Ghost in the Shell

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“They created me. But they can not control me.”

  • What is this movie about? ghost_in_the_shell (1)

In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals.

 

  • Why should you watch it?

Every otaku knows the meaning of the words: “Ghost in the Shell” and for those who aren’t an otaku I can sum it one single word: masterpiece. And is on that masterpiece that this movie is based.

All in all, this is a well made movie. We were a bit skeptic when it was announced that they were going to make this movie but after watching the first trailer it seemed that this was going to be a good movie, and indeed it is a terrific movie. The movie pays a good homage to the original manga. you feel its spirit all the time: in the characters, in the plot, in the music and above all in the visuals.

What they have done in this movie is pretty simple: they have taken the best parts of the manga and anime, they put them in a cocktail shaker and this movie came out. So one that has no idea about the original story will simply be amazed of the story and all the action scenes that are shown in the movie, which they don’t slow down for a moment. For us fans we are simply enjoying what we watched many time ago but now we enjoy watching it with real actors.

No need to say that Scarlett Black Widow fits in this characters perfectly. We are used to watch her in these kind of movies and she is fantastic. Not only that, she behaves like the cyborg/machine that she is, something that she kind of already did in the movie “Under the Skin”. The rest of the characters are well suited both in performance and in physical aspect.

It’s not easy adapting a manga into a single movie and it’s less easy making a good movie about it. Here that is not the case as you will find a great entertaining movie that will leave you breathless in terms of visual effects and in terms of actions scenes, which are an exact copy of the original story. For those who haven’t had the opportunity to read it, you will enjoy a good cyberpunk movie with loads of futurist takes and gadgets that you will definitely love.

 

 

  • Did you know?

– The title of the film (and its source material) is a play on ‘Ghost in the machine’ a concept in philosophy first used by Arthur Koestler in his 1967 book of the same name. In it he argues against the traditional Cartesian mind-body duality of the human mind, which traditionally saw the human body as a sort of complex machine with the soul or mind inside it controlling it.

– The Geisha’s featured in many of the films trailers wore physical full head Masks, created by Weta Workshop, modelled after Japanese Actress Rila Fukushima. Even the opening or ‘exploding’ of the Geisha’s heads was handled mechanically rather than by using CGI.

– This film’s production was met with controversy over the choice to cast the lead role of Major Motoko Kusanagi (a Japanese character in the original source material and previous adaptations) as white, with the role going to Scarlett Johansson. Online protests over Hollywood whitewashing flared up in April 2016 when Paramount Pictures released the first promotional image of Johansson in costume. The anger toward her casting was exacerbated by reports that Lola VFX, the company behind the character-aging effects in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), was commissioned to manage tests on visual effects to make white actors look Asian, though the results were reportedly rejected immediately upon their review.

– For the Japanese dub of the film, the voice actors from Kôkaku Kidôtai (1995) – Atsuko Tanaka (the Major), Akio Ôtsuka (Batou) and Kôichi Yamadera (Togusa) – reprise their roles.

– The film’s villain is Hideo Kuze (a terrorist cyborg), but incorporates elements of the Laughing Man (a hacker who walks around in a parka coat).

 

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The Curse of Sleeping Beauty

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  • What is this movie about? curse_of_sleeping_beauty_ver2

Thomas Kaiser inherits an ancestral mansion that has been in his family for generations, only to learn that he has also inherited an ancient curse stemming back to the Crusades. Forced into his new role as “protector”, the guardian appointed to keep the evil demons in the house at bay, Thomas must unravel the mystery of the house, while struggling to awaken the beautiful Briar Rose, held captive in a terrifying netherworld seen previously in his dreams…

 

  • Why should you (maybe) watch it?

Now that we are being overflowed by Disney live actions is good to discover the not so subtle versions of these fairy tales, and if they show a darker more horrific side, the better, as is the case for this one. The trailer looked promising and showed how the movie was being presented.

That said, we know how trailers deceive us. And this is one clear example. The best part of the movie is the beginning. Where we are presented with the characters and their story. Where we are shown that there is a curse in the main character’s family regarding a property they have. In parallel he is starting to dream of a sleeping girl who constantly asked him to wake her up. It’s in these dreams where the best esthetic of the movie is viewed: vivid colors that resemble a gothic tale to present us the Sleeping Beauty of the tittle. Then on reality the shades are darker, because we are in a horror and thriller movie, until there good.

It’s past the first half hour that the movie starts losing it’s path. Presenting new characters and their stories it’s what makes us forget about the original story and just want be done with it. A real pity, as it got our attention and while we watch more of the movie, our attention goes (sadly) to the watch. There are some scary moments but by that point we really don’t care anymore. And then there is that end that you probably guessed at some point of the movie.

This movie started promising and then all went downfall. It is really a pity as the material where it took the inspiration deserved better, not that rushing end that we don’t know anymore what we were looking at. A movie to watch if you want to see what the trailer presented to you but without having high expectations. Just something to watch and probably forget about.

 

 

Beauty and the Beast

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“If she is the one who’ll break the spell, you must finally learn to love…”

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  • What is this movie about? 

An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

 

  • Why should you watch it?

Well, who doesn’t like the Disney classic of 1991? I know, many might think, why do we need to watch another live action remake of a Disney classic? Well, because they know that we’ll go to the cinema to watch it, as Disney has been proven right in the last year with: “Alice in Wonderland”, “Maleficient”, “Cinderella”, “The Jungle Book”, and it’s only a matter of time before we have: “The Little Mermaid”, “The Lion King” or “Aladdin” on the big screen with real actors. So if Marvel is a non-stop machine of superhero movies making, this more classical side of Disney is a non-stop machine of cartoon classic movies.

So, the movie is interesting to watch; because of course you will wonder: have they changed the story? Are the dialogues the same? What do the characters look like (in case you are of that minority who hasn’t watched any advertising at all). And best of all: how is Hermione, er Emma Watson, playing Belle? So, the movie is not bad, but maybe is not that good, but as said before, is interesting to watch and enjoyable. Maybe a bit too long, and there are many added situations and details that try to give an added value compared to the 1991’s one but honestly, it could have worked without it.

There is one real problem here: that the classic movie from 1991 was too good, too good, so anything that is being made will be compared no matter what, and if we do compare this one, sorry, but it loses. If the cartoon one didn’t exist at all, then maybe our opinions would differ. The plot is exactly the same. Except some updated facts: more feminism, black characters, and even a gay one, which by the way, it’s probably the funniest thing of the movie. Then another trouble is that making CGI characters leaves less flexibility than designing it as a cartoon, and that is why all household characters look a bit weird at the beginning, but you’ll get used to it pretty fast.

Then there are the human actors. Emma Watson nails it as Belle, giving her a Hermione touch of course, that will make Potterheads crazier. Opposite her is Dan Stevens who is most of the movie behind the beast face but his voice is enough for us to love the characters. But leaving the main couple aside, there is another couple that in my opinion steals the show; and those are Gaston and LeFou, which a probably the best characters in this adaptation. Gaston playing a narcissist and LeFou playing the unwanted lover, which is really hilarious and a breath of fresh air.

Last but not least, we have the other main character of the movie: the music. Just listening to the first opening tunes gives us goosebumps that we’ll reappear at other points of the movie when we listen to the songs we were waiting for, special “Tale as old as time…”. Plus there are three extra songs that weren’t in the cartoon movie that will probably surprise us too.

A movie about a tale that we all know about. It might be too long at some point, but nonetheless it’s a movie to enjoy with the whole family. It doesn’t matter if you were a kid when you watched the original one or a parent of said kit, the tales is the same, what only changes is the way it is told. Just remember, when you get out of the cinema, you’ll only want to watch the cartoon one and be five years old again.

#BeOurGuest

 

 

 

  • Did you know ?

– As in the original fairy tale, Belle’s father in this film is caught by the Beast when he attempts to take a rose for his daughter, instead of Beast accusing him of trespassing, as was the case in the 1991 film.

– Most of the characters in the remake, are noticeably different in appearance, than their 1991 counterparts. Lumiere is more of a hybrid between a human and a candelabra; Mrs. Potts’s face is on one side of a teapot instead at the spout; Gaston is less muscular; Le Fou is a bit taller, rather than being a dwarf; Maurice is also taller, and much older looking, and the Beast has ram-like horns, and his face is slightly more human like.

– Ryan Gosling was offered the role of the Beast, but turned it down to appear in La La Land (2016) instead. Emma Watson was offered the lead role in that film, but turned down that film to star in this one.

– Emma Watson released to fans that she would be playing the role of Belle, before it even went on record. A big fan of Beauty and the Beast (1991) since childhood, she told her fans that her “six year old self is on the ceiling – heart bursting.”

– Emma Watson (Belle), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Luke Evans’ (Gaston) and Nathan Mack’ (Chip) all share the same birthday, April 15, which was also the date of the first cast read through.

– Shortly after it was announced that Emma Watson would be playing Belle, Belle’s voice actors Paige O’Hara (the original voice of Belle in Beauty and the Beast (1991)) and Susan Egan (who originated the role on Broadway) expressed their endorsement and approval of Watson as a live-action Belle.

– The song ‘Gaston’ has new lyrics that were written by the late Howard Ashman, but never made to the final cut of the 1991 film. As a result, the song is slightly longer, and is more mature themed.

– The film’s songs use new lyrics penned by Howard Ashman, which had previously been rejected for being too risque.

– Belle’s ballroom gown required 3,000 feet of thread and over 12,000 designer-hours to complete. It was accentuated with 2,160 Swarovski crystals.

– Emma Watson refused to wear a corset as part of her costume.

– During the ballroom scene, Emma Watson had a hard time not looking at her feet, because Dan Stevens was wearing steel toed shoes, and she was afraid he would step on her.

– Emma Watson came up with the idea to have her character wear boots in this film, instead of the black flats that Belle wore in the 1991 film. Watson claimed that because her character was going to be an inventor, the first thing that was to go was the flats. And unlike the film, Belle’s hair is worn either in a messy bun, or straight down, instead of a ponytail, as well as wearing a few cloths on her blouse, instead of an apron.

– Bill Condon had actors sing The Lion King (1994)’s “Hakuna Matata” at the auditions to measure their singing voices. This was how he chose the final cast for this film.

– A portion of the song number “Be Our Guest” has a nod to the final song number in the movie Moulin Rouge! (2001) in which Ewan McGregor has starred in.

– According to Disney, the first teaser trailer was viewed 91.8 million times in its first 24 hours. This marks the first teaser trailer of “Beauty and the Beast” to be the most viewed teaser trailer in history. Beating the previous record by Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (88 million views), followed by Captain America: Civil War (61 million views), each of them Disney films as well.

– The fictional town of Villeneuve is so named for the original author of “La Belle et la Bête,” and Production Designer Sarah Greenwood used the real French village of Conques in Southern France for the inspiration.

– Filming was completed by August 27, 2015, more than 18 months before the film’s release.

– The movie was partly filmed on land adjoining the classic English golf course at Berkhamsted Golf Club, also a prior location for the “Harry Potter” films and several others.

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