Film Review: The Lost Boys (1987)

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The era when teenage vampires doesn’t glow and skin is made out of diamonds. The time when teenage vampires have fangs, sleep while they are hanging inside their cave and party and kill all night. The age when teenage vampires don’t go to school to get an innocent girl.

The Lost Boys is a story of two brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim), who transferred from Phoenix, Arizona to Santa Clara, California, together with their mother, Lucy (Dianne Wiest), who recently got divorced with her husband. Santa Clara is known to be “The Murder Capital of the World” because of a lot of people missing and killed by unknown people.

The family of Michael, Sam and Lucy transferred to Grandpa’s (Barnard Hughes) home to start a new life. As Michael and Sam went outside to discover Santa Clara and went to Boardwalk, Michael met a beautiful lady named Star (Jami Gertz), who is a half-vampire and the girlfriend of David (Kiefer Sutherland), the leader of the gang of teenage vampires.

Lucy, also went to work in a local video store wherein he met and started dating the owner of the store, Max (Ed Herrmann), who in the end, is the head vampire. Sam also met the Frog Brothers, Edgar and Alan Frog (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander), who is a self-proclaimed vampire hunter.

The Lost Boys is a perfect teen movie back in the 80′s because it features a lot of pop culture stuff during the 80′s like the leather jacket, hairstyle, fashion, lifestyle and even comic books.

Although it is a vampire/horror movie, you can’t say that it is 100% horror or scary flick because part of it are also comedy and Grandpa’s character, played by Barnard Hughes, put a major contribution in this film in terms of humor. His acting, his character, his hobbies and also his house added a simple touch of humor into this horror flick.

I also love the start of the movie because it clearly show the good side or the happy side of Santa Clara and the darker side of it because it features the happy and hippie lifestyle of the people of Santa Clara during the day and night and when the night is about to end, vampires are flying around to kill their latest victims.

The character selection is also great for this movie as all of the actors and actresses portrayed their respective character very well and as mentioned, Grandpa’s character is my favorite, next to the gang of vampires led by David (Kiefer Sutherland), as they portrayed their characters very well, both as troubled teenage kids roaming around Santa Clara and as vampires flying around and killing people.

The soundtrack of the film is really nice as it features the song “People are Strange” by The Doors and other 80′s classics like “Lost in the Shadows” by Lou Gramm and the most overused song in this movie and it always give me the goosebumps, “Cry Little Sister” by Gerard McMann.

The only downside of this film is the fighting scene at the end of the movie because they built the vampire character of this film as hardcore and immortal but how come a group of kids can easily beat the vampires and Grandpa killed the head vampire? It think it would be nice if they made it a long and struggle fight against the vampires, not the short and easy way of killing them., nonetheless, the movie really stands by it’s tagline “Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It’s fun to be a vampire.”

Film Review Frozen 2013

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Do you want to build a snowman?

Disney has done it again. Making a very nice and inspiration animated film that brings out the imagination of every kids and kids-at-heart. Well, this is their repertoire, their forte, and it is not a big surprise that Disney keeps on doing these for the past several decades.

Disney is back to their old yet effective formula. The Queen, Princess and Prince charming formula but this time, they mix a musical ingredient for their film, Frozen. It is a story of two sisters, Queen Elsa and Princess Anna and while they became orphan at such a young age, they have to stick with each other through tough times including Elsa’s power (or curse) which is similar to King Midas but instead of gold, Elsa’s power can turn anything into ice and change the climate from summer to winter.

These two sisters were close when they were kids but an incident happened when young Elsa accidentally hit her younger sister, Anna with her ice power that almost killed her. Anna knew all along about Elsa’s power but after this said incident, their parents had to approach a group of stone trolls to heal Anna and erase her memory of knowing Elsa’s curse.

Their parents had to separate them with each other, lock Elsa into her room, close all the doors and windows of the castle so her power (or curse) will stay secret but after their parents death, Elsa, being the eldest have to reclaim the throne and pronounced as the Queen of Kingdom of Arendelle.

So enough with the story, let’s proceed with the review.

Frozen is a blessing to Disney fans who grew up watching “Beauty and the Beast”, “Snow White” and “Cinderella” because I know that they are longing for a Disney animation that involves her majesty and love but in this film, the princess loving her prince charming is not the only kind of love that you’ll see because it also shows how Anna loves her sister, Elsa even though she has this unique power that she is willing to sacrifice her own life just to save her sister. A “sisterly-love” I must say.

As for the character, Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell did a wonderful job on voice acting this character. You can easily feel her pity and love to her sister. From being a jolly princess to a hopeless romantic young lady, Kristen Bell did a superb job on voicing Anna. Forget her character Sarah Marshall and her film “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” because you can easily say that this character and this film is one of her finest works not just her voice acting but also her musical voice.

On the other hand, Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel also did a great job on this film. Her character is my favorite among these two sisters because you wouldn’t know is she’s a protagonist or the antagonist of this film. Her character was drawn or animated perfectly that you can see in her eyes the angst for her curse that she’s willing to do anything just to be alone and be free. Given that this film is also a musical film, Idina Menzel’s performance of “Let It Go” is indeed the most memorable and touching scene of the film. Her musical prowess gave life to the song and the animation team of Disney did a great job on backing up this beautiful song with a fascinating scene.

Some say that this film’s success in the box office were because of Josh Gad’s character, Olaf, a funny snowman he came into life because of Elsa and Anna and what makes this character unique? He is a snowman and he has a fascination of Summer. How odd is that?

While Olaf is indeed a lovable character of this film, my favorite minor character of this film is Sven, the reindeer of Kristoff. Sven is not your typical reindeer wherein he’s gonna pull the jolly old man’s sleigh but he serves as the bestfriend and companion of Kristoff and thanks to him, Anna was saved from being frosted as he drag Kristoff to go back to castle and save Anna. He even saved his best buddy from the pack of wolves when they are on the look for Elsa. Kristoff’s character, voiced by Jonathan Groff is not a push over because he is not your typical prince charming because he is a mountain man, a simple guy who’s business is to gather ice. Rock trolls even described him as a blonde smelly guy but you know what they say, love conquers all.

Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee also made an outstanding job directing this musical-animated film as they captured every moment and emotion of every character and they blended the acting and musical perfectly. Great script, great lyrics, great musical animated film, that is Frozen for you.

Film Review: Pitch Perfect (2012)

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Almost all movie lovers and music fans saw this movie even before it hit Philippine cinemas. Miracle of internet world isn’t it? Some people call it Glee copycat, some say it’s a mature version of High School Musical and some, since they are a lot of mash up songs in this movie, call it a mash up of Glee and High School Musical but I don’t get it, why compare this to Glee and High School Musical?

First, lame reason, Pitch Perfect’s setting is in college, meaning, they are college students competing with other college students and in college tournament and next, they are singing acapella unlike in Glee wherein they sing cover songs from famous artists and doing it their own way and High School Musical singing their own Disney songs and lastly,

Pitch Perfect is way much better than Glee and High School Musical. I’ve seen the first season of Glee and 1st episode of its second season because of Charice Pempengco and after that, I stopped watching it because of the lame story and High School Musical? Haven’t seen one and don’t have plans on watching it.

Let’s go back with Pitch Perfect, it’s a story of Becca, played by Anna Kendrick, an aspiring DJ and producer who went to college because of her Dad’s request and while she ignore the people around her and made an intern to college radio station because of her love of music, she was discovered by one of the members of The Barden Bellas, an all female acapella group of Barden University, and she decided to audition and successfully made here way to The Bellas.

Here, she made friends and enemies within the group including their leader, Aubrey Posen, played by Anna Camp, as Becca wants to change the old style of The Bellas and make it a mash up style acapella. She also met her so-called boyfriend here, Jesses, played by Skylar Astin, who is part of The Bellas number 1 enemy and competitor, the all male acapella group, The TrebleMaker, the number 1 acapella group in the country until they were beaten by The Barden Bellas at the end of the movie.

All I can say that the story of this film is a typical college musical flick but the songs are just amazing. Song selection is very crucial in every musical movie but Pitch Perfect did a great job in doing it, mixing some old songs and new songs and combining different genres to make a perfect mash up acapella songs. It is nice to see that the movie is also paying homage to classic movies such as Breakfast Club and Star Wars. I think that this is the perfect recipe to make your movie successful and also to attract not-so-young viewers to watch this film.

Character selection is also important in every musical movie because you are not just looking for a great singer, but also you need to find good actors and actresses who can portray the role perfectly. Fat Amy, played by Rebel Wilson, got every critique’s attention because of her perfect portrayal into this film, good vocal singing and she added humor into this film.

Let’s say that this movie and her character as Fat Amy is her breakout role. This is a musical comedy right? Well, Fat Amy made this movie fall under the musical comedy genre, but it’s not just Fat Amy who played perfectly into this film but also other stars like Ester Dean and Skylar Astin. Yes, Ester Dean, known for her Hip Hop and RnB genre plays college student/acapella singer here and she revealed her true musical voice here.

We all heard her in the radio singing some Rap and RnB songs but here, she sings perfectly and portrayed the character of a tomboy who has a gambling problem and making joining The Barden Bella group as her outlet very well. Skylar Astin who plays Jesse, Becca’s partner did a great job as well. Making his boy-next-door look and manly voice wave throughout the movie. He is part of The Treble Maker, the sort of an antagonist group of this movie but you will never hate his character even though he belongs to the most hated acapella group in this film.

Other side notes:

David Guetta’s Titanium mash up with an Indian-like song – there’s a scene in the movie where Becca, doing her DJ like thing in her laptop and mixing David Guetta’s Titanium to the Indian/Bollywood style music which is kinda irritating because the music or what DJ’s want to call it, BPM, doesn’t even match.

Becca’s audition song – when acapella groups from Barden University is searching for new members of their group, they selected the song “Since you’ve been gone” by Kelly Clarkson and all aspiring acapella students who auditioned performed this song except for Becca. One, because she’s late and second, she’s the main star of this film and she can choose whatever song she wants but I’m not complaining because her audition song is perfect, pitch perfect to make it suitable for this movie. She used a plastic cap as an improvised instrument for her acapella song and that said song even made it to the play list of some radio stations here in the Philippines. The song by the way is “You’re gonna miss me” by Lulu and the Lampshades.

Vader is not father in German – in the movie, Jesse is introducing some classic movies to Becca and giving her a “movie-cation”, that’s movie and education mash up and Becca said that Star Wars is predictable because Vader is a German word for father and obviously, Darth Vader is Darth Father in German which is actually wrong because father in German is actually Vater and Vader is a Dutch word meaning father so she should actually said that Vader in DUTCH is Father, not German.

The gay fat guy host of the “rip-off” – there’s a spontaneous acapella battle in this movie called “rip-off” wherein they have to sing songs based on category and when the rip off is on going and hosted a by this fat gay person, Justin, he described one of the members of the acapella group, High Notes, as “the negative side effects of medical marijuana”, well, that gay fat guy Justin looks like he’s the one who is smoking marijuana because he looks like he’s been eating all the munchies and the member of the group High Notes doesn’t look like a pot smoker but instead, she looks like a bum who just joined an acapella group.

Old man looking like a pornstar – after The Treble Maker won the regional tournament, they run into old and seasoned acapella group singing in the lobby and one of its members look like the pornstar, Ron Jeremy. LOL!

Pitch Perfect 2 + McLovin’ – Christopher Mintz-Plasse also famously known as McLovin’, played a small role in Pitch Perfect and there’s a news that the sequel Pitch Perfect 2 is on the works and I just hope that Christopher Mintz-Plasse will have more role into this sequel and unleash his McLovin’ persona into this sequel.

Overall, this movie is great even though it has a common story. The characters and songs are pitch perfect and I’m sure that many people watched this film more than once, downloaded/buy the songs used into this movie and got LSS’d (Last Song Syndrome) from the song “Don’t you forget about me” by Simple Minds and even watched the 80′s classic, Breakfast Club.

Film Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshalls (2008)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a story of Peter Bretter played by How I Met Your Mother star, Jason Segel, having a very popular TV actress girlfriend, Sarah Marshall, played by Veronica Mars star, Kristen Bell, and after a 5 year relationship, she dump Peter.

As Peter became devastated and depressed with this break up, he run to his step-brother, Brian Bretter, played by Bill Hader, for help as he is breaking down, partying all night, drinking and meeting and having sex with strangers almost every night. Brian suggested to stop this foolishness and have a vacation in Hawaii. As Peter travel to the wonderful island of Hawaii, he accidentally checked in the same hotel with his ex-girlfriend, with her new boyfriend, Aldous Snow, played by Russell Brand and Peter met and fell in love with the hotel receptionist, Rachel Jansen, played by Mila Kunis and here is the story goes on, gets long and become boring.

The genre of this film is romantic-”comedy” however, I don’t remember myself laughing to this film. Oh well, we have a new definition and new level of comedy films these days but still, it doesn’t fall into the category of a “feel good” movie”. I don’t know if this is the prequel of Get Him To The Greek because they have the same director (Nicolas Stoller) and writer (Jason Segel). Jonah Hill is also included into this movie but not as a record producer gopher, but a restaurant waiter who’s a big fan of Aldous Snow.

The plot of the film is a typical romantic comedy set up wherein a man is depressed because of his break up, goes to Hawaii, met someone who changed his life and lived happily ever after. The Peter-Rachel tandem is supposed to be the main love story of the film as it should be the main reason to forget Sarah Marshall but the movie didn’t focused on this love story but instead, wasted some time to show a depressed Peter, his struggles on his vacation in Hawaii while seeing hi ex girlfriend dating a very famous rockstar and the annoying crying of Peter, video call with his step brother, Brian and the love story of other star of the film, Darald and Wyoma, played by Jack MacBrayer and Maria Thayer, respectively.

Nudity is also a factor in this movie a Jason Segel did a full frontal nudity, showing off his penis, not once, but twice. One in the early part of the film and the second one is on the last part of the film. Mila Kunis also showed her breasts in the movie through a picture hanging in the wall of the male’s restroom in a bar. I don’t if some people find it funny but for me, I don’t, except of course Mila Kunis nude picture, man, she’s hot but they just wasted their dignity and let the whole world see their private parts just for this boring movie. I can’t imagine how Kristen Bell’s reaction during the filming of this movie, while seating beside a fully naked Jason Segel and Mila Kuniss reaction while kissing a fully naked Jason Segel with his penis rubbing her pants.

On the positive note of the film, the actor and actresses selection is perfect. I just love how Kristen Bell portray her role as Sarah Marshall and Russell Brand justified his role as a playboy rockstar, Aldous Snow. Well, I don’t think he doesn’t need to act or even practice to play that role because he’s a real life playboy rockstar. Jason Segel’s acting reminds me of his character in How I Met Your Mother but he did a great job on playing a hopeless romantic middle aged man here. Mila Kunis’ acting is a mediocre one but who needs a lot of acting talent if you’re just playing as a hotel receptionist by day and a cool chick by night? It’s like they’ve gather some actors and actresses from different TV shows and put it here in this movie – Segel (How I Met Your Mother, Bell (Veronica Mars), Kunis (That 70′s Show) and MacBrayer (30 Rock).

Overall, this movie isn’t worth it. It’s lame and it’s not funny. The movie is too long also and there are some scenes that the director or editor should have deleted because it doesn’t really affect the storyline. I honestly find myself checking my phone, playing some games and waiting for the film to finish as this one is a “sleeper”.