Tag Archives: oscars

Song of the Sea Review

Have you ever seen Secret of Kells? It’s a wonderful story told through brilliant animation unfolding Irish mythology. Its animation, graphics, music draw you in like little other animations do. Its rich story is told through an enchanting way that makes you love the characters and simply get lost in the “scenery.” The creators of Secret of Kells recently came out with a new movie: Song of the Sea, another story concerning Irish mythology, this time of a selky. As soon as I saw that GKIDS (the movie company) was coming out with another movie, I jumped on the opportunity to see it. With the same rich animation, I knew it would be worth seeing on the big screen. Luckily we have the Nuart theatre who is playing the movie all week. We ate at the Red Tiger and went to the theatre early for good seats and some popcorn. 

Our dinner and a movie!

Our dinner and a movie!

For me, the entertainment value was high. The animation, again like in Secret of Kells, was magical and enchanting. The voice actors and actresses were spot on in capturing a small family in a remote part of Ireland. I particularly loved Saoirse, the little girl who the movie focuses on. Her sweetness and pure wonder makes the world blossom for you as it does for her. You didn’t get to know the characters very well, but that is also how Secret of Kells is. It doesn’t draw too much away from the movie, but it would be nice to have a morsel more of information. However, the characters all have their quirks that make you smile because they are simply them. I didn’t like it as much as Secret of Kells, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

This movie deserves some Oscars. The layers and depths of the animation in this movie is hard to wrap the mind around, let alone describe in words. As the journey unfolds, there are multiple patterns of animation going on all around the screen. The animators use the graphics and drawings to reveal more about the story and the world without using characters to tell it. I find it absolutely remarkable. It is transfixing and your breath catches when you watch it. 

 

If there were two “X-Factors” of this movie, it would be the animation and the music. You know about the animation, seeing as I have gone on and on about it, but the music is also part of the enchantment. With the music and animation partnered hand-in-hand, you are transported into another world of mythology and wonder. The animation is incredibly unique in style. The music has roots in the Irish culture (which is already a winner for me). The music is full of song, melody, and rhythm. It sways you and brings you along for the journey. 

Hungry and Fit gives this movie a big thumbs up. If you’re in the Los Angeles area or in an area playing this movie, go see it on the big screen. The music and animation are worth it enough. Get ready to be transported into a world of Irish mythology and a child’s journey to discovering who she truly is. Enjoy Song of the Sea and prepare to have your breath taken away. And as always, stay hungry and fit!

Elysium (Hungry’s Movie Reviews)

This will be a short one because I don’t have a whole lot to say about this movie. There’s just something about it that leaves me short on words. It was a very good movie but there was something missing that made it fall short of exceptional and it had all the tools in place. So what was missing?

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The most intriguing bit of information pertaining to this movie is the fact that the writer (or someone up there) wanted Eminem (Yes, Marshall Mathers/Slim Shady, the rapper) to play the lead. When they approached him with the role he said that he would take it if they shot the movie in Detroit. Em wanted to help his city’s economy and give it some attention. When they declined, he declined and as a result we watched Matt Damon in another lead role. Nothing special.

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This movie shared some similarities to District 9 (in terms of casting, setting, and feeling) and that could have been avoided if the movie was shot in Detroit. Still, its use of a future Los Angeles had little impact on the movie’s grand picture, which highlighted the inequalities between the upper class and everyone else. The upper class was symbolized by the “heavenly” Elysium (city in the sky) while Earth was the diseased and destroyed land for all of us who are not worth hundreds of millions or more.

The message is simple and I love it. Do not allow those in the upper class to create further disparity between the rich and poor. Fight to save the lives of the majority of the population because everyone has a life worth living. Make it the last thing you do before you die to give it your all and help as many as you can no matter what impact that has on your own life.

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Matt Damon did a fine job but a different and new face might have been refreshing. The villain was amazing and outperformed everyone else. Although the performances were not amazing. The sets were mostly clean and beautiful, the editing and clarity in the action scenes were relatively crisp, and the writing was solid.

The movie was very good but was missing that element to make it great. Maybe a new lead could have put it over the edge. Maybe an extra 10 minutes of character building could have led to that attachment for the audience to love the lead. In the end, SPOILER, Max dies and I didn’t really feel bad or sad about it. That is where they fell short in my book. Make us love Max, make us love the movie. It was short, which I liked, because every movie is over two hours nowadays. However, at just over 90 minutes long, take another ten minutes to build the character up so we feel for the loss a little more.

Villain

Villain

But as I said, it was good and I have no major complaints. With some added content on the DVD this movie really could become amazing. All in all, it’s a short movie that entertains enough and promotes positive messages to earn a thumbs up and a seal of approval, courtesy of Hungry. Helping the greater good and making sacrifices is one great way to stay hungry and fit.

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Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Pacific Rim (2013)

Guillermo del Toro is one of my favorite directors. Blade II, Hellboy, Hellboy II, and Pan’s Labyrinth are four of my favorite movies of all time. They all crack the top 100 list and Pan’s Labyrinth is no doubt in my top 10 for what I consider to be the best movies of all time. Now, I am not a critic with a degree in theatre and cinema or anything along those lines, but I love movies and I have a huge imagination. Everyone is free to enjoy a movie and Guillermo del Toro has provided me with many movies that I enjoy a lot! Pacific Rim might not make it higher on the list then the four movies already mentioned but it was enjoyable. Let’s talk about what made the movie only enjoyable, what could have made it better, and where it faltered.

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The movie was simply too long. Alana and I agreed that it could have achieved the same effect without a few scenes that seemed to add nothing to very little to the movie’s overall feeling. Cut out some of those scenes and the movie would have moved a bit quicker, keeping you engaged. The movie had some character and plot development, but nowhere near as much as some of his other work so I banked on huge fight scenes to make up for that. Unfortunately, there was a lot less robots vs. monsters (jaeger vs kaiju) than I anticipated. I should have known better because Blade and the two Hellboys also had some serious downtime. It just seemed as if the fight scenes in those movies were longer. You might be disappointed by some of the fights because they simply end too quickly, before we get to see what the jaegers or kaiju are truly capable of in combat. On top of that, many of the kaiju are just too similar. One of the monsters had a bunch of abilities, but the other four or five were all the same. That was a bummer.

The movie did have some powerful scenes, mainly involving human lives being taken. They were my favorite scenes because I would not expect a movie like this to have the effect on me so I appreciate what del Toro did there. He did a very good job taking what would seem like a rock-em sock-em Godzilla vs Ultraman and turn it into something with plot twists and complications that kept you on your toes. Many events and outcomes were predictable but I didn’t see everything coming. The actors all did a fair enough job, the special effects were exciting and well done, the editing and cutting were clean enough to make large-scale fights easy to follow. A lot of things were done properly.

I could see room for a potential sequel that takes a completely different path and continues to highlight the world’s reaction to and actions taken in order to deal with the disaster. We appreciated the anti-government, pro-freedom, anti-greed, pro-environmental stances that were taken, no matter how subtle. It’s refreshing but now not uncommon to see directors and writers go in that direction. The movie definitely was not too gory for young audiences despite some mature themes and large-scale deaths.

All in all, it was an enjoyable del Toro movie that might not have taken this genre out of the realm of its specific fan base, but it was successful in captivating multiple audiences and developing some advanced themes. We were in our seats a bit longer than we wanted to as the movie dragged on at times but it still gets a hungry thumbs up! (Fellow Gundam fans, don’t expect this to be anything like the series we all love. The jaegers were nowhere near “badass” enough to achieve Gundam status)

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Jack the Giant Slayer Review

Bryan Singer’s (director of Many recent X-Men adaptations and Superman Returns) Jack the Giant Slayer was our most recent trip to the movies. A trip was long due since we think we’ve only been to one or maybe two other movies this year. (We’ll have to double check that for our end of the year wrap-up.)

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With some makeup it was difficult to tell who it featured, but we knew that Ewan Obi-Wan was the personal guard for the princess and Bill Nighy (Do you feaaaaar deathuuuu!) was the leader of the giants. It seems that Stanley Tucci (my ever so evasive uncle) was the fiancee of the princess. Ian McShane (why didn’t they use every captain from Pirates?) was the king and Jack was played by the guy who Alana recognized from About a Boy (also Beast from X-Men First Class… convenient casting). So it’s got a good cast and the princess did a great job… whoever she was.

 
It was loosely based off of Jack and the Beanstalk… the treasure, the golden harp, the giants in the sky, the magical beans, etc. However, there are a lot of giants in this adaptation. I mean an army’s worth of human-blood thirsty giants. I think they were trying to make a movie that kid’s could watch and enjoy while their parents wouldn’t be completely bored. I think it lacked that witty humor that movies such as Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2 has but it wasn’t awful for adults… and we’re not real adults. The effects were okay, the sets were convincing enough, but the king’s armor was awful. They might have done that on purpose. As for the acting, it was good enough to fit the movie. We couldn’t tell if Jack’s father was the worst or best actor ever.
This isn’t a long review and we don’t do spoilers but if you have some young teenagers and want to spend some time with them take them to this movie. If you don’t mind some death and exploding heads then take your younger ones too. It’s a fun and exciting interpretation of a very well-known fairy tale… and it moves quickly. It didn’t feel two hours long, although at one point it seemed it was going to end thirty minutes short.

If you’re going to watch it for the golden goose… then don’t bother going. But seriously, who would go for that reason?

In the end, it isn’t a very good movie. No morals or values really projected well in my opinion. They pushed the idea of follow your dreams and don’t fear an adventure, but there was nothing very moving to get that across. Let’s just say it’s not going to win any Oscars next year but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it with the young ones in the family.

Next Up… Oz: The Great and Powerful (next weekend)

What We Thought of the Oscars

Bollocks. Well–mostly. It was a tough year, tough competition, for a lot of movies and actors that deserved awards. This will be just a quick review of our night and what we thought of the beloved Academy Awards. And let me insert that I didn’t quite pay attention to all of it. However, I enjoy everyone getting together to celebrate actors and movies.


Well, our night was filled with cuteness from baby kittens to a baby human. Regardless of who won, it was going to be a good night for us–pizza, bread and brie, salad, homemade banana bread, girl scout cookies, family, and more. We came over hungry and ate a lot, watching the Awards as the night went on. We didn’t watch the pre-show where everyone shows off what they’re wearing because we don’t particularly care for it. We tuned in at 6:15 MT, right before Seth McFarlane went into his introduction. 

So, McFarlane pretty much lived up to his reputation, being funny sometimes, trashy many of the times, and awkward most of the time. He was also laughing at himself a lot, which I found amusing. I didn’t hate him as a host, but would rather have Ellen DeGeneres instead (good God, she was hilarious). Now I will just highlight some of the parts we either loved or hated (maybe we are extreme-type of people).

Anne Hathaway winning Best Supporting Actress. Yay! We were happy about this and think she deserved it. Though Chris didn’t like the new Les Mis that much (because he had seen better productions of it, I thoroughly enjoyed it however), we both agreed that Hathaway threw herself into that performance and really gave it her all. That’s when I think people deserve awards, when they act through passion and really transform into the role. Cheers to you, Hathaway.

Daniel Day Lewis winning Best Actor. Okay, so yes it’s Daniel Day Lewis. And yes, he’s an incredible actor. He completely transforms himself into whatever character he’s playing. We Saw Lincoln and it was creepy how much he looked and acted like him, as if we were seeing the real Lincoln before us. He did deserve it, of course he did, it’s Daniel Day Lewis. However, Chris and I both really wanted Hugh Jackman to win it for Les Mis. He completely carried that movie, he was incredible in it. We knew Daniel Day Lewis would win, but wish somehow there could be a tie for Jackman.

Les Miserables Cast Singing. We loved when seemingly the entire cast of Les Mis came out to sing their Oscar-nominated song (I now have Les Mis Pandora station on, I’m doomed to have it in my head forever again). It was a powerful performance and great to see everyone singing. True talent there.

The Hobbit Not Winning Anything. Now, we know The Hobbit was not nearly as good as the LOTR Trilogy, but it deserved something. Make-up (how did it NOT win that), costumes, visual design–come on, something! That was something that definitely ticked us off.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi Not Being Nominated. This was Chris’ favorite movie of 2012. It was a brilliant documentary of a brilliant Sushi chef and his sons. It deserved great credit, and should’ve at least been nominated for Best Documentary. Very, very disappointing. If you haven’t seen it yet, do so. It’s on Netflix Instant.

Beasts of the Southern Wild Being Nominated for Best Picture. We obviously don’t do our research, so we were very delightfully surprised that it got a nomination for Best Picture–good for them! It was one of our favorites for the year, extremely real and honest. Chris found it the most emotionally-provoking out of all the films we saw in 2012, even more than Les Mis. There was just something about it, hard to describe. Can’t wait to get it on DVD. That little girl was amazing. 

Quvenzhané Wallis being nominated for Best Actress. WOW. Speaking of “that little girl,” we had no clue she had been nominated. This was definitely a high point of the night. She was absolutely incredible. We loved her spirit, her voice, her view of the world–the acting was just flawless in our opinion. So happy to see her get recognition she deserved. She was truly amazing, she made the movie.

Life of Pi winning so many awards. We were shocked to see that Life of Pi got so many awards including Best Director! We are happy though, because we feel it deserved it, though it didn’t get as much attention in the Box Office as we thought it should have. It was great to see such a wonderful adventure and story get great recognition. And who doesn’t love Ang Lee!

Brave Beating Wreck-It Ralph in Best Animated Film. What! I know it’s Pixar, and it’s about a kick-butt little girl, but this Pixar movie didn’t live up to its other excellent movies. And Wreck-It Ralph–what a movie! It was so well done, with a star-studded cast, great humor, and awesome throw-backs for us nerds. Maybe that’s why it didn’t win, because it definitely spoke to nerds. Well whatever with awards, Wreck-It Ralph left us smiling the whole time.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but that is a quick run-down of our highs and lows for the night. Tell us what you thought, too!

Cheers!