Movie Review: The Karate Kid directed by Harald Zwart

by Captain Lyaf Yarr

Title: The Karate Kid
Director: Harald Zwart
Run Time: 140 minutes
Rated: PG

Summary: Dre Parker and his mom move to China because of her work. The first day they get there he gets beat up by a kid name Cheng because he’s caught flirting with Meiying (Cheng’s friend that he likes). Cheng continues to bully him until Dre decides that he needs to learn karate and gets a teacher aka the maintenance man for his and his mom’s apartment that they’re staying in. Mr. Han sets up a showdown with Cheng at a very quickly upcoming tournament. Dre is scared for his life!

Why I watched this movie:

This movie looked really good and I love Jayden Smith!

Likes:

  • I love Sherry Parker (Dre’s Mom). Especially when She’s all like ‘DRE! PICK UP YOU’RE JACKET!’ And he looked so miserable when Mr. Han made him put on, take off, drop, and hang up his jacket.
  • I liked the scene when Meiying and Dre were at the puppet theater and they kissed! It was so cute and funny how everyone else could see it because they were in front of the projector.
  • In that scene I also thought that when Dre and Meiying were pinky promising was cute!
  • The friendship between Dre and Mr. Han is really sweet. It’s like a father son relationship. Loved!

Dislikes:

  • Why is Dre’s teacher named Mr. Han? Why not Mr. Miyagi? :(
  • I thought that Meiying looked a little too old for Dre in the movie. They’re about 2 years apart which isn’t much when you’re older, but it’s funny when you’re younger. Though it could be just the height difference.

Last minute thoughts: I have to admit, I was a little disappointed not to see Jayden waxing cars or painting fences. But I still liked watching him pick up his jacket!!!

Buy: The Karate Kid

Movie Rating: 4.5 Treasure Chests

See the originals: The Karate Kid Collection (Four Film Set)

Movie Review: The Last Airbender starring Dev Patel and Noah Ringer

by First Mate Keira

Title: The Last Airbender
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Run Time: 103 Minutes
Rated: PG

Summary: Based on the cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender, this live-action movie launches viewers into a whole new fantasy world where different civilizations have control over the four elements: fire, earth, air, water. Each culture rules with one type of ‘bending’ – a term used to describe the manipulations they make with their element. The Avatar is the only person capable of bending with all four elements and bridge the divide between the physical and spiritual world. The start of the epic new series reveals that the Avatar has disappeared, abandoning the world, for the last 100 years…that is until a young inexperience waterbender manages to free him from his tomb of ice.

Why I watched this movie:

I have never seen the cartoon series. I knew of it from channel flipping, but I’ve never been a viewer of the original telling. The trailer looked good and I was interested in seeing Jackson Rathbone play a part that wasn’t a vampire.

Likes:

  • Jackson Rathbone was excellent as Sokka. He has the cutest smile and the brightest blue eyes. It was nice seeing him get more than a few lines.
  • Nicola Peltz as Katara… she was so cute. I hope to see more of her in the future.
  • Noah Ringer who played the Avatar (Aang) is an adorable kid and highly watchable. The pictures of him with hair are just too weird.
  • The visual effects were stunning! I really enjoyed them. It’s amazing how realistic things looked.

Dislikes:

  • A few places were confusing as I didn’t know the background to the story. I heard a lot of fans of the cartoon were upset with the movie and wished for things to be different… most notably that the cartoon series is Asian and there weren’t m/any cast.

Last minute thoughts: When’s the next movie?

Buy: The Last Airbender

Rating: 4 Treasure Chests

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Movie Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel

by First Mate Keira

Title: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Run Time: 109 minutes
Rated: PG

Summary: At the age of 10, a young boy finds himself unwillingly drawn into the world of magic with humiliating results. Fast forward ten years and the young man is once more drawn kicking and screaming into the fight between good sorcerers (Merlineans) and bad (Morganians) when two of Merlin’s protégé’s escape from an enchanted urn. Both are desperate to gain and keep control of a magical device known as the Grimhold, where deep at its heart is Morgana herself.

Why I watched this movie:

It looked good in the trailer… plus I like Nicolas Cage.

Likes:

  • Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) – an uptight sorcerer with a laidback appearance, Cage does not disappoint.
  • Horvath (Alfred Molina) – such a fun bad guy to watch. You can really dig his evilness.
  • Dave (Jay Baruchel) – he’s a fun nerd to watch. He’s lovingly a-dork-able.
  • Dave’s science project for his physics major – way cool that it makes noise and can be programmed to sound like music.
  • The homage to Fantasia and the original Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey Mouse.

Dislikes:

  • Parts are pretty hokey – terminology especially (Prime Merlinean) and some of the humor is a little too heavy handed. It’s definitely for a younger crowd despite the Easter eggs scattered for adults to catch.
  • The story seems to run out of steam by the end of the movie which is a bit of a letdown not to mention anti-climatic.

Buy: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Rating: 3.5 Treasure Chests

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Movie Review: The Last Song directed by Julie Anne Robinson

by Captain Lyaf Yarr

Title: The Last Song
Director: Julie Anne Robinson
Run Time: 107 minutes
Rated: PG

Summary: Ronnie and Jonah are staying with their dad for the summer. Which is fun for Jonah because he likes hanging out with his dad, but Ronnie could care less about coming, or about anything. Before all this Ronnie used to be a good girl. She wouldn’t get in trouble, steal things, get bad grades, and she used to play the piano. Amazingly. So amazingly that she got accepted into Julliard! Until something happened to change all that. At her dad’s Ronnie walks around the beach and gets her smoothie spilled on her by a cute stranger who later becomes her new boyfriend. She couldn’t be happier and starts finding her love for music again, but not everything is as perfect for her father who becomes sick and is blamed for something he didn’t do.

Why I watched this movie:

It looked interesting and it we got to watch it on Netflix.

Likes:

  • Liam Hemsworth (Will Blakelee) is so HOT!
  • I liked when Ronnie was trying to save the sea turtles and she had to sleep outside with the racoons and such and she looked like trash the next day.

Dislikes:

  • Ronnie really annoyed me in the beginning (and sometimes in the middle). She was all ‘I’m too cool for you.’ I can’t stand that. When she found out that Will “went on the same date with different girls” Ronnie flipped out. She was like ‘OH MY GOODNESS! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS! I HATE YOU!’ She didn’t even ask him about it or anything. Galadriel could have been lying or stretching the truth and instead of acting like a sane person and going to the source to get the facts she relies on hearsay. Grr. You can’t trust things like that from anyone, not even your BFF until you confirm it with the party/ies involved. Some people are just out to make you as miserable as they are and you have to protect yourself.
  • I hate it when Miley Cyrus talks and then her voice squeaks! It’s so annoying and it gives me chills. It’s like nails on a chalkboard.

Buy: The Last Song

Movie Rating: 3 Treasure Chests!

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Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone directed by Chris Columbus

sorcerer's stone movie still

Reviewed by Captain Lyaf Yarr

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Director: Chris Columbus
Run Time: 152 minutes
Rated: PG

Summary: Harry Potter gets a mysterious letter one day by owl and discovers that he is a wizard, and a famous one at that. He grew up with Muggle (non-magical relations) never knowing that his lightning bolt shaped scar represented his survival against the most powerful wizard of all, Lord Voldemort. Stepping into a new world that was literally filled and made up of magic, Harry Potter attends Hogwarts, Britain’s greatest (and only) wizard school. As he arrives he makes plenty of friends and enemies and plenty of mysterious in the old stone castle. Will Harry survive the year in one piece?

Why I watched this movie:

I read the book, HP & the SS,  that the movie was based on. This is not the first time I’ve seen the film.

Likes:

  • Everyone was perfectly cast for this film. From Harry and the trio to the teachers! I thought that they all did awesome! Great acting.
  • Hogwarts and it’s moving staircases and portraits. Very well done effects!
  • The CGI done for Norbert (Hadgrid’s pet baby dragon) was awesome! I think It would be cool to find out how they did it. I bet it took a lot of work.

Dislikes:

  • The movie was too accurate. I know! I know! It seems ridiculous to say that as inaccuracies are always looked down on but this movie was too much like the book. After you see it a few times, you feel like it gos on forever, and get lulled to sleep in places (I know I have!)
  • In the book they said that the Dursleys were blond, but in the movies they were all brunettes, and I’m not sure if they did that because they were better actors, or because they wanted to but it is something to mention.

Last minute thoughts: I will read/watch the next book and movie in the series ( Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ) and I hope that I’ll like it just as well as I did this one.

Buy: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Widescreen Edition), Harry Potter Years 1-6 Giftset [Blu-ray]Harry Potter Years 1-6 Giftset (Widescreen Edition), Harry Potter Years 1-6 Giftset (Full-Screen Edition), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Ultimate Edition)

Movie Rating: I give this movie 3.5 Treasure Chests
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Movie Review: Hugo starring Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Hugo
Director: Martin Scorsese
Rating: PG
Run Time: 126 min

Summary: Hugo Cabret lives inside the walls of a train station in Paris, France. If he’s caught he’ll be sent to an orphanage. Usually he’s pretty good at being unseen but sometimes that station inspector gets really close to catching him when he steals. His passion is fixing things and most important to him to fix is an invention his father found in a museum before he died. To fix it he steals parts from an old toymaker, but when the toymaker catches him Hugo finds that his second most prized possession is stolen instead.

Why I saw this movie:

It looked like a cool steampunk kids film and I knew it was based off a book. I figured if I liked the movie I’d get the book from the library.

Likes:

  • The way the story is filmed, it’s visually stunning and has this steampunk vibe.
  • The station inspector’s role in the story is cute and so is his romance with the florist. He like most other characters in the film have an element that’s broken ready and waiting for Hugo to fix.
  • The old film clips inserted into the movie to help narrate and depict key points of the story. Most pay homage to filmmaker George Méliès.
  • Hugo and Isabelle’s friendship and the two of them creating an adventure together. I especially like the vocabulary byplay they have going on.
  • The ending and how it all turns out between Hugo and the toymaker.

Dislikes:

  • The station inspector throwing kids into his cell and calling the police in to throw them into an orphanage. Considering the station inspector is an orphan himself, I felt he should have a little more compassion.

Book vs. Movie:

(Not all differences, but some that stood out)

  • The ending is different. In the book, we know that the story is being told by Professor Alcofrisbas, who is later revealed at the end to be an adult Hugo, master magician. In the movie, a young Isabelle is starting to write down the whole adventure into a journal.
  • The scene where Hugo is hanging from the clock is not in the book, though he does hide from the station inspector in his room after a chase sequence.
  • In the movie, Hugo dreams that he causes a train to jump tracks and crash through the train station. This comes from watching a film clip of a train coming into the station which freaks the audience out. In the book there’s only a discussion of this film clip.

Buy: Hugo (Two-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

Rating: 5 Treasure Chests

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