domingo, 31 de marzo de 2013

The Avengers

The Avengers directed by Joss Whedon
Hey everyone! I had no idea of what to review, but some friends of mine were talking about the avengers so I decided that I could use their idea.
You can't talk about the avengers without mentioning the films that go before it. I should, perhaps, review those too. I'll think about it in the future.
The avengers: In this film you get: Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black widow, Hawkeye… all in one!! Which was brilliant when they announced it, but let's face it, it could have been a complete disaster. Thank god, it wasn't.
In here, Loki is back and he is determined to rule over humans and give planet earth quite a different look. His mission is to get back the teseract (which we first saw in Captain America), and after that, he would be given amazing powers. That's why, after he manages to take the teseract, Nick Fury gets the Avengers to work together to protect earth. That's the idea.
Now, the performances and the characters are not different from the previous movies (although I have to admit that Thor was way better in this one), so there isn't much to talk about that, they are superheroes with the distinction that they are also human, and whatever affects a regular human being, affects the avengers, and that's great because you can emphasize with them, which is crucial in a film.
The story was quite good, the only thing I am still not quite sure about is the final part of the film, it looks amazing and all but it's way to similar to the final part of Transformers: Dark of the moon. Whatever, the visual effects in here are just brilliant, they are not too showy, which makes it more interesting because they could have gone for it and make it the most spectacular thing ever, and they went another direction, making the film much more likeable (it's more focused on the characters than the special effects, so to speak. But make no mistake, it's quite amazing to watch)
I like the way that the relationships between the characters evolve, specially between Iron Man and Captain America. That's what makes this film different, it's not like all superheroes movies, this one is "more human".
MadHatterSays: Watch it (and specially in 3D)!

sábado, 30 de marzo de 2013


Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Hello everyone!! I'm back with a book review!!! Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent (which I reviewed last month). So here we go!
Insurgent picks up exactly where Divergent left off. There's a war going on and all the factions have their role in it. I can't tell much about the story, mainly because that would mean spoiling up Divergent (which would not be cool for those who have not read it).

I have to say that it took me a long while to get to read this one, for two reasons: Although I did like Divergent I didn't think it was THAT good so I wasn't that freaked out when I finished it, and because all the reviews and comments about Insurgent were pointing out how disappointing it was, so I didn't really want to get into it. But over the last two weeks, as you may know, the casting for Divergent (the film) was confirmed, an Kate Winslet (my favourite actress) will be playing Jeannine, so I said to myself, I have to read Insurgent now. So I got it yesterday afternoon (24h ago), and I am reviewing it already.
The story is very entertaining because there is a lot of action in this one, there was action in Divergent too, but here is more like a quest rather than a competition, which was a nice change from the first one. Tris and Four (I can't really get to call him Tobias) are dealing with many stuff, not only with the war, but between them and their relationship (which was the least enjoyable part of the book). There are some new characters here, some develop and some remain as they were in Divergent. I have to admit that I wanted Tris to just die at some point, I was getting really bored with all the lying to his "boyfriend" . I mean, she spends like 150 pages blaming him for not trusting her, and she goes on and on lying to him, that didn't much sense. So yeah, the relationship between Tris and Four was somewhat weird, but I didn't pay much attention to it.
The action, in general, was cool, and very entertaining. I do have to admit though, that sometimes it felt like it was intentionally complicated by the author, to make it look more spectacular and all, but I can't blame her, it is cool to see people doing action stuff. Another thing that I didn't quite like was that at some points, everything was suicidal just because, with no particular reason. But, whatever.

The last half of the book was very interesting and I enjoyed reading how everything grows to the ending (which was really cool). So overall, I actually did enjoy this one, and I'd dare to say that I liked it more than Divergent, but I think that has to do with the fact that I had low expectations about Insurgent, and it was better than I thought.
However, there is one thing that I can't take off my mind. **SPOILER**: Jeannine wasn't much of a villain in the first book, but here she clearly is. I guess I liked the fact that she is actually on the book (presently) for less than 10 pages, because she is really intimidating and scary even. So, when you get a character like that, why would you kill her like that? I mean, it's ok to kill her (although I am pretty sure that I would have preferred her to remain the main villain in the third book too), but not like that. And I also think that it should have been Tris or perhaps Tobias the one to do it, not Tori, who even though has her reasons, was sort of a random pick to end with Jeannine's reign.

So, that's it. I finished it not too long ago and maybe I'm rushing to write the review, but here it is!.

MadHatterSays: Read it! (if you read and liked Divergent)

viernes, 29 de marzo de 2013

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone directed by Chris Columbus

Hey everyone, today I wanted to review something else but I decided that I wanted to make a review in honour of Richard Griffiths who passed away last night, and since he was best known for playing uncle Vernon, I thought it might be nice to talk about the film.

I remember when I first watched the film, I was about 10 or 11 and I immediately fell in love with the world I was watching on screen. That's because from the very first moment you are placed in a fantasy world, why? Well, if I had to guess, I'd say that John William's theme was something so catchy, simple and magic that made Privet Drive and Albus Dumbledore a reality. From that moment on, you can feel how the magic grows on screen, not just with the story: the settings, the characters…

And then of course you get to Diagon Alley, I think that everyone is in love with it, and that's because the representation of it was so amazing that no matter how false it is, you want it to be real, more than anything. The same goes for platform 9 3/4 (How many of you have been to King's Cross lately just to take a picture at the recreation of the platform). That came from the books and Rowling's brilliant imagination, but thank god they got it right.

Once we are in Hogwarts, there's magic everywhere, and the way that they show it is just beautiful. But not only that is beautiful, I think that the relationship between Harry, Ron and Hermione is one of the best developed (in film) of the past decade, which is something worth mentioning, because in the books, their friendship is very important, and they could have got that wrong.

One of the most amazing things on these films is the casting. British acting royalty, as I want to call it: Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Richard Harris (he is Scottish I believe..), and many more made this a great experience. Obviously, the three main characters were very young in this, but they worked great as the magical trio, and it's very hard to imagine anyone else portraying Harry, Hermione and Ron.

Well, as you can see, I'm not talking much about the story because I already reviewed the book and I consider it to be quite a good adaptation, so I'll stick just to the film.

Now, after all eight films are out and we can revise them over and over, I do have to say that this one is not even close to be one of my favourites, not even the most visually astonishing. But as I see it, this was not intended to be some kind of Avatar, this was a film that was made to set a story in motion, and to introduce a whole new audience to a new world. And that, is just what the film did.

About uncle Vernon: Since the review is in Richard Griffiths honour, I want to make a special mention to Harry's uncle, who was perfectly portrayed by this brilliant British actor, who made something quite impossible, possible: He made us """love""" or better, enjoy, uncle Vernon. Thank you Richard.

MadHatterSays: I know that 95% of readers will have watched this one already, but…Watch it (again)!!

jueves, 28 de marzo de 2013

Les Misérables

Les Misérables directed by Tom Hooper

Hello everyone, today I'm going with a musical, which probably everyone has watched by now!

So, Les Misérables tells the story of Jean Valljean's life, for over two decades. That's basically it and I will not go into detail because every story in this is way too complex to include it in a three line description. What you need to know is that, and that his past is going to be going after him for those two decades.

This is not the adaptation of the book written by Victor Hugo (which I am reading now), but of the musical based on the book. I haven't seen the stage production but I did knew the songs and more or less I knew what the story was about. Tom Hopper got involved with it, and since I loved his latest film, the best picture Oscar The King's Speech, and my interest for the film started to rise. Then the actors started to come in, and with all that, I knew that this was a must watch.

All the characters, as I mentioned, are very complex, and all the actors did terrific jobs (yes, I include Russell Crowe in the reference), specially Hathaway (she  won a very well deserved Oscar) who delivered one of the best scenes in recent film history (I dreamed a dream will go into history, I think). Even the voices of the actors were great for not being professional singers, which, if you add the fact that all the songs were sung live, is kind of amazing.

There's been too much talk about the direction in this. Tom Hooper did a great job (for me), maybe not as accurate as he did in The King's Speech, but a good job after all. And for the rest of the team, specially the Art director, this is an absolute win for them. 

The one thing I have to say is this: I had to watch the film twice to decide whether if I really liked it or not, because I had problems with the second half of the film (for being too long, and somewhat boring). After watching it for a second time, I went into it from the first minute to the last, so yes, I really liked Les Misérables.

MadHatterSays: Watch it!


miércoles, 27 de marzo de 2013


E.T. directed by Steven Spielberg

Hey! today I had no idea of what to review and since I just watched this one I thought that I could use it.

Steven Spielberg has made some of the most famous films of the last decades, but one that surely stands out and everyone has heard of is E.T. the extra terrestial. Which tells the story of an alien lost in earth that comes into a little kid's life. That's the premise of this story, and now, even 30 years later, it is so full of life and tenderness that is hard not to re-watch it from time to time.
One of the most interesting things about this one is E.T. itself, because he actually is the main character of the story (Elliot, the kid, is obviously up there with E.T) but you don't usually get movies with a main character like this, that's reason number one to love this film. Reason number two: Drew Barrymore is like 3 years old in here and she is so adorable that you want to keep on watching that cute, scared, little girl that dresses poor E.T. up as if he was a doll. The friendship created between the kids (Elliot, and his two brothers) is so brilliantly portrayed that you don't need more than a couple of lines of dialogue to see how important they are for each other.

Steven Spielberg creates a great world with little more than some not really sophisticated special effects, and why is that? well, basically he had a hell of a story on his hands, and when you get that, it's very difficult to go wrong. But not only Spielberg gives E.T. the special thing that has kept the film alive. John William's score is also one of the most remembered of his works, and again the film and the score work as one perfect element that elevates the whole thing to the "family classic" level.

Indeed, there are bits of the film that nowadays look weird or funny, but this was made 30 years ago and I'm pretty sure it looked astonishing back then. No matter what, the only thing I think they should not have done is that corny rainbow at the end, had that taken that out, it would be much better.  (This last thing is obviously a joke, even though I think that rainbow is hideous, the film is still great).

MadHatterSays: Watch it!

martes, 26 de marzo de 2013

Olympus has fallen

Olympus has fallen directed by Anthony Fuqua

Hello! Well, this is going to be one of the shortest reviews that I will be doing in the near future, but I'm going to do it anyway.

This film is about a terrorist attack on the White House in which the President is held hostage by the Korean terrorists. The film is an action piece with Gerard Butler as an immortal cop who has a great sort of aura that prevents him from being injured or killed. Then there are a bunch of people in the pentagon (Morgan Freeman included), who pretend to be doing very interesting stuff to get the President out of there. They basically keep messing up and the only interesting thing about it is the look on everyone's face when Mr. Freeman orders some coffee.
 There is little action that actually seems believable and even in an action film this is bad news. There are no characters here, everyone is there as a filler, so I won't talk much about it. The film is not even entertaining, which completely messed my last night's plans.
One should think that the special effects would stand out, well, sorry but they don't, they did not even get that right. Hopefully, this won't have a sequel.

As I said the moment it finished: Olympus has fallen is a great, astonishing, piece of crap.

MadHatterSays: Just don't.

P.S. To those of you who don't know, there's another film coming out next year with the exact same plot (almost) and Channing Tatum as the leading man. That one is directed by no other than 2012 and Independence Day director Roland Emmerich, god help us all.

lunes, 25 de marzo de 2013

Once upon a time

Once upon a time
Selfless, Brave and True

Hey everyone! just like last week, here I am talking about last night's episode! 

August / Pinocchio was back in storybrooke, and so was Neill's fiancée (for the first time, of course). The story went, as usual, from past moments to present day. In present day, we learned where had Pinocchio been for the entire season, and for the "some time ago" part, we got to saw how did August realise he was turning back to wood and everything he did to stop it from happening. Now, it was interesting to see how he managed to it, because we got to see some dark sides of one of the most famous fairytale characters we know. It was cool to see him back, overall.

Back in storybrook, Neill's fiancée is there, but she is also in August's past, which was kind of simple and hard to believe, but they like to do these things in the show, so I won't judge. I loved to see some Regina, and the moment with Snow was particularly good. But what I enjoyed the most of last night's episode was the moment when Regina tells Owen that she remembers him and oh, his father isn't there. Is she lying? probably, but that's Regina, and that's why we love her. 

I have to admit that I like what's going on with Snow, because if she is indeed turning dark, and she gets there (even if it is just to bring her back in the most awesome way) that would be an amazing twist to the tale, I don't think they should let that chance go.

I'm not going to tell you what happens in the end,  I don't want to spoil it. But basically, as I saw it, it was another fail attempt to impress the audience. 

Overall, it was a cool episode that is probably there to set in motion a very big, showy and epic finale, but I sincerely hope the next one is better than this one.

MadHatterSays: It's a fun show, but they need to work harder if they get to season 3

domingo, 24 de marzo de 2013

Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect directed by Jason Moore

Hey! Today I'm going with a musical! I could have picked something more classy but hell, let's go for "cool" and not for "politically correct choices", I'll have time for that!

This film is about a cappella, which to me has always been interesting, but I had never seen a film around it, so it was interesting from the very beginning. The story is about a freshman student (Beca)  who wants to be a musician, but does not find the support to do so. But her father, who teaches at the university, tells her that if she actually makes an effort to make friends, study and all, he will let her go to LA and study music. That's why she gets into this a cappella group (called the Barden Bellas), which is a very strict group that is eager to win the national competition of a cappella singing, and take the glory away from their all time enemies, "The Troublemakers". 

I'm not going to go on with the story, that's the main point, and by now you should be already interested about it. Oh, and by the way, Beca is portrayed by the great Anna Kendrick (who I consider to be underrated), that was just in case you needed more reasons to go and pick this one up. The music in the film is great, the musical numbers are actually really cool and mix perfectly with the film. 

There's a love story too, obviously, and well, you know how that goes, but what is so cool about Pitch Perfect is that the storytelling is great and you really don't care much about how predictable it can be. Another great thing about this is the supporting characters (mainly Fat Amy, played by Rebel Wilson).

So, great acting, great fun, great musical numbers....really, this might not be the greatest film of the year, but hell it is one of the most entertaining.

MadHatterSays: Watch it!


sábado, 23 de marzo de 2013

Identity Thief

Identity Thief directed by Seth Gordon

Hey everyone! I recently watched this film, and since it opened not so long ago, I think it is one of the most "accurate in time review" I've done so far.

Ok, the film stars Jason Betaman and Melissa McCarthy, which, if that's the only thing you know about it, you will probably go like "say what? I need to watch this", at least that was my reaction. The problem comes when you actually sit to watch it. Here we go. 

Identity Thief tells the story of Sandy (Betaman) a bored, loving husband and father who gets in a series of unfortunate events because someone (McCarthy) has stolen his identity. Since the police tells him that there isn't much they can do on the subject, he decides to go after her and bring her to justice. Up until here, the movie was ok (not funny, though). Then he gets her and all hell breaks loose and thousands of stupid things happen in here just to get the story going, which obviously, is terrible. The fact is that if they (writer/director/producer) had just kept it as simple as : Man is fucked up + he goes get the one who ruined him + something BELIEVABLE happens along the way + in the end… whatever. The film would have worked just fine, maybe it would have also been funny, and maybe people like me would not end up thinking, "if only i had used those two hours of my life for something else".
The characters in the story are not particularly something that stands out. Only McCarthy's character is somewhat interesting, and only when you get to the end of the film you realise that she is interesting, which doesn't make much sense… 

Overall, a terrible film that is only watchable thanks to the likes of Betaman and McCarthy, who did their best to make this look like something better. The only good thing about this, is that finally, FINALLY, Miss McCarthy seems to be getting some attention. (thank you Bridesmaids!)

MadHatterSays: Don't watch it.

viernes, 22 de marzo de 2013

The Vow

The Vow directed by Michael Sucsy

So , I am still dealing with my cold and I spent the whole day watching "cry makers" which did not actually make me cry (ooooooh).

One of those "cry makers" was "The Vow" a romantic drama that was released sometime last year and that I had no idea it existed. I was up "Sam Neill" on IMDb and this popped up, so I said, hell, let's watch it!
If you, just like me, don't know about this one, it tells the story of a married couple that have a car accident. Paige (the wife), forgets everything about her married life to Leo, who will make the impossible to get her memory back, and show her how much they loved each other. I'm not going to go much into detail because it's quite a nice story and if you are considering watching the film, well, I don't want to ruin anything. I'll just say that there are people from her past coming back for her (not in a stalker way or anything).
Ok, so, I thought the film was quite well acted, which is great. The story itself was interesting, as I have mentioned, and it wasn't boring at all (it's about 90 minutes), which is also quite an achievement these days. 

The characters were appealing enough to make you care about them, and of course, if you are a romance lover, there's all these beautiful romantic scenes, which I have to say, worked pretty well.

Overall, an enjoyable "based on true events" film, that even though being quite predictable, was still appealing.

MadHatterSays: It's "cute", give it a try (if you are ill, bored, or you are a romantic)