If you even pretend that you know me, you must know that I am incredibly into music. Though I may have a more contemporary-tuned ear, I still enjoy the prospect of discovering music, classics both past and present. It's incredibly satisfying, music -- to each their own, and to each those songs that change us, move us, become the soundtracks to our lives whether they become tedious or continue to surprise us.
Movies are, to some, the same way music is to me. Perhaps even more so. They become obsessed. People's lives can revolve around it. They live, eat, and breathe movies.
I don't think I can, in one or several sittings, possibly list my favorite movies or movies I absolutely hate, or movies I grew up with (though I considered the latter). Why would I? Tastes are so different, as with every form of media and entertainment, that I could very well offend or disturb people with what I like.
Or bore people. How horrifying!
Instead I've decided to do something a little different. Movies that stick out in my mind, movies that are... interesting to think about, for whatever their reasons, but otherwise cannot be connected by any threads otherwise. I'm not necessarily recommending you watch or ignore these movies; I'll simply tell you what I remember. Why they stick out in my mind, good or bad.
I don't even know what was with this movie. I was flipping through the channels one day when a tile caught my eye. "Mirrormask." Interesting title, it still maybe had 30 minutes left. I had no clue what the hell I was watching. I swear, drugs are scary as hell. Movies under the influence of drugs? Even worse.
I want to say this was some Alice in Wonderland shit, because it involves a girl sick of her life and is transported to a fantasy world. There's something a little different, though, because she kind of wants back, and there's a doppleganger involved, maybe some Prince & the Pauper thing going, I don't know. I also think they're British?
But while the story wasn't impressive or memorable (that's about all I got), the reason it's on this list is because of the visuals. Oh my GOD. Do you think Tim Burton doing Alice was trippy? That's got nothing on this movie. It's like the men behind the scenes knew how they wanted it to look and just went from there. Sure it's a little hazy and sepia-tinted, ut it's definitely a style all its own and an astonishing one at that.
This movie barely, BARELY, made a fraction of its budget back. And it's budget wasn't even that big -- some TV show episodes costed about this much. I really hope this becomes a cult film, like Rocky Horror or Scott Pilgrim. Not that I'd watch it again anytime soon...
I had the misfortune to watch this Disney channel movie the other night. Oh God. It has Shia LeBeouf (Transformers) as a bully who steals this kid's speech for a scholarship, and the other kid pulls out of the competition. I don't fully remember everything, but the beginning (aside from some mini-animation that's almost entirely pointless) and the end are the only real plot devices. The rest of the movie is usually painful to watch.
The other kid I mentioned is the main character, and man his life is so painful to watch. Everything that can happen, does happen or has happened to him. The majority of the movie involves his accidental taking of the villains' (Shia and his father, the headmaster who denies his son's obvious cheating) prize non-hound dog, and his attempts to bring it back, all the while the evil headmaster is trying to get the dog back because it's his wife's, and her dad is really big and can take away the headmaster position. It probably makes more sense to watch it.
The sad part is that this is intended to be a comedy, I can tell. But the way everything happens, especially in the long dragged-out middle section, it could very well be a horror movie. Let me briefly explain. It is mentiuoned somewhere around this part that dog has a medication. Well, since the dog is at our hero's house, it can't very well take it! We are treated to the dog (played in some parts by an animatronic) suddenly going out of its mind, tearing apart the house, breaking apart the doors, ripping pants and risking human life, and scaring the army brother who it turns out may be a bit on the abusive side.
But oh, it's alright! The dog returns to normal within the last 15 or so minutes, just in time to frame the LeBeouf character for everything wrong with a third act that has absolutely no tension. Somehow, it's never explained although I'm sure we can all guess, this means he loses scholarship and the dad loses his headmaster position. Bunch of other stuff too, including a final scene that is stupid because it ruins the plan featured in the final act and opens room for a sequel and ruins poor Shia's life forever or something stupid like that, idk.
That this movie was made at all, much less by Disney Channel... it makes their line-up today look like classics. And since that's the case, all praise be to Camp Rock!
Cruel World (2005)
This movie creeped me the heck out. And not in the good way. Supposedly a horror movie, this movie had no real sense of horror... and yet, it really did. The movie's premise is based around a very unstable guy who loses a game show that's basically the Bachelorette, only less relevant. A while after he loses, he visits the new happy couple and asks if he can use their home for his OWN reality show. He then kills them both.
It's a very standard "horror" flick, in that everyone is a cardboard cut-out and people are killed just to have people killed. The only real twist is that the crazy main villain makes it into a "reality show," and has his retarded brother help him. But I'm sure even Saw was entertaining, or at least interesting to watch.
I think it says a lot when the movie is boring as hell, incredibly unentertaining, but is still takes disturbing to the next level. I'm not one for horror movies, but even I can have some fun watching characters like Jason or Freddy kill teenagers for the umpteenth time (I've yet to watch a Saw or Child's Play movie in their entireity). I think this is partially because of the main villain, whose name escapes me at this moment.
Why I say this is because he's just... out of his mind. There is no real motive; in the movie itself, when accused of having no real reason for killing, he doesn't deny it. Okay, so maybe he *does* have a reason, but it's a poorly thought-out gimmick at best. Still, the main villainous actor puts so much effort into his performance that you'd maybe think otherwise. I don't want to say he makes it work, but he makes me believe that the character is completely unbalanced.
I didn't finish watching the movie. There were too many stereotypes, too many uncomfortable scenes to sit through (including but not limited to the token gay guy killing his opponent after his opponent says he can't do like-wise and later the last-standing "contestant" making out with the retarded evil brother in an attempt to escape). I don't know if the villain and his retarded brother killed everyone. He might as well have. It was just... not fun for me.
Ryan, you pussy.
Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009)
Everyone has heard of Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus, whether you like her/them or not. And no matter where she is today or how little success she could have in the future (Hannah Montana ended its 4th and final season not too long ago), there is no denying she was once on top of the world. So naturally, after her 3D concert movie... her series got the big-screen treatment too.
The biggest surprise for me in this movie was how... pleasant it was. How it seemed to be a decent movie! Maybe because I've seen the show (two Diusney-bred sisters can be blamed for this) and understood it. Maybe because my standards were so low. Maybe it's because it ruined Dragonball the movie (both were released the same weekend, I remember) and I needed the something else. The secret to this day eludes me.
Not to say that it's not generic, because in a way it is. Miley and her dad go back home to Nashville, where Miley rediscovers herself and has to choose between two worlds. Sound familiar? But it's cute. It's adorable. It makes me want to know what will happen and how it will end.
That the movie wasn't bad shocked me. I think it shocked me so much, that by the time of the 3rd act it was too much. I overloaded. The 3rd act was torturous for me to sit through, because it started in a long and drawn out scene that suddenly speeds up and makes a huge drama in 30 seconds. Miley is trying to be in two places at once, as both herself and Hannah, and her new beau is following her, trying to understand what's going on with Miley. He catches her mid-way through her dress-up as Hannah, and then gives that look that means "oh, I was betrayed." Oh, implied drama! How else can a movie like this have any conflict?
Like I said, the last 3rd of the movie was painful for me to watch. It was mercifully fast, but every aspect of it felt like everyone just stopped trying and wanted to get it over with. Even the last concert, which is supposed to be the final emotional segment, the one that pulls on your heartstrings, falls flat for me. But the first two acts are what I want to remember. And so, I will.
Dragonball: Evolution (2009)
Remember how not 2 paragraphs ago I said because it was released in the same weekend, Hannah Montana: The Movie ruined Dragonball the movie? I meant financially. Because, let's be honest -- I don't give FOX enough credit.
By now, everyone on the internet has heard of how bad this movie was. And to be honest, I didn't think it was... okay, I knew it just a little. There was something wrong about it, even when I read the (slightly superior?) children's novelization based on it. It was Dragon Ball intended for an American audience, and one that didn't even like Dragon Ball at that. How the hell are you supposed to do that, anyway?
It's got some of the basics there -- Goku is a boy, Bulma meets him, "gotta gather those Dragon Balls!" Goku is later trained by Roshi, the villain appears, villain gets upper hand, and then climactic battle. I think there was a happy ending, but I don't remember because they made a show that lives off of episode-long power-ups, yelling, fighting, and "NEXT TIME" and condensed it into something less than 90 minutes. The final battle was, what, 2 minutes?
The casting was okay at best (I won't deny Ernie Hudson's cameo is neat, Chow Yun-Fat is amazingly over-the-top, and James Marsters' five minutes as Piccolo were very... villanous?), and the special effects weren't too shabby (if not a bit rushed. You know, like the rest of the movie!). It's just that everything is so different, and takes so much that isn't Dragon Ball. Since when was Goku a Jonas Brother reject, more focused on getting the girl and moping around than fighting?Was Bulma always a bad-ass scientist, a Lara Croft-wannabe in the making? Piccolo could have been a Star Wars villain for all we know. It was everything, and nothing, all at once.
Why do I remember this movie so much? Why is it on m mind? Because it's Dragon Ball, and asa DB fan, the hype was huge. It started off huge, it ended huge. Mind you, it was also positive and turned negative with every bit of news, but it was still huge-ish. Had an almost-huge director, an almost-huge producer, an almost-huge composer, a somewhat-known cast, and a huge Asian pop star singing the theme song for a cult series that was huge on American TV not 7 years before. But it barely made a splash or dent in the marketplace. Who really wanted to watch this movie? Not a lot. Surprised? Some people didn't even know the movie existed! Envy them.
All of that said, I still don't hate it. I'm seriously just glad that a movie was released at all. We were teased and told for 7 years that it was coming. And we got it. They *never* said it would be good. Tee hee.
Everyone's seen, or at least I hope everyone has seen, the 1940 Disney animated classic based on the story Pinocchio. And that story has been re-adapted several thousand times, sometimes into something only vaguely recogizable. Well, not even ten years ago there was another live-action version of the film, made in Italy. It was brought over to America. And I'm still haunted by it.
It was my cousin Ronny's birthday, and we had a choice of seeing either the Wild Thornberries' movie or Pinocchio. I had a love/hate relationship with the Wild Thornberries, and though I don't want to blame our viewing of Pinocchio on me, I'm sure I had some part of it. And so we sat there,
Thing was, years later, I found out in my random research that this movie was somewhat well-received in Italy. It's the American version that was horribly received! And while I can't attest to why it was well-received over there, I can for sure say why it was horrible over here. And it wasn't just its poor release -- on Christmas Day, with little fanfare, no pre-screening.
It was just awful! The special effects were dreadful, the pacing was way off. The humor wasn't there, the magic wasn't there, and the voice actors!!! They had an all-star voice cast for the American release! How can they not do the classic material any justice? Well, everyone but John Cleese. But maybe that's just me.
Sorry that this one is so straight-forward, but it was just horrible. That I remember this, years later, speaks for itself. I remember this movie because it was so BAD.