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Jordy's Reviews posts

Sunday March 09, 2014

Consider Yourself ... Well-Reviewed!

Jordan Muschler as the Artful Dodger

Jordan Muschler (front) as the Artful Dodger, with Justin Dekker as Fagain, in the Prior Lake Players' production of “Oliver!”

My nephew Jordan Muschler, a one-time reviewer on this site, has burst onto the stage yet again. Last October he played Gavrouche in the Bloomington Civic Theater's production of “Les Misťrables.” Now he's the Artful Dodger in the Prior Lake Players' production of “Oliver!” It's actually a family affair. My nephew Ryan and brother Eric are in the production as well.

A review recently went up at The Prior Lake Monitor site, including this:

Jordan Muschler did a superb job playing the part of the Artful Dodger and had the cockney accent down perfectly.

Thank god. The rest of us in the family are a bit Seinfeldy (“Not bloodly likeLEE!”) in that regard.

Performances of “Oliver!” run through March 16.

Posted at 12:01 PM on Sunday March 09, 2014 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

Wednesday March 20, 2013

Jordy's Reviews: Oz, The Great and Powerful (2013)

My nephew Jordy, 11, reviews the prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” which is currently the highest-grossing movie of the year. Comments welcome.

Iím sure you have probably heard the ď'Wizard of Oz' is amazing you need to see itĒ lecture. It is a great, magical movie. So I came into ďThe Great and PowerfulĒ with high expectations. Is the movie great and powerful?

Not quite.

The movie is about a greedy magician named Oscar, whose act is known as Oz: The Great and Powerful. Oz was whooshed into a magical tornado and lands in Oz. The movie, set in 1905, starts off brilliantly by adding the unique touch of not only being in black and white, but also having the camera shaped like a box, like a camera would have been back then. Then, when they land in Oz, it goes to color and widescreen. Brilliant!

Everyone in Oz thinks Oz is the great wizard who will save them from the evil wicked witch, except all he is interessted in is the great treasures of Oz. The movie is not a remake, it is a prequel.

The movie has some good plot twists, like who is really wicked.

The acting is fine. However, itís nothing that would stand out. The movie isnít as magical as “The Wizard of Oz,” missing songs that have gone down in history (ďSomewhere over the Rainbow“), the bond between the main characters on their adventures, and some great quotes. (”Thereís no place like home!") Also, there's an attack and then 5 minutes later thereís war. Thatís a pacing issue right there.

Overall, it was OK. It had a good script and a great beginning but the movie wasnít as good as Iíd hoped. They are setting this up for a remake of the ďWizard of Oz.Ē It will need the next young Judy Garland if it comes.

2.5/4 Stars

Oz, the Great and Powerful

Posted at 07:10 AM on Wednesday March 20, 2013 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

Sunday December 30, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: Les Miserables (2012)

What have I done? Though I'm master of the house, and on my own, and reviewed “Les Misťrables” a few days ago, my nephew Jordy, 11, with a heart full of love, keeps us talking about the movie for one day more...

“Les Miserables” (Les Mis) means so much to me. It was the first play I was in, and got me interested in theater. I came into this movie with very high expectations. If I didnít like the movie, I would not only be sad, I would be mad at Tom Hooper, the director, for not doing Les Mis proper justice. So did I like it? I loved it. Itís my favorite movie of 2012.

Les Miserables: both film and play postersIt is a compelling story. The story is about a man named Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) who steals a loaf of bread to save his sisterís child from death, and suffers 19 years of punishment for it. After he gets out, he continues stealing, but a kind Bishop saves him. He decides to live by the law, and spends the rest of his life doing good deeds. The movie manages to tell it a little bit better than the play, with some things that confused me in the play being absent here.

When you go to this movie, bring Kleenex, because youíll probably cry. I cried 6 times throughout the 157-minute movie, and the people that I came with all cried at least once. It is a very emotional movie, and mostly because of the amazing acting from the great cast. Everyone shines, although Anne Hathaway as Fantine does the most, even with her short role. Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried-- everyone. Theyíre all great. They are also great singers.

The movie has some great camerawork, too. Youíll see mountains, barricades, and streets. The movie is also different enough from the play in that it feels a little bit original, with some songs put in different places, and an original song, ďSuddenly,Ē which is also great. Some of the best songs from the play arenít as good here (Except for ďEmpty Chairs At Empty Tables,Ē which was just as good as the play and made me cry), but itís not really a criticism of the movie, more that the songs didnít work as well as they did in the play. However, the songs that were good in the play, but not amazing were better here, like ďA Heart Full of Love,Ē the love song of Cosette and Marius, Fantineís blockbuster, ďI Dreamed a Dream,Ē and some others.

The Thenardiers †(Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter) deserve their own section. They have all the funny bits in the play, and are just as funny as they are in the play. The scene in which they sing and rob people of their money is hilarious. In a movie full of misery, they are the comic relief.

Overall, the movie is amazing. I didnít have a single problem with it. Maybe thatís because I was already familiar with the play, but it probably is because of the fantastic acting, emotional story, and a whole lot of other things that make this movie perfect to me. This IS the best movie of 2012. Cheers, Tom Hooper. Youíve made a masterpiece.


Posted at 10:09 AM on Sunday December 30, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

Wednesday December 19, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

My nephew Jordy, 11, reviews the Hobbit movie so I won't have to...

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is an OK movie. It has good acting, great camerawork, good action scenes, and a good story. (Although it is based off one of the most famous books of all time, so I guess thatís a given.) But for all it does well, it gets some things wrong.

“The Hobbit'ís story is basically a Hobbit (a small creature from the Shire) named Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) who goes on an adventure with 12 Dwarfs (small, mining and building creatures) and a wizard named Gandalf (Ian McKellen) through the dangerous Middle-Earth to take The Lonely Mountain back from Smoug The Dragon. The fire-breathing beast took over the Dwarf empire 60 years ago. Along the way, they encounter a lot of things ó namely, monsters, monsters, and monsters. The adapted screenplay also contains some foreshadowing for the Lord of the Rings trilogy that I think is unnecessary. ”The Hobbit“ is fine as a stand-alone adventure just as well as LOTR is. However, the story starts really slow and keeps it that way for about an hour. Then we get action, action, and action. That is bad pacing.

Poster for Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (2012)The movie has what youíd expect from a high-budget film: good acting, some great camera shots (especially with the background), some comedic moments, stuff like that. However, what itís missing that ”The Lord of the Rings“ had is some amazing special effects. A few of the things look fake in it. Itís just not nearly as good as LOTR was with the special effects, even though those movies were made a decade ago. Those movies had amazing special effects that few movies can match even now.

Also, a lot of the characters in ”The Hobbit“ represent a certain characteristic. The Dwarves are the tough, partying but lovable people, the Hobbits are the simple folk, Thorin is the serious one, and Gandalf is the calm one. It is done extremely well in this world of creatures we dreamed existed. (Except for Orcs. I hate those guys.)

For heroic people, they seem to do a lot of running away in the movie. Almost every time some creature comes, Gandalf says ďRun!Ē and a rule of survival is that if an all-powerful wizard runs away, you should too. The epic music makes me not care too much about the running away, though.

They also overuse slow-motion. In almost every action scene, thereís a slow-motion shot that is completely unnecessary. This is what I call the Michael Bay effect. The movie is very good in HD and it will not be the same at home as it is in the theater. The humor also goes well with the movie, not too much so that it will feel like the movie is trying to make you laugh, but like real life, where every 2 hours or so something funny happens. My favorite scene was the game of riddles between Gollum and Bilbo. It was slow, dramatic, suspenseful.

Now for what I despise the most about the movie. I donít like that there are three films. We donít need three films to tell the story of The Hobbit! Thatís just stupid! Each Lord of the Rings book got one movie, and that was it. The Hobbit, the shortest book of the four, mind you, has three movies going for it? Thatís like Gandalf casting a magic spell tripling the money! What the heck! I also donít like how hyped the movie got. It was by the same person, Peter Jackson, that made Lord Of The Rings, and all three LOTR were great, so it got extremely hyped. Itís an example of what hype does to a movie: raises our expectations too far.

Finally, the ending was bad. Itís hard to end a movie that will have a sequel picking up on it, but they had a perfect ending going for it (which I wonít spoil) but they went and ruined it by adding something else. Youíll probably know what I mean if you see the movie.

Overall, ”The Hobbit" is only OK. It has some good things going for it, but it disappoints in too many others for it to be great. I recommend you see it if you have seen LOTR, because you will find it entertaining even with all its problems.


Okay For 10+ (There are some scary monsters throughout the movie, and it does have a lot of action involved.)

Posted at 07:32 AM on Wednesday December 19, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

Sunday December 02, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: Rise of the Guardians (2012)

My nephew Jordy, 11, keeps at it...

ďRise Of The GuardiansĒ sounded like it would be a good film. The trailers showed good animation, action, an all-star cast. I went into the movie theater expecting a fun hour and a half.

Boy was I disappointed. Despite some good things, it fails to make up for its bad story, terrible 3D, and meh script.

Rise of the Guardians (2012)The trailer did get some things right. For one thing, the animation is nice. It has these weird sand things flying everywhere, and there is a lot of detail. Also, the movie has action in a non-violent, young kind of way, which I respect. However, I have to question the cast a little bit.† The Easter Bunny is Australian? What? Even though the supporting cast is made up of stars, I would expect the main character to be a star, too, but no. Jack Frost is Chris Pine, and while heís been in some movies, itís not like everyone knows him.

The story is that Pitch Black (Jude Law) is coming back to bring fear and misery to children, and the guardians, who are Santa Claus, (Alec Baldwin), The Australian Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and The Sandman (who doesnít speak) to save the world. However, they need a new guardian, Jack Frost, who is not seen by us puny mortals because we donít believe in him yet. And the guardians go off to save the world. Personally, I think that this group is bad. If you can hire any person to be a guardian, why not just hire James Bond or Hulk Hogan, or worst of all, MR. ROGERS. The story also gets too complicated for its own good. But since I didnít care much about the characters, I didnít care.

The script also isnít that good, with more bad lines and screenwriting clichťs. It is a shame, since if I thought that the script was better I probably would have been more forgiving of the bad story. The script also does nothing to compel older audiences like teens to keep them interested except some comedic parts. However, the movie has a nice pace to it.

The 3-D is also pretty bad, never doing too much with it, so you should definitely watch this one the old-fashioned way.

My brother loved the movie, though. He thought it was great. (Leave a comment encouraging Ryan to write reviews and he just might do it!)

My dad thought the movie was good, but agreed with me that the movie got too complicated for its own good. Ryan would give it a 9/10, but my dad, Eric, would give it a 7/10.

It seems like younger audiences would like this more than teens and adults, based on what Ryan thought of this movie. I felt its bad story, iffy script, the lack of compelling things for more mature audiences, and bad 3-D make this a lame movie. It might be good for kids, but I think you should only see it if you have kids. Since this is MY review, my brotherís and dadís thoughts will not be in the overall score.

Nice try, Dreamworks, but you need to try again.


Okay For 7+ (There is some action, and there are some parts that could be considered frightening for younger people, like my brother.)

(Please leave a comment suggesting what to review next or what you thought of ďRise Of The Guardians.Ē Thanks!)

Posted at 11:00 AM on Sunday December 02, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

Thursday November 29, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: Frankenweenie (2012)

From my nephew, Jordy, 11:

I may be writing about it late, but you should see “Frankenweenie,” Tim Burtonís recreation of his own film (something you donít see every day.) It has great animation, a great story, and some problems.

“Frankenweenie” is the story of a boy and his dog, and for the sake of this movie, dog is manís best friend. (I think itís woman, butÖ) Anyway, the dog gets run over running after a baseball, which is ironic, since baseball is normally a young boyís favorite thing. The kid is lonely, so his new crazy science teacher shows how electricity sparks life back in an animal for a few seconds. Frankenweenie (2012)The kid gets an idea, and the next thing you know, the boyís dog is back. Heís happy, but then other people become involved and it gets out of hand. The story compelled me, mostly because I can relate to a dog passing on (R.I.P Seymour). It really touched me.

The animation is also crisp, with its black and white style to reference the original film. I have to say that this is being a lot more creative than a lot of other animated films. They seem to try to lure you in with color. Tim Burton brings us in with being old-school, to please adults more, it seems. Nice move, Tim Burton.

I also love the script. It references the past movie, it seems, and every line is well-written. The characters are well-made, and I feel like this movieís story has stood the test of 28 years, judging by what my grandmother thought of the movie.

However, that seems like all it has to offer. It needs more. It hits some of the highest points, but misses the others. We need a little bit of comedy, we need a bit more drama, we just need more. The movie also doesnít do too well with the action scenes in my opinion, not engaging me at all. However, this movie isnít about action or drama or comedy. This is about the story, and it does so well there, along with the animation and script, that I canít say, ďThis movie is terrible because it needs more.Ē It does so well with the high points that the low points feel less important because of the engaging story. See it when it comes to DVD with your family. You wonít regret it.


Okay For 6+† (This movie has some violence in it, and with its topic of rising from the dead might scare some younger audiences.)

Next Review: Rise Of The Guardians

~Jordan Muschler

(Hi, everyone, I canít thank you enough for all the suggestions and feedback youíve given me. And now, I need another favor. If you live in the Minneapolis metro area, I would really appreciate you coming to the Riverview theatre November 29th, for I am judging in a film festival about Minnesota neighborhoods. All the money raised goes into a scholarship at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and I would really appreciate you coming. It starts at 5:30 PM, and if you come I will review anything you want me to review, within the limits of my reviewing abilitiesólike no M-rated games or R-rated movies. Thank you for reading this.)

(Please leave a comment suggesting what you want me to review or what you thought of ďFrankenweenie.Ē Thanks!)

Ryan, Jordy and Seymour

Ryan, Jordy and Seymour.

Posted at 05:50 AM on Thursday November 29, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

Thursday November 22, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: Lincoln (2012)

My nephew Jordy, 11, doesn't hold back in his review of Steven Spielberg's “Lincoln”...

And the Oscar goes toÖ “Lincoln”! For what? Well, first, Daniel Day-Lewis will win best actor, because if he killed the role anymore he wouldíve been a zombie. Second, for the script, capturing the personalities of every single character. And last, Steven Spielberg, and I donít even have to explain why. HEíS STEVEN SPIELBERG!!! Why is this movie amazing? Why is nobody going to care about the supporting cast? Why did they call this movie Lincoln? Find out below! (Thereís no commercial break.)

Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" (2012)“Lincoln” starts off with a civil war scene in which bayonets do their work and you see brutal war. Then we go to a part where some African-Americans have a conversation with Honest Abe. They talk about equality, and how maybe in the next 100 years, we could learn to have a black man be a colonel in the army. Than we see people who have memorized the Gettysburg Address. Sound boring? Itís not, unless youíre young or donít like history. In this scene, you learn 3 things: A), Daniel Day-Lewis is off-his-rocker good; B), the writing is great; and C), Lincoln is a hero. We already knew that, but now weíre sure.

I know Iíve mentioned it before, but the writing, by Tony Kushner, is amazing. Seriously, anyone who can make Abraham Lincoln say ďNo sight can make an Englishman shit quicker than the sight of George WashingtonĒ deserves an Oscar. The movie also has these comedy moments that are just hilarious but flow well and are believable.

After the opening scene, we learn about how Lincoln is trying to pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery in all its forms. We probably already know thatís why Lincoln is famous. However, Spielberg does this movie so well that even if I already know whatís going to happen, he can still make me nervous. I get nervous because the entire cast is excellent. Everybody. However, nobody will care. Why? Because Daniel Day-Lewis is too good. His performance might as well say, “I am the worldís biggest diva. Fear me, for I will outshadow all of you in every single way.” HEíS THAT GOOD!

The climax of the movie deserves its own paragraph. As I said, I donít care if I know the history, I was on the edge of my seat while they were voting whether to pass the 13th Amendment or not. Lincoln isnít even in the scene that much. Itís the Representatives, the speaker, the gallery and thatís it. Itís like a Clint Eastwood showdown, except thereís no action and everybodyís sitting. Itís that dramatic.

In the movie, there are also concerns involving family. Two of Lincolnís sons have already died. However, Robert (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the eldest son, wants to join the army. Lincoln and his wife donít want him to join. Lincoln also has to take care of his youngest son, Thomas, who is very entertaining and is truly a kid in the movie.

The movie has great attention to detail. From the war scene being scarily realistic to how Lincoln is much taller than his wife, everything is done extraordinarily well.

The only problems I had with the movie were that it starts off a little bit slow but then it speeds up quickly and also that the main focus of the movie is about the 13thAmendment, and while there is some about Lincolnís family, itís mainly about his cabinet and himself getting the votes they need, and therefore, I felt like the title of the movie was not the best choice. Thatís it.

Before we went in the movie, I had a conversation with my mom that went a little something like this:

Mom: “Twilight” opened this weekend, and itís playing in five theatres. “Lincoln” is in one.
Me: What has our world come to?

I meant it. Seriously? Daniel Day-Lewis, Abraham Lincoln, and SPIELBERG outmatched by Robert Pattison and his vampire friends? Does anybody care about Lincoln anymore? Do they care that the person who got rid of slavery is being outmatched by Ö Bleh? No, they donít. Money is the only thing that matters in America now. Uggh!

Anyway, I think you get the point. “Lincoln” is great. Itís a great way to return to ďeverybody loves SpielbergĒ coming from the mixed reviews of ďWar Horse.Ē Although the movie had two problems, I think that we can all see the bigger picture: Lincoln is an amazingly-acted, well-written, beautiful film. Letís hope that the rest of the yearís movies can learn a lesson.


Okay For 12+ (The movie does have language, a pretty brutal war scene, and a lot of kids probably wonít even get it. Itís a parentís kind of film.)

(Hi, everyone, I canít thank you enough for all the suggestions and feedback youíve given me. And now, I need another favor. If you live in the Minneapolis metro area, I would really appreciate you coming to the Riverview theatre November 29th, for I am judging in a film festival about Minnesota neighborhoods. All the money raised goes into a scholarship at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and I would really appreciate you coming. It starts at 5:30 PM, and if you come I will review anything you want me to review, within the limits of my reviewing abilitiesólike no M-rated games or R-rated movies. Thank you for reading this.)

(Please leave a comment suggesting what to review next or what you thought of “Lincoln.” Thanks!)

Posted at 09:33 AM on Thursday November 22, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

Thursday November 15, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: Skyfall (2012)

My 11-year-old nephew, Jordy, disagreed with my review of “Skyfall.” Here's his take.


When I think about James Bond, I think guns, girls and awesome. Not emotional. In Skyfall, we get guns, awesome, emotional, but no main girl that he actually hooks up with for a little bit. Also, this isnít James Bondís story to tell. This is about M, and her mistakes, and what she did. Itís a revenge plot done so well, almost nobody could hate it.

The movie opens with Bond on a mission to get a hard-drive with a list of names of secret agents when he gets shot off a train. Then we go into the intro with no naked girls swimming in the background. Thatís the first sign that this movie is different. By the way, compliments to the intro. In James Bond movies, they open with a very popular artistís song with the title in it over a great animation. In Skyfall, the artist is ADELE, whom Iíve always liked, despite being more of a target for girls. She creates a great song that matches the tone of the movie. After this, without James Bond and the missing hard-drive, everything goes to hell for MI6. The headquarters gets attacked, MI6 gets hacked, and everything messes up. Without Bond, MI6 is nothing. Then Bond returns from the dead, because heís James Bond, and because you canít have a James Bond movie without James Bond. From here on out, itís a mission to stop the person whoís doing this.

Along the way, he meets girls who donít last. They come and go, and itís probably because they donít have any chemistry. Daniel Craig is great as James Bond. This isnít everythingís-got-to-be-funny James Bond. This is gritty, tough, badass James Bond with a good sense of humor. There are some funny with Bond. Judi Dench is also good. However, it is Javier Bardem as the villain who steals the show. He is a smart, sinister, and kind of scary. Daniel Craigís got his first amazing villain. (He had good ones before, just not amazing ones.)

Bardemís character opens with a very scary story about how he got rats to eat each other, and then released those rats to kill all the other ones. Itís very well-written. Skyfall is written very well. From the conversations to the kill quotes, itís all smart and original. Also, the action scenes are spectacular, especially the final action scene, in which Bond does awesome things, but the things he does make sense. I could go on with how amazing this movie is, but how about something bad about it? There are some things that nobody will understand until later in the movie. Itís pretty stupid. Itís foreshadowing done badly. Unfortunately, Iím a spoiler-free reviewer, so I canít use it, but it doesnít change the fact that this movie is amazing. I donít understand how someone who will not be named (Uncle Erik) could not like it. Donít even go to his review without knowing that this movie is amazing.

~Muschler. Jordan Muschler.


Okay For 14+

(Hi, everyone, I canít thank you enough for all the suggestions and feedback youíve given me. And now, I need another favor. If you live in the Minneapolis metro area, I would really appreciate you coming to the Riverview theatre November 29th, for I am judging in a film festival about Minnesota neighborhoods. All the money raised goes into a scholarship at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and I would really appreciate you coming. It starts at 5:30 PM, and if you come I will review anything you want me to review, within the limits of my reviewing abilitiesólike no M-rated games or R-rated movies. Thank you for reading this. Next review: Frankenweenie)

Daniel Craig as James Bond, 007, in "Skyfall"

Posted at 07:05 AM on Thursday November 15, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

Thursday November 08, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Another movie review from my 11-year-old, video-game-playing, Alfred-Hitchcock-admiring nephew, Jordy...

Video-game movies have a tendency to suck. They normally have a terribly written script, horrendous acting, and just are not appealing to most people. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World changed all this with its great acting, comic book elements, and just blew ďVideo game movies stink!Ē out of the water. The question was then could another movie about video games with its main story not stink?

poster for Disney's Wreck-It Ralph (2012)Wreck-It Ralph says yes, with Mario Kart and Donkey Kong on top of the cake. It is like a documentary on what video games go through, except less stupid and more original.

The story is about a guy named Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly), a video game villain that is underappreciated by his fellow video game crew and goes on a quest for a medal so he can prove that heís a good guy. However, it turns into an adventure on its own, LIKE a video game. He first goes to Heroís Duty, a First-Person Shooter (FPS) where he questions, ďWhen did games become so violent?Ē I agree. We donít need BFGís or Spartan Lasers. Heck, Mario only needs his feet. Anyway, in Heroís Duty, he meets Sue Sylvester- I mean, Jane Lynch. Sorry, she just basically has Sueís personality. She plays Sergeant Calhoun, in a Sue-riffic role. He gets a medal in it, but then accidentally enters a racing game, Sugar Rush, which is basically Mario Kart with candy! Hooray!

Iím not going to spoil anymore, but the story is good. It's also very funny, with some jokes that hardcore gamers will get (The password to a video gameís code is the contra code.) There is also a joke about a new game in the arcade, where the good guy, Fix-It Felix (voiced by Jack McBrayer), says, ďLook at the high-definition on your face.Ē I think itís a great line. The movie is very well-written. Little kids might not get some of the words, like glitches or code, just some stuff that makes up a game. What intrigues me about the story is that it takes a very unoriginal approachóan outcast becomes the heroóbut puts it in this video game world that is so colorful (Sugar Rush) so bland (Heroís Duty) and just plain old school (Fix-It Felix), and puts these worlds together perfectly. Only a great movie can do that. It also gets some shots of the real world, us, in the arcade. How we take advantage of the video game world and kill the video game people when they do not please us. I guess hippies were right when they said, ďThereís a world in all of us.Ē Video Games have souls, too. Think about that the next time you shoot an alien in the face in Halo

~Jordan Muschler


Okay For 7+

(Leave a comment for ideas of a review. If you have any feedback, please tell me. I love feedback! The next review is the new Frankenweenie from Tim Burton.)

Posted at 06:52 AM on Thursday November 08, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

Sunday November 04, 2012

Jordy's Reviews: 'Pokemon Black and White 2'

A video-game review by my 11-year-old nephew Jordan...

Pokemon Black And White 2 is the sequel to Pokemon Black And White. It takes place two years after the events of Black And White and is superior in almost every way to its predecessor.

You start off as a new character in a new town. As always, you get a Pokemon and decide to go on an adventure. The main story is always the same, basically, but now you get to see everything that happened after the first game. Itís very cool, and itís a Pokemon first thatís welcome.

I also love the graphics. If you take a quick look, you might think theyíre the same, but theyíre not. They have basically taken the same kind of style for Black And White but improved everything and redesigned some places to make them look better.

Some areas are gone because they have been replaced by new areas, like the Pokemon World Tournament which I love. Also, Pokemon from other regions are available from the get-go.

However, the same downsides to Pokemon are there again. Sometimes, when youíre in a battle, youíll lose, and then do that battle again, the same way, and you win. DONíT GET THIS. RESULTS ARE RANDOM??

Another thing I donít like about the game is that there are not enough training areas. I underleveled my Pokemon the ENTIRE game, which was annoying.

However, those are basically the only things I donít like. Thatís pretty impressive. Also, it has VERY LONG replay value. The replay value only stops when youíve beaten every single trainer, caught every single Pokemon, and gotten your main party to Lv. 100, the highest level, and it goes on with replayable trainers and things like Black Tower and White Treehollow. Thatís a long time playing this game.

The music is great. However, my favorite music will always be in Heartgold and Soulsilver. (Recommendation: Get music from those games.)

Finally, this game is really, really fun. I mean it. This RPG (Role-Playing-Game) is probably one of the best ones ever made. Itís that amazing, especially if your Pokemon are awesome. Pokemon also makes you love your Pokemon like you love your dog or cat. I mean, not as much, but itís kind of like a spiritual bond. Not many games do that with me, or with anybody, for that matter. Itís awesome. This game is just appealing from every single standard. Get it.

Story: 7.2
Graphics: 7.9
Sound: 8.1
Gameplay: 9.9
Replay Value: 10
Overall Score: 91

Pokemon Black and White 2

Posted at 12:30 PM on Sunday November 04, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

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 Witchís 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 donít even get me started on his room. He only has Zombie stuff and nothing else. Not an Xbox 360, not Pokťmon 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 Normanís 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. Thereís 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 arenít. 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 townís Witches Curse. I donít 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!

Okay For 9+

poster for "ParaNorman" (2012)

Posted at 06:38 AM on Thursday August 23, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

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 doesnít? 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, ďIs 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 Jonesí Gal, and momma thinks otherwise. So she asks for a spell to change her motherís mind. However, sheís 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. Itís 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 donít 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, ďHumor makes the scary part more scary.Ē 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, Iím 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 Iíd take over Cars 2, but not Toy Story or most of the other Pixars. Itís unfair to make it seem like this movieís bad when itís up against some of the best animated movies of all time, and probably THE best animated movies.


Okay For 7+

~Jordan Muschler

poster for Pixar's "Brave" (2012)

Posted at 06:59 AM on Tuesday June 26, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

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 Foolís 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 gameís 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 Iím 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 Monday April 09, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

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, isnít 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, ďGive me the money. Screw the acting.Ē

Poster for "The Hunger Games" (2012)Next is the movieís rating. Some people thought it shouldíve 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 ďOh, a tribute just died, no big deal.Ē 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, Iím talking about the action scenes. In most of them, they go for a closer effect, and go right up to the action, and I canít tell whatís going on. Plus, they could have tried to make the ending less sequel-ish. You donít get special exceptions cause almost everybody has read the book, you still have to act like youíre concluding it, not earning triple the money because you have 3 books and donít 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 Iíll try to. Thanks!)

Posted at 07:36 AM on Sunday March 25, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  

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 Tintinís 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 clichťs of a comic book or cartoon into the movie. Itís also got very good music, although because the guy that made it is John Williams.

The script was average: it wasnít great, but it wasnít bad. My biggest problem with the movie, though, is its sequelish ending. It just shows,Ē oh, well, sorry, you have to have to pay more money. Ha-ha!Ē Thereís 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, thereís some twists and character development from everyone EXCEPT Tintin and Snowy, which is disappointing. Also, the movieís 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 Wednesday March 21, 2012 in category Jordy's Reviews   |   Permalink  
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