Friday, June 25, 2010

Toy Story 3: Movie Review

If only Thin Lizzy could change their song title to Toys are Back in Town, then this would have been perfect. But the movie itself is a wonderful, and perhaps dark, journey into understanding how we should never forget those that we hold dearly.

Andy, the owner of the story, is all grown up. And he's about to leave college soon. Like most growing teens, we'd end up forgetting about the toys that we grew up with. We threw them out, put them in the store, attic, wherever. As the toys were headed to the Attic, except Woody (Tom Hanks), all of them were mistakenly taken out and headed to Sunnyside, a day care centre for kids. Greeted by Lots-o-Huggin Bear and Ken (Michael Keaton, NO KIDDING), all was fine and dandy until they were manhandled roughly. Now, every toy of Andy's vow to get themselves and Woody back to Andy and the Attic before he leaves for college.

I grew up with the first 2 movies and it was really fun. I remembered first the most (after watching it like, 20 times, through illegal means that I'm not proud of now) and the 2nd was forgettable. But now, this one marks as even more memorable due to its dark tone in certain parts of the story.

The plot pacing was, ok frankly. It wasn't as engaging as the other movies, but still ok. The animation was wonderful, the sound was too. Voice cast, as usual fantastic. Props to Michael Keaton, seriously, for being Ken.

Gripes with the movie? I cried like a baby. I said it. But its because you can feel the attachment when the ending comes. I can't spoil it here, but if you did grow up with the toys, it might leave you bawling. I have never cried in a movie hall before, and this broke my record.

But that's not just the only memorable scene. The whole movie, in its covers, actually asks us about how we treat others. For the adults, we could ask what have we done in our lives and what have we left behind (These sort of emotions is what Pixar is best at. Dependency was in Wall-E, Up was about imaginations). For the kids, they are in for a treat as the ending, will be a happy one. But they will be scared in certain scenes when everyone would question the fate of the toys.

Its rare to get movies that makes you question yourself about a whole lot in life. We did have Yasmin Ahmad in the past to do so, and Muallaf will go down probably as an underrated movie that many may not understand the questions. But lets hope that Pixar continues on and on with their movies and the questions that they have given to us. This movie is such a delight that you may want to watch it again and again.

Kyo's score: 10/10. I still love The A-Team more because I'm biased about that. :P

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sony E3 2010 Press Conference: Kyo's View

I slept during this, but managed to read all about it. And thank God Sony has good things in store for everyone!

Starting the conference was...3D for the PS3! And yeah, the whole auditorium saw KZ3 in 3D, but sadly not everyone else outside. But hey, its ok. Some games like Super Stardust HD and Wipeout will be available in 3D, and that was just the start of things.

Very excited on how Sly Cooper's Collection will be available in 3D for the PS3. Man, 3 games in 1, please tell us it'll be cheap...

And then, Playstation Move. Not so impressive if you ask me, but more details need to be shown. Good thing is, you don't see Move copying what Nintendo has and is focusing on new titles (unlike the jackass who did).

Finally, there's Kevin Butler. LONG LIVE KEVIN BUTLER!!! (The actor really. Thank you God for giving Sony some sense to bring in the big man who gave us all a character that we could laugh and love).

We did get a peek at Medal of Honor, which looked nice. And then, Sony pulled off the shocking thing, which was Portal 2. Well, the guy hates the PS3, but I guess he got spiritual enlightenment. :P

So, 3 conferences from the 3 giants are out. My verdict? The clear winners were Sony and Nintendo. Both at a tie. The reason, they both presented new technology for the masses (3D PS3 games, and movies later, 3DS) and some very great looking games (3DS wins more on this because the support will be immense. 3D FF7 anyone? :P) Well, there's next year Microsoft. Our money's on Move and 3DS. Not Kinect. Sorry.

Nintendo's E3 2010 Press Conference: Kyo's View

WOW. What a show. Staying up til 1.30am was great! Because this year, Nintendo did not disappoint at all!

Opening the show we have The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, with Motion Plus support. Asking yourselves to hold a nunchunk like a real shield is a nice tough, but seeing your sword go with you is even better.

And the momentum continued. Totally surprised with Goldeneye 007, Kirby's Epic Yarn (which is not only cute but very creative), Donkey Kong Country Return (Side scroll me in 3D) and Golden Sun Dark Dawn just to name a few (DID YOU SEE THAT BATTLE SEQUENCE???).

And then, there's the 3DS.

I urge you not to continue reading my blog and go to It will explain the console better. I'm outta here to save money for a 3DS!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Microsoft's E3 Press Con 2010: Kyo's View

My my. 2009 was great for Microsoft in terms of the press con battle. You've got the Beatles coming over, you got previews of nice games, and you've got Hideo Kojima coming in to preview MGS Rising.

How was 2010?


Yes, I got my COD Black Ops. Gameplay was nice. Yes I have my GEoW 3, which was also great. Yes I've got MGS Rising's teaser with a little bit of gameplay and Raiden sucking juice from some robot's spine. Yes I've got Halo Reach and Fable 3 making appearances.

And yes I have Xbox Kinect and the redigned 360 hardware.

That's it. And to top off last year's performance, they gave away free 360s. And yes, audiences love free stuff.

So Microsoft leveraged highly on Core games first, and then the casual side of games. Now, Microsoft, i need you to be more innovative rather than giving me rip offs of other consoles. Dance Central? If you have more hits than Just Dance then bring it. Kinect Sports? Urgh, why? Kinectimals? Sigh...

Being in a Ferrari, yeah that sounds like a fresh take. So, GT5? When are you going to show what's in a Ferrari then?

I was really hoping for new announcements. Or at least surprises. But, no. Now, lets hope that the other press cons can deliver. Beginning with, NINTENDO.

The Karate Kid: Movie Review

When Pat Morita taught audiences how to "Wax on, Wax Off", people started guessing what other things you can do in daily life that is similar to karate. Well, why not try picking up a jacket instead? Its easier, and becomes the new lesson for the new remake of the Karate Kid.

The plot is similar to the first movie, but different cast and setting. There's Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) who moves to another country (contrary to another city in the original), and gets bullied by trying to make friends with another girl. When things get worst, the maintenance man, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) comes to the rescue, with Dre having to agree to enter a tournament to beat the bully.

One of the issues audiences had was the name of the movie. Most would have complained that it should have been the Kung Fu Kid. But to be frank, who would have known the Kung Fu Kid, rather than the Karate Kid? Its better for the production to have leveraged on the old name, since it got people talking. haha.

The plot, is similar until the end. But the shots the movie was filmed at, FANTASTIC. The crew should cherish the fact they got to shoot this at the Great Wall. That one needs you to pull off a whole lot of strings just to be up there. Location and set pieces who carefully chosen and they look great.

But to me, that was the only good part from the movie. Everything else, is well, a 21st century remake. And that's about it. It does get draggy in the first part (Shocked to learn it was for 2 hours and 20 minutes), but works out the pacing at the end. I do however recommend you watching this movie if you want that nostalgia feeling. Because in this movie, everything ends happily ever after. And yeah, the action is nice too.

Kyo says: 7 out of 10. Mainly for the action and the stunt teams.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The A-Team : Movie Review

You gotta love it when a plan comes together. Of course this coming from a fan who has chased the series since he was still in Primary (Thank you TV2 for the fond memories of reruns), you'd be thinking I'll be biased. Well, on a biased point, GO WATCH THE MOVIE. For an unbiased one, read below.
The A-Team, an elite crack commando unit escaped from a maximum security prison for a crime they didn't commit. The best part, is that Joe Carnahan (director) decided to change certain settings. It used to be Vietnam War vets. Now they are just war vets currently in Iraq. And yes, they were framed and sent to prison. Escaping it, now they want payback and clean records. And yes, it definitely gets better from there.
It is truly nonstop action from start to finish, with little joke fillers (That will crack you wide open) to add in the middle of the actions scenes. The rush is so great that when you decide to look at your watch you realize its almost over, and you'll hate that, because the movie leaves you begging for more.
While the plot is, how shall I put it, simple? Yet you might get frustrated on the abundance of loopholes on how efficient Hannibal (Liam Neeson) can be (This however, was explained in the prison scene in the early of the show). But I can think that you might not care on how efficient Hannibal might be. You just know and love it when a grand scheme of plans come together.
The shots taken however, were a little messy sadly. It could have been clearer. The sound and effects, FANTASTICO! But I would say that special effects feels a little overly used in this movie. Action scenes, well, if you've watched Smokin' Aces, expect that to be 5 times crazier.
Now comes the characters, while everyone was great (be reminded, never to piss off an MMA fighter), I believe Sharlto Copley stood out the most as Howling Mad Murdoch. From the moment you see him at the Psych hospital til the very end, you will love him. Bradley Cooper works very well as Faceman, remaining very faithful to the original. Liam Neeson was always fantastic to watch with. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, hats off to you on being a milder BA. But that's alright.
If you think the trailer gave you everything to watch about The A-Team, boy you would be DAMN WRONG. Go watch it, because I was proven wrong. I thought I had the story nailed down to me after watching the trailer 14 times (i counted), but DAMN!
Now, all good praises however do come to an end. There is that abundance of loopholes (Maybe it was just to be faithful to the series in someway), messy scenes, this being not-your-daddy's-A-Team (expect mild language and sexual scenes), and uninteresting bad guys that you would be confused to like or hate. So in some ways, you won't this perfect.
All in all, if you're a fan, you'll love it! If you're an action movie goer, you'll love it too. But if you're looking for a deep story, sorry, you would get dissapointed.
Kyo's Flames: 8 out of 10. My best movie for the year. Sorry Kick-Ass!