Scott Pilgrim vs The World – More Wimp than Jerk

Scott Pilgrim vs The World

I’ve got nothing against Michael Cera. He’s a cool guy, great in all his soft-spoken roles. I’ve got nothing against the Scott Pilgrim franchise. On the contrary, I’ve read the books and played the game. But even though I saw the movie first, I don’t think Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a good movie. The only reason I think this is because Michael Cera doesn’t properly portray the wannabe lady-killer jock jerky-jerk that Scott Pilgrim is. Instead, he makes Scott look like an awkward wimp that has his badass moments. It makes his relationship with Ramona look forced and stupid. Oh! Synopsis, right.

Scott Pilgrim dates a high schooler. 17 years old and Chinese, Knives Chau is adorable and impressionable. She loves Scott’s band, Sex Bob-omb, and thinks he’s a total stud. His life is great! And then he has a dream about Ramona Flowers and meets her at a party. What else can he do but obsess? Why, he can cheat on Knives, of course. After an awkward seduction, he convinces Ramona to give him a chance. Of course, he waits a bit before breaking up with poor Knives. In fact, his cool gay roommate Wallace Wells has to offer him an ultimatum in order to get him to break up with her. Anyway.
Scott Pilgrim vs The WorldDuring one of their band’s gigs, Scotty boy is attacked by Matthew Patel, the first of Ramona’s Seven Evil Exes. From that point on, our protagonist’s life descends into a real shit-storm of drama. Knives is stalking him, his traumatizing ex, Envy Adams is in town, and she’s brought an evil ex with her. Lucas Lee the pro-skateboarder turned film star came first, though. It seems like everyone wants to kill Scott now that he’s dating Ramona. Worst of all, Ramona’s got some lingering issues with one of her exes from New York. Gideon Gordon Graves, the big bad final boss.

I’m not gonna write out the whole movie for you, because it doesn’t exactly have a complex plot. The movie doesn’t, I mean. It obviously had to omit some of the finer details and backstory in order to shave off enough time to avoid making a modern day video-game oriented Godfather or Titanic. Unfortunately, this also drastically dunks the quality of the movie for those who have read the graphic novels. To be expected, but obnoxious nonetheless.

The entire theme of the books, movie, and game is one collective goofy tribute to retro-gaming. The graphic novels stray from the video-game genre the most, however. In all six books, the plot plays out more like an action hero teen drama more than a level-by level hallway of challenges. The only spectacularly linear aspect to it is the one-at-a-time battles with the evil exes.

Scott Pilgrim vs The WorldSo what can I say? Rent the movie first to test the waters. If you like the theme, the gist of all the characters, and the cheesy humor, then it’d probably be a good idea to get the books. They’re no longer at the peak of their popularity, so you can probably get them for a much more reasonable price. Think of them as a much more aesthetic and detailed take on what the movie presents. If you like those, then by all means, go get the game. You can get it on the Playstation Network or the Xbox Live Arcade bauble for maybe five or ten bucks. It is the full tribute to retrogaming, complete with music by the fantastic soundchip band Anamanaguchi.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about that. Good franchise, good stuff. The movie’s icky because of Michael Cera. That is NOT what I envisioned Scott’s hair to look like in real life. Geeze Louise. Done.

 

Aaron Weiss of CinemaFunk hasn’t read the books, but certainly has the right idea about the movie; nostalgia. It makes you think about back-in-the-day scenarios about comics and 8-bit vids that progressed level by level. I don’t think the movie was too long, though. But then again, it’s kind of predictable/pretentious to expect the movie to be a carbon copy of the books, so maybe reading this review would be better for you than mine: http://www.cinemafunk.com/movie-reviews/scott-pilgrim-vs-the-world.html

Sailor Moon, The Movie: Promise of the Rose is Your Childhood

Sailor Moon: Promise of the Rose1990’s kids will know this one. Oh yeah. This is a 1993 anime classic film based off of an awesome and deceptively cutesy TV series. Don’t think that it being based off a TV series makes it bad, though. It’s freakin’ Sailor Moon, The Movie: Promise of the Rose. How could that be bad in ANY way? Let’s crack open a bottle of plot and see how it goes down.

Darien, the true identity of the hero Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Moon’s love interest, is first seen to be giving a gift to another boy. A rose, accepted with great affection and the promise of the perfect flower. Darien had just lost his parents, and didn’t want to see his only friend go. The problem was, Fiore was an alien, and couldn’t stay on Earth too long because the air would eventually kill him. He left Darien, fully intending to find the perfect flower to return to Earth with, but ended up stumbling upon something very foul indeed. But more on that in a moment.

In the modern day, Darien, Serena, and the rest of the Sailor Scouts are out at a flower shop, browsing and having a good time. This is a shoujo, I should remind you. If I don’t succeed, the movie will remind you eighty times before it ends. It’s only sixty minutes, but it’s more than capable of melting your brain with love. I digress. A rain of flower petals interrupts the group as they’re leaving, and out of nowhere, a red-haired guy appears and approaches Darien. He seems pleasant enough, until he shoves Serena away when she tries to break him and Darien up. They were getting kinda… close. Darien realizes that it’s Fiore, the same boy from his childhood, and this unnerves him a bit. Something changed. Something bad.

Sailor Moon: Promise of the RoseSoon after, a plant monster attacks Tokyo with a cluster of vines in order to drain the populace’s life energy. The Sailor Scouts respond immediately, obliterating the flower-freak and saving the day… That is, until Fiore appears in his alien form and claims that he is responsible for the attack. But why would such a benevolent person stage such a horrid attack? Perhaps the dark flower on his chest should offer a reason.

Serena’s cats, Artemis and Luna, explain this one. The Kisenian Blossom is the most evil flower in existence, latching onto those with weak hearts and filling them with hatred and anger. One by one, she sucks planets dry of life energy to increase her own power, then destroys them and leaves. She cannot do this alone, however. Fiore’s heart was weak, and as such she sunk her claws into him and instilled him with vengeance against the human race for causing Darien’s loneliness.

During the fight between Fiore and the Sailor Scouts, Darien takes a dive for Serena and is critically injured. Since all the other Scouts have had their asses beaten, no one can stop Fiore as he grabs the dying Darien and spirits him away in a whirlwind of flower petals. Where did they go?

Sailor Moon: Promise of the RoseArtemis and Luna have this one, too. Apparently, he’s on a meteor. A meteor filled with the Kisenian Blossom’s plants is quickly descending to Earth, where it will open up and sprinkle the surface of the planet with dark seeds. In the end, the Earth would be reduced to a dead rock, and the Kisenian Blossom would move on. How can the Sailor Scouts hope to stop this evil meteor? How can Darien break his friend free of the dark blossom’s influence?

I’m not going to tell you. Watch the movie! It’s great! It’s overly dramatic, weepy, mushy, violent, flashy, and it really helps redefine the genre known as “Magical Girl.” I mean, seriously. You’re missing out if you haven’t seen this. What’s that, you said? Too girly? Don’t like the fact that the Scouts get naked when they transform? What, it’s not like you can see anything, pervy. I won’t tell you again. This is a classic of classic anime movies, and you won’t regret snapping this up on VHS (if you’ve got it) or DVD (if you want it) and giving it a good view. Remember! Only 60 minutes!

Is my opinion crap? I don’t think it is, but juuust in case you do, here’s the AnimeCritic’s take on Sailor Moon: Promise of the Rose. It’s also called Sailor Moon R the Movie, in case you’re wondering. http://www.animecritic.com/sailormoon/anr-sailormoonrmovie.html

The Fifth Element, Brucie Baby

The Fifth ElementDon’t even start with me. I have the biggest man-crush on Bruce Willis, and no amount of Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, or Bruce Lee comments will ever change that. If you’re like me and agree with this statement to the extreme, then you’ve already watched The Fifth Element around forty times. For those of you who haven’t, I shall disclose to you the dazzling and astounding details of this fabulous sci-fi space thriller.

Adjectives ahoy! This guy must really like The Fifth Element. I wonder why? Easy enough to explain. Bruce Willis- er, I mean, Korben Dallas, an ex special operative, takes on a mission from the Earth government to save the world from an apocalyptic evil that strikes every five thousand years, taking the form of a black planet. If he fails, then entire galaxy will become a place of death and desolation. In order to combat this ultimate evil, he must acquire four stones representing fire, wind, water, and air. The fifth element, life, is contained within the perfect being known as Leeloo (played by the talented Milla Jovovich), and Korbruce Willas must find a way to unite her and the stones at the sacred temple before it’s too late. Pretty epic, am I right? You bet it is.

The Fifth ElementThere are several different factions all working towards different goals in this movie, making for a pleasantly complex sequence of events that spirals into a high quality plot. The Mondoshawans are the first faction the movie reveals, and they’re also the first to be blown up violently. Their purpose is to protect and expand life throughout the universe, and to teach humans to value life through faith. They also appear to be the ones who originally used the four stones and the fifth element to preserve the galaxy in the first place.

The Mangelores are nasty, smelly, hated mercenary aliens that only want money and resources. They have a death before dishonor sort of subtle faith system, which explains one of the more dramatic suicide bombing scenes. Because of their easily corruptible nature, the ladder of evil factions uses them as tools.

Zorg is the head of a colossal and wealthy company that fronts for organized crime. He works directly under the self-titled Mr. Shadow, who is actually the ultimate galactic evil. Zorg is ordered to capture the four stones and gather them at the temple, then to allow Mr. Shadow to take Leeloo’s place. This would spread death across the galaxy instead of protecting life, and Bruce Dallas won’t let that happen.

The Fifth ElementThere’s some good news, though, in case you’re starting to think that The Fifth Element takes itself too seriously. Chris Tucker is in it, and he plays a flamboyant radio host called Ruby Rod that stalks Korben Willis until the exiting conclusion. The movie has its fair share of comedic blips and bloops, if the presence of Chris Tucker isn’t enough to clue you in to that. I think it’d be safe to say that The Fifth Element has a little bit of everything in regards to movie positives; romance, action, humor, badassery. You really can’t go wrong!

The acting is the good kind of corny, the villains are likeable yet obviously evil, and the little elephant creature that Zorg owns is absolutely adorable. I call him Shnorgle. Shnorgle holds no relevance to the plot, but it’s a lovely little thing to look at and enjoy.

This description actually goes for the movie itself as well. Just long enough that it doesn’t crunch the plot, just short enough that it doesn’t drag, plenty of events and characters to reflect on… It’s really just a wonderful production. You should definitely consider getting this on DVD and giving it a good, popcorn filled viewing.

Mirrors: An Idiot Reflected is Just as Dumb

MirrorsI don’t hate Mirrors. I really don’t. I just hate every single actor and actress they put in there. I hate them, and I’m very sad that some of them survive. I’m very happy that bad things happen to them. They come off as very annoying, because they follow the horror movie clichés to the letter. I really don’t hate Mirrors, but thanks to the cast, I do. I feel bad for judging a bad-bad horror movie, but sometimes it feels good to just hate on a deserving one. On with the review, then.

Benjamin Carson is a night watchman at a mall, the Mayflower, that just burned down. He ditched the the police force because of his drinking and the subsequent violence that wrought, and he’s on powerful medication to keep his urges suppressed. Amy Carson, his wife, asks that he stay away from the family until she feels he’s ready to come back. For now, he lives with his sister Angie in her apartment.

So, the clichés start to kick in when he begins to witness unusual imagery in the unusually clean mirrors. From the beginning, we know that the original caretaker was murdered by the mirrors killing his reflection. Or… something. So then, the mirrors begin to haunt Ben with terrifying images. He finds the original caretaker’s wallet, and discovers that the mirrors want someone by the name of Esseker.

MirrorsI’d like to point out that all throughout the course of the movie, all of these scary incidents are relayed from Ben to Amy and Angie, and neither of them believes him. Amy thinks he’s hallucinating because of his medication, and Angie just thinks he’s under stress. Ben even manages to drop the “I’m not crazy” line, which pissed me off to the extreme. I don’t like the crazy gambit in horror movies, not at all. It’s choppy, irritating, persistent, and adds nothing to the movie’s plot aside from a sense of solitude, and that’s not really worth it.

ANYWAYS. The mirrors kill Angie, which really pisses Ben off. They even start to threaten his wife and kids. He starts to investigate Esseker, finds an asylum connected to the Mayflower’s lower area, and finds that Anna Esseker was a patient in there, being treated for schizophrenia. Some mirror shenanigans go down in the Carson home, and Ben winds up finding Anna and forcing her back to the hospital at gunpoint.

At that point, something interesting happens. Something that pissed me off. This movie tends to do that. So yeah, Esseker is placed in a room of mirrors, and the demon escapes the mirrors and into her body. Because she was actually possessed, and they used the mirrors to take it out of her. Ben winds up impaling the dumb, stupid demon on a gas pipe and exploding her. It works, but he winds up stuck in the mirror world. Forever alone.

MirrorsI dedicate this paragraph to bashing on a child actor. He plays Michael. HE SUCKS. Apparently, he can see things in the mirrors. He’s the least convincing in regards to his voice and facial expressions, and he makes me want to punch him in the face. He even manages to get possessed by the mirror demon somehow, which doesn’t make sense considering the mirror demon can’t actually get into people’s minds. That said, he slashes his mom across the face with a knife. What an asshole. I hate him. Argh.

That concludes my in-depth analysis of the movie Mirrors. I can sum up the entire thing by saying I don’t like it. Because I don’t. And the unrated version doesn’t contain any bonus content. It’s actually exactly the same. Literally no difference. What the hell, man? Not worth it. Don’t buy this movie. If anything, steal it and play it when you have something else you need to do that requires background noise. Only time you’ll actually be able to enjoy it. That’s all I have to say about that.

The Devil Inside… Almost Had It

The Devil InsideSo very close! The Devil Inside was half an hour away from being the best exorcism movie I’ve ever seen. It touched on so many potentially amazing topics, such as the spheres of demons, their real purpose in the world, their demeanor, even their names. The problem was that the movie only grazed on these possibilities, leaving so much to be desired. Additionally, the ending made me cry. Not because it was emotional, but because it was horrifically bad. It’s like they got bored. I’ll explain.

The movie revolves around the possession of Mara Rossi and the fact that she murdered three people during an exorcism being performed on her. Twenty years later her daughter, Isabella Rossi, travels to Rome to visit the mental hospital her mother is incarcerated in. On the way, she learns of the nature of demons and exorcism by visiting an esteemed college that teaches relevant material. She meets two jaded exorcists, Ben and David, who perform sacred rights in secret, behind the backs of he church and the Vatican.

The Devil InsideAfter viewing a successful exorcism, Isabella has the priests perform one on her mother, this time without permission of the hospital she is held in. Results are unstable, resulting in David’s possession, and ultimately, death. Then Isabella gets possessed, and they all go to a hospital. Ben has gone a bit loopy after experiencing all this, so he panics and attempts to take her to a friend of his in the church in an attempt to exorcise her. They try to drive there, but Isabella’s demon hops over to the driver and they all die in a car crash. That’s the end of the movie. I forgot to mention that Michael, the camera guy and friend of Isabella. He plays little more than the role of the unbelieving friend.

That’s… basically the entire movie right there, plus or minus a few scare events. Now, what I think they should have done differently in regards to content is that they should have focused on making a technical exorcism documentary as opposed to restricting their movie to being a typical horror exorcism documentary. The fact that the movie spent so much time trying to be scary nullified the potential to cover other interesting material, like the hierarchy of demons and other such topics I mentioned initially.

The Devil InsideI’ll assume that the reason the film industry prefers to stray from making movies with demons portrayed as anything but completely evil and sadistic is because the idea of anything less than hostile interaction with demons is considered taboo. Which, in retrospect, is a real shame, because the situational comedic value of demonic insight and demeanor would really make a movie great.

Tell you what, you want to know about the movie, and my opinion of what the movie was like, not what it could be like. Here it is: The movie, overall, was too short. The scares were predictable but still satisfying, the effects were good, the acting was consistently good for a shockumentary, and the overall demeanor is different enough from most exorcism movies to be enjoyable. It’s about an hour and a half long, so you can go out and see it without wasting a good chunk of your day.