Showing posts with label movie reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movie reviews. Show all posts

Monday, July 9, 2018

Movie Review: The Hobbit Trilogy

Hello my dear book lovers! I finally did the thing, guys! I finally got up the courage to watch all three Hobbit movies and I have a lot of feelings! I previously reviewed the first Hobbit movie, so if you want, you can go check out that review. Today I'll be sharing my thoughts about the entire trilogy, so don't worry, I'm not re-reviewing the first movie. 

I'm going to be honest and say there were a lot of things I liked and enjoyed about the trilogy. Peter Jackson is really a genius in bringing out the magic and wonder of Tolkien's world and putting it together to make a fantastic story and incredibly stunning visuals. At the same time, however, there were a few things I didn't quite enjoy as much, and they play a huge part in what I feel about the trilogy as a whole.


Let's start with what I liked.

As I said in the previous review, I really enjoyed the opening scene, with Bilbo starting to write the book for Frodo. Not only it was a great Easter egg for those who've seen the LOTR trilogy, it's also a great reminder of the fact that Bilbo truly had an important part to play in the final part of history of the One Ring. I liked seeing Frodo hanging up the "No Admittance" sign on the gate, I liked seeing him leave Bag End to meet up with Gandalf, and I liked seeing Bilbo look over old maps and documents.

I liked Tauriel. I probably am in the minority, but I really enjoyed seeing her, and I thought Evangeline Lilly did a great job at portraying her. Tauriel is badass, strong, feisty and opinionated. She kind of reminded me of Éowyn in a way.

Smaug was exactly what I imagined him to be, at least in the first part where he talks to Bilbo. He is just as scary, ruthless, cunning and evil as I hoped he would turn out to be. Although, to be fair, he is also one of the reasons I was exasperated with the movie and I'll tell you later on why that is.

Thranduil is probably my favorite departure from the books. I liked seeing a morally ambiguous elf, one that isn't as ethereal and good as Elrond. I don't really remember much about him from the books, but I enjoyed what Jackson did with his character.

The little Easter Eggs were amazing. I am yet again in the minority, but everything from the shards of the sword Narsil to how Thranduil tells Legolas to go find the rangers, even how Gloin tells Legolas about his "wee lad" Gimli, all of those little details tying up together the two movie trilogies were fantastic and I absolutely loved seeing them there. The last scene in the third movie was fantastic and it kind of made my heart race a little bit, because it was such a good way to end things.

What I didn't like

The first thing I truly didn't like about the trilogy is that they turned a children's book into a bloody, violent story. The Hobbit is intended towards younger audiences and while I understand the need to bring a lot of people to the cinema and have them want to see your movie, I do believe it could have been done in a much better way than basically having the third movie be a war movie. 

Changing the story to make it attractive to a more mature audience also brings in a few strange decisions in cinematography. Towards the end of the second movie and about 95% of the last movie, I felt as if every color suddenly was lost. And I do mean the fact that the color was muted altogether, and the preferred shades were greys, blacks and some dirty whites. I really, really didn't like that. Because while LOTR is a pretty intense story, the movies didn't really have a complete lack of color in them. Yes, there were scenes where the story kind of required more muted colors and greys, but not as much as what happened with The Hobbit. 

Another thing I didn't enjoy was the way the filmmakers divided the story. They basically had about two thirds of the book in the first movie and then the rest was stretched over the last two movies, with a ton of stuff added in that wasn't in the source material, in order to justify an extra 6 hours of screen time. Now, I'm not sure if the things they added in were part of the history of Middle Earth - it's been years since I last read The Silmarillion, and I haven't read the rest of the books detailing the history of Middle Earth, so I'm not commenting on if the events they added in were something Tolkien wrote or not. What I do know is that the added scenes and subplots turned a rather simple story into a complex part of the history that, ultimately, I didn't understand. To make matters worse, a few of these changes are in contrast to what happened in the Lord Of The Rings movie trilogy. 

Case in point: Gandalf supposedly finds out about the return of Sauron during The Hobbit. How then is he surprised by the fact that Sauron has "returned" in The Fellowship of the Ring? It makes absolutely no sense to me. And yes, one could argue the fact that he left the task of finding how to defeat the Dark Lord to Saruman, but Gandalf isn't one to let others do something he can do for himself. We know he loves to meddle in things, so why would he not meddle in this important, dangerous mission? Or even forget about it??

Another continuity error in my mind is the fact that Legolas seems to be completely different than what I remembered from LOTR. I remember a socially awkward elf, one who didn't seem familiar with alcoholic beverages, one who didn't talk unless talked to, one who is so clueless at times he is insanely funny, one who uses sarcasm as much as he uses his bow, who then went on to become best friends with a dwarf.
This is the Legolas I remember and love. The Hobbit Legolas in an asshole and I don't like him at all!

The Legolas we meet here though seems to be quite the opposite. He's not socially inept, he can have a conversation, and he is what we would now call a racist. How this Legolas goes on to become the Legolas I remember from more than ten years ago, I'm not sure, but I wouldn't put my money on his time with the Rangers. If anything, that would be the perfect way for him to stop being socially awkward. It makes no sense. And let's not forget about his eye color!!!

Much like Legolas suffered a pretty drastic change, Galadriel also went through a pretty big scene that might seem like a small thing, but to me it was important and so confusing. Remember this scene in The Fellowship of the Ring?


Well... At the time, the movie made it seem like such a big deal for Galadriel, like a once-in-a-life-time event that was a sort of test for her (a test of what, I do not know). But it was shown as a pretty big deal, and I saw it as such. Now, in one of the movies from the Hobbit trilogy (I am honest and I'll say I don't remember which one) a similar scene happens. So I wonder... If she took on her badass, warrior elf queen face 60 years prior to Frodo coming to Lothlorien, what exactly makes the scene with Frodo in front of her mirror a test? What makes it so important?

Another thing I didn't quite enjoy was the overdoing of special effects. Peter Jackson did such an amazing job in the LOTR trilogy with this side of the movie, I remember being in awe over the fact that everything looked almost real. Something was lost, however, through the years, and that childlike wonder I was expecting to feel wasn't there. In fact, I could pinpoint exactly which scenes were CGI, and I hated that. I understand wanting to use technology to make your job easier, but this went from "let's use CGI because we have no other way" and into ridiculous territory.

I said I liked Tauriel, and I did. But if you're going to add a female character in order to balance the dominantly male story, at least make her be her own woman. I didn't like the fact that she played a love interest for not one, but two male characters. And while normally I can ignore that element, I was especially disappointed over the fact that, in the end, neither of those romantic interests end up having a happy ending, because Legolas is told by his father to leave, and Kili dies. So not only does Tauriel serves the simple purpose of being the hot "elf maiden" that two men fall for, she doesn't even get the chance of a happy ending. Aaaand that serves whom, exactly?

Last but not least, Smaug was... Look. He is the ultimate evil. The psychotic, gold-hungry fire-breathing creature that killed thousands of dwarves and feared by men, elves and dwarves alike. Why then have him die at the start of the third movie? And yes, I know that the focus of that movie was the Battle of the Five Armies. But if you're going to have a movie focused solely on this insane quest of reclaiming the stolen treasure from the mad dragon, at least make his death memorable. Instead, he died... It wasn't spectacular, let's just put it like that. And I expected it to be spectacular and worthy of his evilness.



Overall, I think I would have been less critical of this trilogy had I not read the book and had I not watched the LOTR trilogy. I admit that I had insanely high expectations, because I loved the original trilogy, faults and all. While it might seem that I didn't fully enjoy these movies, I did kind of liked them. But if I'm going to be honest with you, I don't expect to have a movie marathon of The Hobbit anytime soon. To quote Bilbo, "In fact I mean not to".

Monday, June 19, 2017

Movie Review: Dirty Dancing 2017 Remake

When I was in high school I used to watch a lot of movies, but out of all of the movies I saw then, only one was my favorite: Dirty Dancing. I used to watch it every day, sometimes more than once, that's how much I loved it. I knew all the lines by heart, and if I know anything ever remotely close to dancing, it's because of this movie. 

So it wasn't easy to hear that the movie was getting a reboot. There's no way anyone could be able to play Johnny and not make me cringe. Here's the thing with me and dancers: there is Patrick Swayze and then there's the rest. So in my head there was no way anyone could be as good as him. Then I heard that the movie was going to have 3 hours. 3 hours of dancing? With Johnny and Baby? Sign me up! I was ready for the expanded version of their story, kind of like the collector's edition sort of, but instead I didn't get that. I got a musical...

It would be easier to start with what I liked. Before I go on though, let me tell you that there are going to be MAJOR SPOILERS ahead. So be warned. 

I liked the fact that we get more time focused on Penny and Baby. We see them having a "just girls" dance, and I liked that. Nicole can really dance, and it was fun watching her. I also liked that Baby's father, Jake, tells her the repercussions of what she did by helping Penny were. Harsh maybe, but he was right. There's one dance sequence that I loved, which is the famous watermelon/"Do You Love Me" dance. I mostly liked the fact that they did their own thing, instead of copying Patrick and Cynthia's routine for that dance. And I also liked the cover they did for that song. I love the original, but their version has something fun about it, and I don't know what exactly, between the singer's growls and the piano and guitar solos. 

I also liked that at one point Johnny teases Baby, telling her to imagine to have rhythm, which, when you think about it, is a terribly sad truth about the actress. I'm so sorry for Abigail, but she's just one of those people who cannot dance.

While Colt, the guy who played Johnny, didn't seem like such a great actor in this movie, he sure knows how to dance. Remember when I said there's Patrick and then there's the rest of the male dancers? Well, Colt is definitely one dancer that I enjoyed watching perform.

*deep breath*

What I didn't like. Man, this is a long list. The lift, the unnecessary background drama, the fact that it seemed to me that Johnny had more chemistry with Penny than with Baby, the last dance, which should have been spectacular, instead it wasn't, and the ending. That ending is what made me so mad, enough to want to watch the original version immediately. Here's the thing. I'm a romantic at heart, and Johnny and Baby have been my ultimate OTP since before I knew what OTP meant. Which means that in my head, after that last dance, they ride off into the sunset. The movie definitely seems to point to that, otherwise WHY WOULD HER DAD APOLOGIZE TO JOHNNY???? I always saw that scene between Johnny, Baby and Baby's dad as a sort of "welcome to the family" scene, a scene in which Jake accepts that Johnny is the one for his little girl. So to me, they are good. It's been 30 years since the movie came out and probably 20 years since I first saw it, and I still believe the same thing: they make it, get married, live happily ever after. The remake, however, shoots my dreams right in the pachanga, because they do not do that. No, they crush all of my romantic ideas, by making Johnny look like a soccer dad with a bad hair day, and Baby look like what I imagine Lisa should have looked like. It makes no sense. None whatsoever. Also, why a musical? Just...why? 

VERDICT: It's possible that someone who has never seen the original will enjoy this movie, although they'd have to be living all alone, with no friends, no internet, no family, basically no human soul near them, in order to not be introduced to the greatness that was the original Dirty Dancing. I also feel like 3 hours was a little too much for this movie. I'm not sorry for losing those 3 hours, because I watched it after a very stressful day, but I am definitely sorry Hollywood felt the need to remake a classic.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Movie Review: Silver Linings Playbook

*the poster picture links to the movie's official website

I just saw this movie and WOW! I've been a fan of Bradley Cooper ever since I saw him in the role of the smart, cute, "in-love-with-his-friend" reporter in the TV show Alias. And I've seen him in other roles since then, so I wasn't surprised by the fact that he does a fantastic job.

The surprise for me was Jennifer Lawrence. Now, before you throw things at me, let me tell you that no, I haven't seen The Hunger Games. I'm not going to see it until I read the book. I decided that's what I want to do and I'm sticking with it. I'm just waiting for the craziness of the new year to go away and for the free time to come and sweep me off my feet *snort* Anyway, back to Ms. Lawrence. She was amazing. Purely amazing. She was funny without trying to and she had those moments where her face was sort of icy cold, no feelings, but her eyes showed the emotion I was supposed to get from the scene. I do believe she's a great actress.

Robert De Niro has a small, but amazing role. There's a scene where he's with Bradley Cooper and he's sort of having a father-son moment and it's breathtaking. I was almost in tears when I saw that scene.

I loved the story too. Had no idea it was a book adaptation. I might be tempted to read the book, I'm not sure yet, to be honest. And there's this scene where Cooper's character says something so simple, and yet so deep: "Maybe we [meaning the people with mental problems] know something that you [a.k.a the sane people] don't." I liked that.

I now hope that Cooper and Lawrence and the movie win at the Oscars. I do believe the movie was fantastic.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Movie Review: The Hobbit

It's been a while since I've had a complete geek moment related to movies. I thought that after the last Harry Potter movie, there wouldn't be another one. I was completely wrong and boy, am I glad I was.

I remember I read The Hobbit ten years ago and ever since I've been waiting to see if there was going to be a movie. I know I've said it many, many times, that I think the Lord of the Rings books are a little better than the movies (let's be honest, have you ever seen a movie better than the book it was based on?), but I was sure that if the same cast (or at least part of it) were to appear in a movie based on The Hobbit, then that movie would be awesome. And I was right.

It's been a while since I read the book, but the movie was done so well, it made me remember some of my favorite scenes in the book. The trolls, the game of riddles, the scene where all the dwarves are making poor Bilbo go nuts, everything was perfectly made. And the opening scene of the movie... I actually sighed when I saw it. It's perfect and if you've seen the first trilogy, you should know why. I loved how it was tied together with those first movies. It was just... maybe it sounds a bit stupid, but it was like I took a time capsule and I remembered when Frodo surprised Gandalf in the movie, telling him "You're late!". I loved that.

If you've read the book, you might have seen that some scenes from the movie weren't in the book, but they were done perfectly and they didn't bother me at all. They looked and felt like it was natural for those scenes to be part of the story.

Let's talk characters. I believe Martin Freeman did an excellent job and he got the essence of Bilbo perfectly. I don't think I'll ever be able to imagine another better Bilbo. Just like Ian McKellen is the one and only possible actor that could play Gandalf.

The surprise was Richard Armitage, who played Thorin. I remember seeing Armitage in the TV show Robin Hood as Guy of Gisborne and I always considered him one of the best actors that I've seen that played a villain so well, yet managed to be sexy while doing it. I never had a thing for villains. They were bad guys and that was that. But seeing him in the role of Gisborne made me root for his character (and swoon and drool), even while I was wishing he'd fail in his quests. So it was a good surprise seeing him as the dwarf in this movie. He played the part very well and he made Thorin look fierce and  (yes, again :P ) sexy at the same time.

All the other new characters did amazing jobs and I can't wait to see the next two movies. Then you have Cate Blanchett, which I just completely adore, especially as Galadriel. And Andy Serkis is brilliant in his role as Gollum.

The music is, as I expected, beautiful. I love what the composer, Howard Shore, managed to create for the original movie trilogy and he did an amazing job for this movie as well. I'm sure the next two movies will have soundtracks just as beautiful as this one.

There isn't a thing I can think of that I wish was different. I think that's a first for me. Or maybe I'm just that big of a geek. I don't know, honestly. I loved the movie. And I'm honestly waiting for that moment, years from now, when I'll do a complete The Hobbit - Lord of the Rings movie marathon.

Of course, being the complete Tolkien fan that I am, I have to be honest and say that a little part of me is hoping for maybe a TV show based on the Silmarillion book. *le sigh*

So, have you seen the movie and if yes, what did you think of it?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Movie Review

Finally!! I was starting to bite my nails waiting for this one! I can't say how much I loved the movie! It was awesome! Unlike the previous one, there were no major events missing from the movie.After that last one, I really thought I was going to be disappointed again. I'm so glad I was wrong. It's sad that this is the beginning of the end. Seeing all the kids at the cinema, I started remembering how I felt the first time I started reading Harry Potter, the weeks when all me and my friends did in school break was talk about the chapters we read the night before and how we complained about having to do homework instead of reading about the newest adventures of Harry and his friends and try and decide which of our colleagues was just like Hermione. 

It really feels like a chapter is about to end. Like that last link with childhood is about to break. It may be stupid, I know, but before the movie, I had hope. Like maybe JK Rowling would change her mind and write another HP book, or they'd decide to make a TV show or something. Now I know it will probably take years for something like that.

I only wish that the second part is just as good as this one. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...