Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

As you all know, we were lucky enough to be invited to a screening of Harry Potter 7 Part 1 on Saturday through Mark’s job at Warner Bros. The destination was the Arclight Theater in Sherman Oaks and we arrived, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (sort of) at 7:15am at the Sherman Oaks Galleria for the 9:00am showing. We stood in line with some of Mark’s coworkers and it was interesting that, compared to some of the midnight releases I have been to for the HP series, no one was really dressed up for the occasion…no Gryffindor red and gold and no Slytherin green and silver in sight. A shame really, considering what we were about to see.

After filing into the lobby and getting our free (that’s right, FREE) popcorn and soda, we got into the theater. By that time, it was about 8:15am and Mark decided that he needed to go to the restroom. While he was leaving, the usher stood up and told everyone to enjoy the movie. Then, just as Mark stepped out, the previews started. Poor Mark. There were two previews, one for the new Yogi Bear movie (LAME) and one for Red Riding Hood with Amanda Seyfried (whom I hate). No Green Lantern preview, fortunately for Mark, but unfortunately, none the less.

I don’t want to issue any spoilers in this review, but I do want to say that it is probably THE most faithful book to movie adaptation that I have ever seen. I really think that the things they have left out are not too important…though some of the “ending” may require some character addition somehow and there is a scene with Dudley that was sadly removed. The official ending of the movie is at the end of Chapter 24 of the book, I hope that doesn’t make it a spoiler. Though I knew about the ending point a while ago from some website or other.

Missing characters from the previous books finally make an appearance in this movie, which I love. I won’t say which characters make an appearance, but I think that a lot of people will be happy about them since they have been spoken about in the books from the beginning but since they were so minor, they haven’t made it into the movies until now. I feel like this makes it a more real movie-ization (hey, I can make up words, right?!) of the book. It was almost as though I was reading the book and they were putting my thoughts on the screen.

I hope everyone will enjoy this movie and I really can’t wait to see the second part. I am very sad that this series is coming to an end (though I know how it ends), I know that the second part will be even more of a tear-jerker than the first part.

All in all, I had a great time seeing this screening and I really enjoyed the entire movie (even the sad bits). PS Mark showed up one scene before the beginning titles so he didn’t miss that much, don’t worry.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World…Best Movie of 2010?!

Oh yes, definitely.  The script is almost straight from the graphic novels (yes, I have read them…and I read them WAY before the movie came out…well, except the last one since it barely came out), the directing is EXCELLENT, and the actors were perfectly cast.

First:  The Script.  I really think that they could probably take photos of the pages of the graphic novel and play them over the movie.  In fact, someone did that with the trailer…amazingly enough!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIR2XYGDxCo

(I would put the video in, but it gets distracting).

Second: The Directing.  Oh wow.  Hot Fuzz directors + graphic novel = AMAZING.  I really think that this is the best directed movie ever.  The cuts kept you guessing (in a good way) and the way that they did some of the scenes was really awesome.  I especially loved the final boss battle (despite the fact that it didn’t happen in the subspace highway, like in the graphic novels) since it felt like it was still in some fantastic world.  It was every gamer, geek, nerd dream, rolled into a movie.

Third. The Casting.  Again, oh wow.  I know Michael Cera plays the same role in every movie…but THAT is why I love him (if you want to see him in a different light…watch Youth in Revolt).  Wallace (played by Keiran Culkin) was perfectly gay, Knives Chau (played by Ellen Wong) was perfectly obsessed, Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) was perfectly “not skinny” and mysterious.  Julie Powers was perfectly bitchy and believable (played by Aubrey Plaza).  Young Neil (played by Johnny Simmons) LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE Young Neil…I really don’t know how you can tell the characters apart in the novels, but the cast REALLY looked exactly like the drawings.  Every single character was so perfect!!  Sorry, I just can’t think of too many synonyms for perfect….and they REALLY were!!  Interesting fact: Bill Hader was the narrator..if ya’ didn’t catch it.  Also, I don’t think that you get how dorky Stephen Stills is until you watch the movie, it is kinda weird.  And Lucas Lee is so great….after the movie, we looked up some of the “movie posters” of his films and they are GENIUS!!!

Lucas Lee Movie Poster

Anyway, I think this movie beats out the A-Team (unfairly really, since this is a geek’s wet dream) for movie of the year.  It had me cracking up with just the Universal logo on the screen (you will see why if you go see it!!)

So go watch it if you haven’t already…I know I am planning on seeing it again.  It is such a shame that it didn’t do very well in the theaters…stupid Expendables and Eat, Love, Pray…..LAME!!!!  I think part of it is the word-of-mouth popularity of Inception…quite unfortunate.  I think this will end up doing awesome in DVD/Blu-Ray sales though.  I know I am recommending it to everyone I see!

The Cast of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

“Implanting Ideas and Making People Think They Thought of It” or “Inception”

Generally, I am not a drama movie kind of person, but for some reason, the last two Leonardo DiCaprio movies (namely Shutter Island and Inception) have piqued my interest. Shutter Island I will probably never see because it looks…well, to put it bluntly…scary!!! And I am a wuss. Though since my only forays into horror have been The Ring and Ju-On, I think that I am ok being a scaredy cat (no pun intended, NYU!!) since I like my sleep and I don’t like seeing stringy-haired little girls at the end of my bed…*chills*. Ugh, enough of that thinking.

Anyway, Inception seemed safe enough so on Friday, the Psychotaku and I headed out to our local AMC for the early morning $6 ticket deal to see it. First off, I get bored pretty quickly and the movie starts out pretty slow so I wasn’t too impressed. Though I realize that it is a suspense story, I just can’t stay interested when the ENTIRE movie is suspense…I need little checkpoints throughout to keep me on the edge of my seat, I guess. I also got sick of the Leo story arc with his wife. Otherwise, the acting was fantastic and the special effects and “worlds” that were created were pretty awesome. The ending was pretty neat too, though I kind of figured out what was going to happen without the crazy ending. Having the story be about dream worlds was a new twist on movies and I think Christopher Nolan did a great job with the storytelling.

My favorite scene is a fight scene in a hotel involving Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The spinning hallway was genius and it was very cool to watch.

And I also love how Ellen Page and Leo interact in the movie…not romantically like you would think, but they are very good together.

One of the silliest things about the end of the movie was that people in our theater decided that the “real” ending must be after the credits, but I don’t know why they would spoil an ending like that by giving people “closure”….sorry, trying not to spoil the ending is really tough!!

All in all, this is a great movie if you like suspense/dramas, but for a comedy person like me, it was kind of slow and almost TOO suspenseful though it did have me on the edge of my seat at times (including the ending, luckily enough). I feel kind of bad since I didn’t fully love it like the Psychotaku did, but I guess my crazy personality doesn’t really let me enjoy suspenseful movies like that. Ah well… I guess I am just a funny movie kinda gal!! 😉

Avatar….the REAL one.

Alright, I know it has been a while since I have blogged, but I have been super busy with Anime Expo and work so I haven’t really had a chance to get online. This will be the first blog of a series of catchup blogs describing the recent goings on. First up, The Last Airbender.

Ok, so I know I am late on the scene with this, it came out just before Anime Expo and I was lucky enough to see it on July 2nd. Well, maybe lucky isn’t the right word…though I guess fortunate really isn’t the right word either. Anyway, here goes.

The movie was great…if you weren’t a fan of the show beforehand. It had a very serious tone and none of the lightheartedness that usually comes out in a normal episode of Avatar. The special effects were pretty neat and I loved Aang’s tattoos for his arrow.

That was where it all broke down.

The movie was basically a rundown of the first season of Avatar. So, the first season…minus any jokes and laughter that was associated with it. Also….they called him Aaaaaang (like in father) rather than Aang like in the cartoon. Everytime someone said his name, I was immediately pulled out of the movie. About a quarter of the way in, people (including me) were yelling “It’s AANG” at the screen everytime someone said it. He was also the Aaavatar instead of the Avatar, but only 3/4 of the time….I think the fire nation kept saying Avatar and everyone else was saying Aaavatar. Anyway, that took me out of the movie everytime as well. I think maybe Shyamalan did that to distance the movie from James Cameron’s Avatar, but that is lame since the show has always said the names one way and now they are saying a different way. Slightly ridiculous if you ask me.

As for the actors…the kid who played Aang was cute and looked very similar to the Aang I know and love, but his acting was very stilted and he obviously didn’t know how to have fun like Aang. I did like Prince Zuko but the rest (including Sokka and Katara) were just really crappy. My favorite character in the show is Uncle Iroh and he didn’t come off as funny or as awesome as he should have, if that makes any sense. They had Momo and Appa in the movie, but neither of them were featured as much as they should have been…Momo especially. He was found, then he was just kind of around, but never doing anything.

Anyway, I have friends who have seen the movie without seeing the show and they really liked it, so I guess that it can be enjoyable if you haven’t seen it. If you have seen it….I would say wait for Netflix if you really want to see it or just don’t see it at all. It doesn’t add anything to the series since it is a direct hour and a half translation of the show and it doesn’t have any of the humor and heart like the show. I didn’t really care for any of the characters and there was no development. It was almost like they expected me to know the characters beforehand (which I do, thank goodness) but that isn’t how a movie should be at all.

Stay tuned for more Psykoneko goings on in the next couple of days!! And check out the REAL Avatar on Netflix or on Nickelodeon! 😛

The Awesome-Team

So last night, the Psychotaku and I went to see the new A-Team Movie. In my opinion, this movie was SUPER epic!! I mean, during the movie, we had another 5.7 earthquake out here (well, a little south of the border, but we DEFINITELY felt it), which made the movie even MORE epic!

Before going in to see this, I was sincerely doubting that Quentin “Rampage” Jackson had the guts to be as awesome as Mr. T. After this, I am praising his acting abilities. I mean, it can’t be TOO hard to be a bad ass considering his background, but he did an AWESOME job, fool!

Each character was perfectly cast, whoever cast Copley as Murdoch is a genius. He was perfectly crazy and likable just like in the actual show. Also, Liam Neeson had Hannibal DOWN and Bradley Cooper was extremely convincing as Face.

All in all, I think this may have been better than Iron Man 2. The action scenes were extremely intricate (the boat scene at the end, especially). And, I never would have thought that ANYONE could fly a tank. I also love how they don’t really explain how the A-Team survives that tank+lake combination, we just know they are bad-ass enough to survive it and so we believe it.

If you haven’t seen this yet, GO SEE IT. And don’t forget to stay after the credits. Our entire theater emptied out and missed out on a last homage to the original A-Team. All I know is that they had better make an A-Team 2 so that we can see tham helping out civilians soon!!