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Mostly thoughts from a time before I began to change myself.
But I'm changing that.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Start of movie reviews. Sorted from least to most liked.

I am largely ignorant of movies. So I've started watching ones mentioned in various places. From Natalie Dee, I found out about the existence of Drop Dead Fred. From a friend of mine, I heard about the Karate Kid again. From somewhere on the internet, I heard about Fate Stay/Night, and I read the visual novel, which I liked. I found the Unlimited Blade Works movie on 4chan's /tor/.  Lastly, for this batch of reviews, from utorrent, I found out about Four Eyed Monsters.

Possible spoilers ahead. I'll try to minimise them. The format of these will be initial reaction/background, then characters, (first a bit about minor characters or those with short descriptions, then a focus on the ones I like or the main characters)
then (favorite, ordered best to likable) scenes, followed by the TL;DR/sort of summary version, and lastly, the imdb rating and what I think of it.

Drop Dead Fred - from the "pile of shit" at the beginning, I was disenchanted with this movie. I didn't care too much for the opening, and they had inconsistent misspellings.
(one word spelled one way then another way. it goes for a childish look but even if I spelled something wrong as a kid, I'd at least be consistent)
Aside: I can't believe how much of a jerk the judge was! He didn't even have a replacement or anything, did he? I mean, court was held up until she came back...


So many people in this movie are jerks. Well, 2 or 3 main characters are. Charles, the mother, and Fred. One could argue that the mother had to put up with some shit, so she's understandably a jerk. Fred is just crazy. Well, I guess Lizzie is, really.

Mickey - I thought I knew him from somewhere. I looked it up, and it was Ghost Ship, and ER. Mickey is a pushover. At first I thought he might be okay, but I should have learned from Doctor Who that a character named Mickey will suck. :p
Lizzie - I'm amazed at how her friend (with the boat) puts up with her.
Fred - He's fun at times, but seems to be more trouble than he's worth, all the time. His only redeeming quality is providing amusement and company. And yet, I guess he was good company. He manages a somewhat sad goodbye.

Scenes -
I'll start with my favorite scenes. Probably the meeting of the imaginary friends was my favorite. Fred:"That's so... namby pampy." NP:"You called?" Imaginary Friends:"Namby Pamby!!!!" (they dance)
Then the goodbye scene/trip to the mind was good too. Fred helps Lizzie get by on her own.

There were plenty of scenes where I was overcome with a feeling of... impending doom, I guess, for Lizzie. I get into the things I watch, and I get a little overcome when something particularly significant or ridiculous, etc. happens. So several times when Fred/Lizzie would do crazy things, I'd want to pause it cause I almost don't want to see the consequences.

TL;DR/sort of summary
All in all, I'd give it a 6-7/10. I liked it well enough, but maybe it's not my favorite kind of movie. I'm sure I'd have liked it more if I was younger. Now that I think of it, though I did not care for what Fred did per se, he is what made the movie. It would be pretty bad without him. I don't think I'd care for the actor in any other role.

imdb users say 4.9. But I think one reviewer put that into perspective well, so I will quote him.  
" If you read through the user comments for this movie, you can so clearly see the difference in the people who liked it and the ones who hate it that it almost makes you laugh out loud that these people can't see that they are exactly the kinds of people that the movie rebels against. Drop Dead Fred begs Elizabeth not to let her mother turn her into one of them because he doesn't want her to turn into the kind of person who is so uptight and frigid and barren that she would be incapable of enjoying exactly the kind of entertainment and fun that Drop Dead Fred is.

This is a movie that was made for people who are still in touch with their inner child, people who realize that a little girl with a mother who has absolutely no understanding of the mind of a child has every right to escape into the world of an imaginary friend if it will help her escape the grayness and responsibility imposed on her by her mother, who demands absolute perfection and hasn't the first clue about how to raise a child."

Karate Kid - Standard exposition beginning, obviously an 80s movie. Daniel flirts with Ali, gets beat up by Johnny.

Aside: I don't get why Ali was sort of mean/evasive to him after he ran from the country club then talked to her another day. She was the one that kept him waiting. Then he apologises to her, which was dumb of him I'd think. What does he have to apologise for?
Ralph Macchio. His imdb mentions his "boyish looks that initially assisted his career, but in more recent years have probably restricted his opportunities at getting stronger, dramatic roles." Yeah, just like Fred, I could hardly see this guy in another role. I can't believe how young his facial features look, even now.

Daniel and Miyagi seem to be the only characters with any depth to them. I dunno, I didn't think too much of Ali. She was alright. The mother, Lucille, seems to be a general mother figure. Protective, etc. Johnny was "standard" bully, and Kreese was "standard" jerk dude who taught his students to be jerks.

Daniel - He's cool enough for a kid. Certainly gutsy/charismatic enough in terms of pursuing Ali. Though he lied to Miyagi sort of pointlessly. Miyagi saw through it though (probably). "Miyagi once had mother, too."
Miyagi - I want to say "eh is a cool dude, does karate and soesn't afraid of anything". Memes aside, he's got the right of only using martial arts in defense, and that sort of thing.

The part where Daniel evades his tormentors by having the teacher start a lecture. Well played.
Halloween party was pretty good. It made me consider that a shower could make a good costume, ha.

Then Miyagi beats up a bunch of teenagers. Haha.
I guess the tournament was pretty good too. Didn't catch my interest as much as those other scenes, but I do like to watch fighting techniques, even if they don't seem like much as this isn't much of a martial arts movie. Plus it's the climax of the film, whatever.

TL;DR/sort of summary
Kid gets picked on, learns karate, gets girl. I'd give it a 7-8/10, but I have a liking for this type of story, I think. That he won a tournament is pretty unbelievable, though. 2 months is not nearly enough time to get proficiency equivalent to a black belt. Guess the karate places in the valley were pretty bad.

imdb says 6.9. Sounds about right, I'd have given it a 6-7 if I had a different view of it.

Four Eyed Monsters - Maybe read the TL;DR first. This is the story of a guy who is alone and lonely. Seeing couples all around him, he describes them as one being. (Eight limbs, four eyed monsters) He seems to be something of a shut in, and unlucky with finding anyone, and filled with the self doubt and lack of confidence that a lot of people might have.

Characters- I already described the guy.
 Susan - I don't know how to describe her. Maybe I'm bad at paying attention to certain female characters.

The art school is pretty ridiculous.
How they met is strange as well. I wouldn't think anyone would be amused by stalking.

TL;DR/sort of summary
This would be 4th instead of 3rd if I didn't already like UBW before I watched it.

Story of how a non social guy (sounds like r9k) meets a girl.

If you're around 20, you may find things to relate to in this. I did, anyway. Stylish editing makes this movie more interesting than it would be otherwise. 8-10/10

imdb says 6.3/10. I'd say it merits an overall 7, but I guess 6.3 highlights that it's ultimately pretty hit or miss.

Unlimited Blade Works -

I like Fate Stay/Night, so my opinion is biased. The movie starts out with the first UBW chant. (I like it already :)
Plenty of exposition is skipped, (see aside) and the action starts around 4 minutes into the film, as the concept is being explained. 

Aside: To any unfamiliar with F S/N, it's a visual novel with 3 paths/stories in it. There's Fate, UBW, and Heaven's Feel. The Fate story branch was released as a 24 episode anime. That should give you a good idea of how much material they had to fit into a roughly 1 hour and 42 minutes movie. (not including credits) 
[To those familiar with the novel, you may notice some inconsistencies, which I guess were put in to make it shorter]

I like a lot of the characters. Shinji is a jerk, as always. Rider doesn't get much time in the spotlight in UBW, unfortunately. Berserker destroys everything, as usual. Ilya doesn't get much time in the movie.Lancer is cool in UBW. Caster's kind of a jerk, as is her nature.

Sort of spoiler: .....................Gilgamesh is OP. They don't mention that he's another Archer.

Shiro - A nice guy, too much so. But he manages to not be entirely lame because of it, which is quite a feat.
Archer - Sort of a jerk to Shiro, but cool in general. Plus his abilities are just too awesome. I can't really say more without giving away spoilers.
Saber - because UBW is about Shiro, Rin, and Archer, she doesn't get much time/exposition. Unfortunate, as she's one of my favorite characters.
Rin - the shortened movie doesn't give Rin as much depth as she has in the novel, or highlight how antagonistic she is at first.

When one finds out which Hero Archer is.
Archer's last major battle against (too much of a spoiler to say but you should know if you're familiar with FSN)
The final battle.
Any time Unlimited Blade Works is used.
The fight against Berserker at the start.
When Lancer throws Gae Bolg.

TL;DR/sort of summary
 It's a movie based on a visual novel, heavily edited to be short. Magical familiars called Servants (who are heroes of legend, like... Achilles, or Lancelot) are summoned to fight for the Holy Grail, which grants a wish to the victor.

I can only review this as to how it compares to the novel. There are several plot details cut out, and exposition. But there's nothing that can't be understood because of it. However, to know everything that's happening, it would appear that one would have to either have a basic knowledge of what happens or would have to watch it a few times.

9-10/10. I am biased though. Plus, I am thinking of it as much in terms of movie to novel as I am thinking of it in terms of entertainment. They did a pretty good job of fitting a lot of material in a little space.

imdb says 7.2/10. Well, first, there aren't many ratings on it yet. But I could definitely see giving it a 7-8 if I saw it without being familiar with it. I'd be a bit frustrated by not knowing everything, maybe.

1 comment:

  1. The reason why Drop Dead Fred goes away is because Lizzie is now happy. Through the dream-journey with DDF, she's found within herself the strength to break ties with her toxic relationships (her ex-husband and her mother) and is now free to pursue her own life.