of Vittoria. Was she only in this movie to look pretty? She was completely pointless in this movie while Tom Hanks walked around talking smart but the book gave her a character with more content. The not telling her background story saved about 200 pages from the movie and film. One thing director Ron Howard did do correct with this film from the book is the way Vittoria and Langdon just didn’t take a break from the rush of the situation to have a philosophical conversation for a freaking lifetime. As interesting those conversation can be in the back of one’s mind when reading these intriguing conversation they are freaking out the bomb that explode any time. Hmm, a bomb is going to explode so let’s have some tea and discussion in the meantime. Ron Howard took a quicker approach to these stimulating conversations by making the characters have them while in motion.
I give this half year old movie two star out of five for dropping the Vittoria character and being outright smug.
Movie Reference: Collateral
Just thought I’d refer a Michael Mann movie I’ve gotten into every time I watch it. Michael Mann is a simple director, that straight-out tells the audience what he wants to tell them instead of giving them abstract BS. The scenery in LA seems so cool through the eyes of Collateral. Tom Cruise does an amazing bad guy that you still can’t dislike. Giving him grey doesn’t make him look older but more distant. His work with Jamie Fox seemed to work well with each other. My favorite line in this movie is when Jamie Fox finds out the Tom Cruise is an assassin and he goes, “I’ll just leave and you can take the car.”
Where Tom Cruise responds with, “Promise you won’t tell?” Hilarious! I don’t see what’s everyone’s problem with Tom Cruise is. It’s his wife Katie Holmes that needs to fall off a cliff. Actually, Cruises next movie seems pretty funny. Here’s an example:
Tom Cruise takes Cameron Diaz hostage and exclaims, “Anyone try to stop me, I’ll kill myself and then shoot her!” Well, here watch it!
Thanks for reading this. If you want to help me out answer one of these questions. What do you think about blue people? Is even fake blasphemy okay? Would you be will to push Katie Holmes? What do you watch for in trailers for signs of a crappy movie?
Oh, quick tidbit for when you’re thirsty, drink a cup of water first so you when get to the pop or fancy drink’s taste goes to waste.
Topics for future blogs....
*Best music of 09 by genre
*Who is going to win that bowl that is pretty SUPER*My Golden Globe ballot
Silver Angel (Anthony)
"this review would've been a lot better without the over excessive steroid filled wrestler with a hand handgun on his shirt......also i feel smurf killing for their smurf berries is morally wrong :P"