Patema Inverted: 4/5
Kingsmen: 4.5/5
The Maze Runner: 3.5/5
Big Hero 6: 3.5/5

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bakuman Volume 6 (2011)

Spoiler Alert!!!

     This is the first review of a book (this time a manga) that we are posting. This is actually Avery's review that was published on another site as a guest review. However, we are deciding to post it here as well. Also, note that this is the review for the English release of the item.

Avery's Review

       This installment finally explores the drawbacks to creating manga while trying to maintain a normal life.
                However, the main characters of Moritaka and Akito are anything but normal, especially the former. They’re incredibly motivated, to a point that truly starts to feel unrealistic. The two seem to rarely get out and actually enjoy life. It’s good to be motivated, but they are bordering on obsessed, if they have not already crossed such a line. This, however, can be overlooked in lieu of the other aspects of the story.
                Plotwise, in volume six, if it was not obvious from the preview in volume 3, Moritaka basically collapses from work overload. He is then rushed to the hospital and finds out he has to have surgery. To make matters worse, the editor has decided to put his and Akito’s manga, Detective Trap, on hiatus until they graduate high school.
                  Whereas the cast in previous volumes have only given glimpses at Miho, this volume finally brings her into contact again with some of the other characters, most notably Moritaka. Her relationship with Moritaka continues to feel otherworldly, yet this volume gives it a more relatable aspect by showing how the two interact with each other. As always, Akito and Kaya (not just their relationship) are pushed to the backburner by Moritaka and Miho.
      At this point, the love aspect of the story seems to be on the backburner. Again, the character interactions and development are what really shine in Bakuman, and this volume sheds more light on some of the characters that have only had a couple panels per volume in the past.
               A lot of characters seem to break their previous personalities in this volume, specifically Aoki, Fukuda, and Nakai. However, it seems that part of these personality changes, at least for the last one mentioned, are due to the stress of creating manga, so it is somewhat understandable. Almost all of the previously introduced characters gather in this volume as a huge source of drama and tension.
                 The art continues to shine in this volume. The backgrounds are not constantly forgotten as happens in other series. The characters’ expressions also show a wide array of emotions.
     Bakuman, despite some trouble it may have with depicting real life, is a great read. Unlike other manga, its pages are actually filled with substance rather than big pictures and sound effects. It is definitely worth the money in comparison with other manga, as it lasts almost three times longer due to the walls of text on each page. The characters are all likeable, and, aside from having a few unstable personality designs, they all add to the drama of the big picture of the manga – Moritaka and Akito achieving their goals. Huge, intense battles are not needed to satisfy a craving for an interesting and enjoyable read in this case – a great story and an even greater cast will suffice just fine.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Lion King 3D (1994/2011)

The Lion King 3D

Avery's Review

      Seeing as how this is not really a new movie, this will be a short review. Hooray! 
     Disney, in an attempt to grab up some more dough, brings a favorite classic back into theaters. Audiences roared in delight (Get it?). The Lion King, even as a supposed ripoff (thought not in a bad way for audiences) of the anime Kimba the White Lion, has still found a place in the hearts of almost every American today. Now it reasserts itself in the hearts of those younger moviegoers. 
      I won't go into the plot, since most people already know what this movie entails. Suffice it to say that it's a bit rushed, yet it's such a compelling story that nobody really cares.
     The real reason I am bringing this movie up is the 3D used in it. Blarg. The effects were hardly noticeable. All I recall being better was the opening (only because I was looking for the 3D) and a part where some leaves blow in the wind. The rest of the movie's 3D was lacking. That's what happens when you try to incorporate 3D into a 2D movie. However, my personal biggest disappointment was that kids over a certain age were not allowed to receive the special Lion King 3D glasses. Bleh. At least Harry Potter loves his teen audiences enough to give them special glasses. Even so, the lacking 3D was not enough to make my movie visit outright awful.
     Anyway, if for some odd reason you have not seen The Lion King before, go see it. If you have, go see it again. 3D or 2D. It doesn't really matter. Just go see it.

Rating: 4/5
P.S. This movie borders on a 5. Just saying.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Debt (2011)

     The Debt

Avery's Review

Sorry for the gap since the last review. School and whatnot.
      A short and sweet review? No can do. I’ll try, though.
     Through about half of the movie, my brain was aching from trying to figure out just what in the world was going on. The movie kept switching between two different time periods involving the same three people. It took me about thirty minutes to finally get that much straight. Aside from this, I was not super interested in what was going on in the movie, but I was not bored either. Everything was fairly bland. However, the plot twist that is delivered in this movie is what really got me liking this movie.  However, that affection was soon crushed.
     The Debt  stars Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren, Jesper Christensen, and Marton Csokas, along with others who play those actors’ respective roles in different time periods. The movie revolves around three Mossad agents who were sent to Germany to capture and bring back a Nazi war criminal (Christensen) who had sadistically experimented on thousands of Jews. After thirty years have passed since their mission, they have been celebrated as heroes for their work, yet something dark lingers over all three of them.
The acting is good, to use a bland word. I do not recall a single performance being unbelievable or just bad. I thought Christensen and Jessica Chastain (who portrayed the young version of Rachel, the main protagonist) delivered the strongest performances in the film.       
     I mentioned earlier that there was a huge plot twist that really grabbed my attention. It got me excited for the rest of the movie. However, I was sadly disappointed to find out that the movie’s ending…really did not tie up things. Lots of things were insinuated, but nothing was every fully explained, or rather, closed up. Happenings in the movie seemed too coincidental or unbelievable, even though they were executed well. Probably one of the things I liked most about The Debt was the fact that it portrayed the protagonists, Rachel, David, and Stefan, as normal humans with just a bit of combat training. In other words, when they got injured, they did not instantly jump back up as if nothing had happened. They seemed legitimately human, a rarity in movies nowadays. (I will refrain from talking about how the methods of causing people to become unconscious were not realistic, even if they were better than most movies.) Another pet peeve about this film is that the action happened so fast to the point that the motions were not comprehendible. Maybe we’ll get a Director’s Cut with slow-mo?
     According to my mom, the advertisements praised "Helen Mirren with a gun." I do not recall seeing her with a gun...a syringe, yes. A gun, no. Maybe I just missed something, though.
     Overall, the movie was more frustrating than enjoyable. It was a fun ride, but an ultimately unsatisfying one. Had five more minutes been added onto the feature (which was already of Harry Potter length), I feel that everything could have been cleared up. As a movie reviewer, I’m sorry I am not going into as much detail as I normally would; it’s late, I’m still confused about this movie, and, well, it’s late. Sorry, guys. Maybe I'll be up to par next time. 
Avery's Rating: 3 out of 5

Final Score: