Movie Monday: Shanghai Noon

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering a movie that I had some real trouble remembering the name of. It’s Shanghai Noon!

Plot Synopsis:In 1881, Chon Wang (pronounced as John Wayne) is a Chinese Imperial Guard in the Forbidden City. After Princess Pei-Pei (Liu) for whom Wang has affection, is abducted and taken to the United States, the Emperor of China sends three of his guards along with the Royal Interpreter to retrieve her. Wang is not one of the three, but he tells the Captain of the Imperial Guards that it was his fault the princess was kidnapped and insists on joining them. The Captain first refuses, but when the Royal Interpreter, Wang’s uncle, offers to allow Wang to come help with the baggage, the Captain agrees in the hopes that the “foreign devils” would get rid of Wang. In Nevada, Roy O’Bannon is an outlaw who, with his gang, hijacks the train Wang is on. When Wallace, a new member of Roy’s gang, kills Wang’s uncle, Wang chases the outlaws down.

Plot: The plot is nothing amazing, but pretty fun to watch with plenty of martial arts scenes mixed in with the classic western shootouts.

Casting: The cast is awesome, with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson in the lead roles. They are both hilarious. The rest of the cast is just as great, but really don’t get nearly as much attention as the two lead stars.

Cinematography: The production is awesome, with some amazing martial arts sequences that are quite a lot of fun to watch, in addition to the western shootouts. There aren’t a ton of special effects used, but those that are, are done fairly well.

Overall: A fun movie to watch, but don’t expect an amazing story.

For those who like: Westerns, Martial Arts, Comedy, Action, Adventure, Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but how can you hate all that?

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Movie Monday: My Cousin Vinny

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering one of the great classics. It’s My Cousin Vinny!

Plot Synopsis: Driving through Alabama in their 1964 Buick Skylark convertible, Billy Gambini and Stan Rothenstein, college students from New York who just got scholarships to UCLA, shop at a convenience store and accidentally shoplift a can of tuna. After they leave, the store clerk is robbed and killed, and Billy and Stan are arrested for the murder. Due to circumstantial evidence and a confession to the shoplifting that is misconstrued as one to the shooting, Billy is charged with murder, and Stan as an accessory. Billy’s mother reminds him there is an attorney in the family: his cousin Vinny. Vincent LaGuardia Gambini travels there, accompanied by his fiancée, Mona Lisa Vito. Although he is willing to take the case, Vinny is a personal injury lawyer from Brooklyn, newly admitted to the bar, and with no trial experience…

Plot: The plot of this movie is great, and actually incredibly accurate in regards to the American judicial system. While not a super successful movie in the box office it’s still earned quite a cult following and is probably one of my favorite non-Mel Brooks films. I won’t spoil the plot, and you should read that article I’ve linked above only after watching the movie if you have yet to do so.

Casting: The entire cast is amazing, including the late Fred Gwynne’s final movie appearance. Personally my favorite is Vinny played by the great Joe Pesci, even if his New Yorker’s accent is highly foreign to my ears, it’s still great. But seriously the entire cast is awesome.

Cinematography: This wasn’t a film for special effects, but nonetheless it still is an awesome movie.

Musical Score: I sadly don’t remember much of it, but what I do remember is it being very appropriate for the film.

Overall: If you’ve never seen My Cousin Vinny, you definitely should watch it. It’s one of the greatest movies of all time and definitely worth the couple hours to watch it.

For those who like: Legal Movies, Comedy, Topical Accuracy, Amazing Plot, Fantastic Casting.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

 

Movie Monday: Hancock

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering an often forgotten film. It’s Hancock!

Plot Synopsis: John Hancock is an alcoholic American who possesses superpowers, including flight, invulnerability, and superhuman strength. Whilst performing superhero-like acts in Los Angeles, he is often ridiculed and hated by the public for his drunken and careless acts, and becomes enraged when referred to as an “asshole”. Hancock rescues Ray Embrey, a public relations specialist, from an oncoming train, which he irrationally derails to save Ray. Thankful and seeing him as a career opportunity, Ray offers to help improve Hancock’s public image…

Plot: The plot is pretty okay for the first half, but after that it gets completely ruined. Honestly the only noteworthy things about this movie isn’t the plot, which is why it’s such a poorly rated film and often forgotten.

Casting: The casting is okay, with Will Smith as John Hancock being our star and titular character. That being said the rest of the cast is only okay, so it definitely didn’t help the ratings or memorability.

Cinematography: This is probably the sole redeeming feature of this movie, but even that wasn’t enough to save the film from being completely terrible in most peoples mind.

Music: I don’t remember much, except for a particular song that plays which I never found entertaining personally.

Overall: Skip this, otherwise you’ll be wanting some brain bleach to wipe this from your memory.

For those who like: Comedy AND Drama, Superheroes, Will Smith, Decent Cinematography.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Movie Monday: Kara no Kyoukai Murder Speculation Part 01

This week for Movie Monday I’m back with the second chapter in the story of Ryougi Shiki. It’s Kara no Kyoukai: Murder Speculation Part 01!

Plot Synopsis: January 1995, Kokutou Mikiya meets Ryougi Shiki for the first time while she’s in a white kimono during a snowing day. Later that year, at the high school freshmen ceremony, Mikiya sees Shiki in the crowd and chases after her, introducing himself to her. That night, Shiki stumbles onto a fresh corpse of someone killed in a traffic accident, the blood still flowing…

Plot: This is not at all like the first movie, Overlooking View, and is much closer to a traditional Murder Mystery series that you’d see on TV. That isn’t to say it’s bad, because it absolutely isn’t and this is a really important part of Shiki’s story, but the backwards leap in the timeline is going to cause some jarring at first. But if you want a bunch of supernatural stuff to go on in this entry of the series, you may be disappointed.

Characters: We get to see Mikiya and Shiki’s first meeting, as well as their first introduction to each other as they both enter high school. We also get to meet Mikiya’s friend Gakuto and his cousin Daisuke. That being said Shiki and Mikiya are the focus of this chapter.

Art: The art is as always excellent given that it’s animated by my favorite and most respected studio ufotable.

Music: Again like the artwork the musical score is excellent given that it’s done by the almost legendary Kajiura Yuki.

Overall: A solid entry in this series. Well worth watching if you enjoyed Overlooking View.

Movie Monday: Gattaca

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering what some consider a cult classic Sci-Fi movie. It’s Gattaca!

Plot Synopsis: In “the not-too-distant future”, eugenics is common. A genetic registry database uses biometrics to classify those so created as “valids” while those conceived by traditional means and more susceptible to genetic disorders are known as “in-valids”. Genetic discrimination is illegal, but in practice genotype profiling is used to identify valids to qualify for professional employment while in-valids are relegated to menial jobs. Vincent Freeman is conceived without the aid of genetic selection; his genetics indicate a high probability of several disorders and an estimated life span of 30.2 years. His parents, regretting their decision, use genetic selection to give birth to their next child, Anton…

Plot: This is way too Dystopian for my tastes, and even though my roommate said it was an amazing movie, I just didn’t enjoy it. I don’t like Dystopian stories in general and this is no exception. The story isn’t bad, per se, but I just don’t like it. Sorry folks if you love this movie, but for me it’s one I’d rather forget, and now that I’ve written this post if I never remember it again I’ll be okay with that.

Characters: The cast is good, but it’s also not super amazing. Uma Thurman is our female lead and probably one of the more noteworthy actors, but nevertheless no matter how star filled this might have been, it doesn’t make up for the fact I don’t like this movie.

Cinematography: It’s okay, but not really super amazing either. If you’re expecting Star Wars level special effects, you’re going to be disappointed.

Music: I don’t remember it at all pretty much, but one thing I do remember is thinking that it was just as depressing as the story. Take that as you will.

Overall: Apparently people love this movie, personally I hated it.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Dystopias, Drama.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

 

Movie Monday: Kara no Kyoukai Overlooking View

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering the first in a seven part series of movies covering one of the Nasuverse’s greatest stories. It’s Kara no Kyoukai, or the Garden of Sinners, Overlooking View!

Plot Synopsis: September 1998, Mikiya Kokutō brings over some ice cream while visiting Shiki, but Shiki is not happy to see him and says that she does not like ice cream so she decides not to eat it. Later at Garan no Dou, Shiki and Touko discuss the recent spate of unusual suicide incidents where several high school girls fell to their death, but left no suicide note and had apparently no reason to commit suicide. Tōko concludes that the girls did not intend to die. At night, Shiki visits the deserted part of town containing the Fujō buildings which have now fallen into disrepair and are about to be demolished, and while there stumbles upon the body of newest victim….

Plot: This is the first in a series of movies that are an adaptation of a novel by Kinoko Nasu. That being said if you get confused at first, just keep watching. It’ll make sense in the end.

Characters: Shiki is probably one of my favorite female characters of all time, and not just because she’s a badass. However my particular reason is pretty spoilerific and I’ll leave that for you to figure out. Though those who know me might be able guess after watching all the movies. However the entire cast is great, although fairly small for this first movie.

Artwork: This was animated by ufotable, so you should expect amazing visuals. Overlooking View doesn’t disappoint at all in that regard.

Music: The music is also pretty damn amazing, being done by Kajiura Yuki who is a legend in the Anime business.

Overall: Definitely a must watch for those who enjoy any type of mystery series. That being said, it’s not for kids at all.

For those who like: Mystery, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Nasuverse, Action, Drama, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Masterwork Animation, Excellent Musical Scores.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Movie Monday: The Producers

This week for Movie Monday I’m back with another of my favorites. It’s The Producers!

Plot Synopsis:The once-great Max Bialystock had once been the toast of Broadway, but now he has been reduced to a washed-up, aging, fraudulent, corruptible, and greedy Broadway producer who barely ekes out a hand-to-mouth existence romancing lascivious, wealthy elderly women (“angels” in theatrical terms) in exchange for money for his next play. Accountant Leopold “Leo” Bloom, a young man who is highly nervous and prone to hysterics, arrives at Max’s office to do his books and discovers a $2,000 discrepancy in the accounts of Max’s last play. Max persuades Leo to hide the relatively minor fraud, and while shuffling numbers, Leo has a revelation: a producer could make a lot more money with a flop than a hit by overselling shares in the production, because no one will audit the books of a play presumed to have lost money….

Plot: This is a freaking hilarious movie, and frankly one of Mel Brooks, because of course it’s from his genius mind, best productions. In fact it was so successful that Brooks actually went to Broadway with it and was a huge success. There is a remake, and while it’s good, it’s not the one I’m covering today. This is full of laughs, fun times, and more laughter. My favorite part might just be the opening of the play. You’ll see why when you watch it if you haven’t seen this already. If you have, you know what I’m talking about. “Winter for Poland and France”

Characters: All of the cast is awesome, but the fact that Gene Wilder is in it is just icing on the cake. However my favorite character has to be Lorenzo St. DuBois.

Cinematography: There isn’t any really fancy with this, mostly because it doesn’t need it. That being said it was still fun.

Music: Perfect. In fact I think I’ll go listen to that opening song of the play after I finish writing this post.

Overall: If you’ve never seen this movie, or the remake, you absolutely need to do so.

For those who like: Mel Brooks, Laughter, Satires, Broadway, Uncontrollable Laughter, Fantastic Plot, Excellent Cast.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but how can you hate all that?