Archived Reviews

Movie Reviews

Water for Elephants Movie PosterWater for Elephants is an adaptation of a bestselling novel of the same name. I suspect that it's a much more enjoyable film if you've read the book. I haven't, so I found this production a little flat.

This is a pure romance centred around Jacob (Robert Pattinson) and Marlena (Reese Witherspoon). The story starts with Jacob as a senior, reminiscing about his circus life. We flash back to the young Jacob, who is a veterinary student. Just as he begins to write his final exam at Cornell, he is pulled away and informed that his parents have been killed in a car crash. Shortly thereafter he discovers that his parents have gone into considerable debt to fund his education, and that as a result he is now both unqualified and broke in the middle of the Great Depression.

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Rio (2011) movie PosterRio is an animated feature with a coherent, entertaining, and finely crafted story line. That alone shouldn't be enough to make a film noteworthy, but in comparison to other recent releases it most certainly is.

Fortunately Rio has more going for it than merely rising above a bar suitable for limbo dancing. Writer/director Carlos Saldanha has made a film that manages to tell a good story, paints a wonderful portrait of his native Rio de Janeiro, conveys the colour and spirit of Rio's carnival, and delivers a serious environmental message in the most subtle way possible.

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hop (2011) PosterSpoiler alert. I'm going to reveal key plot details here. But keep reading, because if this review does it's job, you won't be watching this movie any time soon. Not that I feel particularly guilty. The opening sequence gives away the end in hopes of piquing our curiosity with the story. It's a false hope.

Hop has two central characters. E.B. (voiced by Russel Brand), an animated rabbit who is next in a long line of Easter Bunnies; and Fred O'Hare (James Marsden), a Failure to Launch twenty something who gets a parental eviction from his family home. E.B Lives on Easter Island, which sits on top of a cavernous chocolate production facility. Our first clue to the rot within this work comes with E.B., who appears to have an Australian accent. Easter Island -- a Chilean territory since 1888 -- lists Spanish and Rapa Nu as official languages, so we're left to conclude that the creators of Hop picked the closest white, non-American culture as a matter of convenience.

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Note: This is what started it all. I wrote the bulk of this up as quick review for a friend who reviews movies. she liked it so much that she convinced me I should do more. So I dressed it up with a few details and have posted it here for posterity. If I had written it for publication, it would have been a little less choppy, but what the heck.

 


 

Paul is a generally entertaining film, but it's confused.

Directed by Greg Molotta, written by and staring Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, the IMDB synopsis for this film is “Two British comic book geeks travelling across the U.S. encounter an alien outside Area 51”. Pretty much sums it up.

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Ideas

Ideas are cheap. It's implementing ideas that's difficult. I have more ideas than I could ever implement, so I'm going to start recording them here in hopes that someone thinks the idea is good enough to implement.  

Photography

I used to be a pretty decent photographer. Now I mostly take snapshots. I'm going to inflict some of them upon you.  

Art & Architecture

I've dabbled in many forms of art. Ray-traced digital art, writing, drawing, architecture, even paint on canvas. Some of it can be good. Most of it reflects the small amount of practice I have put into it. I'm now sharing most of it. The grossly incomplete and embarrassing bits are the only significant omissions.