Posted by Auz - February 8th, 2012
My opinions on the redesign in a nutshell:
-Overall design looks very nice
-Love the wall designs
-Wish there was a small summary box of stats of the main profile page rather than having to go to a seperate page
-The new level icons are weird
-A little disappointed by the fact that there are no new BP ranks
It will be a while before I'll get used to everything.
Posted by Auz - July 1st, 2010
As of a few days ago I have joined the Icon Mod team. If you got any requests for icons you can leave a comment here, PM me or go to the Thumbnail Makers Club.
aeiowu (only 3)
darkside7000 (only 18)
drattigan (only 6)
Granfaloon (only 10)
HeroInteractive (only 18)
JackSmack (only 10)
J-Rex (only 2)
Kieran-s (only 3)
Maguas (only 1)
Negina (only 5)
Total icons done: 321
PS: I'm now a forum mod too >:)
Posted by Auz - December 20th, 2009
It's Christmas Holiday again and there are gonna be a ton of movies on TV every day. I thought I'd write some short comments on all the movies that I watch, instead of giving them all a full review.
I heard this one wasn't received so well, but I personally enjoyed it. I thought it was better than the first Shrek movie, but Shrek 2 is still the best of the series in my opinion though. But this one is worth a watch if you got nothing better to do.
The first 80 minutes of the movie I didn't think it was all that exciting. There wasn't much action and not much was happening, but I thought it was pretty good still. The last 30 minutes however were really, really good. The ending was very well done in my opinion. Also I was amused by the future view of the makers. I think they were a little too optimistic on some things, while some of our current technology is already far better than it is in the movie.
An animation movie made by Tim Burton. It's nothing impressive, but it was fairly enjoyable still. I thought it got better as it neared the ending. Also, with only 70 minutes it's kinda short, but that didn't bother me as much as it did with the Corpse Bride. At least the characters are worked out properly in this one.
About a woman and her daughter moving to a quiet catholic village where they open a chocolaterie. The people of the church do not like to see the villagers get tempted by the delicious chocolate they make (with lent coming up) and try to make her leave. The woman does not want to leave however and the villagers start to fall in love with her chocolate. I know it may not sound all that interesting, but the high pace of the movie kept it from becoming boring. Technically it was also well made and it had some good actors like Johnny Depp and Judi Dench. However, this is not the kind of movie you'll want to watch when you invite a couple of friends over to have a beer. It really is a typical girls-movie and I don't think there will be that many guys out there who will love this. But it's good enough for a boring evening.
I'm not really a Harry Potter fan or anything, but I've found the movie series quite enjoyable up until now. So far the third movie has been the only one I've only seen once in the cinema, hence why I wanted to give it another watch. I thought most fans of the series didn't like it all that much, but I thought it was a good part in the series back then. I felt that it was more serious and mature than the first two movies. After watching it again five years later I still feel the same about it and it's still among my favorite episodes of the HP heptalogy.
This is one of the very few movies that I gave up on halfway. Possibly one of the worst animation movies I've ever seen. I just couldn't see how the story elements connected to each other. It's something like this: Apparently singing is very important to pinguins, even so important that it's the only subject given at pinguin school. Every pinguin has his own 'heartsong', but one pinguin can't sing but tap-dances instead. This pinguin gets rejected from the group, leaves and the rest we've already seen a million times before in other movies. I just don't see where it all comes from and I doubt much of it would be explained later in the movie. Perhaps it's not fair to judge it on the first hour, but I just couldn't bare watching it anymore. I have to say that graphically it is amazing though.
A movie, based on a true story, about a guy who graduates from college and decided to leave his old life behind to go on a hitchhiking trip to Alaska. Once there he wants to spend his time in solitude and learn what true happiness is. The movie is a bit long (140 minutes) and I found it a little hard to identify myself with the main character in the beginning. But all in all I thought it was really good. The main characters life story is quite interesting, it had beautiful cinematography and the final scenes were done very well in my opinion. I would certainly recommend it to anyone.
It's alright, but not much special. The movie is a little on the short side with the standard 90 minutes, but on the other hand I don't think they could've gotten much more out of it. Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson do a fine job once again though and manage to turn it into something enjoyable. I think if this movie would've been made with lesser actors it would've been mediocre at best. Anyway, in my opinion The Bucket List is a decent choice if you don't want to watch anything too difficult or too long.
Like Magnolia, Babel is a movie where several plot lines with different people are being told at the same time. These plot lines all have some sort of connection, and in this movie the connection was much more clear than it was in Magnolia. Personally I think this is an interesting way of story telling. Also there is a lot of switching between scenes which keeps the movie from becoming slow. One bad point I found about Babel though is that it ended quite abruptly. Out of the four or five plot lines that were being followed, I had a feeling that only two of them sort of ended. The rest was still working towards the climax in my eyes, but the climax never came and it was just over like that. So I didn't really like the ending, but overall it was an interesting movie.
In one word: Timeless. It's amazing how a movie can still be enjoyable and so popular after 70 years. It's considered the best movie ever made by many and, although it's not my favorite, I can imagine why people would say that. The only thing is, the movie has been spoiled to me so many times before I went to see it. Heck even Family Guy spoiled it for me in one of their episodes. And I think this movie is best if you don't know what 'Rosebud' means yet, because that's pretty much the entire mystery the story centers around. Anyway, I think anyone who loves to watch movies should watch Citizen Kane at least once in their lives. It's really, really good.
And with that, my Christmas Holiday officially ends. If I had to pick 3 favorites out of the above movies I would say:
1) Blade Runner
2) Into the Wild
3) Citizen Kane
In no particular order. Although I think the only one I would want to watch again someday is Into the Wild. But anyway that was it. Hope you all had happy holidays like I had and have a good 2010.
Posted by Auz - November 17th, 2009
Duration: 96 minutes
If I have to believe imdb, Up is with a distance the second best animation movie ever made (right after Wall-E). With an 8.5 score, it leaves classics such as The Lion King (8.2) and Toy Story (8.1) far behind. However after hearing several not-so-very positive stories from friends about this movie, I decided I had to give it a watch and see what it was like.
I have to say the movie starts out pretty good. You'll first get introduced to the old man (Carl) and his life story, which delivers a few funny scenes but the general overtone is pretty sad.
Without spoiling too much: The old man and his wife once had a dream to explore South-America and build their house on top of a cliff with a beautiful waterfall (paradise falls). They never got a change to chase this dream however and when the wife passes away, the old man is left alone. On one day the man is forced to move out of his old house, but by lifting his house with balloons he manages to get away and he finally gets a chance to chase his big dream. He takes an unexpected passenger with him though. An 8 year-old boyscout which the old man shooed the day before. When they (fairly quickly) get to South-America, they end up at the wrong side of the cliff and have to walk all the way to the other side. That's when the real adventure begins.
These were about the first 35 minutes of the movie and up to this point I was enjoying it. I especially thought the grumpy old man was a very charming character. The next few scenes were also slightly enjoyable, but at the half way point the movie just slowly started to die on me. At about this point the bad guys of this story were introduced for the first time and this is where the movie started to take a few turns that I didn't like much. For instance, I didn't like the bad guys at all. They kinda went from good to evil to good to evil etc. with every few scenes. Up to a point where I couldn't really care much about them anymore. I think I just prefer a more consistent bad guy. On top of that a few very distracting side plots started to occur. They mostly had to do with morality issues which apparently just needed to be forced into it (it's Disney after all). I was just thinking "FUCK THAT, GET ON WITH IT!". They weren't even worked out that well and felt a bit illogical at times. Then the big finale of the movie came, where nothing really unexpected occurred.
So all in all I was slightly disappointed with this, even though my friends warned me. The first half of the movie was fairly enjoyable, but the second half wasn't that great. Overall it's just nothing more than just the average animation movie. It's no better than The Lion King or Toy Story for example. My suggestion would be that if you're interested or just love Disney/animation movies, then go and watch it. But if it doesn't sound appealing to you, then you don't need to see it because you're not missing much.
Muntz must have been at least 100 years old and been living in that cave for decades. However he looks just as old and vital as Carl is. I wonder how he managed to survive that long and managed to stay in a relatively good shape =/
Posted by Auz - October 30th, 2009
Title: The Pianist
Genre: Drama, War
Duration: 148 minutes
Won 3 Oscars: Best Actor in Leading Role, Best Director*, Best Writing Adapted Screenplay
*The director is Roman Polanski who was still a fugitive back then. Recently he was arrested in Switzerland for the crime he committed about 30 years ago.
To be honest I wasn't that interested in this movie when I bought it. A World War 2 story about a Polish pianist didn't appeal to me that much, mostly because it sounded quite predictable to me. But I found it somewhere where it was on sale and 3 Oscars plus a rating of 8.5 on imdb convinced me to buy it.
After watching it, I gotta admit that there isn't really much to say about this movie. It was pretty well made, but it didn't really exceed any expectations. Basically the summary written on the back of the DVD case says it all.
I'll try to translate:
On the 23rd of September 1939, a young pianist named Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody) plays "Nocturne in d-minor" from Chopin on the Polish radio while the Germans bomb Warsaw. Half an hour after the performance is finished, the building of the Polish radio station is hit and the radio channel is from then on off the air.
The consequences of the German occupation that followed are terrible for the inhabitants of Warsaw: The ghetto, the Jewish rebellion, the deportations. While all of his friends and family are being murdered, Szpilman survives in the ruins of his beloved city.
Oddly enough, he does not only get help from Polish resistance members, but also from the German officer Wilm Hosenfeld (Thomas Kretschmann).
If this sounds interesting to you in any way, then go watch it and you won't be disappointed.
Personally I am not such a big fan of emotional war-dramas though so I didn't enjoy it that much. I have to admit that it was well made, but seeing how well this movie was received I was hoping for a bit more than just the average war-story. Alas, it didn't bring anything new that I haven't seen already. Like it doesn't really have anything new to offer when it comes to storytelling and it doesn't give any new insights about the war and how people suffered from it either. In that sense the movie disappointed me a little. But again, if the description above sounds appealing to you than I would advice you to watch it.
Posted by Auz - October 15th, 2009
Title: Ying Xiong (US Title: Hero)
Genre: Drama, Action
Duration: 93 minutes
I first watched this movie a long time ago and I remember I thought it was really good. Not too long ago I saw this movie was only EU2,50 at the local media store and I thought: "Why not?". So yesterday I decided to watch it again and I must say that I was still pretty impressed by it.
As the title already suggests, this is not a typical American Hollywood movie. It's a Chinese movie made by Yimou Zhang. Most people probably aren't very familiar with that name, but he might be one of the most successful Chinese directors outside of his country. He's the writer and director of great movies like House of the Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower. He was also in charge of making the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in 2008. The style of this director is mostly characterized by using lots of beautiful visual effects. This trailer of Curse of the Golden Flower might give you a good impression of what I mean.
You could say that Hero is a typical Yimou Zhang movie. In Hero, we also see a lot of magnificent effects with water, wind, leafs, sand and other nature phenomena. I think these effects alone already make the movie worth watching. They're mostly used in the fight scenes and although the fights already look nice and flashy, the effects really turn it into eye candy. The costumes and clothing of the characters also look wonderful and the color of the clothes plays a very important in the storytelling actually.
The plot is as follows: A long time ago China was divided in seven empires. These empires have been at war for a long time. The emperor of the empire of Qin was known to be the most ruthless and the most powerful. He was seen by many as a tiran however and he has made many enemies throughout the years. There are three assassins which he sees as the most dangerous and he decided to put a bounty on their heads. These assassins are Endless Sky, Flying Snow and Broken Sword. One day, a nameless warrior going by the name of 'Nameless' claims that he has defeated the three assassins. He is invited to the palace to prove his claims and earn his rewards. After seeing the weapons of the three assassins, the emperor awards Nameless with gold, land and the honor to drink with the emperor within a distance of ten paces. The emperor would love to hear the story of how the unknown, nameless warrior was able to defeat such mighty assassins.
I don't want to spoil too much, but in the scenes afterward you see the story getting told several times and each of these stories have one color as a main theme. The first time for example everybody is dressed in red and it plays mostly in a desert with red/orange sand. This is brilliantly done in my opinion and again it creates some beautiful visual effects with very nice looking fight scenes. Of course all these stories create a lot of plot twists, but the ending was quite satisfying in my opinion. I doubt it could've ended any better than it did.
So with a very good plot and beautiful fight scenes, Hero is a must see in my opinion. Or at least, I strongly recommend it to anyone. Unless you're really not into movies of different cultures than the typically American Hollywood movie.
Oh and if you liked this one, be sure to check out the other movies I mentioned before (House of the Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower).