Movie Review: Alpha and Omega

Sometimes I feel glad that I watched The Last Airbender. Today is one of those days. I just came back home from another movie screening today. Alpha and Omega. And no, I cannot recommend it to you. It is not a very good film. I don’t even know how the studio managed to secure the voice actors for this terrible movie. If it weren’t for the French turkey, English duck and vegetarian wolves who provided the most laugh out loud moments in the movie, there is nothing else to look forward to. But no matter how bad it was, it is still miles ahead of The Last Airbender- probably the worse movie I’ve seen in my life (so far). It is my benchmark for how bad movies can be, and no Alpha and Omega doesn’t go anywhere near that sorry excuse for a movie. I could go on about TLA, but this review isn’t about it. It might make you want to go out and watch it. Trust me, stick with the animated series instead.

Alpha and Omega isn’t epic. It isn’t “pawesome” like the poster claims. Hell, it isn’t even good. A flat storyline that’s been over done (Madagascar 2, Bolt anyone?) about two wolves trying to find their way home after being captured and released in a park to procreate. It feels like whoever was involved in making the movie weren’t even trying. “Alright guys, we just got this story and an all-star cast. Let’s sub it to some animation studio, and release it when it’s done.” Honestly, that’s what it felt like.

Right from the start, I had one thing to say about the movie- it is UGLY. The main characters don’t look appealing, the animation is horrible, the fur/hair rendering- looks like something done in 3D games rendered 15 years ago. Animation studios have been doing it right for a long time, you would expect something 2010 to at least look good even if it has a sub-par storyline. Nope. Nothing jaw dropping here, there’s nothing even remotely good about the visuals. Not even the backgrounds were done well.

Okay, fine. Maybe the movie was done by a low-budget studio. They didn’t have the resources to make the movie beautiful. Understood. But the animation? You don’t need a high-budget to make the characters act believably. The acting was stiff, unconvincing, and basically everything you don’t want to see in an animated movie. Characters touching each other didn’t even look like they were touching, expressions were pretty bland, nothing over the top. Objects felt like they weren’t interacting with the background properly, there was sliding and weightlessness- ugh. Where’s the quality control? Besides the random gags popping up once in a while, there was nothing to look forward to in the show.

I felt glad when the movie was over, it felt way too long. Not a good sign when you’re in a movie wondering what time it’s going to end. What surprised me though was the credits. They showed the concept art for the characters in the movie and man, the hand drawn sketches were beautiful. They looked lively and were capable of pulling off believable expressions. What happened there? Something must have went wrong during the transition from paper to the model rigging stage. Hell, they didn’t even need to do the movie in 3D. If it was a 2D animated movie, I’m sure it would’ve been much better (assuming they spent time on animation instead of figuring out how rigs work- because that’s what their 3D animation felt like).

Overall, this movie isn’t worth the money you spend on the ticket. Hell, I don’t think it’s even worth downloading. Another one to forget, and maybe catch on TV one day when you’re channel surfing because you have absolutely nothing else to watch. Even then I would just read a book. Or jerk off. I really can’t recommend this movie to anybody. There’s just so many other movies that have done this way better and deserve repeated viewings. 2/10.

Movie Review: Legend of the Guardians- The owls of Ga’Hoole

Well, I just got word from Fuad 1 saying that if I wanna keep watching advanced screenings, I gotta start reviewing movies. Plus I figured it should bring some life to this blog, and give me a break from writing about the usual stuff I write at UberGizmo 2. And so here is my first foray into writing a proper movie review. Forgive me if there are any spoilers- it is my first review after all!

I woke up this morning with two missed calls and one voice mail on my phone. It was Fuad. “Legend of the Guardians, this morning at 1030, give me a call if you wanna go.”

I checked the time. It was nine. Shit, I wanted to go back to bed. Then I figured, I could just come back and sleep after the movie. Plus if the movie was bad, I could sleep in the cinema anyway. So I gave him a call and told him I’d be there. An hour later I was at GSC Mid Valley getting ready to go into the cinema. I knew nothing about the movie besides the trailers I’ve seen so I didn’t know what to expect besides awesome graphics and the 30 Seconds To Mars theme song. Well I got the former, but not the latter- which was replaced by an Owl City 3 song (which was a better song, but not as epic as 30STM in the trailer).

The first thing that surprised me was the inclusion of a Warner Brothers short at the start- Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote in their very first(?) 3D appearance. And man it was good. Classic Looney Toons gags, but now in spectacular 3D. Oh yeah, just to get it out of the way, LOTG is worth watching in 3D. Don’t skimp out just to save a few bucks for this show, trust me- it is worth it.

Legend of the Guardians: The owls of Ga’Hoole tells the story of a bunch young owls who after being kidnapped, break free and turn to their childhood heroes for help- The legendary owls of Ga’Hoole. Nothing groundbreaking in this department, the standard dreamer protagonist who believes that there is hope in myth (which turns out to be true), standard enemies, traitors, the ex-hero turned old war-hero fanfare and a continuous string of clichΓ©s. But then, what did you expect? Memento? I haven’t read the storybook the movie was based on, so I can’t say how faithful it was to the original story, but what I can say is that the movie was entertaining from start to finish.

First thing you gotta give props to is the visuals. Jaw-dropping, amazing. Avatar what? Yeah, this is one movie you gotta see to believe. The animation of the owls- superb. I’m no owl expert, but I believe that if owls could talk and had character, they would be like the owls in the show. The characters have so much character. I think that even if the owls all looked the same, you could still tell who was who just by the way they behaved. Brilliant acting. They did an awesome job with the visual effects as well- water, wind, clouds, fire, and the fight scenes. The only complain I had was the all-too frequent use of slow-mo. I was wondering what’s up with the director, until the credits hit and I saw “Zack Snyder” and was like, “Ohhh.. no wonder.”

All praise aside, my major gripe with the movie was how underused some characters were. I didn’t like how characters appeared in the show just to act for a scene or two, and then are removed from the scene after that. It made it feel very cartoony- like you know how in some cartoons, hook-ups don’t matter? i.e. torn shirt in one scene, and okay the next? It was probably due to the inclusion of important scenes from the book, but there wasn’t enough time to develop the characters further in film, so I guess that’s why the movie had that problem. Other than that, and the predictable story (which I didn’t mind because it was entertaining), this movie is something you don’t want to miss in the cinemas. The characters and visuals make the overall experience an impressive one. 7/10.

1 – Fuad: my very fun and flamboyant ex-colleague. Used to write movie reviews as well, he’s been my ticket into the world of advance press screenings.
2 – For my current day job, I am now one of the many blog editors at UberGizmo, an online tech blog. I will be moving to UberPhones once it’s up and running.
3 – Owl City – To The Sky. Of course you use Owl City for a movie about owls right?

Gig #56 and #57

Wow, I know I said that after my EP was completed this year, I’d be focusing on the The Wishing instead of 2storeyheart, but it seems like the other way round instead. I’ve tried playing with Jason for a couple of gigs, but we kept bombing cos we didn’t have enough practice. The best performance we ever did was probably the one at Fete De La Musique (the video below) and cos we rehearsed like crazy for that gig. Haha. We do have some new ideas for some new songs, but things have been going pretty slowly. And the mic port on my soundcard is now spoilt, so I can’t do any home demos in the mean time which brings me to the next point of this post: my next 2 gigs!

Junk Open Mic at The Bee Cafe
Wednesday, 8th September 2010
8.30pm onwards
It’s an open mic, so I’ll have to register when I get there so I have no idea what time I’ll be playing, but I’ll try to get a later slot cos I know my friends are always late πŸ˜› Since it’s a Junk event, I guess there will be a lot of people turning up for the event. I get to play 2 songs, so I’ll be debuting one new song (never performed live before..ever!) and playing one song you’ve heard before. And if that isn’t enough, come for the Bee Burger. Trust me, it is GOOD πŸ˜€

RAWR!!! The Gig
Saturday, 2nd October 2010
8.00-11.00pm

Hey guys!

The first of many gigs to come, RAWR! The Gig features a good mix of bands in the Malaysian music scene coming together for a great party. Organized by pop punk/easycore heavyweight, An Honest Mistake, this is a gig that you don’t wanna miss!

The goal is to feature budding talents in the scene by creating a platform for them to showcase their music, as well as to promote themselves. Being acoustic-based, the barrier of audience-artiste will be brought closer, if not ‘disappear’; to a place of intimacy.

The first will feature:

An Honest Mistake
For This Cycle (SG)
Eshia
Once Upon A Time There Was A Sausage Named Bob
Fragments & Frictions
Rosevelt
Eve
Dichi Michi
A Ruthless Cleansing
2 Storey Heart

It’s an awesome line up, with acts you are bound to enjoy, cos I enjoy them too πŸ˜€ I’ll get to play a 15 minute set, so I can fit in a number of songs for this gig. And it’s been a long time since I’ve played at the same show as AHM, Sausage and Eve so I’m pretty stoked! I can already tell it’s going to be one crazy night!

Both gigs will have no cover charge, so just drag your asses down to the show! See you guys there πŸ˜€