Despicable Me

The other day I got my hands on a copy of “Despicable Me“.  Maxim watched all of it and somewhat enjoyed it.  For me though it was a disappointment.  One of the biggest setbacks were the characters.  I think that characters are one of the main things that separate animations from movies.  Movies are more or less forced to cast actors.  And the best actors are only a few.  So movies have to rely a lot more on the acting talent in order to create unique characters.  In animations, the characters are drawn.  And while that is not an easy job either, I think it is much easier to draw a new character than to create one in the actor.  In this animation, all characters were carbon copies of characters from other cartoons.  And that alone is enough for me to disregard this cartoon.

On top of that, the story was anything but engaging and original.  And to add insult to injury, I personally thought that the voice of Steve Carrell didn’t match Gru’s character.  Every time Gru spoke, I had a feeling that there was someone else in the scene, someone who was actually speaking, someone that I could not see.

As a result of all that, I got bored and disgusted by the animation and left the room about 20 minutes into the story.  And that is, I assure you, not something that I do very often.  Hence, my overall rating is 1 out of 5.  There are so many beautiful animations out there, and this one is not one of them.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

The other day I had no choice but accompany my beloved wife to the cinema.  Harry Potter was in town again.  I myself am not a big fan at all.  I think it had great potential and the first movie absolutely awesome from pretty much every perspective, but then it went south.  It turned into a story of growing up characters, which is rarely a good thing.  It became dark and scary.  And complicated.  And now it’s all over the place.

Seriously, I don’t know anymore who is the intended audience for these movies.  It’s definitely not kids, due to all the darkness, politics, and complexity of the story.  And I’m not so sure about adults, because it’s getting increasingly stupid.  Maybe there is something for teenagers, but I can’t see that.  And those teenagers who were present in the cinema seemed to be missing the point also.

Anyhow, to set the record straight, I haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books.  And I started skipping the movies.  I think I missed the previous episode, but saw the one before that. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” didn’t make any sense to me and on top of that it was as boring as they come.

It started off with too many characters who I didn’t remember and had no idea of who they were.  There was some action that I didn’t see any reasons for.  And then the movie simply died.  It turned into the least favorites of Lord of the Rings for me.  Where the hobbit people were just walking and walking and walking.  It was exactly the same here.  Except that hobbits had a purpose.  And here, even if there was one, it was not obvious.

With nothing to engage my attention, I started looking closer at the technical side of the movie.  And not surprisingly it sucked too.  OK, I can understand that Harry and friends aren’t innocent children anymore and its hard to hide.  But I think that excessive face and chest hair are the mistakes of the make-up team.  Camera work was horrible.  By now we are all well familiar with handheld cameras and the effect that give the movie.  Many of us in the audience also know where it makes to use the effect and where it doesn’t.  And in Harry Potter it mostly doesn’t.  Yet, there are plenty of sequences where it was used.  The music – one of my favorite parts about Harry Potter movies, was practically non-existing also.  In several scenes, where I was trying to figure out what was going on and what was the mood of the setting, I caught myself thinking that I’d appreciate the music instead of the silence.  Are they in trouble?  Are they scared? Are they bored or just waiting for someone?  A tiny bit of background music could help the audience answer such questions.  But not in this installment.

Overall, the movie was too long for what it had to show.  Too boring.  Not engaging at all.  And technical cheap and poor.  It felt like one of those things you’d get from a pirated copy, stolen from the director’s table before the work is finished.  And yet it was an official theatrical release.  Bad.  Very bad.  1 out of 10.

The Road

Last Friday I went to see “The Road“.  I’ve seen a trailer of it several times before and figured that it would be one of those post-apocalyptic zombie movies that I don’t particularly want to see. But I was with my wife and there was no better choice of a movie in the cinema, so we went.

As I mentioned on Twitter earlier, it’s been a while since I wrote a movie review.  But this film is something!  It’s such a load of crap!   Everything about this film is bad.  Not neutral, but bad.  The story is extremely shallow.  The dialogues are horrible.  There is no common sense what-so-ever.  The film is boring on so many levels that it’s unbelievable.  It is even boring visually.  Everything is shot in a greyish colours, with decreased saturation, and with no highlights at all.  The images of the post-apocalyptic world don’t touch on any feelings – they are not sad, not horrifying, not inspiring.

I was very surprised to see both Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy) and Charlize Theron (“The Italian Job”, “Sweet November”, and many others) in this crappy movie.  They were trying their very best to save it, but there just wasn’t enough ground.  Kodi Smit-McPhee, who played a kid, delivered horrible acting and all the dialogues that he had to do weren’t helping at all.

The film is running for almost 2 hours (111 minutes), and I think it is about 100 minutes too long.  Overall, I’ll rate it a 1 out of 5 and recommend you avoid it at all costs.  It’s just that bad.

The Hunt for Eagle One

Picking random movies of the DVD rentals shelves has its consequences.  One of those consequences is an ever increasing chance of picking up a really terrible movie.  And that’s precisely what happened to me the other day.  I was in the mood for a war movie, something with US Marines, helicopters, one of those extremely poor Asian countries hidden under the cover of jungles… The DVD cover of “The Hunt for Eagle One” looked promising, even though I was a little bit suspicious about the title.

It turned out to be a really bad movie.  The surprising fact about it was that I actually recognized a few actors in it.  But it was still really really bad.  The sound was bad.  The acting was terrible.  Special effects sucked real bad.  And the dialogs were  disgusting.   Sometimes, bad things can be so bad that they actually end up good.  But this movie is not one of those cases.  It’s just terrible bad.

And even having the principle of watching every movie from start to end uninterrupted didn’t help me this time.  After about watching it for two minutes I started fast-forwarding.  After watching a few random scenes for roughly another minute, I gave up and switched it off.

Rating: 1 out of 10.  Avoid at all costs.

They Crawl

Choosing the movie to watch in a hurry never worked for me. “They Crawl” is just one of those silly attempts to randomly pick a good movie on a stand with bad ones.

Directed by: John Allardice
Genres: Horror, Sci-Fi
Cast: Daniel Cosgrove, Tamara Davies, Dennis Boutsikaris, Ken Lerner, William Keane, Scott Rinker, Brandon Karrer, Bennet Guillory, Tim Thomerson, Tone Loc, Mickey Rourke, Grace Zabriskie, Andi Eystad, Chase Hampton, Adam Gordon
IMDB raintg: 3.4
My rating: 1.0 *

This is one of the worst movies that I have seen in a long while. Really.

The story is very simplistic, predictable and boring. There is no acting what-so-ever. The usage of Mickey Rourke’s name is totally marketing move. His screen time accounts for less than a minute. And he is only in one very short scene.

There is no character development or any attention to details. Camera work is as cliche as it can be. Computer graphics and other special effects suck big time. They made me think that I can do better, although that is totally not my area.

That’s about all the time that I am going to spend writing about this film.