November 25th, 2012

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Rise of the Guardians

Well, this year's animated Christmas-ish movie seems to have gone a slightly non-conventional route with Rise of the Guardians. Santa along with the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Sandman have recruited Jack Frost to save the children of the world from the Boogeyman. How much you wanna bet the DVD release date will coincide with Easter?

On paper, it sounds incredibly cheesey and juvenile. Well, I mean, it is aimed at kids after all. But these aren't your typical fantasy beings. Oh no. Santa is all inked up and voiced by Alec Baldwin. Bunny has some badass boomerangs and Hugh Jackman's attitude. Jack Frost (Chris Pine) looks like the drummer from Forever the Sickest Kids. And the Boogeyman goes on and on about fear with Jude Law's gorgeous English accent. That's kind of the extent of the for-the-big-kids element of the movie.

The story is that the Boogeyman is trying to spread fear to all of the children of the world, making them lose faith in the other guardians and believe in him. As the children stop believing, the guardians lose their power and begin to disappear. It was cute, and as someone who loves all of those characters, I liked the feel of it and some of the ideas, but I found most of it kinda boring. Things were just a little dragged out with not a lot going on, and there wasn't a lot of effort put into the humor.

One thing I did like was the details around the goings on at the north pole. I've noticed that every movie that shows Santa and his helpers has an entirely different take on the elfs. Sometimes they're smart, sometimes not so much. Sometimes they're tough, sometimes not so much. Sometimes they're serious, sometimes not so much. Here, they were the equivalent of the minions in Despicable Me, but even less smart. Santa actually had a team of yettis that built all of the toys. The elfs had the most adorable outfits that were basically oversized Santa hats with strategically placed holes. But their antics were minion like, playing games and getting in the way of things. Totes adorbs. I also liked the idea of seeing the Easter Bunny's lair, something that rarely gets seen. A movie around him might not be a bad idea, especially if he continues to be voiced by Jackman.

What should have been a fun and different film turned out to be not that special. The kids in the audience were certainly entertained. They all cheered at the end. I was just ready to head home.

Rise of the Guardians - \m/ \m/ \n
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Life of Pi

As a rule, I never seek out 3D movies. I'm so over them. But there's always an exception, and for the first time in recent memory, I purposely passed on a chance to see Life of Pi in 2D earlier this week in order to see it in 3D. Worth the wait.

This movie was absolutely beautiful. I'm referring both to the visual and the story. From the little I knew about the book, I had stood by the belief that it was unfilmable. It went thru multiple rewrites and directors before Ang Lee took it over, and the 3D was used to try and better serve the story. I know that the book has lots of themes that prolly wouldn't translate too well. Not having read it, I can't say for sure how successful that was, but I can say that I found it absolutely moving nonetheless. May have gotten a lil emotional towards the end.

The imagery was some of the best I've seen. So glad that this film was so delayed because I dont think the technology for this would have been up to snuff. Computerized water used to be awful, and animals just didn't look unrealistic. But now, it was stunning. The tiger looked so real, I was just mesmorized staring at him. There were screams and gasps in the audience. The shipwreck scene was so intense, that the dad and little daughter next to me gave up at that point and walked out because it was too much for her. That did make me a lil sad.

I really don't know what else to say. It should have fallen flat. I mean c'mon, it's a guy alone in a boat in the middle of the ocean with a tiger for the majority of the film. But his story is so incredible, it was epic in its simplicity. Guess this wasn't so unfilmable after all.

Life of Pi - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/