Archive for Movie reviews

Review: Wreck It Ralph

For family fun last Saturday night, we decided to watch the animated Disney movie Wreck It Ralph. We all love video games, and the premise – of a downtrodden villain growing weary of doing villainous things, and wanting more – seemed appealing.

My kids mostly play their video games online on their PC, or on their consoles, or on their smart phones or ipods.  When I was a kid, if we wanted to play — we grabbed our quarters and cold hard cash, met up with friends and headed to the local arcade. To spend hours dropping quarters into machines.

But, what really goes on INSIDE those arcade video games?

And thus begins the story, of an 8-bit villain, wanting to be a hero…

wreck-it-ralph

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Review: Brave – a Pixar movie

Princess Merida: I want my freedom!

Queen Elinor: But are you willing to pay the price your freedom will cost?

Last weekend we took the whole crew to see Brave – Pixar’s first fairy tale.  Originally called “The Bear and the Bow”, Brave stars Merida, the first female protagonist in a Pixar film, and is the first Pixar film with their completely redone graphics system.

Merida is a Scottish teenage tomboy princess, with a wild mane of red curls. She has a huge, burly father, a by-the-book mother – loving and kind, but traditional and determined – and 3 mischievous tiny triplet brothers.

Merida is “just not ready” for her impending betrothal (arranged marriage). Merida and her mother, Elinor can’t communicate well; each of them has a valid point of view – but the other can’t see it.  Merida rebels against tradition, and her mother. She wishes to change her fate.

But, wishes can be dangerous things and can turn out not quite as we expect…

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Coming Soon: The Secret World of Arrietty

“Residing quietly beneath the floorboards are little people who live undetected in a secret world to be discovered, where the smallest may stand tallest of all.”

Do you remember the book The Borrowers? About a family of little people and their adventures living, hidden, in a house of regular sized people?  When something small, like a thimble or sugarcube, would go missing it was because of the Borrowers – friendly, yet fiercely private little people.

Get ready to be swept away, and discover a secret world within our own. Walt Disney Pictures is releasing Hiyao Miyazaki’s latest Studio Ghibli film “The Secret World of Arrietty” on February 17th.  Arrietty is based on Mary Norton’s award winning childrens’ book series “The Borrowers”; Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki considered doing a film based on the novel for 40 years.  Written by master storyteller Hiyao Miyazaki, and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the animated fantasy film was initially released in Japan as “The Borrower Arrietty” or Karigurashi no Arrietty.

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Review: .hack//Quantum

The latest in the .hack conglomerate, .hack//Quantum is an animated three part OVA released in Japan January 2011.  Quantum is the story of Sakuya (who looks like a female Kite), Tobias, and Mary, and their adventures in The World R:X.

Here’s a couple of YouTube preview links here and here.  Can’t wait to watch this – hope I can find it with English subs soon!

Check out my earlier review of the overall .hack mythology here, and my other posts with more details on Sign, Roots, G.U., Link, and Quantum.

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Review: .hack//Link

.hack//Link takes place after .hack//G.U., and is the story of a gamer, Tokio, who can’t wait to play The World R:X. but is unable to get access.  A mysterious transfer student, Saikaal, invites him to play and somehow transports him, body and consciousness, into the game where she treats him as a slave.  It’s quickly apparent something has gone wrong in The World – Tsukasa shows up and is acting strange, Haseo is still crazy and searching for Tri Edge – it’s up to Tokio to figure things out.

There are three .hack//Link manga books currently available, and a .hack//Link PSP video game, released in Japan only.  While the art style for the beginning of .hack//Link  isn’t consistent with the typical .hack art style, that’s true only for the opening sequence – the rest of the game is has the typical .hack look.

There are also future plans for a .hack//Link animated OVA tie-in.

Check out my earlier review of the overall .hack mythology here, and my other posts with more details on Sign, Roots, G.U., Link, and Quantum

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Review: .hack//G.U.

Once you have watched Roots, you’ll want to continue the story either by playing the .hack//G.U. video games (Rebirth, Reminisce, Redemption), watching .hack//G.U. Trilogy, or by reading the .hack//G.U.+ manga or the .hack//G.U. novels (The Terror of Death, Borderline MMO, Harald’s Archetype).

Haseo’s story continues, and he’s recruited into Project G.U. and the guild Raven.  Still searching for a way to save Shino and the Lost Ones, Haseo trains to regain his character’s strength and power.  Haseo learns about his hidden power and struggles to gain control of it.  While there are many familiar characters from .hack//Roots, we are introduced to several new characters including Endrance, Atoli, Bo and Saku, and Sakaki.  Haseo has several arena battles, becomes more involved with Atoli and Moon Tree guild, learns more about AIDA and the 8 Phases/Epitaphs/Morganna Factors and grows into his role as an Epitaph User with his Avatar Skeith.  (Cool fact:  Skeith means “Shadow” in Old Scottish.)

Mysteries are unveiled right up to the very end, and we watch as the characters are faced with questions such as – to what lengths will a person go to, to achieve their goals?  At what costs?  What are we capable of?  How strong is the human will?

For more information:

www.dothack.com

wikipedia.org/wiki/.hack_GU

dothack.wikia.com

Liar’s Smile (From .hack//G.U. Trilogy) ***Warning:  Spoilers***

Check out my earlier review of the overall .hack mythology here, and my other posts with more details on Sign, Roots, G.U., Link, and Quantum.  And, here’s a little bonus, now that we’re getting in deeper…

The Epitaph of Twilight: (source)

Yet to return, the shadowed one.

Who quests for the Twilight Dragon

Rumbles the Dark Hearth,

And Helba, Queen of the Dark,

has raised finally her army.

Apeiron, King of Light beckons.

At the base of the rainbow do they meet

Against the abominable Wave,

together they fight.

Alba’s lake boils.

Light’s great tree doth fall.

Power- now all to droplets turned

in the temple of Arche Koeln.

Returns to nothing,

this world of shadowless ones.

Never to return, the shadowed one,

Who quests for the Twilight Dragon.

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Review: .hack//Roots

.hack//Roots is the prequel to the second group of three PS2 G.U. games (Rebirth, Reminisce, Redemption).  Roots is the story of Haseo, a black adept rogue who holds a secret not even he knows about.  Set in The World:R2, it takes place around 10 years after Sign.

Again, strange things are happening and we search with the characters for answers.  Haseo is recruited by Ovan and the Twilight Brigade guild, and also by the shady TAN guild.  Other characters are introduced including Ovan, Shino, Phyllo, Kuhn, Tawalaya, Tabby, SakiSaka, Ender, Yata, Pi, and Tri Edge; it’s difficult to tell who is good and who is evil.  The Twilight Brigade is searching for the Key of the Twilight.  Does it exist?  What is it?  Again we are faced with mysteries, but this time, something darker is going on.  What is causing player characters in the real world to fall into a coma, and become Lost Ones?  Why is it happening?  Who is responsible?  Is there any way to save the Lost Ones?  Why is there such an interest in Haseo?  And what is with Ovan’s left arm, with its huge cylindrical container sealed with a massive lock?

As Haseo and his guildmates search for the Key of the Twilight, Shino is attacked by a mysterious PK (player killer) and becomes a Lost One.  Haseo becomes obsessed with finding the one responsible, and finding a way to save Shino.  Crazy and half mad, Haseo searches desperately, earns the nickname The Terror of Death, and trains to become stronger.  While I personally find the Tabby-focused episodes a bit boring, she serves as a light counterweight to Haseo’s intense and brooding personality.

Roots brings you even deeper into The World of .hack.  Everything we’ve learned about the creation of The World becomes the building blocks – The World is evolving.  The mystery deepens and by the end of Roots we are introduced to the G.U. Project, Epitaph Users, Phases, Avatars, and AIDA.  The story is now in full swing, leading into the G.U. video games.

For more information:

wikipedia.org/wiki/.hack//Roots

dothack.wikia.com/wiki/Roots

Some great music from Roots:

God Diva (Ali Project)

Dwindled Bible

Junkyousha No Yubi/Martyr’s Finger

Check out my earlier review of the overall .hack mythology here, and my other posts with more details on Sign, Roots, G.U., Link, and Quantum.

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