Monthly Archives: December 2012

We Review “Looper” Amazon Digital version. A really great sci-fi thrill-ride! – M.R.

Looper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Looper
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rian Johnson
Produced by
Written by Rian Johnson
Starring
Music by Nathan Johnson
Cinematography Steve Yedlin
Editing by Bob Ducsay
Studio
Distributed by
Release date(s)
  • September 6, 2012 (2012-09-06) (TIFF)
  • September 28, 2012 (2012-09-28) (United States)
Running time 118 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30 million[2]
Box office $166,397,470[3]

Looper is a 2012 American science fiction action film written and directed by Rian Johnson. The film stars Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt. In Looper, time travel is invented by the year 2074 and, though immediately outlawed, is used by criminal organizations to send those they want killed into the past where they are killed by “loopers”, assassins paid with silver bars strapped to their targets. Joe, a looper, encounters himself when his older self is sent back in time to be killed.

Looper was selected as the opening film of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. It was released to positive reviews in Australia on September 27, 2012,[4] and in the US and the UK on September 28, 2012 by TriStar Pictures and Alliance Films.[5][6]

 


Our Thoughts:
I wanted to see LOOPER so badly I couldn’t wait until Dec 31st for the rental. I purchased the full download, watched it on my 8.9″ HD Kindle Fire and I am very glad I did. Good acting, good plot, solid characters, and a nice twisty ending. This is a really great sci-fi thrill-ride! Highly recommended. — M.R.

Find “LOOPER” at Amazon Here.


We review The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey. “Another fantasy movie for the ages!” — M.R.

TheHobbit[1]

From Wiki:

Directed by
Peter Jackson

Produced by

Peter Jackson
Fran Walsh
Carolynne Cunningham
Zane Weiner

The Hobbit is a series of three epic fantasy-adventure films directed, co-written and produced by Peter Jackson and based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel The Hobbit (1937). The films are, by subtitle, An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and There and Back Again (2014).

The series acts as a prequel to Jackson’s highly acclaimed The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Several actors will reprise their roles from The Lord of the Rings, including Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, and Orlando Bloom. Also returning for the production, among others, co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, illustrators John Howe and Alan Lee, art director Dan Hennah, and cinematographer Andrew Lesnie. As with the original trilogy, props will generally be crafted by Weta Workshop and visual effects managed by Weta Digital. Additionally, composer Howard Shore, who scored The Lord of the Rings, will return to score the film series.[2] The most significant new involvement in the series is the participation of Guillermo del Toro, originally chosen to direct the films, as co-writer.

Set in the fictional world of Middle-earth, the three films follow the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), hired by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), to accompany 13 dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch).

The first film in the series premiered at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand on 28 November 2012.[3] Around 100,000 people were expected to line the red carpet on Courtenay Place, and the entire event was to be broadcast live on TV in New Zealand, as well as streaming over the Internet.[4]

Our Thoughts:

We saw this in IMAX 3D and it was worth the extra cost of the ticket.  I have only one gripe about this awesome piece of fantasy.  I could have read more of the book than I saw on the screen in the same amount of time.  Peter Jackson is great, but my imagination is way better.  So why make a 300 page book into a trilogy?  Why make a 2.5 hour movie from a hundred book pages?

Money…  Sad but true.

I loved the characters and the movie stuck to the novel very well.  The stopping point is understandable, but the movie is not “There and Back Again”  it is “An Unexpected Journey.”  The effects are superb, the creatures quite chilling. All in all I give this 4 stars, taking one away for being too long.  If you liked the books or the other movies from LOTR, you’ll feel right at home at this one!  Another fantasy movie for the ages! Highly Recommended! — M.R.


We Review the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless – “Awesome, super-defined screen for HD movies!” MR

I got my Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless in the mail two days ago.  I have watched 3 HD movies, Avatar, Dark Knight Rises, and the Nitro stunt team movie on it.  I am amazed at the images on this screen.  Really amazed.  the Nitro movie was filmed in 3D and I could almost feel the 3D effect on the kindle.  Just WOW!

I read a lot. Reading on this device is effortless and there is a view function where holding it sideways makes the text of ebooks seem like it is two opposing pages.  I am not a product reviewer, so I can tell you little about the specs.  I can say this.  I LOVE IT!  If you don’t have a Kindle then you need one.

As part of my work, I use, and manipulate huge super hi-res images for book covers and they appear great and quickly on this device.

 

This is an image of the 7′ Fire vs. the 8.9″  I love my Kindle and the whole Amazon Prime program.

5 stars for a Highly Recommended device. – M.R.

 

comparison

 

Find the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless and other models here.


We Review “Life of Pi 3D” Visually stunning. Fantastic imagery. 4 stars” – MR

Life of Pi

From Wiki:

Life of Pi
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ang Lee
Produced by Ang Lee Gil Netter David Womark
Screenplay by David Magee
Based on Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Starring Suraj Sharma Irrfan Khan Tabu Adil Hussain Gerard Depardieu Rafe Spall
Music by Mychael Danna
Cinematography Claudio Miranda
Editing by Tim Squyres
Studio Rhythm & Hues Fox 2000 Pictures
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • November 21, 2012 (2012-11-21)
Running time 127 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $120 million[2]
Box office $53,861,141 [2]

Life of Pi is a 2012 American adventure drama film based on Yann Martel‘s 2001 novel of the same name. Directed by Ang Lee, the film is based on an adapted screenplay by David Magee, and stars Irrfan Khan, Gérard Depardieu, Tabu, Suraj Sharma, and Adil Hussain. Visual effects are by Rhythm & Hues Studios.

Contents

[hide]

Plot:

Pi Patel, an immigrant from India living in Canada, is approached by a local novelist who has been referred to him by his “uncle” (a family friend), believing that Pi’s life story would make a great book. Pi relates an extended tale:

He is named “Piscine Molitor” by his parents after a swimming pool in France. He changes his name to “Pi” when he begins secondary school, because he is tired of being taunted with the nickname “Pissing Patel”. His family owns a local zoo, and Pi takes a curious interest in the animals, especially a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker (after a clerical error); to teach him the reality of the tiger’s nature as a carnivore, Pi’s father forces him to witness it killing a goat. He is raised Hindu and vegetarian, but at 12 years old, he is introduced to Christianity and then Islam, and starts to follow all three religions (when asked as an adult if he is also Jewish, he replies that he lectures in Kabbalah at the university).

When he is 16 (and experiencing first love), his father decides to close the zoo, and move to Canada due to political concerns in India. They book passage for themselves and their animals (to be sold in North America) on a Japanese freighter named the Tsimtsum. The ship encounters a heavy storm and begins to sink while Pi is on deck marveling at it. He tries to find his family, but is thrown overboard with a lifeboat, and watches helplessly as the ship sinks, killing his family and its crew.

Spoiler Alert:

After the storm, Pi finds himself in the lifeboat with an injured zebra, and is joined by an orangutan who lost her child in the shipwreck. A hyena emerges from the tarp covering half of the boat, and before long begins to eat the injured zebra, killing it. To Pi’s distress, the hyena also mortally wounds the orangutan in a fight. Suddenly Richard Parker emerges from under the tarp, and kills the hyena.

Pi finds emergency food and water rations on the boat, and builds a small raft of floatation devices for him to stay at a safe distance from Richard Parker. Realizing that he must feed the tiger to protect himself, Pi begins fishing, with some success. He also collects rain water for both to drink, and helps a desperate Richard Parker climb back into the boat after the cat leaves it to hunt fish. In a nighttime encounter with a breaching whale, Pi loses much of his supplies, and faced with starvation eats fish himself. After many days at sea Pi realizes that he can no longer live on the tiny raft and trains Richard Parker to accept him in the boat. He also realizes that caring for the tiger is keeping him alive.

After weeks longer at sea, they reach a floating island of edible algae supporting a forest, fresh water, and a large population of meerkats, enabling both Pi and Richard Parker to eat and drink freely and regain strength. But at night the island transforms into a hostile environment, with the fresh water turning acidic. Pi finds a human tooth inside a plant and concludes that the plants are carnivorous, requiring them to leave the island.

The lifeboat eventually reaches the coast of Mexico. Finally back on land, Richard Parker walks into the jungle without even looking back at Pi to “say goodbye”. Pi is taken to a hospital, where insurance agents for the Japanese freighter come to hear his account of the incident. They find his story unbelievable, and ask him to tell them what “really” happened, if only for the credibility of their report. He answers with a less fantastic but detailed account of sharing the lifeboat with his mother, a sailor with a broken leg, and the ship’s cook. In this story, the cook kills the sailor, and then Pi’s mother, to use them as bait and food. Pi then kills the cook in revenge.

In the present, the writer notes parallels between the two stories: the orangutan was Pi’s mother, the zebra was the sailor, the hyena was the cook, and Richard Parker, the tiger, was Pi himself. Pi asks him which story he prefers; he chooses the story with the tiger. Glancing at a copy of the insurance report, the writer notices a closing comment about the remarkable feat of surviving 227 days at sea… especially with a tiger; the agents chose that story as well.

Our Thoughts:

Life of Pi was visually stunning and very very good.  It had a slow start and seemed as if the film makers were trying to prepare American audiences for the Indian religion and culture of the main character.  In the novel by Yann Martel, these aspects were less obvious, but still prevalent to the “seeking God” aspects of the plot.

An interesting note:  The novel was rejected by at least five London publishing houses before being accepted by Knopf Canada, which published it in September 2001. This just goes to prove again how literary publishers have no idea what is really great.

I found that after the story really starts, when Pi and Richard Parker are on the boat lost at sea, the fantastic takes over and we are taken into a world of incredible scope, where nothing is impossible.

I give Life of Pi 4 stars and highly recommend it. It is visually stunning and has fantastic imagery. — MR