Saturday, November 29, 2014

[MOVIE REVIEW] Monkeybone (2001)


Title: Monkeybone

Starring:  Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Rose McGowan, and Chris Kattan

Genre: Fantasy / Black Comedy / Animals / Death

Company:  Twentieth Century Fox

Directed by: Henry Selick

Year: 2001

MPAA Rating / TV Rating: Rated PG-13 – For
Crude Humor and Some Nudity

Buy on:  Amazon  //

The film starts off with Stu Miley being honored for his work on his cartoon series "Monkeybone," which stars an extremely crude and perverted cartoon monkey wrecking havoc on everyone else's lives.  After the celebration however, Stu ends up in a car accident and is thrown into a coma where he ends up in another world called Downtown, where his creation Monkeybone resides in.  In order to get out of Downtown, Stu has to try and steal Death's exit pass to get back to the world of the living; but unfortunately, his creation Monkeybone ends up betraying him and ends up stealing Stu's body when he comes to the world of the living.  Not only that, but it turns out that Hypnos, Death's brother, was planning on giving everyone in the world of the living nightmares by having Monkeybone inject everyone with nightmare juice.  Now Stu must find a way to get back into his own body before Monkeybone injects everyone with nightmare juice!

I had watched almost all the movies directed by Henry Selick at this point and I had enjoyed almost all of them!  However, "Monkeybone" was that one case that I could have enjoyed it much better if the plot and the characters were handled a bit better, but I'll get into that later.  What I did like about this movie was the fact that the world of Downtown was so creative to look at as all the characters look like they came out of various mythologies and fantasy works and seeing them interact with each other was brilliant to see!  I also loved how all the actors and actresses in this film gave their all by acting so hammy yet convincing towards the audience in detailing the characters' plight throughout this movie.  Probably the actors and actresses in this film that I really enjoyed their performances were Whoopi Goldberg and Brendan Fraser as they really made their characters truly stand out in this film!  I loved the way that Brendan Fraser was able to balance between being hammy and being emotional as Stu Miley and it really made me get into Stu's predicament of trying to confess his love towards Julie and try to find his way out of Downtown so he could tell Julie he loves her.  Whoopi Goldberg was also fantastic as Death as she made Death into a truly hilarious and sympathetic character and I really liked the relationship she develops with Stu.  I also loved the fact that Stu truly does care about Julie and is willing to do anything to get back to her and confess his love to her.

Some problems that I had with this film was that I felt that the story could have been much better if the characters and the story were developed better. Now, I did look at the deleted scenes for this movie and I realized that the creative team were forced to cut out a lot of parts to help this film retain a PG-13 rating, but in doing that, they cut out a lot of parts that were essential to the plot of the story, even if they probably wouldn't make the movie any better than it is.  I would have liked this movie better if we actually got to know more about the characters themselves, especially about the pact between Stu and his sister Kimmy where Kimmy will pull the plug on Stu if Stu goes into a coma, which the movie failed to go into more detail about.  Also, there were times where the movie was forcing in crude humor where they didn't need to be and it made viewing this movie a bit awkward since one moment I would be enjoying the story of the film and then the next moment, they introduce a crude moment that involves toilet humor that kind of ruins the scenes for me.

Overall, while "Monkeybone" does have a lot of creative moments, especially during the Downtown sequences, the movie suffers from lack of character development that makes viewing this movie a bit hard at times.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Sunday Post Meme (5)

Hey everybody! I am participating in a book meme called the Sunday Post which is being hosted by Kimba theCaffeinated Book Reviewer! The goal of this meme is to share news you have on various books and things you've read or received and also talk about what is coming up for your blog!  Movie hauls can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought movies and you can share these finds with other movie bloggers!

Check out my list of my top 10 TV characters that I wish would get their own TV series!

The movie "MirrorMask" has now been added to my "Weirdness Approved" list! Check it out!

Well, that’s the Sunday News for today and I will have more news for the various movies and TV shows I’ve seen in the near future!

Posted on Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

[MOVIE REVIEW] Mirrormask (2005)


Title: Mirrormask

Starring:  Stephanie Leonidas, Jason Barry, Rob Brydon and Gina McKee

Genre: Horror / Fantasy / Friendship

Company:  The Jim Henson Company and Destination Films

Directed by: Dave McKean

Year: 2005

MPAA Rating / TV Rating: Rated PG – For Some Mild Thematic Elements and Scary Images.

Buy on:  Amazon  //

The film starts off with a young girl named Helena Campbell, whose family runs a circus and she is one of the performers.  Unfortunately, Helena wanted to run away from the circus to live a normal life and when she tried to tell this to her mother, they ended up getting into a huge argument to the point where Helena wished something terrible happens to her mother.  When the family gets ready for their big circus performance, Helena's mother ends up fainting on stage and she is immediately rushed to the hospital.  It turns out that Helena's mother needs to undergo an operation to survive and Helena and her father worry for the mother, especially Helena as she felt bad for saying horrible things to her mother before.  During the night, Helena ends up going into a dreamlike state and she stumbles upon a surreal world that seems to mirror her own world except that everything seems like it came out of her drawings.  There, she meets an odd man who constantly wears a mask named Valentine and it was then that they discovered that the world is in chaos because the Princess of Shadows ends up stealing a charm from the City of Light and the White Queen ends up being in a coma, which allows the Queen of Shadows to take over the City of Light.  So, Helena and Valentine ended up going on a journey to retrieve the missing charm before it is too late!

Now, I will admit that even though I have read many of Neil Gaiman's works, I had never heard of this movie before, until just recently and I must admit that I really enjoyed this movie a lot!  What was the most interesting thing to me about this movie was that the drawings that Helena had drawn throughout the film was none other than Dave McKean's drawings, who was well known for doing a lot of the artwork for Neil Gaiman's books!  I loved the way that the drawings provided a haunting and surreal atmosphere for the film as I found myself either being memorized by the imagery (the scenes with the City of Lights were beautiful) or being frightened by the imagery (the scenes with the sphinx cats really creep me out). I also loved the fact that this film is somewhat of a spiritual successor to "Labyrinth," another film from the Jim Henson Company, as both films dealt with the main character having problems with their families and once they enter another world, they have to save the people who resemble their family members from whatever dark force happens to come upon them.  The actors and the actresses in this film were fantastic, with my favorite character being Valentine as he was played wonderfully by Jason Barry and he really brought so much humor to the film.  I also loved Stephanie Leonidas' portrayal of Helena as she is shown to be a spunky girl who doesn't seem to be afraid of the frightening world she ends up in and it really makes me get into her character.

The only problem that I had with this film was that the story tend to get a little confusing at times to the point where I don't exactly know what is quite going on with the characters.  Like for instance, the movie didn't really explain about what kind of condition Helena's mother had that caused her to go to the hospital in the first place and even though it wouldn't be a major part of the film, I still would like to know what kind of disease Helena's mother had that would be so dangerous to her health.

Overall, "Mirrormask" is a fantastic and surreal film that anyone who is a huge fan of Neil Gaiman's works or surreal movies in general will definitely enjoy for many years to come!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #4: Top 10 TV Characters You Wish would get their own TV series!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week there’s a different Top Ten list. It’s a great way to find and connect with other awesome bloggers.  

So today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is my top 10 characters that I wish would get their own series (in no particular order).

1. Spike from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." 

Sure, Angel had his own TV series after "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," but what about Spike himself?  He's a pretty interesting character from the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series and I would love to see a TV series that revolves around him!

2. Anya from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

 Seriously, I was trying to decide between whether Cordelia or Anya should get their own TV series from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," but since Cordelia was already a major part of the "Angel" TV series, I chose Anya instead.  Anya had a pretty interesting back story as a demon and I would love to see maybe a prequel series of sorts about what Anya was like before she met Buffy and the others.

3. Helga Pataki from "Hey Arnold!"

You want to know the sad part about this?  Helga was supposed to get her own TV series called "The Patakis" but Nickelodeon decided not to make this series happen since they thought it would have either been too similar to "Daria" or too dark.  A shame really, since I would have loved to see a TV series starring Helga Pataki! 

4. Jazz from the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

Easily one of my most favorite characters from the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," I would have loved to see his adventures after the finale of the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and see how he could make it without Will being around him.

5. Stacy and Chelsea from "The Angry Beavers."

Another sad story with this one was that Stacy and Chelsea were supposed to get their own TV series, but after "The Angry Beavers" was canceled, that didn't happened. Too bad, since I would have loved to see a TV series that starred Norbert and Daggett's adorable little sisters!

6. Turk from "Scrubs."

Man, I loved Turk from "Scrubs!" I really wished that he would get his own TV series since I found him to be a pretty interesting character and I would love to see more of his interactions with his wife Carla!

7. Elliot from "Scrubs."

Seriously, I was caught between choosing either Elliot or Carla to get their own TV series, but since I've mentioned Carla along with Turk, I choose Elliot since she was clearly a hilarious character in "Scrubs" that would bring out the show's humor even more in her own TV series!

8. Gus from "Psych."

Gus is pretty much the straight man to Shawn's comedic nature, so I do wonder if we get a TV series that focuses on Gus and how he can still bring humor and wit to his own TV series!

9. Felicity Smoak from "Arrow."

Seriously, who wouldn't want to have a TV series starring everyone's favorite techno geek, Felicity! I always think that Felicity is a pretty interesting character in the "Arrow" TV series and it would be great if she got her own TV series!

10. Roy Harper from "Arrow."

Another great character from "Arrow," it would be pretty interesting to see more awesome activities from Roy if he got his own TV series!

What TV characters do you wish got their own TV series? Please comment below!

Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2014