Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Animated Mania

Did you enjoy the latest Pixar, Disney and Dream Works outings into the theaters around you, well must of us have, with blockbusters such as Frozen, Big Hero 6 and How to Train Your Dragon 2.... who wouldn't have had a blast....?

Well forget all about the mainstream titles and let us sneak into some less fortunate Masterpieces from the Silver screen...

Back in 2009 directer Tim Burton produced a most intelligent and dark piece of animated cult classic title "9" or "Number 9", the movie was voiced by Elijah Wood, Christopher Plummer, John C. Reilly, and Jennifer Connelly. In a futuristic world an in a post apocalyptic era a rag doll rises in the dark and ventures on a journey that might be the salvation of humanity... could an empty doll save our humanity... this is an edge of your seat dark tale of hope in an amazingly designed world....

If the age of darkness and sci-fi is not your favorite genre, maybe a dark romantic movie that links two total strangers through letters might be your cup of tea... Mary is a 8 year old girl voiced by Tonni Collette and she becomes pen pals with a most obese 40 year old lonely man named Max voiced by Philip Seymour Hoffman, this unlikely friendship delivers a most wondrous and heartbreaking relationship at times and a most disastrous yet uplifting love story at others... the tale of Mary & Max is as black and white as an animated film can ever be...

If writing letters is no longer the thing, and the age of texting and cyber communication is wearing you down and getting on your nerves allow me to aid you out of the black and white world and let us together join Mr. Morris Lessmore in adding some colors back into the world we live in... Mr. Morris is book worm and a warm hearted individual who maintains his love to books despite the storm that almost rips his world apart... get ready for a most nostalgic and mesmerizing flight with The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore....

When flying through colors is no longer entertaining and while Baz Luhrmann's take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet might have been quite entertaining to say the least, how about an production with a Lady Gaga soundtrack while the little Gnome in your front yard seeks the love of the enchanted Juliet.... certainly outrageous and extremely exaggerated but it never fails to entertain with Pink Flamingos and Hot Wheels all over the place, the talents of Ozzy Osborne, Jason Statham, Michael Caine, James McAvoy and Emily Blunt will not go unnoticed alongside the amazing original music by Sir Elton himself.... so piano mixed with Shakespeare tagged with absolute high voltage mad house love... Gnomeo & Juliet is one love story to die for...
Elton John

When death comes knocking monstrously only the master of monsters can out do La Muerte, in this book well movie based on a book about a book, monster professor Guillerme Del Toro exposes us to the worlds of life and life after death and death after life.... a complex tale that starts with once upon a time but doesn't necessarily end with happily ever after... a Mexican myth with no nachos but a load of bull and bull fighters tagging along with the mariachi in the fight for love and glory... a movie that gives no care and cares less about shame... a brilliant tale of no retreat and no surrender, with the everlasting mythologies of friendship, life, love and immortality... The Book of Life is eternal, especially with the voices of Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Danny Trejo and Christina Applegate... 

9 (2009)
Directed by: Shane Acker
Written by: Pamela Pettler (screenplay), Shane Acker (Story)
Duration: 79 minutes
Rating: PG 13
Metascore: 60/100
Daffy Meter: 8/10 (the dark future never looked any brighter...)

Mary and Max (2009)
Directed by: Adam Elliot
Written by: Adam Elliot
Duration: 92 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Metascore: N/A
Daffy Meter: 9/10 (love could be said in over a million letters)

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011)
Directed by: William Joyce - Brandon Oldenburg
Written by: William Joyce
Duration: 15 minutes
Rating: General
Metascore: N/A
Daffy Meter: 9/10 (nothing is as colorful as a book... not even life)

Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
Directed by: Kelly Asbury
Written by: William Shakespeare (original play)  - various
Duration: 84 minutes
Rating: General
Metascore: 53/100
Daffy Meter: 7/10 (well hello hello hello...)

The Book of Life (2014)
Directed by: Jorge R. Gutierrez
Written by: Jorge R. Gutierrez - Douglas Langdale
Duration: 95 minutes
Rating: PG 13
Metascore: 67/100
Daffy Meter: 8/10  (an everlasting life, is that engraved by true love...)

BOYHOOD (2014)

Boyhood (2014)

Directed by: Richard Linklater
Written by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ellar Coltrane - Patricia Arquette - Ethan Hawke
Duration: 165 minutes
Rating: Restricted

Are elves for real? Do we really seize the moment or does the moment seize us?! Do our mothers have to love us and hang on to us like a piece of them, or simply be like lions and tigers and rush us out of their safety and protection to save the real world? What is real in this world nowadays your Facebook and cyber accounts or is it simply the actual person that walks the streets unaware of the life around us…?

12 years in the making summed up in less than 3 hours, Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are delightful, but it is the growing up of our little Masson Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) that is most interesting, and while you grow up with a kid who wants to sharpen stones all the way through his teenage years… you see life as we live it today… you see the life in his eyes, through his sisters eyes, the parents, the friends, the families, the director and most importantly you as a viewer will be cornered into tuning yourself to decide which life to lead….

A road film, a drama, a script that plays like a true story, like Perks of Being a Wallflower a few years back, this journey is not only visual and dialogue driven the music in this film is sensational, be it the soundtrack to our lives, from the Beatles to Coldplay and all the way to Arcade Fire… or the lyrical renditions the cast goes through, the music choice is impeccable and could easily be used as a compass to guide us through the life line of the film…

Not too many words about BOYHOOD in the media today, not too many people are talking about it, yet… but this is a film worth visiting it will have you hooked from opening to end… it will leave you with a million questions in the back of your head from the moment the film fades out, till the rest of your living days…

Start sharing the love, cause without love we cease to exist… 

This was a gamble worth making… thanks to the choices of Director/Writer Richard Linklater (Creator of the Sun talk trilogy, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, After Midnight) who delivers a Terrence Malick/ Jim Jarmusch film merged into one…

Metacritic: 100/100
Daffy Meter: 10/10 (Boyhood is Richard Linklater's Odyssey to Life...)

Big Hero 6 (2014)

Big Hero 6 (2014)

Directed by: Don Hall - Chris Williams
Written by: (screenplay) Jordan Roberts - Daniel Gerson - Robert L. Baird
                     (Man of Action) Duncan Rouleau - Steven T. Seagle
Starring: Scott Adist - Ryan Potter - Jamie Chung
Duration: 102 minutes
Rating: PG 13 

When it comes to heroes size does not matter… it is all in the will, and if you can imagine it… you could make it happen…

Disney’s Pixar has delivered over the years a range of heroes from a cowboy struggling with a spaceman, all the way to a Viking redheaded warrior… this year the magic of Japan is combined with the big city life of the States… this new hit will strike you straight in the heart… it is unapologetic to the young audience and promises to keep the older viewers thinking about what this world is coming to…

In the land of Hiro you would see creations that the nerdiest of us would imagine in the sweetest of our dreams, and with an allegiance of friends this film promises to kick back to the violence of animation in a sense that you would feel the pain of its lively characters and in the core of the film comes out Betamax a fluffy hero that is there to heal your wounds whether physical or emotional… who wouldn’t want to hug such a loving caretaker…

Get your selves a seat whether next to your younger siblings or cousins, or hand in hand with your loved ones, this film serves you a Feast for an appetizer and a Big Hero for the main course… in a combo hit that will take down the likes of Kung-Fu panda and Tony Stark from the first viewing…

Metacritic: 74/100
Daffy Meter: 8/10 (Pixar just kicks the game to a whole new Level… it is called PERFECTION…)

Bekas (or not superman) (2012)

Bekas (2012)

Director: Karzan Kader
Writer: Karzan Kader
Starring: Zamand Taha – Sarwar Fazil – Diya Mariwan
Duration: 97 minutes
Rating: PG13

If you thought that a nation under the reign of a dictator will be destitute culturally and incapable of producing honest art… well here comes a modest and uplifting feature film from the Iraq… following not one but two street rat kids, left in the middle of nowhere growing with the cheapest game on earth, a ball and figurative posts, playing football kick starts the film for what promises to be a journey of hope… a journey of two brothers in search of Superman… not a figurative Superman, but the actual Superman who flies onto the town’s cinema screen, unable to afford the tickets to the movie the two brothers decide they would do anything to meet with Superman…

Along the way they meet with the devil also known to the modern world as the Satellite, and another American culture hero, Michael Jackson… the journey plays on your heartbeats, on the relationship between the brothers, between social boundaries and different classes, the acquiring of the pass beyond borders is in the manner of Casablanca. The people they encounter turns them from two kids into Sancho and Don Quixote in La Mancha… the world starts looking bigger and greater and a more relieving place through the eyes of the young protagonists, but the social boundaries and the shadow of a reigning Saddam keeps on haunting them and bringing them down…

If you are fed up with hits that are made to make money, take a leap of faith and believe in Superman for a whole 97 minutes and you will be talking about this film for years to come…

Metacritic: N/A/100
Daffy Meter: 8/10 (Homeless or not Superman can do anything….)

Before I Go To Sleep (2014)

Before I Go To Sleep (2014)

Starring: Nicole Kidman – Collin Firth – Mark Strong
Written/ Directed: Rowan Joffe
Duration: 92 minutes
Rating: Restricted

The story of an amnesiac Nicole Kidman trying to get a hold of her memories and the 14 years she cannot seem to remember, might sound interesting at first. However, this is a movie you might consider a nightmare to watch, and not for its thrills and its grip on your thoughts, but for the lack of those two things, and for the lack of any innovative approach to the problems at hand… on the contrary this movie treats the audience as if they are the ones who cannot remember what happened in the scene before….

This is a movie that plays on your nerves for the lack of creativity, the very dim plot line and the absurdity of the relationships between the characters and the sub characters… all in all this a movie that highly disappoints and amazingly manages to make you wish you were with amnesia to forget you ever went through with it…

if you are short on time and want to watch a better movie in such manner, get a hold of Memento and get lost in its originality…. 

Metascore:  41/100
Daffy Meter: 4/10 (the movie is a nightmare, especially if you were hoping for something Cast worthy….)

Automata (2014)

Automata (2014)
Directed by: Gabe Ibanez
Written by: Gabe Ibanez – Igor Legarreta – Javier Sanchez
Starring: Antonio Banderas - Brigitte Hjort Sorensen - Melanie Griffith
Duration: 109 minutes
Rating: Restricted 

The year is 2014, you are walking past a DVD stand and browsing through the new releases and suddenly you stumble upon a cover with Antonio Banderas on it… no do not worry you are not travelling back in time… no do not panic this is not another Nicolas Cage B, wait C, wait D class movie… this is one hell of a film starring Puss away from boots, not so dumb Latino from the expendables in a futuristic masterpiece… this is Antonio Banderas finally reaching his peak…

This is a sci-fi flick made for those who wanted more out of I-Robot… for those who needed to see beyond A.I. this is a film setting new standards for human robot interaction… this time round you will not sympathize much with humans cause they have apparently lost their humanity in the setting of this film, nor will you be able to detach yourself from imagining a world controlled by a creation more intelligent than its creators…

Shot in true elegance, and with a sense of the 80s and 90s western movies to it, and a taste of the old wild wild west without falling apart into the lame and improbable this is a film that is capable of hooking you to a probability of a whole new dimension without letting go of our current reality… this is one underrated film that might slide into the cult films genre… but it is totally blockbuster material without a dull moment throughout the journey of survival or saving humanity from its inhumanity…

Keep your eyes clear for the voices of Javier Bardem, Robert Forester and Melanie Grifiths.

Metascore: 37/100
Daffy Meter: 8/10 (artificial humanity and human clockwork…)

'71 (2014)

’71 (2014)
Directed by: Yann Demange
Written by: Gregory Burke
Starring: Jack O’Connell, Sam Reid & Sean Harris
Duration: 99 minutes
Rating: Restricted

The year is 1971, the streets of Belfast are no longer a safe zone, casualties are increasing by the minute, tension covers up the faces of residents and soldiers alike, riots and blood splatters all over the streets, everyone goes down either with a stab in the back or a pre-planned blast… Belfast is a war zone… the Irish, the Brits the IRA everyone is at one another’s neck…

In the midst of it all one British soldier is left for dead in the streets, running within a breath between life and death, comes a most ambitiously glorious tale of survival spy vs spy and betrayal after the other, with unbalanced alliances taking place… this is a film that is as insightful as it is thrilling and heart gripping…

The cinematography is a work of art giving into the misty grey nature of Ireland, holding up to the fast paced runs within the tight streets, all the way to the green landscapes where freedom seems a reachable dream, one that you could touch within the grasp of your hand…  
This is one of the best war films to date it has the soul of a veteran and the mind of a thief trying to steal his own right to life…

Take a deep breath, and sink into this endless charge for freedom in the time of conspiracies… it is a crunching experience…

Metascore: 79/100
Daffy Meter: 9/10 (Heart-gripping excitement from start to end)