Tag Archives: 3D

Piranha – Review

26 Jul

Isn’t it great to put a movie on with an intriguing narrative that features complex characters, whose stories mirror real world issues and offer an intellectual social commentary? That’s a great thing, but then there are days where all I want it to see a trashy, gory, stupid movie that is good for outrageous laughs and no thought. That is exactly what Piranha offers.

It’s spring break once again in Lake Victoria, Arizona. A time when unruly college students get drunk, have sex, and dance like idiots. It’s also the most profitable time for this small town. This year, however, unexpected guests arrive in the form of prehistoric piranhas that were released from an underwater cave after an earthquake. Now, a group of friends and strangers must band together in order to save themselves and whatever students, while trying to find a way to destroy the piranhas.

This movie is absolute ludicrous and almost beyond a traditional review. I really have no room to talk about acting, writing, or cinematography since that’s not what this movie is about. Instead, it would be more appropriate to discuss how much fun I had watching it and what about the ridiculous plot points and happenings that worked well or not at all.

Piranha is certainly not made for the faint of heart. Along with Braindead, this is one of the goriest movies that I have ever seen. I’m not a huge fan of seeing the blood spray and gore being CGI, which is not uncommon nowadays, so it was refreshing to see the blood and gore effects to be mostly make up and prosthetics, with the exception of some green screen trickery. If you happen to have this on DVD, I would highly recommend watching the behind the scenes for the make up department. It’s very interesting if you’re interested in that type of thing.

Watching this movie in my living room only made me wish that I could’ve watched it in theaters with the 3D. There are a few scenes in particular that would have been a laugh out loud moment if only I’d seen it in 3D. Don’t get me wrong, the jokes rarely fall flat, but the cheesy extra dimension would have added to the mood.

Piranha is an absolutely ridiculous movie. There will be people who will argue that this movie is terrible, and that’s like your opinion, man. My personal opinion is that it is a worthy homage to the shlockey trash horror that was popular in the 1970s (this movie is actually a remake of a 1978 trash film that was a total knockoff of Jaws). If you like movies that don’t take themselves too seriously or you just want to have a good laugh at some over the top horror and gore, than check out Piranha. You’re guaranteed an equal amount of laughs and squirms.

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TRON: Legacy – Review

24 Jul

After doing a review for TRON, I think it’s only fair to take a look at it’s predecessor that was released 27 years later. Whereas the original TRON was a stepping stone for the area of CGI, TRON: Legacy will be remembered as an important movie in the rapidly growing use of 3D and the continuing evolution of computer graphics.

 

Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) knew all about the Grid from the stories he would be told by his father, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), but he never though that one night his dad would go to work and never return. For twenty years, the mystery of what happened to his father has plagued Sam, and when a mysterious page is sent to Kevin’s partner, Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), from the old arcade, Sam goes to investigate. While there, he accidentally transports himself into the Grid where he not only finds his trapped father, but also the program that has turned against him, Clu (Bridges again…sort of).

For me, TRON: Legacy is an all around better movie than the original. The effects are obviously better, but the story has also been improved. Mind you, it’s not perfect at all. In fact, it can be kind of bewildering at times. The pacing is a lot better, however, and there is clear and more serious motivation behind what the characters do.

There are some serious plot holes that I thought of after the movie was over. The strange thing is, I didn’t really realize them as I was watching it because I was so enthralled by the audio/visual overload that is TRON: Legacy. That’s also to say that the plot holes exist, but they aren’t serious enough to really detract me from enjoying the movie. Looking back on them, however, my experience may be a little soured the next time I watch it.

As you can see from the clip above the previous paragraph, the light cycles look a hell of a lot better in this one than the original, no surprise there. While that may be obvious, I just want to comment on just how cool the entire look and sounds of this movie is. The computer graphics are fantastic and the bright orange or blue lights on the costumes contrast well with the blue and grey world. The sounds are appropriately robotic or glitchy, and the often pounding score by legendary techno artists, Daft Punk, really help immerse the viewer in the cyber world. Also, the de-rezzing looks awesome.

The only problem that I have with the CGI is a big one. This bothered me throughout the movie, and I was really hoping that I wasn’t the only one who was annoyed. Thankfully, I wasn’t. Clu’s face is digitized to make it look like a younger version of Kevin. Therefore, Jeff Bridges face is animated on another person doing the body acting. This looks pretty horrible. The film makers would have been smart not to stay in any sort of close up for too long, but that isn’t what happens. Instead, the viewers are forced to watch and wonder at a good, but failed attempt at making Bridges young again.

All I can really say is that TRON: Legacy is a much better movie than the original TRON. There was no point during this film that I got bored, which is more than I can say for the original. The Grid looks fantastic and the characters are surprisingly believable. There are some plot issues that are minor, but can be noticeable and Clu’s face looks terrible. Other than that, TRON: Legacy is a good sci-fi escape that proved to be a great way to spend an afternoon.