Posts Tagged ‘movie’

The Troll’s Opinion – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Okay, first of all: Spoiler Alert! This review is full of descriptions of important parts of the movie, so if you haven’t seen it yet, and don’t want to mess up your own experience, do yourself a favor and do not read this. You have been warned.

I admit that I am a person who really believes the hype, unlike what a certain rap song tries to tell me. But when I saw the first teaser for Transformers 2, or Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I was sold. And after my big brother teased me even more by going to the premiere of the movie in the US, I just had to see it too. So, I grabbed my buddy Daniel, and we went to the movies.

So, in case you can’t be bothered with reading this whole review, let me sum it up for you in the words of the Nostalgia Critic: adequately satisfying. Starting off very good, the film had its moments of random, forced humor and stupid scenes that just didn’t contribute to the movie. So, how did it go, Aki?

Well, as I said, the movie starts off extremely well, showing us how the Autobots that remained on Earth work together with a special military unit called NEST to seek and destroy remaining Decepticons. During an operation in Shanghai, the Autobots and their organic buddies blow up half of the city, and the American government is anything but pleased. Arguing that the Autobots will just draw more Decepticons to Earth, a representative of the President demands them to leave, so that Earth will not become the battlefield for an alien vendetta. Optimus Prime, still being voiced by the awesome Peter Cullen, understands the fear of the humans, but knows that the recent growth of Decepticon activity has a completely different reason, namely the return of the so-called “Fallen”… (insert dramatic music here).

Meanwhile, our protagonist Samuel Witwicky (Shia LeBouef) prepares for leaving to his college in Europe (by the looks of it, I guess he’s studying in Britain). While calling his girlfriend Mikaela (Megan “Hot Piece of Booty” Fox), he discovers a sliver of the Allspark in one of his old, torn-up sweaters. As Sam touches the shard, he is infused with the knowledge of weird, alien symbols, and turns into a complete mindfuck in the coming days. The height of his possession comes during his first astronomy class, and afterwards he paints the walls of his dorm full with the cryptic signs. This seems to draw the attention of a hot co-ed, who turns out to be A FREAKING DECEPTICON! Since when do Transformers take the form of a human?

Oh well, it all turns awesome when the Decepticons start to hunt Sam because of his knowledge, which seems to be the travelling guide to some kind of Sun-sucking machine, which turns the energy of stars into pure Energon, the lifeforce of every Cybertronian. However, the Autobots know what it means when the Decepticons, now clearly lead by the enigmatic Fallen, would blast out the sun: not only would the entire human race be doomed, but the Decepticons would have enough Energon to raise a whole army, even without the Allspark. A thrilling race against time starts, full of explosions, epic battles, a bit of romance and the death of Optimus Prime.

Who-whoa-whoa-what?! Optimus freaking Prime dies? No worries, crying fanboys, he is resurrected, but I was kinda shocked when he was stabbed to death by Megatron (who’s voiced again by Elro…ehh, Mr. Smi…ehh, Hugo Weaving). Even though this is a good twist, I can’t help it but feeling like this movie could have been so much more…

Of course, it had some really awesome stuff. For example, Jetfire is one of the coolest Transformers I have ever seen: old, senile and relying on a walking stick / battleaxe to walk around. Everytime he talked, I had to think of all those Vietnam veterans telling their cruel war stories. Jetfire is even so old, that his transformation looks clunky and anything but smooth! Also, the special effects and combat scenes are off the chain. Just like in the first movie, the fights between gigantic robots, with little human soldiers crawling beneath them look unbelievable epic and awesome. And last but not least, there’s not just one very pretty lady in this flick, but two (even though the second turns out to be some brain-eating killer machine)!

Still, this movie is flawed in several ways, suffering clearly of Sequelilitis. Some of the dialogue just feels crappy and rather weird, and the kid-friendly characters like the twins Mudflap and Skids started to annoy me the second they were introduced. Furthermore, the ending is anything but satisfying, turning Optimus Prime into Ultra Optimus Prime and having him one-shot the Big Bad Evil Guy a.k.a. The Fallen. The directors could have really extened that fight, just to give the viewers a satisfying ending. Believe me, I left the cinema with very mixed feelings.

However, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is not a bad movie, it’s just not as good as its predecessor. The whole movie just doesn’t feel as epic, dramatic and cool, and just lacks the genuine “kick” of the first one. Still, this movie offers enough to be worth its money: it is a firework of special effects, large-scale combat and even a bit of romance and family drama. It’s not a movie for everyone, but most surely one for us guys who just love to pop open a beer, lean back and enjoy the show. Autobots, transform and roll out!

Signed,

Aki

The Troll’s Opinion – Star Trek

Wow, this movie was terribly…average. Gosh, what a letdown for my €7,50.

Now now, dear Trekkies, you would love to know what makes the Troll so sad about the new Star Trek movie? Honestly, I don’t know. This movie just doesn’t feel like Star Trek, no, it feels like what a fanfiction author would do with the franchise if you would give him a few millions and tell him to make a movie high on special effects about his personally written alternative storylines. That kinda brings it to the point.

Everything about this movie is average. The actors? Average, even though I have to admit that they made quite some cool choices for the key characters like Spock and Uhura (Zoe Saldana might be a bit skinny, but makes a very delicious xenolinguist). Also, I liked the way Chekov and Scotty acted in this movie. But what for the love of William Shattner got them to cast Chris Pine as the young James Tiberius Kirk? No matter what he does, he looks like a high-school dropout who tries to act all tough and bulky. Oh, what do you say? That’s his role in this movie? Sad, very, very sad. And oh so average…

You might think the story can save it? WRONG! Again, we meet an average two-dimensional bad guy (played by Eric Bana, known from his protagonist part in the “Hulk”), who has an average plan full of vengeance and hatred, and who has a lame and average Doomsday Device. My dear J.J. Abrams, did YOU write the script? Because, you know….did you lose all your awesomeness in the writing process for the twenty-fifth season of Lost? Are you sparing your energies for a totally awesome sequeal to Cloverfield? Or are you just kidding us? Really, get something different than [SPOILER ALERT!] frickin’ time-travelling!

So, that’s two points for Team Average. What could save this movie? Right, the special effects! I would be lying if I said that they sucked, because they were more than awesome. Gene Roddenberry would be kinda proud of what we can do with his franchise nowadays, and I guess he would have loved to be a part of the creation of these space battles. Still, I somehow have a hate for that extremely sterile look of the Enterprise, which causes a very interesting contrast with the ride of our two-dimensional big bad evil guy, however.

But still, some flashy effects do not make a movie awesome. When the credits started rolling, I said in my seat and had a very strong feeling of: “Mehh”. Is this all we can get out of such an awesome world and setting nowadays? Do we really have to resort to the most cheapest of storylines, with some not-so-awesome actors? I expected more of the revival of this brand, and thus, I feel very, very, let down. And I hoped that this movie was enough to get my brother into the Trekkie-camp. You have failed me, Abrams!

And thus, this movie get’s no more than 2 out of 5 “Fascinating”-remarks from me. I’m sorry Leonard Nimoy, but even your presence couldn’t save this movie.

Signed,

Aki

Is God nothing but a particle?

So, last night I went out with Daniel and Britt to see Angels & Demons, the wide-screen version of the famous novel by Dan Brown. Even though many of my friends warned me, and told me to rather see something else a bit more nerdy, I was more than pleased. The pace of the movie is fast, and doesn’t leave you bored in your seat while also learning something about Catholic history (including some semi-true stuff).

The movie got me thinking however, because of that one part where science and religion are compared to being just two different languages describing the same thing, and how they can co-exist. I’m wondering…is that truly possible? Can two completely different things co-exist, or even merge into one single being, a kind of belief in Divine Progress, or Holy Technology? Well, I think that such a thing is possible.

Let us look at the roots of modern science, and especially chemistry and physics: Ancient Greece. Way back, Greek philosophers tried to find explanations for why things work like they…well, work. One of the earliest concepts of chemistry, which would also be the foundation of the later created Alchemy, was born: the transmutation of different elements. Empedocles stated that all of creation was based on the four elements Fire, Water, Earth and Air. Later philosophers added an element that held these four together, named Aether. These elements could transform into each other, and be reborn as another one. This is not too different from modern-day chemistry, even though our modern periodic table of chemical elements contains 117, instead of just 4 (or 5) elements.

However, this view was not purely scientific. Philosophers used it as the foundation of their own belief, of their view on how the Gods worked their wonders on Earth. In addition, they saw their “science” as a way of mimicking these powers, and doing something of god-like proportions. In their ancient society, science and religion were not like two different polarities. No, they were more like two sides of the same coin.

However, in time, some philosophers became scientists, and others priests. The first group tried to understand the world in a more…empirical way. A way based on the perception of the world around us. The second group, however, put their faith into something that cannot be explained by scientific means or whatsoever. They started to believe that some things cannot be explained by pure observation and codification: some things were meant to be uncomprehendible by the human mind. And so, these once united spirits drifted apart.

And we all know how that ended: ideologies collided, people got mad about what other people said, some people got burned, others got exiled, and from time to time the occassional church got burned and university got blamed for creating anti-Christian academics. But imagine what we could have achieved if science and religion, no wait, science and FAITH would have combined their forces, and united the world on a whole new level?

Science is the tool that expresses mankind’s need to evolve, to strife for the next big thing. It is in science where a human can break the boundaries of his body and mind. Look at what our modern science can do: fight diseases on a molecular level, create power sources that are near infinite and bring humans into space. These things are wonderful and good, but people still need guidance. Is our path the right one? Will we find ascension at the end of the rocky road? In comes faith…

Faith is another tool, a tool used by humans to give them support in things they cannot completely comprehend. Science can create wonders, but some things are just not yet achievable. Faith can give the inner strength to those who need, to those who need a higher concept to guide them. See it as an outline, a rough blueprint you build your dreams and ideas on. A blueprint which can be the final spark of imagination needed to create the next scientific wonder…

So I ask you, die-hard scientists who deny the existence of all divinity, to look into yourself and witness how often you have asked yourself “Why?” and couldn’t find an answer in your quantum physics. You might find one in faith.

And I ask you, stubborn fanatic zealot, to drop your shield of belief and your monopoly on the truth. Look at what answers mankind has to all the questions your holy book or local preacher has. Just try to embrace them, and weave them into your “divine construct”.

Don’t worry lads. In the end, God will neither be an old man chilling on some cloud, nor will it be a single particle that is at the core of every atom. No, fellow readers, because in the end…science, faith and divinity is what you make out of it.

I wish you all a good night.

Signed,

Aki

The Hunt for Gollum

You want to know what kind of stuff you can do with about $3000? Well, you could go on a very expensive shopping spree, or get yourself a very, very nice second-hand car. But I know something even better: making one heck of an awesome Lord of the Rings fan movie.

Certainly the most entertaining 40 minutes of my Sunday afternoon.

Signed,

Aki

Guess the Movie!

Blantely stolen from Riona’s blog, I present you the Guess-the-movie game!

1. Pick 10 7 of your favourite movies.
2. Go to the IMDB (The international Movie database) and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. No Googling/using IMDb search functions, PLAY FAIR KIDS!!!

So, here we go!

“The video arcade is down the street. Here we just sell small rectangular objects. They’re called books. They require a little effort on your part, and make no bee-bee-bee-bee-beeps. On your way please.”

“Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!”

“Oh, you. You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptible, aren’t you? Huh? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.”

“Me? I’ve had so many names. Old names that only the wind and the trees can pronounce. I am the mountain, the forest and the earth. I am… I am a faun. Your most humble servant, Your Highness.”

“I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne. Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky…”

“Sam, wait! No matter what happens, I’m really glad I got in that car with you.”

“None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with you. You’re locked up in here with me.”

Have fun guessing!

Signed,

Aki

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Yeah, better grab your Latin dictionary to translate THAT title!

Like about a gazillion other nerds out there, I finally saw the movie version of Watchmen!

Nooo, not those! Give me the other Watchmen!

Ahh yes, that’s it! So, Aki, how was the movie?

Well, ehm. I have my Longman English dictionary right next to me, but I can’t find a word that describes my enthousiasm about this movie. So, I will make one up: Brilifrickinglicious! There, I improved the English vocabulary.

What, you never heard about Watchmen, one of the milestones in comic book history? Alright, let me bring you up to speed. Watchmen is a story set in an alternative 1985. President Nixon just won the elections for the third time, and the Doomsday Clock is actually a real device. Tensions between America and the Soviet Union are running extremely high, and amidst all this political trouble, we find heroes. Superheroes. Even better: masked Superheroes. However, since a serious uprising amongst the American citizens, masked vigilantes have been outlawed, and the former Watchmen try their best to return to a “normal” life.

All that changes when one of these former guardians of society, known as “the Comedian” is murdered. Rorschach, also a former Watchman with a very cool mask, warns his allies, and starts to investigate. Is somebody trying to kill all masked superheroes? Or is this something even worse? You should find out yourself…

The plot and the characters are what makes Watchmen an unbelievable cool movie. Through many flashbacks you learn about the backgrounds of very characteristic personas like Laurie a.k.a. Silk Spectre, or Jon a.k.a. Dr. Manhatten. Also, the alternative history presented in this movie and comicbook is a great appeal, and makes everyone clear what COULD have happened during the Cold War (well, except for gigantic blue energetic creatures helping the US in ‘Nam).

However, you should NOT see this movie if:

  • You hate spandex costumes
  • You hate movies longer than 90 minutes
  • You are allergic to philosophy or deep thinking in general
  • You are just a dick and hate commercial movies

Everyone else should make sure to not miss this baby. Fasten your seatbelts, you will be in for one wild ride!

Signed,

Aki