Movie Review of The Last Unicorn and Playing Dress Up

I’m currently watching The Last Unicorn, Anniversary Edition, which I borrowed from the library because my niece likes unicorns, still believes in magic, and is confident the workers on the side of the road are pumping magic treasure into the ground. The Last Unicorn is set in medieval times and is about a Unicorn that sets out to find other unicorns, convinced she is not the last one left on the earth. Along the way she encounters danger, adventure, and monsters. The Last Unicorn, based on the book by Peter S. Beagle, boasts the voice acting talent of Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury, Alan Arkin, and Christopher Lee with songs performed by America.

Some notable moments are the riddle speaking butterfly that made my niece quite excited. I mean, talking butterflies with hats, what more could a five year old ask for? Plus he calls the unicorn sunshine, or sings about sunshine, I couldn’t quite tell from the kitchen where I was cutting apples; but my niece was quite happy and said, “You know my grandpa with the long beard? He calls me ‘Sunshine.'” Which made me laugh quite a bit, because her description was hilarious and accurate. She’s talking about my father, and you tell me if she was spot on.

dad

OK, so it’s not the longest beard I’ve ever seen, but it is pretty intense. In fact, when his hair is sticking up and wiry someone once aptly called him a bush with two eyes.

The movie is far more detailed and the plot line more extensive than I would have thought. The art work is quite good, with the animation classic scooby-do (I’m sure there is a proper term for this, but that is what I call it). The background is very vague and the characters detailed, but with little shading. Some of the animation gets a bit muddled with all the magic going on, but an eye pleasing experience over all.

I didn’t finish the movie though. As I said it is rather detailed in plot and my niece got bored about halfway through when the plot hadn’t even taken off yet. It just kind of meandered along really, I was bored myself. So I suggested we get dressed up and go for a walk. Which we did, and had a grand time. I mean to go back and watch the end of the movie, but high fantasy isn’t really my thing and I couldn’t justify giving time over to a movie I didn’t really want to watch when there are so many other shows I’m behind on. Like HIMYM. (I just got around to watching my DVR of the show and watched the series finale and WHAAAA???)

I mean, doesn’t this look like more fun anyway?

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Movie Review: Seeking A Friend for the End of the World

In a month everyone dies. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World stars Steve Carell and Keira Knightly in a indie comedy about an asteroid that is about the destroy the Earth. Nothing much matters any more, and nobody belongs to anyone. But Dodge and Penny decide to help each other finish unfinished business, Dodge is off to find the girl that got away and Penny just wants to find a working plane to get back to her family overseas.

seeking a friend for the end of the world

This movie is a realistic and depressing look at what people will be doing when the world ends. Not fighting zombies, not eking out a coexistence with the Chakz, but trying to find peace in the face of the inevitable. Knightley and Carell are an unlikely match that works well. Their chemistry slowly builds, changes, and makes sense as the story continues. The movie is funny, poignant, and a little sad.

I liked the feel of the movie, that people will be who they have always been. Dodge continues to try and sell insurance to a world that is about to cease its existence and Penny takes back her emotionally abusive boyfriend she doesn’t care about because it’s the familiar. It takes a different kind of connection than an asteroid hitting the earth to shake them up from their routines, it takes a clashing of human connection to force their mindsets to change.

If you don’t mind a little bit of sadness in the midst of a beautiful human connection, watch Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. You may laugh and you will probably cry, but the beauty of the moment will be worth it.

“This is how the world ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper.” T.S. Eliot

Movie Review: Rise of the Guardians

Recently I’ve been introduced to a lot more children’s movies, and reintroduced over and over. I’ve now seen Rise of the Guardians at least half a dozen times. Not necessarily all the way through at one time, but I’d say, put together the 100s of times the movie has been playing at home, and I’ve seen the whole Rise of the Guardians at least six times. Only we call it the Jack Frost movie.

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Pitch Black (voiced by Jude Law) starts stealing children’s dreams and is turning them into nightmares, he feels that the Boogey Man is no longer feared and as a result he has lost power. The only way to get more power, is to get more children to believe. So he invades their dreams. As a result the number of children who believe in Santa Claus (played by Alex Baldwin with a heavy accent the entire time), the Australian boomerang dealing Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fischer), and the Sandman are diminishing as they give all their believing power over to Pitch. The Guardians of the children are loosing power so the Man in the Moon decides that they need another helper and he picks Jack Frost (Chris Pine) from obscurity at the bottom of an icy river to aid the others. No one believes in Jack Frost and he has a hard time fitting in with the other guardians, plus he is trying to remember where he came from and he spends the rest of the movie learning how to be part of a team and understanding what it means when children believe in you. All very heart warming indeed.

I like that the movie has a solid central story line and doesn’t necessarily delve deeply into all of the characters, but only enough to add depth. At the same time I like how a lot of the way Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny do their jobs are explained in this movie, it’s done really well and almost makes me a believer again. My favorite side character is  the Sandman, he doesn’t say a word, yet he makes me laugh the hardest.

I think the best voice actor of them all is Alec Baldwin, he does a fabulous job as Santa Claus, bringing a lot to the boisterous character just with his acting chomps. Surprisingly, it’s Chris Pine who is the least adept at being a voice actor. Some of his lines fall a little flat as though his imagination weren’t quite working in that moment. Because it takes a lot of imagination to bring your voice to where it needs to be to read the lines. Hugh Jackman and Isla Fischer are fine in their respective roles and Jude Law does an impressive job as Pitch. I just love to hate that guy.

A sweet children’s movie, with a really good story line and acting, Jack Frost… I mean Rise of the Guardians is a movie adults will enjoy as well.

Video Day: A Post Full of Videos to Take Up Your Time. You are Welcome.

Nerdy Love Song with Kitten Bombing. This video is just too cute for words. [via The Mary Sue]

Austenland is being made into a movie. This looks cute. I do really like Kerry Russell. [via The Mary Sue]

Agents of Shield, the spin-off from the Avengers because Agent Coulsen is the BOMB! Gah, I think I’m drooling!

Old Boy remake Starring Josh Brolin, Samuel L. Jackson, Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copley. The problem with these type of movies is that I really want to watch them to find out the mystery aspect of the movie but I have to keep my eyes closed for much of it, because there is a lot of graphic violence. Also, there is some nudity. So the trailer is NSFW. 

Doctor Who Day: Tutus, Monsters, and Crossovers

This TARDIS tutu is rather simplistic, but I do love the idea. I’m not sure it is worth $150 as it looks like a cami (with TARDIS printing on it) has been sown onto tulle, but it is pretty. Aaaand further research shows that the $150 is only for the skirt. Hmmm. Well, perhaps tulle is expensive?  Hmmm, well it does look labor intensive? I guess. Anyway, interesting idea. [via]

I know I have posted other mash-ups with Sully and Mike and the TARDIS door, but I just love this concept art. I just rewatched Monsters Inc. because Chris had never seen it and I wanted to rewatch it before I saw Monsters U, but then I never saw Monsters U. Which is still a bummer. Perhaps I’ll try to see it this weekend. [via]

I really enjoy beloved characters meeting each other, like this Doctor Who and Garfield cross over. The only time I want to see a Dalek and wouldn’t take a bat to it is if it were here to exterminate Mondays. You can buy it as a t-shirt or hoodie on Redbubble.

So there is this concrete bench down by the lake near where I live that gets painted every year. A committee comes up with a theme, divides the wall into sections and participants are given a section to paint as they will. It’s a  cool concept and a great time with food vendors and music every year. Unfortunately this year I was on vacation while the festival took place, but my mom went and she got a picture of a very geeky section of the wall.

Photo by Tara Noftsier at http://dragonbug.com/

Photo by Tara Noftsier at http://dragonbug.com/

Movie Review: World War Z

world war z

I enjoy a good zombie movie every now and then so when I heard World War Z was on the horizon I was curious and with Brad Pitt the lead actor I was more than willing to go and see the movie. I haven’t read the book, but I heard that it wasn’t necessary to enjoy the movie so Chris and I headed to the theater last week on a rainy Friday afternoon.

Brad Pitt plays Gerry Lane who used to work for the U.N. as an investigative journalist (read spy?), in a way it kind of felt like a continuation of his character from Spy Game (which I LOVE!!!). Gerry’s wife didn’t like how dangerous his work was, so when they had kids, she convinced him to give it up. Now he makes breakfast and drives the family to work and school. On the way to their respective places one morning, a zombie plague breaks out and the world goes to hell in a handbasket (I always thought it was HOUND basket fyi, and could never figure out what puppies had to do with hell or a basket. Though handbasket doesn’t make much more sense and Google isn’t particularly enlightening). Miraculously, because of his experience, Gerry gets his family out of harms way and they are rescued by a guy that Gerry used to work for at the U.N. Now Gerry must head out into the zombie infested world to find the point of origin of the infestation to find a cure or his family will be kicked it out of their safe spot aboard an aircraft carrier.

I really liked Pitt’s character, I thought Gerry was smart and courageous and used his intellect to survive. I liked the filming of the movie it was really well done. The pacing was excellent and I bit my knuckles and turned my face into Chris’ shoulder a time or two or five. But on the other hand it felt like the studio had a zombie script lying around and when World War Z (the book) became popular, they dusted it off, changed a few names, and got Brad Pitt to play a pivotal role and were like voila here ez zee movee!  It ez zee book vee svar! Chris read the book and felt like some of the pacing was off and a lot of the events played rather quickly, making it not so much like the book as a just another zombie movie.

I’m also a little tired of drama points in stories which are centered around stupidity. In a real zombie apocalypse the stupid people die. That is all. It is honestly the only reason I kind of hope for such a thing to happen. I liked Gerry because he wasn’t stupid, but he sure was surrounded by stupid. I can set aside my disbelief for one or two plot twist which save the stupid, but not every. single. stupid. time. It was extremely frustrating to me. To top it all off, there were a lot of cliches that happened and when people started talking at the screen I was silently cheering them on, though I generally hate when people talk at the theater.

An interesting zombie movie that takes some concepts from the book and runs around wildly with them, World War Z is entertaining if frustrating film.