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.

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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.

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.

Toon’s Review: Sherlock Holmes – 8.5/10

Robert Downey Jr. as ‘Sherlock Holmes’

I was born for movies like this. Well, no. But this movie is fantastic, Guy Ritchie ( director of “Lock, Stock…” and “Snatch”) paints his impeccable style all over the screen. He places the viewer in a very authentic yet stylistic Victorian era England and lets Robert Downey Jr. go buck wild with the infamous character of ‘Sherlock Holmes’.

It’s no secret by now, Robert Downey Jr. is the shit. And suffice to say, he makes this movie his geisha and hammers it home to China with another witty and memorable performance. Jude Law plays a cool Dr. Watson and the two heroes develop a great tit-for-tat chemistry on screen instantly. The story at times does seem to take devious mystical turns on itself, but before the audience gets lost, Sherlock Holmes intervenes with his deterministic detective insights to set things right.

The movie is filled with sharp one-liners, explosive set pieces and such a bloody fantastic soundtrack, that as a whole make this an extremely entertaining movie. And the first of many ‘Sherlock Holmes’ movies to come I assure you, bring it on Professor Moriarty.

Toon’s Review: Avatar – 5/10

I’ll be brief, our time is precious but that concept must be gibberish to James Cameron who has spent six years making a special effects fiasco and left about six days to write a script. When they could not put together enough worth-while dialogue, they thought they might as well fill the rest of the movie with chimpanzee war cries and moaning.

I should put a caption here.

If you think about it, not a whole lot happens in three hours. The story has been done before, the characters have been done before, and done better. Political puns are littered all over the place, completely out of place. All the action, running through forests being chased by a monster, flying around mountains being chased by a monster, the hero’s speech, to the “big war” at the end are utterly underwhelming. These situations have that “been there, done that” feeling long ago all over them… Just because the people are blue and the animals are all sorts of stupid shapes doesn’t make it original or good for that matter.

Aslam out.

Note: 3D is retarded, it blurs and distracts the eye and darkens the picture and after two minutes you won’t even notice it.

Toon’s Review: Funny People – 2/10

How can a movie about funny people not be funny?

What a stupid poster.

What a stupid poster.

I wondered countless times, during the movie, about just what the hell I was watching. I wanted to check the time on my watch over and over again, but luckily the dials do not illuminate on my watch. From what I gathered, this was a movie about stand-up comedians which was not a comedy. Just try to ignore the fact that it is acted by the usual Judd Apatow boyband of who’s who.

I don't want to write a caption.

I don't want to write a caption.

Throughout the movie, characters kept poking fun at Seth Rogen’s character, that he wasn’t funny any more because he wasn’t fat anymore. They were right. I don’t like Seth Rogen, he’s not funny. He’s fat and looks like he should be funny, but he’s not. He wasn’t funny when he was fat either. Now he’s just ugly and stupid looking and looks like he should be fat. Judd Apatow is an equal pain in the ass, with his maligned beard and idiotic pompous looking Israeli face and his obsession with making these bloody boring emotional comedies.

I feel filthy, like I’ve been mugged by a prostitute with a prosthetic arm. I want my money back. These movies are awful, all these molestations of Judd Apatow’s mind infested with Seth Rogen and his formerly-fat face are utterly awful.

I just don’t understand how a two hour movie can feel so long every f***ing time. It happened in ‘Knocked Up’ as well, and ’40 Year Old Virgin’. It’s a comedy, make people laugh and get it bloody over with. Good Lord, I absolutely hate Judd Apatow. What a retard. I hated this movie. And I don’t want to write a review on it because it sucked d***.

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credit to www.comingsoon.net for the images