Posts Tagged ‘prequel’

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I remember watching Monsters Inc. when I was maybe five years old, and loving it. Over a decade later, I still remember most of the movie. So, when I heard that they were making a prequel movie… I was ridiculously happy.

So, let’s get to it. I’m going to start with a short summary, in case you’ve yet to hear about it. Monsters University is a prequel to the critically acclaimed, Monsters Inc., and it is the story of how the two main characters survived college to be who they are in the first movie. Mike Wazowski is voiced by Billy Crystal (as in the first movie), and for most of the movie, he’s the “main” character. At a school field trip to Monsters Incorporated, he’s saddened when no one chooses him as a buddy and he’s stuck with his teacher again.

Upon entering the facility, they get to see the Scare Floor. I spent a lot of time looking at each and every character to see if I recognized them from the original movie. (I recognized maybe seven characters from the original movie.) Mike sneaks off from his group and enters a child’s room, unbeknownst to the scarer he’s trailing.

And as he’s being scolded afterwards, the scarer takes note of the fact that he didn’t even notice Mike’s presence and gives him his Monsters University hat. Fast forward to when Mike is accepted to Monsters University.

I’ll take a break here to mention the high quality of Pixar’s animation for Monsters University. I can see why it took five years to make this movie. The attention to detail is enormous, and if you watched Monsters Inc. only recently, you’ll see how sophisticated the art has grown since then. (Mind you, the animation in Monsters Inc. is still top notch. The animation in Monsters University is just that good.)

There is a scene near the end of the movie where we can see every strand of grass, and they look real. I’ll be really mad if Monsters University doesn’t get an oscar for the animation. Let’s get back to the story. Each and every character feels fully realized. Mike wants to be a scarer more than anyone else, despite the fact that he is not at all scary. He is a scaring genius in the sense that he can recite all the textbooks, and he knows how to scare. James P. Sullivan a.k.a. Sully (voiced by John Goodman) comes from a long line of scarers. He’s a natural at scaring, so much so that he didn’t even come to the first day of college with a pencil. In reality, Sully is simply so afraid to fail that he doesn’t want to seem like he’s even trying. It’s better to fail when it appears like you don’t care, than to fail when it looks like you’ve worked your hardest. That’s the way I perceive his character.

A particularly funny scene is when Sully and Mike enter a fraternity called Oozma Kappa. (AKA O.K. ) One of the members, Don,  is older than most of the teachers, and he’s a former salesman. His specialty is being able to stick unto things. I can’t help but think that this is a nod to the fact that the worst salesmen are sometimes called leeches.

Their fraternity is so uncool that they weren’t even given a proper fraternity house. They’re just living in the house of one of its members and his mother. The whole movie is fast paced, hilarious, and if you were a fan of the first one, you’ll love this one. It was fun to notice all the winks toward the original movie.

Unto the things I didn’t like. The main thing I didn’t like – which wasn’t really the movie’s fault – was the 3D. I’m very nearsighted, so I normally have to wear my glasses whenever I watch a movie. So, I had to awkwardly put the 3D glasses over my normal glasses, and it was a real hassle keeping them in place the entire time.

I wouldn’t have minded if the 3D was as heavily used as movies like Avatar or Life of Pi, but the 3D here was barely noticeable. It was only noticeable whenever a flying monster was in front of the camera because its wings would come out of the screen.

The problem with 3D is that it darkens the screen considerably, and it made certain scenes look drab when they really were fine. (I checked by taking off my 3D glasses for a moment.)

All in all, there weren’t any obvious problems with the movie. A more eagle-eyed viewer could probably list them off, but I wager that if one were to mention them, they’d all be minor and hardly affect the grand scheme of things.

This is the animated movie to watch this year, and after looking at the trailers for most of the movies coming out for 2013, it is most likely going to be in the top 10 of best movies of 2013. It’s not a flawless film, but its pros are good enough that it’d make you forget about any of the cons.

I’m giving this an 8.7/10. I cannot say that this movie is better than the first one, because it’s you that should do the deciding. I personally think they compliment each other greatly, and they could be combined into a very long movie. Go watch this movie. It is awesome.

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~Jian

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Hannibal is the type of show where people already kind of know what to expect from the name alone. They would be wrong, though. At least, I was proven wrong. I came in expecting a story about Hannibal Lecter. Sure, the summary kind of said otherwise, but the name leaned into my expectations. However, Hannibal is about a genius FBI agent who can empathize with serial killers as easily as we… well, scorn serial killers.

Obviously, there are some pretty nasty side effects from his unique ability to understand the ‘design’ of the serial killers. He’s haunted every night by dreams of the serial killer’s victims, and he also cannot handle human interaction very well.

Now that we have that out of the way, I’m going to break one of the Reviewer’s Rules of Thumb , and start it off by saying that I like this show.(Think there’s a rule where you first have to list the reasons before saying you love/hate it.) I’ve stopped watching as many shows as I used to because they ceased being interesting. This show, however, keeps things interesting.

It is, at its core, a game of cat and mouse, but it also shows the very thin line between a hero and a villain. At least, that’s the way I see it. The way Hannibal Lecter first meets Will, the main character, as portrayed awesomely by Hugh Dancy, is very interesting. I will try not to spoil anything for you, but Mads Mikkelsen takes on the difficult task of standing in Sir Anthony Hopkins’ shoes head on. He brings a rather different Hannibal than is shown on Silence of the Lambs. He’s quiet, introspective, but you can sense there’s a storm underneath the surface. Three episodes in, I have yet to see Hannibal really “loosen” up, and that is one of the many factors that keep me coming back.

I’m not really doing the show justice by describing to you the plot, though. It’s the type of show where you need to watch it to judge for yourself. All I can do is tell you what I like about it. And we all know how much I like to gush about things I love.

I’ll keep it to a short list.

1. The characterization. Every character feels fully fleshed out, and the dialogue between each character is very good. I haven’t seen dialogue like this in a Tv show since House of Cards’ season ended.

2. The atmosphere. Okay. I like mysteries, especially murder mysteries. I love shows like Castle, and my favorite movie of all time is Zodiac. That should tell you how much I like murder mysteries. The atmosphere of mystery and macabre murders portrayed in this show is just fantastic. In scenes of suspense, I wanted to skip the scene and find out who survives. In scenes of fear, I wanted to look away from the screen. And in scenes depicting murder… well, I couldn’t look away from the screen. It’s a very good show that way.

3. Plot. Yeah. It’s good. I can’t really say anything more than that. It’s good, I like it, and it keeps me at suspense. I want to both thank and strangle the writers. Trust me, that is a compliment.

What didn’t I like about it, you ask? Wait, you didn’t ask? Well, I’m still gonna give you my list.

1. Oh, the scenes of murder I was talking about? I was serious when I said I could not look away, but they’re rather excessive on the blood. I don’t normally have a problem with that, but with the combination of their awesome characterization, amazing atmosphere.. It can be very disturbing. As such, I sometimes just go: “Oh, c’mon. I’m about to go to sleep!” or “I’m eating my cereal!” The show is good enough without the excessive use of blood, if you ask me. I’m okay with blood, and this problem was only really an issue in the first episode… But yeah, that’s just a small nitpick for you.

2. Uh…. Can’t think of anything.

Yup. That is how much I like this show. Perhaps, I can add that it’s not really funny… but really, if I wanted funny, I would not be watching the prequel to Silence of the Lambs. So, I have to say, I was very much impressed by this show.

I would recommend it to anyone that likes the Following, or murder mysteries. I would suggest that you go in expecting to see some creepy stuff. Go in expecting a full blown horror movie, and you won’t be shocked at all. Unless you want to be shocked. In which case, I congratulation you on your bravado.

I’m a fraidy cat, and I can’t really handle stuff like that. I watched the Shining a few days ago before going to sleep. Ha! I know! Well, I’ll tell you about THAT experience later.

All in all, this is a spectacular Tv show. If this is cancelled, I will be very disappointed by NBC. First, they cancel Smash… if they cancel this, too, I’d probably lose faith in their executives.

I’m going to try to pick an adequate number for this show, and that number is… (drum roll)

8.9/10

There are only two shows that have a 9/10, for me, and those two shows are….

… something I will tell you in my reviews of them. Yup, I am devious like that. Anyways, I do hope you give this show a try. I really hope you do.

Please remember to Like, Follow, and Comment. Hopefully all three. And… Thanks. A lot.

~J.A. Romano