Turbo

A thoroughly disappointing film, redeemed by two all-stars and a soundtrack.

Across movies, video games and life, you always know a person is getting desperate when they play dirty. This is exactly what is happening with Dreamworks today. With recent non-Dreamworks movies hitting all the right notes with the audiences, they’ve tried to fight back by cheating.

The result is Turbo, a near exact ripoff of Disney’s Cars, is boring in every sense of the word. All they’ve done is take Cars’ plot, change the characters, like a street-racing snail named Whiplash instead of Doc Hudson, and tried selling it. Turbo is terrible, and while it may provide viewers a laugh, it hurts to watch them get ripped off by a company that didn’t try hard enough.

The two saving graces for Turbo are:

  1. Samuel L Jackson and Snoop Dogg/Lion as Whiplash and Smoove Moves, respectively.Snoop Dogg is Smooth Move in TURBO
  2. The soundtrack, which is perfect for the movie.
No. Title Music Length
1. “Let the Bass Go” Snoop Dogg 3:55
2. “Another Day at the Plant” 2:52
3. It’s Tricky Run–D.M.C. 3:04
4. What’s New Pussycat? Tom Jones 2:19
5. Drop It Like It’s Hot Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell Williams 4:28
6. “Supersnail” 1:47
7. “Meet The Competition” 2:35
8. Krazy Pitbull featuring Lil Jon 3:44
9. Jump Around House of Pain 3:39
10. Goin’ Back to Indiana Jackson 5 3:32
11. “The Snail is Fast” V12 and Nomadik 3:18
12. “Indianapolis” 2:30
13. “Tuck & Roll” 4:21
14. “Speedin'” Classic 2:21
15. “Here We Come” V12 and Classic 2:31
16. Eye of the Tiger (Sher Gunn Remix)” Survivor 5:52
17. “Saturday Night” Ozomatli 4:01
18. “Turbo” 2:49
Total length:
59:38

(Source: Wikipedia)

Dreamworks, my humble advice is, whatever problems you guys might be facing, get past them and get your head back in the game. Shoddy efforts like this aren’t going to endear you to anyone.Seriously, Frenchmen don’t drink Italian coffee and not every Mexican chef has an accent.

So there.

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Man of Steel

Superman receives the same treatment Spiderman did in Amazing Spiderman.

Let’s start off by saying that this is one noisy movie. As it is, every squeak in a movie is amplified six times when watching in a theatre, but when the original sounds are so loud, the result is two steps short of deafening.

Another thing that must be pointed out is that this movie has one of the most brutal fight scenes I’ve seen in recent superhero movies. As opposed to shooting rockets, or laser beams, these guys are actually trading proper blows. The only movie which comes even remotely close to this kind of action is the Transformers series. And there, it was more or less acceptable, considering that they were, you know, building-sized robots, as opposed human-looking aliens.

The story is pretty similar to Transformers 2, instead with the bad guys trying to shape Earth to match their needs, that is to mould Earth into Krypton II, with no regard to the hapless humans who live there. The distribution of the story-line is lopsided, with maybe 40 minutes going into introduction, back-story, budding romance, discovery of powers, and meeting dad’s hologram. The rest of the 2 hour film is devoted to the aforementioned conflict.

We see Jor-El in a more expanded role than the original series, but the one out of three of the bad guys from Superman II return in a more modern avatar. The other two, Ursa and Non, are replaced by the more brutal Faora and Nam-Ek.

Similar to Amazing Spiderman, the reboot of Superman is a darker version. Superman is far less romantic, and equally less comic. Christopher Reeve’s trademark kiss-curl is non existent. Finally, Superman’s underwear is on the inside now (shock! horror!).

Man of Steel is a great movie, but I’d advise you to watch it at home, where you can control the volume. This is for your own good. If you must watch it a theatre, try and book it for 2D, because there’s no real difference in the two.

Epic

Mix, match and hope for the best

Having watched this movie after being begged, cajoled and finally blackmailed, I’m sorry to say that I started out extremely biased against Epic from the start. Sadly, the movie didn’t really change my opinion much, if not worsen it.

It’s a basic father-daughter bonding story, with the usual setting change – this time being shrunk to a size of an insect, and living in a forest kingdom, while your semi-mad scientist father does nothing to find you, so engrossed is he in his search for the aforementioned forest kingdom.

Throw in two Leaf Soldiers – one orphaned apprentice and one mentor (who was conveniently, a good friend of the apprentice’s father); one queen of the forest with telekinetic plant powers, and two talking slugs.

Add to the mix, the death of the queen at the hands of a villain who wears rat skin as a cloak, the subsequent death of the villain son (who also wears a rat-skin cloak) at the hands of the mentor leaf-man, and the absorption of the queen’s powers by a lotus bud, which will then choose the next queen.

Epic quite happily steals quirks from well-known and not-so well-known franchises – Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Arthur and the Minimoys, to name a few and promptly mashes them together in the new setting. But, it turns out to be less than the sum of its parts – not altogether surprisingly.

In the end, none of this really matters though, because as long as it has a happy ending, it will please its target audience, namely little people who couldn’t care less about the intricacies of the movie, but will come in hordes, for an hour’s entertainment.

Iron Man 3

Awesome, but Iron Man 2 was better

After much waiting, not to mention confusion about the movie’s release date, I finally went and watched Iron Man 3, and came out gravely disappointed. Not because the movie was bad (more on that in a bit), but because I missed the post-credits scene. What’s even worse is that I can’t find it anywhere on the Web. So, whenever you watch the movie – STAY TILL AFTER THE CREDITS! There is a scene hidden there.

Now, onto the movie. It is awesome. There’s no taking away from that. It’s just that, when compared to the other movies, which it inevitably will be – it will always come out the lesser of the four movies.

One of the main reasons for this is the scale of the Avengers. I mean, its more than difficult to top huge alien snake-things destroying New York City, isn’t it? So, what they’ve tried to do is expose a more vulnerable side of Tony Stark, which doesn’t gel with the character as a whole. That said, the sight of forty-two Iron-Men simultaneously blowing up bad guys is a sight to behold, Avengers or no Avengers.

In my mind, the worst justice is given out to the Mandarin, who turns out to be far, far less than he is shown to be, especially in the trailers.

So, go and watch Iron Man 3, enjoy it, watch the post-credits scene, and come home. Follow with intense discussion on how the epic trailer blow the movie out of proportion, and killed the movie before it released – another victim of the expectations of the franchise’s fans.

Couldn’t resist!!

The Croods

Another shot, another miss.

‘From the makers of Ice Age’ the posters say, which seems to be the only thing drawing the crowds to cinemas for this movie. The Dreamworks logo on any movie practically guarantees a good watch, especially for kids, but they seem to be running on fumes after the last Ice Age.

The Croods takes the tried-and-tested father and daughter bonding story, changed the setting to the Stone Age and presented it as the Croods. Even the 3-D part is half-baked, because I took off my glasses after the first 15 minutes and watched just fine. If anything, the glasses hindered my watching simply because it made everything a lot darker.

In the same vein, the characters were completely forgettable and can be summed up in a few words, per person.

The only character with a little life in him was Guy’s pet sloth, Belt, and only because of scenes like this.

So, while Croods may become a box-office hit, please remember that this is so, only because:

  1. Of Dreamworks’ Ice Age, Shrek and Madagascar legacy
  2. It’s a movie for kids who aren’t exactly critics, and only watch a movie for the entertainment.

Cross-Movie Connections #2 – Storm Shadow, an Assassin?

Franchises linked: G.I. Joe and Assassin’s Creed

Yes, I know all ninjas are assassins, but in this case the assassins I refer to are the Assassins, of Assassin’s Creed fame.

In the first movie, Storm Shadow kills the Count after he is forced to arm the nanomite warhead (which is subsequently used to destroy the Eiffel Tower) using a blade which appears out of his sleeve.

This blade is extremely similar to those used by all the Assassins in the famed video game series.

G.I Joe: Retaliation

Entertaining, but nothing spectacular

Let me start by saying that this movie is the ultimate example of the words ‘not bad’. The story isn’t bad, and neither is the acting, screenplay, music, etc. That said, it wasn’t particularly good either.

G.I Joe: Retaliation is the latest movie in the Joe series of movies, with G.I Joe:The Rise of Cobra, being the first. It starts (presumably) a couple of years after the events of the first film. Duke is now the Joe’s leader along with a couple of new squad-mates – Roadblock, Lady Jaye and Flint.Sadly, NONE of the characters from the first film make it tot he second with the exception of Duke, Snake Eyes, Zartan, Storm Shadow, Cobra Commander and Destro (sort of, since the only show him imprisoned). The President has been replaced by Zartan, who has ordered the Joes be wiped out. Understandably, the Joes have to save the world yet again.

The movie as a whole isn’t bad, like I said – but there are lots of inconsistencies between the story of the first and that of the second. First, Storm Shadow returns – after having somehow surviving being stabbed in the chest, electrocuted, and a multi-storey plunge into frigid arctic waters in the first movie.

Then, the no-show of Duke’s team? The Baroness was being purged of nanomites last, so her absence is forgiven but the others? What excuse do they have? Additionally, the entire franchise seems to have moved from the science-fiction war movie, with Cobra having the cool accelerator suits and laser weapons to a more conventional war movie.

A lot of ideas for scenes seem to be poached from other franchises as well, most notable being when Joe (Bruce Willis) begins arming the team by extracting weapons caches from various places in his home – almost exactly like in Don’t Mess With the Zohan. This scene in particular annoys me. I know its meant to be funny, but why stretch the same joke so far?

The characters are all awesome, but here again the character of Lady Jaye could have been used more than just to the seduction of random men. However, in the face of all the mediocrity, the fight scenes shone through and will probably bring in the crowds during its spell in the theaters. All in all, a good movie to watch with frends and a better way to spend a couple of hours.

Shorts to See #1 – Assassin’s Creed: Embers

I’ve been on an Assassin’s Creed kick for a while now, what with the PS4 announcements and the impending release of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. So, its almost fitting to start a new section with a movie adaptation of the video-game series. The movie lasts about 20 minutes and follows the most widely recognized Assassin in the series – Ezio Auditore da Firenze.

But first, some background. Embers is an animated short film which was first bundled with the game Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Created by Ubiworkshop, it follows Ezio in his old age after he retires from the order. He lives an idyllic life with his wife and children till a stranger arrives and changes what remains of his life.

Its not bad for as movies go and certainly could have been worse, but its not exactly perfect. The animation in itself is adequate, but the voice acting could have been better – at least in the case of the Chinese Assassin Shao Jun. Above all, its best to watch the movie after you have a reasonable amount of knowledge as far as the games are concerned.

Announcing ‘Shorts to See’

As part of the revival of my blog I’m going to introduce another new section, ‘Shorts to See’. This section will primarily cover animated shorts – but this is a completely arbitrary decision and I’ll probably expand later on, because of my lack of expertise with live-action short-films

Please give me your feedback, opinions, ideas – anything! It gets lonely back here, you know?