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Jordy's Reviews posts

Thursday August 23, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: ParaNorman (2012)

Making way this morning for my movie-reviewing nephew, Jordan, 11, who has the latest Laika Entertainment Production (“Coraline”) in his sites...

“ParaNorman” succeeds in almost everything. Almost.

The plot of the movie is about a boy named Norman (Kodi Smit-Mcphee) who can see and speak to the dead, and is bullied for his gift. However, he finds out that he needs to stop the Witch’s Curse, which will raise the dead.

Did I tell you that Norman is obsessed with Zombies? And I mean OBSESSED. The first part of the movie is just him watching a bad Zombie movie. And don’t even get me started on his room. He only has Zombie stuff and nothing else. Not an Xbox 360, not Pokémon cards, just The Living Dead.

The movie is pretty scary. There were some parts where my stomach would boil just because there was an eerie moment. It helps the scare factor that the movie is beautifully animated. The bark on the trees, the school, the characters, everything. Speaking of characters, the characters in this movie do an especially good job of making you care for them and hate them. I also love Norman’s relationship with his dead grandma, who promised to take care of him for the rest of his life. They really are both funny and it's also kind of touching how he kind of has this guardian angel.

The story is great. It has a lot to say, and it says it really well. There’s even a really great plot twist I did not see coming.

The script is also good, except for a few bad lines, which is to be expected in most movies. (With very few exceptions.)

There are some funny parts. There are a few jokes that adults would only get and some that kids would just find hysterical. (Mostly crude humor jokes.)         

I love the feel of this movie. It can feel lighthearted during one scene and during the next make you feel terrified. It works really well, and I absolutely love that feel.

The thing I hate about this movie is that the things that need to be realistic aren’t. For example, instead of learning about the pilgrims feast and putting on a play about that, they put on a play about this small little town’s Witches Curse. I don’t remember putting on plays about Minnesota.

Overall, though, this movie is great. With beautiful animation, a great plot twist, and a satisfying feel, I think that it will be up for an Oscar for best-animated movie. Go see it, or the dead will RISE! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

90%
Okay For 9+

poster for "ParaNorman" (2012)

Posted at 06:38 AM on Aug 23, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews
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Tuesday June 26, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: Brave (2012)

The following was written by my nephew, Jordan, who turns 11 next month, and who has written a pack of reviews before. You can also view his own movies on YouTube...

I love Pixar. To be honest, who doesn’t? They have beautiful animations and have almost always managed to get love and praise by viewers and critics alike.

But, in 2011, they released Cars 2, the first movie that got iffy reviews for a Pixar made film. Now they have released Brave, the first hinted adventure film Pixar has ever made, and is it good? The real question that I found myself asking is, “Is it good by Pixar standards?"

Kind of.

The movie is about a girl named Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) who is about to become a princess. However, she wants to be Indiana Jones’ Gal, and momma thinks otherwise. So she asks for a spell to change her mother’s mind. However, she’s not specific enough to ask the witch to change her mind about her HAVING to be the princess. So she asks to change her mom. Next thing she knows, she has turned her momma into a bear, and like every single curse, she has a limited time to take the spell back.

The story was not the best. It’s not on the levels of Pixar standards. However, there were enough clever things. My favorite part of the movie was when Merida took a ride on her horse, showing her amazing archery skills to the audience. Then we get the most visually stunning scene in the movie in the same part. The scene, which was towards the beginning, made me disappointed that most of the movie was set in the castle or the woods and not in the surrounding area, and when they have a part that seems like a long road ahead, they jump cut to the place. That just HAD to be covered with fog. NOOOO!!!!!

I do have to say that the voice acting was good. The mother-daughter relationship is very good, and adds depth to a movie that desperately needs it. The script is believable. Plus, I really don’t want to just look for flaws in the movie, because that just takes the fun out of watching a movie.

The movie is surprisingly funny for a much darker Pixar movie, but not when it needs it most. My horror movie scriptwriter teacher says, “Humor makes the scary part more scary.” Words to live by, but not for this movie, which has scary parts but not much humor in them. Hint hint, Pixar!

Also, the movie sometimes feels like Merida only focuses on the problems of her Mother and the kingdom, and not her little mischievous red-haired brothers, who can cause some big problems. (Mom, I’m not describing myself!)

Despite my complaints, I am bashing a great movie that could have been greater. I feel that I am being unfair to a movie that I’d take over Cars 2, but not Toy Story or most of the other Pixars. It’s unfair to make it seem like this movie’s bad when it’s up against some of the best animated movies of all time, and probably THE best animated movies.

81%

Okay For 7+

~Jordan Muschler

poster for Pixar's "Brave" (2012)

Posted at 06:59 AM on Jun 26, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews
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Monday April 09, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: Kid Icarus: Uprising (2012)

My 10-year-old nephew Jordy gives us his latest video-game review...

This is the game people have been waiting for for 20 years.

Little backstory, “Kid Icarus” was released for the NES in 1987 and “Kid Icarus: Of Myths And Monsters” for the original Game Boy in 1991, and the series was never heard from again until, in March 2012, “Kid Icarus: Uprising” for the 3DS was made, and, I have to admit, it was pretty good.

Kid Icarus: Uprising logoFirst of all, like EVERY video game, it went to the 3rd dimension, except this game did it in two ways. One, a 3D environment, and two, actual 3D. The game has changed from a sidescroller with platforming and RPG elements to a third person shooter. Wow. But, surprisingly, the game works. I love the 8-Bit references that they have in both the soundtrack and the graphics. (Anybody check Google maps on April Fool’s Day?) Also, Pit, the protagonist, references video games a lot, which is nostalgic for old gamers and funny for kids.

Speaking of speaking, Nintendo FINALLY made a game with voice acting in it. (You better be taking notes, Zelda!) The voices are fine, and the script is also fine, however, the games characters will keep talking until the end of each chapter, and this can be a little annoying to some people. You can just turn down the volume all the way, but this would make you miss out on the game's awesome soundtrack. The music is just so great, all you have to do is look up a YouTube video or download the music, and your ears will be blown away.

The game’s story is all right: Medusa and her army are resurrected and try to destroy the world, and Pit and Palutena have to kill the bad guys. Along the way there are a few unexpected things that happen and are actually much better than most stories nowadays. The graphics are actually pretty good, and look better than most graphics nowadays, just proving that most games nowadays are stinking in the graphics department. This game has a ton of content. It has unlockables in the form of treasure hunts, which is basically just a bunch of stuff you can do in the main story mode, idols to collect, and the online mode, which we will get to later. The controls are fine. I played the entire game without the circle pad pro and, being a lefty, I had to adjust the controls to moving with the buttons, shooting with L, and moving the cursor with the circle pad. These controls worked fine with me, and made me have a lot of fun, both with air battles and land battles. The land battles are not nearly as fun as the air battles, which are surprisingly harder than the land battles. The gameplay is so much fun, also, and I’m just glad that the controls are good, because in a game like this, controls have to be great. The biggest problem for me is that even though there are nine different weapons, the only thing it changes is the speed. Not the gameplay. The speed. Also, there are a few glitches in the game. The games multiplayer is fun, especially the online mode. However, I felt that they should have added more game modes, although free for all and light vs. dark are fun.

Overall,this game was very fun, and I recommend it to anyone that has a 3DS.

93%  Okay For 10+

Posted at 07:14 AM on Apr 09, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews
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Sunday March 25, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: The Hunger Games (2012)

Jordy, my 10-year-old nephew, has beaten me to the punch! Here's his review of the mega-hit “The Hunger Games.” Mine, limping along, goes up tomorrow, most likely...

This movie has got to be one of the most insanely hyped movies ever. About five kids at my school stayed up until 12:00 to watch the premiere, isn’t that insane?

Well, was it good? Yes, yes it was. The story  is about a girl named Katniss whose sister is chosen to compete in a fight to the death on live TV, and she volunteers for her.  Next is the acting. Jennifer Lawrence was good as Katniss, although there was one scene where I thought she overacted a bit. Josh Hutcherson was really good, too. Actually, the entire cast was great! This was not just a cast that said, “Give me the money. Screw the acting.”

Poster for "The Hunger Games" (2012)Next is the movie’s rating. Some people thought it should’ve been rated R. I totally disagree. I mean, I was scared when I came in, but Gary Ross censored it well. There even was a scene where I got scared and went to the bathroom, mostly because I needed to go to the bathroom, but my friend, Finn, said “Oh, a tribute just died, no big deal.” Ross could have just done a Michael Bay and done, explosions, explosions, explosions, but no, he decided to censor it so young adults could see it and he could earn twice the money. Brilliant, Gary Ross!

The choreography was good, and did well to seem like people did train for a while to fight to the death on live TV. You will care for the characters that the movie wants you to care about, and you will hate the characters that the movie wants you to hate. In fact, my only real problem with the movie was the camera. No, not with the shaky camera effect for a realer movie, I’m talking about the action scenes. In most of them, they go for a closer effect, and go right up to the action, and I can’t tell what’s going on. Plus, they could have tried to make the ending less sequel-ish. You don’t get special exceptions cause almost everybody has read the book, you still have to act like you’re concluding it, not earning triple the money because you have 3 books and don’t want to fit them into one. (Unless they pull a Harry Potter 7 or Twilight Breaking Dawn.)

But this is a great movie that I recommend you go see before they run out of tickets.

93%  Okay For 11+  ( Comment on what you want me to review next, and I’ll try to. Thanks!)

Posted at 07:36 AM on Mar 25, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews
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Wednesday March 21, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: The Adventures of Tin Tin (2011)

My 10-year-old nephew Jordy reviews Steven Spielberg's “The Adventures of Tin Tin,” now out on Blu-Ray and DVD...

Tintin is a great book transferred into a good movie, and although the movie is good, it does not compare to the classic that is Tintin’s book series.

First off, the art style is amazing. Its detail is great and the characters look great for this type of art style. Also, you will care for the characters in this movie. Tintin, his dog, Snowy, and an alcoholic captain named Haddock, although Snowy does steal the show. I love how they carry on the clichés of a comic book or cartoon into the movie. It’s also got very good music, although because the guy that made it is John Williams.

The script was average: it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. My biggest problem with the movie, though, is its sequelish ending. It just shows,” oh, well, sorry, you have to have to pay more money. Ha-ha!” There’s really not much to the story, too. All it is is Tintin HAPPENS to get involved with a plot to find treasure under the sea on a ship called The Unicorn. Along the way, there’s some twists and character development from everyone EXCEPT Tintin and Snowy, which is disappointing. Also, the movie’s a little too dark in two ways. One, story dark, and two, well, dark, but despite some problems that it suffers from, The Adventures Of Tintin is still a great family movie I recommend you go see. Also, it is better than most of the animated movies of 2011.

78% Okay for 8+

Horizontal poster for "The Adventures of Tin Tin" (2011)

Posted at 08:26 AM on Mar 21, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews
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