On the topic of The Maltese Falcon
, I’ve never really heard of anyone having trouble following it. That’s a complaint usually attached to The Big Sleep
. Besides, the story specifics aren’t paramount to your enjoyment but watching how pathetic these characters are as they become increasingly obsessed with the falcon is where the true entertainment lies. Outside of having a hard time believing that anyone could be seduced by Mary Astor, I really like the movie (matter of fact, I own the Blu-ray).
Puss in Boots (2011)
6.5/10 - While still not a great movie, it was - for the most part - an enjoyable one and worlds better then the last two installments in the Shrek franchise (ugh). Those two movies were just a total train wreck, tied down by a continuity that’s already had two well done ‘happily ever afters’ the first time around, to which it then seemed like Shrek was just manufacturing problems for himself. Not to mention the irony of this being a franchise built on mocking fairy tale cliches while becoming one itself. That said, even while using the same tired old formula, Puss in Boots
felt more even. We have new characters, a new setting, a new main protagonist (who, trust me, brings a whole new flavor) and no more of those manufactured Shrek problems. We actually have less time devoted towards pop culture gags and more time devoted towards...character development. I know, right? While still not handled as well as it could have been (Humpty Dumpty and Puss’s back story feels forced), our villain here actually has some depth, which was nice to see (the last two movies in the Shrek franchise were just rehashing the shallow power hungry villain). There were also some really funny moments in this movie, something absent from the last two Shrek installments, although they did overplay the cat humor. Overall, I was surprised that I didn’t hate this movie.
6/10 - I’m surprised by how much I didn’t like this movie. For some reason, I thought it would be like Kick-Ass
(two movies I like), but I found everything in this movie just way to contrived to be enjoyable. I like that they had an introverted kid as the main character (not something you often see) but found the whole abusive father / dying mother combo nothing but a convenient excuse to turn him ‘evil.’ Not to mention the other cliches, like the super popular kid running for class president and high school bullies. It wasn’t all bad. Some of their goofing around was fun to watch, the first time you see them flying through the clouds was breathtaking (especially considering the budget) but in the end it all seems like wasted potential.
The Borrower Arrietty (2010)
7.5/10 - It’s a good movie. I’ve heard people rag on it and I know where they’re coming from but I found it even better then Ponyo
- so it surpassed my expectations (it helps that it didn’t come with all the hype that a Miyazaki film carries). The story is a bit thin but I found the characters likable and the pace of the film relaxing. My biggest problem is that it’s over before it even begins (or so it seems). I could’ve spent all day with these characters and then it just ended, like a good TV show cancelled too early in it’s life. Then again, it’s better to leave you wanting more then to have you wishing it were over. Oh, and I hate the crappy Disney Channel pop song they shoved at the end of the US dub credits. It has no place in a movie like this (I've been recommended the UK dub).
It was kind of difficult in understanding everything there is to know without reading the novels (kind of like HBO's Game of Thrones)
I haven't read any of the A Song of Ice and Fire
novels and have never been confused when watching Game of Thrones
. From what I understand, they specifically added characters (like the one prostitute, I can't remember her name) that weren't in the books, who's soul purpose is to clarify things for the audience - like character motivation or important past events in Westeros history.