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Puss In Boot (2011)


Puss In Boot (2011)




7/10




Starring
Antonio Banderas
Salma Hayek
Zach Galifianakis
Billy Bob Thornton
Amy Sedaris

Directed by Chris Miller



If any character from Shrek deserved its own film it is definitely Puss In Boot, This family movie has a lot of sexual references though, which may go over the head of the toddlers, but you will get it.

The movie has been in production since 2004 (Shrek 2), and it is written to be separate from the Shrek story, so as not to cause problem with how the characters are interwoven. The only original character in this flick is Puss himself, all other characters were created especially for the movie.

Puss in Boot is directed by Chris Miller who directed Shrek the Third. For me the animation started slow and picked up in the middle and there was a sprint to the end filled with high speed racing and near death saves.

Antonio Banderas, again with his sassy Spanish ancient, plays Puss as we get to see the tale that leads to the legendary Puss In Boot. Set in an imaginary land…that is not far, far away, we meet Salma Hayek who voiced the Catwoman masked famed cat burglar Kitty Softpaws who worked with Humpty.

Now Humpty and Puss had a past that saw both become close as brothers. Certain events which you will be told as Puss relates the story to a bored Kitty Softpaws, leads to the betrayal that broke them apart.

Now we are also introduced to Jack and Jill, who in are a weird pair and will make you ask, where there not supposed to be related? Well, they stole from another Jack (not to be confused with the other Jack from Jack and Jill), what the stole was a path way to riches.

Puss teamed up with Humpty and Kitty, to steal from the pair and have access to the riches that lay at the top of the path. Well get ready, because the Jack and Jill pair and these trio were in a all hell break loose animated bonanza.

One down side to the movie is the expected twists and turns that were actually plain for the eye to see. Also don’t miss out on the dance fight been done by Puss and Kitty softpaws.




As a family fun movie Puss In Boot will surely pass, but as a masterpiece nah!

Although the CGI was grand, and the scenery design exquisite, Puss in Boots lacks some needed gags that will make you roll over laughing. Yes, there were times you will smile, but don’t expect too much.

I guess the movie was aimed at children more than adults, because the plot were a little too predictable. It also became frustrating with continuous reference to Puss being a sexual gift to women.

To be honest after a while of seeing things, I started to miss donkey. I guess I have been so attached to that character that any Shrek movie without him felt like something huge was missing.

Puss in Boots is a nice family fun movie that you will enjoy, but your children will love it more.

Margin Call (2011)

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Margin Call




6/10




Starring
Kevin Spacey
Paul Bettany
Jeremy Irons
Zachary Quinto
Penn Badgley
Simon Baker
Mary McDonnell
with Demi Moore
and Stanley Tucci

Directed by J.C. Chandor

Distributed by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions



Produced by Zachary Quinto’s production company "Before the Door Pictures", Margin Call is J.C. Chandor debut, and he managed to pull out a movie about the current economic problem facing America right now without boring you with all the details but just skimming the top and making sure you enjoy the ride.

Focused on the financial market, and with a well ensemble cast, Writer/Director J.C. Chandor drove the movie home to the point to which the movie was made, avoiding all form of beating about the bush.

This drama/thriller begins with layoffs, as an Investment company starts to lay off some of its staffs, so as to keep the young and strong gunning for the top position thereby increasing performance.

Lay off employee Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci), before leaving, gives young associate Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) a USB drive with some info on it and warns, "Be careful."

Peter stays up all night out of curiosity and finds out that the company has with it, assets that are ticking time bombs to the company’s demise, If the assets were to lose value by just 25% the company will owe more money than it is worth.

The twist in these assets is that it has started depreciating. The time bomb was set off days before Peter noticed it.
So Peter calls his boss Sam Rogers (Kevin Spacey) to tell him the dark tale, from Spacey the information moved up the rung till it reaches the firm owner John Tuld (Jeremy Irons).

My favorite part of the movie is when the firm realizes they just laid off the only person who knew what was going on and was putting together the loss.

The film boils down to two things, one is business and the other morals… should the firm pack up and fold up or should they unload the assets to unknowing customers.

Kevin Spacey is my take as the best character in the movie delivering an Oscar performance, and making every scene he was in worth watching.
If you are into drama, this is a movie for you.

The movie is a box office success and it was nominated for an Academy Award, Best Original Screen Play.

The movie currently holds a 86% approval in rotten tomatoes, and this is good news to Zachary's production company, and a good delivery from him better than his coming out gay which also happened this month.

Dolphin Tale (2011)

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Dolphin Tale



6/10




Starring

Harry Connick, Jr.
Nathan Gamble
Ashley Judd
Kris Kristofferson
Morgan Freeman
Jim Fitzpatrick
Winter

Directed by Charles Martin Smith

Distributed by Warner Bros.


Based on a book of the same name, the film is about the true story of “Winter”, a bottlenose dolphin that was rescued in December 2005 off the Florida coast and taken in by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and in the process losing its tail and having to be fitted with a prosthetic one.

Directed by Charles Martin Smith (Air Bud 1997), Dolphin Tale is a family movie that has all the twist and turns that makes a family movie a family movie, it is so cliché-ish that u can guess your way through the movie, down to the very last scene.

The cast of the movie were quite remarkable though, as they didn’t chunk out the regular low acting like most family movies do. The story is about a dolphin named Winter who got caught in a crab net, and was rescued by Clearwater Marine Aquarium, who saved her life by amputating the dolphin’s tail. In other to swim the dolphin develop and irregular swimming pattern which proved good at first until it started to damage the spinal cord, to save her life again a prosthetic tale was attached to the dolphin.

Now let’s take this story and take it through the Hollywood mixer and we get:

A young boy who is raised by a single parent (Ashley Judd), one day he saves a dolphin from a crab net and then an attachment began, we have a lonely dolphin with no tail and also a lonely boy with no father, add the Disney recipe of a good film and ta-da!!! The boy and the animal form a bond, and only the boy seems to get this animal, and then there is a doctor,

Who knows how to do those things that need to be done; he makes the magical tail that makes everything all better.

Sadly though Disney had nothing to do with this picture, but their time tested family template was employed in this movie. I guess one thing about the acting that I so love, is the boy who just plays his part so well without overdoing it, and also Morgan Freeman aced as you may guess his role in a way a professional should.

Unlike what Robert De Niro delivered in Killer Elite. Smith went all the way in this movie to make sure it touches everyone, it lacks nothing of the Disney magic, an injured animal, a lonely child, a crippled cute girl, a crippled war hero…name it in this movie they have it.

A good family movie for everyone, one you may forget soon but for the time being…enjoy.

The Three Musketeers (2011)

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The Three Musketeers




3/10





Starring
Logan Lerman
Milla Jovovich
Matthew Macfadyen
Ray Stevenson
Luke Evans
Orlando Bloom

Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson

Distributed by Constantin Film (Germany), Entertainment One (UK) and Summit Entertainment (US)




Paul Anderson must have felt that the Alexandra Dumas novel of 1844, set in the 17th century was missing something, because the introduction of the Hot air balloon was supposed to be a nice addition but come to think of it, the Hot Air balloon was invented in the late 18th Century, while the movie was set in the 17th century, so either Paul didn’t do his history right or he must have just wanted to do something grand.

Having seen the 1993 Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland and Chris O’ Donnell version done by Disney, a version I watched as a young boy and even then saw it as a misfit. I would expect this 2011 version to be much better, but how could it…when the introduction into the film was far from the book, with the lead act D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman), portraying the character in such a cocky way and making D’ Artagnan look like an error from the get go.



The story is basically the same as the ones before and the book, but the screenplay was dreadful, Orlando Blooms, hair styles were the comic relief of the movie (as far as I can tell) and the young king of France’s crush on his wife was quite irritating.

Who was responsible for the score by the way? The movie’s score was on another plain while the movie was in another.

D’Artagnan (Lerman) heads to Paris to become a Musketeer on his way towards achieving his quest he runs into the famous three musketeers which were portrayed this way:
Matthew Macfadyen’s morose delivery as Athos

Ray Stevenson’s stony delivery as Porthos

Luke Evans’ monkish emptiness as Aramis

Making them three misfits, rather than the three musketeers.

Now the four get all tangled up with a plot involving the Queen’s diamond necklace, the King’s throne, and Cardinal Richelieu’s plans for European domination.

In case you are wondering why I haven’t mentioned Milla Jovovich don’t worry, she had enough screen time that makes you wonder if she was sleeping with the director (Sorry she is). The musketeers were on a mission to find the Queen’s stolen diamond necklace, so in this search we get hooked up in what was supposed to be a thrilling air battle between two hot air balloons.

This movie would have been good if Anderson had spent more time concentrating on the movie than he did creating more screen time for wife, Milla Jovovich.