Monthly Archives: July 2014

Much ado about Animated features.

If you recall, I dropped a little extra for you at the end of my last postage, the song Everything is Awesome from The Lego Movie. Why did I do that? Because everything is awesome… when it comes to animation. Well a lot of it is, anyway, and that song teased a bit about what I’ll be talking about today. Yeah, I’m talking about the Lego-movie, sure, but that’s not the only thing I’ll be talking about. But let’s start with that one, shall we…

Lego movie banner

As a lot of us out there, I too, grew up building Lego’s. I had boxes of it and, yes, I stepped on a lot of it… and it does hurts like a mother#%&@€!, so obviously I was a bit anxious about how the hell they could make a movie about Lego work. I finally got to see the damn thing, and I was not in the slightest displeased with it. In fact, I giggled and smirked my way through the entire film, with the occasional out loud-laughter, because this film is a frikkin masterpiece. The voice-acting, the story, the live-action segment, the way it brings back a lot of fond memories from my childhood, it all fits together like… well, like Lego’s…

Sure, it wasn’t the greatest animated film I’ve ever seen (which you all know by now is The Lion King), but it sure as hell held up against a lot of other great animations I’ve seen through the years, so instead of delving deeper into the land of Lego, let’s stroll down memory lane and think about some of the past’s great Animation features, and we’ll be starting with my Runner-Up on the greatest Animation ever made, Toy Story!
Toy Story Banner

A movie about toys being alive when the kids’re not watching them… that’s brilliant. Sure enough, it’s Hollywood so it’s not entirely original, but the way it was put together, with a story like that, it was Brilliant! And the way it changed the way animated movies for future ideas, mindblowing at the time, I’ll tell ya. And me personally, I loved it so much I even got the videogame for the Sega Genesis, yeah… and hell, I even played Toy Story 2 when my kid brother got it on the PC. Tom Hanks (Woody) and Tim Allen (Buzz) gives us an unforgettable story about rivalry turned alliance and the way kids looks at toys had for ever changed. Oh and eh… haha, that Sid-kid, yeah I was that guy. Sorry, toys….

Shrek bannerWhat do we have next? Oh, how could I forget … it’s Shrek, the ogre who just wanted to be left alone. This is probably the only animated movie that could be justifiably compared to a Buddy-Cop movie, with the hero and his annoying sidekick (yeah that’s you Donkey), but it uses the old fairy tales we grew up with to create a new world of magic and wonder for kids all ages (all the way up to old adult-kids, that is) and the voice acting is superb all the way through.. and hey, it even gets a shot in at The Matrix (which was pretty common at the time, though). A fantastic film for the whole family and I know, that I’ll be able to watch that movie in say.. 10 years, and still laugh as hard as I did back then. A superb addition to any Animated film-collection!

The Incredibles bannerUp next, we have the surreal take on that whole Superhero-bit that’s been going on for a while. That’s right, I’m talking about The Incredibles. Again, a movie that changed things up a bit, with the Archetype Superhero (which to me feels like a Batman/Superman-lovechild of sorts) who tries to lead a normal family life but can’t seem to forget about his past and insistingly drags himself and his whole family back into it. Yeah, this was a great film and if you still haven’t seen it (I know some people who hasn’t, actually), you deserve a few lashings. The coolest thing about it, though, is Sam Jackson’s Frozone, but whenever Jackson’s in the movie, he’s bound to be the coolest part about it (with the Robocop-remake as an exception!).

Ice Age Scrat bannerLast, but not even a little bit least, we have what can easily be served as one of the funniest, most hysterical animation of all time (to me, that is), in both English and Swedish dubs…. and the film I’m talking about, the one that put sloths on the map, is Ice Age. Yeah, nothing newsworthy there, right? No, just a fantastically animated film about the oddest group of companies ever. I mean, a mammoth, a sabretooth tiger and a sloth, carrying around a human baby? How is that not a disaster? Well it is, as you know, at times a complete disaster but it all works out in the end. Well… almost, anyway. In my experience with movies, they never seem to stop when they should. A great trilogy does not need a fourth installment and the Ice Age-franchise proves just that. This series would’ve easily been on my favorite-list if it weren’t for that Chris’ awful ..Continental Drift gook from 2012. But hey, we got those amazing Scrat-shorts from it, at least, so there’s that…..

There you have a little bit about what I think about some animated features. I have a lot more to say about all of’em, but I’m gonna leave you with this for now, ’cause I’m gonna go watch a movie! Hell yeah I am, and if you’re lucky, I’ll be back here later to talk about it, but until then…..

Sabotage, Need for Speed, Noah – Random thoughts

It’s that time again…. postage. And today I have not only one, but three films to talk about. No, this won’t be any ordinary reviews, ’cause you all know that’s not how I do things. I’ll be dropping some random thoughts on things I thought about, when the films subjected made me think about’em. Confusing? Okay then, let’s get to it…

Sabotage BannerFirst out, we have Sabotage, yet another installment of the oh so glorious comeback for the “Governator” and former Action Star Supreme, Arnold Schwarzenegger. This one, however, stands out a bit from his previous films, as it’s not just about the action and the one-liners, but rather about the story and the characters. Sure, it’s one Chris’ damn gory film, I give you that, but it has a depth to it than probably no other Arnie-films before ever had. Was it a good movie? Yeah, it was. I enjoyed the hell out of it, and I tell you why… it was partly because of the director (David Ayer), but mostly because of the cast, which included Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello and my all-time favorite actor of color, Terrence Howard, among others. They are the ones that gives the story life and what really matters in the film….
Sabotage castI have to say, I wasn’t a big Worthington-fan before this but good golly, this is a man that can actually act. Holy shit, he is good in this one!! Where the hell did he hide this talent in ..Titans? And if he can, I would suggest that he keeps that goatee-ish beard he’s got going on, ’cause he looks badass! Something that bugged me, however, was the lack of screen-time for Howard. An actor of that caliber should’ve been given at least double of what he had… but, what he had, he delivered perfectly as usual! The rest of the ‘team’ were okay, I guess, nothing fancy. Joe Manganiello did some serious overacting at times, but he’s cut and the girls seem to like him, so I guess that’s something.

I’ve heard some discussons about the movie before I saw it, about it being a new kind of Expendables-ripoff, but I can assure you, it’s nothing like that. Sure, it has a bunch of badass soldier-ish type characters and a lot of gory action, but that’s nothing compared to the rest of what it has. If you don’t believe me, watch the damn movie, ’cause overall, the movie may not have been the greatest film of all time, but it definitely gets the ‘Tango’s Stamp of Approval’.

Need for Speed bannerNext up, we have Need for Speed, another installment of a long line of videogame-based movies, which you all know mostly sucks. So, how did this one do? Well, honestly, I think it’s the best game-based movie so far (apart from Mortal Kombat, obviously!) I’m nt sure as to which NFS-game in particular it’s supposed to be based on, but judging by the title, I’m guessing the first one, and if that’s the case they didn’t do a very good job adapting it, ’cause I remember that game being a racing game more than anything else and sure, there’s a lot of racing in the game but that’s not only the standard ‘point A to point B’ type of racing, but a race to the death of sorts as well. Anyways, I liked the film in general, but it’s not a Top5 favorite car-movies, far from it. At it’s best, it gets a ‘Tango’s Stamp of Maybe I’ll watch it again some day’.

Need for Speed CastAron Paul, however, has stepped out from underneath the shadow of Jesse Pinkman and shown us that he can very well be a true A-lister some day. Not yet, but some day. He shows a lot of potential in this one, and where some people say he’s just grabbing from his old bag of tricks, I would say that he takes what he has, utilizes it into something new and improved. Yeah, his acting is that fancy, and the chemistry he has with his ragtag team of partners (Imogen Poots, Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek among others) is a beautiful comic relief. The bad guy in this one, however, is one of the most generic and misplaced characters I have seen in a long, Long time. Dominic Cooper gives us a stale and utterly boring performance as the racing pro Dino Brewster, the biggest douche to hit the big screen since…. I don’t know, what’s the biggest douche you’ve seen? Him, times three. Sure, he gave somewhat of a good performance as Howard Stark in ..The First Avenger, but that’s nothing to hold over him in this one. In short, he sucked major ass, both as an actor and as a character and what happened to him in the end of the movie, wasn’t justice, it was bologna.

Noah bannerAnd lastly, we have the biblical(?) epic Noahstarring Russell Crowe as Noah. Is this really a biblical movie? Well, yes and no. Sure, we’re given a lot of trite dialogue about the “Creator” and how he made Us in his image and what have you, but we’re also given a backstory (narrated by Crowe) to the imagery of what’s obviously the occurrence of evolution, starting with the Big Bang, all the way up to our time, so I’m guessing… no? I’ve heard talking about Crowe not wanting it to be a biblical film, but given the source material, I’m pretty sure that’s an inevitability.

Noah castAnyway, the movie shows us, from his young years, how Noah’s the last of the line of Seth, which is the good part of the ‘Adam and Eve’ family tree, with Cain and Abel being the other two. It also shows a lot of magical stuff happening, such as a flower popping up from nothing but a single drop of rain, rock-monsters (who previously looked like angelic aliens?) known as Watchers and a King who’s hell bent on killing Noah and getting on the Ark. Yeah, there’s a lot going on in this film and at times, it’s just boring as hell. Some parts of it, they could’ve just let them go, cut them out all together, but I’m guessing the movie would’ve been too short otherwise. The best parts about the film, is the performance of both Anthony Hopkins (Methuselah) and Russell Crowe. They both deliver every line they have with such grace and perfection. It’s not strange at all, that they both have been called the best actors in the world at times. The cast of this film is not the greatest, but far from the worst, I can tell you that. Apart from Crowe and Hopkins, we have Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ray Winstone, who all gives us good perfomances, especially Winstone as the mad King, but he as well, is great in everything, so… All in all, this is a film I absolutely not want to see again soon. Some day, perhaps, but I’m not at all anxious about it!

And that’s also all I got for you today, maybe… we’ll see how the night goes. But until next time…… here’s a little treat for you!

Fantasy Cast – “What If” #2

Big Trouble in Little China, an established 1986-classic, written by Gary Goldman and David Z. Weinstein and adapted by W.D Richter, is a box office-flop but has since become a cult success. With its mere $11 million return at the box office at a $20 million budget, it’s not likely to be seen as a remake anytime soon, but that’s kinda why I’m doing this fantasy cast, because, what if…. What if they actually did? Who would play Jack Burton? Or a better question; Is there someone out there who could do even half as good a Lo Pan? Well let’s find out, shall we….. or, let’s find out who I think could do it…

Big Trouble in Little China banner

If you’ve seen the original, you already know the awesomeness of it but if you haven’t, here’s a quick rundown of the plot (including the IMDB-outline); An all-American truck driver, Jack Burton (Kurt Russell), tags along with a friend, Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) to pick up Chi’s fiancé, Miao Yin, at the airport when Miao Yin gets abducted by a street gang called the Lords of Death. The two set out to rescue her, but winds up in the middle of  an ancient war between the rival gangs ‘Chang Sing’ (good guys) and the ‘Wing Kong’ (bad guys), and among the ensuing chaos, they meet ‘The Three Storms’ (Thunder, Rain and Lightning), three utterly badass dudes who all three comes with their own kind of magic. In the midst of all chaos, they “run over” Lo Pan (James Hong), an ancient evil magician with a curse, who turns out, is trying to brake his curse by marrying this Miao Yin, thus forcing our unlikely heroes to fight an even bigger fight than anticipated.

IMDB kept it rather simple with its story outline, however;

An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

Big Trouble in Little China main castWhether or not you like your preview simple or a little more complex and outdrawn, here you have your choices. But no matter what you go on, the movie is and will always be a great 80’s classic and I will always cherish this film as one of those that got me interested in movies in the first place. Kurt Russell is a funny, well-timed and raw badass, Kim Cattrall is hysterically bad (which is a laughably good thing), James Hong is amazingly talented and brings everything he has to the table and Dennis Dun is a badass in his own right, with fly kicks, quick commenting and brings an excellent performance to complete the main ensemble.

But… to the point at hand, WHAT IF they were to do a remake, who would/can play who? Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we. But keep in mind now, that I will only be focusing on the main cast, i.e the ones named above…

Cattrall Gracie Law PalickiFor the first choice, I thought I’d start with the female lead, which would be the part of Gracie Law (Cattrall). Who could do what she did? Well, to be honest, a lot of today’s actresses could do what she did. BUT… I want the perfect one, the one who could deliver a ‘what?!’-look like Kim did, and that perfect one is none other than Adrianne Palicki. She has the talent needed (which could be argued to be both good (enough to play bad) or bad) and she has the looks. Yes, I think Kim Cattrall was hot pre-Sex and The City, deal with it. And yes, Adrianne Palicki is seriously gorgeous and, c’mon guys…. she Can look kinda ‘what the?’ when she wants to. She even got those doey eyes, doesn’t she?

Dun Wang Chi RainSecondly, I thought I’d give the sidekick a shot. Yes, that means Dennis Dun’s part of Wang Chi, the charismatic and yet humble restauranteur with a mean kick. This feels like the part where people would scream Byung-hun Lee or Rick Yune, but no…. I’m sorry, but I have to play the Rain-card once more. No, this is not a choice based on their looking anything alike. This is a choice solely based on their skills in martial arts And talent when it comes to acting. I’m sorry (or not, you decide), but Rain would be the ultimate Wang Chi, as long as he masters his American-english (if he doesn’t already?).

Hong Lo Pan LiOnward, as they say, to the third cast, and this is a big one. The character of David Lo Pan (James Hong), was the first one to ever creep me the f*ck out as a kid and the mere thought of anyone other than James Hong portraying him is basically pure heresy, but… I’ll give it a shot anyway, for you guys. But I have to say that casting an Asian above 40 isn’t the easiest thing to do, ’cause I don’t know about that many, but … well, maybe Hiroyuki Sanada could be a good choice? Or maybe Ken Watanabe? No, neither of’em could fill Hong’s shoes. But how about Jet Li? Yeah, he would work. He could most definitely work, so let’s go with him. Jet Li as David Lo Pan… yeah, I feel really good about that. He’s coming up a bit age-wise, and even though he’s not as tall as one would like, it’s Hollywood… they got tricks for that. So yeah, I definitely think it could work, so Jet Li for Lo Pan, yupp!

Russell Jack Burton RennerAnd now, for the big finale, to cast the part of none other than the one line-dropping, quirky but lovable, quick but clumsy, the funniest action hero to come out of the 1980’s era of cinema, Jack Burton (Russell)! To be honest, this is a part that I struggled with a lot. Who, today, could possibly do even half of what Russell did back then? Well, to be honest, I don’t think anyone actually can. The only fair thing to do, really, is to give Russell a “do-over” and give him one of those ‘Tron make-overs’ they did with Jeff Bridges in ..Legacy. But, that’s even more unlikely than the film being remade at all, so let’s give it a shot anyway. My first thought for Burton, however, was Ryan Reynolds. He does have the mouth for it, but he doesn’t feel quite as all-American as Russell does, so the next name on my list is Josh Brolin, but he feels a bit too old for it now. Maybe 10 years ago, but that was to early for the remake anyway. My third list entry is, well…. Ben Foster. Can he do it? ………. nah, moving on. The fourth name, however. I think we have a winner, folks, the fourth guy on my list, and the “winner” of my final fantasy cast is…. drumroll*…… Jeremy Renner. What?! Are you serious? Yes, I am serious. He’s a fantastic actor when he want’s to (28 Weeks aside), and he has proved both in performace and in interviews that he can, in fact, be goofy if needed. So for the part of Jack Burton, I choose you, Jeremy Renner, How do you feel about that?

As a special treat for you guys (and yeah, girls too (dodging future complaints) for that matter), here’s the trailer for the original… enjoy!
“It’s all in the reflexes.” – Jack Burton

And there you have it, folks. Any thoughts? Any objections on my choices, maybe? Whether the case, let me know in the comment section, ’cause I’d love to hear from’ya! And as always, more goodies coming soon, but until then…..