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The Incredibles

The IncrediblesWas a bit apprehensive going to this after seeing the trailers as it doesn’t give you much to go on. There’s the obvious fact that its about a family of superheros which is a change from the usual buddy comedies that Pixar produce. It’s obvious that Pixar took a risk in straying into untried territory but its a risk that has paid off. The Incredibles lives up to its name with a solid story detailing the Parr family led by Bob who, after being sued for saving someone, retires into suburbia and lives a fairly ordinary life while trying to cope with not using his powers.

The whole family are brilliantly animated and the team at Pixar once again inject them with humour and depth while maintaining the cartoonish illusion. There’s a sense in this film that they have strayed a bit further away from the “kiddie” movie and its not as “kiddish” as Toy Story or Monsters Inc. The story remains solid throughout and theres some genuine cracking set-pieces. The graphics are fantastic and they really went for it in creating realistic humans, fire and water. Overall, its a fantastic addition to Pixar’s library and a certainty to be in my DVD drive come the middle of next year.

Tony’s Rating: 8/10

Plot Synopsis: Mr. Incredible is a superhero; or he used to be, until a surge of lawsuits against superheroes submitted by the people they’ve saved forced the government to hide them in witness protection programs so they could lead normal, anonymous lives. Now known exclusively by his secret identity, Bob Parr, he lives with his wife Helen, formerly Elastigirl, and their three children Violet, Dash, and Jack Jack. He works as an insurance claims specialist, and he’s fed up with his pushy boss and his immoral profession, but his wife’s worked too hard to build a normal life for her family to abide his nostalia for heroism. When Mr. Incredible’s offered the chance to play the role of hero again by a mysterious informant, he jumps at the opportunity, but when it turns out to be a trap set by an old nemesis he had a hand in corrupting, the whole family must reveal themselves to save Mr. Incredible and countless innocents.

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Movies Recommended

Finding Neverland

Finding Neverland: Went to see this with Anne-Marie last week as it was a choice between this and Hero. It details the story of J. M. Barrie who wrote the story of Peter Pan. Essentially it elaborates on his interaction with a well-to-do family lead by Kate Winslet who has been recently widowed. Her sons provide the inspiration for Barrie’s story and they feed his imagination when other aspects of his life serve to bring him back down to earth. A superb performance from Johnny Depp could lead to an Oscar nomination in March.

Tony’s Verdict: 8/10

Plot Synopsis: The movie details the experiences of ‘Peter Pan’ author J.M. Barrie, which lead him to write the children’s classic. He got to know four children who have no fathers. Drawing from his time with the kids, he writes a story about children who don’t want to grow up.

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Movies Recommended

Hero

HeroSaw this last week and have to say it was one of the best films I’ve seen in ages. A solid story detailing the story of a warrior who kills three assasins who have vowed to kill the king and how he is rewarded for his deeds. It takes a few twists and turns along the way but the imagery and use of colour are fantastic. Definitely one to see.

Tony’s Verdict: 9/10

Plot Synopsis: In ancient China, before the reign of the first emperor, warring factions throughout the Six Kingdoms plot to assassinate the most powerful ruler, Qin. When a minor official defeats Qin’s three principal enemies, he is summoned to the palace to tell Qin the story of his surprising victory.

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Movies Recommended

The Manchurian Candidate

Went to see this last night in Ster Century after dinner in daVinci’s in Leixlip. Have to say that I was slightly underwhelmed by it. By all accounts its a good, solid political thriller with all the required elements and some genuine moments of tension. Denzel Washington played the part well and was complemented by a superb performance from Meryl Streep as the politically headstrong mother. However, I felt there was something missing that I just couldn’t put my finger on. 😕 Definitely a good movie but not a masterpiece.

Tony’s Verdict: 7/10

Plot Synopsis: When his army unit was ambushed during the first Gulf War, Sergeant Raymond Shaw saved his fellow soldiers just as his commanding officer, Major Ben Marco, was knocked unconscious. Brokering the incident for political capital, Shaw eventually becomes a vice-presidential nominee, while Marco is haunted by dreams of what happened — or didn’t happen — in Iraq. As Marco investigates, the story begins to unravel, to the point where he questions if it happened at all. Is it possible the entire unit was kidnapped and brainwashed to believe Shaw is a war hero as part of a plot to seize the White House? Some very powerful people at Manchurian Global corporation appear desperate to stop him from finding out.

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Recommended

Spiderman 2

Well I’ve seen Spiderman 2 twice now, once on Thursday with Mark and then again last night with my dad. Have to say that it is superb and goes beyond the achievements of the first film. I’ll begin to explain my opinion so….the character arcs are better developed in this film especially the love story between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Dunst and Maguire do a solid job in the acting department and are complemented by a great performance from Alfred Molina as “Doc Oc”. There are some slow moments in the film but the last 45 minutes is pretty much non-stop acceleration.
Spider-Man (3-Disc Deluxe Edition)
A special mention has to go to the CGI guys on this film as the blending of real and CG elements is handled much better than the first one. It’s now harder to distinguish between the two and the fact that they fool you 90% of the time is a tribute to SFX wizards. They also managed to inject characterisation into “Doc Oc”s metal arms and they are genuinely scary in most of the scenes. Things I think they could have improved on/changed:

  • I would have devoted less time to the “Peters life is crap at the moment” vibe. They made the point and it should have been left at that.
  • There was no reason given on why he periodically lost his powers. Its hinted that this was because of his state of mind but it isn’t fully explained.

They’re the only two things I can think of changing and overall it was a superb movie.

Tony’s Rating: 9/10

Plot Synopsis: Peter Parker (Tobey McGuire) can’t seem to catch any kind of break. Being Spiderman has brought him nothing but problems as far as his personal life is concerned. Not only that, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) is engaged to astronaut John Jameson, and Peter may lose her forever. Things are so bad for him that he is pushed past his breaking point, so he decides that he doesn’t want to be Spiderman anymore, until a freak accident transforms Dr. Otto Octavius into Dr. Octopus, a super-villian with four metal tentacles coming out of him. Peter realizes that only Spiderman can stop him, but of course, problems arise. Mary Jane gets caught in the middle, and Harry Osborn, who still blames Spiderman for the death of his father, Norman Osborn, also the Green Goblin, wants him dead. Spiderman will have to push himself past his limits if he’s going to survive.