Saturday, June 29, 2013

Monsters University

It’s no secret amongst those who know me that I’m a huge lover of the works of Disney and Pixar. This also makes me a vocal critic of their lesser efforts.  I’ve no hesitance in saying that both companies have had their share of duds—Pixar with two in a row as of late with the disappointing Brave and the soulless Cars 2.  When a prequel was announced to Monsters Inc. in the form of Monsters University, I found myself disappointed due to Pixar’s apparently failing once again to strive for the original storytelling they’re known for, and instead relying on a popular property to make bank off of, similarly to what they did with Cars 2. Now I’m glad to report that University is a follow-up closer to Toy Story 2 in quality after all.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Now You See Me

Director of Now You See Me, Louis Leterrier, embarked on a task to create a heist film with a twist—the thieves are stage magicians. And it’s a solid premise. Inception’s shtick was dreams, here it’s magic. However, herein lays a dilemma. Do you focus on wizardry and shoot for the supernatural, or do you try and root the story in a realism that challenges the audience and also adds verisimilitude to the universe? The latter is unarguably the more difficult of the two, but also the more rewarding. Leterrier shot for both without a consistency to make either exceedingly effective.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Man of Steel

Despite being one of, and arguably the most iconic superhero of all-time, Superman’s track record in the world of film hasn’t been one to brag about. The first two films in the series of films that debuted in 1978 are enjoyed (though I myself am not a huge fan), but the last two are unanimously ridiculed. The reboot/retcon/sequel Superman Returns released in 2006 has also endured its fair share of criticism. Despite this, Zack Snyder’s reboot, Man of Steel, received incredible hype to be the first great Superman film. And to be honest, I bought into the hype. The film had some great promotional material, including an awesome trailer or two. However, I’m disappointed to report that Superman’s return to the silver screen wasn’t so super after all.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


One of my favorite movies is Old Boy, and its director, Park Chan-wook, is a talented filmmaker. There’s a bite to the stories he’s told, and they’re punctuated with tight cinematography and visuals. For the longest time I anticipated the debut of his first American film, Stoker, but it’s taken me over three months to get around to seeing it due to its limited release. Now that I have, I can confidently report that in most respects, Stoker met my expectations—such as in the visual department. However, it’s also an imperfect affair—specifically in the narrative.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kotonoha no Niwa (The Garden of Words)

I happened to discover Kotonoha no Niwa while I was on Tumblr. While scrolling I came across a couple of gifs portraying visuals from the film, and I almost immediately disregarded them as just some neat shots of nature. Then as I continued to scroll my eye happened to catch the word “anime”. Immediately I viewed the images again and I was taken aback to realize that the imagery I was watching was in fact animated. Straightaway I looked up the source of these beautiful graphics and watched the movie. I knew that even if the film was to fail on a narrative level in my eyes, I’d at least be pleased based off of the imagery alone. As it turns out, I was immersed into both.