Tag Archives: movies

Claudia Ranks the Pixar Movies (That She’s Seen)

Read the title. LET’S DO IT! From least favorite to favorite.

#10: Cars
Oh, Cars. The black sheep of the Pixar family (at least until Cars 2 came along). I didn’t hate Cars…it just wasn’t Pixar-level good. I had trouble immersing myself in the universe it created, mainly because I think I had more questions about how the universe worked (e.g., are there still humans in this world?) than I’d had for other Pixar-spun universes.

#9: Ratatouille
Ratatouille wasn’t bad, either, but it wasn’t, in my opinion, as memorable as the movies higher on this list. Granted, I’ve only seen it all the way through once, but it still just didn’t stick with me like most of the other Pixar movies.

#8: Toy Story 3
I thought the ending of Toy Story 3 was very predictable. Not that that’s a bad thing, but it took a bit of the emotion away when I watched the ending because I’d anticipated what was going to happen. Not sure if that’s because the Toy Story movies and I are like bros or because it was supposed to be predictable.

But that furnace scene, man. That furnace scene. The first time I watched Toy Story 3 was while I was running on a treadmill on a cruise and man, I had to stop and cry at this, seriously.

#7: Inside Out
Inside Out was a lot better than I was expecting it to be based on the previews. Like any good Pixar movie, it had at least one scene designed to murder your soul. Welcome to pain. Good ol’ Pixar pain. (Those of you who have seen Inside Out know exactly what part of the movie I’ve linked to even without clicking the link, don’t lie.)

#6: Toy Story 2
I have an aversion to sequels like no one else I’ve ever met. But this was a good sequel. I really liked the idea of bringing in some history/context to Woody and there being this contrast between him being this extremely rare collector toy versus just this “regular” toy that Andy adores. Also, Kelsey Grammer as a villain = instant win.

#5: Finding Nemo
I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like Finding Nemo. This is one of Pixar’s best, both in terms of storytelling and animation (and sad scenes). Plus, I found this picture and can’t stop laughing at it, so there ya go.

#4: The Incredibles
Waaaay underrated. For some reason, this one didn’t seem to get as much publicity as most of Pixar’s other films, even though I think it’s one of their best ones. The story’s good, the pacing’s good, and again, really good animation. Even before getting into the Marvel movies, I’ve always kind of liked movies about people with superpowers/special abilities, so that’s definitely one big reason why this is so high on my list.

#3: Monsters, Inc.
I think this is one of the most original Pixar movies. Very clever. I really like the humor in this one, plus the voice actors that were chosen are pretty much perfect.

#2: A Bug’s Life
Here’s another Pixar movie that I think is incredibly underrated. I don’t know if it’s because it came out practically at the same time as Antz, but it didn’t seem to get much publicity (at least as far as I remember) But I think it is another very original concept.

#1: Toy Story
Pixar’s finest. I adore this movie. Toy Story will always have a special place in my heart because it was really the first movie I remember really loving. (Unless you count Brave Little Toaster, but I don’t, ‘cause that’s not a movie, it’s a drug trip.) I don’t remember exactly when it was when I first saw Toy Story—all I know is that I was pretty obsessed with it. I was obsessed with it enough that I spent a lot of time trying to convince my fellow elementary school classmates to do a live re-enactment of it. Do you know how hard it is to coordinate first graders, especially if you yourself are a first grader? DO YOU?! We got like the first scene done and then their attention spans drove them elsewhere. Kids, man.

ANYWAY. Toy Story. My favorite Pixar movie without a doubt.

 

(Yeah, I’ve neither seen Up nor WALL-E. I’m a bad person.)

Favorite Disney Songs

Have a list of my favorite Disney songs/animated sequences, ‘cause now that the thesis nonsense is over, I don’t know what to do with my time other than provide crappy blogs.

OH WAIT I WAS DOING THAT BEFORE, TOO.

Let’s do it.

5. Be Our Guest (Beauty and the Beast)

Lumiere, man.

 

4. The Bells of Notre Dame (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

That high note at 5:01, holy hell. Gives me the chills.

 

3. Just Around the River Bend (Pocahontas)

I don’t know why, but I’ve always just really liked this song. It’s my favorite Pocahontas song.

 

2. Hellfire (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Frollo is great, man. I love that he’s a villain not because he’s got that “I know I’m doing something wrong but I’m going to do it anyway because it benefits me” thing that so many Disney villains have, but because he really thinks he’s in the right and doing things according to his religious beliefs.

 

1. I’ll Make a Man out of You (Mulan)

Does this one need an explanation? Really?

Inside Out!

Nate and I went to see Inside Out today. It was very enjoyable! When I first saw the previews back in May (when we went to see Age of Ultron), I didn’t think it would be a movie that was up to Pixar’s usual standards, but the reviews are right: it’s a very good movie. I really like what they did with the geography of Riley’s brain and how it all fit together at various points in the story.

Also, the Bing-Bong part (you know what I’m talking about if you’ve seen the movie) was really freaking sad.

But yeah, it’s definitely worth seeing in my opinion. While I still haven’t seen some of Pixar’s films (Up and WALL-E are the big ones), of the ones I’ve seen, Inside Out ranks pretty high up there. Not Toy Story high, but high.

Holy crap, I went to a movie theatre.

Nate and I saw Age of Ultron today!

It was pretty damn good overall. It seemed really rushed at times, especially in the beginning, but considering Whedon’s original version was supposedly quite a bit longer, that might explain things. We’re hoping that when the DVD comes out it’ll have a director’s cut.

I’d definitely watch it again; I always seem to get waaay more out of any given movie if I watch it a second time.

Also, this was the first movie I’ve seen in theatres since Watchmen way back in 2009.

Wonderful Noise

Holy crapples. If you haven’t watched Gravity yet, you need to do so, even if it’s just for the scene that goes along with this amazing song:

Or just for that song alone.

Chocklit

Hahaha, this is great. I’d actually never seen Forrest Gump until I was like 16. We were supposed to watch it in shop class in 7th grade (yes, I took shop class) on the day before Christmas break, but someone mentioned that there were bare boobies in it and our shop teacher flipped out, screamed at us to keep working on our projects instead, and stormed into his office.

I’d never seen such an adverse reaction to the mention of boobs.

Anyway.

The review is funny. A couple of the lines are just great:

“Forrest run-Forrest-runs right through a college football game and the football coaches are like, “Gwuuuuuhhhhhh!???!!?!?!” and they hire him to play football for their college even though he is clearly 45 years old.”

“That’s when Gump meets Bubba, who is secretly 100,000 live, writhing shrimp standing on each other’s shoulders wearing a human suit.”

“We’re back on the bus bench! Forrest is like, “Yep, I got this letter that I should come visit Jennay, so I’m on my way to her apartment,” and the people on the bench are like, “FUCKING FINALLY, MY FAMILY THINKS I’M DEAD,” and then some old lady gives him directions and it’s denouement o’clock.”

Haha, sorry, I got nothing else today.

But hey, it’s supposed to snow tomorrow!

Holy crap, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is on Netflix?

I know what I’m watching tonight.

I pretty much grew up on Disney movies and this one used to scare the living crap out of me for some reason, but now it’s definitely my favorite. I don’t know if it was the whole “going to Catholic school for six years” thing or what, but I really find myself enjoying books/movies/entertainment with religion as a main source of struggle or conflict. Such themes have always stricken me as being very honest and very impactful. Hunchback was one such book and movie; The Crucible was another. There is a bunch more, too, but for whatever reason I’m totally blanking on everything else I’ve ever read/watched right now. Probably ‘cause it’s like 5 AM and I had Red Bull and I’m feeling really antsy tonight.

Also, tell me this isn’t the best opening ever (I know I’ve posted this on here before, but screw it):

A Few More Reasons why “Sunshine” Rules

I’m not a movie person. We’ve established this.

I’ve mentioned Sunshine on here once or twice before because despite my not being a movie person, I really, really, really like this movie.

Reasons [and possible spoilers?]:

  • It’s about the freaking sun, man. I love the sun.
  • I was expecting it to be one of those cheesy “good looking action heroes wear overly revealing space suits and sucker punch the sun with a nuclear bomb, restarting it, and everyone lives happily ever after.” It’s totally not.
  • The soundtrack is the most phenomenal soundtrack ever. Example, example.
  • Despite it not being scientifically accurate in a lot of ways, the details included that are accurate  (or at least are believable) make it a believable movie. At least to me. I guess what I’m saying is that the story itself is so strong that the specific details need not be totally accurate. Which I think is important for a sci fi such as this.
  • Kaneda’s death makes me cry each time. Movies do not make me cry.
  • Seriously, the soundtrack is beautiful. If you can’t find the movie, at least find the soundtrack.
  • When Capa says, “we’re flying into the sun” near the very end, it is delivered in such a heart-wrenching and beautiful way that is just totally makes the ending.
  • It lacks an unnecessary romance subplot. How many movies can you say that about?
  • You go in totally expecting a HAL moment with the Icarus II computer. It doesn’t happen. It fakes you out a couple times, but it doesn’t happen.
  • Dr. Searle is a badass.
  • THAT EFFING FALLOUT-ESQUE FLASHY THING WHEN THEY BOARD ICARUS I OH MY GOD
  • The third act. I’ve read a lot of review of the movie (’cause, you know, I get overly obsessive about things I like) and the main complaint is that the third act “ruins” everything because it is so different than the first two thirds. I didn’t like that as well at first, but now that I’ve watched it for like the hundredth time, I realize that I think it works. Again, you’re not expecting it.
  • DID I MENTION THE SOUNDTRACK?

Haha, sorry. I just dig this movie. Go find it and watch it, seriously.

I’m not much of a movie person

But holy freaking crap spackle, Sunshine is fantastic.

I first happened upon this movie via its beautiful, beautiful soundtrack (the Adagio was actually the background music in that “Science Saved My Soul” video I posted back on October 25th).

So my mom and I wound up at Bookmans the other day (because passing up a trip to Bookmans is a sin) and I happened to find the movie. So I bought it.

Watched it tonight.

Holy crap.

I actually hesitate to post the trailer, ’cause I don’t think it’s an accurate depiction of how cool this movie really is. So instead you get this little teaser. And this happens like in the first fourth of the movie, so there’s a LOT that goes on after this.

NNNNNNNFFF, that music.

Anyway.

What’s really cool about this movie is the amount of research that went into making it accurate. Sure, there are of course some major inaccuracies (welcome to Movie Land), but the director and cast really went through a lot to try and get it as accurate as they probably could and still have it be an interesting movie.

Like, a lot of thought went into it. It’s like the antithesis of Atomic Train.

If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it. It’s very, very good.

Be warned, though: there’s a scene in there that really reminded me of Vault 106 in Fallout 3 (the one in which you hallucinate in purple). If that creeped you the hell out, so will that scene in the movie. Fair warning.

Weekly Wiki: Wilhelm Scream

HA, I remember the article that I was going to feature here a couple weeks ago!

If you’ve ever watched a movie or TV, you’ve probably been privy to the Wilhelm scream, a stock sound effect first used in 1951 and has since been audible in over 225 movies and TV shows (often as an in-joke).

The scream was first heard in the 1950s movie Distant Drums and gained popularity after George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino began to slide it into almost every movie they made (yes, including Star Wars). The fact that the scream is publically available has caused it to propagate throughout online media created by amateur film/media makers.

Compilation!

“Don’t be afraid. I’m only a toaster. Plug me in. Go on. You’ll like it.”

I found The Brave Little Toaster on YouTube. That movie is such a trip.

[Insert frantic Wikipedia research here]

DUDE IT WAS A BOOK TOO:

The blanket looks alarmingly like a serial killer in the cover illustration. One of those calculating, quiet types who smothers children in their sleep.*

Wiki: The Brave Little Toaster was well-received by critics. Anna Quindlen, writing for the New York Times, called it ‘a wonderful book for a certain sort of eccentric adult. You know who you are. Buy it for your children; read it yourself.'”

Hahahahaha.

Its full title is The Brave Little Toaster: A Bedtime Story for Small Appliances, which leads me to believe that author Thomas M. Disch is pretty freaking great. Must…acquire…copy…

 

*NaNoWriMo 2012 idea: rewrite The Brave Little Toaster as a horror book. Call it Burnt. The five appliances are bitter to the point of extreme revenge over being left at the cabin by their master. They set out to seek revenge on him. Along the way, Blanky’s initial harmless hallucinations about the master soon give way to his psychopathic tendencies. Because we all know it’s the quiet, innocent-seeming ones who are apt to snap and turn on their friends in the middle of the woods.
Dude. This is so happening.

 

Edit: Mr. Disch and I share a birthday. It’s a sign.

Zomg.

So…Toy Story 3.

I don’t know how many of you guys have seen it yet, but if you haven’t, I strongly recommend it. I really, really appreciate Pixar’s ability to keep the toys’ personalities and characters consistent across all three Toy Story movies, something that had to be difficult considering the fact that the trilogy spans 15 years.

I was expecting to be bawling my eyes out by the end of the movie. I wasn’t, surprisingly. To me, the ending was predictable, but in a totally good way. But there was one scene near the end that had me absolutely sobbing (I don’t know if this counts as a “spoiler” in any way; don’t watch if you haven’t seen the movie and want nothing revealed):

The fact that I had to pause the movie and remind myself that these are DIGITALLY ANIMATED TOYS AND ARE NOT ACTUALLY REAL LIVING BEINGS says something very strong about how well done the whole series is.

So yeah. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about Toy Story 3. It’s not as funny as the original or the sequel, but that’s a good thing, I think. A perfect ending to the story.

The Use of Color in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”

You know what’s a fantastic movie?
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
 Not just because it’s a ridiculously awesome musical, but because of the COLORS.

Near the middle of the movie the seven brothers (well, the six that aren’t married yet), now tamed by Millie, go to a barn raisin’ in town. Ladies and gentlemen, Team Rainbow:
 

 

I think I first saw this movie when I was eight or something, and I always remembered the barn raisin’ and the dancin’ that happened before it. I remembered it because of the colors.

If six backwoodsmen dressed as the visible spectrum wasn’t enough, you’ve got the ladies as well, seen here dancing with their boring monochromatic boyfriends.

 

By the way, pardon my crappy screencaps; the easiest way I could get these pics was by renting the movie on iTunes and using ScreenHunter to somewhat haphazardly get these shots.
Anyway.
The dancing sequence (perhaps one of the coolest of all time) has some pretty hot color-on-color action.

Three primaries with two primaries and a secondary.


Primary, secondary, and pink with two primaries and a secondary.


And again, but with a different male primary.


The Roy G. Biv brothers battle for the women!

 

I love this ending shot. None of the color pairs match. The next time you’ll see them all this happy is months after they’ve kidnapped all the women and have forced an avalanche between the lady-folk and themselves and the rest of the town.

 

Go watch this movie, seriously. It rocks.

NaNoWriMo: T-minus 30 days

WOO!

The only good thing about October is that there are only 31 (30 now) days left until NaNo starts. Seriously. Every October for like the past three years has blown heavy metal chunks for me. Screw you, October.
I don’t have a definite plot in place. Actually, I do. I have like five definite plots in place. I just have to choose which one to implement. I’m leaning strongly towards the road trip/religious undertones one, but I might genre ditch and go for a more sci-fi story, just to annoy myself and try to work within a genre of which I’m not a big fan.
Who knows? I didn’t know where I was going with things last year, but I finally got an idea on paper that I’d had in my head for awhile.

Anyway.

Today was probably the last sunny day of the year up here, so I took the opportunity to test out the accuracy of the pedometer feature on the new Nano by comparing it to a regular old pedometer.

Not too big of a discrepancy, considering I spent like an hour of those three hours wandering around in Safeway. I think the Nano is more sensitive to “wandering” steps (as opposed to the more deliberate “get out of my way, I’m faster than you” steps) than the pedometer, hence the difference. I’d also trust the Nano’s calorie counter thingy more, since you can actually set your weight, something you can’t do on the pedometer.
And yes, it took me three hours to go ~11,000 steps. Like I said, Safeway, plus the whole “maybe I’ll stop and wait for the bus, ‘cause I have no damn idea where I am” ordeal when I couldn’t find the store I was looking for.

OH YEAH, and this:

I found this movie via Netflix and was going to watch it in its entirety tonight, but this song from the opening sequence totally ruined that, ‘cause I had to go find it, download it, and listen to it on repeat for about three hours. Apparently the movie is like Inception, but better.

 

Today’s song: Mediational Field by Susumu Hirasawa

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is like a bad drug trip

I have honestly not watched this movie since I was about seven. It’s SO FREAKING FUNNY. I think I laughed hard enough to give myself a nosebleed when I get up tomorrow morning (this has happened several times before).

Snow White: “We’ll clean the house and surprise them! Then maybe they’ll let me stay!”
Yeah, that’ll do it. Though I must admit, as a kid I freaking LOVED the cleaning scene. There’s just something about synchronized cleaning, I guess.
 
Side note: no animated animal labor laws were violated in the making of this movie.

And Doc’s great. He really reminds me of someone, but I can’t think of the person. And Bashful’s adorable, but GRUMPY HAS NO TIME FOR HIS NONSENSE!

Snow White totally mocks Grumpy when she firsts meets him. “OOOOOOOOH, you must be GWUMPY!”

They jab at each other through almost the whole thing. If this were a romantic comedy today, they’d be making out at the end of the movie.

Also, why are they so afraid in the beginning? There are seven of them and they have pickaxes.
Happy: “What is it?”
Doc: “It’s a girl!”
Happy: “She’s waking up!”
Sneezy: “What’ll we do?!”
Doc: “HIDE!”

Hahaha, it’s like a frat house the morning after a BAD party.

Also:
Doc: “You might be cold and wet when you’re done, but you gotta admit, it’s good clean fun.”

I think scrubbing Dopey’s butt was what he was referring to here.


 

Or this.

“GET THE SOAP.”
I love you, Doc.

Happy can really move his hips, but Doc’s the lady’s man.

More perversion:

The scene in which they’re chasing the queen is pretty epic. You don’t want to make Happy angry. And does her death ring of “Wile E. Coyote” to anyone else aside from me (she’s on a cliff, tries to push a boulder onto the little gang, and the cliff on which she’s standing gets split from the mountain and the boulder falls after her)?

Random side note: after Disney’s first few movies, notice how black hair is almost strictly reserved for villains.

Also, one of you needs to tell Rebeca that it’s very hard sitting straight-faced in front of 200 students proctoring an exam when you’ve got “SCREW THE VAGINA, I HAVE A VAGINA!” going through your head. 

Today’s song: We Used to be Friends by The Dandy Warhols

Blog #1121: Disney Insanity

TODAY I will give you my top 5 Disney movies, mainly because I’ve been watching way too many of them on YouTube. Also, this is based more than what Disney considers their “masterpieces,” which excludes, unfortunately, things like Toy Story and Anastasia. Anyway.
1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
This movie is EPIC. Love the animation, love the music, love the evil Claude Frollo. He’s badass.

 

2. Hercules
Another epic movie with great animation and great music. There’s also quite a bit of humor in this one that I missed when I was little.

 

3. The Great Mouse Detective
Basil’s hot. Don’t care if he’s a mouse.

 

4. Toy Story
FREAKING LOVED THIS in elementary school. We quoted it as often as possible.  I also think the idea of Tom Hanks voicing a cowboy is automatically funny.

 

5. Anastasia
Another movie we were obsessed with in elementary school. I was also probably biased towards this one because of my friend Anastasia.

Watchmen!

This movie’s going to be great if the whole thing resembles the previews. Check this out:

Watched Aluminum Never Foils

I think I finally realized why I like the movie Apollo 13 so much (aside from the fact that it’s a good movie and Tom Hanks = awesome).

It’s the music.

The music is very cool.

 

Haha, sorry, nothing much is going on.

“The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars” (or, “Salvador Dali Takes a Film Class”)

This is quite possibly the WEIRDEST movie in the world. In the universe. I must share this trip with you, so this is the general summary (I’d warn for spoilers, but…well…):

So this is apparently set awhile after the original The Brave Little Toaster, and Rob and Christine have had a baby (Robbie, of course). One night, an old Hearing Aid gets out of the junk drawer and it is discovered by Toaster that he is communicating to someone in space. The old gang of appliances decides to watch him the next night, but they fall asleep and wake up just in time to see Robbie, in a bubble, float off to Mars under a big beam of light.

(Let’s stop for a minute. The little kid, IN A BUBBLE, goes to Mars. Keep in mind that this has all been masterminded by a HEARING AID.
Okay, got that?
It gets weirder.)

They consult a computer that gives them the magic formula for space flight: a microwave, popcorn, a laundry basket, and the Ceiling Fan. Alert NASA! In space, they sing a rousing song about floating with a bunch of balloons (it’s worth mentioning again that they’re in SPACE here, where appliances still can sing, balloons don’t pop, and gravity is doin’ fine) before crashing on Mars.

(At about this point I ponder taking some acid to see if that would make this movie make sense.)

Now on Mars, the appliances meet a group of military toasters (never thought I’d use those two words in such close conjunction) as well as a Christmas angel named Tinselina (why she has a name and everything else is just Toaster, Blankie, or Mr. Coffee is a mystery). They learn that the Supreme Commander (a refrigerator, of course) is plotting to blow up the earth—such a COLD and HEARTLESS leader! Toaster, however, with his spunky personality and knack for coming up with musical numbers off the top of his head, wins an election against the fridge and becomes the new Supreme Commander.

Following this, there’s some really weird reunion between two Hearing Aids, an “oh crap, we FORGOT TO DEACTIVATE THE EARTH-BOUND DEATH ROCKET moment,” and a sacrifice of material (a.k.a. clothes) from Christmas Angel (if the other appliances don’t get unique names, neither does she) to get them back home.

And, of course, a happy ending. Robbie’s first word is, appropriately, “Toaster,” and life goes on for the talking appliances.

 

You all seriously need to see this. Weirdest damn movie ever.

God, if I had a kid and its first word was “toaster,” I’d probably shoot myself. Of course, my first word was “tick-tock,” so I probably shouldn’t be talking. Maybe when I was real young I had a similar adventure…”The Brave Old Grandfather Clock Goes to Alpha Centauri” or something.

Oh dear…

So.

The house is getting Netflix. Movies already on our queue include:

  • The Brave Little Toaster
  • The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue
  • The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars
  • The Last Unicorn
  • The Fox and the Hound
  • Jurassic Park
  • Starship Troopers
  • Robin Hood (Disney version)

And like six million other movies from our childhoods.
It’s going to be a fun year.