Month: July 2015

Pixels (2015)

 Video games have become almost the norm in popular culture. Everywhere one looks, chances are there is a video game being promoted. But the classic games of the past like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong will always be in gamer’s hearts as the one they grew up with. Unfortunately, Hollywood has a reputation of turning popular video games into bad movies; movies about video games, on the other hand, have had a good reputation. The only downside to all of this is that now we have an Adam Sandler film that goes into the games of yesteryear. And it sucks. The movie “Pixels” is a strong definition of how to make a bad movie. Ridiculed with lame jokes, and mostly nostalgia, this movie just fails at everything it tried to accomplish. “Pixels” is a bad video game movie with a lot bugs attached to the project. The plot is interesting, but we’ll focus on that later on. Aliens have come to Earth to take it over, and they use classic video game characters from 1982. Now, a ragtag team of misfits must defeat the aliens before something horrible happens. “Pixels” is just a bad movie. How bad is it, you may ask? Well, for the starters, the plot does sound interesting, for short; which is ironic since this movie is based off of a short with a similar premise. But...

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Picnic (Pikunikku) (1996) Review

Under the Radar Shunji Iwai is a director that hasn’t received much recognition here in the States. It seems that his movies “Love Letter” and “Hana & Alice” have received more international attention even though most fans of his will tell you that Picnic, Swallowtail Butterfly, and All about Lily Chou Chou are by far his best. I believe this is due to that fact that those movies have much heavier and darker scenes contained in them, stranger subject matter, and two of three of those film’s star disturbingly young leads (Picnic is the exception). So it’s not hard to see these movies obtaining a cult like fan base leaving general audiences in the dark. For me personally, Picnic is easily my favorite film from this director. Wong Kar-Wai In Japan, Shunji Iwai has been referred to as the Japanese Wong Kar-Wai. I think they’re completely different but we can entertain this thought for an introduction to him anyway.  The comparison is definitely due to the technical and emotional precision of Iwai’s very consistent cinematography. Some of his shots in everyone of his movies seem like they were possibly attempted over and over like how Stanley Kubrick often did 30-70 takes. Shunji Iwai is very different from Wong Kar-Wai in that he also makes quite an assortment of coming of age movies featuring extremely young actors. He also has...

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Minions (2015)

 In 2010, a brand new animation studio emerged in a way to challenge the big dogs like Disney and Pixar. That was Illumination Entertainment, who stunned audiences with the animated film known as “Despicable Me”. The movie was a huge success, and allowed for the company to expand further into bigger and better animated films. However, the main star that everybody seemed to love from “Despicable Me” were the Minions: cute yellow creatures that became an overnight success. So, a spin-off movie featuring these little yellow beings was inevitable. Now, nearly five years later, we have that spin-off in the form of “Minions”. Instead of being its own unique product, the movie is actually a prequel to the “Despicable Me” franchise, and focuses on what events led up to the Minions working for Gru. “Minions” will please fans of “Despicable Me”, but everyone else, the little yellow balls with eyes might have overstayed their welcome. The story involves the origins of the Minions in question. Starting off at the beginning of time itself, the Minions have one purpose in life: to be in servitude to the biggest bad guy they can find. However, their tenure does not last long, as their bosses tend to be axed off or taken away from the Minions too soon. One brave Minion named Kevin decides to venture forth and find the perfect bad...

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