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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Movie Review - Epic

Movie Title
Epic
Year
2013
Genre
Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
Story
This movie is an adaptation of a children's book by William Joyce called The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. The production studio is also the same one that produced the Ice Age franchise.

Viewers are introduced to teenager Mary Kate (Amanda Seyfried) or MK as she prefers, moves in with her estranged dad Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) who has sequestered himself in a forest looking for proof of the existence of minute forest beings known as Leafmen.

The Leafmen protect the forest from Boggans - evil creatures led by the ruthless Mandrake (Christoph Waltz), whose sole purpose was to destroy all life, starting with the Leafmen.

Young Leafman, Nod (Josh Hutcherson) quits his soldier role, disappointing his leader and loyal friend of his dead father, Ronin (Colin Farrell).

Every 100 years, the forest queen, Queen Tara (Beyonc√© Knowles), must choose a new successor to the throne from the forest's plant pods but is killed by Boggan leader Mandrake during the ceremony. In her dying moments, Queen Tara uses her magic to bring MK into the tiny world of the Leafmen, knowing that she will play a pivotal role in the establishment of the new forest queen. 

Now, because the Queen is dead and the chosen pod had been captured by the Boggans, hence, the Leafmen must now rescue the pod and ensure that the pod survives until the full moon at a specified location
so that a new forest queen will be born.
Acting
Well, the absent-minded Prof Bomba and the rebellious and supposedly strong-willed MK & Nod are are cliched stereo-types and their portrayal did annoy me to some degree. However, it was tolerable enough that they didn't really detract me from the enjoyment of the movie.

The most recognizable of the voices for me would be Queen Tara voiced by Beyoncé and her time the movie was short-lived (sorry, no pun intended).
Overall
While watching the movie, to most it may seem pretty original but it reminded me of another Animated movie which was of a different class altogether - The Secret World of Arrietty (from Studio Ghibli). It was also reminiscent of the Toy Line back from the '80s and also a Marvel Comic called the Micronauts (with a tagline "They came from Inner-Space."). Speaking of which I am gleefully awaiting a possible Micronauts movie by none other than JJ Abrams. Hopefully, it will  happen!
The concept is great and the execution was also very good but it somehow lacked a certain missing ingredient. Or perhaps the lead characters and a few of the supporting characters (like the pod's protectors - the Slug and Snail) were a little too annoying.
I must say that visually, this movie rates a 9.5/10. The characters are very well designed. I loved the armour and weaponry design of both the good guys, the birds, and also the bad guys. I am a little surprised that I have not seen the toys/merchandise from this movie as I think they look really good. Much better than a lot of the other toys out in the market today.
Well, I for one hope that there will be a sequel to this movie as I would definitely like to see more of these well-designed characters in the future. However, it doesn't quite hit the cult-following status of its peers like Ice Age, Shrek or Toy Story.

So, yes, I'd recommend this movie for a good time ad even a repeat watch if you don't have anything else better.

Rating: 6/10

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Movie Review (Not) - Thor the Dark World (aka Thor 2)

Posters of the upcoming & fast approaching Thor 2 movie, PLUS, some images of the main villain - Malekith the Accursed (or Malekith the Dark Elf). 1st introduced by Walt Simonson in his legendary* Thor run in issue 344 (see cover below) back in the 80s.  
* Legendary because it was Simonson's run starting from Thor issue 337, that introduced 1 of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe - Beta Ray Bill! Of course, there were other equally awesome stuff he did including turning Thor into a frog - yup, a frog (see cover below), introducing Kurse, plus allowing Thor to be so badly injured & broken that he needed a full body armour to stay alive.