Toon’s Review: Inception – 8/10

Apologies fans and vermin alike. It has been a long time but I am back, and so are the movies that are worth talking about. ‘Inception’ was written and directed by Christopher Nolan, a man who’s name will soon resonate as highly as Steven Spielberg’s. Rightfully so to be honest, this movie was by far the most invigorating and unique experience I have seen in a film since ‘Memento’. A movie, also by Nolan, that starts off at the end and goes backwards detailing the tragedy of a man suffering from short term memory loss. Watch it.

Your mind is the scene of the crime? Really, Mr. Marketing?

‘Inception’ starts off as an extremely awkward film, it is a film that exists in a universe where few select men have the ability to construct and traverse dreams. It wastes no time in forcing the audience to accept this reality, the parasite in me at first dulled and rejected the absurdness of it all. It was, rashly done, the start of the movie. More on this later. This movie, was not as complicated as it was made to be. In essence it’s rather rudimentary, but it was crafted with sublime deception.

Ignoring momentarily that the film starts with the end of the film. We follow the story of a man named Cobb ( Leonardo Di Caprio), an agent of sorts skilled in the trade of invading dreams and stealing thoughts. Applied in a bland industrial espionage scenario, the start of the movie sees Cobb and Arthur (his sidekick), invade the dreams of Saito (Ken Watanabe), a powerful executive. Saito, evidently aware of this attack on him by Cobb, retaliates in reality by offering Cobb the chance to redeem his life and return to his long lost family. I assume “long”, since this story had absolutely no sense of time, which was nicely done. Saito requests that instead of stealing thoughts, that Cobb plant a thought in the mind of a corporate rival Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy) to disband his corporation. Cobb, duly accepts the offer and begins to gather a team and hatch a plan to infiltrate the mind of Fischer. Here we see the fantastic cast of supporting roles come together and flesh out the movie with life and a purpose it was largely void of till then.

Ariadne (Ellen Page) and Cobb’s first moments on screen together were like a tutorial for the audience, one long over due on just what the fruitsicles was going on. Her character was pivotal in not only explaining the dream universe to the audience, but also acting as an instrument to delve in to the mind of our hero. Through her prying we got to the core of Cobb’s struggles, his story, his life, the death of his wife and the purpose that drove him to risk the lives of his team. Unfortunately, beyond this, no other character in the movie was spared even this shred of backstory, little do we know about the history of Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) or Eames (Tom Hardy),  the bona-fide sidekick and classic wildcard characters respectively. A major dissatisfying drawback in the film, that weaved fantastical complexity over character chemistry.

Greatest. Moment. Ever.

Speaking of fantastical complexity, it was this aspect of the film which truly set it apart, and is giving everyone something to talk about at parties or job interviews (yes) or what-have-you-not. The concept of dream fabrication and manipulation was beautiful, and directed beautifully too. Seeing Paris roll over on itself, and seeing Arthur’s incredible gravity defunct scenes made me smirk like a chimp. Further more, there are a number of topics that caused prolong thought in my mind. Through large parts of the movie, you could never be sure “when” or “where” it was. A skillful move, that I think greatly outweighed the question of “how” among the audience, and also presented the deception that the whole movie was someone’s dream. Nicely done. Can you remember when Cobb was in Tokyo then Hong Kong then Paris then Morocco then Tokyo then Paris?

Apart from lacking in character depth (I admit again that it may have been intentional), there were a number of familiar niggling faults that once again lowered the quality of Nolan’s films. He proved with ‘Batman’ that he is dyslexic when it comes to shooting action sequences. In ‘Inception’, once again the quick cuts, aimless shooting, shaky cameras and awkward set piece design was embarrassing and made the fighting moments of the film feel drab. The Arctic locale was horrific, something akin to the worst of Van Damme films. Nolan is so bad at capturing the size of an action event, he simply cuts together half a second clips of  Person A shooting, skip to Person B shooting back… rather than using panning cameras or slow motion that actually show the whole macroscopic battle in action. It was a great failing in the ‘The Dark Knight’ and it makes chunks of ‘Inception’ completely forgettable. Save for Arthur’s scenes. Awesome.

Ultimately, though, ‘Inception’ was all about the fabric and process of the film. The paradox and the mazes and diving levels of reality and dreams of Cobb. The defunct ending brought attention to this open ended design of the film. Unfortunately and fortunately, by design, looking at the movie you can remember not much more than a haze of scenes very much all over the place. I respect that and think it was an enjoyable quality of the story and film-making. The story itself at its core was simple and followed the journey of a typical heist, where the most skilled robber must steal one last time to return to his family life. Looking at it from any other direction than Cobb’s is a waste of time. So silence your mindless speculation. Mal died in his reality, and she was a projection of his mind throughout every dream scape. His reality was in fact reality. The totem was going to fall, in a dream it would not lose balance. The vague perception of time and place was intentional, not a hint that what we considered Cobb’s reality, was also some sort of dream. ‘Memento’ was an interesting movie, not a satisfying one. ‘Inception’, largely treads a similar path.

Toon’s Review: Iron Man 2 – 5/10

I hate stupid people, almost as much as I hate traffic. Tony Stark at various points in the movie keeps checking his “Blood Toxicity Level”, which is steadily rising. At 56% we catch a close up of a very concerned looking Tony Stark, at which point a man sitting behind me remarks “Hey, is that a bad thing?”.

Stupid people, Scarlett Johansson is a little stupid looking I must say. I might have spelled that wrong but I could care  less since her acting is also quite incorrect, if I want eye candy I will happily open up a magazine. At least there I don’t have to put up with a formerly blonde bombshell doing cart wheels followed by her making a stupid face at the camera.

I digress as I often do. ‘Iron Man 2’ is a completely average movie, strip away the stars and you have a very poorly written story and very basic action scenes. The direction and cinematogrophy is again plain and typical. Nothing exciting save a few slow motion moments, one that almost veered into Bollywood territory. The only redeeming quality of this film is from a set of superb performances that make far better material out of a shoddy script.

‘Iron Man’ was a very average movie made good thanks to a refreshing role by Robert Downey. ‘Iron Man 2’ on the other hand is a near terrible film, made decent due to a brilliant turn by Sam Rockwell. This guy is a bloody hero in a half shell in every role he plays, and he is a welcome scene stealer in this film. Downey was exceptional as usual, its a crime that this indecent script gave these two actors absolutely no time on screen to develop a rivalry. This sentiment presents itself through out the movie. It is a mix of too many ideas and too many plot points, none of which are presented well. Tony Stark’s fall from grace is awkward, his anger towards Rhodey becoming War Machine was poorly developed and absolutely no time was given to the Hammer vs. Stark dilemma.

‘Iron Man 2’ is an unsatisfying film, the action was pathetic and the film as whole has no personality or style save Rockwell and Downey. Jon Favreu’s last movie before ‘Iron Man’ was ‘Zathura’, he got away with it a few years ago but his inept ability as a director is clearly evident in this utterly bland film. Maybe the inherent problem lies in the Iron Man suit itself, it is a fancy terminator. He is just not as cool as Green Lantern.

Buddy boys.

There's that face.

Toon’s Review: Kick-Ass – 9/10

Kick-Ass

What I loved about this movie more than anything else, and there’s a lot of else by the way, is that it is the rarest blend of comedic prose, stylistic action and emotional overtone come together on screen. Honestly this film is just a mismatch of ideas, but kudos to Matthew Vaughn for bringing together some absolutely wonderful characters. It was pretty sweet seeing his gang of misfits from ‘Lock, Stock’ and ‘Snatch’ littered around the movie as well.

The story of ‘Kick-Ass’ follows a protagonist teenager questioning society’s will to stand up for each other, protect each other from the evil that dwells in our streets. Upon experiencing and seeing evil men prosper while the good just stand and stare, the young man decided to undertake the superhero dilemma and make himself ‘Kick-Ass’. His superhero experiment fell short however, and attracted the attention of some unfortunately proper villains. Luckily, and little did he know, the vigilante superhero did exist, and it was named Big Daddy and Hit Girl.

If you’ve seen the trailers for this film, I’m sure you know what to expect from Hit Girl but what truly took this film a notch above is understanding and experiencing the character. She is bloody fantastic, little do I know how they made little her do all those little stunts, but golly gosh its a sight to behold. The best action this side of ‘The Matrix’, comprendé bro.

I can’t stress enough the perfect balance this movie struck between comedy, action and story. One element just served to elevate the other. The characters are equal parts entertaining and emotionally poignant, with each of their stories fleshed out surprisingly well within the short two hours. You feel for Kick-Ass, you might laugh after his mother dies discussing cereal, but you will feel for his loss when he makes the biggest mistake of his life. It is funny when he gets stabbed, and then shocking when he gets hit by a car. You root for Big Daddy’s revenge and cheer for Hit Girl’s ass kicking. I am a big believer in characters, and this film simply delivers them in spades. Just a bloody fantastic movie that genuinely has something for every one of us, highly recommended my friends. Aslam out.

Get out of my way, Stool.

Toonstar is finishing university soon. Toonstar is about to take this site to a whole new level soon. Toonstar needs to stop speaking in third person, soon.

Stay tuned. Or I’ll just let you know on facebook.

Toon’s Review: The Hurt Locker – 9/10

Every now and then, you see these films that leave a lasting impression on you. Either it’s a devastating scene, a memorable song or maybe a powerful line that you will forever remember. ‘The Hurt Locker’ contains spades of each, Katheryn  Bigelow’s direction produces some of the finest most raw moments in film I have seen in a long time.’The Hurt Locker’ is simply an exceptional film, worthy of contemplation over the scenes of war it portrays.

Believe those quotations.

This film stretches a brief period of time in the Iraq war, following three members of an elite bomb squad through their motions. Literally a day by day renunciation of these soldiers, we see them experience such catastrophe, such pure warfare and the toll it takes on their minds. This movie though, is just so much more than that. Every character, acted brilliantly, directed brilliantly, faces so many challenges every day and never has it been captured so authentically.

I love how real this film feels, the sound direction is epic and so poignant, every bullet carries so much weight. The explosions are captured with such a phenomenal intensity, the almost too real writing of this film added a level of suspense you barely see in films anymore. Simply, it’s a great movie experience when the fate of every character is questionable as every minute passes. I can’t begin to commend how well Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty carry the three lead roles.

This film, it doesn’t try to be dramatic by throwing a melodramatic story out there. A villain that must be caught, a dame that must be rescued or a mission that is imperative to the success of the war. In fact, there really is no story, no bad guy to catch and no heart stopping epic battle to save the war. This film, all it is, is a set of situations, exposure to experiences that change and grow the character of our protagonists. Through this, I feel this film captures one of the most brilliant renditions of war on film. It’s a series of skirmishes, especially this war, this urban war that has taken over Iraq, there is no one bad guy, there is no one key that will turn the tide of the war, it is the definition of ongoing, it has taken its toll, dare I say millions, of lives, and its not going to end.

Although I do have one significant criticism, I’ll say that this film only conveys the evil on one side of the war, whereas a film like ‘The Kingdom’ was just fantastic in showing a sense of wrong on both sides. But for what it is, a capture of war, this film, it will put you in awe of the power man’s weapons’ possess, and it will show you what war will do to a man, and it will make you feel a genuine sense of pain for what’s happening out there.

Such brilliant cinematography

Toon’s Review: Why I Refuse to Review ‘Inglourious Basterds’

Funny how I just sat down at Second Cup, and opened up my little laptop to connect to the internet, only to find a wireless network named “All Hail Bear Jew”. Thank you, fellow, for helping me illustrate the point I soon intend to make, hopefully well. Just a disclaimer notice, the man who acts as Jew Bear, Eli Roth, is the mind behind the film ‘Hostel’. Please do look this up… and I do sincerely apologize before-hand for making you see what that movie is about but I’m positive it will also help illustrate my feelings.

I don't want to write a caption.

I really do honestly and purely dislike Quentin Tarantino, from his arrogant movies to his publicity pictures showing him cross-dressing. And if my negative tint is not clear, yes, I do think cross-disgusting is despicable. I’m suppose to be a movie guy, so let me tell you quickly why I have not liked a single Tarantino film. All his films, they are a stage for something he wishes to express. ‘Kill Bill’ was a vehicle for sexuality and acrobatic violence, I’m sure it was derived from his lust of seeing the Matrix do combat so beautifully. He wanted to put his own twisted twist on it, result was those two colloquial pieces of garbage. ‘Pulp Fiction’ was a total hodge podge of incoherent gangster fest, a vehicle for a bunch of actors to play a bunch of over the top characters. ‘Grindhouse’, another prose of just unimaginable amounts of gore and sexuality. Utter stupidity in motion.

So, I approached Inglourious Basterds tentatively. I heard good things, so I was excited at the prospect of enjoying this film. Tarantino is a talented filmmaker, I won’t deny that, but his arrogance is so blatantly obvious and I simply can’t tolerate it. ‘Basterds’ was enjoyable at times, and it was very enjoyable for the parts Christoph Waltz was on screen as the bloody brilliant ‘Jew Hunter’. Great acting, and great character. Until the end,when he decided to suddenly act completely out of character so the Jews could have the ending to World War II that they wanted. Then it struck me, the whole movie, all the characters, all the situations, everything was set up completely for Nazi Bashing. Jew boasting Nazi bashing.

No doubt, the Nazi Bashing was obvious from the get go, the ‘Jew Bear’ hammering in the skull of a Nazi Sergeant elevated my fears that this film was nothing but the Jews stoking their retribution. Nothing but the collective hearts of Jews everywhere screaming with blood drenched fists as they themselves beat the skull of a Nazi in to paste. Surprisingly, the movie lulled on from there with these wonderful characters in a Paris cinema, there stories told patiently, enjoyably and wonderfully scripted… dotted with sublime moments of Christoph Waltz. It was all for nothing however, the movie at its end, dwindled from logic, and became clearly the mind of the Jew Bear himself…

I’d love to know why Hitler was guarded by a wooden door with two typically idiotic soldiers behind him, and not an army of elite soldiers as all forms of logic would suggest… *so we can easily and dramatically get to him so the Jew Bear can machine gun a crowd of movie watchers, then turn to Hitler and pepper him with bullets and show his body be ripped apart by bullets, cross the camera back to Jew Bear and watch him scream and explode with the blood of a million Jews boiling through his veins! Oh bravo! Bravo yee Jewish glory! Oh wonderful revenge! Oh blood oh blood!*

Expect a similar response by such inclined people, to why Christoph Waltz’ incredibly intelligent character made an absurd deal with the king of all Nazi torturers. My dog would’ve guessed that Aldo was not going to honour the deal, and I don’t even have a dog.

‘Inglourious Basterds’ is a great movie that is unbelievably stupid and arrogant. Many great characters were ruined by ridiculous levels of unnecessary violence and complete voids of logic, all this to serve Nazi Bashing by Jew Bears. I don’t give a shit what warrants the allowance of such obvious arrogant trepidations. *We have the right to do what ever the hell we want after what the Nazis did to us*. A comment, which I guarantee has been taken hold of in many more places other than on film. Maybe someone should make a film about a band of pagans, that go on a trip of retribution, slaughtering all the crusaders on their way to the Vatican, where they slam Pope Urban II to his knees and slit his throat. Could be a good storyline for ‘Robin Hood’ reboot.

Right at the end, it all came together to complete this experience… As Brad Pitt uttered Tarantino’s words “You know, this just might be my masterpiece”. You arrogant cross-dressing prick.

Toon’s Review: The Wolfman – 2/10

This is a waste of time. No one is going to read this review, well I hope no one reads this review because no one is going to care about this movie. And if you did, and you watched this movie, then you must already share the sentiment I have presented in my opening.

He actually looks like a moron.

This film sucks. It’s awkward, the big budget actors act like this is their first time on screen. The special effects and soundtrack are horrendous, just all sorts of terrible, terrible low budget stuff. Not even 2010 low budget, this is throwback 1992 low budget. The story is terrible, the typical man/beast story done so many times has never been done worse. You can not sympathize with the man who is the beast, because when he is the beast he so disgustingly brutal and gory and terrible. You, as the audience, don’t care for his redemption, and hence you don’t care for the trodge podge this movie puts you through.

This movie is just so bloody confused, you could tell from the actors faces that they knew how horrific the script was. You can tell the director is pure amateur. You can tell the studio realised this film sucked, so to give it some appeal, they decided to add insatiable amounts of blood and dismemberment and just so many other disgusting sorts of violence. Please, for the life of me, just don’t watch this movie. Unless your an idiot who enjoys gore. There is nothing else here. The 2 out of 10 is for the mere 20 minutes Hugo Weaving got on screen to work his charm, he is a wonderful actor and I love him, and I know this is the biggest mistake he has made in his life.